British multinational Anglo American head Cynthia Carroll has urged South African authorities to restore order as violent mining strikes rage on with more than 50 deaths since August, local media reported.
"What we are looking for right now, the starting point, and what we've been really reinforcing in our meetings with the government is law and order. It starts with law and order," Carroll told Business Day newspaper in an interview published Monday.
"I believe in the country, and the ministers I'm dealing with are great," she told the paper.
"They have a sense of urgency and they understand this is ultra-serious and that the solutions will not come from one organisation or the private sector."
Carroll met South Africa's mining and finance ministers last week while a mass wage-hike strike crippled production at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), where 28,000 workers have refused to go underground for five weeks.
Less than 20 percent of the top global platinum producer's Rustenburg mine northwest of Johannesburg are currently on the job, company spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said.
Carroll remained adamant that 12,000 illegal strikers dismissed early October would not be rehired.
"We will not accept criminals in our organisation. We will not accept people intimidating or killing people, burning them alive ... It's brutal and it's gruesome," she told the newspaper.
The fired workers have refused their dismissal, demanding a pay-rise to at least 12,500 rand ($1,450, 1,100 euro) -- almost double the current pay of some.
Months of violent strikes have strangled production in South African mines, causing a 2.6 percent drop in platinum output in August.
Over 50 people have died in strike-related violence that started with a deadly stoppage at the Lonmin platinum mine in nearby Marikana. Police killed 34 people in clashes at the mine on August 16.
The diversified miner's chief executive however said workers were not dismissed as part of a business overhaul at the Rustenburg operations.
"We did not create illegal strikes or create an environment where people's lives were put at risk," she said.
President Jacob Zuma last week urged illegal strikers to return to work.