Miners gather at Marikana

2012-09-06 12:58

Johannesburg - Protesting miners gathered in a field opposite Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West on Thursday, waiting to discuss with their representatives the implications of refusing to sign a peace accord.

The accord was signed at 01:00 on Thursday between Lonmin management and unions, but not the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), and the mine workers' representatives.

Worker representative Zolisa Bodlwana, who would be part of the group addressing miners at Wonderkop, said workers were concerned about wage increase negotiations.

"A peace accord will not help us workers in any way. We are not party to that," he said.

The number of miners gathered in Wonderkop dwindled as the weather worsened, leaving less than 200 miners huddled under umbrellas to try and keep dry.

Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was expected to speak to the miners at Wonderkop.

He would also welcome the rest of the miners released from prison on Thursday.

Workers at the world's third-largest platinum producer have been on strike for more than three weeks, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.

On August 16, police fired on a group of protesting workers near the mine, killing 34 and wounding 78. Another 10 people were killed earlier that week, including two policemen and two security guards.

On Wednesday, striking marchers carrying knobkerries, sticks, and iron rods, pushed their way through police barricades as they marched more than 5km through Marikana to the Karee mine.

The marchers threatened to kill Lonmin management unless it stopped operations at the K3 shaft, where most of the mine's operations take place.

While they marched, they sang: "We died because of [President Jacob] Zuma. [UDM leader Bantu] Holomisa please come and rescue us."

They also carried placards bearing pictures of their dead colleagues.

  • Themba Patric Sibande - 2012-09-06 13:11

    why is it so difficult for platinum giants to give money to the workers,they work hard and they are being paid less than they are worth.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-06 13:17

      Maybe they won't make a profit anymore and have to close down. R10 000 p/m is better than nothing.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-09-06 13:19

      We are all paid less than we are worth. You are offered a job at a salary. YOU decide if you take it or not. If you take it and you become unhappy with the salary you go look for a job elsewhere. You don't try to extort the people who gave you a job in the first place.

      morris.khunou - 2012-09-06 13:21

      Even if they were to give them that money Patrice> Imagine what precedence will this set to other mines. They will all rise and demand same and using the same killing method. This is a very disy and difficult situation for the people involved. the trend will even go to other industries. It is not simplistic at all.

      katleho.mdlalose - 2012-09-06 13:24

      If Lonmin had to pay all their mineworkers 12500, it wouldnt be sustainable and would bankrupt them in a year, especially with a falling platinum price. But i agree, the mineworkers have been exploited, i hope these events brings about change in the mining industry cos these workers are the backbone of our economy

      nardus.debeer - 2012-09-06 13:34

      I say if you applied for the job at Lonmin you should know what your terms of employment are. If you are not happy with the terms of employment dont apply for the job. It's not to hard to see that if the strick does not end soon all the workers that demand a increase in wages will lose their job, and in effect the R 4500.00 of income a month. they have nobody but themself to blame once this happens. I will much rather work for R 4500 a month than to have no job and no income to support myself and a familly. Lonmin will not go down if they close all the SA operations (they are not the third largest producers for nothing, they know how to do business). So the only option I see for the workers are to return to work (Peacefully), and then negotiate a wage increas that is not as absured as 300%, but more realistic like a 50% to 100% witch I have to say is still crazy to expect from any employer.

      Yolandé Janse van Rensburg - 2012-09-06 13:37

      these RDO actually form part of the richer part of earners measured by official statistics. and their package is only half their true earnings. adding all their allowances it comes close to R10000. without monthly prod bonus! this places them in the top 20% of formal sector earnings according to statistics. They are not underpaid! They do earn proper salaries not even to mention all the extras that Lonmin provides to the community eg schools, boreholes, transport, job creation with projects, talent projects! but they wont mention that because they do not appreciate it!!

      reitz.devilliers - 2012-09-06 13:43

      Mines and their sales of their product fluctuates over time. They might be able to afford it now. But the times when the world is not buying as much platinum, they need to have enough money in the bank to keep the mine open and the production stable. Sure you could argue that the management pull huge salaries but it is justified by the qualifications they have... if you qualify yourself better then you have good leverage to ask for more money. If you rant and rave and threaten to kill people in an unprofessional manner, you would probably either get shot or you would (Or Should, according to law) be thrown in jail. Every person has the right to petition their employer for higher salaries. But certain processes needs to be followed.

