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NUM member’s house burnt down

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Rustenburg - North West police are investigating a case of arson following the torching of a house belonging to a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) member in Luka Village.

“This comes after a four-room house situated at Tau Section in Luka village was set alight by unknown people,” Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said in a statement.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Thursday.

“It is alleged that the house belongs to a 38-year-old National Union of Mineworkers affiliate, who works as an instructor at Shaft One at Implats (Impala Platinum).”

Ngubane said damage to the property was estimated at about R50 000. No one was injured as the house was unoccupied at the time.

“It is alleged that tenants who are renting a back room were woken up by smoke inhalation and saw that one of the rooms had caught fire,” he said.

The tenants managed to extinguish the fire before it caused further damage.

The cause of the fire was still unknown. No one had been arrested and investigations were ongoing.

Ngubane said he believed the attack was linked to union rivalry. He said such acts were scare tactics to threaten people or identify them as targets that had to be attacked and killed.

“These are plans allegedly employed by striking Amcu (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) members to threaten and attack workers who are going to work and are not part of the strike,” he said.

Ngubane urged those going to work, to continue walking in groups and to avoid dark and vegetated areas.

“Any person or situation that is seen to be suspicious should be reported to the police,” he said.

Amcu members downed tools on January 23 at Lonmin, Implats, and Anglo American Platinum demanding a minimum R12 500 monthly salary. There is still no end in sight to the protracted strike.

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