||Parys workers protest
IOL News 28 October 2011
Municipal workers broke windows and trashed streets in Parys on Friday after storming out of the Ngwathe municipality's offices following a salary dispute.
Free State police spokesman Captain Harry Nagel said about 300 workers protested.
“A case of malicious damage to property was opened.”
Nagel said reinforcements were sent to Parys and police were monitoring the situation.
The protest came after salary increases approved by suspended chief financial officer Tladi Mokoena were held back.
Ngwathe DA councillor Arnold Schoonwinkel said: “The workers walked out and trashed the streets.”
He said the municipality was without an executive mayor, municipal manager and chief financial officer. All had vacated their posts. Various people were acting in the posts.
Schoonwinkel said the current acting municipal manager was working from home after receiving threats.
Ngwathe municipal manager Norman Selai was suspended, but later resigned. Mokoena acted in his place, but was suspended for alleged maladministration.
ANC executive mayor Jonas Ramokhoase was asked to vacate his post by his party after about four months in the seat earlier this year.
“We are in an administrative and political vacuum,” said Schoonwinkel.
External forensic investigators were looking into the affairs of the Ngwathe municipality, he said.
The municipality includes the towns of Parys, Vredefort, Heildron, Koppies and Edenville. – Sapa
I’m just a regular guy, says lone protester
Theresa Taylor (IOL News) 28 October 2011
With a black cloth tied across his face and his views neatly typed on a placard, pro-capitalist Zorro launched his own protest outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton on Thursday.
In contrast to the ANC Youth League’s pro-nationalisation march’s message, Zorro, 40, held a sign saying “Enterprise shall set us free”.
Although his distinctive light blue eyes shone brightly through his black mask, the activist was cagey about giving away personal information.
He described himself as a “regular guy” who took the day off from his Joburg job.
He would not say what his job was or where he worked, in order to protect his company and family, but admitted he enjoyed reading and was an “amateur inventor”.
He said he was not anti the ANCYL, and had respect for the organisation, but he believes their methods are misguided.
“The problem is obvious, young people don’t have jobs… But nationalisation of mines will have dire consequences. Perhaps in the short term there will be more jobs, but in the long term there will be less.
“I do not represent the white middle class, I represent everybody who wants to work hard and enjoy life and be free to do that.”
Zorro said he would wait outside the JSE until the ANCYL got there.
“I am worried about violence, but I trust the people will protect me,” he sa
Unemployment drove many to join march
THANDI SKADE (IOL News) 28 October 2011
ANCYL president Julius Malema leads the way with his executive during the march from the Joburg CBD to the stock exchange in Sandton. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya
For six-and-a-half years, Ezekiel Khoza has been unemployed. With only a matric to his name, the 25-year-old from Galeshewe in Kimberley said it has been “worse than a nightmare” trying to find a job.
Part of the problem, he said, was the unfair distribution of land among South African citizens.
“Ninety percent of land and the economy is owned and controlled by the minority. We’re fighting to bring back what is owed to us. Let us just be fair,” he said.
Although Thabo Molale has not been unemployed as long as his buddy Khoza, he has done several odd jobs and short-term contract work, but has never been permanently employed. He dreams of one day becoming a sound engineer.
He completed two out of the three years of his diploma before financial constraints put the brakes on his plans.
“The youth in our town are unemployed; we don’t have skills. We need to do something to help the future generation of children,” he said.
One of the reasons he made the long trip from Galeshewe to Joburg was to fight for education and a change in the high school syllabus.
“We’ve been left behind with the current syllabus,” he said.
Once a pharmaceutical rep, Thabo Kheswa, 26, packed it all in three years ago to become an entrepreneur. There was some promise in the beginning, but business opportunities have since been scarce and he has been unemployed since 2009.
“There needs to be local policies that speak to entrepreneurs and micro-business owners so that we don’t have to swim with the bigger fish, because we’re drowning,” he said.
Dimakatso Ngoasheng, 23, said life was a daily struggle.
Her mother, child and herself survive on the R270 child grant she receives each month.
“It makes me angry that there are no jobs for the youth in this country,” she said.
While Mpho Moyo, 19, is still in high school, she said she had attended the march to protect her future. Set to matriculate later this year, the Orlando West teen is convinced that there will be no job prospects after school.
“The day I put my last full stop on my last exam paper is the day I say hello to unemployment,” she said.
She said it was high time the government realised how serious the youth were in their mission towards economic freedom. “So many youth are turning to crime because they have nothing better to do.”- The Star
Malema: Keep walking, comrades
Mail & Guardian 27 October 2011
The ANC Youth League march for economic freedom has made slow progress towards the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton.
