Cops fail to divert Marikana miners

2012-09-05 11:40
Striking Lonmin workers (File, AP)

Striking Lonmin workers (File, AP)

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Rustenburg - Police were unable to prevent hundreds of marching miners from entering Marikana, in the North West, on Wednesday morning.

Five Nyala armoured personnel carriers parked at the town's entrance in an attempt to divert the march, but the crowd pushed its way around the vehicles and continued the more than 5km to Lonmin's Karee mine.

Hundreds of miners started marching from Lonmin's mine in Marikana to its mine in Karee around 10:00 in an apparent attempt to stop their colleagues from working there.

The marchers carried knobkerries, sticks and iron rods and as they marched, sang: "We died because of [President Jacob] Zuma. [Bantu] Holomisa please come and rescue us."

They also carried placards bearing pictures of their dead colleagues.

Police keep eye on informal settlement

Security had been tightened at the Marikana mine in anticipation of the march, with additional mine security guards and police on patrol from dawn.

On Tuesday, about 200 mineworkers met at the Karee mine's shaft 30, and tried to get their colleagues to stop working. Another march was then planned for Wednesday morning.

Police in armoured vehicles also kept an eye on the Nkaneng informal settlement at Wonderkop, near the Marikana mine.

Talks between worker representatives, unions, the labour department and management were expected to resume on Wednesday in Rustenburg.

Workers have been on strike for the past three weeks, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.

On August 16, police fired on a group of protesting workers near the mine, killing 34 and wounding 78.

Another 10 people were killed earlier that week, including two policemen and two security guards.

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Read more on:    police  |  lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  labour  |  mining  |  protests  |  mining unrest
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