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Hundreds of Workers Leave South African Gold Mine after being Held ‘Hostage’ Underground

More than 100 miners who had been underground for nearly three days amid a standoff between rival South African labour unions have returned to the surface. More than 500 miners failed to emerge at the end of their night shift on Sunday, local media reported earlier this week. The NUM, the only formally recognised union at the mine, said they were being held underground by the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). Management joined the NUM in asserting that the workers were being “held hostage”. But the AMCU denied the allegations and claimed that the miners were staging a “sit-in” protest. Police told media on Wednesday that some of those who had “made their way to the surface” confirmed in interviews with detectives “that they were indeed held against their will”.