Shop stewards fired ‘for exposing Gupta wedding racism’

2013-08-23 18:47

Incidents of racism at the Gupta wedding in May are linked to the axing of 19 Cosatu shop stewards at Sun City this week, the labour federation has said.

At the time, security staff allegedly told personnel members of Sun International’s Sun City resort in Rustenburg they were not allowed to serve the Guptas’ guests.

Read: ‘Wash first blacks’

This was among many alleged incidents of racism during Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia’s four-day wedding celebrations.

Cosatu’s North West secretary, Solly Phetoe, said the union leaders were fired for exposing “the issues of racial discrimination that took place during the Gupta wedding celebrations”.

He, however, said this was not the only reason for their dismissal.

According to Phetoe, the shop stewards were also punished for mobilising fellow workers to attend a Workers’ Day rally organised by the trade union.

As a result some of the workers who took part in the May Day rally were also fired.

Phetoe said it was hard to find common ground with Sun International because they were banned from the resort and told they could only “talk to the workers outside [its premises]”.

He claimed two female workers were stripped to be searched for “a R40 that had gone missing” by security on Wednesday.

Phetoe regards this as another racist incident.

Cosatu has planned a march against racism and the ill-treatment of its members tomorrow.

Workers will also strike tomorrow until the 19 are reinstated, Phetoe said. “Something must be done or Sun City must be closed down.”

Earlier this week, Sun International said the shop stewards were dismissed after following due process.

Spokesperson Tamra Veley said the shop stewards had chosen not to attend an independent disciplinary inquiry, Sapa reported.

Veley could not be reached for comment this afternoon.

» According to Sapa, Veley had said 14 shop stewards were fired. Phetoe says it’s 19.

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