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SA Protest News 4 -11 September 2009 (2009) SA Protest News 4 -11 September 2009.  : -.

Summary
Ruling 'a victory for human rights
AFP 9 Serptember 2009

Pretoria - The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Wednesday called the court
decision to hold off on the dismissal of 1 300 soldiers who participated
in a protest a victory for human rights.

"This is a victory for human rights and the South African Constitution
whose clause 23(2) clearly spells out that 'every worker has the right
to form and join a trade union'," said spokesperson Patrick Craven in a
statement.

The North Gauteng High Court ordered that for the next two months at
least, none of the soldiers who took part in a protest at the Union
Buildings may be dismissed.

The SA National Defence Union (Sandu) took Defence Minister Lindiwe
Sisulu and the Chief of the SANDF to court to stop its members from
being dismissed and to declare the procedure adopted in dismissal
notices served on them unconstitutional.

After several hours of negotiations, the minister late on Wednesday
afternoon undertook not to dismiss any of Sandu's members as a result of
the August 26 march, pending the finalisation of the union's urgent
application.

May 'redeploy' soldiers

In terms of the settlement, the SANDF may also not remove any of the
soldiers' benefits, but may "redeploy" them, provided they remain
geographically in the same area.

This could include placing them on special leave on full pay, with the
retention of their benefits.

The minister and chief of the defence force were given two months to
file further papers in the application; whereafter Sandu will also be
able to supplement its papers.

Sandu is seeking a court order, declaring the 30 August dismissal
notices, which gave their members just 10 days to supply reasons why
they should not be dismissed, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The union also wants the court to restrain the SANDF from dismissing the
soldiers pending the finalisation of a dispute they intended referring
to the Military Bargaining Council, or should it not be resolved, to the
Military Arbitration Board.

Facing charge of mutiny
In the alternative, the union wants the court to declare the procedure
adopted in the notice unlawful and unconstitutional.

According to the notice, soldiers who participated in the August 26
march engaged in criminal activities, threatened the security of the
country and were guilty of mutiny.

Sandu secretary Johannes Greeff said in court papers their members had
applied for leave so that they could take part in the August 26 march,
but were denied leave in contravention of two court orders in the
union's favour.

Police escorted soldiers
He claimed no one ever told their members the Defence Force had been put
on high security and stand-by arrangement until an urgent application to
stop the march was being argued in court about half an hour before the
march was scheduled to start.

He said about 3 000 SANDF members had already started gathering at the
city hall in Pretoria when the interdict was granted to declare the
march illegal.

According to Greeff, the soldiers were moved to the Union Buildings
under police escort so that the interdict could be explained to them and
they therefore never took part in an illegal march.
- AFP



Yes, soldiers also have rights
Business Day 10 September 2009

ALL employed South Africans, including members of the national defence
force, have a fundamental right to use collective bargaining to
negotiate better working conditions. That has to be the starting point
for any debate arising from the recent illegal protest march by
soldiers, which ended in a violent clash with police when some of those
involved tried to storm the Union Buildings.

The reason this must be the point of departure is because that is what
the Constitutional Court decided back in 1998. While it does not
necessarily follow that soldiers have a right to join a trade union or
participate in the various forms of industrial action that normal
employees take for granted — collective bargaining can take place via
structures other than trade unions, after all — it does render moot the
argument that soldiers must either accept their lot without question or
get out of the military.

As things stand, soldiers are in fact allowed to join unions, a
concession Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
apparently regrets. But this is a red herring. Soldiers’ unions are
governed by the Defence Act, as opposed to the Labour Relations Act.
That means they cannot affiliate to any politically-aligned union
federation such as Cosatu, and they do not enjoy the right to withhold
their labour.

In other words, preventing soldiers from joining unions would have
little practical effect since they are already prohibited from
participating in the kind of activities that led to the debacle at the
Union Buildings. And since soldiers have a right to bargain
collectively, they would still need to belong to some sort of staff
association even if it was not called a union.

Sisulu is on firmer ground when she bemoans the lack of discipline in
the armed forces, and there will be no lack of public support if she
follows through with her vow to dismiss striking soldiers. But, like
nurses, air traffic controllers and other essential workers whose rights
as employees are legitimately restricted in the interests of society,
there is a need for a credible alternative mechanism to address
soldiers’ often legitimate grievances. The existing structure is clearly
not working.



