||South African Protest News 13 -19 November 2010 (2010) South African Protest News 13 -19 November 2010. : -.
||SOUTH AFRICAN PROTEST NEWS 13 - 19 NOVEMBER 2010
ANCYL admits to role in Cape protest
Mail & Guardian19 November 2010
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has openly thrown its weight behind continuing service delivery protests in Khayelitsha township, which turned violent when vehicles were stoned and a City of Cape Town bus for the physically disabled was petrol-bombed.
While there was initial confusion about who was involved, Andile Lili, the treasurer of the ANCYL in the Dullah Omar region, said residents had invited the league to take part in the protests, which took to the streets last weekend.
The barricading of roads in Mew Way in the township's TR section has disrupted traffic and there have been growing reports of stone-throwing and torching of vehicles.
School children en route to a year-end camp in Villiersdorp were pelted with rocks last Sunday, injuring two.
The ANCYL has come under fire for piggybacking on the protests to weaken the Democratic Alliance's hold on the Western Cape.
The violence follows last month's five-day protest against living conditions in townships, including Khayelitsha, organised by social movement Abahlali baseMjondolo. But Msonke Poni, Abahlali’s regional chairperson, said he was concerned about the continuation of the protests and the fact that they were becoming violent.
"The ANC Youth League is behind the protests. We know it is directly involved," said Poni. "The ANC is simply playing its political hand in the area. We believe it is behind the protests at a regional level."
But Lili insisted the league’s involvement was not part of the ANC's campaign for next year's municipal elections. "We haven't even started campaigning. We're leading the people because they have hope in us and we have the energy to fight for them," he said. "People from formal and informal settlements are joining in because they've just had enough of the lack of service delivery and broken promises by the Western Cape government."
Lili lashed out at Western Cape premier and DA leader Helen Zille, saying it was propaganda that she had been chosen World Mayor in 2008. She was selected because she was white, he said.
'Better service delivery under the apartheid government'
"We had better service delivery under the apartheid government," said Lili. "At least it built our people covered toilets. Now, we're given open-air toilets and a new bucket system. We’re going backwards."
Lili insisted that the league did not approve of the violence, which arose from anger. A meeting this week would decide whether the protests would continue non-stop for 14 days, he said. In spite of Lili's open admission of the ANCYL's role, Luvuyo Hebe, the ANC chairperson in Khayelitsha's ward 190, denied that the party was involved in organising the protests.
Residents had simply had enough of appalling living conditions, he said. Hebe said he was arrested last week after being wrongly accused of damaging the Khayelitsha community hall. "There was no case against me as I haven't been involved in the protests," he said.
However, he did say that the ANC supported the aims of the protest. "The premier is not helping the African people," he said.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato agreed that parts of the township stood on sodden, low-lying areas that were not habitable, but he said residents had not heeded council advice to erect shacks on solid ground.
Plato said he had recently met top local leaders, including the Khayelitsha development forum and all ward councillors. "I was told these protests had nothing to do with service delivery, that it was about vigilantism, hooliganism and barbarianism," he said.
"I was told the metro police and the South African Police Service were not doing enough about the violence."
Plato said many ward councillors were "living in the shadow of death threats. A créche was closed by the protests the other day. And now a Dial-A-Ride bus for the physically disabled has been burned. How long can the police tolerate it when people throw stones and petrol bombs?"
The Western Cape minister of community safety, the DA’s Albert Fritz, said two people had been arrested on public violence charges and would appear in court shortly.
Zille says protests are ANC election tactics
Service delivery protests on the Cape Flats are partly the result of an African National Congress (ANC) campaign aimed at giving the impression that the Democratic Alliance (DA) does not care about the poor, DA leader Helen Zille said on Friday.
Zille said service delivery in Khayelitsha, where council vehicles were set alight last week, was bedevilled by conflict within communities about "who should benefit, who should move to make way for installation of underground services, who should get to work on the project, etc".
"But in the present situation there is an additional dimension," she wrote in her weekly newsletter SA Today.
"Local government elections are due in about six months, and hundreds of local activists are competing with each other be the chosen candidate for their ward, or to secure a place on the list."
'Protest action is the ANC's way of unseating the DA'
She said leading protest action had therefore become a way for would-be candidates to build a profile.
"In the ANC-dominated wards of Cape Town, there is yet another dimension at play because the ANC is determined to do whatever it takes to unseat the DA-led coalition in the city.
"Their agenda is to create the illusion of spontaneous community anger at lack of service delivery to reinforce the lie that the DA does not care about the poor."
Zille conceded that service delivery in Khayelitsha is "by no means perfect".
"But one thing is certain: there would be far more of it if it weren't for service delivery protests," she said.
"It is beyond irony that services are destroyed in the name of service delivery protests," she said.
