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The New York Times reports that “South Africa’s police commissioner [Ria Phiyega] defended the actions of officers who opened fire on miners a day earlier in an episode that, she said, killed 34 people and wounded 78 during a wildcat strike at a platinum mine . . . ‘The militant group stormed towards the police firing shots and wielding dangerous weapons. Previous attempts by the 500-strong police force to repel them with rubber bullets, water cannons and stun grenades had failed.” TTAG reader CMAJEFF writes: “I don’t know if these miners where charging with machetes but a charge against armed police wasn’t going to end well. Just wonder if this incident would have ended differently if they’d been armed citizens, peacefully demonstrating.”

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15 Responses to South African Police Fire on Striking Miners

  1. While I can understand the plight of the miners, charging armed South African police with machetes is not very smart. News reports say the miners “vowed to fight to the death”, and that’s what many of them did. As far as pondering if “armed citizens demonstrating peacefully” would have allowed the situation to end differently; I serious doubt a South African police officer would consider an armed Black African (which the miners are) peaceful. Too many images of “Zulu Dawn”…and in all honesty, given the history, neither would I.

  2. So, first it was the white Danes killing South African blacks. Now it’s South African blacks killing South African blacks. Tyranny is color blind.

  3. They were armed citizens…who had already killed 7 people, 2 security guards, 2 police, and 3 OF THEIR OWN FELLOW MINERS. It was a mob that decided it was big enough to take on the police force and miscalculated badly…and I say bravo to the police! You charge at an openly armed person with a deadly weapon, your ass is gonna get shot.

    • They had machetes. You charge a bunch of cops with a machete in hand, you’re going to get very, very perforated, and you’re going to deserve it.

      Peaceful protesters wave signs, not blades.

  4. there seems to be a recurring theme amongst ttag’res about standing and fighting the police. lot of luck with that. if you win, then what? murder charges for you and if you survive the arrest a life with bubba in prison. and if well armed demonstrators repel the police. then comes the military. i know “die on my feet before living on my knees”. that might have some meaning if we were actually that oppressed, but look around you and be honest. we have it pretty good here, not perfect, but we’re a long way from being oppressed. just today some girls in a band in russia got 2 years for singing a song against putin. the fact that we’re still pretty free is evidenced by this site. it’s allowed to exist in spite of the venom spewed towards authority . and i know i’m going to get roasted by some of our posters for saying that. but guess what, those same posters rattling their sabres will keep their eyes down and say” Yes sir” and “No sir” when they have any dealings with the cops. i view these “little man” syndrome sufferers with the same contempt that i view mikeybnumbers.

    • A lot of people that frequent this site seem to like bashing on cops or wanting to kill them outright…glad youre not the only one to notice

    • things in South Africa are a little different than here in the US, and to an extent I agree with you… a lot of things that are done in the name of 2nd Amendment rights that we see and read about here, that couldn’t and wouldn’t be gotten away with given some slightly different circumstances…imagine a US citizen of Middle Eastern heritage walking down the street with his loaded AK-47 slung on his back that his dad gave him as a birthday present… do you think the police would just walk up to him politely and ask for ID? Do you think if he refused, he’d be treated the same as Sean Combs? I don’t think so…

  5. The US had its share of deadly labor riots. The Dearborn Michigan Riot, the Haymarket Affair and others are now legendary. Taking into account that South Africa is far behind the labor relations curve, I’d expect the situation to get worse in RSA before it gets better.

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