||Order against ex-worker’s ‘sabotage’
IOL News 31 July 2014
Durban - Media 24 was granted an urgent interim interdict against one of its former employees who it claims is “sabotaging” the company’s distribution in Pietermaritzburg in an act of revenge.
The massive publishing and distribution conglomerate obtained the interdict in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday against Mnyamezeli Mntaka, the former branch manager at the company’s distribution point in the city.
In terms of the court order granted by Judge Yvonne Mbatha, Mntaka is interdicted from:
* Continuing with his campaign of sabotage against Media24 in Pietermaritzburg; in particular, by intercepting, removing and destroying magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and other documents the company is contracted to distribute on behalf of its customers.
* In any way, whether directly or indirectly, interrupting or preventing the distributing of these items or in any way engaging with Media24 employees tasked with distribution.
Mntaka has also been interdicted from defaming Media24 by suggesting its employees are dumping magazines, newspapers and pamphlets, causing them not to be distributed, and from blackmailing and intimidating Media24 by stating that he will continue to disrupt their distribution unless he is reinstated in his job.
According to an affidavit by Media24 human resource officer Hein Appels, Mntaka was dismissed from his position on a charge that he conducted business with Media24 clients for his personal financial gain.
After a disciplinary hearing, he was fired on December 13 last year.
On April 29 this year, Mntaka brought an application for reinstatement to the company with the CCMA.
The matter was settled on the basis Mntaka would not return to his former position at Media24 and the company was justified in its decision.
However, since the decision by the CCMA, Media24 claims Mntaka has personally intercepted, or got others to intercept, items meant for distribution by the company to its customers, and has dumped them all across Pietermaritzburg, including stormwater drains and garbage heaps.
“It seems Mntaka has resolved to continue with his campaign of sabotage, not only as an act of revenge against Media24 for dismissing him, but also as a form of blackmail. Media24 cannot be expected to stand by and allow such a state of affairs to continue,” Appels said.
Media24, which has built its business on its reputation for its reliable service, stands to suffer irreparable harm if Mntaka is allowed to continue with his vendetta, he said.
“We are concerned as a result of Mntaka’s actions the good name and reputation of Media24 as a reliable distributor will be harmed in Pietermaritzburg. As a result, the company will lose market share among its existing client base… a client base which will never be recovered,” he said.
Clients who have been affected by Mntaka’s actions include the Liberty Midlands Mall, Shoprite, Check-Out, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Scooters, he said.
The case has been adjourned to September 3 for Mntaka to respond.
A criminal case against Mntaka is also pending.
Kuruman school torching condemned
IOL News 31 July 2014
Basic Education Minister and ANCWL leader Angie Motshekga. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu
Kimberley - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday condemned the burning of part of a primary school in Kuruman, Northern Cape.
“Preventing learners from their right to an education and malicious destruction to infrastructure cannot be tolerated,” Motshekga said in a statement.
She said the administration blocks of some schools in the area had been set alight in the past two months.
The department suspected the arson was linked to protests in the area that have prevented pupils and staff at54 schools attending class since June 5.
Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana said Keatlholela Primary School in Hyson village was set alight between 4am and 5am on Wednesday. A case of arson was opened and no arrests had been made.
Tawana would not say whether the arson was linked to protests in the area.
Members of a group calling themselves the Road Forum began protesting on June 5 demanding that a 130km road in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality be tarred, Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas's spokesman Monwabisi Nkompela said.
The protesters were allegedly barring pupils and staff from going to schools to get the attention of the authorities.
Nkompela said the tender to tar the road was opened on June 12 and closed on July 18.
“The tender is at a stage where the project managers at the (roads and public works) department are evaluating which bidder met the specific requirements.”
Members of the forum were sowing destruction in the area without considering the process, he said.
Motshekga also called for pupils and staff to be allowed to return to their schools.
“Learners cannot continue to be used as bargaining chips in a situation that could have a negative effect on their future.”
A detailed catch-up and recovery plan for all schools would be provided if pupils were allowed to return, and teaching and learning resumed, she said.
Employers may be boycotted after lock-out
IOL News 31 July 2014
Cape Town - An employer association which locked out thousands of workers who belonged to the National Union of MetalWorkers of SA (Numsa) - more than 300 of them in the Western Cape - could find itself the target of a boycott campaign by the union and Cosatu.
The National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa) implemented a lockout of more than 1 000 workers nationwide.
The association has refused to implement a 10 percent wage increase agreed by Numsa and the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa). The agreement had brought to an end an almost month-long strike by Numsa members. Neasa was prepared to offer only 8 percent.
Neasa chief executive Gerhard Papenfus said the association was dissatisfied with the settlement and that it would further destabilise the industry.
“This is once again an illustration of big business’ eagerness to capitulate to the pressure exerted by trade unions,” Papenfus said.
“By giving in to the pressure from trade unions, Seifsa is once again letting the industry down, especially small and medium businesses. It has set a very sombre tone for future negotiations.”
Numsa’s national leadership was seeking legal advice about the possibility of getting a court interdict against Neasa while Cosatu Western Cape has given its support to the union and vowed to “target” companies affiliated with Neasa.
Numsa provincial secretary Vuyo Lufele said more than 300 workers in the Western Cape had been affected by the Neasa lock-out.
The union held a report- back meeting with its members in Bellville on Wednesday.
Lufele said the union was aware of 20 companies that had instituted the lock-out in the province.
Most of them were in the metro while a couple were in the Saldanha area and in the Boland.
“Some of the workers were back at work already and the companies released them,” Lufele said.
He said the lock-out was an “arrogant” reaction to the 10 percent wage agreement reached between Numsa, other unions and Seifsa.
“We want the national union to take this on and deal with this arrogance,” Lufele said.
“We can’t have a situation where a minority (employers) association dictates to the majority.
“They are not appreciating the agreement between Numsa and Seifsa.
“They are now sending us to plant-level negotiations and we will be targeting these companies.
“They have taken themselves out of the bargaining council agreement.
“We will show them what it means when they take themselves out of the bargaining structures.”
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said Neasa had a long history of “promoting exploitative practices”.
“We are in the process of getting a list of Neasa members and will be targeting their member companies with boycotts,” Ehrenreich said.
“Cosatu supports Numsa in this important wage agreement and this victory for workers.”
Papenfus said Numsa had refused to address Neasa’s demands, which included an 8 percent increase
“Neasa employer members may continue to lock out workers who engaged in the strike. This arrangement will continue until Neasa’s demands are met,” Papenfus said.
Protest over construction of school
IOL News 31 July 2014
Cape Town - Grabouw business supporters on Thursday blocked access to a school construction site in a picket over allegations that local contractors and sub-contractors were not involved in the R55 million project.
“Although a handful of local general labourers have been employed on the site, there will be no benefit for local business and sustainable job creation,” Pineview Community Development Organisation chairman Quinton February said.
A Sapa correspondent reported that the picketers blocked access to the construction site for the new Umyezo wama Apile High School, a project by the Western Cape Education Department and the provincial department of public works.
A picket line was formed and vehicles parked across one of the main roads leading to Grabouw, preventing construction workers from entering.
“We will not leave or open access to the building site until we have the assurance that Grabouw building contractors will be involved,” Elgin Grabouw Civic Organisation chairman John Michels said.
“Unemployment in Grabouw is a massive problem and we need the work to be done by local contractors so that more jobs can be created.”
Police were at the scene.
Construction work began earlier this year after the contract was awarded to Power Construction. The new school was expected to accommodate around 1 300 pupils. - Sapa
Members evicted as Samwu meeting erupts
IOL News 30 July 2014
Cape Town - A SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) meeting to discuss a possible strike against the City of Cape Town turned rowdy when some members were shown the door after they had raised questions about alleged missing union funds.
More than 1 000 Samwu members attended the meeting at the Good Hope Centre for a report-back on progress with worker grievances that the union had raised with the city.
Samwu members will meet this week at plant level to discuss the possibility of a strike.
The meeting started with Samwu’s regional secretary, Mikel Khumalo, explaining meetings the union has held with Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille since it gave her a memorandum of demands in May. The atmosphere changed when some members at the back of the hall began demanding answers to the question “what happened to the millions?”.
Things became heated when one disgruntled member approached the podium and shouted at Khumalo. The member and a union shop steward became involved in a scuffle before he and other disgruntled members were removed from the hall.
This caused unhappiness among more members at the back.
Claims that R140 million of union funds were missing were raised last month
by provincial union leaders who had been suspended after they alleged Samwu national leaders had misused funds. Samwu Cape Metro chairman Jonathan Krakri said allegations were not a regional issue. The region supported a Samwu investigation, he said.
“As a region we have never said that there were no missing millions or there are missing. That is why we said the matter should be investigated. We are waiting for the results right now,” Krakri said.
He said Samwu would neither tolerate ill discipline nor deal with internal issues in public and in the media.
In his report-back Khumalo said union negotiators were satisfied with De Lille’s intentions to resolve the grievances.
Mayoral committee member for corporate services Xanthea Limberg, who attended on De Lille’s behalf, said the mayor was always open to discussions with the union and encouraged workers and shop stewards to come forward regarding ill-treatment from line managers.
IOL News Activists urge Modise to quit
30 July 2014
Cape Town - About 50 animal rights activists protested outside Parliament on Tuesday morning, demanding the resignation of National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairwoman Thandi Modise.
They called on her to quit immediately in the light of the alleged negligence that led to the deaths of animals on her Potchefstroom farm.
Many of the animals were found to be in such a poor state they had to be put down.
One of the protesters’ posters quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s comment: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Others read “cruelty is a crime”, “Shame on you Modise” and “Don’t be sorry, do something”.
Nikki Elliott, protest organiser and founder of United Front for Animals, said she’d had to do something because “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”.
“We are here to say to Thandi Modise and our government, to all those who abuse animals, all those who consent to the abuse by silence and those who stand by and do nothing – enough is enough,” Elliott told the crowd before handing over a memorandum to a representative of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
She asked that Modise accept responsibility for what happened on her farm by resigning and donating her farm to animal welfare.
“That would be a good start,” she said.
“If failure to supply food and water to animals is the type of ‘mistake’ you make - what next?”
Modise has said she was let down by people she had entrusted with the care for her livestock.
The acting deputy director-general for the department, Mooketsa Ramasodi, accepted the memorandum on behalf of the minister, Senzeni Zokwana. He said he was aware legislation was being reviewed and would be considering animal rights going forward.
He could not make a comment on the memorandum, however, as this would have to come from Zokwana.
