South African ex-union official shot dead in Marikana

A former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward has died in hospital after he was shot seven times at Lonmin's (LON:LMI) Marikana mine in Rustenburg on Sunday evening, the group said in a statement.

The man, ambushed outside his home in the mining town of Mooinooi, became the fourth person with ties to the NUM murdered in the platinum belt region in the past three months. The crimes are believed to be linked to ongoing rivalry between NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

“We are asking ourselves how long blood is going to have to flow in Marikana,” NUM Rustenburg Regional Coordinator, Sithethi Mxasi, said in the statement.

Lonmin has been the focus of various violent incidents involving mine workers since 34 were shot and killed by police during a strike in August 2012.

Two months ago, a commission of inquiry leading a formal investigation on the deadly incident found police falsified and withheld documents related to the tragic event, misleading prosecutors with false accounts of events.

So far not a single police officer has been arrested in connection with the massacre or the recent crimes.

Mining in South Africa accounts for 6% of the nations’ gross domestic product. The sector has recently become a symbol of the economic, social and political differences that continue to characterize the country.

Image from archives.