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Reference
South African Protest News 11 January - 1 February 2014 (2014) South African Protest News 11 January - 1 February 2014.  : -.

Summary
Amcu members ‘barricade Rustenburg roads’
BD Live 8 February 2014

ASSOCIATION of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) protesters pelted cars with stones and barricaded roads in Rustenburg on Friday, where a strike in the platinum industry entered its second day, North West police said.

“The police have started to receive reports of road barricading and other incidents that are in contravention of the law,” police spokesman Brig Thulani Ngubane said in a statement.

“This is happening despite the request by police as well as Amcu days prior and on the first day of the strike that all those who are on strike must respect the rule of law including the rights of those who are not on strike.

“We still urge Amcu leadership to take control of their members on the ground so that the police can continue to do their work in providing safety to lives and properties.”

The first day of the 100,000-strong strike passed on Thursday with only isolated instances of intimidation, but it stalled production at the three largest platinum producers.

The strikers’ resolve to down tools yielded early gains, with the CEOs of Lonmin, Impala Platinum (Implats) and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) agreeing to meet Amcu leadership for talks to be mediated by the government on Friday.

The companies produce more than 70% of world supply.

An Amplats spokesman said the strike had largely been without incident, although “some incidents have been reported of nonstriking workers being prevented from entering the premises and reporting for work”.

Brig Ngubane said several incidents had been reported. “A group of about 50 people barricaded a road between Jabulani Hostel and Khuseleka Shaft with burning tyres, stones and rubble yesterday.”

He said in another incident in the early hours of Friday, a Chinese furniture shop was burnt to the ground at Wonderkop in Marikana. “The cause of fire is unknown at this stage and police are investigating a case of arson.”

He said cars travelling on the road between Chaneng and Shaft 12 of Impala in Luka were pelted with stones.

“The police are still following up on the incident and, should it be confirmed that those who are involved are members of Amcu, the union will account for (it).”

He said no arrests had been made.

On Friday morning, an Amcu co-ordinator said mine security used water cannon on strikers at Amplats’ Khuseleka mine.

“The situation is out of control, it is tense,” said co-ordinator Evans Ramokga. “Mine police (security) without any provocation sprayed workers with water. The workers had gathered to picket outside the mine’s operation.”

He said the workers retaliated by pelting the security staff with stones. “If there was anything wrong, they should have informed marshals or contacted me.”

Brig Ngubane could not confirm this incident.

Amcu members are demanding entry-level monthly salaries of R12,500.

On Thursday, Mr Ramokga said the union had roped in more marshals to ensure the strike was peaceful.

Mandate for negotiations

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa was conciliatory on Thursday, saying he had a mandate from members to participate in talks with mining houses and hinted that the union might be willing to move from its wage demand.

Commenting after a speech to the mass rally near Lonmin’s Marikana mine, Mr Mathunjwa said: “This demand is not from Amcu (leaders) it is from the members. The members want R12,500, but remember these are negotiations.”

Amcu would take offers from employers to members, he said.

On Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s offer to mediate strike settlement negotiations, Mr Mathunjwa said Amcu had a mandate from workers to participate in the government-facilitated talks.

The CEOs of the three companies have agreed to participate in talks with the government and a delegation of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

According to a statement from Amplats — the world’s largest platinum producer — the strike affected its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult operations, but the group’s process operations (refineries) and its Mogalakwena mine were operating normally.

Amplats said production was “impacted” but provided no details.

According to a statement from Implats — the world’s second biggest platinum producer — about 10% of its workforce reported for duty at its Rustenburg mines after initiation of the strike action.

Implats estimated it would lose about 2,800oz every working day during the strike.

Lonmin — the world’s third-largest platinum producer — said it would lose about 3,100oz of production each day of the strike.

A Lonmin spokesman said only about 15% of employees had reported for work on Thursday and all operations had been shut down.

Mr Mathunjwa said the first day had been “very nice, peaceful” and members were clearly energetic.

Speaking on the warnings from many quarters of a return to violence in the volatile platinum belt, Mr Mathunjwa said “all those detractors are eating humble pie”.

Reports of intimidation

North West police spokesman Col Sabata Mokgwabone said the situation was “generally calm”, but he had heard reports of intimidation. Some workers were seen carrying dangerous weapons, but the police did not intervene.

“We want to avoid sparking violence unnecessarily. We won’t approach them. People will be identified and arrested thereafter,” he said.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni said on Thursday he had received reports of intimidation at Implats and Amplats. One NUM member, who sustained slight injuries, was urged to report the incident to the police.

Implats spokesman Johan Theron said on Friday that non-striking workers were still being prevented from working. “We have taken up the situation with Amcu and they have given assurances that they will communicate to their leaders on the ground,” he said.

Worker turnout at Implats was roughly 10%, with the producer having stopped all operations.

It was at this point impossible to gauge how many workers did want to come to work but perhaps chose to avoid crossing the strike barrier, Mr Theron said.

He added that Implats’ primary concern at present was worker safety, not restarting operations, and it was aware that confrontations at mine entrances raised the risk of violence, he said.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said on Friday there had been no reports of intimidation at the mine entrance. “It has been fantastically quiet.”

A total of 319 workers out of Lonmin’s 28,000 strong workforce had clocked in on Friday, placing the attendance rate at 1.14%, she said.

With Sapa, Karl Gernetzky, Natasha Marrian and Brendan Ryan
www.bdlive.co.za

Samwu march turns violent
SABC 1 February 2014

The workers are demanding that the municipality should stop using private companies to render services. (SABC)

Eastern Cape East London Buffalo City Metro Municipality Samwu Zukiswa Ncita March Several people, including two members of the police, have been injured after a South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) march in East London, Eastern Cape.

The march to the mayor of Buffalo City Metro Municipality, Zukiswa Ncita, turned violent when they were told Ncita was not available to receive a memorandum of grievances.

The workers are demanding that the municipality should stop using private companies to render services.

Union members allegedly started vandalising the town, burning dustbins and stoning cars after the municipality failed to send someone to receive the memorandum. Police used teargas to disperse the workers.

There are three people from the municipality employees or Samwu that were injured
Samwu chairperson of the Amathole region, Mafa Nzanzeka says: “Members of Samwu felt that they were being undermined by the mayor and also there had been engagements that had been taking place throughout January. So that's why the members felt that they had been undermined and all that.”

Provincial police spokesperson, Ernest Sigobe has confirmed that some people were injured during the march.

“There are three people from the municipality employees or Samwu that were injured, and also two from the SAPS. There are also six people that were arrested for public violence. They are detained in the East London police station and they will appear in court on Monday.”
www.sabc.co.za


Honingklip protesters block N14
IOL News 1 February 2014

Krugersdorp - About 100 people were protesting in Honingklip, near Krugersdorp in the West Rand on Saturday, Gauteng police said.

Residents demanded better service delivery in the area, said Sergeant Obakeng Mabaso.

The protest, which began in the early hours of Saturday morning, involved residents blocking the N14 with bricks and stones.

Two residents were taken to hospital for minor injuries, Mabaso said.

Residents also threw stones at security guards, who fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

Police were then called to the scene.

“They (police) dispersed the crowd and stabilised the situation,” Mabaso said.

Police were still at the scene to monitor the situation.

No arrests were been made, Mabaso said.
www.iol.co.za


Protest leaders flee after homes destroyed
IOL News 1 February 2014

Fight over water jobs leads to death, injury
Pretoria - Five men who led an informal group of more than a thousand unemployed people looking for jobs at a water reservoir project in Hammanskraal are on the run after their homes were burned or pulled down.

Doctor Maifadi, Thabang Shipalane, Jabulani Skosana, Paul Masoma and Titus Koto fled after several people stormed in, baying for their blood on Thursday night.

Only Maifadi’s home was still intact yesterday, and he said he did not think the attackers knew where he lived.

The incidents followed a week of violence which saw residents of Temba attacked on Wednesday morning.

The victims claimed the attackers were wearing ANC T-shirts and acted on instruction of City of Tshwane councillors and a member of the Mayoral Committee. Their names have been withheld.

Burton Joseph, ANC Tshwane spokesman, and a senior party official in the Hammanskraal area, Touch Mashaba, have denied this and said the municipal officials were there to try to resolve the conflict.

The residents have also accused the officials of wanting to have their own people employed at the project, even those from outside Hammanskraal.

At the centre of the storm are jobs at the reservoir project, which is on a municipal tender.

Residents of other sections of Hammanskraal said the Temba people wanted to have exclusive rights to jobs at the project because it was based in their area.

They have also accused Temba residents of shutting down the water supply in order to delay the project, so they could have jobs for a longer period.

The injured were treated at Jubilee Hospital, among them a seven-month-old baby who was hit in the face with a panga. One person is reported to have been killed.

Maifadi said almost a hundred people in several cars arrived at the Chris Hani section and specifically targeted their homes, unlike in Temba on Wednesday where they were even attacking people in the streets.

“Most of the residents ran away and Chris Hani was deserted for most of the evening. They were looking for us, and when they could not find us, they broke down our houses,” said Masoma.

Almost all the windows of his house were damaged. Inside, furniture and cutlery were scattered on the floor. A television was smashed against the wall.

His bakkie, which was parked in the yard, as well as his shop which is situated a few metres down the road, were both damaged.

Shipalane’s house was burned down, while Koto’s was reduced to a heap of corrugated iron and wood.

A few metres away, workmen were loading the belongings of the Maifadi family on to a truck.

He said he had decided to move his family to a safer area.

Blessing Manale, Tshwane spokesman, said councillors and other municipal officials subscribed to a code of conduct and may not be part of any form of protest and unrest.

Manale said the water project should go ahead and be completed.

“People cannot celebrate 20 years of democracy without water, a basic commodity. Also, the community has no right to stop a project irrespective of where it is situated and who will benefit from it,” he said.

Manale said executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa had vowed to get his hands dirty and resolve the problem in Hammanskraal.

“The city condemns any form of service delivery protest that involves violence.

“If people are unhappy, they can petition the city or select a delegation that will meet with the leadership to ensure a feasible solution to their problems is found,” Manale added.

kennedy.mudzuli@inl.co.za
Pretoria News Weekend
www.iol.co.za

Fight over water jobs leads to death, injury
IOL News January 2014

The scarcity of water has led to violent clashes which left several people injured and one believed dead in Hammanskraal on Wednesday.

A seven-month-old baby was hurt in the face with a panga during the violence and a man reportedly died after being attacked.

Victims gathered near the gate of the Jubilee Hospital nursing their wounds.

Inside, the hospital was reportedly in a sorry state because of a lack of water. Security guards denied the Pretoria News entry into the premises.

Just like the violence in Mothutlung near Brits two weeks ago, the root of the problem was water.

According to residents, it was a scene reminiscent of the “night of the long knives”, when at least 40 bakkies charged into Temba, near the water works supplying nine municipal wards.

The project is on a municipal tender of about R588 million. Residents claim municipal officials want to have their own people employed at the project but those in the area want the chance to work there.

Job Mabena said he was driving to a meeting when he came across a group of men wearing ANC T-shirts.

“Among them were at least five City of Tshwane councillors, including a member of the mayoral committee. I am a member of the ANC and I know them very well.”

He said they opened the car, slapped him in the face and pulled him out of the car before smashing it with stones and other objects.

The identities of the allegedly implicated councillors were to come out again later as more victims related their experiences.

Anna Makwele said she was inside her house when she saw a group of people, most of them in ANC T-shirts, singing struggle songs.

“In no time, they ran into our yard and inside my son’s room. At that time, another group of about 20 people came running behind them armed with grass-cutters, knob-kieries, pangas and knives.

The pursuers broke the doors, charged into the room and attacked the other group. My daughter was hit with a panga on the head during the commotion,” she said. There was blood on the floor.

Erens Kodisang said he was among people who were job-hunting at the water works when men wielding pangas and knifes pounced.

“I tried to run but they caught up with me. There were far too many of them. They stabbed me in the head, arms, everywhere,” he said.

Johannes Mpinga cut a sombre figure on a wheelchair.

He had been stabbed five times, and he too identified municipal officials who were with the group.

Dorothy Pole, a senior official of the South African National Civic Organisation in the region, reported that at about 4pm a man who had severe wounds believed to be as a result of the unrest was found dead.

Halfway between the hospital and the reservoirs, at an open ground, sat several men, most of them in ANC colours and holding knobkieries, among other weapons.

Touch Mashaba, senior ANC official in the region, spoke for this group. He said the carnage was a result of events of the previous night when members of the community closed the valves at the reservoirs, leaving thousands without water.

“Residents from the other areas then accused the locals of believing they were entitled to jobs on the project since they lived in the area,” he said.

Mashaba said that from what he heard, the violence was the doing of residents of Temba and was triggered by the late arrival of their leaders to a meeting. “The people you see here were not involved in the violence. Well, maybe some of them may have been since they are members of the local community.

“But the real reason we are here is to mobilise ANC supporters for a regional rally we are hosting at Moretele Park in Mamelodi at the weekend.”

Tshwane ANC spokesman Burton Joseph said the conflict was between two groups of residents and could be attributed to subcontracting for the service provider who had won the tender for the reservoir. “Basic services should be delivered to the people. We will fight for this right to be protected and for service to be provided to all our people. This matter must be resolved as a matter of urgency between the municipality and the service provider responsible for the project.

“We also urge citizens to express themselves in a disciplined manner. We can’t condone violence.”
kennedy.mudzuli@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


All quiet after Bronkhorstspruit protests
IOL News 31 January 2014

Johannesburg - Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, was quiet on Friday following violent service delivery protests, Gauteng police said.

Brigadier Neville Malila said police were maintaining a presence in the area.

“Things are quiet at the moment,” he said.

Earlier, protesters torched the Zithobeni satellite police station and municipal offices.

“We haven't made any arrests yet,” said Malila.

Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said she was disgusted.

“Our community members must explore all available avenues and platforms to raise service delivery issues, of which none of them is burning government property or looting.

“Not only that the act is a criminal offence but increases the financial burden on government to deliver services and rebuild state property damaged due to deliberate action.”

She called on locals to help police arrest the perpetrators.

“Come forward with information even if they... do so anonymously for fear of victimisation,” said Mazibuko.

The City of Tshwane said disgruntled residents were protesting over the inability to buy prepaid electricity due to a system failure.

