Armed miners: We want nothing but money

2012-08-15 19:13

Johannesburg - Talks between the police and striking mine workers at Lonmin's troubled Marikana mine in North West stalled on Wednesday afternoon.

Workers disregarded the police and brandished their weapons, singing war songs.

They waved machetes, sharp spears, knobkerries and iron rods while chanting war songs on a hill in the area where 10 people have been killed in violent protests since Friday.

Some of them told journalists that they wanted nothing but money.

"We don't care about unions, we want R12 500 a month," said one of them.

Police continued to keep an eye on the striking workers' activities on the mountain.

Captain Dennis Adriao said the names of the two police officers who died had not been released because their families still had to identify them.

Ten people, including two police officers, were killed over the past few days at Lonmin's Marikana mine after a protest action that started on Friday.

The violence has been linked to clashes between members of the National Union of Mineworkers, and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which were reportedly fighting for control of local mines.

Lonmin spokesperson Barnard Mokwena said earlier on Wednesday that the company had not received demands from workers and was "surprised" by the protests that started last Friday.

But workers dismissed his utterances, saying management knew about their demands.

Efforts to gain further comment from Mokwena were unsuccessful.


The president of the National Union of Mineworkers was rejected by striking Lonmin miners as he tried to persuade them to return to work.

Senzeni Zokwana was escorted in an armoured police Nyala vehicle towards a hill to speak to the hundreds of striking workers who had gathered there since early morning.

They chanted war songs as Zokwana tried to calm them down through the loud speaker.

"We want peace... let us listen to each other. I plead with you to go back to work," said Zokwana.

His call for the workers to return to work was met with shouting and chants from the crowd, who refused to listen to him.

Zokwana, who was speaking from inside the police vehicle, could no longer get a word across and had to be whisked away by the police.

The workers had earlier demanded that Zokwana get out of the police van and speak to them directly.

  • mofstok - 2012-08-15 19:18

    You don't deserve R12500 a month. Not even a fully qualified pharmacist earns that.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-15 19:22

      They have armed themselves - send in the army!

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-15 19:49

      I could not care how much they WANT. The problem is that here the government and industry must draw the line. If they get away with a cent more than what a negotiation would have brought than they have set the example for all the unions and their members. They want more money?, but the question begs where did that shiny new knife, that would have put Rambo to shame, come from? It is illegal is it not? The gathering is illegal is it not? Killing people is illegal is it not? Mind you I have seen on this website more spear than the government has seen the leading spear... Oh wait Moz/Zim will see him...There, now I feel safe with hope for the future......

      mihaip007 - 2012-08-15 20:22

      armed people want just money??!!! - sounds like a heist!

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-08-15 20:24

      Pathetic barbaric savages. No wonder the rest of the world cant stand these tipes. Demand Demand Demand like parrots with no brains. I want but I dont want to work to hard. Useless freaks.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-08-15 20:58

      Let them purchase the mine and run it themself. sit back and watch

      fussed.anderson - 2012-08-15 21:05

      Any bet the gov turd fource is behind this

      mihaip007 - 2012-08-15 22:40

      rooster - minning is a dangerous job since ever! EVERYONE has a choice in life of following a more intelligent way to earn a living! THAT is the freedom that the anc should have spoken about in the old days! Instead they called it freedom, and they sold it as "free to pillage, murder and kill - because you DESERVE IT!" This mentality is the cause of why they can;t earn R12k and above! I did not become a miner, because I had the inteligence to study by MYSELF! YES just because i am white, does not mean someone GAVE me money to study! I earn 5 times that amount easily, BECAUSE I am applying my MIND! And i don't wait for someone to give me because I DESERVE it..! And i work day AND night to achieve what I am putting my mind to it! Yes I sleep something like 4 hours per day on average! I have NEVER been in the streets DEMANDING anything! All I demand is the freedom to CHOOSE!

      mofstok - 2012-08-16 07:10

      Rooster, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that these poor striking miners have already murdered several people, including 2 policemen who's service weapons they STOLE! They are criminals! No sympathy, no mercy!

      twellington3 - 2012-08-16 08:30

      People forget that these miners, work like slaves, are getting paid peanuts and no safety measures are applied to protect them from accidents in work. What is R12500 to a mine, those mines are making billions of USdollars everyday, so they should give these miners the money they want!!. Slavery ended a long time ago. You can't tell me that someone who works 6-6 everyday, with hard labour, in a place with no oxygen, underground, deserved to be paid R1500-2000/month. Thus not on. These companies have been having cheap labour for more than 300 years, paying the guys nothing, they even do not pay them when they get injured at work.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-16 09:06

