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Dlamini slams 'personal agendas' at Marikana

Cosatu's Sdumo Dlamini on Sunday slammed the “politicising” of Lonmin’s Marikana mine tragedy.

Police open fire at protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President S’dumo Dlamini on Sunday said he was not attacking individuals but the behaviour of those he said were “politicising” the Lonmin’s Marikana mine tragedy.

Dlamini was speaking at a lecture by the Young Communist League (YCL) in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg on Sunday. 

He told delegates that expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema and president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa were using the fatal shooting for their “personal agendas”.

Cosatu-affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) blamed AMCU for organising the wildcat strike at North West platinum mine two weeks ago. 

But AMCU denied any involvement in the violence that ensued during the strike. 

Forty-four people were killed in violent clashes between striking workers and the police.

Dlamini urged both Malema and Mathunjwa to stop what he said “amounted to walking on the bodies of those killed in Marikana”.

“We will defend our organisations against those who are leading an attack against the workers and dividing them through their rhetoric and cheap talks of the miner," Dlamini said.

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe also echoed Dlamini's views that the deadly Lonmin Marikana shooting was hijacked by personal political agendas.

Mantashe said that counter revolutionaries who wished to undermine the tripartite alliance were borne out of the Marikana tragedy.

Meanwhile, the Police Ministry said it was waiting on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to probe the alleged torture of the miners that were arrested following last week’s shooting. 

More than 250 miners were arrested following the police shooting which claimed the lives of 34 people at Marikana.

Police Ministry’s spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said they will follow proper protocol on the allegations that the arrested miners were being tortured at their holding cells. 

The arrested workers are in different cells across the North West where they are waiting to appear at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday on various charges, including murder. 

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)

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