AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Still tensions for the miners made redundant, trade unionists targeted by mysterious killer

Monday, 8 October 2012

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "The situation remains very tense and one does not know what developments there will be in the coming hours" says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg (South Africa), where the company Amplats, world leader of platinum extraction, announced on October 5 the dismissal of 12,000 of its 28,000 miners in a wildcat strike since September 12. On Saturday, October 6, during a meeting, hundreds of sacked miners protested peacefully but threatened to resort to violence if their demands are not met.
To increase the tension, on the night of October 7 a person was killed by mistake, in Marikana, while he was in the house of a unionist, who was the killers real target. This is the second unionist who has been object of an assassination attempt in Marikana, the scene of a violent union clash ended in the death of thirty miners in clashes with the police, on August 16. On October 5, a unionist of the Western Platinium mine was killed in the house. "At the basis of these two murders there is probably a clash between two unions," said Mgr. Dowling, who thinks there is also another hypothesis. "According to some, the first trade unionist killed was in possession of some information on the massacre of Marikana on August 16 that he wanted to share with the inquiring committee, but was killed before he could". These are only suppositions (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/10/2012)