Friday, 21 September 2007


We are saddened, but not surprised, that Thulani Thusi & Tebogo Mokoena have been dismissed by Vodacom. We predicted this outcome from the beginning of the disciplinary procedures. We knew this not because we have the gift of prophecy - though, like the Prophets of all religions and all ideologies we believe in speaking truth to those in power and accept any persecution that they may unleash.

We knew that this would happen because we know that even though there is an elaborate show of disciplinary hearings, the procedures are in nature no different than a lynch mob. In fact, a better analogy might be that of the courts of Nazi Germany. The company will do certain things for the sake of appearance, but it is the judge, the jury, the prosecution, the appeal tribunal and everything all rolled into one (and all these aspects are supervised by a single person).

Speaking of which, we note the terrible shame that the lead role in union bashing at Vodacom is being played by women. Women, no matter their colour, have always been allies of the progressive forces of this country because they know the pain of being put down because of who you are. It is sad that those in power will try to use oppressed people to kick other oppressed people in exchange for the opportunity to share in their power. It is sadder still to find people who are so unquestioningly willing to play that role.

Going back to Nazi Germany, it is never a good excuse to say "I was told to do so" or "I had no choice" or "There was nothing I could do differently". We invite anyone who feels that they are being used by those in power (and all of our readers) to check out the temporary exhibit on Sophie Scholl and the White Rose at the Apartheid Museum - or watch the movie about her (Sophie Scholl - the final days/Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage). You might find interesting that a white German girl of 21 found it in herself to stand up against such an overwhelming power. No matter what your circumstances, you never have an excuse for not doing what is right.

Going back to our prophetic role, let us make a few more predictions about Vodacom. First. Like the case of Comrade Clermy Mashabane, the cases of Tebogo and Thulani are so blatantly unfair and fabricated that they too will drag on as the company appeals time and again unfavourable results. Second, that this war of attrition will wear down management long before it wears out the workers. Third, that the union will outlive the union bashers and all those who would hurt it by many, many years.


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