Attack on NUM member 'politically motivated'
A NUM member was attacked with a Knobkerie in Marikana on Sunday during a recruitment rally.
JOHANNESBURG - The ANC says it believes the attack on a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) member in Marikana on Sunday may have been politically motivated.
Andrew Nkomo was assaulted with a Knobkerie at the Nkaneng informal settlement.
He was on his way to a NUM recruitment rally at the Wonderkop Stadium where leaders from the Tripartite Alliance addressed about 1,000 people.
The rally was held as part of the union's recruitment drive at the Lonmin Platinum Mine after it's de-recognition last week.
ANC officials at the rally vowed to defend the NUM against its rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
The ANC's Ishmael Mnisi says a delegation from their North West branch visited Nkomo on Thursday, because he is a key volunteer on their election campaign.
"We believe this is a political crime because it is alleged that the people who attacked him were wearing another union's t-shirt."
Earlier this week, it was falsely reported that Nkomo had died from his injuries at a local facility.
NUM's Lesiba Seshoka said Nkomo was recovering at his home.
"There were reports that he died. On Sunday an official confirmation was sent to say he died and we've just realised that the person who died is not in fact the same person who was at the rally."
There has been an intense rivalry between NUM and Amcu since last year, chiefly over majority recognition at Lonmin mines.
NUM used to be the majority union at Lonmin, but Amcu now represents about 70 percent of the employees.
ANC TAKING SIDES?
Meanwhile, the office of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the weekend said government's intervention in the mining sector remains impartial despite the African National Congress (ANC)'s affiliation to, and commitment to defending the NUM.
Amcu has previously said it plans to raise concerns it has over the ANC's links to its direct competitor in the mining industry.
Motlanthe's spokesman Thabo Masebe said, "Government has always been impartial in the process and their impartiality has never been questioned."