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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid