Mathunjwa: Platinum firms fuelling tensions

Amcu has rejected the latest offer by platinum firms to end the three-month strike.

AMCU's Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says it can't be held responsible for any confrontations that may occur between its members as a result of direct engagement by the mine bosses with striking workers.

Amcu today rejected the latest offer by Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin and Impala Platinum to end the three-month long strike for a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

The companies have offered a four-year settlement but Amcu says its members have overwhelmingly rejected this as their other allowances aren't being addressed.

The union says the decision by the platinum producers to take the offer directly to employees is an attempt at dividing the workforce.

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa said mass meetings being held by union and mine officials were fuelling the tensions.

"As a union, we are opposed to these efforts and warn that should there be any altercations, we will not be hold accountable."

Mathunjwa said platinum mining bosses have become a cartel, refusing to tell the truth about how much they could afford in wages.

"They have been playing a game of smoke and mirrors underpinned by deceit, dishonesty and bad faith."

Mathunjwa said the platinum companies were holding the country to ransom and mineworkers had not benefitted from South Africa's democracy.

"There is surely no good story to tell for mineworkers since the advent of democracy."

He said mine bosses prioritised profits over the wellbeing of employees and called on the companies to reveal their budget for wages to the public.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has lashed out at Amcu, saying its strike has dragged on for too long.

The president addressed the ongoing work stoppage in a briefing in Johannesburg today and referred to Amcu as a 'funny union'.

He said Mathunjwa had a responsibility to protect his members' jobs.

Zuma said the union must find a way to end the strike.