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South African Miners charged with murder..for Police shootings?

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posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 01:19 PM
While I'm taking a bit of a break for a few days, it doesn't mean I'm not staying on top of the news, world wide. Here, I came across a story I just had to come share. This was too much to believe, but apparently, this is happening.

How would you like to be a part of a major protest against authority and Police where your fellow demonstrators number among the dead and dying at the end of it? I'm going to guess that for most people, this would be a tramatic experience and for some, downright life changing.

Who would expect that life change to come by way of murder charges?

Who was murdered?

Did the demonstrators turn on their own and kill friends and fellow miners?

No. That isn't what happened at all. In fact, no one being charged here appears to have actually killed anyone, despite standing for the murders.


Lets take a look at this insane case and see what is happening in South Africa?

South African Marikana miners charged with Murder

Workers arrested at South Africa's Marikana mine have been charged in court with the murder of 34 of their colleagues shot by police.

The 270 workers would be tried under the "common purpose" doctrine because they were in the crowd which confronted police on 16 August, an official said.

It's great they call it Murder, as it sounds by continuing coverage I've been following, this surely was. However, charge the protesters for the misfortune of having their own people shot and killed by those they are protesting against? Yes.. That would appear to be exactly what is happening!

The decision to charge the workers was "madness", said former ruling ANC party youth leader Julius Malema.

"The policemen who killed those people are not in custody, not even one of them. This is madness," said Mr Malema, who was expelled from the ANC (African National Congress) earlier this year following a series of disagreements with President Jacob Zuma.

Now I've heard of rough politics and saw it up close in ways that changed my life with the U.S. Occupy movement. I also saw the occasional nut case with a weapon of some sort and how quickly such thing was put down by the protesters I was around, personally. However...........

Imagine being charged with murder when you aren't even aware anyone HAS a weapon....or if you are aware, you're so far away from where this is happening, you couldn't do a thing to intervene or mitigate the events!

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Frank Lesenyego told the BBC the 270 workers would all face murder charges - including those who were unarmed or were at the back of the crowd.

"This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities," he said.
Source - BBC, ongoing coverage

I would never suggest that anyone muddy the name or image of South Africa as a whole. That is no more right than what their Justice System appears to be doing in this specific case. We have folks right here who live there and by the sound of local accounts, it's a diverse place with as much good mixed in among the bad points as any other nation around the world.

In this case though, I sure wouldn't argue with some of that international public pressure that seems to rise to the occasion in a heartbeat if perceived injustice is happening in any one of a number of other nations. In this case and in this place, it seems hundreds of miners could use that support. I hope the media and others in a position to give it, choose to in this case.

Anyone have more on this or a take on how this is going from a local perspective? It's a wake up and a chilling thing to see happen, either way it would seem!

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 01:48 PM
Just read that South Africa is also home to about 80% of the worlds platinum reserves. Looks like they're getting rid of these miners to replace them with those that don't strike, as well as sending a message to new miners on what could/would happen if they stepped out of line like the last group of miners.

South African police murder miners

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 01:49 PM
This world is pretty disgusting.

All governments and corporations everywhere deserve to be resisted at all costs.
Sorry for the claimed innocent ones, but you are guilty by association.

Human beings not only have the right to revolt against tyranny, but it is your duty.
Failing in this duty is traitorous to the future of the human race, as you would turn a blind eye to your fellow man shackled in chains and tortured for nothing.

What is the point of life anyway? To be owned like a piece of property? To never find happiness or liberty?
Nay, the point of life rather is to stand up and resist tyranny at every turn no matter how costly. To bear any burden for freedom, uplift and unshackle the minds and spirits of your fellows.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

I couldn't agree more and absolutely feel outraged at this. I found another story in current headlines and following the killings of the striking miners to add some depth to the situation....

Striking workers at the South African mine where police shot dead 34 miners on Thursday face a deadline to go back to work or face dismissal.

A statement from mine owner Lonmin said 3,000 workers were striking illegally and must report to work on Monday.

The company delayed the deadline from Friday in light of the killings at the Marikana platinum mine, north-west of Johannesburg.
Source- BBC

It's a heck of a deal to see this happen and reminds me of the time in America where Unions literally saved lives and made working here a thing that could be done without a family wondering if their Father or Brother would even make it home that night. Wages, Conditions and general safety seem to be the point here and they're shot down and threatened with mass firing for having the nerve to stand against the abuse.

I imagine myself in St Louis with Occupy last year and how we were looking UP into the guns of the Secret Service (as far as I know them to have been) as they looked down at us from tall buildings around our little park..and a few blocks from the World Series. I imagine how it would have felt to see those I stood shoulder to shoulder with be gunned down..,and then be charged with their murders I'd have just watched the authorities commit.

