Category Archives: Sikhula Sonke

Sikhula Sonke’s Motion of Distrust Against the ANC and Government

Sikhula Sonke’s Motion of Distrust Against the ANC and Government

11 Mar 2010

Motion of distrust against the ANC will be put to the United Nations Commission and Minister of International Affairs on refugee rights for the situation in De Doorns and Government and the African Union’s lack of intervention in the torture of our Zimbabwe brothers and sisters and trade union leaders in Zimbabwe.The denial of the leadership of the ANC further endangers people’s lives. The speaker of Parliament and many other leaders have visited the camp, telling people that we are lying about the ANC instigating Xenophobia attacks in De Doorns. We invited the leadership of the ANC to accompany us to De Doorns and Stofland where we will introduce them to people who are willing to speak out, we just need assurance that they will be protected. Nobody came back regarding our request or even contacted us to talk about our concerns raised.

A motion of distrust against Government will be put to the South African Human Rights Commission for their lack of intervention where farm workers are concerned. SAHR published a report on rights violations in 2003 and made several recommendations to Government and none were implemented.

We still did not get any feedback from the South African Human Rights Commission whom we approached to investigate the matter.

The Minister of Labour announced that the Zimbabwe Minister of Labour will be visiting South Africa to discuss the situation of the Zimbabwe refugees. Farm workers and union leaders of the General Agriculture Plantation Workers Union are tortured by the dictatorship state of Zimbabwe. Is his first priority not to ensure decent lives for the people of Zimbabwe who still lives in the country in order for them to live lives of dignity?

Please join us at Keizergracht on Friday 12 March 2010. Our march will commence at 11h30. We will then proceed to National Parliament to hand memorandums to the United Nations Commission on refugee rights, Minister of International Affairs and the South African Human Rights Commission. The handover proceedings will start at 13h00. The march will be supported by Abhalali, non governmental organisations, social movements.

Sikhula Sonke
By Wendy Pekeur

Sikhula Sonke appalled by local ANC members in De Doorns call for a march to the refugee camp

21 February 2010

Sikhula Sonke appalled by local ANC members in De Doorns call for a march to the refugee camp

Sikhula Sonke has been shocked when we, while busy setting up to stay in Stofland for the evening heard local ANC members who went around with a bakkie and loud hailer instigating residents of Stofland to march to the refugee camp on Tuesday 23 February where Zimbabweans will be asked to leave the country.
Another ANC member asked us why we want the Zimbabwe group to be reintegrated. Please see photo of the member attached. He informed us that as residents they were told that too many people are living in Stofland and that is why no houses has been build up to date. By allowing the Zimbabwean comrades back, it will literally mean no houses will be build. He refused to tell us who the informant was.

Sikhula Sonke members and leaders had to leave Stofland just before midnight when a group of youngsters of which one had a knife tried to be disruptive. Young children been used to be violent and in the case of the force removals of people in Stofland we heard that many young people were involved in this. Should our kids not be educated, are parents not seeing the opportunity of a brighter future for their kids, why are they encouraged to act like gangsters? We did not leave because we felt intimidated; we left to protect the women, men and children whom we went with. Our purpose of raising consciousness and educating people has not been defeated. Many people in Stofland indicated that they have no problem with the Zimbabwe comrades being reintegrated. It seems that people are brainwashed by a small group of people in Stofland.

We as South Africans have an obligation. Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and other countries were a safe place for many under apartheid. Is this how we repay our fellow brothers and sisters? This is a disgrace in the light of our dream that another world is possible.

We call on the National leadership of the ANC, the Department of Justice, and South African Human Rights Commission to intervene. The perpetrators must be arrested and removed from the community. Proper housing and infrastructure should be build for the residents in Stofland as well as the comrades from Zimbabwe.

Please join us at a press briefing on Monday 22 February 2010 at 12h00 at the Sikhula Sonke offices at 98 Bird Street, (Opposite Good Bargains) Stellenbosch 7599. The South African Human Rights Commission and member of the ANC have been asked to join the press briefing.

