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Friday, August 17, 2012

South African police say they were forced to fire on striking miners, killing 34

From the Telegraph:
Riah Phiyega said that 34 miners were killed on Thursday and another 78 wounded when her officers used “maximum force” near Marikana mine, owned by Lonmin, the London-listed company. 
They did so when a gang of “heavily armed” miners rushed towards them, armed with firearms as well as clubs and machetes. “Police retreated and were forced to use maximum force to defend themselves,” said Ms Phiyega. 
Images broadcast by private television station e.tv carried the sound of a barrage of automatic gunfire that ended with police officers shouting: "Cease fire!" By that time, bodies were lying in the dust, some pouring blood. Another image showed some miners, their eyes wide, looking in the distance at heavily armed police officers in riot gear.
It was a harrowing development in a country that had been seen as a model of stability since white rule ended with South Africa's first free elections in 1994. The shooting recalled images of white police firing at anti-apartheid protesters in the 1960s and 1970s, but in this case it was mostly black police firing at black mine workers.
Several commentators said members of the new union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), had guns and other weapons and used them when the shooting began.
Joseph Mathunjwa, the union's president blamed Lonmin, the London-list company which runs the mine, and said the huge National Union of Mineworkers collaborated against the striking workers.
He denied his members played any role in the violence. AMCU does not yet have enough members to be registered as a union. 
Here is the photo that came along with the Telegraph article. It almost looks like a sick joke.

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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

1 Comments:

Anonymous cjk said...

A statement in the article that South Africa 'had been seen as a model of stability' makes me wonder just what model glue these people are sniffing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012 5:05:00 pm  

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