||Jika Joe residents battle cops over disconnections
Thami Magubane 26 March 2010
RESIDENTS of the Jika Joe informal settlement in the lower CBD were
yesterday engaged in running battles with police after they allegedly
disconnected illegal electricity connections.
The disconnections come after numerous complaints from other residents
near the settlement, who said the connections have put the electricity
supply under severe strain, resulting in numerous power outages.
According to the residents, yesterday’s skirmish began last week when
Msunduzi municipal electricians tried to remove the connections.
They were allegedly stoned by the residents. The police were called in
and they used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.
Some residents sporting bruises allegedly sustained during that
incident, said police were shooting indiscriminately.
Sifiso Mkhize, one of the injured, said he was not even part of the
fracas when the police shot him.
“I was just coming out of my room and the police were just shooting.
“One of the bullets hit me in the arm and even now my arm is still
After last Thursday’s skirmish, police returned in numbers yesterday to
stand guard as municipal employees removed all the illegal connections.
There were at least nine police cars.
The angry residents resorted to throwing all the rubbish from the
settlement into Masukwane (East) Street, demanding that the police
remove all the rubbish, which they say was last collected before the
They blockaded the road with rubbish, old fencing and wood.
Police then sealed off the entrances to the settlements between
Masukwane and Burger streets.
The police had to remove the rubbish themselves to open the roads.
Community leader Bheki Dladla said the residents threw rubbish on to the
streets to vent their anger.
“The rubbish here has not been collected since the municipal strike,
despite them paying for it to be removed, and the community is just
angry about that.”
He said the residents will no longer siphon off electricity from the
transformers as they were negotiating with the municipality to install
proper meter boxes.
The process manager at the Msunduzi Municipality, Maxwell Mthembu, was
not available for comment.
Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan confirmed that last Thursday,
the police had an altercation with the residents after they had tried to
stone municipal employees. She said the police used rubber bullets to
disperse the crowds.
“A similar protest took place yesterday.
“However, no violent incidents were reported,” she said.
South Africa admits violent protests can cloud World Cup
By ANI 26 March 2010
London, Mar. 26 (ANI): Even as South Africa gears up to host World Cup this summer, its government has acknowledged the possibility of violent protests breaking out during this year’s football carnival.
With poor sections of the country demanding access to basic services, South Africa has been rattled by escalating township protests over the last month.
“Obviously we are concerned. The violent and destructive nature of some of the protests is unacceptable,” The Telegraph quoted Themba Masek, a government spokesman, as saying.
“We do not want to see these demonstrations, especially during the World Cup, when the country’s attention and focus should be to be the best host ever,” he added.
Shootings, arson and stone pelting during the recent demonstrations have prompted the government to raise the security levels ahead of the June 11 World Cup.
But on Thursday, the head of the South African Army Chief to announce a security shake-up in the face of escalating violence.
Lieutenant General Solly Shoke told a press conference in Pretoria that the military would take over responsibility for border patrols on April 1 in order to free police officers for fighting crime.
“We are ready to help where needed with the World Cup. All army leave has been cancelled over this period. We will be on high alert,” Lt Gen Shoke told reporters
“This World Cup is not about security. It’s about enjoyment. People must be allowed to come here and enjoy the soccer,” he assured. (ANI)
Service delivery protests continue in Mpumalanga
Sapa 22 March 2010
Sixteen more people were arrested in Leandra at the weekend after three buildings were set alight during service delivery protests, Mpumalanga police said on Saturday.
Thirteen people were arrested initially, but this number has since gone up to 29, said Captain Leonard Hlathi.
"It was quiet today (Sunday) but not last night," he said.
A group had set fire to a municipal office, the local Civic Centre and a construction company office at around 8pm on Saturday.
"All were destroyed in totality but no injuries were reported," he said.
Earlier on Saturday, protesters barricaded the R50 and stoned passing cars, destroyed property, buildings and police vehicles.
The protest, which began on Thursday, was over poor service delivery.
Meanwhile, one person was injured when police shot at a crowd that was charging towards them in Oogies. Thirty-two people were arrested.
Residents took to the streets on Thursday complaining about local mines giving jobs to foreigners instead of locals.
They burnt a truck, two bakkies and vandalised property.
The protesters also took belongings of a police reservist from his house and burnt them.
Hlathi said the arrests in Oogies remained at 32. - Sapa
Mineworkers down tools at Gold One
NUM 24 march 2010
Over one thousand mineworkers downed tools at Gold One Mine- Modder East Operations in Springs last night as part of a protracted legal strike action over wages. The mineworkers were awarded a certificate of non-resolution by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) after failing to bring the parties to agree. The dispute is over a living out allowance as many of the workers have been recruited from as far as Limpopo and Matlosana. Thus, these workers fall within the cracks as they do not qualify for RDP houses whilst at the same time do not qualify for housing loans from the banks. As a result of Gold One ‘s unwillingness to pay living out allowances, shacks are mushrooming adjacent to the mine ‘s premises. Negotiations have been going on since last year with no results. The NUM calls on Gold One to come to the party and meet the demands or face a crippling protracted strike action.
The other disagreement is over the duration of the agreement. Gold One mine is owned by Gold One International Limited, an Australian multinational listed on the financial markets operated by ASX Limited (the Australian Securities Exchange) and JSE Limited (the Johannesburg Stock Exchange).
Lesiba Seshoka (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719
'Taxi operators not excluded from World Cup'
Mail & Guardian 24 March 2010
Four bus drivers were injured when their vehicles were stoned during a one-day taxi strike in Cape Town on Tuesday, amid rising tensions related to the roll-out of the new rapid bus system.
"They sustained minor injuries when stones were thrown at the buses. They received attention and they are not in hospital anymore," said police spokesperson Andre Traut.
The strike in Cape Town follows protests in Johannesburg last week where police fired rubber bullets at striking taxi operators over the new bus system which is being introduced ahead of the Soccer World Cup.
Taxi associations claim they are being excluded from the global soccer showpiece but officials have denied this.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gauteng Provincial Transport Minister Bheki Nkosi said the notion that "the taxi industry has no role to play during the World Cup is unfounded and misleading," he said in a statement".
Regional transport top official Robin Carlisle said he was outraged at the stonings in Cape Town, which police believe are linked to the taxi strike.
"I am furious that the body [of taxi drivers] was involved in acts of violence and intimidation including pelting stones at buses," he said in a statement.
"The warlords and bully boys in the taxi industry are its own worst enemies."
South Africa is rolling out new bus systems in several Soccer World Cup host cities to overhaul a legacy of poor public transport.
The Western Cape chapter of the South African National Taxi Alliance warned against the new system last week.
"Whoever implements it, it will be over our dead bodies," regional chairperson Mandla Mata told a meeting of 500 operators on Thursday, the Cape Argus reported.
Spokesperson Mvuyisi Mente told the South African Press Agency on Tuesday that the alliance was a non-violent organisation and could not be blamed for the stonings.
In Johannesburg some operators, like those associated with the United Taxi Association Forum (Utaf), claimed the government was taking over routes which they saw as their "intellectual property".
