South African Police Shoot 34 Striking Miners Dead

More than 30 people killed at Lonmin platinum mine where strike over pay has escalated into alleged turf war between unions

Aftermath: South African protesters lie motionless on the ground as heavily armed police officers check them at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa

Aftermath: South African protesters lie motionless on the ground as heavily armed police officers check them at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa

Live ammunition: Footage shot at the scene clearly shows officers firing live ammunition from automatic weapons and handguns

Live ammunition: Footage shot at the scene clearly shows officers firing live ammunition from automatic weapons and handguns

Taking cover: Protesting miners can be seen cowering within the gun sights of an police officer. Witnesses say as many as 18 could have been killed in the shootings

Taking cover: Protesting miners can be seen cowering within the gun sights of an police officer. Witnesses say as many as 18 could have been killed in the shootings

Surrounded: Police form an armed cordon around strikers. It is unclear whether these miners are injured or lying down for officers to conduct searches

Surrounded: Police form an armed cordon around strikers. It is unclear whether these miners are injured or lying down for officers to conduct searches

Sticks and stones versus bullets: Miners can be seen between police vehicles throwing rocks at officers. Victims on both sides have been killed in recent days

Sticks and stones versus bullets: Miners can be seen between police vehicles throwing rocks at officers. Victims on both sides have been killed in recent days

Gun battle: In the heat of the incident, dust flies and police take cover. Water cannon and tear gas had been fired at miners before police opened fire

Gun battle: In the heat of the incident, dust flies and police take cover. Water cannon and tear gas had been fired at miners before police opened fire

Police have been accused of a massacre after opening fire on mine workers in one of the deadliest days of protest in South Africa since the end of apartheid.

In scenes that evoked memories of some of the country's darkest days, national television showed pictures of police in helmets and body armour shooting at workers on Thursday amid shouting, panic and clouds of dust at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine. After three minutes of gunfire, bodies littered the ground in pools of blood. The South African police ministry said more than 30 striking miners had been killed.

Newspaper reporter Poloko Tau tweeted from the scene: "Auto guns creacking [sic] and cocked like 100 at a time, scary … warzone down here, 1st shot fired … journalist running, diving and hiding amid shots, water canon spewing water at the strikers … my contact has just been shot dead …"

The deaths came after a week of turmoil at the Marikana mine that had already seen 10 people killed, including two police officers and two security guards. Lonmin, the world's third biggest platinum producer, was forced to suspend production at the mine, about 60 miles north-west of Johannesburg, after what it called an illegal strike escalated into an alleged turf war between rival unions.

His voice shaking with anger, the union leader Joseph Mathunjwa accused the Lonmin management of colluding with a rival union to orchestrate what he described as a massacre. Mathunjwa, president of the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), told the eNews channel: "We have to send condolences to those families whose members were brutally murdered by a lack of co-operation from management. We have done our bit. If the management had changed their commitment, surely lives could have been saved."

South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, condemned the killings but made no reference to the handling of the situation by the police. "We are shocked and dismayed at this senseless violence," he said. "We believe there is enough space in our democratic order for any dispute to be resolved through dialogue without any breaches of the law or violence.

"We call upon the labour movement and business to work with government to arrest the situation before it deteriorates any further. I have instructed law enforcement agencies to do everything possible to bring the situation under control and to bring the perpetrators of violence to book." Zuma added: "We extend our deepest condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives since the beginning of this violent action."

The opposition called for an independent investigation. Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance, said: "We call on union leaders, the police and everyone else involved to immediately work towards a de-escalation of the conflict. All action must be taken to avoid further bloodshed.

"An urgent independent investigation is required to determine exactly what happened; and who is responsible for this massacre. The families of everyone involved, and indeed the nation, deserve to know how and why this bloodshed occurred."

Roger Phillimore, the chairman of Lonmin, said: "We are treating the developments around police operations this afternoon with the utmost seriousness. The South African police service have been in charge of public order and safety on the ground since the violence between competing labour factions erupted over the weekend, claiming the lives of eight of our employees and two police officers.

"It goes without saying that we deeply regret the further loss of life in what is clearly a public order rather than labour relations associated matter."

The violence reportedly flared when police laying out barricades of barbed wire were outflanked by some of an estimated 3,000 miners massed on a rocky outcrop near the mine. Witnesses claimed that some of the miners were armed with pistols and fired first, while also charging the police with machetes and sticks.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said: "According to a Sapa report, police tried to disperse striking workers gathered on top of a hill, wielding pangas and chanting war songs. It ended in a three-minute shootout between the two groups, after police fired teargas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers, who retaliated by firing live ammunition at the police."

