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WATCH: Agriculture, forestry and fisheries workers stage total shutdown

Protesting workers want President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Minister Sensezi Zokwana. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Protesting workers want President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Minister Sensezi Zokwana. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Published Sep 6, 2018

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Pretoria - Workers at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries staged a total shutdown demanding president Cyril Ramaphosa suspend their minister, Senzeni Zokwana.

The crowd led by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said that Zokwana was being investigated for corruption by the office of Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane

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The workers have been singing and dancing outside the department's Arcadia office since early in the morning. 

They blocked the entrance and parked all their cars on the road and pavement outside.

Earlier this year, they refused Zokwana entry into his office and forced him to leave the premises because he had, allegedly, not been able to resolve grievances raised by staff and Nehawu.

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Nehawu leadership at the department said the minister was collapsing the department's entire administration. 

Protesting workers want President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Minister Sensezi Zokwana. Video: James Mahlokwane

They said a senior official was suspended for being investigated for the same corruption as the minister but Zokwana was not touched.

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Nehawu said it was worried about the "close" relationship between Ramaphosa and Zokwane, who are in China together at the moment, on government business. 

They said they were informed that the minister and the president were coming back tonight and would sit down to discuss the issue tomorrow.

Nahawu's Ivan Ramogale said the union wrote letters to the presidency early this year to raise complaints about Zokwana but no action was taken and that resulted in numerous demonstrations at the department during lunch time, leading up to today's shutdown.

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