Miner families lobby for doccie

2014-08-11 00:00

THE families of miners killed in Marikana are lobbying the SABC and e.tv to broadcast the award-winning film Miners Shot Down on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of the massacre.

Directed by Rehad Desai, the film is a hard-hitting account of the deaths of 34 striking miners at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in the North West province in August 2012.

It was named the Best South African Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival last month and was also the winner of the Amnesty International Human Rights award there. Miners Shot Down has been screened on DStv, but has not yet been flighted on domestic television.

Manthabang Ntsenyeho, widow of Andries Ntsenyeho, one of the men killed, told The Witness that the decision not to show the film was preventing the majority of South Africans from learning the truth about Marikana.

“Our husbands died unexpectedly. They never got sick, they were killed,” she said. “They were the providers in our homes because as wives, we were unemployed. Now our kids are left without fathers.”

In response to public pressure, the SABC has said it will try to find a slot to screen the film in 2015. e.tv has said that it has already shown content relating to the Marikana massacre.

It’s not what the campaigners want to hear.

Koketso Moeti, spokesperson for social justice organisation amandla.mobi, said: “These excuses and stall tactics aren’t good enough.

“Our free-to-air channel and broadcaster have a responsibility to us as TV licence holders and citizens to tell the story of South Africa’s first ‘post-apartheid’ massacre’.”

amandla.mobi has set up an online petition to call for the screening of the film this weekend. The petition is at http://www.amandla.mobi/etv_sabc_screenminersshotdown or dial *120*4729# from any cellphone. Alternatively, log onto www.minersshotdown.co.za and see how you can get the film screened in your area.

• Al Jazeera English (DStv channel 406) will be showing Miners Shot Down at 10 pm on Wednesday, 2 pm on Thursday, 3 am on Friday and 8 am on Saturday (all times CAT).

• The film is also being screened as part of the Remember Marikana Solidarity Benefit Concert at Live — The Venue, 166 Stamford Hill Road, Durban on Saturday.

The event is being hosted by Live, in conjunction with Durban Is Yours, Street Scene, Off Tha Record, The Body Rock Crew and #WhatIfThisCity.

Tickets cost R50 with 50% going directly to the families of the deceased workers. All the artists, the venue, the logistics team and organisers have offered their contribution for free.

Inquiries: whatkindekse@hotmail.com

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