COSATU statement on the brazen attack and murder of a NUMSA Shopsteward in Rustenburg

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) condemns the brazen murder of a National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) shopsteward ,and the wounding of three other workers outside the CCMA offices in Rustenburg. We send our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Comrade Malibongwe Mdazo. We also wish a speedy recovery to all the injured workers. 

We implore the country’s law enforcement agencies to pursue, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Criminals are killing people with impunity in the mining sector and if government continuously fail to intervene,  more workers will lose their lives. Already, this flagrant use of violence has left many families without breadwinners and some workers with permanent scars and disabilities.  

The Platinum belt remains a volatile area, where assassination squads roam free and are used to settle all manner of disputes and disagreements. This affects all workers because it undermines their right to Freedom of Association. Membership of any union should never cost a life. 

Such lazy, backward, and cowardly tactics need to be universally rejected by all properly adjusted people.

We reiterate our call for all unions and workers to promote unity and strengthen their cooperation. To change and transform the mining industry, South African workers need maximum unity. The reckless and exploitative employers in the mining sector should not be allowed to infiltrate the labour movement and sow the seeds of division. 

The South African government is fast losing control of the mining sector because even lawless gangs are fighting over abandoned mines and are also extorting legitimate artisanal miners. This crisis should jolt relevant departments and state institutions into action because failure to act will lead to anarchy and lawlessness in one of the strategic sectors of the economy 

Issued by COSATU. 

Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)

Cell: 060 975 6794