Zuma approved soldier sackings: Sisulu
defenceWeb 9 September 2009

Defence and Military Veterans minister Lindiwe Sisulu says President
Jacob Zuma approved her sacking of 1420 military personnel in his
capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force.
"He did not hesitate to indicate his views - immediate dismissal,"
Sisulu yesterday told the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on
Defence and Military Veterans.

"What we are dealing with here are acts of criminality... I had no
option but to take the decision I took," she said.


The 1333 SA Army soldiers, 80 SA Military Health Service medics and
seven SA Air Force airmen took part in a protest-turned mutinous riot at
the Union Buildings on August 26, the birthday of their SA National
Defence Union (SANDU).

They were there to protest various grievances including pay disparities
and conditions of service.

The SA Press Association reports she conceded that the SANDF faces a
“serious problem” with discipline.

"You're right, there is a problem with discipline... a serious problem
of discipline in the defence force," she told MPs.

Responding to questions, she said if there were no problems "we wouldn't
have had the problem we had on the lawns at the Union Buildings" two
weeks ago.

Sisulu says the dismissed soldiers “were not the type of people needed
in the defence force.

"I have discussed this decision with the president and am not able to
rescind it," she said.

The Business Day reported Sisulu insisted the riot was not the result of
a failure on the part of the department’s political leadership.

But the paper says she acknowledged that when she sought to meet the
leaders of SANDU she was advised not to as it would undermine the
legitimacy of the military bargaining council, where the working
conditions of soldiers are negotiated.

The minister said the first indications that a strike was being planned
were seen in April, before the election and before the current
administration had been put in place.

She said she had felt that the soldiers believed her when she promised
that their working conditions would be addressed — but perhaps that had
been overoptimistic; “they were determined to do this”.

Sisulu said that she would not pass judgment on the political leadership
in place before her appointment, but insisted that in her three months
there was nothing she could have done to stop the protest action.

In response to a question from Inkatha Freedom Party MP Velaphi Ndhlovu,
Sisulu conceded that allowing soldiers to unionise was perhaps a
mistake, and it was now in the interests of national security for
another look to be taken at the issue of unionisation.

She said the decision was based on the 1999 Constitutional Court ruling
that soldiers had a right to bargain on working conditions.

The minister said the department was working on a new structure similar
to the Public Service Commission but specific to the military.

She said the relationship between soldiers and the government was
different to that of ordinary public servants, and a different structure
was needed.

Pan Africanist Congress MP Letlapa Mphahlele appealed to Sisulu not to
put the personnel served with letters of dismissal on the street as they
could cause havoc there and become an even greater threat to national
security.



Red Ants shoot innocent workers in Tembisa.

SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT. JOHANNESBURG 10 September 2009.

SAMWU members who are on strike in Tembisa were peacefully
demonstrating in front of the Tembisa Civic Centre yesterday when the
Red Ants attacked them, shooting five workers and a security officer.

The 6 who had been shot were admitted to Tembisa Hospital. It is still
not clear at this stage as to whether live ammunition had been used
against the peaceful demonstrators or not. The Red Ants are known for
using live ammunition, wherever they are assigned to work.

We will be opening a case of assault and attempted murder with the
Tembisa Police station, as soon as the hospitalized workers have been
examined and treated for their injuries. We call on the police to
investigate if members of the Red Ants do in fact have fire arm
licenses and what are the conditions attached to their licenses.

Those responsible for authorizing the use of the red ants in a
situation where it was not necessary must be held accountable for the
tragic conditions that the Red Ants have created.

For further comment contact SAMWU Ekurhuleni Branch Secretary Koena
Ramotlou on (011) 815 3586 or 073 254 9394.

Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU).
National Media and Publicity officer.
tahir.sema@samwu.org.za
Office: 011-331 0333.
Cell: 0829403403.



The Streets of the Johannesburg CBD - through the eyes of a Protest
Marcher


The social services sector is not known for taking drastic action or for
embarking on militant protests and making unreasonable ‘demands’.
However, at times, when things reach unacceptable levels the sector will
take action in an effort to make their point and such an occasion
occurred on Friday when the social services NPO sector went on a protest
march. The marchers called for a new deal for social service financing.
This means government subsidies that are sufficient for organisations to
provide services of a decent standard for all who need them, and to
offer equal pay for equal work. At present, workers employed by
government have far better pay and benefits than Non Profit Organisation
workers, and NPOs therefore keep losing their staff yet they are often
expected to carry a significant portion of the workload. These Non
Profit Organisations work hard to raise funds to run their services, but
they also need reliable and realistic government funding to enable them
to do their work properly.

