Published on City Press 2012-08-26
We went to the murder scene to understand what exactly happened, because since the ANC Youth League’s 23rd National Congress in 2008, we have been the only voice that spoke in defence of mine workers’ interests and aspirations.
We have on various occasions intervened and openly associated with struggles of mine workers, because we know that they are the people who benefit the least from South Africa’s mineral wealth.
We have used every platform, including all private and public meetings of the ANC, funerals, weddings, church services and so on, to advocate for the nationalisation of mines and the improvement of mine workers’ conditions.
In the document we released in 2009 about the nationalisation of mines, we said: “We made these observations because we believed that it can never be correct that South Africa’s one of the richest territories in terms of mineral wealth in the whole world, while our people are living in starvation and extreme poverty.”
Those who say it was opportunist of us to intervene and lead in the Marikana massacre are narrow- minded and lazy to think. We are not opportunist, we are continuing with the struggles we have been involved in for a considerable time now.
Workers called on our leadership because they have confidence in us and could not agree that the Zuma administration lead them in mourning and resolving the situation and crisis it has created.
Opportunism is when one takes advantage of circumstances with no regard for principle and what will become the consequences of taking such advantage.
We have not done that. We have instead set aside our personal and individual interests to look into the interests and aspirations of workers.
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