||Protesters demand miners’ release
IOL News 30 August 2012
Pretoria - More than a hundred protesters gathered outside the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Thursday demanding the release of about 270 men who were arrested after violence at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.
Women wearing attire used by mineworkers, including overalls and helmets, were joined by groups of men singing and chanting slogans in the street adjacent to the court.
Some of the protesters were waving sticks, sjamboks and placards. Some of the placards read: “Let them free”, “Down with NUM – Up with R12,500” and “Zuma, where are the workers?”
Several policemen were deployed at the entrance, watching the protesting crowd.
Thursday’s court proceedings will be held in two courtrooms.
Before 11am reporters were allowed entrance into one of the rooms where the detained men had been placed. Some of them were sitting on the floor.
Arrangements had been made to bring all the detained men to attend Thursday’s proceedings. This followed argument submitted by the detained group’s lawyers, saying bringing only a few people to court was an infringement of the others’ rights.
Advocate Lesego Mmusi, for the group of men, criticised the State for that arrangement.
“Suppose this matter goes all the way to the Constitutional Court, we will be asked ‘how were you representing people who were not in court?' What if one of our clients, say number 29, wants to raise his hand and make a contribution?” asked Mmusi.
In the second courtroom, the group of men would follow the proceedings.
Since the first appearance on August 20, police had brought to court only a few of the detained men because the court did not have room to contain all of them in one session. These men would inform their colleagues of what transpired in court.
The number of detained men had increased from the previous 260 because some of the men were being released from hospital and taken into custody. The number represented in court on Wednesday was 270.
The matter was adjourned after submissions from the defence and the State. From Monday, the State presented evidence requesting the court to further postpone the bail hearing of the group because of ongoing investigations.
The defence has asked the court to turn down the State’s request, saying the seven-day postponement made on August 20 was enough.
The lawyers want the group to be released on bail.
A group of 260 men were arrested on August 16 after the police opened fire on protesters gathered on a hilltop near Lonmin's Marikana mine, in North West. Thirty four protesters died and 78 were wounded. The number increased as more were arrested on their release from hospital. - Sapa
ANCYL MARCHES IN POLOKWANE
IOL News 30 August 2012
ANC Youth League protest marchers arrived at the Limpopo department of education in Polokwane by noon on Thursday.
Clad in ANC t-shirts, they intended handing a memorandum to education MEC Dickson Masemola demanding textbook delivery to schools in the province.
"Dickson is a betrayer," they sang, holding placards reading:
"We demand textbooks".
The march, which was delayed for over an hour, started under heavy police presence at the SABC park. Officers in around 10
vehicles kept watch.
Pupils of the Moruleng and Mohlakaneng secondary schools, in Seshego outside Polokwane, were bussed to the SABC park to join the march.
The pupils, who were not given permission from the schools to attend the march, carried placards with slogans "We demand jobs" and "Administration must release our province".
The league was also marching against the national government placing five Limpopo departments, including education, under administration in December 2011.
Expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema used to go to Mohlakaneng Secondary.
The education department said it was disappointed that ANCYL members were disrupting schooling.
"The department condemns the disruption of schools for political gains," spokesman Pat Kgomo said in a statement.
"We want to urge the principals, school governing bodies and parents to urgently report any disruptions to the law enforcement agency and also appeal to learners to refrain from participating in any event that is not curriculum orientated."
Earlier, Limpopo police said they were ready for the march and expected demonstrators to behave.
"We will not take any nonsense, we are prepared and we don't anticipate any problems," said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
" 1/8We 3/8 would like them to behave. If they misbehave, action will be taken against them."
On Thursday morning ANCYL spokesman Nono Mabunda said the league was expecting 3000 people at the march to the department of education and premier's office.
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Protests continue in Marlboro
David Jenkin 22 August 2012
Roads around Marlboro South were again blockaded with burning tyres and rocks as displaced shack dwellers demonstrated to express their anger about the ongoing evictions.
A group of about 100 people began protesting in the early morning hours of 22 August over the repeated operations to destroy shacks erected on council- and privately-owned property in the area. Warrant officer Moses Maphekela, spokesman for the Bramley police, said teargas was used to drive the group away from the busy Pretoria Main Road where they had begun to throw stones.
They quickly retreated along 4th Street where they remained, claiming they were waiting for someone from city council or even the mayor to come and speak to them. In the meantime they prevented vehicles from travelling along 4th Street, threatening cars with rocks and sticks while a police nyala and Metro officers kept an eye on the situation from a distance.
One protester, Michael Tomose, said, "We have been sleeping in the street after Metro came and destroyed our property. They broke everything. Furniture, TVs, everything. We went to work and came back to find our houses broken again. The council says it wants to clean here but we have nowhere to go. We are very, very sad about this."
Another protestor shouted, "We will die for this place," while another said he would kill the councillor.
Warrant officer Abby Ramahlola from the Bramley police said that events had been relatively peaceful and to his knowledge no arrests had been made.
In the meantime Lawyers for Human Rights have been representing the residents in a court battle against the City of Johannesburg claiming that no court orders were issued and due process was not followed during the eviction operations.
Tissue workers strike
Rachel Vadi 27 August 2012
Workers at a local tissue manufacturing company have gone on strike against the wage paid by the company.
About 50 workers gathered across the road from the tissue manufacturer, in Industrial Park, Phoenix, singing songs and demanding “a living wage.”
According to spokesperson for the South African Commercial and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU), Xolani Dlamini, “Employees are demanding a minimum of R780 per week. Currently the company is paying them about R400 per week.”
“We have gone to CCMA and the Department of Labour, and we are not getting any joy, so we have decided to pull our workers out. We believe the company is victimising them. We have made a bench mark of R780 per week because that is the national agreement of all tissue manufacturers. We are saying to this company that even though they are not a part of the big name companies and the agreement, they should be paying the same amount,” said Dlamini.
According to Dlamini the employees joined SACCAWU in December 2011. Prior to December 2011, employees were being paid R280 per week.
“SACCAWU assisted the employees in adjusting their salaries to R400 per week. Our members were not happy with this amount and are demanding a living wage,” said Dlamini.
Stone from protester puts woman in coma
IOL News 28 August 2012
Isabel Hugo, 67, and her daughter were on their way to town when protesters surrounded the bakkie on Monday.
The report said a stone hit Hugo after it was thrown through the open window. The woman lost consciousness and the vehicle left the road into the field next to the road.
The newspaper said Hugo was taken to a Bethlehem hospital but later flown by ambulance helicopter to the Pelonomi regional hospital in Bloemfontein.
Free State health spokesman Mondli Mvambi said Hugo had serious head injuries and was in a coma.
Protesters in Clocolan and Marquard blocked roads with stones and wire and stoned passing vehicles during the protest.
The newspaper said the protests started after the Setsoto local municipality, in Ficksburg, opened trespassing charges against residents who built illegal shacks on municipal agricultural land.
The municipality rents the land to a local farmer.
Some 80 protesters were arrested on charges of public violence by police during protests last week. - Sapa
KZN Dunlop workers strike
IOL News 28 August 2012
Workers at Dunlop Industrial Products in Howick have been on strike since Wednesday over a wage dispute, Numsa in KwaZulu-Natal said on Tuesday.
“The strike action has been triggered by stubbornness and big-headed arrogance by Dunlop ruling oligarchy to concede to workers demands for improved conditions of employment and sustainable livelihoods (all sic),” regional National Union of Metalworkers of SA secretary Mbuso Ngubane said in a statement.
Dunlop could not be immediately reached for comment.
The workers wanted a two-year agreement with a 10 percent wage increase in the first year and a nine percent increase in the second, Ngubane said. They also wanted a two-week pay bonus and two weeks' severance pay for each year they worked. Numsa believed the demands were reasonable and legitimate.
“We refuse to allow members to be subjected to starvation and poverty wages, amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequalities, mainly affecting working class and poor households.”
Ngubane said the union was urging Dunlop to return to the bargaining table to resolve the dispute. - Sapa
Cosmo City protesters disperse
IOL News 28 August 2012
Residents of Cosmo City, north of Johannesburg, dispersed after a service delivery protest on Tuesday, Johannesburg metro police said.
“The group of about 1500 protesters dispersed after handing over a memorandum at the office of the MEC for local government and housing,” spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
A convoy of minibus taxis transporting protesters arrived in the Johannesburg city centre on Tuesday morning to hand over the memorandum.
Residents of Cosmo City embarked on a service delivery protest on Tuesday morning.
“It is believed the residents are unhappy about RDP houses,” Minnaar said.
There was a heavy police presence and there were no reports of violence.
“RDP” refers to housing provided in terms of the government's reconstruction and development programme.
Cosmo City, a housing project undertaken by the city of Johannesburg and the Gauteng government, provides fully subsidised RDP houses, credit linked houses and fully bonded houses. - Sapa
We will shut Durban down - metro cops
CHARMEL BOWMAN and NATHI OLIFANT 26 August 2012
Durban Metro Police have vowed to bring the city to its knees in yet more protests.
On Saturday the rogue police members unveiled plans to blockade key access points in and out of Durban and force the city to fire their boss, Eugene Nzama.
Business leaders and ratepayer bodies are infuriated at the latest threats, which come in a week that saw metro policemen storm the city hall and jam key arterial nodes.
Angry opposition parties slammed city manager Sibusiso Sithole for not doing enough to bring the situation under control.
SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) regional secretary Nhlanhla Nyandeni said if Nzama was not removed from office his members would embark on further protests.
Well-placed metro police sources said officers would target key access points and block access to King Shaka International Airport and the harbour and create traffic chaos on the N3 at Spaghetti Junction.
Nyandeni promised on Saturday that Samwu members would show sympathy with protesting metro police – which meant the action would affect every Durban resident and spill over to essential services such as water supply, sanitation and electricity.
Three metro police sources independently confirmed the existence of the disruption plan and said the plan had been devised in collaboration with taxi bosses.
“This is not a threat; we can do it tomorrow,” said a metro policeman and Samwu member.
At the centre of the dispute is the deadlock between Samwu and the city leadership over Nzama facing allegations that include maladministration, corruption, nepotism, favouritism and harassment of taxi drivers.
Nzama was put on precautionary suspension in June, only to come back a month later after taking the city to court. The city has not formulated charges against him.
Though agreement was reached on some union demands – such as sending older policemen and women for training and hiring members over the age of 30 – the union remains militant.
It says it wants 1 000 of its members who are employed part-time to be given permanent jobs and perks, which would cost ratepayers an unbudgeted R92 million a year.
Said Nyandeni: “We will remain awake and vigilant [to ensure] that the city deals with Nzama. If they don’t, officers will not be at their posts. More than 70 percent of metro police officers are affiliated to us and there will be no one on the streets.”
Nyandeni said there were more than 11 000 Samwu members in the municipality and they would join the protest in solidarity, bringing municipal services to a halt.
“We will also hold demonstrations. There will be mass action if Nzama remains. We are not happy that the process has taken so long. Even if the city has to buy him out, that is fine,” he said.
Nyandeni dismissed criticism of protests by metro police. He said they were not hooligans who did not deserve jobs.
Metro police have been condemned for contravening the code of conduct that states employees must at all times perform the functions of office in good faith, diligently, honestly and in a transparent manner.
