samwu thumb medium80 78Saturday Star reports that the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has accused the City of Johannesburg of a witch-hunt to “destabilise” the union and embarrass its leadership.  

This came after the City disconnected electricity supply to the union’s offices in the Joburg CBD on Thursday.  City Power technicians officially switched off the lights after a failed attempt by the union’s bosses to convince them that the electricity bill had been paid.  On Friday, the City maintained that Samwu owed a whopping R1.2 million in unpaid municipal services.  However, Simon Mathe, Samwu’s general secretary, said the figure was a fabrication.  He stated:  “They want to create a view that says we are irresponsible.  It’s a witch-hunt.  We have already paid the January bill.  We are currently owing R38,411.03.  The union last made payment on January 28 for an amount of R13,224.89.  I don’t know why the City would lie to the public in this manner.”  Mathe said the union had already instructed its attorneys to tackle the matter.  Kutlwano Olifant from the office of the MMC for Finance acknowledged the payment made by Samwu in January this year, but noted that there was an outstanding balance of more than R25,000 on same account after the payment.  She dismissed any suggestion that the move to terminate electricity at the union’s offices was meant to destabilise the union or that it was politically motivated.

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