Continued turmoil at South African metals mines

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1,500 workers strike, tear gas fired and new body found.

Three South African mines ground to a halt yesterday as more strikes broke out among workers and another body has been found in Marikana with deep cuts to the back of the neck.

A report in The Guardian claims that a new spate of what it terms wildcat strikes stopped production at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, Gold Fields’ KDC gold mine near Carletonville and Anglo American’s platinum mine.

Reports claim that strikes at Lonmin are showing no signs of abating, with the company reporting that only 1.8% of its staff are working, that 1,500 workers waving sticks entered into a stand-off with Anglo American’s Bathopele shaft with police and security guards fired teargas at strikers at Gold Fields where 85% of the workforce stopped work.

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At Anglo American’s mine the thousand of striking miners streamed into a sports stadium at the company’s Rustenburg complex where shuttered entrances to mine shafts were guarded by security men after operations were halted over safety fears. The miners claim they have handed Anglo American Platinum a list of demands and are holding a rally in the hope they will get a response from its management. Anglo American Platinum has denied its employees are on strike.

The newspaper has said that the walkouts have been sparked by the earlier police massacre with the flames being fanned by former youth leader Julius Malema who has been accused of using the situation to revive his career after being expelled from the African National Congress earlier this year.

Meanwhile a body was discovered near the site in Marikana where the strikes have been taking place. The body is as yet unidentified but has deep cuts to the back of the neck.

The violent uprising began last month at Marikana when striking turned to violenence and led to the deaths of 44 people.

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