Mineral sands producer Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) has confirmed that its operational services GM Nico Swart was fatally shot on his way to work on May 24.
The company says Swart sustained injuries after the shooting incident, and it is offering all the necessary support, counselling and assistance to his family, including his wife and two children, as well as his colleagues during this time.
RBM could not yet comment on the circumstances around the shooting, as they are unknown at that stage.
The incident is being investigated by the South African Police Services.
Forty-seven-year-old Swart joined RBM in 2006 and has served in various leadership positions within the company, many of them with a focus on the health and safety of employees and contractors.
The 74%-owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto, RBM, produces predominantly ilmenite, rutile and zircon, in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mineral Resources and Energy Portfolio Committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo has condemned the brutal murder of Swart, calling on all law enforcement agencies to be relentless in their investigation until those involved area arrested and motive established.
Luzipo elaborates that incidences of this nature warrant a long-term jail sentence to send a message. "A crime of this nature not only robs the country of good men and women, but also threatens much-needed direct foreign investment in the economy."