Minister appeals for calm at Northam Platinum amid rising tensions

On Monday, clashes between unions, the NUM & Amcu saw a member being stabbed to death.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is set to visit the Northam Platinum Mine in Limpopo tomorrow amid rising tensions there.

On Monday, clashes between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) saw a member being stabbed to death.

It's believed the violence was triggered by the murder of an NUM member the day before.

Zwane is appealing for calm at the mine.

His spokesperson Ayanda Shezi says, "The minister is further appealing for everybody concerned to allow the law enforcement agencies to do their work in order to bring the perpetrators to book."

Shezi says the minister will be briefed on the developments at the mine tomorrow.

"He'll be visiting the area on Thursday to get a briefing on what has happened."

Yesterday the NUM met managers at Northam Platinum in a bid to end tensions, but Amcu didn't attend that meeting.

At the same time, the Chamber of Mines has called on union leaders to restore calm at the mine as well.

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."

Operations at the mine remain suspended.