Police out in force for Cosatu march

2012-10-27 10:29
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - A large number of police have been deployed at the starting point of the Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) march in Rustenburg on Saturday.

Ten police Nyalas and two water cannons were at the bus rank were the march would begin, while a police helicopter circled above.
Cosatu was holding a march and a rally to demand the reinstatement of dismissed mining workers and to reclaim Rustenburg from what it called "force of counter-revolution".

By 08:30 on Saturday the number of the police at the rank outnumbered the number of protesters gathered to march.

The protesters, dressed in red t-shirts, sang liberation songs while waiting for other people from Limpopo and Gauteng to arrive.

The rally at the Olympia Park stadium would be addressed by SA Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and Cosatu's secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi.

Rustenburg has been engulfed in recent strike activity.

The strike started at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August where workers demanded a monthly salary of R12 500 and by September 12 it spread to Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) where workers demanded R16 000.

The workers chose to represent themselves instead of negotiating through the unions.

They left the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and joined rival union the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) claiming that NUM did not serve the workers' interests.

The Amplats workers were still on strike despite the company firing 12 000 of them for failing to appear in disciplinary hearing.

Lonmin workers ended the strike on September 20 when workers accepted pay hike that would see the lowest worker paid R9 000.
On August 16, 34 Lonmin miners were shot dead during a confrontation with police.

- SAPA

Read more on:    cosatu  |  rustenburg  |  labour  |  mining  |  mining unrest
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