Cop in serious condition after panga attack

2012-10-16 18:45
Panga (Picture: AFP)

Panga (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - A police constable hacked with a panga at the Samancor mine in Kroondal is in a serious condition in hospital, North West police said on Tuesday.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the constable's left arm was seriously injured when he tried to protect himself against an attack by striking miners on Tuesday.

The attack happened while police were dispersing about 3 000 strikers who had gathered at the mine around 09:00.

"During the process and effecting arrest of illegal striking miners, a police constable was hacked with a panga on his left arm when he tried to protect himself from the attackers, who had cornered him," said Ngubane.

"The constable was rescued by other police officers, who rushed him to Peglerae Hospital."

Police arrested 26 people.

"One has been identified as the possible attacker of the police officer and a charge of attempted murder has been registered against the suspect."

Earlier, Captain Tselane Nkala said the panga was aimed at the policeman's face, but he blocked it with his left hand.

The Rustenburg joint strike co-ordinating committee said workers had assembled peacefully outside the Milsell shaft, expecting to be addressed by management and the strike committee, when police in Nyala vehicles came at them.

"Workers were assaulted, beaten, and 26 of them were arrested and taken to Rustenburg police station," strike committee leader Nkosinathi Mpopo said.

"Workers have consistently been refused a permit to gather by the Rustenburg municipality's public safety department and the police."

Samancor said it had extended leave days granted to workers last week.

"During a meeting held yesterday [Monday], the company agreed with the stakeholders to extend the leave period until 19 October," the company said in a statement.

It said workers had been on annual leave from 3 October until 16 October. They would now be required to return to work on 22 October.

"This will enable the company and stakeholders to continue with the engagement process prior to the return to work."

Workers were on strike wanted a monthly salary of R12 500.

- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  samancor  |  mahikeng  |  mining  |  mining unrest
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