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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid