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South African Protest News 20 October - 14 December 2015  (2016) South African Protest News 20 October - 14 December 2015 .  : -.


Sex workers have their say in legislature
IOL News 11 December 2015

Johannesburg - Gauteng sex workers have made impassioned pleas for the decriminalisation of their trade.

The workers took their frustration to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Thursday to fight what they called exploitation, abuse, discrimination and violence.

Thursday was their day to make their voices heard, as sex workers stood before the Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe and gave testimony on the difficulties they faced and how decriminalisation of their work would solve problems such as their access to justice and quality healthcare, HIV infections, access to UIF contributions and payments, as well as ending police brutality, among others.

Palesa Mokoena spoke with zeal about the problems sex workers encounter, eliciting applause from a gallery full of co-workers.

“We work for our children in order to give them a better future and for them to get to schools that we couldn’t,” she said.

Another sex worker, who wouldn’t name herself, said: “Sex workers are citizens of this country. We vote and pay tax, yet we can’t apply for bank loans because we have no payslips,” she said.

“We can’t own bonded property because of this, so we have to wait for RDP houses which aren’t guaranteed.

“We are forced to fall under the hands of mashonisa (loan sharks) and are expected to work underground like the mafia, yet just in June a sex worker was raped by a mashonisa because she couldn’t repay a loan of R2 000 that had become R10 000.”

In a report on the decriminalisation of sex work that was unanimously adopted at the legislature, it was alleged that sex workers were over-policed but under-protected and were, as a result, vulnerable to violence and predators targeting them with virtual impunity.

“Police officers always tell sex workers that they do not have any rights. An example will be that of police officers raping sex workers. Sex workers are afraid to lodge a case against them in fear of their lives,” the report read, in part.

In the report, sex workers decried how police officers confiscated their condoms as evidence that they were sex workers and how they were allegedly denied their HIV antiretroviral treatment when in police detention.

Thursday also marked the commemoration by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and Sisonke National Sex Workers Movement in South Africa of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

The day is celebrated on December 17, but the groups arranged memorial events in several provinces on Thursday to stand in solidarity with sex workers and their coalition, named Asijiki, to decriminalise the trade.

Sweat said that last year saw a “high number of brutal murders” of sex workers, one being Desiree Murugan, whose body was found beheaded in Durban.

“In November (this year) alone, four sex workers were murdered in South Africa. The deep stigma and vulnerability of sex workers to violence and harassment has further been illustrated by the recent actions of the police in Pretoria, who, in response to the murder of a sex worker, terrorised the deceased's colleagues who were willing to give statements, and set fire, four times, to their shacks and possessions,” the group said in a statement.

The legislature also adopted two other reports, following submissions on both, on the decriminalisation of sex work - one of access to health ser-vices and another on access to the economy.

The chairwoman of committees at the legislature, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, said they would submit the reports to the various departments, and the sex workers would be given feedback next year regarding their submissions.

JHB licensing staff on strike again
IOL News 11 December 2015

Johannesburg - To the dismay of those trying to get vehicle licences, Joburg's licensing department went on strike again on Thursday.

According to Jack Mokalapa, a leader from the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), the workers had raised concerns about the pay advertised for new positions requiring no experience, compared with the salaries for experienced workers.

They also called for the removal of several people, including Nomcebo Mndebele, director of licensing and prosecutions, and the head of human resources.

“We are prepared to do this as long as it takes,” Mokalapa said.

He addressed workers in the parking lot of the Joburg metropolitan police department (JMPD) headquarters in a red Samwu T-shirt and hat from on top of a red car.

He waved an advert he said had offered new positions externally with better salaries than those earned by workers who had held the same positions for 12 years.

He cited two positions in particular, both clerk/cashier posts.

Mokalapa said new recruits for those positions would receive, including benefits, about R20 000 a month while the established workers in those positions, who would have to train the new workers, made R12 000, including benefits.

The advertisements obtained by The Star listed an annual salary range of R143 294 and R184 228 plus benefits for the higher paid position. That would amount to a range of R11 941 to R15 352 a month plus benefits.

Mokalapa said the experienced workers should get at least the same salaries as the new positions.

“The city always say they don’t have money, but they have money for the new advertisements.”

The strike that began on Monday was temporarily lifted while the workers waited for a response from the department head, Mokalapa said.

He said the head of the department of public safety, Hlula Msimang, agreed on Monday that they would meet on Thursday.

Msimang, however, in a letter given to The Star by Mokalapa, moved the meeting to Monday.

“We are still considering and consulting about the issues you raised and furthermore you have also not provided evidence as per our agreement,” the letter said.

A member of the mayoral committee on transport, Sello Lemao, met with workers at the JMPD headquarters when he arrived to speak at an event for the 16 Days of Activism.

The strikers had toyi-toyied loudly before his arrival.

Water threats prompt Mankweng protest
IOL News 14 December 2015

Limpopo - Residents of Mankweng in Limpopo staged protest and forced shops to close on Monday amid demands that the local Polokwane municipality reverse a council motion to cut water.

It is estimated that residents owe the municipality a combined R2 million in water arrears, leading to the council recently issuing letters threatening disconnection unless arrears were settled.

Shoppers from surrounding villages were shocked when they arrived at Mankweng Plaza on Monday to find shops closed.

Some are receiving threatening letter that their house maybe repossessed if they don’t pay.

Shoppers from surrounding villages were shocked when they arrived at Mankweng Plaza on Monday to find shops closed.

Hundreds of residents took to the streets to march to the municipality’s satellite office in Mankweng, about 30 kilometres outside of Polokwane, in protest at the water bill issue.

When they arrived at the office, the doors were locked and there was no one to accept their demands.

Protestors were complaining that their water bill was exorbitant and said they did not understand how council reached the amounts they charged for water.

On November 30, the council sent letters to residents warning that if they did not settle their outstanding debts they would be disconnected.

“Failure to settle your account within 14 days will result in the municipality disconnecting the support of water/electricity to your property,” the letter stated.

Community leader Jerry Hine said residents were not going to pay the bills as the account did not reflect their actual consumption.

“We are here to return the bill and statement back to the council, we will sit here until the management come and receive their bills,” he said.

“There is no negotiations, we don’t want assessment rates, because we don’t know what it is.”

Elizabeth Malungane said she was not complaining about the outstanding bills but said her concern was that the balance on her account did not change despite her making payment every month.

“I am paying every month R500, and when I check my debts was at R11,000. I have made several payment but my balance keeps on going up,” said Malungane.

Malungane, like hundreds of other residents, have vowed not to pay their municipal bills until the municipality had clarified matters.

Municipality spokesman Tidimallo Chuene said the municipality would be meeting with community leaders to hear their grievances.

Residents beat alleged rapist to death
IOL News 14 December 2015

Cape Town - Residents in Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi took the law into their own hands when they allegedly beat a 30-year-old man to death. They had accused him of raping a woman at 2am on Sunday.

Kosovo Community Policing Forum chairperson Luvuyo Mamba said the suspect was caught at neighbouring Samora Machel close to the rape incident.

Mamba said the alleged rapist was not from the area.

Mamba said: “We do not want to see these kinds of incidents taking place in our area, especially after we had a meeting recently with residents.

One of the things we discussed was that it’s unacceptable to take the law into our own hands.”

He said they called the nearby mobile police station in Samora Machel but could not get help.

“Then we went to the police station and there was one police officer,” Mamba said.

“The police arrived hours after the incident.”

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said there was no confirmation as yet that the killing was over the rape. No one has been arrested.

“The death of a 30-year-old male is being investigated.

“He was allegedly beaten to death in Kosovo informal settlement,” Traut said.

Traut asked anyone with information to contact Crime Stop on 086001011 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

Protesters march in Johannesburg against the use of coal
SABC News 11 December 2015

Earthlife Africa believes the COP21 summit won’t do much to ease the burden of pollution on the environment.(REUTERS)

COP21 Earthlife Africa Eskom City of Joburg Horisani Sithole While leaders of different countries are meeting in Paris, France at the two week long COP21 summit on climate change, activists marched in Johannesburg against the use of coal for electricity generation.

The activists, under the banner of Earthlife Africa, wanted to raise awareness on the dangers that coal usage poses to the environment.

Close to 500 people clad in black t-shirts - marched to the regional offices of Eskom and the Johannesburg City council in Braamfontein - in the city centre hoisting anti-coal and anti-nuclear placards.

The march was to raise awareness on the dangers that the use of coal poses to the environment.

And also to persuade Eskom and the City of Joburg to support the transition to clean, renewable energy solutions.

Earthlife Africa's Dominique Doyle says, "Coal might be cheap for Eskom, that's because Eskom is allowed to operate without
obeying any of the environmental laws.”

Over 80% of South Africa's electricity is generated from coal, making Eskom one of the biggest polluters in the world.
Currently, Eskom is running 15 coal powered electricity generating plants in the country.

Over 80 percent of South Africa's electricity is generated from coal, making Eskom one of the biggest polluters in the world.

Some of the people who participated in the march believe renewable energy will help communities save a lot of money that they are currently paying as a result of Eskom's high tariffs.

Meanwhile, this Friday marks the end of COP21 Climate change summit in Paris.

Doyle has little faith that the conference will come up with a binding agreement.

"We believe that COP is a failing process. Although COP has been happening for 21 years global greenhouse gas emissions
continue to rise. And we continue to head towards the brink of a catastrophic climate change. So we say that because the international process has failed, local action is required. That's why we began the march at Eskom, the most polluting company in Africa, making South Africa 13th in the world."

The marchers dispersed after returning from the Eskom offices where they had gathered.

DA call for clean-up of Point Road
IOL News 11 December 2015

Members of the DA held a placard demonstration in Mahatma Gandhi Road on Wednesday.

Members of the DA held a placard demonstration in Mahatma Gandhi Road on Wednesday. THE DA held a placard demonstration at Mahatma Gandhi/Point Road on Wednesday night as part of its Clean Up Point Campaign.

Members of the women’s network, lead by led by Shehana Gaibie together with DA Central Durban Chairperson Councillor Nicole Graham and Mbali Ntuli MPL, decided to hold the demonstration, as they said they feared for the safety of women and children especially in the Durban CDB as an alarming number of alleged drug lords have moved into the Mahatma Gandhi Road area.

The campaign is to stand up against the exploitation of women and children, human-trafficking and drug abuse, which the DA feels needs to come to an end in the area.
DA councillors have been working in the area for a while to tackle issues.

“Mahatma Gandhi Road has been left as an eye-sore and haven for illicit activity for far too long. We need our city cleaned up now! We cannot allow residents to live in squalor, and continue to overlook the daily occurrence of exploitation of women and children in the area. The plight of those who are most vulnerable in our communities cannot be ignored. The DA is committed under its vision of One Nation One Future for a country that is free of crime and exploitation of women and children,” asid Gaibie.

Members of the DA stood on Mahatma Gandhi Road on Wednesday, urging for a clean-up of the road and a petition was handed to the City Manager.

Sex workers have their say in legislature
IOL News 11 December 2015

Johannesburg - Gauteng sex workers have made impassioned pleas for the decriminalisation of their trade.

The workers took their frustration to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Thursday to fight what they called exploitation, abuse, discrimination and violence.

Thursday was their day to make their voices heard, as sex workers stood before the Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe and gave testimony on the difficulties they faced and how decriminalisation of their work would solve problems such as their access to justice and quality healthcare, HIV infections, access to UIF contributions and payments, as well as ending police brutality, among others.

Palesa Mokoena spoke with zeal about the problems sex workers encounter, eliciting applause from a gallery full of co-workers.

“We work for our children in order to give them a better future and for them to get to schools that we couldn’t,” she said.

Another sex worker, who wouldn’t name herself, said: “Sex workers are citizens of this country. We vote and pay tax, yet we can’t apply for bank loans because we have no payslips,” she said.

“We can’t own bonded property because of this, so we have to wait for RDP houses which aren’t guaranteed.

“We are forced to fall under the hands of mashonisa (loan sharks) and are expected to work underground like the mafia, yet just in June a sex worker was raped by a mashonisa because she couldn’t repay a loan of R2 000 that had become R10 000.”

In a report on the decriminalisation of sex work that was unanimously adopted at the legislature, it was alleged that sex workers were over-policed but under-protected and were, as a result, vulnerable to violence and predators targeting them with virtual impunity.

“Police officers always tell sex workers that they do not have any rights. An example will be that of police officers raping sex workers. Sex workers are afraid to lodge a case against them in fear of their lives,” the report read, in part.

In the report, sex workers decried how police officers confiscated their condoms as evidence that they were sex workers and how they were allegedly denied their HIV antiretroviral treatment when in police detention.

Thursday also marked the commemoration by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and Sisonke National Sex Workers Movement in South Africa of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

The day is celebrated on December 17, but the groups arranged memorial events in several provinces on Thursday to stand in solidarity with sex workers and their coalition, named Asijiki, to decriminalise the trade.

Sweat said that last year saw a “high number of brutal murders” of sex workers, one being Desiree Murugan, whose body was found beheaded in Durban.

“In November (this year) alone, four sex workers were murdered in South Africa. The deep stigma and vulnerability of sex workers to violence and harassment has further been illustrated by the recent actions of the police in Pretoria, who, in response to the murder of a sex worker, terrorised the deceased's colleagues who were willing to give statements, and set fire, four times, to their shacks and possessions,” the group said in a statement.

The legislature also adopted two other reports, following submissions on both, on the decriminalisation of sex work - one of access to health ser-vices and another on access to the economy.

The chairwoman of committees at the legislature, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, said they would submit the reports to the various departments, and the sex workers would be given feedback next year regarding their submissions.

Incensed healers in aromatic protest
IOL News 11 December 2015

Pretoria - Close to 150 sangomas on Thursday burnt impepho (traditional incense) in front of the Department of Health offices in Pretoria, where they demonstrated against draft proposals by Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to regulate their practice.

Dressed in their traditional regalia the traditional healers ululated, blew whistles and stomped on the ground in dance as onlookers used their cellphones to take pictures. Smoke from the burning incense billowed into the air as the sangomas clapped hands and spoke to their ancestors.

They shouted slogans denouncing the proposed regulations in a Government Gazette published on November 3, saying they were oppressive. The draft regulation prescribed the age for practising as a sangoma at 18 and above; and stated that anyone wishing to be a diviner, herbalist or traditional birth attendant must undergo training at an accredited institution with a traditional tutor.

Healers hoisted placards bearing messages that read: “I am a traditional healer, not by choice. Regulate what? Don’t talk to me, talk to my ancestors”. “I am 100 percent a traditional healer and proud of my heritage” and “A 12-year-old can abort but a trainee traditional healer must be 18”.

Their picketing was part of a campaign called #VukaMngomacampaign aimed at opposing the proposed regulations. Their spokeswoman, Nomsa Nkosi, read out a memorandum of grievances, which was handed over to advocate Maile Ngake, chief state negotiator.

Ngake told the sangomas that he would present the memo to the minister, who had been given 14 days to respond to their demands.

Nkosi said she hoped the department would let go of the proposed regulations after it had noted the healers’ concerns. “We want the department to embark on roadshows to meet the traditional healers all over the country,” she said. She said the plan was to roll out the campaign to other provinces to mobilise the support of other sangomas.

Lulama Mpahla said he had travelled from East London to take part in the demonstration.

“We will soon start a campaign in the Eastern Cape to demonstrate at the provincial department of health offices,” he said.

Nkosi said the healers demanded to have the draft regulations, published in English, to be available in the other indigenous languages. Healers accused Motsoaledi of having failed to consult with them before the publication of the gazette.

But, Motsoaledi’s spokesman, Joe Maila, said it was not true that sangomas were not consulted. He said the consultations with sangomas were done through the Interim Traditional Council, the body which represents their interests.

The 20-member council is made up of members from all nine provinces and also has representatives of stakeholder bodies, including the Health Professions Council and the SA Pharmaceutical Council. Maila said that the department had acknowledged the communication gap that existed between it and the aggrieved sangomas.

He downplayed the conflict between the minister and the sangomas, saying it was just a misunderstanding. In terms of the gazette, the department intended to prescribe the duration of sangoma training to at least a year. The applications must be forwarded to the Interim Traditional Healers’ Council and be accompanied by a certain fee.

“Traditional healing is not a career and thus cannot be governed by minimum qualifications that have nothing to do with our ancestral calling,” said Nkosi.

Mob kills ATM card scammer
IOL News 9 December 2015

Tzaneen - Police in Limpopo have warned against vigilantism after a suspected ATM card scammer was attacked and killed at Lorraine Village shopping centre near Tzaneen.

The alleged ATM card scammer who was said to have been terrorising the community, which prompted a violent response when residents caught him.

Police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe said the suspect, identified as Ndofaya Sipho Mhlongo, was caught while allegedly trying to con a bank user who was at the local shopping complex.

The mob beat him to death. Police found his lifeless body at the shopping complex, said Ngoepe.

Ngoepe said: “Community members, who were queuing to take money at that ATM, allegedly noticed his fraudulent activities and they jointly caught him and severely beat him to death with various objects, including stones.”

The attack prompted police to issue a warning against community members not to take the law into their own hands.

