Situation at Lonmin mine stable

2012-08-14 07:31

Johannesburg - The situation at the Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West was stable on Tuesday morning following the deaths of nine people, police said.

Captain Dennis Adriao said police had been monitoring the situation at the mine where violence had erupted from Friday.

"At this stage no other incidents were reported throughout Monday night."

Nine people - two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and two other men - had been killed by 20:30 on Monday.

The deaths were linked to violence apparently triggered by union rivalry.

3 000 workers protest

Adriao said the two police officers were killed on Monday afternoon and three protesters were shot dead.

One other police officer was critically injured, he said.

About 3 000 Lonmin rock drill operators started an illegal work stoppage and protest march on Friday.

Earlier, officials from the platinum mine announced that the body of a man was found on the premises. He had been shot dead.

Adriao said the man's death was believed to be linked to the violence.

Another man died in hospital on Sunday after being hacked with a panga as he left the mine after the evening shift.

On Saturday, two security guards were killed when the car they were travelling in was set alight.

Scores of other people have been injured in the violent unrest in the last four days. Police also reported that eight vehicles were torched on the mine property on Sunday.

‘Stopping the violence’

Violence at the Lonmin Marikana mine has been linked to clashes between members of the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which are reportedly fighting for control of local mines.

Lonmin has called for an end to the violence.

"Whilst our first thoughts must be with the families of those killed and injured in these criminal clashes, our operational priority is to see the violence stop," says Lonmin CEO, Ian Farmer.

Num has condemned the violence and has called for immediate action from the police.

"[We are] alarmed at that the escalating violence has been allowed to continue unabated by the law enforcement agencies in that area in North West Province," said Num general secretary Frans Baleni.

"We call for the deployment of a special task force or the SANDF to deal decisively with the criminal elements in Rustenburg and its surrounding mine."

Baleni dismissed statements that it was a rivalry attack and said the Num was a victim of Amcu. By Monday afternoon, police had made no arrests.

In February, the two unions also clashed over membership at Impala Platinum's mines in Rustenburg.

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-08-14 07:34

    'Workers shaft Lonmin' would have been a better title. Just saying...

  • amanda.strydom.7 - 2012-08-14 07:40


  • neil.swart - 2012-08-14 08:07

    This was an illegal work stoppage by workers! The same thing happened at Impala Platinum Mine, and the workers were given back their jobs! Now look what is happening again! The reason for this, I beleive, is that in the previous case the people got away with their illegal actions and these guys will want the same! So much for our stringent labour laws!! I am not saying one should hire and fire as you please, but an employee can also not do as he / she pleases, and expect nothing to happen! These people are very fortunate to have work and an income!! This, to me, is more looking like union efforts to destabilise mining operations in an attempt to force mining bosses to close mines and provide an opportunity for the state to take control! Do you really think these actions will attract foreign investment to mining houses so they can expand their operations and create more jobs? These union fat cats are killing our economy and stripping opportunities for businesses to create work for the people! But hey, that is only my opinion and you do not have to agree with it!! VIVA ANC, VIVA COSATU, VIVA NUM, VIVA AMCU! I sure hope that the union bosses will have a good nights sleep knowing that 9 people lost their lives due to their greed and sick ambitions!!! May their souls rest in peace!!

      scooter.moepeng - 2012-08-14 12:58

      Well said Neil, i totally agree with you

  • riotousr - 2012-08-14 09:20

    How easy for me to facilitate my start of mine nationalisation. Before you know it the mine will be lying idle and unproductive and I will go convince parliament to take it over. One almost down, so many to go.

  • robynne.els.1 - 2012-08-14 10:19

    These workers should just be happy they have jobs at all. Fire the pigs and give the jobs to people fighting to survive with no employment!

      tuzka - 2012-08-14 11:55

      Totally agree with you, give it to people that want to work, not protest over complete nonsense every time they get a chance to!

  • abrammothothi.mamabolo - 2012-08-17 10:56

    The London-headquartered company has been forced to shut down all its South African platinum operations, which account for 12 percent of global platinum output.

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