||Congolese protesters toyi-toyi in DBN
Lungelo Mkamba 17 February 2012
Fed up with “unfair” and “unlawful” treatment by the Department of Home Affairs, about 400 Congolese nationals protested and toyi-toyied at the Durban City Hall on Thursday. They had a memorandum addressed to mayor James Nxumalo.
Emmanuel Emmix, a spokesman for the Congolese community, said arrests – which Home Affairs in Moore Road have been making since November – were unlawful. The most recent arrests were of two people on Wednesday.
“We have been quiet for too long. It is time we took action and approached the mayor to help us. We really do not understand why people are being treated unfairly,” he said.
“Today (yesterday) we made our children miss school because this affects them as well.”
According to Emmix, the biggest concern they had with Home Affairs was when trying to renew their permits to be in the city and country.
“The officials ask us for bribes of R7 000 or they arrest and deport you. If one does not have that money then deportation is imminent.”
The protesters sang songs and toyi-toyied peacefully, monitored by police. Some of the posters read: “Where is the human rights? Our country (Congo) is not safe. Where is the Ubuntu? Let’s find a solution peacefully.”
According to the memorandum, which was received by Belinda Mhlongo of the municipality, the people are afraid to go back to Congo.
Being deported is equal to death by the ruler (Joseph Kabila),” said Emmix. “The army is killing people as people kill mosquitoes. We appeal to the mayor to find a solution to the problem of the arrests.”
Municipal spokeswoman Sindy Mtolo said the protesters’ issues would be taken up with the Department of Foreign Affairs “based on memorandums of understanding and in terms of relationships with their country”.
Home Affairs spokesperson
Manusha Pillai had not got back to the Mercury with a comment by late on Thursday. - The Mercury
S.Africa police fire tear gas at rioting platinum miners
South African riot police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon on Thursday at hundreds of striking miners who went on the rampage at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg plant, the world's single biggest platinum mine.
At least 50 officers, backed by armoured vehicles and two helicopters, moved into a shanty town near the mine after the miners torched homes in a dramatic escalation of a month-long strike that has hit the company and global platinum prices.
Police said one man had been killed overnight after a mob stripped him naked and beat him during a demonstration outside the plant, which accounts for as much as 15 percent of world platinum output.
Up to 5,000 miners blocked the road leading to the plant, which lies 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, and hurled stones at police, provincial police spokeswoman Adele Myburg said.
"This morning they regrouped, started intimidating people who wanted to go to the mine. There were people assaulted, vehicles were stoned," she said, adding that one female police officer had been injured by flying stones.
"The road was barricaded, vehicles travelling on that road were stoned, private vehicles as well as heavy-armed policed vehicles."
She said that police had made eight arrests, but the situation was still "very tense and hostile".
Production at Rustenburg, which accounts for 60 percent of Implat's output, came to a halt a month ago after the company sacked 17,000 employees following a January 12 wildcat strike over bonuses.
Since then, the price of platinum, a key ingredient in catalytic converters in cars, has climbed 7 percent, in part because of fears about supply disruptions. South Africa is home to 80 percent of global platinum reserves.
60,000 OZ LOST
At a results conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, Implats bosses said the firm had lost 1.2 billion rand in revenue and warned that total output and earnings for the remainder for the financial year would also take a hit.
Chief Executive David Brown told reporters the company had re-hired 6,000 of the dismissed workers but added that he had no idea when work at the mine would resume. The 35-day strike is costing the company an average of 3,000 ounces a day.
"If workers don't come back to work, we'll have to hire new people. It'll take two to four weeks to get back to operational normality," Brown said.
Putting up with lengthy and often costly strikes is familiar terrain for investors in South Africa, home to some of the world's deepest and most dangerous mines.
Miners are increasingly looking for better pay in return for the hazardous jobs and the government is pushing for an industry-wide improvement in safety.
"The government is quite correctly very concerned around safety issues and until those issues get fixed it is going to cost these guys a lot of money," said Nic Norman-Smith, a portfolio manager at Lentus Asset Management in Johannesburg.
Shares of Implats tumbled 3.1 percent to 159.69 rand, the worst performers in Johannesburg's benchmark Top-40.
Implats said it had lost an additional 33,000 ounces in the final four months of 2011 from government-ordered safety stops. Some industry executives have criticised the safety push as too restrictive.
Section 77 Notice of intention to proceed with protest action against e-tolling
Cosatu 16 February 2012
On 13 May 2011 the Congress of South African Trade Unions submitted a notice under Section 77 of the labour Relations Act on Open Road Tolling (ORT) to Nedlac. Subsequently two plenary meetings to consider the notice were held, the first on 31 August 2011 and the second on 22 September 2011.
At the first meeting we tabled our demands, including the rescinding of the decision until the matter had been engaged at Nedlac, because it is a socio-economic issue. Government committed to go back and consult.
At the second meeting government indicated that, although it might have erred in not engaging Nedlac constituencies on the ORT, it acted within the Department of Transport policy framework adopted after consultation with all stakeholders, including labour.
Government further indicated that Sanral would suffer a “reputational risk” if government were to announce that it would look into alternative forms of funding. Other state-owned entities hat go out into the markets to borrow money would also suffer the same risk and their credit ratings would be affected.
Government indicated at the 2 September Section77 Plenary meeting that the ORT will kick-start on 1 February 2012. COSATU) notes that government has since postponed the implementation of the system indefinitely.
COSATU wants the system to be abandoned completely and is now of the view that the requirements of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act have been met for protected socio-economic protest and that this action is necessary for the effective resolution of this matter.
The forms of protest action, and action in contemplation and furtherance of the protest action will involve:
§ Work stoppages
§ Rallies, marches, demonstrations pickets (including lunch-time pickets), placard demonstrations, siyalalas at or near the offices of Sanral and the Department of Transport, both national and provincial, from 29 February 2012.
§ Engagement with motorists and other members of the public to inform them of the reasons for the protect action and to persuade them to support the action.
§ Calls to motorists not to b e-tags
The protest actions that will involve time away from work are:
§ Rallies, marches, demonstrations pickets, placard demonstrations and siyalalas at or near the offices of Sanral and the Department of Transport, both national and provincial.
§ A national stayaway or socio-economic strike on 7 March 2012.
The specific activities above will take place during working hours. The socio-economic strike will commence at 00h00 and end at 24h00 on 7 March 2012, except that shift workers will be away for the duration of one whole shift and it will be the shift that has the majority of hours on the day in question.
Following the socio-economic strike on 7 March 2012 the federation will assess the programme of action and decide on the way forward. It reserves the right to extend the programme of action. The federation action also reserves the right to amend the programme of action should this be necessary.
Tolling forces drivers to pay huge amounts of extra money just to travel on the province’s highways. Workers will face having to pay out thousands hundreds of extra rands every month just to travel to and from work. Consumers face massive price increases as a result of the extra cost of transporting goods to the shops being passed on to the shoppers.
We urge the cabinet to take note of the mass opposition to these tolls and instruct Sanral to abandon them for good. Meanwhile we continue to urge motorists not to register with Sanral or buy e-tags, and our members remain mobilised for a campaign of mass action if e-tolling is not scrapped. The federation calls upon government to prioritise the roll-out of efficient, reliable, affordable and safe public transport for all the people of South Africa.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets
Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080 / 6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
WESTVILLE CAMPUS - STATUS UPDATE
URGENT COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS 15 February 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
Lectures on the Westville Campus will resume tomorrow, Thursday 16 February, after a two day suspension due to student protest action.
The University was granted an urgent interdict by the High Court yesterday which was served to the Central SRC and all the local (campus based) SRCs.
The interdict prohibits any form of protest action, intimidation and damage to property on any of its five campuses. Furthermore, the University has implemented with immediate effect the eviction of any unregistered student from its residences. Strict access control at all entrances to the five campuses is in place.
On Tuesday 14 February four students were arrested for public order disturbance and malicious damage to property (MI2P). Three were released because of a lack of evidence and one that is being held in custody is not a UKZN registered student.
On the evening of 14 February, students stoned the RMS building and the front glass doors and windows of the Main Admin Block. The Westville SRC President, Mr Lucky Nkalanga was arrested on an assault charge that was reported earlier in the week.
This morning sporadic incidences of burning were reported. RMS and SAPS responded and controlled the situation. During that incident, students threw stones and bottles at the police. To disperse the crowd, police used teargas and water cannons and the students took cover in the residences. No reports of injuries sustained by students were received.
During the past two days we have been dealing with severe racist remarks posted on our face book wall. The University has concluded the investigation into this and is finalising the charges. The individual that started this verbal attack is not a UKZN student.
We are extremely disappointed at the level of racist comments by our students in response to the posting. We encourage all students to embrace the diversity of cultures in our rainbow nation and promote tolerance and mutual respect as articulated in the UKZN PACT. The University is committed to the principles enshrined in our Constitution, notably non-racialism and non-sexism. The University’s Transformation Charter serves as a reminder to all staff and students to contribute to a socially cohesive institutional culture.
Executive Management sincerely regrets the inconvenience, and in some instances pain and suffering experienced by some staff and students that did not participate in the protest action. At no point did we close our doors to the Wesville SRC. During the protest action, the President of the Westville SRC refused to attend a meeting with the Executive Director Student Services that led to the rest of the SRC refusing to engage.
In an attempt to avert a protest we have held several meetings with all the SRCs to try and address their issues. As we had committed, we are engaging with government to seek additional funding for financially needy and academically sound students. Accommodation has been made available for all sponsored students, provided that they provide an original copy of a letter from the sponsor or an affidavit from a parent or guardian.,
Every attempt will be made to catch up on lost time.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
Bapong protests turn violent
IOL News 18 February 2012
Johannesburg - Police arrested 62 people in connection with various crimes committed during protests in Bapong, North West, police said on Saturday.
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said 28 people were arrested for public violence, two for being in possession of suspected stolen property and three for possession of dagga on Friday.
Other arrests included being in the country illegally and drinking in public as well as the unlawful sale of alcohol.
He said on Thursday protesters burnt down the local post office. No arrests were made.
On Wednesday protesters stole meat from a delivery truck.
Ngubane said R5000 worth of meat was stolen.
Another truck was set alight by protesting residents on Tuesday.
Ngubane said the protesters, mainly young people, were protesting about unemployment.
He said residents were concerned about unemployment and were reportedly angry with local companies, including Lonmin's platinum mine, claiming it had failed to create jobs for them.
The protests have been going on since August last year. - Sapa
Truck burnt in Bapong protest
IOL news 15 February 2012
A truck was set alight in Bapong during a protest by residents, North West police said on Wednesday.
Some roads were also barricaded with burning tyres during the demonstration on Tuesday, Captain Adele Myburgh said.
No injuries were reported and a case of malicious damage to property had been opened.
“This has been an ongoing protest since before August and police are monitoring (the situation). It is quiet now during the day, but the problem is at night.”
