AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - New tensions in the South African platinum mines

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "Tension is still very high. We are concerned," says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg, near Marikana where the miners of platinum mines are in turmoil after the murder of a trade unionist on Sunday, May 12,. The man, Mawethu Steven, worked for the AMCU, the most intransigent union in negotiations with mining companies. Two other people were subsequently killed by unknown persons who claim to seek another trade unionist of the NUM, the historic miners' union, criticized by workers because it is seen as the least intransigent.
"With regads to these murders we have to wait for the conclusions of the police investigation. It is very difficult to disentangle in this matter to find the truth," said Mgr. Dowling.
Mawethu Steven had to testify at a trial regarding the killing in August 2012 of 34 miners by the police during a previous protest (see Fides 28/8/2012). "This trial is a further element of agitation to which is added the announcement by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) of the dismissal of 6,000 miners. These are factors that increase the tension in the area," the Bishop concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/05/2013)