Johannesburg - Government was considering deploying a peacekeeping force in
the mining sector, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Monday.
The objective was to contain the violence that had plagued the industry, she
told reporters at OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park.
"We will discuss that with the deputy president.
"If there is a need to deploy that peacekeeping force we have to do so
in the mining sector as a whole," Oliphant said.
"Because we can't take a chance, that since it [violence] has not
happened here, probably it is not going to happen."
Oliphant said government needed to be pro-active in dealing with the
violence that had marred strikes in the mining sector.
She was speaking after meeting the Congress of SA Trade Unions, its
affiliate the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Council of
Trade Unions (Nactu), and its affiliate the Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (Amcu).
Oliphant said she received reports from the NUM that two of its members had
been shot in Marikana in North West, on Monday.
Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone said earlier that a man believed to be
a NUM member was killed and another person was injured in a shooting at
Lonmin's Wonderkop hostel.
"One died at the scene and the other has been taken to the
hospital," Mokgwabone said.
The police's initial information was that the shots had been fired before lunch.
Police could not immediately confirm a report that one of the men shot at
was a NUM shop steward. They had been told he was a member of the union.
Labour relations in the mining sector have taken centre stage since the
killing of 44 people at Lonmin's Marikana mine last year.
Tensions between rival unions the NUM and Amcu have intensified in the
platinum sector, leading to strikes.