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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs