Business, Economics and Jobs

South Africa mine massacre: Lonmin miners must return to work or face being fired


Striking platinium miners gather on August 20, 2012 at London-listed Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, where police opened fire on hundreds of workers staging a wildcat strike on August 16. Platinum miner Lonmin said today it will hold a press conference with unions to urge workers to return to the job after an 11-day wildcat strike that has left 44 dead.



JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The Lonmin platinum mine where police shot and killed 34 striking miners has resumed operations, a day after the company said workers must return to their jobs or face being fired.

A statement from the company said that one-third of the Marikana mine's 28,000 workers had reported for work Monday morning. A deadline for striking workers to return to work or face dismissal was extended by a day, to Tuesday.

"Lonmin can confirm that work at its Marikana operations resumed today as significant numbers of employees returned to work," the statement said.

"The company can also announce that those illegal strikers who did not return to work this morning will not be dismissed and have been allowed an extra day in light of current circumstances."

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday declared a week of national morning for those killed at the mine.

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According to police, 34 people were killed and 78 injured when police officers opened fire on striking workers near the mine, located in South Africa's North West province. 

Some of the 250 people arrested on charges related to the violence appeared in court today.

The Marikana mine has been the site of a violent turf war between rival unions. In the week ahead of the shooting, 10 people had died in clashes at the mine.

South Africa is the world's biggest platinum producer, accounting for three-quarters of the world's known supplies of the precious metal.

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