Amplats workers meet

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AngloPlatStrike

Reuters.

Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) workers were meeting at the Bleskop stadium near Rustenburg on Tuesday following a clash between security guards and workers.

One of the workers, Stephen Ngwai, said they wanted those who were at Siphumelele shaft to brief them about the incident on Monday.

“They will brief us and later we will decide on a way forward,” he said.

Workers' leader Gaddafhi Mdoda earlier said workers from all shafts did not report for work on Tuesday. Instead, they met at the Bleskop stadium.

“We want to do away with Anglo management. Details will be disclosed at the meeting,” he said.

North West police said a mineworker was in a critical condition in Johannesburg following clashes at the mine.

“There is one very critical person at the moment,” Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

He denied reports that a mineworker was killed in the clash between security guards and workers on Monday, in which several people were injured.

The critically injured person was taken to the Milpark hospital, in Johannesburg, with head injuries.

“The person was hit by a blunt object,” he said.

Ngubane said 13 people were injured at the Siphumelele shaft.

“Some of the people were hacked with pangas and sharp objects, while others were shot with security rubber bullets,” Ngubane said in a statement.

“A group of about 1000 strong... attacked four people who were at the union offices. Mine security intervened and fired rubber bullets, and in the process a total of 13 mineworkers, including four security guards, (were injured).”

Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said the workers' committee members were contesting the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) legitimacy at the mine and had demanded that NUM vacate its offices.

“The company is currently in the process of validating union membership at Rustenburg and the mines north of the Pilanesburg,” she said in a statement on Monday.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said there had been no union membership verification, and that the NUM still held its status as the dominant union.

In August, Amplats fired 12,000 strikers from its operation in Rustenburg. The workers were later re-employed.

Last year, the North West town was the scene of violent mining protests in which scores of people died. - Sapa


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