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NEHAWU statement on the vilifying of our member at Beitbridge Port of Entry
15 March 2018
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union [NEHAWU] in Limpopo Province has noted the social media frenzy around a video that has gone viral on social media which shows our female member allegedly fiddling with her cell phone while on duty.
We also note the excitement by Minister Malusi Gigaba who has also gone on twitter and announced his instruction via the social media platform for the Department to act swiftly against our member.
As NEHAWU, we reject the vilifying of our member in public instead of subjecting her to an internal disciplinary process if the Department believes that she has a transgression to answer to. NEHAWU further condemns the continuous trial of our member in a court of public opinion which has been joined by the minister on his twitter handle. His utterances are a vote of no confidence on the internal processes of his own department.
We must indicate that as a union we in a process of verifying facts around this incident. We must indicate that the union reserves its right to represent its member in formal processes as dictated by the Labour Relations Act. Our views is that our member must be afforded a right of being deemed innocent until proven guilty.
The national union believes that the department urgently needs to focus on the horrible working conditions that our members are subjected to. As NEHAWU, we have always been at the forefront of highlighting the horrible conditions our members work under and this includes huge workloads and long hours because the department refuses to fill funded vacant posts especially in the ports of entry. Moreover, the department refuses to pay overtime yet they expect workers to be encouraged to put in extra effort.
We hope that the same vigour displayed in vilifying our member will also be deployed when they have to ensure that our members are treated with dignity and that their bonuses are paid.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office
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