Saturday, October 27, 2012

SACP's Nzimande defends cops at Rustenburg Rally

The South African Communist Party (SACP) continues it's treacherous role in the strike wave that has hit South Africa and the shooting of workers out on strike at the Marikana mine. This report from Eyewitness News reveals the blatant collaboration between the state forces and the SACP.  This rally, an effort to intimidate the wildcats and independent workers' committees that have arisen and reclaim some lost prestige was not well attended at all.


RUSTENBURG - South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary-general Blade Nzimande on Saturday said police had no choice but to fire at striking miners who earlier attempted to disrupt a rally by members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Speaking to a crowd of about 600 people at the Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg, Nzimande said members of the trade union federation would have been attacked, if the police did not intervene.

He called on the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to expel those who took part in today’s protest.The secretary-general said he was at the stadium when police took action to disperse striking Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) miners, using rubber bullets, water cannons, teargas and stun grenades.
“That was an extreme act of provocation that I saw today, and it was correct of police to actually disperse those people because they [wanted] to charge [at] us.”

Ten people were arrested, following the brief unrest.

The commotion started when police stormed into the Olympia Stadium to disperse miners who had gathered there since the morning.

A fight then broke out between a miner and a marching Cosatu member, to which police retaliated by firing rubber bullets - causing the miners to flee to a residential area nearby.
Cosatu members had planned to hold their rally at the stadium.

It was hoped the rally would help resolve tensions between Cosatu leaders and members, following recent tensions and claims that unions under Cosatu had neglected the needs of their members.
Amplats workers have been on illegal strike since 12 September, demanding a basic salary of at least R16 000 per month.

They embarked on a strike shortly after their counterparts at Lonmin Mine, in Marikana, ended a violent wage dispute with management.

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