North West - Traditional leaders are heading to the Lonmin mine in Marikana, in the North West, to offer support to workers and families after a shooting that killed 34 people, according to a report on Monday.
The Daily Dispatch reported that the Eastern Cape house of traditional leaders, their North West counterparts and a delegation from the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) would visit the community on Monday.
On Thursday, 34 people were killed when the police opened fire on striking workers, some of them armed, while trying to disperse them after a week of violent protests. Another 10 people, including policemen and security guards, had by then been killed in violent protests at the mine over the past week.
The police ministry said 78 others were injured and 259 arrested. The 259 protesters are expected to appear in the Garankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Contralesa president Chief Phathekile Holomisa told the Daily Dispatch that the delegation planned to meet with mine management and miners in their attempt to restore peace.
“We need to bring calm and peace to the area. We can't have a situation where people just kill each other over salary grievances,” Holomisa said.
AmaMpondo king, Ndamase Ndamase, flew from East London on Sunday to meet the AmaMpondo workers in the mines.
The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher pay. - Sapa