Marikana: another body found

2012-09-11 15:45

A man was apparently hacked to death near Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana in the North West.

The man was found near the site where striking mineworkers gathered earlier in the day before embarking on a protest march to a local hospital.

“Man lying face down with two deep cuts on the back of his head... Unclear when the man was killed and if he’s part of the striking workers.

“Miners ignoring body just a few metres away from them,” @ewnreporter tweeted this afternoon.

This brings the death toll in Marikana since a strike turned violent to 45.

As journalists raced towards the spot where the body was found, the leaders of the protesters intervened, telling everyone to move away from the scene.

This afternoon saw a standoff between police officers and the protesters at the Andrew Saffy Memorial Hospital in Marikana.

A throng of protesters marched to the hospital in the afternoon, from an open space near the hill where 34 people were killed following the violence on August 16. At the time ten other people had already been killed in strike-related violence.

As the protesters approached, police barricaded the hospital’s entrance with four Nyala vehicles. A police helicopter hovered overhead. A private security reaction vehicle was also spotted near the scene.

The protesters were carrying pangas, knobkerries, golf clubs, arrows and spears.

One of their leaders, Loyiso Mtsheketshe, said they wanted to instruct the hospital to stop discharging injured miners into police custody.
A protester said they also wanted to convey their concerns to the hospital about its role in the ongoing strike.

The protesters claimed the police instructed hospitals to tell them when the wounded mineworkers were being discharged, and arrested them then – some even before they left the hospital premises.

The group of protesters marched around the hospital and departed in different groups. They headed back to the open space near the hill – where they congregate every evening.

The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration met employee representatives in Rustenburg today, as the strike at Lonmin entered its second month.

“A meeting was held with the employee delegation (accompanied by the clergy) at the CCMA offices in Rustenburg. At this stage we cannot confirm the contents of the meeting,” said CCMA spokesperson Nersan Govender.

This followed an aborted attempt at wage negotiations yesterday, when just under 7% of workers reported for work.

Under a peace accord signed by three unions representing some of the 28 000 employees at the platinum mine last week, it was agreed that wage negotiations would be re-opened, but only if workers returned to work.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) did not sign the accord, but did arrive for wage talks yesterday.

Its representatives waited in vain, with the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity, UASA, and Lonmin representatives for representatives of a splinter group of workers to arrive.

» This story was updated after first published.
» View our Faces of Marikana project here.

– Sapa and City Press

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