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Alleged miner hanged in North West

The new NW premier says the hanging is linked to the platinum strike and Amcu.

FILE: Around 70,000 Amcu members have been on strike since January,demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Newly elected North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, has urged communities to help police with investigations after a body, believed to be that of a mineworker, was found hanging from a tree in Brits.

He says the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu)'s ongoing strike on the platinum belt may have had something to do with the crime.

Around 70,000 members of the union have been on strike for four months, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

They have rejected an offer that would bring their cash remuneration to that amount by July 2017.

At least five people have been killed since the strike started four months ago.

The premier's spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele it's been confirmed that the death might be related to the violence and continued intimidation of non-striking miners.

"We call on police not to leave any stone unturned."

At the same time, North West police are searching for suspects behind another attack two mine employees in Rustenburg.

The men were on their way to work yesterday when they were ambushed near an Impala Platinum shaft.

The police's Thulani Zwane says the men were stabbed multiple times.

He said authorities continue to urge mineworkers to respect the constitutional right of others to be able to go to work.

It's still unclear whether the attack is directly linked to Amcu's ongoing strike.

NEGOTIATIONS STALL

Wage negotiations in the sector have deadlocked once again, newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi said on Wednesday.

Ramatlhodi succeeds Susan Shabangu, who was unable to secure a settlement between the union and Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

"We are working 24/7 and if we can solve it today I will be happy although it appears mediation came to a halt yesterday."

He said he will hold talks with representatives from the mining houses.

"I tasked my deputies yesterday afternoon to put together an inter-ministerial team to give me the capability to begin the process of mediating with the parties."

Amcu and platinum producers were in a second round of negotiations which was being mediated by a Labour Court judge.

Gross domestic product (GDP) data released by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday shows the economy contracted by 0.6 percent during the first quarter of this year, as the strike on the platinum belt continues to hamper mining output.