International Weekly Monitor 18 March 2022


  1. WFTU Supports The Clarion Call By Num Demanding The Resignation Of Sibanye Stillwater Ceo Neal Froneman
  2. National Commissioner reveals State secrets, confirms police officers killed civilians
  3. Israel accused of implementing ‘one of the most racist laws in the world’ as Palestinians file case in Supreme Court
  4. China’s Spox: US Typical Big Country Bullying Small Countries
  5. Cuba Ahead of Human Rights Protection Despite US Blockade
  6. Russia To Adopt Measures to Counteract Western Sanctions
  7. WFTU Trade Union International Public Service & Allied (TUI-PS&A) Statement In Support Of Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU) In Their Protest In Their Protest for Better Wages
  8. NRZ Fires Workers
  9. Unions urge education secretary to extend free COVID testing
  10. Fixing broken social care system would be best tribute to staff, says UNISON
  11. STRUGGLE FOR EDUCATION: Children cross crocodile infested Mlumati river, to face armed police when seeking scholarships

WFTU Supports The Clarion Call By Num Demanding The Resignation Of Sibanye Stillwater Ceo Neal Froneman

16 Mar 2022

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) has been observing very closely the protracted negotiations between Sibanye Stillwater with organized trade unions with the company ironically practising what their predecessor ‘Goldfields’ would normally do to frustrate the workers. We want to categorically state that as WFTU we fully support the clarion call by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)’s demand to have the CEO removed with immediate effect.

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) was established in Paris on 3 October 1945. The First World Trade Union Congress (Paris, 3-8 October 1945) which voted to establish the WFTU was attended by delegates representing 67 million workers from 56 national organizations from 55 countries and 20 international organizations.

This is unbecoming for a company such as Sibanye Stillwater in the context of the current dispensation wherein, they sought to sow division by driving a wedge between organized labour exerting racial connotations.

“We thus without any bigotry condemn with the strongest terms it deserves the systematic tendency of Sibanye Stillwater to viciously place productive operations under care and maintenance purely to slow down the productivity of those mines and ultimately cripple the economy of the country,” Maja Mphahlele, WAFTU Africa Regional Coordinator.

We want to urge Sibanye Stillwater to respect the bargaining rules inter alia by reconvening the negotiations with the aim of finding an amicable solution. We do not want to sound like we are playing a man, not a ball. The behavior of the Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman raises more questions than answers to the disparaging operation of the mines,” Mphahlele added.

Accordingly, we will keep an eye to the paradigm shift, hopefully stemming from our remarkable experience of dealing with conflict resolutions and failure to accede to this noble request will leave us with no other alternative but to galvanize progressive forces to hold the company accountable.

To this end, we will make sure that our war room is fully charged and geared to take any instructions from our ranks and files in pursuit of salvaging the daunting situation which is about to befall should the company continue to play hide and seek.



National Commissioner reveals State secrets, confirms police officers killed civilians

Monday, 14th March, 2022

By Zweli Martin Dlamini

MBABANE: William Dlamini, the National Commissioner of Police has confirmed that police officers killed civilians during the political unrest and that officers haunted by ‘evil spirits’ were receiving counseling.

Dlamini revealed this when being investigated by a Swazi citizen with investigation skills who made a call to the National Commissioner and probed him on a number of national issues.

In an electronic recording shared by the citizen to this Swaziland News, the citizen made a call to the National Commissioner and sounded concerned that his relative who allegedly killed civilians wanted to resign from the Police Service after being haunted by ‘evil spirits’, it was during that conversation where the National Commissioner confirmed that civilians were killed by the police.

“Umzala wami wakaMotsa uliphoyisa lapha eMalkerns(meaning: My cousin is a police officer based at Malkerns) and he wants to resign, he says he is being haunted by evil spirits after killing civilians”, said the citizen when systematically probing the National Commissioner.

When responding, the National Commissioner promised to arrange Counsellors for the police officer adding that the police officer must be strong and never give-up, in the process, Dlamini confirmed that civilians were killed.

