Sondela residents in stand-off with police

2012-09-20 14:45

Rustenburg - Residents of Sondela, near Rustenburg, blockaded the road leading to the Jabula shaft of the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine on Thursday.

They put burning tyres, rocks and other objects on the road to prevent the police from gaining access into the informal settlement.

They said the police had fired rubber bullets and teargas at the striking mine workers, and that the community had also been affected by the shooting.

Resident Mary Matladi said the police fired rubber bullets and teargas at people who were not part of a gathering near the sports field.

"When they [mineworkers] ran to into their shacks, police followed them and fired randomly into our shacks," she said.

Kids writing exams

She said residents then barricaded the road. Hawkers' stalls were also burnt down.

"We are not on strike. Why should the police shoot at us?"

Residents also went to the Bana Pele Primary School, and asked school management to let pupils go home, but they were told the children were writing exams.

Pupils were later seen walking through the smoke from the burning tyres.

Miner Nelson Moyikwa said workers would not return to work until their demands had been met.

"We are striking for money, we want the money from the mine and not the police. They should leave us alone in our quest to fight [for] what is right for us," he said.

Worker leader Tebogo Lebeke said the miners had been on strike since last Tuesday, in demand of a monthly salary of R17 000.

Finding a solution

"We have met management before, and negotiations were expected to continue next week on Tuesday, but we received an SMS from the mines, telling workers to return to work."

The text message sent to workers stated that conditions were conducive for them to return to work.

Lebeke said: "We are not going back to work until our demands have been met."

North West Premier Thandi Modise was expected to meet Angloplats management in an attempt to found a solution to end the strike.

Her spokesperson Lesiba Moses Kgwele said the meeting would be held in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, on Thursday at 14:00.

  • TheDifference - 2012-09-20 15:06

    DONT TAKE SHEET! Here is your moment to say NO MORE, and take control of the situation. People cannot just do as they please, there is law! Dont go in to shoot purposfully, but go in by force. Should people push back, take them down, why, cause you are the LAW, start acting like it, or every disgruntled work person will start taking advantage.

      John - 2012-09-20 20:51

      The SAPS POLICY ENFORCERS are not the LAW. They are public servants employed by the population of SA to serve and protect the population. If someone does trangress a LAW their mandate is to bring that accused before a magistrate or a judge who then applies the LAW. I sincerely hope that your mother and sister do NEVER get ATTACKED by the SAPS. You may then change your attitude to your fellow men and women.

  • jan.human - 2012-09-20 15:13

    From the stone age...

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-09-20 15:17

    Nou is die mense besig om die hoender se po*ph*l uit te ruk. R17 000,00!! Really people, you can't be serious.

  • lorain.maseko - 2012-09-20 15:26

    Here we go again.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-20 15:43

    We are ef you sea kay e dee !!

  • bobby.boon.18 - 2012-10-03 18:04


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