News24

Marikana deaths make world headlines

2012-08-17 11:19

Johannesburg - The bloodbath that claimed the lives of over 30 people in Marikana in the North West has made international headlines.

The Guardian, New York Times, Sky News, Denver Post, BBC, Washington Post, CNN, and several other media reported on the shooting.

Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia, put up a detailed one-page entry on it with references to local newspapers and reporters.

On Thursday, police opened fire with live ammunition on armed, striking workers who had gathered on a hill in the area.

Ten people, among them police and security guards, had already died since the start of their protest a week ago.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) 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, while those living outside the hostel were earning an extra R1 000. Reported demands included pay of R12 500 a month.

On Friday, the NUM said the death toll in the shooting had risen to 36.

Social networking

People around the world were using the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter to share their views on who they believed were to blame for the bloodbath.

Some believed the police were accountable and asked why live ammunition had been used. Others shifted blame to the company for not giving in to the demands of poorly-paid workers.

The Guardian reported that the shooting had led to a drop in the company's share price.

It said Lonmin's shares dropped almost 5% in London and 4% in Johannesburg.

Lonmin executives said all its shafts across the South African platinum belt, which account for 12% of global supply, were closed to all but essential services, such as ventilation.

Although the price of platinum had fallen steeply in the past six months, the spot price rose 2% on Tuesday in the wake of the violence, it said.

Lonmin executive vice president Barnard Mokwena was quoted as saying: "Until the place is safe we don't want to talk about production."

South Africa accounts for about three-quarters of the world's platinum, which is used to make catalytic converters in cars.

London-based Lonmin told the Guardian that 96% of its production comes from Marikana.

Comments
  • tracey.freer.meredith - 2012-08-17 11:42

    Some believe the police are to blame, others the Company who did not give in to the workers demands..... does this then mean that the armed and hostile strikers are then blameless?

      spartanx93 - 2012-08-17 13:31

      Its easy for people from overseas to blame the police as only one side of the story will be pushed.... Its was the polices fault. I believe what the police did was right in those circumstances.

  • deon.evert - 2012-08-17 11:45

    Though warranted and mainly in self-defense, illustrated by the fact that the police were firing into the ground in front of them and the idiots ran into a hail of bullets, this will unfortunately be viewed as heavy-handedness by the international community and the SAPS should prepare for some harsh criticism.

  • jbm.moate - 2012-08-17 11:54

    This is really sad, i pray that these people were killed by the stampede and not by the policemen guns, either way they are dead, brutally so and its really sad, yet our president is galavanting around the world, what an a$$h@@!e we have of a president...

      B.b. - 2012-08-17 13:04

      Where do u come from?

  • harley.quin.334 - 2012-08-17 11:58

    so let me get this straight, you demand a 300% pay increase, when you don't get it you go on strike, arm yourself with machetes, pangas, you hack 2 cops to pieces for their fire arms and then thousands of you charge at the police... and you expect what exactly to happen..

      tembinkosi.mhlakulo - 2012-08-17 12:45

      No one is above the law, we shouldn't blame cops n the company for total disregard of the law. \r\n\r\nYou reap wht u have planted... Its a pity there innocent lives that perished also in the process.\r\n\r\nI wonder wht is Dr. Zuma Gedleyihlekisas response on this one...

  • grant.callaway.50 - 2012-08-17 11:59

    What a load of cr@p! "Some believed the police were accountable and asked why live ammunition had been used. Others shifted blame to the company for not giving in to the demands of poorly-paid workers."?? The VAST majority of comments have blamed the unions and the violently striking protesters! Neither the company, nor the police are resposible for firing at the group of animals, who had already killed 10 people!! Those people who died, deserved to die, since they were so willing to kill in their frenzy!

