Police patrol Lonmin following ‘illegal gatherings’
Monday 27 August 2012 11:44
Lonmin site where 500 workers are said to have been part of an “illegal gathering”(SABC)
Police in Marikana have confronted a group of people believed to be Lonmin mineworkers who converged illegally near the spot where 34 workers were killed after clashes with police over a week ago.
The situation remains tense at Lonmin as police continue to patrol the mining area. Three armoured vehicles ran through a group of about 500 workers. The police were presumably trying to scare off the miners to disperse them from what is believed to be an illegal gathering. The angry workers scatterred and shouted at the police to leave the place.
They continued to sing as the vehicles left to park 50 metres away from the gathering. The rockdrillers are still adamant that they will only report for duty if management heeds to their call
Disturbances were also expected as security was reportedly beefed up at the GaRankuwa Magistrates Court north of Pretoria ahead of the first group’s arrival. Two groups of protesters, one of women and the other of men, merged outside the court entrance, demanding the release of the 260 rockdrillers.
The activity surrounding the hearing prompted a sweep of the area in Lonmin where the mining site has allegedly been used as a meeting point by the striking rockdrillers who were demanding a R12 500 monthly salary increment from management.
The accused face a variety of charges including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and public violence
Similar chants were heard at the Magistrates Court as the accused arrived. The energetic protesters were waving placards. Some of the placards read: “Drop the charges, amnesty for all strikers arrested”; “The real criminals are SAPS and Lonmin”; “Phiyega you are a criminal”.
In the previous appearance last Monday, the court heard that the 260 mineworkers were arrested following violent protests at Lonmin’s platinum mine.Thirty four people were shot and killed while police were trying to disperse protesters. Over 78 people were wounded. Ten people had already died in the week before the clash.
Prior to this mornings hearing, the rockdrillers were adamant that they would only report for duty if management heeds to their call. Meanwhile, representatives of the SA Council of churches is expected to continue in a bid to broker peace between workers and Lonmin Managament. The meeting is expected to be held at the local Catholic Church at Wonderkop.
Lonmin peace talks start today
Monday 27 August 2012 06:11
Church leaders are expected to meet some striking rockdrillers.(SABC)
Negotiations for peace, led by church leaders aimed at addressing the stalemate between workers at Lonmin Mine and management, is set to start today. Thirty-four people were shot dead and nearly 80 others wounded in a confrontation between striking workers and police at Lonmin Platinum mine at Marikana in the North West.
Ten other people including two police officers and two security guards also died in the week preceding the violence. A total of 260 mineworkers were arrested.
Church leaders are expected to also meet some striking rockdrillers who say they will not return to work before the R12 500 pay hike is effected.
Over the weekend, management issued a statement saying that 57% of workers across the eastern shaft of the mine were back at work.
While the venue for the meeting is still a secret, miners continue meeting at their Nkaneng informal settlement outside Wonderkop on their own.
The venue is a few metres away from the infamous hill, where 34 miners were killed during a clash with police.
Engagement between Lonmin management and church leaders are expected to pave way for the miners’ demands. However, reports from the management says they are looking for options to avert further losses which is estimated to 2 500 ounces of platinum per day.