These bantus deserve to die. They are killing Somalis every day.
Dozens killed in South Africa mine shooting
Last updated: 6 hours ago
Police chief says 34 dead and 78 injured in crackdown on striking workers at platinum mine in North West province.
South African police killed 34 people in a shooting at a mine in North West province, the country's police chief says.
Officers shot at the workers who were protesting on Thursday afternoon over pay at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, some 100km northwest of Johannesburg.
The incident, which police said was an act of self defence, appears to be one of the bloodiest police operations since the end of white-minority rule in 1994 in Africa's biggest economy.
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, speaking at a news conference on Friday, also said 78 people had been injured and 259 arrested in Thursday's violence.
"The police members had to employ force to protect themselves from the charging group," she said.
"This is no time for blaming, this is not time for finger pointing. It is a time for us to mourn a sad and dark moment we experience as a country."
But local newspaper headlines screamed "Bloodbath", "Killing Field" and "Mine Slaughter", with graphic photographs of heavily armed police officers walking casually past the bloodied corpses of men lying crumpled in the dust.
In a front page editorial, The Sowetan newspaper questioned what had changed since 1994.
"It has happened in this country before where the apartheid regime treated black people like objects," the paper said. "It is continuing in a different guise now."
Zweli Mnisi, the police ministry spokesman, said an investigation into the shooting has begun. Labour unions and political parties, including the ruling ANC, called for an independent inquiry.
Police investigators and forensic experts, meanwhile, combed the scene of the shooting, watched by about 100 people on Friday. South African media said that there was no more violence reported in the area overnight.