Jenni Trethowan, from the Baboon Matters Trust, said she would like to see an animal rights bill.
“I believe that there should be an animal rights law in South Africa, not just animal welfare. There are too many loopholes in the law and animals fall through the cracks.”
Toni Brockhoven, who attended the protest on behalf of Beauty Without Cruelty, said Modise’s reported argument that she was “just a woman” and still learning was insulting and a “giant step” back for women.
ANCYL condemns Joburg pupils' protest
News24 31 July 2014
Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League on Wednesday condemned the looting and vandalism of shops and stalls in the Johannesburg central business district by protesting schoolchildren.
"We remind everyone who plans to organise a march to remember that there is a responsibility that goes with a right to express the demands or grievances," league spokesperson Bandile Masuku said in a statement.
"Property and people's lives should be protected and safeguarded at all times."
The students, led by the Congress of SA Students (Cosas), marched from Park Station around 14:00 on Wednesday to the education department building on Albertina Sisulu Street. They then moved to the Gauteng legislature, before returning to Park Station.
They reportedly handed over a memorandum of demands to Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Some of the demands included an end to corporal punishment, a ban on application fees for placement at tertiary institutions, proper food in the feeding schemes, and an end to the non-delivery of textbooks and other learning materials, reports said.
Four pupils were taken to hospital after being attacked by shop owners whose businesses were looted during the protests.
"Four male learners assaulted by shopkeepers who retaliated were taken to hospital," spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said at the time.
The protesters looted shops and picked up hawkers' stands and threw them to the ground.
Minnaar said there had been reports of two other groups of pupils protesting in Hillbrow and Fordsburg.
He could not confirm if the three groups were linked to each other. The pupils were from different schools in Gauteng.
No permission had been granted for the protest, Minnaar said. Metro officials had been monitoring the situation and said the students had dispersed by 16:00.
Masuku urged youths not to endanger their own lives and undermine the rights of others.
"As young people, we should express our grievances in a manner that is within our democratic rights and with the intention to be listened to."
Pupils protest in Joburg CBD
IOL News 30 July 2014
Johannesburg - A large group of schoolchildren are protesting in the Johannesburg central business district, metro police said on Wednesday.
The group was in Albertina Sisulu and Eloff streets around 2pm, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
The majority of the group were standing in front of the education department building.
Minnaar said there had been reports of the group misbehaving by picking up hawkers' stands and throwing them on the ground.
He advised motorists to avoid the streets and use Marshall Street as an alternative.
There was no permission granted for the protest, Minnaar said.
Metro officials were monitoring the situation.
It was unclear what the protest was about.
Anger after taxi kills boy (4)
IOL News 29 July 2014
Durban - Furious Nchanga residents have blockaded roads after a child was run over and killed on the township’s main road by a taxi.
The blockades have forced the closure of a number of schools, with teachers unable to get to class and pupils sent home.
Now, in the wake of the tragedy last week, which cost 4-year-old Minenhle Nkala his life, residents are demanding speed bumps be installed to slow traffic.
A resident said they tried to call the councillor for the area but he allegedly said he was busy watching soccer and this infuriated people even further.
The councillor has denied this.
The protests, which began on Friday when Minenhle was killed, continued on Monday.
The little boy’s mother, Fikile Nkala, 27, said children came to tell her Minenhle had been run over.
“When I got there, I saw Minenhle kneeling on the road. My sister took him and put him in the taxi that knocked him over and we went to the local clinic.”
Minenhle was transferred to RK Khan Hospital where he died. Nkala said she had trouble sleeping as every time she closed her eyes, she saw her son kneeling on the road.
“No-one helped him when he was injured. People just watched,” she sobbed.
The mother-of-two said she supported the call for speed bumps. “People were right to protest as our children are being hurt due to a lack of speed bumps on the road.”
Dennis Shozi, the councillor for the area, has denied he was watching soccer when a resident contacted him after the incident.
“I was out of the province on family matters in North West when the incident happened.” He said he only returned on Monday.
“When I heard about what had happened, I asked the mayor, James Nxumalo, to go to Nchanga and talk to residents to try to calm them down because I could not be there personally.”
Shozi said the municipality was already in the process of putting up speed bumps. “Unfortunately, where the accident happened was next in line to have speed bumps put in.”
The councillor met the local taxi association on Monday to discuss the incident and visited the family of the victim.
He saw how poor the family was and that their home was in a “bad condition”.
“I talked to a contractor so that we can build a new home for them.”
Police Captain, Thulani Zwane, confirmed the boy died in hospital. No arrests were made during the protests.
A taxi driver had been charged with culpable homicide, he said.
Fishing company workers in protest over pay
Herald Live 29 July 2014
WORKERS at Eyethu Fishing Company in the Port Elizabeth harbour went on strike yesterday, protesting for wage increases.
The workers, including fishermen, complained that their salaries were last increased in 2000, and factory workers also mentioned pay discrepancies.
They said they had been promised an increase since January.
“We have decided not to work today because we are sick and tired of getting paid peanuts when we do all the hard work,” one of the workers said.
Another employee, a 32-year-old fisherman, said they spent long hours at sea. “We [work] from 5am until 2am the following day. I get paid R7 an hour and when we complain we are told that there are a lot of unemployed people out there. We spend most of our time at work but we are not being appreciated,” he said. – Yoliswa Sobuwa
All night protest rages on
Daily News 29 July 2014
Twenty-four people were taken into custody on public violence charges after they staged a protest outside a northern KwaZulu-Natal town, blockading a main road and pelting police cars with stones.
More than 700 people gathered on the R103 road between Ladysmith and Colenso, protesting about the lack of water supply to Roosboom, a settlement 13km outside Ladysmith.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said that at about 10pm on Sunday, groups of residents began their protest action.
They demonstrated through the night, setting fire to tyres, branches and wooden pallets all over the main transport route.
“The R103 road was blocked by burning tyres, rubble, rocks, concrete pipes, road signs and metal grandstands that were dragged off a nearby sports field.
“Traffic was re-routed from Colenso via Ezakheni. The groups are allegedly protesting the lack of service delivery. They were monitored by Ladysmith SAPS and the Newcastle Public Order Policing Unit.”
Zwane said one of the groups of protesters had pelted police with stones yesterday morning, and that 24 people had been arrested for public violence.
“The blockade is still going on, with several groups of protesters spread out over the 2km blockade. Police are monitoring the situation. About 700 people are estimated to be involved in the blockade,” he said yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, residents took to the Roosboom area’s Facebook page to vent their frustrations.
Oscar Nkosi said: “I hope (the municipality) is happy about what is happening at Roosboom because all that is happening is because of them. I just wish the people were protesting for the removal of all the deadwood (there) because those people are busy playing politics instead of focusing on residents.”
Another resident posted via the same forum: “I like this. How long should people continue to suffer? What is the problem? We need answers.”
Nontobeko MaMhayise Ngele added: “The people want water now. The councillor must make a plan or there will be more to come.”
Another resident said: “There’s been no water (direct to our homes) since 2005.”
Bongie Mazibuko, also of Roosboom, said: “It’s just so painful. Just yesterday I had to buy some (water).”
Last week, residents of the same area staged a protest march to the Ladysmith Town Hall to draw attention to the lack of services.
Despite numerous attempts, the Daily News was unable to secure comment from the relevant area councillor.
Student arrested as MUT protest continues
Sihle Manda (IOL News)30 July 2014
Durban - Protests at Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi continued on Tuesday, with students clashing with police and security personnel.
Lectures had to be cancelled on Monday when students went on the rampage over issues related to their registration for the new semester.
Students blockaded the Griffiths Mxenge (Mangosuthu) Highway with rubble, set fire to tyres and stoned police vehicles.
Hundreds of students were demanding that those who received funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to register for the new semester, which resumed last week, regardless of how much they owed the institution.
Police retaliated by firing tear gas, while a water cannon was used to douse the flames.
According to a Sapa report, police on Tuesday stormed a university residence and arrested a student.
Protesters had occupied the residence and emerged to throw stones and rocks. Police fired teargas and rubber bullets.
However, police said the campus was “under control” and they were monitoring the situation.
Spokesman Thulani Zwane said that five students, aged between 24 and 30, were arrested on Monday and appeared in the Umlazi Magistrate’s court on Tuesday.
The university’s spokesman, Len Mzimela, said on Tuesday’s disruption was “a small incident”, which did not disrupt the day’s activities.
He said the university had a court interdict to prevent students from disrupting the academic programme.
“This group is not the SRC (student representative council). It’s not an SRC thing, it’s just a renegade group trying to get attention.
“Because they are not registered, we don’t know who they are and it is therefore difficult to take disciplinary action against them,” he said.
Efforts to obtain comment from the university’s SRC were unsuccessful
Police said a 28-year-old male student was arrested and charged with contravening the conditions of the court interdict. He will appear in Umlazi Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Lectures resume and Durban university
Daily News 29 July 2014
Durban – Lectures at Durban's Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) resumed on Tuesday amid a heavy police and security presence.
Lectures were suspended on Monday following protests by students who owed the university money and demanded to be registered.
MUT spokesman Len Mzimela said on Monday an agreement had been reached with students owing more than R10 000 that they would be registered if they entered into negotiations on their outstanding debt.
Those protesting were those who had refused to negotiate with the university.
There were several security officers on the campus in riot gear. They wore helmets and carried truncheons and shields. Some were armed with weapons that could fire rubber bullets and tear gas.
Students run riot over registration issues
ihle Manda (The Mercury) 29 July 2014
Durban - Lectures had to be cancelled at uMlazi’s Mangosuthu University of Technology on Monday when students went on the rampage, clashing with police and campus security over issues related to their registration for the new semester.
Lectures were expected to resume on Tuesday.
Traffic had to be diverted off Griffiths Mxenge (Mangosuthu) Highway, which leads to the university, after students blockaded the road with rubble, burnt tyres and stoned police vehicles.
Police retaliated by firing tear gas while a water cannon was used to douse the flames.
Hundreds of students demanded that those supported by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to register for the new semester, which resumed last week, “regardless of how much they owe”.
The university’s student representative council president, Thobani Mchunu, said the institution had not responded to the students’ complaints until registration for the new semester started two weeks ago.
The students also demanded that all residences be opened, “allowing students to have a choice of where they wanted to stay”. He said students were unhappy with the university’s arrangement that those who owed R10 000 or more first had to reduce their debt before they would be allowed to return to study.
The protest started last Thursday but escalated on Monday when the university refused to meet the students’ demands.
