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South African Protest News 1 - 27 January 2012 (2012) South African Protest News 1 - 27 January 2012. CCS protest Obsrvatory : -.

Parys man held during looting
IOL News 26 January 2012

One man was arrested after a group of people blocked roads and looted shops of foreigners in the Ngwathe municipality, Free State police said on Thursday.

Spokesman Maseleka Langa said seven shops belonging to foreigners in Thumahole, Parys, were looted on Wednesday afternoon.

Roads leading into Thumahole were also blocked with stones and burning tyres.

Police said a street at the taxi rank in Parys was trashed with garbage around 4pm on Wednesday.

Langa said the arrested man faced a charge of malicious damage to property. – Sapa

Pupils boycott over teacher sex claims
IOL News 26 January 2012

Pupils at a school in Limpopo have boycotted classes since the beginning of the year claiming their teachers are asking female pupils for sex, the Sowetan newspaper reported on Thursday.

“We cannot fold our arms when teachers whom we regard as our parents, want to bed us in exchange for a pass at the end of the year,” said a pupil whose name was withheld.

The pupils at Mahlontebe High School in Roosenekal reportedly have the support of their parents and have also accused teachers of coming late and bunking classes.

School governing body chairman Ephraim Chilwane confirmed the boycott by the pupils and said the allegations were being investigated.

The school body had also told the provincial education department, for it to conduct its own investigation.

A pupil said pupils had boycotted classes after teachers showed very little interest in their education and claimed most had failed because teachers were not doing their work.

The pupils said they had reported the teachers' conduct to the school's principal but he had failed to act.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union and the education department said they would investigate. - Sapa

Halaal protest gets ugly at MJC’s offices
Warda Sylvester (IOL News) 25 January 2012

Tension over the fake halaal scandal descended into violence, threats and abusive language on Tuesday.

Scuffles broke out outside the offices of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) at a press conference in Cashel Avenue, Athlone.

The rare move by the MJC was a desperate attempt by the body to clear its name in the wake of a recent damning TV exposé.

But it soon descended into chaos when members of the public clashed with sheikhs and their security.

Protestors demanded answers for the debacle involving the Orion Cold Storage company from the “religious authority of Muslims in South Africa”.

“MJC come out, or do you have swine flu. We want a public apology for letting us eat pork,” one elderly man shouted at clerics barricaded behind steel gates topped with electric wire.

Some senior clerics responded with foul and abusive language.

At one point, senior MJC cleric Sheikh Irfaan Abrahams shouted “f*** you” at a pensioner.

Out in the street, several scuffles broke out between members of the public and MJC security guards as emotions ran high.

One burly MJC official threatened to punch Muslim watchdog Hajj Watch’s Jakes Rawat as the official forcefully removed placards from protestors.

Rawat later wrote on the MJC’s Facebook page: “The picket outside shows how we deal with dissent and differences of opinion. The MJC gatekeepers were rude, brash and chased off picketers. The threat 15 picketers posed ensured that they were threatened violence and language unbecoming of a Muslim. Point made.”

At about 12pm, three police cars rocked up at the scene.

They warned protestors that their gathering was illegal and that they would be arrested if they didn’t leave.

“People asked for water and the security guards became aggressive,” Imraahn Mukaddam of the National Consumer Forum tells the Daily Voice.

Mukaddam – who was not allowed into the press conference despite writing a consumer publication read by more than 100 000 people – said the group plans to launch a consumer boycott in three months’ time.

“The bottom line is that we want to establish a single national halaal authority that resides under an act of parliament so that the profiteering of Brand Islam can stop,” he says.

At an invite-only press conference, 3rd Degree questioned the ability of the MJC to ensure halaal products are properly monitored.

The team from discovered the controversial Cape Town-based meat company, Orion, had tampered with halaal products after they had been certified by MJC officials at the docks.

“I need to bring to your attention the fact that despite the fact that the imports are sealed and shrink-wrapped, they do open the pallets,” Friedman says.

“I saw frozen meat open. Many importers break down the pallets to repack it in smaller batches and that opens a big loophole that needs to be addressed. From what we saw, there was definite contamination.”

The MJC’s Moulana Abdul Fattag Carr admitted this is a problem area.

But MJC president Moulana Igsaan Hendricks vowed to eradicate any “loopholes” to prevent a repeat of the debacle.

“If there are loopholes – and no one must think a criminal will not find a way to bypass all normal standards – it must be taken seriously and closed immediately,” he says.

But this was not enough to placate the protestors.

Imam Muhamad Fataagh of the Darul Ulema in Mitchell’s Plain says people’s anger with the MJC’s incompetence is justified – and not un-Islamic.

“We want them to admit they have messed up, apologise and then disband,” he demands.

“Kibr [arrogance] is tantamount to kuffaar [disbelief] and we see kibr in abundance in this building.”
This article was published in the Daily Voice

Now it’s Occupy Rondebosch Common
Babalo Ndenze 26 January 2012

Cosatu is part of a movement campaigning under the United Democratic Front (UDF) banner, which will face off with the City of Cape Town on Friday when it carries out its “Occupy Rondebosch Common” campaign, despite warnings from the city.

Cosatu’s involvement has led to the ANC leader in the council, Tony Ehrenreich, being accused of “inciting” land invasions because of some of his past utterances.

Ehrenreich was also asked by Mayor Patricia de Lille to intervene in the planned “occupation”.

Led by Manenberg activist Mario Wanza, the group of organisations from various communities will hold its People’s Jobs, Land & Housing Summit on the common, where it will be “reclaiming our right to the city”.

Some participating organisations include Passop, Proudly Manenberg, Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign, South African NGO Coalition and the South African Council of Churches.

During her speech at on Wednesday’s council, De Lille singled out Wanza, calling him and his supporters “agents of destruction”.

