Mine unrest: Zuma breaks the silence

2012-09-13 17:01

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma warned on Thursday that his government will act on the growing mining unrest hitting the platinum and gold sectors, which he said was "not acceptable".

South Africa has been hit by strike action at mines since a militant stayaway that has killed 45 people began at platinum giant Lonmin's [JSE:LON] Marikana mine on August 10.

"I have engaged with the ministers concerned to discuss how do we deal with this issue and very very soon we will be able to let the public know because it can no longer be accepted," Zuma told lawmakers.

It was Zuma's first official comment since the labour troubles spread to global giant Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats), which shut down five mines on Wednesday, and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI], where 15 000 workers are striking.

Frustrations in the industry and shock over the bloodshed at Lonmin, where police shot dead 34 people, have proved ripe political ground for Zuma's enemies, such as firebrand Julius Malema, who was booted from the president's ruling African National Congress (ANC).

"You know that it is not just the miners striking, it is also some people of some description who are going there to instigate miners to operate in a particular way," Zuma said.

"It cannot be accepted, and therefore we are looking into that. We are going to be acting very soon."

Zuma did not mention Malema by name and gave no details on what actions would be taken.

After being expelled from the ANC earlier this year, Zuma's nemesis Malema has been criss-crossing troubled mines to fire up workers and urge them to hold monthly strikes.

The recent action has also seen workers move outside of formal labour relations structures to take their demands directly to mine bosses.

"The worker demands for better wages can and should be addressed within the country's labour relations framework," said Zuma, who has appointed a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the Marikana violence.

"The illegal strikes, the incitement and intimidation will not assist workers. Instead, it will make them and the country worse off."

Amplats said it suspended production after workers were intimidated with the threat of violence.

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  • tiaan.truter - 2012-09-13 17:08

    Ag please Zuma,you cant even control your lapdog Malema.What will you do with these people striking ? And WHY only now are you trying to do something ?

      alf.pop - 2012-09-13 17:18

      Looking for votes in Mangaung! He always has a hidden agenda - even where people's lives are at risk.

      cathy.dejongh.5 - 2012-09-13 17:21

      Because he read news 24 and saw the comments.....

      kolobe.mzansi.9 - 2012-09-13 17:30

      zuma has become malema's lap-dog

      morris.khunou - 2012-09-14 08:39

      Zuma might not be a good leader, but is a good underground tactician! He is actually learing Malema to the trap. Giving him a long rope to hang himself.Unfortunately this takes longer than we wish for and the damage become uncontrolable. The good trap was that one of addressing the soldiers but unfortunately the noises we make scared the animal away from the trap!

      wandile.ncobela.3 - 2012-09-14 13:33

      stop wuth stupid comments, people are dying out there. Zuma has nothing to do with it. people are mislead by people who wants power even if they don't comply with the country's constitution.

      frederik.vanas - 2012-09-14 14:09

      Zuma cant even organize a piss-up in a brewery!!!

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-09-13 17:10

    Oh my, what will the ANC fatcats do? Probably impose some punishment on the mines because they cannot take another other action if they intend staying in power.

      nads.delange - 2012-09-13 17:26

      Now we'll see if they have the guts to show that they actually care about the country instead of their votes. My money is on the latter unfortunately.

      bob.houston.3939 - 2012-09-13 17:26

      What is this?

      andrew.cooks.5 - 2012-09-13 20:23

      Sometimes I wish that the old Apartheid Police could come back for just a moment and deal with issues like this and scum like malema. Apartheid was cruel to many people BUT the rule of law and public safety was first priority. I doubt that the miners would've strike with dangerous weapons if old uncle Magnes were still in uniform.

  • sebenza.vanrooy - 2012-09-13 17:11

    Zuma there's no need to tell us what's going on, leave the reporting to the media and come up with solutions. I can help you with one solution....GO AWAY...TOOL-DOWN ZUMA.

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-13 17:37

      Sebenza, thats all he is good at, making noise.

