Marikana massacre cost man his son and ultimately also his grandson

16 August 2017 - 19:29 By Bafana Nzimande
Lonmin's Marikana Mine in North West. File photo.
Lonmin's Marikana Mine in North West. File photo.
Image: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

Goodman Jokanisi did not only lose a son in the 2012 Marikana massacre‚ but also his teen grandson who hanged himself because he could not cope with his father’s death.

Jokanisi took it on himself to speak on behalf of the affected families during the 5th anniversary of the Marikana massacre on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old‚ who lost his son in the 2012 unrest‚ spoke about the pain caused to his family. His son‚ Sami‚ 29‚ was killed by the police on 16 August 2012‚ and in January this year‚ his 15-year-old grandson Ayabonga Qhekeka committed suicide.

"Life has been very tough since Sami's death. The family relied a lot on him. His son hanged himself at school in January this year. The boy couldn't cope without his father.

"Now everything is resting on my shoulders. It's hard but I will carry the load like a man‚" said Jokanisi.

A total of 34 Marikana mine workers were killed by police during a wage strike. Workers were demanding a R12‚500 monthly salary.

Jokanisi's third son has been provided employment at the mine and the family has been given counseling‚ but Jokanisi says the family needs financially assistance more than anything.

"No amount of money can bring back my son but I wish we can get the compensation money we have been promised‚" he said.

Addressing the large crowd that covered the Marikana koppie on Wednesday afternoon‚ Advocate Dali Mpofu took a swipe at government for delaying the compensation process.

Mpofu said government does not want to pay affected families and talks about this subject only when canvassing for votes. "Everyday we hear messages that R1.8-billion has been paid but all of that is lies.

"They (government) are further torturing the people of Marikana‚" said Mpofu.

 

Leaders of the Democratic Alliance‚ Economic Freedom Fighters‚ United Democratic Movement and the CEO of Lonmin attended the event organised by The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said miners who gathered on the Marikana koppie were the real pioneers of radical economic transformation.

"Those comrades who assembled at this koppie five years ago sought radical transformation. They understood that fundamental change requires fundamental sacrifices‚" he said.

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