The police warned the community against attacking suspects and to instead inform the police about any criminal incidents.

Ngoepe said those involved in mob justice would be prosecuted.

He added that the public should co-operate with the police to ensure suspects were arrested and appeared in court

Ngoepe said police were continuing with investigations into the vigilantism incident.

“There are no arrests at this stage, but the involved suspects from the group of community members are still being identified and the arrests will follow soon,” he said.

Recently police were criticised by members of community who complained about the increase of crime. They said they were losing hope in police handling their cases.

It was the third incident of vigilantism in Limpopo to occur within two weeks, after two suspects were killed in Polokwane when community members caught them after a house robbery.

Now rubbish piles up in KZN
IOL News 9 December 2015

Durban - As refuse collectors strike in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, uncollected rubbish is being left to rot on pavements, and some fed-up communities are taking to the streets to air their frustration.

uMlazi residents, angered by heaps of rubbish that had not been removed by contractors employed by the eThekwini Municipality, toppled bins, trees and rocks on to the busy Mangosuthu Highway on Tuesday.

The mess had still not been cleared by Tuesday afternoon.

Contractors downed tools at least three weeks ago and waste has not been collected in the township since.

In a statement last week, city manager S’bu Sithole promised refuse removal would commence from last Thursday. But the rubbish was still piled on street corners on Tuesday afternoon.

With no sign of the refuse removal trucks, residents blockaded the streets.

In the intersection between R and W sections, near the Durban Transport bus depot, two trees were chopped down and dumped in the middle of a busy road, while near the new KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre, piles of trash were strewn on the road.

Tozi Mthethwa, the city’s spokeswoman, said the refuse collection was expected to commence on Wednesday and they had been given “assurance” that all refuse would be removed by the weekend.

Earlier this week, in Pietermaritzburg, refuse was strewn across streets when

workers contracted to the Msunduzi electricity and refuse removal departments toyi-toyied and barricaded the Havelock and Doull roads’ offices with tyres, demanding to speak to the municipal manager, Mxolisi Nkosi.

The reason for this strike, according to disgruntled workers, was that they wanted permanent jobs.

One temporary employee, who identified himself as “Jeffrey”, said that most workers had been employed on a temporary basis for more than 15 years and, while the municipality continued to make promises of permanent employment, nothing had been done.

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman, Nqobile Madonda, said the strike was unprotected.

“Disgruntled employees should address their legitimate concerns with line management internally first. There is a proper procedure and protocol to be followed,” she said.

Residents allege cops are being bribed
IOL News 9 December 2015

Cape Town - Angry residents marched to the Manenberg police station on Tuesday to express dissatisfaction and anger at police who, they claim, are accepting bribes to make dockets disappear.

Residents from Manenberg, Tambo Village and Gugulethu blocked the entrance to the station.

A scuffle almost ensued when police officers pushed their way through the crowd, shouting: “Why you are coming here to accuse us?”.

Frustrated residents quickly pointed fingers at so-called corrupt officers. But the acting station commander Colonel Sanele Zama intervened, and managed to calm the situation.

Zama accepted a memorandum on behalf of Brigadier Andre van Dyk.

“We will look at your concerns. We know you would not just march to the station for nothing. Thank you for letting us know,” he said.

Manenberg resident Jasmine Davids, 46, produced documents which she said were evidence of correspondence with the authorities, including former police minister Nathi Mthethwa, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and to the Public Protector.

Davids said to make matters worse an officer assaulted her when she wanted an update on a case of fraud she had laid in June 2013. “Instead of helping me he assaulted me. My cases are still not solved till today,” Davids said.

The Manenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF) Chairperson Kader Jacobs promised to assist the community to make sure their cases are investigated. “We are aware of the alleged corruption at this station.

“But for us to assist you, we have to see the evidence. The courts want evidence – not just allegations,” he said.

Community leader Lungile Mtwana said residents were tired of “corrupt police officers who accept bribes in exchange for the botching of an investigation”.

“We demand that the lost dockets be found immediately and be taken to court.

“We also demand the suspension of corrupt officers as well as calling for their immediate arrests,” he said.

Zikalala booed at Cosatu bash
IOL News 7 December 2015

Durban - ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairman Sihle Zikalala received a cold reception from workers when he was booed at the 30th anniversary of Cosatu in Durban at the weekend.

This was after some workers sang anti-Zikalala songs and booed him whenever his name was mentioned at the trade union federation’s celebratory rally held at Curries Fountain.

There were also placards denouncing the leadership aligned to him, and calls for the reconvening of the disputed ANC provincial conference, where Zikalala ousted Premier Senzo Mchunu.

Some of the placards read: “Sihle.Zweli.Baleka.Zandilei#MustFall”, “KZN conference re-run” and “Thanduxolo stop behaving like Inkatha #Phara”.

Thanduxolo Sabelo is the KZN ANC Youth League secretary who is seen by critics as a Zikalala lackey.

On Sunday, ANC provincial spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli said: “The booing and placards in Cosatu, in our view, reflect the extent Cosatu membership is infiltrated by elements that are not part of the progressive alliance.”

Ntuli said the placards and the booing showed there were elements in Cosatu bent on denouncing the ANC leadership.

The booing happened despite a meeting of alliance secretaries on Friday, on the eve of the Cosatu celebrations, to discuss several issues, including the election campaign, alliance programme of action and the planned Friday march against social ills.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said it was unfortunate that there were people who used labour federation anniversary celebrations to fight their political battles.

“Cosatu is not about issues of leadership in the ANC,” Dlamini said.

The booing incident took place days after disgruntled ANC members had threatened to intensify their protest against the new leadership.

The incident was an apparent disapproval of Zikalala, who made a brutal assessment of the alliance at the conference in Pietermaritzburg, to the displeasure of some alliance partners.

He used his secretariat report last month to take a swipe at the SACP and Cosatu for raising concerns about the ANC. “There is absolutely everything wrong with comrades who use both the SACP and Cosatu as their lobby groups for leadership positions in the ANC,” Zikalala said in his report.

Parents take a stand against taxi demands
IOL News 7 December 2015

Durban - Angry Chatsworth residents have vowed to stand firm in the face of pressure from the local taxi association which is threatening to stop lift clubs and school transport operators.

Nearly 100 residents, operators and parents met in the Bayview Community Hall yon Sunday to vent their anger at what they say is intimidation.

The meeting was sparked by an advert in a community newspaper on December 2 that said from next year public transport in the south Durban suburb would be restricted to Chatsworth Minibus Association members.

The advert read: “No private vehicles (taxis) will be allowed to commute passengers in Chatsworth. Scholars that are using private (taxis) to travel to schools need to contact the Chatsworth Minibus Association to arrange transport… The Chatsworth Minibus Association are the legal custodians of Chatsworth and therefore any vehicle that is not affiliated to the Chatsworth Minibus Association will not be allowed to operate in the magerstrical (sic) district of Chatsworth.”

But local councillor, Brandon Pillay, told the meeting that nobody would be stopping lift clubs or people transporting children. He said the community had threatened to retaliate by stopping taxis from the Chatsworth Minibus Association should it try to enforce its diktat.

He said they had engaged with schools and had received their support.

“People are angry. In no uncertain terms will they allow their children to take taxis to school.”

He said this was motivated by parents not wanting their children to experience the bad things they did in taxis. Pillay said the taxi association had not been invited to the meeting.

This was so they could organise themselves before their meeting with the association.

A committee was formed including members from across Chatsworth to talk to the association later this month.

Vice-secretary of the Chatsworth Minibus Association, Leon Loganathan, said what they were doing was being done in oThongathi, Verulam and Phoenix and that they had not threatened anyone.

“We will not tolerate private cars (operating as taxis) in an area that we are working in… They are taking a major chunk of our business away,” he said.

Loganathan said the private cars had no formal paperwork, were unregulated because they did not belong to any association, and were unsafe as they were often overloaded.

“As a taxi association, we are governed by law,” he said.

Loganathan welcomed the formation of a committee that would engage with the association on the issue.

It was reported last month that oThongathi residents had been threatened and assaulted by taxi drivers who forced them to use taxis.

The residents said the intimidation extended to lift clubs and school transport.

At Sunday’s meeting, Michelle Govender, said: “My husband transports children to school.

“Some of those children have special needs.” She said many private drivers took the role of parents with the children, and when the children became sick the parents called them for help.

Govender said drug use by drivers and conductors was one of the reasons parents did not want their children in taxis.

Another resident, who asked to stay anonymous, said he had been intimidated by taxi people in the past.

“They chased me on Higginson Highway. I was boxed in… The passengers were terrified,” he said.

He said they seized his vehicle and demanded he pay a fine of R5 000 for its release.

Strike closes JHB licensing offices
IOL News 8 December 2015

Johannesburg - Motorists and other people in Joburg were left frustrated on Monday after a strike by workers shut driver’s licensing and testing offices.

Workers at the traffic department spent the day in a union meeting to raise their grievances over job positions that were advertised externally instead of internally, said metro police department spokesman Wayne Minnaar.

Carol Rundle, a pensioner trying to renew her licence in Randburg, was frustrated.

“I can’t stand for hours in a queue,” she said. “It's a problem to renew our licences now.”

She had gone to renew her licence, which expires early next month, on Friday but found the employees were in a union meeting that morning. The office remained closed for the workers' Christmas party that afternoon.

At the Sandton office, people complained that it had been closed on Friday for a Christmas party as well.

Rundle’s companion was also frustrated about renewing her licence, which expires this month.

“They can’t penalise us if our licences expire,” she said.

Signs at the Randburg licensing office said it would be closed until further notice but the signs at the Sandton office advised patrons to call the next day to see whether it had opened.

Struggles of the disabled
IOL News 4 December 2015

Pretoria - While the march to the Union Buildings and music performances which took place on Thursday were intended to celebrate disability, many people living with disabilities face a daily struggle.

Moses Komane uses a wheelchair and says “We have to fight for employment, regardless of our level of education. Nobody is enforcing the 2% target for jobs taken by people with disabilities.”

Mobility is an issue for many people with disabilities, with the lack of access to public transport a common concern.

Johannes Matyemi broke both legs in a taxi accident in 1987 and has had limited mobility ever since. He says sometimes the taxi drivers don’t stop when they see him.

Lesedi Gobela has been a quadriplegic since a car crash in 2004. He says his employer does not make allowances for his disability.

“I am sitting all day and I get bedsores. I need time off in the day to deal with this, but I am still trying to arrange this with my employer.”

Deputy Minister for Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has announced that the Gauteng provincial government was well on its way to becoming the first province to achieve the national target of employment equity for persons with disabilities.

Bogopane-Zulu announced this at the Union Buildings celebrations.

“The elusive 2% set by the Cabinet in 1996 to ensure a 2% employment equity for persons with disabilities seems to be closer for the Gauteng province.

“The provincial government has managed to improve from 0.25% in December 2013 to 1.6% by March this year,” she said.

Bogopane-Zulu said that even though her department was addressing the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, the biggest hurdle still remained the attitude of society towards such people.

“We do recognise the need to pick up the pace in making more of our infrastructure more easily accessible to persons with disabilities, but then you find that when they do get in those places people shy away from them (persons with disabilities) or don’t even greet them.

“It is that attitude that still needs to be changed in our communities,” she said.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura expressed delight at the improvements the Gauteng province had made in the past 18 months for the betterment of disabled people.

“We have done business worth R136million with entrepreneurs with disabilities which is a massive improvement on the R4.6m we did last year,” he said.

The Premier noted that “Persons with disabilities have a lot to offer the country. They have skills and talents to be drawn upon in numerous fields.

“They too fought in the Struggle and were exiled, so we recommit ourselves on this day to continue to re-double our efforts so we can reach the 2% target set.”

In attendance were the South African Disability Alliance alongside hundreds of persons living with disabilities who marched to the Union Buildings as well to deliver a memorandum to the stakeholders present to align legislation more speedily.

Community torches ‘satanic’ church
IOL News 2 December 2015

Polokwane – A house and a church belonging to a woman who claims to be a prophet has been set alight by angry community members in Dzimauli, east of Polokwane, after she allegedly kidnapped a girl and forced her to abandon her studies.

The church was burnt on Tuesday morning by members of the community who were angry at what they believed to be “satanic” practices.

Mutale police said the community turned against the woman after she refused to release a child who went to her church.

It is alleged that the pastor refused to release the child to her biological parents and police were called to rescue the child who was apparently parading half naked.

“What happened on Monday evening is that the community demanded that the pastor should leave their village because she is practicing satanism,” said police spokesperson warrant officer Tshilidzi Nyambeni.

“They then on Tuesday torched the house and stood and watch as drama was unfolding,” add Nyambeni.

“We took her and her children to a safe place.”

The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl child, was grateful for police intervention.

“We went there and the woman refused to release her, and we then went to police. They drove with us to the house and we found them covered in blankets half naked,” said the mother.

She said the child was taken to health centre where she was found to be dehydrated.

“When you hold her she wants to jump at you and bite you, we suspect something has been done, her behaviour has changed completely,” the mother said. “We fought because she wants to use our child and even force her out of school.”

Nyambeni confirmed that they had taken the child from the woman.

However, no arrest had yet been made in connection with an arson or kidnapping case.

Rustenburg hawkers blow a fuse
Business Report 3 December 2015

Rustenburg - A group of hawkers staged a sit-in at the office of the director of local economic development in the Rustenburg municipality on Thursday.

“We slept here last night [Wednesday] we did not go home. We are going to occupy this office even if it means we spend Christmas Day here,” said Jane Mpolokeng, spokesperson of the group.

She said 35 women occupied the office on Tuesday afternoon, demanding the municipality allocate them stalls to trade, and to release tables, chairs, tents and pots the municipality had confiscated during a raid in October.

“We have not been trading since October 15, our children are dying of hunger. All we want is for the municipality to release our belongings and allocate stalls for us.” She said they were not prepared to attend any meeting with the municipality because previous meetings had not achieved anything.

“We had enough meetings. There is no progress in this matter,” she said. “All we want is our belongings back and space to trade.”

Acting mayor of Rustenburg Victoria Makhaula said the group that occupied the office had not registered as hawkers, when hawkers were asked to register members who working for other hawkers.

“Now they wanted to be independent and trade as hawkers. We give all hawkers an opportunity to register and this group did not believe us, now they see the benefit [hawkers reap], they too want to benefit.”

About 300 unhappy hawkers marched to the municipality on November 2, demanding that the municipality return their goods confiscated on October 15. They also demanded that the municipality must reserve parking space for their suppliers.

They claimed suppliers vehicle were being towed away every time they delivered goods. In a memorandum, the hawkers demanded equal stall space for all hawkers, claiming that some stalls were bigger than others.

“After they handed over the memorandum, we realised that they were not in the database. We called them for a meeting last week and they walked out of that meeting. We did not know that they slept here last night. We were at a special council meeting on Wednesday,” said Makhaula.

She said the group did not want to meet with the Hawkers Forum to address their problems. Makhaula said there were 1 200 hawkers trading in the municipality, and that there was no more space available for street trading.

After the group refused to meet with the director of economic development, Jacky Kole, and the Hawkers Forum, the group went to a closed door meeting with municipal manager Bheki Khenisa.

People with disabilities to march to Union Buildings
Pretoria East Record 2 December 2015

Unions boycott ANAs
Pretoria East Record 2 December 2015

The SA Democratic Teachers Union defied Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga by boycotting the annual national assessments (ANAs) which were meant to be written from 26 November to 4 December.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union has boycotted the annual national assessments (ANAs) rolled out by basic education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Secretary-general Mugwena Maluleka said his union had told all teachers to not administer the assessments and to return these to their circuits.

“Teachers are busy preparing promotional reports,” Mugwena said.

He accused the department of forcing assessments to reward tenderpreneurs.

“They are doing it to satisfy those they paid to distribute the question papers and mark them, it is all about that tender costing approximately R300 million,” he said.

The department issued a circular instructing schools to commence assessments from Thursday 26 November; to run until 4 December.

Basic education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the administration of the assessments came after a mediation process that took 31 meetings between the department and unions who could not reach consensus.

“The mediation process, which took place over the course of 31 meetings, concluded with a draft agreement on 19 November and had to be considered by the principals of the parties involved on 23 November,” Mhlanga said.

He stated the council of education ministers welcomed all aspects of the draft agreement except the voluntary implementation of the annual national assessments.

“The administration of the ANA is a curriculum issue, not a labour issue, however after meeting with various stakeholders, the minister felt it was best to try to reach a consensus with our teacher trade unions in a bid to find an amicable solution to the impasse,” Mhlanga added.

He stated that it was unfortunate that no consensus could be reached.

Federation of governing bodies of SA schools (Fedsas) deputy CEO, Dr Jaco Deacon said unions should not bully the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga.

“Unions cannot boss the minister around on issues which are not about their working conditions. ANA is the discretion of the minister and not of unions,” Deacon said.

He said Fedsas was concerned by the timing of the ANAs and its boycott by unions.

“This will not assist the education system as we will not be able to get a full picture on the state of affairs,” he concluded.

