Has enough been done about Marikana, asks Cosatu

Zingiswa Losi, president of Cosatu. Picture: Gallo Images / Beeld / Herman Verwey
Zingiswa Losi, president of Cosatu. Picture: Gallo Images / Beeld / Herman Verwey

Trade union Cosatu has called on government and the minister of police to expedite an investigation into the killing of workers in Marikana in an effort to bring conclusion to the limbo that bereaved families have been in for the past seven years.

This request was made during a press briefing on Thursday following the sitting of the union’s central executive committee this week.

Union deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe said one of the resolutions was improving the safety of workers and as such, that “included holding to account the people involved in the Marikana killings”.

This included a “reinvestigation into the killing of all workers in Marikana” as well as an “investigation of whether payment to all affected families – which include the first 10 killings – has taken place.”

Phetoe also emphasised that an investigation into the relationship between Amcu and Lonmin management needed to take place, “particularly the Marikana trust funding”.

He called on the police minister to take a particular interest in “cases opened against the killing of other workers after the Marikana tragedy”.

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi said about 14 killings had taken place long after the August 16 2012 Marikana massacre.

“Perhaps we need to think whether enough has been done about Marikana since workers continue to be killed and nothing is being done about it,” she said, placing the blame squarely on rival workers union Amcu.

There is lawlessness in Marikana that is driven by Amcu. Justice is skewed and Amcu is made to seem like the victims although they are the perpetrators of crimes and killings that are to this day still happening in Marikana, said Losi.

“Just recently, a NUM member working in Marikana was killed in the early hours of the morning in front of his wife and kids and nothing is being done,” said a seething Losi.

She said potential NUM members were being targeted through stop orders.

“A hit list is being created from stop orders. Workers wishing to leave Amcu to join NUM request a stop orders discontinuing payment to the former and a list is created from these stop orders and such individuals are targeted and in some cases killed,” said Losi.

She said that “pertinent questions were not being asked regarding Marikana,” saying Amcu was made out to be the heroes but were the instigators of the unprotected strike that led to the massacre.

“The very person [Joseph Mathunjwa] who instigated and continues to instigate violence is protected by bodyguards while those who follow him don’t enjoy similar privileges,” said Losi.

When asked whether the union place any blame for the loss of dozens of lives in Marikana on alliance leader Cyril Ramaphosa, Losi was quick to say the Farlam Commission which investigated the massacre had not found any wrong doing in the president.

Cosatu has pledged to work closely with NUM in preparation of a workers rally in Marikana in October.

“We will make sure that the president of the ANC and of the country visits the Marikana workers and surrounding communities,” said Phetoe.

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