Sasol is the largest of 10 companies to appear before the Middelburg High Court on Tuesday, November 30 for pressuring their employees to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Pro Choice group is suing these companies.
Pro Choice is a group that advocates for freedom of choice in immunization and other issues.
This group made an urgent court request for an interim court order to ban and prevent Sasol and the nine service providers from discriminating against unvaccinated and healthy workers and requiring all their employees to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccination or a Covid-19 Test Result every seven days before entering Sasol sites.
The founder of this group, Ms Hannetjie Venter, said that she is not just fighting for her family, but for all those affected by it.
She approached a lawyer, Mr. Sabelo Sibanda, who has a particular interest in criminal law and human rights work, as well as an activist, Ms. Debbie Els, to assist the group in this case.
Mr Sibanda and Ms Els have visited Secunda twice to speak to disgruntled employees who do not wish to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and to give them advice on the way forward.
Another lawyer, Mr. Cassius Loliwe, is also working on the case and helping the group.
They also started building a case and Sasol was due to appear in court in September, but four days before their court appearance, they sent a letter to Pro Choice’s legal team stating that they had stopped the vaccination.
The Pro Choice group then withdrew the case because they would then have had no legal basis on which to stand.
However, according to Ms Venter, on the same day Sasol was due to appear in court in September, the company sent a letter to some employees, stating that it was demanding that all employees be vaccinated by December 31 or that employees should produce a negative Covid-19 test every seven days at their expense.
“It is our human right to decide not to get vaccinated,” Ms. Venter said.
“It is unconstitutional to require employees to be vaccinated or provide a negative test every seven days.
“Now is the time to act against those things that a few people think are right.
“Take action for your future and the future of those you love.”
The Pro Choice group then again prepared a case and will take legal action against Sasol and the nine service providers at the end of November.
When the Peak time reported on Sasol’s vaccination position against Covid-19 in August this year, Ms Matebello Motloung, senior media relations specialist at Sasol, said Sasol supports the view that the implementation of Mitigation measures, including vaccinations during a pandemic, is primarily in the interest of public health and safety for the greater good of society.
She also said that Sasol considers the vaccination of the workforce involved in on-site activities during the shutdown period as a necessary and effective measure to mitigate the increased exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace and the risk of its spread.
“We do this while recognizing that immunization remains an individual’s choice, a choice that must be exercised with due regard for individual rights and without any fear of discrimination or reprisal,” Motloung said in August.
“This is underpinned by Sasol’s human rights policy.
“It is for this reason that employees who will participate in on-site activities during the downtime must submit either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test (an antigen test will be accepted) result not not older than seven days. before the start of shutdown activities, and to be repeated during the shutdown period every seven days.
“This, in our view, is also in the interest of public health, given the prevailing pandemic.
“Sasol is working with national and provincial authorities on vaccination protocols and other pandemic response interventions. “
Sasol then decided to pay for the Covid-19 tests they needed every seven days and they had testing stations on site to make it easier for employees to test.
Ms Venter said members of the group were concerned about the compensation fund as the state refers people who have reactions after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine to the compensation fund.
“What is the difference between the compensation fund and their work?” Ms. Venter said.
“Does the community know what the conditions are for claiming from the compensation fund?
“The requirements are ridiculous, you have to prove that you had no blood clots before being vaccinated, that you had no neurological problems and that the company you work for that made you get vaccinated has a company policy and a risk assessment. policy in place.
“At the end of the day, the fund probably won’t compensate you.
“Where in our history has an employer sought certain medical treatment from an employee and then refused to pay for it like Sasol now refuses to pay for negative tests every seven days?
“Isn’t that bullying?” “
The Peak time asked Sasol’s communications department about this issue and spokesperson Ms Nomia Machebe acknowledged receipt of the newspaper’s request for comment and said Sasol would respond as soon as possible.