NUM concerned over threats of a wipe-out at Northam Platinum

The union believes there are attempts to wipe-out its presence at the mining company in Limpopo.

FILE: Northam Platinum's Zondereinde mine. Picture: Northam Platinum.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it believes there are attempts to wipe-out its presence at mining company Northam Platinum in Limpopo.

Yesterday, union leaders held a meeting with mine management and police to discuss the killing of six of its members since last year.

On Sunday, an NUM member was gunned down for reasons currently unknown to officials.

The union is demanding answers about why no arrests have been made following multiple killings.

Spokesperson Livhuwani Mamburu says Northam Platinum is the NUM's biggest branch in the platinum sector, leading the union to believe it is being targeted.

"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."

Mamburu says union representatives have met with mine management to discuss the issue.

"The situation is tense, but the NUM's regional leaders met with Northam Platinum management this morning; and now they are meeting the NUM shop steward at the union offices there."

Meanwhile, the union says it wants to know the motive behind the killing of the 45-year-old man.

Mamburu says the man was a leading representative at the mine.

"An active member at Northam Platinum was gunned down yesterday afternoon at Northam. We don't know what the motive of the killing is. He was a branch committee member of the NUM at the mine."