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SA Protest News 21 25 september 2009 (2009) SA Protest News 21 25 september 2009.  : -.

MEC under siege over ‘false promise’
Anna Majavu (Sowetan) 23 September 2009

Tenants await ‘their’ houses
NEW Western Cape housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela is on a collision
course with backyard residents from Mandela Park in Khayelitsha.

The tenants have accused him of breaking a promise to give them houses
in a new development.

But Madikizela has counter-accused residents of causing a R1million
worth of damage to houses during a weekend protest.

About 23 people were arrested during the weekend protest and freed on
Monday after the state withdrew its case and the residents’ attorney,
Sharfudin Parker, laid charges against the police for unlawful arrest.

But a furious Madikizela yesterday visited the senior prosecutor at the
Khayelitsha magistrate’s court to find out why the charges had been
dropped. He said he would not rest until the alleged vandals had been

Mandela Park resident Mabuti Mtyida told Sowetan that the protest was
the result of Madikizela’s promise at a public meeting a few weeks ago
that he would give 20 of the 53 new houses to Mandela Park backyard

The remaining 33 houses were to be handed over to backyard tenants from
Gugulethu and Khayelitsha’s Site C.

Mtyida’s statement was backed by journalists who had attended the meeting.

Mtyida said there had been no use of petrol bombs whatsoever during the
protest as alleged, and slammed the MEC for threatening residents’
rights to freedom of expression.

Victoria Balintuwa told Sowetan that she was forced to build shacks
outside her small two-bedroom house to accommodate her family of five
children and four grandchildren.

“I still have my sons with me in the backyard. We have these hokkies
that catch fire. We expected our kids to be housed in Mandela Park
because we don’t want them to stay far from us,” Balintuwa said.

Madikizela denied that he had ever promised backyarders houses.

“I explained that of the 53 houses recently completed, only 30
beneficiaries could be located. If the department failed to trace the
beneficiaries Mandela Park backyarders would be considered,” he said.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape representative Mzonke Poni said:
“Mandela Park backyarders have never benefitted from a single scheme in
Mandela Park since they moved there 20 years ago. Residents should be
consulted directly, and not through the ANC or Sanco,” Poni said.

Madikizela took over the MEC’s post after the elections this year. He
worked as Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s media officer when
she was mayor of Cape Town.

During this time he was the UDM’s Cape Town regional secretary but in
September 2008 he was reportedly expelled for “moonlighting” for the DA.

Guard knocks over protester, then beaten to death
Alfred Moselakgomo 22 September 2009

A security guard was beaten to death and a police officer’s house
torched yesterday in yet another violent service delivery protest in

Twenty people have since been arrested. The police at this stage say
they don’t know why the house of the police officer, Eric Masinga, was

Police said the guard, whose name has been withheld, knocked down a
protester in Sabie village near Lydenburg yesterday morning.

“After he knocked down the protester, fellow protesters grabbed him out
of his car and beat him to a pulp,” said police spokesperson
Superintendent Abie Khoabane.

“Police managed to rescue him and he died on the way to hospital.”

Khoabane said 20 people were arrested for murder, malicious damage to
property and public violence.

All activities, including schooling and public transport, came to a halt
in the area when hundreds of residents gathered at 5.30am and barricaded
the streets with burning tyres and other materials.

Massive spike public violence 2009

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Debate] FW: Massive spike public violence 2009
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 07:37:59 +0200
From: Berend Schuitema
Reply-To: Debate is a listserve that attempts to promote information
and analyses of interest to the independent left in South and Southern

One has to use considerable discretion in reading the scale and nature
of incidents of SAPS reporting on "public violence". For a part public
violence excludes incidents such as armed robbery, whether by
individuals or groups that, for example, puts the public when shooting
of bullets fly across open public spaces. One also has to discount
incidents not reported at all, such as disorderly conduct. I am sure
that brawls outside of pubs and shebeens rate as "disorderly conduct"
and not public violence. That is as long as there is no throwing of
stones or shooting at the police. Drunk and disorderly behaviour,
urinating in public and this category of crime falls off the statistical
map altogether.

With my very limited experience in policing, public violence relates to
incidents that have to be handled by the ACCU (or whatever their current
name, i.e. the former Public Order Police (POP)). One can safely accept
that the bulk of public violence incidents have a public nature, such as
marches which may or may not have had local government approval, which
resulted in violence.

