Crowd gathers at Gold Fields

Published Sep 12, 2012



Johannesburg - A large crowd had gathered by midday on Wednesday at Gold Fields' KDC West mine near Carletonville as security guards kept watch.

A man who identified himself as “Alfred” said the crowd was waiting for Gold Fields vice chancellor Koos Barnard to arrive and address their wage demands.

Bongani Magopane, 25, said he did not earn enough to make a living.

“We aren't going to stop until we get what we want. It's only money. If (Barnard) doesn't come we don't go to work.”

The striking mineworkers were carrying sticks, knobkerries and whips.

They were seen milling around street vendors, who were preparing chicken on braais alongside the road.

On Tuesday expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, addressing workers who packed a stadium at the mine, said: “There must be a national strike at all the mines until Frans Baleni (general secretary of the NUM) and the NUM leadership step down with immediate effect.”

Among their demands, handed in the previous day, was that the National Union of Mineworkers' leadership at their branch be replaced.

Attendance at the mine on Tuesday was about 15 percent.

The mine employs around 15,000 people, and 80 percent of them are affiliated to NUM.

The company was granted an interdict by the Labour Court on Monday to stop the strike, but had not enforced it yet. It said it would also not take action against Malema for the strike call.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka dismissed Malema's call for union leaders to step down, and called for a speedy resolution of the strike. - Sapa

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