Members of the mining community walk near crosses placed at a hill known as the "Hill of Horror", where 43 miners died during clashes with police last year.

Johannesburg - A former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward at Lonmin has died in hospital after he was shot seven times, the union said on Wednesday.

“The NUM is again outraged at the cold-blooded murder of one of its former shop stewards at Lonmin, Percy Letanang, 45, who was shot on Sunday by unknown gunmen,” said Mxhasi Sithethi, Rustenburg regional co-ordinator.

Letanang was shot when he arrived home in Segwaelane near Marikana on Sunday evening.

“He got out of the car to open the gate and gunmen shot him. His brothers took him to a hospital. Unfortunately he passed away last night (Tuesday).”

He said Letanang was employed at Lonmin's Eastern Platinum mine, and took a voluntary severance package (VSP) after Lonmin de-recognised the NUM after the number of its members fell below the required threshold.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union had since become the majority union at Lonmin. Several killings of union members are believed to be due to rivalry between the two unions.

“After Lonmin decided to de-recognise us, most comrades took their VSP's fearing for their safety at the mine, and comrade Letanang was one of them.”

Sithethi said the NUM was worried about the increasing murders of its shop stewards in Marikana and the greater Rustenburg area.

“In less than three months four of our members have been killed... .How long is blood going to have to flow in Marikana?

“It is impossible not to feel heavy-hearted when our shop stewards are brutally killed... .”

North West police said he was shot around 9pm as he arrived home from work.

“The wife heard gunshots... He was taken to a clinic in Bapong and he was transferred to George Mukhari Hospital,” Captain Pelonomi Makau said.

No arrests had been made. - Sapa