We'll return if outcome of meeting is OK - Miners
STRIKING Lonmin workers refused to report for duty and instead gathered at the Nkaneng informal settlement in Wonderkop outside Rustenburg yesterday.
They sang liberation songs while awaiting the outcome of a meeting between Lonmin management and their representatives. Police officers in armoured vehicles kept watch from a distance.
"If the outcome is good, the night shift might be the first to start," miner Kgaogelo Kgaogelo said.
Workers have been on strike for nearly two weeks. They are demanding that their salaries be increased to R12500 a month.
The Friends of the ANC Youth League - formed to support expelled league president Julius Malema - said it was confident that the murder and attempted murder cases opened by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate would get to the bottom of the Marikana massacre.
"We welcome this development because we said that the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the massacre of the workers should not prevent criminal procedure from being followed," said group spokesman Floyd Shivambu.
He said the group would remain vigilant and would monitor the cases, including those opened by Malema who was accompanied by mine workers last week.
Malema laid charges of murder against police who fired shots at striking miners two weeks ago.
The shooting incident left 34 miners dead and several others seriously injured.
"We call on police to also look into two cases of murder that were opened against National Union of Mineworkers (Num) security officials," Shivambu said.
He said miners had given police sworn statements that Num security officials had opened fire with live ammunition on protesting workers and that two were killed.
Shivambu reiterated that the group had no faith in the commission that was established by President Jacob Zuma.
"Commissions of inquiry, like the arms deal inquiry, established by the current government, inherently do not have integrity and can last forever," he said.
Retired high court judge Ian Farlam was appointed by Zuma to head the judicial commission of inquiry. Farlam started his legal career as a prosecutor in 1962. He became an advocate in 1968.
He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals in 1998.
The commission will probe the role and conduct of the police, the NUMand the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union in the Lonmin tragedy.
The commission will look into the role played by the Department of Mineral Resources or any other government department or agency in relation to the incidents.
It will also look into whether this was appropriate in the circumstances and whether it was consistent with their duties and obligations according to law.
Meanwhile, the Workers International Vanguard Party said it was mobilising for a general strike in solidarity with the dead miners.
"Workers themselves have said that the commission is a farce," said the International Vanguard's Shaheed.
"What is needed is a united front Marikana campaign committee that is controlled by the strikers themselves," Mahomed said.
Mahomed said the party would call for a general strike on the mines and would also demand the immediate release of all arrested strikers.
The inter-ministerial committee on the Marikana tragedy continues to maintain its presence in Marikana and surrounding areas.
Committee spokesman Harold Maloka said yesterday that the team would be stationed in various areas around Marikana until the work they were assigned was done.
Maloka said the funeral service for the last miner to be buried would be held on September 8.