Inquiry will expose Marikana truths – NUM

NUM says the Marikana shooting had nothing to do with events leading up to the strike over wages.

A miner lies on the ground in Marikana in the North West, following days of violent attacks in the area. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

SANDTON - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has again dismissed reports of a turf war with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

NUM's general secretary Frans Baleni told a breakfast event hosted by The New Age at the Sandton Convention Centre on Monday that the Marikana tragedy had nothing to do with the events leading up to the strike over wages. Two policemen, two security guards and 40 miners were killed in less than a week last month.

Ahead of the shooting, NUM accused upstart union Amcu of trying to recruit its members, leading many to believe union rivalry sparked violence in Marikana's Wonderkop township.

Baleni said the commission of inquiry into the bloodbath would reveal the truth.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, who was also at the event, highlighted the need for transformation in the mining sector to be fast tracked.

She said her office was continuing to work towards creating stability at the mining town.

The minister said the incident had tarnished South Africa's image globally.

Baleni agreed with the minster's sentiments but said miners countrywide were frustrated by their living conditions and wages.

Shabangu further applauded the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for dropping murder charges against the arrested 270 Lonmin Marikana miners.

She said the NPA realised it had made an error and corrected its mistake.

The announcement was made at a briefing in Pretoria on Sunday.

The minister said the country should now respect the judicial inquiry established to investigate the Marikana killings.