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SA Protest News 5 -12 December 2010
 (2010) SA Protest News 5 -12 December 2010
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Train drivers to strike
IOL News11 December 2010

Metrorail trains in Gauteng East and West will not be operating this weekend because of the strike, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said on Saturday.

“As a business we cannot afford to put any form of risk on our operation and commuters by running trains without the train control officers who are responsible for the entire operation of the train signals and the routes for the direction of trains,” provincial manager for Gauteng Metrorail Tembela Kulu said in a statement.

No trains would be running from: Johannesburg to Randfontein, Johannesburg to Vereeniging via Midway, Johannesburg to Naledi, Germiston to New Canada, New Canada to George Goch, and Pretoria to Johannesburg.

All trains in Pretoria would be operating as usual, Kulu said.

She said the strike was illegal and train control officers were in contempt of court.

Gauteng train control officers begun striking over dissatisfaction about the new shift system on Friday.

On December 3 Prasa was granted a national interim court interdict against any strike action or notice to strike against the implementation of the new shift system.

Kulu said Metrorail apologised to commuters for the “unintended” disruption and asked people to make alternative transport arrangements. - Sapa

Mineworkers march to Anglo American
NUM 10 December 2010

Thousands of mineworkers belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will tomorrow march through Johannesburg to the offices of Anglo American Thermal Coal to present a memorandum. The marchers will gather at Beyers Naude Square as from ten o’clock. Thousands of mineworkers will be bussed from the NUM‘s Highveld region to present a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer of Anglo Thermal Coal. Workers demand the phasing out of the SAP System which ensured that many workers are incorrectly paid and that their leave days disappear. “We call on the company to abandon the SAP system and revert back to the old system” says Lefty Mashego, the NUM ‘s Regional Treasurer in Highveld.

Workers further demand that Anglo should recall workers from its Global Shared Services and end labour contracting. The mineworkers will deliver their memorandum to Anglo tomorrow morning. The details are as follows:

Meeting at : Beyers Naude Square @ 10H00 am

For further information, please contact: Lefty Mashego- 082 536 6792
Lesiba Seshoka- 082 803 6719

ANC women to picket outside Sugarcane serial killer trial
Eyewitness News 9 December 2010

Members of the ANC Women’s League were expected to hold a protest outside the Scottburgh Magistrates Court in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

They will hand over a memorandum to the police as the alleged Sugarcane serial killer wraps up his case in court. Thozamile Taki is accused of robbing and killing 13 women. His girlfriend was charged as an accessory to the robberies.

Taki would dump the bodies of his victims in sugarcane plantations in Umzinto and in tea plantations in the Eastern Cape.

“The ANC Women’s League is calling upon community men and women to come out in numbers to support,” said the ANC’s Mthunzi Gumede.

Makhaza residents protest as the toilet saga continues
Rafiq Wagiet 7 December 2010

A group of Makhaza residents started protesting on Tuesday as word spread that the city was set to re-erect toilets in the area.

Last week, a Western Cape High Court ruling ordered the city to put up enclosed toilets in the area after they were torn down by residents in May this year.

“No to Zinc toilets” and “Down with the DA" were some of the slogans being chanted by residents who blockaded the road into Makhaza with refuse bins.

There was no sign of ANC Youth League members who were accused of being behind the destruction of the structures earlier this year.

The residents said they would not allow the city to erect the structures for a second time.
(Edited by Lisa Bartlett)

Protesters converge at child porn trial
IOL News 8 December 2010

At least 30 protesters from various civil society organisations, trade unions and political parties gathered outside the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Tuesday ahead of a child porn case.

Court Room F was packed with journalists and representatives of activist organisations on the second day of the bail hearing of eight people arrested in connection with a string of child pornography charges.

State prosecutor Tania Carstens was expected to oppose bail before Magistrate Pierre Wessels.

On Monday, in statements read to the court seeking bail, the accused, aged between 26 to 61, denied any wrongdoing. None of them had previous convictions. The professions of the three women and five men ranged from pig farmer to housewife and car guard.