“There are those who would sooner see this city destroyed, driven in two by violence and aggression, than be a part of a shared destiny. I tell this council now, those agents of division will not win. I think here in particular of Mario Wanza, a would-be but failed public servant, who claims to speak on behalf of the people of the Cape Flats,” she said.

She said that, as the mayor who spoke on behalf of the city, she would not allow “these agents of destruction to use their misguided, naive and brutal misunderstandings of the politics of race to divide this city”.

She said the group would invade “a peaceful community of students, retirees, young and old professionals of all races, men and women”. She continued: “I tell the people of Cape Town this: They will not succeed because we will not let them. I ask everyone, especially the leader of the opposition, who wears a different hat as the provincial secretary of Cosatu, to call on all of our people to work together to build a better city for us all,” De Lille said.

She said the UDF had not divided people under the apartheid regime.

Grant Pascoe (DA) said Ehrenreich’s previous comments about “occupying Constantia” played a role.

“I kindly ask Ehrenreich that he retract those comments. We must be careful of what we instigate and what we say,” Pascoe said.

Ehrenreich said that nowhere in his party’s campaign had he said that people should invade land.

Wanza said the “spirit” of the UDF would return at Rondebosch Common.

He said “poor people will exercise their democratic right to gather” and discuss issues.

“We’re tired of the divide between rich and poor. We invited the mayor and she declined.

“They now want to criminalise this. Their fear tactics are not working.” - Cape Times

Bangladeshi shopkeepers hurt in fiery horror
IOL News 26 January 2012

Salim Shardar’s wish is to see the daughter he left at home, but first he will need to fight the incredible odds of surviving the burns that cover most his body.

On Wednesday, Shardar lay unconscious in the burns unit of Natalspruit Hospital, his face badly disfigured by the petrol that was thrown into his shop and ignited.

Close by in the intensive care unit, his relative and co-shopowner, Shapon Hossin, is on a ventilator. He suffered 95 percent burns.

The two are Bangladeshis, and their community on Wednesday called Tuesday’s incident in Thokoza a xenophobic attack.

The police are not sure of the motive, but between 8.30pm and 8.45pm, a group of men poured petrol through the burglar bars of the container shop.

Someone then lit a match, while Hossin and Shardar were asleep.

Nadim Mahamud, Shardar’s brother, was alerted to the attack and rushed to the scene.

There he found residents trying to put out the fire with water from a hosepipe. Several had broken down the wall of the toilet to help free the two.

“I went into the container and called for my brother, but he wasn’t there,” Mahamud said.

He found that his brother had been taken outside.

“He told me that he wanted to see his wife and child he had not (yet) seen,” said Mahamud.

Shardar had been in SA for only five months, and had owned the container shop for two months.

Shardar told his brother that after the petrol was thrown into their shop, they were unable to open the door.

“Those people (the attackers) prevented them from doing it,” Mahamud said.

The deputy chairman of the Migrant Community Board, Kamal Uddin Arab, said similar attacks on Bangladeshis across the country had prompted the board to hold an urgent meeting to see how traders in Thokoza can be protected.

On Wednesday, the IFP and SACP condemned the attack.

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated and can only be attributed to lack of tolerance and respect for human life.

“These actions also expose the dismal failure of the capitalist system,” the SACP said.

By Wednesday night police had not yet made arrests. “The problem is that we can’t identify if it was a xenophobic attack. There were no other attacks that night,” said SAPS spokesman Captain Godfrey Maditsi. - The Star

Attack on Foreign Nationals in Thokoza
Condemned by SACP Gauteng Province

SACP 25 January 2012

The SACP Gauteng Province strongly condemns the attack and burning down of shops belonging to foreign nationals in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni last night. It has also been reported that two people sustained serious injuries during these criminal incidents.

Such behaviour cannot be tolerated and can only be attributed to lack of tolerance and respect for human life. These actions also expose the dismal failure of the capitalist system creating conditions for desperation and agitation amongst the poor working class communities.

The SACP Gauteng Province calls upon all progressive forces in our communities to remain vigilant so that genuine community struggles are not hijacked by criminal and xenophobic elements. We also call upon the law enforcement authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. We cannot stand aside whilst hooligans are running amok in our communities.

Issued on behalf of the SACP Gauteng PEC
Contact: Provincial Spokesperson: Pat Ntsobi (072 671 4258)

Service protests in KZN, Mpumalanga
IOL News 23 January 2012

Residents in parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal protested over poor service delivery on Monday.

In Luphisi, about 30km outside Nelspruit, residents blocked roads with burning tyres on Monday morning, Mpumalanga police spokesman Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said.

He said protesters were still on the street, but there had been no violence and no one had been arrested.

In KwaMashu, north of Durban, residents burnt tyres.

The protesters had dispersed by Monday afternoon, said KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane. Nobody was arrested.

Congolese protest at court
23 January 2012

Some 300 Congolese nationals protested outside the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court on Monday as some of their countrymen appeared in court for public violence.

The protesters were being dispersed by police and traffic was backed up around Joe Slovo Drive, said Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

“They did not apply to have a protest so we are escorting them out.”

On Friday, police arrested 150 supporters of rival Congolese political factions for public violence linked to the recent election in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They were arrested after a series of clashes between expatriate supporters of Congolese President Joseph Kabila and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi. - Sapa

Houses damaged in attacks
IOL News 23 January 2012

The houses of two Ngwathe municipal officials were damaged in petrol bomb attacks in Parys, Free State police said on Monday.

Spokesman Maseleka Langa said a petrol bomb was hurled at the house of a municipal employee around 1am on Monday.

“A window was broken and curtains caught fire in the attack.”

The house of a director at the municipality was also damaged with a petrol bomb, but the damage was less extensive. Part of the ceiling in a room was damaged.

No one had been arrested by Monday afternoon.

Two cases of malicious damage to property would be investigated.

