||Twenty in court for protest violence
IOL News 28 March 2014
Orkney - Twenty of the 35 people arrested during violent protests in Kanana near Orkney appeared in the Orkney Magistrate's Court on Friday, North West police said.
Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said the matter was postponed to April 4, when they were expected to apply for bail.
“They are still in custody,” Mokgwabone said in a statement.
The group was arrested during protests in the area on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Protesters partially burnt the local municipality offices and pelted windows with stones,” said Mokgwabone.
They barricaded roads with burning tyres and looted several shops belonging to foreigners. A shop and a bottle store were burnt down.
“Protesters damaged two police vehicles by breaking their windscreens,” said Mokgwabone.
The protesters stormed into schools and forced pupils to join their strike action. Mokgwabone said police were monitoring the situation on Friday and no violence had been reported by 3pm.
Girl, 6, wounded in protest
IOL News 26 March 2014
Johannesburg - A six-year-old girl was shot and wounded during a protest in Lorraine village near Ga-Sekororo, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.
The girl was grazed on the back of her head when police fired shots during the protest on Tuesday, said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
“Her mother claims that the child was shot by the police during the protest,” Mulaudzi said.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) would determine who was responsible for the girl's injury.
The six-year-old was admitted to the Sekororo hospital for observation, said Limpopo health department spokeswoman Adele van der Linde.
Van der Linde said she was not severely wounded but medical observation was necessary due to her age and because it was a head injury.
Service delivery in the area had been compromised due to the protest in the area.
“It is a tense situation as the protesters are blocking many of the roads,” said Mulaudzi.
“Police are doing everything in their means to control the situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Sekororo hospital and the Lorraine clinic were also disrupted due to the protest, said Van der Linde.
“Some of the staff were prohibited from entering the clinic, but the clinics are still open,” she said.
Mulaudzi said police were on the scene. - Sapa
Protests at Delft child murder, rape trial
Henri du Plessis and Daneel Knoetze 27 March 2014
Cape Town - Groups of demonstrators sang and toyi-toyied outside the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning, where Wanda Oliphant, 27, appeared in connection with the rape and murder of a 9-year-old Delft girl in January.
Lihle Hlanjwa, was found tied up, badly burnt and fighting for her life in an open field next to the R300 in Delft.
The case was postponed until May 8 for further investigation. Prosecutor Vuvu Manele acceded to the defence’s request that Oliphant remain in solitary confinement for his safety.
Oliphant narrowly escaped a mob who wanted to kill him soon after the incident. He was held in a neighbourhood watch member’s garage as a crowd bayed for blood outside, before being arrested.
Manele said more investigation was required now that the docket had been amended to include the charge of murder.
Lihle was treated in Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where she had several operations. She died on March 18 and the charge against Oliphant was changed from attempted murder to murder.
Outside the court this morning, four groups demonstrated about the case. The ANC had a group of supporters dancing and singing across the road from the court. Next to them, a group from Agang gathered and just off the road, a large DA contingent waved placards.
A more orderly group representing Delft neighbourhood watches also arrived to support the child’s family.
Civic groups the Delft Neighbourhood Watchers Association and the Bonteheuwel Ladies Walking for Health and Against Crime, were at the court to support the family and community.
Some bystanders lambasted the political party groups for what they saw as exploiting the girl’s death for political gain.
“We are very disappointed with the political parities who came here to make cheap politics and jump on the bandwagon just to advertise themselves,” said Soraya Salie from the Bonteheuwel group.
Five held over Majakaneng protest
IOL News 25 March 2014
Brits - Five people were arrested in Majakaneng near Brits on Tuesday in connection with a recent protest, North West police said.
“The arrest follows intensive investigation on cases that were registered during Majakaneng community protests on February 27 and 28,” said Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone.
He said the five were arrested over arson, malicious damage to property, intimidation, assault common and public violence.
“Out of five suspects, one is facing a charge of public violence, another one is charged with arson while the other three are facing charges of arson, malicious damage to property, intimidation and common assault.”
He said they would appear in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Residents of the village barricaded Old Pretoria Road and the N4 highway last month.
They were demanding water, proper roads and RDP houses.
A cement truck, a house belonging to a councillor and several cars were burnt. Shops were also looted during the protest.
N2 set ablaze and ‘more to come’
IOL News 25 March 2014
The organisers of Monday’s rolling protests along the N2 have warned they will intensify and “cause a huge impact” across greater Cape Town.
On Monday night, Andile Lili, head of the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, said the protesters had been “leading themselves”, but with the tacit encouragement of his organisation.
“You cannot separate our organisation from informal settlement dwellers, backyard dwellers or hostel (dwellers) – all of those people are standing in solidarity with Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement,” Lili said.
And he threatened that the protesters would worsen as his organisation began actively “co-ordinating” the protests.
Of their demands, he said: “First and foremost, the city and the province must unban our organisation.
“Second, we want to protest against the new logo – wastage of poor people’s money. Poor people from Valhalla Park or Masiphumelele could have benefited from that R8 million.
On the first matter, he threatened: “We want permission to march to the city. If they deny them their right to campaign for the elections in our areas, we will block them. We know it is their right to campaign in our areas, but it is also our right to march to the city.
“There will be a huge impact.”
Asked whether he condoned violent protest, Lili explained: “Of course we don’t want them to be violent. But communities agreed that we must make our grievances, must be listened to.
“We told them not to break robots or community facilities, but to close all major routes across Cape Town.”
Since 4.30am on Monday, protests flared up at almost a dozen sites – including N2/Borcherds Quarry and Airport Approach Road, N2/Baden Powell Drive, Baden Powell Drive/Walter Sisulu, Jaftha Masimole Drive, Hindle/Fairfield in Delft, and areas in Khayelitsha and Delft.
Throughout much of Monday, police had their hands full keeping the N2 open – in relentless running battles to prevent protesters from scattering burning tyres, chunks of concrete, rocks, rubbish and portable toilet waste containers on the roads.
For large parts of the day, the key national arterial route between Somerset West and the foot of Sir Lowry’s Pass remained closed, as police attempted to keep the road raiders at bay.
The SAPS provincial media office reported that “at about 11:50pm Pops (Public Order Policing Service) members arrested four people at Onverwacht, Lwandle when they found about more than 50 people burning tyres, (after) these people were warned to disperse. Members took action with a stun grenade to disperse them and they dispersed between the shacks,” police reported.
“At 11.55pm Pops members went on foot patrols between the shacks at Borcherds Quarry where protesters were throwing stones at vehicles through the fence between Borcherds Quarry and Airport Approach.
“No arrests were made. It is unknown if any private vehicles were damaged. The fire brigade extinguished burning rubble and removed it to the side of the road. N2 between Borcherds Quarry and Airport Approach all lanes are open again.”
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille told the Cape Argus: “This is undoubtedly co-ordinated, as last week’s events were, by Ses’Khona, led by Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla.
“They continue to pursue their ungovernability campaign, and their strategy is to ignite this strategy across the Western Cape. They have made these threats, and carried them out, repeatedly, so I am not guessing or speculating.
“There are countless times that they are on record as saying their policy is to make the province ‘ungovernable’,” Zille charged.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, condemned “the spate of illegal protests that have caused great upheaval in parts of the city over the past few days.
“While the city respects the rights of its residents to protest, it cannot condone the actions of parties that have not gone through the nationally prescribed Gatherings Act and received permission to protest,” Smith said.
“Where protests endanger or inconvenience other residents, the city will support the SAPS in whatever way we can to protect our residents.”
He warned the city would use “all means at its disposal, including reviewing CCTV footage where available, to identify the culprits”.
“It is unclear who is behind the protests, but the possibility that these actions could be politically motivated cannot be ruled out.
“We, however, have noted the repeated public calls by Mr Andile Lili to embark on illegal action and we trust that these and other utterances will be investigated by the SAPS.”
Caregivers stage protest over stipends
IOL News 25 March 2014
Hundreds of caregivers marched to the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters and the Department of Health offices in central Joburg on Monday, claiming they had not been paid for the past six months.
The caregivers, also known as community health workers, marched in protest over alleged non-payment of their R2 260 monthly stipends.
Security guards closed the doors hastily as the marchers descended, singing struggle songs and waving placards.
A protester, Nomsa Mazibuko, brandished a placard mocking the ANC’s “We have a good story to tell” election campaign slogan.
The poster read: “Not been paid for six months is not a good story to tell Mr President.”
The caregivers, from the Othwandweni Development Service in Pretoria, care for bedridden TB and HIV-positive patients. They had travelled from Pretoria to voice their grievances.
Masindi Mkhize was among them. Her contract expires at the end of this month.
She said the officials had promised them three-month contracts even though they had not been paid for the past six months.
She said their contracts stipulated they would receive R2 260 monthly stipends. “Since then we have not been paid a single cent. We work very hard, taking care of the sick. We have to make sure they take their medication. We are working very hard and they are not paying us,” said Mkhize angrily.
One of the protesters, who did not want to be identified, accused the government of abusing them. “When the time for elections comes, they remember us. I’m not going to vote if this matter is not resolved soon,” she said.
But Health Department spokesman Simon Zwane denied the caregivers had not been paid, saying the department’s books showed “we are up to date with the payment”.
He said an audit would determine whether everyone had been paid accordingly.
