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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Northern Cape statement on the racist murder in Kathu

1 November 2017

The Congress of Trade Unions in the Northern Cape visited the families of the victims of s racist attack in Kathu on Wednesday, 25 October 2017. The purpose of the visit was to get first hand information on the account of the events of Friday, 13 October 2017 ;when a racist Harry Kotze deliberately bumped two young men with his bakkie after an altercation that was provoked by him.

It is alleged that the young men were walking past a house where there was a party, which Kotze was attending. He insulted the young men without any provocation and they retaliated and proceeded walking, after which he chased them with a bakkie. We were shocked and angered to learn that this man chased and drove over two of the four friends and went back to the party to brag to his friends that he has just killed two “kaffirs”.

We also met people who saw a lot of racist junk posted on his facebook page and reported it to the investigating officer. They told us that after the matter was reported to the investigating officer, the information on his facebook page was deleted, something which makes us suspicious that someone was advised to delete the information from his facebook page.

We want to commend the magistrate for the rational decision to remand this criminal behind bars ,until his next court appearance on 06 November 2017. It is also worth mentioning that not all White people are racist and there are those who are openly opposed to racism like the one, who made a statement to the police exposing the utterances of Harry Kotze.

It was also brought to our attention that Harry Kotze has a previous conviction for racism, which led him to have a criminal record. However ,we are struggling to make sense of why he was appointed at Kumba with a criminal record when Black people with criminal records are refused employment. We will engage NUM and the DMR to hold Kumba accountable for this appointment that makes them guilty of racism.

On Monday, 06 November 2017 ,we will picket at Kathu Magistrate Court making a clear call for Harry Kotze to be denied bail and handed the heaviest sentence for murder and attempted murder after his conviction. We will also call on Kumba management to dismiss this man summarily for we are of the firm view that he was not supposed to be employed there in any case.

We call on the people of Kathu, across racial lines, to join the picketing lines and communicate their opposition to racism as well as to call for the heaviest punishment for Harry Kotze’s racial crimes. Let us unite against the demon of racism and defeat it in our province and the country.

Issued on behalf of the PEC

For more information please contact the Provincial Secretary, Anele Gxoyiya @ 0828291961