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Statements against Michael Sun were intolerant and hurtful – COSATU

Federation apologises for any hurt or embarrassment caused to MMC during strike

COSATU apologises to Mr Michael Sun for any hurt or embarrassment caused during the COSATU strike

3 October 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the allegations of racism levelled against one of its officials during a very successful anti-state capture and corruption march in the City of Johannesburg last week. After investigating the allegations, we want to unreservedly apologise to Mr Michael Sun, the public safety member of the mayoral committee in Johannesburg for any hurt and embarrassment caused by the statements from our official.

COSATU will never condone any form of racism or racial discrimination. We have concluded that the statements made against Michael Sun were intolerant, patronising and hurtful and could be easily interpreted as bigoted. That is not what our organisation stands for.

While workers during their strikes have an old age tradition that thrives on political put-downs or any applause that can be easily procured through flippant name calling, we draw the line when such verbal infelicities carry racial connotations. COSATU remains an organisation for all South Africans and we deplore any form of racism or discrimination. 

This unfortunate distraction does not give Mayor Herman Mashaba a get out clause though, we still want him to deal with the issues raised by the workers during the last week’s strike.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 3 October 2017