News / Africa

S. Africa Police Raid Homes of Striking Miners

A man is arrested by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa's North West Province, September 15, 2012.
A man is arrested by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa's North West Province, September 15, 2012.
Anita Powell
South African police have raided homes of striking miners near the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, where strikes have raged for more than a month. The raids give muscle to a stern warning from South Africa’s government that they wouldn’t tolerate any more violence or unrest. 

South African police raided the homes of striking miners Saturday, firing tear gas and rubber bullets into an impoverished township near the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana.  A South African police spokesman confirmed the operation.

The action follows a stern warning from South Africa’s government that they would no longer tolerate violence and intimidation after five weeks of strikes and sometimes deadly clashes.

More than 45 people have been killed in weeks of violence over a pay dispute at the mine some 100 kilometers from Johannesburg.

A regional police spokesman, Thulani Ngubane, said the aim of the police action is to disarm people and restore peace and stability around Marikana.  He said police found weapons and confiscated them.

Rehad Desai of the Marikana Solidarity Campaign says police first went into the community on Friday night and confiscated the miners’ stick-like traditional weapons and arrested eight people. On Saturday, he said hundreds of policemen backed up by the military entered the area.

He says police, shooting rubber bullets, wounded people - including a local representative of the ruling African National Congress.

“Today, from reports that we’ve received from the community, six people have been shot with rubber bullets and injured, and have gone to hospital," said Desai. "Five of them have gone to hospital,  one of them seriously injured, and that is the local ANC councillor, a female. Two of these six are women, and one of them is an ANC councillor on the settlement.”

Desai said his solidarity campaign aims to bring justice to the families of those killed, to protect the workers’ right to strike and to support their push for a wage hike. He says his group opposes the police action.

“What the state has actually done here is declared war on the workers in the platinum belt," said Desai. "They’ve said, basically, ‘you don’t have the right to withdraw your labor, and we’re going to make sure that you can’t organize if you go on an unprotected strike.’”

The strikes have seriously affected the platinum market and Lonmin’s productivity, and the job actions show no signs of ending after workers rejected Lonmin’s initial pay offer on Friday.

The workers are demanding a raise from about $500 a month to about $1,500. Lonmin’s initial offer on Friday was for far less.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, the union credited with starting the strike, has said the situation has escalated and that they now want President Jacob Zuma to call a top-level meeting.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bravo
September 15, 2012 2:04 PM
Well done to the Policemen who have taken the initiative to bring back some measure of safety and normality to the area. It must be remembered by Mr Rehad Desai that two Policemen, two Security Guards and several workers have been killed by the armed striking workers, a fact which he seems to have forgotten

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid