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Click to visit the original postWestern Cape Democratic Alliance leader Ivan Meyer has opened an incitement case against Cosatu’s provincial secretary over a poster put up in the Cape metro.The matter was registered at the Barrack Street police station in central Cape Town on Thursday, Meyer said in a statement.The poster reads: “FEEL IT!!! Western Cape Marikana is here!!!”Meyer said a National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union logo was displayed on the poster above a picture of Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) provincial secretary…

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[Source: South Africa News]

Click to visit the original postWestern Cape Democratic Alliance leader Ivan Meyer has opened an incitement case against Cosatu’s provincial secretary over a poster put up in the Cape metro.The matter was registered at the Barrack Street police station in central Cape Town on Thursday, Meyer said in a statement.The poster reads: “FEEL IT!!! Western Cape Marikana is here!!!”FEEL IT!!! Western Cape Marikana is here!!!

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[Source: South Africa News]

The Western Cape Witzenberg municipality is investigating a senior traffic officer, Winsten Koeries Dusautoir, for allegedly posting calls on a social network for violence against farmers, The Star reported on Wednesday.

CensorBugbear.org, a self-described “uncensored news” website which claims that Afrikaners are victims of genocide, reposted the officer’s comments.

SEEDEATH THREATS against specific CERES farmers: Witzenberg WC traffic superintendent Winsten Koeries Dusautoir wants to take up AK47 against Boere

The alleged comments, in Afrikaans, were: “It looks like we must again pick up our AK-47s here in the fucking Western Cape. I am sick of farmers and the DA.

The comments continued: “The fucking farmers know who our leaders are, and now our leaders are being targeted,” adding the DA wants to make the Western Cape a province for “Boere“.

The municipality covers Bela Vista, Ceres, Tulbagh and Wolsely.

This comes amid tension in the Ceres fruit-growing area following a series of pay strikes.

Witzenberg municipal manager David Nasson and the SA Local Government Association were investigating a complaint against the officer. He had not been charged and was still on active service.

He could not be reached for comment.

Source – Municipality probing Facebook post

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[Source: South Africa News]

Tony Ehrenreich rejects DA allegations of intimidation by white woman MP.COSATU press conference to be held at COSATU offices today, 14 November 2012, at 16h00 @ 41 Salt River Road, Salt River, Cape Town.Present will be farm-workers organisations and the Minister of AgricultureAgricultural-MarikanaThe agreement between government and Labour suspends strike for 2 weeks, and workers will return to work tomorrow, Thursday 15 November 2012.This agreement is an intervention in the strike started by workers in the Agricultural sector, without any union leadership, as the majority of workers are not members of unions. Cosatu and the other unions have become involved in the strike, at the invitation of the strikers, to assist a resolution. The unions are trying to avoid a Marikana situation where workers act without guidance from unions, and resolutions are not found in negotiations.The agreement negotiated between Labour and Government has been accepted by the workers and the strike will be suspended for 2 weeks. The terms of the agreement are as follows:1. The Government agrees to initiate an urgent process to review the national minimum wage. This review will be done over the next 2 weeks with the parties involved in this agreement. Should the new minimum be acceptable to workers, then this part of the dispute will be settled. Should the new minimum not be acceptable, and then workers will continue their strike on the 4th December 2012.2. The other aspects of the agreement are that no disciplinary action or victimization will be taken against workers who participated in the strike. Any action that had been taken against workers for participating in the strike must be reversed immediately, e.g. evictions etc. The new minimum wage that will be applied in the interim is the R80 agreed to by Agri- SA in the meeting between Labour, government and Agri SA. The additional areas related to evictions will be addressed in the discussions. The Provision of Housing and basic services will be addressed by the Provincial Government and details will be finalised in the discussions.3. One of the mechanisms is to address the increase in minimum is the Employment Conditions Commission, which may be of assistance to arrive at a new minimum. Whatever technical impediments may exist here should not detract from the need to find an agreement within the 2 weeks allotted by the striking workers. This agreement should pursue a variety of options that bring the desired results in the time frames set down by workers.There have been many attempts to politicise the strike, by the political parties, claiming intimidation, and the fact that this is a political party campaign. There were stories of the DA MP who went to a farm where the workers told her they were intimidated. This MP was a white woman brought to the workers by the farmer who intimidates and assaults them at will, and she expects them to tell her, that they want to strike against the unfair employer.This…

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[Source: South Africa News]

The Western Cape labour conflict is being contested in more arenas than merely the farmlands. It’s descending into a war of words, too, with the DA laying a charge of incitement to violence against Cosatu Western Cape Secretary Tony Ehrenreich, after the distribution of Nehawu’s contentious poster.

The staff of Cape Town Central Police Station must know the drill by now. Politicians march in, trailed by journalists, and announce they wish to lay a charge of incitement to violence. It first happened last Wednesday, when ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile, provincial legislature chief whip Pierre Uys and Boland party chair Pat Marran trotted in to file lay a charge of incitement against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Zille, they said, had agitated the violence in the winelands through her behaviour on Twitter.

The police officer taking down the statement asked what proof they had. Mjongile produced a bundle of pages and said they contained a record of Zille’s tweets on the subject of the winelands protests. Among the tweets they singled out as problematic was her suggestion on 14 November that “Reports coming that a farmer has died after being assaulted in Wellington. Grave risk of retaliation. Zuma must bring in SADF.” Zille shortly afterwards tweeted casting doubt on whether this was true, and then again later the same day retracted the claim, but ANC Provincial Secretary Songezo Mjongile said the damage had been done. Mjongile alleged that farmers had mobilised on Facebook as a result of Zille’s claims, leading to the assault of farmworkers.

