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Municipal and Allied Trade Union of South Africa
Press Statement, 28 February

MATUSA is appalled at the brutal actions of the South African Police who shot and injured a number of our members earlier today. Workers were striking as a result of the municipality not paying the February salaries. Salaries are payable on the 25th day of each month . Workers expected to get paid by Friday 23rd February as the 25th would have been on Sunday. On Monday MATUSA members downed tools in protest as they had still not received their salaries. They were soon joined by other workers resulting in no service delivery taking place.

The impact of workers not receiving salaries on time means an additional burden of costs as they cannot honour their debit orders due to no funds in their accounts.

Workers had gathered outside the gates, waiting for the Mayor to address them on their demands. On instruction of the Mayor SAPS were called in. Shortly thereafter the Police opened fire injuring a number of workers believed to be shot at very close range. A number of workers were seriously injured and had to be hospitalised.

MATUSA strongly condemns the actions of the police for once again interfering with force in what was a simple labour issue. Workers have shown that they are prepared to pay the ultimate price to achieve what is rightfully theirs. MATUSA is of the view that SAPS have learnt nothing after the MARIKANA killings. They continue to act with brutal force against innocent and unarmed workers. MATUSA believes that the Mayor and the rest of the Zululand District Councillors and their senior management should accept the blame for this action by workers.

* MATUSA is a SAFTU affiliate