South African President Cyril Ramaphosa abandoned his Workers’ Day speech in the northwestern city of Rustenburg on Sunday when striking mineworkers stormed the stage. The workers employed by Sibanye-Stillwater mine are demanding a wage increase of 1,000 rand ($63) per month instead of the 850 rand ($54) being offered by the mine.
Ramaphosa was booed as he started his address with a call for the striking workers and other members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions to calm down and listen to what he had to say.
The striking workers have become even angrier in recent days over reports that Sibanye-Stillwater’s CEO, Neal Froneman, earned more than 300 million rand ($19 million) in 2021 in salary payments and company share schemes.
Many union members continue to blame the ANC for the Marikana massacre, where 34 miners were shot dead by police during a strike at the Lonmin mine in 2012, when Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Lonmin.