||Protesters demand ‘housing, land’
IOL News 13 June 2013
Durban - About 200 people were protesting on Alpine Road in Durban on Thursday morning, eThekwini metro police said.
The protesters were burning rubbish and tyres, spokesman Eugene Msomi said.
It was believed the protest was about service delivery.
Nabantu Zulu, a resident of the Jadhu Place squatter camp which borders Alpine Road, said residents had been protesting since 3.30am.
Zulu said he had been a resident at the squatter camp since 1991.
Residents were demanding to speak to eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and would not stop blocking Alpine Road until their demands had been addressed.
“We are living in tins. They (eThekwini metro) gave us these as temporary (accommodation), but how long must we wait?” asked Zulu.
He said residents were demanding land, housing, electricity, water, and speed humps in Alpine Road.
The Jadhu Place squatter camp is believed to have between 1000 and 2000 residents.
Alpine Road is a major road linking the suburb of Overport with the Springfield industrial area.
Protesters, carrying bottles and vuvuzelas, were singing, dancing, and chanting on a hill overlooking Alpine Road.
About three kilometres of Alpine Road was closed.
“We demand housing, electricity, and land,” stated a placard.
The protesters claim they were promised housing in 2007 by a former eThekwini mayor and they had been forgotten.
One of the protesters, a woman, was lying in the street waiting for paramedics after she collapsed during the protest.
The SA Police Service and the metro police were monitoring the protest.
Police had to use teargas at various stages to disperse the group.
Alpine Road was littered with debris, bricks, tyres, and a tree.
Residents of Overport were looking nervously at the protesters from their houses.
Employees of Durban Solid Waste were waiting to clear the road. - Sapa
ANC marches on Zille offices
Neo Maditla 14 June 2013
Cape Town - Hundreds of ANC supporters marched to the provincial legislature on Thursday over poor service delivery, school closures, the DA’s perceived racism and dissatisfaction with the way the MyCiTi bus service is being implemented.
The marchers were led by ANC provincial leader and Deputy International Relations Minister, Marius Fransman, who addressed the crowd on the steps outside the legislature.
Fransman said it was unacceptable and “racist” for Premier Helen Zille to say that the Western Cape was the best-run province, while knowing that it had benefited from infrastructure built during apartheid.
He said the province fell under the old Cape Province during apartheid and it benefited from infrastructure development from then. It was therefore wrong for Zille to compare it with places such as the Eastern Cape, which used to be Bantustans.
“Under the DA, they believe in an open society which assumes all is equal. We are not equal. There are still historical imbalances we must correct.”
Tony Ehrenreich, provincial secretary of Cosatu, said: “Everywhere we have liberated our people from apartheid and we must liberate the Western Cape in 2014.”
He said Cape Town mayor Patricia de De Lille wore a mask when she visited informal settlements, yet she expected people to live in those areas.
“Does she want people to wear masks every day of their lives?”
Mandla Mata, deputy chairman of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the Western Cape, said MyCiTi buses were a threat to the taxi industry and the taxi council had not been properly consulted by the city.
Mata said the buses would “kill” the taxi industry which, unlike Metrorail and Golden Arrow buses, was not receiving a government subsidy.
When a representative from the premier’s office was sent to collect a memorandum from the protesters, he was sent back by the crowd who demanded Zille.
Zille’s spokesman Zak Mbhele said Zille was not available to collect the memorandum. “While it is clear that the ANC has good grassroots machinery to mobilise lots of people for marches and demonstrations, it is also the case that they have nothing of substance or truth to say.
“It is all a great spectacle and lots of rhetoric but there is no basis for the accusations they made against the Western Cape government,” he said.
MEC slams pupils’ school time protest
Michelle Jones 13 June 2013
Cape Town - It was disgraceful that pupils from South Peninsula High in Diep River protested outside the Western Cape High Court instead of learning in their classrooms, Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant has said.
Dressed in their school uniforms, 61 members of the school’s student representative council (SRC) protested against school closures on Tuesday. The Western Cape High Court was hearing a review of Grant’s decision to close 20 of the 27 schools he had initially identified for possible closure last year.
The majority of the schools which had been closed were small, rural schools which relied on multigrade teaching and had low pupil numbers.
Brian Isaacs, principal of South Peninsula High, said the school had a long history of activism.
“We have a history at our school where students are encouraged to voice their disapproval. The SRC decided they wanted to be there because they wanted to show their support.”
He said it was important that the Western Cape Education Department saw a school which produced excellent results could also protest against department decisions.
South Peninsula had achieved a 99 percent matric pass rate last year.
“We are serious about education and we are not going to let anyone tell us we can’t be there.”
Isaacs said he did not feel it was necessary to ask the department for permission.
“The department created trauma in our society. They were the ones responsible for students being there. The department created this war.”
He was unconcerned about possible action by the department. “To us, what must come, must come. Schools must decide, are they on the side of the poor or the side of the rich. And our school has shown it is on the side of the poor.”
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for education MEC Donald Grant, said Isaacs was aware that the pupils should have been at school.
“It is a disgrace that learners are being used, during valuable school time, to support a particular point of view of a school principal.
“The minister does not approve of children being removed from school for any form of protest action.
“This is particularly concerning as these learners were being used to support a personal view of an individual principal.”
She said that any excursions of pupils during the school day must be linked to, and enhance, the curriculum.
“(Tuesday’s) protest action was evidently not linked to the curriculum.
“In all excursions involving learners, applications must be submitted to the district director at least six weeks in advance of the intended date.”
Casey said that the district office in which the school fell was investigating the matter.
“Following their findings, the (department) will deal with it in terms of existing protocols and policies.”
Protest chaos on uMngeni Road, M19
IOL News June 12 2013
Durban - For the second time this week disgruntled construction workers blocked uMngeni Road and the M19 with burning rubble.
Protesters began placing barricades on the road at 4am on Wednesday, police said.
Since 6am metro police were attempting to clear the road for traffic to run smoothly, and a water truck was used to douse the fires.
Workers employed by Rumdel Cape/EXR Joint Venture downed tools four weeks ago demanding a R12 000 project bonus, and every day these workers have been protesting at the construction site.
Metro police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi, said they were trying to contain the protesters under the N2 bridge with the help of the Public Order Policing Unit.
The M19 was closed on Wednesday morning with officers diverting traffic.
Provincial police spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, said the road would be re-opened once the rubble had been removed.
“We are trying to quell the violence and keep the peace. There have been no arrests. We are monitoring the recurring problem,” he said.
When asked if police would be deployed at this particular site as a preventative measure, Mdunge said the police were busy tackling crime in other areas but “if this problem persists we would find it compelling for officers to monitor the situation”.
One of the workers, who had been part of a handful of those protesting, said they had had no joy regarding their demands and they were being sent from pillar to post by Sanral and Rumdel Cape/EXR Joint Venture.
Many angry commuters who abandoned their taxi transport and started walking to work, said the protests were a huge inconvenience.
“I live in KwaMashu and I had to jump off the taxi stuck in traffic. The driver told us that he could not get on to uMngeni Road. I’m going to be late for work. These employers must do something and talk to their workers,” said Dudu Khumalo, an employee at Makro.
The latest report on Wednesday morning was that the uMngeni Road side into the city centre was open, but the M19 Pinetown-bound side was closed.
Motorists voiced their frustration at the road closures and protests. On Twitter @pigspotterkzn reported that there was traffic congestion on both sides of uMngeni Road. There were also delays in Inanda Road, inbound, between Newlands and Chris Hani Road via Sea Cow Lake. There was also a delay on the M7 from Outer Ring Road/ St John’s Avenue to uMngeni Road/St John’s Avenue.
Striking road workers dig in
IOL News 11 June 2013
Striking workers building the uMngeni interchange over the N2 near Springfield Park say they are prepared to halt the project for as long as it takes to start talks between their National Union of Mineworkers shop stewards and the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral).
Yesterday morning workers demanding a R12 000 project bonus blockaded Umgeni Road with burning tyres and rubble.
The 400 workers downed tools four weeks ago after Sanral had told them there was no money with which to pay the bonus.
The R360 million project, jointly financed by Sanral and the eThekwini Municipality, has already been hit by delays.
It is expected to be complete in May next year, eight months later than originally planned.
“We were willing to negotiate on this R12 000; we were waiting for the company to tell us how much they can afford as opposed to the bonus money we demand, instead of just saying there isn’t any money and leaving things at that,” said Siyabulela Gqola, a shop steward.
He said the R12 000 had only been a yardstick that the workers had been willing to negotiate upon.
“Unfortunately the company did not want to negotiate with us, and then along the way they also said we would get this money once the project had been completed,” he said.
Gqola said workers had blockaded the road yesterday because they felt they were being ignored by Sanral and Rumdel Cape/EXR Joint Venture, the company contracted by Sanral for the project.
“They think just because they are ignoring us we will go back to work, but we will do this every day, even if it’s for three months, till someone pays attention to us,” he said.
Gqola said their reason for blockading the road was to also get the eThekwini Municipality to pay attention.
“We were hoping that our municipality could also somehow intervene and help us.”
Another shop steward, Mfezeko Nkomo, said workers did not trust the company to pay the bonuses in full at the end of the project and would prefer to get the money in stages.
“We would prefer to make an agreement to the effect that if a certain part or stage of the construction was done, then we would get a certain percentage of the money, because we don’t trust the company to give us all the money at the end of the project,” he said.
Sanral project manager Ravi Ronney said: “This is a dispute between the contractor and the union representing the labourers. Sanral is not involved.
“The contractor was given an extension to complete the project by May 2014. Already they have lost one month of work at the site on this extension period. We empathise with motorists who have to endure the brunt of the strike,” he said. - The Daily News
Defiant dung-flingers catch cops with pants down
Andisiwe Makinana (Mail & Guardian) 10 June 2013
More faeces has been dumped at government offices in Cape Town despite a heavy police presence around the city bowl.
The Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town on Monday reinforced security on the roads leading to the city, on the trains and around the provincial legislature, after picking up that further "poo attacks" were planned on government buildings.
Rumours of a planned protest to the legislature by human excrement-carrying Makhaza residents started flying on Sunday night and an unusually high number of police – in uniform and plain-clothed could be seen outside the legislature by mid-morning on Monday.
Around the same time, a number of the protesters and their leaders – including former ANC councillor Andile Lili – responsible for dumping faeces at the steps of the legislature were arrested at the Esplanade train station in Ysterplaat, according to sources.
Police could not be reached to give details about these arrests.
Lili confirmed to the Mail & Guardian that he and six others had been arrested. He claimed not to know the reasons for their arrest, saying there was no wrong doing from their side.
“We have not done anything wrong. It’s our human rights and dignity that’s being trampled upon,” he said from a police van.
Last week, Western Cape Premier and Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille's convoy came under attack after protesters from Harare, Khayelitsha, threw feaces at the motorcade. The premier, who arrived in the area for a scheduled talk in a bus, had to leave in a car with one of her VIP protectors.
A source from the City of Cape Town said police intelligence picked up on Sunday afternoon that there were plans to disrupt the Monday morning traffic on the N2 to Cape Town and also to dump more excrement at the legislature.
Two of the plain-clothed police outside the provincial legislature said they were taking the matter seriously as the legislature is a national key point.
But shortly after 3pm, three men – including Loyiso Nkohla, an ANC councillor in the City of Cape Town – emptied two portable tanks of exrecement at the Protea Assurance Building, which houses the provincial departments of cultural affairs and sport and agriculture.
The building is less than 200m from the provincial legislature.
Nkohla admitted to being one of the “poo dumpers”, saying he wanted the government to get a sense of what the poor were living with in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
When the M&G arrived at the dumping scene, a man, who only identified himself as “from the building management” was hosing off the remnants of the waste from the ground floor reception area at around 3.30pm.
He said he was not present when the waste was dumped but had been called from upstairs afterwards.
He added that a security guard was present but had been caught off guard.
Zille said the incident was “a new manifestation of the long-standing campaign” to make the city ungovernable, which has been the ANC Youth League’s stated strategy for a long time, she said.
Zille said the league has roped in several ANC councillors who are also at the forefront of the campaign.
“It is bizarre that the campaign is focusing on the city's ‘portable flush toilet’, which the city is using to eradicate the remaining bucket toilets.
“The portable flush toilet is used like an ordinary flush toilet. The waste is stored in a tank that is clean, hygienic and odourless, and the tank is serviced three times a week.”
She said the ANC Youth League was stealing these tanks and then spreading the contents around various government buildings.
“I have no doubt the voters will have something to say about this come the next election,” Zille added.
Proudly Manenberg ordered to halt threats
Alison Decker 10 June 2013
Cape Town - A court interdict has been issued restraining Proudly Manenberg from “threatening, harassing and assaulting city officials and employees of contractors” who are providing services on behalf of the city.
The City of Cape Town obtained the interdict from the Western Cape High Court on Friday, preventing Mario Wanza and Proudly Manenberg from disrupting the upgrade of council rental units in Manenberg, Heideveld, Hanover Park and Ottery.
The city said it applied for the interdict after Proudly Manenberg, led by Wanza and his associates, orchestrated a series of violent, obstructive actions to interfere with the work of contractors appointed by the city to upgrade the units.
Solly Malatsi, the spokesman for mayor Patricia de Lille, said the city was repainting and upgrading the units when the work had to be suspended due to the intimidating actions of Proudly Manenberg.
“They were creating an environment that was preventing officials from working,” Malatsi said.
The city has had several incidents with violence halting the delivery of services over the past few months, including the assault of city officials in Gugulethu and issues servicing other informal settlements.
But Wanza, the leader of Proudly Manenberg, said he planned to continue mobilising the community and denied that any violent action took place, only acknowledging that people had blocked the construction.
“The court action is not going to stop us from addressing the issues of the people of Manenberg,” Wanza said.
Wanza said residents are not content with the extent and delivery of the planned upgrades. A petition was circulated and contained requests and complaints from the community, asking for the removal of asbestos from the roofs, quality window framing, and more input from them on how the houses are constructed, among other concerns.
Wanza said the drive would continue with petitions from residents, public meetings and a planned march for better construction quality.
“The city is trying to deflect attention away from their failures. No one is being threatened or intimidated.”
Community leader Dorothy Swart said the city had asked for input from residents before beginning construction, but then changed the plan once residents were moved into temporary homes.
The city said the alleged destructive actions of Wanza and his associates had left it no choice but to interdict them in the interest of housing delivery in the area, and that problems with construction were because city officials were blocked when trying to finish their work.
“We will not allow anyone to take the law into their hands,” said Malatsi. “We will use every available legal measure to remove any obstacle that stands in the way of the city’s delivery programme.”
Marching for free basic and affordable airtime and data, 12 June from 9h00 in Cape Town.
R2K 7 June 2013
Dear Comrades & Friends,
An estimated 82.9% of people living in SA have a cell phone that can enable them to access information, enjoy freedom of expression – and organise for social justice as active citizens. Yet the high cost of airtime and data undermines the democratising potential of the mobile network. The Right2Know is launching a campaign to challenge the profiteering of cell phone companies and government’s failure to effectively regulate the cost of communication.
On Wednesday 12 June, the Right2Know Campaign will be marching in Cape Town to call for free basic and affordable telecommunications. We will hand memorandums to Vodacom, MTN, the independent communications regulator (ICASA) and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communication to advance our right to communicate.
March details are as follows and the march pamphlet is attached:
DATE: Wednesday 12 June 2013
TIME: 9h00 to 13h00
STARTING: (Heerengracht street, opposite the CTICC, Cape Town)
SHOW SUPPORT: SMS “support” with your name & province or send a please-call-me to 076 728 7009.
If you would like support in arranging transport to the march please contact R2K’s Provincial Organiser, Nkwame Cedile on 021 447 1000 or 060 478 7563.
For more information on this campaign please visit www.r2k.org.za/right2call
Please share this information widely in your networks.
We hope we will see you and your comrades on the march.
for R2K Western Cape
R2K National Coordinator
NEW CELL 0849930591
Roodepoort residents protest after power cables damage homes
SABC 5 June 2013
Residents of Roodepoort have embarked on a protest after some shacks were burned by collapsed electricity cables. (SABC)
Residents of the Matholesville informal settlement in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, have embarked on protest action. This comes after 10 families were displaced after electricity cables that fell on their shacks and destroyed them.
The protest started early this morning. The police's Vincent Mashiteng says they are closely monitoring the situation.
"We are monitoring the situation. The protest broke out as a result of power cables that fell onto of the shacks and 10 shacks were burned. I can confirm now that no one has been injured and we are here and still monitoring the situation," says Mashiteng.
On Tuesday, a three-year-old girl was electrocuted at the Msholozi informal settlement near White River in Mpumalanga after handling illegally connected electricity cables.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Selvy Mohlala says the girl was playing outside her home. She was killed when she touched the live wires. Police are investigating.
Protesters block the The N2
Look Local 5 June 2013
The N2 near Boboyi was closed for several hours ...show more this morning. ...show less
The community is still not happy.
A meeting between Inkosi Sazi Ndwalene, the construction company and police is under way at present. However, according to sources, the community is still unhappy and plans to continue its protest by blocking the N2 at Boboyi again today. Motorists are advised to use an alternative route. Police are monitoring the situation closely.
Update: June 4, 4.30pm
SOME 300 people from Boboyi, many armed with sticks, stones and knobkerries, converged this morning on the N2 Main Harding Road at the intersection leading to Nobamba High School. The community was unhappy with the ratio of locals to outsiders being employed for the road maintenance and repair project on the N2.
At about 6am, officers from the Port Shepstone SAPS Public Order Police (POP), Visible Policing Unit, Hibiscus Coast Protection Services, the fire department and Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) were deployed to the scene.
“The protesters blockaded the road, which is currently under repair, with burning tyres and signposts at two points, effectively preventing vehicles from passing through,” said police spokesman, Captain Vincent Pandarum. “The atmosphere was tense as the protesters chanted, sang and toyi-toyied in protest against the construction company using labour that was not locally sourced.
“Police managed to control the crowd while fire fighters doused the flames. The road was then cleared and traffic was allowed to flow smoothly after around two hours. No reports of any damage to vehicles or injuries to any persons were received,” said Capt Pandarum. Police patrols continue in the area to ensure that there are no further incidents. A meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) June 5, to resolve the matter.
TRAFFIC came to a standstill on the N2 near Boboyi earlier this morning when the road was blocked by protesters who burned tyres on the roadway. Initial reports suggest the community’s anger that people from outside the area are being employed to work on the road sparked the protest. The road is now open and the protesters are in discussion with the local chief in an effort to resolve the problem.
Roodepoort protest over councillor
News24 5 June 2013
Johannesburg - Residents of Matholesville informal settlement in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, are protesting against their ward councillor Sebaelo Ntseana, Johannesburg metro police said on Wednesday.
"They are protesting because they want their councillor out," spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said.
She said metro police and the SA Police Service (Saps) were on the scene and trying to get the councillor out of the settlement safely.
Protesters burnt tyres and threw stones on Randfontein Road in Roodepoort earlier on Wednesday morning.
Traffic on the road had been cleared.
Tshwane cops in hot water over strike
IOL News 3 June 2013
Pretoria - Disciplinary procedures have been instituted against Tshwane metro police members who took part in an unprotected strike, an official said on Monday.
Spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said 100 police officers appeared at the initial disciplinary hearing last week.
“Disciplinary measures are being taken against the following officials: members who booked sick leave, yet participated in the strike; management officials who were involved in the strike; and, members who marched to Isivuno Building (Tshwane municipal offices).”
Mahamba said the corrective action was also targeting officers who did not obey a court order urging them to return to work.
The law-enforcement officers downed tools on Workers' Day, after the city introduced a new shift system.
Last month, Tshwane introduced eight-hour shifts for officers, citing international norms and the effectiveness of its members.
The new slots are made up of three eight-hour shifts: 5am to 1pm, 1pm to 9pm, and a night shift from 9pm to 5am.
On May 3, the Johannesburg Labour Court granted Tshwane metro police an order prohibiting its workers from taking part in the illegal strike.
Police management had argued in their papers that the strike was illegal as there was no stipulated 48-hour notice served on the municipality of the intention to embark on a strike.
Following the court order, Tshwane metro police chief Steven Ngobeni issued an ultimatum to all striking officers to return to work by May 6.
The disciplinary hearing will resume on June 6 and 7. - Sapa
Workers to march on Emfuleni Municipality
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 4 June 2013
The South African Municipal Workers Union in the Greater Vaal region, Gauteng province, will be marching on the Emfuleni Municipality today at 1:00pm, to deliver a memorandum of demands to the Executive of the Municipality.
Workers of this Municipality are unhappy with the way in which the management of the Emfuleni Municipality undermines collective bargaining processes, the Local Labour Forum and the Union in general.
As a result of the above, workers are calling for the resignation of the Municipal Manager of this Municipality, the Municipal Manager has failed to act on the above and has also acted leniently with managers who are not performing as expected.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU
National Media and Publicity Officer
Office: 011-492 2835.