It's hard to see differences serious enough here to say it isn't very comparable, aside from the difference in nations. I hope the Miners see it through as I've understood the South African Gold and other precious metal mines to be among the roughest and dangerous places in the world to do such work.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 03:25 PM
The question is who owns Lonmin mine, and who founded it?
It's easy to say this is a "South African" issue, but its ownership has been censored by the BBC and other holier than thou "Western" channels.

There's a lot of debate about the violence that happened, firstly violence between two unions, and the killing and mutilation of two security guards and police by miners.
There was also a misrepresentation on how much the miners actually earned.
Then there's an issue of the armed crowd, the sangomas (witchdoctors) and others who helped to incite the violence.
Largely there's a police chief who gave the orders, and who even at her appointment by the ANC was considered totally inept and unqualified.
Her reasoning for being appointed police chief without any qualifications was that "you don't need to own a bottle-store to be an alcoholic".
Was she set up, after ANC stalwart and former police commissioner and the head of Interpol Jackie Selebi was jailed for corruption (seemingly with drug lords) and released on medical grounds, and then Cele was also fired for corruption?

However, it's totally unacceptable to charge this amount of people under a dated law by an ANC state that once decried it.
There have been no individual charges made public, and the rights of these people to a speedy trial have been seriously compromised.
The latest seems that 270 people are charged under some obscure "common purpose" law.
I'm actually quite shocked on the latest, because I really thought both sides would cut their losses, and avoid an international incident.
Not so however, and I'm sure the state can now expect further charges against their cops on the scene (already laid by Julius Malema) and charges of illegal arrest, torture, denying medicine and so forth.
The ministers don't care - they won't pay a cent in any case.
The SA taxpayer will foot the bill for their genocidal incompetence.

Most concerning to me, the jailed miners have been denied TB and HIV medicine in prison, which could have serious consequences for creating and spreading multi-drug resistant TB.

There's been talk of charging the police ministers as well, and the handling of the situation with these legally questionable detentions are just more egg on the face of prosecutors who should be fired, and a system that clearly cannot cope, and ANC ministers who should be arrested and brought to the Hague on charges for crimes against humanity.

Let the whole world see what is going on in SA!
edit on 30-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 03:29 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

Nay, the point of life rather is to stand up and resist tyranny at every turn no matter how costly. To bear any burden for freedom, uplift and unshackle the minds and spirits of your fellows.

One of the hardest bars i've read on ATS. Keep it comin muzzleflash.

And it is quite terrible. I've seen the unedited video.

Are those miners going to get their own Kony campaign? Huh? Any kind of media attention from the mainstream besides the mentioning?

Where's Don Cheadle, Georgle Cloney and Brad Pitt?
edit on 30-8-2012 by cenpuppie because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Halfoldman asked who owned the mine.

Checking "Lonmin" in Wiki you get......"Lonmin plc (LSE: LMI, JSE: LOLMI), formerly Lonrho plc".

Seems that "Tiny Rowland" had some connection with this company. It has a London HQ

"Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath famously called the company the "“unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism"." Taken from the Wiki entry, link---

So one or two well known names there.

The BBC is covering the problems on news bulletins as well as on there web page. so it is being covered in some depth. They are saying the law being used dates back to the Apartheid days.

I believe that earlier this week the owners were quoting the present financial woes in Europe as a reason to counter the wage demand., this is from memory so may be wrong, I am trying to find confirmation,

Hope this helps.

edit on 30-8-2012 by dowot because: Correction to spelling of Apartied to Apartheid

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 04:19 PM
reply to post by dowot

As long as it is clear that we in SA do not own the mine, none of our population groups (although some elites like former ANC labor stalwarts like Cyril Ramaphosa do apparently benefit).
I'd like to see more interviews from the BBC from the mine's London offices and an end to this misleading pretense that they have nothing to do with SA mining.

Here is more on the situation regarding TB and HIV medicines being denied to the 270 miners as late as Wednesday (yesterday here) this week.

Tuberculosis is a major killer in SA, especially for those with compromised immune systems.

Interrupting TB treatment can easily lead to resistant and untreatable strains, and infections can spread in crowded quarters (and I recall hearing that some of these miners were kept locked in police vans for virtually days).

Is this alone not an attack on the health of the whole world?

Heads need to roll urgently on how this was handled.
edit on 30-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 04:27 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Thanks for your input! I was hoping we would get more information from one of those who live in South Africa and could help show the lines between the State, the People and this event. In no way should anyone class a nation, people or overall group for the actions of a few. That should never happen, and certainly not here.

In giving credit where it does seem to be due though, I wonder if you have more information on what is driving the charge to prosecute 270 men for murders they not only didn't commit, but could have well been counted among the victims of themselves?