It was understood that the Kungwini local municipality had merged with the Tshwane metro in 2011 but they were using different prepayment systems.

“The use of parallel systems was to afford residents ample time to migrate from Conolog to the city-wide Supreme system. The city has, since the system crash, called in technicians for repairs but has been advised that the system is irreparable,” city spokesman Blessing Manale said.

The SABC reported that residents were receiving higher utility bills as a result of the change.

The city had since intensified efforts to change the system and called on residents from Bronkhorstspruit, Zithobeni and Rethabiseng to register for the new system.

Manale said the confrontation between metro police and residents was regrettable.

“The metro police as required by law had to exercise minimum force in dispersing the protesters who had become agitated and were posing a public safety risk,” said Manale.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa reiterated his intention to ensure the areas were integrated to ensure they received a standard service.

“I call upon all our residents to understand that the integration of a bigger and better Tshwane will come with some inconveniences and challenges, but ultimately we will have a capital city for all,” Ramokgopa
www.iol.co.za

‘Don’t dare burn down police station’
Valeska Abreu (IOL News) 1 February 2014

Angry community members at Zithobeni township in Bronkhorstspruit during a service delivery protest. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Johannesburg - Gauteng MEC For Community Safety Faith Mazibuko has warned protesting Zithobeni residents who have threatened to torch the Bronkhorstspruit police station that they will be signing their death warrants if they go ahead with their threat.

Mazibuko visited the troubled township outside Bronkhorstspruit on Friday following violent protests which saw the torching of the local municipal building.

Protesters started demonstrations earlier this week over poor service delivery and irregular municipal bills.

They claim they have been prevented from purchasing electricity for their prepaid meters because of excessively high municipal accounts for rates and water.

Mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale on Friday issued a statement condemning the protest action, but his reasons for the protest differed.

According to the municipality, disgruntled residents are protesting over their inability to buy prepaid electricity because of a system failure.

But residents say the council is lying and they know nothing about a system failure.

Zithobeni residents, who have been without water for three weeks, have vowed to continue their violent protest and burn more buildings until executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa comes to address them.

Scores of protesters stormed the satellite police station in the area and set it alight. The police station, the Zithobeni municipal offices, two trucks and a tractor were torched while vehicles were pelted with stones.

An eNCA television vehicle was among those stoned and damaged.

Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds on Friday morning.

Police say they have enough manpower to control the crowds.

Scores of residents who gathered on a koppie overlooking the main road pelted stones at the police, set tyres and rubbish alight and barricaded roads with rocks, preventing police from entering the area.

Mazibuko told the media on Friday that the community’s threatened burning of the police station they had asked for proved they were not appreciative. “All along they ask for a police station and the government does its best to give it to them (then) they (want to) burn it down.”

Mazibuko said their main aim was to restore calm and defuse the situation so that the community could be safe.

“We cannot allow those people who want to continue with their daily lives to be disrupted by those who are doing wrong.

“The long arm of the law will deal with all those who are lawless and going against the law. They will have to wait for the municipal representatives to address this issue,” she said.

Manale said the municipality was discussing sending a representative.

“The erstwhile Kungwini local municipality, now Region 7 following the merger with the greater City of Tshwane in 2011, was using a different prepayment system called Conolog to buy electricity. Region 7 residents continued to be served via the Conolog prepayment system until it crashed on Monday,” Manale said.

He said the use of parallel systems was to give residents ample time to migrate from Conolog to the city-wide Supreme system.

“The city has, since the system crash, called in technicians for repairs, but has been advised that the system is irreparable.”

The municipality has now called on residents to register for the new system, which they say they know nothing about.

“Have they sent someone here to tell us that? They don’t communicate with us. They are all useless. We don’t know anything about that,” a resident said.

A large contingent of police were still monitoring the situation on Saturday night.
www.iol.co.za

Protesters torch Bronkhorstspruit municipal offices
Mail & Guardian 31 January 2014

Bronkhorstspruit has seen demonstrators torch the Zithobeni satellite police station and municipal offices.

Violent service delivery protests in Bronkhorstspruit has seen demonstrators torch the Zithobeni satellite police station and municpal offices. (Gallo)

Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, was quiet on Friday following violent service delivery protests, Gauteng police said.

Brigadier Neville Malila said police were maintaining a presence in the area. "Things are quiet at the moment," he said.

Earlier, protesters torched the Zithobeni satellite police station and municipal offices. "We haven't made any arrests yet," said Malila.

Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said she was disgusted. "Our community members must explore all available avenues and platforms to raise service delivery issues, of which none of them is burning government property or looting.

"Not only that the act is a criminal offence but increases the financial burden on government to deliver services and rebuild state property damaged due to deliberate action."

She called on locals to help police arrest the perpetrators. "Come forward with information even if they ... do so anonymously for fear of victimisation," said Mazibuko.

The City of Tshwane said disgruntled residents were protesting over the inability to buy prepaid electricity due to a system failure. It was understood that the Kungwini local municipality had merged with the Tshwane metro in 2011 but they were using different prepayment systems. "The use of parallel systems was to afford residents ample time to migrate from Conolog to the city-wide Supreme system. The city has, since the system crash, called in technicians for repairs but has been advised that the system is irreparable," city spokesperson Blessing Manale said.

The SABC reported that residents were receiving higher utility bills as a result of the change.

Efforts to change the system
The city had since intensified efforts to change the system and called on residents from Bronkhorstspruit, Zithobeni and Rethabiseng to register for the new system.

Manale said the confrontation between metro police and residents was regrettable. "The metro police as required by law had to exercise minimum force in dispersing the protesters who had become agitated and were posing a public safety risk," said Manale.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa reiterated his intention to ensure the areas were integrated to ensure they received a standard service.

"I call upon all our residents to understand that the integration of a bigger and better Tshwane will come with some inconveniences and challenges, but ultimately we will have a capital city for all," Ramokgopa said. – Sapa
mg.co.za


Service delivery protest in Milnerton
IOL News 31 January 2014

Cape Town - Residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Milnerton blocked roads in a service delivery protest on Friday, Western Cape police said.

Captain Frederick van Wyk said people had burned tyres on Freedom Way from 7am.

At least 100 people planned to march from Joe Slovo to the municipal office behind Racecourse road to hand over a memorandum.

Van Wyk said the City of Cape Town had granted them permission to march.

“Currently everything is under control,” he said.

Roads were cleared and the public order police were on the scene with local police officers to monitor the situation.
No arrests had been made. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Havoc after court returns teachers
IOL News 30 January 2014

Pupils protest outside Umkhumbane Secondary School after they had chased away 12 teachers accused of sexual abuse. The teachers were returning to school after they were granted an interim court order. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane

Durban - Angry parents and pupils defied a court order on Wednesday, turning violent after 12 teachers - who they accuse of sexual misconduct - returned to the Chesterville school.

A large crowd, including pupils, stoned cars, hurled rubbish and sprayed teachers with a hosepipe. They made verbal threats before being dispersed by public order police.

Parents said there would be dire consequences for the teachers if they returned to Umkhumbane Secondary School today.

The protests followed an interim Durban High Court order granted on Tuesday to allow the return of the 12 teachers and a school clerk.

The application against the school governing body (SGB) was brought by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to urgently reinstate the teachers, as pupils were missing out on lessons.

The principal, Ntokozo Ngobese, and SGB chairwoman, Ntombifikile Makhudu, were also cited as respondents.

However, when pupils learnt that the teachers had returned on Wednesday, they became angry, telling the teachers they were not welcome.

Ngobese said pupils were in class when the teachers arrived, accompanied by officials from the department and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union.

He said he was instructed to call a special assembly to announce their return and he agreed one would be held during a break.

“While they were waiting I don’t know what happened and havoc started and learners were breaking windows,” he said. “They sprayed them with a hosepipe, they were uncontrollable. They hit the cars and for about an hour there was chaos.”

The principal said he had told the pupils that what they did “was not right”.

“The department brought the teachers and they were chased away…” Ngobese said.

He said he was not opposed to their return. Pupils, however, were adamant that they had to leave.

“We don’t want them here. They must never set their foot in this school and we would rather have new teachers,” said one pupil.

“If you dare come again we will burn your cars,” warned another.

A parent, Phumelele Mnyandu, said she would not let the teachers back at the school as long as her child was there.

“They must arrest us, not the principal. He is not the one who chased them away,” she told a crowd of pupils, who were throwing stones and rubbish at the teachers. The police had to intervene and escort the teachers out of school.

Three of the teachers were accused of sexually abusing pupils in return for better marks, and nine others joined them in solidarity. However, a department investigation had found no evidence to implicate the teachers.

Department spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said they were going to be charging the principal for his alleged role in disrupting schooling.

The SGB was also going to be disbanded after the protests on Wednesday.

“We can’t have a department structure causing havoc and chaos. The principal is opposing the reinstatement of the teachers,” he claimed.

Mahlambi said the department believed that “sanity would prevail” today and that the community would support the teachers.

“We can’t replace these teachers, there are no others,” he said. “If evidence shows the teachers are involved in sexual misconduct we will not hesitate to deal with the matter.”

Commenting on the lost school time, Mahlambi said there was a “catch-up” plan to ensure the pupils, who had missed weeks of school, would not fall behind.
www.iol.co.za


Tzaneen foreigners fear looting
IOL News 31 January 2014

Tzaneen - Foreign shop owners trading in Relela and Kubjana outside Tzaneen in Limpopo on Friday feared that protesters who looted their shops would return to help themselves to the rest of their stock.

Some shops were looted on Thursday amid protests by residents, demanding the arrest of people who brutally killed a 20-year-old woman last week.

A Sapa correspondent on the scene said shop owners had moved to the outskirts of the village with some of their stock packed in their cars.

The murdered woman had her hand removed, and her cellphone and house keys were placed inside her stomach which had been ripped open.

Her arms had been tied behind her back.

Two people were taken in for questioning but later released.

On Friday, life in the two villages had come to a standstill with some schools closed, police satellites unoperational and taxi routes disrupted.

On Thursday, residents of Kubjana torched the house of a businessman suspected of kidnapping a three-year-old boy.

The boy was found dead in the boot of the man's car. Two other children were found unharmed in his vehicle.

Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe on Wednesday said the body was discovered on Wednesday evening after the car's owner called the police.

“The three had locked themselves in the car while playing for hours and they were found by the owner when he got back from work.”

Ngoepe said the owner noticed that the car's lights were on and he called the police.

Residents clashed with police who responded at the scene and threw stones at them.

Three people have died amid the protests in the area.

The first of three villagers to die was Tshepo Baloyi, 15, who was killed on Saturday morning.

On Tuesday, Clearance Molele and Stanley Selowa died after being shot, allegedly by police officers

Selowa's wife Dikeledi said her husband had died heading to an EFF meeting, hoping to see Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.

“He didn't even care about what the villagers were protesting about. All he wanted was to meet Malema face to face for the first time in his life, but he didn't know that would be his last day,” said Selowa's widow.

The EFF said it was saddened by the news of Selowa's death.

“EFF sends its heart-felt revolutionary condolences to all who lost their loved ones on the picket lines that day, and in particular to the family of Stanley Selowa who attended with the sole purpose to see the Commander In Chief,” the party said in a statement.

Malema was to visit the Selowa family on Monday.

Scores of police officers have been injured in the unrest, and police vehicles and property have been damaged.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) president Kenneth Meshoe on Friday condemned the violence, saying police and protester clashes had become a regular occurrence.

“It is like SA has become a war zone between the police and citizens. The ACDP firmly believes that where respect is given, respect is earned,” said Meshoe.

“Unfortunately, our SAPS, while it has many fine officers, has not earned the respect of SA citizens.”

Meshoe said incidents such as the Marikana 'massacre', Mothutlung service delivery protest shootings, the Daveyton 'dragging' scandal, had resulted in the police not being trusted.

Meshoe also highlighted incidents such as police and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Makhosini Nkosi running a 'massage parlour' which the Sunday Times reported was a brothel and a Randburg constable convicted on 17 counts of rape.

He also said national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, who faced charges of defeating the ends of justice and breaching national security for allegedly alerting a senior manager who was being investigated for being on the payroll of a druglord, and the recent reports of protesters being shot in Tzaneen, had tainted the image of police.

The Human Rights Institute of SA (Hurisa) said it was deeply concerned as some civilians were killed while exercising their constitutional rights to express their frustration with the government.

Spokesman Sipho Mantula said 1200 protests per month since 2008

could be attributed to negative feelings that the advent of democracy had not delivered basic rights and needs.

He called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Phiyega to protect civilians from further killings.

“The minister and national commissioner must prioritise a human rights approach (to) training for police to enable them to have a better understanding ... of civilians in demonstrations.”

He called for better service delivery, the rooting out of corruption, and for crime, poverty and the high unemployment rate to be addressed.
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Child’s alleged muti death sparks violence
IOL News 31 January 2014

The car in which the body of a child was found in Kubjana village near Relela, Limpopo. Villagers torched three cars, the house and shop of a businessman following the discovery.
Tzaneen - The ongoing violence that broke out in Relela village outside Tzaneen after police gunned down three protesters has spilt over to neighbouring villages.

It is showing no sign of abating in spite of a reinforced police presence.

On Thursday, the Limpopo villages of Kubjana, Motupa and Moleketla outside Tzaneen were turned into no-go areas for motorists and throngs of journalists.

For a local businessman (whose name The Star is holding back for his safety) it was a day spent in hiding after locals torched his house, his shop and three vehicles in Kubjana village on Wednesday night.

The crowd burnt down the man’s property after a three-year-old boy was found dead in one of the cars parked at his home on Wednesday afternoon.

Two other children, aged 3 and 5, were in the car. They were found alive.

Limpopo police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said it was unclear why the three children were in the businessman’s car.

“We don’t know why they were in the car and how they got into the car.”

She said police had opened an inquest, and a post-mortem would determine the cause of the boy’s death.

“The community alleged that he (the businessman) kidnapped the children for ulterior motives, one of them being muti,” said Otto.

An already suspicious crowd went into a frenzy, suspecting that the dead boy’s body would have been used for muti.

The businessman’s vehicles were reduced to shells and the roof of his large house was gutted by fire.

At his shop, the only thing that remained standing were the walls. The entire stock, including three freezers, was consumed in the blaze.

“Residents also stoned police vehicles. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowds,” said Otto.

