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South African Protest News 7 May - 10 June 2014
 (2014) South African Protest News 7 May - 10 June 2014
 : -.

Racial tension halts Lwandle evictees move
Zodidi Dano 10 June 2014

Cape Town - Last week about 800 families were evicted from shacks in Lwandle in a bitter spell of winter weather. On Monday, in equally foul weather, they found no welcome from their new neighbours when they arrived at the Blackheath site earmarked for their new homes.

Residents of Gaylee gave the evictees a hostile reception, and after a tense stand-off the Lwandle residents were told to head back to Nomzamo Hall where they been camping, because their building materials were not on their way.

Gaylee residents stood in the rain opposite the Sanral-owned land to demonstrate their opposition to the arrival of their new neighbours. They said they had not been consulted about the relocation of the Lwandle evictees and refused to have “squatters” in their area.

When more than 15 minibus taxis arrived carrying a loud and aggressive crowd of Lwandle evictees armed with shovels, hammers and knobkieries, the demonstration became heated.

Shirley Isaacs of Blackheath said: “We come here peacefully with no sticks and hammers like barbarians.”

Isaacs said she feared crime would increase in Gaylee and local schools would be overcrowded.

“Our children will be coming out from school and using this road. Who knows what will happen to them, it won’t be safe for them at all. We don’t want these people here.”

Another resident, who wanted to be known only as Cathy, said it was not fair that Lwandle residents were allowed to live in Gaylee for free.

“We pay R4 000 bond payment, yet my husband is unemployed. Why is it okay that others can come in this community and not pay a cent? And this will also affect our property values.”

At lunchtime Ses’khona Peoples Movement representative Khaya Kama announced that the building materials would not be released.

Kama said national Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu had asked that the materials be withheld until the situation with the Blackheath residents was resolved.

“We received a call from the minister’s office asking us to control the situation. The material will not be released to avoid violence that might lead to it being damaged.”

Kama asked all evictees to return to the taxis and head back to the Nomzamo Hall in the Strand where they have been staying since Sanral and police demolished their shacks last week.

He said the Blackheath residents’ demonstration was politically motivated. “After 20 years of democracy we still find coloureds refusing to live with blacks. It’s not fair.”

National Human Settlements spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said they were considering other sites.

“The minister and Sanral are attending to the matter... A number of land options are on the table, and we are working around the clock to resolve this matter.”

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille called for an urgent meeting with Sisulu to discuss alternative sites.

“A number of statutory processes need to be complied with before people are simply moved on to a site of this nature. In this particular instance, there would be a need for rezoning approval and for an environmental assessment (as well as) some form of public participation.”

Meanwhile, the Lwandle residents were disappointed.

University student Qamokuhle Nombluwa said she lived in Lwandle because she could not afford to register in time for student accommodation.

“I feel bad because we were relieved that we had found our own land. We don’t mind these Blackheath people, because if we wanted to fight them we would. We are just respecting Ma Sisulu now.”

Another resident, Asanda Solani, said she was tired of sleeping at the hall. “It is stressful being there because you don’t have your own privacy, nor are you ever comfortable.”

Last week, people from Siyanyanzela Village were evicted from a Sanral site that is to be used to reroute the N2.

The eviction followed an interim Western Cape High Court order granted to Sanral in January. In the chaos of the evictions, 10 residents were arrested and several shacks were burnt down.
Cape Argus

Sactwu to join footwear strike
The New Age 6 June 2014

Sactwu-affiliated workers in the footwear industry will join a protected national strike, the trade union said on Friday.

This comes after wage negotiations for the industry failed to yield a settlement, SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) general secretary Andre Kriel said in a statement.

Workers from the National Union of Leather and Allied Workers (Nulaw) began striking on Monday.

Sactwu's notice was issued on Thursday and it would join the strike on Monday morning. The union completed a national strike ballot on Wednesday.

"This secret ballot covered 2038 of our members who are employed at 34 of 40 footwear companies nationally where we are organised," Kriel said.

Nearly 70 percent of the members supported the strike.

Nulaw general secretary Ashley Benjamin said: "The strike will affect about 164 footwear employers throughout South Africa and approximately 10,000 employees in the bargaining unit in major centres like Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, George, and Oudtshoorn."

The unions wanted a minimum pay rise of 7.75 percent across the board. They wanted employers to set up a fund to help re-train employees should their work be replaced by new technology and machinery.

They also wanted employers to fast track setting up a reference pricing system for the footwear industry, under the auspices of the SA Revenue Service.

This would help customs officials at ports of entry deal with under-invoicing, and stop counterfeit and illegal imports from entering the country.

Wage increases were due on July 1.

26 held after Malmesbury clashes
Daneel Knoetze 7 June 2014

Malmesbury - Police arrested 26 people for public violence during hours of running battles with protesters in Malmesbury yesterday after Lingelethu residents took to the streets and tried to burn down a municipal building.

Residents, angry at a perceived halt in the rollout of government housing in recent years, succeeded in seeing the N7 closed for most of the morning and early afternoon. The N7 is adjacent to the township.

There were riotous scenes as hundreds of protesters charged at police armoured vehicles while pelting journalists and Public Order Police with stones. Roads were blocked with burning tyres and municipal vehicles vandalised.

Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades. A police helicopter circled low. From time to time, a group of officers broke away from the main police contingent. As they returned, they were seen dragging protesters into waiting police vehicles.

The riot came in response to a perceived failure of the Swartland Municipality to respond to a memorandum handed to it last week asking for “decent housing” for all the township’s residents, and improved water, electricity and sewer line services. Residents also demanded they receive electricity directly from Eskom.

Willie van Rooy, who said he was a community leader, accused the municipality, to which electricity accounts are paid, of overcharging residents and cutting off their services if bills weren’t paid. But

Joggie Scholtz, Swartland’s municipal manager, said residents were attempting to access electricity for free. Eskom, he said, did not have the capacity to follow up and retrieve payment from defaulting account holders.

Scholtz said municipalities could only roll out housing according to funds available from provincial and national government. He acknowledged a backlog of more than 6 000 houses in the municipality and that some had been on the waiting list for up to 12 years.

Van Rooy accused the municipality of not having made funds available for housing delivery in Lingelethu for the next three years. Scholtz acknowledged this but emphasised that Swartland budgeted between R19 million and R28m for housing annually over the next three financial years. This would go towards completing the Abbotsdale housing project on the N7 towards Cape Town. This meant there would be no building of government housing in Lingelethu before the 2017/18 financial year.

Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said Swartland had a good track record of spending its annual housing budget and the housing backlog in Lingelethu and elsewhere in the the municipal area was consistent with shortages nationally.

The municipality committed to meeting community leaders after bail had been granted to the 26. Scholtz said though the municipality was not to blame for the housing shortage, local government “bore the brunt” of frustrations. He said explanations about national budget shortages and housing backlogs were unlikely to appease Lingelethu’s residents.

Police spokesman Constable Lorencial Johnson said the 26 arrested would appear in Malmesbury Magistrate’s Court next week.
Weekend Argus

WC protest turns violent
iAfrica 6 June 2014

A housing protest near Malmesbury in the Western Cape turned violent when protesters when stones and petrol bombs were thrown and tyres were set alight.

The protest in Abbottsdale started early on Friday morning as protesters demanded better housing.

A municipal official in Malmesbury told Eyewitness News that the protests were also related to promises made ahead of the May 7 elections.

Police have stabilised the situation and have reported that there was no damage to property and that no arrests were made.

West Coast area protest over housing
News 24 6 June 2014

Cape Town - Around 800 people protested for better housing in Abbotsdale, on the West Coast, on Friday morning, Western Cape police said.

Constable Lorencial Johnson said residents of the town, near Malmesbury, took to the N7 around 04:45 and became riotous.

"Stones were thrown, there were petrol bombs, and tyres were set alight," he said.

There was no damage to property and no arrests were made.

Johnson said traffic was redirected through Abbotsdale and the situation was "under control".

‘No E-tolls’ ride starts in Bellville
Dave Abrahams 6 June 2014

Cape Town - Having more than doubled the number of riders at their most recent protest ride, the convenors of Bikers Against e-Tolls in the Western Cape have had to re-think their planning, both in terms of safety on the roads - as the processions become longer and more difficult to marshal - and in terms of space at both ends – as the previous venues were getting a little stretched.

So the seventh Cape Town BAT Run, on Sunday 8 June, will finally accede to requests from riders in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, to take the message there, that unless we stand up and make ourselves heard we will wind up, within the foreseeable future, paying e-tolls to enter or leave the Cape Metropole on any of the existing National roads.

The start venue for this weekend’s protest ride will be the parking area below the Starlight Diner in Mispel Street, Belville (next to the Bellville Velodrome), and the route will take the riders right on to Durban Road (past Sanral’s Cape headquarters – make some noise, please!) left on to the N1 North, and thence to the R300, the N2 and the M5, peeling off at Turfhall Road to Castor Road and the end venue at Club Fever.

The ride will start at 10am sharp, so be there early. Riders are encouraged to make their own protest signs (the more creative the better!) for their machines and fly their club flags. Scooters, cars and bakkies are also welcome.

For more information – and to place orders for the big white BAT flags, contact Amanda Bruwer at 083 415 4105.

Man stoned in mob attack
IOL News 5 June 2014

Johannesburg - Residents of Oukasie, Brits, stoned a 30-year-old man to death, North West police said on Thursday.

The man was killed in the early hours of Wednesday, at Mosengleng Section, Sergeant Kealeboga Molale said.

“It is alleged that the two suspects broke and gained entrance into a house.

“The owner was woken up by the noise in the house. When the suspects realised that the victim was awake, they ran away not knowing that some of the community members saw (what happened) and ran after them,” she said.

“The community members managed to apprehend one suspect while the other ran away.”

Molale said the man allegedly stabbed a community member with a knife.

“It is further alleged that the community stoned and beat the suspect to death. No arrests have been made at this stage.” - Sapa

ANCYL hands over M&G memorandum
Limakatso Khalianyane (IOL News) 5 June 2014

The party's provincial convenor Alex Mashilo said the memorandum was also being symbolically handed to other media and newspapers.

“We are saying watch out, we will do this to you if you do what the Mail & Guardian did.”

Mashilo said the memorandum requested balanced and fair reporting.

“We are not saying they must write nice things about us, but they must be fair in their reporting. We do not need their favour.”

On May 2, the M&G in its editorial urged voters to vote tactically to dilute the ANC power.

“In 1994, we asked you to vote for change. Twenty years later, we ask you to use your vote to dilute overweening political power.”

The paper's editor, Angela Quintal, received the memorandum from the league and said she would study it.

“We have invited your leadership to visit us sometime next week. We hope the leadership will let you know how our meeting went.”

Mashilo said the publication endorsed the opposition parties before elections.

He said the ANC had defeated the newspaper and the parties they endorsed when it won the 2014 elections.

When the supporters arrived outside the publication's offices at 7th Avenue, police closed the street to traffic.

They chanted and sang insulting songs about the paper.

“Phantsi nge Mail and Garbage phantsi” (Down with Mail and Garbage down), they said in Zulu.

“We are here to tell them voetsek,” they sang outside the offices while people watched and took photographs with their phones.

They also sang that the capitalist agenda was bewitching the president therefore they did not want it.

Supporters, mostly pupils, were given banners with the messages: “Hands off Jacob Zuma,” and “An attack on the president is an attack on democracy.”

The Democratic Alliance Youth said it was unacceptable for the Youth League to take pupils out of school during school hours to take partin the march.

“This is unacceptable, especially since it is exam time,” the DA's youth leader Mbali Ntuli said in a statement.

Waste collectors block Pretoria streets
IOL News5 June 2014

Pretoria - Angry Tshwane municipal waste collectors parked their waste trucks in the intersection of Madiba (Vermeulen) and Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) streets on Thursday morning, refusing to move until they were paid for their overtime.

Just before 8am, the workers in uniform parked at least seven trucks in the intersection, causing heavy traffic backlog on the two and surrounding streets during peak hour.

Commuters were late for work as traffic crawled along, taking 30 minutes to move just two blocks.

According to workers, they were paid their salaries on May 26 but did not receive money for more than 60 hours of overtime.

“We are not striking, we just want our money then we will go back to work,” one worker said.

They claimed the City of Tshwane postponed the payments three times, each time promising they will get their money soon.

On Wednesday the metro again failed to pay the workers and they decided to take matters into their own hands.

After metro police intervened, the workers moved the trucks and parked outside the municipal offices.

“We will come again tomorrow if they don’t give us our money,” one worker said.

450 NUM members on strike at Group Five
NUM 3 June 2014

Over 450 members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are on strike at Group Five at Durban harbour in Kwazulu Natal Province. The strike started on the 26th of May 2014.

The NUM demands are the following:

1. We demand that all our members must be paid R10 000 project bonus
2. We demand that all our members should knock off at 14h00 on Saturdays.
3. We demand that all our members must be represented by a Fulltime Shop Steward at the company.

"Our members are going to fight hard on the payment of the project bonus and we believe that Group Five can afford it. Our members are determined to strike at Group Five simply to deal with company's arrogance," said Bhekani Ngcobo, NUM Kwazulu Natal Regional Coordinator.

For more information, please contact:
Bhekani Ngcobo: 071 670 6349 (NUM Kwazulu Natal Regional Coordinator

Farmers relieved after mill strike ends
More than 5 500 FAWU workers had been on strike since 26 May.
Look Local 9 June 2014

Strikers sugar workers resume their duties
THE sugar industry workers have ended their two week strike following an agreement on Friday.

Protracted negotiations continued most of Friday with stakeholders announcing that an agreement had been reached.

This will be a relief to sugar farmers who have had a bad start to the season.

Interruptions to mill operations, due to public holidays and breakdowns at the Amatikhulu Mill, have meant the sugar harvesting season has not flowed during the first two months.
Although the millers have said there was still plenty of time to catch up the next few months, farmers have had to bear the brunt of the delays.

Those caught off-guard regarding the strike may have lost R1.4-million due burnt cane lying in loading zones and not being delivered.
It was estimated there was at least 4 000 tons of cane waiting to be transported to the mills and this had to happen within a week of harvesting.

More cane could have been lost as the province enters the fire season and cane burnt through arson, or other causes, cannot be harvested and sent to the mills.

Back to work today
More than 5 500 Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and strikers downed tools on Monday, 26 May demanding a pay rise of 11 percent and a 40-hour working week without loss of pay.

They also demanded an R800 housing allowance and wanted contract workers be appointed permanently.

According to FRAU General Secretary, Katishi Masemola, employers have agreed to raise the salaries of the lowest-earning employees by 10 percent, while the middle and higher band of earners will receive increases of nine percent and 8.75 percent respectively.

Strikers are expected back at work from today (Monday).

It is not clear how many of these demands were met as details of the agreement have not been released.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration led the negotiations under section 150 of the Labour Relations Act, which allows the mediator to intervene in a dispute of public interest.
You might also be interested

Fawu 3 June 2014

The leadership of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) will be addressing mass meetings of workers today, the 3rd June 2014, at Clairwood and Eston.