Earlier this month, the caregivers - who were protesting over alleged non-payment of their monthly stipends - tried to storm Luthuli House. The police fired teargas in an attempt to keep them away.
Stones, boos spoil rights day event
IOL News 22 March 2014
Johannesburg - A Human Rights Day commemoration of the Sharpeville massacre, in which 69 people were killed 54 years ago, was marred by booing, insults, stone throwing and a picture of a divided township.
Intolerance lingered every time a group of people in yellow T-shirts crossed paths with people in red berets or people waving green and black flags.
At every turn there were police vehicles, water tankers and even barbed-wire trailers waiting to defuse the tension.
While President Jacob Zuma was laying wreaths at the memorial precinct, a group of PAC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members tried to disrupt proceedings and force their way in.
The PAC and EFF said they had been locked out of the venue which they had booked to commemorate the Sharpeville massacre.
At the main event, held at the George Thabe Cricket Pitch, the DA’s deputy federal chairman, Makashule Gana, was booed off the stage when he addressed the crowd, prompting Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile to plead with the crowd to remain disciplined.
Earlier, DA national spokesman Mmusi Maimane said a bus they were travelling in was pelted with stones and forced to leave the area by a group of people wearing ANC T-shirts when it approached the township. “The ANC mob stoned a bus carrying the families of Hector Pieterson, Tsepho Babuseng and myself,” said Maimane.
“We were forced to retreat out of fear for our lives and safety when the only intention was to complete the wreath- laying to honour this national commemoration day.”
Maimane said the people were part of an ANC contingent that had blocked streets to the memorial precinct as Zuma arrived on Friday.
“They first lay on the ground, so we were forced to stop the bus from going any further,” he said.
“When we came to a full stop, the bus was pelted with stones from the ANC mob.
“We were forced to postpone our event.”
And it wasn’t long after Zuma had finished his speech at the commemoration when EFF leader Julius Malema – speaking outside the commemoration precinct, where the PAC and EFF had erected an impromptu stage on the road – rained scorn on the president.
“We are not here for (a) music festival. You cannot play music with half-naked artists dancing when you remember people who died for your rights,” Malema told the cheering crowd.
“Let us not remember our people by stealing from them.
“This is the government of thieves. Zuma is the most corrupt president in Africa and the whole world.”
He told he crowd that history would allow them a chance to “correct this mess we created in 2009”.
“A mess that steals money from the poor to build a chicken run. This cannot be a celebration, there is no good story to tell,” he said.
“Those who were killed here were fighting for freedom and their land. It cannot be a happy day.”
Malema told police to turn their guns against the government when they were given “illegal instruction” to shoot poor people during protests. “Those, you must kill,” Malema said.
But Zuma was received with a rousing roar by ANC supporters at the stadium where he made a campaign speech highlighting his government’s achievements, and staking his claim for a second term as president.
“We will never forget that our compatriots were brutally killed for demanding equal citizenship. We must cherish the hard-won equal citizenship today,” he said.
“We live in a country that is better than before and that is because of the struggle of the people of South Africa.”
He listed the government’s achievements including increased access to higher education, social grants, a decline in HIV infections, 420 000 jobs created through infrastructure programmes and increases in the number of children enrolled for Grade R.
Zuma steered clear of speaking about Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report or calls made by opposition parties to have him impeached, but he did mention corruption.
“We know that our people are troubled by corruption and we want to see it eradicated in our country,” he said.
Some residents of Sharpeville complained that the wheels of change were turning too slowly, and many were yet to reap the fruits of democracy.
“Unemployment is too high in our area especially among us young people,” said Mpho Sealanyane whose grandfather, Johannes, was among the 69 people killed in Sharpeville.
“The promises are being made but the delivery on those promises is what doesn’t seem to happen.
“My grandfather died fighting for our right to be equal, but now it is our time to fight for the right to survive with the basic necessities.”
For Elizabeth Mazibuko, 97, who vividly recalls how she jumped over the bodies of those who had been shot by police 54 years ago, on Friday was a sad reminder of how things were more than half a century ago. “There was blood everywhere and every year this remembrance is held I am reminded of that day,” she said.
“I ran to the corner and hid. It was terrifying but we are grateful to God that we are here today and have rights in our country.”
Police clash with Cape protesters
IOL News 20 March 2014
A woman who allegedly took part in a protest in the Bekela informal settlementon Thursday morning is arrested. Picture: Henk Kruger
Cape Town - Residents burned tyres and blocked roads in a number of areas across Cape Town on Thursday morning in service delivery protests.
At the Bekela informal settlement, near Philippi, protesters clashed with police, taunting officers with bricks and bottles on the corner of Stock and Spine roads.
Police responded with raids into the informal settlement, shooting stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the toyi-toying crowds as they gathered.
Resident Babalwa Ndabekelana complained about the “heavy handedness” of the officers pointing to children who she feared would be hurt in the violence.
“We are protesting for houses and decent toilets,” she said.
She gave the Cape Argus a tour of the settlement, showing blocked toilets, portaloos and pools of water.
“This is a temporary relocation area, built by the government, but many of us have been here for more than 10 years.
“It is disgusting to live here, we are getting sick because of the conditions. Most of us have TB and for us there is no end in sight to living like this,” Ndabekelana said.
She added local informal settlement committees were in contact with one another. The committees apparently co-ordinate rallies, explaining the fact that protests also erupted in Delft and other areas in Mitchells Plain and Philippi this morning.
Western Cape police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed this morning’s protest action in a number of areas.
“Tyres are burning at Symphony Road in Delft South, Baden Powell Road in Lansdowne and Weltevreden Road under the R300 bridge, as well as Sheffield Road, Lansdowne, due to service delivery protest.
“Our members are on the scene to monitor the situation,” Van Wyk said.
Richard Bosman, executive director for Safety and Security in the city, said: “It is believed that the protests are related to issues around service delivery; tyres were set alight, as well as portable toilets.
“Police and metro police are on the scene to contain the situation.”
Bosman also reported several road closures as a result of the protests.
Numsa protest ends
IOL News 19 March 2014
In Johannesburg, Jan Smuts Avenue was a sea of red as Numsa marchers made their way from Zoo Lake to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) offices in Rosebank.(@angelo2711)
Thousands of National union of metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members have marched in major cities and towns to protest against the so-called youth subsidy.
Memorandums were handed over in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria. Suspended Congress of the South African Trade Unions general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi joined protesters in Durban.
In Bloemfontein the union's deputy-secretary Carl Cloete said more people would lose their jobs if the subsidy is implemented.
In Johannesburg, Jan Smuts Avenue was a sea of red on Wednesday as Numsa marchers made their way from Zoo Lake to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) offices in Rosebank.
Traffic was at a standstill as the marchers flooded the main road. The march was relatively peaceful. Some of the marchers waved and blew kisses at children at a nursery school along the way.
Marchers also stopped and asked for water at some of the businesses along the route. Many shops, however, closed their doors as the marchers made their way past.
Some motorists sat in their vehicles, unable to make their way through the crowds. At one intersection some of the marchers came across an ANC poster and banged on it. They were reprimanded by other members.
Some marchers were temporarily distracted as they spotted musician Zola coming out of one of the shops along the route. They took out their cellphones in a bid to snap pictures of him. He quickly hurried away from the crowd.
Some of the men stopped to urinate outside the walls of a building. Throughout the march, the singing and chanting continued. The marchers were demanding employment.
National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim met the marchers at the Nedlac building and began addressing the crowd at 12.30pm.
Vavi leads Numsa march in Durban
IOL News 19 March 2014
Durban - Traffic in Durban's city centre was brought to a standstill as thousands of National Union of Metal Workers of SA members marched for jobs.
Suspended Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was at the front of the estimated 3000-strong march.
The march proceeded down Anton Lembede (Smith) Street, where Vavi was expected to address the marchers.
Vavi carried a placard that read “Implement the Freedom Charter”.
There were no immediate reports of any incidents, and a large police contingent escorted the marchers. - Sapa
Numsa march halts Joburg traffic
IOL News 19 March 2014
Johannesburg - Jan Smuts Avenue was a sea of red on Wednesday as Numsa marchers made their way from Zoo Lake to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) offices in Rosebank.
Traffic was at a standstill as the marchers flooded the main road.
The march was relatively peaceful.
Some of the marchers waved and blew kisses at children at a nursery school along the way.
Marchers also stopped and asked for water at some of the businesses along the route.
Many shops, however, closed their doors as the marchers made their way past.
Some motorists sat in their vehicles, unable to make their way through the crowds.
At one intersection some of the marchers came across an ANC poster and banged on it. They were reprimanded by other members.
Some marchers were temporarily distracted as they spotted musician Zola coming out of one of the shops along the route.
They took out their cellphones in a bid to snap pictures of him. He quickly hurried away from the crowd.
Some of the men stopped to urinate outside the walls of a building.
Throughout the march, the singing and chanting continued. The marchers were demanding employment.
National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim met the marchers at the Nedlac building and began addressing the crowd at 12.30pm. - Sapa
2000 Numsa marchers head to Rosebank
IOL News 19 March 2014
Johannesburg - Numsa's protest march got under way at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg before noon on Wednesday.
The marchers began making their way out of Zoo Lake and were heading to Rosebank via Jan Smuts Road.
The march for jobs was expected to proceed to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) premises in Rosebank where they would hand over a memorandum of understanding to Nedlac officials.