Facebook = http://www.facebook.com/pages/SAMWU/
Twitter = @SAMWUnion
Protest over doctor’s murder
Murray Williams 3 June 2013
Cape Town - Shortly before the court proceedings began, a group of about 60 nurses, doctors and hospital staff arrived at the Somerset West Magistrate’s court bearing flowers and holding candles in silent protest against Stellenbosch University professor Louis Heyns’s murder.
After a few minutes, they were ordered to move away from the court entrance and assembled across the road outside a medical practice, singing softly as they protected their candles flames against the bitterly cold north-westerly wind.
One woman, Sanie Pekeur, a sister at Melomed Hospital said: “I worked with him for a very long time. He was very kind, a real people’s person - I have no more words.”
Many in the group wept openly.
At around 10am, well-known defence attorney William Booth arrived at the court - hired by the family of the owner of the so-called “chop shop” in Malmesbury where Heynes’s car was found.
Juan Liedeman, contrary to previous reports, did not face murder charges, according to information from sources at the court.
Shortly before 9am, the younger of the two brothers who face murder charges, arrived in a police double-cab bakkie.
As they approached the court, he lay down on the back seat to hide his face from the waiting media scrum.
The vehicle was driven into the secure parking lot and he was taken into the back end of the courtroom by investigating officers.
The older brother arrived separately.
While the court proceedings got under way, the nurses went to visit the site of the shallow grave at the Strand beachfront, where Heyns’s body was found, to lay wreaths.
Faeces thrown at Zille bus
IOL News 4 June 2013
Protesters cause a stink at Zille’s office
Human waste dumped at legislature
Cape Town - A group of people in Khayelitsha threw human waste at a bus on which Western Cape premier Helen Zille and others had travelled to a green economy event on Tuesday, her spokesman said.
During the Western Cape government event for the “110 percent green” campaign, some ANC Youth League members started protesting outside, said spokesman Zak Mbhele.
He said they threw faeces at the bus and some cars outside the venue.
“Police that were stationed around the venue fired tear gas to disperse the mob.”
Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said two men, aged 23 and 26, were arrested for public violence and would appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Regional ANCYL chairman Khaya Yozi said he was not aware of the involvement of any of its members.
“We approve and give notice ahead (of) any programmes. When we are embarking on a programme, we call media and all media houses and let them know about a protest or march. We did not organise this,” he said.
On Monday, two men dumped human waste on the steps of the Western Cape legislature in a protest about portable toilets.
ANC councillor and youth league member Loyiso Nkohla, and former ANC councillor and banned league member Andile Lili told The Cape Argus it was a “warning” of things to come.
“We will return with thousands of these bucket toilets next week and empty them around the legislature building,” Lili was quoted as saying.
“We were ready to be arrested and will die for this.”
Mbhele said at the time that criminal charges would be laid. He accused the ANCYL of using “ungovernable tactics” ahead of next year's national elections.
The ANCYL denied the accusations on Monday. Its regional secretary Mfuzo Zenzile said the party had held no meeting or protest which could have resulted in its members being at the legislature building.
“If there are individual members of the ANC who performed this, they did it as individuals and not as part of the ANC clique,” Zenzile said.
“If the DA wants to take them on, they can do so, but they should take them on as individuals and not as part of the ANC clique.”
ANCYL national spokesman Bandile Masuku condemned the Western Cape legislature incident.
“This protest action is disgusting and despicable to say the least. We believe the group could have opted for a decent, yet effective form of protest action,” he said on Tuesday.
“The ANCYL commits itself to bolster the ANC's drive to win back the Western Cape from 1/8the 3/8 DA. We will do this using our tried, tested, decent, and effective methods to raise the grievances of the poor without opting to vandalism.”
He said the matter was being investigated and it was confirming the identities of those responsible.
Last month, the Cape High Court granted the City of Cape Town an interdict against 89 former employees of toilet service company Sannicare, and seven people associated with the ANCYL.
Sannicare janitors, who were responsible for cleaning communal toilets, blocked a part of the N2 highway with burning tyres, and dumped faeces on the road. They were protesting against being dismissed. - Sapa
Faeces dumped at W Cape legislature
News 24 4 June 2013
Johannesburg - Human waste was dumped on the steps of the Western Cape legislature on Monday, Premier Helen Zille's office said.
The culprits were being sought, said her spokesperson, Zak Mbhele.
"This afternoon's incident, in which the human waste contents of porta-loos were spilled on the steps of the legislature building, is absolutely disgusting," he said.
"We are analysing camera footage to identify the culprits who, according to witnesses, are allegedly ANC Youth League members."
Mbhele said criminal charges would be laid.
He accused the ANCYL of using "ungovernable tactics" ahead of next year's national elections.
The league denied the accusations.
Its regional secretary Mfuzo Zenzile said the party had held no meeting or protest that could have resulted in its members being at the legislature building.
"If there are individual members of the ANC, who performed this, they did it as individuals and not as part of the ANC clique," Zenzile said.
"If the DA wants to take them on, they can do so, but they should take them on as individuals and not as part of the ANC clique."
Last month, the provincial high court granted the City of Cape Town an interdict against 89 former employees of toilet service company Sannicare, and seven people associated with the ANCYL.
Sannicare janitors, who were responsible for cleaning communal toilets, blocked a part of the N2 highway with burning tyres, and dumped faeces on the road. The group was dismissed.
ANCYL regional chairperson Khaya Yozi denied its members had played any part in the toilet dispute.
"These are very extreme and unfounded allegations. It's just poor of the city, when they are caught with their pants down, to blame it on someone else," he said in May.
"We are not involved in these threats or violence whatsoever."
Numsa case against City Power to be heard at the South Gauteng Court tomorrow Tuesday 4 June 2013
NUMSA 3 June 2013
The matter between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and City Power will be heard tomorrow June 4, 2013, at the South Gauteng Court, Cnr Pritchard and Von Brandis Streets, Johannesburg, Gauteng province. NUMSA is taking City Power to court over Johannesburg municipal electricity utility’s refusal to disclose information on the basis of which a R800-million tender for supply and installation of low pressure solar water geysers was awarded in May 2012.
A throng of NUMSA members drawn from plants that manufacture solar water heaters will be picketing outside the court. The picket forms part of our organizational strategy to exert pressure to the Court to compel City Power to give the organisation the records and documents in line with the Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) Act of 2000.
NUMSA’s National Treasurer MPHUMZI MAQUNGO will address the picket outside the court as stated below:
Details are as follows:
DATE: Tuesday 4 June 2013
VENUE: South Gauteng Court, Cnr Pritchard and Von Brandis Streets, Johannesburg, Gauteng province
Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.
National Spokesperson – 081 011 1137
Glover, unionists stage picket at Japan embassy
Valeska Abreu (IOL News) 5 June 2013
Hollywood actor and unionist Danny Glover pickets with Numsa members outside the Japanese embassy in solidarity with workers at the Nissan plant in Mississippi, who say they are prohibited from joining a labour union.
Pretoria - American actor and political activist Danny Glover, accompanied by members of the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa (Numsa), took to the streets of Brooklyn to protest against what they termed the abuse of employee civil rights in Mississippi at the hands of car manufacturer Nissan.
Glover and about 100 Numsa members as well as representatives of the Automobile Workers Union of America and workers at the Nissan plant in Mississippi, chanted songs outside the Japanese embassy in Baines Street, calling for workers to be allowed to establish and join a union.
“We are bringing the fight of the Mississippi workers to South Africa and the world. Workers at Nissan plants in various parts of the world are allowed to join unions, yet in Mississippi and India they are not. This is ironic, considering that America is the democratic capital of the world,” Glover said.
The actor, who has long fought for equality and civil rights, said the treatment of employees at the plant in Mississippi was disgraceful.
It was unclear why management at the Nissan plant in Mississippi was allegedly preventing workers from joining a union.
Betty Jones, who has been a technician at the plant in America for 10 years, said the workers had begun their battle to join a union in 2006.
“Those who speak openly about this are subjected to intimidation and are treated without dignity and respect,”she said.
“That we are prevented from joining a union is a direct infringement of our civil rights as American citizens.”
Jones said the aim of the protest was to submit a memorandum to the Japanese embassy so it could become aware of the injustices being suffered by workers employed by the Japanese-owned carmaker.
The memorandum was handed over to the embassy by Numsa president Cedric Gina and the Reverend Isiac Jackson, the head of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan.
“When we fought the Struggle, our brothers from (the Automobile Workers Union of America) marched in the streets of America in solidarity with us, and now we will do the same,” Gina said.
“We are fighting for the same (thing) - the recognition of unions. This is a global campaign. We will stand together because capital has globalised, but workers’ rights are often stepped on.”
Gina said the embassy would be allowed seven days to respond to the memorandum, failing which Numsa would return in force to continue the struggle on behalf of the Mississippi workers at Nissan.
Numsa members and Danny Glover to hold a picket outside the Japanese Embassy tomorrow Tuesday 4 June 2013
Numsa 3 June 2013
Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will hold a picket outside the Japanese Embassy tomorrow Tuesday June 04, 2013, 259 Baines Street, Cnr Oerder Street, Groenkloof, City of Tshwane, Gauteng province.
The picket is part of a global campaign jointly led by the Automobile Workers Union of America (UAW) and Numsa, to raise awareness about the civil rights abuses at Nissan Mississippi.
The picket will be to call on Japanese owned car manufacturer Nissan (1) to stop the anti-union bashing in Mississippi and treat workers with dignity and respect; (2) Nissan continuously denies workers in the Canton plant a fair union election; (3) Nissan has intimidated workers who are interested in having a union, even though it is their right to choose for themselves; (4) Nissan refuses to allow workers to hear both sides of the issue before making a decision; (5) Provide permanent jobs for all Nissan workers. Nissan employs a high percentage of temporary workers who for years receive less pay, limited benefits and have no job security.
The pickets will be addressed by US actor DANNY GLOVER and Numsa 2nd Deputy President CHRISTINE OLIVIER. The details are as follows:
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2013
VENUE: Japanese Embassy, 259 Baines Street, (Cnr Frans Oerder Street), Groenkloof, City of Tshwane, Gauteng province
Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.
National Spokesperson – 081 011 1137
COSATU NW marches to Department of Labour
Cosatu 29 May 2013
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West province will be marching to the Department of Labour to demand protection for the workers in the province.
COSATU have been informed by its affiliate SATAWU and FAWU that there are a number of violations of the labour laws in the security and cleaning sectors and farmers in the province, which amongst others include unfair discrimination, violation of the basic condition of employment act and racism.
