Protester shot dead in Limpopo mine unrest

2015-05-13 12:01
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Polokwane - At least one protester was shot dead and another shot and wounded at Atok near Bokoni Platinum mine in Limpopo, police said on Wednesday.

Police allegedly shot dead the 28-year-old protester while trying to restore order on the platinum belt after two days of protests by residents.

“There was a shooting last evening and one person was killed, and another one injured,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malesela Ledwaba on Wednesday morning.

He said a murder and attempted murder case had been opened and referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to investigate the case.

Bokoni Platinum, a subsidiary of Anglo Platinum, is being accused of undermining and ignoring community demands despite agreeing earlier this year to resolve the issues, they claimed.

Residents said since the mine started operation, the community has not benefited from the mining operations despite the company's pledge to comply with South Africa’s mining charter.

Community leaders have been protesting on the R37 between Burgersfort and Polokwane to demand a meeting with the mine's management.

At least one car apparently belonging to a mine worker has been torched.

Public violence

Ledwaba said seven cases of public violence were opened and three people arrested, including community leader Malope Lesufi.

Atlatsa spokesperson Prudence Lebina said employees were prevented from reporting for work as a result of the protests and intimidation.

“Bokoni also confirms that there was damage to the timber storage yard and to the network and telephone infrastructure,” said Lebina.

She said mining management was working closely with the South African Police Services to return stability to the area.

Lebina said no formal demands had been presented by the protesters to mine management.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests

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