  • stefventerza - 2012-08-17 12:10

    What does South Africa people not strike about.Everything turns into a strike,get out of hand and then the result is destruction. Nobody have major strikes over the killing off Police people, Farmers that provide the country with food, the poaching of Rino's that is part off our country. Nobody strike over Rape, theft, hijacking, Nobody strike over old people that gets tortured for hours,How many major strikes was there over pensioners that gets R1000 a month or less. Those facts dont get headline news and less headlines overseas, Now that shots upon police was answered with shots, its headlines, How many cops must be killed on or of duty before all this mess will be resolved. SA live in a comic world in the eyes of the rest of the world. Sort out the leaders and the rest of good things will follow......

      harley.quin.334 - 2012-08-17 12:52

      here is another thing nobody strikes about... the non-delivery of school books to ensure our children get a good education and therefore have the chance at a decent job

  • customdesign - 2012-08-17 12:12

    I back the police 100% in this. I would have done the same if my life and the lives of my colleagues were threatened. This is what unions are doing to our beautiful country- it's time people wake up.

      christina.setloboko - 2012-08-17 15:09

      I 2nd you with 110%

  • jacqueline.engelbrecht.54 - 2012-08-17 12:16

    Wow. They make it sound as if it is something we as South Africans should be proud of that the world is paying attention to absolute anarchy. Well done to unions who instigated this mess.

  • denton.estment - 2012-08-17 12:19

    It never ceases to amaze. People stand at gates begging for employment. Once inside the gates they join unions then want to dictate and demand how the company must be run if not they strike and damage property injure people and even go as far as killing..... what next???

  • zanele.mkize.71 - 2012-08-17 12:20

    Wow no comments!!! shocked, people are busy focussing on racist articles instead of commenting on important stories.

  • naeem.dollie - 2012-08-17 12:22

    Funny how this makes world headlines when thousands of M uslim civilians are being massacred by B uddhists in Burma... But nothing seen on the news or in papers about that???

  • naeem.dollie - 2012-08-17 12:23

    Funny how this makes world headlines when thousands of Muslim civilians are being massacred by Buddhists in Burma... But nothing seen on the news or in papers about that??? Why is my comment not being accepted? Nothing offensive to anyone.

  • John - 2012-08-17 12:26

    Should have killed more, then maybe the next time the idiots want to strike and kill the economy they might think twice - if thinking is even possible

  • rickey.de.clercq - 2012-08-17 12:28

    I saw the news clip earlier today... They stormed the police by the looks of it, and the police retaliated.. They were carrying weapons and judging by the violence earlier this week, it is clear that the strikers intention was to do harm. And in a situation like that, what else were the police supposed to do? Stand there allow themselves to be killed and beaten? I think not... Regardless of the reasons for the strike, there is no need to get violent with fellow workers, police and innocent bystanders. If you are waving spears, pangas and other weapons around. and then decide to charge on the police.. then I suggest you take what is coming... I am sorry that lives were lost, but I don't think the police were able to handle this in another way.

  • Badger - 2012-08-17 12:28

    Perhaps now the world will see what is happening to SA. Give, Give, Give....Want, Want, Want !!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • nombulelo.notywala - 2012-08-17 12:29

    How can saps be so cruel,did they really have to shoot those people like animals.Did it ever cross their minds that,those people are husbands,sons most of all those people are fathers.What's going on with our country.

  • festivalj - 2012-08-17 12:32

    if i was A Police i would tell my commander that you did not hire me for KILLING PEOPLE FOR FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS, WHERE IS JUSTICE IT HAPPENS ONLY TO BLACK PEOPLE LIVE ROUNDS IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE WHO EVER PAID THESE POLICE TO SHOOT THIS PEOPLE THEY WILL SUFFER ALL THEIR LIVES ,THE POLICE WHO DIED THEY DESERVE IT TOO BECAUSE THEY CARRY THE ORDER THAT THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THEY MUST JUST LET CALM DOWN AND LISTEN THEY ARE ANGRY AND HUNGRY THEY NEED THEIR ATTENTION NOW WE ARE WATCHING ALL OF US. THIS COMPANY BOSSES THEY ARE WORRIED ONLY ABOUT THEIR INTEREST , THEY MUST LOOK ON ISSUE AT HAND THEIR THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE SHOT BY THIS HAWKS POLICE WHO KILL THEIR OWN PEOPLE WHO ARE HUNGRY AND SUFFERING OF WHAT THEY WILL GIVE THEIR CHILDREN WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN NOW WHITE PEOPLE ARE LAUGHING SAYING LOOK AT THIS BLACKS ARE KILLING EACH OTHER NO ONE IS STOPPING THE CORRUPTION WE MUST TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE

