Body in Marikana identified

The man was a rock drill operator and a NUM shop steward.

Lonmin miners rest during a protest march, over wages. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - The man that was found dead near a group of striking workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine earlier this week was identified on Thursday.

The body is that of 51-year-old Dumisani Mthinti.

He was found lying face down with two deep cuts to the back of his head.

Police confirmed Mthinti was hacked to death with a sharp object but it was not clear exactly when he was found.

The 51-year-old rock drill operator and a shop steward under the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) was from the Eastern Cape.

Num and upstart union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) blamed each other for starting the violence in Marikana.

But neither union has taken responsibility for the illegal strike.

Meanwhile, mineworkers claim they were unaware of Mthinti's body that was found a few metres away from them.

The death toll from the people killed during the strike in Marikana is now at 45.

Some 34 miners were shot dead when they clashed with police in August.

At least 10 others had been killed during the week before the police shooting.