||COSATU NW continues with its rolling mass action
Cosatu 18 April 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West is continuing with its rolling mass action program against labour brokers, the open road tolling system, corruption and poor services to the communities.
This program is part of the national campaign as adopted by the central committee last and programmatised by the CEC
COSATU NW on 19 April 2012 will march to the Moses Kotane local municipality in demand of service for the people of zone 8 in Mogwase who were insulted when they demanded these services.
COSATU will also continue with its planned night vigil at the Swartruggens toll plaza on 20-21 April 2012 which will demand that the toll fee be reduced to R20 and this will be preceded by the march from MMACON in Mahikeng to the department of health in demand of good quality public health to the people of the North west including the students conditions that has been with the department of health for years.
COSATU has also planned a mass action against racism in Zeerust which is now postponed to the following week.
As COSATU we are not acting as an opposition party but we just demand the better life for all which we were promised in 1994 when we voted for the first time and in all election campaigns.
COSATU believes that the people of this country did not struggle to be over taxed as we see happening with the e-tolling, where those who cannot register will pay six times more than those who can register. For us this means that people who do not reside in Gauteng should no longer go to Gauteng and this become another Group Areas Act.
COSATU calls on the masses our people in the country fight against this reverse colonialism or reverse apartheid.
We are calling on the media to focus on real issues that affect workers and the communities, when the factions of councillors and their police, who are in the pocket of the capitalists and corrupt councillors, refuse permissions with no reason. The media must be worried also that illegal marches are encouraged by the attitude of the police, under the instructions of the factions of the municipalities, for their continuation of corruption and stealing from the poor.
It is so disappointing to hear the journalists or the media persons representing the views of those who oppressed the poor people and being personal. We are appealing as the federation in the NW that the Radio Motsweding journalist who is doing Boresetse every morning no longer does interviews with any COSATU leader due to his personal approach. He is not focusing on matters affecting the working class or the poor communities that are affected. He is not interested on why the action is taken without permission granted. He is not prepared to listen to the response. What he wants is to get his own faction hear that he has exposed certain individual leaders of the federation.
The statement released by COSATU local was very clear, with reasons why COSATU is intervening on community issues. We have done so in many communities in the province and the same man has not argued that. What is special about Moses Kotane? Why is he not asking about issues that relate to corruption, poor service and the conditions of those communities in that area?
It must be clear to the media that we are a federation of unions which consists of workers who are members of the communities. Most of the poor people who are affected by poor service delivery are our members who do not qualify for the loan to build houses, such as the same journalist who continues representing the views of the rich people.
Leading the illegal action is the same as the municipality and their corrupt police refusing to allow workers and the communities to enjoy their rights, as they follow the procedures as per the Gathering Act. What Radio Motsweding should have done was to check if the procedure was followed, not to personalize the matter to the provincial secretary of the federation.
This is not the first time; he has done so many times, in particular when dealing with issues of corruption and racism.
We want to be very clear now, here, today: the man must no longer interview any COSATU leader. We are prepared to continue with our interaction with the media but not with a journalist who is in the pocket of some factions in the province or in the municipalities. We are asking the media once again not to be told what to say during its interviews with us. We are respecting the media; we also requesting to be respected as the federation.
For more information contact Solly Phetoe COSATU North West Provincial Secretary at 082 304 4055
UPDATE STUDENT PROTEST AT EDGEWOOD CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS
16 April 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students
The protesting students dispersed early this afternoon and the campus is quiet. The test that was scheduled for this morning has been postponed.
The School of Education was able to sign contracts with some of the Funza Lushaka bursary awardees. Students will be informed of an alternate date at which all outstanding contracts will be signed.
Payments for meal allowances will be made after midnight tonight. All affected students were informed by the University of the delays in processing their meal allowances. They were also told when their payments will be effected.
A further update will be made available as responses to the other issues raised are discussed and finalized.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
STUDENT PROTEST AT EDGEWOOD CAMPUS COMMUNIQUE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS
16 April 2012
This morning Edgewood students barricaded the main entrance and started singing and chanting.
The academic programme is continuing. Protesting students are urged to go back to class and write the tests that are due today and submit the assignments and projects due.
A memorandum was submitted today with the following five issues:
1. Disbandment of the ESRC;
2. Meal allowance not paid on Saturday;
3. Accommodation for students that are illegally staying in residences;
4. Travelling allowance during teaching practice, and
5. No financial exclusions.
The 3rd cycle allowances were due to be paid to the students’ bank accounts on Saturday, the 14th of April 2012. However there appears to have been a delay with the authorization of payments to students’ bank accounts.
The service provider has assured us that the students will receive their allowances in their bank accounts by Tuesday, the 17th of April 2012.
A communiqué with a detailed response to the rest of the issues raised will be communicated later.
Issued on behalf of Executive Management
DA protesters push for release of report
Nondumiso Mbuyazi 13 April 2012
The DA staged two protests in the Durban area on Friday morning to highlight eThekwini officials’ ongoing failure to release the full Manase and Associates report.
The protests were held at the R102 and Phoenix Highway corner, and R102 and Mount Edgecombe Hospital corner, said the DA’s co-operative governance spokesman, George Mari.
DA community operations manager Anil Singh said passing motorists had been hooting in support of the protest.
“When the robot turns red, we hand out flyers, which have also been well received.”
He said 15 people had gathered in accordance with the Riot Act, and they did not expect any more. “We’re hoping to raise more awareness so that the full report will be released.”
Since the release of the summarised report in February by KZN Co-Operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube, the DA has called on the municipality to make the contents of the report and its recommendations public, to no avail.
The closely guarded forensic report on alleged corruption, fraud, financial irregularities and maladministration in the municipality implicated top officials, including former mayor Obed Mlaba; former city manager Michael Sutcliffe; treasurer Krish Kumar; city manager for infrastructure Derek Naidoo; and the head of housing, Cogi Pather.
The report also found that 10 councillors and 123 municipal officials had been in business with the city, and recommended that action be taken by the metro council. The report also found widespread irregularities involving the flouting of tender procedures, a lack of budgetary controls and the abuse of overtime.
The full report was initially expected to be tabled at a council executive committee meeting, but that hasn’t happened.