Protesters burn tyres on R55
Pretoria East Record 3 December 2015

The R55 was closed on Wednesday after violence ensued by angry Mooiplaats residents.

Violence erupted on the R55 in Olievenhoutbosch, Centurion on Wednesday morning, after angry Mooiplaats residents barricaded the road with burning tyres and rocks.

They were protesting against reported plans to relocate them from an informal settlement in Laudium to Mooiplaats.

Mooiplaats residents were reportedly being relocated to vacant land in Olievenhoutbosch, Ward 77.

The metro, however, could not confirm these claims at the time of publishing.

SAPS and Tshwane metro police were on the scene, diverting traffic after residents attempted to stone vehicles on the roadway.

The protesters had even stopped an ambulance, demanding it to turn around. A Rekord journalist was nearly necklaced by the angry mob after taking several photographs.

Protesters were reassured by police that they will not shoot them.

“The mayor has left the country instead of addressing our issues. We are not happy about the relocation. It does not make sense to bring other people here,” said community leader Kenneth Masha.

Police had not commented at the time of going to press.

Thursday 3 December was declared International Disability day by the UN in 1992. According to the SA Disability Alliance, 4 000 people are expected to march to the Union Buildings on Thursday, to hand over a memorandum on the demands of people with disabilities which have not been met.

Disabled people will be highlighting their concerns as South Africa and the world commemorates the International day of persons with disabilities on Thursday 3 December.

The secretary of the SA Disability Alliance Jace Nair said 4 000 people would march to the Union Buildings to create awareness for and highlight the rights of people with disabilities.

“We will hand over a memorandum highlighting our concerns about access to education, high levels of unemployment, access to health and housing and the difficulties of public transport,” Nair said.

He added that the white paper on the rights of people with disabilities needed to be implemented by the government urgently.

“We want South Africa to domesticate the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, which the government ratified in 2007,” he concluded.

Disability march

Pretoria residents in the vicinity of the Union Buildings are advised of possible traffic congestion as busses from Pretoria and Johannesburg are expect to arrive between 08:00 and 11:00.

People with disabilities will provide entertainment.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura as well as social development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu will address the crowd.

The event is expected to end at approximately 15:30.

Tembisans march against gender violence
The Tembisan 2 December 2015

Tembisa Child and Family Welfare members are seen holding pamphlets and placards for the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women, children, the elderly and men.
Tembisa Child and Family Welfare members are seen holding pamphlets and placards for the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women, children, the elderly and men. Dressed all in black, members from the Tembisa Child and Family Welfare Centre marched against the abuse of women, children, elderly and men in the communities.

The march embarked from Rabasotho, passed by the Emkhathini Clinic and turned right at “straight line”, going back to the Tembisa Child and Family Welfare Centre via Makhulong Stadium.

The marchers were escorted by members from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD).

They were seen handing out pamphlets to motorists and community members.

Tembisa Child and Family Welfare Centre social worker Mampono said they were disappointed by members of the community for not taking part in the march.

“We wanted to reach out to the residents who are faced with abuse in their homes and do not know who to talk to. We urge members of the community to protect their children from all social ills to ensure a better and brighter future for them. A large number of children abandoned are in the centre,” said Ms Mampono.

Ms Mampono condemned the abuse against children, women, the elderly and men in the communities.

“We are encouraging residents to take charge and fight gender violence. Let us help the police and report crime that is happening in the area,” said Ms Mampono.

Build us proper schools, students beg Education Dept
News 24 2 December 2015

Achuma Mjikeliso was among a few dozen members of Equal Education protesting outside the Eastern Cape Education Department in King William’s Town on Monday. Her main complaint: leaking roofs in her classroom.

Mnchunu supporters march on ANC Durban offices
Berea Mail 2 December 2015

Displeased ANC members marched the ANC offices this afternoon to hand over a memorandum expressing their displeasure of the ousting of Premier Senzo Mchunu at the party’s provincial chairman earlier this month.

ANC members gathered at Botha Park in Durban's Berea before marching to the ANC offices to hand over a memorandum expressing their displeasure of the ousting of Premier Senzo Mchunu at the party's provincial chairman earlier this month.

ANC members gathered at Botha Park in Durban's Berea before marching to the ANC offices to hand over a memorandum expressing their displeasure of the ousting of Premier Senzo Mchunu at the party's provincial chairman earlier this month. HUNDREDS of displeased ANC members lined Botha Park on Monday morning, dancing, toyi-toying and singing the praises of KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu.

The throngs of supporters gathered to march to the ANC provincial offices to hand over a memorandum to the ANC leadership.

Many supporters told Berea Mail they supported Senzo Mchunu and were not happy with the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal elective conference outcome, which saw Sihle Zikalala beat Premier Senzo Mchunu to become chairperson of the party in the province.

The supporters said they were challenging the credibility of the election for the second time in two weeks. An ANC councillor who is known to Berea Mail said on condition on anonymity, “We are against the results of the conference and sent a memorandum on Monday two weeks ago, where we said the conference election was not free and fair and was biased towards Zikalala. We are here in response to the inappropriate behaviour of the current chairman who acted outside ANC principles”

The councillor explained that there was no official organiser of the march, but that it was made up of “everyone from the ANC mother body supporting Premier Senzo Mchunu.”

The councillor said the march to the ANC offices in Durban was peaceful and the memorandum, was read out at the provincial building.

This was the second march ANC members to the head offices after the ousting of Premier Senzo Mchunu as the party’s provincial chairman.

Zuma loves gangsters, says DA
IOL News 1 December 2015

Cape Town - “Voetsek” was the word of the day when the Democratic Alliance marched to the ANC’s provincial headquarters in Cape Town.

About sixty DA supporters gathered outside Sahara House in the CBD on Monday to protest against what they called the African National Congress’ “cosy relationship” with gangsters in the province.

The DA picket, led by Premier Zille, follows an article by the Mail and Guardian which claimed President Jacob Zuma met with gang bosses to offer favours in exchange for help to win back the province from the DA.

DA leaders said the fact that Zuma’s office had not denied the allegations or sued the paper meant the story was true.

Protestors carried posters which read “Zuma loves gangsters” and “Zuma has a gang story to tell”.

Police had to intervene to keep the DA members away from ANC supporters who shouted, “Where are the white people, they are using you blacks, you are the DA’s dogs, voetsek!” and “You are tikkoppe (tik addicts), get away from here.”

Zille, Mayor Patricia de Lille, and MEC for housing Bonginkosi Madikizela were also sworn at during their speeches, as ANC supporters showed them the middle finger, blew vuvuzelas and shouted “voetsek”.

An amused Madikizela said: “If this is best they can do then we have nothing to worry about.”

De Lille says the point of the march was to send a strong message to Zuma’s “skollie buddies” (gang buddies) that the DA will not stand for it.

Meanwhile, the ANC says the protest was nothing but a stunt to divert attention away from their intention to call for a vote of no confidence in Premier Helen Zille later on Monday.

State intervenes to end Pikitup strike
IOL News 4 December 2015

Johannesburg - A political solution has been reached to end the unprotected strike Pikitup embarked on 10 days ago, leaving Joburg filled with rubbish, overflowing bins and an overwhelming stench.

It was reached only through the intervention of the Gauteng government following a deadlock between Pikitup and its employees.

On Thursday morning, the City of Joburg said it could not intervene as it was an internal matter between the employees and their employer.

Later in the afternoon, however,Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Jacob Mamabolo said an agreement had been reached between the city, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), Pikitup and the province.

He said the truce had nothing to do with the bargaining council processes, which would still have to be followed.

Mamabolo said it did not replace the labour processes and it did not mean this was setting a precedent.

“We started talks on Monday. There were long days and nights, but we agreed on core issues,” he said.

“We understand it was an unprotected strike, but we acknowledge the legitimate demands of the workers,” he added.

It was agreed that:

* A senior advocate will be appointed to ensure a proper and conducive climate for negotiations and who will also work towards fostering trust between the parties.

* The Joburg city manager will conduct a city-wide investigation into salary disparity among workers, and Pikitup workers will be prioritised as they are the lowest paid.

* A cost exercise will be completed to see how this will impact on the city's budget.

* By February 1, investigations will be completed into the factors leading to the strike, including the relations between Pikitup managing director Amanda Nair and her employees.

* The no-work, no-pay conditions will be discussed.

* The senior advocate will assist with criminal charges laid against workers during the wildcat strike.

* The hostilities will cease.

With regard to the demand that Nair be removed, Mamobolo said he was sure relations could be improved and saved.

“It will give both sides the opportunity to present more specific demands - not to place blame on anyone,” he said.

“We have taken into consideration the implications of the strike on Joburg residents and we have decided to start these talks to alleviate the unnecessary pressure residents find themselves in because of the strike.

“We know the round table for discussions is best,” he added.

The workers who were on night shift were now expected to return to work and cleaning would continue as normal.

Additional resources such as trucks and staff will be dispatched to catch up on the backlog of refuse removal across the city as from today.

Samwu deputy general secretary Simon Mathe said: “We remain convinced that our demands leading to the protest action are genuine, and as mandated by our members, we will allow this process to unfold.

“We therefore urge Pikitup workers to return to work.

“We further urge Pikitup management not to victimise workers who were part of this protest action.

“We thank the Gauteng province for intervening in finding a resolution,” Mathe added.

But the violence has taken its toll, with four Red Ants workers shot while cleaning up the streets as replacements for the striking workers. Strikers and police also clashed heatedly during the protests in Braamfontein, and a soccer star’s BMW was among the strike victims.

On Thursday, the smell from rotting rubbish in the Joburg CBD was unbearable as the mounds of uncollected filth grew higher.

Other parts of Joburg felt the effects from the strike too, with businesses affected.

Pikitup strike: Who shot Red Ants?
IOL News 2 December 2015

Johannesburg - Members of the Red Ants clearing up rubbish during the Pikitup strike said they were shot by attackers, but police say they were mistakenly shot by their own colleague.

By Wednesday morning there were two very different versions of the shooting incident in the Joburg CBD that left three Red Ants workers critically injured.

The shooting happened on Klein Street near the Wanderers Street taxi rank, while Red Ants workers were cleaning the inner city. They were hired by Pikitup to collect rubbish during the utility workers’ ongoing strike.

Initial reports were that the shooting happened on Tuesday but now police say it was on Monday night.

Johannesburg Central police station spokesman Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele told The Star that Red Ants workers were approached and surrounded by a group of people.

“A Red Ants member then grabbed the gun of a security personnel who was with them and opened fire. He was shooting at everyone and injured several members of the Red Ants,” Mbele said.

He confirmed that police had the firearm that was apparently used and that it belonged to the security guard.

No arrests have been made.

“A case of attempted murder has been opened and we are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this. The details are still sketchy.”

However, according to Red Ants owner Johan Bosch, that’s not what happened.

“A Red Ants clean-up crew was busy cleaning the streets when they were surrounded by several people. One opened fire hitting three of our guys in the chest and a fourth in the shoulder,” said Bosch.

Bosch said the Red Ants member injured in the shoulder managed to overpower and disarm the gunman but sustained the injury during the struggle for the firearm.

“We do have security guards protecting them; but the crew was taken by surprise.”

He said they were however willing to bring in another 15 000 security guards to protect the cleaning crews.

Despite the incident, the Red Ants are determined to carry on cleaning the streets.

“It’s a sad thing when people resort to violence when they’re trying to enforce their point of view. We’re trying to assist the city and in doing so, have been attacked, but we won’t let this stop us. That’s the advantage of the Red Ants, we don’t run away from the problem, we deal with it,” Bosch said.

“We’ve always had attacks during clean-ups like this over the years and we try to avoid armed altercations because it leads to death; that’s why Red Ants only carry rubber bullets.”

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) national spokesman Papikie Mohale said on Wednesday morning the union had distanced itself from the allegations that it was Samwu or Pikitup workers who were involved in the shooting.

“Our workers do not carry guns, they’re cleaners. We deny that they did any shooting.”

Red Ants chief operating officer Fuzile Balintulo said on Tuesday night that he was unsure who the gunman was.

“We cannot point fingers, but at this stage, it appears it was likely to be a group of disgruntled Pikitup workers who did not like to see us cleaning the inner city.”

Pikitup employees have been striking for the past week.

Pikitup strike: Who shot Red Ants?
IOL News 2 December 2015

Johannesburg - Members of the Red Ants clearing up rubbish during the Pikitup strike said they were shot by attackers, but police say they were mistakenly shot by their own colleague.

By Wednesday morning there were two very different versions of the shooting incident in the Joburg CBD that left three Red Ants workers critically injured.

The shooting happened on Klein Street near the Wanderers Street taxi rank, while Red Ants workers were cleaning the inner city. They were hired by Pikitup to collect rubbish during the utility workers’ ongoing strike.

Initial reports were that the shooting happened on Tuesday but now police say it was on Monday night.

Johannesburg Central police station spokesman Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele told The Star that Red Ants workers were approached and surrounded by a group of people.

“A Red Ants member then grabbed the gun of a security personnel who was with them and opened fire. He was shooting at everyone and injured several members of the Red Ants,” Mbele said.

He confirmed that police had the firearm that was apparently used and that it belonged to the security guard.

No arrests have been made.

“A case of attempted murder has been opened and we are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this. The details are still sketchy.”

However, according to Red Ants owner Johan Bosch, that’s not what happened.

“A Red Ants clean-up crew was busy cleaning the streets when they were surrounded by several people. One opened fire hitting three of our guys in the chest and a fourth in the shoulder,” said Bosch.

Bosch said the Red Ants member injured in the shoulder managed to overpower and disarm the gunman but sustained the injury during the struggle for the firearm.

“We do have security guards protecting them; but the crew was taken by surprise.”

He said they were however willing to bring in another 15 000 security guards to protect the cleaning crews.

Despite the incident, the Red Ants are determined to carry on cleaning the streets.

“It’s a sad thing when people resort to violence when they’re trying to enforce their point of view. We’re trying to assist the city and in doing so, have been attacked, but we won’t let this stop us. That’s the advantage of the Red Ants, we don’t run away from the problem, we deal with it,” Bosch said.

“We’ve always had attacks during clean-ups like this over the years and we try to avoid armed altercations because it leads to death; that’s why Red Ants only carry rubber bullets.”

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) national spokesman Papikie Mohale said on Wednesday morning the union had distanced itself from the allegations that it was Samwu or Pikitup workers who were involved in the shooting.

“Our workers do not carry guns, they’re cleaners. We deny that they did any shooting.”

Red Ants chief operating officer Fuzile Balintulo said on Tuesday night that he was unsure who the gunman was.

“We cannot point fingers, but at this stage, it appears it was likely to be a group of disgruntled Pikitup workers who did not like to see us cleaning the inner city.”

Pikitup employees have been striking for the past week.

BDS to ambush Woolies AGM
IOL News 30 November 2015

Cape Town - The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is planning to ambush Woolworths’s AGM on Monday by bombarding the company with questions about its trade links with Israel.

A group of activists belonging to the National Coalition for Palestine and the BDS movement have bought shares in Woolworths Holdings Limited and may attend the company’s AGM at its headquarters in Longmarket Street.

Several shareholders with investments of over R1 million each also donated their proxies to the activists to ensure that they would not be locked out of discussions.

At a press briefing held in Spin Street on Sunday, Muhammed Desai, from the BDS movement, said the lobby group had served the company with two Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) applications after it refused to reveal its Israeli sources and its supply chain information.

“We have served these applications. The company has not even responded to these applications, stating again that it does not need to respond to either shareholders or to activists. This falls into full contradiction of the company’s so-called aim of being a transparent company and transparent co-operation. This is one of the things that we will be raising at the AGM,” he said.

The BDS group submitted 30 questions to be raised at the AGM.

Some of the issues the group has asked to be discussed include the company’s annual financial statements and reports by its external auditors over the past 18 months.

They want the reports and statements made available to shareholders to promote “transparency”.

The activists also intend to ask the company if they seriously considered the effect of buying from an “apartheid state” like Israel compared to sourcing the same produce locally or alternative sources internationally.

Desai said the BDS group met last year with the company and explained to them that the #BoycottWoolworths campaign would be used to “galvanise public support”.

“We are going to use the campaign to get into people’s lunchroom discussions, into their braais and supper tables. Whether they support the Woolworths campaign or not, people are discussing the BDS campaign,” he said.

Desai claimed that senior marketing people in the company brought over American singer Pharrell Williams to “counter” the BDS campaign. “He comes down, the majority of media, the majority of social media is talking about the Pharrell protest.”

He said that every two years the world witnesses brutality in Gaza.

“We saw last year, over 550 children being killed in a period of six weeks. That is one child every two hours in less than two months, that were wiped off the planet. The year before that, we saw over 2 000 Palestinians being killed. In 2006, we also had 2 400 Palestinians being killed.

“The question now, as it was in the 1980s for those who supported the apartheid struggle, is how do we stop the next bomb from being dropped or stop the next kid from being killed?”

A Woolworths spokesman said: “The BDS protest should not impact the running of the Woolworths Holdings Limited AGM. We have already put in place necessary security measures to ensure the effective running of the AGM.”

