Miners hold memorial service on hill

2012-10-17 15:39
Striking Amplats mineworkers. (Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

Striking Amplats mineworkers. (Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

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Johannesburg - Striking Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine workers gathered at a hill near Nkaneng for a memorial service on Wednesday.

The service is for a man shot dead on the same hill in a clash with police earlier this month.

"We are going to the hill where the guy was shot dead because we were not granted permission for a gathering," said Rustenburg Joint Strike Co-ordinating Committee spokesperson Gaddafhi Mdoda.

He said they wanted to hold the memorial service for Mtshuquleni Qakama at the Bleskop Stadium but were not granted a permit, and they decided to go to the hill where Qakama was killed.

"We decided to hold this memorial service for our comrade whether we have a permit or not. We are being forced to do things illegal[ly]."


Qakama was shot dead allegedly by the police on 4 October , in Nkaneng near Photsaneng.

His body was found after the police dispersed mineworkers from the hill.

Mdoda said workers had tried to obtain a permit for the gathering but each time they applied their application was declined. "We do not expect the police to harass us. We are gathering here. Whether it is illegal or not, the memorial service continues as planned. What more must we do to get a permit?" he asked.

North West police said the situation was calm.

"It is quiet; no incident has been reported," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

Mdoda said Qakama would be buried in the Eastern Cape at the weekend.

Amplats workers went on strike on 12 September, demanding a monthly salary of R16 000.

Amplats said the strike had cost it R1.1bn in revenue and it had fired 12 000 workers after they failed to appear for disciplinary hearings.

Mdoda said the strike would continue until the workers' demands were met.

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