Four week-long strike ends at Modikwa
NUM 11 April 2012
The four week-long strike by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Modikwa Platinum on the border of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces came to an end last night after the parties reached an agreement. The parties entered into a two year wage deal wherein workers in both the A and B bands will receive a wage increment of 10% for both year one and year two. The company further acceded to the NUM demand that both the A3 and A4 bands be collapsed into one band called the A band. The parties further agreed to increase the drilling hole allowance to R500 in 2012 and to R700 in 2013. “We are proud of these achievements and we hope that the mining company has learnt some few lessons from the strike action” says William Mabapa, the NUM ‘s negotiator at Modikwa. The parties further agreed to review the bonus scheme within one month of the signed agreement; to investigate and review salary scales in terms of clause 25.7 of the previous wage agreement within three months as well as investigating the recognition of competency A and housing. Workers returned to work this morning.
Modikwa platinum is a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Angloplatinum and is located in Burgersfort at the border of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
Lesiba Seshoka- (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719
NUMSA SUPPORTS STRIKING ILANGA NEWSPAPER JOURNALISTS/WORKERS!
NUMSA 11 April 2012
The KwaZulu-Natal National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) supports the ongoing strike by ILanga Newspaper workers or journalists for a living wage and improved conditions employment. This historic strike action by ILanga Newspaper workers or journalists is consistent with the broader struggles waged by the working class for fair and equitable distribution of wealth at the point of production.
This strike should further serve as a pilgrimage of workers resolve to smash the neo-liberal accumulation trajectory which has enriched few Whites males and plunged the majority Black African working class into inferior conditions, squalor, poverty and underdevelopment as can been seen in rural parts of our province, townships, hostels and squatter camps.
We call on the striking workers or journalists to use this strike also to demand that the Protection of State and Information Bill includes a public defense clause in sync with popular aspirations of our people as encapsulated in the Freedom Charter and various laws adopted by the new dispensation. We also urge the striking ILanga Newspaper workers to unleash their militancy geared towards lowering the cost of living, as opposed to lowering the cost of doing business in the post Apartheid and modern day Capitalist South Africa.
We are not surprised by the loud silence of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), as a shareholder in conjunction with an imperialist German national Arthur Koninikramer on this ongoing strike action. Since its formation the IFP has never been on the side of the poor and it has always been flirting with those who treating Black African workers as cheap labourers.
The continued malodorous arrogance displayed by the ILanga Newspaper profiteers, which is profiteering from government advertisements and other public entities, is indicative of their intentions to maintain and reproduce the apartheid Bantu income inequalities amidst the deepening crisis of poverty, mass unemployment, escalating costs of basic necessities, fuel and transport to the detriment of the workers and the poor in the province.
As NUMSA, we call on our sister union, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to play a front-line role and lead this ongoing strike action by ILanga Newspaper workers or journalists. We call on the ILanga Newspaper owners to concede to the legitimate demands of the striking workers, such as 10% wage increase, democratic control and public ownership of the ILanga newspaper; and transformation of both the newsroom and management to be reflective of our country’s racial demographics.
We call on the ANC-led government in KwaZulu-Natal, as democratically elected by the people of the province, to nationalize the ILanga newspaper in the interest of preserving its rich heritage and legacy of the first founding President of the ANC Cde John Langalibalele ‘Mafukuzela’ Dube.
Cell: +2779 502 3242
Tel (dir): +2731 301 0284
Senior Citizens of Western Cape Protest March
COSATU Press Statement 4 April 2012
Black Senior Citizens are being neglected and disregarded by the City of Cape Town and the Government and we are going to march for the following:
· Free trains.
· Increase in pension grant – the pension increase does not cover inflation.
· Old age homes to have 50% black beneficiaries and more old age homes need to be build.
· Use of civic amenities, such as the Good Hope Centre.
DATE: Tuesday 10 April 2012
VENUE: Civic Centre at Station entrance
The Premier, the Mayor and the Executive of BADISA will be requested to receive the memorandum.
FOR QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL TONY AT 082 7733 194
Solidarity campaign heralds a new era of civil mobilisation
Moira-Marie Kloppers 4 April 2012
More than 1,8 million people reached through StopAbsa campaign
With one of the largest ever social media protest campaigns run in South Africa, and no doubt the largest ever by any South African union, the trade union Solidarity’s StopAbsa campaign launched last week, heralded a new era of civil protest mobilisation.
According to TweetReach.com and Hashtracking.com, 547 911 Twitter users and more than 40 000 Facebook users actively tweeted and wrote about Solidarity’s StopAbsa campaign last week, and in doing so, more than 1,8 million people have been reached via the social media. “This massive participation resulted in #StopAbsa trending for three consecutive days in South Africa – yet another first in South Africa,” Dirk Hermann, Solidarity’s Deputy General Secretary said.
The trade union launched the StopAbsa campaign last week in reaction to Absa’s controversial restructuring process, which has already led to numerous retrenchments. According to Google Analytics Solidarity’s StopAbsa protest webpage, www.stopabsa.co.za, received more than 11 170 unique visits in the first five days of the campaign. More than 2 500 protest messages have been sent to Marcus Agius, Chairman of Barclays in England and to Maria Ramos, Absa’s Chief Executive. A video, in which two employees speak about how they were retrenched at first, and then escorted out of the building carrying with them a box with personal belongings while tearful colleagues looked on, has also been viewed more than 6 233 times on this web page in the first five days of the campaign.
“The power of social media is growing rapidly in South Africa. It is a way in which ordinary South Africans can let their voices be heard without having to participate in mass street protests. By participating in this campaign, ordinary South Africans have already gained a huge victory. Absa has apologised for the way in which employees were escorted out of the building like criminals. We have, therefore, succeeded in banning the clinical Barclays manner of retrenchments from South Africa. That culture is not welcome in South Africa,” according to Hermann.
Tensions rise in Grabouw over mobile classrooms site
IOL News 4 April 2012
GRABOUW community leader John Michels has threatened further protests if the Western Cape Education Department goes ahead with plans to install mobile classrooms on a disputed site.
The Overberg town has been tense since a protest over overcrowding at the Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School descended into racial clashes, mainly between coloured and black residents, two weeks ago.
An upcoming by-election, brought about by the resignation of the DA’s councillor in Ward 11 Catherine Booysen, has inflamed tensions. Booysen left the party to rejoin the ANC amid allegations of skulduggery. She is contesting the by-election for the ANC against the DA.
Michels said that since the protests two weeks ago, his life had been threatened by DA supporters after false claims that two classrooms at the largely coloured Groenberg High School had been burnt.
Last week, Education MEC Donald Grant said the mobile units, to be installed on a council-owned site later this month, would ease overcrowding at Umyezo, the only school in the town to provide for Xhosa-speaking pupils.
Umyezo’s satellite school would have mobile classrooms for about 200 pupils in Grades 11 and 12.
