PSA won't disrupt Sun Met, but Cosatu may over Jooste

Cape Town - The Public Servants Association on Thursday said it won't disrupt the upcoming Sun Met horse race on Saturday, but will hold a "solidarity march" against former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste's role in the South African horse racing fraternity.  

"From the PSA point of view it's all systems go, we are not going to disrupt the [race],” said PSA deputy general manager Tahir Maepa.

The march is set to include members of the Federation of Unions of South Africa, the PSA, the National Horseracing Authority (NHA) and Sun International. Cosatu has also been invited to take part, said Maepa. 

But Cosatu Western Cape provincial organiser Paul Bester told Fin24 on Thursday that the trade union federation is not interested in taking part in the solidarity march, and will picket at the gates of the race on Saturday. 

"The horses should not run, [Jooste] should not benefit a cent," said Bester, adding that Jooste should be arrested for his actions. Bester said Cosatu would make sure that workers at the event get paid if the picket results in disruptions to the race. 

Solidarity march, not disruption  

The PSA had previously warned it could disrupt the race, but Maepa said that after meetings with the NHA a compromise was reached. 

"During those discussions we believed that we found a consensus in terms of the Jooste saga," he said. 

"This whole action was never against the NHA, nor was it against Sun International, and it is not against the prestigious event that is still going to be held Saturday," said Maepa's colleague and general manager of the PSA Ivan Fredericks.

Lyndon Barends of the NHA said it has disassociated itself from Jooste. 

'Jooste's an outcast'

He said Mayfair Speculators, a horse racing firm where Jooste was until recently a director, is selling its horses and added that on Saturday Mayfair horses won't run in their own colours, but in club colours. 

Only two or three Mayfair horses are expected to take part in the event. He explained that if the horses win anything the money will go to an earmarked account, and not to Mayfair, because ABSA has an injunction against Mayfair in place. 

Maepa said it is important to think of the workers taking part at the event. 

“We are guaranteeing the income of over 3 000 workers in that sector," he said. “He [Jooste] is an outcast, he needs to be pushed away from civilised society, and ultimately needs to be jailed.”

The race will take place at the Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday. 

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