Striking drivers not behind violence - union

2012-09-29 16:03

Johannesburg - Striking truck drivers aligned to the SA Transport Allied Workers Union (Satawu) are not responsible for the acts of violence that marred the week long industrial action, the union said on Saturday.

"We have thus far realised that none... of our members are party to all [the] reported cases of crime that have seen the attack of fellow workers and torching as well as damaging of private property," spokesperson Vincent Masoga said in a statement.

He blamed the violence on criminals who wanted to tarnish the union's reputation.

"Those who seek to destroy our progressive image and are hell bent on criminal and thuggish behaviour, continue to opportunistically hijack our just cause to further their malicious acts and practices," Masoga said.

He said all unions involved in the wage dispute with the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) condemned the violence.

Truck set on fire

He urged striking workers to maintain "iron discipline" and to not succumb to acts of intimidation and attacks during the strike.

"We will co-operate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that we root out all forms of attacks, intimidation and criminal activities that seek to taint the noble industrial action we are currently leading."

On Friday, in Pinetown, Durban, about 50 striking truck drivers set a truck on fire on Henwood Road, eThekwini metro police said.

Superintendent Eugene Msomi said the truck driver ran away when he was stopped by the strikers.

On Wednesday, a truck was stoned by protesters in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni emergency services said.

Spokesperson William Ntladi said in Germiston, on the M2 and Refinery Road, protesters stopped a truck with three occupants. Two assistants to the truck driver were hospitalised after being assaulted by the protesters.

The truck was set alight.

The African Christian Democratic Party on Saturday condemned the violence.

Gauteng ACDP leader Lydia Meshoe said workers who were practising their right to strike should not intimidate others who chose to work.

"No truck driver who takes seriously his or her duty to support dependants and unemployed family members deserves to be called a 'rat' and to risk a half-brick through the windscreen at intersections," she said.

Meshoe said government should hold unions responsible for acts of violence and intimidation during strikes.

Court interdict

Workers in the freight transport sector are on strike over wages.

Their unions have reverted to a 12% pay demand after rejecting a lower offer tabled by employers on Tuesday.

On Friday, the Labour Court granted an interdict prohibiting violence by striking workers.

The RFEA had approached the court due to the escalation in violence and intimidation experienced since the strike started.

The court interdicted unions and their members from obstructing public roads or interfering with traffic, and obstructing entrances or exits to any workplace or related premises unless authorised by picketing rules.

It also interdicted unions from damaging any property including cars, committing any act of intimidation, violence and the carrying of any weapons.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-29 16:11

    Pull the other leg please! Always someone with some "plot" to dicredit the TRUTH!

      ryan.blom.3 - 2012-09-29 16:18

      I was going to comment , but that said it all !!

      JaredVN - 2012-09-29 16:27

      I disagree, Shirley. There is a huge conspiracy involving the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and alien refugees from Roswell who are behind this violence. The lazy, militant, useless, violent, criminal, low-IQ Satawu "wekkas" are completely innocent.

      makenawn - 2012-09-29 16:59

      Well said Shirley,why all this incident occur during strikes, we are not idiots

      bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-09-29 17:00

      There are always a "turd " force involved where brothers strike or operate.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-29 17:37

      It was a Sangoma in a rabbit costume...

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-09-29 18:52

      @JaredVN: Oh no, not the Easter bunny! Say it isn’t so! There is absolutely nothing worse than a bunny with a violent flair up. It’s almost as bad a bunny AIDS. Nasty stuff (heard it from the Tooth Fairy) except things spontaneously burst into flames (includes but not limited to trucks). Did anyone check the bunny’s union association?

      anthonycharles.williams - 2012-09-30 10:20

      not very bright, is he

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-09-29 16:15

    Just like the anc blame it on someone else.Get ready to pay for the damages.

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-09-29 20:08

      It is the undercover DA agents, definitely not the our angle truck drivers. They are sitting quite at the depots and wait

      SaintBruce - 2012-09-30 13:37

      If he was right then trucks would be attacked every week for months before and after he and his cronies called for a strike! Is is just pure coincidence that whenever a strike is called , the thugs wake up and say - now we can go moggy! ??? I don't believe this rubbish. Sue the Union for all damages even if it bankrupts them! The Unions like Satawu don't even pay out strike pay so WHAT so they do with all the dues they receive? Sounds like a scam system to me.

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-29 16:16


  • StormerHJ - 2012-09-29 16:16

    Sorry Satawu, we don't believe you - your members were the culprits - finish en klaar.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-09-29 16:26

    We all heard fairy tales when we were little children so dont come with this BS now. Maybe it is some third force causing all the violence and mayhem just to show the union in a bad light. JOKE!! Violence has become a way of life with you unionists when you dont get your way and just like government cannot control corruption, union leaders cannot control their members.

  • jacques.shepperson - 2012-09-29 16:32

    I know who is behind it... wait for it... APARTHEID thats the one.

      DawiEsther - 2012-09-29 17:00


  • ekke.oupa - 2012-09-29 16:41

    Then who is?

  • obadia.segwape - 2012-09-29 16:45

    maybe is their uncles and cousins agh I AM NOT FOOLED

  • Savethe White O - 2012-09-29 16:48

    Yeah and pigs can fly

  • ashdan3333 - 2012-09-29 16:52

    Typical sa... No one takes the blame... When the brick hits them on the head... Then they must figure out who did it....

  • steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-09-29 17:02

    If these Union officials were able to categorically identify that their members were not involved, then they should be in a position to identify those people who then caused the violence. I therefore challenge them to hand over the names of the "non members" to SAPS or even better conduct a citizen's arrest. This would then give them some credibility and show for the first time "some good faith' I guarantee that they will be unable to do this as it is their members who are the guilty ones!!!!!!

  • brian.ocinneide.7 - 2012-09-29 17:06

    Of course the Union members are not responsible for the violence. It is either the much dreaded Third Force or invaders from Mars.

  • robqb - 2012-09-29 17:22

    Does it really matter "who" caused the damage? If there was no strike, there would not have been any damage done to private property. The unions have NO control. Let them identify the non union members who are causing the damage.

  • denise.moolmanburnett - 2012-09-29 17:22

    I dont know how they can say their members are not resposible when in East London Eastern Cape their head honcho told our driver to go back to the warehouse and stop working or else they will burn our vehicle!!!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-09-29 17:30

    Surely there are video recordings or eye witnesses of the perpetrators. Police in London, during their riots, quickly brought the culprits to book using cameras. - Kathy

      steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-09-29 19:47

      Valid point J They (Brits)then put up the photos around town. The Cops should now circulate the photos taken around the violence to the workplace asking management if any of those on the photos were employed at their operation and if they were Union members(thru deductions) and then the cops can proceed with strong evidence against the union.

  • ernest.lwandle - 2012-09-29 17:40

    OH wait aminute he urged striking workers to mantain iron disciplen so i do suspect the word IRON alon can creat a huge confussion especialy when you adresing the strikers

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-09-29 17:49

    Unions must take full responsibility for costs of damage related to strikes they organize. Wasn't me just doesn't work.

  • PaasHaas - 2012-09-29 18:07

    I guess the strikers are carrying sticks and pangas because they are on their way to a cheerleading competition (nothing more)

  • spookhuis - 2012-09-29 18:30

    Yeah right, and I had sex with the tooth fairy.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-09-29 19:18

      MMMmmm teeth meets relatively sensitive skin.... Errrrr OUTCH? Guess we can assume the tooth fairy wasn’t HOT since nothing burst into flames...... spontaneously.

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-09-29 19:16

    So strikes always put the population at large at great risk, right? Right! It has been that way for years, so no one can seriously claim to be surprised by the violence. So why does the government not take precautions by deploying the police with a view to making arrests where necessary? Because they are too scared to upset the union that brings them a high proportion of voters! If the union is so adamant that they are being framed, then surely they can place spies with the strikers to identify the criminal element? Why do they not do so? Because they are lying! Bottom line is that this cosy alliance between the ruling party and the union is killing our economy. And many innocent civilians are being caught in the crossfire. I maintain that the one obstacle to this country achieving full democracy is the ANC/Cosatu/SACP alliance. It needs to crack, it needs to shatter, it needs to end. For all our sakes.

  • alf.pop - 2012-09-29 19:53

    Jared, you forgot Verwoerd who was seen boarding a vehicle, aremd with rotten tomatoes!

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-09-29 21:39

      @ssmonareng: You are benefiting now while discriminating based on race and not taking advantage of your unfair advantage. You are black in colour!

      nicolaas.swanepoel.3 - 2012-09-29 22:18

      @ssmonareng: Were you evem born before 1994? If you did you would have noticed that everything use to be cleaner, service delivery was up to standard, it was safe to walk at night, it was not neccesary to have electric fences, picnics on the side of the road was no problem, camping in the bush was save. crime was at a minumum, no violent strikes, very low corruption, I can go on and on........ You do not know the truth my friend......

  • JamesMWood - 2012-09-29 20:19

    Of course its not them, what were we thinking blaming the poor strikers

  • Erna - 2012-09-29 21:14

    So what's new? They are never responsible and there are never any consequences. And the usual hooligans get away with total mayhem. Shows total lack of leadership from all sides as it carries on year after year.

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-09-29 23:16

    It must be a white imperialist conspiracy to derail the 2nd phase of the National Democratic Revolution.What a bunch of sickening utterances by these so called unions people!

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-09-30 07:43

    is it not possible that the rocks that are allegedly being thrown by these peaceful strikers are meteorites as well and its purely coincidental that they land nearby where they are peacefully protesting ?

  • jackie.white.94064 - 2012-09-30 08:53

    Who the effing hell caused the damage and violence then.....dumb idiotic union!!

  • Annelize Grobler - 2012-09-30 09:03

    stupid, stupid person !!!! I bet a few people will believe you too ??? if we could only feed poor people with the money these unions are costing this country.... we'd have a healthy society

  • neville.ontong - 2012-09-30 11:33

    Really??? How sick can you be

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-30 11:40

    Every time there is a strike and things turn violent it is amazing that it is never the Union Members. They never take responsibility for their actions, if they refuse to control their strikers then they should be held responsible for all damages.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-30 13:54

    These people lie through their teeth. They have a shocking disregard for our intelligence and think we too are stupid to believe their lies and denials. Sods, the whole lot fo them.

  • felican - 2012-09-30 13:57

    And soon the shelves will be empty of food and other necessities.. Not even 20 years into Democracy and Welcome to Zimbabwe South..

  • haveyou.completelylostyourmind - 2012-10-01 10:30

    Of course!! We all know it's NEVER THE UNIONS .... idiots. Do SATAWU really really think everyone is as stupid as their violent members?

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