Police fire stun grenades at miners

2012-09-14 18:01

Johannesburg - Seven people were arrested after police fired stun grenades at a group of protesters outside Aquarius Platinum which suspended operations on Friday.

"They were arrested in terms of illegal gatherings," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

"We are not going to tolerate it. Ours is to make sure we maintain law and order and that is what we are going to do," he said.

He clarified earlier reports that teargas had been fired, saying police had used stun grenades.

These made a loud bang and let off big puffs of white smoke but did not contain teargas.

The group had been told to disperse before the stun grenades were fired.


Since a strike at Lonmin on August 16, dissent has been growing along the platinum mining belt with workers demanding an increase to R12 500 and at Anglo American Platinum to R16 070.

Workers at Gold Fields's KDC west shaft went on strike on Sunday and on Wednesday Amplats suspended operations for workers' safety as thousands of protesters spent the days marching around the area carrying sticks and whips.

Earlier on Friday Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said: "Our government will not tolerate these acts any further."

He announced measures to be put in place to ensure the situation was brought under control.

These included that "illegal gatherings, the carrying of dangerous weapons, and incitement, as well as threats of violence against anyone in the affected areas, will be dealt with accordingly".

Earlier, Aquarius Platinum said it had suspended its mining operations at Kroondal Platinum Mine.

Rising tensions

"The decision to suspend mining operations has been taken to ensure the safety and security of employees and assets given the rising tensions and protests within the regional workforce and communities."

Operations were expected to recommence on Sunday.

The situation would be closely monitored.

Earlier a group of protesters had marched from Anglo American Platinum's Blesbok stadium to Aquarius Platinum and demanded that it be closed.

They gave the company 15 minutes to respond.

Shortly after Radebe warned the protesters, police dispersed the striking mineworkers.

Police were seen chasing after protesters near the Rustenburg mine. A police helicopter cornered one of the protesters, who was also being chased by policemen on the ground, and then arrested him.

Protesters ran away and a few minutes later the area was quiet, with no workers to be seen.

Forty five people have died in events associated with the Lonmin strike - 34 in a clash with police.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-09-14 18:06

    Now that wasn't so bad was it? If only you did this from the beginning.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-14 18:14

      I just do not know why the police should defend themselves for arresting these guys. Is this what we are turning into......the police needing to check in first to see whether it's ok to arrest.

      kim.buren - 2012-09-14 18:27

      Maybe SA is turning into a Nanny state Christelle.

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-14 18:31

      Time for the blue dye too

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-14 18:47

      WOW - all that talk from ol'jeff about whatta whatta not! And now they got SEVEN people - "well done" to you jeff...

      godfrey.welman - 2012-09-14 18:47

      Very happy this action has been taken, set the tone for future Cosatu led marches and gatherings.

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-14 18:50

      There is nothing to stun! A waste of grenades. These guys are programmed for mayhem and destruction!

      tw2066 - 2012-09-14 20:45

      Frag grenades are also quite stunning - just saying.....

  • kim.buren - 2012-09-14 18:10

    Stun grenades, WTF !! Use live bullets. That will shut them up

      whites.mustunite - 2012-09-14 18:22

      Sjamboks and alsations work well too!

      boltonbarry - 2012-09-14 19:36

      They should use the type that shoot small rubber balls

      tw2066 - 2012-09-14 20:47

      boltonbarry, small rubber balls was a hotel selling cheap Chines ANC shirts, and then apparently Zuma took a phone call.

  • richard.howes.982 - 2012-09-14 18:13


  • whites.mustunite - 2012-09-14 18:15

    Its amusing to see how quickly these cowardly armed thugs disperse when a little force is used against them.

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-14 18:48

      LOL - do they know it is a white invention by the way??? LOL! The stunt grenades that is!

      tw2066 - 2012-09-14 20:48

      probaly looking for a sangoma and a rabbit breeder?

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-14 18:18

    His words are not different from those we have been hearing since yesterday.But they are independent and can not be ifluenced we get told.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-14 18:22


  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-14 18:27

    The preamble of action? Lets wait and see.