COSATU cannot allow this kind of conduct to continue in any workplace in the province without it being challenged, and that those who are implicated being prosecuted. Workers get injured during working hours with no action taken.
COSATU will also demand a full implementation of the farm workers’ sectoral determination as pronounced by the Minister of Labour in January 2013. COSATU has now been informed by FAWU that some farmers are planning to dismiss or retrench workers as they do not want to implement this sectoral determination.
COSATU will also demand amnesty on all the late applications of the injury on duty cases submitted to the Department of Labour, in particular where it affects the farm workers, as some did not know the procedure to apply for this compensation.
The march will take place on the 31 May 2013 starting from the Crossing Mall in Mafikeng to the Department of Labour Provincial Office in Mafikeng and the march will start at 09h00. The memorandum will be handed over at 13h00.
COSATU calls on all the workers in the province to come and join this march as the issues that will be raised affect all the workers in all the sectors.
The memorandums will be also handed over to the premier and the NPA as well as labour.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, secretary Solly Phetoe 
Cosatu’s e-tolling protest goes ahead
IOL News 31 May 2013
The Congress of South African Trade Unions plans to proceed with its go-slow against e-tolling on Friday morning.
Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will stage a drive-slow protest against e-tolling in Ekurhuleni on Friday.
The Johannesburg High Court granted Cosatu an urgent interdict on Thursday allowing it to continue with the protest.
Cosatu went to court after the Ekurhuleni municipality and the police denied its request to protest.
Last Friday, a similar protest in Johannesburg had to be cancelled after the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court dismissed Cosatu's application to protest on the city's highways.
The Ekurhuleni protest would begin at Mbhoro Church, next to Huntersfield Stadium in Masakhane Street, at 7.30am on Friday.
Traffic on Heidelberg Road, the N3, N12, R24 and the R21 would be affected.
Last week, the National Council of Provinces passed the Transport and Related Matters Amendment Bill, paving the way for e-tolling to come into effect. - Sapa
Foreigners’ shops looted in Kroonstad
IOL News 30 May 2013
Kroonstad - Angry residents have looted foreign-owned shops in Maokeng, Kroonstad, in the Free State, police said on Thursday.
“The community got angry. They wanted to protest over services they got from the municipality,” Sergeant Thabo Litabe said.
“They then decided to go to the foreigners' shops and looted them.”
He said no arrests had been made, but a case of public violence had been opened.
Police were not sure how many shops had been looted, because no shop owners had come forward yet.
Kroonstad is the fourth area hit by a spate of violence against foreigners. The others are Port Elizabeth, Diepsloot and the Vaal.
A Somali man was stabbed to death in Greenfields, Port Elizabeth, on Thursday Ä the third murder in the area this week.
Two men were beaten to death on Tuesday after it was alleged they had robbed a spaza shop.
The violence started after community leaders were arrested for the murder. It spilled over into other areas in the north of Port Elizabeth.
Residents looted foreign-owned shops, barricaded roads and burnt tyres.
Violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, started on Sunday when Somalian Bishar Isaack, 39, allegedly shot dead two Zimbabweans outside his shop when they tried to rob him.
He was arrested and appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. The case was postponed to June 4, when he was expected to bring a formal bail application.
Gauteng police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said residents later stoned and looted the shop, and looted several other shops.
In the Vaal, police received around 100 complaints of looting and vandalism of shops belonging to foreigners and South Africans, following service delivery protests in the area last week.
Scores of people were arrested for the attacks in both areas. Dlamini said Diepsloot was quiet on Thursday following the violence. Police deployed in the area would remain there until satisfied the situation had returned to normal, he said. - Sapa
PE cops arrest 21 for violence
IOL News 30 May 2013
Port Elizabeth - Twenty-one people have been arrested for public violence in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.
“(We are issuing) a warning to protesters that we will continue to arrest any person breaking the law,” said Mount Road cluster commander Maj-Gen Dawie Rabie.
“We also call on community leaders and civic structures to assist in resolving the grievances of the protesters,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, police were patrolling informal settlements in the northern part of Port Elizabeth after two days of unrest.
The unrest was sparked by the murders of two men and the arrests of community leaders, said Captain Stanley Jarvis.
On Tuesday, police arrested three community leaders from Greenfields and Vastrap for the murders of two men accused of robbing a spaza shop.
After the arrests, residents blockaded roads with rocks, poles, bushes, bricks, and burning tyres, said Jarvis.
Police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
Twelve people - five minors and seven adults - were arrested. They appeared in court on Wednesday and were released on a warning.
On Wednesday, violence flared up in Cleary Park and Timothy Valley.
Jarvis said this was a spill-over from Greenfields and Vastrap.
Ten people were arrested in Cleary Park for public violence after looting foreign-owned shops. They blockaded roads, burnt tyres and threw stones at passing vehicles.
He said on Wednesday that the crowd became “very aggressive” and police again used rubber bullets and stun grenades.
Timothy Valley residents also looted shops and barricaded roads. Police helped Somalian shop owners pack their goods and escorted them to places of safety. Jarvis said most residents had returned to their homes on Thursday.
“Here and there, there are incidents of people still thinking of looting... (but) this is being addressed by police,” he said.
A Somali man was stabbed to death in Greenfields, Port Elizabeth, on Thursday.
He was stabbed in the head, chest and abdomen, said Jarvis.
“It is alleged that a group of people went to the Somalian's residence and there was a confrontation between them and the Somalian.”
The man was taken to hospital, where he died. The motive for the attack was not yet known and no arrests had been made.
Jarvis said the attack was not linked to the protests in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth. A case of murder and public violence had been opened.
The African National Congress and its alliance partner the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) has condemned the recent spate of violence against foreigners.
“The xenophobic violence incidents of 2008 are a lesson all of us must constantly draw from to foster unity and cohesion amongst our communities,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
He said the police needed to be stern and to act decisively against those who were involved in acts of vandalism, intimidation and any other public disorder.
Cosatu said it was opposed to any hostility to people of a different race or nationality.
It warned that unemployment would make the situation worse.
“These economic refugees compete with the millions of unemployed South Africans for too few jobs,” it said in a statement.
“In any society, mass unemployment... creates conditions for xenophobic attacks.”
Earlier on Thursday, angry residents looted foreign-owned shops in Maokeng, Kroonstad. No arrests had been made.
Violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, started on Sunday, when Somalian Bishar Isaack, 39, allegedly shot dead two Zimbabweans outside his shop when they tried to rob him.
Gauteng police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said residents later stoned and looted the shop, and looted several other shops.
In the Vaal, police received around 100 complaints of looting and vandalism of shops belonging to foreigners and South Africans, following service delivery protests in the area last week.
Scores of people were arrested for the attacks in both areas. Dlamini said Diepsloot was quiet on Thursday following the violence. Police deployed in the area would remain there until satisfied the situation had returned to normal, he said. - Sapa
Strikes hit chrome mines
Yahoo News 30 May 2013
Up to 1500 workers embarked on an unprotected strike at three of Glencore Xstrata’s chrome mines, bringing operations to a standstill.
According to Fin24, the workers, who are largely members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, stopped working after an employee claimed that he was assaulted by a shift supervisor.
Glencore Xstrata, which has already dismissed 200 employees who failed to appear for work after numerous ultimatums, has threatened further dismissals.
The strike comes at a time when South Africa’s mining industry is already under a lot of pressure. The rapid weakening of the country’s currency has, for the most part, been attributed to unrest in the sector. Fin24 reported that South Africa is home to approximately 75 percent of the world’s chromite reserves.
Popcru members protest in Bloemfontein
IOL News 29 May 2013
Bloemfontein - A group of Popcru members gathered in front of the Free State police headquarters in Bloemfontein on Wednesday to protest against salary structures.
Traffic officers closed off the street in front of the building and police were keeping watch.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) members were expected to hand a memorandum to Free State provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla Sithole.
Earlier, the protesters marched through Bloemfontein's CBD, disrupting traffic. - Sapa
KZN MEC condemns violent protest
IOL News 29 May 2013
Durban - KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube has condemned a violent protest in the Mombeni area, eShowe.
“While we acknowledge the right to protest as enshrined in the constitution of the Republic, we encourage all people of South Africa to march or protest within the confines of the law, and not destroy or damage property or infrastructure, as this is a straight criminal offence,” Dube said on Wednesday.
Department spokesman Lennox Mabaso said residents of Mombeni marched on Tuesday against Inkosi (chief) Sfiso Biyela, who was accused of fraud and corruption.
Residents of Mombeni vandalised a traditional administrative centre which served as a pension pay-out point and was used by the departments of home affairs and health, Mabaso said.
“If there is a challenge, communities should engage with all levels of government, my door as an MEC responsible for traditional leaders and municipalities is wide open, yet none of the concerned members made an effort to reach us,” Dube said.
Biyela was reportedly demanding bribes from contractors who were providing services in the Mombeni area.
No arrests were made during the march. - Sapa
Service delivery protest in Durban
IOL News 29 May 2013
Durban - Police were keeping watch in Clare Hills, Durban, on Wednesday after a service delivery protest in the morning, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
Captain Thulani Zwane said about 200 protesters gathered on Kennedy Road at 8am, blocking roads and burning tyres. The group dispersed by noon.
No arrests were made. - Sapa
Slow start to Popcru march
IOL News 29 May 2013
Cape Town/ Durban - Hundreds of members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, clad in red and yellow T-shirts, gathered in Cape Town and Durban ahead of marches over salary grades on Wednesday.
Staff were protesting over the safety and security sectoral bargaining council agreement signed in 2011, which had apparently not yet been implemented.
The agreement contains provisions related to pay level upgrades and career path planning.
At the King Dinuzulu Gardens in Durban Popcru members carried placards which read: “Away with level three salaries for 20 years,” and “Away with slavery packages”.
They were expected to march to the police provincial headquarters in Durban.
In Cape Town a crowd gathered in Keizergracht Street and waited for buses to bring in people from Paarl, Worcester, and Beaufort West.
Some blew vuvuzelas, and one carried a sign with the words: "Top management must adhere to agreement or face war. Away with low wages".
Other signs read: "Popcru rescue us from this SAPS madness", and "Why should we beg?".
At one point, the crowd sang: "Is this dog, Phiyega? She is taking our rights from us."
Riah Phiyega is the national police commissioner.
The march to the police provincial offices in Green Point was to have started at 9am.
Indications were the march could be redirected to Parliament, depending on the eventual starting time.
Congress of SA Trade Unions marshals would lead the march. - Sapa
Teen hit as police fire rubber bullets
Michael Mokoena 29 May 2013
Kagisho Langa, 13, was hit by a rubber bullet in his back on Monday evening when police opened fire with rubber bullets at residents who were protesting against the lack of service delivery in the area.
