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S. Africa Police Arrest Dozens at Mine Protest

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: October 14, 2012 Last Updated: October 15, 2012
Related articles: World » Africa
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Striking mine workers demonstrate outside the Anglo American Mine on Oct. 5, in Rustenburg. South African police on Oct. 5 recovered the body of a miner killed in clashes with striking workers at the platinum mine, as President Jacob Zuma appealed for an end to months of often violent industrial disputes. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/GettyImages)

Striking mine workers demonstrate outside the Anglo American Mine on Oct. 5, in Rustenburg. South African police on Oct. 5 recovered the body of a miner killed in clashes with striking workers at the platinum mine, as President Jacob Zuma appealed for an end to months of often violent industrial disputes. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/GettyImages)

South Africa police arrested 72 people during a protest at Gold Fields mine in Westonaria, located around 30 miles from Johannesburg.

At least 5,000 workers were taking part in a sit-in to demand better pay, with the demonstrations spreading to the local police station, reported News24. Police said they were forced to use rubber bullets and fire stun grenades to break up the protest, which descended into violence.

“Public order police were called in to defuse the situation and break up the illegal gathering,” police spokesman Neville Malila said. “Negotiations with the group failed and rubber bullets and stunned grenades were used to defuse the situation.”

The crowd broke windows and caused damage to the station, the police spokesman added.

“The miners arrived in buses at the police station and demanded the release of 13 miners arrested earlier the day,” Malila said.

He told the Times Live publication: “The suspects were arrested after the assault and attempted murder on two National Union of Mineworkers’s shop stewards.”

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