||Xenophobia has set Refilwe on fire
KENNEDY MUDZULI (IOL News) 20 February 2014
Pretoria - Xenophobic attacks have erupted and more than 60 shops owned by foreign nationals have been looted this week.
The attacks have followed a series of events triggered by the death of John Oarabile Tau in Refilwe township, near Cullinan.
Tau, 41, was allegedly hit with an iron rod by a Pakistani shop owner, who had accused him of shoplifting, about a week ago. He died at the weekend in hospital and will be buried in his ancestral home of Taung in North West on Saturday.
However, it allegedly emerged later that Tau was about to pay for the items he intended to buy and was not with the people who had helped themselves to some goods from the shelves when the attack happened.
On Tuesday, members of the community approached the businessman and demanded that he contribute towards transporting the coffin. He offered only R3 000, yet the Tau family paid R9 000 to transport the coffin, neighbours said.
As the news spread, so did the anger against foreign nationals trading in the Pretoria East township. By sunset, residents had gone on a looting spree, with more than 20 shops broken into and cleaned out.
The situation worsened later in the evening.
All roads in and around the area were barricaded with burning tyres and stones on Wednesday. Police were escorting foreign shop owners out of the area to protect them.
Stun grenades were used to disperse the protesting residents as they wanted to stop the cars and attack the shop owners.
Earlier, a white Isuzu bakkie tried to leave the area and the occupants fired shots at protesters blocking their way. At lunchtime, a crowd of people attacked police and members of the media.
Even the police retreated further down the road soon after a car belonging to The New Age newspaper team had been smashed.
The police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. Thick black smoke filled the air from at least three cars that had been set alight.
Several people were allegedly shot and injured by the shop owners attempting to protect their businesses. Schools were closed, and most people did not go to work.
One of those injured was 23-year-old Phindi Mohajane, whose mother, Maphefo, said her daughter had been on her way from work and knew nothing about the protests.
Mohajane was one of six people in hospital at the time of going to press. On the streets, people were carrying bags of mealie meal, bags of potatoes and other items looted from shops.
Justice Maila, one of the protesters, was unapologetic and said all foreigners who owned businesses in the area should go.
“We do not want them here. We had a life before they arrived and will cope just fine without them,” he said.
Asika Ahmed, a Bangladeshi national who works at one of the looted shops, said he was on duty when a large crowd stormed in on Wednesday just after 9.30am.
“There were too many of them. They broke the doors and pulled down the shelves. Everything happened so fast. They left with my Nissan bakkie. We are in shock and do not know what we are going to do,” he said.
Melina Manganyi had been with the protesters since the riot erupted on Tuesday.
She told the Pretoria News that the community was angry with the foreign business owners, and the situation had been brewing before Tau’s death.
“At one shop, the owners started to fight back. Police were called in. They chased the crowd away, but everyone would return the moment the police left.
“By evening the situation was out of control. We closed the roads at about 3am on Wednesday.
“We have not slept for more than 24 hours. Many shops were torn to pieces. All of us are in agreement that the foreigners have to go,” she said.
Ibrahim Shuriye, head of community safety for the Somali Association SA, said it was sad that foreign nationals continued to live in fear in a democratic country such as South Africa.
“At least 60 shops belonging to foreign nationals from all over the world were targeted and two of the owners hurt. Xenophobic attacks are happening daily, and we would like to appeal to the government for protection. The situation cannot continue like this,” he said.
KZN protesters torch councillor’s home
IOL News 17 February 2014
Durban - A councillor's house in Mahlongwa, Umkomazi was set alight and cars were stoned during service delivery protests on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
Captain Thulani Zwane said a public violence docket was opened but no arrests were made. A police car was stoned during the protests, which began around 6am.
The crowd calmed down around 3pm after the mayor addressed them, he said.
The SABC reported that police fired rubber bullets to disperse residents after they refused to assemble at a local hall where the mayor was to meet with them.
Zwane could not confirm whether rubber bullets were used. Police were monitoring the area.
MEC chased at housing handover
Siyavuya Mzantsi 18 February 2014
Cape Town - Bonginkosi Madikizela, the MEC for Human Settlements, was escorted to safety when a group of angry residents confronted him as he tried to address a housing handover ceremony in George Kerridge in Vredenburg on Monday.
The residents, many of them wearing ANC shirts, claimed he was there to score “political points” before the elections. Police escorted him to his car as the crowd became rowdy and he was blocked from entering the community hall where the ceremony was held.
Madikizela and Saldanha mayor Francois Schippers had to skip the ceremony and went directly to the houses where they handed them over to the beneficiaries.
Madikizela said: “I am disgusted by what happened at the hall. People use this to score points as elections are looming. We decided to leave them because we did not want to fight with them. We are not here to campaign, people need to understand that.”
He said he would not hand houses to beneficiaries wearing T-shirts of a political party.
“People need to be clear that this is a government event not an election campaign. I am not going to hand over a house to anyone wearing a T-shirt from any political party. We left the hall because we did not want to argue with them, but now they are following us. I will not tolerate this. This is not in the spirit of democracy,” Madikizela said.
He said residents had been given ANC T-shirts to politicise the event.
Thanduxolo Salman, an ANC member in the area, said the venue had been booked for another event which was later cancelled.
“I found it very disturbing that the MEC said he will not hand over houses to people wearing ANC T-shirts. How do you tell people what to wear or not wear. He was there as a government representative and he turned it into a political thing.”
On Monday, 400 houses were handed over to beneficiaries. Another 64 will be handed over by April.
Mpilanga Manqeyi, 60, was among those who received a house on Monday. He and his family had spent for over 10 years in a shack.
“I still can’t believe we have a place that we can call home. I never thought of it. Not many people get a proper house, but we did get it. I think the wait was worthwhile. We feel safer than ever because when you stay in a shack, you have to be cautious about the things you do,” Manqeyi said.
Amplats losing R100m daily due to Amcu strike
Mail & Guardian 17 February 2014
Anglo American Platinum says the Amcu strike over wages has resulted in the mining giant losing hundreds of millions of rands in revenue daily.
Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Amplats, and Impala Platinum embarked on a strike on January 23, demanding a R12 500 basic salary for miners. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)
Mining giant Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is losing about R100-million a day because of a strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which entered its fourth week on Monday.
"The company is losing 4 000oz, amounting to R100-million in revenue daily," said Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole.
Amplats on Saturday said it was suing Amcu for damages and losses suffered over their work stoppage.
Amplats was seeking R591-million but this could rise if damages continued, said Sithole.
"The provisional quantum of the damages claim is about R591-million, although as Amcu's wrongful conduct is continuing, the damages will continue to accrue," she said.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) said talks between Amcu and platinum mining companies were due to resume on Monday at 11am.
Friday's session was postponed as Amcu officials had to attend a funeral.
Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Amplats, and Impala Platinum embarked on a strike on January 23, demanding a R12 500 basic salary for miners.
The platinum producers proposed a three-year agreement last month. The proposal was a 9% increase for A-level workers, 8.5% for B-level, and 7.5% for C-level workers in the first year.
The CCMA has been mediating talks between the union and the platinum companies since January 24. – Sapa
UKZN students arrested for violence
IOL News 17 February 2014
Durban - Seventy UKZN students were arrested for public violence after they allegedly damaged classrooms at the university's Edgewood campus on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
The group would appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, Captain Thulani Zwane said.
He said police were monitoring the situation. Last Monday, four students were arrested and lectures at the same campus were disrupted.
The university's spokesman Lesiba Seshoko said in a statement it was not aware of the reason for the protest as there had been no communication from students with university management.
Students across the country have taken part in protests recently to express their dissatisfaction over a shortfall of money in the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
UPDATE – PROTEST ACTION UKZN
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CORPORATE RELATIONS 17 February 2014
To all Staff and Students
A violent service delivery protest on Varsity Drive by residents of an informal settlement prevented access to the Westville campus this morning through gate three. The protest took place in a public main road that leads to this entrance. The protest action was managed by SAPS and eThekwini Metro officials. Access through gate three was restored and lectures on the Westville campus have continued uninterrupted.
In a separate and unrelated incident approximately 150 students embarked on protest action at the Edgewood campus this morning. We have received verbal reports from Risk Management Services that property has been vandalized and damaged.
Approximately 60 students have been detained by SAPS for contempt of the final High Court order which prohibits unlawful disruptions at the University’s campuses.
Protesting students barricaded the entrance to Edgewood campus and were dispersed by SAPS. Lectures have been disrupted. SAPS and RMS are monitoring and managing the situation.
On the Howard College campus, some lectures were disrupted as the lecture venues smelt of pepper spray. A student was apprehended.
There have been extensive discussions with the student leadership and management will continue to consult and engage with the SRC.
Students are reminded that a final High Court order prohibits unlawful protests, acts of violence and mass action on the University’s campuses. The order also prohibits any attempt to obstruct the entrances to the campuses. Perpetrators in violation of the interdict will face the full might of the law.
Students are urged to raise any matter of concern with their respective SRC representatives.
Issued by Mr Lesiba Seshoka Executive Director: Corporate Relations
Enkanini: there’ll be no voting here
Daneel Knoetze (IOL News) 17 February 2014
Cape Town - Come election day, the Enkanini Residents Committee has vowed to blockade voting stations to prevent anyone in the informal settlement from casting their ballot.
The committee said it considered votes as support for politicians who were not interested in improving the lives of people who lived in the settlement, which is outside Stellenbosch.
“We have (secret) supporters in the municipality, and they have warned us that Stellenbosch’s entire police service will be here on election day,” said Dumesani Sweleka, the leader of the residents committee.
“We will not throw stones. We will sit in front of the gates, and no one will pass. But, if the police shoot first, we will protect ourselves. If that fight happens, it will be a terrible mess. We are willing to die here.”
Such a protest and community-wide election boycott, if it happened, would be unprecedented in post-apartheid South Africa, said Peter Alexander, who has studied informal settlement protests as a researcher for the University of Joburg since 2004.
Enkanini was founded in 2006. Municipal estimates put the population at about 2 400; the residents committee puts the number closer to 8 000.
Last Saturday, during the national voter registration weekend, police fired rubber bullets and arrested three people when protesters from the community temporarily forced the closure of the Independent Electorate Commission (IEC) tent at the nearby Kayamandi High School.
The Cape Argus visited Enkanini on Saturday to ask residents about the elections, scheduled for May 7.
