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Lonmin mine under heavy guard

Police spent Monday patrolling Lonmin's Marikana mine following clashes which left nine people dead.

Police closely monitor tensions at the Lonmin mine in Marikana,North West Province on 14 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MARIKANA - There were no overnight reports of fresh violence at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in the North West, said police spokesperson Dennis Adriao on Tuesday.

Police spent Monday night patrolling Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in the North West following violent clashes which left nine people dead.

A police chopper monitored the mining area from the air while several officers patrolled on foot or by car to track down those responsible for the killings.

No arrests have however been made.

Two security guards were burnt alive.

Two employees, two police officers and three protestors were also killed since the violence started on Friday.

The two officers were killed on Monday, while trying to disperse an unruly crowd.

Another officer is recovering in hospital after union members allegedly attacked him.

The flare-up started on Friday, when around 3, 000 rock drill operators downed tools.

It is understood rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and upstart union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) sparked the attacks.

The two unions are reportedly fighting for control of local mines, with AMCU members being accused of attempting to recruit NUM members.

There are also reports of protestors intimidating those who report for duty.

But Barnard Mokwena, Lonmin's executive vice president for human capital and external affairs, said the unions denied any involvement in the clashes.

"If the two unions say they're not involved, then who is involved?"

Mokwena called on mineworkers who had grievances to come forward and stop the violence.

"I would have expected any union, big or small, to have presented themselves in a more civilised manner and avoid these unnecessary killings".

Mokwena maintained the motive for the killings was unknown.

Meanwhile, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega also visited the area on Monday evening, when more officers were brought in to try stabilise the situation.

Rivalry between the two unions shut an Impala Platinum mine for six weeks earlier this year.