Although the reasons for the march, as I have just outlined, are quite
important in setting the scene, what I would rather focus on here are
the experiences of being part of a protest march. One of the first
things that became apparent was that, being amongst 2,000 protesters
moving from Ghandi Square, up Rissik Street, along Jeppe Street and into
Simmonds Street, where the Provincial Government Buildings are, is quite
a heady experience. It leaves one feeling quite powerful. Suddenly, the
irritations that I sometimes feel when watching a protest march subside.
Walking up a busy street like Rissik Street and stopping all the cars
behind you begins to feel good. But, apart from the feeling of power one
experiences, there is a golden opportunity to once again get up close
and personal with the streets of Johannesburg – and from the middle of
the street rather than on the pavement. As I walk down the centre of
Rissik Street outside the City Hall I see a shoe in the gutter and I
wonder who the shoe belonged to and why there is only one shoe – what
happened to the other shoe? Because I am not running to a meeting, when
it is normal for me to walk/run along the streets of Johannesburg, I now
also have the time to look at the various buildings. Johannesburg has
beautiful buildings and it is wonderful that so many of these buildings
are being restored to their original beauty. There is also the
opportunity to notice some amazing advertisements such as the one that
appeals to its audience to “find inspiration in Jozi”.

Eventually we all arrive at the Provincial Government and wait. After
various speeches and the handing over of a memorandum, all of which
take some time, the attention of protesters begins to turn towards other
things – like lunch. People start unpacking their lunches or wonder off
to get food from the many take away shops in the area. An appetizing
smell of “slap chips” fills the air. However, the more amazing thing is
that one of the hawkers saw this as an opportunity. She brought along
her ice cream container and walked amongst the marchers. She eventually
sold out, but what a wonderful entrepreneur who seized the occasion,
making it pay off. I could only feel admiration for her – she saw an
opportunity and made it work for her – well done!

As the march starts to draw to an end and the protestors begin to
disperse an anti-climatic feeling begins to descend on one. Whether
anything ever comes of this march is still to be seen but, right now, my
feelings about protest marches have changed somewhat and maybe I will be
a little more tolerant in the future. What this experience has left me
with is a deeper understanding of the dynamics that change your psyche
when you take part in these events. I walk back to my office with a hope
that our concerns have been heard and recognised and that there is
change for the better – for the sake of our beneficiaries who so
desperately need a better deal.



Prisoners press on with their hunger strike
Carmen Reddy 6 September

The South African Prisoners Organisation says they are behind the
prisoners, who are on a hunger strike.

Dozens of inmates at prisons, including Leeuwkop, have been on a hunger
strike since the beginning of the month.

The inmates claim that prison officials are not allowing them to appear
in front of a Parole Board in accordance with the law.

“Due to the fact that they have been ignored, they have decided to go on
a hunger strike indefinitely to bring this matter to the public’s
attention so that the public debate can start, so that this matter can
be scrutinised in public and that the minister can take note of this
incident,” says SAPO’s Golden Miles Bhudu.



Top official injured after previous attempt to end strike
Implats strike still on, union to meet workers Monday

NUM wants members to return to work
NUM 6 September 2009

The National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) plan to meet striking workers
at Impala Platinum on Monday to try persuade them to return to work, a
union official said at the weekend.

The strike turned violent on Thursday after some workers attacked union
leaders who tried to convince them to accept the company's latest pay
offer. A top union official was hit in the face by a stone and lost an eye.

"The strike is still going on. Our deputy president has been injured so
the talks with members has been suspended until we find a way to talk to
them on Monday," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.

Police are investigating the incident, which the union blamed on
"criminal elements", but the violence raises the stakes in a two-week
strike at a time when it seemed to be fizzling out.

The NUM believe the company will not budge on the offer and that
prolonging the strike is futile.

Implats, facing lower earnings and rising costs, has offered a 10
percent pay rise, saying it cannot afford the worker's demand of a 14
percent increase, which is more than twice South Africa's inflation rate
of 6.7 percent.

The gold, coal and power sectors have agreed to raise wages by about 10
percent.

Implats, which produces a quarter of the world's platinum, has said
workers had started returning to work, although there were still not
enough people to restart production at its biggest mine, Rustenburg.

It said on Friday its smaller Marula mine had returned to work, while
the company's metal refinery in Springs, east of Johannesburg, was not
affected by the strike.

South Africa produces four-fifths of the world's platinum, which is
mostly used in making catalytic converters to cut pollutants from car
exhausts, and in jewellery.

The union and Anglo Platinum, the world's biggest producer of the
precious metal, are still negotiating on their pay rise. - Reuters



So many questions with Lindiwe Sisulu ...
Sunday Times 5 September 2009

Members of the army stormed the Union Buildings last week. Chris Barron
asked defence minister

What’s happened to the army?

In what way?

When soldiers storm the seat of government, surely something is wrong?

This really has shocked me. What distinguishes a soldier from an
ordinary civilian is that their discipline is prescribed by both the law
and the constitution. They are not civilians. They are not workers like
you and I. They are called to a higher responsibility. So the fact that
they could go and march on the seat of government, some of them armed,
is a shock to my system.

It’s quite scary, isn’t it?

It is very scary. And the tragedy for me is I really believe in them.
The defence force is full of people who have excelled. These few have
been a serious blight ...

We’re talking at least 1000, aren’t we?

About 1300, yes.

What are you going to do about them?

We have looked at the law that determines the defence force processes
and, unfortunately, some people are governed very strictly by certain
laws. And the law requires of us to ensure that we take steps when
confronted with such matters.

What steps?

They have been issued with letters of dismissal. The letters indicate
they have 10 days within which to show cause why they should not be
dismissed.

If you put out on the streets 1300 people who are trained to shoot,
wouldn’t it have an impact on crime?

Leaving 1300 people who have this kind of propensity in the defence
force — wouldn’t that put us under even greater threat?

Why not throw them into detention barracks ?

That is another possibility. I was advised of two possibilities. One was
to court martial them, and that would lead to long-term detention. The
other was to dismiss them.

Isn’t the first option the best?

And it is the harshest. And something in me didn’t want to take the
harshest step. I thought the step I took would send a warning to say we
will not tolerate indiscipline in the defence force.

We’re talking about soldiers storming the seat of government — surely
the harshest step is called for?

I’m already called a she-devil. What more do you want?

Indiscipline in the army could be a matter of life and death, couldn’t it?

It is a matter of life and death. That is why society should understand
that a different discipline operates.

Are you tough enough for this job?

Oh, yes. I am a soldier by training. I come from the ranks that fought
for us to be where we are.

Isn’t dismissal too lenient?

It is possible. But we had to consult widely and that option is the one
the president, deputy president and entire military command structure
were certain we needed to take.

Should soldiers be unionised?

The law says very clearly that there are limitations on the rights of
members of the defence force. They give up the rights that ordinary
citizens enjoy to the extent that it is necessary for the security and
protection of the country.

Is it appropriate for soldiers to be unionised?

No. It is not appropriate. In fact the law prescribes that they should
not be unionised.

Then why are they?

I’m three months here and I’m trying to work out exactly what was
happening. But the law says they will not be allowed to participate in
activities of trade unions.

Are you going to look at the possibility of abiding by the law?

At every opportunity I have told them I would look into the conditions
of service in the defence force. I didn’t know that behind my back this
is what they were thinking of doing.

What will you do about the officers?

Officers?

The people responsible for discipline.

It would be inappropriate for me to comment on them when I haven’t
actually taken a decision. But obviously they have to share some of the
responsibility.

So are you going to act against them?

Please let me off this one.

When soldiers mutiny, don’t questions need to be asked of their officers?

Of course. How does the discipline of the defence force deteriorate to
the point where this kind of thing happens? I’m told they’ve been doing
this on a regular basis. Going out on marches. It is something that has
developed as part of the army culture.



Sars, unions reach interim agreement to stop strike
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Sep 04 2009 14:16

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) and two public sector unions
reached an interim agreement to suspend strike action on Friday, Sars said.

"Sars approached the Labour Court this morning to apply for [an] urgent
interdict in order to prevent the planned strike action [due to start on
Monday]," Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said in a statement.

"Both the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union [Nehawu]
and the Public Servants Association [PSA] agreed outside of the court
process to resume wage negotiations."

These wage negotiations will now take place this Saturday and Sunday at
the national bargaining forum (NBF).

"Sars will formally table a revised wage offer at the NBF."

Lackay said Sars would no longer apply for the interdict.

"Both unions agreed to inform their members that the strike has been
suspended, pending further negotiations."

He said any Sars official who did go on strike on Monday would face
disciplinary action.

