March against graft

2015-09-29 11:58


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Pietermaritzburg - Civil society groups have pushed for the Unite Against Corruption march to go ahead tomorrow despite uncertainties surrounding the campaign.

By the time of going to print, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in the province, had said they are still waiting on eThekwini municipality to grant them permission for the Durban leg of the march.

However, Right to Know (R2K) KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) insisted that there will be a march from King Dinu­zulu Park to the Durban City Hall tomorrow.

“We are definitely marching,” said R2K KZN organiser Joanne Adams.

“Please bring your banners, flags, posters and voices to let the politicians know that we will not tolerate corruption which robs the people of housing, electricity, water, schools, medical care and everything else that poor communities are still waiting for,” said Adams.

The campaign hit a stumbling block on Friday when National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) granted Numsa’s application for a strike certificate as only valid after October 8.

Numsa said they had submitted their application on September 15 and claimed it “was deliberately delayed to sabotage the march by people in Nedlac associated with government.”

The march was expected to be the biggest since the fall of apartheid.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has since withdrawn its members from the one-day demonstration which is not protected by labour law.

“We are not going to encourage people to participate in illegal action that could lead to companies taking disciplinary action against them,” said general secretary Dennis George.

Provincial Numsa regional secretary Mbuso Ngubane said they are still discussing the matter.

Numsa national spokesperson Castro Ngobese said corruption is “robbing us of potential jobs and it undermines existing ones”.

“Corruption is spreading in South Africa. In January 2015, the Institute of Internal Auditors reported that South Africa has lost R700 billion to corruption over the last 20 years,” said Ngobese.

Ngobese said there are few consequences for those involved in corrupt activities.

“Corruption takes away resources from the provision of basic services meant for the working class. Resources that go down the corruption tube could be used to deliver basic socio-economic services, provision of adequate housing, basic education, healthcare services, water, social welfare and basic nutrition for children,” said Ngobese.

“Corruption is a licence to hunger as it ensures that food conglomerates dominate a broken food system (as seen in the bread price-fixing scandal) and undermines the quality and scale of the school feeding schemes,” he said.

The organisers said they are expecting over 300 organisations and 700 prominent individuals to join the countrywide strike action, which will be held in Cape Town and Pretoria as well.

The list includes prominent musicians, actors and former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

In Pretoria and Cape Town the Association against Corruption coalition will tomorrow hand a memorandum to the offices of President Jacob Zuma and Business Unity South Africa.

The memorandum was made available at a media conference yesterday in Johannesburg, where the coalition announced the marches will continue despite the Nedlac “sabotage” attempt.

The coalition’s memorandum demands those who publically disrespect or libel the office of the Public Protector (PP) must be criminally prosecuted.

The findings of the PP must also be implemented and the budget for her office must be increased.

The coalition rejects any merger between the PP and the Human Rights Commission.

Apart from above demands concerning the PP, the coalition will also demand that institutions like the Hawks, the Special Investigations Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority be strengthened.

The coalition also demands that civil society must in future be part of a collective body that appoints the national police commissioner and deputy commissioner, as well as the national director of public prosecutions and deputies of that office.

The coalition also wants protection for whistle blowers and for economic crimes committed during apartheid to be investigated

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  march

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