The Women of Marikana invite you to bear witness to their lives


SIKHALA SONKE: The Women of Marikana i
nvite you to bear witness to their lives in Marikana in August 2014

Re: site inspection and speak out by the women of Marikana, 12 August 2014

WHAT? A site inspection of Wonderkop, Marikana followed by a brief speak-out in which the women of Marikana and widows will testify to their ongoing pain and experience of injustice. They will talk about what they want to change in their lives.WHO? Ministers and Parliamentarians, the Office of the Premier in the North-West province, representatives of Chapter Nine bodies, prominent civil society leaders and cultural workers.

WHEN? Tuesday 12 August at 11am outside the main entrance to the Wonderkop Stadium.

Nearly two years has passed since the massacre of striking mineworkers in Marikana on 16 August 2012. Media and public attention has since been focused on the Farlam Commission and, more recently, on the five-month plus strike action on the Platinum belt. Eyes have long been turned away from day-to-day life in Marikana, and the distant rural villages and towns from which some of the mineworkers, killed in the massacre, originate and where their surviving families remain.

As we approach the two year anniversary of the Marikana massacre, it is an appropriate time to ask:

–     Are the Lonmin workers and community members living in conditions any better than two years ago? What has Lonmin done to improve lives? What has the local municipality done?

–     What justice has there been for the widows of Marikana and the families of the mineworkers that were killed? Has there been any compensation for their grievous losses? How are these families being supported by Lonmin and government?

–     Do workers and the community feel that justice has been served in the past two years?

The women of Marikana – organised as Sikhala Sonke – invite you to bear witness to their living conditions, their continued suffering and their acute feeling that justice for workers, for widows, for the community as a whole has not been served.

Please RSVP or send your queries to You may also phone ThumekaMagwangqana on 084 714 0111.

We look forward to meet you on the 12th August in Marikana,

Sikhala Sonke


SIKHALA SONKE: The Women of Marikana

Site Inspection and Speak Out, 12 August 2014


10:30am           Gather at tent erected close to the Wonderkop Stadium, Nkaneng, Marikana

11:00am           Welcome, why we are here and outline of programme for the day (Sikhala Sonke)
Bishop Jo Seoka – opening words and prayer

11:15am            Depart for site inspection (Sikhala Sonke)

12:15pm            Conclude site inspection at assembly point
Testimonies from women and widows of Marikana
Remembering Paulina Masuhlo (Sikhala Sonke and family of Paulina Masuhlo)
Reading of Sikhala Sonke letters to government

1:00pm            Responses from invited guests and other organisations gathered in solidarity
Reading messages of solidarity

1:50pm            Closing words and prayer – Bishop Paul Verryn
Refreshments and departure


(Photo Credit: Sikhala Sonke – Mama Marikana)



Women in mining communities say NO to devastation


In December 2013, an event in London claimed to honour `Women in Mining.’ It did quite the opposite. WoMin brings together women in mining communities from across the African Continent. WoMin joined with others in the International Women and Mining Network to protest the event and its logic. Here’s the statement we distributed in London.

Statement from WoMin

WoMin, an Africa-wide regional platform of well over three dozen organisations representing peasant women or working with women directly impacted by the extractives industries, stands with sister organisations in other parts of the world in our campaign against this Women in Mining ‘women-washing’ project that conceals the devastating impacts of mining on many millions of poor women across the Global South and North.

This project paints an appealing veneer over the realities by pointing to the benefits and successes enjoyed by an infinitesimally small number – one hundred – of women the world over. In sub-Saharan Africa women produce 60-80% of food consumed in rural households and so when lands are grabbed and polluted by the mining industries it is the women who pay first.

When waterways and underground supplies are polluted by toxic chemicals and community members fall ill, it is women that must carry the burden of searching for safe water and caring for the ill. When families are divided through the system of migrancy that is integral to the mining industries in Southern Africa especially, it is women from the labour sending areas that must reproduce families with little or no support, care for husbands returning ill from the mines, and are themselves left deeply vulnerable to contracting HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.

For these and many more reasons, we say NO to this devastating model of mining the WIM project is seeking to reinforce through its project.

We advocate and struggle for an alternative ‘model’ which protects food rights, which internalises all social and environmental costs to corporations, which operates at a smaller and less destructive scale, which privileges the developmental interests of local communities and regional interests over and above the national and international interests of corporations and the political elites aligned to them, which restores a different relationship between humanity and eco-systems and which supports the reproductive and healing labours of peasant and indigenous women. This is our vision and our call on the occasion of the WIM project launch which only serves to legitimate an industry which stands opposed to the interests and aspirations of the majority of the world’s women.

WoMin is housed in the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA), a regional alliance of organisations working with communities to advance a just mining regime.


(Photo Credit: London Mining Network)