The information about TB and HIV treatment is outright evil. I can think of no other way to term it. Just evil. In other circumstances, one could even call it a very crude and rude form of biological war against the dissenters? How absolutely hideous. Whatever the protest did and whoever may have been hurt by the miners themselves, the reaction strikes me as so far across the lines of overkill and basic decency as to boggle the mind.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Did you look up that Lonmin link?

Seems that.."and its operational headquarters are in Johannesburg, South Africa" maybe London did not know what was happening?

Medication? Is it possible it is with-held because it is provided in some other way?

Good to have some "on the ground views" halfoldman as stories can get twisted very quickly..

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:04 PM
Well these developments are news to me too, and on the actual charges I cannot say much.
It all seems pretty baffling.
I assume this will be discussed with various experts tomorrow for more.

Here's what an SA law expert says so far on the law and the charges:

My personal view is that in a context of violent service delivery protests and strikes the ANC core is starting to fear its own people.

I could speculate more, but rather won't at this stage.

It's obviously also drawing some kind of line, and using the law in its broadest sense to "discipline" a nation.
edit on 30-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:33 PM
reply to post by dowot

Thanks, yes I did look at the link on the Lonmin mine, and its headquarters are in London.

The British took the mining land from the Boer Republics and the indigenous tribes in SA, and what have they ever done to compensate?

I think it's a downright cheek for the BBC to report on this as a distanced issue about "inequality" in SA, and a blatant media conspiracy.
Meanwhile the source of all the puppeteering is probably just a block away from the BBC.

I hope protesters will be outside Lonmin's London headquarters tomorrow.

As for the medication - no they have received no medications, apparently since their arrest last Monday.
I'm not sure what other source they should get them from?

These miners will be released into the community eventually, and I hope some NGO will help them sue the state for every person who gets infected from one of these men.

The courts and clinics, and even the surrounding hospitals and prisons clearly could not cope with this ridiculous mass arrest (state institutions hardly cope well at all in SA), and this a very serious matter that will spread to affect us all eventually.

edit on 30-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:39 PM
It's late here and so far I have not been able to find any reference to Lonmin and reasons to counter wage demand. However it seems there has been a slight downturn in demand.

During my research, it looks like a power struggle between different mine unions has developed.

There seems to be a political in-fight as well according to the above website.

There is also mention of China in some of the reports. I know China has lately shown a lot of interest in Africa as a whole, but China's own problems might not help. If that country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew only 6 percent “the momentum loss would encourage a recession in the commodities market”, Ballim added, citing copper, iron ore and platinum prices as examples.

Finally, has some comments from people in S. Africa.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 06:05 PM
reply to post by dowot

Yes, it's all true.

There's a lot of conspiracy thinking about Malema and China, and who was behind this all.
(See for example my last post on:
I don't think it's still the major concern now however, and it's just becoming more serious.

Instead of unraveling it just seems to be deepening, and my main direct concern now would be to get the miners set free.

There's no way over 200 people could have murdered 10.

It seems like a pretty random mass arrest.
Maybe the initial thinking was that somebody knows something, and with a bit of dreadful incarceration and torture somebody would spill the beans.

But is that how post-apartheid SA should operate?
Is collective guilt and punishment a yardstick for justice?

Opinions were very split at first with only some support for the armed miners, but I think after these arrests and maltreatment it's probably swayed strongly towards the miners' camp (and the so-called "opportunists" like Malema).

So in SA it's also a matter of what it says about our state, our police, our courts, our medicine and our human rights.

It's just a major disgrace, but neither the ANC or Lonmin seem very perturbed.
It's business as usual.

edit on 30-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 07:29 PM
Maybe this might be interesting.

While the foreign and socialist conspiracies in South Africa are not difficult to trace in history, I was quite surprised to hear of a SA connection by Skull and Bones descendant and researcher Charlotte Iserbyt.

She mentions her grandfather, (Samuel Clifton Thompson - name spelled from hearing) who went as a mining engineer to SA in 1897.
He was the first member of the Skull and Bones society in her ancestry, and she says they were "big" on opening up the gold fields.
He married her grandmother in 1902 in Johannesburg.
They returned to America with the start of World War I.

An interesting and worthwhile clip in general, and the SA connection begins at about 23:00 minutes into the interview.

It confirms many suspicions, especially about what happens around SA mining.

edit on 30-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 06:08 PM
interesting, even i cant justify this. i usually dont have a problem with government being harsh on their people but, i cant agree with this.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 06:39 PM
It was done to poor black africans, if it had been done to rich white americans, it would be clogging the news channels and newspapers.
The Chinese need to sweep away any concept of freedom /unions...murder always makes people fearful.
As others have said its all about silencing those who want a better life.

