Fire killer cops, Marikana women urge

2012-08-17 22:02

Rustenburg - The policemen responsible for killing Lonmin miners should be fired, women of their community demanded on Friday.

About 50 of them staged a demonstration near a rocky outcrop at the mine Marikana, North West, to voice their anger.

A total of 34 people were killed and 78 injured in a shoot-out that erupted near the mine on Thursday when police tried to disperse striking miners.

One of the women, Annah Bele, asked why police shot at the miners.

"There have been strikes before but people were never killed. Police themselves have strikes but no one kills them."

A second woman asked: "Where have they learnt these killing techniques?"

Some women demanded that their loved ones be buried by the government and Lonmin.

"We don't have money so government should pay," said Mmatshepiso Mohlomi who was still unsure of the whereabouts of her relative.

Stood by their men

Nomasomi Baliti said the women stood by their men, who were all employees of the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

"The treatment they have given to our men is just not human," said Baliti.

She said she had not heard from her father since Thursday.

"I don't know whether he is dead or alive."

The women carried placards with messages directed to Lonmin and government. One read: "What sort of government kills its people?" Another stated: "Piega [police commissioner Riah Phiyega], you are celebrating your position by the blood of our families".

The women accused the mine of not properly communicating with them about the whereabouts of their men. Men from the surrounding informal settlement gathered at the outskirts to watch the women.

Earlier, scores of family members stood outside the Andrew Staffer Memorial Hospital in Marikana, hoping to hear news of their relatives.

Many said they had heard of a list with the names of those who were killed, injured, or detained.

From pillar to post

The only source of information came from a hospital official who came out and read the names of some of those admitted inside.

Relatives who heard the names of loved ones were allowed into the hospital.

Said Gcobani Tiya, who was searching for a family member: "They have been sending us from pillar to post. The mine is not communicating with us, but with the media."

President Jacob Zuma was expected to arrive at the mine later in the day.

Phiyega told reporters earlier she took responsibility for giving the officers the order to shoot.

"As commissioner, I gave police the responsibility to execute the task they needed to do."

At the briefing, police showed video footage of how two policemen were killed by a group of protesters. The video showed police officials confronting the group, asking for weapons.

The men told police the weapons would be handed over at the hill, and the two police officers followed them there.

At the hilltop, the incident turned violent and the two officers were killed.

Journalists were also shown aerial photographs of naked miners doing a ritual with a sangoma.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-17 22:36

    Do you women just conveniently turn a blind eye to the fact that your husbands killed 10 people or are you just not able to reason? I think you should rather have a word with the naked sangoma.

  • phoofolo.lebohang - 2012-08-17 23:36

    Some people they don't think, they just comment bcoz they want to. Police officers are also the human beings... And they enforce the law of the country. What they were supposed to do while some people armed and shot to them? They derserve to die? there we negotians between the police officers and the strikers.

      cf.coetzee.3 - 2012-08-17 23:44

      I agree when so many people armed storms at you what else should you do!?your own life is in danger!so the police acted cause they felt threatened

      peters.rapula - 2012-08-18 06:25

      yes i agree with u ded they human but they're trained to protect themslf.

      eugene.debeer.5 - 2012-08-18 08:34

      The police acted in self defence and their action is justified.

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-17 23:41

    Give those cops a raise and a medal too. Job well done.

      johan.coetser.5 - 2012-08-18 10:15

      viva SAPA viva

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-08-18 02:06

    people are quick to blame the sangoma for the loss of life. If one reads the label on the bottle of muti it promises to give people courage it does not promise protection from bullets.

  • malcolm.oconnor.58 - 2012-08-18 06:23

    Listened to an interview with one of the miners on Cape Talk yesterday morning.He quite clearly stated that they the miners had been seen by their sangomas & were given some concoction that was to protect them from bullets & quite clearly stated that they were going to war with the police.The police did their jobs brilliantly ,hats off to them .Only in good old sa where the sangoma is all mighty

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-18 09:55

      Wahahahaa! Priceless! They still believe in sangoma witchcraft in this day and age. Hope they got a guarantee from him- hahaha!