After departing the Chamber of Mines at 12.30pm the approximately 3 000-strong crowd had only reached Rosebank by 4pm.
The march has been a sombre one, barring some tempers flaring as supporters fought over bottled water lined up along the road by the league.
Malema calmed the crowd on several occassions, encouraging them to remain patient.
"We will get there, comrades, we are marching to the home of white monopoly capital and we will get there," he said.
Demonstrators have remained steadfast as many declared their toil and sweat spent on the march signified their push for economic freedom.
"We know it's not going to be given to us on a silver platter -- this is what its all about. If we want change, it's going to be a long struggle," a marcher identifying himself only as Tshepang told the Mail & Guardian.
Several marchers engaged with journalists along the way, with Tshipa Sithole telling the M&G the march epitomises how he feels.
"You see we must make things equal -- this is about sharing 50/50. I don't want everything, I just want to be able to live a life like everyone else. We must work together to make South Africa a better place," he said.
Emergency services were yet to report any incidences of serious injury barring several cases of heat stroke as marchers made their way from the Johannesburg city centre to Sandton.
Malema seemed remarkably reserved in his handling of tense situations during the march. As the procession stopped to rest on Empire Road earlier in the day, he scolded a group of schoolchildren who attempted joined the march.
"Comrades and police: Tell those children to go home, they don't belong here. They must go home and study," he said.
The marchers' spirits started flagging just after 2pm as they entered Oxford Road in Killarney.
They stopped to wait for a water tanker as several people were dehydrated and at least five people had fainted.
The marchers were no longer singing and dancing, but shuffling along in the heat.
Some of the placards carried by marchers read: "The real freedom is economic not parliamentary. Free my people."
Another with slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's picture read: "We salute anti-imperialist martyr Gaddafi".
Others read: "90% of the economy is still in the hands of the minority" and "Malema we must stand by you through thick and thin".
Juice and water was handed out as marchers reached the Rosebank Zone, and supporters resumed singing and dancing.
Gauteng police spokesperson Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said the march had been peaceful so far.
"There have been no disruptions since the march started. Everything is peaceful."
Police and a private security company hired by the youth league were monitoring the situation.
Hundreds of spectators littered the route to catch a peek of Malema and other youth league leaders.
"This is so cool! I never saw something like this before, thse guys are marching for their freedom it's so awesome," said 17-year-old Lindsay Thorpe, as she snapped images of the procession with her cell phone.
Even comedian Joey Rasdien came out to see what all the fuss was about, but was turned away from the march when he tried to join.
"Ja man I wanted to jump in but they wouldn't let me come in with my bike. It's a laugh this thing, these guys take so many hours to walk from Johannesburg, but it's good," he told reporters, as he cradled his scooter helmet.
Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Gwen Lane in Sandton was prepared with railing gates wrapped in black plastic sealing off its underground parking entrances.
Police in bakkies waited at the end of Gwen Lane, which was blocked at one end.
Once marchers had handed over a memorandum to the JSE, the plan was for them to be bussed to Pretoria where a night vigil was to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.
The JSE closes at 5pm, but a woman on the premises told reporters they would wait to receive the memorandum from the league.
The last mass action by ANCYL members happened outside Luthuli House in central Johannesburg at the start of Malema's disciplinary hearing last month.
Youth league members threw rocks, bottles and bricks at journalists and police, and burnt ANC flags and t-shirts with pictures of President Jacob Zuma printed on them.
The march was taking place a day after testimony in Malema's disciplinary hearing was concluded. He and several co-leaders face charges of bringing the ruling party into disrepute.
Earlier, the SABC reported that members of the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) had forced pupils from Alexandra and Soweto schools to join the march. -- Additional reporting by Sapa
Villagers held for violence
IOL News 26 October 2011
Police have arrested fifteen people for public violence in a village near Letsitele in Limpopo.
Fifteen people have been arrested for public violence in a village near Letsitele in Limpopo, police said on Wednesday.
Residents damaged and ransacked two shops in the area, one on Monday and another on Tuesday, said Lieutenant-Colonel Ronel Otto.
“The shop (on Tuesday) was pelted with stones and two bakkies belonging to the shop owner were set alight and destroyed.
“The owner of the shop fired shots into the looting community members and injured a 22-year-old man from Mafarana village in the right leg.”
The violence began after the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman, Beauty Masesi, from Mulate village near Letsitele.
She was last seen when she went to withdraw money from a bank in Tzaneen on Thursday. Otto said residents claimed a man living in a nearby village was to blame for her disappearance. Police brought the man in for questioning, but released him on Monday.
