Zameka Lehupa, one of the widows of the Lonmin miners killed in the 2012 “Marikana massacre,” wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to apologize.
She also wants the day the miners died, August 16, to be declared a national holiday.
Speaking at a commemorative event hosted by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri) on Wednesday, Lehupa said the wheels of justice were turning slowly for affected families, leaving them with more questions than answers ten years later.
“No one has come forward to explain why our husbands were killed. Police officers who shot them have not been arrested. Unlike us, they are still with their families. Yet, because of their intent to kill, we are the Marikana widows. The death of our husbands was not a mistake. You can’t shoot someone seven to 10 times and call that a mistake.”
Lehupa added that, while Ramaphosa was the deputy president at the time of the massacre, as a Lonmin board member, he could have served as a bridge builder between the company and the striking employees.
The miners demanded better living conditions and an R12 500 pay increase after deductions.
“Ramaphosa should have supported the striking mineworkers. I will never understand why they were massacred for demanding higher wages and improved living conditions. The president should have come to us. He visits other places, locally and internationally, but he never sets foot in Marikana. He doesn’t even know about our living conditions,” Lehupa added.