Lonmin helps families of Marikana massacre victims

By Limpho Sello

MASERU — Mining conglomerate, Lonmin, has offered jobs to family members of four Basotho miners who died in August last year in a massacre of workers at one of its mines in the Marikana area in South Africa’s North West province.

Forty four mine workers, including four Basotho, died in the massacre which drew global condemnation and has ever since been dubbed the “Marikana massacre”. Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) fired live ammunition at hundreds of mine workers striking for more pay killing the victims.

Lonmin executives, who visited Lesotho this week, met with the families of the deceased miners and offered jobs to their direct dependants or any other nominated relatives.

Lonmin’s Executive Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, Lerato Molebatsi, announced the offer at a handover ceremony of Christmas groceries and undisclosed amounts of cash to the four affected families. The goodies were apparently meant to mollify the families who lost their breadwinners in the massacre. Lonmin has also been paying school fees for the children of the deceased miners.

All the 11 children of the killed miners are attending New Millennium Primary School in Maseru. Lonmin has also committed to building a computer laboratory at the school to assist, not only the deceased’s children but the entire school.

Social Development Minister, Matebatso Doti, as well as outgoing Labour and Employment Minister, Lebesa Maloi, attended the event.

‘Mats’epang Tsoele, on behalf of the families, expressed appreciation for the hampers and all the assistance the families have been getting from Lonmin.

Minister Maloi said he was happy with Lonmin’s gesture, and urged the mining conglomerate not to abandon the children along the way but ensure that they complete their schooling.

He further urged the mine to work on sustaining good working relations with all its employees to prevent any future conflicts.

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