A faction of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has distanced itself from members who held a Joburg council executive hostage on Wednesday.

A Samwu statement said the incident was sparked after city officials encouraged union members to withhold their subscriptions until a court rules on who the rightful Samwu leadership is.

"Yesterday afternoon‚ a group of criminal elements purporting to be representatives of Samwu members in Joburg held hostage {an executive} of GED Corporate Services demanding payment of members’ subscriptions to their bank account‚" the statement said.

"A faction led by Bafana Zungu‚ Stanley Moloko‚ Khayalethu Nyathi‚ Thomas Lebea and Rachel Matsepe were imposed by the faction of Pule Molalenyane to be regional leaders in Joburg without following Samwu constitution hence the court case.

"All along they’ve been looting the members’ funds illegitimately and spending members’ money on their personal desires. There’s never been a single programme they did for members since they were imposed in September 2016."

The statement bore the names of Samwu’s Esther Mtatyana‚ Lindiwe Mazibuko and Phaneul Chikovha.

Business Day reported last month that the council had been dealing with two Samwu factions on labour matters: one led by regional leader Bafana Zungu and the other by former deputy secretary Paul Tlhabang.

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