“Members of the communities of Mulate and Ntsako villages were dissatisfied with the release of the man,” Otto said.
“On Monday, a spaza shop belonging to the sister of the supposed accused was looted and ransacked by community members.”
On Tuesday, Ntsako residents attacked the shop of a cousin of the accused. The arrests were made on Tuesday and Wednesday, and more arrests were imminent, said Otto.
The group was charged with public violence and malicious damage to property. They would appear in court soon.
Police were still searching for Masesi, Otto said. – Sapa
Robben Island workers to strike
Michelle Jones 26 October 2011
Robben Island workers want to close the island to visitors between Christmas Day and Tweede Nuwejaar so that they can spend the time with their families.
Robben Island workers want to close the island to visitors between Christmas Day and Tweede Nuwejaar so that they can spend the time with their families.
The workers are demanding a R3 500-a-month increase, and plan to strike until their demands are met.
The minimum wage is R6 000, according to National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) provincial-secretary Luthando Nogcinisa.
Robben Island Museum chief executive Sibongiseni Mkhize expects about 150 out of 220 workers will be on strike from Wednesday.
The workers, members of Nehawu, will be at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront daily until their demands are met.
They run the island’s ferries, work in its shops and sell tickets to tourists.
Nogcinisa said Robben Island management had shown an “unbelievable level of impertinence” by telling members they would not receive a wage increase this year.
“This level of arrogance astonished our members and they duly warned the management that their unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.”
He said management had offered a one-off cash payment of R10 000, which was rejected, and then a 6 percent increase.
“This was rejected by workers who saw this as a cunning ploy by the employer to mislead the workers and the public and to disguise their unwillingness to place a genuine offer on the table.
“This percentage works out to a figure less than the inflation rate in real terms.”
Nogcinisa said Nehawu had declared a dispute after the mediation process failed and workers voted overwhelmingly to go on strike.
The workers’ demands are:
* A monthly wage increase of R3 500 across the board.
* Shutdown of operations from December 25 to January 2 for workers to spend time with their families.
* Implementation of all the provisions of the 2010/11 settlement agreement signed by Nehawu and Robben Island Museum, including an implementation date of May 1 and equalisation of housing allowance to all employers and medical aid.
Nogcinisa said members regretted that people would be inconvenienced by their decision to strike, but workers should not be exploited.
Mkhize said talks would continue until an agreement was reached.
He said the museum had offered 6 percent because it could not afford the increase demanded by workers.
Mkhize said the museum and island would continue to run as usual but with fewer staff.
“Our plan is that, with the workers who aren’t striking, we’ll be able to run the ferries.” - Cape Times
Picket supporting Indians to culminate in Saturday march
The Mercury 25 October 2011
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s use of the term amakula (c*****) was “a grave insult” to the Indian community, DA MP John Steenhuisen said during a picket by the party in Chatsworth yesterday.
A small group of DA ward councillors, MPs and ordinary members picketed in peak afternoon traffic at the intersection of Mobeni Heights and Higginson Highway in support of the Indian community.
Last week, Malema was forced to apologise for telling residents of a township in Lenasia, a suburb south of Joburg: “Your children must be allowed to go to school with amakula children.”
Brandishing anti-racism posters, Steenhuisen said the picket was intended to garner support for the Indian community after Malema’s racial slur.
“It was a grave insult to the South African Indian community. Statements like these divide our nation… South African Indians have contributed to the country’s economy and growth,” he said.
Nkululeko Nofeketa, a DA ward councillor in Umlazi, said councillors from around Durban had gathered in a show of support and unity.
“We cannot let words destroy our nation. We need to respect one another and our constitution,” he said.
Mobeni Heights and Bayview councillor Rocky Naidoo said they had chosen the intersection as it was an entrance to Chatsworth. “Racial slurs should never be a part of any speech… We all played a part in fighting for democracy and all citizens need to be treated with respect,” he said.
Steenhuisen said more protests were planned, culminating in a final march near RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth at 10am on Saturday.
March against xenophobia, crime and violence
Cosatu Joint press release on the march against xenophobia, crime and violence
26 October 2011
COSATU in Gauteng, in partnership with the Treatment Action Campaign, Department of Community Safety, Immigrant Rights and Responsibility Project (IRRP) and all other progressive structures in Tembisa will be embarking on an Awareness Walk on the 29 October 2011 to educate and mobilize communities to fight against crimes, violence and xenophobia that has taken a drastic rise in Gauteng as witnessed by recent reports in Alexandra.
