Premier: Marikana massacre avoidable

2012-08-17 13:44
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Aftermath of mine shooting

See the latest pictures from the scene following a shoot-out at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in which more than 30 people were killed.

Johannesburg - North West Premier Thandi Modise has condemned the "anarchy" which culminated in a shootout between police and striking workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

"Survival of the fittest, anarchy and lawlessness shouldn't characterise wage negotiations in the mining sector," she said in a statement on Friday.

"This is the most tragic labour dispute with untold misery that South Africa has ever experienced, which could have been avoided had parties involved respected the law."

Police moved in on protesters encamped on a hill near the mine on Thursday, after days of negotiations.
According to National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni, 36 people were killed. The police ministry confirmed that "over 30" people died.

Another 10 people, including police officers and security guards, have been killed since protests at the mine began last Friday.

Union rivalry, higher wages


The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages.

Modise extended her condolences to the families who had lost loved ones in Thursday's clash and called for calm.

"We wish to reiterate our call for cessation of hostilities and for a return to the negotiation table," she said.

Lonmin chairperson Roger Phillimore said in a statement that the platinum producer was "treating the developments around police operations [on Thursday] with the utmost seriousness".

"The SA Police Service [SAPS] have been in charge of public order and safety on the ground since the violence between competing labour factions erupted over the weekend..."

Shooting likened to Sharpeville

Phillimore denied that the shooting was to do with Lonmin's labour relations.

"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 SA Institute of Race Relations condemned the police's action, and likened it to the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in which 69 people died and 180 were seriously wounded.

It claimed that there was "clear evidence that policemen randomly shot into the crowd".

"There is also evidence of their continuing to shoot after a number of bodies can be seen dropping and others turning to run."

The SAIRR felt this was "completely unacceptable".

"... Even if the police were provoked or shot at during yesterday's incident, or were angry at the killing of two police officers in the days before, no disciplined and properly-trained policeman would shoot into a crowd."

ANC blamed

The Institute wrote in an open letter to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa last year criticising "unlawful police behaviour" after Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane was killed, allegedly by rubber bullets fired by police.

The Socialist Party of Azania claimed the death toll in Thursday's shooting was close to 50 and blamed the African National Congress.

"One can even say their deaths are as a direct consequence of the ANC's comprador policies," president Lybon Tiyani Mabasa said in a statement.

"Even in death, the shattered bodies of the black worker accrues profit for the rapers of continents and destroyers of nations, with the eager support from the ANC government and its storm-troopers."

Mabasa predicted that blame for the violence would be directed at Amcu, "the less favoured union that sought to operate outside of the mantle of [the Congress of SA Trade Unions] Cosatu [and its aligned union] NUM".

Sopa said it knew "with certainty" that the nationalisation of national resources would end exploitation of the black working class.

"The ANC however, as government, has made damned sure that the issue of nationalisation, as a principled strategy, dies an early and sudden death...," Mabasa said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  num  |  thandi modise  |  mahikeng  |  protests  |  mining unrest  |  labour  |  mining
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
32 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Constantia - 07:19 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and Canterbury Road until 1300
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

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.