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'NUM must leave Marikana'

Amcu says miners will regroup on Thursday for Mawethu Stevens' memorial service.

Miners gather at the Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana, amid a heavy police presence. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

MARIKANA - It was business as usual at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Thursday as miners reported for the morning shift after staging an unprotected strike for two days.

During a mass meeting on Wednesday, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Matunjwa ordered workers to return to their posts.

Workers at 13 of the mine's shafts embarked on a wildcat strike demanding majority recognition for Amcu and for its rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), to vacate its offices.

Matunjwa addressed thousands of miners at the Wonderkop Stadium hours after four shots were fired at the venue.

It remains unclear who fired the shots, but no injuries were reported.

Matunjwa told miners to regroup on Thursday for a meeting and for a memorial service for Amcu regional chairperson Mawethu Stevens, who was apparently killed in a hit over the weekend.

The Amcu leader said he would also go to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for a recognition agreement, which ensures that Amcu will officially be seen as the majority union at the Marikana mine.

He added that Lonmin management had failed in its duty to report NUM members who carried firearms to work.

During the meeting, other Amcu leaders told the crowd that the NUM office was no longer welcome at the mine.

"NUM must leave otherwise we will not return to work."

Miners were hostile towards members of the media and were reluctant to discuss their grievances saying journalists must stay away from the infamous koppie which is now considered sacred ground after 34 miners were killed during clashes with police in August last year.

A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER

Stevens was expected to testify at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry which is investigating the August shooting.

The regional chairperson was gunned down on Saturday at a local tavern and hours later the same gang allegedly shot and killed twin brothers Andile and Ayanda Shezi at their home after they refused to divulge Stevens' whereabouts.

In 2012, a NUM official was killed before he could testify at the inquiry.

In March, a sangoma who reportedly supplied the miners with muti during the strike was gunned down outside his home in the Eastern Cape.

Meanwhile, the value of the Rand has dropped since operations came to a halt and the platinum producer could experience major losses if all shafts are not fully operational.