Cosatu wants mine bosses probed
COSATU has called for a second independent commission of inquiry to investigate the mining sector as a whole and to determine how mining bosses might have failed to comply with the Mining Charter.
The federation made a declaration regarding the Marikana incident at its 11th National Congress yesterday, saying that the events of August 16 had conveniently diverted attention from mine bosses.
In a seven-page statement, read by general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu declared its solidarity with the workers in the platinum mining sector, which recently lost 45 workers in violent skirmishes with the police.
The declaration read in part: "The tragedy of last month had shifted the focus and blame from the bosses, who have been sitting in the shadows, enjoying profits from the very workers whose families have now been robbed of their only breadwinners."
"We call for a second independent commission of inquiry that will work parallel to the Judicial Commission already appointed by the President (Zuma) ..."
As Vavi read out the declaration, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and ANC NEC member Jesse Duarte were seen caucusing.
Mantashe, at the first opportunity, attacked the declaration as being "weak", emphasising that there were more deaths than the 34 that had been inflicted by the police at Marikana, pointing out "other mine killings", and - specifically - attacks on NUM shop stewards.
"If we are soft on capital, we run the risk of blaming the state," Mantashe said, adding that Lonmin was an extreme example of "untempered capitalism".
Mantashe also cited - as an illustration - the company's move last year to dismiss workers, only to rehire them with poor remuneration.
Cosatu also called for the demilitarisation of the police service, alleging that, when NUM members had been attacked, the SAPS had "consistently failed to act".
Cosatu has also pointed at what it saw as imbalances in the world economy and "the worst ever global crisis of capitalism", chief among which was "the capitalist class, scrambling to claw back its profitability".