, JOHANNESBURG, Sept 3 – Four people were wounded during a shooting Monday at a South African gold mine in the east of Johannesburg after fired mineworkers attacked reinstated colleagues, police said.
“We can confirm that there were four people who were taken to the hospital after they were injured,” police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsinyane told AFP.
The violence erupted after fired workers, armed with traditional sticks and iron irods, gathered on Monday at the Gold One mine where they had been fired during an illegal stayway in June.
“Some of their members were reinstated…these ex-mineworkers were attacking the workers who were reinstated in the mine,” said Tsinyane, who said the crowd numbered around 200 people.
The mine is the latest to be hit by clashes in South Africa which is still reeling after police gunned down 34 strikers last month in another wildcat stayaway at a platinum mine where clashes had already killed 10 people.
In a statement, Gold One International Limited said a group of fired workers from the company and another liquidated mine had arrived at 06:30 am (0430 GMT) in the morning at the entrance to its Modder East Operations.
“Due to the illegal blockade approximately half of the company’s employees were prevented from reporting for work,” it said.
“The group did not present any memorandum of demands. The group blocked all access in and out of the mine and threw stones at vehicles that were attempting to gain access to the operations.”
The police had used rubber bullets to try and disperse the group, the company said.