Some Marikana workers still missing

Some Marikana families are still trying to find their loved ones after weeks of unrest in the town and a fatal shooting on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - As more people celebrate the news that the 270 Lonmin miners will be conditionally released this week, some Marikana families are still trying to find their loved ones - two weeks after their arrests.

Almost 300 miners were apprehended during a protest at Marikana's Wonderkop township on 16 August, in which 34 miners were shot dead by police.

The shooting has been described as the country's bloodiest shootout in post-apartheid.

Ward councillor at the mining district, Nelson Mpongwana, on Sunday said he had been approached by distraught families looking for relatives who disappeared during the unrest.

He said families had searched for their siblings and husbands in hospitals and jails across the North West province.

Others last saw their loved ones before 16 August, and locals claim they are being kept in an old hostel at the Western Platinum mine.

Flory Seleke saw her husband in a Phokeng jail two weeks ago, but his name does not appear on the list of those arrested.

Lonmin mine has denied it provided police with a place to hold suspects after the shootings.


Talks to end the violence in Marikana and get Lonmin miners to return to work are set to continue on Monday.

Employers, striking workers and union leaders met behind closed doors in the past two days, in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

It is unclear how long discussions at the Rustenburg Civic Centre are expected to continue.

But a few kilometers away in Marikana, miners are adamant they will not return to work until their pay is raised to R12,500.

Lonmin employee Thebe Seshake said there was no “turning-back”. He said a salary increase was long overdue.

The miners met every day last week, waiting for feedback on talks from their representatives. 

The striking workers are confident their demands will be met in order for peace and stability to be restored to the area.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)