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The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has described the City of Johannesburg’s decision to disconnect electricity in its offices as an act of destabilisation . The city issued a statement on Friday confirming that it had disconnected services at Samwu’s head office in Johannesburg, saying it was owed a total of R1.2m for electricity, water, sewer, rates and refuse. Samwu and the city have been engaged in a protracted battle that dates back years over a number of issues, with relations appearing to have worsened since the city withheld the union’s subscription fees at the height of Samwu infighting in 2017. The union’s general secretary, Simon Mathe, said the city’s move to disconnect services was spurred on by a court order granted to Samwu allowing it to attach R1.6m from the city’s accounts. A labour court found in favour of a dismissed employee, who is also a Samwu member, and ordered his reinstatement and the financial settlement. The city failed to abide by the orde...

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