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Publication Details

Reference
South African Protest News 14 April -29 May 2013 (2013) South African Protest News 14 April -29 May 2013.  : -.

Summary
Durban peak hour chaos
IOL News 23 May 2013

Durban - Durban motorists were hit with a double whammy during peak hour traffic this morning after electricity outages caused chaos and a protest in Vusi Mzimele (Bellair) Road forced police to divert traffic.

Irate motorists battled through intersections at Springfield, Umbilo, Rossburgh, Morningside and Glenwood, which were affected because of a joint failure on cables linking the Chris Ntuli (Old Fort) Road and Johannes Nkosi (Alice) Street substations.

And an ‘imminent failure’ on another 132kV cable meant that electricity might have to be suspended for up to 16 hours to the Westmead, Mariann Ridge, Hillcrest and Waterfall areas, the city warned.

Emergency teams were assessing the Klaarwater major feeding station and “the general consensus is that this line will need to be switched off within the next two hours to limit and contain the damage” the council said in a statement today.

There was a similar outage on Sunday morning which lasted for three hours.

“Repairs on this line have started in earnest and are only expected to be completed in the next 16 hours, when it will be able to pick up the load feeding the currently affected areas,” the elctricity department said.

Metro police had to divert traffic around Vusi Mzimele (Bellair) and Rick Turner (Francois) roads after angry residents of Mayville’s Ward 30 burned tyres and placed rocks, trees and electricity poles on roads, demanding that their area councillor be removed.

Residents who tried to walk to work were attacked.

Protesters had gathered in Vusi Mzimele Road from 2am, metro police spokesman, Superintendent Sibonelo Mchunu, said. “It’s hard to say what the protest is about because it seems unorganised.”

When the Daily News arrived at the protest this morning some residents watched while more than 50 people marched down Vusi Mzimele Road wielding sticks.

“We went to exile, we fought for the freedom of this country this way,” said protester Mduduzi Sibiya.

“The ANC came into power as a result of the people revolting the way we are doing now. This is the only way our cries will be heard.”

He said they were unhappy with their area councillor, Zanele Ndzoyiya, claiming she had not been voted in by residents and that votes had been rigged during the elections.

“We reported the matter to our regional leadership and they came and they saw for themselves that a large majority of the residents didn’t want Ndzoyiya as their councillor, but she is still in that position,” he said.

When asked for comment, Ndzoyiya referred questions to the ANC.

But she did say that proper processes were in place during her election and said she would not be meeting the local community.

Residents told the Daily News they were expecting to be addressed by someone from the mayor’s office as well the ANC’s Senzo Mchunu today.

Deputy head of high voltage operations at eThekwini Municipality’s electricity department, Raj Dhrochand, said a 132kV cable in the city failed at 6.59am, after which supply was partially restored at 7.34am with full supply back at 8.17am.

“We had a similar joint failure on the same cable a while back so we have requested the help of a cable specialist consultant to do a complete strip down of the cable to find the root cause,” Dhrochand said.

He said the previous failure was a result of vandalism, although he couldn’t confirm what had caused today’s failure as an inspection was still being done.

“After the first failure we inspected the tunnels and found mattresses, so we knew vagrants had been sleeping there. We then sealed the tunnel entrances to prevent access.

“We apologise to all our clients.”

www.iol.co.za


Seven hurt in mine clashes
Business Report 21 May 2013

Workers on illegal strike at chrome mine
Unprotected strike at chrome mine
Johannesburg - Seven people were injured in clashes between workers and security personnel at Lanxess AG’s chrome unit in South Africa today amid a wildcat strike over pay.

Security guards shot at employees with rubber bullets, hitting two, Sibonile Dube, a Johannesburg-based spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mail.

Two guards were hit by stones thrown by the workers who have been on a wildcat strike since May 16, she said.

Three other employees were hurt.

“Our security guards were acting in self-defense as the strikers started throwing stones at them,” Dube said.

Mining companies in South Africa, which has the world’s biggest known reserves of chrome and platinum, are bracing for wage talks, with one union demanding increases of as much as 61 percent.

The local chrome operation of Lanxess, a Leverkusen, Germany-based synthetic rubber maker and chemicals company, is in Rustenburg, where platinum producers are contending with union rivalry and where at least 46 people were killed in unrest last year.

About 470 workers at Lanxess’s local unit started an unprotected strike last week, demanding annual performance-related payments in addition to an existing wage agreement.

Employees in South Africa may strike legally, with their jobs protected, if an independent mediator agrees to a stoppage and after talks between unions and companies fail.

More than 15 Lanxess South Africa workers were shot at the mine, Johannesburg-based SAFM radio reported, without saying where it got the information. - Bloomberg News
www.iol.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Mercedes-Benz workers on strike
Sapa 20 May 2013

Thousands of workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in East London have embarked on an illegal strike, the Daily Dispatch reported.

The company interprets the recognition agreement in a way that suits them, and we told them as much in our meeting on Friday The car manufacturer was expected to approach the court if the 1600 workers at its East London plant did not return to work by end of Monday, it was reported.

The workers embarked on the strike on Friday, bringing production to a halt.

Mercedes-Benz had not experienced a strike in more than 24 years, the Daily Dispatch reported.

The company told th newspaper it had a good working relationship with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).

Workers told the Dispatch that a recognition agreement between the company and Numsa in 1989 allowed them to embark on an unprotected strike for 72-hours.

The strike came amid tensions about the company's mooted plans to outsource its logistics department, which it said were not finalised.

Shop steward Phumezo Tonisi told the Daily Dispatch the union would meet with workers to decide whether to proceed with the strike.

"The company interprets the recognition agreement in a way that suits them, and we told them as much in our meeting on Friday," Tonisi was quoted as saying.
www.sowetanlive.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Protesters cause more Cape traffic chaos
Daneel Knoetze 20 May 2013

Protests on the N2 this morning resulted in traffic chaos for thousands of commuters as the inbound and outbound lanes were closed. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Protests on the N2 on Monday morning resulted in traffic chaos for thousands of commuters as the inbound and outbound lanes were closed.

Nyanga residents staged a service delivery protest from early this morning.

The protesters burnt tyres at the Airport Approach intersection and littered the N2 with the contents of portable toilets and piles of burning rubbish.

The highway was closed at Airport Approach and at Borcherds Quarry. Police had not made any arrests at publication time.

City Traffic Services spokeswoman Inspector Maxine Jordaan said major delays were experienced on alternative routes because of the added influx of traffic. “The N2 is one of the main arterial routes into the city. If it is affected, the ripple effects extend to all detours, resulting in backlogs.”

The outbound lanes opened at 10.25 this morning, but the inbound lanes remained closed at publication time.

A group of workers contracted by the City of Cape Town cleared obstructions on the N2, including piles of human excrement.

Several callers to 567 CapeTalk this morning expressed frustration at police, who were seen to be “monitoring” the situation, but who did “nothing” to clear up the obstacles blocking the road.

Responding to the complaints, Cape Chamber of Commerce president Fred Jacobs suggested that the police consider employing more people and extend their mandate to “alleviate” such situations as quickly as possible.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut defended the officers.

He said the police’s mandate was “monitoring” and ensuring that “law and order” was maintained.

“The waste needs to be dealt with carefully and professionally. Police are not equipped to provide this service and it is thus the city’s responsibility.”

Jacobs said this morning’s delays were “massively damaging to the city’s economy”.

“With the background of the recent bus strike, this is once again our… productivity.

“People are late for work and the added stress means that they will be less productive,” he said, suggesting that a spokesperson for the protesters needed to be accommodated by the city in order to avoid future protests.

However, the Cape Argus was unable to locate such a spokesperson this morning.

daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Redraft secrecy bill, asks Right2Know
Daily News 17 May 2013

Durban - A vigil was held on Thursday night at the official Durban residence of the president in Morningside, where the Right2Know campaigners urged President Jacob Zuma not sign into law the Protection of State Information Bill.

About 60 people - some with their babies, others in school uniform - from Wentworth, Lamontville, uMlazi, KwaMakhutha, Durban North and Merebank gathered there, singing pro-ANC songs, but all against what is known as the secrecy bill.

Desmond D’Sa, spokesman for the Right2Know campaign, said it would take the matter to the Constitutional Court even if Zuma signed it.
“Apply your mind Zuma, take this bill for redraft in Parliament, or review it at the Constitutional Court.

“This bill undermines everything the ANC has fought for, the message is clear, even if he signs the bill, we will escalate actions as the Right2Know campaigners, in every corner, in every street,” he promised.

He said the people had come out to fight against secrecy, which would lead them to never owning homes.

“The people want to know if government is serious about benefiting their lives, we are saying to Zuma, talk to the common man in the street, get his views, we don’t want to see whistle-blowers and journalists in jail,” he said.
D’Sa said the gap between the rich and the poor was concerning, and said if the bill was passed, corruption under the “tender regime” would soar and many people would see no benefit.

Morningside DA ward councillor Martin Meyer, said the fight was not over and said the DA was urging Zuma not to sign.

“We are committed to fight for freedom, if we don’t know, we cannot make informed decisions,” he said.

“We have lived in a society like this before, under (John) Vorster and (PW) Botha, and now we are going back to what the ANC fought against,” he said.

In a letter sent to the president, the Right2Know listed its demands:
* We demand a just and limited classification law that promotes our constitutional rights.
* We demand a full Public Interest Defence.
* We demand full whistle-blower protection.
* Don’t criminalise the public as spies.
* Limit the bill to the security agencies.
* Include a Public Domain Defence.
* Reduce draconian sentences.
* Don’t undermine the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
* We demand an independent review panel.
* Let the apartheid truth be told.
* Defend our democracy.
The Daily News established on Thursday that the campaigners from Lamontville, had been part of 39 families that were displaced last December when floods destroyed their shacks. The 39 families have been living at a community hall since and have not been provided temporary homes as promised at the time of the incident.

They said the councillor would not clarify reasons for the delay.
Daily News
www.thepost.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Hostel men to protest over ‘abuse’
IOL News 16 May 2013

Durban - Residents of Dalton Hostel plan to take to the streets on Saturday to protest against the Metro Police and its head, Eugene Nzama.

The march follows a metro police raid on the hostel two weeks ago when R15 800 and goods were allegedly stolen by officers.

Dalton Hostel Development Committee chairman Steve Thusi told the Daily News they had applied to the eThekwini Municipality for permission to march on Saturday morning from Louis Botha Gardens to the City Hall, where they would hand over a memorandum.

The memorandum was not readily available, but Thusi said the march was about the Metro Police’s alleged abuse of power and procedural flaws in the May 3 raid.

Hostel dwellers are angry over the alleged theft of the money which was being kept in a locker for lobola negotiations, the alleged theft of food belonging to women living in the hostel, the confiscation of sorghum beer and maize, and the removal of beds.

They are also claim there was no search warrant for the raid, nor oversight from the SAPS.

“We want to make it clear again that we are not opposed to random searching from the police, but they must follow the proper procedures and not do as they please, stealing from the people here,” said Thusi.

“No weapons or drugs have been found here at Dalton Hostel. Why then must they confiscate the liquor and food of the people in their homes... why can the people not drink here, why should we provide proof of slips for rice and maize?” he asked.

Diza Ntanzi, secretary of the Dalton Hostel Development Committee, said officers had not worn police badges identifying them during the raid. The violation of the poor must stop, he said

Metro Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi confirmed Nzama was at the raid and that no weapons or drugs were seized.

Meanwhile, Sibusiso Meyiwa, from whose locker the lobola money went missing, is pinning his hopes on SAPS to recover it.

SAPS provincial spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made and confirmed police were investigating a case of housebreaking.

Msomi failed to indicate if the metro police had a search warrant for the May 3 raid, and said allegations that some of the hostel dwellers were not present when their rooms were being searched were not true.

Meyiwa said R15 000 was stolen from his locker and about R800 worth of coins in a piggy bank under his bed, allegedly by the Metro Police.

He was out at the time of the raid but returned to find the money gone.

He shares the room with seven other men, one of whom was at the hostel during the raid, but who was showering at the time.

The man came back to the room from the showers and found the police there with the eight locked lockers opened.

Meyiwa had been given the money by his father to keep for the lobola negotiations of his younger brother, who was due to take it to Mariannhill this past weekend.

The lobola negotiations have been postponed until more money can be raised.

“This whole situation has been unfortunate. I have explained to both my brother and my father about the circumstances, and thankfully they understood.”

Msomi said hostel dwellers whose goods had been confiscated could make enquiries at the Umbilo SAPS.
sihle.mlambo@inl.co.za

www.iol.co.za


Amplats management unsure of striking miners' demands
Molaole Montsho 16 May 2013

Underground protest action at Amplats's Tumela mine in Limpopo is continuing, but management says it still does not know what miners' demands are.

