While Capetonians licked their wounds after the mayhem caused by striking security guards in the City yesterday, 38 members of the security industry spent the night in jail. Among those arrested were labour union leaders. Cosatu’s provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich was one of those arrested. The suspects are expected to appear in court this morning on charges of public violence. Police confirmed that numerous shop and car windows were smashed in during the march on Parliament. Police used rubber bullets, teargas and stun grenades in an effort to control the mob terrorising people in the City centre. A number of pedestrians and a journalist were assaulted and robbed. Some of the striking security guards were armed with baseball bats and sjamboks. Cosatu has condemned the violence, saying workers have once again harmed the good name of the labour organisation. Violence can never be justified, Cosatu said in a statement. Mayor Helen Zille will announce later today how the City plans to recover damages from Cosatu. The Freedom Front Plus has added its voice to those who condemned in the strongest possible terms the pandemonium caused by strikers yesterday. Spokesperson Willie Spies says the government should consider urgent steps to stop the murder and violence caused by Satawu members. Spies says the situation borders on a state of emergency.
Meanwhile, talks aimed at resolving the crisis in the security industry have once again deadlocked and are scheduled to resume on Friday. Employers and the guards' negotiators must then respond to a compromise deal proposed by mediators.
Cape Town residents and businessmen have expressed their deep concern about tomorrow’s planned Cosatu march, that police say will go ahead despite yesterday’s mayhem. There will be what police called maximum deployment of officers in the City to protect people and property. Union spokes people have expressed concern that there will be a poor turnout for the march because workers, including teachers, will be concerned about their safety. Education MEC Cameron Dugmore has expressed concern about the possible disruption of schools during tomorrow’s protest action. He says supervisors must take reasonable steps to ensure that their areas of responsibility continue to function. Staff absenteeism will be monitored and the principle of no work, no pay will be applied.