The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it is deeply concerned about eight of its members after eight of them were arrested by Hendrina police outside Optimum Coal Mine yesterday. They will be appearing in court this morning.

“The NUM members were peacefully raising their frustration about salaries and bonuses that have not been paid by the Optimum Coal Mine management. Some of the NUM members working for the contractors have not been paid their salaries for some time.

“Optimum Coal Mine employees were supposed to be paid their bonuses last week, but they have not been paid,” said Nelson Ratshoshi, Chairperson, NUM Highveld Regional.

The NUM said it strongly condemns the action and attitudes of the Hendrina police who had randomly fired rubber bullets and physically assaulted its members who were protesting peacefully outside Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga yesterday afternoon.

“The NUM members will not be intimidated by the police. The NUM is extremely disappointed at the action of the Hendrina police. We call on the police to stop assaulting and shooting our members for protesting peacefully,” the union said in a statement.

“Our members’ right to strike is enshrined in the constitution of South Africa. Their rights to strike cannot be taken away by anybody including the trigger-happy police and Optimum Coal Mine arrogant management.”

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