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Thursday 17 April  
South African police block a march by protesting miners in Rustenburg on Septemb
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Rustenburg, South Africa
Rustenburg, South Africa

South Africa: police kill two more in crackdown on strike

Published on : 20 September 2012 - 10:46am | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo: AFP)
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In a crackdown on striking miners in South Africa, police have killed two more people, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and a strike leader said Thursday.

COSATU condemned the brutality of police who have been harshly criticised for the shootings on 16 August which killed 34 striking miners at London-registered Lonmin PLC platinum mine. The event has traumatised the nation that had not seen such state violence since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Police said they fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades on Wednesday to break up a march by thousands of strikers at Amplats mines near Rustenburg belonging to Anglo American Platinum, the world's largest platinum producer.

Amplats strike leader Evans Ramokga told The Associated Press that a miner was run over by a police armored car and dragged several meters before it stopped. He said the man died overnight in the hospital.

Saturday's crackdown
COSATU said that on Saturday police fired from a speeding armored car in Wonderkop shantytown, where Lonmin miners live. Several women were hit, including African National Congress councilor Paulina Masuhlo, who was shopping in the area. She was rushed to the hospital after being hit in the abdomen and leg. COSATU said she died on Wednesday.

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Police spokesman Dennis Adriao said he was investigating the report of a death. He said police had reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate about the events on Saturday, the day after the government ordered a crackdown.

The directorate already has opened 34 murder and 78 attempted murder charges against police in the August 16 shootings.

But no action has been taken against any of the officers involved. The government has said it is awaiting the outcome of a judicial commission of inquiry that is supposed to report to the president in January.

COSATU unhappy
COSATU called for "the immediate identification and suspension of the police officers involved in her (Masuhlo's) murder."

"We are also extremely unhappy that, to date, none of the police officers involved in the massacre on 16 August 2012 has been identified or suspended - this is totally unacceptable and unlawful," said the unions body that is part of a governing tripartite alliance with the African National Congress party and the South African Communist Party.

Lonmin on Tuesday resolved its five-week strike by agreeing to pay raises of up to 22 percent.

Union leaders warned that sets a precedent for other miners to join demands for better wages. The strike already has spread to several gold, platinum and chrome mines, damaging investors confidence in the country. South Africa produces 75 percent of world platinum, the No. 4 chrome producer and is in the top 10 of gold producers.

Source: AP

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