Cortac Security, a Johannesburg-based company contracted by Glencore, confronted about 30 people burning copper cables at Rietspruit, in Mpumalanga, where they recovered an estimated two tonnes of copper.
According to the group, Cortac Security used excessive force to round them up, and also fired live shots at them during the sting, Middelburg Observer reported.
However, things got a bit bitter on Tuesday, July 12m when a group of men involved in Monday’s sting showed up at Glencore H-Block’s offices and demanded to know what the mine did with the body of the man that was shot and killed by mine security.
But the mine only knew about one man who broke his leg when he fell into a ditch while fleeing, and the mine, along with members of the SAPS, launched an investigation into the alleged murder and tracked all vehicles involved in the sting.
Investigators found that one of the security vehicles veered off route and into the direction of an abandoned mine shaft.
On Tuesday, the SAPS inspected the area around the abandoned shaft, where the body of a man was discovered and protesters confirmed that the body was that of their missing comrade.
Tracker signals showed that the vehicle that drove to the shaft belonged to the Cortac Security Manager, identified only as “Zunaid”. On Wednesday this week, during a break in the interrogation between “Zunaid” and investigators, he walked out of the office and shot himself.
Details around the investigation remain sketchy though. Cortac told the Observer that the company has started its own investigation on the “tragic” incident.
Glencore confirms with regret that an incident involving cable theft by a group occurred near its Group Training Centre, south of Ogies, in the late evening of Monday, July 11.
During the engagement by company security services to apprehend those involved, one alleged assailant was injured and another fatally wounded.
The incident is now a matter with SAPS, and a criminal investigation is under way.
Glencore and its security service contractor are cooperating with the relevant authorities, and appeal for calm and cooperation by all stakeholders in the area.
– Caxton News Service