Protest at mine leads to arrests

Joel Avni

Joel Avni

Police yesterday arrested 11 of 15 picketers for "illegally gathering" to protest outside Anglo Platinum's PPL mine near Mokopane, Limpopo.

The protestors had been attending a two-day workshop arranged by the Environmental Monitoring Group and the South African Water Caucus to discuss how big business - such as mines - had affected local supplies of uncontaminated water.

Mine officials summoned police and charged that the picketers had affected its operations.

Though the picketers had dispersed to their vehicles, officers dragged them onto the mine's property where they were bundled into police vans, said George Dror of Jubilee South Africa, one of the organisers.

The PPL mine was targeted because it is accused of cutting off the local communities' water supplies and "contaminating the last stream" from which they could draw potable water.

Captain Sebotsaro Motadi of the Mahwelereng police station said the protesters had been released on a warning.

He said the case would be submitted to the public prosecutor, who would decide if they would be charged.

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