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Students burn tyres in protest over alleged nepotism, racism
IOL News 3 May 2017

Johannesburg – A culture of nepotism, racial discrimination and intimidation has descended on the Carletonville campus of Westcol College, where the campus manager, his wife, his daughter and his daughter-in-law all work, student protesters are alleging.

On Tuesday, protesters gathered outside the entrance to the West Rand campus, singing and burning tyres in defiance of campus administration.

Settlement reached with Buffalo City strikers
IOL News 29 April 2016

Port Elizabeth – Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality on Friday said it had reached an agreement on back pay with striking workers to end their work stoppage.

The agreement came a day after hundreds of striking SA Municipal Workers Union members marched to East London City Hall in protest over salary disputes and back pay. The strike started two weeks ago.

A group of workers trashed parts of East London by spilling rubbish onto the streets. Workers reportedly also set fire to electricity boxes near the municipality’s Trust Building.

In a statement on Friday Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said the municipality had reached an agreement with workers.

Mtsi said the CCMA had helped broker the agreement on union demands for back pay for two years because of delays in the job evaluation process.

Mtsi said: “Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality has undertaken to pay the employees their Job Evaluation Adjustment Allowance in the amount R15 000 as a once off payment to each employee as follows: R 9 838.00 within a period of fourteen days and the remaining amount of R5 162.00 will be paid at the earliest possible date of the next financial year”.

Mtsi added: “The employer will withdraw their application for an interdict with costs immediately after the Trade Unions have called off their strike”.

He also apologised to East London residents for any inconveniences caused by the strike.

Meanwhile, Mayoral spokesperson, Sibusiso Pindi warned that investigations were in the pipeline with regards to workers who vandalised buildings and broke equipment.

Pindi said that even the unions did not condone such behavior which amounted to “breaking the law”.

Vuwani residents lose court bid
SABC News 29 April 2016

Residents of the Vuwani area have asked the municipality to reverse the municipal demarcation board's decision to incorporate Vuwani into a new municipality in the Vhembe district.

Residents of the Vuwani area have asked the municipality to reverse the municipal demarcation board's decision to incorporate Vuwani into a new municipality in the Vhembe district. (SABC)

Limpopo Polokwane Vuwani The Municipal Demarcation Board Ephraim Makgoba Witness Tiva The Limpopo high court in Polokwane has ruled against the residents of Vuwani who took the Municipal Demarcation Board to court.

Limpopo Judge President, Ephraim Makgoba says the applicants failed to give enough reasons why the Municipal Board decision should be reversed.

The Demarcation Board has decided to merge parts of Vuwani and Malamulele to form a new municipality.

The applicants have not been able to show that the decision of the board is arbitrary or in any way lacking any rationality

Traditional leaders took the matter to court in a bid to get the board to reverse its decision to merge part of Vuwani and Malamulele to form a new municipality.

Judge Makgoba says each party will pay for the their legal costs. “The applicants have not been able to show that the decision of the board is arbitrary or in any way lacking any rationality.”

“The applicants have also failed to show that there was some important considerations of which ought to have been taken to account but was ignored as a results the applicants failed to make up a proper case for relief sought and the application for review cannot succeed and the application is dismissed and each party shall pay its legal costs.”

Bushbuckridge residents protest appointment of new councillor
IOL News 29 April 2016

Protests Bushbuckridge Mpumalanga Shatale Dwarsloop Enas Selowe LGE 2016 The residents of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga have been protesting since early Friday morning.

They are complaining about the imposing of an ANC councillor who they do not want.

There is no alternative entrance or exit to the area between Shatale and Dwarsloop as the residents have blockaded the R40 road with burning tires and stones.

Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for the community safety and liaison Enas Selowe says this protest is not about service delivery.

“The police are there and the R40 of course is closed, there is no exit at all, when I try to interact because I tried to interact with the community members here, the cry is not about service delivery, it is about the issue of imposing candidate to those who they do not want”

#RUReferenceList creates ripple effect
IOL News 18 April 2016

Protests are continuing at Rhodes University as students are voicing their discontent about the rape culture across the campus. Following the release of the #RUReferenceList which was published to the “RU Queer Confessions, Questions and Crushes” page stating names of alleged rapists at Rhodes University, protests continued across the campus on Monday.

Protestors plan Freedom Day port blockade
Southlands Sun 26 April 2016

ABOUT 2,500 people are expected to block the entrance to the Durban Harbour this Freedom Day (Wednesday, 27 April) in protest against what they believe are unsustainable developments in South Durban.

Facilitated by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SCEA), the protest on Wednesday, 27 April will see South Durban communities bar access to the Durban Port container terminals on Langerberg and Bayhead roads from 10am.

They will speak out against what they deem are unsustainable developments in the South Durban Basin, including the dig out port and its back of port ramifications, Clairwood Logistics Park, increased trucking and the expansion of petroleum chemical industries.

“The question we need to ask ourselves is, is this type of development worth pursuing at the expense of our natural, social and cultural environments which future generations will not be able to experience? Is climate change not a worrying factor when it is more evident than ever before, considering the droughts and extreme weather patterns in various areas of not only our nation but globally?

Why are these factors disregarded in light of profit? Why isn’t there proper engagement with citizens on alternatives and ways to improve the lives of our people?

As a community we need to stand up against environmental injustice that will lead to vulnerable communities left at the mercy of bad choices made by government and industry,” said SDCEA.

PHOTOS: Meter taxi drivers march against Uber
Berea Mail 28 April 2016

The KZN Meter Taxi Alliance marched to City Hall to hand over a memorandum of demands to the municipality after feeling the pinch of taxi cab mobile app Uber operating in the country.

DURBAN’S meter taxi drivers, with support from other areas around the province, parked their vehicles and marched from Botha Park through the streets to City Hall this morning.

The meter taxi industry led by the KZN Meter Taxi Alliance held the peaceful march to air their grievances against the popular transport mobile app Uber which is “financially crippling” local drivers and handed over a memorandum of demands to the City.

A taxi driver who spoke to Berea Mail at City Hall where the memorandum was being signed, said, “The march is against Uber, we don’t want Uber operating in Durban or South Africa.

“Their rates are half our rates, while we like healthy competition, Uber rates are something we can’t even try to compete with. In our industry, meter taxi drivers have rules and regulations that have to be followed and taxes to be paid, but Uber is tax free!” The driver hoped bringing their issues to the Mayor would assist them in getting rid of Uber.

The carrying placards such as “Support legal local meter taxis”, If we have to obey the law, so must illegal Uber, Illegal Uber must fall, hundreds of drivers sang, toyi-toyied and shouted “Uber must fall” and “Phansi Uber, Phansi” .

The Mayor’s representative, Desmond Myeza accepted the memorandum. A leader of the Alliance speaking in Zulu, threatened that meter taxi drivers would not vote in the local elections if government did not get rid of Uber. Local meter taxi drivers are required to have a current Motor Carrier Permit/Operating Licence issued by the Department of Transport stipulating their point of operation and radius they operate within as well as COR/COF. There are demarcated ranks managed and controlled by Metro Police usually in front of hotels, shopping centres, entertainment and sporting facilities. They are required to have comprehensive insurance and passenger liability, a clean criminal record and valid Public Driving Permit.

Myeza said while he could only accept the memorandum, he would ensure the MEC of Transport Willies Mchunu received and investigated whether Uber was operating illegally in the country.

The KZN Meter Taxi Alliance memorandum of demands included the removal of Uber operators with immediate effect, law enforcement agencies to prosecute and impound all Uber cars who do not have the requirements to operate a metered taxi since Uber uses private vehicles owned by individuals. The Alliance also demanded that a special task team investigate Uber’s anti-competitive and predatory pricing. He said they had full faith in all those in power to bring an end to Uber’s illegal operation which was causing a major impact on the smooth and efficient running of the metered taxi industry.

Parents threaten to ‘shut down’ KZN school
IOL News 27 April 2016

Angry parents, including school governing body (SGB) members, have vowed to “shut down” a KwaZulu-Natal school unless action is taken against a teacher who they say has spent “most” of the past three years out of the classroom, away on union business.

The governing body at the ML Sultan Primary in Ladysmith has given the Education Department until Friday to remove Rama Ramdewo and replace him with a “more capable” teacher.

If it fails to meet the ultimatum, the SGB, in a memorandum delivered on Monday, warned the school would “be locked”.

The SGB also accused Ramdewo, a South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) representative, of being a disruptive influence at the school, abusing his leave and said he had “deprived our children” of their right to education.

16 000 homes to be demolished for proposed mine
IOL News 27 April 2016

Enraged members of a rural community neighbouring the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park are up in arms, defending their land and saying they do not want a proposed coal mine.

The stand-off is not only between community members and Ibutho Coal, which intends to mine on the land, as locals have also accused their traditional leaders of selling land to the company.

A senior official of Ibutho Coal, who is not authorised to speak to the media, told The Mercury on Tuesday that the Fuleni mine would go ahead despite the objections.

The homes of 16 000 families would have to be demolished.

A member of the Mthethwa Traditional Council, Mbhekeni Mthethwa, said the council had supported the mining after being convinced that it would bring development to the community.

“The company had promised us that the mining would come with development. Young people would be sent to universities to acquire mining skills.”

He said the mine would have a lifespan of about 40 years. He also said it was “inevitable” that homesteads, two schools and a clinic would be demolished to allow for the mine to be built.

Mthethwa said it was wrong of the community to involve lawyers in the matter that should be discussed within the jurisdiction of the tribal authority.

The community said it had been told that the company would give each family a cow and a goat to slaughter to apologise to ancestors for removing graves.

Late last week the community of Ocelwane, under the Mthethwa Tribal Authority, barricaded their dirt road with burning tyres and rocks to prevent officials of the government’s Regional Mining Development Environment Committee from inspecting the land.

The community established the Umfolozi Community Environment Justice Organisation two years ago to fight the mining. The organisation’s secretary, Phila Ndimande, said villages to be affected were Ocelwane, Ntuthunga, Novunula, Emakhwezini, Fuleni and Shayamoya.

It is also feared that air and noise pollution would affect the neighbouring Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, Africa’s oldest game reserve.

Strangers driving into the area are met with hostility. The Mercury team was interrogated as one elderly man, Bhekukwenzelwa Ndimande, said: “There are lots of unscrupulous people coming here with bad intentions.”

Ndimande said accepting mining because of promises of employment opportunity and development would be like “accepting poisoned food”.

Mthethwa said the negotiations started in 2006 and agreements between the Mthethwa Traditional Council and Ibutho Coal were reached three years later.

“But the progress has been stalled by threats made by members of the community, especially those of Ocelwane,” he said.

Ndimande said the community was angry that despite its repeated rejection of the mining, Ibutho Coal officials kept coming to the area.

“They have brought in heavy duty machines without our approval. They have left holes on the ground that are dangerous to our cattle,” he said.

Across the Mfolozi River, in the Mkhwanazi Tribal Authority, is the 10-year-old Somkhele Coal Mine.

The Ocelwane community cited living close to this mine as the reason they were vigorously opposing to mining on their land.

They said Somkhele Mine polluted their air. Every time there was rock blasting, dust would settle on their houses.

For years we have been breathing polluted air, and we are suffering from chest problems.

This air is also not safe for our animals. Our houses have developed cracks due to the blasts, the community said.

They also said the blasts also traumatised children and livestock.

Thulebona Maphumulo said the company and the traditional council had failed to answer key questions.

“They have failed to tell us how they are going to manage air pollution.

“They have failed to assure us that we are not going to lose our homes and grazing land,” said Maphumulo.

The community appointed lawyers in 2011 to help them in their battle.

“The lawyers have taught us lots about the effects of mining. We have watched videos about how mining has destroyed people’s lives,” he said.

An adviser to Inkosi Temba Mthethwa, Bhekisisa Mthethwa, said the inkosi would not comment until the process was finalised to avoid taking sides.

A Lawyer for the community, Kirsten Youens, said in terms of the law, not only the traditional council should support the mining.

“These 16 000 families have not been spoken to. Whether the tribal authority intends to support the mine is one thing. The rest of the community has to support it as well.”

She said they would definitely take the matter to court if the Department of Mineral Resources gave permission for the company to mine.

“The tribal authority is supposed to represent the people,” she said.

Thousands march for #IamConstitution
IOL News 24 April 2016

Johannesburg – Thousands of people from across South Africa walked in the Johannesburg city centre on Sunday in support of the #IamConstitution campaign and Constitution Hill’s “We, The People Walk”, to celebrate of 20 years of the Constitution.

