Implats workers attacked with knobkerries

2012-02-24 15:48

Johannesburg - A man was killed and six Impala Platinum (Implats) workers in Rustenburg were assaulted overnight, a mine spokesperson said on Friday.

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

"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," he said.

North West police spokesperson, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane, said the 54-year-old Mozambican was found murdered at about 06:30 on Friday, at the RDP houses near number nine Impala Shaft in Phokeng.

Third death

The death brings to three the number of people killed in violence related to an illegal strike at Implats.

"The SA Police Service condemns all the attacks taking place at Impala mines," Ngubane said.

He said the man who died and two others, who were seriously injured, were attacked by unidentified people with knobkerries at three different locations while on their way to work.

The injured men were taken to the Impala and Job Tabane Shimankana hospitals, he said. No arrests had been made.

Theron said another four Implats employees assaulted overnight were being treated in the mine hospital.

He said their families had been contacted and arrangements had been made for them to travel to the hospital.

Criminal elements

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," he said.

Workers at Implats downed tools over a month ago. As a result, about 17 200 workers were dismissed. Implats said they could apply to be re-employed, but the process has been hampered by violent intimidation.

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

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Cosatu and Implats will meet on Friday afternoon to try to resolve the situation.

Call to return to work

Implats said dismissed workers who reapplied for their jobs would start afresh with the company and lose any accumulated benefits.

However, the workers want to be reinstated without losing benefits.

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

Theron said that by Thursday, about 8 500 people had been re-employed.

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

Theron denied this.

Informal discussions

"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 informal discussions after the meeting indicating that Implats might consider 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 CEO David Brown said the drillers had refused to involve the NUM in addressing their issues, and that a new union, the Association of Mining and Construction Union (Amcu), was exploiting employee dissatisfaction in this regard.

Implats Rustenburg was losing 3 000 platinum ounces a day, which amounted to about R65m a day in lost revenue.

  • Brett - 2012-02-24 15:50

    Knobkerries? How last century.

      Kim - 2012-02-24 15:54

      You can take them out the bush but you cannot take the bush.........

      methedex - 2012-02-24 16:02

      rise of the planet of the apes...

      Jack - 2012-02-24 16:21

      Why does everyone say South Africans are so friendly? There's nothing friendly about this story, these people thrive on violence, rape and theft.

      Sedick - 2012-02-24 16:38

      Worse than animals.....

      trix.duvenage - 2012-02-24 17:51

      Traditional weapons broe.... Thats important. Remember they have to scare off strangers. People from neigbouring countries do fist fighting I suppose.....

      Irene - 2012-02-24 17:58

      Yup, live in the past and will always remain in the past. That's why they can't think.

      John - 2012-02-24 22:10

      Vavi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've had a dream! I see a dead people !!! ...with iPads

  • Thoka - 2012-02-24 15:56

    this was long coming.

      Johnathon - 2012-02-24 17:01

      Hi Thoka, why was all this long coming. Will be very interested in your response

  • Shirley - 2012-02-24 16:03

    FFS!!! Unions stop denying and begging and babying these thugs! If they dont want to work then walk away. Allow people who take their responsibilities of families etc to go and earn an honest living! The cops must start getting heavy handed and take no nonsense. This "third force" excuse is a load of cr@p. They are violent,killers and know the unions are going to side with them! The person who was murdered: his family should open a criminal case against the union and make them liable!Savages!

  • Dalai - 2012-02-24 16:06


  • bernpm - 2012-02-24 16:10

    "Implats Rustenburg was losing 3 000 platinum ounces a day, which amounted to about R65m a day in lost revenue."....and 4 people lost their lives!! Implats will recover but........the dead do not while the criminals walk free for now.

  • westlee.venter - 2012-02-24 16:25

    They are no more than mindless beasts – ALL OF THEM…!!! Everything "they" touch becomes a f**k up..!!!

      trix.duvenage - 2012-02-24 17:48

      Dont be rude.... the people want more money and better benefits.They are working hard although they are fortunate to have a job. They want more money so that the prospects of more job opportunities are minimized drastically. This has been the modes operandi since very very long ago. How can we blame them? They work so hard they forgot how to think. They dont like bread any more....they wat cake. They dont want pap any more they want pudding. They are not happy with a Volkswagen or a Valiant, they want a BMW! Why worry about those hundreds of thousands that sit in towns all over on pavements praying for a little day-job just to get food on theirtable? Strikers cannot calculate either. The money they loose while on strike in about ALL instances take litterally YEARS to make up, but do they understand it? No...they dont and the Union bosses will never put them wise either for then the Union will come to an end.... Still...they like to strike for then at least somebody hears the 'voice of the nation' and THAT is important. Never mind loss of life or a loss of income for the instance they expect to pay them more. What a mess and what a shame to work with ignorant, insane idiots and try to build a nation.

