News24

Residents stunned by Marikana violence

2012-08-17 11:19

Rustenburg - Residents of an informal settlement near Lonmin's Marikana mine appeared stunned on Friday morning after a shootout between police and striking workers claimed more than 30 lives.

Locals stood about 800 metres from the scene of the massacre, and watched police crime scene experts at work.

The area, which was still littered with the blankets the protesters were wearing at the time of the battle, was cordoned off.

"I cannot believe that this happened just on our doorstep," said community member Angy Peters.
"We did not expect the strike would end like this," she said.

‘It is sad’


Another resident, Maria Padro, looked with disbelief at the front page of a newspaper.

"Look at pictures, people are lying dead," she said. "Many people have been killed, it is sad."

Construction worker Jan Leba said the striking workers were retreating to Rustenburg until the situation was "totally calm".

"We are going back. We have stopped because the situation is not safe," he said.

Thursday's shooting followed the deaths of 10 people, among them police and security guards, since protests at the mine began a week ago.

The protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union about 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 R1000. Reported demands have included pay of R12 500 a month.

Unrestricted access

The area around Lonmin's Marikana mine seemed quiet on Friday, except for police clustered at the bottom of the hill where striking miners had established their base prior to the massacre.

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.

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.

NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said on Friday that 36 people had been shot dead.

‘Mthethwa: Police did everything they could

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told Talk Radio 702 on Friday that more than 30 people were killed and that "many" more were injured.

"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.

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

Comments
  • keith.recore - 2012-08-17 11:26

    there are no winners here, not the dead miners and their families, not the police and not the mine owners. Has life been so devalued that this is the end product? Can you honestly tell me there was no peaceful means and urgency to deal with these issues prior to the police using live rounds on their own citizens? Surely there are intelligent enough miners/union members and mine owners who could have prevented this from going this far. It is a sad day for all of South Africa for the world to see for whatever reason, it's own police killing their own citizens, regardless of who is right or wrong, this is plain wrong. Value needs to be given to human life to a decent wage and life and people should not be used as pawns for selfish economic or political reasons. South Africa is better than this, today, not so much!

  • ingwani.sithole - 2012-08-17 11:28

    I condemn the police behaviour for killing our brothers,why they were there in the first place?Nationalisation of mines is an option

  • ingwani.sithole - 2012-08-17 11:31

    Why my comments are moderated now?News24 dictatorship at it's best.

  • steve.impala.75 - 2012-08-17 11:34

    Hoe se hulle, as jy daarvoor soek gaan jy dit kry...

  • marius.koen.16 - 2012-08-17 11:43

    The people are restless.

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-17 11:44

    I'm sure they're stunned that they received the consequences of their actions. Well done cops!

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-17 11:47

    The cops held out for much too long. No normal human being can be taunted and threatened for a week without being affected. I am totally against police brutality but I am 100% with them on this one because their lives, and the lives of innocent workers, were endangered buy the mob mentality of the strikers.

  • mart.botha - 2012-08-17 11:47

    Until 'Freedom' is fully understood, this scenario will continue to repeat itself. As much as 'Freedom' is claimed as a right to be enjoyed by all, the privilege of this 'Right to Freedom' comes with responsibilities....and quite clearly many protestors in SA don't agree with this, particularly when it comes to obeying lawful instructions...and lets face it, the SAPS is and must be the law on the ground. These protestors were not killed by the police, they committed suicide !

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-08-17 11:50

    If it had been Zim police the whole world would have been screaming Mugabe this Mugabe that Zanu murderes put more sanctions.Now it is Mzansi lets see what those bloody colonialists will say.Shame on their double standards

  • altusvanzyl - 2012-08-17 11:51

    1. Stike illegaly. 2. Use guns when you strike. 3. Kill a cop and a security guard. 3. Attack police. THEN BE STUNNED AFTERWARDS. Wtf did they think??? Gosh

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-17 11:54

    The Police Chief was reported to be on her way to Marikana from about 7:00 last night and she would have held a press meeting at 11:00 this morning. I wonder if she had arrived at Marikana yet because I have not heard anything from her!

