19 February 2013

South Africa: Government Condemns Violence At Siphumelele Mine

press release

Government is saddened and condemns the acts of violence that erupted at Anglo American Platinum's Siphumelele mine in Rustenburg yesterday. Every South African has the right to freedom of association which amongst other things, entitles workers to form and join unions and/or federations of choice in order to promote common interests.

Workers have common issues that require them to act in unison. Such acts of intolerance and violence can only serve to weaken them when taking up genuine issues against their employers.

The Acting Cabinet Spokesperson, Ms Phumla Williams stated that "whilst we acknowledge individuals' right of association, Government will not tolerate violent disputes. We urge the union leadership to act decisively and play a proactive role in curbing acts of violence importantly, in guiding their members towards the common goals that unite them."

"Violent acts are not what we want to become familiar with in a democracy that is bound by the rule of law," said Phumla Williams.

Government urges all parties involved to engage in discussions and resolve issues in a peaceful and amicable manner; and encourages all South Africans to promote a violence-free society.

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