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Publication Details

Reference
South African Protest News 16 December 2014 - 3 February 2015
 (2015) South African Protest News 16 December 2014 - 3 February 2015
 : -.

Summary
Comrades from the Mandela Complex protesting outside the Durban High Court – 27 January 2015
Abahlali 27 January 2015

Comrades from the Mandela Complex protesting outside the Durban High Court – 27 January 2015. They have successfully secured an interdict stopping Jay Singh from moving new tenants into the flats from which the comrades were evicted in December after a one year occupation. The next legal step is to secure an order allowing them to return to the flats. The political struggle for land and housing continues outside the court, including at the ongoing occupation outside the block of flats. The Mandela Complex comrades return to court on the 5th of February 2015.
abahlali.org

Occupiers Attacked by ANC Mob in Verulam

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement 29 January 2015

Last night and this morning around a hundred families occupying municipal flats in in Hammond’s Farm in Waterloo, Verulam, North of Durban came under sustained attack by an ANC mob and then the Land Occupations Unit, both acting with the support for the police.

The flats were occupied in November 2014. They had been left empty for years and it is alleged that the councillor from ward 58 began selling them for a minimum price of R10 000 each. At this point homeless residents took the decision to occupy.

Yesterday morning a municipal housing official known as Mr Comfort Gumede arrived at the flats accompanied by local councillor Mxolisi Kenneth Ndzibomvu to threaten residents with eviction. The occupiers asked them for an eviction order and Ndzibomvu said that this is an ANC Ward and where ANC rules they do not need to go to court. We over heard them speaking amongst themselves and they said that that night they were going to mobilize ANC members in order to carry out this evictions.

At around 19:00 p.m last night around 200 ANC people in ANC t-shirts and led by councillor arrived at the flats armed with bush knives, knobkerries, bottles and guns. They were chanting ANC slogans and started looting and damaging property and residents’ belongings. These thugs were also stealing our money and our belongings. One woman lost her bag with her documents, driver’s license, cash and medication. The local police were called in but took their instruction from the councillor who was inciting the violence. The police were there standing with Ndzibomvu and watching when we were attacked and our furniture was damaged. One car was also damaged. Some of us were seriously injured during this attack by the ANC and Thokozane Hlengwa had to be rushed to hospital. However despite all this we were able to hold on to the flats.

When the ANC left last night they said they would then send in the Anti-Land Invasion Unit. This morning at about 8:00am the Anti-Land Invasion Unit, Metro Police and SAPS came in their numbers to force us out. They came without any court document that authorises them to carry out evictions. The eviction has been completely criminal and unlawful. We have approached our lawyers to seek legal advice and protection under this circumstance.

The Anti-Land Invasion Unit has also started to evict ANC members who got flats by corruptions and not via occupation. They are also disconnecting all the flats from electricity. One woman screamed saying she had paid money to be in those flats. They are fighting amongst themselves over corrupt allocation.
abahlali.org
Nandisa Majola 084 5609620
Lungisa Blose 078 9102798
Mzamo Majola 082 3423947

Majakaneng residents torch bus
IOL News 2 February 2015

Mooinooi - Around 400 protesting people from Majakaneng village near Mooinooi in North West burnt tyres and a bus on the Old Rustenburg road on Monday morning, police said.

“They allegedly complained about the water and electricity supply in their area,” said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

“The community barricaded the Old Rustenburg road with burning tyres and also burnt a bus. No one was injured.”

The protest was believed to have taken place around 5.30am. The situation was currently quiet and public order police were monitoring it, he said.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/majakaneng-residents-torch-bus-1.1812323

Premier warns EFF land grabbers
Baldwin Ndaba 3 February 2015

EFF beware! Gauteng Premier David Makhura is watching you and ready to pounce on illegal land invaders.

This was the stern warning Makhura issued on Monday when addressing various national, provincial and local senior government officials about the need for his government and various municipalities to work hard and give people access to water and sanitation.

While Makhura’s speech was more on the need for the preservation of water and access to sanitation, the growing spread of illegal occupation of land was evidently bothering him - especially following the latest move in Diepsloot at the weekend.

He did not mention the EFF by name, but Makhura emphasised that his government would act harshly against anyone or group trying to illegally occupy Gauteng’s scarce land.

He stopped short of mentioning the type of action his government intended to take against them.

Makhura told the summit that all available land in Gauteng would be used to build “mega human settlements” close to economic nodes in the province.

He said each human settlement would have a minimum of 15 000 housing units.

“We need to build new cities to deal with unemployment and do away with poverty. We must stop building 100 RDP houses in one area and another 100 on another piece of land like a helicopter dropping pamphlets.

“In doing that, we are polluting the environment. We need new integrated communities, where the occupants don’t travel and spend a lot of money to get to work,” Makhura said, adding that the quality must be good.

With reference to the EFF, Makhura said: “We do not have enough land in Gauteng. Those who illegally occupy that land must be dealt with. Every piece of land must be for the new mega human settlement.”
www.iol.co.za

Chaos as Rea Vaya drivers abandon buses
IOL News 3 February 2015

Striking Rea Vaya bus drivers blocked several lanes in the Joburg CBD during peak-hour morning traffic. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
Johannesburg - Rea Vaya bus drivers caused havoc and massive traffic congestion when they abandoned their buses in some Joburg city centre intersections on Monday.

Helpless motorists arrived at work late as they negotiated through the congestion, with traffic said to have backed up as far as the N12.

The drivers, who had arrived for duty at 4am as usual, picked up a few commuters and then abandoned their buses with the keys in the ignition during peak-hour traffic.

They then held an illegal gathering, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

Neither their SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) representative, Deon Makhura, nor PioTrans, the company that manages Rea Vaya’s operations, knew about the protest action.

On Tuesday drivers were again strike, the company said.

"There has been no communication from the drivers or their union," Piotrans general manager Dumisani Mntambo said

"The company will start following the processes regarding company policies but there is no operation of the buses until further notice,” he said.

Spokesman for Rea Vaya, Benny Makgoga said he hoped the issues between Piotrans and the drivers would be resolved soon.

"We are hoping that there'll be some agreement reached but there are no guarantees," he said.

Commuters were urged to use alternative transport in the interim.

On Monday Makhura received a call from the police, who told him to come and disperse the drivers because they had gathered illegally in front of the Johannesburg Roads Agency’s offices.

Makhura said the drivers had told him they wanted to speak to people from the Department of Transport, but that could not be arranged because no one had been expecting them.

Makhura also tried to get hold of the member of the mayoral committee for transport, Christine Walters, but she was off sick.

The drivers then walked to Beyers Naudé Square, where they had an impromptu meeting.

Makhura said he had asked the drivers to write down their grievances, including working hours and salary discrepancies, so that they could be taken to the relevant people.

“They sometimes start at 4am and have a break at 9am. They will then have to be back on duty at 6pm and then knock off at 9pm.

It is not reasonable. Some of them have to leave their homes at 2am to be at work at 4am and only get to sleep at 10pm.That means they will have four hours before they are back at work. That is inhumane,” he said.

PioTrans collected the abandoned buses later in the day.

PioTrans said it had sent drivers SMSes and letters asking them to return to work.
botho.molosankwe@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Residents shine light on MyCiTi evictions
Anél Lewis Comment on this story 2 February 2015

Cape Town - Plumstead and Wynberg residents held an emotional candlelight vigil on Sunday night in solidarity with 26 families facing eviction now that the leases of their council houses have come to an end.

This just hours after the City of Cape Town confirmed that it would proceed with the “appropriate legal action” against tenants who refuse to move out of their homes that are to be demolished to make way for MyCiTi infrastructure.

Twenty-six tenants were given notice in last September that their leases would come to an end on January 31.

But after a massive public outcry and several public meetings, the city announced last week that it would offer eight tenants, who were in good standing with the municipality, alternative accommodation.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport for Cape Town, said the 18 other tenants would have been ousted from their homes, regardless of the MyCiTi project, because they owe a combined R4.5 million in unpaid accounts.

Of the eight who were offered alternative accommodation in Wynberg, Lakeside and Grassy Park, two had accepted, four had yet to respond and one had refused the offer in writing, Herron said.

Officials were still trying to get hold of the eighth tenant who was eligible for the offer.

But the tenants, who belong to the South Road Families Association insisted on Sunday that none of their members would accept the city’s offer.

They have described the city’s olive branch as “an insult to their intelligence” as the alternative houses are also in road reserves. This meant that there was a good chance they would have to move again.

Tenants of the South Road Families’ Association are adamant that they would not accept any alternatives and that they would stand together and fight the proposed MyCiTi route and demolition of houses.

Residents, who have been blacklisted by the city for nonpayment, alleged that they had made arrangements in writing to settle the arrears.

This could not be confirmed by the city.

Herron said the city would negotiate an extension of the current leases of those tenants who agreed to move.

“The new leases will be valid until such time as the official relocation process has been concluded.”

Meanwhile, ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore has urged the standing committee on transport and public works to invite the city and members of the South Road Families Association, Wynberg Ratepayers and Residents Association and Wynberg Taxi Association to Tuesday’s meeting to provide an update of the Lansdowne/Wetton Road corridor proposal.

“I have very serious concerns about the alleged failure to consult communities in good faith about the proposed routes,” said Dugmore in his letter to Lennit Max, the chairman of the standing committee.

“I believe that our standing committee requires full information on this matter as it is crucial to the future of public transport in the City of Cape Town.”
anel.lewis@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Malamulele school in Limpopo set alight, despite lockdown
Sapa 3 Feb 2015

Tweet Forensic teams will investigate the scene in the town of Malamulele in Limpopo, which has been brought to a standstill after month-long protests.

Malamulele residents during an ANC election rally at Malamulele Stadium last year, where President Jacob Zuma was booed while addressing the community about their call for their own municipality (Deaan Vivier, Gallo)
A section of the Malamulele High School in Limpopo has been damaged by a fire, Limpopo police said on Tuesday.

The administrative block caught fire late on Monday night, said police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto. “At this stage, the cause of the fire is not yet known ... We cannot rule out that it was an arson attack,” she said.
The township of Malamulele has been tense and under heavy police watch following a month of violent protests.

Otto said Malamulele was quiet but tense on Tuesday morning. “We have a strong police presence in the area. Besides the school fire, no other incidents have been reported since last night,” she said.

The town was under lockdown on Monday morning after month-long protests brought the area to a standstill.

