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Reference
SA Protest News 10-15 October  (2009) SA Protest News 10-15 October 2009.  : -.

Summary
Delivery protest turns violent
SAPA 15 October 2009

Johannesburg - At least 20 people, including a policeman, were injured
on Thursday when a protest by Diepsloot residents turned violent,
Pretoria police said.

"A crowd of about 100 started throwing stones, blocked off streets and
became really violent," said Inspector Wanda Olivier.

Residents gathered outside a municipal office in Diepsloot Extension One
at around 08:00, and began singing, dancing and toyi-toying.

About an hour later, police said it became violent.

Rubber bullets

"Police opened fire at the crowd with rubber bullets to control them,"
said Olivier.

At least 19 residents and one policeman were injured.

They were treated on the scene by emergency personnel.

Thirteen people were arrested for public violence and were expected to
appear in the Pretoria Central Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The crowd had since been dispersed but police were monitoring the area.




Protesters arrested in Nelpruit
Sapa 15 October 2009, 13:07

About 30 people were arrested after roads were blockaded and a police
vehicle torched during a protest in Matafeni village in Nelspruit on
Thursday, police said.

This included a man whose leg was injured while he tried to dodge rubber
bullets, said Superintendent Malcolm Mokomene.

Over a hundred protesters gathered near the 2010 Mbombela stadium at 6am
to demand government build them a school they say was promised when they
were relocated to make way for construction of the stadium for the World
Cup.

"We had to fire rubber bullets when the crowd started throwing stones at
us," said Mokomene.

He said three police officers were wounded, two seriously.

They were taken to the Rob Ferreira hospital for treatment.

The situation was "under control" by noon.

"We've managed to keep the situation under control. Police have been
deployed in the area," said Mokomene.

Those arrested would be charged with public violence and malicious
damage to property, he said.

On Monday, pupils at John Mdluli Primary School and Cyril Clarke High
School blocked the gate leading to the Mbombela stadium, forcing workers
to down tools.

Police reportedly used rubber bullets to calm the situation after pupils
turned violent and threw stones. - Sapa



30 people arrested for blocking roads near Nelspruit
Posted by Lwandi Genu 15 October 2009

About 30 people were arrested after roads were blockaded and a police
vehicle torched during a protest in Matafeni village in Nelspruit. This
included a man whose leg was injured while he tried to dodge rubber
bullets. Superintendent Malcolm Mokomene says over a hundred protesters
gathered near the 2010 Mbombela stadium at 6am to demand government
build them a school. They say they were promised a school when they were
relocated to make way for construction of the stadium for the World Cup.

He said three police officers were wounded, two seriously. They were
taken to the Rob Ferreira hospital for treatment. Police say the
situation is "under control." On Monday, pupils at John Mdluli Primary
School and Cyril Clarke High School blocked the gate leading to the
Mbombela stadium, forcing workers to down tools. Police reportedly used
rubber bullets to disperse them.



Sakhile demands Zuma attention
AFP 15 October 2009

Standerton - The acrid smell of burning tyres filled Sakhile informal
settlement on Thursday as angry residents vowed violent protests until
President Jacob Zuma heeds their service delivery complaints.

In the latest of several recent flare-ups in South Africa, thick black
smoke hung over Sakhile's rubbish-strewn streets three weeks after the
area was transformed into a no-go area.

Frustrated residents want Zuma, who took office in May, to respond
personally to their plight.

"President Zuma promised to rid government of corruption and lazy
officials. Our council here is busy lining their pockets with the money
meant for improving our living conditions," said Sandile Mahlangu.

Demands
"We have ran out of patience, there is going to be no order here until
Zuma visits the area and appoints an interim structure to run this
municipality," said Mahlangu, an unemployed young man.

In just five months, Zuma's government has faced a wave of
demonstrations in poor informal settlements where demands for access to
water, electricity and housing have turned violent.

In Sakhile, residents have barricaded roads and set government buildings
alight. Police responded by firing rubber bullets and making several
arrests.

The flare-up of violence and a spate of recent strikes have turned up
the pressure on the hugely popular Zuma who took power with strong
support from unions and the poor, who now want to see some action.

Time for action
"We will continue burning tyres, we have had enough. Action is better
than words," said Mahlangu.

Amid reports of expensive ministerial car purchases, recessionary
pressures and attacks from the left, Zuma remains billed as a leader who
is in touch with South Africans facing massive inequality.

In August, he drew plaudits with a surprise visit to a protest-hit
Mpumalanga informal settlement, followed by the launch of a toll-free
complaints hotline which lodged more than 7 000 calls in just three hours.

"Zuma's pro-poor election card raises the expectation of the people, now
they want to see his face every time there is a service delivery
protest," political analyst Prince Mashele told AFP.

One Sakhile resident, Thembi Motha, said the riot was the result of
years of neglect by the council and the ruling African National Congress.

People are angry
"This protest was not supposed to turn out like this, but people are
angry. We want Zuma to come and drive out these useless officials. They
are the cause of all this," he said.

The ANC has said that Zuma has been advised not to visit Sakhile despite
his promise to visit trouble spots unannounced.

"It would be unfair for residents to demand that every time there are
service delivery protests, then the president should come and address
them," The Times newspaper quoted a spokesperson as saying.

Several top politicians arrived in Standerton on Thursday to meet local
councillors with of a crowd of residents waiting outside the building
for an outcome amid a heavy police presence.

"We will not accept any decision which does not respect our demands,"
said 56-year-old resident Margaret Sibiya.
- AFP



ANC concerned by Sakhile violence
Sapa 16 October 2009

The African National Congress will not take any immediate action in
regard to the troubled Sakhile township, national executive member
Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday.

Gallery: Standerton burns as service delivery protests continue

Mbalula and fellow ANC NEC member Malusi Gigaba spoke to reporters after
a five-hour meeting with officials from the province and Lekwa
municipality, which incorporates Standerton and Sakhile.

Mbalula said he and Gigaba would write a report for the ANC National
Working Committee (NWC). The NWC would examine the report and take up
discussion within the NEC.

Despite this, Mbalula and Gigaba said that some conclusions could
already be drawn.

"It is quite clear to us that some of the challenges in the municipality
deal with weaknesses in the leadership and social distances with the
leaders and the communities," said Gigaba.

He said action had been taken on some of the issues the residents had
raised but social distance created the perception of indifference.

"Because the council could not communicate to the people about the
action taken, it seems like they are not taking any steps," said Gigaba.

He said a further problem was that many community leaders who claimed to
represent Sakhile were not entitled to do so and might not have any real
influence.

For the past few weeks, Sakhile township has been rocked by service
delivery protests that have seen roads blockaded with burning tyres and
garbage, and municipal buildings torched.

Residents have accused municipal officials of corruption and of ignoring
the need for service delivery, such as water, electricity and roads, in
the community.

They have demanded the resignation of councillors and mayor Juliet
Queeneth Radebe-Khumalo.

The Democratic Alliance of Standerton has added its voice to the
controversy, demanding that the municipality be placed under provincial
administration.

Mbalula said that during the meeting, Radebe-Khumalo denied there was a
service delivery problem. Rather, she said that the residents were being
provided with services but the protests were being fuelled by varied
interests and a scramble for power.

Mbalula and Gigaba also suggested that the protests were not solely
motivated by grievances over poor service delivery.

"We are not sure these are purely service delivery protests or [whether]
something else is involved," said Gigaba before quickly adding: "We are
not saying there's a third force involved."

Mbalula said that he and Gigaba had toured the township in the morning
and had spoken to residents. However, they declined to say whether there
was a genuine lack of service delivery, saying any judgement would be
premature. "The issues are not as straightforward as service delivery.
We have been told there is a plethora," said Mbalula.

"We are here to listen to everyone and not pass judgement on anyone,"
said Gigaba.

Mbalula said the problem was a "political one" and required a like
solution. Time would be needed for the ANC to come to a decision and
they appealed for calm.

"We are asking for calm and space for the political process," said Gigaba.

"You've made your point, your anger has been demonstrated. Now we call
for calm."

However, Mbalula, in response to a question about accusations of
excessive police force during the protest by residents, warned against
any more violence.

"Any killing of burning of people is not allowed. A state of violence
will not be allowed. This is not a banana republic," he said.

Mbalula and Gigaba promised that they would not leave Standerton before
having spoken to all the affected people in the community.

"If need be we will sit through the night to see what each stakeholder
wants to do," said Gigaba. - Sapa



Irate Sakhile residents demand council quits
The Star 15 October 2009

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe is set to receive a hot welcome
from Sakhile township residents in Mpumulanga on Wednesday as they enter
their third week of violent service protests.

"Comrades, we must be calm and stop the barricades and burning tyres
tomorrow," said community leader Phanuel Manana.

"Voertsek! Voertsek!" came the near instantaneous retort from the crowd,
followed by a chant of: "Zuma! Zuma! Zuma!"

Thousands of residents in this township outside Standerton, 180km
south-east of Joburg, packed out the Sakhile stadium to hear a report
back from their leadership on Wednesday evening.

In an extraordinary show of force and discontent seldom seen before at
service protests, more than 10 000 people marched from Sakhile township
to the adjoining Standerton offices of the Lekwa local council on
Tuesday to deliver a memorandum.

Protesters warned that councillors' and managers' safety could no longer
be guaranteed, with many in the crowd carrying rudimentary weapons
including pangas, knobkierries and insect repellent spray.

The council stands accused of fraud, corruption and maladministration
following the circulation of an audit report.

The noon deadline came and went without reply from the council.

Council spokesperson Sipho Mkhwanazi explained that the 24-hour deadline
was too short a time to formulate a reply. Also, the council did not
have the capacity to print notices, making it difficult for the Speaker
to convene a council meeting.

He said the MEC for Local Government, Norman Mokoena, was on his way
from the provincial capital in Nelspruit to report back.

"Basically, they have nothing for us," said Manana on the lawns of the
Lekwa council offices soon after having met interim municipal manager
Sipho Sindane.

Two councillors resigned on Wednesday and 41 community members, arrested
for public violence, were released without bail.

Last night the clearly incensed crowd shouted down their leadership who
had earlier travelled to Luthuli House in downtown Joburg to meet ANC
national executive committee members.

Several members of the community mounted the back of the bakkie/podium.
Those encouraging the burning of council houses cheered enthusiastically.

As the meeting broke up a few hundred protesters made their way through
the streets of Sakhile, eventually coming to a halt outside the home of
a protester who was killed in a previous demonstration.