The march is part of the build-up activities towards the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse.
The above organizations will convene a press conference and the media is invited to attend the press briefing where the details of the march and other logistics will be communicated to the public.
Date : 26 October 2011
Time : 10h00
Venue : Rabasotho Police Station Boardroom
For further information kindly contact the following people.
COSATU : Matserane Wamaphena at 0823395692
TAC : Stephen Ngcobo (0738460910)
IRRP : Ddidi Oguguo (0829313749)
DCS : Meshack Mahumane (0783400687)
Rosebank bracing for ANCYL march
IOL News 25 October 2011
Rosebank residents and businesses have been warned to stay away from the route ANC Youth League members will follow when marching through the area on Thursday.
“This will have several knock on effects in our ward as well as in the Johannesburg CBD (central business district), along the major north-south transport spine of Oxford/Rivonia Roads and then in the Sandton CBD,” ward councillor Tim Truluck said in a statement.
“It is suggested that businesses situated along the marching route consider sending their staff home early and not to schedule meetings in the afternoon that need to be attended by visitors.”
Truluck said the Johannesburg metro police had confirmed that Maude Street in Sandton, where a memorandum would be handed over, would be closed.
The “economic freedom youth mass action” is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday.
Marchers will move from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton and Union Buildings in Pretoria.
On Monday, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said he expected 5 000 people to take part in the march.
There would be 1000 youth league marshals, and 500 police and private security company members to ensure the march was peaceful.
Malema said plans to march along the M1 highway had been changed to prevent traffic delays. – Sapa
No Gautrain buses running
IOL News <>25 October 2011
Buses on all Gautrain routes were not running on Tuesday morning, the company said.
“The details are very sketchy… none of the (125) buses are running this morning as we speak,” said spokesman Errol Braithwaite.
“It appears this is a sympathy stay-away related to a bus driver who was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.”
He said the company was implementing measures to make some buses available. - Sapa
DA maintains pressure in Gauteng tolls
IOL News 24 October 2011
The DA will continue to pressure the department of transport and the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) until the proposed toll tariffs in Gauteng are scrapped completely, the party said on Monday.
“We will continue to take a stand for the millions who will be negatively affected by this system,” DA MPL Janet Semple said in statement. “Jobs will be lost, the cost of living will increase and the marginalised members of our society will be asked to pay more from an ever diminishing pool of resources.”
She said the party welcomed Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele's order to halt all processes relating to the toll, but were aware that Sanral was still pursuing the project.
“The DA encourages the public not to register for the tolling system e-tags until… issues are resolved,” she said.
These issues pertained to the financial security of motorists, incorrect toll charges, the use of illegal number plates and the release of a detailed report on the cost of the project.
DA members protested against the tariffs at the Pan Africa Mall in Alexandra, north of Joburg, on Saturday.
Protesters handed out pamphlets instructing people on how to campaign against the tolls.
Similar protests took place in Nigel, on the East Rand, and Soshanguve, in Pretoria. – Sapa
Da wants toll fees halved
IOL News 22 October 2011
Fight against tolls far from over
Johannesburg - The DA wants the proposed toll tariffs on Gauteng highways to either be halved or scrapped completely, an Alexandra resident said on Saturday.
“We would be happy with 20 cents per km for light motor vehicles, because its always better to get a 50 percent discount,” Shadrack Mkhonto said.
Members of the Democratic Alliance gathered at the Pan Africa Mall in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg on Saturday to protest against the proposed tariffs.
Protesters, dressed in blue DA T-shirts, held up posters reading: “Hoot for a toll free GP (Gauteng province)”.
Most of the taxis and motorists driving past the crowd hooted in agreement.
Protesters also handed out pamphlets that instructed people on how to campaign against the tolls.
Similar protests were taking place in Nigel in the East Rand and Soshanguve in Pretoria.
DA Gauteng leader Janet Semple said the economic effects of the tolls was fully understood by the majority of people.
“Some of the effects of the toll roads are increased costs, from small businesses to those transporting food from other provinces as well as services...the cost of living will go up because of the tolls,” she said.
Semple said even though people could use taxis which would not be affected by the tolls, they would have to pay more for other services that have to make up for the money used on tolls.
Protester Chester Masoga said government was not being fair by proposing the tolls.
“Government does not communicate with us, it's as if they are doing their own thing...we are the ones that have to travel to our families in other provinces which is going to be too expensive for us.” she said.
A passer-by said he did not think the protests were necessary.
“Who do they think is going to pay for these roads that have been fixed? If they want to use them they must pay.”
