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NUM ‘irresponsible’ at Marikana

Rustenburg - An NUM official admitted on Friday that the union's attitude towards wage negotiations prior to the deadly Marikana shooting was irresponsible.

This was the testimony of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) chief negotiator Erick Gcilitshana to the Farlam commission of inquiry into the shooting.

(File photo) Policemen at the scene of the shooting where 34 miners died Lonmin's Marikana mine. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters. Credit: REUTERS

Tebogo Mathibedi, for the police, questioned him about the union's refusal to engage in wage talks outside of set labour structures.

“As at August 15, 2012 was it NUM's attitude that they would not negotiate outside the labour structures?”

Gcilitshana replied: “ Yes, as I recall.”

Asked if this was not an irresponsible attitude by the union in view of the fact that 10 people had been killed at that stage, and that property had been destroyed, he replied: “Yes that's true. That's correct.”

Mathibedi asked at what stage he realised that the union's attitude was irresponsible.

“When the lives of people were lost,” Gcilitshana said. - Sapa

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