Tense stand-off as Marikana miners bear down on hospital

2012-09-11 14:51

Security was tightened in Marikana, in North West, when a group of armed Lonmin mineworkers marched towards a local hospital.

Moments after they left the open field they had occupied since morning, several police Nyalas and a private security company truck took up position in a street near the Andrew Saffy Memorial Hospital.

As the protesters approached, police barricaded the hospital’s entrance with four vehicles. A police helicopter hovered overhead.

By 4pm, there was a tense standoff.

The protesters were carrying pangas, knobkerries, golf clubs, arrows and spears.

One of their leaders, Loyiso Mtsheketshe, said they wanted to instruct the hospital to stop discharging injured miners into police custody.

A protester said they also wanted to convey their concerns to the hospital about its role in the ongoing strike.

Police fired on protesting mineworkers on a hill near Lonmin’s Marikana mine last month, killing 34 people and wounding 78. Another 260 were arrested at the scene, and 10 more upon their discharge from hospital.

The protesters claimed the police instructed hospitals to tell them when the wounded mineworkers were being discharged, and arrested them then – some even before they left the hospital premises.

This morning, the striking Lonmin mineworkers flocked from all directions to an open space in Marikana for the beginning of another day of protest in demand of a wage increase.

They brought umbrellas with them to shield them from the scorching Rustenburg sun.

Media crews, many of them international, had set up camp there and observed the crowd.

There were also armed police in the area, with four police Nyalas parked at the entrance to a shaft at the nearby Karee mine.

» Media24 Investigations and City Press set out to tell the stories of the Marikana. View our special reports page.  View an interactive timeline of the events at Marikana.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.