Several groups were marching in close formations, in different positions near the koppie.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa marked the five-year commemoration of the so-called Marikana massacre on Wednesday.
Five years ago, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead by police at the Marikana mine in the North West.
Marikana residents, mining union Amcu and opposition parties want 16 August to be declared a public holiday.
They have severely criticised the Lonmin mining company and the government for not making good on promises to uplift the community.
Amcu, an independent union, gained ground in the mining sector, especially in the platinum belt of the North West, in the lead-up to the strike at the mine and subsequent massacre.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a board director of Lonmin at the time, was barred from Wednesday's commemoration as Amcu said the widows of miners killed did not want him to attend.
Families of the deceased and rights organisations accuse the government of not having done much to compensate the dead miners' loved ones.
Here are five quotes from the commemoration:
1. The EFF
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema likened the 2012 Marikana massacre to the Sharpeville Massacre.
Malema said the police brutality must never be forgotten.
2. The DA
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane told crowds in Marikana the country is led by a dictator who does not want to improve worker conditions.
3. Marikana Support Campaign
The Marikana Support Campaign says Lonmin miners are still severely underpaid five years after the fateful 2012 strike.
According to Rehad Desai of the Marikana Support Campaign, the mine has also failed to meet its community development obligations.
4. The community
Despite the ANC's absence at the official commemoration event for the Marikana massacre, the country’s governing party and its leaders were at the forefront of some people’s minds.
While many agree that very little has changed over the past five years in Marikana, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) reiterated that an outside commission of inquiry into the massacre would have done better than the Farlam commission.
“You will remember our first interview with yourselves here in 2012, we were advocating that the commission should be headed by the ILO (International Labour Organisation),” said Amcu boss Joseph Mathunjwa.
“We believe that the government was involved in killing the workers. So therefore [it would] be a judge and a referee at the same time. Hence we don’t see any prosecution. Even Ipid [the Independent Police Investigative Directorate] has put [the matter] before the National Prosecuting Authority. The NPA doesn’t want to do anything around that.”