Although the protest in Ward 17 in Club 2000 started earlier in the morning, by midday the situation calmed down. It erupted again in the evening in Ward 31, another part of Club 2000.
On Tuesday Langa’s mother, Boitumelo, said she was shocked when her child arrived home crying.
“He was crying and showed me where he had been hit by the rubber bullet. I was shocked to realise that the police could do this . . . clearly it is worrying,” she said.
Langa said that he was standing with his friends in Absolom Street when the incident happened.
“We were innocently standing around chatting among ourselves and suddenly the police started shooting and people ran in all directions. I ran too but the next moment I felt an intense pain on my back... I was terrified and started crying,” Langa said.
He added that another teenager in the area was also hit by a rubber bullet in the neck.
However, efforts to locate the second teenager were futile on Tuesday as Langa and some of the residents in the area did not know where he lives.
Residents said that the shooting of rubber bullets and the injuring of the teenagers “proved that police are becoming a law unto themselves”.
“This conduct by reckless, trigger-happy cowboys in our police service shows that they lack respect for the community. The measures they use to determine a hostile situation need to be probed because we do not think that our conduct warranted them using force,” one group of residents said.
The councillor for Ward 31, Moses Nhlapo, said that although Monday evening’s protest happened in front of his house with residents burning tyres, he was not aware of teenagers being injured when the police dispersed the crowd.
“My understanding is that the police dispersed the protesters because they wanted to burn down my house,” Nhlapo said.
Northern Cape police spokesman, Lieutenant Sergio Kock, said that the police fired rubber bullets because they were under attack from the residents.
“Police officers were dispatched to Club 2000 to assist in crowd control. When the situation got volatile the police warned the crowd to disperse but instead the protesters pelted the police with stones. The police were forced to use rubber bullets,” Kock said.
He said that according to their information, no one was injured in the incident and that no reports of injuries were made to the police.
He added that they would continue to monitor the situation.
Meanwhile, residents on Tuesday said that they were not pleased by the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s failure to unblock some of the drains in the area and to remove or disinfect the sewage water that had collected at the corner of Tirisano and Edward Moeng streets.
“The municipality is continuing to disrespect us by refusing us services that we are paying for. We reported the blocked sewerage system and the sewage water that collected at the intersection weeks ago and until now they have not done anything to resolve the problem. They are provoking us,” the residents said.
Spokesman for the Sol Plaatje Municipality Sello Matsie said that all the blocked drains in the area had been attended to and that the municipality would disinfect the sewerage water that was causing a stink in the area.
“We urge the residents not to put foreign objects such as clothes and batteries, in the sewerage network because as long as this continues, we will experience these blockages,” Matsie added.
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Municipality blamed for violent protests
Michael Mokoena 28 May 2013
Kimberley - The Sol Plaatje Municipality on Monday came under attack from its councillors and community members who blamed it for violent service delivery protests in Club 2000.
Ward 31 councillor, Moses Nhlapo, said on Monday that it was the officials at the municipality who were to be blamed for the protest because they were not doing their part to fast-track service delivery to residents.
“As councillors at the municipality, we have always told the officials that their failure to provide our residents with basic services will lead to this (referring to service delivery protest).
“The issues raised by the protesting residents are valid. That is why I am supporting them and this action. The cause of all this is officials at the municipality that are not taking us serious and are not doing enough to service our people,” Nhlapo said.
He warned the officials at the municipality that if they did not improve the living conditions of the people in the area, more violent protests were on the cards.
“We must just be true to ourselves and acknowledge that the situation under which most of our people live is severe and that it has to be improved. This improvement will start with the officials at the municipality taking these concerns seriously and dealing with them head on,” Nhlapo added.
The councillor for Ward 17, Angela Amina Modise, told the protesting residents that their complaints, which included constantly blocked sewerage systems, electricity being cut off by the municipality and other such problems, could better be dealt with by the municipality and not herself as a councillor.
“We report these problems to the municipality and I am open to you. You can go to the municipality to scrutinise my reports there. I cannot do much if the officials delay in implementing issues,” Modise said.
Residents also warned the municipality and councillors that if their living conditions were not improved, Kimberley would see more violent protests.
“We will burn the city! We will resort to absolute anarchy because we have nothing to lose!
“What happened in Sasolburg will look like a picnic and police would be tempted to pull a Marikana on us because we will turn the city upside down! We are already living in a stinking horrible place! We have nothing to lose,” the residents said.
They also said that they would continue to lobby for more wards in the city to join the protest.
“We will make it impossible for the ANC to campaign for the 2014 general elections in Kimberley,” residents added.
The spokesman for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, said on Monday that the municipality would continue to work hard to deliver services.
“We will continue to engage with councillors in order to get to the bottom of the dissatisfaction in the community. We will also work hard to fast-track the delivery of services in our community.
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Popcru marchers arrive in Johannesburg
IOL News 30 May 2013
Johannesburg - More than 200 Popcru members showed up at Mary Fitzgerald Square for a protest march on Thursday.
They held up black and red posters stating “Away with apartheid salary structures”, and “We demand equal pay for work of equal value”.
The crowd began singing and dancing.
A handful of South African Police Service officers were monitoring the gathering.
Matsemela Matsemela, the Gauteng provincial secretary of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), said they were waiting for more members to arrive in buses coming from other parts of the province.
“We are waiting for the other buses; at 10am everyone will be briefed. We will be marching to the Johannesburg central police station to hand over a memorandum to provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros.”
Popcru members in all provinces, except Mpumalanga, are taking to the streets to demand that SAPS honour an agreement to change administrative staff salary grades.
Protests marches were held in various cities around the country on Wednesday.
The union said earlier this week it expected about 42 000 people employed as administrative staff at police stations and 10111 call centre operators to take part in the nationwide protests.
In Cape Town on Wednesday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) warned that all police officials would be told to strike if a salary grading agreement was not implemented.
Cosatu’s Western Cape provincial secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, told about 300 marchers that national police commissioner Riah Phiyega was not abiding by the law.
“Phiyega has a responsibility to make sure that these agreements are implemented... In this country, we have rules and we have laws. The workers must always follow the laws,” he said. - Sapa
All quiet in Diepsloot
IOL News 30 May 2013
Johannesburg - Diepsloot was quiet on Thursday following unrest and the looting of shops in the area, police said.
“The situation in Diepsloot is all quite,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.
He said on Wednesday that police deployed in the area would remain until satisfied that the situation had returned to normal.
On Monday, police arrested 45 people for public violence, housebreaking, and possession of unlicensed firearms.
The unrest started on Sunday evening after a Somali man was arrested for allegedly shooting dead two men, believed to be Zimbabweans, outside his shop.
Local residents gathered in front of the shop afterwards, threw stones, and looted the business.
Police dispersed the crowd, but other shops were then looted. Several local businessmen removed their goods and locked their shops.
Later on Sunday evening, nine people were arrested for public violence and possession of suspected stolen goods.
They appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday and the case was withdrawn. - Sapa
Over 300 in dock after shops looted
KAREN CHEN (IOL News) 28 May 2013
Johannesburg - Hundreds of people appeared in the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court on Monday over last week’s widespread looting of foreign-owned shops in Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Evaton.
As the more than 300 arrested faced charges for offences including breaking and entering, property damage and looting, Pakistani shopowner Mohammed Mojlykobitlaj was in Elandsfontein, south of Joburg, wondering what he was going to do and where he was going to move.
Mojlykobitlaj packed up the few remaining items in his shop into a bakkie and drove away on Friday morning.
On Monday morning, he attempted to return to his tuckshop in order to move the container elsewhere, but police officers in the area said it wasn’t safe for him to be there.
“They told me to come back in two weeks,” Mojlykobitlaj said.
He said police would alert him when the area had settled and it would be okay for him to return.
Mojlykobitlaj plans to move away from Orange Farm, where he had stayed for the past two years, forever.
The targeted attacks resulted in the widespread looting of tuckshops in the area.
Police said there were no reported injuries.
Spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the apparent cause was linked to mob violence carried over from a service delivery protest.
Police had yet to confirm community rumours that allege a Sebokeng man was shot by a Pakistani.
Community members, foreign shopowners and police agree that arrests might not placate the crowd of people who participated in the looting.
“It’s a lot of people, I cannot even tell you how many. When there is a break-in like that, people are walking up and down and doing funny things,” said Sergeant Simon Mofokatsane, spokesman for the Sebokeng police cluster.
Lerato Magida, who lives next to Mojlykobitlaj’s shop, said the arrests were not punishment enough for the looting.
She added that the situation currently felt calmer in Orange Farm – but despite this, Mojlykobitlaj is scared to return.
He just wants to take his container and move away.
“What must I do now? Those people in Orange Farm will kill me,” he said.
Dozens held after Diepsloot violence
IOL News 28 May 2013
A metro police car leaves an area in Diepsloot after a night of attacks on foreign national-owned shops that saw shopowners leave the area in haste. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu
Johannesburg - Forty-five people have been arrested for public violence, housebreaking, and possession of unlicensed firearms in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, police said on Tuesday.
“Thirty-eight suspects were arrested for public violence, four for possession of unlicensed firearms, and three for housebreaking and theft,” police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.
They were arrested on Monday evening and were expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
The violence started on Sunday evening when a Somali man, 39, allegedly shot and killed two Zimbabwean men outside his shop after an argument.
The man was arrested and was due to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of murder and attempted murder.
“It is alleged that the community gathered in front of the Somali's shop after the shooting incident, threw stones, and started looting,” Dlamini said.
A number of shops in the Extension Six area were looted.
Several shop owners voluntarily removed their goods and locked their shops.
On Sunday evening, nine people had been arrested for public violence and the possession of suspected stolen goods.
“(On Monday) there were several people who gathered at the scene where the shooting occurred, but it is believed most of them were onlookers,” Dlamini said.
More arrests could be expected as operations continued. - Sapa
Foreign-owned spaza shops looted
KAREN CHEN 25 May 2013
Dozens of spaza shop owners from Pakistan, Somalia and Ethiopia were attacked yesterday, their stock looted and doors ripped down. The targeted looting was widespread in Sebokeng, Orange Farm and Evaton areas south of Joburg.
Police said there were no known injuries.
The attacks began around 9pm on Thursday night in Orange Farm and Sebokeng, and at around 6pm in Evaton on Thursday. By yesterday morning, most of the shops had been emptied out, deserted with only spilt mielie-meal as a reminder of what used to fill the shelves.
