‘Lonmin strike not over’

olice look over at Lonmin’s Marikana mine workers who were protesting on 16 August, 2012 for more wages. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.
Hundreds of stick-wielding Lonmin mineworkers gather on the outskirts of Wonderkop village. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.
Striking Lonmin workers vowed to stay away from the mine as management extended the ultimatum for them to return to work. EWN's Taurai Maduna reports.

MARIKANA - Striking workers at Lonmine’s Marikana mine on Tuesday said police have been intimidating and harassing them since last week’s shootout.

Some 34 people were killed and 78 others injured when police opened fire on striking mineworkers on Thursday.

Rock drill operators once again gathered behind Wonderkop township, refusing to report for duty.

One of the men leading the strike, Xolani Nzuza, said they decided they would not return to work.

"We’ll only return to work once Lonmin gives us the R12,500 salary we’ve requested."

Nzuza said police have not left them alone since the bloodbath. 

He said miners wanted officers to stop patrolling the area, because police sometimes kicked-down the doors to their homes.

Nzuza said Lonmin workers feared for their lives and were too scared to return to the North West town.

He said they would continue fighting for their cause.

Earlier, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane arrived at the mining district in an attempt to ease tensions.

Chabane, who is heading the inter-ministerial committee established to probe the events, told miners that his team was doing everything they could to support the families of the victims.

He said all 34 miners had been identified and death certificates were being issued.

Workers seemed satisfied, but were not happy with government's plans to hold a memorial at the scene of the deadly clashes, saying they were not notified.


Former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema called on Lonmin management to stop urging striking workers to return to work while they are in mourning.

He said management should let workers bury their loved ones before threatening them with dismissal.

Malema insists Lonmin should pay its respects to those who died by agreeing to increase salaries.

The politician will meet with Lonmin management to help settle the matter soon.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)