In the morning residents returned to work with heavily armed Nyalas and
police vans patrolling the barricaded streets.

There was an air of apprehension as the noon deadline for the local
council to resign drew closer without any sign that they would accede.

In the streets littered with huge blocks of stone, concrete pillars and
even a burnt out four-ton truck, residents took advantage of the
temporary lull in protest action to visit the local shops while young
children played cricket in the streets.

"We have still not heard from them (the Lekwa council) and the noon
deadline still stands.

"If they don't resign we will have no choice but to follow through on
our threat to make Standerton ungovernable," said Manana.

Some residents prepared for the seemingly inevitable by erecting a brick
wall along a main thoroughfare and digging a ditch in the road deep and
wide enough for a Nyala to drop into.

Premier David Mabuza has responded to the crisis by seconding an interim
municipal manager and chief financial officer with promises that anyone
found guilty of the allegations will be summarily dismissed.

* This article was originally published on page 8 of The Star on
October 15, 2009



Destruction in name of freedom
Sandile Memela 15 October 2009

THE former liberation heroes now in government cannot enjoy the sight of
the upheavals in Sakhile township near Standerton, Mpumalanga.

Can you believe the number of people who want the world to believe that
our democratic government is a failure?

The people who are out to protest against alleged failed service
delivery are from the ruling party, some NGOs, even some jobless and
poor guys from the local communities. They really are out to create a
ruckus.

There are stories that Sakhile township residents are up in arms because
of rampant corruption in the indifferent municipal council. Well, no one
has exactly displayed a copy of the alleged report but it is said that
senior management and officials in the municipal office have been
helping themselves to money that should go to service delivery.

This has resulted in the political leadership being accused of
mismanagement, nepotism, embezzlement of funds and betraying the
expectations of the people.

Many of the councillors have abandoned their homes and are now regarded
as the enemies of the people.

Earlier this week the protesters staged a march to council offices in
town forcing countless businesses to shut down because of fear. The
whole world watched scenes of protesters pulling down telephone kiosks,
signage, and chanting what were supposed to be new freedom songs. There
was a bespectacled young man who was screaming into a news mike and
demanding that all the councillors must resign.

Of course, the councillors and other government officials are nowhere to
be seen, having scuttled away in fear of being murdered in broad daylight.

This is a democratic country with structures to address grievances, but
those at grassroots are seemingly not interested in constructive engagement.

I am sure former liberation heroes like Nelson Mandela and others find
their gyrations on television disappointing. It is not amusing to watch
people burn down libraries and destroy State property simply because
they are impatient and angry.

These protesters are not willing to listen to anyone except President
Jacob Zuma. It would seem that he is the only credible leader who can
calm them down.

Undoubtedly these alleged service delivery protests are a symptom of a
breakdown in communication. But it would also seem that the people are
not willing to inform and educate themselves about the requirements of
the new times in democracy. In fact, they neither want to listen nor try
new ways to get their concerns addressed.

The new times of freedom and democracy demand that dissatisfied people
engage in discussion instead of resorting to self-destructive violence.
There is no point to service delivery protests that leave community
structures burnt to the ground. It is not radicalism to drag councillors
from their homes or offices and stone them to death.

If people are not happy with leadership, they must vote them out and
elect others who they believe will give them what they want. Otherwise,
township protests become a boring, monotonous and predictable cycle of
self-destruction.

Perhaps one cannot dismiss the genuine concerns and grievances of the
grassroots people. But where is the self-respect and dignity in the new
form of struggle, if we can call it that? Why must people burn down
libraries and destroy property and other amenities that are part of the
reconstruction programme?

Today, the “struggle”, has lost direction and meaning. In saying this, I
am not denying people’s right to protest or express their grievances.
But we need to understand that freedom entails responsibility.

Leaders are needed among the so-called service delivery protesters to
make the people understand that their struggle will be meaningless and
discredited if they do not exercise their right to protest with
self-restraint and dignity.

People who have no respect for human life or State and private property
are criminals. This is how democracy works. And people who are prone to
unnecessary violence and murder are not free.

Sandile Memela is an author and chief director for marketing & public
relations at the Department of Arts & Culture. He writes in his personal
capacity



Tensions still high in WSU protests
Mthatha Bureau — Additional reporting by Zisanda Nkonkobe 15 October 2009

TENSIONS continued to run high at Walter Sisulu University’s Nelson
Mandela Campus in Mthatha as students vowed to continue protests until
their demands were met.

Late last night, the executive management of the university and members
of the student representative council (SRC) were meeting to discuss an
end to the impasse.

There have been no classes at the campus since last Thursday.

On Tuesday, hundred s of toyi- toying students barricaded entry to the
campus, accusing university management and council of implementing
policy without consulting student bodies.

They listed three grievances in an October 6 memorandum – the rejection
of a proposed seven percent fee adjustment; the adoption of an SRC
constitution without student consultation; and a demand for the review
of WSU’s procurement policy.

Yesterday protesting students again blockaded the entrance to the campus
and, later, staff were only permitted to leave at 3pm.

During the course of the day, student leaders held meetings with labour
unions and students at the institution.

WSU vice-chancellor Professor Malusi Marcus Balintulo is currently in
Ghana and referred all queries to his deputy, Professor Jina Buijs .

Balintulo, in a memorandum to WSU students on Tuesday, said the SRC
elections would he held as scheduled under the council-approved
constitution.

An SRC spokesperson said the original date set for the elections had
been October 20.

Students rejected this and vowed to continue protest action until their
concerns were adequately addressed.

Buijs yesterday expressed disappointment in the action by the student
body and described it as “undemocratic” and orchestrated by a few students.

“The WSU has 24000 students and 11 sites. It is only a group of about
200 students from only the Nelson Mandela Drive (campus) who have
embarked on the protest action,” Buijs said.

She added that no action had been reported at its other Mthatha campus.

“They want us to go to the old system, which is not in line with the
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the statute of the
university,” said Buijs, who met senior management in East London over
the issue.

She said the seven percent fee increment was still a proposal.

SRC campus president Zincedile Tiya said the issue of the SRC
constitution must come back to the general student masses.

He said Balintulo’s response only focused on the SRC constitution and
did not respond to demands over the procurement policy and proposed fee
adjustment.

Students at WSU’s Potsdam campus in Mdantsane also protested yesterday
afternoon against high fees, blocking the entrance to the university.

Campus security patrolled the outside of the university and four police
squad cars were also on the scene.

When the Daily Dispatch arrived, a group of angry SRC members told the
Dispatch team to leave.

Threats of violence were made against a Dispatch reporter when she
refused to leave.

Police spokesperson Captain Leon Fortune confirmed that police squad
cars were deployed.

“There were no incidents of violence or any arrests,” he said. - By
LULAMILE FENI

Mthatha Bureau — Additional reporting by Zisanda Nkonkobe



Three EL men arrested for selling RDP houses
15 October 2009

East London police have arrested three men for fraudulently selling RDP
houses in Orange Grove township on the city's outskirts.

Police spokesperson, Mtati Tana, says the men were members of an RDP
committee.

He says they were arrested after a woman who bought an RDP house for R15
000 opened a case of fraud against the men.

"Two of the men were arrested in Orange Grove while one was arrested in
Dimbaza.

The men, aged 36, 37, and 51, will appear in the East London
Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of fraud and theft.

The arrests of the men follows a protest by residents of Orange Grove on
Sunday over alleged corruption in the allocation of RDP houses.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse residents who tried to block the
R-72 with burning barricades.

A number of people were injured while four others were arrested on
charges of public violence.



EXPECTED MASS PROTEST A TOTAL FLOP
By Canaan Mdletshe 15 October 2009

A FLOP. This sums up yesterday’s march by the Durban Unicity Forum
Informal Traders, which supports the controversial Warwick Triangle
development in Durban.

The march, dubbed “The Mass Protest” by its hopeful organisers, was such
a flop that less than a 100 people took part.

The aim of the march was to show support for the provincial task team
and municipality on the proposed development, including the building of
a mall.

While the march was peaceful there were one or two incidents of
finger-pointing and hurling of insults between the protesters and those
who are against the demolishing of the market. But police monitored the
situation.

Forum secretary Nathi Mbatha said they were unperturbed by the low turnout.

He said they were fully behind the development because for many years,
informal traders had been exploited and had never grown as they should.

“To us it was not about numbers but about the end results,” Mbatha said.

He said they supported the development because they were certain that it
would benefit informal traders and not only a few individuals, as is the
case with Early Morning Market.

He said the market belonged to a certain “minority group” that exploited
others, especially blacks, which is why they were against the development.

“All we want is economic transformation and this development is a
platform for that,” he said.

Lennox Mabaso, who accepted the memorandum on behalf of MEC Mike
Mabuyakhulu, promised to forward it by yesterday.
Source: Sowetan



Kowie rates protest simmering
Jan Hennop on 15 October 2009

The Sunshine Coast moved a step closer to a municipal rates boycott when
more than 400 residents packed the Port Alfred town hall on Tuesday
night to discuss ways of improving service delivery, writes David Macgregor.

National Taxpayers Union head Jaap Kelder – who has spent eight years
spearheading a campaign that has led to 35 towns “withholding” rates –
warned ratepayers the country would “deteriorate into chaos” if nothing
was done.

A former Kempton Park metro councilor and deputy mayor, Kelder said
there was “nothing illegal” about “honest hard working people” declaring
a dispute with a town council and paying rates into a trust account.

“It is a social contract between the municipality and the
ratepayers…they are supposed to look after your interests,” he said.

Kelder and East London based NTU vice-chairman Dr Pitt Fennell were
invited to the seaside resort by the recently formed Ndlambe Action
Group (NAG).

Outlining what needed to be done before rates could be withheld, local
businessman Derek Victor – who heads NAG – said years of written
complaints by residents meant they had long fulfilled the first
obligation of sending letters “voicing displeasure” to the local authority.

“The follow-up is to declare a dispute…the final measure is to withhold
rates if required.”

According to Kelder besides the 35 towns that were withholding rates,
another 65 “countrywide” had declared disputes with local authorities.

Initially thought to be “too radical”, the NTU started winning over
supporters when Swartruggens residents decided in July 2005 to withhold
rates – and “one town after another joined.”

They now have 300 towns on their “mailing list.”

Kelder told the Dispatch although the Eastern Cape was a “flat spot”
when it came to withholding rates, the campaign had always faired better
in smaller towns – like Port Alfred – than bigger cities.

