Jazz show raises funds for miners

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IOL marikana MinersFestival THE STAR Thembinkosi and H3 perform in Braamfontein, Joburg, at a fundraising event for striking platinum belt miners. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - A jazz concert was held to raise funds for striking miners in the platinum belt on Sunday night.

Event organiser Lauren Fok said musicians took a week to organise the event as a way to show their support for the families of the miners.

“People have been wanting a voice. A lot of people wanted to show their solidarity with the miners,” said Fok.

Numsa national motor sector co-ordinator Elias Kubeka said it was important for the public to get involved in social issues. He said the social and economic needs of the miners were not being taken care of.

“It’s important to support their fight for a living wage; more so than a living wage, it is important that they get healthcare which the government is failing to provide,” said Kubeka.

Artists came out in their numbers to show their support for the miners, who have been on strike for four months.

The line-up saw a mix of emerging artists and veterans. Gloria Bosman, Paul Hanmer, Thembinkosi Mavimba and H3 were some of the performers who made themselves available in a show of solidarity for the miners by playing at the Orbit jazz club in Braamfontein.

Young jazz performer Mavimba said the concert was a different experience because people attended not only to listen to the music but were receptive to a bigger cause.

“This is not just a random charity. It was for Marikana. There was a cause, a purpose,” he said.

Fok said the proceeds of the concert would go to the striking mineworkers and their families.

“Mine bosses have waged a battle; they are crushing the miners by starving them,” she said. “The funds raised in ticket sales will all go to Gift of the Givers to assist the families.

“We will also sell food, and that money will be given to the organisation too,” said Fok.

Gift of the Givers has been organising aid for the families.

Meanwhile, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni has accused the charity of providing food only to Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members.

Baleni said his union members were equally affected by the four-month-long strike as they were intimidated from reporting for duty.

But Gift of the Givers has denied it is distributing food selectively in the embattled North West platinum belt.

“We do not work with Amcu or NUM. It is a lie that we are helping only Amcu members,” spokeswoman Emily Thomas said yesterday.

She said the organisation had worked with the Marikana Campaign Committee, which identified people who needed to be assisted.

“They only ask for a clock card number, not whether you are with Amcu or NUM.”

Gift of the Givers chairman Imtiaz Sooliman said it was regrettable that NUM had accused them of assisting only certain groups of mineworkers.

“If our food parcel distribution was done in a clandestine, secret manner in some underground warehouse or behind closed doors, it would be understandable that there would be room for suspicion.

“However, our distribution is done in open fields in full view of the South African media, visible and open to any member of the public who wants to witness the distribution.”

He added that at no stage were any individuals requested to produce any kind of documentation to decide who should get provisions.

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The Star and Sapa

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