NUM shop steward murder cruel and senseless – premier

2013-08-13 08:30

The murder of an NUM shop steward at Lonmin’s Rowland shaft, near Rustenburg, was cruel and senseless, North West premier Thandi Modise has said.

“One death in the ongoing conflict is a death too many as it reopens old wounds,” she said in a statement today.

The union said a female shop steward was shot and killed while walking to the National Union of Mineworkers’ office at the shaft yesterday morning.

North West police confirmed a woman was shot and killed. They could not immediately confirm she was a NUM shop steward.

Modise said the shooting undermined peace efforts in the region. Assassinations had characterised the rivalry between NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

“It’s appalling that we still have people who still resort to these vicious acts in spite of the Marikana peace accord and the framework for peace and stability signed early this year,” she said.

“We wish to convey our condolences to the family and call on the community to provide police with information that will assist them in their investigation.”

The Congress of SA Trade Unions said it was tragic that the murder happened days before the August 16 Marikana shooting anniversary.

“We see yet more evidence that violence remains endemic in the Rustenburg area,” spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.

“This latest atrocity demonstrates that the framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry, signed by organised labour... organised business, and government on July 3 2013 is simply not being effectively implemented.”

On August 16 last year, 34 miners were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police fired on them while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

The framework agreement was aimed at resolving issues like strikes and violence bedevilling the mining industry, especially in the Rustenburg platinum belt.

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