Shabangu ‘gravely concerned’ about LonminComment on this story
Johannesburg - Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu is “gravely concerned” about the violent protests at Lonmin's Marikana mine, her office said on Wednesday.
“The minister is gravely concerned and is condemning the violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine and will engage with the minister of police,” her spokeswoman Zingaphi Jakuja said.
Shabangu had said the law needed to take its course and that those who committed crimes during the protest needed to be brought to book.
Lonmin described the situation at the Marikana mine as “calm” on Wednesday morning.
“Things are calm but there is a heavy police presence,” the company said just after 9am.
Details relating to the death of a 10th person were still emerging. It was unclear when the man was killed. His body was discovered on Tuesday, the platinum producer said.
Chamber of Mines spokesman Jabu Maphalala said the employers' organisation would not comment on the unrest as it did not have enough information.
North West police said no violence was reported at the mine overnight.
“Police have been monitoring the situation at the mine throughout Tuesday night,” Captain Dennis Adriao said.
“We have not received any reports of violence or deaths.”
He described the situation as “tense but stable” at 9.30am, and said no arrests had been made.
On Friday, thousands of Lonmin rock drill operators started an illegal strike and protest march.
Ten people - two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and three other men - have been killed since then.
A Sapa reporter on the scene said the body of 10th victim was found about 100 metres from a hilltop where workers gathered on Tuesday afternoon. The dead man was in khaki clothes.
The protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine.
Workers also wanted higher wages. They claim to be earning R4000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1000.
Reported demands have included pay of R12 500 a month.