Thousands at miner's funeral

2012-09-01 17:42

Mthatha - Thousands of relatives, colleagues and friends on Saturday attended the funeral of one of the miners killed when police opened fire at Lonmin's Marikana mine last month.

They'd gathered under a white tent in Mdumazulu village to mourn the passing of Phumzile Sokhanyile and his mother.

The miner's 79-year-old mother, Glorious Mamkhuzeni-Sokhanyile - who suffered from asthma and hypertension - fainted when she first learnt of the death of her son two days after the killings, a family member said.

But it was the images of the police opening fire on the miners a day later on television news that sent her to her death, the miner's aunt Thokozile Sokhanyile, told AFP.

"She saw the images and went 'Ah! That's how my son was killed?' and she collapsed," the aunt recounted, adding that she was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

On Saturday, only the mother's coffin lay in front with a wreath on top, while Phumzile's remains were buried on Friday as soon they were received by the family, according to rites in cases where a person dies of unnatural causes.

The body was not even allowed anywhere near his family home, and was taken straight to a cemetery, in the belief that it will ward off bad omens in future.

Police killed 34 miners, wounded 78 and arrested 270 miners. They have since been charged with their colleagues' murder, in what lawyers have described as a "bizarre" move.

Another 10 people also died in the unrest.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 17:54

    My heart sheds tears for you mam and your son.Im sure that you and you son are in a better place.GOD BLESS YOU.AMEN

  • Michael - 2012-09-01 17:56

    This shouldn't have happened, i hope when all this is done and the dust have settled, we should be able to ask queations on the way in which we exercise our rights in this country, they way in which these miners acted againts the police on that day demostrated lack of appreciation of democratic rights and responsibility to up held the 'RIGHT TO LIFE' enshrined in our constitution.

      ted.muusha - 2012-09-01 18:16


  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 18:03

    It was a deliberate, prepared attack on the state. The state was not a party to discrimination against the miners. In other words, the state did not single the miners out. Nor did the police act as agents for some shareholders or capitalist dogs. Let's separate lies and propaganda from the truth. The miners prepared for a confrontation to attack the authority of the state. The police may have their faults but to expect them to sacrifice themselves because certain groups decided the police should be the victims is wrong. No sympathy.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-09-01 18:09


  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-01 18:16

    Cracker good statement and I hope you will like when I echo your statement by saying that let us all live in a South Africa that has people who show no sympathy towards one another and like the police did kill the miners in cold blood.Let us ululate in the same way if the relatives of the victims start to revenge by hating and killing the police.That is exactly your statement.

      chule.qalase - 2012-09-01 18:33

      This is one thing that shocks me when reading comments written by white people in this news24 regarding this massacre, I think their hatred towards Africans is about to boil over. They can't even show sympathy!!!

      tobydt - 2012-09-01 20:16

      chule - This is one thing that shcosk me reading comments written by black people regarding the massacre. Since when is it acceptable to bring weapons to a protest? Nevermind, since when is it acceptable to KILL people while you protest?

      tobydt - 2012-09-01 20:16

      chule - PS, you are imaging this so called 'white hate'. Arent you tired of playing victim all the time?

      veli.brown - 2012-09-01 20:23

      I am quite shock as well to level of hatred that white section of our society has demonstrated to the people who were murdered mercilessly. What crime did we ever do to them that they treat us like this. People have a right to strike in this country and its guaranteed under the constitution. As for those people who say miners charged on to the police, take a look at Peter Alexander's version of what really took place that day, and also look at Al Jezeera account of what really happened. Obviously the police will try to cover themselves by giving a distorted version of the story.

      tobydt - 2012-09-01 20:30

      veli.brown - Right to strike yeah. But no right to bring weapons to the protest, or to kill people, as stated in the constitution. You cant just selectively quote some portions of the constitution, but ignore the portions that dont serve your needs.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 20:55

      The police were almost all not white. Play your racist games with your little pink bunny before you fall asleep. NB: We are not fools.

      gwilym.howes - 2012-09-02 13:38

      @Veli: The Police did not murder them. They armed themselves and the Police stopped their charge by shooting them. They started it. THey set the level of conflict when they killed 10 people the previous week. THEY are the villains, not the Police! Please, do you really watch Al Jazeera? I rest my case...

