JOHANNESBURG — Mine unrest spread in South Africa as police and security guards fired rubber bullets and tear gas today at sacked gold miners attacking former colleagues trying to get to work, injuring four miners, according to the owner of the mine.
Cabinet ministers sought to reassure investors today even as Gold Fields International spokesman Sven Lunsche said some 12,000 of the company’s workers “continue to engage in an unlawful and unprotected strike” that began Wednesday.
The mine unrest reached a bloody climax on Aug. 16 when police shot 112 striking workers, killing 34 of them, at a platinum mine at Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg. The violence was reminiscent of apartheid days and has damaged the government’s image.
“The tragic incident at Marikana is not a reflection of the business environment in South Africa,” Minister of State in the presidency Collins Chabane said today.