NWest wants talks to end strike

By Drum Digital
17 October 2012

The parties involved in the protracted mine strikes in Rustenburg should negotiate to avert job losses and loss of lives, North West premier Thandi Modise said on Wednesday.

"We call for cessation of hostilities and for parties to return to the negotiation table to avert job losses and loss of lives which all of us cannot afford. A protracted strike might have dire consequences for the economy if compromises are not made."

Modise condemned the hacking of a police constable with a panga at Samancor's Millsell mine in Kroondal on Tuesday.

"After Marikana, one death in the mining sector wage dispute is a death too many. We condemn in the strongest term yesterday's hacking of police constable with a panga at Samancor mine in Kroondal and alleged attacks on non-striking workers and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) officials," she said.

The constable was hacked with a panga on his left hand and was taken to hospital.

Several ncidents of violence related to the mining strike have been reported, including burning of cars and shops near Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mines in Rustenburg.

The house of a NUM official was petrol bombed in Bokamoso near Amplats' Khomanani Mine. The official was injured and taken to hospital.

A man was shot dead and another burnt to death at Nkaneng in Photsaneng on October 11.

In Marikana, NUM branch secretary Daluvuyo Bongo, 41, was shot dead at Wonderkop hostel on October 5.

Two men, Zenzile Nxenye, 37, and Sizakhele Kwazile , 35, were arrested in connection with Bongo's murder. They were expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Monday to apply for bail.

A relative of a NUM official was also shot dead at Braampie informal settlement in Marikana. The gunmen were reportedly looking for his cousin who is a NUM shop steward.

On October 5, a body of a man was found at a hill near Nkaneng. He was allegedly shot by the police who dispersed an illegal gathering of mineworkers at the hill.

Thirty four Lonmin mineworkers were killed in on August 16. Ten people including two policemen and two security guards were killed between August 10 and 14 after the Lonmin strike started.

The Lonmin strike ended after the mine agreed to pay workers between R9000 and R11,000. The workers were demanding a R12,500 monthly salary.

Mineworkers in Rustenburg went on strike in September demanding a monthly salary of between R12,500 and R16,000.

The strike has since spread to other mines country wide.

Amplats fired 12,000 workers after they failed to appear for disciplinary hearings.

- by Sapa

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