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COSATU strike: Protesters to gather in Port Elizabeth, East London, Mthatha and Queenstown

Sep 26, 2017
COSATU strike: Protesters to gather in Port Elizabeth, East London, Mthatha and Queenstown

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Eastern Cape said it is ready for the nationwide strike called on by the federation on Wednesday.

COSATU and its affiliates said they will embark on the national strike over job losses, State Capture and corruption.

"In all the centres, workers will gather from 08h00 and memos will be handed out at 13h00," said Xolani Malamlela, COSATU Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary.

Malamela said that COSATU Eastern Cape in the Eastern Cape will be having marches in four centres, which are the following:

1. Port Elizabeth – gathering at Nangoza Jebe hall and proceed to Vuyisile Mini square to hand over the memorandum of demands.
2. Queenstown – gathering at Indoor Sports Centre and proceed to Department of Labour.
3. Mthatha- gathering at Freedom Square and proceed to Department of Labour.
4. East London – gathering at North End Stadium and proceed to Buffalo City Hall to hand over memorandum to both Police and Government representatives.

"Our demands will include the following - calling for an immediate end to State Capture by big business, immediate end to all forms of corruption, creation of decent jobs by all sectors of the economy, an end to retrenchments and the banning of Labour Brokers," Malamela described.

The strike has been endorsed by COSATU affiliates, who include the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) as well as the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA.

In a statement, COSATU said that decision to strike was submitted to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on the 17th of July.

"What prompted this action were the revelations by the Public Protector that the current South African Administration has been captured and that there is a network of the predatory elite that is engaged in looting of state resources and corrupt activities," described COSATU National Spokespeson, Sizwe Pamla.

"In order to promote and defend the interests of workers, the working class and the poor, this perilous situation must be addressed forthwith by mobilising against this predatory elite and pushing for processes that will ultimately dismantle their network."

Pamla said that COSATU will be making a series of demands during this upcoming strike and central to that will be implementation of the Public Protector's recommendation regarding a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

"We shall be using the strike to push the President of the Republic of South Africa Cde Jacob Zuma to establish the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

"The federation shall be demanding that the state and all its institutions must refuse to deal with the predatory elite and in particular cancel all commercial dealings with the Gupta family," he added.

"There must be a process to identify all those involved in state capture and they also need to be similarly blacklisted. The Asset Forfeiture Unit must seize the assets of the Guptas if the probe proves that they were not legitimately secured.

"The state must terminate all the so-called 'commercial relations' with the predatory elite's network and the monies spent in these deals must be recovered."

Pamla also said that COSATU wants all contracts, which have been entered into with the Guptas, including mining licences, tenders, subsidies or other exercise of public power such as citizenships should be urgently reviewed by the Auditor General for irregularities, in order to develop a financial claim for monies corruptly secured.

"The monies to be recovered must be re-directed to implement projects addressing the plight of workers, the working class and the poor.

"We also demand an investigation of the recent spate of Gupta related emails and all those implicated in them have to be suspended," he added.

"Government Ministers, who are implicated in alleged state capture activities must be urgently investigated and if no proper public explanation for their actions is acceptable they must be charged."