Private security company opens fire on protesters, injuring eight in Marikana

2018-06-26 14:36
Rubber bullets. (Lerato Sejake, News24, file)

Rubber bullets. (Lerato Sejake, News24, file)

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Eight people were shot and injured during a legal march, after a private security company fired rubber bullets at a group protesting outside Glencore mine in Marikana, North West on Tuesday morning. 

"While the march was busy, a private security firm fired shots at the protesters. One of the allegations is that they tried to gain access or blocked the road," police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Adele Myburgh said.  

Myburgh could not confirm reports that stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd.

No cases have been opened yet.

The protest took place at Wonderkop Smelter, a Glencore Merafe Chrome Venture operation near Rustenburg.

Glencore said in a statement on Tuesday that the community of Wonderkop Village demanded employment from the operation.

According to the company, the protesters were aggressive. They assaulted security personnel, and pelted them with stones. 

"Employees were pushed around and the protesters threatened to burn trucks entering and exiting the Smelter. In an effort to disperse the crowd, the security company, fired rubber bullets on the ground."

Police earlier said five people were injured, however, the company said eight people were treated for injuries. 

The company says the injuries were minor. 

Wonderkop Smelter management was working with the local police and authorities.

This story has been updated due to new developments.

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