NUM member killed at Lonmin hostel

2013-06-03 14:53

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A National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM) shop steward has been shot dead and another was wounded at Lonmin’s Western Platinum mine, in North West.

“These people were just attacked and killed at the NUM office at Western Platinum,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said.

“We don’t know what is the motive, but we can easily suspect.”

Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said a man was shot dead and another was wounded at the Wonderkop hostel.

Seshoka said the union’s office was attached to, but separate from the hostel building.

He said there was recently a strike at the mine to demand that the NUM office be closed. The NUM took the matter to the labour court and was told it could remain in the offices until July 16.

“And now this is what is happening,” said Seshoka.

The union had sent a team to investigate, but would leave the police to do its work. To his knowledge there was no work stoppage “so far”.

Seshoka did not want to release the names of the two victims.

Lonmin called for calm after the shooting.

“Lonmin is appalled and horrified at this senseless violence and we call on all stakeholders, in particular our unions, to exercise the necessary leadership and to be unequivocal in condemning murder and the use of violence,” it said in a statement.

Lonmin said it put the safety of its employees and their families first and it would not tolerate the carrying of weapons on its property. It had increased security at its operations.

“We want to remind all our stakeholders that we have all made a commitment through the signing of the framework for peace and stability to find a solution in a peaceful manner for the sake of all.”

It called on employees and residents to report intimidation or violence.

Earlier, the mine announced that the NUM’s rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), represented 70 percent of Lonmin’s workforce.

The majority union has the right to have offices at the mine.

Lonmin had intended closing some NUM offices, but in terms of the labour court order, the union had until July 16 to regain support, become the majority union, and retain the offices.

On May 11, Amcu North West regional organiser Mawethu Steven was shot dead at a tavern in Photsaneng, in the informal settlement of Nkaneng.

» This article was updated after first published.

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