Various senior officials of the embattled Free State municipality were being investigated for maladministration. The municipality’s workers embarked on strike over salaries at the end of 2011. – Sapa

Community kills men for alleged robbery
Sapa 23 January 2012

Two men were stoned to death after they allegedly robbed two girls of their cellphones in the township of Minitown, near Georgedale, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.

“Two men were stoned to death on Sunday morning in Minitown,” Lt Col Vincent Mdunge said.

The girls called for help and local residents came to help.

“The residents gave chase and stoned two of them to death.”

Two murder cases were opened. No arrests were made. - IOL

Striking teachers condemned
IOL News 19 January 2012

Striking teachers in the Eastern Cape were violating children's rights to education and there would be consequences, the province's education superintendent-general said on Thursday.

“Principals are reminded of their responsibilities in the event of any form of industrial action, and will be required to provide the relevant information,” Modidima Mannya said.

“Should they fail to provide such information, they will be held accountable in terms of section 45 of the Public Finance Management Act and will face charges of misconduct.”

Teachers in at least five centres in the province were protesting against long hours and a heavy workload caused by the dismissal of temporary teachers.

Provincial education department spokesman Loyiso Pulumani said schools in Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Queenstown, Matatiele and Mthatha were known to be have been affected, but said it could be more widespread.

“This is a geographically vast province with 5600 schools,” he said.

The SA Democratic Teachers' Union said the protest was over issues that had been unresolved for several years. It was not for larger salaries, but for working conditions which would enable them

5,000 Implats workers on strike
IOL News 23 January 2012

Platinum miner Impala Platinum (Implats, IMP) advised on Monday that about 5,000 rock drill operators at its Rustenburg operations were engaged in an illegal work stoppage that had begun on Friday.

The work stoppage is related to salary grievances.

“A court order has declared the strike illegal and the company will follow due legal process with all employees who do not report for duty on Tuesday, 24 January 2012. Further announcements will be made in due course,” the group said. - I-Net Bridge

‘Jou ma se office block’
Melanie Gosling (IOL News) 23 January 2012

Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle faced a barrage of criticism from thousands of Capetonians who marched along Chapman’s Peak Drive yesterday to protest against the R54-million toll plaza and luxury office to be built on national park land.

While the organisers had asked for a permit for 500 people, more than 2 000 protesters joined in the march to the site of the proposed new toll plaza.

The DA came under fire from many of the protesters, and Carlisle was heckled and booed.

He was invited to receive a memorandum addressed to Premier Helen Zille. As he got out of his vehicle, he was surrounded by a placard-carrying crowd.

“We voted for you,” shouted James Brodie.

“We voted for the DA, but you let us down, china. What happens if we vote for someone else?”

Some of the placards read “DA Carlisle shame on you”, “Protect Chappies from politicians and corporate greed”, “Murray and Robbers don’t steal our land”, “No to Entilini, no to DA”, “SANParks sellout sucks”, “Jou ma se tol!” and “Jou ma se office block”.

Asked to comment yesterday, Zille said she would “read the memorandum carefully and respond in detail”.

The march was organised by the Civil Rights Action Group (Crag) to show their “outrage” against the provincial government, SANParks and Murray and Roberts for “promoting the construction of a toll plaza and office block on Chapman’s Peak Drive within Table Mountain National Park”.

When Carlisle told the crowd the toll buildings would go ahead, some of the mainly white crowd yelled: “Phantsi, Carlisle, phantsi!”

Phillip Bam, of the Greater Cape Town Alliance, took the microphone and said: “Robin Carlisle used to fight with us against evil like this.

“That’s why you voted for him. Now he tries to buy you off saying there will be free day-passes once there is a proper toll plaza. Let us say to the minister: ‘Today the people have spoken … We don’t want a uxury office block here’.”

Protest convener Bronwen Lankers-Byre gave the memorandum to Carlisle, which said the building of the office on national parks land was unlawful and the premier would be “aiding and abetting an illegal act”. The memo called on Zille to retain the free day-pass and to cancel the contract for the toll plaza and office.

Robert Pomario of Murray & Roberts received a memorandum calling for the release of traffic figures and to reveal how much money the Entilini Trust had paid out to local communities of Hangberg, Redhill, Ocean View and Imizamo Yethu.

No one from SANParks was there to receive the memorandum addressed to the organisation, which called on it to refuse to deproclaim the portion of Table Mountain National Parks that would give land “free of charge to Entilini, a private company” to build its corporate office.

Len Swimmer, chairman of the Residents’ Association of Hout Bay, told Carlisle in his address: “So it’s not just me and three members, it’s thousands of people here.

“The people have spoken. The luxury office block should not be here … it is not for the benefit of the people, only for the benefit of Entilini and Murray and Roberts.”

Carlisle told the crowd that, despite the opposition, the toll road was there to stay. Around R190m had been invested to make the “very dangerous” pass safe, which made it one of the most expensive roads in the country. If the cost of the repairs were to be paid out of the general fiscus and not from a toll, it would be “most unfair” on other South Africans. The agreement with Entilini was not legally faulty. If residents believed it was, they could go to court, he said. - Cape Times

MEC condemns housing violence
IOL News 20 January 2012

The Gauteng housing department will not be intimidated into giving RDP houses to people who do not qualify for them, MEC Humphrey Mmemezi said on Friday.

“We are not going to allow anyone to manipulate the process of allocation, including the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA),” he told residents in Tshepong, in the Vaal, after a councillor's house was burnt down in the area on Friday morning, allegedly by people removed from RDP houses they had been illegally occupying.

“We as government are not going to give in when people use violence to raise their concerns,” Mmemezi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.

In December the housing department obtained a court order to evict all the illegal occupants, including MKMVA members, from the RDP houses in the area.

He sympathised with the councillor whose house was burnt down.

“It is a huge challenge to be a councillor and they need protection at all costs. Councillors do not allocate houses, but they become victims when people don't get their way.”

Councillor Thandi Tshabalala was not home at the time of the attack. She had been taken elsewhere two days earlier due to concerns about her safety.