Michels, who heads the Elgin Grabouw Civic Organisation, said Grant had repeatedly refused to meet community representatives.
He said the last time the community had contact with Grant’s office was during a discussion on national radio.
Michels said: “The way he’s going on now is to push us back to the streets.”
Grant said last week the site for the mobile classrooms had been given an environmental impact assessment clearance. Michels, however, claimed the community had not seen the document.
Grant refused to comment on Michels’s claims, saying his department would release a statement on the matter.
Michels said that instead being put up on the council-owned site, on which there was a wetland, the mobile units and ultimately a new school should be on a sports field close to two predominantly coloured schools in Grabouw.
“This would be convenient, central and conducive to (racial) integration of the community,” said Michels.
The Elgin Grabouw Civic Organisation echoed a call by ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman for empty classrooms at a former Model C school to be used instead of the new mobile classrooms.
Department of Education spokesman Paddy Attwell countered Michels’s claim about the environmental impact assessment, saying permission to establish the satellite campus had been granted by the Department of Development Planning.
Attwell said contractors would ensure the development did not encroach on the wetland, by fencing it off.
“There is no truth in the claim that (Grant) is engaging in racist politics,” said Attwell.
NUM threatens to expand Modikwa strike to Two Rivers Mine and other Anglo operations
NUM 4 April 2012
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) notes the unfortunate statement issued by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Angloplatinum on the three week strike action at Modikwa Platinum in Mpumalanga. The company, a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo-American Platinum (Angloplatinum) issued a statement in which they brag about having withdrawn an offer on the table and having abandoned the talks. The NUM remains committed to a negotiated settlement with its 12% wage demand and the narrowing of the gap between the high and lower earners within the same bargaining units. The NUM will intensify the strike action at Modikwa and is considering expanding the strike action to both Two Rivers mine and Anglo operations nationally.
The NUM is highly disappointed by the racist attitudes of both ARM and Angloplatinum in refusing to budge to equalize wages or narrow the gap on their racially based salary scales. For years, Modikwa Platinum has refused to budge to treat its black workers as workers.
It is very disappointing that a company co-owned by a black billionaire can treat black workers in such a shoddy manner and uphold the racism which have always existed in a traditionally white monopoly company.
The NUM appeals to its members to remain resolute in tacking the apparent racism head-on.
Lesiba Seshoka- (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719
Protest after staffer is electrocuted
Sharika Regchand 3 April 2012
Msunduzi electricity department staff on Monday blocked traffic in the Pietermaritzburg city centre in a protest over safety issues after a colleague suffered a severe electrical shock on Saturday.
SA Municipal Workers’ Union members demonstrated outside the city hall, demanding to speak to municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi about their concerns regarding safety, the failure to fill vacant positions and the restructuring of the municipality.
The protest came a few days after the council’s executive committee was told that the municipality could lose its electricity distribution licence if it failed to hire a process manager for the electricity department.
The revelation prompted questions about the city’s electricity challenges, with Nkosi disclosing that R700 million was needed over five years to deal with infrastructure problems.
Union members parked vehicles belonging to the department on lanes outside the city hall, blocking and disrupting traffic from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
At noon, when Nkosi failed to show up, the protestors dispersed.
Samwu regional deputy chairman Rocky Madondo said one of his colleagues had suffered an electrical shock while on duty in Clarendon on Saturday.
“We are a ship without a captain. There is no process manager,” he said, accusing Nkosi of failing to consult with the union on various issues.
Nkosi responded that occupational health and safety issues, which were ongoing challenges, were being addressed.
He denied failing to discuss workers’ grievances. - The Mercury
Small turnout at pro secrecy bill picket
IOL News 30 March 2012
About 20 people pitched up outside Parliament's main gates on Friday in an “expression of support” for the Protection of State Information Bill.
What the gathering of local ANC, SA Communist Party, and the SA National Civics Organisation members lacked in numbers, however, they made up for with some enthusiatic singing, dancing in a circle, and holding aloft small posters.
Messages included: “Reject the hysteria of the Right2Know campaign”; “Editors: Stick to editing, we'll get on with governing”; “Media is NOT the custodian of the public interest”; and, “ANC says protect our sovereignity and support the Protection of Information Bill”.
Speaking at the demonstration, SACP Cape Town treasurer Howard Smith said it was up to Parliament to make decisions on the bill, “not press editors”.
He said “hysteria” was being whipped up by the Right2Know (R2K) campaign against the so-called secrecy bill, and he suggested the organisation had secret backers.
“I see the hand of American imperialism behind the Right2Know campaign,” he said as members of his party, several wearing red T-shirts, danced alongside.
Across from the demonstration, high on the wall of St Mary's Cathedral, a three-metre high red sign proclaimed: “The truth will set you free. Say NO to the SECRECY BILL”.
In a statement earlier on Friday, the R2K in the Western Cape denied it had foreign backing.
“It is not a great leap to imagine that we will soon be accused of being 'agents of a foreign state' and find ourselves locked up in... prisons under the provisions of the secrecy bill or General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill, both currently before Parliament,” it said.
The small demonstration moved at least one homeless man off the Plein Street bench he had been sleeping on.
Asked what he thought of the gathering, Conrad (no last name given), who was bundled up in several layers of clothing and wearing a red Father Christmas cap, said it was “very nice”, but did not know what it was about.
He then asked for some small change and said he was leaving to visit a local soup kitchen. – Sapa
March to Parliament to support the Protection of State Information Bill
SACP, ANC and SANCO, Statement, 29 March 2012
The ANC-led Alliance in the Cape Metro has over a considerable period noted the consistent campaign of disinformation and hysteria propagated by the “Right to Know Campaign” against the Protection of State Information Bill. This initiative is dominated by foreign-sponsored NGO’s and western-owned media agencies. Their links with often foreign owned media houses ensure their campaign enjoys generous media coverage, force-feeding society their liberal propaganda to undermine our government.
The campaign spreads false information to instil fear in society that the ANC-led government is a threat to our Constitution and that the freedoms that citizens, and the media, now enjoy as a result of the struggles and sacrifices of our movement are threatened. They create hysteria based on unfounded claims that the Bill will conceal corruption and that investigative journalism will be suppressed. They are arguing for the “public interest defence” and thus misleading the public with their supposition that the media is interest-free. This is clearly misleading because the media houses are owned by foreign capital, whose interests in our country are not necessarily those of our public, its citizens. Against this background the media cannot even claim to be the custodian of “public interest” or public good. The media projects a democratically-elected government as the enemy of the very public that elected the government in the first place. By what right do they assume this superiority?