The protests began last week when workers demanded a pay increase to 12,500 rand (£976) a month. The action turned deadly when the AMCU clashed with South Africa's dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

The NUM rejected the charge of collusion with mine bosses. Spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said: "We are not surprised by his allegation … It is not true. Everyone can see through these lies."

Seshoka blamed the AMCU – which has been poaching NUM members in platinum mines – for instigating the bloodshed. "These people said today they want to die on the hilltop. They said they will bring their children to die there. That is why we say the ringleaders must be arrested."

There has been growing frustration with the governing African National Congress and its mainstream union allies for moving too slowly to deliver wage increases and public services. Radical and militant voices are making gains in some areas.

Patrick Craven, the national spokesman for Cosatu, which is aligned to the ANC, said it would "convene an urgent meeting of the unions' leaderships to discuss what is emerging as a co-ordinated political strategy to use intimidation and violence, manipulated by disgruntled former union leaders, in a concerted drive to create breakaway 'unions' and divide and weaken the trade union movement".

He added: "Cosatu calls upon all workers to remain vigilant but calm in the face of the most serious challenge to workers' unity and strength for many years."

South Africa is home to four-fifths of the world's known platinum reserves but has been hit by union militancy and a sharp drop in the price of the precious metal this year. At least three people were killed in fighting in January that led to a six-week closure of the world's biggest platinum mine, run by Impala Platinum. Such incidents are seen as tarnishing South Africa's reputation among investors.

This week's violence has forced Lonmin to freeze production at all its South African operations, which account for 12% of global platinum output. The company's London-listed shares fell more than 7% on Thursday. A spokesman at Lonmin's head office in London confirmed strikers had been served with an ultimatum to return to work on Thursday or face dismissal, but denied that might inflame the situation.

"The mine cannot operate without the rock drill operators," he said. "The company tried every avenue it could to negotiate a settlement and we were left with no option."



1 2
Re: WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT; Police Gun Down 18 Striking South African Minners, Scores Wounded.
Valteena posted on 08-17-2012, 04:41:48 AM
QUOTE:
Reminds us of what?



Super seriously is that corpse picture really from the Odi massacre or its your media's photo shopping or cropping as usual. I believe OBJ should still account for that his Odi atrocity.
Re: A Second Wind
Valteena posted on 08-17-2012, 05:08:52 AM
QUOTE:
Valteena,

The people of Azania are slowly starting to realize that Mandela sold them out. They're getting restless. There have been many incidents like this in the past two or so years. I've been warning about impending disaster for a long time now.

LINK: Mandela's Betrayal

This is the South Africa of the \"well bred\" Black elites, where everything still belongs to Oyibo and the \"rule of law\" that guarantees such ownership must be upheld even if it means killing their fellow Negroes.



This is the South Africa of Barrack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Auspicious the Suspicious.

A second wind is blowing. From Zimbabwe. Kill them all.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.





Right Obugi and that is why quite a sizeable few see him Mandela as the global symbol of subservience not of freedom as the Western world have prop him up to be. I remember even Thabo Mbeki described him as the "The white man's favourite politician". A very poignant description if you ask me from a supposedly fellow ANC member and SA freedom fighter.

And if you come to think of it and critically analyse the deal he made with the Apartheid regime, it kind of amount to a betrayal of what the whole struggle was for in the first place.

I mean he agreed a deal that no action would be taken against any White man for the atrocious crimes committed against the Blacks and Asians of South Africa. He also agreed that the White who also have monopoly in the exploitation of its gold and diamond mines, would keep everything and continue to manage the economy of the country. Not only that he agreed to discontinue the nuclear weapons programme the Apartheid regime was pursuing because they did not want "nuclear weapons to fall into the hands of Black Africans" can you imagine that?

Come to think of it what did he actually get for black South Africans. I think they need to do a Robert Mugabe in that South Africa. That is why no matter what is said about him and some of his inadequacies, Mugabe always has been and remains one of my highly regarded African leaders.
Re: WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT; Police Gun Down 18 Striking South African Minners, Scores Wounded.
Yum posted on 08-17-2012, 06:29:22 AM
Obugi, I agree with the kernel of your argument. However, I do not feel Mandela is to blame. He did what he needed to do to get political ( not economic) freedom for his people. He must have become a student of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who admonished every African leader, to "seek ye first the political kingdom and every other thing shall be added unto ye" You have to take a step to get to a desired outcome. It is possible had he not done so, the outcome may be totally different for good or bad. There would have been attempt by the white hegemon to balkanized the country. It is also possible that if he had been tougher he may also have gotten economic emancipation for his people. But there is no way of knowing which outcome the gamble would have thrown up. So he decided to go through the path of least resistance. Mandela at the time of negotiations did not yet control an army, but the will of the people, he had neither an executive power. When he became the President the situation was about the same. The whites still control those levers. His was to make ensure that the country does not degenerate into war which he did effectively

The people, I now blame, are the new black elites currently running South Africa. Those who are made the faces of the various corporations without any degree of responsibilities. Those with political power who are doing nothing to wrest the economy from apartheid. At the very minimum Mandela gave them the political power. But what are they doing with it. Did he shackle their hands. Do they not have majorities in the legislature? Do they not control the Army, the Police, and the weapons? Do they not control the taxing powers? Thabo Mbeki can call Mandela every name he wants but what did he achieve? What change did he make? What is Zuma for all of his rhetoric doing with this power. They are content with being the new beneficiaries of the social order at the expense of the people. Nonsense and ingredients.

I used to loathe Mugabe but I love him now. He did not want to go down to the grave in infamy and did what was right.
Re: A Second Wind
Sumanguru posted on 08-17-2012, 06:34:38 AM
QUOTE:

And if you come to think of it and critically analyse the deal he made with the Apartheid regime, it kind of amount to a betrayal of what the whole struggle was for in the first place.

Come to think of it what did he actually get for black South Africans. I think they need to do a Robert Mugabe in that South Africa. That is why no matter what is said about him and some of his inadequacies, Mugabe always has been and remains one of my highly regarded African leaders.


Really Val. A man that has single handedly pauperised his country claiming to be a repository of all knowledge. Patriotism or a pretence of it taking to ridiculous extent can be counter productive. No country can prosper in isolation.

Mugabe's style of governance, IMHO should not be replicated anywhere, least of all South Africa.
Re: WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT; Police Gun Down 18 Striking South African Minners, Scores Wounded.
O-Trice posted on 08-17-2012, 06:38:02 AM
Unfortunately some of these miners fired at the South African police, and they returned fire and mowed down innocent protesters. I saw it on Al Jazeera, one of them clearly shooting a Handgun at the police.

Over the past one week, two South African police were murdered and their weapons stolen by some of the protesting miners.

Unnecessary loss of life but the police were definitely fired on and they returned fire.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT; Police Gun Down 18 Striking South African Minners, Scores Wounded.
Valteena posted on 08-17-2012, 12:29:18 PM
Police gun down striking South African miners as witnesses say up to 18 killed and scores wounded

QUOTE:
Up to 18 people were killed after South African police fired on striking workers at a mine owned by a British company.

Officers opened fire after machete-carrying miners refused to disarm.
The brutal scenes took place at the Marikana platinum mine, which is owned by British miner Lonmin.

user posted image
Aftermath: South African protesters lie motionless on the ground as heavily armed police officers check them at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa


user posted image
Live ammunition: Footage shot at the scene clearly shows officers firing live ammunition from automatic weapons and handguns

user posted image
Taking cover: Protesting miners can be seen cowering within the gun sights of an police officer. Witnesses say as many as 18 could have been killed in the shootings

Pictures showed bodies lying on the ground in pools of blood.

Scores of police, armed with automatic rifles and pistols, fired on the protesters, leaving many more injured.
Footage broadcast on South African television showed police letting off a volley of gunfire at the mine, 60 miles northwest of Johannesburg.

There were suspicions that some of the miners may have been armed with guns also.

Lonmin, the world's third biggest platinum miner, had threatened to sack 3,000 rock drill operators if they failed to end a wildcat pay strike at its flagship Marikana mine, where 96 per cent of all the company's platinum production comes from.

The company, which is registered on the London Stock Exchange and has its UK headquarters in central London, says it has so far lost six days of production, which represents '300,000 tonnes of ore, or 15,000 platinum equivalent ounces'.

The unrest at the mine began last Friday as some 3,000 workers walked off the job over pay in what management described as an illegal strike.

user posted image
Surrounded: Police form an armed cordon around strikers. It is unclear whether these miners are injured or lying down for officers to conduct searches

user posted image
Sticks and stones versus bullets: Miners can be seen between police vehicles throwing rocks at officers. Victims on both sides have been killed in recent days

user posted image
Gun battle: In the heat of the incident, dust flies and police take cover. Water cannon and tear gas had been fired at miners before police opened fire

Those who tried to go to work on Saturday were attacked, according to management and the country's National Union of Mineworkers.

In a statement, Lonmin said striking workers would be sacked if they did not appear at their shifts today. 'The striking (workers) remain armed and away from work,' the statement read. 'This is illegal.

