Lonmin concerned about worker safety

Johannesburg - The safety of people in Marikana is a priority, Lonmin platinum mine said on Tuesday night.

"The physical safety of everyone at Marikana remains our overriding priority and must take precedence over all other matters," the company's vice-president of mining, Mark Munroe said in a statement issued from its London offices.

"Embarking on unlawful and unprotected work stoppages puts lives and livelihoods at risk while families also suffer due to the loss of earnings."

Wildcat strike

The company said it was fully committed to achieving a fair and peaceful resolution of the dispute.

He urged all striking employees to return to work, and urged their representatives to continue meeting with management.

"We believe that through respectful dialogue between unions and management we will be able to resolve the issues that have been raised and maintain the excellent momentum that together we have achieved in the last six months."

Lonmin said it had met with unions earlier on Tuesday.

"The leadership of each union has assured Lonmin that they did not call for the work stoppage and therefore do not support it," the company said.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members went on wildcat strike on Tuesday, demanding that the National Union of Mineworkers' offices be shut down. The union said NUM had lost its status as a majority union.

They marched earlier in the day through the dusty streets of Nkaneng from Wonderkop, the hill where 34 striking miners were shot dead by police on 16 August last year.


Lonmin confirmed operations were suspended in the morning because of the strike. NUM regional co-ordinator Mxhasi Sithethi said the situation at the mine was tense.

"People are singing outside our office, demanding the closure of the NUM office."

The strikers marched to a local stadium where they were waving sticks in the direction where police vehicles were parked.

A high number of police officers were deployed to monitor the situation.

Three people, including Amcu regional organiser Mawethu Steven, were gunned down in Marikana at the weekend.

Steven was shot dead at a tavern in Photsaneng on Saturday.

Two brothers, Andile and Ayanda Menzi, were shot dead also in Nkaneng on Saturday.

Munroe said it did not permit or condone the carrying of firearms on company property.

"Anyone found guilty of this violation of company policy will be reported to the police and face disciplinary action," he said.

"We have investigated every allegation of firearms being in union offices and none of our searches have uncovered any weapons. Nevertheless, we have agreed to increase the number of random searches of offices and individuals."

mica gogome 2013/05/15 07:55:34 AM
Gabriel Marupta 2013/05/15 07:59:44 AM
Nun should close shop...you can't represent workers with 30% membership,let amcu do the negotiations to avoid un necessary blood bath
simon.selahla 2013/05/15 08:01:36 AM
The Marikana Massacre Part || to follow!
Criticalyst 2013/05/15 08:02:25 AM
Talking about people who never learn from the past actions.Strikes do not resolve problems,but literate and educated negotiators can be able to sit down and comprehensionally discuss ways forward and solve problems.I am very reluctant to say Marikana is cursed but im heading that way!...
Johan Steyn265 2013/05/15 08:11:59 AM
Here we go again, they haven't learned from previous mistakes they are barbaric and wants to burn down everything to get their way yet they want to cry if they get hurt......
Sthembiso Jali 2013/05/15 08:13:59 AM
both unions should shut down immediately. they have failed to lead their members in correct , respectful
Gwilym John Howes 2013/05/15 08:17:47 AM
This proves my point that the Police action was NOT drastic enough! These barbarians have not learned their lesson yet.
Mohlaume Mamabolo 2013/05/15 08:22:24 AM
I agree with you John howes when u say they have not learned anything but calling them apes is wrong and un called for. I hope that the fighting between the unions stops so that the can be peace that side.
Gwilym John Howes 2013/05/15 08:23:09 AM
This is Africa. Look at the pics. People here like to sit around talking sh"t. In fact, they like to sit around, period! And they like to dance. Only place I am sure where they dance when they are happy, and dance when they are angry. But dance, they will dance! Pity they don't put that energy into study and hard work, and join together to create a successful economy where everyone would benefit from a rich country. No, these parasites would rather extend their perpetually cupped hands to beg for handouts they don't deserve. EARN it, man!
Mkhonto Ntshangase 2013/05/15 08:23:41 AM
What is wrong for NUM to have an office at Lonmin, a office is for operations for a union because of its members. AMCU is behaving like a vigilant group, intimidating people, using regionalism to achieve recognition and labour rights. Now this vigilant group AMCU is misleading workers into a wild cate strike, the danger is that workers will face dismissals, because it is unprotected. NUM members must not allow the vigilant group AMCU to mislead mine workers, the community at Nkaneng must stand up against regionalism by AMCU dissidents, for real revolution thats unite people for socialism.