Clashes at protest against mining group

FOUR PEOPLE were injured and 42 arrested in Ogies, Mpumalanga, in protests against BHP Billiton, the police said.

FOUR PEOPLE were injured and 42 arrested in Ogies, Mpumalanga, in protests against BHP Billiton, the police said.

This was the second violent action targeting a mining company in the past two weeks.

"Three police officials were injured when stones and bottles were thrown at them," Captain Leonard Hlathi said yesterday.

Earlier, a protester was injured when he was hit by a rubber bullet.

"We are sure that he was injured but he was taken away and we don't know where is now."

Hlathi said the police were forced to fire rubber bullets to disperse angry crowds burning tyres and barricading roads with bottles, dustbins and road traffic signs.

"We have now arrested 42 people," he said.

All the main streets in the Phola township in Ogies were closed, Hlathi said.

"They (the protesters) claim that BHP Billiton does not employ people from Phola township."

The mine's spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last week, there were violent protests in Balfour against the Burnstone gold mine. - Sapa

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