The residents were concerned about unemployment and apparently angry with local companies, including Lonmin's platinum mine, claiming it had failed to create jobs for them. - Sapa
Chappies activist calls off march
KOWTHAR SOLOMONS (IOL News) 18 February 2012
Civil group meets Chappies stakeholders
The woman who has been on a hunger strike for 13 days in protest against proposed construction on Chapman’s Peak was so weak on Friday that she was forced to call off a planned march to the provincial legislature.
Bronwen Lankers-Byrne, accompanied by environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh, had planned to march to the legislature from Plein Street to coincide with premier Helen Zille’s state of the province address.
But Pugh cancelled the protest, saying that Lankers-Byrne’s 13 days without food had weakened her considerably.
The protesters are campaigning against the construction of a toll plaza and office block development worth R54 million on the world-renowned scenic drive. Construction was halted late this week after two people chained themselves to equipment at the building site.
The protesters believe a less expensive and more environmentally friendly toll booth should be built.
Before the cancellation, Lankers-Byrne addressed a small crowd gathered at the Louis Botha statue outside Parliament who had come out in support of her cause.
“We have received a great amount of support against the construction, but are shocked by the provincial government’s refusal to listen to the people.
“We are not against the toll road, but the exorbitant costs which, instead, could be used to provide desperately needed housing, medical care and better schools in other areas,” she said.
Lankers-Byrne added that Chapman’s Peak was a world heritage site on which the planned two-storey toll plaza should not be built.
“We have even submitted proposals for the tolling system, such as an automatic tolling system, which would come in under R5m – a fraction of the cost.”
On Thursday, the Civil Rights Action Group (Crag) met various stakeholders and the transport department to discuss alternatives to the toll plaza.
Crag suggested that cash transactions from the toll control points on Chapman’s Peak Drive be moved to sites in Hout Bay, Noordhoek and others in the Cape Peninsula.
The transport department’s Hector Elliot was quoted as saying afterwards that they were pleased to have Crag’s input, and would discuss the alternatives presented.
Charlie Gorton, one of the two women who chained themselves to the construction equipment, joined Lankers-Byrne at the protest on Friday, out of concern for her friend’s health.
She said that despite the “supposed” halt to work on the site, construction had continued around the women.
Lankers-Byrne left the protest to resume sitting in her spot opposite the construction site. - Weekend Argus
Protesters cuffed to Chappies toll plaza
Stuart Graham 15 February 2012
Protesters handcuffed themselves to scaffolding on the construction site of a toll booth on scenic Chapman's Peak drive, on Table Mountain, in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Workers in hard hats sat idle as the two protesters and a hunger striker negotiated with Hector Eliott, the Western Cape's transport and public works department head.
“We can build something that is less expensive and more environmentally friendly,” Bronwyn Lankaers-Byrne, who has been on an 11-day hunger strike against the R54 million toll plaza, told Eliott.
“I am willing to leave when these workers down their tools and there is a serious discussion,” she said.
Lankaers-Byrne pointed to a diagram of a far smaller and “more environmentally friendly” toll booth which she said could be constructed for a mere R2m.
“The alternative is less expensive and more environmentally friendly. This is not necessary.”
She said the public had shown overwhelming support for the protest against the toll booth by donating money, flowers and even massage oil.
She said “94 percent” of the people who had stopped to speak to her supported the protest.
Eliott told Lankaers-Byrne the department was prepared to look at the R2m proposal.
“This is a sales pitch, this is what this boils down to,” he said.
Fiona Hinds, who had handcuffed herself to the scaffolding, said she would remain where she was every day if necessary.
“They know what they're doing is illegal,” said Hinds, who sat above a placard reading: “Over My Dead Body”.
“This site is part of a United Nations World Heritage Site. The UN has asked for Table Mountain to be taken care of, but here we are allowing them to put up an offensive building.
“Cape Town has been named as the World Design Capital in 2014. We can do better than this.” - Sapa
Mini skirts paralyse Joburg
IOL News 17 February 2012
The ANC Women's League led a march to the High Court against sexual harassment and gender-based violence after two women were hassled at a taxi rank.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe signed a memorandum of understanding at the court, pledging that the justice system would support efforts to curb violence against women and children.
The ANCWL decided to hold the march to highlight its indignation over the treatment of two young women who were chased by a group of men at Noord street taxi rank in December.
The men groped and shouted at the women because of their clothing - one wore a miniskirt and the other had her bra strap showing.
Radebe said those who told women what to wear were not freedom fighters.
“The struggle for freedom has always been the struggle for human rights, the struggle for women's empowerment.”
He said he came out in support “because I like miniskirts”, amid laughter and loud applause from the crowd.
Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said no one could enjoy human rights while women and children lived in fear of potential abuse.
The taxi industry in particular needed to join the fight against sexual harassment.
“It is their duty to respect human rights... taxi drivers, taxi commuters: no one should allow violence against women and children,” she said.
“As women, we are proud of our bodies, we are proud of our mini skirts.”
Minister of Women Lulu Xingwana said the march was in support of the women's movement and gay rights.
“No one has the right to (commit) corrective rape. Rape is rape.”
Xingwana threatened that the Noord Street taxi rank would be closed if the situation did not improve.
“Real men don't rape women, real men love and respect women,” she said.
She said the Women's League would work to free the streets of South Africa of sexual harassment, city by city.
Another march would be held in Sunnyside, Pretoria on the evening of March 08 to spread the message.
ANCWL president Angie Motshekga thanked all those who came to support the cause.
“Women have the right to dress how they want to dress, forward with mini skirts!”
The miniskirt march began at Bree street taxi rank around 1.30pm under the watchful gaze of a heavy police contingent.
Mokonyane, Xingwana and one of the Noord Street victims led the march.
Xingwana wore a skirt, but it was not a mini.
The crowd sang “when you strike a woman, you have struck a rock” and chanted “Viva mini skirts, Viva”.
The women's league was joined by the Congress of SA Trade Unions and Women and Men Against Child Abuse for the march.
The Commission for Gender Equality also pledged support for the sexual harassment awareness event.
Women and several men wore mini skirts for the march, and proudly shook their bottoms for the assembled news cameras.
As they sang and danced, they waved ANC flags and banners, such as “I am proud of my miniskirt”, and “Freedom for mini skirts in our lifetime”.
People watched and shouted their support from the high apartment blocks in the city centre.
A marcher who carried her son for the length of the route said she had brought him to teach him from a young age the importance of respecting women.
Men who watched the procession had mixed reactions. Most said they supported the initiative and chanted along with the crowd “Viva Nkosikasi (women), Viva!”.
“Everybody has rights to wear whatever they want,” said one.
“It has nothing to do with culture, it is about the working class struggle and conscientising the masses about human rights,” said another man.
One man said he was not convinced the mini skirt march was the best way to tackle the issue.
“We like to see the young women in the minis, but the old ones - Ag, shame!” - Sapa
People gather for miniskirt march
IOL News 17 February 2012
Bree street taxi rank in Joburg's CBD was bustling with people gathering for a march organised by the ANC Women's League on Friday.
At the start of the march at least 300 people gathered, waving ANC banners.
Women and several men wore miniskirts in bright colours and sang “the leadership is greeting” and “mini skirt we love you”.
The march was to protest against the harassment experienced by two young women when they went shopping in the Noord Street taxi rank in December.
The women have been identified only as Zama and Nomthandazo because of the nature of their harassment.
Nomthandazo had worn a black miniskirt and Zama a black top with white bra straps showing.
A group of men taunted them about their clothes while groping them, pulling at their clothing, and taking photos with their cellphones.
The march was intended to emphasise that women had the right to wear what they wished and should not be demeaned or victimised over their choice of clothes.
The women's league was joined by Cosatu and Women and Men Against Child Abuse for the march. The Commission for Gender Equality also pledged their support for the sexual harassment awareness event. – Sapa
ANCWL organises mini‑skirt march againts women abuse
Troy Martens ANCWL 14 February 2012
League to march from Bree Street taxi rank through notorious Noord taxi
RE: JOIN ANC WL MINI SKIRT MARCH AGAINST WOMEN ABUSE
The ANC Women's League are calling upon all women who feel the rate of
women abuse in South Africa is too high, to join us in a mini skirt
march this Friday the 17th of February.
Recent incidents of abuse highlighted in the media have spurred the
Women's League to say enough is enough; we will no longer tolerate the
abuse of our women on the streets or anywhere.
Many women feel frustrated and hopeless due to the high prevalence of
abuse. Despite the freedoms of our democracy which gives equal rights to
all sex groups, it is sad that many women remain victims of violence in
taxi ranks, homes and in the work place. Women are abused and raped due
to their sexual orientation all these violent acts against women cannot
and will not be tolerated by the ANC WL!
We want to make a strong statement letting the perpetrators know that
abuse in any form will not be tolerated and are inviting those who wish
to wear mini‑skirts as an act of defiance to do so with pride.
Anyone who is outraged by the continued violence against women and
children is welcome to join in, we extend this call to unions, NGO's,
students, churches and the youth to rise up in protest against the
rampant violence against women and children in our communities.
We will march from the Bree Street taxi rank, through the Noord taxi
rank and hand over a memorandum to the Justice Minister or his
representative at the equality court in Pritchard Street.
16 days of activism against women and children is clearly not enough!
The ANC WL is calling for an all year round campaign and dedication from
authorities to put an end to this social scourge.
Women refuse to be victims any longer and every woman and child has the
right to live in a society free of violence and discrimination. We will
take our queue from the women of 1956, their bravery and militancy will
spur us on to continue the struggle for the emancipation of women from
the clutches of abuse.
Join the ANC WL on Friday and say no to ABUSE!! You strike a woman, you
strike a rock!
DATE: 17 ‑ 02 ‑ 2012
DEPART: BREE STREET TAXI RANK
DESTINATION: HIGH‑COURT PRITCHARD STREET
DRESS CODE: Women can dress as they feel comfortable, but are encouraged to wear mini‑skirts!
Statement issued by Troy Martens, ANC Women's League national
spokeswoman, February 14 2012
COSATU Limpopo march against corruption and maladministration
COSATU Limpopo media statement for immediate release 15 February 2012
DATE : 15 February 2012.
TO : All media houses
COSATU LIMPOPO Province calls upon all its affiliated trade unions , the ANC-led Tripartite Alliance plus SANCO , PWMSA , business, religious formations, traditional healers and leaders, youth and women`s formations and civil society in general to :
1. Join and support the protest march organized by the progressive youth alliance in Limpopo today, 15th February 2012 @ 09h00 , to the Premier`s office , as they press forward for their demands on improved access to tertiary education as a right protected in the constitution of RSA , and fight against corruption and maladministration in the provincial government.
2. Join and support employees in the Premier`s office , led by our union NEHAWU , in their lunch hour demonstrations that have lasted for over two weeks without their grievances being responded to, leading to them calling on the Premier and the Director – General to resign or be fired.
Tonight, from 18h00, NEHAWU will stage a night vigil at the Premier`s Office, and we call also and in the main, all members of COSATU unions to join and support this noble course.
