Afrique du Sud : dix mineurs blessés dans des affrontements avec la police
Dix mineurs ont été blessés jeudi dans des affrontements avec la police et des agents de sécurité privés dans une mine d’or du groupe sud-africain Harmony des environs de Johannesburg et 1.700 autres observent un sit-in au fond, a annoncé une porte-parole de la mine.
« Les violences font suite à la mise à pied de 578 salariés (…) après leur participation à un mouvement de grève le samedi 15 décembre », a déclaré la porte-parole Henrika Basterfield.
Dix mineurs ont été blessés, dont huit par par des balles en caoutchouc tirées par les agents de sécurité de la compagnie, et deux sont soignés après avoir inhalé des gaz lacrymogènes, a-t-elle précisé.
Les incidents ont eu lieu à la mine de Kusasalethu à Carletonville, au sud-ouest de Johannesburg.
Presse esclavagiste (BFMTV.com, 21 décembre 2012)
South African gold miners clash with police
Protesting gold miners at South Africa’s Harmony mine clashed with police and private security guards Thursday, mine officials said, adding 10 workers were hurt by rubber bullets or tear gas.
« The violence followed the suspension of 578 employees, including some contractors, as a result of the participation of these employees in an unprotected strike action on Saturday, 15 December 2012, » said mine spokewoman Henrika Basterfield.
She said 10 workers were wounded in clashes — eight from rubber bullets fired by the firm’s security guards — while two others were treated for teargas inhalation.
The clashes at the Kusasalethu mine shaft in Carletonville is the latest outbreak of violence at the mine southwest of Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, in what officials said was an unrelated case, 1,700 other day-shift miners who had clocked in for work refused to come to the surface for unexplained reasons.
« The day shift went down this morning and it was later established that they actually didn’t want to get to the surface. So, yes, I can confirm that there are about 1,700 people undergound, » she told AFP.
The company management was speaking to them, trying to establish the reasons behind the sit-in and to urge them to come up.
Last month, two workers were killed and one wounded in a turf battle between members of rival unions at the same Kusasalethu shaft.
In mid-November, South Africa saw the end of the most devastating and costly bout of labour unrest in nearly a century.
The strikes, which left over 50 people dead, started in August at Lonmin mine in South Africa’s northwestern platinum belt, before spreading to other mines and sectors, engulfing over 140,000 workers and costing more than $1.2 billion.
Presse esclavagiste (Agence faut Payer, 21 décembre 2012)
Harmony workers return to surface
Harmony Gold Mining confirmed late on Friday afternoon that after discussions between the relevant parties the 1,700 mineworkers who participated in an underground sit-in at the Kusasalethu mine had returned to surface.
The mine will be closed for the festive season and labour related discussions will resume in January 2013.
Tom Smith, chief operating officer of Harmony, commented: « We are pleased that employees safely returned to surface and will be able to return home to their families for the festive season. We would also like to thank the Department of Mineral Resources for their involvement in resolving the matter. »
The workers who staged the sit-in were demanding the reinstatement of 578 colleagues suspended earlier this week.
Kusasalethu is one of the mines where the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has recruited membership, and it was among those affected by the wildcat strikes that swept through the platinum and gold mines between August and October, costing companies billions of rand in lost revenue.
The 578 workers, including contractors, engaged in an illegal sit-in last Saturday and were suspended on Wednesday, said Henrika Basterfield, investor relations manager at Harmony. The reasons for the sit-in were unknown, she said.
Presse esclavagiste (BDlive.co.za, 21 décembre 2012)