Parliament strike turns ugly as police fire stun grenades and tear gas


Heavily armed riot police have continued monitoring proceedings outside Parliament where an estimated 200 workers from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) are protesting against a number of factors relating to salaries.

A short while ago, police fired stun grenades and tear gas after protestors, who began striking on Monday, failed to vacate the premises as members from of National Assembly began arriving. According to reports, a number of MP’s were seen talking to police as workers continued singing the national anthem and yelling “You can’t move us! We work here!”

Speaking in a statement, Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen accused the African Nation Congress (ANC) of failing to take the necessary action to stop the protests, which resulted in the cancellation of activities yesterday after striking members prevented anyone from entering Parliament.

“During student protests last month, ANC Chief Whip (Stone Sizani) condemned the students’ actions. However, Nehawu, an ANC-aligned union has been able to run riot on the parliamentary precinct for the past three days,” Steenhusien said.

“While we respect the rights of these workers to strike, Nehawu’s actions violate a previous dispute agreement they signed with Parliament and could represent a breach of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament”.

In a statement issued yesterday, Sizani’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the ruling party remains concerned about the strike, and that would continue working with the union to resolve the matter.

“We share the view of all chief whips of political parties that parliament management must be given space to engage meaningfully with the representatives of staff to speedily resolve the issues in dispute. We remain confident in the capability of the two parties reach a consensus,” he said.


IMAGE sourced from DA MP David Maynier on twitter