Sweleka, who led the boycott march on the IEC station and who claims to have founded Enkanini when he erected a shack on a vacant hillside in 2006, explained that there had been a massive loss in voter confidence since the national elections in 2009.
“At that time Enkanini was new and people were very excited about the elections,” he said.
“I voted, and many others did as well. We all chose the ANC to represent our ward in the city council. They had made many promises to improve our lives, especially electricity, which was the main thing that we longed for.”
Today, election cynicism prevails. The few shacks that are electrified have illegal connections, or have accounts with a private solar power company.
The Cape Argus randomly spoke to about a dozen people on the informal settlement’s streets.
Not all were willing to challenge the police actively and blockade election stations. Yet they all had apparently voted in 2009 and had refused, willingly, not to register for this year’s national elections.
“Why would I vote? I have tried once before, but it was no use.
“My life has just become more difficult,” said Nomanhla Vusani, a 38-year-old single mother who lives next to one of Enkanini’s informal dumping grounds.
She complained about the flies, and the contaminated water from the dump to her shack.
“My child has diarrhoea and rashes because of these conditions.
“The government will probably clean this mess before the elections. But two weeks later it will be back to normal,” she added.
Sithembiseni Phokojoe, a shebeen owner, said the lack of electricity forced her to spend about R300 a week on ice. The expense drives down her profits and she barely breaks even.
“You see, this lack of services does not only affect our health but our livelihoods,” she said.
Vernon Bowers, spokesman for the Stellenbosch municipality, highlighted service delivery successes in Enkanini – toilets, taps and area cleaning, which the municipality claims happens once a week.
He explained that the provision of formal housing and electricity connections was hampered by the fact that the settlement was located on a steep hillside.
Nine held after Mabopane protest
SAPA 17 February 2014
Johannesburg - Nine people were arrested for public violence during a service delivery protest in Mabopane, north of Pretoria, police said on Monday.
Six of them were arrested on Monday morning and three on Sunday, Captain Doniah Mothutsane said.
Residents began protesting on Sunday and blockaded the M17 which passes through the area. A councillor's house was also damaged.
Mothutsane said residents were protesting against the lack of toilets and a proper sewerage system.
Police were monitoring the area.
The nine were due to appear in court soon. - Sapa
Bikers arrive at court for road rage case
News 24 17 February 2014
Johannesburg - A group of motorcyclists arrived at the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Monday where a man who allegedly shot dead a motorcyclist in an apparent road rage confrontation is expected to appear.
The bikers said they belonged to the Bikers Against e-tolls and came to support the family of Douglas Pierce who was killed on Friday in the road rage incident.
The alleged killer, who is in his forties, was arrested on Friday after he allegedly got into an argument with 39-year-old Pierce while they were both travelling on Malibongwe Drive
Probe Cape Flats police, say residents
IOL News 16 February 2014
As the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry probes mob killings and police inefficiency in that township, residents of the Cape Flats have called for an immediate investigation of alleged corruption at the Athlone and Manenberg police stations.
About 150 people gathered at the corner of Vanguard Drive and Klipfontein Road yesterday to protest against the alleged corruption, and to hand over a memorandum calling for an end to what they called “an infestation” among police ranks. The march was organised and led by senior figures from several local neighbourhood watches and regional Community Police Forums (CPFs), stretching from Manenberg to Athlone.
Supporter shot dead at KZN hostel, says NFP
Mail & Guardian 18 February 2014
IFP breakaway party, the National Freedom Party, says a woman believed to be one of their supporters has been kiled in KwaZulu-Natal.
A woman, believed to be an National Freedom Party (NFP) supporter, was shot dead at Durban's KwaMashu Hostel in Durban on Monday, the party said.
NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi said in a statement the woman could not be named until her relatives had been informed.
"I condemn the unprovoked killing of our member who was shot while walking in the hostel street."
Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that a woman was shot dead at the hostel around 7pm on Monday. He did not know what her political affiliation was.
"A case of murder was opened. No one has been arrested yet," he said.
Two other women, believed to be NFP supporters, were shot and wounded at the same hostel on Saturday, allegedly by Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) supporters, KwaZulu-Natal community safety MEC Willies Mchunu said earlier.
KaMagwaza-Msibi extended her condolences to the family of the murdered woman and called on NFP members to remain calm.
"We call on the Independent Electoral Commission to disqualify from participating in the coming general elections any political party whose supporters are found to have fomented political violence," she said.
The NFP was formed in January 2011 in a breakaway from the IFP. – Sapa
ANC disrupts NFP rally
IOL News 16 February 2014
ANC members in Ntshongweni form a blockade in a stand-off with NFP members campaigning in the area..
Just three months away from the polls, political intolerance is already rearing its ugly head in the province famous for its deadly flashpoints.
Clashes between the ANC and the National Freedom Party broke out on Friday in Ntshongweni, west of Durban, when members of the ruling party allegedly chased away campaigning NFP members.
NFP secretary-general Nhlanhla Khubisa said his party was campaigning in the Ntshongweni area when ANC supporters blocked the streets and burnt tyres.
“This was done so that the NFP could not campaign freely. ANC supporters in full ANC regalia hurled insults and swore at NFP supporters. In fact, ANC supporters were chasing the NFP away, and they said that the NFP was not needed at Ntshongweni,” said Khubisa.
He said the party had written a letter of complaint to the Independent Electoral Commission because the ANC supporters had of late become very intolerant of other political parties.
“This is nothing but negation of the principles of free and fair elections. It begins with freedom to campaign anywhere any political party wants to campaign,” he said.
Khubisa said the attitude of the ANC was a travesty of democracy.
“This is the attitude that the ANC wants to adopt throughout the period of campaigning, so that they want to make sure that they win the elections by hook or by crook. This kind of chicanery is condemned,” he said.
Provincial ANC spokesman Senzo Mkhize confirmed the incident, saying they had also received the official complaint from the NFP.
“We condemn the incident in the strongest possible terms. But our provincial secretary (Sihle Zikalala) will meet the leadership of the NFP over this. We will also act against those members found to have disrupted the NFP campaign. No matter the provocation, no one is allowed to block others from campaigning,” he said.
Mkhize said they would be speaking directly to their members about tolerance.
- Sunday Independent
Siqalo residents vow to intensify protest
Eye Witness News 14 February 2014
CAPE TOWN - Residents of the Siqalo informal settlement in Cape Town have promised protests will intensify as the elections draw closer.
Residents burnt tyres and blocked off a number of roads this morning.
However, calm has been restored but police and traffic officials are still patrolling Vanguard Drive following the violence in the morning.
Stones and burnt tyres are on the side of the road and several routes had to be closed which threw traffic into disarray.
A resident says sanitation is a major problem and residents have had enough.
This is not the first time Siqalo residents have taken to the streets as community members have been protesting regularly for the past few days.
Police say they will remain in the area.
Botleng protesters go on the rampage
Eye Witness News 14 February 2014
JOHANNESBURG – Less than 24 hours after Botleng residents torched ANC offices near Delmas, Mpumalanga police say community members have once again gone on the rampage.
During unrest on Wednesday, a 17-year-old was shot and wounded during clashes between foreign nationals and locals.
It’s understood frustrations first arose due to a lack of employment in the area, with residents complaining that local mining companies were hiring outsiders at the expense of locals.
But demonstrators are now reportedly venting their anger at the local mayor.
It is unknown whether additional grievances have driven the latest protests with the police refusing to speculate.
Officers say residents demanded to see the mayor but when she arrived, community members chased her away.
Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi says, “They [protesters] didn’t heed the call we gave them. They then turned violent and there were people that incited the others. We are currently busy dealing with the situation at the scene.”
At least 10 suspected ringleaders were arrested while two more were detained for attempted murder, authorities confirmed on Thursday.
During his State of the Nation address in Parliament on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma expressed concerns over the violent nature of protests.
He says these demonstrations aren’t simply the result of government’s failures but also its success in delivering basic services, meaning those who are still in line come to expect more than is yet possible.
(Edited by Craig Wynn)
Crowds march in support of poo protester
News 24 14 February 2014
A large crowd gathers outside the Western Cape High Court to support axed ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who was appealing his dismissal over his role in the poo protests.
Cape Town - Thousands of people turned out in sweltering heat on Friday to protest during the court appearance of ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla.
Nkohla was in court for matters relating to a series of faeces dumping protests in the Western Cape.
Khayelitsha resident Noluvo Line told News24 that protesters will return for Nkohla’s next court appearance.
Line promised that should Nkohla’s sacking not be overturned, protesters would cause chaos in Cape Town and that “20 000 people” would turn out.
Friday’s protest remained peaceful, however, with those taking part heading home almost immediately after.
Police and traffic officers kept a close eye on events.
Nkohla and six other members were suspended by the ANC in September last year for their role in the sanitation protests in Cape Town.
Human faeces were dumped on the steps of the provincial legislature and at Cape Town International Airport by people protesting poor sanitation in Cape Town's informal settlements.
According to Sapa, Nkohla was given a three-year suspended sentence in 2012 for disrupting President Jacob Zuma’s centenary speech at the Good Hope Centre.
Hospital's catering staff to strike
IOL News 13 February 2014
Durban - Patients at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital in uMlazi could go hungry as contracted catering staff embark on strike action today.
About 100 striking employees of catering contractor, Fedics, toyi-toyied outside the gates of the hospital, leaving a skeleton staff to cook and deliver food to patients in the 1 200-bed regional hospital.
This came as wage negotiations before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) continued.
Representing the workers, KwaZulu-Natal organiser for the National General Workers Union (Nagewu), Bheki Ntshangase, said negotiations had deadlocked last year when the employer failed to meet the 9.5 percent wage increase demand.
He said at one time they had offered to workers 0.1 percent on sectoral determination which amounted to R2.50.
The offer has since been revised to R210, which Ntshangase said was still below the 9 percent workers demand.
Mshiyeni spokeswoman, Nonkululeko Ngcobo, said Fedics employees were only part of the kitchen staff, so the hospital’s directly-employed staff would continue with catering services.
Fedics spokesman, Royce van der Zwan, said they were working with the hospital management to “manage the disturbance”.
“We want to reassure patients that we are thinking of them first in every decision we make and will take every possible action and use all resources available to ensure no disruption to services.”
He said the company was also working in good faith towards an agreement on the increment with Negawu at the CCMA.
