Chamber of Mines calls for calm at Northam Platinum

Operations at the mine have been halted due to clashes between NUM and Amcu members at the mine.

Northam Platinum's Zondereinde Mine. Picture: Northam Platinum.

JOHANNESBURG - The Chamber of Mines has called on union leaders to restore calm at Northam Platinum's mine in Limpopo.

Clashes between the National Union for Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members broke out yesterday near the mine.

An Amcu member was stabbed to death with an assegai.

It's believed the violence was sparked by the murder of an NUM member on Sunday.

The South African Police Service (Saps) has launched a full investigation into the killings, while underground operations have been suspended.

The Chamber's Charmain Russell says, "We are concerned that these violent acts have sparked further incidents of protest in the mine, as well as vocal inflammatory comments by some parties."

Russell has called on union leaders to quell tensions, saying they all have a role to play.

"We call on all employee representatives at Northam to ask members to only use peaceful means to pursue the interests of their respective organisations, and to uphold the law at all times."

Earlier today, Amcu snubbed a meeting with NUM, Northern Platinum management and Saps.

At the same time, the NUM is demanding answers on why no arrests have been made following the murders of its members.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mamburu says the union believes it is being targeted because the NUM has its biggest branch, in the platinum sector, in Northam Platinum mine.

"This is the biggest branch of the NUM in the platinum sector. Even during the height of Marikana, there was never violence here at this mine, it was peaceful. So we feel that there are some dark horses who want to make sure that the NUM is destroyed."

Operations at the mine remain suspended.