Extended deadline for striking South Africa miners to report for duty

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Extended deadline for striking South Africa miners to report for duty

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South African platinum producer Lonmin has extended for a day, a deadline for striking workers at its Marikana mine to return to work.

Workers have been told to show up for work on Tuesday or face the sack.

The company resumed operations on Monday at the site where 44 people were killed last week during deadly clashes with police.

About a third of the 3,000 striking workers headed back to the mine on Monday.

On Thursday, police shot 34 striking miners claiming they’d been charged at. Ten others were killed prior to the shootings including a union shop steward who was hacked to death.

The violence has been described as the worst since the end of apartheid.

“What happened was that an illegal strike took place, employees chose not to come to work, and then that very quickly escalated into an issue of public violence which was beyond our control, and one that needed the intervention of the South African Police services,” said Simon Scott, Lonmin’s Chief Financial Officer.

Communities around the mine are still in shock.

“No actually their actions were not right. They were supposed to not kill the people. They should have at least used tear gas,” said local resident Isaac Moleele.

Lonmin hopes its extended deadline to return to work will ensure it achieves the required number of staff to bring platinum ore out of the shafts once again.

But the human agony caused by last week’s tragedy is set to be felt for years to come.