Gold One axes miners for October, December hostage dramas

Four hundred mine workers have been dismissed by the Gold One Modder East mine after they were involved in two hostage situations that took place at the mine in 2023.

The mine’s head of legal Ziyaad Hassam confirmed this to Sunday World on Monday.

Hassam said 140 employees are currently on suspension for their participation in the October and December hostage situations.

More face the chop

“At this point in time, around 401 employees have been dismissed. A further 140 employees are on suspension and their disciplinary hearings are likely to take place within the next week.

“The dismissals are related to both the October and December hostage situations. So that is a combined figure.

“The dismissals relate to the charges brought against these employees for their participation in either one or both incidents of last year.”

In December, there was a hostage situation at the Springs-based mine where 447 people were underground.

The hostage situation begun on the night of December 7 and ended on the night of December 11. It was motivated by protests against the dismissal of employees following the October hostage situation.

In October, 15 mineworkers held about 540 other miners hostage underground. The miners were held against their will from the evening of October 22 until October 25.

Gold One said at the time that miners who were National Union of Mineworkers members who were keen to jump ship to rival labour union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), were responsible for the hostage.

However, Amcu dismissed the allegations, saying the workers had voluntarily decided to stage a sit-in underground due to the mine’s delay in facilitating the process to allow them to join Amcu and get out of the closed-shop agreement between the mine and the NUM. 

Investigator killed

Last month, a 55-year-old investigator of the October hostage situation was shot and killed while travelling with his wife and two kids. He was shot at by unknown suspects.

He was declared dead on the scene while the wife and kids escaped unharmed. One person on the street sustained an injury after he was hit by a stray bullet.

The suspects were reported to have fled in a black BMW.

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