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National Union of Mineworkers Press Statement, 6 March 2014
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is once more distraught that another member of the union in Limpopo is in critical condition after being brutally savaged on his way to work this morning. NUM condemns the despicable attacks driven by vigilantes masquerading as unionists while carrying pangas and machetes to slaughter the weak and the poor workers.
The victim John Ntsime Mochanka is an NUM member working for Grinaker LTA at Union Mine. Mochanka was attacked at 05h20 this morning when he was going to work with his colleague. His colleague managed to escape and alerted the local NUM branch leadership.
According to NUM Chairperson at Union Mine, Steve Modikwane “Mochanka suffered serious broken ribs, a broken hand and another hand with a very big open cut wound”. He has been admitted at Union Mine Hospital.
Modikwane accused the company of refusing to speak with NUM. “The Company does not want to speak to us as leaders of the NUM at Union mine about the safety of our members. This company is exposing us to the striking workers to attack and kill us," he said.
Two weeks back NUM member Thapelo Morapedi was set alight while going to work at Union Mine. He sustained serious burned wounds on his left hand and some wounds were caused by the panga when they attacked him and fortunately he survived.
On Monday, 3 March 2014, NUM member William Nkoebele a Winch Operator at Union Mine suffered serious head injuries, broken ribs and broken arms when he was attacked while going to work.
As NUM we appeal to the mine security and the law enforcement agencies to be visible next to the squatter camps where the majority of workers live. We are extremely troubled that there is no visibility of the mine security and the police in the squatter camps.
The above-mentioned incidents demonstrate that there is no safety for NUM members. We call on Police to leave no stone unturned in finding the blood-suckers who have failed to defeat their class enemy and now resort to easy targets to appease a false sense of achievement.
Furthermore, we appeal to companies to enforce discipline at work to stop intimidation.
We call on all our members to remain on high alert and report any important information to their regional offices. Vigilantes are driven by lust for blood and have nothing to do with the wages and better working conditions for workers.
For more information please contact: Livhuwani Mammburu, Acting NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257 Steve Modikwane, NUM Branch Chairperson at Union Mine, 082 511 0193