More than 100 arrested after mine protest

2012-02-16 20:49

kalahari.com

  • Labour Law Rules!
    Educate yourself with this book about labour law rules, principal labour, equity, skills... Now R282.00
    buy now

Johannesburg - More than 100 mineworkers were arrested at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg mine on Thursday after violent protests, North West police said.

"They are being booked in at a local police station and the exact figure would be known once that process is done," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane late in the afternoon.

Ngubane said 500 police officers had secured the mine and succeeded in containing the violence.

"We are dealing with a mob of about 5 000. We have taken charge of the mine shafts and hope there will be no interruption tomorrow [Friday]," he said.

Earlier, Ngubane described the situation at the mine as very hostile and tense. A police helicopter and riot police were deployed to calm tensions.

On Wednesday night, a man was found naked and beaten outside hostel eight. He died later, said Ngubane.

Early on Thursday, mineworkers started gathering in Phokeng, and apparently intimidated and assaulted people trying to get to and from work in the township, outside Rustenburg.

They barricaded No 9 Road, towards Freedom Park, and threw stones at cars, including police vehicles, hitting a policewoman on the head.

She was treated at a local clinic and discharged.

Around 08:00, the crowd torched the satellite police station in Freedom Park. Police later arrested eight people trying to loot shops in the area, according to the police's statement.

By 10:00, the crowd started looting a bottle store near the mine's hostel eight, as well as two shops. Two people were arrested.

Ngubane said police were not allowed to use rubber bullets to control the crowd following a directive from the police ministry last year.

This was because of concern over the high number of injuries and at least one death associated with the use of rubber bullets for crowd control.

Police urged the mine management, unions and leaders in the crowd to "sit around the table and come up with an amicable solution to the problem".

Losing money

National Union of Mineworkers spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the union would meet management on Friday to try and broker a deal in their favour.

"We hope for an agreement that workers will be reinstated instead of having to apply for their jobs as management had indicated," said Seshoka.

"Tensions are very high...We hope that management will listen to what we are saying because it doesn't help to be arrogant when the company is losing money."

Seshoka said the company's intention to recruit new workers would be a long process as those people might still need to be trained, thus affecting production.

Comment was not immediately available from the mine as it was presenting its results for the half year ending December 2011, which showed it had lost production of 60 000 ounces of platinum since the start of the strike almost a month ago.

The mineworkers were fired after a dispute over a retention bonus and an illegal strike. First around 5 000 rock drillers were fired after they refused to accept that they would not get the bonus and went on an illegal strike. Then the rest of the more than 17 000 workers were also fired for not being at work.

Seshoka said the mine should have foreseen problems when it announced it would not reinstate the workers, but make them re-apply for their old posts.

Seshoka said the company had made the mistake of allowing the first fired mineworkers to remain on the premises. This group then prevented the others from working.

Without reinstatement they now had to re-apply for their jobs, along with other job seekers, and renegotiate their terms of employment.

They would lose benefits such as higher pay for longer service.

NUM saw the rehiring as the company taking advantage of the situation to restructure. The union vowed to take strong action against its members responsible for violence.

- SAPA

Read more on:    num  |  mahikeng  |  protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
  • Monday Somerset West - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.