Johannesburg, 17. The situation including the violent encounters yesterday between South African police and striking miners is deteriorating
with each passing hour. The clashes took place in Marikana located in the north-western area of the African country, around 100 kilometres from the capital Johannesburg. So far 36 people have been confirmed dead but the number may be much higher. "A lot of people were injured and the number keeps on going up”, said police minister Nathi Mthethwa in a local radio interview.
The forces of order opened fire on a crowd of miners armed with clubs, iron bars and machetes. The group had refused to disperse after rejecting an ultimatum by the administration of the platinum mine threatening to fire them if they did not begin working again. This was confirmed by a source of the National Union of South African Miners. The minister, according to ANSA, condemned the violence, underlining that the police had negotiated for three days with the strikers. “This should not have happened”, Mthethwa stated, “and we have always insisted that laws exist which allow people to strike, to meet for demonstrations, and we believe that people must not ignore these pillars of our system”.