SeriThe Star reports that as SA marks the ninth anniversary of the Marikana killings on Monday, there have been calls for 16 August to be made a national holiday as a sign of respect to the miners who died in the country’s first post-apartheid massacre.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute’s (SERI’s) executive director, Nomzamo Zondo, said this would be a sign of remorse from the state and would offer some comfort to the families of the 34 miners who died at the hands of the police in 2012. The institute has been representing some of the miners’ families in court. “Marikana cannot stop being a sore wound until the current government recognises that it was a post-apartheid massacre and responds in a way that acknowledges their culpability in the deaths of these miners. They killed people during a labour dispute. The least they could do is recognise the day,” Zondo stated. She noted that R100 million had been paid to the families by the state, but some of those who were injured had still not been paid. According to Zondo, more money had been spent on the Farlam Commission and the defence of the police. Zondo also said the Marikana widows were not happy that the mining company previously known as Lonmin had placed a monument at one of its premises, but not at the koppie where the miners died. The widows were also unhappy that the names of their family members were misspelt and in some cases the wrong names appeared.

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