Pretoria - The South African Police Service has not shown zeal in investigating the continuous targeting and killing of leaders of Amcu, particularly in Rustenburg, the trade union’s president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Thursday.
“There is a concerted attack on Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), targeting its leadership particularly in Rustenburg. These killings seem to be a carefully planned, well-funded hit program on Amcu members by trained, armed and well-resourced hit men who have murdered, injured and attacked people. This is informed by the weapons used,” Mathunjwa said.
“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.”
Addressing a wide-ranging press briefing at the National Press Club in Pretoria, Mathunjwa said the killing of AMCU officials within the mining sector is well known to the police but there are no arrests.
He said that the union condemned the killings and decried the "weariness shown by the police" to resolve these issues.
"In 2014, we submitted a S77 [Section 77 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act] application based on violence in the mining sector and were denied the right to protest and raise awareness on these killings. In the same year, we made representations before the parliamentary portfolio committee related to killings in the mines. However, to date there has been no concerted efforts from powers that be to nip this in the bud,” said Mathunjwa.
“The recent killings in the Rustenburg area are worrying and seek to destabilise Amcu as a union. These cases have been escalated to the National Prosecuting Authority to get to the bottom of this. We encourage the [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation known as the] Hawks and related institutions to prioritise these killings in the same vein as the political killings in KZN. We will do everything in our power to ensure that all those responsible are brought to book.”
Mathunjwa said the union was channelling considerable resources towards private investigations, in its bid to bare the truth over the killings of its members.
Moving on to the status quo at State-owed entities (SOEs), Mathunjwa said if properly run, the entities have the potential to drive economic growth in the country.
“These need to be properly run with qualified people in order to take over downward and upward opportunities to support the mining sector throughout the business value chain," he said.
"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.”