NUM says member stabbed to death on way to work

2014-05-22 14:41

A member of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was stabbed to death on his way to work at an Anglo American Platinum mine, the union has said.

This was the fifth such killing in the past two weeks.

NUM’s rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), is leading a 17-week strike against Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

The NUM member, a Mozambican, was killed in a squatter camp in the restive platinum belt town of Rustenburg while he was travelling to Amplats’ Union Mine about 100km to the north, the union said today.

“He is one of the NUM members who returned to work last week and he was threatened that he should stop going to work by the striking workers,” the union said.

A NUM spokesperson said the victim had fled to Rustenburg last week after being targeted but had planned to return to the shafts today.

Wage talks between the producers and Amcu resumed yesterday, almost a month after they collapsed.

The strike is the longest and costliest industrial action in South African mining history, hitting 40% of global production of the precious metal.

It has grown increasingly violent as growing numbers of workers have attempted to return to work.

Meanwhile, newly elected North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo said today that talks facilitated by the labour court will help resolve the wage dispute.

“The resolve by Amcu and the platinum producers to subject their dispute to mediation is encouraging,” he said.

“Ending the strike will be the first step to avert possible job losses and restore peace and stability, and bring to an end the vicious cycle of violence that has resulted in the brutal killings of non-striking workers, and destruction of private and public property.”

The provincial government would engage mining houses on possible interventions to help those people affected by the protracted strike, he said.

Strikers had mixed feelings about the labour court-led talks.

“I do not see these talks breaking the strike. The only thing to end this strike is the R12 500,” said mineworker Mvelase Gugi.

Lonmin workers have since 2012 demanded a basic salary of R12 500.

“We have travelled a long way to give up. Companies have two years to adjust our pay but failed.”

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