Peace needed in mining areas - mayor

2013-08-14 14:48
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Rustenburg - Peace in the North West mining areas cannot be postponed anymore, Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khunou said on Wednesday.

"All of us have a role to play to ensure peace. We cannot leave this aspect to the SA Police Service [SAPS] alone," he said at the launch of the Mine Crime Combating Forum.

Many people had been killed in the Rustenburg platinum belt since the Marikana shootings in August last year.

"A year after the Marikana tragedy lives are still being lost."

A planned Marikana commemoration rally on Friday should be used to restore peace and stability in the mines, and not used to instigate violence, Khunou said.

The forum aims to restore peace and stability in the mines.

The forum would operate in Rustenburg, Klerksdorp, and Brits, Major General Patrick Aseneng of the North West police said.

Mining companies and trade unions formed part of the forum.

A year later

Friday marks a year since 34 people, almost all miners, were shot dead in a clash with police, at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

Khonou said the broader Rustenburg community should draw lessons from the tragedy.

"The mining sector plays a role in economic growth. It employs our people. We need a lasting peace in the area," he said.

At the launch, a video was played showing police confiscating knobkerries, pangas, iron rods and sticks hidden under beds during a recent raid at hostels in Marikana.

They also found dagga wrapped in newspapers and hidden in gumboots miners wore as part of their work gear.

Police Minister Nathi Mthetwa was expected to officially launch the forum.

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

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