"Sars will view these actions as part of an unprotected, illegal strike
action." -- Sapa



Attempted land invasion on Attridgeville
Gia Nicolaides (Eyewitness News) 6 September 2009

There’s a high police presence in Attridgeville west of Pretoria, after
thousands of people tried to invade land at an informal settlement there
this morning.

More than 3000 people gathered at extension six and started marking off
an area that’s already destined for other building purposes.

The people have vowed to return tommorow.



SACP march for service delivery Western cape

Brian Bunting Disrict SACP letterhead

Contact: Benson Ngqentsu, 082 796 6400, 021 421 4120,
benson.ngqentsu@gmail.com

4th September 2009

To: All media houses
From: Brian Bunting District Secretary, Benson Ngqentsu

Re: SACP Brian Bunting District press statement on a march against poor
service delivery for immediate release.


The SACP in the Brian Bunting District (Cape Metro) embarked on a
massive march today the September 4, against poor service delivery. The
march took place in the area of Phillip; Cape Town and about +500
residents of Phillip were in attendance. The Provincial Secretary of the
SACP, Khaya Magaxa and the District Secretary Benson Ngqentsu were
leading the march.

In essence, this was a follow up march to the march we held on the 20th
March 2009 to the offices of the Mayor of the City of Cape. We delivered
our memorandum to Councillor Vubu at Fezeka near Gugulethu.

Amongst other things our memo contained the following demands namely:

* Eradication of bucket system and chemical toilets;
* Sanitation for all;
* Access to clean and drinkable water to all;
* Discontinuation with unconstitutional and unlawful introduction
of prepayment water system in the City of Cape Town;
* Discontinuation with water cuts;
* Provision of electricity to all;
* Maintenance of roads
* Regular and timeous removal of refuse to all;
* Establish youth structures and implement youth programs with
sufficient budget that are consistent with the relevant legislative
frameworks to address the plight of young people especially Coloreds and
Africans in the City of Cape Town;


We gave the City of Cape 21 working days to respond to our demands.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the District
Secretary.

Benson Ngqentsu, 082 796 6400



Soldier protest 'was mutiny'

Pretoria - The army will not be held to ransom by mutinous behaviour
from soldiers, Chief of the Army Lieutenant-General Solly Shoke said on
Friday.

Briefing the media at the army training college in Pretoria, Shoke said
violent protests by soldiers at the Union Buildings last week were a
breach of the code of conduct and amounted to mutiny.

"This is the code of conduct all of us have pledged to abide [by] it,”
he said holding up the laminated card given to each soldier.

"In the military you enforce discipline that must be clear because this
is an institution where you should not take chances. It is unfortunate
such behaviour can tarnish the behaviour of the rest.”

Firing squad
He said in other countries mutinous behaviour could lead to being placed
in front of a firing squad, however in South Africa immediate dismissal
was mandated.

Around 2 000 soldiers who allegedly took part in the protest last
Wednesday had received letters of dismissal.

“If a person is out of order then you discipline him, finish and klaar
[over].”

Shoke said while due process would be followed, he refused to accept any
mediation with the unions.

"I don't mediate. I am a commander and I will take a command decision.
No army on earth will mediate with an ill-disciplined solider.

"I will not mediate with ill-disciplined soldiers,” he said.

Union wants dismissals set aside

Meanwhile, the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said it intends asking
a high court to set aside the dismissals.

This would be avoided if the union was furnished with the legal grounds
on which the dismissals were based.

Shoke said around 300 representations by dismissed soldiers had already
been received but as public servants they were welcome to attempt to
seek redress from the courts.

Sandu was also set to appeal an eleventh hour court application which
saw the planned protest over poor pay and working conditions banned and
the permission granted by the metro police cancelled.

Shortly after the court's ruling a group of soldiers scaled a fence at
the Union Buildings and damaged several cars. Police fired rubber
bullets and teargas at them.

Discipline
Shoke said discipline was a high priority in the army and the public
should not be wary in the aftermath of the protest.

“It is clear that some of you were gripped by fear of the unknown. As
chief of the army there is nothing to fear,” he said.

Shoke also reiterated that Thursday’s arrest of 38 soldiers at Doornkop
military base, south of Johannesburg, was not related to the protest
action but for other disciplinary action including blocking of the N12
highway last year and a march to Luthuli House earlier this year.



