Teargas fired as miners try to stop a train

2012-09-12 13:22

Johannesburg - Teargas was fired at protesters at Gold Fields' KDC West mine, near Carletonville, on Wednesday.

Thousands of workers ran to a stream, where they washed their eyes, while security guards wearing gasmasks sat in vehicles.

Mfanayedwa Themba said protesters had wanted to stop a train, "because the train is a part of the mine. It is a part of us".

It was when they went onto the railway tracks that guards started firing teargas at them, he said.

Massive veld fires started after the gas was fired, and large clouds of smoke floated over the roads.

Earlier, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) leaders spoke at the stadium.

Some of those gathered wore T-shirts with "Hands off NUM. Hands off Cosatu" printed on the back.

On Tuesday, expelled African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema called for the resignation of the NUM's leadership, including general secretary Frans Baleni.

NUM dismissed this, calling it "hogwash".

On Wednesday, some of the group wore balaclavas and carried sharpened sticks and planks.

NUM regional secretary Mbuyiseli Hibana said they were going to address members soon. "We want them to go back to work."

He was telling them that their wage issue was something they needed to address with their employer, when the firing of the teargas was heard.

Armed guards from Gold Fields, both on foot and in armoured vehicles, were stationed around the mine.

Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-12 13:24

    Now these guys are totally out of control. Where is the Government in all this? This is Bull***t.

      stfrancisbay - 2012-09-12 13:35

      2 minutes later headlines ....Muti, Rabbits, Malema ....clearly no lesson learnt from the first time

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-12 13:49

      The phrase "learn from history" does not exist in this country.

      julian.booyens - 2012-09-12 13:51

      They could not stop a bullet! How they expect to stop a train ? Curse that rabbit..

      sean.carbutt - 2012-09-12 14:08

      Do have any idea as to how many rabbits you would have to kill to get this amount of bravery.

      lownabester - 2012-09-12 14:22

      Pity Malema was not there, but then again he is such an coward.

      gustav.kriel.3 - 2012-09-12 15:01

      coffee any1?

  • ahemsurferosa - 2012-09-12 13:25

    trying to jump on malema's promised gravy train? maybe?

      barbara.volkwyn - 2012-09-12 13:40

      Best comment ever !

      nkosib1 - 2012-09-12 13:48

      Hahahah, train to hell

      emilyjane.elson - 2012-09-12 13:58

      Julius is RUINING the country more like it..

      heathway.master - 2012-09-12 14:30

      Cannot beleive how little mob control ability our security forces have. Should have rather formed a neat kilometer line with all the demonstrators right down the middle of the railway line. Then signal to the driver to fully open the diesel motors. End of protesters. Quite simple really.

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-09-12 13:26

    Yeah, just let them stop it. They must sit on the railway lines and wait for it.

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-09-12 13:26

    the are just asking for it, aren't they

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-09-12 14:35

      The best is that they washed their eyes out with water. Worst thing to have done, wish I was there to see that.

  • anje.duplessis.9 - 2012-09-12 13:26

    Malema is fueling this, making serious problems even bigger... The poor people following him are going to end up with even larger problems.

  • osmaseko - 2012-09-12 13:27

    hehehehehe this is not funny, Zuma lacks leadership it has been proven. His road to Mangaung ends here....this is all about politics and not about the miners

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-09-12 13:27

    teargas falls mainly on the trains and miners will be slain

  • wesley.wallace.988 - 2012-09-12 13:28

    Train should of floored it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • freedom.nation.5 - 2012-09-12 13:30

    fired the ungrateful workers. before the job they had no skill. there should be a loop hole in the employment act to protect business from these bully tactics. The ecomony will fall becoz they want more money. how will the mines make up lost time. then the mine workers want overtime. bulldust!!!!!

  • cya.ngoma - 2012-09-12 13:31

    These are innocent miners nhe!!!

      raymond.buis.3 - 2012-09-12 14:05

      Sure they are buddy,that's why teargas was used instead of live ammo.

      warren.rodel - 2012-09-12 14:10

      they are replaceable.

  • kingsley.mokomane - 2012-09-12 13:32

    This how it start, from teargas to rubber bullets then real bullets then govt, malema and mines will start making noise, lastly ramaphosa will contribute for funerals. This is boring and insame situation

  • lhenama - 2012-09-12 13:32

    How the hell do you try to stop a moving train maar heee. And this is all Malema's work, because of his stupid dream of owning a mine. That moron does not know that you have to earn your living, he just wants things handed to him on a silver platter, and now he's using the other hungry morons for his own personal gains. Its time now the government take really huge and further steps on this pig, seriously.