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-08-17 11:56

    Funny how the go-ahead is given to use live ammo against these protesters but Zuma don't wanna deploy the army to handle the gangster situation in the Western Cape. I'm not saying the situation did/did not justify the use of live ammo. I'm just questioning the president's thinking.

  • aboo.khan.92 - 2012-08-17 11:57

    OMG , this is the worst since the days of apartheid......WTF is the the ANC doing about this. Surely this could have been handled differently. I mean , the cops are supposed to be trained and KNOW how to handle situations like this , not just SHOOT TO KILL . We are headed to anarchy , thats for sure.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-17 11:58

    Why should they be stunned? Surely they did not think the police would retaliate by shooting balloons at them? Kathy

  • magomarele - 2012-08-17 12:03

    This shouldn't be compared to Sharpville which was brutal apartheid regime attacking and slaughtering unarmed innocent civilians who were peacefully protesting against barbaric apartheid laws. The Marikana/Lonmin mine stand-off was as a result of poor leadership by the Government, the mine management and Unions. I think police did everything in their power to defuse the impasse, however the armed hooligans were not prepared to back off. Police had to defend themselves, innocent civilians and the mine property. I fully agree with the actions taken by the police. The president of the country should take full responsibility for this calamity. The stand-off has been on for more than a week and it was clear that disaster was brewing. Where’s president Zuma? He’s only available when he has to take credits for successes, but not when decisions have to be made. He’s is only active when there’re women he’s interested in sleeping with. We need leadership in this country, not pathetic clowns like Zuma.

  • magomarele - 2012-08-17 12:04

    Government must take Responsibility.

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-08-17 12:06

    This is a truly horrendous event, to say nothing of the grief families must be feeling at the loss of a loved one and probably also a breadwinner. However, if there is to be a silver linning to this dark cloud in our history it is that it can potentially re-establish the rule of law. Across this land those who choose to use violence as a meduim through which to get their demands met, will know that the state reserves the right to keep law and order and to take their lives in the pursuit of doing so as a last resort.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-17 12:08

    Eish news 24 but you guys can dry out a storie ne.

  • susanna.smit.7 - 2012-08-17 12:10

    Who will take care of the strikers' and police officers' orphaned offspring?

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-08-17 12:13

    Funny they were not stunned when ten people including two on duty policemen were killed. It is strange world we live in Master Jack.

  • marius.koen.16 - 2012-08-17 12:14

    Hardly a week after our high from the Olympics we are crushed down because of this. South Africa is once again in the news, but for all the wrong reasons.

  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-08-17 12:15

    eish , R5 hy byt seer !!

  • hoepfne - 2012-08-17 12:16

    I cannot believe that news 24 will even publish a comment like "we used force to protected ourself" Three minutes of automatic riffle fire and Adriao protected himself??? Please!!!

  • Henry.E.S.Moorcroft - 2012-08-17 12:16

    “Residents stunned by Marikana violence”. No the whole country!!!!!!

  • mary.kircher - 2012-08-17 12:17

    a very sad situation, the Unions are totally to blame - you can't blame the police for protecting themselves.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-08-17 12:19

    Very sad. Now a question, is this going to continue every time there is a strike in South Africa, I would hate to hear of nurses and doctors being shot down for manning them selves with bed pans. Leave the strikers alone and let them get on with it with out the interference by the SAPS let the unions sort it out. Not all protesters attack the cops, so why use Assault weapons.

  • Badger - 2012-08-17 12:24

    "We are going back. We have stopped because the situation is not safe," he said.....Talk about "Stuck On Stupid" Another thing, I love how the media dramatize this with the word "MASSACRE" of 30 people. But when a bus overturns or goes down a ditch and kills 60 people, it's called a "Tragedy" "Don't Do The Crime If You Can't Do The Time" !!!

  • gerald.mphuthi - 2012-08-17 12:25

    The last time i checked all the SAPS could do to fix a situation was shoot,shoot ,shoot..so no surprised here typical third world country

  • michael.taylorw - 2012-08-17 12:32

    Stunned? http://www.theage.com.au/world/mine-massacre-more-than-30-miners-killed-in-south-africa-20120817-24c70.html

  • sela.job - 2012-08-17 12:34

    How do police shoot people and kill them for fighting for their rights!Its sad really in this democracy.MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE,MAY THEIR BLOODS BE NOT IN VAIN!

