Public servants who worked during apartheid march against exclusion

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A group of elderly people who were employers of the apartheid regime vow to take the government to court should their pension monies not be paid out.

The former public servants, who since the 1960s served under the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei homelands marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. This in a bid to recover a pension fund redress, they were excluded from.

Instead of spending time at home with family or resting, the pensioners took their plight to the Union Buildings. Soldiers, teachers and nurses say the apartheid laws meant they earned less than their white counterparts.

While the democratic government worked on a redress program, Mary Beauty Malete from the Civil Servants Pension Redress Movement says they were excluded from the pension redress payouts agreement signed in September 1998.

“Government paid those people who were on duty from the 2nd of September 1998. We then felt that we as the persons that were discriminated against and who really worked for South Africa to where it is now, we discriminated against and were excluded from the program. All government civil servants were discriminated against. Especially people of colour, that is the blacks.”

George Matjila, a former soldier says 30 years on and their cries have fallen on deaf ears.

“From the time Nelson Mandela was President, then it was Zuma and we had hope with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Now we are here, and no one is listening to us. The President promised to look into the matter and appoint the monster of finance, but they have not come back to us,”

Fatima Abdool is continuing the fight for her late mother, a nurse during apartheid, who died last year.

“If she was still alive…She was passionate about the fact that the pensions should be paid. These are teachers and nurses that worked hard during that time. They have been promised but they have not received their monies to date. Some don’t even have documentation that prove they worked so they were not even paid their pension.”

A representative from the Presidency received their memorandum. If the President or Minster of Finance doesn’t respond, they have vowed to go to court.

Video: Public servants who worked during apartheid-era march to Union Buildings over exclusion