Mine guard hacked to death
During a power outage
A security guard was killed during an illegal strike over wages at Petmin’s Somkhele mine near Mtubatuba, the Witness reported on Wednesday.
Police spokesman Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said the security guard was hacked to death on Monday night during a 30-minute power outage.
Mdletshe said two guards were on duty: One was inside a hut at one of the mine gates and the other was outside the hut when they were attacked.
The guard who survived told the Witness five men carrying bush knives accosted him and asked him why he was working during a strike.
He said he took out a pocket knife and threatened the men.
“I then saw a gap and ran as fast as I could and hid in the bushes not too far from the gate,” he was quoted as saying.
BP Nxumalo, who was inside the hut, was killed despite having a shotgun.
Police believe the attackers took Nxumalo’s gun after killing him.
The strike at Somkhele started last week and the first violence was reported on Monday night.
The workers wanted a take-home salary of R10,000 and R15,000 a month. They currently earned between R4,000 to R6,000.
According to a statement on the company’s website, about 345 workers employed by Sandton Plant Hire, the opencast contractor at Petmin’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tendele Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd, the operator of Somkhele, were on an unprotected strike. A court interdict had been obtained, declaring the strike unlawful.