Gold Fields: Strikers must disarm

2012-10-04 16:52

Johannesburg - The disarming of Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] KDC West mine strikers was a positive step towards averting the need to evict hostel-dwellers, the company said on Thursday.

"We are considering the alternatives, if the strikers are doing that [handing in weapons]," said Gold Fields spokesperson Sven Lunsche.

On Wednesday evening, a verbal undertaking was made that workers could return to their hostels if they handed in their weapons.

Earlier on Wednesday, many strikers carried sticks, pipes and axes when they gathered on a koppie outside mine property. Petrol bombs had also been used during the strike.

On Tuesday, the company filed an urgent application for an eviction order at the Pretoria High Court after it became concerned that the hostels were becoming a "hot-bed of violence".

"Our main rationale was that it was lawless in the hostels. If they hand in their weapons, then there is far less need [to seek court action]," said Lunsche on Thursday.

Hearings for the order would only likely be held some time next week.

He said while the company continued to "observe its legal rights" it was supportive of a drive to get the rest of the 5000 hostel-dwellers, who had not yet done so, to hand in their weapons.

Earlier on Thursday, the workers said they would continue the strike.

"We will not go back to work until our demands are met," a leader of the strikers, Ellis Booi, proclaimed to the cheers of thousands of workers who had gathered at a stadium close to the West Rand mine.

Mine operations at KDC West have been shut down since the vast majority of the mine's 13 000 workers embarked on a strike three weeks ago.

Another 9 000 workers at Gold Field's Beatrix mine in the Free State remained on a "peaceful" strike, said Lunsche.

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  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-10-04 17:20

    Continue with your selfish ways till you have bankrupted the country!!!Anyone cought with arms should be jailed and fired immediately. A register of these names must be kept on a data base so they cannot seek employment at other mines! If they cant live by the law.............

  • Steven Trollip - 2012-10-04 17:27

    Fire them please.the company's are creating bigger problems in future.

  • Vince.York - 2012-10-04 17:54

    Hang on, didn't they order the 'Sharpeville disgruntled' to disarm a while ago as well? Just that in those years not so much of the public funds was heading into Nkandla & under the rocks on surrounding hillsides........... Still tragically heroic enduring result!

  • Mike Peach - 2012-10-04 18:35

    I wonder what happened to all the fire arms that good citizens handed in?That was a clever cancer tactic and everyone fell for it.

  • alan.davis.5249 - 2012-10-04 20:09

    If the strikers put in half the energy that they use whilst striking, then productivity would be up and the mine could afford to increase salaries. If the miners get their absorbadent increases - why not the office workers,cleaners,tea makers,car park attendants - that is,the rest of the workers earning less then them in the work place????? I am a qualified paramedic working for a private company, and I earn less than the bottom line miner ! Where is the common sense ? I save lives, not swing a hammer at rocks, yet they (the miners)want more ! Sorry to say, but the miners are out to ruin this beautiful land of ours due to greed.

  • alan.davis.5249 - 2012-10-04 20:20

    If people go on strike holding anything in their hands, then the are going with a reason to cause violence. Otherwise why take anything if peaceful?? I back the police - if a group of threatening people people came towards me with any type of weapon, I would defend myself. Why go on strike to cause violence and damage things that are not yours ? Go on strike if you must, but go with empty hands. If you go with weapons, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for your injuries you get, so grow up and be a responsible adult - show the world and your kids. NO WEAPONS.Cops - take them away...

      Leticia Smith - 2012-10-05 16:58

      yes its amazing how they can go armed and claimed innocence when things get rough... people must learn for every action they take there's consequences to pay.. grow up and leave your weapons alone, have a peaceful strike and show some humanity...

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