Otto on Monday said the situation was tense. “It is like a ghost town, everything is closed.”

She said only employees of the SA police service and the health care sector were working. All other businesses and institutions – including schools – had been shut down.
Otto said she expected this to continue until Friday.

A meeting was expected to take place at the weekend to discuss the matter, she added.

Malamulele does not qualify
The area has been brought to a standstill in recent weeks following a demand by residents that they be granted their own municipality. Protests first started in the town before general elections in May last year.

On Friday, the Municipal Demarcation Board’s (MDB) announcement that Malamulele does not qualify for its own municipality led to roads being blocked and tyres set alight in protest.
The Limpopo government responded, saying that they have “committed ourselves to study the report and act on the findings and will in due course propose a course of action”.
Residents have alleged that the Thulamela municipality has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas, rather than their own, which is dominated by Xitsonga speakers.
Speaking earlier on Monday, Otto said that no violence or protests had been reported since the announcement.

“Since Friday, when the announcement was made, no incidents have been reported. It is quiet in the area. We still have a police presence in the area.” – Sapa


Tense Malamulele under lockdown
IOL News 2 February 2015

Limpopo - The Limpopo town of Malamulele was under lockdown on Monday morning after month-long protests brought the area to a standstill.

“The situation is tense. It is like a ghost town, everything is closed,” police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said.

She said only employees of the SA police service and the health care sector were working. All other businesses and institutions -including schools - had been shut down.

Otto said she expected this to continue until Friday.

A meeting was expected to take place at the weekend to discuss the matter, she said.

The area has been brought to a standstill in recent weeks following a demand by residents that they be granted their own municipality. Protests first started in the town before general elections in May last year.

On Friday, the Municipal Demarcation Board's (MDB) announcement that Malamulele does not qualify for its own municipality led to roads being blocked and tyres set alight in protest.

Residents have alleged that the Thulamela municipality has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas, rather than their own, which is dominated by Xitsonga speakers.

Otto said on Monday that no violence or protests had been reported since the announcement.

“Since Friday, when the announcement was made, no incidents have been reported. It is quiet in the area. We still have a police presence in the area.”
www.iol.co.za

Journo asked to delete protest photos
IOL News 31 January 2015

Johannebsurg - A Radio Islam reporter was allegedly forced by police officers to delete pictures taken at a protest outside a Woolworths store at Trade Route Mall in Lenasia on Saturday, Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee said.

“Members of the police's tactical response unit stopped him from taking photos,” Abramjee said in a statement.

“He was also asked to delete pictures.”

He said a constable at the scene was also “abusive and swore” at the reporter, Faizal Patel.

He was allegedly forced to accompany the police to the Lenasia police station “for questioning.”

The journalist then notified Abramjee of the incident.

“After he called me, I immediately alerted the Gauteng SAPS (SA Police Service) leadership and drove to Lenasia. The commander of the unit also arrived.”

The matter was then resolved when both sides of the story were discussed and Patel decided not to lay charges against the officers,” said Abramjee.

“The constables apologised to Faizal. He accepted it.”

The station commander would compile a report on the matter to ensure this type of thing does not happen again, he said.

“I emphasised to the SAPS the need to allow the media to do their jobs and made it very clear that harassment and intimidation will not be tolerated.

“Police on the ground have again showed they don't understand and respect the role of the media.”

Gauteng police on Saturday said Patel was taken to the police station because he was unable to prove at the scene that he was a journalist.

“He told police officers that he was a journalist but did not have a press card to prove this,” Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said.

“He was then taken to the police station to confirm that he was a journalist.”

In a separate incident, an Eyewitness News reporter was on Friday asked by security to delete audio taken at Bedford Centre in Johannesburg, Abramjee said.

This was after three customers, two security guards and two robbers were injured and taken to hospital after the robbery and shooting on Thursday.

“The incident ... is yet another example of intimidation and harassment,” he said.

“Media freedom is critical and it is something which our Constitution guarantees.”
www.iol.co.za

Diepsloot quiet after land grab bid
IOL News 2 February 2015

Johannesburg - The police are continuing to monitor an area in Diepsloot where an attempted land grab took place at the weekend, Gauteng police said on Monday.

“The situation is as it was yesterday (Sunday). There haven't been any incidents and we will continuing to monitor the situation,” said Warrant Officer Daniel Mavimbela.

“We still have public order policing and TRT (the tactical response team) are still assisting with the monitoring.”

A group of about a hundred people tried to occupy vacant land in the area on Saturday.

Some of them barricaded Ingwenyama Road with tyres and other objects.

The police fired rubber bullets when some of the protesters threw stones at them while they were patrolling the area on foot.

On Saturday, Mavimbela said a 36-year-old man had been arrested in connection with public violence. He was expected to appear soon in the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

A four-year-old boy was injured and was receiving medical treatment.

Mavimbela said: “The boy is still receiving medical treatment. “From our side, currently we cannot confirm the cause of the reported injury,” he said. It was being investigated.
www.iol.co.za

Rubber bullets fired at land grabbers
IOL News 31 January 2015

Johannesburg - Police fired rubber bullets at a group of protesters in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg following an attempted land grab in the area on Saturday.

The group started throwing stones at police who were patrolling the area on foot, said spokesman Daniel Mavimbela.

“A four-year-old boy is receiving medical treatment for an injury he sustained on the upper body. The cause thereof is being investigated.”

Earlier, police said a group of about hundred people attempted to occupy vacant land in the area.

Some members of the group barricaded Ingwenyama Road with tyres and other objects.

A 36-year-old man was arrested in connection with public violence. He is expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court soon.
www.iol.co.za

Diepsloot land grab foiled
IOL News 31 January 2015
By SAPA Comment on this story

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Johannesburg - A group of people attempted to occupy vacant land in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg on Saturday, Gauteng police said.

“Police are monitoring the situation after a group of about hundred people attempted to illegally occupy a land in Diepsloot East,” said spokesman Warrant Officer Daniel Mavimbela.

“Although there is tension in the area, the situation has been stabilised.”

Some members of the group barricaded Ingwenyama Road with tyres and other objects, Mavimbela said.

“As a precautionary measure, the police have advised shop owners to close their businesses until the situation is completely normal.”
www.iol.co.za

Residents shine light on MyCiTi evictions
IOL News 2 February 2015

Cape Town - Plumstead and Wynberg residents held an emotional candlelight vigil on Sunday night in solidarity with 26 families facing eviction now that the leases of their council houses have come to an end.

This just hours after the City of Cape Town confirmed that it would proceed with the “appropriate legal action” against tenants who refuse to move out of their homes that are to be demolished to make way for MyCiTi infrastructure.

Twenty-six tenants were given notice in last September that their leases would come to an end on January 31.

But after a massive public outcry and several public meetings, the city announced last week that it would offer eight tenants, who were in good standing with the municipality, alternative accommodation.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport for Cape Town, said the 18 other tenants would have been ousted from their homes, regardless of the MyCiTi project, because they owe a combined R4.5 million in unpaid accounts.

Of the eight who were offered alternative accommodation in Wynberg, Lakeside and Grassy Park, two had accepted, four had yet to respond and one had refused the offer in writing, Herron said.

Officials were still trying to get hold of the eighth tenant who was eligible for the offer.

But the tenants, who belong to the South Road Families Association insisted on Sunday that none of their members would accept the city’s offer.

They have described the city’s olive branch as “an insult to their intelligence” as the alternative houses are also in road reserves. This meant that there was a good chance they would have to move again.

Tenants of the South Road Families’ Association are adamant that they would not accept any alternatives and that they would stand together and fight the proposed MyCiTi route and demolition of houses.

Residents, who have been blacklisted by the city for nonpayment, alleged that they had made arrangements in writing to settle the arrears.

This could not be confirmed by the city.

Herron said the city would negotiate an extension of the current leases of those tenants who agreed to move.

“The new leases will be valid until such time as the official relocation process has been concluded.”

Meanwhile, ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore has urged the standing committee on transport and public works to invite the city and members of the South Road Families Association, Wynberg Ratepayers and Residents Association and Wynberg Taxi Association to Tuesday’s meeting to provide an update of the Lansdowne/Wetton Road corridor proposal.

“I have very serious concerns about the alleged failure to consult communities in good faith about the proposed routes,” said Dugmore in his letter to Lennit Max, the chairman of the standing committee.

“I believe that our standing committee requires full information on this matter as it is crucial to the future of public transport in the City of Cape Town.”
anel.lewis@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Malamulele residents plan action
IOL News 31 January 2015

Johannesburg - Residents of Malamulele in Limpopo would hold a meeting on Saturday to plan a way forward following an announcement that the area does not qualify for its own municipality.

Malamulele task team secretary Isaac Nukeri said the residents were angry.

“The residents are very angry with government. We will however maintain the status quo in the area and decide on the way forward at the community meeting at 2pm,” Nukeri said.

On Friday, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) announced that Malamulele does not qualify for its own municipality in terms of legislation.

Residents reacted angrily to the news. They blocked roads and set tyres alight in protest.

Residents demanding their own municipality have brought Malamulele to a standstill in recent weeks, monitoring roads to ensure no business takes place, and forcing a shutdown of schools as well as shops in the local mall.

Last year, protesters set fire to shops and looted, causing millions of rand in damage.

Residents have blamed the MDB for not heeding their call for Malamulele and some surrounding areas, especially the Xitsonga-speaking ones, to have a separate municipality.

They claim they are not receiving services from the Thulamela municipality, which they allege has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas.

The demand for another municipality has fuelled tensions between Tshivenda and Xitsonga speakers, and triggered divisions among local traditional leaders, as some regard it as a tribal issue.

Limpopo police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said the road to Malamulele town remained cordoned off on Saturday.

“It is relatively quiet this morning (Saturday), there were no overnight incidents.”
www.iol.co.za

Saved by an old man during a protest
Solly Maseko 28 January 2015

What started as a protest by Old Coronation community members, culminated in a bakkie being burned and attacks on foreign shops.

Mr Weine van der Merwe, Upfront employee, standing near the burned van near Old Coronation on Monday, January 26. Members of Old Coronation embarked on an illegal protest about different issues.

Witbank Police Station spokesperson Captain Eddie Hall said members of the community embarked on the illegal protest on Monday, January 26.

Mr Weine van der Merwe and Rico van der Walt, Upfront employees, were returning from work when they were confronted by a mob of people who were protesting.

In a moment they were surrounded by the mob, but were saved by an old man who protected them and told them to run for their lives.

According to Captain Hall the mob complained about unemployment at Kusile Power Station then about poor service delivery.

The protesters used stones, logs and burning tyres to close the main roads.

The group then directed their anger by looting two shops owned by foreigners. One of the shops was set alight and the owner fell down after he was running away from the shop. He was taken to hospital and was confirmed dead on arrival, police opened an inquest and his death is not associated with the protest according to the police.

The attack on foreigners’ shops is no way related to attack on foreigner’s shops in Soweto and other areas, police confirmed.
The police have opened three cases of malicious damage to property.

Mr J.M. Reyneke reported that he was on his way to a dumping site when his vehicle was stopped as the road was full of stones and burning tyres. He could not pass, was surrounded by the protesters and had some items stolen from his car. A cell phone, car keys and cash were stolen. All the stolen items are worth R6 000.

Mr Willem Abraham reported that his vehicle was stoned while passing near Old Coronation. They damaged both the left and right rear doors.

Van der Merwe’s car is valued at R700 000; his keys and wallet were also stolen before the vehicle was set alight.

Acting Provincial Commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga Major General (Adv) Meshack Nogwanya, condemns the spate of violence that erupted in eMalahleni.

Reports revealed that during the protest, some protestors looted shops belonging to foreign nationals and burnt one of them, which was operating from a container.

In the midst of their anger that was directed at Kusile, the community started to divert their focus to the Local Municipality, now complaining about service delivery. They then marched to the offices of Emalahleni to meet with the officials.

Police had to be called in to monitor the situation as the marchers started to harass hawkers and even looting their belongings.
The police managed to force them back to their area before more damage could be done.
“It is clear that within those who participated in the march, there was an element of hooliganism. As the police, we will not tolerate lawlessness whether there is concern regarding jobs or services that cannot be a vehicle to commit crime. The community should know that if they loot or embark in an illegal march, the law will act harshly against them,” warned Maj Gen Nogwanya.

Witbank 911 helped a lot by informing and updating motorists on which road were safe to use.
witbanknews.co.za

Riot at Home Affairs
Saish Motheram (Ladysmith Gazette) 29 January 2015
The situation was potentially very volatile and threatened to erupt at any moment

A mini riot took place at Home Affairs this afternoon (Thursday) after people waiting to be served were told to leave the premises.
Those who had been waiting in the queue inside Home Affairs since about 3pm were sent away by Home Affairs officials, who evidently told them there would not be enough time to serve them before the department closed at 5pm.

What made the people even more angry was that others were said to have pushed into the queue ahead of them. The people who “pushed in” claimed that their places were being kept for them in the queue.

A tense stand-off ensued between clients and Home Affairs officials when the former were told that it was past office hours and they must leave, as Home Affairs was about to close for the day. People became aggressive and loud, with lots of jostling taking place. The situation was potentially very volatile and threatened to erupt at any moment.

Aggrieved clients stood their ground and waited inside the building, saying that they would only leave after they were helped by staff.

Police and Public Safety were called to the scene. Police officers then removed the rioters from the Home Affairs offices.
ladysmithgazette.co.za

Protests rock KZN schools
SABC 30 January 2015

Learners are demanding that the Department of Education should build a high school - on an earmarked site and provide enough educators.(SABC)

Education KZN Ubusingatha Nhlokwane Schools Muzi Mahlambi Protests are continuing at the Ubusingatha Primary and Nhlokwane High schools in Bergville in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

Learners and their parents are demanding that the Department of Education should build a high school - on an earmarked site and provide enough educators.

High school learners are using three classes at the primary school.

This means that while three grades are being taught, two other classes have to wait outside. One of the matric learners says some subjects are not being taught because of the shortage of teachers.

“We don't have teachers , we don't even learn some subjects , we are also packed with the primary school here and the classes are packed to the capacity, we also have the issue of the centre number, the matriculants must write in march, how can they write without their centre number. We plead with the department to give us education and teachers and our school because we have our site soon we will need to write, what are we going to write if we are busy striking for the things that we don't even need to strike for , these are things which the government must just give out before being chased after, ” says one of the learner

Nhlokwane High School has two dilapidated mobile classes that were provided by the Department of Education in 2013 but were damaged during a storm.

Departmental spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi says they are waiting for the Department of Public Works to deliver the other classrooms.

“Building the school was going to take long, we providing mobile classrooms , we have been in touch with public works to facilitate and process the movement of these mobile classrooms on our behalf, in no time we will be having the remainder of the mobile classrooms.”
www.sabc.co.za

Protests close KNP gate
IOL News 28 January 2015

Polokwane - Violent protests in Malamulele, Limpopo, have prompted the Kruger National Park to close its Punda Maria gate, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“We are advising tourists to use other gates because of protests in Malamulele affecting Punda Maria gate,” William Mabasa said.

Tourists wishing to visit the park could use the Pafuri or Phalaborwa gates, he said.

The tourism industry on the outskirts of Malamulele has been suffering since violent protests erupted there. Last year protesters set fire to shops and looted, causing millions of rands in damage.

Local residents have blockaded the road to Malamulele and subsequently a route leading to Kruger National Park. No business or schooling has been taking place in Malamulele as residents demand they be given a separate municipality from Malamulele.

They accuse the Thulamela local municipality of directing services to Tshivenda speaking settlements and neglecting Xitsonga ones.

Residents are expected to know by Friday whether their bid to have their own municipality has been approved.
www.iol.co.za

Malamulele protests die down
IOL News 26 January 2015

Nelspruit - No further protests have been reported in Malamulele, Limpopo, since the weekend, police said on Monday.

“There were no incidents reported since yesterday (Sunday), following the meeting with the various ministers who were in Malamulele at the time,” Colonel Ronel Otto said.

“Following the meeting between the ministers and residents, residents attempted to block the road with burning tyres and other items. They were stopped by police from doing so.”

Protesters demanding their own municipality had brought Malamulele to a standstill. They monitored roads to ensure no business took place and forced a shutdown of schools and shops in the local mall.

Residents blamed the Municipal Demarcation Board for not heeding their call for Malamulele and some surrounding areas, especially the Xitsonga-speaking ones, to have its own municipality.

The demand for another municipality has fuelled tensions between Tshivenda and Xitsonga speakers and triggered division among local traditional leaders, as some regard it as a tribal issue.

Residents claim they are not receiving services from the Thulamela municipality, which they allege has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking sections.

The municipality has repeatedly denied this.

Last year protesters set fire to shops and looted, causing millions of rands in damage.
www.iol.co.za

Service delivery protest in Gugulethu
IOL News 26 January 2015

Cape Town - Around 40 people protested over service delivery in Gugulethu, Cape Town, on Monday morning, Western Cape police said.

Citizens burned tyres on a stretch of the NY108 road around 6am, said Constable Noloyiso Rwexana.

By Monday afternoon, the crowd had dispersed and the road was clear.

She said no injuries or damage to property was reported.
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Protest over workers on Gugs road
IOL News 27 January 2015

Police were called to restore calm after a group of 40 people blockaded construction on Klipfontein Road in Gugulethu by burning tyres, dumping rubble and placing large rocks on the road.

The protest started in the early hours of Monday after some residents said they were unhappy that workers employed for the road construction were from outside the area, said ward councillor Mzawakhe Nqavashe.

“The construction has stopped and will resume on Tuesday. The problem is that a number of people were not happy with the people employed to do construction. We followed proper procedures, but the problem there was miscommunication in community structures.”

Nqavashe said it was announced last year that there would be construction on the road, but many residents failed to attend the meeting where plans for construction were outlined.

A meeting to address the residents’ concerns was called on Monday afternoon.

“When I visited the area earlier in the morning, I answered most of their questions,” said Nqavashe.

“They were saying that some of the people working there were from Khayelitsha. That was not the case. I will also address them in a meeting later today.

“There are 10 people working there, but this number will increase to 20 as time goes on.”

Police spokeswoman Noloyiso Rwexana said at about 6am, about 40 people had gathered to burn tyres at NY 108 in Gugulethu.

She said the police were on the scene to monitor the situation and no one was arrested.

City of Cape Town Traffic Services spokeswoman Maxine Jordaan said the road was closed for about an hour.
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ANC, SACP members in bloody fight
Sizwe sama Yende @City_Press 25 January 2015

ANC and SACP members in Mpumalanga traded blows and fired gunshots after clashing at KaNyamazane township outside Mbombela today.

Many are being treated in clinics and hospitals, while others are laying charges against each other at the police station in the area.

The fight erupted today when African National Congress members, wearing the party’s regalia, stopped the South African Communist Party from entering the KaNyamazane hall where former Mpumalanga premier and ANC treasurer-general, Mathews Phosa, was expected to give a memorial lecture on the late Mbombela council speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, and SACP stalwart, Joe Slovo.

Both parties’ members stood a distance from the hall, on opposite sides, and kept chanting provocative slogans against each other for over two hours.

Police tried to intervene and broker peace.
ANC and SACP regional leaders were also present and tried in vain to talk with their members.

The fight started with minor, occasional skirmishes here and there that were dissolved.
ANC members barged into a preparatory meeting of the SACP and threw chairs at the party’s leaders.

As time went by the tensions simmered – with each group hurling insults at the other.

SACP members, reinforced with brand new pickaxe handles, forced their way into the hall and that was when their alliance counterparts followed them and a fight ensued with bricks, stones and bottles flying in all directions.

Gunshots were also fired. The police’s tactical response unit managed to disperse the warring crowds.

Relations between the ANC and the SACP in the province have been frosty for many years.
The SACP has been demanding that Mpumalanga premier and provincial ANC chairperson David Mabuza step down as a result of rampant corruption in government, which the party said was perpetrated by “lumpen tenderpreneurship” that led to political assassinations.

Mohlala was shot dead in 2009 for blowing the whistle on the R1.2 billion Mbombela stadium tender.

He was a speaker of Mbombela council and a member of the SACP.

Six years later, no one has been jailed for Mohlala’s death and the Mbombela fraud and corruption case appears to be crumbling in the hands of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

By inviting Phosa to speak, the SACP seemed to have hit a raw nerve with the ANC supporters because he had recently submitted a dossier to Luthuli House that suggested Mabuza may have been an apartheid spy.

Mabuza has threatened to sue Phosa for R10 million and has lodged a complaint with State Security Minister David Mahlobo.

