11 April 2019
Pictures received seem to prove mine security allowing weapons through checkpoint
AMCU has received reports that yesterday afternoon, 11 April 2019, as AMCU members were returning from a Mass Meeting held at Driefontein 7 Shaft, outside Carletonville on the Gauteng West Rand, they apprehended a man carrying numerous weapons including pangas and an axe at Kloof Mine. The man was apprehended by the members, who turned him over to Sibanye-Stillwater mine security. AMCU members then reported the case at the Westonaria Police Station.
Pictures of the incident were sent to AMCU’s leadership via WhatsApp, and AMCU immediately forwarded the pictures to Sibanye-Stillwater as well as the South African Police Service (SAPS) Commissioner of the West Rand.
It is important to note that this incident happened at Kloof Mine outside Westonaria, which means that the intruder carrying the weapons somehow was given access by Sibanye-Stillwater security. Even worse, this happened after all AMCU members were searched and found to be unarmed by the same security. All the weapons were brand new, and it seems that the intruder was on his way to deliver the weapons. Pictures are attached to this media release.
AMCU calls on the SAPS to ensure that the investigation is finalised speedily, and justice is served as soon as possible. AMCU also demands that Sibanye-Stillwater investigates the alleged condonation by its security guards to allow this man to pass the searching procedure, while all AMCU members were searched.
On 12 March 2019 a similar case was reported, when AMCU also received video evidence of members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) armed to the teeth with spears, knobkerries and guns gathering in hostels and getting ready to attack AMCU members coming from the picketing area. On this footage, Sibanye-Stillwater security guards were actually seen condoning the actions by NUM.
During December there were similar incidents at Beatrix in the Free State where one AMCU member subsequently died, which is why AMCU applied for an interdict to force Sibanye-Stillwater to search all the hostels. Astonishingly, Sibanye-Stillwater opposed the application and the Labour Court dismissed AMCU’s application.
The first incident of this nature took place on the eve of the strike on 21 November 2019, when Sibanye-Stillwater again searched AMCU members attending a peaceful Mass Meeting, but then afterwards allowed armed NUM members to launch a vicious attack on AMCU members which led to one AMCU member being shot and stabbed with spears. No arrests have been made.
This last incident is therefore the fourth of its kind, where it is clear that Sibanye-Stillwater has a partial and partisan approach when it comes to strike violence. It strongly suggests that Sibanye-Stillwater is using the NUM to attack AMCU in order to break the strike due to alleged violence. More disturbingly, these incidents are very similar to the events leading up to the Marikana Massacre.