27 May 2014

South Africa: Two Miners Beaten in Rustenburg

Rustenburg — Two mineworkers were beaten up in Freedom Park near Rustenburg on their way to work on Tuesday, North West police said.

"The incident took place near Impala's UG2 shaft early in the morning today [Tuesday]. It is alleged that one of the victims is working at an engineering construction at Bafokeng Rasimone Mine while the other is working at UG2 shaft at Impala," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

"The victims sustained multiple stab wounds on the body and feet. No one has been arrested at this stage, as the police investigation continues."

He urged striking mineworkers to allow those who were not on strike to exercise their constitutional rights without hindrance or intimidation.

A case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm had been opened. The victims were aged 33 and 37 respectively.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Impala Platinum, Lonmin, and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.

The strike, now on its 124th day, has been marred by intimidation and violence that has led to the death of at least five mineworkers.

The strike has cost companies R19.8 billion in revenue and employees have lost R8.8bn in earnings, according to website platinumwagenegotiation.co.za created by the companies.

Talks facilitated by the labour court continued at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Ngubane said a mineworker was found hanging from a tree in Broederstroom on the road between Hartbeespoort Dam and Krugersdorp.

"The body of a man, alleged to be a mineworker, was found hanging on the tree in Leeukloof, not far from Hartebeeshoek Road."

He said a schoolgirl on her way to school saw the body and alerted her mother.

A Volkswagen Golf apparently belonging to the deceased was found on the roadside. It had crashed into a tree.

"How the victim ended up being hanged on the tree is what police are investigating as a registered inquest," Ngubane said.

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