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South African platinum miners strike over killing

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South African platinum miners strike over killing

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South African miners have gone on strike, stopping production at the third largest platinum producing pit in the world.

The action appears to stem from the killing of a union official at the weekend.

Thousands of workers downed tools in a wildcat stoppage, in the town of Marikana.

A spokeswoman for mine owners, Lonmin, said 13 shafts were idle.

Workers gathered at a stadium to be told by union leaders to go home, and continue the walk out Wednesday.

Reporters were informed the strikers would threaten anyone who tried to work the next few shifts.

Previous miners’ strikes in the country have turned violent in the past and tensions are currently running high over job cuts and wage talks.

The situation is complicated as the two main miners’ unions are involved in a turf war.

It comes during Platinum Week, an annual industry gathering in London.