SAMWU Condemns Fictitious Charges Against CoJ Workers

28 August 2017

SAMWU Condemns Fictitious Charges Against CoJ Workers

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is disgusted at the latest anti-worker posture by the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Mayor, Herman Mashaba who has began yet another persecution of workers through the media.

Earlier on this year the Mayor began his crusade against workers by subjecting workers at the Licensing Department to a trial through the media, a case which none of the workers have been convicted of any wrong doing.

This past Friday, at the instruction of Mashaba, 10 workers were arrested for what is alleged to be fraud and corruption within the City’s Revenue Department. Instead of subjecting these workers to an internal disciplinary to get to the bottom of the alleged theft, the Mayor humiliated workers by calling the media to present them when they were being arrested.

Today we expressed solidarity with our members at the Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg and are pleased that the workers were all granted bail of R2000 each, an indication that there is no case against these workers whom the City alleges that they have stolen over R2.5 million, otherwise the court would have set their bail at a higher amount.

As an indication that there is really no case against these workers but rather a mere publicity stunt by the mayor to portray himself as a corruption buster who lacks in service delivery, the City’s MMC for Finance Dr Dagada today apologized to workers for the humiliation which they had to endure at the hands of Mashaba and has further committed himself to assist these workers with bail money.

We have been reliably informed that there is no single cent which was stolen from the City as all the money allegedly stolen is in the City’s accounts while that which has been paid over to residents has paper trail and can all be accounted for.

We are however not surprised by Mashaba’s latest antics as we know him to be anti-black, anti-unions and pro-capital. Our only surprise and disappointment is that his coalition partners, particularly those who preach pro-poor and pro-worker policies have been silent when their messiah is attacking workers, destabilizing unions and attempting to collapse collective bargaining in the City.

We therefore the City to immediately appoint competent individuals to the vacancies of Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operational Officer and the Director for Billing as these have been left vacant for a while now leading to the confusion around the City’s finances.

We further demand that the mayor should immediately cease his crusade against workers and subjecting them to media trials without having have familiarized himself with the processes in Revenue Department.

We also call on the City to stop wasting resources by suspending workers for extended periods while they know very well that there is no case against workers. Such workers should immediately be returned to their positions as this is affecting service delivery in the already over stretched Licensing Department.

In the mean time, we will be supporting our members in all possible ways as they are innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law, not a trial through the media with Mashaba as the Prosecutor and Judge.

Issued by SAMWU Greater Johannesburg Region
Bafana Zungu
Regional Secretary
079 298 5577