JOHANNESBURG — A gaggle of miners from an unregistered, rival union are holding round 500 of their colleagues underground for the second day at a gold mine in South Africa over a union dispute. Some 15 miners have been injured in scuffles, the top of the mine mentioned on Tuesday.
Particulars have been sketchy and there have been conflicting statements about what occurred.
In accordance with Jon Hericourt, CEO of New Kleynfontein Gold Mine firm, which manages the mine, the incident erupted early on Monday when the miners from the unregistered union prevented tons of of others from leaving after their evening shift ended on the Modder East mine in Springs, east of Johannesburg.
He mentioned he didn’t know precisely how lots of the miners have been being “held hostage” by others from the rival union. There have been all kinds of hammers, picks, shovels and different mining gear that might probably be used as weapons, he mentioned.
Police have been deployed to the mine however they haven’t been in touch with anybody underground regardless of making an attempt to succeed in them by way of mine telephones and two-way radios.
Hericourt mentioned there have been not less than 543 staff underground in varied sections of the mine. He added that there was some preliminary contact early on Monday with the alleged hostage-takers.
“Engineers who have been working within the mine on Sunday morning have been additionally caught up (on this),” Hericourt mentioned.
A minimum of one man had sustained a critical head harm in scuffles, Hericourt mentioned. The mine despatched a paramedic and a safety officer to convey him out on Monday after an settlement that they might, however the two have been additionally taken hostage, he mentioned.
The Nationwide Union of Mineworkers, which is the only acknowledged union on the mine, mentioned greater than 500 of its members have been being held towards their will underground by what it known as “hooligans.”
“They’re nonetheless stopping them from coming to the floor,” NUM consultant Mlulameli Mweli mentioned, including there have been additionally feminine mine staff trapped underground. “NUM requires the regulation enforcement companies in South Africa to intervene and go underground and arrest the hooligans who’re holding our members towards their will.”
Hericourt blamed members of the rival AMCU union, saying it has demanded to be the only syndicate representing the miners at Modder East.
In the meantime, AMCU has disputed Hericourt’s model of occasions, saying that there was a sit-in protest by miners in assist of the union. New Kleynfontein Gold Mine manages Modder East, which is owned by the Gold One Group.
Rivalry between the NUM and AMCU unions was partly answerable for one in all South Africa’s most horrific mining episodes, when 34 placing mineworkers have been shot and killed by police at a platinum mine in Marikana within the North West province in 2012.
Six different mineworkers and two safety officers have been killed in days of violence that preceded the mass taking pictures by police.
Imray reported from Cape City, South Africa.
AP Africa information: https://apnews.com/hub/africa