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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Hundreds still underground in alleged hostage situation at GoldOne Mine in Springs

The alleged hostage situation started  on Monday night when workers reported for a night shift underground and were prevented from resurfacing.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has dismissed claims that its members are staging a sit-in at the GoldOne Mine in Springs.

Around 543 miners have not returned to the surface since Sunday, with NUM accusing the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) of holding its members hostage.

Unconfirmed reports alleged that Amcu members welded entry and exit points shut, leaving a closely monitored single point of access to GoldOne’s property, who confirmed the incident.

Mine hostages

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu claimed 543 NUM members are being held hostage underground at GoldOne Mine in Springs.

“There is no sit-in underground by our members.”

“Nine NUM members got injured after they were assaulted by the hooligans who were preventing them from coming to the surface. They are still preventing them from coming to the surface.

“NUM is also worried that there are a lot of women who are being held hostage underground. This is unacceptable, “ Mammburu said.

NUM has called for law-enforcement agencies to intervene and resolve the situation.

ALSO READ: ‘Political mischief’ – NUM tells ‘rogue’ Mantashe to sit down over suspension row

GoldOne spokesperson John Hericourt also confirmed the incident.

“A group of Amcu members started holding everyone hostage. They are preventing them from coming up from underground. They are keeping them in certain working areas, they have cut off all communication, and there have been some injuries.”

Amcu denies claims

Amcu has denied reports the NUM miners are being held hostage at GoldOne mine.

Amcu general secretary Jeffrey Mphahlele said the night shift works did not come from underground once their shift was completed.

“Whatever they decided in the previous night that they are not going to come out. To us, it looked like a concerted effort.

“That was a voluntary situation. Now management is trying to play it, saying it’s a hostage situation and people are being held against their will. So we are not sure of that situation at this point in time,” Mphahlele told SABC.

Police are currently on scene.

ALSO READ: More than 540 miners held hostage underground in Springs

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