File image: The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). IOL.
The National Union of Mineworkers (Num)  has distanced itself from the killing of mineworkers as bodies continue to pile up in the platinum belt in the North West.

The Num said yesterday (Tuesday) that it strongly condemned the killings that continued unabated in Rustenburg. 

“It does not matter to what union or association they belong. What matters most is that these killings are leaving families without a source of income. We call on law enforcement  agencies to arrest and prosecute these killers and, in fact, the masterminds behind these killings. No trade union can sustain itself through killing people and a reign of terror. This must stop and stop now,” the union president Piet Matosa (yesterday) Tuesday.

The Num, which has been losing members since ever since more than 40 people were killed in violent clashes that resulted the Marikana massacre in mid-August  2012, had been complaining about the killings amid union rivalry, said Matosa.

“When our members were killed we tried everything with law enforcement agencies. 

"As we speak we have 19 cases that are still outstanding since mid-August 2012. We are saying the Num will never and has never been involved in any killings."  ‘We have seen statements where the Num has been accused of the killings. We want to state categorically we are not involved. People must deal with their own internal matters. 

We know there is a growing dissatisfaction in the way other unions are run. People must allow democracy in their unions. The only union that we are running is the Num,”Matosa said.

Last week Num’s arch-rival the Association of Mineworkers and Construction (Amcu) said on Saturday that another of its on Saturday another of its leaders had been killed execution-style at a Lonmin owned mine.

Amcu said Mvelesi Biyela, a health and safety officer at Lonmin’s Wonderkop mine, had been shot in front of his wife and six-year-old daughter while they were on their way home.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said last week that Biyela’s killing had left the union chilled, shaken but steadfast in its determination to defeat this outrage. 

“Those that think their cowardice can defeat this mighty union built on the spirit of many that have paid the ultimate price, spilled their blood, left us with just their bones must think again. We will not be intimidated. We will not be cowered.

Amcu said over the last few months more than five leaders have been killed. No arrests have taken place. 

“Amcu conducted a private investigation and the assailants with evidence was handed to the police. At the point of making arrest the police were restrained by higher authority,” Mathunjwa said. 

In August, Num said that one of its leaders in Marikana, had been allegedly gunned down  after the Marikana Massacre commemoration events in Rustenburg.