Cop raid on squatters ‘recalls apartheid’
Daneel Knoetze 14 February 2014
Cape Town - Residents of Isiqalo in Mitchells Plain say they had a flashback to apartheid when police raided the informal settlement on Thursday night, following violent protests in recent days.
They said shortly before midnight, police kicked in doors, broke windows, beat men in front of their children and dragged some away in handcuffs, leaving their families guessing about their whereabouts this morning.
It has been a week of upheaval for the settlement after protests about voter registration erupted. On two occasions, protesters burnt tyres, forcing the closure of Vanguard Drive. There were running battles with riot police.
Residents see last night’s clampdown by police as retaliation for these protests.
“Many of the police were horribly racist,” said Nosibabalwe Dyantyi, whose door was kicked in.
“They were mocking us and shouting: ‘Come on you k*****, open up!’ They didn’t even give us a chance and just kicked in the door.”
Dyantyi said her husband Thobile Dyantyi was beaten up in front of their kids, handcuffed and dragged away.
Two other men, Vuyo Booi and Nontembiso Ngcwangu, were beaten and taken away under similar circumstances, family members said.
Police had asked for the men by name, leading to suspicion someone in the community had provided the names of the protest ringleaders.
“If we find that person, there is no telling what will happen to them,” a resident, who asked not to be named, said. “But it is also shameful that police exploit the poverty here and pay people to betray their neighbours.”
Residents showed the Cape Argus dozens of shacks where police had apparently broken windows and kicked doors off their hinges.
Lungiswa Bashe said she was dressed in nothing but a pair of panties when police kicked down her door and pushed her to the ground.
Ngcwangu’s wife, Mandisi, said her shack was “turned upside-down”.
“The police said they were looking for a loudspeaker but they could not find one,” she said, holding her 20-month-old son, who had witnessed his father being beaten.
“As (the police) left, they said to me: ‘Take a good look at your husband because we are going to kill him.’ Up until now, I do not know where they have taken him.”
This week, Siqalo residents protested against attempts by the IEC to register voters in the area. There is a consensus among many in the community they do not want to vote. Come election day, they threaten to petrol-bomb voting stations.
They complain political parties and the government ignore their grievances – lack of housing, water, electricity, sanitation and waste removal – and only give them attention when elections are approaching.
Police confirmed they arrested four people for public violence on Thursday night.
“Allegations of brutality in this regard are best addressed by an official compliant to police management or Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
“This office will not be responding to unsubstantiated allegations,” said police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.
Fresh protests shut Vanguard Drive
Daneel Knoetze 13 February 2014
Cape Town - For the second time this week, protesters from Siqalo informal settlement burnt tyres and closed a section of Vanguard Drive overnight.
Protests first started on Sunday and carried on overnight into Monday morning. Residents told the Cape Argus they were retaliating to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) setting up a tent for voter registration in the area. The tent was petrol bombed and destroyed on Sunday.
Seven people were arrested for public violence after this incident and residents said they were angry because none of these people had been released on bail.
Trouble then flared up again last night and carried on into the early hours on Thursday.
Lacking houses and basic services, including access to water, toilets and electricity, residents in Siqalo say they are fed up with empty electioneering promises by both the DA and the ANC. Boycotting and sabotaging the IEC’s registration drive was a way to voice this frustration, said protester Roy Nobatana.
Other residents said they had to walk about 20 minutes to get to water and the whole area stank of sewerage.
Solid Waste Management workers were busy clearing Vanguard Drive, which remained closed between Morgenster and the R300 until mid-morning.
By then the protests had died down and residents went about their daily chores, or looked on as the road was being cleared.
Armoured police vehicles remained at the scene while police officers armed with shotguns patrolled the area.
Edgewood students clash with police
IOL News 12 February 2014
Durban - Another round of protest action started up again ton Wednesday morning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Edgewood campus.
Yesterday four students were arrested at the campus when about 150 protesters tried to disrupt classes.
At Westville campus today police were present and there was a fridge that was set alight.
A car had been vandalised and one building had its windows broken last night.
At Edgewood at about 10am police engaged a small group of protesters, between 50 and 100, who scattered into different groups. Police told them that their gathering was illegal as university had a court interdict against illegal protests.
The police also warned them that they would arrest the protesters if they did not adhere to police instructions to either go to class or go home. Media was also asked to leave the campus by the university management risk services.
When the Daily News left campus, police and risk services were in pursuit of the students. It is unclear if any arrests were made.
Earlier this morning, protesting students had pelted police with stones.
A senior member from risk services addressed the students and appealed for them to listen to police. He told the group that they could not solve their problems by protesting like that.
He told them if they protested violently the university would not listen to them.
The students are protesting against the allocation of NSFAS funding. The students told Daily News that they did not trust the Student Representative Council (SRC). They alleged that the SRC was being coerced into not instituting strike action and that they were “scared to be arrested”.
One student said he was told by the university to pay R35 000 by February 21 or he could not return to the university.
The students threatened not to vote in the national elections if they were not addressed directly by Minister Blade Nzimande.
The group - who support different political student bodies - said the protest was not politically motivated or personal against the SRC, but prompted by NSFAS issues.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the arrested students were aged between 18 and 23, and were to appear today at the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court, to face charges of public violence.
University spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the students were arrested for contravening a high court interdict, which protected the university “against unlawful, violent and disruptive gatherings and mass action”.
Police dispersed a small group at the university’s Howard College campus on Tuesday.
“Students are assured that lectures are continuing on all five campuses of the university, including the Edgewood campus. The university has beefed up security on campus, and measures will be taken to ensure that teaching and learning remain uninterrupted,” said Seshoka.
Peace has been restored at the Westville campus, where masked protesters armed with sticks and bricks brought the university to a standstill on Monday.
When the Daily News visited the university on Tuesday, police minibuses and water cannon vehicles patrolled the campus as students carried on peacefully with their lectures after a disrupted start to the year on Monday.
The four students who were arrested after the action on Monday were released due to insufficient evidence, said National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.
Westville campus student representative council president Langelihle Lukhozi said the SRC became aware of the protest only on Monday morning as students burnt tyres, toppled bins and flung bricks, damaging university property.
Lukhozi said students were unhappy about a lack of funding for returning students. The SRC would meet management to address the matter, he said.
Seshoka reminded students that the university had obtained a restraining order last week protecting it against unlawful protests or violence at the entrance and premises of the UKZN campuses.
N West police monitor EFF marchers
IOL News 12 February 2014
Makapanstad - Numerous police officers were deployed at the entrance to the Moretele local municipal offices in North West on Wednesday as EFF supporters marched on the premises.
Members of Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters marched from Makapanstad to the municipal offices and congregated in an open space near the buildings. They set up a public address system near the entrance.
Several members of the African National Congress milled around outside the premises after allegedly attending a ward meeting.
Some of the ANC supporters, in yellow T-shirts bearing President Jacob Zuma's image, peeped through a security wall at the municipal offices.
A municipal fire engine was also parked at the entrance. A supermarket nearby shut its doors as the protesters began to gather.
On Wednesday morning, several police vehicles, including a Nyala, were parked near the crowd dressed in EFF red berets and T-shirts. A man led the singing over the public address system, which was mounted on a bakkie.
“Juju rea le wena (Julius we are going with you),” the crowd sang.
Malema was expected to address the protesters.
Crowds gather for EFF march
IOL News 12 February 2014
Scores of Economic Freedom Fighters' supporters gathered in Makapanstad in North West on Wednesday morning ahead of a planned march to the Moretele municipal offices.
Before 10am, several police vehicles, including a Nyala, were parked near the crowd dressed in the EFF's trademark red berets and T-shirts.
A man led the singing, using a public address system mounted on a bakkie.
“Juju rea le wena (Julius we are going with you),” the crowd sang, referring to party leader Julius Malema.
Malema was expected to lead the march.
Some of the protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from the scorching sun. - Sapa
Cops arrest ANC members
IOL News 12 February 2014
Johannesburg - Four people wearing African National Congress T-shirts were arrested on Wednesday during the DA march in Johannesburg, Gauteng police said.
“They were arrested for public violence,” spokeswoman Colonel Katlego Mogale told reporters.
Matters turned violent as Democratic Alliance members arrived in Rissik Street, where ANC supporters allegedly threw bricks at police and DA members.
“Our members (police) were stoned and petrol bombed. The stones were coming from the northerly direction of Rissik Street,” said Mogale.
DA supporters dispersed, but there was still a heavy police presence in the Johannesburg CBD. Mogale said police would keep an eye on the situation and monitor ANC supporters gathered at Luthuli House.
Police were not aware of any injured people, she said.
ANC marchers gather at Luthuli House
IOL News 12 February 2014
Johannesburg - Thousands of ANC supporters gathered at Luthuli House after 1pm on Wednesday after violence flared up in central Johannesburg.
“Voetsak Zille” read placards being held by ANC supporters, who played loud music on Sauer Street.
Two stages were also erected.
Hawkers moved from other streets onto Sauer Street to get better business from the crowds gathered there.
Hawkers lined the street selling ANC regalia and merchandise.
Police were positioned at various points near the ANC's headquarters with water cannon.
A Nyala was also parked nearby.
Before midday, violence erupted during a march by the Democratic Alliance over “real jobs”.
Police stopped the march on Marshall and Rissik streets saying it was too dangerous for them to continue.
A short while later, a group of people wearing ANC attire ran towards the marchers forcing police to fire stun grenades at them.
On Miriam Makeba Street, a group, also dressed in ANC attire, threw petrol bombs at police.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said he was not aware of any violence.
“I didn't see any violence. I only see people running and marching,” he told Sapa.
“If there was any violence, we would condemn it... but from where I am seated our member have been well behaved. There was no threat from ourselves.”
Violence halts DA march
IOL News 12 February 2014
Johannesburg - Brick-carrying protesters wearing ANC T-shirts stormed the DA in central Johannesburg on Wednesday as its leader Helen Zille was about to address marchers.
The Democratic Alliance's march for “real jobs” stopped on the corner of Rissik and Marshall streets after the police told them it was too dangerous to move on to Beyers Naude Square.
As Zille was about to start speaking, a group of protesters in ANC attire came running down Rissik Street.
Zille shouted, “stay calm!”, but protesters threw bricks at DA members who turned around and started running back to the Westgate transport hub.
Police fired three stun grenades at the group seen running towards the marchers.
Police then blocked off roads in the city with nyalas, with groups of singing ANC supporters scattered all over the CBD.