      katleho.mdlalose - 2012-09-06 13:51

      @Yolande, i think you know very little of what you are talking about. They do not earn 10 000pm (even after their housing subsidy). Plus, these guys risk their lives everyday, sure they should get compensated for that. Everyone commenting here is sitting in their airconditioned offices on their laptops and ipads, no one here is inhaling fumes everyday, blowing up rocks. As much ppl think tht these mineworkers are just a dime a dozen, if they all decided to stop working indefinetly, it will cripple the economy. YOU, will end up loosing you pension that has been invested in these mining house, or ur savings that the banks have loaned these companies. These mineworkers are a lot more influential than you give them credit for.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-06 14:13

      I am certain that if the mines were to advertise the jobs they would get thousands of people begging for the jobs. But then within 1 month they will be striking too because some people are never satisfied with what they have been begging for.

      david.schemel - 2012-09-06 14:22

      What would happen if the amount of R12500 was agreed upon. Then all the other mine worker are going to go a strike for R12500 too. The smaller mine (not as large as Lomin) will end up closing down. Then what is going to happen, more people satting with no jobs.

      riad.mahomed - 2012-09-06 14:28

      @Katleho Mdlalose: I suppose if I was not educated enough, I to would most probably been a RDO but hey, guess what, I took the initiative to make sure that I am educated to get a decent paying job and not left with that one job option for me to become a RDO and earning R4.5K by endangering my life…………remember that each man is responsible for his own destiny, how you achieve this is left entirely up to oneself………..

      pisciotta - 2012-09-06 14:35

      Themba - you are truly the Poster Child for the SA Educational System.

      katleho.mdlalose - 2012-09-06 14:45

      @Riad, if only life was so simple. You speak of an ideal world, wats happening now is a real world. These ppl rnt in a position to go back and educate themselves. They hav families. And in response to ur philosophical note on destiny, everybody affects everybody else. If ur succesful, it definetly is not a result of ur own efforts alone, ppl had to support u and allow u to be succesful. So y wont these miners b allowed as well. Just hear them out, we dnt have to agree with them.

      riad.mahomed - 2012-09-06 16:17

      @Katleho Mdlalose: I beg to differ with your comment that they are to old to go back and educate themselves……….did you ever hear of the saying that one should seek knowledge from the cradle to their grave…….and maybe that’s where JUJU got it wrong, instead of enticing them and sparing them on to be insistant on demanding for R12K/pm, maybe he should encourage them to better themselves pushing them to be successful by learning and getting an education so they can move on from merely being RDO for the rest of their lives and by them so doing, maybe their families would look up to them since these guy’s would be leading by example…………’s called planting a seed…………change of mindset is what’s required, I’m sure they all have it in them to better themselves, progressively………

  • morris.khunou - 2012-09-06 13:13

    The peace accord can only make sense to them if it can be read and translated to them by Malema, their newly found hero! No other person including their leaders can convince them otherwise.

  • brandon.mercer3 - 2012-09-06 13:14

    You arent going to get that kind of money, time to wake up

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-06 13:25

      Well if they believe a rabbit makes the difference between life and death,then I suppose this has a muti too. Rub this green stuff all over your body and they will shower you in rands!

  • warren.rodel - 2012-09-06 13:14

    Yes and Juju the looser is going to be there, hooray!

      kala.bafazi - 2012-09-06 13:47

      It's cold and raining. Juju ain't going anywhere near Marikana.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-06 13:15

    This can only get worse. Malema is allowed to fill their heads with pie in the sky ideas,there are no repercussions for their murderous behaviour which killed policeman and they show no remorse! Fire the lot. Hire people who want to work and support their families and anyone caught intimidating new workers must face the full might of the law! What is wrong with government,that they choose to cower in a corner and allow blatant anacrchy?

      morris.khunou - 2012-09-06 13:29

      Very true! This is blatant anachy!

  • loo.steyn - 2012-09-06 13:19

    ""On August 16, police fired on a group of protesting workers near the mine, killing 34 and wounding 78. "" when did news 24 decide to leave out thet fact that the miners were attacking them with weapons and fired at the police beforehand . .just wondering

      leigh.mos - 2012-09-06 13:58

      They have left that part out in almost every one of the tens of articles written since then. At most they mention that 10 people died but never that the miners killed them. Funny, they never leave out the bit about the police killing the miners.....

