South Africa: Mozambican Miner Dead At Amplats

Johannesburg — The body of a Mozambican miner was found in a veld at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Amandelbult mine after a number of other miners were assaulted, Limpopo police said on Tuesday.

"When they were returning from work they were overpowered and assaulted with stones," said Lt-Col Ronel Otto.

This took place on Monday. The 56-year-old man's body was found in the veld near a mine hostel. The other people assaulted were not seriously injured, she said.

Police found out he was a non-striking miner.

In a separate incident at the platinum mine, also on Monday, 22 people were arrested after a clash between striking miners, police and mine security guards.

This corroborated an earlier statement by the Marikana Support Committee.

Otto said the group would appear in court in Northam to face charges of public violence. She did not immediately know the date of the appearance.

Otto said extra police officers had been sent to the mine, near Thabazimbi.

"Patrols are continuing and police are monitoring the situation."

She could not comment immediately on the support committee's claims that rubber bullets and teargas had been used.

Amplats' Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union operations have been at a standstill for eight weeks, over a pay strike. Only basic maintenance was being undertaken.

The company tried to get striking miners back with an offer of R4500, made up of a R2000 loyalty or hardship allowance and a R2000 safe start-up allowance, and also said it would open next year's salary negotiations early.

The offer had to be accepted by Monday, or it would fall away.

Company spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said she would establish the facts and comment later on Monday's incidents, but said the offer to workers had been extended to Wednesday.

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