Mineworker wounded in union clash

2012-05-17 21:05

Johannesburg - A mineworker was wounded in a clash between members of rival unions at a Rustenburg mine on Thursday morning, police said.

Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said several Impala Platinum (Implats) workers belonging to the Associated Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) attacked their National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) colleagues outside a hostel before they left for work.

Two NUM workers ran and hid away. Another was shot in the head and collapsed on the road outside the hostel. He was taken to the Impala Mine Hospital.

"It is alleged that the dispute between the two labour unions' members... is being influenced by the fact that AMCU has now recruited more members since... the Implats strike," Ngubane said.

"The AMCU members are allegedly out-numbering those of NUM and they forcefully want NUM members to vacate the... number 14 shaft."

Implats spokesperson Johan Theron said the unions clashed at two different locations on Thursday morning.

"Production was not affected and the situation is under control but remains tense," he said in a statement.

"Management condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of violence and intimidation. We have been in contact with the SA Police Services and call on them and the unions involved to assist us in our endeavours to stop this senseless violence."

Implats fired 17 200 workers after they refused to return to work in February, despite a court interdict declaring a strike they embarked on in January illegal.

Three people were killed in incidents linked to intimidation and violence involving the dismissed workers, while scores were injured and more than a 100 were arrested for public violence.