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18 November 2018

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (AMCU) solidarity and compassion for the immediate families of the fallen 37 comrades who were slain in Marikana extended beyond the borders of South Africa in the first week of December.

06 December 2018, Johannesburg. The Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust Fund was deep in the homelands of Dvokolwako in Swaziland on Tuesday, 04 December to hand over a house built for the Gadlela family in honour of Comrade Stelega Meric Gadlela.

The Gadlela family became the fourth family to have their lives changed forever and their dignity restored with a brand-new home built by the Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust Fund which continues in keeping its promise of honouring the memory of the men who were slain during the haunting Marikana Massacre of 2012.

Present at the handover ceremony was AMCU General Secretary, Jeff Mphahele and AMCU National Organiser Dumisani Nkalitshana. They were accompanied by some of Stelega’s colleagues from the North West region who also came to celebrate the legacy of a new home with the Gadlela family. “There isn’t anywhere we won’t go to honour our fallen comrades,” said Jeff Mphahlele. The Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust Fund will cross borders and go the lengths and breaths of this continent in order to make a difference in the lives of the families of the comrades who have left us,” added the General Secretary.

“This was the vision our President, Joseph Mathunjwa had when he began this Trust,” he concluded. AMCU National Organiser Dumisani Nkalitshana expressed the same sentiment saying that he hopes this new home will serve to unite the Gadlela family for generations to come. “This is a big home and we believe that it will unite the Gadlela family. Nothing can ever replace our Comrade Stelega, but we pray that this home helps in the healing process and that the family will make new memories in this home,” added Nkalitshana. “This home will serve as remembrance of Stelega – a man who worked tirelessly to provide for his family,” he added.

A visibly emotional Betty Gadlela, Stelega’s wife, could not fight back the tears during the ribbon cutting ceremony saying that this would be a special Christmas in a new home. “I’m so happy that my husband was a member of AMCU. We now have something to remember him by, even his grandchildren will know that this home was built by AMCU to honour their father,” professed Betty. “May the Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust continue making a difference in the lives of other families who have lost their breadwinners,” she concluded.

Betty and her children as well as the rest of the immediate Gadlela family will spend the upcoming Christmas in their new home which comes with three large bedrooms, built in cupboards, a kitchen, bathroom and a lounge which features a built-in fire place.

So far, the Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust Fund handed over the first house to the family of Mgcineni Noki in June 2017. The second one was handed to Andries Motlalepula Ntshenyeho’s family in Vereeniging in the same year in December. The third house was handed over to the family of Mzukisi Sompeta in the Eastern Cape in Lusikisiki in August 2018.

The Gadlela family are the fourth family to receive their home with AMCU planning to hand over at least three more houses before the end of 2018.

About the Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust Fund
The AMCU Marikana Trust was founded with the aim of supporting the bereaved widows and immediate families of the 37 mineworkers who lost their lives during the wage protests at the Lonmin mine in August 2012. The fund is geared towards inspiring and facilitating breaking the multigeneration poverty cycle in many of their lives.

The Trust received a donation of R2 million from AMCU, and the union also serves as a trustee. AMCU believes in transparency and accountability and it is for these reasons it has appointed an entrusted financial administration team to ensure that the funds raised are used accordingly and for the sole benefit of the families of the deceased mine workers.