Earlier, the SA Local Government Association (Salga) said councillors needed “risk benefits” for damage, disability, or death due to public violence. This should be at the expense of the state or municipality and be included in a councillor's salary, spokeswoman Milisa Kentane said.

Salga urged the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs to introduce such benefits.

“Councillors face a greater risk of violence than office bearers in other spheres of government. Yet the current legislative and policy frameworks do not grant councillors any protection should this eventuality arise.

“This escalation of violent protests has not only seen the damaging of personal property, but has caused financial and psychological trauma, injury, and the loss of lives.” - Sapa

School turns away 25 pupils
Yusuf Omar 19 January 2012

Twenty-five children arrived at Meredale Primary School excited about their first day of school on Wednesday morning.

They wore freshly ironed uniforms, and shoes that clearly indicated they had been worked on the previous night to give them that extra shine.

However, on arrival at the school gates, the group found the classes were full, and they were asked to go home.

Twenty-five parents toyi-toyied outside the school for the third day in a row, demanding that their children be admitted.

The group, all of whom live within a five-minute walk of the school, complained that many children from other areas find places in the school.

“My son didn’t get the experience of being at school on the very first day,” said teary-eyed Grade 1 mother Maria Motsile.

“We are being sent from pillar to post. The school is telling us to go to the district department of education. The district is sending us to the school,” said Motsile.

She displayed a letter from the district department of education addressed to the Meredale Primary School principal, requesting the school to “please accommodate this pupil”.

“We are desperate parents. This is our third day outside the school. We don’t know what to do anymore,” Motsile said. - The Star

Woman stabbed 52 times
Genevieve Serra (IOL News) 20 January 2012

A psycho killer who viciously mutilated a mom of three is on the loose – and cops fear he will murder again.

Let Hanekam, 41, was stabbed 52 times, her throat partially slit, her stomach cut open, her hair set alight and a bottleneck shoved up her vagina.

And it is suspected the woman was also raped by her killer.

The gruesome murder has left the quiet town of Sutherland reeling in fear.

Now community leaders believe a serial killer may be on the loose after a similar murder was committed three years ago.

Top cops have been sent to Sutherland to investigate the latest killing.

The community on Thursday met with Deputy National Police Commissioner, Major General Risimati Shuvuri, who flew from Kimberly to accept a memorandum.

A mass of community members – including Let’s family, her common-law husband Moos Kola, children Maryna Hanekam, 17, Marlene Hanekam, 11, and mother Griet Hanekam, 57, – marched in protest at the cops’ handling of the case.

‘Illegal’ evictions from shacks challenged
Bongani Hans (The Mercury) 16 January 2012

VIOLENCE erupted at the Cato Crest informal settlement in Durban early yesterday after residents were ordered to vacate their homes to make way for new low-cost housing.

The DA says the evictions are illegal and are being challenged. The party has opened cases of illegal eviction at the Cato manor police station.

DA proportional representational councillor Hlanganani Gumbi and party leaders, including MP Dianne Kohler Barnard, visited the area yesterday.

Gumbi said his party had told residents that the eviction notice was issued by the ANC instead of the municipality. He said the eviction was illegal because it had not been authorised by a court.

Residents said they had been told to remove their goods because tractors would demolish the shacks today.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said a case of illegal eviction had been opened at the Cato Manor police station by the DA.

Gumbi said he had to intervene when residents toyi-toyied and blocked roads after midnight. Irate residents also barricaded roads with burning tyres.

However, many residents were seen removing belongings and demolishing their shacks. They believed that the eviction was a temporary measure and was for their own benefit.

Others, who admitted to being supporters and members of the DA, refused to comply and said the eviction was illegal and they would not move until they were given alternative accommodation.

The DA chairwoman in the area, Mpume Dlamini, told residents that if they agreed to move they would never be allowed to return and their houses would be sold to other people.

“We have previously seen people’s houses being sold. This happened in the newly built low-cost houses three times last year and police refused to open cases against people who were selling the houses,” said Dlamini.

Welcome Mpungose, who is a member of the ANC and also a member of the local community development committee, said they were working with local ward councillor Mzi Ngiba to clear the area to make way for about 2 000 new houses.

“We are not doing this under the name of the ANC, but we are the development committee. We want better houses to be built for people in this area. The houses cannot be built if there is no vacant land.

“I will also demolish my seven-room shack,” he said.

Ngiba confirmed that excavators would be used to demolish the shacks today. He said local residents had agreed to comply by removing their shacks.

“The DA is angry to see that we are delivering services. They hate the fact that we are working hard to get rid of shacks,” he said.

Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign, March against Drug and Alcohol
YCL Gert Sibande District [Mpumalanga]
18 January 2012

The Young Communist League South Africa [uFasimba] Gert Sibande District will as part of the annual Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign (JSRTLC), be mobilising its members and the community of Sakhile in Standerton, Mpumalanga, to take a stand and claim back schools in the township, as sites of people’s education for people’s power, by marching against drugs and alcohol at schools.

The YCLSA has noted the poor performance of schools in the district in general, taking particular acceptation with the perennial dreadful performance of Khulasakhile Secondary, with the class of 2011 reaching a trough of a 28% pass rate. The YCLSA further notes the complete lack of a culture of learning and teaching at the school and general apathy amongst learners with a large number of students from the school engaging in unconstructive use and abuse of alcohol and drugs before and during learning and teaching time

The YCLSA in Gert Sibande has resolved, as part of the Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign (JSRTLC) to mobilise the community of Sakhile and surrounding areas to march, under the leadership of the National Secretary Cde Buti Manamela, to the Sakhile Police Station demanding the closure of taverns and the arrest of drug traders operating in close proximity of Khulasakhile Secondary.

The details of the march are as below:

Gathering Venue: Khulasakhile Secondary, Sakhile Township, Standerton, Mpumalanga

Gathering time: 7:30am
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012
Keynote Address: YCLSA National Secretary Cde Buti Manamela

All media, progressive organizations and people committed to free, compulsory and quality education for people’s power are invited.