National Union of Metalworkers SA general secretary Irvin Jim was expected to address the marchers later.
About 2 000 people, mostly clad in the union's signature red T-shirts, began gathering at the lake from early on Wednesday morning.
Others wore the red T-shirts and berets of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
They sang struggle songs, ululated, blew whistles, and danced.
Some of the songs criticised President Jacob Zuma.
The marchers also carried posters which read “Smash false solutions,” and “employment incentives act equals exploitation”.
While several Numsa posters were erected in the area, a large poster depicting a picture of EFF leader Julius Malema was also sprawled across the grass.
A group of youngsters carried a big yellow banner bearing the words “Equal Education” written on it, while a vendor walked around selling red berets to marchers.
Other vendors had set up stalls selling fast food and cold drinks at the lake.
Numsa officials said police had urged marchers to leave their sticks and knobkerries at the venue for security purposes and not to carry them on their march.
Earlier, the same marshal had said while there was a strong police presence in the area, the police were not there for their protection.
“You know what they are here for,” he said over a microphone.
Marchers were also asked to be cautious as one protester who had come from Ekurhuleni was reportedly knocked down by a car.
It was unclear how badly the person had been injured, or where the accident had taken place. - Sapa
Numsa march off to strong start
IOL News 19 March 2014
Johannesburg - Hundreds of National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members gathered at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg ahead of their march on Wednesday.
“Ulimenemene Jacob Zuma (President Jacob Zuma, you are two faced),” they sang.
Others blew whistles while some women ululated.
One man wound a siren that blasted through the area.
The marchers were dressed in the union's signature red tops.
A few in the crowd wore red Economic Freedom Fighters T-shirts and berets.
The march for jobs was expected to proceed to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) premises in Rosebank.
A few police officers were positioned at the entrances to the area.
A Numsa official called for discipline, saying the police were not there for their protection.
“You know what they are here for,” he said over a microphone.
Some marchers carried placards reading “Living wage for all now”. Others placards proclaimed “Smash false solutions”. - Sapa
Angry commuters storm Metrorail offices
IOL News 19 March 2014
Fed-up Metrorail commuters stormed the rail service manager’s offices at Cape Town Station on Tuesday, demanding to know why they were constantly inconvenienced by late trains.
The issue – affecting about 350 000 daily commuters in the Western Cape – reared its head again on Tuesday morning when trains were delayed by a derailment at Cape Town station, which had happened on Saturday.
Metrorail told commuters there were problems on the southern, northern central and Cape Flats lines. Services to Cape Town from Kapteinsklip, Chris Hani, Khayelitsha and Retreat were cancelled. Trains from Heathfield to Cape Town were delayed.
In 2012, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA admitted to Parliament that Metrorail’s ability to provide a quality service to commuters remained under pressure and that it hoped to transform the service by 2014/15.
The situation came to a head on Tuesday when irate commuters demanded answers from Metrorail.
One angry commuter said she was almost raped while waiting for a train and another feared losing her job because of late trains. The two women, Nomachule Cikoze and Mwabisa Nsizi, are from Khayelitsha and travel by train to and from work.
Nsizi, 25, has been taking the 7am train from Khayelitsha’s Site C to Cape Town for the past three years. She buys a monthly ticket for R165.
“It takes me almost three hours to get to work. The train sometimes stops along the way for five minutes and sometimes for more than two hours. It’s frustrating; instead of getting better, the service is getting worse.”
Nsizi said she usually arrived home at 7pm, but on Monday the train was three hours late. While making her way home from the train station she was accosted by four men who snatched her bag, containing her cellphone and wallet.
The men also slapped her and pushed her to the floor, she said.
“One of them tried to take off my dress. He managed to tear off the top part. I just screamed and a guy walked towards us and they ran off. I take the 6pm train because I want to arrive home before dark… it’s not safe in the area where I live.”
Nsizi cannot afford a taxi or a bus. Her boss has given her several warnings about arriving late for work.
“Metrorail takes a full amount for my ticket, but I don’t get anything back from them when their service doesn’t run as it should. No apologies or any kind of communication.”
Cikoze, 44, of Site B, Khayelitsha, is also in hot water, for being late for work in Claremont, where she is a domestic worker. She has been taking the train around 7am for the past five years. At Woodstock, she transfers to the southern line for Claremont.
“Its chaos when the train stops before reaching a platform. Some people push and shove wanting to jump out of the train to walk to the next station. We have been complaining for a long time, but nothing is changing.”
“It’s bad. Everyone who takes the trains from Khayelitsha is complaining. My boss is fed up and has had enough of me coming to work late. She told me I’m at a point where I might lose my job… I have three children to feed.”
Cikoze said that on Monday her train was delayed by at least three hours. “I have no money for the bus. I don’t earn much… No one from Metrorail tells us what do to, whether we should find other means of transport; you decide whether to jump to another platform or to wait. The minister of transport should intervene.”
The protesters did not gain access to the offices and left the station.
In explaining the delays, Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz told the Cape Argus that platforms 11 and 12 were normally reserved for northern trains, platforms 13 to 15 were used by Cape Flats trains, platforms 16 and 17 by Kapteinsklip trains and platform 18 for Chris Hani trains.
“Due to the closure of these platforms, trains from the areas listed are being slotted in-between the southern trains, leading to delays,” said Swartz
He assured commuters every available technical team, assisted by specialist contractors, was working to repair the infrastructure.
“The emergency recovery team will attempt to restore the access to platforms in stages, with full functionality to all affected platforms expected within 14 days,” he said.
Swartz apologised to commuters affected by the remedial work.
Joburg taxi drivers protest
IOL News 17 March 2014
Johannesburg - A group of taxi drivers held a protest near the Noord Street taxi rank in the Johannesburg CBD on Monday morning, metro police said.
Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said metro police were deployed to the scene and the taxi drivers dispersed.
Traffic was still congested around 8am following the demonstration.
“Officers are now directing traffic there,” Minnaar said.
The reason for the protest was unclear. - Sapa
West Rand residents take on illegal miners
IOL News 17 March 2014
A Goud Rand resident throws a stone down an open shaft used by illegal miners. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha
Johannesburg - Increasing crime and the fear that their houses would collapse drove a group of residents to hold several illegal miners hostage on Saturday.
Residents of Goud Rand in Durban Deep, outside Roodepoort, grabbed the miners just as they were about to head underground in the morning.
Witnesses said residents of this middle-class suburb demanded to know who the miners’ kingpins were.
They also threatened to burn their vehicles when they arrived to collect bags of gold ore that were meant to be picked up.
The residents also demanded the immediate closure of some of the tunnels leading into the old Durban Deep shaft, then forced three of the miners to close some of these openings.
“We are tired of these people,” said a resident who identified himself only as Thapelo. “The government and police are not assisting in this problem. That is why we are doing it ourselves.”
He said the miners were stubborn and aggressive when approached.
The residents later allowed the miners to leave, but tension was still simmering on Sunday between the Goud Rand community and the Zama Zamas (illegal miners).
“We have children playing in our streets. It is too risky for them to be playing in an area that has big holes. These people don’t want to listen,” said Thapelo.
He added that the miners took them for granted and claimed they were fools who walked away from money.
“They say we are stupid. But it is they who become fools when their bodies are discovered. These people have destroyed our area and we have no one stopping them. That is why we are confronting them,” Thapelo said.
Residents said they could hear the miners working beneath their houses at night and they feared their houses could soon collapse. It is sometimes so noisy, they battled to sleep.
They also blamed the miners for stealing copper cables from a nearby power substation that has since stopped operating.
“It is unsafe to walk around here after 7pm. People are being mugged and house burglaries are increasing,” said Thapelo.
Community-based animal care organisation CLAW, which is based in Durban Deep, has also become a victim of cable theft.
“We are being forced to move and operate in Krugersdorp. This has also affected pet owners travelling from far and using public transport to reach us. How are they going to reach Krugersdorp?” asked CLAW’s Cora Bailey.
She said they had reported the matter to Roodepoort police, but no action had been taken.
The welfare organisation attends to at least 1 000 pets a month.
On Sunday, just before noon, nine emergency cases had already been reported.
Provincial police referred The Star to the Hawks for comment. However, Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko was unavailable for comment.
Angry citizens confront ANC leaders
IOL News 16 March 2014
Port Elizabeth - The ANC’s charm offensive in the Eastern Cape and Free State was met with cheers, jeers and tough service delivery questions from disgruntled residents who complained about poor or inadequate services.
The party’s senior officials, including President Jacob Zuma, his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and secretary-general Gwede Mantashe got the message first-hand after the ANC dispatched them to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, and to the Free State areas of Mangaung, Sasolburg and Welkom.
The ANC’s top brass took the party’s campaign trail to the two provinces to sell the “good story”, and to rally support for the party ahead of the May 7 general elections.
While they were warmly received by some residents, others raised concerns about poor services and unfulfilled promises in the delivery of housing, water and jobs.
In Sasolburg, Mantashe met residents complaining about leaking, cracked and incomplete RDP houses.
In ward 13’s Iraq township, a woman grudgingly accepted the ANC’s T-shirt emblazoned with Zuma’s face.
“I don’t like this man sitting here,” said the woman, who did not want to be named, as she rolled out the folded T-shirt and pointed at Zuma’s picture.
