Amcu congress is not about contestation — Mathunjwa

During his address of thousands of Amcu delegates on Thursday, Mathunjwa also rebuffed criticism that he has used the union to enrich himself. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

During his address of thousands of Amcu delegates on Thursday, Mathunjwa also rebuffed criticism that he has used the union to enrich himself. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s 2019 national elective congress is “not about the contestation of positions”.

In his keynote address at Amcu‘s national elective congress — its first since 2013 — the union’s president, Joseph Mathunjwa, said: “This congress is not about the contestation of positions.”

During a media briefing on Wednesday, Amcu’s head of organisational development Krister van Rensburg revealed that five national office bearer positions — including the union’s president, the deputy president national chairperson for health and safety, the national treasurer and the national chairperson for education — were opened for nominations.

All five positions are uncontested, pending nominations from the floor, Van Rensburg said.

Mathunjwa commented on what has so far been a seemingly scandal-free congress.

“I think for some of the media houses, this is a very boring congress this one,” he said.

Mathunjwa also addressed the recent threat to Amcu’s registration as a trade union, suggesting that there is a politically motivated attack on the union.

“After this congress the war begins again. Because their agenda is to kill Amcu,” he said.

In April, it emerged that the Amcu — which rose to prominence during the labour unrest which led to the Marikana massacre in 2012 — was in danger of losing its status as a trade union when the office of the labour registrar issued a notice of its intent to cancel the registration.

READ MORE: Amcu failed to hold congress since 2013: labour registrar

The reasons given included Amcu’s failure to hold a national elective congress and that the union has “ceased to function in terms of its constitution”.

The cancellation of the Amcu’s registration was put on hold when the union resolved to hold its national congress.

READ MORE: Joseph Mathunjwa the dictator? Amcu leader accused of crushing dissent

During his address of thousands of Amcu delegates on Thursday, Mathunjwa also rebuffed criticism that he has used the union to enrich himself.

“Let me tell you there is no amount of money that can compensate me the amount of time I have put into this organisation. It is priceless,” he said.

Mathunjwa added:  “I don’t come first.
I come last.”

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law. Read more from Sarah Smit

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