      @rooster.cockadoodledooo It is more dangerous travelling in a taxi than working in a mine. Go read the stats. @Thabo If it is so bad working on/in a mine, why do they not do as Mr.rooster.cockadoodledooo has done? Or go drive a taxi? What is R12k for a mine? Nothing. what is R12k times the amount of people working on the mine + other overheads? A lot. Perhaps if the start teaching the old curriculum of R,R & R at school again you would have understood. That is instead of "transforming"

      twellington3 - 2012-08-16 09:14

      @Desilusionada, whatever yo name is- clearly u dnt or u were denied common sense @ birth- one miner produces more than +R500 000/month for those mine companies- by logic u would know or suppose to know that relative to what a miner produce a month R12500 is nothing to him!! Maybe you are not aware of how much money is made by these through cheap labour! Gone are the days when the apartheid gvt allowed blacks to be trampled upon, wage

      denis.dendrinos - 2012-08-16 10:40

      @Thabo - no safety measures? You've clearly never been to a mine!

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-08-16 11:04

      My sister has a bachelors degree in education and she takes home less, so a worker with no qualifications,maybe did not finish school want more?Fire the lot and hire people from Zimbabwe,India, China etc. They are much more harder working and won't place unrealistic demands.Just hurting people is bad enough, now they are killing too?

  • emilyjane.elson - 2012-08-15 19:21

    I don't even make that much..

      twellington3 - 2012-08-16 08:39

      do you work in the mine? do you work in harzadous conditions everyday? Do you work more than 12hours a day? Do you get told that there is no safety measures taken in the mine, if you get injured they are not liable to pay you or compensate you? Do you get paid R1500-R2000/month, while those mine companies make billions of dollars each month, through your sweat and later give you peanuts? Are you exposed to all kind of diseases knowing very well that there is no insurance whatsoever taken by the company to help you? Until you do all those, please Miss emilyjane.elson, if you don't earn that much does it mean someone must not earn it. Plus you are doing a cool job, sitting in the office all day, while someone is underground and you expect him to be paid peanuts, Shame on you!! I hate stupid South Africans, who just comment based on their colour. Who are you to say if you don't earn that much, they must not earn it? Are you better than those miners?

      mofstok - 2012-08-16 09:51

      Bla,bla,bla Thabo! Do you know how dangerous it is to drive my road to work every day at all strange hours? Do you think I get compensated for that, or that I complain to my bosses about it? NO! Because it is my choice to do my job!

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-08-16 11:07

      @thabo, if you want a nice job, pay more attention in school. That is where it starts. get a decent education and you will stand a better chance of a better job. the fact that they are Black is to their advantage as they will be given first preference anyway. So what is their excuse?

  • hendrik.breed - 2012-08-15 19:22

    And the door opens even wider for the Chinese. You will be out of work soon, watching people do your work for less than half you want.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-16 07:42

      $ 50 (R400) a month to be precise, thats what the Chinese are paying the Zimbabweans

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-08-15 19:28

    What a lovely future SA has.

  • Sefiri William Ngoasheng - 2012-08-15 19:33

    R12 500 a month neh!!!

  • Helio - 2012-08-15 19:36

    these guys have murdered policemen, when will this government take serious action on such behaviour. they should all befired firstly asd this is clearly illegal industrial action, the army should be sent in and arrest them all

      warren.slater.353 - 2012-08-15 20:57

      "When will this government take serious action"...the moment an ANC politician gets even slightly hurt or one of their tenders is threatened.

  • Gaoboihe John Kgasane - 2012-08-15 19:36

    This is absolutely crazy, send the army in.

      johan.maree.5036 - 2012-08-15 21:52

      @Tienie, "our army had to run like hell when our disfunctional police force tried to bring them under control.", that was farking funny, thanks, still laughing! Ridiculous but true...!

  • boltonbarry - 2012-08-15 19:48

    You could always NAPALM that hill

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-08-16 09:43

      Just played that image in may head - and it was awesome.

  • stanton.clarke - 2012-08-15 20:22

    Picture looks like some African country in the grip of a Civil War. These strikers won't listen to anyone, get the army in now.Its us against them.

