Joseph Mathunjwa has been elected to serve another term as the president of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
In an unsurprising result, Mathunjwa was re-elected as Amcu’s president at the union’s long-awaited national elective congress on Friday. Mathunjwa was nominated to the position unopposed.
The announcement of Mathunjwa’s win was met with cheering from the thousands of delegates attending the congress — the union’s first since 2013.
During his acceptance speech, Mathunjwa said: “I am not a great leader, but I am good … Hitler himself was great, but not good.”
Mathunjwa added that he founded the union in 1998, not for his family, “but for God’s people”.
On Thursday, during an address of Amcu delegates, Mathunjwa suggested his re-election was a foregone conclusion.
He proclaimed: “This congress is not about the contestation of positions.”
All five positions up for nomination were unopposed.
Jimmy Gama retained his position as national treasurer general. Nkosikho Joni was elected the union’s deputy president. Ntshebele Mankge and Xolani Bokoloshe were elected the national chairs of education, and health and safety respectively.
Amcu’s national elective congress follows an alleged leadership battle in 2018, with some in the union supposed backing axed deputy president Sanele Myeza to take over from Mathunjwa.
In July 2018, the Mail & Guardian reported allegations that a group of Amcu officials who opposed Mathunjwa’s leadership had been purged from the union.
The axed officials told the M&G that the reason for their discord with Mathunjwa was the union’s failure to hold a national elective congress since it rose to prominence in the wake of the Marikana massacre in 2012.
At the time, the union’s general secretary Jeff Mphahlele dismissed the claim as “erroneous and false”.
In April this year, it emerged that the union’s registration was in jeopardy because of its failure to hold its congress.
But the labour registrar’s decision to strip Amcu of its status as a trade union was put on hold after submissions from the union resolving to hold its congress this month.
During a media briefing on Wednesday, Mphahlele said the three-day congress would prove that Amcu is democratic. “And we owe nobody any proof,” he added.
“If our members are happy, then they are the ones who are running the organisation. So if they are happy, we are happy.”