The public speaks on 'Marikana Massacre': iLIVE
Miners died, police died, the media covered it, the world was shocked, the big guns responded, now we hear the voices of the people...
Mothusi Maomela says: My question is simple, are the lives of the 34 killed worth more than the first 10?
Meyers Robindamie says: My e-mail concerns your precious mine workers who a week earlier massacred two police officials as well as two security officials for no good reason other than doing their jobs. Why is it that because these war-mongers die, it is a tragedy, but a police official is murdered daily and it gets a back page story? Put yourself in the shoes of the policemen and women standing on the front line seeing over 3 thousand murderous "victims" bearing down on you and nothing stops them. What would you with the moral high ground do, negotiate? You sitting in your cushy office with air conditioner and water cooler should not place judgment on the men and women (albeit the 90%) of them who risks their lives to uphold an ungrateful country's laws. I now understand why policemen says "its a thankless job".
David Lucas says: The Marikana shooting by the police can never be justified as self-defence, but rather plain revenge by the cops for the slaying of their colleagues. I am not condoning the violence and killings including police officers by the strikers; but what I’m saying is that the police contingent had all the resources at hand to control the situation; the miners were held up on a hill with the police surrounding them; a helicopter was circling in the air. Where was the rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons?, why live ammunition Minister Nathi Mthethwa?, did the mine management come to speak to the strikers? - I mean in situation like that you need to use all avenues to CALM the situation. What happened at Marikana was the same as what happened when trigger happy cops did in Boipatong, Sharpeville and Soweto, shooting at people randomly! How many times have we seen violent strikers calming down when the employers come and speak to them. It happened at Impala Platinum where striking workers attacked each other, killing security guards in the process - the difference was that the mine bosses met the strikers and they even allowed expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema to come speak to them together with Zwelinzima Vavi. The violence stopped. And those who were arrested are facing the law. Why was the same method not used this time around?
Simo Letlojane says: Daddy is dead : Marikana Massacre
Many a man gathered atop a mountain and called it home.
Armed like hunters going for a kill, wielding spears, pangas and never seen before weapons.
Refusing to work the rich land, and those against them slaughtered and burnt.
In the high offices fingers pointed “it isn’t me, it’s him” “no it’s him”.
Killings continued and the golden rule “thou shall not kill a police” broken.
“A brother is dead!” screamed one and they all gathered with full weaponry ready to kill.
None of the villagers could believe their ears when a shot sent the masses scattering
“A brother is dead” thought a policeman as he pulled the trigger on a miner
Morning came and children called for their fathers, who never returned home,
All over the village mothers speechless not knowing how to break the news,
Silent reigned and all closed their eyes hoping for the best.
Sirens and gunshots no longer heard and the mountain deserted.
At hospitals families gathered, comforting each other and hoping to find dad.
“Can daddy be here, Mommy?” an innocent voice asked and a mother replied with a sigh.
Remembering the stories of years gone by and tears rolled down her cheek
Every year she tried to forget but now the past is in the present, daddy is dead.
Richard Mailula says: I'm a Lonmin employee and I strongly condemn this blood shed. Lonmin management must be held responsible for this mess, firstly these disputes should have been resolved a long time ago when this RD0 wanted an increase, management knew about it long time ago..
Karel du Toit says: You, Mr. Mathunjwa...yes, YOU had better go wash the blood off your hands. Too late for tears and enjoy your salary drawn from these people's membership fees.
Charles Wilcocks says: I would just like to say that bringing apartheid into this whole matter is
simply ridiculous. I see more white people on the corners begging for money
nowadays than ever before, the country is where it is because companies are just
not willing to pay for the work that the people do. So I wish people would stop
blaming APARTHEID for all the failures that are happening in this country to
date, saying that only whites get good paying jobs. The majority of businesses
are owned by black people and/or have a majority of blacks working for
To get to the point if you are not happy with your salary don't go killing innocent bystanders (In this case a security guards or police officers), look for another job or educate yourself for a higher position. Me as a contract worker at Lonmin mines know that they have study bursaries in certain fields where you can learn new skills for your current or new position.
T Coll says: Back in the bad old days of apartheid, one would have been overwhelmed by the avalanche of left wing western European liberal mouthpieces clambering aboard the bandwagon to denounce the atrocity as a crime against humanity, and another example of state sanctioned killings.
This is the other side of their hypocracy, black on black isn't worth their precious time.
Or maybe they don't want to offend the corporation on whose behalf the murders were committed.
Ivor says: Why didn't the top government officials go there when the first lot of people got killed. Well, it shows you the true colours of this government, you are nothing in their eyes. Their duties should be, dressing poverty and conditions in rural areas, housing, salaries, and pension salaries. This is why these sort of things happen when you the government have not heard the cry of the people.
Lucky Kgeletsane says: It is unfortunate that at a time when our country is moaning the death of those killed in the unfortunate shooting, a so called politician such as Julius Malema has failed to show leadership. We cannot allow our country to be without the rule of law where people will want to voice their disagreement and discontent by killing other people and members of the police and security forces. When the police try to restore order, they attack police and expect the police not to protect themselves.
We must remember that if the police do not protect themselves more police would have been killed on this unfortunate day as the strikers have shown that they are capable of killing anyone who stands in their way. Julius Malema is trying to influence those people who have got genuine concerns about their future prospects for his selfish political gain.
Calling for the President and the Minister of Police to resign has shown how immature and irresponsible he is, instead of showing political will by coming up with solutions to the problem and moaning with the country.
