JAF says the incident is reminiscent of apartheid

As South Africa mourns the 44 persons killed in recent violence at Marikana Mine, on Thursday, a pro-labour group, Joint Action Front (JAF), condemned the violent killing of 34 miners by the country?s police.

A statement jointly signed by the group?s chairman, Dipo Fashina, and its secretary, Abiodun Aremu, said the incident smacked of the unpleasant apartheid days.

A week ago, 34 miners at Lonmin?s Marikana Platinum Mine were killed by police bullets during a protest to demand higher pay.

Earlier, ten persons, including two police officers, had died from violent clashes as the workers pressed for their demands.

The group said the management of the mine was ?anti-labour?, noting that 9,000 workers were sacked by the company in May 2011, following a demand for pay rise.

The statement called for an increase in the workers? pay and adequate compensation for the families of the dead miners.

?The government must reassure South African workers of its commitment to respect fundamental rights of its working people and citizens. It was wrong for any group to instigate the murderous act to serve the interest of capitalists at the expense of the poor working people,? the statement read.

The mine has been closed following the incident, with special traditional prayers also held to cleanse the spot where the miners were slain last week.

However, the pro-labour group also called on the South African government to prosecute the police officers involved in the killing.

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