Την ώρα που η Ango American Platinum ετοιμάζεται να απολύσει 6000 κόσμο δολοφονείται συνδικαλιστής του σωματείου AMCU που προέκυψε από τη διάσπαση του NUM, ο οποίος θεωρείτο μάρτυρας σε δικαστική έρευνα για τον περυσινό σφαγιασμό δεκάδων εργατών από την αστυνομία. Η διάσπαση των συνδικάτων και οι αιματηρές συμπλοκές μεταξύ εργατών πέρυσι ήταν αποτέλεσμα της υπονομευτικής στάσης του NUM στους μισθολογικούς αγώνες.
Lonmin the world’s third-largest platinum producer, said operations at its Marikana mine in South Africa have been halted after workers refused to go underground following a union official’s death. “Lonmin operations are suspended this morning owing to an illegal work stoppage,” Sue Vey, a company spokeswoman, said in a text message. “All 13 shafts are not operational.” Lonmin fell as much as 7.9 percent in London trading.
A potential witness at the judicial inquiry into South Africa‘s Marikana mine massacre has been gunned down in an alleged assassination amid fears of renewed violence in the area.
Two other men were shot dead over the weekend, prompting the governing African National Congress (ANC) to warn that Marikana “cannot be allowed to deteriorate into a bastion of lawlessness”.
The eyes of the world were on Marikana in North West province last year when a wildcat strike at the Lonmin mine turned violent. Police shot dead 34 mineworkers on a single afternoon, the deadliest security incident since the end of racial apartheid.
On Saturday, Steve Khululekile, organiser of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Workers Union (Amcu), was watching football at a bar in nearby Photsaneng village when four unknown men stormed in. He was shot four times by a 9mm pistol.
A bar employee told South Africa‘s Star newspaper: “I saw four men covering their heads with hats. One of them was pointing his gun down at Bra Steve … and busy shooting at him. There were about 20 people inside the hall and they were all screaming and ducking for cover underneath the table.”
More than 2,000 Amcu members gathered in Marikana for a “tense meeting” that lasted nearly two hours, the paper reported, and speakers were unanimous in condemning the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
Amcu poached tens of thousands of disgruntled workers last year from the dominant NUM, heralding a turf war in the restive platinum belt.
“I don’t have evidence, but I have no doubt that this is related to the Amcu-NUM conflict,” Khululekile’s friend Mceli Baliman told the Star. “Why is it that he was killed after the announcement that Amcu is now officially the majority union in Lonmin and other mines?”
Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the NUM, rejected the allegations as “pure nonsense”.
Retired judge Ian Farlam, chairperson of the Marikana commission of inquiry, warned against continued attacks against witnesses. “A witness was killed and one potential witness was killed,” he said. “Both cases appear to be assassination. It is important for this commission to get to the truth of what happened and it’s able to carry on without interference and disruption.
“Deaths of these kind can only impact adversely on the work of the commission.”
Alton Joja, a sangoma (traditional healer) who reportedly supplied the striking workers with charms they believed would protect them against police bullets, was shot and killed in March by unknown assailants.
Tshepo Mahlangu, spokesman for the commission, said: “Any loss of life is regrettable and if it affects the commission’s ability to get to the truth of what happened last year then we have reason to be concerned.
“The judge said at the outset that if witnesses feel any way threatened they have the right to approach the commission through lawyers.”
In a separate incident in the early hours of Sunday morning, twin brothers were killed in a shack in Nkaneng township, near the spot where thousands of mineworkers gathered before the massacre. The killers, wrapped in blankets and wearing balaclavas, are said to have asked the brothers for information on the whereabouts of another man.
Police who arrived at the scene were reportedly met by a crowd of people who opened fire on them, causing them to retaliate.
The ANC said it condemned the shootings in “the harshest terms”.
Jackson Mthembu, the party’s national spokesperson, said: “Marikana cannot be allowed to deteriorate into a bastion of lawlessness and the ANC urges the law enforcement agencies to act determinedly and with urgency to bring those involved in these crimes to answer before the judicial system.
“The ANC calls for restraint, including on media reports, as the spreading and publication of speculations and unproven theories on the cause of the violence may fuel further tensions within the area.”
Πηγή: guardian & bloomberg