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05 Mar 2014 09:25
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa says peace forums in the North West are targeting union members. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)
North West police denied on Tuesday claims by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa that a peace forum to prevent labour-related violence in the province was gunning for the union's members.
"It is untrue and malicious that the so-called peace forums in Rustenburg ... are aimed at discrediting Amcu," Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.
Beeld reported on Monday that Mathunjwa,said the peace forums were targeting union members.
Mathunjwa reportedly said Amcu had not been invited to participate in the forums.
He also claimed court representatives served on the forums.
"It's abuse of state resources," he was quoted as saying.
An 'impartial organisation'
Ngubane said the union was discrediting itself by never wanting to form part of any peace forum like the Mine Crime Combating Forum (MCCF).
"At no point will the [police] sit back when members of any union, including those of Amcu, involve themselves in any criminal activities, especially when they want to intimidate, bully and attack none striking workers who are going to work," he said.
Ngubane said police were the custodians of the law and would arrest perpetrators of crime regardless of the union T-shirt they were wearing.
"We are an impartial organisation delivering equal services to all South Africans," he said.
The MCCF was established in August 2013 to resolve problems and maintain stability in the mining industry.
Committed to peace
Ngubane said Amcu was invited to participate in the forum when it was launched.
"Even presently, the forum is desperate to get Amcu involved and commit to peace," he said. "The MCCF is one platform that has assisted in curbing some of murders, and crimes that were rife before it was launched in the platinum belt."
Ngubane denied that the MCCF was a structure of Amcu's rivals, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
"All role players, including NUM and representatives from the mining houses, are reporting various crimes that have been occurring at the mines and they are requesting the [police] to act against these perpetrators ... The representatives from the local courts and the National Prosecuting Authority are not part of the forum structure." – Sapa
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