Marikana miner tells of NUM fears

2013-02-22 16:31
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - Fear of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) prompted one of the miners wounded at Marikana to join another union, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Friday.

Siphete Phatsha, who was wounded in the Marikana shootings on 16 August, said he joined the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) in December last year, after 30 years as a NUM member.

"I became an Amcu member because I was assaulted, beaten up by NUM," he said, through an interpreter.

Asked by commission chairman Ian Farlam if he, personally, was beaten up, Phatsha clarified that "people like me were assaulted".

'I wanted protection'

Last week, Lonmin miner Vusimuzi Mandla Mabuyakhulu testified that he was shot and assaulted, allegedly by NUM members, on 11 August during a march to the mine's NUM offices.

Asked why he chose Amcu, Phatsha said: "If you have been beaten up by your father at home, you are able to leave him by building your own hut".

Farlam said that joining another union was more like "going to someone else's hut".
Phatsha said this was "because I wanted protection".

The commission is holding hearings in Rustenburg, North West, as part of its inquiry into the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin Platinum's mine in Marikana last year.

On 16 August, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were injured when the police opened fire while trying to disperse a group which had gathered on a hill near the mine.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.


- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  num  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining unrest
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