Operations, Springs. 5 strikers were allegedly shot by rubber bullets early this morning. 030912. picture: Chris Collingridge 805

Springs -

Thirteen miners arrested on Monday after a clash with mine security were due to appear in the Springs Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of public violence.

Four people were shot and wounded during the clash.

A case of attempted murder had been opened, according to police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsinyane.

It was unclear on Tuesday which security company was responsible for the shooting, as the Gold One Modder East mine has two contracted security companies in its employ.

It is alleged that the four wounded miners had been part of a group that attacked their colleagues who were reporting for duty.

The attack escalated, leading to the mine’s minibus taxi being set alight. The mine’s security guards are alleged to have shot at the strikers, injuring four, in response to this act of vandalism.

Other workers were barred from getting closer to the mine in case they were attacked by their striking colleagues.

It was also unclear whether the four miners at the hospital had been shot with live ammunition or rubber bullets.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said he was waiting for a hospital report to confirm the injuries sustained by the four miners.

There is also a discrepancy between official police reports on one hand and the striking miners on the number of people shot - the miners claim the total number is five.

The incident turned explosive on Monday when the dismissed miners provoked the police by taunting them and hurling insults.

When the police ignored them, the former mine employees started a fire.

The strike has been going on since June 4. A week after it started, the workers were dismissed via text messages.

The workers are demanding an increase in pay. They claim they earn R4 700 and, after deductions, they take home R2 900.

They also claim there is little difference in salary between a rock driller, a cleaner and a driver.

Dlamini said there had been no reported cases of violence on Tuesday. - The Star