Friday, 26 February 2010

Gab suspended

Gab Mampone has been suspended, according to the SABC’s Interkom.


BEMAWU has referred in the shortest time the most dispute in its history to the CCMA and there are many more to come. So far we have cases set down for 9, 11, 15th (two disputes) and one for the 25th of March this year.

This is due to in particular the attitude of Group Human Resources management at the highest level and Employee Relations Management. We do not get any co-operation from these two managers and we sense an attitude of no care. Most disputes are about failure of the SABC to promote members. We have been very patient with the SABC up to now, but no more. For years we were told there is no money to promote and regrade our members whilst top and senior management are enjoying lucrative salary packages.

Other disputes are about unilateral change to policies aimed at putting more pressure on the already overworked and underpaid SABC staff.

It is time that our deserving members are looked after by the SABC. To be for 20 years on a junior scale with no promotion and regrading is not fair.

Warrant of Execution against SABC

BEMAWU has obtained two warrants of execution against the SABC for legal cost they have failed to pay.

The sheriff will visit the SABC on Wednesday or Thursday next week to repossess property of the SABC to the value of R 61 295.26 should the money not be handed over to the sheriff. The SABC has failed to pay this amount to BEMAWU when the SABC unlawfully cancelled our Collective Agreement and BEMAWU won the case in the Labour Appeal Court.


The PRMA case started today in the Johannesburg High Court and the SABC played games from the first minute. Their lawyers asked that the matter be postponed and be referred for mediation, and if mediation fails it then be referred to arbitration. What a waste of the court's time, our time and everybody's money.

On 14 January this year we wrote a letter to Mr. Mokoetle and we alerted him about the fact that the case will be heard in February. We suggested a meeting to discuss and negotiate a settlement. We received no response from the SABC.

We will not consent to mediation. All parties knew about the case and the dates were fixed more than 18 Months ago. When you are in charge of a multi billion rand organisation you don't wake up on the eve of a 10 day scheduled court case and decide to mediate.

We will proceed on Monday.

Thursday, 25 February 2010



- The SABC was described as "distasteful, unacceptable and dishonest" in a scathing attack over the rights of its pensioners in the Rand High Court on Wednesday.

Judge Percy Blieden delivered judgment in the class-action suit brought by 93 SABC pensioners after the SABC suspended their medical contributions and cheaper TV licences in a "unilateral" way "without negotiating".

The groups of pensioners - including well-known personalities such as Cliff Saunders, Johann Pretorius and André Liebenberg - walked out of the courtroom victoriously.

The SABC was ordered to start paying 60% of the pensioners' medical-fund contributions with immediate effect.

The public broadcaster was also ordered to reinstate the TV subsidy to pensioners immediately.

Moreover, the broadcaster was also told to refund all the money the pensioners had to pay from their own pockets ever since the benefits were suspended, as well as the interest at 15.5% per year.

Costs estimated at R250m

The exercise is estimated to ultimately cost the SABC R250m.

Blieden said as a "state organ" the SABC is expected to act ethically, to practise good human-resources management, to be transparent with information and to act impartially, fairly, equally and without prejudice in its service provision.

"Unfortunately the facts of this case prove that none of the conditions were met by the SABC in its relationship with the pensioners.

"The mere thought that costs are curbed by aiming at the rights of pensioners with regards to medical-aid funding is not only distasteful but unacceptable and dishonest."

Conspiracy claims "scandalous and libellous"

Blieden also rejected an argument from the SABC that the pensioners conspired before their retirement to ensure that "white managers in the SABC" resigned with benefits to which they were not entitled, as "totally scandalous and libellous".
Piet Bester from the firm Blake Bester Inc, which acted on behalf of the pensioners, described the verdict on Wednesday as a "strong signal to all employers in the country that they cannot unilaterally and without negotiation" tamper with employee and pensioner benefits.


The Post Retirement Medical Aid case starts tomorrow in the Johannesburg High Court. BEMAWU is the only union at the SABC taking up this matter on behalf of its members. The case has been set down for 10 court days. Only the applicants in this case will benefit from the judgment. All BEMAWU members are automatically claimants in the matter.

We approached the SABC with a request for a meeting to attempt to settle the matter, which request was .... Ignored.

We estimate the case will cost the SABC more than R5M.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


So who will it be? Will the ordinary worker in the bargaining unit again be the target for retrenchments, or will it be the fat cats in top management? We are in possession of statistics of how top and middle management we grown and inflated at the expense of the people who is doing the work. We will insist that the lucrative packages of top and senior management first be cut back before any of our members are retrenched.

We will make sure the heavily bloated top structure will be streamlined before any employee in the bargaining unit are touched.

BEMAWU members can rest assured we will fiercely fight any retrenchments of our members.

Those Chief Executives with no role or function must go first.

We want a competency audit of top and senior management.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Comrades of CWU and MWASA,

This serves as a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the Human Resources Department of the Freestate Region, and in particular in the abilities and intentions of Mr. Sipho Maseko. This also serves as a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in the Regional Manager and his collaborators. Mr. Namane has been found NOT guilty on three of the four charges. Mr. Maseko send him a document and warning form to sign, stating that he has been found guilty on three charges. Was this done deliberately? So what action is Senior Management  going to take against Mr. Tsoenyane and Maseko for suspending Mr. Namane for more than six months?

To fill in the warning form is Mr Maseko’s job. He has not done that properly. Will poor work performance action be instituted against him? Or is discipline in that region only for employees not agreeing with the political views of Management?

