NUM leader admits asking for more police to Marikana
National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana has acknowledged calling Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa about the strike at the Marikana mine and urging him to send more police.
However, he denied that he was happy about the outcome, which resulted in two security guards being killed by striking miners.
He told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry yesterday that the workers were "angry and ready to kill" because of lies fed to them by those who led the unprotected strike.
Asked why the union did not make an effort to win back the workers' trust, Zokwana said that would have required making utterances that were against the basic beliefs of the union, including that the armed strikers were "good citizens".
Zokwana believed that the unprotected strike was instigated by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union but he retracted any insinuation that the rival union was directly responsible for the deaths of the security guards.
The rival union's lawyer, Heidi Barnes, said there was no evidence her client led the march.
Zokwana responded: "In my view workers don't sleep and dream on what is to happen the following day. They are led."