  • denis.delaport - 2012-09-13 17:12

    WOW? is this ZUMA speaking. I hold my breath.

      warren.vanwyk.3 - 2012-09-13 17:32

      I wouldn't do that if I was you.

      patrickmpanyana.mogwaneng - 2012-09-14 08:18

      Remember he have to consult his friends first before commending or acting to make sure that they are happy.I repeat,South Africa is yearning for a leader.Until then all stakeholders will fall apart,..SAPS,Soldiers,Education....

  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-13 17:12

    Took them damn long to write that feeble speach!!

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-13 17:12

    What a profound statement! I just shake my head at this too little to late.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-13 17:15

    I bet they will as its affecting their pockets now. That seems to be the only time they seem to act instead of talking all the time.

  • Mbuyi Mabuya Maphalala - 2012-09-13 17:16

    Mr President please first deal with the corrupt elements in your cabinet first who are major shareholders in these mines. Secondly people cannot be always demanding all the times and expect employers to succumb to their pressure or resort to violenc

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-13 17:23

      I am so happy to see the voice of reason coming through on a more regular basis from our posters -

  • nomcebo.dlamini.90 - 2012-09-13 17:17

    its about time! so many people have died and it looks like more would lose their jobs as well mostly because of listening to stupid people

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-13 17:24

      Ditto to another voice of reason!!

  • irvin.mkhari - 2012-09-13 17:20

    that is why he can not suceed in december.

  • goodguy.buthelezi - 2012-09-13 17:21

    'We will act very soon'TJO!! i dont know what action msholozi will take but one thing i know about my kind.. You mess around with a Zulu, he Fights back and when he retaliates its not going to be nice

      henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-13 17:30

      Goodguy why is it taking so long though?

      aviviers1 - 2012-09-13 19:06

      Goodguy if the right Zulu was in power we would be going forward.

  • courtney.baird.71 - 2012-09-13 17:22

    i say.......just close the mines!!!

      customdesign - 2012-09-13 17:39

      The biggest contributor to our economy? Really?

  • frederick.frier - 2012-09-13 17:25

    Who can remember the trusty old "Okapi" knives???

      gladstone.dyonase - 2012-09-14 12:44

      We all do, but what do they have to do with this?

  • Ditantane - 2012-09-13 17:25

    \it is also some people of some description\ \r\n\r\nThis is indeed a banana republic, Zuma should just step down he is a joke.

      mtizozo.nsele - 2012-09-13 17:38

      This is not Zuma,,

  • les.cunningham1 - 2012-09-13 17:28

    What idiots. Close down the mines?? They want (sorry, DEMAND) R 12,000 per month, so the mines are closed - where do they think the R 12,000 is going to come from.

      gregory.jurgens - 2012-09-13 17:39

      Les can you survive on 4.5k a month. Lonmin is a London based company the directors are earning millions from the sweat of these guys. U go under ground and drill some rock, then tell us if you prepared to do that everyday for 4.5k a month.

      derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-09-14 01:43

      Just read marikana-truth....shocking reading...

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-13 17:29

    Whahahaha, Can you not decide being the leader of this country! You are pathetic just like the rest of your organisation!

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-13 17:33

    More lip service!

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-09-13 17:39

      "and very very soon we will be able to let the public know" In other words: We have done bugger all about this nonsense cause we are too busy looting the coffers... but we have to say something to keep the masses happy.

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-13 17:44


  • phillipmongatane - 2012-09-13 17:34

    Well the President is all talk

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-09-13 17:34

    What d u know bwt acting everything judicial of inquiry u rely on ada ppl u r not feet enough to be solving problems of dis country.Rubbish bafazini.nywere nywere soon will react after such a long tym u time is finito

  • mtizozo.nsele - 2012-09-13 17:37

    This is about time all south Africans, including the miners to stop being fooled by individuals. We should not loose lives; these are husbands, fathers and uncles to some of us. Lonmin needs miners, miners need Lonmin. South Africa need both.

  • peter.hall.3956 - 2012-09-13 17:38

    Time to charge Malema with something like inciting unrest, murder, treason, tax fraud, tender rigging, theft etc etc. Robin Island may be used againg one day I bet!!!

