File: The platinum belt -- in which the Zondereinde mine is located -- has been the battlefield for a membership turf war between NUM and Amcu.
RUSTENBURG– North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo appealed on Tuesday for calm in Rustenburg’s mining areas amid rising tensions following the murder of yet another Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) member.
“We can’t continue to kill each other in the manner that this is happening. We need to have a total regard for human life and we must never cease to talk to each other, no matter how difficult the situation is,” he said.
“Killing each other will never resolve the challenges that we are faced with. We must at all times embrace any chance of talking to each other.
"Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. We wish them strength during this difficult time.”
Mvelisi Biyela, an Amcu health and safety officer at Lonmin, was gunned down on Friday night in Wonderkop in front of his wife and his six-year-old child. He was reportedly shot in the back of the head, as well as in the lower back.
North West police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Adele Myburgh said the police were investigating a case of murder after a 35-year-old man was found shot dead at the Lonmin family village in Wonderkop.
“According to information, two suspects were seen fleeing from the scene. Investigations continue and no arrest has been made,” she said.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said Biyela’s death amounted to a declaration of war on Amcu.
“We are not going to fold our arms as our members are killed, their wives left as widows and their children grow up in single-parent families without a father. Amcu values the lives of its members, of all platinum workers and of all mineworkers. For Amcu, an injury to one is an injury to all. For us, this is not just a slogan. It is a way of life. It is the foundations of what this union has been built on,” he said.
“Our members will not be slaughtered like flies. We will fight back and we will fight hard. We do not want crocodile tears from the government, management and the media about action that jeopardises jobs. What about inaction that jeopardises lives?”
He said more than five Amcu leaders have been killed in the last few months.
“No arrests have taken place …”
On 12 September, Mpeke Nonyana, 49, the branch treasurer of Amcu at Impala Platinum Mine’s Number Six shaft was gunned down.
On 17 September, Amcu member Mohahu Daniel Maseko, 35, was shot dead in Luka village, while returning home from work at Impala Platinum Mine.
On the same day, another Amcu member was shot in the leg and was admitted to hospital.