Police were ready to fire off a salvo of rubber bullets, and a water cannon was wheeled out into the street.
People, dressed in ANC attire, also threw petrol bombs at police at the corner of Miriam Makeba and Fox streets.
A Sapa reporter at the scene said at least four petrol bombs were thrown at police near the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.
Around 100 officers descended on the street to try and restore calm.
The violence resulted in DA supporters being re-routed back to the Westgate transport hub.
DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane told reporters that members of the ANC had thrown stones at them.
Maimane told supporters to disperse peacefully. He said the ANC were losers.
"Comrades, victors are here and losers are there. When you get to the townships don't fight. We are not fighting with anyone.
Meanwhile ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said that the party's members had been well behaved during the march by the DA.
"I didn't see any violence. I only see people running and marching," he told Sapa on Wednesday.
"If there was any violence, we would condemn it... but from where I am seated our member have been well behaved. There was no threat from ourselves."
Mthembu said he had not witnessed any incidents.
"If we saw anybody doing that we would have acted on that. We have heard of people carrying bricks but I didn't see that," he said.
"We don't accept any throwing of bricks on any matter."
Mthembu blamed the alleged violence on the DA, saying they knew the march near Luthuli House was ill-advised.
"The DA hired a private security company, they were well armed. They are helmeted. They came to attack Luthuli House," he claimed.
"The march ended because the DA leadership decided on it. They did it on their own accord." -Sapa
DA march: Police throw stun grenades
IOL News 12 February 2014
Johannesburg - Police on Wednesday fired three stun grenades at a group of people in ANC attire that were seen running towards DA marchers on Rissik Street in the Johannesburg CBD.
DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane told reporters that members of the ANC had thrown stones at them.
The DA's march over “real jobs” was stopped around noon as police believed it was too dangerous to continue.
Supporters were told to stop at the corner of Rissik and Marshall streets over concerns that there may be trouble ahead.
An SA Police Service officer told DA supporters the march had ended as it was “too dangerous”.
DA supporters were re-routed back to the Westgate transport hub.
"The protest is being re-routed back to the starting point," said metro police spokesman Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. - Sapa
Bricks fly as ANC, police clash during DA protest
Mail & Guardian 12 February 2014
Stun grenades have been fired and bricks flung during the opposition party's march for "real jobs" in Johannesburg.
ANC supporters carry bricks as the DA marched for 'real jobs'. (Twitter)
Violence has erupted during the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) "real jobs" march in Johannesburg's city centre.
Clashes between ANC and DA supporters flared up as the opposition took to the city centre to protest against job promises made by President Jacob Zuma in January.
According to tweets by the Mail & Guardian's Phillip de Wet, ANC supporters charged at marching DA members. "Cops just fired 4 flashbacks [stun grenades] at storming ANC, drove them back. A few bricks flying."
Marching on the ANC
Speaking to Tim Modise on PowerFM earlier in the day, DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane explained during the radio interview why the DA was marching on the ANC and not government.
"At the ANC manifesto launch, Jacob Zuma promised six-million jobs. That is not sustainable ... it has everything to do with [an ANC] manifesto announced by Zuma at the ANC manifesto launch."
But ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu felt the party should be holding government responsible, and not one particular party.
"We have marched as the ANC but to government offices because we feel government is responsible. We know that by marching to a political party, we might be creating conditions of war," he said.
Meanwhile, around noon DA supporters were told to stop at the corner of Rissik and Marshall streets over concerns that there may be trouble ahead.
A South African Police Service officer told DA supporters the march had ended as it was "too dangerous".
DA leader Helen Zille was preparing to address her supporters at the time.
'Armed to the teeth'
Before the start of the march, the ANC took an urgent application to the high court in Johannesburg to seek protection from the DA's march, saying the opposition party was armed. The application was dismissed.
"We are fine with the judge's decision, and we respect that," said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu. "We are also delighted by the fact that the DA made a legally binding undertaking in court to not come near the ANC headquarters during the march ... I love our democracy."
While speaking to Tim Modise on PowerFM earlier in the day, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the DA was preparing for war.
"They are coming armed to the teeth, with helmets, batons, shields. They have even booked places in hospitals. That can only be the actions of a party at war. This is why we are at the [high court in Johannesburg], to ask for a protection order against the DA and violence."
In the interview, Maimane countered that the opposition party perceived a threat of violence by the ANC's alliance partner, the South African Communist Party (SACP).
Thousands gather for DA march
IOL News 12 February 2014
Johannesburg - Thousands of excited Democratic Alliance supporters in blue gathered at the Westgate transport hub in the Johannesburg CBD ahead of a march for "real" jobs on Wednesday.
Buses ferrying marchers continued to drop off members who were singing, dancing, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas and clapping.
Marshals wearing black and green reflector vests manned the entrance to a cordoned off area where marchers had gathered. They checked people's bags as they entered the meeting area.
A police helicopter flew overhead and police officers lined the surrounding streets - some on horseback. Many people wore hats or stood under umbrellas to shade themselves from the morning sun. - Sapa
Protesters block roads Majakaneng
IOL News 7 February 2014
Johannesburg - Protesters barricaded the Old Pretoria Road and the N4 highway in Majakaneng near Brits, North West police said on Friday.
“The protesters are angry over an apparent lack of water in their area, (and) motorists were being directed to use alternative routes,” Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.
Protesters were splitting into groups and burning tyres along the roads, he said.
On Thursday, protesters looted shops owned by foreigners in retaliation to police shooting rubber bullets at them, said resident Pule Rakomane.
A cement truck was torched by residents demanding better service delivery on Thursday. - Sapa
ANC mob tells Mazibuko to ‘hamba’
Dylan Oktober (IOL News) 11 February 2014
Cape Town - ANC members chased Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA’s parliamentary leader, out of Bredasdorp where she had gone on Monday to visit the spot where Anene Booysen’s body was found a year ago.
The visit was part of a series of community visits she is making before President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address on Thursday.
Mazibuko had intended to talk to residents about how the DA planned to fight violent crime, but after just 30 minutes people in the crowd started singing ANC struggle songs and told her to “hamba” and to “f*** off”.
About a third of the crowd of 150 were wearing yellow ANC T-shirts.
Police had to step in and escort Mazibuko to her vehicle while the ANC members surrounded them, shouting at her, with one even referring to her as “Satan”.
As the DA car drove off, a DA supporter in the crowd was knocked down by Mazibuko’s vehicle, sustaining minor injuries. Mazibuko was in the passenger seat.
ANC member Archibald Philiso said: “We are not here to cause trouble. We are here to fight the problem and the DA is that problem.
“She came here a year late to pay her respects, only because the elections are coming up. Lindiwe is only a puppet in the DA’s political campaign. They can’t come here and do as they please. This area belongs to the ANC.”
Mazibuko’s intended speech in Bredasdorp indicated that she had decided to visit the area “to see for myself what the true state of our nation is”.
Her speech noted: “It has barely been one year since the body of Anene Booysen was found on this street. Raped, mutilated and brutally murdered, the torment that Anene endured in those final moments of her young life has haunted me and the rest of South Africa. They can never be forgotten.
“The atrocities committed here are as terrible as those committed in cities, villages and towns across our country. Anene suffered a similar fate to thousands upon thousands of women in South Africa.”
Sapa reports that Mazibuko’s spokeswoman Siviwe Gwarube said: “It was a very disappointing incident.” She said ANC members shouted and disrupted Mazibuko when she visited the spot where Booysen was found last year
Mazibuko was not hurt.
Booysen, 17, was raped and disembowelled. She died in Tygerberg Hospital on February 2.
Her attacker, Johannes Kana, was sentenced to two life terms for the crime.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu could not be reached for comment.
DA’s visit to Bredasdorp disrupted
IOL News 10 February 2014
Cape Town - DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko's visit to Bredasdorp, in the Western Cape, was disrupted on Monday, allegedly by ANC members, her spokeswoman said.
“It was a very disappointing incident,” said Siviwe Gwarube. Mazibuko was not assaulted.
She claimed that ANC members shouted and disrupted Mazibuko when she visited the spot where Anene Booysen was found last year. Booysen, 17, was raped and disembowelled. She died in Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town on February 2. Her attacker, Johannes Kana, was sentenced to two life terms for the crime.
Mazibuko was in the area to outline the Democratic Alliance's plan to fight violent crime. ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu could not be reached for comment.
Three held in Mitchells Plain protest
Jason Felix (IOL News )11 February 2014
Cape Town - A crowd of 200 blockaded Vanguard Drive in Mitchells Plain with burning tyres late on Monday night after a second day of protests over services by Isiqalo residents.
In the informal settlement earlier on Monday, three people were arrested in clashes with the police, where protesters caused traffic chaos along the busy road.
At issue, residents say, is the need for formal houses, decent sanitation and electricity.
A number of journalists, including a Cape Times team, were pelted with stones on Monday by people in a crowd hiding between shacks in the settlement.
Police deployed a number of officers, two Nyalas and five other vehicles. Stun grenades were lobbed to disperse the crowd and a water cannon was used to douse fires in the road.
Traffic lights on Vanguard Drive were damaged and motorists were diverted along the R300.
Three people were arrested for public violence. Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said they would appear in court once they were charged.
City traffic spokesman Richard Coleman said Morgenster Road also had to be closed to traffic.
“Once the SAPS gives us the clearance that the area is safe, we will open the road again. About three roads were closed in the area and caused delays.”
The roads were re-opened at 1pm on Monday.
Isiqalo residents want the city council to provide better services.
Situated on private land, the settlement is home to about 1 800 families. The city has provided several standpipes, about 100 chemical toilets and hundreds of portable toilets.
“We want houses, electricity, running water and a decent living. We don’t want to use the portable toilets, and living in the shacks for so long is not comfortable,” resident Theresa Baatjies said.
“We all have to make use of these taps and some people who live at the back of the area have to walk almost a kilometre to get water. I have to sit here and wash my clothes right next to the road.”
Baatjies, who said she was unemployed, has beenliving in the settlement for three years.
She complained that the city had not met the community. “It looks like they have thrown us away. We cannot afford to buy houses and we cannot rent. All we want is a bit of assistance from the city.”
Natalie Bent, councillor for the area which includes Colorado Park and parts of Philippi, said a community meeting was been scheduled for May 2.
“The community want more taps and toilets. I will have to meet with the mayor to see if we can have more toilets and taps because the decision doesn’t lie with me alone,” she said.
