Amplats: Protesters don't work for us

2012-09-12 12:06

Rustenburg - Anglo Platinum (Amplats) [JSE:AMS] insisted on Wednesday that protesters gathered near its Thembelani mine, in Rustenburg, were not its employees.

"The facts are, our employees are not on strike. The people who are chanting around the mines are from neighbouring communities and we cannot identify who they are," said Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole.

A large group of protesters, carrying traditional weapons, gathered at a Thembelani mine shaft on Wednesday morning.

Police kept watch, with five Nyalas and a water cannon at the scene. A police helicopter hovered overhead.

The protesters said they were demanding a monthly wage of R12 500, the same as other protesting miners at the nearby Lonmin-owned [JSE:LON] mines.

"We have been observing our colleagues strike. We also want that R12 500 and we are going to get it," said an elderly protester wielding a knobkerrie. He declined to be named for fear of reprisal.

Most of the protesters sat in a field under a scorching sun. Small groups, clutching sticks and clubs, marched, sang and danced.

Some men arrived at the scene wearing ANC Youth League regalia. They joined the protesters, but declined to speak to the media about their role in the strike.

Sithole said no memorandum of demands for a wage increase had been given to management by staff members.

Staff members had been "re-directed" to another location, away from the mine, for their own safety following reports of intimidation.

"To ensure the safety and security of our employees, management took the decision to re-direct employees to a neutral place," Sithole said.

She said about 3 000 workers had been re-directed.

"We confirm that yesterday [Tuesday], some of our employees were unable to clock in for night-shift due to fear of intimidation and threats by unidentified individuals in and around our Rustenburg operations."

She said "widespread cases" had been reported of intimidation against Amplats workers throughout the Rustenburg area.

Earlier, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said its members had been initimidated since Sunday.

"There is apparently a high-level of intimidation," Num spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.

"There is a group that is coercing people to gather and have a strike."

Seshoka said this group was initially rebuffed, but had since threatened workers with violence if they did not go on strike on Wednesday.

"They tell you that next time you do this thing we're going to burn you. It's no longer going to be an issue of putting petrol on you and leaving you. You're going to get burned," Seshoka said.

He claimed the labour unrest at Amplats was connected to recent troubles at Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin in Marikana.

"The people who are responsible for organising this threatening [of] workers are the same people who are doing it at Marikana and Impala.

"A couple of people come and they start talking to workers. If you don't listen, you are dealt with," Seshoka said.

The protests at Angloplat have also resulted in the suspension of a two-day mine auction scheduled to begin on Thursday.

Auctioneer Aucor said in a statement that it was cancelling the auction of redundant and obsolete assets because of striking miners and labour unrest, which was scheduled to take place at Amplats on Wednesday.

"Furthermore, as a precaution, upcoming auctions due to take place at the Kloof and Driefontein mines next week have also been postponed," the company said.

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  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-12 12:20

    This is definitely an organized and orchestrated matter. As the ANC Government seems to be sitting on their thumbs, I begin to wonder just who is pulling the strings? - 2012-09-12 12:28

      ANCYL and 'friends' obviously

      mukosit - 2012-09-12 12:31

      Why commenting on these site? they always remove comments on this site. Useless!!!

      wesley.koen.9 - 2012-09-12 12:38

      ANC themselves

      elgh.elgh - 2012-09-12 12:43

      You guys don’t understand, they are outsourcing the strikers now. While they work some other idiots do the striking work for them, if it works the strikers might get some commission from the next pay slip, brilliant. Juju is probably taking a percentage...

      blowthis.ricepaddy - 2012-09-12 12:44

      Its the ANC. This is how you nationalize. Make the mines worthless and the people desparate. Makes taking over the mines so much cheaper. ANC was originally a communist based organization.

      alan.gernet - 2012-09-12 12:48

      @Larry - If govt are sitting on their thumbs . it is now quite clear to me what their thumbs are up .. whaaaaahaaa

