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Amcu takes Lonmin to court

Lonmin's Abey Kgotle said they will oppose the interdict sought by Amcu.

Amcu applied for an urgent interdict to stop Lonmin from doing the negotiations after it warned it may cause tension. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the Lonmin Platinum Company will go head to head in the Labour Court this morning, as the union attempts to stop the company from negotiating directly with its members via SMS.

Amcu applied for an urgent interdict to stop Lonmin from doing the negotiations after it warned it may cause tensions among its members.

This after the union formally rejected the latest wage hike offer from platinum producers and vowed to continue its wage strike.

Amcu claims the messages are fuelling tensions, but denied its members are behind the killing of four people and widespread intimidation of Lonmin employees.

The company's head of human capital Abey Kgotle said they will oppose the interdict sought by the union.

"There are messages that say they want to return to work, but we aren't seeing many people at work. That is why there are issues of safety and the violation of rights of other employees."

The matter is due to be heard later this morning and comes as Lonmin said Amcu members continue reporting for work at its Marikana operations.

LONMIN REACHES OUT TO AMCU

Lonmin said despite formal talks with Amcu having deadlocked, it's still available to meet with the union in a bid to end its wage strike.

Amcu has been on strike at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo Platinum for 17 weeks, demanding a basic salary of 12,500.

The companies are still only offering just over nine percent.

Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said even though they've stopped talking they are able to meet with Amcu leaders.

"These conversations happen in all forms and even though they ended officially they need to make sure we continue to explore how else to get there."

Meanwhile, there were warnings on Monday that the strike is eroding investor confidence in South Africa, while coverage of the strike is turning investment away from mining companies.

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers, which didn't join the Amcu strike, have been advised to stay home.

This after violence once again erupted in the area.

This means the mining companies face losing even more working hours.

Amcu accuse the mining giants of lying about not being able to afford its wage demand, which it believes is the lowest appropriate living wage.

Video: Marikana a town divided.

All pictures in this story are courtesy of EWN.