The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said in a statement late on Monday that members from the National Union of Mineworks (NUM) had attacked and killed one of its members while critically injuring another while union members waited outside Zondereinde as designated by management.
Northam Platinum suspended operations at the mine on Monday after a worker was fatally stabbed in the town of Northam on Sunday during a clash between the rival unions AMCU and NUM.
Following these acts of violence, the South African Chamber of Mines president Mike Teke noted with concern the acts of violence on Sunday and Monday that have in turn sparked incidents of protest at the mine, as well as vocal and inflammatory comments by some parties and released a statement calling for leaders to restore calm, and ensure adherence to the law.
He called on the leadership of all employee representatives at Northam to ask members to use only peaceful methods to pursue the interests of their respective organisations, and to uphold the law at all times.
Teke further called on the South African Police Service to leave no stone unturned in their investigation of the two murders, but also to act in accordance with the precept of minimum force in its efforts to prevent further violence and to establish and maintain peace in the area.
The Chamber commended the decision to temporarily suspend underground operations in the interests of safety, while requesting all parties to act responsibly when operations resume.
On Tuesday afternoon, the management of Northam Platinum’s Zondereinde mine urged employees to return to work saying that “calm had returned to the mine”.
Northam chief executive Paul Dunne has called on all parties to act responsibly, urging all parties to exercise leadership following these tragic incidents, in the interests of safety for all.
Mine management said that it will assist the authorities in their investigations into the deaths where required, and is seeking to administer to the needs of the families of the deceased.
The company said that talks with all parties to reach a constructive conclusion to the current impasse continue.