Samwu won’t allow acting DG to fill in for Baloyi

2012-08-07 15:04

The national conference of the South African Municipal Worker’s Union (Samwu), currently under way in Bloemfontein, showed the acting director-general of the national department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Muthotho Sigidi, the door.

Muthotho Sigidi was supposed to address the conference on behalf of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi. But delegates at the conference took a resolution that Sigidi would not be allowed to address them.

“Let’s not chase him like a dog, but let’s send the message loud and clear to the minister,” several delegates proposed.

A heated debate followed in which some delegates indicated that they did not want an official to address them.

“If the minister could not come, he should have sent his deputy instead. We need a political leader to address us, not an official,” one delegate said.

Other delegates said they felt that Baloyi was undermining the conference because “he knew well in advance that he is supposed to address delegates and answer some questions”.

Said a delegate: “I don’t even think the minister should be allowed to address us, even if he decides to come tomorrow. Why should we beg him? We have given him an opportunity and he squandered it.”

Tahir Sema, Samwu’s national media and publicity officer, said Baloyi was given notice of the conference “well in advance”. He said the minister indicated that he would attend.

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