Throngs of people stood outside their homes, some helping the owners who had returned to check out the damage and clear whatever remained, others waiting in fear for the next looting frenzy to begin.
Alim Dewan stood in the middle of the Orange Farm shop he worked in with his nephew. Looters appeared in their dozens and all that was left was one block of butter in the fridge, some toys hanging from the ceiling and a cat, slinking through the empty shelves.
On the floor nothing was left but a trail of mielie-meal and sugar, and some trash.
It looked like a storm had passed through and vacuumed everything out.
“Why (do) they come? I don’t know,” Dewan said. “But I must leave, there is no safety here.”
Rumours on the street alleged that a Sebokeng man was shot and murdered by a Pakistani on Wednesday, sparking the extensive attacks.
“Apparently – in quotation marks – the shooting is what started this,” a police officer said yesterday.
The Sebokeng police spokeswoman could not be reached for official comment at the time of going to press. The apparent renewal of xenophobic activity in several townships comes five years after a series of attacks that left 62 people, including 21 South Africans, dead.
The attacks, which started in early May 2008 in Alexandra, resulted in thousands leaving the country or being accommodated in transit camps.
On a dusty road in Sebokeng, the Saturday Star found the family of the man who was allegedly shot by a Pakistani on Wednesday.
He was recovering in Sebokeng Hospital. He said that he had been shot, but “felt fine” and was recovering well, but declined to comment on the incident or who shot him. He was identified by his aunt as Nkosana Tyantile.
“We don’t want them here, they are going to kill us and put us in a fridge,” a woman in the crowd yelled as a Pakistani shop-owner drove off in a truck with those goods he had left.
“This is not the first time this has happened,” Mohammed Mojlykobitlaj said, recalling a similar incident two months ago.
His store had been robbed of R2 000 and R3 000 in airtime.
But if xenophobia was on the woman in the crowd’s mind, many others spoke against her.
“No, Mohammed is a good man. When I am hungry, he gives me bread, even if I am short 20 or 30c,” Lerato Magida said. “Where are we going to get our food now? Pick n Pay is very expensive.”
She accused the looters of preferring to steal instead of finding work: “It’s all because of poverty. And now we all can’t afford food.”
Magida and other neighbours waved as Mojlykobitlaj rode off on the back of a bakkie. He waved back, not smiling.
93 held in Joburg protest
IOL News 24 May 2013
Johannesburg - More than 90 people were arrested for protest-related crimes in Evaton, Orange Farm and Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, Gauteng police said on Friday.
“More than a hundred complaints of looting and vandalism of spaza shops belonging to foreign nationals and locals have been reported,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
The 93 arrests on Thursday and Friday were for public violence, malicious damage to property and possession of suspected stolen goods.
“The number of arrests are expected to increase, as police operations are continuing in these areas.”
Service delivery protests started in Residentia on Monday and spread to surrounding areas, with some residents blocking roads with rocks.
Dlamini said it was believed that criminal elements used the opportunity provided by the barricaded roads to loot spaza shops, as they knew the police response would be delayed.
“This morning 1/8Friday 3/8 it is also suspected that they used young school children to continue with the looting.”
Several businesses were advised to close until the protests were over.
“Police sector managers, prominent members of the community and the local councillors are also continuing to engage community to establish the root cause of this criminality.”
Those arrested would appear in the Sebokeng and Vereeniging Magistrate's Courts on Monday. - Sapa
Vaal protests turn into looting spree
SHAUN SMILLIE 24 May 2013
Johannesburg - Foreigners were frantically trying to find ways of protecting their shops in Evaton and Sebokeng on Thursday night as mobs of teenage looters began moving through the two Vaal townships.
The townships had by Thursday evening entered their second day of looting, with police attempting to chase down and disperse the crowds of looters.
Foreigners caught up in the violence said at least one man had been seriously injured.
At 6pm on Thursday night, the unrest hotted up, with police patrol cars speeding through the townships saving shopkeepers and trying to prevent break-ins.
Sultan Desta and three other Ethiopians were forced to hide inside their supermarket on Boundary Road in Evaton as a mob that he believed was hundreds-strong tried to break in.
The crowd had broken through the front gate of the TS Wholesalers supermarket when police arrived and dispersed them by firing shots in the air.
When a team from The Star arrived at the supermarket, Desta was trying to decide how to protect the shop from further attack.
“There is a lot of stuff in the shop, how can we take it all out?” he asked.
On the way to the scene, the team also witnessed an attack in which several men armed with rocks chased a man into a field in Evaton.
It was unclear if this was related to the unrest in area.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the looting was a spin-off of protest delivery riots that began on Monday.
“They started blocking roads, and when they saw that police could not enter those areas, they started looting.”
He said five shops had been looted by yesterday afternoon, four of them foreigner-owned.
Five people had been arrested for possession of stolen goods.
On Milner Street in Evaton, a crowd was seen gathering opposite a shop.
Looters tried to build barricades of rocks and fencing on Champ Road, but were chased away by police.
The officers responding were armed with pistols and instructed shops that were still open to close.
Through the evening, the crowds gathered and then dispersed as police arrived in vans.
Dlamini said the police stationed at Evaton and Sebokeng were dealing with the unrest and no specialised units had been deployed.
Close to Champ Road, a group of about a dozen Somalis were emptying out the Bilal Supermarket, under the protection of police.
The produce was placed into two bakkies and a refrigerated truck.
An hour earlier, a crowd had tried to break into the shop.
They stood and watched from close by.
Abdul Mohamud said three shops had been robbed and that a Somalian had been badly beaten up. He was taken to Sebokeng Hospital.
“Some of the people who came had guns,” he said.
Orange Farm: Feeding the xenophobia beast
Sarah Evans 27 May 2013
Orange Farm and Sebokeng are brimming with so-called xenophobic violence but the attacks are inseparable from other issues stalking these communities.
The Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp) organised a protest in Orange Farm against proposed evictions for illegal RDP owners. (Orange Farm, Catalina Farias, M&G)
Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, and the neighbouring Sebokeng informal settlement, are brimming with tension following so-called xenophobic attacks on foreign shop owners on Friday but the attacks are inseparable from a plethora of issues stalking these communities.
Chief among these is the competition for scarce resources, such as RDP houses and customers for informal traders, who must rely on a largely unemployed community for income.
On Friday, the recently launched Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp) organised a protest in Orange Farm against proposed evictions for illegal RDP owners. The protest related to attempts by local community members to occupy newly-built RDP houses which they claim have been sold – illegally. Wasp alleges that those who have moved in have been threatened with eviction, and wants the allocation of RDP houses to start afresh.
The looting and pillaging that followed at the foreign-owned shops was unrelated to Wasp's activity. But the driving out of foreign shop owners in the area overshadowed that protest by far.
The events were almost identical to those of February 2010 when school children were involved in the looting of foreign-owned shops in Orange Farm, dwarfing another service delivery protest.
This time around, the unrelated protest was organised by Wasp, which denies having anything to do with the looting. But the party does recognise that Orange Farm is a community competing for scarce resources, and in 2010 – as in 2013 – it was in places such as Orange Farm where xenophobia was left untreated and to fester.
Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the events began on Monday with a service delivery protest outside Sebokeng, a settlement that falls just short of the Gauteng border. Roads were blocked and the protest quickly spread to neighbouring Evaton and Orange Farm, about 20 minutes away.
Police suspect the roads were blocked in an attempt to prevent officers from accessing the areas where the looting took place.
By Thursday, the police advised foreigners in the area to leave and even helped some of them to pack up their shops and homes. (They have not returned to the area.)
Police also received information that schools would be closed on Friday so that children could participate in the protest.
That afternoon, shops in Sebokeng were looted and their foreign owners were run out of town. The looting soon crossed the Gauteng border and spread to Orange Farm where over 100 people were arrested. They will appear in court this week.
The incident had headlines screaming comparisons to the 2008 xenophobic violence, which left over 60 people dead and thousands displaced.
Despite Friday's events taking on a blatantly xenophobic tone, Gauteng police cannot call them as such. One reason for this is that the shop owners were not physically attacked – they were merely chased away. Another is that the police simply don't know enough.
Dlamini said a local councillor met with looters on Friday evening to gauge the reasons behind the looting but the outcome was not relayed to the police – and the police did not inquire about it.
It was widely reported that the looting was inspired by the death of a Sebokeng resident, allegedly at the hands of a Pakistani national.
Dlamini said the police had no intelligence to this effect. There were no recent murders in the area, he said, and no Pakistanis recently became murder suspects.
Young people still lingering in the streets after the looters were arrested were unwilling to talk to the media, save to say that all Pakistanis were "rotten potatoes".
And then one young man let slip that, throughout the day, a rumour spread that the looting was instigated by a local shop owner who was unable to compete with the foreign shops' lower prices. At least, these were the speculations of a few teenagers, who stole the remaining merchandise inside the shops after the looting stopped.
The competition – for customers and the resources they spend on these informal traders' wares – extends to the competition for houses.
Sebokeng and Orange Farm were born out of apartheid's attempts to create settlements for the victims of its forced removals policies. Many residents remain homeless and allegations have surfaced that they are being forced to pay for RDP houses by corrupted local officials.
About two weeks ago, reports emerged that residents, frustrated by this, broke the locks of newly-built RDP houses and moved in.
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille visited Orange Farm that day. She proposed her party's own solutions to the area's multitude of problems: chief among them was the promise that the party would implement the youth wage subsidy if elected in 2014.
The City of Johannesburg said progress was made at Orange Farm and Sebokeng, with an ICT hub and a mall established at both settlements. Houses have been built but hundreds of people still live in shacks, their names gathering dust on RDP waiting lists.
With jobs in the Johannesburg city centre more than 40km away, informal entrepreneurs thrive while others are left to look for work on the surrounding farms or in the mines.
Dlamini said the police are treating Friday's incident as criminal for now and they were not working with other governmental bodies to deal with the underlying causes. The only inter-state intervention taking place at the moment is an attempt by the police to assist a local councillor in arranging a place for the foreigners to stay at a local community hall.
Evidence of danger
The shop owners spent Friday night sleeping outside the local police station; broken windows in their ransacked shops were evidence of the danger they faced earlier that day.
For Wasp, the situation is not directly linked to the 2008 violence. But the recipe for xenophobic attacks is certainly there.
Wasp spokesperson Mamatlwe Sebei said that although the incident last week should not be seen as xenophobia, the current housing dilemma in the area would continue to create the right conditions for xenophobia to breed.
"Some of these RDP houses are owned by foreigners while some locals have been on the waiting list for years. It's a policy that Wasp opposes because we need to fight against all xenophobic tendencies in the working class," Sebei said.
