Protesters burn down shop stalls in Marikana

Protesters have burnt down wooden shop stalls outside Wonderkop in Marikana. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Protesters have burnt down wooden shop stalls outside Wonderkop in Marikana. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The quiet calm of the late afternoon was broken by protestors who first burnt down a few wooden shop stalls outside the Wonderkop settlement in Marikana in North West before gathering near the infamous koppie. 

As the crowd grew a few hundred strong, they proceeded to sing and dance as they raised traditional weapons in the air. 

At the time of writing, they continued to filter down the road to the Wonderkop stadium, shouting and whistling in solidarity as the sun sank behind the koppie and a full moon loomed large in the distance. 

Their final destination is not yet clear.  

A group of women claiming to be girlfriends and wives of the protestors said they were not expecting their men home any time this week. 

“This is the beginning. Then tomorrow and the next day. All week.” 

Lonmin has asked workers to return to work tomorrow and violence, in the form of murders and attacks, flared up on Sunday and Monday.  

Lonmin security and private security vehicles remained perched on the shoulder of a nearby main road, moving away as the crowd drew nearer.  

Police vehicles, which were a prominent presence in the area all day, were nowhere to be seen, although a helicopter flew overhead and was circling above the area. 

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa was not immediately available for comment.

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn is a business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University. Her areas of interest range from energy and mining to financial services and telecommunication. When she is not poring over annual reports, Lisa can usually be found pottering about the kitchen. Read more from Lisa Steyn

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