As you (Patrick) are monitoring public demonstrations, organized or
spontaneous, that easily total 10,000 per year, we need to investigate
what portion of these resulted in violence. This proportion may also
present us with a useful barometer as to the vehemence of resistance and
protest. Thus, if of all public manifestations say 10% turn violent in
year one, and then in year two we find that 15% turned violent, then
this gives an indication on the developing trend of protest action in

SAPS is notorious for limiting information in the public domain as far
as they can. In their statistics releases we find very little, if any,
clarifying statements.

What is in any case clear from this years statistics released by SAPS
are the relative figures. There is a 60% overall spike since 2008. So
whatever are included as protest related public violence (spontaneous or
organized) should give a similar spike in the scale of protest and
resistance against exclusion and growing inequality.

If we take the number of protest marches and demonstrations at 10,000
per year, then with this 1,500 figure we have 15% that became violent.
(Just a thumb suck).

Deeper analysis would also have to unpack police provocation, probably
on instruction or at least encouragement of local councillors, as cause
for public violence.

Be reminded that we definitely need to research these figures on public
violence and get a better understanding on how SAPS compiles them!


-----Original Message----- From: Patrick Bond
[] On Behalf Of Patrick Bond Sent: 23
September 2009 07:23 PM To: berend Schuitema Subject: Re: [Debate]
Massive spike public violence 2009

Berend, can you clarify definitions of public violence? Thanks! Patrick

Berend Schuitema wrote:

Head lines all over the country are hyping the release of crime
statistics by SAPS.

Interesting are the public violence stats:

Year endings March:

2004 - 979

2005 - 974

2006 - 1,044

2007 - 1023

2008 - 895

2009 - 1,500!

(From ISS Website)

Cosatu defends street trashing
By Carien du Plessis 23 September 2009

Municipal workers have defended and justified the trashing of streets as
a tactic to counter the employers' "provocation", while Cosatu leaders
insisted that such violent action "has no place in our struggles".

Some delegates also came to the workers' defence, saying the littering
and trashing was not violence but a labour weapon, blaming the police
for provocation.

SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) deputy president Boss Nxu told the
congress yesterday that the affiliate was unhappy that Cosatu seemed to
be supporting "police brutality" rather than defending the union.

"We have evidence that the police were provoking our members. The role
of the police seems to be to protect the properties of those that are rich.

"If Cosatu is leaning towards that, then we will have a problem as Samwu."

Nxu said workers had the right to embark on militant strikes, as these
were the only weapons "in the hands of the people".

Samwu president Petros Mashishi said Cosatu should understand that the
union's trashing of the streets was "the only way to undermine the
employer" when cities sent in notorious security guards called Red Ants
and hired scab labour.

"What we expected from Cosatu is to sit down with us and find out why we
are using these tactics and then we are ridiculed in the congress," he said.

"As long as there are tactics that undermine our strike, we will act the
way we are doing."

Mashishi said the union was unhappy that Cosatu had issued a statement
saying the police should arrest striking workers when they trashed the
streets, but Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said the media
had misrepresented Cosatu's remarks on the matter at the time.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union general secretary
Fikile Majola supported Samwu's actions, saying its tactics had resulted
in double-digit salary increases for some public sector workers.

Majola insisted that Samwu strikers were non-violent.

"The throwing of litter in the streets is violence against who?" he
asked. He also said the workers' struggle was a class struggle, and
unions should not pay too much attention to "elite" opposition about the
trashing of the streets.

"When we say our people are opposed to the actions we are taking, that
is a different matter. The court of public opinion is not always the
opinion of our people," he said.

South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union general secretary
Randall Howard said the police were to blame because they "set about not
controlling crowds, but rather provoking them".

The SA Security Forces Union said it had proof from intelligence
agencies that police had provoked violence during their recent strikes.

Popcru, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, said issues such as
police brutality should be dealt with by the congress.

"There are people in charge of the police service that still behave in
the same way as in the apartheid era.

"We should deal with these issues. It is a shame that we have to come to
the congress and complain rather than intervene in the process when it
comes to police brutality.

Yesterday's heated debate came after Vavi challenged delegates on the
trashing of the cities. "All of us agree that the trashing of the
streets and emptying the dustbins in the cities is bad.

"I want someone to argue in this congress that it's fine. Let them do
that. Let them take a microphone and say it is good," he said.

