Mthethwa: 35 killed in mine violence

2012-08-17 07:55

Johannesburg - No violence was reported at Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West, overnight after 35 people were shot dead there on Thursday afternoon, police said on Friday.

"Police have been patrolling the area, but the situation remained quiet after the shooting," said Captain Dennis Adriao.

ENews quoted Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa as saying that 35 people had died in the shoot-out.

"Police did everything they could... but people [miners] said they were not leaving and are prepared to fight," he said in an interview with Talk Radio 702.

Provincial health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said no injured people were admitted to hospital although Mthethwa countered this.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega will hold a media conference on Friday at 11:30 at Lonmin Training Centre.

  • Xolile.namane - 2012-08-17 08:05

    Bravo policeman

      Deon - 2012-08-17 08:16

      The protestors wanted war and got it, now get back to work.

      aarchaic - 2012-08-17 08:34

      millionwatts1 & junebug.knite what if the 2 police men that was hacked up into pieces with panga's was your fathers?

      grant.hide - 2012-08-17 08:38

      Rather dead people with macheties than dead policeman who protect us from the maschetee yielding people. If you not happy in your job, find another carreer.

      grant.hide - 2012-08-17 08:40

      Still saddened that in this day and age, people still think they can run around demanding stuff with machetties. They should have known better and spared us this disaster. Condolences to their families, Hope that this opens their eyes.

      takalani.alex - 2012-08-17 08:43


      ackwell - 2012-08-17 08:45

      a taxi can kill more than this !

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-08-17 09:09

      @takalani.alex: And what about the ones they killed. You know, the law abiding citizens who also worked for a living trying to provide for their families. What about them?

  • mariuskowie - 2012-08-17 08:08

    Lonmin massacre!!!

  • fourhundredkg.bobbejaan - 2012-08-17 08:10

    So do we get another public holiday now?

  • frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-08-17 08:11

    So are we to see this as the ANC's Sharpville, cause an international stink about it, build monuments and declare it a public holiday? Could be interesting!

  • leaproach.thekeeper - 2012-08-17 08:13

    ANC, your tri-partite partner is to blame. Burn Vavi's ass for him!

      leaproach.thekeeper - 2012-08-17 08:23

      ……and while you're at it, take the Communists to task as well!

  • sean.efstratiou - 2012-08-17 08:14

    If you watch the Video their anger comes from "Apartheid" ... really -.-

  • butch.poulter - 2012-08-17 08:14

    So what the cops supposed to do to the panga wielding savages. Water canons???????????. Well done.

  • aubrey.kerileng - 2012-08-17 08:15


  • fanie.brink.5 - 2012-08-17 08:15

    Why don't the miners rather go to Zuma and Co. for a 20% cut in the corrupt money which the ANC have pocketed?? They could even go on early pension!!

  • lulama - 2012-08-17 08:15

    God save us all from the greed of mine bosses, govt and anc.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-17 08:44

      "The protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine."

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-17 09:10

      @ Lulama, I think you summed it up quite well, but I would add unions & the ANCYL to your list.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-08-17 09:11

      @lulama: You forgot minibus taxi's and common criminals.

  • aubrey.kerileng - 2012-08-17 08:15


  • lumkon - 2012-08-17 08:16

    Justified or not these images dont paint a very good image for the SAPS, i mean SA law enforcement who deal with panga wielding protesters with R-5 rifle fire, i bet they'll need missiles to deal with heavily armed robbers this cuming festive

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-08-17 08:24

      Don't be an idiot. Do you expect them to enforce the law with pangas? If someone came at you with a panga what would you use to protect yourself?

      irma.white.9 - 2012-08-17 09:04

      It's called "Death By Cop". You attack a cop, they are well within their right to kill you. They were looking for trouble.

  • sibongile.makopi - 2012-08-17 08:21

    Yho yho, 18 years into democracy thirty-five people have been killed by police. Another massacre? Another Langa, Sharpeville, etc? What then is the difference between the SAP of the old and the SAPS of democracy. Weren't we told that police are protectors? What did these people do?

      Richard - 2012-08-17 08:34

      You seem to forget that the protestors murdered two police men and 2 security officers earlier in the week!!! Arrest all the protestors involved and read the whole story berore you comment!!!

      moko.brian - 2012-08-17 08:35

      Well they were attacking the Police officers, one of the protestors allegedly pulled a gun out. I am not saying the police are right but what they did was right for the situation. it was either they shoot or they die, i would have also fired that R-5 if i was a police officer. May they rest in peace, too much violence against so much fire power.

      john.halfpenny.395 - 2012-08-17 08:38

      I quote an Officer's statement during the Justice served at Sharpeville "the native mentality does not allow them to gather for a peaceful demonstration. For them to gather means violence."

