Marikana conflict timeline

2012-10-01 16:43
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Johannesburg - Key events in the bitter conflict at the Marikana platinum mine:

- 10 August: Workers at Marikana, run by the British company Lonmin, begin a wildcat strike for pay increases.

- 12 August: Clashes break out at Marikana between supporters of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), close to the country's ruling African National Congress, and the breakaway Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which supports the strike.

- 14 August: Police are sent into Marikana in response to new inter-union clashes after 10 people have been killed, two of them police officers beaten to death by workers.

- 16 August: Police at Marikana open fire on striking miners, some of whom are armed, killing 34 and injuring 78. The shootings evoke memories of the brutal white-minority apartheid era, which ended in 1994. Police also arrest 270 workers.

- 23 August: The country holds a mourning ceremony to mark the deaths at the Lonmin mine. Radical politician Julius Malema, expelled from the ANC, calls for a "mining revolution" in South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma appoints a commission of inquiry into the events at Marikana.

- 30 August: Authorities charge the 270 arrested workers with the murder of their colleagues shot on 16 August.

- 3 September: Court withdraws murder charges against the 270, and the first batch of workers is released from custody.

- 11 September: The body of a man hacked to death is found at Marikana, taking the death toll there to 45.

- 12 September: Another strike begins at mines operated by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a separate company which operates in the Rustenburg area.

- 15 September: Police, reinforced with soldiers, move into Marikana. Several people are injured in clashes, including a woman who later died.

- 18 September: Workers at Marikana secure pay raises of between 11 and 22%, and agree to end their strike. But strikes and unrest persist at other South African mines.

- 20 September: As the Marikana miners return to work, unrest continues at Amplats mines in the Rustenburg area, where workers demand similar pay raises to those won by the Lonmin miners.

- 21 Sept: Police issue an arrest warrant for Julius Malema on corruption issues unrelated to the wave of strikes. Malema has called on strikers to stay out, and wants the country's lucrative mining industry to be nationalised.

- 26 September: Malema, charged with money-laundering, is released on bail after turning himself in to the authorities.

- 1 October: The official inquiry into the 16 August killings opens in Rustenburg.

Read more on:    implats  |  lonmin  |  amcu  |  num  |  jacob zuma  |  julius malema  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  mining  |  marikana inquiry  |  labour

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