Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Mining union rivalry: Two shot dead

 

Two people have reportedly been shot dead and one injured at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville. While the details are unclear, the shootings seem to stem from the rivalry between National Union of Minerworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members at the mine. 

According to Sithembile Nqulo, who works at the mine, mineworkers were on their way to a mass meeting when NUM shop stewards opened fire on them. He said the NUM were threatened by the Amcu's presence among the workers. "The NUM wants to lead us by force," he said.

Another mineworker Lennox Tshisa, speaking an hour after the shooting, said it was difficult to know how the shooting started. "We just heard shooting and the police are now here," he said. "But I can confirm that one Amcu member was shot on the knee."

SAPS Gauteng spokesperson General Mohale said the police were still gathering details of the incident and have not yet prepared a statement.

But Johanna Tlokopsi, an official at the SAPS Carletonville branch, confirmed that two mineworkers had been killed and one injured.

Tlokopsi said mineworkers were trying to hold an illegal gathering and attacked security guards who tried to prevent them meeting. "Police went to back up the security guards," she said, "Because the mineworkers destroy things, such as cars, during the illegal gatherings." Tlokopsi said the offices of the NUM had been set alight on Wednesday.

But security guards did not kill the dead mineworkers, she said. “Mineworkers shot at their co-workers,” said Tlokopsi.

Harmony Gold executive of corporate and investor relations, Marian van der Walt, said the company could not comment on the details of the shooting but that the incident was related to union rivalry. "I can say that there is friction between the Amcu and NUM factions. Amcu has a strong presence on the mine and force and violence has been used by unions to get their way," she said.

Workers at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine downed tools in unprotected strike action on October 3 but the company said the majority returned to work on October 25.

 

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

More top stories

South Africa Navy’s strike craft lands in Mozambique

We reveal details of the South African National Defence Force’s contribution to the Southern African Development Community’s military mission to rid Mozambique of insurgents

The 30-day rule: Why you have to wait for a...

Scientists know that people who have had Covid still benefit from getting vaccinated with at least one shot of the vaccine. But can you get vaccinated while you have Covid?

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Malawi moves to Maggie Mkandawire’s beat

Empowering her people through music and education, Maggie Mkandawire fights the Covid-19 pandemic in her own unique way
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×