Constitution Hill partnered with The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in bringing the #IamConstitution campaign to life in an 8km march travelling around the city and ending at the finish line in Constitution Square, the organisers said in a statement.

“#IamConstitution is a national campaign aimed at promoting the values and benefits of the Constitution among all South Africans and encouraging the nation to read, live, and embrace the Constitution of South Africa.”

Constitution Hill in partnership with The Ichikowitz Family Foundation offered citizens a distinct opportunity to engage with heritage and democracy with the dynamic #IamConstitution national campaign that truly celebrated the 20th anniversary of the SA Constitution, the statement said.

UCT accused of ‘victimising’ RMF members
IOL News 27 April 2016

Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) has accused UCT of “victimising” its members after it instituted disciplinary processes against a number of students recently.

RMF spokesperson Mohammed Abdulla said the university is using draconian measures to target “strong voices” in the movement in a bid to derail the student activist group.

UCT has obtained an interim interdict against five RMF members – three of them UCT students – in the Western Cape High Court for violating the university’s code of conduct or breaking the law during the #Shackville protest in February.

The five appeared in court last month and are awaiting judgment.

They have been charged after for their alleged actions during a protest to highlight a lack of student accommodation at the university.

Sixteen people found to have broken UCT’s student code during the protest had been listed on the interim court interdict which prohibited them from entering UCT property until the matter was heard in court.

UCT management then decided to take 11 students off the interim interdict.

This week, university spokesperson Pat Lucas confirmed that more students now face disciplinary processes.

“The university confirms that disciplinary processes are under way against a number of students whose actions are alleged to have breached the Code of Conduct on February 16, 2016,” Lucas said.

She said UCT upholds the confidentiality of internal disciplinary proceedings and will not provide further information to the public.

“UCT does not discipline students for participating in protest within legal boundaries. No students have been disciplined for engaging in protest.

“Disciplinary action is taken when students are accused of participating in activities that violate the UCT Code of Conduct and/or when they break the law,” Lucas added.

Abdulla said there was a strong sense within the movement UCT management was targeting certain individuals.

“Essentially RMF has no official leaders, but there is a definite move from the university’s side to victimise the strong voices within the movement – the ones who they see as trouble makers.

“I’ve seen video evidence of other students committing similar acts to the ones the RMF members have been charged for, but UCT has done nothing to charge them.”

He said RMF is keen to enter into a mediation process for an amicable solution, but UCT has chosen a “punitive hard-line approach”.

The five who appeared in court last month are Alex Hotz, Masixole Mlandu, Slovo Magida, Zola Shokane and Chumani Maxwele.

Hundreds attend #ZumaMustFall march in CTN
IOL News 27 April 2016

CapeTown - A few hundred Capetonians took to the streets of the Mother City on Wednesday to call on President Jacob Zuma to “do the right thing and step aside”.

The march, organised under the #ZumaMustFall banner, was supported by various church groups from the greater Cape Town area and took on a mostly religious tone.

“Zuma must fall; Jesus must rise,” some of the protestors shouted while a gospel band led others in song.

Right2Know protest against state surveillance
IOL News 27 April 2016

Non-profit organisation Right2Know protested against state surveillance at the Office of Interception Centres on Freedom Day.

R2K condemns RICA ‘spying’
IOL News 28 April 2016

Johannesburg - “Phantsi nge secrecy, phantsi!” they chanted.

“Stop spying on us!” their posters read.

Behind the yellow police- barricade tape blocking them from the very institution they were picketing against, a Right2Know (R2K) group remained resolute in their mission.

The group of R2K Gauteng members protested on Wednesday outside the Office of the Interception Centres (OIC), a facility falling under the State Security Agency, calling for urgent reforms to Regulation of Interception of Communications and Communication-Related Act (Rica) and the end of what they alleged was surveillance abuse.

This action comes on the heels of a UN Human Rights Committee report released last month, which condemned South Africa's surveillance capabilities, and the law meant to regulate them - Rica.

The committee recommended the government should stop engaging in mass surveillance of private communications without a judge's authorisation, and consider revoking or limiting the requirement for mandatory retention of data.

R2K said South Africa’s communications surveillance capabilities were not transparent, open to abuse and a major threat to human rights.

Reading out their memorandum to an OIC representative flanked by several police officers, R2K’s Dale McKinley stated: “Evidence has emerged that investigative journalists from at least two media organisations, Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Stephan Hofstatter, from the Sunday Times, and Sam Sole, from the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, have had their phones bugged.”

In their memorandum they also stated that the fear of surveillance had become an increasing feature of many activist struggles.

R2K presented six reforms it demanded from OIC, including dropping SIM card registrations.

DA man allegedly stabbed by ANC supporters
IOL News 28 April 2016

Durban - Police on Thursday confirmed that a case had been opened by a Democratic Alliance member who was stabbed following a political rally, allegedly by supporters of the African National Congress.

Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said: “The incident took place at Welbedacht near Chatsworth yesterday (Wednesday), but the victim opened an assault GBH [with intend to do grievous bodily harm] case at Ntuzuma police station where he is originally from.”

Zwane said that no arrests in the case had yet been made.

“He sustained a stab wound on the left arm and was taken to hospital for medical attention,” said Zwane.

The 29-year-old was injured when DA supporters and a group of about 40 ANC supporters clashed at the end of a DA Freedom Day rally on Wednesday that was attended by about 1 500 people in Welbedacht, an impoverished area in Durban’s Chatsworth area.

The DA’s provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said on Thursday that he would be raising the clashes at the next multi-party meeting.

DA councillor Heinz de Boer said on Wednesday afternoon that DA supporters leaving the rally found themselves confronted by a group of about 40 people wearing ANC T-shirts.

“As our people began leaving the area, a number of vehicles including a bakkie with a loudspeaker system and the ANC flag arrived, effectively blocking the road.”

It was then that the stabbing is alleged to have taken place, but before matters took on a nastier turn, officers from the eThekwini Metro Police arrived and separated the two groups.

ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma, speaking from Newcastle on Thursday where he was campaigning, said that the party was still investigating the incident.

“We have got that information [of the confrontation]. We are still investigating. It is not the ANC culture to prevent others from campaigning.”

He said that he would be able to further comment on the incident once investigations had been completed. He also pointed out that people wearing ANC T-shirts did not automatically mean they were members of the party.

“There should be tolerance. We cannot have no-go areas. Anyone who does not agree with that, cannot be a part of us,” he said.

Orange Farm protesters block highway
IOL News 25 April 2016

Johannesburg - A section of the Golden Highway near Orange Farm, south of Joburg, was again closed off on Monday morning due to protest action.

From the early hours, residents barricaded the road with large rocks and burning tyres, sending clouds of black smoke billowing into the air and leaving motorists frustrated.

The enraged crowd also pelted vehicles on the busy stretch of road with stones.

A large contingent of SAPS and JMPD officers arrived on the scene and turned motorists away from the affected section of the highway.

Monday morning's protest is believed to be a continuation of action taken by residents earlier this month to demand better service delivery.

They were unhappy about large piles of uncollected rubbish, a lack of paved roads, sanitation, electricity and housing.

Protest action at the time turned violent, with police firing rubber bullets in an effort to disperse the rowdy crowd, who in turn pelted the officers with stones.

JMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Wayne Minnaar told The Star that rubber bullets had also been fired at protesters who congregated at the nearby N1 highway on Monday morning.

They had been throwing stones at passing motorists.

No injuries were reported on Monday morning and no arrests had been made by time of publication.

Other affected roads included the R28 Randfontein Road and both sides of the N1 in Orange Farm, where cars were forced to make U-turns as burning tyres and debris blocked the roads.

Spokesperson for the City of Joburg Virgil James told The Star on Monday morning that they were dealing with service delivery issues in the area.

“We’re in talks with the ward councillors and the city will address the problems but it can’t all be done overnight; some of the problems are province-related as well.

“The city is not shirking its duties - the minute the residents don’t hear what they want it gets violent.”

“They are not being ignored, the idea here is to provide services for people and it must be noted that we are spending money in the underdeveloped areas, so that we have fewer protests,” James said.

He added that despite the City of Joburg having a decent budget, the money needed to be spread around and couldn't just be focused on one area.

“We are asking, please, for people to have patience - we cannot meet all demands all at once.”

The Joburg metro police department was on the scene to keep an eye on the situation and to help with crowd control.

The city said it had been informed on about Orange Farm residents' plan to take to the streets on Monday morning.

Video: Blikkiesdorp residents march for better housing
IOL News 26 April 2016

Residents from the Blikkiesdorp temporary relocation area in Delft marched to the Cape Town Civic Centre to demand better housing conditions.

MEC Plato joins march after police officer shot
IOL News 24 April 2016

Cape Town - Another policeman has been gunned down – this time in the heart of gang hot spot Delft – just hours after a memorial service was held for a detective who had been killed in Lower Crossroads, Cape Town.

Police declined to release the name of the constable on Saturday because his family had not yet been informed of his death.

Spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana told Weekend Argus the constable had been driving his private vehicle on the corner of Geelmelkhout Street and another street in Delft when he saw a car blocking the road.

“The suspect came out of the car and started shooting at the off-duty police official,” Rwexana said.

Nothing was stolen from the constable, but Rwexana said the motive and circumstances surrounding the murder were still under investigation.

By Saturday no one had been arrested for the attacks on either of the officers.

Earlier this week, two suspects ambushed Grassy Park detective Lindekile Sikade, 39, who was shot in an unmarked car in front of his house in Lower Crossroads.

His 9mm service pistol was the only item stolen from him – two cellphones were left in his car.

Yesterday Community Safety MEC Dan Plato joined scores of residents in Wesbank, Delft, for an anti-crime march through the area.

He described the murder of two police officers in less than a week as “absolutely tragic”.

“We ask the community to strengthen and work with the police. Police officers have also got to be more vigilant. They live in these areas they work in,” Plato said.

Anyone with information about the murders may contact police on 071 351 7464.

Oakbay workers march to SA banks
IOL News 26 April 2016

Johannesburg - Hundreds of workers from Gupta family-owned Oakbay Investments will on Tuesday march to the banks in an effort to save their jobs.

The operations of Oakbay were thrown into jeopardy after South Africa’s four main banks closed accounts of businesses owned by the controversial family.

At least 7 500 people work for Oakbay, whose businesses include Sahara Computers, The New Age newspaper and ANN7, a television news channel. The family also has mining interests.

Last week, some affected workers made a passionate plea to the banks to re-open the company’s business accounts, saying failure to do so would cost them their jobs.

In the open letter, signed off by two staff representatives, the workers indicated that their livelihoods were at stake, and they refused to be “victims of corporate conflicts”.

The letter was addressed to CEOs of the banks, which shunned Oakbay amid reports the company’s owners were accused of being involved in “state capture”.

Read also: DA refuses to meet with Gupta-owned Oakbay

The Guptas have been accused of offering cabinet minister positions to members of the ruling African National Congress in exchange for favourable decisions that advance their business interests. The Guptas and President Jacob Zuma, who leads the ANC, have rejected the allegations as false.

However, auditors KPMG and Oakbay’s JSE sponsor Sasfin cut their ties with the family businesses soon after the scandal surfaced.

The closure of Oakbay’s accounts by the banks provoked an angry response from Cosatu - the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which lamented possible job losses.

Read also: Cosatu welcomes Gupta bank probe

The South African cabinet has since endorsed the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to engage the banks on the closure of accounts.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane and Labour Minister Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant have been tasked with setting up a meeting with the banks to “open constructive talks to find lasting a solution”.

PICS: Service delivery protest in Orange Farm
IOL News 25 April 2016

Police fired teargas to disperse residents of Orange Farm who built barricades and burned tyres in a protest over poor service delivery in the area.

Angry mob tells suspected robber: An eye for an eye
IOL News 26 April 2016

Galeshewe - A suspected robber got more than he bargained for when he became the target of mob justice and sustained a broken leg in the process.

The suspect was assaulted by the holder of the stolen bank card.

He lay in pain on the bathroom floor at the Pick n Pay centre in Galeshewe for over two hours, waiting for an ambulance to transport him to hospital on Monday.

Members of the public waited for the man outside the bathroom and threatened to mete out mob justice by clawing his eyes out.