Pikitup clean-up is slow to start
IOL News 1 December 2015

Johannesburg - Most of central Joburg’s streets remained covered in litter on Monday, despite promises by Pikitup that it had made plans to clear the garbage.

Motorists and pedestrians had to navigate their way through stinking refuse in the Joburg CBD.

A group of people, believed to be striking Pikitup employees, were seen spilling bins and trashing parts of Pritchard, Albertina Sisulu and Eloff streets. They also smashed concrete rubbish bins onto the tar and rolled others into the streets to obstruct traffic.

On Sunday, Pikitup’s managing director Amanda Nair had said private service providers, among them the Red Ants, would be contracted to clean about 300 000 tons of waste in the city.

On Monday, Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu insisted that the clean-up operation in the Joburg CBD and other parts of the city was a success.

“There are pockets in the CBD that still need attention but we have been successful. Residents must also make sure that they do not litter; we must work together.”

Mashapu said the operation also went well in other areas, among them the Waterfall region in Midrand, Marlboro and Noordgesig.

“In some areas it was slower as we are still showing the service providers how to conduct waste management. By the end of this week, all our service providers will be on top of things. We are satisfied at the pace the operation is going.”

Mashapu said Pikitup would not hold talks with employees who are on an unprotected strike. “We are not going to legitimise an illegal strike. We told the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) that workers must return to work. Only then can we engage in a healthy and cordial environment.”

Samwu’s chairman Johannes Phalamashweu has reiterated the union’s demand for Nair to resign. The union has accused her of being corrupt and of victimising workers.

The member of the mayoral committee for environment and infrastructure services, Matshidiso Mfikoe has called on Samwu to produce proof to back up its accusations.

Activists in anti-violence protest
IOL News 27 November 2015

Members of the Viva Foundation from Mamelodi East bang pots to raise awareness against violence on women and children. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - The banging of pots, pounding of drums and the loud singing of the participants of a flash mob hit the streets of Pretoria on Thursday as the Viva Foundation took to the streets to raise awareness around violence against women and children.

The group from Mamelodi East brought the Bang Your Pot initiative into the city as part of their programme for the 16 days of activism against violence against these two vulnerable groups of society.

“We want to catch the attention of bystanders and make them realise that they can actually join in and be part of the activism. We want to make as many people as possible aware of efforts to prevent this violence in our societies,” said participant Jared Burchell.

He explained that the Viva Foundation was involved in the Tears Foundation initiative which offers assistance to parents of children who have been violated.

The group of about 20 men and women wore T-shirts inscribed with messages which sought to remind everyone they came across that violence was real: “Everyone has a role to play and we want people to realise they can participate, we want people to join,” Burchell said.

Viva Foundation is based in the informal settlement of Alaska in Mamelodi East, where together with community care workers they have intervention strategies for the families of the area.

Burchell said the police were in their network of partners: “We have a system through which people can contact us in times of trouble.”

Once they established that the danger was real they activated a multi-disciplinary team to intervene, he said.

The internationally recognised 16 days of activism against the abuse of women and children was on its second day on Thursday and, for the duration, government, the private sector and other stakeholders will play their part in making people aware of the need to eliminate the violence.

Violent crimes against women and children include physical acts on the domestic front, rape, murder, robbery and assault.

Emotional violence and trauma also happen in the home, at work and at school, on the streets and communities. Poverty has also been listed as an act of violence against these vulnerable people; inequality and unemployment are also identified as areas giving rise to violence.

Pikitup’s Plan B to clear rubbish
IOL News 30 November 2015

Pikitup has assured residents that a massive clean-up operation will begin in Joburg this week to clear the filth on the city's streets caused by striking staff members. Picture: Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - Pikitup is hoping to restore order in Joburg by Friday after its employees embarked on an unprotected strike, spewing trash across the city and leaving residential dustbins uncleared.

Managing director Amanda Nair said at a media briefing at the City of Joburg’s waste collection service provider’s Selby depot that their recovery plan had kicked into action on Sunday morning.

“Our intention is to run a rapid recovery programme where we recover what has been lagging for this week across the entire city,” she said.

“During the course of the past week, some 30 000 tons of waste have piled up in various parts of the city, and if left unattended, is going to result in a serious health hazard to our residents.”

The contingency plan would see external service provider the Red Ants pick up rubbish in the inner city and surroundings, after which the streets would be washed by water trucks.

“We’re pretty certain that when people start to arrive in the city tomorrow (Monday) morning, the city will be clean.”

Nair said that from Monday, residents could put their dustbins outside according to their normal collection schedule. However, she appealed for residents to take the bins back inside overnight if the rubbish hadn’t been collected and to put them back outside again the following morning.

“We want to assure residents that by the end of this week, we will have cleared their bins. We have deployed additional vehicles, equipment and manpower.”

She also encouraged residents and businesses to continue taking their waste to one of the city’s 42 garden refuse sites. Pikitup workers downed tools last Monday, reportedly due to grievances around salary disparities and alleged corruption, among others.

South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) chairman at Pikitup Johannes Phalamashweu said last week that workers also wanted Nair to resign because she was corrupt and victimising members.

Employees continued striking even after Pikitup secured a court interdict on Wednesday preventing workers from continuing with the strike.

Matshidiso Mfikoe, a member of the mayoral committee for environment and infrastructure services, said Pikitup management and Samwu would meet on Monday. They were expected to discuss allegations of internal disparities in salaries in the company, benchmarking of salaries with that of other City of Joburg entities, and the system of salary progression.

“Disciplinary processes as well as legal action will be taken against those responsible for the intimidation, violence as well as damage to property that has ensued over the week,” Nair said.

They would continue to use the services of the police, metro police and private security to protect the staff who would be cleaning the city. Mfikoe said that if workers brought evidence to support claims of corruption against Nair, they would be investigated.

Samwu leadership could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.


Jingle smells for Joburg
IOL News 28 November 2015

Johannesburg - It’s going to be a stinky Christmas for Joburg residents as striking Pikitup workers vow to keep piling the streets with more rubbish if their demands aren’t met.

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) is demanding a R10 000 basic salary for Pikitup workers and wants the axe to fall on the company’s managing director Amanda Nair, whom it accuses of corrupt practices and nepotism.

Samwu national spokesman Papikie Mohale said the union had sent a letter to Nair requesting a meeting but she had refused.

Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu, however, claimed it had never received any formal communication from the union and this week obtained a court interdict preventing workers from continuing with their “unprotected strike”.

Mohale said members were prepared to continue striking until Christmas.

But Mashapu warned if the workers did not comply with the court order, due process would unfold in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

Meanwhile, the company was forced to employ casual workers this week to clean the city but a trashed Joburg centre and Braamfontein still looked a mess last night.

Mohale has lashed out at the company’s decision to hire the casuals as “this is not in line with the Labour Relations Act”.

He said Pikitup employs people for three months and keeps extending their contracts but doesn’t give them permanent jobs.

“The same is happening with jozi@work (the City’s job creation initiative). (It) replaces workers and offers them no benefits like medical aid, provident funds and, in some cases, UIF.”

He said the union intended to disrupt the casual workers from carrying out their duties.

“The City of Joburg should brace itself for a dirty Christmas if our members’ grievances are not met,” he said.

“Since garbage bins are Pikitup employees’ tools of trade, what they do with the bins when they strike is up to them,” Mohale told Talk Radio 702.

Pikitup workers are the most poorly paid of all Joburg’s municipal entities, and salary inequality is a concern for all members, he said.

Salaries of Pikitup staff should be evaluated and be on the same scale of employees of other entities such as City Power, Joburg Water and City Parks, said Mohale.

“A general worker at Pikitup is paid R6 000 and all other entities’ salaries are R10 000. We are trying to bridge the payment gap.”

Mashapu said the conditions of the contracts for the casual workers, which areas they will work in and Pikitup’s plan of action to clean up Joburg streets by Christmas will be discussed at a briefing session tomorrow. The strike hit all 11 Pikitup depots. Mashapu said Pikitup is “working tirelessly to ensure that services are restored as soon as possible”.

He added that management remains open to address concerns of staff and organised labour, “but for that to happen, workers must first go back to work, and are encouraged to make use of the established process for engagement”.

He said Pikitup will institute the principle of no work, no pay and will lock out employees participating in the illegal strike.

The week-long strike saw at least nine people injured when police tried to stop protesters from storming the Pikitup head office in Braamfontein. The protesters were armed with sticks and marched in the Joburg CBD, trashing the streets as they headed to towards Pikitup’s offices.

Police fired volleys of rubber bullets and stun grenades and also sprayed them with tear gas.

Pikitup urged Joburg residents and businesses to keep their refuse bins on their properties until they received a communication to do otherwise.

Residents took to social media to complain about the “smelly rubbish”, “stinking streets”, “revoltingly dirty town” – and said the uncollected rubbish in the heat posed a health hazard.

A rotting trail of rubbish and an accompanying stench by the strikers was left in Joburg streets. The litter, including burning dustbins and empty tear-gas canisters, marked some of the spots where protesters clashed with police.

Samwu’s demand for Nair to step down is fuelled by recent controversies. In June, she was held briefly by the Hillbrow police for theft. She was arrested with Donovan Denyssen, an IT department employee, who allegedly gave Nair and her close relatives cellphones without following the proper procedures.

Last year, the City’s risk management department conducted an investigation and found that several cellphones had gone missing from a safe room and that Denyssen was the only person who had the keys. Denyssen told investigators he had “issued” Nair with three Samsung phones.

A report stated that, as a result of Denyssen’s action, Pikitup incurred a loss of R33 237 and that Nair should pay it back.

Last year, Denyssen resigned after the council investigated him. He was found guilty in absentia. Despite this, in May this year, Nair rehired him on a whopping R1.4 million annual salary.

The charges against Nair and Denyssen were withdrawn in court after Pikitup officials wrote affidavits saying the cellphones no longer had any value, so charges should be dropped.

Mashapu said the board had established the facts on this matter internally and was satisfied there was “no basis to the allegations of theft”.

Litter piles up as strike continues
IOL News 25 November 2015

Johannesburg - The litter in Joburg’s streets is mounting by the hour as Pikitup workers failed to return to work on Wednesday morning as ordered by an urgent court interdict obtained late on Tuesday afternoon by the utility.

Union leaders said on Wednesday morning they were engaging with workers to discuss the interdict which, among others, ordered them to return to work.

South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) regional chairman, Conel Mackay, said “as a law-abiding union, we will return to work and later embark on a strike using the legal processes.”

He accused managing director Amanda Nair of hiding behind the law instead of addressing the workers.

“Following the events of the past few days where she called the police who shot at workers with live bullets, and the court interdict yesterday, our number one priority now is to get rid of Amanda Nair as managing director,” he said.

Other serious, legitimate grievances were salary inconsistencies.

“Our general workers are the lowest paid out of all the entities and utilities. Especially affected are those workers who have been with Pikitup a long time. New staff earn more than they do,” he said.

Police said only rubber bullets were used against the strikers.

The court on Tuesday ordered that the workers return to work.

It said they were prevented from participating in unprotected and unlawful strike action.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, @CityofJoburgZA wrote: “Metrobus passengers are hereby informed our bus service may be adversely affected by a work stoppage by employees today.”

Passengers are urged to contact the call centre at 011 375 5555 and choose option 6 or dial 0860 JOBURG (562874) and option 6 for further details.

Pikitup gets interdict to stop strike
IOL News 25 November 2015

Johannesburg - Residents of suburbs in Johannesburg were on Wednesday warned to keep their waste bins inside their properties because Pikitup - the City of Joburg’s refuse collection agency - strike had still not been resolved.

The company’s managing director Amanda Nair on Wednesday told Talk Radio 702 that Pikitup had secured a court interdict preventing workers from continuing with their “unprotected strike”.

The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) chairman at Pikitup, Johannes Phalamashweu, said members wanted the company’s managing director Amanda Nair to step down because “she was corrupt”.

Phalamashweu said Nair was also victimising workers. He cited a case in which she allegedly fired two employees involved in a fight without following due process.

On Tuesday allegations of corruption at Pikitup reached tipping point, with disgruntled workers trashing and spilling bins in the streets.

Screams of panic and the rattling sound of explosions filled the air as the police fired volleys of rubber bullets and stun grenades at the protesters. The police also sprayed the protesters with teargas. At least nine people were injured when the police tried to stop the protesters from storming the Pikitup head office in Braamfontein.

Among the injured was Faith Sanyani, whose haunting screams could be heard as three men picked her up and carried her to safety. Blood oozed from her leg and she had what looked like two bullet wounds.

“She was hit by live ammunition, this is not a rubber bullet,” one man claimed. Writhing in pain on the pavement, tears streaming down her face, she claimed she had been struck by a real bullet. She blamed security guards and the police for what happened.

“This is like another Marikana, how dare they use real bullets? We’ve done nothing! We’ve been ordered! Why are they shooting at us?” one woman, who identified herself as Esther, asked.

Armed with sticks, the protesters marched in the Joburg CBD, trashing the streets as they headed towards Pikitup’s offices.

A trail of litter, including burning dustbins, refuse and empty teargas canisters, was strewn along Bertha and Jorissen streets next to the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge.

Once at the Pikitup offices, the angry protesters chanted revolutionary songs denouncing Pikitup’s managing director Amanda Nair. They threw stones at the entrance to the building while demanding that Nair come and address them. Others carried placards showing their dislike for Nair.

“To hell with Amanda. Go back to India,” “#AmandaMustFall,” were the messages on some of the placards.

Joburg metro police officers and security guards prevented them from entering the Pikitup building. Samwu regional chairman Conel Mackay said the only way to stabilise the situation at Pikitup was for Nair to quit. Mackay accused Nair of nepotism.

“She is employing only Indians into senior management positions,” he said.

“We believe that she acts unilaterally, she does not consult. We don’t know why she introduces her own decisions without creating proper policies that should to be discussed and properly approved.”

To emphasise his point, Mackay cited an example in which he claimed Nair had taken away the transport funeral benefit without consultation. He added that the workers also demanded that salary disparities addressed.

It was this demand that prompted the workers to embark on an illegal strike on Monday.

An angry protester shouted: “She must go! We don’t want her here! She has done too many bad things.”

Another angry worker, who identified himself only as Goodman, said: “We work hard and keep the city clean while the executives sit in their ivory tower.

“Some people have been working here for 20 years and still receive the same salary, how are we supposed to live?” he asked.

Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu said the protest was illegal and that management hadn’t been made aware of the grievances.

He said management remained open to address concerns of employees and organised labour, but for that to happen, workers must return to work and were encouraged to make use of the established process for engagement.

Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said that as far as he was aware, only rubber bullets were used against the protesters. “There was no live ammunition used.”

No reason given for Pikitup strike
IOL News 24 November 2015

Johannesburg - Uncollected refuse bins lined Joburg suburban streets on Tuesday morning after hundreds of Pikitup workers downed tools on Monday.

There was no street cleaning or refuse collection on Monday after 10 out of 12 City of Joburg Pikitup depots embarked on an unprotected strike.

On Monday South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) chairman at Pikitup, Johannes Phalamashweu, said they wanted Pikitup’s managing director Amanda Nair to step down because she was “corrupt” and “victimising” members.

He said Nair had disregarded labour laws when she fired two employees involved in a fight with a colleague, without giving them the opportunity to explain themselves.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) later ordered that the two employees be reinstated.

“Instead, she (Nair) appealed the CCMA decision,” said Phalamashweu. The appeal is still pending.

“She was arrested for stealing cellphones and no disciplinary action was taken against her. She went to jail and she was allowed to come back and work. Why is she treated differently from other people at Pikitup? She is getting preferential treatment.”

Charges were made against Nair, but were later withdrawn.

Phalamashweu said they tried to engage Nair last Friday, but said she called them hooligans.

He said Nair had written to them saying they had been charged for an unlawful work stoppage.

“Why is she also not charged? She has done so many wrong things,” he said.

Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu said the utility was not sure why the unprotected strike was being staged.

“We don’t know why our employees are not working. The normal procedures have not been followed. They have not lodged any dispute. As management, we are taking this seriously as refuse removal is an essential service. We are open to engagements. We are assuring residents that we are working around the clock to ensure refuse is collected, and as such we have about 1 000 casual workers to assist,” Mashapu said.

Mashapu said they must provide evidence that Nair is corrupt.

Nehawu strikers disrupt Parly meeting
IOL News 24 November 2015

Parliament - Striking parliamentary workers again disrupted portfolio committee meetings in the legislature on Tuesday after negotiations with management hit deadlock.

About 40 members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) burst into a briefing on the drought afflicting areas of the country, and said they would not allow it to continue.

“We do not like what we are doing, but we do not know what else to do,” one, who refused to be named, announced as senior government official Ikalafeng Kgakatsi was informing MPs about looming maize shortages in South Africa and neighbouring states.

The Nehawu members sang and toyi-toyied in the cramped committee room V226 until the chairwoman of the committee, Machwene Semenya, adjourned it at around 10am.

She pointedly said she was not ending the meeting because of the disruption but because the National Assembly was scheduled to commence a sitting.

“We are supposed to go for a sitting at 10am, I want to take this opportunity to adjourn this meeting. It is not because of what is happening.”

