Johannesburg - Platinum miner Lonmin [JSE:LON] says two
Lonmin employees have been killed and six injured in three incidents of
suspected inter-union conflict at the company’s Western Platinum operations.
The company immediately requested the support of the South
African Police Service (Saps) to support its own security procedures in trying
to contain the violence.
The incidents followed an illegal work stoppage and protest
march on Friday‚ August 10 by about 3 000 Lonmin rock drill operators‚ which
quickly spiralled into criminal actions by rival factions‚ it said.
“The illegal march was accompanied by incidents of
intimidation and violent action against employees who wanted to report for
duty. Four employees trying to report for work were injured on Friday‚ two of
whom have been hospitalised after receiving gunshot wounds‚ allegedly by rival
union supporters. A further two employees were hospitalised on Saturday‚ also
as a result of gunshot wounds‚” the company said.
On Sunday two Lonmin security guards were killed as a large
group attempted to attack Lonmin facilities.
“Their families‚ to whom the company extends its deepest
sympathies‚ are being informed. The company will do everything possible to
support the Saps in bringing the culprits to book‚” it said.
At the start of the unrest‚ Lonmin immediately took
appropriate security precautions including mobilising additional resources and
involving the Saps. Lonmin also successfully applied for a court interdict to
prevent any further disruption of operations.
“The situation remains tense and Lonmin continues to
maintain high visibility jointly with the Saps to guarantee the safety of our
employees and prevent disruptions to the business.
“We condemn these attacks and the intimidation associated
with them. We call for calm from all parties involved‚ and we expect Saps to continue
to take control of the area and prevent further loss of life‚” said Barnard
Mokwena‚ executive vice-president for human capital and external affairs.
“We will do everything in our power to assist in restoring
peace and order.”