Protesters threatened workers: Gold Fields

2012-09-12 15:38

Johannesburg - Security guards at Gold Fields' KDC west mine near Carletonville fired teargas on Wednesday to disperse people intimidating and threatening those trying to go to work, company spokesperson Sven Lunsche said.

"There was a group of about 100 people trying to prevent contractors and non-strikers from going to work," he said.

Teargas was fired earlier on Wednesday at protesters at the mine.

Lunsche said that there had been no injuries, apart from the effects of the teargas.

The protesters had tried to cause disruptions among contractors at a training centre, and near a train.

Miners affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) went on strike on Sunday. Their demands included the removal of the NUM branch leadership at the mine, pay equalisation and a pay increase to R12 500.

Railway tracks

A Sapa reporter on the scene said thousands of workers ran to a stream, where they washed their eyes, while security guards wearing gasmasks sat in vehicles.

Mfanayedwa Themba said protesters had wanted to stop a train, "because the train is a part of the mine. It is a part of us".

When they went onto the railway tracks, guards started firing teargas at them, he said.

Veldfires started after the gas was fired, and large clouds of smoke floated over the roads.

NUM leaders addressed workers at a stadium in the area on Wednesday.

'Hands off NUM'

Some of those gathered wore T-shirts with "Hands off NUM. Hands off Cosatu" printed on the back.

Lunsche said the NUM leaders were speaking to workers after 85% of the mine's workforce stayed away.

On Tuesday, expelled African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema called for the resignation of NUM leaders, including its general secretary Frans Baleni.

The NUM dismissed this, calling it "hogwash". It said it had not received complaints before about branch leadership there.

On Wednesday, some of the group wore balaclavas and carried sharpened sticks and planks.

Armed guards

"We want them to go back to work," said NUM regional secretary Mbuyiseli Hibana.

He was telling workers that their wage issue was something they needed to address with their employer, when the firing of the teargas was heard.

Armed guards from Gold Fields, both on foot and in armoured vehicles, were stationed around the mine.

Police arrived and spoke to some of the striking miners.

Warrant Officer L Radebe said the miners had complained about security guards firing teargas at them.

He said they were also still waiting to be addressed by Koos Barnard, the senior vice president of Gold Fields' Kloof/Driefontein complex.

"They have now gone back and will discuss what they will do and then come back to us," said Radebe.

  • raymond.buis.3 - 2012-09-12 15:43

    Live ammo please. Either that or dog's.

      raymond.buis.3 - 2012-09-12 15:48

      They are like naughty children. You can only ask so many times, when that fails time for a hiding.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-09-12 15:51

      last time i checked, we had red blood... tsk tsk tsk

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-12 15:55

      Random - it is a saying - I do not think Alicia meant it any other way. But this is a shame. And what is more of a shame is that our government is allowing this to carry on. Just proof again that they have no idea how to handle situations like this - or for that matter, any serious situation.

      koos.meyer.52 - 2012-09-12 15:58

      Fire all these useless fools!!!

      shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-12 16:19

      @random: oh boy how think you are. Just like the bunch of brain dead miners following their equally brainless JUJU tsk tsk tsk haaibo

      Tony Lapson - 2012-09-12 17:54

      Wow, if that is your mentality while sitting behind a computer and earning a salary, Imagine how murderous you would be if you were a Rock-driller...

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-12 18:27

      Ag Tony, go and play on your Samsung like a good boy.

  • warren.rodel - 2012-09-12 15:49

    Shame poor Zuma, they will be coming for you next and chase you out of office just like Mbeke, will we ever be able to vote ANC out before this gets any worse?

  • chris.debeer1 - 2012-09-12 15:49

    Kill them striking Baasteds!!!

  • Gichumz - 2012-09-12 15:50

    good luck malema

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-09-12 15:50

    Again, the strike is illegal, arrest the tjops and put them in jail.

  • joe.mac.31521301 - 2012-09-12 15:54

    The ANC created monster has awakened. It will turn on the ANC and its partners and when that’s done it will turn on itself. Economic Freedom in our lifetime will be replaced with misery and suffering. Just like Zim – Just like the rest of Africa. Viva Dark Continent Viva!

  • andrew.surtees1 - 2012-09-12 16:08

    shoot these idiots please,where the hell is Jacob Zuma? take control of the country you idiot, be there when you country needs you, this is why we pay you and why you were made president you idiot! anywhere else around the world the president would never let it go this far and he would atleast pay attention to what is going on in the country ans what is right from wrong! Zuma you corrupt fool wake up or get out!

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-09-12 16:29

    They're doomed for the rest of their lives with that mentality. They will go nowhere...

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-09-12 16:35

    Does anyone have rabbits to be let loose on the mine workers hill? It should make a real fun video.

  • thapelo.maleka.94 - 2012-09-12 17:18

    Lol. flock of cANCer BEEtroots members will follow the leader like headless chickens

  • thapelo.maleka.94 - 2012-09-12 17:18

    Lol. flock of cANCer BEEtroots members will follow the leader like headless chickens

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-09-12 17:49

    Had an incident at my old job where striking workers killed a replacement worker by throwing him off a bridge head first. He was such a good guy too, with so much ambition to learn and succeed.

  • dintle.chantel - 2012-09-13 07:05

    Employees of Goldfields are not fighting to anyone one they only needs management to hear what they are crying for coz their leaders NUM fail to represent them what they did num is only to have thir own permission in to our salary for their own benefit and we heard that management handed over 4 million rand to them and payslip for equalization was available at the pay roll so we didn't found and please this is very sad to us we work hard underground so somebody who run away from his job u\\g to surface came to kill us like that .A pen is mighter than a sword

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