Police have taken the businessman and his family to a place of safety.

The mutilated body of Khomotso Ragolane, 20, found last Friday morning, sparked the initial protest.

The only road that passes through the villages was barricaded with burning tyres and stones, forcing taxis from Tzaneen to drop passengers far away from their homes.

Among those affected was a sickly woman who had just been discharged from hospital following ovarian cancer treatment.

The taxi driver dropped Victoria Motseo off about 15km from her home, fearing his taxi would be torched if he dared to enter the no-go zone.

The 47-year-old woman, who could barely walk and was visibly in pain, sought help from a police Nyala, but they, too, refused to help.

On Thursday, a mob comprising mainly young people looted several shops.

Sibert Malatjie, the owner of a supermarket in Kubjana, said the crowd broke into his store after midday to demand lunch.

“They stole cash and everything they could lay their hands on, including maize meal and washing powder. You could not negotiate with them. They only dispersed after I had fired two warning shots,” said Malatjie.

He said he had closed his supermarket after the businessman’s shop, which is located metres away from his, was burnt overnight.

Another shopowner, Ali Mohamed, said his shop was looted at Moleketla village.
moloko.moloto@inl.co.za
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Rain dampens Limpopo protests
IOL News 31 January 2014

Tzaneen, Limpopo - Stormy weather halted protests by residents at Relela and Kubjana villages in Limpopo on Friday morning.

A Sapa correspondent reported that heavy rain and wind forced protesters off the streets.

The police continued to keep watch in the area near Tzaneen, where three people were killed, allegedly by police, since protests started about a week ago.

Several people, including a pregnant woman, have been arrested for public violence.

Commuters remained stranded on Friday morning, with no taxis running to the villages.

Earlier on Friday, protesters blocked roads and demanded entry fees to Relela and Kubjana villages.

A Sapa correspondent came across at least four “pay stations” operated by protesters.

Roads leading into the villages outside Tzaneen were blocked with burning tyres and vandalised stop-sign boards.

The protesters manning these road blocks claimed they were collecting funds to help the four grieving families whose relatives died in protests that started about a week ago.

Groups of between five and 10 protesters were manning the “pay stations” and demanding R5 entry fees for cars, and R10 from loaded bakkies, in full view of the police.

Most people paid the “entry fees”. Those who did not pay were forced to turn around.

Police at one stage aimed at the protesters to fire rubber bullets, but the protesters screamed at the officers and the police backed off, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Villagers working outside the two villages were forced to walk long distances as taxi operators refused to drive through the area.

Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that roads were blocked in and around the villages, saying mainly police Nyalas were driving around.

“You cannot move in those areas - even taxis are not operating,” said Mulaudzi.

He warned residents to be cautious at all times.

“We are working around the clock to bring normality in the areas. We are continuing to deploy members.”

He said they were monitoring the areas with the help of Mpumalanga police.

“The situation is calm for now. They (protesters) normally start in the afternoon,” he said before 7am.

On Thursday, residents of Kubjana village near Relela torched the property of a local businessman after the body of a child and two other unharmed children were found in his car.

They had also clashed with police and stoned them.

The protests began after a schoolgirl from Relela, Khomotso Raolane, 15, was found murdered and mutilated in Mandlakazi, near Letsitele, on January 24.

Her hands had been cut off and her cellphone and house keys placed inside her stomach, which had been sliced open. Her arms had been tied behind her back.

Two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Residents burnt their houses down on Saturday. During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, allegedly by police.

On Tuesday night, 15 police officers were injured and 19 police vehicles damaged when about 1500 people, armed with petrol bombs and stones, attacked the Relela satellite police station.

Two people, were killed, allegedly by police during the confrontation. Nine people were arrested for public violence. - Sapa
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Limpopo protesters demand entry fees
IOL News 31 January 2014

Child’s alleged muti death sparks violence
Tzaneen - Protesters were blocking roads and demanding entry fees to Relela and Kubjana villages in Limpopo on Friday morning.

A Sapa correspondent came across at least four “pay stations” operated by protesters.

Roads leading into the villages outside Tzaneen were blocked with burning tyres and vandalised Stop sign boards.

The protesters manning these road blocks were claiming they were collecting funds to help the four grieving families whose relatives died in protests that started about a week ago.

Groups of between five and 10 protesters were manning the “pay stations” and demanding R5 entry fees from cars, and R10 from loaded bakkies, in full view of the police.

Most people paid the “entry fees”. Those who did not pay were forced to turn around.

On Friday morning, police at one stage aimed at the protesters to fire rubber bullets, but the protesters screamed at the officers and the police backed off, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Villagers working outside the two villages were forced to walk long distances as taxi operators refused to drive through the area.

Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that roads were blocked in and around the villages, saying mainly police Nyalas were driving around.

“You cannot move in those areas - even taxis are not operating,” said Mulaudzi.

He warned residents to be cautious at all times.

“We are working around the clock to bring normality in the areas. We are continuing to deploy members.”

He said they were monitoring the areas with the help of Mpumalanga police.

“The situation is calm for now, they (protesters) normally start in the afternoon,” he said before 7am.

He said arrests were made on Thursday evening but he could not yet confirm how many.

On Thursday, residents of Kubjana village near Relela torched the property of a local businessman after the body of a child and two other unharmed children were found in his car.

They had also clashed with police and stoned them.

The protests began after a schoolgirl from Relela, Khomotso Raolane, 15, was found murdered and mutilated in Mandlakazi, near Letsitele, on Friday, January 24.

Her hands had been cut off and her cellphone and house keys placed inside her stomach, which had been sliced open. Her arms had been tied behind her back.

Two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Residents burnt their houses down on Saturday. During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, allegedly by police.

On Tuesday night, 15 police officers were injured and 19 police vehicles damaged when around 1500 people, armed with petrol bombs and stones, attacked the Relela satellite police station.

Two men, aged between 25 and 40, were killed, allegedly by police during the confrontation. Nine people were arrested for public violence. - Sapa
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Relela protesters stone cops
IOL News 30 January 2014

Tzaneen - Residents in Relela, near Tzaneen, were throwing stones at police on Thursday afternoon after a property was torched earlier in nearby Kubyana, Limpopo police said.

“There is public disobedience taking place, such as stone throwing,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

More police officers had been sent to the area.

A Sapa correspondent reported on Thursday afternoon that commuters in both Relela and Kubyana were stranded, as taxi drivers refused to go there.

The protests began after a schoolgirl from Relela, Khomotso Raolane, 15, was found murdered and mutilated in Mandlakazi, near Letsitele, on Friday, January 24.

Her hands had been cut off and her cellphone and house keys placed inside her stomach, which had been sliced open. Her arms had been tied behind her back.

Two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Residents burnt their houses down on Saturday. During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, allegedly by police.

Earlier on Thursday, police said residents of Kubyana torched the property of a local businessman after the body of a child was found in his car.

“We are still investigating the case of the child being found in the car,” said Mulaudzi.

What was most disturbing was police were being targeted, with the violence being driven by criminal elements, he said.

“The first incident was in Relela where police were attacked, and in Kubyana, police members were hit by stones,” he said.

“This is sheer criminality now. People are taking the law into their own hands and we aren't going to accept that. They broke the law and they should face the law.”

He said the situation in the area was not out of control, with residents falling victim to intimidation by criminal elements.

“We can't have a situation where children can't go to school. Those who are instigating this, the police are there to take charge and they will take charge. There are ways of raising issues, not to take the law into their own hands.”

On Tuesday night, 15 police officers were injured and 19 police vehicles damaged when around 1500 people, armed with petrol bombs and stones, attacked the Relela satellite police station.

Two men, aged between 25 and 40, were killed, allegedly by police during the confrontation. Nine people were arrested for public violence.

Mulaudzi said on Wednesday the intentions of the protesters were clear and the officers did what anyone would have done to protect themselves.

However, residents said they were shot at when they went to the police station to demand that police find Raolane's hands.

Since the start of the year, at least five other people have been killed in protests, allegedly by police officers.

In the North West on January 13, Osiah Rahube and photographer Michael Tshele were killed in clashes with police in Brits during a protest for running water.

A third man, Lerato Seema, died the following day from injuries sustained when jumping from a moving Nyala, according to police.

Police said a fourth person died on January 19 of injuries sustained in the clashes. Residents claim the 36-year-old man was shot in the head.

On January 23, a 28-year-old man, Tshepo Babuseng, was shot dead by a police officer during a protest in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, over housing.
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Kubyana residents torch house
Gavin Emmanuel 30 January 2014

Johannesburg - Residents of Kubyana village near Relela have torched the property of a local businessman after the body of a child and two other unharmed children were found in his car, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

“Three children locked themselves in an abandoned car while playing for hours and they were found by the businessman who is the owner of the car,” said Colonel Ronel Otto.

“The three were found by the owner when he got back from work and noticed that the car lights were on.”

Otto said the owner immediately called the police.

“When police arrived they found the body of a three-year-old inside the car, and the other two children who were unharmed,” said Otto.

She said residents of Kubyana accused the owner of kidnapping the children.

“They accused him of kidnapping the children and trying to use their body parts for muti purposes,” said Otto.

She said residents set fire to the businessman's house, car and supermarket.

“After they torched his home, car and shop, (the) police took the businessman and his family to a place of safety.”

“Residents also stoned police vehicles. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowds,” said Otto. - Sapa
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UJ students protest again
IOL News 31 January 2014

Johannesburg - Students at the University of Johannesburg would hold another protest outside of the campus on Friday morning, Students for Justice said.

“Our protest on Friday at 8am is meant to address various issues, including the lack of transparency in the allocation of NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) funds by the university,” said spokesman Enerst Hasha.

Hasha said Students for Justice was an internal organisation at UJ, and also had professionals from various fields as members.

The students also demanded that registration be extended so that students who will be approved for NSFAS after the budget increase can be accommodated.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced on Thursday that the NSFAS coffers would be boosted with a further R1 billion.

“Registration closes today (Friday) and so far there has been no communication from the university as to what would happen to students who have had no chance to register, more especially those who have been suspended,” said Hasha.

“We however welcome the new development as announced by the minister.”

He said the suspension of students should be lifted to allow them to focus on the new academic year.

The UJ said on Tuesday that it had suspended 20 students and others who were not yet registered, for participating in a strike on Monday.

The institution said the strike was marred by violence and intimidation, and also disrupted daily administrative routines on the campus.

Several university campuses in the country had been plagued by student protests in the past few days after the SA Students Congress (Sasco) called for protests against the NSFAS.

They demanded access to NSFAS funding for all deserving and qualifying students and an end to alleged racism in some of the institutions.

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) suspended classes on Thursday due to protests. - Sapax
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TUT shuts down, evacuates students
IOL News 31 January 2014

Pretoria - The Tshwane University of Technology on Friday evacuated students from its residences until further notice following a series of protests there.

A third-year vocal art student at the university, Ipeleng Kgatla, said they were told by management to pack up and go home on Thursday.

“Our residence manager told us to leave immediately because protesters could come to the residences as well. We were told the university would send SMSes to let us know when to come back,” she said.

The university announced on Thursday that classes had been suspended due to the protests.

Students were protesting against a shortfall in money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

On Thursday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that R1 billion would be added to the NSFAS.

He said the NSFAS had a shortfall of R2.6bn in 2013.

Nzimande called on students not to damage property or disrupt lectures when they protested.

At the University of Johannesburg, students vowed to continue to protest on Friday.

The students were against a lack of transparency in the allocation of NSFAS funding and demanded that registration, which ends on Friday, be extended.

They also demanded that the suspension of a group of students following a protest there be lifted so that they could focus on the new academic year. - Sapa
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Classes suspended at TUT
IOL News 29 January 2014

Classes were suspended at the Tshwane University of Technology on Wednesday because students were protesting, the institution said.

“The SA Students Congress (Sasco) called for protests against the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS),” spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said.

“The demand for money was bigger than the availability for funding.”

She said there were disruptions at the Pretoria campus on Wednesday morning as students were burning tyres outside the school gate.

Management decided to close the gates and send the staff home, she said.

“Students who still need to register can make use of the TUT online registration system,” De Ruyter said.

Students Representative Council secretary general Sigfried Tivana said students decided to go on strike because they were frustrated.

“Massive exclusion of poor African working class students by the university left students with no option but to embark on a mass rolling action,” Tivana said.

The students were demanding access to NSFAS for all deserving and qualifying students.

They also demanded an end to racism in Afrikaner-dominated faculties, re-admission of all academically excluded students, provision for adequate residential accommodation and salary cuts for all senior managers and directors.

“We have vowed to stop all operations on the university campuses and any attempt to oppose this shall be met with the brutality of the fighting forces of student masses,” Tivana said.

He said students would continue to protest until their demands were met by the university.

Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania spokesman Nare Mathekga said the organisation supported the students' protest.

“We further call for the resignation of the pseudo-communist minister of higher education and the entire Cabinet for their inability to provide access to higher education to poor African working class students,” Mathekga said. - Sapa
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Sanral under attack
Look Local 29 January

A bomb scare at Sanral's offices, which follows the threats of suspicious-looking white powder found on two separate occasions, has been condemned by Vusi Mona, who says these perpetrators are attacking not only Sanral, but the constitution itself.
27 January 2014

The Sanral operations centre in Samrand came under attack again, with police responding to a bomb threat on Sunday afternoon. This is the third threat, following the suspicious white powder that was found on two separate occasions last week Tuesday and Friday when the building had to be evacuated.

According to a reliable source, the K9 Unit was dispatched to the building on Sunday and the building had to be evacuated. However, no evidence of a bomb was found after the unit swept the building. The minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, condemned attempts to destabilise the operations of Sanral in the strongest possible terms, especially after threats directed at personnel at the Central Operations Centre (COC) were received.

Reportedly, only the call centre was affected by the evacuation. "This is an attack not only on Sanral, but on our constitution, which guarantees peace and security for all citizens of our republic. All peace-loving citizens must condemn these regressive tendencies. We call on law enforcement authorities to do all within their powers to bring the perpetrators of these acts to book," Peters said.

Peters called on law enforcement authorities to act swiftly in their investigation to identify those responsible for the threats to the safety of the personnel employed at the COC. There are elements in society hellbent on undermining the peace and security of their fellow citizens. These backward and uncivilised individuals have elected to ignore all platforms made available to them by our constitution to raise whatever concerns they may have," Peters said.

