The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has welcomed the life imprisonment sentence meted to a man convicted of the murder of two of its officials during the events at the Marakana platinum mine in South Africa’s North West Province in 2013.

The man was sentenced at a sitting of the North West High Court in Mogwase outside Rustenburg for the murder of NUM shop stewards Nobongile Norah Madolo and Percy Letanang at Marikana, near Rustenburg.

Letanang, 45, was shot at least seven times when he arrived home in Segwaelane on Nov 2, 2013; he died five days later in hospital. He was employed at Lonmin’s Eastern Platinum Mine and took a voluntary severance package (VSP) after the NUM was de-recognised at Lonmin.

The NUM had lost its majority status in the platinum belt to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

At the time, Mxhasi Sithethi, the NUM Rustenburg Region co-ordinator, said most NUM members took their VSP’s fearing for their safety at the mine.

Madolo, 44, was killed outside her home in Marikana on Aug 12, 2013.

“As the NUM, we hope this heartless monster will rot in jail for the rest of his life. The sentence handed down today has vindicated the NUM as it has always said that its members are harassed, intimidated and killed for merely associating themselves with the union,” said NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu in reacting to the sentence.

“This sentence will send a very strong and vivid message to all those who find it difficult to tolerate the democratic right of workers who choose to belong to the union of their choice.”


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