SAMWU Devastated by the Killing of its Deputy Provincial Secretary

31 January 2019

The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is devastated after receiving news that the Limpopo Deputy Provincial Secretary, Comrade Roland Mani has been shot and killed in Thohoyandou on Wednesday, 29th January 2019.

Comrade Mani led the union in various capacities at local and regional levels until his election as the Limpopo Deputy Provincial Secretary in 2016. Comrade Mani was killed in cold blood just hours after attending a general meeting at his workplace, the Vhembe District Municipality.

His shooting comes just days after yet another attempted assassination of Timson Tshililo (TT), also an employee of the Vhembe District Municipality and former SAMWU Limpopo Chairperson. TT is currently recovering in hospital.

We are definitely convinced that the two shootings are related as both victims are employees of the Vhembe District Municipality and have been in the forefront of protests which led to the removal of Mayors who illegally invested money with the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.

These shootings also happen just as the union was preparing to intensify its campaign for more accountability and removal of more people who were responsible for these illegal investments which costs municipalities almost R1. 5 Billion.

Seemingly VBS looters have unleashed their guns against unionists who have taken a firm stance against the illegal raiding of municipal coffers. This now becomes the fourth VBS related shooting with the first targeted at SAMWU Limpopo Provincial Secretary Patrick Aphane while the first casualty being Councillor Maupa from Tubatse Local Municipality late last year.

We commend the Limpopo Provincial Commissioner for having speedily assembled a task team which will be led by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner investigate the killing of Comrade Mani. Municipal Workers are seeking swift arrests of these criminals who are hellbent on silencing workers who have had enough of corruption.

No amount of violence will deter the union from exposing corruption at municipal level, corruption which had severely affected service delivery.

SAMWU lowers its banner in honour of Comrade Mani who has served municipal workers with dedication and diligence. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Mani family during this difficult time. We further wish Comrade TT speedy recovery.

Details of the funeral and memorial service will be communicated in due course.

Issued by SAMWU Head Office
Simon Mathe
General Secretary
079 887 8389
Papikie Mohale
National Media Officer
073 710 0356