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Labour Dept intervenes, Lonmin workers angry

Striking Marikana workers are angry after the Labour Department intervened in wage talks.

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

MARIKANA- Striking workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine are furious after the Labour Department intervened in talks with management.

The situation at the North West mine remained tense on Tuesday, following violent attacks that resulted in the deaths of 44 people earlier in August.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant arrived in Marikana to help mining bosses and workers resolve the impasse over wages.

The minister will meet the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Wednesday.

Around 3,000 rock drill operators downed tools over a pay at the beginning of August.

Workers are refusing to return to work until their pay demands are met.

Leader of the South African Council of Churches Jo Seoka was mediating talks between the workers and Lonmin management.

Benchmark Foundation director John Capel said the negotiations had been successful, but workers were not happy with the Labour Department's interference.

"Workers had faith in the mediation talks and wanted them to continue."