By December last year, the Johannesburg council and the city's taxi industry said 167 operators had agreed to take their vehicles off the road in return for compensation of over R3-million from the city.
Utaf spokesperson Ralf Jones said city was also clamping down on illegal taxis as a means to further the system. -- AFP, Sapa
Shack dwellers up in arms
Corrinne Louw 23 March 2010
There was a tense stand-off between protesters and police when members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo took to the streets of Durban yesterday to demand that the government take action to help the poor and homeless.
Shop owners closed their doors when the police tested their water spray trucks and cordoned off roads with a heavily armed police force when the marchers stormed down West Street.
The march by the Abahlali baseMjondolo (shack dwellers association) and Rural Network had to be diverted from the Durban City Hall, with the police and marchers squaring off. Earlier city officials had obtained a court order to prevent protesters from gathering near the city hall.
The protesters, whose main demand was housing, converged on Albert Park in Durban to voice their grievances.
Abahlali baseMjondolo president S’bu Zikode said: “We are not just asking for housing, we are marching for human dignity, respect, equality and justice.
“Of course we would like basic services like shelter and toilets, but our concerns are much bigger than that. The land and the wealth of this country must be shared equally.”
“It’s a disgrace and an insult that our city manager, Mike Sutcliffe, has not allowed us to march to public buildings and is violating our human rights on Human Rights Day. The city hall is a public building,” Zikode said.
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Poor People’s Alliance, Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape, Western Cape Anti- Eviction Campaign and the Landless People’s Movement in Gauteng showed their solidarity with the protesters by marching with them.
In a hard-hitting memorandum Abahlali baseMjondolo said: “For too long those of us living in shacks have suffered without enough water and without toilets, electricity, refuse collection and drainage.
“Therefore we demand decent social services in all our communities so that we can live in safety, health and dignity.”
Alliance Coordinator Desmond de called on the crowds to boycott the 2010 World Cup.
“The government has failed the poor of this country. They have taken money that was meant for us and used if for the 2010 World Cup.
“We will boycott the Soccer World Cup because it is not for us. We must not go to the stadiums because there is a constant onslaught on the poor.”
THE STRUGGLE AT MADIBENG MUNICIPALITY IS FAR FROM OVER
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT. 23 March 2010
SAMWU members at Madibeng Local Municipality in the North West province went out on strike which started on the 25th February 2010 and ended on the 12th March 2010. The strike was for the immediate dismissal of the Acting Chief Finance Officer, Ms. Nana Masithela who was appointed on a six months contract that started in November and would end on the 30th April 2010.
When appointing this CFO, the Executive Mayor gave a CV to the then Municipal Manager saying that the incumbent was deployed by the Minister for Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs to recuperate the bad financial situation of the municipality. This statement by the Executive Mayor was a pure lie that misled the Council meeting to resolve on her appointment per resolution A.1077 on a salary scale of R75 412.50 per month.
SAMWU shop stewards at Madibeng municipality visited the Office of the Minister on the 28 January 2010 where they discovered that the Minister’s Office did not know how the Acting CFO was deployed to Madibeng municipality and on her unbecoming actions and behaviour.
What made SAMWU members angrier is that on her (Nana Masithela) arrival at the municipality, she did the following, which we consider as unacceptable;
Dismissal of the external auditing company that was appointed by Council resolution to audit the finances of the municipality and appointed her own company without any Council resolution.
Her refusal to pay for material that was deemed important for the provision of service delivery to the communities e.g. she refused to pay for chlorine that was to be used to clean the water as the entire community of Madibeng municipality was drinking dirty and stinking water.
Her use of harsh, derogatory and unacceptable language to junior employees.
Her appointment of a legal firm called Ramonamane Legal cc. without Council resolution.
Her maltreatment of service providers who wanted their payments while service providers that were appointed by her were paid without any delay.
She appointed her younger sister without following correct recruitment procedures of the municipality. There was no advertisement, short-listing and interviews for the post.
She paid R6 500.00 per month to her younger sister while other employees at the same level and doing the same job with her sister were earning R3 500.00 per month.
She invested R49m of the municipality to a Trust Account of the very same Ramonamane Legal firm without any Council resolution and without even informing the Municipal Manager.
All the above issues were raised with both senior management and politicians and it was finally agreed that her service with the municipality be terminated with immediate effect per Council resolution A.1170 of 12 March 2010.
The resolution supra satisfied the workers and they returned back to work on Monday, 15 March 2010.
What makes SAMWU more and more angry
The Provincial Task Team of the NEC of the ANC convened a meeting with all ANC structures at Madibeng municipality on Monday, 15th March 2010 to announce that the municipality is being placed under section 139(1) (b) of the Constitution, which means that all the executive powers of the Mayor, the Single Whip and the Speaker as well as that of the Mayoral Committee and Council are being withdrawn.
After that announcement, the Executive Mayor of Madibeng, Mrs. Sophy Molokoane-Machika wrote a report on her capacity and convened a special Council meeting on the 18th March 2010 which resolved for the reinstatement of the very same problematic Acting CFO per item A.1171.
1. That the Mayor has realized that she and her accomplices will no longer be able to loot the municipality after the deployment of the Administrator by the National or Provincial government.
2. That the deployed Administrator may extend the contract of the Acting CFO seeing that he/she may not be able to perform properly without the CFO in the municipality. Thus creating conducive environment for those who were looting the municipality to loot more.
3.That the report to reinstate the CFO was supposed to be prepared by the Acting Municipal Manager and not the Mayor herself.
SAMWU therefore demands;
That the municipality speed the appointment of the CFO.
That Ms. Nana Masithela should not be reinstated as she has proven not to know or understand the Municipal Finance Management Act.
That should point 1 supra be impossible, the Provincial or National Government deploys a knowledgeable incumbent to be the CFO of Madibeng Municipality.
We further demand that the Mayor refrain from interfering in administrative issues.
That the resolution to reinstate Nana Masithela be rescinded with immediate effect.
For further comment contact July Khoza, SAMWU shopsteward at 073 434 5476 or Fafi Mthombeni at 079 992 0353.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Zuma in S.African shantytown, vows to improve services
AFP 20 March 2010
President Jacob Zuma visited a shantytown outside Johannesburg and vowed
to improve public services to defuse anger that has erupted into
protests ahead of the World Cup.
Zuma's trip Friday to the Madelakufa squatter camp east of Johannesburg
was part of three weeks of "monitoring and evaluation visits," which
appear aimed at reassuring the public that he is addressing their concerns.
"We are going to start work," said Zuma, speaking in Zulu, as thousands
of people turned out to see him walking between shacks on muddy paths.
"I am here today to say we're going to fulfill the promises of
government," he added.
"Those who are not doing their job, must get out. Even myself, if I
don't do my job, you can take me out of my position."
Accompanying the president were several cabinet ministers -- including
those in charge of energy, public works, and social development -- whom
he introduced to the residents.
