File Picture: IOL

JOHANNESBURG  - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Tuesday condemned what it called the escalation of violence and attacks on its members at Blybank in Carletonville, allegedly by members of a rival union striking at Sibanye-Stillwater's Beatrix mine.

The NUM said at least 15 houses and six cars belonging to its members had been burnt since the strike by its rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which started last November.
 
"NUM members' houses are being burnt down every day. It is also disturbing that NUM members are also being forced to join Amcu by thugs carrying spears," the union said in a statement.

"We want the company and the law enforcement agencies to take action against these thugs who have decided to target our members for reporting on duty. This intimidation against members of the NUM has been happening for some time now and our members have reached a stage where they cannot tolerate it anymore."

The strike by Amcu at Sibanye's three gold mines in South Africa has been characterized by violence. At least four mineworkers have died, while others were injured and property damaged during clashes between rival unions.

Amcu officials were not immediately available for comment on NUM's latest allegations. 

NUM deputy chairperson in Carletonville Phumeza Mgengo said the union had tried to restore calm "but the problem is that we are dealing with hooligans here".

They don't want to listen, they don't respect the rule of law. So it is difficult for us to talk with them," Mgengo said. 

"Law-enforcement agencies must come to the party to end [violence] and the management of Sibanye must sit down with Amcu and have talks to end the strike." 

- African News Agency (ANA)