Cosatu calls for a second Commission into Marikana

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The 11th Congress of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called for a second Commission of Inquiry into violence in the mining sector in addition to the one already appointed by President Jacob Zuma. “We are extremely concerned that the events of the 16th August and the ongoing violence – whose main victims remain the exploited masses – has shifted the blame from the platinum bosses who have systematically undermined collective bargaining and promoted division amongst workers, and who have been sitting in the shadows enjoying profits from the very workers whose families have now been robbed of breadwinners,” Cosatu said. “We therefore call for a second Independent Commission of Inquiry that will work parallel to the Judicial Commission already appointed by the President. The terms of reference of this Commission must be to investigate the employment and social conditions of workers in the mining industry, historically and at present.” “The Commission will have also to look at the global context of the industry. It should be on a scale similar to the 1979 Wiehahn Commission into Labour Legislation and the 1995 Leon Commission into Health and Safety on the Mines. The Commission will be linked to a Cosatu Campaign for the total transformation of the mining industry.”

Cosatu pledged its full support for the Judicial Commission appointed by President Jacob Zuma

At the same time, Cosatu also pledged its full support for the Judicial Commission appointed by President Jacob Zuma to investigate the circumstances that lead to the Marikana tragedy in which at least 44 people lost their lives. “As Cosatu, we pledge to do our part to ensure that all the relevant factors and evidence that led to the violence and tragedy of the 16th August are revealed by ensuring that our members who witnessed the violence, before during and after cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry,” Cosatu said. “We will do everything possible to help prevent any further deaths. We condemn violence, warlordism and intimidation from any quarter and strongly support the principle of freedom of association, especially for the working class. Membership of any union or any party should not cost a life”.

– By Frank Nxumalo