Both the President, Mr Attwell Nazo, and General Secretary, Katishi Masemola, will address 500 striking workers of Tongaat-Hullet Refinery at 12h30 (444, South Coast Road, Clairwood) and later 250 striking workers at Illovo Sugar Mill at 14h00 (R624, District Road, Eston).

Members of FAWU remains resolute in their indefinite strike until their below listed demands are met
- Wage increment of 11% across the board
- 40-hour working week
- Monthly housing subsidy of R800
- Permanent employment of all fixed-term and other contract workers

On the 4th June 2014 (Wednesday), 3 000 members of FAWU will be staging a protest march in the streets of Durban and this march will be led by both Attwell Nazo and Katishi Masemola.

All these efforts are part of the rolling mass action that is aimed at putting pressure to the employers to meet workers’ demands, especially after the mediation talks did not result in a break-though. FAWU is encouraged by employers’ willingness to talk and with this spirit possibilities of settlement remain in place.

For more information kindly feel free to contact Enoch Dlomo, the National Sugar Sector organizer, at 082 492 5100, or Katishi Masemola, the General Secretary, at 082 467 2509

Issued by
FAWU General Secretary

DA by-election campaigners 'assaulted'
The Sowetan 2 June 2014

The Democratic Alliance on Monday announced that it had laid charges with police after some of its members were allegedly assaulted by members of the African National Congress while campaigning in an upcoming Durban by-election.
The DA's provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said one DA member had been " physically attacked, sworn at and slapped by ANC representatives. This ended in a life-threatening asthma attack.

"A criminal case has been opened at the SAPS."

In a second incident, Mchunu accused Visvin Reddy - a former eThekwini metro councillor who is currently suspended from the ANC - of ripping the contents of a DA supporter's clipboard from her.

And in the third incident, he said another DA member was sworn at.

"This behaviour is typical of what the ANC does when it feels under pressure or when it is concerned about losing an election. Its representatives become desperate and resort to violence and intimidation to try to suppress opposition."

Mchunu said a complaint had been lodged with the Electoral Commission of South Africa and a case opened with police.

KwaZulu-Natal chief electoral officer Mawethu Mosery confirmed that he had received a letter from the DA and that the matter was being investigated by the IEC.

A number of by-elections are scheduled to take place in Durban on July 2, including in Chatsworth.

Evicted with boots and rubber bullets
Murray Williams and Kieran Legg (IOL News)3 June 2014

Cape Town - Images reminiscent of a war zone have elicited outrage from South Africans, as a shack demolition unfolded near the Strand.

Social media took the unfolding drama viral as black smoke billowed in the sky, rubber bullets rebounded off the tarmac and stun grenades echoed in the streets of Nomzamo, adjacent to the historic hostel township of Lwandle.

An eviction five months in the making was met with fury as a court-appointed sheriff rolled into Lwandle on Monday to flatten shacks built on land designated for the rerouting of the N2.

Residents and police clashed. Rocks were thrown, rubber bullets shot, small fires lit in the street and stun grenades lobbed into the crowds.

But as the skirmish progressed, the crowds began to thin out, the last rioters were tackled to the ground, their faces wet with yellow pepper spray.

Seven men were arrested for public violence, police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said, and three petrol bombs were confiscated.

“They will appear in court where they will be officially charged.”

But the sight of now homeless residents on a damp winter day – especially women with children – prompted fury among many South Africans. One tweeted that the scenes were “another demonstration of SA’s contempt for the poor”.

Another protested: “As if people choose to be poor!”

And: “I cannot believe the apartheid-style shack demolitions.”

Social commentator Rebecca Davis described as heartbreaking the images of residents pleading for their shacks not to be demolished.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille tweeted: “Neither the province nor the city received prior notice of this eviction. Sanral and the national minister must provide answers.”

By late in the afternoon, peace had returned, but many residents were left to pick up the pieces of their homes, salvaging what they could before they were flattened.

The contested site is home to perhaps 150 shack dwellings, but only about 20 were destroyed in Monday’s enforcement of the court order obtained by landowner Sanral.

With more shacks set to be taken apart later, residents were in a race against time to find a place to stay as temperatures dropped in the township on Monday night.

The SA Roads Agency (Sanral), which owns the land, said it had applied for a court interdict preventing any invasion on the property in January after the first set of shacks had been unlawfully erected.

“The court order was contravened on numerous occasions, forcing us to obtain the services of the sheriff and members of the police to evict the illegal invaders on the property,” spokesman Vusi Mona said.

Mona said the violence was regrettable. But, according to the company, the evictions were for the greater good since the land would allow it to maintain the roads through the rerouting of the N2 highway, as per the agency’s mandate.

Later on Monday, the City of Cape Town explained it was not involved, and detailed the history of the saga.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Siyabulela Mamkeli said city law enforcement agencies were present, “on the specific request from the sheriff of the court and the police”.

But, “this particular case involves a private eviction – from Sanral land, not public, city-owned land – thus city law enforcement has no role in the removal of structures”.

However, the city had repeatedly urged Sanral to protect its land against the continual and new land invasions.

“As the land in question is privately owned, by Sanral, the city has not been responsible for policing these informal settlements. Sanral appointed a private company to ensure that no further growth of the settlements takes place, but new structures have continued to be built on the Sanral-owned land,” said Mamkeli.

Also, because the settlements were on private land, the city could not provide services without the consent of the land owner.

“Previously, as part of our commitment to building a caring city, the city offered to provide a certain number of container toilets in the settlements, which Sanral allowed. These toilets have unfortunately been vandalised and damaged beyond repair.

“The ward councillors requested that the city provide additional services. The city has, in an effort to provide services and interim relief to these residents, provided services on the periphery of city-owned land, adjacent to Sanral’s property,” Mamkeli said.

Amid the chaos of Monday morning, individual stories of vulnerability surfaced – like that of Simanyene High Grade 12 pupil Anelise Mange, 17, who returned from school to try to rescue her family’s entire household. With urgency, yet calm, she threw each item out through their front door, before loading herself up and hurling the contents to safety on the far side of a roll of razorwire.

Last came her study notes.

“I’m meant to be writing exams,” she said quietly.

In the end, the demolition teams pulled out without touching her home – only those of many of her neighbours – for reasons still unclear to residents.

Another resident Ntombikhona Somni’s hands were filthy as she scratched through the wreck of her demolished home. She eventually found what she was looking for – her three-year-old child Iminathi’s little soccer shoes.

Rain had turned the plot where her home had stood on Monday morning to mud. As she fled from the chilly north-westerly wind and rain, she dragged a dirty plastic container carrying her only possessions.

“I don’t know where we are going to sleep tonight.”

At sunset, the air was filled with the relentless tap of hammers on nails, as men banded together to work on each others’ homes.

Nomkita Tlale worked frantically to rebuild her shack as darkness fell. Her 10-month-old daughter Pinky sat under a makeshift shelter not far away, exposed to the weather.

Sanral, a court and perhaps even the constitution may all be telling her the home is illegal.

But it’s the only one she and her infant have.

Strike disrupts Rea Vaya services
IOL News 3 June 2014

A Rea Vaya bus is seen at the Orlando bus stop in Soweto, Johannesburg. File photo: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - An illegal strike by Rea Vaya bus drivers disrupted services on Tuesday, the City of Johannesburg said.

“Buses servicing the T1 route along Soweto Highway and feeders from Naledi, Protea Glen, Jabavu, Mofolo and Eldorado Park are amongst the services affected,” spokesman Benny Makgoga said in a statement.

“The City of Johannesburg apologises to its passengers and will provide updates on the situation.”

There was no detail provided on the strike. - Sapa

‘No E-tolls’ ride starts in Bellville
Dave Abrahams (IOL Motoring) 2 June 2014

Cape Town - Having more than doubled the number of riders at their most recent protest ride, the convenors of Bikers Against e-Tolls in the Western Cape have had to re-think their planning, both in terms of safety on the roads - as the processions become longer and more difficult to marshal - and in terms of space at both ends – as the previous venues were getting a little stretched.

So the seventh Cape Town BAT Run, on Sunday 8 June, will finally accede to requests from riders in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, to take the message there, that unless we stand up and make ourselves heard we will wind up, within the foreseeable future, paying e-tolls to enter or leave the Cape Metropole on any of the existing National roads.

The start venue for this weekend’s protest ride will be the parking area below the Starlight Diner in Mispel Street, Belville (next to the Bellville Velodrome), and the route will take the riders right on to Durban Road (past Sanral’s Cape headquarters – make some noise, please!) left on to the N1 North, and thence to the R300, the N2 and the M5, peeling off at Turfhall Road to Castor Road and the end venue at Club Fever.

The ride will start at 10am sharp, so be there early. Riders are encouraged to make their own protest signs (the more creative the better!) for their machines and fly their club flags. Scooters, cars and bakkies are also welcome.

For more information – and to place orders for the big white BAT flags, contact Amanda Bruwer at 083 415 4105.

Residents protest for new school
IOL News 30 May 2014

Tekwane, Mpumalanga -Residents of Tekwane North, outside Nelspruit, protested on Friday, demanding a new school in the area, Mpumalanga police said.

“They have barricaded the R37 to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport with burning tyres,” Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said.

On Thursday residents had a meeting with education department officials.

“I don't know what was said in the meeting, but this morning residents embarked on a protest.”

Police were monitoring the protest and no one had been arrested.

Two housing protests in Cape
Jason Felix (IOL News) 30 May 2014

Cape Town - Tyres were burned, roads were closed and a motorist was stoned during two housing protests on Thursday.

About 2 000 residents of Illingelethu in Malmesbury went on a protest march to the Swartland municipal offices, demanding houses, land and better services.

They handed over a memorandum of grievances and gave the municipality seven days to respond. The group had marched down Darling Road singing Struggle songs while a police Nyala and traffic officers escorted them through the town.

A community leader, Thembile Mvovo, who handed the memorandum over to a municipal official, said: “We are demanding houses and better services for those who live in informal settlements. We want land to build homes and the municipality must service it.”

Illingelethu resident Thandi Dyanti, 60, has been living in the settlement for 22 years. She joined the protest because “there had been no municipal services since 1994”.

“You don’t see development in our area. The development of business and municipal buildings and services are mostly given to the white people and those with money. It is unfair. Our protest was peaceful, but we will increase the number of people here.

“The municipality must remember our frustrations will soon boil over,” she said.

Swartland municipality mayor Tijmen van Essen said the council would look at the residents’ grievances.

“They want land and houses. The land that is available within the municipality is either owned by us and earmarked for development. We cannot give them private land,” he said.

Van Essen said the municipality’s housing waiting list stands at 13 000.

“It would be unfair to just give protesting residents a house. If they are not registered, then they cannot get a house. It would also be unfair if we give houses on demand from protesters. There are people that have been waiting for homes since apartheid,” he said.

While the the march was peaceful and Public Order Police monitored the crowd, police spokesman Lorencial Johnson said an incident of malicious damage to property was reported after a motorist’s vehicle was damaged on the N7 freeway.

In a another protest, residents of Elsies River burned tyres and blocked streets with rubble. It was the second day in a row this had happened.

On Wednesday, a group of protesters, angry about the allocation of new houses in the area, had damaged a fence and burned tyres inside the Leonsdale Housing office in Elsies River.

Resident Isaac Esau said: “The houses were meant for us and now people from other areas are taking it from us. This is wrong. We are not done protesting. We want our leaders here and attending to our problems now.”

No one was arrested and police remained in the area to monitor the situation

Electricity cuts prompt PE protests
SABC 29 May 2014

Chaos has once again erupted in Walmer township outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

Residents have embarked on a protest, burning tyres and barricading roads.

They are protesting against the cutting of illegal power connections in informal settlements.

Residents claim the Neldson Mandela Bay Metro promised not to cut the illegal electricity connections before the elections, but just a few days after the elections, the Metro started removing illegal power connections.

Police spokesperson, Alwin Labans says police have been deployed to control the situation.

"We have our police at the scene. It is under control at the moment. We just ask the public to be very cautious about using the roads between 8th, 9th and 10th Avenue and De Villiers Street in Walmer."

Miners' homes petrol bombed
IOL News 28 May 2014

Rustenburg - Two houses belonging to miners were petrol bombed in Sefikile, North West, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Wednesday.

“We are extremely worried because our members are being attacked and their houses petrol bombed. The police are not doing anything to protect our members who are going to work,” said Steve Modimokwane, NUM branch chairman at the Union mine of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

He said the houses belongingd to NUM members were petrol bombed on Tuesday night.

“We do not know whose house will be petrol bombed tonight.”

Modimokwane said another union member was attacked on Tuesday morning and managed to escape with minor injuries.

NUM's national executive committee has called on all its members to exercise their right to go to work and most importantly to exercise their right to defend themselves against any form of violence or intimidation.

“The NEC calls on them to defend their families, their lives and property.”

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have been on strike at Amplats, Lonmin and Impala since January.

They downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The union rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017.

The strike has cost companies R20 billion in revenue and employees have lost earnings of almost R9 billion

Protest after illegal connections cut
Sherlissa Peters (IOL News)27 May 2014

Pietermaritzburg - Chaos erupted in Northdale, Pietermaritzburg, when 100 angry residents from a nearby informal settlement protested early on Monday after their illegal electricity connections were disconnected.

Protesters used burning tyres, boulders and branches to barricade a stretch of Regina Road, near Kharina Secondary School, in the usually quiet area.

The disturbance forced pupils to go home and the school was closed for the day. Heaps of burnt rubbish and broken glass littered the streets as protesters toyi-toyied, while police, fire officials and paramedics kept watch.

A policeman at the scene said rubber bullets had to be fired to disperse protesters when they began stoning the police.

Some residents complained that the protesters had thrown stones at their vehicles and windows, while others said they were too scared to venture out of their homes.

Regina Road resident Annie Chetty said she was woken up by breaking glass and loud screams early on Monday, and was shocked to see a large mob blocking the road.

“My child who is in Grade 11 at Kharina could not go to school… because of the protest. It was so scary,” she said.

Chetty said illegal electricity connections were a major problem in the neighbourhood.

“We often experience blackouts or power surges that damage our appliances. It makes me so angry, but I can understand why these people are forced to steal electricity.”

One of the protesters who spoke to the Daily News said they were demonstrating because Msunduzi municipal officials had come to the informal settlement over the weekend and disconnected their illegal electricity connections.

“How are we expected to survive the winter without electricity? If they don’t want us to steal electricity then they must give us power in the shacks. We are human beings too,” said Zakhele Madalose, who has lived in the settlement for five years.

Police Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed charges of public violence and illegal gathering were being investigated by the Mountain Rise police.

No injuries were reported.
Municipal communication officer Lungelo Sithole had not responded to requests for comment by last night.

The Msunduzi municipality, backed by the provincial treasury, started to electrify the Swapo and Nhlalakahle informal settlements in the city early this month. R7 million has been made available to electrify the homes of 2 000 residents living there.

The project was expected to be completed by December.