Amplats management says it is still unsure of what protesters are demanding at its Tumela Mine. (AFP)

Our CoverageTrouble brews underground as Lonmin miners return to workMore CoverageSA bonds under pressure on back of mining strike fearsNUM: Amplats showed its stakeholders the middle fingerAmplats's planned job cuts raises Cosatu's ireAmplats scales back mining job cuts planStrikes feared as Amplats plans to cut 6 000 jobsAn underground strike at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Tumela Mine in Amandelbult, Limpopo, continued on Thursday, the company said.

The sit-in by about 169 employees was still on, said spokesperson Mpumi Sithole.

"The night-shift on Wednesday and morning-shift [on Thursday] reported for duty and proceeded underground to carry out normal work duties," she said.

The workers were demanding to see managers to discuss their grievances, which management said it was still trying to determine.

Sithole said mine management was talking to trade unions to resolve the sit-in, and encouraged employees to continue using the existing channels to address any labour issue.

"The safety of all our employees is of vital importance to us; therefore we advise against any sit-in which may lead to an unsafe work environment, and encourage employees to abide by the spirit of peace and stability framework adopted by all stakeholders," she said.

Union members not clear
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) secretary Jeff Mphahlele said the strike was apparently related to bonuses.

"It is not clear whether they [workers] are our members. We have sent people there and are waiting for a report."

Another strike, about retrenchments, was looming at Amplats's Rustenburg operations.

The workers' committee, which led a strike in September, said the strike would start on Friday.

"The committee will meet today [Thursday] to discuss the issue and there is a strong possibility that the night-shift will not go underground," said committee member Evans Ramokga.

He said the company was not backing down on retrenchments, and workers had taken it upon themselves to fight.

"Unions have done their part and negotiated on our behalves. Now the workers have decided to lead their cause. No one is happy about the retrenchments."

'Surrender the mines'
Ramokga said after mass meetings at different shafts, workers decided to go on strike.

"Workers are saying if Amplats cannot run the mines they must leave and surrender the mines to another company that will save jobs."

Sithole said management was aware of the issues which had been raised by employees through the media.

"We encourage our employees to utilise the existing channels in place to address any labour issues and advise against illegal work stoppages, as these may lead to disciplinary action," she said.

North West legislature speaker Supra Mahumapelo appealed for calm in the province's platinum belt.

"The speaker noted the pending retrenchments with great concern, and thus calls upon all stakeholders to handle this matter responsibly so that we do not go through another… regrettable incident," said his spokesperson Mongezi Tsenca.

In August, 44 people died in strike-related unrest at Marikana. Thirty-four of them were shot dead by police. The other 10 – including two police officers and two security guards – died the week before. – Sapa
mg.co.za

Trouble brews underground as Lonmin miners return to work
Sarah Evans 16 May 2013

Amcu may have convinced Marikana protesters to return to work, but dissent threatens as job cuts in the platinum mining sector remain possible.

The last-minute agreement by Lonmin workers to return to the shafts at the company's Karee mine at Marikana in the North West may have offered the country a momentary respite from the sense of foreboding hanging over the platinum industry. But the sense that the worst is yet to come for unions Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – and by extension the mining industry – is slow to abate.

The somewhat impromptu strike led by Lonmin miners entered its second day on Wednesday, and its proximity to the koppies where 34 miners were shot dead by police last year, combined with fuming tensions between rival unions Amcu and the NUM threatened to push the workers' emotions to violent expression.

Observers were thus offered reprieve – albeit tempered – on Wednesday afternoon, when the workers filed peacefully out of the stadium. No new blood was spilled and workers seemed to have agreed to return to work by Thursday morning at the latest.

Any other outcome might have sullied Amcu's reputation in the minds of its critics and ensured the entrenchment of a caricatured image as a union unable to listen to reason when it matters most.

But calls for calm from Amcu and the NUM seem almost secondary to the broader effects the uncertainty of this week's strike is likely to have on the mining industry. This is the view of industry analyst, Peter Attard Montalto, from investment banking group Namer Holdings.

Said Attard Montalto: "The NUM is publicly calling for calm, but internally we think it is very alarmed at the further erosion of its position, and while it has so far clearly dismissed the use of violence and illegal strike action locally, its control over more localised groupings of members is unclear,"

The NUM did not respond to requests for comment.

Risk of uncertainty
Attard Montalto pointed out that the sense of foreboding in the industry was exacerbated by the fact that the main round of bargaining for wage increases had not even started yet.

He said there is also a risk that the uncertainty at Marikana could spill over into coal production at Eskom.

"Strikes at the Medupi power station building site remain endemic too," he said.

"Contagion in the wider economy remains more of a risk now than it was last year because of the timing of the wage round. Police distrust remains very high because of evidence emerging at the Marikana commission into the tragedy of last year. Government leadership remains poor. We should not forget that Impala, and others in the platinum sector and other mining areas, are also considering sweeping restructurings similar to Amplats. This is therefore only the beginning, in our view," he said.

Attard Montalto was referring to Amplats's announcement last week that 6 000 jobs would be cut at its operations. Amcu has vowed to fight these tooth-and-nail.

He said the possibility of unprotected strikes across the platinum belt could also not be ruled out.

The sense that unions are not completely in control of their membership does not ease tensions, either. For example, at Lonmin, Amcu workers caught even the most vigilant labour observers – their shop stewards – off guard on Tuesday morning when they did not arrive for work.

Lonmin management issued a statement then, confirming that no workers went underground, and that it remained unclear what the worker's demands were. It later emerged that Amcu demanded that NUM close its offices, as the former is now the majority union at the Lonmin mine.

Murdered organiser
But this had been the status quo since October, and Amcu's national treasurer, Jimmy Gama, ventured a guess that the workers were spurred into action by the murder of an Amcu organiser, Mawethu Joseph Steven.

Steven seemed to enjoy the affection of Amcu members on the mines, having wrested much support away from the NUM following his dismissal from that union in 2011. He was shot dead at a tavern near Marikana on Saturday.

It could not be denied, said Gama, that the Steven's death presented an opportune moment for Amcu to voice its anger at the NUM and Lonmin's management, for its handling of the handing over of majority recognition status from the NUM to Amcu.

But Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa's pleas to the workers on Wednesday to call off the strike and return to work, fell on fertile ground. Indeed, the workers dispersed peacefully following his address, with the understanding that they would return to work on Thursday morning while negotiations proceeded.

With that, Amcu, previously described as a union that is militant, even "violent" by the NUM, momentarily countered its critics. There were no reports of violence throughout the two-day strike, despite fears that workers would want to avenge Steven's death.

Mathunjwa seemed to acknowledge the workers' frustration and grief in his tone, while his speech was peppered with references to the distrust Amcu harbours towards the NUM and Lonmin.

But he did not encourage their actions. Instead, he pleaded for peace and for workers to return to the shafts underground.

Fear of violence
​Mark Munroe, Lonmin's executive vice-president of mining, said the company had increased the number of random weapon searches and investigated all allegations of firearms being held in union offices. None were found, Munroe said.

But the perceived threat of violence on Wednesday caused many journalists to sit outside the stadium in the safety of their cars amid mumblings that they would not be safe inside.

Police, too, kept a safe distance. A minimal presence kept careful watch over the crowd, with no sign of the ama-berette – the beret-clad Tactical Response Team that deals with high-intensity crime situations.

Even the helicopter circling the area did not belong to the police. It turned out to belong to a private security company, the same one used by Lonmin.

Police were not available for comment on Wednesday, and the NUM ignored requests for comment.

And so, while the strike is momentarily paused, the simmering tensions between Amcu and its rival the NUM, are far from relieved.
mg.co.za


Lonmin: It’s like a fight for control
IOL News 15 May 2013

Marikana - Talks to end a wildcat strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana were under way on Wednesday, the company said.

“We are meeting with unions. We hope an agreement will be reached,” said spokeswoman Sue Vey.

She said no formal demand had been presented to the company.

“We hear rumours... It is like a fight for control between unions.”

Workers associated with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) went on strike on Tuesday, demanding that the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) offices at the mine be shut down with immediate effect.

Vey said on Wednesday that the NUM had been given notice to vacate its office in July.

Striking workers were heading to the Wonderkop stadium mid-morning on Wednesday. Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa was expected to urge them to return to work.

Vey said the NUM and Amcu had distanced themselves from the strike.

Some reports have linked the strike to the killing of Amcu North West regional organiser Mawethu Steven at a tavern in Photsaneng on Saturday.

A NUM shop steward and his twin brother were shot dead in Nkaneng, in Marikana, on Saturday.

Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana was at the centre of a wildcat strike in the platinum belt last year, when 44 people were killed - 34 of them at the hands of the police - in strike-related action. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

NUM must leave in peace - Amcu
IOL News 15 May 2013

North West - The wildcat strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, continued on Wednesday, with workers demanding that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) leave the premises.

Workers associated with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) went on strike on Tuesday, demanding that the NUM's offices at the mine be shut down with immediate effect.

At Lonmin's platinum mine in Karee, near Marikana, workers stood in groups. Some of them were wrapped in blankets, and others carried knobkerries.

Worker Amos Maja said they wanted the NUM to leave the mine premises.

“The NUM must do the honourable thing and leave in peace,” he said.

On Tuesday, Amcu branch chairman Mceli Balimani said Lonmin had refused to close the NUM's office, and had said the NUM had been given notice to vacate the office by July 3.

Striking workers agreed at a meeting at the Wonderkop stadium on Tuesday that they would report for duty, but would not go underground.

“We want to stop 'amagundwane' (rats) from going down,” Maja said.

A group wielding knobkerries stood at the entrance to the Marikana West township, near the Karee mine.

“We are going there [to the shaft]. It is not yet over,” said one of them.

In a list of grievances submitted to their leaders, Amcu members demanded an investigation into what they termed fraudulent membership of the NUM, and that the police arrest NUM members who they alleged carried weapons on mine premises.

They also wanted Lonmin to sign a recognition agreement with Amcu as the majority union.

Workers were expected to meet at the Wonderkop stadium later on Wednesday for a briefing by local Amcu leadership on progress made negotiating their demands.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said there were no operations at the mine on Wednesday.

“Everything has come to a halt. Management is meeting with unions as we speak.”

Brigadier Thulani Ngubani said no incidents had been reported at the mine.

Marikana was the centre of a wildcat strike in the platinum belt last year, with 44 people killed - 34 of them at the hands of the police - in strike action. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Lonmin strikers gather at stadium
IOL News 15 May 2013

Marikana - Striking Lonmin workers made their way to the Wonderkop stadium on Wednesday for a feedback meeting.

The workers, some wielding knobkerries, chanted as they marched to the stadium from the various shafts where they gathered in the morning.

Workers associated with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) went on strike on Tuesday, demanding that the National Union Mineworkers' offices at the mine be shut down with immediate effect.

On Tuesday, Amcu branch chairman Mceli Balimani said Lonmin refused to close the NUM's offices, and said the NUM was given notice to vacate the offices by July 3.

Striking workers agreed at a meeting on Tuesday that they would report for duty on Wednesday, but would not go underground.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said there were no operations at the mine on Wednesday.

“Everything has come to a halt. Management is meeting with unions as we speak.”

Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana was at the centre of a wildcat strike in the platinum belt last year, with 44 people killed - 34 of them at the hands of the police - in strike action. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Lonmin strikers issue ultimatum
Lebogang Seale 15 May 2013

North West - Lonmin platinum mine bosses were issued an ultimatum on Tuesday – choose between productivity or the National Union of Mineworkers.

“If NUM vacate their offices on July 3, we will go back to work on July 4... And the employer must choose between productivity and NUM.”

This was the message to bosses of the mine in Marikana outside Rustenburg in North West by striking workers after their union gave them feedback from their meeting with management.

The workers, mostly members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), embarked on a wildcat strike on Tuesday, demanding that:

- NUM’s offices be shut down as the union was no longer the majority union on Rustenburg’s platinum mines.

Striking Lonmin miners gather at the place where 34 miners died in Marikana. Photo: Tiro Ramatlhatse

The Star
- The implementation of the recognition agreement that would see Amcu being officially declared the majority union.

- An end to what they called fraudulent membership, as well as the carrying of dangerous weapons at all mines.

The workers also complained that they had not been paid the 12.5 percent wage increase that was agreed to last year.

After waiting for almost the whole day, the feedback the miners received from their leaders was not what they had wanted to hear.

The meeting with management, the leaders said, had not been fruitful.

“Management say they can’t close NUM’s offices now. The employer is refusing and says the union had been given notice that they will end (their occupation of offices) on July 3,” said a voice from a loudhailer.

