On the 16th August 2012, the South African Police opened fire on wildcat striking mineworkers at the Lonmin Platinum Mine, at Marikana in the North West Province. Thirty four mineworkers were left dead, seventy eight were wounded and over two hundred and fifty arrested due to the protesters demanding a wage increase to R12 500. The shooting incident on 16th August 2012 was dubbed the Marikana Massacre, and was compared to the lethal use of security forces during the Sharpeville massacre in 1960.[1]

In the days following the massacre the women of Marikana were not supported or visited and were soon removed from media coverage and their suffering forgotten. The Marikana Women’s Group, Sikhala Sonke was formed in Wonderkop near Marikana soon after the killings and was aimed to unite women and to fight for peace and better living conditions in Marikana.[2]

[1]“Marikana Massacre 16 August 2012”. South African History Online. 2013.

[2] “Women Ignored in Tragedy at Marikana”. Mail & Guardian. 14 September 2012.