Mbalula denies stoning incident

Fikile Mbalula says he received a warm welcome at an election rally in Rustenburg.

FILE: Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula has shrugged off claims that he had to leave an election rally at Freedom Park in the North West on Sunday due to stoning by unionists.

Various reports in the media claim Mbalula had to be evacuated in a bullet-proof vehicle after Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members began throwing stones at cars.

But Mbalula says he isn't shocked by the incident.

"People get stoned everyday, so why would I deny that?"

The minister was conducting a door-to-door campaign in the area where more than 80,000 miners in the platinum sector have been striking for three months.

The workers are demanding a R12,500 basic salary but rejected their employers' latest offer on Thursday.

It appears the frustrated miners turned violent against the minister's entourage, with many seeing the government as doing too little to assist them.

However, Mbalula says he received a warm welcome in Rustenburg.

"People who we met at Freedom Park said they will vote for ANC and I'm happy with the reception we got."