The Hartbeespoort Community Development Initiative NPC (HCDI) invites your assistance to help free their voices of human rights.
Since October 2018, HCDI, the Alternative Voices Group and HCDI's Chairperson, Mr Mmeli Mdluli have been championing the fight against exploitation, abuse and violations of human rights at 29 x Spar stores in 3 provinces (Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and Northwest) and Food Lovers Markets owned by the Giannacopolous Family Trust.
The stories of worker abuses, exploitation and human rights violations have been widely covered in the national media and generated immeasurable interest.
These violations have been investigated and validated by the South African Department of Labour, Spar Guild of Southern Africa, (Spar Guild has taken decision to expel the Family Trust business for violating their franchise agreement) and stand to lose all 29 x Spar Stores. Food Lovers Market also found and endorsed the violations. The South African Human Rights Commission is still investigating while the Department of Health is also working out its strategies given health issues.
In February 2019 Chris Giannacopolous sought and was granted an ex parte Interim Protection Order against Mr Mdluli in his personal capacity as Head of the organisation at the Brits Magistrate Court. In his affidavit Giannacopolous claimed that Mdluli and HCDI had a vendetta against him and were spreading untruths about reported happenings at his stores.
In this Protection Order Mdluli's Constitutional rights are glaringly violated. His freedom of movement was curtailed. His movements are restricted and limited to certain boundaries within Hartbeespoort where the organisation is based. His voice, the only tool and weapon that Mdluli has used effectively to free exploited and abused workers was silenced using this Order. Mdluli's Freedom of expression on same issues cannot be exercised in any form of media be it social media, or reporting these injustices on national media. For months now his voice has been silenced.
Expiry dates of food products, including baby foods, are rubbed out and put back on the shelves. Expiry dates on biscuits and hair products are rubbed out and put back on the shelves for you to unknowingly purchase. Expired milk is reused in bakery products. Stale or rotten meat is simply spiced up and resold.
Even more disturbing is that poached game/wildlife such as hippo, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, warthog is used in the production of boerewors and fraudulently misrepresented as kudu wors or meat. These are but a few transgressions, amongst other deceptive methods, used to hoodwink unsuspecting consumers.
Silencing Mr. Mdluli and HCDI, leaving workers open and vulnerable to abuse, and deceiving consumers, means that efforts to spread the message far and wide amongst affected parties about the existence of assistance and efforts such as those offered by Mdluli and HCDI shall continue to be stamped.
Through this order Mdluli cannot associate with the affected workers who work 15hour days thus his freedom of association has been curtailed.
The HCDI, the Alternative Voices and Mdluli are taking this Interim Protection Order to court in August 2019 to have it set aside. Once set aside Mdluli and organisation seek to hold workshops to educate workers on their rights and ensure that these workers are unionised allowing Mdluli and HCDI to move and focus on other exploited and abused workers in all sectors of the South African economy.
We are calling on you, local and national business, colleagues, fellow citizens to assist in the fight against the suppression of voices of justice, equality and to defend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Together we can turn the tides of injustice and exploitation.
Your financial support for HCDI as a human rights and community development organisation is humbly sought, moreso for the upcoming Court matter as HCDI and Mdluli seek to have the Protection Order set aside so that they can continue assisting those whose voices have been trampled on by the powerful.
We thank you most sincerely.