The Farlam inquiry has heard that Lonmin miners took their cue from the violent, but effective, protests at their neighbouring platinum firm.
Three years of labour upheaval and a political push for safety and better wages have set in motion a drive to mechanise platinum mines.
On the eastern arm of the platinum belt, a battle for supremacy is brewing between Amcu and the National Union of Mineworkers.
Confident after its success on the platinum belt, the union wants to consolidate its gains in the platinum industry.
The NUM has rejected a 0.5% increase in Northam Platinum's wage offer, says the union.
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim has declared war on the National Union of Mineworkers, saying it will recruit openly in the mining industry.
Veteran unionist Senzeni Zokwana has joined Gwede Mantashe's call for leaders in Cosatu's two main factions to solve their differences.
Murders at Marikana resulting from union rivalry between the NUM and Amcu has violated the peace accord signed in February, says Thandi Modise.
The rand dropped 1.4% in the past few days as strikes at platinum mines continue.
Over 7 000 NUM members representing approximately 80% of the workers at the Northam platinum mine have gone on strike, says the union.
Workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers are demanding salary increases of up to R2100.
Parliament has adopted the Employment Tax Incentive, or youth wage Subsidy, Bill.
The mining union's change of tactics governing wage talks has suggested that last year's bloody mine violence at Marikana may be avoided this year.
Join Kwanele Sosibo and Deshnee Subramany between 1pm and 2pm as they talk you through the latest scandals and brouhahas unfolding in South Africa.
The National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) still represents workers at Lonmin, workers were told at a rally in Marikana on Sunday.
As the former majority union, the NUM now falls very short of representing enough works to allow it organisational rights at the platinum mine.
Mining company Lonmin has filed court papers proposing that a secret ballot be held to establish the union membership of its workers.
Even if Amcu signs, it will not resolve turf wars or satisfy wage demands.
Platinum producer Lonmin and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union are in talks to avert a strike, says a union official.