Lonmin mourners seek loved ones

Crowds of people gathered at Lonmin’s Marikana mine hospital to look for their relatives.

President Jacob Zuma visits injured mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Friday evening, 17 August 2012. Picture: GCIS.

MARIKANA - Crowds of people gathered at Lonmin's Marikana mine hospital on Saturday, to check whether their relatives were being treated there.

At least 34 striking miners were shot dead on Thursday and 78 more were wounded when they clashed with police in Wonderkop, Marikana.

The tragedy brought to 44, the number of people who have been killed in the violent attacks since last week Friday, when almost 3, 000 rock drill operators engaged in an illegal strike.

Workers are demanding a salary increase of R12, 500 per month, more than double of the R4, 900 they currently earn.

Police officers and protesters have accused each other of inciting violence and firing shots first ahead of Thursday's shootout.

On Sunday, large groups of people gathered around a caravan where a list of the deceased had been placed.

Mine officials redirected some residents, while others were allowed to enter the hospital to identify their loved ones.

There are still a large number of people searching for their relatives in hospitals outside Marikana.


Police remain on heavy guard at the Western Platinum mine.

The area was calm on Sunday morning, with Wonderkop residents going about their daily routines.

Police spokesperson Captain Dennis Adriao said things remained stable but tense in the mining town.

He said police deployments would maintain strong presence until the situation was "completely stable and calm".

The Lonmin Mine in Marikana was officially shut down after the mass killing on Thursday, officials at the mine confirmed.

Operations had been running at a low capacity for almost a week before that.

Economists however say Lonmin will easily recover its losses once striking employees return to work.

Chief economist at Efficient Group Dawie Roodt said on a bigger scale, Lonmin was unlikely to impact "very much" on the country's economy.

Striking Lonmin employees have vowed to stay away from work until management meets their demands.