Mine shoot-out: 3 minutes, 18 bodies

2012-08-16 17:24

Rustenburg - An attempt by the police on Thursday to disperse striking workers at Marikana's troubled Lonmin [JSE:LON] mine ended in a shoot-out between the two groups.

A Sapa reporter at the scene said he counted 18 bodies lying next to the nearby Wonderkop squatter camp.

The shooting lasted about three minutes.

Police had tried to intercept a section of the strikers gathered on top of a hill.

The strikers were wielding pangas and chanting war songs.

Police fired teargas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers, who retaliated by firing live ammunition at the police.

The area around the hill, which the strikers had turned into their base for the past few days, was cordoned off with barbed wire.

The Star reporter Poloko Tau gave a dramatic rundown of events on Twitter.

auto guns creacking and cocked like 100 at a time, scary...warzone down here, 1st shot fired

journalist running, diving and hiding amid shots, water canon spewing water at the strikers...

strikers fleeing...teargas coughs

deafening sound of low-flying choppers...several arrested and disarmed

The strikers scattered towards the squatter camp and the nearby veld.

Police spokesperson Captain Dennis Adriao told journalists at the scene police had been "tactical" in their approach and that the situation was tense. National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is on her way to the scene.

Marikana and #Lonmin are currently trending on Twitter.

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  • spartanx93 - 2012-08-16 17:32

    Full metal jacket!

      kolobe.mzansi.9 - 2012-08-16 17:48

      whole saga doesnt make sense

      marius.calitz.9 - 2012-08-16 19:48

      should be hydroshok or hollowpoints...

      paul.anthony.dawson - 2012-08-16 21:04

      Disgusting. The whole situation is tragic.

  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-16 17:35

    And the world - who wants to invest in our country - sees this and move their money to a more stable developing country. Well ANCYL - you did say we do not need investors!

  • kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-16 17:37

    The wheel has now turned a full circle since the 70s !

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-08-16 17:49

      ...except that the wheel now has the backing of the rest of the world... ;)

  • glenda.gert - 2012-08-16 17:43

    this was so unnecessary damn

      bones.meintjies - 2012-08-16 18:06

      No it was not. They were armed, they were getting ready for "war", they THREATENED war, and they got war. They are lucky the cops held back.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-16 18:43

      . A dark day in our democracy !! It should never have have gone this far. The ones responsible for this, should be held accountable !!!

  • Teuneman - 2012-08-16 17:46

    I like it that this happned right after the deadly force bill was passed.

  • mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-16 17:47

    Where is Zuma ???, in Zimbabwe solving Mugabe 's problems? He needs to come back here and Solve this proplem!!, He is the president of this country, Now where is HE?? l ask the Zululus because they are the one's supporting HIM for the second term. Do you really want us to go Sh#ter more than this!, Weak Laws. Weak President my foot.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-08-16 18:25

      @Lee - ha ha ha!! I laugh every time I read that phrase! :P

      kwezi.figlan - 2012-08-16 19:00

      Ha ha ha he is still applying his mind.

      thabang.bonang.7 - 2012-08-16 19:55

      Still weighing which one is more important. The Lonmin issue or Zumaville project.

      malebo.more - 2012-08-17 08:25

      So Ratsakane,the police must just stand and watch people running towards them with pangas and knobkirries. I wld also shoot to protect myself. The two officers who were killed on monday wr hacked with pangas and axes by the miners. What about them? What if they were also breadwinners. I think you should also watch news and not only read before you comment.

  • bamakhani - 2012-08-16 17:50

    This was unnecessary at all! 18 families now will suffer because of failer UNION and Employer to solve this issue. Trigger happy SAPS!

      Watkykj - 2012-08-16 17:53

      Wat the about the 10 real innocent people that were murdered by THEM!?!

      Teuneman - 2012-08-16 17:55

      If you play with fire, expect to be shot!

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-08-16 19:06

      Those 18 idiots are that Grant Calloway is talking about were bread-winners, and there is no word in that article that says they are the ones who fired live ammunition. Jerrr, you people will NEVER change. NEVER.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-16 19:30

      ratsaka.eugene... so while they were getting shot at the police should've politely asked the advancing strikers who is shooting at them? You boerewors idiot!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-16 20:25

      Bamakhani, Your comment is spot on !!

