NUM rally to proceed in Marikana, despite a hit on union member

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RUSTENBURG, November 01 – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) rally in Marikana near Rustenburg in the North West will continue as planned, the union said on Friday.

Spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said the national rally on November 17 would continue despite a hit on a union member in Marikana on Friday morning. Lungisa Madiba was ambushed near the Rowland shaft of Sibanye (formerly Lonmin) while he was going to work.

“The rally is still on, it is [a] NEC [national executive committee] decision. No acts of intimidation will stop the rally,” he said.

The rally was aimed at resuscitating the NUM in the platinum belt, following the violent wildcat strike in Marikana that led to the union losing its status as a majority union.

“We have never held a national rally in the area [Marikana]. Our members have long been calling for such a rally but due to logistics, we have been unable to hold it,” NUM general secretary David Sipunzi said in a statement after the NEC meeting.

Madiba was one of the people arrested in connection with an alleged plot to eliminate Amcu leaders in Marikana.

The State at that time alleges that there was a problem within Amcu, which led to some members being expelled from the union, expelled members held several meetings and hatched a plan to kill members of Amcu they accused of causing their expulsion.

Madiba and others were discharged from the case and only Samkelo Mkhutshwa, 38, and Simphiwe Silwane, 36, both from Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, were convicted and sentenced.

The two were not mineworkers, it was reported they were hired at hitmen.

The NUM lost members to Amcu in the Rustenburg platinum mines following a violent wildcat strike at Lonmin operations in Marikana in August 2012.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it was deeply disturbed by the killing of Kaizer Lungisa Madiba.

“We send our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Kaizer Madiba. This is deeply disturbing because it represents the continued assassination of NUM members in the platinum belt that has not been properly investigated by the police. We reiterate our call for the police to find the perpetrators and send them behind bars,” said Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu national spokesperson.

“We are convinced that this killing is connected to our planned rally with the NUM in Marikana next month. The culture of assassinations and intimidation has left many workers and families living under siege in the platinum belt. This is something that cannot be tolerated by properly adjusted and free-thinking people.”

– African News Agency (ANA)