Lonmin protesters admonished about food aid

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Rustenburg -

Striking Lonmin mineworkers were admonished on Tuesday for fighting about food aid being provided by the humanitarian organisation, Gift of the Givers.

“Workers, let us not allow food donations to make us lose our battle of R12,500. We appreciate donations, but the commotion I saw on Monday was disappointing,” said one of the striking workers' leaders, Goodwell Jozane.

He was addressing mineworkers gathered in an open space near the Wonderkop hill, where 34 people died when police opened fire on them last month.

Over a public address system, he asked the aggrieved workers to queue in batches of 40 at a time to avoid commotion when the aid trucks arrived.

“On Monday, we couldn’t even address you after (getting) food because of what you were doing,” Jozane said.

Gift of the Givers trucks were expected in the area in the afternoon.

The striking Lonmin mineworkers flocked to the open space in Marikana from all directions on Tuesday morning for another day of protest in demand of a R12 500 monthly wage.

Some wielded pangas, arrows, sickles, knobkerries and golf clubs. They used umbrellas to shield themselves from the scorching Rustenburg sun.

Media crews, many of them international, had set up camp there and observed the crowd.

Jozane told the protesters to wait for more mineworkers, who were arriving from distant places for the day's proceedings.

There were women in the group on Tuesday.

Armed police could be seen in the area, with four police Nyalas parked at the entrance to a shaft at the nearby Karee mine.

On Monday, protesters with knobkerries, pangas and spears marched from mine shaft to mine shaft, calling for the closure of all operations.

They also tried to rope in non-striking workers from the mine shafts and the mine hostels.

They then went to an open space near the hostels, from where Lonmin buses later took them to a place where the Gift of the Givers was handing out aid. - Sapa


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