S.African minister meets upstart union after mine deaths

South Africa's labour minister said Thursday she met with upstart union AMCU over tensions in the platinum sector as the country mourns 44 people killed in a wildcat mine strike.

Minister Mildred Oliphant held talks with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union in Rustenburg, near London-listed Lonmin's Marikana Platinum Mine.

"AMCU briefed us on their side of the story and what... issues they are confronted with in the mines," said Oliphant in a statement.

Workers hacked and beat to death 10 people after the strike started on August 10, prompting the police to step in and leading to the crackdown that left 34 miners dead on August 16.

Around 3,000 workers of Lonmin's 28,000-strong workforce downed tools.

The violence has been attributed at least in part to rivalry between AMCU and the established National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Striking workers have not formally been linked to AMCU.