  • arthur.mmotong - 2012-08-18 06:46

    Fire killer cops my f***t wht about killer miners. Sorry 4 the los but they(protesting miners) asked for it.

  • johan.coetzer.52 - 2012-08-18 07:22

    Tragic though it was ,the outcome could have been predicted with better intelligence on the ground .Surely this could have been avoided if mine management was seen actively engaging in talks instead of relying on SAPS and security companies to protect their interest . Yes the platinum sector is not doing well but to expect miners to put their lives at stake for a measly R4000 per month and live in squalor is also not right .

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-18 09:51

      Johan, they are not forced to work there. They are free to exercise their right of choice to resign.

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2012-08-18 07:30

    Police men was killed by these miners with pangas and attacked with dangerous weapons.. The Police are also human.. Why can't they protect them self?. These miners looked for trouble..they was warned in advance..

  • hettie.potgieter - 2012-08-18 07:45

    So is it justified for us normal citizens to take lives as this happened earlier the week at Lonmin? What about the 2 innocent cops that was brutally killed? If I were a policemen and shots were fired at me, I would also utilize my pistol and shoot back!

  • nkhensane - 2012-08-18 07:59

    They had to protect themselves those police were they suppose to die for others wrong doing,we need their protection,and sorry for the victims loss money won't bring them back but their children education is covered,rest in peace for our brothers who died in the line of duty

  • dejaay.heineken - 2012-08-18 09:00

    Fire killer cops! I don't belive this woman they are metally normal because they where supposed to went and ask the mine boss to fire their husband before they die! It shows how babaric they are or they think the police are not human?I think its time u go arrange da funeral and stop protesting naked because its waist of till and disrespecting uself cos we don't need or want u see u naked body! Or its how u celebrate woman month I guess! The cops done their work and must got extra increase dis time! U dnt fight for increase but u work for it!

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-08-18 09:02

    Should they not be taking their rage on the Union. Who started this protesting in the first place. The police came there to try and stop your husbands from the very thing the unions were inciting them to do. If you look for violence then you must be satisfied when it is returned the same way. Sorry for the loss ladies, but your husbands were out of control. Dont blame the people who came to help, blame the people who were at the root of this violence. Innocent people who came to help and their families are in the same position as you. They had to stand firm, you men had a chance to run away but they did'nt. Suffer little children because of parents stupidty.

  • Blipsie - 2012-08-18 09:24

    There is a scary, ominous sense of entitlement and "we are untouchable" going around it seems. Add to that the prevalant attitude of we can do whatever we want, and it's never our fault, and you are heading for a nasty mess.

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-08-18 09:48

    Watch the video. These women knows very well that their males/breeders of their offspring stormed the police. Then they got shot. Their decision to attack first - they called the shots. Deal with the consequence.

      steve.dupreez - 2012-08-18 12:28

      I agree and now they will porbably demand compensation from the government.

  • charmaine.hoffmann.1 - 2012-08-18 11:36

    Now they cry after the fact, when they were probably instigating their husbands to take up arms and march for more money....listening to their rantings afterwords...more money more is our right...but please!!! Dont crusify others just for doing their jobs and under threat as well.

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-08-18 11:48

    ''where have they learned this killing techniques''? realy,come on lady what a dumb question...let me put it to you in layman's terms....those things the officers were carrying and pointing at your husbands are called assualt rifles..history has taught most of us that those things are dont smear yourself with muti and charge at officers while armed with a spear and panga trying to immitate shaka zulu because you are going to be shot(dead or injured)..I hope this women go back home and educate their kids,brothers and those who survived about laws,rules and regulations....and most importantly GUNS,especialy assualt rifles

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