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1 Unionist Killed, 1 Hurt at South African Platinum Mine

One South African union official has been killed and another injured in shootings at a Lonmin platinum mine.

The shootings happened at the Marikana mine near Rustenburg, some 70 miles northwest of Johannesburg, where police shot dead 34 striking miners in a single day in August last year.

Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), said: “One of our members was attacked with a gun in our office at Lonmin’s western platinum mine.”

Police confirmed there had been a shooting and said they were investigating.

“Two people were shot,” said Fabata Mokgwebone, police spokesman for the North-West province.

The union leader was reportedly shot at least twice in the head and died at the scene, while the union’s treasurer was taken to hospital where he is said to be in a critical condition.

He is reported to have been shot at six times.

Two unknown gunmen approached the union office at around 10 a.m. local time and opened fire at the union leader, according to Mxhasi Sithethi, a regional spokesman for the NUM, who did not name the victims.

“There was no confrontation. Nothing,” he said. “He ran back to the office. They followed him and killed him.”

Deadly violence, illegal strikes and union infighting have plagued South Africa’s platinum belt since last year’s deadly strikes.

The latest shootings caused shares in Lonmin – the London-listed firm at the center of the bloody Marikana mine dispute in South Africa – to fall on Monday when reports of the violence first emerged.

Source: Sky News

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