"Those things you are complaining about, these people are responsible,"
he said, as the ministers promised water for 100 houses by November, a
new police station, and new housing for people now living in shacks and
Zuma swept to the presidency in last year's elections on the back of
promises to improve services such as water, sewerage and electricity for
the 43 percent of the population living in poverty.
Since he took office in May, residents of South Africa's poorest
neighbourhoods have staged sporadic and violent protests, including
several this month around Johannesburg.
Some residents at the Madelakufa camp were sceptical that the government
would deliver, saying there had been little concrete progress since
Zuma's last visit.
"You see these toilets? He brought these toilets. That was the only
thing. People need houses, jobs, land," said Sbusiso Lekhoana, a
"I didn't see any change, but I'm still hoping there will be a change,"
said Zoliswa Booi, 26, who lives under a makeshift tent with her sister.
"We want to see our vote work. He promised us that we would get some
jobs and some housing," the unemployed woman said.
Provincial officials this week worried that protesters in the townships
could try to seize the World Cup spotlight to air their grievances.
"We know human nature: people will look for opportunity (to protest) so
that we all panic," said Nomvula Mokonyane, premier of Gauteng province,
which includes Johannesburg.
Sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile told reporters on Friday that the
public would have a right to protest during the World Cup, but said he
was confident no one would try to disrupt the games.
"They have a right to make those protest marches and even threaten to
disrupt the World Cup," he said.
"I'm absolutely convinced there is no right-thinking South African who
will even try to disrupt the World Cup activities," he added.
For Zuma, the visits were an opportunity to turn the public's attention
away from his personal life after revelations last month that he had
fathered an out-of-wedlock child with the daughter of a top World Cup
The baby, his 20th child, sparked intense media scrutiny over his
polygamous lifestyle and led to a motion of no-confidence in parliament
on Thursday, which his ruling African National Congress easily defeated.
Residents in Madelakufa said they were less concerned with Zuma's sex
life than with his promises to the nation.
"The president's personal life, we don't have anything against it," said
Daniel Edwane, 20. "All we need is service delivery, a better life for
all, as they promised."
In Switzerland meanwhile, world football governing body FIFA announced
that the World Cup had helped its revenues past the billion-dollar mark
for the first time.
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter told reporters that the non-profit organisation
had made a 196 million dollar surplus in 2009, as revenues soared to
1.06 billion dollars.
FIFA profits are redistributed to its 208 member associations and to
28 arrested in Alexandra protest
Sapa 21 March 2010
Twenty-eight protesters were arrested for public violence in Alexandra,
Johannesburg at the weekend, Gauteng police said on Sunday.
"They had issues with housing and were stoning RDP homes when we
arrested them," Inspector Moses Maphakela said.
Eighteen of them were women.
At least 100 people were protesting in the area on Saturday when
violence erupted. - Sapa
Angry housing invaders arrested
The Star 22 March 2010
All was quiet in Alexandra on Sunday after 48 families tried to invade
new RDP housing.
A protesting mob tried to take occupation of newly built vacant houses
on the K22 development in the township's East Bank. The angry residents
claimed they had been waiting for years to get homes that have taken two
years to be built.
However, officials stepped in and arrested invaders.
Gauteng's acting MEC for Local Government and Housing, Nandi
Mayathula-Khoza, has called on residents to refrain from invading RDP
houses, saying this would lead to arrests.
"We want to send a strong message to every would-be housing invader that
the government will ensure that those who disobey the law will be
arrested for trespassing. The houses look completed, but there is still
ongoing work on them by contractors," said Mayathula-Khoza.
"We are informed that 28 people were arrested, and they will spend their
remaining days of this long weekend in holding cells. We hope that these
prowling hoodlums will learn something from their time in jail," said
"People should know that the government has an intention to ensure that
they get houses. However, they should be registered on a demand
database. They should also wait their turn," she said.
Fred Mokoko, the spokesperson for the department, said several cases of
trespassing and public violence had been opened.
* This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on March
Shack dwellers protest
Sapa 22 March 2010
Hundreds of shack dwellers on Monday took to the streets of Durban to
demand better service delivery and housing.
They were closely monitored by dozens of police officers to ensure that
they followed the route that the eThekwini Municipality restricted them
Abahlali Basemjondolo, an organisation that represents shack dwellers on
Sunday failed in a court bid forcing the city of Durban to allow them to
march through the central business district.
The group wanted to march through the CBD but it was granted a permit to
march from Durban's Botha Park to Albert Park.
The news about the city's refusal to allow Abahlali Basemjondolo to
march through the central business district angered the protesters.
Some even suggested that the court order should be defied, prompting the
police to beef up its man power before the start of the march.
About 30 members of the Durban Metro Police and SAPS monitored the
march. The porters spent more than an hour at Botha Park before they
began the march.
There were no incidents of violence reported. The march was also
attended by religious leaders from the Diakonia Council of Churches who
prayed for the marchers to succeed in their attempts to get better
Some of the shack dwellers were from Nkwalini, Siyanda, Lamontville,
Wentworth and other areas in KwaZulu-Natal. In a memorandum submitted to
local government officials, Abahlali Basemjondolo said they had been
subjected to evictions from their homes.
"These evictions are often unlawful, they are often violent and they
often leave the poor destitute. Therefore we demand an immediate end to
all evictions so that we can live in peace," the organisation said.
They said they had no hidden agendas but they were just expressing their
"For too long our communities have survived in substandard and informal
housing. Therefore, we demand decent housing so that we can live in
safety," the organisation said.
They also demanded free electricity for poor people. Government had
forced people to live in the so called transit camps which were like
prisons, they said.
Transit camps were corrugated iron built homes where people were housed
while waiting for free government homes.
Abahlali Basemjondolo was also not happy that cities built them houses
too far from the cities and far from libraries, work and schools.
Shack dwellers lose march bid
SAPA 21 March 2010
Durban - A group of KwaZulu-Natal shack dwellers on Sunday failed in a
court bid forcing the city of Durban to allow them to march through the
central business district.
"We are glad the court ruled in our favour. It is sad that Abahlali
baseMjondolo had to use such tactics," municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe
said after the ruling by the city's high court.
The group wanted to march though the CBD on Monday.
Sutcliffe said the city respected the group's right to march, and that
it had been granted a permit to march from Durban's Botha Park to Albert
Park on Monday.
"It is strange that they think they can do what they like in the city,"
The city had to take into consideration if there were enough police to
monitor the march.
Abahlali spokesperson Sbu Zikode said the shack dwellers were not happy
about the court ruling.
"We will abide by the law, but we are not happy as we lost the interdict."
The march was part of efforts by shack dwellers from Nkwalini, Siyanda,
Lamontville, Wentworth and other areas in KwaZulu-Natal to express
dissatisfaction about service delivery and housing.
