I took these photos in December 2012 at the height of the rain season. I took the pictures of the Ikaneng squatter camp children just outside the “Never Say Die” tavern. Ikaneng borders on Wonderkop where the Marikana massacre took place. The children of Ikaneng must have witnessed the shooting of striking workers on 16 August 2012, and have experienced the loss of fathers and brothers in the event. I know that many of the workers who were wounded were retrenched given that they are unable to do the hard physical work they did before the event. What worries me is that no one has written about the children, no one has given space for their voices to be heard. There is no trauma counselling for the children of this community. Ikaneng squatter camp and the adjacent Baphong village are communities ravaged by HIV/Aids and there are many child headed families. Many young girls often under age, sell their bodies for money to be able to feed siblings. I have also looked at company information on Rowland shaft and know that this shaft is nearing the end of its life. Rowland shaft along with the twelve or so other Lonmin Shafts in Marikana were bought from Gencor in 1968. The white workers were accommodated in Mooinooi, a beautiful leafy mining town with all the spiritual, sport and recreational facilities one could think of. Forty six years later and the black workers of Lonmin live in the mess that is called Marikana. The main street in Mooinooi is Lonrho road. Rowland Shaft is so named after Tiny Rowland, the person who created the London Rhodesia Company and who was a major ‘sanctions buster’ supporting both the Rhodesian and Apartheid South African Regimes.
The Children of Marikana