The message was met with jeers of protest.

“The employer is playing games. He must choose between production and NUM,” one of the workers said.

The workers resolved that they would intensify their strike action.

Throngs of miners, many sporting green T-shirts, had been moving in regiment-like, choreographed formations while chanting songs denouncing anyone who opposed their cause and their union.

The green Amcu T-shirts stood out in the winter sun, contrasting with the bright yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the bold UDM (United Democratic Movement) letters and an imposing, almost larger-than-life, picture of the party’s leader, Bantu Holomisa.

Not a single T-shirt of the ANC or NUM was to be seen.

By the time the Amcu leaders arrived, the numbers had swelled to about 5 000.

Even before the leaders arrived to pronounce their demands, the members had aired their grievances in chants and songs.

“Ubani lo bulelekhe uSteve simthanda so (who killed our beloved Steven)... The liars will create more problems for themselves, the murderers hate us and (ANC secretary-general Gwede (Mantashe) will regret (it),” they chanted.

The workers also chanted derogatory songs denouncing President Jacob Zuma.

Without mentioning NUM, the workers sang songs suggesting that they would rather pack their belongings and leave than be bullied or dictated to.

The gathering was attended by workers from Lonmin’s three divisions of its Eastern, Western and Karee mines. The strike seemed to have taken the Lonmin mine management, who suspended all operations on Tuesday, by surprise.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said operations at the mine’s 13 shafts had to be suspended after workers refused to go underground.

“Operations have been suspended because of an illegal strike. Our 13 shafts are not operational because the employees arrived for work but did not proceed underground,” Vey said.

She added that management was meeting the various union leaders “as we do not know the reasons for the illegal strike. Our rules are clear about illegal strikes.”

But union leaders urged workers to go to their respective shafts to stage sit-ins and not to go underground.

A memorial service was expected to be held for murdered unionist Mawethu Khululekile Steven at the Karee Stadium on Thursday. He had been listed as a witness for the Farlam Commission.
lebogang.seale@inl.co.za
The Star
www.iol.co.za

Lonmin strike raises fears of bloody unrest
Ed Stoddard 14 May 2013

The platinum belt towns of Rustenburg and Marikana, which saw a bloody Lonmin strike last year, are a volatile flashpoint of labour strife. Tensions are running high with job cuts and wage talks looming.

The share price of the of world number three platinum producer slid over 6% and the rand currency hit three-week lows, underscoring investor jitters over a potential repeat of the 2012 mines turmoil, which hammered platinum and gold production and triggered credit downgrades for Africa's largest economy.

Lonmin's Marikana mine was the epicentre of last year's strikes, where 34 protesting workers were killed by police in a single day in August. The bloodshed sparked widespread criticism of the ANC government's handling of the mine troubles.

"All 13 shafts are not operational. Employees arrived at work but did not proceed underground," said Lonmin spokesperson Sue Vey.

She said there was no indication at this stage as to why employees were on strike.

Amcu member's death
But a spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the strike appeared to stem from anger over the weekend killing of a local organiser from rival union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

A police statement at the weekend said that 46-year-old Mawethu Steven, the regional organiser of Amcu, had been killed in a Rustenburg tavern on Saturday when an assailant shot him four times with a 9mm pistol.

Amcu has poached tens of thousands of disgruntled workers from the dominant NUM and the union turf war shows little sign of letting up.

Gideon du Plessis, deputy general secretary of the Solidarity trade union which represents skilled workers, said he understood Amcu was demanding the NUM close its office at Lonmin. Amcu now represents over 70% of the company's workforce.

Police said they were monitoring the situation but there were no plans at this stage to increase their presence. That would change should the protest escalate and spread beyond Lonmin's immediate properties.

"We are just doing our normal patrols," said Thulani Ngubane, police spokesperson for the North West province, where Lonmin's operations are based. "At this point there is no march, there is nothing on the streets of Marikana."

Social tensions in the area have been stoked by plans by Anglo American Platinum, the world's top producer of the precious metal, to slash 6 000 jobs in a bid to restore profits. That is less than half the 14 000 initially targeted but unions have still vowed to fight against the lay-offs. – Reuters
mg.co.za


COSATU Gauteng press statement on the campaign on labour brokers and e-tolls
Cosatu 14 May 2013

COSATU Gauteng has embarked on this campaign since the 7 March 2012 to demand the banning of the labour brokers and also the scrapping of the E-tolls in the province of Gauteng. We have had several discussions with both the Gauteng Government and also the National Government in an attempt to persuade them to ban the labour brokers and also to scrap the E-tolls.

We have also had discussion with the African National Congress in an attempt to deal with these two central issues and these discussions had not yielded any positive outcomes thus far.

Many members of the ANC both in the state, government and also ordinary members fully support the federation campaigns on these matters.

We have also embarked upon several actions to ensure that these matters are addressed by the authorities both at the provincial level and also at the National Level.

We have thought that the matters would have been resolved by now and unfortunately as things stand all these matters have not been resolved. The Cosatu Gauteng Provincial Shopsteward Council held on the 22 April 2013 therefore resolved that the federation should take another action to raise our dissatisfaction and anger on none resolutions of this matters.

We have then resolved to engage on two day action as part of the ongoing campaigns to demand the banning of the labour brokers and also the scraping of the E-Toll.
Johannesburg Action

On the 24 May 2013 we will be targeting the highways of Johannesburg and the following streets will be affected.
1. M1
2. N1
3. N12
4. M2
Ekurhuleni

On the 31 May 2013 we will be targeting the highways of Ekurhuleni and the following streets will be affected.
1. N3,
2. N12,
3. R21
We are busy mobilizing the community and various community organizations to be part of the action.

We are going to table the details of the action on the 22 May 2013 on the exact meeting points and time of departure of the action. The conference will also be composed of all those organizations that fully support Cosatu stand on this matter.

We are also planning various actions during the month of June 2013 and such will be communicated early in June 2013.

Gupta Saga
We welcome the investigations that are currently taking place by the state and government on this matter. We are however worried that it seems that workers are being targeted for carrying instruction of the politicians and managers on this matter.

In our view those who had issued the instructions for our members to safe guard the
Gupta visitors must not use workers as the scapegoat.

For further information contact COSATU Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Dumisani Dakile, at 082 727 1422 or Provincial Chairperson, Phutas Tseki, at 082 498 5840.

Protest Tomorrow by Communication Workers Union against Labour-Brokers, SA Post Office and Apartheid Israel (Pretoria, Wednesday 15 May)
Cosatu 14 May 2013

Protest against labour-brokering, casualisation of workers in the SA Post Office and in support of Palestinian boycott against Apartheid Israel on the day of the Palestinian Nakba/Catastrophe

Members of the media are invited by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the Palestine Solidarity Organization, BDS South Africa, to a protest march tomorrow against labour-brokering and the casualisation of workers by the SA Post Office amongst other unjust and exploitative anti-worker practises in the SA communications sector.

Furthermore, in recognition of our shared struggles, our commitment to internationalism and our opposition to all forms of racism --including Israeli Apartheid against our Palestinian comrades-- workers will be calling on the South African Minister of Communications to immediately end all links with Apartheid Israel. Specifically, we will be calling for the termination of a Telkom contract with an Israeli company called Amdocs as well as for a termination of all relations with the security company, G4S (which is deeply complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine). These demands are in line with the principles and goals of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign of which the CWU, COSATU as well as the ANC-led alliance is in full support.

The protest march by CWU and BDS South Africa against labour brokering and Apartheid Israel takes place on the symbolic day, the 15th of May, to commemorate the day of the Palestinian Nakba/Catastrophe. Indeed, an injury to one is an injury to all!

DATE: Tomorrow, Wednesday, 15 May 2013
[Commemorating the Palestinian Nakba/Catastrophe]

PROTEST MARCH START: 10H00 at SAPO Mail Center
[Corner Mampuru & Mienaar Streets, Pretoria/Tshwane]

PROTEST MARCH END: 13h30 at Deptartment of Communications
[1166 Park Street, Hatfield, Pretoria/Tshwane]

INFO: 0740718695 / 0842119988 / 0735857241 / 073 5857241
[Or online at http://tinyurl.com/cm7vn3t ]

Qina msebendzi, Phansi nge labour brokering! Phambili nge Internationalism! Phambili nge free Palestine, Phansi Apartheid Israel!

BACKGROUND TO THE PROTEST FOLLOWS BELOW EMAIL. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

AUBERY TSHABALALA (0740718695)
GAUTENG PROVINCIAL SECRETARY
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA (CWU)

MUHAMMED DESAI (0842119988)
NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL IN SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)


S.Africa platinum miners strike after unionist killed
Sibongile Khumalo 14 May 2013

Thousands of mine workers downed tools on Tuesday at South Africa's Lonmin mine after a union leader was shot dead in the restive platinum belt at the weekend.

"Lonmin operations are suspended this morning due to an illegal work stoppage," Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey told AFP.

Work had stopped at all of the firm's 13 shafts in the northwestern Rustenburg mining town, the world's top platinum producing region, she added.

The reasons for the strike remain unclear but it comes at a time of deadly union rivalry.

By early afternoon around 400 miners had gathered near the hill where 34 of their colleagues were killed in clashes with police last August.

They demanded a rival union be ejected from the mine.

Some of the group chanted and carried sticks and branches within sight of a string of white crosses that serve as a memorial to one of the most bloody incidents of police brutality since the end of apartheid.

A small police contingent stood at a distance.

The strike raises the spectre of further violence between rival unions and another body blow to the struggling South African economy.

Lonmin shares plunged over seven percent around midday on the London Stock Exchange amid the industrial action.

The firm said the reasons for the strike were unclear and officials were locked in talks with worker representatives.

But the strike comes amid deadly tensions between the long-dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and its now larger rival the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

AMCU was recently recognised as the majority union at Lonmin and at neighbouring Anglo American Platinum, dislodging the powerful NUM from the top position.

"We are here to demand the removal of NUM from the mine," said striking worker Mandisi Dlamini.

"They are no longer the majority union but Lonmin is siding with them.

"They are using guns to kills our people who are AMCU members and Lonmin is protecting them," he added.

"If the mine does not give us assurances that NUM will be kicked out the strike will continue."

One miner however said he joined the strike out of fear for his life.

"To be honest I don't understand what is going on now, I was told that today there is no work and we are expected to gather here," a miner named Clive told AFP.

"Here you do as you are told, you don't want to be seen as doing the opposite," he said.

The union unrest has caused several deaths.

An AMCU leader was gunned down on Saturday while he was watching football in a tavern in Rustenburg.

Mawethu Steven was due to testify at a judicial inquiry into last year's Marikana killings.

Twin brothers were also shot dead Saturday at an informal settlement where some of the Lonmin mine workers live.

NUM claim one of the slain is its representative.

A senior NUM official meanwhile alleged the Lonmin striking workers intimidated its representatives.

"There is intimidation and violence. They are singing and dancing and have blocked roads. Cars are being turned away. Its really bad," said Mxhasi Sithethi, a regional NUM coordinator.

The latest stoppage comes at the start of South Africa's so-called strike season when tens of thousands of workers pour onto the streets demanding tough wage hikes.

The tensions continue in the Rustenburg area, where Anglo American Platinum last week announced 6,000 job cuts in restructuring.

Job losses, union rivalry, and police brutality "could lead to the situation ultimately boiling over," according to Nomura bank analyst Peter Attard Montalto.

"All this only goes to reinforce the underlying competitiveness loss of the mining industry in South Africa," he added.

"We think the market underestimates the structural changes, union dynamic and semi-permanent state of output losses and so ongoing economic impact."
za.news.yahoo.com


Mpumalanga residents run riot
SABC Monday 13 May 2013

Residents of Thandukukhanya in Piet Retief Mpumalanga have set alight a local clinic and a truck during a violent service delivery protest which began over the weekend.

Angry residents have barricaded all roads leading to the township with burning tyres, stones and metal objects. Learners have been stopped from going to school and workers have not been able to report to work due to the roads being inaccessible.

Protesters are throwing stones at police an attacking motorist trying to pass through. Police are using rubber bullets to disperse the crowd and have advised motorist to avoid the N2 which is the most affected area.

Thandukukhanya residents are accusing the Umkhondo Local Municipality of poor service delivery. They say the local municipality has been struggling to adequately address problems such road infrastructure for a long time.
www.sabc.co.za


Stellenbosch Municipal Workers down tools over serious concerns
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 13 May 2013

Municipal Workers from the Stellenbosch Municipality in the Western Cape, will today down tools to raise serious concerns with the municipal management.

Workers are disturbed by the prevalence of corruption, nepotism and non-consultation in this Municipality. Workers are also aggrieved by some in management who refer to workers as “bobbejaan” (Baboon).

