Trust for Marikana victims

Kay Sexwale
Kay Sexwale

A trust is being set up for victims of strike-related violence in Marikana last year, a group calling itself Citizens4Marikana said on Tuesday.

“We are in the process of forming a trust for the benefit of the persons identified by the Farlam Commission [of Inquiry] as victims of the Marikana massacre, and their families,” it said in a statement.

“The aim of the trust will be to benefit the named beneficiaries in whatever way the trustees deem most appropriate… Right now that could be by providing finance for legal fees.”

In the long term, this could be used for education scholarships.

“Ultimately, how funds are spent will be determined by the trustees and we will be responsible only for raising those funds.”

The group was started on Twitter following comments about the August 16 shooting last year that left 44 people dead at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana.

“Our mission is to ensure that the truth of the events at Marikana are revealed and that the victims, and their families, achieve justice,” it said.

“While we recognise the importance of the Farlam Commission, justice cannot be found… unless real recompense is made to the people most intimately affected.”

On June 21, Dali Mpofu, for the miners, told the commission that due to financial constraints, it could be his last day representing the miners. He brought an application in the High Court in Pretoria several weeks ago seeking funding, but this was dismissed. Mpofu then took the State to the Constitutional Court, asking that it pay for his legal team. The application was dismissed on Monday.

On its website, Citizens4Marikana state that Nkome Attorneys, based in Pretoria, were appointed to temporarily collect donations.

Citizens4Marikana is as a social media movement started by a group of people moved by the violence at Marikana. There was nothing political behind it, said representative Kay Sexwale, former radio presenter and niece of former human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale.

“We are just outraged at the Marikana massacre and we feel that something has to be done,” she said.

“Nothing is cast in stone. We are not trying to steal anyone’s money. We are just collecting money for those families affected. It is about the 44 people who died in August last year.”

Citizens4Marikana was started by “random people” on social media network Twitter, including Sexwale, UN secretary general at the G8 and G20 Youth Summits in 2012 Erik De Ridder, photojournalist Greg Marinovich, and Nomboniso Gasa, who describes herself as a researcher, analyst, and public speaker. – Sapa