Hundreds of defiant miners have regrouped for a protest near the spot where South African police killed 34 of their colleagues, as platinum giant Lonmin said less than a quarter of employees had shown up for work.
Preliminary figures are 13 per cent average attendance across all shafts this morning. There have been incidents of intimidation towards bus drivers overnight as well as intimidation of… workers this morning, preventing them from coming to work
– Platinum giant Lonmin
This comes as Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, is under increased pressure to manage the situation amid calls from some sectors that he should not be re-eleted to the head of the country’s ruling party in December.
Strikers gathered on Monday in an open space, just metres from where police shot dead 34 of their colleagues on August 16. Earlier strike violence in the area had claimed the lives of 10 other people, including two policemen.
Police in armoured trucks kept a close watch over the crowd, as tensions and fears remained high following the deadly unrest. A miner from Lesotho told the AFP news agency.
We are aware that some people have gone back to work, we have noted that behaviour, and we need to come up with a plan to deal with them. By going to work they are say[ing] the murder that happened here was in vain, and they are fine with it.”
South Africa’s police watchdog on Monday was probing complaints that officers had beaten and injured platinum workers arrested after the police shooting.
Autopsy reports on most of dead meanwhile showed they had been shot from behind, a local newspaper reported on Monday.
The post-mortem reports indicate that most of the people were fleeing from the police when they got killed A lot of them were shot in the back and the bullets exited through their chests,