Lon­min vis­its kids of Marikana vic­tims

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

OF­FI­CIALS from Lon­min on Mon­day vis­ited chil­dren of four Ba­sotho min­ers who died in the Marikana mas­sacres of 2012 to as­sess their progress at New Mil­len­nium English Medium Pri­mary and High School.

The South African min­ing con­glom­er­ate bankrolled the 10 chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion af­ter 44 mine work­ers, in­clud­ing four Ba­sotho, were killed at one of its mines in the Marikana area be­tween 10 Au­gust and 20 Septem­ber 2012, draw­ing global con­dem­na­tion.

Mem­bers of the South African Po­lice Ser­vice fired live am­mu­ni­tion at hun­dreds of mine work­ers striking for more pay, killing the vic­tims.

Fol­low­ing the mas­sacre, Lon­min ex­ec­u­tives of­fered jobs to the vic­tims’ di­rect de­pen­dents or any other nom­i­nated rel­a­tives. The chil­dren of the killed min­ers were en­rolled at New Mil­len­nium English Medium Pri­mary and High School, with Lon­min also do­nat­ing 50 ma­chines to the com­puter lab­o­ra­tory to ben­e­fit the en­tire school.

Lon­min’s Ex­ec­u­tive Vice-pres­i­dent for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Pub­lic Af­fairs, Ler­ato Mole­batsi, told the Le­sotho Times af­ter en­rolling the chil­dren at the in­sti­tute, they made it a pol­icy to visit them twice a year.

She said the visit was meant to as­sess the chil­dren’s aca­demic progress and well-be­ing as well as to mon­i­tor on­go­ing pro­jects to de­velop the school.

“We made it our busi­ness to see how the 10 stu­dents per­form at school and to as­sess their emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing. So far, we are very much im­pressed with their work, as some are do­ing very well while oth­ers are av­er­age. We are also im­pressed with the way the teach­ers care for the chil­dren,” Ms Mole­batsi said.

“Since the chil­dren’s par­ents are far away fend­ing for them in South Africa, we felt it was cru­cial to give them all the sup­port we can.”

Asked why they de­cided to en­roll the stu- dents at new Mil­len­nium English Medium School, Ms Mole­batsi said af­ter look­ing for schools with board­ing fa­cil­i­ties and qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, the in­sti­tute fit the bill.

In ad­di­tion to the 50 com­put­ers, Lon­min is also build­ing a wood­work work­shop as well as build­ing la­trines and show­ers at the school.

“We wanted to en­sure the chil­dren got the best ed­u­ca­tion and do­nated 50 com­put­ers for the com­puter lab,” she said.

“As much as it is sad to say, even if their par­ents were alive, some of them would have never af­forded the kind of ed­u­ca­tion and ben­e­fits they are get­ting to­day.”

For her part, New Mil­len­nium English Medium Pri­mary School Prin­ci­pal Maliau Rankae said they were work­ing to­gether with Lon­min to en­sure the chil­dren’s well­be­ing.

“We are work­ing very well to­gether in re­view­ing the chil­dren’s progress and dis­cussing how we can move for­ward in ad­vanc­ing the chil­dren’s in­ter­ests,” Ms Rankae said.

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