The minister said that what the perpetrators of such crimes did not realise was that their illicit acts were diverting the attention of law enforcement authorities and emergency medical personnel from their core mandate of ensuring peace and stability. "Someone's life could be in real danger at the time such hoaxes are made. Instead of attending to those whose lives are genuinely in danger, officers are preoccupied with attending to these false alarms," remarked Peters.

The minister was assured by Sanral that the affected personnel were receiving the necessary attention and help in dealing with the traumatic experiences of the past week. Sanrals CEO, Nazir Alli, confirmed last week that the white powder found on Tuesday was harmless.

Sanrals general manager of communication, Vusi Mona, said that the incident would not be taken lightly. We take this matter very seriously and condemn this type of action in the strongest possible terms. It is tantamount to sabotage and borders on a very serious crime."

According to the Tshwane metro's Emergency Services spokesperson, Johan Pieterse, the employees were decontaminated in a large blue tent that was erected next to the building. We decontaminated the 36 people who came in close contact with the powder with clean water, Pieterse said. He added that they were sent to a hospital afterwards to be tested for poisoning. No arrests have been made as investigations are still being conducted. The results of tests to determine what the white powder found on Friday was have also not been made public.
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UJ students arrested
LookLocal 29 January 2014

Criminal charges have been laid against twenty students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) who participated in a protest on 27 January.

According to a statement released by the university, the protest was initiated by students over the lack of funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

The media release stated that those who had already registered had been suspended pending disciplinary action and criminal charges brought against them.

Those who had not yet registered have been charged with criminal behaviour.

Approximately 100 students participated in the protest over the shortfall of National Student

Financial Scheme (NSFAS) funding to students at tertiary institutions such as UJ.

The university's statement said that although it respected the right of students to protest peacefully, academic and administrative activities should have not been disrupted and the safety of students and staff not endangered.

"UJ takes incidents that compromise a safe learning and working environment seriously. The university will not hesitate to strictly apply its own disciplinary codes to deal with members of the University community suspected of having, or found to have, violated these codes," the statement added.

The university said it was working with the police to maintain order and discipline on its four campuses and remained committed to engage with the students about their concerns.
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EFF members embark on peaceful protest action
Look Local 28 January 2014

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Kagiso Branch demanded that Mogale City Local Municipality give in to their demands.
28 January 2014

About 100 Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) members from Kagiso embarked on a peaceful protest to Krugersdorp Town Hall today 28 January to deliver their memorandum of grievances to the management of Mogale City Local Municipality.

With placards reading "We demand our RDP houses" and "Mogale City is failing us" the members walked the streets from Kagiso to reach the closed gates of the City Hall.

There the Kagiso Branch of the EFF, its members and the national spokesperson Patrick Sindane demanded that the municipality give in to their demands as they are tired of waiting for nonexistent service delivery.

"We hope to build a strong relationship with the municipality and hope that we can work together in dealing with people who don't belong [in the municipality]," says Sindane.

"In your offices you have people who don't belong in this municipality they belong in jail and we are here to help you to clear out the criminals."

He says that they want to help the municipality to identify the criminals who steal from the poor and want to get them arrested.

The Executive Mayor Koketso Calvin Seerane was nowhere to be seen and therefore was unable to address the crowd.

Instead David Letsie, a member of the Mogale City Mayoral Committee told the crowd that the municipality will be able to respond to their queries in a few days, but this was not the answer that the members were looking for.

The coordinator of the EFF Kagiso Branch read the memorandum, of which the municipality is said to have a copy, out loud demanding that the residents of Kagiso are given housing as promised to them.
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Bikers Against Tolling mass protest ride
LookLocal 27 January 2014

JOHANNESBURG NORTH- Bikers Against Tolls staged an extended protest mass ride in opposition to the implementation of e-tolls on Gauteng's highways.
27 January 2014

The ride, which included nearly 5000 motorists, started at the Crusaders Clubhouse in Rosettenville and traversed the N1 highway from the south of Joburg to the north, circling the highway to end at the start.

The protest ride drew support, not just from bikers but also from a multitude of other motorists. There were even a few trucks that rode alongside them.

The protest also ran nationally and took place in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban. The other cities joined in the national campaign in solidarity with Gauteng motorists and to show their standpoint on the impending implementation of urban tolling in their own cities.

Before the protest started e-bill notifications were burnt.

Bikers Against Tolls explained that the motorcycle community and their allies have had enough of the "injustice" of e-tolling.

A representative from the organisation said, "With the continued media reports of the flagrant disregard and mismanagement of the country's taxes we denounce any further wastage of our resources and demand the scrapping of urban tolling and free passage for motorcycles on the national highways."

Bikers Against Tolls added, "We will continue to escalate and expand our protest action to other cities until the will of the citizens of this country is respected, and the concept of urban tolling is scrapped."
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Bikers protest against e-tolls: Bikers gathered at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza to protest against e-tolls.
LookLocal 29 January 2014

BIKERS from the greater Durban area had their third Bikers Against Toll Roads (BAT) protest ride on Saturday.

The bikers were protesting against the R8.50 fee they are charged to pass the toll and this time they were joined by Cars Against Tolls (CAT) and a truck.

The bikers met at Lord William Charles Pub and made their way to the Mariannhill Toll Plaza.

An organiser of the Durban Chapter of BAT, Tess Matthysen said their efforts began when the e-tolls were announced in Johannesburg and said the group wants to prevent the system from being implemented in KZN.

"Bikers in Gauteng came up with the idea to stage a mass ride to protest against the system and the rest of the country got on the bus.
If we can stop the system where it started, we would have no e-tolls in the rest of the country.

"A bike only has two wheels, a car has four and if it is towing something, six. How can we be charged the same amount as them?" she asked.
Matthysen said they will continue to protest against the e-tolls until they are taken seriously.
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Chaos at DUT campus
Students strike, leaving destruction in their path.
Look Local 28 January 2014

The Durban University of Technology (Steve Biko Campus) erupted into chaos on Monday as striking students invaded the campus driving out students in active attendance.

Students had been protesting in front of the library at about 11am before the strike became violent.

A student who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisal described the scene as chaotic. She said, “It started as a toyi-toyi in front of the library but became more and more intense until it became like a riot. They began throwing stones, upending bins and setting fire to the debris. We either ran into the library or across to the Ritson campus out of fear for our safety.”

Another student who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Even before making our way to the library, the strikers had first entered the campus in a large group and attempted to enter the sport centre before being stopped by campus security. It was then that they were routed into the campus and began to riot in earnest. It was chaotic but within minutes it was over and order was returned, however, a trail of destruction had been left on the campus grounds.”

SAPS provincial spokesman, Cpt Thulani Zwane, said, “No injuries were reported and no arrests were made. The crowds were dispersed quickly after the arrival of police.”

Prof Ahmed C Bawa, vice-chancellor and principal of the university, has engaged with the Students Representative Council and has received a memorandum of demands including access to tablet computers, increased student financial aid and reduction of fee increments.

Sinegugu Ndlovu, communications manager at the campus, said, “DUT has been in constant contact with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) regarding concerns raised by the SRC. Whilst NSFAS has allocated substantial funding to DUT, the requests for funding is far greater than the funding available. Regarding the demands for tablet computers, DUT accepts the need to ensure that our students have access to technology and we are waiting for a directive from NSFAS for students to have the right to decide whether they can use their book allowance to purchase tablet like devices. When it comes to fee increments, we consult with the SRC and work very hard to minimise the financial impact on our students and their families. When it comes to the cost of student fees, DUT is a very reasonable University.”

Prof Bawa said, “Due to the violent student protests, we have taken the decision to suspend all academic programmes until further notice. Registration, however, will still be open and we urge all students to complete their registration. We also urge the SRC to respect the rights of the majority who are non-protesting students and ensure there is no violence and intimidation on campus.”
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DUT could meet some student demands
Karishma Dipa (IOL News) 28 January 2014

Durban - The Durban University of Technology (DUT) said on Tuesday it would be willing to address some of the demands of protesting students.

“We have analysed these demands and some of them are reasonable and we shall address them if this is at all possible,” DUT vice chancellor and principal Prof Ahmed Bawa said in a statement.

Protesting students pulled others out of lecture rooms on Monday.

“The SRC has made... demands through two memoranda: one from the Durban Centre and the other from the Midlands Centre,” Bawa said.

Students' main demand was that those whose fees had not been paid by the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to re-register despite the non-payment.

Bawa said that 4600 returning students had been unblocked, to enable them to register and access financial aid.

“We want to enable our students to succeed, however, we also need to accept the NSFAS rules and regulations,” he said.

The university would also allow 394 first year students, who are “zero rated” (a special category of poor students), to register at DUT without having to pay the first instalment.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) had demanded that all first year students accepted by the university be allowed to register and get accommodation.

Bawa said NSFAS received 4355 first-year applications, but that only 2600 packages were available.

“The need for financial aid is much greater than the funding that is available from NSFAS.”

He said the university had made plans with numerous companies to allow students to purchase devices, such as laptops, tablets, e-book readers at reduced rates.

“The demand by the SRC is for the university to provide all students with devices. This is well beyond the affordability of the university,” he said.

The book allowance would also be increased from R1 000 to R1 500.

DUT spokesman Alan Khan said the university's full academic programme had been suspended until further notice.

Bawa said that this was because of the violence of students' protest, and reports of intimidation and damage to university property.

“All students in residence, both on and off campus at DUT, will have to vacate their rooms by no later than... midday on Thursday,” Khan said.

“The university has been forced to make this decision as the SRC-led student protests compromised the safety of our students and staff and resulted in unfavourable conditions on campus,” Khan said.

He said the shutdown period would be used to bring about stability on the campus.

“We are working hard and around the clock to get the university back to normality,” Bawa said.
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Situation tense in Rhelela, schooling disrupted
SABC 29 January 2014

The situation remains tense after the death of two community members during a protest on Tuesday night.(SABC)

Rhelela Tzaneen Limpopo Rhelela protest Schooling has been disrupted at about three villages in the Rhelela area outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.

Learners at various schools in the area decided not to go school on Wednesday after they were forcefully taken out of their classes by the protesting residents on Tuesday.

The situation remains tense after the death of two community members during a protest on Tuesday night.

Two community members were killed after shots were fired outside a satellite police station in the area.

They were among hundreds of protesters who clashed with the police.

The police say they had no option, but to defend themselves.

Angry residents have been protesting since Friday last week after the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy and the murder of a 20-year-old woman.

The main roads are still barricaded with stones and other objects a situation which makes it difficult for motorists to pass through the village. Businesses are also shut down. A high number of police officers are now gathered outside a local satellite police station.
www.sabc.co.za

Two killed by cops in Relela protest
IOL News 29 January 2014

Two men were shot dead by police during a protest in Relela outside Tzaneen, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.

The two men, aged between 25 and 40, were killed on Tuesday evening near the police station in the area, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

About 1 500 violent protesters armed with petrol bombs and stones attacked the police at the station.

“Fifteen officers were injured, three critically so and 19 police vehicles were damaged.”

Mulaudzi said the intentions of the protesters were clear and the officers did what anyone would have done to protect themselves.

“Anyone who was facing that situation last night would have no option but to do what the members did to protect their lives.”

Nine people were arrested for public violence, said Mulaudzi.

He urged Relela community members to stop abusing their constitutional rights by being brutal to police officers.

The community had been protesting since Thursday after the body of a woman was found in the area.

Mulaudzi said two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Their houses were burned on Saturday by angry community members.

During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead by police, allegedly by police.

“The firearms of officers who attended the protest were taken for ballistic test to confirm if the boy was indeed killed by police.” - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Malema supporters outside court
IOL News 29 January 2014

Vanderbiljlpark - Politician Julius Malema's supporters were singing and dancing on Wednesday ahead of his appearance on a traffic violation in the Vanderbijlpark Regional Court.

Economic Freedom Fighters wearing red berets and T-shirts danced in front of the gate with posters of Malema, leader of the party.

Malema was due to appear for reckless or negligent driving.

He was arrested in December for allegedly driving at 215km/h in a 120km/h zone.

The media was barred from entering the court by security guards. They claimed they were given orders not to allow media inside. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Amcu begins strike talks as rand falls to new low
Mail & Guardian 28 January 2014

Government-brokered talks between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the world's top three platinum producers began on Monday in a bid to end a strike that has hit half of global output of the precious metal.

Hopes for an immediate resolution to the strike, which began on Thursday, remained dim given Amcu's uncompromising approach to negotiations and with the two sides poles apart over wages.

The delegations for the talks at a Pretoria hotel were low level, with no ministers or chief executives from Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum or Lonmin. Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa was also absent.

The rand lost more than 1% in early trade to hit new five-year lows against the dollar as the strikes coincided with an emerging-market sell-off, dealing a double blow to investor confidence in Africa's biggest economy.

'A perfect storm'
"It's a perfect storm. Aside from the offshore factors, which are beyond our control, locally we have the strikes, a general election in a few months and a weak economy. So there is no good news for the rand at the moment," said Christie Viljoen of NKC Independent
Economists.

Platinum's spot price was up slightly to $1 425 an ounce, approaching two and a half-month highs, on concerns about the impact the stoppages will have on the metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.

Under the populist battle cry of a "living wage", Amcu is demanding minimum entry-level pay of R12 500 a month from the three platinum producers – more than double the current salary.

Companies say they can ill afford this as they grapple with soaring costs and depressed demand for platinum, especially in key markets such as Europe. – Reuters
mg.co.za


DUT suspends lectures after student protests
Mail & Guardian 28 January 2014

Lectures were suspended until further notice at the Durban University of Technology on Monday after protesting students pulled others out of lecture rooms.

The suspension applied to lectures in Durban and at the Midlands Centre in Pietermaritzburg, vice-chancellor Ahmed Bawa said in a statement. Students were urged to continue with the registration process.

Earlier, students demanded that they be re-registered even though their fees had not been paid.

Bawa said there would be increased security at registration venues. "If any further protests take place, we will shut down the university, which includes the closure of all residences.
"We cannot allow the safety of our students and staff to be further compromised by the student protesters," Bawa said.

Student Representative Council president Ayanda Ngidi said a meeting with the university's executive had revealed that the management had failed to act on any of its demands. Students presented their grievances to Bawa last Wednesday.

"They didn't even attend to one issue," Ngidi said, adding that the students had embarked on a full-blown strike.

Cancelled lectures
DUT spokesperson Alan Khan said lectures were cancelled shortly before midday in an attempt to ensure the safety of staff and students who were not participating in the protest. He said police were called in, but due to the size of the three campuses – Steve Biko, Ritson and ML Sultan – it was impossible to ensure the safety of those who were not protesting.

Captain Thulani Zwane said there was no serious damage and police were keeping watch. The students had dispersed by mid afternoon.

The SRC's main demand was that students whose fees had not been paid by the National Students' Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to re-register despite the nonpayment.
"We have no jurisdiction over what NSFAS disburses. The majority of students are not part of the protests," Khan said.

He rejected Ngidi's assertion that the DUT had not tackled any of the students' demands. He said the book allowance had been increased from R1 000 a student to R1 500.
"It wasn't pleasant being on campus today," said Khan.

On Wednesday, students marched from the ML Sultan campus to the Steve Biko campus, where they handed over a memorandum of demands to Bawa.

Kahn said that from 2013 alone, the university was owed R169-million in unpaid fees. He said that in 2013 these students had been able to re-register, but only after "certain guarantees" were given by NSFAS. These had not been given in 2014.

Khan said all students who were not up to date with their fees could not re-register, whether they received NSFAS funding



Chaos as Roodepoort cops appear
Nosihle Shelembe 27 January 2014

Roodepoort - Durban Deep residents have demanded that a case of four police officers accused of the fatal shooting of a Roodepoort protester be heard in the local court on Monday.

Four police officers were expected to appear.

Residents confronted court staff in a passage leading to the prosecutor's office and complained that they had arrived early in the morning. Some people arrived at the court as early as 7am.

They were frustrated because the docket was not ready.

Tshepo Babuseng, 28, was shot dead, allegedly by a policeman, after protesting residents in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, barricaded roads with stones and burning tyres on Thursday over a lack of housing.

Community member Adam Welkom, known as “Express” shouted “the SAPS killed my son. They must give me my son”.

Welkom said he was fed up because he had been waiting for a long time.

“Why can't they send the minister here? Nathi (Mthethwa) must come here and give me my son,” he said.

Babuseng's aunt, Joyce Moamogwa, said she was saddened by the loss of her nephew.

“I am hurt, I am not feeling well,” she said.

Moamogwa said police should be trained as they could not do their job.

“We are not safe, we do not trust them. They are like our enemies,” she said.

Earlier Durban Deep Community spokesman Anton Mankgabe said bail should not be granted to the police officers.

“If that happens, we will take radical steps. We are prepared to be arrested again,” Mankgabe said. He said residents would embark on more protests and make Roodepoort ungovernable.

Scores of people were protesting outside the court earlier.

Some of the protesters were wearing DA T-shirts. They carried placards reading: “Who is going to protect us if you kill us” and “Nathi Mthethwa hold your dogs”. Another said: “You stupid police you killed my sister's child like a dog. You must go back to school.”
www.iol.co.za


Protest at court over Delft girl’s rape
IOL News 28 January 2014

Cape Town - Scores of young women protested outside the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Tuesday ahead of a bail application of a man charged with raping a nine-year-old girl.

The 27-year-old man allegedly raped her, then set her alight in bushes along the R300 highway in Delft, Cape Town, a week ago.

The man faced charges of rape, sexual assault, abduction and attempted murder, and the State would oppose bail.

The National Prosecuting Authority said the man could not be identified as he had not yet pleaded.

Around 100 people, mostly women, sang and danced outside the court, blocking one lane of Landros street.

They chanted “no bail” and carried posters stating: “We refuse to be silent about sexual violence” and “having sex with a child is a crime”.

A group of police kept an eye on the peaceful protest.

The crowd later packed the benches of courtroom G for the bail application.

Meanwhile , the medical team treating the girl are satisfied with her progress, the hospital said on Monday.

Red Cross Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Angelique Jordaan said the young girl had been moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit to a general ward and was continuing with the treatment to her burn wounds.

On Monday night, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato held a prayer meeting in Delft which was open to residents and those who wanted to show their support for the girl.
Cape Argus, Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Pietermaritzburg Unilever Workers Strike In Demand Of Higher Wages
FAWU 24 January 2014

220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever’s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union.
During separate negotiations, FAWU could not reach agreement with both Unilever SA (Tea Factory) and Unilever Food Solutions. At Unilever Tea Factory, the union and the company deadlocked on a wage increase where the company offers 6% and the union demands 9 percent. At Unilever Food Solutions, the union demands ten percent while the company offers 6 percent. The two parties also deadlocked on another issue at the latter site regarding the grading structure of the company.
The Company downgraded the Canister Department and Label Operator positions. There have been two grades in both these sites, AO grade (Autonomous Operator) and UO grade (Universal Operator). Unilever has recently introduced a third layer of grade, the lowest grade called GO (General Operator). The introduction of this grade was discussed and the union objected since the GO’s were used to replace some of the AO grade employees. This then works the same as the Youth Wage Subsidy that we objected to as the federation. A common understanding could not be reached where finally the company forcefully implemented the new grading at R3500 which is on a lower pay scale than the others.

Workers that were working as Label Operators and those in the Canister department were graded as AOs according to skill and job performed on those areas. The company has since gradually placed GO’s in the Canister department and in the place of the Label Operators. People that were working in these positions were reshuffled to other departments. Slowly these young GO’s will replace all the older members that are paid at better grades. At the end of the day they will be able to run the company with the most people at the very lowest paid grade. We should also bear in mind that this is the lowest paid division in all Unilever companies

FAWU therefore demands that the company reinstates the original set up of those departments.

Released by FAWU media officer , Dominique Swartz , 082 498 5631


Protesters bring Brits to a standstill
News 24 24 January 2014

Brits - Residents of Brits brought the town to a standstill as they marched to the offices of the Madibeng local municipality on Friday.

Roads were closed for the march and traffic was disrupted. The residents were joined by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Resident Zamo Selwadi said the leaders of the municipality should all resign because residents had lost faith in them.

"The municipality is full of corruption. Enough is enough with Madibeng and the ANC [African National Congress]."

Violent protests

The municipality has been hit by service delivery protests over water shortages. Four people were killed in Mothutlung, allegedly at the hands of police, this week.

One of the protesters was carrying a bottle with brown-coloured water.

"This is the water from a tap that was installed by the municipality," Fredah Mokwena said.

She said those in power would not survive drinking the water, yet residents were expected to.

"I have two children who are sick and cannot drink this."

The municipality was not doing anything and was failing to fulfil the promises it made, she said.

"The ANC is not following up on promises made by Nelson Mandela. We want a new government."

She said she would vote for the EFF in this year's elections, adding that residents were happy with the work the party was doing.

"I have seen the beautiful work done by the EFF. They built someone a house in Nkandla."
www.news24.com


Striking South African platinum miners agree to talks
Mail & Guardian 24 January 2014

Tens of thousands of striking workers at South Africa's top three platinum producers agreed Thursday to take part in government-brokered talks aimed at ending the dispute and limiting economic damage.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which led roughly 80,000 miners to down tools on Thursday, said it "will be part of the negotiations" set to take place from 0700 GMT Friday.

The union went on a legal strike calling for entry-level wages to be more than doubled to $1,150 per month and better working conditions.

"The strike is still going, there is no agreement, no settlement yet," said AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa.

In a sign of how seriously the risk of unrest and economic fallout is being taken by the government, the talks are expected to be led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

South Africa is the world's largest platinum producer and around 134,000 workers are employed in the sector.

Top three companies Anglo-American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin, had described AMCU's demands as unrealistic and unaffordable.

But with share prices already pummelled by a wave of strikes that firms say cost them as much as $1.2 billion in lost revenue, the companies welcomed the talks.

"We are committed to finding a positive and sustainable resolution to this dispute, and management continues to engage at all levels to seek agreement," said Lonmin CEO Ben Magara.

But the walkout is still likely to bite.

Implats reported attendance as low as 10 percent Thursday at facilities in the platinum belt north of Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said the firm expects "production to be impacted by the strike action."

Lonmin said it expects losses to be in the region of 3,100 ounces per day during the strike.

Fearing the industrial action could spark violence in a region where over 40 people were killed during a wildcat strike in 2012, mine owners began shuttering operations on Wednesday night.

Police have stepped up security, but also ordered the organisers of the industrial action to "ensure that their strike is peaceful and they adhere to the picketing rules".

'High levels of intimidation'

In previous strikes, non-union staff and members of rival unions have reported being threatened if they refuse to take part.

On Thursday the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) claimed that at least 70 of its members had been bullied away from reporting for work as the strike started.

"There are high levels of intimidation," NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu told AFP, adding that one of the union's members was "severely assaulted for refusing to join the strike" at Implats.

Tensions are high, and neither the unions nor the companies can afford to capitulate.

After promises of vast wage hikes lured hard-up workers from rival unions, AMCU must prove to members it can deliver.

"We will continue our strike for as long as our demands are not met," vowed Jack Khoba, an AMCU leader at Lonmin.

Oliver Thipe, a 28-year-old rock drill operator at Amplats, was confident that "we are going to get what we want".

"We have been struggling for a long time for the wages. This is the time for a better living wage. AMCU will bring it," he said.

But platinum firms, reeling from previous industrial action and facing growing competition abroad, must prove to boards and shareholders they still have a viable business model.

Platinum and related metals are used in products from catalytic converters to computer hard disks to dental fillings.

Dire consequences

The strike is already causing ripples across the South African economy, with platinum prices rising and the rand weakening.

"Our economy is stressed enough already and another strike in the mining industry would have dire consequences," said Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.

And in a country where as many as one in three workers is unemployed, there are also fears of further job losses.

Amplats, Implats and Lonmin issued a rare joint statement on Tuesday, warning that previous strikes, rising operating costs and a sharp drop in platinum prices had resulted in the loss of around 11,000 jobs since December 2011.

But unions are adamant that the country's mining firms, with billions of dollars in revenue, can afford to pay out more.

Anger at vast income disparities is raw in a country that even 20 years after the end of apartheid remains one of the most unequal on earth.
za.news.yahoo.com


South Africa: Strikers Carrying Sticks, Sjamboks Into Stadium
All Africa 23 January 2014

Marikana — Some striking mineworkers were carrying sticks and sjamboks into the Wonderkop stadium in Marikana on Thursday, the first day of a wage strike on platinum mines in the North West.

A handful of workers sang and danced while holding the objects. Police were searching cars entering the stadium.

Around 2000 workers had converged at the stadium. Some wore yellow United Democratic Movement T-shirts. No violence had been reported by mid-morning. Police had earlier warned that no weapons would not be allowed at the venue.

North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said cautionary measures had been taken to prevent the use of dangerous weapons at the gathering. He said the Dangerous Weapons Act that came into effect on January 2 would be invoked. The act defines dangerous weapons as "any object other than a firearm, capable of causing death or inflicting serious bodily harm, if it were used for any unlawful purpose". These weapons include homemade objects, spears, and pangas.

Ngubane could not be reached for further comment on why sticks and sjamboks had been allowed in.

By 10.30am, mineworkers were still waiting at the stadium for leaders of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union to arrive.

A small group in the stadium danced and sang about President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

"Hey wena [hey you], Zuma, Mantashe stop being an idiot," they sang.

Members of Amcu at Lonmin in Marikana, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum's mines wanted an entry-level monthly salary of R12,500.

On Tuesday, the companies said Amcu's wage demands were unaffordable and unrealistic. Impala Platinum cancelled its Wednesday night shift at its Rustenburg operations and would continue to do so for the duration of Amcu's planned strike, the company said.

This was to mitigate the risk of violence and ensure the safety of employees.
allafrica.com


Strike in platinum sector begins
Eye Witness News 23 January 2014

JOHANNESBURG - North West police are out in their numbers on the platinum belt this morning as a wage strike by 100,000 workers affiliated to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (Amcu) gets underway.

The workers are expected to fill picketing sites at all three mines - Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

The police's Thulane Ngubane says it's up to Amcu to ensure a peaceful strike.

“The onus is on them to make sure that through their marshals they have a safe strike because anything that goes wrong the organisers will be held liable.”

The union is demanding a R12,500 minimum salary for its workers.

Despite last-ditch talks to stave off the strike action the union says it has not yet reached a settlement with mining houses.

This could be one the biggest labour related strikes in recent months with Amcu expected to bring the already fragile platinum industry to halt.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe announced this week that government would facilitate with negotiations to try and bring about a resolution as quickly as possible.

But for now, miners from Anglo American Platinum, Impala and Lonmin are expected not to report for their shifts today.

Mining lawyer Peter Leon says the impact will be determined by the duration of the strike.

“The fact that the government has intervened in the matter is obviously positive, but the question is how long it takes.”

Furthermore, there are tensions within the union with some members saying Amcu won't be able to pull off the strike.

Meanwhile, a planned strike in the gold sector was on Wednesday postponed pending a Labour Court ruling.

But the Labour Court ruling will not affect the platinum sector.
(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)
ewn.co.za


Durban Deep protesters freed
SAPA 24 January 2014

Johannesburg - Public violence charges against 28 Durban Deep protesters were dropped in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Friday.

“The charges have been dropped due to lack of evidence, but they could be reinstated if the State has new evidence,” said James Human, for the protesters.

The 28 were arrested on Thursday morning during violent protests at Durban Deep, on the West Rand, to protest against an eviction order and a lack of housing.

As they walked free on Friday, residents of Durban Deep sang:

“senzeni na” (what did we do?).

One of the protesters, Banyana Difatlhe, 62, said she was arrested on Thursday while sitting under a tree on Randfontein road.

“I was sitting when a female police officer came to arrest me. She was pushing me around as if I committed a crime,” said Difatlhe.

She said she was deeply hurt about what police did to her.

Residents promised to protest outside the court on Monday, at the appearance of four police officers accused of killing one of the protesters, Tshepo Babuseng. They were arrested in the early hours of Friday.

Babuseng, 28, was shot dead, allegedly by a policeman, after protesters surrounded a police officer's car on Thursday.
Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Man killed in Durban Deep protest

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng police have confirmed a man has been killed during this morning's protest over housing in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

Police say the man died in hospital.

It's still unclear who shot him and an investigation is underway.

