March of South African miners cut short

Striking miners in Marikana wanted to hold a solidarity march to tell police to stop “brutalising” them.

Four kilometres outside Rustenburg a group of about 1000 striking miners meet.

The plan is to march to a police station down the road.

Twenty-four hours ago police fired rubber bullets, stun grenades, water canons and tear gas at striking miners in Marikana.

These men want to tell the police to stop “brutalising” the public. They say it’s a solidarity march.

The men don’t get very far. Four police armoured vehicles arrive.

Unlike the protestors in Marikana, this group of miners in Rustenburg ask the police for permission to march.

Police officials ask them to apply in writing and the group slowly disperses.

No violence, no threats. They were just talking.

We are used to seeing striking miners carrying machetes, sticks or knobkerries. Some have even been seen carrying pistols.

This group seems peaceful. But they are already breaking the law by gathering here illegally.

I don’t think they will get permission to march but I may be wrong.

The men are now in a field waiting for an answer from the police.

Suddenly a police helicopter cirlces above. Its an effective tactic that has been used by the police for weeks.

A few men leave quickly and head home.

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