South African police admitted today that they had recovered the body of a miner killed in clashes with striking miners at an Anglo American-owned platinum mine.
Miners claimed that the man had been killed late on Thursday when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of strikers from the Amplats mine near Rustenburg.
"The cops shot many people," said miner activist Gaddhafi Mdoda. "One of them is dead."
Police spokesman Thulani Ngubane said that the authorities have begun their investigation "to check the preliminary cause of death," which he said was unclear, adding that "the situation is tense."
Colleagues said the miner, who has not been identified, was from Eastern Cape.
Some 28,000 workers have been on a strike at Amplats since September 12 demanding higher wages.
To make the situation worse, Amplats said that it was firing 12,000 miners who have not reported for work.
Around 300 miners gathered outside a nearby stadium to voice their protest while police in armoured vehicles looked on from a distance.
Gold miners and unions agreed to review wages and pay grades for entry-level workers on Thursday.
Earlier in the week strikers had torched an Amplats training centre and two conveyor belts.
And Around 300 miners at Anglo American's Kumba Iron Ore in the Northern Cape province have blockaded the mine.
The mining sector unrest has already spread into manufacturing and a 2,000-strong tanker drivers' strike shows signs of growing larger.
Oil giant Shell invoked a "force majeure" clause today that allows it to break contracts due to situations beyond its control.
The Satawu transport union said that it wants comrades on South Africa's railways and ports to strike next week, which could affect coal shipments to coal-fired power stations that supply the majority of the country's power.