It’s zero tolerance in Marikana but we can’t do it alone – Nathi Mthethwa

2014-05-15 09:06

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The police are not afraid to act against any crime in Marikana, said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and national commissioner General Riah Phiyega at a press briefing in Marikana yesterday.

“A firm warning has been given to all those who will attempt to take the law into their own hands by intimidating those who are going to work. A zero tolerance stance has been adopted by SAPS to deal with any eventuality that may arise,” said Mthethwa.

The two were accompanied by North West deputy police commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo.

Mthethwa said: “We are concerned that what is taking place around this platinum belt, especially the continued Amcu strike, has no resolution. We want to see both labour and capital resolve this. There has been intimidation, damage to property and other lives lost.”

He added that he was reminding organisers of the strike (Amcu) that it was their responsibility to see to it that everything runs smoothly and that the strike is conducted without anyone’s rights being infringed.

He said that the police had the names of the people who had been a part of the incidents and they would act on it soon.

“We have arrested about 5 000 people in the past year. That shows that there is a huge problem here in the area in respecting the law and the authority of the state,” said Mthethwa.

Phiyega said: “We are here to protect those who want to go to work and those who want to continue striking.”

She added that the police had been deployed from all over to ensure that stability is restored in the area. The police would not disclose how many officers had been deployed to the area.

Mthethwa was adamant that the police could not ensure the safety of all workers on their own. Lonmin and the other mines would have to do their part. He said it would be humanly impossible to monitor the safety of every miner.

“We do escort the buses when they pick up the miners, but we cannot be in each miner’s home when they go back after work,” he said, adding that police visibility had been increased in the past two weeks.

Earlier in the day, at the Amcu meeting in Wonderkop, union president Joseph Mathunjwa said he did not understand why the police were invading Marikana when their strike was protected.

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