The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) is caught in an ugly legal battle after axing its spokesperson, who is facing three counts of rape.
The federation alleges that it was not aware that Douglas Mthukwane stands accused of rape when they employed him as their spokesperson last year.
Mthukwane has since taken the federation to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for unfair labour practices.
Secretary General of SAFTU, Zwelinzima Vavi, says the axing of Mthukwane was in the best interest of the federation.
“We took a risk to offer him employment without his fingerprints being taken. In a letter of his appointment we told him that should we find something in his criminal record, we will withdraw the offer to employ. We cannot be associated in any way with someone facing a plethora of serious allegations. SAFTU has a very strong stance against women and children abuse,” says Vavi.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that Mthukwane is accused of rape.
NPA Spokesperson, Phaladi Shuping, says the rape allegations which include the rape of a 14-year-old, dating back to 2014.
“He is currently facing three counts of rape for incidents that happened on different occasions. The first one happened in 2014, the second one happened in 2018 and the other one in 2019,” says Shuping.