1 000 miners swarmed union office - report

2013-02-18 18:37
Amplats (Picture: AFP)

Amplats (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Police said 13 people were wounded in gun and panga attacks at an Anglo American Platinum mine in Rustenburg on Monday, after 1 000 people besieged a union office.

"Mine security intervened and fired rubber bullets, and in the process a total of 13 mine workers, inclusive of four security guards [were hurt]," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

Ngubane told Reuters that there were no fatalities. An earlier story reported eNCA as saying that one person was killed.

Police said the bloodshed was provoked by a dispute between the established National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the growing Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) over access to mine offices, Reuters reported.

Anglo American Platinum aid: "A total of nine employees were injured when rubber bullets were fired by Anglo American Platinum security personnel."

"No one was fatally injured during this incident," it said in a statement.

"AMCU members were intimidating NUM officials at the office," NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.

AMCU treasurer Jimmy Gama told Reuters: "We can confirm the incident but at this stage we cannot say what led to it. We are still getting more details."

More than 50 people were killed in labour strife last year, including 34 shot dead by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August.

Anglo American Platinum angered workers and the government in January when it said it planned to mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14 000 jobs.

Amplats, the world's largest platinum producer, was hit by violent strikes last year, caused in large part by the union battle for membership.

the company's shares closed down nearly 5% on Monday in trading in Johannesburg.

Read more on:    amcu  |  num  |  amplats  |  mahikeng  |  labour  |  mining
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