Strike threat over IEC bossComment on this story
Johannesburg - The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) was to know on Monday whether its disgruntled members will go on strike to force embattled Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairwoman Pansy Tlakula to step down.
The union insists it is not aiming to disrupt the elections and is “very conscious” of forces who want to destabilise the May 7 polls.
The Nehawu leadership was due on Monday to talk to its representatives and shop stewards who are employed by the IEC on a way forward.
Nehawu joins a long list of opposition parties who have come together calling for Tlakula’s head.
Last week, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele reportedly told Tlakula to resign during a Multi-Party Forum meeting with the IEC in Pretoria.
“Our actions are not going to be hasty. Can we as a union declare a strike for Pansy Tlakula to go? We can declare a strike on worker issues, but specifically just to have Pansy go is the question that needs to be on the table,” said Nehawu spokesman Sizwe Pamla.
He said the union had had pickets in the past, trying to put pressure on the IEC to respond.
“Now the issue of the lease was actually raised by our own members. It’s just that (Bantu) Holomisa went on to claim it,” said Pamla.
The UDM leader has been at the forefront of the fight to have Tlakula removed over her alleged conflict of interest relating to the leasing of the IEC head office in Centurion.
Holomisa also approached the Electoral Court on how Tlakula should be held accountable for alleged procurement irregularities.
“The issue of Pansy Tlakula is very problematic because she’s someone who firstly failed to respond to worker issues. The IEC has also taken a very anti-worker, anti-union stance. Now they’re exposed to have been defocused because of their nefarious activities that border on corruption,” said Pamla.
IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Opposition parties said they would initiate legal proceedings against the IEC if Tlakula did not step down.
Holomisa, who chairs the Multi-Party Forum of the opposition parties, with the exception of the DA and Freedom Front Plus, resolved to push for Tlakula’s resignation.
But the ANC hit back by defending Tlakula, saying the demands were “opportunistic”.