BBC News - Miners killed at South Africa's Lonmin Marikana mineMiners killed at South Africa's Lonmin Marikana mine
Police in South Africa have opened fire during clashes with striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine, leaving at least 12 people dead, witnesses say.
Police opened fire after miners carrying machetes, clubs and spears refused to disarm, eyewitnesses said.
A witness told the BBC he saw 18 bodies on the ground after the shooting.
The mine, owned by Lonmin, has been at the centre of a violent pay dispute, exacerbated by tensions between two rival trade unions.
Ten people had previously died in violence since the strike began last Friday.
The striking miners had gathered on a rocky hill overlooking Marikana, the third-largest platinum mine in the world.
This has big implications for my beloved Republic and for the world as platinum is a huge commodity and this will effect world wide platinum commodity prices as not only this mine but South Africa is one of the largest platinum producing nations in the world if this trend continues it could create huge problems for this commodity which is essential for global trade today.
Now I am South African, living in Canada and I will try to be as objective as I can.
According to news reports I followed, the week prior to this incident 2 police officers and 8 protesters have been killed.
The police were expecting violence, according to the footage (which to be fair is sketchy) and accounts of the incidents police encountered protesters that broke through police lines with machetes, they then encountered small arms fire in the form of pistols at which point the line of police officers opened fire on the advancing protesters.
Look, I understand where the protesters were coming from, they are being paid ****ty wages to do a ****ty job, but I can say from personal experience as I have had several family members in the South African Police Service that they are attacking people in the same situation as them as police are paid just as bad to police the most violent democracy in the world after Iraq...
At the same time, there should have been officers armed with rubber bullets that could have subdued the crowd without the spraying of bullets that occured although having said that I was not there, there may have been but a way to resolve this without what happened... at the same time when live ammo is fired at you, I completely support the police returning live ammo fire back.
What follows is a video of the incident. POSSIBLY NSFW. Not blood and guts graphic though.
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