posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 03:49 PM
You beat me to it S+F
Very sad day for South Africa, this is a watershed moment here. Officially 7 dead, unofficially 18, although the video shows more than 7
WARNING: Graphic content:
WARNING: Graphic content: www.youtube.com...
2 policement were panga'd to death in the last week, as well as more than a few others. Deathtoll was already over 10 for the week this morning. A
panga is a machete. Pangas and spears were the weapons of most of the strikers, but several reports included guns in the crowds. The police gave an
order to disarm by 16h00 local, which was defied by the crowds, it began with tear grenades and rubber bullets, live rounds shortly after.It seems
reasonable to suspect that the police had orders to return fire if fired upon, i can conceive of no other reason than what is shown in the video. If
that proves to be true, then the police were not out of line in their actions. This isn't occupy wall street, these are african mine workers, a
dangerous crowd at the best of times. IMHO political power playing within the unions was to blame, the mine had a standing 2 year wage agreement which
is why the company refused to negotiate. The strike was illegal, and not supported by all unions, although intimidation was reported and is very
common. Intimidation = pangas.
A few local sources with decent versions of events are:
On Wednesday, up to 3,000 police officers, including members of an elite, camouflage-wearing riot control unit backed by helicopters and horses,
confronted the striking rock-drill operators, but there were no clashes.
Before the police advance, Joseph Mathunjwa, president of AMCU, which has been on a big recruitment push in South Africa's platinum mines, said there
would be bloodshed if police moved in.
"We're going nowhere," he shouted through a loudhailer, to cheers from the crowd. "If need be, we're prepared to die here."
Several people have been killed since Friday some burned to death, some killed with pangas, others beaten. Two police officers are among the dead.
The above quote refer to last friday, when the violence started.
May the dead rest in peace.