Miners begged for their lives - survivor

2012-09-05 11:05

Johannesburg - Striking Lonmin workers were "shot for fun while down on their knees with their hands up in the air and begging for their lives", said a mineworker who was released from police custody this week, The Star reported on Wednesday.

Mineworker Lungisile Lutshetu reportedly told the newspaper that he had seen at least 15 people being shot dead or left injured, "only for some of the injured to be shot again in the head later and finished".

"When everyone left the mountain towards the shacks where they live, I also joined those who went down the mountain at the back towards Marikana West, where we live," he was quoted as saying.

Shot at close range

"We did not walk far and saw people running back towards us because police had blocked their way, and suddenly shooting started on the other side of the koppie.

"We ran back to the koppie and there I found a hiding place between two large rocks, but then police were already all over the place. Those in front of me were shot at close range and fell over me, and that's how my life was spared," said Lutshetu.

He said he saw a Sotho man kneeling next to a big stone with his hands up.

"He begged for his life and apologised profusely for something he didn't know about, but heartless officers riddled him with automatic rifles, which pierced through his body.

"I remained still, with the dead and injured piling over and against me. Later they realised I was still alive and they pulled me out, ordered me to the ground and with others, we were asked to slither on our stomach towards a police Nyala," he said.

"They screamed at a man who had been shot in the keep limping even after a bone fragment protruded through his leg. We spent about three hours lying on our stomachs. The unlucky ones who dared raise their heads were killed."

Lutshetu said the police "boasted about how many people they have shot and how they still wanted to kill more".

Soaked in blood

"They were proud of what they were doing... My clothes were soaked in blood and they asked why I wasn't dead, and all I could say was 'sorry', and I think my life was spared after paramedics arrived and asked them not to shoot the injured," he said.

Workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine have been on strike for the last three weeks, demanding a salary of R12 500 a month.

On August 16, police fired on a group of protesting workers at the mine, killing 34 and wounding 78. Another 10 people had died earlier in the week, including two policemen and two security guards.

President Jacob Zuma has appointed a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the mine violence in which 44 people died.

  • johana.salivan - 2012-09-05 11:12

    This criminal can also tell us how they hacked two policeman or how they burned three security officers.

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-05 11:23

      Lungisile Lutshetu - You are watching too many war movies and you are deluded... The only thing you want is compensation and that is why you are making up these lies!

      themba.mkhize.5494 - 2012-09-05 11:31

      Julius the liberator is coming to help solve all this madness

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-05 11:46

      Amazing that we never saw it on any of the videos and that the press did not report on it - his imagination went wild while in custody.

      heini.botes - 2012-09-05 11:49

      @themba...whahahahaha, almost soiled my pants laughing at this, Juliaaas cant even liberate himself from SARS. #daftidiot

      mbonyathi - 2012-09-05 11:58

      where are the paramedics to confirm this?

      shelley.pembroke.3 - 2012-09-05 12:00

      Why news 24 would even post this article is beyond me! Do you REALLY think a miner would have said this: "He begged for his life and apologised profusely for something he didn't know about, but heartless officers riddled him with automatic rifles, which pierced through his body." It sounds like a novel! Most sensationalist piece of rubbish I have ever read.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-09-05 12:25

      There's so much BS flying around now, what must we believe? Who's version of the events must we accept? I'll stick with the videos for now. - 2012-09-05 13:07

      Meme man, you are WRONG. The lead was traveling at 2450 ft per second. 1200fps is the velocity of a handgun...

      chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-05 13:09

      HAHAHAHAHA! That is one beautifully, eloquent miner. Let me guess, he is actually a published poet working on the mines for research into the plight of the modern, working class man.

      ben.nevis.906 - 2012-09-05 13:22

      And I wonder if the miners listened to the plea's for mercy from these policemen\security officers that they hacked to death ...?

      junebugg.kinte - 2012-09-05 13:51

      Everyone who is saying he is lying were you there???? Did you see what happened or you basing your views on 3 cameras that recorded one scene?? It is beyond idiotic for anyone who was not there and did not see what happened to say people who were there are lying without providing any proof..Why should we believe your opinion??

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-05 14:15

      @ junebugg.kinte - Don't come here with your "where you there?" childish attetude please! How old are you? 7 years old or what? If you believe the sh$t that came out of that guys mouth then I fear you are very simple minded! The only one trolling here is you! Get a life!

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-05 14:27

      Are these the same 'innocent victims' who are threatening to kill Lonmin's management..?

      nicolaas.baker - 2012-09-07 19:29

      @Johana, I think this bastard is lying to save his ass! They just looking for money! This is so common fromm these rubbishes, they lie because they know they were caught out! I bet tomorrow he will say it was the white policeman that shot the injured. He claims they were shot int he head but did the autopsy not showed that they were shot in the back?

  • ndumiso.mncwango - 2012-09-05 11:16

    That's a lie, we saw the video footage

      nmateke - 2012-09-05 11:28

      I guess you saw what was given to you.... that does not make it end of the story

      wackidmaledu - 2012-09-05 11:29

      what gave you the impression that we care?

      tshepoya.bamagoro - 2012-09-05 12:21

      Well ndumiso you only saw wat the cameraman did see, not what the miner saw and ndumiso when you look at the video, you can only count 15 bodies. Can you pin point the other 19 bodies? Exactly my point

      Tony Lapson - 2012-09-05 12:51

      The miners see an opportunity to dramatize events for personal gain.

      zukile.marcus - 2012-09-05 13:03

      Ndumiso, how can you being so dumb and yet find yourself inhere. You disappointing your kid...oh no wait! like father like son/daughter

      Jason - 2012-09-05 17:09

      Whatever they hacked to death 2 police officers. Shoot the lot of them. Animals!

  • matthys.debeer.5 - 2012-09-05 11:17


  • blip.noodlum - 2012-09-05 11:20

    Marinovich was right.

      ChronicDJ - 2012-09-05 11:25

      Absolutely. That how journalism is done.

      mfrater - 2012-09-05 11:29

      Either that, or this guy has been told to go along with that story - he has been released after Marinovich deduced his assumptions, *shrug* guess we will have to wait and see....

  • maree.cassie - 2012-09-05 11:21

    This is bull!!! Everybody saw the footage! I can't believe this. Stop trying to defend what you did! You started all this with barbaric behavior!

      mfrater - 2012-09-05 11:30

      No as far fetched as you may think, if you watched Carte Blanche on Sunday you would see that a journalist went to the site on the other side of the koppie (not seen on the footage) and found loads of evidence markings on the rocks as well as a few bullet holes in the rocks, pools of blood etc.

      mfrater - 2012-09-05 11:34

      Also, watch the footage carefully, you will only be able to count 12 bodies. No more. Where did the other 19 die and how?

      mfrater - 2012-09-05 11:37

      The 12 killed as seen in the footage deserved it, they were storming the police with weapons - fair dues. But the question remains regarding the others and the accounts of this witness along with separate accounts from an independent journo suggest they were killed at point-blank range while on the ground and/or cowering behind rocks. I'm not saying they too were not assaulting the police or trying to, just stating what we "know" at present.

      rachael.vs.1 - 2012-09-05 12:07

      @MWF - I've been wondering if the miners, when they were 'storming the police' as you say, not actually running away from attacks from behind, with nyalas driving to them. I mean, where they really attacking, or trying to escape something behind them? Thereby looking like they were going in for attack. There was very little we saw on the footage, and very much we did not.

      mfrater - 2012-09-05 13:34

      @rachael, no in the footage you can clearly see one of the miners firing his gun twice in the direction of the police. Also according to the journos who were on the scene the nyalas were all on the main koppie (behind the police who were facing the miners). So that theory is not a valid one.

  • charmaine.hoffmann.1 - 2012-09-05 11:21

    This is just crap! I am sure his lawyer told him what to say and just wait the rest will just follow with more funny stories....

  • heini.botes - 2012-09-05 11:22

    Ag please, go have your pity somewhere else idiot!! You know, it's always the case with these strikers, you see it with protests where police had to use rubber bullets because they turned violent or they damaged property, then you always have this 'innocent' bystander who was just walking pass and didn't look for trouble but was shot!!! Shame! You and your barbaric friends looked for trouble, you came armed and even killed 10 people, you got what you were looking for! Go Police!! I see they march today to threaten the others that want to work, what flabbergasts me is that you always hear of their right to strike...what about my right to work???!!! Now piss off

  • saffaseun.inoz - 2012-09-05 11:23

    Oh my word!! How are these lies even entertained?? Probe his bank account and lets see how much Malema has paid him to say that. How one can make that up and live with yourself day after day I have no idea. Surely, surely he cannot be that heartless and devoid of emotion can he?

  • charles.gregory.7906 - 2012-09-05 11:23

    He is lying

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-09-05 11:28

    'the unlucky ones who dared raised their heads were killed'...bulls**t,this guy should be arrested for lying...where were the journalists when this dare he lie to the nation

  • nishan.sitlu - 2012-09-05 11:29

    "only for some of the injured to be shot again in the head later and finished" - I find all of this guys stories extremely hard to believe....

  • gerhard.stander.5 - 2012-09-05 11:32

    Shame on you News24. If you don’t have any news to write about, please don’t try to create sensation and distribute lies. Clearly there is no honour in journalism any more.

  • bollie.bol.71 - 2012-09-05 11:32

    who told him to say that? Juliaas

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2012-09-05 11:36

    Hmmm...I find his version of events rather hard to believe, especially given the footage that has been aired repeatedly.

  • francois.v.eeden.3 - 2012-09-05 11:38

    didn't look like it in the video...

  • gvangreunen - 2012-09-05 11:38

    Hells Bells Lungisile "Innocent" Lutshetu, someone had better tell you that we've already seen it all on television ... you guys hardly seem to be running away raising your arms in submission!

  • christina.setloboko - 2012-09-05 11:38

    this guy is such a liar, begging and on knees for their lives, that's not what we saw, you lot came toward the police with all your weapons,you were all looking for a fight, you are a liar,liar, liar.

      george.casper.315 - 2012-09-05 11:46

      The shooting lasted seconds for gods sake. You did'nt have time to beg for your life you low life. I'm still waiting to hear about the police, security gaurds and the other miners that were killed by you, where is their 'compensation' where is their headline news. Please, you're a bunch of thugs.

      zukile.marcus - 2012-09-05 13:09

      You so ignorant christina, its not even funny. In the media you dont believe everything they are telling you. e.g you heard that there was a witchdoctor perfoming rituals to the miners and the footage was taken by a helicopter; who saw the footage why isnt published as the clip of the shooting. The footage you saw and the way it is; does it provide the enough evidence to you to get in such naive conclusion, education indeed doesnt provide enough to determine wisdom

  • Billy - 2012-09-05 11:40

    LOL! liar liar pants on fire. isnt it great that its all captured on video. what is he trying to accomplish with these lies? or a better question yet, who is paying him to spew this nonsense.

      nicolaas.baker - 2012-09-07 19:38

      @Billy, maybe we can get some more policeman to finish the job see that he has escaped to come and spread lies?

  • hlgiorgino - 2012-09-05 11:44

    I am sure they were begging for their lives but just a few min before that they were baying for the lives of the policemen. Go figure it is a mad old world we live in.

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-09-05 11:44

    I can't beleive news24 even prints such tales. what a load of rubish.

  • Ally Rhandzeka - 2012-09-05 11:49

    hw cn news24 prnt ths lies when everybody has seen th video..hw much did malema pay ths man..

  • gavin.badenhorst.9 - 2012-09-05 11:50

    In the first place I think this march was illegal.In the second place the miners shot at the police and they(the police)retaliated and the third place why do people also make it a racial issue.I wish they will put this to rest.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-05 11:53

    I suppose the truth will be revealed in the detail,..... what is absolutely clear is a lot more happened at the LONMIN Massacre before and after the shooting captured on Camera.

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-05 11:54

    Funny. Saw the footage over and over from 3 different viewpoints(Networks)...never saw anybody begging. Though I DID see a miner shooting at police and a horde storming with weapons.

