Top government committee heads to Marikana

2012-08-19 22:15
Marikana mourner. (Denis Farrell, AP)

Marikana mourner. (Denis Farrell, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Marikana - Miners must return to work on Monday or face being fired from the platinum mine where rivalry between unions exploded into violence that led to the deaths of 44 people in a week, Lonmin PLC said on Sunday.

Thirty-four were gunned down by police in one of the worst displays of state violence since apartheid ended in 1994.

President Jacob Zuma declared a week of national mourning starting on Monday to commemorate the lives of all South Africans who have died violently, especially the 44 at Marikana mine.

"The nation is in shock and pain," Zuma said in a statement. "We must this week reflect on the sanctity of human life ... We must avoid finger-pointing and recrimination. We must unite against violence from whatever quarter."

Hundreds of rock-drill operators have been leading an illegal strike among the mine's 28 000-strong labour force. Threats of violence kept many more away.

Lonmin had initially ordered miners to return to work by Friday. Then, after the shootings, changed the deadline to Monday, spokesperson Sue Vey explained.

Strikers said they were not sure what to do about the ultimatum. The company has not responded to their demands for the minimum wage to be increased from R5 500 to R12 500.

Last year, after a similar dispute over labour representation stopped work at its nearby Karee mine, Lonmin fired all 9 000 workers. Then it asked them to reapply for their jobs and most were rehired.

"Because we work as a majority, if the majority goes back to work tomorrow [Monday] I'm going too," said miner Vuyisile Mchiza.

"But if the majority is not going back to work tomorrow, I'm not going either because I won't be able to go to work while others are sitting grieving."

Memorial

More than 100 people, miners, their families and local community members, processed past the mine on Sunday singing hymns as they made their way to the dusty veld where police officers fired a barrage of shots from automatic rifles and pistols at a group of charging miners on Thursday.

A moving memorial was led by Pastor Sakhumzi Qiqimana of Marikana New Creation Ministry who told those gathered: "Now we have no power to come in the middle of the negotiations of the company and the workers, but we are here now to pray and say 'God forgive us,' and now we are here to say 'This [killing] must stop.'"

Police say one of the charging miners shot at them first with a pistol and that they acted in self-defence. Earlier in the week, the strikers had butchered two captured police officers with machetes.

Lonmin said on Saturday that it will pay for the educations of all children of mine employees killed in the unrest, up to university level.

A presidential statement on Sunday said Zuma would announce the composition of a judicial commission of inquiry into the killings and its terms of reference within a few days.

It said he had appointed a committee comprising North West Premier Thandi Modise and the ministers of mineral resources Susan Shabangu, police Nathi Mthethwa, social development Bathabile Dlamini, co-operative governance Richard Baloyi, labour Mildred Oliphant, defence and military veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, health Aaron Motsoaledi, state security Siyabonga Cwele, and home affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to co-ordinate and lead all support to families and relatives.

The presidency said the committee would visit Marikana on Monday.

Many people have said they do not know whether missing husbands and sons are among the dead, among 78 wounded, or among more than 250 arrested on charges ranging from public violence to murder.

Zuma urged South Africans to "reaffirm our belief in peace, stability and order and in building a caring society free of crime and violence".



- SAPA
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
84 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.