      DB_Cooper - 2012-08-17 09:02

      Sibongile, I do not have the exact numbers, but I think 10 of the 35 were killed by the strikers.

      parys.fotograaf - 2012-08-17 09:13

      These people are acting outside of the law and thus were treated as such. Clearly people have forgotten that their actions will also have certain re-actions and even worse that there right to protest is not higher than the rights of other to peace, safety and to life.

  • susan.pretorius.31 - 2012-08-17 08:22

    On the bright side - at least our "president" is busy sorting out Zims problems...

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-17 08:52

      Maputo now.

  • mantothieve.missingman - 2012-08-17 08:24

    Take a punga to a wage negotion true african style , Well done SAPS protect yourselvs otherwise they will kill you TIA !

  • Mark - 2012-08-17 08:24

    Police used tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowd, but had to resort to live ammunition as the rioters became violent. In other news the State President appealed for calm and took time out from his inspection of the armed forces to remind the citizenry that 'forces of darkness' were constantly threatening the peace and security of the Republic. While opposition parties suggested the presence of a 'third force' at work behind the violence, the ruling party scoffed at the idea declaring their belief that certain rogue elements driven by their own agendas were at play, but alone did not constitute an organisation or movement that could or should be considered as unified force. 2012 or 1982..? It's becoming hard to tell the difference these days.

  • richard.g.schafer - 2012-08-17 08:26

    The militant unions should be held accountable, making unachievable promises to desperate mine workers just in order to line their own pockets from the contributions they will collect. This is a disgrace !!!!!!!

  • vicki.tallie - 2012-08-17 08:27

    Its not about an eye for an eye, or revenge. The police put their lives on the line to protect us. In this case I agree totally with the reporter!!!! They feared that they are under attack. If you just kept the whole process clean from the Union's side this would not have happened. STOP ACTING LIKE EMOTIONLESS AND BRAINLESS PEOPLE - NEGOTIATE LIKE HUMAN BEINGS. 2 Cops had to die. Those who serve us and protect your sisters, mothers, brothers and fathers.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-08-17 08:28

    Just shows that the only language understood in Africa is African.

  • mpmbilase - 2012-08-17 08:30

    This is very horrific. The barrel of a machine gun will never bring any solution but misery. SAP workforce deserve in depth training in how to deal with volatile situations other than resorting to the bullet of a machine gun thorough investigation of this saga by very competent officers will be highly appreciated.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-08-17 08:47

      The barrel of a machine seems to have worked well. A little late for 10 innocent guys who where slaughtered by these criminals but hey it's the language they spoke and its the language they got answered in. They made their choice.

      parys.fotograaf - 2012-08-17 09:17

      The killing with pangas and knopkieries also is not right.

  • Brandon - 2012-08-17 08:30

    I guess a bullet is better than rat poison. Showerhead hasn't worked a day in his life like these guys, he should share his salary with them - thats way more than a 300% increase.

  • avanwyk2 - 2012-08-17 08:31

    Why is the army there?

  • freddied - 2012-08-17 08:31

    35 ! Police brutality at its best

      moko.brian - 2012-08-17 08:37

      There is a big difference between brutality and self protection.

  • attie.snyders - 2012-08-17 08:35

    Now how many are dead really? EWN reports 46 are dead!

  • george.pito - 2012-08-17 08:35

    Yeh call it a Angry mob. Somehow the same thing as Sharpville. its the only language they understand

  • takalani.alex - 2012-08-17 08:37


      rudi.debeer.5 - 2012-08-17 08:50

      Less lethal?

  • fsvanniekerk - 2012-08-17 08:38

    Awful sad day for South Africa. Just another example of how cheap life in 3rd world countries are, especially in Africa. If we want to stay part of the international community and be respected, our police will have to handle these situations more intelligently.

  • mathibela.mamabolo - 2012-08-17 08:39

    I definitely sympathize with the family of dead miners but as for the miners how barbaric of them to attempt attacking police. After seeing the video footage I am convinced that police reacted the only way they could under the circumstances...Union bosses should b arrested for leading an uncontrollable strike. These country cannot afford being held at ransom by miners, security guards and soldiers as it has legislative framework of which it's citizens should adhere to.

  • lsfreak - 2012-08-17 08:41

    I liked the warning shot... Was spot on :/ What was wrong with them staying on that hill, they were doing no harm out there. Once they started to get hungry they would have gone home. SAPS should've contained them on the hill... No wait this is Africa what was I thinking, we tend too do things a lil different out here :D

  • johannes.ramara - 2012-08-17 08:41

    There are well know dispute resolutions in the country if we cannot agree on terms of references at the negotiation table. This unions are misleading their members. The end results are now undesirable. Lives have been lost, children orphans , family losing breadwinners. I think the union officials need to be punished. He incited violence.

