Johannesburg – A second Transnet employee has been arrested for alleged intimidation during a strike at the Ngqura container terminal, outside Port Elizabeth, the parastatal said on Friday.
“Port Elizabeth police have arrested a second suspect, another Numsa member, in connection with the spate of bombings, arson and thuggery targeted at Transnet employees who chose not to join the union’s industrial action,” spokesperson Mboniso Sigonyela said in a statement.
Police confirmed the man was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition on Tuesday.
Captain Andre Beetge said a non-striking Transnet employee claimed the 35-year-old man was a striker who intimidated him for refusing to join the strike.
“We cannot say it is strike-related, but both are Transnet employees.”
Police could not confirm a second arrest, nor whether the man arrested was affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa). Numsa members have been on strike for eight weeks at Ngqura over transport allowances, working hours for particular tasks, and the use of labour brokers.
Transnet said on Thursday it had increased security for its workers, their families, and property after at least 35 acts of violence and intimidation, including arson, since the strike began.
Numsa national treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo said in a statement on Thursday that “not a single shred of evidence exists or shows that our members are responsible for acts of violence or intimidation”.
He claimed Numsa members had been disciplined.
“Our members fully understand the code of conduct of Numsa, since any worker or member seen acting outside the ambit of the law will face serious consequences internally in the union,” Maqungo said.