Man's body found near Lonmin's Marikana mine
A body was found near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana on Tuesday, North West police said.
"I can confirm that a body of a man was found 300m away from where the miners usually meet, on the western side of the koppie," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane. Ngubane said the man, wearing black pants, appeared to have been hit with a sharp object at the back of his head.
He said police were at the scene and it was not known what had happened to the man. A Sapa reporter saw a picture of his body, taken by a news cameraman. The photograph showed deep cuts at the back of the man's neck.
As journalists raced towards the spot where the body was said to have been found, the leaders of the protesters told everyone to move away from the scene.
Tuesday afternoon saw a standoff between policemen and protesters at the Andrew Saffy Memorial Hospital in Marikana. A throng of protesters marched to the hospital in the afternoon, from an open space near the hill where 34 people were killed in a confrontation with police on August 16.
As the protesters, carrying pangas, knobkerries, golf clubs, arrows, and spears, approached, police barricaded the hospital's entrance with four armoured Nyala vehicles.
A police helicopter hovered overhead. A private security company's vehicle was parked nearby. One of the workers' leaders, Loyiso Mtsheketshe, said they wanted to instruct the hospital to stop discharging injured miners into police custody.
A protester claimed the police instructed hospitals to tell them when wounded mineworkers were discharged, and arrested them then—some even before they left the hospital premises.
The group marched around the hospital and split into groups before returning to the open space near the hill. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) met employee representatives in Rustenburg on Tuesday, as the strike at Lonmin entered its second month.
"A meeting was held with the employee delegation [accompanied by the clergy] at the CCMA offices in Rustenburg. At this stage we cannot confirm the contents of the meeting," CCMA spokesperson Nersan Govender said.
This followed an aborted attempt at wage negotiations on Monday, when just under 7% of employees reported for work. Under a peace accord signed by three unions representing some of the 28 000 employees at the platinum mine last week, it was agreed that wage negotiations would be re-opened, but only if the strike ended.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union did not sign the accord, but did arrive for wage talks on Monday. Its members waited in vain, with the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity, Uasa, and Lonmin management, for representatives of a splinter group of workers to arrive. – Sapa