Miner found hanging from tree in troubled platinum belt

2014-05-28 09:04

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North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has called on communities in the troubled platinum mining belt to assist police investigations into the death of a man found hanging from a tree in Broederstroom near Brits.

“We are concerned that the death might be related to acts of violence and continued intimidation of non-striking mineworkers and call on police not to leave any stone unturned,” Mahumapelo said today.

North West police said the man was believed to have been a mineworker. Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said he was found on a road between Hartbeespoort Dam and Krugersdorp.

“The body of a man, alleged to be a mineworker, was found hanging on the tree in Leeukloof, not far from Hartebeeshoek Road.”

Ngubane said the man was dressed in clothes similar to those used by mineworkers.

A girl on her way to school saw the body and alerted her mother.

A Volkswagen Golf apparently belonging to the deceased was found on the roadside. It had crashed into a tree.

“How the victim ended up being hanged in the tree is what police are investigating as a registered inquest,” Ngubane said.

Mahumapelo also condemned an attack on two mineworkers in Rustenburg.

The two were beaten up in Freedom Park north of Rustenburg on their way to work on Tuesday.

One of the men was thought to work at an engineering construction firm at Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine and the other at UG2 shaft at Impala Platinum, said Ngubane.

“The victims sustained multiple stab wounds on the body and feet. No one has been arrested at this stage and the police investigation continues.”

Ngubane urged striking mineworkers to allow those who were not on strike to exercise their constitutional rights without hindrance or intimidation.

An assault docket had been opened.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at Impala Platinum, Lonmin, and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

They rejected the companies’ offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017.

The strike has been marred by intimidation and violence that has led to the death of at least five mineworkers.

The strike has cost companies more than R19.9 billion in revenue and employees have lost more than R8.8 billion in earnings, according to website www.platinumwagenegotiations.co.za, which was created by the companies.

Talks brokered by a Labour Court judge were held at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg yesterday.

Mahumapelo said he was optimistic that mediation by Labour Court Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker would help to break the wage dispute deadlock and end the strike.

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