He also asked President Jacob Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry to probe the allegations, but the presidency has been reluctant to indicate if Zuma will do so.

Before the fight, SACP Ehlanzeni secretary Bhobert Nkosi told City Press that the party met with the ANC’s regional executive committee on Thursday and they were told to call the lecture off.

“They warned us that there will be disturbances and something bad was going to happen if the lecture went on. They said we should cancel because Phosa and (our provincial secretary Bonakele Majuba) hated and were fighting Mabuza,” Nkosi said.

“But Phosa is the only person in Mpumalanga who spent time with Comrade Slovo and naturally we could only get him to speak,” Nkosi said.

Ehlanzeni’s ANC secretary Phazamisa Mathe said the party’s leadership was there to give a message of support to the SACP, and distanced itself from the unruly members.

“We’re shocked by this behaviour. The ANC can’t decide who the SACP must call,” Mathe said.

I was shot
Vusi Mlombo was shot in the index finger as he tried to pull Nkosi away as the ANC crowd pelted him with an assortment of weapons.
“I saw Nkosi running and assisted him to run away but then I was shot. I was just a neutral member who came to the lecture,” he said.
Nkosi was seriously injured and rushed to hospital for treatment.

This is un-ANC behaviour
Phosa did not come to the lecture after receiving warnings from the SACP that the situation was too volatile.

“This is the first time I hear that ANC members have attacked SACP members since we came back from exile. This doesn’t make sense at all. Even if it was the DA or anybody else, this could not be right. It’s criminal and disciplinary action needs to be taken,” Phosa said.
“My question is – what do they fear to go to the extent of disrupting a lecture? Are they not interested in why the killings are taking place?” he added.
www.citypress.co.za

Councillor arrested over SACP clash
IOL News 2 February 2015

Mbombela - An Mpumalanga councillor has been arrested in connection with a clash between members of the ANC and the SA Communist Party that left 10 people hospitalised, police said on Monday.

Kanyamazane police spokesman Warrant Officer Andries Shikwambane told a Sapa correspondent that a member of Mbombela local municipality's mayoral committee was arrested at his home on Monday.

“I can confirm that two people have been arrested for the violence that took place at Kanyamazane on January 25. The two have been charged with malicious damage to property,” said Shikwambane.

By 4.30pm on Monday, the councillor had not yet appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court because police and prosecutors were still waiting for his co-accused to arrive from Barberton, where he was arrested on Monday.

The incident, which made headlines, took place when people wearing ANC T-shirts violently disrupted a memorial lecture where former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa and SACP provincial secretary Bonakele Majuba were expected to speak in Kanyamazane on January 25.

The SACP memorial lecture about SACP stalwart Joe Slovo and slain former Mbombela municipal speaker Jimmy Mohlala had to be called off when the people clad in ANC T-shirts stormed the Kanyamazane community hall, assaulting SACP members and also vandalising the hall as well as cars belonging to SACP members.
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Grab this land, EFF man tells crowd
IOL News 23 January 2015

Johannesburg - EFF leader Godrich Gardee has urged his supporters to occupy privately-owned land in the Free State.

Gardee, the EFF’s secretary-general, made the call on Thursday, while addressing about 500 people in Zamdela township outside Sasolburg

He was speaking at the second commemoration service of four people killed in a violent protest against the merger of Metsimaholo Municipality in Sasolburg and Ngwathe municipalities in Parys, in January 2013.

While paying tribute to them, Gardee used the opportunity to encourage his supporters to occupy private land.

The service was held at the Amelia sportsground, metres away from the targeted land.

Its owners have since moved to the Western Cape.

Only certain portions of land were occupied by their previous employees and farmworkers.

Now Gardee has urged his supporters to occupy the vast fertile land by erecting shacks in “the dead of night”.

The stretch of land was earmarked for RDP houses last year for those living in dilapidated hostels in Zamdela, but the deal fell through when no settlement was reached between the owner and the Metsimaholo council.

“That land belongs to you. You must occupy it.

“They used guns to take over our land. Now, you must erect your shacks there,” Gardee said.

“Do not go there as a mass of people, go there in the dead of night in small numbers so as not to alert the police and the Red Ants.

“Those who succeed to build their shacks must remain there for 48 hours before the mass construction of other shacks. If you’ve been there for 48 hours, it will be difficult for the police or the municipality to remove you.

“Preferably, you must occupy the land during public holidays.

“This country has a lot of public holidays. You must occupy the land during the public holidays when the police and Red Ants are on holiday,” Gardee said.

“You must do it secretly. Do not make announcements on radios. They must just find you staying there,” he said.

The EFF official’s call comes after the failure last Friday to occupy the same land.

The Red Ants thwarted plans to erect more shacks in the area and police arrested four EFF leaders.

EFF Fezile Dabi regional leaders Bosanku Simanga, Lefa Magata and Dibetsoe Seoparo were arrested on the farm, now nicknamed “Zimbabwe”. Prime suspect and the party’s regional chairman, April Motaung, was arrested in a bank in Sasolburg on Monday. The four have been charged with trespassing and illegal gathering.

They are due to appear in the Sasolburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a bail bid.
www.iol.co.za

Bullets fly after Tshwane land invasion
21 January 2015

Pretoria - More and more communities in the Tshwane region have heeded the Economic Freedom Fighters’ calls to grab land.

The latest is the Lusaka community in Mamelodi East which has been in a tit-for-tat war with metro police officers over a piece of land next to Pienaarspoort Station in the far east of Mamelodi.

The community started occupying the land on Saturday after identifying it a few weeks ago.

However, their occupation was short-lived as the Tshwane Metro Police Department got wind of the land grab and demolished at least 100 shacks a few hours after they had been erected.

Clashes ensued, resulting in the metro police firing rubber bullets at the illegal settlers. The community retaliated by throwing stones at the police.

That has been the order of the day for the past four days.

On Tuesday, community leader and EFF member Sello Mokoti said they were supporting the community which settled on the vacant piece of land but they did not lead the invasion.

Mokoti said they were also enforcing the party’s policy of “grabbing land without compensation”.

“This land is not being used for anything while people do not have places to live. They live in backrooms and shacks elsewhere in Mamelodi and Lusaka, but do not have a place they call their own. It’s God’s land, they need to occupy it,” Mokoti said.

He said most of the people in the area could not afford to buy houses or pay rent because they were unemployed.

Mokoti accused the metro police of brutality. “They didn’t even tell us what was happening. They didn’t explain anything to us, all they did was demolish our shacks and began firing rubber bullets and chasing us off the land,” he said.

Other places that have been invaded in recent months include “Malemaville”, next to Nellmapius, and “Dali Mpofu View” in Soshanguve.

In both instances, the people were evicted after clashes with metro police.

The occupation coincided with the EFF’s announcement of plans to intensify and accelerate its campaign of land occupation in Gauteng following a meeting of its provincial leadership.
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One arrested following Newcastle Mall taxi violence
One man has been arrested after taxi violence left four injured.
Kyle Cowan 21 January 2015

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the Newcastle SAPS have confirmed the arrest of one suspect following taxi violence at the Newcastle Mall.
According to the state
ment a group of taxi drivers were loading passengers at the mall, when another group arrived, armed with knobkieries and pangas.

A fight ensued, which led to two shots being fired.

Four people were injured during the incident.
Police officers have been stationed at the mall to monitor the situation
newcastleadvertiser.co.za

Enough is enough - Manenberg residents
Barbara Maregele (Ground Up) 21 januart 2015

Cape Town - Instead of the familiar echo of bullets, the sound of dozens of Manenberg residents chanting “enough is enough” could be heard on Tuesday evening through the streets notorious for the recent spate of gang violence.

Group Up reported that local schools were disrupted several times last year and forced to close their doors to ensure the safety of staff and learners.

According to the social media group, Manenberg gangwatch, there have been more than 10 fatal gang related murders since December, with even more reported shooting cases.

As learners across the Western Cape returned to school on Wednesday, Manenberg parents say they are concerned for the safety of their children, fearing they will be caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.

According to police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk no incidents of gang activity were reported on Wednesday.

“We had about 50 officers conducting patrols along with traffic patrols and law enforcement officials at each school. These patrols will be done for the next two weeks in the mornings [as well as] afternoons between 13:00 and 16:00,” he said.

Nearly 200 community members, including children, took to the streets last night to call for an end to the ongoing gang violence.

“We want to go to school,” shouted a group of young boys who were leading the march.

The group of community members, accompanied by three police vans, made a point of walking and chanting through areas where gang activity is rife.

During the 30 minute march, some community members stood in the streets while others hung out of the windows of the flats to watch.

“This is how we let the gangsters know that we are sick and tired of the shootings. We taking back our streets and we want them to know it. My daughter is started Grade 1 and I don’t want it to be spoilt by shooting,” said Wayeedah Abrahams.

The mother of two said the gang violence also made it difficult for people to go to work.

Abrahams’s 6-year-old daughter, Haisa, who attends Rio Grand Primary, will have to cross a field notorious for being a gang battleground.

“When they shoot, the taxis refuse to come into Manenberg and we can’t get to work. We also scared to walk because we might get shot. These gangsters shoot during the day. They don’t care,” another resident shouted.

Community meeting
Hours earlier, about 300 residents attended a meeting called by the Manenberg Community Safety Forum held at the Anglican Church in Manenberg Avenue.

Members of the forum have been involved in peace mediation with rival gangs over the past few months. They have been running weekly meetings for the past six months in the community to address violent crimes.

At Tuesday's meeting, a number of concerns were raised about the safety of children returning to school.

A request was made for all parents and grandparents to walk with their children to school to ensure their safety.

However, concerns were raised about how effective this plan would be and how long it would last as some parents had to leave for work.

The forum’s Rugshanda Pascoe said it was time for residents to take the initiative and show the gangsters they’ve had enough of the violence.

“These are our children, our neighbours, our family that are now involved in the gangs. We as a community can’t keep turning a blind eye. Our children’s education is more important than whatever they [gangsters] are fighting for,” she said.

Pascoe said they could not depend on police solely for protection.

“The police told us they have a safety plan in place [for today], but we haven’t seen this plan yet. We know they usually show up when there is already a body lying on the ground. I’ve seen how police have moved out of the way for gunmen,” she said.

Randall Erol Snipper, also expressed his frustration, describing incidents where his 5-year-old granddaughter ran and hid under the bed every time she heard gun shots.


