Mthethwa speaks to Marikana residents

2014-05-15 13:01

Rustenburg - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa arrived in Mmaditlokwe, near Marikana in North West at 11:30 on Thursday to address disgruntled residents.

About 1 000 people had gathered at a field ahead of his arrival.

Mthethwa was accompanied by Rustenburg municipality mayor Mpho Khonou and Tharisa Chrome mine officials. Mmaditlokwe is roughly 3km from Marikana.

On Wednesday, Mmaditlokwe residents burned tyres and blockaded roads demanding the release of 16 people arrested for public violence. Fourteen women and two men were arrested on Tuesday after police used rubber bullets to disperse an "unruly crowd".

Police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said residents refused to listen to police. He said the protest did not appear to be linked to the platinum mining strike, but was related to complaints against the chrome mine.

Residents claimed that blasting at the chrome mine damaged their homes and affected their children's health. They said rocks fell into their yards and left the area covered in dust.

Residents on Wednesday told Mthethwa that they would only be satisfied if those arrested were released, and their concerns attended to.

Mthethwa said he would return on Thursday to resolve concerns. He told locals that those who were arrested were no longer the responsibility of police, but the courts.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools on 23 January, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The strike has cost the companies over R17.9bn in revenue and workers have reportedly lost more than R7.9bn in earnings.

The platinum producers recently resolved to approach strikers directly about their latest pay offer, in a bid to end the strike. Amcu objected, raising fears of friction between striking mineworkers and those who wished to return to work.

Three miners and one of their wives were killed in separate incidents in Rustenburg since Sunday, prompting police to deploy reinforcements in the area.

  • Shumba Mhuka Huru - 2014-05-15 13:36

    Good story to tell...

      Lloyd Gardner - 2014-05-15 14:04

      I see what you did there ;-)

  • Thabiso Cyril Phatshwane - 2014-05-15 13:49

    Mathunjwa must be arrested for any more death that happens in marikana. He show no leadership skills. He should be tough how leaded handle his striking workers.

      Pontsho Sello - 2014-05-15 14:35

      Thabiso did u read the article thouroughly?I doubt you just read the attached bottom artivles of strike to community matters.Police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said "Protest did not appear to be linked to the platinum strike,but was related to complaints against the chrome mine".That was a community matter not AMCU members or platinum employees.You can hate AMCU but is President Mathunjwa a resident of that village?Stop blaming AMCU even for wrong reasons.

      Tshepo Masilo - 2014-05-15 14:55

      Thabiso Cyril Ramaphosa u r just EDIOT

  • Lungani Malevu - 2014-05-15 14:09

    The problem with our lawyers (attorney/ magistrates/ judges etc)or legal minded people is that they know weaknesses of our laws and thus some make money out of such WEAKNESSSES instead of closing those GAPS to make our society better; rather they aligned themselves to promote CRIME. They form syndicates to defend wrong things in court just to make a living with ZERO conscious.

      John Loveland - 2014-05-15 14:59

      What are you on about?? The article is about protests against the chrome mine doing blasting in their area and pissing off their neighbours (or that is their excuse for behaving like barbarians) .... You must take the time to read an article before you comment on it...

  • Twisisani Mboweni - 2014-05-15 14:19

    Don't funk up u ther @ Marrikana.

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