ConCourt ruling massive victory - DA

2012-06-13 19:17

Johannesburg - A Constitutional Court ruling on Wednesday holding trade union Satawu liable for a riot damage claim was a massive victory, the Democratic Alliance said.

"For too long, Cosatu [the Congress of SA Trade Unions] and its affiliates have been allowed to engage in violent and chaotic strikes without any repercussions," DA MP Ian Ollis said.

In a statement, he said the ruling set a precedent that would force the unions to keep better discipline at marches, pickets and strikes.

The DA wanted the ruling to apply to any and all cases of violent strikes which resulted in damage to property.

"I will, therefore, continue pushing for an amendment to the Labour Relations Act to explicitly hold unions liable for damage during strikes, in any and all cases.

"This ruling must be written into the letter of the law to stop the practice of violent, chaotic and disorganised strikes once and for all," Ollis said.

The court ruled that the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union was responsible for damages caused during a march in Cape Town in May 2006.

It found that the Regulation of Gatherings Act afforded victims effective recourse when a gathering became destructive and resulted in injury, loss of property, or life.

"The organisations are intimately involved in the planning, supervision, and execution of the gathering, but the potential victims are not," Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in the ruling.

"Because of this, the organisations would be in a better position than innocent victims to identify individuals or institutions which caused the damage."

He said Satawu had the opportunity of a "soft landing" if it could track down those responsible for the damage caused during the protest and recoup its loss from them.

The union appealed this decision twice and on both occasions it was turned down.

  • mathoki - 2012-06-13 19:27

    Clap clap, that is great news. Next time you go on strike, remember me and my property are not on strike with u. ...

      faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-06-13 19:53

      Time the unions checked if the strikers are in fact card carrying members.

      Steve - 2012-06-13 19:53

      A long time coming.I have no problem with anyone demonstrating or striking but I cannot see why we as ordinary citizens have to pay for damaged goods to be replaced when the Municipal or other workers damage public items which have to be repaired out of our rates and taxes. Also coupled to this, the cost of SAPS and Traffic officials should also be recovered before a permit to Strike is issued. Surely I have a democratic right not to be made to pay for their democratic rights???????

      mathoki - 2012-06-13 20:10

      I hope this will become law. And prevent people who will purposely steal your car , or take ur money, in the spirit of protesting.

      john.nel.927 - 2012-06-13 20:52

      So when they are given permission to strike why not take a refundable deposit of R1m to cover damage. Damages will be set off against the refund... so the victims don't wait years for justice

      Rodney - 2012-06-13 21:03

      I feel that when we as a cycle club want to have a race or a fun run for charity to help people in need we always have to pay the metro, provincial police and permits and whatever is necessary out of the money raised, charity has to wait till government has taken there share,then only the ones who need the money can get some, SO I SAY THEY MUST ALSO PAY FOR POLICING,TRAFFIC CONTROL AND DAMAGES as the UNION is STILL MAKING MONEY EVEN IF the poor striker looses PAY they JUST DEDUCT DOUBLE THE UNION FEE THE NEXT MONTH the WORKER GETS PAY.

  • Keith - 2012-06-13 19:35

    Great news

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-13 19:51

      poly, not in your lifetime :) Looooooooooseeeeeeeeeeeeeer !!!

      Squeegee - 2012-06-13 20:11

      The one shining light at the moment is our constitutional court. Long may they remain free.

      Busani - 2012-06-13 20:13

      Poly'doos. Not till after jesus comes or the third coming

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-13 20:33

      poloyatonkim.......what's wrong? things not gone your way...for once.....BAD LOOSER....Goodness in the end usually triumphs over wrong.

      colin.steyn.5 - 2012-06-14 09:21

      Old Poloy, so you want the right to destroy without consequence ? Would you call that civilised ?

      sean.murphy.165 - 2012-06-14 13:30

      Poliodonkey has been called a lot of things on this forum, but "civilized" is not one of them. :-)

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-06-13 19:36

    a massive victory not only for DA but even for the poor.Poor people who are selling vegetables,fruit etc are always victims of these violent protests,marches led by unions affiliated to Cosatu.We have seen them looting shops,stealing everything from poor small business people. These unions must pay.Its unacceptable. This is not a banana republic

      Rodney - 2012-06-13 21:07


      jacques.v.zyl.jazz - 2012-06-13 21:44

      Amen to that Zolisa!

      Koos - 2012-06-14 01:35

      Mogoeng is surprising me so far. Maybe I was to critical of him.

      sean.murphy.165 - 2012-06-14 13:32

      100% correct Zolisa. The unions have no concern for the poor. There only interest is to increase their political power.

  • jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-06-13 19:39

    Excellent news... Let these unions pay for the property they so like to damage. Claiming they represent the people is completely bull dung.

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-13 19:46

    I love this ruling. It's GREAT for South Africa's democracy. Down with communist regime rule, up with freedom and democracy !!! Viva DA, VIVA !!!

  • wesley.nel.5 - 2012-06-13 19:48

    Can you believe, somebody wakes up. Great

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-06-13 19:52

    what a brilliant ruling.

  • ferero.roche.96 - 2012-06-13 19:54

    Now they can go clean the streets the next day without pay too

  • JohnDough - 2012-06-13 20:00

    Kry vir julle nou. It is time that the Unions were held responsible for their "totsi" behaviour. By all means demonstrate but is there really a need to plunder and pillage while doing so? I hope they are well covered by public liability insurance, not. Time to pay for your hooligan actions. Well done ConCourt.

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-06-13 20:07

    About time these thugs were forced to behave

  • Glyn - 2012-06-13 20:11

    Great news for a free democracy!! This is what the ConCourt is all about. Well done ConCourt! VivA ConCourt!

      Rodney - 2012-06-13 21:09


  • Busani - 2012-06-13 20:12


  • denise.moolmanburnett - 2012-06-13 20:13

    A big victory for the DA, why must aqll suffer when these unions are just there to destroy!!!! There should be no place for unions in South Africa we might just turn out to be a better run country without them

  • denise.moolmanburnett - 2012-06-13 20:14

    A big victory for the DA, maybe we can do without unions in South Africa imagine what a peaceful country we would be

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-13 20:22 good to have something go the man in the street.... way for a change...calls for celebrations.. Can you imagine our joy if the DA managed to win 10 more seats in the next elections.

  • hugo.lategan - 2012-06-13 20:29

    Good news!

  • troll - 2012-06-13 20:40

    rock on!

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