‘We will take to the streets if PIC is hi­jacked by Gup­tas’

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE - Khaya Koko

COSATU’S big­gest af­fil­i­ate has warned that all of its more than 300 000 mem­bers will take to the streets should Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba al­low the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC), the cus­to­dian of work­ers’ pen­sions, to be “hi­jacked” by the Gup­tas.

The Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union (Ne­hawu) joined the cho­rus of labour or­gan­i­sa­tions that re­acted an­grily to al­leged at­tempts to re­move PIC chief ex­ec­u­tive Daniel Matjila in or­der to re­place him with a com­pli­ant Gupta-linked ap­pointee.

Yes­ter­day Ne­hawu said legal ac­tion and the mo­bil­i­sa­tion of its mem­bers against the al­leged hi­jack­ing of the PIC were on the cards should any un­to­ward changes take place in the in­sti­tu­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive.

Yes­ter­day, a re­port in The Mer­cury told of a plan by the con­tro­ver­sial fam­ily to re­place the PIC chief ex­ec­u­tive with a board mem­ber who was re­cently ap­pointed to the board by Gi­gaba.

This, sources said, was set to take place at to­day’s spe­cial board meet­ing, where Matjila was sum­moned from an over­seas trip in the US by PIC deputy chair­per­son Xolani Mkhwanazi to an­swer al­le­ga­tions of fund­ing a pro­ject linked to an al­leged lover.

Bail-out

Ne­hawu spokesper­son Khaya Xaba said that the union was aware of at­tempts by the Trea­sury to use work­ers’ money to bail out “a black hole like SA Air­ways”, say­ing they would not al­low it.

“We are to­tally op­posed to the bail-out of SAA us­ing state re­sources and the hard-earned money of our work­ers. In or­der to save SAA, throw­ing money at it would not be the start­ing point.

“The start­ing point would be get­ting rid of the board, es­pe­cially Dudu Myeni – that would save SAA from fi­nan­cial ruin,” Xaba said.

“Should it hap­pen that work­ers’ re­tire­ment sav­ings are used to bail out SAA, we are go­ing to mo­bilise,” he said, adding that us­ing legal ac­tion to pre­vent “un­due” change at the PIC was “also an op­tion”.

Teachers’ union Sadtu also weighed in on the mat­ter, say­ing it was ready to de­fend its money from be­ing used to save state-owned en­ter­prises that were milked by the Gup­tas.

The gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Fed­er­a­tion of Unions of South Africa, Den­nis Ge­orge, cau­tioned that its mem­bers could re­sign from the pub­lic ser­vice “in or­der to save their hard-earned in­vest­ments and se­cure their fu­ture”.

How­ever, the Trea­sury re­jected claims of Matjila’s re­moval yes­ter­day, say­ing there were no “pre­con­ceived plans to re­move Dr Matjila”.

Po­lice and Pris­ons Civil Rights Union spokesper­son Richard Mam­abolo said it could not be tol­er­ated that work­ers’ money was abused for pri­vate gain.

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