COSATU welcomes government action on controversial mine killings
By Funke Atohengbe, Pretoria
The Congress of South African Trade Unions, COSATU has welcomed the establishment of a commission of inquiry, appointed by President Jacob Zuma to look into the deadly clashes between Police and striking miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the NorthWest of the country.
At least 34 people were killed and 85 wounded when police opened fire on the miners on Wednesday.
COSATU's President, Sdumo Dlamini, called on all workers to allow all stakeholders to address all outstanding issues.
"When we allow an opportunity to solve the issues, it is all the best other than continuing on such a stalemate. Our call as COSATU is that workers must calm down and allow leaders to address their issues. It doesn't matter now which union you belong to - there is a crisis - let's normalise and create a platform where people will be free to express themselves, people will be free to say their demands under a normal situation," Sdumo said.
The National Union of Mine Workers, NUM, on its part, said such a commission was necessary and would help unearth the motive behind the senseless violence.
The NUM said the commission should help the country understand the underlying threats faced by the country’s democracy.
Non-governmental groups in Cape Town have also protested in a show of solidarity with the Marikana mine workers.
President Jacob Zuma had on Friday announced the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry into the events that took place at the mine.
He expressed regret that the violence could not be averted in this age of democracy.
The South African President cut short his trip to Mozambique for the Southern African Development Community Summit, to visit the mine site.
The mine workers, mostly rock drillers belonging to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, embarked on the strike on the tenth of this month, demanding a pay rise from four thousand rand to twelve thousand, five hundred rand per month.