Mineworker killed in Rustenburg

By Drum Digital
22 May 2014

A mineworker stabbed to death at the Sondela informal settlement near Rustenburg.

A mineworker was stabbed to death at the Sondela informal settlement near Rustenburg, North West, while on his way to work on Thursday, a union leader said.

"We can confirm that our member who is from Mozambique was killed at Sondela squatter camp in Rustenburg," said Steve Modimokwane, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) branch chairman at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Union mine in Limpopo.

Felix Manjate was one of the NUM members who returned to work last week, despite strikers threatening him not to.

Manjate was the first NUM member at Amplats's Limpopo operation to be killed. Others were beaten but survived, he said.

Four NUM members were killed near Lonmin's mines in Marikana, North West, on May 11.

"We are sick and tired of these continuing killings of our members. We are appealing to our government to do something about these killings," said Modimokwane.

"The NUM is alarmed at the situation in the platinum mines and its escalating violence has been allowed to continue unabated by the law enforcement agencies and the mine security in the platinum belt," he said.

NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said when 7000 NUM members embarked on an 11-week strike at Northam Platinum in Limpopo, it was very disciplined.

"Not a fly was hurt. Even in this strike, our members who are not part of this strike must be allowed to report for duty, but that is not happening," said Baleni.

"It is possible for workers to lead a peaceful, bloodless, and effective legal strike like what NUM did at Northam Platinum."

The union maintained that violent strikes were unnecessary and should never be allowed to replace dialogue.

"We call on workers in the platinum belt to stop killing one another, but build unity in order to fight for improved wages and better working conditions.

"They must not allow mine bosses to divide and weaken them. Workers will gain nothing from fighting and killing one another."

North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said they had not yet received a report about the killing.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Amplats in North West and Limpopo went on a protected strike on January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.

Talks facilitated by the labour court in a bid to end the strike continued at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg on Thursday.

-SAPA

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