Durban Deep residents have told Eyewitness News the man, who was demonstrating peacefully this morning, was shot by a police officer in an unmarked vehicle.

But police say they cannot confirm this claim.

It’s understood residents starting protesting against a private development company, which has won a court order to evict them from the former mining area.
ewn.co.za


Cape cleaners pelted with faeces
Zodidi Dano (IOL News)23 January 2014

Cape Town - City of Cape Town employees and contract cleaning staff were pelted with stones and faeces by angry Barcelona informal settlement residents on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

The city council workers and contracted cleaning services staff had returned to the area, in Gugulethu, to commence their normal cleaning schedule, after months of violent disruptions had prohibited them from doing so.

On Tuesday, residents had had a go at a community leader, throwing faeces at the leader’s home.

Mayoral committee member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said an agreement for the city employees and cleaning staff to work in the area on Wednesday followed a meeting he had had with Sannicare CC, the ward councillor and Barcelona leaders.

“It is clear that this group does not represent the broader community, but rather some individuals with illegal interests who are prepared to jeopardise the wider community’s access to services,” he said.

Ward councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe was to meet residents on Wednesday night to discuss the matter. Thereafter a decision would be made on when the city staff and cleaners would return to the area.

Sonnenberg said the city was committed to finding the best solution for all parties involved.

“The city will continue to do all that it can to resolve this matter so that the whole community can receive the best level of services. As part of this commitment (to residents) we have already agreed to provide additional janitorial services in Barcelona.”



Protesters barricade Roodepoort roads
IOL News 23 January 2014

Johannesburg - Protesters in Roodepoort barricaded roads with stones and burning objects on Thursday, Johannesburg metro police said.

“They are throwing stones at passing cars. Motorists must used alternative routes such as Albertina Sisulu, Impala and Ontdekkers,” said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

Traffic flow from Randfontein and Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, was affected, he said. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Mine’s land belongs to the people: leader
IOL News 22 January 2014

Johannesburg - Bekkersdal residents believe that occupying land belonging to gold mining company Rand Uranium is legal, a community leader said on Wednesday.

“The community believes the land is rightfully theirs. They say this is not illegal,” Thabang Wesi told Sapa.

“People are there today to register for stand numbers. It is an administrative detail to determine who will get which part of the land.”

He said no structure had been established on the land yet.

The Citizen newspaper earlier reported that the Westonaria local municipality and Rand Uranium were applying for a court interdict to stop residents from illegally occupying the land.

In court papers, the municipality said it was not in a financial position to “take on the burden” of providing services it had not planned or budgeted for. The municipality said the area had been rezoned for agricultural purposes, and it was geologically unstable and prone to sinkholes, according to the newspaper.

The case is due to be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

The Citizen reported that over a thousand residents were carrying shovels and picks onto the land on Tuesday to erect dwellings.

Wesi said he received court papers on Tuesday but had not responded to them yet.

“Our legal team is working on that matter.”

Last year, violent protests broke out in the area and lasted for more than a month when residents demanded the removal of the municipality's mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi. They accused her of maladministration and nepotism.
www.iol.co.za


Several arrests in Free State protest
News24 22 January 2014

Bloemfontein - More than 20 people have been arrested during protests in Masilo at Theunissen, Free State police said on Wednesday.

“In the past two days until 13:00 today [Wednesday] 23 people were arrested and they are still busy booking people,” said police spokesperson Peter Kareli.

Of these, 12 were made in Masilo on Tuesday.

The protests are allegedly linked to failed job opportunities at a nearby mine.

Kareli said some of those arrested were young people.

The protesters blocked a main road in Masilo to disrupt traffic in town.

Police were still on the scene.
www.news24.com


Man nearly necklaced over housing
Valeska Abreu 22 January 2014

Pretoria - Placed between two tyres, handcuffed and minutes away from being necklaced, a young Soshanguve man is very lucky to be alive.

Following several housing disputes flaring between two rival groups in the township, residents have been living in fear for six days after many were forcibly evicted, others beaten, one person left dead and several homes torched.

Residents who spoke to the Pretoria News on Tuesday said they were tired of the mob-like activity that has taken over their community.

The death of a disabled Plastic View woman, allegedly at the hands of fuming Extension 6 and 7 residents and the near-death of a young man at the weekend are causing tensions to boil in the area.

The problems started on Wednesday last week after some residents living in newly built RDP houses in Plastic View were evicted by metro police and housing departments.

The residents claim they had to occupy the houses illegally as they believed the homes were being sold by the local councillor and his “agents”.

Out of anger, they descended on extension 6 last week and set alight the house of a man they believed was selling the RDP houses.

This sparked days of violence.

Extension 6 residents then stormed into Plastic View and began forcefully evicting the few people living in the disputed houses while allegedly threatening them by wielding guns, knives, and machetes.

On Saturday morning the evictions continued by the mob that allegedly broke down doors and turfed out appliances, furniture and owners from their homes.

A young man who tried to help his mother pick up her belongings, nearly paid with his life.

He and his mother on Tuesday spoke of his ordeal on condition of anonymity for fear of being further victimised.

“I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t run away because there were so many of them and they were surrounding me,” he said.

The mob got angry when he tried to help his mother collect her belongings that had been flung out.

“They handcuffed him while police looked on.

“They said they were going to burn him alive,” his mother said.

“I have no idea why they put the handcuffs on me. They were very tight and hurt my hands. They assaulted me as well and took me to the other side of the village to their area,” he said.

“They placed me between two tyres and were going to burn me,” the victim added.

According to the man, two elderly men who had heard the commotion came to his rescue.

“They told the mob to let me go, but they didn’t want to.

“The two men then took a grinder and cut the handcuffs off and told me to run,” he said.

As he sprinted off, the mob started throwing stones at him and two men ran after him with a machete but he managed to get away.

“We live in fear now because those people can come back at any time. They are ruthless and don’t care who they hurt or kill,” the man said.

His mother and another two women who were also evicted from their homes by the mob, shared his sentiments.

“We have nowhere to go now. We are living with friends.

“All these problems are because of houses.

“The city needs to come and give the proper papers for the houses to the proper people and all this will end.

“When will they listen? When hundreds are dead?” the man’s mother asked.

The young man said he had not laid any criminal charges, as he was fearful of further intimidation and threats by the mob.

Police spokeswoman Captain Rianna van Aarde said police would remain in the area and continue to monitor the situation until complete calm has returned.
www.iol.co.za


Dairybelle Employees On Strike After Worker Being called a “baboon”
FAWU 22 January 2014

About 100 workers from unions FAWU and SACCAWU are on strike since January 16, 2014 at a Dairybelle plant in Cookhouse, a small town near Somerset East, in protest against a worker being called a “baboon” by the wife of a manager at the plant in October 2013. Mrs. De Vos, also a senior manager at the Cookhouse plant, made the racist remark to Nico Blou, a Dairybelle employee.

FAWU has requested the company to suspend Mrs. De Vos pending investigation but after various meetings between the company and the union, nothing has been done in this regard and she continues to work there because of her relation to Mr. De Vos. Workers are protesting outside the gates of the company and say they are simply not prepared to go back until the company suspend the arrogant Mrs. De Vos. They also question why the company had never acted on the formal grievance laid by the employee.

The plant is basically at a stand still because the whole community, including organisations such as SANCO and the SACP has now given their support to the striking workers at the plant. Nepotism and union bashing as well as the fact that this racist person has not being reprimanded angers workers, and community members to the extent that they have no other option but to strike.

Released by FAWU media officer, Dominique Swartz, 082 498 5631. Also call FAWU organiser Nyebo on 083 494 7929 for further information.


Protesters storm homes, flats
IOL News 21 January 2014

Johannesburg - A Lindhaven family were forced to take cover inside a locked bathroom when angry residents of Princess informal settlement, west of Joburg, stormed their home.

A woman, who was with her toddlers at the time, was able to contact a local police sector number for help.

This happened on Saturday night when residents who had taken to the streets to protest against poor service delivery turned on residents of flats and houses across the street from their settlement.

The woman has left her house for safety. A police Nyala was seen outside her ransacked home on Monday. The windows had been pelted. It is also alleged that her belongings, including furniture and other goods, were taken from the house during the protest.

Also affected were residents of Greenshank Villas, a residential complex opposite the informal settlement. Residents were forced to flee their homes and occupy their landlord’s empty flats after their homes were pelted by the protesters.

The week-long protest started last Tuesday when residents began protesting against poor service delivery and demanding houses.

Protesters from the Princess informal settlement stoned residents at the Greenshank Villas complex, forcing them to abandon their homes.

A community leader, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said: “Those who stole in these house are opportunists and criminals.

“We saw them. They are aware that the community wants to apprehend them, but they fled. Only thugs behave in such a manner, not human beings,” said the leader.

The man said they protested in the evening to avoid police patrolling the area. It was during those protests that some protesters went on a rampage, ransacking nearby properties. “When police are around we cannot protest. We want to show the government our dissatisfaction around this issue,” he added.

A resident at Greenshank Villas said they sympathised with residents of the informal settlement, but said their actions were unacceptable.

“We understand they want better service delivery. But they cannot do it like this, not at night and not by leaving people stressed or feeling unsafe in their homes,” said the man.

Meanwhile, the protesters have vowed not to vote in this year’s elections. “We don’t want any IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) people coming into the area until the government has answered us,” said resident Tsholofelo Binang.

On Monday morning, residents regrouped on the main road to discuss a way forward. They voiced their anger at what they labelled police brutality after police allegedly fired rubber bullets at them during the protest.

Also furious at police were Somali businessmen who claimed to have been attacked and robbed by cops who conducted a search in the area on Monday. Said Mohammed Djama said: “They accused me of supporting the people (protesters), that we are together in this and stayed together in the area.”

He claimed police took R2 000 worth of airtime vouchers, R500 in cash and two cooldrinks, which they drank in his presence.

It is alleged police also stormed Temesgen Huro’s Tuck-shop and took R3 000 in cash. His employee was allegedly beaten by the officers during the search.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Katlego Mogale confirmed that a search operation was conducted earlier on Monday. She said that police made a few arrests.

“They will appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court facing charges of possession of suspected stolen property, illegal immigration, possession of dagga and operating a tavern without a licence,” she said.
kutlwano.oliphant@inl.co.za
natasha.magadlela@inl.co.za
://www.iol.co.za


Brits protesters hand over memorandum
IOL News 22 January 2014

Brits - Residents of Hebron, North West, handed over a memorandum of grievances at the Madibeng local municipality's offices in Brits on Wednesday, giving it 14 days to respond.

Among their demands was the sacking of their ward councillor, who they accused of flaunting her wealth instead of attending to their needs.

They accused her of “unacceptable misconduct and arrogance”.

“She publicly boasts of her wealth while addressing public gatherings,” community leader Samson Monama claimed.

“She does not address government issues.”

The residents wanted sporting facilities built in the township and collapsed bridges repaired.

“Roads are in a bad state. They are full of potholes.”

Street lights on Molefe Makinta highway through their area were no longer working, Monama added. - Sapa
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Man held after Mbombela water protests
IOL News 20 January 2014

One man has been arrested during service delivery protests in Pienaar, near Mbombela in Mpumalanga, police said on Monday.

“One Mozambican national was arrested on Sunday and will appear at the KaNyamazane Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of public violence,” said police spokesman Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

“The arrest comes after residents took to the streets regarding water shortages in the area and barricaded roads with stones and trees.”

He said the situation was calm on Monday morning and vehicles were moving freely.

“Roads have been cleared and police continue to monitor the area.”

Mohlala appealed to residents to protest in a peaceful manner.

“They should protest peacefully and it should be a protected protest. Residents should refrain from barricading roads because it can endanger the lives of motorists.” - Sapa
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Roodepoort protests to continue
IOL News 17 January 2014

Johannebsurg - Residents of the Princess informal settlement in Roodepoort, on the West Rand, vowed to resume their service delivery protest later on Friday.

A resident who asked not to be named said the protest for better housing and service delivery would be stepped up on Friday night. It began on Tuesday.

Branches, broken glass, rocks, a broken traffic light and other debris were scattered on Albertina Sisulu Road.

The area was quiet and a handful of police officers were present on Friday afternoon. A police car and a Nyala were parked on the outskirts of the informal settlement.

Residents said they spoke to government officials on Thursday. The officials undertook to return and address their concerns on Tuesday, another resident said.

One man said government was allowing town houses to be built on land meant for their RDP homes. He said they were tired of undelivered promises.

Earlier, police and metro police warned motorists to stay away from the area as protesters threw stones at passing vehicles.

Asked why they were littering, one man said: “Since government doesn't want to do anything for us, they can at least come clean up the place.”

No arrests or injuries had been reported.
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Parents protest, pupils play
IOL News 17 January 2014

Pupils at a Limpopo primary school outside Polokwane missed their second day of schooling on Thursday following ongoing protest action by their parents, which began on Wednesday.

On Thursday, not a single pupil showed up at the school, according to teachers, who didn’t want to be named.

The trouble began when protesting parents would not allow their children to attend Ntji Ga-Mothapo Primary at Ramogale village in the Mankweng area outside Polokwane.

The parents insist their children will not return until three teachers are dismissed. They accuse the trio – Kaizer Marutha, Paul Pochana and Alex Ramaboea – of disrespecting them and undermining the principal, Ngoako Rapaledi.

On Wednesday, children wearing school uniform were seen loitering outside the school premises while their parents held a meeting in front of the gate.

Attempts by officials from the Kgakotlou circuit to convince parents to allow pupils to attend classes were unsuccessful.

A parent, speaking on condition of anonymity, said pupils would not attend school on Friday either.

“We are going to have a meeting on Sunday to map a way forward,” she said.

The spat involves the principal and parents’ representatives on the school governing body (SGB) on the one side, and the three teachers and their 29 sympathetic colleagues on the other.

The three teachers form part of the teachers’ component in the SGB. But teachers at the school allege that the principal and parents’ representatives in the SGB sideline them when making decisions affecting the school.

A 2011 report by the Capricorn district office, which The Star has seen, has recommended that Rapaledi be charged for misconduct.

The report alleges that Rapaledi had unlawfully fiddled with SGB minutes in 2009, resulting in two parent representatives on the SGB being paid for allegedly taking part in a project to fence off the school. Rapaledi has denied any wrongdoing.

While the right to education of these pupils at a rural village were being trampled on, there seemed to be no concern from the community.

