Two guards killed in mine clash
TWO security guards were killed when the car they were travelling in was set alight near Lonmin’s largest mine, Karee, outside Rustenburg, North West police said on Sunday.
The killing was linked to ongoing conflict between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.
Amcu appears to be positioning itself as an alternative to NUM, a Congress of South African Trade Unions affiliate.
In February the two unions clashed over membership at Impala Platinum's mines. Six weeks of production and 100,000oz of platinum output worth about R2bn were lost.
"Investigations as to how the guards were killed are under way and we will provide further details as soon as they become available," Brig Ngubane said.
Four mineworkers were also shot and wounded on Friday and Saturday.
Brig Ngubane said two NUM supporters were shot, allegedly by supporters of Amcu, on Friday night.
Amcu members had earlier in the day marched at the Karee mine demanding a 12% salary increase.
"Later that night NUM employees were prevented from going to work. A shooting... took place and two people were wounded."
Brig Ngubane said the Amcu-aligned group gathered at Karee hostel on Saturday, and moved to Nkaneng, where two more NUM members were shot and wounded.
Cases of attempted murder were opened.
Ian Farmer, CEO of Lonmin — where Amcu in June claimed a membership of 5000 — said recently that Amcu had made mining more challenging.
"Successfully managing labour relations represents the biggest challenge to the mining industry at this time. Labour dynamics are going through a sea change with the emergence of an alternative trade union in the platinum group metals industry in the form of Amcu, to rival the dominance of the NUM."
With Allan Seccombe
More in this section
- Union membership tussle costing jobs, Zuma warns
- Society, environment issues ‘should concern miners’
- Gold beneficiation strategies ‘will not create thousands of jobs’
- Canada fund acquires Hollister mine for $15m
- State’s mining, biodiversity guideline cautiously welcomed
- Amcu optimistic on reaching deal to cut Amplats job losses