This was disputed by university spokesman Len Mzimela, who said the institution took the students’ concerns “seriously”. He said student debt stood at R181 million, “which has a bearing on the proper functioning of the institution”.
Students who had made an arrangement to pay their outstanding fees had been allowed to register.
He said the issue of accommodation was “perennial” with all universities, saying there was “a limit to how much you can accommodate students”. The university was building a 640-bed residence, which could not be completed overnight.
The chaos also caused panic among residents living near the campus who had to deal with the tear gas.
Smangele Shandu, who was at home with her seven grandchildren when the drama unfolded, said: “The police were firing at the students and, since our home is nearby, it became an easy sanctuary for escaping students. The gas flooded the house, suffocating the children. I had to wash their faces at the tap outside.”
She said she had confronted the police and pleaded with them to stop.
Police said five students were arrested for public violence.
A female student was put in the back of a police van.
Spokesman Thulani Zwane said property was damaged.
MUT shuts down after protests
IOL News 28 July 2014
Durban - The Mangosuthu University of Technology in Durban suspended lectures on Monday following student protests.
MUT spokesman Len Mzimela said lectures would resume on Tuesday.
The protests were over students owing the university money demanding to be registered.
Mzimela said an agreement had previously been reached with students owing more than R10 000 that they would be registered as long as they entered into negotiations on their outstanding debt.
Those protesting were those who refused to negotiate with the university.
"The majority of the students (owing more than R10 000) have taken us up and are registered. It's those who are insisting on registration without those arrangements that are protesting."
Mzimela said security at the campus in Umlazi had been beefed up and the protesters had been kept off campus.
Lectures had been suspended to ensure the safety of other students and staff.
The students were also protesting over a lack of accommodation.
"We are sensitive to their demands. We are currently building a 640-bed residence, but we simply cannot put this up overnight. Even when this is completed, there will still be pressure for accommodation."
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said police were called to the campus around 8.30am to deal with the protests.
He said no arrests had been made and that police were monitoring the situation.
ANC comrades clash during march
IOL News 29 July 2014
Disgruntled ANC members were sjambokked by their own comrades, klapped and chased away during the chaos that followed their march to the party’s regional offices in Pretoria on Monday afternoon.
It was a case of brother versus brother when aggrieved members from various branches in Tshwane descended on the MBA Building and threatened to storm into the offices in Arcadia.
They sang Struggle songs and danced while ANC staff members and officials, including head of security Terrence Mashego – also Tshwane’s member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for community safety – looked on.
Police stood at the entrance of the building to prevent demonstrators from invading it.
In the scuffle to reach the main door, at least two marchers were slapped as they tried to force their way in.
ANC employees from the Tshwane regional office with sjamboks and stones argue with metro police officers. Picture: Masi Losi
The angry crowd barred workers from leaving the building. Those not brave enough watched the stand-off through the windows and balconies.
Mashego told the Pretoria News that as head of security, he would protect the ANC and had asked the police to disperse the crowd.
“Some of these people are not members of the ANC. I saw some who work in waste management and should be at work at this moment,” he said. “It is regrettable to see an SACP leader and councillor among them while he should be here defending us. This reflects ill-discipline.”
By then, staff members had stood up to the demonstrators and burst into a song of their own, insulting the demonstrators and calling them amagwala (cowards) and izinja (dogs).
The tension exploded after Abraham Mashishi, who was among the demonstrators, pulled out a gun. He is a prominent businessman and was an apartheid-era police officer, according to Paul Mojapelo, ANC regional secretary.
Stones, bricks and other missiles were hurled in the direction of staff members, who ran for cover into the building while journalists headed for the basement.
Police fired into the crowd, while another group wielding sjamboks emerged from the building and chased after the fleeing demonstrators. An official warned photographers against taking photos as men with sjamboks captured and dragged a woman into the basement.
Pandemonium broke out in the streets in and around the building as onlookers, passers-by and the demonstrators ran in different directions, with the officials and police in pursuit.
Several people were injured at the hands of the sjambok-wielding officials.
One man was so badly injured he had to be taken by ambulance to hospital.
Apson Makaung, the councillor referred to by Mashego, blamed the attacks on a gang with links to the MMC.
Makaung said the building was a breeding ground for corruption.
Mashego challenged him to prove these claims.
He said anyone with evidence of wrongdoing should open a case.
Mashego said the disgruntled members should not confuse matters of the ANC with those of the municipality led by Kgosientso Ramokgopa, mayor and ANC regional chairman.
Ramokgopa said the actions by people purporting to represent ANC branches dissatisfied with the audit of branches before the regional conference in October demonstrated the desperate measures employed to undemocratically unseat the current leadership.
Mojapelo said while the ANC remained open to discussion of any dissatisfaction with the internal processes, the action of these individuals who were not party members deserved the harshest condemnation and disassociation.
“The identified group is led by the same persons who in the recent months orchestrated service delivery protests with informal traders and street traders.
Last month, two people were stabbed when angry members disrupted a party meeting at Sammy Marks council chamber. Similar scenes happened when a branch meeting turned violent in Mamelodi a few days ago.
Disgruntled members of the ANC are demanding:
* The national executive committee monitors the ANC caucus in Tshwane and ensures meetings are run democratically.
* All comrades dismissed, suspended and removed unfairly be reinstated.
* Regional and provincial nomination list be nullified and any member in good standing be allowed to participate.
* All names of deployments be verified and approved nationally.
* ANC deployees in the region be reshuffled.
* Regional leadership be dissolved.
Tshwane ANC office storming condemned
IOL News 28 July 2014
Pretoria - The ANC in Tshwane condemned the storming of its office in Pretoria on Monday by a group it says claims to represent unhappy members.
“The actions and disruptions... (which) included physical and verbal assault of ANC employees and staff is a demonstration of the desperate measures employed to undemocratically unseat the current ANC leadership,” regional chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa said in a statement.
He said the group was claiming that African National Congress members in the region were unhappy with the audit of branches ahead of the party's regional conference, which is scheduled for October this year.
Over the past two weeks the ANC in Tshwane had hosted more than 35 branch meetings where nominations for the regional executive committee were finalised and inputs for the programme were made.
Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said the ANC in the region was open to discussion with any of its branches.
“Whilst the ANC remains open to... every member's dissatisfaction with the internal processes, the action of these individuals who are not ANC members and recently expelled from the ANC deserves the harshest condemnation and disassociation,” he said.
Durbanites march for Gaza
IOL News 25 July 2014
Durban - Several thousand people marched through central Durban in support of Palestinians in the Gaza strip on Friday.
eThekwini metro police spokesman Superintendent Eugene Msomi said the march was peaceful and that he believed that more than five thousand people participated.
The march went started from Durban's Grey Street Mosque following Friday prayers and proceeded to the city centre.
Msomi said eThekwini metro mayor James Nxumalo joined the march.
East Coast Radio reported that several leaders of various religious and civil society groups took part in the march.
Msomi said the march had exacerbated the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic out of the city, but he expected bottlenecks to clear in the early evening.
The African National Congress' provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala told marchers at the Durban City Hall that the ANC condemned “the barbaric bombardment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”.
“The deteriorating human rights situation in Gaza is a matter of growing and grave concern to the whole world. It is a sharp reminder of the apartheid aggression that was eventually defeated by the collective work of South Africans supported by the solidarity of the international community. Freedom and justice cannot be denied forever,” he said.
“It also must be clear that we are not against Israel. We equally have no problem with the Jewish community.
“All we are saying is that the people of Palestine must be free. We also understand the issues of religion but there is absolutely no religion that allows the killing of the people,” he said.
Banner protest against e-tolls gains momentum
Thousands of motorists hooted and cheered in unison while passing under the bridge.
Charmaine Slater (Bedfordview & Edenvale News) 25 July 2014
The anti-e-toll banner protest held its most successful event to date on the Modderfontein Road bridge over the N3 this morning, July 25.
Thousands of motorists hooted and cheered in unison while passing under the bridge
ANC meeting turns violent in Tshwane
IOL News 25 July 2014
Pretoria - Tension before the Tshwane ANC regional conference is heating up with two people stabbed and wounded at a meeting in Mamelodi.
On Wednesday, a branch general meeting (BGM) in Mamelodi’s ward 16 turned violent and two people ended up in hospital after being stabbed.
According to an insider, the meeting was called by the interim structure said to be aligned with the current chairman of the Tshwane region, mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa. “The structure did not invite all branch members to the meeting. When the members that are not aligned to the chairperson found out about the meeting they went there and that’s when the fracas started,” he said.
Branches are meeting before regional elections to be held later in the year when Ramokgopa is expected to stand for a third term as chairman.
Mamelodi police spokesman Captain Johannes Maheso confirmed the incident and said a 30-year-old man was expected to appear in the Mamelodi Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
The Mamelodi and Soshanguve constituencies are the most important for anyone who wants to lead the Tshwane region, according to sources in the party.
In ward 67, also in Mamelodi, chaos erupted when members invited to a pre-BGM arrived to find that it was a BGM. The meeting was meant to map the way before the BGM and it did not go ahead.
Over the weekend, there were misunderstandings in two wards in Atteridgeville where members said they were not invited to the BGM.
At the beginning of the month, two people were stabbed and injured after a fight broke out because of unhappiness over the preparations for the regional conference, particularly the verification of members. It was claimed that regional deputy chairman Mapiti Matsena wanted to run against Ramokgopa at the regional conference whose date is still to be announced. Matsena has since denied the allegations and said he is running the campaign for Ramokgopa’s re-election.
Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said he did not receive any reports of the fights.
“There was an audit team from national that audited all branch members. That process has been finalised and all members in good standing receive SMSes when there is going to be a meeting,” he said.
He said the branch secretary did not report the problems to him. “I am worried about who is giving you the information. They want you to think that there are problems in the ANC and it is not so,” Mojapelo said.
As a result of tension in the region, members will march to the ANC headquarters in Joburg on Friday morning.
Marikana on edge after another murder
IOL News 23 July 2014
Pretoria - Mineworkers in Marikana, North West, fear for their lives after a colleague was shot dead in the area, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.
Bongani “Bhayi” Mehlonkomo was killed in Marikana on Tuesday evening.
The 38-year-old was walking home on Tuesday afternoon when occupants of a car opened fire and killed him, Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.
“The incident happened at around 4.30pm. He was near a playground when he was shot by occupants in a vehicle.”
Dali Mpofu SC, for the miners arrested and wounded during strike-related violence in Marikana in August 2012, told the commission his clients were petrified.