‘Anti-election’ protest shuts Vanguard Drive
Daneel Knoetze 10 February 2014
Cape Town - Anti-election protesters from the Siqala informal settlement shut a large section of Vanguard Drive on Monday morning.
Protesters burned tyres, toyi-toyied and removed party election posters from lamp posts.
On the backs of these, slogans were painted – “no vote, no houses, no toilets, no electricity”.
They also dumped faeces from portaloos on the road.
Siqala resident Roy Nobatana, 37, has lived in a shack there for the past seven years.
He said the ANC and the DA had both failed to bring meaningful improvements to his life since the advent of democracy.
“I will not vote again, and we forbid other people from voting.”
He added that residents had attacked and petrol-bombed a voting registration station in Siqala on Sunday.
As Nobatana was speaking to the Cape Argus, fellow protesters set fire to a stack of tyres. Police responded by throwing two stun grenades and chasing after the protesters on foot.
By mid-morning police Nyalas and armoured vehicles with water hoses had arrived too.
Businesses in Vanguard Drive complained about a morning of lost trading.
Pacific Ocean wholesalers, a seafood and dried fruit outlet, has its busiest trading period of the week on Monday mornings, said director Achmat Carr.
“This is when hawkers come to us to get their stock for the week. There is no other access, so our business is effectively closed,” he said.
Sidney Marais, who’s lived in the area for 25 years, came to warn Carr that protesters had threatened to loot the wholesaler if it opened.
“This has been going on since 6pm on Sunday and they have not stopped since,” Marais said, adding that he was pelted with stones when he walked to Vanguard Drive to check the commotion early Monday morning.
The Siqala protest follows similar, yet isolated protests elsewhere in the province. In Kayamandi informal settlement near Stellenbosch, residents closed a voting station this weekend and issued death threats to people attempting to register as voters.
At the time of publication, Vanguard Drive was closed to traffic.
Police spokesman Andre Traut said the protest was being monitored by police. No arrests had been made.
STUDENT PROTESTS AT THE WESTVILLE AND EDGEWOOD CAMPUSES
COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR 10 February 2014
Two campuses were disrupted this morning following protest action by students on the Westville and Edgewood campuses. Access to the Westville campus was disrupted by a small group of students. The students proceeded to disrupt lectures. A number of lectures were cancelled. Four students were arrested by SAPS for, amongst others, contravening the Regulation of Gatherings Act and the High Court interdict.
Approximately 200 students have embarked on illegal protest action at the Edgewood campus disrupting lectures. Lectures have been cancelled. SAPS and the University’s Risk Management Services are monitoring the situation.
We are unaware of the reasons for the protests as these students have not raised their concerns through the correct channels.
Students are reminded that the University obtained a High Court interdict and restraining order last week protecting the University against unlawful protests, disruptive gatherings, demonstrations, mass action, intimidation or any violent act to persons or property at the entrance and premises of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s campuses. We wish to reiterate that the University reserves the right to take appropriate action on any student or person who is in breach of the interdict. Offenders will be charged for contempt of court and the University will not be in a position to withdraw any charges.
University Management has been engaged in discussions with the Central SRC and SRCs of all campuses, on various issues aimed at finding solutions to the challenges that confront us, including the nation-wide problem of student funding. A number of agreements have been reached and discussions are continuing on some of the outstanding matters pertaining to the announcement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training last week.
As illustrated by the Vice-Chancellor’s communiqué regarding the assistance to 100 first year students, the University Management is committed to assist students in as far as it possibly can. We urge students to follow established protocols and raise any issue of concern with their respective SRC representatives. Management is committed to a process of ongoing consultation and dialogue with students to address concerns.
Management thanks all students and staff that were inconvenienced by the protest action this morning for their patience. We reassure all students that every effort will be made to ensure that the campus is conducive to academic teaching and learning. Lectures will continue tomorrow as scheduled.
Mr Convy Baloy
Threat to kill anyone who registers to vote
KOWTHAR SOLOMONS and HENRIETTE GELDENHUYS 9 February 2014
Cape Town - Chaotic scenes erupted around the country as the final weekend of voter registration began on Saturday, with a group of protesters threatening to kill anyone attempting to register in the informal settlement of Khayamandi in Stellenbosch.
Two voting stations in Bekkersdal in Gauteng were also petrol-bombed.
About 50 protesters descended on Khayamandi High School on Saturday morning in a bid to prevent people from registering to vote, and threatened to burn down the school.
The stand-off came after what protesters said was a snub by Premier Helen Zille when they had demanded to meet her on Friday.
The protesters threw rocks and stones at the police, who retaliated by firing rubber bullets, eventually managing to disperse the crowd.
The protesters apparently also tried to attack two other registration points in the area, but were thwarted by the police.
Two Nyalas patrolled the area around the school, while several other police vehicles were stationed at the school for the rest of the day.
Reverend Bongani Gobodo, an Independent Electoral Commission officer at the high school, said protesters had originally planned to hand over a memorandum of demands to Stellenbosch mayor Conrad Sidego on Friday.
“They were going to give the memorandum to the mayor, but when the rumours of a visit by Zille spread, they wanted to hand the memorandum over to her. When they couldn’t, they blamed the mayor for denying them access to the premier and attacked the registration point.”
Stellenbosch Municipality spokesman Vernon Bowers said Sidego condemned the protest action.
“The premier wasn’t even in Stellenbosch. We explained as best as we could,” he said.
Zak Mbhele, Zille’s spokesman, said the premier was scheduled to be in Paarl on Friday.
“Premier Zille was not billed to receive a memorandum in Stellenbosch. Her events diary had her scheduled for campaign visits in Paarl. The premier is always happy to engage communities about their concerns, and does so regularly in various areas.”
At the school, Gobodo said people continued to trickle in despite the threats from protesters.
“Only the brave would risk the wrath of the protesters, but there were still small numbers of people registering, although some of them left through the back door to avoid being identified.”
One man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had wanted to register, but was afraid to do so.
ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman, campaigning for voter registration in Nyanga, said he had heard about the protesters, but urged them to use the elections to secure a change in leadership.
Meanwhile, the incidents in Bekkersdal on Saturday saw two voting stations closed after they were petrol-bombed and registration staff threatened, said Kate Bapela, the IEC chief communications officer.
She said these incidents were the most serious reported on Saturday, the second-last day of voter registration at 22 263 voting stations across the country.
Bapela said the IEC was working with stakeholders to monitor the situation in Bekkersdal, and would restore registration operations “at the earliest opportunity”.
Amplats confirms death of worker during protest at Union Mine
BD Live 8 February 2014
ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats) confirmed on Friday that an individual was killed during a protest by striking mine workers at the producer’s Union Mine in the North West.
The company said in a statement the incident occurred during a "disruptive protest" at the mine, which is 15km west of the town of Northam and about 90km north of Rustenburg.
Amplats said it was in the process of establishing the facts, as well as the identity of the deceased, while medical teams were on the scene to attend to any injuries.
Strike action by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is currently in its 15th day.
Negotiations between Amcu, Amplats, Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin aimed at ending the strike were adjourned on Wednesday.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) said the process would now continue, but with the commission engaging with the parties individually to seek a resolution.
This was "a critical part of any facilitation process", said director Nerine Kahn.
There have been arrests and widespread intimidation of nonstriking employees during the strike, as well as incidents of arson against locally owned businesses and the property of National Union of Mineworkers employees.
Earlier this week, the South African Police Service dispersed a crowd of 3,000 protesters carrying dangerous weapons near Amplats’s Khuseleka shaft outside Rustenburg.
Amcu maintains its members are committed to peaceful strike action, but said it was given inadequate latitude in the decision making over designated picketing areas.
Implats spokesman Johan Theron said on Friday the situation was very quiet around the company’s mines in the Rustenburg area.
The company had, however, made the decision to request that employees take voluntary leave during the strike until the end of next week, he said.
Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said on Friday the situation at the company’s Rustenburg operations was quiet, with mines in the area reporting low attendance.
PE, Brits protests disrupt voter registration
IOL News 8 February 2014
Voter registration is being disrupted in some areas around the country, as protesters are preventing Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials from doing their work.
At the Silvertown informal settlement in Port Elizabeth, protesters are turning away both IEC officials and African National Congress regional leaders. They have told the IEC to dismantle and remove theirs voter registration tent.
In North West province, voter registration is struggling to start in Majakaneng near Brits due to the on-going protests by the residents who demand drinking water.
Thousands of residents went on the rampage on Thursday, burning properties, barricading roads and disrupting learning at the local schools.
The busy N4 road was open for traffic Saturday morning. On Friday residents blocked the road at the height of protest against poor service delivery. They say they want Premier Thandi Modise to come.
Instead of going to register or check their names at polling stations, residents are curiously lining up the dusty streets of Majakaneg, in anticipation of a call by their leaders to march to the N4 road, where they intend to disrupt the flow of traffic.
Meanwhile, the ANC in the North West says its NEC member Bathabile Dlamini will be in same Madibeng Council area on Saturday to monitor the registration process
Residents turn in lens thief
Daneel Knoetze 7 February 2014
Cape Town - Police have arrested three people linked to on Thursday’s violent protest at Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. The lens that was stolen from Independent Newspapers’ photographer Brenton Geach during the protest was recovered, and one man was held in connection with the theft.
Two other people, aged 30 and 32, were also arrested during on Thursday’s protest.
Geach was attacked by a mob of housing protesters who turned on journalists amid clashes with police.
Other photographers were pelted with stones, but managed to escape without serious injury.
Geach, alone, attempted to escape from the mob. He was beaten and a man snatched a camera lens that was hanging over his shoulder. The other photographers snapped photos of the attack and robbery, and these are believed to have assisted the police in identifying a suspect.
Members of the community also told Geach that they knew the man who had stolen his lens.
“Police members investigating the incident followed up on information which led them to a possible suspect at about 10pm last night. After interrogation the 22-year-old suspect produced the stolen lens and was arrested on charges of theft and being in possession of stolen property,” said police spokesman Andre Traut this morning. The man was due to appear in the Somerset West Magistrate’s court on Friday. Police said the situation in the township was calm at the time of publication.
Red Ants deployment in Bekkersdal slammed
IOL News 8 February 2014
The SACP condemned the deployment of controversial security force “the Red Ants” to the troubled Bekkersdal region on Saturday, during the last voter registration weekend.
