24 January 2014

South Africa: Amcu Protesters Turn Violent - Cops

Johannesburg — Amcu protesters pelted cars with stones and barricaded roads in Rustenburg where a strike in the platinum industry entered its second day on Friday, North West police said.

"The police have started to receive reports of roads barricading and other incidents that are in contravention of the law," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane in a statement.

"This is happening despite the request by police as well as Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) days prior and on the first day of the strike that all those who are on strike must respect the rule of law including the rights of those who are not on strike...

"We still urge AMCU leadership to take control of their members on the ground so that the police can continue to do their work in providing safety to lives and properties."

Several incidents have been reported since the strike for better wages started on Thursday, said Ngubane.

"A group of about 50 people barricaded a road between Jabulani Hostel and Khuseleka Shaft with burning tyres, stones and rubble yesterday [Thursday)

He said in another incident in the early hours of Friday, a Chinese furniture shop was burnt to the ground at Wonderkop in Marikana.

"The cause of fire is unknown at this stage and police are investigating a case of arson."

He said cars travelling on the road between Chaneng and Shaft 12 of Impala in Luka were pelted with stones.

"The police are still following up on the incident, and should it be confirmed that those who are involved are members of Amcu, the union will account for [it]."

He said no arrests have been made.

On Friday morning, an Amcu coordinator told Sapa mine security used water cannons on strikers at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Khuseleka mine.

"The situation is out of control, it is tense," said co-ordinator Evans Ramokga.

"Mine police [security] without any provocation sprayed workers with water. The workers had gathered to picket outside the mine's operation."

He said the workers retaliated by pelting the security staff with stones.

"If there was anything wrong, they should have informed marshals or contacted me."

Ngubane could not confirm this incident.

Amcu members at Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin went on strike on Thursday demanding entry-level monthly salaries of R12,500.

On Thursday, Ramokga said the union had roped in more marshals to ensure that the strike was peaceful.

The labour department, platinum mining companies and Amcu were scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the union's demands.

In August 2012, 44 people were killed during an Amcu strike at Lonmin's Marikana operations in Rustenburg.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 South African Press Association. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.