The Bill clearly provides for sanctions against people who knowingly classify information incorrectly in order to conceal corruption or any wrong doing. This ensures that there are safeguards against abuse of this legislation.
The Bill also makes provision for the courts to adjudicate in cases where the media wants to obtain and publish classified information. This is a fair process of legitimately obtaining state information for public good and it remains a mystery why the media would not want this accountability instrument. The media is not above the laws of this country and therefore should be subjected to the same laws within the republic. On other issues the media demands powers for the courts to oversee government, why on this issue do they want unfettered freedom to do whatever they want with no legal framework?
As the Alliance, we believe the government has the responsibility to protect the republic broadly against foreign infiltration and aggression as well as espionage. The state must criminalise damaging and dangerous tendencies of information peddling (such as the “browse mole report”) which could plunge our country into a diplomatic crisis or political instability.
It is against this background that the SACP in the Brian Bunting District together with its Alliance partners ANC, SANCO and COSATU in the Cape Metropole will embark on a public demonstration of support to the Bill as follows:
Date: 30 March 2012 (Friday)
Time: 11h00 – 13h00
Venue: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
For more information:
Benson Ngqentsu (SACP) - 0827966400
Thembelani Sakathi (ANC) - 0826708644
Mpondwana (SANCO) - 0741171187
Cops put a stop to e-tolling protest
IOL News 29 March 2012
The planned Freedom Front Plus protest over e-tolling on the N1highway was declared illegal on Thursday because the group had not applied for permission.
“The police and metro police have declared this gathering illegal and they have said we must actually go through their channels in future,” Freedom Front Plus spokesman Anton Alberts said.
“Our position is that this is not an illegal gathering. It's a spontaneous gathering of people who are against the tolling system, and we were just going to drive behind each other on the roads with normal cars around Johannesburg,” he said.
A camel, caravaners, motorcyclists and other vehicles had converged in the rain at the Ultra City on the highway for the protest, during rush hour.
Johann van der Merwe, also known as “Mal Jan”, from Jacaranda 94.2's breakfast show, had arrived at the petrol station dressed in Saudi Arabian attire, riding the camel.
The protest was organised by the Freedom Front Plus, National Taxpayers' Union, SA Caravan Association and various motorbike clubs. It had been expected to start at 7am.
Alberts said the protest would not go ahead as planned and people would start to disperse so they could get to work. An argument broke out between Alberts and the police over the protest.
RIGHTS BEING VIOLATED
“We have a different interpretation of the law,” said Alberts. “We are very unhappy about this because the over-regulation in this country is getting to a point where people's institutional rights, as far as we concerned, are being violated,” said Alberts.
“Government is talking about the information act that will inhibit the flow of information, and now suddenly a spontaneous gathering of people against a system that they find oppressive, like the tolling system, is now also being dispersed by police.”
Alberts said the group had considered going ahead with the protest and risk getting arrested.
“I don't think they would have arrested us because they were quite scared about that, but we decided not to make too much trouble with the law.”
He said they would attempt another protest sometime in the future. Tolling of major roads around Johannesburg was expected to start on April 30. -Sapa
Violence flares on Unizul campus
Lungelo Mkamba and Kyle Venktess 28 March 2012
Six students were injured, a staff member was assaulted and another student was robbed of a cellphone during clashes between the National Students Movement (Nasmo) and the SA Students Congress (Sasco) at the University of Zululand.
This comes amid what student bodies are calling politically motivated violence on the campus between Nasmo, the student representative council, which is also aligned with the National Freedom Party and Sasco which is aligned with the ANC.
Nasmo secretary Phakamani Khumalo said the violence started during a student body meeting on Sunday.
“The Sasco students raised concerns about the long queues students waited in for food. We told them the problem would be sorted out, but they were not satisfied,” he said.
Khumalo said tables, chairs and punches were thrown as violence erupted on campus.
He said there was a great deal of tension on campus when the police arrived to monitor the situation.
Yesterday, Khumalo said, he and his Nasmo colleagues had tried to meet Sasco members to find a solution.
“They stoned us and refused to speak (to us),” he said. “They will not answer their cellphones.”
University vice-chancellor Fikile Mazibuko said in a statement
that the university would conduct an investigation into the cause of the conflict.
COSATU NW marches in Delareyville
Cosatu 27 March 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions will stage a protest action in the town of Delareyville in the Tswaing local Municipality on 28 March 2012.
Our action is a continuation of the national action against labour brokers, exploitation of workers, corruption and racism in that area, the issue of the tolling system including the expensive toll gate of Swartruggens which increased from R67 to R71 last week
COSATU will also be demanding the fulltime employment of counsellors who are continuously exploited by Life line and been threatened that their contracts will be terminated.
COSATU will also be demanding quality basic services to the poor people who live in the rural areas of Tswaing and the combating of corruption in the municipality, and fighting against the wrongly appointed municipal managers including section 56,57 directors.
The mass action will continue in all our locals as part of fighting against corruption linked to the SIU and the SICELO report of 2009.
The march will start at 13H30 at extension 7 next to George Madoda primary school and will proceed to the department of health to hand over the memorandum to the department and it will end at the municipality where the mayor will receive the memorandum.
We call on the media to join us in exposing the continuation of corruption by our municipalities in the NW.
For more information call COSATU NW provincial secretary Solly Phetoe 0823044055.
Residents say cop is innocent of mob killing
Sherlissa Peters 27 March 2012
The matter was postponed to April 5, when he will apply for bail.
The State confirmed that they would be opposing bail, while Gwala’s attorney placed on record that Gwala had been injured while in police custody and required medical attention.
However, the cause or nature of his injuries remains unknown.
Gwala was arrested in Imbali last week after a mob attack on three suspected robbers in Unit 18.
One man, Sphamandla Majola, 23, was beaten to death, while another was severely assaulted.
Imbali residents were furious at Gwala’s arrest, and even staged a protest at the Plessislaer police station for his release.
Gwala is based at Town Hill police station, but lives in Unit 18 in Imbali.
Residents told police that they had forced Gwala to participate in vigilante activity.
According to them, Gwala did not perpetrate an assault on anyone, but was present when the assaults were taking place.
It is believed that the victims were part of a gang that has been terrorising residents.
Gwala’s case has been referred to the ICD because it involves a member of the SAPS. - Daily News
Protesters burn down tribal hall
SAPA 24 March 2012
Captain Pelonomi Makau said the six were allegedly part of a group of people protesting against poor service delivery and corrupt officials from the tribal authority.
