We fear for our lives, miners claim

2012-09-14 22:15

Rustenburg - Striking mineworkers went underground on Friday evening as government warned it would no longer tolerate their illegal gatherings.

"We are fearing for our lives, we are somewhere in a secretive place. Cops are looking for us," said Gaddaffi Ndoda, a leader of the Anglo American Platinum's striking workers, talking to Sapa by phone.

Ndoda said workers would not back down as the fight for better wages was not yet over.

"We will be marching to the police station to demand the release of our arrested colleagues. They [police] can't just do as they please," he said.

Seven people were arrested on Friday after police fired stun grenades at a group of protesters outside Aquarius Platinum in Rustenburg in the North West, which became the fourth mine to suspend operations as a result of labour unrest.

"They were arrested in terms of illegal gatherings," said North West police spokesperson 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 tear gas was fired at protesters at Aquarius mine, saying police had used stun grenades.

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

Polie Nyalas kept patrolling the area after the workers dispersed.

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

Earlier on Friday, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said at a press conference broadcast live: "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.

"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."

This was after 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.

"We are just here to ask for the closure of operation. If you don't close, no worker will come here," said another leader, only known as Godfrey, talking to the manager outside the mine.

"We will be camping there [pointing to the entry point used by workers to get inside the mine]."

Shortly after goverment issued the warning, police dispersed the striking mineworkers at Aquarius.

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

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

Anglo Platinum in Rustenburg, Lonmin Platium and Gold Fields' KDC mine in Carletonville have all suspended operations due to the labour unrest.

At Lonmin Platinum mine in Marikana, Rustenburg protesters started dispersing around 18:30 on Friday.

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

  • asdhasgd - 2012-09-14 22:26

    "We are fearing for our lives, we are somewhere in a secretive place." Its not the mine shafts is it???? xD

      Michael - 2012-09-14 23:39

      aahahahaha opinionater!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-09-15 07:31

      Better idea, since these lazy tsotsis haven't been working for over a month, how about they do their jobs and start digging while they're down there.

      Rob.Trianglem - 2012-09-15 07:57

      @Charles Dumbwin. Gift of the givers are feeding the thugs, so why go back to work.

      alf.pop - 2012-09-15 15:52

      Quick drying Cement on the double!!

  • njdejager - 2012-09-14 22:27

    If you fear for your life then stop the violence idiots WTF?

      jayjay.mlungu - 2012-09-15 05:19

      Troll alert

      keith.roberts.98434 - 2012-09-15 08:52

      There is a lot of "Viva La Malema" about. I always thought that "La" was feminine.

  • godfrey.welman - 2012-09-14 22:27

    The anc should know how dangerous this tactic is.

  • cya.ngoma - 2012-09-14 22:42

    What about the lives of those innocent people whom you have hacked to death just because of money?

      Mike.ntsh2009 - 2012-09-14 22:55

      @Cya; It's funny how the media choose to ignore that in a run-up to shootings of 34 protesting hooligans, the protesters hacked 10 people, including security guards and policemen.

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-09-15 09:02

      not to mention the intimidation to stop those that do want to work.

      cya.ngoma - 2012-09-15 14:21

      Maduvha actually I'm not a Zuma argent I was just speaking Facts.

      Jenny - 2012-09-15 19:04

      Exactly cya.ngoma. Ten people cornered and butchered,two of them police officers set alight in their car. Oddly enough, this was never reported by any of the western countries media - no-one there has a clue what happened before the shooting of the 35 miners.

  • lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-14 23:01

    I don't agree with much that is going on here on both sides. We are [trying to be] a civilised society. Violence is not the way. You have Unions, Bargaining Councils and a plethora of laws, processes and procedures. If you will not conduct yourselves as adults how do you expect the rest of the world to treat you?

      Jenny - 2012-09-15 19:09

      Sandra - Your statement is sweeping and racist and simply untrue. You can't judge black people by what a few thousand do. Are all white people racists, simply because you are one? Judge people as individuals and you may earn some respect.

