Marikana play tells miners’ story

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Copy of ca p4 marikana cops done.JPG REUTERS A policeman gestures in front of some of the dead miners after they were shot outside Lonmin mine in Rustenburg. File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Rustenburg - A musical play portraying the deaths of Marikana mineworkers reduced an audience to tears on Tuesday.

The play, Songs of Marikana, produced and written by Thapelo Mokhutshoane, showed scenes of the gathering of mineworkers, their chanting and demands for a better wage.

“It was touching. It shows what happened in Marikana, how people died and the harsh conditions they are exposed to underground,” said Moses Lebese.

Mokhutshoane said they did not what to touch wounds with the play, but wanted to tell the story of what happened at the infamous Marikana hill near the Nkaneng informal settlement.

Forty-four people were killed there during a wage strike in 2012.

Rock drill operators at Lonmin had spearheaded a wildcat strike demanding a monthly salary of R12,500.

Thirty-four mineworkers were killed on August 16, 2012, when the police fired on them, apparently attempting to disarm and disperse them.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

“I was crying when I saw mineworkers drop to the ground. I saw the widows crying, lamenting their loss,” said Maria Gaobepe with teary eyes.

The play showed the scene at the hill, families collecting the spirits of their loved ones and mineworkers dressed in their work gear bowing their heads and kneeling down with their safety helmets clenched in their hands to honour the fallen mineworkers.

The play is being performed in Rustenburg from Tuesday to Friday at 12pm and 6pm.


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