“There is growing concern among the people that I represent. Speculation in the community is that the assassination is connected to the mentioning of names by Mr X,” Mpofu told the inquiry in Pretoria.
“Their fear is that those who have been implicated falsely feel that their lives are under threat. They are not under protection and are vulnerable.”
Police witness “Mr X” may not be identified and is testifying via a remote video link from an undisclosed location. He is under witness protection.
Mpofu said Mr X had mentioned Bhayi repeatedly at the inquiry, implicating him in the August 2012 murders of police officers and Lonmin security guards.
Bhayi was a member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.
Under cross-examination last week, Mr X was asked by Takalani Masevhe, for the family of slain Warrant Officer Tsietsi Monene, to name the person who shot the policeman at close range.
After much hesitation, Mr X said those responsible were a protester Tholakele, popularly known as “Bhele”, and Bongani, popularly known as “Bhayi”. He said he did not know their surnames.
“I want to apologise because these men said I should not mention their names. I communicate with the men of Marikana. They must tell the truth,” said Mr X.
Monene was one of two officers hacked and shot dead on August 13, 2012 after police clashed with protesting miners.
Last year, commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, offered the commission's condolences following the murder of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) branch chairman William Setelele. He was shot dead near the Marikana hill close to Lonmin's platinum mine.
Another NUM official, Daluvuyo Bongo, was killed in October 2012.
The NUM branch secretary was shot six times at his home at the Wonderkop hostel complex in Marikana on October 5. He was scheduled to testify at the commission's public hearings.
At the time of Bongo's death, the NUM said he was set to present key information to the commission.
The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, in August 2012.
Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead by police apparently trying to disarm and disperse them on August 16, 2012. Seventy others were wounded and 250 arrested.
In the preceding week, 10 people including the two policemen and two security guards, were killed. - Sapa
Burn your e-toll bills: Cosatu
IOL News 24 July 2014
Johannesburg - Motorists in Gauteng must continue to use the highways without paying the e-toll bills, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Thursday.
“We are calling upon our people to continue to defy the system and those who received the bills must burn them,” said Gauteng provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile.
“We will be convening a big burning ceremony in front of the Sanral (SA National Roads Agency Limited) office in due course for the public to bring their bills for us to collectively burn them as part of our defiance campaign.”
Cosatu welcomed the establishment of the review panel by Gauteng premier David Makhura which was tasked to review the impact of the system in the province.
“We think that these efforts to find an amicable solution to the disaster created by the department of transport and its agency Sanral should be afforded a space by all and sundry.”
Dakile said Cosatu also rejected attempts by Sanral and the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute those who were not registering and not paying the bills.
The labour federation was expanding the fight against e-tolls, regardless of the reprieve announced by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters in Parliament on July 15.
“The minister’s statement unfortunately, however, does not indicate any change in government policy, just a few little ‘concessions’ to try to sugar the pill, in the hope it would encourage a few more people to pay for e-tolls.”
He said Cosatu in Gauteng, the National Taxi Alliance, the SA Council of Churches and the National Association of School Governing Bodies were angry that national government was disrespecting Makhura's decision to appoint an advisory panel to study the effect of e-tolls.
“The department of transport is in effect saying that the panel’s findings will not make the slightest difference to national government policy, that it is business as usual and e-tolls are here to stay anyway.”
Dakile said tolls added to the cost of living of workers and the poor.
“They are already suffering from rising fuel prices and electricity tariffs. Inflation rose by 6.6 percent year-on-year in May 2014, after a 6.1 percent rise in April.
“Food inflation, which hits the poorest hardest, increased by 9.1 percent, including the ever-increasing fuel cost which has a direct impact to the operation cost.”
There was a genuine problem of congestion on the roads, but this would not be solved by forcing people to pay to use the roads.
“The solution has to be improving our public transport services, making them more reliable, accessible, affordable and safe, until they become the best way to travel, which motorists will prefer to use and leave their cars at home.”
Man arrested in Thembelihle protest
IOL News 25 July 2014
Johannesburg - A man was arrested on Friday for allegedly burning electricity boxes and for public violence in Thembelihle, south of Johannesburg, Gauteng police said.
The 27-year-old was identified as one of the people who burnt electricity boxes, causing a protest in the area, Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said.
“Residents say that people are connecting electricity illegally which causes the electricity to switch off,” he said.
About 100 residents protested about electricity problems on Friday. The residents, who began protesting on Thursday night, blocked roads with burning tyres, rocks, and other objects.
Makhubela said the situation was calm and that around noon protesters were along the sides of the roads, many of which had been reopened to traffic.
“The K43 and Scorpion street have been reopened and the tyres and rocks have been cleaned up,” said Makhubela.
Volta and Capella streets remained closed. Police were monitoring the situation.
Thembelihle residents protest over electricity
IOL News 25 July 2014
Johannesburg - About 100 residents in Thembelihle, south of Johannesburg, were protesting over electricity problems on Friday, Gauteng police said.
“Residents say that people are connecting electricity illegally which causes the electricity to switch off,” Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said.
The residents, who began protesting in the area on Thursday night, were blocking roads with burning tyres, rocks and other objects.
“They are blocking off the main road coming into Lenasia south,” said Makhubela.
No arrests had been made and no one was injured in the protest.
Police were monitoring the situation. - Sapa
Medunsa student mob runs riot
IOL News 25 July 2014
Pretoria - The Medical University of SA (Medunsa) was under siege for five hours on Thursday, when striking medical students went on the rampage, breaking security gates and smashing glass doors.
The demonstrators ordered a lockdown of entrances and exits as they protested against alleged irregularities at the institution.
In the ensuing chaos, the public and staff, – including lecturers, general workers and administration staff – could not leave or enter the varsity. The crowd overturned a Medunsa vehicle and lit a fire next to it, blockading the exit lane of the main gate and causing immense frustration and long queues, as staff – some with small children in their cars – tried to leave.
The lockdown was ordered after more than 1 000 students had forced open security gates at the administration block, demanding that seven lecturers leave their offices and be escorted off campus.
The students had delivered a memorandum listing seven demands to acting deputy vice-chancellor Professor Tsepho Gugushe, among which were allegations that fifth-year paediatric students were being victimised.
“We demand the lecturers vacate their offices and leave campus within 15 minutes, failing which we will forcefully remove them,” SRC president Melusi Marakalala said to loud applause after handing over the memorandum.
Certain professors, and a Mr Croucamp, would interfere with investigations if they remained at the institution, they charged. “We also demand that lecturer Botha be suspended and investigated with immediate effect over her suspicious qualification,” the memo read.
After singing and toyi-toyiing, and a loud countdown of the 15 minutes, a crowd surged forward to the main administration entrance, breaking the security gates’ padlocks and storming into the building.
They ran up several flights of stairs, breaking glass and grabbing fire extinguishers. The group then occupied the space outside the executive suite, singing and demanding that the lecturers come out.
They sang about their patience wearing thin, and then smashed the glass doors to reach the security gate, which they damaged, before being begged to stop by members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union.
They left the building and searched adjoining buildings for the lecturers, and the parking lots for their cars. When they were confirmed to have slipped out through back exits, the students marched to the gate, where they instructed security to lock it. “Who is in must stay in, and those outside out,” the students chanted. At a meeting they agreed not to go back to class until they were addressed on their grievances, and the lecturers suspended.
Marakalala said: “We demanded a meeting with executives, where they must show us the suspension letters, because they cannot be here while being investigated. Some of these people have questionable qualifications, others have an agenda against students,” he said, adding they were a “mafia” not wanted on campus.
The students vowed to root out racism, nepotism and unfair practices. There would be no classes until issues were addressed satisfactorily, and the objects of their displeasure removed, they said.
The gates were opened at 4pm, but the students said they would again be locked this morning.
Higher education officials were unable to comment after being held up in the budget debate in Parliament all day on Thursday.
* The removal of lecturers, teaching fifth-year paediatrics students, who victimised students and failed a certain number every academic year.
* The immediate promotion of affected students to sixth-year with full credit when academic programme resumes.
* Warning mathematics head of department that students were aware of his nepotism tendencies in hiring staff.
* Demands on residences, including internal advertising, of vacant residence space to allow students to apply.
* Installation of internet connectivity at Medcity for post-graduate students who occupy the facility.
Pupil killed by mob in Khayelitsha
Siyavuya Mzantsi 24 July 2014
Cape Town - A grade 6 pupil has died after he was beaten with sticks and sjamboks during an alleged mob attack in Khayelitsha after he was accused of stealing a cellphone.
Jason “Athi” Kamisi, 17, was attacked by a group of men and women on Sunday and died later that day in hospital. Jason was accused of breaking into a house and stealing a cellphone and other goods.
The incident allegedly happened metres from his home in Site C.
Jason attended Ncotsheni Primary in Khayelitsha.
On Wednesday, his family told the Cape Times of how they had been told how Jason had been assaulted with sticks and sjamboks.
“It was at about 3pm when a group of about five young men came here to tell us that Athi was being beaten up not far from here. They did not tell us what he had done. We went to the scene and when we arrived there, he (had been) placed in a closed rubbish bin,” Jason’s cousin, Buyiswa Jada, said on Wednesday.
“There was no one around there. We were told by people who had witnessed the attack that he was beaten up for stealing a cellphone – they did not find a cellphone in his possession.”
The police arrived and took the badly beaten pupil to hospital.
When Jada described how Jason’s body had been found, his mother, Selina, broke down. She covered her face with a piece of cloth, then walked out of the room.
“He was stripped naked. He had two huge wounds on his face and there was blood all over him. His body was covered with scars caused by a sjambok,” said Jada.
Jada said she believed her cousin had been assaulted by drunk people in a house.
“I think they locked him in a house where they tortured him. They then took him outside where other people joined in and attacked him. He was then placed in a rubbish bin. Three women who live not far from here have been arrested,” she said.
“We know he had challenges as a teenager, but that did not mean he had to be killed. He would leave the house wearing his uniform, but would not go to school.”
Jason’s grandmother, Juliet Peterson, said the investigating officer called them on Monday morning. “He said we needed to go to the hospital. We arrived and were informed that Athi had passed away.”
She said they were informed by the doctors that Jason had suffered severe head injuries.
Jason’s mother spoke of how her son’s dreams of becoming a soldier had been “cut short”.
“… you at least feel better when you have tried to save your children, but in this instance, we were not able to save him,” she said, adding that the problem with the cellphone could have been resolved had the attackers approached them first before taking the law into their own hands.
Jada said they didn’t know how they would pay for Jason’s funeral because only one member of the family had a job.