At Orange Farm on Friday morning, the party joined in a protest around mooted plans for the eviction of residents who occupied RDP houses. Residents said government built around 1 000 RDP houses but that many of these were illegally sold to those who could afford to buy them and that their rightful owners were prevented from moving in.
About 200 of these houses are apparently illegally occupied. Residents have refused to vacate the houses unless the process is started afresh and the houses are transparently and fairly allocated.
Sebei said: "The government is doing nothing about the fact that those houses have been sold by the officials at the City of Johannesburg. All we hear is the typical political rhetoric, that the law must take its course – which basically means inaction on government's part."
Sebei said the competition for scarce resources contributes to a climate where the have-nots are suspicious of the haves – especially when the latter are foreigners.
"When people are desperate and surrounded by crushing poverty and when they are told there are only a few houses for so many – only a few jobs – there is scarcity of resources created by capitalism and the liberal programmes of the government. Under these conditions, people are willing to believe lies spread about their 'competitors'– in this case, foreign nationals working in the area," he said.
For Sebei, community struggle is an essential pillar of the resistance to capitalism. Wasp wants a unified working class and says the labour unrest in 2012 actually showed that this was possible.
"Think about what happened in the mines in 2012: there are hundreds of foreign workers underground but we did not see xenophobic attacks there. It's an example of solidarity of the working class in the best traditions of the struggle against apartheid," he said.
The City of Johannesburg responded late on Sunday night.
Member of the City of Johannesburg's mayoral committee on health and social development, Nonceba Molwele said the city condemned the looting and cautioned against labelling the attacks as xenophobic.
"Our initial analysis with Orange Farm residents disagrees with this perception. Communities largely blamed youth which acted in a 'not so cool' delinquent way. More hard work must be done to root out ignorance and all other forms of discrimination against fellow residents at Orange Farm and in general, citywide," he said.
Read the City's full response to the M&G here.
A previous version of this article may have led to the assumption that the Wasp protest lead to looting. This is in fact incorrect.
E-toll protesters disperse
IOL News 24 May 2013
Johannesburg - A group of protesters who had gathered outside Cosatu headquarters on Friday morning dispersed after the march against e-tolls was cancelled.
The group, clad in Congress of SA Trade Unions colours, had been singing anti-e-toll slogans outside the offices throughout the morning.
They marched up and down the adjacent Simmonds Street under the watchful eye of members of the Johannesburg metro police, the SA Police Service, and provincial traffic officials.
The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday dismissed Cosatu's application to embark on a drive-slow protest on the city's highways.
Cosatu approached the court after metro police refused it permission for the protest.
Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile told the protesters that the campaign against e-tolls in the province would intensify.
“We respect the law, but if other people are going to manipulate it, then we will defy (it).”
He accused the JMPD of “deliberately” halting the march by not granting permission to do so.
The union federation is set to meet with Ekhuruleni Metro officials at 3pm today to discuss another anti-e-toll protest planned for March 31 at the metro, said Dakile. - Sapa
E-toll protesters take to the streets
IOL News 24 May 2013
Johannesburg - A group of protesters at Cosatu's Johannesburg headquaters took to marching down an adjacent street on Friday morning as they waited for feedback from officials.
The group of around 50 sang anti-e-toll slogans and marched up and down Simmonds Street in Braamfontein.
Dressed in red Cosatu attire they danced in a circle, singing in Zulu: “What you are doing is wrong”. One man held a poster reading “Bring back freeway”.
Congress of SA Trade Unions Gauteng chairman Phutas Tseki told the group at the entrance of Cosatu House that all organisations involved would meet to discuss the court papers they received on Thursday. Tseki said they would brief the media and the public afterwards.
Members of the Johannesburg metro police, the SA Police Service and provincial traffic officials kept a watchful eye.
Tseki was expected to brief the protesters soon.
The trade union federation was deciding whether to go ahead with a drive-slow protest on the city's highways. The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday dismissed its application to do so. Cosatu approached the court after metro police refused it permission. - Sapa
Cape Town mayor gets shouted out
Yolisa Tswanya and Anél Lewis 29 May 2013
Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille was forced to leave the stage of a public meeting in Philippi on Tuesday night when a chanting crowd brandished chairs and refused to let anyone speak.
They were angry their ward councillor was not present and accused the mayor of not inviting him.
The meeting was the first of a series organised by the City of Cape Town in a campaign to “know your community, know your contractor”, against a background of intensifying service delivery protests.
Before the meeting De Lille said she was “not expecting it to be easy”, expecting to hear complaints about basic services – especially sanitation and solid waste – but in the end she did not get a public word in edgeways.
As soon as the crowd in the hall of Bongolethu Primary School in Brown’s Farm heard that their councillor, Thembinkosi Pupa, would not be present, they rose, began singing Struggle songs and refused to listen to anything said from the stage, where De Lille and other councillors were sitting.
They also tore up pamphlets which explained the purpose of the meeting and starting stacking chairs as if packing up.
As soon as the crowd heard that their councillor, Thembinkosi Pupa, would not be present, they rose, began singing Struggle songs and refused to listen to anything said from the stage. Picture: David Ritchie
After five to 10 minutes of mayhem, De Lille left.
Some residents claimed Pupa, an ANC councillor, had not been invited on purpose, but De Lille said this was not true.
She told the Cape Argus: “The councillor was invited, his name and all his contact details are even at the back of the pamphlet.
“I expected it to turn out the way it did, you can see Pupa instigated the whole issue.”
De Lille said she felt sorry for elderly people who turned up to the meeting to “engage”.
“We wanted to show them how contractors that work for the city work so the community can assist the city in service delivery.”
Outside the hall there was a tense moment when DA councillor Nceba Hinana was trying to explain the situation to the Cape Argus, and a group of ANC Youth League members approached, shouting at Hinana.
A policeman arrived and told the ANCYL members to leave.
Loyiso Mdini, chairman of the ANCYL in Philippi, said the DA was only there to “drive their agenda”.
Nceba Tshandana said they were not there to listen to the “DA’s lies.”
Teenage Mtiyane said: “The councillor is a resident and this was a community meeting, he didn’t need to be personally invited to be here.”
The council has spent almost R14 million to repair infrastructure destroyed by vandals, often during service delivery protests, in the past financial year. And in the past two months, council staff have been attacked as they provided top-up services in informal settlements in Gugulethu.
The city has been granted an interim interdict against 89 former employers of cleaning service Sannicare CC and residents of Ward 40, who were identified as inciting violence and preventing council staff from delivering services. But the city is adamant the campaign is not a response to the recent attacks on city staff trying to service toilets in the Europe, Kanana and Boystown informal settlements.
“This is about service level agreements for all communities in Cape Town,” said De Lille. The next meeting is due to be held at the Weltevreden Community Hall in Kosovo in Philippi on June 4.
Multiracial lesson for white city enclave
IOL News 24 May 2013
Pretoria - The DA Youth came face-to-face with the community of Kleinfontein and the Vierkleur flag when they marched to the gates of the cultural community on Thursdayin protest of their “racial policies”.
About 50 members of the DA Youth gathered outside the gates of the the community south-east of Pretoria which is excusively, white, Christian and Afrikaans.
The protesters sang songs and carried posters with the phrases “Apartheid is over. Deal with it” and “One nation. One future”.
Some residents of Kleinfontein gathered at the other side of the gate with a large Vierkleur.
Just before noon, chairman of the Kleinfontein board and the community’s founder, Jan Groenewald, walked out of the gated community to meet the DA leaders.
He was accompanied by local businessman, Dannie de Beer, and communications officer, Marisa Haasbroek. He invited the leaders in for a formal meeting.
Outside, Groenewald addressed the media saying the DA should have spoken to them before embarking on a protest. “They did not speak to us about what we are all about before the protest - we heard they were coming through the media. They did not make an appointment to see us,” Groenewald said.
Once inside, Groenewald addressed the DA about the history and background of the community and what they stand for.
“We have the right to promote our own culture,” he said, adding the constitution, specifically Article 235, allowed them to live as they do.
De Beer said there is no signage excluding other races from the community and he accused the DA of jumping on the racial bandwagon. “We are focused on culture and not on race,” he said.
DA Youth leader Mbali Ntuli said they would not allow separatism as it takes the country back to apartheid.
“We achieve nothing by creating secluded areas. We want to show the residents of Kleinfontein what true diversity looks like,” she said. Groenewald warned the DA not to “impose themselves on the community”.
“The DA has a model of doing things but we have a different model. We sense intolerance on the part of the DA,” said Groenewald.
A heated discussion ensued.
Ntuli asked about the bust of Hendrik Verwoerd at the entrance to the community and Groenewald responded that he was part of the Afrikaners’ history. As the meeting ended Groenewald urged the DA not to make assumptions based on what they hear.
Ntuli afterwards described the meeting as positive.
Theunis Botha, leader of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), warned the DA to “revise their attitude” towards the people of Kleinfontein. “In a heterogeneous country where polarisation is rife, one must be extremely careful not to do things that will increase tensions with misplaced interpretations of the constitution,” Botha said.
The CDP said the constitution permitted the community the right to self-determination. “We find it unacceptable that the DA’s youth wing has responded in the way that it has by politicising a sensitive matter such as the Kleinfontein issue. Especially, accusing the community of acting unconstitutionally,” Botha said, urging the DA Youth to ensure that proper damage control is done.
Parents march for missing children
Kashiefa Ajam 25 May 2013
Johannesburg - Edna Piercey had just returned from a school camping trip. The 16-year-old excitedly detailed every part of her trip to her step-father while washing her dirty clothes that afternoon.
She then announced that she needed to go to her friend’s house to collect her school bag and that she would be back soon.
But as night fell on that October 14, in 2001, the teenager had still not returned.
Her mother, Janine Lottering, with the help of the community in Rustenburg, searched for her. She was not found.
And even now, nearly 13 years later, the anguish and fear have not left her, but the hope of finding Edna is still as strong as the day she disappeared.
Today, on International Missing Children’s Day, Lottering joins thousands of parents around the world and in South Africa to commemorate the children who found their way back home, to remember those who were victims, and those who had not yet been found.
For Lottering, though, it is a double-edged sword: not only did Edna go missing 13 years ago, her other daughter, Blanche, also disappeared, one year after Edna.
Twelve years ago Blanche vanished without a trace. She was found a few days later, brutally murdered.
Her face had been removed. There was a hole where her face used to be.
It later emerged that she had been strangled. She was just 15. No one was ever arrested.
