Life in Marikana ‘worse after carnage’

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IOL  Marikana site visit.JPG Independent Newspapers Agnes Lebone, 25, said she lost many friends in the Marikana massacre. Picture: Dumisani Dube

Marikana -

Agnes Lebone moved from her home in Lesotho to Marikana, North West, for a better life.

“My whole family had moved to South Africa and I wanted to join them to avoid poverty.”

The 25-year-old lives in the Nkaneng informal settlement, a few metres away from the infamous Wonderkop koppie.

On Tuesday, several action groups invited the media back to Marikana for a site inspection of the area, and to see whether the lives of the women and children had changed.

Lebone said life in Nkaneng was hard.

“We don’t work and we can’t find work. All we ask from the government is that they help us so we can build ourselves,” she said.

Lebone said that to make ends meet, she and some of the other women walk to the fields to collect fruit and try to sell it.

She said she remembered the day of the Marikana massacre like it was yesterday.

“I lost many friends that day. The police were just horrible. Those who survived are still not okay,” she said.

Referring to service delivery, she said:

“Sometimes we have water and sometimes we have electricity.”

For Nophelo Makaula, the dream of ever having proper service delivery has long gone.

“We don’t even know the government here. They have never come to hear our cries.The last time the bosses from the mines were here, they killed our men,” she said.

Makaula said she saw every other party but the ANC come to show support during the strikes.

She said she cried when the Marikana massacre happened.

“My husband was part of that group. I was left at home with a baby and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even eat,” she said.

After the inspection, representatives from the Legal Resources Centre, Commission on Gender Equality, SA Human Rights Commission, Action Aid International, Mining Affected Communities United in Action and National Union of Metalworkers of SA told residents they would ensure the government took action.

The Star

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