President Cyril Ramaphosa felt the full wrath of highly frustrated and disgruntled Sibanye-Stillwater protesters who saw it fitting to disrupt a public holiday that celebrates workers.
Watch: President Cyril Ramaphosa chased away from May Day celebrations
This year’s May Day celebrations took place at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in Rustenburg, North West, and South Africa’s president was scheduled to lead an address to the country’s workforce.
Except, Ramaphosa was the least-welcomed person at the event, as many in attendance were trade-union-represented Sibanye-Stillwaters workers who’ve been locked in intensive wage negotiations for seven weeks.
What the president hoped for, a dignified ode to South Africa’s labour force, ended in chaos as he was ushered to safety when protesters stormed the stage.
The wild scenes that unfolded at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium were caught on camera. Here are some clips of Ramaphosa’s fiery encounter with Sibanye protesters.
What are Sibanye protesters demanding?
Per News24, the seven-week-long protest has cost Sibanye-Stillwater protesters at least R1 billion in wages, as a result of the platinum mine’s no-work-no-pay policy.
Still, however, trade union leaders from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) maintain their position: They are not prepared to waiver their demand for a R1 000 across-the-board wage increase, year-on-year.
Workers, from what we understand, have declined Stillwater’s counteroffer of an R850 annual wage increase, with an added R50 rise in living out allowance.
The proposal, to trade unions representing Sibanye protesters, is laughable considering that the platinum mine’s chief executive Neal Froneman received a whopping R300 million payout in wage boosts, bonuses and share cuts.
Here are some of the reactions to the May Day disruptions:
For me the big story of the week was how little outrage there was at the news that Sibanye Stillwater execs accepted R800 million in bonuses while their company’s 84000 workers are on a protracted strike over R200 each per year (R17 mil in total per year).— Buddy Wells (@BuddyWells1) May 1, 2022
Sibanye Stillwater is able to increase the salary of it's CEO, Neal Froneman by 447% from R67 Million to R300.3 Million between 2020 to 2021 but unable to afford the salary increase of it's Miners who are requesting for atleast R1000 extra to combat the ever rising cost of living— Great Zulu👑 (@SuperiorZulu) May 1, 2022
Congratulations Sibanye Stillwater miners for chasing Cyril Ramaphosa away from Royal Bafokeng Stadium. I am proud of you.— Dr Hughes (@TheRealPro7) May 1, 2022
Ziyakhalamanje 😭😂😂😂😂— Extraordinare Professor🛑* (@EenestM) May 1, 2022
An embarrassing Crisis in Royal Bafokeng. Sibanye Still Water Protest in the presence of CR.
Down with ANC down! pic.twitter.com/wmxDjOMv0Z