Committee member Mandla Mandela snapped cellphone pictures of the protesting staff but said what they were doing was unacceptable.

“You cannot while you are fighting for your right deny other their right. It is totally unacceptable that we are not allowed to do our work,” he said.

Nehawu resumed its strike for better employment conditions and salaries on Monday after accusing management of failing to meet a deadline of Friday to make proposals to a task team on settling a dispute on bonuses.

Anger over KZN taxi terror thugs
IOL News 21 November 2015

Taxi thugs are terrorising motorists in oThongathi (Tongaat). And a meeting on Friday night aimed at resolving the crisis got off to a heated start.

The first participant from the floor, Leon Naicker, took a verbal swipe at the local police chief, Colonel Santha Moodley, saying: “I would like 10 of us to hit the colonel and see how she feels.”

Moodley replied: “I challenge you to try it.”

However, civility returned under the watch of local ANC ward councillor Professor Michael Abraham.

Audience members said they had been threatened and assaulted, and their passengers often forced to use taxis.

Even lift clubs and school transport were targeted.

Moodley said she had ordered police to be present at key points, and that she had requested help from the Department of Transport. She also said she understood the problem had spread to Verulam.

Residents also spoke of a vicious circle caused by local police not opening dockets, and top brass then not being willing to resolve the crisis because so few cases had been opened.

Resident Lance Payen told The Independent on Saturday that a march to the oThongathi police station had led to police telling marchers they could be arrested for holding an illegal gathering.

“When people go and complain at the police station, they will not open a docket. They say they should rather file an incident report than open a valid docket. They also told us to go to the taxi associations to mediate the problem.”

He asked whether bribery and corruption were involved.

“It’s Mafia-style,” he said.

A businessman said taxis had swerved in front of vehicles carrying his staff and threatened to shoot them if they did not comply with their instructions.

“They don’t show their weapons, but we know they’re in their bags,” he said.

Another person at the meeting spoke of how someone from a taxi association had stopped him, inspected his expired permit to carry passengers, and then been satisfied with his renewal application.

“Then, as I hit the N2, a Q7 (minibus) forced me off the road.” He was then ordered to return to oThongathi.

Crawford College, North Coast, which used to provide a bus for employees, has now discontinued the perk.

“We were informed by the taxi association that we could no longer offer this service. At no point were any of our buses threatened at gunpoint,” said principal Andre Loots.

Another meeting is planned for the near future.

Cops outnumber taxi marchers
IOL News 18 November 2015

Cape Town - Drivers from the Wescape Taxi Alliance on Wednesday marched to the office of Premiere Helen Zille to hand over a memorandum of demands.

But there were more police than protesters at the march to the provincial legislature, as cops feared a repeat of two weeks ago, when drivers went on a rampage and riot police fired stun grenades in the CBD to disperse the crowds.

Drivers are protesting after five taxis were impounded by traffic officials and drivers were arrested for outstanding warrants.

But according to angry drivers at the scene, this was a “deliberate ploy” by the City of Cape Town to get rid of them permanently to make room for the MyCiti buses.

Train torched at Pretoria station
IOL News 18 November 2015

Johannesburg - Disgruntled commuters torched a train at a Pretoria station because they apparently grew frustrated as it was running late due to a technical fault.

Metrorail spokeswoman Lillian Mofokeng told The Star on Tuesday morning that two trailers and a motor coach were burnt to shreds during the blaze at the Fountains railway station on Tuesday night.

She explained that the train was experiencing a fault and that technicians were called in to attend to it. “The commuters got impatient waiting for the train so they burnt it,” said Mofokeng.

She was unable to confirm what initially caused the fault, which resulted in the train being torched but admitted that the infrastructure was ageing. “These trains are old and from time to time they experience problems,” she said.

Despite the commotion, no one was injured during the incident and the train has since been removed from the track in a bid to avoid delays there on Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s incident comes just four months after enraged commuters torched two trains at the Germiston railway station in Ekurhuleni because several trains were running late at the time.

This amounted to damage estimated at about R30 million and effected operations at the station as the two trains made about 12 trips per day. This meant that many commuters were inconvenienced at the time and were forced to make alternative transport arrangements or wait for another train.

No one was injured in that incident. Meanwhile, several trains around Joburg, including those in Daveyton, Tembisa and Springs, were running late on Tuesday morning due to a technical fault but Mofokeng said that the delays were not more than 15 minutes.

Hundreds march against police killings
IOL News 18 November 2015

Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Wednesday that its members - including police officers - should not be prosecuted when they defend themselves against criminals.

Addressing a crowd of about 250 people gathered in Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg ahead of a march against police killings, Amos Vusi Munyela, provincial chairperson of Cosatu, said: “When criminals are producing firearms, we don't know what they are going to do, but stats have shown that they kill [police] officers.

”Munyela said the point of the march was for police officers to be protected because they were members of the public and their job was to protect communities.

“Even when they are in the line of duty, it's easy to arrest them and their work isn't recognised,” said Munyela. The comments where in apparent reference to the arrest of four Krugersdorp police officers who have been charged in connection with the killing of a suspected armed robber last month.

The incident came to light after a video surfaced, which shows the suspect Khulekani Mpanza being shot dead while lying on the ground. Mpanza had been shot and wounded during a chase after he allegedly opened fire on the police. He had allegedly committed an armed robbery.

Munyela said the march would send a message calling for changes to some sections of police and criminal Acts to better protect police officers. He said the government had to look at how best to protect police officers.

Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said it was expecting around 2 000 people to take part in the march to protest against the killing of police officers.

Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said: “When police don't do anything fingers are pointed at them, but when they do something they are blamed for it.” He said the police were saying they would like more support from the government and communities to do their jobs.

Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the Police and Prison Civil Rights Union Gauteng, Naughty Magoai, said: “This is the start, we are here to send a message to our employers and justice. We can't have so many of our members dying.”

Another community meeting disrupted
Standerton Advertiser 18 November 2015

The event was aimed at addressing the persistent sewage issues that the residents have been experiencing for years.

Mr Tshidiso Mosia (District Executive Member: SACP). A group of people wearing ANC T-shirts disrupted a community meeting in Rooikoppen on 1 November.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) organised the meeting that was held at the Rooikoppen Community Hall.

The event was aimed at addressing the persistent sewage issues that the residents have been experiencing for years.

“We wanted to find ways together of dealing with the problem,” Mr Tshidiso Mosia, SACP District Executive Member, said.

He also said as they were engaging with the community a large group of people wearing ANC T-shirts stormed into the hall.

According to him, they were singing and chanting, making it difficult to continue with the meeting.

It's back to work for striking Parliament employees
News 24 18 November 2015

Cape Town - Parliament has in principle agreed to pay striking National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) bonuses based on their annual package.

However, it would be up to a task team consisting of Nehawu and Parliament management to calculate just how much this would cost the institution.

Parliament Nehawu-affiliated workers downed tools on November 6 calling for a review of the bonus payment structure.

On Tuesday, they got what they wanted when the institution opened up discussions on the matter.

The protesters would return to work on Wednesday.

Parliament secretary Gengezi Mgidlana said the union and the institution had found a win-win solution.

“In principle, both parties agree to work towards an understanding the performance bonus is on an annual basis,” he said quoting the agreement.

He said there would be a task team set up to look at how much this would cost.

“We would look at the modalities, taking into consideration the finances of Parliament, which means we should try in whatever we do to make sure we don’t move outside of the parameters that are there. The answers there need to be found by this team, which we hope would give us more enlightenment.”

He said they would not be forfeiting any Parliament programmes to find the money, but the task team would have to find the solutions.

The striking workers would also get back their docked pay, but this was not to reimburse them, Mgidlana said.

He said the union had agreed their workers would work tirelessly once back at their posts to deal with any backlogs, including payment of service providers.

For this, they would not be paid any overtime, but would be paid the money deducted from their salaries.

Nehawu branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe said a meeting on Friday would present the task team's work and the outcome would determine the permanent end to the strike.

Nehawu branch secretary Thabang Molusi said they had been proven right about the bonus and he felt it was important to stress ''the job is not done yet''.

I don't think we should celebrate yet, but at least we should celebrate the work done today.

Residents block road in protest against water shortage
News 24 18 November 2015

About 2 000 people participated in the protest, police said. Eight were arrested after setting a community hall in KwaMsane on fire.

A resident from KwaMsane, Nomusa Msweli, said they last had water in June this year.

The protests started in Jozini two weeks ago, where residents accused the uMkhanyakude District Municipality of failing to deliver water.

The protests spread to Mtubatuba and KwaMsane yesterday after residents heard that Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu was going to Jozini, where he was expected to deliver a report on the water crisis.

Siyasiza Trust field worker and Mtubatuba resident Ntandose Gumede said she was stuck in traffic for two hours af-ter the protestors blocked the road.

“The protestors said they will not allow any car to go past Mtubatuba, saying their issues must be sorted out first before the MEC can go to Jozini.

“There is no alternative route when you are going to Jozini; you have to go via the N2. They knew that if they blocked the N2, the MEC would be unable to get to Jozini,” she said.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said that KwaMsane Police were investigating a case of arson.

“Eight suspects were arrested and charged for holding an illegal public gathering. They are due to appear at the KwaMsane Magistrate’s Court tomorrow [today].

“Police managed to clear the road and they are monitoring the situation. We would like to ask motorists to take extra precautions when driving near the Mtubatuba area,” he said.

Jozini resident and Siyasiza Trust worker Jabu Nxumalo said the protestors had started gathering on Sunday night.

“The issue of water shortages is getting worse every day. Even in Jozini people are still protesting,” she said.

Umkhanyakude spokesperson Mduduzi Dlamini said “the municipality is doing the best it can”.

“We are one of the most badly hit areas. The community of Msane gets most of their water supply from the Mfolozi river, which has dried up completely.

“Even the 16 water tankers we have are not enough because uMkhanyakude is too wide,” he said.

Dlamini said the uMkhanyakude Municipality has started drilling to access groundwater.

He also blamed “cheap” politics and criminality for some of the protests.

“We note the protests, and we ­understand where the frustration of the residents is coming from. We would, however, like to condemn opportunists who have used this suffering to score political points.

“There was also vandalism in one of our community schemes where fences and doors were stolen,” he said.


Cosatu backs cop murders picket
IOL News 17 November 2015

Rustenburg – The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) in the North West has called for government action to end attacks and murders of police officers, provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said on Tuesday.

Phetoe said: “We call our provincial and national government to act and develop strategies that will include involvement of all stake holders to fight against” the killing of police officers.

“We call our government in general and the justice system to protect the public, which include men and women in blue uniform, who are at the coalface of fighting thuggery,” said Phetoe.

“We strongly condemn the continuation of the police killings and if, left without societal response to condemn such heinous acts, may destroy the social fabric of our society.”

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called for a lunchtime picketing at all police station country wide on Wednesday against the killing of police officers.

More than 50 police officers have been killed since the beginning of this year.

In North West Constable John Seun Mokotedi, 35, was the first policeman to be killed in the province. He was gunned down when armed gunmen fired at him at shopping mall in Bapong near Brits on November 4.

The gunmen had just robbed a clothing shop in the mall before they saw Constable Mokotedi in a marked police van. He was shot in the head and died at the scene.

An off duty, warrant officer attached to the Assen police station was shot and wounded on Saturday in Letlhabile near Brits. He died in hospital on Monday.

North West police spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said the warrant officer was hijacked.

“We do not know whether he was attacked because he is a policeman,” he said.

In an attempt to heighten awareness of the scourge of police killings and demand for action from government in defence of police officer, Popcru also resolved to call on its members to refuse to work in risky situation alone and to withdraw their services each day a member gets killed.

Phetoe said no one has the right to kill anyone and who conduct improper acts must face the music.

“Justice must be seen to take its course in such circumstances.”

He called on all Cosatu affiliates and community members to support the picketing starting on Wednesday in all the police stations in the North West.

Nehawu strike continues at parliament
News 24 17 November 2015

Cape Town - Leaders from the Parliament branch of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) were expected to meet the institution's management at noon on Tuesday in the hope of getting closer to ending a strike.

Nehawu branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe told a less vocal gathering in the old National Assembly chamber that a framework document setting out exactly what had to be done to end the strike had been prepared and would be discussed at the meeting.

The union's regional and national leadership had been assisting as staffers and Parliament's management continued disagreeing over the formula to be used to calculate bonuses.

Each interprets the words “total package” differently - with Nehawu believing it should be calculated over a year's package and Parliament over a month's package.

Compared with last week's relentless singing, dancing and clapping in the precinct, Tuesday's meeting was subdued, becoming animated only when Parliament's secretary Gengezi Mgidlana's name was mentioned.

Mgidlana has already said Parliament cannot afford the R50m which he said would be needed to pay the bonuses on the Nehawu formula and justified last week's calling of police to remove protesters by saying the institution had to abide by the laws it passed.

He said Nehawu had gone on strike without following legally-prescribed procedures.

Nehawu was also that upset some workers had had their pay docked for days they were on strike.

Although non-striking staff tried to cover the jobs usually done by their colleagues, the strike had a noticeable impact on the business of Parliament.

A committee meeting to finalise a report on amendments to the disaster management amendment bill was delayed as chairperson Richard Madlakane waited for the six members required to make a quorum. MPs had taken longer than usual to get through checkpoints.

MPs usually work through the day during committee meetings, only taking one or two quick comfort breaks with the selection of nuts and yoghurts and the water keeping them going.

Monday's storms in Gauteng also had the knock-on effect of delaying some flights to Cape Town.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Madlakane said the Act itself was already implemented and operational so the impact of not finalising the report immediately would not have a direct negative effect.

Cosatu to pressure parly over strike
IOL News 16 November 2015

Parliament – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) on Monday vowed to increase pressure on Parliament to heed to its demands for striking workers at the legislature with solidarity strikes and protests by Cosatu-affiliated unions.

Workers gathered in the Old Assembly chamber on Monday morning on day seven of their strike to hear messages of support from Nehawu leadership, ANC alliance partners, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

“We are going to have a national shutdown…we are very clear. We are not fighting the alliance, we are fighting the employer,” said newly elected Nehawu Ikapa South regional secretary Baxolise Mali.

Mali told parliamentary staff the time for negotiating with Parliament was over.

“We are not negotiating. We have passed that stage,” he said.

Cosatu Western Cape provincial chairman Motlatsi Tsubane said he was disappointed there had been no “political intervention” to resolve the dispute between Parliament’s management and its staff.

“Where we stand as Cosatu, no, we don’t see any political intervention from our political leaders,” he said.

Turning to Parliament’s secretary Gengezi Mgidlana, Tsubane said: “It’s because of your (workers’) struggles which makes this man to be here today, but now he is biting the hand that feeds him.”

Tsubane also threatened industrial action from Cosatu affiliated unions, if Mgidlana did not heed to workers calls for better pay and working conditions.

“We call upon management to make it a point that they deal with your (workers’) issues…because if they don’t do that as Cosatu in this province we will organise all our affiliates…to come and sit in here.”

The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape joined in condemning Parliament’s management for not resolving the impasse with workers.

“We are calling on our MPs of the ANC in Parliament to continue showing leadership, but to do more than what they are doing right now,” said ANCYL provincial chairman Khalid Sayed.

Hundreds of parliamentary staff downed tools on August 6, demanding, among others, better pay and pension benefits, a performance bonus based on their annual salaries, an end to outsourcing of services at the legislature, and for Parliament to abandon the controversial process of re-vetting all staff for security purposes.

2 000 march for Mchunu in Durban
IOL News 16 November 2015

Durban – About 2 000 people marched on the African National Congress provincial headquarters in Durban on Monday as unhappiness around the results of the recent provincial conference continue to swirl.

There was a heavy police presence outside the building in Stalwart Simelane Street.

“We are protesting about the ANC provincial conference that was rigged,” said one supporter.

Supporters of KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu have expressed dissatisfaction at the provincial conference which took place at the beginning of the month that saw Mchunu ousted as ANC provincial chairman. Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala was elected provincial chairman ahead of Mchunu.

Speakers who attempted to pacify the singing crowd were jeered at.

The provincial ANC had earlier on Monday issued a statement in which it “rejected in the strongest terms the allegations that the party’s 2015 elective provincial conference could have been manipulated by intervention of any of the participants in the nomination of candidates, voting or vote counting”.

The party said the conference had been one of the most transparent elective political party conferences ever in South Africa, citing a number of reasons.

“Firstly, the proceedings were monitored by more than 30 senior national NEC members comprising Deputy Secretary-General Cde Jessie Duarte and Treasurer-General Cde Zweli Mkhize,” the ANC in KZN said. “These members oversaw the proceedings of the conference and ensured that everything was beyond reproach.

“Secondly, the voting process was preceded by a head count where the NEC, PEC and Regional Leaders of the ANC verified each and every voting delegate at the conference.

“Thirdly, the conference was televised and all nominations thus unfolded in full view of the general public. And fourthly, the voting and vote counting were done manually, not electronically, and every step of the way was open to full scrutiny to observers from the national monitoring team mentioned above and all ANC regions had comrades observing the voting and counting processes.”

