Over 500 NUM members held hostage at mine in Johannesburg east

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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says at least 543 of its members are being held hostage at the Gold One Mine in Springs in Johannesburg east, allegedly by heavily armed individuals since last night.

The union has called on law enforcement to act swiftly.

Spokesperson for NUM, Livhuwani Mammburu says they do not know the motive behind their members being held hostage underground.

“Five hundred and forty-three members are held hostage by people who are armed since last night when they went for a night shift underground. So, they have not been allowed to come back to the surface. This is not just a hostage [situation], our members are kidnapped against their will. We do not know what the motive is of holding our members hostage or kidnapping our members.”

Meanwhile Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has accused Gold One mine management of playing delaying tactics in recognising the union as the major union at the mine, which has led to its members staging a sit-in underground.

AMCU General Secretary, Jeff Mphahlele, “We are here at Gold One where we are trying to negotiate with management to get those members that are underground, it is the night shift that do not come out this morning during the knock-off time. The issue at stake here is that they are lamenting about the situation of the organisational rights.”