N

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcukana@city­press.co.za

olindile Saphendu can­not be­lieve the Marikana Com­mis­sion of In­quiry has found no­body di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the death of her son.

Fezile (27) was gunned down at the in­fa­mous Scene 2, the kop­pie on which po­lice of­fi­cers shot strik­ing mine work­ers as they fled.

The fourth of six chil­dren, Fezile had worked at the Lon­min mine for just two years be­fore his death.

He had been urged to ap­ply there by his friend Mngci­neni Noki, the Marikana strike leader who be­came known as “the man in the green blan­ket”.

Mngci­neni and Fezile both lived in Kwaimani vil­lage in Mqan­duli, out­side Mthatha, in homes 8km apart.

Nolindile (67) also ac­cuses Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma of be­ing “down­right dis­re­spect­ful” for telling the na­tion about the re­port’s find­ings be­fore telling the fam­i­lies.

“I have not heard the find­ings you are talk­ing about. We don’t have any ra­dio or tele­vi­sion here. We just get small bits of in­for­ma­tion here and there. We have noth­ing con­crete.

“Zuma and his gov­ern­ment do not care about us or­di­nary peo­ple,” she said.

“This whole com­mis­sion process was a waste of time. They should have left things as they were be­cause al­most three years af­ter I lost my son, I am yet to find the truth re­gard­ing his death.”

The grand­mother of five said she was ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed and old wounds had been ex­posed.

Point­ing at her son’s grave in the cor­ner of the fam­ily gar­den, she said no amount of talk­ing would bring her “favourite son” back.

“He was the youngest of my sons. He would spoil me when­ever he was around from the mines. He had promised to build me a house so that I can live in com­fort for the re­main­ing years of my adult life.

“But all those dreams, in­clud­ing his of start­ing a fam­ily, get­ting mar­ried and hav­ing chil­dren, are gone.”

Eight kilo­me­tres away, Noki’s sis­ter, Nolufefe (34), was bit­terly dis­ap­pointed at the re­port’s find­ings.

“I can­not talk at this stage be­cause the sit­u­a­tion is still very sen­si­tive. All I can say is that I am hurt.

“We have been ad­vised by our lawyers and those who have been at­tend­ing the com­mis­sion to wait un­til Mon­day be­fore we can talk to the media,” Nolufefe said.

The Nokis still live in a di­lap­i­dated mud hut that dou­bles as a kitchen and bed­room. Their other two ron­dav­els are be­ing ren­o­vated be­cause the roof leaks when it rains. When City Press vis­ited this week, an RDP house had been built there, but it was not com­plete.

“We are happy to have this house. At least it will help ac­com­mo­date some of the mem­bers of the fam­ily,” said Nolufefe. Noki is sur­vived by his wife and five chil­dren. Back at the Saphendu home, Nolindile is now wor­ried about her other son, Nt­sikelelo (33), who works for Im­pala Plat­inum as a rock-drill op­er­a­tor, suf­fer­ing the same fate.

“I have al­ready lost three chil­dren out of the six I had. No par­ent wants to bury their chil­dren. We al­ways pray that our chil­dren bury us, not the other way around. I can­not bear los­ing another child. If it was up to me, Nt­sikelelo would stop work­ing in the mines, but we need the money,” she said.

Nt­sikelelo’s wife, Noku­lunga, who was cook­ing samp and beans in a small, black, tra­di­tional pot near the kraal, says life has been tough at home since Fezile’s death.

“Fezile used to work with my hus­band to look af­ter the fam­ily, and now that ex­tra hand is not here any more.

“As a fam­ily, we are very dis­ap­pointed at the dis­dain

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

FATE­FUL DAYS Strike leader Mngci­neni Noki, also known as ‘the man in the green blan­ket’, ral­lies

mine work­ers at Marikana in

2012

PHOTO: LUBABALO NGCUKANA

THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US Noku­lunga Saphendu and Nolindile Saphendu

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.