3. COSATU, in its Provincial Executive Committee, held on 09 February 2012, after a thorough assessment of the governance crisis in Limpopo, noting investigations on allegations of rampant corruption, fraud and maladministration, resolved that the Premier and his entire Executive must resign or be recalled immediately, and that forensic audits be also carried out in all municipalities and state owned enterprises, in particular, in the mining and agricultural sectors.
Further protest action will be announced through our Campaigns Committee meeting, every Monday , 14h00 @ SADTU offices , Biccard Street, Polokwane.
For further information, kindly contact the COSATU Limpopo Provincial Secretary, Cde. Dan Sebabi on 082 779 2421 or 072 515 6699
Students arrested for varsity violence
IOL News14 February 2012
Four students were arrested during a protest at the University of Durban-Westville on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
The students went on a rampage around 7.30am after they were informed about a court interdict against protests and disruptions at the university as seen in the past weeks, said Colonel Vincent Mdunge.
“Students then got angry and barricaded roads with burning tires and rocks, preventing vehicles from coming in and out of the institution,” said Mdunge.
“They also threw stones at police who had been called to monitor the situation. Police used water cannons to disperse the crowd.”
Mdunge said tensions had died down by Tuesday evening.
Three students were injured and another three were arrested for public violence.
Two weeks ago, students brought the university to a standstill protesting against residence tariff hikes, among other things.
Those arrested would appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. - Sapa
DA stages anti-corruption march
IOL News 14 February 2012
The DA marched to the Polokwane office of Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale to protest against corruption.
The DA marched to the Polokwane office of Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale on Tuesday to protest against corruption.
“Today, the good name and reputation of our province is tarnished because of the scourge of corruption, irregular awarding of tenders, and jobs for pals, among others,” provincial DA leader Desiree van der Walt said.
Party members marched along Hans Van Rensburg Street carrying placards stuck to brooms, meant to symbolise the party's hope of sweeping the ANC out of power in the province.
The messages on the placards called for clean water, clean schools, clean hospitals, and a clean audit.
The marchers said Mathale and his executive should step down after five provincial government departments were placed under administration last year.
“We demand clean governance in all government departments, municipalities, and parastatals. We demand clean financial management with no wasteful and irregular expenditures,” Van der Walt said.
They wanted “clean and professionally managed schools”.
“We demand an open and transparent tender awarding system,” she said.
Agriculture MEC Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba received the memorandum and told DA members their concerns would be responded to.
Members of National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union also demonstrated at the gate of Mathale’s office. – Sapa
STUDENT PROTEST: UPDATE - WESTVILLE CAMPUS
CORPORATE RELATIONS 15 February 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
As a precautionary measure, lectures have been suspended today Wednesday 15 February, and students will not have access to the Westville campus. Students have been informed of this via SMS and Facebook.
The University has obtained an interdict against the SRCs that prevents any form of protest action, intimidation, disruptions, damage to property and harassment. There is a strong police presence on campus to enforce the interdict.
Students are requested to submit outstanding documents that are due this week to the respective College office on the Howard College campus. Howard College staff are urged to attend to these student queries.
If you have any specific issues of concern kindly send an email to email@example.com and we will respond to your enquiry.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS 14 February 2012
STUDENT PROTEST: UPDATE - WESTVILLE CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS 14 February 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
Lectures , tests, Practicals and Tutorials are suspended on the Westville campus until further notice.
The Westville campus has been chaotic since this morning with students blockading entrances with boulders and burning tyres.
A heavy police presence is on campus.
This morning most staff and students have not been allowed on campus.
Students and staff will be notified through the LAN, face book and sms on the status of the campus.
The University management sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
STUDENT PROTEST: UPDATE - WESTVILLE CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS 13 February 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
The Westville campus experienced a peaceful start this morning.
We have since received reports of lectures being disrupted by a group of students at the G Block and boulders that were thrown from the 3rd floor from around 12:45.
Since last year, several meetings were held between the SRCs and the University management to reach mutual agreements so as to circumvent a strike. Despite these agreements in place, the Westville SRC is leading students to protest.
The Westville campus has been disrupted since last week that has resulted in students losing out on valuable time in lectures.
I wish to place on record that at no point did the University management decline to meet with the students to address their grievances.
The University is also aware that some of the SRC members leading the strike at the Westville campus are not UKZN students as they have not registered and as such should not be negotiating on behalf of bona fide students.
In assessing the situation on the ground, the Deans and Heads of Schools must take a decision with regards to the continuation of lectures.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
Mpumalanga protesters arrested
ILO News 14 February 2012
Mpumalanga police arrested 51 service delivery protesters in Masoyi, south of Hazyview, on Tuesday.
They were charged with public violence, theft, and malicious damage to property, Captain Leonard Hlathi said.
“They broke into shops belonging to foreign nationals and looted them,” he said.
More police had been sent to the scene. Earlier, he warned motorists to avoid the road from Masoyi to Hazyview, which protesters had dug up and littered with stones and burning tyres since Saturday night. Cars had also been damaged.
“Motorists should rather take the Kiepersol road to Hazyview,” Hlathi advised.
Those travelling to the Kruger National Park should take the Kruger Park Road in Hazyview. – Sapa
Masoyi protesters block road
IOL News 14 February 2012
Mpumalanga police warned motorists on Tuesday to avoid the road from Masoyi to Hazyview, as it had been barricaded by service delivery protesters.
The road had been dug up and littered with stones and burning tyres since protests started on Saturday night, said Captain Leonard Hlathi. Cars had also been damaged.
“It is not acceptable. Motorists should rather take the Kiepersol road to Hazyview.”
Those travelling to the Kruger National Park should take the Kruger Park Road in Hazyview. – Sapa
Woman killed in protest
SAPA 13 February 2012
A woman was killed and 10 people were arrested during service delivery protests in Masoyi, south of Hazyview, Mpumalanga police said on Monday.
The woman was killed on Sunday afternoon after a truck accidentally reversed into her on a road barricaded by protesters, Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said.
Police were searching for the driver.
The protesters were arrested that afternoon, reportedly for public violence and destruction of property. They were expected to appear in court on Tuesday. – Sapa
MAN-TRUCK STRIKE ENTERS ITS THIRD WEEK!
NUMSA 13 February 2012
The KwaZulu-Natal National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), a reliable and trusted affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is deeply infuriated by the failure of Man-Truck ruling oligarchy to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute at its Westmead, South of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Our members have been on a protected strike since 23 January 20122 amidst the apartheid Bantu Labour Relations imposition to workers by Man-Truck.
The spurious actions by Man-Truck bosses of reneging or undermining a duly signed Collective Bargaining Agreement with the union, is a direct assault of workers rights to collective bargaining as promulgated by the nascent democratic state as led by the African National Congress (ANC). This newly-found total disregard of workers rights to bargain, as also personified or expressed by the anti-workers and anti-trade union party the Democratic Alliance (DA), is a threat to workers hard won rights encoded in Chris Hani’s name in various labour legislative laws passed by the ANC of Elijah Barayi.
We strongly believe that these demands by workers can be achieved by Man-Truck, given the fact that Man-Truck has bloated millions of rands in rewarding its executives. These demands by workers are consistent with the Freedom Charter, the over-arching policy document of our revolutionary ANC which called for work and security for all.
These are our demands:
· We demand an equal pay for equal work with an intention of closing the existing income disparities;
· The Medical Aid and Provident Fund benefits should be extended to all workers as per the 2009 Collective Bargaining Agreement;
· All workers employed under Labour Brokers and have been working over a period of six (6) months should be employed permanently by the company as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2009; And
· All new intakes of workers should not be recruited by Labour Brokers, but must be recruited directly by the company and there must be entitled to all the company’s benefits, such as Medical Aid and Provident Fund benefits.
Our members have been on strike action for three (3) full weeks without any concrete offer or proposal from the filthy rich Man-Truck hyenas to resolve the strike or industrial dispute.
As NUMSA we will intensify our action by calling on other Man-Truck plans to embark on a solidarity strike with the intention of our exerting pressure until our demands are met. We will never conform to apartheid Bantu Labour Relations at the point of production whilst our members are being turned into slavery conditions.
Contact: Mbuso Ngubane, Regional Secretary – 079 502 3242
Police quell xenophobic violence
Noni Mokati 11 February 2012
Police have doused the fires and quelled the panic in Welkom in the Free State after last week’s spate of xenophobic attacks on Bangladeshi nationals.
Alphonse Munyaneza, a senior regional community service officer from the UN Human Rights Council yesterday said the police had increased their visibility in both Thabong township and neighbouring Odendaalsrus where the violence took place.
“The security response in both these areas has improved drastically. All that we are dealing with now are isolated cases of robbery and no longer mob justice. We have also embarked on supporting the municipality which seeks to implement the reintegration of the Bangladeshi businessmen in their respective communities,” said Munyaneza.
A total of 60 shops were looted in 18 of Welkom’s townships, many in Thabong. Five shop owners were injured as community members protested against the lack of jobs.
Munyaneza said the council and police had held workshops aimed at educating people about the rights of refugees, among other things.
During the turmoil, the Gift of the Givers stepped in and donated food, blankets and hygiene products to 250 Bangladeshi and Pakistani shop- keepers who sought refuge from the unrest at a storeroom in the region.
Gift of the Givers spokesperson Emily Thomas said the organisation had donated about a week’s supply of necessities to the shop owners.
“We are back in Johannesburg but will return to Welkom on Tuesday where we will speak to community members and educate them about such incidents,” Thomas said.
She said the xenophobic attacks resulted from poverty and that residents had to understand that poverty was the main enemy, not the foreign nationals.
Gift of the Givers will donate 20 000 food parcels to elderly and young residents in Honey Park on Tuesday. -Saturday Star
Gautrain bus strike halted
Mail & Guardian 10 February 2012
About 320 Gautrain bus drivers were fired this week in the climax to an intermittent strike that started on January 9, and centred on transport allowances, according to the lawyer representing the drivers.
Kevin van Huyssteen said the drivers, who work for bus management company Mega Express, were fired after a dispute over their demand for transport to and from work.
He said the drivers insisted they had not gone on strike but had been unable to turn up for work in the absence of transport -- given that their shift started at 3.30am and ended at 10.30pm. He alleged that drivers were not given meals, tea breaks or intervals and were also not paid overtime.
Kelebogile Machaka, spokesperson for Bombela Concession Company, said that new drivers were being trained to replace the dismissed workers. Of the 23 routes only five -- four from Sandton station and one from Rosebank station -- were operational.
Machaka said the strike had stranded 12 000 passengers a day. They could not use the train because they relied on the Gautrain feeder bus network to carry them either to or from the stations. The disruption had resulted in a 10% drop in passengers.
The bus drivers worked on a shift basis, which meant one person did not work from 3:30am to 10pm, Machaka said. "Their main demand has been the provision of transport between work and home by their company, Mega Express.
"Their conditions of service comply with the recommendations agreed to at the sector's bargaining council in 2011. At present the drivers are not affiliated to any union," she said.
