PM Sir, please help us ex-SAPPI workers
Former Sappi employees, having fought unending legal battles as well as engaging traditional structures for 10 years, have now resolved to seek the assistance of Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini. They have also threatened to seek international assistance in the event the PM fails to come to their rescue. The employees, who have been meeting at Bhunya where they were employed for years before the closure of the company, have also been kicked out of the premises and barred from having their meetings there. The aging former workers said they had sought the assistance of the Prime Minister to mediate in a meeting with their former employer. The employees said they were looking forward to briefing the new prime minister about their case, that they allege had been ignored by his predecessors.
The former employees who are now meeting at a secluded forest after being chased, away from the properties of Montigny, are rallying at each other for the go ahead to meet the Prime Minister.
They say they have lost hope in getting assistance as they have all the evidence but claim that the police and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) failed to assist them because they feared the culprits. The former employees declared that they would continue to fight until death stops their fight. They revealed that many of their fellow workers had died in the process,as some suffered from depression and others now suffer from from different ailments, that are related to the alleged looting of their monies by individuals they did not disclose. The workers further disclosed that for years, they had lost confidence on all the relevant structures in their bid to have their compensation processed. The former employees said they had sought audience with Prime Minister Dlamini in order to ask him to assist them in their case because they believe he has the acumen to do so.
The former employees further hinted that they were looking at pursuing other avenues to get SAPPI to the settlement table and once they start doing so, the company will be forced to the table.
They said they hoped the Prime Minister would be of assistance before they take the international route. The former workers revealed that each time the matter reached conclusion, the officers handling their case were often promoted or redeployed and they were forced to start all over again, presenting one and the same thing, and this has been going on for the past nine years.
Last year and early this year, their meetings under the same, tree were becoming tense as rangers would also attend without invitation and bring in recording equipment.
The representatives of the former workers reiterated that government must assist them in bringing Sappi to the round table.
The previous government, led by Dr Sibusiso Dlamini, having failed to convene the said meeting with Sappi, the workers resolved to present their matter to traditional authorities at Ludzidzini Royal Residence, where a report was expected on October 10, 2017 but, to date, nothing has materialised, they alleged.