Miners continue to strike in South Africa

September 5, 2012

According to media reports from Marikana, South Africa, about 2,000 miners have marched on Lonmin’s platinum mine where a clash with police on Aug. 16 left 34 striking miners dead.

On Sept. 5, striking miners threatened to kill workers and managers in a nearby mine unless they joined the crippling work stoppage.

The striking miners then marched from the Marikana platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg to the nearby Karee Mine, which is also owned by Lonmin, and demanded that all workers join the strike for higher wages or face violence and even death.

The striking mineworkers gave working colleagues a deadline of 1 p.m. to leave Karee Mine or be killed, The Associated Press reported.

The striking miners reiterated demands for their monthly salaries to be tripled. The clash and strike at Lonmin last month brought workers’ grievances to the fore at other South African platinum and gold mines. raising companies' concerns about their operations.

A delegation of seven young strikers was allowed to meet with mine managers. They were led past the phalanx of six police armored cars and a water cannon truck to the barbed wire gate of Karee Mine. Behind the gate the Karee Mine's two white managers, with an armed security guard beside them, stood with hands on hips as the strikers got down on their knees, said The Associated Press.

The line of police vehicles separated the green-roofed Karee mine complex from the throng of singing, dancing strikers and their supporters. Police helicopters hovered overhead.

Unlike previous protests, the striking miners carried only sticks and were not armed with spears and machetes that they had brandished in previous protests.

The London-registered Lonmin PLC mine has warned that the strike that began Aug. 10 could cost 40,000 jobs if it continues. The Marikana mine remains shut down with fewer than 5 percent of miners turning up for work.

Tensions are high in Marikana as allegations mount of gross abuses by police against the strikers.


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