Implats strike still on, union to meet workers Monday
5 September 2009

[South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) plan to meet
striking workers at Impala Platinum on Monday to try persuade them to
return to work, a union official said on Saturday. REUTERS/Antony Kaminju]
Implats strike still on, union to meet workers Monday

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM) plan to meet striking workers at Impala Platinum on Monday to try
persuade them to return to work, a union official said on Saturday.

The strike turned violent on Thursday after some workers attacked union
leaders who tried to convince them to accept the company's latest pay
offer. A top union official was hit in the face by a stone and lost an eye.

"The strike is still going on. Our deputy president has been injured so
the talks with members has been suspended until we find a way to talk to
them on Monday," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.

Police are investigating the incident, which the union blamed on
"criminal elements", but the violence raises the stakes in a two-week
strike at a time when it seemed to be fizzling out.

The NUM believe the company will not budge on the offer and that
prolonging the strike is futile.

Implats, facing lower earnings and rising costs, has offered a 10
percent pay rise, saying it cannot afford the worker's demand of a 14
percent increase, which is more than twice South Africa's inflation rate
of 6.7 percent.

The gold, coal and power sectors have agreed to raise wages by about 10
percent.

Implats, which produces a quarter of the world's platinum, has said
workers had started returning to work, although there were still not
enough people to restart production at its biggest mine, Rustenburg.

It said on Friday its smaller Marula mine had returned to work, while
the company's metal refinery in Springs, east of Johannesburg, was not
affected by the strike.

South Africa produces four-fifths of the world's platinum, which is
mostly used in making catalytic converters to cut pollutants from car
exhausts, and in jewellery.

The union and Anglo Platinum, the world's biggest producer of the
precious metal, are still negotiating on their pay rise.



Top union leader stoned
Zuma says situation is unacceptable, and lawlessness and anarchy won’t
be tolerated, writes AMY MUSGRAVE

Amy Musgrave 5 September 2009


ON THE MARCH: Cosatu has condemned the shooting of protesting workers by
police and has called for meetings with ministers to ensure that union
members are protected. Pictured here is NUM boss Frans Baleni.

A SENIOR union official was maimed and a worker was shot as strikes and
labour protests turned violent this week.

Piet Matosa, deputy president of the National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM), lost an eye following a confrontation on Thursday night with
striking workers at Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg.

Over the past few weeks there have been violent confrontations between
the police and striking members of the defence force, Post Office
workers on strike have been shot at, and striking taxi operators damaged
property and injured commuters supporting Jo burg’s new bus rapid
transit system .

President Jacob Zuma on Friday condemned the violence as “totally
unacceptable”.

The NUM and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) blame
Matosa’s injuries on “criminal elements”, which they say are using
labour disputes to pursue their own “narrow criminal and
counterrevolutionary motives”.

Matosa was hit in the face after a stone was flung at him at a meeting
the union called to discuss the wage demands of Impala Platinum Mine
workers .

The union’s leadership was proposing that members accept a 10,5% wage
settlement they had negotiated with the mine.

During an operation, surgeons removed Matosa’s eye and reconstructed his
nose.

The NUM has laid charges with the Rustenburg police, who confirmed they
are investigating the assault.

“We cannot be on the side of anybody who shows serious disrespect for
the law,” says the union’s general secretary, Frans Baleni. “We assist
those with labour problems, but violent and undemocratic conducts have
no place within our mighty union.”

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven says a Communication Workers Union (CWU)
member was shot outside the federation’s offices in Johannesburg on Friday.

The union has been protesting against what it calls “apartheid wages” at
the Post Office.

“The incident occurred as … members were marching peacefully on the
pavement past the Cosatu head office,” Craven says.

“As they turned the corner of Leyds and Biccard streets, one of two
occupants of an SAPS BMW car which had been escorting the march, both in
plain clothes, opened fire with six rubber bullets.

“Two of the bullets struck one of the marchers, Zodwa Maduna, injuring
her in the arm. She was taken to hospital by ambulance.

“The police car then left the scene and did not accompany the rest of
the march.”

Craven describes the incident as a “drive-by shooting against workers on
a peaceful and orderly march”. He says shots were fired again when the
demonstrators assembled, again peacefully, at the CWU provincial office
for a report- back from their officials.

Cosatu is seeking the names of the policemen allegedly involved in the
shooting and will demand firm action against them, Craven says. “The
federation has repeatedly expressed its anger at the number of times
recently when police have opened fire with rubber bullets, stun grenades
and tear gas against workers’ protest marches,” he says.

