NUM accuses rival union of witchcraft

2012-06-15 14:25

Johannesburg - South Africa's top mineworkers union has accused a rival of using witchcraft to boost recruiting, an allegation taken seriously among the rank and file in a country where traditional spiritual beliefs are widely held.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has been locked in a violent battle for membership with the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at the world's largest platinum mine, run by Impala Platinum.

"One of the tools which is used strongly is 'muti'," NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni told journalists on Thursday night, referring to traditional medicines that can be made from a range of ingredients including animal or human body parts.

'Very strong sangoma'

Baleni said NUM's members believed that AMCU had a "very strong 'sangoma'," or witchdoctor.

"One of the myths is that if you don't toe the line, especially if you are a man, if you defy them you might have bedroom problems at home," he said.

Sangomas are widely respected by South Africans of all walks of life, including business leaders and politicians.

Baleni later told Reuters it was an issue that was not being taken lightly because many workers believed in such things.

"We are taking it seriously as part of the tactics of this union as our members are telling us about the use of sangomas and muti," Baleni said.

AMCU officials said they were not using witchcraft.

"There is no one among us who is using muti or sangomas. It is rubbish that he is saying. We uphold Christian principles, we don't use sangomas," said AMCU general secretary Jeff Mphahlehle.

NUM has also accused AMCU of using violence to recruit, which it has denied.

  • Jo.Davies123 - 2012-06-15 14:31

    Are you guys serious? Hire your own witchdoctor then...

      gideon.joubert.10 - 2012-06-15 14:54

      Witchcraft: it. does. not. exist!

      Rob - 2012-06-15 14:56

      Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha !!!! @ Herman...Yes, frightening that these people are allowed to vote. @ Karin....This IS the dark ages. We need to laugh @ this..........Even though it is so sad, we should be crying. Cry the beloved country indeed !!!!

      Hermann - 2012-06-15 15:01

      United they destroy while disunited they stand upholding what the Big Boss under the shower calls culture.

      Kala - 2012-06-15 15:06

      I wonder if I tell my staff that I now have a sangoma that is more powerful the the Union's they would then cancel their membership. Maybe the DA should invest in a Sangoma or two. I'm off to sangoma school I foresee a market for their services.

      Squeegee - 2012-06-15 15:15

      We have to negotiate with this lot. We have to build a future with this lot. HELP!

      Consolata - 2012-06-15 15:16

      Can I just laugh...hahahahahaha. @kala please let me know what sangoma school you go to so I too can join. Maybe we can even get a tender from NUM and goverment to protect them from the evil spirits. This is seriously the best laugh i've had for days...

      Willie - 2012-06-15 15:20

      Absolutely the sangomas come very cheap, Mr Baleni ,with their mambo jambo stuff get one as well

      antin.herinck - 2012-06-15 16:05

      Un-frigging-believable! Our Marxist Heroes, HA! Carl Marx must be spinning in his grave at high revs. Witchcraft is opium for the retards.

      gideon.joubert.10 - 2012-06-15 16:11

      I will have a Sangoma put a curse on anyone that breaks into my house...that will stop them! Cunning plan...

      louis.olivier.988 - 2012-06-15 17:37

      and these twits run this country, my goodness

      louis.olivier.988 - 2012-06-15 17:39

      Jo I'm going to get a sangoma to cast a spell on my house so that any idiot of the anc clan will die a horrible death if they break in. I believe the sangomas offer this service and place some sort of token outside to scare the out of the criminals

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-06-15 19:16

      Muti from human parts = Cannibals

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-06-15 14:31

    2012... That's all I have to say.

  • karin.smit - 2012-06-15 14:32

    LMAO .. this is not the dark ages anymore!! ..

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-06-15 16:47

      My wicthdoctor is stronger than your witchdoctor and he will scare you hahaha

  • Sharon - 2012-06-15 14:41

    I can't even laugh at this it's so ridiculous! To think these people supposedly "negotiate" salary and wage increases for milliosn of thier members. Perhaps they should find a "tooth fairy" who will ring them money!!

  • gary.hope1 - 2012-06-15 14:41

    waahaa, i think this issue pretty much sums up SA, frigging scary to think that these people actually walk amongst us!