Semple said similar protests would continue across the province and one big protest would be held closer to the implementation of the tolls.
DA leader Helen Zille was expected to lead the protest march.
Cabinet approved reduced toll tariffs in August for the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. These were expected to come into effect next year.
Motorcyclists are to pay 24 cents a kilometre, light motor vehicles 40 cents a kilometre, medium vehicles R1 and longer vehicles R2 a kilometre.
Taxis and buses are exempted. - Sapa
Foreigners evicted in Iterileng
IOL News 20 October 2011
Johannesburg - A number of foreigners residing at the Iterileng informal settlement near Laudiam were driven out of their homes and businesses on Thursday night, Gauteng police said.
“Local residents met at 6pm to discuss the shops owned by foreign nationals in the area,” Captain Pinky Tsinyane said.
“After the meeting, local residents then forced the foreign nationals residing in the settlement to pack up their stuff, and evicted them from their houses.”
She could not confirm whether their businesses were also looted.
About 40 foreigners were then housed at a community centre in Laudiam, she said.
“We are going to pass by the community centre to find out who is from where, and to establish the exact number of people who were evicted.”
Tsinyane said no one was injured during the incident and no arrests were made. - Sapa
Food Sovereignty Campaign Protest March against “Poisonous Maize”
Ons Kontrei, The Editor 12 October 2011
LUTZVILLE: Objections against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in South Africa were made on Friday 7 October 2011 through a placard demonstration on the farm Klipheuwel in Lutzville. The USA based multinational corporation Monsanto planted experimental genetically modified maize on the farm. Lutzville is one of six experimental sites in the country. The experiment is taking place on 5 hectares of land that belongs to the Agricultural Research Council, which includes the development of drought resistant maize through the process of genetic manipulation. The Lutzville community leader and activist of the Food Sovereignty Campaign, Davine Witbooi in collaboration with the Surplus People Project and emerging farmers in the Lutzville area participated in the protest action. The protesters feel although Monsanto is saying that they have the key to increasing agricultural yields and ending hunger, the only possible outcome of the ongoing experiments of Monsanto is a deepening of hunger and control over seed and increasing social inequalities. They feel that there is no shortage of food in the world, but there is hunger as a result of social inequalities and the gap between the rich and poor.
The main aim of the protest is to recognize and encourage every individual and group’s needs and capacity for sovereignty. A person must have the right to choose whether you want to eat GM food or not. GM food is created by taking the gene of one organism like bacteria, spiders, scorpions, animals, in a laboratory, and inserting the cell of another unrelated organism like maize, soya, sorghum so that it develops certain “desired” characteristics in a very unnatural way. The influence of GMO’s on the environment, biodiversity, water, land and people’s health is in many cases unclear and in other cases horrifying. People would never allow surgery to be done on themselves where the safety of such a procedure is not clearly proven, but everyday we are eating food where the safety has definitely not been proven. The genes of the GMO can possibly be transfered to members of the same species or even to other species. This can cause problems and have an economic impact as weed resistant genes end up for example in weed. Although scientists are divided over this issue, they are agreeing on one thing: when the genes of GMO’s, whose safety has not been determined, are released into the environment, it is virtually impossible to undo or reverse. Genes can mutate with unpredictable harmfull effects. A genetically manipulated plant for example can mutate to such an extent that it drive out other plants and become a problem plant. GMO’s can compete with wild species or breed with them, which can result in the loss of indigenous species. The GMO’s may have impacts on birds, insects and soil organisms. When GM food was fed to lab rats, scientist found amongst other things that misshapen cell structures in the liver and kidneys occured, bleeding stomachs and the inability to reproduce.
Some GMO’s are manipulated to such an extent that they have insecticides as part of their composition. The seed and pollen of these plants may have a adverse impact on birds that eats the seed and insects that eats pollen and performing a pollination function. Allergenic genes can accidently be transferred to other species that people eat and can cause deadly allergies. For example the genes of the Brazilian nuts were transferred to a transgenic soybean variety. Many people have severe allergic reactions to nuts and would not expect that the genes of the nuts would be present in soya beans. Unauthorised GMO products have already appeared in the food supply chain. The maize variety Starlink, a GMO product actually only intended for animal feed, was used in products for human consumption. Genes that are resistant to antibiotics are used as “markers” in GMO products to determine if the gene transfer were successful. Concerns was raised about the possibility that these “marker genes” can be transmitted to human beings through food intake and it can cause resistance to antibiotics.
