“Everyone can see that it was a lie. We do not support the exploitation of workers’ genuine demands,” Nzimande said at a National Union of Mineworkers’ shop stewards’ council in Boksburg, on the East Rand.
“The NUM was not stupid, it knew and understood [the situation]. The problem was not with the NUM, it was with the false promise…We hope workers will learn a lesson after this.”
During his address, Nzimande made reference to defectors who joined the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) in recent years.
“What is happening in the Rustenburg platinum belt is a typical example of what happens when workers are divided,” he said.
Amcu has been involved in wage negotiations in the sector with workers downing tools at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum, and Impala Platinum in January. They are demanding a R12,500 basic monthly salary.
Nzimande said striking miners had still not received the R12,500 basic salary.
In August 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police fired on a group gathered near Lonmin.
In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.
Many members of NUM had joined Amcu at the time.