Opposition parties arrive at Lonmin

2012-08-20 15:35

Johannesburg - A delegation of opposition party leaders arrived in Marikana in the North West on Monday to address residents after a strike at the nearby Lonmin mine.

The delegation was led by the Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota. He was joined by Democratic Alliance MP Wilmot James, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe.

"We are here to meet the workers as part of our constitutional responsibility. It is our task to monitor the president," Lekota told reporters.

On Thursday, 34 people were killed when the police opened fire on striking workers, some of them armed, when trying to disperse them after a week of violent protests.

Another 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in violence at the mine in the week before.

The police ministry said 78 people were injured and 259 arrested during Thursday's shooting.

Lekota said he and his counterparts would meet Lonmin management and the two labour unions involved.

Xhosa king, chief Kumkani Ndamase II, was addressing locals at about 12:30 while opposition party leaders stood nearby.

Earlier, the delegation met police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

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.

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-08-20 16:10

    At least the local B&Bs are profiting.

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-20 16:16

      LOL Kala...At this rate it will be the first time ever that Marikana has a traffic jam.Definitely opportunists.

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-08-20 16:12

    I smell a lot of political opportunism here.

      enoch.mokhothu - 2012-08-20 17:31

      Politics is naturally a dirty game, without playing dirty you are doomed in politics.

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