Scrap miner ultimatum, Lonmin asked

2012-08-20 22:30
The police must step up the war on jewellery robbers and those who steal large sums of money, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says. (File, Beeld)

The police must step up the war on jewellery robbers and those who steal large sums of money, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says. (File, Beeld)

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Rustenburg - The ultimatum issued to striking Lonmin workers will not be effected this week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

"The president [Jacob Zuma] has declared this week as a mourning week. We want all, including mine bosses, to respect this," he told reporters in Rustenburg.

He said the government wanted an agreement with the mine on the issue.

The platinum mining company issued an ultimatum on Monday requiring all workers to report for work by 07:00 on Tuesday, or face disciplinary action.

Trade unions, which initially supported the deadline, have since thrown their weight behind the call for the ultimatum not to be enforced.

Mthethwa was part of a ministerial committee appointed to help the families of the miners killed and injured on Thursday when police opened fire on protesters.

The violent confrontation left 34 dead and 78 injured.

Another 260 were arrested. They appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence on Monday and were denied bail. The case was postponed until 27 August for further investigation.

Mthethwa said the police would remain in the area until there was stability.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said six bodies had not yet been identified.

"It is not an easy task to identify bodies. We believe in the next 24 hours this will change."

Some families could not find their relatives at the local mortuary.

"We should understand that some people were arrested and others injured."

The ministerial committee would spend a week in Rustenburg, helping families with death certificates and providing psycho-social support.

The committee would facilitate the payment of benefits to affected families. It intended engaging the services of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to help resolve labour disputes at Lonmin.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  nathi mthethwa  |  aaron motsoaledi  |  jacob zuma  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest
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