‘The writing is on the wall, you’re going to be murdered’

2012-08-22 16:14

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union have lashed out at critics who call it a “violent” or an “opportunistic” union.

Union President Joseph Mathunjwa today told reporters at a press conference near Rustenburg that “management of Lonmin betrayed Amcu”.

“Amcu’s president pleaded for peace but he was let down by Lonmin management,” said Mathunjwa.

Amcu is the second biggest union representing workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, where 34 miners were shot dead by police last week.

Mathunjwa was responding to various media reports that it was a union that had used violence as a modus operandi.

He said that on the day of the shooting, he had been going back and forth between striking mineworkers and Lonmin management.

“Before the massacre I was on the mountain pleading to the workers: ‘The writing is on the wall, you’re going to be murdered.’”

Mathunjwa said he based this on the fact that Lonmin management had abruptly told him they would not be negotiating further.

“Amcu is and will always be committed to peaceful means of engagement,” he said.

Mathunjwa said Amcu was a recognised union on the mine.

He also said that there was a breakdown in communication between Lonmin management and the union since the shooting.
“The sidelining of Amcu leaves a lot to be desired,” he said.

He said Amcu had been excluded from a meeting with ministers as well as Lonmin management where representatives of the National Union of Mineworkers had been present.

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