NUM outraged by killing of shop steward at Marikana

The National Union of Mineworkers has expressed outrage at the murder of one of its shop stewards at Lonmin's Rowland shaft. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

The National Union of Mineworkers has expressed outrage at the murder of one of its shop stewards at Lonmin's Rowland shaft. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

"[We are] disappointed that amid the increasing assassinations in Marikana and the broader Rustenburg area, there has not been any progress with regard to the arrest and prosecutions of the suspects," spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said on Monday.

"While many of the suspects are known to the police, none has been arrested or prosecuted."

The union said a woman shop steward was shot and killed while walking to the NUM office. North West police confirmed that a woman was shot and killed at the shaft.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said police could not immediately confirm that the victim was a NUM shop steward. Police were still attending to the crime scene, he said. Seshoka said the union was disappointed in Lonmin.

The company had instructed shop stewards to return to work even though the NUM cautioned that it was not safe.

"The union is concerned that the company's pre-occupation with profits and the police incompetence may lead to a serious bloodbath in Rustenburg," he said.

Comment from Lonmin was not immediately available.

​Cosatu said it was tragic that the murder happened days before the August 16 Marikana shooting anniversary.

"We see yet more evidence that violence remains endemic in the Rustenburg area," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

"This latest atrocity demonstrates that the framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry, signed by organised labour ... organised business, and government on 3 July 2013 is simply not being effectively implemented."

On August 16 last year, 34 miners were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police fired on them while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

The framework agreement was aimed at resolving issues like strikes and violence bedevilling the mining industry, especially in the Rustenburg platinum belt.

Meanwhile North West police confiscated home-made weapons at two of Lonmin Platinum's mine hostels on Tuesday morning.

"We confiscated a lot of home-made sharp objects like knobkerries, assegais, and strong iron at two hostels on the platinum belt," spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

"It is part of the operation to rid the area of any dangerous weapons to ensure we have a peaceful commemoration."

Ngubane said the weapons were found at the Wonderkop and Karee hostels.

He said police had received many requests for gatherings in the area on August 16. – Sapa



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