Modise calls for end to Lonmin clashes

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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

Johannesburg - North West premier Thandi Modise called for an end to violent clashes at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Tuesday.

“We call for - the - cessation of hostilities and for a return to the negotiation table,” she said in a statement.

Modise sent her condolences to the families of the nine people killed since violence erupted at the mine on Friday. They comprise two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and two other men.

“Survival of the fittest, anarchy and lawlessness shouldn't characterise wage negotiations in the mining sector,” she said.

Modise hoped additional police deployed to monitor the area would bring the situation under control.

The violence has been linked to clashes between members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which are reportedly fighting for control of the local mines.

Congress of the People labour spokesman Papi Kganare appealed to the unions and Lonmin to amicably resolve the dispute.

“Cope strongly condemns the use of violence by a section of certain mine workers to prevent others from exercising their democratic right to demonstrate peacefully...”

He described the killings at the mine as “selfish and barbaric” and encouraged the police to find the perpetrators.

Kganare urged the unions “to adhere to and uphold democracy and freedom of association and other freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic”.

He said Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant needed to intervene. “Her silence on this issue is deafening.”

Lonmin has also called for an end to the violence, which started on Friday following an illegal work stoppage and protest march by about 3000 Lonmin rock drill operators.

Captain Dennis Adriao said by mid-morning there had not been any violence, and the atmosphere remained “tense but stable”.

No one had been arrested for the murders, but police investigations were continuing.

Earlier, Adriao said a police officer injured during clashes on Monday remained in a critical condition in hospital. - Sapa

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