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Calm restored in Marikana

Lonmin miners are back at work following an illegal strike earlier this week.

Miners sing and dance as they arrive at a mass meeting at the Karee shaft on 16 May 2013. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - It's business as usual in Marikana on Friday with miners at their posts after the unprotected strike was officially called off.

They downed tools for two days this week saying the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) must be recognised as the majority union and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) must vacate their offices at Lonmin.

Tensions rose following the murder of Amcu regional organiser Mawethu Stevens and two others at the weekend.

It has been a tense week but miners seem satisfied after Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa announced on Thursday there will be a mass march to the Union Buildings in the near future over union rivalry in the area.

Most miners went underground earlier while others are preparing to leave for the Eastern Cape for the funeral service of Stevens.

Mathunjwa says the killings in Marikana must stop, blaming union bashing for the tensions this week.

However, he is still determined to get Lonmin to recognise Amcu as the majority union and force the NUM to vacate its offices.

On Thursday, Cabinet expressed concern over the situation in Marikana and appealed to the leadership of both unions to resolve their dispute.

It also urged Lonmin management to deal with the matter urgently.

In August, at least 34 miners were killed during clashes with police in Marikana. The miners were protesting for better salaries at the time.

The police maintain they shot at the miners as they feared their lives were in danger.

A commission chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam is currently underway to establish what exactly happened.

Meanwhile, South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima earlier this week said the situation in Marikana would not affect tourism numbers.