They face charges of rape, indecent assault, sexual grooming of children and possession, manufacturing and distribution of child pornography.

Those arrested included a grandfather, 58, grandmother, 57, their two sons from previous relationships, aged 34 and 36, the grandfather's brother, 61, and his wife, 42, and their mentally disabled son. The 26-year-old wife of one of the sons was also arrested.

According to reports six children, from the age of four and older, were allegedly used in sex movies which were then distributed.

Social workers became suspicious after two foster children - who were removed from the families in March and October - started doing badly at school. - Sapa

Metrobus drivers back at work
IOL News 8 December 2010

Johannesburg Metrobus drivers were back at work on Wednesday, managing director Herman van Laar said.

“Buses are operating and everything seems to be normal,” he said.

Bus drivers went on strike earlier this week to protest against changes in the shift rosters.

But Metrobus secured a labour court interdict ordering the members of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) to go back to work. - Sapa

Metrobus drivers back on the road
IOL News 7 December 2010

Johannesburg Metrobus drivers are set to return to work after management obtained an urgent court order compelling them to do so, the bus service said on Tuesday.

“This morning bus operators were informed of the ruling and they have now heeded instructions to return to work and operate their shifts,” Metrobus said in a statement.

“The bus service is gradually returning to normal and by tomorrow [Wednesday] it should be 100 percent operational.”

This was after Metrobus drivers continued striking against shift changes on Tuesday, despite a court interdict ordering them back to work, officials said earlier.

“No buses left the depots this morning,” said Metrobus managing director Herman van Laar.

Van Laar said the changes were meant to address “inefficiencies” in the current schedules. “The change is not that drastic.”

Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) spokesperson Simon Riekert said shop stewards were busy informing workers about the court interdict.

“We are gathering at the depots to inform members of the interdict... The problem is we still feel the employer hasn't come to the party as far as negotiations are concerned.”

The SA Municipal Workers Union was not immediately available for comment. -

BHP Billiton workers down tool!
NUMSA 8 December 2010

A throng of the NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA (Numsa) members working at the foreign and capitalist owned BHP Billiton have started with their protected strike as from this morning Wednesday 08 December 2010. The strike action has been triggered by big-headed and apartheid bass mentality by BHP Billiton oligarchy to accede to the demands of workers.

Since April 2010, our bargaining team has been engaged in a process of protracted negotiations over wage increases and improvement in working conditions of members. The negotiations were conducted to achieve a one-year agreement since the two-year agreement expired on 30 August 2010. The negotiations reached a deadlock in August 2010. After the deadlock the company chose to coerce workers to accept the wage settlement reached with the yellow union – Solidarity – of 7, 5% increase.

The conduct by BHP Billiton indicates they continued intentions of retaining and reproducing racialised and poverty wages in an effort to consign workers to the same old apartheid employment and living conditions. We will never allow imperialist owned precious metals and steel companies to pay workers apartheid and precarious wages in the midst of huge profits levels that are off-loaded to imperial Stock Markets in the USA, Europe and Melborne.

These are our legitimate demands geared towards equitable distribution of income at the point of production:
· 12% wage increase across the board;
· 50% employer contribution to the Medical Aid scheme;
· 12% Shift Allowance;
· R50000 Gratuity Pay;
· R50000 Study Assistance in the event of retrenchments;
· Total banning and prohibition of Labour Brokers;
· Six months full paid maternity leave;
· Full-time Health and Safety Shop stewards;

We strongly believe that these demands by workers can be achieved by BHP Billiton, given the fact that BHP Billiton has bloated millions in rewarding its executives. These demands are consistent with the Freedom Charter, the over-arching policy document of our revolutionary ANC which called for work and security for all.

Our members will embark on militant action and halt production until their demands are met. We are incensed that BHP Billiton instead of addressing the legitimate demands of workers they bring scab labour in the interest of profit margins and production targets. We will never conform to apartheid poverty wages whilst our members and their extended families are feeling the pinch as a result of the high cost of living and meager wages paid to them by the golden boys and spoilt girls of monopoly capital.

