NEWS

MP Primrose Sonti Says She Can Never Forget The Pain Caused By The Marikana Massacre

Sonti features in an internationally acclaimed documentary about female activists in Marikana.

27/11/2017 11:42 SAST | Updated 27/11/2017 12:42 SAST
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EFF MP Primrose Sonti.

"You Strike A Rock", a documentary that was released in South Africa on Saturday, zooms in on the lives of the women of Marikana, many of whom lost husbands and family members in the 2012 massacre.

EFF MP Primrose Sonti is one of the women whose stories feature in the documentary. Sonti, along with Thumeka Magwangqana, formed a women's group called Sikhala Sonke (we cry together) after 34 Lonmin mineworkers, who were protesting for better wages and living conditions, were shot and killed by the police.

"It hurt me a lot [the massacre]; that is why I took those women and gave them solidarity," said Sonti.

"I lost them all... they were like my sons. That is why I was so mad, even when you start talking about that, my mood changes. We will never forget."

She was recruited by EFF leader Julius Malema to join the party when it was formed in 2013 and is now a member of Parliament.

Sonti is growing in reputation as an activist for the working class, particularly women.

"They are very interested in me and even watch me on TV; most of these people would not set aside time to watch TV, but since I went to Parliament, everyone wants to watch mam' Sonti," she said.

"When I visit Marikana, they are like, 'mama, you stand for us and Marikana, we know we have a leader there and you are helping us.'"

"You Strike a Rock" has been a success with international audiences. It has been shown at the Encounters Film Festival and had its second UK tour after premiering internationally at the prestigious Sheffield International Documentary Festival in June 2017.

Director Aliki Saragas said she was "overwhelmed and inspired by the success of 'You Strike a Rock' and how it had resonated with audiences around the world".

The film had its national theatrical release at Ster-Kinekor at the weekend.