The municipality said it would start with the roll-out in the Ezinketheni informal settlement in Copesville, and then move to other settlements.

Earlier this year Mayor Chris Ndlela also promised to eradicate illegal electricity connections following several deaths. Since July, seven people have been killed because of illegal electricity connections.

In March, a man, 37, was electrocuted when he walked over live wires.

In February two people lost their lives and a boy, 14, was killed in January after a ball he was playing with rolled into a stream. When he went to fetch it, he stepped on an illegal connection and was electrocuted.

In September, Moshe Motoung was electrocuted, also in Jika Joe, and Lucky Mzila was found lying dead in a ditch in Regina Road, Northdale, on top of illegal electrical cables that snaked their way to the nearby informal settlement. In July, Aviwe Vava, 6, of the Eastern Cape, who was visiting her parents at the Jika Joe settlement, slipped and was electrocuted as she grabbed a live wire to break her fall.

Sugar workers strike for 11% pay hike
The Mercury 28 May 2014

Striking workers at Tongaat Hulett’s Voermol Feeds plant have put forward several demands but have been unable to reach an agreement with employers.

The National Sugar Refining and Allied Industries Union, the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) and the Union of Artisans of South Africa are demanding an increase of 11 percent across the board, a 40-hour working week, an R800 monthly housing subsidy and permanent employment of all fixed-term and other contract workers.

Fawu, in solidarity, also mobilised its members in all companies where sugar is used as an ingredient and those in sugar plantations and cane cutting.

Tongaat Hulett spokeswoman Michelle Jean-Louis said the unions embarked on the protected strike after an agreement could not be reached in the South African Sugar Industry Bargaining Council.

“Operations at Tongaat Hulett’s South African sugar business unit have stopped. Given the company has spare capacity, the business can, if required, extend its milling season.

Contingency plans to ensure minimal disruption to supply are in place,” she said.

About 200 employees picketed outside Tongaat Hulett’s Voermol Feeds plant in Tongaat yesterday, marking the beginning of the strike.

A memorandum of agreement signed by the unions and employers stipulates that “employees performing essential services” and non-union members will not be interfered with or “intimidated“.

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), representing disgruntled uMngeni (Howick) Municipality workers, will file an appeal today opposing a Durban Labour Court order compelling workers to halt their “illegal” strike.
The provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC, Nomusa DubeNcube, weighed in on the stand-off yesterday, urging the municipality and the union to find an “amicable” solution.

An uMngeni spokesman, Thando Mgaga, said the acting municipal manager, Steve Simpson, had applied for a court interdict “to prevent the workers from engaging in the illegal industrial action”.

“The court ordered the striking workers to return to work immediately,” he said.
Striking Samwu members went on the rampage at the weekend, damaging property, when mayor Mbali Myeni failed to meet them to “explain” protracted wage talks.

Samwu’s first deputy president, John Dlamini, said the union would appeal against the labour court ruling, saying there was no strike “to begin with“.

“We respect the court’s ruling, but we disagree with it and we will be filing opposing papers tomorrow.”

Dube-Ncube said: “While we welcome the fact that workers have gone back to work, we also call upon law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute individuals who have played a role in the destruction of public property.”

She said the non-collection of refuse needed to be resolved “as soon as possible” as it posed serious health risks.

Cops disperse Boitekong protesters
IOL News 27 May 2014

Rustenburg - Police used rubber bullets to disperse protesting residents in Boitekong, near Rustenburg, on Tuesday, North West police said.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said residents of Extension 14 in Boitekong took to the streets in an illegal protest and barricaded roads, apparently demanding water and electricity.

“Police were forced to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd and a case docket of public violence has been registered.”

No one had been arrested and the police investigation continued, Ngubane said.

Residents continue to battle housing scam
Krishnee Naidoo (Phoenix Sun) 27 May 2014

Protestors embark on the demonstration following the current uncertain plight of residents of four low-cost housing developments in Phoenix.

Founder of the Phoenix Tenants and Residents Association (PTRA), Mervin Govender, was joined by highly irate residents in a protest at the Rydalvale robots in Phoenix on Sunday.
Protestors embarked on the demonstration following the current uncertain plight of residents of four low-cost housing developments in Phoenix built by controversial businessman, Jay Singh, which were under investigation. It has been revealed that the court ruled in favour of Singh.

Speaking to the Phoenix Sun, Govender said the court decision was largely disappointing and it is hopeful that the review application by the PTRA will set the record straight and earn justice for the residents. Following the case at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, Govender claims that while he was seated on a bench in the foyer, he was approached by Singh, and his partner, Pravesh Inderjeeth, who questioned him about taking pictures of them. “I had accompanied the residents to court as the PTRA is an interested party to the proceedings. When the two men confronted me, I refuted their allegations at which point, Jay Singh, slapped me while Pravesh proceeded to kick me on my left side. They threatened my life in full view of the public,” said Govender. He said he reported the incident at the Pietermaritzburg police station where a case of common assault has been registered.

Concerning the housing issue, Govender said, “Our legal standing on this issue also translates to a pending court case were we are asking that the entire sale and construction be reviewed and set asid. We are striving for the residences to be sectionalised in order to allow residents to own these homes and not rent for life. These complexes in Phoenix have been subjected to an inquiry from National Treasury whose findings need to be concluded. There needs to be a greater degree of transparency with regards to the way the entire housing issue have been handled and we are calling for accountability from all departments involved and the relevant stakeholders. The people want answers and those involved need to lift the veil of secrecy and speak out against corruption against the people.”

Govender added that residents will meet every Friday at the Stanmore Library where issues of illegal evictions, attachments and other related matters will be highlighted, to keep residents abreast on the current court issues. The meeting will commence at 6:30pm and interested parties are encouraged to attend

Protesting TUT students cause havoc on campus
News 24 27 May 2014

Johannesburg - The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has been hit by protests once again as students from the institution's Soshanguve campus disrupted classes on Tuesday.

TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said a small group of students had embarked on illegal protest action despite a court interdict prohibiting such action on campus.

"The majority of students have indicated that they are preparing for examinations currently and are not in favour of such action," she said.

The SABC reported that lecturers were being denied access to the premises.

The broadcaster reported that the protest was fuelled by allegations that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme was not being properly managed on the campus.

De Ruyter said the situation was being monitored closely.

Frustrated commuters lash out at MyCiti
Zara Nicholson 27 May 2014

Cape Town - MyCiti’s service to Century City and Atlantis, meant to change the face of public transport for long-suffering commuters, has been denounced by some as “pathetic”.

It has become a pattern that buses don’t arrive at night or were very late, they say.

The city admitted it had received a “substantial” number of complaints since the service was rolled out to Atlantis and Dunoon.

Besides late or cancelled buses, commuters have also complained that the machines on which they are charged often do not work, resulting in them being penalised and charged more for parts of journeys they did not take.

Tasleema Petersen, who uses MyCiTi to travel to and from Atlantis to work in Canal Walk, said she had been using the service for two months and described it as “pathetic”.

She said she had lodged numerous complaints with the call centre, but that staff were rude and never solved any of her complaints.

Petersen said there were meant to be two buses from Century City to Atlantis after 9pm, but said these buses hardly ever arrived.

At times, the driver would refuse to load passengers, saying he was going to the depot.

Most nights, the only bus was at 10pm, which meant she got to Atlantis at midnight.

In March, the city cancelled a R234-million contract with Lumen Technologies, which installed and maintained the IT contract which monitors operations and scheduling due to non-performance, and has been monitoring the service manually.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said because of the cancelled contract, the city could not monitor timetable adherence electronically on the Dunoon, Table View, Atlantis and Civic Centre routes.

However, vehicle operating companies had supervisors to monitor and regulate buses.

He said the cancellation of the Lumen contract had made it more difficult for the city to monitor and verify schedule adherence as it is currently unable to receive and communicate real-time information about the buses.

Herron said the bids for a new company to manage the IT system was being evaluated and that the city hoped to have a new contractor by June.

Lumen Technologies director Sedicka Chilwan earlier disputed the cancellation of the contract and threatened to sue the city for R50m.

Chilwan said on Monday: “We are currently in mediation with the city and intend to continue pursuing our legal rights.”

Meanwhile, Petersen said passengers were becoming more and more frustrated with intermittent problems with bus schedules and late buses.

“It is frustrating because MyCiTi is meant to save you time and money, but it wastes our time and charges us for journeys we are not even taking because nothing works properly and drivers do not stick to the schedules.”

She said in the beginning the service worked perfectly, but soon there were regular problems. “It’s ridiculous because buses just don’t arrive or they are least 40 minutes late.”

Another passenger, who travels from Parklands to Canal Walk, said he had been using the service since 2011 and had the same problems.

The passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “The service is terrible and problematic, the drivers and staff at the stations don’t help and they are rude.”

Quinton Gobie who works in Canal Walk, said: “Buses are always delayed and not consistent with the schedule; especially at night there are problems.”

He said two buses were meant to arrive after 9pm, but mostly he and other passengers wait until a bus arrived at 10.40pm.

“When it was a new service we understood there might be problems, but it can’t carry on like this. It’s completely unacceptable,” Gobie said.

Herron said most of the complaints from the new routes came from the new users not being familiar with the MyCiTi service, the fare collection system and the timetables. He said the city was aware of intermittent issues with the validators (tap-in machines) on the buses, and was looking for a resolution.

He encouraged people to lodge their complaints so that city could investigate and take action, as the city had a performance management system to monitor operating companies.

He said as a result of the cancelled contract, the city’s transport information centre did not have access to real-time information from the control centre and was therefore not able to report on a position of a particular bus.

Commuters can contact the transport information centre on 0800 65 64 63 toll-free from landlines, or e-mail

Cape Times

Irate workers torch municipal buildings
Sihle Manda and Sapa 26 May 2014

Durban - The finance offices of the uMngeni (Howick) Municipality were set alight at the weekend, the KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety Department said on Sunday.

A mob of municipal workers allegedly went on the rampage on Friday after being left in the lurch by mayor Mbali Myeni. They said Myeni had agreed to meet them to discuss a dispute over salaries.

Umngeni police spokesman Lolly Moodley said protesters set alight the municipality’s finance offices.

“They tried to burn the municipality’s art and culture offices but the fires were contained. Everything is under control,” he said.

There were no arrests.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union official John Dlamini “condemned” the incident. He blamed a “third force” for the destruction of property.

The salary increase dispute was not a strike, he said.

“Municipal workers assembled peacefully waiting for the mayor to address them,” he said.

“They sat there until it was it was late in the afternoon without the mayor pitching up. Police were there. There were no disruptions or problems.”

He said reports of the rampage were “shocking”, saying the union “condemned” the attacks.

“If anyone has evidence, they must come forward. We believe a third force is at play here,” he said.

Umngeni municipal spokesman Thando Mgaga said negotiations between the municipality and the unions were ongoing.

“It’s management’s wish that the matter is speedily resolved so that service delivery will not be further hindered,” he said.

Provincial Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu on Sunday slammed the incident, saying that it was “totally unacceptable” and “a disgrace”.

“It sets back the programme of delivery, as the municipality now has to divert money for service delivery to fix the damage.”

Co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said it was totally unacceptable.

“We recognise the constitutional right to unhappiness within the legal prescripts by any member of society, but we deplore violence, intimidation and the destruction of property built at the taxpayers’ expense,” she said.

She called on police to do whatever was necessary to arrest the culprits.

ANC hides victim in safe house
IOL News 23 May 2014

Durban - Fear has gripped residents of the politically volatile town of Wembezi near Estcourt after the murder of two ANC representatives.

A third woman, Masi Mbhele, who survived Tuesday night’s shootings, has gone into hiding after being discharged from hospital on Thursday.

Mbhele was an ANC party agent in the recent general elections. Her companions - Msawenkosi Nkosi and Nombuso Mabaso – were killed.

Mabaso was also a party agent.

Local Ward 3 councillor, Siphamandla Magubane, said ANC leadership in the area had decided to remove Mbhele from her Emahhashini home to safeguard her.

“We all know each other here so until the law has taken its course she is not safe at home.”

Three men, aged between 32 and 40, were arrested for the shootings on the same night.

The NFP’s Bhekithemba Dlamini, deputy mayor of the uMtshezi Municipality under which the township falls, confirmed the trio were NFP members, not office bearers.

He said the police seemed to home in on NFP members whenever a member of the ANC was killed or attacked.

Dlamini disputed that the shooting had taken place in the town’s C-Section, saying it had happened across the highway that divides the NFP’s stronghold in C-Section and the rest of Wembezi.

Earlier on Thursday, residents from C-Section protested outside the Wembezi police station, saying they were unhappy with the arrests of the NFP members.

“We have evidence that it was not them,” said Sizwe Mchunu, one of the leaders of the protest.

“There are people who can testify that these guys were with them at the time of the shooting, but because we are NFP members, police will not listen to us.”

Mchunu said the protesters had to turn back in fear of their lives after police came out with “guns blazing”.

However, uMtshezi mayor, Bongani Dlamini, who is also ANC chairman in the Ukhahlamba region, berated the protesters, saying burning tyres and blockading roads did not solve anything.

He called on protesters to follow the correct procedures if they believed they had evidence that the suspects had been wrongfully accused.

Dlamini expressed concern that the shootings would fuel more violence in an area flagged as a hot spot for political intolerance.

“It is highly disappointing. The deployment of extra police and the five-a-side engagements have been making some meaningful progress, but the leadership now needs to filter the message of peace to its membership,” he said.

Dlamini called for more serious intervention to bring an end to the violence.

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu, who visited the troubled area on Thursday, said a lasting solution would emerge once there was willingness from those parties involved in the conflict.

Mchunu said efforts were being made to bring all political players in the area together to bring about lasting peace.

The MEC said he would get a police report into the shootings and would look at ways of minimising the conflict.

Regarding the protest, department spokesman, Sipho Khumalo, said the MEC was not aware of it, but was concerned about the alleged bias shown by police.

Mchunu had also planned to visit the families of the victims, including relatives of Nombuso Mabaso.

The family of the 28-year-old woman were busy on Thursday preparing for her funeral on Sunday.

One of the relatives who went to comfort them was Mabaso’s aunt, Getty Mvelase. It was her son, Mmeli Mvelase, who had rallied his cousin to join the ANC and together they had worn their party colours without fear, she said. Mmeli was killed in October, gunned down in a similar way as Mabaso.

“What is it exactly that our children are dying for? What is the cause of the fighting?” asked Mvelase.

Mabaso’s sister, Bongekile, could not hold back her tears as she spoke of her younger sibling.

“I’m hurting and still don’t believe she is gone,” she said.

“After Mmeli was killed, we had sleepless nights wondering who was next. We heard there was a hit list and since the head (Mmeli) was gone we were next.”

Although Bongekile fears for her own life, her heart breaks for her sister’s daughter, Amahle, 5.

“When she sees cameras she says she wants to stand in front so her mother can see her when she comes back,” said Bongekile.

“How do I tell her her mother is not ever coming back?”

