Justice for Sun City Workers

amandla.mobi launches campaign seeking justice for Sun City workers, who were shot using both rubber bullets and live ammunition.

The lost palace pool at Sun City. Photo: Chantal Smith

The lost palace pool at Sun City. Photo: Chantal Smith

Last week Sun City employees downed tools after discovering that the resort’s management had allegedly installed hidden cameras, without informing workers. This subsequently led to dismissal of hundreds of workers, accused by Sun City of ‘stealing food and beverages’.

During the strike, workers were shot at leading to the admission of three people into hospital, with one of them in a critical state after being shot with live ammunition. Sun City has since denied the use of live ammunition, but workers insist that it’s true and reportedly said they are willing to point out the alleged shooters.

On Friday however, the workers reached an agreement with the resort following two-day talks at the CCMA and intervention by the MEC of Agriculture and Rural Development, Desbo Mohono. The agreement allowed all workers to return to work, with those who were suspended having the suspensions overturned.

According to COSATU North West Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, “all charges brought against workers, who were accused of stealing have been withdrawn but we will continue to follow-up on this. We have requested the videos that are alleged to show workers stealing, but have as yet to receive them”.

He goes on to add that the trade union will be following up on the allegations that workers were shot and it is expected that these workers will be supported to lay charges against Sun City for the shootings.

Sun City or Sin City

Sun City has over the years faced many accusations about its poor treatment of workers. This includes:

–          November 2009: An employee of Falcon Security, a company hired by Sun City is accused of playing a music CD with lyrics referring to former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki  as a “k****r” and “baboon” respectively. A white supervisor also accused of allegedly telling two workers that they smelled like baboons;

–          August 2011: Sun City police are accused of racial discrimination after allegedly assaulting over six workers;

–          August 2012: Sun City was accused of not paying its workers for overtime for over 25-years;

–          January 2013: The then Premier of the North West requested to mediate in unhappiness over how a Sun City security company apprehended workers; and

–          In August 2013, workers went on strike after the resort’s management allegedly ordered that two female workers accused of stealing R400, be stripped and searched by security guards.

amandla.mobi an independent, non-partisan campaigning organisation is calling for an independent investigation into the shootings and the treatment of workers at Sun City. Members of the public are urged to dial *120*4729# in support of justice for workers or alternatively add your voice here. Spread the word, numbers are needed to pressure Sun City and ensure that no workers are harmed again.

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About Koketso Moeti

Mother. Campaigner. Political orphan. Blogger. Activator. Part time professional black. Liker of things. Lover of people. No sense of humour.