The strike was the latest in a string of woes to have hit the high-speed train service between Johannesburg and Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport. Cable theft, water leakages and problems with the electricity supply to the locomotives have also led to temporary disruptions of the service.
This week irate commuters complained on Facebook and to the Mail & Guardian that they had purchased monthly and weekly tickets, but because of the strike had been forced to cough up extra for other forms of public transport. Some commuters said that the company was unwilling to refund or extend their tickets.
A Centurion IT consultant, who asked to remain anonymous, said he used the train from Centurion to Midrand every day and relied on the bus service to take him to Sunninghill. "I had to pay more than R1 500 for a 35-day pass, which includes the train ride," he said.
"My card will expire soon and I still have money in it but won't be able to use it. I've phoned and emailed Gautrain asking for a refund, but they were not willing."
Lucas Senatore wrote on the Gautrain Facebook page: "I am completely astonished with the fact that you refuse to refund people who are not able to use the Gautrain because of the bus strike. My girlfriend takes the train from Rosebank to Hatfield and then to the CSIR by bus. Are you telling me that you will not refund the R1 000+ 35-day pass?”
Machaka confirmed that passengers had contacted the company for guidance on refund procedures. She said management was working on a plan "that will be fair and equitable for customers affected".
KZN varsity protests gather steam
(Leanne Jansen) IOL News 10 February 2012
Student protests which started at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi last Friday have spread and intensified at other tertiary education campuses in KwaZulu-Natal.
On Thursday, at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), six people were arrested for public violence after three vehicles were damaged, while the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Westville campus became the latest site of mass action.
Accommodation and financial aid remain the primary grievances.
Despite DUT’s high court interdict prohibiting protests, and a continued police presence, the institution confirmed that lectures had been disrupted at the Steve Biko, ML Sultan and Ritson Road campuses. However, the academic programme had not been suspended.
According to DUT spokesman Alan Khan, the protests were not being driven by the students representative council, but rather by the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco).
Sasco provincial chairman Mfanafuthi Ngobo confirmed this.
Khan said that DUT management would only negotiate with the SRC, “and not entertain individual clubs and societies. We have reiterated the need for the police to enforce the court interdict to protect our students and staff,” he said.
At Mangosuthu, after compromising on matters such as the cost of student transport and financial exclusions, accommodation remained a sticking point. Yesterday, tyres were burnt and chairs broken at the university, spokeswoman Mbali Mkhize said.
SRC president Sifiso Mvuyane said the protests would only be halted once housing was provided for at least 500 students at the Lonsdale Hotel in Pixley KaSeme (West) Street.
At UKZN, a crowd of 100 to 200 students chanted as they converged on university buildings, but protested peacefully under the eyes of campus security and police. University spokeswoman Nomonde Mbadi advised students to contact faculties for information on the rescheduling of lectures. - The Mercury
Sonderwater protesters released
IOL News 9 February 2012
Charges against 25 people arrested during a protest in Sonderwater were withdrawn in the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court on Thursday, North West police said.
The group was arrested on Wednesday night for public violence and malicious damage to property, said Captain Pelonomi Makau.
They were part of a larger group of residents in extension 11 that barricaded roads and damaged police vehicles during a protest against alleged corruption at the Tlokwe municipality. Police were called and arrested 25 people around midnight.
The protest continued through Thursday morning, in the presence of police. Makau said the situation calmed after residents met a municipal official.
The African National Congress recently recalled Tlokwe mayor Andrew Maphetle and his counterpart Boitumelo Moloi from the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district municipality, following corruption allegations. - Sapa
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS STUDENT PROTEST: WESTVILLE CAMPUS
Corporate Relations UKZN 9 February 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
We have received reports from RMS that there are groups of students moving
around the Westville campus disrupting lectures at various venues. RMS and
SAPS are present on the campus to monitor and control the situation.
The management of the Student Services Division has held several meetings with
the Westville SRC to create an open and amicable platform for discussion with a
view to find solutions to the issues raised. Management is awaiting the
availability of some members of the Westville SRC to attend a meeting that has
been called to understand and address their issues.
The University management is committed to open dialogue with the SRC and in
this regard management engaged the SRC last year to discuss and collectively
address their concerns so as to avert strikes. The doors are still open for such
engagements to take place.
Students are urged to contact their respective Schools for information on the
rescheduling of the lectures that have been disrupted or to get information on
the status of lectures.
As Management, we are committed to assisting the students within the rules,
regulations and policies that govern the University as set out by Council.
We trust that this matter will be resolved and that the academic programs will
continue as scheduled.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
Sri Lanka’ protest moves to Lenasia
Fakir Hassen 8 February 2012
The Tamil Federation of Gauteng (TFG) has moved their protest against the persecution of Tamils in Sri Lanka, to Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.
This was done after a last-minute withdrawal of permission to stage a peaceful protest opposite the Pretoria hotel where the Sri Lankan High Commission was celebrating the country’s 64th Independence Day.
Local community leaders, surrounded by scores of placard carrying supporters, joined officials of the TFG to lay a symbolic wreath at the Signet Terrace in Lenasia on Saturday.
It was in memory of the estimated 100 000 Tamil people killed during the three-decade civil war.
“Today, February 4, 2012, Sri Lanka celebrates Independence Day and projects to the world that it has a stable country with a democracy. But while it looks fine from the outside, within the country it has inequality among its citizens, no freedom of speech or association, people in transit camps, and no meaningful democracy,” TFG President Nadas Pillay, told those gathered.
“With this oppressive regime we see a ray of hope that comes from the United Nations report.
“We in particular would like to emphasise the fundamental recommendation from the report that highlights the call for an international investigation within Sri Lanka.”
Said Pillay: “Today we lay this wreath for all the people that have lost their lives, people that were persecuted, mercilessly killed, and for those people that to date have families who don’t know if they are dead or alive. Our role is to create awareness to the people of South Africa and the world.”
He called for Sri Lankan leaders responsible for atrocities against their fellow citizens to be brought to justice.
“Therefore we are asking the South African Government and other governments that are part of the Security Council to vote in favour of an international investigation. This fight is not about the Tamil-speaking people but a fight for humanity.”
Palestinian Solidarity Organisation representative, Naazim Adam, pledged support for the call by the TFG.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner Shehan Ratnavala, who is himself of Tamil origin, said that such protests were not helpful at a stage when his government was making every effort to win the peace back.
He invited the leaders of the TFG and other protesters to visit Sri Lanka and see for themselves the efforts that are being made to establish peace. - Post
Anti-Joseph Kabila protesters urge DRC boycott at Indaba
Mail & Guardian 8 February 2012
Congolese protesters who dispute the recent re-election of Joseph Kabila as president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) picketed on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday, calling on investors to steer clear of the country's mineral resources.
They also claimed that South Africa had only endorsed Kabila's re-election because prominent South Africans had business interests in the countries' mining sector.
Chanting in French and Kikongo, approximately 30 protesters cradled placards and the DRC's flags while they toyi-toyi'd along Coen Steytler avenue outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
"Kabila is a killer and rapist"; "Help save the DRC"; and "DRC in deep political crisis -- Illegal delegation as Indaba," read some of the placards.
The protests form part of a larger campaign by DRC citizens residing in South Africa who believe the presidential elections in December were illegitimate and fixed in favour of incumbent president Joseph Kabila.
'Kabila stole the elections and is stealing the wealth'
"There is no government representative of the people at the moment in the DRC. Kabila stole the elections and is stealing the wealth of our country -- he must go," Iko Ikotela from Kinshasa told the Mail & Guardian.
Most of those protesting outside the Indaba say opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is the rightful leader of the country and was defeated by Kabila only "through fraud".
As part of their remonstrations, the protesters are encouraging investors to steer clear of the country's mineral sector, which they believe is "tainted".
"Hey! Please don't invest in the DRC -- you are supporting a murderer and a rapist and buying blood diamonds -- don't do it," shouted one Protester to a bemused looking delegate as he exited the Indaba.
Besides diamonds, other primary minerals mined in the country include cobalt, gold and copper.
Despite widespread international condemnation, the South African government ratified Kabila's victory in late December.
'Zuma and his cronies have mines in the DRC'
Ikotela alleges the support from the South African government is solely based on business interests in the DRC, held by prominent South African politicians.
"Your President Zuma and his cronies have mines up in DRC, that's why you are supporting Kabila," he told the M&G.
Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj dismissed claims of Zuma's business concerns in the DRC as "far-fetched" and would not comment any further on the matter.
While there is no overt evidence to suggest President Zuma is involved in any business concerns -- mining or otherwise -- in the DRC, his nephew Khulubuse Zuma is involved in the country's mineral and energy sector.
In response to the protests, the DRC's minerals and energy delegation at the Indaba have set up an emergency number for the country's representatives to contact should picketers threaten them.
"They have been a little aggressive but nothing too hectic. If I think it is bad I will use the number," Alessaine Kwatanga, a businessman in Lubumbashi told the M&G.
Indaba organisers have described the protests as "unfortunate" but say they recognise the rights of DRC citizens to protest against their government and leaders.
"The right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the South African Constitution. The Mining Indaba would like to apologise to our delegates and anyone who might have been inconvenienced," read a statement released on Wednesday.
Magashule condemns xenophobia
IOL News 8 February 2012
Xenophobic violence in the Welkom area during the past week was condemned by Free State premier Ace Magashule on Wednesday.
A number of shops owned by foreigners, mainly Bangladeshis, were broken into, set alight and looted in Thabong, Welkom and Odendaalsrus.
Magashule said the attacks were a clear violation of the rights of immigrants and foreigners. He said it appeared “criminal elements” had taken advantage of the situation.
“These attacks violate the fundamental principles of our Constitution, which rejects discrimination and intolerance on the basis of race, creed or geographic origin.”
Free State police said Thabong and Kutloanong (Odendaalrus) were quiet on Wednesday.
About 40 people have been arrested in Thabong since groups of youths took to the streets last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said a group of jobless youths were unhappy after talks with local mines about jobs and took to the streets. They wanted mines to recruit local people first.
Twenty-four businesses were damaged in the three-day rampage in Thabong.
Captain Stephen Thakeng said Kutloanong was quiet on Wednesday. Seven people were arrested after youths started to attack foreigners and their businesses on Monday.
Sixteen shops were damaged and looted. Police had to escort foreigners out of the township.
Police said the violence in Kutloanong seemed to be related to the public violence and looting in Thabong last week.
Magashule urged residents in the area to condemn the violent attacks on innocent people, whose lives were threatened because of their geographic origins.
“We call upon our people to refrain from participating in such violent acts.”
He said the provincial government would continue to work with all concerned parties to find solutions to some of the problems facing citizens.
Police said those arrested in the two towns would begin appearing in courts from Wednesday to Monday next week. – Sapa
MUT student protest halts lectures
Lungelo Mkamba and Mbali Shezi February 7 2012
The marchers, led by SRC president Sifiso Mvuyane, said they were protesting against a shortage of residences. He said 700 students did not have accommodation for the year.
In 2011, a fire broke out at the Lonsdale Hotel, in Dr Pixley KaSeme (West) Street, prompting the Mangosuthu management to decide that it was unsafe for students.
