The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) in the North West Province has learned with shock the unjustified attack and ambush of its members and workers at the Social Development Provincial Offices in Mafikeng yesterday.
The attack was carried out by a group masquerading as members of the South Africa National Civic Organisation (SANCO) who are fighting the irregular appointment of the Head of Department.
As NEHAWU in the province, we condemn this attack on both workers and state assets regardless whether their concerns are valid or not. Our gripe is that the group could have handled the matter much better without putting the lives of our members and workers at risk. Moreover, we strongly condemn the management for their failure to provide security for workers at the workplace. The employer is legally obliged to provide safety for workers at the workplace and yesterday the employer and the security company responsible for safety at the department failed to protect our members.
Therefore, NEHAWU members at the provincial office of the department are advised to stay at home pending management guaranteeing the strengthening of safety measures at the workplace and that NEHAWU members who have been manhandled and harassed get the necessary support and a case is opened to get justice in this regard. Our members will not return to work until their safety is guaranteed by the employer.
Lastly, the bone of contention that has resulted in these ugly scenes is the alleged irregular appointment of the Head of Department. NEHAWU notes the circulating information and will conduct its own investigations through legally applicable channels and will soon pronounce its position on the matter and our members can rest assured that indeed the matter is receiving the necessary attention.
We have warned in the past about shabby processes especially where unions are not party to. This particular controversial outcome is one example where unions were excluded and hence the crisis. As NEHAWU, we are not in any position to accept such nonsensical behaviour in our province. A press conference will be convened tomorrow afternoon to state our view in public on the subject matter. Thus, we call for calmness amongst our members and all workers at Provident House.
Issued by NEHAWU North West Secretariat Office