  • imam.madi.129 - 2012-08-15 20:29

    These guyz look as scary as the Free Syrian Army and their slogan: "we don't want to talk, we just want the presidency, finished n klaar" ;)

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-08-15 21:02

    WE want...WE want....more...but WE not going to WORK for it....FIRE them all...the worthless LOT

      Arnotte Payne - 2012-08-15 21:11

      i think the culprits worth criticizing r da union heads who use miners as pawns for personal gain, they dont work, they not gettn trapd in mine shafts. and i think mine bosses make too much money nt 2 pay miners who work under dangerous conditions in virtual minegraves

  • simon.mwando - 2012-08-15 21:36

    Useless freaks!\r\nWhere is e army? \r\nJus borrow 2bakkie ful o uncle Bob police

  • njdejager - 2012-08-15 22:01

    In SA the police and govnt will keep entertaining threats like this and will try to bring them under control with a "water cannon" how sad. Holding police at ransom??? This is unlawful no? Enforcement of the law? No?

  • Lesetja Sema - 2012-08-15 22:32

    i wish de strikers, union & mine management can sort out dey differences and stop des violence.

  • aphiwe.mayola - 2012-08-15 22:32

    Ok please excuse my ignorance I genuinely am hoping someone will be able to answer me without any sarcastic or condescending undertones but yah, how much does an average Miner make per month? How much are these guys probably making? How much do the executives and people in suits make? How many mines have ACTUALLY benefited the communities immediately around them? Really am not saying anything negative or supporting any violence so please don't attack me am really just asking.

      derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-08-16 01:35

      I understand exactly what you are saying, but the bottom line is we live in a supposidly free country, if these miners are unhappy with their wages let them look for work elsewhere.....not hold the company to ransom with violence and killing. They should all be fired and have to re apply for their jobs at a minimum wage for this action.....that would send a clear message...

      Havokreeka - 2012-08-16 02:01

      "...will be able to answer me without any sarcastic or condescending undertones..." You realise this is News24? People on this site love condescending undertones.

      twellington3 - 2012-08-16 09:24

      @Aphiwe, what you are asking is actually relevant! They pay the workers R1500-3000/month, while they make billions of US$ a month. Negotiations have failed in the past because these companies know nothing will be done to them by the government, so they abuse the workers and extort them!! These companies do not even develop the local communities around!! The executives are given R5million benefits every year, yet they don't want to pay workers just R12500. I know dumb people will quickly say if they don't like the money they should quit, well thus a stupid dull argument& mostly who say that are a crew of racist morons who do not use their brains but buttocks for thinking!

  • wesleywt - 2012-08-16 06:14

    Why are they not fired yet. The strike is illegal and they are violent. Its time employers stop being such push overs.

      twellington3 - 2012-08-16 09:17

      What they are paid is illegal! You can't pay a person R1500-3000/month, when you make more than a million out of him

      rick.kabose - 2012-08-16 10:49

      Thabo-you clearly have not one iota of a clue how much it costs to run a business and i hope you never try,because you will eventually get locked up for not being able to pay your bills. Miners are generally unskilled workers,simple folk who weren't smart enough to get a proper job. I work as an accountant in my family business,i don't get 12.5k You want to justify paying the empty heads that. Pity there aren't pills to cure stupidity

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-08-16 10:36

    R12 500 - why on earth did I go to university? Should have just become a drill operator!!!! I can honestly say I earn just a tiny bit more than this! and I have a BSc IT!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-08-16 10:47

    Don't strike too long or you might end up with zero.

  • Michael - 2012-08-16 11:06

    Look at that nice photograph, it's so important for everyone to give freedom to their innermost emotions. Now, in the spirit of democracy, a turn for the law abiding citizen too - In response to your deep and clear respect for culture and battles past, we will relive the heroism of The Battle Of Blood River.... Miners with assegaais and other sharp impliments over here.....and on this side, reasonable South Africans with fully automatic weapons and a massacre load of ammunition - Ready, steady, Go!

  • blackpower.africaneuropean - 2012-08-16 12:07


  • blackpower.africaneuropean - 2012-08-16 12:15

    Is better doing business with the chinesse rather than the Americans nd Europeans because all they bring to Africa is misery nd debts.Africa should kick out all the private companies nd start doing business like the Late Colonel Khaddafi did with European nd Americans..then Africa wont have problems.

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