Lonmin mine deaths in South Africa - August 2012
On 16 August 2012 34 workers were killed and 78 injured after police opened fire on striking miners at the Lonmin-owned platinum Marikana mine in South Africa. 10 people had already lost their lives (including 2 police officers) since the start of the strike a week before. Below is a selection of media coverage of the circumstances surrounding the killings as well as links to Lonmin's statements.
"[Police Chief] Riah Phiyega said police had been forced to shoot after armed protesters charged them, "firing shots", at the Marikana mine..."
"David Nkolisi...who works as a rock-drill operator...[said]: "We were killed for asking our employer to pay us a decent salary for hard work deep underground."
Lonmin statement on mine deaths [PDF], Lonmin, 16 Aug 2012
"[W]e deeply regret the further loss of life in what is clearly a public order rather than labour relations associated matter.” Further statements from the company can be accessed from Lonmin's homepage.
"Expecting us to go back is like an insult. Many of our friends and colleagues are dead, then they expect us to resume work. Never," [said worker, Zachariah Mbewu]
Environmental and social issues can be just as vital to company success, Lisa Nandy, New Statesman (UK), 22 Aug 2012
"The nosedive in Lonmin’s share value over the last week is proof that the environmental, social and human rights activities of companies are linked to their financial value."