Most families of Marikana 44 'struggling'

Pretoria - Most families of 44 people who died during the August 2012 Marikana unrest are struggling financially, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"Thabiso [Mosebetsane] was the only who was working in the family. I want the children to be assisted with school fees etc," Ntombizolile Mosebetsane, Thabiso's widow, told the commission in Pretoria.

"Our last-born is 3[-years-old]. I can't even afford to buy a doll for the child but some people can afford to pay R18m for a buffalo. My husband was [a] hard worker and died seeking a better wage."

The remarks were a reference to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's failed bid for a buffalo in 2012, which later fetched R20m.

The African National Congress heavyweight, businessman, and former Lonmin non-executive director later apologised for the bid.

Money for ceremony needed

The Mosebetsane family wanted Thabiso's son Katiso to take over his job at Lonmin.

"We are required to do a ceremony for Thabiso's other son Tshepo. We are required to slaughter a cow and we do not have the money.

"According to our beliefs, if we don't perform the ceremony Tshepo may experience difficulties in his life and may not find a job," the Mosebetsane family submitted in an affidavit to the commission.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on 16 August 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

Noki ‘was a happy man’

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and the two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

On Wednesday, the commission heard presentations by lawyers and families of the 44 deceased.

Mgcineni Noki, also known as Mambush, a leader of the protesting mineworkers, was described by his family as "a happy man who never fought". His late father had also worked in the mines.

"He is now being seen as someone who was leading the workers astray. He wanted the truth and police killed him for it. I know that in South Africa the truth is not wanted. The gentleman who testified yesterday [Ramaphosa] did not say the truth," Sinovuyo Noki, a cousin of Mambush, said.

"To the mineworkers, you have to be strong but don't turn back on your demands. You better die for what you want. Don't be scared because police are killing you. Be prepared to die. Mambush stood for miners’ rights," Noki said.

Mambush was shot dead when violence erupted on 16 August. He featured prominently in newspaper photographs and television footage in the build-up to the 16 August confrontation. He became known as "the man wrapped in a green blanket".

Ramaphosa testified on Monday and Tuesday about his role in the Marikana events. He was repeatedly heckled as he gave evidence.

Tyrone Kleiner 2014/08/13 06:09:55 PM
You would not be struggling if you could behave like humans and not Animals and protest peacefully . Police have the right to protect themselves and should not be the ones on trail here .
Johan Steyn265 2014/08/13 06:20:40 PM
Shame!!! this is no one fault who is supporting the families of the people that they killed that was doing their job I have no sympathy with you those that got shot diserved it finish en klaar!
Jacobus Marques 2014/08/13 06:21:23 PM
As an ex shopsteward we always use to tell the shopfloor that a strike should be peaceful, meaning no weapons. So carrying weapons and killing others should not be promoted at a strike.Look the miners killed two cops, two security guards and for most of the nation its been seen that they were right to kill and now that the law was up hold the police are seen as criminals. Just tell me what how could the miners kill and nobody is saying they were wrong?
Henry Tshilenge 2014/08/13 06:22:14 PM
You just behave worse than animals by not sympathising with these families.
Petrus Kruger 2014/08/13 06:31:58 PM
Dear CR – yes you could and you should have done something - not more! Maybe you do actually have a conscious of sorts ? First, wipe that smirk of your face ; second take a few million of the R7.8 billion you have managed to bargain in twenty years – and set-up a pension fund for the wives and children of all those shot and killed in the Marikana massacre; ask and pray for forgiveness – then only will you be able to face your children when they ask you : Daddy , what is AA and BEE and why do we have so much when there are so many people living in shacks all around the country?
Gwilym John Howes 2014/08/13 06:34:12 PM
GOOD! After the mayhem their menfolk caused, the lawlessness, the property damage, and the innocent police and security personnel they killed, I hope their families starve!
Ashely Ash 2014/08/13 06:35:01 PM
Hey people the families are suffering either u feel sympathy or not. The story is not about those who were killed. Were the wife's and children there too at the strike ???!??!!?
Isaac Tjie 2014/08/13 06:45:14 PM
our goverments is rotten dan cn u kill hungry ppl demanding better wage.after neglitng dem lyk empty fish tin insd last year full dustbin
Love SA 2014/08/13 06:59:15 PM
So does every other family that has or had a greedy father at the helm. I'm just sooooo sorry Malema Was not among the dead ones. After all he is the bastard that promised you the world. And did you get it ? Go and ask him for support as he is the one that reaped the political gain with your blood. When you listen to idiots then you have to take what comes your way. Now go and ask him so that you do not have to suffer anymore. I do feel for you as it must be really tuff in your situation and the to also miss your loved ones. God be with you.
Stephan Potgieter 2014/08/13 07:03:16 PM
Yes I bet if I stayed away from work without pay and then got shot for playing voodoovoodoo with live ammo, my family would be struggling as well