South African Army Put On High Alert In Response To Nationwide Miner Strike

Tyler Durden's picture

That didn't take long. BBC reports that "Military bases in South Africa have been placed on high alert for the first time since the advent of democracy in 1994, defence officials have confirmed. The move comes as firebrand politician Julius Malema prepares to address disgruntled soldiers near Johannesburg. The defence minister accused him of trying to "mobilise against the state"." In other words, striking miners are about to be considered enemies of the state, if they hinder record high profit margins at various international precious metal conglomerates. Hopefully South Africa does not test the theory that the worker exterminations (as a reminder tens of striking workers were previously killed by local police) will continue until worker morale improves, because i) it won't, and ii) it will lead to a complete shut down of commodity extraction in the country.

From BBC:

Mr Malema has addressed several rallies in recent weeks, demanding President Jacob Zuma's removal from power after police shot dead striking miners.


Defence department spokesman Sonwabo Mbananga told the BBC that all bases were on high alert to "keep vigilance over the movement of our armed forces".


It is an extraordinary move, all because Mr Malema is due to address some soldiers, the BBC's Andrew Harding reports from Johannesburg.


Mr Malema was expelled from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in April, and is under investigation for alleged corruption.


But Mr Malema has seized on the killings at the Marikana platinum mine last month - when police shot dead 34 protesting workers - to launch a ferocious campaign against South Africa's elites, and to call for an economic revolution, our reporter says.


The army's shrill reaction to his latest move underlines Mr Malema's apparent power, he adds.




South Africa is in a jittery mood right now, partly because of fears that labour unrest could spread, and partly because the government appears preoccupied with infighting, as factions plot ways to unseat President Zuma, our correspondent says.


On Wednesday, Mr Malema called for a national strike in the mining sector, South Africa's economic backbone.


Police spokesman Thulani Ngubane said on Thursday that workers at a platinum mine in North West province, owned by the world's top platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), have launched a strike, AFP news agency reports.


"They are rioting, barricading the roads with tyres, trees trunks and rocks," Mr Ngubane is quoted as saying.


Amplats spokesman Mpumi Sithole told the BBC the protesters were not employees of the company.


"Our employees have been moved to a neutral place away from the mine. Some operations are not operating," Reuters news agency quotes Ms Sithole as saying.


The conflict has led to a fall in the price of Amplats shares.

Perhaps the margin hiker in chief can chime in here. Wouldn't want (lack of) supply and (soaring) demand to set the equilibrium price of a product that is considered the replacement of infinitely printable fiat now, would we.

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GetZeeGold's picture



If he looks like a miner.....put him through the metal detector.


Even if it's a six year old girl.....can't be too careful these days.



MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This is the beginning of the socialist revolution in Africa. Robert Mugabe had the right approach. He didn't take this nonsense from the capitalist class, and took swift action against the exploitive business owners. Now that Zimbabwe has been fully nationalized and property has been redistributed, they are on the path to equality. I hope the Republic of South Africa is able to replicate Mugabe's success at creating an equal society. The progressive revolution is spreading throughout Africa, and there's nothing nerdy libertarians can do to stop it. 

dwdollar's picture

Dumb-asses better not be counting on Western aide this year...

CPL's picture

What food could anyone send?  Money doesn't make food, sunlight, water and crop management does.  

The drought and crop failures are world wide.  I'm visiting the east coast and I'm sorry to say potatoes are going to be in short supply this year along with corn, wheat, barley, apples...everything will be in short supply.  Not somethings...everything, even Hay.  Big problem in Canada right now is crop theft...three weeks ago some cheeky bugger wheeled up and stole a herd about 5km from my place.


How the hell can someone first of all hide a herd of 20 cows and the dolts stole dairy cows (disgustingly fat meat because the girls are built for milk not meat).  Things are very weird in established farming communities right now.

T-Silver's picture

Seems to be bearish for Pm's????

gojam's picture

Bullish for PMs, Bearish for SA Mining interests.

CPL's picture

Bearish for any bank that has an would take a fart in a box to kick over the TBTF right now.  Keep in mind the central banks and regular banks that pretend to invest (manipulate) NEED that ore to flow or their delivery will outpace their supply.


...wildcard basically.


gojam's picture

Yes, A long national mining strike in SA at this time could be the 'Black Swan'

Sofa King Confused's picture

Note to C I A because they are probably reading this anyway......I see a potential new customer for you to sell arms to.....angry miners

CPL's picture

The CIA and the NSA is getting it's balls sliced off by DHS eating it's breakfast, everyone is trying to steal a shrinking pond of funds by proxy of inflation.  The CIA is being "phased out and reconsolidated", like everyone with a pension fund that has run longer than ten years (aka it's being stolen inch by inch).  What makes you think the CIA give a shit anymore?  Hard being 007 when the best that will happen


First article of many that are critical of the CIA...these stories are provided by official channels as well, what does that spell?  Internal cold war and every director biting at each other's heels. 