Lottering always believed that both her daughters’ disappearances had been connected – that they had been taken by the same people. “But at least I know where Blanche is, it is my only comfort,” she said. On the 10th anniversary of Edna’s disappearance, she wrote her daughter a letter.
It read: “It has been 10 very long years since I have physically seen your beautiful face, heard your soft voice and felt your warm embrace. I miss you so much and crave your presence.
“The day you went missing and every day after is intense sadness and overwhelming emptiness for us.
“It is like violent surgery from within, without anaesthetic… but I am hanging in there, you will always be a part of my life no matter what.
“I will fight for you till I take my last breath, this is a promise, this is my duty.”
Today, Lottering continues to be involved with organisations, like Missing Children SA, in the hope that her little girl is still alive.
But for Refiloe Enele, 23, the anguish is still fresh.
Just hours after she stepped off a bus from Cape Town with her one-year-old son, Shabil, her nightmare began.
Enele met a woman named Busisiwe on the bus. Busiswe bombarded the young mother with questions about her son – how old he was, what he ate and what nappies he wore.
When they arrived in Joburg, Busisiwe offered to look after the baby while Enele had her eyelashes done at a hair salon.
But when Enele had finished, the woman had vanished with her baby boy. Shabil has been missing since April 30.
This week, police released a picture taken from CCTV footage of Busisiwe and have asked anyone who has seen the woman to contact the investigating officer, Sergeant Johannes Motshana, at 072 999 8959 or call Crime Stop at 0860 010 111.
Mob beats man to death
IOL News 20 May 2013
Elliotdale - A crowd has beaten a man to death in Ngoma, Elliotdale, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.
Major Zamukulungisa Jozana said a woman was sleeping in her home on Sunday night when a man came to her door demanding money. The woman screamed and residents came to her aid.
They beat the man severely, then took him to a clinic, where he died.
Elliotdale police were investigating a case of murder. No one had been arrested by Monday afternoon. - Sapa
Two killed in mob justice
IOL News 21 May 2013
Wonderkop, North West - Two men have been killed in an apparent mob justice attack at the Selokong informal settlement in Wonderkop, Marikana, North West police said on Tuesday.
Around 11pm on Monday a crowd of residents accused the two men of committing theft and other crimes in the area, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.
Police arrived to find one man dead and another badly burnt, but still alive.
“The deceased's clothes were burnt and he was allegedly set alight with tyres,” Ngubane said.
The second man was taken to hospital, where he died on Tuesday morning.
Ten people were arrested in connection with the crime on Monday night. They would appear in the Marikana Periodical Court on Wednesday on charges of arson and murder.
Ngubane said the killings were unrelated to issues connected with Lomin's Marikana mine, where 44 people were killed in strike-related violence in August. - Sapa
Man stoned for alleged murder
IOL News 25 May 2013
Mahikeng - A man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death was killed by an angry mob in Lomanyaneng near Mahikeng on Saturday, North West police said.
Captain Pelonomi Makau said the 24-year-old man allegedly stabbed his girlfriend in the chest with a knife at around 9am on Saturday.
She died on the scene.
The man ran away but community members chased him and brought him back to where the woman was killed. He was then stoned to death.
No arrests have been made and police were investigating the two murder cases. - Sapa
Protest over principal’s return
Ilse Fredericks (IOL News) 29 May 2013
Cape Town - Vukukhanya Primary School in Gugulethu was closed for a second day on Wednesday as protests over the return of the principal continued.
Tyres and rubbish were burnt and buckets of human waste were emptied in front of the school gates.
There was a strong police presence.
The protests started yesterday after principal Nontsikelelo Seabe’s return to school on Monday. She had been working at the district office since February while officials investigated allegations concerning her.
According to the Western Cape Education Department, the investigation found there were no grounds to prevent the principal from taking up her post.
However, parent Zukile Siyo described Seabe as “a dictator”. Other complaints against her included that she had stopped several projects at the school and had chased a teacher away.
Officials arrived at the school this morning but some parents said they were outraged because one of the officials only spoke to a few parents and not the whole group. More tyres and other rubbish were thrown on to the fire after the officials left and parents and children toyi-toyied outside gates.
Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell said yesterday an investigation had not found any reasons why the principal should not continue in her job.
He said officials had tried to ensure Seabe’s return to the school in March, and again, on Monday but she had been prevented from doing so.
“Officials have explained the outcome of the investigation to the school governing body and teachers, and have developed an intervention to facilitate her return,” he said. “Our Safe Schools division asked police to maintain a presence. Officials will continue to discuss the issues concerned with the relevant role plyers to ensure the principal’s return.”
Danny Glover surprises marchers
IOL News 30 May 2013
Popcru marchers arrive in Johannesburg
Johannesburg - US actor and activist Danny Glover surprised Popcru members at Mary Fitzgerald Square in central Johannesburg on Thursday.
He told the crowd he supported them.
"I'm here on behalf of all the workers in Mississippi. We are all supporting each other, we must stand together. Amandla," he said.
He was accompanied by president of the United Automobile Workers' Union of America, Bob King.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA had invited the two.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) members in Gauteng are taking to the streets to demand that the SA Police Service honours an agreement to change administrative staff salary grades.
Cape protesters ignore interdict
27 May 2013
Cape Town - Protesters blocked roads near Cape Town International Airport on Monday morning despite an interim interdict banning such behaviour, the City of Cape Town said.
The Western Cape High Court last week granted the city an interdict against 89 former employees of toilet service company Sannicare and seven people associated with the ANC Youth League.
Utility services mayoral committee member Ernest Sonnenberg said on Monday that the sheriffs of the High Court or the SA Police Service were required to stop any conduct in contempt of the court order.
A group of people disrupted and blocked the roads around Borchards Quarry.
Sonnenberg said the interim interdict prohibited a certain group from interfering with service delivery, city staff, and property.
It also prevented the respondents from blocking any roads into and surrounding the N2, Borchards Quarry, NY108, the R300, Klipfontein Road, Stock Road, Symphony Way, Sheffield Road, and Vanguard Drive.
“The city views threats of violence and the disruption of basic service provision in a very serious light, and will not allow the actions of a small minority to affect the living conditions of the majority of citizens,” Sonnenberg said.
“We will continue to use whatever legal channels we can to stop this well co-ordinated attack on city staff, innocent citizens, and public property.”
Sannicare janitors responsible for cleaning communal toilets blocked a portion of the N2 highway with burning tyres last week and dumped faeces on the road, in protest against being dismissed.
Soon after, the city complained that residents who escorted city officials to neglected toilets were threatened.
ANCYL regional chairman Khaya Yozi denied last week that its members had played any part in the toilet dispute.
“These are very extreme and unfounded allegations. It's just poor of the city, when they are caught with their pants down, to blame it on someone else,” he said.
“We are not involved in these threats or violence whatsoever.” - Sapa
Delays spark a rampage
Yolisa Tswanya 24 May 2013
Cape Town - Windows were broken, property was damaged and 36 students were arrested as approximately 1 000 Northlink students went on the rampage at the Belhar campus for the second day on Thursday.
The students also stole a campus security car’s battery and spare wheel when they broke through the gates, which had been locked with handcuffs.
The Belhar campus was closed on Thursday and Friday, and will re-open on Monday when exams are being held.
Northlink students started protesting on Wednesday because of travel allowances that had not been paid, but college spokesman Ivan Swart said the students were also protesting because their first term exam results had not been released.
“The travel allowance has not been paid due to the fact that the full National Student Financial Aid Scheme allocation has not been received by Northlink College.
“However, new information has been received that the protests are no longer just related to the travel allowance, but also because the Department of Higher Education and Training has not released the first trimester results yet.”
He said the college was seeking legal advice on how to deal with the situation.
The Belhar campus was under police surveillance for most of Thursday.
Students also wreaked havoc at the Bellville taxi rank on their way to the Bellville campus, and the police arrested a total of 36 protestors for public violence.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said the police would remain on the scene to monitor the situation.
“We policed unrest situations at Northlink Colleges in Belhar and Bellville. Damage to property was caused in Belhar, however the extent is for the college to determine.”
Traut said that 22 protestors had been arrested in Bellville and 14 arrested in Belhar.
“The situation is under control, however, a police presence will remain in the area to maintain law and order.”
Engineering student Shadon Nichols referred to the protest in the riot that caused him to miss class on Thursday.
“Exams start on Monday. We could not even get that last bit of revision or help from our lecturers. This is wrong - protesting should be banned. I am disgusted to say I study alongside those ignorant beings.”
Another student, who chose not to be named, said the students protested from the Bellville campus to the Belhar campus.
“I don’t know if they were violent at the Bellville campus but they were at Belhar campus. The security was shooting at them with paintball guns so they (students) returned the message by throwing bricks.”
Protesters loot hawkers’ stalls
Neo Maditla 23 May 2013
Cape Town - Delft residents who were making their way through the city centre after a day of protesting outside the Western Cape High Court looted hawkers’ stalls.
The residents from Delft’s TRA5 had come to town to support seven community leaders against whom an urgent application had been brought in the high court. As they reached the Grand Parade many grabbed goods from hawkers’s stalls before fleeing towards Cape Town Station.
The court application had been brought by the provincial Department of Human Settlements against the leaders for disrupting construction of new houses which are intended for TRA5 residents.
The case is back in court on Thursday.
The residents were due to receive houses built using alternative building materials, but the residents said that they wanted brick houses.
Bruce Oom, spokesman for MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela, said they had applied for an interdict against the seven leaders so that the building work could be continued without disruption.
The community leaders have been accused of intimidating building workers on the site and preventing them from performing their duties.
“The department has a mandate to deliver houses to those people who need them most, and at stake are the housing needs of thousands of people due to the unhappiness of a few individuals.”
But residents argued in court that there were no grounds for an interdict since the last disruption had been on March 22 and work at the site had continued uninterrupted since the beginning of last month.
Outside the court, Zwelohlanga Ndiki, one of the respondents in the case, said residents had marched to the site after they heard that their new houses were to be built with material similar to asbestos slabs.
“There was no show house to show the people what kind of house they will be getting and the residents want an assurance that these houses will not collapse after eight years.”
Oom said the project was expected to be complete by March next year, “but due to various challenges with the project, the completion date may be extended by a few months”.
He said that houses built with alternative materials were in many ways superior to conventional brick and mortar houses.
“All houses have to meet the standards of the National Home Builders Registration Council, which independently guarantees the quality of the houses for five years after construction.”
Oom said a show house had been built by the contractor at another site and the community leaders had been invited to inspect it.
“Minister Madikizela has also communicated the process to the community, as well as the benefits of the new houses, and so the department is satisfied there has been sufficient communication.”