JOHANNESBURG. — A union leader was shot dead yesterday at the volatile Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana about 60 km northwest of Johannesburg, fuelling tension at the mine where violence linked with labour unrest claimed 44 lives last year.The murder took place at Lonmin’s Roland shaft early yesterday morning, the National Union of Mineworkers said in a statement, adding it “is outraged at the cold blooded murder of one of its women shop steward.”
The killing came days before the one-year anniversary of the Marikana massacre in which police shot dead 34 striking miners.
Ten other people were also killed in clashes between rival unions fighting for dominance among mine workers.
Although large-scale tension eased, Marikana remains a troubled spot, with sporadic strikes and killings of unionists, believed to be carried out by rival unions.
“The NUM is disappointed that amid the increasing assassinations in Marikana and the broader Rustenburg area, there has not been any progress with regard to the arrest and prosecutions of the suspects,” the trade union said.
“Whilst many of the suspects are known to the police, none has been arrested or prosecuted.
“They are just allowed to take the law into their own hands and do as they see fit.
“There has neither been any beef-up of the security establishment nor has there been any visible policing in the area.”
The union warned that police incompetence may lead to serious bloodbath in the area.
The NUM also accused the company of being preoccupied with profit.
“The NUM is further disappointed at Lonmin’s behaviour in instructing NUM shop stewards to return to the operations even though the union cautioned that it was not safe to do so,” the union said in reference to an ongoing strike by hundreds of mine workers. — Xinhua.
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