'Skiet en donner' response worries Vavi

2012-09-05 22:28

Johannesburg - The shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in the North West must be a wake-up call for everyone, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

"The shocking levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality lie at the heart of the increasingly violent protests we are seeing in both workplaces and communities," Vavi said in a speech prepared for delivery in the Eastern Cape.

"It is creating what until recently Cosatu has called ticking bombs. After the events at Marikana on 16 August 2012 we now must talk of exploding bombs."

He said people must wait for the judicial commission of inquiry to investigate and reveal what happened on the day when 34 miners were shot dead.

Vavi was talking at the Daily Dispatch and the University of Fort Hare dialogues on Wednesday.

On August 16, police fired on a group of protesting workers from Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, killing 34 and wounding 78. Another 10 people were killed earlier that week, including two policemen and two security guards.

Vavi said Cosatu was concerned about the police's "skiet en donner" response.

"We must specifically demand answers to allegations that workers were shot in the back while running away, contradicting the police statement they faced an armed, frontal attack.

"We need to know why the police made no attempt to meet the workers before the violence erupted and try to reason with them," he said.

At the same time striking workers needed to move away from taking dangerous weapons such as pangas and spears to demonstrations.

Vavi said superstitions and elements of backwardness on the part of workers also needed to be addressed.

Before the shooting protesting Lonmin mineworkers had reportedly taken muti from a renowned traditional healer that they believed made them invincible.

Miners who survived the shooting said they were made to believe that if they used muti by a traditional healer known as Nzabe in the Eastern Cape, bullets would not harm them.

Vavi said trade unions could not avoid examining what lessons Marikana held for them.

"[We must] ask what we ourselves could have done better to avert such a tragedy," he said.

Vavi bemoaned the formation of splinter unions and politicians that promoted them.

"They undermine the need for unity and strength. 'United we stand, divided we fall' is not empty rhetoric, but the key to transforming workers' lives, and building a better world," he said.

However, Cosatu and its affiliates had to reassess whether they were operating in the best way to defend workers and stop breakaway unions, Vavi said.

  • farmfreund - 2012-09-05 23:09

    The way i see it, lonmin will have to fall to save the rest of the mines, it will be better if they close down and not give in to the workers demands, if they do all the mines will follow the same path, SA has lost 70% of forign investment in 2011, this will be the beginning of the end, if Lonmin gives in,

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-09-06 07:05

      Lonmin closes and everyone wins except the workers and shareholders. At least the price of platinum will increase sharply and thereby benifiting the rest of mines.

  • godfrey.welman - 2012-09-05 23:23

    Mr Vavi, talk is cheap, this happened on YOUR watch as SG of Cosatu. Clearly the workers are not happy with Cosatu and are calling for an alternative, simalarly voters are unhappy with the ANC, service delivery protest. Why are you oppossed to other (so-called black unions)yet accept Soliderity (white union)

  • boltonbarry - 2012-09-05 23:24

    As supposed to the muti-wielding-hacking-and-slashing-blame-it-on-the-bunny methods used by the miners?

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-09-06 07:06

      Why are they not charged for cruelty to the poor bunny?Where is the SPCA now?

  • shahied.mohamed.9 - 2012-09-05 23:41

    ag Vavi jy kan ook maar gerus nou jou bek hou!!!!...blerrie parasiet !!

      elizabeth.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-09-07 16:26

      Hy's is erger as a luis.....

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-05 23:53

    I will ba thousand ran that the black officers did not use afrikaans. Stfu Vavi!et

  • adrian.strydom - 2012-09-06 00:05

    R627 000 000 000 gone missing since 1994 - whose fault is that ? That would sure have built a few RDP houses, supplied electricity and water to impoverished communities !

  • juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-09-06 01:09

    Oh don't worry Mr. Vavi I am wide awake. The Police had to kill or be killed. It was self defence. The poor "innocent" miners have now threatened to kill mine management if they don't shut down their business. I have heard all sorts of things before but this is a first, that workers threaten to kill their employers and burn down their business. They have crossed a line here. As a country we are truely in deep poop. Yes I am awake Mr Vavi.