It states they should act in the best interests of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.
Sithole said on Saturday the city leadership did not take any threats lightly but was confident the planned protest would not happen as there was no need for such action.
“Any anarchy in the city will not be tolerated and any action tantamount to undermining the right of the public to use roads and other amenities will be dealt with.”
He said the city’s leaders would not be dictated to by sinister people with sinister intentions.
“We want to bring stability to the department and our focus is leadership within the metro police, including filling vacant positions, such as the deputy head of operations.
“We have spoken to Samwu officials at different political levels about this. I am clear that we will not tolerate disorder in the city.
“If the proposed action goes ahead, serious action will be taken against members. There are laws that people have to abide by,” Sithole said.
The city leadership has expressed concern at the illegal marches and protests at city hall.
Sithole said the city would dock the salaries of officers who had been involved in the strike and disciplinary action would be taken against members found to have incited violence and who threatened to raze city hall.
Deputy head of the metro police Steve Middleton also slammed the officers’ behaviour, saying it was illegal to block streets.
“The SAPS was called to arrest officers, but they |couldn’t because the officers were doing nothing illegal.”
Durban Chamber of Commerce CEO Andrew Layman said the threat to blockade key access points was worrying.
“The city is in a difficult position in that it’s impossible to meet some of the demands. This is anarchic behaviour,” he said.
DA caucus leader Tex Collins blamed Sithole for the drama. “I don’t believe any group can hold the city to ransom. If they think the authority of their uniform will protect them, they are mistaken.
“They must be charged if they prevent anyone from being able to do business and dismissed if they are guilty of violence. A tough stance must be taken with these guys.”
Collins questioned why it took city managers so long to meet officers’ demands when there were funds available – a fact he verified.
The Minority Front’s Patrick Pillay said anarchy should not be tolerated.
“The matter has been dealt with by the city manager and the metro police must allow due processes to run and respect this. Our democracy is built on these laws. You cannot fire someone without reason.”
Mdu Nkosi from the IFP said something was “terribly wrong” when metro officers showed gross ill-discipline.
“Sithole needs to make a plan now to ensure this (blockade) doesn’t happen because residents will bear the brunt. The protests in the CBD were on a smaller scale and had a big impact.”
Lilian Develing of the Ratepayers’ Association said ratepayers were exasperated with the protests, which made the city “ungovernable and unsafe”.
“Police, teachers and nurses are essential services. Years ago, they wouldn’t have considered striking. Once again, we pay up and get less in return from the city. It’s a serious situation from a security point of view. Metro police officers are meant to uphold the law, not go around breaking it.”
16 000 pupils unable to attend school
IOL News 27 August 2012
Kuruman - A total of 16 000 pupils have been unable to attend schools in the Northern Cape since June because of violent protests, the Times reported on Monday.
Protests over the lack of tarred roads in the Johan Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, in which Kuruman is situated, have seen residents forcing teachers to close over 35 schools to pupils from Grade R to Grade 12 since June 6.
Provincial education spokesman, Sydney Stander, told the newspaper the department was aware of the situation for three months.
“All the issues raised have been non-education issues. The protesters chose schools because they are soft targets, intimidating teachers and pupils.”
Stander said schools in Glenred, Dithakong, Bothithong, Loopeng and Laxey had been closed.
He said intervention was difficult because of the high level of intimidation with entrances to villages being blocked.
“The department had managed to relocate all matric learners. For a month now they have been receiving tuition at Deo Gloria in Barkly West.”
He said these pupils were being assisted by, among others, subject teachers and learning area managers.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was involved behind the scenes but had not yet visited the area, spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said. He said Motshekga would visit the area soon.
In January, Motshekga singled out John Taolo Gaetsewe as one of the worst performing districts in the Northern Cape.
The district is one of the poorest in the province with more than 180 no-fee schools. - Sapa
The fight is not over - ANCYL
Xolani Koyana and Jason Felix (IOL News) 28 August 2012
The ANC Youth League remains defiant and has vowed to march to Premier Helen Zille’s office again next month, without apology, after her refusal to accept its memorandum personally.
The league and its allies led 3 000 people to the legislature yesterday in protest at what they described as tardy service delivery, but Zille declined to accept their memorandum, saying she would accept it in person only when the league apologised and retracted threats to make the city and province ungovernable.
The youth league would not apologise to Zille and mayor Patricia de Lille, said national executive committee member Magdalene Moonsamy.
“She cannot start by demanding apologies and charging our leaders. She must provide for the people. Today she has run away from the people she claims to lead,” Moonsamy said.
“We will accept this for today, but the fight is not over.”
The league’s secretary for the Cape Town metro, Mfuzo Zenzile, said they would march again on September 27.
Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Ivan Meyer was sent to acknowledge the memorandum, but the crowd booed and jeered at him. The memorandum was eventually accepted by Finance MEC Alan Winde.
Xolani Sotashe, chairman of the ANC’s Dullah Omar region, said the party would continue to support the league in its campaign.
It was raising issues affecting young people.
The league mobilised residents from Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Gugulethu and Philippi.
Bongi Nhlapo, from Khayelitsha and unemployed, said she was marching because her community did not have proper toilets.
“I want the premier to hear our problems. I am here not because of the ANCYL, but because our people on the Cape Flats suffer. We have poor services and are placed last.”
Jonathan Latief, from Bonteheuwel and also out of work, said: “They want to close our schools and throw our children into the hands of drug [lords] and other bad elements.”
l In a separate incident, the inbound carriageway of the N2 near the CapeTown International Airport was closed for two hours last night when protesters stoned vehicles from a bridge, provincial traffic head Kenny Africa said. - Cape Times
ANCYL protesters demand to see Zille
IOL News August 27 2012
Cape Town - Protesters from the ANC Youth League and other bodies demanded Western Cape premier Helen Zille's presence on Monday to accept a memorandum of demands over service delivery.
They refused to deliver the document to representatives of her office.
Protesters were behaving in a peaceful fashion as leaders of the African National Congress Youth League and its allies addressed them in Cape Town.
Last week, Zille agreed to accept the memorandum on condition ANCYL retracted its statements on making the city “ungovernable”.
“We will never apologise to the madam, to Zille. Days of apartheid are over,” said ANCYL spokeswoman Magdalene Moonsamy. - Sapa
ANCYL expects 14 000 to join march
Neo Maditla 27 August 2012
Cape Town - The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape says it expects more than 14 000 people at its second “economic freedom’’ march into the city centre on Monday.
City of Cape Town spokeswoman Kylie Hatton said the league had applied for permission for 10 000 marchers who were expected to assemble at Keizersgracht from 10am. The march was expected to start at 11am from Keizersgracht, then move along Darling Street into Adderley Street, and on to the provincial legislature buildings in Wale Street, and is expected to be over by 1.30pm.
Police said they will not tolerate lawlessness from the marchers.
The ANCYL’s march is aimed at making the province “ungovernable” until Premier Helen Zille responds to its service delivery demands.
But Zille has said she will accept the memorandum from the league only if they “retract their unlawful threats and apologise to the people of the Western Cape”.
Monday’s march comes after the ANCYL delivered a memorandum to the provincial legislature last month where it demanded that Zille deliver services like toilets and houses to informal settlements.
The league also demanded that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system be stopped because it was killing the “100 percent black-owned taxi industry”.
Other organisations that will join Monday’s march include Cosatu, the SA Students Congress, the SA National Civic Organisation, the Congress of SA Students, the Islamic Unity Convention, and the taxi organisations Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations and Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association.
Hatton said there would be “rolling road closures where roads will be closed, then reopened as the group moves through an area. We have found that this has a lesser effect on traffic”.
Police spokesman Colonel Andre Traut said they were ready for Monday’s march and would not tolerate lawlessness from the marchers. “We will in particular concentrate on intimidation of the public, as this is regarded as a serious offence.”
Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said they would be running a normal train service and would deal with disruptions as they happened.
Zille said she and mayor Patricia de Lille tried to be available for meetings with communities that have grievances so they could discuss what was possible within the constraints of existing waiting lists and resources.
She said the youth league was not interested in discussing service delivery problems “as they demonstrated in Khayelitsha recently when young men wearing ANC berets violently broke up a service-delivery report-back meeting convened by mayor De Lille”.
The ANCYL chairman for the Dullah Omar region, Khaya Yozi, said on Sunday they had recruited residents from all over the Western Cape and that the march was a chance for residents to say “we have had enough” of a lack of service delivery in the province.
But Zille accused Yozi of not having genuine grievances about his living conditions because he lived in an RDP house given to him by the city.
Yozi said on Sunday he did not own an RDP house.
“Every time the madam opens her mouth, she is embarrassing herself. I don’t have an RDP house. The RDP house in Nyanga belongs to my mother and it was given to her in 1999 by the ANC government, not the city.”
SlutWalkers say no to rape
BRENDAN ROANE (IOL News) 27 August 2012
Johannesburg - Hundreds of scantily clad women - and men - took to the streets of northern Joburg on Saturday to protest against the idea that women are responsible for being raped because of the way they dress.
They took part in the 2012 SlutWalk, an annual event which aims to support victims of rape and to challenge the idea that “sluts” ask to be raped because of their clothes.
The idea for the walk began in Toronto, Canada, when a police officer suggested that if women wanted to stay safe, they should “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”.
It has since spread to other countries across the globe.
The walk began at the sports fields of Zoo Lake. The crowd then moved north on Jan Smuts Avenue before looping around and coming back.
Dressing like a “slut” is not compulsory. The idea of the walk is that people can choose what to wear.
Some wore “normal” clothes, and one woman went in the opposite direction and dressed up like a nun.
“I thought this was an ideal place to wear [the nun’s outfit],” said Bev Lovemore.
She said she had worn it to a party recently and joked that it had become “a habit”.
Many joining this year’s walk – including some of the men who attended – wore high heels, fishnet stockings and low-cut tops.
“The idea that women are the cause of being raped by the way they dress is not fair, and that’s why I’m here,” said Chris Botes, who wore a short skirt, high heels and fishnet stockings.
Some people in the crowd carried boards or had written messages on their bodies, such as “I dress to empower me, not for you to overpower me” and “Your body is a wonderland, by admittance only”.
Passing cars brought loud cheers and whistles as they hooted for the crowd, while some people walking by craned their necks to take in the unusual sight.
Hawker mayhem spreads
KARABO NGOEPE, MPHAHLELE KUNENE and SAPA 25 August 2012
Pretoria - The mayhem spread to Hammanskraal yesterday when members of the Tshwane Metro Police allegedly demolished structures belonging to hawkers.
This sent the hawkers on the rampage and they blocked the R101 (Old Warmbaths Road) and looted shops at Kopanong Shopping Complex, before moving to the Jubilee Mall where they also ran amok, forcing shops to close.
A delivery truck carrying food was looted, resulting in police using a helicopter to round up the culprits who were hiding in nearby bushes.
Police spokeswoman, Lieutenant Sarah Lesabane said there were reports that soft drinks and beverages were stolen out of a minibus. “The incident was the result of a protest which involved hundreds of informal traders who were accusing the metro police of harassment,” she said.
The protest began yesterday morning when informal traders learnt that metro police had demolished their colleagues’ stalls next to the Kopanong and Renbro shopping centres. They barricaded the R101 road with burning tyres, rocks and sticks. A section of the road had to be closed.
