Platinum belt quiet after killings

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AmcuHeadGear Reuters.

Johannesburg - No violence was reported overnight in the Rustenburg platinum belt where three non-striking miners were killed, North West police said on Tuesday morning.

“Nothing new happened in the area,” Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said.

Six non-striking miners were also stabbed while on their way to work on Monday.

Three miners, and one of their wives, were killed in separate incidents since Sunday.

A 60-year-old miner was stabbed to death, another miner died after being set alight, and a third mineworker and his wife were strangled to death.

Fears of friction between striking miners and those wanting to resume work arose when the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) objected to employers approaching miners with their wage offer directly in a bid to end the strike.

Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum, and Lonmin had called on Amcu to exercise responsible leadership.

“We recognise the right to strike as a fundamental right of employees, a right which has been respected throughout the dispute,” they said.

“But we have a responsibility to communicate directly with our employees... our employees wish to return to work but have expressed a fear of continued intimidation and violence.”

The companies urged Amcu to recognise and uphold the rights of those who wanted to work.

Amcu members at Implats, Lonmin, and Amplats have been on strike since January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12,500 a month.

The strike has cost the companies about R14.4 billion in revenue and workers have lost over R6.4bn in earnings.

The R12,500 demand stems from a violent wildcat strike in Marikana near Rustenburg in August 2012, where Lonmin workers demanded R12,500 as a basic monthly salary.

Forty-four people were killed during the strike.

Thirty-four mineworkers were killed on August 16, 2012, when police fired on them while allegedly trying to disarm and disperse them.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed during the preceding week.

President Jacob Zuma appointed retired judge Ian Farlam to chair a commission probing the 44 deaths. - Sapa



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