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-12 15:14

      Why, if Ramaphosa got a mine, (plus a workforce of foreign slaves) on a silver platter why shouldn't Juliaas demand a mine too?

  • tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-09-12 13:32

    And right at the end - after the dust has settled, the middleman and people in shacks will feel this in their pockets.

  • eugene.muller.7 - 2012-09-12 13:35

    And eventually the rest of the country. hungry people becomes desperate people. someone seems to have found a old handbook on how to take over a country it seems. clever manipulation of the masses and they are too blind to see it...

  • sakhi.TheNextKent.dlala - 2012-09-12 13:43

    Lol, tryna stop a train? really?

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-12 13:44

    I can just see all the ex army cadettes being called out of retirnment etc to fight a war that is inevitable of starting. All the Bats, Reccies you name it - Take out your old browns - dust them off, You will wearing them once again

      shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-12 13:46

      ANNNNNDDD Considering you guys actually KNEW how to fight, after all most of you spent a few months if not years in Angola, we will be able to put a stop to this - ONE TWO THREE. ALL DONE - All wiped out

  • michael.hein.7374 - 2012-09-12 13:46

    Run the wankers over!!! they are going off the rails now ;-)

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-09-12 13:46

    Where exactly is the army in all of this. It has gone on long enough. Bring in the army, put these bloody rioters in their place (aka JAIL)

      gerhard.muller.988 - 2012-09-12 13:59

      The army couldn't make it, they were listening to another of Malema's speeches.

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-09-12 13:46

    Sangoma told them the train will not harm them. Eish! Will this ever stop? No sign of the SANDF yet - oh sorry they're listening to Fatboy running his mouth.

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-12 15:17

      No, the SANFD is at the AIDS clinic getting their muti.

  • ofentse.thole - 2012-09-12 13:47

    Has anyone stopped and think maybe this is a long term plan for cANer to nationalize the mines, i mean if this mines goes under the will be only one option " government bail out"= nationalisation **just saying**

  • Erna - 2012-09-12 13:47

    Total anarchy!

  • graham.greeff.9 - 2012-09-12 13:49

    Bring in the State of Emergency so they can arrest them all.

  • clint.rusford.3 - 2012-09-12 13:50

    i can see we gna becum a zimbabwe.. Sadly our country is heading like a runaway train 2 the gutters.. Let me make a logical point kwik. Lets say al mine bosses give in and grant al workers a minimum wage of 12 5.. Wat gna hapen next??? Rest asured my fellow readers all otha cosatu affiliated unions will most defnitly opt for such measurers of wage negotiations.. If the union bosses wont ther members will force the matter becoz y cud the NUM memberz get it ryt! SO... MY DEAR MR. PRES... PLZ GET AN END 2 THE MATTER URGENTLY AND FORGET ABOUT LOSING VOTES!!!

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-12 15:31

      Didn't it occur to you that the problem may be the fat cat NUM bosses lost touch with the workers?

      clint.rusford.3 - 2012-09-12 18:38

      it occurs 2me that the same ting going 2 happen wit other unions if the NUM workers get ther ting ryt.. Does that occur 2u buddy??

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-12 22:51

      The other unions don't have the same grievances since Ramaphosa and Baleni aren't ripping them of on the same scale.

      clint.rusford.3 - 2012-09-12 23:11

      wage negotiations and money are needs in evry union.. Lets face it. Its al about money 4 da miners. I also believ im being ripped off in my industry by my employer. We gna run 2 numsa trust me buddy

  • Caroline Mgidi - 2012-09-12 13:52

    how stupid can they possibly get!? seriously?

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-09-12 13:52

    Zoom ZOOM..nowhere...must be posing for another painting

  • tik.tok.98837 - 2012-09-12 13:55

    Think they should start using taser guns

  • nkosib1 - 2012-09-12 13:59

    Soon SA is goimg to be like S. Leon or the DRC

  • KReddy - 2012-09-12 13:59

    Where do they come up with these gems (no pun). Man vs train - train wins, man dead. I assume they rather be uneployed or dead. What's sa coming to.

  • tik.tok.98837 - 2012-09-12 14:00

    I think they should start using taser guns

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-09-12 14:01

    Why not just let the train run over them? How does a human "bean" stop a train???