The authorities claim the crowd killed two security guards on Sunday by setting their car ablaze, and that angry mobs killed two other workers and overpowered police, killing two officers by Monday. The next day, operations at the mines appeared to come to a standstill as workers stayed away.

Police moved in on striking workers gathered near the mine yesterday and urged them to give up their weapons, including machetes and clubs.
Some left, though others began war chants and soon started marching toward the township near the mine.

user posted image
At the centre of violence: The Lonmin PLC mine, near Rustenburg, 100km north-west of Johannesburg, where around 3,000 miners walked out on August 10 over wages. Since then there have been serveal fatal incidents
Police used a water cannon, stun grenades and tear gas to try to break up the crowd.

A group of miners are reported to have the rushed suddenly through the scrub and underbrush at a line of officers.

Television images showed officers opening fire, with miners falling to the ground.
The clashes have been fuelled by struggles between the dominant NUM and the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

Lonmin, previously known as Lonrho, formed in the UK in 1909. It was involved in a series of takeovers during the 1970s and was criticised by then prime minister Edward Heath for being the 'unacceptable face of capitalism', following a sanctions scandal involving trade with what was then Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189367/Police-gun-striking-South-African-miners-witnesses-say-18-killed-scores-wounded.html#ixzz23lO65AFC

Wow!!! wow!!! its like one of those "Soweto riot" scene from way back in Apartheid South African or one of those scene one read in the book "Mine Boy". And to think that this is happening in today's South Africa and done black policemen too. Gosh!!just unbelievable.
A Second Wind
Obugi posted on 08-17-2012, 12:29:18 PM


More than 30 people killed at Lonmin platinum mine where strike over pay has escalated into alleged turf war between unions






Aftermath: South African protesters lie motionless on the ground as heavily armed police officers check them at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa



Aftermath: South African protesters lie motionless on the ground as heavily armed police officers check them at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa



Live ammunition: Footage shot at the scene clearly shows officers firing live ammunition from automatic weapons and handguns



Live ammunition: Footage shot at the scene clearly shows officers firing live ammunition from automatic weapons and handguns



Taking cover: Protesting miners can be seen cowering within the gun sights of an police officer. Witnesses say as many as 18 could have been killed in the shootings



Taking cover: Protesting miners can be seen cowering within the gun sights of an police officer. Witnesses say as many as 18 could have been killed in the shootings



Surrounded: Police form an armed cordon around strikers. It is unclear whether these miners are injured or lying down for officers to conduct searches



Surrounded: Police form an armed cordon around strikers. It is unclear whether these miners are injured or lying down for officers to conduct searches



Sticks and stones versus bullets: Miners can be seen between police vehicles throwing rocks at officers. Victims on both sides have been killed in recent days



Sticks and stones versus bullets: Miners can be seen between police vehicles throwing rocks at officers. Victims on both sides have been killed in recent days



Gun battle: In the heat of the incident, dust flies and police take cover. Water cannon and tear gas had been fired at miners before police opened fire



Gun battle: In the heat of the incident, dust flies and police take cover. Water cannon and tear gas had been fired at miners before police opened fire







Police have been accused of a massacre after opening fire on mine workers in one of the deadliest days of protest in South Africa since the end of apartheid.



In scenes that evoked memories of some of the country's darkest days, national television showed pictures of police in helmets and body armour shooting at workers on Thursday amid shouting, panic and clouds of dust at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine. After three minutes of gunfire, bodies littered the ground in pools of blood. The South African police ministry said more than 30 striking miners had been killed.



Newspaper reporter Poloko Tau tweeted from the scene: "Auto guns creacking [sic] and cocked like 100 at a time, scary … warzone down here, 1st shot fired … journalist running, diving and hiding amid shots, water canon spewing water at the strikers … my contact has just been shot dead …"



The deaths came after a week of turmoil at the Marikana mine that had already seen 10 people killed, including two police officers and two security guards. Lonmin, the world's third biggest platinum producer, was forced to suspend production at the mine, about 60 miles north-west of Johannesburg, after what it called an illegal strike escalated into an alleged turf war between rival unions.



His voice shaking with anger, the union leader Joseph Mathunjwa accused the Lonmin management of colluding with a rival union to orchestrate what he described as a massacre. Mathunjwa, president of the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), told the eNews channel: "We have to send condolences to those families whose members were brutally murdered by a lack of co-operation from management. We have done our bit. If the management had changed their commitment, surely lives could have been saved."



South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, condemned the killings but made no reference to the handling of the situation by the police. "We are shocked and dismayed at this senseless violence," he said. "We believe there is enough space in our democratic order for any dispute to be resolved through dialogue without any breaches of the law or violence.



