Sikhala Sonke: Women of Marikana.

Photos by:  Gillian Schutte

Sikhala Sonke invited media and public to bear witness to their lives in Marikana in August 2014.


After a gathering where they gave testimony to their lives and hardships they took us on a site inspection.

The site inspection of Wonderkop, Marikana was followed by a brief speak-out in which the women of Marikana and widows testified to their ongoing pain and experience of injustice. They also spoke about what they want to change in their lives.

Invitees included Ministers and Parliamentarians, the Office of the Premier in the North-West province, representatives of Chapter Nine bodies, prominent civil society leaders and cultural workers.

The meeting took place on Tuesday 12 August at 11am outside the main entrance to the Wonderkop Stadium.

Nearly two years has passed since the massacre of striking mineworkers in Marikana on 16 August 2012. Media and public attention has since been focused on the Farlam Commission and, more recently, on the five-month plus strike action on the Platinum belt. Eyes have long been turned away from day-to-day life in Marikana, and the distant rural villages and towns from which some of the mineworkers, killed in the massacre, originate and where their surviving families remain.

The invite to this event read like this:

“As we approach the two year anniversary of the Marikana massacre, it is an appropriate time to ask:
–       Are the Lonmin workers and community members living in conditions any better than two years ago? What has Lonmin done to improve lives? What has the local municipality done?
–       What justice has there been for the widows of Marikana and the families of the mineworkers that were killed? Has there been any compensation for their grievous losses? How are these families being supported by Lonmin and government?
–       Do workers and the community feel that justice has been served in the past two years?

The women of Marikana – organised as Sikhala Sonke – invite you to bear witness to their living conditions, their continued suffering and their acute feeling that justice for workers, for widows, for the community as a whole has not been served.”

This initiative was supported by WoMin, Benchmarks, Media for Justice, Worker and Community Solidarity Committee and the Marikana Support Campaign.

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