Amcu, EFF gang up for salary war with Thutsi Mine

A BOND FOR WORKERS' BATTLE: Amcu and EFF leaders are reportedly taking Thutsi on for owed wages. PICTURE BY witness

A war to recover millions of rands belonging to workers from a Mpumalanga coal mine will be fought by Amcu but EFF will be an auxiliary force to make sure 167 workers get their salaries, the regional leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters said.

Gert Sibande EFF leader Koos Nkosi clarified on Sunday morning they were only laying a helping hand in order to have the Association of Mineworkers and Construction to continue lead the workers’s battle as it is their issue”.

Earlier, a source the region told 013NEWS that a meeting a week ago between the Gert Sibande regional command team and Amcu local leaders resulted in the EFF in the Mpumalanga region agreeing that they will assist.

This mean Thutsi Mine bosses in Mpumalanga’s Breyten Road near Ermelo will be faced with two very sharp spears when workers meet them for another round of talks.

013NEWS understands that Thutsi Mine bosses owe each of the 167 workers betweenR6 000 and R13 000 in one month salary after bosses allegedly ran away during the time the mine shut and forced the workers out of work without pay since the end of June 2016.

“They are one group. The EFF assists some of the workers with food,” a source said.

Nkosi confirmed: “We do that on a daily basis because we support them and we want them to win their battle”.

Malcolm Ford, who workers on Sunday said owns Thutsi Mine and therefore owes them the money, didn’t answer repeated calls and voicemails left for him on Sunday afternoon.

Amcu’s Thutsi Mine branch chairman Don Sibanyoni told 013NEWS late on Sunday that Ford had since avoided their calls as well.

“He left us 5 days after 27 June, the day we were told about the issue of us not continuing to work because they said the coal mine was trying to comply with certain laws and remove the water underground and that they will call us to come work once they are done.

“So he told us over the phone he would meet investors and said were at banks and stuff and would deposit our money but since then he didnt,” Sibanyoni said.

“That’s why now we are asking the EFF to also assist and also the media because we want the attention that will get us the pressure for Malcolm to pay us our money,” he said.

But earlier EFF’s Nkosi said the issue of the workers at the mine had more to do with what he called “hyenas”.

In a snide reference to ANC leaders who have shares in mining companies that abuse workers, Nkosi charged: “It is evident that this country needs a credible leadership, where are the men with morals and standards and value while we are being led by hyenas?” he said on Facebook on Friday morning. “Thutsi mine workers today are suffering because of absence of credible leadership,” Nkosi, who is widely known as ‘Pkay Nkosi’, added.

Meanwhile, the Premier of the province David Mabuza has called on the ANC to introspect on what went wrong concerning recent election decline at the party’s provincial executive committee lekgotla on Saturday.

“This is a clear indication that a vast majority of our voters stayed away from the polling stations for various reasons,” he told the provincial lekgotla.

(edited by ZK)

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