For more information contact:

Sikhula Sonke General Secretary Wendy Pekeur on 083 285 1729 or Sandra Hendricks at 021 8833180

Eye Witness News: Sikhula Sonke v ANC on xenophobia in De Doorns

ANC denies knowledge of proposed march
Regan Thaw

De Doorns police said on Monday they had not received any requests from the ANC in the region to stage a protest march.

It is understood the party was planning a march to a safety site for foreigners in the town.

Hundreds of immigrants have been living at the site since late last year after they were displaced during xenophobic violence.

The ANC denied planning a march.

Farm workers union Sikhula Sonke said it learnt ANC members in the area wanted to march to the safety site.

The union claimed a member of the party was making inflammatory comments about foreigners in the area.

It is feared the march could spark xenophobic tensions.

Sonke alleged one of its officials was threatened recently by a group of youths, who were angry about the union’s activities in the nearby Stofland informal settlement and its efforts to help reintegrate immigrants into the community.

The local municipality said they had not received any requests from the ruling party to hold a march. It added the request would have to have been submitted a week ago.

Sikhula Sonke: 14 year old boy missing after attacks by 3 farmers 11 February 2010

14 year old boy missing after attacks by 3 farmers 11 February 2010

12 February 2010
Sikhula Sonke Farmworkers Union

Eon Fortuin, the 14 year old boy who was attacked by three farmers has disappeared. The boy was taken to the police station on Tuesday 9 February; he appeared in Court the same day and according to Mr Blacky Swarts a captain at the Robertson police station told us that he was taken to the boy school in Ottery on Wednesday. Sikhula Sonke contacted the social worker at the school; who told us she heard that the boy was there, but that he disappeared on Wednesday 10 February. We believe that the boy was traumatised, by the ordeal, taken out of bed while sleeping, beaten till he was bleeding, tied like a dog and then he had to spend a night in jail and has appeared in Court without support from any family member.His grandmother last saw him when he was thrown on the bakkie. One of the foremen came back to fetch his clothes. Another worker alleged that he had to wash the bakkie which were full of blood. Several workers went to the police station and laid charges, no prosecutions happened yet. A person working at the Robertson Magistrates Court Mr. Theunis said that the boy appeared in Court on Tuesday for ill behavior. We also learned from the dockets at the police station that the accusation of a farm burglary was related to an incident which happened in January, but there was no evidence that linked the boy to the crime. So why are the police claiming he was arrested for theft. The farmer indicated that the boy was on the farm illegally and that he have no right to be there.

A memorandum was handed to the farmer which demanded the following:

1. A public apology to the family
2. Compensation to the family for the trauma and ordeal

We told the employer that the justice system will still take its course

We then went to the police station and demanded the following:

* That the 3 perpetrators be arrested
* The immediate dismissal of the police officers involved
* The establishment of a forum of stakeholders

1. The station superintendent (Mr. Alexander) agreed that disciplinary processes will be followed.
2. A forum is needed and that we’ll meet in the next week to set it up.
3. Once the boy’s statement are taken that arrests will be made

We are questioning the issue around the statement since the boy spends an entire night at the police station and several workers including the grand mother laid charges at the police station. We are also questioning the contradictory statements of Police officers and a court official Mr. Theunis and are now calling on the Independent Complaint Directorate to do an investigation.

Miss Fransiena Meyer, the mother of the child said that she was further surprise by the angle taken by the Boland Correspondent journalist from the Burger since its portraits the situation as if it is a criminal on the lose despite the fact that we clearly stated that no evidence was found against the boy. She also covers the assault and make it seems if the farmers were only treating him a bit rough. She further feels that this was one of the worst cases where the truth was twisted and very little homework was done by the correspondent. She feels that the media needs to be independent and it seems that there’s biasness towards a certain group of people.

Please join us for a press conference on Monday 15 February 2010 at 11h00 at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) offices at Community House in Salt River.

