Marikana: Workers prepared to go without pay ‘until July’

2013-05-15 15:46

The wildcat strike at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana will continue until workers’ demands are met, a worker has said.

“Even if it means we are not paid, the strike will continue until the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is out,” Sipho Jele said today.

“If NUM leaves in July, we are prepared to go without pay until they go.”

He was one of the workers who have downed tools to demand the immediate closure of NUM offices at all Lonmin shafts.

“They are no longer a majority union, they must leave,” he said.

Jele said workers were also angry about the death of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) North West regional organiser Mawethu Steven.

Steven was shot dead in Photsaneng on Saturday.

Twin brothers Ayanda and Andile Menzi were shot dead in their shack in Nkaneng, Marikana, also on Saturday. One of them was an NUM shop steward.

Lonmin said it was conducting talks with representatives of the unions organising at Lonmin.

Spokesperson Sue Vey said Amcu and NUM had indicated that they did not call the strike.

She told reporters that notice had been given to the NUM to vacate the offices in July.

In a list of demands, Amcu said it wanted NUM members to be arrested for carrying weapons on the mine’s premises.

Vey said the company did not permit the carrying of firearms.

“Anyone found guilty of this violation of company policy will be reported to the police and face disciplinary action.”

Last year, 44 people were killed during a wage-related strike at Marikana. They included 34 people shot dead by the police on August 16, and 10 people – including two policemen and two security guards – killed in the preceding week.

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