Miners mum on Lonmin shooting

Police stand over the dead bodies of victims shot during a stand off on Thursday, 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.
olice open fire at protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.
Police opened fire on protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, in the North West. Taurai Maduna reports.
Women join the Lonmin mine strike to support their husbands who are fighting for higher wages on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News
Police opened fire on panga-wielding protestors at Lonmin's Marikana mine on 16 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN
|

MARIKANA - Miners were on Friday reluctant to speak out about the shooting at Lonmin's Marikana operation as they mourn for over 30 people who were gunned down in a standoff with police.

There is an uneasy calm with hundreds of officers patrolling the area.

Police tried to disperse thousands of protestors who had gathered on a hilltop near the mineshaft and claimed they came under attack, forcing the authorities to open fire with live ammunition.

The death toll now stands as high as 36.

It has been a week of violent protests, since around 3,000 rock drill operators embarked on an illegal strike, demanding more pay.

10 people, including two police officers, were killed in the run up to Thursday’s bloodbath.

Miners were not willing to discuss the incident in detail with Eyewitness News

People have gathered at the district hospital in the area to see if their family members are being treated, saying they cannot comprehend why police opened fire.

Workers will meet with their leaders on Friday to decide on a way forward.

Many protesters who have taken part in the strike received traditional medicine, apparently to make them brave.

On Thursday, the protestors refused to move until Lonmin management agreed to increase their wages.

A briefing is scheduled to take place for midday on Friday, where police will reveal more details about the shooting.

(Edited by Clare Matthes)