ANC condemns Lonmin mine attacks

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Lonmin mine (27800456) INLSA A paramedic assists a policeman who was injured at Lonmins Karee mine near Rustenburg. Photo: Leon Nicholas

North West - The ANC has condemned the violent protests at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, Rustenburg.

“We respect the workers' constitutional right to protest, but we disapprove the killing of innocent people associated to any of the unions,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Thursday.

Mthembu said the party was pleased that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and Lonmin Platinum Mine management had agreed to meet.

“We hope that an amicable solution will be arrived at quickly.”

He called on the police to make sure that the people responsible for the murders were arrested.

Thousands of Lonmin rock drill operators started an illegal strike and protest march on Friday.

Ten people - two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and three other men - have been killed since then.

The protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the NUM and Amcu about recognition agreements at the mine.

Workers also wanted higher wages. They claimed to be earning R4000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1 000. Reported demands have included pay of R12,500 a month. - Sapa

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