South Africa’s Sibanye says 178 illegal miners now arrested at strike-hit Cooke mine

South Africa’s Sibanye Gold said on Monday that 178 illegal miners have now been arrested at its Cooke operations since the start of a violent wildcat strike last Tuesday.

A company source, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak on the record, also said the strike was continuing. The strike was triggered by worker resentment at a company drive to root out illegal miners, who pilfer gold from its shafts after gaining access by employee collusion.

The illegal miners arrested have been forced to come to the surface because of the strike, which has emptied the shafts of employees, thereby starving them of their sources of food and water underground – an inadvertent consequence of the stoppage.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard, editing by Louise Heavens)

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