Marikana — a name re­peat­edly stained with blood

Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By PHILANI NOMBEMBE

Marikana is back to haunt the head­lines af­ter the killing of 11 peo­ple in a Cape Town com­mu­nity bear­ing the same name.

Just more than five years since 34 minework­ers were killed dur­ing a wild­cat strike and 10 oth­ers died days be­fore the tragedy in Marikana, North West, Fri­day night’s killings in an in­for­mal set­tle­ment of the same name in Philippi brought the to­tal killings in the area dur­ing Septem­ber to 38, ac­cord­ing to res­i­dents.

Nonesi Jokazi said yes­ter­day that an hour af­ter shar­ing a meal with her son, Luba­balo, 25, she found him ly­ing in a pool of blood at Emawe­leni Tav­ern. He was among four peo­ple who died when men burst into the she­been and ran­domly opened fire.

“Af­ter fin­ish­ing sup­per he told me that he was go­ing to the tav­ern to play pool but said: ‘I will come back soon be­cause I am scared of the tsot­sis,’ ” said Jokazi.

“In no time I heard gun­shots . . . I ran to the tav­ern and found him ly­ing face down.”

Jokazi said Luba­balo’s two small chil­dren had been robbed of a bread­win­ner.

Manelisi Ngqengqiswa, 23, said he found his brother, Ce­bisile, 27, dead me­tres from the tav­ern.

“There is a lot of crime in this area. More than 20 peo­ple have been shot dead this month alone,” said Ngqengqiswa.

Ngqengqiswa and other res­i­dents sus­pect the shoot­ings were ret­ri­bu­tion by crim­i­nals af­ter the com­mu­nity had started pa­trolling the in­for­mal set­tle­ment. Crim­i­nals who had been kick­ing down doors and rap­ing women had been ex­posed in the process.

Po­lice spokes­woman Bri­gadier Novela Potelwa said: “We can only speak about the mur­ders that hap­pened early in the week, which is seven, and the ones that oc­curred last night, which is 11.

“We have ini­ti­ated an in­ves­ti­ga­tion led by spe­cial­ist de­tec­tives. We also have spe­cial­ist high-risk units — such as the tac­ti­cal re­sponse team and pub­lic or­der po­lice — de­ployed in the area to quell the sit­u­a­tion.”

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