File image: Reuters

Gold miner Harmony (HAR) confirmed on Friday that two employers were killed and a third person injured in the vicinity of its Kusasalethu mine in what appears to be inter-union rivalry.

Kusasalethu operations‚ situated near Carletonville are unaffected‚ the gold producer said.

"Harmony deplores the tragic and senseless loss of life in what appears to be inter-union rivalry‚ not associated with the operations of the mine. Management‚ the recognised unions and AMCU have continued to engage in talks about normalising the situation at Kusasalethu‚ since workers returned to work on the 25th of October 2012 following the unprotected strike‚” said CEO Graham Briggs.

Mineworker Sithembile Nqulo said the shooting was the result of rivalry between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

“Amcu members were on their way to their weekly meetings when a small group of NUM members called them and said they should join their union.”

“The next thing we just heard gunshots. They were fired by the NUM members,” he said.

He said the gunmen took refuge in a nearby office where they remained holed up until the police arrived.

He said the NUM's leaders were frustrated at losing members after a recent wage strike at the mine. - I-Net Bridge and Sapa