Lonmin miners start marching
Dozens of Lonmin miners have started their protest to the Western Platinum mine over wages.
MARIKANA - Dozens of striking Lonmin miners began marching to the company’s Western Platinum mine in Marikana just after 10am on Wednesday.
Stick and knobkerrie-wielding mineworkers sang and danced as they made their way to the Karee Mine in the North West.
They plan to hold a large demonstration at the mine to call for Lonmin management to engage with them in wage and employment condition talks.
The miners have accused management of not taking their wage demands seriously, despite three weeks of strike action which have seen 44 people killed.
There was a heavy police presence in the area following the group and a police helicopter circled above them.
Meanwhile, a few kilometres away, non-striking workers gathered outside the shafts of Lonmin’s Eastern Platinum mine.
They said they were afraid of what might happen should striking workers see them at work.
Only 6.5 percent of Lonmin's workforce in Marikana reported for work on Tuesday.
Local convenient stores closed their doors, fearing the march will turn violent.
As they passed through the mining town, protesters urged community members to join the strike.
Peace talks between Lonmin employees, labour unions, government officials and Lonmin bosses are expected to continue at the Rustenburg Civic Centre today.
Mineworkers say they want a salary of R12,500 and are not interested in signing a peace agreement.
Some of the 270 rock drill operators released from police custody on Monday could see themselves rearrested, should they participate in the illegal gathering.
(Edited by Thato Motaung)