Sofa King Confused's picture

I believe the C I A funds itself more from weapon sales and drug smuggling than from the US govt.

CPL's picture

Dirty money or clean money...thieves will steal anything not nailed down.  Assuming the TPTB care if it's the CIA or a teachers union...they don't, we have all seen the proof of that.

Sofa King Confused's picture

Good point....We live now in a world where corruption is the norm....the honest and moral people in this world have a choice to either rise up against this or shut up and be a victim

CPL's picture

Why always with the binary choice.  What is seriously worth saving in the current system?  These groups acted on behalf of their governments.  Whether or not they teach the nations youth or arranged coup etats.  They made their bed, they can sleep in it.  Best case scenario any of these groups can hope for is abject poverty once they are too old and frail.  Worst case...well, some idiot without authority pushes the nuke button to end it.  These are the same groups that can cause serious problems to a secure nuclear facility, failing to acknowledge that an independent party IN the system can start WW3 is fairly demented.


If a Postal man can go postal, an Air Force detachment can go full retard nuclear.  All it takes is a bad day, minimal planning and finger.  They don't even have to launch to be a problem...just detonated.  8000+ warheads buried in silos can cause enough radiation to wipe out anything breathing on earth ten times over.


There is a third option btw, run and hide, the outcome is inevitable for pensions and savings...any fiat money.  It's mathematical certainty and historically well documented what the outcome always is.  Bloody and violent change.

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

now you know what happens when you let monkeys be in highest command position

CPL's picture

They fuck your mother and have you?



citizen2084's picture

Thread destroy much?  Dialogue a little to relevant?  How many aliases do you use in a day ?



debtor of last resort's picture

Capital controls turn into real asset controls. Time flies when you're having fun.

Ljoot's picture

Time's fun when you're having flies.


Manthong's picture

This will get nasty.

The PTB will not stop at anything to keep control of the money in the ground.

It is a critical issue to them. Judge the value of gold by the ferocity of their suppression.


mick_richfield's picture

Time flies like an arrow. 

House flies like piles of decaying fiat currency.

darteaus's picture

Gee, when the ANC runs things, no international protests occur when they shoot blacks.

nodhannum's picture

It's still Bushes fault!

Urban Redneck's picture

Doesn`t bode well for the miners...

Temporalist's picture

Hooray they got one!

Peregrine CEO Wasendorf to plead guilty to fraud


Well...he did almost kill himself which is the only way they caught him...and he did plead guilty himself...but...they got one!

Colonel Klink's picture

Wasendorf, Wasendorf.....nope, again got nothing.


youngman's picture

Great Basin Gold (GBG) -46.9% premarket after suspending operations at its Burnstone mine in South Africa, no longer able to fund the mine to achieve cash flow breakeven, which would have taken until May 2013 at current ramp-up rates. GBG is seeking to finance $30M-$40M in shutdown costs, but with "no certainty that such financing will be made available to the company."


less production...more demand...equals higher prices......but that is old school todays world with hft´s and paper only shorts...its all a new game

gojam's picture


kito's picture

gotta love those mining stocks!!!!!!!! 

Flakmeister's picture

Given GBG's resource base, someone will make a fortune on this....

Watch ABX to step in and snarf it up for pennies, literally....

Mudja's picture

The elites are outraged. How dare those workers down their tools! Send in the army! Work or death!

10mm's picture

Smedley Butler South African style.

Arnold Ziffel's picture

This is why many Cinese car makers and industries are switching to palladium as a cheaper, more reliable alternative.

Any chemical engineers or metallurgists around here can expand on this subject?

CPL's picture

Engineering reporting in.


Palladium is one of a half dozen metals that can be subbed for the Catalytic is not remotely close to the effiency of Platnium or gold used in catalyitc converters.  Without an effienct catalytic converter ANY car, truck, plane...anything with an exhaust system fails to meet emmission standards.  While the over production of green house gases is concerning in itself, the catalytic converter also determines milage.


My 2005 blazer with the stock catalytic converter with paladium gets 19 MPG, with a proper after market part with gold and platnium in it, my fuel economy jumps to 24 MPG.  Add in a proper cold air intake and a block spacer and fuel economy goes in 28 MPG.  Three parts to double fuel economy and still cost under a grand to do with labour, the exhaust system being the most expensive.  Remove AC unit, use synthetic oil for engine and transmission and put nitrogen in the tires fuel economy goes in 35 MPG (free to perform yourself).


