Herman Mashaba is a Pathological Liar

31 August 2018

Herman Mashaba is a Pathological Liar

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted with disgust a statement by the Office of the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba titled “City cuts ties with SALGA” released on the 30th August. The statement is riddled with lies and inconsistencies which has once again proven that Mashaba is a pathological liar who seeks to collapse the collective bargaining power of Municipal Workers across the county.

In the statement Mashaba seeks to justify his administration’s decision to leave the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) by using SAMWU as an excuse and a scapegoat for a political decision taken prior to the formation of a coalition government in the City of Johannesburg.

Firstly, this is a decision which the DA administration had taken long ago. Just two months after his appointment as the Mayor in 2016, Mashaba made his plans know that his administration would be leaving SALGA. Mashaba is therefore lying to citizens of the City and its workers about reasons for seeking to leave SALGA. Then Gauteng DA Chairperson Solly Msimang was quoted in 2016 advocating for all DA controlled municipalities to cease membership to the employer body because they were not elected to leadership positions within SALGA.

The fact of the matter is that the DA and in particular Mashaba is aggrieved by the fact that he was not elected President of SALGA. Mashaba assumed that by virtue of him being Mayor of Johannesburg he would automatically be elected SALGA President forgetting that this is a democratic process which entails lobbying and voting by the body’s members. The DA is purely rejecting a democratic defeat yet they call themselves Democrats.

Secondly Mashaba wants to create an illusion that there is a crisis within SAMWU hence his continued interference in the administration and running of labour unions within the City of Johannesburg.

We need to remind Mashaba of the Labour Court and the Labour Appeals Court (LAC) application wherein he used taxpayers’ money in vain trying to interfere in SAMWU affairs as an employer. Mashaba makes not even a single mention of the fact that Judge AJ Snyman ruled in the Labour Court that “the employer has no locus standi to intervene in the affairs of a trade union” Case number J1709/2016.

Mashaba further conveniently does not mention the fact that the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) has made a determination on what he wants to call a factionalism within the union. The LAC confirmed the leadership of the union at all levels. Yet because Mashaba wants to use SAMWU as an excuse for his politically motivated decisions.

Despite the fact that the DA always portrays themselves as champions of the constitution, they have disregarded the rulings of both the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court by not recognizing the union and its leadership and further not paying over union subscription fees to the union. What the City of Johannesburg is doing goes against the Collective Agreement and is criminal. The fact that they deduct money from workers and not pay it over to the intended recipient is fraudulent and confirms that the employer wants to collapse the union within the City.

Mashaba further alleges that SALGA has not intervened in SAMWU affairs hence the move away from the body. If the courts have ruled that the City has not locus standi in this matter why would SALGA as an employer representative seek to interfere when there is a standing court judgment that the employer cannot interfere in issues of organized labour?

We are however not surprised by this move by the City of Johannesburg in particular the DA. The decision to move from SALGA is a deliberate move by the DA to collapse Municipal Workers’ collective bargaining power at all costs. This is a deliberate attack and provocation of workers who would not keep quiet or fold their arms when their rights are trampled on by a non carrying political party.

We know for a fact that the reasoning behind this is further fuelled by the fact that the DA is an anti-worker political party which believes that the country’s labour laws are tilted towards workers.

We further know that the DA intends on having municipalities which they govern to negotiate individually for salary and wages outside the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC). This would be detrimental to workers who have fought hard to ensure that there is uniformity in the local government sector. This has the potential of creating instability in the sector by dividing workers.

We know the DA to be a party that is anti-workers and pro-capital. We believe that this plan also seek to allow them to retrench workers in municipalities which they govern and also fire workers as and when they want to. This is also a plan to reverse transformation in the sector, after all the DA remains an enemy of the working class and transformation.

We are not surprised that this offensive against collective bargaining is led by Herman Mashaba who during his time at the Free Market Foundation tried on so many occasions to collapse collective bargaining in the country. Workers will not stand and fold their arms when capitalists are attacking them directly and wanting to reverse the gains that have been made in the country.

Herman Mashaba should be honest about the decision to leave SALGA, he should tell workers of the City that we wants to evaporate their collective bargaining power. He should tell workers that his party has affirmed its anti-worker and pro-capital posture.

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

Simon Mathe
General Secretary
079 887 8389


Papikie Mohale
National Media Officer
073 710 0356