The family of a slain Marikana miner will for the first time ever celebrate Christmas in a proper house. It is part of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU’s) promise to the families of the 44 victims.
Mmathabang Ntshenyeho’s husband, Andries was among the group gunned down by police. It was a dark chapter in the country’s history when 34 miners were shot and killed by police at Marikana.
Among the victims was Andries Ntshenyeho. He died fighting for a decent living wage. Life has been hard for his widow and their five children. They have been living in a shack.
“My husband was working but his wish was to build a house for his children but he couldn’t because he was earning too little,” says widow Mmathabang Ntshenyeho.
More than five years later, the promised three-bedroom house has been built. This single parent was overcome by emotion. All families of the dead miners will benefit from the project including those of the ten police and security personnel killed in the days before the massacre.
“As Amcu we are proud to report to comrade Andries Ntshenyeho that we have managed to live to these workers’ demands from R4500 to a minimum salary of R11500 in three years,” says Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa.
Amcu claims that there is a concerted campaign against its members. At least seven have been killed this year alone. “We have seen comrades being assassinated recently but that did never scare or instil fear in our comrades in leading their fellow comrades,” says Mathunjwa.
Many widows are grieving with some consolation for Mmabatho Ntshenyehos as a New Year beckons.