Murder at Marikana

Police are searching for those responsible for killing a NUM shop steward.

FILE: Marikana miners down tools following the deaths of three people on 14 May, 2013. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police are still searching for those responsible for the latest murder at Lonmin's Marikana mine amid growing fears of fresh clashes in the area days before the one year anniversary of the Marikana shooting is commemorated.

A female shop steward affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was gunned down outside the Rowland shaft on Monday.

It's still unclear who's responsible for the murder of the Lonmin employee or how a firearm was brought onto the premises without being detected by security.

The platinum belt has been marred by violence in recent months. Rivals unions continue to blame each other for the unrest


There has been an intense rivalry between the NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) since last year, chiefly over majority recognition at Lonmin mines.

The NUM used to be the majority union at Lonmin, but Amcu now represents about 70 percent of the employees.

Lonmin's Sue Vey has called for calm.

"Lonmin condemns the ongoing violence and calls for peace and stability."

The mining company is holding a minute of silence each day this week to commemorate their colleagues who were killed during the violence.

At the end of last month, the body of a 49-year-old Lonmin employee was found with four gunshot wounds to his body and neck.

It's alleged the man was on his way to work when he was shot near the Wonderkop Stadium.

At the time, the police's Sabata Mokgwabone said they weren't ruling out the possibility that the killing may be linked to union rivalry.

In another incident last month, a NUM member was assaulted with a knobkerrie at the Nkaneng informal settlement. He was on his way to a NUM recruitment rally at the Wonderkop Stadium.

The rally was held as part of the union's recruitment drive at the Lonmin Platinum Mine after it's de-recognition last week.

In May, an Amcu official who was due to testify at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry was shot dead in Marikana. He was killed while visiting a local tavern.

In April, two NUM shop stewards were also gunned down in the same area.


Marikana came into the spotlight last year after 34 miners were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police opened fire on striking miners.

The week before, during the build-up to the violence, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

Monday marked exactly one year since South Africans heard about two Lonmin security guards who had been killed and set alight by striking miners.