Numsa drops call for Zuma to be hauled before ICC over Marikana

2013-12-22 06:00

Metal workers’ union Numsa has dropped its call for President Jacob Zuma to be hauled in front of the International Criminal Court over the killing by police of 34 miners at Marikana last year.

In its draft resolutions discussed at its special congress in Boksburg this week, Numsa said it wanted to obtain legal opinion to refer the Marikana massacre to The Hague.

It also wanted police commissioner Riah Phiyega and mining bosses to face the tribunal.

But this was dropped in the final resolutions, read out at the congress on Friday afternoon.

In these resolutions, Numsa called for the sacking of Phiyega and for a “full and impartial investigation of the causes of what happened in Marikana” – a call first made by Cosatu at its national congress last year.

It also demands that “all the politicians and individuals who are in complicity with the police and state in the murder of the Marikana miners be brought to book”.

Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said on Thursday that the call to take Zuma to the ICC emanated from an “international colloquium” where the matter was discussed.

He said those attending the colloquium watched a still-to-be-released documentary, The Massacre of Marikana, and were incensed.

Cloete said they were considering a “broader international action on the premeditated massacre” – something that was reflected in Numsa’s final congress resolutions.

Delegates at this week’s congress also watched the documentary, which was made by Rehad Desai, the spokesperson for the Marikana Solidarity Campaign.

In the resolutions, Numsa said the documentary “gives an alternative narrative to what we have been fed, that the police in Marikana were acting in self-defence. What we saw was that Marikana was a well-planned and orchestrated strategy by the state to defend the profits of mining bosses.”

Cosatu deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali on Thursday said taking the matter to the ICC was premature, because local legal remedies should be exhausted first.

Numsa at its congress also raised R350 000 for the victims of the Marikana shootings and their families, to be placed in a trust. R80 000 came from worker delegates, R70 000 from Numsa staff, and R200 000 was given by the Numsa Investment Company.

Numsa leaders remarked that this would be the second bleak Christmas for the victims and their families.

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