African National Congress (ANC) supporters in Marikana face the difficult task in 2024’s election of having to vote for Cyril Ramaphosa, a man they still view as being partially responsible for the 2012 massacre.
On 16, August 2012, police shot and killed 34 striking mineworkers and left 78 seriously injured. At the time, Ramaphosa was a major shareholder at Lonmin Mine, which is known today as Sibanye.
ANC supporters in the area said that an apology from President Cyril Ramaphosa would go a long way in mending relations between the party and the residents of Marikana. However, from the Marikana Commission, it’s known that Ramaphosa testified several times that he did not do anything wrong.
A Marikana resident, Thapelo Gaoaketse, said it was the ANC-run government that killed the people of Marikana 11 years ago.
“Why can’t the president come here, which is Cyril Ramaphosa? Why can’t he come here and apologize to the community of Marikana for what they did during the Marikana massacre? The people lost faith in the ANC.”
Long-time ANC supporter Nokuthula Nondonga said Ramaphosa being the ANC presidential candidate will make it difficult for her to vote for the party in 2024.
“I don’t think Ramaphosa will get the position of being president again because what he did here in Marikana was terrible. A lot of people died, and there are a lot of widows and families without breadwinners because of him.”
Officials from the Electoral Commission (IEC) reported low numbers of people who came to their voting stations this weekend. The events that unfolded in Marikana in 2012 left a scar on the community, and the wounds are still fresh in the minds of many ANC supporters in the area.
The 2012 massacre, where striking mineworkers were shot and killed by police, has raised questions about Cyril Ramaphosa’s role as a major shareholder at Lonmin Mine during that time. For ANC supporters in Marikana, the upcoming 2024 election poses a dilemma.
On one hand, they have been loyal supporters of the ANC for years, but on the other hand, they struggle with the idea of voting for a candidate who they perceive to be partially responsible for the tragedy that unfolded in their community.
Many residents believe that an apology from President Cyril Ramaphosa would be a significant step towards healing the rift between the ANC and the people of Marikana.
However, Ramaphosa has consistently maintained his innocence and testified multiple times before the Marikana Commission that he did not do anything wrong.
The lack of an apology from Ramaphosa has further eroded trust and faith in the ANC among Marikana residents.
Thapelo Gaoaketse, a resident of Marikana, expressed his disappointment, questioning why the president has not visited the community to apologize for the Marikana massacre. The absence of an apology has left many people disillusioned with the ANC.
Nokuthula Nondonga, a long-time ANC supporter, shared her hesitation in voting for the ANC in 2024 due to Ramaphosa’s involvement in Marikana.
She believes that the actions taken by Ramaphosa during that time were terrible, resulting in the loss of many lives and leaving families without breadwinners.
The sentiments expressed by ANC supporters in Marikana are reflected in the low voter turnout reported by the Electoral Commission (IEC) during the recent weekend.
The reluctance to vote for the ANC is a clear indication of the impact that the Marikana massacre and Ramaphosa’s involvement have had on the community’s trust in the party.