This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Mine workers in South Africa face a deadline tomorrow to return to work following a deadly dispute over pay and conditions. Violence erupted last month at the world's third-largest platinum mine. Thirty-four miners were shot dead in a confrontation with police. Striking miners are refusing to go back to work until their demands are met. And there are concerns about labor unrest, which has spread to other parts of the country's lucrative mining industry.
Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:35 pm
Armstrong Ngutyana (left), 55, and Dumisani Mjolwa, 65, were gold miners during the apartheid era. Both worked underground for nearly three decades. They developed lung disease and were forced to quit their jobs, but received only minimal compensation. They are now part of a class-action lawsuit against South African mining companies.
South Africa's mining industry is under heavy scrutiny after 44 people died during protests at a platinum mine near Johannesburg. Now, the industry is facing challenges on another front: Lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against three of the country's biggest gold mining companies.
They're suing on behalf of miners who worked during the apartheid era and now have lung disease.
A settlement in the case — and another like it — could reach into the billions of dollars.
Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 10:44 am
Lawyers for 270 miners in South Africa are threatening legal action if their clients are not released from prison today. The mine workers were charged with murdering their own colleagues after police opened fire on a crowd of about 3,000 striking workers two weeks ago, killing 34 people.
NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells us the government charged the miners with murder using an obscure legal doctrine employed by the apartheid government.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:28 pm
A mine worker sings and dances during a gathering at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa, on Wednesday. Some 270 miners were charged with murder Thursday in connection with the deaths of 34 of their striking colleagues.
Credit Themba Hadebe / AP
You may remember the story from South Africa earlier this month in which police opened fire on a group of striking miners, killing more than 30 people. There's an update to that story: South African authorities charged about 270 miners Thursday with the murder of their colleagues under a law that was commonly used during the apartheid era.