“There is not much reaction in the cities. They are impersonal. People
get more involved in small towns.”

Fears that the local authority could “sell your house” for withholding
rates were downplayed when Kelder said the council could do nothing – if
a legal dispute had been declared.

They were also not allowed to cut electricity to householders who
withheld rates, but still paid for their power.



Photos


Diepsloot 15 October


Diepsloot 15 October


Diepsloot 15 October


Sakhile 15 October


Sakhile 15 October


Sakhile 15 October




Bela-Bela on the boil as protests spread
Frank Maponya The Sowetan 14 October 2009

32 arrested as residents barricade streets

VIOLENT service delivery protests – lately becoming a feature of
Mpumalanga – spread to Bela-Bela in Limpopo this week.

The community took to the streets on Monday night and burnt tyres while
barricading the streets with rocks.

The Bela-Bela residents accuse the local municipality of failing to
deliver adequate services to their area.

The action started shortly after a 6pm meeting held at the local
community hall.

The community chanted anti-municipality slogans before joining up with
the other residents not at the meeting.

People from Letlhabile, Old Location, and Leseding then came together to
vent their anger on municipal properties.

It is claimed that councillors opposed to Bele-Bela’s mayor Henrietta
Ledwaba also took part in the protest.

The residents then torched a section of the South African National Civic
Organisation’s offices.

On Saturday Cosatu staged a protest march in the area to demand the
immediate dismissal of Ledwaba and municipal manager Sam Bambo.

Ledwaba was accused of stopping police from arresting municipal
officials who, Cosatu said, had embezzled municipal funds – amounting to
R8million – to spend on their own petrol costs.

Also, senior officials in the municipality had allegedly failed to act
on a tip-off about a robbery that took place at the municipal buildings
last month in which R1,6million was stolen.

John Sesane, a youth leader , said they would continue to stage protests
until Ledwaba and Bambo were removed from office.

“We are tired of the manner in which the two are running the municipality.

“They have done nothing except plunge the institution into deep
financial crisis.”

Police spokesperson Superintendent Ronel Otto confirmed that 32 people
had been arrested and charged with damage to property and public
violence. They are due to appear in court this week.

Contacted for comment, municipal spokesperson Matome Sebelebele denied
that the protests were related to service delivery issues.



Service delivery protests erupt again: ANC suspects own members could be
behind service delivery protests

By DOMINIC MAHLANGU and SIPHO MASONDO 14 Oct 2009

As three townships erupted into violence, the ANC said it now suspects
that some of its own members could be behind the service delivery protests.

The party also revealed that it would discourage President Jacob Zuma
from making whistle-stop visits to areas hit by unrest, especially if
the protesters demanded to see him.

Thousands of Sakhile township residents in Standerton, Mpumalanga, went
on the rampage yesterday - burning down two municipal buildings, a
truck, and looting vending stalls.

Police had to fire rubber bullets at the crowd when some protesters
began stoning armoured vehicles.

They were demanding that Lekwa municipality mayor Juliet Radebe and her
council step down and that Zuma intervenes. Sakhile residents accuse the
council of misappropriating about R30-million earmarked for development.

In another Mpumalanga incident, residents of Machadodorp - near
Nelspruit - set a government building alight in protest against lack of
service delivery.

In Gauteng's Ekurhuleni metro, a councillor's home was burnt by Palm
Ridge residents, who were demanding access to electricity, running water
and toilets.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told The Times that many of the recent
protests were "politically motivated" because they involved rival party
members fighting for local government posts.

"These protests cannot be sustained without the ANC. There is no way
that these protests can continue without the leadership and ANC
structures being involved.

"We will investigate as a party. We need to investigate and flush out
these individuals," Mthembu said.

He said some of the protests were fuelled by the jostling for positions
among branch-level ANC leaders ahead of the 2011 local government elections.

"We are finding elements even within our party who are using service
delivery protests to fight political wars. If we find that there are
some people within our party, within the alliance structures that are
using service delivery protests to fight simple, stupid, political wars,
I think the ANC ... should get rid of these bad apples."

He said the recent protests would dominate the party's top leadership
meeting, scheduled for next month.

In Sakhile, some of the protesting residents demanded that Zuma visit
the area.

"We want Zuma to come and address us. We want to tell him about all this
corruption," said local resident Thandi Mashinini.

But Mthembu said Zuma has been advised by the party not to do so,
despite his earlier promise that he would be visiting trouble-spots
unannounced.

"It would be unfair for residents to demand that every time there are
service delivery protests, then the president should come and address them."



Ten arrested for violence in Mpuma
Sapa 14 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Ten more people were arrested by Wednesday noon for
allegedly vandalising property during a protest in Siyathuthuka township
near Belfast, Mpumalanga police said.

This brought the number of arrests for public violence to 25, since
Tuesday’s protest over service delivery, Captain Leonard Hlathi said.

Three policemen sustained minor injuries when they were pelted with
stones by protesters, who also set fire to the Makhazeni Municipality
offices and a garbage truck.

“The situation has been calm since then.”

A township outside Machadodorp was also peaceful on Wednesday afternoon
after another protest over poor service delivery.

On Tuesday, protesters blocked the R36 from Machadodorp to Carolina,
damaged a building and threw stones.

Eight people were arrested for public violence and malicious damage to
property.



It's high noon in Sakhile standoff
Beauregard Tromp 14 October 2009

It is a story full of irony, and uniquely South African.

And it unfolded in Standerton - a 133-year-old town, which during the
Anglo-Boer War was the scene of three-month-long running battles between
the British and the Boers.

Bitterly unhappy community activists from the nearby Sakhile township
yesterday used a symbol of the Anglo-Boer War - a decommissioned cannon
- to drive home a point in a dramatic fashion that they deserve better
service from the council.

As they rampaged through town, heading home, a group of young men had
managed to pry two Anglo-Boer War-era cannons from their positions.
There was furious jostling as youths fought for a place on the cannon as
it was wheeled down the road.

The siege of Standerton was due to come to a head today

Then the wheel came off.

The youths decided it was beyond repair, and walked on home. Their
attempt to use a piece of military equipment to make a modern-day
political point had failed - spectacularly.

Not the same, though, could be said about the drive by residents of
Sakhile to force local councillors - who they have blamed for lack of
service - to quit.

The siege of Standerton was due to come to a head today, with the local
council either stepping down or being forced to by the community.

The council have been shown in no uncertain terms by a massive display
of community discontent that their time is up.

41 people have been arrested in the violent protests
More than 10 000 members of Sakhile yesterday shut down Standerton for
the umpteenth time, laying siege to the council offices and threatening
to burn the building down.

Acting municipal manager Jabu Sindane finally emerged to face members of
the angry mob, many of whom were armed with an assortment of weapons
such as pangas, knobkerries, catapults and insect repellent spray.

Sindane accepted a memorandum on behalf of the council which gave the
Lekwa councillors and managers 24 hours to resign, or else "the safety
of councillors and executive managers is no longer guaranteed".

In the past three days, 41 people have been arrested in the violent
protests in Sakhile.

The people of Sakhile, constituting the majority of the labour force in
the area, point to a report which alleges corruption, fraud and
maladministration in the council.

Community leader Phanuel Manana, the iconic picture of Hector Pieterson
emblazoned on his chest, was trying his utmost to quell the teeming
masses. With a police contingent in riot gear standing less than 20m
from the gathering, he was at pains to stress the need for discipline,.

As the crowd dispersed, it was discovered that the council offices were
virtually empty. A man who identified himself as a representative of the
Mpumalanga province said they would now have to respond to the
memorandum, but gave no more details.

his article was originally published on page 2 of The Star
on October 14, 2009



Sakhile residents continue stay away
Cathy Mohlahlana (Eyewitness news) 14 October 2009

Thousands of Sakhile township residents in Mpumalanga will continue
their mass stay away on Wednesday.

They are calling for local councillors, who have been accused of
corruption, to step down.

Residents also want people arrested in connection with the protests to
be freed from jail.

Demonstrators marched to the offices of the local municipality on
Tuesday where they handed over the list of their demands.

“The people have gone crazy,” were the only words a Standerton resident
could find to describe the service delivery protest by thousands of
Sakhile residents.

They broke bottles on the streets, overturned rubbish bins and even
managed to pull a four tonne truck into the road to form a barricade.

As soon as the crowd became too unruly, police opened fire with teargas
and rubber bullets.

A resident, who was shot in the leg, says nothing will stop them from
getting the services they deserve.

“We will continue to fight,” he says.

Residents have warned their protests will become more aggressive if
officials do not respond to their demands by lunchtime on Wednesday.




Sakhile residents gather for services protest
KENICHI SERINO AND THEO NKONKI | STANDERTON, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 14 2009
10:05

The Sakhile township in Standerton is holding its breath ahead of a noon
deadline on Wednesday for the Lekwa local municipality to respond to
protesters' demands.

Township residents marched through the town on Tuesday and presented a
memorandum demanding the resignation of councillors whom they accuse of
stealing funds meant for service delivery.

Residents planned to gather at the local stadium at noon.

A Lekwa local municipality spokesperson confirmed they had received the
memorandum and had filed a progress report to the council.

“The only issues that we can attend to are admin problems. That includes
the issue of managers not having qualifications and the alleged
corruption,” said spokesperson Sipho Mkhwanazi.

He said the municipality could not answer the calls for the resignation
of councillors.

“Councillors are deployed by the ruling party in the municipality. Only
the ruling party can take that decision,” said Mkhwanazi.

The roads into Sakhile remained blocked by smouldering trash heaps,
stones, burning tyres and concrete barriers on Wednesday morning and
gangs of young men were demanding “tolls” from motorists and pedestrians.

Sibusiso Dlamini, who works at a nearby factory, said they demanded R20
from him to pass. He avoided the men by choosing another route.

"Now I think it is not a strike anymore. It's just making money," said
Dlamini.

On Tuesday night, some teenagers demanded payment from South African
Press Association reporters who approached them.

They insisted the reporters show them cameras to prove their credentials.

“Don't talk to us like we're kids,” they said.

“We need the money to buy petrol so that we can burn things,” one said.

Some Sakhile residents went to work on Wednesday in defiance of a strike
called by the protesters.

Two residents who work as petrol attendants in the Standerton CBD said
they were going to work but would return to the township by noon.

"We are just going to work to see what is happening. We will get back
before the meeting at the stadium at 12," said one of the two women.

Andre Kasselman, the head of a local security company Kasselman
Security, said the local branch of a grocery chain had required that
their employees come to work on Tuesday.

