Prevent repeat of mine shooting - Mthethwa

2012-08-21 16:05

Cape Town - Last Thursday's shooting at the Lonmin mine in North West should teach the country to double its efforts to prevent a repeat, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday.

"It is our responsibility both as individuals and as a nation to ensure that it does not happen again," he told the National Assembly during a special debate on the shooting that cost at least 34 lives and injured 78 in a clash between police and striking miners.

"Thursday’s event is tragic because many people lost their lives in a manner that could have been avoided if all of us had adhered to the noble principles of our Constitution," he said.

"Painful moments like these force us to trace our steps back and recall the founding principles of our democratic order. The Constitution of the Republic as adopted in 1996 is our lodestar in the execution of our duties."

The Constitution guaranteed rights and imposed responsibilities on citizens.

It provided for the right to "peaceful and unarmed assembly, demonstrate, picket and present petition".

It also enjoined members of the SA Police Service to prevent, combat, and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure citizens and their property, and uphold and enforce the law.

"The police as part of our security services are always and at all material times guided by the Constitution of the Republic," Mthethwa said.

"The events of Thursday 16 August 2012, were not sudden eruptions but a culmination of events that were building over months and months."

Police were saddened by the events in Marikana, and did their best to avert violence. The loss of life among workers and members of the police service was tragic and regrettable.

Government ministries and departments were on the ground, assisting families in identifying the deceased, organising funerals, relief for those in distress, and counselling for the families, Mthethwa said.

"As we indicated above, the Constitution of the Republic guarantees us the right to strike, to protest in a peaceful orderly manner to express our dissatisfaction with anything. While all South Africans enjoy these rights, rights always come with responsibilities."

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-21 16:11

    Yeah, sack the ANC and vote in a competent Government.

      blignault.michaele - 2012-08-21 16:17

      Agreed, and get rid of the bogus unions, the Juju's and the corruptorites [from corruptville] - 2012-08-21 16:47

      This guy Mthethwa should be the first sacked. This tragedy is his fault - why did the majrity of the police officers have automatic weapons? - 2012-08-21 18:26

      @christof.coetzee - I take offence to you using the word cheap to describe human beings.You should just say "hire some hard working people here".That sounds more humane.P.S i am African just in case you are wondering.

      morama.sebata - 2012-08-21 18:38

      @Christoff.coetzee,Believe me that most of this people in coronation had been ignorant enough taking into consideration the advantages they had prior 1994 except for the young ones of course.They had an opportunity and they messed it up,if you can ask those who are above 40 as to what kind of work and salary was earning prior 1994.You will then agree with me.Even if you can give idiot R999999990000000000,00 he can blow it up in seven days!!!

      tw2066 - 2012-08-21 20:40

      Ok, christof, xbox has a problem with cheap, so lets try, budget or relatively inexpensive no no I think we mean excellent value for money... yes thats it .... rather than cheap. Xbox, your race, political affiliation, religious denomination or choice of beer is of no concern to anyone, however, I can see from your comment that you are probably a very good and genuine person. Oh, and the topic of preventing this, larry has it spot on, fire the ANC, can start with Phieyenga and Naafi Mthethwa.

      mattewis.kat - 2012-08-21 21:32

      No, just qualify democracy with a proper educational requirement, and a competent government will be voted into power. But, alas, that's way too "rayciss"! Rule of the quantity over the quality will always end in misery, and this incident will unfortunately only be the start of it! This ANC idiot won't change that fact. The biggest modern slave traders are the very black leaders the dumb electorate vote into power!

  • kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-21 16:20

    Stop talking about doing things ...Just do it and then talk about it !

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-21 16:45

      That's why those big shot ministers get their mansions, big fat salaries and luxury cars. They are supposed to sort out those problems, that's why we pay their taxes. Sorry Mtetwa don't make your problem ours

  • marianne.v.nieuwoudt - 2012-08-21 16:23

    Well put Minister, but it shouldn't have been necessary for the police in the first place to be put in that situation...

  • Hemlock - 2012-08-21 16:26

    Actions speak louder than words. Get rid of the ANC and vote in an honest (we can dream) government capable of running the country with competence. ANC have ruined this beautiful country enough already!

      tlegodu - 2012-08-21 18:19

      which one is/will be the honest government!!!!!!!!

  • amused.reader.7 - 2012-08-21 16:33

    I'm not a great fan of the police minister, but on this occasion i agree 100%. I was raised in the UK, and remember the Thatcher era very well. When she came to power the country was bankrupt, and has been bailed out by the IMF. The cause ..... unions that were out of control, making ridiculous demands, until eventually the country went bust. She took on the unions head on, she banned secondary picketing, she refused to cow down to violent protest, she prevented strikers preventing people who wanted to work from working. The result, Britain resumed its position as an economic powerhouse. Alas it was too late for some. Britian's car industry, which had been a world leader, had already been decimated by the unions, and virtually ever single job was eventually lost South Africa could learn much from this example

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-21 17:10

      Unfortunately, you will notice from the recent past, and you will notice in the future, that the powers that be in SA do not make a point of learning from the past or from the mistakes of others. They are arrogant, and willing to march right into the same holes that others have before them. It is in fact amazing that right throughout Africa one will see this strange phenomenon where people just cannot seem to recognise mistakes of others, so as to avoid doing the same. Africa is a very interesting place. - 2012-08-21 18:29

      @BigChiefPlumbPudding- For once i agree with you.Bravo for speaking the truth without using any racial slurs.If white South Africans can debate without using racial slur we will all unite.

