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Amplats miners ignore 12,000 dismissals

Amplats miners have threatened to intensify strike action despite management's decision to fire them.

Amplats miners hold up a picture of their comrade who was killed who was killed allegedly by police on 4 October 2012. Picture:Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Strike committee leaders at Anglo Platinum mine on Saturday told workers to ignore management's decision to fire at least 12,000 and urged them to intensify their strike action.

Up to 80 percent of the Amplats workforce has been on an illegal strike for the past three weeks, demanding higher wages.

More than 1,000 of the workers met at the Bleskop Stadium near Rustenburg earlier on Saturday to discuss the mine's decision to fire them and the death of one their colleagues on Thursday.

Strike leaders told the large crowd to ignore the text messages they have received informing them that they have been fired.

On Friday, Anglo announced it had dismissed 12,000 of its workers, who failed to show up for a disciplinary hearing.

The leaders called for the strike to be intensified following the death of one of their colleagues.

The strikers are accusing police of brutality which allegedly led to the man's death.

They insist they will not compromise on their demands.

The miners are marching to the site where the man was killed to hold a prayer service before dispersing.

The leaders also called on the striking workers not to be violence.

Meanwhile, research company Pondering Panda says more than half of South African youths feel the police should take a tougher approach against those who down tools, while 41 percent disagreed.

Among the race groups, 84 percent of white youths voted in favour of stronger action and only half of black people felt the same.

Surveyor Shirley Wakefield explains the figures.

"The respondents in the Western Cape were the most likely to call for stronger police action with 61 percent in favour. The Eastern Cape has the highest number of respondents who are against the idea, 50 percent of them do not take that police should take stronger action."

At the same time, Labour Minister Mildred Olifant has called for calm in dealing with mine strikes.

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