Press Statement dated 10 August 2017

In an open letter addressed to Lonmin CEO, Ben Magara, Solidarity’s General Secretary Gideon du Plessis expressed dismay at Lonmin management’s decisions regarding trade union recognition, and challenged Magara to a live TV or radio debate on this issue. This comes after the mining company last week informed Solidarity, as well as trade unions NUM and Uasa about its decision to recall their recognition.

According to Du Plessis, an open letter is called for because Magara did not keep his promises and did not stick to the agreement to uphold the recognition rights of those three trade unions that had been in force for the past three years. “This letter has to be in the public domain as Magara does not keep the promises he made behind closed doors, which is alarming,” Du Plessis explained.

In the letter, Du Plessis furthermore explains how Solidarity lent its support to Lonmin in 2014 at a time when Amcu had forced it to its knees. This is the selfsame Amcu that is now demanding that the rights of the three other trade unions be suspended.

In his letter, Du Plessis also makes the following point: “I still recall that at the time of finalising the limited rights agreement you and I shook hands in the presence of our representatives and you solemnly promised that our rights would now be safeguarded and would be upheld. I took your word for it, but after you had left the room, I nevertheless mentioned to our caucus that ‘the future will tell whether or not you are indeed a man of your word.’”

To read Du Plessis’s letter to Magara, click here

Issued by Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary:  Solidarity