16 August 2018
Remember Marikana with these two SA classics
THURSDAY, 16 AUGUST 2018: Today marks the six-year anniversary of the massacre of 34 striking miners at the hands of police at Marikana on 16 August 2012 – a tragedy that City Press described as “the most lethal use of police force since the 1960 Sharpeville massacre.”
We’ve curated two South African classics just released on Showmax that commemorate the slain miners and what they were fighting for.
Mma Moeketsi | Available until 31 August 2018
Premise: Mma Moeketsi is a domestic worker from rural Lesotho working for a suburban family in Johannesburg. Her son Moeketsi is an illegal miner at Marikana. In the wake of the wage increase strike, Moeketsi’s phone is off and he is nowhere to be found. Mma Moeketsi can do nothing but wait pensively for her son to call her or at least pick up her phone calls. One part of her life is at a standstill while her physical presence must still operate as the housekeeper of her suburban employers, in an empty, lonely silence.
Why you should watch: 1. Mma Moeketsi is played by Keketso Semoko (Ma Agnes on Isidingo). 2. Director Rea Moeti is a talent to watch, who won a SAFTA this year for writing Lockdown. 3. The short film is based on the true story of a woman who’s worked for Rea’s family for the past 14 years. 4. It’s a reminder that the impact of the massacre extended far beyond the miners themselves.
Accolades: Winner of the Sembene Ousmane Award at Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2018.
Strike A Rock | First on Showmax
Premise: Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana are best-friends who live in Nkaneng, Marikana, an informal settlement that sprung up around a mine operated by Lonmin Plc, the third largest platinum-extractor in the world. They form a women’s organisation, Sikhala Sonke (We Cry Together), after their friend Paulina is killed by police. Over time we see them grow into two different leaders: Primrose’s ambition lands her a seat in Parliament with the Economic Freedom Fighters, while Thumeka, left behind, faces her fears as she picks up the reins of the resistance as a community leader, and challenges Lonmin in a landmark complaint against them.
Why you should watch: 1. It’s an important reminder of why the strike happened in the first place and that, beyond wage disputes, Lonmin has legal obligations to the community that they mine under and around, which the documentary argues they do not comply with. 2. It highlights women’s voices in a way that Rehad Desai’s Emmy-winning Miners Shot Down didn’t.
Accolades: Winner of the Audience Award at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and Best South African Documentary at Durban International Film Festival in 2017, among other prizes.