Cosatu: Govt turns its back on the people

NC NEC committee members in Limpopo were turning their backs on the plight of the workers, Cosatu said during a protest in Polokwane on Wednesday.

“These are the same national executive committee comrades who during voting campaigns come to our houses to shake hands without police, but now they are being protected by police as we come to remind them of their resolutions,” deputy secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali told a frustrated crowd outside premier Cassel Mathale’s office.

He said Mathale and ANC Youth League leaders were not on the side of workers.

Ntshalintshali was forced to deliver a shorter speech as proceedings were constantly halted to control the crowd. Several times the insults aimed at ANCYL president Julius Malema and Mathale drowned out the speakers.

Cosatu provincial secretary Dan Sebabi told the protesters that workers would camp outside Mathale’s official residence, Mowaneng, until he and “other corrupt leaders” resigned.

“We will turn it… [the residence] into Tahrir Square by serving a long vigil there,” he said, referring to focal point in Cairo of the Egyptian revolt which toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year.

A memorandum was received by an employee from Mathale’s office, before the crowd made its way back to SABC Park, where more speeches were expected to be delivered.

Traffic was congested in the city centre. Police were trying to open and close intersections for the protesters to walk through.