The miners have vowed to continue their protests despite governments warning that illegal gatherings will not be tolerated.(SABC)
Protesting Lonmin mineworkers in Rustenburg plan to defy government's warning and continue with their unprotected strike which has crippled the mining sector. "We have heard Justice Minister Jeff Radebe is going to send his police here because he says our gatherings are illegal," said a worker addressing the protesters yesterday afternoon.
"You must know that on Monday you should be ready for Jeff Radebe and his police to come and do what they normally do to us." The man was one of several workers who stood up and addressed a thousand-strong crowd in Marikana at sunset.
"When cows are being killed we hear the SPCA complaining about it, but because we are puppies, no one stands for us. He is coming to kill the animals," said the speaker.
In response the crowd shouted "bring it on" in IsiZulu and Sotho.
Workers had gathered near the hill for progress reports on wage negotiations. This is the same hill where 34 of their colleagues were gunned down by police on August 16.
Yesterday Radebe told journalists in Pretoria that government will no longer tolerate the violence, threats and intimidation taking place in the mining sector.
He announced that measures would be put in place to ensure the mining situation was brought under control.
These included that "illegal gatherings, the carrying of dangerous weapons, and incitement, as well as threats of violence against anyone in the affected areas, will be dealt with accordingly".