  • martin.gardner.923 - 2012-09-06 01:15

    Wait until these miners taste my home-made MUTI - there wont be any need for bullets then.

  • tsmuavha - 2012-09-06 01:37

    the most unfortunate part about trying to change the system from within is when the system end up changing you..Vavi used to be the principled voice of reason within the ruling party and its allies unfortunately he is now defeating the same values and principles he vowed to is not a surprise that workers are now forming alternative unions, they now feel that their interests are being neglected and it is within their constitutional rights to do so without being discouraged and threatened.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-09-06 02:13

    The RDOs (rock drill operators) are NOT -- emphasise that, NOT -- the victims of "unemployment, poverty and inequality". They have jobs -- and are therefore employed. They earn (currently) R4500 a month plus perks and this rules out "poverty". Their earnings are woefully unequal to those of greedy corporate executives who, it needs to be pointed out, are NOT entrepreneurs but are merely hioghly-paid employees of the shareholders. So there's a legit gripe. But none of these things can justify the wanton violence, intimidation and destructiveness shown by striking workers, whether they are NUM/Cosatu or Amcu/Nactu. Yet this union hooliganism does not justify the ill-discipline and murderous brutality of the police either. It's just that one side has no moral right to be all holier-than-thou against the other. Vavi's Cosatu has as much blood and misery on its hands as the government or the cops.

  • lucille.cupido.399 - 2012-09-06 02:24

    Come on Vavi your strikers had again weapons yesterday at their demonstration why don't you go and talk to them.. Your people are ill discipline

  • chris.fuffie - 2012-09-06 03:32

    Pasop as ons begin PK's uitdeel

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-06 03:45

    It shud have been worrying the 1st time 'shoot to kill' was mentioned.A perfect phrase to create atrocities.

  • duane.low - 2012-09-06 04:14

    next time a shot goes off the crowd will run like hell!! ....lesson learnt !.... i say.... "shot in the back....? " cant expect the police to just fire one round?... of course they gonna turn and flee dont mean they were not close enough to be part of the problem? you micro asses each body and twist the facts to make your point. nothing gives more confidence in the SAP than being able to stand their ground!... enough done to repell the threat , not excessive.....well done SAP!

  • antionette.oberholzer - 2012-09-06 04:46

    This sounds about right. 'Skiet en donner' or else we'll murder and burn this place down. Really, where's the justice in this?

  • antionette.oberholzer - 2012-09-06 04:54

    This sounds about right. 'Skiet en donner' or else we'll murder and burn this place down. Really, where's the justice in this?

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-06 05:16

    What should be worrying this 'Union' chap Vavi is the fact the unions never assist their members nor pay them out properly when inciting them into a situation of danger and no pay. What should worry him even more than the above, is supporting dictatorial tribal warlords like zuma, mthethwa and the rest of the stooges that have been supplanted into positions of authority regardless they have no inking or clue as to how to do the job designated OTHER THAN TO ENSURE THE TRIBAL POWER REMAINS UPPERMOST AND NONONE EVER GETS TO STOP THE THEFT OF TAX PAYERS COFFERS BY THESE ROYAL TRIBAL AUTOCRATS but then Vavi wants to be close to one and scratch their back. The third issue should be the fact that most members have no capacity for any education at all, and have resorted to using the latest official language "Uguguh Uguh UUUUguh" while waving dangerous weapons around IN DEMAND OF THEIR TURN TO RICHES LIKE VAVI & ZUMA..

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-09-06 05:24

    Comrade Vavi your deeds are comming home to haunt you - COSATU, SADTU, NUM and all the unions have only ever employed violence, murder, chaos and intimidation to further thier demands - never have you used peaceful means to advance any agenda - Unions and thier members have never been held accountable for the crimes they have committed during protests - wake up comrade this is now the real world where people in power need to show leadership and take responsibility...!!!

      Yosi Sesoana - 2012-09-06 07:14

      Now is time form workers union that are free from political parties,ke nako

  • Michael - 2012-09-06 05:33

    This article heading is biased; i hear Vavi concerned with steikers who are carrying weapons during protest, media is not reporting correctly on this Marikana tragedy. Media is actuly inciting violence in a way.

