Pretoria Zoo non-striking employee allegedly assaulted by protesters

2017-07-11 21:24
National Zoological Gardens. (File, Gallo Images)

National Zoological Gardens. (File, Gallo Images)

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WATCH: Pretoria zoo employees strike over working hours

2017-07-10 16:38

Employees at the Pretoria Zoo who are affiliated with the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) went on strike this weekend.WATCH

Pretoria - A non-striking employee of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG) in Pretoria has allegedly been assaulted, according to a zoo spokesperson.

Craig Allenby said the non-striking employee was assaulted as he tried to get to work on Tuesday morning.

Employees affiliated to the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) began the strike on July 8 in relation to overtime pay.

"They beat him, but he managed to get away. He wasn’t too badly hurt, but it was very traumatic for him," Allenby said.

Other employees were also intimidated and prevented from entering the zoo to work, Allenby said, adding that some were traumatised by the experience and had since gone home. 

The zoo said there had also been some incidents of damage to property, as well as litter strewn across the zoo entrance.

The zoo has laid criminal charges.

"The dispute relates to an agreement that was signed in 2009 between the NZG and its various trade unions on the implementation of a seven-day work week," said Allenby.

"NTUC is now demanding that the agreement be cancelled and that employees be paid overtime for work performed during weekends. In terms of the signed agreement, Saturdays are considered normal working days and employees receive overtime payment for Sundays."

Allenby said enough staff managed to get into work on Tuesday for the animals to be fed and looked after.

"The NZG is also asking for the public’s patience during this time where operations may have been disrupted," he said.

NTUC secretary general Sophaniah Machaba said he had not received any complaints from the zoo of non-striking employees being assaulted or intimidated. 

Read more on:    pretoria  |  protests

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