“We will kill him, an eye for an eye. We will kick him in the ribs and break his other leg.”

They stated that ATM robbers regularly stole their hard-earned cash and pension money from the elderly.

“He is a thief, we are tired of these criminals,” they shouted.

As the man screamed, the crowd jeered at him with mock screaming, until he was carried out into the ambulance on a stretcher.

Neville Fritz said he executed a citizen’s arrest after the suspect stole his bank card at the ATM at the Shoprite centre in Barkly Road.

“I felt someone peering over my shoulder as I was trying to withdraw money. He must have copied my pin number as I later received a SMS notification on my cellphone that R3 000 had been withdrawn from my bank account at the Absa ATM at the Pick n Pay centre in Galeshewe.

“I rushed there and approached the suspect who I had recognised from the ATM at the Shoprite Centre. He was holding my bank card in his hand and had withdrawn another R180 from my bank account.”

Fritz said the suspect pulled out a pocket knife and tried to stab him.

“I retaliated by punching him in the face and grabbed the knife, whereupon he suffered a bloody mouth.”

Fritz added that during the scuffle the suspect fell and broke his leg, as he had apparently undergone an operation after previously sustaining a leg injury.

OJ Molusi added that he had assisted Fritz to retrieve the bank card and R180.

“Fritz confiscated the knife and placed it in his pocket while I grabbed his (the suspect’s) other hand and prevented him from fleeing. The security guards allowed us to hold the suspect in the bathroom until the police arrived.

Luckily we were not injured during the incident,” said Molusi.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, said the suspect was arrested on a charge of theft.

“It is alleged that the suspect offered to assist the complainant at a local ATM. He stole the complainant’s bank card and went to withdraw the money at another ATM in Galeshewe.”

Tawana added that the suspect sustained injuries and was taken to hospital to receive medical treatment.

“He will appear in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court soon. The investigation continues,” Tawana said.

Squatters ‘tired of empy promises’ invade land
IOL News 26 April 2016

Pretoria - Residents of Mamelodi East have once again decided to invade plot 44 in Pienaarspoort and erect their shacks, saying they are tired of waiting for the City of Tshwane to give them land to build on.

Community members were said to have begun building their shacks on the land on Friday.

By Tuesday afternoon, trucks and cars carrying loads of wood, corrugated iron, window frames and people with shovels were still heading towards the land in their numbers to peg their own stands and build their shacks.

One resident who had all but completed his shack and had already partly furnished his new home said he was relieved to be finished.

“I only brought a few of my belongings, because you never know when the police will come to remove us again,” he said.

“We’re not going to lose hope no matter how many times they kick us out. We are tired of having to rent accommodation when there is land here for us to build on.”

Schoolchildren wandered around carrying shovels, while old women hammered the ground and mothers held their small children while their partners built the shacks.

Community representative Martin Matlala said the community would not be deterred despite having been forcefully removed from the site by Tshwane Metro Police officials 15 times in the past three years.

“We won’t lose hope that we too will have a place to call our own. The community is tired of empty promises that the city officials make so when they don’t honour their promises we come back,” he said.

“We are not fighting with the city or anyone else, all we want is land to build on,” said Matlala.

The community leader said they had already made plans for water tankers and were looking into bringing portable toilets to use temporarily. “The city is always slow to deliver so we won’t wait for them to bring us water or toilets, hence we have made plans of our own. The most important thing for us now is to have places to live in. Things like electricity will be dealt with later.”

Matlala said they had to prevent people erecting new shacks as there were already close to 5 000 people setting up their shacks.

“People are still coming in their numbers to get a piece of land. But we just want to see how well we can accommodate those already here and then we will open up for the others.”

They were expecting the city to ambush them in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours, he said, but they will keep coming back until they were given land.

“Councillors are selling these plots for their own benefit so why can’t we have a piece of land? Our people are tired of renting back rooms,” said the community leader.

The community invaded the plot last year on January 17, heeding the Economic Freedom Fighters’ initial calls for land grabs. Their victory was short-lived as the Tshwane metro police caught wind of the land grab and demolished at least 100 shacks a few hours after they had been erected.

Clashes ensued, resulting in the metro police firing rubber bullets at the illegal settlers. The community retaliated by hurling stones at police.

The City of Tshwane’s mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said they were aware of the renewed land invasion and said plans were afoot to curb the invasion.

“We are deploying our Metro Police Land Invasion Unit to effect eviction from the area. We will give the dwellers until today (Tuesday) 12 noon to voluntarily refrain from erecting any shacks and structures.

“We remain committed to the development of proper and sustainable human settlements,” said Manale.

He said the city believed that the recent land invasion is aimed at destabilising current programmes under the Re Aga Tshwane Programme of proclaiming townships and formalising existing informal settlements while continuing to provide rudimentary services and transitional residential units where it decided to relocate residents.

SACP and Cosatu March in Durban
IOL News 23 April 2016

Durban - About 8 000 members of the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) marched through central Durban on Saturday.

The colourful and peaceful march started at Durban’s Curries Fountain Stadium and ended at the Gugu Dlamini Gardens where a memorandum was handed over to KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

The joint memorandum included the demands that the country’s financial sector be transformed, improved social security, broader implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme, the banning of labour brokers, free tertiary education, and an end to outsourcing by government.

Both SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini addressed the marchers in Gugu Dlamini Park.

Dlamini warned the African National Congress against imposing councillors on communities that did not want them. Nzimande warned against factionalism. But both reiterated their support for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections.

“There are some people who do not believe in serving the party, but serve factions,” said Nzimande.

He also took aim at the country’s banks and insurance companies for failing to invest in the country.

“There is an investment strike by banks and insurance companies. They need to be transformed.”

He said many companies were sitting on cash reserves that should be used for the betterment of the country.

Property damage in protests is counterproductive
Ryland Fisher 23 April 2016

Ryland Fischer says that he has always had problems with people who wanted to destroy property in pursuit of their demands.

It has not been a good week for public transport in Cape Town, with trains the most affected.

It was not pleasant to hear every morning trains had been delayed by two hours or had been cancelled.

I have not taken a train in a long time but I can sympathise with people who have no alternative other than to travel by rail, including hundreds of thousands of workers. It seems not too long ago I had to do the same. For many years it was my preferred form of transport, although one could argue I had no choice.

I remember working at the Cape Herald newspaper until about 5pm, then going to work as a volunteer at Grassroots community newspaper in the city centre until after 10pm and then rushing to catch the last train home to Mitchells Plain.

It was often difficult because my companion was Mike Norton, a veteran journalist who worked fulltime at Grassroots and who was not the fastest person around. Often we would just about make it in time for the last train. Fortunately we never missed the train, because I have no idea what we would have done.

I saw familiar faces on trains all the time. It often seemed as though the same people travelled at the same time and got into the same carriage every night. It was always a figurative Smarties box of people: from church brothers and sisters to gangsters looking for someone easy to rob.

But after 10pm at night, most of the passengers seemed relaxed. And tired.

But I digress.

In most countries, rail transport is the most popular and reliable mode of transport. It is the only method of transport that can carry thousands of people in one vehicle and in reasonable time.

South Africa should be no different.

Yet the ongoing problems we seem to have with rail transport are making it one of the most unreliable modes of transport. It is not a good feeling to wake up in the morning and worry about whether the trains are going to be late, as they’ve been the whole week.

I would not be surprised to read stories in the media in the next few days about people who lost their jobs because they were late for work due to delayed trains.

This week was, of course exceptional. It is not every day there is a strike on the railways and it is not every day trains are burnt and railway property damaged, apparently in support of the strikers.

I have often wondered about people who destroy their employers’ property when they have a dispute. What happens when they go back to work and no longer have some of the equipment they used to use?

Or the students who apparently recently burnt a university administration building up north when they were protesting for lower or no university fees. Such a building forms an important part of the service the university delivers, just like trains form an important part of the service the railway authorities deliver.

I have always had problems with people who wanted to destroy property in pursuit of their demands. It does not make sense. Protest action – whether it is in the form of a strike or student boycotts – should be seen as a means to an end and not as the end itself.

You should always think about what happens after the protest, when things are supposed to return to normal. It is difficult to return to normal if a building has been burnt down or a few trains have been destroyed.

You should never destroy property that could benefit others and, in the case of trains, thousands of others.

Our country celebrates 22 years of democracy next Wednesday. We are now firmly in adulthood and part of being an adult is accepting responsibility for one’s actions.

One of the freedoms we fought for is the right to protest. In the dark days of apartheid, protesters were often arrested or even shot at. In fact, this was the norm and not the exception, unlike Marikana which appears to have been an exception in post-apartheid South Africa. Marikana is, of course, something that should never have been allowed to happen and will forever be a blight on our democracy.

As we ponder the meaning of freedom, we should consider that, while workers have the right to strike, there are others who have the right not to strike. And there are people who need to continue to get to work despite the turmoil happening around them.

People who burn trains only help to make people antagonistic to the cause in whose name they purport to be doing it.

Freedom of choice means not always making the most popular choices or even those perceived to be politically correct.

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Thousands march for #IamConstitution
African News Agency (ANA) 24 April 2016

Johannesburg – Thousands of people from across South Africa walked in the Johannesburg city centre on Sunday in support of the #IamConstitution campaign and Constitution Hill’s “We, The People Walk”, to celebrate of 20 years of the Constitution.

Constitution Hill partnered with The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in bringing the #IamConstitution campaign to life in an 8km march travelling around the city and ending at the finish line in Constitution Square, the organisers said in a statement.

“#IamConstitution is a national campaign aimed at promoting the values and benefits of the Constitution among all South Africans and encouraging the nation to read, live, and embrace the Constitution of South Africa.”

Constitution Hill in partnership with The Ichikowitz Family Foundation offered citizens a distinct opportunity to engage with heritage and democracy with the dynamic #IamConstitution national campaign that truly celebrated the 20th anniversary of the SA Constitution, the statement said.

Secret satanist society exposed in Mamelodi
Pretoria East Record 22 April 2016

Mamelodi police on the scene of the attack.
Mamelodi police on the scene of the attack. Confessions by satanists to a Mamelodi church minister have exposed an active evil secret society in the township.

The revelations caused an uproar in Mamelodi West, Section B3, prompting hundreds of residents to act in anger.

They gathered on Wednesday night to stone two houses belonging to suspected satanist leaders.

The residents went on the rampage after either witnessing the confessions or seeing them on video.

The confessions were made to Prophet Eric Shikobela of the Holy Faith Family Church in Mamelodi West. He said a number of young people told him the past week or two that they belonged to a secret satanic society.

“A woman named Sabbath Mapoto (32) came to me at church last week to confess she has been in a satanic secret society and needs help.”

He said after he prayed for the woman she also named one of the satanist leaders.

The prophet had invited church members to witness the confessions, which were also recorded on video.

Massive protest action against Dug-out Port plan
Berea Mail 22 April 2016

A community meeting regarding Dug-out Port plans will be held ahead of a protest at the Durban Port on Freedom Day.

EARTHLIFE Africa Durban will host the community at a public meeting where the port expansion and trucking will be discussed. The meeting will take place at Manning Road Methodist Church, 450 Che Guevara (Moore) Road, Glenwood on Monday 25 April from 6pm to 8pm.

According to Vanessa Black from Earthlife Africa Durban, many residents in Glenwood and Umbilo are concerned about the increase in trucking in these areas. The back of port plans include plans for rezoning areas for logistics for the Dug-out Port.

“Already trucking has a massive impact in terms of pollution, noise, congestion, accidents and general crime and grime. Unless communities rise up and stop these plans this will escalate as the port expansion plans into the old airport site and Bayhead will result in a tenfold increase in the numbers of containers coming through the port,” she said.

She said Clairwood had already deteriorated due to industry using its roads for the transportation of heavy goods, which had resulted in a number of fatalities and homes being destroyed due to accidents.

“We need to reduce emissions of Greenhouse gasses from road freight in order to transition to a low carbon city, and prevent catastrophic climate change. This will not happen unless residents are prepared to unite. The Dug-out port alone will cost R250 billion which the country cannot afford. The potential for corruption is huge,” she said.

Desmond D’Sa from South Durban Community Environment Alliance and Black will address the community at the meeting. The meeting will not only inform concerned residents about the recent developments but will also announce preparations for a united protest by civic organsations which will take place on 27 April. It is expected that approximately 2500 people from South Durban and surrounding areas will block the Durban Port at the entrance of the Durban Port container terminals on Langerberg and Bayhead Road.