“We shall continue to press, with even greater urgency, for a meeting
with the relevant government ministers to discuss how to find ways to
avoid such incidents and protect our constitutional right to demonstrate
peacefully within the law.”

But Zuma wrote in his weekly letter on the African National Congress
(ANC) website that “lawlessness and anarchy will not be tolerated from
any segment of society, regardless of the grievances”.

He says September is Heritage Month, which should be used by South
Africans to reflect on what they want to bequeath to generations to come.

“Part of the heritage of living among diverse groups of people, with
equally diverse issues and expressions, is the absolute responsibility
to respect those who do not necessarily share one's views, culture or
beliefs,” Zuma writes. “Recent disturbing events bring this point
sharply into focus.

“This includes the recent violent and unfortunate confrontation between
members of the SAPS and members of the South African National Defence
Force near a national key point and seat of government, the Union
Buildings. Totally unacceptable scenes of violent confrontation also
greeted the introduction of the bus rapid transit system in
Johannesburg, with several reported cases of human injury and damage to
property.

“This cannot be how we wish to solve problems. This cannot be how we
wish to voice our displeasure at anything that government is doing,
especially since we emphasise that we want to build an accessible,
responsive and interactive government.

“The ANC government bears the responsibility of protecting all people
within its borders as well as state assets and property.”

Post Office employees are set to return to work on Monday following the
Labour Court granting their employer an urgent interdict on Friday
declaring the ongoing protests by some workers unprotected. The South
African Revenue Service (SARS) also approached the Labour Court on
Friday in an attempt to stop a wage strike planned for Monday. The court
reserved judgment until Monday, but SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay says
that they will consider any strike action before the decision to be illegal.

The Public Servants Association is planning to down tools on Monday. The
association’s deputy GM, Manie de Clercq, warns that the strike “will
dramatically affect the effective gathering of income for the state and
even international trade, as customs officers will form an integral part
of the imminent action”.

“Part of the heritage of living among diverse groups of people, with
equally diverse issues and expressions, is the absolute responsibility
to respect those who do not necessarily share one’s views, culture or
beliefs”



Shooting at COSATU House condemned

The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns the
shooting of a CWU member outside COSATU House in Braamfontein at around
11h00 on Friday 4 September 2009.

The incident occurred as a march by members of the Communication Workers
Union employed by the SA Post Office was marching peacefully on the
pavement past the COSATU Head Office, on their way to the High Court
which was hearing an application for an interim interdict to stop the
Post Office strike.

As they turned the corner of Leyds and Biccard Streets, one of the two
occupants of an SAPS BMW car which had been escorting the march, both in
plain clothes, opened fire with six rubber bullets. Two of the bullets
struck one of the marchers, Zodwa Maduna, injuring her in the arm and
she was taken to hospital by ambulance. The police car then left the
scene and did not accompany the rest of the march.

There was not the slightest justification or provocation for this
attack. It was a drive-by shooting against workers on a peaceful and
orderly march, and there was more shooting when the marchers assembled,
again peacefully, at the CWU Provincial Office for a report-back from
their officials.

COSATU is seeking the names of the police officers concerned and will be
demanding firm action against those responsible for such reckless and
potentially fatal conduct.

The federation has repeatedly expressed its anger at the number of times
recently when police have opened fire with rubber bullets, stun grenades
and tear gas against workers’ protest marches. We shall continue to
press, with even greater urgency, for a meeting with the relevant
government ministers to discuss how to find ways to avoid such incidents
and protect our constitutional right to demonstrate peacefully within
the law.

COSATU sends Zodwa Maduna our sympathy and best wishes for a full recovery.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)

Congress of South African Trade Unions



No repeat of 2007 public service strike
Kea’ Modimoeng 5 September 2009

Court rules in favour of SA Post Office; SARS and unions agree to more
talks.

Efforts are under way to avert a public service strike, which would
reopen the wounds left by the longest such action in South African
history in 2007.

In July that year, the Congress of South African Trade Unions called off
the strike after 28 days. The stoppage, which revolved around a demand
for a wage increase of 12% across the board, involved 700000 workers —
professional, skilled and unskilled, and received widespread support
among the rest of the working class in South Africa.

The final settlement was a 7.5 % raise and increases in housing and
health benefits on a two-year wage agreement.

Two years later, the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council has
managed to reach advanced stages of the 2009 public sector wage
negotiations between government and organised labour — without a strike.

