Zimbabwe expels Cosatu representatives:
Zimbabwe police have expelled a South African trade union mission for defying a ban to enter the country. Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) officials say they had obtained a court order allowing them to stay until Wednesday afternoon. But the government has described their trip to assess conditions in the country as “not acceptable”. The cabinet ordered their deportation after the group refused to guarantee not to meet with certain civic groups.
“We think that the attitude of the Zimbabwe government borders on criminality,” a deported Cosatu official Simon Boshielo told the BBC’s Network Africa programme. Members of the 12-member delegation had been held under armed guard at Harare International Airport for much of Tuesday, following a cabinet decision to cut short their visit…Speaking from Polokwane in northern South Africa, Mr Boshielo said police had initially told them were being taken to their hotel for the night. “Suddenly we discovered during the course of the drive that we were being taken to the border.” “They dumped us at the bridge [between the countries]. And we organised our own trip from there,” he said.
The Zimbabwe government has defended the decision to expel the unionists, saying Zimbabwe was not an extension of South Africa. “Remember, Cosatu means Confederation of South African Trade Unions, not Confederation of Southern African Trade Unions,” government spokesman George Charamba told South African state radio. “They are not a super-trade union. They’re not a super-government,” he said.