File photo: Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - Labour union Amcu, which is driving a marathon strike in the platinum mining sector, has denied being militant or violent.

“We are not a militant union,” Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We are a focused union who know the economic reality and when we challenge this we are called militant.”

He denied that union members were afraid to speak out against the prolonged strike at union public meetings.

“The allegation is not founded, it is only coming from you 1/8media 3/8,” he said.

North West police said a man and a woman were arrested for assaulting a non-striking mineworker in Mfidikwe near Rustenburg on Friday.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said a 38-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman were arrested at their homes on charges of assault with intention to cause serious bodily harm.

He said a non-striking mine employee was allegedly attacked by people who were wearing Amcu T-shirts at Mfidikwe on Tuesday afternoon.

“According to the information, the complainant, who is employed at Aquarius, was about to enter his residential place after work when a vehicle stopped next to his house and its occupants alighted and attacked him,” Ngubane said.

“The suspects allegedly accused the victim of going to work while they are on strike. They reportedly attacked and stabbed him with a knife in the thigh.”

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum operations in Rustenburg and North West, and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12,500 over a period of four years.

The strike, now in its 102nd day, has cost the companies over R16 billion in revenue, while workers lost a total of R7.29bn in earnings.