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-12 14:02

    I want some of that muti...stopping a train!!! paint me green and call me a pickle but hulk has nothing on me....arghhhh

  • vivetioustash - 2012-09-12 14:03

    Lol stopn a train? Dnt they knw that a train dasn't just brake lyk a car? Bt Eish the train would have solved the problm by runnin ova many of them...

  • gerry.gee.39 - 2012-09-12 14:04

    I have often seen the result of people trying to stop a train by stepping in front of it... Never known it to work. Good thing they got teargassed, else another 34 or more killed.

  • Pete7930 - 2012-09-12 14:04

    Now listen carefully miners, if you all go stand on the tracks in front of the moving train you will get an increase!

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-09-12 14:07


      Hemlock - 2012-09-12 14:17

      *Chortle* *Chortle*...Nice one, thanks for the laugh. I needed a good one. Best comment I have read all day!

      mzwandile.komeni - 2012-09-12 14:23


  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-12 14:04

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • mantothieve.missingman - 2012-09-12 14:05

    Best way to stop a train is to jump in front of it , one by one

  • andrew.surtees1 - 2012-09-12 14:11

    we have locomotives there, this is not good!

      Tracy Elston Malan - 2012-09-12 15:33

      It horrible knowing that your husband was the train driver and feared for his life! Thank God he and his co-workers are alive and can tell the story!

  • tshivhombelaf - 2012-09-12 14:12

    They shouldn't have dispersed them at first place, the train would have the job.

  • john.bollie - 2012-09-12 14:14

    Let them stay on the railway tracks so that the train can kill them because the police are not allowed to shoot them!!

  • ndou.miranda - 2012-09-12 14:14

    Hawu,are these people Julius brothers mara? I wish i was the train driver, I would have knocked them off the railway back to their mother's land in mice meat.

  • thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-09-12 14:15

    Arrest Malema and warn the miners to stop their actions now! People have to stop falling for Malema's rash, racist, economically suicidal statements - if you are disappointed with the government, VOTE FOR A DIFFERENT PARTY!!!!!

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-09-12 14:18

    Those guards are stupid they want to die for a white man.The trains were bought nge sweat yama workers they have the right to confiscate them. Viva economic freedom phansi ngo manezinja

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-09-12 14:27

      Busisiwe, those guards saved the lives of the workers by teargassing them away from the train. Moving train 1, people on the tracks 0...think before you get racist.

      keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-12 14:40

      They're your fellow idiots busisiwe that's why you're busy praising their foolish behaviour. Last month your other favourite cretins ran through the shower of bullets because of the instruction given to them by a mere sangoma, today your imbeciles friends invaded the railway lines trying to stop a moving train, who in his right mind can do such stupid things except of 1000 of busisiwe's kubeka out there.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-12 15:14

      Uuuuh...its called doing your job. Do I know what that is?

      don.quioxte.3 - 2012-09-12 15:50

      Uyahlanya wena

  • impi.masondo - 2012-09-12 14:24

    these guards must be arrested for shooting miners they are expressing there right to protest for poor wages

  • monde.sibisi - 2012-09-12 14:27

    The train kills them and they'll blame another rabbit, who jumps on the tracks and tries to stop a moving train? You associate yourself with likes of Juliarse Mayhema you start to think like him. How can you take a person got an F for woodwork seriously? Might as well get an F for breathing

  • herman.mouton - 2012-09-12 14:33

    Confucious once said: "Never try stop a train with spears & panga' WILL make your eyes burn like hell!!!"

  • caitlin.hoferichtercroudace - 2012-09-12 14:33

    This country is falling to pieces, when we allow animals to run around with spears, stopping trains, marching into mines with panga's threatening to kill harding working individuals. I wouldnt give these people a job, I would fire them, and then have them arrested for public nuisance, harrassment, and attempted murder!

  • Rebecca - 2012-09-12 14:36

    shoot them with live ammunition and get rid of all these treason bastards

  • smahlaba - 2012-09-12 14:41

    This problem will not be resolved. We'll just have another crisis to focus on in a few weeks or months.

  • mzwandile.komeni - 2012-09-12 14:47


  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-09-12 14:48

    Anarchy. And sadly after Marikana the police's hands are now tied.

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-09-12 15:08

      Hence this is EXACTLY THE RIPE TIME to create more anarchy sothat the HIBANAs must know that if befunu'kuba iZIHIBE thina si aboGIBE-let them(NUM)COSATU