Samwu condemns hooliganism

Johannesburg - The SA Municipal Workers Union on Thursday condemned the scuffle between its members and security guards at its central Johannesburg office.

"Samwu condemns the hooliganism of the so-called SOS group that put the union offices and staff and more importantly themselves at danger," general secretary Walter Theledi said in a statement.

He said the group, led by former leaders, had resorted to violence after having lost all credibility and standing within the union.

The Star reported that the union's national office-bearers (NOBs) announced this week that more members believed to be sowing division in the union would be suspended.

About 40 members and leaders had already been suspended. A group calling itself Save Our Samwu (SOS) wanted a forensic audit to prove that R136m of the union's money was misappropriated through "dodgy dealings".

Members clashed with security guards in the foyer as they demanded entry into the office.

"Union security had to protect the property from being vandalised by these people and prevent them entry to minimise the damage they would have caused," said Theledi.

He said people could not go to the office and throw rocks and claim they were assaulted when security guards reacted.

"Union property has been damaged by these disgruntled people who continue to use the union name while they know very well that they are not members of the union."

He said the union was concerned about the safety of staff.

"We are shocked that the people who are claiming to be acting in the interest of the union are the very same people who are now destroying union property, threatening and preventing union staff from entering the union offices to do their jobs."