Oct. 30 - Police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse striking workers at Amplats' Rustenburg mine on Tuesday after a power sub-station was set alight. Sarah Sheffer reports.
South African police fire rubber bullets and teargas at striking workers at Amplats' Thembelani mine. Bullet casings were left scattered on the ground and one protester, unable to walk, was treated by paramedics at the scene. The group of workers are among a few who have refused to return to work on Tuesday despite an offer by the company to reinstate 12,000 men sacked for taking part in a six-week wildcat walkout at the mine. Amplats, the world's biggest producer of platinum, said last week it had reached a deal with several unions to end the strike. A return to work on Tuesday was one of the conditions attached to the deal. However, workers said they were determined to stay away until Amplats matched a salary increase of up to 22 percent offered by rival Lonmin after a violent wildcat walkout at its nearby Marikana platinum mine in August. The Lonmin offer came in the wake of the police killing of 34 miners on August 16, the bloodiest security incident since apartheid. While the situation at Amplats has yet to be resolved, tensions at other mining companies have eased.