Security tight at Implats
Rustenburg - Security was tight at No 8 hostel of Impala Platinum mines near Rustenburg where Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was to speak to striking mineworkers on Thursday.
Armed police and security guards were keeping watch in and outside the hostel. Access to a VIP area was strictly controlled.
Barbed wire had been put up between the stage and the area where workers had gathered.
Workers sang liberation songs while filing into the sports ground.
"Sifuna R9 000 [We want R9 000]," they sang while waving placards reading "Vavi help us, we are in danger by Impala, we want R9 000".
Vavi was expected to urge workers to return to their jobs after they went into an unprotected strike five weeks ago.
The workers downed tools demanding that they be paid a minimum of R9 000 a month and the mine fired 17 000 of them after they refused to return to work.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) negotiated with Implats to re-employ them but the most of them, especially in the southern shaft, refused to return to work unless they were paid R9 000.
Workers carrying umbrellas and wielding knobkerries were chanting in front of the podium where Vavi was to speak.