They said there had been maladministration at the tribal authority after the death of their chief, Leema Ntuane. They were also angry at the tribal authority after they did not receive any feedback from government about when a new chief would be appointed.
The six will appear in the Mogwase Magistrate's Court on Monday. - Sapa
Residents protest after hit-and-run tragedy
Yusuf Omar (IOL News) 27 March 2012
Residents of Newlands in Joburg continued their blockage of Eric Street on Monday, burning tyres and smashing the road apart with pickaxes.
The blockade came after a seven-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Friday night.
The disgruntled community said Jaydan Sei was the fifth person to die and the ninth person to be hit (five children and four adults) by a car on the same stretch since 2010.
In January, three people were killed on the road in another hit-and-run incident involving a truck. There are no speed signs, traffic lights, working lights or “children crossing” signs anywhere.
A blue spraypainted X marked the spot where Jaydan was hit by what witnesses described as a white VW Polo speeding down the road. And 20m away on the other side of the road was a white wooden cross garnished in flowers, indicating the spot where Jaydan landed and died.
This Sunday would have been his eighth birthday.
“We want speed bumps,” chanted a group of more than 50 children behind a wall of burning tyres.
It was a protest of mostly mothers and children.
“Don’t kill our children!” read a banner hung across the street and which later caught alight.
The residents piled rubble into 30cm-high walls, making the street impassable to vehicles.
Bertha Sei went to identify her son’s body at the mortuary on Monday.
On Friday night, Jaydan was returning from playing soccer at the Union Stadium, where he played every day with his friends.
At 7pm, as it began to get dark, and without any working street lights, Jaydan crossed Eric Street.
His mother was making dinner when someone knocked on the door – Jaydan had been hit by a car.
“When I got to the street, he was lying on the ground still alive for about 30 minutes, bleeding from his forehead, eyes and ears.
“They must fix the problems we have on this road and find the man who murdered my baby,” said Sei.
Bradley Chaplin, 30, a local street vendor, witnessed the hit-and-run on Friday night.
“That white Polo was driving at high speed. Maybe 180km/h,” he said.
“But he didn’t stop driving, he just sped away.”
Around 4pm, Ward 82 DA councillor Susan Stewart addressed the protesting community.
“I called the Joburg MMC (member of the mayoral committee) for transport Rehana Moosajee and requested speed bumps. She told me there is no budget for that.
“This place looks like hell on earth and there is no service delivery, but I keep being told there is just no budget.”
The crowd didn’t take kindly to the councillor’s words, and 10 minutes later she was chased away by mothers with rocks in their hands.
At 5.30pm, Moosajee arrived to address the community. Standing over the white cross where Jaydan died, she said: “We believe it was a stolen vehicle with fake licence plates… I know the pain is immediate and the pain is shared. I’m angry and hurt.”
She denied telling Stewart there wasn’t money for speed bumps, saying: “This has nothing to do with budget. For three years running we have put speed bumps in 109 wards. They have not changed driver behaviour, but they do slow down the response times of emergency services.”
Sophiatown police spokesman Thomas de Bruyn said: “The licence plate of the vehicle was traced to a home in Bloemfontein. We are still investigating but no arrests have been made.” - The Star
Video: Newlands residents protest
IOL News 27 March 2012
Newlands residents blockade Eric Street, following the hit and run death of a seven-year-old.
Police stay on guard for protests
IOL News 23 March 2012
“The police will not leave the area even if the protests subside,” said police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi. “We will leave when we are content that nothing else will happen in the area.”
Everything was calm on Friday, he said.
On Tuesday, protesters set alight a minibus belonging to a private company in Phola. Hlathi said schools and health facilities in the community were closed down as a result.
He said 36 people had been arrested for public violence.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) accused police of being passive towards protesters instead of acting timeously to prevent protest action from turning violent.
“Motorists told the DA that there were pitifully few police in attendance to contain the situation 1/8in Ogies 3/8, and those that were present, were idly standing by with little intervention,” DA spokesman in Mpumalanga Anthony Benadie said in a statement.
“In most instances, the SAPS do not take proactive steps to prevent violence from erupting, but sit idly waiting for protesters to 'do something wrong' before acting, and then often find themselves understaffed and under-resourced to deal with the situation.”
Benadie urged provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Thulani Ntombela to revise the current strategy of deploying officers.
Hlathi disputed the DA's claims.
“We have seen a number of protests that erupted in the province for a long time - all of these protests were controlled by the police,” he said.
“The DA must work to encourage the police and not to discourage the community.” Hlathi said the police in the area had not failed in dealing with protests.
In Gauteng, police said they remained on guard in Ratanda, Evaton and Sharpeville after violent service delivery protests hit the areas on Monday.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the situation was calm on Friday.
“We will continue to monitor the areas until we are convinced that the situation is back to normal,” he said.
On Monday, a total of 110 protesters were arrested, of whom 17 were juveniles.
Dlamini said roads were blockaded and police were pelted with stones and petrol bombs. Several public buildings and private homes had been burned down, and small businesses in Ratanda had been looted.
Those arrested had been charged with housebreaking, malicious damage to property, possession of suspected stolen property, theft, assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and public violence.
Thaahla village, about 85 km from Groblersdal in Limpopo, was quiet on Friday afternoon after a protest turned violent, police said.
“Police will monitor the area until we are satisfied that everything is back to normal,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mohale Ramatseba.
On Thursday, nine people were arrested for public violence after protesters broke windows and damaged private property.
The protest began late on Wednesday evening and carried on into the early hours of Thursday morning.
Ramatseba said the protest was reportedly about lack of water services in the area. - Sapa
Protesters left with more promises of action
IOL News 27 March 2012
Wait another week. That is what protesters in Kya Sand burning tyres and blocking off Malibongwe Road were told on Monday – after waiting 12 years for basic services.
When member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for housing Dan Brown, MMC for public safety Matshidiso Mfikoe and MMC for health Nonceba Molwele arrived in the area on Monday and spoke to the crowd, they made no promises, but said they would hold a community meeting next week.
The crowd had waited for hours before the MMCs arrived.
Lack of housing is the main complaint that got Kya Sand residents out of their beds at 5am on Monday to intimidate motorists and blockade Malibongwe Road.
Other issues include no electricity, no transport for schoolchildren, and the lack of a bridge over the river that divides the area. Residents say many have died crossing the river during the rainy season.
“Five years back they promised us everything. Now we are living in shacks, and sewage runs into our homes.