Comrades, please organise your members in that region. We have already started. We will not stop until justice has been done.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


BEMAWU Regional Chairperson, Mr. Mike Namane received a final written warning valid for 8 months for replying to an e-mail of the Communications Manager send to everyone in the Freestate Region!!!!! Mr. Namane will report for duty tomorrow and an appeal has already been filed against the Final Written Warning. At the same time the matter has been referred to the CCMA in the event that the outcome of the appeal is not fair.

Is the power base of Tsoenyane and Motsoeneng busy crumbling? Maybe they are not so untouchable as they thought they are!

The time has come....  


The memo in respect of compulsory leave has reference. Mr. Morobe is confused and wrong when he says the Basic Conditions of Employment requires staff to take at least 21 calender days leave per cycle.  The Act says :

(2) An employer must grant an employee at least—
(a) 21 consecutive days’ annual leave on full remuneration in respect of each
annual leave cycle;

Why Mr. Morobe is trying to mislead employees, is a mystery. There is a massive and fundamental difference between “requires staff to take” and “must grant”.

The Personel Regulations however states the following:

(a)  Employees are required to take at least 21 days’ leave in every annual leave cycle (“compulsory leave”) or within six months after the end of the annual leave cycle. Employees are entitled to take compulsory leave in one consecutive period, that is, 21 consecutive days’ leave.

Playing golf is easier than trying to interpret the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, for some people.

Tuesday, 09 February 2010

Mike Namane found NOT guilty on 3 of the 4 charges

The disciplinary hearing of Mr. Mike Namane, BEMAWU Official and Regional Chairperson of the Freestate Regions was postponed today after he was found NOT guilty on 3 of the 4 trumped-up charges against him. Mr. Namane who was suspended for 6 months by the Regional Manager and Employee Relations of the SABC was found guilty only because he replied to an e-mail sent to him, and accidentally pressed the “Reply to all” button.

How fruitless and wasteful is it to suspend someone for 6 months for that? TV License money? Tax payer’s money? SABC deficit of more than R1Bn?

Well done to Bruce Molzen, BEMAWU Regional Chairperson, Western Cape for representing Mr. Namae in this hearing, but most of all a big thank you to Mr. Zola Yeye, the chairperson of that hearing who refused to play Tsoenyane and Motsoeneng’s political power games.

Tsoenyane has already called a witness who refused to lie in the hearing and intimidated her. We will protect you, sister. You did the right thing to not succumb to their lies and intimidation.

Here’s a high five to you intimidators (and the initiator) in the Freestate Region, now pick a finger!!!!! Your HR is incompetent, biased, and does not have a clue what Human Resources means. Your Regional Manager is a bully.

The war is (still) on!

VIVA the unions, viva fairness and justice, Viva BEMAWU!!!!!

Monday, 01 February 2010

The Board has started it's witch-hunt

Employees at the SABC today received this correspondence....

Dear xxxx,

At the xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Management Meeting held last week I referred to an exercise HR had to conduct across the SABC with the view of determining via a recon process which members of staff had been absent during December 2009 without a corresponding leave application on SAP. The source documents used were access control reports as well as a leave report from SAP for the month of December 2009.

The attached report is the result of the recon process completed for all Johannesburg based employees. I would request that you please provide reasons/ comments why members of staff had been absent from work without having a corresponding leave application on SAP. I am aware of the fact that certain individuals had been acting during December which would require them to also provide their input where needed.

May I please request that you submit your input/ comments to me by no later than close of business Thursday, 28 January 2010.

Your cooperation is greatly valued.

Kind regards,


So the witch hunt has started on employees.... There are no proper HR structures and leadership in the SABC, the place is fraught with favoritisms, victimisation and abuse of power by certain managers, there are allegedly no career development plans, etc but HR must play policeman to check employee’s hours. The AG report has not been properly addressed, but employees must explain where they have been every minute of the day.

Are we EVER going to get this right?

Unilateral change to policies

Dear Sir,

It has come to our attention that the SABC has unilaterally changed policies which are terms and conditions of employment.

Yesterday we came in possession of a document dated 7 February 2008, signed by Dr Pat Naves. The title of this document is “Remuneration Directive”. In this document, which is described by Ron Morobe as a policy decision,  the policy on ad hoc increases for instance will cease.

In fact, everything in this policy is a gross breach of terms and conditions of employment and has been done without the involvement of the unions.

Furthermore, our members are denied the right to sell leave, as per agreed policy. Many of our members need this money (which will reduce the leave balance of employees) to fund school fees for their children, something they have practiced for many years.

We demand that this directive be withdrawn, and that the policy entitling our members to sell leave be restored, failing we will proceed with a dispute.


Hannes du Buisson


To:  Mr. Keobokile Mosweu
        General Manager
        Employee Relations

Dear Sir,

We act on behalf of several of our members.

We are in possession of documentation in respect of payments for work done during the 2009 Elections which appeared to be tampered with, with the effect that the employees on that list, of which the majority are BEMAWU members, were paid substantially less for the work they have performed during the elections. The altering of the document and the subsequent reduced payment is tantamount to fraud and we intend pursuing such charges should you fail to urgently remedy the situation.

Hours of individuals were for example altered from 41.32 to 23, 58.67 to 37, 37.84 to 23, etc. and a total of 22 employees are involved.

We demand that our members be paid for the hours they worked, as submitted and approved and we furthermore demand the strongest disciplinary action against the person who has fraudulently changed the hours. Should you fail to remedy this situation within seven (7) days of date of this letter, we will proceed with a dispute and criminal action against the perpetrator.  A formal complaint will be lodged with Internal Audit too in this respect.


Hannes du Buisson