Eskom boss slams Medupi strike, calling it ‘treason’ and loadshedding a ‘national crisis’

 Acting chief executive of Eskom Brian Molefe
Acting chief executive of Eskom Brian Molefe
Lerato Maduna

The strike at the Medupi power station is “treason”, Brian Molefe, acting chief executive of Eskom, said this morning in Parliament.

He said there was a shooting incident at the power station, currently under construction, yesterday morning. The discord stemmed from striking workers who were unhappy because other employees went back to work.

While people waited for transport to the power station, a person in a white Volkswagen Golf opened fire on them with a light machine gun.

Two people were injured, said Molefe.

There was a bomb threat at another power station, Kusile, on Sunday.

The threat was sent by text message, which alleged that there were three bombs set to go off that day. Work was stopped and the police went through the premises with a fine-tooth comb, but found no bombs.

“We think that the strike is actually treasonous. How do you call an illegal strike while loadshedding is a national crisis?” said Molefe.

He said the strikers were not Eskom employees, but were employed by contractors. They were demanding that their contractors pay them bonuses.

Molefe said that 12 000 people were on strike, but 10 000 had returned to work.

“We think it is completely unnecessary,” said Molefe.

“When we were looking for nonexistent bombs, there were delays.”

Thursday’s shooting incident also caused a delay.

“I thinks this is actually treason. It is criminality of the highest order. But the police are on top of the situation.” 
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