Police reinforcements sent to volatile mine

2012-08-13 22:25

Cape Town - Police reinforcements were on Monday sent to a volatile North West mine where two officers and seven workers were killed after an initial protest spiralled into violence involving rival unions.

A police spokesperson in Marikana, where platinum producer Lonmin's mine is situated, said that additional members from the Pretoria crime prevention unit and others from Gauteng have been deployed to bolster numbers on the ground.

The spokesperson said that the police were still on scene, and that the situation was "under control" at present.

But, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), reportedly one of the unions involved in the clashes (along with Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union), has called for police to do more to quell the unrest, or even have the army called in.

"[We are] alarmed at that the escalating violence has been allowed to continue unabated by the law enforcement agencies in that area in North West Province," said NUM general secretary Frans Baleni.

"We call for the deployment of a special task force or the SANDF to deal decisively with the criminal elements in Rustenburg and its surrounding mine."

Blame game

According to reports NUM and AMCU were fighting for control of local mines, but Baleni dismissed statements saying that it was rivalry attacks, and said the NUM was a victim of AMCU, denying involvement in the killings, Sapa reported.

"We don't know who these people are," he said.

The AMCU, however, claims that NUM is responsible for the violence, saying it was a trend of the union that when it lost membership, it brought violence and threw people into disarray.

"It's totally incorrect that they [NUM] have been victims. They are the perpetrators of this violence," said AMCU vice president Jeff Mthahmeme.

"Four of our members on Saturday were shot at, and two of them have since died."

In February, the two unions also clashed over membership at Impala Platinum's mines in Rustenburg, after a stoppage that also started with an illegal strike by rock drillers.

Illegal protest

The violence at the Marikana mine began on Friday following an illegal work stoppage and protest march by about 3 000 Lonmin rock drill operators.

Since then, nine people have been killed.

On Saturday, two security guards were killed when the car they were travelling in was set alight.

Another man died in hospital on Sunday after being hacked with a panga as he left the mine after the evening shift.

Earlier on Monday, the body of a man was found on the mine premises. He had been shot dead, and police believe the murder was linked to the violence.

Police said that three other protesters were shot dead, while two police officers were hacked to death, and another officer was critically injured.

"Our police officers were responding to a protest at the mine. They came under attack from the workers and two of them were hacked to death," said police spokesperson Lindela Mashego.

Scores of other people have been injured in the violent unrest in the last four days.

Police also reported that eight vehicles were torched on the mine property on Sunday.

  • john.barbarian.9 - 2012-08-13 22:36

    I see a remix from 1976 Sam Nzima to picture this also....

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-08-14 08:53

      why havnt the union bosses been arrested, they are responsible for inciting the savage workers to kill

  • christoffel.nel - 2012-08-13 22:44

    Savage behaviour!

  • lucky.luck.98 - 2012-08-13 22:44

    Minister plz help the water is needed there,quick respond bcz is gauteng.

  • james.shogole - 2012-08-13 22:49


  • kikimotsapi - 2012-08-13 22:49

    greedy n dodgy unions....

  • ntsunyane.frederick - 2012-08-13 22:51

    When will blacks stop killing blacks for nothing.Unions leaders are save while innocent people are being killed.

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-08-14 00:28

      It`s all about the money for those criminals (unions)

      koos.vandermerwe.338 - 2012-08-14 03:34

      Only when there is one tribe left.

      leaproach.thekeeper - 2012-08-14 07:23

      It's in your nature. You're born with it. Black on black racism aka tribalism…and to top it all, you're proud of it.

  • andrew.worrall.5 - 2012-08-13 22:55

    We are the scatterlings of Africa...

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-08-14 00:49

      You are right andrew. As J Cleeg said.

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-08-14 06:37


  • kikimotsapi - 2012-08-13 22:56

    Frans Baleni and NUM are slowly loosing the mass to other unions....another setback for the ANC....becoming useless every passing day

  • Erna - 2012-08-13 23:45

    Please remind me why we have unions again - isn't it to protect the worker from unscrupulous bosses? Seems they have forgotten their basic function along the way.

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-08-14 00:11

    I'm sorry,, I fail to understand???? Why these low life murdering bastards are walking around killing left right and center. Send the SAPS in with live rounds and shoot the dogs on the spot. Who gives these fu@#ers the right to protest. On what??? They are ruthless bastards that's all about greed. F@ck them.

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-14 00:12

    And we're supposed to respect our fellow 'citizens'!!!! Sorry, no can do. This type of barbaric behaviour is not only uncouth and savage but unbelievably primitive as well. Thanks, but I'll stick to my own thanks.

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-08-14 00:26

      Agreed Irene. Lock your self away. That is the SA way. Its sad, but true

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-08-14 06:55

      @jasonpaul, what do u agree with, the 'citizens' comment? Or the savage part. @Irene, your first sentence defined who you really are, a barbaric hypocrite, just like your ancestors. I guess by your own you mean, Boeremag? They are also uncivilised, and barbaric.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-14 09:35

      Ratsaka ~ Let's compare .... how many Boeremags were involved? How many of your bruddahs are involved? Believe me demographics have zip, nada, nothing to do with it. Who are the barbarians that rape children? Who are the barbarians that rape 90-year old women? Who are the barbarians that kill people for a cell phone? Thanks, but I'll stick to my own people, I don't trust yours.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-08-14 03:25

    Calling in the army ? When the Western Cape Govt asked for that to help with gang violence , the Alliance went ballistic !! Now when their people are involved in "murder" its ok !! Come on get real.

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-08-14 04:51

    We live in a barbaric country where life is cheap. My take on this is that the unions each trying to get the most members. This will mean more membership fees and increased leverage over mine owners. Bottomline, it's all about money.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-08-14 07:10

    Union is big business, just take a look at how the union bosses live and the expensive cars they drive. What do the actually do for their members except collect money off them every month. They call for strikes and the money the members lose through these strikes amounts to nothing more what they would have got in the first place. Its just a money making racket and Unions are now fighting for the top dog place.

  • andries.troskie - 2012-08-14 07:39

    When someone gets hurt or killed due to an accident on the mines during operation (after all safety precautions has been taken) then the unions want to close the mine down. BUT KILLING EACH OTHER IS OK ?? SHUT THE UNIONS DOWN !!!!

  • Siphiwe Kuhlase - 2012-08-14 07:53

    Can anybody tell me where is vavi and his crew what are they doing or they just sitting in the luxury offices watching poor people dying in the name of uniounism what is the anc saying about this massaccer pls hepl we dpnt want to hear that more people has been killed just because of membership stop now

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-08-14 08:08

    @ Ratsack. You are just another wannabe revolutionary. Put your stupid comments up your bum.

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