FF+ councillor, leader talk trash in FState
Independent Newspapers 15 November 2010
Refuse was dumped on Monday at the doors of the Mangaung local municipality offices in “frustration” with poor service delivery.
As a result the bakkie and trailer of Mangaung FF Plus councillor Johan Powell was impounded by angry security officials of the municipality who tried to stop the offload of the refuse.
The refuse protest came from Free State Freedom Front plus leader Abrie Oosthuizen and Powell.
Oosthuizen expressed his dissatisfaction with the Mangaung municipality's “increasing inability” to deliver service in the community.
The FF Plus said that in the past weeks the party received various complaints from residents that household refuse was not collected in the city.
Oosthuizen said after many attempts to discuss the issue with officials no reaction was received. “I want to know from the municipal management the aim of the ten new refuse trucks, which were bought for millions of rand in June 2010 to remove refuse,” he said in a statement.
While Oosthuizen and Powell were offloading the refuse at the doors of the Bram Fischer building various officials tried to stop them. Security personnel were called and they asked that the vehicle and trailer be removed. In the process the keys were taken from Powell and the vehicles impounded.
Mangaung spokesman Qondile Khedama said in reaction that notice was given that the city would experience “hiccups” with refuse removal last week. “We have already dealt with the issue and have started working at the backlog.”
Khedama said the reason for the refuse pile-up in residential areas was because the refuse trucks were taken in for maintenance. Referring to the dumping incident, Khedama said Monday's action was “not necessary”, because the city was already working at the backlog.
Refuse in residential areas such as Universitas had been piling -up for the past five days.
Oosthuizen said highly paid municipal officials were responsible for services falling apart. “It is impossible to get hold of them and if messages are left they never come back.”
0osthuizen said the time for “mooipraatjies” (casual talk) was over in regard to the lack of service delivery at municipality level. Sapa
Gold Fields strike turns violent
Business Report 18 November 2010
The workers' strike at Goldfields' South Deep operation has become violent, Goldfields said on Thursday.
“Gold Fields Limited notes with concern incidents of intimidation and violence linked to the ongoing strike action by the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) at its South Deep gold mine,” said spokesman Sven Lunsche.
He said a small group of Num members had damaged property at the mine is Westonaria, South of Johannesburg, and intimidated non-striking staff at work and at their homes.
“Several employees have been assaulted and injured... cases of assault have been opened with the police by Goldfields on behalf of the non-striking employees.”
Lunsche said the incidents of violence began on Tuesday and on Wednesday Num committed to putting a stop to it.
Num spokesman Lesiba Seshoka denied any incidents of intimidation and violence saying: “There have been no such incidents.. these incidents are a creation of Goldfields management”.
“How can we condemn this if there have been no such incidents?
“This is propaganda created by the company which is trying to put a dent in our image.”
Commenting on Goldfields opening of cases with the police Seshoka said “We take this as a declaration of war... we will ensure that all operations are grounded”.
Police spokeswoman Constable Linkie Lefakane confirmed the incidents of violence saying: “There was definitely intimidation... Four cases of malicious damage to property and two cases of assault were opened.”
“The injuries to the individuals were minor.”
She said police were at the mine monitoring the situation which was now calm.
About 3000 workers began striking on November 12 focusing on transformation demands.
Seshoka, said that the union wanted to be involved in “all levels of employment including top management”.
“The company's executive management is a lily-white island in a sea of black people,” he said.
Lunsche said talks with the union since Friday had been positive but had since been “marred” by the incidents of intimidation and violence.
He said the company did not accede to the union's demand to be involved in procurement and the appointment of senior managers, as this was the function of management.
He did not want to discuss the impact of the strike on production levels at the mine.
“We are, at this stage, not willing to release production numbers. We have said that the strike clearly had an impact on production and, to a lesser extent, on development at South Deep.
“Attendance of total employees and contractors is around a third of our total staff complement of around 6,000. It is lower though at our production areas.”
However, he said the strike “clearly had an impact on production and, to a lesser extent, on development”.
Seshoka said workers would continue to strike until the end of year and that there was a possibility that the strike could spill over to all Goldfields operations. - Sapa
Protesters want their councillor sworn in
DAVID MACGREGOR 17 November 2010
EMOTIONS are running high in Kenton‑ On‑Sea after police yesterday threatened to fire rubber bullets at a small crowd of protesters outside the local Ndlambe municipal offices.
The tense stand‑off happened when supporters of "independent" ANC councillor Zakhe Ngxingo locked the gates of a nearby municipal yard ‑ preventing trucks and workers from leaving.
Police scuffled with some of the protesters in an effort to find the padlock keys, before threatening to bring out dogs and fire rubber bullets to disperse the 60‑strong crowd.
Sanity prevailed, however, when Kenton station commander Captain Cowan Cannon ordered several police from Port Alfred ‑ including two dog unit vehicles ‑ to "stand down" and leave the area.