GMO’s can also have potentially negative socio economic impacts. Biotechnology is mostly used by the private sector and the markets are dominated by a few big companies. These companies register patents on the seeds and then genetically modify it. Because they have the patent for the plants, it means that no one would be allowed to plant this without their consent. This means that small scale farmers would particularly lose access to Non GMO seeds which is critical to their economic survival. In the USA some farmers land were contaminated by their neighbouring farmers who planted GMO seeds. Monsanto charged these farmers with unauthorised planting of canola for which Monsanto has a patent right, despite the fact that these seed were transferred through natural processes to the farmers land, for example through water, birds and wind, Monsanto won the case and farmers had to pay damages to Monsanto. It is clear that the community of Lutzville needs all the support which they can get.
Research, Information and Advocacy Manager
2nd Floor, 266 Lower Main Road, SALT RIVER 7925
Tel: 021 448 5605
Fax: 021 448 0105
Cell: 082 890 7551
SAMWU to initiate National Campaign to reinstate Ekurhuleni seven
Samwu Press Statement 20 October 2011
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) will initiate a National Campaign on 26 October 2011, to reinstate the dismissed Ekurhuleni seven workers, of which some of them are Union leaders. The campaign will be kicked off with a series of marches in Ekurhuleni, followed by march activities throughout the country.
The National Campaign which will start on the 26 October 2011 has been endorsed by the Unions National Executive Committee meeting held last month. Each regional structure of the Union throughout the country will decide on appropriate forms of action to take, beginning on the 26th.
The Ekurhuleni Municipality had decided to dismiss seven SAMWU workers (some of whom are serving in Leadership roles within the Union) from their employment at the Municipality, for blowing the whistle on corruption and misconduct; undermining the work that was supposed to be done by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), as directed by President Zuma.
The Union had assigned the same seven to assist the SIU in the investigation of tenders that were awarded without proper procedure being followed, in terms of the relevant legislation.
The National Union has vowed to challenge these undue dismissals, and has also vowed to do all in its power to ensure these seven workers continue their work, in ensuring that the Ekurhuleni Municipality is free of corruption and is willing and able to deliver much needed services.
The trumped up charges against these leaders of the Union are as follows:
1. Marching on the 23rd February 2010.
2. And supposedly disrupting the Council meeting on the 25th March 2010.
We view the intention to continue with the charges a direct attempt to ensure that the investigation by the SIU does not produce any results.
The Union will publish all march activity to take place, before next week Wednesday.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU
National Media and Publicity Officer
Office: 011-331 0333.
Tembisa protesters arrested
Iol News 19 October 2011
A total of 92 people were arrested for public violence during service delivery protests in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
A total of 92 people were arrested for public violence on Wednesday during service delivery protests in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
Captain Pinky Ntsiyane said Ivory Park residents barricaded roads with burning tyres and rocks in the early hours of the morning.
She said police arrested the 92 protesters when they refused to disperse.
The residents started throwing stones at police who were trying to control the situation.
The area was quiet in the afternoon, but police were keeping watch.
The Tembisa area has seen several violent service delivery protests in the past weeks, and scores of residents have been arrested.
The protests have been about electricity and basic service delivery issues.
Those arrested on Wednesday would appear in the Tembisa Magistrate's Court soon. - Sapa
Strike continues at Xstrata
NUM 18 October 2011
The strike by 6400 members of the National union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Xstrata has today entered its second day. The NUM demands that the company should have an inclusive Employee Share Ownership Programme (ESOP) which does not discriminate on the basis of grades. The company has committed itself to review these but has not as yet come forward with a resolution. The strike will continue until a resolution is found.
Lesiba Seshoka- NUM national Spokesman- 082 803 6719
10 held during Damonsville protest
IOL News 18 October 2011
Ten people were arrested for public violence during a protest about electricity in Damonsville near Brits, North West police said on Tuesday.
Residents barricaded roads, burned tyres, and threw stones at police on Monday, said Lieutenant-Colonel Lesego Metsi.
They were insisting that someone from the municipality explain to them why their electricity had been cut off.
When the Madibeng local municipality mayor Poppy Magongwa visited the community on Monday afternoon, two tyres on her car were punctured.
“They wanted to keep her there, they didn't want to let her go,” said Metsi. “She needed to be escorted out of there by police.”
Metsi said rubber bullets and gas canisters were used to disperse the crowd.
Police were still on the scene monitoring the situation on Tuesday morning.
“Today the situation is the same,” he said. – Sapa
SOUTH DURBAN CRISIS COMMITTEE
18 October 2011
ENGEN REFINERY LATEST FIRES CREATED HEALTH PROBLEMS FOR OUR FAMILIES AND Children .EMMISION OF DANGEROUS POLLUTANTS FROM ENGEN, MONDI AND SAPREF AFFECT US DAILY. OUR GROWING CHILDREN ARE IN THE DIRECT LINE OF FIRE.
