By Ed Stoddard
JOHANNESBURG Feb 24 A contract worker at
Impala Platinum's troubled Rustenburg operation in
South Africa was beaten to death during an assault on Friday
when he tried to go to work, police said.
The assault, which left two other workers injured,
underscores how far the company is from resolving a violent and
illegal labour dispute that has already seen at least two other
people killed and cost the world's second largest platinum
producer 80,000 ounces and counting in lost output.
"Another life has been lost when a mine contract worker was
attacked this morning, he was a Zimbabwean national," said
police spokesman Thulani Ngubane.
Ngubane said two other workers were also injured in the same
attack in the early hours of the morning. Implats said at least
six workers had been assaulted overnight during attacks directed
at those wanting to work.
The disruptions at Implats' Rustenburg operations, the
world's single largest platinum mine which accounts for 15
percent of global output when all systems are operational, is a
key reason behind a 23 percent spike in the spot price of
the white metal in the year to date.
The mine accounts for about 60 percent of Implats' output.
The violence has pitted rival labour unions against each
other and at times has triggered disorder in the impoverished
shanty-towns that ring the mine.
Implats said on Friday that to date, 59 people had been
treated in hospitals for injuries sustained in the violence and
24 remain hospitalised.
(Additional reporting by Sherilee Lakmidas; editing by Keiron