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Maudi Obed Maphutha

Government’s decisions were unjustified and unfounded

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I want to take this opportunity to sympathize with the families of all the military personnel whom were provisionally dismissed by the Minister of Defense, who without any remorse, pronounced their urgent dismissals on the television not so long ago. Of course her reasoning was that, hence the soldiers are classified as essential employees, they are not entitled to their Constitutional right of freedom of association in executing their day to day activities. One issue that I still find it difficult to digest is what the motive was in the first place for their protest. The Minister, even the previous ministry failed dismally to recognize the importance of the services that this people are providing to this country, without them, surely this country will be in a very serious security crisis. However, unimportant as the minister view them, she pronounced their dismissal without any waste of time.

Much as Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu is serving in the government, one will ask to say, does the government deal with issues holistically, or do they deal with issues individually. The reason I am saying this is that, Medical Professionals, not so long ago engaged themselves in a similar protest, of which it was rumored that their protest has been interdicted by the government and if it persist, they will be summarily dismissed. However it turned out on the eleventh hour that their dismissals were withdrawn and will all be issued with warnings. I am still to this far, stuck in the middle of nowhere, because lawfully speaking, medical professions too are classified under essential services definition, but they were not dismissed too. Given the two situations at hand, one will wonder as to what precedence our government setting is given their unfair treatment of its servants.

Minister of defense from the word go, to me the statement to say we will dismiss all of them, it raises a very serious concern to say, if one anticipates dismissing someone, do you really have to say it just like that without making mention of any procedure that you will follow before implementing dismissal. Remember this is the same government that withdrawn dismissals of medical doctors. Of course some may argue that medical doctors are professionals and soldiers are not professionals, but to me they fall within the same armpit of definition. They are defined as, services which if interrupted, they endanger the lives of others.

The second element that I would like to argue is the issue of salary disparities that government has set amongst its employees. If one looks at the entry labour market salary of a medical doctor who is serving the government, you can notice a very high structural difference between the two. However I was really shocked to hear on the dismissed soldiers crying foul of his earnings. He said on television that, his maximum salary per month is not over R4000-00, so he resorted to loan sharks every month to sustain his household. The big question is, is government really keeping it promises that they are intending to better lives of all its civilians? I really beg to differ with this; there is no way a working person can solely survive on that salary, given the fact that this person has got a family to support. Second to that, I am well conversant with the security cluster remuneration that, in the public service, this cluster is highly ignored and it is only creating a problem, considering the services that they are rendering in the Republic.

The kind of leadership that government is currently deployed in the government is that of dictatorship, fueled by unnecessary arrogance that it does not serve any purpose but to distract the live hoods of its servants. People who are highly corrupt in the government are being led to go without a say, and the lower class that is doing the spade work, is the one which is made to suffer. The fact remains, summary dismissal of those soldiers is only going to subjects thousands of their families to a high tense of poverty and more crime. It is very wrong; the decision was taken with emotions.  I wish to rest my case at that level.

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