Striking SA miners back to work

Striking workers at the Lonmin mine in South Africa are returning to work after agreeing a 22% pay deal, following weeks of industrial action. However protests continue at other mines in the country.

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Police release South African miners from custody

The first of the remaining 170 South African miners being held on suspicion of murder following strikes and protests at a Lonmin platinum mine have been released.

Miners are released from police vans in South Africa. Credit: RTV

Their release follows the release of about 50 miners on Monday. Police opened fire on the Marikana miners on August 16, killing 34 of them - the most deadly action by police since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

The miners queue following their release from custody. Credit: RTV

Police said they shot in self-defence after a crowd, some armed with machetes, stormed towards them. But the miners dispute this version.

Reports: South African mine bosses 'reach deal with unions'

Eyewitness News in South Africa is reporting that Lomin management has signed a "peace accord" with unions, excluding Amcu.

Striking miners march in South Africa. Credit: Reuters

“Amcu (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) was there during the signing. They did not want to sign,” Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini told EWN.

It is reported that workers have not yet signed the deal.

On Wednesday night, trade union Solidarity representative Gideon du Plessis said the agreement would mean miners would return to work on Monday, and that the talks – including the participation of all the unions, Amcu among them – would start in “a structured manner” soon after that.

The agreement bars the Lonmin employees from carrying “dangerous weapons”. Also, Lonmin management had added a “sweetener”, which would be that the strikers would get five days’ pay for the period they were on strike.

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More South African miners expected to be released from custody

More than 200 South African miners being held in police custody are expected to be released today. This follows the release of about 50 miners - who had been controversially charged with murder - on Monday.

Miners have been taking part in protests this week. Credit: Twitter/@RohitKachroo

Police opened fire on the Marikana miners on August 16, killing 34 of them - the most deadly action by police since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

Police said they shot in self-defence after a crowd, some armed with machetes, stormed towards them.

But the miners dispute their version, insisting police opened fire simply to break the strike. State prosecutors then charged 270 miners, rather than policemen, with the murders under the apartheid-era "common purpose" doctrine.

Over 1,000 miners demonstrate in South Africa

Miners demonstrating over a pay dispute in South Africa Credit: Reuters

More than 1,000 striking South African miners waving sticks and whips demonstrated today at Lonmin's Marikana mine, where police shot dead 34 of their colleagues last month in the bloodiest security incident since the 1994 end of apartheid.

Dozens of police arrived at the scene while a helicopter hovered above the protesting rock drill operators, whose strike to demand a hefty pay hike is now in its fourth week, crippling London headquartered Lonmin.

One man at the front of the column waved a placard reading "We want 12,500 or nothing else", a reference to the group's demand for a hike in base pay to 12,500 rand (£950) a month, more than double their current salary.

Another protester, who did not wish to be named, said the demonstrators were heading to Lonmin's nearby Karee mine to "take out the people who are working in the mine shaft".

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South African police fire rubber bullets at striking miners

South African police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse striking miners at a gold mine near Johannesburg yesterday, the latest outbreak in a wave of labour militancy spreading from platinum mining into other parts of the sector.

The unrest occurred less than three weeks after police shot dead 34 striking miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine, the bloodiest security incident since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.

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