“We can only loose our chains”

For more information contact:

Sikhula Sonke General Secretary Wendy Pekeur on 083 285 1729, COSATU Western Cape Secretary Mr. Tony Ehrenreicht on 0827733194 and Ms Fransiena Meyer (mother) at 0727581164

A week of radical actions including a march on Parliament by Sikhula Sonke, the farmworkers trade union

MEDIA RELEASE by Sikhula Sonke
Sent in solidarity by the Anti-Eviction Campaign

Farm workers in Stellenbosch demand an end to inhumane forced evictions, appalling housing and retrenchments: 27 July to 1 August 2009

Farm workers embark on a week of radical action, Monday 27 July to Saturday 1 August. They come from the Boland, West Coast, Breede River, Witzenburg, Overberg, Oostenberg, Breede Valley and Swartland. This action takes place on the eve of the famous Stellenbosch wine festival and coincides with several uprisings for service delivery across the country.

The action starts on the flower farm, Kaapfleurs, at 17h00 on Monday 27 July. Workers at Kaapfleurs literally live in pigsties and face retrenchments. We will plant seeds on the farm on Tuesday 28 July.

On Tuesday we start our journey to the National Parliament in Plein Street at 16h00 where we will hold a night vigil, camping out at the gates of Parliament.

On Wednesday 29 July, we will meet with our partners, supporters and the media at St Georges Cathedral on Wale Street, from 11h00, during which we will light candles in solidarity with the million farm workers who were displaced and evicted from farms during the first ten years of our democracy, farmworkers who still bear extreme hardships on a daily basis, farmworkers who produce the food that sustains our rainbow nation.

We expect President Jacob Zuma to address us at Parliament at 12h00 on Wednesday. During the afternoon we will continue our demonstration with testimonies, music, poetry and solidarity messages at Parliament.

Our protests resume in Stellenbosch on the evening of 30 July, for the start of the Stellenbosch wine festival, during which we will highlight grave issues farm workers are confronted with on these farms on a daily basis. We are targeting specific farms where the wine festival takes place.

Stellenbosch farms show the realities and lives of so many farm workers and farm dwellers across South Africa, many of whom are still treated as slaves.

The rally is supported by a number of farm worker trade unions, organizations and other partners, including Alternative Information Development Centre, Engender, ILRIG, Mayibuye, New Women’s Movement, Surplus People’s Project, Triangle Project, Trust for Community Outreach & Education, Women on Farms Project and various community and faith leaders.

The public and media are invited to attend the week of action starting on Monday 27 July at Kaapfleurs farm.

The rally is organised by the farm worker trade union, Sikhula Sonke.

For more information and directions to venues, please contact:

Sandra Hendricks (Administrator) on 021 883 3180 or 083 566 1372


Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is the centre of South Africa’s wine industry and the home of the world famous University of Stellenbosch.

Wine Estates. Stellenbosch is home to about 120 wine estates.

What happen behind the label? We want to tell the stories of workers that people often do not hear. It is the story of the hardships people bear on a daily basis.

On several wine farms in Stellenbosch, Sikhula Sonke members are victimised to leave the farms and are offered between ten to R50 000 rand compensation, farm worker children are forced to pay high rental or victimised to leave the farm when they reach the age of 18. Refusal to do so leads to electricity or water cuts.

Rus & Vrede, Hydro, Bilton wines, Sterhuis, De Clapmuts and Soverby are just a few farms with appalling practices towards farmworkers.

Workers on Knorhoek were moved to Idas Valley on the basis that the houses will become their property. In October 2008 a 69 year old woman was evicted without alternative accommodation.

On Ernie Els wines, a process to retrench workers has started after a collective bargaining dispute was declared with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

In 2007 several police officers attacked members on Bilton Wines in their home after instructions of the farm manager.

On Kaapfleurs workers are living in pigsties, some for more then 20 years. On Avondrus, Koelenhof farm, Welgevonden, Rus and Vrede, and Vorentoe workers are living in the most appalling conditions.

We call on the public and wine buyers to ensure that the wine they purchases are ethically produced and workers are treated humanely.

Enough is Enough!!!!

We will no longer tolerate ill treatment of workers and demand that Government expropriate farms where there are bad practices.

For more information please contact:
Wendy Pekeur, (083 285 1729) Patricia Dyata 021 8833180 or Denise Julius (073 088 6373)