Miner killed in Implats clashes

2012-02-20 13:44

Rustenburg - A miner was killed and at least seven people were injured in overnight violence linked to a labour dispute at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg operations, police said on Monday

"One miner was found dead with live ammunition in his body, and another was injured with live ammunition," said North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

This was the second death related to the labour dispute.

Last week, a man died after he was found stripped naked at a hostel.

Overnight clash

The seven people injured on Sunday night were hurt in a clash between police and a group of people who tried to burn a mining shaft.

"Police fought them as they intended to burn the shaft down," said Ngubane.

He said the mine suspended the night shift on Sunday night.

The Independent Complaints Directorate would establish where the live ammunition came from because the police were currently under orders to not use bullets - rubber or otherwise - for crowd control.

By Monday, the group had swelled to at least 5 000 in Freedom Park with police drawn from other units in the province monitoring them to see what they intended to do.

Many shopkeepers and residents in the immediate vicinity have left their homes and businesses for the safety of shelter with relatives or friends in other areas after businesses were looted last week.


The mine had secured an interdict to protect staff and property. Ngubane said some people had been seen entering the premises on Monday.

A dispute over retention bonuses not paid to the entire workforce sparked an illegal strike at the mine and eventually led to the sacking of over 17 000 employees earlier in February.

The company and the National Union of Mineworkers have since agreed that they would be reinstated in their posts.

NUM, which said it represented about 70% of the workforce there, said the reinstatement process was under way and they expected the police to deal with the "small group" and people using community structures to "create chaos".

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • NrGx - 2012-02-20 13:51

    "live ammunition in his body"??? - was he shot? "and another injured with live ammunition" - did he just possess the ammunition? VERY POOR ARTICLE NEWS24

      Deon - 2012-02-20 14:08

      It was not them, but the police with the "good" english.

      Sean - 2012-02-20 14:25

      Sh@t article ! Was he shot ? If yes , Good ! What do you the expect , burn down places and throw police with rocks , I have no sympathy for that !!

      NrGx - 2012-02-20 14:26

      @Deon - News24 should provide the corrections for its readers. This is just laziness!

  • Marion - 2012-02-20 14:07

    May the deceased RIP. News24 reporting just goes from bad to even worse with every article...

  • JakesLR - 2012-02-20 14:09

    FIre all the hooligans I say- SA can not be held ransom by these "WEDEMANDTHISANDTHATTERS: get rid off them, let them join the UIF line..

  • Tammy - 2012-02-20 14:12

    that's the way to go: strike, break down and burn down. how typical

  • Graham - 2012-02-20 14:13

    Now you know why they got fired in the first place!

  • Thoka - 2012-02-20 14:14

    sh!!!!!!!!!!t. 41 yrs old student reporter is trying to be deplomatic. lol

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-20 14:17

    The whole trend of worker militancy never fails to amaze me. There is a most frightening and disheartening level of unemployment in this country. Kilometre long queys will form outside any mine office if there is even a smell of the possibility of being hired. At that point the salaries and benefits they sign for, are heaven sent miracles.Within 6 months however, the newly employed are doing everything in their power to bring the generous employer to his knees. This last bit of violence has caused 14 shafts to close at Impala platinum, with the mine losing about R100 million a day, for let’s say the last 6 weeks. That amounts to about 4.5 billion rand so far. This all started over some insignificant retention bonus scheme. Miners are all well paid compared to the millions of unemployed. The strikers could not care a toss about the mines losses, only their selfish greedy needs. The government will also lose huge tax revenues, which means a lot less money to address the plight of the miserable unemployed. The Government's input is that police can no longer use rubber bullets, because they sting a lot. If only we could have the privilege of a new government which had some clue how to govern, and treat the ungrateful troublemakers and their opportunistic labour unions with all the contempt they deserve.

  • Phumi - 2012-02-20 14:21

    The blame should be placed squarly on the hands of the employer. Why government is not intervening is mind boggling? Normally under the circumstances a sober government would have taken over the operations of this mine until things go back to normal.

      Brett - 2012-02-20 14:31

      The employer should be blamed? You are suffering from victim/blame mentality syndrome.You need to get that chip surgically removed....

      Deon - 2012-02-20 14:31

      The police did intervene, this is plain criminality and hooliganism.

      David - 2012-02-20 14:39

      I fully concur with sentiments that the employer is to blame. It is selective approach it employed to pay incentives that sparked riots in the workplace and should take full responsibility for loss of life sofar. Our government is not worker control orientated and it will be expecting too much for it to act.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-20 15:08

    What more needs to be said about the present entitelemt culture in our country. Here we have the completely intellectually challenged Phumi and Lebethe, with the reasoning ability of a grade three school child. What absolutely scares me is that they must be close to the top of the tree as far as the previously disadvantaged go, as they can read and have a computer. I must add that they can read, but cannot understand what they are reading. " This is all about their statement that it is the employers fault that all this happened" Don’t the idiots realize that with the last season of annual strikes, the labour unions signed wage agreements for the next two years, on the condition that no more strikes would happen. The 17000 that went on strike contravened the legal agreement signed by the union and the mines. Their strike was totally and absolutely illegal. Fire the bloody lot and hire labour who are prepared to work.

      Irene - 2012-02-20 15:32

      Phumi and david.lebethe - this is why there is no hope whatsoever for Africa.

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