Nehawu members angry at Sapheta

2012-06-16 00:00

A BITTER battle is being played out in the KwaZulu-Natal regional offices of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).

Groups of members yesterday closed three of the Union’s four regional offices, saying they want regional secretary, Zola Saphetha removed.

These closed offices were in Pieter­maritzburg, Durban and

Richards Bay. Ladysmith remained open.

Nehawu members are incensed that Saphetha had allegedly “dictatorially”, suspended Nehawu’s popular Harry Gwala regional secretary Khanye Nkwan­yana and three senior officials from Durban — one from the union’s provincial office and two from the Durban regional office.

Workers locked the Pietermaritzburg office yesterday and protested outside, before moving on to join protesting members in Durban.

The unhappy union members said they wanted Sapheta out because he and a cabal of close associates had allegedly run Nehawu to the ground. They allege very little resources are provided to regional offices which have become dysfunctional.

They also want allegations of money mismanagement investigated. A protester said there are stories doing the rounds about a flat in Durban bought with union funds and allegedly used by the union leaders.

The protesting Nehawu members said they want the union’s leadership from head office to come down from Johannesburg to sort out the mess. They want Saphetha out, the suspended leaders reinstated and an investigation to be carried out.

Saphetha was in a meeting and later his phone went to voicemail.

The regional office said it will be holding a press briefing tomorrow to discuss, “some unsavoury incidents and statements that have been made against the union leadership”.

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