The men accused of the two murders, as well as the attempted murder of Mbhele, were expected to appear in court on Friday.
Daily News

Police fire rubber bullets at protestors
A crowd of 700 protestors took to the streets in Magaliesburg.
Amoryn Golden (Krugerdorp News) 22 May 2014

Intimidation by violent protestors kept children and college students from attending classes.
The R509 tuned into a danger zone on Wednesday 21 May as a group of almost 700 protestors burned tyres and threw stones at motorists and pedestrians who use the road on a daily basis.

According to an informant violence erupted because of residents’ dissatisfaction with service delivery in the Magaliesburg area.

SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini says eight people were arrested during the protest.

“The police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. The people who were arrested will appear in court.”
Alex News

Workers strike at Heronbridge
LookLocal 16 May 2014

Workers have said that a R3 000 salary is unfair.
Andrei van Wyk

The on-site workers at HeronBridge Estate entered their fifth day of striking on 16 May, demanding higher pay and 'fair' treatment from HeronBridge management.

The workers gathered at the entrance of HeronBridge College across the road from the estate, holding up signs and singing. Hospitality worker at the estate Angel Khumalo said, “I've worked here for 15 years but my salary is still R3 600.”

The strikers claimed to have had talks with HeronBridge officials demanding higher pay, but were allegedly told that they will not receive a wage increase.

Khumalo said, “They hire companies and pay them more than us. Why can't they treat us the way they treat them?”

A number of issues were brought up by the workers such as unpaid public holidays and weekends, and alleged deductions on unpaid leave.

Headmaster of HeronBridge College Keith Wilke said, “There's a couple of important components to HeronBridge in that it's divided into the college which is the pre-preparatory, the preparatory, the high school and the estate. Most of the people striking outside work primarily at the estate, and do a little bit of work in the tuck shop at the college.”
Wilke said that HeronBridge officials have been in negotiations with workers' representatives since January and have offered them a 12 percent pay increase which they declined, even though they received a 30 percent increase in 2013.

Chief Executive Officer of HeronBridge Estate and College David Tomlinson said, “There have been a number of concessions we've made with the workers. The first is that we've agreed to their request for compensation for overtime and the odd hours they have to work. We have also agreed to helping them with schooling for their children, and at the beginning on next year we will enroll them. But they have refused the 12 percent increase we have offered, and unfortunately we can't go higher.”

The strikers said that they will strike until their demands have been met while Tomlinson said, “With the offer of 12 percent and the 30 percent increase last year they will, in effect, be earning 42percent more than they had 2 years ago. Though I'm sympathetic, a 12percent increase is all we can offer.”
“How much is 12 percent of R2,” Khumalo asked, as an effort to prove that the offer was just not enough.

Alleged EFF member killed outside his home
LookLocal 19 May 2014

A 29-year old man from Vosloorus was shot and killed outside his home at 11pm, on Friday, April 9.

It is alleged that he was an EFF member.

According to Brig Neville Malila from the SAPS provincial office, the police, however, cannot confirm his political affiliation.

"The victim was shot four times outside his home and was robbed of his cellphone," says Malila.

Malila says a case of murder and robbery is being investigated and no arrests have been made.

Numsa 20 May 2014

MPHUMZI MAQUNGO, the National Treasurer of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will address the striking Transnet workers, tomorrow Wednesday 21 May 2014, at 9h00am, Coega, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province.

Transnet workers belonging to Numsa have been on a protected strike since the April 25, 2014. A Memorandum of Demands will be handed-over to the Transnet management as part of finding a solution. A throng of Numsa members are expected to converge outside Transnet promises tomorrow Wednesday 21 May 2014, at 9am.

The details are as follows:

DATE: Wednesday 21 May 2014
TIME: 09H00am
VENUE: Transnet Nqurha Port, Coega IDZ, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.

Contact: Phumzile Nodongwe
Regional Secretary
Mobile:078 802 3140

Mphumzi Maqungo
National Treasurer
Mobile: 083 676 6613

Clermont residents protest
IOL News 20 May 2014

Durban - Residents of Clermont, near Pinetown, embarked on a service delivery protest on Tuesday morning, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

About 400 people blockaded Zazi Road in the area, Captain Thulani Zwane said.

“A case of illegal gathering has been opened for investigation,” said Zwane.

No arrests had been made and police were monitoring the situation. - Sapa

Three in court for mob attack video
IOL News 16 May 2014

Cops seek victim in ‘poll’ attack video
IOL News 16 March 2014

Tonga - Three men accused of killing a man in a mob justice attack seen on a video that went viral last week appeared in an Mpumalanga court on Friday, police said.

Joel Lubisi, 51, Duncan Mbokodo-Sambo, 33, and Calvin Sibiya-Suthu, 27, were released on a warning, said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.

Tonga Magistrate's Court postponed the matter to May 19 for further investigation.

The men were arrested on Thursday night.

It was initially reported that the video of the attack was made on election day in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, but police later found it was made in Tonga, Mpumalanga, in February.

The two-minute video shows a man in an orange T-shirt on the ground being kicked and pummelled with the back of an axe. Some of the people in the crowd wear African National Congress T-shirts.

Makgale said the attack took place on February 17.

A house robbery was reported that day at Block B in Tonga, where a husband and wife were shot dead by four attackers.

“The attackers then took the daughter of the couple to the couple's business premises with the intention of collecting money. They allegedly raped her and then released her.”

He said the crime was reported to the police.

“While the police were busy conducting their investigations, the community organised themselves and conducted a manhunt,” Makgale said.

“The community apprehended one murder and rape suspect and beat him to death.”

Makgale said the man was in possession of an unconfirmed amount of R2 coins and a cellphone. The coins were thought to have been taken out of a snooker table.

“It is alleged that the second suspect was also caught later by the community and killed.”

Two men were arrested the same day in connection with the murder of the husband and wife, and the rape of their daughter.

Fana Samuel Mashabane, 30, and Mcolisi Mandla Shongwe, 24, also appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Monday on murder and rape charges.

The matter was postponed for the case to be elevated to regional court level, Makgale said. The men remained in police custody.

The bus stops here, say angry residents
Anél Lewis and Warren Fortune (IOL News)20 May 2014

Cape Town - A small group of Imizamo Yethu residents picketed in Cape Town’s city centre on Monday angry over families having to move to accommodate a MyCiTi bus stop, and the fact that their DA ward councillor did not attend their community meetings.

The group of about 20 people protested outside a building in Wale Street where the Good Hope Sub-council was meeting.

The protest disrupted the meeting as councillors Taki Amira (DA) and Bheki Hadebe (ANC) went down to meet the picketers. The ward councillor, Marga Haywood, did not join them.

Residents are angry that families are to be moved from the MyCiTi station site to 16 hectares of land nearby.

Community representative Samkelo Krweqe, 42, accused Haywood of not looking after the people of the township because they are not DA supporters.

“She only represents the white people of Hout Bay.

“She is only making a development for nine families with electricity, clean water and sanitation just because she needs the land they were previously staying on for MyCiTi.

“What about the rest of us that have nothing?”

Krweqe said that even during times of disaster, residents did not get any support from Haywood.

“We had fires that destroyed homes before the elections but nothing was done about it. She has to come to us and explain what we need to use to make our skin brighter.”

Monday’s protest comes just days after the Johnson Mayeki branch of the ANC in Hout Bay wrote to Haywood “insisting” that she attend an “apolitical meeting” about the construction of the MyCiTi bus stop on the corner of Nelson Mandela and Hout Bay Main roads.

The branch’s Barry Mitchell wrote that residents also wanted her to explain the council’s plans to move families.

He said the branch executive and 1 000 residents felt that Haywood’s absence “from our community… has hampered the community’s input into this development, thereby leading to conflict, division and tension about an already contentious issue”.

But Haywood said in response that she did not believe that a political party had the right to demand a public representative of another political party to attend a meeting.

“Not only do I not fall under the authority of the ANC/SACP, but this request is a vote of no confidence and a slap in the face of the public representatives and councillors representing your own party.”

Haywood said the branch had been advised to contact the officials responsible, for more information about the relocation of the families to make way for the MyCiTi bus stop.

But Mitchell said Haywood was shirking her responsibility as the ward councillor and that her refusal to attend a public meeting was in breach of the code of conduct for councillors.

On the pavement outside the building in Wale Street, Hadebe and Amira explained to the group that decisions about MyCiTi bus routes and infrastructure were dealt with by the council, not the subcouncil. He assured the group that there would be an opportunity to raise their concerns at a public meeting.

Pagad pays visit to lawyer
Warda Meyer (IOL News) 19 May 2014

Cape Town- Family and friends of Cape attorney Noorudien Hassan say a convoy of Pagad members paid an impromptu visit to the legal eagle’s house at the weekend, and made threats.

A relative who did not want to be named said Pagad (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) members had shouted from their cars “Allahu Akbar, death to the tyrants” in front of the home.

A witness said a motorcade of about five cars had stopped in front of the house, with Pagad leader Abdus Salaam Ebrahim in one of them.

“Shortly after 1am, five cars drove past the house, with Pagad members shouting ‘Allahu Akbar, death to the tyrant’. Abdus Salaam was also shouting threats,” the witness said.

The source said police arrived hours after the incident.

Hassan, who earlier said he was puzzled as to why he was being targeted, could not be reached for comment. But family members said it appeared that the attack was related to his work.

“He is a defence attorney, and every citizen in this country has the right to a lawyer. Pagad is obviously not in agreement with this.”

Another family member said: “As a defence attorney, it is his job to represent any accused. Even if a gangster knocks on his door, it is his duty to defend that person.”

Confirming that a Pagad convoy had passed the Hassan home, Ebrahim said they went there after receiving information of an impending attack on the organisation. “Pagad was outside the house, but only after word spread of a planned attack on Pagad. Nobody is going to threaten Pagad; we will never allow it.”

Ebrahim reiterated that Pagad was not involved in the bomb attack on Hassan’s home on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, provincial police confirmed the incident. “A motorcade was in the vicinity, but the faces of the occupants were covered,” Captain FC van Wyk said. He said there were no new developments in the investigation into Wednesday’s bombing.
Cape Argus

March for the Schoolgirls
YMCA 20 May 2014

Organised by Soweto YMCA
• Date: 22 May 2014 (Thursday)
• Time: 10h00
• Assemble: “DOCC” (YMCA), 6545 Rathebe Street, Orlando East
• March to: Orlando Police Station, Mooki Street, Soweto
• Memorandum: To be received by a representative of the Nigerian Embassy
• Enquiries: Portia, 076 079 2895

All sympathetic organizations and individuals are welcome to join the march. Please bring your banners and “Bring Back Our Girls” placards.

The media are most welcome to cover this event.

Issued by:
Soweto YMCA
6545 Rathebe Street, Orlando East, 1804
Tel: 011 935 5329
Portia, 076 079 2895

Cable thief hacked to death in alleged mob attack
News 24 16 May 2014

Johannesburg - A 28-year-old cable thief was found hacked to death along Mkhangoma Road in Kwandengezi, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Friday.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said the man had head and body wounds when police found him on Thursday. He had not been identified.

"It is alleged that the deceased was caught cutting and stealing electricity cables when community members mobilised and assaulted him," Naicker said.

"They allegedly accused him of causing electricity failure in the area since many houses have electricity problems due to cable theft. He was allegedly assaulted, stabbed and hacked to death."

Naicker said the police had opened a case of murder, but that no arrests had been made.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni condemned the killing.

"We need to emphasise that any form of vigilantism will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be arrested, prosecuted and sent to prison," she said in a statement.

"We urge members of the community to work together with the police and Community Policing Forums by giving them information about criminal activities in their areas so that criminals can be arrested. No person should take the law into their own hands."

Land invasion stopped
IOL News 19 May 2014

Durban - The city’s Land Invasion Unit was called out twice to Gillitts on Sunday after squatters tried to build a structure on an open piece of private land.

The unit, whose task is to prevent the establishment of informal settlements, had to twice remove a large group of people who tried putting up informal housing in Stockville Valley.

Matthew Jackson of the Gillitts 2 Community Police Forum said about 20 to 30 people had initially congregated at the foot of a hill leading into the property at about 8am.

They arrived, dressed in overalls, in a bakkie also carrying corrugated iron and other building materials. The squatters began erecting structures after clearing the vegetation, he said, adding that the city’s Land Invasion Unit pounced about two hours later.

Ward 10 councillor, Rick Crouch, says landowners are not taking action to stop squatting in the area. He wants to propose to the council that it charges when the unit has to take people off their land.

Crouch believes the squatters are not indigent.

“They seem to know the law and that if they erect the structures and complete a roof they cannot be evicted,” he said.

Chairman of the Outer West Ratepayers’ Association, Alan Smaldon, said the unit was called again in the afternoon when the group returned. However, he said they seemed to be removing the materials they had put up in the morning rather than attempting to rebuild.

Smaldon said the group was particularly troublesome, as they could not be arrested unless the landowner charged them for trespassing.

Without “any real” consequences, Smaldon fears the group will return.

“There is already an informal settlement on the northernmost part of this 400 hectare property. All we are trying to do is protect our ratepayers,” he said.

“The influx of squatters increases the crime problem and decreases property values.”

Smaldon said the association had been trying to “deal” with about 300 families who had lived on the land since 2005.

“At one stage we had an agreement with the previous city manager (Mike Sutcliffe) that the squatters would be moved (to a) housing project but it never materialised,” he said. “They are desperate for land and housing. I can understand that, but this has got to be stopped or we will have problems like this for some time to come.”

Crouch wants private land owners who fail to secure or monitor their properties to reimburse the city for costs incurred in sending out its Land Invasion Unit.

“Owners of these big plots of land just don’t care. It’s very difficult to get rid of squatters once they are on your land. The owner would then have to go to court for an eviction order as well as find them alternative accommodation to enforcing it,” he said.

Crouch said he would put forward a motion to the council that property owners pay every time the Land Invasion Unit has to respond to a land grab on their property because of the owner’s failure to secure and monitor the property.

Crouch said the amount should be added to the owner’s rates statement and invested back into the unit.

Crouch said the municipality had conducted three surveys of the land and concluded it was not conducive for the building of housing.

“It costs about R85 000 to build an RDP house. With the area being so hilly it would cost double that and the municipality has said they are not interested in buying that land.”

According to a resident, the land had belonged to a VN Naik but after his death some years ago, it seemed to be a “free for all”.

The resident is one of a handful of families who live in formal homes on the land for which they pay a minimal fee.

Thabo Mofokeng, eThekwini Municipality’s spokesman, confirmed the Land Invasion Unit had been called to foil an attempt to invade the land.

“Only one structure had been erected and was demolished by members of the unit,” he said.

Mofokeng would not comment on Crouch’s suggestion, but said it was incumbent on landowners to secure their properties, especially if invasion was ongoing as was the case in Stockville Valley.

8 arrested for mob justice attack
IOL News17 May 2014

Bloemfontein - Eight people have been arrested for involvement in a mob justice attack in the Makwane village, Free State police said on Saturday.

