COSATU says it intends to use the mega rally as a reminder of lives lost on days leading to the August 16, 2012 tragedy. The rally will be held in Marikana near Rustenburg in North West on Sunday.

COSATU says since the incidents of 2012, only 34 mineworkers who were killed on the 16th of August are being remembered, while those who died before that appear to have been forgotten.

COSATU North West secretary Konopi Konopi says they are also calling on authorities to tighten security on the platinum belt, as NUM members continue to be killed.

“The focus has been mainly on the activities that took place in the 16th of August in 2012, with which we do not see anything wrong, but we believe that there have been developments prior to the 16th of august, in that ten people died prior to that. Post the 16th of August, people died, including that some people died while they were presenting evidence in the commission, and nothing has happened with the investigation for such people.”

Konopi says they are jointly organising the rally with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

NUM says the rally will be a turning point for the union since the August 2012 tragedy.

The NUM has battled to regain dominance as the majority union in the platinum sector, with a membership of just over 50 000 from the 170 000 it had before 2012.

“The main purpose of the rally is to rebuild the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is among the biggest affiliates. In actual fact, NUM is the biggest industrial affiliate in COSATU. So, we want to rebuild NUM in the Rustenburg and the Platinum region. Prior to the 2012 developments, NUM used to boast more than 170 000 members in the platinum belt, now it’s about 70 000. So we want to bring NUM back to its glory days in the platinum belt.” says Konopi.


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