Lonmin's da Costa to testify

By Drum Digital
23 July 2014

Around 300 miners approached Da Costa and told him they wanted a basic salary of R12,500 for Karee's rock drill operators.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's mining operations in August 2012 continues today with Lonmin executive, Michael da Costa, expected to give evidence.

Da Costa told the commission in June that Lonmin had "fallen behind" Impala Platinum in the wages paid to rock drillers in the months leading up to a violent confrontation at Marikana in 2012.

Around 300 miners approached Da Costa, who was manager of Lonmin's Karee mine, and their representatives told him they wanted a basic salary of R12,500 for Karee's rock drill operators.

“I pointed out that the increase was extremely high and unaffordable. They thought it was the number that would reward them for the work they do. They said it was a good number,” Da Costa has been reported as saying.

Mr X, who cannot be identified to protect his identity, had been testifying via video link from an undisclosed location.

He says he fears for his life and is under police witness protection.

He fell ill on Tuesday and was taken to a doctor, who booked him off for the rest of the day and for Wednesday.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry takes place in Pretoria as investigations into the deaths of 34 people, mostly striking Lonmin mineworkers, who were shot in a clash with police.

More than 70 people were wounded, and another 250 arrested on August 16 in 2012.

Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.


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