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-08-21 16:37

    As they are looking into this, get hold of the mutiman aswell. Take all the money that was paid to him and give it to the wives of the dead people. Then the person who worked with him recommending him to come from the EP, lock the two up. All they did was stiring. - 2012-08-21 18:29


  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-21 16:39

    While the ANC has horribly failed to do the most basic things expected from a governing party, I support the police (& the ANC Government) 100% to resolve this peacefully. This intolerance, violent protest, bloodshed & loss of income & production should be avoided at all costs. Its now time for the ANC to stand up & lead, thats what they are there for.

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-08-21 17:10

      I regret to say thats wishfull thinking

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-21 18:17

      maybe, but for the time being the ANC Govt is all we got, & the consequences of them losing control are far worse than the mismanagement & corruption we have seen so far from them.

  • divina.naradh - 2012-08-21 16:58

    For once the Minister has understood the constitution and spoken like a true representative. Everyone has a right but there is a great deal or responsibilty that comes with it.

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-08-21 17:14

      @divina.naradh - Talk is cheap, we have heard it all too many times. They are true representitives only when bad things like this happen - we need to see action and true leadership

  • pat.magwaza - 2012-08-21 17:15

    You and clueless Phiyega should go..followed by your good for nothing boss Zuma.Actually the current ANC leadership must be kicked out at Mangaung...miners tragic incident is just the tip of the iceberg...issues at hand had been going on for years before you came to are in power now and do nothing about it...all you do best is just continue to push corruption and get fat checks by exploiting black brothers and sisters. Miners habe been underpaid for ages, theirs is a shyt job, safety standards are low, living conditions are worse than jails..i was a miner from wits, know what im talking a 1st year student doing my vac emp in 1993 i earned 7 thousand whilst 10year experienced face-wall-drill-n-blast operators were scoring 3grands.fastforward to 2012 miners are still earning a mere 4 grands...thats not right...maybe our government should sort the wage differences before they opened their big-infested-with-lies mouths..this is not a mining issue applies across all sectors..pick-n-pay exploit its does filling stations,graduates are unemployed, white middle-class males have always dominated the economy..really we are far from economic to fellow miners...wits miners do it underground..your fight is a just long brothers.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-21 18:17

      Well education is the foundation of everything, so its no good complaining about being exploited by everybody, get an education, start your own business & the world will be your oyster. What will replacing the ANC leadership do, its like rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship, what we need is for people to start holding their government accountable, what we need is for a strong black led opposition that is capable of running the country, what we need is sensible, mature & educated voters, till then you will remain exploited, by everybody,no matter who runs this country.

  • james.otter.10 - 2012-08-21 17:21

    "Prevent repeat of mine shooting" he says. How? Should the police fire rubber bullets and get cut to pieces? Should police not be involved? Should the angry mob have its way? I some how don't think giving them a cuppa tea and a biscuit with a copy of the Constitution to read is a realistic solution. They are a very tough irrational mob, high on some primitive concoction. They cannot be reached through the Unions - the strike is unofficial. Not an easy problem.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-08-21 17:21

    Had the government more control over the Unions this dreadful loss of life would not have happened. Hopefully the Police Ministry will also set higher standards for the training of our police to ensure no future confrontations take place. The need for government to control union activity is also paramount to prevent destruction of property and rampages with the potential for more killings.

  • Mike - 2012-08-21 17:55

    Unfortunately the situation in SA has regressed to such an extent that this could be the foretaste of things to come. There has been increasing militancy freely expressed in some quarters and there are so many issues that are simply not being addressed which compounds the situation even more.

  • charl.deswardt - 2012-08-21 17:56

    this fall squarely on the shoulders of the government. allowing strikes to get out of hand over the years have now erupted into this. but then again if the anc do something about unions it will be the fastest way for them to lose votes.

  • rashied.bux - 2012-08-21 18:02

    brothers what about the farm killings which add much more than this one incident and its continuing,what about them arnt they south africans too,

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-08-21 18:23

    History repeat itself Mr Mthetwa. Remember the slogan, 'you can kill us but you can't kill us all'. Chicken coming home to roost

  • heroes - 2012-08-21 19:15

    i think the management of marikana is responsible for this killing they made workers to fight each other, instead of addressing the demand of workers they want to sack those that are fighting for better living money is not better life by saying that i refer to the management. when people want become violent knowing that those that going to work wheres they ar on strike will also benefit what i like about sa we've got rights and those are not better other, equal rights u can be a civilian like me or solidier we ar all human wegot rights to life.

  • lionel.defrontignac - 2012-08-22 04:14

    As I expected; the usual drivel from an ANC politician - all talk and no sincere action. Let's have some real leadership for a change: we do not need these morons who arrogantly treat this country as their personal fief.

  • sinothando.ncube1 - 2012-08-22 09:53

    The strikers contravened the constitution,the police are governed and protected by that same constituion.It is tragic yes,but we can not blame the police for this...bemele kufe bani? The police?becoz it seems the majority is aginst their use of live ammunition.they were being shot at with live ammunition and the use of rubber bullets wld have ensured their own massacre.So they were really fighting fire with fire and the strikers ignored all measures taken to disperse and prevent this from happening.I pray all parties have learnt a lesson from this and its the last of its kind in our land!!

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