Controversial former University of the Witwatersrand SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was denied bail in .
A trade union, the South African Building and Allied Workers Union, (Sabawu) has messed up the lives of 146 Free State workers and their families.
The men, who all worked for StaffGro, a milling company contracted by Kroonstad Premier Foods, were fired after the union bungled their case and now they are so short of cash that they could not even enjoy Christmas.
They rely on social grants and hand-outs to survive after striking for better wages.
Sabawu shop stew ard Vincent Malinga said: "We obtained a certificate to strike from the CCMA on November 7 last year.
"But the company acted as if they did not receive the notification and decided that our strike was illegal."
StaffGro manager Ian Kruger said the union had sent the certificate to strike to a wrong fax number.
"Our policy is that a strike is deemed illegal until we receive a notification, and we did not receive that," said Kruger.
Sabawu's Sipho Nyawuza said they got the fax number from the company's human resources de- partment but the company "later claimed that there was a technicality because the fax was linked to a computer".
Asked why they were not present at the labour court on the set date, Nyawuza said his union had made a mistake and went on a wrong date. The union would appeal against the court's ruling he said.
Joseph Maleo said his family depended on his 10-year-old's grant and parents could not reward their children who had passed matric.