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S. African human rights body optimistic about ending prolonged strike in gold mine
April 11,2019   By:Xinhua
JOHANNESBURG, April 11, 2019 -- The South African Human Rights Commission is optimistic that its intervention in the prolonged Sibanye-Stillwater gold mine strike might end the industrial action that has killed nine people.
 
The commission visited Sibanye Driefontein gold mine on Wednesday to get a first-hand experience of the situation since the strike commenced five months ago.
 
Buang Jones, the commission provincial leader described what had been happening in the mine due to the strike as "mayhem."
 
"Today, we embarked on a fact finding mission to establish the cause of the strike at three of Sibanye's gold mines. We can say this is a serious mayhem," Jones told Xinhua after the meeting with Sibanye, police and the unions.
 
Jones said the police informed them that 128 cases including murder, attempted murder, arson and intimidation have been registered. At least 78 houses and 14 vehicles belong to miners have been torched.
 
"We are looking at how we can facilitate a settlement, but we will not impose solutions. This requires all parties to make a compromise," he said.
 
The Sibanye strike began in November when three labour unions signed a three year wage agreement with the employer, but the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) rejected the wage deal.
 
Unions that signed the agreement said their members have been intimidated and prevented from going to work with the use of violence since.
 
Jones said while the other three unions took part in Wednesday's meeting, AMCU did not attend.
 
The commission said a follow-up meeting would take place next week and then Sibanye mine would submit its report on the situation.
 
"We will then determine whether a full inquiry should be conducted into everything once we've met and received all reports," Jones added.
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