Observer on Saturday - - Front Page - By Alec Lushaba

Gov­ern­ment is equally shocked that it of­fered a re­viewed 10 per cent cost of liv­ing ad­just­ment (COLA) of­fer to pub­lic sec­tor as­so­ci­a­tions dur­ing last week’s court ap­pear­ance through its lawyer, Nd­abehle Dlamini from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Cham­bers.

Pub­lic Sec­tor As­so­ci­a­tions early this week re­jected the so-called of­fer, say­ing as far as they were con­cerned gov­ern­ment has not made any im­proved of­fer from the zero per cent they have been of­fer­ing all along.

Pub­lic Ser­vice Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Evart Mad­lopha said as far as they were con­cerned there was no new of­fer on the ta­ble.

“Our po­si­tion has not changed from the zero per cent we have been of­fer­ing. We don’t know where that 10 per cent came from. Maybe if you can ask the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral they may shed some light on where that came from,” he said.

AG Si­fiso Khu­malo when asked on the is­sue, he said as far as he was aware, they had no in­struc­tion to ta­ble any new of­fer. “Our coun­sel refutes hav­ing made such an of­fer or in­ferred that such could be a po­si­tion of gov­ern­ment. From what I heard is that the 10 per cent was a pro­posal from the pub­lic sec­tor unions le­gal team and def­i­nitely not from us. He had no man­date to make such an of­fer, hence it couldn’t have been him to do so. The rea­son that the court al­lowed our coun­sel to con­sult the chair­man of the Joint Ne­go­ti­at­ing Team (JNT) who was in court is an in­di­ca­tion that such couldn’t have come from us,” the AG said. Chair­man of the JNT Mbuso Dlamini con­curred with the AG, say­ing such an of­fer did not come from them. “The rea­son that the mat­ter goes back to court for ar­gu­ment is clear po­si­tion on our part that we have not moved,” he said.

Our re­porter who was in court on the day said gov­ern­ment may be chang­ing tune, but con­firmed that their coun­sel did men­tion the 10 per cent of­fer.

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