AMCU to speak on mine massacre
17 August 2012 | Sapa
Amcu's treasurer Jimmy Gama said the press conference would be held at 11am at the Quatermain Hotel in Morningside, Sandton.
The protests, which began last Friday, are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and Amcu over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages.
North West premier Thandi Modise said in a statement that the deadly clashes could have been avoided.
"This is the most tragic labour dispute with untold misery that South Africa has ever experienced which could have been avoided had parties involved respected the law," she said.
She appealed for "sanity to prevail" to avoid further bloodshed.
NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said that union shopstewards at the scene counted 36 bodies after the shootout between police and striking workers on Thursday afternoon.
Modise sent her condolences to the families of those killed.
We wish to reiterate our call for cessation of hostilities and for a return to the negotiation table."
Modise's spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said the premier's office and police had been in negotiations with Lonmin and the unions in an attempt to find a solution to the impasse and prevent "the dispute from escalating to the level to which it has deteriorated".
Modise and public safety MEC Nono Maloyi would be part of a government delegation set to visit the scene later on Friday.
The SABC reported that Lonmin Platinum's chairman in Rustenburg, Roger Phillimore had condemned Thursday's killings.
Mine management treated the matter with the utmost seriousness, and regretted the bloodshed.
Phillimore said that the platinum producer considered the unrest as a matter of public order, not as a labour relations problem.
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