Now multiply that manufacturing change to the 16 million cars China getting lousy gas milage.  This in turn shapes oil imports...doubles them in fact.  This in turn changes costs of everything.

CPL's picture

Almost forgot to add.  Low standard parts with palladium in them also rot out mufflers and exhaust systems...gas leaks through and corrodes them.  So using crappy parts = replacing them more often = more cost of ownership = less disposable income.


ALSO...this is the crummy part.  With the slow down in production of low sulfur oil (sweet light crude) and the shit shale/bitumen VERY high sulfur fuel...guess where fuel economy goes with lowest standard parts?  It goes right in the crapper.  Engineering is about building system with known varibles like good parts, good manufacturing, good energy sources.  Change any of the three and it all falls apart.


I'm sure everyone here has experienced a gas retailer once in their life that waters down their gas.  The Catalytic converter also protects your engine against that little piece of retail theivery along with using a gas stablizer like Seafoam which evapourates the water in the gas while in the tank, the catayltic converter catches the water on the otherside of the engine to keep the engine combusting the fuel properly because water in an engine = dead engine.


Again.  Multiply this issue with anything with a combustion engine.  Lawn Tractors, Combines...planes...DRONES...helicopters (fatal)...tanks (POS to begin with, poorly designed everything)...jeeps...Humvees (LOLOLOLOL garbage design and engine builds, flooding and engine rust is a big problem).  Busses, trains (they are electric but use diesel engines to provide the power to the batteries along with the brakes...but there is an exhaust system.  Rigs that haul stuff, big engines that are well built...but again, change a varible and the truck will be broken more often than running.


So for those of you that are worried about big brother and the toys they play with.  Just wait...two more years and none of it will run very well if at all as we switch to high sulfur shit tier fuel.  If you want your shit to last longer...seafoam or a proper gas stablizer in the tank once every year.  Anything you own will last longer...years longer.  Mowers...(just a little bit), whatever.


SmackDaddy's picture

Everything you say could be true.  But from their perspective, that muffler lasts about as long as designed...

CPL's picture

Correct.  You get what you pay for with the materials available. 


If a part is built to withstand 5 years of running time, or 43800 hours of use that's as long as the product can hold itself together.  I'm only an iron ring engineer, I can build, validate, authorize safety and participate in global standards decisions.  


For parts and grading a manufacturing process, a manufacturing process engineer would have a WAY deeper understanding on the fallibility of parts.  Their entire careers are dedicated to keeping manufacturing costs in line with the cost of making stuff.  Everyone in Engineering starts in the same place the first three years of the degree, lots of math, memorization and heavy project emphasis.  It's the last year that you choose what you think is cool and pray there is a slot open at a firm you would like work for that does what you like.

SmackDaddy's picture

Everyone in Engineering starts in the same place the first three years of the degree, lots of math, memorization and heavy project emphasis. It's the last year that you choose what you think is cool and pray there is a slot open at a firm you would like work for that does what you like.

I'll change one thing... eveyone who hasnt been clued in starts......

Oh well. better late than never,  

AnAnonymous's picture

In 'American' nations, the police, the military, the free press, the justice etc... are all middle class institutions.

Usually, in 'american' societies, an 'american' middle class uses the lower class as a stepping stone.

This is an 'american' world.

Schmuck Raker's picture

"...and I am an American girl."

I love Cyndi Lauper!

GetZeeGold's picture



She Bop.......ain't no law against it.....yet.


BigInJapan's picture

The treasonous bastard should be shot on sight. That'll learn 'em. Grab a couple union bosses too.

Fomenting a coup on TV...

uhlmant's picture

Pd is a great replacement for Pt but from a mining perspective there are few pure Pd plays.  There are only two in north america, Stillwater (SWC) and North American Palladium (PAL).

CPL's picture

Its a standard...not's okay and works in a pinch and it carries ISO certs when put into a part.  Besides it's there's only a seven year supply of it and it is very difficult to aquire and mine for


I'm not sure if anyone really is noting what using a rare earth metal in a large venture like auto production means.  The palladium is mixed with platium to makes sure the washcoat in the converter captures and disperses the heat properly...without it, car catches on fire and blows up.  It's a fairly common occurance in lowest standard parts.  Just google it; "car catches fire catalytic converters".


There is controversy in that, the manufacturing arena says it's because of dumb drivers, engineers point at sub standard parts where palladium and nickle are used as the washcoat and comb.  Use cheap shitty metal, expect a cheap and shitty result.  Aka you get what you pay for.

SmackDaddy's picture

some real fight club shit right thur

CPL's picture

Oh believe me I've seen fist fights break out over valve covers on conference.  People are very passionate about making things work well and safely.