Rustenburg - A mineworker was stabbed to death at Sondela informal settlement near Rustenburg in the North West on Thursday, the National Union of Mineworkers Union (NUM) said.
“We can confirm that our member who is from Mozambique was killed at Sondela squatter camp in Rustenburg when he was on his way to work,” said Steve Modimokwane, NUM branch chairman at Union mine in Limpopo.
“He is one of the NUM members who returned to work last week and he was threatened that he should stop going to work by the striking workers.
“We are sick and tired of these continuing killings of our members. We are appealing to our government to do something about these killings.”
“The NUM is alarmed at the situation in the platinum mines and its escalating violence has been allowed to continue unabated by the law enforcement agencies and the mine security in the platinum belt,” he said.
NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said when 7000 NUM members embarked on an 11-week strike at Northam Platinum in Limpopo, the strike was very disciplined.
“Not a fly was hurt. Even in this strike, our members who are not part of this strike must be allowed to report for duty but that is not happening,” said Baleni.
There was no need for striking workers to be violent during their industrial action.
“It is possible for workers to lead a peaceful, bloodless, and effective legal strike like what NUM did at Northam Platinum.”
He said the union still maintained that violent strikes were unnecessary and should never be allowed to replace dialogue.
“We call on workers in the platinum belt to stop killing one another, but build unity in order to fight for improved wages and better working conditions.
“They must not allow mine bosses to divide and weaken them. Workers will gain nothing from fighting and killing one another.”
North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the police had not yet received a report about the killing.
Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum operations in Rustenburg and Northam in Limpopo went on a protected strike on January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.
They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.
Mediation talks facilitated by the labour court continued on Thursday at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg. - Sapa