A mob gathered outside the store.

“They were trapped inside,” said Kasselman.

He said his company was asked by the municipality and the South African
Police Service (SAPS) two weeks ago to help during the unrest.

“They told me there's no funds but they wanted protection at the
councillor's homes,” said Kasselman.

SAPS could not provide security because they were only allowed to
respond to disturbances, not guard houses.

Mkhwanazi denied that private security, or anyone else, was providing
protection for councillors' homes.

“There is no such [thing]. All councillors who are full-time are at
their offices and those who are not are at their homes,” he said.

The police also asked Kasselman to assist in managing the protests, he said.

“They [the police] said at the meeting they can't do it alone, they need
the private sector to be involved in this.”

Kasselman and his partners agreed to assist without payment because they
believe it was their duty as community members.

“We'd take a bullet for Standerton,” said Kasselman Security partner
Terrance Duplooy.

Kasselman said he had heard that Sakhile township residents would only
be satisfied if President Jacob Zuma personally visited them.

This sentiment was repeated by many of the residents.

“Zuma must come and sort this mess out,” a Sakhile resident told Sapa.

Some residents did not agree with the violence of the protest but said
the municipality had been slow to respond to the township's needs.

Among their complaints are that the municipality was overcharging for
electricity and that councillors had promised to pave roads but this had
not happened.

“If it rains, the ambulance to take someone who is sick can't come,”
said resident Vusi Mpila.

A year ago his shack was flooded, with the water nearly reaching his
waist. While councillors had promised to tackle this problem, nothing
had been done, Mpila said.

Residents had been protesting for the past two weeks. - Sapa



Broken promises anger Sakhile residents
Sapa 14 October 2009

Residents of the dusty Mpumalanga township of Sakhile are fed up with
broken promises and waiting for service delivery improvements.

They complain of dirt roads that the municipality promised to pave and
never did. They complain of annual flooding which the municipality
promised to resolve and never did.

Allegations abound of corruption and missing millions of rands in the
municipality. With or without facts people are convinced that money has
been stolen.

A woman passerby shouted in the direction of municipal spokesman Sipho
Mkhwanazi: "They stole R80 000."

"I can't comment on that," Mkhwanazi told a reporter.

Among the accusations is that municipal officials have stolen money that
was meant to pay power supplier Eskom.

"Imagine if you came to my shop to have your cellphone fixed," said
Ashfaq Allie, a cellphone repair man in the township..

"Imagine I told you to come fetch it in a weeks time and that week
became another," Allie says.

"That's what it is like for Sakhile residents".

He said residents marched peacefully to the municipal office in a small
group of less than 30 in June.

"They were told to return the next week and then the next," said Allie.

Busi Mpila owns a large shack with a lawn at the edge of Sakhile
township. In the middle of his beautiful lawn sits a pile of bricks.

Every year, he says, when it rains his home floods with the water coming
up to his waist.

"If the water comes in the night, you must collect all your belongings.
Its is too bad, too bad. "

The municipality promised a year ago to solve the problem but has so far
taken no action.

And so Mpila has given up on waiting and is attempting to build his own
dam with a small stack of bricks.

Mpila said that when it rains the dirt roads which the council promised
to pave become muddy and impassable.

This makes it difficult for ambulances to enter the township when
someone is sick or injured.

"We are still waiting, waiting, waiting for them to come," he said.

"They said they will make a plan but to this day we are waiting."

With patience turned into frustration as they were being turned away
from the council, they turned to the streets.

"The councillors have embezzled about R3 million that they were supposed
to use to pay Eskom," said Thulani Maseko, a 31-year-old father in Sakhile.

As a 24-hour deadline the residents gave to the municipality has passed,
ot was not necessarily clear what could solve their problems.

"We're just praying now. It's not serving a purpose. They're looting
shops. They're burning the library. It took us more than 20 years to get
that library," said resident Sandile Zulu.

Other residents are cynical about their prospects even if there is a
change in municipal officials.

Patrick is 25 years old and has never had regular employment. In his
whole adult life he has gone from one temporary job to another.

"I'm looking for a job to study or just a job to live. What is this all
for if there's no job for you." - Sapa



Sakhile remains blockaded as mob erects 'toll gates'
SAPA 14 October 2009

THE ROADS of Sakhile township in Standerton remained blockaded today as
residents trickled out to work in defiance of mob demands.

Residents say the barricades are manned by young men demanding “tolls”.
Sibusiso Dlamini, who works at a nearby factory, said they demanded R20
from him to pass. He avoided them by using another road.

“Now I think it is not a strike any more. It’s just making money,” he said.

A teenager told Sapa yesterday that he needed money from the informal
toll booths to buy petrol “so that we can burn things”.

Two residents who work as petrol attendants in the Standerton CBD said
they were going to work but would return to the township by noon.

“We are just going to work to see what is happening. We will get back
before the meeting at the stadium at 12 noon,” said one of them.

The residents will meet at the Sakhile stadium to get feedback on their
demands, which include a call for the resignation of the municipal
councillors. They accuse the councillors and the municipality of
mismanagement of funds, saying that RDP houses were left unfinished
because of their greediness.

Motorists using the R23 between Standerton and Balfour had to use
alternative routes after police closed that road yesterday.

“If you go through there they are going to smash your windows, it’s
chaos there,” a policeman at the scene said.



Fires in Machadodorp protests
-Sapa 13 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Several buildings were damaged by fires during service
delivery protests in a township near Machadodorp in Mpumalanga on
Tuesday, police said.

“There is damage to property, I can confirm there is damage to
buildings,” Superintendent Abie Khoabane said.

The extent of the damage was not known yet.

The protests began in the early hours of Tuesday with residents of the
township blocking the R31 that leads to the town.

“We are there are and trying to monitor, it’s still blockaded. People
are throwing stones, the protest action is still in progress. We are
trying to stop them from moving into the town.”

Police were using rubber bullets to disperse the protesters. There had
been no injuries and no arrests had been made yet.

In nearby Waterval Boven the N4 toll road was temporarily closed due to
protesters. Toll road operator Trans African Concessions spokeswoman
Anita Heyl said an early morning protest had left some debris on the N4.
The highway was closed from 7am until 9am while workers cleared it away.



Mayor moves in to quell delivery riots
Vusi Ndlovu 14 October 2009

EKURHULENI executive mayor Ntombi Mekgwe yesterday intervened to end a
service delivery protest that turned violent in Palm Ridge on the East Rand.

Thousands of residents engaged in protests after claiming their area has
been overlooked for electricity installation.

Mekgwe yesterday called an urgent meeting with community leaders in an
effort to end the strike.

Mekgwe said: “Local residents felt they have been bypassed when
electricity was installed in other sections in the area. Electricity has
been installed in extensions 1 and 2. The plan was that extensions 3, 4,
5 and 6 would follow respectively. They had been angered by seeing the
connection done in extension 4 instead of 3.

“They felt they were left out. The reason to start with extension 4 is
that it is near a sub-station which is under construction. The station
will supply the whole area.”

Mekgwe said the integrity and standard unit, an internal investigative
wing of the metro council responsible for monitoring the behaviour of
metro police, would investigate the behaviour by certain metro police
who allegedly assaulted protesters.

Sowetan yesterday published photographs of metro police officers beating
up protesters as they led them to their vehicles during arrests.

“If there is evidence of abuse of power, we will give that to the
integrity and standard unit for investigation.”

After the meeting , Mekgwe was joined by Gauteng MEC for community
safety Khabisi Mosunkutu on a visit to local ward councillor Mbusiseni
Nkabi’s house, which was petrol-bombed on Monday night.

Nkabi said he was with his family when three men known in the area
attacked his house.

No one was injured.

Community representative Teboho Moloi said they were not sure if the
matter had been settled because they still had to report back to residents .

He said the march that was scheduled for tomorrow has been suspended to
give negotiations a chance.

Police spokesperson Constable Lindelani Dladla said two men suspected of
bombing Nkabi’s house have been arrested. They have been charged with
intimidation, arson and defeating the ends of justice.

Dladla said police were still looking for the third man. She said all
those who have been arrested during the riots were expected to appear in
the Alberton magistrate’s court today.



Councillor relives petrol-bomb attack
By Botho Molosankwe 14 October 2009

The situation seemed to have returned to normal after a violent service
delivery protest in Palm Ridge, Thokoza. But it turned out to be the
calm before the storm.

On Monday night, three men petrol-bombed councillor Mbusiseni Nkabi's
house after they had ransacked it and found that it was empty.

On Tuesday morning the 45-year-old Nkabi and his partner returned to the
house to inspect the damage.

A curtain hung askew and black soot covered the wall of their modest RDP
house. The two bottles that contained petrol were still on the floor,
which was littered with shattered glass.

Ekurhuleni mayor Thandi Mekgwe said the incident had nothing to do with
service delivery. "This is criminality. If it's about service delivery,
why burn a house? Criminal elements are taking advantage of the
situation," she said.

Nkabi said he heard a rumour on Monday that his house was going to be
burnt. He then took his partner and nine-year-old daughter to a
neighbour's house.

"At around 7.15pm I saw three people throw bottles filled with petrol at
my house. Flames went up. They kicked the door but found no one. Then
they started hurling stones at the windows and they left.

"Three neighbours helped me put the fire out," he said.

Nkabi also said he would not be leaving his house because there were
only a few people who had a problem with him.

Three people were arrested in connection with the attack.

Mekgwe said she was shocked by the protests because she thought they had
understood engineers' explanation as to how the area's electrification
project would be happening. She said residents were told the area would
be electrified in phases.

At least 54 people have been arrested and charged with public violence
since the protests started. They were expected to appear at the Alberton
Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on
October 14, 2009



ANC group’s protest against Faku postponed
Sbongile Dimbaza HERALD REPORTER 14 October 2009

TODAY’S planned protest at Standard House by a disgruntled group against
former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nceba Faku and his associates has been
postponed.

Two protests were planned, one today in front of Standard House, the ANC
regional offices, followed by one at the Wool Board in Military Road
tomorrow.

This comes after about 1500 cellphone messages and 3000 e-mails were
sent to ratepayers, urging them to fight the decision by ANC regional
chairman Faku and his associates to restructure the mayoral committee.

A senior ANC official said the postponement was the result of an
instruction from the police that their action would be illegal.



Photos


Palm Ridge firebombing 14 October 2009


Sakhile 14 October 2009


Sakhile 14 October 2009


Sakhile 14 October 2009


Sakhile 14 October 2009




Children riot at Mbombela Stadium
Written by Landé Cawood-Willemse (The Lowvelder) 13 October 2009



NELSPRUIT - Not even rubber bullets flying over their heads could deter
furious learners from their senseless rioting at the Mbombela World Cup
soccer stadium yesterday.

It was a scene reminiscent of the apartheid era with bullet-proofed
police officials shooting several warning shots at an angry mob which in
turn hurled large rocks at the peace keepers. The only difference is the
rioters were all underage, ranging from about six or seven to lanky
teenagers of about 18. The toyi-toying started at approximately 05:00
yesterday at the gates of the stadium as the children attempted to
discourage workers from entering the stadium, threatening to disrupt
further building unless they received new schools.

Leaving a trail of devastation in their wake, the rioters eased back
when the police arrived, staying just beyond the range of the rubber
bullets. Sr Supt Eric Masiya and his well-organised team immediately
took control of the situation and the crime fighters were instructed to
aim low so as not to injure anyone unnecessarily, and only to shoot when
the mob attacked with stones and other debris.

"We are not interested in injuring or arresting a child, but we need to
arrest the adult instigators among the mob," he emphasised. At the time
of going to print no arrests had been made. The rioters claimed they
were upset because they still had to take lessons in temporary
classrooms. "We want our new school!" they demanded angrily.

During a similar protest action September last year, they burned down
their temporary classrooms with all their books, claiming it was too hot
to concentrate in them.

Mr Joseph Zwane, spokesman for education, said they were "extremely
disappointed in the way the children showed their displeasure with the
school". He said the department had on several occasions indicated that
building of the new school would commence before the end of the
financial year, which would be end of March 2010. "These projects don’t
just happen overnight, and we are worried about this disruptive
behaviour." According to Zwane, the department will once again explain
the situation to the rioters and point out that the new school will
improve the whole Mataffin area.

"In the meantime there are adequate classrooms available to them."



Student wounded in Umlazi protest
Sapa 13 October 2009

A student was hit by a rubber bullet above his eye during a protest at
the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal police
said on Tuesday.

"A student was shot by a member of a security company during a chaotic
situation at the institution," Superintendent Buhle Ngidi said.

Ngidi said they were protesting after the student representative council
election results were released.

"At the moment the situation is calm. Police have not fired any rubber
bullets. We are monitoring the situation." - Sapa



Ekurhuleni slams protestors after councillors house torched
Edith Ngcobo | 16 Hours Ago

The Ekurhuleni municipality has vowed to find the people who set alight
a councillor’s house in Palm Ridge on Monday night.

The municipality says this is a crime and no one has the right to burn
another person’s property, whatever the situation.

This follows service delivery protests in the area on Monday.

“We condemn this kind of action. We do not believe that people can go
under the umbrella of service delivery protests and then they pursue
their own thuggery agendas. As council we view this incident quiet
seriously,” says the municipality’s Zweli Dlamini.



R23 in Mpumalanga closed due to protest
Sapa 13 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Mpumalanga police closed the R23 between Standerton and
Balfour on Tuesday afternoon.

Traffic police were warning motorists nearing Standerton to detour
because protesters were toyi-toying and had set up their own toll booth.

“If you go through there they are going to smash your windows, it’s
chaos there,” a policeman on the scene said.

The protesting Sakhile township residents handed a memorandum of
grievances and demands to the local municipal offices.

“The march began at 10am. The protesters got a bit rowdy when they got
to town, but police fired rubber bullets and the situation was back to
normal,” Captain Leonard Hlathi said.

No injuries were reported. Hlathi said the residents dispersed around
noon and since then the situation had been “calm” in the township.

Residents of Standerton have for the past week been protesting against a
“lack of service delivery” in their area.

In another protest against service delivery at Siyathuthuka township
near Belfast, three policemen sustained minor injuries when residents
pelted them with stones.

“Protesters at Siyathuthuka burnt the Makhazeni municipality offices and
a garbage truck earlier today Tuesday. It’s not clear yet whether there
were people injured,” Hlathi said.

Eighteen people were arrested and charged with public violence.



No end to fiery Standerton protests: Township residents are incensed at
failure to act on corruption audit

Beauregard Tromp 13 October 2009

A CROWD of more than 10 000 Sakhile residents marched to the municipal
offices in Standerton this morning and threatened to burn down the
building if council officials refused to address them.

Brandishing an assortment of weapons, including pangas and knobkerries,
they made their way to the Lekwa local council offices.

Throughout Standerton, "closed" signs were put on shop windows with red
and white tape cordoning off service stations and other businesses.

A small group of some 50 police officers, armed with shotguns and riot
gear, kept watch along with 15 or so members of a local security company
guarding local businesses.

At the time of going to press, council officials were refusing to come
out of the building.

For more than two weeks there have been protests in Sakhile, the
township adjoining Standerton, Mpumalanga.

Residents have repeatedly expressed their anger at inaction over a
forensic report showing fraud, corruption and maladministration within
the local council.

Yesterday groups of boisterous youths gathered around the rubble and
fire barricades, approaching cars with slingshots at the ready and
charging motorists toll fees to pass.

Yesterday morning, thousands of people from Sakhile marched to the
municipal offices, intent on staging a sit-in. When they got there, the
offices were locked.

Twenty-two people were arrested after police opened fire with rubber
bullets.

With a heavy police contingent escorting them out of town, the township
residents again turned their anger on their own community.

All major thoroughfares through the township were blockaded, including
the R23 leading into Standerton.

By mid-afternoon, only the youths were left to maintain the fiery
barricades, utilising a metal merry-go-round from a local school to
gleefully carry their burning tyres a few metres up the R23 and back again.

"Be careful. Thugs are also among us," warned a community leader.

Grade 7 pupil Matumo Mohlabi said: "There are many problems here and
there is nothing for us to do."

Among the few adults in the crowd was Jossie Avontuur, who had joined
her 14-year-old son.

She lamented the high rentals and poor amenities in the area.

"The situation that's here affects my children also.

"So yes, I am worried that my boy can get hurt, but it affects him
also," she said.

The locals scoff at the mention of local councillor Lindiwe Ndlovu, who
"sits on the hill there with her two bodyguards".

As night fell over Sakhile, the teenage boys' exuberance seemed
unabated, a new group now taking turns at rolling the once fiery
merry-go-round down the R23.

Community leaders said they planned a further protest march to the
council offices this morning.

"I spoke to the premier early this morning and gave him an assessment of
the situation," community leader Manqoba Nkosi said.

"We told him we want this thing to end by the end of the week. He did
not give me a positive response."



Machadodorp protest “under control”: police
Sapa 13 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - A service delivery protest in a township outside
Machadodorp was under control on Tuesday afternoon, Mpumalanga police said.

This, after eight people were arrested for public violence and malicious
damage to property.

“The township is clear, the roads are clear everything is under
control,” said Superintendent Abie Khoabane.

Only one shop was damaged by stones, he said, adding that earlier
reports of buildings being burnt were caused by “confusion”. The
municipal building was untouched.

The protests began early on Tuesday when protesters blocked the R36 from
Machadodorp to Carolina. The road had since been cleared.
- Sapa



Jeppe tenants finalise legal move
Sapa 13 October 2009

One hundred and fifty evicted tenants in the city centre will go to the
Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday evening in a bid to overturn their
eviction, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies said.

Spokesperson Teboho Mosikili said in a statement that the tenants of
Chung Hua Mansions on Jeppe Street would be in court at 9pm to try and
obtain an urgent interdict against the owner of the property, a private
security company, and the police.

The tenants were first evicted last Wednesday, after being served with
an allegedly fraudulent notice.

They then obtained an urgent spoliation order from the high court on
Thursday ordering that they be allowed back into the building, which is
currently being demolished.

The tenants were back inside the building on Friday morning, but they
were again evicted on Monday by a private security company also using an
allegedly fraudulent court order.

Police at first allegedly assisted in getting the tenants back into the
building following the high court order, with resistance coming from the
private security company hired to keep them out.

Rubber bullets were allegedly fired during the incident and injured some
of the tenants.

Police were back at the building on Tuesday and were now allegedly
arresting tenants for trespassing.

Police were not immediately available to comment. - Sapa



Hunger strike drama: Actor going without food to force state to act
against broadcaster

GABISILE NDEBELE 13 October 2009



Award-winning actor Sello Maake ka Ncube is eight days into his hunger
strike in protest at the SABC's cutting of local content - and said he
will keep going even if it means "suffering from malnutrition".

DETERMINED: Actor Sello Maake ka Ncube in Soweto yesterday. The
'Generations' star is on a hunger strike over the cutting of local
content on TV, and said he is prepared to continue not eating, even if
he suffers from malnutrition

DETERMINED: Actor Sello Maake ka Ncube in Soweto yesterday. The
'Generations' star is on a hunger strike over the cutting of local
content on TV, and said he is prepared to continue not eating, even if
he suffers from malnutrition

Maake ka Ncube, famous for his roles as Archie Moroka in Generations and
as Daniel Nyathi in e.tv's Scandal!, sparked an outcry last week with
his comment that "in a very twisted way, African culture was more
protected or heard as a voice during the apartheid years - and we have a
black government".

The veteran actor told The Times yesterday that he had stopped eating on
Tuesday last week and that he was ready to go for 30 days without eating
in the hope of persuading the government to pressure the SABC into
broadcasting more locally produced shows.

Maake ka Ncube said he had been inspired by the Television Industry
Emergency Coalition's hunger strike campaign. He was particularly moved
by the example set by a 23-year-old production assistant, Zamambo
Tshabalala, ''who reached her 30 days last week''.

The protest started almost two months ago, when US producer Michael Lee
stopped eating to demand ''transparency and partnership'' from the SABC.
Soon after, five other people in the film industry went on hunger strike.

Maake ka Ncube, who is only drinking water, said: "I have had enough of
these policies that have also affected many actors in the past.

"I am on my eighth day today and it scares me how I have adjusted to
living without food. I sit there and wonder why should I eat, and think
of ways to better this industry.

''The aim is to do this for 30 days, but if there is no change by then,
I am going to continue, even if it means I must suffer from
malnutrition, as long as it gives the government a wake-up call."

Though not eating, he continues to work and went on a shoot for Scandal!
yesterday.

"I cast my vote for this government for the first time in 1999. They are
the same government that was asking all the people of South Africa who
had left the country because of apartheid to come back,'' he said.

''Then we come back, honouring our country, and what do we get for it?

"They are the same government that is watching the SABC ruin careers
from what [it] is doing to production companies and to actors."

Attempts to reach SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago yesterday were
unsuccessful.



SABC Strike Update
TVSA Newsdesk 13 October 2009

auckland_park_150In case you've been wondering what the latest is on the
SABC's financial fiasco, the payment of production companies and the
future of local programming, here's a fast-fact update, in a timeline:

# Following the shocking revelations by the unions about the huge
amounts of cash that had been mispent and wasted in expenses claims, a
forensic audit of the SABC was set up by the auditor-general's office in
mid-August.

# After the horror-drama surrounding the old SABC board and days of
parliamentary procedures, a new board was appointed last month. The new
members were announced on 16 September and of course there were those
agreed with the Who's Who, and those who didn't.

Who's Who:

Anthony Mello (Engineer)
Ben Ngubane (Medical doctor)
Barbara Masekela (Former board member)
Cedric Gina (Unionist)
Clifford Motsepe (Lawyer; ANC youth league rep.)
Clare Frances O’Neil (Consultant)
David Niddrie (Journalist)(media specialist)
Desmond Golding (Economist)
Felleng Sekha (IT law)
Peter John Harris (Law advisor)
Pippa Green (Journalist) (involved in TV news)
Suzanne Vos (Politician)

# During this time the production of local programming was put on hold
and it was announced that the SABC would cut local programming
production by half a billion rand next year.

# The making of new shows has been postponed until 2010. Primetime shows
directly affected include Strictly Come Dancing 6, So You Think You Can
Dance 2, the Stars Of Mzansi Awards and I Want To Sing Gospel 2. The one
planned show to go ahead is SA's Got Talent. Other new local shows that
we're currently seeing were already in production before the crisis broke.

# The most recent news we've heard is that no new shows will be made
until April, 2010 - which means that once the already-limited new local
programming runs out, there won't be anything new to broadcast.

# On 30 September, the SABC board Chairperson made a committment to the
TV industry to pay all outstanding amounts owed to production companies.
The plan: to begin settling the smaller amounts first, followed by the
larger amounts, settling everything by the end of November 2009.

# According to the TV Industry Emergency Coalition, the total amount
that needs to be paid out by the end of November 2009 is R22 million.

# In between all this, various members of the TV industry have begun an
extended hunger strike to protest to save the future of local
programming. The first to begin the strike was producer Michael Lee, who
stopped eating on 9 August, 2009.

When he began the strike he said that he'd keep going until all unpaid
production bills had been settled and postponed projects recommissioned.

After he'd been going for five weeks, five other protesters joined him
and then took over for him. Since then and now, the strike has been
going on through various people taking over from those who've been
striking previously.

The most recent is actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, who began the hunger
protest last week Wednesday (7 October), taking over from striker
Zamamba Tshabalala, who'd gone without food for 30 days.

Sello Maake Ka-Ncube with Zamamba Tshabalala at a TV Industry Emergency
Coalition press conference, announcing his decision.

At the conference he released a statement about why he's decided to get
involved.

Here it is: ...

"It is said that: “A man’s life is a journey through his life to try and
find the simple but great impressions that first found access in his life.”

I would like to believe that I am a child of resistance. Nine days after
my birth in 1960 saw the Pass Law resistance in Sharpeville. The spirit
of that resistance must have found itself in my infantile nostrils as in
some small way I have always been standing up for something.

June 1976 took away political virginity.

In 1986 when I was in Canada on tour with the production of Woza
Albert!, during a Q&A after the show I was asked if think doing protest
plays would help to liberate us.

And my answer was that in 1976 I threw stones, and that led to the
scrapping of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, and “Today I am
throwing stones from the stage for the liberation.”

Later, after democracy came, I stood up for black scriptwriters in the
industry.

In my own small ways, I have again and again contributed to liberation
of my country. I may not have suffered detention on Robben Island or
exile. However, having lived under Apartheid was prison itself. Living
with a constant threat to one’s life and being reminded of being a
lesser being. I have had my fair share of that.

Now I stand before you about the hunger protest. Do I think that this
will amount to anything? Well, every little bit helps – and if the bits
each and every one of us did, had not been done, for instance, during
the Apartheid years, we wouldn’t have had this new dispensation.

All I know is that I have always stood for something in my life. And
this is one of those times that I have to do so. The cultural
development that has suffered the brutality of colonialism and the
ravages of Apartheid is presently choked by greed, mismanagement, and
outright violation of my and my fellow countrymen’s human rights.

It is so disheartening when the very fighters of Apartheid who have been
given and entrusted the mandate to help us get our dignity back are the
very people subjecting us to worse indignity and violation of human rights.

Protests against service delivery happening around the country bear
evidence to the indignity that people still go through. The corruption
that is so prevalent in my country at the moment can be appropriately
equated to a crime against humanity.

When I heard the statement - “I didn’t get into the struggle to be poor”
- you won't begin to imagine the consternation I felt. And to think it
was MY vote that put that person in that position, with a mandate to
level the fields and help in dragging people from the muddy slough of
poverty. And now it's all about HIM. I couldn't, and still can't, help
but feel a numbing sense of despair.

I also can't help but be reminded of an expression that many mothers
would say to their children: “If you don’t wake up, you'll end up
feeding on the crap of your counterparts.” Sadly this crap has been
misdirectedly dished up to us by those we think we share an affinity with.

When it is evident is that for many strugglers against Apartheid there
is a latent envy to be like the oppressor. For others of us there is
obvious determination for a new social order. Those do not go together well.

A primal consciousness gives us an advantage to incisively pierce white
culture from a non-European frame of reference. Rather than desiring to
ape those who had performed indignity and inhumanity on the African
inhabitants of this country, we would like to re-imagine and re-create
ourselves in our OWN image. And constitute a culture dictating the terms
under which the world is to be perceived and experienced.

I am not deriding Euro-centric or “white” culture. It is part of South
Africa's heritage too, and it is to be admired, how the European culture
promotes and enlivens itself. I have done my Shakespeare and other plays
written by overseas writers. No problem with that. But at the end of the
day we also do have our OWN stories to tell. You never go to Germany and
can't see a play in German - or Thailand or China or anywhere. You come
to SA and see no plays – and now perhaps no TV either - in African
languages. Our culture is being abused.

The pseudo-gained economic empowerment - presently without cultural
empowerment - can only highlight the lack of integrity, pride, soul, and
dignity in day-to-day living.

The ability to articulate our grievances in a healthy and civil way
cannot be attained against a decade and a half of personal enrichment
and mass impoverishment.

While the well-endowed bellies of the economically-empowered acquired
from relishing lavish dinners may be a sign of that enrichment, it is a
definite symptom of cultural kwashiorkor. Picture that belly without the
Armani suit, against the background of a shack, and you will know what I
mean. A protuberance fed on the lack of the main ingredient of character
probity.

Our leaders have failed us. It's so clear, too many of our leaders have
been aspiring and envious to enter the houses of the former oppressors.
There has been no real agenda or something they wanted to pioneer and
build for the country.

There was a time when I viewed being a coconut in cultural terms.
However, now looking at it in economic terms, one can see a peculiar
kind of coconut perpetuating the “if you can’t beat them join them”
phenomenon.

The South African people deserve better. It is not in “working together”
that we will do more. It is in being accorded the resources that we will
do more.

Recently I hear on the Barry Ronge show that: Grassroots are not on the
ground anymore. This in my opinion cultivates a fertile ground for the
re-escalation of Euro-centric culture and inclusion of tokens who fit in
that mould.

A few years ago I was standing for the Artistic Directorship for the
Market, a position I knew I was not going to get. Firstly because I was
already hell-bent to go and do my master’s degree in the UK, and
secondly because the quota had already been covered - a black Managing
Director had already been appointed. There was no way that that
institution was going to be left in the hands of two black people.

Culturally black people are grossly short-changed. In the days of
Apartheid I could understand. However, in a very twisted way, we were
culturally stronger during those days than now. African culture was more
protected, had more of its own voice, under Apartheid. Yes, I repeat, it
was twisted – but everything was. At least then you had your PACs,
NAPACs, KPABs. Custodians of culture in various ways. They protected it.

Since the new dispensation, those kinds of institutions have been wiped
away. We need them again, even more now than in the past. Because here
in this situation for over 300 years our culture has never had a strong
voice. Certainly not today. How can it have a voice – when it needs to
be propagated, nurtured, by institutions of culture – and those
institutions are corrupt?

Yes the SABC is a problem, but it is not THE problem, just a symptom of
what is happening in the country. As a black person, I have worked in
the industry for over two decades. There is a black story to tell. I was
even contemplating giving up acting because there were no black parts to
play.

The parts I was offered over the years were usually lousy roles in good
stories. Fill-in roles, cardboard cutouts. Even today African culture is
just a fill-in. You go to a function and you get the African dancers who
will just dance to make sure there is a little bit of this culture mixed in!

These are some of the things that actually grind my ass to the bone on a
regular basis.

The country needs to wake up for itself and the government needs to wake
up to what is happening in the country. We the people cannot be on the
peripheries of life.

All over the world, TV is a training ground for artists, writers, crew,
all kinds of cultural workers who later become the backbone of the
society's discourse. If you look at the kind of TV that is coming out
all over the world – even people who are well known names are going for
TV – Glenn Close, James Spader, for instance in America – and you
realize how important TV is.

And how in trouble we are if we are not going to have a national public
broadcaster that is going to take care of its citizens and provide us a
useful and effective platform.

In fact, TV and culture are more important here than elsewhere. South
Africa is a fledgling country in the deep throes of reconstruction. We
don't have a common voice as a nation – there has to be a concerted
effort to unite the nation with culture.

Language can be a great divider, there can be ways of bridging it, but
right now we have the continuing architecture of division

And I think what is sad is I can never see an English person or an
Afrikaans person sitting concertedly and making sure they are pushing
their child NOT to know their heritage.

No white person would tolerate their child not being taught to speak
English. That will never happen. Why should I tolerate my child not
being taught African language, African culture? I have a 10 year old boy
now, his knowledge of Setswana or Zulu is so limited. He expresses
himself more in English. That's what's going to happen now if keep
failing with our programs to push local culture and local languages.

And that is what we are doing. We have a government that I voted for,
and I also have their membership card, and yet, this is the situation
they are propagating. For me, that's very very sad.

The legacy of our culture has been compromised by replacing it with
youth-driven initiatives guided by people with no affinity to their
culture- I had the personal experience of that with elimination of David
Photo who played the head of the Morocco family in Generations. I was
the replacement. Needless to say I was incensed.

If one would pause to look back, one would see a litany of robbing
African people of age-old wisdom. The white culture of this country is
built solidly from its Euro-centric roots and age-old wisdom. Look
around at the custodians of it. Pieta Torein, Richard Loring, The
Lindbergs, Daphney Kuhn to mention a few.

It is in the light of all this that I am embarking and joining this
hunger protest to highlight the cultural starvation of African people.
SABC is a major symbol of it and our government is its world-renowned
architect.

Yes I am currently working, on Scandal! on a daily basis, and on other
work, as well as possibly traveling to the Philippines this month. I
know someone will jump now as say how can I be starving when I am working.

The fact is I am SURVIVING not living. And if you would take time to
investigate you would realise that is what our culture is doing -
surviving. It's not alive. It's hanging precariously on the fringes of
the predominant white culture.

I survived in the UK when I was there. I don’t expect to just survive in
my own country. I came home to live but evidently am thrown into
survival mode. Let my hunger be the epitome of that.

I felt like quitting Generations at one point back then. I had a son who
was an aspirant actor. He said, “But Papa if you stop, what are we going
to eat?” I told him, “It doesn't matter, I am not going to tolerate this
nonsense. We will survive.”

But it is enough of just surviving. Enough.

I would like to acknowledge and extend my gratitude to Michael Lee
rousing me from my sluggish sleep. When I heard that Michael was going
on this protest I was deeply moved as he is an American who was taking
interest in something that is going on in MY country. How could I sit by
the wayside?

And Zamambo Tshabalala, a brave and tenacious young woman, young enough
to be my daughter, who has made me realise my contribution to the
industry still leaves much to be desired – and that the industry is
surely not yet Uhuru. Or if it is then we have to free ourselves from
the grip of the greed of our fellow Africans as they continue to arrest
our development by lining their pockets and inflating their bellies.

Zamambo is a member of the ANC Youth League – and I think Mr Malema
should be seeing how counter-revolutionary the situation is.

So to conclude, I would like highlight a story Zama told about having to
cook for her family while she was hungry, and wanting to cheat – but not
doing that. For me this was such a powerful metaphor. What stopped her
from cheating on her vow, and nibbling at what she was cooking, was
conscience. Is that something our government has?

When these people continue to squander OUR money – is there a conscience
involved there? If a 24 year old girl knows how to listen to her
conscience when there is food there to eat, to grab – and she is only
really interested in taking her own share. Her conscience even kept her
from that! And they, they want to eat OUR share. Conscience is dead in
the corridors of power! It is sad, very very sad.

Today Zama I stand looking up to you as my role model. Thank you for
being the beacon of light in this time of overwhelming darkness."



Press alert: March against poor service delivery in Grahamstown
Ayanda Kota & Fumanekile Wycliff Mfecane

Tomorrow, the Unemployed People's Movement UPM) will be holding a march on the Makana Municipality, Grahamstown, to protest against the following, and to make the following demands:

*The state of housing, specifically the houses that are collapsing in
Vukani. The community demands that the minumum size of a house is 52sqm
and that the houses that are collapsing must be rebuilt. Furthermore,
there must be a full investigation into the poor state of housing

*Electricity and water. The UPM demands free water and electricity as
per the election manifesto of the ANC, and we also demand access to
these services. There have been mass disconnections in Makana, and there
are some houses that do not even receive the free basic water supply.

*We demand a right to work, and an end to exploitation and causualisation,
and that this demand must become a right enshrined in the Constitution;

*The UPM want to highlight the high rate of crime, and we demand the
visibility of the police in the township, and that more sporting and
recreational facilities should be built;

*We demand an amendment to the Liquor Board licences to ensure that
taverns close at 22.00;

* The UPM wants a full investigation into nepotism and corruption in the
Municipality, which is preventing better service delivery.

The UPM will deliver a memorandum containing the above demands to the
Municipality.

The march will start in Extension 7, Joza, and will proceed to the
Municipal offices, City Hall, High Street, Grahamstown.

Time: 10.00 - 13.00

Contact:

Ayanda Kota (0786256462)
Fumanekile Wycliff Mfecane (0835694534)



Service-delivery protest flares in Standerton
Reuters JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 13 October 2009

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of several South African
townships on Tuesday, demanding improved infrastructure for sanitation,
electricity and housing, media reported.

Talk Radio 702 said protesters in the Standerton township of the
north-eastern region of Mpumalanga had barricaded roads leading into the
township and were marching to the municipal offices, calling for an end
to corruption in local government.

SAfm said tensions were running high at Palm Ridge township east of
Johannesburg with a heavy police presence after protests turned violent
on Monday.

Widespread frustration over poor infrastructure has prompted sporadic
protests since elections in April. Dissatisfied people in townships and
informal settlements are trying to increase pressure on President Jacob
Zuma to meet election pledges to help millions who are still living in
poverty 15 years after the end of apartheid.

Zuma has promised to ease inequalities in the biggest economy in Africa
but has said the government has fallen short in meeting demands for
better basic services like water, electricity, healthcare and education.

After a decade of economic growth, Zuma's government is grappling with
the country's first recession since 1992 and has said revenue will fall
far short of its target by at least R70-billion. Analysts said the
recession was making it difficult to improve the lives of the people.

"There was an expectation that things would improve for the working
class and for the lower income groups. But this is not happening," said
Nel Marais, political analyst at Executive Research Association.

"The economy is simply not performing well enough to make the living
conditions of these people easier. I think under those circumstances it
is relatively easy for local leaders to exploit the situation and
mobilise the people." - Reuters



Protest marked by chaotic violence
KABELO MASENG and STEVEN TAU 12 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - A service delivery protest turned violent when police
went on a shooting spree in a bid to disperse angry protesters at
Greenfield near Palmridge yesterday.

Police opened fire on angry stone-hurling protesters, injuring several
people.

Residents had blockaded roads with stones and burning tyres to protest
lack of service delivery.

In a bid to disperse the crowd, police started shooting at the thousands
of protesters, mostly youths, who fled. Police then charged into a
squatter camp releasing rounds of rubber bullets at people in the
streets and in their yards, even at those who were not part of the protest.

Among those injured was 20-year-old Thabiso Khetabahle who was shot
twice in the head while on his way to the toilet in his own backyard. He
was still dressed in his church attire. He was rushed by The Citizen to
the Natalspruit Hospital in a critical condition.

Khetabahle’s friend Simphiwe said they were not part of the protest. “As
you can see, we’re still dressed in our church attire, we were getting
ready for church and passing time in the shack playing cards while
people were protesting outside. Thabiso went out to the toilet, when he
was shot at by the police. He didn’t do anything.”

Police also went into some shacks, dragged people outside and forced
them to clear the rubble that blocked the road.

One resident said: “It appeared the police expressed their frustrations
with everyone here. They’re really abusing their privileges and they’re
just shooting to kill.”

According to Gauteng police, 45 people were arrested for public
violence. Fifteen were injured when police fired rubber bullets after
protesters pelted their vans with stones, said Constable Lindelani Dladla.

“The residents dispersed after police fired rubber bullets. It’s quiet
now but very tense.”

The Ekhuruleni Metropolitan Municipality’s Zweli Dlamini said a plan to
phase-in electricity to the affected areas had been put in place. “We
sat down with the community leaders where we’ve made clear our plans
about solving the issue.”

He said it was clear the community leader didn’t relate the information
to residents.

Residents were set to continue the protest until the ward councillor is
removed. They also said they would not stop until the Minister of
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka and
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane came to see how they live.

Meanwhile in Machadordorp in Mpumalanga about 22 people were arrested
for public violence after protests at the weekend. Yesterday police
spokesman Leonard Hlathi said residents started blockading roads with
burning tyres and rocks from 6pm on Sunday. “Our members were forced to
fire rubber bullets in a bid to disperse the crowd.”

The situation was “volatile” yesterday. One resident said all they
wanted was electricity.



Machadodorp protest spills over to nearby town 13 October 2009

The Machadodorp unrest in the Makhazeni municipality in Mpumalanga has
spilt over to the nearby town of Waterval Boven. Community members at
Waterval Boven have blockaded the N4 toll road just near the tunnel in
what looks like a service delivery protest. Toll road operator TRAC has
advised motorists to avoid the area and rather use the Schoemanskloof
road as an alternative route.

Reacting to the protest action, the ruling African National Congress
(ANC) in the Nkangala region has appealed for calm and requested the
protesting community to allow learners to go to school. ANC spokesperson
in the region Ananius Langa says they will be meeting the community and
engage the municipality on the situation.

The residents say last week they held a meeting with the local municipal
council to discuss Reconstruction and Development Programme houses that
were incomplete and still at the foundation level since 1999. However,
some Councillors stopped the meeting, allegedly attacking community
leaders and having them arrested. The community has vowed that no formal
work will be undertaken at the small town until the provincial
leadership addresses the situation and the community leaders are released.

Meanwhile, police at the Sakhile township in Standerton had to fire
rubber bullets to disperse protestors early this morning. The situation
is very tense. Nineteen people were arrested for public violence at
Sakhile yesterday as a result of renewed service delivery protests which
flared-up 17 days ago.



Sixty-four arrested in service delivery protests:
Service delivery violence flare up again in Mpumalanga and the Vaal

Sapa 12 October 2009 |

Forty-five people were arrested for public violence in Palm Ridge near
Katlehong, and 19 in Standerton, Mpumalanga during service delivery
protests today, police said.

Fifteen people were injured when police fired rubber bullets after
protesters pelted their vans with stones, said Constable Lindelani Dladla.

"The residents dispersed after police fired rubber bullets. It's quiet
for now but very tense."

Dladla said the residents were protesting against the lack of
electricity, water and toilets. Their protest began after midnight and
they dispersed at around 1pm when police fired rubber bullets.

Nineteen people were arrested for public violence during a service
delivery protest in Standerton today, Mpumalanga police said.

Captain Leonard Hlathi said all roads leading into and inside Sakhile
township were closed as residents continued with the protest action.

"All roads are closed including the R23, the main road between
Johannesburg and Standerton."

Hlathi said police fired rubber bullets earlier on, and that there were
no injuries reported. The situation was "very tense" in the township.

On Sunday, a resident and a policeman were injured after police bgean
firing rubber bullets. Twenty two people were arrested.

Residents are apparently angry after an investigation found that several
municipal officials and councillors had been implicated in fraud,
maladministration and corruption.