Issued by the YCLSA Gert Sibande, District Executive Committee

For more information contact:
Sandile Khumalo
YCLSA Gert Sibande
District Secretary

Union calls for suspension of police head
Wendy Jasson da Costa (The Mercury) 18 January 2012

eThekwini metro police head Eugene Nzama has been added to a list of senior metro police officials Samwu members want suspended.

After another mass meeting and hours of protest, the union’s members applied for permission for a march to the Durban City Hall next week.

They hope the new municipal manager, S’bu Sithole, will address them then.

Samwu also warned that other departments in the municipality had already signalled their intention to join them in a show of sympathy.

The industrial action started in December with a go-slow over a number of unresolved workplace grievances. These included calls for the suspension of Rajen Chin, the head of specialised units in the metro police, and Monty Naidoo, the senior human resources manager.

Following threats to disrupt the city over the festive season, Chin was given a letter by former municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe telling him he would be redeployed. However, before this came into effect, Sutcliffe overturned it.

Last week Chin said he was probably out of favour because he was an honest worker who had been involved in disciplinary proceedings where people had been dismissed.

Some of the union’s other demands are that contract workers be given permanent posts, and that metro employees over the age of 30 be given the right to become fully fledged metro police officers.

A municipal spokesman said yesterday that the matter had been brought to the attention of Sithole, and that a meeting between the management and the union would be held soon.

Nzama refused to comment on Tuesday. - The Mercury

Student protests turn violent
Sibangakonke Mama and Masixole Feni 17 January 2012

Students and security guards at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s city campus clashed on Tuesday as a protest about registration fees turned violent.

Students were pepper-sprayed and one collapsed after inhaling it. She was rushed to hospital and her condition was not known at the time of going to press.

The trouble started at about 10am when about 35 students affiliated to the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco), gathered at the campus to protest against the R5 000 registration fee.

Security was called in to disperse the group. The students refused to budge and the security guards, who numbered about 10, pepper-sprayed them.

A student retaliated by rugby-tackling a security guard. Other security guards came to their colleague’s aid and pepper-sprayed the student in the face.

The guards also used a stun gun on the student, who fled when the rest of the students dispersed.

Security guards pepper spray a protesting student at CPUT's Cape Town campus. Photo: Masixole Feni

A friend of the student who was rushed to the campus clinic and later taken to Somerset Hospital after inhaling pepper spray, said the girl had come from Worcester to register.

The friend refused to be named.

By the time police arrived at the campus, the students had dispersed and all was calm.

While chaotic scenes unfolded at CPUT, Sasco was assuring journalists during a press conference that its members were told not to use violence or damage property as part of the strike.

Sasco held the briefing at the ANC’s offices in the city centre to explain why it had launched the “indefinite” strike, which it said would affect all of the university’s campuses.

CPUT has campuses in areas including Bellville, Wellington, Mowbray and just outside the V&A Waterfront in Granger Bay.

Monwabisi Luthuli, Sasco’s provincial secretary, said R5 000 was an unreasonable registration fee.

Luthuli accused the university of mismanagement and said students affiliated to Sasco rejected the rumoured 12 percent increase in tuition fees for this year.

“As things stand, the university expects students to pay an absurd amount of R5 000 for residential students and R3 400 for Oppidan students (those not living in university accommodation),” said Luthuli.

“If the average South African household is not even earning R2 500 a month, you can’t say R5 000 (for registration) is reasonable,” he said.

He said the organisation was willing to negotiate with the university, but would not accept anything higher than a R2 500 registration fee for students living off-campus.

“We are prepared to pay R3 400 for residential students and R2 400 for Oppidan students for registration.”

“The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, committed, at our national congress, that the amount of R2 500 for registration must be kept,” said Luthuli.

He said the strike, which started yesterday, would continue “until further notice”.

“If we can get a solution tomorrow, we will suspend mass demonstrations,” said Luthuli.

He singled out the office of the dean of students at CPUT for particular criticism, saying there had been no move from the office to develop CPUT.

“Education is not a commodity, it is not something that we sell,” said Luthuli.

He said Sasco would submit a memorandum of demands to the chairperson of CPUT’s university council on Thursday.

“The memorandum will be submitted with all our demands, with fees and maintenance being most important on that list.”

Luthuli said the strike was peaceful, and that Sasco had told its members that no looting and no destruction of university property was permitted.

“Any violent people,” he said, “are not members of Sasco.”

CPUT said: “The council of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology reached a decision to increase class fees and residence fees by 11 percent for the 2012 academic year.

“In addition, a structural price adjustment has been applied to a number of university-owned residences which currently charge significantly lower fees than equivalent quality leased residences.”

It confirmed the R5 000 up-front payment for students in residence.

CPUT offered no comment on the violence.

Last May there were similar scenes at CPUT’s Cape Town campus when a shop was looted and administrative staff were urged to leave their desks during a student protest over registration fees. - Cape Argus

Police station set alight
IOL News 17 January 2012

North West police were investigating a case of arson after the Bethanie satellite police station was set alight.

Damage caused by the fire, which started in the early hours of Sunday morning, was estimated at R20,000, spokeswoman Captain Tselane Nkala said on Tuesday.

“Two police officials, who were on duty, went to patrol and when they came back they found the satellite station burning. The front windows were broken, the door was on fire and the front ceiling was also on fire.”

Police suspected local residents who were involved in a march last week, during which tyres were burnt and stones thrown, could have started the blaze, as a tyre was found on the premises.

No arrests had been made. - Sapa

Military called in as 50 protest at hospital
Shanti Aboobaker 16 January 2012

Soldiers were called in when a crowd of 50 people protested outside the new Khayelitsha District Hospital. Photo: Cindy Waxa

The scene at the controversial new Khayelitsha District Hospital was tense on Sunday as a group of about 50 peaceful protesters came face to face with the might of the SA National Defence Force.

