The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) views August month as one of the most unfortunate months that ever happened in the history of its existence. It is an unfortunate month in the sense that what happened in August 2012 has been projected and used by any disgruntled people who want to launch their political relevancy at the expense of the plight of the victims of those who were brutally killed and injured around the platinum belts of Rustenburg, in particular the striking workers at Lonmin workers. 

The NUM, in commemoration of this unfortunate event, is busy mobilizing resources to push for the implementation of the recommendations made by Judge Farlam’s Commission of which it recommended that all the victims should be equally  compensated. It should also be remembered that days before the brutal shootings by the police, 10 people were killed and that included mineworkers, security officers and members of the police. So our call has always been that those victims must also be remembered. As a responsible trade union, we are appealing for people to refrain from politicizing this sensitive event. We should all strive to assist all the victims to find an amicable closure. 

Workers were affected across trade union allegiance. Most importantly this unfortunate event exposed the lack of an integration of the industry and the national transformation by the way of giving black mineworkers sufficient compensation and proper accommodation to reclaim their human dignity. What we are seeing today are political realities beyond trade union segmentation and all of us should not claim narrow political victories. We should all champion workers’ unity to advance the aspirations of those who died and those still alive, which is to have a caring mining industry. 

It is unfortunate that the event has been politically projected, not for the interest of the victims, but for political relevance. We still maintain that the instabilities that engulfed the platinum belts were politically motivated. As part of the political plan, the hatred against the NUM increased and that hatred is still being maintained, and as a result, that sometimes makes negotiations very difficult . We are calling on the government to speed up the process of equally compensating all the victims. All victims should be treated equally. We can’t be talking about workers’ compensation nine years later. We are also calling for unity and reconciliation of workers irrespective of trade union affiliations. 

For more detailed information, please contact:

William Mabapa, NUM Acting General Secretary, 082 880 4439

Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257

Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer, 083 809 3255