Malamulele awaits visit from department
IOL News 20 January 2015

Johannesburg - Protest organisers in Malamulele, Limpopo, said on Tuesday they awaited a scheduled visit by officials from the co-operative governance department.

“I received an email this morning from the department that officials will be here on Wednesday. The email did not state who are the people coming,” said task team secretary general Isaac Nukeri.

“We hope a solution to the problems here will be reached tomorrow.”

Protesters demanding their own municipality have brought the area to a standstill and barred pupils from attending school.

They forced shops in the local mall to close two days before inland schools were due to open for the new academic year.

The Municipal Demarcation Board was blamed by protesters for not heeding their call for Malamulele and some surrounding areas, especially those that are Xitsonga-speaking, to have its own municipality.

The demand for another municipality has fuelled tensions between Tshivenda and Xitsonga speakers and triggered division among local traditional leaders as some regard it as a tribal issue.

Earlier, the SA Human Rights Commission called on residents to respect children's right to education.

The organisation said the forceful removal of children from school was a violation of a right and an offence punishable by law.

Nukeri said the commission would not help the residents or give them their own municipality.

“The chairman of the SAHRC in Limpopo called me to complain about the shutting down of schools. Will the commission help us and give us a municipality? I don't think so... they should come here and see the situation we are faced with,” he said.

The commission in Limpopo told Nukeri they would arrange a visit to Malamulele soon, he said.

Nukeri said the situation in the area was tense, and only health workers were allowed in and out of the area.

Roads in the area were monitored to make sure no business took place.

“All shops are closed... we do not even have bread. We are prepared to continue like this until our demands are met.”
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Soweto shop looting spreads
Zunaid Ismael 21 January 2015

Gauteng police said that the looting had spread to Emdeni, Zola and Protea Glen.

The looting was sparked when a foreign national allegedly shot and killed a teenager when a group of boys attempted to rob his store.

Residents responded to the shooting by looting foreign-owned stores and blockading streets in Snake Park. Police people have since been arrested.

"Five of them, who are foreign nationals, were charged with illegal possession of firearms, seven community members were charged with public violence," police spokesperson Lt Kay Makhubela said in a Sapa report.

The shopowners have since left the area.
news.iafrica.com

Boy killed, 12 arrested in Dobsonville
IOL News January 2015

Johannesburg - At least 12 people were arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto on Tuesday, after a teenager was shot dead, Gauteng police said.

Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said a foreign national allegedly shot dead a teenager and injured another when a group of boys attempted to rob his shop on Monday afternoon around 4.30pm.

The teenager died at the scene and the injured was taken to hospital.

“A foreign shop owner was arrested for murder and attempted murder. An unlicensed firearm was recovered,” he said.

The incident sparked violence in which foreign owned shops were looted and streets blockaded.

Seven people were arrested for public violence and looting shops.

Makhubela said while the police were bring the situation under control they received information that some foreign nationals were shooting at the people.

“We arrested four foreign nationals for possession of unlicensed firearm.”

He said in total four unlicensed firearms were recovered.

All arrested people were expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court soon, he said.
www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/boy-killed-12-arrested-in-dobsonville-1.1806964

Squatters invade 74-hectare property
IOL News 19 January 2015

Johannesburg - First he had to fend off construction companies illegally dumping rubble on his property. Then over the weekend, Adrian Tills had to deal with people putting up shacks on his land after it was allegedly sold to them.

Tills owns 74 hectares of agricultural land on the outskirts of Diepsloot.

When he went to inspect his property on Saturday, he found a group of people who were allocating plots of his land among themselves and marking their sites.

“I asked them what was going on and they said someone in Diepsloot was selling the land and some of them had bought it,” Tills said.

He went to Diepsloot police station to report the matter. Police officers accompanied him to the site and explained to the people illegally occupying the land that it was privately owned and could not be sold off by someone else.

Tills said that when he returned to check on the property on Sunday morning, there were even more people - more than 100 - who were marking out plots, and some were erecting shacks.

“I went to the police again and told them that even more people were on the property and they were even building shacks,” Tills said.

He said more than 30 vehicles were dispatched to clear the land.

By mid-morning, some of the police trucks and vans continued to monitor the property.

Tills said he did not know who was selling his land and at what price.

“It’s an unfortunate situation; there’s a lot of desperate and gullible people,” he said.

Joburg metro police spokesman Wayne Minnaar said land, whether privately owned or belonging to the municipality, could not be occupied without being legally bought and/or without an agreement with the owner.

He confirmed that metro police officers and members of the SAPS removed trespassers from the property.

Minnaar added that the police were investigating the illegal sale of the land.
nontobeko.mtshali@inl.co.za
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Cape tow truck wars turn deadly

IOL News 16 January 2015

Cape Town - A tow truck driver was shot dead on the first day of a new job, his body found lying slumped and bloodied in the front seat of his vehicle parked on Marine Drive on Wednesday night.

SA Auto Repairer and Salvage Association (Saarsa) chairman Len Smith said the driver worked for Urban Towing, a company based in Paarden Eiland.

“The owner called me and he was in tears… It’s a driver that just started his job yesterday,” he said on Thursday.

According to witnesses at the scene of the shooting, the tow truck driver’s body was discovered when another driver went to his car to offer him food. The shooting took place directly below one of the city’s security cameras.

Security and safety director Richard Bosman said he was looking into the issue of the nearby cameras.

While the details surrounding the driver’s death were still unknown at the time of going to print, the shooting has taken place against the backdrop of an escalating turf war between so-called white-owned and black-owned tow-trucking businesses, both squabbling over lucrative contracts with the country’s top insurers.

Saarsa has accused companies such as the Dals Motor Group of squeezing out smaller businesses and monopolising these contracts.

On Wednesday afternoon, 40 members belonging to the association – which represents small to medium-sized enterprises in the city – visited Dals Motor Group’s workshop in Montague Gardens.

It was the second time they had converged on the building.

The company’s director Elvin Nel told the Cape Argus last week they were armed with handguns, and some had threatened his manager. However, he reported there had been no violence on Wednesday.

Smith said on Thursday morning that the visit to the workshop on Wednesday had been peaceful.

“We just went there to speak.”

The killing of a tow truck driver had come as a shock to Smith. However, he said there had been threats made against his members’ lives last week.

In a post made by his association on Dals Motor Group’s website last week, the organisation wrote: “Following the demonstration against Dals and white monopolies in the MBR towing sector in Cape Town today it has come to our attention that the expected response of a physical threat to the lives of our leadership by the white monopolies has been realised.”

However, he said on Thursday that those threats had been dropped.

The owner of Urban Towing, Chris Olieslager, was emotional when he spoke to the Cape Argus on Thursday morning. He refused to be interviewed over the phone.

The towing company’s boss appeared in court two years ago, charged with murder for allegedly stabbing to death a 45-year-old after responding to accident scene in Maitland. He had appeared in court with a heavy police guard after receiving threats to his life, the court heard.

His manager at Urban Towing said the charge was later dropped.

Police had not yet responded to our queries at the time of going to print.
www.iol.co.za

Probe Remant, demand
The Sowetan 16 January 2015

THERE was a tense threehour stand-off between police and thousands of protesters, including disgruntled bus drivers, outside the Durban City Hall yesterday as marchers demanded the appointment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the collapse of the city’s bus company.

Durban city centre came to a standstill yesterday as more than 1 000 disgruntled protestors, among them bus drivers, took to the streets of Durban protesting against loss of jobs and removal of informal traders from the market. PICTURE: GCINA NDWALANE

Yesterday’s protest has raised questions over whether the new bus company will be able to start operations on Monday as planned.

The group were protesting the loss of jobs and the removal of traders from the Early Morning Market.

Former Remant Alton bus drivers, traders and representatives of the South African

Unemployed People’s Movement demonstrated in a show of unity, marching to the City Hall to protest against a loss of jobs and the uprooting of the market.

The situation became tense when protesters were told that eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba was not available to receive a memorandum after their four-hour march through the city’s streets.

In their memorandum, the bus drivers called for the appointment of a commission of inquiry to probe how Remant Alton was managed, including its finances, its appointments, and the receipts of its subsidy payments.

The bus drivers, who lost their jobs when the bus company shut down, demanded their jobs back “as well as a transfer of all employment contracts to the new service provider”.

The protesters also called on City Manager Michael Sutcliffe to come out to receive the memorandum personally.

However, an official from the office of City Speaker James Nxumalo, Desmond Myeza, said Sutcliffe refused to come out.

The irate crowd then began to try to push their way past heavily armed police into the City Hall, loudly accusing city politicians of exploiting them.

Nozipho Mteshana, chairwoman of the South African Unemployed People’s Movement, said: “We will not go anywhere until one of the politicians that we voted for comes out and accepts this memorandum.

“If they want blood then blood will spill now,” she shouted.

Others called for the removal of Mlaba and Sutcliffe.

After three hours of waiting in vain for Sutcliffe, they handed over the memorandum to Myeza and demanded that Sutcliffe sign it.

Transport Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa national general secretary Zack Mankge maintained that they would ensure that no buses would run on Monday in the city.
Sutcliffe told The Mercury last night that it was “unfortunate that threats were made and I am sure the law will take its course”.

He said he could not personally come out to receive the protesters’ memorandum because no arrangements had been made with him to do so.

Opposition parties commented on the solidarity displayed by the different groups in the protest, saying that it should serve as a warning to the city that decisions could not be imposed on people without consultation.

Wake-up call
Inkatha Freedom Party eThekwini deputy secretary Joshua Mazibuko said: “This should be a wakeup call to the municipality because there is not just one group involved here, meaning the concerns are widespread.

“It is at times like these where you realise that power tends to corrupt because the city is controlled by a huge party who tend to be a law unto themselves and not a part of the community.”

DA provincial deputy leader Sizwe Mchunu echoed Mazibuko’s sentiments, saying the DA had warned the city seven years ago that such a thing would happen if they did not put the public’s needs first.

“People are saying they are tired of the poor service they are receiving from the city. They are tired of not being consulted on decisions and being victimised.

“Municipal officials and politicians should take this as a warning.”

The bus drivers have given the city 48 hours to reply to their concerns, failing which they would “take matters into their own hands”.

The crowd dispersed after the signed documents were returned to them. About 1 000 bus drivers have been affected by Remant Alton’s closure and about 800 traders will lose their livelihoods at the market.