A contingent of soldiers in three defence force vehicles, including two armoured cars, were on guard outside the hospital.

They told the Cape Times that they had been diverted to the hospital after being on a routine patrol in the area with the SA Police Service, which was also strongly represented at the hospital.

The hospital, which is due to open in April, was the scene of protests last week, including the burning of tyres and the stoning of two ambulances. The disturbances resulted in 10 arrests.

On Sunday, the protesters, who met at the Khayelitsha Training Centre for three hours before silently marching to the hospital, had only paper in their hands.

The Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) and leaders from affiliated organisations formulated a memorandum, which they handed to hospital management.

The memorandum demands that all “operations are to be suspended with immediate effect” and that the process of filling posts be completely redone. There were a total of 70 000 applications for 329 jobs at the new hospital.

The forum has also called for hospital chief executive Anwar Kharwa and director Gonda Perez to be “removed from the facility as they deliberately misconstrued work”.

Community leaders want a formal response to the memorandum, which was received by Kharwa, within seven days.

KDF chairman Michael Benu told the police at the scene: “We are still going to mobilise the whole Khayelitsha community when our demands are not met.”

Kharwa said: “We’ll work this thing out together.” He then walked into the hospital.

Vuyiswa Qiqimana, a leader of the protest group, said the issue of employing people from outside of Khayelitsha was not their only complaint.

“It is also about entrepreneurs in the hospital. For example the catering, sewing – since there will be linen. There were other people in the province who benefited, not just Khayelitsha.”

Qiqimana said Khayelitsha was battling against poverty. “People are dying of diseases. But we keep on voting, we keep hearing promises. Our problems are not catered for,” she said.

Part of Sunday’s dispute was internal, with the youth wing of the protesters walking out of the meeting at the community centre.

They said the leadership of the protests by the KDF was problematic. “They made these deals with the (Western Cape Department of Health), with the management of the hospital,” Mabhelandile Twani said.

“The KDF is telling people to go to the hospital (but) they took part in meetings with the management of the hospital.”

On Sunday, Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said defence force soldiers could be asked to intervene by the police.

“The law allows soldiers to do anything as long as they are asked by the police,” he said.

Provincial police spokesman FC Van Wyk confirmed that there was a protest march and the people dispersed peacefully.

However, he would not confirm whether the SANDF had been deployed at the request of the police. - Cape Times

Bapong protestors get bail
IOL News 16 January 2012

Fourteen people facing charges for public violence during a protest in Bapong were granted bail in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday, North West police said.

Captain Adele Myburgh said the seven men and seven women were granted free bail and would appear in the court again on March 30.

They were arrested on Thursday, after they allegedly threw stones at vehicles on the N4 highway. A man died and another was injured during the protest.

People were demonstrating against a local mine's failure to employ residents, when a truck driven by a Bangladeshi hit a 31-year-old man. The truck driver fled and had to be escorted to safety by the police when protesters assaulted him.

A case of culpable homicide was opened against him. - Sapa

1 killed, 1 hurt in Bapong crashes
IOL News 13 January 2012

A man has died and another has been injured in two crashes during a demonstration in Bapong, in the North West, police said on Friday.

People were demonstrating on Thursday against a local mine's failure to employ local residents when a truck driven by a Bangladeshi hit a 31-year-old man, said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

“The 31-year-old injured pedestrian was taken to the local clinic by a friend and declared dead on arrival.”

He said the man was the chairman of the Unemployed Peoples' Forum, which had been responsible for the demonstration

The person who took him to the clinic was driving back when he too hit a pedestrian, said Ngubane.

The injured man found his own way to the clinic where he was treated for minor injuries, he said.

The truck driver fled and had to be escorted to safety by the police when angry protesters assaulted him, said Ngubane.

He said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.

The protesters started mobilising and holding public meetings on Monday and started blocking the roads around Bapong in the early hours on Tuesday.

“The roads were cleared by the police by 6am and the situation was monitored,” said Ngubane.

The Modderspruit four way stop was again blocked on Thursday and the police were called in to open the road and monitor the situation.

He said 14 people were arrested at 2am on Thursday for public violence, after stones were thrown at vehicles travelling on the N4 at the Modderspruit crossing.

The seven men and seven women, aged between 23 and 44, were expected to appear in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday.

North West police commissioner Lieutenant-General Zukiswa Mbombo had asked the community not to break or take the law into their own hands, said Ngubane.

“The police will act against people who do not abide by the laws.”

He said the police would continue to monitor the situation until it was calm and under control. – Sapa

DA: Free State clashes a concern
IOL News 12 January 2012

The Democratic Alliance in the Free State expressed concern on Thursday, January 12, 2012 over continuing clashes between police and Clarens residents.

Free State DA leader Roy Jankielsohn said it was becoming a habit to send police into Free State towns, where politicians did not respond to the concerns of locals.

“This was done deliberately to divert the attention away from the lack of service delivery and to transform the issue into one of clashes between the police and the communities.”

Various groups of people were arrested on charges of public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and burglary during protests in the town the past week.

Residents from the Kgubetswana informal settlement took part in illegal demonstrations and blocked the R711 over problems such as service delivery. Protesters damaged a cultural village and shops in Kgubetswana. Tuck shops belonging to foreigners were looted.

Jankielsohn said the dissatisfaction in Clarens and Kgubetswana related to poor service delivery. Residents were protesting against the local municipal and provincial government, which were responsible for service delivery and local economic development in the area, he said.

The party was concerned over complaints that members and activists of opposition parties were being apprehended by the police and accused of instigating the protest action.

Free State police spokesman Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said several people had been released on bail of R500 after appearing in court this week.

Some of them would be back in court on Friday. - Sapa

Mob burns elderly couple
Lungelo Mkamba (IOL News)12 January 2012

Instead of joining the thousands of pupils who returned to school on Wednesday, a seven-year-old boy was left traumatised after watching a mob burn his grandparents to death at Lindelani, near Ntuzuma, early on Wednesday.

