Eerie silence at mine after massacre

2012-08-17 08:32
Video

Lonmin mine shoot-out footage

2012-08-16 19:22

An attempt by the police to disperse striking workers at Marikana's Lonmin mine ended in a deadly shoot-out, watch the footage. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENTWATCH

Rustenburg - An eerie silence hung over Lonmin's Marikana mine on Friday, following deadly clashes between the police and protesters the previous day.

The area seemed quiet, except for police clustered at the bottom of the hill where striking miners had established their base prior to the massacre in which more than 30 people died.

A newly-erected razor wire fence divided the hill from the nearby informal settlement.

By 07:00, two lone residents had emerged from their dwellings and, glancing at the police nyalas outside, they made their way to the road to catch a taxi.

'Police did everything they could'

On Friday morning, movement on the road to the area was unrestricted, in contrast to the previous day, when mine security guards manned two checkpoints and questioned journalists.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told Talk Radio 702 on Friday that more than 30 people were killed and that "many" more were injured. NUM’s Frans Baleni told 702 Talk Radio that 36 people had been killed.

"Police did everything they could... but people [miners] said they were not leaving and are prepared to fight," he said.

North West health department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said 25 bodies had been removed from the scene and taken to the Phokeng Forensic Mortuary.

On Thursday, Captain Dennis Adriao said police had to use force to protect themselves.

"The SA Police Service was viciously attacked by the group, using a variety of weapons, including firearms," he said.

Protests linked to union rivalry

"The police, in order to protect their own lives and in self-defence, were forced to engage the group with force."

The deaths followed those of 10 people - two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and three other men - killed since protests began at the mine a week ago.

The protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine.

Workers also wanted higher wages. They claimed to be earning R4 000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1 000. Reported demands have included pay of R12 500 a month.
Read more on:    police  |  lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  labour  |  mining  |  protests  |  mining unrest

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
54 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/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.