The National Union of Mineworkers is accusing Anglo American Platinum of displaying "racism" as the impasse between striking miners and the world's top platinum producer escalates.

The NUM said Monday that its leader in Rustenburg, the scene of a wildcat strike that brought Amplats' operations to a halt, had been called derogatory names by the company's security officials at its Swartklip Union mine. Lesiba Seshoka of the NUM said the union's attempts to intercede on behalf of the miners had been thwarted.

Amplats last week fired 12,000 striking miners for staging a wildcat strike and later failing to attend disciplinary hearings. The mineworkers have since threatened to make the mines ungovernable, saying it will be impossible for the company to hire new workers.

Mpumi Sithole, a spokeswoman for Amplats, declined to comment on this matter.