City of Tshwane Employee Shot During Strike
City of Tshwane Employee Shot During Strike : A City of Tshwane employee, Rendani Mabala, who endured a harrowing experience after being shot during an illegal strike, is sharing the negative consequences it has had on his health and finances. Mabala, a 44-year-old plumber and a father of four, spent 13 days in the hospital after being shot twice in the hip and buttocks when he returned from work last month.
The illegal strike, initiated by municipal workers following a council decision to withhold wage increases, began in July and escalated tensions between striking workers and those who continued to work.
Mabala’s ordeal began while he was repairing a water leak in Montana, a suburb northeast of Pretoria. A group of four people in a blue VW Polo approached him and questioned why he was working during the strike, but he paid no attention to them. However, the situation took a terrifying turn when he noticed the same car following him as he headed home after work.
Feeling threatened, Mabala called his boss and drove to his uncle’s house on a busy street to seek safety. After a few minutes inside the house, he decided to check on his pursuers. In the darkness, he was confronted by three men with firearms. They took his cellphone and keys, and without warning, fired two shots at him, one in the hip and another in the buttocks. Mabala initially thought the attackers were using toy guns but soon realized the guns were real.
The attackers then fled in Mabala’s car, which was later found abandoned in the neighborhood with partial damage. Mabala’s life took a significant toll due to the incident. He has been struggling to walk and has been traumatized, living in constant fear that the assailants might return.
Financially, the shooting has also been devastating for Mabala. Being on sick leave, he has been unable to earn overtime income and stand-by allowances, which has cost him approximately R30,000. His young children and livestock have also been adversely affected by his inability to care for them.
The strike, which continues to disrupt Tshwane, has led to the dismissal of over 120 South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members. ActionSA and other political entities are working to resolve the ongoing crisis and get service delivery back on track. The labor unrest has strained the city’s budget and hampered service delivery, adding pressure to an already challenging situation.
Mabala’s story highlights the human toll of such labor disputes and underscores the need for a peaceful resolution to safeguard the well-being of employees and maintain essential city services. The Tshwane multiparty coalition is actively involved in efforts to find a resolution to this ongoing crisis.
As the strike continues and negotiations proceed, Mabala’s ordeal serves as a stark reminder of the real-world consequences of labor disputes in Tshwane.