Nedlac trying to derail our march - Vavi

Photo: Loanna Hoffmann
Photo: Loanna Hoffmann

Pretoria - Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has accused the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) of trying to derail the anti-corruption marched planned for month end.

Vavi said march organisers had submitted a section 77 (1D) to Nedlac, giving it 14 days notice and also inform the organisation about the planned strike.

"The notice also serves to ensure that workers who participate must receive... legal protection so that they are not victimised by employers for participating. Unfortunately Nedlac has not been forthcoming. The employers are giving us hell," he told reporters outside the Nissan Plant in Rosslyn.

Vavi was meeting workers to mobilise support for the march.

"Employers are receiving support of a so-called community constituency that represents nobody in Nedlac because 250 civil society organisations are fully behind the march.

"There comes just one individual saying that workers must not receive protection when they want to exercise their right to join the march. We want to condemn that in the fullest terms."

Vavi said there was a meeting planned for Friday to resolve the issue but warned that failure to grant workers protection would not deter the strike.

He said they were expecting around 70 000 people to participate in Pretoria alone.

A second march will take place in Cape Town where marchers will be walking to Parliament.

"Today is the final meeting. If there is no solution, we will still embark on the strike action. We don't care what they say. If they want to stop us they can go to court.

"But we will oppose that in court because we believe Nedlac is now playing a political game to ensure we don't exercise our right to show the country and the world that a big population in SA have not agreed to be made fools to call swimming pools fire pools," he said.

Vavi said if Nedlac were to say they could only issue a notice from today, it would be a deliberate ploy to ensure workers are not covered on Wednesday as it was no longer possible to postpone the strike.

"The strike action will happen whether Nedlac, one person claiming to represent communities oppose it. The march will happen. The notice was issued on the 7th of September and it was within the 14 day deadline.

"We will not be issuing another notice again, we have done that already," said Vavi.

He also accused the office of the Presidency of delaying giving the green light for the march. He said they had not received word regarding permission and whether President Jacob Zuma or his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa would accept the memorandum.

"In terms of municipalities, both Cape Town and Tshwane have given us permission. But in terms of the by-laws, when you march to the Union Buildings you must get... written consent from the Presidency.

"That has not come through even though the Presidency has been part of all the discussions between organisers and police. We are hoping we will not get problems there."

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