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South Africa gold mine fires 8,500 strikers

  • Some 8,500 striking South African gold miners have been fired after refusing to return to work, mine owners say.

    On Tuesday, Gold Fields said workers at the KDC East mine had ignored a final deadline set for 4pm local time.

    Last week, some 11,000 miners at Gold Fields' KDC West mine abided by a similar company ultimatum and returned to work.

    In recent weeks, South Africa's mining sector has been hit by a wave of unrest, which has cost the lives of nearly 50 people.

    As a result, the country’s economy has taken a beating with the rand currency losing value and a downgrade in its credit rating.

    Most strikes have been over wages. However, the incident at KDC East, located west of Johannesburg, relates to a local trade union dispute not pay.

    Miners had 24 hours to appeal against their dismissal before the ultimatum was issued.