At least 20 people were arrested for looting. The angry hawkers said the Tshwane Metro Police came on Thursday night without informing them and destroyed their livelihoods. Chairman of the hawkers, Thabo Tshesane, said metro police took the goods of his members without giving them any reasons.
During the stand-off with the members of the SAPS the hawkers demanded that mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa address their plight, but the council assigned MMC responsible for roads and transport, George Matjila, to quell the tensions.
Matjila rubbished claims that the council instructed the metro police to demolish the hawkers’ structures. He strongly condemned the conduct of the metro police and said the council would inform the metro police officials to return their stocks and erect their stalls.
“The council distances itself from the unbecoming conduct of the metro police. We [would] like to put it on record that there was never an instruction to support confiscation of hawkers goods,” he said to loud applause from the hawkers.
He also explained to the hawkers that there were those within their ranks who wanted to push a criminal agenda. He warned that the council would not tolerate such conduct. “But at the same time, as the council, we will not support those who take advantage of the situation to drive their own criminal agendas from hawkers’ genuine pleas for intervention,” he warned.
Johannes Selemane, one of the hawkers who spoke to the Pretoria News, said he was shattered as on Wednesday he had purchased new stock to the value of R2 500, comprising vegetables, fruit, airtime and sweets. He said the metro police must compensate him and erect his shelter which they have destroyed.
Tshwane Metro Police spokeswoman Louise Brits said the decision to demolish the structures came as a result of criminal elements terrorising the community.
She said a woman was robbed of R2 000 on Tuesday and the community asked that something be done.
“During an inter-departmental meeting, it was discussed that criminals used the structures along the road to hide and attack people. It was then decided that the structures should be demolished as, by law, people are not supposed to trade along a major road,” said Brits.
She added that the hawkers were informed in time that the structures would be removed and those with legal permits would be allowed to trade in the vicinity of the taxi rank and next to the shopping complexes in the area.
Traders also protested in Pretoria on Tuesday after the demolition of their stalls and the seizure of their stock in Marabastad and other parts of the CBD on Monday night.
The hawkers have since turned the CBD into a ghost town, forcing many shops to close down as they continue with their actions.
Mohamed Iqbal, who owns an electronics shop in town, yesterday told the Pretoria News the hawkers broke into his shop and stole everything that was inside. “They took cellphones, laptops, cellphone accessories and other electronic goods. They also broke furniture,” he said.
Tshwane Informal Traders’ Association spokesman, Shoes Malok, said the Hammanskraal protest was running parallel to another in downtown Pretoria. “We want to request the municipality to allow us to continue trading while discussions to resolve the matter continue,” he said.
The DA in Tshwane has lambasted the ongoing protest as it is affecting businesses in the Pretoria CBD. DA spokeswoman on community safety in Tshwane, Karen Meyer said the CBD was becoming a ghost town and this was a serious concern to them.
“It is clear that the city’s economy is going to suffer, especially if the climate of fear which the dealers are experiencing, continues. While they cannot trade for fear of reprisals, they nevertheless have to pay rent for their premises and also rates and taxes. It is thus essential that the metro police protect these shop owners as it is clear that the city imposed its own policy in a rash or ill-considered manner,” she said.
Meyer added that it was evident that the council failed to do proper planning so that this situation could be effected with as little disruption and violence as possible.
Pretoria News Weekend
Hawkers loot delivery truck
IOL News 24 August 2012
Food was stolen from a delivery truck in Hammanskraal on Friday, during a protest by informal traders, Gauteng police said.
Lieutenant Sarah Lesabane said there were reports that soft drinks and beverages were stolen out of a minibus.
“The incident came as a result of a protest which involved hundreds of informal traders who were accusing the metro police of harassment,” she said.
The protest began on Friday morning when informal traders learnt that metro police demolished their stalls next to the Kopanong and Renbro shopping centres. They barricaded the R101 road with burning tyres, stones and sticks. A section of the road had to be closed.
Several shops were closed because of intimidation by the protesters, some of whom threw stones at passing cars.
Lesabane said several people were arrested, but was unable to immediately provide the exact number. She said the protesters had calmed down by Friday afternoon and police were keeping watch.
Traders also protested in Pretoria on Tuesday after the demolition of their stalls and the seizure of their stock in Marabastad and other parts of the CBD on Monday night.
Tshwane Informal Traders' Association spokesman Shoes Maloka said the Hammanskraal protest was running parallel to another in downtown Pretoria. He said scores of informal traders were gathering at the corner of Van der Walt and Struben streets for a meeting with city officials.
“We want to request the municipality to allow us to continue trading while discussions to resolve the matter continue,” he said. - Sapa
Protesting hawkers force shops to close
Karabo Ngoepe (IOL News) 24 August 2012
Protest action by city hawkers which has brought business to its knees since Tuesday continued in the Pretoria CBD on Thursday.
With shop owners living and operating in fear, the CBD has become a skeleton of its former self and it does not look as if the situation is about to change. Some hawkers took to the streets on Thursday and intimidated shops that were still open, forcing them to close.
Police came out in their numbers to try to restore order. Seven people were arrested for public violence on Thursday.
Tshwane metro police spokesman Console Tleane said the situation was a bit better on Thursday as compared to the previous two days when protesters closed down businesses, looting some in the process.
They also assaulted other hawkers who were selling on the sides of the streets and forced about 90 percent of the shops in Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) as well as those in Helen Joseph (Church) Street to close, along with those at the Bloed Street Mall.
Tleane said although the hawkers were destructive and blocked roads, they managed to contain them.
“We had to use rubber bullets when they started pelting our officers with stones. We are currently on top of the situation and hope to see the matter resolved very soon,” he said. Tleane said there was a bit of looting near Marabastad and some shops were stoned.
The chairman of the Informal Traders Association, Vincent Matjeng, opened a case on Thursday against four Tshwane metro police officers who he alleges shot him without any provocation.
According to Matjeng, he was on the corner of Struben and Lilian Ngoyi streets when the officers approached him.
“They just said ‘here is one of the protesters from Marabastad’ and they shot me. I was shot four times for nothing,” he said.
A bruised Matjeng then went to the Pretoria Central police station to open a case against the officers, but he was apparently turned away by a lieutenant at the station. According to him, the lieutenant refused to open the case and told him to go to the metro police offices to lay a complain there.
“He said they [the SAPS] don’t handle matters involving metro police. He chased me out of the police station until a captain came and assisted me in opening a case,” said Matjeng. He said a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was then opened.
A livid Matjeng said he did not understand why he was refused help the first time. But police spokesman Captain Bonginkosi Msimango said it was not that the man was refused help but that police needed clarification on the matter.
“It was an issue of misunderstanding. Police just wanted to clarify as to what had exactly happened, but he took it the wrong way. They wanted to help but at the same time understand exactly what kind of charge should be laid if there was a case,” said Msimango.
Tleane said Matjeng should come to their offices to lay a charge against the officers.
Hawkers, cops clash in Pretoria CBD
YOLANDE DU PREEZ AND MUSI KAHIMBAARA
(PRETORIA NEWS) 23 August 2012
Protesting hawkers, who were making their way to the mayors office, run for cover as police spray them with water.Picture: Masi Losi
Pretoria - Angry hawkers have for a second consecutive day caused havoc in Pretoria’s inner city, forcing businesses to close.
From Bazaar to Boom streets, Marabastad shops were closed, as was the Belle Ombre Plaza.
While the crowd was making its way to Munitoria, an exhausted man wearing a tattered brown jersey and close to tears fell to his knees shouting “Kill me, metro police, kill me”.
Surrounded by heavily armed police officers, Solomon Pholoma slowly rose, put his hands up in the air and again shouted the words.
Pholoma was one of about 1 000 angry hawkers protesting on the streets of the inner city on Wednesday following another clean-up operation by metro police earlier this week.
The operation was part of the CBD renewal project and hawkers, as well as their goods, were removed from Marabastad and Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) Street.
The protest not only caused the shutdown of business operations in Marabastad, but led to the closure of many businesses around the city, including those in Madiba (Vermeulen) Street.
“F*** you, metro police. Why are you shooting at us?” shouted Juliet Ngobeni, who had narrowly escaped being sprayed by a water cannon that was being used to bring the crowd under control at the corner of Boom and Bosman streets.
Ngobeni was recently removed from her trading post in the city centre. “I want [President Jacob] Zuma to tell me why we have to suffer like this. This is bulls***, this government can go to hell,” she shouted.
Shortly after midday, three nyalas closed the roads at the intersection of Boom and Sophie de Bruyn (Schubart) streets, and police fired rubber bullets to keep the growing crowd under control.
Norman Ntombeni, who traded in Lilian Ngoyi Street, said he had been moved several times and had nothing left. “I have three children and another one on the way. All I am trying to do is provide food for my family.”
Ntombeni said the Tshwane Metro Police (TMPD) had said he should get a trading licence, and when he applied for the licence, he was told to wait for three weeks.
“How can I wait for three weeks? Who will feed my family in those three weeks?” he said.
“This government has f***ed up. We are going to stop this government of the ANC. They don’t care about the people of the country.
“Ramokgopa’s mother was a hawker and a trader in this very same city.
“That is how she fed him [Ramokgopa] and now that he is mayor, the ways of his mother are not good enough any more.”
TMPD spokesman Console Tleane confirmed that the hawkers were angry about the CBD renewal project.
“The city is attempting to regenerate the inner city, and it has two goals in mind. First, it wants to pedestrianise Paul Kruger Street, from the station to Madiba Street, as well as Helen Joseph (Church) Street, from Church Square to the Union Buildings.
“This is the reason why taxis and hawkers must be removed.”
Tleane said many hawkers were trading without licences, and that those who did have licences didn’t comply with the terms and regulations of these.
He said the march was illegal because the hawkers had applied for permission to march, but failed to attend a security meeting required by law.
Late on Wednesday afternoon, TMPD spokeswoman Louise Brits said the situation was under control and several arrests had been made.
“The culprits will be charged with public violence,” she said.
Hawkers are permitted to trade only under the following circumstances:
* They must be in possession of a trading licence, which costs R150;
* They may trade only in designated areas in the CBD;
* They may trade only during office hours (8am-5pm); and
* All trading equipment must be removed after 5pm and stored in facilities provided by the City of Tshwane.
Another platinum mine hit by strike
Business Report 22 August 2012
Johannesburg - Miners at the Royal Bafokeng Platinum mine outside Rustenburg in the North West downed tools on Wednesday, demanding a salary increase, according to a report.
SABC news reported that more than 1000 miners wanted direct salary negotiations with the mine's management.
According to the report, workers terminated their membership the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and appointed seven of their colleagues to negotiate on their behalf.
Protesters were gathering at the main entrance of the mine's shaft. Management had not addressed the group, who reportedly wanted a R12,000 wage increase, an SABC news crew on the scene reported.
This was the second platinum mine in the province affected by protests after rock drill operators at Lonmin's platinum mine, outside Marikana, went on strike. Forty-four people were killed during violence linked to this.
The protests were believed to have been caused by rivalry between the NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages. - Sapa
Police Violence Wreaks Havoc at UKZN's Howard Campus
RUTH CASTEL-BRANCO REPORTS
Seven hundred kilometers from Durban, the Marikana Massacre in Rustenberg seemed miles away from the student protests that took place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this week. Yet as five students stood before the Magistrate on Wednesday evening, on charges of public violence, the two events became interwoven .