  • Michael - 2012-02-24 16:26

    "The SA Police Service condemns all the attacks taking place at Impala mines," Ngubane said. Another nugget of wisdom from one our Public sector spokesmen. For a second there I thought the police supported the violence. Thanks for clearing that up for us Brigadier.

  • eradingoana - 2012-02-24 16:31

    A mine looses R65M a day, I wonder how much does the miner loose per day. Surely R 230,00 per day

      Irene - 2012-02-24 18:00

      The difference is the mine isn't losing anything, it's only delayed. The thugs that are on strike are losing it for good. Yeeehaaaah. Shows you what ignorance does.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-24 16:35

    This worker action could be the start of the end of our mining industry. Britain was being destroyed by strikes until the iron lady; Margaret Thatcher annihilated the unions and brought worker sanity back into Britain. The government will most probably stay on the sidelines as any action will make it unpopular with the masses and the prime minister and all his cohorts may have to jump off the gravy train. The unions will also be reluctant to not side with the workers, as they may affect the disgusting revenues the workers pay. The strike so far has cost Impala Platinum close to R 4.0 billion in lost income. Government will have lost a huge chunk of tax revenue. What the miners are asking for before deductions and tax, is an increase of salary from R6000 pm to approximately R 13000 pm. An increase of 225%. If the mines give in to this one, shrikes will erupt on nearly every other mine in the country. As the strike was totally illegal, and the law of the country backed the mines up 100%, Impala should consider all fired workers history and no longer employees. As such they will have no obligation what so ever to negotiate in the slightest with people not employed by them. For the future of all companies in this beautiful country, Impala must stand strong. Let the army come in and deal with these moronic monsters and illiterates to our economic stability.

  • Johann Enslin - 2012-02-24 19:17

    This was an illegal strike, they were warned. Absconding? Benefits? Time to put the foot down...but big business will cow tow to the unions and next time it gets bigger and nastier. It's going to stop with the destruction of our industrial base. When the money runs out...people die of hunger.

  • Lephutsi - 2012-02-24 20:51

    It is unbelievable that the Implats management behave like victims. They are the ones who caused this problem by their divide and rule tactics and should be held responsible for their actions. Employers in SA are being treated with kids gloves and is time that the toothless government tighten rules to discourage them from abusing their employees. I am worried about racists comments on this website. This shows that people are not willing to change and this will create problems in the future if there is no integration of different racial groups in SA. Unfortunately our government is not doing anything to remedy the situation.

      Johnathon - 2012-02-24 22:13

      Lephutsi well said my brother. You have your head firmly screwed on the right way round my man. As the communists so eloquently said - all men must be equal no matter what each contributes to society. The humble unskilled worker and top management must have the same salary, irrespective that the MD has a doctor’s degree in economics and business management. The workers standard one certificate must be considered completely equal. The workers look at the company’s financial figures and decide that the company should never ever make a profit. It must only break even, but sharing profits equally amongst all its employees. Africans are the smartest economists in the whole wide world. Just a quick question that you must answer. A book I read by the historian and political expert, Meredith " Africa 50 years after independence and freedom from evil colonial rule" All 58 states in Africa were exhaustively studied with reference to efficient competent government, growth of the countries’ economies, and overall prosperity and standard of living. 2 of all 58 countries were deemed to be better off now, than after independence. I anxiously await your comments.The unskilled mine workers want an increase in salary from R6000pm to R13000pm, increase of 225%. Impala had to close 14 shafts and have lost R 4 billion rand so far. Strike was illegal as 2 yr non strike period negotiated between Impala & Cosatu, along with agreed salary packages.Law 100% behind Impala.Blame rests on employer.

  • Mafia.Boss.Killer.strangler - 2012-03-01 08:56

    Put them in the ground !!!

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