The trade unions involved include the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union, the
Public Servants’ Association of South Africa (PSA), the National
Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), the Democratic
Nursing Organisation of SA and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

Theses unions are in the process of consulting their members; however,
Business Times has learnt that, once an agreement is reached, the annual
general salary adjustment with effect from July 1 this year is to be
implemented on a sliding scale between 13% and 10% for the financial
year 2009-10.

This will translate to an average of 11.5% for the financial year 2009-10.

According to the “preliminary agreement”, the sliding scale is to be
implemented for salary bands, taking into account the revised
occupation-specific salary structures.

Tahir Maepa, PSA national manager, refused to comment on the actual
percentages, but said: “Based on preliminary assessment, a lot of people
might accept it.”

He “anticipates” that the agreement will be signed by Thursday at the
latest.

On Friday, the Federation of SA Trade Unions released a statement
confirming that four of its member unions involved in the negotiations
had accepted the offer.

ýThe Labour Court on Friday ruled that the strike by Communication
Workers Union members at the SA Post Office (Sapo) after August 28 was
unlawful.

John Wentzel, Sapo’s chief operations officer, said the focus was “to
get business back on track by eliminating the current backlog”.

Asked if any action would be taken against striking workers, he said
action would be taken only against those who had participated in violent
and criminal activities.

ýAlso on Friday, the SA Revenue Service was successful in “temporarily
suspending” a planned strike which was due to begin tomorrow. A
statement from the Receiver of Revenue said: “Both the Nehawu and PSA
agreed outside the court process to resume wage negotiations on
September 5 and 6 at the National Bargaining Forum.”

On the mining front, financial losses at Impala Platinum are estimated
at more than R100-million as a result of members of the National Union
of Mineworkers having downed tools since Monday to demand better wages.

The union is demanding a 14% increase and adjustments to housing and
transport allowances, while Implats is offering 10%.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the union was urging members to return
to work.

“The company seems to have a platinum surplus, so it is not affected
much by the strike; instead, it is saving on wage payments as the
no-work, no-pay rule is applicable,” he said.



South Africa: Dissatisfaction With Service Delivery Increasing - Survey
Mariam Isa 3 September 2009

Johannesburg — DISSATISFACTION with service delivery has increased among
South African households since 2002, a survey showed yesterday, even
though the number of people on welfare has more than tripled to 13,7% of
the population.

Last year, hunger edged up after falling steadily since 2002, while
travel by local households dipped -- a trend which appeared to stem from
the economy's downturn.

Alarmingly, the fraction of households with missing children nearly
doubled to 8,4% last year from 4,5% in 2002, the General Household
Survey from Statistics SA (Stats SA) showed.

"What we can say is that provision of services doesn't translate into
quality," said Kefiloe Masiteng, deputy director-general for population
and social statistics at Stats SA.

"It's about perceptions."

Access to electricity, water and refuse removal have all improved since
2002. But the proportion of households that received a piped water
supply dipped to 70,9% last year from 71,8% in 2007.

The proportion of households which felt the quality of water service was
good dived to 60,5%, from 71,8% in 2007 and 76,1% in 2005.

Electricity supply reached 82,6% of households last year, well up from
77,4% in 2002. Refuse removal edged up to 60,5% from 58,8%.

The percentage of households in informal dwellings was little changed at
13,4%, although those receiving a government housing subsidy leapt to
11,2% from 5,6%. House ownership also climbed, to 75,8% from 70,4%.

Other data showed the extent of modernisation among the 31636 households
surveyed in July last year.

Cellphone use more than doubled to 79,1%, from 37,6% in 2002, while
television ownership jumped to 72,4% from 59,3%. On the education front,
the percentage of people with no schooling fell to 8,8% from 10,4%.

Figures on medical aid coverage deteriorated, with 15,9% of households
covered, versus 16,2% in 2002, but up from a low of 14% in 2005.

The proportion of people ill or injured in June rose to 13,7% from 11,1%
last year -- close to the 11,3% level in June 2002. But fewer people
consulted a health worker, with 77,7% doing so last year compared with
79,7% in 2007 and 81,5% in 2002.

The survey showed satisfaction with healthcare services improved.

Hunger has subsided since 2002, dipping to 2,4% from 6,8% of adults and
to 2,5% from 6,8% of children. But last year it edged up from 2% of
adults and 2,5% of children in 2007.

The figures also showed that half of all local households went on a trip
in 2007, well up from 35% in 2002. But last year the ratio fell to 44,7%.



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