File picture: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

After years of bleeding members at the hands of Amcu in Marikana, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is heading back to the area on a recruitment drive this weekend, backed by its federation Cosatu

On Sunday, NUM is planning to hold its first rally in Marikana since the 2012 massacre which saw 34 mineworkers being gunned down police as they were striking for better wages.

Amcu, a NUM splinter led by Joseph Mathunjwa, has been the dominant union over the years in the platinum belt and overtook NUM.

Cosatu North West secretary Kopano Konopi said the main purpose of the rally was to revive the NUM once more in the area.

“Since the developments in 2012 we have not been active there. The last activity we had in Rustenburg was in October in 2017, but it was not in Marikana,” he said.

Konopi said it had been difficult for NUM to organise and get membership since the massacre due to intimidation of workers and the violence that has seen a number of miners being killed.

“People are continuing to die in the Marikana area and cases are not properly investigated an there is nobody who has been convicted,” Konopi said.

He said many members who wanted to join NUM were unable as they feared for their lives.

“Safety and freedom of speech is of concern in the area. What makes it difficult for us to organise there is that people are being intimidated. People are willing to move from Amcu but they are scared for their lives,” he said.

Kopi said the rally was also going to be used to call on the state to include the ten people who were killed before day of the massacre on August 16.

“Their cases were not presented in the Farlam commission of inquiry. We want the state to act even in regard to the safety of the people there,” he said.

Political Bureau