Cosatu to “reclaim Rustenburg’

[] — COSATU will next weekend hold a rally in strike
affected Rustenburg in an attempt to regain the support of workers.

Following a special meeting of the union’s central executive committee last weekend,
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi called on all workers in North-West,
Limpopo and Gauteng to attend the rally.

He told Sapa that “Rustenburg will be reclaimed from the counter-
revolutionary forces’.

The Rustenburg area has been inundated by illegal strikes, which began at Lonmin’s
Marikana platinum mine in August when workers elected a committee to represent
them instead of a trade union.

Vavi admitted that the Marikana strike exposed weaknesses in the confederation,
especially the way Cosatu is represented in the workplace, and that this contributed to
the workers’ decision to represent themselves.

Some of the problems identified were that the post of branch secretary had turned
into a full-time job and that union representatives were getting younger.

He said the new workers’ groups – the Rustenburg Joint Strike Co-ordinating
Committee and the Democratic Socialist Movement – “are leading the workers to the
gallows’ with their unprotected strikes.

Vavi’s comments came after he and officials of the National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM) were attacked with stones at AngloGold Ashanti’s mine near Orkney on Friday.

“The mob threw stones at us,’ NUM regional co-ordinator Madoda Sambatha said

According to Sambatha, they had been warned in advance that a representative of the
Democratic Socialist Movement had already addressed the workers and apparently
told them they must not listen to the general secretary of Cosatu. Vavi and the others
were on foot when a group of miners started throwing stones at them.

The rest of the weekend appears to have passed quietly in the mining industry and
there were no further strike-related incidents.

AngloGold Ashanti spokesman Alan Fine also said on Saturday there were no further
incidents near Orkney.

Sven Lunsche, a spokesman for Gold Fields, said on Saturday they hoped all workers
would be back at work on Monday.

Gold Fields on Friday issued an ultimatum to the workers of its KDC East mine saying
they would be immediately dismissed if they did not return to work today. Its KDC
West and Beatrix mines are operational again after workers started returning on

– Sake24