A visibly embarrassed Mantashe tried to calm her down: “Don’t vote for him (Zuma), then – vote for the ANC.”
But the woman would have none of it, continuing with her protestations: “I only vote because of Mandela. This one sitting here (on the T-shirt) – he must go. He must give others (a) chance.”
Mantashe later defended Zuma’s leadership in an interview with The Sunday Independent. He said the woman’s statements were “not a representation” of other residents, and blamed the negativity around Zuma’s administration squarely on the media and sections of society.
“The media has been talking about the president negatively. The question of the president and Nkandla doesn’t come only during elections. It’s a preoccupation and obsession of the media and the elite,” said Mantashe.
Mantashe’s election trail in townships around wards 1 and 13 of the Metsimaholo Municipality at first got off to a good start, with residents chanting pro-ANC slogans.
His message to residents was unambiguous as he moved from house to house: “We are asking you to vote for the ANC on May 7.”
Many people grudgingly accepted his request, while complaining about the water seeping through their houses’ walls and floors.
Most residents grudgingly accepted Mantashe’s invitation.
“Yes, we will vote for the ANC, but my house is wet (waterlogged). The toilets don’t flush because there’s no sewerage (pipes). We are using pit toilets,” said Jane Ncwane, 49, who lives with her four children.
Mantashe said the protests in Bekkersdal, west of Joburg, which resulted in last Thursday’s violent clashes between angry residents and the party’s Gauteng provincial leadership, were born of anarchy, rather than genuine concerns.
“It wasn’t as if what happened in Bekkersdal couldn’t be expected. If you have concerns and don’t talk to people (ANC leaders), then there’s something more than a protest. It’s anarchy,” Mantashe said yesterday.
Gun-toting people believed to be bodyguards escorting Gauteng Housing MEC Ntombi Mekgwe and her entourage had to fire shots to disperse angry Bekkersdal residents who barricaded the streets with burning tyres, rocks and debris to stop the ANC leaders from conducting a door-to-door campaign in the area.
In Port Elizabeth, Zuma was greeted by loud cheers and jeers during his campaign in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
He was accompanied by provincial ANC chairman Phumulo Masualle, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC Youth League national convenor Mzwandile Masina and chief whip Stone Sizani.
His whirlwind tour of the region saw him visiting a number of communities in Walmer, Jacksonville, Motherwell and Uitenhage.
Walmer residents told Zuma of their daily struggles with their poorly built government houses, which flood after rain. “The rain leaks while we’re sleeping. During the night, everything happens,” said Nowandile Mayekiso, 65.
Another resident, Pumezile Dumezweni, added: “We’ve been waiting for you (Zuma). Our beds are rotten from the rain. But we will definitely vote for the ANC. We are just mopping (because of the leaking roof) now.”
Dumezweni lives with two unemployed adult children.
However, Zuma got a different reception a few kilometres away in the coloured township of Jacksonville, a DA-controlled ward.
Police were forced to create a human chain to contain disgruntled residents.
One of the placards carried by residents read: “Where were you at the beginning of the (housing) project? You come and show your face now that it is election time.”
“There’s gangsterism and selling of drugs. It’s always been a problem, especially the gangsterism here in the area. Since this morning, we knew our president was coming, so we prayed, because we just want peace among the people,” said resident Cindy Coetzee.
Another resident, Annie Lomberg, said the rectification that needed to be done on their houses had not been done.
While Ramaphosa was generally well received during his walkabout in the Bloemfontein central business district yesterday, with young and old posing for pictures with him, he was also confronted by disgruntled residents who demanded jobs and housing.
One of them, Vincent Kgoe, a 41-year-old street vendor, told Ramaphosa he had lived at the Phase 10 informal settlement for 10 years without his conditions improving. He said he needed basic services such as water, electricity and housing.
“I also want to live like other people. I am unemployed. I am hustling here at Central Park, selling cigarettes,” Kgoe said, who added he would still vote for the ANC.
Ramaphosa said the ANC-led government was on its way to improving Kgoe’s living conditions.
Zuma ‘booers’ were drunk: ANC
IOL News 16 March 2014
Port Elizabeth - The ANC denied reports that President Jacob Zuma was booed by Port Elizabeth residents, the party said on Sunday.
“The African National Congress dismisses the lies tweeted by Lubabalo Nggcukana of City Press that President Zuma was booed by residents of Jacksonville in Port Elizabeth,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
According to City Press Zuma was booed and heckled by angry residents on Saturday during a door-to-door campaign.
The group reportedly criticised the ruling party for failing to keep its promises.
Mthembu said Zuma was warmly received by a big contingency of residents as well as residents whose houses he visited.
“It is a fact that there was a handful of noisy residents some of whom were drunk, carrying hand written placards,” Mthembu said.
The group was instigated by a local Democratic Alliance councillor, Mthembu said.
He said representatives of the group later spoke to Zuma and ended up asking for ANC T-shirts.
Mthembu said the group was a fraction of those who received President Zuma.
“It is our view that this level of recklessness undermines the noble profession of journalism and should not be tolerated.
“We call on this journalist to put this record straight and not mislead those who follow him on twitter,” he said.
UWC goes to court over SRC protest
IOL News 14 March 2014
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is applying to the Western Cape High Court for an order to restrain members of its student representative council (SRC) from “unlawful protest action”.
In court documents UWC vice-chancellor and rector Professor Brian O’ Connell said protest action, which started on March 6, “is currently disrupting all facets of campus life”.
All but one of the 13 respondents named in court documents are members of the SRC. The matter is expected to be heard on Monday.
The SRC has called for O’Connell’s resignation for a number of reasons, including that he was given an increase of between R350 000 and R400 000 last year and that a “very expensive” student residence, Kovacs, has 200 vacant beds.
Students who spoke to the Cape Argus differed on the events on campus. Some said they supported the SRC while others said they did not want lectures disrupted and needed to focus on their studies.
Nadine Adams, 22, a BComm general management student, said she was aware of the protests but was unsure of the main issues.
Andrea Lakey, a third-year politics student said: “I understand protests and where they come from, but I don’t think vulgarity or forcing others to join is the solution.”
Gcobisa Yani, 28, a final-year politics and industrial psychology student who sells hot dogs outside the student centre to pay her fees said: “The SRC is arguing a number of reasons for us. The main issue is that disadvantaged students are being sidelined. The Kovacs res is standing empty while there are students that need accommodation. I thought the point of building it was to meet the needs of the students.”
Kovacs resident and first-year applied geometry student Odwa Makaula, 18, said his single room cost R34 700 for the year. He had paid a deposit of R18 000. “People are crying about the money and I understand. It’s very expensive to stay there.”
At a press conference on Wednesday, O’ Connell confirmed that Kovacs, a public/private partnership, had 200 vacant beds.
Asked if in hindsight he thought the university should have entered the partnership, he said: “I don’t think so. But if it hadn’t been for the sudden rise in the cost of building it, it would have worked.”
He said there had been pressure from students for space and UWC lost about R9 million a year on its facilities. The university would not have been able to persuade the government to allow it to build more residences, he added.
SRC president Msingathi Kula said he was not aware that the university was seeking a court order.
He said the rector should resign.
Last week, university spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo said UWC had written to government “to obtain assistance for securing financial support that would enable the reduction of accommodation fees at the Kovacs residence”.
A representative from Kovacs declined to comment.
Fed-up residents condemn Zille, De Lille visit
Anel Lewis (IOL News) 14 March 2014
Frustrated community leaders and residents of Hangberg accused Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Thursday of visiting the area to raise their profile for the elections in May.
They wanted to know when their families would be able to live without fear of eviction and who would benefit from the city’s R39 million housing development.
Both leaders blamed the internal divisions within the community, and its leadership, for scuppering the government’s efforts to improve conditions. They appealed to residents to resolve their issues so that residential units could be built as planned.
“When communities are divided, it’s almost impossible to get development to happen,” said Zille.
The Hout Bay Civic Association said it “condemned” the visit as “nothing more than a PR exercise”. Its secretary, Roscoe Jacobs, said residents were not told of the event.
It was Zille’s first visit since 2010 when evictions, ordered by the city council, led to violent protests and the shooting of three residents.
The two leaders, accompanied by councillors and representatives of the provincial government, had come to celebrate the start of a residential development that had been mooted in 2007.
The meeting got off to a tense start as residents jostled to get inside the community hall where the speeches were being made. Access to the building was strictly controlled, but no one was turned away from the meeting.
De Lille said the city had worked with the Peace and Mediation Forum to find a solution for the community.
The two-phase development of the first two of four sites would provide 142 community residential units, said De Lille.
The city has only 200 rental units in the area. De Lille said the project would take about 15 months to complete. The mayoral committee member for housing, Tandeka Gqada, said she hoped the ongoing tension in the community would not derail the project.
Zille said plans to formalise informal dwellings in Hangberg, with in situ upgrades, were delayed by the need to do environmental impact assessments (EIA) before the project could start.
“We agreed that no one new would move into the site during the EIA process. Unfortunately this agreement was breached. Our relationship (with the community) deteriorated because we insisted that everyone keep to this agreement.”
She alluded to internal conflict between residents about the leaders of the Hangberg Peace and Mediation Forum set up to represent the community.
“It’s not for us to determine who represents you. Internal community conflicts have been devastating for this project and others we’ve tried in the area.