IT IS YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO DEMAND A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT. LET US UNITE AND SHOW OUR FRUSTRATION. BE PART OF THE MARCH.
DATE: SATURDAY 22nd OCTOBER 2011
TIME: 08:30 FOR 09:00
NAVY AREA: Meet at Punjab Circle
RIDGE : Meet at SETTLERS SCHOOL
CENTRAL: RAJ MAHAL Hotel
WENTWORTH: ENGEN GARAGE -AUSTERVILLE DRIVE
JOIN THE FIGHT FOR A CLEANER, HEALTHIER AND POLLUTANT FREE ENVIRONMENT
Unions plan Walmart-Massmart hearing picket
Mail & Guardian 17 October 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union (Saccawu) on Monday announced their intention to embark on "mass pickets" at the Walmart-Massmart appeal hearing in Cape Town set for Thursday and Friday, October 21 and 22.
The unions have appealed the R16.5-billion deal for 51% of Massmart, which was approved in June by the Competition Tribunal.
"The protest action intends to explicitly demonstrate to the country and the appeals tribunal that not only are citizens opposed to the Walmart entry, but more seriously that it poses a major threat to employment and the development of manufacturing and other sectors of the economy," they commented.
The unions said they believed that both the Competition Commission and Competition Tribunal erred in their findings and that hardly any consideration was given to substantial evidence provided by labour, independent experts and government experts, and clear convergence of concerns emerged, based on Walmart's history and track record, which point to serious concerns, attacks on trade unions and the destruction of local economies and job losses.
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson have applied for a review of the acquisition.
The Competition Appeal court will hear both the review and appeal this week. October 24 has been set aside in case the appeal and review hearings are not fully completed by Friday.
Last week Absa Capital analysts pointed out that the potential industrial action would negatively affect the manufacturing sector, given that that it was hard hit by industrial action in July. -- I-Net Bridge
Five hurt during shebeen protest
16 October 2011
Johannesburg - Five people - including two police officers - have been injured during a protest against the closure of a shebeen in Wrenchville, Kuruman, Northern Cape police said on Sunday.
Police raided the shebeen at around 1am on Saturday and ordered the owner to close it as he had no operating licence, Captain Tony Modise said.
Modise said about 50 patrons opposed the closure and started throwing stones and other objects at the police.
“The crowd also barricaded the main roads with burning tyres, forcing the officers to fire rubber bullets to disperse them,” Modise said.
Two officers sustained head injuries when they were hit by objects thrown by protesters.
Three protesters were hit by rubber bullets. They were all taken to a local hospital.
Modise said police arrested 11 men and one woman. They were expected to appear in the Kuruman Magistrate's Court on Monday. - Sapa
Man stoned to death in Limpopo
IOL News 16 October 2011
A man accused of murder has been stoned to death by a mob in Chavani Village, Limpopo police said on Sunday.
“The 35-year-old was stoned to death on Friday at around 6pm,” said Lt-Col Mohale Ramatseba.
He was accused of murdering a 55-year-old man, who police said had no visible injuries when he was found dead in his home.
Acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Benny Ntlemeza condemned the killing and warned people not to take the law into their own hands.
No arrests had been made. - Sapa
Township residents, police clash
Warda Meyer (IOL News) 16 October 2011
Thembalethu residents in George want National Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to suspend senior Southern Cape police officials who used “excessive force” against residents protesting the lack of municipal services.
Fifty-eight people were arrested for public violence after service delivery protests in Thembalethu turned violent on Wednesday, with police firing rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas at demonstrators who burnt tyres, threw stones and set alight a municipal building and a vehicle.
Thembalethu residents claim several community members sustained serious injuries, including two children – an eight-year-old wounded in the head and a toddler who suffered smoke inhalation.
The 3 000-strong crowd took to the streets to demand basic services from their local municipality.
One of the organisers, Jackson Sikweza, claimed police were trigger-happy – “shooting at anyone and everything that moved”.
“Our people have to live like animals – no houses, no water, no sanitation and no infrastructure.
“The municipality has been ignoring our plight for far too long. People have been living like this for more than 20 years,” he said.
Sikweza confirmed that a municipal building and a vehicle were set alight but said trouble started when police cordoned off the township’s only entry and exit point.
“They stopped people from marching to the local George municipality. We had the proper permission and they ended up arresting people. Even those who were on their way to work and later the day, those arriving home.”
