Marikana strike leader leads an illegal march

Authorities from the City of Tshwane offices in Pretoria refused to accept a memorandum from a group of 150 people who held an illegal march. The group was led by one of the leaders of the Marikana mining strike.

They were demanding that they be hired on a permanent basis.

The group gathered at the Munitoria Building on Madiba Street in Pretoria today to demand that the council fulfils its promise to give them permanent jobs.

They explained they were dismissed last year from a company contracted to the council to maintain parks and waste removal even though they were promised the council intended hiring all contracted workers full-time.

Authorities refused to meet with the protesters when they reached the council offices because they had gathered illegally.

Traffic was temporarily affected with some lanes cordoned off for the protesters, amid a strong police presence.

Tshwane Metro officers warned the group to disperse or face arrest and pleaded with their leader, Mametlwe Sebei, from the Democratic Socialist Movement, to tell the protesters to break up their action as it was illegal.

Sebei, one of the Marikana mining strike leaders, said they would return to the council offices after mobilising communities to join their protest action.

He said some of their colleagues were hired by the council on a permanent basis while others were suspiciously excluded without reason.

“We don’t know why these people were not hired full-time. We don’t know whether it was nepotism or corruption of some sort but there are many suspicions and allegations.

“Questions have not been answered as to why they were not hired permanently like others. They have been fighting this issue since the employment contracts of the last group that was dismissed in June last year were terminated,” said Sebei.

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