“Freedom day marks the day we gained democracy and the right to express our views and opinions with considerations. However, as the years progressed, democracy seems more far-fetched than tangible in all aspects of this country. This event will highlight people’s views through a mass demonstration action portraying the communities outrage and distresses around Transnet and other unsustainable developments in South Durban and surrounding areas. Instead of being people centred, Transnet’s programmes and projects have disregarded people and their rights and insulted the definition of democracy in this country,” said Desmond D’Sa from South Durban Community Environment Alliance.

D’Sa said the proposed plans for the dug-out port, and related developments, would infringe on the rights of fishing and farming livelihoods, which he said, in turn would threaten food security and destroys the local economy.

“As a community we need to stand up against environmental injustice that will lead to vulnerable communities left at the mercy of bad choices made by government and industry. At this demonstration we intend on issuing memorandum documents to Mr Richard Valliu from Transnet National Ports Authority, Capt Alexius Miya, harbour master, Port of Durban, and Mr Moshe Motlohi, Durban Port manager. We have rendered invites and are awaiting their responses,” he said.

For more information regarding the meeting and protest, contact Desmond D’Sa on 083 982 6939 or Priya Pillay on 031 461 1991.

Fuleni Blockade stops Regional Mining Development Environmental Committee Site Visit
Sheila Berry 21 April 2016

This morning an angry but well-behaved crowd of well over a thousand Fuleni residents forced the Regional Mining Development Environmental Committee (RMDEC) to abort their site visit to Fuleni for Ibutho Coal’s proposed open cast mine on the boundary of the iMfolozi Wilderness Area. The site visit would have familiarised RMDEC with the area before the meeting tomorrow, at 10h30, at Enseleni Nature Reserve, KZN, to hear submissions from I&APs and their lawyers to substantiate their comments and objections to the Fuleni mine.

In the early hours of the morning, irate Fuleni residents blocked the main road to Ocilwane with rocks and tyres, which they set alight to create a barricade to prevent vehicles entering Fuleni.

Ocilwane is the village that will be most affected by the proposed coal mine. The police eventually managed to enlist assistance from march convenor, Phila Ndimande, when he arrived at the scene en route to the demonstration he had organised in Ocilwane. Phila, together with other Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO) activists and researchers from the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) – UKZN, managed to persuade the local residents to assist with removing the rocks and burning tyres.

Once the road was cleared of obstacles, the people surged on to the road and created a human barricade to prevent vehicles crossing the bridge. They held a big banner that spanned the road saying: WE WILL NOT MOVE. When the RMDEC team arrived, a stand-off ensued but eventually they had to concede defeat and turn around and drive back to Enseleni.

Billy Mnqondo, the other march convenor and co-founder of MCEJO, explained that, in 1963, his family was one of many families forcibly removed from their traditional land near Mpangeni to Ocilwane to make way for the Owen Sitole Agricultural College. At the time, the local magistrate promised they would never be relocated again. According to Billy “Forced relocation is not something a family should ever have to experience. The Ocilwane community is adamant that no one is prepared to move to make way for the Fuleni coal mine. When we say No, we mean No! We definitely will not move.”

Phila Ndimande expressed surprise and gratitude for the extent of the opposition to Ibutho Coal. He was initially unaware the blockade was to prevent the RMDEC team entering the area.

“MCEJO’s focus has been on the seven villages directly affected by the proposed mine. It was heartening to discover today how many villages and people do not want the mine,” Phila commented.

Over the past few weeks there have been many protests and demonstrations in the area. A recent protest was sparked by lack of water. The current devastating drought has left much of KZN without water and climate change is expected to make the situation much worse. The Fuleni residents find it incomprehensible and irresponsible that, under these conditions, the government appears ready to agree to the new thirsty Ibutho Coal mine that will steal their water like the existing Somkhele mine steals water from the Somkhele communities. The Fuleni communities are also feeling the impacts.

MCEJO opposes coal-related climate change and questions the obvious disregard the government has for international protocols and agreements it has signed to reduce green house gas emissions. It casts serious doubt on whether one can put any trust in the government if this is their attitude. Fuleni residents have also been angered by strangers coming into the area unannounced. This week the Department of Agriculture sent work teams to drill boreholes. Given the experience of the Fuleni residents with Ibutho Coal, when their contractors were digging boreholes all over the place without any explanation or consent, the Fuleni residents have learned not to trust or welcome strangers.

You shall not pass!
Earlier this week a young woman from SA, attached to Uthungulu municipality, was sent packing after she was discovered going door-to-door gathering data about the number of people in certain households. She was not wearing her identification bib, which immediately aroused suspicions that she was working under cover for Ibutho Coal to gather information in anticipation of tomorrow’s meeting. There are good grounds for suspicion. Today an elderly woman at Shayamoya appears to have been tricked by an Ibutho Coal representative into signing a deal to move from her house. MCEJO is busy investigating.

Attached is the Memorandum MCEJO would have presented to the RMDEC team at the end of the Ocilwane demonstration which never took place because of the blockade. Lebo Ngobeni will now be reading it at the RMDEC meeting tomorrow and presenting it to the RMDEC chairperson.

MCEJO is a community based organisation established in November 2015 to coordinate activities like the successful Isolesizwe Film Festival, on 28 February 2016, and various projects in Fuleni including their current clean-up campaign.

MCEJO’s slogan is “Nothing about us and our land without us.”

The Honourable Minister of Mineral Resources: Mr Mosebenzi Zwane
Regional Mining Development Environmental Committee (RMDEC)
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB)
cc The South African Human Rights Commission
The Office of the Public Protector

21 April 2016

Dear Honourable Minister Zwane

We, the members of Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO) and the Fuleni community wish to bring to your attention that we are fed up with the corruption of the majority of members of the Mhlana Traditional Council and the willingness of the government to sell the Fuleni people's land to Ibutho Coal and its foreign investors while sacrificing the lives, health and livelihoods of the residents of Fuleni, particularly the seven mining affected communities: Ocilwane, Novunula, Fuyeni, Ntuthunga 1 and 2, Emakhwezini, and Shayamoya.

Today's demonstration, on 21 April 2016, is also to show RMDEC and DMR that we are totally opposed to Ibutho Coal's proposed Fuleni coal mine on our land.

The march is an expression of our frustration at not being consulted and not having our voices heard no matter how loudly and clearly we say “No to mining”.

We ask why the government is entertaining Ibutho Coal, a prospecting company, with no proven experience of mining. Also we call on the Ingonyama Trust Board to intervene as the trustees of our tribal land and ensure that the needs and rights of the affected communities are considered and parotected.

The demonstration is to make it clear to the corrupt leadership and authorities that enough is enough. Ibutho Coal we do not want to see you back on our land.

Mining is not development. No matter how much the government tries to push the lie that mining creates jobs for the local communities or that the people living close to mines benefit., we know otherwise because already we are living close to Tendele's Somkhele coal mine.

We know from regular contact with the Somkhele communities and other mining affected communities in Mpumalanga and Limpopo that mining brings death and suffering; steals our agricultural and grazing land; pollutes air and water; poisons the soil; splits communities apart; shatters the peace of rural living with explosions; cracks our houses; breaks our windows; brings suffering to our old people, children and our livestock; and only benefits already wealthy shareholders and directors but leaves local people impoverished. It also If living next to mining is so beneficial, we wonder why rich privileged people do not decide to relocate their homes and families to eMahleni?

We are feeling the effects of coal-related climate change and so strongly oppose the continued use and extraction of fossil fuels. The devastating drought here in Fuleni is expected to occur more frequently and become more extreme yet the government is agreeing to thirsty coal mines stealing our water, another constitutional right we are being robbed of.

We stand together with MACUA, GET, CCS – UKZN, groundWork, WoMin, EarthLore, the Amadiba Crisis Committee, the Mpukinyoni Community Property Association (MPCA), Yes to Life No to Mining, The Gaia Foundation, Grrrowd, and many other support organisations to demand:

- The dissolution of the existing Traditional Council because of the high level of corruption amongst the majority of traditional leaders and their lack of interest in the needs of the people, and replaced with councillors who are concerned about the well-being of the Mthethwa communities and have our best interests at heart;
- Nothing about us and our land without us;
- No form of mining in Fuleni, specifically coal mining, fracking, marble mining. No government will convince us that we will benefit from mining or that it will improve our lives. We know that mining equals death. We do not want to experience the same bloodshed on our land as at Marikana and at Xolobeni because the Department of Mineral Resources is so willing to open doors to exploitative investors who not only destroy the environment but split communities apart;
- Free access to information and freedom of speech as enshrined in the Constitution. We do not accept that for almost a year the Traditional Council has blocked attempts by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA) and Uthungulu District Municipality to hold a Public Participation Imbizo for the Fuleni communities as we requested in June 2015;
- No corruption of any kind and no intimidation, oppression, harrassment, and disregard for human rights and basic democratic processes, or threats to people's lives will be tolerated.

MCEJO, with this memorandum, wants to send a clear message and set our position to claim back what is rightfully ours and to put an end to corruption in Fuleni and any talk of Ibutho Coal and mining. Therefore, we call upon the Minister of Mineral Resources, RMDEC, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to implement the will of MCEJO and the Fuleni people.

Residents are ‘prisoners’ in Copesville
IOL News 19 April 2016

Durban - Angry residents of Copesville have vowed to continue with their protest, holding the Pietermaritzburg suburb hostage until their demands for water, electricity and housing are met.

Small pockets of protesters were still on the roads in and around Copesville on Tuesday morning, however residents confirmed that vehicles and taxis had been allowed to leave unhindered.

Police were on scene, keeping watch lest the demonstration escalates.

Fires burned and anger had simmered into the early hours of Tuesday as police and protesters clashed.

At the time of publication, about 20 people had been arrested for public violence.

One resident said the situation resembled a “war zone”. “We are prisoners in our own homes. While I understand why this is happening, it is also very frustrating that our lives are being held at ransom like this,” the resident said.

Day two of the protest looked set to replay on Monday, as police continued to monitor the situation.

Apart from improved service delivery, residents were demanding ward councillor Thandi Ndlovu be removed from her position.

In an attempt to persuade the authorities how serious they were about their demands, protesters burned down Ndlovu’s house in Copesville, ignoring police calls for calm.

Protesters took to the streets early Monday, blocking entry and exit points to Copesville.

Police spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane, confirmed that about 2 000 hostile residents blocked the main road to the area with burning tyres, rocks and other objects, making it impossible for residents to go to work or school.

Zwane said police had a difficult time monitoring the situation as protesters set Ndlovu’s house alight, threw stones at cars attempting to leave the suburb, and refused to disperse.

“Police were forced to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd,” he said.

Three people were injured by rubber bullets and a 3-year-old child was treated for tear gas inhalation.

Protesters are angry at ward councillor Ndlovu’s “poor service delivery”.

A protester, who identified himself as Cecil Thabethe, said they would not back down until Ndlovu was removed and the Msunduzi Municipality heeded their calls for basic human rights. ”We are tired of being ignored and lied to. We want what we were promised,” Thabethe said.

Issues that have spurred the protest include a lack of slowness in the delivery of water, electricity and housing.

Ndlovu was not available for comment, as the Daily News was told she was in hospital.

Msunduzi spokesperson, Nqobile Madonda, said the municipality condemned the violence, destruction of property and intimidation in the guise of service delivery protests.

“The municipality has various structures and platforms to engage with community members other than them resorting to violence,” she said.

Madonda said the Msunduzi Municipality had been able to deliver basic services to most communities within their wards, guided by its Integrated Development Plan.

“The municipality notes yesterday’s actions and will be engaging with the community to find viable solutions... The municipality urges residents to remain calm and respect the rights of other residents and not stop them from engaging in their daily activities,” Madonda said.

Community sets murder suspect’s house alight
IOL News 13 April 2016

Mabeskraal - North West police on Wednesday said a case of arson had been opened after some residents of Mabeskraal, just outside Rustenburg, burnt down a house belonging to a man accused of killing an elderly woman.

“The community suspected a man called ‘Topdog’ to have killed the woman. He was seen in the village on Monday … the crowd then burnt down a house belonging to his parents,” said Sergeant Kelebogile Moleko.

The house was set alight on Tuesday, but no arrests had been made yet

However, Moleko said police were questioning a man, who had been taken to hospital and earlier on Wednesday.

