Mine shoot-out death toll rises to 25

2012-08-17 07:27

Rustenburg - Twenty-five people were killed in a shoot-out between police and miners at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, Rustenburg, the North West health department said on Friday.

"The death toll is standing on 25," provincial health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said.

That brings the total number of people killed at the mine in the past week to 35, including the ten people who were killed during protests that started on Friday. These included two policemen, two security guards and a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward.

Lekgethwane said that no admissions of injured people had been reported to hospitals in the area.

The police opened fire on mineworkers on Thursday afternoon after the armed group refused to disperse from a hilltop near the mine.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) about recognition agreements at the mine.

No choice but to use force

On Thursday evening, police spokesperson Captain Dennis Adriao said the police had no choice but to use force.

"The South African Police Service was viciously attacked by the group, using a variety of weapons, including firearms," said Adriao.

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

Adriao said this had followed extensive and unsuccessful negotiations by police to disarm and disperse a heavily armed group of illegal gathers at a hilltop near the mine.

"This resulted in several individuals being fatally wounded, and others injured."

Adriao declined to confirm the death toll released by the health department.

The crime scene which covered a vast area was being managed by senior officials from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and supported by an expert team of detectives and forensic experts, he said.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega was due to address media at 11:30 on Friday at Lonmin Training Centre.

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-08-17 07:39


      itumeleng.mogaki - 2012-08-17 08:06


      abo.bakkar.90 - 2012-08-17 11:02

      Tragic, but lets rather focus on banning smoking everywhere in South Africa

  • daniel.motlhatlhedi - 2012-08-17 07:39

    Do have negotiators in our police force, because it seems like we only have shooters.

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-08-17 07:41

      Fire with fire. I'd do the same with 300 panga-weilding tsotsis running at me.

      Ettiene - 2012-08-17 07:49

      And the ungratefull workers fired first! So IMO Kry vir julle

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-17 07:58

      Daniel, I don't know whether you only learnt about the disturbances today for the first time or not? The police have been trying now for several days to talk to and disarm the rioters. the rioters were heavily armed, some even with firearms. It is a tragic occurrence, to say the least, but you cannot blame the police!

      arm.witmens - 2012-08-17 08:03

      you cannot talk to a rabid put it down

      fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-08-17 08:09

      Daniel, who will be stupid enough to negotiate while fired upon. Bet this morning negotiations will be easier to do, without threatening the SAPS.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-08-17 07:39

    Sad story.Very sad indeed. But the police had to protect themselves, period.They were dealing with hooligans and murderers.Did we already forgot that the mob HACKED 2 policeman to death?

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-08-17 07:40

    is marikana lonmin situated in Australia?....our police commisioner has been travelling to the scene since she afraid or what..time to earn to your stripes madam

      Ettiene - 2012-08-17 07:51


      tsomakae.dire - 2012-08-17 07:57


  • rashied.bux - 2012-08-17 07:44

    its time that our police make a stand and gain some respect, well done police

      Ettiene - 2012-08-17 07:50

      Agree 100%!

  • melusi.myaluza - 2012-08-17 07:44

    I just love what these brave policeman did,these miners are heartless,they burnt to death in a car nogal 2 security guards who were defenceless,killed 2 policeman with machetes and pangas,Gen Bheki Cele left a legacy with the police,aiming for the head is much better than filling the prisons with the \suspects who will be released due to a lack of evidence\, am really not bothered by this,well done to the police force.

  • gary.evans.1257 - 2012-08-17 07:46

    If i was a policeman and saw a few hundred panga weilding "turkey brained" idiots running at me.... I WOULD ALSO SHOOT THEM.

  • chris.hadfield2 - 2012-08-17 07:48

    I would like to know where all the Union and Goverment big wigs have been over the last week - this wasn't a situation that flared up overnight... its been going on for days!

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-08-17 07:50

    10 people killed during a protest.....act like animals then expect to be treated like animals. Good job go do the same in gangster infested areas.

  • steveroodt - 2012-08-17 07:50

    Lets go back to the Security Guards that were Hacked up and put in a car and Burned before we criticize the actions of the police.

  • nombengula.mlamli - 2012-08-17 07:53

    Its a Black Thursday. SAPS in dire need of crowd control and public order training and equipment, really. This is babaric, these miners were only shot in retaliation to the death of fellow officers. Its a question of 'which gang rules'? This can never be condoned, the police must account.

      melusi.myaluza - 2012-08-17 07:57

      I don't u are thinking straight,those barbarian miners were charging at the police and to prove they were serious they had demonstrated by killing police officers previously and security guards,am happy the police showed some resolve,revenge or not,the police have my pat on the back

      sprinkaan - 2012-08-17 07:58

      They are trained in public control and have the equipment. In the video you can see the water canon and also see to the left the police firing tear gas canisters at the mob. But when they are a few meters from you with guns and other weapons, what do you suggest they do after they've already killed fellow officers ? Engage them in idle chat ? I'd like to hear what you think they could have done when its already escalated to that point.