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-16 23:32

      AnthonyfromAfrica... Rubbish man, this is a turf war between two unions, one of which accepted the mine's offer & went back to work. And the other which didn't accept. So clearly both of your comments are spot off... IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • refiloe.shikwambana - 2012-08-16 17:52

    Where is Cosatu.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-08-16 17:54

      Probably organising another strike somewhere... Gosh, give them a break! One thing at a time, please!!

      hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-16 18:05

      I personally think they would rather want a brick instead of a break.

  • dave.willard.79 - 2012-08-16 17:53

    Gr8 stuff. Time the people in this country learn that everything they do have consequences. Well done to the police.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-08-16 19:32

      Bravo to the police, payback is a biaaaaaatch!

  • ivan.frantz.3 - 2012-08-16 18:01

    Black on Black confrontation, and it will escalate. Who is to blame for this ( Whites ? Arpartheid ? ) Where are our leaders ?

      msendi - 2012-08-16 20:45

      … and it will escalate. Bloodshed between blacks is the only thing you are looking forward to? How can you celebrate the death of people?

  • nico.maponya - 2012-08-16 18:11

    Ooohh! God please help South Africa.No one deserves to die like this"like ants".What happened to discussing issues and reach an amicable solution without anyone having to die.Lord have mercy.

  • tobydt - 2012-08-16 18:13

    3000 policemen, at one spot. Because of the unions. What a waste of resources. 18 people killed in 3 minutes, because of the unions. Why isnt anything being done about the unions? They are killing our country.

  • dave.nutter.75 - 2012-08-16 18:14

    What does this remind one of. Years ago!!

  • grace.kandetu - 2012-08-16 18:16

    In those 3 minutes the union bosses were comfortably in their air conditioned offices.

  • tobydt - 2012-08-16 18:22

    Sad day for South Africa.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-08-16 18:28

      Not at all. Hopefully its some kind of turning point actually (although I doubt it)

  • richard.sloman.5 - 2012-08-16 18:31

    Am amazed the police firstly didn't get shot during this confrontation (maybe they did and it hasn't yet been reported on...), and secondly didn't shoot any of their own...

  • barry.ahern.3 - 2012-08-16 18:35

    Its sad people had to die, but also good. Why, because no matter your colour or gender, you have to realise that there is a line, and if you cross it, there are consequences. For too long the country has been held hostage by protesters, who kill and maime, destroy and demand all the time. get your point across for sure, but violence is never the answer. Im glad the SAPS made a strong stand, and hope the reprocussions will sound out to all the rest of protesters around the country, that this will not be tolerated. not for any reason!

  • zaaristotle - 2012-08-16 18:41

    No sympathy. The fact that there are many photos of the strikers wielding pangas, knopkieries, knives and the like indicate that they had a certain intention. Don't cry now that they were "unarmed" and that they did not have guns. They showed intent, hence they, and their union bosses, deserve fully the consquenses of their actions.

  • kleeroy - 2012-08-16 18:45

    Sad story

  • moaphe.ishmael - 2012-08-16 18:46

    The goverment should distroy de squarter camps dat ar close to de workarea.

  • simon.mwando - 2012-08-16 18:49

    Ironically Zuma is in Zim!\r\nNot so bad,at. Least its a clear message to e would be offenders!

  • jeremiahlutendo.dilikisa - 2012-08-16 18:49

    this is a gud thing they must just finish each other

  • bunny.follocks - 2012-08-16 18:52

    Vat so, jou booswig!

      marius.calitz.9 - 2012-08-16 19:41

      dis blerrie Verwoerd se skuld die donner!! 'n "legacy" van APARTHEID

  • watsongeorgejan - 2012-08-16 18:52

    Earlier in the day NUM's spokesperson made it clear that thier members were not involved in this illegal strike and tha they wer targeted because they still went to work. Apparently this new union is not even recognised and does'nt have bargaining rights within the mine, so they're using strong arm tactics to gain recognition. This group are a law unto themselves and don't even respect our law enforcement officers-remember they even hacked two cops to death-so, they got what they deserve.

  • price.moyo.9 - 2012-08-16 18:54

    While i dnt condone any killing like thesr, i find it hard to understand why wld people who are on strike are armed with knives, machetes etc. Am sure if these strikers had thier way they wld nt hasitate to use these weapons. Sad sad!