The country has lost millions of rands due to this strike and investors are pulling out of the country due to these incidents and as such leaders must be seen to be trying to restore calm in such a tense situation, but Mr Malema has yet again shown how narrow his thinking is.
We encourage the President’s plan to appoint a commission of enquiry on the matter and he must be commended for showing leadership in this regard, by cutting short his trip to Maputo to deal with this matter as quickly as possible and to be with his people in this period of moaning.
Garikai Mutsvanga says: I think Mr president is right. He went to the mine before Malema, its unfortunate that he didn't visit the place of the shooting because it was late as well as dark. To my understanding Mr Zuma went there not on political grounds as to compare with Malema. The problem of the people of this country is they are very good at blaming the police as well as the ministers. When the police kill even an armed robber in shoot out, they just blame the police. The people must understand that strike is a peaceful demonstration so that even the leader can feel free to come and talk to you. How could you expect someone with a ball point pen to negotiate with someone holding pangas and clubs.
Balt Verhagen says: However important a commission of enquiry may be, the outcome will always fall short of exposing the full extent of the problem. Certain individuals or even organisations may be fingered, but the underlying causes tend to be glossed over. Also, the immediate impact of the event fades quickly and matters become schematised and enmeshed in lagalese in the inevitable delays.
We all know in our heart of hearts where the problem lies: we have drifted perilously far from the dream of a state by the people and for the people and returned to the exploitative situation of a ruling class, now in rainbow colours, and ‘the rest’ – those who’s hope for a better future is fading with every passing day. The perfect outcome of Thabo Mbeki’s first and second economies, with all the attendant deceit and corruption.
We urgently need a new national convention – without ‘terms of reference’ - in which the principles of a truly democratic state are hammered out and in which there will be no holy cows. We must be able to confront each other again and ask ourselves the most basic and even painful questions about active and concerned citizenry and re-establish, with common consent, the principle of not asking what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country.
Will Mokgomola says: On the focused view point of my thought process, under ordinary circumstances, striking miners deserves to be fired since their acts were unlawful.
This is honestly unnecessary massacre orchestrated by con leaders of unregistered and unknown union so called ARMCU, they shouldn't have to involve workers between their affairs and the so called NUM.
However they knew exactly that it is easier to influence the illiterate miners too much for living wage but failing to consider that every country has a law, how can you demand by killing. I honestly agree with the senior researcher at security institute Mr Burger when he insists that police were competent enough to deal with the risky situation.
And let those who confuse the situation to face the music after further investigation.
Munkonge K says: Dear Editor, before we blame the politicians lets have a look at the police officers on the ground and the decisions they took to manage the strikers. When I watch the video it is hard to see that the police acted in self-defence - almost all the police are standing up straight, they are not crouching or lying flat on the ground as one would expect when they are being shot at, neither did they take shelter behind the available motor vehicles and where were the warning shots, why did the police not aim for the legs or into the ground? In addition there is a lot of random shooting into the dust raised by bullets/fleeing miners, hard to say how they could see what they kept shooting at. Largely the miners seem to be armed with anything but gun, if the officers were being shot at can they tell us how many of them got shot and where - it would have been an easy shot as all the officers were all standing in a straignt line? On the face of it the police were spoiling for a fight hence arrogantly standing erect as they shoot because they know there is nothing coming back. They have been watching too many hollywood movies and not enough movies on Sharpeville and SA's history. The commanding officers on the ground sholuld be charged with murder or manslaughter, nothing less. Each of the officers that were shooting should have some disciplinary action taken against them. In monetary terms the argument on wages does not make sense either other than management being greedy as usual I am not sure how many miners are involved but assume there are 4500 If each of the 4500 got an increase of R6,000 (to cR12,000) this translates to an additional cost of R27m each year for the company Lonmin PBT for year ending 30 Sept 2011 was USD321m or R2,5bn at a USDZAR exachange rate of 8.00Therefore, the additional wages comprised a measley 1% of Lonmin's PBT I am sure management has reasons like "we cant give in, we will set a precedent", "the industry is going through a bad patch because platinum prices are down", " the unions, cannot tell us what to" etc but I wonder how these reasons now stack up against the lives of the dead miners and their families - will Cyril and Ian farmer go and explain themselves to the little boy who now does not have a father because Lonmin would not pay a decent wage? These miners provide an incredibly valuable service and this is no way to repay them and all because someone's ego was going to be a bit bruised??
Raithakong says: Now it's back to square one - you can't cross the read sea to settle at the promise land as it was speculated.
It takes 27 years of men & women without weapons to fight the system of apartheid to submit to the table of negotiation for democracy.
Along the way some give up the fight, break ups, arrests, traitors & killed but they have never acted stupid.
Who ever organised miners at Marikana must be brought to books & serve a lengthy sentence.
Truly so, miners there like any black labours in SA are not paid accordingly but you can't sacrifice your life to make statement.
Organisers fool poor miners just like what had happen at Dingaan's kraal. By killing 2 police officers & mine's guards on Monday indicates their intention of which they make it known before they assemble at the hill fully armed.
We witnessed some horror like battle of blood river, again organisers blame the police rather than themselves.
Equally so what SAPS in the area was waiting for as they were fully aware of the motive of the miners.
Both parties acted reckless & stupid.
Politicians & individuals who call for resignations of some individuals at government are only playing fake politics as some are believed to be behind it.
At the end of the day families lost fathers & dust settled on women & children who lost on a month of August dedicated to them for their safety.