Mvuyane said the hotel was safe and the 700 students should stay there.
“We will not agree to any other accommodation besides Lonsdale.”
Other concerns raised by Mvuyane were that transport fees had increased from R900 to R1 500 annually and that students with fee debts were not being allowed to register.
According to university spokeswoman Mbali Mkhize
transport costs had increased because the university needed to clear its debt. She said a meeting between the management and the SRC, held on January 30, had resolved that final-year students who had applied and qualified for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding would be allowed to register.
Students in other years of study who applied and qualified for NSFAS funding would be allowed to register if they had balances of R8 000 or less.
Cash-paying students owing R5 000 and below would be allowed to register after paying registration deposits of a minimum of R1 000.
However, Mvuyane said the SRC proposed that final-year students owing up to R10 000 be allowed to register.
Protesters demand that city manager quit
Laea Medley and Zama Nene 7 February 2012
About 300 protesters gathered at the Durban City Hall on Monday carrying placards demanding the resignation of municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole. They also threatened to sleep outside the building.
The protesters were Umlazi residents who had been left homeless after the eThekwini municipality suspended a housing contract held by millionaire businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane in November.
The R176 million contract promised to house 200 families in Umlazi.
On Monday, the residents handed over a memorandum to Joe Nene, a policy adviser to the mayor, who received it on behalf of Sithole.
The angry residents wanted to know why the contract was suspended, as neither they nor their councillors were informed.
They demanded the reinstatement of the contract so that their promised houses could be built.
They also declared their support for Mpisane.
The displaced residents branded Sithole, who became city manager at the beginning of the month, “uncaring”, and accused him of being arrogant.
A spokesman for the residents, S’bu Cirha, said they were unhappy with the way the matter was handled.
“We are fighting for the development of the houses, which were promised to the people,” he said.
“We were never consulted about why the contract was cancelled, so we demand answers.”
One of the residents, Mqondisi Jali, said: “We just want houses. We have been waiting for houses for so long, we’re sleeping outside. Our area is neglected. How do they expect us to live our lives properly?”
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said she did not care who the contract was given to, but just wanted a roof over her head.
The residents have planned another march to the city hall on Wednesday in the hope of meeting the city manager.
Mpisane was quoted as saying she did not know why the contract had been suspended, but believed it was because of her 2005 fraud conviction – for which she was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years.
Housing Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay said on Friday that the department had a duty to look at the interests of the 200 families affected, and that authorities would ensure that the houses were built.
Woman begins hunger strike over Chappies
Zara Nicholson 6 February 2012
A Hout Bay resident and member of the Civil Rights Action Group (Crag) started a hunger strike at the Chapman’s Peak toll plaza and office block site on Sunday, saying she would stop only if the construction was halted.
With temperatures of 35º on Sunday, Bronwen Lankers-Byrne was strong and vowed to carry on until authorities were prepared to have transparent discussions and take residents’ feelings on the development into account.
Lankers-Byrne, who is almost 60, sat alone under a small tree opposite the construction site on Chapman’s Peak where she started her hunger strike at 7am.
“I will do this for as long as it takes,” she said.
Earlier in the day a few environmentalists were also at the site where they spray-painted containers and road signs near the site. The group sprayed messages like: “We are still gatvol” and “a precedent for one office block, then another and another”.
Lankers-Byrne said she was only drinking water and was feeling strong except for a “pounding headache”.
She was the march co-ordinator for the protest last month when more than 2 000 people voiced their opposition to the construction of a toll plaza and office block for the toll operator, Entilini.
Residents say the building does not match the plans they commented on during the public participation processes.
Lankers-Byrne said: “When I was interviewed in 2009 at a protest, I was really angry and I told a reporter, ‘Over my dead body will they build this plaza,’ That’s where the hunger strike thought started and then I also thought about what Gandhi would do in this situation and I thought about a passive but strong resistance that’s effective.”
Lankers-Byrne was particularly outraged that building continued despite a showing by more than 2 000 people who disagreed with the plan.
Various civil groups are opposing the R54 million development with the Hout Bay Residents Association busy finalising documents to file an interdict to stop the construction from continuing.
Lankers-Byrne did not have any breakfast and by 2pm she said: “Spiritually I feel fine. I’ve resolved myself to the fact that I am not going to put anything past my mouth except water until they stop building and we sit around a table to discuss the data and a simple way forward.”
Premier Helen Zille cycled on Chapman’s Peak yesterday morning and Lankers-Byrne stopped her and explained what she was doing. Zille took her details and said she would be in contact.
“I am just tired of politicians. We vote for them, we pay their salaries and they do what we don’t want, with our money,” she said.
Local actress Vanessa Haywood stopped as she was driving past and took a picture of Lankers-Byrne.
She posted the picture on Twitter and tweeted: “And the morons have already started building on Chappies.”
Haywood, who has more than 5 000 followers on Twitter, said she wanted to rally support for Lankers-Byrne and signed the petition at the site opposing the development.
Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle said: “We can talk as soon as we can. I don’t want her to do anything drastic. I’ve had several long talks with people on Crag’s committee and I’m happy to talk to anyone about Chapman’s Peak. The purpose of discussion is to see what solutions we can come to and if they want to have a discussion, they must look at all the possibilities. We all want to find the least objectionable solution.”
He did not speak for other stakeholders, but was sure they would also make time to talk, Carlisle said. - Cape Times
Unions not behind Kruger Park strike
(IOL News) 2 February 2012
Two unions with representation at the Kruger National Park (KNP) have denied being behind a strike by over 300 employees, planned for Friday.
“As far as we are concerned, our members have not indicated themselves that there is any strike,” said Ivan Molefe, SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers' Union negotiator on Thursday.
“They are doing it on an individual basis,” he said.
The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa) said no current members were involved.
Some former members who had recently resigned were among those planning to strike over pay at the park on Friday, it said.
“They are striking for legitimate issues, but they did that as individuals. They did not consult with us,” said Hospersa spokesman Dumisani Mthalana..
“They are fighting something we are also fighting,” he said.
Earlier, KNP spokesman William Mabasa said a notice giving 361people permission to strike from Friday was issued by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
Of these, 248 were rangers, sparking concern over the protection of the animals from poachers, particularly rhino.
In 2011, 448 rhinos were killed in South Africa.
The park employs about 400 rangers out of around 2500 staff.
“It is indeed unfortunate that our rangers have decided to go on strike at the time when we are at the peak of our war against rhino poachers,” Mabasa said in a statement earlier this week.
“These are the men and women that we rely on in our fight against the poachers, but nevertheless management would like to assure our guests and the public in general that all contingency measures are in place to adequately deal with the situation.”
Mabasa said workers believed some employees got more money than others for doing the same job.
In previous discussions, management explained that salary differences could be due to factors such as experience, or a longer term of employment.
KNP had put contingency plans in place, which included using the SA National Defence Force, the police, and volunteer rangers.
Mabasa said visitors could continue with their plans to visit the park.
Mthalane and Molefe said both unions had seen resignations among members at the park in what Mthalana called “union hopping”.
Saccawu had lost its majority at the park when members left to join Hospersa. Another union was apparently campaigning in the park for members, who had in turn resigned from Hospersa , they explained.
“It is their right to belong or not to belong, but it is a trend in SA National Parks: they are just hopping from one union to another,” he said.
Saccawu and Hospersa had not been asked to join the strike.
Comment from the people intending to strike was not immediately available. - Sapa
Protesting metro cops stop traffic
Bongani Hans 3 February 2012
The eThekwini council’s executive committee is expected to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to find a solution to the grievances of protesting metro police officers.
Mayor James Nxumalo made the promise after accepting a memorandum from hundreds of officers who marched from Berea to the city hall yesterday.
They brought traffic in Dr Pixley KaSeme (West) Street to a standstill and hurled insults at metro police head Eugene Nzama.
Businesses along the route closed until the marchers passed by.
Nxumalo said he was committed to addressing the officers’ grievances and would give them feedback within 48 hours.
He said their grievances were legitimate and were among many issues at the municipality that needed to be corrected urgently.
“Since I have signed this memorandum, I will call an urgent executive committee meeting to sit at 10am (today). You will get your feedback before the end of the day,” he said.
Some of the officers said they had joined the force at the age of 18 and worked without being given the training required for permanent employment.
They said they were disqualified from attending the training when they reached the age of 30, and deprived of permanent employment and benefits such as medical aid.
Unhappy with his response to their grievances, the officers demanded that Nzama be reassigned to another department.
They also wanted the city to investigate the qualifications of Rajen Chin, head of the metro police’s specialised units.
Late last month, former eThekwini municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe suspended Chin and promised to start an investigation, which the marchers said had not commenced.
The officers also demanded the suspension of metro police human resources manager Monty Naidoo, who they accused of signing Chin’s employment contract. - The Mercury
Invaders to vacate Wallmanstal
IOL News2 February 2012
The High Court in Pretoria has ordered illegal occupants of Wallmansthal, north of the city, to vacate government-owned land within 15 days.
In his ruling on Thursday, Judge Joseph Raulinga issued a court order compelling the occupants of Wallmansthal to demolish their structures and remove their belongings.
“I understand that the land issue is a very emotive one in our country and there is a genuine need. Government has put policies in place with regards to land restitution. We have to respect those policies,” he said.
“We cannot take the law into our own hands. We have instances where greedy elements take advantage of the poor. That is lack of respect for the law.”
The application was brought by the rural development and land reform department, which was busy transferring the land to successful claimants.
According to an earlier court order no one was allowed to settle on the land until infrastructure had been installed.
Large numbers of people nevertheless started moving in, setting up informal dwellings on plots that were apparently unlawfully sold at R400 a piece to members of the public. – Sapa
Students, unions to strike
Leanne Jansen 2 February 2012
Angry over registration policies, students as well as workers’ and teachers’ unions have threatened to strike at all four major tertiary institutions in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union; the SA Students Congress; the SA Democratic Teachers Union and the Young Communist League said that rather than destabilising the higher education system, they were “restoring order” where crisis existed.
The unions have set tomorrow as the deadline by which to reach agreement with the senior management of the Durban University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Zululand and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Last week, the chairman of the National Assembly’s higher education committee, Ishmael Malale, urged Mangosuthu student leaders to reach out to him and other MPs before embarking on protest action.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union KZN secretary Zola Saphetha said there were common problems across the campuses, including inadequate residences, the number of points needed for admittance being “unilaterally” increased, students incurring debt because of poor distribution of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, and students being excluded from certain fields of study on the basis of race.
The institutions have denied acting in bad faith and said they were unaware of the looming protests.
Sapetha said that everyone from cleaning staff to lecturers would join the protests.
The Durban University of Technology said that if necessary, it would implement an interdict awarded to it last year, which prohibited students from participating in protest action.
The University of Zululand responded that while people had the right to strike, its management was “always willing” to hold talks.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal said only its medical school had targets for admission according to race. It had provided R16.2 million from its own funds where the aid scheme fell short this year and, although two new residences had been completed, there were plans to increase on-campus residences.
