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Marcher shot in genitals

By unknown | Feb 10, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo man is lying injured in hospital after security guards allegedly shot him in his genitals with rubber bullets yesterday.

The incident happened during a march over employment at the Platinum Australia Mine at Mandaagshoek, near Burgersfort.

Three other victims who were allegedly shot in the legs and stomachs were treated and discharged at the Dilokong Hospital in Driekop.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Khutso Masokwane, 22, said: "I am only praying that doctors perform their miracles to put my private parts back where they belong so that I can respond to the call of nature."

A luxury vehicle belonging to one of the mine managers was also allegedly smashed by the angry protesters during the clash.

Community spokesman Emmanuel Makgokga said thousands of residents from the village marched to the mine to protest against what they call "irregular appointments" of foreigners at the mine.

The residents, according to Makgokga, took to the streets after it was discovered that the majority of the people working at the mine came from outside the area, leaving locals with mining experience in the lurch.

Makgokga said the villagers also wanted the mine management to build schools, clinics, roads and houses for them as a way of ploughing back into the community and to make work opportunities available for the locals.

"When we got to the gate we pleaded with security guards to give us access into the mine so that we could register our concerns with management but they declined," Makgokga said.

He said after refusing the demonstrators entry and without saying a word the guards started firing randomly.

The next minute, he said, four protesters were lying down on the ground injured.

Mine manager William Smart yesterday declined to comment, saying the matter was still sub judice.

Provincial police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba confirmed the incident and said they had opened four counts of attempted murder against the guards.

He said a case of malicious damage to property might be opened against the protesters .


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