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North West couple assaulted

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Johannesburg - North West premier Thandi Modise has strongly condemned the assault of a mineworker and his girlfriend and the torching of their shack, her office said on Thursday.

"Such atrocious and barbaric acts underline the need to end the protracted strike," Modise said.

She called on the SA Police Service to arrest the men involved and urged community members to provide information to police about those involved in violence and intimidation in the area.

Four men assaulted the 38-year-old mineworker and his 33-year-old girlfriend before setting their shack alight in Thekwana outside Rustenburg on Wednesday, North West police said.

The attack was believed to be linked to the ongoing Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) strike, Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said.

The 38-year-old, who is an Anglo American Platinum rock drill operator at Siphumele 1 shaft in Rustenburg, went to work, although he was allegedly warned not to do so.

"It is alleged that four unknown men arrived at the shack where the victims were sleeping," Ngubane said.

Both were treated for injuries by paramedics after the attack.

The extent of the couple's injuries could not be confirmed.

"This incident once again proves that workers are being intimidated and become victims of crime if they go to work," said Ngubane.

Amcu members in the platinum mining sector have been on strike since January 23 to demand a R12 500 minimum salary a month.

The mining companies - Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), and Impala Platinum (Implats) - have offered staggered increases of seven to nine percent over the next three years. - Sapa


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