ENOCH Mgijima executive mayor Lindiwe Gunuza Nkwentsha has denied knowledge of a Labour Court interdict against the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and its leadership issued on August 19 – the day of the local authority’s inaugural council meeting – challenging those who had it, to provide council with a copy, during a special council meeting on Wednesday.
The matter was brought up by DA councillor Zuko Mandile in his notice of motion.
The interdict, of which The Rep has a copy, lists Samwu as the first respondent, Samwu chairman Madoda Fuku as the second, Thabo Ngwane as the third and members of Samwu as fourth and further respondents.
The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality is listed as the applicant. Samwu has been given until September 13 at 10am to file opposing papers.
The order states the municipality was represented by an advocate M Grobler.
The interdict indicates that, after hearing Grobler for the applicant, an order that the matter is heard as an urgent application, was issued.
A rule nisi was issued, calling on the first and further respondents to show cause by September 13 why the order should not be made.
“The strike by the second, third and further respondents at the workplaces of the applicant is unprotected and unlawful.
“The second, third and further respondents’ participation in the strike constitutes a breach by them of their contracts of employment with the applicant,” the order indicates.
“The second, third and further respondents are interdicted from participating in the strike until such time that they have complied with the provisions of the Labour Relations Act of 1995.”
The order indicates the striking workers had to return to work within 48 hours of the service of the order, adding the respondents were to pay the costs of the application.
The service of the rule nisi would be effected by the sheriff on the provincial head office of Samwu in Port Elizabeth, on the second and third respondents and assisted by the police if required and by the application on the fourth and further respondents by affixing the order to as many of the applicant’s notice boards as are accessible.
In Mandile’s motion, he wanted to know if the local authority had obtained an interdict from the Labour Court against the striking employees and if it had been served on the union, shop stewards and employees.
Gunuza Nkwentsha said the interdict had not been presented to her office.
“Enoch Mgijima never applied for an interdict. But if you have a copy you can bring it so we can see if it is addressed to Enoch Mgijima.”
The Rep sent e-mailed questions to Enoch Mgijima interim municipal manager Nolwandle Gqiba about the authenticity of the interdict on Tuesday. She had not responded at the time of going to print.
Attempts to solicit comment from Fuku and Ngwane also proved futile