It will take arguments in court to fully understand what was behind the charging of the highly regarded and experienced head of Impala Platinum’s (Implats) Rustenburg mines for violations of the lockdown by calling a limited number of people back to work.

This story was odd from the start. Implats sent messages to some of its employees to come back to work, saying it had asked for and been granted approval for limited work at its Rustenburg mines by the department of mineral resources & energy. About 6,000 mineworkers were stopped by police, who had thrown up a cordon around the mines, stopping every access point...

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