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AR turns up at Oshakati Spar demonstration

AR turns up at Oshakati Spar demonstration

Staff Reporter

 

A CRIMINAL case is being contemplated following a workers’ demonstration at Oshakati on Thursday where a female representative of the employer was allegedly discriminated against based on her skin colour.

 

The incident occurred when employees of Spar supermarkets at Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa took to the street demanding better working conditions.

 

Their trade union, Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU), spearheaded the event.

 

However, a group of activists of the Revolutionary Union (RU), a firebrand of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR), turned up in what they said was “a show of solidarity” with the aggrieved workers.

 

 

It was only a matter of minutes before it became clear that the revolutionary union’s intention was to take over and steer the event into a totally different direction.

 

NAFAU organisers who were talking to Spar representatives, demanding the presence of the branch manager, were instructed by AR/RU activists to “stop talking to those people.”

 

Then the AR/RU activists, who came with their own megaphone, explained to the workers and the media why the workers’ petition could not be handed to Penny Hamukoto, a security services supervisor who was delegated by management to receive it.

 

According to them, it is because she is black and the petition must be handed to a non-black person.

 

But Hamukoto did not take it kindly.

 

“By the way, who are these people? As far as I know, only NAFAU represents Spar employees. These people (AR/RU) are total strangers to us,” she said.

 

Minutes later, the activists turned their attention on Steven Mutumbulwa, Oshakati Spar’s labour consultant.

 

They labelled him “a puppet” whose presence could not be tolerated.

 

They gave him minutes to leave the scene, but the police officers intervened.

 

“He (Mutumbulwa) has the right to be here. If they (AR/RU) continue harassing him we would simply arrest them,” said a police officer.

 

Mutumbulwa himself said: “I am a labour consultant and I was mandated by management to be here.”

 

He then requested the police to keep a deterrent presence even after the demonstration was over.

 

His reasoning was that AR activists might try to enter the shop to harrass the management, something they allegedly tried to do days ago.

 

Meanwhile, Hamukoto revealed that she is still weighting her options, including the possibility of registering a case of racial discrimination against the AR/RU activists.

 

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