Marikana: ‘Behave, for truth’s sake’

2012-12-13 19:04

Marikana Commission of Inquiry chairperson retired judge Ian Farlam has intervened in the cold war between rival union supporters.

The rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mining and Construction Workers Union (Amcu) was once again highlighted at the commission when a complaint was lodged pertaining to the singing of a song calling for the “killing” of one of the unions.

NUM lawyer Advocate Karel Tip SC this morning told the commission that about 40 people wearing green T-shirts (Amcu) were yesterday heard singing songs, including one which calls for the “killing” of the NUM.

He said there was “intimidatory conduct”, which prompted police who were in the vicinity to intervene.

Tip said he’d been informed that the people were not from Lonmin, but rather from Impala. He said Lonmin employees who have been attending the proceedings since the commission started its work had maintained peaceful conduct.

“I’m going to request the commission to repeat the need for all persons to conduct themselves in a manner that is free of intimidation,” he said.

The commission has previously heard arguments that the “toxic” relationship between the two unions was responsible for the deaths of 34 people who were shot by police at Marikana on August 16.

Amcu lawyer Tim Bruinders SC said the matter would be investigated.

Farlam referred to Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa’s closing statements yesterday, in which he said he hoped the commission would establish the truth of what had happened.

He appealed for people attending the proceedings to behave.

“The best way for us to find the truth is by means of a thorough inquiry, which is conducted in a spirit of harmony and co-operation.

“It’s in the interests of everybody and the whole country that the commission be allowed to do its work properly and thoroughly,” Farlam said.

The hearing continues.

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