Lonmin and Cosatu: Send us your questions

Following the shock killings at Lonmin mines, join our live video chat with M&G deputy editor-in-chief Rapule Tabane at noon about Cosatu.

  • Go here to send us your question OR vote on an existing question.

With more than 30 people killed in a shoot-out between miners at Lonmin mine in Marikana, Rustenburg, questions are being asked about the role of unions. The miners were for the most part leaderless.

Meanwhile Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country's biggest union federation and important alliance member, is at a crossroads.

As it prepares for its conference next month the union body is struggling with factional battles, which reflect the ANC's own conflict ahead of elections in December where ANC president and head of state Jacob Zuma will be up for re-election to lead the party.

Last week the Mail & Guardian revealed how Cosatu's popular secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi was under pressure from pro-Zuma leaders who want to see him go. We also brought you a leaked political report by Vavi.

This week Tabane wrote Cosatu's NUM must ask itself how it has lost control of the mineworkers and ceded ts majority to an even more disorganised unit.

M&G readers have shown huge interest in the story and we want to give you an opportunity to get involved in the discussion.

Verashni Pillay will host a live video chat with the M&G's Tabane, posing your questions to him on Friday August 17 at 12pm. Go here to send us your question OR vote on an existing question, and Pillay will put it to Tabane. We will also take your tweets sent to @mailandguardian in real time. You can watch the video on this link when it happens, and afterwards.

You can also join us via video for the live chat using Google Hangouts – a technology similar to that of Skype. To do so all you need is:

  1. A computer; a webcam, audio and mic facilities (standard on most laptops); and a reasonably good internet connection.
  2. Set up a Google Plus account which you can do using your existing Gmail account.
  3. Download the software here.
  4. Email your name, contact details and questions here and we will get in touch with you to take part in our live chat via video.

See our live chat with Phillip de Wet last week about Zumaville.

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