  • jeremy002 - 2012-09-06 06:18

    If a horde of "immune" rioters armed with spears, knives, pangas, knob kierries and guns rushed at me I would hardly hesitate to take measures to protect myself, particularly if a few of my collegues had recently died under similar circumstances. Call it "skiet & donner" if you like, whatever makes your ego inflate Mr Vavi.

  • morne.hennings.5 - 2012-09-06 06:29

    What do you expect Vavi? It boggles the average sane persons mind that you guys fail to see the consequences of your actions. As if you have the right to threat, kill, destroy and intimidate? Wake the f

  • buwaz - 2012-09-06 06:48

    A week before the 16 August marikana massacre 10 were killed including police officers at the hands of strikers vavi n julius malema n other policitians n experts never went to marikana n address the workers,police n media went there the whole week n try to dispense the protesters,shouldn't this vavi's n malema's went there early to prevent it?were they waiting for the tragedy so they can make noise? Cry my beloved country

  • buwaz - 2012-09-06 06:48

    A week before the 16 August marikana massacre 10 were killed including police officers at the hands of strikers vavi n julius malema n other policitians n experts never went to marikana n address the workers,police n media went there the whole week n try to dispense the protesters,shouldn't this vavi's n malema's went there early to prevent it?were they waiting for the tragedy to happen so they can make noise? Cry my beloved country

  • ingrid.k.duplessis - 2012-09-06 06:54

    No, it is not poverty etc...look at the vast amount of white people who are living in squatter camps nowadays. Do they go around burning stuff, protesting, threatening to kill people? No! This is the heritage of the ANC "liberate now, educate later" policy. THey have raised a generation of people who expect EVERYTHING, without working for it and if denied, will think nothing of destroying eveything in their path. People have to become realistic and wake up to the fact that there is a worldwide recession at this stage(1 out every 4 americans are on foodstamps).They also have to realize that THEY, the majority, voted for this useless corrupt government. Want to change things for real? Cast a different vote next time...

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-09-06 07:08

    SAP should be handling more situations with the 'skiet en donner' mentality. Lets just call it Culling!

  • malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-09-06 07:08

    Perhaps Cosatu's time would be better spent worrying about their own slash, pillage and burn approach.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-06 07:13

    Everybody got something to say about how the police handled the situation....what they fail to understand is the fact that if the strikers never murdered those 10 people, then none of this would have happened. Protest all you want,its your right to do so, but don't go around killing people and then attack police because you high on 'muti' thinking you invincible.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-09-06 07:14

    bwahahahaha gosh they should have thought of that before they conned the people of South Africa, ANC has had almost 20 years and our rand is weaker the cost of living is off the charts and then they have all these racist policies and they wonder why people are angry??? People are angry because they are hungry, desperate and Jail is better than the street! WAKE UP

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-09-06 07:15

    No Vavi. It is YOU and your CORRUPT INEPT government that they are angry about. Wake up. Your time has come.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-06 07:19

    And where were the union bosses, politicians and Malema when they murdered these 10? This incident could of been avoided if they were really concerned about what was going on. But as usual they waited till after the shooting to show concern.

  • mmatzener - 2012-09-06 07:20

    What about the 10 people killed on August 15.......??? Maybe their lives don't count because mineworkers are allowed to kill - but the police are not allowed to defend themselves like on 25 January 1960 at Cato Manor when 9 policemen were hacked to death by a crowd like theirs....!!

  • arno.botha.71 - 2012-09-06 07:24

    Yeah right, like the strikers weren't taking a 'skop, skiet and hack everyone to death' approach! i think simply the fact that a sangoma was brought in to distribute bulletproof muti is proof that these miners intended a full on confrontation with police, a confrontation that they ended up losing. although i do agree with vavi where he says striking workers needed to move away from taking dangerous weapons and that the superstitions and backwardness of strikers had to be addressed as i'm pretty sure that the muti played a big roll in how events unfolded.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-06 07:26

    Mr Vavi, you complain about the "shocking levels of unemployment" but you and your trade unions force employed workers to strike? many of them lose their jobs because of illegal strikes in the process. What a contradiction. Then you complain about the "skiet and donner" tactics of the police. Can you blame the police if your so called "peaceful" strikers gather with weapons that can kill. And have too! Decide what you want, you cannot have everything your way!

