An­gry job seek­ers torch mine ve­hi­cles

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - FRONT PAGE - Muzi Zin­c­ume

CRIM­I­NAL el­e­ments have been blamed for the torch­ing of equip­ment worth mil­lions be­long­ing to the La­farge min­ing com­pany in Ncek­wane.

Four ex­pen­sive heavy duty ma­chines - two Bell front end load­ers, a Bell wa­ter truck and a Cat ADT - with an es­ti­mated value of more than R12-mil­lion were com­pletely de­stroyed as an­gry res­i­dents set them on fire last week.

The source added that two ve­hi­cles be­long­ing to La­farge man­agers were also torched dur­ing re­cent vi­o­lent protests, in which one man­ager was as­saulted.

‘Res­i­dents are de­mand­ing em­ploy­ment, so op­er­a­tion had been stopped for a while and was ex­pected to re­sume last Fri­day, but it was stopped again when our equip­ment was set alight,’ the source said.

‘Pro­test­ers have vowed to con­tinue protest­ing un­til their griev­ances are ad­dressed.’

She said a group of armed men en­tered the premises last Thurs­day night by break­ing a fence and chas­ing the se­cu­rity guards away.

iNkosi Thanda Mz­imela said the com­mu­nity and La­farge were in ne­go­ti­a­tions to re­solve the dis­pute.

‘The com­pany is busy ad­dress­ing the is­sue, but there are some peo­ple that took an ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion to serve their own agenda.

‘I strongly be­lieve that those re­spon­si­ble for torch­ing the equip­ment are crim­i­nals,’ iNkosi Mz­imela said.

At­tempts to ob­tain com­ment from La­farge’s head of­fice were un­suc­cess­ful.

King Cetshwayo Po­lice Clus­ter spokesper­son, Cap­tain Mbon­geni Md­lalose, said a case of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion at Mtun­zini SAPS and no ar­rests have been made yet.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.