Baleni: Anarchy, rape in Marikana

2012-09-17 09:39

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni has described the situation in Marikana as “descending into anarchy” and added that the military was right to intervene.

He told City Press on the sidelines of the Cosatu congress, which started in Midrand this morning, that NUM had received reports of women being raped and of petty theft and looting in the settlement following the killing of 45 people in the six-week-long unrest following a wildcat strike.

Thirty-four of those people were killed during a police shooting last month.

Baleni said about two weeks ago two women were raped after men entered their homes looking for men to join the protest on the “mountain” in the area, called Wonderkop.

“They were busy washing, and the men just raped them. They didn’t even report it to the police,” he said.

Baleni said the troubles at Marikana and the preparations for the congress kept him busy. “I didn’t sleep last night, I only got to sleep this morning,” he said.

Baleni refused to be drawn into discussing Cosatu leadership battles. His union did not nominate general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for re-election, as they have been unhappy with his outspokenness against the governing ANC.

Thousands of delegates streamed into Gallagher Convention centre where proceedings started two hours late this morning.

President Jacob Zuma, who slipped into the hall almost unnoticed before a crowd started chanting his name, is set to give the keynote address while Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande are also billed to speak.

» Follow @carienduplessis and @City_Press for updates from the congress

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