Marikana strike intensifies

Striking Marikana miners want those inside the mine to down tools and join them.

Lonmin miners march, demanding better pay. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - Striking workers on Monday gathered outside Lonmin's Eastern Platinum mine armed with spears and pangas.

The protesters wanted to ensure that other employees did not report for duty.

Wage negotiations to end the illegal strike also got underway on Monday.

Demonstrators danced outside the mine, while the gates remained shut.

There was also barbed wire around the perimeter of the shaft with police nyalas and officers keeping guard.

Striking miners said they want those inside the mine to down tools and join them, arguing that wage talks will only be effective if they all stay away from work.

Mineworkers downed tools in August to demand a monthly salary of R12,500.

Some 44 people were killed during the violent strikes, including 34 that were killed during clashes with police.

Meanwhile, more than 8,000 Gold Fields KDC miners demonstrated on Gauteng's West Rand on Monday.

Trade union Solidarity said the unexpected industrial action started on Sunday when night shift workers failed to report for duty.

Unions and mine management were locked in talks.

Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis said the workers were expected to handover a memorandum to Gold Fields' management.

"We are waiting on the memorandum to establish the reason for the strike."