  • joemols - 2012-06-15 14:42

    Now you are on tik,stop spreading these lies and emancipate workers! Not all of us are affected by sangomas,in your room B!

  • Michael - 2012-06-15 14:43

    Well they couldn't blame racism or apartheid so I guess this is next on the "it's never our fault" excuse list.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-06-15 14:55

      lol funny how they never bewitched Apartheid leaders back in the day

  • luvo.luvos - 2012-06-15 14:43

    Absolute bulldust

  • Clive - 2012-06-15 14:45

    And this in the 21st century??!!!!

  • kmaruma - 2012-06-15 14:45

    The top bras of this union are stoned period

      Kala - 2012-06-15 15:04

      @kmaruma - are the top bras there to hold up the tits;) It might not have been an intentional pun but I would claim it if I was you.

  • Johnny - 2012-06-15 14:45

    Goes to show... dont mix witchcraft and business !!!

  • Kenna - 2012-06-15 14:46

    Sangomas: millions. Christianity: 0. Stupidity is the overall winner.

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-15 14:49

    Oh no, back 100 years again. Do we laugh / cry?

      Kala - 2012-06-15 15:23

      And there we all thought "Back to the Future" was a far fetched movie.

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-15 15:31

      Even if a want I can speak it da mumbo jumbo. Good for a Friday chuckle, and another reminder why I can never take these people seriously.

  • eddy.deepfield - 2012-06-15 14:52

    Superstition flourishes in shallow thinkers.

  • Adriaan - 2012-06-15 14:53

    Ahahahaha, back in reality people are still without jobs because of the so called unions. I simply do not understand it, maybe I never will.

  • Christian J Denyschen - 2012-06-15 14:57

    What i don't understand about this is what are NUM going to do about it its not like they can go to a police station and lay a charge of recruiting ppl with the use of erectile dysfunction witch craft. but on the other hand i think this is more of a intimidating tactic to get more ppl to join their union(sympathy card) if so they need to be careful its not them who's taken to court for false claims.

  • Nomde - 2012-06-15 15:00

    Really - witchcraft in 2012 - cummon guys ....

  • celest.pretorius.9 - 2012-06-15 15:03

    OMW!!! Just when I thought I've heard it all. Unbelievable!!!

  • Nicholas - 2012-06-15 15:05

    What an intelligent bunch ...and to think they are allowed to wield so much power in this country! Frightening.

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-15 15:07

      It is frightening. Also goes a long way to explain why we are where we are.

  • KB - 2012-06-15 15:08

    that the result of electing incompitant people to lead the organization I don't see logic behind this statement..someone will believe ANC also use strong muthi to pribe followers...lack of education can force people to take shower after unprotected sex to prevent STDs...

  • Tommy - 2012-06-15 15:14

    Supposedly responsible people in responsible positions with the SA economy in their hands, believing in witchcraft. Now I'm scared.

  • donald - 2012-06-15 15:19

    and this is why africa does not move forward

  • christopher.phago - 2012-06-15 15:39

    I'm encouraging everyone who's NUM's member to resign n join the new union(Association of Mineworkers and Construction(AMWC)cos num is no longer fighting 4 the workers rights.Num is fighting for cANCer n zuma for second team which is wrong.The ppl must not be intimated by the unionist not 2 join this union.\r\nNum is fighting 4 their own interest.Let's Num fall like a pole.

  • Hans - 2012-06-15 15:43

    now is the time to let the dogs out and let them eat each other raw

  • Bram - 2012-06-15 15:56

    Jesus Christ! You can't be serious! What nonsense! Why does News24 actually bother to publish this rubbish?

      Dee - 2012-06-15 16:32

      Invoking the name of Jesus Christ into the debate is quite relevant imo.

  • deon.schyff - 2012-06-15 15:56


  • leko.dada1 - 2012-06-15 15:58

    Losers must accept defeat ,so long NUM backing Zuma's second term they will lose more members.

  • Dee - 2012-06-15 15:59

    To Richard Dawkins and thousands of other intellectuals, religious prayer & ritual is equally contemptable 'mumbo-jumbo'. If we cannot respect the belief systems of Africa - why live here? And then also, please don't try defend your own religious / 'non-scientific' beliefs.

  • pages:
  • 1