Lonmin employee did not encourage collective talks

2014-09-15 14:11
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - A senior Lonmin employee did not think NUM and Amcu would have met to resolve the 2012 Marikana strike, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

"Before the 16th [August 2012], when 10 people died, was that not time for you to say, 'this situation is getting out of hand, people have been killed, should we not call together all the people necessary for an all-inclusive consultation?'," asked the commission's chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam.

"Amcu [Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union] and NUM [National Union of Mineworkers] before the 16th [August 2012] didn't convince me they were the kind of parties that could actually sit around the table," replied Barnard Mokwena, who was the executive president of human capital and external affairs at the time of the 2012 strike.

However, after 16 August 2012, when 44 strikers were fatally shot by police, a central forum was established to deal with the rock drill operators' demands.

It was through this forum that their demand was ultimately resolved, Amcu lawyer Heidi Barnes pointed out.

Mokwena said Lonmin would have been willing to negotiate with the strikers only through NUM, despite workers losing faith in the union.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during unrest near Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Police opened fire on a group of mostly striking mineworkers, killing 34 of them on 16 August 2012. Around 70 people were injured and more than 200 were arrested. Police claimed they were trying to disperse and disarm them.

Ten people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  amcu  |  num  |  ian farlam  |  pretoria  |  marikana inquiry

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