ANC afraid to visit Marikana mine

By Drum Digital
13 September 2012

ANC members of the parliamentary portfolio committee for mineral resources would not visit the violence-stricken Lonmin platinum mine in Rustenburg because it was not safe, according to a report on Thursday.

James Lorimer, DA MP, suggested on Wednesday that the committee should either hold a parliamentary hearing, or visit the Marikana mine to hear the miners' grievances, Beeld reported.

Opposition parties supported the idea, but the ANC majority rejected it.

"We can't go and talk to a crowd with suicidal tendencies," said the ANC's Rose Sonto.

Fred Gona (ANC), committee chairman, said members should wait until processes already underway had been completed.

"We'll leave space for the negotiators who are already there to do their job... by the time we go there, the situation will have normalised."

Gona also said the situation in Marikana was too dangerous.

Lorimer compared the MPs with ostriches burying their heads in the sand.

He said the committee, which was supposed to be responsible for overseeing mining matters in parliament, had done nothing since the Marikana mining tragedy four weeks ago.

Eric Lucas, IFP MP, said committee members should start behaving like adults.

"Rome is burning. Your words break a person's heart," he said.

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