Zuma's South African Police Slaughters Black Miners

Submitted by Sargeant

South African miners in pay dispute which turn bloody – photo credit: BBC

So what’s going on in South Africa?  Eighteen years after the election of a Black Government comes the news that the South African Police have killed 34 miners who were in the midst of an industrial dispute and were seeking a wage increase. These killings hearken back to the worst days of apartheid under the former white Government.

The miners worked at a platinum mine and this dispute was a relatively short one (one week) but there were ongoing clashes between rival trade unions which claimed the lives of 10 people including two policemen.

How could a demonstration provoke such a harsh response from Policemen who presumably have been trained to handle crowds given that South Africa recently hosted the World Cup?

What is troubling is that this incident has not provoked much condemnation in the rest of Africa and President Zuma has launched an inquiry. Based on his history one wonders whether Zuma was the right person to lead South Africa in the first place.

We will be hearing more about this in the coming days.

57 thoughts on “Zuma's South African Police Slaughters Black Miners

  1. 1Kings Chapter 12 Verse 11 (CB’s Revised Version)
    And whereas my father (The Boers) did lade you with a heavy yoke,I will add to your yoke: My father (The Boers) hath chastised you whips, but I (the Black African now holding power ) will chastise you with Scorpion Tanks and Machine Guns. .

  2. The mine violence dominates the South African media. In an editorial headlined “African lives cheap as ever”, the popular Johannesburg-based newspaper, The Sowetan, condemns the “calamity”.
    “This is an abnormal country in which all the fancy laws are enacted and the constitution is hailed as the best on earth. All the right noises are made and yet the value of human life, especially that of the African, continues to be meaningless. That’s what Marikana means,” the editorial says.

  3. As long as “it” does not impact on the world economy….nobody (USA, Britain,Europe) cares.

    There will be the usual rhetoric from the UN and world leaders but…..

  4. Reported by CBC Canada,
    “Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega told a news conference Friday that her officers acted to protect their own lives after strikers armed with “dangerous weapons” charged them Thursday.”

  5. I guess it is the same reason Toronto Police shoot to kill if an assailant pulls a knife and a SWAT team is not on the scene.

  6. What was the police supposed to do? stand up and wait for the miners to kill thirty four of them before opening fire?

  7. @David
    Has anyone found the news which explains why the police used live rounds?

    I suspect it was because two of their own were killed earlier, but one of the videos showed that the police had herded the miners into a corner before opening fire.
    The reality is South Africa is a very violent country where gated communities are prevalent to escape the physical as well as the ever present danger of rape or other sexual violence. The Gov’t has not been able to improve the lot of many of the poor citizens and harsh economic conditions breed unrest. It was only a few months ago that many residents of urban areas took to hunting down refugees from Zimbabwe who they suspected had come to steal their jobs.
    Mine workers have been mainly Zulus and these men work in harsh conditions with poor housing and are separated from their families for extended periods. It is common for Zulus to carry traditional weapons i.e. spears, pangas (machetes) and knobkerries (short sticks) for protection. I don’t think that they would risk attacking these heavily armed soldiers with their armored cars but oftentimes the roots of violence lie beneath the surface. If this is not contained we may see a reawakening of the hostility that existed between the ANC and Inkata.

  8. what will they think of next. | August 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM |
    What was the police supposed to do? stand up and wait for the miners to kill thirty four of them before opening fire?
    For many Its easy to sit back in the comfort of an arm chair, behind a computer and criticise the actions of a riot squad. No one can hardly form an opinion unless he/she was present.

  9. “Zuma’s South African Police Slaughters Black Miners”
    My difficulty is with the Headline. WHy Zuma’s Police? Did he order the police to open fire on the miners? were Mr mandela the President would the Headline dare to be the same? i think not.

  10. @ balance | August 19, 2012 at 4:04 AM |

    Are you suggesting that such a decision to use live ammunition to slaughter fellow citizens similar to the Sharpeville massacre would have been taken at the local police level without the highest political consultation and acquiescence is this genocidal-like culling of a fiercely independent tribe?

    Get real, balance. Given the racial and political tinder box that South Africa is, you really think those black and white officers would have acted in a “rogue” manner without presidential authority. “Do whatever it takes to remove the filth from our platinum mines so that we can continue to receive our bribes. I especially want my cut flowing all the time to keep my many wives and concubines living in luxury and to hell with those Zulu strikers, they can be easily replaced once mowed down with bullets and buried in mass graves”.