When the arrested students woke up that morning, they could not imagine that by lunchtime, they would be in jail. Peaceful protests, called by the student organization SASCO, had been happening for three days. Triggered by an armed robbery and spate of rapes at one of the university residences, students were demanding among other things, better security services, improved safety and maintenance of university residences.
But at approximately 12:30pm, police launched what seemed like premeditated assault on protesters. Students had just retreated to the sidewalk in front of the Howard Building. A barricade of riot police formed left of the building. In a bid to deescalate the situation, one SASCO speaker said, “We have not committed a crime, we will not commit a crime,” before signaling for the crowd to disperse to the right. A minute later, without warning, police fired gas canisters into the dispersing crowd.
What started as a day like any other, quickly transpired into chaos. Protesters scrambled over each other to get away. Those walking, were ordered to run by police in riot gear. Running students were arbitrarily shot at with rubber rubber bullets. “It was an impossible situation,” explains one witness. “If you don’t run you get beaten, if you do run you get shot.”
The streets were flooded in a carnival of security forces, each enforcing their own rule of law. The security guards from the private company Sharks, responsible for university residences among other facilities, were now decked out in grey overalls and riot gear. Others in white overalls formed the “Strike Force.” Then there was the South African Police Force, ultimately responsible for making arrests. Finally, there were the former weight-lifters-turned-bouncers dressed black shirts inscribed with the words “VIP Protection.”
Amidst the buzz of police and private security, one over-eager police officer was intent on making arrests. Spotting two students leaving campus for classes, he pepper-sprayed one young woman and man, before throwing them on the ground. Shortly after, he arrested a witness, followed by two passer-bys. Initially detained with obstructing justice and intimidation, their charges were trumped up to public violence.
The basis for arresting the "Wednesday-5" seems extremely dubious. The fact that they were actually charged, outrageous. With no evidence, UKZN recognizes that arrestees did not themselves commit acts of violence. It claims however, that by being in the vicinity of a protest that was not pre-approved by the university, where a small minority of people did vandalize property, arrestees are liable. In direct contradiction to an earlier statement by the police, UKZN further argues they have no power to drop these fabricated charges against students.
Students will have to appear before the Magistrate again for a hearing on September 6th.
For members of the university community fed up with missed classes, unaware or disinterested in protesters’ demands, or skeptical of the strategies and tactics used, the arrest and pending charges against 5 people who did not themselves commit acts of violence, may seem like no big deal. Some speculate that UKZN and SAPS are using this arrest as a deterrent for further protests.
However, if this is the case, it raises some underlying concerns. Is it acceptable for innocent students to be used as leverage by the university in a negotiating game with protesters? Is it acceptable for the state to pre-emptively and arbitrarily use violent force against peaceful protests? What does it mean for freedom of speech and the democratic process, when people cannot participate or witness a peaceful event without the fear of being burnt, beaten, shot or arrested?
As one international student concludes, "It seems that everywhere police have become the mediators of political and economic questions. Year after year, freedom of speech loses ground."
Grad Students at UKZN Attacked, Arrested by SAPS and private security without provocation
Dear all. A group of students that I know have just compiled the following report of events that have taken place on campus in the last few ours.
Today, just after 12:30pm, students participating in a peaceful demonstration at Howard College were attacked and arrested by SAPS.
Peaceful protests organised by SASCO have been happening all week. Protesters have been demanding safety at residences, adequate maintenance and living conditions, and better management of cafeteria services, among other things. This strike was provoked by an armed robbery at one of the off-campus residences, where students’ property was stolen and women threatened with rape. Upset with the lack of action on the part of the University, a protest was called last Friday, August 17th.
Roving protests started this morning. Police have accompanied the peaceful protests throughout. Some were in SAPS uniforms, some in riot gear, others in black shirts which said “VIP protection,” and others were in white overalls and helmets with “strike force” written on them. There appeared to be some police officers in plain clothes.
At roughly 12:30pm, about a dozen police in riot gear blocked around 100 students from continuing to the cafeteria. Students retreated and gathered in front of the Howard Building. Police then created a barricade to the left of the building. As students retreated to right of Howard Building, the police shot gas canisters. Several students confirm that no warning was given. At least one student was burnt by the canisters.
After, students quickly dispersed, the riot police instructed student walking peacefully to run. Riot police then shot at least two rounds of tear gas into the dispersing crowd. Students also report that they were pepper sprayed. Some students trying to exit the scene, were rounded up, arrested and taken to Umbilo police station.
According to one student, two people—one man, one woman—who were not involved in the protests, were also confronted by police. A policeman was seen slapping the woman and pushing the man away, then told them to leave. They started walking to the gate and were pushed to the ground from behind, and told to lie down on the floor. A student attempting to record events on a cell phone was threatened by police.
The participants and witnesses who compiled this press statement wish to remain anonymous for fear of retribution
CR Communique: Update-HOWARD COLLEGE STUDENT PROTEST
University Notice 22 August 2012
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS
HOWARD COLLEGE STUDENT PROTEST
Dear Staff and Students
The student protest action at the Howard College campus has continued today (Wednesday 22 August 2012). We have received reports that lectures have been disrupted and that SAPS have arrested a number of individuals for participating in violent protest action.
A meeting between student representatives and management has been scheduled to resolve their issues. This matter has been given high priority. We understand that the initial issue of concern related to security concerns at one of the outsourced residences in Montclair. When the Executive Director Student Services received reports of a robbery at this residence, he held meetings with student leadership and made arrangements to beef security. The University has assumed full responsibility for the security of the residence in question. The landlord has undertaken to accept the claims of the student property that was lost accompanies with proof of ownership for submission to his insurance for payment.
The University urges all students to strictly abide by the rules and regulations that are in place to safeguard the security of our students.
Management sincerely regrets and does not condone the disruptions to lectures and the intimidation of staff and students.
Issues on behalf of Executive Management
THANDO MANZI ON THE UKZN STRIKE
Ukzn students have a number of grievances due to the lack of interest of Ukzn officials. There have been safety issues occuring in off-campus residences whereby students have been assualted and robbed of their valuables and students want to be compensated. There has been a meeting with ukzn officials which took this morning and last night we were promised that the strike would be ended and today we would resume our studies but it seems like the meeting did not go as planned so the strike still continues.
Yesterday we protested all over campus and had the policemen trying to have us under control and where forced to stop our protest in certain areas within the campus. as i write this i can hear the chants of the students outside the window.
Students are demanding the following.
1: A Central Security for all off campus residences with immediate effect
2: All students who were robbed of their valuables be compensated
3: A new building be availed for Pilgen Mews students with immediate effect
4: Proper maintenance for residences
5: Budgets for all off_campus Resdidences
6: All students who were denied registration should be allowed to register
7: Nerw service providers for the main cafe,Jubliee and Sintus cafe
8: The increaseof times for the Westville and Howard Campus shuttle
I had the oppotunity to listen to a former SRC leader who said some of these demands have been dealt with and some will not be dealt with as they are not achievable and the current SRC leaders have to do check ups of all years past agreements with UKZN officials.
LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE OF STUDENT PROTEST
UKZN students go on the rampage
Hannah Keal 21 August 2012
A UKZN student has described how protesting students at the varsity's Howard College Campus have forced staff to suspend lectures and close libraries and computer labs.
One of the cafeterias was also apparently raided.
David, who didn't want his full name to be used, has told Newswatch the protest got underway yesterday afternoon and classes were disrupted from early this morning.
"Some students, including myself, actually hid in these computer labs, in order to wait for the strikers to move on. Some lecturers sent out emails to some of my friends to say that they shouldn't come to campus because their lecture venue is going to be closed.
"I didn't see anybody actually hurt, but the level of intimidation was quite clear."
Among the students' demands is better security at off-campus residences; this follows serious security concerns, including reports of two rapes and a robbery in the past two months.
There is also apparently no hot water or electricity in some off-campus residences.
Students also want a more regular shuttle service between Westville and Howard College.
They also want those who were barred from registering for the second semester be allowed to do so, as well as new service providers for the main campus cafeteria.
Meanwhile, there have been unconfirmed reports that police used teargas to disperse protesting students at UKZN's Pietermaritzburg campus.
Some students have tweeted about maps being torn down in the corridors of the PMB Geography Department during the protest, while Nombuso M/ @Nombuso20 tweeted that a lab had been "destroyed".
"Photo of the carnage that went on in my dearest Geog Dept at UKZN-Pmb. It's ok to strike but ruining valuable maps??" tweeted Chanda Mwale/ @nanakicksbutt. (Photo below)
"Strikers chased us out lectures but forbade us to drive out of main gate. Contradiction? Also we 'mustn't document'", tweeted Tania Brauninger/ @Tinkie_Bee.
UKZN student services and the SRC on the Pietermartizburg campus met this afternoon to discuss the students' grievances.
Lectures as normal today: UKZN
Zingisa Chirwa 22 August 2012
Lectures are expected to run as normal at the University of KwaZulu-Natal today.
The varsity's posted a notice on its Facebook page telling students to expect all campuses to be functioning as usual today.
The statement follows disruptive student protests at the university's Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses.
The protesting students forced staff to suspend lectures and close libraries and computer labs at both campuses yesterday.
They've complained about issues around student loans and food allowances.
They were also demanding better security at residences; following reports of two rapes and a robbery in the past two months and claim there's been no hot water or electricity at some off-campus residences.
The institution's Nomonde Mbadi told Newswatch they've held a meeting in Pietermaritzburg to resolve the issues.
She says in any event police will be keeping a close eye on campuses today.
Metro cops threaten to burn city hall
Gugu Mbonambi (IOL News) 22 August 2012
Durban - Monday saw anarchy in the Durban CBD, when the metro police blocked roads, barged into the city’s administration offices and threatened to burn down the city hall if their demands for full-time jobs and training were not immediately met.
They also demanded that Eugene Nzama, head of the metro police, be axed immediately.
People watched in amazement as those tasked with maintaining law and order toyi-toyied, banged on taxis and stopped cars from driving on Dr Pixley kaSeme Street (West Street).
The metro police officers were armed with their service weapons and the SAPS, whose members were called in to control their colleagues, appeared nervous.
There are 3 600 metro police officers in Durban, the majority of whom are members of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).
One of the core issues they were protesting about is the full-time employment of 1 000 temporary metro police officers, many of whom have been on contract for up to six years. As temporary employees they do not enjoy the same protection and perks from the city as full-time officers. They also wanted over-age officers to be sent for police training before they were employed.
The city would face an extra wage bill of R92.4 million a year if they were all employed on a full-time basis – money that has not been budgeted for this financial year. The minimum wage paid to an entry-level officer is R7 700 a month.
ANC heavyweights, including the party’s regional chairman and Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, were called to calm the angry group but were shouted down.
City hall security guards struggled to stop the rampaging officers from smashing the glass door to the office of city manager S’bu Sithole. Eventually the main door was chained by his bodyguards.
ANC eThekwini executive committee members led by mayor James Nxumalo and Dhlomo, met behind closed doors for over an hour before they went to the main hall to address the officers.
