Amcu said that it has written to Bheki Cele and Gwede Mantashe, requesting them to urgently intervene in the violence at Sibanye-Stillwater. 
Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said on Thursday that it has written to Ministers of Police and Mineral Resources, Bheki Cele and Gwede Mantashe, requesting them to urgently intervene in the union rivalry and violence that has erupted at Sibanye-Stillwater.

This as violence broke out on Wednesday night, during a strike by Amcu at Sibanye's Beatrix mine in the Free State and Kloof mine in Gauteng. 

Amcu alleges that its members were attacked by members of the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) when they finished their meeting, while the NUM accuses Amcu of attacking its members.  

At Kloof mine, Amcu said one member was shot on the foot and taken to the mine hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. Another member was also stabbed by a spear and is also recovering.

At Beatrix mine, the NUM said five of its members were attacked while in a bus transporting workers to work, leaving one of them dead after he was shot. But Amcu said its members were attacked by mine security personnel and shot at with rubber bullets as they were picketing throughout the night.

In an urgent media briefing, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said the reports of attack and intimidation towards their members were aimed at declaring their strike violent which subsequently would give Sibanye ammunition to run to Labour Court and interdict the strike.

"This is classic example of how monopoly capital uses the money they got after using the blood and sweat of the black labour in this country to protect their narrow interest, scare the workers and instigate tensions between workers in order to fight each other," Mathunjwa said.

"In an attempt to quell these developing incidents of violence, we have taken a bold step to write to the company to stop their security personnel from provoking and intimidating our members. I had also spoken to the Honorable Minister of Safety and Security, Bheki Cele about these incidents. Moreover, I had written to the Honorable Minister of DMR, Gwede Mantashe, inviting him to intervene in to this dispute by facilitating engagements between the parties with the view of finding an amicable settlement."

Mathunjwa said that he had also written to NUM president Joseph Montisetse, informing him of these incidents and further pleading with him to work together with Amcu in preaching the message of peace amongst their members.

"We are doing all this because we believe it is in the best interest of the workers, the employer and the country not to prolong this strike but to find a solution as a matter of urgency," Mathunjwa said. 

Sibanye has condemned the violence and said all night shifts had been suspended at its gold operations for the duration of the Amcu job boycott.

African News Agency (ANA)