Sibanye miners stage underground sit-in over colleague death

Dozens of Amcu members went underground yesterday morning and have not yet returned.

Sibanye Gold logo. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says its members at Sibanye Gold are staging a sit-in underground at the Driefontein Mine in Carletonville because the company has refused to recognise that one of its employees died in the line of duty and not of natural causes.

Dozens of Amcu members went underground yesterday morning and have not yet returned.

The union's general secretary has since gone underground in a bid to end the sit-in.

They say the company insists that the worker died of natural causes while underground, but the union claims he died after falling on an ore path.

Amcu spokesperson Manzini Zungu said, "There was a fatality over two weeks ago and this worker hasn't been buried yet because Sibanye is refusing to recognise that this worker died in the line of duty."

Sibanye spokesperson James Wellsted says the workers will soon return to the surface.

He says the death cannot yet be classified as a mine accident as a forensic pathologist report is not yet complete.

"The union and the employees are saying we should classify it as a minor accident, but this has some severe legal implications for us and also financial implications for the beneficiaries so we are waiting for the forensic pathologist's report."