A PROTESTOR was shot dead on the premises of the Grootegeluk coal mine, said the property owner, Exxaro Resources.
The event occurred on October 20 during a protest by community members relating to the mine’s supply and procurement, social investment, and recruitment, among other activities, the company said in an announcement Wednesday.
The deceased was hit by a rubber bullet discharged by a member of private security that was responding to violent protests. Protestors attempted to set fire to a conveyor leading out of the mine.
Exxaro described the violent protests as “a parallel process” to discussions it has been having with Lephalale local municipality leaders, including Mayor Jack Maeko.
“Members of the community engaged in a parallel process of illegal protests outside the structured process on a number of occasions during these consultations,” said Exxaro in a statement. The protests resulted in “… the destruction of critical infrastructure and the fatal injury to one of the protestors,” it added.
“Whilst the community unrest disrupted onsite activities, the impact will not be material to the mine’s production and sales,” Exxaro said.
Coal from Grootegeluk is supplied to Eskom’s newly built Medupi power station.