North West Province police are calling on Marikana community members who were allegedly injured during a supposed clash and shooting incident at Sibanye-Stillwater’s mine last week to come forward.
This follows an outcry by community members under the Marikana Cluster Crisis Movement and the C19 People’s coalition over the alleged shooting incident, wherein they claim four people were injured, but no criminal charges were filed.
Last week, the group’s Appearance Ndlovu sounded the alarm, calling on media and the public to call Sibanye-Stillwater to account on the incident. The company has however denied that any such shooting ever took place.
Despite this, police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone has confirmed that the police were aware of the allegations. On the night in question, police were not present at the mine, however, and would have to rely on community members coming forward in order to act on it.
The organisation of community members has been protesting against various mining companies in the area, demanding they effect positive changes promised to them.
According to two activists, workers at a Sibanye-Stillwater mine site in Marikana allegedly opened fire on protesters last Wednesday night, injuring four people. It was unclear whether any of the victims were critically injured.
Mogwabone said he was aware of an allegation that mineworkers shot at community members, and not the mine security, but could not confirm anything as nobody had come forward.
While those who were at the scene claimed the shooters were mineworkers, some members of the MCC believed security officials carried out the shootings at the behest of the mine. A member of the group, Raserole Mashamaite, sent out a voice note accusing mine-workers of being behind the attack.
While his campaigning on social media regarding the incident has reached the attention of the police, it is incumbent on the injured victims to press charges against the alleged assailants, says Mogwabone.
Sibanye-Stillwater spokesperson James Wellsted has since vehemently denied that any shooting has taken place.
“We are not aware of any shooting incidents at all or any incidents involving our employees. We will obviously investigate these claims and take appropriate action if they are true,” he said.
“We are aware of an altercation between two groups but at this stage do not know the circumstances that led to the altercation or who was involved or how many people were injured. We will again investigate this along with the police and take appropriate action if required once we have more details.”