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Platinum belt killings linked to Amcu leadership battle, miners claim

Talking to EWN from a secret location, the group of four claim that their names ended up on a hit list after they raised concerns about deductions from workers’ salaries.

FILE: Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Twitter/@_AMCU

JOHANNESBURG - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) unionists who claim to have fled for their lives from the platinum belt have told Eyewitness News that recent killings in the area are linked to the association’s resistance against new leadership.

Four Marikana miners allege that several people have been killed for demanding that Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa appoint a deputy and for raising allegations of corruption and other problems.

They believe that the union’s failure to hold an elective congress is to blame for the bloodshed.

Talking to EWN from a secret location, the group of four claim that their names ended up on a hit list after they raised concerns about deductions from workers’ salaries.

They claim that one of Amcu’s Lonmin branch leaders connived with a funeral cover provider to illegally deduct a further one percent from worker’s salaries over and above the legal 1% which unions are entitled to.

One miners says that when they spoke out about the issue, unknown perpetrators put them on the hit list and several attempts were made on their lives.

“The hitmen arrive at home to try kill me, I fought and fled and some of my comrades helped me leave the area for safety.”

Other people whose names apparently ended up on the same list were killed, including Tholakele Bhele Dlunga, who was shot to death just two weeks ago.

The four miners say they do not trust that an internal investigation into the killings will uncover the truth and have called on Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to investigate.

WATCH: Before we die: Marikana miners speak out

[WATCH] Before we die: Marikana miners speak out

Fearing for their lives, four miners fled the platinum belt, believing that their deaths were ordered by Amcu's leadership. This is their story.

FLED FOR THEIR LIVES

Miners, who say they have fled the platinum belt for fear of being killed, claim that the union’s failure to hold a national congress is one of the reasons for the unrest within its ranks.

“The congress was postponed and our candidate for vice presidency Stephen Mawethu was rejected because he was not employed. If you asked questions opposing Mathunjwa, you would get killed in Marikana.”

However, Amcu’s general secretary Jeff Mphahlele says this is not true.

"Our constitution puts it very clear that there shall be regional elections, branch elections. Now the process that is there, is that we need to have all branches in good standing."

Amcu has denied all claims of corruption and infighting, adding they come from outside the union’s ranks.