“We are deeply shocked by the deliberate deployment of the Red Ants, given their inhumane track record and profile of treating working class and poor people with disdain and contempt,” SA Communist Party Gauteng spokesman Lucian Segami said in a statement.
The SABC reported that “scores” of people were injured when residents clashed with the Red Ants in Bekkersdal, on the West Rand, on Saturday.
There were also reports that some voter registration stations had been disrupted in the area.
Police, the Independent Electoral Commission and the Westonaria Local Municipality could not immediately comment on the reports.
Segami called on Bekkersdal community leaders and residents not to be provoked, and questioned who was responsible for deploying the Red Ants.
“The SACP demands an urgent investigation of those who authorised the deployment of the Red Ants and for such people to be held responsible for this deliberate provocative act and for the violence that broke out in Bekkersdal.”
Bekkersdal has been the site of protests over service delivery and other issues since last year, resulting in damage amounting to around R11.2 million. - Sapa
Flames of fury burn in Hebron
IOL News 8 February 2014
Angry residents of Hebron township, north-west of Pretoria, who called for the troubled Madibeng Municipality to be dissolved may get their wish.
Hebron has been the scene of violent protests since Thursday, with residents demanding better service delivery and calling for the resignation of the entire executive and for the municipality to be placed under administration.
North West Premier Thandi Modise has set up a provincial task team to oversee implementation of the ministerial task team report, which uncovered maladministration, fraud and corruption in Madibeng.
“Where obstruction and resistance are encountered, the task team will not hesitate to dissolve municipalities in terms of the constitution,” Modise said.
“Though the approach of the task team collective is to be even-handed, there will be no compromise with those who have benefited in any way from corruption. Where fraud and corruption are uncovered, properties will be attached and people send to jail.”
Modise also appealed to communities to give the interventions to implement water supply and other projects, with a budget of more than R2 billion, to be rolled out across the province, a chance.
“Communities should not allow themselves to be mobilised to be part of an agenda that seeks to create chaos in order to disrupt the momentum of interventions aimed at ridding Madibeng of fraud and corruption that has negatively affected delivery of basic services,” she said.
“There is no need for communities to be misled to participate in illegal marches, burn properties or allow themselves to be used by those who seek to exploit their genuine concerns to create an environment for chaos.”
Service delivery protests continued under new mayor Tshidi Mangoathe, following demonstration over the water crisis in Mothutlung, Mmakau and Damonsville, which claimed four lives and left many injured. Mayor Poppy Magongwa, and other senior officials, were recalled by the ANC after those protests.
Hebron residents have been running amok since Thursday, barricading roads with stones and burning tyres, demanding improved service delivery.
They threw stones at passing cars and prevented anyone from entering the township, including the media. Police fired shots into the air and used tear gas to disperse the crowd. All six schools in Hebron were closed.
Six shops belonging to Somalis, Bangladeshis and Ethiopians were looted and the owners injured.
A cement truck was set alight as it made its way through Hebron.
Violence also erupted during a march over water shortages in Majakaneng, also under the Madibeng council. Protesters burned down a house belonging to councillor Lazarus Nkoma.
Hebron community leader Obed Marema said all areas under Madibeng were poorly serviced.
“Bridges have collapsed years ago and are yet to be repaired. The roads are full of potholes. Electricity and water supply is unreliable.
“We have no RDP houses, despite being on the list for ages. The houses are occupied by foreign nationals. Yet, government wastes money on useless things such as road renaming. What is the difference between Church Street and Steve Biko Street?
“The municipal executive must quit. We must have by-elections and elect leaders who will serve us. We have waited too long for the better life promised by the ANC,” he said.
Ibrahim Huriye, safety and security officer for the Somalia Association of SA, condemned the looting of the businesses.
Huriye challenged President Jacob Zuma to publicly tell foreigners to go home, since the government could not guarantee their safety.
“We see these kind of attacks every time there is a protest,” he said.
However, Marema insisted theirs was a peaceful demonstration which had been marred by unruly elements.
Protesting residents remain defiant
IOL News 7 February 2014
Johannesburg - Police had their hands full on Friday as defiant residents continued to protest in several areas in the North West and Gauteng.
Protesters barricaded roads in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, and in Hebron and Majakaneng in North West, and promised to continue protests until government acceded to their demands.
In Boiketlong in Sebokeng, residents demanded to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma, not Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane.
“We want Msholozi (Zuma) himself, not Nomvula,” said resident Shimane Mohau on Friday.
“Zuma must come and see what his ANC was doing to its people.”
Mokonyane was scheduled to address the protesters.
The protests in Sebokeng started on Wednesday, with roads being barricaded with stones, trees and burning tyres.
They demanded better housing. Protester Lerata Rabolila, 27, was shot dead in the area during the violent protests.
Police in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, said the area was quiet on Friday.
A week-long protest by residents saw several buildings torched, including a clinic, hall and library.
They protested over their inability to buy electricity following a merger of municipalities that resulted in a changed purchasing system. They also called for better service delivery.
Business owners in Bronkhorstspruit held a meeting with Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to voice concerns over workers and business safety, and a loss of profit as a result of the protests.
Ramokgopa assured the business owners that police would increase patrols and ensure that workers were safe going to and from work, Tshwane spokesman Blessing Manale said on Friday.
Human settlements MEC Ntombi Mekgwe briefed journalists on the continuing protests on Friday.
Mekgwe said the solution to the problems that residents faced were constant engagement and facing “challenges head-on”.
“There are a number of avenues which are available to members of the community to raise their concerns.”
She urged residents to be responsible and not to stop children from going to school or sick people from gaining access to medicine or hospitals.
Mekgwe said 50 service delivery protests were recorded in Gauteng since last year.
“In terms of cost for the damage... for the department alone, it's about R55 million.”
She said the figure could be higher for the municipalities where infrastructure was damaged.
Residents of Hebron on Friday promised to continue their protests until government gave them what they wanted.
The barricaded roads made it hard for motorists to travel in the township on Friday.
Residents were dissatisfied with a lack of feedback from the Madibeng local municipality following their march to the council offices about two weeks ago to demand the removal of their local councillor and to have roads in the area fixed.
Comment from Madibeng spokeswoman Lebogang Tsogang could not be obtained after she had promised to reply to questions about the protests.
North West police said they had enhanced police presence and were keeping an eye on the protesters in the province.
“The community is warned that activities such as the barricading of roads, the looting and stoning of passing vehicles, are illegal and will not be tolerated,” said spokesman Sabata Mokgwabone.
“The police will take steps against any person who commits or is found to have committed a crime.”
Protesters demand premier visit
IOL News 7 February 2014
Johannesburg - Residents of Boiketlong in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, were angry on Friday when they heard Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane was not coming to address them.
“She is disrespectful... we heard that she was in Sebokeng Zone 6 but she did not bother to come here,” said community leader Daniel Mofokeng.
Earlier on Friday, Mokonyane's spokesman Thebe Mohathle confirmed to Sapa that the premier would be going to Boiketlong.
Residents started dancing and singing struggle songs such as “thina si lwela amalungelo wethu” (We are fighting for our rights) under a railway bridge upon hearing that Mokonyane was no longer coming.
They also turned back vehicles entering Boiketlong.
“This means war. We are going to burn things until someone listens to us,” said disgruntled resident Amos Mokwena.
Residents took to the streets on Wednesday demanding decent housing. One protester erson was shot dead.
Boiketlong protesters block roads
IOL News 7 February 2014
Johannesburg - Residents of Boiketlong, Sebokeng, formed a human chain in an attempt to stop police from entering the informal settlement on Friday.
More than 50 police officers in Nyala armoured vehicles tried to enter the area. One police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said they wanted to escort mayor Simon Mofokeng to address residents.
Residents started singing “siya shaya” (we beat you up). Locals took to the streets on Wednesday demanding decent housing. One person was shot and killed during the protests.
Protesters threaten registration boycott
IOL News 7 February 2014
Johannesburg - Residents of Boiketlong informal settlement in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, vowed not to take part in voter registration over the weekend.
“We are not registering to vote and we do not want political parties near our community,” community leader Daniel Mofokeng said on Friday.
“Why should we register to vote when no one listens to us?”
Residents continued to barricade roads with burning tyres and trees on Friday afternoon, and vehicles entering Boiketlong were turned away.
Residents took to the streets on Wednesday demanding decent housing. A protester was shot and killed during demonstrations earlier in the week.
ANC like apartheid government’
IOL News 6 February 2014
Johannesburg - A Sebokeng resident likened the ANC to apartheid security forces as protests continued in the township south of Johannesburg on Thursday.
“Our own party is treating us like the apartheid government used to treat us,” said disgruntled community leader Daniel Mofokeng.
“There are 10 water taps in the community that are supposed to serve 15 000 residents. There is no electricity or decent toilets.”
Sebokeng residents vowed to intensify their protest. They were gathered under a railway bridge, burning tyres and blocking roads with trees and stones on Thursday afternoon.
A protester, 27-year-old Lerata Rabolila, was shot and killed while another was wounded during protests on Wednesday.
Rabolila's brother Paseka said the ANC was to blame.
“No ANC politicians are welcome here. They killed my brother like a dog,” he told Sapa earlier on Thursday.
“A group of people wearing ANC T-shirts came out of nowhere and started attacking us and one of them fired several shots at us.”
People wearing ANC T-shirts parked their minibuses at a nearby filling station and started moving towards the protesting residents of Boiketlong, he said.
“We put the ANC in power, and now it kills us like dogs... I will never vote for the ANC for as long as I live.”
Police were keeping a close watch on protesters on Thursday afternoon.
NUM marches over ill-treatment of overseas Rio Tinto miners
Around 200 NUM members have marched to the Mining Indaba in Cape Town to protest against the ill-treatment of Rio Tinto miners in other countries.
Mail & Guardian 6 February 2014
Around 200 National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members marched to the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Thursday to protest against the alleged ill-treatment of Rio Tinto miners in other countries.
The NUM's general secretary Frans Baleni said the march to the Cape Town International Convention centre, where the last day of the indaba is being held, included guests from 18 countries and civil society movements.
"We marched in solidarity with workers operating in some Rio Tinto mines, especially in Madagascar, Indonesia, Australia, Mongolia and India, where conditions are severe."
The march was organised with the IndustriALL Global Union, which said it represented 50-million workers in the mining, energy, and manufacturing sectors in 142 countries.
