11 February 2013

South Africa: NUM Objects to City Press and Andre Janse Van Vuuren's Hallucinations

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has noted with disgust an article contained in yesterday 's City Press under the headline "Where does Baleni 's loyalty lie?" which is preceded by an outside front cover written "Baleni and the sinking NUM ship" penned by a certain Andre Janse van Vuuren. The article is part of a series of fallacious articles published by the City Press post-Marikana and a total onslaught against the NUM and its General Secretary. In the article, the silly writer argues that there is one example where "Baleni has actively taken part in a public show of force".

This does not only smack of ignorance of the worst kind but reveals the lowest and poorest form of journalism. Whilst the NUM and its General Secretary does not owe the writer and his ilk information relating to their whereabouts especially when interacting with members, it is public knowledge that leadership of the NUM like any trade union is not limited to the General Secretary nor is it true that he was only at one "public show of force". The fact that the writer attended a few shows of force does not translate into the NUM General Secretary being absent where the writer was absent. The writer needs to check his facts very well as these smacks of collusion with our rivals and mining companies that can't wait for the death of the union.

The second fallacy which is the writer 's hollow pipe dream is that the NUM lost membership in three platinum companies, Impala, Angloplatinum and Lonmin and that the rival union is gaining traction in the gold sector. That is a pure dream and a wish of the writer and his ilk. The NUM continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the mining sector and has in recent week seen thousands of workers return home. The NUM may have lost its majority at Impala but it is certainly not true that it is across the platinum belt and the gold sector.

The NUM condemns the writer and his masters for hallucinating about its demise but appreciates that the writer has made his hallucinations public for everyone to see. The writer hallucinates further " when it does become problematic though is when it serves as an umpteenth example of the notion that the NUM and Baleni in particular are seemingly more comfortable in the company of business than the workers they represent". The poor writer is unable to distinguish between the NUM and members. The question is which NUM is seemingly more comfortable with business than the members because the NUM is the members themselves.

The NUM condemns the writer and his company that have continuously sponsored such garbage published as facts by the City Press newspaper. The article is itself one of much proof that the standards of journalism have gone to the dogs in our beloved country where people are allowed to publish hallucinations and dreams as facts.

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