Lonmin massacre: a timeline

Time of article published Aug 17, 2012

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Friday 10 August

- Violence erupts at Lonmin's Marikana mine sparked by a protest by 3,000 rock-drill operators over wages. It continues over the weekend and into Monday, claiming the lives of at least eight Lonmin workers and two policemen.

Tuesday 14 August

- Violence continues, claiming more lives.

- Lonmin halts production.

Wednesday 15 August

- Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu says she is "gravely concerned" about the violent protests at Marikana after skirting the issue the day before.

- Police and striking miners later try to negotiate a truce on a hill near the Lonmin mine where striking miners had gathered.

- Lonmin refrains from issuing letters to striking workers warning of dismissals in order to avoid "harming" ongoing negotiations.

Thursday 16 August

- Six people are arrested following violent protests at Lonmin's mine.

- Police officials order thousands of illegally striking miners to leave Marikana mine or face an assault by security forces. "Today is unfortunately D-day," police spokesman Dennis Adriao says.

- Lonmin says it has lost six days or 15 000 ounces of platinum at Marikana and is unlikely to meet its full-year production target of 750 000 ounces despite issuing striking workers with an ultimatum that they return to work by Friday or face dismissal.

- Lonmin says it is monitoring the additional pressure which the current disruption to production may put on its bank debt covenants when it is next tested on September 30.

- Lonmin says chief executive Ian Farmer is admitted to hospital with a serious illness.

- At least 30 people are killed or wounded after police open fire on striking miners.

Friday 17 August

- Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa tells Talk Radio 702 that more than 30 people were killed and that "many" more were injured.

- NUM general secretary Frans Baleni says union shopstewards report that 36 union members were killed at Marikana.

- Lonmin shares drop almost five percent in London and four percent in Johannesburg following news of the shooting.

- President Jacob Zuma confirms that he will leave the SADC summit in Mozambique to visit the site of the massacre at Marikana.

- 1pm: National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega confirms that 34 people were killed at Marikana, 78 were injured and 259 were arrested.

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