    Word of wisdom: Never trust or believe in any politician who promises platinum instead of base metal.
    The DLP promised us a Kuwaiti type lifestyle and we will soon be enjoying a Greece brand of living but with bailouts only from the IMF.

  11. there should have been a better way this conflict has been ongoing for weeks the police should have been better prepared to handle such a volatile situtation there is no excuse for people asking for better wages to be gunned down like animals.

  12. the pictures are heart wrentching but they do not tell the story of the everday lives and harsh working conditions these miners have to put up with compounded by the fact that the wages are comparable to slave wages. what happened a couple of days ago must be seen as what it is a govt not caring about its people and allowing the long arm of the law to inflict “viligante justice ” on the miners .

  13. Mandela’s not been seen in public for more than a year now. He’s frail, old and sometimes forgetful. As he walks away, in the twilight of life, .

  14. Miller you hit the nail full square!
    What was very disturbing when the news broke here in Canada was the slant that it was Apartheid SA again. Later they showed video and I saw many of the Policemen were NOT white and learnt that 2 PoPos were HACKED to DEATH by the said miners who allegedly had been infiltrated by a NEW Union group that are very aggressive.

    In most parts of the “civillised” World the Police in such circumstances are preying for the opportunity to seek retribution, regardless of race, creed etc. NOT right but that is what one should expect.

    Undoubtedly these miners are as close to SLAVES as one could get voluntarily. Conditions are wickedly poor, working more than a mile below ground in viscous heat, noise etc. I saw an interview a few years ago where the miners were asked about sexual activities and Aids, since they are away from home for months at a time, and they were aware of Aids but did NOT CARE! These poor bastards understood that they were taking home this plague to their loved ones. SAD!

    Does anyone here seriously believe that Black Pols are any different to White ones????? They want POWER and MONEY to buy more wine, women and song! They dont give a RODENT’s Rectum for any of us!!!!

    When are peeps going to stop believing in Ds vs Bs and demand INTEGRITY and proper realistic planning?

  15. “what happened a couple of days ago must be seen as what it is a govt not caring about its people and allowing the long arm of the law to inflict “viligante justice ” on the miners “‘
    Are we in this day and age directing these comments towards the same ANC which was in the vanguard of the fight against apartheid and oppression against black people in South Africa. It would seem that nothing much has changed with the advent of black rule in South africa judging from what is written here. Of note, though is that there has been no condemnation of the atrocious act by the Pan Africans -David Commissiong et al.

  16. I remember watching a post Apartheid interview of an ANC member and he made the point that the ANC set out during Apartheid to make the Townships ungovernable ….. which they did.

    He ruefully remarked that when the ANC then came to power the Townships remained ungovernable.

    There may appear to be no link between the Townships and the mines but there is and that link is violence.

    There has been too much violence in SA for it to just disappear overnight.

    It became too natural a response to oppression and it can’t just be put back up.

  17. in as much as the governmenyt should be held accountable and should have been fully prepared and aware for the inevitable . i would not be dismissive that politics being a “dirtygame” would also lend such atrocities to those who would take full advantage of the strike to topple and embarrased a black government by any means necessary . just my thirdeye level of observation.

  18. HEADLINE NEWS Barbados army to help its African brothers and find and capture kony.!
    come on big powerful country like Barbados a speck on the atlas of the world

  19. “The officers were knocked on the head, every tenth man of the soldiers killed and the rest shipped to Barbados.”

    Cromwell drove Irish men and women from their home counties into the relatively barren and inhospitable province of Connaught. The soldiers and the intelligentsia, mainly Catholic Priests, teachers and Gaelic Bards, posed a real threat to a new government, and his solution was to institute a system of forced labour, which would provide British planters in the Caribbean with a massive influx of white indentured labourers. In Thurloe’s State papers, it was ‘a measure beneficial to Ireland, which was thus relieved of a population that might trouble the planters, and of great benefit to the sugar planters who desired the men and boys for their bondsmen and women and Irish girls in a country where they had only Maroon women and Negresses to solace them.’ Speaking from my own personal experience I would say that the planters came off the worst in that deal!!! Cromwell’s son, Henry was made Major General in command of his forces in Ireland and it was under his reign that hundreds of thousands of Irish men and women were shipped to the West Indies.
    From 1648 – 1655 over 12,000 Irish political prisoners were shipped to Barbados. Although indentured servants (Irish included) have been coming to Barbados since 1627, this new wave of arrivals were the first to come involuntarily. The Irish prisoners made up for a serious labour shortage caused by English Planters, lack of access to African slaves. The Dutch and Portuguese dominated the slave trade in the early 17th century, and most white land owners in Barbados and the neighbouring islands were unable to purchase slaves of African origin.

