On Sunday, striking mineworkers stormed the stage, forcing South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon his Workers’ Day speech in the northwestern city of Rustenburg.
Workers at the Sibanye-Stillwater mine are demanding a wage increase of 1,000 rand ($63) per month, rather than the 850 rand ($54) offered by the mine.
Ramaphosa chose to commemorate Workers Day, a public holiday in South Africa on May 1, by delivering a speech to union members in Rustenburg, a mining town.
Ramaphosa was booed as he began his speech by urging strikers and other members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions to remain calm and listen to what he had to say.
“We have heard that you want your 1,000 rand. We will deal with that matter,” Ramaphosa told the protesting workers.
Soon after, Ramaphosa was forced to abandon his speech at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium after angry miners stormed the field and overwhelmed police surrounding the stage. Security guards whisked Ramaphosa away from the venue.
In recent days, the strikers have become even more enraged following reports that Sibanye-Stillwater mine CEO Neal Froneman, will earn more than 300 million rand ($19 million) in salary payments and company share schemes in 2021.