Elsa Dubazane, and Rafael Zukhulu, both 63, were accused of practising witchcraft.

According to Dubazane’s tenant Simphiwe Dlamini, the mob arrived at about 12.30am on Wednesday.

“I was asleep and my boyfriend woke me up after he heard loud screams,” she said. “We went outside and saw that the granny’s house had caught fire and a mob was standing outside.”

Dlamini said the mob had snatched the boy from the burning house, but left his grandparents inside.

“The grandfather managed to escape, but they chased and caught him on the road. The mob then set a tyre alight and hung it around his neck while his grandson watched.”

She said the boy had yelled and cried out repeatedly, but the mob did nothing as Dubazane remained inside the burning house, probably fearing that the mob would kill her if she got out.

Ward councillor Mbuyiselwa Sibiya said he received a call about the incident at 1.30am and called 10111 and an officer who lives in the area.

However, the officer feared for his life and would not go to the scene.

“I then called 10111 again and told the police to rush to the scene with firemen.”

Sibiya said the police arrived to find the bedroom and kitchen burnt to ashes.

The boy was taken away by the police.

On Friday, Dubazane and Zukhulu were attacked and assaulted by a mob which accused them of killing their granddaughter and burying her in their yard.

The couple told The Mercucry at the time how a mob, wielding axes, had ransacked and searched the house, looking for a baboon which they alleged the family used for witchcraft.

Their granddaughter, Zakude Shozi, 16, died at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Phoenix on January 3.

Dubazane had told the crowd that the girl had been buried, and showed them the death certificate and a receipt from a funeral parlour.

However, the community was outraged that they had not seen a funeral and assaulted her nevertheless.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said Dubazane’s body was found in her bedroom, while Zukhulu was found on the road.

The police were investigating two cases of murder and one of arson, but no arrests had been made.

Sazi Mhlongo, chairman of Traditional Healers in KZN, was outraged by the incident.

“This irritates me because people are killed without any proof or evidence that they practised witchcraft,” he said.

“The mob that committed these crimes should be arrested.”

He said people could have started rumours about the family because of jealousy over their large compound. - The Mercury

Threat to picket new Khayelitsha hospital
IOL News 10 January 2012

Khayelitsha residents meet at the Andile Nhose Community Centre in Mandela Park to discuss their grievances over a lack of jobs at the new hospital. Photo: Ross Jansen

Residents have threatened to block staff from entering the new Khayelitsha District Hospital if concerns about recruitment processes are not resolved.

About 100 people protested outside the hospital on Monday, demanding that the provincial Department of Health address their grievances. A meeting has been arranged for Tuesday at the hospital with the residents, the Khayelitsha Development Forum and the Department of Health.

The residents, who protested under the banner of a civil society group – Mandela Park Backyarders – slammed the employment of outsiders in the new hospital, saying that despite hundreds of jobs being offered, locals had not been given a slice of the cake.

The group’s representative, Xolani Krweqe, told the Cape Argus that residents were upset at the lack of community involvement by authorities.

He said the department had advertised more than 500 jobs in November but residents had not been shortlisted, despite massive unemployment.

“About 40 000 Khayelitsha residents applied for those jobs, which were mainly administrative and general work, but I can tell you now not even a percentage of local residents have been employed at the hospital.”

Krweqe said the locals who had been employed were those who had been working for the department for some time and who had been transferred to Khayelitsha.

“This is not fair. Khayelitsha is dogged by unemployment,” Krweqe said, adding that only employment “would give locals a decent life”.

In a protest that lasted about two hours, residents demanded to meet the management of the hospital. They then handed over a list of their demands, which included that:

l Sixty percent of employees be from Khayelitsha.

l There be consultation and restarting of the recruitment process.

l MEC for Health Theuns Botha address their grievances.

Sithembiso Magubane, spokesman for the department, said 329 posts for nursing and general staff, such as household staff and cleaners, had been advertised at the end of November. The department received more than 70 000 applications, he said.

He denied allegations that the department had not consulted residents.

“The department has been, and continues to be, in consultation with the community through the community forum,” he said.

Magubane said the hospital management had since addressed the picketers, but he declined to give details.

He said the department was following recruitment and selection procedures in filling the advertised posts.

He said about 45 enrolled nursing assistants and 25 enrolled nurses were assuming their duties, the first of them on Monday.

The multimillion-rand, 230-bed hospital is almost complete. It is scheduled to open in March. - Cape Argus

Cosatu plans march after torture claim
IOL News 11 January 2012

A secretly shot video of an alleged torture incident of three guests at Sun City has labour federation Cosatu planning to march on the resort.

Three guests were allegedly beaten up and shocked with cattle prods by contracted security guards at Sun City’s Valley of the Waves on New Year’s Day.

Cockroach Khojane, a paramedic at the resort, had approached the loading bay at the Valley of the Waves after hearing screaming.

He said he saw three Indian males sitting on the floor with their hands under their legs.

“They were shocking them with cattle prods, and they had their hands tied with cable ties,” Khojane said.

The paramedic said he was able to record the footage by pretending to phone someone on his cellphone. He has handed the footage to Cosatu.

The incident allegedly happened after the victims were accused of sexually harassing women at the Valley of the Waves.

“If it was sexual harassment, why didn’t they open a criminal case and call the police?” asked Cosatu’s North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.

Cosatu said there had been reports of other similar incidents of assault at Sun City that had occurred between December 25 and January 1, and the labour federation had asked the resort’s management to investigate.

Phetoe said some of the alleged incidents involved guests, also accused of sexual harassment, who had been burnt with cigarettes, and at least one victim had been dumped naked 15km from Sun City.

He said Cosatu would be meeting the SA Human Rights Commission to take up the matter.

