Gold One Mine strikers are escalating tensions as they resort to violence in their ongoing dispute, vowing to continue until the mine establishes a date for a ballot. On Sunday night, members affiliated with AMCU demonstrated outside the East Modder Operation, setting fire to a car belonging to NUM shop steward Prince Radebe. Allegedly, the miners also targeted the homes of NUM members, instigating intimidation. Wearing balaclavas and AMCU-branded T-shirts, the miners used weapons against the Public Order Police on Monday. They used petrol bombs that failed to ignite. The police employed tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Three weeks ago, the miners initiated the strike, only resurfacing once the mine commits to scheduling a new union election that aligns with their needs. Tladi Mokoena, AMCU Central Johannesburg secretary, clarified that the striking miners are not AMCU members but individuals seeking to join the union. He emphasized that AMCU does not support violence or public destruction. In response, NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mamburu expressed concerns for the safety of their members, noting threats and members going into hiding.
Ziyaad Hassam, the mine’s legal representative, confirmed the suspension of striking miners involved in a hostage situation three weeks ago. Operations are currently limited to care and maintenance, with only essential workers present, resulting in significant financial losses for the mine. AMCU has taken NUM to the labour court to compel the union to set a ballot date. SAPS provincial spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi reported 11 arrests for public violence and malicious damage to property following the torching of a vehicle. The situation remains tense as the standoff between the mine, miners, and unions continues.
Picture: X / ntwaagae
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