THE Bishop of Pretoria, the Rt Revd Jo Seoka, said on Tuesday
that striking workers in Marikana, South Africa, were "very happy"
with a deal that they had reached with the Lonmin mining
Bishop Seoka said that the miners, who have been on strike since
10 August, would receive a one-off payment of 2000 rand (£150) for
returning to work. "The workers are very happy with this. The
actual increase is about 22 per cent, which is very high - that's
A South African newspaper, The Star, reported that
about 5000 striking miners, who had gathered in a stadium, cheered
when the deal was announced.
Last weekend, Bishop Seoka expressed fears that negotiations
between the miners and the company would collapse, after police
raided hostels at the Lonmin mine, and fired rubber bullets and
tear gas at hundreds of miners. It was the first outbreak of
violence since police opened fire last month on a crowd of several
thousand striking miners who were protesting outside the mine, and
34 died (
News, 24 August).
After the violence on Saturday, Bishop Seoka issued a strongly
worded statement: "Government must be crazy believing that what to
me resembles an apartheid-era crackdown can succeed. We must not
forget that such crackdowns in the past led to more resistance, and
government can ill afford to be seen as the enemy of the people
that they put in power."
As the Church Times went to press on Wednesday, the BBC
reported that the police had fired rubber bullets and tear gas to
disperse protesters near a mine in Rustenburg, owned by Anglo