The Save Our Samwu (SOS) campaign, notes its website, came about following the dismissals, expulsions and suspensions of leading Samwu officials after the union’s national office bearers (NOBs) refused to answer questions on the organisation’s finances. In April 2014 a majority vote called for the suspension of the NOBs and for a forensic audit. "It was immediately after this that the NOBs started summarily removing those who had challenged them."
SOS has claimed a victory – after an allegedly corrupt financial consultant was charged by the Hawks with fraud and theft of R7 million by the Hawks, he went on the run, but has now been taken into custody. Corruption Watch played a small part in the latest development – read more in the SOS press release below.
URGENT SOS Press Statement … Samwu Fugitive Now Behind Bars … Pressure on Samwu NOBs to Tell the Truth!
After ducking and diving for almost a week, Samual Phaswane is now in custody. The unconstitutionally appointed financial consultant hired by the Samwu national office bearers (NOBs) is at the centre of the storm about alleged financial irregularities which involves millions of rands.
Phaswane appeared on 9 February in the Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg, and a bail hearing has been arranged for 16 February. In the meantime he will doubtless be interviewed about the missing Samwu millions, and be asked who authorised a whole range of irregular payments to what appear to be a series of bogus accounts.
Comrade Sello Selepe, the spokesperson of the Save Our Samwu Campaign (SOS), said: "At long last, almost 11 months since first reporting our suspicions to the police and a docket being opened, we now have a successful arrest of someone who has been central to this whole sorry and sordid tale. The crisis in our union was created by national office bearers refusing to adhere to a majority decision for a forensic audit, and incidentally, the ending of the contract with Phaswane!"
Selepe confirmed that the NOBs have spent more than R20-million on legal fees in the first six months of 2014 "to save their skins! This is on top of R42-million spent in 2013! Members have a right to ask, why and where have these amounts been spent, and what for?"
The NOBs have victimised, dismissed, expelled or suspended over a hundred dedicated comrades for raising the need for a forensic audit, he added, so "these brave and honest comrades can now feel vindicated. The Hawks deserve our thanks for this. We hope those comrades in the union who have swallowed the lies of the NOBs will now reflect on what is happening, and seek out the truth for themselves."
General secretary Walter Theledi, who worked closely with Phaswane, has now been instructed to come forward and make a statement to the Hawks, or face the consequences.
The SOS Campaign will continue to demand a forensic audit, and for the reinstatement of all comrades who have been victimised for daring to speak truth to power.
Forward to Samwu Under Workers Control! Demand a National and Provincial Forensic Audit! No More Victimisations and Abuse of the Unions Constitution! Support the SOS Campaign! Samwu Belongs To Its Members!
Issued by the Save Our Samwu Campaign:
Contact spokesperson Comrade Sello Selepe on 078 727 1764 or e-mail email@example.com or visit www.saveoursamwu.wordpress.com.