  • charles.gregory.7906 - 2012-08-16 18:54

    Its about time I hope this wil be the reaction from now on these kind of people have been doing as they like for 18 years today is the day police and s.a have drawn the line!

      ld.vanvuuren - 2012-08-16 19:05

      I wonder how Nelson would have reacted? After all the slandering and (both sides) racism - what would his message have been? We all know R12,500 is ridiculous - but the question is whether the lives lost were worth the cause? Listen to this madala - next time vote with your heads; Liberation has come (and gone)

  • ntsunyane.frederick - 2012-08-16 18:59

    wielding axes,pangas and any weapons remind of situation prior to first multiracial elections in SA.Hoping that further bloodshed will be avoided. We are all south africans.

  • hummy.ramukhuvhathi - 2012-08-16 18:59

    Any1 to help...what are the fighting for?

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-08-16 19:00

    police were just following rules of engagement,shoot those bastards...they are a danger to the mine,police and themselves...this is not shaka zulu's time,wielding pangas bloody savages..engage management in the boardroom and stop humiliating us

  • piet.wagamashika - 2012-08-16 19:05

    Damn its bad, police failed to control the situation how come people kill each other in their presence.condolences to the families of deseased.

      sekwati.robinson - 2012-08-16 19:11

      this guys shot and charged police who retaliated forcefully not brutally....south african protesters take police for granted,not today my friend...but its sad what happened

  • steveroodt - 2012-08-16 19:05

    Watch the video and you will see the Firearm retrieved the police had full rite to open fire

  • jerry.mot - 2012-08-16 19:12

    If what is being reported is true, and the miners fired at the police first, then as difficult as it may be to accept, the miners have nothing to complain about. They brought this situation down on themselves. I am generally wary of the power of the government, but violence against the police force of a duly and freely elected government is unacceptable, and must be dealt with firmly. Hopefully, the said government will stand behind these brave officers who only did their job as best they could in a difficult situation. I know pressure will come to punish the police, but I just hope our leaders show some backbone and reiterate the fact that we are a nation of laws, and to that end, shooting at the police will not be tolerated. Do so at your own peril.

  • thabo.modiba.7 - 2012-08-16 19:16

    \Police fired teargas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers, who retaliated by firing live ammunition at the police\ Police acted in self defense. My take is that Union failed to control the workers.

  • zolani.ntenge - 2012-08-16 19:18

    Comments here are a bit scary, 18 people have been confirmed dead and all you can think about is politics. Wow we really are loving in a messed up society. May theirs souls rest in peace.

  • kiki.alberts - 2012-08-16 19:19

    Stop what you are doing by saying it's because of the unions or something or someone people can't go out to war without knowing right from wrong , they did it because it is part of what they are and what they want if we had no laws then the world would run mad and everyone will do as he pleases, more people would have died had the SAP not stopped these mad people. 6 minutes ago · Like

  • dean.ramjoomia - 2012-08-16 19:26

    I'm am afraid to say this is yet another dark day in our country history. While I dread to repeat myself in saying as a country we might all be over run by increasing and more and more intolerant poor, exploited people who have no regard for the poor weak and direction less leadership in our country. We in a CriseS !

  • mike.stowell.526 - 2012-08-16 19:27

    This sad event of today has set a dangerous precedence. That it was a shootout is neither here nor there. Its a sad day indeed may the deceased rest in peace and my condolonces to their loved ones. The issue of inequality has to be addressed not today but immediately. The sad part about this whole affair is that these workers died striking for the little crumbs that these white capitalist are not even willing to share with them even with the obscene super profits that they stash offshore. It doesnt take a a buffon to realise that the issue of inequality if it is not fixed soon all hell will soon break loose everywhere is South Africa. The other sad part of this incident is that the white capitalist controlled media particulary E news channel has failed or discriminately failed to give the news prominency thus farr considering the gravity of the incident l would have expected the channel to give us a an indepth wide coverage of the incident for us to understand how this came to be. With their biased western reporting they would sooner report on the death of a white baby in New York than the death of these 18 striking black workers. The other sad part from the incident is that Lonmin has not come out condenming this incident and offering a compromise to the striking workers. The question that is on my mind and in the minds of most black South Africans is how should inequality be dealt with going forward so that there is no repeat of today's sad events

      msendi - 2012-08-16 20:58

      @najanivea… The man is free to express his views. You must admit that not all whites are extremists like you. At least he remembered to send condolences to the grieving families…

      helgaardt.oosthuizen - 2012-08-17 07:36

      Hi mike.stowell.526 . From your conclusion I derive that you are one of the following. Foreigner, rick kid, a deserter, or an total idiot. If a foreigner you should know to keep your nose out of our business. If a rick kid than a would rather you left the country and never try to come back. If a deserter than you should do the same. This issue is not black and white anymore. It is now gray. Most mines in our country is being run by BEE companies or by foreign investors. What happened is fair. Finished. That there is low wages nobody disagrees but than again you need to realize that it would be impossible for the world to function in any other way on our current world economy. In any event us born white south africans cannot be blamed anymore. (you cannot be included in us). We are ourselves being discriminated against on an hourly bases. The country is I agree still racist, but in the opposite direction. BEE, Affirmative action, Laws. Everywhere. So in short as i am fuming at your comment. Screw you and i hope for your sake we never meet in person.