“Until someone (from the government) comes, we have to take violent action. If we take non-violent action, they won’t give us anything,” said protester David Mokwena.
The leadership of the illegal informal settlement agreed, saying they would rather sit down civilly to discuss real solutions, but their hand had been forced by inaction.
“Our government doesn’t listen to you if you come in a peaceful manner,” said community leader Phraim Lifuwa.
Molwele said: “The fact that we came out shows that we are committed to dealing with their issues. We are not looking into a particular area but are looking into all areas.”
Mfikoe said progress in Kya Sand would be part of an integrated programme for about five surrounding areas with similar problems.
The spotlight was also turned on the DA ward councillor, Matome Mafokwane, with residents questioning whether a lack of response from the government was because they had selected a DA councillor. - The Star
Malibongwe Drive closed
IOL News 26 March 2012
Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said River Road and Malibongwe Drive in the area were closed.
"The protesters also stopped two trucks and removed their keys," he said. This was causing major early morning traffic jams. - Sapa
COSATU Limpopo plans Night Vigil
MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TO: ALL MEDIA SOURCES
FROM: COSATU LIMPOPO 23 March 2012
COSATU Limpopo plans to hold a Night Vigil outside the office of the Premier of Limpopo on the 26- 27th of March 2012. The vigil is planned to put more emphasis on the importance our demands that we have made during our Anti-Corruption Marches held in August and December 2011, of which we have not yet received any response.
The Polokwane Municipality, however, even after we have submitted all the necessary documentations, have decided to disapprove the vigil as planned.
The matter of the Municipal refusal has therefore been referred to COSATU Head Office, Legal department for their intervention.
We therefore as COSATU Limpopo stick to the dates that we have applied for pending possible court decision.
For more information, please contact Cde Dan Sebabi, COSATU Limpopo Provincial Secretary, on 072 515 6699 or 082 779 2421
CLOTHING WORKERS MARCH AGAINST NON-COMPLIANCE
Cosatu 21 March 2012
Earlier yesterday morning, about 3 500 workers took to the streets, in Northern Natal, to march against non-compliance with the clothing industry national wage agreement, and against poverty wages. The march started at 10h00 yesterday morning and angry workers marched through the Isithebe industrial area, in KZN.
Many of the factories in this area are non-compliant and pay wages which are far below the legal rate and the minimum living level. SACTWU has made many concessions to assist employers to avoid factory closures and to help them pay legal wages. However, regardless of this effort our laws are still being broken and workers are treated unfairly. We will not accept this insult against our country’s laws.
The marching workers have handed over a memorandum to employers, the Clothing Industry Bargaining Council and to the Department of Labour. We demand justice and decent work in compliance with the national clothing industry wage agreement. This is the first warning shot for a bitter fight with non-compliant clothing employers this year. Non-complaint clothing industry employers are warned: If there is no solution within the next month, we will not hesitate to call a national strike involving close to 100 000 clothing and textile workers.
Poverty wages is an insult to HUMAN RIGHTS!
If further comment is required, kindly call SACTWU KZN Regional Secretary, Dennis Maluleka, on 0833785435
Anti-trucking protest on 31 March in South Durban
Massive increase in container trucks on the way
We are heading for a problem if all the plans to increase container traffic goes ahead
This is what’s in the pipeline
• Increasing the size of container berths in the harbour
• Apparently Clairwood race track is going to be turned into an industrial zone with huge container parks
• The building of more container parks in the Durban South areas
• The new dug out Port will increase the amount of containers drastically and therefore trucks using our roads
If you think Edwin Swlaes is bad now can you imagine if all the above is given the go ahead?
CSO along with people like Harry Ethridge, Ivor Alwayd and many residents have been fighting the trucking issue for many years with some success (There are definitely less trucks using Bluff road since we started our mission and Metro police did step up the game a bit after our meetings with them after Elaine was killed but it’s not enough)
I also managed to get electronic height barriers approved but they were never installed but now is the time to take it to the next level and come out in your numbers for the second truck demonstration and show council, Transnet and Government we mean business.
No pointless meetings in halls, no writing letter after letter to newspapers, but REAL action.
Sharpeville protest precedes Rights day
IOL News 20 March 2012
Residents of Sharpeville, in southern Gauteng, were burning tyres and marching on Tuesday because the main Human Rights Day celebrations were being held in Kliptown, Soweto, police said.
“It (the public holiday) is over the Sharpeville massacre. The people from Sharpeville are striking because they don't understand why (the celebrations) are now in Kliptown,” said Constable Tshishiwa Mitileni.
Human Rights Day was previously known as Sharpeville Day to commemorate the shooting of 69 black protesters by the police in 1960.
Mitileni said the police had blocked off the main roads into Sharpeville to stop the protesters from damaging property.
He said the crowd was not violent, but was marching and some tyres had been set alight.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to deliver an address in Kliptown on Wednesday. – Sapa
Durban fisherfolk protest tomorrow: Occupy South Pier
SDCEA PRESS RELEASE : KZN SUBSISTENCE FISHERFOLKS 20 March 2012
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY PROTEST ON THE SOUTH PIER TO DETERMINE IF THE CONSTITUTION PROTESTS THE POOR FISHERFOLKS
The KZN Subsistence Fishers have for a number of years been part of the South African fishing community who mainly fish in the Durban area, which includes the Durban Harbour and the Durban beachfront adjoining the Indian Ocean. This form of subsistence has been both a tradition and culture that has been handed down from their fore fathers, the indentured labourers who arrived in 1860. Their trade has been a way which they have secured sustainable livelihoods and food for their families.
The Subsistence Fishers are concerned about access being denied to Durban Harbour . On the 14th July 2009 the Port Authority informed the fisherfolks through their lawyer that the North and South Piers and related areas will be closed due to the deepening of the harbour entrance . They further informed us that because of the safety factor no one will be allowed in these areas for the duration of the construction works.
At the time subsistence fishers accepted that they cannot fish in an area where safety could be compromised. At the end 2011 the development on both the South and North Piers were completed. However the Port security and South African Police are harassing the fisher folks by removing them off the South pier and confiscating their fishing gear. In some cases they have taken the fishing catches away from the fishers. Tourist and local residents that live in the Condominiums across on the Point side are allowed to walk on the north and south piers whilst the poor are denied the right to secure their livelihood.
In a long running case submitted by the subsistence fishers to the Port Regulator has resulted in the Regulator ruling that the fishers are Port users. It is only just and fair that fishers should be allowed to fish in their traditional spots which are accessible to them.
