The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has set its sight on the South African branch of global security firm, G4S, after the company served what appears to be a fake black economic empowerment (BEE) deal to its workers.
Approached by a committee representing affected G4S workers, the EFF has promised to make a rigorous intervention that seeks to correct the 13 years old fake BEE deal affecting about 15 000 workers. The Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) transaction clinched in 2005 promised workers 13% stake in the company. It was part of a broader deal that earmarked 26% of G4S South Africa for BEE purposes.
G4S workers are yet to see a cent from the deal while the company and its executives have on the back of the deal been laughing all the way to the bank. It’s reported that other parties to the deal have made their money.
When asked about the deal, G4S has declined to comment.
Ujuh was made aware that the EFF has written a letter to G4S South Africa leadership requesting some clarity about the deal. The EFF has threatened to target G4S with mass protest action if the firm fails to oblige to its demands. The concerned letter has been signed by Pebane Moteka, an EFF Member of Parliament serving in the Portfolio Committee of Labour. Moteka confirmed sending the letter to G4S management and said the party will reassess its position in about two weeks.
The letter asserts the EFF as acting on behalf of the disaffected G4S workers. It states that the G4S Esop/BEE deal has failed its obligations and no proper explanation has been given to workers.
It demands that G4S must give a proper explanation so that the EFF’s legal department can peruse the matter and decide on the way forward which might include mass protest action. The letter demands that the explanation must be accompanied by bona fide financial statements for the period 2005 – 2017.
The letter gives a 14 days ultimatum and states that failure might be met with “mass visit to your (G4S) offices”.
This could be slippery ground if the EFF’s history of feisty protests is anything to go by. H&M was recently on the receiving end of the EFF’s violent protest when the party of Julius Malema visited and thrashed the retailer’s stores in Johannesburg. This is after H&M was accused of racism following the flighting of “The Coolest monkey in the jungle advert”.
The EFF’s intervention in the G4S BEE matter can be seen as the repositioning of the party by stealth. Nowadays the EFF is increasingly talking up an activist posture around daily economics issues. In addition to its handling of the H&M matter the EFF tackled a gambling company called TOPBET after the company was exposed of abusing a group of black women workers who were subjected to a strip search because someone had apparently left menstrual blood in a toilet.
The EFF is merely exploiting a space left unattended by the government of the day.
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