UP worker dies

DITEBOGO TSHAKA

On the morning of 6 November, a UP Servest worker, Mokhithi Johannes Moeti, died while on duty. Moeti, who was working in the maintenance team at UP, was killed after being pulled into a chipper machine at the LC de Villiers Sport Campus.

According to Moeti’s colleague and an eyewitness to the accident, Mulisa Mabudafhasi, “All I saw was his hand gloves disappearing into the machine. We were working under pressure‚ that’s how we live‚ we are oppressed. So my friend was stressed like I was. They left the two of us to operate a dangerous machine without the keys‚ I could not do anything.”

Mabudafhasi told TimesLIVE that he is traumatised and [doesn’t] think counselling will help”.

Isaac Malema‚ spokesperson for the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA)‚ said that the workers were not properly equipped to operate the machine. “After investigations into this‚ I am of the understanding that the machine must be operated by a minimum of six people‚ and in this case it was only two. The workers told us that they were not properly trained or given safety equipment‚” said Malema to TimesLIVE.

On 10 November, UP issued a joint statement with Servest confirming Moeti’s death. According to the statement, police and emergency services were immediately called to the scene of the accident. “Both Servest and UP are working hand in hand with SAPS and the Department of Labour as they investigate the matter. The investigative team has thus far been unable to conclusively identify the root cause of this fatal accident, however, the SAPS and the Department of Labour are still finalising their investigation. Servest and UP has and will continue to cooperate with SAPS and the Department of Labour,” the statement said.

A memorial service took place for Moeti on 10 November at the Dutch reformed church in Hatfield.

 

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