The police had not responded to a Cape Times query at deadline.
Residents protest death of woman
Alex News 15 July 2014
ALEXANDRA – The death of a young woman last week allegedly at the hands of the police led to a protest by a small group of residents at the Alexandra police station yesterday.
A relative of the deceased Aphiwe Zweni addresses a crowd that gathered at her home on 16 Avenue in the presence of some media before some of them went to the Alexandra police station to protest over her death.
The death of a young woman last week allegedly at the hands of the police led to a protest by a small group of residents at the Alexandra police station yesterday.
The woman Aphiwe Zweni is said to have died from injuries sustained from beatings allegedly by police who were looking for her boyfriend for alleged illegal possession of firearms and stolen property.
The group with placards and hurling their anger demanded to know why she had been assaulted leading to her death. Zweni is survived by a one and half year old child and the protestors demanded to know who would maintain the child. One of the protesters said they had expressed their anger at the conduct of the police who should also come to apologize to the family of the deceased.
Police did did not attend to them (protesters) but its understood from statement by the Democratic Alliance that the matter is under investigation by the Independent Police Investigation Directorate, a watch dog body over police conduct.
We will kill Taegrin’s killers’
IOL News 22 July 2014
Johannesburg - Desperate Reiger Park residents have pleaded with President Jacob Zuma to address the crime in their community – or else they will take the law into their own hands.
The death of 4-year-old Taegrin Morris, whose mother watched helplessly as he was dragged alongside her hijacked car on Saturday night, has sparked outrage in the tightly-knit community, with threats to kill anyone related to the case.
The horrifying incident was a step too far for hundreds of residents who gathered to protest outside the local police station on Monday – the death of Taegrin being yet another example of the severity of the crime terrorising this Ekurhuleni community.
Last May, Zuma visited Eldorado Park, south of Joburg, another community ravaged by drugs and violence. He initiated a government intervention that altered the way in which the community was policed and provided some hope to residents who felt the siutuation was beyond saving.
This came after Dereleen James wrote a letter to Zuma in which she documented her struggle to get her son off crystal meth, a drug known as “tik”.
But with gang violence plaguing Reiger Park and criminals allegedly back on the streets shortly after their arrests, the community has threatened to take matters into their own hands if justice was not seen to be done for Taegrin – and unless the president himself conducted a similar intervention in their community.
On Monday, provincial police spokeswoman Colonel Noxolo Kweza confirmed that no arrests had been made, but said a man had been brought in for questioning. She said he was not a suspect.
Despite being told by station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Sipho Mathebula that someone was being questioned, the angry mob outside the station threatened to kill him if he was released.
“When this man is locked up today, tomorrow he will be back on the streets,” screamed Shenita Scorie at Mathebula. “This is the law of Reiger Park. If (the hijackers) are released, we will kill them.”
Mathebula tried to calm the crowd, but the threats kept coming.
Standing beside them was Taegrin’s aunt, Rosline Kok, despondent as the rest of her community shouted down the police officers.
She and a close friend of the Morris family, Diane de Gama, said Zuma had to address crime in the community, because the police could no longer handle the gangs and drugs that had taken over.
This sentiment was echoed by other residents, who shouted “Where is Zuma?”.
Asked if Zuma would consider visiting Reiger Park, his spokesman, Mac Maharaj, redirected inquiries to the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Maharaj said former premier Nomvula Mokonyane had been key in last year’s push for the president to visit Eldorado Park.
Makhura’s spokeswoman, Nino Zama, said that while there were no concrete plans or requests for the president to visit the community, the premier himself was planning his own intervention to address the drug and crime problem.
Makhura visited the family on Monday, spending more than an hour expressing his condolences over his senseless killing.
“I have ordered police to step up their investigations into this young boy’s death. This act was heartless. Dragging a small boy for kilometres shows they could have been under the influence of drugs, as we know the community has a drug problem,” the premier said.
The Morris family’s spokesman, Grant Esterhuizen, said Taegrin’s parents, Chantel and Elwin, had identified his body on Monday.
Esterhuizen said Chantel was relieved the child’s face was mostly unharmed, and that an open-casket funeral was still an option.
But this was small comfort for the grieving mother, who wept throughout the day.
Esterhuizen said Taegrin’s memorial service would take place in the community hall at 6pm on Thursday
Vendors always scared of Malema marches
IOL News 24 July 2014
Johannesburg - When Julius Malema led the Congress of South African Students march through the Joburg CBD in 2001, Christopher Sangweni fell victim to the rowdy schoolchildren who looted shops and smashed car windows.
Sangweni lost produce worth R1 300 at the time.
And when he heard the man now leading the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) would be leading a march to the Gauteng legislature, the Joburg street vendor took precautions.
“When Julius’s supporters protest, they do not do it peacefully, they do it violently. The last time they took some of my watches and hats.
“We don’t have a problem with their marching, but we’re also trying to make a living,” said Sangweni.
This time, protesters broke a few of his crates and a display table - but he had safeguarded his stock, packing up his stall the minute he heard of the protest.
He was not the only one
No EFF members arrested - police
IOL News 24 July 2014
Johannesburg - No EFF supporters have been arrested for their behaviour in the Gauteng legislature, Gauteng police said on Thursday.
“No one has been arrested,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
The legislature said it was assessing damage caused during the Economic Freedom Fighters' protest on Tuesday. It has said it intended to file a civil lawsuit.
“The violent protest by the EFF on Tuesday has resulted in malicious damage to state property,” it said in a statement.
The damage included broken windows, doors, and furniture.
Beeld reported that they left faeces, plastic bottles of urine, dirty mats and a smouldering heap of rubble in their wake.
It quoted committees' chairwoman Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko as saying that loudspeakers were stolen. A section of a ceiling collapsed after EFF members used a fire hose to spray water into corridors on the second floor. Gold-plated copper doorknobs, over 100 years old, were ripped off and stolen.
The legislature laid criminal charges against the EFF on Tuesday night, after party members, including leader Julius Malema, stormed into the building.
At the time, Dlamini confirmed that cases of public violence and malicious damage to property were opened at the Johannesburg Central police station.
The legislature's acting secretary Hlengiwe Bhengu said charges of trespassing, damage to property, and intimidation had been laid.
The charges related to the EFF's forced entry into the legislature, looting food catered for the sitting, assaulting police officers, and vandalising property.
Malema led about 2000 red-clad members in a protest over the ejection of their MPLs from a sitting because they wore red overalls bearing slogans.
Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered them out of the House on July 1 for wearing red overalls with “asijiki” (we do not retreat) inscribed on the back.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse EFF supporters at the legislature on Tuesday evening. Stun grenades were thrown inside the foyer.
EFF members storm Gauteng legislature
IOL News 22 July 2014
EFF members gathered for a protest march over a ban on wearing their red overalls in the Gauteng legislature. Photo: @ShottaZee
Johannesburg - Economic Freedom Fighters' members stormed into the Gauteng legislature during their march in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The party members had marched to the legislature to protest against the removal of their MPLs during a sitting on July 1.
On arrival at the legislature, they pushed through a human chain of police officers in front of the building and stormed inside.
Other members who were prevented from getting in when the door was shut and locked continued to sing struggle songs in front of the legislature where police struggled to maintain order.
Those who got in were removed, except for the party's provincial leaders and its leader Julius Malema. They were in a meeting in the building around noon on Tuesday. - Sapa
Civil Society To March To Protest Doctor’s Killing
Yahoo News 22 July 2014
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and other organisations will hold a march in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Tuesday to protest the recent killing of a doctor.
Doctor Aloku was on duty at Site B hospital on 26 June. At lunch, he went to buy food at the BP garage where he was hijacked and brutally killed. His body was dumped and discovered at the Macassar cemetery.
“This march is our small attempt to reassure Dr. Aloku’s family, colleagues, friends, and the health sector that TAC and all partners will do our best for justice to prevail and the murderers to be severely punished,” said MSF project coordinator in Khayelitsha, Dr Vivian Cox.
“We also wish to share our unnecessary loss as a health community and join forces with those who are committed to make Khayelitsha a better and safer place for all.”
Cox said doctors are an essential resource and need to be protected at all costs. She said there is already a shortage in South Africa, and such crime against doctors will only exacerbate the problem.
“It may scare away potential applicants for vacant posts that always exist in our Khayelitsha clinics,” she added.
The march will begin at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court and end at Site B police station where protesters will hand over a memorandum demanding a full investigation and seeking assurances medical staff will be protected against violent crime.
Municipal strike making people sick
IOL News 18 July 2014
Johannesburg - Zamdela residents are sick of the municipality workers’ strike - and are getting sicker from the dirty water and piles of rubbish it has created.
As the strikers and their employers from the Metsimaholo municipality argue over whether the industrial action is even allowed, residents are so angry that it has led to violence, looting and widespread power and water cuts.
On July 10, the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) officially started their strike in Metsimaholo municipality, after four weeks of failed negotiations and a Labour Court interdict.
“The strike continues until the issues raised are addressed,” Sandla Mahlati, the Samwu chairman at Metsimaholo, said on Thursday .
Mahlati said their major demands included improved life insurance policies, salaries and promotions, and the biannual replacement of protective clothing and equipment. However, they are also concerned with “selective and irregular promotions”, and grievance procedures.
But the municipality has said the strike should not be happening. “The core of the issue is that the strike is illegal (unprotected),” said Metsimaholo municipality spokesman Gino Alberts.
He showed The Star a copy of a Johannesburg Labour Court interdict handed down on June 27, which is valid until October 9.
Mahlati argued it was irrelevant as they had served the municipality with a second notice to strike after the interdict was granted, which Alberts was unaware of.
Although both parties said on Thursday they were willing to negotiate, no meetings have been scheduled.
The latest victims are Zamdela residents who have been without water and electricity since Wednesday.
“As residents, we are sick and tired of this thing,” said Kenny Pule.
He said he was frustrated because water had flooded his home and he was worried about his 20-month-old daughter. “She used to play in this water and she became sick.”
“It’s not clean around here,” said Pule’s blind neighbour, Mananki Molahleni.
Alberts said they were not to blame as they had not cut the power or water and were also not experiencing any technical issues.
He urged the community to report any sightings of people at sub-stations or water pumps to police.
Mobs loot foreign businesses in Zamdela
IOL News 17 July 2014
Johannesburg - Foreign-owned businesses in the Zamdela township outside Sasolburg, Free State, became targets of xenophobic attacks following a failed labour dispute between the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the local municipality.
