Lonmin miners told to return to work

Platinum producer Lonmin has told Marikana workers to return to work or face being fired.

Miners on their way to the scene of the Lonmin shootings on 18 August 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

MARIKANA - Platinum producer Lonmin has given striking workers a final ultimatum.

The company has urged strikers to return to work by Monday or face being fired.

The area is now quiet following Thursday's shooting in which 34 people were killed.

Security guards at the mine say management has ordered journalists off the premises.

While the area is now calm, members of the media especially those travelling in branded vehicles have been ordered to leave the mine immediately.

Some journalists have been escorted out of the premises by armed security guards.

Meanwhile, worshippers have gathered at the scene of the bloodbath to pray.

Other residents are making their way to the local hospital to check if their relatives are dead, injured or among those arrested.

The police say they are working with Lonmin's management to identify the deceased.

The police's Denis Adria says, "We will remain in this area until it is completely stable and calm."

At the same time, Julius Malema visited the area on Saturday.

The former youth league leader told the miners to continue fighting for better wages.

He also called on President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to step down following the killings.

He said the bloodshed happened under their watch so they should take responsibility.

Meanwhile, Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi earlier voiced his views on the incident.

Vavi tweeted, "The strike was illegal & unprotected because as it fell outside collective bargaining processes. But that does not make demands wrong."