Amcu man fears for life after being branded a ‘traitor’

2014-01-23 12:13

A member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) in Rustenburg has gone into hiding in fear of his life after being labelled a traitor by its leader.

“I am in a place where I feel safe, I am in hiding. There are people who want to kill me. My life is in danger, I cannot go to work or meet with workers,” Gaddafi Mdoda said today.

Amcu members started a strike for better wages on platinum mines in Rustenburg in the North West this morning.

Mdoda said union leader Joseph Mathunjwa had accused him of several things, including that he accepted money from Anglo American Platinum to ensure that some of the company’s shafts were closed and workers retrenched and plotting to establish a rival union.

He said Mathunjwa had named him as a traitor at a rally in Rustenburg on Sunday. This was the second time he has been branded a traitor in public.

Mdoda said: “He endangered my life without checking facts with me. I want him to clear my name. I want a live debate with him for the world to see who is corrupt.”

When asked about reported divisions in Amcu, its leader, Mathunjwa told SAfm in a radio interview this morning: “I cannot dignify such nonsense ... I think the best thing for you to do [is to] drive to those mines and interview each and every branch leadership there and the workers.”

The presenter started saying he had already spoken to Mdoda but Mathunjwa interrupted him, saying: “He is not a member of Amcu ... I’m telling you Gaddafi was called for a disciplinary by his branch. He never pitched up and his branch took a decision through the rightful structures. He is no longer a member of Amcu.”

But Mdoda said: “I am still an Amcu member, I pay my subscription fee monthly to the union. I was never voted out or dismissed.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that Mathunjwa had named several Amcu “dissidents” from the stage at the Sunday rally, calling them “traitors”.

On Monday, the Workers and Socialist Party held a press conference to voice its concern over Mathunjwa’s comments and questioned the wisdom of a strike in the platinum industry.

It said in a statement: “The real reason for the witch-hunt is that these comrades have been at the forefront of calling for the democratisation of Amcu and the accountability of its leadership.

“Among the complaints is the Amcu leadership’s failure to organise even basic democratic structures in Rustenburg that would give workers a genuine voice in their own union.”

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