  • Carlton - 2012-09-14 23:03

    if SAns wont so lazy this would have been a civil war already thank god SAns are lazy

  • Millos Mpofu - 2012-09-14 23:22

    Yes forward basebenzi but beware umndilizo and even our government shall never stop it.I give all of you Three months

      nicolaas.baker - 2012-09-15 02:26

      @DOMMILOS, 3 months, then they all vrek of the hunger!!!!!!! Good, then the mine can employ people that want to work, not people that wants to sit in the sun the whole day, demanding a huge pay increase which they will only spend on drugs, alcohol and prostitutes, leaving the family in the land suffering and starving. Then they will tell the wifes and kids that the white man does not pay him enough!

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-09-14 23:25

    These protesters are under the illusion that a long running strike campaign will eventually lead to the nationalisation of the mines. They are dreaming of huge salaries and perks encouraged by Malema and the ANCYL. I predict further bloodshed.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-09-15 14:23

      @ jeremy.forbes. They seems to have overlooked Aurora ! They will be much worse off than R4500.00 per month plus bonus etc, They will not even be getting paid !

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-14 23:39

    YEP, it DOES look like a tokoloshe under the FYL skirts and gowns >>

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-09-15 00:16

      I've got Thumper ^^^^ In memory of the poor poor rabbit

  • - 2012-09-14 23:42

    Gaddaffi Ndoda. Your namesake is somewhere special. Watch this space.

  • barry.colyn.3 - 2012-09-14 23:47

    What does he mean revolution, well it means, a change in the way a country is governed, usually to a different political system and often using violence or war

  • antin.herrinck - 2012-09-14 23:59

    They went underground? Well they're miners, aren't they?

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-09-15 09:11

      lol... problem is they went underground to cause k%k and not to work.!

  • Andre Claassen - 2012-09-15 00:25

    You never post my comments News24? We demand etc etc is such crap! You cannot hold the state to ransom! Your 12500 is going to become 7000 at most, or the mine is going to close down. My first salary as a white Mae was 1200 per month , 84 hours per week, and I was grateful for it. It stood me in good stead for future jobs. They didnt pay me transport or meals.

  • martin.gardner.923 - 2012-09-15 00:53

    Marching to the POLICE STATION is Doff - if they take weapons they will SHOOT you HEAVY without mercy!!!

  • Mike.ntsh2009 - 2012-09-15 04:13

    What lives? They are acting like people who are brainless, spineless, gutless, and and and...

  • siphom.mngadi.7 - 2012-09-15 04:40

    Forget about old acts now I think its time for our government to demolish all ds old disguisting racist discriminating acts. JZ u wil loose in Mangaung by the way

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-09-15 04:57

    SA must be the only country where people show how cross they are by singing and dancing.

      keith.roberts.98434 - 2012-09-15 09:10

      You forgot to add 'and hacking people to death'.

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-09-15 05:36

    "the miners have gone underground" Is this meant to be a pun?

  • aroka.murombe - 2012-09-15 06:15

    Apartheid II on the door.....

      Steven Trollip - 2012-09-15 06:38

      yes please!!!

      ntsunyane.frederick - 2012-09-15 07:49

      @aroka. Let's be fair,even if labour demands for pay hikes are genuine the country can't allow unlawfullness.Let us love our country.Brandishing weapons,threatening people give us a bad name.

  • jacques.vanwyk.39 - 2012-09-15 06:46

    This is a disgrace, I started with a salary of R3200 in early 2008, had to work my backside off for almost 5 years  to go up 2 levels and raise my salary to R12000, these guys are entry level in the mines but they DEMAND R12500. If they go on much longer they won’t have a salary anymore because the owners won’t give in to such ridiculous demands and will rather close down the mines altogether as it is no longer an investment and becomes more of a risk than anything else. The logic of these strikers is just beyond belief, they already lost like 5 or 6 weeks of salary, will they demand that back as well when the strike finishes.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nOn a second note, I think this strike has gone way past just being a wage dispute and is more a political exploitation of a very unstable, vulnerable and sensitive situation. This has gone from a wage dispute to political war of Malema vs Zuma, it is an embarrassment for our country and puts the weakness of the government to act against violence and certain individuals on display for the whole world to see. The way Malema is using these miners for his own personal gain is just pathetic and just once again confirm that he will do whatever it takes to come out victorious in his feud with Zuma, irrespective of who gets hurt and what gets destroyed in the process.

