Marikana children battle trauma from 2012 massacre
A lawyer who represented the families of the mineworkers killed during wage-related unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana in August 2016‚ on Friday revealed the trauma the families have gone through‚ with at least one of the miner’s children committing suicide.
Without revealing further details on the family‚ advocate Teboho Mosikili said that the child was a young teenager.
“She had been complaining about depression and not liking the school she was in‚” said Mosikili. “They found her hanging at the school earlier this year.”
She was one of a number of children of the killed Marikana miners that Lonmin has been paying school fees for.
Many of the children were unhappy about the schools‚ which the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said were substandard.
Mosikili said that Lonmin had done nothing to change the situation following the child’s suicide.
“That is why‚ as the Marikana Dignity Trust‚ we are trying to take over this project to say that whatever funds [Lonmin] is investing in the school‚ they should give to us‚ and the parents can choose the schools that they want‚” he said.
Mosikili was speaking on the sidelines of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on Transitional Corporations‚ held in Johannesburg. Friday marked the first day of a three-day programme with discussions around dismantling corporate power‚ with workers from other SADC countries sharing details of their hardships in the workplace.
Mosikili said one of the demands that they had put to Lonmin was for the mine to compensate the widows by paying them the salaries that their husbands would have received.
“We fought tooth and nail for Lonmin to pay the salaries of their husbands while they wait for civil claims against the government. But Lonmin said those people should come and step into the shoes of the ones who they lost and that is what the widows did‚” he said.
She had been complaining about depression and not liking the school she was in. They found her hanging at the school earlier this year