News / Africa

Miner Shot and Killed at Lonmin Mine in South Africa

Reuters
A shop steward from South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers NUM) was shot dead on Monday at a Lonmin mine, police and the union said, sparking fears of a renewed cycle of violence in the troubled platinum belt.
 
Lonmin said the shooting, in which another union official was also critically injured, took place at the NUM offices at Wonderkop community, which is near the town of Marikana, 120 kilometers (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, where police shot dead 34 miners last August, the country's deadliest police action since the end of apartheid.
 
“Two people were shot,” regional police spokesman Sabata Mokgwabone said. “One died on the scene and another one was taken to hospital.”
 
Both men were Lonmin employees, the company said.
 
The rand retreated against the dollar after the shooting amid fears of further unrest in the mining sector. Lonmin's Johannesburg-listed shares fell more than 6 percent, and the London-listed stock dropped 4 percent.
 
More than 50 people died last year in wildcat strikes and violence relating to a bloody turf war between NUM and the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which has poached tens of thousands of disgruntled NUM workers.
 
Neither NUM nor the police could say who was responsible for the attack.
 
In the past both unions have accused each other of attacking and killing their members.
 
Last month Lonmin suffered a wildcat walkout at Marikana after a gunman shot dead an AMCU union official in a bar.
 
Mines Tense
 
Tensions in South Africa's mining sector remain high, with union battles far from settled and workers opposing a plan by Anglo American Platinum to cut 6,000 jobs.
 
Tough wage talks are also in prospect in the gold mines, with the NUM demanding pay increases of up to 60 percent at a time when companies are struggling with shrinking margins and falling commodity prices.
 
The wildcat strikes that started at Marikana last year have also spread beyond platinum and gold.
 
Glencore Xstrata Plc said on Monday it had sacked 1,000 workers across three of its chrome mines for an illegal strike last week that brought those operations to a standstill.
 
With South Africa's economic growth this year forecast at less than 3 percent, the government has repeatedly urged unions and employers to avoid turmoil in mid-year wage rounds, known as “strike season”, and to settle union disputes peacefully.
 
The unrest and its impact on a limping economy could damage the ruling African National Congress in an election due early next year, though there is little chance it will lose its outright majority in parliament.
 
The rand lost 13 percent against the dollar in May amid fears of a knock to growth and breached the psychological level of 10 to the greenback after a failed attempt by President Jacob Zuma to allay concerns over labor unrest. ^REUTERS@

You May Like

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More