"The shack dwellers are not happy in the way they are treated and the
Ethekwini municipality does not include us in development issues,"
A Memorandum of Demands to President Jacob Zuma
Submitted by Abahlali baseMjondolo 22 March 2010
A Memorandum of Demands to President Jacob Zuma
We, members and supporters of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Rural
Network in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, are democrats committed to the
flourishing of this country. We speak for ourselves and direct our own
struggles. We have no hidden agendas. We have been mobilised by our
suffering and our hopes for a better life. We believe that it is time to
take seriously the fact that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
We come from the townships of Inanda, KwaMashu and Lamontville. We come
from the farms in eNkwalini, New Hanover, Howick, KwaNjobokazi, Melmoth,
Utrecht, Babanango and eShowe. We come from the flats of Hillary,
Portview, Ridge View (Cato Manor), Wentworth and New Dunbar. We come
from the shacks of Joe Slovo, Foreman Road, Clare Estate, Palmiet Road,
Quarry Road, Motala Heights, Siyanda, Umkhumbane, New eMmaus, Pemary
Ridge, Arnett Drive, Lindelani ,Richmond Farm and, yes, Kennedy Road. We
come from the transit camps of Richmond Farm, eNsimbini, Ridge View
(Transact Camp), Cato Manor and New Dunbar.
We are all agreed that there is a serious crisis in our country. The
poor are being pushed out of any meaningful access to citizenship. We
are becoming poorer. We are being forced off our land and out of our
cities. The councillor system has become a form of top down political
control. It does not take our voices upwards. The democracy that we won
in 1994 is turning into a new system of oppression for the poor.
We are all agreed that this country is rich because of the theft of our
land and because of our work in the farms, mines, factories, kitchens
and laundries of the rich. That wealth is therefore also our wealth. We
are all agreed that the democratic gains that were won in 1994 were won
by the struggles of the people and that we, the poor, are part of the
people. Those victories are therefore also our victories. We are all
agreed that we can not and will not continue to suffer in the way that
we do. We are all agreed that we can not and will not give up our hopes
for a better life and a fair world.
We have had meetings in all of our areas to discuss this march. Each
area has developed its own set of demands which we are presenting to
you. We have also taken all the demands that are common to many areas
and put them together into this statement of our collective demands. We
offer it to you as a statement of our demands. We also proclaim it to
ourselves and to the world as a charter for the next phase of our struggle.
For too long we have been subject to evictions from our homes, be they
in shack settlements or farms. These evictions are often unlawful, they
are often violent and they often leave the poor destitute. Therefore we
demand an immediate end to all evictions so that we can live in peace
and with security.
For too long our communities have survived in substandard and informal
housing. Therefore, we demand decent housing so that we can live in
safety, health and dignity.
For too long those of us living in shacks have suffered without enough
water and without toilets, electricity, refuse collection and drainage.
Therefore we demand decent social services in all our communities so
that we can live in safety, health and dignity.
For too long many of those of us who are formally connected to water and
electricity have not been able to afford the costs of these services and
face disconnection. Therefore we demand that these services be made free
for the poor.
For too long the promise of housing has been downgraded to forced
removal to a transit camp. These transit camps are more like prisons
than homes. If they are ‘delivery’ then they are the delivery of the
people into oppression. Therefore we demand an immediate and permanent
end to all transit camps so that the dignity of the people that have
been taken to the camps can be immediately restored.
For too long the housing that has been built has been built in human
dumping grounds far outside of the cities and far from work, schools,
clinics and libraries. Therefore we demand immediate action to release
well located land for public housing. Where necessary land must be
expropriated for this purpose. The social value of urban land must be
put before its commercial value.
For too long people that are already languishing in human dumping
grounds have been unable to access the cities. Therefore we demand the
immediate provision of safe and reliable subsidised public transport to
For too long there has been rampant corruption in the construction and
allocation of housing in transit camps, RDP housing and social housing.
Therefore we demand complete transparency in the construction and
allocation of all housing and an immediate end to corruption. We demand,
in particular, a full and transparent audit into all the activities of
the social housing company SOCHO – including its CEO, general manager
and board of directors. We demand a similar audit into all the
activities of Nandi Mandela and her associates.
For too long poor flat dwellers have suffered from unaffordable and
exploitative rents. Therefore we demand the writing off of all arrears
and the institution of an affordable flat rate for all.
For too long the poor have been forced to sign exploitative rental
agreements under duress and threat of eviction. Therefore we demand the
cancellation and collective renegotiation of all rental agreements
signed under duress.
For too long farm dwellers have suffered the impoundment of their
cattle, demolition of their homes, the denial of the right to burry
their loved ones on the land, the denial of basic service and brutality,
and sometimes even murder, at the hands of some farmers. The bias that
the justice system has towards the rich has meant that it has
systematically undermined farm dwellers. Therefore we demand immediate
and practical action to secure the rights of farm dwellers.
For too long a fair distribution and use of rural land has been made
impossible by the fact that land –a gift from God – has been turned into
a commodity. Therefore we demand immediate steps to put the social value
of rural land before its commercial value.
For too long the attack on our movement, its leaders and well known
members, their family members and its offices in the Kennedy Road
settlement in September last year has received the full backing of the
local party and government structures. Therefore we demand
• a serious, comprehensive and credible investigation into the attack
and its subsequent handling by the local party and government
structures. This must include a full investigation into the role of the
South African Police Services.
• the right to return for all the victims of the attack, including the
Kennedy Road Development Committee and all its sub-committees. This
right must be backed up with high level protection for the security of
all the residents of the settlement.
• full compensation for everyone who lost their homes, possessions and
livelihoods in the attack.
• a full and public apology by Willies Mchunu for the attack and its
• the immediate release of those members of the Kennedy 13 who are still
being held in detention.
• that immediate steps be taken to ensure that Willies Mchunu, Nigel
Gumede and Yakoob Baig are not allowed to interfere in any police or
judicial processes resulting from the attack.
For too long our communities have been ravaged by the cruelest forms of
poverty. Therefore we demand the creation of well-paying and dignified jobs.
For too long the right to education has been reserved for the rich.
Therefore we demand free education for the poor.
For too long we have not been safe from criminals and violence. We are
especially concerned about the lack of safety for women in our
communities. Therefore we demand immediate practical action to secure
the safety of everyone and, in particular, the safety of women.
For too long the poor have been turned against the poor. Therefore we
demand an immediate end to all forms of discrimination against isiXhosa
speaking people (amamPondo) and people born in other countries.
For too long the legal system has been biased against the poor.
Therefore we demand serious practical action to ensure that access to
justice is no longer distorted by access to money.
For too long the councillor system has been used to control the people
from above and to stifle their voices. Therefore we demand the immediate
recognition of the right of all people to, if they so wish, organise
themselves outside of party structures in freedom and safety.
Furthermore, just as people from around the city, the province and the
country are uniting in support of our struggle we express our support
for our comrades elsewhere. We have stood with, and will continue to
stand with our comrades in Wentworth, our comrades in the Poor People’s
Alliance and struggling communities and movements across the country. We
thank everyone who has demonstrated solidarity with our struggle
including church leaders, students and our comrades in other countries.
We will do our best to offer the same support to your struggles.
