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AMCU lays blame for union violence at NUM's door

Sapa

Trade union AMCU says the National Union of Mineworkers is responsible for the violence which left nine dead at the Marikana mine in the North West.

National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni. (Gallo)

"It's totally incorrect that they [NUM] have been victims. They are the perpetrators of this violence," said Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union vice-president Jeff Mthahmeme on Monday evening. "Four of our members on Saturday were shot at, and two of them have since died."

Mthahmeme said it was a trend of NUM that when it lost membership it brought violence and threw people into disarray.

Nine people, including two police officers, have been killed due to the violence which began on Friday.

Violence at the Lonmin mine has been linked to clashes between members of NUM and AMCU, which are reportedly fighting for control of local mines.

'Alarmed'
Earlier on Monday, NUM condemned the violence and called for immediate action from the police.

"[We are] alarmed at that the escalating violence has been allowed to continue unabated by the law enforcement agencies in that area in North West Province," said NUM general secretary Frans Baleni.

"We call for the deployment of a special task force or the SANDF to deal decisively with the criminal elements in Rustenburg and its surrounding mine."

Baleni dismissed statements that was a rivalry attack and said the NUM was a victim of AMCU.

Scores of other people have been injured in the violent unrest in the last four days. Police also reported that eight vehicles were torched on the mine property on Sunday.

The mine has called for an end to the violence.

"Whilst our first thoughts must be with the families of those killed and injured in these criminal clashes, our operational priority is to see the violence stop," said Lonmin CEO Ian Farmer.

Stable
In February, the two unions also clashed over membership at Impala Platinum's mines in Rustenburg. – Sapa

Meanwhile, police said on Tuesday morning the situation at the mine was stable.

Captain Dennis Adriao said police had been monitoring the situation at the mine.

"At this stage no other incidents were reported throughout Monday night."

About 3 000 Lonmin rock drill operators started an illegal work stoppage and protest march on Friday. – Sapa

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