While recognising employees' right to strike, Anglo American Platinum has expressed its sympathy following the killing of one of its mineworkers.
Anglo American Platinum on Thursday condemned the killing of one of its employees at the Sondela informal settlement near Rustenburg, North West.
“We express our sincerest sympathy and extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased,” Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith said in a statement.
“We will continue to work closely with the South African Police Services to ensure that those responsible for this act will be brought to justice.”
Amplats could not confirm which union the mineworker was affiliated to and said investigations continued.
It condemned all acts of intimidation and violence while it recognised employees’ right to strike.
NUM member killed
Amplats said those employees who wanted to work should be allowed to do so.
Earlier, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) branch chairperson at Amplats’s Union mine in Limpopo, Steve Modimokwane said one of their members, who is from Mozambique, was killed.
Felix Manjate was one of the NUM members who returned to work last week, despite strikers threatening him not to.
Manjate was the first NUM member at Amplats’s Limpopo operation to be killed. Others were beaten but survived, he said.
Three NUM members were killed near Lonmin’s mines in Marikana, North West, on May 11.
“We are sick and tired of these continuing killings of our members. We are appealing to our government to do something about these killings,” said Modimokwane.
“The NUM is alarmed at the situation in the platinum mines and its escalating violence has been allowed to continue unabated by the law enforcement agencies and the mine security in the platinum belt.”
Violent strikes unnecessary
The union maintained that violent strikes were unnecessary and should never be allowed to replace dialogue.
Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Amplats in North West and Limpopo went on a protected strike on January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12 500 per month.
They rejected the companies’ offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017.
Talks facilitated by the labour court in a bid to end the strike continued at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg on Thursday and would reportedly resume on Friday.
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo condemned the killing on Thursday night, saying the death of one miner was one too many.
‘Despicable acts of violence’
“Despicable acts of violence and intimidation of non-striking workers call for parties involved in the wage dispute to find each other to bring the strike to an end,” Mahumapelo said in a statement.
He appealed to the public to help police with their investigations and to the platinum companies to tighten security for workers reporting for duty. – Sapa