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Returning Bokoni miners intimidated

Oct 15 2012 12:36

Johannesburg - Striking workers at Bokoni platinum mine outside Burgersfort in Limpopo intimidated fellow employees heading to work on Monday, mine executive Joel Kesler said.

"There were no injuries, but there was damage to property."

He said roads near the mine were blockaded.

Kesler estimated that 600 employees reported for work on Monday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said an ultimatum was issued that employees return to work by Monday.

"About 20% of them returned to work, but the other 80% refused to do so. They were the guys that confronted returning workers this morning (Monday)."

He said protesters used bricks and stones to intimidate employees and to blockade roads, for which they also used tyres and tree trunks.

"We did intervene to make sure there were no casualties," said Mulaudzi.

No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.

Although there was sufficient deployment at the mine, more resources "both material and human" would be employed to monitor the situation, said Mulaudzi.

More than a week ago, more that 2 000 striking Bokoni workers were fired for participating in the illegal strike. Formal dismissal notices were issued after a disciplinary hearing.

The majority of the mine's 3 500 permanent staff and 900 contractors downed tools nearly two weeks ago.

The protesters wanted a wage increase of more than R16 000, the SABC reported.

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