S Africa miners 'riot for attention'

Causing violence is only way to get the government's attention for shocking working conditions, Lonmin miners say.

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    Burnt schools, government buildings and government cars.

    That's the first thing that you see when you enter the town of Olifantshoek that is when you enter the area where the poor stay i.e. the tin shacks, no tarred roads, raw sewage on the street etc.

    A group of men are milling around what was the department of welfare. Its now an empty shell - filing cabinets and burnt documents in ashes.

    One man looks at me, smiles and says, "its the only way to get the government's attention. We tried talking to them, asking for help and jobs. So we will burn buildings".

    Three schools have been burnt down in the area, a library, a community hall, and a few other government buildings vandalised.

    People here want jobs, running water, electricity and the mayor to resign. But does violence justify the means?

    If mine workers at Lonmin Platinum mine for example get their pay increase, then that could give South Africans the idea that violence will get you what you want.

    I wonder how the Zuma administration plans to deal with the growing discontent in the country.


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