Num negotiator testifies at Farlam inquiry

Num’s chief negotiator believes the Marikana bloodbath could have been prevented.

Retired Judge Ian Farlam and commissioners at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shooting on 3 October 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna.

RUSTENBURG - A chief negotiator for National Union of Mineworkers (Num) on Thursday testified that if wage discussions with Lonmin took place outside of the bargaining process, the shooting at Marikana might have been prevented.

The Commission of Inquiry is investigating the deaths at the platinum mine during an illegal strike in 2012.

At least 34 miners were shot dead during clashes with police on 16 August.

The protesters were demanding a salary of 12,500 a month.

During cross examination of Erick Gcilitshana, evidence leader Jeff Budlender asked what the result would have been if discussions had been held outside of the normal bargaining process.

"We would have agreed to sit down with the company and look at ways of preventing the violence."

Budlender said this would have ultimately prevented the violence at Marikana.

The inquiry was set up by President Jacob Zuma following the bloodbath.

Retired judge Ian Farlam is heading up the commission.

Meanwhile, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa has stepped down as Lonmin's non-executive director.

This comes after he was elected as ANC Deputy President in Mangaung in December.