Marikana Inquiry: NUM blames breakdown in bargaining process

The NUM says there was a collective bargaining agreement in place at Lonmin in 2012.

FILE: Crosses placed during 2012 for the 34 miners killed in the Marikana shooting. Picture: EPA.

PRETORIA - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says there was a breakdown in the collective bargaining process at Lonmin which led to the unprotected strike in 2012.

The union and other legal teams are submitting their final arguments at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry this week after sitting for 293 days and hearing testimony from more than 50 witnesses.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 34 miners who were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012 at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force when the protesting miners were gunned down.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

The NUM's Karel Tip has explained to the commission that there was collective bargaining agreement in place at Lonmin in 2012.

He says the strike at Impala Platinum, when miners started represents ting themselves triggered the situation at Lonmin.

Meanwhile, Advocate Dali Mpofu says the platinum producer could have still opened negotiations with miners despite a bargaining agreement.

Mpofu insists that things would have turned out differently if the miner's grievances were addressed from the start.