Nxumalo told the angry crowd the city was dealing with their grievances. “If we say temporary employees will be converted to permanent staff we do not mean that will be implemented tomorrow… We are guided by rules and regulations. Just give the city manager a chance to implement our decisions,” he said.
He was aware of the issues raised by officers but urged them to be patient. He promised they would be made permanent by the end of the financial year.
“We must go back to the drawing board… give us until Thursday,” he said. But Nxumalo’s comments only provoked the crowd more. They were tired of listening to “empty promises” they shouted.
“We will burn down city hall… Nzama must be redeployed to guard cemeteries. We want him removed,” shouted one officer.
Nzama was placed on special leave in July following strikes by union members and protests by city taxi operators. However, he was brought back before his special leave ended. During his leave Sithole asked the city's disaster management head, Vincent Ngubane, to speedily address issues that Nzama had allegedly failed to deal with.
Police officers said Nzama had disrupted the plans that Ngubane had set in motion to turn around the metro police.
Samwu provincial secretary Jaycee Ncanana said it was “high time” the city acted on the demands. “Our members have genuine demands and this kind of situation will make the metro police ungovernable,” he said.
DA caucus leader Tex Collins agreed that the metro police had genuine concerns but, he said, as officers they were supposed to be upholding the law and not rampaging.
“We are seriously concerned about the slow pace at which the city manager is dealing with the issues at metro police,” said Collins.
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation researcher David Bruce said law-enforcement organisations were expected to protest in a lawful, peaceful manner.
“This kind of action brings the metro police into disrepute and undermines their credibility. If they engage in destructive protests they are undermining the law,” he said.
Municipal spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said: “We have noted today’s (Monday’s) events and the matter will be discussed by Exco.” - The Mercury
Gang violence halts schooling
Andre Grobler 21 August 2012
Acts of violence and intimidation between a youth gang and Botshabelo residents closed all 59 schools in the area, a government official said on Tuesday.
Free State education spokesman Howard Ndaba condemned the violence.
“Yesterday 1/8Monday 3/8 schooling in all 59 schools in Botshabelo came to a halt as a result of alleged intimidation by a group of young people calling themselves, 'Born to Kill' (BTK).”
Ndaba said most parents fetched their children from school on Monday morning. Two people were arrested for public violence after a crowd attacked two teenagers accused of being part of a gang on Monday.
Residents in the area accused the youths, aged 17 and 19, of being members of BTK, which had terrorised pupils in a school in N Section.
Police spokesman Captain Tseko Mokgahle said the teenagers were attacked with knobkerries as they were walking down a street. The men arrested, aged 19 and 22, would appear in the Botshabelo Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Mokgahle said residents were tired of the gang terrorising their children while at school.
“ 1/8The 3/8 community went all out searching for the group members.”
Two shacks, thought to be home to some members of the gang, were set alight, and another shack was damaged.
Police said the youths assaulted were taken to the Botshabelo Hospital where they were in a critical condition. They would not be arrested as police did not suspect them of committing an offence.
Police said 10 suspected gang members, aged between 16 and 21, were arrested for public violence on Friday when they went to a school in the area with knives and pangas and intimidated pupils.
Mokgahle said the group appeared in the Botshabelo Magistrate's Court on Monday. Three of them were released into the custody of their parents.
Ndaba said there was no crisis at schools in Botshabelo, despite parents fetching their children.
“They 1/8pupils 3/8 were actually safer within the school premises than outside. We call on parents not to panic as we are working with police to ensure the safety of the entire school community in the area.”
No pupil or teacher had been hurt at the school. Ndaba said the department and police were meeting parents from each section within Botshabelo to seek a lasting solution.
Some children turned up at schools on Tuesday, he said. - Sapa
Man chained to desk over electricty
IOL News 20 August 2012
Bloemfontein - A Bloemfontein businessman desperate for electricity chained himself to the desk of a secretary at the city’s power utility Centlec, Die Volksblad newspaper reported on Monday.
The report said a frustrated Christo Hunter chained himself to the desk after trying for four months to get Centlec to give him a quotation to switch power on at a building.
“I just could not take it longer. I am finished. To do this on a Friday afternoon shows you how desperate and tired I am,” the newspaper quoted Hunter as saying.
The report said the office of senior Centlec official Leon Kritzinger was astir when Hunter used a thick chain to lock himself to the desk.
Hunter told the newspaper a security guard wanted to know why he did not make an appointment to sort out his problems.
He said after many e-mails and phones calls he did not receive any reaction and was prepared to sit at the desk until Monday to get a meeting.
Eventually, he and his partner were promised a meeting with Kritzinger and a sceptical Hunter unlocked himself.
It was not clear when the meeting would take place.
“Hulle is hardegat (They are difficult). We do not get answers or reaction from them,” Hunter said in the report. - Sapa
‘We’ll fight for our schools’
IOL News 19 August 2012
Parents of pupils at two of the schools set for closure in a controversial decision that has seen the provincial education department come in for plenty of flak, say the action is robbing the children of their right to an education.
This emerged yesterday during hearings regarding Athwood Primary School in Hanover Park and Peak View Senior Secondary School in Athlone - the first two in a series to hear why the department should not close 27 schools across the province.
Earlier this year, the department announced its intention to close the schools by the end of the year, due to dwindling pupil numbers, crumbling infrastructure or academic under-performance.
About 120 people gathered at Mount View High School to oppose the closure of Athwood Primary. Edna Adams, chairwoman of the Athwood Primary School Governing Body (SGB), said the department’s plans were a direct violation of the constitution and the children’s rights. “The department has not sat down with us once to explain their grievances, simply informing us that they planned to close the school because of poor management.”
Bonita Magerman said she sent her daughter Briadene, 10, to Athwood because it was safer than other schools in the area. “My husband was shot … in gang crossfire last year, so the safety of my daughter is my number one priority. If she was moved to another school in the area, it would be much more dangerous for her.”
Meanwhile, about 100 people attended the meeting for Peak View Senior Secondary School, held at the Bridgetown Community Centre, and chaired by education department officials Archie Lewis and John Linus.
Peak View had a matric pass rate of 18 percent last year - the lowest in the province.
Before the meeting, people picketed outside with signs saying “Donald must resign” and “Donald is dof”, referring to Education MEC Donald Grant.
Oral submissions were made by about 20 people and the department offered reasons for the closure – the low matric pass rate, structural problems, poor results for English first language, and the fact that 66 percent of the pupils were from outside the community.
Phumelele Nombelelo, who spoke on behalf of parents of children living in Langa, said they would fight the closure. “We can go all the way to the Constitutional Court,” he said.
Leon Linz, a tutor at Peak View, said the school had implemented changes this year that were showing results.
Around 69 percent of matrics passed the first term, and 74.4 percent the second term. The school’s decision to allow pupils to take Xhosa as a first language had resulted in huge improvements, he added. - Sunday Argus
Amcu blames NUM, politics for Lonmin massacre
Faranaaz Parker (Mail & Guardian) 17 July 2012
Amcu head Joseph Mathunjwa has laid the blame for the Lonmin massacre on mine management, the National Union of Mineworkers and North West police.
The Association of Mineworkers and Constructution Union (Amcu) has distanced itself from the conflict at Lonmin mine and said the massacre could have been avoided had management made good on their commitments to workers.
Speaking at a press briefing in Sandton on Friday, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa, said management had reneged on commitments it had made to miners earlier in the week.
On Thursday a violent confrontation between striking Amcu members and SAPS forces at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West left 35 dead and 78 injured.
President Jacob Zuma has returned from a SADC summit in Mozambique to visit Rustenberg. The presidency said in a statement that Zuma was concerned about the violent nature of the protest. Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa also visited the area.
There has been ongoing violence in the area, with clashes between two rival unions at the mine – the older National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the decade-old Amcu.
Earlier this week Amcu and NUM blamed each other for the violence.
Mthunjwa presented two documents as evidence that the mine had made commitments to the miners that their grievances would be dealt with.
"Management could have stuck with their commitment … The commitment was once you're there peacefully at work, management will address your grievances through union structures," he said.
According to Mathunjwa, it was this about-turn that led workers to refuse to lay down their arms and leave the mountain.
Mathunjwa also slammed the media for characterising the conflict at Lonmin as a clash between the two unions.
"This is an infight of the members of NUM with their offices. It's got nothing to do with Amcu," he said.
According to Mathunjwa the workers on the koppie where the massacre took place were largely disgruntled NUM members who had lost faith in their union representatives.
"It's possible that Amcu members were there but its not Amcu that coordinated the protest on the mountain," he said.
He said Amcu's leaders had been called to the site on Monday to intervene in the standoff between workers and the mine, even though it did not represent those involved in the dispute.
"I pleaded with them. I said leave this place, they're going to kill you," said Mathunjwa, who later broke down in tears.
He denied that it had promised the workers that it could negotiate a wage of R12 500, as has beenreported.
The two unions have been fighting for control of mines in the area. In February they clashed over membership at Impala Platinum mines in Rustenberg.
In the run-up to Thursday's confrontation with police, ten people including two police officers and two private security guards were killed and cars were torched.
Amcu calls for an external inquiry
Mathunjwa also said that recent allegations of links between Amcu and the PAC or the ANC Youth League were "baseless and unfounded".
"We have no relationship with any political movement in this country or outside this country," he said, adding that Amcu was "apolitical" and would " never ever" associate itself with any political party.
However, he also implied that politics had had an impact in how the situation unfolded.
He complained that the security detail extended to Amcu and NUM representatives who had gone to speak with the workers on Monday was withdrawn on Tuesday once the NUM leaders – who are part of both Cosatu and the SACP – left the area.
"You can draw the conclusion," he said.
Mathunjwa called for an independent, external inquiry – not conducted by the South Africa government – to identify the causes of the Lonmin massacre. He also gave assurances that Amco would "cooperate and support any action taken to deal with this issue".
Police, miners' families in tense face-off after shootings
Johannes Myburgh (Yahoo News) 17 August 2012
A hundred women danced in a dirt road Friday, singing protest songs amid ramshackle wooden and corrugated metal shacks sitting over one of the world's richest platinum deposits.
These songs were once directed at South Africa's white apartheid government, but these women were singing to denounce their own police who fired on their striking menfolk, leaving 34 dead, the day before.
"The police came here to kill our husbands, our brothers. Here. Our children!" said 42-year-old Nokuselo Mciteni.
Her own husband survived the clash between police and workers in the Lonmin platinum mine staging a weeklong wildcat strike.
But she said she hadn't seen her neighbour since Thursday, when he joined the hundreds of men protesting on a nearby hillside.
Occasionally the women stopped to shout at forensics experts combing through the dusty scene of the deadliest police action since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.
Brightly-coloured plastic markers were stuck in the ground, indicating the evidence that police say will prove that they acted in self-defence after armed strikers charged through a cloud of teargas. Police said some workers were firing guns as they advanced.
A police helicopter circled overhead while some 2,000 workers again assembled on a hillside covered in yellowed grass. Some carried metal rods and clubs, wrapping themselves in blankets against the late winter chill.
They denied having guns or charging the police. They said they gathered on the hill because they have nowhere else to go.
"We met at the only place no one can say they own, the only open space," said Zolisa Bodlani, 32.
