26 arrested in connection with Numsa strike

A video  has surfaced showing a ‘petrol bomb’ being thrown into a Brakpan building on the East Rand by ‘Numsa strikers’. Find out more

Police have been arrested 26 people in relation to the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) strike that started this week, police said Friday.

The strike which consists of a massive and unprecedented 220 000 metal workers and engineering workers started on Tuesday as Numsa demanded wage increases of between 12% and 15%.

With the strike in full string and groups of protesters marching in different areas around Gauteng, police have reported criminal activities believed to be linked to the Numsa strike.

Police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said, “twenty-six people have been arrested for acts of intimidation, public violence and malicious damage to property. The suspects will appearing in various courts within 48 hours.”

Strikers ‘petrol bomb’ East Rand company (video)

Most of the incidents of violence were reported in the East Rand which included Elandsfontein, Wadville, Brakpan, Isando, Kempton Park, and Benoni.

“Striking workers were involved in acts of intimidation, public violence and malicious damage to property. Nineteen (19) of the strikers were arrested in Elandsfontein. The suspects broke a gate of the company,” said Dlamini.

Police reportedly responded to the scene where their vehicles were pelted with stones. Rubber bullets were fired and suspects arrested said police.

“In Wadville, nine (9) suspects were arrested as they were breaking the windows of a company. In Benoni, more than 2000 striking employees forcefully gained entry into the company and damage several equipment and computers.”

Dlamini added that the damage is estimated to be in the millions of rands.

Incidents of intimidation was also reported in Meyerton where one of the striking employees was injured by a motorist who was intimidated.

Police have acknowledged that the strike is protected and picketing is allow, but have sent a warning that acts of violence will not be tolerated and police are ready to take action.