Striking Lonmin mineworkers meet at the Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana.
Please be advised that the following story contains extremely graphic footage, but it is footage that eNCA believes the country has a right to see.
It is not immediately clear who fired the first shots in a shoot-out between police and striking miners at Lonmin&39;s mine in Marikana in the North West. The shooting erupted, as police tried to disperse workers armed with pangas who had gathered on a hill. It appears police may have killed 12 miners, although the number has not been confirmed yet. Several others have also been injured.
Police had earlier called this D-day but no one could have predicted it would end in this much bloodshed.
Warnings to the miners to disperse did not work so the police moved in. Earlier, last ditch efforts by AMCU union leaders to get strikers to disperse failed. Leading to one of the most deadly days of strike action in post-apartheid South Africa.
Since Friday, groups of mine workers have been on an unprotected strike. Demanding a monthly salary of R12,500 for all miners, and better working conditions. Their message was clear that those who did not participate and those who stood in their way would pay with their lives.
The National Union of Mineworkers insist its members are not part of this strike. It was quick to blame a rival association, saying the newly-formed Association of Mine and Construction workers was involved in violent strikes at other mines earlier this year.