Tighten Marikana security, urges Cosatu

Johannesburg - Law enforcement agencies must prioritise the area surrounding Lonmin's [JSE:LON] Marikana mine in Rustenburg, Cosatu said on Tuesday.

"Our members are victimised each and every day," Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile told reporters in Johannesburg.

Dakile said Cosatu was concerned about security in the area and called on the State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele to ensure the situation was under control.

"They must be able to deploy all necessary resources to make sure that particular area remains calm and no one is injured and no one is killed..."

Operations at the platinum mine were suspended on Tuesday morning.

"We can confirm there is a stoppage. Workers arrived for work, but did not go underground," said spokesperson Sue Vey.

Workers are demanding that the local office of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) be shut down.

The wildcat strike will continue until NUM's office has been shut down, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said.

"The employer refused to close the NUM office, saying NUM had been given notice to vacate offices by July 3," said branch chairperson Mceli Balimani.

One of the workers, Jerry Lintle said workers wanted the NUM out of Lonmin.

"They are no longer the union of choice. They must give Amcu space to operate," he said.

Tense situation

Earlier, NUM regional co-ordinator Mxhasi Sithethi said the situation was tense at the mine.

"People are singing outside our office, demanding the closure of the NUM office..."

The NUM and Amcu have been fighting for control of the mines in the area since last year.

Tuesday's strike followed the death of Amcu regional organiser Mawethu Steven, who was shot dead in Photsaneng, in the Nkaneng informal settlement, on Saturday.

An NUM shop steward and his twin brother were also shot dead in Nkaneng on Saturday.

On Monday, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa appealed for "calm" in the platinum belt following the shooting.

"We would like to call on all our members during this difficult and emotional time to remain calm and allow the law to take its course," he said.

On August 16, police shot dead 34 striking miners while trying to disperse them at Wonderkop. Another 10 people were killed in strike-related violence the week before.

Leora Lipka 2013/05/14 08:13:01 PM
Why must the police ensure no one gets killed, have the members of NUM and AMCU no respect for a persons right to belong to whichever union they want?.. Where is the freedom of association.. This is nothing but a turf war between infantile leaders all wanting to claim superiority over the other... I reckon men should be banned from politics and positions of power. Women are far better at negotiation and preserving life.. Ok I know it's a generalisation. But pretty close to the truth.
Jack Junior Kgorutle 2013/05/14 08:31:12 PM
I say wat I like. If amcu was not born people were not going 2 lose lyf lyk dis.
Cane Corso 2013/05/14 08:42:24 PM
And so the holy Tripartheid empire starts to crumble. Little by little, piece by piece...
stewart.croucamp.9 2013/05/14 08:56:27 PM
No! Why should our police be set up to be killed. The unions do not appreciate the work the police do. The unions must be left to their little war.
Syphor Zit 2013/05/14 09:20:55 PM
Now what must the police do to stop people who are shooting each other dead, shoulder pat them to stop or really stop them. Hard job for them, just thinking.
Mike Hahn 2013/05/14 09:47:47 PM
The money spent on this commission which will have no finality could of been used to pay the increases....... The truth will never be known. Pointless exercise unfortunately.
Tommo Too 2013/05/14 11:40:26 PM
Tighten security??? No ways says SAPS. This time we keep far away from Marikana...
Richard Scully 2013/05/15 03:36:27 AM
COSATU looking to use the police to fight its battles
Winifred Watson 2013/05/15 08:57:36 AM
This whole Marikana saga is going to turn into an explosive bomb, its just around the corner. The mine cannot continue with a stop, start situation, no business can. If the mine is pushed to shut down completely, there is going to be a war. The blame for the Marikana situation is the UNIONS, they incited the miners from the start, this is nothing more than a fight for Union stronghold which is MONEY. Regardless, the miners are caught up now in this frenzy. Remember, after the Unions ran away because the situation got too hot to handel, big mouth Malema came on scene, urging the miners to be prepared to die fighting until they got what they want. With this encouragement, the miners decided to call on the Sangoma to give them extra Special powers so that would not die in the fight. Believing this, they were now incensed to the point that they could not and would not die and marched on armed to the teeth to do what they were told to do, prepared to die for what they wanted. How can the Unions be allowed to walk away from this situation and not be held responsible for their actions, why has Malema not been summoned and charged together with the Unions. We have seen nothing yet, just wait, a time bomb is ticking here and its counting down the hours. This has nothing to do with the workers, its a power struggle between the Unions and its revolves around Power and MONEY.
Bolsheviks Partysa 2013/05/17 07:03:01 PM
The time has come to discourage people to pay unions only to enrich its executives! In a recent television interview, (17th May 2013) it was clearly stated that the Unions in South Africa during the year 2012 received a total of R 95 million in membership fees and what have they really done for the people whom they suppose to be representing. We are now entering that time of year traditionally referred to as the “strike season”, where workers, become the victims, because irrespective of the fact that they strike is a protected strike, at the end of the day, the policy that is adopted by employers is ‘no work no pay’ and the workers, only bit of enjoyment that they get is dancing the streets (jokingly referred to as affirmative aerobics) yet financially they are deprived of their salaries and their living conditions deteriorate. The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Jill Marcus. Recently in an open public statement clearly stated that we needed to look at salary negotiations in South Africa in a different way as the economy is suffering – suffering with billions of Rands being lost that would have been ploughed into the economy. Marikana had the impact of a lot of breakaway groups from the traditional NUM and COSATU but at the end of the day, what has been achieved. Yes the Union representing the employees at Lonhro averted a strike and pleaded with them to return to work while they are negotiating with the employers. Bigger unions get the media exposure and its executives are raking it in on the executive salaries and perks that they enjoy as Union representatives and the people that they represent, are the ones that suffer, and those are the people that are paying them these exorbitant salaries and benefits that comes with the territory! Now we need to unite in a situation, where we have a political party that would represent the voters and their needs and wants, and address it on the highest platform possible, in the alcoves of parliament and direct with the Minister concerned and to stop pussy footing around with unions that are only there to enrich themselves at the cost of employees. The current situation in South Africa is that 13 million people are actually employed while 7 million are unemployed and at the rate at which the economy is growing, if you can call it growing, that come 2025, the number of unemployed people will outnumber the number of people employed. A disasters fact that we need to recognize. We need to grow the economy at a level in parliament, and not enrich the unions, where we the members ultimately gain nothing, out of it. Demands set are unrealistic and by doing this only lengthen the negotiation process between employers and Unions and at the end of the day, the employers win. A recent example being where the industry in the Transport Union demanded an 18% increase in salary, the employers offered 9% and at the end the settlement 10.0%. Now in the process all those workers have been on unpaid leave for 4 weeks, the Union representatives still get their exorbitant salary packages, and this could have been resolved much earlier if the demand set had been realistic in the first instance. The militant trade unions are destroying the wage negotiations and it is time for us to realize that we can do better by following a better alternative in our approach, and in the end, achieve more.