The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has learnt with shoch the death of an employee of the City of Tshwane in the Energy and Electricity Department, Cde Samuel Vena. The City had issued Vena an intention terminate his services whilst in hospital. The City had alleged that Vena had participated in an unprotected strike. 

After being discharged from the hospital, the City coerced Vena into signing acknowledgement receipt of their intention to terminate his services. This was followed by another cruel attack by the City to withhold his August salary. As a result of the City’s action, Vena unfortunately passed away, given the immense pressure placed on him by the City. 

As SAMWU, we take this opportunity to wish the Vena family, his colleagues and friends our sincere condolences for their loss. The Union calls for the City, in particular the Mayor, Cllr Celliers Brink to take fully responsibility for Vena’s death. Had the City not embarked on its campaign to silence workers from demanding their salary and wage increases, the Vena family would today not be mourning. 

This is just one of the many cases wherein the City has illegally withheld workers’ salaries, while dozens of workers have had their contracts of employment unprocedural terminated. It is for this reason that SAMWU will continue to defend all employees who have had their salaries illegally withheld and those terminated without following due processes.  

Cllr Brink has failed to manage the impasse between his administration and its employees. Instead of dialogue with the intention of finding mutually beneficial solutions, Brink and his administration have been on a campaign on systematically silence and remove anyone in their way. This administration has further made the situation in Tshwane to be more volatile by refusing to pay workers their increases as directed twice by the South African Local Governing Bargaining Council (SALGBC).

The Union further calls on the City of Tshwane Council, as the highest decision making body in the City to step up and direct the executive to implement the two SALGBC rulings. Irrespective of party affiliation, Councilors are supposed to step in and help in restoring normality to Tshwane and its residents. 

The Council has allowed Brink to turn into a murderer, a tyrant and an oppressor of workers under their watch. Brink was imposed on residents by this Council, it is this very same Council that should hold him to account for the mess that he has created in Tshwane, including the death of Vena. Irrespective of party affiliation, Councilors are supposed to step in and help in restoring normality to Tshwane and its residents. 

We once more send our condolence to the Vena family. His death will not be in vain!

Issued by SAMWU Gauteng Province

Mpho Tladinyane

Gauteng Provincial Secretary

083 941 5888


Precious Theledi

Tshwane Regional Secretary

072 601 8876