North West - North West police arrested 23 Xstrata mineworkers on Thursday for demonstrating outside the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said they had been charged with illegal gathering, malicious damage to property and public violence.

“They were picketing outside of the court, supporting their co-workers who were arrested at the beginning of this week,” said Ngubane.

He said the law did not allow protests to be conducted close to national key points.

“Any form of picketing, whether legally or illegally, (must) be done 100 metres away from the national key point.”

The group also allegedly stoned police vehicles parked outside the court.

The 23 men would appear in the same court on November 18.

The were at the court for the appearance of 37 mineworkers arrested on Tuesday for public violence.

They had been part of a group of around 200 mineworkers who barricaded the road leading to the company's Kroondal mine.

They allegedly threw stones at passing cars and burnt tyres in the road.

They were granted bail of R500 each an the case was postponed until January 29. - Sapa