NUM opposed to violence, inquiry hears

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iol news pic Senzeni Zokwana

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The NUM president Senzeni Zokwana arrived in Rustenburg to deliver a political lecture on problems facing the mining industry in the North West. File photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Rustenburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is against violence and illegal protests, union president Senzeni Zokwana told the Farlam commission of inquiry on Tuesday.

“Our position as NUM has been consistent. NUM is against violence. NUM is against illegal strikes,” he testified in Rustenburg.

Zokwana was responding to a question from the advocate for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Heidi Barnes.

She asked if the NUM had released any statements between August 12 and 15, 2012, condemning the violence which had erupted at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were hacked to death during that time.

On August 16, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of protesters gathered on a hill near the mine.

The commission is probing the deaths of the 44 people killed during the unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in the North West.

Zokwana said he phoned the office of the provincial police commissioner on August 12 to ask for more police assistance at the mine, following the deaths of two security guards.

He said he did not receive a satisfactory response and phoned Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's office.

“I was given his office number and left a message and he came back to me. I gave him enough information so he can make (up) his mind.”

He said he had trusted the minister to take the necessary steps. - Sapa


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