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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.
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.
Police said they shot in self-defence after a crowd, some armed with machetes, stormed towards them. But the miners dispute this version.
Eyewitness News in South Africa is reporting that Lomin management has signed a "peace accord" with unions, excluding Amcu.
“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.
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.
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.
Lonmin shares are down nearly 3 percent in Johannesburg as striking workers of the platinum producer march near a mine where police gunned down 34 of their colleagues last month.
More than 1,000 striking South African miners waving sticks and whips demonstrated today at Lonmin's Marikana mine.
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".
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.
The first of 270 miners charged with the murder of their colleagues, who were shot dead by police Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa, have been released from prison.
Authorities say the charges against them are being "reviewed."
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