Already they have seen that development in the Durban Beachfront has resulted in them been denied access and their livelihoods already being compromised by the authorities. The fishers demand an assurance from government officials that their right to earn a livelihood will not be compromised any further and that the necessary steps will be taken to ensure access to engage in subsistence fishing in the Port of Durban and on the Durban Beachfront.
NB FISHERFOLKS WILL ARRIVE BY TRAIN THAT LEAVES Chatsworth 0510 am and arrives at Island View Station at 0540am .The next train leaves Chatsworth at 0710am and arrives at Island View at 0740am.
Issued by the KZN Subsistence Fishers : Essop Mohammed CELL 080837864175
Logan Moodley 0739587197
Desmond D’Sa Cell 0839826939
Clinic evacuated as Ratanda protests simmer
Mail & Guardian 21 March 2012
The Ratanda township outside Heidelberg was calm on Wednesday morning --perhaps temporarily so -- allowing the community to count the cost of two days of service delivery protests.
"They took everything," said a worker at the local community clinic just a street away from the police station, surveying the result of a break-in during the night. "They took the computers, they took the linen, they took the dustbins, they took the oxygen cylinders, they took the fridges, they even took the dustbins." Building materials for an extension to the clinic, currently under construction, were also stolen.
Though a police unit was deployed to the clinic, workers were packing the most expensive medicines into cardboard boxes labelled "biohazard", the only remaining containers, for removal. A large container of anti-retrovirals had been snatched, but the strongroom in which other medicines are stored had survived the raid. It would probably not survive an arson attack, the workers said, so they were salvaging what they could while they could.
Earlier in the morning, not yet knowing that the clinic had been already been looted, a group of women from a different part of the township debated whether it would be a legitimate target for the anger of residents. They could not reach consensus (the building is government-owned, but for service to the community), but were firm in their agreement that schools should not be touched.
"If they burn those down, what happens to the kids? No, they shouldn't do that," commented one.
On Monday the local offices of the municipality were burnt down, leaving piles of statements of outstanding rate payments scattered across the surrounding grounds. During the course of Tuesday both the centre for disabled people and the community library followed. In the burnt shell of the library, on Wednesday morning, a small group of men pulled copper wire from what little remained of the walls and ceiling; of the books nothing remained.
Throughout the township several businesses were cleaning up after being looted during the night. A spaza-shop owner, an employee of a building-supply dealer and a clinic worker all said they could identify the culprits, but would not do so for fear of retaliation. "Our houses are here, our families," said one.
Police on the scene on Wednesday said none of their members had been seriously injured, despite the use of petrol bombs and suspected live-fire during the night. They counted themselves lucky that the worst to happen had been a relatively minor head wound from a thrown rock. Many of those on duty, however, feared that the protest had not yet peaked.
Some community leaders associated with the Ratanda Community Forum were in hiding on Wednesday, saying they feared arrest. Others urged a small crowd to hold back on marches, stone-throwing and especially petrol bombs, while they awaited a response to demands from the local authority.
Members of the crowd disagreed on what would constitute a decent response. On Monday many said a promise that their electricity supply would be switched from the municipality to Eskom, would satisfy them.
By Wednesday some were demanding the removal of the mayor, others wanted investigations into what they said was rampant fraud and corruption, and a small number vowed to continue protesting until President Jacob Zuma or an official of nearly his stature came to the township.
Cops save councillors, shopkeepers
IOL News 20 March 2012
A municipal building, councillors’ homes, a primary school and foreigners’ shops were set alight on Monday during a violent service delivery protest in Ratanda outside Heidelberg.
The residents looted the municipal buildings and the shops, and stole computers, groceries and anything else they could get their hands on.
Police had to intervene to save the lives of the councillors and shopkeepers, and their families.
The rampage was sparked by the fact that residents have been getting exorbitant bills and the Lesedi municipality wants them to pay half of the outstanding amounts before services can be reconnected.
It went ahead and discontinued the electricity service on Saturday.
Lesedi municipality mayor Lerato Maloka did not turn up for a meeting with protesting residents on Monday, and they went berserk.
They set fire to the homes of two councillors, Doctor Mkhwanazi and Jacob Mokoena.
Later in the day they broke into the municipal building and helped themselves to computers and other electrical items.
They set the building on fire after they could not open the safe.
The protesters proceeded to the homes of two other councillors, Speaker Simon Moremi and Juda Mbhele, and stoned the houses, causing extensive damage to property and furniture.
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko said police officers had simply watched.
Mazibuko wanted to know why the police had not used a “little bit of force” against what she termed hooligan elements.
“There is a lot of a tsotsi element in this protest. I saw people trying to steal a municipality’s safe. These are criminals.”
Tension ran high between residents and the police after officers prevented them from marching to the mayoral offices in Heidelberg.
Residents reacted by throwing rocks and barricading roads with an assortments of objects, including gas bottles that they set alight. Police responded by firing water cannons, teargas and rubber bullets.
Frustrated residents then turned on foreigners from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ethiopia, who fled for their lives.
As the sun began to set, the fugitive foreigners clustered in anxious groups, waiting for police escorts to take them back to their shops.
Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse hundreds who were looting a shop. The residents laughed and ran, tossing armloads of goods over walls and into gardens as they scattered.
At the White Discount Supermarket, Pakistani shopkeepers dashed back and forth, filling bakkies with their stock.
People say the foreigners don’t pay for electricity,” said one of a group of residents sitting at a street corner, watching the scene.
“But we love them. They’re our friends.”
“Don’t go, Ali,” cried a woman. “Where will I get my groceries at the end of the month?”
But the shopkeepers didn’t listen. And as they raced off, residents on the street corner were reaching into the back of the bakkies and pulling out oil, mealie meal, chips and juice.
The mayor and protest leaders were meeting late on Monday night. - The Star
Protesters gather in Heidelberg
IOL News 20 March 2012
Hundreds of residents of Ratanda in Heidelberg gathered on the streets on Tuesday to protest over service delivery, Gauteng police said.
“People are marching down the street. There's no violence at this stage,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
The march followed the looting of shops owned by foreign nationals overnight. The ransacking and stealing from the traders was sparked by service delivery protests which started on Monday. Two houses owned by ward councillors and a municipal office were also torched.
Dlamini said 48 people had so far been arrested for public violence and were expected to appear in the Heidelberg Magistrate's Court on Thursday. - Sapa
Three men set alight
IOL News 20 March 2012
Three men died when they were set alight with tyres in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Western Cape police said on Tuesday.
