South Africa's NUM union says member stabbed to death on way to work

JOHANNESBURG Thu May 22, 2014 7:55am EDT

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A member of South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers was stabbed to death on his way to work at an Anglo American Platinum mine, the union said on Thursday, the fifth such killing in the past two weeks.

NUM's rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), is leading a 17-week strike against Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

The NUM member, a Mozambican, was killed in a squatter camp in the restive platinum belt town of Rustenburg while he was traveling to Amplats' Union Mine about 100 kms (60 miles) to the north, the union said in a statement.

"He is one of the NUM members who returned to work last week and he was threatened that he should stop going to work by the striking workers," the union said.

A NUM spokesman told Reuters the victim had fled to Rustenburg last week after being targeted but had planned to return to the Union shafts on Thursday.

Wage talks between the producers and AMCU resumed on Wednesday almost a month after they collapsed.

The strike is the longest and costliest industrial action in South African mining history, hitting 40 percent of global production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.

It has grown increasingly violent as growing numbers of workers have attempted to return to work.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by David Dolan)

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