After South African miners rejected yesterday’s offer by employer Lonmin to go back to work, on Saturday police raided hostels around the embattled Marikana mines and confiscated weapons.
About 500 officers were involved at Karee platinum mine, seizing weapons like machetes and spears.
Five people were arrested for drugs offences.
The government also promised to crack down on what it called “illegal gatherings” and the carrying of weapons by strikers.
The labour unrest began five weeks ago when miners went on strike for better pay. In August police fired into a charging crowd of miners at Marikana, killing 34 in post-apartheid South Africa’s worst outbreak of violence.