“If it were not for people moving into the site in Hout Bay (in 2010), this project would have been completed long ago.”
The meeting was interrupted by questions from Haneefa Lee, who claimed to be one of the legitimately elected leaders of the forum.
“Why is everyone bypassing the forum? This is about power and money; it’s not about divided communities,” she said.
Lee insisted that the government was not working with the elected leadership.
“We asked you for help. The people who are working with you are the same people who make our communities unsafe.
“Our kids are in danger. We can’t sleep at night.”
As Zille ended the meeting, residents jumped up demanding to be allowed to ask questions.
At the official sod-turning ceremony after the meeting, emotions again ran high as residents demanded to know who would qualify for the residential units and why they weren’t informed of the meeting.
Moses Egypt, whose son Delon, 27, was one of four residents who lost an eye when police fired rubber bullets during the 2010 clash, wanted to know whether he would be compensated.
ANC ‘unwelcome’ in Bekkersdal
IOL News 14 March 2014
Election campaigning by the African National Congress was disrupted on Thursday in Bekkersdal, the party said.
Brian Hlongwana, the chief whip of the ANC in Gauteng, said in a statement that their planned caucus meeting with the community was disrupted by youth in Bekkersdal.
There could never be a concept of no-go areas in a democratic society. “It is unacceptable that schooling should be disrupted as it was done today and legitimate public representatives being barred from doing their work,” said Hlongwa.
“Problems in Bekkersdal must be resolved urgently with all stakeholders playing their role otherwise anarchy will derail democratic progress in that township.”
He said the ruling party's understanding was that there were two major problems raised by the community.
The first was the removal of the mayor and council, constitutional matters which were being dealt with through mechanisms provided there, with the second being allegations of corruption.
“In this regard, we believe the Gauteng government together with the Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents Association have agreed on how to resolve it with programmes involving relevant state investigative institutions,” said Hlongwa.
“So, clearly, there are commitments and a programme to deal with the challenges at least from the part of government, but I think as caucus we should ensure that these processes are accelerated.”
This would mean that Bekkersdal residents must be engaged with on a continued basis and also ensure the leadership of the aggrieved also take responsibility.
The Economic Freedom Fighters said Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and other ANC members went to Bekkersdal to hand over RDP houses to the community.
“(Premier) Nomvula Mokonyane and her crew came to hand over some RDP houses and seeing that the community was not interested and rejected her, they then forced themselves into Bekkersdal to campaign,” said EFF co-ordinator Omphile Maotwe in a statement.
“We are disturbed to learn that the police accused these young school children of throwing stones at unmarked state cars, and fired rubber bullets to disperse them.”
Thabang Wesi, the leader of the Concerned Residents of Bekkersdal, told Sapa that residents were surprised when they saw bodyguards with weapons in the township.
He said the guards shot at unarmed people, mainly school pupils.
“Residents then managed to retaliate. The situation was very tense,” he said.
Wesi said they would not stop anyone from voting in the upcoming elections on May 7. He however appealed to residents to vote wisely.
“If people want to vote, let them go vote... but they must vote out the ruling party. We can see the ANC is arrogant and uses force to coerce us into voting for them,” he said.
Wesi questioned the logic behind the ANC's move to visit the township without consulting them first. He said other parties had visited the area with no disruptions and conflicts.
Maotwe said Mokonyane must accept that the community of Bekkersdal rejects her and her leadership.
“These are the very same people she told that she does not want their dirty votes.”
Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila was not available for comment. - Sapa
Armed guards forced to protect ANC bigwigs
IOL News 14 March 2014
Johannesburg - Residents of Bekkersdal, west of Joburg, were forced to take cover on Thursday after the bodyguards of ANC bigwigs fired several shots at them.
Residents were protesting against the presence of the ANC political bosses in their township on Thursday.
The drama unfolded as Gauteng MECs Ntombi Mekgwe and Eric Xayiya, ANC chief whip in the Gauteng legislature Brian Hlongwa and West Rand district municipality mayor Mpho Nawa were due to arrive at the troubled township to conduct a door-to-door campaign ahead of the elections in May.
The residents had received a tip-off about the campaign and barricaded the roads with burning tyres, stones and debris in a protest seemingly directed at Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, who was scheduled to be part of the delegation.
Shortly before members of the ruling party entered the township, a Tactical Response Team (TRT) police vehicle was pelted with stones. The vehicle had to be escorted out of the township.
About three police Nyalas carrying heavily armed officers patrolled the area and fired rubber bullets at residents and pupils.
Schooling was disrupted in the area after pupils were forcefully removed from schools.
Shortly before 11am, chaos broke out when
the VIPs’ bodyguards fired live ammunition at residents pelting the entourage with stones.
They were joined by TRT officers, who discharged rubber bullets at scores of residents.
“We must win this battle,” an ANC member shouted.
“We don’t want Nomvula here. She is not allowed with her people,” another resident shouted.
A man wearing an ANC T-shirt and jacket was forced to take them off.
Township leader Thabang Wesi said residents had resolved to make Bekkersdal a no-go area for
“Even if she becomes the president we don’t want her and her leadership,” said Wesi.
He added that residents were still fuming from Mokonyane’s previous statement that “the ANC does not need the protesters’ dirty votes”.
“Why would they campaign in our area if they do not want our votes? Nomvula should come and humbly apologise,” Wesi said.
Hlongwa said problems in the area needed to be resolved urgently, with all stakeholders playing their role, otherwise anarchy would derail progress in the area.
“There can never be a concept of no-go areas in a democratic society,” Hlongwa said.
“It is unacceptable that schooling should be disrupted at will the way it was done today, and legitimate public representatives be barred from doing their work.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said six people had been arrested for public violence.
Residents accuse officials of stealing R1.2m
IOL News 14 March 2014
Bekkersdal residents have promised to provide Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu with proof their Westonaria Local Municipality officials stole some of the R1.2 billion allocated for the town’s development.
The money in dispute was allocated by the Gauteng provincial government under the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Lead Project in 2001.
At the time, the project was dubbed the Bekkersdal Urban Renewal Project. It had among its objectives the intention to build stormwater drains, clinics, bulk water infrastructure and houses.
Now, 13 years later, the Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents Association, which represents the community, claims that less than R500 million was spent and that some of the money disappeared without trace.
The dispute has led to several violent service delivery protests.
In a bid to resolve the matter, the national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs announced on Thursday that the attorney-general had conditionally agreed to probe the allegations.
Departmental spokeswoman Tsakani Baloyi said: “The investigation is a realisation of the commitment made by Minister Lechesa Tsenoli and Gauteng MEC Ntombi Mekgwe last year during the meeting with Bekkersdal residents to investigate the veracity of the allegations of municipal maladministration and corruption in the implementation of the Bekkersdal Urban Renewal Projects.”
Baloyi said Bekkersdal residents had until Wednesday next week to provide proof of their allegations to the attorney-general’s’ office.
Baloyi said indications of criminal conduct would be referred to the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit or the police.
The residents’ association’s chairwoman, Wanda Modise, endorsed the process outlined by the attorney-general and undertook to furnish the required information before the deadline.
Modise said on Thursday they had evidence from whistle-blowers, the SA Municipal Workers Union and audited financial statements of the Gauteng legislature and previous attorney-general reports on their municipality to support the allegations.
EFF members, cops scuffle at IEC
IOL News 12 March 2014
Pretoria - EFF supporters sang and danced as a branded truck drove into the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) parking lot in Centurion, south of Pretoria, on Wednesday.
A scuffle broke out between police and Economic Freedom Fighters members outside the IEC offices as party leader Julius Malema and Dali Mpofu arrived.
Malema, wearing a red EFF overall and beret, was at the IEC office to hand in the party's candidate lists and deposit a cheque to contest the May 7 elections. Mpofu, in a black suit and red tie, also sported a red EFF beret.
Malema and Mpofu walked into the IEC office carrying three large cardboard boxes.
Police backed off and EFF members continued to sing and dance. Malema is expected to address them when he comes out of the IEC office.
Two arrested for E Cape protest
IOL News 11 March 2014
Two men were arrested for public violence and intimidation in Nomlacu near Bizana, following a service delivery protest on Tuesday, Eastern Cape police said.
A group of youths marched to the gravel road in Nomlacu, between Harding and Bizana, and demanded to speak to the mayor and ward councillor in ward 26, said Captain Mlungisi Matidane.
“The community engaged the youth to act on their behalf,” he said.
This was in regard to the demands the residents had made to the mayor last month, which included the provision of access roads, water, RDP houses and electricity.
Matidane said the youths were blocking the road with stones.
“When the police officers attempted to remove the stones, the youths threw the stones at them,” he said.
Police then fired rubber bullets at the protesters to disperse them.
Matidane said no injuries were reported and the protesters had dispersed.
“The situation is under control and the road has been reopened,” he said.
The two men, aged 21 and 25, would appear in the Bizana Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. - Sapa
Service delivery protest on N14
IOL News 7 March 2014
Johannesburg - About 1000 people staged a service delivery protest on the N14 highway on Friday, North West police said.
“The residents were taking their anger with the municipality to the streets,” Captain Pelonomi Makau said.
The protests took place on the national road between Coligny and Ventersdorp.
