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Published: Saturday February 8, 2014 MYT 5:55:01 PM
Updated: Saturday February 8, 2014 MYT 5:55:55 PM

South Africa mine union steward killed in police clash

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A union steward was killed in a clash with police at an Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine in South Africa, where workers were holding a strike to press for higher wages, the company said on Saturday.

The world's biggest platinum producer said the worker, a member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), was killed in a "violent outbreak" when police tried to clear a barricaded road leading to the company's Union mine in the northern Limpopo province.

It did not provide further details and Limpopo police could not be reached for comment.

The death of the AMCU steward is likely to keep tensions high in the platinum mines, many of which have been at a standstill for more than two weeks because of an AMCU-led strike to demand a steep increase in wages.

Amplats said the strike was becoming violent, with more than 14 vehicles damaged by protesters since it started and one worker in a critical condition in hospital after being assaulted at the company's Khuseleka mine this week.

The two other companies affected by the strike are Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

In August 2012, police shot dead 34 striking AMCU miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine, South Africa's bloodiest security incident since the end of apartheid nearly two decades ago.

(Reporting by Ed Cropley; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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