/ 25 November 2011

Police arrested for Lonmin staff attacks

Police have finally made a breakthrough in the three-year saga of intimidation and attacks on Lonmin Western Platinum refinery employees in Brakpan. Six law-enforcement officers have been arrested and the seventh is awaiting trial.

On November 1 this year three members of the Ekurhuleni metro police were arrested on suspicion of attacking, assaulting and kidnapping Mxolisi Kali, a Lonmin employee.

Three police officers of the Johannesburg central crime prevention unit were arrested for an earlier attack on Kali.

Another Johannesburg central police officer, Captain Sydney Mbatha, is awaiting trial on assault and extortion charges.

According to Kali, six men, including the three Ekurhuleni officers, stormed his home in Sharon Park near Springs on October 30. They demanded money and “anything ­illegal” inside the house.

Kali is among the 23 Lonmin employees who have been attacked since 2008 and, like other victims, he was handcuffed and had a plastic bag placed over his head.

The officers allegedly ransacked the house and when they could not find what they were looking for they took Kali to KwaThema township, where they dropped him off.

Sharon Park’s security footage shows that a state-owned VW Jetta, with its registration plates removed, was used in the attack.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Wilfred Kgasago confirmed that the three suspects arrested for an alleged assault and attack on Kali are members of the Ekurhuleni metro police department’s intervention unit.