David Sipunzi made an invaluable contribution to SA’s labour sector - Cosatu

While the circumstances of his death were not yet known, Sipunzi passed away on Friday.

NUM general secretary David Sipunzi. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Saturday reacted with shock to the death of the general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) David Sipunzi.

The union federation described Sipunzi as a larger-than-life figure who made an invaluable contribution to the labour sector.

While the circumstances of his death were not yet known, he passed away on Friday.

Cosatu’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said Sipunzi managed to stabilise NUM even under difficult circumstances.

“It’s a big loss for the federation, the NUM, and workers in general because his contribution went beyond the state of the mining sector as he was interested in really representing workers across the economic sectors,” Pamla said.

Sipunzi joined the mining industry in July 1985 working for Harmony, and in the same year, he was recruited into the NUM.

In 1999, he was elected as the NUM Free State regional secretary until he was elected as the union’s general secretary at its 15th national congress in 2015.

In reaction, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) on Friday said it had learned with shock of Sipunzi’s passing.

“Popcru sends its deepest condolences to the Sipunzi family and to the NUM membership,” the union said in a statement.

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