Implats sacks 13 000 striking workers
Mail & Guardian 2 February 2012
Impala Platinum, the world's second largest platinum producer, said on Thursday that it had dismissed 13 000 employees, bringing to 17 200 those sacked since the start of a labour dispute almost two weeks ago.
Workers were given until Wednesday to return to work at its Rustenburg operations or face dismissal.
A process of rehiring, which could give the fired workers a chance to reapply for their jobs, would be "undertaken in due course", the company said in a statement.
The stoppage is costing Implats 3 000 platinum ounces a day in lost production.
The dispute centres on retention bonuses awarded to only part of the workforce. The latest round of dismissals follows the firing of drill operators who initiated a stay-away a fortnight ago that was declared illegal by a court.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it was disappointed that the company had resorted to firing-and-rehiring.
NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the process of rehiring took a long time and the longer it took, the harder the operations would be hit.
The trade union believes that many of those dismissed were not on strike but prevented from reporting for work due to intimidation.
"Workers could simply not get to work safely," he said.
Safety stoppages have also hit platinum output across the sector in South Africa, which accounts for about 80% of the global supply of the precious metal.
Platinum's spot price is up over 15% since the start of the year to over $1 600 an ounce.
Implats' share price was down 2.4% at 12:54 GMT, underperforming the benchmark top 40 index, which was 0.7% higher. -- Reuters
SATAWU PLANNED MARCH AGAINST METRORAIL CALLED OFF
SATAWU 2 February 2012
The planned march on Friday 3, February, 2012 has been called off after the CCMA was granted Metrorail an Interim Court Interdict against any strike action or intention to strike by members of SATAWU. That being the case we can confirmed that all SATAWU Metrorail workers would be reporting for duty and continue to work as normal.
We respect the court ruling and we call on all our members who work for Metrorail to do the same. There are serious problems within Metrorail and they will continue to be there unless they are addressed. SATAWU will continue to raise this issue in line with the given to us by our members.
We expect our members to report on duty tomorrow.
072 111 8131
Pennyville residents protest over Absa eviction
Mail & Guardian 1 February 2012
Angry Pennyville residents staged a demonstration outside Absa buildings in Johannesburg on Wednesday, protesting against their eviction by the bank.
Those living in the Absa-owned flats in the mixed housing complex in Soweto have been served with an eviction notice for March, but the residents refuse to go down without a fight.
The protesters picketed and sang outside, while employees were stuck inside the Absa building in the Johannesburg city centre. Witnesses told the Mail & Guardian the protest started after 10am and lasted little more than half an hour, when protesters were permitted through the doors to hand over a memorandum.
But it is unlikely to be the last Absa will hear from the Pennyville community.
Last year residents hit back against an eviction order they claimed was illegal. The New Age reported that when residents were evicted for non-payment of rent or bonds early last year, others participated in a rent boycott in protest against poor and hazardous living conditions and double billing for electricity.
A further eviction effort by the Red Ants in November resulted in only 10 residents being evicted out of the 50 scheduled, when the community resisted by barricading the building and surrounding streets.
Many residents facing eviction insisted they had paid their rentals consistently and in full.
Absa told the M&G that, following unsuccessful efforts to amicably resolve the non-payment matter with Pennyville residents, Diluculo Investments, Absa's division to finance commercial property, approached the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court to recover the arrear amounts involved.
"It is important to note that the eviction orders were obtained on legitimate grounds with all factors having been taken into account," the bank said. "Absa will always try to amicably resolve matters which pertain to our customers and will only resort to evictions as a last resort."
Absa said it received the memorandum from a group representing the community of Pennyville and that the matter is with their legal team.
STUDENT PROTEST: EDGEWOOD CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS 1 February 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
A number of students on the Edgewood Campus embarked on a protest
yesterday and this morning and attempted to disrupt the registration process of
students that was in progress.
The School of Education has the capacity to accommodate 650 students for the
first year BEd programme. Due to the high demand for the programme with
more than 14 000 applications, the School has made offers for admission to 900
students. The required matric points for the BEd degree programme is within the
range of the maximum points of 48 to the minimum of 24 points.
Unfortunately due to limited resources, both in terms of infrastructure and
academic staff, the School cannot further increase admission numbers into this
programme. The cut-off point for the Bed degree is 28.
The Edgewood SRC have demanded that the School of Education admit 18
students who are outside the cut-off point.
Members of Executive Management, the College of Humanities and the School
Management engaged the SRC to try and resolve the impasse and to impress
upon them the rules of the University and the penalties that we face when we
enroll more students. Furthermore, the SRC were informed that our enrollment
plan has been agreed to by Senate and is implemented according to the
targets set by the Department of Higher Education and Training.
The matter remains unresolved as the local SRC walked out of the meeting.
Further discussions were held with the Central SRC and it has been agreed to
meet today – the meeting is still in progress.
UKZN is serious about excellence and does not discriminate the schools that we
recruit students from. It is important to note that all degrees have a limited
number of spaces available. The best qualified applicants are chosen first and
selection continues until the cut-off point has been reached and or all places
have been filled. It is unlikely that students below the cut-off point are selected.
It should also be noted that demand exceeds available places, and not all
applicants meeting the requirements will be offered places.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
NUM condemns Impala Platinum
NUM 1 February 2012
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is highly perturbed by the unpleasant situation at Impala Platinum in Rustenburg where over 25 000 workers had stayed away from duty. The NUM believes that Impala Platinum applies underhand tactics to incite workers into strike, obtain an interdict and fire them. This conclusion is informed by the fact that Impala reneged from an agreement it had with the NUM where it commited to further negotiations on other conditions of service and emphasised that it will not enter into talks which will have monetary implications. Contrary to that, the company went ahead and increased by 18% wages for miners excluding rockdrill operators and other categories, thus triggering the current illegal strike. Secondly, the NUM always applies for permission to conduct meetings with its members within the premises but the company has allowed people who do not work there to come and have several meetings with workers in the company premises. The NUM has raised the issue and appealed on the company to provide security for the over 23 000 members that want to go to work. Impala Platinum now refuses to meet the NUM, which is the sole representative of mineworkers at the operations and refuse to provide security. The company has opted to obtain interdict after the other.
The NUM is of the view that Impala Platinum CEO ‘s sudden departure and the strike are interlinked and suspect that the company intends to restructure its workforce. In pursuit of its restructuring, the company wishes to fire a whole lot of workers so it can persuade them to re-apply and reject some of them in line with its restructuring objectives.
The National Union of Mineworkers calls on the company to return itself to sanity and follow proper procedures if it is its intention to restructure. The NUM fears that the volatile situation within Impala may lead to violence as those who want to go to work may eventually confront those who prevent them from doing so.
Lesiba Seshoka- (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719
011 377 2047
3 wounded in protest
IOL News 31 January 2012
Three people were wounded, 10 arrested, and two police vans damaged during a service delivery protest in Ngcobo, Eastern Cape police said on Tuesday.
About 500 people barricaded Mgwali Road with stones and burning tyres on Monday, Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said.
“They uprooted road signs in a protest against a lack of electricity and houses. When police arrived the protesters threw stones at their vehicles severely damaging two vans in the process.”
The officers fired rubber bullets to disperse the residents and arrested 10 people. Fatyela said the situation was calm on Tuesday morning but police were still patrolling the area.
Three people were taken to a local hospital with rubber bullet injuries. Those arrested were expected to face charges of public violence and malicious damage to property in the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
The Chris Hani district municipality, under which Ngcobo fell, was not immediately available for comment. – Sapa
Blikkiesdorp residents fed up
NATASHA BEZUIDENHOUT (IOL News) 31 January 2012
A group of Blikkiesdorp residents set tyres alight and barricaded parts of Symphony Way in protest over inadequate housing on Monday.
Police tried to disperse the crowd, but they demanded to see their ward councillor.
On Tuesday morning at least three metro police vehicles were patrolling the area, which had calmed down after Monday night.
Residents say they are fed up with their living conditions.
Jacqueline Hendricks said she would fight to get a house of her own.
“Some people have been on a housing waiting list for 29 years. We are tired of it and will fight for our houses.”
Anther resident, Ricardo Joshua, said people were frustrated and sick and tired of living in Blikkiesdorp.
“They are just dumping people here. (Premier Helen) Zille designed Blikkiesdorp and put up more shacks. When are we going to get out?” he asked.
Faldelah Damons said the city made promises, but nothing was ever done.
“Enough is enough. Children are warned by gang members and we don’t want violence. We don’t want to live in blikkies anymore.”
Shamiela Jassien said they lived in disgusting conditions.
“The toilets are disgusting and women have so many infections. We come here healthy and people leave here in a coffin. Blikkiesdorp is a health risk.”
Another resident said drains were blocked.
Marshell Wolhuter said: “
Crime is getting worse and children are becoming ill.”
Shameeg Damons said he had been living in the settlement for almost five years. “I have been on a housing waiting list for 10 years already.”
Ward 106 councillor Khayalethu Makeleni said he had held a meeting with residents.
“A committee from the community handed me a memorandum addressing all the issues last week.
“I will respond to the memorandum this weekend, after my meeting with the city council,” he said.
firstname.lastname@example.org - Cape Argus
Ficksburg protesters to be tried
IOL news 31 January 2012
The State will press ahead with public violence charges against 15 Ficksburg residents who demonstrated alongside slain protester Andries Tatane, an official said on Tuesday.
Free State National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Medupe Simasiku said the director of public prosecutions in the Free State had decided to prosecute in the matter. The group appeared in court on Monday.
The case was postponed to February 10 for the group members to arrange legal representation.
The 15 were among a group of more than 40 people arrested during protests after a service delivery march in April 2011 in Ficksburg. Charges were withdrawn against the others.
The group was arrested in Meqheleng during the protest where resident Andries Tatane was killed, allegedly by public order police. Video footage showed riot police beating Tatane during the march to the Setsoto municipal offices in Ficksburg. Over several days, roads were blocked with stones and bricks, and tyres set alight.
The Independent Complaints Directorate was handling the investigation into Tatane's murder.
Two policemen were charged with murder and another six faced charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The eight policemen's case would be heard in the Ficksburg Regional Court over four days from April 23. – Sapa
Rival factions face off at ET murder trial
OMPHITLHETSE MOOKI (IOL News) 31 January 2012
Supporters of slain right-wing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche and his alleged killers antagonised each other by singing emotionally charged songs outside the court on Monday.
Police had to be called in to defuse the situation as tensions flared near the Ventersdorp High Court, where Chris Mahlangu and a teenager are on trial.
Dressed in camouflage, a small group of AWB members descended on the small North West town at about 8am.
They set up a gazebo, stuck posters on tree trunks and hoisted their flags atop their 4x4 vehicles.
They braaied boerewors and sang Afrikaans songs like Bok van Blerk’s De la Rey, which blared from loudspeakers. The situation threatened to turn nasty when the song Bobbejaan Klim die Berg (baboon climbs the mountain) started playing.
