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Num discovers Lonmin hit list

The man killed at the Lonmin mine on Tuesday was on an alleged hit list, Num’s Frans Baleni says.

Protesters await instruction from their leaders, at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - An employee killed at Lonmin's Western Platinum operation was on a hit list, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) revealed on Thursday.

Trouble at the mine started on Friday when around 3,000 rock drill operators embarked on an illegal strike.

At least 10 people, including two police officers, were killed in violent clashes.

Num believes that rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), instigated the strike by promising workers more money.

According to Num Secretary General Frans Baleni, some of his union members and branch leaders at Lonmin were placed on a hit list.

He does not know who compiled the list, but said it originated from a hostile group that was leading the protest.

"It was brought to our attention that there was a hit list. One member escaped with his life, but the other one was killed."

On Tuesday, shop steward Isaiah Twala's body was discovered journalists.

Baleni said his name was on the hit list.

Two other Num members were also killed in the violence.

Meanwhile, women have now joined the strike to support their husbands who are fighting for higher wages.

They took part in the protest for the first time since the violence erupted.

The striking workers allowed journalists to get closer to where they were holding a meeting to decide on a way forward.

Police want the demonstrators to hand over their weapons and disperse.