NUM left wage talks too late, inquiry hears

2013-01-28 19:00
Erick Gcilitshana (Picture: City Press)

Erick Gcilitshana (Picture: City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rustenburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) should have started Marikana wage talks with Lonmin sooner, the Farlam commission of inquiry heard on Monday.

"You were contractually able to open this discussion with Lonmin. You elected not to, until lives were lost," Ishmael Semenya, for the police, said.

He was cross-examining branch chairperson at Lonmin western platinum mine, William Sethele, during the inquiry in Rustenburg.

"I think it's your views," Sethele responded.

Semenya argued the NUM should have approached Lonmin before the first two people, two security guards, were killed on 12 August, during violent strikes at the company's Marikana mine in the North West.

Sethele maintained the union could not approach Lonmin without a mandate from its members.

"How can you talk of something that you don't have a mandate for? Where are you going to take that feedback? Because the people on the mountain didn't want us."

Semenya said he would argue it was always possible for the NUM, as union, and Lonmin, as employer, to reach this agreement without loss of life.

Sethele disagreed, maintaining the NUM were unable to meet strikers.

"The union and management cannot reach a solution in the absence of the workers."

Semenya asked him whether, if all parties had sat down for negotiations, it would have been possible for a wage agreement to have been signed before August 9.

"I think it's possible," replied Sethele.

Earlier, he testified how he told striking Lonmin miners to return to work before the first deaths at Marikana.

"I stressed that employees who took part in illegal strike action may jeopardise their employment, and urged them to think of their families and dependents," Sethele wrote in a statement.

Karel Tip, for the NUM, was reading from Sethele's statement at the inquiry.

Sethele said he even told strikers over a megaphone, on 11 August, that the strike was unprotected and the union did not endorse it.

On Friday, the NUM's chief negotiator during the deadly strike, Erick Gcilitshana, testified the union's attitude towards wage negotiations during the strike, in August last year, was irresponsible.

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, last year.

Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and the two security guards, were hacked to death.

- SAPA
Read more on:    num  |  erick gcilitshana
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.