NUM gave workers dignity, inquiry hears

2013-01-31 12:01

Rustenburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) gave dignity to workers, union president Senzeni Zokwana testified at the Lonmin commission of inquiry on Thursday.

Advocate Karel Tip, for the NUM, asked him to explain workers' wages and benefits to the commission.
Zokwana said the union had tried to close the wage gap in the mining industry.

"We have been able to make some strides [so] that mineworkers make a decent wage."

He gave the example that mineworkers did not have paid leave or pension before 1987.
"NUM gave dignity to mineworkers."

Tip said he would ask Zokwana on NUM's policies, and deal with allegations that NUM was not a caring union. He would ask him about rock drill operators and what the union had done for them.

Zokwana would further testify on what had happened at Lonmin's Marikana mine while he was there.

Union members from both the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and NUM, wearing their union t-shirts, filled the auditorium at the Rustenburg civic centre.

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August 2012.

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

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were hacked to death.

  • gwynneth.rowe - 2013-01-31 12:12

    I thought NUM gave the mineworkers weapons? Or do weapons now impart dignity too?

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2013-01-31 12:58

      HA HA these jokers ar from the same lying school as J Z!

      raymond.romans.5 - 2013-01-31 14:03

      NUMnuts, the lot of them. In it for themselves. Workers strike with no pay and yet the union officials continue receiving their fat salaries. Ticks! Parasites!

  • Yandisa Rwaai - 2013-01-31 12:46

    They gave them dignity by avoiding Karate (open hands without weapons).

  • derek.smith.12177276 - 2013-01-31 12:48

    uhm...weapons,dignity and then unemployment...

  • thaluki.malema - 2013-01-31 13:01

    Dignity, WTF??? These labour unions are causing this country, the economy and the citizens of South Africa tremendous damage.They are stealing the future of the citizens of South Africa. They are making the citizens of South Africa poor. They must be disbanded.

  • sarah.bouttell - 2013-01-31 13:03

    er no, they gave the workers disinformation, and then they gave them weapons, and then the sh#t hit the fan.

  • Brian Dorning - 2013-01-31 13:07

    So a person with employment, doing honest work, providing for his family had no dignity? NUM handed out death sentences and the possibility of them losing 14000 jobs

  • Bob - 2013-01-31 13:47

    Doesn't a few full metal jackets give you dignity? Who needs pension when FMJs let you slip retirement all together?

  • gary.mackey.98 - 2013-01-31 13:58

    LOL. The fact that you have to go back to 1987 to give an example of how you gave mine workers dignity speaks volumes!

  • Dennis - 2013-01-31 14:02

    So the last time they did anything was 1987. Go figure

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