22/09/2017 06:52 SAST | Updated 22/09/2017 06:52 SAST

Amcu: Our Members Are Being Killed Apartheid-Style

The union says a "third-force" hit campaign against its members appears to be underway.

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa.
REUTERS/Skyler Reid
Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is using its own resources to pursue private investigations into the deaths of its members, who are being killed off "apartheid-style", eNCA reported.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa reportedly said the union's members are being targeted, especially in Rustenburg, in what appears to be a well-funded hit programme.

"There is a concerted attack on Amcu, targeting its leadership particularly in Rustenburg. These killings seem to be a carefully planned, well-funded hit programme on Amcu members by trained, armed and well-resourced hitmen who have murdered, injured and attacked people. This is informed by the weapons used."

Mathunjwa said the programme looked like an apartheid-style, third-force operation.

"This looks very much like the third-force violence the apartheid state unleashed on the... workers' movement during the negotiations for a political settlement. It will be difficult for Amcu to divorce [the recent killing] from [the] 2014 AMCU living wage strike whereby the state used expelled Amcu members to form a rivalry union to destabilise and to break the strike," he reportedly said.

He reportedly said that, in 2014, the union's application to protest violence in the mining sector and the killing of its members was denied. Amcu also made representations to Parliament on the killings, but to no avail.

"To date, there has been no concerted efforts from powers that be to nip this in the bud... "The recent killings in the Rustenburg area are worrying and seek to destabilise Amcu as a union. These cases have been escalated to the National Prosecuting Authority to get to the bottom of this. We encourage the Hawks and related institutions to prioritise these killings in the same vein as the political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. We will do everything in our power to ensure that all those responsible are brought to book," he said.