Marikana workers disarmed, Lonmin offer revised

North West police disarmed dozens of striking Marikana workers who gathered near a hill.

Police monitor the Marikana area around the Lonmin mines.  Picture: Gia Nicolaides/Eyewitness News

MARIKANA - North West police disarmed dozens of striking Marikana workers who gathered near a hill on Saturday morning.

A group of just over 100 men met in Wonderkop before six police nyalas moved in.

The men dispersed after police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and sprayed them with water cannons.

At least three people were wounded and 12 others arrested.

Local councillor Nelson Mpongwana Nelson said the men were waiting for feedback from Friday's wage negotiations.

Most of them voluntarily submitted their traditional weapons.

Workers are demanding that Lonmin bosses pay them a basic salary of R12,500 a month and many workers say they will not return to work until their demands are met.

There is a heavy police presence in the area, a day after eight ministers announced a security crackdown in the mining sector.

Some 45 people have been killed in the month-long violence at the Marikana mine.

Meanwhile, Lonmin has increased its pay offer to striking miners, although the revised offer was still short of the R12,500, a union spokesman said on Saturday.

Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers, said Lonmin had offered to increase the base pay of rock drill operators by R1,850, more than doubling its previous offer.