(Adds Amplats confirmation of death of its employee)
JOHANNESBURG May 22 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 Anglo American
Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum and Lonmin
The NUM member, a Mozambican, was killed in a squatter camp
in the 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 said the victim had fled to Rustenburg last
week after being targeted but had planned to return to the union
shafts on Thursday.
Amplats confirmed the death of one of its employees, who had
been found stabbed near an informal settlement in Sondela,
"While the company recognises employees have the right to
strike, it is also imperative that those employees who want to
work should be allowed to do so without fear of violence and
intimidation," it said in a statement.
Court-mediated wage talks between the three producers and
AMCU resumed on Wednesday almost a month after they collapsed.
The chief executive of Impala Platinum said on Thursday that
feedback from initial talks with AMCU was lukewarm and that the
strike could last much longer.
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; additional reporting by Silvia
Antonioli; editing by David Dolan and Jane Baird)