Marikana talks impossible - NUM

2013-02-06 14:09

Rustenburg - Negotiating with striking mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana mine was impossible, the Farlam commission of inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"If I was in that position I would think about my own kids... Negotiation under those conditions was impossible," National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana said.

He was responding to a question from advocate Dali Mpofu, representing those injured and arrested during a violent strike at the North West mine in August last year.

Mpofu asked if on August 15 - when, according to emails sent between Lonmin director Cyril Ramaphosa and other senior managers, the situation at the mine was relatively peaceful - Lonmin representatives could have engaged with strikers.

Zokwana maintained the situation was too volatile.

By 15 August, 10 people, including two Lonmin security guards, had been killed during the violent strike.

On 16 August, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of protesters gathered on a hill near the mine.

Zokwana agreed that at the heart of the strike was a wage demand for R12 500 a month, but he said the strike "turned".

He said only those trained to deal with crowd control could stop violence, not wage negotiators.

"It was no longer an issue of industrial relations. You needed other instruments to deal with that. The SAPS [police]."

  • sharkie.fin - 2013-02-06 14:19

    Then Senzeni Zokwana should stand down as leader. It's his job to represent and address the workers. Not sit at his ass while his memebers gets shot.

      heini.botes - 2013-02-06 14:29

      I agree with you in a sense, but if workers behave like animals, killing 10 innocent people then it's a whole different story. I would personally not have gone as well. But i get what your saying

  • Moliness - 2013-02-06 14:27


  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2013-02-06 14:36

    The unions stir up the crap and then run away when it gets rough. It is their responsibility to control their members.

  • mxolyc.khanyile.7 - 2013-02-06 15:48

    How can this guyz sarve two intres the intres of workers

  • flynn.govender - 2013-02-06 16:00

    Most of these workers are illiterate, once cannot talk sense into them, to them - money is everything and they did do it with all cost. Certain people lost their lives for others to gain.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2013-02-06 16:00

    I agree with him. How can you talk to armed people that wanted "war" and killed 10 people before?

  • 7thAstroboy - 2013-02-06 16:19

    What are Unions there for in the first place? I thought to represent and help mediate negotiations between their members and the companys. All the more reason for the country to sanction unions. Good for NOTHING! IMO

  • sagebrush.bush - 2013-02-06 17:13

    Bunch with thug mentality.

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