The South African Municipal Workers Union in the Western Cape is currently at the Stellenbosch Municipality, we will ensure that the workers reasonable concerns are raised with management and that it is dealt with the attention it deserves.
END

Issued by;

Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU
tahir...@samwu.org.za
Office: 011-492 2835.
Fax: 0866186479.
Cell: 0829403403.

www.samwu.org.za
Facebook = http://www.facebook.com/pages/SAMWU/
Twitter = @SAMWUnion


E-tolls: Bikers to cause traffic chaos
IOL News 11 May 2013

Johannesburg - Motorcyclists protesting e-tolls in Gauteng are expected to cause traffic disruptions on Saturday by riding on highways ear-marked for the project, Johannesburg metro police said.

“Traffic will be disrupted on Johannesburg freeways today (Saturday) as a group of motorcyclists will be driving in convoy in protest of e-tolls,” said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

“The group will gather at around 10am at the BP filling station on Beyers Naude and (the) N1 on and off-ramps.”

The convoy would then drive down the N1, N12, N3, back onto the N1 and finally return to the BP filling station to disperse.

Metro police officers would be on duty to monitor the procession. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Satawu members march to MEC’s office
IOL News 10 May 2013

Johannesburg - Bus drivers gathered in the Johannesburg CBD on Friday morning to march for higher wages, the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) said.

The union said it expected drivers from various parts of the province to march down Simmonds Street to the offices of the MEC for roads and public transport to hand over a memorandum of demands.

The group would then proceed to the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council offices in Fox Street.

The union is demanding a 13-percent wage increase - down from 18 percent - and allowances for housing, night-shift, and long-distance journeys.

On Thursday, unions and employers were confident that an agreement was near.

“I am optimistic that there will be a solution at least by tomorrow (Friday),” said Satawu general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu.

Johannesburg metro police advised motorists to avoid the affected areas.

The union expected the group to disperse by 2pm. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Spike in Cape Town land invasions
IOL News 9 May 2013

Cape Town - There has been a spike in the illegal occupation of private land in Cape Town, a mayoral committee member said on Thursday.

Human settlements councillor Tandeka Gqada said the occupation of the Marikana site in the city earlier this week, and other areas, seemed to be part of a co-ordinated effort to “make the city ungovernable”.

“The City is aware, through our law enforcement and other agencies, that information is being provided to groups of people regarding the location of vacant land which they can attempt to illegally occupy,” she said.

“Privately owned land, in particular, appears to have been targeted in a systematic fashion.”

The city said the housing problem should be solved within the confines of the law, to ensure a just and equitable process.

“Whilst we are deeply sympathetic to the plight of residents currently without access to formal housing, we have a duty to protect the rights of the hundreds of thousands of people who have gone through the correct channels in order to be provided with a housing opportunity by the City.”

Last week the City demolished shacks erected at the Marikana site in Philippi East, where the land had been set aside for other purposes. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


COSATU NW continues with campaign against e-tolling
Cosatu 8 May 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West will be continuing with its programme against e-tolling, as it has vowed in the past that it will make this a monthly activity
COSATU will be marching to the Swartruggens toll gate on 10 May 2013 to demand feedback from the Department of Transport on the progress made on the demands made to have the toll fee reduced

COSATU calls on all the community members to support the campaign, and those road users who will be in a hurry not to use the N4 on the said date between 12h00 and 18h00 as they might be inconvenienced

COSATU will not give up this battle until the demands are met. We are told that the task team is led by Sanral, which is why we are calling for disbanding the current task team and establishing a new one to be led by civil society.

We are also told that we will be interdicted if we continue with our action, but the police, traffic authorities and our government must know that with or without permission, we are proceeding with our action.

Friday 10 May 2013 is our day and this a month of workers. We are continuing with our workers’ month program. We will not comprise our issues.

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe [0823044055]


FAWU WELCOMES THE AGREEMENT THAT ENDED THE STRIKE ACTION AT
SCHOEMAN MOOIRIVIER FARM

Food & Allied Workers Union (F.A.W.U.) 8 May 2013

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) welcomes the concessions; made by the management of Schoeman-Mooirivier Citrus Farm, in Marble Hall, Limpopo; to the three demands of 310 farm workers, all members of FAWU, who were on strike since yesterday.

The farm management has agreed to recognize FAWU and make stop order deduction for union membership dues from workers’ salaries. Further, management has agreed to investigate a male supervisor accused by workers by workers for sexual harassment of three female workers. In addition, management has agreed to enter into negotiations on written contract of employment with FAWU on behalf of workers.

We call on farm owners stop engaging in backward practices of still employing workers without written contracts of employment and/or workers supplied by labour brokers and to also adhere to minimum wages. Further, we call on all farm owners to recognize trade unions and to allow access to farms for unions to organize.

It does not have to take a strike for farm workers to be forced to do the right thing.

Should we pick up that farm owners are hell-bent on subverting the laws, including minimum wages, and on bashing trade unions, we will not hesitate to embark on strike action.

For more information kindly contact Katishi Masemola, General Secretary, at 082 467
2509 or Nelson Semenya, FAWU Limpopo Provicial Secretary, on 082 492 5154.
KATISHI MASEMOLA
General Secretary


COSATU TO MARCH TO SUN CITY
Cosatu 7 may 2013

COSATU Moses Kotane Local is bracing itself for a very massive protest march to the World acclaimed entertainment hub, Sun City, to demand answers from the top management of both Sun City and Sun International on their agreement with the Guptas on the arrangement of the latter wedding arrangements.

It is clear that the agreement was made to undermine workers at the said institution more so African black people who are also members of both COSATU affiliates (SACCAWU and SATAWU) at that institution.

COSATU is in possession of an e-mail that was doing the rounds sent by management informing workers that they will be supplied with deodorants, soaps and others in order to keep clean when serving these highly connected Guptas family and this was total violation of poor workers integrity as it was a first of its kind at Sun City that has been receiving high profiled guests like Michael Jackson and others including our own World acclaimed Icon Tata Madiba Mandela without such humiliating “presents” by the powers that be at Sun City.

COSATU further needs or demand answers as it is well informed that the said Guptas and their guests received a preferential treatment from the Department of Home Affairs as it is informed that home affairs officials went to Sun City to work on the Guptas papers as well as SARS.

The other demand will be of all case numbers on all racial matters reported to Sun City management including the attempted rape matter by one of the Guptas guests as Sun City management claimed that they assisted in opening such cases with the Sun City police.

COSATU Moses Kotane has vowed and resolved that it will embark on disturbing all major events that will be taking place at Sun City until it gets all needed answers on all matters raised in here starting on Saturday the 11th of May 2013 as Sun City will be hosting the South African Music Awards at the Super bowl.

We call on all our members at Sun City to snub this occasion and all South Africans to boycott all events hosted by this racial hub.

For more information please feel free to contact the Local Secretary Comrade Madito wa ga Molebalwa on 072 305 6301 or 084 756 8243.


Union will stick to wage demand: Satawu
Cape Times 6 May 2013

The SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union will stick to its “double digit” wage demand for bus drivers, the union said today.

“We remain steadfast in our demand for a double digit increase of 13 percent for our members... we are not going to back down,” said Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga.

Unions are demanding a 13 percent wage increase, down from the original 18 percent, and allowances for housing, night-shift, and long-distance journeys.

The strike, which has affected commuters countrywide, entered its third week today.

Commuter Bus Employers' Organisation spokesman Barry Gie said talks between the unions and employers at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) might continue “on tomorrow or Wednesday”.

“No talks were scheduled for today . The strike has resulted in tremendous loss of revenue for bus companies and loss of income for the workers,” said Gie.

The biggest issue for negotiators was the 13 percent demand.

Gie said employers had increased their offer from 6.5 percent to eight percent across the board for workers earning R23.50 an hour or less, and 7.5 percent for those earning more.
www.iol.co.za


Motsoaledi residents issue warning
IOL News 6 May 2013

Johannesburg - For weeks, the Motsoaledi informal settlement in Soweto has been up in arms as meetings regarding service delivery issues were delayed.

City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee for housing Dan Bovu spoke before a large number of residents on Sunday and delivered a long-awaited update on the council’s progress.

Bovu said he could promise the community housing and toilets, with construction set to begin after engineers had appraised the area in August or September.

This comes as part of the Elias Motsoaledi housing development project, which began in March 2011 and was meant to create 1 463 RDP houses and 3 000 rental and bonded houses.

In the next week, more discussions are planned, with City Power to work on providing temporary electricity to the area - long-term power to the area is a hopeful goal for next year.

The community accepted Bovu’s statement but were wary of the late-winter deadline.

Motsoaledi residents listen to Joburg housing mayoral committee member Dan Bovu at the informal settlement in Soweto. Picture: Sharon Seretlo

THE STAR
“We told him that if anything doesn’t happen the way they say, we’re going to be ungovernable,” said Johannes Latedisa, a spokesman for the settlement.

“If anything happens, they must take the blame for it.”

These latest promises come in response to protests in mid-April during which a KFC outlet was burnt down and shops in Motsoaledi were ransacked in what appeared to be xenophobic violence. Nearly 20 people were arrested and a man died.

While police originally claimed the man had been stabbed to death, the notice of death showed he had died from a gunshot wound in the chest, and locals allege he was shot by the police.

Tension in the community remained high yesterday, as there was fear that the police intended arresting more people for the previous violence.

While the discussion remained peaceful and free of police interference, a fight broke out among two residents, and Bovu’s speech was often interrupted by cries of disagreement.

Bovu warned the community that the promises he made could not apply to everyone, because more people were drawn to Motsoaledi as they learnt of the government’s commitment to build homes.

“There are people who are coming in, but now we are stopping that. We spoke to the community. No one is coming in as a tenant,” Latedisa said.
mark.olalde@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Tshwane Metro cops in May Day protest
IOL News 2 May 2013

Pretoria - Scores of Tshwane Metro Police officers spent Workers’ Day protesting against a new shift system that was rolled out on Wednesday.

The officers, some in full uniform and others in civilian attire, gathered outside the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) head office at the corner of Es’kia Mphahlele (formerly DF Malan) and WF Nkomo (formerly Church) streets early yesterday in protest at their new eight-hour shift schedule.

Many metro police vehicles and motorcycles were parked in the tarred area next to the Total garage, across the street from the metro police offices.

Tshwane Metro Police chiefSteven Ngobeni said the protest stemmed from employees’ opposition to the new shift system.

Every five years, shifts are reconsidered, and the new system was to come into effect yesterday, Workers’ Day.

“We have to address the needs of the community when we consider time slots for shifts,” Ngobeni said.

The previous system, which lapsed in 2011, allowed for two shifts of 12 hours every day, with shift changes at 6.15am and 6.15pm.

“This means we have minimal officers on duty in peak hours between 5am and 7am and 5pm and 7pm when our services are needed most,” Ngobeni said.

The TMPD suggested the introduction of three eight-hour shifts: 5am to 1pm, 1pm to 9pm, and a night shift from 9pm to 5am.

A split shift was also suggested between 12pm and 8pm to ensure officers were available to the public during peak hours.

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) and the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) rejected the suggestion and maintained the 12-hour shift system would be best.

The matter was taken up with bargaining councils and the metro council, which approved the TMPD’s suggested eight-hour shift system.

“We notified each member of staff individually in writing one month before the roll-out of the new system,” said Ngobeni, adding the new shifts were shorter, more conducive to a healthy lifestyle and did not detract from employee benefits.

“As far as I know, we have not received a substantive submission from the protesting employees to state their grievances,” said Ngobeni.

He opened the floor to employees to provide valid reasons for their disagreement with the new system.

“We are public servants.

“We need to serve the public,” he said.

The TMPD, Imatu and Samwu agreed the protest was illegal .

But Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, metro police spokesman, said nobody would be dismissed.

“We have a no-work no-pay policy and the officers who did not arrive for work will not be paid,” Ngobeni warned.

Mahamba said that if the protest was the way they celebrated May Day, it was not appropriate.

“We do not run a banana department. If this was them celebrating, they did not follow the legal processes,” Ngobeni said.

The protesting officers declined to comment. Samwu and Imatu were not available for comment.

The protesters dispersed around lunch time.
www.iol.co.za


Fransman: Thugs attacked me at meeting
News 24 2 may 2013

Cape Town - Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman says he escaped being beaten by a mob following a meeting with regional party leaders, it was reported on Thursday.

Fransman told the Cape Times the meeting, at the Oudtshoorn municipality building on Tuesday, was in line with his mandate to introduce corrective measures to bring stability to the town.

While addressing concerns about appointments in the local council, he reportedly made some decisions which upset some residents.

"At about 21:00 a mob, let me call them thugs, of about 50 people had gathered outside. They were breaking the windows and glass to try to get inside, and the building was in lockdown for an hour," he told the newspaper.

"When I went out, one guy and three others launched [themselves] at me, but my security were able to prevent them from hitting me."

Fransman was taken to his car and escorted out of the town.

At least four people were arrested, including Die Son journalist Hein Coetzee, who said police assaulted him and protesters.

He told the Cape Times he was photographing a police officer assaulting someone when the officer saw him and sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.

He later confronted the officer and asked why he had sprayed him.

The officer then allegedly took his camera, removed the memory card and arrested him on a crimen injuria charge.

Coetzee was released soon afterwards and laid complaints of assault and theft against the police.
www.news24.com


Strike turns Cape traffic into nightmare
Kieran Legg 29 April 2013

Cape Town - Cape Town commuters are the ones who are suffering as result of the bus drivers’ strike, said Cape Chamber of Commerce president Fred Jacobs on Monday.

Jacobs urged unions to reach an agreement “soonest” to bring an end to the strike, now in its second week.

The transport strike, which has seen the city’s major bus services, MyCiTi and Golden Arrow, being suspended, has added to traffic congestion.

On Thursday, talks aimed at ending the national bus drivers’ strike deadlocked again.

The unions have softened their demand from an 18 percent increase to 13 percent.

Employers met this with an 8 and 7.5 percent offer for different income tiers.

SA Transport and Allied Workers Union spokesman Vincent Masoga said another meeting with employers was to take place on Monday.

Jacobs said that while the strike action had caused delays and disruptions for businesses in the city centre, he had not received any major negative reports from local companies.

“We are hearing that employees are eager to get to work, and they find a way to do it and get in on time.”

But finding alternative transport to work was taking its toll on people financially and emotionally, he said.

“The mental stress, the whole issue of money - it can only add more fuel to the fire as far as the impact of the strikes is concerned.”

Commuters were suffering most because of the strike, Jacobs said.

Jacobs said a “snap survey” would be conducted on Wednesday to determine the full impact the strike has had on businesses.

It was chaos on Blaauwberg Road in Table View on Monday morning as commuters ran into gridlocked traffic into the city.

Cars were seen driving on pavements and speeding down open bus lanes.

“Traffic out of Blouberg is a complete joke this morning!” tweeted @Stormmascall3m.

“What is going on in Tableview (sic)? Lane closed for no reason, cars in bus lanes, cars on pavements!” chirped in @StueyMx2m.

City traffic spokeswoman Merle Lourens said that while heavy congestion on Blaauwberg Road was a common sight, the strike action had exacerbated the problem.

Additionally, a burst water main on the road resulted in one of the lanes being closed off.

“I hope that everyone drives responsibly so that there aren’t any accidents that will just cause more delays.”
www.iol.co.za


The UPM will Protest on Monday With or Without the Permission of the Makana Municipality
UPM 27 April 2013

In July 2011 Jacob Zuma was given the freedom of Grahamstown and Raglan Road, the main road leading into the township, was renamed as ‘Dr Jacob Zuma Drive’. Before Zuma came to Grahamstown the Mayor, Zamuxolo Peter, told the people that they must stop demonstrating and struggling because the President is coming. He said that the President will meet them and that he will give them sanitation, electricity and houses. He said that if there are protests they will make the President angry and he will decide not to bring development to Grahamstown.

But Zuma came and went and nothing was done. In 2012 people continued to put pressure on Peter and he was forced to go back to the people. This time he didn’t tell them that they must remain quiet because Jacob Zuma was coming to sort out their problems. This time he said that the reason why people were poor was that we are not educated and that if we want electricity and houses we must go to school so that we could get jobs and then afford these things. He said nothing about the state of education in the Eastern Cape, the rate of unemployment or the colonial history that made the poor to be poor. He made it clear that he thought that our poverty was our fault and that we deserved to be living as we are.
Every time that people organised, protested or expressed their anger and pain they were told that they were being used by white academics who wanted to overthrow the ANC, install the DA in power and return the country to apartheid. The idea that people who are poor and black cannot think for themselves or organise themselves or even recognise their own oppression is a colonial idea! But here is the ANC repeating exactly the same insults to our people as the colonialists! Jacob Zuma is given the freedom of Grahamstown but the freedom of the black poor is denied and we are insulted.

On Tuesday last week the Unemployed People’s Movement held a mass meeting in the eThembeni shack settlement. At this meeting the people said that they wanted written commitments from the Mayor in terms of when sanitation and electricity would be provided. They also said that the deadline for providing these services must be the end of June or, at the latest, the end of July. They elected a delegation to go and meet the Mayor. They met the Mayor and the Municipal manager the next day.

The Mayor and the Municipal Manager said that there is no problem in providing these services but they are busy with the freedom of the city by which they meant that they are busy with the changing of the name of Grahamstown to Makana. Our delegation was told that we must come back on Wednesday next week. We went there on Wednesday this week but there was no Mayor. We then signed and submitted a permit to picket on Monday. That was bared. They even refused to acknowledge in writing that they had received the application to protest. We were told that we must give them seven days notice if we wanted to organise a protest. This denial of our right to protest has no basis in law. Last time we wanted to organise a protest – it was against police brutality – it was also banned. That time we were told that one of our comrades was on a national list of dangerous people provided by Crime Intelligence to all municipalities and that no protest where anyone on that list might speak would be allowed to go ahead with the riot police being present. We had to go to court to have that protest unbanned. When it went ahead there were riot police from across the province.

The people are determined to demand the written commitment from the Mayor to provide these services. We refuse to allow the Municipality to deny us our right to protest and so we will be protesting, peacefully, with or without their approval, on Monday.

At the same time car guards and car washers have been harassed in the streets. A sign went up in High Street saying that car washing is banned and the car guards and car washers were being seriously harassed. The municipality was trying to force them off the streets. A meeting of the car gaurds and car washers was held and it was decided to collect rubbish and drop it outside the banks and the municipal offices as a form of protest. This was done on last week Thursday. The protestors were arrested but theUPM mobilises to challenge the police on the arrests and eventually they called in the Municipal officials to resolve the situation. It was agreed that there would be a meeting the next day and everyone was released from custody. At the meeting on Friday it was agreed that the car guards and car washers could continue to work while another meeting was arranged. On Tuesday there was a meeting with the police and the municipality and they were told that they could continue to their work but they must work for the police as informers and that they will be paid for this by the state. They were told that they must tell the police who is breaking into cars and who is selling drugs to Rhodes University students.

About five years back two guys, who were also car guards and car washers, were beaten by Hi-tech and white students at Rhodes after it was said that they were selling drugs and breaking into cars. These two guys were killed. Recently another car guard was beaten by Hi-tech and dumped at the Matyana River. No one has been arrested although this man was savagely attacked. Hi-tech is seriously brutal. Some students made a film about this. It is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZKqMrmNG6ZU
Unfortunately the film doesn’t address the question of racism but it does show the thuggery of Hi-tec.

It is clear, therefore, that the car guards and car washers will only be allowed to engage in their survivalist activities if they agree to serve the interests of the middle class.

Between 1811 and 1812 the Xhosa people living between the Fish River and the Sundays River were driven off their land by Colonel John Graham. Their homes were burnt, their crops destroyed and there was indiscriminate murder. John Craddock, the governor of the Cape Colony who had put down anti-colonial rebellions in Ireland and India before coming to Africa, wrote back to London that the Xhosa people had been driven off their land with ‘a proper degree of terror’. The people driven off their land were not poor. They had land and they had cattle and they had gardens. This is why Abahlali baseMjondolo always stresses that the poor were made to be poor by the same system that made the rich to be rich.

No one in their right mind wants to live in a town named after a murderer. But the Mayor wants to change the name of this town without doing anything to change its neo-colonial nature. Most black people continue to live a desperate life here. Unemployment is sky high and so is corruption in the municipality. The Mayor will not give us toilets, electricity, houses or even allow us the right to organise and protest freely and yet we are told that we will be freed by changing the name of this town from Grahamstown to Makana! In fact they intend to use Makana’s name to disguise the fact that they are nothing by a comprador bourgeoisie managing a town in which most black people are living hopeless lives.

For comment on the legalities of the right to protest please contact Jane Duncan on 082 786 3600

For comments on other matters please contact:
Ayanda Kota 078 625 6462
Ben Mafani 083 5410 535


26 students held after PMB protest
IOL News 25 April 2013

Durban - Violent student protests, including the disruption of lectures, led to the evacuation of the premises and the arrests of 26 students at FET campuses in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

The students were arrested after ignoring instructions to disperse.

Students trashed campuses, burnt tyres at entrances, threw stones and overturned garbage bins.

Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said that at the Northdale campus, about 500 students burnt tyres and prevented the free flow of traffic.

At the Msunduzi campus in the CBD, about 150 unruly students broke windows and doors of classrooms and libraries, and also set alight an FET vehicle parked on the premises.

“Police monitoring the campuses warned the strikers to stop their illegal activity and disperse. However, they continued. Officers were then forced to arrest 26 students,” Jeevan said.

They face charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and obstruction of traffic. They were due to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

A member of FET management said a meeting was scheduled to take place between the student representative council, FET management and representatives from the Department of Higher Education and Training to try to resolve the students’ grievances.

FET student council secretary-general Philani Nduli accused the college management of not taking students’ grievances seriously.

These include concerns about deplorable living conditions and insufficient safety measures on campus.

Issues regarding students’ bursaries not covering their transport costs have also been raised, while students are unhappy with their quality of learning, claiming that many of their lecturers are unqualified.

Similar violent protests by students at FET colleges in Pietermaritzburg hit the headlines last year, and students said yesterday they would continue to protest.
www.iol.co.za


Cape bus drivers step up protests
SAPA 25 April 2013

Cape Town - Striking bus drivers renewed their protests in Cape Town on Thursday, insisting their demands be met.

Drivers have been involved in a nationwide bus industry strike for better wages.

Drivers affiliated to the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) and the Transport and Omnibus Workers' Union (Towu), were expected to picket throughout the city.

“Our member bus drivers are gathering outside the Athlone Library and will march to the Bargaining Council offices,” said Satawu Western Cape spokesman Wayne Louw.

Golden Arrow Bus service spokesman John Dammert said parties could not reach an agreement during talks facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) on Wednesday.

“Our representative, who is part of the bargaining council, told me that unions brought down their demands to a 13 percent wage increase, while the employers improved their offer to eight percent,” said Dammert.

The CCMA suggested that parties settle at nine percent.

Commuter Bus Employers' Organisation spokesman Barry Gie said the unions' demands were a major hurdle during talks.

“One of the stumbling blocks is that unions continue to ask for a double digit increase, which we simply cannot afford,” said Gie.

Earlier in the week, the Congress of SA Trade Unions expressed support for striking bus drivers and their wage demands.

“(We) wish the workers at the bus companies well during their strike and support them in their struggle for a living wage,” Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said in a statement.

Satawu Gauteng spokesman Vincent Masoga said on Tuesday workers needed a substantial increase to offset rising food and housing costs.

“Members don't have a problem to negotiate, but they cannot take anything less than a double-digit 1/8increase 3/8,” he said. - Sapa
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Student Protest Action – Edgewood Campus
Corporate Relations Division UKZN 25 April 2013

Dear Staff and Students

To date Management has not received any clear indication of what the issues are around the illegal student protest on the Edgewood Campus. Despite the fact that Management had not been alerted to the issues of concern prior to the protest, efforts aimed at engaging with student leaders have not materialized as the student leaders have not availed themselves for such engagement.

Students are reminded that the court interdict is still in place.

The University’s Risk Management Services and SAPS will continue to maintain law and order on campus.

Yours sincerely
Nomonde Mbadi
Executive Director: Corporate Relations Division


Sadtu’s Pretoria march starts
IOL News 24 April 2013

Pretoria - Marchers were making their way to the Union Buildings, Pretoria, on Wednesday, in a protest intended to force Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to resign.

At least 3000 striking SA Democratic Teachers' Union members gathered in an open space in Marabastad, on the outskirts of the CBD, earlier in the day.

Protesters from various provinces were bused to Pretoria to participate.

Escorted by the police, they stopped briefly at the basic education department's offices before proceeding to the Union Buildings, where they were expected to hand a memorandum to government officials.

Sadtu said earlier it expected about 25 000 of its members to take part in the Pretoria march and a similar march to Parliament, in Cape Town. In Pretoria protesters arrived in over 20 buses.

The union is calling for the resignations of Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan.

On Monday the education department said teachers who joined the protests would face disciplinary action and that the no-work, no-pay principle would apply. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Cops battle to control marching teachers
IOL News 24 April 2013

Pretoria - Police struggled to control thousands of striking teachers' union members at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Protesters pushed through police barriers in an attempt to enter the buildings, but to no avail. Its security doors remained closed.

Calling for the resignations of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan, protesters sang songs calling for them to “voertsek (scram)” and “hamba (go)”.

They also wielded placards reading: “Angie doesn't know anything”, and “Away with declaring education an essential service”.

One protester shouted: “This can be another Marikana. We don't care.”

While tourists visiting the Union Buildings used cameras and cellphones to photograph the protest, the vendors outside packed up their wares.

A police helicopter hovered over the crowd.

The protesters soon moved away from the buildings and back to the lawns.

Earlier, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sidumo Dlamini said structural deficiencies in the South African education system had to be urgently addressed.

Cosatu supported the calls for the resignations of Motshekga and Soobrayan, he told reporters earlier.

“The protest is out of concern by Sadtu that our education in this country needs a lot of fixing,” said Dlamini.

“There is no time for pussy-footing. We have to deal with the mud schools in the rural areas and the low wages.

“We have to deal with the system. It is a structural apartheid system that still exists in our education system. It has denigrated the African child to the periphery,” he said.

Cosatu hoped government would “get to its knees and speak to Sadtu”.

Sadtu expected about 25,000 of its members to take part in the Pretoria march and another to Parliament, in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“The marches are meant to increase the pressure on... Motshekga and... Soobrayan to resign from their... positions, in defence of collective bargaining and promotion of quality public education,” Sadtu said in a statement.

Sadtu members have been on a national go-slow since pupils returned from the Easter holiday.

The department said teachers who joined the protest march would face disciplinary action and that the no-work, no-pay rule would apply. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Crowd gathers for Sadtu Cape march
IOL News 24 April 2013

Cape Town - Hundreds of Sadtu members gathered in Keizergracht at the start of a march to Parliament in Cape Town around 11am on Wednesday.

The SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) march, aimed at forcing Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan to resign from their posts, was meant to start at 10.30am.

The union said on Tuesday that close to 25 000 members were expected to take part in the national marches in Pretoria and Cape Town.

Protesters clad in red T-shirts sang and danced in the Cape Town morning fog. They gathered behind a large white banner, reading: "SADTU WCAPE" in red lettering.

Some protesters waved placards. One read: "Appoint all the temporary educators and vacant substantive posts", and another: "Away with declaring education an essential service".

Cape Town metro police kept watch. An officer filmed the protest. Police blocked roads near the march route.

There was a false start to the march when the truck leading the protesters moved about 50 metres, then came to a halt. A man with a loudhailer announced from the back of the truck the march would be slightly delayed.

"We are delayed for one simple reason: our leaders could not land at Cape Town airport because it was misty," he said.

Congress of SA Trade Unions deputy president Zingiswa Losi was meant to lead the Cape Town march.

Sadtu said on Tuesday the marches were also in defence of collective bargaining and to promote quality public education.

The department of basic education said on Tuesday that teachers who participated in the march would face disciplinary procedures, and that the no-work, no-pay principle would be enforced.

One of the Cape Town marchers wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Every child needs a teacher".

The marchers are expected to hand over a memorandum at 1pm. It was not clear by whom it would be received.

From its starting point at Keizergracht, the march will proceed along Darling, Adderley, Spin, and Plein streets to Parliament.

On Wednesday basic education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said in a statement there had been minimal disruptions to schooling, despite the union's stay-away.

"The Sadtu strike has not had a major impact in most parts of the country today as teaching and learning is taking place."

Initial reports indicated that schools in the North West were the most affected, with 224 teachers reported absent and the gates to seven schools locked.

"In Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape no reports of disruptions had been reported earlier this morning," Lesufi said. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

We will join teachers, Cosatu warns
Richard Davies (IOL News) 24 April 2013

Crowd gathers for Sadtu Cape march
Teachers gear up for protest march
Sadtu protest ‘a threat to education’

Cape Town - If calls by protesting SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) members are not heeded, Cosatu members will join them on the streets, its Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich vowed on Wednesday.

“If the government does not listen to the voices of the teachers today, we want to assure them that all of the members in (the Congress of SA Trade Unions) Cosatu, all the 260 000 members in the Western Cape, will come and join you to make sure that we fix the problems in education,” he said.

Ehrenreich was addressing close to 2000 protesters from the back of a truck at the main gates of the parliamentary complex in Cape Town.

Cosatu supported them and their union “without reservation”, he said.

Sadtu has prepared a memorandum containing a series of demands, which it plans to deliver to the government.

Ehrenreich said if there was no response to this, “the next time you are on the streets, all of Cosatu will be with you”.

He also called for a more equitable distribution of resources among Western Cape schools.

“Teaching resources in schools and facilities on the Cape Flats are half those of the schools in the shadow of Table Mountain,” he said.

“The township schools have double the amount of pupils as the fancy schools, and the teachers there must do double the amount of work as those at schools in the shadow of Table Mountain.”

Ehrenreich also warned Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant over attempts to close schools in the province.

“To Donald Grant, we say... if he dares continue with the closure of schools, we will come to (the provincial legislature building in) Wale Street and we will take him out of those offices, because an attack on our children is an attack on all of us.”

Sadtu is calling for, among other things, the resignations of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan.

The memorandum also calls for better school facilities, smaller class sizes, and improved safety at schools.

In the document, Sadtu gives the government 21 days to respond to its demands. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


‘This country is tired of women abuse’
IOL News 22 April 2013

Limpopo - Cosatu members protested on Monday outside the Nebo Magistrate's Court, in Limpopo, where three men were expected to appear for allegedly assaulting a shoplifter with a hammer.

Shop workers Gladys Maphanga, Refilwe Mzimba and Thabang Makuwa will appear on Monday for allegedly assaulting Ester Mankge with a belt and hammer for alleged shoplifting.

Their co-accused, Matthew Makofane and Maria Mahlaela, were granted bail of R500 each during a previous hearing.

“Cosatu (the Congress of SA Trade Unions) is saddened, aghast and angry by the video of assault on an elderly woman accused of stealing in Jane Furse Mall last October,” said its provincial secretary Dan Sebabi.

“We therefore call on the magistrate's court in Nebo to give these men (and women) the harshest sentences to give a message that this country is tired of women abuse and is doing something to end it,” he said

“The security guards had no right to violate the woman in such a horrific manner and to make her endure a prolonged beating where she was beaten with belts and a rubber hammer.”

The union said the woman had endured a terrifying and humiliating ordeal which would leave her scarred for the rest of her life.

“Her basic human right was violated. The security guards took the law into their own hands.

“The law in South Africa states that you are innocent until proven guilty, irrespective of whether you were caught red-handed or not.”

Sebabi said this call was the courts to make. - Sapa
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Cops watch anti-Motshekga protesters
Jonisayi Maromo 24 April 2013

Pretoria - More than 20 police vehicles were deployed to an open space in Marabastad, on the outskirts of Pretoria, on Wednesday ahead of a planned Sadtu march to the Union Buildings.

Police officers stood next to the cars. Some of them held documents, while others conversed.

Two Nyalas, with flashing lights, arrived at the scene shortly before 9am.

The police were joined by a smaller group of Tshwane metro police officers.

Three ambulances and other emergency services vehicles were also on the scene.

Members of the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) braved cold weather to converge at the old Putco depot in Marabastad.

They are taking part in a national strike organised by the disgruntled union.

Four buses had delivered protesters to an open space between the Bloed and Struben streets by 10am.

A public address system was set up in a truck next to the buses.

To stave off the morning cold, some police and protesters made a quick detour to buy coffee.

Sadtu expected close to 25 000 of its members to take part in marches to the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, and to Parliament, in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“The marches are meant to increase the pressure on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan to resign from their… positions, in defence of collective bargaining and promotion of quality public education,” Sadtu said in a statement.

Congress of SA Trade Unions president Sidumo Dlamini would lead the march in Pretoria, and his second deputy Zingiswa Losi the march in Cape Town.

On Monday, the basic education department and Sadtu failed to agree on whether the marches were legal.

In Pretoria, the marchers are expected to proceed along Cowie, Struben, and Nelson Mandela Streets to the Union Buildings.

In Cape Town, the marchers would gather at 10.30am in Keizergracht and move along Darling, Adderley, Spin, and Plein Streets to Parliament.

Sadtu members have been on a national go-slow since pupils returned from the Easter holiday.

The department of basic education said teachers who joined the protest march would face disciplinary action and that the rule of no work, no pay would apply. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Resident killed in Soweto protest
IOL News 23 April 2013

Johannesburg - As the sun rose over the Elias Motsoaledi informal settlement on Monday, one resident lay dead, and a KFC outlet lay in ruins.

The settlement in Soweto has seen violence and vandalism for the past week as community members protest against the lack of service delivery.

The demonstrations began last week when the KFC was stoned and traffic lights smashed. Since then, there has been nightly vandalism, and protesters have burnt several minibuses, blockaded roads with litter, and dug holes around Motsoaledi to prevent police vehicles from entering.

On Sunday night, protesters set the KFC outlet alight, sending staff scurrying for safety.

Elsewhere, a man was stabbed to death. His identity is unknown and it was not clear whether his death was related to the protest.

No arrests had been made regarding the murder in Extension 9 of the settlement, but police arrested 19 people for incidents related to the protest.

Community leaders admitted that burning down the KFC was illegal, but requested the release of all residents arrested during the course of the protests.

Pakistani residents in Motsoaledi claimed that 13 of their shops were looted and had been destroyed in the past week. They were now living outside the settlement, fearing for their lives.

After the council cancelled a Sunday meeting to address residents’ concerns, City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee for housing Dan Bovu addressed residents and talked about a timeline for tackling their worries.

By August, engineers would have appraised the area, and people would start moving into new homes. This comes as part of a housing development project meant to add 4 463 homes to the area. Residents demanded temporary electricity by the end of the week, but Bovu said it was impossible at such short notice.

He said the council would meet on Friday and come back to the community on May 5 with a full report. Until then, community leaders have agreed to an uneasy peace, assuming their basic demands were met.

“If we can promise people that they’re going to install temporary electricity, we will cease fire,” said community leader Lucky Ngobeni.

mark.olalde@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Wits students in silent protest
Eye Witness News 19 April 2013

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of students on Friday protested at the University of the Witwatersrand against the scourge of rape.

The gang-rape, mutilation and murder of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen and a number of recent cases sparked the protest.

Students dressed in purple t-shirts, with black tape across their mouths, protested at Senate House in Braamfontein.

They were demonstrating against the unacceptable levels of rape in South Africa.

One of the protest organisers, Lauren Germaine, said the taping of mouths was very significant.

“Millions of people every year are silenced by sexual violence and they are too scared to share their stories.”

The silent demonstration was expected to end with a breaking of silence ceremony, where students were expected to come forward with their stories of survival.

Four universities across the country participated in the protest.
ewn.co.za


Zamdela ANCYL members arrested
IOL News 19 April 2013

Free State - Six members of the ANC Youth League in Zamdela near Sasolburg, Free State, were arrested on Friday, police said.

Captain Harry Nagel said the men had gathered illegally outside the Zamdela municipal offices, demanding that mayor Brutus Mahlaku step down.

“The group had applied to march to the offices yesterday (Thursday), but their application was denied. Today (Friday), they refused to follow police orders to disperse,” Nagel said.

This comes after hundreds of disgruntled residents marched to Mahlaku's office last week calling for his immediate removal.

They were expected to deliver a memorandum highlighting their grievances against him.

“The youths said they were following up on their demands from last week; they say they gave the mayor seven days to resign.”

Police were expecting the six men to appear in court soon, but could not confirm the charges the men would face. - Sapa
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Babies in hospital after police fire teargas
IOL News 19 April 2013

Pretoria - Two Mabopane babies were admitted to the Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa on Thursday after inhaling teargas thrown at a group of protesters by police.

The children, aged a month and two months, were at a creche in Mabopane when they inhaled the teargas. They spent the night in hospital as a precautionary measure, health officials said.

Metro policemen and members of the South African Police Services on Thursday threw teargas canisters at a group of protesters as they ran along a street where the creche is.

Metro Police spokesman Ellias Mahamba confirmed the use of teargas during the protest in Mabopane’s Section AA and said: “We were dispersing the crowd, which had become unruly; it is unfortunate that children were affected.”

Mahamba said teargas blew into an open window at the creche. “The cops only wanted to disperse the crowds,” he said.

But a mother, whose baby was admitted to hospital and who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said the police had failed to act responsibly.

Speaking from the hospital where her baby had been put on oxygen, the mother said: “The police chased the group from the main road and into a street full of homes; surely they knew that there were people who were not part of the action in that area.”

She asked why the police had decided to pursue the protesting group as if they had committed crimes. “I cannot accept that my innocent baby, whose lungs are still very small, will have to spend the night here,” she said.

A woman who identified herself only as Phindile was among the hundreds of young protesters who were up at dawn to burn tyres and blockade main roads into and out of section AA on Thursday morning. She was also among those who ran into the street in which the creche is, when the police started advancing towards them, shooting them with rubber bullets. “The hiss of teargas and a cloud of smoke followed on my heels just as I passed the creche,” she said.

One room in the house which houses the creche had open windows. Katie Mnisi, who works at the creche, said confusion followed the sounds of protesters running and policeman shouting, canisters falling and fumes wafting into the room.

Children started coughing just before they bundled all of them into another room, where they locked them up. “The smaller ones started breathing with difficulty and crying,” she said. Ambulances arrived soon afterwards and whisked six of the children to a nearby clinic. Parents were notified of the incident. A mother who works in Rosslyn told the Pretoria News: “I jumped into a taxi and cried all the way because I was so frightened of the harm to my boy.”

Her six-year-old son had been taken home by her brother, but she was not forgiving. “The police acted irresponsibly and put our kids in danger” she asked.

A nurse at Ga-Rankuwa said the two babies were going to be observed overnight for to make sure that no complications arose.
www.iol.co.za


Rail staff, truckers set to join strike
Daneel Knoetze, Brendan Roane and Sapa
23 April 2013

Cape Town - Railway workers, truck drivers and dock workers could join striking bus drivers if “significant progress” is not made between workers and employers at a meeting at the CCMA on Wednesday.

This was the warning from Vincent Masoga, spokesman for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), on Tuesday morning.

And some long distance bus drivers have also joined the strike.

Translux confirmed that their services “have been suspended until further notice” due to the strike.

However, Intercape and Greyhound said tthat they were running at full capacity.

Leon Engelbrecht, director of Greyhound, said that the carrier’s employees last week decided not to join the strike and that this situation remained unchanged.

Masoga accused Greyhound of interfering with its members and undermining collective bargaining but Engelbrecht denied this, saying that the decision not to strike came from drivers and not management.

Scores of Golden Arrow bus drivers and staff picketed terminals in several centres in Cape Town on Tuesday morning.

The national wage strike by bus drivers is expected to last until at least the end of the week.

Leaders from the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu) and Satawu announced a schedule for the week to members at a rally in Gatesville on Monday.

MyCiTi will run at a “reduced capacity” until the end of the strike.

Amid fears of vandalism, Golden Arrow has locked its buses away until further notice.

Spokeswoman Bronwen Dyke said the company’s buses were subjected to “serious vandalism” as a result of strikes in the past.

When the question of “stopping buses from operating” came up at Monday’s meeting, Wayne Louw, Satawu provincial chairman, asked the media to leave so that “sensitive issues” could be discussed.

In October, dozens of trucks were stoned and torched in Cape Town and nationally when Satawu’s truck drivers striked.

“The potential of this type of violence is of massive concern,” said Tony Franks, Towu’s general secretary.

“That is why we as a strike committee have met to discuss issues of discipline. We can act as marshals and have encouraged our members to remain peaceful.”

The strike will include pickets at bus terminals and a march on Wednesday to the Athlone offices of the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (Sarpbac), which represent employers, where a memorandum is to be delivered.

Another meeting with union members is scheduled for Thursday.

The strike follows three rounds of failed wage negotiations which started in January. Unions have demanded an 18 percent raise and employers have offered 6.5 percent.

Two weeks ago the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) recommended a wage settlement of 9 percent.

Last week, Towu was mandated by its members to accept the offer, but there has been no similar decision from Sarpbac or Satawu. This meant Towu had reverted to an 18 percent raise demand, said Franks.

Sarpbac spokesman Barry Gie said the “optimistic outcome” of a settlement before the end of the week still existed.

Meanwhile the IFP have called on employers and labour to work together to resolve the bus strike.

The strike could endanger commuters, Inkatha Freedom Party spokesman Petros Sithole said in a statement.

“Merely directing commuters to trains is not a safe alternative, as it causes greater over-crowding on a transport system that is already overtaxed.

“This unnecessarily places people's lives at risk,” he said.

The IFP did not oppose the workers' right to strike, but encouraged the employers' organisation and unions to find common ground towards ending the strike.
www.iol.co.za

Bus strike disrupts Cape Town
Daneel Knoetze and Sapa 19 April 2013

Cape Town - Thousands of commuters had to make alternative plans to get to work this morning as bus drivers went on strike in the city and other centres.

The worst affected service in Cape Town was Golden Arrow, which removed its buses from all operations in anticipation of the strike.

Employers and labour representatives’ negotiations over annual wage increases for bus drivers around the country have deadlocked.

John Dammert, corporate development manager for Golden Arrow, said a strike notice by the two unions that represent the company’s drivers had been taken literally and caused the company to effect a “lockout” of its employees. This was partly to protect the company’s buses and other assets from vandalism by strikers.

However, the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu), which represents the majority of Golden Arrow employees, has said its members are not striking and accused the company of turning away its members when they reported for work today.

Last week, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) proposed a 9 percent raise as a compromise between the employer’s offer of 6.5 percent and the unions’ demand for 18 percent.

“We have decided to wait on the other unions to respond to an offer by the CCMA. Our members have already accepted a proposal of a 9 percent pay increase, and the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has indicated they will consult with their members and respond to the 9 percent offer today,” Towu spokesman Tony Franks said this morning.

Golden Arrow hit back, with Dammert saying that until all the unions agreed to a wage increase and retracted the notice to go on strike as of Friday, the company’s buses would remain under lockdown.

Assaria Mataboge, Satawu’s national sector co-ordinator, said all the union’s members had indeed been advised to strike until a response to the CCMA’s offer could be got from its chapters.

The MyCiTi bus service issued warnings that their drivers would take part in the strike. The service was running this morning, but Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, warned delays were expected and asked commuters to travel outside of peak times, if possible.

“MyCiTi is running a slightly reduced service. Buses are full, however, on the main route between Table View and the Civic Centre.

During the peak hours, we are operating a bus at least every 10 minutes.

“On the inner-city routes there are buses every 20 minutes, in other words, we are running buses as per the off-peak schedule. So far, no major delays have been reported.”

Mthuthuzeli Swartz, Metrorail’s Western Cape manager, said passenger train services had set up contingency plans to deal with the added commuters.

He said an “improvement plan” had seen 33 extra train trips daily on the northern line since Monday.

Peak services on the central line and Cape Flats lines had also been extended. Golden Arrow clip-card holders have been allowed to use Metrorail trains at no extra cost.
www.iol.co.za

Nationwide bus strike looms
IOL News 18 April 2013

Johannesburg - A nationwide bus strike will start on Friday, the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) said.

“The strike is a result of a wage negotiation deadlock,” Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga said on Thursday.

“We have demanded an 18 percent wage increase and the employers offered only 2.5 percent. Those two (figures) are too far apart.”

Gautrain company Bombela Concession said the strike would affect the Gautrain bus service.

“Bus passengers are therefore requested to make alternative travel arrangements to and from our stations as from Friday... until further notice,” spokesman Errol Braithwaite said in a statement. .

“Train services will not be affected.”

He said the strike could create increased demand on the Gautrain's parking facilities.

“We will do our best to manage this demand but we also appeal to passengers to rather be dropped off and picked up from our stations if at all possible.” - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Ikaneng residents protest
IOL News 19 April 2013

Rustenburg - Residens of Ikaneng, near Rustenburg, were protesting over service delivery on Friday, North West police said.

Captain Aasje Botma said people were marching to a local councillor's home to hand over a memorandum.

“Police are present at the march. No violence was reported, but we continue to monitor the situation.”

The organisers of the protest could not immediately be reached for comment. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Protesters stone cars on Cape Town highway
News 24 19 April 2013

Cape Town - Protesters in Cape Town have disrupted the N2 by stoning cars during service delivery protests in the Khayelitsha and Phillippi East areas.

Facebook user, Chris Kruger, said: “They are stoning the cars and smash and grabs are also taking place, N2/R300 protest taking place both sides please avoid that section immediately!!!! [sic]”

Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said police have taken control of the situation and are removing rubble from the scene.

No injuries have yet been reported.

On Thursday more than 70 people burnt tyres and threw stones at passing cars on the N2 during protests, Sapa reported.

A truck carrying temporary plastic toilets was torched near Khayelitsha, as residents demanded the provision of proper toilet facilities.
www.news24.com


COSATU NW continues with the toll gate action
Cosatu 18 April 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West province will be going back to the Swartruggens toll gate as a continuation of the program against e-tolling in the country, including the expensive toll gate in the NW.
COSATU has noted the continuous arrogance and the attempt to use the state institutions to block the campaign by forces which include Sanral and Bakwena. COSATU calls on all of them to stop these activities as it is our right to gather and protest peacefully and unarmed.
COSATU calls on these organisations to direct the money that they use fighting court battles to reduce the toll fees at the toll gate as per the demands made last year.

COSATU has also noted with disappointment the conduct of the security officers who continue to support Bakwena and Sanral on their attempt to block the protest action and we remind them that their role is not to permit or oppose the application as this is our right which we are given by the constitution, not a discretion of an individual who acts on feelings.
COSATU will be going back to the toll gate on 19 April from 12h00 and we call on all the motorists who want to support us on this to come and join this action and those who do not want to join us, please do not use the road from 14h00.

We are also calling the motorists to boycott the payment and refuse to pay on Friday or demand to pay half of R71, 00.

COSATU would like to remind the community and the road users that they stand to benefit more if this toll gate tariff will be reduced as the cost of their travelling will be reduced. We also remind them that this march is not only about the toll gate but it also includes the state of the road infrastructure in the province which is dilapidated and unsafe to travel on.

On another matter COSATU would like to take this opportunity to inform the public that the planned march to Impala has been postponed due to the preparation for the May Day celebrations which will be held in all the four regions of the province in the NW, with the main activity at Rustenburg Olympia stadium.
We also want to warn the employers who have now started to threaten workers not to attend May day activities - companies such as Game store, Sun City, Wimpy, Spar, OK and farmers -that workers’ day remains workers day. No trade-off on this paid public holiday!

We are going back to Game on 19Aril 2013 from 8h00 to address workers as part of our listening campaign but also to deal with final warnings that were given to workers for attending the workers’ rally in 2012.

We also call on the members of the community to join the farm workers on their march to the department of labour in Ottosdal on 20th April 2013 from 09h00 when they will be handing a memorandum of their demands to the department against the farmers who are dismissing workers on the matter of paying them R105 per day.

For more information contact Solly Phetoe, COSATU Provincial Secretary of North West at 082 304 4055


Rainbow Chicken Workers In Rustenburg Demand Higher Wages
IOL News 18 April 2013

About 1 857 members of the Food and Allied Worker ’s Union that are employed by the poultry processing Rainbow Chicken in Rustenburg in the North West province, are in their third day of strike action for better wages and working conditions.

Workers are demanding a R 700 wage increase while the employer is offering R303.00 Our members are also demanding medical aid, a 40 hour working week instead of the current status quo of 45 hours. Workers at this plant say they would also want to negotiate when to work overtime so as to make proper arrangements instead of just being told when to work overtime.

The striking workers make out the majority of the total workforce at this plant.
Released by FAWU media officer, Dominique Swartz – 082 498 5631


Protesters demand services and housing
IOL News 18 April 2013

Johannesburg - The sun beat down on the smouldering pavement, the smashed and fallen traffic lights and the police vehicles clogging the intersection.

The windows of the KFC at the corner of Chris Hani Road and Nicholas Drive in Soweto were pockmarked with holes, and the stones littering the parking lot gave an indication of how this had come about.

Groups of residents had appeared sporadically through the night and early Tuesday morning outside the Elias Motsoaledi informal settlement as part of a service delivery protest.

Several hundred protesters, claiming the municipality had failed to provide them with anything from new homes to electricity, were driven back into the settlement around 10.15am when the police opened fire with rubber bullets.

Residents claimed about 10 people were injured in the scuffles.

Several streets running adjacent to the settlement were blocked by rubbish, stones, broken glass and burning tyres.

A meeting is scheduled with municipality officials on Sunday, but the community plans protests for the next seven days.

Lucky Ngobeni, one of the protest’s organisers and a member of the ward’s housing committee said: “We’re going to continue until they respond positively.”

Captain Nomvula Mbese, a police spokeswoman, would only say: “We’re just monitoring the situation.”

Police planned to go back on Wednesday night to patrol the settlement and check on a Pakistani shop they feared was to be targeted.

However, they did not know how they would patrol because street lights have been switched off because residents used them to steal electricity.

Residents claim the lack of lighting has led to a rise in crime. They also say the paraffin they must use as an alternative is expensive and causes problems like asthma.

“For about 20 years we’ve been fighting for simple things, basic services,” said Ngobeni. “We will wait for electricity, water, sanitation and housing.”

The Elias Motsoaledi housing development project began in March 2011 with the promise of 1 463 RDP houses and 3 000 rental and bonded houses.

But residents say they cannot afford to pay for houses that are not fully subsidised.

They also claim that, although a portion of the settlement has had new houses built and utilities installed, no one has been moved in yet.

“We are tired,” Ngobeni said. “We are saying enough is enough. They must respond.”

No government spokesman could be reached for comment.
mark.olalde@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Cops on high alert after Soweto protest
News 24 18 April 2013

Johannesburg - Police are on high alert at the Elias Motsoaledi informal settlement in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday following protests a day earlier.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said a large police contingent was being maintained in the area in case protests flared up again.

Protesters blockaded Chris Hani Road at the corner of Nicholas Street with burning tyres and stoned vehicles on Wednesday.

"The situation is calm this morning, but we will continue monitoring the area throughout the day," Mamonyane said.

SA Police Services spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said one man was arrested.

"The man will appear in the Protea Magistrate's court soon," Mogale said.
www.news24.com


Jewish security organization violently assaults two women protesters; one protester left in concussion
Cosatu 16 April 2013

Palestine protesters are pressing charges for the violent assault of two young women Palestine protesters (including the daughter of a senior COSATU official) against the notorious Jewish security entity, the Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO), together with the South African Zionist Federation and South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). One Palestine protester was left in a state of concussion due to the Jewish CSO assaults.

Last night supporters of Israel held a music concert, organized by the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), titled, "The Miracle of Israel: A Symphonic Celebration", at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg to celebrate Israeli Independence Day. The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) had insisted on arranging their own security (the Jewish Community Security Organization) instead of allowing either Gold Reef City or the South African Police Services (SAPS) to perform the role of safety and security for the Israeli event.

Palestinian protesters claimed that the Israeli celebration was essentially a "celebration of murder, expulsion and continued Israeli oppression against the indigenous Palestinian people" and arranged a picket outside the venue where over 250 members from COSATU, SACP, YCL, SASCO, BDS South Africa and several other civil society organizations were present. In addition, young activists (mostly women students) had also bought tickets, made their way into the venue of the Israeli event and partook in a direct-action Greenpeace-like protest where they released bad smelling "stinky-bombs" and wore T-shirts that read "Israeli Apartheid Stinks" in luminous green writing.

During the direct-action protest inside Gold Reef City, two young women protesters were violently assaulted by the Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO) including having their hands tied with cables, their faces covered and their heads smashed into the parking lot's concrete paving. Other protesters were forcibly thrown down escalators and one protester was locked into a passageway where he was repeatedly and simultaneously kicked in the stomach by more than five Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO) members - he later suffered a concussion. Members of the Jewish community attending the event also punched a woman protester in the face several times resulting in a serious swelling injury.

Charges against the Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO), the SA Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) include:
- Smashing the heads of two young women protesters into the concrete paving of the Gold Reef City parking lot;
- Illegally restraining the young protesters with cable ties and leaving them with their heads covered in the Gold Reef City parking lot;
- Locking a protester into a passage way, throwing him to the ground and then instructing over five security personnel to kick the protester, which resulted in a state of concussion;
- Throwing two young women protesters down escalators resulting in several body bruises, including a badly injured leg;
- Forcibly hurling several women protesters onto walls;
- Verbally abusing the young protesters, including threatening to "find them" and "kill them";
- In addition, a charge of theft will be laid against the Jewish CSO, the SAJBD and the SAZF for having illegally confiscated cellphones and other possessions from the protesters.

University of Johannesburg academic, Professor Farid Esack, who witnessed the violent assaults on protesters by the Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO), commented: "Its unacceptable that any local community security organization, including that of the the Jewish community (the Jewish CSO), operates above the law and in this militarised fashion. Given that the Jewish CSO was recently guilty of racial-profiling and discrimination at Wits University, they together with all Israeli-connected security entities operating in this country, should be banned from any and all future events. They are a threat to our people and I will personally be taking this up with relevant government departments."

The Jewish CSO, a mostly clandestine security body operating in South Africa since 1993, is led by former Israeli Defense Force (IDF) member, Colonel Amir Noy. Noy served for 14 years in the IDF before working as a project manager for the Zimbabwean government. Noy has previously explained the role of the Jewish CSO as that of: Protecting Jewish life and Jewish way of life [in South Africa]... [its] a bond of brotherhood".

Another high-profile witness to the violent assaults was International Relations Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Chris Mathlako, who also slammed the Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO) and added that: "I was shocked at the way in which the Jewish Community Security Organization were behaving like a bunch of thugs, carrying large semi-automatic weapons, beating up young activists and threatening to kill them. They are not above the law and should not think that they can get away with this sort of behaviour in our country. This is a serious indictment on the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation."

Uyanda Mabeche, one of the seriously injured protesters had this to say: "The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), SA Zionist Federation (SAZF) and their Jewish CSO must be held accountable for what they did to me and my fellow colleagues...its also a sad reflection of how Israel and its supporters deal with protests and criticism. However, I'm very deeply aware that what myself and my colleagues experienced - although traumatic- is nothing in comparison to what Palestinians go through on a daily basis under the yoke of Israeli apartheid and occupation."

Issued by Muhammed Desai for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa)

For comment:
Uyanda Mabece: 083 204 8739
Muhammed Desai, BDS South Africa: 084 211 9988
Professor Farid Esack, University of Johannesburg: 083 459 9989
Chris Mathlko, South African Communist Party: 073 366 0112

BREAKING: Jewish community leader implicated in violent assault of Palestine solidarity protesters

Rose*, one of the two victims from Monday night's violent assault by members of the Jewish Community Security Organization has revealed that Mr Zev Krengel, the President of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), was present and also involved in the violent assault of herself and her colleague.

During a counselling session yesterday afternoon, Rose identified Mr Zev Krengel as one of the approximately 10 people present in the parking lot of Gold Reef City in Johannesburg where she was physically assaulted by security personnel belonging to the Jewish CSO. "The Jewish CSO members", Rose explains, "had my hands tied with cables, my face forced on the ground and would forcibly lift my head up by my hair so that the man wearing a checkered shirt could take photos of my face with his cellphone camera. This happened several times". Rose later identified Krengel as the man with the "checkered shirt."

Shereen Usdin, a Jewish member of BDS South Africa commented: "Its appalling that a leader of any community, including the Jewish community, may have been involved in such acts of violence and intimidation. As a Jewish person, I support the young protesters who are pursuing charges against the perpetrators and the CSO."

South African activists are pressing charges against the South African Jewish Community Security Organization (CSO), the South African Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) for the recent violent assault of two young women Palestine solidarity protesters (including the daughter of a senior member from South Africa's largest trade union federation, COSATU) . One Palestine solidarity protester was left in a state of concussion due to the assault injuries (see: www.bdssouthafrica.com/2011/04/press-release-jewish-security.html )

* The victim wishes to remain anonymous as she is in fear of her life. Rose is a pseudonym. (To arrange a telephonic interview with Rose or one of the other victims you can contact Muhammed Desai on 0842119988)


Chaos as contract workers protest
IOL News 16 April 2013

Pretoria - Scores of protesting former labour-broker employees caused chaos in Pretoria’s inner city on Monday.

About 200 protesters gathered outside the Tshwane Metro Council’s temporary headquarters, Isivuno House in Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) Street and vowed not to disperse until executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa had addressed them.

Traffic was backed up in several streets and council employees could not leave their offices.

The protesters later trashed streets after dispersing.

They claimed to have been promised that they would be absorbed as permanent workers into municipal structures.

They had been employed by a subcontractor of the metro council but lost their jobs after the municipality did not renew the company’s contract.

Protester Aubrey Hlongwane said he had not worked since his dismissal. He worked in waste management. He said he was dismissed without notice. “I have a family to support. Sometimes my parents have to look after my child.”

The crowd was angry because no senior municipal official addressed it. “We were told the city manager (Jason Ngobeni) is away and Sputla (the mayor) has an attitude towards us,” said Elmond Magedi, a committee member representing the protesters. “We were dismissed when we were supposed to be absorbed,” he said.

Many protesters sang and danced. Some were dressed in municipal overalls. The SAPS and Tshwane metro police kept a heavy presence outside Isivuno House.

The crowd was dispersed twice - during the morning and at 5pm - by police using water cannon.

Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, spokesman for the metro police, said five protesters were arrested and a case of public violence was opened against them.

The municipality said the protesters had worked as volunteers for the city’s waste management services. “The absorption of volunteers and contract staff permanently was not part of the city’s bargaining agreement with unions,” council spokeswoman Antoinette Mostert said.
Pretoria News
www.iol.co.za


WORKERS DECLARE A NATIONAWIDE STRIKE AT UNISA OVER WAGE NEGOTIATIONS
Nehawu 16 April 2013

NEHAWU members at the University of South Africa {Unisa} have downed their tools, starting today, 16 April 2013, after salary negotiations collapsed at the Unisa Bargaining Forum (UBF).Salary negotiations commenced with the employer pitching their offer at a lamentable and shameful 5.3%. Labour (both Nehawu and Apsa) pitched their initial demand at 12% and later adjusted their demands by 0.3%, same as the employer. The Employer’s offer was even below the Consumer Price Index. They adjusted this with a measly and insulting 0.3% offer to 5.6%.

The parties are still deadlocked with the unions still demanding a wage of 11, 7% across the board and the employer still offering 5,6%. The matter was referred to the CCMA and a certificate of non-resolution was issued. These negotiations have been characterized by dishonesty and thoughtlessness on the side of the employer.

Historically, our union has had very acrimonious relations with the university management under the previous leadership. Our initial reaction to the appointment of Professor Makhanya to replace the Barney Pityana was to oppose it because we felt that Prof Makhanya formed part of a core group that bullied and dismissed the views of stakeholders under the previous administration. We later threw our weight behind the new administration of Professor Makhanya for the sake of the institution’s stability and cordial relations between the union and the university.

The latest decision of the administration to mock and insult the workers with this low salary increase offer is a smack in the face to the workers and will strain the relations. The excuse about the lack of resources will not hold, when one looks at ridiculous expenditure of the institution. The 55 member management of Unisa shared R19million amongst themselves as bonuses last year while over 4 500 university employees shared R40million for bonuses. This is obscene and crass for an institution that is supposed to reflect the values of moral regeneration.

They have spent more money budgeting for labour brokers than for salaries of their own staff. Each Executive Director at Unisa has between four to five {4-5} consultants working under him/her with millions of rands spent to compensate them. In the year 2012, management budgeted R68 Million for labour brokers while in 2013 more than R70 Million was budgeted for them.

We therefore demand a total ban of labour brokers, a system that is unanimously regarded as human trafficking and modern-day slavery. We also demand that the more than R70 Million budgeted for labour brokers be used to supplement a budget for 2013 salary increases.

Our union is unmoved and demands a decent increase for the workers and transparency from the university. We are concerned about the impact this will have on learners but hope that sanity will prevail and Unisa will review their demeaning offer to workers.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office
For more information, please contact: Sizwe Pamla (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 011 833 2902 - 082 558 5962 or email: sizwep@nehawu.org.za
Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za


Service Delivery Protest In Freedom Park
Howzit Msn News 15 April 2013

Residents of Freedom Park near Eldorado Park embarked on a protest at the end of last week against poor service delivery in the area.

Johannesburg metro police were called to the scene on Thursday morning, with protesters throwing stones at cars and placing rocks on the Golden Highway.

Click through the gallery to see some of the scenes from the protest...
news.howzit.msn.com


Protest at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg against Israeli Independence Day
Cosatu 15 April 2013

Tomorrow, Monday the 15th of April at 6pm, there will be a civil society protest against the Israeli Independence Day event taking place at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. The civil society protest has been organized by COSATU, SASCO, StopTheJNF, SACP, YCL, BDS South Africa, the Coalition for a Free Palestine and others.

CIVIL SOCIETY PROTEST AGAINST ISRAELI INDEPENDENCE DAY
Date: Monday 15th April
Time: 18h00
Venue: Gold Reef City Casino, Corner Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road, Ormonde, Johannesburg
More info: http://tinyurl.com/cmgbvvk
Endorsed by: BDS South Africa, Cosatu, South African Communist Party, Young Communist League, Kairos Southern Africa, Coalition for a Free Palestine, SA Artists Against Apartheid, South African Students Congress, South African Council of Churches Youth Forum, StopTheJNF, MRN, MSA, PSA, PSC and others


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