Union spokesperson suspended for tweets to Vavi, Facebook post

2012-04-17 11:01

The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) has suspended its spokesperson, Reagoikanya Molopyane, for a post on the union’s Facebook page and tweets to Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi.

Satawu deputy general-secretary Nicholus Maziya handed Molopyane her suspension letter yesterday.

The union, which claims a membership of 165 200, held its central executive committee (CEC) meeting in Durban this weekend.

According to a Satawu source, Molopyane has been asked to stop attending union meetings and communicating on its behalf.

On Saturday, Molopyane, using her personal Twitter account, tweeted to Vavi, who addressed the meeting: “Please don’t leave before we discuss Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of SA) issues of the union. Satawu will sink as you see it.”

The tweet apparently angered her bosses.

Molopyane, who had been administrator of Satawu’s Facebook page, wrote yesterday: “This is my last update as the spokesperson, I have been suspended with immediate effect.”

In the Facebook post that led to her suspension, Molopyane wrote that the suspension of the union’s Gauteng provincial secretary Chris Nkosi had been lifted with immediate effect.

Despite her suspension, the post has not been removed.

She also posted that the issues of the rumoured “plan to remove Satawu president Ephraim Mphahlele” were not discussed at the CEC meeting nor was the submission made by Gauteng to charge Maziya.

Mphahlele recently made headlines when he publicly released a dossier alleging corruption at Prasa and by its boss, Lucky Montana. Both subsequently said they intended on suing Satawu and Mphahlele for R20 million.

Maziya confirmed that Molopyane was suspended by the union’s national office bearers yesterday.

He could neither confirm nor deny that the reason was Molopyane’s Facebook post and tweets.

“We’re still investigating,” Maziya said.

He said Satawu was not divided and that there was no crisis in the union.

The union is set to hold its policy conference from Thursday.

Molopyane did not want to comment.

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