  20. harry | August 20, 2012 at 9:14 AM |
    “The officers were knocked on the head, every tenth man of the soldiers killed and the rest shipped to Barbados.”
    The term “Shanghai” in those days meant to kidnap a person and ship them out to work on ships. Barbados lent its name to a similar procedure where the Irish were seized and “Barbadozed” to this island.

    • Why would the miners strike now when the collective bargaining agreement will expire next year?

      They are presently earning USD500 and asking for USD1500.

      There seem to be more here.

  21. Zoe | August 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM | Genocide looms for white farmers
    South Africa’s black president sings killing songs as thousands massacred
    Published: 4 days ago

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden – The eyes of the world were on South Africa two decades ago as the apartheid era came to an end and Western governments helped bring the communist-backed African National Congress to power.

    When Genocide Watch chief Gregory Stanton declared that white South African farmers were facing a genocidal onslaught and that communist forces were taking over the nation, virtually nobody noticed.

    Few outside of South Africa paid attention either when, earlier this year, the president of South Africa began publicly singing songs advocating the murder of whites.

    The silence is so deafening that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t even publicly mention the problems when she was there last week. Instead, she was busy dancing, pledging billions of dollars and praising the ruling government.

    “I find that quite disturbing, as if Afrikaner lives do not count for the Obama administration,” Dan Roodt of the Pro-Afrikaans Action Group, PRAAG, told WND.

    He says the situation is rapidly deteriorating.

    The tyranny of political correctness is out of control. Read Ilana Mercer’s “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.”

    Genocide Watch, a highly respected U.S.-based nonprofit organization led by arguably the world’s foremost expert on genocide, has been sounding the alarm on the genocidal onslaught facing South Africa for a decade. The world media, however, has barely uttered a word about it.

    Over those 10 years, thousands of white South African farmers, known as Boers, have been massacred in the most horrific ways imaginable.

    Experts say the ongoing slaughter constitutes a clear effort to exterminate the whites or at least drive the remaining ones – now less than 10 percent of the population – out of the country. In other words, South Africa is facing a genocide based on the United Nations’ own definition.

    More than 3,000 farm murders have been documented in that time period, representing a significant number considering the number of commercial white farmers is now estimated at less than 40,000.

    Tens of thousands of whites have been murdered throughout South Africa, too, according to estimates.

    Disemboweled, drowned in boiling water

    Many more victims have been savagely tortured, raped, disemboweled, drowned in boiling water or worse. The horrifying evidence is available for the world to see on countless sites throughout the Internet: pictures of brutalized dead women and children – even babies.

    “We don’t know exactly who is planning them yet, but what we are calling for is an international investigation that will try and determine who is planning these murders,” Stanton said.

    The ANC government downplays the problem, claiming it is mostly just “regular” crime. Experts, however, know that is not true.

    “Things of this sort are what I have seen before in other genocides,” Stanton, who also worked against apartheid, said of the murdered white farmers after a fact-finding mission to the “Rainbow Nation” in June.

    “This is what has happened in Burundi, it’s what happened in Rwanda,” he continued in a speech to the Transvaal Agricultural Union in Pretoria. “It has happened in many other places in the world.”

    The true scope of the problem is almost impossible to determine, because the ruling ANC refuses to properly track the figures.

    Regular citizens are now working to compile the statistics and document the savagery themselves.

    The government often classifies the brutal farm murders as simple “robberies,” for example. Sometimes the crimes are not even reported.

    South African exiles and family members of victims who spoke with WND said reporting the atrocities is often useless or even counter-productive.

    In some cases, experts also say, authorities are actually involved in the brutal crimes. Police oftentimes participate in cover-ups, too.

    The non-stop wave of grisly, racist murders in the Rainbow Nation – new incidents are reported almost daily now – has led Genocide Watch to conclude that South Africa is close to the final phases of the genocidal onslaught.

    When ANC Youth League boss Julius Malema began singing “Kill the Boer,” Genocide Watch moved up South Africa to stage six out of eight on the road to genocide – the preparation and planning. The seventh phase is extermination of the target group. The final stage is denial.

    “It became clear to us that the [(ANC) Youth League was this kind of organization – it was planning this kind of genocidal massacre and also the forced displacement of whites from South Africa,” Stanton explained.

    When a court declared the racist song “hate speech” for inciting genocide against whites, the self-styled communist president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, began singing it too.

  22. The legacy of Apartheid hangs like a dark shadow over South African society. The Government has changed but some things take longer.