“Uyafuna lokuthantazelwa, kuyenteka kulesimo leso, ngitawutfumela lekuye sebambone, kuyabadzinga labathantazi, lapho-ke kushiyana ngemuntfu. Lomunye vele Nkhosiyami, ngoba phela lapha bekute inhloso, bekusemsebentini, utsi uyetfusa wena kani sekubheka kubantfu.(meaning: He must get prayer, some officers are affected by this and we can get people who can pray for him. It’s not like there was an intention to kill, the officers were on duty and trying to scare the people and some were killed”, said the National Commissioner.

The audio was shared to the National Commissioner including questions, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

When sharing the audio to this publication, the citizen said he doesn’t have a relative in the police service who wanted to resign but he was just investigating the National Commissioner about the killing of civilians and other national issues.

“It was an investigation and I managed to get the information I wanted from the National Commissioner”, he said.

In the recording, the National Commissioner also revealed that Indlovukazi was recovering in hospital yet before being exposed by this publication, the sickness of the Queen was kept a top secret by the royal family.

Reached for comments, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) said the audio by the National Commissioner where he was probed by a citizen confirmed that soldiers and the police were commanded to kill unarmed innocent civilians.

“The truth has a way of coming out and this confirms the fact that police and soldiers were commanded to kill unarmed innocent civilians”, said the PUDEMO Secretary General.


Israel accused of implementing ‘one of the most racist laws in the world’ as Palestinians file case in Supreme Court

ISRAEL was accused of implementing one of the “most racist and discriminatory laws in the world” today as a leading Palestinian rights group filed a petition to the Supreme Court.

Adalah — the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel — is demanding the repeal of legislation that effectively bars citizens and residents of Israel from marrying Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and then living in Israel.

The law also extends to the so-called “enemy states” of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

Adalah says it “overwhelmingly affects the citizenship status and family life of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.”

The Citizenship & Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 2022 was adopted by the Israeli Knesset last week and incorporates provisions from an earlier temporary order, initially enacted in 2003 for a period of a year but extended 21 times.

It blocks families from being reunited in Israel, with quota limits set on the number of entry permits that can be issued by the interior minister on humanitarian grounds. Those from the so-called enemy states are deemed a security threat.

Section one of the legislation describes Israel as “a Jewish and democratic state.”

Adalah lawyers argued that the new law “constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy over Palestinians and has distinct characteristics of apartheid.

“The [law] is not only the most racist law in the Israeli law books, but there is no country in the world that harms the status of citizenship or residency of its own citizens or residents, the core of which is family life, based on ethnic or national affiliation,” they said.

“There is no country in the world that restricts the right of its citizens or residents to family life with spouses from their own people.

“Even the Supreme Court in South Africa in 1980, during apartheid, in a precedent-setting judgement, struck down a similar law which prohibited the unification of black families in areas where whites lived, arguing, among other things, that apartheid was never intended to harm family life,” Adalah’s lawyers said.

“For the first time, the law explicitly states that the ban on Palestinian family unification is intended to serve the Jewish character of the state. The legislators themselves stated that they saw fit to do so, given the 2018 Jewish Nation-State Law.”

The Supreme Court refused to grant an immediate injunction but ordered the state to respond by May 15.


China’s Spox: US Typical Big Country Bullying Small Countries

16 March 2022

What the U.S. has done to Cuba, Panama and other small countries around the world is nothing but bullying, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday in reference to U.S. criticism of big countries bullying small ones.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made these remarks in light of the U.S. State Department spokesperson's statement expressing that the fundamental principle that large countries cannot bully small ones has been violated in the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The spokesperson remarked that the U.S. has been intimidating small countries worldwide, such as Cuba, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria over the years.

Regarding the Russia-Ukraine issue, Zhao noted that the only correct option to end the ongoing crisis is to achieve a ceasefire, coupled with a serious commitment to dialogue and negotiations for peace.

An order based on unilaterally defined rules according to one's own norms, or the coercion of the parties involved in the conflict to take sides are not a solution to peacefully end such a crisis, the spokesman also stated.

In this regard, Zhao said, "The world needs peace, not war; it calls for justice, not hegemony; it aspires to cooperation, not confrontation. This is what the vast majority of the world's countries expect".

