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Khulumani Support Group

Khulumani Support Group

Website URL: http://www.khulumani.net

Survivors of the 1987 SASOL strike denied the right to commemorate and to demand redress for apartheid crimes, on African Human Rights Day

On 21 October, 2014: African Human Rights Day, a group of ex-strikers planned to commemorate twenty-seven years since the 1987 SASOL strike with a picket at the SASOL plant in Sasolburg. They applied to the police for permission to demonstrate, painted banners, and brought in members from around the country for this event.

But when the ex-strikers' representative went to the police station to collect the permission at 2 pm on the 20th, they discovered that Sasol management was there already, meeting the police. Police then refused permission for the gathering, on the grounds that SASOL management had expressed willingness to negotiate outstanding demands – 27 years later. Apparently the demonstration might jeopardize these "negotiations".

To Supporters of the Gogos and Mamas: Making the connections

A special story from Merle Conyer who offered a much appreciated self-care workshop to 12 Khulumani group facilitators in September 2014 which included crafting blankets to represent symbols of the sources of nourishment that enable the facilitators to keep on keeping on.

In 2014 I returned to my birthplace South Africa after a long absence, and wanted to honour the transition of the past twenty years and the people who contributed to this.

MARKING 27 YEARS OF STRUGGLE: SASOL 1 & NATREF Ex-Workers to picket SASOL 1 offices, Sasolburg to hand over a memorandum at 11:00 on Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 to Demand Redress and Compensation

Twenty seven years ago, in October 1987, the managements of Sasol One and of Natref precipitately dismissed 2,400 skilled workers from their plants at Sasolburg when they embarked on a strike for improved wages. The workers had served Sasol One and Natref for periods of between 5 and 35 years. Their wholesale dismissal threatened the operations of the companies at a time that South Africa was reliant on the production of oil from coal at its Sasol One plant.

In the 27 years since their dismissal, the lives of the ex-workers of Sasol One and of Natref, have been destroyed. None of the workers has received their accumulated benefits. Only one worker has been provided with his service certificate. No workers have been compensated for the harm caused their families including the loss of life of 77 breadwinners, the loss of homes, the falling apart of many marriages, and the loss of the ability to send children to school and to take forward their lives. For 27 years, Sasol One and Natref have refused to acknowledge their responsibility for this destruction.

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Khulumani (KSG)
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