Defend the NUM - Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramamphosa accused other organisations of trying to divide the mining union.

Businessman and ANC NEC chairman Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa

RUSTENBURG - ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday called on workers across the country to defend the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) against attack.

Ramaphosa, who founded the union, addressed hundreds of workers at a Workers Day rally in Rustenburg.

The area has been plagued by often violent and deadly clashes between rival unions and police, including August's Marikana shooting in which 34 miners were killed.

Ramaphosa said the NUM remains the biggest union in South Africa and other organisations, especially in Rustenburg, must not divide members.

"The NUM must go forward as a united union. They have targeted Rustenburg and we must say no; it must never happen."

Ramaphosa said Rustenburg is home to the NUM and the ANC and members must stand behind the union and their party.

Rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), recruited many members in the mining district with both the NUM and Amcu blaming each other for the violence that erupted in Marikana.

Meanwhile, Amcu held its own rally where it paid tribute to the miners who lost their lives during the shooting.

CAPE TOWN

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) led a Workers Day rally in Cape Town.

It called for improved working conditions on farms.