Fresh strikes in South Africa as miners stay away from work

YET more strife hit South African mines yesterday, as Lonmin workers defied a deadline set out in the peace accord to return to work.

Around 10,000 striking platinum miners marched across Lonmin’s shafts at Marikana yesterday and threatened to kill those who did not participate. It is understood that many workers were armed with sticks, spears and machetes.

Wage talks between Lonmin and the unions – including militant union AMCU – started yesterday, despite attendance figures at Marikana only touching 6.34 per cent. They will continue through the week.

Earlier yesterday, 15,000 workers at the KDC East mine, owned by gold producer Gold Fields, downed tools and stopped production.

Last week four people were shot with rubber bullets as they protested at Gold One Modder East mine near Johannesburg.

The unrest culminated in mid-August when 44 people were shot by police at the Marikana mine owned by Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer.

Lonmin has had £327m knocked off its market capitalisation since the strike started. Shares closed up 3.86 per cent at 619p yesterday.