Ex workers protest against ‘unfair COVID-19 retrenchment’

“I had been working for Magies Farm for nine years until COVID-19 lockdown,” said Lanseria resident Tebogo Mashitwa, speaking alongside her former work mates who were protesting the way they lost their jobs.

“In April, our boss told us that she was unable to pay us, and we had to get paid through Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).She promised to pay us for three-month notice. However, we only received salary for two months. What we need to understand now is why we did not receive our salaries for all three months as promised.  We feel unfairly treated, and life is very tough at the moment.”

 The former workers claimed that their boss automatically retrenched them after they had refused to work three days a week. They also said it was difficult to work for their boss as she was somehow abusive to them.

“We approached the Bargaining Council to get some help. However, we never got any help,”Mashitwa said.

“The amazing part is that some people got hired soon after we got retrenched,” said Prisca Thusi, who worked for the company for the past seven years. “We have been attending several meetings with the boss, but we do not have any clarity about the situation. She says we owe her, instead. We really want clarity about the situation. She gave us  retrenchment letters, which we cannot understand.”

“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are no longer able to keep you in employment,” reads part of the Termination of Employment letter, which was issued on 29 April 2020. “We will give you one month notice pay for the month of May. You will not be required to report for duty over this notice period,” reads the letter.

One man hacked to death in Zandspruit

A 51-year-old man was hacked to death in Zandspruit on 19 September 2020.

The deceased was allegedly attacked after confronting people who had built shacks on his space, according to the police. One suspect, in connection with the incident has been arrested, according to Honeydew police spokesperson Captain Balan Muthan.

“As he went to enquire about the illegal occupation of his space,” Captain Muthan said, “there was an argument. A 24-year-old suspect and his accomplice attacked the deceased with an axe. The police managed to arrest one suspect while the other one still remains at large. We are still investigating the case. We are praising the officers for their quick response to arrest the suspect. ”

Zandspruit community has been facing a series of criminal activities of late. In another  incidents, one woman was hijacked of her white BMW car on 19 September and one man was shot dead on 21 September at night. �s�����

Heritage Day celebrated in style

Glitz and glamour prevailed on 23 September when Destiny Christian School held a Heritage Day event at Tenesse Park in Cosmo City’s extension0.

The pupils and teachers enjoyed the event and even got to show off their amazing cultural outfits.

“We value our heritage,” said the school’s Principal Grace Ole. “It is very, very important for the young children to understand their culture. Once they understand their culture, they will learn how to respect and behave. Not only teachers are responsible for educating children in terms of culture, but parents too.”

The country celebrates Heritage Day on 24 September every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the cultural wealth of the nation. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate this day.

This year, the Heritage Day is celebrated in the aftermath of sad moments caused by COVID-19. “We are still recovering from the lockdown. However, we had to respond to the President’s call to celebrate Heritage Day in style. It is for this reason why we had to do the Jerusalem dance challenge.”

At Destiny Christian School, Ole said, they do their best to teach children morals.

“We use the same curriculum used in government schools. We also teach children about Bible Knowledge and life skills. When they leave our school they will know the basics of Christianity and they will be able to pray.” -r����6

DA supports Gender-based Violence victim

Caption of the pic (Shadow MMC Community Development Cllr Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku)

The Democratic Alliance had to step in to help a victim of gender based violence (GBV) after the South African Police Service (SAPS) refused to help her. 

A victim of GBV went to her local police station to report the incident. Instead of being protected she was turned away. According to them this was a ‘family matter’ that didn’t require police intervention.       

The motive behind their refusal became clear when it was learnt that the perpetrator is a police officer. He clearly enjoyed the protection of his colleagues. Out of desperation the victim turned to a DA councillor. According to the victim the offender threatened to kill her if she attempted to have him prosecuted. 

Under these shocking and quite frankly terrifying circumstances the DA was forced to intervene.  After an appallingly long time the victim obtained a protection order. We do not deem this to be a victory – rather we see this as a monumental failure. This country failed this woman. She lives in a country where 102 women get assaulted by their partners every day. She lives in a country where a woman is murdered by her boyfriend or husband every 12 hours.   

These statistics are horrifying, but judging by this incident, we can assume that these numbers don’t reflect reality. It should never be necessary for a political party to step in before the police takes a victim seriously.

The DA calls on the government to reinstate specialised GBV units. These units have the knowledge and training to deal with GBV cases. They will also add another layer of accountability.     

The Democratic Alliance stands with every woman and child who is a victim of violence. If we have to stand in line with you at a police station, we will do that too.

The entire country was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the GBV pandemic is largely ignored. We live in a country where the amount of Covid-19 victims are comparable to victims of GBV – but we do not see President Ramaphosa address the nation every two weeks to give an update on how many women have died at the hands of their partners.  

The DA calls on this ANC government to start taking the GBV pandemic seriously. Hundreds of thousands of women have been the victims of violence under your reign. When will you start to care about us? or_y":�r�I�ٮ

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