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Num blames Amcu for Marikana tragedy

Num President Senzeni Zokwana on Tuesday shifted blame for the Marikana bloodbath.

Police closely monitor protests in Marikana in the North West on 14 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - National Union of Mineworkers (Num) President Senzeni Zokwana on Tuesday blamed a rival union for the strike action at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Speaking at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, he said the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was behind the strike at the North West mine.

The inquiry was set up by President Jacob Zuma after 34 miners were gunned down during a confrontation with police on August 16.

Amcu's legal representative Heidi Barnes said Zokwana blamed Amcu for the violence, without having proof.

She also accused Num of not consulting with its own members.

Zokwana said at the time, Amcu was the only union engaging with miners.

"Workers don't sleep and dream what to do the following day - they are guided [by unions]."

The Num president said his officials went into hiding after angry miners attacked its offices.

He said union leaders were threatened and intimidated from the start of the illegal strike.

Zokwana was criticised for not doing enough to stop the illegal strike, especially after he dealt with something similar at an Impala platinum mine.