Modise stays mum over strikes

NORTH West Premier Thandi Modise has defended her deafening silence in the unrest that has engulfed the mining sector in her province, saying her political detractors had previously accused her of grandstanding.

Modise, who is also ANC deputy secretary and has a close relationship with renegade ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, has never publicly spoken out since violence erupted and work stoppages started in mines last month.

Modise's spokesman, Lesiba Kgwele, yesterday said the unfolding mine disruptions were not a provincial issue.

"Minerals, labour and the police are the competency of the national government, and it would be unfair to accuse Premier Modise of being inactive. She is part of the inter-ministerial team that was set up by the Presidency.

"If she were to disregard all those factors and intervene in her personal capacity, she will be accused of seeking political mileage," Kgwele said.

Modise came under fire when she joined Malema in February to address Impala Platinum mineworkers who were dismissed following an illegal strike over wage demands.