  • george.pito - 2012-09-05 11:56

    Same stories as in Sharpville

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-05 12:06

    And now the pink liberal humanists believe this trash, of course!

  • rudi.scott.92 - 2012-09-05 12:06

    I do not feel sorry for him or the others... Its ok for them to butcher and burn people and now they want sympathy, not from me!

  • Sedeshan Naidoo - 2012-09-05 12:07

    is this guy aware that the world has seen the video footage? i'm sure police shooting miners who were begging for their lives would not of escaped us.

  • Pixi3kid - 2012-09-05 12:11

    If you watch the Vid you can see them charging and you can see them firing first! i think they are just spinning stories now... stories probably put in their heads by Malema... this whole thing is just awefull. no one should have died... BUT GO ON... STRIKE... DEMAND... KILL... just want more and more and more! but as soon as someone gets hurt it is NEVER YOUR FAULT!

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-05 12:11

    and I am sure the cops that were hacked to bits and security guards that were killed also must have begged ------ Yeah and so - Whats your point dude?

  • jaun.lombard.9 - 2012-09-05 12:11

    Where was this, because the videos I saw all the police stood in a row! not running into the crowd and shooting people!!! He is seeking attention. He was probably one of the men that ran towards the cops with a panga and spear!!

  • rachael.vs.1 - 2012-09-05 12:14

    I wish some of the people commenting here would take this seriously. These are working class people who witnessed the brutal death of their colleagues and have been hard hit by being jailed, for what real crime? Yes it is an illegal strike. What have the mine managers done to appease them? Nothing. They just let them carry on until they obviously become angry at not being heard. The very people who contribute to the profitability of these mines, and the big fat bonuses the directors get! If you look at the cunmulative losses made from this strike action, to what the pay increase the miners are demanidng, I'm pretty certain the mine has lost much more in profit, than what they would have had to pay the miners had they met demands, at least to some extent.

      matthys.debeer.5 - 2012-09-05 12:34

      Ag please, wake up! They are criminals. Will you say the same if a man with a panga charges towards you??

      matthys.debeer.5 - 2012-09-05 12:34

      Ag please, wake up! They are criminals. Will you say the same if a man with a panga charges towards you??

      priscilla.gerber.5 - 2012-09-05 12:44

      Though I don't agree with the way proceedings were handled by police, if Lonmin were to just throw up their hands and answer their demands of R12500 how many more VIOLENT, illegal strikes will we have in this country. I am not saying their wages are fair, all I'm saying is that if these demands are met, we are going to have a LOT more unions striking, violently to have their demands met. Everyone talks about what Lonmin has lost by not just paying up, but what about these workers that have been striking for 3 weeks without pay! The unions are abusing these people for their own political agendas! It's disgusting!

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-05 13:33

      Working premitive class i guess!

  • Alfjoe - 2012-09-05 12:15

    Confirmed reports said the shooting only lasted about 3 minutes, where is ths guy getting hrs? He must have been dreaming.

  • procold2 - 2012-09-05 12:17

    thema wish juju was in the front line at marikana

  • percy.vanzyl.1 - 2012-09-05 12:22

    Joke of the day.

  • Jacques - 2012-09-05 12:22

    Now, what I would like to know is: 1) how jacked up on Muti and Lord-knows-what he was/is, and 2) where does the rabbit feature in all of this?

  • wiekus.pretorius - 2012-09-05 12:25

    how about the police that were hacked to death? non is said about that , and the best part is they were shot by there ouwn people , luckily not white officers otherwise it would have been a racial matter

  • keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-05 12:29

    This lungisile chap has graduated from Julius malema's university with a PhD in lies, after studied for a period of a week to this unregistered institution which is well known of have damaged and affected the brains of it's former students to function properly, e.g Ronald lamola,Floyd shivambu,Madeleine moonsamy,FYL,ANCYL,COSATU,NUM, and Julius malema himself.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-05 12:29