“He is not yet charged. The police are questioning him for investigation,” said Moleko.

She said police in Sun City had opened an inquest docket after post-mortem results revealed the elderly woman died of natural causes.

The deceased identified as Rebecca “Madituku” Moteane (82) was found dead in her house a week ago on Thursday.

“She was found in a pool of blood,” her daughter Jennifer Bodiba said.

“I called my mother on Monday evening [last week] but, we could not talk as the line was bad. I thought it was network connection problems,” said Bodiba who live in Pretoria.

When she called on Tuesday her mother didn’t answer the calls. Bodiba said she became worried when on Wednesday she still could not get hold of her mother.

“I was worried that she might have been sick, I call a neighbour who told me she did not see the light on the previous night, and suggested that my mother might have visited relatives,” recalled Bodiba.

“I then call relatives in Mogwase, who told me that they have sent prepaid electricity voucher through another neighbour to her.”

Bodiba said she then enquired with the neighbour who told her she didn’t deliver the voucher because the gate was locked. The neighbour said one widow open. The next day the neghbour again checked on the house and the gate was still locked and the window open.

“I asked the neighbour to get into the house through the window to check … they found the house ransacked. My mother was found dead in her bedroom,” said Bodiba.

After Moteane was found dead, irate community members went on a rampage. They barricaded roads with objects. They also searched for a man they suspected of killing Moteane.

The man was described as a serial rapist, who allegedly targets old women who live alone.

Community members traced the suspect and found him at a cattle post on Tuesday night. The suspect was beaten up by the mob, but he was saved by police when they arrived. The man was taken to hospital, where police continue to question him.

The mob then moved to the house owned by the suspect’s parents and torched it.

Unconfirmed reports doing the rounds in the community alleged the suspect raped Moteane and used a “razor blade” to slash her before he allegedly killed her.

Moteane will be laid to rest in Mabeskraal on Saturday.

Truck strike ‘under control’, says municipality
Berea Mail 21 April 2016

The municipality is currently meeting with truck employee representatives to find a way forward following strikes in Durban.

Municipality has reported the situation in the CBD is under control, following reports that Municipal trucks hampered the flow of traffic in certain parts of the City today, 20 April.

According to the eThekwini communications unit, a memorandum of grievances was received by City officials.

“The Municipality is monitoring the situation through the law enforcement agencies after being informed that employees from Roads and Stormwater Department attempted to blockade roads in various parts of the Central Business District (CBD). A meeting between the City Manager and employee representatives to discuss the way forward is currently underway,” said a representative.

The municipaliy said safety measures such as CCTV cameras are in place to monitor the movements of vehicles and to ensure that further traffic disruption is minimised. Law enforcement personnel will take necessary action where there are transgressions.

Cosatu: Workers get fired over #Metrorail delays
IOL News 20 April 2016

Cape Town - Cosatu will embark on a strike against bosses in the Western Cape who are dismissing workers for arriving late due to the current train crisis.

There have been continued arson attacks on Metrorail coaches and infrastructure in Cape Town causing up to three hour delays on a daily basis.

The federation said bosses were showing no remorse, with many of them disciplining workers and docking wages due to employees arriving late at work.

Cosatu Western Cape general secretary Tony Ehrenreich has now asked that alternative transport arrangements be made to help workers be on time.

“We demand that the public transport be put into the areas that need them most, first given the present and ongoing crisis. The busses that presently operate in Milnerton and Camps Bay should be moved to the Cape Flats as a matter of urgency, as Camps Bay people have private transport now,” he said.

A man has been arrested in connection with the attacks.

Gupta employees chase ANCYL away from offices
Eye Witness News 21 April 2016

This is after an open letter was sent out on behalf of workers at Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.

MIDRAND – A group of ANN7 and Sahara employees have chased the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) from their Midrand offices after an open letter was sent out on behalf of Oakbay workers.

The letter was an appeal to all four banks to restore relations with the company, saying their livelihoods were at stake.

The Gupta-owned business is scrambling to restore banking relations following claims that the controversial family has undue political influence on President Jacob Zuma.

LISTEN: Anonymous employee and Robbie Russo, general manager of Sahara Computers and Oakbay.

An angry group of New Age and ANN7 employees jeered ANCYL president Collen Maine.

They say they were not consulted on the Oakbay letter which said employees didn't care about the allegations of state capture against the Gupta family.

They refused to engage with Maine, saying this was not his battle, and that he was never there when they raised concerns of poor working conditions and low salaries.

The workers have demanded that Phuti Mosomane and Robbie Rousseau, who signed the document, retract the letter.

Mob of nine marches on JZ
Penwell Dlamini (Times Live) 19 April 2016

Russon said the nation had already spoken out against Zuma and the ruling party had to oblige.

"Mr president, we understand the ANC cannot yield to opposition tactics [to step down]. Just take a sabbatical until the next general elections. It will be good for your health."

This was a call made by members of the Concerned Citizens Forum in a memorandum they submitted to Luthuli House in central Johannesburg yesterday after marching from Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.

The protesters, nine people accompanied by a van fitted with a loudspeaker, were determined to have their voices heard.

"It is not the number of people who came with us," said the convener Ray Russon. "It is the people we are representing - church leaders, unions, non-profit organisations and ordinary citizens who are not happy with what is happening in our country."

The van driving ahead of the protesters played a recording of Nelson Mandela's inauguration speech: "Never and never again ...", followed by the national anthem and Shosholoza.

Russon handed over the memorandum to Babylon Xeketwana, from the office of the ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte.

The memorandum read: "We acknowledge the work that the ANC has done for our country ... but the ANC has reached a stage where its so-called good story has become a sour story to tell ... yes, we agree that nobody must tell you to remove your president except your members ...

"We wish to remind you he is also our president and therefore we have a right to voice our frustration.

"Seeing we have no legal instrument to remove the president, as citizens we appeal for the president to step down or alternatively take a sabbatical leave. This would be good for his own health."

Russon said the nation had already spoken out against Zuma and the ruling party had to oblige.

Following the Constitutional Court judgment on March 31, which ruled that Zuma had failed to observe his oath of office in his handling of the Nkandla report, there have been growing calls from civil society, religious leaders and former ANC MPs for him to step down from his office.

But the ANC has rejected the calls and has asked the nation to wait for its branches to discuss the judgment and then advise the party on the best course of action.

WATCH: Rhodes students form human barrier, protest topless against rape
Lee-Anne Butler (Times Live) 19 April 2016

In unbelievable scenes at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday‚ students have taken to protesting topless as they blocked off one of the roads leading to the campus.

Rhodes to set up task team to tackle sexual abuse after protests Rhodes to set up task team to tackle sexual abuse after protests
Rhodes residences ordered shut after students hunt sexual assault-accused Rhodes residences ordered shut after students hunt sexual assault-accused

According to The Herald’s Lee-Anne Butler‚ police have arrived at the scene where students have blocked off Prince Alfred road‚ one of the main roads leading to residences and lecture venues.

Some of the students laid themselves on the ground as they refused to move.

Rhodes rape ructions
One of the protesting students has accused the police of protecting rapists when they‚ the students‚ are protesting peacefully against rape.

The protest comes after tension at the university erupted when hundreds of students started searching residences for alleged rapists and threatened an academic shutdown when the names of 11 male students accused of rape were posted on social media.

Rhodes to set up task team to tackle sexual abuse after protests
The protest arose after the launch of a rape culture awareness campaign which had prompted the Students Representative Council (SRC) to express its support.

However‚ when the SRC tweeted a picture of council members expressing solidarity‚ a student retweeted the picture‚ saying her friend’s alleged rapist was in the image.

Earlier on Tuesday a video began circulating on social media depicting Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela shoving a student in an attempt to remove the barricade placed at the entrance to the university.

Dr Mabizela pushing a protester while removing a barricade earlier today. Credit: Zandile Zondani #RUreferencelist

Cops expect big turnout at Zandspruit protest
Pericles Anetos 20 April 2016

Zandspruit residents on Wednesday gathered to protest over service delivery - and the arrests of community members during a previous demonstration – in the informal settlement.

Shops looted in Zandspruit residents demand access to electricity Shops looted in Zandspruit residents demand access to electricity
Situation in Zandspruit stabilises but tension remains Situation in Zandspruit stabilises but tension remains

PICS: Rubber bullets used to disperse Zandspruit protesters PICS: Rubber bullets used to disperse Zandspruit protesters
Momentum Life Cover Provider Police spokesperson Major Mack Mngomezulu said the residents were planning to hand over a memorandum at the Honeydew police station regarding those arrested and charged when residents took to the streets last month and blocked roads over electricity being cut by city officials.

According to media reports‚ the protesters have also given Mayor Parks Tau seven days to provide them with electricity.

Mngomezulu said they were anticipating a large number of protesters to be out on the streets - “We are expecting 3000-4000.”

He said that the march was expected to take place from 9am to 1pm‚ and law enforcement officials had been deployed in the area. – TMG Digital

16 held as protesters block access to Copesville
IOL News 18 April 2016

Pietermaritzburg – At least 16 people were arrested on Monday during a protest for houses at Copesville, a Pietermaritzburg suburb, after they allegedly torched the office of their councillor Thandi Ndlovu whom they want removed.

Police said that about 5 000 protestors began gathering at 03:00 on Monday morning at the intersection of New Greytown and Aquarius roads and removed the metal barriers on the side of the roads to use them as barricades.

Police said protesters blocked access to Copesville. They barricaded streets with burning tyres and other objects.

Owing to the violent nature of the protests schools in the area remained closed.

Police spokeswoman Captain Gay Ebrahim said a mob went to Ndlovu’s house, but she was not there so they went to her office, which they allegedly set alight.

Ndlovu, an African National Congress (ANC) member, is the councillor for ward 35.

“We have waited for houses to be provided, but it has been years of waiting in vain. We are tired of her failures,” complained a community member, who asked to remain anonymous.

School pupils, who could not attend school, said they had to miss tests because of the protests.

Scelo Khuzwayo, the spokesperson for Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, said: “Community protests that result in the disruption of schooling are a major concern for the department. We have, on a number of occasions, been pleading with communities to prioritise education and make sure that when there are protests schools are not affected”.

Captain Ebrahim said 16 people had been arrested in the protests.

Protests over ‘disrespectful’ ward secretary
IOL News 18 April 2016

Durban - Residents in New Germany and surrounding areas woke to protests along Otto Volek Road, Shepstone Road and Dinkelman Road, where protesters were burning tyres and rubble on Monday.

ANC Ward 21 secretary Mfana Qwabe said the protest is “for jobs, food vouchers and a wanted councillor”.

According to SAPS in Pinetown, ratepayers were unhappy with the councillor and service delivery. “For now things have died down, protesters are still there and things could get heated again at any minute.”

Mathews Buthelezi, cChairperson of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) in the area said he had been on scene since 5am Monday morning. However, the protests began at 4am.

According to him, residents are protesting against the Ward 21 secretary who has been disrespectful to the community and at one point had sworn at them.

Authorities are on the scene and one woman has been arrested for public violence while a few were taken to KwaDabeka Clinic for treatment after police resorted to rubber bullets to control the situation.

For now the situation is calm as the protesters are waiting to be addressed by the office of the mayor of eThekwini.

Bolsheviks Party SA leader shot
IOL News 6 April 2016

Johannesburg - Bolsheviks Party SA leader Seun Mogotji was shot and wounded at his home in Ntwane, Limpopo on Tuesday night.

According to Limpopo police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto, the shooting happened at around 10.30pm. “He was closing his front door to go to sleep and that’s when several shots were fired by an unknown individual.

“He was injured in both legs – in his right and left thigh,” she said.

The 43-year-old was taken to hospital and was believed to be in surgery on Wednesday morning to remove the bullets. He is in stable condition.

Mogotji spoke with Jacaranda FM in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

He said the suspect, who is still at large, fired roughly 12 rounds at him and believes the shooting was politically motivated.

“I was hit twice and there is nothing that was stolen.

“That's why I'm saying it was not a crime, it's a politically motivated issue,” he said.

Otto said that the motive for the shooting was unknown and no arrests had been made. “It seems that a 9mm pistol was used and a case of attempted murder has been opened.”

Police are still investigating.

The Bolsheviks Party SA (BPSA) was born out of disgruntled members of the ANC who formed the party in opposition to the Limpopo premier at the time.