There were also differences about what constituted a violent strike,
while some expressed concern about the matter being discussed in a
congress open to the media.

But such were the differences that Vavi later agreed to defer this
discussion to Cosatu's central executive committee. Delegates also
discussed a possible code of conduct for strikes.

On Monday President Jacob Zuma criticised "the lawlessness that has
accompanied some of the mass action", saying it did not help public
sympathy for trade unions.
* This article was originally published on page 2 of The Daily News on
September 23, 2009

Sekuruwe community takes action on desecrated graves
Issued by Jubilee South Africa, 24 September 2009

The Sekuruwe community in the Mapela area, north of Mokopane in
Limpopo Province, has been taking action for the last three days to
demand cooperation from the Sekuruwe Section 21 Company in the
reexhumation and reburial of community graves desecrated by Anglo
Platinum and its subcontractor, Phuti Funeral Homes. There has been a
regular police presence at the village for the duration of the action.
Today, police arrested a youth from the village.

On Tuesday, the entrance from the main road to the Sekuruwe village
was blocked and no one could drive in or out. However, the community
agreed that the Grade 12 learners should contiune to write their
exams. The archaeologist reexhuming and reburying the graves indicated
to the police that it was necessary for everyone to identify their
graves. They agreed with the committee representing the community that
the police would ask the Section 21 Company to come to a meeting to
this end. The Section 21 Company has not cooperated and the community
committee indicated that they will continue with their action until
the situation is resolved.

The original gravesite is on Blinkwater Farm, belonging to the
Sekuruwe community and leased earlier this year to Anglo Platinum
despite protest from the community. Anglo Platinum is destroying the
land in order to build a tailings dam to accommodate the waste from
its mining operations.

Last year, graves were exhumed without the requisite technique
resulting in damage to human remains. Graves older than 60 years were
exhumed in violation of heritage regulations. Remains were reburied on
land on the other side of the village. The Sekuruwe Section 21
Company, established by Anglo Platinum as its ally in the community,
is alleged to have misrepresented the number of graves to be reburied
so as to benefit financially. The community protested the exhumations
and 47 people were arrested and charged. The case against them was
subsequently dismissed.

The desecration of the graves resulted in skeletal remains being
scattered across the original gravesite, the new graveyard and the
police station. Due to sustained protests and the intervention of the
South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), Anlgo Platinum was
compelled to agree to the process of reexhumation of the remains and
the apporpriate reburial of the reconstituted remains.

Community members reiterated that they are also going to continue
fighting for their land, which they describe as the heritage of the
people, the future for their children. They expressed dismay at the
Government. The community has written letters to the President, the
Premier's Office, the Department of Minerals and Energy and many
others to request them to come to the community to resolve the issues,
but no one has responded. People from Government only came when they
needed votes, promising to return, but never did.

In another development, charges against four members of the Ga Pila
community, on the other side of the Anglo Platinum mine, were
withdrawn yesterday. They were arrested and charged months after
allegedly tampering with a fence at their own ploughing fields.

For further information, please contact: Mr. James Shiburi from
Sekuruwe, 072 478 3894, or Phillipos Dolo, Jubilee Mokopane
Coordinator, 073 789 2489.

George Dor, Jubilee South Africa General Secretary, 011 648 7000, 076
460 9620,

CCMA to help resolve ongoing Sactwu strike
Sapa 21 September 2009

The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) has
accepted a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)
offer to assist in resolving an ongoing salary strike.

More than 50 000 Sactwu members embarked on a national strike last
Tuesday. The union has rejected employers' revised offer of 8%. Sactwu
General-Secretary Andre Kriel says the mediation process will start in
Johannesburg today. “The union has always said that it is better to find
a solution to this situation than to have a strike. Our objective is not
to have a strike -- it's to have a settlement.”

The employers' chief negotiator Johann Baard says they welcome the
CCMA’s offer. However, Baard says they want the union to suspend the
strike today. “There is just one possible potential problem which I have
discussed with the trade union and the CCMA, and that is the question of
the suspension of the strike action with effect on Monday. The employers
are not likely to engage in the mediation process while strike action

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions has since come out
in support of a pay strike by clothing and textile workers, saying their
demands are reasonable and affordable.

