NUM general secretary Frans Baleni File picture: Matthews Baloyi

Rustenburg - Trade unions have no right to embark on violence during strikes, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Sunday.

“Union leaders and their members have no right to embark on violence during their industrial action. Violence during strike action now occurs on a daily basis,” said NUM general secretary Frans Baleni.

He was reacting to the sentencing of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) shop steward, Aaron Mavimbela, to 20 years in jail for the murder of Jacques Naude, a NUM shop steward at Woestalleen coal mine, Hendrina, during an Amcu strike on October 17, 2011.

Mavimbela was sentenced by the Middelburg Circuit Court on Friday.

Baleni said NUM welcomed the sentence.

“This heartless, cold-blooded killer should have been sentenced to life.

“The accused showed no remorse during the trial. This serves as an aggravating factor and he was convicted of an atrocious crime.”

Baleni called for the arrest and prosecution of all those implicated in the killing of workers, and destruction of property belonging to workers in the platinum sector.

“We call on the government to protect all workers who are not on strike and wish to exercise their right to go to work. The time has come for the wheels of justice to roll over those who continue to prey on innocent workers.”

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum have been on strike since January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

Two weeks ago they urged union leader Joseph Mathunjwa to accept a settlement proposal that would increase the lowest pay workers' salary by R1000 for two years and R950 on the third year. - Sapa