Cape Town - Calls for illegal strikes and international
sanctions on agricultural products are a form of economic sabotage and it is
therefore necessary to prosecute individuals in their personal capacity for
these calls, said Jaco Schoeman of the Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of
Property Rights, an informal grouping of organisations in civil society.
The labour unrest that began on Wednesday is the
unfortunate result of individuals in the Western Cape who promote their own
short-term political ambitions with threats and public statements, Schoeman
In the process of promoting their own self-interest, human
lives are at stake and property is damaged.
Calls for illegal strikes and international sanctions on
agricultural products are a form of economic sabotage and it is therefore
necessary to prosecute individuals in their personal capacity for these calls,
He said these individuals were members of Cosatu and the ANC
in the Western Cape, who whipped up communities against each other with a view
to the 2014 elections and to strengthen their own positions in the process.
Last week Cosatu provincial secretary
Tony Ehrenreich said the trade federation would call on the international community to
boycott South African agricultural products, because they were produced in
"slave labour conditions".
"We are also calling on a mandate from the
international community to boycott the products of those farmers who do not
want to enter into decent negotiations with their workers," he said.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce slammed the calls for an
international boycott of export fruit as irresponsible.
Individuals who made themselves guilty of a form of economic
sabotage, irrespective of their positions, should be held personally liable
where human lives are at stake, and face criminal prosecution for any damage to
property, said Schoeman.
"Therefore we call on members of the civil society to provide
material as evidence of offences contained in Act 33 of 2004: Protection
or Constitutional democracy against terrorist and related activities Act
to members of the Ad Hoc Group for Property Rights for possible further action," he said.
In May 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled that the SA
Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) was responsible for damages caused
during a march by security guards in Cape Town in May 2006.
It found the Regulation of Gatherings Act afforded victims
effective recourse when a gathering became destructive and resulted in injury,
loss of property, or life.
The ruling would force unions to keep better discipline at
marches, pickets and strikes.
It was welcomed by the SA Chamber of Commerce and
Industry as well as Business Unity SA.
Western Cape farmworkers went on strike over wages late last
year demanding R150 per day, a coherent land reform programme and better
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