Arrests made as police clamp down at Marikana
SIX people have been arrested following violent protests at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, Rustenburg police said on Thursday.
"They were arrested for various incidents of intimidation," lieutenant-general Zukiswa Mbombo said.
Police made the arrests between Monday and Wednesday night and the suspects were expected to appear in court on Thursday.
Ms Mbombo said on Thursday that the police wanted to bring an end to the violence in the area.
"Today [Thursday] we are going to disperse those people," she said.
She said the intention was to disperse them peacefully, but did not say what police would do if the group resisted.
A group of men armed with pangas, iron rods and knobkerries was gathered at the top of a hill, in Wonderkop, near the mine, at 8am on Thursday.
A police helicopter hovered above the hill. On the ground, various police units were stationed strategically near the hill. Nyalas with trailers of razor wire were at the ready.
The police warned journalists not to approach the hill, but to remain at a designated area about 800 metres away.
The road leading to the mine was closed and access to the mine was being restricted.
Ms Mbombo denied that the army had been deployed in the area.
"Members of the army are not deployed here. What you see is the various units of the police."
Two men wrapped in green blankets came down from the hill and approached a police van. After a brief discussion they returned and indicated to the singing group to move to the left of the mountain.
Mr Mbombo said about 400 police officers had been deployed to the area.
They vowed not to move until their pay was raised to R12,500 a month.
Lonmin rock-drill operators embarked on an illegal strike and protest march on Friday.
Ten people — two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and three other men — have been killed since the strike began.
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