Show of force by Amcu members at stadium
Joseph Mathunjwa is expected to address thousands of striking members.
MARIKANA - Thousands of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members packed the Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana ahead of an address by the union's president Joseph Mathunjwa, while Lonmin Platinum said some of its employees had started returning to work.
Amcu's strike for a basic salary of R12,500 is now in its fourth month and three people have been killed in the past week, in what is suspected to be strike-related violence.
The mass rally coincided with Lonmin restarting its operations in Marikana, with workers at the mine saying they were willing to end their mass action.
Mathunjwa is expected to address allegations of intimidation and killings that have been attributed to Amcu by rival National Union of Mineworkers.
Thousands of men rose to their feet at the stadium when Mathunjwa arrived, accompanied by Bishop Joe Seoka and their lawyers.
The miners sang about Amcu's strength and insulted Lonmin CEO Ben Magara.
Police and mine security watched on from a distance and have maintained a heavy presence in the area. Army and police have been deployed in Marikana. Pictures: Govan Whittles/EWN.
Army and police have been deployed in Marikana. Pictures: Govan Whittles/EWN.
The meeting is also attended by the National Council of Trade Unions which said it may consider asking its other unions to down tools in solidarity with Amcu.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines called on Amcu and Lonmin to honour their commitment to a peace accord and end the violence associated with the wage strike on the platinum belt.