Mine violence: Animal skull found on top of body

2012-08-14 19:53

Johannesburg - A tenth body has been discovered at Lonmin's troubled Marikana mine in the North West, police said on Tuesday.

"We were notified of a body found in the bushes. The total figure now stands at 10. We don't know who the man was and how he died," said Captain Dennis Adriao.

"First indications were that this could be linked to the violence. Police enforcement will stay on as long as it is needed."

A Sapa reporter who was on the scene said the body was lying face upwards 100m away from a hilltop where about 500 men had gathered, armed with knobkerries and iron rods.

A skull, which appeared to be that of an animal, had been placed on the man's chest. Police had since removed the body from the scene.

Local residents had earlier said an inyanga (herbalist) or sangoma (traditional healer) would perform a ritual on the mountain top and sprinkle the men with muti (traditional medicine) to "make them brave".

Nine other people - two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and two other men - have been killed in violent protests at the mine since Friday.

Striking miners vowed earlier on Tuesday to stay at the top of a hill in Wonderkop, near Lonmin's Marikana mine, until their pay was raised to R12 500 a month.

They claimed they were being paid R4 000 per month, and those living outside the hostel R5 000.

"We want money. We have kids to take care of," said one worker, Alfred Makhaya, from the Eastern Cape.

He had been working for Lonmin for over eight years and said he was being paid R4 000 a month. He was forced to leave the hostel to rent a room so he could have the extra R1 000.

"This money is too little, I am working hard and I'm being paid so little."

He said if he was not going to be paid R12 500 per month, his children would "end up being thieves", because he would be unable to pay for their education.

Another worker, Lichaba Pafkalasi from Lesotho, said the R12 500 would enable him to support his family. He claimed the mine's staff shot at him at the weekend, killing two of his group.

They then decided to move to the mountain to discuss their next move. They claimed the mines sent the police to shoot them.

Earlier in the day, the company said the violence since Friday was of a "vicious" nature.

"I do not know any company that has the competency to deal with such vicious acts," company spokesperson Barnard Mokwena told reporters in Rustenburg.

"We are dealing with people who crossed security lines repeatedly."

Mokwena was responding to criticism that the company had failed to protect its workers.

He said the deaths of two security guards, who burnt to death in a company vehicle on Saturday, showed "the kind of people we are dealing with".

  • christopher.laurenz.5 - 2012-08-14 20:04

    Sad Sad "humans" operate....Sad day for South Africa...

      christopher.laurenz.5 - 2012-08-14 20:08

      It is someones Father, Son that has perished for NOTHING!!! Well done Unions Well done the Government...just well done all round...You have completely destroyed the spirit of South Africa. It's weird but I wish Nelson Mandela had died a few years back, because waht he must see now must destroy him...Sorry Mandela for the undoing of this once beautiful country...

      theO rAcLe - 2012-08-14 20:55

      What humans...?

      msendi - 2012-08-14 20:56

      People must take responsibility and stop blaming government all the time. These are adults who can't use their thinking ability for good use. Government cannot be everywhere, everytime to hear peoples thoughts when they decide to kill other people… It is people who are destroying the spirit of South Africa because they have a government to blame…

  • - 2012-08-14 20:13

    this situation is ugly,the Sangoma is giving them a strongest muthi (NDELESI) and no cellphone,coin or earing is allowed @ the hill, and police officers are nowhere to be seen,

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-14 20:27

      It's a psychological tactic which you seem to be falling for. If it were that simple to make police disappear, there would be no cell phones, coins or earrings left in the country

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-14 22:20

      Maybe the sangoma gave the police a good sprinkle of "invisible powder" (obviously made with the eyeball of your neighbour).

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-08-15 09:43

      Solution : Snipe the sangoma... no muti can stop a headshot...

  • makhosonke.mqikela - 2012-08-14 20:17

    The powers that be should stop misleading people. R12 500 from R4000 is ridiculously too high and they know it.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-14 20:29

      It would be useful to see a breakdown of these numbers - too many contradictory statements circulating to understand what is the real problem here.

