Mixed reaction to Lonmin shooting

2012-08-18 20:55
AP

AP

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Johannesburg - There has been mixed reaction to the shootout at Lonmin mine in the North West province that claimed the lives of 36 people.

The Eastern Cape ANC Youth League on Saturday said it was disgusted by the action of the SA Police Service.

"The police engaged in the mass killings of defenceless workers," secretary Nkosinathi Nomatiti said in a statement.

On Thursday, a shootout erupted on a hill near the mine when police tried to disperse striking miners.

The police ministry put the death toll at 36 and the injured at 78.

Another 10 people - including two police officers, two security guards and three shopstewards from the National Union of Mineworkers - have been killed since the start of workers' illegal strike last Friday.

ANC 'partly to blame'


Protesters were demanding higher wages.

Nomatiti said the African National Congress government was partly to blame for the incident.

"We are...appalled by the ANC government which behaves in exactly the same disposition of an apartheid state when interacting with our peoples demands for economic freedom," said Nomatiti.

"This is indicative of a lack of leadership at the highest echelons of our organisation and government..."

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Prince Mangosutho Buthelezi welcomed the inquiry launched by President Jacob Zuma into the shooting incident.

"The IFP welcomes this inquiry with the hope that it will help us uncover the whole truth, so that those responsible for this senseless violence can be held responsible for their actions," he said in a statement.

Extreme poverty

"It is my hope that the Lonmin tragedy will be a wake-up call to those in power."

The Unemployed Peoples Movement said although the Marikana mine was one of the richest platinum mines in the world, its workers lived in extreme poverty.

"Most of the slain workers are rock drillers, the most difficult and dangerous work in the mine," said spokesperson Ayanda Kota.

"They do the most dangerous work in the mine and yet they earn only R4 000 a month".

He said if the strikers were protesting under the banner of the tripartite alliance they would not have been killed.

"It is the ANC government that shoot and kill protesters when they are fighting for the assertion of their humanity," said Kota.

YCL visit

The Gandhi Development Trust and Satyagraha said it was outraged by the violence.

"We urge all parties concerned to follow in the footsteps of leaders who use peaceful methods of protesting and dealing conflicts," said spokesperson Nompumelelo Zuma. The Young Communist League of SA said it would be visiting the Marikana area on Sunday, and those who were injured.

Spokesperson Mangaliso Stalin Khonza said its leadership would address the community and mineworkers.

- SAPA
Read more on:    ycl  |  lonmin  |  anc  |  ancyl  |  ifp  |  jacob zuma  |  mangosuthu buthelezi  |  mahikeng  |  labour  |  protests  |  mining unrest  |  mining
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