RUSTENBURG – A National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) member has died following his attack at Sibanye’s Gold Cooke 2 operation in Westonaria, the union said on Wednesday.
Branch secretary Wilson Metsing said Ranthimo Nkosi died on Wednesday morning.
“We can confirm that Ranthimo Nkosi, a Jonrik contractor at Sibanye Gold Cooke 2, who was attacked and severely assaulted by alleged [Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union] AMCU members has passed on after he suffered severe head injuries,” he said in a statement.
“The NUM condemns in the strongest possible words the killing of its member by these hooligans masquerading as workers. This is a criminal act.”
The union called on law enforcement agencies to investigate and arrest all those responsible for killing of the union member.
“We are calling on Sibanye Gold to take full responsibility of our member’s death after they failed to provide security to protect him. Sibanye Gold management at Cooke operations were informed and warned of a plan to attack our members by these hooligans, but they did nothing. They even refused to call the SA Police Service to come and protect our members.”
Two NUM branch leaders were attacked and critically injured while going to work on Tuesday morning.
Sibanye said four employees were injured by unknown assailants in the early hours of Tuesday, at its Cooke operations. Two of the four employees were seriously injured and were being treated at local hospitals.
The incidents were related to illegal industrial action, following a union membership verification dispute.
“The membership verification process, agreed with the unions at the Cooke Operations and facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration [CCMA], commenced two weeks ago and is still ongoing. Despite management engaging with the unions and repeatedly explaining the procedure, a group of employees, embarked on illegal protest action during the night shift on Monday,” the company said.
“It is regrettable that AMCU has taken this course of action when all employees were fully appraised of the verification process. We are concerned about the acts of intimidation and violence and call upon all union members to respect the rights of other employees who wish to work. We are in discussions with AMCU to resolve their concerns,” said CEO Neal Froneman.
He said the assault of Sibanye employees was unacceptable. The company was investigating these incidents and promised to take strong action against the perpetrators.
Operation at Cooke resumed on Wednesday morning after the illegal industrial action was called-off on Tuesday.