Tansnat Africa CEO Mike Jesserman, whose company had been awarded the contract to take over the bus service, could not be reached for comment.
www.sowetanlive.co.za

What a lot of rubbish
Brakpan Herald 13 January 2015

A disgruntled Brakpan resident dumped his refuse bags at the municipality, last week, in protest against the new refuse removal system being implemented by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.
brakpanherald.co.za

Krugersdorp ‘necklacing’ case postponed
WitBank News 14 January 2015

The Munsieville mob justice case in Krugersdorp has been postponed after an emotional investigating officer walked out of court.

Tweet

An investigating officer could not contain his emotions while giving a brief testimony in court this week following the incident that resulted in two suspected criminals being necklaced, Krugersdorp News reported.

Necklacing involves placing a burning tyre around someone’s neck, often in acts of mob justice.

The alleged attack occurred on Sunday when the community of Munsieville took the law into their own hands after a woman was found murdered in the township on January 1.
Although a murder docket was opened at the Krugersdorp Police Station, no arrests have since been made.

One of three people believed to have murdered the woman was later apprehended and assaulted by community members.

Krugersdorp police officers managed to rescue the man and arrested him.

Krugersdorp cluster commander Major-Gerneral Anna Mateisi said in a brief statement: “We appreciate the partnership between the police and members of the public that led to the arrest of one suspect”.

The mob of residents was believed to have tracked down the other two suspects, necklaced them, and stoned them.

Both men survived the ordeal, while one was believed to have later died after his legs were amputated during the attack.

Suspected mob justice killings continue to be reported.

In November, eight people were arrested after a mob killed a youth suspected of house robbery in Protea Glen, Soweto.

The teenager was declared dead on arrival at hospital, and the police opened a case of murder.

In a separate incident, the case against two men arrested in connection with a suspected mob justice murder in KwaZulu-Natal had been withdrawn due to insufficient evidence.

This after a man identified as Aya Shanga died from multiple injuries sustained after an alleged assault by members of the community in the Nkothaneni location in October.

Shanga was believed to have been involved in an armed robbery and murder in the area.
Police spokesperson Captain Gerald Mfeka later warned the community members to not take the law into their own hands.
witbanknews.co.za

Malamulele ongoing protest disrupts schooling
SABC News 14 January 2015

Schools Malamulele Limpopo Thohoyandou Giyani Learners Commuters Protest There is no schooling at over 140 schools in Malamulele and the surrounding villages in Limpopo.

This as the stay away protest action enters it’s third day.

Residents are demanding to be granted a municipality separate from Thulamela which they are accusing of delivering services to the Thohoyandou area where it is based.

Learners who are schooling in areas outside Malamulele are being turned back by some of the protesting residents.

Some members of the striking committee are deployed at various exits in Malamulele preventing vehicles that are transporting learners to areas that are outside Malamulele.

Learners who are schooling in Giyani and Thohoyandou are being turned back.

The striking committee members say they are preventing learners from going to school as the protest action affects all residents of Malamulele.
www.sabc.co.za

Northam Platinum hit by wildcat strike
News 24 14 January 2015

Johannesburg - Workers have downed tools in a wildcat strike at Northam Platinum's flagship Zondereinde mine in Limpopo, the company said on Wednesday.

Northam [JSE:NHM] said in a statement the strike started with the overnight shift on Tuesday and that smelter operations were unaffected.

In August last year Northam Platinum said it fell into a loss because of a protracted strike at its key operations.

The mid-tier platinum producer said at the time headline losses per share for the year to the end of June were 2.2 cents, compared with earnings of 136.5c a year earlier.

Headline EPS is strips out certain one-off and non-trading items.

Over 7 000 members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) had downed tools at its Zondereinde mine, demanding higher wages.

The strike ended just before a five-month strike by NUM's arch rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), at Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS], Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin [JSE:LON].
www.fin24.com

Mitchells Plain minstrel venue bombed
IOL News 13 January 2015

Cape Town - A house in Rocklands where minstrels regularly gather to practise was bombed in the early hours of Tuesday.

Police spokesman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said the attack took place at around midnight at a house in Cuckoo Street, Rocklands. The building was damaged by an “unknown explosive’.

No one was hurt in the bombing and the motive is not known but police are investigating.

On Tuesday morning the “Traffic fines, Cameras & Updates in Western Cape” Facebook page was flooded with comments from people reporting a bombing incident in Rocklands.

Some of the posts from people living in the area claimed that the bombing occurred at the “Klopse Kamer” in Rocklands.

Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum chairman Abbie Isaacs said the building known as the Klopse Kamer was a normal house where some minstrels regularly practised their dancing and singing.

Isaacs said this was the second bombing incident in the area in a week. He said the first one took place over the weekend at an alleged drug den.

“At the moment we are not sure whether these bombing incidents are directed at groups or individuals.”
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Motorist attacked in Bolobedu protest
IOL News12 January 2015

Johannesburg - A motorist was pelted with stones and his car set on fire during a service delivery protest in Hlohlokwe, near Bolobedu outside Tzaneen, Limpopo police said on Monday.

Residents blocked the road with rocks on Sunday, the police brought the situation under control and the protesters left, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

The road links the Hlohlokwe and Mawa villages. He said the road was not cleared on Sunday as a bulldozer was needed to remove objects from the road.

“A motorist who was not aware of the protest tried to open a way for himself to pass through on Sunday night and he was pelted with stones. He was attacked and his car set alight,” he said.

The motorists and three occupants escaped unharmed. Police found them in the bush around 4am on Monday. A case of public violence and malicious damage to property was opened. No arrests had been made.

“We are not going to leave any stone unturned. Those responsible will be brought to book,” he said.

A special task team had been established to track down the perpetrators. More police had been deployed to the area to monitor the situation.
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Police keep watch at Malamulele protest
IOL News 12 January 2015

Johannesburg - Public order police patrolled Malamulele on Monday as residents continued their demand for the area be separated from the Thulamela local municipality in Limpopo.

“Public order policing have been deployed to the area to monitor the protest, but so far no violence has been reported,” Colonel Ronel Otto said.

Protesters forced shops in the local mall to close as they took to the streets two days before inland province schools were due to open for the new academic year.

They blame the Municipal Demarcation Board for not heeding their call for Malamulele and some surrounding areas, especially those that are Xitsonga-speaking, to have its own municipality.

Residents claim they are not receiving service delivery from the Thulamela municipality, which they allege has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking sections. The municipality has repeatedly denied this.

The demand for another municipality has fuelled tensions between Tshivenda and Xitsonga speakers and triggered division among local traditional leaders as some regard it as a tribal issue.

Last year protesters took to the streets, burning shops and looting, causing millions of rands' worth of damage.
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Protests erupts in Mvutshini
IOL News 12 January 2015

Johannesburg - Residents of Mvutshini near Eshowe blocked a road with burning tyres in an apparent service delivery protest on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

“Today at 3am approximately 300 Mvutshini community members blockaded the R66 with burning tyres. The police are being deployed to monitor the protest,” said Major Thulani Zwane.

He said no serious incidents were reported.
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Prisoners set their cell alight
Solly Maseko (Witbank News) 7 January 2015

Prisoners set their cell alight Five sentenced offenders decided to burn themselves inside the locked cell over a gang related matter.

Mr Moses Nkabinde, communication officer at the Department of Correctional Services, reported that one of the units at Witbank Correctional Centre burned on Tuesday, December 30 in the early evening.

The officials of the department together with emergency services, paramedics and fire brigade, and members of the SAPS quickly responded to the fire and managed to rescue the five offenders who sustained minor injuries and inhalation of smoke. They were taken to the centre’s internal hospital, where they received medical treatment by the department professional nurses and released to a safer place at a special care unit.

It is alleged that these offenders blocked the cell entrance with steel bed frames, collected the bedding and set it alight. A watchful and vigilant correctional officer noticed incident and called for assistance.

“Cutting torch and crowbars had to be used to forcefully open the security doors. The collective of paramedics, SAPS members, correctional officials and fire brigade managed to gain access to rescue the lives of the offenders. The fire was brought under control, including the situation at the entire correctional centre. The matter is currently under internal investigation,” said Nkabinde.
witbanknews.co.za

Fury after illegal connection kills mom
IOL News 7 January 2015

Durban - The people of Intshawini near KwaDukuza (Stanger) are fuming after a mother of three was electrocuted on Monday, apparently by an illegal electricity connection.

They said an unnamed Mozambican man who had illegally connected electricity in his rented home at the informal settlement, had been repeatedly warned of the danger.

Early on Monday, some vented their anger by torching his home.

According to the KwaDukuza municipality, two brothers who shared the home, were on the run.

The victim, Mntu Ntuli, 37, was electrocuted while she was walking barefoot to fetch water from a nearby tap.

Witness Ntombi Mphola, 51, said the tragedy happened at about 6am.
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Durban bus strike to hit commuters
IOL News 5 January 2015

Durban - Bus commuters in the eThekwini municipal area will have to make alternative arrangements to get back to work today as Durban bus drivers are on strike again.

About 300 employees of Tansnat Africa, the

municipal bus operator, downed tools last week in the latest of a series of disruptions to the service.

On Friday the city’s communications unit issued a statement informing commuters that the bus service would be disrupted in all areas.

The municipality’s communications head, Tozi Mthethwa, said the service had been running on a skeleton staff, but owing to intimidation, including the firing of shots at a bus at Gwala’s House in Ntuzuma last Thursday, the drivers had decided not to work.

She said drivers were striking over their unpaid December salaries and annual bonuses.

“The municipality is engaging with the operator to find a permanent solution to the challenges,” she said.

Tansnat Africa chief operations manager John Wilkinson confirmed the strike was due to salaries not being paid on time.

“But since then the company has paid them. Right now we don’t have a single bus on the road,” he said.

He said the company planned to meet the shop stewards and employees today.

Wilkinson said he hoped that normal operations would resume after this meeting.

The company has, over the years, since taking over operations from the municipality in 2009, been in embroiled in controversies.

In February the municipality announced that it planned to take back the bus service.

At the time mayor James Nxumalo said the eThekwini Municipality should waste no time in implementing the proposal.

The municipality has a monthly contract with Tansnat Africa.

Last year it paid R8.1m to Tansnat Africa in Durban to pay their drivers.


DA takes cheeky swipe at ANC
IOL News 22 December 2014

Durban - It was not the Christmas message the ANC’s eThekwini bosses were expecting from their official opposition.