The small crowd of mostly women marched to the municipal offices to demand that Ngxingo be immediately sworn in as an Ndlambe councillor after he won a local by‑election by a landslide more than a month ago.
Yesterday's march comes three weeks after hundreds of people marched to the local municipal offices to hand over a list of demands to the local authority ‑ that had to be answered within 10 days.
The demands centred around several service delivery issues and called for an investigation into alleged corruption and "nepotism" in local land reform deals.
Ngxingo supporter Noluthando Smile ‑ who heads the 15‑strong "Independent Committee" ‑ said yesterday's march had been prompted after municipal officials failed to respond to the memorandum from three weeks ago.
"It is disrespectful that they have not responded. It seems like they do not care."
She said Ngxingo would have already been sworn in as a councillor if he had won the by‑election on an ANC ticket, instead of going it alone as an "ANC Independent".
"The ANC only cares for us when it is time to vote. Now they have lost, they are fighting with us. They treat us like we do not exist."
Smile accused municipal officials of calling the police and telling them to arrest the protesters for holding an illegal march.
Municipal workers said they had "mixed emotions" at being locked in the yard . "They are our family and friends. The municipality will not solve this problem with police and rubber bullets and dogs," one worker explained.
After several hours, municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni and spokesperson Khululekile Mbolekwa arrived to address the crowd ‑ who were disappointed that elected "politicians" had not arrived instead.
Dumezweni said several issues on the petition ‑ like an investigation into two allegedly corrupt local land deals ‑ were the responsibility of national government and not the local authority.
He said the swearing in of Ngxingo, scheduled for December 10, and the issue of sewage leakage could be dealt with by the municipality.
Mbolekwa later told the Dispatch a report‑back meeting would be held with the protesters on Thursday. ‑ By DAVID MACGREGOR
Port Alfred Bureau
Solidarity with the Mine-Line Occupation
SOLIDARITY RALLY: Unite in Working Class Power - Only struggle will save jobs
DATE: Saturday 20 November, 13h00, Mine Line factory
The workers of Mine Line/ TAP Engineering on the West Rand have been occupying their factory since October 20. After former owner Wynand Mulder defrauded the company, stopped paying wages, and then shut it down to loot it even more, the workers resolved to take over and run their workplace as a worker cooperative.
Alex calm after protest
Steve Lawrence (The Star) 17 November 2010
Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, is calm and the roads open again after residents protested earlier on Wednesday morning, Gauteng police said.
“The scene is calm and police are monitoring the situation,” said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.
“Residents are still hanging around but they are not blocking the road.
“There was no violence”.
Police said earlier residents of the Malboro informal settlement had burned tyres and blocked off roads in a protest against housing issues.
They were apparently protesting because the housing department planned to relocate them, police said. - Sapa
NUM goes to war with TEBA Limited
NUM 16 November 2010
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has reached a wage dispute with TEBA Limited. The dispute over wages has now been referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The NUM demands that TEBA Limited should increase wages for its employees by 15% and increase the minimum wages to R1500. The company refused to budge on several other demands and put an opening offer of 4%. On the sixth negotiation meeting, the company improved its offer by a mere 0,4% to 4,4%. Former founding President of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) James Motlatsi is now in the driving seat of workers exploitation as the leading Director and MD. ‘We are very disappointed that a former champion of workers rights is now super exploiter” says Tseliso Lesibe, the NUM ‘s Chief Negotiator at TEBA Limited. For more information on the services provided by this company, visit their website at www.teba.co.za.
Meanwhile workers declared to go to war with a prolonged strike action at TEBA Limited.
Tseliso Lesibe- 082 677 4234
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
7 Rissik Street ,JOHANNESBURG
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
Angry Hangberg residents demand answers
IOL News 15 November 2010
Residents of Hangberg marched through Cape Town to protest against the court cases against them. The community was also marching in support of the Imizamo Yeth informal settlement who appeared in court today, also facing eviction.
Slow start to Pretoria taxi protest
Mail & Guardian 16 November 2010
The planned taxi protest over the implementation of the government's new traffic demerit system got off to a slow start in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Tshwane metro spokesperson Alta Fourie said that by 9.30am it was reported that only three taxis had converged at the starting point of the proposed march on the Union Buildings.
Police and journalists outnumbered gathering marchers. Police officials, metro police and journalists were seen milling around as ice-cream sellers desperately tried to earn a few rand from protesters.
There were at least 35 police vehicles and several police motorcycles at the gathering point in Marabastad.
It was not immediately clear whether the march would still proceed, or what had become of the expected 20 000 marchers.
Tshwane metro police spokesperson Alta Fourie said on Monday drivers from around Gauteng were expected to take part in the march. Permission for the march organised by the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) had been granted.
