One dead, six assaulted at Implats

2012-02-24 13:06

A man was killed and six Impala Platinum (Implats) workers in Rustenburg were brutally assaulted overnight.

“The police discovered the badly-beaten body of a man in the Freedom Park development,” Implats executive Johan Theron said in a statement today.

“He has not yet been identified, but items lying next to him indicate that he could be a contractor working at one of the shafts.”

Six Implats employees were assaulted overnight.

“They are all being treated in the mine hospital, and their families have been contacted and arrangements made for them to travel to the hospital,” Theron said.

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane confirmed there had been a recurrence of violence and intimidation, but could not immediately give details as he was in a meeting.

Implats workers downed tools in an illegal strike over a month ago.

And as a result, about 17 200 workers were dismissed, leading to violent protest, intimidation and at least two deaths.

Theron said Implats condemned the violence in the strongest possible terms.

“It is totally unacceptable that criminal elements are taking advantage of an already volatile situation.

“We are appealing to those on the illegal work stoppage to return to work in order for their grievances and demands to be considered,” he said.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – which represents about 70% of the workforce, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Implats were set to meet this afternoon to try to resolve the situation.

Implats has said dismissed workers can re-apply for their jobs, but will lose any accumulated benefits.
Workers, however, want to be reinstated to their jobs without losing benefits.

Yesterday in the afternoon, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addressed the ex-miners and urged them to return to work.

Theron said that by yesterday, about 8 500 miners had been re-employed. “Hopefully after the call to go back to work, the figures will increase today.”

The North West government said yesterday that a settlement agreement had been reached between NUM and Implats for the unconditional re-employment of dismissed workers.

Theron denied this. “After the mass meeting yesterday, there were some conversations among delegates about how the meeting went. There was no formal meeting.

“Yesterday was just feedback after the mass meeting and to try and say we are still committed to finding a solution,” he said.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said there had been some discussions after the meeting indicating that Implats might be open to considering reinstatement of jobs.

“Although the company did not commit to that, they indicated that they are quite willing to look at the issues of reinstatement... that was verbal though,” Seshoka said.

The illegal strike started when rock drill operators downed tools over unhappiness that they had not received a retention bonus, while miners had.

Earlier this month, Implats chief executive David Brown said the drillers had refused to involve NUM in addressing their issues, and that a new union, the Association of Mining and Construction Union, was exploiting employee dissatisfaction in this regard.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.