The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) has accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of trying to gag members who complain about racism.
“On 21 December 2021, our member Comrade Sindile Nkabinde from Johannesburg Cluster received a notice of intention to suspend her for conducting an interview with Power FM about racism within the NPA,” revealed NUPSAW on Wednesday.
“Comrade Sindile conducted the interview as a NUPSAW representative and not as an NPA employee.
“She is now threatened to be suspended for bringing NPA into disrepute, contravening NPA media policy and disrespecting the NDPP [National Director of Public Prosecutions].”
NUPSAW added: “Our member was given 24 hours to respond to NPA’s intention to suspend.”
The union said it was challenging the NPA’s intention to suspend Sandile.
“They have yet to acknowledge or respond,” said NUPSAW.
The union said it will not be intimidated by NPA, adding “We will not allow NPA to victimise our members further”.
NUPSAW said it “was incensed” by the NPA’s “intimidation tactics” carried out against workers.
“Instead of addressing real issues plaguing the organisation, the NPA has embarked on a witch-hunt in a bid to silence our members,” said NUPSAW.
The racism allegations in the NPA are so serious that the Grahamstown high court, Eastern Cape, heard such a matter in August.
The union said the threats of suspension “only serve to prove that Comrade Sindile was being truthful regarding what she said in the interview about racism in the NPA”.
NUPSAW claimed white and Indian employees were protected by NPA.
“Black employees are subjected to victimisation, nepotism, favouritism and racism which the NPA is trying, by all means, to cover up by silencing those who speak out,” alleged the union.
Following a picket by disgruntled prosecutors at its headquarters in Pretoria earlier this year in March, the NPA said it would not tolerate any acts of racism or nepotism.
However, on Wednesday NUPSAW said it was calling on President Cyril Ramphosa and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola to intervene.