Still no money for Marikana wounded and arrested

More than 250 people who were shot and arrested during the Marikana massacre in 2012 are angered by the department of justice’s failure to make payments to them for their losses.

They have been in discussion with the state for more than six years.

It is understood that the state made a settlement offer, which the wounded and arrested miners accepted on August 29 this year.

Two weeks later, in a letter seen by the Mail & Guardian, state attorney Gosiame Seleka confirms the number of claimants and the amounts to be paid to each of theme.

There are 253 claimants and “the total amount payable therefore is R97 685 00”, reads the letter.

But, to date, no payments have been made.

Andries Nkome, the lawyer for the wounded and arrested miners, said he has been in communication with the state attorney’s office.

“It looks like the department of justice has not instructed the SAPS [South African Police Service] to make payments to the wounded and arrested and we don’t know the reason why. To date they have not given us one,” he told the M&G.

Nkome added that his clients say they only receive information on the payments through the media.

“These people have not had direct correspondence [from the department of justice] as to where their payments are and have been hearing about it in the media and this is how justice has continued to treat them,” Nkome said.

“The miners keep calling us and asking if we are sure that we have not received the payments. They clearly do not believe us when we say there has been no payment.”

In August, the M&G reported that the Marikana widows had accepted the offer, for loss of support, made by the state even though it was not the offer they had hoped for. The M&G understands that their payments have been made.

READ MORE: A little light shines for Marikana

The department of justice was asked two weeks ago when it would fulfil the agreement to pay the miners. Steve Mahlangu, spokesperson for the department, said the SAPS was its client and for this reason the department was not in a position to comment.

“You are consequently advised to direct queries to the police, as the department cannot be making statements for and on behalf of SAPS,” said Mahlangu.

READ MORE: The dead and the forgotten

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Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

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