/ 17 August 2012

M&G Hangout: Lonmin, Cosatu and more

Miners protest in Lonmin.
Miners protest in Lonmin.

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

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

Watch Verashni Pillay host a live video chat with the M&G's Tabane, posing your questions to him on Friday August 17 at 12pm. Readers went here to send us their questions and voted on existing questions. We also take your tweets sent to @mailandguardian in real time. You can watch the video on this link when it happens in real time, and the recorded version  afterwards.

With more than 30 people killed in a shootout 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 its majority to an even more disorganised unit.

You can also join us via video for our weekly live video chats every Friday 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.