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Africa

Miner killed as labour unrest spreads in South Africa

Latest update : 2012-10-05

A miner was shot and killed when police attempted to disperse a crowd of demonstrators near a platinum mine in South Africa’s Rustenburg region, miners said Friday. Unions have also called for a transport strike as labour tensions spread.

South African police shot and killed a striking miner when they used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a crowd of demonstrators gathered overnight on a hill near a Rustenburg area platinum mine, miners said on Friday.

Mbubhu Lolo, a striker from Anglo American Platinum , said one of his colleagues was shot in the stomach by a rubber bullet, an incident likely to inflame already fraught tensions between security forces and miners.

"He was shot here by the police," Lolo told Reuters, pointing to his midriff.

Police on the ground near the shanty-town 120 km (70 miles northwest of Johannesburg, would not let reporters go up the hill to see the body, saying they were still investigating the scene. They were unable to confirm the death.

The base of the hill was littered with tear gas canisters and empty shell casings that miners said were used to fire rubber bullets.

Police shot dead 34 strikers at Lonmin's nearby Marikana platinum mine on Aug. 16, the bloodiest security incident since the end of apartheid in 1994. A further 13 people have died in labour unrest in the area since early August.

Widening unrest

A South African transport union is also pushing for rail and ports workers to join a strike by
more than 20,000 truck drivers to bring the entire transport sector to a standstill, it said on Friday.

The truck driver strike has hit fuel supplies and logistics groups in Africa's biggest economy. If it expands to rail and ports, it would also affect exports of commodities such as coal, platinum and gold.

"We are working to have all our members in rail, ports join the strike in sympathy of the truck drivers as of next week," said Vincent Masoga, a spokesman for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU).

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2012-10-05

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