Teargas fired as miners try to stop a train

2012-09-12 13:22
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VIDEO: Malema on CNN

2012-09-12 08:35

Julius Malema answered questions about the rationale for his involvement in the mine strikes across the country, as well as his recent utterances on nationalisation. WATCH. VIEW

Johannesburg - Teargas was fired at protesters at Gold Fields' KDC West mine, near Carletonville, on Wednesday.

Thousands of workers ran to a stream, where they washed their eyes, while security guards wearing gasmasks sat in vehicles.

Mfanayedwa Themba said protesters had wanted to stop a train, "because the train is a part of the mine. It is a part of us".

It was when they went onto the railway tracks that guards started firing teargas at them, he said.

Massive veld fires started after the gas was fired, and large clouds of smoke floated over the roads.

Earlier, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) leaders spoke at the stadium.

Some of those gathered wore T-shirts with "Hands off NUM. Hands off Cosatu" printed on the back.

On Tuesday, expelled African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema called for the resignation of the NUM's leadership, including general secretary Frans Baleni.

NUM dismissed this, calling it "hogwash".

On Wednesday, some of the group wore balaclavas and carried sharpened sticks and planks.

NUM regional secretary Mbuyiseli Hibana said they were going to address members soon. "We want them to go back to work."

He was telling them that their wage issue was something they needed to address with their employer, when the firing of the teargas was heard.

Armed guards from Gold Fields, both on foot and in armoured vehicles, were stationed around the mine.

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Read more on:    gold fields  |  johannesburg  |  mining unrest  |  mining

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