Cops fired live ammo at Amplats - claim

2012-10-30 14:01

Johannesburg - Police, mine security and striking mineworkers clashed at a second Anglo Platinum mine (Amplats) in Rustenburg on Tuesday, a spokesperson for a mineworkers' lobby group said, claiming police fired live ammunition.

"Workers were marching to [Bathopele] mine. They were met with police, who fired with live ammunition. A number were shot," Mametlwe Sebei, a spokesperson for the Democratic Socialist Movement, claimed.

North West police spokesperson Warrant Officer Sam Tselanyane said a group of people had tried to hijack a truck deliver goods to the mine and that mine security had taken action against them.

"They were dispersed and couldn't take the truck," said Tselanyane.


He could not immediately comment on the allegation that live ammunition was used, whether anyone was wounded, and when the police became involved, as he was still verifying the information provided to him.

The protesters were part of a group of around 12 000 mineworkers the company had fired, but had said they would reinstate if they went back to work by the 07:00 shift on Tuesday.

Sebei said he was not present at the shooting, but arrived shortly afterwards. People had run away, leaving the injured on the ground. Members of the organisation were trying to establish how many people were injured and the type of injuries.

Comment from Amplats was not immediately available.

Tselanyane said that earlier, a policeman was hit in the face with a stone during a march by around 300 people to Anglo Platinum's Khuseleka shaft.

"The marching protesters became violent and started throwing stones and [waving] all sorts of dangerous weapons at the police," he said.

Police use rubber bullets to disperse the mineworkers, who eventually ran back into the nearby informal settlement, he said.

Different clashes

His colleague Captain Dennis Adriao said earlier that around 04:00 police and the fire brigade were called when a power sub-station at Amplats' Khuseleka shaft was set alight.

Police and strikers clashed, but by 09:00 police felt the situation was under control.

By late morning police said around 3 000 striking mineworkers had gathered at the Khuseleka sports ground. Sebei said the numbers were higher.

No arrests had been made and police were monitoring the situation.

In a separate incident police said they found a shotgun in a veld near Samancor's mine in Kroondal, Rustenburg. It had been taken forcibly from a police constable during a confrontation with striking mineworkers on 16 October.

Offer rejected

Sebei said striking mineworkers had rejected an offer by Amplats to get everybody back to work on Tuesday.

This confirmed a warning on Tuesday by Gaddafhi Ndoda, a spokesperson for the national strike committee, which represents some miners.

The company said at the weekend it would reinstate 12 000 workers it had fired for being on strike since mid-September.

The offer included a once-off "hardship allowance" of R2 000, net of tax, to help employees affected by the no-work, no-pay principle. Employees who did not participate in the illegal strike would be paid a once-off "loyalty allowance" of R2 000, net of tax.

Employees affected by the no-work, no-pay principle could also apply for a payment advance of up to R2 500, deductible from their salaries over a six-month period starting January 2013.

Comment from the National Union of Mineworkers, Uasa and Solidarity, which Amplats said were party to the agreement, was not immediately available.

Sebei said workers were holding out for a monthly salary of R16 000.

The clashes took place as the Farlam commission probed the shooting deaths of 34 miners and the wounding of 78 near the Lonmin Marikana mine on 16 August.

  • johny.stront - 2012-10-30 14:12

    Shoot to KILL!!!!!

      TheDifference - 2012-10-30 14:36

      AGREED. Dont fking attack police with weapons and try hijack trucks, and then come fking complianing that police used real bullets!!!! Stop behaving like wild animals and try be human, if only for a day!

      john.kirkwood.9619 - 2012-10-30 15:05


  • lorain.maseko - 2012-10-30 14:13

    The cops fired live ammo coz they are tired of tis crap

  • Andrea - 2012-10-30 14:14

    Just how much more do these strikers want? They are getting their jobs back, some with a bonus or two, given deadline after deadline, but still they are not back at work? Now they are being shot at again, did they not learn the first time around that if you charge a police officer with a panga in hand, you may get shot? Really, there is no control here on either side.

      NKAISANA - 2012-10-30 14:28

      They must first get R16000 then they can go to work because they lost a lot of monry with no work no pay policy

      Andrea - 2012-10-30 14:36

      Due to no fault of their own, I imagine NKAISANA?

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-30 15:45

      They can not expect to get more than teachers and nurses as they are not educated people.

      alan.jerrold - 2012-10-30 16:05

      It's obviously no use trying to debate with Nkaisana, because he clearly doesn't understand the basics of business. Whny is it that people like this actually need to starve beforfe they see sense?