Handed over by:______________________ on __________________ at ____________
TO FOLLOW UP PLEASE CONTACT: Mr. Troy Morrow or Mr. S’bu Zikode at 031 –
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Abahlali baseMjondolo 19 March 2010
Sutcliffe Continues His War on the Poor
The notorious Michael Sutcliffe continues to launch illegal attacks on
our basic democratic rights.
He has now given in to our pressure and removed his illegal ban on our
right to march but he has issued a permit that only allows us to march
from Botha Park to Albert Park. Our march on Jacob Zuma, scheduled for
22 March 2010, was planned to go from Botha Park through Pixley KaSeme
Street and to the City Hall. But Sutcliffe’s unilateral imposition of
unreasonable restrictions on our right to protest means that we will
only be able to march about 600m and that our march will be kept far
away from the centre of the city – it will be hidden away, just like a
Our members from across this city – from Lamontville, to Pinetown and
Umlazi – are determined to march because it is essential that we
demonstrate our dignified anger and our mass support in public. We are
the people who are being swept out of the cities like dirt. We are the
people who are being hidden away in transit camps. We are the people who
are supposed to suffer in secret in the human dumping grounds like Park
Gate. If our protest also has to be hidden away and contained on the
outskirts of the city then there is no point in having a march. The
whole point of having a march is to show our power and our determination
to assert our right to the city in the city. We cannot and will not
accept that we must hold our protests in secret.
It is clear that we who are from the jondolos have to pay a very high
price for our rights. When we ask for what is promised to all citizens
we are attacked, driven from our homes, slandered, beaten, tortured and
jailed. A simple procedure like arranging a legal march becomes a
complicated game that takes all of our time and energies. Now it is
clear that we will have to go to court to ask a judge to defend our
basic rights against Sutcliffe. We are briefing a lawyer right now. But
why do we have to pay such a high price to realise our basic rights? The
only logical answer seems to be that these rights are no longer intended
for us – that we are the people that don’t count and who must be silent
as we are driven out of the cities.
When the media first reported on Sutcliffe’s illegal ban of our march
the police spokesperson said that all marches would be banned due to the
World Cup. If it is true that our basic democratic rights are being
removed as a result of the World Cup then we say, very clearly, that the
World Cup is a new kind of colonialism that every person who is right in
their mind must reject and resist with all their force in their mind and
in their muscles.
Sutcliffe insults Human Rights Day, he insults our democracy and he
insults Pixley KaSeme and the memory of the struggle for our democracy
when he bans us from marching down Pixley KaSeme Street and taking our
anger to its rightful home - the City Hall - on the national public
holiday to celebrate Human Rights Day.
We strongly recommend that journalists and the police familiarise
themselves with the legislation governing the right to march. The system
whereby permits had to be granted for marches to be legal was struck off
the statute book in 1993. These permits have had no basis in law since
then. And the Gatherings Act prohibits the authorities from imposing
unreasonable conditions on our right to protest. Our right to protest is
not negotiable. There is a good summary of the Gatherings Act available
online at: http://fxi.org.za/PDFs/Publications/RGAHandbook.pdf
For further information and up to the minute updates on the legal battle
to have Sutcliffe’s attack on our basic democratic rights overturned
S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo President: 083 547 0474
Troy Morrow, Chairperson of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Hillary Branch:
071 511 8446
Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary: 082 830 2707
Human Rights Day Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Abahlali baseMjondolo 21 March 2010
Sutcliffe’s Dirty Tricks Will Not Keep Us from Marching in Our City Tomorrow
Our political rights are always taken from us with technical arguments.
When we are evicted we are always told that it is because the land is
‘too steep’, the soil is ‘not right’ and so on. Of course once our
shacks are demolished flats or businesses for the rich are quickly built
on the same land that we were told was ‘unsafe’ for us.
When we are denied bail we are always told that it is because the police
‘need time to complete their investigations’, or even to ‘type
documents.’ This is how it goes.
Technical arguments are always used against us because it is assumed
that technical questions can only be answered by experts. The state has
their own experts on their payroll and so by making important social
questions into problems to be resolved by experts they seize the right
to answer these questions on their own – they expel the people from any
chance to debate these questions. The Freedom Charter said that ‘the
people will govern’. It didn’t say that the experts will govern. It
didn’t say that there will be democracy if the city managers decide to
Today we went to court to ask the judge to interdict Sutcliffe against
his attempt to limit our right to protest by keeping us away from the
City Hall and the main streets. We have won similar cases against
Sutcliffe twice before. But this time the City played a dirty trick.
They told the court that they could not allow us to march through the
main streets and to the City Hall because the City Hall is being
repaired and it would be ‘dangerous’ for us to come too close to it.
They argued that our basic political rights could be stolen from us
because of a technical issue.
Our lawyer pointed out that yesterday SADTU marched to the City Hall.
Their response was that Abahlali baseMjondolo is a mass movement and
that our march will be much bigger than the march organised by SADTU.
This is true but it remains clear that the repairs to the City Hall are
just being used as an excuse to prevent us from protesting freely in our
own city. We would have been happy to keep a safe distance from the
building. Anyway even if it was dangerous to come close to the City Hall
that would not make it dangerous for us to protest in the main streets.
Unfortunately the judge allowed the City to use a technical argument to
take away a basic democratic right. We have asked our lawyers to explore
the option of launching an urgent appeal first thing tomorrow morning.
But irrespective of the outcome of that legal process we will be
marching tomorrow. The marchers will decide, democratically, when we are
all together, how to respond to this attack on our basic political
rights. But one thing that we are very clear on is that amandla remains
with us. We go to court to confirm the rights that have been won in
prior struggles but we are very clear that the only real defence for
these rights, and the only way to win new rights, is through the power
of the organised poor. For example everyone can see that organised
communities are not evicted. Unorganised communities are evicted,
illegally, every day.
Many of us spent today with our comrades in the Rural Network in
eNkwalini where farm dwellers who have been subject to a reign of terror
by a farmer called Mark Channel mourned Human Rights Day. Their homes
have been demolished, they have been shot and their cattle have been
impounded. They live on this land but they do not live in any Republic
of South Africa. They live outside of the protection of human rights and
the law. We spent the day listening as they shared their stories. It is
clear that from the flats to the shacks and the farms there is no place
for the poor in this democracy.
Sutcliffe has decided to protect the name of the City Hall by using
dirty tricks to keep us away from it – to keep our protests as hidden as
a transit camp. But tomorrow we will be coming into the city from the
townships, the farms, the flats, the shacks and the transit camps. We
will be coming into the city from the townships of Inanda, KwaMashu and
Lamontville. We will be coming into the city from the farms in
eNkwalini, New Hanover, Howick, KwaMjolokazi, Melmoth, Utrecht, Baba
Nango and eShowe. We will be coming into the city from the flats of
Hillary, Russell Street, Mayville, Wentworth and Dunbar. We will be
coming into the city from the shacks of Joe Slovo, Foreman Road, Clare
Estate, Palmiet Road, Quarry Road, Motala Heights, Siyanda, Umkhumbane,
New eMmaus, Pemary Ridge, Arnett Drive and, yes, Kennedy Road. We will
be coming into the city from the transit camps of Richmond Farm,
eNsimbini, Ridge View, Cato Manor and New Dunbar. We will be joined by
representatives of some churches and NGOs. All of these struggling
communities will bring their own demands to Jacob Zuma. We will also
issue our collective demands to Jacob Zuma.
Many journalists have been phoning us and asking if our ‘service
delivery protest’ will be going ahead tomorrow. We appreciate the
interest of the media but we really want to stress that this will not
‘be a service delivery protest’. We have never organised ‘a service
delivery protest.’ In fact our first marches were to announce that we
rejected top down rule by the councillors and that we would, as we have
done for the last five years, begin to rule ourselves. The language in
which people’s struggles are turned into ‘service delivery protests’ is
a language that has been imposed on our struggles from outside – it is
not our language. Of course we are struggling for land and housing,
water and electricity. But we do not accept the limited way in which
these ‘services’ are ‘delivered’. Often an important part of our
struggles is to reject that the way that services are delivered. For
example we do not accept transit camps. We are struggling for the full
recognition and realisation of our humanity in a society that denies our
humanity at every turn. We are struggling for real equality. We are
struggling so that the world that God gave to humanity is shared fairly
by all of us. To call our struggles ‘service delivery protests’ is a way
of making them safe for our oppressors.
We appeal to the media, and to other groups too, like academics, NGOs
and churches, to please exercise an important discipline when talking
about struggling communities and movements. That discipline is a simple
one but it is a very important one. That discipline is to speak to
people before speaking about them or for them. As we have said so many
times before we are poor in life, not in mind. If you want to know why
we are struggling just ask us and we will tell you. If you want to know
why people are protesting in Mamelodi, Orange Farm or anywhere in the
country you don’t need researchers or analysts or spies – you just need
to ask them.
We have a clear message for all those who believe that they have a
natural right to rule the poor from above be they in government, civil
society or the left. We have a clear message for all those big men like
Willies Mchunu, Michael Sutcliffe or Ashwin Desai who believe that they
have the right to ruin any organisation of the poor that they cannot
rule. Our message is this:
We have been evicted, forcibly removed, beaten, slandered, publicly
threatened with death, arrested, jailed, tortured and driven from our
homes. Some of us have lost everything that we ever owned in this world.
But we will not give up. We will not be turned against each other. We
will work and work and work to unite the poor against the politicians
and the rich. The problem in this society is the deep political
disempowerment of the poor and we will solve this problem by organising
ourselves to build our political power. Struggle is hard and it is
dangerous. But struggle is the only way to defend our humanity and the
humanity of our children. We have a deep responsibility to continue with
this struggle until we achieve real equality and a fair sharing of this
The march will be supported, with a physical presence, by the Rural
Network and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance. It will
also be supported, without a physical presence, by our comrades in the
Poor People’s Alliance – Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape, the Western
Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and the Landless People’s Movement in Gauteng.
For more information on the march please contact:
S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo President: 083 ...
Troy Morrow, Chairperson of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Hillary Branch and
march convenor: 071 511 8446
Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary: 082 83...
Representatives of the following organisations that will be in
solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo can also be contacted for comment:
Reverened Mavuso Mbhekeseni, Rural Network: 072...
Des D’sa, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance: 083...
Ashraf Cassiem, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign: 082...
Mzonke Poni, Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape: 073...
Maureen Mnisi, Landless People’s Movement (Gauteng): 082...
Sharpeville waits for change, better services
Sapa-AP 22 March 2010
MORE than 100 South Africans laid wreaths on gravestones in Sharpeville
yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre that became a
turning point in the anti-apartheid struggle and drew world condemnation
of the racist government.
But survivors of the massacre are tired of telling their stories: They
are wondering when the change they thought they were fighting for a half
century ago will come to Sharpeville.
Residents in recent weeks have set fire to tyres in the streets to
protest the lack of basic city services such as electricity and running
“Our lives started changing with Nelson Mandela’s release, but people
are still financially struggling and finance is still in white people’s
hands,” said Abram Mofokeng, who was just 21 when officers opened fire
on protesters in 1960, shooting demonstrators including women and
children as they ran away. Mofokeng still bears the scar where a bullet
entered his back.
Police officers massacred 69 black South Africans in the township of
Sharpeville, where protesters had burned the passbooks that the
white-led apartheid government required them to carry.
The massacre drew world condemnation of the ruthless treatment of South
Africa’s disenfranchised black majority and led the apartheid government
to outlaw the African National Congress party. The ANC has governed
South Africa since the country’s first all-race elections in 1994.
But 16 years after the end of apartheid, many black South Africans feel
that they have not benefited from the economic growth that has made many
government and ANC officials rich. President Jacob Zuma, a popular
figure among the poor, has promised to speed up delivery of houses,
clinics, schools, running water and electricity as well as create jobs.
But he also has acknowledged the difficulties of doing so amid the
In Sharpeville, the engraved stone tablets on a wall at the Garden of
Remembrance are cracked in places. Some residents believe it is an
attempt to draw attention to the issues that remain decades later.
“People’s lives haven’t changed. There are so many things we don’t have
... a community hall, a sports ground ... People are unhappy,” said
Phillip Makhale, caretaker of the memorial site.
Busisiswe Mbuli, 18, lives with her mother and four siblings in an
informal settlement on the edge of Sharpeville.
“There are no school buses in Sharpeville,” she said. “We have to walk
very far to go to school, and it is difficult for the little ones.” The
floor of the family shack she lives in is bare earth and corrugated iron
walls reveal large holes where rain and bitter winter winds can come
“We cannot live in these shelters. They are right next to the tar road,
and the gas heating inside the shelter is not safe. And then there are
the toilets. They are the worst,” she said. — Sapa-AP
ANC denies tensions after Mokanyane booing
Sapa 22 March 2010
The Gauteng ANC on Monday denied any tensions ahead of its provincial
executive committee elections after Premier Nomvula Mokonyane was booed
during a human rights commemoration.
"We don't think it is a faction until we make a proper investigation,"
said Gauteng ANC spokesman Dumisa Nhuli.
Mokonyane, who is Gauteng ANC deputy chairwoman, is reportedly locked in
a struggle for control of the province with Gauteng provincial chairman
The ANC has steadfastly denied faction-fighting in the past, but
indications on the ground seem to indicate otherwise.
"If it's a group of people who complain we will not know until we make
specific investigations. Sometimes people don't belong to branches,"
Beeld newspaper reported Mokonyane was booed and insulted during human
rights celebrations in Sharpeville in the Vaal triangle on Sunday.
Party members from the Sedibeng District reportedly blew whistles and
vuvuzelas before and during Mokonyane's speech and hurled insults at
her. Some even showed obscene hand signals at her.
Others held placards with slogans such as: "Mokonyane is selling out the
ANC" and "Mashatile for chairman".
The 50th anniversary celebrations of the Sharpeville massacre were
suspended for a few minutes so the crowds could be calmed down. Mahole
Mofokeng, Sedibeng District Municipality mayor, left the stage to rebuke
the supporters, the newspaper reported.
Mashatile, currently Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, lost the
position of Premier to Mokonyane last year. She was supported by
national ANC leaders, including President Jacob Zuma.
Officials in the Premier's office are working hard to create a public
image of a hard-working leader for Mokonyane, the newspaper reported.
Mokonyane last week refused to become involved in a scandal involving a
R30-million contract which government awarded without a tender, the
newspaper reported. - Sapa
Motlanthe slams violent protests
Carien du Plessis and Sapa-AFP 22 March 2010
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe called for an end to violent public
protests as South Africa remembered the Sharpeville and Langa massacres
50 years ago.
"The people of Langa and Sharpeville in 1960 did not voice protest by
burning libraries and looting public facilities.
"On the contrary, they left their passes at home and marched peacefully
to the police stations to hand themselves over for arrest," Motlanthe
told people gathered for a commemorative event yesterday.
"In a democratic era I urge you to hold government accountable by using
the democratic institutions available to us to voice our grievances and
demands," he said.
Earlier Motlanthe, who was acting President while Jacob Zuma was out of
the country, and other government officials laid wreaths in Sharpeville
and attended church services to honour the dead as part of Human Rights Day.
Motlanthe said Human Rights Day was a reminder that "our common history"
needed to be told "objectively" and it should not be undermined by
"By the same token, conscientious admirers of history must acknowledge
the roles played by certain communities and political organisations on
all sides of the political and ideological divide."
Motlanthe said a "common ownership of history" was "the basis of
nation-building and must never be undermined by any interest group based
on the subjectivity of race, religion, class or ideology".
He also said public representatives should honour the people who died on
this day by protecting human rights and speeding up the pace of service
He urged South Africans, especially those who were upset about the slow
pace of service delivery, to emulate those who protested in Sharpeville
50 years ago by demonstrating peacefully and use the democratic
institutions to voice their grievances and demands.
"This is our collective responsibility, as much as it is the
responsibility of government to fast-track the creation of a better life
for all," he said.
PAC president Letlapa Mphahlele said his party would never recognise
"Sharpeville Day" as Human Rights Day.
"It is a day of immense sadness. It is a day we mourn martyrs who were
mowed down," he said.
Mphahlele said this as PAC-led celebrations in Langa near Cape Town
almost fell apart due to infighting within his own party.
The City of Cape Town earlier this week withdrew its support for the
unveiling of a monument in Langa due to the in-fighting.
For the first time opposition leaders were invited in large number to
the government's main celebration in Sharpeville.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who thanked the Presidency for including the
opposition in the official celebration, said it was wrong to turn public
holidays into "ruling party events".
DA leader Helen Zille said those killed on the day "paid the ultimate
price in the struggle for liberty, equality and dignity", and would not
She said it was the task of "every South African" to defend the
Tacitly referring to recent pronouncements by ANC Youth League leader
Julius Malema, threatening journalists for being critical of the league,
Zille said the right to "live free from fear is threatened by hate
speech that incites violence and the government's hired thugs who think
they are above the law".
"These threats are not from outside forces and they have nothing to do
with the legacy of the past. They are recent threats to our human
rights. And they come from the ruling party itself," she said.
Zille added that reclaiming these rights "would be the most fitting
tribute to those who lost their lives 50 years ago today".
A monument which has been in the works since 2002 and cost R700 000 to
construct was unveiled on Langa's main traffic circle.
The monument contains storyboards with headlines on the day and is
constructed with red clay bricks.
PAC secretary-general Mfanelo Skwatsha, who watched proceedings from the
front seat of a four-wheel-drive vehicle, said the event had been
"hijacked by people who aren't members of the PAC".
Former PAC secretary general, Khoisan X, in a roaring speech, told the
crowd of more than 2 000 that BEE was a deception contrived for the
benefit of "white capital".
"The day of waiting for the industrialists, financiers to liberate us is
over... we must liberate ourselves," said X.
Taking a dig at the ANC, he said Robert Sobukwe's ideals would
eventually win, not because the PAC was strong but because it would be
* This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on
March 22, 2010
Motlanthe and Zille highlight basic services
Imraan Karolia and Malungelo Booi 22 March 2010
Deputy President Kgalema Mothlanthe said on Sunday Sharpeville is a
shrine for the freedom celebrated in South Africa today.
He was speaking at the 50th commemorration of the massacre at the George
Thabe Staduim held on Sunday afternoon.
Motlanthe said all South Africans need to honour the lives of those who
died in the protest as the 21 March 1960 was a turning point in the
struggle for liberation. He also advised while we enjoyed the freedoms
today it comes with responsibility.
The deputy president said the communities need to consider the methods
of how their concerns were raised. He said protestors half a century ago
did not embark on violent demonstrations. The rights of citizens in the
country was also highlighted, reiterating sentiments made by President
Jacob Zuma that governments needs to work faster and smarter in
providing basic services.
ZILLE SPEAKS ON FIGHTING SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille spoke to Parkwood
residents in the south Peninsula on Sunday to highlight human rights
day. She urged South Africans to keep fighting social ills.
She said South African citizens must use this human rights day to see
what role they can play in tackling the country’s social setbacks.
She was on a walk-about in Parkwood, listening to the concerns of
community members. Among the issues raised by residents was unemployment
Zille said while it is government’s responsibility to provide and
protect its citizens, sa had an active role to play in the country’s
(Edited by Deshnee Subramany)
16 more people arrested for violent protests
Sapa 22 March 2010
Leandra - Sixteen more people were arrested in Leandra this weekend ater
three buildings were set alight during service delivery protests. This
follows the arrest of an initial 13 people for violent protests. Leonard
Hlati from Mpumalanga police says mayhem erupted on Saturday night when
a group set fire to a municipal office, the local Civic Centre and a
construction company office. He says a total of 29 have now been
arrested. Hlati says no one was injured during the protests. Earlier on
Saturday, protesters barricaded the R50 and stoned passing cars,
destroyed property, buildings and police vehicles. In another service
delivery protest in Oogies, one person was injured when police shot at a
crowd that was charging towards them. 32 people were arrested. Residents
took to the streets on Thursday complaining about local mines giving
jobs to foreigners instead of locals. They burnt vehicles and vandalised
Mpumalanga protesters quiet after weekend chaos
SAPA 22 March 2010
Leandra - Protesters in Leandra and Oogies in Mpumalanga were quiet on
Monday after going on a rampage over service delivery since Thursday,
"Everything is quiet and calm and no more arrests were made, " Captain
Leonard Hlathi said.
At the weekend, police arrested 16 protesters for public violence in
Leandra bringing the total number of arrests to 29.
Hlathi said on Saturday night, a group had set fire to a municipality
office, the local Civic Centre and a construction company office.
Earlier that day, protesters barricaded the R50 and stoned passing cars,
destroyed property, buildings and police vehicles.
The protest, which began on Thursday, was over poor service delivery.
