NUMSA Statement on Samwu killing!

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is shocked and angry at the murder of a Pikitup worker belonging to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), and the serious wounding of another, after security guards allegedly opened fire on union members outside the Samwu Head Office in Johannesburg.
It is outrageous that Samwu leaders are employing private security staff to brutally attack their own members in such a barbaric fashion. While welcoming the police’s arrest of a number of people after the shooting, Numsa demands that not only the shooters but the officials under whose orders they were responsible be brought to justice for these crimes.
Samwu’s deputy provincial secretary, Nonceba Mbilini, told Independent Media that members had convened at the union headquarters to get feedback about the state of the organisation and what progress the union had made since calling off a month-long unprotected strike in April.
“Samwu members wanted to go inside the building,” she said, “to attend the meeting which had been requested even from the City. But instead, the bouncers physically stopped and harassed them. The bouncers ended up pulling out their guns and shooting randomly into the crowd. A shop steward from the Roodepoort depot was shot and died on the scene while another Pikitup employee was wounded and taken to hospital.”
Numsa agrees totally with her that “Our members are paying the salaries of these people yet they refuse to be accountable to them about how their contributions are spent. This [security] company was paid R700 000 in May just to protect Pule Molalenyane and other officials.”
This outrage follows a long battle for control of Samwu. Its regional deputy secretary Paul Tlhabang reiterated Mbilini’s sentiments and, according to Independent Media, also accused “certain individuals” of having hijacked the union for nefarious reasons… Samwu had been operating under a cloud of fear since its national office bearers were “holding the union to ransom” after they were removed from office for allegedly stealing more than R140 million from Samwu.
Deputy General Secretary Moses Miya, a legal officer, Surprise Mnisi and Zukiswa Ntsiko, a finance administrator are out on bail and facing charges of fraud and theft. Earlier this year, Samwu expelled its president, Pule Molalenyane, first deputy president, John Dlamini and its national treasurer, Portia Lindi, following a decision taken during its central executive committee meeting in March. But all of them have stuck to their positions.
Two new breakaway unions, Demawusa and Matusa, have been formed, are recruiting members of Samwu and have joined the campaign for a new union federation. Numsa urges them to unite and launch a massive drive to recruit thousands more who will have been appalled by this latest crime against the membership.
Finally Numsa sends its condolences to the family and fellow workers of the murdered worker and best wishes to the injured for a full and speedy recovery.
Patrick Craven, Acting Numsa Spokesperson
083 376 7725