* Hundreds hold rally at platinum belt stadium
* Strikes raise worries about government finances
* Petra Diamonds workers end walkout
By Jon Herskovitz
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 6 Striking South African
workers rallied on Saturday to press Anglo American Platinum to
revoke its decision to fire 12,000 wildcat strikers amid a wave
of labour strife sweeping Africa's largest economy.
Nearly 50 people have been killed since August in labour
conflict in the crucial mining sector, and President Jacob
Zuma's ruling ANC is struggling to damp down some of the worst
social unrest since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Several hundred workers, watched closely by police, held a
rally in a soccer stadium near the platinum belt hub city of
Rustenburg, 120 km (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, and
were urged to fight for their jobs.
"Ignore those SMS's you've received saying you have been
dismissed," one labour leader was quoted as saying by radio
broadcaster Eyewitness News.
The sackings at Amplats (Anglo American Platinum)
on Friday triggered a 4 percent fall to 3-1/2 year lows in South
Africa's rand as investors dumped the country's assets.
Wage increases of up to 22 percent awarded to end a wildcat
strike at Lonmin's platinum mine last month have led
other workers to strike at other mines, car makers and municipal
Zuma tried to reassure investors by saying this week that
since the end of white-minority rule South Africans have shown
"the capacity to overcome difficulties when we work together".
In a move that helped relieve tensions, several hundred
striking miners have ended a three-day work stoppage at the
South African operations of Petra Diamonds.
"There was no deal. They just agreed to return to work,"
Lesiba Seshoka, spokesman for the powerful National Union of
Mineworkers, told Reuters.