15 August 2014

South Africa: Marikana, Two Years On - Cape Town's Protest Artists Remember the Dead

Photo: The Daily Vox
Thousands gather at the koppie for the second anniversary commemoration of the Marikana massacre.

Two years after the killing of 34 miners at Marikana, no official memorial to the massacre has yet been established. Perhaps a state-sponsored memorial to state-sponsored violence can never be anything more than an expedient gesture. But in Cape Town this week, artists have brought the lives of those slain at Marikana into the city's genteel streets in anarchic, confronting ways.

"We are sorry for what happened on that particular week." - Former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, 18 July 2014.

"We will never replace your loved ones and I say we are truly sorry for that." - Lonmin CEO Ben Magara, 16 August 2013.

"I deeply regret the deaths of all the people that died at Marikana. I deeply regret that." - Cyril Ramaphosa, 12 August 2014.

On Thursday, almost exactly two years since 34 miners were gunned down at Marikana, street signs around central Cape Town underwent a transformation. They bore their regular street names, but beneath those, in lettering almost as large, a secondary street name had been attached.

Parliament St., for example, became Molefi Osiel Ntsoele St. for the day.

Molefi Ntsoele was from the mountain village Ha Tebesi in...

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