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Lonmin mineworkers want more money

Union rivalry was blamed for the killings at a Lonmin, but miners now want their salaries tripled.

A man is wielding a panga around Marikana where violence at the Lonmin mines on 14 August, 2012. Around 3000 drill operators down tools during a illegal strike. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

MARIKANA - Police spent Tuesday night patrolling Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West following days of violent clashes.

Another body was found on Tuesday afternoon bringing the death toll to 10 since the attacks started on Friday.

Rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was initially blamed for the killings, but miners now want their salaries tripled.

It is still unclear what sparked the violent attacks which flared-up during an illegal strike by some 3,000 rock drill operators from the mine. 

Lonmin management said they had not yet received any demands, and miners have not voiced their grievances, leading them to believe clashes were started by criminal elements.

But some strikers on Tuesday told the media they earned a monthly salary of R4,000 and said they would demand R12,500 for all workers.

Protesters had earlier gathered on a hilltop where a sangoma was apparently preparing them to fight, but the stick-wielding mineworkers dispersed peacefully after the gathering.

It was then that journalists came across the body of a 10th victim, lying on his back with blood on his face.

No arrests have yet been made, but more police were deployed to the area on Monday.

The Western Platinum mine is still open for business, but is operating at a lower capacity.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)

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