The group were arrested on Friday after allegedly beating up four boys accused of breaking into a house in the neighbourhood, said police spokesman Sergeant Mmako Mophiring.

Residents suspected the boys stole clothes during the burglary at a nearby house on Thursday.

Mophiring said three boys were severely beaten and taken to hospital. They remain under police guard.

The fourth boy was discharged from hospital and is in police custody.

He is due to appear in the Makwana Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Police did not provide the ages of the boys.

Mophiring said the eight community members were due to appear in the same court on Monday, charged with assault. - Sapa

Provocating police disturbing: Ipid
IOL News 16 May 2014

Mthethwa sends stark warning to miners
Johannesburg - Striking mineworkers carrying dangerous weapons and provoking the police is disturbing, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said on Friday.

“The police should not be put in a position where they have to act against individuals who break the law,” Ipid executive director Robert McBride said in a statement.

Ipid was concerned about people being killed, the destruction of property, and intimidation of non-strikers and their families.

“While the right to strike is enshrined in our Constitution, such expression should be done within the framework of the law. The police have the responsibility to protect life, limb, and property.”

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg, North West, and at Northam, in Limpopo, downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12,500 a month.

They have rejected the companies' offer of a 10 percent increase, to take them to a minimum of R12,500 by 2017.

Amcu leaders have vowed to persist with the strike.

Go-slow hits ambulance unit
IOL News 16 May 2014

Durban - Almost a third of provincial ambulances were not operating in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday as paramedics stayed at home or embarked on a go-slow.

The apparent protest action on overtime gripes began on Monday and was expected to continue today. Private emergency service providers have been drafted in to help.

On Monday, about 40 Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) personnel in the uMgungundlovu District, which includes the Pietermaritzburg region did not report for work.

Provincial health spokesman, Desmond Motha, dismissed talk of a strike earlier this week, but admitted staff had been staying away in uMgungundlovu.

“We are not aware of a strike by the emergency medical services staff as no labour union within the department has declared a dispute,” Motha said.

“We have noted with concern that on Monday some staff reported sick and others requested family responsibility leave.”

Motha admitted this posed a threat to service delivery and that the department had swiftly activated contingency plans to ensure adequate service was provided.

A well-placed EMRS source said on Thursday that some emergency workers had embarked on a “go-slow” on Monday because of unhappiness over overtime. He said they had not been paid overtime for four months.

While some staff in the uMgungundlovu area had arrived at work, they were “refusing to do cases”, the source said, confirming that many had booked off sick or taken family responsibility leave.

About 14 EMRS ambulances should have been on the road in the area, but none was operational on Thursday. “In KZN, out of about 180 ambulances, there were only 127 operating today (Thursday),” the source said, adding that EMRS personnel from other districts and private emergency services were filling in the breach in Pietermaritzburg. Private emergency services provider ER24 confirmed they had been called in to assist.

“There was a large overflow of call volume from Monday by EMRS and we have been extremely busy helping them,” ER24’s Pietermaritzburg operations manager, Paul Knoesen, said on Thursday.

“Every call has to be treated as urgent because they generally deal with patients with serious issues. We have been assisting with inter-hospital treatment as well - these are patients who are seriously ill and need to be transported from one hospital to another.”

Knoesen said ER24’s resources had been stretched to the maximum this week because they also had to deploy staff to oversee the Sani2C mountain bike race from Underberg to Scottburgh.

“In Pietermaritzburg we were dealing with about 30 patients per 24-hour shift,” he said. ‘

ER24 were on standby on Friday.
Daily News

Mthethwa sends stark warning to miners
IOL News 16 May 2014

Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned that police will not hesitate to act if striking miners in North West’s platinum mines continue to intimidate and kill their colleagues who want to return to work.

He said the police understood that tension in Rustenburg’s platinum belt was a labour issue, but the police would not sit back while the strike escalated into violence and intimidation.

“We will be here as security. But if the people are attacked, killed and intimidated because they have taken a stance (to return to work), the police must come in and order must be restored,” Mthethwa said on Thursday in an interview with The Star at Marikana police station.

His statements came a few hours after Lonmin announced that several workers had heeded its deadline to return to work by Wednesday.

“Our employees started coming through (to work) on Thursday as part of our call-back SMSes. They needed to indicate via SMS whether they would like to come back,” said Lerato Molebatsi, Lonmin’s executive vice-president of communications and public affairs.

On Thursday, however, Lonmin bowed to pressure from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which is the majority union, and announced it had stopped sending the striking miners SMSes.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned striking miners that police would not sit back and watch the strike turn violent. Photo: Itumeleng English

Management cited security reasons for this decision.

“We have resolved that we are going to stop sending the SMSes and review the process… The return for work is a process which is very delicate.

“People must do so in a way that does not compromise their safety. We are envisaging that in the next few weeks we will see more people trickling in,” Molebatsi said.

Amcu had said the SMSes were proof mine bosses were negotiating in bad faith and that by bypassing them in the negotiations, it indicated they had not learnt from the Marikana massacre in 2012.

Molebatsi appealed to the workers to return, saying the protracted strike was hurting the mine. She did not rule out the possibility of Lonmin approaching the court to stop the strike or retrenching.

“The point is we are running a business and we haven’t done that for the last four months. It is hurting the company, and if the strike continues, we will be left with no option but to consider retrenching,” Molebatsi said.

Mthethwa explained that police had devised a two-pronged safety strategy.

“The first one is security. We will have warm bodies on the ground and instil confidence in those who want to go back to work. (That’s why) from yesterday (Wednesday) the police committed (themselves) to accompanying those (miners) willing to go back to work.

“Secondly, we work within the framework agreement,” he said, referring to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s peace pact in the troubled mining sector.

On Wednesday, Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa accused the government of bias and fomenting violence by deploying the police to the troubled region, instead of a delegation from the ministries of Minerals and Energy and of Labour.

Mthethwa dismissed this assertion, saying:

“Four people have been killed here, so why must the police not come? If he (Mathunjwa) feels that further people must be killed, we don’t.”

Workers have been on strike since January, demanding a minimum wage increase of R12 500 a month across the board. Management has offered a 9.5 percent raise over three years.

Heroes’ welcome for Mmaditlokwe 16
IOL News 15 May 2014

Rustenburg - Sixteen people arrested for public violence in Mmaditlokwe near Marikana, North West, received a heroes' welcome on Thursday.

About 100 residents waiting at the township entrance whistled and ululated as their minibus taxi arrived.

Teenagers sang struggle songs and blew vuvuzelas as the group alighted.

“Welcome back home,” friends and family shouted as they hugged them.

The 14 women and two men were arrested on Tuesday night after residents blocked the Marikana road with burning objects and torched a ward councillor's house.

They were protesting against blasting at the nearby Tharisa chrome mine, claiming it damaged their houses and endangered their lives.

The 16 were released on a warning by the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court and were expected to appear in the Marikana Periodical Court on Monday.

After a brief meeting residents agreed they would protest outside the court on Monday, calling for the charges against the group to be withdrawn.

Mmaditlokwe protests continue
IOL News 15 May 2014

Rustenburg - Residents of Mmaditlokwe near Marikana in the North West on Thursday vowed to continue their protests until 16 arrested people were released.

Residents earlier told Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa they wanted Tharisa chrome mine to stop blasting until they had been moved to another area.

Mthethwa was in Mmaditlokwe to facilitate a dialogue between residents and the mine.

He told residents a task team had been established to look into the issues affecting them and they needed to elect four people to represent them.

“We cannot elect people to serve in a task team when other residents are arrested,” said resident Cecelia Tiro.

Despite Mthethwa's intervention residents headed towards Marikana, intending to march to the Marikana police station to demand the release of those arrested on Tuesday.

Mmaditlokwe is roughly 3km from Marikana.

Police stopped them at the entrance of the township stating that the march was unlawful as they did not apply for a permit.

Residents took to the streets on Tuesday claiming that massive blasts at Tharisa mine endangered their lives.

“There was a heavy blast on Monday that sent rocks high in the air and left the area engulfed in a flood of dust,” said community leader Msokoli George.

He said residents blocked the Marikana roads with garbage and burning objects and also burned down a councillor's house.

In a meeting with Mthethwa, residents said the blasting destroyed their houses and endangered their health.

They demanded that the mine stop blasting until an alternative place has been found for them.

Tharisa CEO Leon Richardson said the mine would limit blasting and inform residents before blasting started.

“We cannot mine without blasting,” he told residents at the meeting.

Residents wanted to know from Richardson where they should go when the mine blasted.

They claimed their houses trembled each time there was a blast at the mine.

Their township is situated approximately 400 metres away from the mine.

Fourteen women and two men were arrested on Tuesday night for public violence and were expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Doom looms over Marikana
IOL News 14 May 2014

Rustenburg - Thousands of mineworkers have gathered at Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West, in anticipation of an address by their union leaders.

Many arrived in the dozens of buses that came from the neighbouring platinum mines.

As they waited they split into groups and toyi-toyied, brandishing knobkieries and performing traditional war stunts.

Red shirts emblazoned with Julius Malema’s EFF party logo blended with the green of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).


striking miners had gathered in Marikana in an attempt to stop their colleagues from returning to work.

Reports that mine bosses at Anglo Platinum, Lonmin and Impala Platinum intended dispatching buses to ferry staff to work today angered many Amcu members.

Mine security guards and the police blockaded the main road leading into Marikana amid reports that striking miners were pelting passing cars with stones.

At Marikana, hundreds of striking miners converged next to the mine shaft from as early as 4am in an attempt to stop the mining companies from breaking their four-month-long strike.

Three school buses pulled in but made a U-turn before moving on.

Schooling was disrupted when teachers were unable to access the area.

Spokesman for the North West Education Department Brian Setswammbung said teachers at two schools had to return home.

The workers vowed not to return to work unless their wage demands of a minimum of R12 500 across the board were met.

“We want R12 500. Asijiki (we won’t give up),” said Tutlo Kgosiene, a striking miner.

He showed The Star an SMS sent by Lonmin informing workers to return to work.

“Please ignore the previous working times. It should be from 07:00 and end at 16:00 so employees can travel to and from work during working hours. Buses will run from first light,” read one of the text messages.

Workers told The Star that they were being bombarded by SMSes from mine bosses ordering them back to work.

Some said they saw this as “divide and rule tactics” to avoid paying the R12 500.

An early message to workers read: “Thank you to all those Lonmin employees that have responded to our settlement offer.

“We look forward to welcoming you back to work on 14 May. Transport details will be communicated shortly.

“Striking employees who have not yet responded can still indicate their intention to accept the offer – either by sending an SMS with their name, ID number and company number and the word ‘YES’ to 42775; or by sending an e-mail with same details to wages@lonmin. Employees outside of South Africa must send their SMS to 0027831421004809.”

It emerged last week that Lonmin had decided to restart operations despite Amcu turning down the latest wage offer of 9 percent.

Sporadic acts of violence and intimidation and killings have been reported since the strike started but the violence escalated on Monday when four workers were murdered and several others injured.

The situation was tense on Wednesday morning as workers, mostly those affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers, returned to work.

A mineworker who did not want to be named said the only people going into the mine were officials – no miners had gone in and the buses that were supposed to collect them had not arrived.

“We don’t know whether it’s true that there are those that accepted the offer. If there are, maybe they are scared of going to work today,” he said.

The source said miners began meeting at 1am, blocking the roads with rocks and burning tyres.

Amcu’s Lonmin chairman Jack Khoba said if miners accepted the offer from the employer they could not remain members.

He said SMSes were the company’s way of intimidating workers into returning to work.

“This is just propaganda from the employer and they won’t succeed. We know the strategy of the management.”

But Lonmin spokesman Happy Nkomo insisted the SMSes were simply an invitation to the workers to return to work.

While he could not say who had accepted Lonmin’s offer, Nkomo said Amcu workers had indicated they would remain on strike.

Several other workers, who did not belong to Amcu, stated that they wanted to return to work.

On Tuesday spokesman for the Ministry of Police David Barritt said the police officers would escort miners who wanted to work today.

“We are going to be escorting buses and increasing patrols along main routes and in residential areas,” Barritt said.

NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said their members wanted to return to work today.

“As we have said in the past, we are not on strike and want to work. We want Lonmin to provide security arrangements for our members and other employees who want to work. That has not been happening. If Lonmin can guarantee that not a single miner will be killed or assaulted, we will be very happy,” he said.

At least 10 buses ferrying Amcu workers from other mines arrived in Marikana this morning ahead of a public address by their union bosses at the nearby Wonderkop Stadium.

Nine arrested after alleged mob slaying
IOL News 8 May 2014

Johannesburg - Three people were killed in an apparent mob justice attack in Mthatha, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said residents of Chris Hani Park assaulted four men with bush knives, sticks and pangas on Wednesday. Three died and one managed to escape.

The community accused them of rape and robbery.

Nine people - men and women, aged between 22 and 29 - were arrested for the killings.

The nine were expected to appear in the Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Friday on murder charges.

Fatyela said the incident was not related to the elections.

Protesters block Mmaditlokwe roads
IOL News 14 May 2014

Rustenburg - Residents of Mmaditlokwe near Marikana in the North West burned tyres and blockaded roads on Wednesday, demanding the release of 16 people arrested for public violence.

Community leader Msokoli George said residents took to the streets on Tuesday after a massive blast at Tharisa chrome mine on Monday.

“The explosion was so high rocks fell close to the houses and the area was engulfed in a cloud of dust,” said George.

He said 14 women and two men were arrested on Tuesday night for public violence after they embarked on a protest.

Residents have vowed not to sleep until the 16 have been released.

They told police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that they would only be satisfied if the 16 were released and their concerns pertaining to water, electricity and roads were attended to.

Mthethwa, who was on his way from Marikana police station, told residents that he would be back on Thursday, together with mine management and Rustenburg municipal officials, to resolve issues of concern to the community.

He told them those who where arrested were no longer in the hands of the police but were the responsibility of the courts.

Residents heckled Mthethwa as he tried to calm them down and explain the processes that led to the arrests.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

The strike has cost the companies over R17.8 billion in revenue and workers have reportedly lost more than R7.9bn in earnings.

The platinum producers recently resolved to approach striking mineworkers directly about their latest pay offer, in a bid to end the strike.

Amcu objected, raising fears of friction between striking mineworkers and those who wished to return to work.

Three miners and one of their wives were killed in separate incidents in Rustenburg since Sunday, prompting police to deploy reinforcements in the area.

Domestic Workers will again protest against

Racist, Mandela-hating, Face Spitting “white” man appearing in Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 15 May 2014

The face and sad reality of the lives of many Domestic Workers will be heard again at Cape Town Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

The depth of the hatred of a white man toward his girlfriend’s Domestic Worker is a sad indictment of all that we as a nation have tried to build and one of the most blatant attacks on one of the architects of this democracy we hold dear.

Domestic Worker Gloria Kente was called a {“K…..r”, manhandled and spat in the face; then told that “you are a k….r and pathetic because you stole our land”; and “I wish that cripple Mandela would die”;] - by a ruthless white man, in the home of her employer.

