Cop hacked to death during mine violence

2012-08-13 16:20
Body bag (File, Sapa)

Body bag (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A policeman was hacked to death at platinum producer Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West, police confirmed on Monday, as authorities struggle to quell violence between rival unions.

"We confirm that one died at the scene after being hit by a panga," police spokesperson Thulani Ngubane told Reuters.

According to a Sapa report, four other people have also been killed at the mine.

Earlier on Monday a man's bullet-riddled body was found on the mine premises.

"The employee was found with five gunshot wounds," Lonmin spokesperson Barnard Mokwena said in a statement. It was not immediately clear when the man was killed.

Another man died in hospital after also being attacked with a panga.

"He was hacked with a panga after he and his colleagues came out of an evening shift on Sunday," Mokwena.

Several other workers were injured. They had been treated and discharged from hospital.

Two security guards were killed when their car was set alight on Sunday. Four other workers were shot and wounded on Friday and Saturday.

Vehicles torched

Ngubane said the protesters also burnt eight vehicles parked on the company's premises on Sunday.

"We are investigating a case of murder, arson, and malicious damage to property, but no arrests have been made," he said.

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) were reportedly fighting for control of local mines.

Amcu secretary Jeff Mphahlele said his union did not encourage violence and was not responsible.

"We have been recruiting across the country and have at times been met with resistance. Four of our members were shot at in Marikana, but they never retaliated," he said.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the police knew who the perpetrators were.

"They are actually aware of who is responsible for this violence. The police are part of the problem."

Seshoka said the union would ask Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to intervene.

In February, the two unions clashed over membership at Impala Platinum's mines in Rustenburg.

- News24
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  amcu  |  num  |  nathi mthethwa  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest
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