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-06 14:26

      Propaganda from news 24

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-09-06 13:19

    Note must be taken that they demand not a salary increase of R12 500 pm but that must be what they get out after tax and any other deductions. Their for their salaries must be more than R20 000 pr month. This information was given on SAFM news by the Chambers of mines. How many people get salaries like that maybe the news24 should report on it to informed reader about the truth!

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-06 14:24

      Wat qualifications do they have anywy? Am sure they have phd's

  • arno.botha.71 - 2012-09-06 13:23

    "Expelled ANC Youth League president" is starting to sound like some kind of official title, i think it should be replaced with a more up-to-date title such as: "random unemployed citizen"

      Themba Patric Sibande - 2012-09-06 13:31

      why is it so wrong for you to see Malema encouraging people to stand for what they believe is right,who in your opinion was suppose to go there?Steve hofmeyer?

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-06 13:53

      Themba: Hitler believed Jews should die and that was a lot of germans "beliefs"-however it doesnt make it right!!!!!

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-06 14:21

      Themba, julius is forcing them to beliv wat he thinks is right. Ths kid is just taking advantage of the situation.

      arno.botha.71 - 2012-09-06 15:40

      Themba these miners should be seeking advice from people who are interested in resolving the issue peacefully, not from a man who has been expelled from the ruling party for sewing division and inciting racial violence. Do you even know what malema had to say when addressing mourners at the memorial service? he used it as a platform to reiterate his call for mines to be nationalized saying, "We musn't stop until the whites agree to give us some of the money in these mines" his implication that this is somehow a kind of oppression perpetrated white people is the same 'shoot the boer' mentality that we don't need in a country that is striving for equality. As for steve steve hofmeyr (the correct spelling), he doesn't speak on my behalf as an individual, and neither should malema speak on yours.

  • loo.steyn - 2012-09-06 13:32

    This whole protest was instigated by a third force. Interesting fact came to light.. Less than half of the "mineworkers: that got arrested does NOT even work for the Lonmin mine.... Go figure. Julius I suspect, he was all TOO ready to come along and play the hero.

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-06 13:41

    knobkerries??? should it not be knobkieries? knobkerries sounds like food ?

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-09-06 13:46

    Juli -arse definitely won`t venture out in this weather. His Armani suite and Gucci watch will get wet.

  • frankflower - 2012-09-06 13:48

    News24, PLEASE, get it right!!! There is no such thing as a 'knobkerrie'!!! It is a 'knobkierie'!!

  • regard.erasmus.9 - 2012-09-06 13:50

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. This story is getting boring.

  • ben.mostert - 2012-09-06 14:18

    Peace accord? Are they freedom fighters/rebels waging a armed conflict (war)? Why then have the army not responded? This is totally absurd.

      ben.mostert - 2012-09-06 14:22

      They should all be tried for high treason for trying to destabilize the country.

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-06 14:28

      Unfortunately the powers that be dont have the backbone!

      mzukisijola.jose1 - 2012-09-06 15:21

      The army is needed when people think about boeremag

  • riad.mahomed - 2012-09-06 14:28

    I suppose if I was not educated enough, I to would most probably been a RDO but hey, guess what, I took the initiative to make sure that I am educated to get a decent paying job and not left with that one job option for me to become a RDO and earning R4.5K by endangering my life…………remember that each man is responsible for his own destiny, how you achieve this is left entirely up to oneself………..

      mzukisijola.jose1 - 2012-09-06 15:49

      How did you educate your self?

  • pmotsumi3 - 2012-09-06 14:28

    Medupi power station local workers start their own protest

  • Alfjoe - 2012-09-06 14:28

    Plz gve us a break. Stop gving ths malema kid titles. He is julius malema. Nt expelled wat wat.

  • don.frost.581 - 2012-09-06 14:38

    Half the "strikers" arrested aren't even Lonmin employees? I smell a rat!

  • mzukisijola.jose1 - 2012-09-06 15:16

    Lonmin must be the 1st mine to be nationalised after mangaung,forward with the struggle of the poor ,let the rich say what ever they want,ASIJKI

  • mr.minnaar - 2012-09-06 17:36

    if you only you PEOPLE knew how much is the average running costs is for a mine. Impala plat has a daily expendature of about 33 million rand, Kumani iron in the northern cape runs costs of up to 50 mil a day. This money pays for transport for the miners to and from work, daily meals which include breakfast, housing subsidies, medical aid that covers the miner and his/her family, life cover. Some companies even cover the costs of the miner's children's education. What more do you wankers still want!!!!

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