Kalula to sound out Zim

16 February 2009

Professor Evance Kalula

Professor Evance Kalula, director of the Institute of Development and Labour Law at UCT, has been appointed to a commission of inquiry to investigate complaints of non-observance of freedom of association by Zimbabwe.

The three-member commission was constituted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and will be sworn in at its headquarters in Geneva next month. It is expected to complete its work in July.

Other members are Judge Raymond Ranjeva, senior judge at the International Court of Justice and former Chief Justice of Mauritius, and Dr Bertrand Ramcharan, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and former commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists.

Kalula said the complaints relate to two conventions (ILO treaties) that Zimbabwe has ratified, that is to say the Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise Convention No. 87 and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention No. 98.

"The task of the commission will be to examine the complaints by hearing and gathering evidence, and to make recommendation to the ILO's governing body," explained Kalula.

He added that the commission is similar to the one that was appointed for South Africa in 1992. The 1992 Fact Finding Commission was appointed to probe complaints by COSATU and in retrospect has been seen as a factor in the galvanising of negotiation towards the 1994 democratic settlement in the labour sector.

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