NUM can’t be held responsible for violence – Shabangu

2013-05-25 09:25

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) cannot be blamed for the violence in the mining sector, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has said.

“As I believe, the NUM belongs to the discipline of the left therefore it cannot be held responsible for the violence on other unions,” Shabangu told the union’s central committee meeting in Pretoria yesterday.

“It can also never be correct that marches are being held to scare management to close the office of minority trade unions.”

The minister said the right to associate or disassociate was enshrined in the Constitution.

NUM needed to represent its workers without fear or favour.

Shabangu said violence and murder could not be used to coerce people to join a union.

“We are calling for a peaceful coexistence of unions in the mining industry; let freedom of association prevail.

“The NUM is not the enemy of Amcu (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union), and Amcu is not and should not be the enemy of NUM.”

Shabangu said the unions needed to join hands as they had one common class enemy – “monopoly capital”.

“You are both organisations that should represent the class interests of mine workers... Monopoly can only thrive through divide and rule. Instead of joining hands and promoting unity, trade unions are busy decimating each other, as we have seen last week.”

Rivalry between NUM and Amcu in Rustenburg and the mining sector had intensified and escalated into violence.

Shabangu said it was a testing time for the NUM.

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