    You did not see anything, you still don't, you believe you did... like many many others... you might only think you did.... the reality is you saw what government wanted you to see....... or maybe you see, what you want to see.... the death and killing of black South Africans.... not South African criminals, drug dealers, rapists, wife beaters, child murderes but hard working miners who were begging for a living wage, who were sidelined.... who had to go on strike to be heard who were peacefully striking for two weeks prior before the start of the LONMIN Massacre started. And it started long before the day of the mass murder it started with the first body count. While our ANC/Alliance Government officials run off to London to address the concerns of the Mining-Magnates workers still strike, are jailed are charged with murder are wounded are borrowing money to survive. Now it is claimed the strike is being going on for three weeks... AMCU-suddenly recognized by LONMIN yet the strike is in it's sixth week.... why did LONMIN Fail to recognize AMCU from the start, it would have prevented all the killings. A lot more happened at LONMIN before and after the day of the LONMIN Mass Murder which can only be regarded as a paragraph to what is THE LONMIN MASSACRE. One thing is clear that it would be best for all South African that we do not accept that the mining industry can continue to do business, LONMIN style. Which they are still trying to do, it is time to change.

  • GregGow1234 - 2012-09-05 12:29

    Absolute rubbish I saw the international media YouTube video and the police were defending themselves from a mob that had been stoked up by their medicine man and were in a battle frenzy. They defended themselves from a first attack from the miners.

  • lebeko.lephole - 2012-09-05 12:37

    Why is it that the media never asks the striking miners about the 10 innocent lives that were lost prior to the 34miner being killed; the media is more concerned about the 34 lives tragically lost on the 'hill-of-the-rabbit' but are less concerned to get the miners to talk about the 10 lives lost earlier!

  • johny.dissociate.12 - 2012-09-05 12:46

    Such BS! Every miner will now make up some sob story about how the brutal police went on a killing spree. I still believe the police action on this matter was justified as they were protecting themselves from thousands of panga wielding maniacs. Sometimes justice is not pretty, but I think further strikes in South Africa might be alot more peaceful thanks to those policemen. Striking workers will think twice before becoming this violent again.

  • paul.malherbe.7 - 2012-09-05 12:59

    listen it's a distinct possibility that all these mine workers were suffering from severe bipolar mood diorder, if u look @ the video, the one moment they were in offensive mode and two seconds later they turned defensive, quietly defensive.

  • gabrielgman.geral - 2012-09-05 13:06

    This guy should become a writer! Wow, that was such a well thought out piece of fiction. I mean really? Do you honoustly think that he actually told the story like that? He obviously hasn't seen any of the actual footage taken on the day. I for one saw no hands in the air begging for mercy and saying sorry! What a load of dribble!

  • chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-05 13:09

    HAHAHAHAHA! That is one beautifully, eloquent miner. Let me guess, he is actually a published poet working on the mines for research into the plight of the modern, working class man.

  • adrian.v.d.merwe - 2012-09-05 13:11

    This is a load of BS! There were plenty camera crews filming and reporters everywhere, why is there nothing on this accept one man's account? Makes no sense for this to be true. A load of BS made up story!

      nadineelvina.francis - 2012-09-05 13:31

      Now watch the rest of the criminals jump on the bandwagon with this story. Soon there are going to be 200 different versions of the police brutality that happened that day.

  • helen.derobillard - 2012-09-05 13:19

    One thing I have learned a true african does not know how to tell the truth, they breath lies the whole blady lot

      hsebolelo - 2012-09-05 21:31

      U r African wen it suits U\r\n..N now U r what!\r\n European. NXA\r\n Rainbow nation ya mogwete

  • clint.rusford.3 - 2012-09-05 13:30

    i dnt knw wat 2 say n e mor.. This load of crap shud neva have been published in da 1st place. I saw da police retracting on da video footage.. We nt living in somalia. Our police hav set standards and morales wich they act acording to! I knw it doesnt always hapen as such bt pls nw??

  • alice.wondergem - 2012-09-05 13:34

    Yeah right! that's your story and you are going to stick to it.

  • collen.vinjwa - 2012-09-05 13:35

    I'm not a fan of the police, but I know this is a lie, the guy is good at lying ey! Nd I bet he was \sorry\ he didn't kill anyone with his machete/spear. I don't buy this. NXA!