Warrant Officer November Filander said the men were found near the Nkanini railway line in the Harare area on Monday night, surrounded by a large crowd.
“The community alleged that they were responsible for a spate of housebreakings in the Nkanini area.”
Two men died on the scene while the third man died later in hospital. No arrests were made and murder dockets were opened. - Sapa
Phola protesters burn minibus
IOL News 20 March 2012
Lt-Col Leonard Hlathi said the protesters were on the streets and the situation was “very tense”.
“The protest is not about service delivery, but employment at local coal mines.”
Schools and health facilities in the community were closed for the second day.
“Everything is at a standstill.”
Hlathi said he had heard there would be talks between the authorities and protesters on Tuesday.
Thirty-six people had been arrested for public violence. Thirty of them were expected to appear in court on Tuesday. - Sapa
COSATU offers to mediate Grabouw school crisis
COSATU PRESS STATEMENT 20th March 2012
COSATU is outraged by the utterance of MEC Grant in relation to the schooling crisis and violence in Grabouw. Donald Grant is trying to fan racial discard in the area by making this crisis an issue of race. Problems were created by MEC Grant when he refused to address the lack of education resources in the overcrowded schools in the black community.
It is inevitable that both learners and parents would not tolerate this situation where effective education cannot take place due to overcrowding. The cowboy attitude of MEC Grant will not bring a solution to the crisis and he is exasperating the tensions.
COSATU is offering to mediate the crisis and to put in place a plan that the educational needs of the learners are addressed.
For further comments please contact COSATU W Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich @ 0827733194
Blood flows in race row
IOL News 19 March 2012
Violent protests on the N2 in Grabouw on Monday forced police to close the key route to Cape Town.
Passing cars and trucks were smashed with rocks as a protest about conditions at a school escalated into an all-out rampage between racial groups within the Grabouw community.
Community members and witnesses said the scene resembled a civil war, as roving rival gangs of coloured and black African community members fought pitched battles at several points in the town simultaneously.
In ensuing confrontations, people had their skulls smashed with rocks and they were beaten by residents armed with numerous weapons including sticks and spades, while police and civic association leaders tried to negotiate peace.
Coloured residents told the Cape Argus they would defend their school “with their lives”. They claimed the black residents were trying to burn it down.
At the time of going to press, the Cape Argus witnessed a coloured mob beating a number of black men who they suspected were trying to infiltrate the school area.
A cloud of tear gas hung over a large area as police raced to each new outbreak of violence to extract victims dripping with blood.
Three schools in the area were also closed, the Western Cape Education Department confirmed.
The protest began with complaints of “severe overcrowding” at Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School. Community representatives said classes would not resume until protesters’ grievances had been addressed.
John Michaels, chairman of the Elgin/Grabouw Civic Organisation, said the national education ministry had been asked to intervene.
The group wants more teachers and classes be provided, and for the primary and secondary school to be separated.
Education MEC Donald Grant said teaching and learning had been disrupted at several schools. Three –Kathleen Murray High School, Pineview Primary and Groenberg Secondary – were closed.
“It is completely unacceptable and immoral that Mr Michaels and the EGCA are destroying the life chances of children for their own political gain,” he said.
The impact on motorists was severe, as the N2 was closed at the entrance to Grabouw, and at the foot of Sir Lowry’s Pass – forcing commuters to take a wide detour either via Franschhoek and Theewaterskloof Dam, or along Clarence Drive via Gordon’s Bay, Rooi Els and Betty’s Bay.
Farmers in the area, desperate to get their harvests to co-ops and dispatch centres, said the closure of the N2 was disastrous.
Provincial traffic spokesman Jacques Mostert said Sir Lowry’s Pass was closed around 2am when reports of cars being stoned first started coming in.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the situation was very tense.
The N2 highway at Grabouw was re-opened on Monday after protesters disrupted the flow of traffic. - Cape Argus
PRESS STATEMENT: PROTEST TO STOP THE ZIMBABWEAN STATE FROM POLITICAL CONVICTION OF 6 ACTIVISTS ON TRUMPED-UP CHARGES
DLF 19 March 2012
The Democratic Left Front (DLF) supports the call by the Ad-Hoc Defence Committee of the Zimbabwean 6 for a protest against the unfair trial and possible heavy conviction of 6 political activists who are facing trumped-up charges (“conspiring against the state”) in Zimbabwe. The protest will take place on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 in front of the Zimbabwean Consulate and Visa Office in Johannesburg
· Date of protest: 12h00 to 13h00
· Address: 13 Boeing Street West, Bedfordview (across the road from East Gate Mall)
Residents angry after arrests over blocked road
Kutlwano Olifant (IOL News) 19 March 2012
Angry Meadowlands residents marched to their local police station on Sunday, demanding to know what charges had been laid against community members who had been arrested earlier in the day.
Four Zone 7 residents were arrested early Sunday morning after barricading notorious Maseru Street, demanding that local councillor Norman Ngwedzani be removed.
They said Ngwedzani had failed to erect speed-controlling measures on two streets where two children were killed by speeding motorists recently.
Six-year-old Tshepang Mokoena was killed in Lekankagata Street in January. Nine-year-old Tshegofatso Mampe lost her life after she was hit by a car in Maseru Street, which runs parallel to Lekankagata Street, last month.
Police spokesman Constable Sibusiso Chauke said the four had been arrested for public violence and intimidation.
“Three people were released on bail,” he said.
“The fourth person, who has a previous case for grievous bodily harm, will appear at the Meadowlands Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Police will be visible to ensure safety in the area.”
A resident, who asked not to be named, said her mother was also arrested at her home on Sunday morning.
“I fail to understand why she was arrested because she was not part of the group that had barricaded the road. Police came searching for her in the early hours,” she said.
Dimakatso Ramabele said she was disappointed with Ngwedzani, who she said had failed to give them any feedback on the speed-bump issue.
However, Ngwedzani said residents had failed to wait for the seven days’ notice they had given him to respond, after marching to his office on Tuesday.
“I don’t find it reasonable, because I was given seven days to reply. It is not yet the seventh day,” said Ngwedzani, adding that the project to erect speed bumps was due to start “anytime from now”.
Meadowlands Concerned Residents Association leader Patrick Mohlophegi disagreed, and said Ngwedzani had failed to do his job.
“We were promised that speed bumps would be erected by March. That is why we thought we should barricade the road,” he added.
“We are not pleased about the arrest of some residents. Leaders should engage with community members. They should not resort to opening criminal cases which have no substance. They should in future make sure they address the community, and then resolve the problems,” Mohlophegi said. - The Star