The diplomat highlighted the importance of playing by the rules while respecting the international system with the United Nations at its core. He stressed that basic rules govern relations between nations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, so countries around the world must act in accordance with it.

Zhao concluded by saying that the United States should support peace and justice, as most countries in the world do, to ease the current tension in Ukraine.


Cuba Ahead of Human Rights Protection Despite US Blockade

16 March 2022

Juan Antonio Quintanilla, Cuban Ambassador at the United Nations-Geneva, recognized Wednesday at the Human Rights Council the achievements Cuba has made in this matter despite the U.S. blockade imposed on the island for more than half a century.

The official argued at the 49th session of the Human Rights Council that Cuba has been able to keep in the forefront of human rights' protection regardless of the unfair policy of the U.S. and the political-media campaigns promoted from abroad against Cuba.

Quintanilla highlighted the great work Cuba has done in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that the country is the first in the world to get its entire population between 2 and 18 years immunized against the virus with homegrown vaccines.

The Cuban ambassador alerted to the need to get down to business in connection with the promotion and protection of human rights. He pointed out that this is a matter to defend with deeds, not words. In this respect, he warned that alleged promoters of individual liberties are the same who impose criminal economic wars.

Referring to the U.S. blockade, which constitutes the longest in history imposed on any nation, Quintanilla denounced that Washington has taken advantage of the difficult situation the world is currently experiencing with the global pandemic of COVID-19 to intensify such criminal policy. He emphasized that the U.S. government blatantly ignores the international community's demand to end this unsuccessful policy.

Permanent Representative of Cuba in UN Geneva, Juan Antonio Quintanilla, denounced the impact of the U.S. blockade against the island during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

The diplomat spotlighted at the Council that it is necessary for countries worldwide to work harder on the promotion and protection of human rights considering the disastrous effect of the unjust international order imposed on the world, which has brought about an international panorama full of inequalities, he added.

In the same vein, Quintanilla argued in favor of solidarity without exclusions, stating that it is of paramount importance to stop using the human rights issue as a political weapon. He called for the end of coercive measures, threats, manipulation and unilateral certification lists.

"The realization of all human rights for all will only be possible with genuine efforts, dialogue and cooperation," the Cuban ambassador said. He also warned about the crisis of legitimacy and credibility that the human rights system is suffering in the current international situation and urged the need to prevent this from becoming an insurmountable crisis.


Russia To Adopt Measures to Counteract Western Sanctions

17 March 2022

Following the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, the US, the EU, the UK, Japan and many other allies stepped up the economic sanctions on Moscow with the aim of suffocating the country, thus forcing Kremlin authorities to put an end to the current bilateral conflict.

Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has announced on Wednesday that his country is preparing a package of more than 100 measures to counteract the effects of the economic sanctions imposed by the West.

In statements to the press, the official detailed that in order to put the initiatives into force, a financing close to one trillion rubles (about nine billion dollars) is foreseen.

“On the instructions of President Vladimir Putin, a whole series of measures have been drawn up, many of them included in the draft plan of priority actions. It is a very flexible document, which will be constantly updated and implemented in stages, depending on the situation,” Mishustin said.

He also said that the small and medium-sized enterprises in the Eurasian nation are included to receive support within the priority action plan.

According to Mishustin, Moscow also plans to propose to its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union, made up of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, the possibility of raising the maximum limit for duty-free imports of goods within the framework of e-commerce.

Following the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, and many other allies stepped up the economic sanctions on Moscow with the aim of suffocating the country and thereby forcing Kremlin authorities to put an end to the current bilateral conflict.


WFTU Trade Union International Public Service & Allied (TUI-PS&A) Statement In Support Of Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU) In Their Protest In Their Protest for Better Wages

WFTU Trade Union International Public Service & Allied (TUI-PS&A) Statement In Support Of Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU) In Their Protest In Their Protest for Better Wages

Thursday March 17, 2022

The World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU] Trade Union International Public Services and Allied [TUI PS & A] representing more than 30 million members in the public service, take this opportunity to pledge its unwavering solidarity and support to thousands of Public Service Workers represented by Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU) in their demand for better wages.