      EricksonTL - 2012-08-17 08:00

      Perhaps the people of South Africa need some training in law and order too? Let's be honest about this - if they were peaceful protesters rather than hoodlums with machetes, then the comments would have been more like what happened with Andries Tatane. But they weren't. They were murderers. Sometimes, murderers get shot by cops.

      bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-08-17 08:03

      Agree with you, but the police have been on the killing spree- Tatane died on the hands of the police. I would have expected that the police will keep the strikers at the hill up until they surrender because the won't have food, water and communication means should have been cut.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-17 08:10

      No, it was a platinum Thursday

  • sprinkaan - 2012-08-17 07:55

    These strikers think they can get away with anything and that the police would just stand by and be able to do nothing. Good on them for taking the law back into civilized hands. How can you demand an increase from $500 to $1500 and wield guns and pangas, killing people to make your statement. And to believe this action will be rewarded with your requests. How do this lot's brains function ?

  • tsomakae.dire - 2012-08-17 07:56

    My condolences to the families of the deceased, the police had very little choice, no one can deny that those miners were armed and were ready slaughter the police. Unfortunately we are a very violent country which has lost it's sense of negotiations. Union leaders must be held accountable for this, they misled the workers by promising them heaven and earth now no one wants to take responsibility. What a sad day in south Africa!!!

      gawie.debeer.5 - 2012-08-17 15:52

      The Got promised Heavebn and earth which they received Body to earth and spirit to heavan!

  • modiri.hlongolo - 2012-08-17 07:56

    I would lyk 2 kno whre the leaders of those unions a, safe with their families I guess, the, cause a feud n nt take the brunt! Nw sum ppl a mourning! Those dead miners just followed insructions without thinkn, nw luk what hpnd 2 them, wht a shame! Unions a to \r\nblame 4 this incident!

      don.quioxte.3 - 2012-08-17 08:42

      English please songololo, ENGLISH!! . What is that gibberish?

  • george.lekhafola - 2012-08-17 07:56

    welcome to South africa..a human s life means nothing,an eye for an eye,you kill a policeman and then 20 of you will die.miners are now killed and then called hooligans,thats South africa.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-08-17 08:12

      george, learn to respect law and order, it's that simple, you intimidate and murder claiming a peaceful demonstration yet you are the first to cry when the tables are turned.

  • mpho.galane1 - 2012-08-17 08:03

    U go Saps for a job well done. They killed 10 ppl and no one said anything. IDC stay way from this....

      sandile.nkosi.90 - 2012-08-17 08:35

      You are clearly a stupid man to advocate such action, put yourself in the shoes of the deceased's family members... life is very precious my freind.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-17 08:07

    Mine owners may read the history of the 1922 Strike. Miners work under conditions worse than the Egyptian pyramids. A case for a minimum statutory wage, or forget it.

  • tshivhombelaf - 2012-08-17 08:08

    Although I am not condoning the massacre but blaming police officers in this regard is oversight. Unions and politicians are to blame in this scenario. These traditional weapons are kept as cultural tokens but they kill hundreds annually and as such they must be treated as guns legally. Such kind of lawlessness should be condemned with disrespect it deserves. Democracy goes with responsibility and in this regard the strikers were irresponsible.

      chris.hadfield2 - 2012-08-17 08:12

      Well said tshivhombelaf - this is a tragedy which should have been avoided!

      sandile.nkosi.90 - 2012-08-17 08:41

      Stupid reasoning my brother, how can you say they were irresponsible when they were against being sold out by NUM, Democracy means doing the right thing and the police in this case did not do the right thing.

  • Boikhutso Francina Khutso - 2012-08-17 08:08

    These police there were suppose to use teargas the crown would have dispear unlike killin those miner u cannot fix the situation by killin we expert the police to be bigger on this picture

      modise.kefhitilweleso - 2012-08-17 08:44

      The tear gas was used as well as water canons but the armed

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-08-17 08:09

    Anarchy and mayhem. Where were the proper crowd control weapons, eg LRAD.

  • Badger - 2012-08-17 08:10

    I watched this on E-news. And I'm sorry to say but if you don't listen, you gonna get a cap in your ass. Those people we asked how many times and their thought process was F**k the police and the mines, well look what happened in the end. Also, those police were just as frightened as anyone. Sorry, but I have NO SYMPATHY.

  • duma.nkabinde - 2012-08-17 08:10

    My people killing each other for paycheques.......another sad sad day for the African child who has lost a parent...

  • Panafricanparliamrntraw - 2012-08-17 08:13

    It has become a very disturbing issue in our communities and country that our police have lost its true values and respect. It started with negligent approach in dealing with violence meted on foreign nationals living among us and this is what it has developed to. where authorities will turn blind eyes to crime of this nature. Now it is heating then directly. who is to blame? There can not be regard for human life where police bait crime and help it to thrive so when they are sent out to combat the same people they aline with in crime, what is expected is compromise and when this persist, we see a situation where failure becomes of crime combating until developed to what we have on the ground now. It is really a threat and sorry situation in time to come for control over public uprising situations like is seen today.