PICS: Hundreds flee Dunoon after stores are ransacked
IOL News 19 April 2016

Cape Town - Hundreds of foreign nationals have fled Dunoon fearing xenophobic attacks after nearly 200 of their shops were looted by protesters.

On Monday, those shopowners brave enough to return brought trucks and bakkies to transport their remaining stock to safety.

Hell broke loose in the area on Sunday night when demonstrating residents turned on foreigners after they received an unsatisfactory response from the City of Cape Town.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of backyarders marched to the city demanding land for housing, claiming rent from landlords was too high.

On Sunday, the City told them there was no land available, sparking the looting of at least 160 spaza shops, hair salons, hardware stores and cellphone repair shops among others.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen, said: “They [protesters] are demanding land for housing from the City but this is not possible.

“There are no large tracts of land available in Dunoon, all open space in and around Dunoon has been appropriated by the community already.”

Van Minnen said protesters were told more than 1 800 housing opportunities are planned for Dunoon beneficiaries in line with the City’s Housing Allocation Policy.

Ward Councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said he was informed late on Sunday night that protesters were unhappy about the City’s response and planned to target foreign national shops.

“It was chaos, only one section wasn’t affected because the residents stood up and refused to take part in it,” he said.

“We understand the issue of overcrowding and I had warned the City that we were sitting on a ticking time bomb and now it has exploded and it’s difficult to contain.

“But our people need to understand that looting the shops of foreign nationals will not bring us houses or land, it diverts the attention from the real issues and it becomes an issue about the lootings.”

On Monday burnt rubble littered the streets of the congested area, as many looted shops stood open and empty.

Protesters also blocked school children and workers from leaving the area in public transport.

Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said a case of public violence is being investigated.

“Twelve suspects were arrested on Sunday night and are expected to appear in court once charged,” she said.

Shopkeepers tell the Daily Voice they were trapped inside their homes on Sunday night, unable to protect their shops for fear of getting attacked.

John Kanyanda, 38, from the Democratic Republic of Congo said he was roused by his frantic brother.

“He told me there was chaos and that they had broken into my shop and taken everything,” he said.

“There was stock of well over R120 000 I lost.

“And this is not the first time I have been targeted, in 2008 during the xenophobia attacks we had to flee and I’m afraid this is what is happening all over again.

“I don’t know if I will be able to rebuild, I have three children and very few resources that will allow me to support my family and after this I don’t even know if we’ll be welcome back here.”

Grocery shop owner Amina Omar, 27, returned to the area on Monday to collect her stock.

“I’m removing my stuff because we don’t feel safe here,” said the Somali national.

“I’ve been through this before in 2008 and don’t want to wait until what little I have is taken away.

“Last night these guys came in and threatened us, all I could do was grab my three children and run, praying I would find everything still intact.

“I don’t even know if I can come back to this community that keeps targeting us when they have issues with the government, we are tired of being their victims, and we are not safe here.”

MEC for Community Safety, Dan Plato has condemned the violence and the lootings and said his office “will keep and eye out on the situation”.

‘EFF thugs’ blamed for Dunoon violence
IOL News 19 April 2016

Cape Town - Following a meeting with Dunoon community leaders and the African National Congress (ANC) ward councillor, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on Tuesday lashed out the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who have been alleged to instigate unrest in the area.

“Collectively, we condemn what these EFF thugs and gangsters are doing,” said De Lille.

“It is increasing the suffering of all the people of Dunoon. Children are being prevented from going to school, and parents are being prevented from going to work to provide for their families.”

De Lille, Dunoon leaders, and the ANC ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni met on Monday night to discuss the increasing unrest and violence in the area, ongoing since Sunday.

Since Sunday, “major roads have been blocked with burning tyres, public infrastructure has been vandalised, shops belonging to foreigners have been looted, and people’s lives are being threatened.”

On Monday night, incidents in the area included roughly 400 people gathering to protest at about 7pm, stoning of vehicles, and the burning of tyres.

De Lille linked the unrest to the EFF’s campaign, requesting they abstain from violence and destruction: “They cannot try to gain votes at the expense of the poor through the destruction of public and private property”.

De Lille said the City, the community leaders, and Makeleni condemned the violence with the “full contempt it deserves”.

“We cannot allow politically-driven anarchy and destruction to hold this community hostage,” she said.

De Lille would again meet with Dunoon leaders in the week commencing April 25 to follow up on the discussions of Monday night.

Watch ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini cry after people insult her
Times Live 15 April 2016

A protest against the opening of a Port Elizabeth-based drug centre turned ugly on Friday morning when members of the community prevented government officials from accessing the treatment centre.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who is also the president of the ANC Women's League, was left emotional and in tears after people hurled insults at her, saying she was drunk from expensive whisky.

According to Herald Live, Dlamini was accompanied by government officials. As seen in the video, they too were not allowed to declare the R67 million Ernest Malgas drug treatment centre open.

The centre is set to help teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 overcome substance abuse. It is located in the suburb of New Brighton.

Limpopo chief burns ANC Zuma T-shirt over Nkandla, Guptas
Tivani Qhivi (Eye News Service) 30 March, 2016

A Limpopo traditional leader has publicly set alight an ANC T-shirt bearing President Jacob Zuma’s face, saying he has grown tired of the Nkandla issue and the ANC leader’s alleged links to the Guptas.

During burning of the T-shirt on Sunday, Hosi Hasani Mavambe, of the Mavambe Traditional Authority in Malamulele, told his people that he was joining the Economic Freedom Fighters with hopes that they will restore dignity to South Africa.

"I'm tired of the ANC and its corruption; that's why I have decided to join the EFF. Everyday in the news we read and hear about Nkandla and the Guptas, I believe that the EFF is the only party to restore the dignity of this country because our country has turned into a joke. Other countries are laughing at us," said Mavambe.

Mavambe said he has previously served under the Gazankulu homeland system, which provided better services to its people before the ANC got into power.

Quoting a Biblical portion that speaks about Joshua telling his people that he and his family “shall serve the Lord,” Hosi Mavambe said: “As for me and my household, we will support the EFF in the upcoming local elections.”

EFF member of the National Assembly, Emmannuel Mtileni, welcomed the chief to his new party.

House of Traditional Leaders chairperson in Vhembe region, Hosi Busa Nxumalo, said Hosi Mavambe had a right to join a party of his choice.

Vhembe ANC regional secretary Khathu Netshifhefhe said it was sad to see a traditional leader burning an ANC T-shirt.

“As the ANC, we feel very bad about what he has done, but we also understand that he has a right to political association and affiliation and we hope that there is still a chance to persuade him,” said Netshifhefhe.

'Anti-Zuma' members thrown off manifesto launch bus
Sunday Times 17 April 2016

A bus taking ANC members from North West to Port Elizabeth on Friday had to turn back and several passengers were forced to disembark, reportedly because party leaders feared they did not support President Jacob Zuma.

A branch delegate who made it to the manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth said the bus was told to turn back as it was approaching Pretoria.

"Leadership was not happy with some of the names on the list. Some had to be asked to get out and other comrades were then picked up."

The North West provincial secretary denied issuing instruction for any bus to make a U-turn.

It is believed that the majority of the crowd inside the stadium were not from the Eastern Cape, but had been bused from neighbouring provinces.

The ANC took extreme measures to prevent any disruptions at the event yesterday, carefully selecting those who travelled to Port Elizabeth.

Zuma addressed a half-empty stadium while thousands of party supporters in yellow T-shirts roamed the streets outside the venue.

The Sunday Times has learnt that in provinces where ANC members are known to be anti-Zuma, many were left behind. Each province outside the Eastern Cape was allowed to send 10 buses, and passengers were screened.

In Ekurhuleni, ANC members of Ward 54 in Katlehong said only Zuma "cheerleaders" were allowed to board the bus to Port Elizabeth.

During his speech, Zuma made yet another promise to create jobs by focusing on the "local economy" at the lowest government sphere.

The party committed to creating jobs for the youth by building more centres of production, among other measures.

The premier snub that turned a province against a president
Zuma also promised to hold corrupt councillors liable for losses incurred by any municipality.

"The ANC government will also pursue action against companies involved in bid-rigging, price-fixing and corruption in procurement," he said.

The ANC would also discourage municipalities from outsourcing services, and pledged to monitor closely those who needed to outsource because of lack of capacity.

"The ANC will also engage with municipalities and organised labour on the introduction of flexible shifts to promote greater access to municipal services," said Zuma.

KZN ANC councillor shot dead at Umlazi hostel
IOL News 17 April 2016

Durban - The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has sent heartfelt condolences to the family of African National Congress councillor Zodwa Sibiya, who was shot dead at Glebelands Hostel, Umlazi, Durban, on Saturday night.

“Sibiya was one of the dedicated councillors who stood firm on fighting corruption in the hostel and the whole of eThekwini,” DA KwaZulu-Natal leader Zwakele Mncwango said on Sunday.

“It is a sad day in eThekwini and the whole province when we lose someone who is steadfast on protecting good governance. As the official opposition, we wish to send our condolences to the governing party, the family, and friends of the late councillor. She will be sorely missed,” he said.

#Pikitup: Unions declare victory
IOL News 15 April 2016

Johannesburg - The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) is claiming victory after the five-week unprotected strike, saying it has finally received what it has been asking for since 2011 - better salaries.

Samwu regional secretary Meisie Sekaledi said Pikitup workers had been battling for better wages for years.

“Now that we have come to an agreement and it’s been accepted by members and officers, we can say it’s a victory,” she said.

However, Sekaledi said she could not reveal numbers, but that members were happy.

“It was a battle over rands and cents, but we got there,” Sekaledi said.

She said that things were back to normal and all members were back at work.

Speaking on the union’s demand that Pikitup managing director Amanda Nair be fired, Sekaledi said they were awaiting the results of pending investigations.

Nair is on special leave until May 3, suffering an undisclosed illness.

All 3 800 workers who were found guilty of contravening two court interdicts preventing them from striking were to have a chance to present their cases in mitigation of their sanctions today.

Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu said the presiding officer would release his findings and recommended sanctions soon.

In the meantime, Pikitup has started a double-shift system to clear backlogs of refuse removal.

The cost will be cheaper than the R1 million a day spent on outside contractors during the strike.

Pikitup workers have started with their normal scheduled waste management services.

Normal operations could be slower than usual due to excess waste which had accumulated for weeks, said Mashapu.

Complaints regarding refuse collection and other related queries and suggestions can be directed to the 24-hour hotline 011 286 6009.

Illegal dumping can be logged on the Joburg Roads Agency Find and Fix App and downloaded to cellphones for free from the Google Play Store.

Visit the Pikitup website on for updates, garden sites and the refuse collection calendar.

Striking Shoprite workers march in Gauteng
IOL News 14 April 2016

Johannesburg – Outsourced Shoprite workers organised under the #OutsourcingMustFall movement on Thursday marched to the retailer’s largest distribution centre in Centurion, Gauteng.

The workers, about 1000 of them, downed tools last week to protest against poor pay as well as their employment through labour brokers at Shoprite.

The strike began last week on Monday morning when management allegedly denied four of the workers’ leaders entry to the workplace on Olivenhoutbosch Avenue, in Centurion.

Groups of workers key to the operation then downed tools in solidarity with their leaders and the nightshift also joined the strike.

#OutsourcingMustFall spokesperson, Clarence Debeila, on Thursday said more than 500 workers had joined the protest march to Shoprite’s offices.

“Yesterday we received a letter from management confirming that they will receive our petition. We are currently on our way there and we will give them seven days to respond to our demands,” Debeila said.

The workers were demanding a minimum wage of R10,000 and an end to outsourcing of staff. They claimed 90 percent were employed through labour brokers.

They also demanded the termination of all contracts with contractors and service providers to be replaced with full-time employment with Shoprite on a permanent basis.

Debeila said outsourced Shoprite workers were paid as little as R23 per hour for a 44-hour week, adding that some outsourced cleaners earned as low as R13 per hour.

Shoprite management has previously rejected any responsibility for the workers.

Management on Thursday was not immediately available for comment.

Arson attacks limit Metrorail’s services
IOL News 18 April 2016

Cape Town - Following several days of chaos at Metrorail stations across the city, Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters on Sunday called for an end to the violence, vandalism and criminality involving Metrorail trains in Cape Town.

“This cannot be allowed in a modern democracy such as ours, where individuals with ulterior motives undermine government commitment to modernise our rail system and turn it into a fertile ground for criminality,” said Peters.