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-14 21:26

      Its ridiculous that hard workers must be satisfied with as little as R4000 a month whilst the foreign owners of these LOCAL mines are pocketing millions and live lavish lifestyles overseas, however R12 500 is a bit unrealistic.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-14 22:23

      Its ridiculous that hard workers must be satisfied with as little as R4000 a month whilst the ANC government are pocketing billions and live lavish lifestyles always flying overseas, however R12 500 is a bit unrealistic.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-14 20:19

    [sprinkled] the men with muti (traditional medicine) to "make them brave". Is there any muti to make them wise?

  • Jongi Nondela - 2012-08-14 20:32

    R4000 a month drilling rocks, not good but that's no excuse to kill people.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-14 22:42

      Don't forget, medical aid, provident fund & UIF. These guys say R4000 but that's after deductions & without overtime or any other bonuses. Now we're talking R6000 - R7000/month which suddenly doesn't sound so crap anymore?

  • pierre.walt - 2012-08-14 20:39

    And next? Wasn't it the same racism group showing the whole world under apartheid how wrong it all was? The worst mining killing in history and that under ANC.

  • shebomminele - 2012-08-14 20:39

    this is the results of hiring cheap, illeterate foreigners in the mining industry. the industry is full of foreigners being underpaid whereas our brothers and sisters are roaming the streets jobless.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-14 21:06

      Since the '80's South Africa has had the highest paid, least productive labour force in the world. In our shiny new society, it is just getting worse Please do not blame cheap labour. Blame the really rubbish work ethic. Who in their right minds would pay 3x more to get less and less in return?

      Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-08-14 21:27

      The many foreigners flocking to our shores is testimony to the fact that SA is regarded as one of the best paying countries in the world - often paying high wages to non-performing workers.\r\nCompanies operating in the country do not grow money on trees, as some of us imply.\r\nIf we continue in this vein, we shall soon join the likes of Greece and other colllapsing Euro states.

      cyberdog.breath - 2012-08-15 13:03

      @Malose-Nyatlo: Actually South africa has long passed greece, by about 16 years. Greece still has some ethics, and the will to succeed. They have not resorted ta lot of the people in Greece will gladly accept the current wages these guys earn, and make the best of it one way or another.

  • Trent Hodges - 2012-08-14 20:59

    Shut it down- and let them starve!

  • thobejane.thabo - 2012-08-14 20:59

    is this how we view south africa as a freedom country with such unexeaptable actions that cost indivitual lifes.i wounder why the army is not deployed there!!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-14 21:25

      Apparently banning cell phones coins and earrings will even keep the army away

  • - 2012-08-14 21:03

    These mine workers need to be paid much more than 4 grand a month,its got nothing to do with being educated,people labour all over the world.These miners work hard,in unpleasant conditions.This is what happens when you push people too far.I am all for them getting a raise.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-14 21:27

      Depends on which stories you believe. Some say it is nett others say it is gross. Until we can understand what the *total* package breakdown is, any numbers quoted are emotive, not fact.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-14 21:38

      Graeme, who will pay them more - you?

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-14 21:52

      Johan de Beer would work in those unpleasant conditions for R4000 a months whilst his employers enjoy their lavish lifestyles overseas Graeme.

      phae.rayden - 2012-08-14 22:13

      I agree graham, these guys claiming its so easy should try to feed, cloth, transport and educate a family of four on this amount, even after deductions. They have no idea what they are talking about, and expect a diet of pap and beans sufficient and no reason to want or be more, just ever greatful to have a job that just keeps you alive.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-15 08:42

      William, you are correct. I would be happy to work for R4000 if I was a manual laborer with no qualifications. But I would not breed children for which I could not afford to care. I would not kill people. If I was unhappy, I would simply resign and come to work in your garden, where I would get paid R12,500 for digging holes.

