'Mathunjwa plays victim at Marikana inquiry'

Amcu's Joseph Mathunjwa speaks during a media briefing. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN
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RUSTENBURG - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has played the victim card, saying he has been crucified for failing to diffuse the situation at Marikana.

Mathunjwa was being cross-examined on Monday about the role he played in the days leading up to the August violence, when 34 Lonmin miners were gunned down in a clash with police.

Violence at the North West town flared up when miners from Lonmin platinum mine downed tools in protest of salaries amounting to R12,500.

A total of 47 people were killed and millions of rands lost in production during the five-week wage dispute.

Mathunjwa on Monday told the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that he was called by Lonmin management to go to Marikana, but said he was now being blamed for not doing enough to stop the illegal strike.

“Today, that massacre of the day should be put to one person out of 48 million people – ‘Joseph Mathunjwa, you have failed.’”

Mathunjwa has been accused of fuelling tensions on the day of the shooting, and causing animosity between Amcu and its rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num).

But Mathunjwa insists he pleaded with miners to back down, despite pointing fingers at Lonmin and saying Num was oppressing the black nation.