Their attackers caught them by surprise and left them with nothing to salvage. The only option left to them was to flee and save their lives.
Some residents said the township was marred by strike action by the local Samwu branch and the Metsimaholo local municipality.
On Tuesday, residents said the parties had failed to reach a settlement on their dispute.
Sasolburg police spokeswoman Sergeant Sellwane Mapamela confirmed earlier reports that the dispute was municipality-related, but some residents used the dispute to attack foreign-owned businesses.
Sergeant Mapamela said residents in Zamdela and the surrounding informal settlements of France and Armelia began barricading roads with burning tyres and stones on Tuesday.
Pakistani shopowners pack their belongings as they depart from Zamdela township outside Sasolburg. Photo: Itumeleng English
“Police arrived and dispersed the crowds. Later these people decided to attack the foreign-owned businesses,” Mapamela said.
One of the victims, Somali national Abera Abreham, recounted how some of the attackers gained entry through the roof of their shop while they were asleep at the France informal settlement.
“It was just after 8pm. They stormed into the shop and helped themselves to everything. They took all our stock.
“We had everything which was sold at Shoprite. They attacked into the night. We had goods of more than R100 000 in the shop,” Abreham said.
When they returned on Wednesday morning, Abreham and his business partners found only empty shelves, boxes, crates and fridges.
“We are afraid. We just came here to collect our clothes and return to a place where we could be safe.
“We could not save anything. They caught us by surprise,” he said.
Abreham said he and other Somali and Pakistani businessmen and women had to flee to neighbouring towns of Parys and Vereeniging.
However, by Wednesday afternoon the situation in the two informal settlements of Armelia and France was calm after the business people arrived with members of the Zamdela Community Policing Forum (CPF) and some sympathetic community members, to help them load some of their remaining items into their bakkies.
A police helicopter hovered between these troubled areas, while other officers patrolled the ground with nyalas and other police vehicles to avert any further attacks.
In Zamdela township, Chinese businesses also came under attack.
The attacks have divided the local communities. Residents said these shops were easily accessible to them.
Most of the residents survive on child grants and allegedly live in shacks because the municipality and provincial government had failed to provide them with fully constructed RDP houses.
“Now it means we should pay R9.50 to go to town and buy a packet of candles and two litres of paraffin. A return fare is R19. We can’t afford it. Those things were easily available at these shops,” one of the concerned residents said.
Zamdela CPF member Tebogo Malatsi said 90 foreign-owned shops were attacked, but police said they received only 76 complaints.
Mapamela said 59 suspects were arrested and were to appear in the Sasolburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of public violence.
The situation remained tense on Wednesday night.
Thousands march in Cape Town for Gaza
IOL News 16 July 2014
Cape Town - Thousands of chanting pro-Palestine demonstrators streamed up Plein Street in Cape Town shortly after noon on Wednesday and gathered outside Parliament's main gates.
The huge crowd, which stretched over several city blocks, held aloft scores of banners and posters, calling for an end to the violence in Palestine's Gaza Strip.
Central City Improvement District tweeted that there were approximately 4 000 participants.
“Israel should be wipe [sic] out of the map” and “Netanyahu: Hitler's clone” were among the poster messages displayed.
The march comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel was set to “expand and intensify” its campaign against the Palestinian organisation Hamas.
The Jewish state has been conducting air strikes against the Palestinian territory in retaliation for rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel.
Palestinian officials claim at least 200 people have been killed in the air strikes, including children.
“Free, free Palestine!” the protesters chanted outside the parliamentary complex.
Posters held aloft by the crowd proclaimed: “Israel murders children in Gaza” and “Viva Palestine, Viva Hamas”.
A group of men wearing taqiyah skullcaps carried a large Palestinian flag.
The march was organised by the Muslim Judicial Council. - Sapa
Mamelodi protesters block road
IOL News 17 July 2014
Johannesburg - Around 500 residents of Stoffelpark informal settlement in Mamelodi, Pretoria sat in the middle of a road in an apparent protest, police said on Thursday.
“There are between 400 to 500 people sitting in the middle of Tsamaya Road next to Mahube Valley,” spokesman Constable Sam Shibambo told Sapa.
He said police were still not sure what it was about as the residents did not carry any placards.
“There are no placards to say what the problem is but police are monitoring the scene,” he said.
Shibambo said there was no damage to property or acts of violence reported. He appealed to motorists to avoid the area. - Sapa
Langa says sorry for looting
IOL News 14 July 2014
Cape Town - Langa residents have begged for forgiveness from foreign shopowners in the township after their shops were looted during protests.
Community leaders have also undertaken to try to protect the shopowners in future and to include them in talks about problems in the community.
A total of 53 shops belonging to Somalis and Ethiopians were attacked and looted by residents who went on the rampage on Wednesday.
The shopowners have since refused to reopen their businesses until their safety is guaranteed.
On Sunday the Langa Joint Committee held a meeting between residents of the area, the South African Council of Churches in the Western Cape, the Somali Association of SA and shopowners.
“Our people are going hungry without you. It is hard for families who depend on your shops to get their bread. Please accept our most heartfelt apology… we are doing all we can to ensure your safety,” said Joint Committee member Fuzile Gogo.
He promised that no protests would be held before July 24, a deadline by which the city was due to respond to a memorandum.
“I’ll admit we did not do enough to ensure the protection of our brothers,” Gogo said. Although the protest had been launched by the committee, it had been hijacked by “a group of criminals” who had nothing to do with residents’ grievances.
Mustafar Haaji, chairman of the Langa Somali Association, accepted Gogo’s apology, but said the attacks on the shops had been xenophobic.
Haaji’s appliances and R7 000 in cash were stolen.
“There were South African businessmen who did not have their shops touched. It is because we are Somalis. This is not the first time and it won’t be the last.”
He often feared for his life, but he had no choice but to continue working in Langa.
Adikadir Mohamed, a member of the Somali association, said: “You have to understand, we are visitors to this country. We expect to be protected by you. We don’t know what to do or where to go. We are so lost.”
Durban community barricade road
SABC News 11 July 2014
KwaZulu- Natal Durban Kennedy Road informal settlement Protest Thulani Zwane
Community members have embarked on a service delivery protest in the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban. They are barricading the road with burning tyres and stones.
Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane says: “The police went to the scene and they noticed that the road was closed and about 50 people were blocking the road with burning tyres and stones.”
“ When the police arrived the people dispersed. There's no incident that has been reported and no arrest made. The situation is under control. We heard that people are complaining of service delivery in the area.”
Meanwhile, five people have been arrested during a service delivery protest in Westbrook, near Tongaat, north of Durban.
Five suspects were charged for public violence as well as malicious damage to property
Residents of Thuthukani Seatides informal settlement blockaded the road with burning tyres, demanding housing.
This is the second time in three weeks that these residents have taken to the streets.
Zwane says angry residents also attacked officers. “Police have arrested five suspects after there was a protest at the Westbrook area, near Tongaat. These five suspects were charged for public violence as well as malicious damage to property, after they damaged the police cars when they were protesting in the area.”
Anger over tot’s death turns violent
IOL News 11 July 2014
Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday condemned the burning a house, a church, and a court building in Ncotshane, Pongola, after a boy's body was found at the church.
“The ANC... condemns in the strongest terms possible the ongoing destruction of private and public property in Pongola,” the party's provincial treasurer Peggy Nkonyeni said in a statement.
“Our disappointment is that the violence occurred after the leader of the church had already been arrested in connection with the horrific discovery.”
On Wednesday around 7pm residents torched the Ncotshane Magistrate's Court in Pongola. This followed the arrest of 15 people for setting alight a church where the boy's dismembered body was found, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Thursday.
“It is suspected a petrol bomb was used,” Captain Thulani Zwane said.
“It is further suspected that it (the court) was set alight by angry community members regarding the arrest of 15 people for public violence.”
Parts of the boy, who went missing on July 2, were found in a plastic bag in the church on Saturday. Police were searching for the missing limbs.
A 51-year-old pastor was arrested for the boy's murder.
Zwane said during the police search, a skull and skeleton were found at a woman's house in Ncotshane on Tuesday. It is not clear yet if the skeleton belonged to the body parts found in the church.
“The recovered bones were taken for analysis to establish if they were of a human being or not,” he said.
Residents set her house alight. She was not injured, and a case of arson was opened.
Some of those arrested appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court earlier this week and would remain in custody until their bail application on July 11. Two teenagers, both 17, were released into their parents' custody and told to attend the bail hearing.
The ANC said a tuck shop had also been set alight in the area, but police could not confirm this.
“The ANC reiterates its condemnation of the despicable killing of a small boy and we send our deepest condolences to the family and friends,” Nkonyeni said.
13 nabbed for arson, kidnapping
IOL News 9 July 2014
Johannesburg - Thirteen people were arrested for arson and kidnapping at the Mmaditlhokwa informal settlement in Marikana on Wednesday, North West police said.
“They were wanted for allegedly setting alight a ward councillor's house and a house belonging to the councillor's close friend where a person was also kidnapped during the night on Tuesday, May 13,” Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.
Residents blocked the entrance to the informal settlement with rocks, apparently protesting over the arrest of the 13.
“The road has been blocked. Police are monitoring the situation,” he said.
Ward councillor Appearance Ndlovu's house was burnt down during a protest by residents in May. They barricaded roads with burning tyres and rubble in protest against blasting at the nearby Tharisa mine. They alleged the blasts damaged their houses and affected their children's health.
Sixteen people were arrested on that night for public violence. They pleaded guilty and each paid a R100 admission of guilt fine in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on July 4.
Mokgwabone said the four women and nine men arrested on Wednesday were expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court soon.
In a separate incident, three men were arrested for possession of an illegal firearm in Marikana.
“The suspects were arrested after information was received that they were in possession of a firearm. They are expected to appear in Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Thursday,” said Mokgwabone. - Sapa
TAC community healthcare workers arrested in Free State
Mia Malan (Mail & Guardian) 10 July 2014
The HIV lobby group says over 100 of its community healthcare workers have been arrested in Bloemfontein after a night vigil sit-in.
According to a TAC Free State chairperson, a campaign leader was assaulted by police during the arrests and has bruises on his face.
Over 100 community healthcare members of HIV lobby group Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) were arrested during the early hours of Thursday morning by police in Bloemfontein following a night vigil sit-in at Bophelo House, head office of the Free State’s health department.
Mokhalipi told the Mail & Guardian police officers arrived at the scene on Thursday morning and said “they got the order from Health MEC Benny Malakoane and the head of the Free State health department to come and arrest us”.
