Just two weeks after police killed 34 miners striking at a platinum mine in South Africa, four more have been shot and injured.
The incident came as the first group of miners were released from custody following the Lonmin platinum mine massacre in which police gunned down 34 of their colleagues.
The first group of 42 miners were released after the dropping of fiercely controversial murder charges against them. The miners, among 270 arrested for public violence at the incident last month despite it being the police who opened fire.
Just three weeks ago workers demanded a pay increase to 12,500 rand (£976) a month. The action turned nasty when the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) clashed with South Africa’s dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
The further attacks today at the Gold One mine using rubber bullet and tear gas have left all four workers in hospital and one critically injured.
The mining sector is now seeing wildcat strikes of over 12,500 in reaction to the deaths and injuries.
Frans Baleni, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, told South Africa’s Business Day newspaper “The issues at Marikana are overflowing. It’s quite clear that this wave of new developments on the platinum mines is coming down on us at the gold mines.”
One journalist has argued, “It is becoming clear to this reporter that heavily armed police hunted down and killed the miners in cold blood,” “A minority were killed in the filmed event where police claim they acted in self-defence. The rest was murder on a massive scale.”
There are also investigations into the miners being tortured while in custody.
It is clear that the workers are fighting back against their low pay and are being psychically oppressed by the government.