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Cope youth call for arrest of trucker’s killers

Congress of the People Youth Movement has urged the South African Police Service to arrest members of the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) involved in the killing of Cape Town trucker Gary Stewart during the national strike by the union in the Eastern Cape.

Secretary general of the youth movement Abel Rangata said the strike should not be used as an excuse to kill innocent people.

“The Minister of Police needs to investigate Satawu members and arrest those who perpetuate violence and commit murder in our country in the name of salary disputes.

“Cosatu needs to teach its members that their disputes and strikes should not endanger the safety of the citizens of this country and to never again take a life of an innocent bystander,” he said.

Stewart, a Cape Town trucker, was struck on the head by a rock thrown by members of the union who were on a wage strike action nationwide. The rock went through his truck’s windscreen and struck Stewart. He was reported to have been in the passenger seat. Doctors later pronounced him “brain dead”.

Yesterday Gary’s family decided to switch off the machines that had kept him alive since he was admitted to hospital. Rangata also reminded the union to not force people to join the strikes.

“While the unions have the right to strike and march they must remember that everyone else also has the right to life, dignity and the freedom to not join the strike but be free to drive, work and walk the streets of this country without fear of being a target of the strikers,” he said.

President of the youth movement Nqaba Bhanga said the violence by Satawu has brought shame to the country.

“The violence perpetuated by the ANC and Cosatu and its affiliates has gone far enough, bringing shame, disgust and rebuke on our beloved country,” he said.

“It is sad that some people decided to embark on a campaign to destroy this beautiful country through hooliganism, barbaric murders and through any possible manner they can find.”

Satawu acting national media officer Vincent Masoga warned that Cope “must distance themselves from the matters of Satawu. This is a serious matter and we cannot allow dead parties to play with people’s emotions and use the death of someone as a way of resurrecting their name”.