Lonmin's Strike-Hit South Africa Platinum Mine Reopens

by
staff
The South African platinum mine where police shot dead 34 striking workers last Thursday has resumed operations, its owners have said.

Striking miners gather at the Marikana site on Monday

The South African platinum mine where police shot dead 34 striking workers last Thursday has resumed operations, its owners have said.

Lonmin said that almost one third of the 28,000-strong workforce at Marikana had reported for work.

It also said a deadline for striking miners to return to work or face dismissal had been extended to Tuesday.

On Sunday President Jacob Zuma declared a week of national mourning for those killed.

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

"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."

About 3,000 rock-drill operators (RDOs) walked out more than a week ago in support of demands for higher pay.

The strike was declared illegal by Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, and the mine was shut.

Clashes between strikers and police culminated on Thursday when officers armed with automatic rifles and pistols fired dozens of shots.

In addition to those killed, at least 78 people were injured and some 250 people were arrested.