  • mxolisi.nala - 2012-09-14 18:31

    the police forget that they are the members of the community. . .just give the workers what they want and everybody wins, why is it always the greedy capitalist who has to win all the time. . .? f**k this is not China, where you can get cheap labour, here it either you behave or you jump. . .you tjatjarag!

      grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-09-14 18:41

      Mxolisi even children know they can't always 'get what they want'. None of us, white and black, just 'get what we want' because we demand it and resort to violence. You want to chat about behaviour? Live by the sword, you die by the sword

      peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-14 18:42

      mxolisi.nala......the police are there to protect the community against thugs like these strikers....we cannot all be poor,it is so boring...white men cant jump(sorry)! I just love the word anti capitalist.

      freddie.jones.58367 - 2012-09-14 18:45

      "why is it always the greedy capitalist who has to win all the time? It is very simple, capitalism is the ONLY system that works. Just take a look around the world. Look at the countries with the highest standard of living. Look at which countries refugee's and so called asylum seekers are leaving and which countries these same refugee's and asylum seekers are trying to get into. It is quite simple and as is commonly said, its not rocket science. Russia, China and Cuba don't have to guard their borders against a hoard if incoming refugee's. The USA, EU and Australia do.

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-14 18:48

      Their job is to maintain order, and they doing exactly tht. If the strikes were legal, the police would actualy protect the protester, tht is if they protest in peace

      dmcmr.dhai - 2012-09-14 19:01

      @Mxolisi. Nala what ru reli saying? The only thing that the police must give to these thugs is handcuffs

      antin.herrinck - 2012-09-14 19:03

      @mxolisi.nala. Right, SAPS should also give us what we want. We want them to use live ammo only (lots) on babs with pangas who threaten and kill folks who should have the freedom to work if they want to.

      dmcmr.dhai - 2012-09-14 19:09

      Hai Mxolisi u think like malema strue!!your comments are fascinating, please explain who is the capitalist here?

      tw2066 - 2012-09-14 20:50

      mxolisi, firstly the workers forget they are members of society, secondly the ANC won the election ergo they must be the greedy capitalists you refer to, and finally if this is not China, how come we import more from China than we manufacture locally??

  • antin.herrinck - 2012-09-14 18:33

    Stun-grenades will become less effective once the vuilgoed learns how to plug their ears. Then SAPS should consider getting some proper hand-grenades from SANDF and throw a few in the mix, to keep them on the run, so as to speak.

  • bmtthwala - 2012-09-14 18:41

    k then y ddnt they use stun grenades or even better line up pepper canisters and shoot at them in the direction of wind!this wld hv prevented the marikana debable!

      bmtthwala - 2012-09-14 19:09

      its pity that many ppl forget that the idweology of 1 is as good as the nxt!ppl the the mst feared ideas are there to steer a debate or else raise awereness to the disparities that are detrimental to our young society!ppl of rsa plz i salute mr malema for raising issues we all shyd away from!i dnt ridicule him!

  • dmcmr.dhai - 2012-09-14 18:46

    Now we are talking albeit late, can't wait for fat boy to be behind bars

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-09-14 19:59

      @dmcmr.dhal, he'll be out on a medical suffering from a combination of Shaik and Jackie illnesses and needing a combination of golf and cigars medication! P.S. Some lessons on how to assault anyone who crosses his path.

  • ernest.lwandle - 2012-09-14 18:57

    this is the begining of the new era my SA now moving on to its smoother way of livig.ITS none but oureselves ca free oure beatifull country together we fall together we rise no regime can kill us all.

  • gym.buddy.9 - 2012-09-14 20:52

    And yet we wonder why our economy is in shambles?! What happened to 'shoot to kill'? Somebody shoot these barbarians who keep terrorizing our country. Why must the majority of us live in fear because of theses mongrels?!

  • justice.muzila - 2012-09-14 21:02

    I don,t see the use of force to miners as a solution in a democratic state. Negotiation is the only solution to this problems than bloodshed.How many stun grenades or live ammunition must be used to force peace in the mines.

      njdejager - 2012-09-14 22:25

      Well tell the miners to negotiate. Its them that choose violence. So they will get what they desrve. I must obey the law so what makes them so f#%€ special

  • padurai.manjengwa - 2012-09-14 21:52

    12.5 - 16k are they on drugs? It's seems these cockroaches think breaking rocks requires brains and education - give the money to nurses and teachers - let the miners rot!

      njdejager - 2012-09-14 22:25


      maria.roth.589 - 2012-09-15 02:20

      The thing is these men work underground not so nice. Some of their demands are ignorant and arrogant but I wouldn't like their jobs. I wish they would negotiate for their own sakes.

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-09-15 05:21

    I don't like the way this is heading.

  • lulama.mbelwa - 2012-09-15 07:59

    Its about time something is done about these illegal striker that are threatening peoples lives. This should bring them to order

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