Mbuso Ngubane, Regional Secretary – 079 502 3242
Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – 073 299 1595

Over a 1000 mineworkers march for CHANGE
NUM 7 December 2010

Over 1000 mineworkers will tomorrow afternoon march at Crocodile mine (Barplats) outside Brits in Northwest to deliver a memorandum to management over a plethora of issues which includes amongst others the following:

- Lack of transformation at the mine
- Lack of employment of black women in senior positions
- Victimization of NUM branch leadership
- Salary disparities between black and white employees

The march will further call on management to abolish labour brokers. The march is set to commence at 15H00 from the bus rank at the mine. “We are tired of our leadership being victimized by this company. We want change now! says Jongikaya Vanya, the NUM‘s organizer in Rustenburg. “The time to act is now. If the company does not want to play ball, it must close business” says Vanya. Crocodile mine is situated some eight kilometers from Brits in Northwest and produces platinum. The National Union of Mineworkers calls on the company to listen to the voices crying for change before the sun sets on them.

Jongikaya Vanya- 082 802 4468
Lesiba Seshoka (NUM Spokesman)- 082 803 6719

Racism behind’ farm murder
IOL News 6 December 2010

Lindley farmers and a group of FFPlus members were on Monday protesting outside the Free State town’s magistrate’s court while waiting for six men to appear on murder charges.

The six were arrested in connection with the murder of the Potgieter family on a farm outside Lindley last week.

Attie Potgieter, 40, his wife Wilna, 36, and their three-year-old daughter Willemien were found murdered on their farm on Thursday last week. It seemed Potgieter had been stabbed, while his wife and daughter were shot.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder was outside the court while party members were waving placards asking for the return of the death penalty.

“We are here to express our anger and frustration,” said Mulder.

“For what other reason would you kill a two-and-half-year old baby... it is difficult to explain this other than an act of racism.”

Mulder said a further frustration was that the governing ANC party had not said one word about the crime. He said the country’s leaders should publicly condemn such killings, no matter who the victims were.

The ANC government should wake up and declare farm attacks as a priority crime, just as transit heists and murders recently, Mulder said.

Free State police spokesman Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said police were monitoring the protest outside the court. - Sapa

Pagad urges ‘drug dealers’ to stop
Aziz Hartley 6 December 2010

About 70 Pagad (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) supporters visited suspected drug dealers in Seawinds near Muizenberg on Saturday night to demand they stop selling drugs.

At about 11pm, a 25-vehicle convoy arrived in the area and went to two suspected drug houses. Pagad senior executive member Osman Sahib said on Sunday that they had gone there to deliver a “message”.

“We decided to go into Seawinds to give the message that drug dealers must stop. One dealer was not at home when we arrived and we asked his neighbours to convey the message to him. Last night’s activity was not advertised. We’ve had a lot of activities over the last few weeks in many areas. It is in response to a call from residents,” Sahib said.

He said that two weeks ago his organisation met Lavender Hill and Seawinds residents who wanted Pagad branches established in the areas, Another meeting would be held next week.

Among Pagad members at the visit to drug dealers was its national co-ordinator, Abdus Salaam Ebrahim, who in 2002 was convicted of public violence. After serving nine years in prison, Ebrahim was released on strict parole conditions in September, 2008. The conditions, which included house arrest, were lifted in October.

“He is now completely free,” Sahib said, adding that Pagad would continue to confront drug dealers and would meet residents of Mitchells Plain, Manenberg and other places over the next few weeks.

While messages left for Steenberg police spokesman Stephen Knapp were not returned, Seawinds Neighbourhood Watch member Rita Jacobs said they knew nothing of Pagad’s visit to the area.

“I have no idea of Pagad being in Seawinds. We do have a serious drug problem in Seawinds. The community is suffering because of drug dealers. Mothers are crying as they lose their children to drugs,” Jacobs said. - Cape Times

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