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Johannesburg - The Farlam Commission of Inquiry probing the Marikana shooting continues at the Rustenburg Civic Centre on Thursday.
The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at the mine. Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16.
In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were hacked to death.
On Wednesday, the commission heard that wage increases reached outside a bargaining agreement between workers and Impala Platinum had set a precedent for Marikana mineworkers.
Erick Gcilitshana told the commission that the agreement “raised an expectation”.
He was the first witness to be called by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). He is the union's health and safety national secretary. He was also the chief negotiator during the mineworkers' strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, where 34 workers were killed in August.
He said that since the start of the protests, NUM had urged workers to abandon the violent strike.
According to Gcilitshana's statement, NUM also helped the strikers' delegation with figures in wage proposals. - Sapa