  • chule.qalase - 2012-09-01 18:38

    One day the blood of these Africans that was spilled for no apparent reason will be asked to the killers. Malabo ngoxolo maAfrika!!!!! One day this revolution of better life for all will be joined by all the mass who suffer in these mines and else where!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 18:52

      It's a systemic failure. Minister of Mining, Susan Shabangu, was nowhere to be seen for 7 days after the 1st shots were fired. She was too busy in Bloemfontein deporting 10 illegal miners. A lot must be questioned about all the parties' behaviour in all this but the govt was conspicuous by its absence and failed to respond to what was a desperate cry for help. There's at least one riot a day somewhere in ZA and nothing ever gets done. Govt seems to think if they ignore it for long enough it will just go away. That's not governing - that's abdication. What will it take to get them to do what they are hired (and very well paid) by us, to do?

      tobydt - 2012-09-01 20:18

      Hopefully you wount bring weapons to this 'revolution', or kill people in the process.

  • Tsholofelo Claudina Sajana - 2012-09-01 18:46

    I wonder how are those police feeling rite now after what they did? are they proud of what they did. what if it was one their families who died like this, but one day is one day. God LOVE US ALL HEY. *SO HURT*

      Michael - 2012-09-01 20:36

      Tsholo, the feeling is not an issue here, how would you feel if police can kill a person who was comming to murder someone you know?

      tobydt - 2012-09-01 20:36

      Wonder if the miners are proud of killing 4 people before the massacre. 2 policemen and two miners. Nobody is mentioning their families. Nobody held a memorial service for them. *Hurt*

      tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-09-01 21:20

      from the footage that the rest of the world did not see - there were many police who showed trauma and panic. i doubt they feel proud of themselves. those miners caused those police to make a desperate decision to save their own lives, especially after those miners already killed 10 other innocent people. i would hate to be forced to kill someone but if anyone came at me with a panga or machette - i would shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot ...

      ockert.mouton - 2012-09-02 07:43

      I suspect the police are feeling glad that they survided an onslaught of 3000 men. What would you have done in their position to defend yourself while doing your job? I would probably have killed 34 by myself. The thing is, they pleaded for the end result and their wish was granted.\r\nSorry for your loss, but don't blame it on the police. They have a right to life as well.

  • Emanuel Ratshimume - 2012-09-01 19:09

    I feel hatred to our leaders and those who act like there sympathetic with families Dlamini, Ramaphosa

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 19:35

      Try not to feel hatred, but rather see that the system and processes failed for many reasons. We have enough laws and policies and procedures that things should never have got to this stage. The real, underlying problem is being ignored. Where were all the people who are supposed to take care of these things (Unions, Bosses, CCMA, Ministry of Mines)? Why did people believe that attacking armed police would be a solution, when they were really angry with their employers? Why were police not in riot gear and using riot tactics? Too many failures all along the way. LonMin is the symptom, not the cause. Until we fix the cause, there will just be more of this madness.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 19:28

    I hope 1 day South Africas thirst for blood will be quenched.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 20:56

      @ fort.horseman.7 How?

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 21:47

      Tolerance,compassiom,forgiveness,mercy,honesty,gratitude,humility,respect,love.i knw,easier said then done.But nothing stops any1 frm trying.

  • sibusiso.s.ndaba - 2012-09-01 20:24

    Ppl pls tell me who was suppose to die the police or the unruly miners that day,just think how would u look at police if they ran away that day,sorry to the families but ur sons asked for it.

      omphile.umphimodise - 2012-09-01 21:26

      You are such a moron you sorry excuse for a human being.

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-02 00:20

      No one was suppose to die!

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-02 00:22

      Everyone that day was suppose to live!

      Msutukazi Mwahla - 2012-09-02 07:43

      sibusiso that was not a war police are well trained for disperse the crowd they are just trigger happy im very sorry for poor people their end of destination was not so nice

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 21:01

    The truth: There was a deliberate preparation to kill the police. The facts speak for themselves. The police were not there to fight for some capitalist dog. The police were there to do what we expect of them. Arrest all of the rest of those miners and those politicians who further instigated and/or promoted and/or weakened the police and law/and order. But please get some real LEGAL minds to spear (almost Freudian slip) the state's actions. Not the current silly minds in the NPA.

