Dead Marikana miners identified – Chabane

2012-08-21 14:27

All 34 Lonmin mineworkers killed in a clash with police have been identified, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane has said.

“All the bodies have been identified. One is a foreign national,” he said.

He said efforts had been made to contact the Lesotho national’s family with regards to his burial.

Last week, the platinum mining company’s rock drill operators in Marikana embarked on a protest that saw 10 people, including two security guards and two police officers, killed.

The protests culminated in clashes with the police on Thursday, in which 34 miners were shot dead, more than 70 injured and 260 arrested.

Chabane said the ministerial committee had met religious organisations and traditional organisations in a bid to bring the situation in Wonderkop to normal.

“We have met all stakeholders and there is progress.”

President of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA, Phathekile Holomisa, said Lonmin mine management “must understand that traditionally there is a moment of mourning before and after the burial”.

He was referring to the ultimatum the mine issued to striking workers to report for work this morning or risk disciplinary action.

This morning, Lonmin mine said it resolved after a meeting with all concerned parties that no worker would be fired.

“We all agreed that it would not be helpful for an ultimatum in a time of mourning based on the events that happened last week,” said company spokesperson Sue Vey.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine.

Workers also wanted higher pay.

Meanwhile Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said the deaths at the Marikana had shamed everyone.

“They drive us on to make amends, to review in utmost depth the happenings in our sector, to check any further outbreaks – indeed, to ensure that these things never, ever, happen again,” she told the National Assembly during a special debate today on the tragedy which saw at least 34 dead and 78 injured.

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