The affordable education loan option
Johannesburg - The African National Congress in the North West and the NUM will not attend Friday's commemoration of the Marikana violence in which 44 people were killed.
“The commemoration is organised by an illegitimate team called Marikana Support Group - a group which the African National Congress does not recognise,” spokesman Kenny Morolong said in a statement on Thursday evening.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) voiced similar concerns.
Spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the decision not to attend was based on the fact that the events were organised by the Marikana Support Group, rather than Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's office.
Friday marks the first anniversary of the shootings at Lonmin's Marikana mine, near Rustenburg in the North West.
On August 16 last year, 34 striking mineworkers were killed when police fired on them while trying to disperse and disarm them.
Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence the preceding week.
The NUM initially welcomed Amcu's invitation to its president Senzeni Zokwana to the commemoration. Zokwana had been asked to share the stage with Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa in an attempt to ease tensions in the platinum belt.
Lonmin signed an agreement with Amcu this week, recognising it as the company's majority trade union. The agreement set a threshold of a 30-percent membership for any trade union to be recognised by the company.
Membership of the NUM, which used to be the majority union, has dropped to 20 percent of Lonmin's workforce.
Morolong said the ANC would only participate in a commemoration organised by the government, as agreed with families, Lonmin Platinum and labour unions.
“The ANC finds it immoral and totally unacceptable that such a traumatic incident could be turned into a political playground by some political parties who seek to enhance their political ambitions and interests.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters, led by expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, said it was not surprised by the NUM's and provincial ANC's decision to boycott the event.
Spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi claimed that the two organisations were “scared of the might and power of workers in Marikana, who anyway were going to reject them”. - Sapa