COSATU Free State mourns the passing of Ncamile Mjika and Pule Booysen, dedicated farmworkers whose sins were to obey and instruction from their employer. They were instructed to bring a veld fire under control and sustained extensive burns when the fire cornered them onto a farm fence.
They attempted to get out of harm’s way however one got his clothes entangled in the fence. The deadly flames engulfed him, and he suffered extensive burns. The other worker later passed on at the hospital.
The dedicated farmworkers who were only trying to provide for the families and had obeyed an instruction of their employer to fight the flames of the veld fire. May his should rest in eternal peace. We take this opportunity to relay our condolences to his family and loved ones.
We continue to hold a firm belief that selling our labour is never a matter of choice for the members of the working class, it is the means for survival! We are forced to sell our labour because of structural violence that has been unleashed upon us by the greedy and exploitative capitalist system. It was whilst in the process of selling their labour that the two workers met their untimely death!
We note that in the same breath some employers continue to prioritize profits over the safety of their employees as if workers were just tools and not humans.
The issue of Occupational Health and Safety remains a thorny issue to this day, and it is quite disturbing that many employers continue to take it for granted. We have raised the matter with the Department of Employment and Labour, and we will be engaging in an awareness and enforcement campaign to ensure compliance with Occupational Health and Safety measures.
We will continue our struggle to ensure that workers are safe in the workplace as there is no job that is so important that it may be performed in an unsafe manner
Issued by COSATU Free State
Provincial Secretary | Monyatso Mahlatsi | 051 447 5499 or 076 115 9923