Miners won't necessarily be fired - Lonmin

Lonmin says it does not want to fire anybody, but miners should return to work.

Mine workers walk to a meeting point, at Lonmin's Marikana Mine. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Platinum producer Lonmin on Tuesday said workers who do not return to work will have action taken against them, but they will not necessarily be fired.

It is still unclear how many striking workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine returned to work on Tuesday.

The deadline for protestors to report for duty elapsed 7am on Tuesday, with only a few employees returning to their posts.

The ultimatum from Lonmin comes only after five days when police opened fire and killed 34 workers.

At least 78 others were injured.

A total of 44 people were killed in almost two weeks of violence at the North West operations, including two security guards and two police officers.

Lonmin vice president Mark Munroe said the ultimatum will not help tablise the situation at its operations, and they do want workers back on the job.

"Workers are encouraged to return and we will all work together with government, workers, unions, police and the community to stabilise the situation."

At the same time, 259 workers who were arrested following the police shooting will remain behind bars until next week.

The Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court denied bail for all workers.

The group faces a range of charges ranging from murder to public violence.