The protest action came amid President Jacob Zuma urging parents, teachers, communities and various stakeholders to turn schools into centres of excellence.
moloko.moloto@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Land claimants hijack truck, barricade main road
Colleen Dardagan 16 January 2014

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal land claimants who threatened to evict a farm manager earlier this week, hijacked a truck and blocked the Muden-Greytown road on Wednesday in a move to force the government to settle their 10-year-old claim to the farm.

The chairman of the Umvoti Farmers’ Association, Andy Mason, said the claimants dug a “waist-deep” trench in the road and hijacked a truck delivering bottled water to Greytown.

“They stole the diesel from the truck, the battery and some of the driver’s possessions,” he said.

Jeffrey Ngobese, a spokesman for the Zibambeleni community, confirmed the blockade.

Ngobese said that until the community had title to the land, it could not apply for basic services from the municipality.

“They (the government) don’t seem to have an appetite to resolve this thing. It is only if we remind them. Then they will do something,” he said.

Mason said the road was reopened at midday after police from Pietermaritzburg and farmers moved in to repair the damage.

The claimants have also lodged a labour tenant application.

They hijacked and torched a bread delivery van and a water tanker in August. Before that, they had blockaded the road for three months.

On Monday, Martin Platt, who works as a manager for farm owner Brian Corbishley, was threatened with eviction by a group who blockaded the entrance to the farm.

They demanded that Platt vacate the property by Friday.

Platt declined to say whether he would leave the farm.

SAPS spokesman Jay Naicker said that a case of intimidation had been opened at the Greytown police station and a docket was sent to the public prosecutor on Wednesday. He said police were monitoring the situation.

The dispute started when Corbishley bought the property in 1993.

He said 61 people were living “illegally” on the farm at that time. Between 1993 and 1995, he said, alternative land was offered to the community, which they refused. Since then the community has grown to more than 300.

In the interim, the enactment of the Labour Tenants Act has offered the community protection.

Corbishley has said research had proved the group are not eligible for tenant rights.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs recognised the community as labour tenants, said spokesman Sipho Dlamini.

Negotiations took place between the head of the provincial planning commission, Cyril Xaba, and the roleplayers, late last year. Two offers were made to Corbishley by the department, which he refused.

In the statement, Corbishley said he was not a willing seller.
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Police break up Valhalla demo
Natasha Prince 16 January 2014

Cape Town - Police used a water canon and fired stun grenades to disperse angry Valhalla Park residents who shut down a busy main road on Wednesday to protest against poor service delivery.

Demonstrations broke out along Robert Sobukwe Drive, formerly Modderdam Road, around lunchtime as some pupils were heading home from their first day of school.

Residents burnt tyres and several of the wooden fences protecting trees along the road.

They hauled rocks into the road and hurled stones at officers, who in turn fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

Some residents scolded police for firing the grenades, saying they were traumatising children.

It is understood the demonstration developed spontaneously after five shacks were burnt down. People said one shack had been deliberately set on fire and the it spread.

Police upset residents when they ordered them to go back to their homes – homes that had burnt to the ground. They said: “But we’re standing in our houses!”

An angry Ralph Josephs, who lives with his daughters aged three months and five years, shouted at police: “Where must I go?

“This was my house – you say go to your house, now where must I go?”

All his family’s belongings were burnt in on Wednesday’s fire, including his camera equipment, from which he made a living.

“I was trying to save some of my stuff, but police started firing – you can’t save a shoe or a teaspoon here,” Joseph said.

The city will investigate allegations that the fire was deliberately started to get more names on its property rights lists.

The Agstelaan settlement was devastated by a fire that destroyed hundreds of shacks two days before Christmas, displacing 1 500 people. New structures have since gone up for the homeless. But tensions have risen in the community since the fire and there have been a number of protests.

After Wednesday’s fire, resident Adrian Lawrence said a city Disaster Risk Management official had visited. Residents gathered and decided to protest. “We’ve seen other people protest and they get what they want so we wanted to protest.”

City Disaster Risk Management’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they would not provide relief to residents of the houses destroyed in Wednesday’s fire because they did not want to put staff at risk.
natasha.prince@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Skierlik memorial shunned
IOL News 15 January 2014

Johannesburg - Victims and survivors of the Skierlik massacre – in which four people, including a three-month-old child, were killed – snubbed a commemoration service held in their honour on Tuesday.

The residents of the informal settlement of Skierlik outside Swartruggens in North West chose to remain at their homes while the Kgetlengrivier Local Municipality went ahead with the sixth commemorative anniversary. Only a handful turned up.

The victims and survivors accused the municipality of short-changing them since the tragedy happened.

They claimed that the municipality had failed to pay them a single cent of the sum which they had promised to pay more that six years ago.

Meisie Moiphitlhi, who lost both her daughter Anna and her granddaughter, three-month-old Keditlhotshe, is still angry towards the municipality. Her daughter was carrying her baby on her back when the murderer, Johan Nel, fired the fatal shot at them. The bullet went through Anna and also fatally wounded her child.

“We aren’t feeling good at all. We did not want this event but it keeps going on. As we try to forget, they (municipality) keep reminding us about it, bringing back bad memories that we don’t want,” she said.

Moiphitlhi said she had not seen a cent of the money they were promised for the pain they suffered. “They have to keep their promises. It’s the least they could do,” she said.

Moiphitlhi knows nothing about the meeting that was allegedly held with the families last week to discuss the issues that were raised.

“My grandchildren want their mother. When they see other people with their parents, they feel sad. All I can do is try to make money to make sure they go to school. Their mother will never come back to them,” she said.

Similar sentiments of anger were expressed by other victims.

The families are yet to receive the money promised to them by the municipality. Last year, the families were promised R10 000 for lost loved ones and R5 000 for those injured.

Kelebogile Seruthe, who sustained serious gunshot wounds, and is still receiving medical treatment six years later – gave her reasons for snubbing the event.

“This event is painful. We are being used. Every year, they promise us jobs and money and all sorts of things. Then they go quiet and return again a year later saying the same things,” said Seruthe.

Last year, the families told the organisers that they did not want the commemoration to take place anymore.

Seruthe said they were told they did not have the power to stop it.

“So they just continue doing it without us. January 14 comes with so much pain. Nel hurt me. I want to forget about it now,” said Seruthe.

She said she was tired of her name being used in vain for money she would never receive.

“My only worry now is for the children. There is no work for us. What will they do?”

Ofentse Motshelanoka sat under a tree with friends while the commemoration took place.

“It should really come to an end. They’ve been making their own decisions since 2011. We weren’t at their meeting and they targeted the old people,” he said.

“We refuse to attend it until they treat us like people. How would you feel if people acted like they cared but only came once a year to make money off your loss?” Motshelanoka lost his 10-year-old nephew Tshepo in the shooting.

The municipality’s director of corporate services, Vusi Mtshengu, said the promises made to the families would be kept.

mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za
The Star
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Illegal occupation of land leads to court order
Look Local 13 January 2014

A totally out of control situation recently led to a court order after stands were illegally allocated and sold on land belonging to the municipality.
13 January 2014

MASHISHING -The illegal occupation of the property known as the extended portion 39 of farm 31, Townlands of Lydenburg, forced the Thaba Chweu Municipality to acquire a court order after several attempts of negotiations with both the occupiers and the SAPS failed.

According to the court order flyers were handed out to occupiers of the vacant land in Ext 6, informing them that it was an illegal act and they would be removed through the court processes. The people however tried to torch the vehicle delivering the flyers and became extremely aggressive and hostile towards the municipal representatives and chased the councillors away. It furthermore stated that the legal advisor of the municipality went to the Lydenburg Police Station on December 9 to get the SAPSs assistance, but was informed by a captain that there was nothing they could do without a court order, despite the fact that the invasion was illegal and constituted property theft.

According to the court order the SAPS refused to open a case. On December 27 the municipality consulted the police again to lay formal criminal charges for a second time, but once again they refused to open a case for criminal investigation. The property is zoned for residential development but the municipality does not have the financial resources to provide services to the property at this time. The document furthermore stated that the municipality was informed that the invasion of the property had been orchestrated by someone who allegedly allocated and sold stands at R150 each.

Steelburger/Lydenburg News was confidentially informed that the accused hailed from Bushbuckridge. The paper managed to meet with the latter and although he denied selling the stands it was confirmed that a joining fee of R500 for each stand had to be paid to the Executive Committee of Mashishing Settlers Association, where the accused served as a spokesperson. We dont expect the people to pay R500 at once, but we allow them to pay it off over time, the accused said. He added that the cash were then deposited into a bank account the funds of which would be used to pay legal representatives. This was confirmed by Mr Thokwane Moloto, an attorney of the High Court of South Africa as well as expert in human rights and humanitarian law. But according to Moloto it was an invalid court order due to the fact that it was not issued by a judge and therefor the occupiers could not be removed.

There are currently 1 191 illegal occupants on the land. Moloto will represent them in court on
www.looklocal.co.za


Hell hath no fury like a community wronged
Look Local 14 January 2014

A man who has been terrorizing women in the Schoongezicht area, has met his fate. He was found by a community mob, which showed him what they do to people who are found abusing women and young girls.
18 December 2013

Community members in Schoongezicht, were infuriated when they heard that a man, aged between 24 and 26, had just raped a 6-year-old girl from around the community on December 15, at around 13:00.

The suspect was Sjambokked almost to a pulp, before the angry mob took him to the police station in Vosman where he later died.
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Angry mob attacks police station
Look Local 10 January 2014

An angry crowd was trying to catch two men who attacked and killed a woman on Darius Mhlongo street on 1 January.

An angry crowd damaged the Mohlakeng Police station after trying to catch two men who attacked and killed a woman on Darius Mhlongo Street on 1 January.

The two men were seen assaulting a woman on Darius Mhlongo Street and members of the community intervened, chasing the suspects.

According to Randfontein SAPS spokesperson Captain Appel Ernst, the two fled on foot and ran to their home were they hid until the group dispersed.

Shortly after this, they emerged both yielding dangerous weapons, found the woman again and continued their assault, eventually beating her to death..

According to Ernst, members of the community saw the incident and once again chased the suspects through the streets of Mohlakeng.

The two men aged 19 and 35-years-old ran to the police station desperate for protection from the residents, who gave chase.

"Police officers took the two men into custody for their own protection," says Ernst.

The group of residents were furious and demanded that police hand them over.

Tempers flared and the crowd began damaging the police station and police property in protest.

"Police officers managed to calm the crowd down and details of the attack on the woman emerged.

"An investigation was carried out at the scene were the fight started and they discovered the badly beaten body of the woman.

"Paramedics were called to the scene but she was declared dead upon their arrival.

"I can confirm that the two men were then arrested for murder.

"They appeared at the Randfontein Magistrates' Court on 6 January where their case was remanded," says Ernst.
www.looklocal.co.za


Protest highlights plight of circus animals
Look Local13 January 2014

Animal activists staged a mainly silent protest on Montecasino Boulevard outside Brian Boswell's Circus.

Kathy Watson, spokesperson of Beauty Without Cruelty explained that the protest was against the cruelty behind the training of animals in circuses.

"Using animals in circuses is an archaic practice," Watson said. "Global trends are moving away from using animal performers and are rather celebrating human artistic skills."

She said Beauty Without Cruelty's campaign, Ban Animal Trading, was against the exploitation of animals for profit and was a protest against all circuses which still included animal performers, not just Brian Boswell's Circus.

"Animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year travelling for thousands of hours over long distances," she said. "They may be chained or caged while not performing, transported in vehicles that lack climate control and forced to stand or lie in their own waste."

Protesters of all ages held placards that read, 'Minutes of fun = a lifetime of misery' and 'Animals belong in the wild'.

Some protesters donned chains to demonstrate the conditions that animals in some circuses faced.

While the protest was mainly silent some protesters chanted slogans and tried to get motorists on Montecasino Boulevard to 'hoot for the animals'.

In response to the protest, owner of Brian Boswell's Circus, Georgina Boswell said all the pictures that the protesters used on their placards were not of the animals in her circus but rather pictures downloaded from the internet.

"Currently we do not have elephants and lions in our show but rather feature horses, ponies, camels, poodles, goats and an adorable llama called Nuzzle and yet these activists continue to hold protests which are bordering on harassment," she said.

Boswell explained that in the past, protesters have intimidated their customers and upset children by shouting at them, and showing them pictures and information that did not relate to the Brian Boswell Circus.

"It is clear to us that the majority, if not all of these activists have not been to see us or the condition and demeanor of our animals. We operate a legal business and all our animal permits are current and valid," she said.

Boswell added, "The circus is family entertainment and one of the last remaining entertainment activities that is suitable for the whole family. Our animals are in excellent health and are regularly inspected by the SPCA and independent vets."
www.looklocal.co.za


Politician attacked at Mothutlung memorial
IOL News 17 January 2014

Premier, minister to visit Brits families
Casac outraged at Brits protester killings
Police minister visits Brits after shooting
Brits protester killings condemned
Mthethwa calls for calm in Brits
Brits - A member of Madibeng Mayoral Committee (MMC) was attacked on Friday at a memorial service for three people killed in a violent protest in Mothutlung, Brits, in North West.

MMC member Douglas Maimane was sitting on stage alongside Water Minister Edna Molewa when a water bottle was thrown at him by a brother of one of the deceased.

Maimane was hit in the face, causing his mouth to bleed.

The brother was crying and breathing heavily. His family tried to calm him as he stared at the stage, where Molewa remained seated.

Three men were killed in the township during protests over water this week.

On Monday, mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known as Bra Mike were shot dead, allegedly by police. On Tuesday Lerato Seema died, allegedly after falling from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody.

Residents claim they have been without water for at least three months.

On Wednesday, Molewa promised residents of Mothutlung that water would be completely restored by Friday.
www.iol.co.za

Molewa promises Mothutlung water before the weekend
Karabo Ngoepe, Staff Reporter 15 January 2014

The water and environmental affairs minister has vowed to return running water to residents of Mothutlung by the end of the week.
Mothutlung residents share water from a tanker after having no running water for six days on Wednesday. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Tuesday promised residents of Mothutlung near Brits, North West, water before the weekend.

"Water will be back by Friday," she told residents. She was there with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa after visiting the families of two men killed during violent protests in the township on Monday.

