Mine bosses in South Africa did not value the life of black people and could afford to kill protesting workers and hire another lot, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) Joseph Mathunjwa told protesting mineworkers in Marikana, North West. File photo Paballo Thekiso.

North West - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) will participate in the Lonmin wage negotiations but cannot guarantee that its members will return to work, its president Joseph Mathunjwa told the SABC on Monday.

“I am not in the position to answer that one (if workers will return to work on Monday morning) but what I know is that we have been invited for the process of the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) this morning,” he said.

“I have not spoken to any person in Marikana. I am not sure if workers will turn up (for work).”

Mathunjwa said Amcu would attend Monday's wage talks with a “clear mind” but wanted to know its status at the meeting.

“We have to know today what is our status in the proceedings. The minister (Mildred Olifant) was very clear that we will be there in observer status.”

He said he expected the meeting to revolve around the workers' R12 500 salary increase demand.

The National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity, Uasa and Lonmin management agreed to a peace accord early on Thursday morning to level the ground for wage negotiations. The accord included a commitment to create a peaceful work environment.

On Thursday, Lonmin said the company and the unions had agreed to invite Amcu and the workers' representatives to participate in wage negotiations.

The miners are demanding a R12 500 wage increase across the board.

Amcu refused to sign the peace accord at the mine, where labour unrest has left 44 people killed in the past month. Of these, 34 were shot dead by police. - Sapa