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After 10 years, widows of victims of ‘Marikana massacre’ are left with no answers

NOSIHLE Ngweyi and Zameka Nongu complete a laborious climb up a small hill in South Africa’s Marikana town and look forlornly at the site where their husbands were killed on August 16, 2012. Ten painstaking years have passed and they still seek answers.

Their husbands were among the 34 striking miners gunned down by the police in the infamous “Marikana massacre” outside a platinum mine in the North West province town, the worst such incident since the end of apartheid.

A policeman fires at protesting miners outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 16, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

“Mama why did the police kill my father?” asks Ngweyi’s son, to which she has no answer.

The 10th anniversary of the killings is also being commemorated in “Marikana the Musical”, being performed in Pretoria, in which people dressed as miners and police re-enact the tragedy as sombre music plays in the background.

To the audience and actors alike, the violence is incomprehensible. Lead actor Mavuso Magabane said: “Every night before I come on stage I watch the videos, I relive the moment so that when I come on this stage I’m in a trance.”