Mbete meets Nehawu leader as Parly strike persists despite police presence

2015-11-25 10:02

WATCH: Striking Nehawu workers shut down Parliament

2015-11-24 10:51

Watch as striking Nehawu members storm Parliament's gallery, shutting down proceedings for Tuesday.WATCH

The national president of Nehawu, Mzwandile Makwayiba, is meeting with Baleka Mbete, the speaker of Parliament, to try and resolve the impasse between Parliament’s management and striking employees.

A heavy police presence greeted striking Nehawu employees, with officers preventing them from entering the parliamentary precinct.

Media24 today counted at least 40 police cars from across the province in and around the premises of Parliament and about 80 policemen.

The police vehicles included seven vehicles of the police tactical response unit, and about 30 members of the unit had been deployed in a Parliament parking lot.

Officials at the gates of Parliament were checking names on lists, apparently to see who was allowed on the grounds and who was not permitted in.

This followed yesterday’s disruption of the National Assembly by striking Parliament staff members who belonged to the union Nehawu.

Mbete said yesterday she would apply an interdict against the striking workers. The interdict, which was acquired two weeks ago, prevented the striking workers from protesting on Parliament grounds. Mbete said it was not applied because Parliament had wanted to negotiate in good faith.

She said Parliament was under pressure to finalise its work for the year and promised it would happen.

“We cannot allow the situation to continue. Parliament will do what it has to do,” she said.

Sthembiso Tembe, chairperson of Nehawu in Parliament, told striking workers outside that they didn’t have to be inside, they could be outside. 

He said the national leadership of the union were again meeting with “the power that be”.

At least 60 striking staff members were peacefully protesting outside one of Parliament’s entrances this morning. 

“Let’s not give these people a reason to assault us,” he said.

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