* Memorial at "Hill of Horror' where police killed 34 miners
* Zuma faces political pressure over pay, policing
* Industry worries about contagion
By David Dolan
MARIKANA, South Africa, Aug 23 South Africans
held a memorial service on Thursday at a platinum mine where
police shot dead 34 strikers, bloodshed that revived memories of
apartheid-era violence and laid bare workers' anger over
enduring inequalities since the end of white rule.
Some 500 people crammed into a marquee pitched at the
platinum mine, near what has been dubbed the "Hill of Horror"
where police shot dead 34 striking miners in the deadliest
security incident since apartheid ended in 1994.
Crowds spilled out into the scorched, dusty fields outside,
listening to hymns and prayers. Women wrapped in blankets wept
and mourners placed flowers at the scene. Other memorials took
place around the country, including downtown Johannesburg.
"Such a killing of people, of children, who haven't done
anything wrong and they didn't have to die this way," said Baba
Goloza whose two sons died. He blamed mine owner Lonmin
for not taking care of its workers at its Marikana mine,
northwest of Johannesburg
Violence between rival labour unions exposed deadly levels
of anger about low wages and what is seen as political
favouritism in Africa's biggest economy.
Ten people were killed in the turf war between rival unions,
including two police officers and a union shop steward hacked to
death with machetes.
The incident has highlighted the African National Congress's
(ANC) failure to ease income disparity which remains among the
worst in the world while many of its members are accused of
using political connections to get rich.
RICH GROW RICHER
The powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), one of the
rival groups at Lonmin, has been a launchpad to political power
for several senior officials at the ANC - the former liberation
movement that has held power since the end of apartheid.
ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, President Jacob Zuma's
right-hand man, was an NUM leader before joining the party.
The NUM's rival, the newer Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union has sought support among workers who want
more pay for their dangerous and dirty work, saying the NUM is
not getting them a good deal and is too close to the mining
companies - claims the NUM denies.
Zuma has set up a panel to investigate the killings but
remains under attack from political rivals who accuse his
government of poor policing and caring more for corporate
interests than workers' rights.
Several miners expressed anger at government ministers for
visiting earlier in the week in luxury cars, driving past
shantytowns and garbage-strewn fields around the mine.
"They come here in big fancy cars and bodyguards. They know
nothing about being poor," one miner said to his colleagues as
they listened to speeches.
South Africa's per capita GDP is over $8,000 a year but
nearly 40 percent of the population live on less than $3 a day.
Miners' wages have risen but many struggle to support an average
of eight to 10 dependents.
Industry officials are worried the Marikana mine labour
strife could spread around the country where mining accounts for
about 6 percent of gross domestic product.
Anglo American Platinum, the world's top producer,
said on Wednesday it had received a demand for a pay increase.
World No.2 platinum firm Impala Platinum (Implats) on
Thursday also warned that industrial action at could grow.
A violent six-week strike at Implats early this year sliced
21 percent off its full-year production and contributed to a
drastic cut in its dividend.
Labour action by about 500 miners interrupted work at one
shaft run by Royal Bafokeng Platinum on Wednesday, the
"Foreign investors are asking if this is an indication of
what we're going to see with much greater levels of industrial
unrest," Nick Holland, chief executive of world no. 4 gold
producer Gold Fields told Reuters.
Concerns about South Africa, which holds 80 percent of the
known reserves of platinum, have helped drive the price of the
metal, used in jewellery and for catalytic converters in cars,
to its highest since early May.