Johannesburg - Almost 2 000 fired mineworkers were gathering
around two Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats) mines in Rustenburg on Wednesday
morning as a reinstatement proposal stalled.
"There is no singing, no protesting. They are not
unruly," said Warrant Officer Sam Tselanyane.
About 1 500 people were gathering at Zakhele, a residential
area near Amplats' Khusaleka mine, where a sub-station was set alight on
Tuesday, and 300 more were gethering at the Komanani shaft.
Speaking by phone, Gaddafi Mdoda, who is part of a committee
representing striking workers disgruntled with their unions, said marches were
not planned for Tuesday and that he had not been informed of a meeting with the
company's management for talks to resolve the situation.
Amplats did not respond to requests for comments for most of
Tuesday, then said it would issue a statement on Wednesday. On Wednesday
morning, it said by e-mail a statement would come later.
On Tuesday, 13 protesters were arrested and an attempted
murder charge was laid against a mine security guard after a protester was shot
in a day of clashes between protesters and security forces.
The wounded man was taken to hospital. A policeman was also
treated after a stone hit him in the face, said Tselanyane.
A court date for the 13 arrested was not yet known and the
guard had not been arrested or taken in for questioning by early on Wednesday
On Saturday, Amplats said it had held discussions with
recognised unions the National Union of Mineworkers, Uasa, Solidarity and the
National Union of Metalworkers of SA, and representatives of the strike
committee on an offer to reinstate 12 000 fired workers.
In a statement, it said the offer to return to work by
Tuesday October 30 had been "accepted by all the worker representatives,
the recognised unions and the Workers' Committee and they have committed to
communicate the offer to their members today (October 27)".
Mdoda said this was not what had happened.
There had been a meeting where the proposal was made by the
company and representatives had left to discuss it with the workers.
"Before we reached Rustenburg town, people were angry
about why we have done this thing without consulting them, because the radio
was saying this and this," said Mdoda.
"It seems like they were saying we, as the committee,
had agreed with unions and management without their consent. It looks like a
betrayal, though we did not agree on anything."
Workers wanted to have a choice and to be able to debate and
decide on what was on the table, he said.
Mdoda said that even he, as an Amplats employee, might have
wanted to accept the reinstatement proposal made to those fired, but that the
situation had now become difficult.