Statement by Andre Venter, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:
UASA is outraged and deeply disturbed by the barbaric attack on two of its members near the Kusile power station in Delmas on Sunday, 5 February and Monday, 6 February 2018.
UASA is the majority union at the plant.
UASA representative Sizwe Ndlala was lured into a "trap" by a group stating that they wanted to join the union. Ndlala set up a meeting with the group at Klipfontein hostel for Sunday evening.
When he arrived at the hostel, a group of people grabbed Ndlala and forced him into the boot of a car. After driving around with him for a while, they arrived in downtown Witbank where he was stripped naked and a piece of his ear was cut off with a knife. He was given a stern warning to the effect that he must refrain from being so vocal and stop to request better and more balanced benefits for our members in meetings with the management of Murray & Roberts because it is causing them (the attackers) to lose their jobs.
The incident was preceded by a consultation with Murray & Roberts management last week, following the cancellation of contracts by Eskom and the consequential layoff of a number of employees.
In a similar incident, UASA operational manager Wally Lewis was pushed off the road by a white BMW on Monday, 6 February, but thankfully he got away unscathed.
Both incidents were reported to the SAPS for investigation.
It is our contention that this matter can be linked to the layoffs at both Kusile and Medupi due to the cancellation of contracts by Eskom.
While UASA is fighting at all levels to prevent any job losses, we do have to appreciate the financial predicament Eskom finds itself in. What we cannot and will not tolerate, however, is that our members and their representatives get exposed to lawlessness and barbaric action as was displayed in this instance.
We consequently call upon the board of Eskom and all its associates to provide a secure working environment for our members and their representatives so as to prevent a recurrence of this type of unacceptable behaviour.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Johan van Niekerk at 082 282 5673.