The DA has admitted it was behind a cheeky billboard ad on the M4 (Southern freeway), that shows in no uncertain terms who must take responsibility for the recent electricity load shedding.

“Load shedding. Proudly brought to you by the ANC”, it informs city-bound motorists just after the Clairwood on-ramp.

The ad, put up on Thursday evening

, was the DA’s response to the ruling party behaving as if it was not responsible for power utility Eskom, said the DA’s KwaZulu-Natal chairman, MP Hannif Hoosen.

He confirmed on Sunday that the party had paid for the ad.

“Eskom reports to the ANC. They messed it up. They must take responsibility. Hopefully they will come forward and do so,” said Hoosen.

“We will keep this message up for as long as possible. It is the only billboard with this message thus far.”

The ANC, however, is not amused, calling the ad illegal and nothing but a DA “prank”.

“The energy shortage is a global phenomenon, not just a South African issue,” said eThekwini Municipality Speaker Logie Naidoo, speaking on behalf of the party.

“The majority of the DA served in the old nationalist (National Party) government. The apartheid government did not cater for the energy needs of the vast majority of our people. Today we are bringing electricity even to informal settlements, something the Nats and right-wing parties never dreamt of,” said Naidoo.

He said the ANC was contemplating laying charges against those responsible.

Hoosen did not divulge the cost of the advert, and Face First Media, the billboard advertising company, said the amount paid was confidential.

“We are not responsible for the adverts displayed. We are an advertising platform, like radio, TV and print,” spokesman Stevan Wilken said.

ANC national spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, said it was not true the party was responsible for load shedding. Since 1994, more than 11 million new households had been given access to electricity, Kodwa said.

Similar billboards, and a similar row, occurred in Gauteng in March.
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Fury as axe killer jailed
IOL News 20 December 2014

‘We feel the pain of the victims’ families, but he is still my brother and I’ll always support him.”

These were the words of Luleka Ntshongwana moments after her brother, former Blue Bulls rugby player and convicted axe murderer Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana, was sentenced to five life terms in the Durban High Court on Friday.

After sentencing heated words were exchanged outside court between the families of the victims and Ntshongwana. At one point the families had to be separated by court officials after nearly coming to blows.

Judge Irfaan Khalil sentenced Ntshongwana, 37, to five life terms for four murders and a rape. The father of one was also sentenced to four years each for two attempted murders, two years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and four years for kidnapping.

Ntshongwana killed Thembelenkosini Cebekhulu in Montclair on March 20, 2011; Paulos Hlongwa in Lamontville two days later, Simon Ngidi in Umbilo the following day; and an unidentified man in Yellowwood Park some time that week. All were hacked to death with an axe. Two of the victims were beheaded.

Judge Khalil said witness testimony and forensic evidence left no doubt as to the brutality of the murders. “One is filled with a sense of revulsion and disbelief at this man’s inhumanity. The victims posed no threat at all. One cannot imagine the pain and suffering the deceased experienced at being killed in such a manner. The shock and horror they experienced as they realised what was to befall each of them is unimaginable.”

Ntshongwana also raped and kidnapped a woman from Nongoma in Zululand.

Judge Khalil rejected the defence’s assertion that the rape was not so severe and did not meet the threshold for a life sentence. There were a number of aggravating circumstances, he said.

Ntshongwana kidnapped the woman, held her captive for three days and raped her three times. “He refused to use a condom despite being asked by the victim to do so,” the judge said.

The woman was in court yesterday and sobbed throughout the sentencing. She breathed a sigh of relief at the sentence.

Ntshongwana also attacked and tried to kill two men, one in Umlazi on March 21, 2011, and the other in Lamontville on March 23.

Handing down sentence, Khalil said he did not accept that Ntshongwana was genuinely remorseful, but was regretful at being caught for his crimes. “There was nothing in his background that could have predisposed him to crime. He had a close and loving relationship with his family,” he said.

The judge said Ntshongwana had targeted vulnerable victims and had no particular reason to kill them. He described the crimes as premeditated, brutal and barbaric.

“He purposefully targeted people walking alone. He chased them down and then when they fell, he chopped them. He intended decapitating his victims and was largely successful,” the judge said to gasps from the public gallery.

As Judge Khalil handed down sentence, Ntshongwana, dressed in black pants, a striped T-shirt and carrying bottled water showed little emotion and looked down at the floor.

The public gallery cheered after his sentence was announced.

Outside court relatives of the victims and ANC supporters sang derogatory songs about Ntshongwana’s mother and sister. As the singing grew louder, anger was palpable on Luleka’s face. She stormed towards the group, shouting that they had “got their justice” and should now leave her brother and family alone.

This only infuriated the crowd. Gugu Mbele headed towards Luleka and the two had to be separated by a court official. Mbele’s son in law, Paulos Hlongwa, was one of Ntshongwana’s victims.

“My daughter is a widow, thanks to him. My four grandkids don’t have a father thanks to him, so I will not keep quiet. At least your brother is still alive,” Mbele shouted, pointing at Luleka.

Addressing the media after she had calmed down, Luleka said her family understood the anger of the victims’ families. “We do feel the pain of the people who lost loved ones. I’ve cried many tears about this and I have no more tears to cry,” she said calmly. “I have peace in my heart. My brother is the kindest person I know and I love him to bits. He is still my brother and I’ll always support him.”

Luleka said his mental illness was disregarded.

“We respect the judge’s ruling, but we do not agree with it. We’re not saying he should receive special treatment, but we’re asking what’s going to happen if he relapses,” she said.

Judge Khalil rejected the defence’s claim that Ntshongwana’s mental illness played a role in his crimes, saying he had “presence of mind” when committing the murders. The steps taken to avoid detection were an aggravating circumstance. “His behaviour was methodical, rational and calculating. He attempted to hide behind his mental illness as an excuse for his criminal rampage. It is clear he acted with scant regard for human life.”

Ntshongwana’s mother, Nomafa Letlaka, said the family would appeal. Her son, she said, had been to a number of psychiatric hospitals where he was declared mentally ill but was never admitted.

Because she was at work most of the time, her son was forced to stay at home alone and never took his medication.
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Youth voice discontent over enviro fears
Erin Hanekom 16 December 2014

KZN teens took to the steps of Durban’s city hall on Wednesday, 10 December to voice their opinions on environmental concerns as part of the youth rally hosted by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA).
The third day of the four-day rally, which ran from Monday, 8 December to Thursday, 11 December, saw youngsters embark on a guided ‘toxic tour’ of polluting industries within the South Durban Basin (SDB). This was followed by a protest at city hall, where the participants were able to speak about their environmental fears and offer a declaration to the municipality.

The declaration called for an end to the exploitation of communities in the SDB with the increase in noxious industries and destruction of sensitive habitats. “As we stand united and in solidarity with not only Durban residents, but with communities and individuals all over the world, we urge and request our government to consider us and what we want and need for our ordinary lives to improve,” were the words of the declaration.

This rally was held alongside the COP 20 summit in Peru and consisted of presentations on climate change, energy, feed banks food systems, fracking, media, the Right2Know campaign, sovereignty and women and gender in the environment at UKZN. On the final day, a video chat allowed participants to engage with members of the COP 20 summit.
Youngsters gather outside city hall to voice their concerns.
southlandssun.co.za

The community of KwaZanele in Breyten concluded 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign with a march from the Local Municipality offices to the Taxi rank in KwaZanele last Wednesday.
Highvelder 17 December 2014

Members of the community KwaZanele conclude 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence last Wednesday.

The community of KwaZanele in Breyten concluded 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign with a march from the Local Municipality offices to the Taxi rank in KwaZanele last Wednesday.

Mr Aaron Lefifi from Community Safety, Security and Liaison “Moral Regeneration” told the community members in attendance to play an active role, take responsibility and be willing to assist where possible, as police cannot take the load alone.

Mr David Nghondzweni from Road Safety in Mpumalanga said that the department will also hold a Provincial Launch of Road Safety Promotional CD next Thursday (18 December) KwaZanele.

Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison Vusi Shongwe will attend the event.

Thabani Dlamini from the Department of Social Development spoke about abused families who are too scared to report the abuse because their partners are breadwinners.

He also warned those using children support grant for their own purposes that they will be court and dealt with accordingly.

Constable Mashegoane from SAPS encouraged the community to report any form of crime and abuse happening around them.

Cons Mashegoane told the people that if they’re too scared to speak to someone they know, they can use other community forums or approach the Thuthuzela centre for assistance,
Mashegoane further stated that abuse is not only physical, but if a child does not benefit from the grant money meant for their needs, that’s another form of abuse.

Members of the community were also given whistles to blow in an event they suspect someone to be doing criminal acts or to alert others if they are being attacked.
highvelder.co.za

Somali shop attacks worry MEC
IOL News 16 December 2014

Durban - Recent arson attacks on Somali-owned shops in KwaMashu, near Durban, could be motivated by xenophobia, KwaZulu-Natal community safety MEC Willies Mchunu said on Tuesday.

“Attacking foreign-owned shops is equal to xenophobic attacks,” Mchunu said in a statement.

These acts were “against the values South Africa stands for”.

Mchunu said there had been two petrol bomb attacks on shipping containers, from which Somalians operated their businesses, in the area's C-section.

Police were only able to confirm one attack, last Thursday, in which two people, a Somali business owner and his assistant, sustained serious burns.

“ 1/8The owner and assistant were 3/8 accosted by two unknown males who threw petrol bombs through the window,” Major Thulani Zwane said.

He said the motive was not yet known and no arrests had been made.

Mchunu said the attacks were “unwarranted”.

“If people have got issues with the level of competition presented by foreign business owners and their impact on local business owners, such must be discussed through proper channels and peacefully.”

Mchunu said a community meeting would be held about the matter on Thursday.
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Residents stand against abuse
Tembisans take to the street.

Victor Mukwevho Ne-vumbani (the Tembisan) 12 December 2014

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr J Jeffrey, marching through the streets of Tembisa on Saturday.

More than 1 000 people marched through the streets of Tembisa on Saturday last week, in an effort to promote the 16 Days of activism against the abuse of Women and Children.

The march was organised by the National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Addressing members of the community after the march, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr J Jeffery, said it is the duty of all men to protect women and children in the country.

“In fact, we must protect women and children for 365 days a year. Real men do not abuse women and children,” he said.