Police allegedly shot the two while they were en route to the Madibeng municipality with other residents to demand water. Beeld newspaper named them as mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known only as Bra Mike.

Molewa said three local water pumps in the area broke down, which she said was a "very strange problem". According to Molewa, under normal circumstances, when one of the pumps failed the remaining two were supposed to keep operating. The same problem was seen in three other areas. She promised to investigate and punish anyone found to be at fault.
"We will not rest until we find out what happened."

The area had been without running water for three months and water tankers had arrived every three days. In the meantime, water tanks would be used to supply residents. But they were not happy to hear that and told her of alleged corruption in the appointment of the contractor to supply water tanks. She promised to assign Magalies Water to deliver water.
Investigations

Mthethwa promised residents that his office would investigate the shooting. He said their interaction with families and eyewitnesses shed some light on the incident.

He urged others with information to help the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) with its investigations.

"If people don't co-operate and give this information to [the] IPID, we won't know what happened."

Mthethwa added that residents should speak to police about the alleged corruption too.
Earlier in the day, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema promised to lend residents his support.

"We must arrange a proper march to Madibeng municipality and I will be there," he told locals at a sports field. He said it was the community's right to have water and he blamed the situation on poor administration. "While the water was still under Magalies, there were no such problems."

Peaceful
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses told the Mail & Guardian the police were unprovoked and threw tear gas and shot bullets into a peaceful march at Mothutlung. Marchers also said they were given no warnings before the police intervened, in contravention of current crowd control policies.

Police in the North West told the M&G on Tuesday that they had to "disperse" the crowd after stones were thrown at the police, and hawkers' shops were "looted". But they could not clarify whether Monday's operation was a dispersal operation or a crowd management scenario that went wrong.

They also could not say what time they arrived at the scene on Monday, how many officers were deployed, nor what their orders were (to disperse or manage the crowd).

"That is operational information which we cannot give out. But as police we cannot be violent … The crowd started looting hawkers' stalls and throwing stones and we had to disperse them," said North West police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone.

Chris Seabe, one of the marchers, said the police used force arbitrarily, without any provocation, and without any warning.
"Before the shooting we were actually quite jovial. It was a completely peaceful march; we were singing as we walked. There wasn't a single armed protester. Suddenly, the police started shooting."

He told the M&G the police threw tear gas and shot at the crowd without any warning, verbal or otherwise.

"The police started circling us, and then they shot at us. Those who died or who were injured were innocent." – Additional reporting by Staff Reporter
mg.co.za

Mothutlung protesters say police shot at a peaceful crowd
Sarah Evans, Kwanele Sosibo (Mail & Guardian)
15 January 2014

Eyewitness accounts at the Mothutlung shooting of two protesters paint a picture of police acting in contravention of crowd management rules.

Eyewitness accounts at the Mothutlung shooting of two protesters paint a picture of police acting in contravention of crowd management rules. (Gallo)

Eyewitnesses say the police were unprovoked and threw tear gas and shot bullets into a peaceful march at Mothutlung, near Brits in the North West on Monday. Marchers were shot at while protesting because their water supply had been cut off for a week.

Marchers also say they were given no warnings before the police intervened, in contravention of current crowd control policies.

Police in the North West told the Mail & Guardian that they had to "disperse" the crowd after stones were thrown at the police, and hawkers' shops were "looted". But the police could not clarify whether Monday's operation was a dispersal operation or a crowd management scenario that went wrong.

They also could not say what time they arrived at the scene on Monday, how many officers were deployed, nor what their orders were (to disperse or manage the crowd).

"That is operational information which we cannot give out. But as police we cannot be violent … The crowd started looting hawkers' stalls and throwing stones and we had to disperse them," said North West police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone.

No provocation
Not so, according to one of the marchers, Chris Seabe. He said the police used force arbitrarily, without any provocation, and without any warning.

"Before the shooting we were actually quite jovial. It was a completely peaceful march; we were singing as we walked. There wasn't a single armed protester. Suddenly, the police started shooting."

He told the M&G the police threw tear gas and shot at the crowd without any warning, verbal or otherwise.

"The police started circling us, and then they shot at us. Those who died or who were injured were innocent."

Indeed, a march on Sunday to Mothutlung councillor Solly Davids's house was peaceful, even on the police's version of events. No one charged and no one was attacked, although some community members were not satisfied with Davids's explanation and wanted to march again on Monday morning, according to Mokgwabone.

It is unclear why Monday's protest had a different result.

Peaceful protests
The Mothutlung community has a track record of peaceful protests, according to police records.

Police records show that while the North West has a high rate of so-called "service delivery protests", between 2009 and the end of 2012 only five were held in Mothutlung, and the police regarded all of these as "peaceful".
However, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa painted the community as violent in his address on Tuesday.

"We want to reiterate the point that the public have constitutional rights to protest and raise whatever issues they may be discontent with. These very rights to not imply that people must be violent, destroy property, attack police and intimidate others. However, as we have seen on many occasions, many protests have been accompanied by serious provocation, intimidation, public violence and even elements of criminality," he said.

Mthethwa was quick to defend the police and reiterate that questions cannot be asked about their behaviour until investigations by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) are complete.

Standing order 262 (PDF) is the police's policy on crowd policing and crowd dispersal.
It says the police must make an assessment of the potential threat involved during a gathering, immediately after being notified that the gathering will take place. They must take into account the party's history of violence in this regard.

It further says: "The use of force must be avoided at all costs and members deployed for the operation must display the highest degree of tolerance … During any operation ongoing negotiations must take place between officers and conveners or other leadership elements."

Priority
If negotiations break down, the order says police must put defensive measures in place as a priority, and warn participants that action will be taken against them if the police cannot defend themselves.

The next step the police must take involves bringing forward the section of the "platoon" that will be involved in "offensive" measures, in a further effort to avoid violence.

"Give a second warning before the commencement of the offensive measures, giving innocent bystanders the opportunity to leave the area," says the standing order.
Eyewitnesses say none of these steps were taken, and that no warning was given before the police shot at them.

The police protocol does make provisions for the use of force to be used if it is unavoidable. If force is used under these circumstances, it must meet several requirements: the purpose of this type of offensive action must be to "de-escalate the conflict with minimum force to accompany the goal".

Crucially, the degree of force must be proportional to the seriousness of the situation and the threat posed; it must be reasonable; and it must be stopped once the objective is achieved.

Force may only be used in "extreme" circumstances, if less effective measures have failed. Protesters at Mothutlung say they were fired at with rubber bullets and tear gas, simultaneously, although they were not sure whether live ammunition was used.

No evidence
As yet, there is no evidence to suggest that the police satisfied any of these requirements before opening fire.

According to experts, standing order 262 is outdated, and the police pulled out of a 2011 attempt to develop a clearer policy on the use of force.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) called on Mthethwa to urgently clarify the police's position on the use of ammunition.
He said calls for the same from the Human Rights Commission have previously been ignored.

Casac chairperson Sipho Pityana said: "Indeed it appears that a policy of maximum force is prevalent within the [South African Police Service], a view that Casac outlined in its written submission to the Farlam commission of inquiry. The obfuscation of SAPS officials testifying before the Farlam commission strengthens the perception that the police are not prepared to accept responsibility for their actions and to be formally held accountable."
"We are concerned that more than a year after the Human Rights Commission published its report on the killing of Andries Tatane, its recommendations appear to have been ignored by the SAPS … The minister of police must urgently clarify the position of the SAPS with regard to the circumstances when live ammunition may be used, and what measures have been put in place to ensure that the constitutional rights of the public are respected by the SAPS."

Tatane died on April 13 2011, after police used rubber bullets and batons to subdue him during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg. The cops involved were acquitted of his murder.
​No action had been taken against any police officers by Tuesday afternoon.
mg.co.za/article

IPID investigates Mothutlung protesters' deaths
Mail & Guardian 14 January 2014

The IPID is probing the deaths of two people in an impasse between protesters and police during a service delivery strike near Brits.
North West police confirmed that two protesters were shot dead and two wounded during a service delivery protest. (M&G)

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating the deaths of two people in Mothutlung, near Brits, on Monday, a spokesperson said.

"Two other people were injured and are currently in hospital," Moses Dlamini said.
North West police said two protesters were shot dead and two wounded during a service delivery protest. Police were called to monitor protesters after they barricaded a road with burning tyres, Colonel Sabata Mokgobone said.

Residents started protesting on Sunday afternoon about a water shortage. Dlamini said there was allegedly an altercation between protesters and police officers.

"The exact circumstances are being investigated. A murder docket has been opened."

A postmortem examination of the two bodies would be conducted on Tuesday.

Leon Basson, a Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor in the Madibeng municipality, told the Mail & Guardian ​on Monday that the protest involved members from Brits and Mothutlung communities.

He said the communities were connected by the same broken water pipe and had been without water for a week. They were en route to the municipal offices when "something went wrong … and the police opened fire".

The municipality's purification pump and standby pump were both broken, he said.
Basson arrived at the scene after the shooting. While he did not witness the protest, he said he was informed that a video of the incident was available, and more information would be made available at a community meeting scheduled for Monday night.

He was told that two people were killed, allegedly by the police, while three others were injured. By Monday afternoon the protesters had dispersed while the situation in Mothutlung remained "tense", said Basson.

'Violence can never be condoned'
Also on Monday, the DA in the North West expressed its shock at the death of the protesters.

"Violence can never be condoned at a protest action, by either side," North West DA leader Chris Hattingh said in a statement on Monday.

Hattingh said the party was outraged at the incident. – Sapa, Sarah Evans
mg.co.za

Two protesters killed in Brits
IOL News 13 January 2014

Brits - Two protesters were shot dead and two were wounded during a service delivery protest in Brits on Monday, North West police said.

Police were called to monitor protesters after they barricaded a road with burning tyres, said Colonel Sabata Mokgobone.

Residents started protesting on Sunday afternoon about a water shortage in Brits.

Details of the shooting were not clear, Mokgobone said. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Protesters vow to avenge hawker’s killing
IOL News 11 January 2014

Hawkers in the city centre have vowed to make the city “ungovernable” after the murder of one of their own, allegedly by a Tshwane Metro Police officer on Wednesday.

Scores of informal traders protested outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Friday, blaming executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa for the murder of 20-year-old Foster Rivambo from Saulsville.

They vowed to avenge Rivambo’s killing and said it was because Ramokgopa postponed a meeting he promised them last year.

Rivambo was gunned down in Bosman Street near the station when the metro police held their first clean-up operation for the year as part of “Operation I Can”.

Four hawkers briefly appeared in court yesterday on charges of public violence on Wednesday.

One of the suspects wore a blood-stained shirt and had a long cut on his head.

The courtroom was packed with the protesting hawkers who said the police who allegedly killed Rivambo were supposed to appear in court.

“The one who should be standing in the dock is wearing a blue metro police uniform and is supposed to be enforcing the law. We will not leave this matter,” said Lesego Makhubela of the local branch of the ANC Youth League.

Outside, the protesters carried posters demanding Metro Police “stop killing traders”, hurled insults at passing officers and chased a female officer down Francis Baard (formerly Schoeman) Street, pelting her with stones.

“We don’t want Marikana here where innocent people are killed by police. There will be no Marikana in Tshwane,” Makhubela said.

When a mealie vendor pushed his trolley past the court, the protesters looted it and ate his mealies.

Sweet vendor Almond Mika Bila, 21, who said he witnessed the shooting, claimed Rivambo spent hours in the back of a police van before an ambulance arrived.

Bila said the altercation started when Rivambo told the police to stop beating up his brother.

“They asked what he would do and started slapping him. They sprayed him with pepper spray. When he tried to flee, an officer shot him in the stomach,” he said.

Rivambo was loaded into the back of a police van with the four suspects who appeared in court.

“An ambulance came to take away the injured officers and only after an hour another ambulance came for Rivambo. When he was allowed out of the van he was weak, powerless and dying,” Bila said.

“Why do they (the police) shoot a 20-year-old? He was a child. How can you shoot someone who is trying to earn a livelihood?” vendor Titus Mukhabelo wanted to know.

Shoes Maloka, chairman of the Tshwane Barekisi Forum, said vendors are not criminals and are just trying to make an honest living.

“They must stop coming to us with their big guns. We are working and creating jobs,” Maloka said, adding the City must provide every hawker with a stall and a licence.

“They must stop these operations because they take our stock and don’t return our licences after checking them,” Maloka said.

Rivambo’s older brother, Solly Rivambo, 27, a hawker on the same street who lives in a shack in Salvokop, said he has no idea how his family could afford a funeral for his brother. His parents could not afford to fetch their son’s remains.

“He was the nicest guy and he was quiet. He never fought and did not even drink or smoke,” said Solly.

Rivambo was the father of a three-month-old baby boy.

“We don’t know what will happen to the baby because there is no money. No one works and there just isn’t any money,” Solly said.

Maloka said they would take to the streets again on Monday and “bring the city to a standstill”.

The four suspects will appear in court again on January 17 and will remain in custody.

Both the DA and the Workers and Socialist Party have condemned the killing, demanding a proper investigation into the incident.

“The City regrets the loss of life and once again urges all operators of small business and hawking stands to approach the Economic Development office should they require the appropriate trading licences,” council spokesman Blessing Manale said yesterday.

“The City will fully co-operate with the Independent Police Investigation Directorate should it pursue an investigation from a “police conduct” point of view”
www.iol.co.za



Rubber bullets fired in Nkandla
IOL News 11 January 2014

Malema braves stones, bottles in Nkandla
Protest ahead of EFF house handover
Malema: ANC can’t handle opposition
High security ahead of EFF house handover

Nkandla -

Police fired rubber bullets and used a water canon and tear gas against ANC members who threw stones at EFF supporters near President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence on Saturday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters were handing over a house they had built, next to Zuma's homestead, to a woman and her grandchildren.

A heavy police presence monitored the situation since Saturday morning and had kept the two groups separate.

The ANC supporters were on a hill nearby when EFF members emerged from their meeting and began singing.

Some of the ANC group began throwing stones at them and police intervened using truncheons, a water canon and tear gas. Rubber bullets were fired and people ran and dived for cover.

ANC members earlier blocked the road leading to the house and prevented EFF leader Julius Malema's car from driving past. Malema then got out of the car and walked through the crowd to get to the house.

After he made it through, ANC supporters began throwing bottles of water and stones. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


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