The Union Showed Up With Spears, Machetes, & Clubs
by James Denison - 8/17/12 9:42 AM
What else did they expect?! If you bring enough weapons to start a war against the law and the mine owners, can you truly be surprised when your violence is properly addressed?
Union Activity In South Africa, a Black Ruled Country Now.
Crime scene investigators combed
the site of the shooting, which was cordoned off with yellow tape,
collecting spent cartridges and the slain miners' bloodstained
traditional weapons - machetes and spears.
Six firearms were recovered, including a service revolver from one of the police officers killed earlier in the week.
Prior to Thursday, 10 people had
died in nearly a week of conflict between rival unions at what is
Lonmin's flagship plant. The London-headquartered company has been
forced to shut down all its South African platinum operations, which
account for 12 percent of global output.
South Africa is home to 80
percent of the world's known reserves of platinum, a precious metal used
in vehicle catalytic converters. Rising power and labor costs and a
steep decline this year in the price have left many mines struggling to
Although the striking Marikana miners were demanding huge pay hikes,
the roots of the trouble lie in a challenge by the upstart Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to the 25-year dominance of
the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a close ANC ally.
"There is clearly an element in
this that a key supporter of the ANC - the NUM - has come under threat
from these protesting workers," said Nic Borain, an independent
AMCU leaders have been
criticized for telling the striking miners - many of whom are barely
literate - that they were "prepared to die" rather than move from their
Pre-crackdown footage of dancing
miners waving machetes and licking the blades of home-made spears
raised questions about the habitual use of violence in industrial action
18 years after the end of apartheid.