    Not many countries would think it reasonable to open fire with live ammunition on striking workers. The mind set in South Africa among some of bo”, it has happened so often in the past.

    A stain on some societies cannot be easily removed with a tumble of water in a washing machine.

  23. The status quo remains in tact in SA never mind the government has changed and that is not going to be easily reversed because of a black govt because they the whites still have a vested interest in seeing the status quo remains in tact and is not going to go away easily and would remain active pursuing any avenue even resorting to violenc to destablise the govt. this could be just what the whites establishment is hoping for giving the response by those whose first finger is to inject colorandblamegovt

  24. BAFBFP sorry young boy couldn’t resist throwing this one at ya.lol

    you mean to tell me that the mighty african king can find a suitable comely black maiden out of solomon’s flock to sit at his right hand as he rules over his african brethren but has to import an uncomely white dumplin to assist him with the job. imposters those rastas are smelling up under those white crotches.

  25. Further proof that Jacob Zuma is an idiot, he is applying a law which was on the books from the time the Boers were in control of South Africa and which was used to charge demonstrators after the Sharpeville massacre to charge the striking miners with murder in the deaths of their colleagues who were shot by the Police.


  26. sarge on this one you got to use the third eye; look at Barrack Obama all that he set out to do is being block by those who control the wealth and power..the people of SA acquried limited freedom but there battle over economic and political freedom which is a combination of wealth and power is still out of their reach.

  27. I don’t care who is pulling the economic levers in South Africa, Zuma is the President and he has the political power. I’m tired of blaming “the man” when things go sour, that crutch has been used too many times.

  28. The murder charge – and associated charges for the attempted murder of 78 miners injured at the Marikana mine near Johannesburg – was brought by the national prosecuting authority under an obscure Roman-Dutch common law previously used by the apartheid government.

  29. sarge if there is a law that is permitted outside of trying to implement change which is too late at this time t help the miners what would you want the govt to do. the govt at this time is only a figure head, bt the laws are there to protect the wealthy most of those laws during apartheid will remain in place no matter who the gvt is, right now the youth is getting rattled and it looks like an extremist group has taken root but it is going to be hard for them to press on as the whites are going to rely on the laws which were mandatedduring apartheid to destroy them as the same with the miners hell would freeze over before white africans give the blacks any influential power in SA same can be said for blacks in america .limited power only and thats that.let’s hear what desmond Tutu has to say. mandella too old to say or do anything.

  30. South African prosecutors have provisionally withdrawn murder charges against 270 miners who had been accused of killing 34 striking colleagues shot dead by police, but said they could be recharged when investigations are complete.

  31. “At the outset of Obama’s administration, the political right [meaning Senator Mitch McConnell] literally said, out loud: ‘The No1 project of this party is to make sure that this guy – this guy – only serves one term.’ How do you make sure of that? You don’t allow him to do anything good or worthwhile. Every chance you get, block him, and that’s what they’ve done. Which now allows them to say: ‘He’s failed, he can’t get anything done.’ If he loses, it simply proves what you always feared, that democracy can be bought, and that the country is owned by the rich. And if everything gets bought, how do we ever get the country back?” comments by morgan freeman actor

  32. It’s about time, South Africa dropped murder charges against the miners. Zuma and the SA Gov’t looked like fools for bringing the charges in the first place, during that short statement the prosecutor spoke about the law which they relied on to charge the miners as being on the books for several decades. In other words the stick which the Apartheid Gov’ts used to beat black South Africans with is being used by a Black Gov’t to beat the same black South Africans.

  33. yes sarge SA might have won the battle but not the war . with a new energised youth who seems to understand the dynamics and the barriers which are standing in the way of total freedom and must be broken down it may well be that the war has just begun.

  34. Tutu said the shooting at Marikana reminded him of events under apartheid.

    “In 2012? In a democracy? In a new South Africa? Have we forgotten so soon? Marikana felt like a nightmare, but that is what our democracy is in 2012.”

    The Marikana tragedy, in which police gunned down 34 striking mineworkers, has been described as probably the lowest point in South Africa’s short post-apartheid history and prompted much soul-searching in the economically divided nation.

  35. the irony of the story is

    Spoor says white-owned businesses — the ones that exploited black workers during apartheid — have sold or given away many assets to black-owned businesses as part of South Africa’s black economic empowerment scheme.
    But there’s a bitter irony: Black South African-owned companies may now literally have to pay for the crimes of apartheid. Companies implicated in the lawsuit declined to comment.

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