He appealed to residents to report those who abuse women and children in their area to law enforcement.

“They will be arrested and brought to us, and we will do the rest,” he said to loud applause from residents, especially women.

The deputy minister also called on those who are being abused to report their abusers to the relevant authorities.

“Enough is enough. Let’s live together in harmony and build a stronger foundation for our children’s future. As men, we must all stress the fact that our children’s future is our priority,” he added.
tembisan.co.za

Tshwane seeks to evict land grabbers
IOL News 17 December 2014

The battle between the City of Tshwane and land invaders continues, with the council now turning to court to evict the latest land grabbers.

Tshwane’s acting mayoral spokeswoman, Lebogang Matji, said the municipality was in the process of applying for an eviction order against the illegal occupants of the land.

The growth of the new Nkandla settlement coincided with the trend to occupy land illegally that has intensified in the area in recent weeks.

Subsequently, law enforcement agencies had numerous clashes with illegal land occupants during evictions at the Malemaville informal settlement in Nellmapius as well as Dali Mpofu View in Soshanguve Block Y and Sokhulumi near Bronkhorstspruit.

Commenting on Nkandla, Matji said: “Our stance on illegal land occupation has not changed, and people cannot just occupy pieces of land as and when they desire.

“This behaviour is unbecoming and cannot be condoned. It further brings up a whole lot of service delivery problems, as these informal settlements that are being established were not planned for, with no provisions for basic services.”

The informal settlement has been named Nkandla by its occupants, after President Jacob Zuma’s grand KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

Neighbours said it had been growing unabated over the past six months.

Several foundation structures have been put up, indicating that more shacks are on the verge of being constructed.

The land has been strategically allocated to leave walkways between the rows of shacks.

Residents in the vicinity of the Nkandla settlement said they had watched helplessly while the informal settlement grew over recent weeks, with no action from the authorities.

While there is no problem with people getting land on which to stay, open fields should be preserved and developed into parks – the purpose for which they had been reserved over the years - according to the neighbours.

Matji said the Mamelodi land belonged to the City of Tshwane and had been earmarked for a residential development.

But communities in the area objected to that plan and insisted they wanted it to be developed into a park instead, he added.

“It is ironic that the very same people who initially objected vehemently to the development of the land for residential purposes and favoured its reservation and transformation into a community park are now alleged to be occupying it without permission,” Matji said.
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Nellmapius shack dwellers get homes
IOL News 16 December 2014

Pretoria - Emotions were running high outside house number 8541 Koporo Street in Nellmapius as Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo handed over houses to residents who had endured inhabitable conditions for more than a decade.

Councillor Nkele Malapane broke down in tears as she remembered the residents’ misery in their old homes in Mamelodi East.

Underground water made their shacks and RDP houses impossible to live in.

Malapane’s plea to Mamabolo during a councillors’ conference in September led to the construction of the houses.

Five houses were handed over on Monday, with two others expected to be ready for occupation within the next few days and the last three by the end of January.
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Cape tow truck firm fearful after attack
IOL News 6 January 2015

Cape Town - A Cape Town tow truck business fears further attacks after around 40 people in towtrucks, some armed, descended on the property and allegedly threatened staff.

Dals Motor Group owner and director Elvin Nel told the Cape Argus that a fleet of tow trucks had pulled up outside his business in Montague Gardens around 3pm on Monday.

“Some of them were armed with guns,” he said over the phone on Tuesday morning. “They slapped my manager around and crowded into the workshop.”

He said the group were part of the SA Auto Repairer and Salvage Association (Saarsa), an organisation representing small and medium-size businesses in the industry.

It was the second time this had happened in the past three years and was part of a growing feud which his company wanted no part of.

The association seems to have taken credit for the attack on Dals Motor Group’s Facebook page, where they wrote: “A Warning to all industries following the demonstration against Dals and white monopolies in the MBR and towing sector in Cape Town today.”

In the post, the organisation accused Dals of “gobbling up” business and “stealing” lucrative contracts with insurers from the smaller black and coloured-owned businesses.

“We want to congratulate all those who participated in the actions against a corrupt and criminal system and want to encourage South Africans to wake up and support the fight against economic discrimination as we move forward in the national revolution started by our leaders pre-1994.”

The post also called on the ANC to investigate white-owned tow trucking companies.

“We call on all activists, true progressive revolutionaries and all South Africans, regardless of race, to stand together with us shoulder to shoulder in our fight for the economic liberation of our country.”

The organisation’s president, Wesley Douglas, sent images of the “demonstration” to the Cape Argus. In some of the images, tow trucks are pictured smashed and looted.

According to Nel, they not only stormed into Dals but also descended on another tow trucking business, CK Coachworks, in Retreat. Multiple attempts to reach the ownership or management of CK Coachworks on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

In another post on Facebook, Saarsa wrote that a hit had been placed by Dals on the lives of their organisation’s leaders.

Nel dismissed the allegation, saying that was not how he ran his company. He said he was planning to contact the regional police commissioner by the end of the week.
kieran.legg@inl.co.za
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Shopkeeper chops off man's ear
IOL News 29 December 2014

A Chinese-owned superette in Uitsig and the ATM outside it were destroyed in a revenge attack by local residents. Picture: Leon Knipe
Cape Town - A Chinese shop owner was attacked and his shop raided by Uitsig residents after he chopped off an alleged shoplifter’s ear with a sword at the weekend.

The shopkeeper, who runs a superette in Connaught Road, Uitsig, reacted by wielding a sword after he witnessed two known gangsters attempt to steal an item from his shop.

Uitsig community leader Denise Simpson, 58, has since called on police and the city to curb the gangsterism problem in the area.

She said that after living in the community for more than 40 years, the problem is “worse than it has ever been”.

Simpson witnessed the incident on Saturday, saying it is also worrying that the community was siding with known gangsters.

“The two guys, who we know are gangsters, came into the shop and pretended they were looking to buy something, but they stole from the shop and tried to run away.

“The shopkeeper was watching them, though, and had his sword ready. He jumped over the counter and chased after them.

“He chopped off the one guy’s ear and then slashed the other over his head. The guy picked up his ear and they both ran away.

“But they came back with about 200 angry residents, most of them youngsters who were obviously with the gangsters.

“That’s when it became a bit crazy. They first started throwing stones at the shopkeeper and his wife. They shattered all the windows and then they stormed into the shop.

“The shopkeeper tried to ward them off, but there were too many – they attacked the shopkeeper and his wife. I heard they were both stabbed and are fighting for their lives in hospital,” she said.

Another witness, Herschel Roman, 32, said the raid on the shopkeeper soon turned ugly.

“The people just started going crazy and more of them came. The took everything from the shop, even the cooldrink straws. Then they started burning tyres before the police came.”

Roman says about 10 police vans and five Nyalas pulled up at the scene.

“Police had to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the people,” he said.

Both Simpson and Roman expressed concern about alleged xenophobia in the area, saying foreigners, especially Nigerians and other Africans, often get robbed and assaulted.

Police confirmed the incident on Sunday.

“Police can confirm that on Saturday at 1.45pm a shop in Connaught Road, Uitsig, was attacked after two suspects tried to steal. The owner of the shop is believed to have attacked them with a panga,” said spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana.

“Members of the community reportedly converged on the area and started stoning the police and shop owners, who were later rushed to hospital.

“Police managed to disperse the crowd. A case of assault and public violence is being investigated. No arrests have been made at this stage.”
carlo.petersen@inl.co.za
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Fury over crime beaches
IOL News 22 December 2014

Cape Town - Anglers upset about the state of beaches on the False Bay coastline targeted mayor Patricia de Lille, who was on a tour of False Bay on Sunday, to protest against the lack of safety, council neglect and run-down facilities.

De Lille was at Muizenberg, Strandfontein and Mnandi beaches on Sunday to promote the city’s beach safety campaign. On her second stop, in Strandfontein, she was greeted by a group of anglers who voiced their frustration about the dilapidated infrastructure and the fact that beaches along the False Bay coastline were not well maintained.

Many of them are recreational anglers who fish until the early hours of the morning.

The anglers said the coastline, stretching from Muizenberg to Gordon’s Bay, was not safe for them because there was an increase in robberies.

Some had been killed while fishing. In June, Alvin Allies, from Northpine, was gunned down in a botched robbery while he and a friend were fishing at Strandfontein in the early hours.

The anglers said many more had fallen victim to crime because not enough was being done about safety, especially at the designated recreational spots used for fishing.

Fisherman Peter John Breda, from Mitchells Plain, said about six months ago his vehicle was broken into while he was fishing.

“I park my car on the road and I must walk over a dune, and as soon as I got to the other side they broke into my car. They stole my battery,” Breda said.

He said such incidents happened on a regular basis.

Previously anglers had access to a parking area close to the fishing spots, but an access road, dubbed “Broken Road” because it was riddled with potholes, had since been closed due to its poor state. This had forced fishermen to use the general parking area at the pavilion.

Anglers are not allowed to fish near the bathing spot and have to walk about 200 to 500m from the pavilion to fish.

“If we go far away from our vehicles, they get broken into. We also get robbed and murdered. There have been murders of fishermen on the beaches. It’s all about safety; they (city) have got to protect us, my person and my property,” angler Andre Arendse said.

“I don’t want to ride on the dunes. Make it accessible. We want access that is going to be controlled. We don’t mind paying a fee if there is a guy that’s going to be looking after our vehicles.”

Fisherman Michael Stockenstroom said it was strange that the beach had been awarded Blue Flag status with its infrastructure in a poor state. “They’ve got infrastructure all the way down from Muizenberg which you can’t use because it’s vandalised and it has not been repaired in months,” Stockenstroom said.

“Go to Macassar and you’ll see the place is in a bad state.”

Beaches are awarded Blue Flag status for excellence in safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

In a brief discussion with the anglers, De Lille told them to put their complaints in writing and send them to her office.

“You can jump into the sea in protest. It won’t matter if it’s not in writing. If you have contacted people from the city who haven’t done their work, I want to know,” De Lille said.

She took exception to a poster about a story which said there was E.Coli at False Bay beaches and regarded it as “taking a political stance”.

She said the water had been tested on Saturday and it was safe for use.

“I didn’t come here to read banners. I came here to do my work. Whether a beach is Blue Flag, white flag or pink flag it doesn’t matter unless you put the matter in writing and send it to me,” De Lille said.
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