To the employer’s credit she advised Gloria to go directly to the Police Station to institute charges against this man. The courts have a duty to deal swiftly and ruthlessly with individuals and groups of people who by their actions show that they are still racist, uncouth; and abusers of workers and women.

Domestic Work is decent work and you have no business abusing us, racially, physically, mentally, emotionally or financially. No longer will we accept this!


The employee was offered a settlement to make the case “go away” but she refused.......Gloria says – “It’s not about the money”......

The employer who initially encouraged her is no longer a willing witness.......

Members of the Press are invited to come to the Courts on Thursday 15th May where workers will show solidarity outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, and where the Domestic Workers will address journalists at 11h30, on the steps of the courts.

With questions, please call General Secretary Myrtle Witbooi - 078 8414382

EFF gathering in Edenvale sparks rumours of protest
14 arrested EFF members were detained in Edenvale.
Charmaine Slater 12 May 2014

Violent protests moved from Alexandra to Kempton Park and eventually to Edenvale on Friday night. 14 people were arrested and detained at the Edenvale Police Station.
A large group of Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) members arrived at the Edenvale Police Station on Saturday afternoon.

The gathering sparked rumours of a protest.
This followed a night of violence in Alexandra involving EFF members.

Violent protests moved from Alexandra to Kempton Park and eventually to Edenvale on Friday night. 14 people were arrested and detained at the Edenvale Police Station.
Violent protests moved from Alexandra to Kempton Park and eventually to Edenvale on Friday night. 14 people were arrested and detained at the Edenvale Police Station.
PreviousNextPreviousNext“Violent protests moved from Alexandra to Kempton Park and eventually to Edenvale on Friday night,” acting spokesperson for the Edenvale SAPS, Lieutenant Colonel Robbie Roberts said.
14 people were arrested and detained at the Edenvale Police Station.

“When the group arrived at the police station we blocked off the road anticipating a protest, but those who arrived were just visiting fellow members detained overnight,” Lt Col Roberts said.

He added that group leaders were then called into a meeting with station management and an agreement was reached.

“We had to make it clear that such a large group of people could not be granted visitation to detained persons and that under the laws of a gathering what they were doing was illegal,” Lt Col Roberts said.

The 14 arrested appeared in court this morning along with over 70 overs arrested over the weekend

Durban mayor pelted by city workers
IOL News 6 May 2014

Durban - Mayor James Nxumalo and members of the city’s executive committee were pelted with plastic bottles and stones by angry municipal workers on Monday.

Employees had rejected the mayor’s promise to make a final decision only after the elections on the millions of rand in backpay owed to them.

The situation worsened at the meeting at the Curries Fountain soccer stadium when a shop steward – angered by the pelting – pulled out a gun and pointed it at those responsible. A mob charged at him with fists and flying kicks.

The angry employees managed to disarm the shop steward, identified as Sifiso Hlongwa from the electricity department, and pummelled him with a series of blows to his head and body.

Hlongwa was also whipped with a sjambok as police battled to contain the mob and rescue the man.

As the melee continued from one end of the soccer pitch to the other, the city’s executive committee, comprising Nxumalo, city manager S’bu Sithole, Speaker Logie Naidoo, councillors Nondumiso Cele, Fawzia Peer and ANC eThekwini chairman Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, the MEC for Health, were whisked away by more than half a dozen bodyguards.

Police were able to pull the bloodied shop steward away from the mob and put him into one of their vehicles, a minibus.

They also retrieved his handgun.

Last night members of the executive committee – whose work had been postponed until after the elections – were called to an urgent closed door meeting to decide on the workers’ demands and find a way forward.

The municipality said in statement later that it noted the events with concern. It described the protest action as unlawful and violent.

“The mayor has called an urgent Special Executive Committee meeting to look into this matter and find a way forward,” the municipality said, adding it was committed to finding an amicable solution.

The drama occurred after more than 3 000 ANC-aligned members of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) packed the Curries Fountain stadium for feedback from the city’s executive committee on a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling that awarded them millions in backpay.

In September the court reversed the city’s divisional conditions of service agreement – implemented in 2007 as part of a plan to unify the various entities under the newly created eThekwini Municipality – and ordered it to back pay affected employees who had been stripped of allowances and other benefits.

The action was initially brought by two unions, Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu), in the Labour Court. After they won, the city took the decision on appeal to the SCA and lost again.

In October, city manager S’bu Sithole established a technical task team to quantify the financial implications for the municipality.

A report by the task team estimated that the city would have to pay staff more than R185 million in backpay.

According to a proposal, presented to employees by the city over the past month, the city agreed to back pay employees, but only for three years – as set out in the Prescription Act, which states a claim for debt expires after three years if no attempt to collect it has been made.

Samwu rejected the three-year pay offer on the basis that the city “arrogantly” appealed the Labour Court decision and allowed the matter to drag on for seven years.

On Monday mayor Nxumalo, dressed in a black ANC leather jacket, apologised to the union members for the previous administration’s decision to implement the service agreements without fully consulting workers.

He said the new administration was now dealing “with the sins of the father”.

He was however jeered and booed when he told the crowd that the executive committee would meet on May 15 to make a decision on the backpay.

“We want our money now,” shouted a man in the crowd.

“Voetsak,” said another.

As the mayor made his way back to his seat a large section of the crowd began leaving the stadium, some pelting the mayor and his executive team.

Nxumalo refused to speak to the Daily News at the stadium.

Samora Ndlovu, Samwu’s KZN chairman, said the union would not be commenting on on Monday’s events until after further negotiations with the city. He could not say when the negotiations would take place.

Ndlovu also refused to comment on his members pelting the mayor, or the disruption caused by them in the city centre.

“We will comment when the time is right,” he said.

Dhlomo referred all questions to the mayor’s office.

The municipality said in its statement that negotiations were currently under way with the provincial and national treasury and the KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

“Since the (SCA) ruled on the matter, the municipality has been engaged with labour on how the decision of the court should be implemented. The negotiations have resulted in agreements on most of the issues by all the parties concerned,” it said.

“The only outstanding issue has been the period within which to effect payment to affected employees.”

No use voting, say angry protesters
Kamcilla Pillay and Mphathi Nxumalo (IOL News) 6 May 2014

Durban - Thousands of residents from informal settlements on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast took to the streets, burning tyres and throwing rocks to protest at the lack of service delivery.

They have also vowed to abstain from voting in tomorrow’s general elections, saying it meant “nothing” to them.

About 5 000 people protested near Nsuze on the R614, between Wartburg and oThongathi.

The protest started at 2am and came to a halt at midday on Monday after police intervened, arresting one man.

Angry shack dwellers said there was no point in voting.

“We still have no electricity and even though we have taps, there is no running water here,” said Phethile Ngubane, 43.

“We still cut wood in the bush to cook and keep warm. What’s changed?”

She said she was fed up with the lack of development and functioning infrastructure in eMbilini in Ward 8.

“Locally, there is no good governance, only bribery and tenders,” she said.

“Twenty years later and there is no improvement in our lives, so what else can we do?”

Jane Gumede, 53, said the government had forced their hand. “They make us fight even for basic things.”

An 18-year-old “born-free” and potential first-time voter said she was losing faith in the government.

“I am not motivated at all to go and vote. For what? We don’t even have street lights in this area or a bridge for children to cross to get to school safely,” she said.

“They don’t care about us.”

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I grew up in this area. We see other areas being developed. Development is going past us. On election day we are going to the voting station and telling people to make three crosses on the ballot paper so that they spoil their vote.”

The resident said they asked the local councillor to talk to the mayor about installing electricity in their homes, but they had not received any feedback.

Another resident, who also asked to remain anonymous, said she would also not vote.

“We have to go to the river every day to get water while we have to watch people from other areas having their areas developed. On Wednesday we will be at the school protesting and encouraging people not to vote or to spoil their votes,” she said.

“We are fed up with what is going on here. It seems as if they are deliberately targeting us with underdevelopment. We are not asking for much.

“We are not even asking for RDP houses. All we want is access to water and electricity, that is all. They (politicians) only remember us during election time.”

Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed that a man was arrested during the protest. He was to have appeared in the Nsuze Magistrate’s Court today.

He said the large number of protesters who hailed from eMbilini, eSdumbini, Phambilini, Naleni, Mgetane, Ntabamhlo-phe, Nophamba and Umcathu had dispersed after more than six hours.

Thembani Ngongoma, national spokesman for Abahlali baseMjondolo, said while they had not been involved in on Monday’s protest, they understood the issues.

“It’s unfortunate that people have to protest to be heard. We know how difficult it is to engage with the powers that be,” he said.

Ngongoma added that abstaining or spoiling votes did not achieve any real change.

It often left the same people in power, he said.

Drivers, metro cops square off
IOL News 8 May 2014

Durban - Angry taxi drivers blockaded Mathews Meyiwa Road (First Avenue) and other roads around Durban Station on Thursday with burning tyres and threw objects at metro police and photographers who tried to get closer to the toyi-toying mob.

The drivers, with the Durban Long Distance Taxi Association, told the Daily News that they would blockade this road “for the whole year” if their demands were not met by metro police.

The association’s BQ Nzuza said this morning metro police impounded six of their taxis for being parked illegally in Mathews Meyiwa Road.

The drivers park and sleep in their taxis on this road and last month, these taxi drivers were told to no longer park on a vacant piece of land in this road.

“They tell us to go and park in a holding area in Dalton, that is too far because we work from First Avenue so it makes sense for us to park here,” he said.

Nzuza said metro police knew this and yet their taxis continued to be impounded and they were now “sick of metro police, they have been urinating on us for years”.

A taxi owner, Gaba Zuma, claimed that metro police were “abusing” their taxi drivers and making their working conditions unbearable.

“We want (Eugene) Nzama (the head of metro police) to come here and explain to us how long this will go on for because we are not moving from here till he comes and tells us where exactly our drivers are meant to park,” said Zuma.

Metro police spokesman, Eugene Msomi, said these drivers were not allowed to hold (park off) illegally if their allocated rank was full.

“The issue of the holding area in Dalton being too far is something they can discuss with our colleagues in the Ethekwini Transport Authority unit, who are responsible for providing infrastructure to the transport industry.

“Otherwise metro police’s duty is to ensure compliance with road traffic laws,” said Msomi.

He said if the association wanted to speak to Nzama, there were channels that needed to be followed and blockading roads was not one of them.

Volunteer’s murder shocks ANC
IOL News 2 May 2014

Durban - The African National Congress expressed its shock on Friday at the murder of one of its KwaZulu-Natal volunteers at Esigqumeni in KwaSwayimane.

“The ANC is appalled by the cold-blooded murder of cde Wiseman Ngubane who was a dedicated volunteer of our movement,” the party's provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said.

Ngubane was shot on Thursday night as he was getting out of his car after having given some friends a lift.

“No one knows who shot him.”

He said police were investigating and it was not yet clear if the crime was politically motivated. Comment from the police was not immediately available.

Rail staff return after strike
IOL News 5 May 2014

Durban - Metrorail employees have been allowed to return to work following their dismissal for going on an unprotected, two-week-long strike.

National spokesman for SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, Vincent Masoga, told the Daily News that the 68 drivers and 63 metro train guards resumed their duties on Thursday after Metrorail agreed to meet the workers to discuss their concerns.

Masoga said that “a few technical issues” still needed to be discussed, but did not want to go into more detail until talks had been completed.

“We are pleased that Metrorail has agreed to meet to discuss our grievances. We hope we have an agreeable outcome,” he said.

Security, he said, was still a sore point for those who embarked on the strike action.

The drivers told the Daily News at the time of the strike that they feared for their lives after five colleagues had been assaulted by angry commuters in several separate incidents in uMlazi and on the North Coast.

The workers had gone on the wildcat strike on the eve of the Easter weekend.

Metrorail had to drop the number of trains operating in eThekwini and parts of the north and south by a third, about 145 fewer trains than usual.

At the time, Metrorail regional manager Dumi Dube said that the drivers had gone on an unprotected strike, despite reaching an agreement with management to resolve security concerns.

He said management had resolved to dismiss the employees after they “failed to follow the appropriate legal processes governing strike action”.

Metrorail spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal, Zama Nomnganga, did not to respond last night to Daily News inquiries regarding the discussions and the new security measures.

KZN town protests over service delivery
IOL News 5 May 2014

Durban - At least 5000 people protested over service delivery in the Nsuze area in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, police said.

Captain Thulani Zwane said they blocked the R614 road with burning tyres and stones. There were no reports of injuries or damage, and police were keeping watch.

Nsuze is almost midway between Tongaat on the KwaZulu-Natal coast and Wartburg in the Midlands

41 held after Richards Bay violence
Adam Wakefield (IOL News) 6 May 2014

Durban - Forty-one people were arrested for public violence and arson after a community hall in Mandlazini, Richards Bay, was torched on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

“At approximately 3am, at Mandlazini, a group of approximately 300 people blockaded the road in a service delivery protest,” Captain Thulani Zwane said.

People dispersed, returned to the community hall and set it on fire. The 41 arrested were aged between 15 and 63 and would appear in the Richards Bay Magistrate's Court on Thursday. The situation was under control.

“The political party they belong to is unknown at this stage,” Zwane said.

African National Congress KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala claimed those arrested were Economic Freedom Fighters members.

“Ten people were arrested while on their way to torch another voting station in KwaMbonambi outside Richards Bay,” he said.

EFF provincial spokesman Phillip Mhlongo directed queries about what happened in Mandlazini to a regional spokesman, who was not immediately available for comment.

Mhlongo said the ANC was doing its utmost to discredit his party.

“All of us are aware and mindful of the fact the EFF has been calling for a peaceful transition of the emancipation of our people,” Mhlongo said.

Zikalala said the EFF had revealed it did not shy away from violence and sabotage in pursuit of its political agenda.

The ruling party called on law enforcement agencies to act swiftly to avert any violence which may threaten citizens exercising their right to vote.

“The ANC considers people's right to choose their government as sacrosanct, inalienable and worth safeguarding at all cost,” Zikalala said.

“The right to vote is the culmination of our people's struggle and it is written in the blood of many heroes of our liberation movement, hence no one can be allowed interfere with this right.”

Mhlongo said the ruling party understood it was on the back foot, trying to pin violence on the EFF and scare voters.

“This is what they are trying to do. I know for a fact that none of our comrades dare threaten ANC members. I speak from my own experience,” Mhlongo said.

“They are aware that Julius Malema and EFF are threatening the entire status quo, where the ANC has been lying to the people of the country. No EFF activist or member can go stone the property of the community.”

He said the ANC was trying to marginalise the EFF.

“They are trying to cover up their own corrupt core,” Mhlongo said.

Voting station destroyed in KZN
IOL News 6 May 2014

Police have arrested 35 people for burning a voting station near Richards Bay during a service delivery protest.

Durban - Police have arrested 35 people for burning a voting station near Richards Bay during a service delivery protest on Monday night.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni revealed this during a parade of 1 000 policemen to be deployed around KZN. She warned the police would be “merciless” against any form of crime, especially that which might disrupt voting.