  • - 2012-08-17 08:41

    There is a problem here....something tells me the SAPS need extra lessons on how to shoot.

  • ken.rowe.509 - 2012-08-17 08:50

    The ANC has just created it's very own 'Sharpeville'

      parys.fotograaf - 2012-08-17 09:22

      Second one actually. In effect they also created the 1st one and if Ficksburg is added, the 3rd one.

  • campcheeki - 2012-08-17 08:51

    What people need to understand is that a "gathering" is more than 15 people, yes, there is a right to PEACEFUL demonstration but for it to be legal there is a process that needs to be followed. Earlier this month the Constitutional Court approved Section 49 (SAPS right to use force): "Force must always be reasonably necessary and proportional in the circumstances, and deadly force, including shooting, may in addition be used only if the suspect poses a threat of serious violence to the arrester or another person or persons; or if the suspect is reasonably suspected of having committed a crime involving serious bodily harm, and there are no other reasonable means of arresting him at that time or later," she said. All of those complaining of excessive force should take into account that negotiations failed, tear gas, water cannons and rubber rounds all failed, the "protesters" were armed and were certainly not passive or about to allow SAPS to arrest them. They were warned and chose to ignore the signs. Let's also note that the SAPS officers were not all white (hence NOT a race issue) and for the peanuts they are paid and for putting their lives on the line to save strangers (who are usually the first to complain about them and the first to run to them for help) and the anguish their families go through, they should have our gratitude!

      shaylene.stenger - 2012-08-17 08:57

      Hit the nail on the head!

  • lethu.magagula - 2012-08-17 08:51

    Ridiculous this is inflicting war and people being killed like ants is not the right solution, not that I blame the SAPS though.

  • tshivhombelaf - 2012-08-17 08:55

    Yes, death is bitter but let's be realistic. Someone who watched the footage would never blame the reaction of the police. The trade unions and politicians should have intervened before the situation got outrageous. Trade unions are a sea of ANC votes so they wouldn't have a backbone to call the strikers to order. Most of these miners earn a lot of money without any formal qualification, perhaps earning more than a highly qualified teacher.This is just a tip of an iceberg, it also has something to do with Mangaung. It is a pity we are in Mzansi, someone would have already resigned over this scandal. Violence does not have a place in our society but the way they descended towards the warning police, they asked for it!!

  • quinten.armstrong.9 - 2012-08-17 09:16

    Reading these comments one can easily see that reason and emotion are not allies. You can place yourself on both sides of this fence and easily criticize the other side. I wasn't there but I would'nt be suprised if one aspect of the scenario as like this: You are a husband and father of 2 children and you work at the Lonmin mine where the union you joined, or maybe were forced to join, told you to stop working and go on strike. In fear you did as you were told and found yourself on a hill surrounded by police. You just want to go home to your family but your union's instigators threaten to kill you if you did. Only if you could just go to work and go home to your family like it was supposed to be but here you are and maybe this strike could make life better for you, maybe they are right and a feeling of hope starts welling up. One moment you find your self chanting and dancing and whatever they say you'll do, the next you find yourself on the ground unable to breathe with a strange stiff feeling in your chest, your shirt wet and warm, and you're battling to focus on blue figures in the distance before the light fades into infinity and the voice in your mind repeatedly asks what the hell just happened? My family! This in my opinion is the kind of scenario the unions are perpetrating yet they are psychologically incapable of realising the implications of their actions. This was inevitable the way things were going regardless of who got to shoot those people dead.

  • sanchez.sancho.7 - 2012-08-17 09:24

    Can someone please tell me what the police was supposed to do when these okes started charging towards them and there was approximately 20 metres between these two groups?? either way, someone was going to be killed the moment these miners grabbed pangas , todays headline was either going to be Miners killed or Policemen killed. Miners killed.

  • zwelakhe.lekgoro - 2012-08-17 09:52

    shareholders of that mine should have prevented the situation from turning out like that all they talk about is the platinum price droping thats all they care about and it is owned buy the british

  • sibongile.makopi - 2012-08-17 10:01

    The justice system of this country requires certain processes to be followed to deal with people who have broken the law (whether they killed or burnt some people). These processess do not among other things involve deploying heavily armed police to massacre scores of people. The duty of police in a situation where the law has been broken is to investigate and arrest the culprits so that the justice system can take its course. The more we try to justfy this, the more we sound like agitating for a return to the apartheid system of justice of killing anyone agitating for their rights (because they are deemed terrorists).

  • armitrin - 2012-08-17 10:36

    excessive force may have been necesary but not brutal force.what happened to all thr rubber bullets and water cannons accompanied by tear gas?

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