A SENIOR municipal official was assaulted yesterday by striking Nelson Mandela Bay security workers, allegedly at the instructions of SA Municipal Workers’ Union boss Xolani Tom.
At a meeting between management and the 200 security workers who are demanding backpay, colleagues saw assistant safety and security director Renèe Barendse thrown off her chair and beaten on her back at about 11am at the Sidwell traffic department.
She later laid a charge of common assault at the Algoa Park police station.
The meeting lasted four hours because the senior managers were not allowed to leave.
Eyewitnesses say that Barendse, who heads up the investigations unit, was singled out by Tom and told to leave the meeting.
“She was summoned to the meeting with the workers and everything seemed fine until the Samwu chairman [Tom] started pointing to her and asking [executive director] Shane Brown what she was doing there.
“He then told her to leave or he would have her thrown out but she didn’t move,” one municipal official said.
“Tom then told the workers to throw her out and they pulled the chair from under her and she fell on her knees.
“She couldn’t get up because she recently had a knee replacement and so they started hitting her on her back. Another assistant director helped her up and got her out of the room.” – Rochelle de Kock and Gareth Wilson
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