The federation planned to march to Sun City on Saturday to highlight its dissatisfaction. - The Star

Limpopo protesters in court for violence
IOL News 9 January 2012

Twenty-seven men and women arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property during a service delivery protest appeared in the Nebo Magistrate's Court on Monday morning.

Lt-Col Mohale Ramatseba said the group was allegedly responsible for digging up part of the tar road between Lebowakgomo and Jane Furse last week.

Limpopo provincial police commissioner, Lt-Gen Simon Mpembe, urged residents to deal with their concerns without damaging property.

The 27 were granted bail of R500 each.

The case was postponed to March 14. - Sapa

NUMSA supports Tollgate workers strike led by SATAWU
NUMSA 10 January 2012

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) in KwaZulu‑Natal supports the ongoing toll‑gate workers strike action led by our sister and class union, South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), for a living wage and sustainable livelihoods for workers.

We are pledging our solidarity with these striking workers amidst our sad faces, after one of our member working at TOYOTA was electrified and died on the spot. The barbaric and unacceptable death of Comrade Njabulo Luthuli affectionally known as Mandl’nduna whilst at work is a startling reminder of the two interrelated struggles faced by workers at the point of production, such as exploitation and perilous working conditions imposed on them by Capitalist greed and profit maximization.

Comrade Luthuli died tragically last week Thursday 5 January 2011, whilst performing his daily tasks at work. We will make sure that the tragic death of Comrade Luthuli does not become another statistic, but make sure no worker dies at work. We demand a full investigation on the circumstances and causes of Comrade Luthuli's death.

We send our heartfelt condolences to Comrade Luthuli’s colleagues, family, relatives and friends. We will make sure that proper investigation is speedily done.

This ongoing strike action by toll‑gate workers should also be located and understood within the broader struggles waged by workers and poor for equal redistribution of wealth at the point of production and broader society.

We call on the Road Management Corporation (RMC) as a strategic state entity to adhere to workers demands. The minimum wage demand of R2400‑00 is reasonable and affordable by the RMC management and the Board.

This toll‑gate workers strike action should also be about intensifying our struggle against the commodification of public roads through the barbaric and immoral e‑tolling system, if not rejected through mass rooted and popular action will be rolled‑out in all major cities in our country. This will have a devastating and disastrous impact on the livelihoods of the workers and the poor of our province and the country at large. The cost of basic necessities such as food and transport will escalate given the burden faced by the workers and the poor as a result of the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and deepening inequalities, which has resulted in many working class households to rely on social or pension grants as the only source of income for survival and living.

These demands by workers are consistent with the 2009 electoral commitments of the ANC‑led Alliance government of creating decent work and building sustainable livelihoods. We call on these striking workers to remain resolute and unshaken until their demands are met by the corporatist and elitist consortia Road Management Corporation (RMC).


Mbuso Ngubane, NUMSA KzN Regional Secretary – 079 502 3242

Three arrested in Clarens protests
IOL News 8 January 2012

Three people were arrested near Clarens in the Free State following an ongoing service delivery protest, police said on Sunday.

“Today we have arrested three people on charges of public violence. For now people are still blockading the road... we are monitoring the situation,” said Sergeant Mmako Mophiring.

Mophiring said the civil unrest started on Friday evening when about a hundred community members from the Kgubetswana township near Clarens started blockading roads with rocks and burning tyres.

“They totally closed and barricaded the road with burning tyres and huge stones on the R711 between Clarens and Fouriesburg,” he said.

Police and public vehicles on the affected road were pelted with stones and damaged.

“We managed to assist a kombi and a bus that were carrying members of the public to the ANC's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein,” he said.

Mophiring said the protesters were still on the road on Sunday afternoon.

“For now they are still there and we need to diffuse the situation...they are just blocking the road.”

Mophiring said the protest was seemingly caused by a lack of communication from the local municipality.

“A group that one would say is not more than 100 people who started this 1/8protest 3/8 had their own issues with 1/8the 3/8 local municipality. Sometime last month they handed a memorandum to the municipality with given dates for answers. Answers never came forth so that's why they have the problem.”

Road users have been using alternative routes. - Sapa

Four held for blocking F State road
IOL News 5 January 2011

Four people were arrested on the N8 near Botshabelo on Thursday for trying to block the road, police said.

Col Vish Naidoo said traffic officials at Botshabelo, some 60 kilometres west of Bloemfontein, warned police of an possible attempt to block the road.

“The group attempted to block the road, but police arrived in time to disperse the crowd.”

It was alleged that the group were unhappy ANC centenary marshals left out of the event accreditation process.

Naidoo could not confirm the reason for the protest action, but indicated the behaviour of the individuals was something police could not allow.

“The behaviour was unacceptable,” said Naidoo.

The group managed to throw some stones on the road and a tyre was burned on the road.

Police would remain in the area to monitor the situation, Naidoo said. - Sapa

Youth killed in mob justice attack
IOL News 5 January 2012

A 20-year-old man died in Lebowakgomo hospital after he was beaten by a crowd that accused him of stealing from a shop, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

Dumi Phasha was severely beaten by community members just before midnight on Tuesday at a shop in Tsoaing village in Ga-Mphahlele, said Captain Mamphaswa Seabi in a statement.

The youth was taken to hospital, but died on Wednesday around 8am.

Seabi said police were investigating a case of murder.

“As police we would like to urge our communities not to take the law into their own hands but detain the suspects until the police arrive,” he said.

No arrests had been made overnight. - Sapa

27 appear for public violence
IOL News 5 January 2012

A total of 27 protesters accused of public violence and malicious damage to property appeared at the Nebo Magistrate's Court on Thursday, Limpopo police said.

“The arrested suspects went on the rampage, digging up the tar road between Lebowakgomo and Jane Furse at Apel Cross on Tuesday,” said Lt-Col Mohale Ramatseba.

He said the protesters from Masemola were protesting against water shortages in the area.

They were expected to make a formal bail application on Monday. - Sapa

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