The damage done to Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mines and its employees by the ill-conceived five-month strike called by the leadership of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has been enormous. The nine deaths related to the action were just one symptom, and an utterly disgraceful one that Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa ducks and dives on, blaming everyone but the union’s members. The reports of violence and intimidation against those wishing to report for work at Sibanye’s Driefontein, Beatrix and Kloof mines are well established. When the settlement that Amcu finally agreed to is considered, the absolute futility and waste of lives, houses and R1.6bn in costs incurred by Sibanye is glaring. Amcu was holding out for R1,000 a month extra in wages. Three other unions had agreed to R700 extra a month for the first two years of a three-year deal and R825 a month in the final year, which is what Amcu members have now also settled for. What has Amcu achieved? As...

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