It added: “As such, any possibility of manipulation of the election outcome could only be a figment of imagination. Any suggestions about rigging are mischievous and libellous. The ANC has gone into great lengths to ensure transparency of the voting process and the integrity of the results.”

It is understandable that some participants might be aggrieved by the results but that is a feature of democracy. The KZN ANC urges unity amongst all its cadres and pledges to maintain the level of internal democracy for which the organisation is widely known in the country.

Provincial secretary Super Zuma said it was understandable that some participants may be aggrieved by the results but that said that was a feature of democracy.

“The KZN ANC urges unity amongst all its cadres and pledges to maintain the level of internal democracy for which the organisation is widely known in the country.”

VIDEO: Protesters close N2 near Mtuba last night
Zululand Observer 16 November 2015

Reports from the KwaMsane area say the N2 is open this morning.

WARNING: Protesters close N2 near Mtuba PROTESTERS blocked the N2 at the KwaMsane turnoff, just before Mtubatuba with burning tyres last night.

According to reports it was a service delivery protest and the mob started rioting at about midnight.

Police were re-routing traffic through the township of KwaMsane.

Motorists were urged to avoid the area or turnoff at the Umfolozi village turnoff and drive over the low level bridge on the dirt road leading to the sugar mill into Mtuba.

Demonstrations at Phola
Witbank News 16 November 2015

There was a protest in the early hours of the morning in Phola.

There was a protest in the early hours of the morning in Phola.

It was not clear as to what the community members were complaining about. The protest was on Tuesday, November 10. Emalahleni municipal manager Mr Theo Van Vuuren in his Face book page warned the people about the protest. He said:

“Warning please note there is currently a strike in Phola, the cause for the protest is still unknown. Updates will be placed as feedback is received.”

Burned tyres and debris found at the entrance of Phola on Tuesday, November 10 in the morning.

Another information was received saying that the people were currently damaging property and cars.

At first it was thought the strike had to do with an false information about hiring at Kusile Power Station.

Burned tyres near the entrance of Phola in Ogies. Community members demonstrated in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday, November 10.

“Eskom Kusile Power Station Project has been made aware that there is a group of people in the Bronkostspruit area who is announcing to the public that Kusile will be recruiting tomorrow. Please note that this information is false. There is no such thing. Please refrain from making your way to Kusile. There are no jobs,” reads the statement.

Burned tyres on one of the main roads in Phola after demonstrations by some community members.

Police vans were found parked at the entrance of Phola and the situation was back to normal. Police found at the scene confirmed that there has been some demonstrations but they managed to calm the situation. No information was received from Ogies Police station.

The Struggle Continues: A Road Blockade, Two Comrades Shot
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement 3 November 2015

The struggle continues after our successful celebration of our ten year anniversary at the Curries Fountain stadium.

Road Blockade in Sisonke Village

Yesterday the Sisonke Village Abahlali branch (Lamontville) took to the street and blockaded the road after a long wait for a ward councillor to respond to their demand. The community of Sisonke have been in the area for fives years without water, electricity and toilets. Instead they have faced constant illegal and violent evictions. The local leadership of AbM have tried to have meetings with the ward councillor and wrote letters to her but she never responded.

The accumulation of anger reminded Abahlali that their power still remains with them and they took to street to express their anger and demand that the councillor come and address them. Instead of the councillor coming to see them they were attacked by a well-known member of the ANC by the name of Madlala who threw stones to Abahlali. This ANC member was assisted by the police firing rubber bullets. This member of the ANC loudly said that we must ‘go back to the Eastern Cape’ if we want to protest and stop disturbing ‘their area’.

Evictions in Savanah Park

As always happens unlawful evictions continue to be the agenda of the day in eThekwini. On Sunday morning at around 08:00 in the morning the Anti- Land invasion Unit with SAPS and the Metro Police carried on with their culture of attacking vulnerable and unarmed occupiers. This time they attacked occupiers in Savanah Park. They shot two of our members with live ammunition. One comrade was shot in the left side of the eye and the other was shot in the leg. They were denied the right to open a case against the police.

Police have become the protectors of politicians and municipality. They do not serve as peace keepers. They do not protect the people.

As usual victims of police brutality will never be allowed to exercise their democratic right to open a case against the government. Instead we were threatened to be arrested.
The councillor in the area is Nomvula Shembe. Rumours have been spreading that she will ‘deal with’ Abahlali after we opened three new branches in her ward.

Ever since AbM was formed in 2005 ANC councillors always want to ‘deal with’ Abahlali instead of providing land for the people and stopping to selling land for profit. They are against land redistribution from below. They are against any organisation of the people outside of the ruling party. The struggle continues.

Our Congratulations to the Students

As a movement we wish to express our solidarity to the students who have been struggling around the country. Their courage and determination has given us all hope. We were very pleased that one of our comrades, Ndabo Mzimela, was able to join the march on the Union Buildings.

Contact people:

S’bu Mbanjwa (Savanah Park): 072 129 8870
Sbonelo (Sisonke Village) 078 4098733
Zandile Nsibande: 062 947 1947
Ndabo Mzimela: 076 606 6176
TJ Ngongoma: 084 6139 772

Road closed as protesters take to the streets
News 24 16 November 2015

Cape Town - Protest action on Sunday afternoon led to the closure of parts of a Jakes Gerwel and Highlands drives in Mitchells Plain.

Residents of the Siqalo informal settlement earlier threw stones at vehicles and set tyres alight, authorities confirmed.

About 400 protesters had also burnt rubble in the road and traffic was diverted by metro police.

Police were also on the scene and after the crowd was addressed by the public order police, protesters returned to their homes, said mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

Fire services are currently cleaning the scene.

Protests are about real issues: ISS
IOL News 13 November 2015

Cape Town - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has described the government’s handling of the public’s dissatisfaction and community protest as “tragic”.

“Tragic, because it fails to recognise that protest action is not purely criminal or irrational, but is about issues of real or perceived neglect and deprivation,” said Johan Burger, senior researcher at ISS.

Burger said the issues were deeply rooted in high levels of unemployment, poverty, poor service delivery and the absence of adequate housing and infrastructure.

“To make matters worse, many of these problems can be directly linked to inefficiency and corruption at local government level. It is also tragic because there is a clear belief among some that ‘solving’ the ‘problem’ requires applying more force, which only adds to perceptions of an insensitive, uncaring and unresponsive government.”

Violence erupted during student protests at the University of the Western Cape this week and pictures depicting police allegedly using a handcuffed student as a human shield caused a stir on social media.

Three weeks ago, during the Fees Must Fall student protests outside Parliament, police fired stun grenades and used Tasers on the protesters.

There were similar scenes during a Parliamentary workers’ protest in the precinct of the National Assembly.

Burger said: “Communities have increasingly recognised that disruptive violence, such as blockading roads with burning tyres and destroying public property, is often the only way to draw attention to their plight. Usually this happens only after official channels for registering complaints and requests for meetings have yielded little, if any, response.

“Unfortunately, while protesting communities are trying to get their concerns taken seriously, the immediate attention they receive from the state is more likely to be police action aimed at ‘restoring order’, and arresting those deemed responsible for the destruction of property.”

The Saps Annual Report for 2012/13 said the police had to respond to 13 575 “crowd-related” incidents, 1 907 (14 percent) of which were violent or “unrest related” and 11 668 (86 percent) peaceful.

“This works out to an average of 32 ‘peaceful’ incidents and five ‘unrest’ incidents daily.

“However, while peaceful incidents showed an increase of just over 47 percent when compared with 2009/10 (7 913 incidents), incidents involving violence increased almost twice as fast (92 percent) from 994 in 2009/10 to 13 575, said Burger.

The police requested an additional R3.3 billion over the next four years to increase the number of public order police units from 27 to 50, and the number of reserve units from one to four.

This would increase the number of trained public order policing officers from 4 721 to 9 521, with additional armoured vehicles, non-lethal weapons and other equipment.

The National Development Plan makes it clear that service-delivery protests stem from citizens’ frustration.

Burger said the recent initiative by the Gauteng provincial government to establish a “Service Delivery War Room” to improve the government’s response to communities was a rare example of an initiative being developed to prevent protests from happening before the need for police arises.

“Perhaps this is the type of initiative that could be rolled out with the kind of money being requested by the police to reduce the factors that cause public dissatisfaction in the first place.

“The police cannot avoid responsibility for the maintenance of public order, but our political leaders are making a potentially fatal mistake if they think additional or more forceful policing is the answer to growing instances of community protest.

“Rather, our public representatives focus on tackling public-sector corruption and inadequate government responses to community dissatisfaction, which lie at the heart of many protests and violence.”

Parliamentary staff protests enter a fourth day
EWN 13 November 2015

CAPE TOWN - Striking Parliamentary staff are demonstrating inside the National Legislature’s precinct for a fourth consecutive day, in defiance of an interim labour court order.

Parliament's management secured the order yesterday, which says the strike is unlawful and bars demonstrators from picketing on the premises and disrupting portfolio committee meetings.

Staff affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) downed tools on Monday.

Their main gripe is around the structuring of performance bonuses.

Nehawu’s Sthembiso Tembe says the union will not abide by the interim court order.

“When they brought the police to beat people here, they said they were using a 2010 interdict which is invalid. We told them that it is invalid. When they realised that, they decided to go to court to apply for another interdict. We are not going to respect that.”

The union has been given a little over two weeks to argue in court why the order should not be made final.

Legal wrangling aside, negotiations between the union and management are continuing today.

GroundUp: Waste pickers protest over access to dump site
Daily Maverick 13 November 2015

Police used rubber bullets and stun grenades yesterday against waste pickers protesting at a dump site in Pietermaritzburg against plans to stop them collecting on the site. About 20 waste pickers were arrested during the protest at the England Landfill site, but were released later.

More than 100 waste pickers protested after a city executive committee meeting decided to stop waste picking at the dump, citing safety and security concerns. The dump site is used to dump material from companies in Pietermaritzburg, including expired food and dangerous objects. Waste pickers who were part of the protest are from Sobantu, which is close to the dump site, from Hammarsdale and from Cinderella Park.

One of the protesters, Nokukhanya Myeza (42), said she was unemployed, and lived in Cinderella Park. She woke up at five in the morning to join the protest. She said she was a single mother with four children.

“I have been picking up items from the dump site for years. It came as a shock when we were told that we are now not allowed to pick up items from the site. I pick up food and that helps to feed my children.

“Some of the women pick up cardboard. They take it to recycling companies. We are not working and this is how we feed our families. We were told the municipality will install cameras and that they will order the security guards to shoot us,” said Myeza.

“That is so unfair. If they have money to install cameras in the dump site why they can’t help us find jobs?”

The South African Waste Pickers Association, the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, Groundwork, Energy Action Group, and the Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust in Pietermaritzburg were part of the protest.

Msunduzi municipality spokesperson, Nqobile Madonda, said the issue of the landfill site pickers had been raised at a recent meeting of the executive committee, as it poses health, safety and security concerns for the municipality. She said pickers were building shacks in and around the landfill. “They are also starting fires as well as breaking down fences.”

Madonda said “violent incidents” had been reported which posed “a security risk to tip pickers and Council employees stationed at the Landfill site”.

We need to protect everyone working at the Landfill site,” she said.

But, she said, neither the committee nor the mayor had requested the use of “pellet guns” to disperse the protesters. Bonginkosi Sibisi from Energy Action Group said the organisation was there to show solidarity with the waste pickers. “Some of these people have been doing this for years. They feed their families, and we are here today to support them. If they demand answers, these should be given to them,” said Sibisi. DM

Residents threaten protest action against speedsters
Berea Mail 13 November 2015

Residents living in and around Trematon Drive are considering holding a demonstration to have something done about speed calming in the road.

ANOTHER accident on Trematon Drive, Morningside, has highlighted the need for speed calming measures in the road, and residents are threatening to hold a demonstration to get the municipality’s attention.

The most recent accident took place on Saturday, and according to resident Deidre Chaperon was very serious.

“I witnessed yet another accident on the race track known as Trematon Drive. Due to the speed the driver was travelling, the car skimmed off a light pole and tree and overturned. I spoke to the residents of the house where it happened and they had just arrived home ten minutes before it happened otherwise they could have been killed outside their garage,” she said.

Chaperon said there were only a few palm trees left on Trematon Drive because many of them had been demolished in car accidents.

When is someone going to even try and control speed on this road? The municipality says they cannot put in a circle or traffic lights because of the type of road it is. No, they’d rather let people die! – she said.

She suggested a solution may be to close the top of Venice Road and make it a cul-de-sac.

“Then at least that would stop crossing traffic being hit by speeding drivers. One must realise that there is a school in this road. It’s time the municipality did something about it otherwise the local community are considering organising a demonstration on the road to get someone’s attention. We are all sick and tired of this continuous dangerous situation,” she said.

Ward councillor, Martin Meyer, has brought these requests to the attention of the municipality on many occasions.

He said: “I am truly frustrated with the various problem roads in the area. ETA answers most requests by saying that the road does not qualify, or that the statistics do not support intervention. The DA has been calling for a review of the Traffic Calming Policy, but not much has come of this. I will, with the help of fellow councillors, put a motion to council to ask that the whole Traffic Calming Policy be reviewed and made more responsive to the needs of the community.”

Meyer said understood the need to allow a free flow of traffic, however felt the protection of human lives, as well as the property of people should count for more.

“With the help of a resident in the area who is an expert in this matter, the DA is also in the process of training volunteers to conduct our own count on roads to strengthen the argument for intervention by ETA,” said Meyer.

Man stoned for alleged rape attempt
IOL News 12 November 2015

Johannesburg - A man was stoned to death by villagers for allegedly attempting to rape a woman in Machakaneng near Atok, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

“The deceased was suspected of the alleged attempted rape of a 35-year-old woman who screamed and alerted the community. The man was then stoned to death apparently by a mob in the village,” police said.

His body was discovered in a street on Wednesday morning. A murder investigation was under way.

Provincial commissioner General Fannie Masemola condemned the incident and urged communities to report suspected criminals to the police, and refrain from taking the law into their hands.

Limpopo demarcation protest intensifies
Kempton Express 12 November 2015

Residents are demanding the boundaries separating their village from a neighbouring village be changed.

The protests on the R36 at The Oaks, between Hoedspruit and Tzaneen, have intensified.

Police have barricaded the road and no vehicles are allowed in. Farm watch members and various units of the Limpopo provincial police intensified their presence today, as they started a clean-up operation by taking graders into the no-go zone. Police at the scene said protesters were mainly active in the late afternoon and at night, Letaba Herald reported.

The Oaks Village residents are demanding the boundaries which separate their village from The Willows be changed, as they want the section allocated for a new mall to be constructed in their area.

A heavy police presence and armoured vehicles took graders in the morning via a convoy to start filling up two trenches the rioters had dug. This was to protect them from rocks being thrown at them by protesters.

Riots had intensified last Sunday night when protestors dug a trench through the road. This, as another protest flared up near Strydom Tunnel involving the Leboeng community, who disputed against service delivery.

On Monday, Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said the protesters at Leboeng had dispersed, but the situation at The Oaks had continued, as once again they had dug another trench and the rioters had punctured the tyres of a large fuel truck to block the bridge.

Reports have come in that some workers had lost their jobs due to not being able to arrive at their work on time due to the ongoing protest.

The Oaks residents were apparently angry with the Maruleng municipality and accused them of not consulting them when they made decisions that affected their area.

On October 30, a 28-year-old man suspected of being part of the group which has been rioting violently in The Oaks appeared in Naphuno Magistrate’s Court for public violence. According to Hoedspruit police spokesperson Constable Livhuwani Mulaudzi, the suspect was arrested during the protest which began on October 27. The suspect, Kholofelo Mawune, 28, was released on R400 bail and the case was postponed until November 23.

During the riots when the suspect was arrested, the protest had also turned violent, a truck was torched and vehicles damaged.

Strike in Parliament spreads to provinces
IOL News 11 November 2015

Cape Town - National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) general secretary Zola Saphetha pledged that solidarity action with Parliament’s staffers would be organised at the nine provincial legislatures.

The union also served the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, and secretary Gengezi Mgidlana with three-day notices to attend a meeting with Nehawu to resolve the labour dispute.

The union’s letter calling for that meeting was finalised after 4pm on Tuesday.

“We won’t attend a meeting attended by acting (officials) and deputies,” Saphetha told Nehawu workers.

“We will mobilise provinces’ legislatures to support you in solidarity.”

However, Mgidlana on Tuesday evening said Parliament would from Wednesday invoke a 2010 interdict on protest action in the parliamentary precinct.

That interdict of September 10, 2010 stipulates that it applied from that day “or at any time thereafter”.

Effectively this means the police will now have to act against any protesters inside the parliamentary precinct.

Asked why the interdict would now be invoked, Mgidlana said it was a case of monitoring how a situation progressed.

However, he committed to ongoing engagements with the union representatives whom he had been meeting into the evening.

“We may not be in agreement on the issues on the table, but we are talking,” he said.

Parliamentary Nehawu branch officials on Tuesday confirmed the work stoppage was unprotected, but vowed to continue.

