Miner killed in Implats clashes

2012-02-20 13:44
Rustenburg - A miner was killed and at least seven people were injured in overnight violence linked to a labour dispute at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg operations, police said on Monday

"One miner was found dead with live ammunition in his body, and another was injured with live ammunition," said North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

This was the second death related to the labour dispute.

Last week, a man died after he was found stripped naked at a hostel.

Overnight clash

The seven people injured on Sunday night were hurt in a clash between police and a group of people who tried to burn a mining shaft.

"Police fought them as they intended to burn the shaft down," said Ngubane.

He said the mine suspended the night shift on Sunday night.

The Independent Complaints Directorate would establish where the live ammunition came from because the police were currently under orders to not use bullets - rubber or otherwise - for crowd control.

By Monday, the group had swelled to at least 5 000 in Freedom Park with police drawn from other units in the province monitoring them to see what they intended to do.

Many shopkeepers and residents in the immediate vicinity have left their homes and businesses for the safety of shelter with relatives or friends in other areas after businesses were looted last week.


The mine had secured an interdict to protect staff and property. Ngubane said some people had been seen entering the premises on Monday.

A dispute over retention bonuses not paid to the entire workforce sparked an illegal strike at the mine and eventually led to the sacking of over 17 000 employees earlier in February.

The company and the National Union of Mineworkers have since agreed that they would be reinstated in their posts.

NUM, which said it represented about 70% of the workforce there, said the reinstatement process was under way and they expected the police to deal with the "small group" and people using community structures to "create chaos".

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