Ngobeni said the 35 were arrested in Mandlazini for torching the community centre which was to be used as a voting station.

“A few hooligans became unruly and burnt a community hall and we are sending a message that crime does not pay and we will be merciless in dealing with such acts,” Ngobeni said.

IEC provincial electoral officer, Mawethu Mosery, said the IEC would now have to set up a temporary voting station in the area but was pleased that police had acted quickly.

The 1 000 police officers who left Durban are part of the 17 000 police officers who would be deployed in KZN. Ngobeni also announced that there were additional police officers due to arrive in the province on Tuesday from the national office.

“Together with the IEC and intelligence services we have identified voting stations that are low, medium and high risk. This will determine the numbers deployed to these areas. Deployment will only end after the election-related activities,” Ngobeni said.

Every available police officer would be deployed, but she said the day-to-day policing work would not be affected. Officers based at the head office and from special units would be used to complement staff at police stations to ensure these were not left severely understaffed.

“No activities will be happening without consultation and the guidance of our PEO (provincial electoral officer). We are closing any loopholes that were identified in previous deployments.”

National officers would be deployed to KwaMashu and Wembezi C Section, the two areas being watched the most as there are fears that violence could flare up before and after the election.

Mosery urged police officers to “be as alert after voting as we are before and during voting”. He said after the voting process people were likely to react to the results and police needed to keep a close eye.

He said police should also make sure that they secure voting material.

“Please ensure the materials of elections do not end up in wrong hands. It is my wish that what has happened in the Western Cape must not happen in KZN.”

He also urged police to ensure that no political activity such as campaigning and loudhailing takes place within the voting stations. He said the only activity that should take place within the boundaries of voting stations was voting itself.

MEC for Community Safety, Willies Mchunu, sounded confident that the province would deliver free elections. “Our elections are certainly not going to be similar to the 1994 experience, you (the police) have worked hard in the past 20 years.”

Mchunu said police in KZN were faced with unique challenges in that they also had to deal with faction fights, political violence and taxi violence, but said they had done well in curbing crimes such as cash-in-transit heists.

Meanwhile, the IEC said it had administered about half of the 60 000 special votes in KZN on Monday.

“The problem we were getting is that we could not find some people at home and those we did not find will now have to come to the voting stations,” Mosery said.

Election day murder ‘not political’
IOL News 13 May 2014

Durban - Initial investigations into the killing of an ANC supporter in KwaDukuza do not indicate that the murder was politically motivated, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Tuesday.

“There is no evidence at this stage to indicate that it's political. We are dealing with a purely criminal matter and investigations are ongoing,” spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said.

Hundreds of African National Congress supporters converged on the KwaDukuza Magistrate's Court for the brief appearance of Dumisani Bright Nxumalo, 28, on Monday.

He is charged with the murder of Thandi Nuh Mhlongo. Mhlongo was manning an ANC information desk outside the voting station in Lindelani on the night of May 7 when she was shot, allegedly by Nxumalo. He was arrested the next day.

Naicker said he could not reveal more about the case as investigations were still underway.

On Thursday ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala condemned the killing.

“We condemn this heinous and barbaric attack in the strongest possible terms. It is clear that the killing had been well planned to instil fear among ANC volunteers on election day,” he said.

It had initially been reported that the victim was a man.

The case against Nxumalo was postponed to next Monday to allow him to obtain legal representation and apply for bail.

Township tense after poll slaying
IOL News 9 May 2014

Durban - Tensions are running high in Lindelani township, KwaDukuza (Stanger), after the killing of an ANC member 30 metres from a voting station.

Mother-of-three Nu Mhlongo, 30, was gunned down just two days after she celebrated her birthday.

Her death has left the community tense, sparking accusations and counter-accusations between the IFP and ANC.

A witness, Zazi Thwala, 40, said Mhlongo was “shot and she died in my yard”, near where the ANC was manning a tent, assisting voters on their way to the nearby ward 4 community hall.

He said a group of ANC supporters had been singing and dancing outside his home after the voting stations had closed, when they saw some IFP supporters approaching, also singing.

“We quickly went back into our tent.

“When they approached us they sang louder,” Thwala said.

He said the crowd of IFP supporters drew near and parted, revealing someone carrying a gun.

“He aimed at us and fired a shot. She was shot on the left side of her chest.”

Thwala said the crowd then closed ranks and “carried on singing as if nothing had happened.

“I ran into my house as everyone around me was running in different directions.”

Zanele Ntuli, 37, who was among the ANC supporters when the single shot rang out, was still shaken on Thursday when she spoke to the Daily News.

She said she was too frightened to go to work because of the ugly mood in Lindelani.

Ntuli said the owner of the tent who had hired it out to them was too scared to pick it up.

Mhlongo’s brother, Siboniso Qwabe, said he still could not believe his sister had died.

“Maybe after the funeral it will sink in. Right now I am still in shock and I am at a loss for words. She was the breadwinner in the family. She did everything for us. I don’t know how we will cope without her.”

He said Mhlongo’s three children, Siyamthanda, 18 months, Nomvelo, 6, and Ayanda, 9, were now without the mother they needed.

IFP deputy national chairman, Albert Mncwango, insisted Mhlongo was killed by a member of her own party.

“I would like to clarify that the person who shot the victim was a fellow ANC member. He is known to be hostile and aggressive. IFP members were walking towards their own tent when someone from the ANC fired a shot toward the IFP crowd. The shot hit an ANC member instead.”

KZN premier Senzo Mchunu, accompanied by Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma went to pay their respects at Mhlongo’s home, 100m from where the shooting took place.

He said: “The situation will be closely monitored. Her death has left us in a state of despair, as if our efforts to end political violence were for nothing.”

Dlamini Zuma said: “The ANC is a disciplined organisation that follows the law. There will be no revenge attacks. We will carry on the spirit Nu left us with and take the ANC forward.”

Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said the motive for the killing was unknown.

ANC member killed in KZN
IOL News 8 May 2014

Durban - An ANC supporter was killed outside a voting station in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday, the party said.

The person was allegedly killed by a member of an opposition party, African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the shooting took place outside the Lindelani voting station at about 9.30pm.

According to Jackson, “this comrade was killed while sitting at the ANC desk outside a voting station”.

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) spokesman for the province Thabani Ngwira said he had not heard of the incident.

The ANC called on the IEC and police to urgently investigate the matter.

“This killing is clearly calculated to undermine free and fair elections.”

However, Zwane said the motive for the attack was unknown and police were investigating.

He appealed to ANC supporters to exercise restraint.

Earlier, acting Government Communication and Information System CEO Phumla Williams said in a statement two deaths outside polling stations were recorded on Wednesday but did not provide further details.

She said 97 people were arrested for offences related to Wednesday's general elections.

Police escort for miners
IOL News 14 May 2014

Johannesburg - North West police on Wednesday morning began escorting buses to mines on the platinum belt as some striking miners returned to work.

“We are escorting buses that are transporting workers to work - those who want to go back to work - and protecting people,” Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

“Everything is in place. Police are out and about doing their work.”

Members belonging to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools in January demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The strike has cost the companies about R14 billion in revenue and workers have lost over R6bn in earnings.

Lonmin warned that it might implement restructuring that could lead to a loss of jobs if striking mineworkers failed to return to work on Wednesday.

The company set May 14 as the deadline for employees to end the almost four-month-old strike.

Fears of friction between strikers and miners wishing to return to work arose when Amcu objected to employers approaching miners with their wage offer directly in a bid to end the strike.

On Monday, police said three miners were killed and six others stabbed while on their way to work.

A 60-year-old miner had been stabbed to death, another miner died after being set alight, and a third mineworker and his wife were strangled to death. - Sapa

Parties fuel strike violence: SAPS
IOL News 13 May 2014
By Gavin Emmanuel

Johannesburg - North West police on Tuesday appealed to political parties to stop fuelling tensions in the platinum belt.

“EFF leader (Julius Malema) said miners should intensify their strike. People should be cautious of the statements they make,” said spokesman Brigadier Thulane Ngubane.

“This country is not a banana republic. It's a state with laws and those laws must be respected. We are going to have a zero tolerance approach to anyone who breaks the law.”

Those miners who wanted to return to work were escorted by police on Tuesday and no violence was reported.

Economic Freedom Fighters' spokesman Mboyiseni Ndlozi said the party would not apologise for the statements.

“We don't apologise for the statements we made while addressing the miners. We encourage the miners and the unions not to sell-out. We are the only party that is encouraging the employees and employers to do what is right,” said Ndlozi.

On Tuesday the EFF said it would donate R50,000 to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (Amcu) strike fund. It was created to help platinum mineworkers who have been on a wage strike since January 23.

“The EFF calls on all South Africans and the international community to also contribute in solidarity with workers,” said Ndlozi.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum operations in Rustenburg, North West, and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The strike has cost the companies about R14.4 billion in revenue and workers have lost over R6.4bn in earnings.

Implats spokesman Johan Theron said all operations remained closed at their mine.

“Our mine remains closed at the moment. The only staff that is working is the essential staff such as security, maintenance workers and hospital staff.”

Lonmin has given a deadline of May 14 for employees to return to work.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told SABC news he could not take the blame for violence in the platinum belt.

“I don't take any blame. Why should I shoulder the blame? The point is clear since the start of the strike we said to the workers, those who are not members of Amcu, should go freely.”

He told the broadcaster he was not accountable for the violence in Rustenburg.

“The violence in Rustenburg has not started in 2012 or 2014. We've got nothing to do with that. Police must do their work,” he said.

On Monday National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) regional secretary Sydwell Dolokwana blamed Amcu members for the death of three miners. Two were killed at the weekend and another on Monday.

“We blame Amcu for the deaths because 1/8they 3/8 intimidated our members who wanted to go to work on Monday,” Dolokwana said.

He said Lonmin was also to blame.

“Our employer urged workers to report for duty on Monday and they could not even ensure the safety of the workers.”

Fears of friction between strikers and miners wishing to resume work arose when Amcu objected to employers approaching miners with their wage offer directly in a bid to end the strike.

Implats, Lonmin, and Amplats have called on Amcu to exercise responsible leadership and to protect the rights of those who wanted to work.

“We recognise the right to strike as a fundamental right of employees, a right which has been respected throughout the dispute,” they said.

“But we have a responsibility to communicate directly with our employees... our employees wish to return to work, but have expressed a fear of continued intimidation and violence.”

Chrome mine protest turns violent
IOL News13 May 2014

Maditloka - Sixteen people were arrested after allegedly pelting police with stones during a protest in Mmaditloka, near Marikana, on Tuesday, North West police said.

“(The protest) was about the chrome mines, people said (the mines) caused damage to their property,” Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said.

The protest did not appear to be related to the on-going platinum strike.

Those arrested would appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court.

Ngubane said he could not immediately give further details.

There have been tensions in the area recently as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union objected to employers approaching miners with their wage offer directly in a bid to end the four-month strike in the platinum sector.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum operations in Rustenburg, North West, and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

Earlier, Ngubane appealed to political parties to stop fuelling tensions in the area.

“This country is not a banana republic. It's a state with laws and those laws must be respected. We are going to have a zero tolerance approach to anyone who breaks the law.

“Economic Freedom Fighters leader (Julius Malema) said miners should intensify their strike. People should be cautious of the statements they make,” Ngubane said.

EFF spokesman Mboyiseni Ndlozi said the party would not apologise for the statements.

“We don't apologise for the statements we made while addressing the miners. We encourage the miners and the unions not to sell out. We are the only party that is encouraging the employees and employers to do what is right,” said Ndlozi.

On Monday National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) regional secretary Sydwell Dolokwana blamed Amcu members and Lonmin for the death of three miners. Two were killed at the weekend and another on Monday.

“We blame Amcu for the deaths because (they) intimidated our members who wanted to go to work on Monday,” Dolokwana said.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told SABC news his union could not take the blame for violence in the platinum belt.

Implats, Lonmin, and Amplats have called on Amcu to exercise responsible leadership and to protect the rights of those who wanted to work and defended their decision to communicate with striking workers directly.

Attempt to torch voting station
IOL News 5 May 2014

Sterkspruit - An attempt was made to burn down an Eastern Cape school, said to be used as a voting station, Sterkspruit police said on Monday.

“Attempts were made by unknown people to burn a school hall... in the Makhetheng admin area in Sterkspruit,” Colonel Sibongile Soci said in a statement.

A guard at the Ekuzoleni Junior Secondary School noticed smoke coming from the school hall in the early hours of the morning. He found burning tyres inside the hall and a broken window.

“School material, including books, chairs and cabinets, were destroyed,” Soci said.

An arson docket was opened. No arrests had been made yet, but police were following leads. Soci said the area was being monitored and additional members were on standby.

The Electoral Commission of SA said it would comment later.

Bekkersdal burns ahead of polls
6 May 2014

Gauteng will be main focus of final sprint
Johannesburg - Rioting broke out in Bekkersdal township in Gauteng on the eve of the general election, one of several hotspots where the army has been deployed to keep order, police said Tuesday.

“We have received reports of disturbances in Bekkersdal where residents have blockaded roads with burning tyres,” said police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini.

“At this stage we don't know the cause of the violence,” he said adding that no injuries had been reported.

Bekkersdal township, south west of Johannesburg, has been hit by intermittent unrest since last year, as residents protest a lack of public services in the area.

Violence intensified early this year, resulting in the destruction of public buildings, with local officials accused of corruption and nepotism.

The community has vowed to boycott the Wednesday vote.

The SABC reported that a polling station in the area was also burnt down.

Bekkersdal is one of the places where the army has been deployed to assist the police to maintain order during voting.

Violent protests directed at the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have sprung up in various parts of the country, as poor communities protest against shoddy public services.

Despite this growing disaffection, Wednesday's election is expected to hand the ruling ANC its fifth consecutive victory since the fall of apartheid in 1994.

DA, ANC clash avoided in Katlehong
Shanti Aboobaker 7 May 2014

Johannesburg - A violent standoff between exuberant ANC and DA supporters in Katlehong was avoided on Wednesday night, when official opposition leader, Helen Zille and Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane visited the area.

Also in Katlehong was ANC Youth League national task team convenor, Mzwandile Masina, who said Zille was tempting “anarchy” by coming into the “black township”.

He alleged the crowd of DA supporters, which numbered less than one hundred people, was a “rented mob”.

“Zille is a known racist and mouth-piece of capital and these masses know the ANC – nothing else,” Masina later tweeted.

The DA hit back on social networking site, Twitter, saying Masina and the ANC were intolerant.

“Can you imagine if the same was said to (SACP general secretary) Blade (Nzimande) in (Durban suburb) Umhlanga,” DA MP John Steenhuisen tweeted.

Zille and Maimane were in the area to visit the Mogobeng Primary School voting station, which appeared peaceful and efficient.

DA supporters in the street earlier welcomed Maimane and Zille.