Baleni said they tried to hand over a memorandum of demands to Rio Tinto representatives at the indaba but were told to e-mail it to their London office.
"[We still believe] the march was very successful. It's not about numbers. It's about the fact that workers can empathise at such a distance," he said.
"We are sending a message to Rio Tinto that they are not dealing with workers just where they are, but a global federation of 50-million people."
IndustriALL claimed in its memorandum of demands to Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh that his company was one of the most aggressive anti-union companies in the sector.
It called on the company to stop interfering in collective bargaining.
It wanted the company to commit to engaging with workers and their trade unions, particularly when downscaling operations, to seek alternatives to retrenchments.
Its other demands centred around the maximisation of permanent, full-time employment and abiding to the rule of law when applying for concessions and social licences to operate.
Rio Tinto has two operations in South Africa – the copper mine, smelter and refinery Palabora Mining Company, and Richards Bay Minerals, which mines and processes titanium minerals. – Sapa
Protesters barricade roads in Hebron
SABC News 6 February 2014
Hebron Pretoria Madibeng Sanco Tshidi Mangoathe Mothutlung Residents of Hebron, north of Pretoria, have barricaded roads with burning tyres complaining about the lack of service delivery by the Madibeng municipality.
The protest action is led mainly by young people. However, the local branch of Sanco says that the protest is not about service delivery, but to demand that some councillors be removed or recalled.
The newly appointed mayor of Madibeng, Tshidi Mangoathe, visited the area on Wednesday to give feedback on an earlier memorandum of demands that was delivered to her office.
Three weeks ago, Mothutlung residents demanded an uninterrupted water supply. Shortly after that, four people were allegedly killed by the police. The water supply has since been fixed and six police officers suspended.
The protesting residents say that they came to the decision of taking these forms of action after they were not satisfied with the response they got from the Madibeng municipality on their demands.
Community leader, Paul Motlogeloa, says more than a month ago they handed over their memorandum of grievances to the municipality.
Amongst others, they are demanding electricity and improved sanitation. Motlogeloa says instead, the local councillor started with the project of building a new library in the area and ignoring essential services needed by the community.
The main road leading into the village from Pretoria has been closed and police are monitoring the protests.
Housing protest shuts Helderberg roads
Daneel Knoetze and Henri du Plessis (IOL News)6 February 2014
Cape Town - Just a day after hundreds marched through Cape Town in a service delivery protest, police were pelted with stones by residents of Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, who also burned tyres and blocked roads with rubble in a violent protest over housing.
Hundreds of protesters blocked the road leading into the village with burning tree stumps, rubble and tyres and had a stand-off with police, who were attacked with stones.
The Sir Lowry’s Pass Village protest followed on the heels of a major political protest march held by the ANC yesterday, during which activists also demanded “proper” housing.
The Sir Lowry’s residents were protesting over a temporary relocation area (TRA) being built by the council.
The floor plans for the first few units in the Riemvasmaak TRA were detailed this week.
However, residents, who are to be relocated from areas which flood during winter, have complained that the units will be too small for their families and furniture.
Alf Johnson, a lifelong resident of the area, lives with six other family members in a spacious shack on the edge of the stream which runs through the village. Every winter his home floods.
“Last time we had heavy rains the water was up to my ankles. A lot of my furniture has been damaged,” he said.
“I applied to relocate here to Riemvasmaak, but now I can see that this will not work. There is barely enough space for two people to live (in the new accommodation).”
Residents said the new accommodation had been badly designed, and they had not been properly consulted during the planning process.
Magriet Britz, of the Neighbourhood Watch, acknowledged the people’s unhappiness, and also said the units were too small.
However, she reprimanded the protesters for raising these issues now, at the last minute.
“There were meetings to discuss the planning for Riemvasmaak,” she said.
“But, people don’t bother coming to these meetings. They are absent when the consultation happens, or when they are there they do not speak up and make their voices heard. Now they have to accept the outcome, because it is too late to change things.”
At the time of publication, residents and local ward councillor Johan Middleton were meeting at a nearby town hall, but the City of Cape Town had not responded to Cape Argus queries.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said there were about 200 protesters but other witnesses estimated that there were many more. Africa said the protest had not affected traffic on the nearby N2 highway, but some local roads had been closed.
Parents force school closure
Sihle Manda 6 February 2014
Durban - Parents at controversial Umkhumbane Secondary School in Chesterville have brought all teaching at the school to a halt – protesting against the reinstatement of 12 teachers and a clerk and calling for the suspension of their principal to be revoked.
On Wednesday, parents and pupils protested at the school, repeating their demands.
Last year, three of the teachers were accused of sexual misconduct with pupils. Nine others, and a clerk, were targeted for pledging solidarity with them.
Last week, the Durban High Court granted an interim order to have the Department of Education reinstate the teachers “with immediate effect”.
There was chaos on Monday when the 12 teachers were pelted with stones as they reported for work.
The principal, Ntokozo Ngobese, was suspended later that same day for allegedly bringing the department “into disrepute”.
The school’s governing body was also disbanded.
But parents and pupils vowed to keep gates closed until Ngobese’s suspension was rescinded. They also accused the court of being biased towards the department in its ruling.
Department spokesman Muzi Mahlambi said: “It’s very difficult to deal with a situation that is deliberate, and (where there is) a resolute agenda to cause chaos.
“No matter what effort you put in, it won't work.”
The Durban South branch secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers Union, Sibongiseni Xulu, said the union believed the school’s governing body should allow “internal disciplinary processes” to unfold to test whether the allegations were valid.
“This was never the case… the governing body said they didn’t want the teachers at the school – and we can’t operate like that. They (teachers) must be given a fair hearing,” he said.
After the court ruling, he said, the principal was given “a clear instruction” that teachers must return to school and that there be no incitement of the community.
Lessons were disrupted again on Wednesday as parents continued to demand Ngobese’s reinstatement. Twenty-two teachers were forced to report to their Umlazi district office as they were denied access to the school.
A parent, Pamela Gumede, said Ngobese was not to blame for the teachers’ being chased away.
“We want him back. It was us who said we don’t want these people here – not him. They can’t come back here, they won’t,” she said.
Parents commended Ngobese for turning around the school’s fortunes, saying the pass rate had improved dramatically.
Cement truck torched in NWest protest
Miranda Raaff 6 February 2014
Johannesburg - A cement truck was torched as a protest flared up in Majakaneng, in the North West, on Thursday morning with residents demanding better service delivery.
“The community is angry because there is no water, no proper roads and we don't have the RDP houses we were promised,” said community member Pule Rakomane by phone.
“From 2005/2006 there has been no water. We have a reservoir and some water pumps in our yards but there is no water.”
He said residents had resorted to buying water from neighbouring townships, alleging that municipal officials sold the water to the mines.
Residents had been protesting since 4am, burning tyres and blockading roads in the area, said Rakomane.
A cement truck had been torched by the community but there were no reports of injuries.
“The police were here but they just now went away,” said Rakomane.
He said the community did not want a violent protest.
“We don't want any violence. We want those people (ward councillors) to come and answer to us.”
North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said he would comment once he had received feedback from police officers on the ground.
Last month, four people were killed in Mothutlung, outside Brits in the North West, after residents protested violently for water. They said they had been without water for at least three months.
Mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known as Bra Mike were shot dead allegedly by police.
Lerato Seema died after allegedly jumping from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody. Residents claimed police brutality.
Another protester later died in hospital.
Violent service delivery protests have erupted in pockets of the country. - Sapa
Strikers set municipal offices alight
IOL News 5 February 2014
East London - A section of a municipal office building in East London was damaged by fire on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said.
Only a small section of the building was damaged in the fire, allegedly started by striking municipal workers, Captain Stephen Marais said.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation and our forensic teams are on the scene.”
Earlier on Wednesday, police were keeping an eye on striking municipal workers in the area.
“The workers are waiting for management to finish negotiating in the Buffalo City municipal offices,” said Marais.
Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse protesters on Tuesday.
Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha said at the time that the employees, mostly general workers, wanted 14th cheque payments from the municipality. She said she was unable to accede to their demands.
She said the Buffalo City municipality would have to obtain a circular from the SA Local Government Association with a bargaining agreement attached to implement the workers' demands.
“That is how the law goes. We would be breaking the law if we give in to their demands. We have explained this issue, but unfortunately, the workers would not accept it and are still on strike,” she said.
The unions involved are the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union and the SA Municipal Workers' Union.
Voetsek Zille, say ANC marchers
Daneel Knoetze 6 February 2014
The election battle for the Western Cape turned nasty on Wednesday as ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman publicly insulted DA leader Helen Zille to her face on the steps of the provincial legislature in front of about 1 500 ANC supporters.
They had marched on the offices of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille at the Civic Centre and then the offices of Zille in Wale Street. Zille met the crowd on the steps of the legislature to accept an ANC memorandum.
But before presenting the memorandum, Fransman, speaking over a loud hailer, called Zille a “master of the politics of deception”.
To a background of jeers and boos from the crowd, Fransman accused her of being anti-poor, of having failed as premier and of being unwilling to personally use the government-issue portable toilets frequently found in informal settlements.
The crowd also waved insulting placards: one portrayed Zille as Pinocchio with the subscript “Premier Liar”.
Visibly irate, Zille was seen speaking sternly in Fransman’s ear as he spoke. Yet she was not afforded the chance to address the crowd, with an ANC member leading the toyi-toying and saying that he did not want to hear her “squeaky voice”. It was “her time to listen”, he said.
Fuming, Zille took the memorandum from Fransman and re-entered the building.
The memorandum accused the DA provincial government of “ignoring the demands of our people” and of failing on service delivery, fighting gangsterism and redressing land ownership in central Cape Town which, according to Fransman, remained in the hands of the “white elite”.
Asked to comment later, Zille told the Cape Argus the provincial government respected the ANC’s right to march, but she slammed the ANC supporters for being late, for shouting “voetsek” (go away) when she came to meet them at their request, and for denying her the opportunity to address them.
“After demanding that I address the marchers, the ANC and Cosatu leaders of the march denied me the opportunity to speak because they knew I would demolish the lies that Fransman… had been stating as fact.
“It is also ironic that they were demanding the release of land, which the national Department of Public Works holds, and on which the national department has not responded to our requests for three years.
“If I had been given the right to speak, I would have told the marchers that, at long last, the Western Cape government is making progress with securing the release of much-needed land from the national Department of Public Works in the city.”
