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The recent shooting during a peaceful demonstration of South African Municipal Workers Union shop steward Petros Msiza by the South African Police is shocking. CUPE supports SAMWU’s call for a judicial inquiry into police violence. Read the letter, sent March 7, from CUPE National President Paul Moist to President Sam Molope of the South African Municipal Worker’s Union (SAMWU).

Dear Comrade Molope:

CUPE is saddened by the recent shooting of SAMWU shop steward Petros Msiza by the South African Police as he participated in a peaceful protest in Thswane a few days ago.  It is shocking to hear that the police are using violent force against protesters and we are horrified to learn that the death of Comrade Msiza is not the first incident in recent months.

We fully support SAMWU’s call for a judicial inquiry into police violence and we ask that you convey our support for this investigation to the appropriate South African authorities.

CUPE is well aware that SAMWU has been in the forefront of the fight against corruption at the municipal level in South Africa and in the struggle to ensure the provision of essential public services for all South African citizens. The leadership that your union has taken on these issues should be commended by your government and not met with violence and repression.

As we see events unfold across the globe, with millions standing up against corruption and repressive governments, it is essential that South Africa continue to be viewed as a country that stands up for the poor, speaks out against oppression and takes action against violence and corruption.

We ask that you send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Comrade Msiza.    

In solidarity,

National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees