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AMCU scoffs at allegations of orchestrating killings, tribalism

JEFFREY MPHAHLELE In relation to the killings the leadership of AMCU has been ‘extremely pained and traumatised’ by what has been taking place

JEFFREY MPHAHLELE In relation to the killings the leadership of AMCU has been ‘extremely pained and traumatised’ by what has been taking place

Photo by Duane Daws

27th October 2017

By: Ilan Solomons

Creamer Media Staff Writer

     

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The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has rejected recent allegations by the media that the trade union is orchestrating killings on South Africa’s Platinum Belt, in particular at platinum producers Impala Platinum and Lonmin, and that it engages in favouritism towards members along tribal lines.

“This is pure nonsense,” says AMCU general secretary Jeffrey Mphahlele, adding that allegations that those in the organisation who oppose the union’s president, Joseph Mathunjwa, were purged and silenced were “blatantly false”.

Over the past few months, at least ten AMCU officials have been killed, including Lonmin health and safety officer Mvelisi Biyela, who was shot outside his home in front of his wife and six-year-old daughter, in September.

In relation to the killings, Mphahlele says the leadership of AMCU has been “extremely pained and traumatised” by what has been taking place. Moreover, he says, in the face of the “extreme tardiness” of police investigations into these killings, the union has offered a R100 000 reward to anyone who can provide police officers with evidence that assists them in convicting the perpetrators.

“The silent assassins are known and we suspect they will be betrayed for a few pieces of silver. However, we wonder why the Hawks or the South African Police Service has not taken such steps,” Mphahlele asks.

Additionally, he notes that AMCU has engaged private investigators to assist in this investigation in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the killings are brought to book swiftly.

“We had to take these extraordinary measures because, just when the police were going to make an arrest after credible evidence had been given to them, they were mysteriously prevented from doing so through the intervention of ‘higher authority’.”

W

ith regard to the allegations that dissent is not allowed within the organisation, Mphahlele contends that there have been a “few disgruntled members”, who have been used by the State to attempt to destroy AMCU.

He says that there have been cases related to a few branch leaders, who were dissatisfied by the action of the AMCU leadership in reprimanding them for unilaterally appointing service providers without any mandate from the members and approval of the national leadership.

“We make no bones about our action in this regard. Where members are tempted to accumulate [wealth] through corruption, we will take action against them, regardless of their status in AMCU.”

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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