World Bulletin/News Desk
South Africa on Saturday marked the 2nd anniversary of the catastrophic Marikana killings.
South African President Jacob Zuma said this day should be one for reflection and recommitment to peace and tolerance all over the country.
"This tragic day should be marked as a day of reflection and recommitment to peace and tolerance in the country,” Zuma said.
"We cannot bring back those who lost their lives, but we must ensure that there is never a repeat of the tragic and painful incidents of August 2012,” he added in a statement.
Thirty-four South African mineworkers were killed on August 16, 2012 when policemen opened their firepower on a group of striking mineworkers in Marikana in the Northwest province. Around 70 other mineworkers were wounded in the attack.
The mineworkers were demanding a salary raise at the Lonmin Platinum mine.
Ten other mineworkers died before August 16, while a number of others died after that day.
Soon after the shooting, President Zuma appointed a retired judge, Ian Farlam, to head the Marikana commission of inquiry into the incident.
"The Farlam Commission of Inquiry continues to establish the facts about what happened," Zuma said.
"We will continue to respect that process and will not apportion blame or pre-empt the findings of the inquiry," he added in the statement.
Zuma said his country needed to recommit itself to ensuring that violence is never again used to solve problems of any kind in South Africa since the country has laws, institutions and many instruments to deal with disagreements.
"Nothing will ever take away the pain felt by the loved ones of all those who died in Marikana," the President said.
He added that he and his government had committed themselves to revitalizing distressed mining communities, including Marikana, to ensure improved living conditions for communities that contribute immensely to economic development in South Africa.
“We extend yet again, our deep-felt condolences to all families who lost their loved ones in Marikana," Zuma said.
Parliamentary leader of the Opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, meanwhile, said the living conditions of the mineworkers had not changed two years after the catastrophic killing.
"Nothing has changed in Marikana, two years since our brothers and fathers were killed," Maimane said in a speech in Marikana.
He added that this is not the life the South African constitution promises.
"And this does not have to be the life that we leave for our children," Maimane said. "How did we get here? How could this happen?" he asked.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ağustos 2014, 23:23