S Africa Lonmin killings: National mourning declared
Published: 19th Aug 2012 15:11:29
South African President Jacob Zuma has declared a week of national mourning for striking miners killed in violence at a platinum mine on Thursday.
At least 34 people were killed when police opened fire at the Marikana mine, north-west of Johannesburg.
A further 10 people, including two police officers, were killed in earlier clashes at the mine.
Earlier the owners of the mine, Lonmin, gave their striking workers a final ultimatum to return to work.
In a statement, Mr Zuma said the nation was in "shock and pain".
"We must this week reflect on the sanctity of human life and the right to life," he said.
At least 78 people were injured in the violence and some 250 people were arrested.
Flags will fly at half mast at all flag stations in South African and missions outside the country during the mourning period, which will last from Monday until next Sunday.
On Saturday, former ANC youth leader Julius Malema called on Mr Zuma to resign over the clashes.
Lonmin, the world's third largest platinum producer, said the miners must be back at work by Monday or risk being dismissed.
"The final ultimatum provides RDOs [rock drill operators] with a last opportunity to return to work or face possible dismissal," spokeswoman Gillian Findlay said on Sunday, according to Agence France Presse.
Some miners dismissed the call as disrespectful to their colleagues who died.
"Expecting us to go back is like an insult. Many of our friends and colleagues are dead, then they expect us to resume work. Never," worker Zachariah Mbewu told AFP.
He added that no-one would return to work as long as they were still in mourning and that workers would only go back when management gave them what they sought.
The miners, who are currently earning between 4,000 and 5,000 rand ($484-$605), say they want their salary increased to 12,500 rand ($1,512).
The BBC's Nomsa Maseko, in Johannesburg, says the violence has been blamed on rivalry between labour unions during the strike for better wages.
The circumstances that led police to open fire on Thursday remain unclear, but reports from eyewitnesses suggest the shooting took place after a group of demonstrators, some holding clubs and machetes, rushed at a line of police officers.
Police, armed with automatic rifles and pistols, fired dozens of shots.
The mineworkers arrested for public violence are expected to appear in court shortly.
In May 2011, the company sacked some 9,000 employees after what it described at the time as "unprotected industrial action". Lonmin and the NUM union said all were later reinstated.
At 07:30:15 in SportScarlets head coach Simon Easterby says his side did not turn up in the first half of their shock Pro12 17-13 derby defeat against 10th-placed Cardiff Blues at the Millennium Stadium.
At 07:25:20 in SportOspreys coach Steve Tandy admits he is frustrated his side failed to gain a bonus point in their Pro12 20-10 derby victory against Newport Gwent Dragons.
At 06:20:05 in SportSuggesting that Fernando Torres was once a firm fans' favourite at Atletico Madrid is something of an understatement.
At 05:59:37 in HeadlinesA perfect example of how two different papers can cover the same story in two different ways can be seen in Easter Monday's coverage of the latest skin cancer figures.
At 05:50:52 in HeadlinesWin Tin, a veteran of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, has died at the age of 85.
At 05:21:49 in HeadlinesA submarine scanning the ocean floor for signs of a missing Malaysian airliner is two-thirds of the way through its search but has yet to find the plane, officials say.
At 05:01:28 in HeadlinesThousands of runners are preparing to take part in an emotional Boston Marathon amid unprecedented security.
At 04:45:06 in HeadlinesSouth Korean President Park Geun-hye has condemned the conduct of some of the crew of the ferry that sank last week, calling it "akin to murder".
At 04:30:05 in EnglandA huge fire on an industrial estate in Leeds has sent flames and a large plume of smoke up over the city.
At 03:16:30 in HeadlinesUkraine says it will launch an investigation into a fatal shooting in the east of the country which has raised tension with Russia further.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. S Africa Lonmin killings: National mourning declared [Online] (Updated 19th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1447014/S-Africa-Lonmin-killings-National-mourning-declared [Accessed 21st Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
An upstart rapidly rises from obscurity to become a household name by distributing a highly addictive product consumed by thousands.
Win Tin, a veteran of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, has died at the age of 85.
A motorcyclist who was seriously injured when his machine collided with a 4x4 towing a trailer carrying an inflatable boat has died, said police.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
A number of events have been held in Northern Ireland to commemorate the anniversary of the Easter Rising.
The incidence of the most serious skin cancer in Great Britain is now five times higher than it was in the 1970s, figures show.