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Marikana miners remember the fallen [pictures]

On Saturday, thousands of people gathered at the koppie in Marikana where, on 16 August 2012, South African police opened fire on a group of striking platinum miners, injuring over a hundred miners and killing 34.

Most of those present at the commemoration were miners from the mining union AMCU, which was at the forefront of the strike that culminated in the shooting. Miners say they are still poorly paid and continue to work in dangerous conditions, and that they intend to continue the fight for a living wage and for improved living conditions. They place the blame for the Marikana massacre squarely at the feet of the ANC. For the second year running, there were no representatives from the ruling ANC or any of its allies.

In the days after the shooting the South African government set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the incident. It has yet to conclude. Two years after the biggest killing by the South African government since the end of apartheid, no one has been held accountable.

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Thousands gather at the koppie for the second anniversary commemoration of the Marikana massacre.

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They came to remember their fallen comrades, friends, brothers, husbands and sons.

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Mine workers climbed to the top of the koppie and sang songs mocking the police and the mining company for their roles in the killing of their colleagues.

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Many feel the miners’ sacrifice has been forgotten.

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Mine workers lift their hands in a salute when the leader of the mining union AMCU arrives.

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A man holds a green blanket aloft in recognition of strike leader Mgcineni “Mambush” Noki, who became known as “the man in the green blanket“, one of the first miners to die in the massacre.

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Widows of the Marikana miners hold candles during the commemoration.

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A woman sheds tears as the names of the dead miners is read out.

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She mourns her husband, killed by the South African police during the shooting.

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A woman says a prayer for the deceased.

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Families of the deceased still have unanswered questions about what happened two years ago.

Ihsaan Haffejee profile picIhsaan Haffejee is a photographer based in Johannesburg. Follow him on Twitter.

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