Marikana woman dies of police rubber bullet wound
Pauline Masutlhe, an ANC local councillor in Marikana, dies in hospital after police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters.
A South African woman shot in the leg with a rubber bullet during a weekend government-ordered security crackdown on mining unrest died in hospital on Wednesday, the government said.
Pauline Masutlhe, an African National Congress local councillor in Marikana, was shot in the leg when police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters amid a protracted wage strike that had already claimed 45 lives.
"Masutlhe was shot on a leg by police during a police operation on Saturday, 15 September in Nkaneng informal settlement in Marikana," a government committee handling the Lonmin mine unrest said in a statement.
The committee said she was taken to hospital where she underwent an operation to remove the rubber bullet, but she died Wednesday.
Police, with the help of soldiers, on Saturday moved into Marikana, less than 24 hours after the government announced a security clampdown on the unrest, which had forced three leading producers to halt platinum mines.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse gathering protesters after they had seized weapons from worker hostels at the giant Lonmin mine, northwest of the capital Pretoria.
The committee, which was set up by President Jacob Zuma after police gunned down 34 protesters during a wildcat strike last month, said the councillor had been "very instrumental in providing support to the (committee) while it was discharging its responsibilities in Marikana".
A non-government group calling itself the Marikana Solidarity Campaign called for an immediate probe into the death of the councillor.
It alleged she "was out shopping in the informal settlement ... during the time of the police raid" and was shot at from a speeding police armoured vehicle while she was in the company of a group of women.