The vigil started on Wednesday night.
According to TAC Free State chairperson Sello Mokhalipi, the group, mostly elderly women, were taken to Park Road police station and Mangaung Police Station in Bloemfontein where they are being held in waiting cells.
Pregnant teen hurt in Cape protest
IOL News 10 July 2014
Cape Town - Rampaging residents of a Helderberg suburb stoned passing motorists, lit burning barricades and confronted police in connection with a land dispute.
The N2 was closed at about mid-afternoon on Wednesday - as was the main Victoria Road, which leads into Somerset West - after vehicles were attacked by roving bands of residents from the suburb of Garden Village.
A number of motorists were forced to ramp over a centre island in a bid to flee the deadly projectiles.
The roads were strewn with rubbish, rocks and tree stumps, as aggressive crowds roamed from one end of the suburb to the other.
Many said they had nothing to do with the dispute over the patch of land in question and laughed and cheered as they hurled rocks and debris. The land dispute involved shacks built in the tiny sub-suburb known as Donkerbos, which is immediately south of the Somerset West railway station on the outskirts of Garden Village, along the N2.
The shacks were not occupied when they were dismantled - except for one, which was left standing.
Inside this last remaining dwelling, Kaylin Sylvester, 16, who is seven months’ pregnant, writhed and sobbed with pain while friends urgently called for an ambulance fearing she had gone into early labour.
Friends tending to her claimed she had been kicked from behind by an officer - they were not sure which state unit the officer belonged to, or whether it had been someone else - when violence broke out at about 3pm. It was equally unclear whether the pregnant teen had, during the chaos, fallen from another cause.
Another woman lying on a bed next to her said she had been “pepper-sprayed in the face”. Neither account could be independently corroborated.
A City of Cape Town fire and rescue team arrived shortly and helped residents get her to a waiting vehicle owned by Mbuyiselo Matha, an ANC ward councillor at Nomzamo, about 6km east along the N2 towards Sir Lowry’s Pass. She was later transferred to an ambulance and taken to hospital.
Siyabulela Mamkeli, mayoral committee member for human settlements, said on Tuesday the Anti-Land Invasion Unit “removed 11 unoccupied structures which were in the process of being erected on land in the Somerset West area, which needs to be kept clear in case of future development”.
“(On Tuesday night), structures had again been erected. The unit therefore removed 17 unoccupied structures (on Wednesday).
“Discussions are under way between the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town regarding the details of the next phase of the Lourensia Park housing project, which are yet to be finalised. Some of the illegal occupants may be accommodated, if they qualify, in the next phase, which will offer about 150 housing opportunities.”
Mamkeli stressed: “Please note: this was not an eviction as the illegal structures were unoccupied. While we do everything in our power to provide interim relief to our residents in need, the city also has a duty to ensure that we deliver housing opportunities in a fair and systematic manner.
“While the city respects the right of residents to protest and voice their concerns, this must be done in a peaceful manner.”
A local community committee member, Charmaine Dampies, said she believed the violence was “wrong”, but said the removal of the wendy houses from the disputed land had “made the people resort to anything”.
By sunset, the smouldering remains of the burning barricades were still blocking roads.
Union Buildings marchers demand houses
IOL News 9 July 2014
Pretoria - Close to 200 Ekurhuleni residents marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday, demanding houses and sanitation.
Members of the Ekurhuleni Concerned Residents Association, led by Vincent Mothoa, said they wanted President Jacob Zuma to intervene.
“Unfortunately, both the president and the deputy president were not there to receive the memorandum of our grievances. Even the human settlements minister could not be availed,” said Mothoa.
“A liaison officer from the presidency received our memo. We have given them 14 days to... consult on our grievances.”
He said the protesters were from different areas of Ekurhuleni, including Tembisa, and the Winnie Mandela informal settlement.
Mothoa said the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality was neglecting poor residents.
“The only time they view us as fellow people is voting time. We are fighting for basic services which include housing and sanitation,” he said.
“The municipality only serves high-class people, ignoring us. We expect the president to call all relevant stakeholders.”
In their memorandum protesters call for the removal of some councillors.
The presidency could not be reached for comment.
The Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village Yesterday
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
7 July 2014
Madlala Village is situated in the South of Durban near Lamontville Township. The settlement was founded by Siza Madlala in 2012. This community was a home to about 389 residents before they were evicted more than twenty five times. The settlement is now home to about 25 families.
Abahlali in Madlala Village, mostly women, had scheduled a meeting with the leadership of Abahlali in order to present ubuhlalism to the community. This is part of the process for a community to join the movement. This was intended to be the second meeting Abahlali meeting in the community since February this year when we joined the community as friends of the court in the Constitutional Court for the case known as Zulu and 389 other vs MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works and another. The first meeting went very well but at the end of the meeting there came a young man who claimed to own the settlement and warned us that in future we will have to get a permit from local ANC structures and the local councillor or the Abahlali cars will be burnt. It was clear that the local community was very angry and did not approve his threats. They told us not to worry. We are used to these kinds of threats, as well as anonymous threats by telephone, and we did not worry.
Yesterday when we had just arrived at the settlement and were about to start our meeting we saw a group of about 12 young men. Some of them were drunk while some of them looked very tired and seemed not to have slept. They said to us that this was an ANC area and that we were not welcome without the ward councillor’s permission. They threatened that if we do not leave then they will burn the Abahlali car. It was clear that if the meeting went ahead there would be violence. The police were called in but took time to arrive.
The women who had invited us to Madlala Village have been the victims of municipal land invasion unit. Their homes have been constantly demolished. They won their victory in the Constitutional Court but it meant nothing to the Municipality. Now they are also victims of the local ANC. The community told us that the young man who led this group was Mr Siza Madlala. Madlala Village was named after this man. For a long time the community has wanted to change the name of their settlement to Sisonke Village as they have thought that Madlala was acting like he was owning the community and can do whatever pleases him. They wanted a name that was more collective.
The community told us that some of these guys were whoonga boys who are not even known in the area. Siza himself has been threatening women in the area. He did the same thing in Clairwood where he was chased away.
Due to the clear threat of violence the meeting had to be cancelled. We have faced bullying and intimidation and sometimes serious violence by local branches of the ANC since 2005. This culture of intimidation is not new. However it is getting a lot worse. In most settlements there is someone who is making money from development and who is willing to use violence to protect their position. These people are being enriched by the ANC in order to control people on the ground and to force them to accept oppression. Now that there are whoonga boys in most settlements it is getting easier to find young men who will support the local party thugs.
It concerns us that after twenty years of democracy there are no-go areas in a supposedly democratic country perpetrated by individuals who are either members of the ANC or hide behind the ANC flag. We hope the ANC can distance itself from the likes of Madlala. We have always warned of twenty years of shack life as crime against humanity.
For comment on the situation in Madlala Village, including the intimidation by Siza Madlala yesterday, please contact:
Mam Bhemu 083 5879313
Mam Zulu 084 2003916
Mam Dodana 083 9741223
Langa shuts down amid violet protests
IOL News 10 July 2014
Cape Town - Police, paramedics, commuters and journalists were pelted with bricks and glass bottles as violent protests flared up on the streets of Langa on Wednesday.
The township was essentially shut down by an angry mob who ran through the streets, looting shops and lighting fires.
In one incident a motorist was trying to turn on to Bhunga Avenue, navigating smouldering piles of plastic bins, when protesters surrounded the car and began throwing stones at it.
“Oh no, that was a big mistake,” said a Langa resident watching from behind makeshift barriers of scattered cinderblocks.
The driver was just one of many commuters who found themselves in the firing line.
While it was originally dubbed a “housing protest”, it morphed throughout the day, with some residents chanting for the victims of the Marikana massacre, others for better living conditions.
There was only one consensus: nobody from Langa was going to be allowed to leave the area to go to work. Those who tried were harassed and some even attacked.
“There was a man that they dragged from the train station and hit with sjamboks,” said a resident taking refuge in her garage.
She, like everybody else, wanted to remain anonymous. Like everybody else, she was scared of the protesters.
One group torched a local bakery, another looted shops around the taxi rank. They were carrying makeshift weapons, from broken bottles and stones to rudimentary axes.
They scattered when police Nyalas sporadically rumbled down the road and regrouped when the coast was clear.
They pulled down a streetlight which smashed into the road.
The township became a no-go area. When the Cape Argus tried to drive inside the area, residents warned the team to leave. “They are angry with you,” we were told.
Paramedics had the same problem. Metro EMS spokesman Robert Daniels said that despite numerous calls to help patients in the township, they were unable to go inside.
However, by lunchtime they were able to respond to some of the more serious cases.
“For the rest, such as high blood pressure patients, they will have to wait until it’s safe for us to go back in.”
At the time of going to print nobody had been injured during the protests.
Police spokesman Andre Traut said 20 people had been arrested for public violence. At 3pm the roads into the township were still closed and guarded by a strong police contingent.
The protests followed attempts this week to sabotage railway services in the area.
Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott said on Tuesday people had lit fires on the tracks leading to the Langa station. They did the same on Wednesday morning, and when the company cleared the tracks they pelted the incoming trains with rocks.
“We have cancelled all services within 4km of the station until the protest is over,” she said on Wednesday.
Very few residents were able to make it to work. Some managed to scurry away in bakkies, others snuck through side-streets and backroads.
By 5pm on Wednesday, Traut said, the situation was under control.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, on the key arterial route, Baden Powell Drive, burning tyres blocked morning commuter traffic between the N2 and Mew Way.
Twin barricades were set up by residents of Makhaza in Khayelitsha. By 10.30am on Wednesday police had dispersed the crowds.
Trains stoned, shops looted in Cape protest
IOL News 9 July 2014
Cape Town - Langa was effectively locked down on Wednesday morning after a violent protest on the streets of the township in the early morning.
Trains were reportedly stoned, while a bakery was set on fire with a petrol bomb and many of the shops near the taxi rank were looted.
Tyres lay smouldering in the road, empty rubber-bullet casings rolled in the wind and residents watched as police stood at a safe distance.
Residents said the protest started at about 4am. The protesters, many carrying sjamboks, had taken to the street demanding more housing.
“I walked out of my house at 5am and there were people everywhere,” said one resident leaning against the wall of her home. She wanted to remain anonymous.
“(The protesters) threatened me when they saw I was going to work. They said go back inside and you can only leave at 10am.”
Another resident said the protesters had beaten a man on his way to the train station.
“He was carrying a bag and they said he cannot go to work.”
There were still catcalls when residents spotted someone walking with a bag.
