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I address this to the feeble representatives who are currently involved in Industry negotiations, who again shows signs of self preservation and are just about to line up, not only to abandon all their own demands, but to give in to NUMSA’s demands.

Weak Industry negotiators surrendered employer interests in past negotiations. There are signs that they are about to do it again. NEASA successfully had all previous extensions declared a nullity; the Industry, however, simply cannot afford a repeat of such a debacle.
Journalist Suna Venter (in life a SABC journalist) challenged the power of a corrupt state – out of principle. As a result, that is what she endured:-

  • dismissed from her employment, later reinstated
  • intimidation, victimisation and death threats
  • being shot in the face with a pellet gun
  • she received threatening messages on her phone
  • her flat was broken into on numerous occasions
  • the brake cables of her car were cut
  • her car’s tyres were slashed
  • abducted, tied to a tree, with the grass around her being set alight
  • during the past year, she was assaulted on three occasions.

Last week she died after being diagnosed with ‘broken heart’ syndrome – a condition exacerbated, if not caused, by the events mentioned above.

To read an article about her, click here

Because she knew what the value of life is, she offered her life for the broader good. I did not know her personally, I recall hearing her name from time to time, but now, having payed the ultimate price, she inspires me – and many like me.
I plead with Steel Industry negotiators, who are already showing signs of capitulation (which, when taking history into consideration, is not a surprise) in order to obtain temporary relief and to this end sign a deal with NUMSA, and then forever complain about how poor that deal is – to take something out of the life of Suna.

If employers for one moment think that they will bring about change in the Industry (and in the country) without sacrifice, they make a fatal mistake.