Satawu is demanding that the government withdraws the new licensing system, saying that it would cause its members untold hardship and a loss of jobs.
Satawu is demanding that the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) legislation be repealed.
The system penalises drivers with demerit points for traffic offences.
Once a driver has 12 demerit points, his or her driver's licence gets suspended for three months. A driver's licence gets cancelled on the third suspension.
Satawu's Gauteng chairperson, Ephraim Mphahlele, said on Saturday the union appreciated the fact that the government wanted to implement the system in an attempt to minimise road accidents.
Pretoria's streets on Tuesday morning were almost devoid of taxis and there were unconfirmed reports of isolated incidents of intimidation.
Meanwhile, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said on Tuesday its members would not be joining taxi drivers marching to the Union Buildings.
"At the moment, while Santaco equally holds concerns regarding the implementation of the Aarto, it is not a part of the strike ... ," Santaco spokesperson Philip Taaibosch said.
He said that Santaco would engage in a separate process to raise and address the concerns of the taxi industry regarding Aarto.
Taaibosch said in a statement that Santaco was, however, neither negative nor affirmative on the Satawu protest regarding Aarto. -- Sapa
Strike at Goldfields set to reach new heights
NUM 16 November 2010
The strike by over three thousand mineworkers at gold miner Goldfields‘s South Deep operation has today entered its third day with a great possibility of a sweeping strike action across all Goldfields operations looming. Workers are in talks amongst themselves whether to dig in the heels by bringing Goldfields on its knees. The arrogant company made some few concessions but remains adamant that employment in higher levels is its prerogative and would not like the union to be involved. The NUM is on the other hand adamant that if transformation is to be realized, then the union would have to get involved as the company has failed to transform itself for over sixteen years.
The hard-hitting strike action left the big-mouthed company tight-lipped and astounded as it has been shuttered with zero production. “It is true that pride goes before a fall. Now the company is jittery and it must deliver before all its operations are grounded. We love peace but ofcourse if you wish for peace one must prepare for war” says Kenneth Buda, the NUM ‘s Mining House Coordinator at Goldfields. “ It is likely that we will ground the entire Goldfields as the challenges relating to transformation cuts across the entire Goldfields operations” says Buda.
Kenneth Buda- 082 6384305
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
7 Rissik Street ,JOHANNESBURG
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
COSATU NW to picket at Ottosdal Magistrate Court
Cosatu 15 november 2010
The Congress Of South African Trade Union and its affiliates SATAWU and FAWU in the North West will be protesting at Ottosdal Magistrate Court tomorrow during the first trial of a racist farmer who opened a criminal case against SATAWU members during a protected strike.
SATAWU members were engaged in a protected strike in August this year when a white racist farmer in AWB colours assaulted workers at the Pula food Company. A racist prosecutor withdrew the case against the white racist farmer and instructed the court to proceed with the case against poor workers.
COSATU and its affiliates will be picketing in front of the court demanding that the case against its members be withdrawn just like the case of the farmer since the charges were similar.
COSATU will also demand that the vigilante group called Noord Wes Plaslike Veiligheid be withdrawn from the Ottosdal farms with immediate effect and those that have criminal cases must be arrested now.
For more information please call COSATU North West Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe on 082 304 4055
Khayelitsha – anarchy disguised as service delivery protests
ALBERT FRITZ, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety 13 November 2010
ALBERT FRITZ, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety: I have just returned from a visit to Khayelitsha earlier today. The recent spate of public violence outbreaks in the area is of great concern to me. The type of behaviour we have seen, like torching of vehicles, barricading of roads and total disregard for the law is nothing short of anarchy and I strongly condemn these actions.
While I was there, and amid heavy police presence, a delivery vehicle was burnt to the ground. Police then closed off a section of Mew Way, so as to contain the situation. The reality is that as soon as the police move away from a particular area, the culprits literally hit and run, disappearing between the shacks. Hundreds of people stood watching by the side of the road, yet nobody claims to know anything about the perpetrators. As longs as communities shield these criminals, who disguise their actions as service delivery protests, the chaos will continue.
Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with public violence and will appear in court soon.
I have also noted a newspaper article this morning alluding to further threats of protest action and I am appealing to the police to collect and use all available evidence and information to bring about more arrests. It must not stop there though. These matters must be properly investigated so that the arrests can translate into convictions. People have to live within the framework of the law and realise that there are consequences for their actions.
Protest action of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, and in a constitutional democracy one has the right to protest. However, when protest action is synonymous with violence and destruction, the message is lost and the results are often tragic.
These acts of violence are usually fueled by a small minority, yet the implications affect the greater majority of residents. My concern is for the safety of that majority of law abiding residents.
Police presence in Khayelitsha has been intensified and they will continue to be on high alert until the area has been stabilised and brought under control.
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