Wednesday 31 July 2013

Shooting at Lonmin's Marikana Platinum Mine.

A 49 year old man, believed to be a team leader for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), was shot dead at the  Lonmin-owned Marikana Platinum Mine in Rustenburg in northeast South Africa. The incident happened on Sunday 28 July 2013, but the South African Police Service have yet to release details of the event, which is thought to be associated with the ongoing (and often bloody) dispute between the AMCU and it's more established rival the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

The approximate location of the Lonmin Marikana Mine. Google Maps.

The NUM is closely associated with the ruling ANC, and was heavily involved in the struggle against apartheid. However since the ANC came to power it has been accused of becoming to close to the mining companies, who the ANC need to remain on good terms with. The newer AMCU claim that workers in the mining industry are receiving considerably lower wages than they ought to be able to expect, and have organized a string of strikes across the sector, brining a number of mining companies to the negotiating table, but also resulting in some violent clashes with the police and members of other political organizations. In August 2012 police opened fire on AMCU workers at a rally at the Marikana Mine, killing at least 34 people, the worst single outbreak of violence in South Africa since the end of the Apartheid system.

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