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South African miners defiant over pay protest

South African miners defiant over pay protest
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Thousands of striking miners in South Africa are refusing to end their protest over pay and conditions.

Violence flared over at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana three weeks ago when police opened fire on protesters, killing 34 people.

They are being supported by Methodist Minister Paul Verryn, a former anti-apartheid campaigner, who said their call to be paid 12,500 rand (1,200 euros) per month was fair.

“I actually think by comparison towards what some people in this mine are earning, and some of the investors are earning from what is coming from this mine, R12.5 is reasonable,” he said.

The dispute has morphed into a turf war between rival unions amid fears that copycat strikes could spread across South Africa’s key mining sector.

Many workers accuse the National Union of Mineworkers as being too close to business leaders and not doing enough to protect their interests.