  • Panafricanparliamrntraw - 2012-09-06 07:28

    to start searching for what went wrong in the Lonmin mineworkers strike, it willbe better to judge why these strikers sort for muti protection from police action. it then means that they were not just our to send what is suppose to mean industrial grievances but to cause to cause mayhem, which also propel them (workers) to arm themselves with dangerous weapons. Thus they provoked the situation that led to the shooting. Hence are guilty of being responsible for what resulted to the shooting.

  • Jigant1c - 2012-09-06 07:33

    I find it strange that Vavi does not mention the killing of two police officers and two security guards. No wonder the cops were no taking any chances on there own safety.The unions have to take a careful look at there actions and those of their followers.The threat of violence at strikes is a throw back to the liberation struggle and should be outlawed in the new south Africa. A strike is a protest be withholding your work not an excuse to vandalize and kill.

  • mbusi.t.nzimande - 2012-09-06 07:35

    Too many people line up to post their comments about the ANC,but I'm willing to bet that 90% of us have never actually taken part in a protest,most people associate it with struggle,as if it belittle ones status amongst society...but its simple really,make enough noise,investors begin to worry(western world)and change is enforced..don't believe me?Look at what happened in the apartheid era,marches or toi toi's were the most powerful tool...we need to be the change we want to see,no one else is going to do it for us

      pieter0827006294 - 2012-09-06 07:58

      Nothing wrong with protesting peacefully!

  • dmcmr.dhai - 2012-09-06 07:35

    My problem with these marikana killings is that reference is only made to 34 miners, the policemen and security personnel who were brutally killed & mutilated seem to be forgotten.

  • hans.dewaal.5 - 2012-09-06 07:36

    Seems its ok for the union members to strike and act like hooligans while the police should try and reason with them. Here is a thought. Why not try and do some PRODUCTIVE work and see how much better our economy would do. Unions are strangling the SA economy with their endless demands for increased salaries (always way above the inflation rate)

  • shaun.taute - 2012-09-06 07:37

    Are Unions not also seen as "FAT-CATS" who Manipulate? I think some will agree with this Statement that they are. Unions will eventually bring the fall of Democracy and drive us to ruins.

  • navorser.vanwyk - 2012-09-06 07:53

    Vavi, did you know that the panga killed more people than the atomic bombs of Japan? This weapon of mass destruction should be BANNED from public places. Then only the SAPD can use minimum force, but as long as the murderers carry these weapons, the police must protect themselves with their traditional weapons

  • marc.ross.965 - 2012-09-06 08:01

    Time for a Tax Payers Union. When we go on strike these idiots will K*K.

  • graham.horn.505 - 2012-09-06 08:13

    COSATU = the biggest Cause Of South Africa's Terrible Unemployemnt and nothing more than an organisation to canvas votes for the ANC. This same Vavi said on a podium "we are married to the ANC". He is also on record for having said he would die for Zuma. If the Zuma leadership is to blame, then Vavi and his cohorts are DIRECTLY to blame as well - no excuses. COSATU does NOT represent the workers. It is driven entirely by its own ego and greed.

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-09-06 08:29

    Wait... The muti didn't work? How is that possible?

  • john.jacobs16 - 2012-09-06 09:59

    This Vavi guy IS strange, COSATU s primary mandate is to represent workers ,when workers do these kind of actions it is a wake up call to Cosatu which is not representing them on the ground , The ANC government could be corrupt but really it is not the government s responsibility to baggaine salaries for employees , Ironically you have the guts to stand up and pass the buck

  • Blixum - 2012-09-06 10:56

    What about the sangomas' role vavi? Nobody is saying anything about their 'panga and dagga' response.

  • marius.vanwyk.5621 - 2012-09-06 11:54

    Ag c'mon Vavi. What about non striking workers being "Skiet and donderd" when you guys take to the streets?

  • darren.raath.5 - 2012-09-06 15:40


  • Greypatriot - 2012-09-06 15:54

    "Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." - Martin Luther King

  • maropola.nkitsing - 2012-09-08 08:00

    u failed workers by siding wiyh cANCer

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