Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa appeals for calm following killing in Marikana near Rustenburg in North West. PHOTO: Stringer/ANA

CAPE TOWN - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members told a local media house that the recent massacre in the area is linked to the association’s defiance against new leadership. 

This comes after four Marikana miners claim that numerous individuals have been killed for demanding that Amcu president Jospeh Mathunjwa appoint a deputy. Also, that Mathunjwa raised allegations of corruption. 

Elective Congress

These miners declare that because the union failed to hold an elective congress, this has fed into the bloodshed. 

“The congress was postponed and our candidate for vice presidency Stephen Mawethu was rejected because he was not employed. If you asked questions opposing Mathunjwa, you would get killed in Marikana.”

However, Amcu’s general secretary Jeff Mphahlele slammed these allegations. 

"Our constitution puts it very clear that there shall be regional elections, branch elections. Now the process that is there, is that we need to have all branches in good standing."

The petrified group of four told a local media house at an undisclosed location that their names landed on a hit list after they raised concerns about deductions from workers’ salaries. 

They claim that one of Amcu’s Lonmin branch leaders unlawfully deducted one percent from worker’s salaries. The miners declared that this is above the legal 1% which unions are entitled to. 

Afraid

“The hitmen arrive at home to try kill me, I fought and fled and some of my comrades helped me leave the area for safety”, says one of the miners. 

Just two weeks ago, Tholakele Bhele Dlunga was shot dead. His name is believed to have been on the hit list. 

Amcu has since blatantly denied all claims of corruption and disputes, citing these as allegations which stem from outside the union’s ranks. 

In addition, the massacre of Amcu leaders have been linked to the violent Apartheid era. 

“This looks very much like the third force violence the apartheid state unleashed on the democratic and workers movement during the negotiations for a political settlement. The current killing will be difficult for Amcu to divorce it from 2014 AMCU living wage strike whereby the State used expelled Amcu members to form a rivalry union to destabilise and to break the strike”, said Mathunjwa in September this year.

Mathunjwa has since said that he would channel resources in order to launch private investigations into the killings. 

SOEs

He went on to add that state owned entities (SOEs) have the potential to drive economic growth in the country. 

“The SEOs can also stimulate growth by investing in South African manufacturing and stimulate local secondary industries which can lead to job rich growth. The SEOs need not be run along political lines. In any developmental state, you need to separate the State employees from their political parties. The board appointments, executive appointments and staff appointments need to be based on merit and not political deployment”, said Mathunjwa.