One of the marchers told the Cape Argus about her hopes for the elections and the reasons why she supported the ANC.
Single mother Nomakula Mdygolo, 47, has been an ANC member since her youth and is a veteran of Umkhonto we Sizwe (the ANC’s armed wing during the liberation struggle).
She is unemployed and lives in a shack in Khayelitsha, where she does not have access to a flush toilet.
“We feel that the DA government has betrayed us,” she said.
“Zille is a woman like myself, yet I do not feel she understands my plight as a single mother trying to raise a child in these conditions.
“The toilets fill up with faeces, then come the flies and the disease. It is a terrible way to live and that is why I want the DA out of power.”
Mdygolo admitted that she was loyal to the ANC and would not turn on the party, even if it betrayed her.
Meanwhile, traders in St George’s Mall, Greenmarket Square and around the CBD hastily packed up as the marchers made their way up Adderley Street from the Civic Centre to Wale Street. Many were victims when a previous march turned ugly last October, losing their goods and cash.
“We are very angry,” said Mor Fall, of the square’s Traders Association.
“Law enforcement told me to my face that they could not protect us if there was looting. Now, who will pay for the lost money? Some of us stand to lose around a R1 000 because of losing half a day’s trading. The city must answer to this.”
Richard Bosman, executive director for safety and security in the city, responded: “Law enforcement officers were asked to inform the traders about the march taking place. At no stage did staff say they could not guarantee the traders their safety. Today’s march was very small with no more than 1 000 people present.”
Ekangala protesters demand better service
IOL News 5 February 2014
Johannesburg - Protesting residents of Ekangala near Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, on Wednesday demanded improved service delivery in the area.
This followed the torching of various buildings, including a clinic and a house in nearby Rethabiseng.
Locals said they had been in the area since the early 1990s but nothing had been done for them.
During a community meeting, Mita Mothoa from Dark City, a section of Ekangala, said she was still using a pit toilet.
“Tshwane is not treating us right. We don't have toilets and title deeds. It's time we stood up,” she said.
Community leader Petros Molobola told the group gathered at the community hall that residents did not want to fall under the City of Tshwane.
“We never accepted Tshwane, our parents did. We are not Sputla's (mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa's) puppets,” he said.
The area used to fall under the Metsweding municipality but was merged with Tshwane in 2011.
Other residents said they wanted land to build shacks. A site was identified where residents would start building shacks.
“We are going to build them and they (municipality and police) must not remove us,” said one resident.
Before the meeting, a group calling themselves Concerned residents of Ekangala danced in the street with a banner saying “away with Tshwane, give us back our Metsweding”, and “give our title deeds, develop Metsweding, no poor service”.
Earlier in the day, police stopped residents who were marching to the main road to voice their dissatisfaction.
Sebokeng quiet, Majakaneng protests continue
After a protester was shot dead in Sebokeng during violent protests, demonstrations continued in Majakaneng, with residents burning a truck.
Mail & Guardian 6 February 2014
Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, was quiet on Thursday morning following violent protests, Gauteng police said. "The roads have been cleared and opened for traffic," added spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng.
Sebokeng residents blocked roads with burning tyres, stones and trees on Wednesday. Roads from Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging were closed due to the protest.
A protester was shot dead and another was wounded during the demonstrations. Five people were arrested for public violence. An investigation into the protester's death has been launched, said Mofokeng.
Emfuleni municipality mayor Greta Hlongwane tried to address residents on Wednesday, following a meeting between protest leaders and community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko. But residents demanded Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane instead.
Protests over houses
The municipality said the protests were related to a housing development in the area, which was the Gauteng housing department's responsibility.
Violent service delivery protests have erupted in pockets of the country. A cement truck was torched as a protest flared up in Majakaneng, in the North West, on Thursday morning with residents demanding better service delivery.
"The community is angry because there is no water, no proper roads and we don't have the RDP houses we were promised," said community member Pule Rakomane by phone. "From 2005 [to] 2006 there has been no water. We have a reservoir and some water pumps in our yards but there is no water."
He said residents had resorted to buying water from neighbouring townships, alleging that municipal officials sold the water to the mines.
'We don't want any violence'
Residents had been protesting since 4am, burning tyres and blockading roads in the area, said Rakomane. A cement truck was torched by the community but there were no reports of injuries.
"The police were here but they just now went away," said Rakomane. He said the community did not want a violent protest. "We don't want any violence. We want those people [ward councillors] to come and answer to us."
North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said he would comment once he had received feedback from police officers on the ground.
Last month, four people were killed in Mothotlung, outside Brits in the North West, after residents protested violently for water. They said they had been without water for at least three months.
Mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known as Bra Mike were shot dead, allegedly by police. Lerato Seema died after allegedly jumping from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody. Residents claimed police brutality. Another protester later died in hospital.
569 protests in three months
On Wednesday, acting Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba said police had dealt with 569 protests in the past three months, of which 122 were violent, in the province.
A total of seven buildings had been set alight in Bronkhorstspruit this week and more than 50 people were arrested. – Sapa
Protester shot dead in Sebokeng
A protester has been killed and five arrested for public violence in Sebokeng after a demonstration about a lack of housing.
Mail & Guardian 6 February 2014
A protester was killed on Wednesday and five others arrested for public violence in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, Gauteng police said.
"Five people were arrested for public violence on Wednesday afternoon during the service delivery protests in Sebokeng," Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said. "The situation is now calm and police are monitoring the area."
A protester was shot dead and another wounded during demonstrations in the area on Wednesday. Mofokeng said protesters split into two groups. One group wanted to remove barricades on the road and the other group would not allow it. Several shots were fired between the groups.
"One person was injured and was taken to hospital and the other died upon arrival at hospital."
On Wednesday morning residents blocked roads from Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging with burning tyres, stones and trees.
Emfuleni mayor Greta Hlongwane said in a statement that protests in Sebokeng were not about service delivery. "The municipality wants to put it on record that the protest has nothing to do with provision of basic services."
She said the unrest was related to a housing development in the area, which was the Gauteng housing department's responsibility.
"It is unfortunate that this matter has now affected the entire community of Sebokeng. We have been engaging with the Boitekong community through a series of meetings where we explained that the provincial housing department is in talks with the owners of the private land where the housing development is supposed to take place," Hlongwane said. – Sapa
Students register grievances at Parly
Daneel Knoetze 4 February 2014
The SA Students Congress marched to Parliament and handed over a memorandum demanding that the government intervene in the higher education funding crisis. Picture: David Ritchie
Students will, within a week, forcibly “close” campuses around the province if the government does not intervene in the national funding crisis in higher education.
This was the ultimatum issued by SA Students’ Congress (Sasco), who led the students on a march on Parliament on Monday. Sasco maintains that funding shortfalls and mismanagement of available money from Treasury are denying poor students their constitutional right to education.
Sasco said thousands of students were turned away when they tried to register for the new academic year at their respective colleges and universities.
At UWC, more than half of the 21 000 had not been registered, Sasco’s provincial chairman, Luzuko Bashman, said.
Two weeks ago, the Cape Argus reported on chaos at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), where thousands of students were being turned away at registration because of funding shortfalls for government bursaries and outstanding debts. Police had to disperse a crowd of irate students, some of whom were denied registration, after they barricaded the entrance of Bellville’s CPUT campus. There have been similar protests at universities across the country.
Around 400 students marched from the College of Cape Town campus to Parliament on Monday.
One of them was 19-year-old Ncumisa Mahlombe, a second-year business management student. She was turned away at the College of Cape Town last week, and told she owed debt from last year and R2 600 in registration fees. This money, she said, was due to her via a government bursary for which she had qualified.
Bashman handed a memorandum of grievances to Nokuthula Nqaba, the parliamentary liaison officer for Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. The grievances included:
* The refusal of some colleges to recognise Sasco and Student Representative Councils (SRCs) as legitimate representatives of students.
* The placement of students in residences that cost above the allocated money for accommodation for government, resulting in debts.
* The lack of transport allowance for some students due to funding shortfalls.
* A policy by some universities which refuse to register students who owe money.
Bashman said many universities mismanaged student debt and squandered the money made available to them through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. He called on Nzimande to do financial audits of suspect universities and to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate “the state of colleges”.
Last week, Nzimande announced a R1 billion injection into the aid scheme to assist with the bursary and funding shortfall. Sasco acknowledged and welcomed this, but added that the intervention had not filtered down to the students.
STUDENT PROTEST ACTION – HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS 3 February 2014
Dear Colleagues and Students
The University’s Risk Management Services advised that approximately 100 students engaged in protest action on the Howard College campus this morning. The students demanded additional financial aid, accommodation, improved security measures, additional facilities for students with disabilities and a ‘fair’ registration appeals process.
In 2014 UKZN allocated R260 million from NSFAS to fund approximately 6 500 students. In addition, approximately R100 million, made up of University and NRF funding, has been allocated for tuition in the form of loans, bursaries and scholarships this year.
We recognise that students have a right to protest in a peaceful and orderly manner and the University upholds and respects such right. The right to protest should be exercised appropriately in adherence to the official policies of the University as stated in the Regulations for Staff and Student Gatherings, Demonstrations, Marches or Rallies to express Demands or Grievances.
Students are reminded to follow the Rules and Regulations that govern our institution. At present the student leadership is meeting with the Executive Dean of Students to discuss their concerns.
Risk management services and SAPS are monitoring the situation.
Lesiba Seshoka Executive Director Corporate Relations
Slow start for Pretoria taxi protest
IOL News 3 February 2014
Pretoria - Scores of disgruntled taxi operators marched through the streets of central Pretoria on Monday in a bid to have government grant them operating permits.
Many carried knobkerries and sang struggle songs such as “mzabalazo uya phumelela” (The struggle continues).
The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) members wore white T-shirts and were followed by more than 50 minibus taxis.
The NTA's leadership intended handing a memorandum of grievances to the transport department on Monday.
The taxi operators were protesting against the government's failure to issue drivers with operating licences, which would exempt them from paying e-tolls.
Commuters were left stranded because of the strike, with many queuing for taxis to ferry them to their workplaces.
“We were not told about this strike. It could have been better if we were told,” said Martha Morule.
Morule said she waited for a taxi for more than two hours. Other commuters went to the nearby Kalafong train station.
“We have no choice but to catch a train to work,” said Tshepo Maphai.