Union’s grievance grows

2017-11-22 06:02
Nehawu members refused to hand over the memorandum to Sandra Beukes, member of the legislature (in black and white), who acted on behalf of Kenny Mmoiemang, speaker of the legislature, during the march.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Nehawu members refused to hand over the memorandum to Sandra Beukes, member of the legislature (in black and white), who acted on behalf of Kenny Mmoiemang, speaker of the legislature, during the march.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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A call has been made by the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) for Sylvia Lucas, premier of the Northern Cape, and Kenny Mmoiemang, speaker of the legislature, to resign.

This follows Friday’s (17/11) provincial march by union members and Lucas’s and Mmoiemang’s alleged failure to accept their memorandum. The fuming Nehawu members feel snubbed by this conduct.

Although the members experienced this as arrogant behaviour towards them, as they described it, they continued the march from one office to the other peacefully.

At the speaker’s office they were met by Sandra Beukes, member of the legislature, to whom they refused to hand over the memorandum calling for the legislature’s immediate attention regarding outstanding cases of fraud and administration of tax payers’ money Nehawu had opened against certain of their officials.

The march, led by Solly Phetoe, deputy general of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), and Zola Saphetha, Nehawu general secretary, proceeded to the Treasury’s office with the intention of meeting the premier.

The memorandum they had planned to hand over here demanded the filling of all 4 300 funded vacant posts and an end to the outsourcing of services for, among other things, security, cleaning and recruitment and selection.

Saphetha confirmed that it was never their intention to hand over the memorandum to anyone else.

The union is now questioning Lucas’s ability to remain premier and mentioned her in the same line as Pres. Jacob Zuma and Bathabile Dlamini to “leave our ANC and rot in jail”.

Phetoe expressed how disturbed they were by the disrespect and arrogance displayed towards workers in the Northern Cape.

“It cannot be that the leadership can fly all the way to Kimberley only to be disrespected in this manner,” Phetoe lashed out.

Regarding the way forward, it was announced that Cosatu and Nehawu’s national executive committee (NEC) would return to the province within 14 days to lead the sit-in at various government offices to render them ungovernable.

Sapheta did, however, applaud the ANC provincial leadership and indicated that they “just made it easier for us to consolidate our mobilisation of the way forward”.

“This process of memorandum handovers has always been seen as a serious united fight for democracy, so who are they to take it lightly?

“We will continue by writing a letter of complaint to the ANC and demanding action against the premier and the speaker.”

Nehawu threatened to take their vote to the Communist Party if they continued to be disrespected by those they had voted for.

They said they would not put the memorandum in a brown envelope to deliver it at a door, as they wanted transparency.

  • The Office of the Premier says it has sent correspondence to the offices of Nehawu informing them of official commitments by the premier and that she would send a director general in her place.

“The premier even indicated her availability this week should members of Nehawu then deem it necessary to meet with her. It can therefore not be interpreted that the Premier snubbed Nehawu, as her unavailability was communicated in advance,” the Office of the Premier stated.

It cannot be that the leadership can fly all the way to Kimberley only to be disrespected in this manner. – Solly Phetoe, deputy general of Cosatu

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