No company can deal with such vicious acts – Lonmin

2012-08-14 11:50

The past week’s violence at Lonmin’s troubled Marikana mine, in North West, was of a vicious nature, the platinum producer has said.

“I do not know any company that has the competency to deal with such vicious acts,” company spokesperson Barnard Mokwena told reporters in Rustenburg.

“We are dealing with people who crossed security lines repeatedly.”

Mokwena was responding to criticism that the company had failed to protect its workers.

He said the deaths of two security guards, who burnt to death in a company vehicle on Saturday, showed “the kind of people we are dealing with”.

“They were on duty and were killed. This could have happened anywhere.”

Nine people, including two police officers, have been killed over the past few days at Lonmin’s Marikana mine after a protest action that started on Friday.

The violence has been linked to clashes between members of the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which are reportedly fighting for control of local mines.

Earlier today, thousands of striking rock-drill operators gathered on a nearby mountain, seemingly to hold a meeting.

Mokwena said the level of absenteeism was high. Most workers had opted to stay at home for fear of intimidation.

“We have not closed the mine as we believe the police are able to deal with this matter,” he said.

The mine was running on only essential services, said Mokwena.

A news briefing at the mine’s offices earlier today was delayed after unions asked to meet management.

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