Today's Labour News

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concourtThe Citizen reports that the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has ordered the reinstatement of nine Duncanmec workers after they were dismissed for singing struggle songs referring to “Boers” during a strike that was found to be reasonable.  

Duncanmec (Pty) Ltd took the matter to the ConCourt after the CCMA and the Labour Court ruled in favour of the dismissed workers.  The affected employees were represented by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).  The court on Thursday handed down a judgment that overturned the decision by Duncanmec to dismiss nine employees for singing a struggle song with racial lyrics.  

In 2013, Duncanmec employees participated in a short unprotected strike.  Nine employees were filmed dancing and singing a well-known struggle song with lyrics that translate to “climb on the rooftop and shout that my mother is rejoicing when we hit the Boers”.  The employees were found guilty of participating in an unlawful strike and singing a racially offensive song.  They were given a final warning for the first offence and dismissed for the second.  But, the CCMA ordered their reinstatement.  The Labour Court concurred, noting that the song was not clearly prohibited in terms of a workplace rule and that it was part of the history and struggle for workers’ rights.  

The ConCourt held that the use of the word Boer on its own was not a racist or a racially offensive word, but added that the use of the word in a song by employees was inappropriate.

  • Read this report by Gopolang Chawane in full at The Citizen
  • Read too, Word 'boer' not racist or racially offensive, ConCourt rules, at News24
  • And also, ‘Hit the boer’ song not racially offensive‚ rules ConCourt, at SowetanLive


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page