Makau said residents of the Monotomosetlha informal settlement were promised - by the Ditsobotla Local Municipality - that they would be moved to another area because their shacks flooded when it rained.
This had not happened, she said.
Earlier, the residents had blocked the N14 with large rocks, and the road had to be closed. It was later re-opened.
Caregivers storm Luthuli House
IOL News 7 March 2014
Johannesburg - The ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in central Joburg came under siege on Thursday.
Protesters tried to storm the building, forcing the police to fire teargas canisters in a bid to push them away.
The home-based caregivers, also known as community health workers, marched to the ruling party’s head office in protest over alleged non-payment of their R2 400 monthly stipends.
Most of the home-based caregivers said they had not been paid since October.
Luthuli House houses the offices of party bosses such as ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and President Jacob Zuma.
The stand-off lasted several hours as Joburg metro police officers fought running battles with marchers in full view of the public.
A protester fights with a metro police officer during the protest. Picture: Antoine de Ras
Police arrested one man after a war of words, but the organisers successfully negotiated his release.
Traffic was also disrupted. Some of the marchers wore ANC and ANC Youth League T-shirts and threatened to boycott the May 7 elections.
Home-based carers assist people living with HIV/Aids, the disabled and the elderly.
Thursday’s march was organised by the Gauteng Aids Non Profit Organisation Support Committee (Gansc), which claims to represent about 9 000 home-based caregivers across Gauteng.
Gansc spokesman Pastor Tendani Raseluma said they had been forced to march to Luthuli House because ANC top brass “do not take us seriously”.
Among the organisations represented at the march were Kopano Ke Matla (Mabopane, Tshwane), Zakheni Home Based Care (Tsakane, Ekurhuleni), Bophelong-Empilweni Community Project (Tembisa, Ekurhuleni), Healing Sizabantu Home Based Care (Bekkersdal), Remmogo Care Centre (Evaton) and the Johannesburg Metro Community Health Workers.
Raseluma said they were also angered by the department’s plan to reduce the number of non-profit organisations it funds from 414 to 23.
The drama started in the morning when a group of protesters showed up unannounced at the offices of the Gauteng Department of Health, which are just a few metres from the ANC headquarters.
They later proceeded to Luthuli House and tried to force their way into the building. Police reinforcements and Joburg metro cops arrived shortly after the marchers had briefly camped at the building’s main entrance.
They were then directed to the health department’s nearby offices.
The angry protesters started chanting “Lento eniyenzayo ayilunganga, nisile (What you’re doing is wrong, you’re silly)” and “Thina silwela amalungelo ethu, b******* (We’re fighting for our rights, you’re full of sh*t)”.
A protester from Spruitview in Ekurhuleni, who also claimed to be an ANC member, said the march had been planned for Luthuli House but that the ruling party’s officials directed them to the Gauteng Department of Health’s offices.
The man said he had not been paid since November.
Tshwane home-based care-giver Samantha Mabuza, 26, said she had not been paid since October, adding this was unacceptable.
Mabuza said she took up home-based caring in 2012 after struggling for a long time to find a job.
Gauteng Department of Health spokesman Simon Zwane denied that the care-givers had not been paid.
“As far as we know, we’ve paid them.”
He added that the caregivers had arrived at the department’s offices unannounced.
Department officials were locked in a meeting with the caregivers’ representatives on Thursday afternoon.
Raseluma said caregivers felt Luthuli House had been the appropriate place to march to as previous attempts to resolve the issue had failed.
He said they were demanding to meet Gauteng Department of Health head Dr Hugh Gosnell after attempts over two years to resolve the matter had failed.
Road Blockade now on in iSiphingo
Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement 7 March 2014
Residents of the iSiphingo transit camps are currently engaged in a road
blockade. Transit camps are never acceptable. We are human beings not animals.
Recently this camp has been flooded again after the rains. Residents have
diseases like TB and asthma due to the living conditions.
In September the MEC promised, in public, that they would be moved to
Cornubia. Yet they are still in the transit camp and have heard nothing more
about the MEC's promise.
This is a protest at broken promises and it is a protest at living conditions
that no human being can accept.
Khanyi 083 874 4853
Mnikelo 081 263 3462
Zastron residents march over water: DA
IOL News 5 March 2014
Bloemfontein - Residents of Matlakeng in Zastron, Free State, marched to the Mohokare municipality's offices on Wednesday to demand water, the Democratic Alliance said.
“The... municipality was supposed to ensure that this right was upheld, but this was not the case here,” DA Free State leader Patricia Kopane said.
Kopane handed over a memorandum to the municipality demanding answers as to why Matlakeng residents were struggling to access water daily.
“They have been struggling for more than five months.”
The DA leader said residents were forced to walk long distances to get water from town.
Kopane asked the municipality whether they could show residents any concrete plans about what they would do to alleviate water shortages.
The DA urged the municipality to release its strategy and action plan on water to the community.
An official received the memorandum on the municipality's behalf.
South Africa: Sex Workers Demand Recognition and March to Parliament
All Africa News 24 March 2014
Sex workers and sex worker advocates in Durban, Polokwane, Cape Town and Johannesburg took to the streets on Monday to honour International Sex Worker Rights' Day. Similar marches were held in cities and towns all over the world. The protesters were calling attention to the human rights abuses suffered by sex workers and demanded legal recognition of sex work as a form of employment.
The third of March is an important day for sex worker rights. The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a sex worker group in India with more than 50,000 members, organised a festival in 2001. The festival saw 250,000 sex workers and supporters gather in Calcutta, India to celebrate. This despite pressure by anti-sex worker groups who tried - unsuccessfully - to persuade the Indian government to take away its permission for the festival to take place.
In Cape Town, a group of activists gathered in District Six and marched to the offices of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in Plein Street. Bright orange t-shirts and placards demanded, "Decriminalise sex work" and "Justice for sex workers".
I asked Gillian, a 47-year-old sex worker, why she was marching. "We are demanding our dignity. We want people to recognise that sex work is like any other job. We are parents. We want to take our children to school, put food on the table. We are not useless. We are human beings." Gillian has worked in the industry for 17 years.
A group of male sex workers gathered to talk about the march. Like many of the marchers, they wore festive masks to hide their identity. They worried that police might recognise them - sex work is a criminal activity under South African law, and that is partly why they were protesting. They don't want to be scared anymore of police abuse and arrest.
Demonstrators wearing "Decriminalise sex work" and "Justice for sex workers" t-shirts in Cape Town. Photo by Marlise Richter.
"We need people to understand our rights. We are all human beings. [Sex work] is the way we survive. We are proud of it," they told me. They are all in their late 20s and have been working as sex workers from a few months to three years. They also spoke to me about countries that have homophobic laws and attitudes, torture and kill gay people - they mention Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. They wish all countries would respect gay and sex workers' rights.
The marchers waited at the Department of Justice offices for an officer to receive their memorandum. No one was willing to do so, and the marchers were told to go to Parliament where the Minister of Justice might be found. The marchers were not put off by the Department's poor response, and singing, chanting and toyi-toying loudly they moved on to Parliament.
There they were made to wait in the midday sun. March officials distributed water and tried to keep people's spirits up.
"I am feeling disappointed that there is no one from the Department of Justice to accept our memorandum," Ava, a 23-year old transgender sex worker, told me. "It is not easy to be a transgender sex worker. People judge you. I am staying on the streets. Since yesterday, I have been standing in the rain waiting for clients. I didn't even have one. I haven't eaten for two days."
Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, the regional director of the Department of Justice, eventually came out to meet the marchers and to receive their memorandum. He promised to hand it over to the Minister.
The marchers slowly broke up. Some muttered about election year and how nothing will happen. Others hoped that the Department will move the law reform process forward and remove the criminal law from sex work to make it safer for all - and promised to keep on marching until Department does.
Foreigners arm themselves after looting
IOL News 4 March 2014
Looting, mayhem after teen’s funeral
Nelspruit - Seven Somalians have been arrested in Pienaar, near Nelspruit, for possession of illegal firearms, Mpumalanga police said on Tuesday.
“Seven Somali shop owners were arrested after police found them with 12 illegal firearms during riots in Pienaar,” said Colonel Leonard Hlathi.
He said the arrests followed the death of a schoolboy, who was shot dead, allegedly by a Somali shop owner. The pupil was buried on Sunday.
“On Sunday night, residents of Pienaar went to loot shops owned by Somali nationals in the area,” said Hlathi.
He said 21 people were arrested for public violence.
Looting, mayhem after teen’s funeral
IOL News 3 March 2014
Nelspruit - Thirteen people were arrested following violence that erupted during the funeral of a schoolboy in Pienaar, Mpumalanga police said on Monday.
Colonel Leonard Hlathi said shops owned by foreigners were looted during and after the funeral of Wellington Hendrey Dube on Sunday.
Dube was allegedly shot dead by a Somali shop owner on February 25.
“Dube was on his way to school and walked passed a shop owned by the foreign national to see his fellow schoolmates who were standing outside the shop.
“The shop owner came out of the shop whereby an altercation ensued in which he allegedly accused Dube of being one of the people who committed robbery at his shop,” Hlathi said in a statement.
The shop owner allegedly beat Dube with his fists, Dube pulled a knife from his pocket and the shop owner shot him dead with a pistol.
He said police were still looking for the foreign national who had been on the run since the death of Dube.