  • henry.mayumbelo - 2012-08-16 19:49

    Sad day , looked like a masacre to me. The policing leaves much to be desired, what happened to tear gas and rubber bullets to control unruly crowds. The union leaders will need some soul searching because to a large extent they have misled and failed their members .The use of the union members for political mileage is rampant - the need for regulation is paramount.

      johannes.slurp - 2012-08-16 20:02

      Henry, the cops did use teargas e.t.c. It was a clear determined effort from the strikers to take law onto themselves. they could have kept it peacefull, the strikers killed TEN innocents before today. 400 cops trying to contain 3000+ aggressive armed (guns knifes and other weapons that will kill if used)mob. remember TWO cops were hacked and stoned in an inhuman way. the strikers could have gooten themselves heard and maybe even have gotten support had they been peaceful. Well don boys in blue! your diccipline keppt you alive.

      darryl.parkinson.50 - 2012-08-16 20:05

      Violence be-gets Violence, so sick and tired of these gangs/unions running amok without recourse. Glad to see something was done about it - but agree that rubber bullets / tear gas is a better solution. Let's not forget Tatane & Mokoka!

  • thandinkosi.nogwanya - 2012-08-16 20:04

    I think the voice of reasons should prevail. Where is the minister of Mines and her high level management ? The mine management and the unions and givernment should have worked to save lives and end the stand off between the unions. Yes the armed gathering was illegal , but was it a threat to the mine property ? I think our country needs a new approach to policing. Now 18 workers dead for protesting, who should account.

  • barbara.pruis - 2012-08-16 20:05

    This doesn't sound right. Somebody is behind this, why would they suddenly want three times more than offered? And SA, take note - this is disturbing. Reminds of the days of before 1994? And why is the unrest growing so out of proportion? Against who? What they're doing is illegal, because it is not a peaceful protest - it's war! They're putting their lives on the line, but why?

  • Thabo - 2012-08-16 20:16

    Excessive force!

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-08-16 20:26

    I watched the news on ETV and the police were shooting live bullets, so what are we to believe? What is the truth? The protesters were demonstrating for their rights. God only knows the truth. I feel for the families who have lost their loved ones.

  • itse.nnete.1 - 2012-08-16 20:32

    Africa has been both a blessing and curse.A blessing in that it is mineral rich.But a curse in that it's people are exploited and rarely benefit much from it's riches. Today we saw how human life has been so devalued.The raw minerals are worth more than human lives,they know they can easily replace those labourers. I can only feel for the families who have lost loved ones since the begining of the strike.Was it worth it?I can only imagine what it is like for children and wives today waiting anxiously to find out if their husband or father is still alive.I can only imagine what life will be like for those who have lost breadwinners.Was it worth it? The shareholders of the mine in most probability have never laid foot in Marikana.But I bet it will be business as usual in a few days in Lonmin,the tragic losses will be both burried and forgoten.I only ask,was it worth it?

  • tieho.vincent.5 - 2012-08-16 22:01

    Its really sad especially to note dat de protesters had live ammunition with them..#sad 4 days

  • denzil.bignoux - 2012-08-17 00:42

    This is a tragedy the union bosses must be prosecuted and are accountable to the families of both the workers and the police who have lost loved ones and bread winners! They are also accountable to the economic hardships this will bring the workers and loss of investments and much needed taxes in a land which could have such an amazing future if we had smarter leaders. Where all our leaders now ? Good leadership could have mediated here!

  • amos.motsai - 2012-08-17 07:20

    Miners are killing innocent people for nothing , I think is the time for government to declare state of emergency , bring the military , how many life must be lost before somebody can act?

  • anita.nortje - 2012-08-17 07:34

    And here we go....

  • Warren Wepener - 2012-08-17 20:44

    It looks like NUMSA are a law off their own they believe they only can control workers where ever they get involved they blame everybody but themselves There should be no Unions because they always involved in some sort of violence

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