3 December 2013
SACCAWU together with COSATU and other civil society formations will picket outside the Hartswater magistrates Court tomorrow 4th December where a manager of Choppies Supermarket will appear for the brutal assault of a female worker at the workplace. As part of our 16 days of activism against violence against women we call on all progressive forces to join us in this picket.
FIGHT WOMEN ABUSE, SUPPORT KEGOMODICOE SEREBOLO!
DECLARATION ON THE ASSAULT OF COMRADE KEGOMODICOE SEREBOLO by the SACCAWU North West-Vaal region
The SACCAWU North West-Vaal Regional Executive Committee meeting, convened on the 15th and 16th November 2013 and attended by delegates from Mafikeng, Vryburg, Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom, Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging Locals and their surroundings respectively received a report on the unprovoked brutal assault of Comrade Kegomodicoe Serebolo.
The unprovoked brutal assault was meted out to her by a male chauvinist, and egoistic manager at Choppies – Hartswater, for merely asking why she should be subjected to a practice that is not justifiable. The cowboy manager, with bully-boy mentality simply believed that it is within his right to use violence against any female employee who might for some reason or the other not agree with him, more so in the work place. We note that a workplace is our second home, in fact we spend more of our conscious time at our workplaces that anywhere else and this is where we should feel safe and secured.
We are disturbed that almost twenty (20) years into democracy, we still have companies, like Choppies – Hartswater, trading in South Africa have managers who behave like mercenaries and henchmen going around assaulting workers. We note that the abuse of women and children in our society has gone to unbelievable heights and way out of control. It is incidents of this nature that make the situation look hopeless in the eyes of those exposed to victimhood by perpetrators.
The Executive Committee noted with a sense of trepidation that when the matter was reported to the SAPS, some members of the Police Services declared that they could not arrest the manager since it would mean the store must close. These elements within our Police Services who tarnish the good name of many committed men and women in blue, saw it appropriate to escalate the interest of a manager and Choppies above the Constitutional right of a South African citizen. These rogue elements therefore denied Kegomodicoe the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We are encouraged by the spirit and dedication of Major General Shivuri as it was through his intervention that some form of progress was recorded in the matter and the perpetrator accordingly arrested. The Major General represents the calibre of representatives of the SAPS we want to see serving us.
Having noted the above, the Executive Meeting declared as follows:
- No person has the right to use violence against any other person. Uneven power relations where a man is also a superior should not be a license to resort to violence to make a point or win an argument.
- The conduct of the members of the Police who refused to arrest the manager, with a flimsy argument that there will be no one to take care of the store is disgusting, to say the least. We call on the IPID to launch an internal investigation on the alleged conduct and take appropriate measures against the culprits, who are bringing the name of the SAPS into disrepute. If found guilty of this unbecoming conduct, they should face the full might of the law.
- There has been no official comment from the company in respect of this matter and accordingly demand that the company declare its position in this matter. Surely, if this chauvinist was not acting on the mandate of the company or through their support, the company should publicly distance itself from such conduct and initiate internal disciplinary process.
- SACCAWU, in consultation with all organs of Progressive Civil Society should consolidate the fight against women abuse and use this case as a springboard. Given the nature of the case as well as the suspect conduct of some members of the SAPS, there must be protests at all Court appearances of the manager, and such protests must be characterised by mass demonstration at Court.
- The Court to use this case to send a strong message that abuse of women and any form of violent conduct against any person will not be tolerated by Society and perpetrators thereof belong in jail and should be made to serve the maximum permissible sentence for such criminal conduct.
- Comrade Kegomodicoe must be supported by Progressive Civil Society throughout this process and assisted in all that she may require.
- We will continue to fight against the scourge of women abuse and strive to expose all perpetrators whilst supporting the victims of abuse.