Tshing residents took offence and retaliated by singing President Jacob Zuma’s favourite song, Umshini Wam (bring me my machinegun).
A clash between the two groups threatened, and police stepped in.
Implats: Rustenburg mine still shut
Business Report30 January 2012
South African miner Impala Platinum said on Monday its Rustenburg operations remained shut after the majority of workers staging an illegal strike over wages failed to return to work.
Implats said it had been granted a further court order declaring the strike illegal.
“The failure of the workforce to report for work this morning is due to an alternative union ... who have, despite no formal process in place, attempted to gain recognition at the Rustenburg operation,” it said in a statement.
About 5,000 drill operators downed tools on January 20. The company dismissed them after the stoppage was declared illegal. The workers have been told to reapply for their positions. - Reuters
Residents march over ‘killer cop’
Kutlwano Olifant 30 January 2012
As the police celebrated National Police Day in central Joburg, hundreds of residents of Soweto marched to demand the suspension of a cop charged with murder.
The piercing sound of vuvuzelas echoed through the streets as residents of Nomzamo marched to the Orlando police station in protest against the non-suspension of Constable Ndivhoneni Malele.
Malele allegedly shot and killed Thamsanqa Samane-Radebe two weeks ago after Samane-Radebe had told him to “voertsek”.
The killing happened while the police were trying to enter Radebe’s shack at about midnight.
Samane-Radebe had apparently been irritated by the loud knocks when he uttered the word “voertsek”, according to his cousin Mzuvukile.
Mzuvukile said Malele had shot Radebe despite him (Mzuvukile) apologising. He added that Malele then pepper-sprayed Samane-Radebe in the face.
Malele was arrested five days later and appeared in court on the same day. He was granted bail on the same day and resumed duty the following day – a decision that has outraged Nomzamo residents.
On Friday, they called for his suspension.
Young and old sang and danced outside the police station as a memorandum was handed over. The residents were joined by Orlando ward councillor Sechaba Khumalo and his predecessor Ruby Matang.
In the memorandum, residents complained about the “unfair” and “lenient” ruling that saw Malele being released on R1 000 bail.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Bongani Mhlongo said the station commander was still awaiting feedback from the Gauteng provincial office regarding Malele’s suspension. - The Star
AWB supporters outside ET trial
IOL News30 January 2012
A small group of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging supporters were gathered outside the High Court in Ventersdorp on Monday morning.
The group, dressed in camouflage uniforms, were awaiting the resumption of the trial of two farmworkers for the murder of rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche.
Cars were draped in AWB regalia and flags and the group played Afrikaans music including the controversial song De La Ray.
The case was postponed in October last year.
Chris Mahlangu and a minor are accused of beating and hacking the former AWB leader to death in his farmhouse in North West in April 2010.
Both have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Mahlangu claims he acted in self defence. The teenager has denied involvement in the crime. - Sapa
Occupy Rondebosch: Charges against protesters withdrawn
Mail & Guardian 30 January 2011
Public violence charges against 41 Cape Town protesters have been withdrawn following their arrest on Friday, when police dispersed an unsanctioned protest being held on Rondesbosch Common.
The 41 demonstrators group appeared in the Wynberg magistrate's court on Monday morning, after they were arrested last week while taking part in what was deemed by authorities to be an illegal protest, but described by organisers as a "summit" on land, jobs, housing and other issues pertinent to Cape Town's poor.
To underscore their issues, participants had decided to meet at Rondebosch Common, a public space they said was seen to be the exclusive property of a moneyed and predominantly white elite of the southern suburbs.
The protest itself emerged from encounters between several grassroots organisations, including Proudly Mannenberg. The protesters, unlike in previous Occupy South Africa protests, which had been criticised for being attended mostly by white, middle-class demonstrators, were mostly black and coloured, and from working class backgrounds.
Police had been waiting along the route, for the protesters who were marching to the Common from as far away as Athlone, Mitchells Plain and Kraaifontein.
A total of 41 protesters -- of whom 26 were women -- were jailed, including organiser Mario Wanza, who was arrested at around 10am while still in Mannenberg. All were released soon afterwards -- except Wanza, who had previously been singled out as an instigator by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, and remained in jail until his Monday morning court appearance.
At the common itself, protesters were significantly outnumbered by a police presence of about 200 officers, who used water cannons loaded with blue dye to disperse the gathering. When protester Niall Reddy questioned the police about which law was being violated, police cited a court order, but were apparently unable to produce any documentation.
According to the Freedom of Expression Institute's Na'eem Jeenah, the Democratic Alliance-run Cape Town has a history of denying citizens the right to assemble.
Christopher McMichael, who has written on both the DA's response to dissent and "securitisation" in the country, said the Cape Town authorities' actions were "indicative of the police response to the Occupy phenomenon throughout the world".
"They have shown how they can keep up with the 'world class' standard set in Oakland or New York," said McMichael. "The response was based upon a militarised outlook of pre-emption."
Jane Duncan of the Rhodes University Journalism and Media Studies department said that such attitudes towards public gatherings were not exclusive to a single party: "It has become patently obvious that local authorities are manipulating the RGA [Regulations of Gatherings Act] to frustrate gatherings, rather than enable them, and that this cuts across ANC and DA-controlled municipalities".
'Agents of division'
While supporters of the protest argued that their meeting posed no threat to public safety, the city had declared the movement a threat.
De Lille described the protesters as "agents of division" and singled out Wanza, as someone who will "act destructively, who will undo the good work of others to pursue selfish political motives", describing him as a "would-be but failed public servant who claims to speak on behalf of the people of the Cape Flats".
De Lille further claimed that Wanza was allied to her former mayoral rival in last year's municipal election, councillor Tony Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich, who also leads Cosatu in the province, later showed up at the protest offering to help to those arrested, before being shouted down by angry protesters who claimed he was attempting to hijack the protest on behalf of Cosatu and its alliance partner, the ANC.
According to protesters, neither Cosatu nor Ehrenreich was involved until he showed up on the day of the protest. Organisers had decided not to back any particular political party.
Video footage purports to show the police employing excessive force in their handling of several female protesters.
Richard October, a Cape Town-based community activist and member of Occupy Cape Town was among those taken into custody: "I got arrested when four big policemen were being brutal to a 19-year-old girl, I confronted them about their excessive behavior and they arrested me."
Fiery Khayelitsha pastor Xola Skonsana claimed that he had "escaped imprisonment by the skin of my teeth, saved by the clerical shirt and the religious look ... they sprayed some blue substance on our clothes, I'm tempted to say that's DA Blood."
Organisers of the protest said they would lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission on Monday, claiming that the city's show of force was "overkill" and "illegal". -- Additional reporting by Sapa
Benjamin Fogel is a freelance writer, he can be contacted at email@example.com
Outrage over arrests on Rondebosch Common
Babalo Ndenze (IOL News) 30 January 2012
A storm has erupted after protest action at Rondebosch Common, with organisers planning to lodge a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission, claiming the city’s show of force was “overkill” and “illegal”.
About 40 protesters, including chief organiser Mario Wanza, were arrested during a demonstration by campaigners who had not obtained permission to protest. Police, who outnumbered protesters, sprayed blue dye on the crowd to disperse them on Friday.
Organisers said Wanza remained behind bars at Manenberg police station over the weekend ahead of his court appearance in Athlone on Monday. Other protesters were released and are to appear in court on Monday.
Police would not confirm or comment on Wanza’s incarceration but defended the use of force.
The City of Cape Town said the actions on Friday were the police’s decision and responsibility. Speaking on behalf of mayor Patricia De Lille, mayoral committee member Grant Pascoe said arrests were not carried out on her instructions.
“Our guys were there as back-up. It’s difficult to say why SAPS reacted the way they did. But in this instance Wanza failed to meet the requirements of the Gatherings Act. But I want to categorically state that (De Lille) said our law enforcement guys must not act heavy-handedly. (The) mayor said ‘no physicality’,” said Pascoe.
The defiant group plans a second week of protest action, with a “renaming” of the open space this weekend.
Occupy Rondebosch Common claims to have the backing of the SA Council of Churches, Cosatu, the SA NGO Coalition and the Institute for the Restoration of Aborigines of SA.
Organisers are reprinting UDF banners in a bid to revive the mass anti-apartheid organisation of the 1980s.
On Sunday, one of the organisers, Richard October, accused De Lille of having a hand in Wanza’s incarceration and for “personalising” the campaign.
Saying the group would approach the HRC on Monday, October said: “One person is still under arrest and that’s (Wanza). From what we understand it is De Lille who is personalising this matter and making it about Wanza.”
October said the SAPS and metro police contingent and the arrests were “overkill”.
De Lille singled out Wanza during her speech at last week’s council meeting and dedicated a large part of her weekly newsletter to him, branding him and his supporters “agents of destruction”.
De Lille wrote that occupations, illegal actions and invasions were all “side-paths. But they lead nowhere. All that remains at the end of these short diversions is more pain, suffering, conflict and violence. And when we descend there, we will forget where we were going, forever.”
SAPS spokesman Andre Traut told the Cape Times: “The march was illegal. They had no permission and the South African police cannot tolerate lawlessness.”
He said 26 females and 14 males were arrested.
“They did not adhere to the instruction to disperse and that’s why they were arrested,” said Traut, who refused to disclose how many police were at the scene. Weekend reports stated that there were “hundreds” of police officers and six Casspirs.
Jared Sacks of Communities for Change claimed that police acted in contravention of the Gatherings Act.
“We will come back to the common next Sunday for a renaming ceremony and we will occupy District Six and golf courses,” Sacks said, adding that they didn’t need permission to conduct a renaming ceremony on open space.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said there would be “war” on the common. “Police stopped people at many points and some from boarding trains. But Cosatu filed an application on Friday for a protest on the common on Saturday.” Organisers would call on “all white communities to join us”.
SAHRC spokesman Vincent Moaga could not be reached for comment. - Cape Times
Rondebosch common protesters in court
IOL News 30 January 2012
A backyarder group, who had their protest on Rondesbosch Common in Cape Town dispersed by the police last week, are due to appear in court on Monday.
The 41 Mandela Park Backyarders demonstrators will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Dille had promised to down come hard on the group if their protest went ahead.
Organisers of the protest said they would lodge a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission, claiming that the city’s show of force was “overkill” and “illegal”.
“We were with the help of some dedicated lawyers, able to secure the release of 41 of the people arrested,” the group said in a statement.
“The police are still refusing to release one protester however, possibly because Patricia de Lille has been gunning for him.”
According to the Cape Times newspaper, the police, who outnumbered the small group of protesters, sprayed blue dye on the crowd to disperse them. The group had not obtained permission to protest.
According to the organisers, Mario Wanza, leader of the backyarder group, remained behind bars at Manenberg police station over the weekend ahead of his court appearance in Athlone on Monday.
Mayoral committee member Grant Pascoe said the police dealt with matters of public order and the arrests were not carried out on De Lille’s instructions.
“Our guys were there as back-up,” he told the Cape Times.
“It’s difficult to say why SAPS reacted the way they did. But in this instance, Wanza failed to meet the requirements of the Gatherings Act,” Pascoe said.
“But I want to categorically state that (De Lille) said our law enforcement guys must not act heavy handedly.
“(The) mayor said ‘no physicality’,” Pascoe said.
One of the Mandela Park Backyarders' organisers, Richard October, said the group would approach the HRC today.
“One person is still under arrest and that’s (Wanza). From what we understand, it is De Lille who is personalising this matter and making it about Wanza,” he said. – Sapa
Battle of the Common
Junior Bester (IOL News) 28 January 2012
A usually peaceful Rondebosch Common was turned into a war zone on Friday as protesters, outnumbered by a huge police contingent, were sprayed with blue dye, arrested and thrown into the back of police vans.
With many still behind bars at the time of going to press on Friday night, they were, however, undeterred – and warned that Mowbray Golf Club would be next.
Earlier this week mayor Patricia de Lille branded Occupy Rondebosch Common organiser Mario Wanza and his supporters “agents of destruction”. And she had the police out in force from early on Friday in a bid to stop the marchers before they got anywhere near Rondebosch.
Wanza was himself arrested by police in Manenberg early in the day. But, said Farouk Davids, a protester who was with him at the time, he urged the others to continue.
The original plan was to march from various Cape Flats areas such as Mitchells Plain, Manenberg and Hanover Park, gathering at about 2pm at Athlone Stadium and then proceeding to the Common.
The protesters had warned they would “reclaim our right to the city”, occupying the Common to raise awareness about the lack of housing and jobs.
When they arrived at the stadium on Friday, a police function was under way, so they continued on the road to Rondebosch – to be met by a blockade of police who fired water cannons filled with blue dye before any of the group of just less than 40 people even made it off the pavement.
Scenes of chaos followed as police arrested the group, throwing people into the back of police vans, Casspirs and even a police minibus. They were taken to police stations at Mowbray, Claremont and Rondebosch.
Late on Friday night police spokesman Lieutenant Andre Traut said they would appear in court soon.
Amelia September, of Proudly Manenberg, said their initial plan to occupy the Common was changed on Wednesday “to show police that we were going to be peaceful”.
“We were going to march to the Common to raise awareness and make authorities aware that we are now pursuing other ways to make ourselves heard.”
Traut was adamant, however, that the event was illegal and said the organisers had not followed procedures. “Police had to act swiftly as lawlessness will not be tolerated anywhere,” he said.
Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said on Friday night he was was also unaware of any change in the protester’s plan to occupy the Common. He added that the city had always intended respecting their right to protest.
“The unfortunate thing is that they are trying to address the issue of housing, which we are also concerned about,” said Pascoe.
“We would love them to come and discuss it with us through community forums and various other channels. We do not want to see people resorting to illegal activities as we have seen today,” Pascoe said, adding that the city wanted to help people by working with them, “through the community”.
But Jared Sacks, of Communities for Social Change which was helping drive the protest, warned they would “not be deterred”.
“We will occupy every golf course, we will occupy every piece of vacant land until both the DA and ANC governments listen to the people instead of the corrupt business people and big corporates who fund their election campaigns, and dictate land, economic and fiscal policy,” he said.
He even ended in a slanging match with Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich, leader of the ANC in the city council, who was among the protesters.
Ehrenreich condemned the police’s decision to use force on the crowd, accusing local government of failing the community.
“The police’s reaction was inappropriate. I am not sure if it is because black people cannot come and protest on the Common.”
He revealed, too, that Cosatu had already applied to gather on the Common next Saturday. He promised that 1 000 protesters would be present.
Daniel Ras, from the Mitchells Plain Forum, added his voice to the anger.
“How can this amount of force be available for a peaceful march?” he asked. “Why do police not implement this much manpower to come and sweep crime off the streets of our communities?” - Weekend Argus
PRESS STATEMENT: RELEASE ALL ARRESTED FOR OCCUPYING RONDEBOSCH COMMON
DEMOCRATIC LEFT FRONT (WESTERN CAPE)
27 January 2012
The Democratic Left Front (DLF) in the Western Cape calls for the immediate release and dropping of all charges against tens of activists arrested in today’s march to, and occupation of the Rondebosch Common. Many were arrested outside the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in a clear attempt to stop them from reaching the Rondebosch Common. We condemn the SA Police Services for their anti-democratic action.
As Khayelitsha’s Pastor Xola Skosana said from the march: “I have escaped imprisonment by the skin of my teeth, saved by the clerical shirt and the religious look, I guess. They sprayed some blue substance on our clothes, tempted to say that's DA Blood. Most of our people were manhandled and thrown into police vans. I have never seen so many police. Now I know you don't mess with stolen white property, DA and ANC police will crush you! Watch the news, the writing is on the wall. I salute the mothers and young girls from Mitchell’s Plein who looked the men in blue and dared them to arrest them. Everything was blue, it's truly DA land".
The DLF condemns the City of Cape Town and the provincial government for their use of the police to stop mass action against their anti-poor policies, and to suppress dissent and maintain social control. This naked attack on the freedom of assembly has been preceded by sustained political attacks by Patricia De Lille (the Mayor of Cape Town), Helen Zille (the Premier of the Western Cape) and the Democratic Alliance on individual organisers of the Occupy Rondebosch Common movement. The individualised attacks and today’s arrests are a direct attack on the interests and rights of poor and working people.
We call on all poor and working people, people’s organisations and other progressive forces in Cape Town to use the moment of the Occupy Rondebosch Common to intensify unfolding people’s struggles to push back neo-liberalism, and anti-poor policies of the City of Cape Town, the provincial government and the national government. Clearly, all these governments are promoting post-apartheid capitalism which is leaving a trail of hunger, poverty, anger and misery. Politicians and the government they lead protect the wealthy elite who refuse to concede a single inch to the urgent needs of the majority.
FOR COMMENTS, CONTACT:
Mazibuko K. Jara – 083 651 0271
Thembi Luckett – 082 909 3203
Yushra Adams – 083 404 1279
Website – www.democraticleft.za.net
Transnet workers rise up against union
Wendy Jasson da Costa (IOL News) 27 January 2012
Durban’s port operations could be plunged into turmoil if Transnet does not solve the problems of casual workers who claim they have been physically abused and robbed of money by members of what they say is an illegal union.
Port manager Ricky Bhikraj confirmed that while they were “operating as normal”, port operators had been put on high alert as a precautionary measure. E-mails have been sent to companies operating in the port warning them to be alert and to report any industrial action.
The warnings follow a protest outside the Transnet headquarters in Durban on Monday in which port workers who are casually employed called on Transnet to deal with the Services Industry Employees Union and its founder, Willie Cira, or face industrial action.
Attempts to get comment from Cira have been unsuccessful.
Insiders say operations in the port are being run in a “mafia-like” way in which companies can only employ workers through certain la-bour brokers and that workers have to pay R20 for every shift they work, sometimes up to R40 a day.
They say Cira dictates how many people should be employed and for what period, even if the number of workers is more than is needed for a particular job.
The workers have also accused Cira and his union of colluding with certain labour brokers, like ILembe Outsourcing, which meant that they monopolised labour in the harbour.
ILembe Outsourcing director Louis Pheiffer said the allegations against his company were “absolute hogwash” and blamed the unhappiness among workers on a stevedoring company which refused to employ unionised workers.
He said his company was in good standing with the government and had always paid over all wage deductions as required by law. He said just because a union was not registered did not mean that it could not represent workers.
“We are running a good ship,” Pheiffer said.
However, Ntokozo Nzuza, of the Marine Workers Concerned Group, said despite being forced to pay for every shift worked, they had no UIF, no permanent jobs and did not get receipts.
“He (Cira) is bigger than Transnet and they have been helpless against this man,” said Nzuza.
He said the labour brokers deducted the R20 shift fee from workers’ wages without authorisation or debit orders.
Nzuza said Cira was so powerful that in the past he had stopped work on vessels in the port.
Port worker Joseph Ncube said he had been beaten up and his arm had been broken last month “for the sin of asking why my wages were not in my account”.
Bhikraj said Transnet was aware of the union which “allegedly” represented a sector which provided casual labour to the formalised stevedoring industry.
“The Transnet National Ports Authority responsible for port oversight, which includes the licensing of stevedoring companies to operate in the port, is conducting a thorough investigation into the existence of this organisation and allegations of its activities.
“The Ports Authority takes a serious view of any allegation of illegal activity associated with the port and will act together with law enforcement agencies to take any action that may be relevant or necessary,” Bhikraj said.
Transnet had consulted various port stakeholders and the organised stevedoring sector about the union and there was “no evidence of a registered or recognised employee labour union going by the name”.
Joseph Dube, a shop steward of the Cosatu-aligned SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), which also operates in the harbour, said the Services Industry Em- ployees Union used to be legitimate many years ago, but was deregistered in 2005 for not complying with the Labour Relations Act.
Attempts to get hold of Cira have been unsuccessful. One of his alleged associates, known as “Tokoloshe” or “Anthony”, said he would not put The Mercury in touch with Cira until it was revealed who had been complaining and who had given their numbers.
“You a bad snake. There’s bad people behind you who wants to get us. You bloody s***, voetsek,” he said to The Mercury before switching off his phone. - The Mercury
Lottery protesters demand answers
IOL News 27 January 2012
More than 400 protesters from several NPOs marched to the National Lotteries Board (NLB) offices in Arcadia, Pretoria.
Funding from the National Lotteries Board (NLB) is inconsistent and unreliable making it impossible for non-profit organisations to budget or plan, a spokesman for an NPO said on Friday, January 27, 2012.
More than 400 protesters from several NPOs were marching on the NLB in Arcadia near Pretoria on Friday morning to hand over a memorandum protesting at the way the board allocated grants and its lack of transparency.
Germaine Vogel, advocacy manager for Women and Men against Child Abuse, said the NLB was reluctant to release funds and offered no clarity on how to apply for a grant.
“This is public money that is supposed to be handed over to NPOs rendering the bulk of essential social services, which are mostly statutory in nature, like child protection services,” Vogel said.
The protesters are claiming that suspended ANC youth league leader Julius Malema was given a NLB allocation for a function just two weeks after he applied.
“Quite frankly we have had enough,” said Vogel.
The protesters set off around 10am led by a police vehicle as they marched along Arcadia Street to Hatfield Gardens where the NLB is housed across the road from the Canadian High Commission.
At the closed entrance, manned by security guards, the protesters burst into a chorus of “We want the money” and “Awulethi imali yami” songs and chants, blowing vuvuzelas.
“We are going there not to throw any stones or burn any cars. This is a peaceful march,” Sandra Miller, march organiser, told the crowd.
“Let's go there in unity and make a statement; this is a worthy cause,” she said.
Some placards read, “Lotto le utswetsa bahloki”; Shame on National Lotteries Board”; Moenie steel deel!” And “Help the poorest”.
A memorandum was expected to be handed to the NLB representatives.
The NLB is expected to hold a media conference in response later on Friday. - Sapa