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South African police block miners' march

South African police block miners' march
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Miners from Anglo Platinum were halted by heavily armed police on Sunday as they marched towards a police station at Rustenburg in South Africa.

Strikes and demonstrations have continued ever since police shot 34 workers dead at the Marikana mine a month ago, the bloodiest police action in the country since the end of apartheid.

A day earlier police had used tear-gas and rubber bullets to disperse the miners, after claiming they had discovered machetes and other weapons in an early morning raid.

Sunday’s demonstration ended more peacefully however, as the protesters agreed to do things by the book.

Strike leader Evans Ramokga said: “As the leaders, we always think of the safety of the workers, we will wait for that permit. As we wait that does not mean we are going back to work. We don’t go to work. They will strike but we keep staying indoors until we get that permit.”

The acting chief executive of Anglo Platinum, Simon Scott, called last month’s deaths a “wake-up call” for the company.

He said he is committed to ending the unrest but said the company cannot afford the miners’ wage demands.