Miners 'held against their will' underground at Kusasalethu

Harmony Gold says 1,700 mine workers opted to stay underground at Kusasalethu, but relatives claim some are being held hostage.

FILE: Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine. Picture: Harmony Gold.

JOHANNESBURG - As Harmony Gold mineworkers continue their sit-in underground in the North West, there are claims that some of the miners are being held against their will.

The company says that around 1,700 mine workers from the Kusasalethu operation near Carltonville opted to remain underground at the end of their morning shift.

Harmony Gold mine management has been locked in meetings with union representatives on Thursday, in a bid to establish what the miners are demanding.

Two negotiators were sent underground this afternoon and are now relaying the message they have received from mineworkers.

Harmony Gold’s Marian van der Walt says: “They have been making every effort to return these employees to the surface.”

It’s understood that the mine is also concerned about claims from some relatives that several miners are being forced to remain underground.

Some families of the mineworkers underground have complained that the firm is keeping them in the dark about developments.

(Edited by Neo Koza)