Unions deny involvement in Mpumalanga traffic cops scandal

Unions deny involvement in Mpumalanga traffic cops scandal
FREE FOR ALL: The Mpumalanga traffic learnership scandal seems for be far from over as more parties call for heads to roll amid the blatant nepotism and corruption. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/MLM

The labour unions say they are “unfairly”  being made to play politics now.

Two Mpumalanga union leaders alleged to have played a part when nepotism occurred in the provincial traffic cops learnership program have spoken out and said they have nothing to do with the scandal.

The EFF said both Cosatu provincial chairman Life Monini and Nehawu provincial secretary Welcome Mnisi allegedly played roles when Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s support staff got their children preferred for the traffic cops learnership program.

EFF provincial leader Collen Sedibe wrote on Facebook that also the children of Monini and Mnisi got considered for the learnership program.

ALSO SEE: Refilwe Tsipane apologises for traffic cops learnership scandal

“Monini and Mnisi were also part of the process from the onset and their children were also hired,” said Sedibe.

Last Thursday Sedibe said they had laid corruption case number 213/1/2021 against Tsipane in Mbombela for her alleged role in influencing the appointment of the children and wives of certain officials in her government.

Sedibe said the 2 wives and 6 children of Tsipane’s bodyguards were hired as well as the child of Tsipane’s messenger, a relative of her media officer, Mnisi’s child and and that Monini.

ALSO SEE: Refilwe Tsipane accused of traffic cops learnership “corruption”

But Mnisi said his child is only turning 14 years this year and cannot be a traffic cop at this age.

“I find the allegations against me to be politically opportunistic and unfair because first of all I never knew about this program. I only got to know about it when it caused a public outcry on social media,” Mnisi said.

ALSO SEE: SACP wants warring ANC factions to find leadership consensus

Mnisi said he wouldn’t influence something he was not aware of and said his oldest child was born in 2007 – and can’t be a traffic cop at this age.

He said a meeting between Cosatu, 4 of its affiliates and Tsipane’s government was held last week to speak about a string of issues that affected the citizens of this province and the issue of the traffic cops learnership scandal was added as an item on the agenda.

Unions deny involvement in Mpumalanga traffic cops scandal
Nehawu Mpumalanga leader Welcome Mnisi. 013NEWS

The meeting would have been convened still even if there was no traffic cops scandal, Mnisi said.

It dealt with a number of challenges, such as situations of workers’ safety around Covid-19 and was attended by agriculture MEC Vusi Shongwe in his capacity as leader of government business, safety and security MEC Gabisile Shabalala whose department is responsible for the learnership, other officials and the labour unions.

Monini, who is also a provincial leader of police union Popcru, confirmed they met with the Premier and added that it was true that his child also applied for the learnership but was never considered.

He said his child was born in 1997 and is not part of the 125 learners who were controversially hired on 4 January 2021

Monini said Popcru was never invited to partake in the recruitment of the learners to the program and Popcru only partake once these learners have been absorbed into the workplace and become unionised.

Unions deny involvement in Mpumalanga traffic cops scandal
Mpumalanga Cosatu chair and Popcru leader Life Monini. PIC Supplied

He said as Cosatu they are also calling for action “now that a statement is out and it can’t just be an apology without management consequences”.

Tsipane’s office released the press statement before midday Thursday 14 January 2021 and apologised for the scandal, and said they had found it to be “procedurally and fatally flawed” and said the government will re-evaluate all 32000 applicants who had applied .

She added the “fair and justifiable conclusion” was reached when her government met with the unions.

(edited by ZK)

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