Police disperse workers unions at the border

 

MAMELLO SEBATANE

Maseru – Trade Unions in Lesotho today gathered at Maseru Bridge awaiting their South African partners from the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) to protest in solidarity against low wages and police brutality in Lesotho.

Present were representations from Lesotho Workers Association (LEWA), the National Clothing and Textile Allied Workers ‘Union (NACTWU), Lentsoe la Basotho and the United Textile Employees (UNITE).

While waiting for NUMSA members to cross the border, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) tried to disperse the crowd accusing them of protesting illegally as they did not have any permit.

Speaking on behalf of the picketers, Solong Senohe general secretary of UNITE admitted they had not applied for a permit that allows them to protest.

“We did not apply for the permit because we were never going to be granted one. But we are here today because we want the world to know that our government does not support our workers. Instead, when we fight for our rights against unsatisfactory salaries we are subjected to attack and abuse by the police,” he said.

In a letter published yesterday preceding the today’s protest, NUMSA expressed solidarity with Lesotho workers, condemning the government of Lesotho for oppressive tactics against workers and union bashing tendencies.

NUMSA further demands that workers be allowed to organise freely, adding they support fully the demands of Lesotho workers, particularly for living salaries.

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