News Update


‘Hostage situation’ at Gold One mine: South African miner afraid for his life

According to authorities, hostage takers armed with clubs and mining tools had held more than 500 miners hostage at the Gold One mine.

As workers started to emerge on Wednesday, one told the BBC that fleeing “was the only way to save my life.”

On Sunday, the miners were stuck due to a dispute between two trade unions.

According to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), “hooligans” were holding its members against their will.

However, the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) disputed that workers had been trapped at the mine near Johannesburg. The miners, according to Amcu, were there willingly and were holding a “sit-in” protest.

On Wednesday morning, more than 100 employees emerged from the mine. “I ran away… it was the only way to save my life,” one worker, who did not want to be identified for fear of being intimidated by competing union members, told the BBC. We had no choice but to flee.”

According to the 32-year-old, some hostage-takers physically abused the stranded miners.

“I remained calm, but I was terrified for my life… On the first day, we had food, and on the second day, we shared what was left.”

“We eventually ran out of tea, sugar, and coffee and survived on water,” the man, who had worked at Gold One for more than ten years, explained.

Another miner explained, “I forced my way out because I was worried about my health.”

He told the BBC that he sympathized with Amcu, which has been struggling for legal recognition at the mine for about five months. NUM now has a “closed shop” agreement with Gold One, which means it is the mine’s only official union.

“Although I support the battle to allow another union to organize at the mine… “I can’t say I agree with the approach they’ve taken,” the miner stated.


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