Nactu: Police must not provoke miners

Nactu's Joseph Maqhekeni says police should refrain from giving ultimatums to mine workers.

Striking workers at Anglo Platinum's Rustenburg mine. Govan Whittles/EWN.

RUSTENBURG - The National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) has called on police not to provoke the Association of Mineworkers and Trade Unions (Amcu) members who are on strike at three platinum mines in the North West.

About 100,000 Amcu members downed tools last week demanding a minimum salary of R12,500.

There have been three incidents of violence since the strike started but authorities can't confirm if Amcu members have been involved.

Nactu president Joseph Maqhekeni is adamant their traditional weapons are not dangerous and when police confiscate knobkierries and shields this can provoke the miners.

"If you see umbrellas and sticks and you go near the workers and say you want to confiscate them, that is provoking the worker."

He says police should refrain from giving ultimatums to the mine workers.

"To say 'you can't stand here and there' and 'we're giving you five minutes to disperse otherwise we're going to open the water cannon on you', that is provocation."

Police say there haven't been any violent confrontations with Amcu members.

Meanwhile, talks between mine management and unions are set to continue at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).


At the same time, the CCMA has called on the platinum industry to be patient with the talks.

The talks between Amcu and Amplats, Implats and Lonmin started at the CCMA headquarters last week.

But it's understood the first revised offer from mine bosses was only made on Tuesday.

The CCMA's Nerine Kahn says the talks may continue for some time.

"Negotiations go through cycles and it's hard to predict when a resolution will be reached. It takes time and we need people to be patient."