In Oogies, residents took to the streets on Thursday complaining about
local mines giving jobs to foreigners instead of locals.
They burnt a truck, two bakkies and vandalised property.
The protesters also took belongings of a police reservist from his house
and burnt them.
Hlathi said the arrests in Oogies remained at 32.
Shacks burnt down in KZN protests
Sapa 22 March 2010
Two shacks were burnt down in Durban’s Clermont suburb during protesting
by ANC supporters at the weekend, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.
“No one was injured and we don’t know who the shacks belonged to,”
Superintendent Vincent Mdunge told Sapa, amid reports that it belonged
to Congress of the People (Cope) members.
Police could not confirm the torchings on Sunday.
Rubber bullets were fired at African National Congress
supporters earlier in the day when they stoned police in an illegal protest.
“About 600 ANC members were chanting slogans in Clermont and in a way
the Cope members felt they were being threatened and police were called
in to intervene,” Mdunge said at the time.
“It was an illegal protest and therefore the crowd was ordered to
disperse, but there was no co-operation.”
The public order police unit was called and the crowd again ordered to
break up. Again protesters ignored this.
“Rubber bullets were used to disperse them and then they started stoning
police officers. Eventually they dispersed. There were no injuries
One man was arrested after being found in possession of an unlicensed
firearm. He would appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
In a statement, Cope claimed the crowd torched homes and shops belonging
to its members.
It is believed the problem arose when Cope wanted to open a branch in
Mdunge said the area was quiet on Monday ahead of a meeting between the
ANC, Cope, the community policing forum and local police.
They were scheduled to meet at the KwaDabeka police station at 11am to
try and resolve the problem.
Education Minister unhappy with DUT ongoing strike
22 March 2010
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has expressed concern over the
ongoing strike at the Durban University of Technology's (DUT) iNdumiso
Campus in Pietermaritzburg. Students are complaining about poor living
conditions, high food prices and lack of security.
Last week, the strike turned violent as students stoned police cars. As
a result, seven of them were arrested for public violence. Nzimande says
he will meet students to hear their side of the story.
DUR management has once again halted all academic and non-academic
activities. This follows renewed violent protests and vandalism at
Durban campuses. Students at the Midlands campuses had been protesting
since last Friday over what they say is the inflated cost of food and
the state of residences.
The Durban campuses joined them, which led to a violent protest and the
subsequent closure of the campuses. Management decided to suspend all
academic activity until tomorrow. Management halted classes citing a
students' mass protest which resulted in violent confrontations, damage
to property and theft.
The SRC however disputes the claims, saying they were merely complaining
about the state of residences and the unreasonably high food prices at
the campus cafeterias. Acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution
Professor Nqabomzi Gawe says they met with the SRC and resolved to open
the university while attending to the students' grievances. Security has
been stepped up and police will continue to monitor the situation.
Railway flats tenants protest against Transnet
Zikhona Konono 22 March 2010
ANGRY ... New Brighton railway flats residents protest on Friday against
the “poor management” of the flats. Picture: ZIKHONA KONONO
RAILWAY flats tenants protested outside the Transnet offices in Port
Elizabeth to register their dissatisfaction with the company’s “poor
management” of the property in New Brighton.
In its memorandum on Friday, the group raised several complaints and
demanded urgent action from Transnet management, which they said had
been unwilling to address their concerns.
Residents’ committee chairman Mncedi Joseph said: “The agreement was
reached that units would be transferred to tenants, and a rent-to-buy
procedure was applied.
“We have been fighting for that agreement to take effect but the matter
is still not concluded.
“In 2005, the committee signed a co-operation agreement with Transnet
management, together with Sanco. Problems started when Transnet failed
to communicate with the committee.”
Joseph said Transnet had started to evict people who could not afford
their rent. Some had been retrenched. Attempts made by the committee to
resolve issues had been in vain.
“We have managed to save those tenants from eviction through the help of
our ward councillor, Jimmy Tutu, and Sanco executive members. The
relationship with the Transnet management and executive committee has
been hampered since then,” he said.
The main issues were monthly rentals being increased without notice, the
annual lease agreement and zero maintenance of the buildings.
Committee member Ntsiki Antoni said: “A tenant died one evening when
crossing from one block to another because stair railings had been removed.
“Transnet do not take responsibility and do not repair anything.
“Our health is at stake. You should go and see the conditions under
which we live there.”
Committee secretary Nombini Yelani said: “There are no lights in the
corridors. Doors are broken. Yard lights are off for years.
“Some buildings have been vandalised and never repaired. There are no
Transnet representative Xolisa Kunene declined to comment.
ANCYL trampled on names of dead - AfriForum
Ernst Roets 21 March 2010
Ernst Roets says Youth League descecrated list of 1,600 victims of farm
ANC Youth League tramples names of farm murder victims
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) today scattered a list of the names of the
more than 1600 victims of farm murders (handed to them by AfriForum
Youth) in the street in front of their office, trampled on it and tore
it up. Julius Malema also threatened AfriForum Youth with death
yesterday by saying it would be the next "Shell House Massacre" if
AfriForum Youth were to protest in front of his office (Luthuli House).
This follows after Malema sang the song Dubula i'bhulu ("Shoot the Boers
/ farmers") at several public occasions and AfriForum Youth took action
against Malema by submitting a complaint of hate speech against him to
the Equality Court and organising a protest march to the ANCYL's office.
A week ago the ANCYL challenged AfriForum Youth and encouraged them to
protest in front of their office, after which AfriForum Youth went ahead
organising the protest.
The National Chairman of AfriForum Youth, Ernst Roets, yesterday
afternoon met with the President of the ANCYL, Julius Malema, to
finalise the logistic details of the protest action. During the
discussion, Malema said that he would shoot at AfriForum Youth if the
march went ahead. In this light, today's protest action at Mary
Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg continued, but AfriForum Youth decided
that the group should not march to the ANCYL's office. A small group of
representatives, comprising Ernst Roets, Kallie Kriel, Steve Hofmeyr,
Gerrie Pretorius and Sean Else, departed from there to Luthuli House to
submit the memorandum.
At Luthuli House, the ANCYL and police were waiting for AfriForum
Youth's delegation. Initially the ANCYL refused to accept the protest
letter and when the document was eventually handed to them, they
scattered the list of victims on the sidewalk and in the street. Members
of the ANCYL deliberately trampled on the names and tore it to pieces. A
member of the ANCYL also shoved Roets into the street.
Roets said that AfriForum Youth did not expect either civilised or
democratic conduct, as they knew they had to do with the ANCYL.
"It is extremely perturbing that they actually trod on the names of the
murder victims. It might just as well have been Robert Mugabe meeting us
today. The Youth League is not above the law and we will make sure that
they learn this the hard way. The Youth League's actions only motivate
us even more strongly to go ahead with our campaign and to take further
steps against Malema and his followers."
Roets also indicated that the ANCYL's actions will be used against them
in the court case.
Statement issued by Ernst Roets, National Chairman: AfriForum Youth,
March 19 2010