  • dirk.bester - 2012-08-14 21:08

    If they are not willing to work for 4k a month, someone else will. Supply and demand. Easy.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-14 22:59

      Yep, someone else will also promise his new employer the world & that R4000 is more than enough but in 4 months time he will also be on strike for R12500.

      brandon.gillbee - 2012-08-15 04:57

      True story, if you are educated past grade 2, you can read, have a bit of common sense and have some skills and think you are worth more than R4000 a month then resign and find a better job. The guys aren't demanding the money because the work they do is worth it or they deserve it. They're demanding it because they can't keep it in their pants and have too many kids to support. I feel sorry for the kids and the murdered security guards and their families. The striking workers aren't the victims, they are the murderers and the reason their kids are in the situation. Don't blame society when your children become criminals. Take responsibility for your actions.

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-08-14 21:37

    R4000 for manual labour =R181 per day for 22 working days. What is everyone on about? Thats normal in the construction industry for labour. Not everyone can work for government, sitting in an office and getting paid big salaries to eat KFC.

      lotus.river.5 - 2012-08-15 05:28

      I was just thinkjing the same!my sis has a university degree.she works hard for the government nogaal,and only gets paid 9000.I think these people are forgetting that at the end of of the day,they are doing manual work which any willing person can do.domestic workers,construction workers get far less.I think its the unions who inflated their self them,that's a more than 100% hike that they are demanding

  • mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2012-08-14 21:39

    This reminds me early 80 and 90, where Zulus were fighting Xhosas and Shangaan in the fence! Maybe its roots are still there.

  • manie.vanwyk.12 - 2012-08-14 22:00


  • numerofigo - 2012-08-14 22:42

    Lord have mercy :'( ...

  • mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-14 22:51

    This Country is a Sh#t or is going Sh#ter, Weak Laws, Weak President, Weak govenment, Who cares let it go Sh#ter. The news are all over the news on Aljazeera,showing people dead everywhere, What South African people have turned into animals, You have a right to protest but in a good way not killing. The same thing Botha said a long time ago before the end of Apartheid is happening, and he was right.

  • richard.turner.7792052 - 2012-08-15 03:11

    Close the mine down and tell these animals sorry, no job. History is repeating itself, as usual.

  • obakeng.mmathapelo - 2012-08-15 05:57

    What is R4 000 people. Come on now. This people are digging millions down there. I will also stay on that mountain till they listen. Nxa!

      brandon.gillbee - 2012-08-15 07:16

      These mines employ about 20 thousand people each. A million rand divided by 20 thousand is 50 rand each. The mine pulls out billions and not millions like you say, they then pay billions in wages, they don't make abnormal profit, there are no billions of rands sitting spare to cover the cost of triple salaries, and if the mine charges more for platinum the world will stop buying platinum. If you are so clever why don't you pay R12500 a month salaries to people and get them to dig a hole in the ground?

  • sean.efstratiou - 2012-08-15 07:50

    The word "Animals" comes to mind

  • malette.snyman - 2012-08-15 08:18

    Uhh, Alfred Makhaya...the way it works is that you FIRST earn enough money and THEN you start having children, the number of children you have should be in proportion to your income. You don't have F'ING 10 CHILDREN and THEN start KILLING people because you demand more money to feed said chlidren. You should be sterilised!!!!

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-15 08:25

      Beautifully put!

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-08-15 08:27

    Reading these comments a few thoughts came to mind : When I arrived in SA with wife and 3 kids I was paid R1200 a month (gross). Today a hostel dweller says he can't support a family on R4000 and needs R12000. To me this speaks volumes about the inflation in SA and how useless the rand has become. For much of this time the ANC government with ministers for everything have ruled so they must take the blame. Just wondering what the ministers of labour and mines are doing to sort out the problem. Are they at the mine trying to defuse the crisis or they at home in their mansions? Don't bother answering this one.

  • willie.lynch.503 - 2012-08-26 19:07

    Why do they hire blacks to begin with? They must know hiring a black only brings trouble, they are lazy, thieving and murderous sub creatures who dont deserve to breathe our air.

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