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eThekwini Municipality workers live in fear at depots and clinics after a colleague was murdered

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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DURBAN - EMPLOYEES of the eThekwini Municipality are living in fear after the murder of one of their colleagues outside the city’s premises in Umkomaas last week.

They described the shooting as a serious security breach and said workers did not feel safe at the city’s depots and clinics.

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said the shooting had put the workers on edge and such incidents made them afraid of coming to work.

The shooting, suspected to have been a “hit”, happened at the gate of the city’s roads depot in Umkomaas.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said 35-year-old Lindo Sosibo was shot dead by unknown gunmen.

She said Sosibo was taken to hospital but succumbed to his injuries on arrival and the motive for the killing is not yet known.

According to workers, Sosibo was shot as he parked his car by men who seemingly had been waiting for him.

The workers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were concerned as the shooting had shown that security was not up to scratch.

“In the Isipingo Environmental Office, a car knocked down part of the gate and that has never been fixed and there is a single guard on duty.

“We all know that there are issues of crime in Isipingo,” said the source.

The source said at one of the city’s clinics near the licensing centre in eManzimtoti there was a hole in the fence behind the clinic.

“In most of these areas there are no security cameras to make sure that if there is an incident, the police can go back and check.

“As workers we are feeling very unsafe, if someone can be shot at the gate like that, it means we are not safe,” said the worker.

Xolani Dube of Samwu said it was aware of the workers’ security concerns and that the employer had a responsibility to ensure that workers felt safe when they were in their area of employment.

He said the shooting was the second that had happened on municipal property in the past few years.

“We understand that this worker had just parked his car.

“That person is construed as someone who was at work even though he had not clocked in.”

He said in another incident a few years ago, a worker was shot at the gate to the water unit in the Mobeni area.

EThekwini Municipality’s spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the employee was shot outside the municipal premises and the reason for the shooting was unknown at this stage.

Responding to the concerns about safety, he said employees had a platform where they could raise their concerns.

He said all council employees were members of unions and they attended depot or workstation structured safety and security meetings, which gave the workers and their unions the opportunity to raise safety and security concerns.

“It is the duty of line management to attend to all workers’ and unions’ safety and security concerns.

“Also, it is the duty of the client units to receive all safety and security concerns and correct identified weaknesses and deviations.

“If such matters are raised, they will be attended to as per our processes,” he said.

He said names of the properties that had issues with fencing or gates should be provided so that the relevant department could respond.

THE MERCURY

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