During the Farlam commission in Marikana I had a chance to speak to the wife of one of the miners that were shot down during the massacre.
I wanted to know the effect the massacre created in her children. How are they dealing with this psychological disorder? What kind of help do they need? And what has the South African government done to help them?
Zameka Nungu allowed me to speak with her three children: Nowili Nungu (16), Luxolo Nungu (6) and Xolile Nungu (13).
Nowili was very open about her psychological disorder. She told me that she doesn’t look at the police the same way she used to. She hates South African police because she proclaimed that they took her father away from her and today things aren’t the same at her house. The South African government has not done anything concrete to help the Nungu family. Zameka Nungu said that the family removed photographs of the Father from the house and anything that reminds them of him because it is painful to think about him and the massacre everyday. The media is causing more problems for the family because they keep on showing it on television and speak about on the radio.
Zameka shed a tear while telling me that she is very scared and hurtful seeing his younger son suffer from all of this. It has been two years now and he asks for his father everyday when he gets back from outside and he cries every night when no one is answering him. As a therapy, Luxolo would play next to his father’s car and sometimes he would wash the car and sweep outside. He gets angry and emotional when he is doing that. While Xolile has tried to make peace with it.
This is the exact problem I have with the new South Africa. In 1994 South Africa was considered to be a free country while people in the informal settlements suffered mentally from the apartheid. My family is still suffering mentally from what happened over twenty years ago in this country. The dominating thoughts in your mind influence the choices you make in life. On top of that the South African government offered the poorest education system for the people in the informal settlements. Then you wonder why change is not visible in the informal settlements. While the chain of anger and pain still affects the running of each and every different household.
Nungu family yearns for the peace of mind.