Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

JOHANNESBURG — A gaggle of miners from an unregistered, rival union are holding lots of of their colleagues underground for a second day at a gold mine in South Africa over a union dispute, police and mine officers mentioned Tuesday. Some 15 miners have been injured in scuffles, the top of the mine mentioned.

Particulars have been sketchy and there have been conflicting statements over what occurred, with the unregistered union asserting it represents the vast majority of staff on the mine and it needs to be formally acknowledged. It mentioned the employees underground have been staging a protest and there was no hostage state of affairs.

In accordance with Jon Hericourt, CEO of New Kleinfontein Gold Mine firm, which manages the mine, the incident erupted early Monday when miners from the AMCU union prevented lots of of others from leaving after their night time shift ended on the Modder East mine in Springs, east of Johannesburg.

Hericourt mentioned there have been 562 mineworkers underground, and the corporate had estimated that between 110 and 120 of them have been AMCU supporters. There have been all types of hammers, picks, shovels and different mining gear that could possibly be used as weapons, he mentioned.

Police mentioned the mineworkers had been underground since their night time shift started late Sunday. Mine officers have been in talks with union representatives to resolve the problem and “police are on standby,” the South African Police Companies mentioned in an announcement.

Police and mine officers weren’t at present in touch with anybody underground regardless of attempting to achieve them by way of mine telephones and two-way radios, in keeping with Hericourt. There had been some preliminary contact early Monday with the alleged hostage-takers.

No less than one man had sustained a critical head harm in scuffles, Hericourt mentioned. The mine despatched a paramedic and a safety officer to convey him out on Monday after an settlement that they may, however the two have been additionally taken hostage, he mentioned.

The Nationwide Union of Mineworkers, the only acknowledged union on the mine, mentioned its members have been being held in opposition to their will.

“They’re nonetheless stopping them from coming to the floor,” NUM consultant Mlulameli Mweli mentioned, including there have been additionally feminine mine staff trapped. “NUM requires the legislation enforcement companies in South Africa to intervene and go underground and arrest the hooligans.”

Hericourt blamed members of AMCU, saying they’ve demanded to be the only union representing the miners at Modder East, which is owned by the Gold One Group.

AMCU has disputed Hericourt’s model of occasions, saying that there was a sit-in protest by miners in assist of the union.

Rivalry between the NUM and AMCU unions was partly accountable for one in all South Africa’s most horrific mining episodes, when 34 putting mineworkers have been shot and killed by police at a platinum mine in Marikana within the North West province in 2012.

Six different mineworkers and two safety officers have been killed in days of violence that preceded one of many worst mass shootings by police in South Africa for the reason that finish of apartheid.


Imray reported from Cape City, South Africa.


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