Union war blamed for Harmony mine deaths

Miners say a turf war for membership caused two deaths at a Harmony Gold mine.

FILE PICTURE: Miners at Harmony Gold mine

JOHANNESBURG - Police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder after two men were killed and another wounded at Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu Mine near Carletonville.

Clashes broke out between National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) supporters shortly before a planned mass meeting on Thursday.

Thousands of miners gathered at the Kusasalethu Mine after the fight to see who was killed.

One of the miners said the fight is part of a turf war for membership between the two unions.

The cause for the altercation is still unknown with some miners said they were taunted by Num leaders while others said Amcu attacked the Num offices.

Police's Katlego Mogale said all these claims were now under investigation and a case of murder and attempted murder have been opened.

It is understood the fighting started when the miners arrived back at Kusasalethu's hostels.

Harmony Gold's Marian van der Walt said, "The company is busy monitoring the situation and of course, will provide additional assistance to police if required.