COSATU outraged by the lack of justice following the Marikana tragedy, 11 years later

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) mourns and remembers the 44 workers who lost their lives in Marikana, in the North West Province eleven years ago. These workers needlessly died in the run up to and during that fateful tragedy whilst demonstrating against inhumane working conditions, low wages and exploitation by loan sharks.

Whilst the Federation welcomes the progress made in the finalisation of the financial compensation for the victims that were affected by this tragedy, the Federation is outraged that eleven years later, justice has still not been served by the National Prosecuting Authority for these workers and their families. The state needs to help their families who have had to rebuild their lives after the loss of their loved ones whilst suffering from psychological trauma.

This lack of justice is a painful reminder to mine workers, police officers and indeed the entire working class of the inequalities that are still ravaging our society. Senior managers and owners of major companies unashamedly enjoy the hard-earned profits derived from the sweat and tears of the workforce. The naked greed of our corporate elite is widening the wage gap and plunging the working class further into indebtedness and poverty.

The mining industry is still capable of offering employment opportunities, especially to communities in mining areas.  Government needs to ensure mining equity, compensation and upliftment of these communities. COSATU urges the Department of Mineral Resources to ensure proper facilitation and monitoring of the compliance of mining companies to their legal obligations to invest in the upliftment of mining related communities.

We commend our dedicated Affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for its resilience in the emancipation of workers in the mining industry. Collective bargaining remains under attack from decadent employers and will be defended by the Federation.

COSATU calls on the state to expedite justice for the workers who lost their lives and for the families who are still reeling at the consequences of their unnecessary deaths.

Issued by COSATU

Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687