"We were meeting," said Mozambican migrant worker Luis Macuacua, 35. "Suddenly the police came and chased us away. They made war."
Despite the wealth underground, the shantytown the miners call home doesn't even have a road. Children play in the dust, while communal pit latrines with no running water stand outside the tiny houses, emitting a terrible stench.
"We can't afford to buy food. People working at Lonmin can't send their kids to school," said Jack Khoba, 29, a mine supervisor.
That is why they want their wages of 4,000 rand ($486, 400 euros) tripled -- a demand unlikely to be met in an industry that has already been forced to close several mines this year as companies struggle against low platinum prices.
Details on the dead and injured were still hard to come by Friday. Many relatives went to nearby hospitals hoping for news.
Before Thursday, 10 people had already been killed during the weeklong strike as rivalry between unions turned into vicious clashes.
Many people were still too scared or traumatised to talk about Thursday's killings, which made their homes a landmark to equal the more horrific sites of apartheid atrocities.
"I don't want these people to see me talking to you because then they're gonna kill me," one man said. "Just go, because I don't want to die."
3pm protest at Parliament against police's senseless massacre of 18 Marikana strikers!
Join us at 15h00 at parliament today (17th of August) to protest the
police and the mining bosses who have colluded in the massacre of 18
miners in broad daylight!
See facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/277176292386858/
Thursday the 16th of August 2012 will go down in South African history as the new Sharpeville. 18 dead because police and the South African
government cannot handle an independent union movement.
We are in solidarity with the workers of Marikana against the bosses and the police and those who support the bosses and police.
To protest this massacre and all other forms of police violence, we will gather at parliament on Friday the 17th of August at 3pm. Please bring signs.
Proof of massacre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImqAVon92VM
* Remember Hector Peterson!
* Remember Andries Tatane!
* Remember Hangberg!
* Remember Occupy Rondebosch Common!
* Remember the miners of Aurora killed by security!
From Khayelitsha to Marikana, hands of our right to protest! From Aurora to Implats to Lonmin, bosses and their police must keep
their hands off our people!
This is a non-political party rally. Politicians and police are not welcome!
Down with police brutality everywhere! Down with oppression from mine bosses!
TUT campuses still closed
IOL News 20 August 2012
Three Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campuses were still closed on Monday after violent student protests last week, a spokeswoman said on Monday.
Willa De Ruyter said students were no longer protesting, but the Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa and Pretoria West campuses would remain closed until management decided on a suitable time to re-open them.
TUT management shut the campuses on Thursday, fearing for the safety of staff and students. The move was intended to prevent further damage to university property.
Students in the residences were instructed to leave by Friday morning.
A court order obtained by management preventing students from protesting was ignored. The students were protesting against the allocation of the National Student Financial Aid scheme, and the condition of their residences. - Sapa
TUT forcefully evicts thousands of striking students – students are resisting
Tshwane, August 17, 2012:
The Tshwane University of Technology management have throughout the night and this morning begun to forcefully evict thousands of students from their residences at the Main, Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve campuses. At present the students, who are resisting the eviction, are gathering en masse on their campuses.
The student strike begun last week at the Soshanguve campus, and spread this week to the Main and Ga-Rankuwa campuses after talks with the TUT management collapsed. A security guard was killed in the clashes at Soshanguve on Wednesday. The strike is a protest against the bad state of residences, which lack proper water and electricity facilities, against the shortage of lecturers, the casualisation of university staff with permanent lecturers replaced by temporary staff, the abuse of TUT nursing students as unpaid staff in hospitals, and the fact that over 3000 students who qualify for financial aid from the NSFAS have yet to receive their monies and are as a result threatened with eviction from the student residences and with financial exclusion in at the start of the next academic year, amongst several other issues.
The TUT Student Representative Council began talks with management at the beginning of the year which have however been fruitless. Student leaders are demanding that Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande comes to address them.
The management, led by a Vice-Chancellor who has been in office for only three weeks, has instead of genuine negotiations chosen to go on the offensive and is forcefully removing all students from residences. Several students have been harassed and intimidated by the bouncers that are being used by management. Student leaders have been interdicted and are to appear in court on August 28. Students who come from all over southern Africa are now left on the street with nowhere to go.
The striking students are urgently appealing for solidarity from students, youth and workers from across the country.
Contact Pan-Africanist Student Movement Gauteng Chairperson Elmond Magedi on 0763176955 for more information
Violence shuts 3 TUT campuses
IOL News 17 August 2012
Pretoria - The three campuses of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) have been closed due to the violent protests that erupted there this week.
TUT announced on Thursday that it had decided to close the Pretoria West, Ga-Rankuwa and Arcadia campuses until further notice.
Students embarked on protests across the campuses this week to press their demands for, among other things, catering services and to draw attention to the lack of funding for a significant number of students.
But violent elements in the protests on Thursday prompted the university to obtain an interdict against the students.
The university said the campuses would be shut until further notice, with students who stayed in university residences ordered to move out by this afternoon.
TUT applied for an urgent order interdicting the students and their representative bodies from trashing the campuses, threatening or hurting fellow students and staff members, and organising and participating in further protests.
“This matter is extremely urgent. As we stand here the students are burning the campuses,” said Francois Botes, advocate for the TUT, told the High Court in Pretoria.
This prompted Judge Legodi Phatudi - who sat through the lunch break to hear the matter - to ask: “Is it in flames?”
Botes said that at that stage students were only burning tyres, but they had threatened the buildings would be next if management did not heed their demands.
“They want to stay free, eat free and travel for free and then they want some change. They are holding the administration to ransom.”
Among the demands the students had presented to the head of administration, Professor Themba Mosia, were that “all students on the waiting list of the National Students Financial Aid Scheme be immediately catered for”, and that all outstanding fees be “settled by someone capable to do so”.
Botes told the court that the students demanded that administrative staff members “attend anger management classes because their attitude is unbecoming and it is going to lead to unnecessary fights with them and their African brothers and sisters”.
Other demands were that “all residences must have hot water within two hours” and all residence managers be removed. The students also called for “a review of the residence rules and regulations, as they refuse to be part of policies they were not part of drafting”.
Botes handed a series of pictures to the court, showing tyres burning and buildings damaged on the Soshanguve campus. He said entrances to the campuses had been barricaded by the students and booms broken.
Judge Phatudi agreed the application was “extremely urgent” and issued an interim order prohibiting further violence by the students.
He ordered that the respondents - 37 students identified as being trouble makers - and the student bodies representing them - return to court on August 28 to state why the order should not be made final.
The student bodies named in the application include TUT’s transitional SRC, the TUT branch of the ANC Youth League, the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania, and the SA Student Congress.
Botes said the sheriff would immediately serve the order on the students, but Judge Phatudi was concerned about how it would reach each of the respondents.
Botes said 200 copies would be distributed and a video recording made of the sheriff serving them to ensure the order reached the right people. - Pretoria News
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Shootout leaves 18 dead near Lonmin
IOL News 16 August 2012
An attempt by the police on Thursday to disperse striking workers at Marikana's troubled Lonmin mine ended in a shootout between the two groups.
A Sapa reporter at the scene said he counted 18 bodies lying next to the nearby Wonderkop squatter camp. The shooting lasted about three minutes.
Police had tried to intercept a section of the strikers gathered on top of a hill.
The strikers were wielding pangas and chanting war songs.
Police fired teargas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers, who retaliated by firing live ammunition at the police.
The area around the hill, which the strikers had turned into their base for the past few days, was cordoned off with barbed wire.
The strikers scattered towards the squatter camp and the nearby veld.
Police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao told journalists at the scene police had been “tactical” in their approach and that the situation was tense. - Sapa
7 arrested in PE protests
IOL News 16 August 2012
Seven people were arrested for public violence on Thursday during protests in KwaNobuhle, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape police said.
Warrant Officer Marianette Olivier said police had been sent to the area in a bid to maintain order.
“We have a heavy police presence and we are trying to keep the situation calm. Protesters are throwing stones and burning tyres in the road.”
Eight people were arrested on Wednesday. They were due to appear in the KwaNobuhle Magistrate's Court on Friday.
Residents wanted a piece of land from the municipality to build informal settlements on. Three properties, including councillors' offices and a house, had been burnt down.
“We are investigating three cases of arson, but no arrests have been made in connection with these charges,” Olivier said. - Sapa
Protest outside Mbombela stadium trial
IOL News 16 August 2012
Nelspruit - A group of people protested outside the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court where three men accused of fraud relating to the building of the Mbombela stadium were to appear on Thursday.
Over 100 protesters held up posters reading: “Who killed Jimmy”, “What happened to Jimmy” and “Stop Corruption”.
Some protesters wore T-shirts bearing the image of Mbombela municipal speaker Jimmy Mohlala, who was shot dead in January 2009 after blowing the whistle on companies and individuals he claimed were involved in tender corruption.
Some protesters wore African National Congress and SA Communist Party T-shirts.
Police arrested two men, one in Naturena, Johannesburg, and another in Cape Town on Wednesday. A third man later handed himself to the police, Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela said.
Polela would not confirm rumours that a senior Kaizer Chiefs official was among those arrested. - Sapa
Protesters burn vehicle
IOL News 16 August 2012
Free State - Protesters at Marquard and Moemaneng have set alight a vehicle and damaged another during protests, Free State police said on Thursday.
Captain Phumelelo Dhlamini said a group of people started to gather and block roads with stones and burning tyres at 7pm on Wednesday.
During the protest, one person was injured and a municipal vehicle was damaged.
Dhlamini said the R708 between Clocolan and Marquard was also blocked with stones. A vehicle on this road was set alight by a group of people. Police urged all motorists to use alternative roads.
Dhlamini said police were monitoring the situation and that re-inforcements were on their way.
It was not immediate clear why the protest started, however residents have previously protested against a lack of water and other aspects of service delivery.
About 20 people were arrested in July for public violence and for looting foreign-owned shops in town and in the informal settlement after handing a memorandum to the Setsoto local municipality. - Sapa
Calm restored after electricity protest
Viasen Soobramoney 15 August 2012
Durban - Homeowners of Palmiet Road in Clare Estate were trapped in their homes on Sunday as residents from the nearby informal settlement clashed with eThekwini Municipality officials trying to remove illegal electricity connections.
Residents of the settlement barricaded roads, burnt tyres and stoned municipal vehicles and the private security company guarding council officials.
“We were trapped in our homes and terrified. The workers from the electricity department were being stoned and then there were gun shots. It was really scary. We didn’t know what would happen next. Fortunately the protesters did not damage our property. They just prevented the council from removing their electricity,” said a resident who refused to be named.
Another resident said he supported the municipality’s actions because often he was left without electricity because informal settlers had been stealing electricity causing faults with the power supply.
“We are tired of these power outages. We sometimes go for hours without electricity because of illegal connections and we are the ones paying for it,” he said .
Mnikelo Ndabankulu, spokesman for Informal residents group, Abahali Base Mjondolo, said the only option for the municipality was to electrify the informal settlement.
“Nobody will accept not having electricity when others have it just around the corner.
“These illegal connections are known as ‘peoples connections’ because the people are doing it for themselves when the council cannot provide for them.
“Nobody has said that these informal residents would not pay for electricity if it was provided. They are willing to pay,” said Ndabankulu.
eThekwini municipality spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said council would continue to remove illegal electricity connections.
