After losing her husband in the Marikana massacre 10 years ago, Aisha Fundi finds consolation in having a house donated by the mine and a job as an administrator, at the Lonmin Platinum mine.
Hassan and his colleague Frans Mabelane, were security guards at the mine. They were killed and their car was set alight.
Deep in one of Rustenburg’s suburbs, Aisha Fundi arrives home from work, just after sunset. She is eager to share her experiences with us, and reminisce on how she met her husband, with whom she was painfully separated, by his gruesome murder.
Hassan Fundi, a Malawian teacher, came to South Africa in search of greener pastures. Years later, he would meet his demise, hacked to death while protecting the property of his employer.
A decade later his widow Aisha remembers the weekend before the murder of her husband. “He told us at the weekend that there was a strike at the mine. He had just been promoted to the position of superintendent. He was working office hours.”
The psychological trauma is still unbearable. “His passing was so sudden. Imagine waking up with someone in the same house in the morning and then the next thing, you see people coming to your house, to tell you that he has passed on. It caused trauma for us. It took us a long time to accept his passing,” she says.
Despite the grief caused, Aisha believes no lesson has been learned from the Marikana killings.
“I just believe that miners and the strikers don’t want to take responsibility. And that makes me very angry. That in any of their interviews, I’ve never heard any single one of them saying that we also did mistakes, not even a single one of them. I also blame the mine, because I think to some extent, the mine overlooked the whole thing of the strike. They never had enough manpower to go and protect the strike. You cannot take five men to go and deal with 2000 men. I also blame the government because I heard that the mine did not wait for the police to come. I think maybe my husband could have been protected if the police came on time to help them. So, they responded very late.”
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She says the Marikana Commission of Inquiry also failed to unearth the whole truth. The Farlam Commission outcomes are different from the other commission outcomes. Like I saw the Life Esidimeni Commission. When the outcomes came, it tells you who’s responsible for what. So, I saw it as unfinished business, because there’s nowhere where they say this death, miners are responsible, or mine is responsible. So, I don’t know why, or maybe the government, they cut that portion.”
Aisha Fundi demands a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Cyril Ramaphosa as you are still Mr Thumamina, I’m still waiting for you. If you are hearing this, I’m waiting for you to come. Please, man up, come to us as families. Just make a meeting with the families of Marikana. If you are scared to come to Marikana, then call us to come to the Union Building. Just come and hear us.”
Aisha says, for the past ten years, she felt neglected by all the role-players, as if she did not lose a husband as well. She says more attention has been given to widows of mineworkers only, which she says, was dividing them.
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