Mpumalanga and Joburg hit by service delivery protests
12 October 2009

Two people have been injured and 22 arrested in service delivery
protests in Standerton in Mpumalanga. The protests started again last
night, with residents barricading the R23, the main road between
Johannesburg and Standerton, with burning tyres and stones.

Police had to use rubber bullets to control the crowds. A policeman and
a member of the public were injured but were both treated and discharged.

The situation is still tense in Standerton. Protests started a few weeks
ago. Residents are angry after an investigation found that several
municipal officials and councillors have been implicated in fraud,
maladministration and corruption.

Meanwhile, protests have also broken out at two other communities in
Gauteng. Police have arrested six people at Palm Ridge near Katlehong on
the East Rand after residents had used stones and burning tyres to block
roads in a service delivery protest that started last night. Police say
the crowd was dispersed without the use of rubber bullets.

Residents of Zonkeswize near Nigel, also on the East Rand, have been
blocking the R550 near the N3 off-ramp. This is also thought to be a
service delivery protest.



Protest marked by chaotic violence
By Kabelo Maseng and Steven Tau (The Citizen) 13 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - A service delivery protest turned violent when police
went on a shooting spree in a bid to disperse angry protesters at
Greenfield near Palmridge yesterday.

Police opened fire on angry stone-hurling protesters, injuring several
people.

Residents had blockaded roads with stones and burning tyres to protest
lack of service delivery.

In a bid to disperse the crowd, police started shooting at the thousands
of protesters, mostly youths, who fled. Police then charged into a
squatter camp releasing rounds of rubber bullets at people in the
streets and in their yards, even at those who were not part of the protest.

Among those injured was 20-year-old Thabiso Khetabahle who was shot
twice in the head while on his way to the toilet in his own backyard. He
was still dressed in his church attire. He was rushed by The Citizen to
the Natalspruit Hospital in a critical condition.

Khetabahle’s friend Simphiwe said they were not part of the protest. “As
you can see, we’re still dressed in our church attire, we were getting
ready for church and passing time in the shack playing cards while
people were protesting outside. Thabiso went out to the toilet, when he
was shot at by the police. He didn’t do anything.”

Police also went into some shacks, dragged people outside and forced
them to clear the rubble that blocked the road.

One resident said: “It appeared the police expressed their frustrations
with everyone here. They’re really abusing their privileges and they’re
just shooting to kill.”

According to Gauteng police, 45 people were arrested for public
violence. Fifteen were injured when police fired rubber bullets after
protesters pelted their vans with stones, said Constable Lindelani Dladla.

“The residents dispersed after police fired rubber bullets. It’s quiet
now but very tense.”

The Ekhuruleni Metropolitan Municipality’s Zweli Dlamini said a plan to
phase-in electricity to the affected areas had been put in place. “We
sat down with the community leaders where we’ve made clear our plans
about solving the issue.”

He said it was clear the community leader didn’t relate the information
to residents.

Residents were set to continue the protest until the ward councillor is
removed. They also said they would not stop until the Minister of
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka and
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane came to see how they live.

Meanwhile in Machadordorp in Mpumalanga about 22 people were arrested
for public violence after protests at the weekend. Yesterday police
spokesman Leonard Hlathi said residents started blockading roads with
burning tyres and rocks from 6pm on Sunday. “Our members were forced to
fire rubber bullets in a bid to disperse the crowd.”

The situation was “volatile” yesterday. One resident said all they
wanted was electricity.



Service-delivery protest flares in Standerton
Mail & Guardian 13 October 2009

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of several South African townships on Tuesday, demanding improved infrastructure for sanitation, electricity and housing, media reported.

Talk Radio 702 said protesters in the Standerton township of the north-eastern region of Mpumalanga had barricaded roads leading into the township and were marching to the municipal offices, calling for an end to corruption in local government.

SAfm said tensions were running high at Palm Ridge township east of Johannesburg with a heavy police presence after protests turned violent on Monday.

Widespread frustration over poor infrastructure has prompted sporadic protests since elections in April. Dissatisfied people in townships and informal settlements are trying to increase pressure on President Jacob Zuma to meet election pledges to help millions who are still living in poverty 15 years after the end of apartheid.

Zuma has promised to ease inequalities in the biggest economy in Africa but has said the government has fallen short in meeting demands for better basic services like water, electricity, healthcare and education.

After a decade of economic growth, Zuma's government is grappling with the country's first recession since 1992 and has said revenue will fall far short of its target by at least R70-billion. Analysts said the recession was making it difficult to improve the lives of the people.

"There was an expectation that things would improve for the working class and for the lower income groups. But this is not happening," said Nel Marais, political analyst at Executive Research Association.

"The economy is simply not performing well enough to make the living conditions of these people easier. I think under those circumstances it is relatively easy for local leaders to exploit the situation and mobilise the people." - Reuters
www.mg.co.za




Police shoot to disperse protesters
Daily Dispatch 13 October 2009

DOZENS of people were shot yesterday and at least nine were arrested
when police clashed with Orange Grove informal settlement residents.

The residents had been trying to block the R72 main coastal road near
East London Airport.

The protest, organised by the community over service delivery issues and
the alleged illegal sale of RDP houses in the area, ended in violence
when the police opened fire on the protesters with rubber bullets.

It happened at around 6pm. When the Daily Dispatch team arrived on the
scene, a lane leading into East London had been blocked off by the police.

Residents pelted passing cars and police with stones and threw burning
tyres into the road, disrupting traffic.

The Dispatch team, who also had to duck missiles thrown in their
direction, saw at least two vehicles struck by stones.

Police retaliated by firing rubber bullets at the protesters.

Around six wounded people were taken to East London’s Frere Hospital in
private vehicles while others with bullet wounds continued protesting.

One man , Xolisa Wase, had a deep wound on his left thigh.

“I’ll rather die fighting for my rights than living the rest of my life
in a shack,” he said, as blood poured from his leg.

The Dispatch watched as the atmosphere became more tense, and police
shot at protesters on several occasions to disperse them.

An hour later several burning tyres had been thrown into the road
leading to the informal settlement.

Themba Wele, one of the protest organisers, said it was the community’s
last resort to get the government’s attention.

“People are suffering here because of the housing committee that is
selling RDP houses to undeserving people while those that need them
desperately suffer,” he said.

“Our cries to Mayor Zukisa Faku have fallen on deaf ears. Now we want
the premier herself to come here and listen to our needs.”

Kaizer Nojozi, another community leader, said besides the sale of the
houses, they also had other matters that needed attention.

“There is a total lack of service delivery here,” he said.

“There are no toilets, and we have to use the bush to relieve ourselves.
This is the second time such a protest has happened here.”

As the protest proceeded , police arrested a number of people including
one organiser who was trying to calm protesters down. He was led off by
police and locked in the back of a van.

Some residents, who were visibly drunk, antagonised the police by
swearing at them while others sang protest songs.

“If they think shooting us is a solution, then we will continue
protesting,” said Lwandile Ngobo, a resident. - By LINDILE SIFILE



Six arrested in Palm Ridge protest
Sapa 12 October 2009



Six people were arrested during a service delivery protest in Palm Ridge
near Katlehong on Monday, said Gauteng police.

Shortly after midnight residents began protesting against a lack of
electricity, toilets and water, said Sergeant Obakeng Tsomane.

The protesters used stones and burning tyres to block roads. When a
police van arrived on the scene it was pelted with stones.

This prompted police to make arrests.

Tsomane said no one was injured during the protests or police arrests
and the crowd was dispersed without the use of rubber bullets. - Sapa



19 held for Standerton protest
SAPA 12 October 2009



Johannesburg - Nineteen people were arrested for public violence during
a service delivery protest in Standerton on Monday, Mpumalanga police said.

Captain Leonard Hlathi said all roads leading into and inside Sakhile
township were closed as residents continued with the protest.

"All roads are closed including the R23, the main road between
Johannesburg and Standerton."

Hlathi said police earlier fired rubber bullets, and that no injuries
were reported. The situation was "very tense" in the township.

On Sunday, a resident and a policeman were injured after police began
firing rubber bullets. Twenty two people were arrested.

Residents are apparently angry after an investigation found that several
municipal officials and councillors had been implicated in fraud,
maladministration and corruption.
- SAPA



Mdantsane community radio station falls silent
Daily Dispatch 12 October 2009

A MUCH talked-about pirate community radio station in Mdantsane was shut
down by the communication regulatory body on Wednesday afternoon.

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)
communications and media liaison officer Josias Mathiba confirmed that
Mdiza FM was shut down and its equipment confiscated by means of a
warrant issued by the magistrate’s court.

“According to info received from the broadcasting section, the station
had no licence or even an application. The station manager confirmed he
had no licence,” said Mathiba.

Mdiza FM started broadcasting in March this year from the back of a
butchery in NU5 on the 99.5 frequency .

Mdiza FM station manager and local businessman Siviwe Mahlahla claimed
that the shutdown was motivated by SABC radio stations in the province,
who were losing listenership to Mdiza FM.

“They felt the pressure ,” said Mahlahla. He said Icasa representatives
took his transmitter and a CD player system, which they promised to
return once the station sorted out its licence .

“I felt so sad on that day, as it happened in the middle of the
broadcast. As much as we were expecting it, it happened without
warning,” said Mahlahla.

Yesterday afternoon unhappy Mdantsane residents held a protest gathering
near the Highway Taxi Rank to pledge their support for the station. They
also signed a petition, which Mahlahla said would be taken to the Icasa
offices in Port Elizabeth this week.

A worker at the station, who did not want to be named, told the Saturday
Dispatch that two Icasa representatives, escorted by policemen, came to
disconnect the transmitter .

“We did not worry too much, because we knew that something like this
would happen,” he said.

A resident in NU5, Siyanda Kaso , who lives next to the radio station ,
said he felt bad when he and his friends were asked to help take down
the transmitter.

“The station had helped in terms of providing training to broadcasting
students and kept us informed with what is happening locally,” said Kaso.

He said the whole community was saddened by the shutdown.

Another resident, Nambitha Masumpa, in her late 40s, said she wished
that businesspeople would come together and help the station obtain a
legal licence.

“We had so much pride about the station because it brought the community
together,” she said.

The Mdantsane community needed a station like Mdiza FM because it
addressed community issues and things that affected them as a community,
like crime, she added. “There must be another way to bring it back.” -
By XOLISA MGWATYU and LINDILE SIFILE — xolisani@dispatch.co.za



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