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-09-15 07:13

      Jacques - I agree I know a lot of peole - white and not - that have tertiary qualifications that are working for R5000 - R10000 per month, They dont get housing, beverage alowance's, out living alowance's, transport alowance's.....but they cope, quite a few are maried with children.... and they dont go around causing chaos

      keith.roberts.98434 - 2012-09-15 09:12

      From R3 200 to R12 000 in only 4 years is quite phenomenol,even allowing for inflation.

      jacques.vanwyk.39 - 2012-09-15 12:06

      Yeah and so what are you trying to say, keep in mind that when working at a major company there is the annual increase of between 6% and 9%, and like I said I worked my backside off and were able to get 2 promotions in that time, so my point is that when you do your job and you do it well there is benefits, but it won't help you to go on strike for 6 weeks demanding an outrageous increase of 300% and expect a company to give in to such demands, even more ridiculous if you take into account that in these miners case the company owners is foreign based and will rather close the mine down than giving a crazy increase like that.

  • fairness.iseverything - 2012-09-15 06:58

    Another thing. \The police can't do as they please\.. What exactly is the difference between what they are doing and what the police are being accused of. Its the politicians who are guilty of the way how this is being done, they are manipulative and benefit more in other ways. They are the ones who should be gases here for inciting violence

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-09-15 08:41

      Agree broadly. The silence of the ANC, NUM and Ramaphosa is deafening. Something with these three is not right.

      keith.roberts.98434 - 2012-09-15 09:16

      Silence is not deafening, it is silent. When the phrase was first used it had freshness, but it is now a stale, hackneyed cliche.

  • Thobile Lugwadu - 2012-09-15 07:10

    Who sang \umshini wam! Umshini wam, awuleth'umshini wam,wen 'uyandibambezela awuleth'umshini wam webaba! People took some lessons from him.

      brendaanne.anderson - 2012-09-15 11:08

      Well said, Thobile!

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-09-15 07:21

    These miners still don't understand that lawlessness is not tolerated in any civilised society.WAKE UP!You are the problem!

  • helio.paulo.7 - 2012-09-15 07:26

    Hooray...finally some decisive action!

  • philip.mostert.14 - 2012-09-15 07:43

    If i dont work I dont get paid and then fired... I wonder if the protestors realize that salaries form part of a budget. Start working and stop protesting then you dont need to fear for your live

      maduvha.mukusha - 2012-09-15 08:36

      Work for what?? Salary that can't even sustain their lives. That sounds crazy, so they just have to work to make others richer and evn more richer. No ways!!!

  • asdhasgd - 2012-09-15 07:54

    So their logic is to hide in a mineshaft? WATCH!! They'll be DEMANDING the country to give them food down there! xD

  • lulama.mbelwa - 2012-09-15 08:06

    Oh so u care bout ur lives, u do fear when it comes to u. What about the people uve threatened and killed, what about the lives of the people u've endangered. U deserve all that is coming to u, bunch of illiterate and greedy hooligans.

  • pmbadenhorst - 2012-09-15 08:09


  • bbooyse - 2012-09-15 08:17

    You guys murdered 10 people (among them 2 Policemen), threatend to kill mine management and start a revolution ..and cost the economy billions ..this isn't exactly rocket science.

      bbooyse - 2012-09-15 08:44

      3000 miners carrying weapons sure are suspects, or is common sense racist too?

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-09-15 09:23

      well said bbooyse. so its ok to carry weapons and murder during strikes????? huh maduvha?????

      bbooyse - 2012-09-15 09:23

      That excuse may have been acceptible before these miners decided to murder 10 people.

