Marikana miners call for peace

Workers from Lonmin’s Marikana mine sang the national anthem and prayed for peace.

Lonmin workers gather at the Wonderkop Stadium during a wage strike. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

MARIKANA - Marikana miners on Wednesday called for peace and stability after a wage agreement was signed with Lonmin bosses.

Leaders of the striking group urged them to return to their posts on Thursday, saying there will be no more incidents of intimidation or violence.

On Tuesday evening, workers signed a deal which will see their salaries increase by between 11 and 22 percent.

This means salaries will range from R9,000 to R11,000.

Workers will also receive a once-off R2,000 bonus.

Miners sang the national anthem and prayed for peace in Marikana after they signed the deal that ended the six-week-long strike.

Protest leaders said workers must accept the salary hikes for the time being, although they did not get what they asked for.

South African Council of Churches Bishop Jo Seoka, who negotiated on behalf of the workers, said the additional R2,000 bonus will help them a great deal.

"It gives them money as a start off package because they have been without pay [for the duration of the strike]."

Miners then made their way home to rest ahead of their return to work.

Prior to the agreement, at least 45 people lost their lives in the violence that ensued during the illegal strike.

Of those, 34 were killed when police opened fire on the striking workers on August 16.