Nehawu represents 981 of Parliament’s 1 389 employees, mostly white collar employees in the committee and documents sections, translation unit and the parliamentary protection services, but also long-term cleaners who had not been outsourced. Parliament’s Nehawu branch is the biggest in the Western Cape.

At the heart of the dispute is the payment of performance bonuses, but also other working conditions matters like pension provisions, recognition of employees’ improved qualifications, medical aid cover, long service awards and group life to cover funeral costs and education of the deceased’s children. The agreement also stipulated performance bonuses must be paid on the total package, not pensionable income as Parliament said earlier.

These provisions form part of the March 2015 agreement signed by Nehawu and Parliament. Yet on Monday, Mgidlana maintained Nehawu was raising “new issues” outside the agreement, and added these could only be raised after the agreement ends in March 2017.

He emphasised Parliament was acting on the union’s demands and had already implemented notch increments and subsistence and travel allowance increases.

On Wednesday, Saphetha dismissed this, saying key agreements like a joint countrywide benchmark study on cost-to-company packages were ignored as Parliament instead appointed its own consultants.

Instead he told striking Nehawu workers the agreement was valid, and binding on management.

“What is contained in the agreement is due to you,” he said, pledging national union support.

“We shall not allow an institution of this nature to be managed by people who do not have the capacity to do so.”

Parliament’s visitors centre was closed on Tuesday, leading to long queues.

Four of the six committee meetings did not take place.

A series of meetings was held, including one, it is understood, in which Nehawu briefed the ANC chief whip Stone Sizani and other ANC MPs.

It was confirmed on Tuesday there were two special chief whip forums, which bring together all political parties in Parliament.

There it was decided the afternoon sitting would go ahead as it was up to Parliament and the union to resolve their grievances.

The ANC parliamentary caucus also met to be briefed on the work stoppage.

Sizani’s spokesman Moloto Mothapo said there was concern the strike would affect Parliament’s operations: “We remain confident in the capability of the two parties to reach a consensus,” he added.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen took a hardline stance, saying neither Mgidlana nor Mbete had shown the required leadership to mitigate disruptions.

“Considering the numerous financial and educational crises the country is currently facing, we simply cannot afford to lose a moment’s worth of work,” he added.

Zuma slandered on Farrarmere wall
Benoni City Times 11 November 2015

The owners of a Farrarmere property feel their rights have been infringed upon, after defamatory writing was spray painted on their wall.

The owner, Eddy Lekhuleni, said he was alerted to the writing by CMS, at around 4am on Monday, November 9.

His wife, Judy said she feels violated and offended by the writing.

The couple reported the incident to the police as they felt it represents an infringement of their and President Jacob Zuma’s rights, as the comment mentions the name Zuma.

“These people should go to the correct forums to vent their frustration, instead of our wall,” said Eddy.

“Why did they specifically pick our house?

”Now we have to buy paint to cover it up.”

A case of malicious damage to property was opened at the Benoni Police Station.

If anyone has information about the incident or the person(s) responsible, they are urged to contact the police.

ANC attacks DA in Mams
Pretoria East Record 11 November 2015

DA members on the scene where ANC members destroyed its equipment. Photo Supplied ANC members stormed a DA event in Mamelodi East ward 10 over the weekend causing damage to equipment and destroyed branding material.

According to Solly Msimanga, DA mayoral candidate for the Tshwane metro, the fight for governance in the metro is well and truly underway.

He said the DA was set on winning the metro in the election next year, and the ANC was showing its intolerance because of this prospect.

“The pure political intolerance of the ANC shows its desperation to cling onto power in the metro after the election. The ANC is already below the 50% support in the metro,” said Msimanga.

The ANC in Tshwane is all out of ideas, out of support and out of any momentum toward the Election 2016.

Last weekend the DA’s Tshwane campaign launch was disrupted by ‘cadres’ from mayor Ramokgopa’s prayer meeting at the Solomon Mahlangu Square.

Undeterred, the DA continued with its campaign launch to show we would not be suppressed by the ANC’s intimidation, as the DA blue wave grows stronger and stronger.

The ANC has a deeply entrenched network of patronage and corruption in the metro which is being threatened by electoral loss, and is inciting violent intolerance.

The ANC is itself deeply divided, and is now turning on itself too.

“Like the proverbial snake which eats its own tail, the ANC in the metro attacked itself at mayor Ramokgopa’s Siyanqoba Rally calling out that Sputla Must Fall!”

Msimanga said the DA agreed Sputla must fall, but only through the ballot box.

He said, the “Cry our beloved Tshwane,” a statement by an ANC youth leader for the metro, could not have been more accurate and more embodying of the need for electoral change.

The DA would stop corruption, start service delivery and bring a safe opportunity city to all residents, he said.

Parly strike: Riot police called in
IOL News 11 November 2015

Parliament - Riot police armed with stun grenades and teargas have been called in to the Parliamentary precinct to deal with striking Nehawu workers.

Workers were given five minutes to disperse.

Roit police and workers faced off against each other on the steps ouside the National Council of Provinces.

Workers sang the national anthem and chanted:” You can’t move us! We work here! We work here!”

The police then fired teargas and stun grenades.

One parliamentary worker was detained while another worker was dragged away.

Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members took over the police committee meeting, on the third day of protests by parliamentary employees.

Some were dressed in red union T-shirts and many also sported yellow ANC T-shirts bearing President Jacob Zuma’s image.

Walking into the Good Hope Chambers singing “ePalamente sifuna imali. Asonwabanga! (Parliament, we want money. We are not happy)”, proceedings were ultimately suspended - even though some MPs stayed put for a while.

Although Parliament on Tuesday said it was invoking a September 2010 interdict to ban protest action in the precinct, effectively meanint police would have to enforce it, Nehawu dismissed this as an “illegal” interdict.

Parliament to implement interdict against striking workers
News 24 11 November 2015

Cape Town - Parliament will on Wednesday implement a five-year-old interdict against striking workers, in a bid to force them to take their protest action outside the precinct.

Speaking on the third day of the strike in Parliament on Tuesday, secretary Gengezi Mgidlana said the interdict, obtained during similar strikes in 2010, outlined that protests had to take place outside the Parliamentary premises.

This was so that proceedings at Parliament were not disrupted.

Hundreds of Nehawu employees downed tools on Friday over various issues, including the payment structure of bonuses and vetting of staff. These included committee secretaries, content advisors, cleaners and communication liaisons.

On Tuesday, of the 10 committees scheduled to meet, only six were able to do so.

Mgidlala said Parliament would not allow the business of committees and the House to be disrupted.

He said they had not yet abandoned engagements with Nehawu, but were intent on making sure that work continued.

If there are attempts to prevent people from working, we will take the necessary steps.

He said police were monitoring the situation and Parliament was working with them to ensure the protest action was within the confines of the interdict and the law.

The interdict restrained Nehawu from calling, encouraging and inciting members to picket on Parliament’s precinct from September 10 2010 and any time afterwards, Parliament said.

He said the business of Parliament, including that of 20 committees, would continue on Wednesday.

Masiphumelele death toll continues to rise
IOL News10 November 2015

Cape Town - Continuing violence in Masiphumelele has claimed the life of an unidentified man who was killed and set on fire in an another apparent vigilante killing in the restive settlement.

The body was found late on Sunday night, shortly after a police vehicle was also set alight by a rioting crowd, a police spokeswoman confirmed.

Police in the car reportedly had to flee for their lives when they were stopped by a crowd which set fire to the car at about 6.40pm.

The vehicle was destroyed.

According to some reports out of the township, when police returned to the scene later to recover the wreck, they also discovered the severely burnt body of the man.

Police said the circumstances were being investigated and that there had been no arrests.

They could not say whether the body was found in or near the car, whether the policemen in the car were injured, how they escaped or whether the crowd had accused the dead man of any crimes.

They also could not say if the dead man was a resident of the township.

Divulging further details would harm the investigation, said spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana.

Masiphumelele, between Fish Hoek and Kommetjie, has been the scene of a severe civil disobedience campaign and rioting, which is believed to have started when police arrested local community leader Lubabalo Vellem on charges of murder after what was believed to have been a vigilante killing earlier this year.

The arrest led to a march by hundreds of protesting residents from Masiphumelele to the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court, where they were met by a throng of police last week.

The protest brought traffic and business in part of the area to a halt. The residents eventually left the area after Vellem was released on bail.

There have been several vigilante killings following murders and thefts in the crime-ridden area in the past few months.

It is believed the delivery of a promised mobile police station to calm the situation has been held up by red tape.

Overwhelming support for Krugersdorp cops
IOL News 11 November 2015

Johannesburg - The four police officers accused of the murder of a suspected criminal in Krugersdorp received overwhelming support when they made their second court appearance on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people came to the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court to show their solidarity with the officers who were arrested for killing Khulekani Mpanza.

Apart from members of the public, off-duty police officers and representatives from the police unions also came to support their colleagues.

All wore T-shirts with the slogan “police killers must fall”. Constables Titus Mabela and Jason Segole as well as Sergeant Puleng Sebetwa appeared for their bail hearing on Tuesday.

The fourth officer, Constable Dipuo Chipu, who was released on bail R5 000 after she was charged for a lesser offence of defeating the ends of justice last week, did not appear in court on Tuesday. Mabela, Segole and Sebetwa have been charged with murder and defeating the ends of justice.

On Tuesday, the courtroom was packed and the angry crowd clashed with members of the media.

Three of the four police officers accused of killing suspected criminal Khulekani Mpanza appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court for their bail application. Photo: Dumisani Dube

The members of the public accused them of being liars.

“You must get this story right, you need to tell the full truth, not lies,” shouted one man.

As the scene became chaotic, a journalist from The Star was elbowed in the chest by a bystander.

“We are here because it should be criminals being charged, not the men who are protecting us”, said a woman who identified herself only as Thandi.

The State did not oppose bail.

As magistrate Keith Page reserved judgment, a collective outcry was heard from the gallery.

The defence argued that the accused are in mental distress and couldn’t wait that long.

Joburg inner city #EvictionsMustFall
IOL News 10 November 2015

Johannesburg - #EvictionsMustFall was the call of a group of about 150 residents concerned about the spate of evictions in the Joburg inner city during an inner-city evictions summit hosted by the City of Joburg on Monday.

The residents called for a moratorium to be placed on all evictions.

After the first few presentations by the city on its plans to improve the housing situation, the crowd became restless, demanding that their grievances be heard.

Loud accusations were made against property owners and developers, accusing them of illegally evicting people. Several walked out in protest.

Member of the mayoral committee responsible for development planning Roslynn Greeff said a revolution by the poor was about to happen if the numerous cases of evictions were not addressed.

The city reviews some 300 eviction applications a month.

“We need to make sure there is affordable housing for all in terms of human rights, the constitution and our legal obligations,” she said.

The city has several policies in place for new housing involving the public sector and the private sector, with some added incentives for the latter to do more.

The Johannesburg Development Agency gave a presentation and said there were severe challenges with an increasing population, failed sectional title schemes, weak city systems, billing, service delivery and infrastructure problems.

It said the biggest problem was a lack of housing for the poorest of the poor earning less than R800 a month.

“The supply of housing has not kept pace with the influx of people. Ninety percent of housing in the inner city is rental housing.

“The private sector is delivering housing for those earning between R1 500 and R2 000, the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is also providing social housing, but there is no supply of informal housing,” said Johannesburg Development Agency consultant Andreas Bertoldi.

There are an estimated 23 000 vulnerable people earning less than R800 a month, living in high-risk situations with inadequate services and in overcrowding.

The city’s target is to construct some 16 000 affordable units in the short to medium term.

The city’s legal department explained that in a 2011 court case, the Constitutional Court found that the city’s housing policy was unconstitutional and it should find alternative accommodation for people evicted from both public and private buildings.

Following that, it started a temporary emergency, managed care model.

This included renovating three buildings in which people should stay for six months, with possible extensions.

But during this time, they would receive skills training and then move out to be reintegrated with the rest of society.

However, tenants challenged their rights in these buildings, and refused to move out. So, the temporary accommodation is now full and new evictees cannot be accommodated.

Soraya Nana said the city receives much criticism about its housing policies, but it does have them in place.

“We are not sitting back, we are abiding by all court orders.

“However, with a lack of temporary emergency accommodation, few resources and no funding from provincial or national government, we have our challenges,” she said.

At the meeting, it was agreed that teams would be sent out to sectional title buildings to explain to owners how they worked, their rights and responsibilities.

Summing up, mayor Parks Tau said he was disappointed that the property owners and developers had left as they were there to contribute to the meeting.

He said there were plans in place which included new buildings having been identified in the inner city and Berea for temporary housing, which would be announced in the near future.

He said there could not be a blanket moratorium on evictions as each case had to be considered on its own merits.

“There are people who can afford to pay and they should not be hiding behind the poor.

“They should be paying rent and making their contributions to assist the poor, who often, because of their financial circumstances, cannot afford to pay,” he said.

The government alone could not solve these housing problems, Tau said.

“The private sector needs to be investing in affordable housing, and yes, make money. We cannot afford to collapse the private sector contribution as this will impact badly on the poor.

“If developers and owners abandon the inner city, it will impact on accommodation for others,” he said.

Protest over ‘sneaky’ home allotment
IOL News 10 November 2015

Pretoria - Thousands of livid residents of Olievenhoutbosch on Monday took to the streets to voice their anger over the allocation process of the newly built RDP houses in their area.

They threw debris on to the road and burnt tyres, calling on Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to give them answers about the “sneaky allocation process of RDP houses in Extension 27”.

All entrances leading into the area were barricaded with boulders, blocking the R55 and forcing motorists to use alternative routes.

The protest is centred around the allocation of about 5 000 RDP houses, with many residents claiming that people from outside their community have been given keys.

The City of Tshwane had previously said they would move some of the Mooiplaas residents and build RDP housing for them in Extension 27.

“We were here first. We are waiting for houses,”an angry local resident told the Pretoria News.

“The heart of the matter is that people are unhappy that others move to their area and will be receiving houses before they do,” he added.

It’s believed that the residents started their protest around 2am on Monday to highlight their frustrations. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd after the protest action turned violent and some of the protesters started looting foreigners' tuckshops.

Kenneth Masha, of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the area and a resident of Olievenhoutbosch, said that in 2012 former Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane promised them the land.

“The City of Tshwane is responsible for the relocation process of the people into the RDP houses in Extension 27. And instead of taking residents from Olievenhoutbosch as promised, they opted to take residents of Mooiplaas, which we find contradictory,” said Masha.

Another dissatisfied community member, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were tired of constantly being neglected. “We spoke to everyone in the community, including our leaders in the Tshwane council, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”

Residents handed over a memorandum to MMC of community safety and leader of council business Terrence Mashego, who made a brief appearance at the protest scene surrounded by security personnel and police.

The memorandum stated that “Choba squatter camp should be the first to be relocated to Extension 27, followed by Camp 1 and then Camp 2.”

“We finally demand that since the municipality has breached the agreement, it should buy land for residents in Mooiplaas,” said Masha.

Residents gave Ramokgopa seven days to respond to their demands or else they would be forced to march to his Centurion offices “and shut them down”.

Mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said the City of Tshwane regrets its plans to relocate Mooiplaats residents to a new permanent home in Olievenhoutbosch Extensions 27 and 42, as scheduled.

Manale said the decision to relocate the Mooiplaats informal settlement is informed by the following compelling reasons: the area is privately owned, it is dolomitic and the area is close to a privately owned landfill site. At 6pm today, the mayor will hold another meeting in Olievenhoutbosch.

Protesting Stellenbosch workers ‘fired’
IOL News 10 November 2015

Cape Town - Eight Langverwacht Landscaping contract workers were allegedly dismissed after participating in an outsourcing rally at Stellenbosch University on Monday.

Nyamezile Tomose said he was uncertain of what Tuesday would hold for him because he had been fired from the job he had held for seven years.

In a statement, Langverwacht Landscaping denied it had notified workers that they would lose their jobs if they participated in the protest. The company also denied allegations that disciplinary action would be taken against any employee who had attended the mass action on campus on Monday.

“No worker will be dismissed as a result of participating in the protest action at the University of Stellenbosch on 9 November, 2015,” director Pieter Colyn said in a statement.

He said the company also respected the workers’ right to protest, adding that the necessary steps would be taken before future protected protests.

Tomose said he was told not to return to work on Tuesday because he had attended a mass meeting which campaigned for an end to outsourcing at Stellenbosch University.

“We are hurt because we really wanted to attend this meeting to hear what university management was going to say. But our boss didn’t want us to come and he told us to our faces that if we attended the mass meeting we should not return to work again.”

Tomose is a father of three who earns R2 800 for a six-day week job. Without this job, Tomose said he would be penniless.

He claimed the company didn’t secure any benefits or provident funds for workers. He said he and his family would be dependent on the Unemployment Insurance Fund until he found another job.

The contract worker said he felt the landscaping company treated them unfairly. “If we are just five minutes late our bosses deduct money. If we are sick and bring a sick note they still deduct money. They even deducted R150 for our uniform.”