  • mariette.brand - 2012-09-15 08:34

    They are demonstrating the power of the masses, of society, of ordinary citizens. Something big companies have been disregarding for too long, in their continuation of exploiting societies. Where does Lonmin pluck out R1800 extra for each worker all of a sudden? From the sky? So they had it all along. I can just laugh really. And who is to thank for this victory? Is it not Mr. Malema? To our own detriment in the future it is him indeed yes. We all know that he's got only his own self interest at heart, but currently he brought victory to for the mine workers.

      maduvha.mukusha - 2012-09-15 09:10

      Good question, where is 1800 coming from all of a sudden...they are waisting time by trying to play hard and contyinue to loose more profit.

  • jacobus.m.vantonder - 2012-09-15 09:33

    "We are just here to ask for the closure of operation. If you don't close, no worker will come here," Now I ask, how stupid are these people... o sorry, 2 brain cells, one busy digging his nose and the other drowning..I am so glad I don't have to work with or hire people any more.

      eric.f.moloi - 2012-09-15 09:54

      Johan van tonder choose your words carefully,these ppl r nt stupid,thy r demanding wht is right 4 thm,dont throw stones if u live in a glass house

      Clayton Richard Delport - 2012-09-16 08:38

      I love the fact that all you blacks think its right for them to murder people because there demanding better salaries, it's you people that need to catch a wake up, how do you think those poor people who wanted to work got set alight ? Or taken out with pangas and knob kirries? Heartless animals that have no understanding about humane living! And now you back these thugs up by saying they're deserve better? Your a joke and your people are a joke! Fire those basterds and replace them with people who actually need the money

  • sizwe.magwegwe - 2012-09-15 09:46

    When the President carries the spear its no a dangerous weapon it's a traditional weapon?

      bbooyse - 2012-09-15 09:48

      Which one of his spears are you referring to? :P

      ntsunyane.frederick - 2012-09-15 10:37

      Be realistic brother.People are being ruthlesly killed by those weapons.Those killed had no option.

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-09-15 10:05

    De government is more concerned abt investors n economy,wht about de ppl who r a driving force behind it?thts ridiculous

      thapelo.teleki - 2012-09-15 12:43

      that's true

      Jenny - 2012-09-15 19:19

      Eric, the problem is: no investors = no jobs = starvation, disease and death. The driving force behind? They are not driving anything at the moment, they are destroying their livelihood. No mine = no job = no food = starvation, disease and death.

  • dolce.mapheto - 2012-09-15 10:07

    All these people telling us nonsense about the LAW, THE SAME LAW CANNOT BE UPHEld BY THE BIGGEST CRIMINALS WHO ARE THE OWNERS OF THESE MINES AND THE INDIVIDUALS IN GOVERNMENT WHO BENEFIT FROM UNETHICAL DEALINGS IN THESE MINES AND THE LEECHES(unions) WHO HAVE UNDER TABLE DEALS, I'm honsetly terrified by some of these comments the same fools blamed Malema for the strike 2 weeks ago. How can ur heads b so narrow minded? Is shocking really.

  • deon.meiring - 2012-09-15 12:23

    Well let us go back to 1994. From the date that the ANC took over everything went backward. The same happened to the rest of Africa. They took over, and then they try to break down infrastructure until they are back to square 1. Coruption, coruption and more!If you disagree, then show me the success Country in Africa. And by they way, they had no Apartheid there? So nothing held them back like here in SA. R12000 and more is way too much for any mine, and where is our ANC goverment now? Go and nationalize the mines. Let the goverment pay for the shortfalls out of TAX money! This will help their with their way to bankrupt SA sooner! belaglik! NO...Blame the white man for the everything!

  • aristar.aristary - 2012-09-16 06:16

    Maybe we should go and look at:

  • blackops64 - 2012-09-16 10:20

    blow the whole fng lot away, uneducated trash

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