Strike: Vavi arrives to address empty Impala stadium

2012-02-24 00:00

COSATU secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi arrived in Rustenburg yesterday afternoon to find the Impala Shaft 8 football stadium at the strike-torn platinum mine deserted.

Mine workers left in a huff following attempts by National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) officials to address them. NUM officials who arrived to address the 5 000-strong crowd were booed off the stage.

Vavi, who addressed the workers from a police Nyala, later convinced the workers to return to the stadium.

Thousands of striking mine workers gathered in the sweltering heat earlier in the afternoon, awaiting the address by Vavi.

Mine security and police officers had erected a barbed wire fence around the venue.

The situation was tense, with armed riot police and mine security keeping an eye on proceedings.

Fearing attacks, mine workers who reside in the hostel had refused to join the mass crowd of strikers, most of whom stay in the nearby settlement of Freedom Park.

At least 52 people have been treated at the Impala hospital following attacks by striking workers on non-striking employees since late last month.

The workers yesterday carried placards declaring they would not return to work until their demand for net pay of R9 000 had been met.

— City Press.

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