Cosatu demands peace at mines

2013-11-06 14:31
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - The framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry must be implemented, Cosatu said on Wednesday.

"Cosatu demands that the SA Police Service [SAPS] and National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] do everything possible to implement that agreement, so that people can walk in the streets in safety and enjoy their constitutional human right to move freely without fear of attack," said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven.

He was reacting to the death of former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Lonmin shop steward Percy Letanang, 45.

Letanang died in hospital on Tuesday night after being shot seven times when he arrived home in Segwaelane, near Marikana, in North West, on Sunday night.

"Cosatu is outraged by the continuation of what are clearly deliberate assassinations of NUM members in the area, and the failure of the police to arrest most of the perpetrators and bring them to justice."

The framework agreement, which was signed in July, demanded that the police, the intelligence service, and the courts act effectively and without delay to bring to justice those guilty of violent crimes.

"Impunity must be rooted out and the confidence in the justice system restored. Government must implement these measures without any further delay," Craven said.

NUM Rustenburg regional co-ordinator Mxhasi Sithethi said Letanang had been employed at Lonmin's Eastern Platinum mine, and took a voluntary severance package (VSP), after Lonmin de-recognised the NUM when its membership numbers fell below the required threshold.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has since become the majority union at Lonmin.

Rivalry between unions

Several killings of union members are believed to be due to rivalry between the two unions.

"After Lonmin decided to de-recognise us, most comrades took their VSPs fearing for their safety at the mine, and comrade Letanang was one of them," said Sithethi.

The NUM was worried about the increasing number of murders of its shop stewards in Marikana and in the greater Rustenburg area.

"In less than three months, four of our members have been killed... How long is blood going to have to flow in Marikana?" he asked.

"It is impossible not to feel heavy-hearted when our shop stewards are brutally killed..." he said.

North West police said Letanang was shot around 21:00 when he arrived home from work.

"It is alleged that the victim was shot seven times in his shoulder, right upper arm, ribs and in his stomach.

"The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where he died on Tuesday," said police spokesperson Thulani Ngubane.

No arrests had been made.

Read more on:    amcu  |  num  |  npa  |  lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  mining

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