  • godfrey.welman - 2012-10-30 14:16

    Marikana II.

  • robert.meyer.967422 - 2012-10-30 14:31

    strike strike strike starve starve starve , i have never seen union members anywhere in the world wield pangas, spears,guns or knives.Only in this wonderful ignorant corner of the globe.eish

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-30 14:31

    This is not too clever of the miners. It is time people get locked up when they break the law. In other places in the country you get a fine for speeding and speaking on the phone but here they get away with much worse.

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-30 15:13

      Bad idea Deon, then You and I have to pay for the food to feed them. Just by the way where are you going to lock up so many people?

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-30 15:51

      The army has many make big tents that they use in disaster times, but we are in need of many more jails. Not so long ago the building of 4 new jails were scrapped, why?

  • sfortmann1 - 2012-10-30 14:34

    Yay, I don't see this story as a problem, I say good, cause trouble, try hijack a truck, then be treated as a criminal, you don't stop, force will be used against you, I say do away with rubber bullets as soon as the strickers come with any type of threatening weapon golf club, or panga, they come to intimidate and damage property, treat them as criminals and go with live rounds, they will think twice next time and the damage and crap that comes with these strikers will stop very quickly!!!

  • arm.witmens - 2012-10-30 14:39

    lol@democratic Socialist Movement....WHO???

  • jvjaarsveld - 2012-10-30 14:41

    Thoughts of the striker : "Hauw, all I wanted to do was to hi-jack da truck, set it alight and watch it burn out (and damaging the road), eish that is all, now the police they shoot me ... with live ammo... eish this is not fair... why would they shoot me" This is how these idiots think... This is shocking and the worst is that nothing will happen about this attempted hi-jacking, because the poor strikers who petrol bomb anything from cars to buildings to fellow workers are still innocent, shame the poor strikers.

  • george.slade.161 - 2012-10-30 14:41

    ZOOOMER : Lend the Cops your Machinwe Gun Please .

  • phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-30 14:47

    I was driving on the N4 toward Pretoria when I saw Malema convoy on their way to RUSTENBURG / O O .... Just behind him I saw a small perdekar with the same SONGOMA that BLESS THE Marikana POLICE killers. ISH ------ISH / MARIKANA TWO ii / POLICE OFFICER do us proud and stop the CRIMINALS in their TRACKS !!!!!! Read our comments the People is gatvol for this TOI TOI strike SH ...I ----T

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-10-30 15:28

    Gaddafhi Ndoda is a true revolutionary and @Zwelinzima1 should start taking notes! We demand that Jacob Zuma to disarm all the police in that area and let them carry knobkerries, because they have demonstrated time and time again, that they are reckless and trigger happy with guns! At the same time we like to encourage these economic freedom troops to marshal forward until their demands are met!

      lorain.maseko - 2012-10-30 15:45

      They can marshal all they want as long as they do not hack people to death in the process,failing which they should be shot.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-30 15:56

      The liberation and revolution is over, maybe we must start thinking of building the country by going to work at least.

      schalkwbu31ger - 2012-11-06 18:24

      yes I agree, Take the police away and send in the army with enough ammo and stop this bull once and for all.

  • Sello PilaPila Mabebo - 2012-10-30 16:09

    Shame NUM shame, The libaration of mine employee goes on... its time now to hand the keys of Num offices to a new organisation.

  • fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-10-30 16:37

    Yes they did fire live ammo - it is all in the words "live ammo" ergo it had propellant. It was not training rounds. Also it was sureley not blanks - propellant no hard point. As much use a tits on a bull in this regard. The question should be did the fire hard (nosed) ammo - ie. Shotguns with slugs and buck shot ie hard, or did they use so called rock salt filled shells - hurts like hell but won kill you . Did they use rubber bullets? Or did they fire R5 rounds into the crowd, or empty their 9mm's. So PLEASE be precise - OK?

  • Neal Sing - 2012-10-30 16:38

    another order to kill from PIGyega

  • lynette.p.thompson.9 - 2012-10-30 16:38

    These barbaric miners have burnt down 1 of Anglo's shafts, how do they think? no shaft no mining no income? If caught going to work, you are lucky if you only have your hand chopped off and not your head. Mr President a state of emergency cannot wait any longer, in the Rustenburg area. The organizations feeding these barbaric miners, are doing more harm than good. Rustenburg in crisis.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-10-30 16:44

    The time has come to stop illegal strikes. Visit to see how.

  • ooijalana - 2012-10-30 17:20

    Every week you strike, you lose 2% of your annual salary. By the time you strike for more than one month, the increment you get becomes meaningless, because of the lost income.

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