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Lanxess security and miners clash

10 miners were shot with rubber bullets during clashes at Lanxess Chrome Mine in Rustenburg.

Mine shaft. Picture: AFP

RUSTENBURG - At least 10 striking miners from the Lanxess Chrome Mine in Rustenburg were shot with rubber bullets when clashes broke out with security guards on Tuesday.

Lanxess said mine managers were attacked by protesters when they tried to approach a group of 500 employees to discuss the unprotected strike over bonuses.

The company said miners threw stones injuring two guards. This forced security to open fire with rubber bullets.

Management are now in talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in a bid to resume operations at the mine.

Police have been deployed to monitor the area.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said continued labour unrest could see further job losses and companies closing down, but in Rustenburg the situation remains hostile with wage issues and union rivalry still sparking violence.

The North West mining belt saw violent strikes and the industry being brought to a standstill last year after 34 miners were killed during clashes with police at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

President Jacob Zuma set up an inquiry to determine whether officers were justified in using deadly force against demonstrators, the commission chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam is underway to establish what exactly happened.

MARIKANA MINERS BACK TO WORK

It was business as usual in Marikana last Friday with miners back at their posts after an unprotected strike was officially called off.

Miners downed tools for two days saying the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) must be recognised as the majority union and NUM must vacate their offices.

Tensions rose following the murder of Amcu regional organiser Mawethu Stevens and two others.

It was a tense week but miners seemed satisfied after Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa announcing there would be a mass march to the Union Buildings in the near future.

Most miners went underground earlier while others are preparing to leave for Stevens' funeral service in the Eastern Cape .

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