N West premier condemns mine violence

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pretoria - North West Premier Thandi Modise has expressed concern about the violence triggered by union rivalry that has so far claimed nine lives, and also resulted in the destruction of property at Lonmin Marikana Mine.

Two policemen, two security guards, three protestors and two other men were killed and another policeman was critically injured by Monday afternoon.

"We wish to convey our condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones in the violence that is allegedly triggered by union rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

"... We call for cessation of hostilities and for a return to the negotiation table," said Modise.

She was optimistic that the extra police deployed in the area would bring the situation under control.

Lonmin reportedly announced that the body of a man with gunshot wounds, believed to be linked to the violence, was found on the premises. Another man died in hospital on Sunday after being hacked with a panga as he left the mine after the evening shift.

On Saturday, two security guards were killed when the car they were travelling in was set alight.

Scores of other people have been injured in the violent unrest in the last four days, allegedly caused by the two unions fighting for control of local mines. Police also reported that eight vehicles were torched on the mine property on Sunday.

Lonmin has called for an end to the violence, which begun on Friday following an illegal work stoppage and protest march by about 3 000 rock drill operators. Both unions have blamed each other for the violence.