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Shots fired in Marikana

It is not yet clear if anyone was hurt or who was behind the incident.

Marikana miners down tools following the deaths of three people on 14 May 2013. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

RUSTENBURG - Shots were fired inside the Wonderkop Stadium in the North West on Wednesday where thousands of striking miners had gathered.

The shots were heard ahead of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa's address.

It is not yet clear if anyone was hurt or who was behind the incident.

Operations at 13 shafts came to a complete standstill on Tuesday as thousands of Lonmin miners downed tools.

Workers wanted Amcu to be recognised as the majority union.

They also demanded the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) vacate offices at the North West mine.

Miners did not seem perturbed by the shots.

Several police officers were deployed to the stadium but kept their distance from the 5,000-strong crowd.

Workers were hostile and determined to continue demonstrating until their strike leaders addressed them.

Lonmin said Mathunjwa was expected to address the crowd.

The company added it was hoping he would call off the unprotected strike.

In 2012, at least 44 people were killed during clashes at the platinum mine.

Of those killed, 34 miners were shot dead during a confrontation with police on August 16.

President Jacob Zuma set up an inquiry to determine whether officers were justified in using deadly force against demonstrators.