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Baleni warns NUM members of a white capital attack with a black hand By Livhuwani Mammburu
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) General Secretary Frans Baleni says the recent mining industry unrest and violence is as a result of a white capital attack with a black hand.
Baleni was visiting the NUM Matlosana Region as part of the listening campaign by Cosatu. He visited Shiva and JIC NUM branches to listen to the concerns and problems that the NUM members are facing.
He warned NUM members to be aware of a yellow union that is causing anarchy and chaos in the mining industry with the help of employers.
Baleni told NUM members that a yellow union is a union that was formed by the employers to weaken a strong union.
He said a white capital is the one that is encouraging the yellow union to undermine or refuse to participate in centralised bargaining processes through divide and rule.
Baleni urged members not to be misled so easily and must never allow themselves to be provoked.
"The yellow union is feeling the impact of the NUM's non-violent strategy recruitment and organisation strategy. When we are under attack we have to be united. We have to lead by example, with maximum discipline, iron discipline," he said.
Baleni warned NUM members that this year negotiations with the Chamber of Mines are going to be tough and will need iron discipline.
"We are going to the negotiations and i said to the NUM president that as the chief negotiator at the Chamber of Mines, this year negotiations are going to be the toughest i have ever handled. I just pray that it will be the last one for me because I am aging. It is going to be tough comrades. We had received the demands from our members and we are analysing them," he said.
"We must fight as much as we can. We must know how to fight with all the tactics of fighting, but we must not fight for temporary achievements. We must never fight for short term game. We must be creative in our approach. Clearly comrades, we want a better life," he added.
On the emotional issue of rape, he said the rape of women and children in South Africa has reached a crisis point.
"Our women and children are being raped and killed. What is wrong comrades? Why can we be evil? I was in pain and shed a tear listening to a woman from Eastern Cape village explaining a horrible experience saying these men started raping me about eleven at night. They penetrated me in front and at the back. They stopped in the early hours of the morning. My husband has left me after he found out that i have been raped," Baleni said.
A visibly angry Baleni further asked: "How do you explain a man of 37 years old penetrating a toddler of 2 years? How do you explain comrades a young man of 24 years raping an 84 year-old woman? For god sake what has happened comrades. It is time that we stand up and fight this," he said.
Baleni told members that in order to overcome all these issues, "We need a strong and independent Cosatu. Cosatu must go to war fighting against e-tolls and labour brokering. Cosatu must fight apartheid wage gap," he said.
Baleni further said that NUM will defend all the leaders that were elected during the Cosatu 2012 National Congress. We do not want to be factionalists. We must unite the federation. We must be disciplined and build the alliance," he said.
Baleni concluded by saying that tribalism is something that we have to fight and that is how capitalists divides us.