Miners leave before Vavi’s address, persuaded to return

2012-02-23 15:33

Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi arrived in Rustenburg this afternoon to find the Impala Shaft 8 football stadium deserted.

Mine workers left in a huff following attempts by National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) officials to address them. NUM officials who arrived to address the 5 000 strong crowd were booed off the stage.

Vavi, who addressed the workers from a police Nyala, later convinced the workers to return to the stadium.

Thousands of striking mine workers were gathered in the sweltering heat earlier this afternoon, awaiting the address by Vavi.

Mine security and police officers had erected a barbed wire fence around the venue.

The situation was tense, with armed riot police and mine security keeping an eye on proceedings.

Fearing attacks, mine workers who reside in the hostel had refused to join the mass crowd of strikers, most of whom stay in the nearby settlement of Freedom Park.

At least 52 people have been treated at the Impala Hospital following attacks by striking workers on non-striking employees since late last month.

The workers were carrying placards today, declaring they would not return to work until their demand for a nett pay of R9 000 had been met.

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