South Africa's top mineworkers union has charged a competitor of applying witchcraft to improve recruiting, an accusation given serious attention on the list of rank and file in a nation in which conventional spiritual values are extensively kept.
South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has long been kept in a violent battle for membership with the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at the world's biggest platinum mine, manage by Impala Platinum.
"One particular tool which is employed strongly is 'muti'," NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni informed journalists on Thursday night, making reference to conventional medications which can be created from a variety of components which includes animal or human body parts.
Baleni stated NUM's members believed AMCU had a "extremely powerful 'sangoma'," or witch doctor.
"One particular myth is that, if you do not toe the line, particularly if you are a man, if you defy them you could have sleeping issues at home," he said.
Witch doctors or Sangomas are generally respected by South Africans of all walks of life, which includes company leaders and politicians. Baleni later informed Reuters it had been an concern that wasn't being taken lightly simply because numerous workers believed in things like this.
"We are considering it very seriously as part of the strategies of this union as our people are informing us about the utilization of sangomas and muti," Baleni stated. AMCU officials said they weren't applying witchcraft.
"There is no one amongst us who is making use of muti or sangomas. What he's saying is all trash. We maintain Christian principles, we do not use sangomas," says AMCU General Secretary Jeff Mphahlehle.
NUM furthermore accused AMCU of implementing violence to recruit, which denied by AMCU..