“You can’t go to work,” they yelled.
When the Cape Argus attempted to drive to the local police station many people warned us to turn around.
“They will hurt you.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant Andre Traut said police had been deployed in the area.
All the roads into the township were barricaded off with concrete barriers or police cars, causing delays on the N2 and Vanguard Drive as commuters were forced to find alternative routes to work.
By 10am, there were still crowds gathered around the taxi rank in the township’s shopping district.
“Action has been taken to maintain law and order,” Traut said.
At the time of publication, no arrests had been made.
Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott said services to the local station had been cancelled. Early this morning as protests began, people had set fire to rubbish and tires on the tracks.
When that had been cleared, protesters had stoned trains as they arrived at the station, she said.
On Tuesday, people had also attempted to sabotage train services in the area, Scott said.
“Right now we are just running a service up to Khayelitsha,” she said. “Things are still simmering there, so we are asking customers to remain patient for the duration of the protest. It’s for their own safety.”
Meanwhile, barricades of burning tyres blocked traffic between the N2 and Mew Way on the key arterial route Baden Powell Drive this morning.
Twin barricades were set up by residents of Makhaza, a suburb of Eastern Khayelitsha which has a large proportion of informal shack homes.
By 10.30am, police had dispersed the crowds and swept the road clean of smouldering molten rubber.
Additional reporting by Murray Williams and Anne Steele
Protests in Langa
EWN 9 July 2014
CAPE TOWN – All entrances to Langa have been closed to traffic this morning, as a result of a violent service delivery protest.
Traffic officials say residents took to the streets from the early hours of this morning.
Authorities are now maintaining a heavy presence along Washington Drive, as smoke continues to billow in the air.
Officials say they’ve been trying to contain the protest action since 4am this morning.
Police vans are now roaming the streets.
Officials say they will remain in the area for the remainder of the day in case demonstrators take to the streets again.
(Edited by Tamsin Wort)
‘Hacktivists’ target Sanral after evictions
IOL News 6 July 2014
Cape Town - A GROUP of Cape Town “hacktivists”, who took to the streets of Cape Town on Saturday, many wearing masks, have vowed to target businesses or government departments that “do something wrong against citizens”.
Anonymous Cape Town, taking their cue from the global movement, identified the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) as their first “target”.
Members generally don’t disclose their identities, instead wearing white masks, copying the anarchist character in the Hollywood film V for Vendetta.
One member said: “We want to change the system. We don’t hack for personal gain. We hack for the gain of others.
“A lot of our guys are planning to hack Sanral because of the way they evicted informal settlers in Lwandle (Strand). They did something wrong. We want to hack them and get the message out that what they did was wrong. We can quite easily take down their website.”
The group said they had 90 members spread across the city.
Another masked member said he joined the group because he did not want to work with an NGO “because they have their own focus and agendas”. “The mask says what I’m doing is not to gain credit for myself. I could be anyone and we are all trying to help out. Anyone can be part of us and make a difference.”
They also participated in beach and railway line clean-ups, and fed the hungry and poor, aside from participating in public protests.
“Today we are engaging with the public so that when they see us doing things in future they will know who we are. We are willing to get out there and help in any way we can. We want to see results,” he said.
The group handed out flyers to passersby and also invited them to join The Big Hug, an event planned for July 26 at the Sea Point Promenade.
Cops monitor situation after Khayelitsha protests
IOL News 7 July 2014
Cape Town police were monitoring Baden Powell Drive in Khayelitsha following a service delivery protest on Monday morning.
“We're finished with our operation there. We are just going to monitor the situation,” said police spokesman Lt-Col Andre Traut.
Protesting residents burnt tyres, forcing the closure of the road.
“There were no reports of injuries or damage to property,” Traut said.
City of Cape Town municipal workers were cleaning debris from the road.
“We don't think the roads were damaged by the burning tyres,” traffic spokesman Richard Coleman said. - Sapa
Two stabbed during scuffle at ANC meeting
IOL News 7 July 2014
Two people were stabbed and injured on Saturday as tension before this year’s ANC Tshwane region’s elective conference took a violent turn.
Hundreds of disgruntled party members stormed into a meeting held at the Sammy Marks council chambers, attended by the party’s Gauteng chairman, Paul Mashatile, and other senior provincial and regional leaders, including representatives of the ANC Youth League and Women’s League.
One of the two people stabbed was a member of the VIP protection unit of city mayor and regional chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa. Several others suffered minor injuries during the scuffle that ensued.
The disgruntled members said they were unhappy with the preparations for the regional conference, particularly the verification and audit of members.
They claimed their names were removed from the attendance list on Ramokgopa’s orders. The members went to the meeting uninvited to voice their displeasure.
Removal of their names, they alleged, was done purposefully to prevent them from participating in the conference, at which they intended opposing the re-election of the current leadership.
The group told the Pretoria News the meeting was disguised as an ANC caucus get-together, hence it was held in the council chambers.
They accused Ramokgopa of using police and a gang with links to a member of the mayoral committee - whose name has been withheld - as his personal shield against those opposing him.
However, Ramokgopa came out guns blazing, saying the ANC in Tshwane had no room for ill-discipline. He was joined by Lesego Makhubela of the ANC Youth League in the region in denouncing the violence at the meeting.
Makhubela appealed to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) to investigate the claims by the disgruntled members.
Ramokgopa said all party members had procedures and processes to follow in verifying their membership.
He said he respected this process of preparing for the regional conference as well as the verification and audit of membership.
“The assault on a member of the VIP protection unit demonstrated that the purported disgruntled members were hell-bent on disrupting the meeting.
“All members of the ANC have a right to contest all positions and I look forward to the re-election of a team to lead the region to a successful 2016 election.”
Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said the meeting was convened on the instruction of the ANC to engage with councillors on service delivery improvements and other matters. Similar meetings have taken place in other regions.
Mojapelo said the meeting was not the right platform to discuss membership issues as those were handled by the branches.
He said Ramokgopa had nothing to do with membership.
“The secretaries of the branches are happy with the audit and membership verification in preparation for the conference and have signed a declaration to that effect.
“That process opened three months ago and closed last Monday. This means no new members can be added to the list for the upcoming conference.”
The current regional leadership term ends in October, and the ANC has yet to announce the details of the elective conference.
Last month, sources revealed regional deputy chairman Mapiti Matsena intended standing for chairmanship against Ramokgopa.
He vehemently denied the allegations, saying he was in fact leading a campaign for the mayor’s re-election.
Ukrainians in SA stage protest in city
IOL News 5 July 2014
The Ukranian community in South Africa staged a protest on Friday outside the Russian Embassy against the invasion and war being waged in the Ukraine. They also delivered a petition demanding that Russia withdraw its troops.
The petition is to be delivered to Russia through the Russian Ambassador, Mikhail Ivanovich Petrakov.
Protesters chanted anti-Putin and anti-Russia slogans such as “Putin, stop killing Ukranians!” and “Russia go home!”
Russian military forces occupied the Crimean Peninsula, which is the territory of Ukraine. Russia at the time insisted that the forces did not include Russian troops. However, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, later admitted that Russian troops were in fact active in Crimea.
In their petition the Ukrainian community demands that support, funding and arming of movements in Ukraine by the Russian Federation cease immediately. They demand that compensation be paid by Russia to victims and families of victims of the invasion into Ukraine and to the Ukraine for the damage caused to the infrastructure.
Natalia Zockriachenko, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian community, said they were deeply unsatisfied with the occupation and would like the war against their people to be brought to an end.
“We are happy with the support that we have received, but the fact of the matter is that our people back home are dying for nothing.”
Olena Harrison, one of the protesters, said they were satisfied that someone had collected their petition even though they did not seem “open” to the gesture. “He just came and took it,” she said.
Protesters set municipal premises alight
IOL News 4 July 2014
Cape Town - A municipal building in Khayelitsha was set alight and vandalised by people demonstrating for houses and land.
The city’s subcouncil 24’s premises in Walter Sisulu Road was engulfed in flames after petrol bombs were thrown at the building, damaging parts of it on Wednesday night. Subcouncil 24 covers the greater Khayelitsha area.
Police spokesman Derek van der Merwe said on Thursday that a public violence case was opened. No one had been arrested.
Mayoral committee member for human settlements Siyabulela Mamkeli said: “According to our knowledge, the aggrieved persons are situated on Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) owned land. The city approached Prasa recently to discuss the possibility of service provision without the relocation of the occupants. This would include the necessary permission from Prasa. We are hoping to resolve our discussion soon.”
He condemned the violence. No one was injured.
Subcouncil 24 chairman Xolani Sotashe also condemned the incident: “This barbaric act is clearly taken by people who live far away from the teachings of the people’s movement. Our movement places great premium on discipline. Members of the ANC know how to carry themselves and know how unhappiness is dealt with in the movement.”
Sotashe, who is also ANC chief whip in the City Council, said supporters of the party would not become violent towards their leaders. “Our people have always carried the burden of being packed in high-density, low-serviced areas with an unusual grace.
“Our people have had days and weeks of putting up with no water and bust up sewerage pipes, but they have never felt justified burning a building.”
Sotashe warned: “There are services that remain to be delivered, but we will not allow criminals to use this to destroy and vandalise structures.”
Meanwhile, the city’s mayco member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said the destruction of 114 container toilets in Kosovo had put a strain on the provision of services in the area. “There have been acts of vandalism and wilful destruction of property in Kosovo, Philippi, on an unprecedented scale.”
Sonnenberg also said vandalism of a Kosovo substation was the worst he had seen.
“There has never been an incident of this magnitude in the city before: seven of the eight control panels were destroyed, grids were lifted, and main cables vandalised. Due to this thuggish behaviour, 5 200 households have had no electricity since June 26.
“Other city facilities and infrastructure have been affected as well. The damage caused is in excess of R2 million.”
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DA Youth picket outside Parliament
IOL News 4 July 2014
Cape Town - Members of the Democratic Alliance Youth picketed outside Parliament on Friday, calling for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to be scrapped.
“The NYDA has been involved in one corruption scandal after another since its inception in 2009, continuously failing the South African youth and wasting taxpayers’ money,” DA Youth federal chairman Yusuf Cassim said while addressing picketers outside the gates of Parliament.
Cassim said a call by Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela that more funds be allocated to the NYDA was unacceptable.
“We know that a bigger budget will just result in more corruption and waste,” said Cassim.
“The NYDA must be scrapped and the resources must be spent on bursaries, a youth wage subsidy, and other items that would benefit the youth directly.” - Sapa