Lonmin, the Platinum producer, ordered employees on Sunday at its mine in South Africa to return and work or face immediate dismissal. However, workers at the tragedy-hit mine vowed to remain on strike following the killing of 34 fellow workers by police.
The company, listed on London’s exchange, issued it final ultimatum to its workers to end their strike of three days following the worst police violence in the country since apartheid was ended. RDOs or rock drill operators were provided in the final ultimatum with one last chance to come back to work or be dismissed, said a company spokesman on Sunday.
However, mine workers said they would press on with demands for higher wages and said a return to work was an insult to their massacred fellow workers, who had been gunned down when police could not disperse the strikers Thursday.
Many workers said their friends had been killed and returning to work would be an insult to them and that no one would work until the mourning period had ended. Other fellow workers are in the hospital or jail said one worker. He said on Monday they would return but not to work unless mine management gave into their demands.
Workers’ anger was fanned by Julius Malema a former youth leader in the former ruling party in a speech attacking current President Jacob Zuma on Saturday. Malema wants Zuma voted out during the year-end African National Congress’ party elections.
Nothing was left of the massacre that took place on Thursday and police were keeping a low profile Sunday where workers on Sunday were doing daily chores at the hostel. Nevertheless, a feeling of tension and anger persisted.