The arrested people were expected to appear in the Kwabokweni Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Residents stone to death suspected rapists
IOL News 4 March 2014
Three men were beaten and stoned to death in Sweet Home farm after they were suspected of being rapists.
Residents there told the Cape Times on Monday a spate of rapes had occurred in the area, and this had prompted them to take matters into their own hands.
The three bodies were discovered on Monday morning at the informal settlement in Philippi.
Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana said two of the men, aged 21 and 39, were stoned to death, with their wrists tied together. Both were from Samora Machel.
About 500m from there, another man, in his thirties, was found dead on a pavement, with burn wounds. “He seemed to have been assaulted and partly burnt,” said Kinana.
He said anyone with information on the murders should contact the police.
Residents said the third man was from Victoria Mxenge, a settlement near Nyanga.
Shack-dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo provincial chairman Siyamboleka James, who lives in Sweet Home, said residents had initially had a meeting on Saturday to discuss the scourge of rape in the area and what to do about it.
James said residents had been angry and wanted to patrol. He told residents they should include police in their patrols, and they had agreed.
He said he had been in the process of arranging a meeting between the community and police when another woman was raped on Saturday night. The community met without him on the following day, he said.
James acknowledged that there had been an increase in crime - particularly rape.
But he said he would not defend vigilante actions.
“It doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like it when people are killed. To reduce crime, you can’t commit another,” James said.
Another community leader, Forrest Ndathane, said he felt unsafe with the increase in reported rape incidents.
“Every morning, we get reports that a person has been raped. These criminals just kick doors and rape women in front of their husbands,” Ndathane said.
He said there was another incident in which a 17-year-old girl and her 18-year-old sister were raped last month.
A resident said she had been a victim of a rape on February 9 when three armed men stormed her home while she was with her boyfriend and neighbours. The men kicked her door open before two of the men raped her.
She said her boyfriend and the neighbours were told to lie flat on the ground.
“I’m really pleased with what the community did. We are being terrorised by people who come from other areas,” she said.
She said they had called the police but they did not respond. Her sisters then went to Samora Machel, and a police van was sent to her home.
A resident, who did not want to be named, fearing victimisation from others, said a group of men patrolled the informal settlement on Sunday night.
She said the patrollers also demolished a shack belonging to a woman they suspected of harbouring criminals and a second belonging to a known gangster. - Cape Times
Neighbours set house alight after girl raped
Siyavuya Mzantsi 3 March 2014
Cape Town - A 3-year-old girl from Delft has allegedly been raped by a neighbour whose house was then set on fire by angry residents.
“Police are investigating a rape case of a 3-year-old girl which occurred in Delft. Due to the sensitive nature of this case, we will not further elaborate on this matter,” police spokesman FC van Wyk said.
A 40-year-old Delft man had been arrested and will appear in court on Monday, he said.
The incident was the fourth involving a minor in Delft this year.
The child’s mother, who cannot be named to protect her identity, said the suspect’s house was burnt to the ground and his wife was chased from the area on Thursday.
Van Wyk said a resident was injured during the arrest of the suspect,
and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate would investigate the incident.
The toddler’s mother told the Cape Times on Saturday that she became concerned on Wednesday when the child complained about pain in her private parts.
“I was bathing her when she told me that her private parts were hurting. I became concerned and I asked what had happened. She said our neighbour had inserted his private part in her and told her to lie on her back.
“I then asked her where the man’s wife was during the incident, and she said the wife was outside,” she said.
“We quickly rushed her to the local clinic and it was confirmed that she had been raped,” she said.
The suspect was arrested on Thursday.
The child’s aunt said: “He never told us his side of the story or anything. We trusted them. We treated them like our second family. We have been neighbours with him for 16 years. We never thought he could do something like this.
“My niece liked visiting them. They treated her like their daughter.
“I don’t know what might have gone through his mind when he did what he did.”
She said the family was in shock.
“It will take time for this to go away. This will affect my niece in her future.
“What he did is unforgivable. We will never forgive him,” she said.
The incident came in the wake of other attacks on Delft children since January 19.
A 9-year-old was left to die after she was raped and set alight beside the R300 highway.
On February 8, another girl, Siphokuhle Flephu, 11, was found dead in a shack in Delft and had allegedly been raped.
A week earlier, a six-year-old Delft girl was raped in a communal toilet in the area.
Ramaphosa nearly stoned, local reveals
IOL News 2 March 2014
North West - Sixty-year-old Beauty Xalabile told ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday that residents of the Khuma Hostel in Matlosana, North West, would have stoned his convoy had the regional ANC leadership not come to prepare them for his door-to-door visit.
Xalabile, seemingly fed up with empty promises by ANC councillors in her community, thanked the local leaders for coming to prepare them for Ramaphosa’s visit, and for leaving some well-needed groceries behind.
The regional leaders had also convinced the locals to register to vote in the general elections but the conditions under which residents live at the dilapidated hostel had forced them to take a resolution to boycott elections.
Such is the underlying anger in many communities where Ramaphosa and his fellow ANC leaders are trying to convince voters to give them a fifth chance to govern South Africa.
Utter disdain by councillors at local level, poor planning and budgeting by municipal officials and the failure to communicate with those waiting for promises to be fulfilled are familiar complaints that Ramaphosa will face throughout the election campaign.
However, Ramaphosa tried to downplay the extent of the electoral mutiny against the ruling party due to the poor performance of out-of-touch councillors who abandon their responsibilities after they are elected.
Residents of Khuma told Ramaphosa they had to organise a protest against their ward councillor, Selina Sithole, to force her to hold a community meeting, but Ramaphosa was unconvinced.
“The majority of ANC councillors are very hard working and they consult with their communities regularly. Though people like to say they are not doing their work, they are also carrying a heavy burden of the constraints they face in local government.
“This is also the same situation here, where the hostels were supposed to be demolished in 2006 already, but the money was not enough and it was diverted to nearby Jouberton.
“The plan was that once there were enough funds the project would go ahead,” said Ramaphosa.
He conceded that part of the problem was that such issues and the reasons why some things were not happening were a result of lack of feedback to communities.
He continued with the ANC’s good story narrative, and repeated President Jacob Zuma’s assertion that the party was the victim of its own successes because it was delivering successfully to some communities, raising the ire of those who were yet to see more housing and other developments.
Knowing that the likes of the Economic Freedom Fighters and the DA are also campaigning in the same areas where disgruntlement with the ANC has reached a boiling point, the party’s number two could not resist taking a swipe at opposition parties.
Ramaphosa described some of the opposition’s manifesto promises as “reckless”, saying none of them had any real experience in government.
“They go around promising people things they know they cannot deliver.
“Their promises go as far as being reckless.
“They have no experience in governing, which is something the ANC has been doing.
“When we talk about what we can do, we know what we are talking about,” said Ramaphosa.
In true electioneering style, Ramaphosa will continue to dish out election T-shirts and remind the electorate of their long relationship with the ANC.
This appears to be working as disgruntled voters like Xalabile were wearing ANC T-shirts by the time Ramaphosa was done promising them he will personally monitor progress on demolishing the Khuma Hostel and building new houses for its dwellers.
Rubber bullets fired in N West
IOL News 27 February 2014
Mahikeng - Rubber bullets and stun grenades were used to disperse protesting residents of Setlagole, near Mahikeng, on Thursday, North West police said.
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said about 400 people gathered illegally and blocked the N18 between Vryburg and Mahikeng. They began burning tyres from around 3am.
“The community allegedly barricaded the road and demanded to be given feedback by the mayor of Ratlou local municipality on issues pertaining to the memorandum they handed in on February 14,” he said.
Around 10am, police dispersed the crowd and nine women and 11 men were arrested. A number of foreign-owned shops were looted during the protest and four women and three men were arrested for possession of suspected stolen goods.
“It was also reported that an attempt was made to set alight the house of the mayor, but the police intervened and only window panes were damaged after being pelted with stones by protesters,” Ngubane said.
Those arrested would appear in court soon to face charges of public violence, possession of suspected stolen goods, business robbery and contravention of the Road Traffic Act.
Protesters block Soweto roads
IOL News 28 February 2014
Johannesburg - Protesters on Friday blockaded roads in Pimville, Soweto, with concrete dustbins, burning tyres, and stones, Gauteng police said.
“It's bad now,” said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.
“They have put a lot of things on the roads because they don't want cars entering Pimville.”
Makhubela said traffic on Chris Hani Road had come to a standstill. No arrests had yet been made.
Residents were protesting against pre-paid water meters.
On Thursday night, protesters blocked the same road with burning tyres and rocks.
Some cars were pelted with stones but no one was injured.
The situation calmed down overnight but resumed in the morning. - Sapa
Residents demand Evaton cop’s removal
IOL News 27 February 2014
Johannesburg - Residents of Evaton marched to their local police station on Thursday to demand the removal of the local police chief.
Residents of the suburb in the south of Johannesburg gave a list of demands to Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.
These included the immediate removal of Evaton station commander Brigadier Hester Bischoff and members of her management team.
They also wanted a new police station and the resolution of outstanding criminal cases opened by the public.
Evaton Community Police Forum chairman Jacob Mhlambi, who participated in the march, said change was needed in the management structures of the police at local level.
“We are not happy with the current increase in crime in the area. We are in dire need of some form of intervention to ensure the best police service is provided to the local community,” Mhlambi said.
