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NUM gets another chance

The Labour Court ruled NUM has 90 days to regain majority membership at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.

The Labour Court ruled NUM has 90 days to regain majority membership at Lonmin’s Marikana mine. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has been given until July 16 to regain its majority representation at Lonmin or vacate its offices, the Labour Court ruled on Wednesday.

NUM's rival union the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) represents around 70 percent of employees at the Marikana mine in the North West.

But the court ordered a 90-day period for the verification of membership.

Earlier in May, Amcu members protested at the volatile mine.

Miners were demanding that NUM vacate its offices and that Lonmin management give Amcu full recognition as majority union.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said they are confident they can win back their members.

"The company [Lonmin] had already written to ask us to vacate the offices before the end of this week. So we are not going to vacate the offices, we are going to stay there until we reclaim some of our members.

In August, 44 people died during a month-long strike at the mine.

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) earlier promised to facilitate bilateral talks with its affiliates NUM and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

The trade union federation is trying to resolve ongoing disputes between the two unions.

NUM previously accused Numsa of recruiting its members at Eskom.