How dare they want a better life ...the rich need the money more.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 11:46 AM
Right now it still seems baffling (about two days later).

It is confirmed that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has indeed charged the 270 miners with the attempted murder and murder of their colleagues.

Virtually all legal experts in SA have condemned the judgement and fail to understand the reasoning.
The only reasoning seems to be to deny them bail, which is less likely to be granted in murder cases, rather than the initial charges of public violence and disorder.
The NPA claims they made the charges after considering non-public footage and information.
However, it appears they speak with a forked tongue, at once failing to place individual charges but then also claiming to have sufficient information.

Once again it seems to be a case of lacking professionalism and desperation from unqualified appointees, and ANC over-reach of their own capabilities in the shambles they have created on the ground, which simply cannot process the miners.
They cannot even verify addresses from migrant laborers already living in squatter conditions.

Even the Justice Ministry is not happy and has demanded a report from the NPA.

The NPA is however an independent body, and the Justice Ministry seemingly cannot actually interfere at this stage.
They can however sanction the cases going to trial at a later stage.

There's no new information on the clinical status of the sick miners that I have seen.

Meanwhile reports have surfaced that claim the cops massacred miners who were lying on the ground on the other side of the hill, or attempting to flee and surrender:

"Heavily armed police hunted down and killed the miners in cold blood,” wrote South African photographer Greg Marinovich on the Daily Maverick news website.

Apparently a law firm representing the jailed miners has sent a letter to President Zuma demanding that they be released on Sunday (tomorrow), or charges would be brought against the Presidency.
The Presidency refuses to say whether they did or did not receive such a letter.

Meanwhile the more radical opportunists like Malema have wasted no time in using the opportunity for bashing the white minority in SA (the Boers), who neither own the mine nor run the police force.
Such racist and albophobic rhetoric is less reported by the liberal media, since the term "boer" could have multiple meanings (implying a power structure rather than a race), but such patterns of hate speech are deeply concerning considering the genocidal murders against white farmers and the tacit acceptance of hate speech in politics, and every time the ANC has problems it seems to deflect their mess onto local whites.

The British ownership of the Lonmin mine has still not been highlighted in any media.
edit on 1-9-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 02:27 PM
More on the British-ANC Lomnin mine drama in South Africa from Aljazeera:

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 03:07 PM
What is even more baffling is how the world allows figures like archbishop Desmond Tutu to act like an icon of world conscience and justice while this was going on.

Tutu is entering the "holier than thou league" of celebrated and contested political and religious figures who obviously did much good, but their portrayal as virtual saints seems ridiculous.
Some media interests seem to celebrate him as in the same class as the Dalai Lama (also a feudal and repressive pope of Buddhism), Gandhi (a racist against blacks in SA) or Mother Theresa (pocketed cash for the Vatican while her "hospital" in India is called the most "miserable place on earth").

Tutu is a mixed figure at best, standing for human rights where it suits him.
However he supported the ANC when they refused to forgo violence, and ran gulags like Quatro, and he even supported disinvestment in SA, because the poor would suffer with a purpose.
He's an Anglican priest, so his beef with Blair was rather surprising (since England is basically a monarchy and the leader of Tutu's Anglican church is also the monarch).

He refused to share a stage with Tony Blair earlier this week over the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Considering the events at Lonmin that's probably the height of hypocrisy:

Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning South African archbishop who was renowned for his opposition to the apartheid regime in his native country, refused to attend a summit with the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, due to Blair's role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq."Ultimately, the archbishop is of the view that Mr. Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible," his office said in a statement.

When will the world finally stop blowing smoke up the butts of these flawed heroes, because two decades ago they wouldn't rest until the ANC ruled?
Then we had the TRC farce that jailed a few foot-soldiers and henchmen, gave collective amnesty to ANC leaders and couldn't touch defiant apartheid leaders like PW Botha (they obviously made some kind of secret agreement).

Now the ANC rules.
Family of the Zuma and Mandela clans left the Aurora mine in shambles, and its workers unpaid and destitute.
Where was Mr Tutu then?
Whose typical pattern of violence is this?
Necklacing people (setting people alight with a petrol-filled tire around their body - an infamous form of ANC execution endorsed by Winnie Mandela), hacking people, mob justice - who brought that violence to SA?
Who facilitated this violence at all costs?

Despite many good causes and speeches from the archbishop, I'm not sure that currently a stage is worth sharing with Desmond Tutu, at least not by his standard of politics.

The truth will be known on what he supported eventually (while the "third force" excuses grow dimmer and untenable), and he should apologize or explain sooner rather than later.
edit on 1-9-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

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