Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has re-elected as its president, Joseph Mathunjwa, known for his uncompromising stance on bruising strikes on the platinum belt.

Mathunjwa, who was elected uncontested on Friday at the union’s first elective conference since 2013, has been at the helm of Amcu since it was officially registered in 2002.

Amcu is one of the largest trade unions in the mining sector, with tens of thousands of members at gold and platinum mines operated by companies including Sibanye-Stillwater.

“I’m not a great leader but I’m good,” Mathunjwa said in an acceptance speech peppered with biblical references.

The elective conference came after the labour registrar said earlier in 2019 that he intended to de-register militant Amcu for breaking rules on how unions operate.

The de-registration of the union could reshape the balance of power on SA’s platinum belt, handing more influence to Amcu rival the National Union of Mineworkers, which is more closely-aligned with the ANC.

Amcu rose to prominence in 2012, when it was at the centre of a strike at Lonmin’s Marikana mine that saw 34 miners shot dead by the police.