“It is appalling to see the police operating from a dilapidated police station to address the high crime levels in the area. We need a new station commander and a new station for Evaton.”
Mazibuko accepted the memorandum which was signed by 5 000 residents and promised to give feedback within the next two weeks.
She told demonstrators it was their democratic right to march to highlight issues in the community.
“We have come a long way from the 'skop-skiet-en-donder' (kick, shoot and pummel) days of the police before 1994,” Mazibuko told the crowd.
“As government, the police would always be held accountable to provide proper law and order for all South Africans,” she said.
Police Force Protesters Out Of Cape Town
Yahoo News 27 February 2014
Cape Town – An illegal service protest in the Cape Town central business district (CBD) has reportedly come to an end after police officers, using stun guns and revving motorbikes, dispersed the crowd and directed them back to the train, reported the Cape Argus.
About 150 protesters descended on the city on Thursday, after the City of Cape Town turned down the application by Ses’khona Peoples Rights Movement to protest in the CBD on Wednesday.
The protesters hoped to pressurise government to provide those living in informal settlements with land, housing, and sanitation facilities.
“We were going with our complaints to the legislature. We want land and proper sanitation – not this potta-potta (bucket toilets)” one of the protesters, Mavis Mbangwa, told the paper.
According to Mbangwa, police officers mounted on motorbikes, roared through the pedestrian area, terrorising protesters who were forced to flee or be knocked down.
A woman was allegedly bumped by a police bike as she tried to run away.
One of the protest organisers, Vuyokazi Mancincana, said the courts only notified the organisation that they would not be allowed to protest last Friday.
“Our lawyers didn’t have time to appeal, so we decided to come anyway,” she said.
“They don’t want us [to protest] in town; they want us to stay in the township and wreak havoc there,” Mancincanaadded. “But we are not going to give up at all.
According to News24, a shop at the Grand Parade was looted and a fight broke out, but police were able to restore calm to the area.
Twelve people, including protest leaders, have been arrested.
Last year, a march organised by Ses’khona Peoples Rights Movement turned violent when street vendors were robbed and attacked by protesters.
Protests erupt in Banana City
IOL News 26 February 2014
Durban - Police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse about 50 protesters at an informal settlement in Durban's Reservoir Hills early on Wednesday morning.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the protests at the settlement, known as Banana City, were related to service delivery.
“They blocked the roads with burning tyres and stones and members used water cannon and rubber bullet to disperse them. Public order police members are still at the scene to monitor the protests. No arrest have been made and no injuries reported,” said Zwane.
East Coast Radio reported on Wednesday that Varsity Drive, one of the main access roads to the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus, had been blocked by the protesters who cut down trees and set them on fire on the road. - Sapa
DUT suspends protesting students
IOL News 26 February 2014
DUT students protest
Durban - Several students were suspended from Durban's University of Technology on Wednesday following recent campus protests.
Rector Ahmed Bawa said disciplinary hearings would determine their fate.
“These students, who were part of the violent protests, have been charged in accordance with the university rules and policies.”
Spokesman Alan Khan was unable to say how many students had been suspended.
Lectures at the university's Durban campuses were suspended following protests on Tuesday, but these would resume on Thursday. The Pietermaritzburg campus was unaffected.
On Tuesday, the university obtained an interim high court interdict preventing students from protesting within 100 metres of its premises.
The protests erupted earlier this year over the non-payment of fees. Several students were initially not allowed to register pending the payment of fees.
The university and the student representative council reached an agreement to end the protests two weeks ago. Protests, however, flared up again on Monday.
Cops deployed at KwaMashu hostel
IOL News 26 February 2014
Durban - A platoon of national intervention unit (NIU) police has been deployed to the volatile KwaMashu hostel.
Welcoming the members from the Eastern and Western Cape yesterday, KZN provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said the undisclosed number of officers would co-ordinate searches in the hostel, man roadblocks and carry out other operations to root out crime in the area.
There have been five shootings incidents in the area recently that are thought to be politically motivated, leaving two people dead and three injured. They were IFP and NFP members. The NIU team was requested to bolster the public order police and other units already active in the area.
“We were already stretched as a province and requested national intervention,” said Ngobeni. She said the officers would be in the area until the end of the March 26 by-election, and would remain if there was still a need.
After a briefing at the KwaMashu police station, Ngobeni said the investigating capacity would also be increased.
The head of detectives in KZN, deputy commissioner General Mjabuliswa Ngcobo, said a lack of information was the greatest challenge in investigating crimes at the hostel, where the terrain was difficult due to shacks being built around it.
Last Friday, the KwaMashu detective task team arrested the suspected assailant of Zama Zungu, who was shot in the stomach, and Nomusa Nhlengana, shot in her left hip.
The women, who are NFP members, were allegedly shot when they crossed paths with IFP members at the sports ground next to the hostel.
The NIU paraded on the same field, with a handful of residents watching from the stands. Ngobeni said it was only a matter of time before the killer or killers of NFP member Ntombi Mzila and IFP Women’s Brigade chairwoman Nonhlanhla Biyela were apprehended and peace was restored.
Residents demand the removal of ANC Bushbuckridge secretary
SABC 25 February 2014
Mweli Masilela Mpumalanga Bushbuckridge ANC Mandla Ndlovu Zondi Mkhabela Lucky Ndinisa Police Protest Limpopo Acornhoek African National Congress (ANC) members in Bushbuckridge went on the rampage blockading the R40 road to Acornhoek.
Workers could not go to work and motorists remained stranded on the busy road linking Mpumalanga and Limpopo on Tuesday. The protesters are demanding the removal of the ANC's Bohlabela region secretary.
Mandla Ndlovu is accused of among others, interference with the issuing of tenders in the embattled Bushbuckridge Municipality. Police were chasing after protestors and the traffic was at a halt.
Protesters accuse the ANC leadership in Bohlabela of looting the beleaguered Bushbuckridge Municipality. Community Leader Prince Mamba says that the whole regional executive committee should be disbanded.
The Bushbuckridge Municipality has been placed under administration. It is one of the five municipalities that received disclaimers from the recent Auditor General's audit outcome.
The ANC in Mpumalanga has condemned the protest.
The municipality has refuted allegations of political interference. Bushbuckridge Municipality Spokesperson Zondi Mkhabela says that the allegations on tender processes are not true and that no committee member is responsible for the issuing of tenders.
Police's attempts to reopen the road proved futile. Leaving motorists frustrated. Motorist Ezekiel Gumede says that the protest has caused an inconvenience to him and other and that he could not go to work.
The ANC in Mpumalanga has condemned the protest. Mpumalanga ANC Secretary Lucky Ndinisa says that they have received a memorandum from the community and that processes are being followed within the ANC to address the issue.
The situation remains tense in the area. The protesters threaten to render the municipality ungovernable until the ANC provincial leadership attend to their demands. Police remain on site.
Boksburg protest over - police
Boksburg protesters, police hold meeting
Protesters block Boksburg roads
Johannesburg - A protest by residents of Comet informal settlement near Boksburg on the East Rand has stopped, Ekurhuleni metro police said on Tuesday.
"Calm has prevailed throughout the night," spokesperson Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng said.
He said Rondebult Road between Main Road and Leeupoort Road was opened on Monday afternoon after mayoral committee member Mthuthuzeli Siboza addressed the residents.
"Since then the protest stopped but we will continue monitoring the area."
The intersection had been blocked off with burning tyres, rubble, rocks, and other objects from 02:00 on Monday until the afternoon.
One person was injured by a rock that was aimed at police, Mokheseng said.
"He sustained serious injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital."
About 1 000 residents took part in the protests.
The reason for the protest was not known.
Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality spokesperson Zweli Dlamini was not immediately available for comment.
No one was arrested during the protest.
Cops arrest Limpopo protesters
IOL News 24 February 2014
Polokwane - Sixty-three people have been arrested for public violence and arson in Moletlane village, Limpopo police said on Monday.
Colonel Ronel Otto said 43 men and 20 women were caught on Sunday after five Chinese-owned shops were looted and set alight.
The protest started after a 21-year-old man was stabbed to death after an argument with a Chinese shop owner on Saturday.
“On Sunday, members of the community mobilised and looted five shops belonging to Chinese owners before setting them alight.”
Otto said no one was injured. Those arrested were expected to appear in the Magatle Magistrate's Court soon.
In a separate incident, seven people were arrested in Apel on Saturday and Sunday for allegedly burning five houses and three vehicles over the weekend.
“Members of the community accused three people of squandering money which is being raised for a community project.”
The seven were expected to appear in the Sekhukhune Magistrate's Court soon.
Otto said police were monitoring the situation and no violence had been reported after midday.
Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Fannie Masemola urged people not to resort to violence.
“This type of lawlessness and violent actions will never be tolerated in this province and those taking part will be arrested swiftly and taken to court to face the law.”
DUT students protest
IOL News 24 February 2014
Durban - Hundreds of students from Durban's University of Technology staged a protest on Monday.
Comment could not immediately be obtained from police while a university spokeswoman confirmed the protests.
She said she could not officially comment until she had authorisation from the university's vice chancellor.
Several hundred students marched past the institution's Steve Biko campus.
Comment could not be obtained from the students' representative council, but earlier this year the institution was closed when students protested over not being allowed to enrol despite the non-payment of fees. - Sapa