  • wesleywt - 2012-08-17 12:39

    1919 70 white miners where killed protesting for better conditions. History repeats itself.

  • maama.bujju - 2012-08-17 12:41

    so sad to the family members but this shld be awake up call for all thse who plan un proffessional demos,demonstrate peacefully nobody will hurt u but if u decide thse unproffessional styles thse r the results idnt blamE the police the demonstrators had guns as well tht ws the only way of defending.TGHE SO CALLED UNIONISTS R IN OFFICES UR BUSY LOSING LIVES.ITS SO SAD.

  • maama.bujju - 2012-08-17 12:43

    who plan un proffessional demos,demonstrate peacefully nobody will hurt u but if u decide thse unproffessional styles thse r the results idnt blamE the police the demonstrators had guns as well tht ws the only way of defending.TGHE SO CALLED UNIONISTS R IN OFFICES UR BUSY LOSING LIVES.ITS SO SAD.

  • greg.mckinney.1650 - 2012-08-17 13:02

    Regardless of who was right and who was wrong this is a shockingly remorseful incident for us as a nation. On the one side you have the miners - let down by poor service delivery,little or no access to education and living in really harsh conditions that none of us can even begin to fathom and risking their lives for R4000 a month. The other side is corporate south africa - restrictive labour legislation spiralling electricity and labour costs trying to stay afloat and somewhere in the middle throw in political agendas and the thirst for power. The only people to blame is us as ordinary South Africans for sitting behind our computers/phones seeing things slowly degrade and all we do is type down our negative comments and views article after article in the comfy setting of our houses/offices. We should join marches and protests not only to fight what is wrong but to support our fellow south africans this is our duty as a citizen. I live in a good neighbourhood and I would also become violent if they stopped all refuse & sewage disposal and water in my area. We should stop the sense of entitlement or blaming people fighting for basic things that we take granted and support their cause peacefully. Cause as long as we remain inactive this wont be the last time a tragedy like this happens.

  • itse.nnete.1 - 2012-08-17 13:06

    Go a swabisa ka nnete,batho ba bolayetsweng?

  • tyroymike3 - 2012-08-17 13:09

    We need decent employment in SA - education is the only salvation for the masses . Digging holes is for the machines man created for that purpose , not human capital that creates and designs . Where are the real politicians who want to serve the nation ?

  • sean.oageng - 2012-08-17 13:14

    wow

  • emmanuel.mohlaume - 2012-08-17 13:14

    Hello. Heita this is not the South Africa I vote for...

  • greg.mckinney.1650 - 2012-08-17 13:44

    Regardless of who was right and who was wrong this is a shockingly remorseful incident for us as a nation. On the one side you have the miners - let down by poor service delivery,little or no access to education and living in really harsh conditions that none of us can even begin to fathom and risking their lives for R4000 a month. The other side is corporate south africa - restrictive labour legislation spiralling electricity and labour costs trying to stay afloat and somewhere in the middle throw in political agendas and the thirst for power. The only people to blame is us as ordinary South Africans for sitting behind our computers/phones seeing things slowly degrade and all we do is type down our negative comments and views article after article in the comfy setting of our houses/offices. We should join marches and protests not only to fight what is wrong but to support our fellow south africans this is our duty as a citizen. I live in a good neighbourhood and I would also become violent if they stopped all refuse & sewage disposal and water in my area. We should stop the sense of entitlement or blaming people fighting for basic things that we take granted and support their cause peacefully. Cause as long as we remain inactive this wont be the last time a tragedy like this happens.

  • masalegodfrey.selematsela - 2012-08-17 14:26

    this is very said and heart breaking for people cannot go on strike and carry dangerous weapons in the name of fighting for rights, i plead with the leadership of the workers to take responsibility in ensuring that they prevent further loss of life and respect the rule of law in our country

  • phathizwe.malekane - 2012-08-17 14:52

    yes i agree it was a self defence accoding to the way

  • phathizwe.malekane - 2012-08-17 14:54

    it was a self defence yes because u can see police stepping back and protestas attacking no one was stop at the back

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