“We have an ongoing programme to remove illegal electricity connections and we will continue with it. There is a programme to roll out interim services to these informal residents but they must remain patient. We cannot condone violence,” said Mofokeng.
Police confirmed the incident. “A case of public violence is being investigated by Sydenham SAPS. It was reported that the municipality employees were at Palmiet Road to disconnect illegal electrical connections in the area.
“The Sydenham community members mobilised and attacked the municipality employees. No arrests have been made as yet and no injuries were reported,” said police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane. - POST
Pupils protest at police station
IOL News 15 August 2012
- About 300 pupils wearing school uniform protested outside the Mzinoni police station near Bethal, in Mpumalanga, on Wednesday, said police.
Warrant Officer Mashilo Mapurunyane said they were demanding the release of 30 people arrested on Tuesday, following violent protests in the area.
“The children were trying to get into the police station, but they failed. The situation is now calm and clear,” said Mapurunyane.
It was alleged the people arrested set alight a house belonging to the parents of Govan Mbeki municipality mayor Lindi Masina.
They were also accused of destroying several shops belonging to Pakistanis.
Residents have reportedly been demanding employment at local coal mines since the beginning of the week.
The 30 people arrested would appear in the Bethal Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of public violence, arson and malicious damage to property, said Mapurunyane. - Sapa
DA shows support outside e-toll case
Maryke Vermaak and Ahmed Areff 15 August 2012
A small group of DA supporters gathered outside the Constitutional Court on Wednesday morning ahead of a court challenge over e-tolling in Gauteng.
Precious Gcabashe said: “We are going to be here the whole day - we don't want the toll gate. We are hoping for the government to hear us.”
Clad in blue DA T-shirts they sang and danced, holding posters which read: “Hoot for a toll free GP”.
Democratic Alliance MPL Jack Bloom said he was expecting up to 300 supporters.
The court is expected to hear arguments on Wednesday as to why it should overturn an interim interdict preventing e-tolling in Gauteng from going ahead.
According to the interdict granted by the High Court in Pretoria on April 28, a full review first needed to be carried out before electronic tolling of Gauteng's highways could be implemented.
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd and National Treasury are appealing the order.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, which was granted the interdict, will oppose this move.
Finance minister Pravin Gordhan applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside the court order preventing Sanral from implementing e-tolling.
Gordhan argued that Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of the separation of powers. He said the decision to halt e-tolling would negatively affect the economy.
In its reply, the alliance said Sanral was still not ready to launch the project.
Last week, the DA said it had applied to join the Constitutional Court case, but it was not admitted as a friend of the court as it had hoped.
The High Court in Pretoria wil hear further arguments in the e-toll case on November 26.
Under the project, drivers would pay over 35 cents per kilometre to travel on some of Gauteng's major roads.
The project had been scheduled to start on April 30, but was postponed after a meeting between the ANC and its alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions. - Sapa
S.Africa labour union blames Lonmin for strike
Yahoo News 16 August 2012
Platinum mining firm Lonmin was responsible for the deadly strike at its South Africa operations after it selectively offered wage increases, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Thursday.
"The company offered wage increases to rock drill operators and omitted their assistants," NUM secretary general Frans Baleni told journalists.
"This practice undermines the existing two-year wage agreement we have in place with the firm," said Baleni.
The strike which started last weekend spiralled into violent clashes between NUM, which is the dominant union at the mine, and members of the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
Baleni warned that similar wildcat strikes could spread to other mines if companies continued to undermine wage agreements.
"This has become a growing trend in the mining sector, where companies offer salary hikes to a selected few workers, leaving the bulk of the underpaid staff in a difficult situation," he said.
Strikes and riots have hit the country's platinum mines -- including Aquarius and Impala -- in recent months, but the violence at Lonmin was among the worst seen in recent years.
Baleni has blamed AMCU for leading the strike and intimidating their members into joining.
"Our members are prepared to work but their being prevented from doing so and the mine has done nothing to ensure their safety," Baleni said.
He said two of the 10 people killed so far were NUM members.
The striking workers, who are armed with machetes and metal bars, have been gathering on a hilltop near the mine under heavy police guard.
Striking miners confront police
IOL News 15 August 2012
Marikana, North West - Thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks faced off with South African police on Wednesday at Lonmin's Marikana mine after it halted production following the deaths of 10 people in fighting between rival unions.
Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, has threatened to sack 3,000 rock drill operators if they fail to end a wildcat pay strike that started on Friday at Marikana, its flagship mine 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannnesburg.
The illegal stay-away and the union clashes have forced London-headquartered Lonmin to halt mining at all its operations in South Africa, which account for 12 percent of global platinum output. South Africa has 80 percent of known platinum reserves.
On Wednesday, scores of police backed by helicopters lined up opposite a crowd of around 2,500 miners who had taken up position on a rocky outcrop overlooking the mine.
“The situation is stable but tense. We are busy with negotiations and are maintaining a high visibility in the area,” national police spokesman Dennis Adrio said.
Lonmin secured a court order compelling the miners to return to work on Wednesday, and can fire them if they fail to do so.
“If we believe that this criminal activity is still continuing and that rock drill operators are still on this illegal strike we will have no option but to issue the ultimatum,” Executive Vice President Barnard Mokwena said.
The strikers have not made their demands explicit, although much of the bad blood stems from a turf war stretching across the platinum industry between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the newer Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
The price of platinum rose 2 percent on Tuesday as a result of the suspension in mining. Lonmin shares were down 1 percent in London and 0.7 percent in Johannesburg on Wednesday after falling more than 4 percent the previous day.
Already struggling with low prices and weak demand, Lonmin may miss its annual production target of 750,000 ounces because the quarter to the end of September is typically its best.
The Marikana violence was the deadliest yet in an eight-month tussle between NUM and AMCU.
At least three people were killed in a similar round of fighting in January that led to a six-week closure of the world's largest platinum mine, run by Impala Platinum. That helped push the platinum price up 15 percent.
It is unclear who is behind the latest killings, which include two police officers, although Mokwena said management had held several meetings with four recognised unions - not including AMCU - and all had distanced themselves from the unrest. - Reuters
Lonmin workers, cops in truce talks
IOL News 15 August 2012
Johannesburg - Police and striking miners were negotiating a truce on a hill near Lonmin's Marikana mine on Wednesday afternoon.
A large crowd of workers sat quietly on the hilltop, and occasionally sent a small delegation to speak to the police, who waited near the bottom of the hill.
Captain Dennis Adriao said the police were trying to negotiate a truce with the workers, who were armed with knobkerries, iron rods and pangas.
He said it was believed the protesters were also in possession of two police service pistols, taken from two officers killed in clashes at the mine on Saturday.
Police wanted to disarm the men to stabilise the situation and reach an amicable solution.
Adriao said negotiations began on Tuesday night and that it was likely to be a lengthy process.
The striking workers did not appear hostile. They sat quietly on the hill watching a man dressed in white, who knelt motionless against a thick white pole.
It was suspected that the man might be a traditional healer, since the workers first congregated on the hill on Tuesday to receive traditional medicine to “make them brave”.
On Friday, thousands of Lonmin rock drill operators started an illegal strike and protest march.
Ten people Ä two police officers, two security guards, three protesters and three other men Ä have been killed since then.
A Sapa reporter on the scene on Tuesday said the body of the 10th victim, clad in khaki, was found about 100m from the hilltop.
Adriao said a police officer who was injured during the protest on Monday remained in hospital in a critical condition.
Earlier, local residents said most of the men left the hill overnight and returned in the morning.
On Tuesday afternoon, they vowed to stay there until their demands for higher salaries were met.
Police restricted access to a road leading to the mine on Wednesday morning, and a fleet of police vehicles approached the hill.
Meanwhile, residents of a nearby village continued their daily routines.
Trade union Solidarity expressed concern about the safety of non-striking workers at the mine.
General secretary Gideon du Plessis said the union was grateful to the police for sending reinforcements to the area.
“We believe that employees can work under the current circumstances, but we will continually monitor the situation together with Lonmin's management,” he said.
“Although there is a strong police presence in the veld and residential areas near the mine, Solidarity is of the opinion that the shafts at the mines must be safeguarded to enable employees to go to work without fear.”
If the union felt its members were not adequately protected, it would hold talks with mine management.
Adriao said protecting the mine shafts was not in the police's jurisdiction and referred questions about these security arrangements to the mine.
Lonmin was not immediately able to comment on the protection it was affording non-striking workers.
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu had expressed concern at the violent protests, her office said on Wednesday.
“The minister is gravely concerned, and is condemning the violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine, and will engage with the minister of police,” her spokeswoman Zingaphi Jakuja said.
Shabangu said those who committed crimes during the protest needed to be brought to book.
Chamber of Mines spokesman Jabu Maphalala said the employers' organisation would not comment on the unrest as it did not have enough information.
The protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine.
Workers also wanted higher wages. They claimed to be earning R4000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1000.
Reported demands included pay of R12 500 a month. - Sapa
De Lille blames ANCYL for riots
Murray Williams and Daneel Knoetze 13 August 2012
Cape Town - Four of Cape Town’s key arterial routes remained shut on Monday morning after a new wave of protests was launched on the Cape Flats.
Mew Way and Bonga Drive in Khayelitsha were closed on the south of the N2, as was Lansdowne Road, which threads west towards the southern suburbs, while Duinefontein Road north of the N2 was also shut.
The city’s traffic and metro police divisions were posted along long stretches of the N2, and one lane was closed for around an hour on Monday morning between Borcherd’s Quarry and Spine roads, the city’s Richard Bosman reported.
The city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the extra officers had already cost the city around R600 000 in overtime in the past two weeks, since protests were launched in Philippi, and a further R6 million had been suffered in damage to municipal property, such as street lights.
“We are deploying extra resources in a bid to contain this damage,” he told the Cape Argus on Monday.
Protesters from Sir Lowry’s Pass Village tried to close the N2 at the foot of Sir Lowry’s Pass, but this was thwarted by officers from the city.
The charges laid by mayor Patricia de Lille and Premier Helen Zille were still being investigated by a four-person team from the SA Police Service, and Smith said they were being assisted by the city’s theft and loss department investigators, whose job it was to try to recoup losses sustained to council property.
De Lille on Monday again blamed the ANC Youth League for fomenting the violent protests. A council source said the City of Cape Town had received information from a number of different sources which indicated the involvement of the ANCYL in the recent spate of violent protests.
This is in the face of repeated denials by the ANCYL. Local senior ANCYL leader Mfuso Zenzile told the Cape Argus late last week that the league still planned to “make the City of Cape Town ungovernable”, but that this had not yet begun.
A source within the DA-led city council alleged that ANCYL members were still being used in the organisation of the protests, even if they had not planned them, and cited SMSes received as proof. The source alleged that the over-arching planning of the protests was part of the ANC’s plan to “reclaim” the Western Cape from the DA.
But a senior ANC source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as he is not involved in provincial politics, explained: “Listen, of course ANC people in the communities are at the centre of demonstrating – they are councillors, community activists, etc, who will organise at a local level, using SMSes, sure.
“But the idea that it’s some conspiracy – controlled from Luthuli House or anywhere else – is just nonsense. There’s a lot more spontaneity to it than you think.”