"We congratulate the 92% of members who voted in favour of a strike, for
their determination to resist the employers' attempt to impose a minimal
weekly wage increase of between R19 and R32 per week," Cosatu said in a

Sactwu said workers in the clothing industry are the lowest paid in the
manufacturing sector. Most are women and single mothers, and over the
past few years have accepted low increases to help keep the struggling
industry sustainable as it competes against cheap imports. – additional
reporting by

Clothing workers’ strike set to go on
Sapa 21 September 2009

CLOTHING workers would reject the latest so-called revised offer by
employers, the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) said on

“It is word for word the same as an offer that was tabled to the trade
union at a leadership negotiation meeting held three weeks ago,” the
union said in a statement.

While the proffered 8% pay hike was acceptable as an increase for metro
workers (provided the employers drop the conditions attached), it failed
to address the gap between metro and non-metro wage levels. In all parts
of the country other than the Western Cape, Sactwu members had over the
past few days summarily rejected the offer.

Western Cape members would be consulted to day.

“We will wait for the outcome of the Western Cape workers’ mandate on
Monday but we do not expect that our members will accept the employers’
‘revised offer’,” the union said.

“In fact, since the employers have tabled their ‘revised offer’, our
strike has grown stronger.”

Earlier on Friday, Sactwu national organising secretary Chris Gina told
media in Durban that the legal wage for a qualified machinist was R399 a
week but in some factories in Isithebe, Botshabelo and Qwaqwa,
machinists earned only R126 a week.

It was said most garments produced in the three areas were apparently
bought by retailers such as Edgars, Pep Stores, Woolworths and Mr Price.

“We have pleaded with them to source ethically ... they simply deny that
they source their goods from these factories,” Gina said. — Sapa

Authorities monitor Diepsloot
JP du Plessis (Eyewitness News) 20 September 2009

Police are keeping a close eye on Diepsloot, in northern Johannesburg,
despite a protest march by residents on Saturday going ahead peacefully.

The residents of Ward 96 are calling for their ward councillor to step
down amid allegations of fraud and nepotism.

They claim he is selling plots of land illegally and is only hiring
friends and family for extended public works programmes.

The residents handed over a memorandum of demands asking for him to be
recalled, the second time this year.

A resident who took part in the march said he hopes local authorities
will pay attention to their demands before the situation escalates.

“The meeting was successful because almost over 2 000 members of the
community have joined the march.”

No change at ‘death hospital’
Alex Matlala 21 September 2009

Residents up in arms
SERVICES at the Helene Franz Hospital and Blouberg municipality in
Limpopo came to a standstill over the past few days when residents and
municipal officials took to the streets to protest against
maladministration, corruption and a total collapse of services.

Led by a group of disgruntled residents and municipal officials called
the Blouberg Development Forum (BDF), they handed a memorandum of
grievances to hospital CEO George Baloyi on Friday.

About 800 people affiliated to the forum accused hospital management of
acting at a snail’s pace to upgrade the hospital in which hundreds of
patients have died.

The hospital made headlines recently after it recorded a total of 172
deaths in three months – the highest number of deaths recorded at any
hospital in the province.

Sowetan reported on the collapse of the hospital’s services last year
after it was dubbed “the hospital of death” by Senwabarwana residents.

About 11 months later things at the hospital haven’t changed. During
Friday’s protest residents claimed that the hospital’s only operating
theatre was not operational .

Protesters claimed that many pregnant women died in labour because of
this and said the hospital had only one doctor for every 200 patients .

“We call for the the appointment of a new hospital board that will have
the interest of patients at heart,” protest organiser Dan Sematla said.

Health department spokesperson Selby Makgotho said the residents’
grievances were legitimate and promised to study the memorandum and
report back to them.

Residents then marched to the Blouberg local municipality to hand over
another memorandum to acting municipal manager Seleka Ratladi.

The forum accused management under municipal mayor Serite Sekgoloane of
awarding contracts involving several million to relatives, friends and
political juntas.

“We have a list of companies that were given to municipal manager Ike
Makhura to appoint.

“After failing to do so Sekgoloane and his junta suspended him. We want
Makhura back, or else,” said the memorandum.

But the protest was condemned by the DA, ANC, SACP and South African
National Civics Organisation (Sanco), who said it did not represent the

Capricorn regional Sanco secretary Sanny Mannya said the protest was
organised by a faction comprising those not nominated for ANC leadership
in the coming regional conference.

