By Meshack Mbangula
What caused the strike in Gold one mine and led to the injuries of four protesters in the Eastvale. A group of protesters of aproximately 60 individuals, consisting of former Gold One Mine and Aurora employees, began blocking the Cloverfield entrance to the mine yesterday at 06:30am.
This was a follow-up protest to the dismissal of 1 044 employees from the mine in June, shortly after the embarked on illegal strike action over wages and working conditions. Monday’s protest was deemed illegal as a court interdict, granted to Gold One by the high court on June 13, interdicting protest action at the mine still stands.
Gold One said in a statement on Monday that the group did not present any memorandum of demands while throwing stones at passing vehicles trying to enter or leave the mine property. “At approximately 07:30am, protesters prevented a minibus taxi from entering the mine and, after severely damaging the taxi, attempted to attack the occupants of the vehicle. Security personnel intervened and were forced to utilise rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
The company was informed that four people sustained minor injuries during the incident. The statement says that the foursome were admitted to hospital for examination but were discharged later the same day.
This contradicts earlier reports from the police that at least one of the wounded had been taken to the Far East Rand Hospital in a critical condition and that live ammunition had been used. Springs Police spokesman, Captain Johannes Ramphora, confirmed on Wednesday that all four were, in fact, discharged the same day.
Police were forced to use teargas and rubber bullets at around 11:30am on Monday, when the group again became rowdy. Thirteen protesters were arrested as a result, according to Ramphora, facing charges of public violence and illegal gathering.
A small group of protesters returned to Modder East on tuesday no incidents reported. the company provided its commitment to both solidarity and the NUM that as soon as Grootvlei mine start operating it will give employment to the former workers.