  • frank.jnr1 - 2012-08-17 08:15

    Why does the Goverment not deploy the SANDF to this site. This is becoming very hostile and dangerous!

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-08-17 08:20

    What ever happened to the "riot police" Surely if the police were equipped to deal with the situation this could have been avoided.

  • quinten.coetzer.7 - 2012-08-17 08:24

    absolutely no sympathy for this. Give them a case of bells.

  • sandile.nkosi.90 - 2012-08-17 08:25

    The lives of the people were ended. Some of you adults are very stupid to advocate such behaviour. The army should have come in to monitor and disburse the angry mob, the police officials are peace keepers not revenge seekers. It was a clear sign that after only a few lives were lost that the matter needs a millitary tactic, to limit more blood shed.

  • henry.parsons.7 - 2012-08-17 08:37

    Don't blame the police -it is time that the union leaders start accepting responsibility. A knobkierie or panga can kill so the police were entitled to defend themselves.

  • philippe.viaene - 2012-08-17 08:47

    After seeing the visuals on E News 24 this morning, I have no problem with the reactions of the Police. The bigger issue on our hands is that the visuals are being broadcast all over the world on various international news stations.

      michael.maluleke.14 - 2012-08-17 11:16

      It is reality, why worry with the world instead of ophans due to greed mining management who ignores 4000 workers who generate their fatty income and run to 400 police

  • ambrose.hlatshwayo - 2012-08-17 09:07

    I am deeply disturbed by the utterences made by police and some of the commenting individuals, how can you kill the workers who are pursuing economic freedom. They are turning our democratic right into oppression. Surely police are trained to handle dangerous situations and should have atleast seek other solution to the problem as everyone knows that police always provoke striking workers through their intervention then to observe the situation.

  • terence.vanderwesthuizen.56 - 2012-08-17 09:10

    My question is, what is going to happen to all the strikers once the dust has settled. Will the mine consider re-employing them after the barbaric havoc the miners caused? or will the illegal strikers be charged for their criminal activities.........

      michael.maluleke.14 - 2012-08-17 10:41

      Revenge time all mine managent who bribe police and num to ignore the demands for cheap labourers , the mine will hire other people and pay them peanuts. Is is time for benard mokoena to be killed now.

  • lalas.dlamini - 2012-08-17 10:10

    This killing was uncalled for. We send condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones.

  • zenithdolphin - 2012-08-17 10:18

    Why did they not use water cannon and rubber bullets? Or did they? Seems radical the whole thing, and I wonder if most of it is really about tribalism - albeit that it is a wage dispute?

  • lukesureen.evans - 2012-08-17 10:24

    Not saying they deserved it, but the unions where using violence first, and they were charging the police with pangas and what not - this would explain the force the police used to defend themselves. That being said, where were the rubber bullets & tear gas? The police shot live rounds for crying out loud!!!! And also from the footage I saw, they were so untrained it is scary. No one was in formation, there was no one leading them. Frighteningly Poor. - Personally I feel ALL the unions are to blame. Emotionally charging up an ignorant mob for such ridiculous demands when a two year wage agreement was signed last year. IT IS NOT LONMINS FAULT AT ALL. - OH WAIT - ISN'T THIS APARTHEIDS FAULT

  • zenithdolphin - 2012-08-17 10:37

    Th tragedy here is that the miners are mainly rural tribalists with ...they believed that muti applied by their sangoma would protect them from police bullets, hence their folly in engaging with an armed police force...where the police over-zealous...who knows..yet after all reasonable attempts to get them to stand down, what do they do next?

  • motsamai.tladi.5 - 2012-08-17 10:58

    Ok I get it, if there was no shooting by the police, isn’t it that the talks would have been 15 police men were hacked to death by protesting armed mine workers?? And still before the shooting, 12 people were already dead including the cops. How many more were going to die if the mob is left armed, to starve and with no water. Surely if there was no armed protestors not even one person would have been dead I think.

      michael.maluleke.14 - 2012-08-17 11:07

      This is mining management problem they pay bribe to NUM,POLICE instead of paying miners, watch out for revenge time you will see more mine mangers killed now! #warning#

  • michael.maluleke.14 - 2012-08-17 11:01

    I think this mine should be closed now , because its management is cruel especially benard mokoena how can you ignore 4000 people who are the source of you income up to the level of their death. They dont worry about cheap labour they will hire other people 2day. S if those miners revenge by killing mine management we will find solution as soon as possible!

  • Mr.Nyathi - 2012-08-17 11:29

    Cele must be brought back

  • stacs.steel - 2012-08-17 12:40

    funny in the video the police who where retreating where the ones doing the shooting, thats what i call over reacting or excessive force

  • stacs.steel - 2012-08-17 12:40

    funny in the video the police who where retreating where the ones doing the shooting, thats what i call over reacting or excessive force

  • gawie.debeer.5 - 2012-08-17 15:53

    Where is the union leaders that incited this action, the guys that gave up their lives only followed instructions?

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