The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is worried about the slow pace in the prosecution of the Northern Cape legislature on the two cases opened by the national union in 6th October 2017.
The cases relate to fraud, corruption, defeating the ends of justice and wasteful expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act [PFMA] and Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act [FAMPLA] by the legislature. The cases were then taken over by the Kimberley branch of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation who conducted investigation into the allegation made by NEHAWU. In January 2019 the DPCI submitted its findings and recommendations to the National Prosecution Authority [NPA] to make a decision to whether to continue to prosecute or not. So far there has been no response by the NPA on what course of action they are going to take.
The national union has written to the National Director of Public Prosecutions [NDPP] at the National Prosecuting Authority to enquire about the progress on the matter which has been protracted in an interminable manner. As NEHAWU, we would like to see the wheels of justice move with speed so as to ensure that those alleged to have broken the law face the full might of the law.
Yesterday morning workers picketed at the entrance of the legislature because of the deplorable state of the building and its non-compliance with Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] standards. NEHAWU is in the process of opening an enquiry with the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations in relation to the renovations done at the Legislature building. All the structural defects that were identified by the employer were never attended to.
The only thing that was renovated at the cost of about R30million is the painting of the walls, destruction of toilets that were in good working order and insertion of new smaller ones and the refurbishment of the kitchen. The legislature building in Galeshewe is in a worst state than it was before the renovations, air-conditioners are not working, and there is no basins in some of the toilets.
It is for the first time in the history of the new democratic South Africa that putting in new tiles and 15 new toilet ports would cost government R30 million. The legislature rented two building for an amount of more than R700, 000 a month just to accommodate these renovations. In a meeting held between NEHAWU and Management in February 2019, the secretary to the legislature confirmed that there might have been some fraudulent activities from the part of the contractor and KDM quantity surveyors who claimed for electrical work yet there was no electrical work done.
In a meeting held on 19 March 2019 with employer, Mr Moopelwa as the accounting officer was requested to go and open an inquiry with the HAWKS in order for them to investigate the actions of Prominent Emzansi Projects CC. To our disappointment, the secretary to the legislature said the contract they have with Prominent Emzansi Projects CC prohibits them from reporting such to law enforcement agencies and certain processes and steps must be followed before the matter can be reported.
What concerns NEHAWU is the failure of Management to take responsibility that for the past five months, the lives of employees have been compromised, every week workers are booked off sick because of the hazardous environment in the legislature. It is clear now that workers of the Legislature are nothing but like cattle who can be dumped from one kraal to the other without any considerations for their health and safety
We call on the employer to find alternative accommodation whilst they are still busy fixing the building. The employer has been given until Wednesday, 27 March 2019 to respond to the demands of the workers failing which workers will continue to report at the gate because it’s the safest place in the building.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za