The delays caused violence to erupt at Cape Town station on Friday, with police firing rubber bullets at frustrated commuters.

Several incidents of arson this month have resulted in reduced services on Monday.

On Sunday night, Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said: “People depend on trains and Metrorail will continue to transport them, even under difficult circumstances.”

Metrorail has linked the attacks on its trains to illegal strike action by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, who are calling for higher salaries, the permanent employment of fixed contract workers, and an end to outsourcing.

Referring to the attacks as a “siege”, Walker said Metrorail would be applying for another interdict against the striking workers.

Given the impact of the strike, the vandalism and continued threats of intimidation against employees, Metrorail would only be offering a limited, less frequent service on Monday in the central service area.

Trains on the Cape Flats and southern service area were expected to operate as usual, while delays and cancellations were expected on the northern lines due to reduced capacity as a result of vandalism and arson. Walker said the police, Metrorail Protection Services and other law enforcement agencies remained on high alert and would continue to monitor the situation around the clock.

Additional measures have also been put in place to prevent further damage.

Metrorail advised commuters to consult social media feeds and listen to station announcements for the latest service status.

In the wake of last week’s chaos, the city’s mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, said there would be an additional deployment of MyCiTi buses on the N2 express route between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and Cape Town, to assist commuters affected by the delays.

Golden Arrow would also be deploying additional buses on routes across the city. “The Golden Arrow Bus Service has kindly agreed to add as many additional buses as they can during the morning and afternoon peak hours of Monday, April 18.

“The City’s transport authority will also deploy between six and eight additional MyCiTi bus trips… during the peak hours,” said Herron.

The additional buses would be deployed as long as the situation required them.

Metrorail has been battling several attacks on its trains over the past 10 days.

On April 9, an arson attack at Cape Town station destroyed two trains and 10 carriages. Last Thursday at around midnight, another train and four carriages were set alight at Kraaifontein station, while on Friday, two carriages were set on fire at Esplanade station in Woodstock.

Further delays were caused by a rail death between Wittebome and Wynberg stations, and vandalism and theft left commuters stranded on the northern and central lines.

Looting, stoning as Dunoon erupts again - PICS
IOL News 18 April 2016

Cape Town - At least one road remained closed on Monday morning after violent protest action erupted in Dunoon again, with some protesters stoning cars and burning old furniture rubbish in roads, and others allegedly looting shops belonging to Somali traders.

The flare-up followed the City of Cape Town’s response to a memorandum of grievances backyard dwellers in the area handed in earlier this month.

There were unconfirmed reports that two people were shot dead by Somali shop owners on Sunday.

Police said 12 people were arrested on Sunday night in connection with violent protest action but had not been charged by the time of going to press.

Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said a case of public violence was opened for investigation on Monday morning.

Last month, protests broke out in Dunoon after backyard dwellers who had moved on to a piece of land along the N7 were moved off by the City of Cape Town. They had built structures, which were demolished. The protests prevented MyCiTi buses from operating in the area for at least a day.

On Monday morning, protester Xolani Hlekiso said they had given the city until last Friday to respond, but the city had responded late and had not given them what they asked for. He said some people in the area did not go to work because of the protest.

He also alleged two people were shot dead by angry Somali shopkeepers during the protest action yesterday and it was this that started a spate of looting.

“Now we don’t want any foreigners in Dunoon,” he said.

Hlekiso said the situation was “still tense” this morning and residents planned to meet to decide what to do next.

The city’s Robbie Roberts also said the situation in the area was still tense on Monday morning, with three different groups of people involved protest action.

He confirmed that several shops in the area had been looted by protesters.

Roberts said law enforcementmembers, traffic officers and police were deployed in and around the area, andPotsdam Road was still closed.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said the protesters were preventing children and residents from going to school and work.He said Potsdam road was still closed and police were on the scene monitoring the situation.

Several attempts to get comment from ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni were unsuccessful on Monday morning.

DA supporters #MarchForChange - PICS
IOL News 15 April 2016

Thousands of DA supporters marched to the Constitutional Court on Friday calling for President Jacob Zuma to resign, following the recent damning judgment on Nkandla.

Clad in blue party regalia, the marchers hoisted placards reading: “Vote for change”, “Stop Corruption” and “ANC must go” .

Marchers demand action over missing woman
IOL News 14 April 2016

Cape Town - Angry Khayelitsha residents marched to the police station on Wednesday to demand cops step up their investigation into the disappearance of Anelisa Dulaze.

The young woman went missing on January 31, when she went out with friends to celebrate her 21st birthday.

Anelisa was last seen at a tavern in Town Two where her friends left her at the popular drinking spot.

About 100 residents joined the NGO Ilitha Labantu and Anelisa’s mom Vathiswa Dulaze, who has launched her own investigation.

“I spoke to about three of the people who saw her at the tavern and each one of them claims to have left her there with somebody else but nobody knows how or if she even left,” the mother said.

Marchers called on police to treat the case as a priority and question the people who were last in contact with Anelisa “before they take the law into their own hands”.

Ses’khona leader Andile Lili said: “We came here in peace to ask that the police properly investigate this matter. But if nothing happens we will do it ourselves, we will take these people by the hands and place them before the community.

“We will take them to our courts and that is not a nice court, our court is not impartial, there is anger in it and people get slapped.”

The group handed over a memorandum to Khayelitsha’s Site B police station Commander, Colonel Mkhuseli Nkwitshi, who said he would look into the delay.

Metrorail blues for Cape commuters
IOL News 15 April 2016

Cape Town - A train and four carriages were set alight at midnight on Thursday night and defective signals were reported, bringing trains on at least two lines in Cape Town to a grinding halt this morning for over two hours.

Hundreds of commuters were forced to alight from halted trains on Friday morning and started to walk to work along the tracks.

It is alleged that South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) carried out industrial action affecting the signals.

Police spokeswoman Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that a case of malicious damage to property in relation to the burning trains at Kraaifontein Station had been opened for investigation. She said no injuries had been reported and n one had been arrested.

Metrorail’s Riana Scott said initial reports indicate that an unknown person was also hit by a train between Wynberg and Wittebome at 8.20am on Friday morning.

Last week Metrorail’s Satawu-affiliated workers were planning on going on strike but called it off after the company obtained a court interdict.

Then last Saturday night, an arson attack destroyed two trains and 10 carriages at Cape Town Station. The damage caused severe delays this week and cost millions of rands.

Satawu’s Luntu Sokutu said on Friday morning that the union had started to strike on Wednesday, despite the earlier interdict, after some of their members were suspended for being involved in last week’ planned action.

“We obeyed their court order last week, but after they suspended some of our members we couldn’t just sit down and do nothing,” he said.

Sokutu said they would continue with the strike until those suspended are back at work and their demands are met.

On Friday morning hundreds of angry commuters were forced to wait for trains after the train signals at Netreg failed to function.

John Darril from Netreg said he boarded the train about 6am and then found himself walking down the line at 9am.

“This is really frustrating especially because there's nothing one can do about it,” he said. “I’m very late and this happens everyday with trains… if it’s not this it’s that with their service.”

He said he should have been at work at 7.30am and now that he was late his pay would be deducted.

Bulelani Gledi, who had just finished night shift, said he understood that Metrorail workers were supposed to strike last week and he was surprised that they decided to strike on Friday morning.

“I’m working again tonight and I need to be home resting for tonight’s shift but instead I’m stuck here,” said Gledi.

He said he ran the risk of losing his job if he fell asleep.

Satawu is calling for higher salaries, permanent employment of fixed contract workers, and an end to outsourcing.

Graveyard dwellers protest for better housing
IOL News 14 April 2016

BURNING tyres and heavily armed policemen set the scene on Coedmore Road as people from an informal settlement on Unit Avenue closed the road for a few hours to protest for basic rights of sanitation and housing from 6am this morning (Wednesday, 13 April).

The informal settlement is found hidden deep in an abandoned Hindu cemetery, formerly known as the Seaview Hindu graveyard. Every path has been barricaded by the shack dwellers, a clear sign to any outsider that they are not welcome. But once inside, one can sense the feeling of community. The shacks housing hundreds of families are built on top of graves which were left for ruin 20 years ago. Those who live among the dead believe that the spirits still roam the earth while they sleep and haunt their dreams. But this is least of their problems.

For years the families have been living in squalor, with basic needs such as toilets and clean water non-existent. Their cries for better living conditions have fallen on deaf ears, according to protestors as they resort to barbaric measures to relieve themselves. Shack dweller, Johannes Qugane (49) who has been living there for 12 years, said he has seen no changes. “It makes me feel disgusted and ashamed that I have to use the bushes as a toilet – it is degrading. We are not asking for much but for our government to notice us, notice our needs and help us,” said Qugane. The fact that his home is built on top of a grave-site gives him an uneasy feeling that he is not alone. “I remember the first time I slept here – I swear you could see the dead walk around at night, you could hear them and feel it in your bones.”

Councillor Billie Prinsloo, who has been aware of the settlement for many years, said she made an application five years ago for the installation of toilets but was told the sewer line was too high so it became an engineering problem. “Kennedy Road informal settlement in Overport had unused porta-toilets. I asked council to rather give these to the Coedmore settlements. With regards to housing, a lot of these people were given RDP houses in Welbedacht but some have left and sold their houses or rented them out and returned to the graveyard,” she added. Housing was promised over seven years ago and at the moment, the shacks are numbered. Security guards have been placed by the council to keep record of the number of houses and to ensure that new ones are not built. “But now it seems the security guards have been moved out of the settlement and will only be allowed back once matters are resolved. Five representatives were taken to city hall on Wednesday by a council official to discuss their grievances and a possible way forward,” said Cllr Prinsloo.

Show property turns out to be a drug den
IOL News 13 April 2016

Johannesburg - A property viewing became violent last month when a group of several men allegedly assaulted members of an anti-trafficking organisation trying to shut down a “drug house” in Krugersdorp.

Cherlyn Tshabangu, chief exective of the NGO Asilweni Cleaning Streets, said she was viewing the house with two other members of the organisation on March 23 when they were attacked.

She claimed the property was home to drug-trafficking and prostitution, and the organisation was looking to buy it for its own use.

The alleged victims of the attack accused the local police of being unhelpful and even conspiring with criminals in the area.

“It has not been attended to because literally some of the police at the station are corrupt,” she claimed.

“That’s why we don’t trust working with some of them.”

Local police arrived on the scene of the alleged attack but made no arrests.

In the wake of the attack, she said, the police have not adequately followed up.

In an email to The Star on behalf of Constable Kabelo Shakung, who is investigating the case, Randfontein Police spokesperson Captain Appel Ernst said Shakung said he is having difficulty getting hold of the complainant (Tshabangu) and that she hasn’t been responding to his calls and visits.

Shakung is investigating charges of common assault.

Tshabangu said that she and the others encountered prostitutes and a man at the house, who locked them inside.

The property owner was not present.

Tshabangu said “about 20 Nigerian men” arrived and assaulted them for about three hours.

She said that she recognised them from the area.

She said the police called her about the case two days after the alleged attack to identify potential suspects, but she did not go.

She has since seen the men in Krugersdorp.

“I can’t just go in and point out these guys,” Tshabangu said. “Next day they are out again, and what will happen to us?”

Johann Labuschagne, project co-ordinator for Asilweni, said the assailants urged him to rape Tshabangu in front of them, which he refused to do. He said he sustained bruises on his chest and a swelling on his head.

“This assault was horrific,” he said.

Labuschagne said he believes the police have connections with the criminals. “The police are part and parcel of these things,” he claimed. “A serious investigation needs to be done into the police to see what’s going on there.”

Marcel van der Watt, a volunteer of the National Freedom Network, an association of anti-trafficking volunteers that is associated with Asilweni, said there were currently no effective systems of documenting cases of trafficking.

Van der Watt, who is also a lecturer at the University of South Africa, said drugs and human trafficking for sexual exploitation were “undeniably intertwined”.

“I would argue that the sex trade is often the front end of what appears to be an enormous drug problem in South Africa, and obviously in Krugersdorp,” he said.

“You cannot separate those two issues.”

However, he said, Krugersdorp was “not an anomaly”, and trafficking was a “permeating problem” in many places.

Tshabangu said the incident had left her hesitant to work with the police.

“One way or the other, we do come across these traffickers,” she said. “We need each and every stakeholder to come on board and assist if we need them.”