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-09-12 13:31

      put a cork in it Malcolm you are a tool, I am not an ANC follower but anyone can see that this is clearly ochestrated by someone out manouevering the ANC. Good point Larry, the question is who is pulling the strings, the longer it takes to expose them, the worse for us all. The ANCYL have basically declared war on the mother body and have sided with Malema, that is where my money is? question is, who in power right now is funding and has sided with those lunatics. Zuma and his boys lost steam due to the police shootings which made them lose favor in the eyes of those communities. Personally they should maybe have shot a couple more of those criminals. There is something sinister in this which may go further than nationalization... this is stuff civil wars are made of!!! Oh well, it was good my South Africans, need to start repolishing my US passport coz soon it will be back to San Diego for me.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-12 12:21

    So, there you have it !!! What now pussycat ? Where is our Intellegence Services ? Where is our Leadership ?

      msendi - 2012-09-12 12:28

      Gone fishing…

      jay.reede - 2012-09-12 12:29

      This ship sunk long ago ....

      ally.oh.7 - 2012-09-12 12:32

      Is that a rhetorical question? Or What?

      alan.gernet - 2012-09-12 12:51

      Silly silly PF - whenever a little crises arises, our prez goes "Stumm". And judjing by the recent comments about service delivery, it is probably better that nothing is said!

      chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-12 14:10

      Banana anyone...

      chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-12 14:11

      I tell you where the leadership are, they are all busy arguing over who gets what in the Karroo fracking deal.... T.I.A. man T.I.A.....

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-09-12 12:25

    As things are going now I think that the SANC will have to open Robbin island as a jail again.

  • musamuskid - 2012-09-12 12:27

    And the Platinum Price went up

  • herman.heil - 2012-09-12 12:34

    Mmmmmm, who could these barbarians be?

  • desertratbkf - 2012-09-12 12:36

    Well if they are not Angloplat's people, why are they not arrested in shoved behind bars?!!!!

  • Mike.ntsh2009 - 2012-09-12 12:42

    They are obviously Malema's supporters. Arrest them and they will answer in court what increase are they looking for if not employees. RMC used to stand for Release Mandela Campaign, and it will be sad day for history of this country if "M" has to stand for 'Malema-the puzi'. I'd say just remove him from face of the earth so we won't experience "Release Malema Campaign"

  • robert.dood.1 - 2012-09-12 13:14

    R1.00 = US$0.12 How much worse can it get? I Remember when R1.00 =US$1.14

      richard.hipkin - 2012-09-12 13:32

      Really? That was in 1980 voetsek.. 30 odd years has past since then. You been sleeping?

      captaine.morgan.90 - 2012-09-12 13:40

      I also remember when they *SHOT* at blacks without any care for human life!

      chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-12 14:15

      Really Morgan, that happened last month dude. Not so difficult to remember...

  • comurray - 2012-09-12 13:56

    Why not spread a rumour around that the mines are going to employ Chinese as they work very hard, are not clock watchers, have respect for their employers, don't go on strikes and refuse to belong to any union.

      chuck.farley.104418 - 2012-09-12 14:16

      Don't joke bro, my first load of Chinese is arriving next week....

  • thepatrickwinter - 2012-09-12 13:59

    WHAT IF... (I know its abit left field) But what if the instigators and the powers that be have a big chunk of change as a long position, knowing the turmoil this would make on platinum and gold. Just a thought !(because this behaviour would never be tolerated by the Govt of another democratic land)

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-12 14:44

    No wonder they want R12 500 as they seems to be without a job! It can only be the "children's league" or friends of the YL.

  • lincoln.nkosi - 2012-09-12 23:34

    He he he he Propaganda is starting to come through. I cannot understand how one incident can be blanketed in one package. So the other thousand miners are also rented, i wonder who is funding this?. The thousand rented miners would have spilled the beans in the sheebens to say we are chowing Malema's money. This is silly...really.

  • pieter.pretorius.106 - 2012-09-13 08:06

    I hope they can soon get prove that Julius is behind this all and lock him away for good.

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