Cops fail to divert Marikana minersComment on this story
Police were unable to prevent marching miners from entering Marikana, in the North West, on Wednesday morning.
Five Nyala armoured personnel carriers parked at the town's entrance in an attempt to divert the march, but the crowd pushed its way around the vehicles and continued the more than five-kilometres to Lonmin's Karee mine.
Miners started marching from Lonmin's mine in Marikana to its mine in Karee around 10am in an apparent attempt to stop their colleagues from working there.
The marchers carried knobkerries, sticks and iron rods and as they marched, sang: “We died because of [President Jacob] Zuma. [Bantu] Holomisa please come and rescue us.”
They also carried placards bearing pictures of their dead colleagues.
Security had been tightened at the Marikana mine in anticipation of the march, with additional mine security guards and police on patrol from dawn.
On Tuesday, mineworkers met at the Karee mine's shaft 30, and tried to get their colleagues to stop working. Another march was then planned for Wednesday morning.
Police in armoured vehicles also kept an eye on the Nkaneng squatter camp at Wonderkop, near the Marikana mine.
Talks between worker representatives, unions, the labour department and management were expected to resume on Wednesday in Rustenburg.
Workers have been on strike for the past three weeks, demanding a monthly salary of R12,500.
On August 16, police fired on a group of protesting workers near the mine, killing 34 and wounding 78.
Another 10 people were killed earlier that week, including two policemen and two security guards. - Sapa