Nosisieko Jali’s husband is missing. She has heard a rumour that a bullet hit him in the head, yet he survived. One witness said all his clothes were torn. “I don’t know where he is,” said Jali, numb with anxiety. “The hospital wouldn’t let me come inside. I am hurting.” Jali is among scores of wives at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana still waiting to discover if their husband is in a jail, hospital or mortuary after one of the bloodiest days in South Africa since apartheid. Thirty-four people were killed and 78 injured on Thursday when police with automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns opened fire on the strikers, many of whom were armed with spears, machetes and clubs as they demonstrated for higher wages. The shocking images, beamed to TV viewers around the world, provoked comparisons with massacres by the white minority regime of the country’s past. On Friday, next to the killing field, wives took the place of their dead and wounded husbands to stage an angry, emotionally charged demonstration. The women raged against police brutality, mine exploitation and a lack of official information that has left them agonisingly in the dark. “How can we know whether… Read full this story
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