ANC to hold placard demonstration

ANC to hold placard demonstration

3 July 2000

ANC to hold placard demonstration to protest canings of workers by management of Swartland Boudienste, Moorreesburg, on Tuesday 4 July at 16h00, outside the factory in Union Street.

Members of the ANC and alliance partners from Moorreesburg will be joined by the ANC provincial and regional leadership at a placard demonstration tomorrow afternoon in Moorreesburg.

It is alleged that workers at Swartland Boudienste have been forced to make a choice between being caned or being dismissed by management. Some were caned for not going to work on Workers Day.

ANC MPL Marius Fransman and local ANC councillor Marthinus Boois have engaged the director of Swartland Building Services, Mr Jurgens Hanekom, about the practice and were told that "warnings do not help".

The Provincial Legislature of the Western Cape also received notice of a motion on Friday 23 June moved by Fransman condemning the canings. The resolution also committed all members of the legislature to join the protest against the caning. There is no indication whether MPL`s of the NNP and DP will join the protest.

Two of the workers, Mr Aubrey Morris and Mr Bertie Isaacs subsequently laid charges of assault against Mr Johnny Meyer, the factory manager. Both workers have said that they have been asked by management to withdraw the charges or face dismissal. No arrests have yet been made by the local SAPS.

Mr Fransman said: "We as the ANC will never rest until such brutal, racist practices come to an end.

We battled to pass labour legislation such as the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act, despite opposition from the NNP and DP in the National Assembly. Yet, a number of employers, both in towns and on the farms, simply disregard the law.

"In this case the employers appear to use corporal punishment as the cornerstone of their labour relations policy. We often find that the SAPS in certain areas is reluctant to take firm action against employers who act illegally.

"While this is happening the silence of the coalition and the democratic alliance is deafening. Where is their supposed commitment to the rule of law and human rights now? The DA is simply a laager for those racists who refuse to accept transformation - that is why they are silent - they do not want to alienate the apartheid relics who they seek to recruit.

"Our protest will call for the arrest and charging of those responsible for the canings and an end to the intimidation of workers at Swartland Boudienste. We will repeat our call for an investigation by the MEC for Safety and Security, the Minister of Labour and the Human Rights Commission."

For more information on the protest contact ANC branch chairperson and local councillor Marthinus Boois: 083-725-3556, or ANC MPL deployed to the constituency Marius Fransman: 083-693-2790.

Issued by African National Congress Western Cape

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Cameron Dugmore, Head of Dept: 082-894-7553,
or Gert Witbooi, Provincial Media Officer: 082-570-9118.