Zille called the charge against her a “publicity stunt”. But apparently a lot can change in a week, because the DA has now laid its own charges of incitement against Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich, on the basis of a pamphlet being circulated around Cape Town.

The DA must have had to do some thorough testing of the authenticity of the pamphlet, because during the current labour unrest they have already been caught out once leaping on a document which turned out to be false – the fake ANC flyer purporting to offer workers money for participating in protests. The ANC, you might recall, then claimed that the DA themselves had made it, in another bizarre round of their political ping-pong.

But this time round, it seems that the pamphlet is indeed legitimate – and it has nothing to do with farmworkers. It bears the logo of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and features a picture of Western Cape Cosatu leader Tony Ehrenreich raising his fist while addressing a crowd. “Cosatu speaks to Western Cape government workers,” runs the heading, and beneath that is a call to government workers to “picket against DA persecution” by joining a protest on Friday 30 November outside the Provincial Legislature.

“Nehawu is calling on ALL the workers in the provincial government to show their disgust at the apartheid style persecution of professionals who are not seen as DA party hacks!” it reads. Under the photo of Ehrenreich, it reminds the reader: “Cde Tony Ehrenreich has warned Premier Helen Zille on the imminent Marikana of the Western Cape!!!”

At the bottom, in capital letters, it concludes: “FEEL IT!!! WESTERN CAPE MARIKANA IS HERE!!!

Feel it! Western Cape Marikana is here!

FEEL IT!!! WESTERN CAPE MARIKANA IS HERE!!!

It is the latter phrasing that has caused outrage. Since “Feel it” was one of the World Cup catchphrases, the exhortation seems to try to yoke the excitement of 2010 to the horror of the Marikana miners’ strike, in which over 40 people died. Nick Clelland, the Western Cape government’s director of strategic communication, tweeted in response to the pamphlet: “What sort of nasty mind conflates the joy of the World Cup with Marikana?”

And so DA Western Cape leader Ivan Meyer duly arrived at the Barrack Street police station on Thursday afternoon to lay charges of incitement to violence against Tony Ehrenreich, in his capacity as Cosatu provincial secretary. “Cosatu is using the symbolism and violence of Marikana to promote its public gatherings,” the DA announced. The pamphlet, said the DA, “resonates with Mr Ehrenreich’s highly inflammatory remark earlier this month when he said ‘Marikana is coming to the farms in the Western Cape’.”

According to reports, Ehrenreich allegedly made the statement on 7 November during meetings in De Doorns, when he said that “the ill treatment and under-payment of workers by some farmers must stop, otherwise we will see a Marikana in De Doorns”. This statement seems substantially different in tone and meaning – a warning rather than an exhortation – to that of the offending Nehawu posters, but the DA sees the two as amounting to much the same thing.

The Daily Maverick asked Nehawu provincial secretary Luthando Logcinisa if the posters were authentic. Yes, he said. He explained that they grew out of a frustration on the part of the union that the provincial government was refusing to engage with them on “a number of issues we are unhappy about”. Among these, he cited the case of 50 Nehawu members in the Department of Social Development who are being made to re-apply for their jobs two years after being appointed, because “they were informed that the process that they had undergone was done incorrectly.” Logcinisa said: “We said, there is no way that two years later you can ask people to re-apply for their jobs.”

The DA’s Western Cape media manager, Liza Albrecht, responded to this by calling the claim “confused”, telling the Daily Maverick that “the Social Development Department is restructuring and modernising its organogram in order to best serve the public.”

Another issue worrying Nehawu, Logcinisa said, was “the rate at which Nehawu shop stewards are being targeted” within provincial government. If the union’s shop stewards speak out, he claimed, they end up “getting charged with something”. (The DA said it did not see “any substance” to this claim.) Logcinisa also alleged that there had been a “systematic purging” of people of colour from senior management positions.

In response to this claim, Albrecht sent the Daily Maverick statistics to show that the workforce profile statistics for the Western Cape government’s four upper occupation levels (Top Management, Senior Management, Professionally Qualified and Skilled Technical) indicate that 77.7% (39, 276 of 50, 521) “fall within the designated ‘black’ group”.

Regardless of Nehawu’s claims, however, what about the issue of whether it was appropriate to reference Marikana in publicising a government picket? “What we were saying was that the employer, the provincial government, has come up with innovative ways of suppressing dissent,” Logcinisa said. But why link the picket to an event where many people died? “No, what we were saying is not about dying,” he said. “It’s about defiance. We are going to defy their unlawfulness. The DA claims to uphold the laws, but they flout them whenever they feel like it.”

He said also that Tony Ehrenreich was not involved with the production of the posters – that they were solely a Nehawu initiative.

The DA’s Albrecht told the Daily Maverick that the issue of whether Ehrenreich had actually had a role in the poster production was moot, in that the charge had been laid against him in his capacity as provincial secretary of Cosatu. “Nehawu is an affiliate of Cosatu and therefore Cosatu and Ehrenreich are responsible,” she said.

“It must be clear that the issue here is the glorifying of Marikana even as grieving families mourn those who lost their lives in that tragedy,” Albrecht said. “These Nehawu claims are so broad and baseless that it confuses the issue, which is the inciteful language in the poster.”

There has been a dangerously loose use of language from many quarters during the Western Cape labour dispute. Premier Helen Zille was also strongly criticised by refugee rights groups for citing unrest between Basotho and Zimbabweans as a contributor to the issue, with groups like People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) saying the citing of xenophobic tensions could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In calling the people of the Western Cape to merrily rally around Marikana in order to picket the provincial legislature, however, Nehawu has surely overstepped the mark, any mark.

SourceUnion poster: ‘Feel it! Western Cape Marikana is here!’

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[Source: South Africa News]