Very Little Change In Marikana Since Tragedy, Says Activist

Marikana Massacre
FILE: Miners gather during commemorations to mark the fourth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre in Rustenburg on August 16, 2016. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – An activist from Marikana has told Eyewitness News that she fears that 16 August will become just another yearly commemoration because there’s been very little change in her community over the past seven years.

Thirty-four mineworkers were gunned down by police during a protracted wage strike against Lonmin near Rustenburg in 2012.

Ten other people were killed in the days leading up to the massacre.

After the tragedy, Primrose Sonti mobilised women in the mining town and formed the organisation Sikhala Sonke.

“I don’t know where or when I can be healed because to me it is still new every now and then.”

It is a day that is still very vivid in Sonti’s mind and many others who were affected by the Marikana massacre.

Nkaneng in the North West was home to the woman who has become the torchbearer for the people of this mining community.

Most of the homes are made out of corrugated iron sheets, there are gravel roads which turn into mud on rainy days, with rubbish scattered around the community.

Sonti said she feared that this day would just become a routine.

“It is like a habit like those events on 1 May [Worker’s Day].”

She’s once again echoed calls for 16 August to be declared a public holiday.


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