Lonmin: Witness sees seven bodies

Lonmin: Witness sees seven bodies

2012-08-16 16:20

Marikana - Police reportedly opened fire on thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and spears near Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine on Thursday, and a Reuters witness said he saw at least seven bodies lying on the ground.

Police at the scene said they had been trying to negotiate with the striking rock-drill operators massed on a rocky outcrop near the mine, but the talks had failed.

AP reports it was unclear what ammunition police used to break up the strikers at the Lonmin [JSE:LON] platinum mine. News TV images showed people lying on the ground, one with blood flowing from a wound.

Police Capt. Dennis Adrio, a spokesperson for the officers at the mine, declined to immediately comment. Journalists at the scene said several of those shot were laying on the ground and were not moving.

The protest and ensuing violence, which began a week ago, has killed at least 10 people there, including two police officers. It's also drastically affected production at the mine.

Earlier Sapa reported that National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) claimed there is a hit list targeting members of the union at the mine.

The man found dead on Tuesday in an open veld near the mountain where striking workers had gathered was a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward, the union's president Frans Baleni said on Thursday.

"We know that the list consists of shop stewards and branch members at Lonmin," he said

Ten people have been killed in violent protests at the mine in Marikana since Friday.

Baleni said three of them were NUM members, and one was a member of the United Association of SA (Uasa).

Last Friday, thousands of rock drill operators started an illegal strike and a protest march.

Two police officers and two security guards are among those killed.

The striking workers are demanded a salary of R12 500 a month for all workers. They currently earn R4 000 a month.

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  • gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-08-16 16:37

    Oh God, my country truly bleeds red, civil war seems imminent. What of our young?

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-16 16:58

      Civil war enticed and caused by the ANC.

  • johan.maree.5036 - 2012-08-16 16:37

    This is horrible! I don't think it's a good idea challenging the police with weapons when two of theirs has already been killed...What did they expect was going to happen?

      Erna - 2012-08-16 16:57

      Exactly! You can't 'negotiate' with idiots like this. Fire the whole lot and lock them up. If they want a battle I'm sure the cops are ready for them. People get fired for a whole lot less and its not as if there are not people to take over. Wonder how many are illegal?

      sizile.sindi.14 - 2012-08-16 17:02

      Yo this is ma first tym 2 c peaple dieng lyk dis mine workers yhooooo

  • johan.vanheerden.737 - 2012-08-16 16:37

    So how did the strike better the life of anybody?

      danny.archer.589 - 2012-08-16 17:16

      They improved mine knowing that there are a few less idiots who will be putting a cross next to Showerhead's face in 2014.

  • hcduplessis - 2012-08-16 16:39

    looks like their "herbal medicine" did not work to well.

  • christiaan.oosthuizen.568 - 2012-08-16 16:39

    sharpvill ?, oh shartpvill II ............ end of the ANC

  • thabang.bonang.7 - 2012-08-16 16:41

    Oh No! It's getting worse. It's been a time bomb for a couple of months.

  • matt.ward.14203 - 2012-08-16 16:47

    Seriously . . You Go on an illegal strike . . Demand three times what you are earning . . Kill Ten people, including 2 cops . . What the hell do you expect. The police will retaliate. . . With Force . . !!! . . How must the mine management fell when the strike is over . . they have a bunch of low life murderers working on their property . . . Shoot to kill, and whomever survives, Dismiss from Staff !!!

  • rick.kabose - 2012-08-16 16:47

    Oh my word , the anc pulled a sharpville......he he he ,how the wheel turns

      danny.archer.589 - 2012-08-16 16:50

      Beautiful, ain't it? hehehehe

      thando.gqabaza - 2012-08-16 16:55

      How can you call this beautiful when people die ?

      rick.kabose - 2012-08-16 17:01

      They were happy to kill policeman. They must be happy to see their friends killed by policeman. Sharpville stuff buddy.

      danny.archer.589 - 2012-08-16 17:18

      @thando. Because it's another nail in the ANC hypocrisy coffin.

  • Teuneman - 2012-08-16 16:49

    Its about farkin time!

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-16 16:49

    Reminds me of the Apartheid days, photos look the same, different government though, and so we are sliding downhill once again.

      Malcolm - 2012-08-16 16:52

      We've been sliding downhill for a long time, perhaps we are nearing the bottom of it now?

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-16 16:59

      hope so, the slope can only go uphill then right? Unless, well the abyss could be down there somewhere!

      natural.view.52 - 2012-08-16 17:03

      @malcolm More like nearing the cliff, eh?

      Malcolm - 2012-08-16 17:18

      Well if it's a cliff then lets all hope that there is a trampoline at the bottom.

  • sidney.gilroy - 2012-08-16 16:50

    This is going to be the end of the ANC. The working class is already fed up with the government...now the police force are using live ammunition on protestors !?

      EricksonTL - 2012-08-16 18:20

      Tunisia day? Arab spring? The ANC's been treading water for a while. Wouldn't be surprised if this IS the catalyst.

  • EricksonTL - 2012-08-16 16:50

    Wow. Seems I may be a prophet after all. Can't believe they had the nads to actually do it though!

  • danny.archer.589 - 2012-08-16 16:53

    Three cheers to SAPS for finally getting something right?! Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray!

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-16 16:56

    Time to bite the bullet I'm afraid. But there shouldn't be any fatalities since they have muti.

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-16 17:08

      Either muti or a shower.

  • amy.fox.988 - 2012-08-16 16:58

    You don't solve problems with pangas or by destroying property either! This hooliganism has to stop sometime, and that time is now! This should be a lesson, you do not threaten police! Obey the law. Good riddance, at least 7 less mouths to feed.

  • nathaniel.kgokong.3 - 2012-08-16 17:02

    what about their famalies no matter who is wrong here because i think it started in a meeting and it must end in a meeting as well this was not necessary, it was said we dont need education to be good leaders look where we are heading now

      EricksonTL - 2012-08-16 17:11

      Live by the panga, die by the... bullet? They started the violence, so why not finish it with violence?

  • steveroodt - 2012-08-16 17:03

    If you are Armed then expect what you get.

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-08-16 17:10

    Why bring machetes and spears to a work related strike? Can not blame the police really

      tooka.loosh.5 - 2012-08-16 17:16

      trust a ****** to take a machete to a gunfight. :)

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-16 17:17

    No loss of life should result in rejoicing. When you've seen the life of someone taken away in an instant, it is cold and disturbing no matter what the circumstances. I don't have time for people behaving in this manner though, taking lives as they see fit and thinking it's justified just because of their personal circumstances, and so, if you live by the sword ........ We should by now as a country have progressed way past this crude and primitive behavior. But also people really need to wise up. These workers were lied to by government, their unions and their blasted sangomas. Will they ever progress to a point where they realise and accept that the combination of a government like ours, linked to powerful unions is just not a healthy mix.

      tooka.loosh.5 - 2012-08-16 17:21

      Short answer : No! Long answer : No, Never!

  • siyambukaarchibald.sikrweqe - 2012-08-16 17:52


  • lovemore.mutawu - 2012-08-16 17:53

    Very unfortunate indeed in a so called democracy like SA. Innocent lives had jus been lost in a misguided belief that they could hve their salaries tripled.

      EricksonTL - 2012-08-16 18:19

      Indeed, and the innocent people they murdered in the name of more money will not be forgotten.

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