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Body found at Lonmin identified

Crime & Courts

North West - The man found dead near a group of strikers not far from Lonmin's Marikana mine earlier this week was 51-year-old rock drill operator and NUM shop steward Dumisani Mthinti, police said on Thursday.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane, who provided his name, said he was from the Eastern Cape.

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(File image) The Lonmin mine near Rustenburg, South Africa.

“He had two open wounds at the back of his head that showed he was hacked with a sharp object.”

His body was found on Tuesday, as the strike at the platinum mine entered its second month.

Ngubane said no arrests had yet been made and investigations were still underway into the death.

National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said Mthinti was an NUM shop steward.

On Tuesday, Ngubane said his body was found about 300m away from where the miners usually met, on the western side of a hill near the mine.

On Wednesday, the SA Council of Churches (SACC) said the workers on strike at Lonmin were not violent.

“As a leader myself, I am convinced that they are not violent,” SACC president Bishop Jo Seoka told reporters in Marikana, in North West.

Asked about the body, Seoka said Mthinti might have been killed elsewhere.

“There is no evidence that workers have murdered anyone, because they don't know what happened. We appealed to workers' delegation(s) to tell workers not to carry dangerous weapons.”

Workers were expected to meet mine management, the unions, traditional leaders and the SACC on Thursday to discuss their demand for a monthly salary of R12 500.

Mthinti was the 45th person killed in events associated with the strike since August 10. Ten people, including police and security guards, died in the week before police opened fire on protesters, killing 34 of them on August 16. - Sapa

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