* Asilweni Cleaning Streets was established in 2012 and their mission is to help trafficked victims through rescuing, safe houses and rehabilitation.

More than a thousand protest against poor service delivery

EFF leads protest.
South Lands Sun 14 April 2016

eMBALENHLE – More than a thousand residents were led by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in a protest against poor service delivery this morning.

The informal settlement dwellers will submit their memorandum at the eMbalenhle Govan Mbeki Municipal offices.

The protesters said they are sick and tired of being undermined and ignored by Council.

The protesters have arrived at the Govan Mbeki Municipal offices, singing a revolutionary song, “Senzeni Na?”, meaning “what have we done?”.

They are also shouting that Mr Douglas Mahlangu, ward councilor, is the culprit of corruption regarding land and RDP houses in the area.

Durban - Four people were killed execution style at KwaMashu’s men’s hostel on Sunday.
IOL News 14 April 2016

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, said six men entered the hostel block, forced the victims on the ground and shot them.

It was not clear what the motive was, he said.

“We are very disappointed at this terrible development which occurs at a time when we were seeing strong signs that this area was stabilising after the government had invested a lot of time and resources to bring about lasting peace at the hostel.”

KwaMashu police were investigating cases of murder.

Mchunu called on hostel residents to exercise restraint.

He said it was sad that this had happened during the voter registration weekend.

Police today confirmed that the four, aged between 24 and 33, were shot by unknown suspects.

“Three sustained wounds on the back and one on the face,” said police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane.

Cheers, jeers as land is handed over for mosque
IOL News 13 April 2016

Pretoria - Cheering and applause filled the hall of the Vallies Park Primary School hall on Tuesday evening as the Muslim community from Valhalla were given land to build a mosque in the area.

As this was happening inside the hall, a handful of protesters demonstrated outside with placards denouncing the building of the mosque.

In a signing and handover ceremony, Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said some people had argued that the land could be better used to raise funds of up to R250 million to assist needy communities instead.

“I say to those people that there can be no rand value that could stand before the presence of the Lord. We want everyone to know that all faiths seeking space to propagate their religious beliefs are welcome in the capital city,” he said.

“This process is not unique to this area alone. Since 2013, we have already donated over 140 places of worship and we will continue to do so,” said Ramokgopa.

He added that the city was determined to break down the enclaves of exclusivity fostered by the former government and create a democratic and diverse demographic of people seeking peaceful co-existence with one another.

Meanwhile, residents against the donation of the land for the erection of a mosque demonstrated outside the school, saying they were not consulted during the entire process.

They stood silently outside holding placards, one of which read: “No to mosque. Asian neighbours yes. Mosque no.”

Freedom Front Plus party member Anel Geyser said the members were not protesting against Muslims coming to live in their community, but only against the noise a mosque would create.

“The land was donated for free when there were people who wanted to buy the land to use it to build an old-age home and for a special school. We pray in silence and we would like to be afforded the same consideration.

35We already hear them all the way from Laudium,” she said.

Geyser said they were supportive of people practising their own religious beliefs but not when this infringed on others’ beliefs.

Resident Amanda Schoeman said they did not want a mosque in their community as it was a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood.

“What will happen to our animals if they will be blaring out prayers and ringing bells five times a day?”

Cops need help identifying mob killing suspects
IOL News 4 April 2016

Bolobedu - Police in Tzaneen on Monday warned local communities against taking the law into their own hands after a 24-year-old man was forcibly removed from his home and fatally assaulted by a mob who accused him of being responsible for the murder of another villager.

Police said allegations are that a group of community members went to the deceased’s home at Ga-Malematja village on Sunday and took him to the headman’s kraal.

“On arrival there, he was brutally assaulted with various objects until he died and they left him there lying on the ground in a pool of blood,” said Tzaneen police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.

Police identified the deceased as Collen Bopape.

Ngoepe said the suspects have not yet been identified and no arrests had been made yet.

“Incidents of mob-attacks and killings is still a problem in this area and as the police, we would like to re-iterate our call for the community members to refrain from taking the law in their hands.”

Ngoepe appealed to community members to help identify the culprits.

Man hit by stray bullet in Tembisa protest
IOL News 12 April 2016

Johannesburg - Metrorail trains were grounded for two hours in Tembisa on Tuesday morning and a community member hit by a stray bullet during protests over vacant units at a local hostel.

Trains were unable to run between 5 and 7am as protesters blocked the line with branches, rocks and debris.

Cars and taxis were forced to drive on the pavement because the roads surrounding the Sethokga hostel and Oakmoor train station were also blocked.

One vendor locked himself in his home when the protest began.

“I heard a lot of noise, I could hear them breaking things and destroying the place. There was a lot of shouting and screaming. I was nervous, I’m always nervous when these things happen. What’s the point of being destructive and destroying vendors' things?” he asked, declining to give his name.

A police officer on the scene said the disputes over vacant family units in the hostel had provoked the protest.

Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said a community member was hit by a stray bullet in his leg.

“He sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital.”

A case of attempted murder regarding the man and cases of public violence have been opened after hostel dwellers fired live rounds at the police.

No arrests have been made.

At 8:30am, residents were seen clearing rocks and debris.

Thabo*, one of the men clearing the roads, said they hoped to get a few rand from passing vehicles for their trouble.

“We’re coming to help clean for the (taxi) rank and for the people so they can get through.

“We don’t want all this to be in the way for the cars; it’s a good thing to do,” he said.

Ekurhuleni metro police were seen patrolling the area.

Metrorail Gauteng spokesman Tony Games told The Star the station at Oakmoor, which runs between Joburg and Pretoria, was not running for two hours because of the protest.

He said the group barricaded the train tracks with debris including branches, rocks and concrete slabs.

Games said the protest action caused significant inconvenience as one train does about 13 trips a day and transports nearly 100 000 commuters.

CPUT employees protest over wages
IOL News 13 April 2016

Cape Town - Scores of Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) employees protested on the Bellville campus on Tuesday to demand that the university revise a 7 percent salary increase, which they claim was “unilaterally” implemented.

Staff members, including academic, administrative and other support staff, participated in the protest outside the administration building to demand that CPUT revise its offer.

In a statement last week, the Joint Union Task Team (JUTT) announced that its representatives and representatives of the university management had failed to reach a settlement in their wage negotiation dispute at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

It said the dispute not only related to the increase of 7 percent, while workers had demanded 8 percent, but also to a housing allowance increase and other issues.

“After almost a year of externally facilitated negotiation, management changed their position which has led to the deadlock.

“JUTT has no option but to exercise its right to embark on industrial action to force management to honour the process and concede to JUTT’s demands for a reasonable living wage and harmonisation of conditions of service as required by law,” JUTT stated in its press release.

It said the increase was to compensate staff for their hard work and to allow them to manage the steep rise in the cost of living due to increases in fuel, food, interest rates, electricity tariffs, and general inflation.

On Tuesday, JUTT spokesman Ben Turner said demonstrations would continue on Wednesday. He said employees were continuing to perform their duties and only participated in pickets before work and during lunch breaks.

“We will continue to pile on the pressure until they come with a revised offer.”

CPUT spokeswoman Lauren Kansley said the institution’s management had met to discuss the strike and its affect.

“The next step will be to arrange an emergency meeting of the human resources committee of council so management can receive a mandate, without which no discussions can take place.”

In a message to the campus community last week, vice-chancellor Dr Prins Nevhutalu stated that CPUT management obtained a mandate from the council to offer a 7 percent salary increase “that was based on principles of affordability and sustainability of the institution”.

He said the increase was reasonable, given wage increases offered by other institutions in the sector and that, based on sustainability considerations, CPUT couldn’t offer more.

“Management undertakes to resolve outstanding issues with council support and, hopefully , with co-operation from JUTT.”

Violent boycotts disrupt schooling in Vuwani
IOL News 11 April 2016

Vuwani - Schooling was disrupted on Monday in Vuwani, in Limpopo, where residents boycotted voter registration at the weekend, police said.

“There is no schooling taking place in the area, shops are also closed, but as police we are monitoring all the key points and road that link Elim and Malamulele,” said Vuwani police spokesman warrant officer Elaijah Malatji.

Community members have been protesting because they are opposed to their area being included in a new municipality. The protests, that have often turned violent, culminated in a boycott of registration in the area.

Protesters have been involved in running battles with the police at Ha-Masakona, where a house, owned by a person thought to support demarcation into the new municipality, was set alight. Huge stones and burning tyres were used to barricade many streets in the area.

Police said eight people were arrested for public violence, malicious damage to property and violating the Road Traffic Act. The arrested protesters were expected to appear in court as soon, said Malatji.

At the weekend protesters repeatedly blocked the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) plan to register new voters in the area as they demand that government first reverse its decision to include their area in the new municipality.

Community leader Alex Ndou said only one voting station at Ekurhuleni opened and a “few people” registered.

Ndou said other registration centres were opened, under the police watch, but residents did not participate.

The IEC could not be immediately reached for comment, but they were expected to issued an update on voter registration later Monday.

On Monday the protesters, apparently upset by the arrest of school going children, disrupted schooling in the area.

Drieziek riots after Pikitup strike ends
IOL News 11 April 2016

Johannesburg - News of Pikitup workers returning to work on Monday has not reached residents of Drieziek at Orange Farm.

They took to the streets in protest against filthy streets from as early as 2am.

Residents said they felt neglected as their trash had not been collected in weeks, leaving their neighbourhood filthy and smelly.

A large group barricaded roads with debris, including large rocks and sticks, saying they were frustrated over mounting service delivery issues such as a lack of paved roads, sanitation, electricity and housing.

“At voting time they come and promise everything,” said a woman who did not want to be named in fear of retribution.

She said the community had been neglected for far too long and that they were demanding that the councillor step down.

Another community member said schools were closed as pupils and teachers could not travel to schools safely.

By 9am, many pupils in uniform were seen strolling the streets.

Taxis that use the main road were redirected.

On several street corners, rubbish piled in winding heaps as the smell wafted through the dusty streets.

A significant contingent of police and metro police officers were on the scene to monitor the protest.

A section of the Golden Highway entering the township was closed off to traffic and motorists were redirected.

Officers warned them to steer away from the protest action as they could be in danger.

JMPD spokesman Senior Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said no arrests had been made and no injuries were reported.

He said officers would remain on the scene.

Drawn-out Pikitup strike finally ends
IOL News 10 April 2016

Johannesburg - The month-long strike by Pikitup workers came to an end on Saturday night after the City of Johannesburg and the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) reached an agreement.

“The City of Johannesburg (COJ) welcomes the settlement agreement signed between Samwu, Pikitup, a wholly owned entity of the City, and the City, facilitated by the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration),” said the City in a statement released late on Saturday night.

“The settlement will see an end to the one month work stoppage which commenced on 9 March 2016.”

The stoppage has resulted in accumulation of waste, which poses severe health risks, particularly in low income, high density areas of the City.

Workers had been demanding better wages and the removal of Pikitup Managing Director Amanda Nair, whom they accused of graft. Nair was previous cleared of any wrong doing by the high court, but Samwu claimed it had new evidence against the MD.

The City said there will be an “immediate return” to work and an end to all acts of intimidation and violence. It was also agreed that there will be no victimisation and harassment of employees by Pikitup, the COJ’s waste management entity.

“Pikitup will make a once-off payment of R750 to all Grade A and B workers and this will be taken into account in the further negotiations which will commence on 11 April and will be concluded on 13 April 2016 under the auspices of the CCMA.”

The City said the principle of no work no pay will be applied but 50% of the deduction will be deferred and applied over a period of two months in May and June.

“The immediate return to work will, however, be taken into account in consideration in mitigation of the sanctions in the disciplinary hearings.”

Mfuleni erupts after land invaders strike again
IOL News 1 April 2016

Cape Town - Attempts by desperate Mfuleni backyard dwellers to occupy a piece of vacant land erupted into flames and violence on Thursday night. A ward councillor’s house and car were badly damaged, a community hall was burnt and a fire station and fire vehicles were vandalised.

At least six protesters were arrested in connection with the incidents.

The protest started on Wednesday night when the backyard dwellers erected shacks on an open field.

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said this morning that tyres and tarred poles were set alight last night in Mfuleni and there was widespread “unrest and unruly behaviour”.

He said ward councillor Themba Honono’s house was badly damaged. His car was damaged and his belongings looted.

Smith said Mfuleni community hall was set alight and two suspects were arrested for arson. About 100 protester