Sikweza said the people wanted an opportunity to voice their concerns.
“People feel police attacked them for no proper reason. They were the ones who said the march was over even before it started.”
ANC regional secretary for George, Castro Leholo, described the service delivery protest as chaotic.
“Police blocked off the area, preventing protesters from marching. They started arresting people and the crowd be-came even more agitated and angry.”
He said residents had resolved to call on Mthethwa and the Independent Complaints Directorate to take action against police.
George councillor and president of the Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners, Virgill Gericke, who was at the scene, said the police action was shocking.
“They were just contributing to an already volatile situation.
“There was no control from the commanding structures in the police. At the police station people that disembarked from vans were physically beaten.”
Southern Cape police confirmed that 58 people were arrested for public violence during Wednesday’s action.
Captain Bernadine Steyn said four policemen were injured during the incident.
“The road was blockaded, tyres burned and stones were thrown. Four SAPS vehicles were damaged and one traffic vehicle. Stones were also thrown at Thembalethu police station and petrol bombs at SAPS members,” she said.
“A sergeant sustained an open wound just above the eye and was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition, stones were thrown at two members and half a brick at one member.
“An Opel Corsa bakkie and the municipal building were set alight.
“We used rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse the group.”
She said the 58 suspects would appear in the Thembalethu Magistrate’s Court on November 9. - Weekend Argus
Doctors march to Moses Kotane hospital
Cosatu 14 October 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions, together with its health affiliates - SAMA, NEHAWU, DENOSA, and SADNU - will today, 14 October 2011, march to the Moses Kotane hospital.
COSATU and the doctors will be demanding the following:
1. The immediate suspension of the hospital CEO.
2. The investigation on all allegations of corruption and nepotism.
3. A review on the implementation of the OSD on all staff members.
4. The recruitment and retention of doctors and other health professionals.
5. All staff conditions of employment should be as per the basic condition of employment, public service act and the PSCBC resolutions.
6. A review on the procurement system of the hospital
7. A forensic investigation and an audit on the hospital finances.
8. The improvement of service to the community
The march will take place as follows:
Date 14 October 2011
All members of COSATU and the community are encouraged to join the march
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe on 023044055
Pastor’s hunger strike bears no fruit
Kwanele Butana 13 October 2011
A pastor lost over 10kg after completing a month-long hunger strike to highlight the plight of the poor, yet his solo campaign appears to have gone virtually unnoticed in the city.
However, Xola Skosana, of the Way of Life Church in Khayelitsha, made international news over the weekend when the UK’s The Observer on Sunday newspaper highlighted his protest to illustrate prevailing inequities in the city 17 years after democracy.
In Cape Town, more than one in four people live in an informal settlement and more than one in five are unemployed.
“For Skosana, these people are the city’s life blood but see none of its rewards,” the newspaper reported.
Skosana broke his fast last week and described the experience as the most difficult thing he has ever done in his 43 years, bar running the Comrades Marathon two years ago.
“I’d probably think twice if somebody would ask me to do it again,” said Skosana.
His hunger strike was intended to be an “alternative voice” to alert authorities to the injustices suffered by the poor. Skosana called the living conditions of unemployed black people in the townships “a crisis”.
Yet, throughout the campaign, no political leaders had made contact with him, he said. He had drawn support from his Facebook followers and his family. His 200-strong congregation had dedicated a day of fasting, and some even two.
Skosana started with a dry fast, before taking water on the sixth day. Towards the end of the strike, he began taking rehydrates as dehydration was impairing his speech.
“My lips were drying out as I had very little fluid in my body,” said Skosana, who is married and has three daughters.
He accused authorities of continuing “apartheid-style separate development”.
“What is happening is inhibiting God-given potential,” he said, referring to the abject poverty in which the majority of people in townships live.
“We need to call upon our leaders to think outside the ANC-DA boundaries; we need leaders who have compassion,” he said.
“It (poverty) is a structural problem, so we need to ask structural questions. Don’t just deal with symptoms.”
Skosana suggested that the city council provide land closer to the city so that people could access jobs easily, as opposed to “packing them up in carriages like sardines”.
On Christmas Day last year, Skosana marched through the streets of Khayelitsha under a banner which read “Welcome to hell, SA townships”, to highlight the plight of township residents.
He also attracted attention when he delivered a sermon saying Jesus had HIV/Aids. He used the metaphor to highlight the stigma and danger of the HIV/Aids pandemic, arguing that it was necessary to create an environment where HIV-positive people knew God was not ashamed of them. - Cape Times