Further down, ANC supporters enjoyed drinks at a tavern, but by the time Zille and Maimane were leading down a procession of peaceful and singing marchers, the ANC had convened a rival march to meet the opposition.

It was unclear if there might be a violent clash – but this was avoided somehow.

Meanwhile, Zille used Katlehong to end of a day in which she darted across the country, visiting three provinces.

Visibly tired, she nevertheless managed to toyi-toyi and sing – and all this in high-heel stilettos, which she said were picked by her stylist Janine Schouw.

But Zille and her team of aides’ night was only beginning, as they were to then make their way to the IEC’s results operation centre, where her chief of staff, Geordin Hill-Lewis said the key results would begin to become clear around 3 am.

Zille and the DA will be especially keen to see what voter turn-out looks like, Hill-Lewis said.

EFF supporters block Pretoria road
IOL News 7 May 2014

Tshwane metro police dispersed Economic Freedom Fighters supporters who blocked Paul Kruger Street in central Pretoria on Wednesday evening.

The EFF supporters left many cars, some attended, parked adjacent to the voting station at the City Hall.

Frustrated motorists hooted and some shouted at the EFF supporters to remove their vehicles.

As several police cars arrived, the EFF swiftly removed their cars and sped off.

Four metro police cars were parked in the busy Paul Kruger Street.

Before 8pm, people were still streaming into the City Hall to cast their votes.

A long, winding queue of hundreds of people was slowly moving towards the voting tents. - Sapa

Violence erupts near Springs
Gavin Emmanuel 7 May 2014

Johannesburg - Residents of the Everest informal settlement outside Springs threw stones at passing motorists on Wednesday night, prompting police to chase after them.

Two roads leading into the settlement were closed off by police before 9pm.

Police chased the stone-throwers with two police Nyalas. No arrests had yet been made.

Residents were also burning tyres on the main road that passes through the township.

By 9pm, the voting station had not closed as people were coming in slowly.

There were no queues at the voting station throughout the day, apparently because people were being intimidated.

“I'm scared for my life,” said voter Nokuthula Dlamini earlier.

“I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight because they threatened to attack us at night.”

Earlier, a group of residents threatened a night attack on voters.

A youngster, who gave his name only as Sipho, said: “We are not voting. Those who vote, we are going to find them at night.”

Protesters had called on residents not to vote, citing their living conditions and demanding the release of people arrested in protests in the area earlier this week.

In the nearby Gugulethu informal settlement, a Transnet building was torched on Monday and 46 people were arrested for public violence.

Police tried to calm an early morning protest by imploring people to save it for another day and rather go and cast their votes.

Army moves into Alexandra
IOL News 9 May 2014

Pretoria - The army has been called in to quell a violent protest in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Friday.

“The provincial police commissioner 1/8Lt Gen Joel Mothiba 3/8 has informed me that people in Alexandra have been attacking buildings and assaulting others... the army is moving as we speak,” Mokonyane said on the sidelines of the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) results centre.

African National Congress spokesman Keith Khoza said the party was informed that the Economic Freedom Fighters had been bussing in people into Alexandra to fuel the protests.

“A certain political party, which took part in this elections, is bringing people into the township, we do not condone violence and destruction of property,” he said.

The protesters demanded the release of those arrested during a protest on Thursday, he said.

EFF Gauteng leader Dali Mpofu denied that his party brought in protesters into Alexandra.

“Members of the EFF, the DA and the IFP were all involved in yesterday's hostage situation over allegations of vote rigging, the EFF sent out lawyers to deal with the situation. We do not condone violence... and of course they would single out the EFF out of all parties involved,” Mpofu said.

The IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela said the commission had heard about the protest, but had not received a complaint regarding the voting process in Alexandra.

Gauteng police said rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired on Friday afternoon to disperse protesting residents in Alexandra.

“Approximately 300 to 400 people gathered and burned tyres outside the court in Alexandra, protesting about the suspects arrested for public violence last night,” Brigadier Neville Malila said in a statement.

He said police instructed the group to disperse, but they refused and barricaded streets.

“Police had to use stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, 44 people were arrested for public violence,” Malila said.

“More police and metro police were deployed in the area to contain the situation.”

Malila said later in the afternoon that the situation had abated and that the township was quiet but tense.

There was still debris and rocks in the streets, but the roads were now open, he said. No injuries were reported.

Earlier, Malila said a room in a community centre in the township that was used by the IEC was burned by residents on Thursday night.

There were people inside the centre at the time of the fire, but no injuries were reported.

Thirty-one people were arrested for Thursday night's fire. Malila said the motive was unknown.

Both groups would appear in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Alexandra on tenterhooks
IOL News 10 May 2014

Gauteng traffic police warned the public away from certain areas of Alexandra township at night on Saturday following violent overnight protests.

“We advise motorists and other road users to avoid Vincent Tshabalala road, 2nd avenue, Selbourne street and roads/streets near Madala hostel at night or when it is dark due to acts of criminalisms (sic) and if there is no compelling reason/s for motorists to be in Alex please avoid the area,” a statement said.

Spokesman Obed Sibasa said Second Avenue was also closed to traffic, and there were reports of cars being stoned on the N3 nearby earlier on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 59 people had been arrested in connection with the protests since Friday and would appear in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Monday, Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said.

Malila said “peace and calm” had been restored in the community with police maintaining high visibility.

One firearm was also seized during an operation at one of the hostels in the area on Friday night.

A Sapa reporter on the scene said Eighth Avenue was quiet on Saturday morning following the protests which have included the torching of an IEC centre in the area.

Remains of burned tyres were seen, and on Sixth Avenue, rocks placed in the road slowed people trying to drive through.

On Friday Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said SA National Defence Force troops were called in to quell the protests.

“The provincial police commissioner (Lt Gen Joel Mothiba) has informed me that people in Alexandra have been attacking buildings and assaulting others... the army is moving as we speak,” Mokonyane said on the sidelines of the IEC results centre.

Meanwhile, a man swept and removed debris from the front of his house with a wheelbarrow on Saturday morning.

His house was opposite the Post Office Building where the temporary Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) offices were based during the national and provincial elections.

A woman passing by complained that protesters had caused unnecessary work for the man.

The man said he did not know what the protest was about because there were many stories circulating regarding the elections.

He spoke on condition of anonymity, because he feared the protesters would burn his house down.

“Some say the ANC threw away EFF and IFP ballot papers. That's the story going around,” he said.

He said no one was attacked in the area but protesters targeted the building.

“Yesterday there was a lot of action further up. A lot of police were going around. I also heard some gun shots. Maybe foreigners were attacked there.”

On Friday Gauteng police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse between 300 and 400 people gathered outside the court demanding that people arrested for public violence on Thursday be released.

Malila said a room in a community centre in the township that was used by the IEC was burned by residents on Thursday night.

There were people inside the centre at the time of the fire, but no injuries were reported.

EFF Gauteng leader Dali Mpofu denied an accusation by the ANC that his party brought in protesters into Alexandra.

“We do not condone violence... and of course they would single out the EFF out of all parties involved,” Mpofu said. - Sapa

Alex residents hesitant to talk
Limakatso Khalianyane 10 May 2014

Johannesburg - Alexandra residents said they feared for their lives after post-election protests broke out in the Johannesburg township.

On Saturday morning, most people approached by a Sapa reporter were hesitant to talk, saying they did not want to endanger their lives.

Most claimed not to have witnessed any violence and only woke up to see barricaded streets.

Remains of burned tyres were seen, and on Sixth Avenue, rocks placed in the road slowed people trying to drive through.

Two men sitting outside the hostel described those involved in the protests as “dangerous men”, but would not elaborate.

Another man, a small shop owner, who was initially hesitant to speak, told a Sapa reporter the protests were bad for business.

“I did not make money on Friday because my shop was closed. I was even unable to pay the lady who helps me when I am at work during the day.”

The streets became quiet after police and soldiers were deployed to the township, he said.

“If people are scared to come outside, business become slow.”

Police vehicles were seen driving up and down most streets in the township on Saturday.

A man swept and removed debris from the front of his house with a wheelbarrow.

His house was opposite the Post Office building where the temporary Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) offices were based during the national and provincial elections.

The man said he did not know what the protest was about because there were many stories circulating regarding the elections.

He spoke on condition of anonymity, because he feared the protesters would burn his house down.

“Some say the ANC threw away EFF and IFP ballot papers. That's the story going around,” he said.

He said no one was attacked in the area but protesters targeted the building.

“Yesterday there was a lot of action further up. A lot of police were going around. I also heard some gun shots. Maybe foreigners were attacked there.”

Rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired on Friday afternoon to disperse protesters who were demanding the release of those arrested during another protest on Thursday.

Police said dozens of people were arrested on public violence charges on Friday evening.

“The security forces are maintaining a visible presence in Alexandra,” Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said.

On Wednesday night, Gauteng African National Congress members were apparently held hostage by Inkatha Freedom Party supporters who reportedly saw ballot papers in an ANC vehicle.

But the police denied there had been a “hostage situation” and calm seemed to return to the township around midday on Thursday.

But then on Thursday night, the IEC office was set alight and more protests took place on Friday night, with the Gauteng premier announcing the army had been deployed to Alexandra.

EFF Gauteng leader Dali Mpofu denied an accusation by the ANC that his party brought in protesters into Alexandra.

“We do not condone violence... and of course they would single out the EFF out of all parties involved,” Mpofu said. - Sapa

Police on high alert after violent protests
Bongani Nkosi and Candice Bailey (IOL News)11 May 2014

Johannesburg - As security forces maintained a strong presence in Alexandra township last night to prevent any further protests, police were investigating the killing of an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member in Vosloorus in the early hours of yesterday.

Thapelo Lekana, 28, was shot four times outside his gate in Vosloorus at 5am.

Provincial police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila confirmed that police were investigating the death but said they did not know the motive for the killing or what Lekana’s political affiliation was.

He confirmed that Lekana was found lying in a pool of blood.

Gauteng EFF convener Mgini Tshwaku told The Sunday Independent that Lekana was wearing an EFF beret and was coming from a meeting when he was attacked.

Aside from his cellphone, nothing else was taken, said Tshwaku.

Malila could not confirm this.

Alexandra, meanwhile, remained volatile yesterday although calm was restored by afternoon after the army and public order police were deployed on Friday night.

Fifty nine residents were arrested overnight as members of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the EFF embarked on violent protests.

On Thursday afternoon IFP supporters allegedly held election officials and ANC members hostage after they saw a ward councillor holding ballot boxes and boxes being loaded into a car.

Later in the evening, 31 Alex residents were arrested after the area’s IEC centre was burnt down by angry residents, who alleged that there was vote rigging.

The protesters targeted state property, torching and vandalising buildings including a yet-to-be opened clinic and council offices.

Yesterday a large contingent of police was seen patrolling the streets and potential violent hot spots. “We’re relieved the army came this morning,” said a policeman who asked not be named as he’s not a spokesman.

“It’s quiet but volatile. Anything can still happen, that’s why we’re keeping an eye. We are deployed all over the area,” he said.

Mpho Moerane, chairman of the local ANC branch, said residents were shaken by the violence.

“The community is still afraid because of what has happened. Buildings owned by council were burned down.

“But we have confidence in the security cluster to deal with the matter. When the army came in, everything stopped. I’m sure the army is on stand-by once the violence starts again.”

Tensions started mounting across the country after voting on Wednesday.

In KwaMashu and KwaDukuza in KwaZulu Natal, two people were shot – one of them fatally– in two separate incidents.

And in another incident, two people were arrested after they stormed a voting station in Tzaneen, Limpopo and attacked police on duty, election officials and party agents, and damaged voting material.

On election day there were five protests across the country – in Maruleng in Limpopo, Gugulethu in Gauteng, Botshabelo in the Free State, eNgcobo in the Eastern Cape, and Barcelona in the Western Cape.

There have also been media reports of a group of people in Bekkersdal storming a voting station and attacking police on duty, a group of IEC officials, and party agents accusing them of marking ballots and smuggling it into the hall.

And in a separate incident a man was arrested in Bekkersdal for allegedly setting alight the IEC’s tents in the area on the eve of the elections.

To date 283 individuals have been arrested for allegedly committing election-related offences since the first registration weekend in November last year.

The cases include murder, culpable homicide, intimidation, assault, theft, malicious damage to property and contravening the Electoral Act, said national police spokesman Solomon Makgale.

Crime analyst Lizette Lancaster, who manages the Institute of Security Studies’ crime and justice information hub, says the incidents show that election-related violence is shifting from rivalry between political parties to service delivery and labour issues.

If the current trend continues, the run up to the 2016 local government elections will be fraught with similar violent protests.

Lancaster says if one considers that there were over 22 000 polling stations in the country, the five protests are a relatively low number and therefore isolated incidents.

Lancaster has been tracking election related violence since January 2013.

She has found that over the last seven months, there were 78 election-related incidents and protests, of which two-thirds became violent.

Thirty-five percent of violent protests happened in Gauteng, 22 percent in the Western Cape, 14 percent in KZN, 13 percent in the Eastern Cape and 12 percent in North West.

The institute’s research shows that more than half of all election-related violence occurs in South Africa’s most hotly contested provinces – Gauteng and the Western Cape. She said the pattern of violence has been broken from previous elections.

While there are still elements of political rivalry, other issues that have come to the fore are labour or service delivery.

“If you look at KwaZulu-Natal in the late 90s we saw violence and a lot of killings as a result of political rivalry. Now the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape have been labelled hot spots because of service delivery issues,” said Lancaster.

“The citizens are using the elections as a platform to air their grievances and the IEC gets targeting as agents of the state.” - The Sunday Independent

Land grab condemned
Look Local 6 May 2014

“The ANC and the whole ward constituency condemns this act”, said the PR councillor of the ANC, Zarina Motala

Hundreds of people converged on the K53 near Lenasia South, Wednesday, May 1, after rumours spread like wildfire that free land was being allocated to residents. Locals and people as far afield as the Vaal came to stake their claim.

A man who was in charge of proceedings told people ‘just go to the spot you want to own, mark it and write your name and contact number in the book”. A fee of R300 was charged for each registration.The man refused to give his name or any other information about who he was representing or his place of employment.

After the ‘registration process people were told they will be forcefully taking over the land they have claimed and the names recorded in the notebook will be handed over as a petition to the councillor to prove how many people need land and houses.

Five people were elected at the meeting to form part of the committee that will address the councillor.

“We are taking this land whether they agree or not. This is our land and we have to fight for it. I’m trying to help you get the land. We have marked our land and we will own it”, the man in charge said,

Allegedly the land that in question is privately owned.

Councillor of Ward 120, Paul Molutsi said, “No sites have been allocated by the government, what is taking place along the K53 is illegal. The SAPS has been ordered to stop such activities taking place in the area.”

The JMPD was called to the scene to remove all markings made by the people.

“The ANC and the whole ward constituency condemns this act”, said the PR councillor of the ANC, Zarina Motala

Dan Nkgadima, a representative of the EFF said, “The EFF is not part of this. We promised people land, but land that is available, and not privately owned.

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