On Monday morning, on Lansdowne Road tyres and rubbish were burnt by smaller groups of protesters, with police responding to flare-ups.
At around 9.10am an outbound Metrorail train was forced to stop due to rubbish burning on the track. As police and law enforcement officers were clearing the tracks and dispersing protesters, the rear carriages of the train were stoned. The train was delayed for around 15 minutes.
In Bonga Drive, where the road was also blocked by burning rubbish, a large group of people gathered, shouting: “We are protesting for service delivery, we won’t be killed.”
The demonstrators dumped faeces in front of police, saying: “You hold your nose for this, but this is what we live in every day.”
At about 9.50am police dispersed a crowd of around 150 people on Bonga Drive. Police made arrests and fired rubber bullets.
One dead in Cape Town service delivery protest
IOL News 14 August 2012
Sapa The Cape Times has reported a man died and a truck was torched during service delivery protests in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
A man has been found dead after protests in Khayelitsha over service delivery turned violent. (David Harrison, M&G)
More CoverageCape Town police arrest eight protestersDon't pass the Phillipi buck, ANC tells DA The newspaper said the man was found alive lying near a truck on Monday.
"We don't know whether he was hit by the truck or if he was attacked. He died shortly afterwards," warrant officer November Filander told the newspaper.
About 350 residents of the BM Section took to the streets on Monday morning to protest over houses and sanitation, forcing the closure of a section of the N2 highway.
They threw stones at police officers and passing vehicles, including five Golden Arrow buses. A bus driver was injured in the incident.
According to the report, 10 people were arrested and were due to appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Community leader Morris Sifo told the newspaper that residents were living in dire conditions since 1987.
"It is not fair that we have to live in these conditions while other parts of the area receive continuous upgrades," he said. – Sapa
Nine dead, 30 missing in S.African vigilante killing: report
Yahoo News 11 August 2012
AFP – Sat, Aug 11, 2012EmailPrintNine members of a vigilante group guarding against cattle theft were shot dead in South Africa and some 30 were missing after a revenge attack by villagers, local media reported Saturday.
Police discovered the ninth body on Saturday after the shooting two days back in the hills near Pomeroy, 180 kilometres (110 miles) from the eastern port city of Durban, the South African Broadcasting Corporation said, quoting police.
Around 30 members of the vigilante group were still missing.
The police were not immediately available for comment.
The group on Thursday caught and allegedly beat up a man suspected of stealing cattle, police spokesman Vincent Mdlunge told Sapa news agency.
Local residents then ambushed the vigilantes.
Cattle wars are a longstanding feature in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, whose capital is Durban.
In a separate incident a week ago, five men were shot dead and 17 injured in an attack elsewhere in the province blamed on a clan feud, raising concern over violence in South Africa's most populous, Zulu-dominated province.
Around 14,000 people were killed in violence between rival political groups between 1990 and 1994, when apartheid ended in South Africa. Most of the deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal.
Cosas to protest over school closures
Ilse Fredericks 13 August 2012
Cape Town - The Congress of SA Students says protests against the intended closure of 27 schools can be expected in the Western Cape from this week.
Cosas provincial secretary Samkelo Mqomboti said the level of unhappiness among pupils about the intended closures was very high.
In a joint statement by Cosas’s national office and Cosas Western Cape on Friday, the organisation accused the provincial government of refusing to be considerate of the views of pupils in the public participation process on the closures.
“Should such an offensive act to disrupt our schools proceed, the political brute of an education MEC must know that we are more than ready to also mobilise the same learners to peaceful protests or acts of civil disobedience at schools to which anyone associated with him goes,” said the statement.
Mqomboti said it was the provincial education department’s intention to close the 27 schools and the department would go ahead with it.
He said the provincial education department should fix the problems at the schools concerned.
“We already have overcrowding at schools. They (the department) must fix the problems on a school-by-school basis, not come with closures as a blanket solution.”
He said protests against the proposed closures would start this week.
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the aim of the school closures was to improve opportunities for the pupils concerned.
“We would like to place these learners in schools that are better equipped to provide a quality education.”
She said the ANC and Cosas’s opposition to school closures was mindless and misleading.
“It is hard to believe the cries of the ANC and Cosas on the issue of school closures when you consider that the very power of provincial ministers of education to close non-viable public schools was included in national legislation and national guidelines developed and passed by the ANC and adhered to by the law-abiding government of the Western Cape.
“Are Cosas going to oppose the KZN Education Department’s recent announcement that hundreds of small non-viable schools would be closed in that province?”
Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell said Grant would make his final decision on closures at the end of September after considering all representations.
“He will base his decision on whether the move will benefit the learners in each case. Cosas is welcome to submit its representations.”
Public hearings on the intended closures are expected to start on Saturday, when hearings for Peak View Secondary in Athlone and Atwood Primary in Hanover Park will be held. - Cape Argus
Ugly ‘Juju vs Zuma’ riot
12 August 2012
A rally in Limpopo turned into an ugly battle for Mangaung, quite literally, when supporters of Julius Malema and President Jacob Zuma clashed violently, with some assaulting and threatening to shoot their comrades.
Police say they are tired of putting out fires at illegal, chaotic ANC meetings attended by drunks.
Cars were smashed and factions exchanged missiles – including bottles – at the Motetema campus of Sekhukhune College on Friday afternoon where Malema was scheduled to speak.
No casualties were reported.
The fight took place between the Friends of the Youth League – an outfit that has kept Malema politically relevant since his expulsion from the ruling party – and those backing Zuma’s bid for a second term.
Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed the clashes and said they were investigating.
“Two cars were stoned. We are investigating two cases of malicious damage to property,” Mulaudzi said.
The police were concerned about illegal gatherings in Limpopo because of the “political upheaval” in the province, he said.
As a result, the police have decided to stop these meetings, threatening to arrest conveners.
“In most of these meetings we have seen that most of the delegates come intoxicated and we will not hesitate to arrest anyone irrespective of their stature in those organisations,” he said.
Police insiders said the Friends of the Youth League had failed to inform them about their planned meeting as required by the bylaws.
It was only after the battle broke out, according to an insider who refused to be named, that Malema supporters made desperate calls to the police, who agreed to maintain order outside the venue.
The Sunday Independent spoke to six sources who attended the meeting, but refused to be identified, citing factional fights and mistrust in the provincial ANC.
A member of a branch executive committee confirmed the incident.
“The window of a white Mercedes Benz MLS was smashed.
“When I passed the Motetema police station on Friday night, other damaged cars were parked there,” he said.
The skirmish erupted while Malema was reportedly on his way to address the gathering. He never showed up at the rally.
One source said some ANC and youth league leaders opposed to Malema fought with his sympathisers led by the former youth leader’s confidant and right-hand man Jacob Lebogo, who is also the league’s Limpopo secretary.
Another Friends of the Youth League member who is said to have been involved in the fights included Joseph Buthane, the league’s Peter Mokaba regional secretary.
Buthane and Malema referred all queries to Lebogo, who confirmed that he had addressed a gathering in Motetema on Friday, but denied any clashes.
“What I went there for was to meet the leadership and that meeting went well. I am driving my car right now and I can bring it to you to inspect it to see if there is any damage on it. There is nothing of the sort. I don’t understand how you work with your sources because they are giving you wrong information. You must find reliable sources,” Lebogo said.
He said his detractors were using his name and that of Malema to seek publicity.
But Richard Maabane, a branch member who attended the meeting, confirmed on Friday night that he took part in the clashes.
Maabane said he and his comrades rushed to Motetema after hearing that Lebogo, Buthane and others were preparing for Malema’s address.
“We told Lebogo to leave the podium because we knew he was going to insult the president (Zuma) and (Limpopo Education MEC) Dickson Masemola.
“That is what triggered the fight. (Lebogo) called ANCYL security and one of them threatened to shoot us if we continued to disrupt the meeting,” Maabane said.
He said they told the man to shoot, but he ran to his car.
Maabane said he and other anti-Malema supporters objected to the former youth leader addressing the ruling party’s gathering because he was no longer an ANC member.
Maabane said they did not want the Friends of the Youth League to decorate the podium with par ty flags and colours, or discuss ANC leadership succession because the group’s aims and objectives were “unknown”.
He accused Malema’s supporters of using the group as a platform to insult Zuma and his ally, Masemola.
Malema has been on a road show, questioning Zuma’s leadership and personal integrity. In Polokwane this week, the former youth leader again called for the removal of Zuma as ANC president and questioned his “thinking capacity” and polygamous lifestyle.
Maabane vowed to fight Malema’s supporters.
“If the Friends of the Youth League continue making statements about the leadership of the ANC at national level and in this province… we will respond whether physically, verbally or with whatever we have,” Maabane said.
A member of the local Brian Tjantji Kabine ANC branch, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said they defended Masemola because he was their “only hope for the premiership”.
Masemola, the party’s deputy chairman, broke ranks with the province’s position not to support Zuma’s second-term bid.
The branch member accused Malema and Mathale of marginalising leaders from Sekhukhune, the biggest ANC region in the province.
“There is only one MEC from Sekhukhune, Dickson, whom they also want to fire… We are also seeing a trend where big tenders are going to Mopani (another region).
“Since the province was placed under administration, they have been attacking our municipality for taking tenders,” said the source.
Masemola said he was not aware of the skirmishes in Motetema.
He also said he was not aware that his name was used to fight factional battles.
“The issue of public attacks on the deputy chairperson of the ANC by the ANCYL is a matter that needs the ANC’s attention and hopefully it will attend to it,” Masemola said.
Spokesman Keith Khoza said the Friends of the Youth League did not have any standing in the ANC.
ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane could not be reached for comment.
Eight held in Cape protests
IOL News 13 August 2012
Cape Town - Eight people were arrested for public violence in Cape Town after Khayelitsha residents burnt tyres and stoned vehicles, the city' disaster management centre said on Monday.
Spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said a group of 200 protesters were burning tyres and scattering rubble in the roadway at Duynefontein Road between Lansdowne and Vanguard Drive on Sunday night and the early hours of Monday morning.
Just before midnight, a group of protesters started burning tyres and a metro police vehicle was stoned and damaged, he said.
"At 04.30am [on Monday morning] a lamp pole was removed and the area became volatile and the roadway has to be closed in both directions," said Solomons-Johannes.
"The officers fire live rounds at the protesters. No injuries have been reported."
Solomons-Johannes said protesters again gathered at Duynefontein Road between Lansdowne and Vanguard Drive.
"All the lanes has been closed to traffic until further notice and motorists are been diverted to make use of alternative routes."
A large contingent of officers were on high-alert to monitor the area after information was received that various groups wanted to disrupt Cape Town on Monday, he added.
"Three persons have been arrested by the City Metropolitan Police Department and another five by the SAPS for public violence," said Solomons-Johannes.
Last week, more than 60 people were arrested following protests in Gugulethu. Petrol bombs were hurled at police officers and an Eyewitness news vehicle was stoned.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille blamed the African National Congress Youth League for being behind protests in the Democratic Alliance-led city.
De Lille said the protests seemed to be driven by "reckless political rhetoric of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and other groupings".
The City Press newspaper reported at the weekend that the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and Wits University had analysed protest hotspots in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and concluded that ANC factions were behind some of the protests. - Sapa