The ‘Mandela Park 23 to appear in Khayelitsha Magistrates court
tomorrow at 9am

Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement on behalf of the community of Mandela Park Update:20 September 2009

What we know now:

  • 23 residents of Mandela Park were arrested by police today

  • All 23 activists will appear in Khayelitsha Magistrates Court at
    09h00 tomorrow morning (21 September).

  • Residents will protest outside the court until their neighbours
    are freed

  • The senior prosecutor and the commissioner of Harare Police
    Station refused to let any of the 23 residents out on police bail even
    though they all agreed there was no risk in doing so.

  • What happened:
    This morning 23 Mandela Park activists were arrested on their way to
    speak at a local radio station after Helen Zille refused to address
    their anger at Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela for lying to residents
    (see previous press statement for details).

    Police arrested residents and proceeded to fabricate a lengthly lie that
    all 23 residents were caught vandalising the empty government houses. We
    assume that police did this because they were pressured into arresting
    someone for yesterday’s civil disobedience protest. Since they couldn’t
    find the perpetrators, the just picked off the 23 activists who, walking
    in a group, were an easy target.

    Pressure from protesting residents helps those arrested:
    At about noon, almost 100 residents of Mandela Park converged on Harare
    Police Station to pressure them into throwing out the case. Residents
    were joined in solidarity by members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign and
    Abahlali baseMjondolo. Eventually, the pressure proved fruitful and
    activists were able to meet with Station Commissioner Tobias. During the
    first meeting, he was curt and somewhat rude to community leaders.
    However, after continued pressure and toyi-toying by residents, during
    the second and third meetings Tobias was more friendly and placed the
    blame on the Senior Prosecutor Mr Isaacs who, he said, denied them bail
    that day and required that they be in court the next day at 9am.

    It is clear that the mass protest outside Harare Police Station helped
    make sure that residents were not stuck in jail until Tuesday or even
    Wednesday. In a change of tack, Commissioner Tobias mentioned how he
    “feels for residents of Mandela Park who live in a hokkie [shack] and
    see nice houses being built right in front of them only to see those
    houses go to someone else”. He said of the 23 activists: “these people
    is not criminals who stay in there” and that he wants them out so that
    he can focus on the real criminals.

    Despite such corroborative language, Tobias continued to blame the
    Senior Prosecutor for refusing to let out the 23 protesters. When
    residents again complained about the serious health issues of some of
    those arrested and the fact that some of the women had 3-6 month old
    children, Tobias again said he’d love to let all of them out but that
    the Prosecutor would not allow him to do so.

    A short history of Mandela Park protests:
    Even though we are merely fighting for our right to housing that has
    already been promised to us, we are the ones criminalised again and
    again by the corrupt cops of Harare Police Station.

    It began when we first rose up as a community in 2003 where many of our
    leaders were arrested, beaten and sent to Pollsmoor. In 2003, we also
    held mass rallies supporting our fellow residents who had been
    wrongfully arrested. For a full history, see this report written by
    Professor Martin Legassick.

    Police abuse of Mandela Park residents has continued since then.
    Recently, just over a week ago, 53 residents were arrested in Mandela
    Park for protesting the new Khayelitsha Hospital. Says one resident:
    “there are hundreds of thousands of unemployed people in Khayelitsha but
    the people from the community are not getting employed” by this hospital.

    Again, today, Mandela Park residents have been arrested on false
    charges. But when will corrupt cops be brought to the book for their
    lies? Why do the poorest of the poor always get arrested when they
    protest injustice while the people committing the actual crimes against
    us go free?

    As a community, we will appear en-mass tomorrow at 9am outside
    Khayelitsh Magistrates Court to protest the wrongful arrest of our

    For more information, contact Mabhuti at 082-99... or Sluja 071-433-1101
    You can also try Loyiso who is among the 23 residents arrested at
    083-270-2000 or 073-766-2078

    Protestors gather in attempted land grab
    Ray White (Eyewitness News) 19 September 2009

    Hundreds of people have gathered along the N4 near Atteridgeville in
    what is believed to be a protest concerning land.

    Reports suggest that a large group of people have begun protesting and
    motorists travelling along the N4, between Pretoria and Pelindaba, have
    been advised to avoid the area.

    One passerby described what she saw: “These guys are starting to burn
    the land I don’t see any police presence at the moment so it’s a bit
    dangerous and I think people should try and avoid that area.”

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