Within hours of the South African government vowing to end violence in the mining sector police used stun grenades today to disperse disperse strikers outside a platinum mine.
Xstrata Platinum temporarily suspended operations at Kroondal mine "to ensure the safety and security of employees and assets" amid "rising tensions and protests."
The mine employs 5,300 workers who were allegedly being threatened by strikers from Lonmin's Marikana mine. Police arrested seven demonstrators.
The South African government warned earlier that it would not tolerate continuing violent and armed demonstrations by striking miners and their supporters.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe warned that police would clamp down on illegal marches and weapons.
He told reporters that marches during which miners brandish machetes, knives, spears and clubs were unacceptable and the government will stop them.
Earlier in the day, striking miners at the Marikana platinum mine rejected a wage offer from Lonmin of a 900 rand (£70) increase that would give new-entry workers a basic monthly salary of 5,500 rand (£410).
Leaders of striking miners say the offer falls far below their demands for a minimum salary of 12,500 rand (£940).
The strike spread this week to the world's largest platinum mine, Anglo American Platinum, and has also stopped work at a Gold Fields mine.
Police said on Thursday they had identified the latest body found this week as that of a shop steward of the National Union of Mineworkers, the industry's largest.
The prolonged and spreading strike and police killings have thrown a spotlight on the failure to meet promises to lift South Africans out of poverty and address massive shortages of jobs and housing.
Answering MPs' questions in Parliament on Thursday, South African President Jacob Zuma defended the initial decision to exclude from negotiations the breakaway Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, whose supporters started the strike along with some non-union workers.
Lonmin reported that only 1 per cent of its 28,000 workers reported for duty on Thursday, although it is unclear how many workers are on strike and how many simply staying away fearful of violent consequences on turning up to work.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Stephen Twigg has won some initial support from teaching unions NUT and NASUWT for aspects of his plans for education in England.
How high-quality primary schooling could help solve global poverty
Unison leader asks what kind of society we want our children to grow up in