KwaMachi quarry: fool's gold or the real thing?

30 October 2018 - 08:00 By Jeff Wicks and Lwandile Bhengu

Ndumo Ngubelanga has never enjoyed the trappings of wealth, but in a drawer crammed with medication and keepsakes, the 72-year-old woman keeps her “gold”.

She is holding onto it “in case my children and grandchildren need it”, having gathered the glinting shards from the fringes of a shale quarry in KwaMachi, KwaZulu-Natal, dubbed “Marikana” since it might be a window into a seam of gold running through the rural hillside.