Workers are protesting against the refusal by government to honour its promise regarding the increase of public service workers salaries. Indeed, the public service workers like other workers have rights to decent salaries.

We condemn in the strongest terms the harassment of workers by government during their peaceful protest. Workers cannot be denied their universal rights to among others, rights to strike and collective bargaining. We further condemn the neo-liberal policies of the Pakistan government which are outdated and belongs to the dust bin.

The public service workers have been in the frontline fighting this devastating pandemic - COVID-19 for the past two years in most instances working without adequate PPEs.

We fully support the struggles waged by workers in Pakistan’s public service. In this regard, the TUI-PS&A is therefore demanding that the government of Pakistan to listen and respond to demands of workers by honouring the agreements reached with workers during the negotiations.

We call upon all our members around the World, Asia Pacific Region in particular to pledge solidarity with public service workers in Pakistan to ensure that the government responds positively to their demands.


Issued by Zola Saphetha: General Secretary (WFTU-TUI-PS&A)

Media Enquiries: Clever Banganayi (Information & Publicity) 0721426625


NRZ Fires Workers

10 March 2022

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has retrenched 20 workers citing a sharp increase in operational costs.

Employees at the parastatal allege that executives from the five workers’ unions were targeted to be part of the 20 employees who were retrenched last week.

Fears remain that more will lose their jobs as the NRZ streamlines its operations.

The workers are demanding a salary hike of more than 200% and that half of the salaries be paid in hard currency.

The highest paid artisan is reportedly earning below the equivalent of US$200.

A crunch meeting held between management and workers unions over the retrenchments ended in a deadlock as the two parties failed to reach an agreement.

NRZ general manager Respina Zinyanduko declined to comment on the issue.

“This is not a personal matter, it’s about the company and you have to speak to the public relations manager,” she said.

Unionists, who spoke to this publication, said they were being targeted for their push for improved working conditions.

However, senior management officials at NRZ dismissed the claims as baseless.

“The affected employees belonged to what is called the general managers pool which was created for employees that have nothing to do after the restructuring exercise which we just completed. Where is the victimisation here? These are people who have already been made redundant and as a management team we can’t justify paying people who have been idle,” he said.

“One locomotive will never be profitable if it is maintained by 300 artisans. Never,” a manager, who requested anonymity, said.

“At this rate, we were paying people who are not productive and eventually we would fail to pay those who are productive and the obvious would happen.

“People will leave the company or become unproductive. We need to be able to pay productive people and move on,” another manager with the State entity said.

Acting public relations manager Martin Banda said the laying off of the 20 workers was as a result of rising costs and not victimisation.

“Seeking better working conditions cannot be an excuse for victimising and retrenching people. It is a well-known fact that our economy is not doing well and as such everyone has a right to air their grievances at appointed platforms and collective bargain takes its course,” Banda said.

“We are retrenching at present 20 employees who are considered as excess staff and currently sitting in the general manager’s pool. This is unfortunate in that initially we had pledged that we were not going to retrench anyone except through natural attrition but due to major changes happening on the market including a rise in operational costs of business such as fuel and foreign currency availability which has been constrained. We, therefore, could not continue to have people on the payroll who are redundant.”

Banda said the NRZ board resolved to retrench the workers in its last meeting of February 25.


Unions urge education secretary to extend free COVID testing

No 10’s Living with COVID plan ‘is likely to result in further illness and disruption to face-to-face education’

17 March 2022

Education unions, including UNISON, have urged education secretary Nadhim Zahawi to extend the availability of free COVID-19 tests in England, beyond the end of March.

In a letter to Mr Zahawi this week, the unions insist that this is “especially important” for those attending and working in schools.

Under the government’s Living with COVID plan, most people in England will no longer receive free PCR or lateral flow tests after 1 April.

But with cases still high – and rising – and hospital admissions rising across all age groups, the unions believe the move could have “harmful consequences for the most vulnerable in society.”

They add that removing the facility for asymptomatic testing for staff and pupils, “is likely to result in further illness and disruption to face-to-face education.

“Further, it will mean staff and pupils absent with COVID will not be able to determine when they are no longer infectious. This could lead to unnecessary prolonged absence from school.”

