Rubber bullets fired at Marikana

2012-09-15 10:17

Police fired rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse striking mineworkers in Nkaneng informal settlement, Wonderkop, near Lonmin’s Marikana mine.

This morning workers gathered at the open veld next to the koppie, where 34 people were killed in a violent confrontation on August 16.

They sang, waving weapons, before the police arrived.

At least seven police nyalas drove into Nkaneng, causing workers to scatter in different directions.

The crowd ran into the informal settlement as the nyalas followed them on narrow foot paths.

A cloud of pepper spray filled the area causing protesters and journalists to shed tears and cough.

A Sapa reporter on the scene heard rubber bullets being fired towards the protesters.

Earlier, police raided a nearby hostel.

Five people were arrested and weapons confiscated.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the arrests came amid a disarmament operation at the hostel where hundreds Lonmin mineworkers.

Police confiscated a large number of knobkerries, pangas and other dangerous weapons.

Ngubane could not give an exact quantity of arms confiscated, but said “truck loads” of contraband weapons were seized.

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