Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
17 Jul 2018
12:20 pm

Ramaphosa commits to visiting Marikana without Winnie

Makhosandile Zulu

The president says he will pay a visit to Marikana once certain processes, which include finalising pending lawsuits, have been followed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to visiting Marikana, where 34 striking mineworkers were massacred by police on August 16, 2012.

Ramaphosa said the visit would give closure not only to the town’s mining community but to him as well, and that it would heal the wounds inflicted by the brutal killing of the 34 mineworkers.

Speaking on eNCA on Monday night, the president said he would visit Marikana once certain processes, which include finalising pending lawsuits, have been followed.

“When we finally go, we should have a situation where we are able to effectively put closure to this matter and put it to bed and heal the wounds. I know it will never be put to bed, but it will at least be healing the wounds and that in our culture is important,” Ramaphosa said.

The president has faced criticism from various sectors of society for his role in calling for police presence to be beefed up during the protracted strike for increased wages in 2012, which resulted in the tragic massacre on August 16 that year.

Ramaphosa was meant to pay a visit to Marikana along with late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela Mandela and EFF leader Julius Malema. However, Madikizela-Mandela passed on before they could go on the trip.

At the funeral of the Mother of the Nation, Ramaphosa then asked Malema to accompany him to Marikana in Madikizela-Mandela’s absence, a request the firebrand leader later flatly rejected.

On the news show on Monday night, the president said he had been saddened by the footage of state police gunning down 34 striking mineworkers.

“That should have never had happened. It’s an incident that will take a long time to blot out of our memory, and maybe our memory should remain engaged with it so that an incident like that never happens again in South Africa, where people lose their lives in the way that they did. So I am sad and continue to be saddened by what happened, but at the same time, I have the strength of conviction to say that I will go,” Ramaphosa said.

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