At least 18 bodies are lying bloodied and motionless on the ground, after local police opened fire on striking miners, South African news agency reports. Some of those protesting are said to have been armed with machetes and spears.
Prior to Thursday’s fire violent clashes had killed at least 9 in the mining town, lying North West of Johannesburg. Owned by Lonmin plc, the platinum mine has been the centre of protests since last Friday, with a stand-off originating over wage disputes.
Fighting intensified over the weekend when two police officers were killed- striking workers and local security guards have also been caught up in the violence.
On Thursday demonstrators were joined by a group of women pledging to stand by their husbands as they fight for better pay.