  • sisie.indola - 2012-08-17 12:32

    Close the mine - then the workers will have no reason to strike, cause violence, and have no money at the end of the day. I blame the unions, they are always inciting their members to violence, oh and while you are about it shoot the sangomas their mutti did not work. They want R12,500 after tax - WTF are these people smoking. They want work, they get work and within a few months they strike because they want more. Animal Farm!

  • pieter0827006294 - 2012-08-17 12:33

    Sharpville#2

  • lukhanyo.noma - 2012-08-17 12:34

    the is no side to blame here it all jst went wrong nd the lives of these people aint cming bck bt someone needs to unswer 4 ths.

  • kgaotshabege - 2012-08-17 12:36

    South Africa has refused to extradite suspects to Botswana fearing the death penalty but they continue to EXECUTE their own innocent citizens. Deeply saddened! Kealeboga, Botswana.

  • Derrick Chong - 2012-08-17 13:01

    And what about the unions ? They should be blamed for incitement and etc. strikes do not just happen by itself. This is such a sad and expensive lesson to SA.

  • ah.jordaan - 2012-08-17 13:06

    Please give all of these cops a medal PLUS a pay increase. South Africa has become a country where lawless holigans are allowed to rape, murder, burn and destroy at will all in the name of protest action. And then they call themselves CIVILISED??? Each and every time one turns on a TV you see these animals cuasing destruction wherever they please. They are simply too studid to realise that money which is continually being spent on repairing, replacing and rebuilding what they destroy could ultimately have been used for THEIR upliftment instead! Any loss of life is sad and regrettable and should be avoided at all cost, but at the same time, as long as these people out of their own free choose to act and behave like animals, they should be treated as such. As these animals have already demonstrated, they will not for one second hesitate to attack a policeman/woman with a knife, steel pipe or panga, or whatever other weapon they can get hold of, killing or maiming whoever stands in their way. Why should the police not be allowed to defend their own lives??? Perhaps one day when strinking workers start acting like they actually belong in a civilised society, perhaps then and then ONLY will they earn the right to be treated like human beings and not be shot like dogs.

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-08-17 13:12

    What's the use of inquiry the minister and commissioner did these intentionally.Cops can't fight crime but can kill mine workers..

  • walter.mokoena1 - 2012-08-17 13:33

    i think what police did is totaly unacceptable. those people were not there for war, but cops came with big guns to show that they are fighting not to keep peace.i also blame the company for not paying people

  • renco.vanrensburg - 2012-08-17 13:38

    Hardly any of the media reports take account for the fact that the protesters were armed? SAPS are not to blame for this one. Its time they start upholding the law. The innocent majority usually suffer from the acts the violent minority. The long term effect of this might be that protesters will think twice before getting violent or even protesting at all?

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-08-17 15:18

    If the miners intentions were not to be violent this wouldn't have issued. Had they wanted to surrender it's not an issue to put down your weapon, walk calmly to the police with your hands up. Running towards them like a bunch of crazy people? Well done SAPS.

  • willem.v.hoven - 2012-08-17 16:11

    not racism, so OK

  • sachasea - 2012-08-17 18:25

    Why is it that whenever South Africa makes international headlines it's always for negative reasons? Either the world has imposed some kind of blanket censorship against us and doesn't want to show South Africa succeeding or this country is just plain old f***ed. I'm guessing it's the latter.

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