"We call upon the labour movement and business to work with government to arrest the situation before it deteriorates any further. I have instructed law enforcement agencies to do everything possible to bring the situation under control and to bring the perpetrators of violence to book." Zuma added: "We extend our deepest condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives since the beginning of this violent action."



The opposition called for an independent investigation. Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance, said: "We call on union leaders, the police and everyone else involved to immediately work towards a de-escalation of the conflict. All action must be taken to avoid further bloodshed.



"An urgent independent investigation is required to determine exactly what happened; and who is responsible for this massacre. The families of everyone involved, and indeed the nation, deserve to know how and why this bloodshed occurred."



Roger Phillimore, the chairman of Lonmin, said: "We are treating the developments around police operations this afternoon with the utmost seriousness. The South African police service have been in charge of public order and safety on the ground since the violence between competing labour factions erupted over the weekend, claiming the lives of eight of our employees and two police officers.



"It goes without saying that we deeply regret the further loss of life in what is clearly a public order rather than labour relations associated matter."



The violence reportedly flared when police laying out barricades of barbed wire were outflanked by some of an estimated 3,000 miners massed on a rocky outcrop near the mine. Witnesses claimed that some of the miners were armed with pistols and fired first, while also charging the police with machetes and sticks.



The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said: "According to a Sapa report, police tried to disperse striking workers gathered on top of a hill, wielding pangas and chanting war songs. It ended in a three-minute shootout between the two groups, after police fired teargas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers, who retaliated by firing live ammunition at the police."



The protests began last week when workers demanded a pay increase to 12,500 rand (£976) a month. The action turned deadly when the AMCU clashed with South Africa's dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).



The NUM rejected the charge of collusion with mine bosses. Spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said: "We are not surprised by his allegation … It is not true. Everyone can see through these lies."



Seshoka blamed the AMCU – which has been poaching NUM members in platinum mines – for instigating the bloodshed. "These people said today they want to die on the hilltop. They said they will bring their children to die there. That is why we say the ringleaders must be arrested."



There has been growing frustration with the governing African National Congress and its mainstream union allies for moving too slowly to deliver wage increases and public services. Radical and militant voices are making gains in some areas.



Patrick Craven, the national spokesman for Cosatu, which is aligned to the ANC, said it would "convene an urgent meeting of the unions' leaderships to discuss what is emerging as a co-ordinated political strategy to use intimidation and violence, manipulated by disgruntled former union leaders, in a concerted drive to create breakaway 'unions' and divide and weaken the trade union movement".



He added: "Cosatu calls upon all workers to remain vigilant but calm in the face of the most serious challenge to workers' unity and strength for many years."



South Africa is home to four-fifths of the world's known platinum reserves but has been hit by union militancy and a sharp drop in the price of the precious metal this year. At least three people were killed in fighting in January that led to a six-week closure of the world's biggest platinum mine, run by Impala Platinum. Such incidents are seen as tarnishing South Africa's reputation among investors.



This week's violence has forced Lonmin to freeze production at all its South African operations, which account for 12% of global platinum output. The company's London-listed shares fell more than 7% on Thursday. A spokesman at Lonmin's head office in London confirmed strikers had been served with an ultimatum to return to work on Thursday or face dismissal, but denied that might inflame the situation.



"The mine cannot operate without the rock drill operators," he said. "The company tried every avenue it could to negotiate a settlement and we were left with no option."








..Read the full article
Re: A Second Wind
Chaos.com posted on 08-18-2012, 05:08:34 AM
QUOTE:
This is the South Africa of Barrack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Auspicious the Suspicious.

A second wind is blowing. From Zimbabwe. Kill them all.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.


Kill who all? And why
Re: South African Police Shoot 34 Striking Miners Dead
Agensheku posted on 08-18-2012, 05:17:09 AM
We thank God for little mercies.

At least GEJ has enough heart of gold to ignore the blood-thirsty supporters asking him to order the execution of striking PHCN Union officials in Nigeria. Alas, the strike has now been suspended. Where there is peace, progress is certain.
Re: WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT; Police Gun Down 18 Striking South African Minners, Scores Wounded.
Superego posted on 08-18-2012, 06:41:17 AM
QUOTE:
Super seriously is that corpse picture really from the Odi massacre or its your media's photo shopping or cropping as usual. I believe OBJ should still account for that his Odi atrocity.


The link and source for that was provided in the article, I notice. Some of you should please do some homework too, I can't be figuring it all out for unna, It is a crime for me to do homework for you.


I checked the link they provided in the article and saw the picture in the Human rights group book:

QUOTE:
Read about the massacre: http://www.eraction.org/publications/silence.pdf
1 2
Please register before you can make new comment