Two-thirds of Lonmin workers stay away
LONMIN reported 33% attendance at its platinum mines near Brits on Tuesday morning, as the majority of workers ignored requests from the company and unions to return to work.
Lonmin employs 28,000 people at 11 shafts and is losing 15,000oz of platinum each week its mines are idled.
Lonmin management said on Monday that 30% of its workers had heeded the call to return to work, but that was not enough to resume production.
The government had called for a week of mourning and it would appear workers were taking note of this call, a spokesman said.
Thursday is an official day of mourning and it is unclear whether Lonmin will insist on work on that day.
Lonmin reported that 19.5% of its rock drill operators had reported for duty on Tuesday, up from 17% on Monday. The company employs 3,800 rock drill operators and their assistants. It is this group of people that downed tools on August 10 in an illegal strike that culminated in police shooting dead 34 protesters outside the mine on Thursday last week.
Marikana residents and striking miners converged at the Wonderkop squatter camp on Tuesday, awaiting the arrival of expelled African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema.
The strikers said they would go with Mr Malema to the local police station to lay murder charges against police after Thursday’s shooting.
"We will be marching from here to the police station with Malema to lay charges," one worker said.
The interministerial committee appointed by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday would maintain a presence in the Brits area, the Presidency said on Tuesday.
"The government remains of the conviction that this is not the time for apportioning blame, finger-pointing or exploiting this national tragedy to advance narrow and petty political agendas," the Presidency said in a statement.
"Neither must violence replace dialogue, which has become synonymous with the new and democratic South Africa in resolving problems."
The committee will operate from the office of the executive mayor of Rustenburg, Mpho Khunou.
The committee includes Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Minister Richard Baloyi, North West Premier Thandi Modise and Mr Khunou.
The presidency called on leaders in all sectors of society to unite citizens in prayer.
It said the interministerial committee had decided on a number of interventions to assist the families of those who died, and those who were injured.
This included psychosocial support through a team of social workers who would be stationed in the area to provide care for orphaned children.
The committee would also engage the services of the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to help find a resolution to the wage dispute between Lonmin and workers.
Allan Seccombe and Sapa
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