The online news portal of TV5
JOHANNESBURG - More than 30 people died in clashes between police and workers on a wildcat strike at a South African platinum mine, a minister said Friday, after one of the country's deadliest days since apartheid.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told local radio that the violence at London-listed Lonmin's Marikana mine on Thursday after armed workers approached officers who were cordoning off an area with barbed wire.
"The police were directing the barbed wire ... when people had guns, and people were advancing as I say, with their pangas (machetes) and everything else including firearms," he said.
He said that more than 30 had died, adding: "A lot of people were injured and the number keeps on going up."
"This was not supposed to happen, and we have always emphasized this thing that we have laws in this country which allows people to apply for strike, for marching, for demonstration, and we still think people should not ignore the pillars of the land," he said.