On Wednesday leaders of the SA Democratic Teachers Union and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) were the latest to throw their weight behind the strike on September 27 against corruption, state capture and job losses.
Fears of job and pension losses have prompted more trade unions to support the national stayaway from work on Wednesday.
Both Popcru and Sadtu were adamant in their support of the strike that their primary objective was to protect the pensions of the members who form a core of public servants in the country.
The public outcry followed reports of an alleged plot by board members of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to remove the chief executive, Daniel Matjila, in a favour of another person with alleged links to the Guptas.
Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke, who said the protected strike was prompted by revelations of former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture Report that the “country has been captured and there is a network of the predatory elite that is engaged in looting state resources and corrupt activities”.
“The first casualties of state capture and corruption are workers who stand to lose jobs and their hard-earned pensions looted. We can no longer tolerate this deafening silence from President Jacob Zuma to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture as per the public protector’s recommendation.
“We demand that President Zuma establish the commission as a matter of urgency and for the state to deal with the predatory elite and cancel all commercial dealings with the Gupta family,” Maluleke said.
Zuma has maintained that he was not against the establishment of the inquiry into state capture, but has disputed Madonsela’s recommendation that the Chief Justice has to appoint a judge to preside over the probe.
Detailing reasons for participating, Popcru spokesman Richard Mamabolo said the police union has just over 900000 out of 1.3 million workers in the public sector who do not have houses.
“This happens at a time when their pension funds are being threatened by the levels of corrupt activities that have seen our state parastatals collapse into the pockets of individual interests, yet not a single person alleged to be involved has been arrested.”
Mamabolo said corruption and state capture have compromised the quality of service while millions of rand disappear into thin air.