Hawks swoop on seven Amcu members

File picture: Supplied

File picture: Supplied

Published Mar 10, 2016


Johannesburg - Seven members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Impala Platinum (Implats), the world’s second-biggest platinum producer, have been arrested for allegedly soliciting more than R2 million in bribes from an insurance company that administers its retirement funds.

The seven, who are all trustees of the Impala Workers Provident Fund, were arrested by the Hawks this week and appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court yesterday.

They were released on R5 000 bail each.

Implats spokesman Johan Theron confirmed that the seven were nabbed in Potchefstroom after they allegedly asked for “protection money” from the company whose name is known to Business Report.

Hawks set up trap

The arrests followed a trap set up by the Hawks.

“The members had allegedly tried to secure payments from an existing or prospective service,” Theron said.

Amcu national treasurer Jimmy Gama said he was not aware of the arrests, adding that the organisation did not run provident and pension funds and that these were operated by employee trustees elected by employees.

“We are not usually involved in trusts. We are not sure what happened at Impala, we will need to investigate and comment once we have full details.”

Amcu became a popular union in the platinum belt after the Marikana massacre in mid-August 2014 in which more than 40 people were killed in violent clashes.

The union toppled its arch-rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and was recognised as the majority union at Implats in 2013.

A year later, it led a five-month wage strike involving 70 000 employees in which Implats, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin lost R24 billion in revenue, and employees R10bn in salaries.

NUM Rustenburg regional secretary Desmond Mfuloane said the arrest of the seven confirmed the union’s suspicions about Amcu activities in the platinum belt.

“We feel vindicated. The NUM has always been accused of corruption. Looking at our history there is no way we were in bed with management and corrupt,” he said.

Mfuloane alleged that Amcu had colluded with Implats management to apply for amendment of fund rules of the fund through the Financial Services Board.

“They applied to temper with rules, and cut short the term of NUM trustees last year. At that time, we knew monies of workers were not safe because wherever Amcu is in majority we are inundated with complaints from construction companies who were bullied to pay bribes for their existence in mines,” he said.

The spokesman for NUM Livhuwani Mammburu said the union was worried about this development.

He said NUM members at Implats had been calling the union’s offices to find out if their money was safe.

“We are calling upon Impala Platinum and the board of trustees to tell the public why the seven trustees were arrested,” Mammburu said.


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