  • Phil.Kleynhans - 2012-09-13 17:44

    Already to late. It has spread to far. Malema should've been taken long time ago. He is making the ANC looking like ant against an elephant.

  • charmaine.rowlands - 2012-09-13 17:45

    "I have engaged with the ministers concerned to discuss how do we deal with this issue and very very soon we will be able to let the public know because it can no longer be accepted," Zuma told lawmakers. WHY ARE WE WAITING???

  • les.cunningham1 - 2012-09-13 17:45

    Apologies,that should be R 12,500 (and Amplats guys are now DEMANDING R 16,000 per month). Is this going to stop? I don't think so. The plug is out and RSA is going to go down the plug hole.

  • thamsanqa.d.mahlangu - 2012-09-13 17:48

    de script is now rolling.....

      eban.tempellhoff - 2012-09-13 18:03

      I want this country to work and I know that every single one of us has just this in our hearts...deep down we all just want to build our beautiful country together for all its people! Lets not destroy it, lets make it work!

  • charmaine.rowlands - 2012-09-13 17:48

    "I have engaged with the ministers concerned to discuss how do we deal with this issue and very very soon we will be able to let the public know because it can no longer be accepted," Zuma told lawmakers. "It cannot be accepted, and therefore we are looking into that. We are going to be acting very soon." HOW LONG IS..."VERY, VERY SOON" - your JOB Mr Zuma!!

  • njdejager - 2012-09-13 17:49

    Spin Spin Spin. Whatever.....same old same old always. Always late to respond and always late to react and then slow when actually doing so.

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-09-13 17:52

    Civil war is coming.This is the start....

      eban.tempellhoff - 2012-09-13 18:05

      And what are you doing to try and make this not a reality? What can you do to make it better?

  • khathutshelo.muafrica - 2012-09-13 17:55

    Where were u all along foolish showahead..u

  • eban.tempellhoff - 2012-09-13 17:55

    The Majority are in Control ...this is want they want, they voted for it, they have it all in the palm of their hands .... Mr Zuma who you going to blame huh??

  • daniewilken - 2012-09-13 17:58

    Zuma must be cahoots with Malema why doesn't he do something. He can't because malema knows to much about him. He lets malema do what he wants to do because there is not much he can do. malema owes sars money but let one of us owe them. malema is protected by the anc goverment. freedom of speech has become a big problem for the anc. i think zuma has got a real naughty doggy with very sharp teeth. He loves this doggy to much to set him free. We can all say things but this doggy of zuma is going to rule because he is totally protected by our corrupt goverment.

  • Emanuel Ratshimume - 2012-09-13 17:58

    President JZ now he come with little courage. His silence was making us become angry and angry. Even if we don't want him in presidency just becouse he is still our president, he must give a progresive massage to the people than to condem the country, while killing each other. Obvious mine bosses kill our people just becouse they have never comply with what SA want. They fail to build houses for the people, even thou as it is not what they cry for, it shows us that the mine bosses does'nt care with people. President JZ try your best to solve this issue, don't take from careless bosses do it for your country that you have fight for. We know you were in the struggle to make SA a better place.

  • eban.tempellhoff - 2012-09-13 17:59

    I do not beleive South Africa is going down the plug hole at all...cannot remember who said that here...why because the MAJORITY OF SOUTH AFRICANS...ALL SOUTH AFRICANS...want this country to get along and make something fantastic out of it! I just have so much faith that this is the case, everydAy i chat and talk to all walks of life, we just want to get out there and work together to make this the best country in the world, WE CAN AND WE WILL!! Lets hold each others hand and unite in the way forward!! Come South Africans WE MUST!!

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2012-09-13 18:09

    Less talk and more action Pres Zuma..your baby are not afraid to do the country more harm than you ever could imagine...and that in a period and time where you and your subordinates must prove to the youth and your voters, as well as the world, how competent you really are to govern and guarantee the country stability with all your sources... and that you can protect the citizens and economy from greedy wannabe leaders.

  • Shaun - 2012-09-13 18:12

    finally he speaks up.

  • ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-13 18:20

    Hell it's funny how one misreads the headlines. Thought it said "Zuma breaks wind"

  • ingrid.k.duplessis - 2012-09-13 18:28 sad...all penis and no balls....he won't do a thing...

