Johannesburg - Workers at the Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS]
Rustenburg operations in South Africa are likely to stay away from work on
Tuesday following violence at the mine the previous day, a spokesperson for the
"It looks like most of the shafts in Rustenburg (will
be affected)," spokesperson Mpumi Sithole told Talk Radio 702.
At least 13 workers were wounded by rubber bullets or
machetes in fighting at Amplats' Siphumelele mine following clashes between
North West premier Thandi Modise on Monday called
for urgent intervention at Amplats in
"Though there were no fatalities, we are extremely
worried that unions within the mining sector are allegedly involved in a bitter
turf war that might open old wounds," Modise said in a statement.
"The price that we all paid in Marikana was too costly
for us not to be concerned about the impact recent developments might have on
On Monday, 13 people were injured at the Siphumelele shaft
at Amplats in a clash between security guards and workers, North West police
"Some of the people were hacked with pangas and sharp
objects, while others were shot with security rubber bullets," Brigadier
Thulani Ngubane said in a statement.
"A group of about 1 000 strong... attacked four people
who were at the union offices. Mine security intervened and fired rubber
bullets, and in the process a total of 13 (people), including four security
guards, (were injured)."
He said the injured people were admitted to Bleskop
Ngubane said four National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) shop
stewards arrived at the mine premises to reclaim occupancy of union offices.
"Allegations further state that other mineworkers of
Amcu (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) were not happy with
their return," he said.
"It is alleged that the mineworkers who were not happy
complained to the management and demanded that the four workers must be sent
He said NUM members survived by "running for their
lives" and hiding in the union's offices.
Modise said the union rivalry between NUM and Amcu called
for "urgent dispute resolution interventions to prevent another
She was referring to the deaths of 44 people during an
unprotected strike at Lonmin [JSE:LON] platinum's mine in Marikana last year.
On August 16, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78
were injured when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group which had
gathered on a hill near the mine.
Ten people, including two police officers and two security
guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.
Ngubane said the situation remained the same at 10:45pm and
that no deaths had been reported at Amplats.
Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole confirmed the clash and
said members of the workers' committee were contesting "NUM's legitimacy
at the mine, and were demanding that NUM vacate its offices".
"The company is currently in the process of validating
union membership at Rustenburg and the mines north of the Pilanesberg,"
she said in a statement.
"Anglo American Platinum expresses its deep concern
about this incident and appeals for its employees to remain calm and respect
the company's dispute resolution process."
Ngubane said the police were investigating cases of public
violence, attempted murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily
Earlier, the Amplats Workers' Committee said five NUM
members were shot.
One of them was shot in the head, the committee said.
In August last year, Amplats fired 12 000 strikers from its
The workers were later taken back.
They had gone on a wildcat strike, demanding a R16 000
salary before deductions.
In January, workers at three of Amplats' operations went on
strike hours after the company announced plans to mothball shafts and cut 14
Amplats lost R3.4bn in revenue when production ground to a
halt in mid-September.
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