Zuma announces probe into South Africa Lonmin mine killings
August 18 , 2012
South African President Jacob Zuma has announced a probe into violence at a mine that has left 34 people dead and 78 injured.
The incidend occured after police opened fire when they failed to disperse some 3,000 strikers armed with clubs and machetes at the Marikana mine, 60 miles northwest of Johannesburg.
The miners had gathered for a pay rise of more than $1,000 a month. It is not yet clear what led police to open fire but eyewitness reports suggest the shooting took place after a group of protesters rushed towards the police officers.
The Lonmin-owned platinum mine has been at the center of a violent pay dispute, spurred by tensions between two rival trade unions.
The incident was one of the bloodiest police operations since apartheid.
A strike at the mine began a week ago and 10 people had already been killed before the situation escalated on Thursday.
South Africa is the world’s largest platinum producer and the dispute has already affected production.