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-09-01 21:15

    the last very short sentence on this article is more crucial than the rest of the story - those 10 people were killed savagely in cold blood.

      omphile.umphimodise - 2012-09-01 21:36

      Two wrongs don't make a right. I think your little mind can comprehend that.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 22:18

      Actually neither does ONE wrong make a right. It is time that we should start re-assessing the silly sayings were are being subjected to every day by the dishonest to cover up their lies. We shall in future, for the sake on sanity, be pointing out the nonsense some like to fees us with. And the stupidy some of us seem to possess to believe the nonesence.

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-02 00:30

      An eye for an eye wud make evry1 blind,which is wot u suggesting.

      tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-09-02 13:21

      my little mind thinks you are a p@es!!

  • johanna.vandokkum - 2012-09-02 05:27

    Examination by journalists at the scene: comparison of video-footage proved that POLICE were FIRED AT FIRST from amongst the crowd of miners:

      Msutukazi Mwahla - 2012-09-02 07:49

      johhan they were supposed to use rubber bullets first @ the first who gave them an ordet to fire they thought it was a shooting range bt they cannot sleep well yes its their job bt the person who gave them an orders whoa totally wrong to kill poor people bt this is the end of world e

  • Msutukazi Mwahla - 2012-09-02 07:37

    police were trained to disperse the crowd why knw they are shooting with a live ammunition im very hurt because they were supposed to give warning first i am the one who is mourning for my brothers our breadwinner is no more you kill them as you are killing criminals bt for the criminals you cant do like this

      alansmartSnr - 2012-09-02 22:40

      @ Msutukazi Mwahla ..Just wondering what the heck do you expect the police to do. Those thugs that attacked them did not use rubber bullets or rubber pangas. Nor did they use rubber flames when they burnt those two police / security guardss alive and eight others the week before. They murdered 10 people.. hacked them to death. Would you have let them hack you to death. This was the best thing that could ever have happened as it sent out a message, loud and clear that mob violence and thuggery would not be tolerated. Those thugs, all of them, should be glad they still had jobs instead of insisting on ridiculous and ludicrous demands. I dont have one iota of sympathy for any one of them, dead or alive and hope they bring the full extent of the law to bear on the 200 and something that were arrested. If anybody is to be blamed it should be them and the Unions. All they interested in is to get members contributions which enable them to live the good life. I would be very dissapointed if the mine management give in to their demands. There are millions of poor unemployed who would gladly work for half of those thugs wages and would probably be more productive. Bottom line is that the Police acted perfectly by protecting themselves from being mob-butchered.

  • Msutukazi Mwahla - 2012-09-02 07:51

    i also dont understand for the charges people can anyone explain for me charges

  • vuyodoc.bikitsha - 2012-09-02 09:32

    The people versus the state must also charge those Marikana massacre police with the culpable homicide of Glorius Mamkhuzeni-Sokhanyile.

  • vuyodoc.bikitsha - 2012-09-02 09:34

    The people versus the state must also charge the Marikana massacre police witht he culpable homicide of Glorius Mamkhuzeni-Sokhanyile.

  • manduleli.maphala - 2012-09-02 11:12

    Relatives of peaple were killed in marikana rest in peace only god he know South Africa is going no where those its a hard workers be cause they are uneducated but under ground.thanks S.A. Country of peace.

  • colline.maule - 2012-09-02 11:51

    all you AHOLES that r blaming the police, what the hell would you do if the only thing standing between you and a maniac with a panga or some other weapon which he means to use to KILL you, was a policeman with live rounds???? ALL YOU BLEEDING HEARTS MAKE ME SICK!!!!

  • malette.snyman - 2012-09-03 10:00

    She should rather be glad her son wasn't hacked to death with a panga, or set alight in his car...

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-04 01:42

      U obviously dont have a child to understand that there is no reasoning in such a loss.

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