The unions also note an Office for National Statistics report on 3 March, which identifies education as one of the sectors with the greatest proportion of people with long COVID, along with health and social care.

“This represents another reason to ensure the risk of transmission is reduced as much as possible,” they write. “Beyond the individual impact, the health of a workforce still with significant recruitment and retention difficulties has a direct effect on pupils’ education.”


Fixing broken social care system would be best tribute to staff, says UNISON

17 March 2022

Christina McAnea says day of remembrance must be catalyst for positive change

Commenting on Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection taking place today (Thursday) in tribute to the work of social care staff during the pandemic and those who lost their lives to Covid, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Care workers put their lives on the line to protect and look after people, often without essential protective equipment.

“It’s important everyone remembers and pays their respects. But the best tribute to those who died would be to fix the broken social care system.

“Most care staff are still paid less than the real living wage, frequently do extra shifts because of chronic staffing shortages and get no sick pay.

“This memorial day should be a catalyst for changing social care into a high-quality service. Care should be provided by well-supported workers who’re paid fairly and treated like human beings, not numbers on a spreadsheet.”


STRUGGLE FOR EDUCATION: Children cross crocodile infested Mlumati river, to face armed police when seeking scholarships

Thursday, 17th March, 2022


MLUMATI: From primary school to the institutions of higher learning, life is literally a struggle for children in eSwatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa.

An independent investigation conducted by this Swaziland News uncovered that poverty, climate change, and the non-availability of basic infrastructure including bridges undermine the right to education for many eSwatini children particularly in the rural areas.

Swazis residing at Lufafa community, a rural area situated in the Northern parts of eSwatini are among the about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, their children are forced to cross the crocodile infested Mlumati River to school.

Speaking to this Swaziland News, Ntombemhlophe Dlamini, the Chairperson of the School Committee at Lufafa Primary School confirmed that their children were forced to cross the dangerous crocodile infested river bare footed at seven (7) different points to access various schools that include Lufafa Primary and Sobokazane High School to name a few.

“The situation is very bad, the children are forced to cross the river and risk being attacked by crocodiles,they sometimes lose school books and shoes that get washed away when the river is flooding. Some children get injured due to slippery rocks and during heavy floods, they are forced to stay at home for about a week", she said.

Eswatini is ruled by King Mswati as an absolute Monarch, he is counted among the richest Monarchies in the world in a country where a majority of the citizens survive with less that one United States(US) Dollar($1.00) per day.

Reached for comments, Colani Maseko, the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students(SNUS) described the picture revealing the struggle of the children at Lufafa as very disturbing adding that the children were exposed to serious danger.

“When you look at these pictures, there are possibilities that many children get injured or attacked by crocodiles while crossing that river. Sometimes we are accused of using children in the struggle for our own political agendas, no one is using children, it’s the poverty situation that forces them to protest. The life of a child in this country is a struggle from primary school to the University and even after graduating, they will struggle again to secure jobs”, said the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students(SNUS).

Reached for comments, Bheki Gama, the Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education confirmed that the poverty situation was terrible in the Northern parts of eSwatini.

“As a Ministry we are trying to assist, together with our partners where the situation is dire. I should hasten to admit that we are not able to assist all communities at the same time. But we are not resting because we are aware that the situation cannot be left as is,”said the Education PS.

Recently, Government, through Micro-projects constructed a bridge at Zondwako that enables residents to cross the Great Usuthu river.

Before this publication exposed their plight, they were using a cable to cross the river.

Speaking to this publication, Sikelela Dlamini,the Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said such situations remained a hindrance against the attainment of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), particularly goal number four (4) on Quality and Inclusive Education and Life adding that children exposed to such conditions were likely to drop out of school.

"As an organisation we call upon the Government to prioritise education in everyway possible. If the Government cannot be able to adequately provide the Nation with appropriate infrastructure such as roads and bridges, things which are of course basic, then it must step aside so that we can usher in a Government with the interests of the people,” said the SNAT Secretary General. Reference

Issued by NEHAWU International Service Centre
For more information, please contact Head Office

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