Home Tags Posts tagged with "platinum mine"

platinum mine


Miners arrested at Lonmin Marikana mine in South Africa will be charged later with the murder of 34 colleagues shot by police, an official has said.

A prosecuting authority spokesman said that 270 workers would be tried under the “common purpose” doctrine.

They were in the crowd which confronted the police, who opened fire, sparking a national outcry.

Police have not been charged because a commission of inquiry would investigate their actions, the spokesman said.

Miners arrested at Lonmin Marikana mine in South Africa will be charged later with the murder of 34 colleagues shot by police

Miners arrested at Lonmin Marikana mine in South Africa will be charged later with the murder of 34 colleagues shot by police

Six of the 270 workers remain in hospital, after being wounded in the 16 August shooting at the mine owned by Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, in South Africa’s North West province.

The other 264 workers are appearing in the Garankuwa magistrates court near the capital, Pretoria.

About 100 people are protesting outside court, demanding their immediate release.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Frank Lesenyego said they would all face murder charges – including those who were unarmed or were at the back of the crowd.

“This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities,” he said.

Frank Lesenyego said the updated indictments had already been given to the defence and these would be formally delivered to the accused in court, starting on Thursday.

The conflict at the mine was triggered by a dispute over pay and union recognition, which has paralyzed operations for three weeks.

During a visit to the mine after the killings, President Jacob Zuma told workers he “felt their pain” and promised a speedy and thorough investigation of the killings.

Police said they started shooting after being threatened by large groups of miners armed with machetes.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed during the protests before the police shooting.

 

0

South African President Jacob Zuma has announced an inquiry into violence at Lonmin Marikana platinum mine, calling the deaths there “tragic”.

Thirty-four people were killed when police opened fire on striking platinum miners on Thursday.

At least 78 people were injured in the confrontation.

President Jacob Zuma said he was “saddened and dismayed” at the “shocking” events and offered sincere condolences to all families who had lost loved ones.

He said: “We have to uncover the truth about what happened here. I have decided to institute a commission of inquiry. It will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident and derive the necessary lessons.”

The president said his thoughts were with the families of those who had lost their lives but also with the police “who have to intervene in difficult situations”.

President Jacob Zuma has announced an inquiry into violence at Lonmin Marikana platinum mine, calling the deaths there "tragic"

President Jacob Zuma has announced an inquiry into violence at Lonmin Marikana platinum mine, calling the deaths there "tragic"

Jacob Zuma added: “Today is not an occasion for blame, finger-pointing or recrimination. Today challenges us to restore calm and to share the pain of the affected families and communities. Today is about reminding ourselves of our responsibility as citizens.”

The president said it was a “cornerstone of hard-won democracy” to allow for peaceful protests, but added that today was “a day for us to mourn together as a nation – a day to start rebuilding and healing”.

Jacob Zuma had cut short his attendance at a regional summit in Mozambique to deal with the crisis.

He will later visit some of injured being treated in hospital.

Some of the strikers’ wives gathered near the mine on Friday, chanting anti-police songs and demanding to know what had happened to their husbands.

“Police, stop shooting our husbands and sons,” read a banner carried by the women, according to the Associated Press news agency.

A strike at the mine began a week ago and had claimed the lives of 10 people, including two police officers, before the incident on Thursday.

Police were then sent to break up 3,000 miners – some armed with clubs and machetes – who had gathered on a hillside overlooking Marikana to call for a pay rise of about $1,000  a month.

The circumstances that led police to open fire remain unclear, but reports from eyewitnesses suggest the shooting took place after a group of demonstrators rushed at a line of police officers.

Police, armed with automatic rifles and pistols, fired dozens of shots, witnesses said.

Police chief Riah Phiyega said officers “were forced to use maximum force to defend themselves”.

She said 259 people had been arrested on various charges.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) accused the police of carrying out a massacre.

“There was no need whatsoever for these people to be killed like that,” General Secretary Jeffrey Mphahlele told Reuters news agency.

The miners, who are currently earning between 4,000 and 5,000 rand ($484-$605), say they want their salary increased to 12,500 rand ($1,512).

South Africa is the largest platinum producer in the world and the dispute has already affected production.

Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, has encountered similar labor disputes at the Marikana mine. In May 2011, the company sacked some 9,000 employees after a strike.

 

At least 30 people have been killed after South African police clashed with striking miners at Lonmin Marikana mine on Thursday, the police minister has said.

According to witnesses, police opened fire on strikers armed mostly with clubs and machetes.

The Lonmin-owned platinum mine has been at the centre of a violent pay dispute, exacerbated by tensions between two rival trade unions.

Violence during the strike had already killed 10 people.

Speaking to local radio, police minister Nathi Mthethwa confirmed the death toll, adding: “A lot of people were injured and the number keeps on going up.”

At least 30 people have been killed after South African police clashed with striking miners at Lonmin Marikana mine on Thursday

At least 30 people have been killed after South African police clashed with striking miners at Lonmin Marikana mine on Thursday

The incident is one of the bloodiest police operations since the end of the apartheid in South Africa.

Police were sent to intervene after several thousand miners gathered at Marikana, which lies about 100 km (62 miles) north-west of Johannesburg, to call for a pay rise of more than $1,000 a month.

The circumstances that led police to open fire remain unclear, but reports from eyewitnesses suggest the shooting took place after a group of demonstrators rushed at a line of police officers.

One witness, Molaole Montsho, of the South African news agency Sapa, said police had first used water cannon, tear gas and stun grenades in an attempt to break up the protest.

“And then in the commotion – we were about 800 m (2,600 ft) from the scene – we heard gunshots that lasted for about two minutes,” he said.

Police ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi said an investigation into the incident had begun.

Speaking on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said he was “shocked and dismayed at this senseless violence”.

“We call upon the labor movement and business to work with government to arrest the situation before it deteriorates any further,” he said.

“I have instructed law enforcement agencies to do everything possible to bring the situation under control and to bring the perpetrators of violence to book.”

 [youtube 23SIF9k4MP0]