Crosses are seen on the koppie near the Nkaneng informal settlement in Marikana for the 34 miners who lost their lives. Picture: DANIEL BORN/THE TIMES
Crosses are seen on the koppie near the Nkaneng informal settlement in Marikana for the 34 miners who lost their lives. Picture: DANIEL BORN/THE TIMES

The Marikana commission’s terms of reference were not broad enough for it to make a recommendation on compensation of the victims of the August 16 massacre.

Even so, the government continuously highlighted that compensation was a priority — though it’s been carried out clumsily so far.

Last August, families of the deceased workers were paid out by the government for loss of support. But Nomzamo Zondo, legal representative for the families, says there is a dispute about a group of restorative claims, for R1.5m each, which are about healing. She notes that in the case of the Life Esidimeni tragedy, families were paid R1.2m.

Compensation has been paid to some of the arrested strikers, says Andries Nkome, who represents the injured and arrested mineworkers. Meanwhile, "those injured have not been compensated at all — though it would make much more sense to have done that first", he says.

The Marikana massacre took place on August 16 2012. Thirty-four miners were killed. Their families are yet to be compensated. Many have called for the tragedy to be commemorated as a public holiday. Subscribe to MultimediaLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

Mzoxolo Magidiwana is one such worker. Just 24 at the time of the massacre, his life changed forever when he was shot seven times by police.

"Before this, I knew that no matter how difficult life would get, I could go to work, sometimes do overtime and get a bonus every once in a while. I would also get piece jobs that would give me some money," he says. "Life has been very difficult since what happened … I don’t know what to do. I wish they could just finish me off."

To date, he says he hasn’t received a cent from the government, which continues to make empty promises.

Magidiwana says R20m would be fair compensation — "because of what they did to my body … I can’t work anywhere else now".

Noting that families and even some of the arrested miners have been compensated, Magidiwana says: "Is our blood or our injuries different from those who were also victims of what happened? Is our pain any different from the pain felt by those who already got paid? What has been done for us? There’s nothing the government has done … to show any kind of concern for us."