Union Recruiter Shot Dead, Jim Blames Contractors

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) member Malibongwe Mdazo was shot dead in full view of the public on Thursday in Rustenburg, North West.

Mdazo was shot multiple times as he exited the offices of the CCMA. He was with a group of other NUMSA members when he was shot.

Two other people were wounded in the shooting and are being treated in hospital.

Commenting on the shooting, NUMSA said the violent attack took place on the day that “our officials were participating in conciliation at the CCMA as part of the verification process” for members at Newrack, one of the contract companies at Implats.

NUMSA said “it was very clear” Mdazo’s murder was a result of him recruiting workers at Implats.

“We believe his work is the reason his life was taken,” said the union.

“He was among those who led the recent strike where the union was challenging contractors at Implats to grant organisational rights.

“We wish to send our deepest condolences to his wife and to his family in the Eastern Cape and in Rustenburg, and to all his friends and those who knew him. His murder is a great loss for the union.”

NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said all contractors of Implats have adopted an anti-worker and anti-union attitude.

“They have done everything possible to block the existence of the trade union within Implats,” said Jim.

“This union bashing attitude of the employers led to a point where all of NUMSA’s interim committees were dismissed.”

“We are calling on the police to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that these criminals who sat and viciously plotted to eliminate the life of comrade Mdazo, are arrested before they continue to kill in a targeted fashion all those workers who have taken it upon themselves to voluntarily join NUMSA as the union of their choice.

“In a democratic dispensation, workers are allowed to have freedom of association and they should be allowed to freely join a union of their choice without the threat of violence or intimidation,” said Jim.

“We are calling on the police to move swiftly and arrest these thugs as Rustenburg cannot be made a no-go area for the existence of unions.

“It is so crucial that the police must put an investigation team together that ensures that such criminals are taken out of society as we cannot afford any more loss of life.

“If they fail to act, they will leave us with no choice but to call on our members to defend themselves.”