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ANC calls on members to help at Lonmin

Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

Published Jun 4, 2013

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Johannesburg - The ANC has urged branches in Bojanela, North West, to help police “isolate” those responsible for violence at platinum mines in the area.

“The criminal activities we have seen in Marikana, regardless of motivation, must be condemned across all sectors of society,” African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Tuesday.

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A National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) shop steward was killed on Monday in a shooting at Lonmin's Western Platinum mine in Rustenburg.

Another man was wounded and was admitted to hospital in a critical condition.

The Bojanela municipality includes Rustenburg, Moses Kotane, Moretele, and Kgetlengrivier.

Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said police were continuing investigations on Tuesday at the site of the shooting, next to Lonmin Platinum's Wonderkop hostel.

The body of the dead man was expected to be identified by his family on Thursday.

Until then, he could not be named. The name of the wounded man would also be withheld for now.

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After the shooting on Monday, NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka suggested it might be linked to a labour court order which gave the NUM the right to retain its union office until July 16 in the midst of a membership drive by the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Mthembu said there was no justification for any loss of life in Marikana, as South Africa had a “solid, progressive, and effective labour relations regime”.

The Constitution enshrined the fundamental rights of freedom of association and fair labour practices.

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“These rights must be extended (to) and defended by all South Africans; no one can claim to be a leader where they fail to understand these very basic principles (and) instead resort to violence to exert hegemony,” he said.

The ANC also called on the police to ensure a continuous and visible presence in Marikana until lasting calm was returned to the area.

North West provincial legislature speaker Supra Mahumapelo reiterated his call to Amcu and the NUM to “accept the reality that they need to coexist”.

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“We are going to constitute a committee that will be sent to Marikana to understand (the) challenges that (have) emerged and report to the House.

“Our communities and economy deserve the best, and this best can come from all of us pulling together (Saamtrek) pull together 3/8 - rather than be torn apart by our differences,” Mahumapelo said.

North West premier Thandi Modise also called on Amcu and the NUM to denounce violence and commit themselves to peaceful coexistence at Lonmin and other mines around Rustenburg.

In ,August 34 people were killed in a clash with police during a strike at Lonmin. Ten people, including two security guards and two policemen, died in the preceding week.

Amcu regional leader Mawethu Steven was shot dead at a tavern in Photsaneng on May 11.

Twin brothers Andile and Ayanda Menzi, 24, were shot at a shack in Wonderkop.

One died at the scene and the other died in hospital.

One was originally thought to have been a shop steward, but it has since been established that the brothers were unemployed.

Meanwhile, eight NUM shop stewards had been suspended for alleged union membership fraud, Lonmin said earlier on Tuesday.

“Lonmin has suspended eight employees following investigations into allegations of membership fraud. Three of them are currently in the middle of disciplinary hearings, while the remaining five face hearings this week,” said spokeswoman Sue Lindsell-Steward.

The shop stewards allegedly falsified stop orders to make it seem members of Amcu had left the union to join the NUM.

The company said it had been established that about 200 stop orders were allegedly falsified and submitted to its human resources department.

The effect of the fraud would have been to relay membership fees due to Amcu to the NUM, while also helping the NUM regain its representation. - Sapa

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