  • steve.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-09-13 18:36

    Zuma cannot control the strikers, it seems it is time for him to go, Put somebody in his place that will not take any nonsence, SA cannot afford this. Put Malema in jail to keep him out of the way.

  • Eduannn - 2012-09-13 18:39

    I would hope the 1st action to be taken is for the strikers to be DISARMED. Thereafter everything will become much simpler. If they do not comply they are in breach of law and have to be arrested. That is what I would order if I was Zuma.

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-09-13 18:49

    @Jacob_G_Zuma is laying the blame at LONMIN's door, he's a confessed non-democrat, and in typical fashion talks first and does nothing! So why expect anything else?

  • madoda.monamudi - 2012-09-13 18:49

    ANC made a huge mistake by chasing Julius Malema they should have discipline him inside the organization, now Julius is out and his Private. The young boy is so power full when he cough ANC dance.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-09-13 19:00

    Zuma , your wives daily allowance is more than double these guys monthly salary . Let's see some action not just clap trap crap.

  • coenraad.vaneeden.5 - 2012-09-13 19:02

    He cant do anything, somebody control him his appointment as president was just to fill the position there can't be any other explanation

  • bobby.normas - 2012-09-13 19:10

    You allowed you dog to bit others but when bits you back is painful.Zuma wont control Malema now

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-09-13 19:27

    Lol.lmao Zuma breaks silence kwaaakwaa..You were still consulting with your wives

      jenny.webbe - 2012-09-13 21:16

      Good one Maokeng. Wonder if he woke up in a good mood or a bad mood this morning?

      ngwato.makgata - 2012-09-14 17:11

      Lol! At last he open his mouth!! Workers want 2 enjoy de fruits of tis country like zuma's wives 'n his children!! SA belongs 2 all of us, may b we should b zumas before we can b recognized as citizens of SA. Leaders r protecting deir own interests!! Bona baa kgora!!

  • andre.dekock.71 - 2012-09-13 19:37

    Zuma has a simple solution. He is just going to donate his salary of 20Million a month to the striking miners so they can get their R12,000 and problem is solved. This man is a genius!

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-09-13 19:45

    So what is Zooooma going to do? Fact is Malema will oust Zoomie very soon. He will Zoom Zoom Zoom all the way to Zoomaville to oust Zuma.

      jenny.webbe - 2012-09-13 21:16

      Very mature robert... not.

  • jim.binnie.1 - 2012-09-13 19:49

    My message to Mr Zuma - "how soon is soon?". It has taken you more than one month to react to the Marikane massacre and I still do not see any positive actions! Promises of "action quite soon" are no longer acceptable. You are supposed to be the "President" - start acting presidential by giving leadership and direction to solve this problem or do South Africa a favour today by resigning before you are "re-deployed" or in more accurate terms "FIRED".

  • clive.kihn - 2012-09-13 20:32

    This situation has been on the go for 3-4 weeks now, and Zuma says his govt is going to act decisively. A bit late to call it "decisive", isn't it, Mr Pres? I'm afraid this govt is far better known for saying what it's "going to" do, what it "needs to" do, and what it "plans to" do, than for actually doing anything. And when they do, it's always reactive, rather than proactive. And as for Showerhead's lecture on democracy in Parliament ....!! Would someone in the ANC please tell their so-called leader that democracy means equal rights for all, regardless of size. But then again, we've known for a long time that the ANC is more interested in power (where size matters) than democracy.

  • vasee.pillay - 2012-09-13 21:20

    Zuma and his govt.are responsible for what is happening on the mines. He let his nephew off the hook by not intervening on behalf of the miners who were not paid for 3 years.Aurora was the powder keg which the govt ignored as it was a family business and Zuma did nothing to address it.What happened there was a travesty of justice and if the govt.acted properly this would not have happened. The govet.must take full responsibility for the massacre at Marikana.The govt.has to play an active role in order to resolve this impasse.The way the country is going ,it s as though the ship does not have a captain. Our country is going downhill and the end is in sight.

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