Another worker, Ayanda Kreleni, said he had joined the company this year and was earning R2 020 a month. “Our bosses knew about this mass meeting; they just didn’t want us to attend it. We felt we needed to come here.”

At the rally, close to a thousand workers and students gathered at Rooi Plein to campaign against outsourcing.

Nehawu spokesman Geroo Otto said the trade union represented about 300 Stellenbosch sub-contracted workers. He said subcontracted workers earned about R3 000, while Stellenbosch University workers earned R8 000. “We are trying to persuade the university to bring an end to outsourcing like they did at UCT.”

He said the university used contracted workers for cleaning, security and catering.

Otto said Nehawu was working with student organisation Sasco and “elements” of the Student Representative Council.

“If they (Stellenbosch University) don’t act now there will be a lot of queries here. We know it will take time, but they will see that this outsourcing is not working. They are paying millions to sub-contracting companies for this outsourcing.”

Mark Rudolph, a student at the university, said he supported the rally and the workers’ struggle. “At the end of the day these are our mothers and fathers who work hard to gain us access to this university. They need to get what they deserve.”

Rudolph said by outsourcing, the university was avoiding accountability. “The workers helped us during the #FeesMustFall struggle and now we are helping them.”

Student Skhumbuzo Mazibuko said she was there to add to the numbers. “Their (workers) point of view matters the most. We are standing as proxies for their children who cannot be here.”

The memorandum was accepted and signed by Professor Tobie de Conning of the human resources department. He said management would make the outsourcing issue a priority and would communicate with unions urgently.

He said he would speak to the manager at the Langverwacht Landscaping about the dismissals.

“I will insist that you cannot be dismissed on the grounds of attending this rally.”

We'll deal with members involved in clashes at rally - Tshwane ANC
News 24 9 November 2015

Pretoria - The ANC in Tshwane has vowed to take action against some members who were involved in clashes during a Siyanqoba rally held in Mamelodi on Sunday.

Spokesperson Teboho Joala said the violence erupted after the official proceedings for the day were concluded. He added that the majority of those involved were not party members.

Our members who were involved will be dealt with internally. We will also go back to our structures and encourage them to be disciplined and ensure that such a thing doesn’t repeat itself again, said Joala.

Not all of the people were members of the ANC. There was a third force behind it. We were able to positively identify them as not our members, he said.

Two groups clashed on Sunday after one group called for the removal of Tshwane mayor and ANC regional chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa. The pro–Ramokgopa group confronted them. The mood soon changed when the two groups started throwing rocks at each other.

Bystanders were caught in the crossfire, with numerous vehicles damaged in the process. Joala admitted that there was a small group of members who were part of the chaos.

He maintained that the rally was very successful and that Ramokgopa had managed to deliver his message to residents who had attended.

The DA’s mayoral candidate, Solly Msimanga, said he was not surprised by the violence that ensued in Mamelodi. He claimed that their rally was also disrupted by ANC members. He said the violence indicated a divided movement.

The ANC is itself deeply divided, and is now turning on itself too. Like the proverbial snake which eats its own tail, the ANC in Tshwane attacked itself at Mayor Ramokgopa’s 'Siyanqoba Rally', calling out that Sputla Must Fall. The DA agrees that Sputla must fall, but only through the ballot box… he said.

Parliament workers go on strike
IOL News 9 November 2015

Cape Town - Parliament came to a standstill on Monday when various support workers downed tools.

Workers from different sectors, including cleaners, communications gathered at the Old Assembly Chamber singing and toy-toying for more money.

This led to the visitors centre closing from 09:30.

One aggrieved worker said Parliament was diverting money from workers to other projects, including the new Parliamentary protection services.

Those guys earn three times what they earned before they joined the unit. Where does that money come from?

Workers also want performance bonuses to be based on annual, and not monthly salaries.

The protests started on Friday. Workers will be addressed by a Nehawu representative on Monday morning.

Councillor beaten up for a tender
IOL News 9 November 2015

Pretoria - Soshanguve councillor Maribishi Marotola has opened a case of assault after he was allegedly beaten up by a group people.

Marotola said the group demanded a tender to build some of the RDP houses earmarked for Extension 7 in the township.

The incident took place last Thursday when officials from the Department of Human Settlements went to the area to hand over the project to the councillor.

Minutes before the handover, a group of people arrived in a bakkie and private cars and started swearing at the councillor.

“One of them took out a slingshot and hit me in the private parts. I was provoked and attempted to disarm him, but the others helped him to overpower me,” he said.

He stumbled and fell, at which time one of them punched him on the cheek, eye and upper body, the councillor said.

Following the attack, he left the scene to seek medical attention and did not witness the handover of the project.

Marotola blamed the secretary of the local ANC branch, Enos Chiloane, and accused him of having mobilised the people to attack him.

“There were people in a bakkie who said they were sent by the branch secretary to attack me and disrupt the project,” he said.

But Chiloane hit back, saying there was no way he could have sent people as he didn’t even know about the handover of the project to the councillor.

According to Marotola, his attackers demanded to be granted a tender to build 50 of the 100 RDP houses for local residents.

“It is not my prerogative to award tenders. The project steering committee is still going to sit and discuss how the community would benefit from this project.”

Minister booed outside Parliament
IOL News 10 November 2015

Cape Town - Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi was booed on Monday as he tried to address a university worker-student alliance of protesters outside Parliament.

About 300 students from UCT, UWC and Cape Peninsula University of Technology marched to Parliament on Monday, demanding a response to the memorandum handed over to the Department of Higher Education last week.

The government addressed the issues raised in the memorandum; the zero percent fee increase for next year, free quality education, the development of an afrocentric curriculum, an end to outsourcing of services at universities, and the issue of police brutality witnessed on October 21 when students took their fight to Parliament.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, in his capacity as acting higher education minister in Blade Nzimande’s absence, tried to address students on the government’s response to the students’ memorandum.

On the zero percent fees increase, Nxesi wrote that the shortfall in university funding had been calculated at R2.3bn. To address the shortfall, the department of higher education had “already committed to contribute R1.935bn”, with universities chipping in with the remaining R394.7 million.

But students didn’t give Nxesi the chance to read out the government’s response, but booed him and demanded to be addressed by Zuma and Nzimande.

Protesters chanted “Zuma, Zuma, Zuma”.

Nzimande and President Jacob Zuma are on a state visit to Germany.

Nxesi said the department had, in 2012, commissioned a working group to determine the feasibility of free quality education. “The South African government has already committed to the progressive realisation of free higher education for the poor, up to undergraduate level,” the statement read. “The issue now is the financing model which should be properly designed.”

He said the findings of the working group were available on the higher education department’s website.

The department would also ensure that universities take into consideration the calls for an afrocentric curriculum when laying out coursework guidelines, to ensure “curriculum transformation is effected forthwith”.

“This will require a democratic process of consultation and reaching of consensus within the institutions, as the department cannot dictate the academic content of what institutions offer.”

The department had expressed support for the decision of some universities to end outsourcing. However, Nxesi’s statement reiterated that the department of higher education could not deal with “labour relations issues”.

Nxesi said the issue of police brutality had been referred to acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane. However, he said the department was unable to withdraw charges laid against scores of students, “as we did not open any charges in relation thereto”.

“We urge students to respect the law and the Constitution of the Republic when engaging with protests to avert confrontation with the security agencies and for police to exercise restraint when engaging with peaceful protesters.”

Nxesi said the government believed in the right to protest “within the prescripts of the laws of our country”, but police were expected to “always act with restraint and within the confines of the law” when dealing with protesters.

Last week the student-worker alliance gathered at Parliament for a second time to hand over a memorandum demanding free education, an Afrocentric curriculum, insourcing and the withdrawal of charges against students involved in #FeesMustFall protests at all universities.

Student-worker alliance spokesperson Masixole Mlandu said the issues students and workers faced were related.

“When a worker who is my mother or my father is exploited and cannot afford to pay the fees of the university where I study then it is clear that our concerns are the same concerns,” he said, adding the alliance would reconvene and was mobilising people from various communities to strengthen support.

Meanwhile, at Stellenbosch University, workers and students gathered at the Rooi Plein, where students stood in solidarity with outsourced workers. The workers handed university management a memorandum calling for outsourcing to be reviewed.

They also called for the direct re-employment of all workers in outsourced services, a basic minimum wage of R10 000, and job security – the protection of the workers who are there with no unilateral transfer from contract to contract.

They have also called for the disbanding of the university’s newly created task team to investigate the process of insourcing and that it be replaced with a Joint Bargaining Forum consisting of all outsourced companies, university management, organised labour and student organisers. They have requested a meeting with the university council on Wednesday to address their demands.

University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said: “Management will be able to respond only once they’ve had the opportunity to study the memorandum.”

Cosatu to protest Swartruggens tolls
IOL News 6 November 2015

Rustenburg - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in North West are due to stage a protest at the Swartruggens toll gate on Friday, provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said.

“This action is necessitated by the fact that both the provincial and the national governments had agreed to the reduction of the toll fees, and they had set a deadline of the end of October 2015, but so far nothing has happened,” he said.

“Whilst, we appreciate the action done by the department [of transport], to make sure that the discounts are extended to all local users, including the extension of the radius for the discount, the department has still not responded to four major demands we had made in the past.”

He said Cosatu demanded that the toll fee for light vehicles be reduced to R58, from R75, which he said government had agreed to but failed to implement.

The union federation also demanded that an alternative road be constructed for those who could not afford the toll gate fee.

The protest was expected to start at 2pm.

Masiphumelele man charged with murder
IOL News 6 November 2015

Cape Town - A man appeared in court on Thursday in connection with the murder of a teenager in Masiphumelele that sparked violent vigilante action and protests in the area.

Amani Pula, 14, of Ntantala Road in Masiphumelele, was murdered during the early hours of September 15.

He was found lying dead with his hands tied behind his back on a couch in his home.

Captain FC van Wyk said the accused was initially arrested and detained in the Cape Town policing precinct on September 17, on a case of possession of stolen property.

Ocean View and Cape Town detectives later managed to link the man to the alleged rape of a 24-year-old woman from Masiphumelele.

She was raped on the same morning as Amani was murdered.

Police believe they have linked the suspect to the murder of Amani via DNA.

Van Wyk said the incident had “shattered and divided” the community of Masiphumelele.

The suspect made a brief court appearance on Thursday in the Simon’s Town Magistrates Court on a charge of murder. He has been remanded in custody and his next court appearance is set for December 10.

Wynberg Cluster Commander Brigadier Aaron Mlenga applauded police officers involved in the investigation.

UCT workers march over consultation
IOL News 7 November 2015

Cape Town - Barricades went up again on UCT’s lower campus on Friday afternoon as workers marched to the Bremner Building to meet management over working conditions.

In an announcement sent to staff and students at 6.30pm yesterday university spokeswoman Gerda Kruger said the group of “mostly workers” had “disputed whether the Nehawu (National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union) joint shop stewards council has represented them adequately in the insourcing agreement”.

Nehawu is a Cosatu-affiliated trade union which represented workers in negotiations to end outsourcing.

This renewed dispute comes just 10 days after the conclusion of an agreement to end outsourcing at the university, signed on October 28, between Nehawu and UCT. The agreement concluded that UCT would directly employ previously outsourced workers providing cleaning, catering, gardening, protection and transport services. The agreement affected workers from Metro, Supercare, G4S, C3, Turfworks and Sibanye.

The Weekend Argus understands the origin of the new dispute is that some workers felt they were not properly consulted before Nehawu signed the agreement with UCT.

Kruger said UCT management was in discussions with the group “in an attempt to find a way forward”.

She confirmed that “some barricades” had been erected on lower campus.

An image shared from the official social media account of the UCT SRC showed what appeared to be a burning rubbish bin on lower campus near the Leo Marquard and Tugwell residences. The accompanying text read: “Lower campus has been barricaded.”

Another tweet from the SRC’s social media account read: “All dining halls are closed down and meal vouchers are being distributed to catering residences.” The newly-elected SRC also requested “support for the workers negotiations at Bremner”.

Kruger said interruptions to the Jammie Shuttle service were expected.The library has also been closed. Following weeks of protest under the #FeesMustFall banner, UCT was one of the first universities to agree to end outsourcing. “All outsourced workers who are in the employ of the outsourced contractors at the date of transfer… will be absorbed into the university,” read the statement signed by Nehawu joint shop stewards council chairman Mzomhle Bixa and UCT vice-chancellor Max Price on October 28.

Exams at the university, with 26 000 students, are due to start this week. Kruger said they would continue as planned. “In the event of the disruption of any examination, we will do everything reasonably possible to provide for an alternative examination within the examination period.

“UCT will pursue disciplinary action against any student or staff member who contributes to the disruption of exams. This could lead to expulsion.” UCT would “require outsourced companies to do the same with respect to those employees who disrupt exams”.

The Weekend Argus could not contact Nehawu or the new representatives chosen by the protesting workers at the time of going to print on Friday night.

Parents refuse to let kids write tests
IOL News 4 November 2015

Cape Town - Protests against the Western Cape education department’s systemic tests have been held at a number of schools in the province, with some parents refusing to allow their children to write the assessments.

The Western Cape education department has confirmed that some schools had declined to write the annual tests, which assess maths and language skills of Grade 3, 6 and 9 pupils.

Jonavon Rustin, provincial secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), said several parents had contacted their offices and expressed concerns that their children were being over-tested and that they couldn’t see the benefit of the tests.

The union has over the past year been calling for the tests to be scrapped, and said it cost millions of rands which could have been spent on other priorities.

It has also argued that pupils’ skills were already being assessed through the Annual National Assessments (ANA), written by schools across the country.

Rustin said pickets, supported by parents, had been held at several schools across the province on the scheduled test days last month and letters were handed to invigilators, who were from a service provider appointed by the department.

“We told parents why we were contesting the tests but we didn’t instruct them not to allow their children to write it.

“In the letter handed to invigilators we asked that the provider stop excessive testing of learners.

“In a number of cases the invigilators turned around, which meant the tests couldn’t be written.”

The union has also called on parents, teachers and residents to sign a petition, which has been distributed to a number of schools, which calls on the department to scrap the tests.

Rustin said this year’s opposition to the tests was a precursor to what would happen next year when the union would mobilise for the provincial systemic tests not to be written at all.

A principal from a school on the West Coast, who didn’t want to named, said some parents had informed the school that they didn’t want their children to write the test and some of these children were absent on the test day.

“The parents said their children were being over-tested.”

Last week the Cape Argus reported that a group of Grade 9 pupils, who refused to write the tests, had caused havoc at their and two other schools in Khayelitsha.

The pupils from Iqhayiya High School had refused to write the tests and, according to the education department, made their way to Bulumko High School where they tried to force pupils not to write the tests.

They then moved to Masiyile High School where pupils helped police to chase them away.

A pupils at Bulumko was stabbed in the arm during the chaos.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the “overwhelming majority” of the province’s 1 500 schools had written the tests.

“I am concerned at any parent who encourages or allows their child not to write.

“A system cannot improve if we do not measure it regularly, so we can see where we need to improve.

“These tests are used by our schools to develop their improvement plans for the following year.

“These same parents will complain about the quality of the education system, yet when we try to improve it they stop participation,” she said.

“There are two fallacious arguments that have been disseminated – that the teachers are stressed because of these tests, and that the children are tested too much.

“The systemics are done once a year, and the value that we derive from them is well worth it.

“Second, teachers do not have to teach specifically for the systemic tests.”

She said the tests “measure the levels that the learners are currently at and pupils didn’t have to study anything specific”.

“Teachers also didn’t have to mark the tests, as the tests are externally administered. We are very pleased to have received the co-operation of the vast majority of schools.”

The Western Cape education department was asked to provide details on the number of pupils who didn’t write the tests but declined to provide this information.

The ANA have been scheduled to be written in December, but teacher unions have indicated that they will boycott the tests.

It was initially scheduled to be written in September but the department later changed this date to December.

Pupils recently took part in a walk against bullying.
Bedfordview & Edenvale News 30 October 2015

Land invaders torched a shop after looting it
Witbank News 6 November 2015

After a running battle with police and Law enforcements units from the municipality, land invaders allegedly burned down a shop after looting all that was inside.

After a running battle with police and Law enforcements units from the municipality, land invaders allegedly burned down a shop after looting all that was inside.

A shop in Vosman was looted and burned by the land invaders. It is not known why they targeted the shop.

Shop owner Mr Abdinur Ismail Mohammed claimed that a group of people after being chased by the police came to the direction of his shop in Vosman just a few meters from KG Mall. Earlier on the people had invaded the area near Costas and towards the direction of Clewer.

Since Sunday, October 25 the people who invaded the area had battled with the police and they insisted that they want to build their shacks in that area. They have been told that the area belongs to mine.

Shop owner Mr Abdinur Ismail Mohammed claimed that a group of people after being chased by the police came to the direction of his shop in Vosman just a few meters from KG Mall.

Mr Mohammed stated that the groups came to his shop on Wednesday October 28 at about 20:00 and they allegedly took everything that was in the shop and after that they burned the shop.

“I do not know why my shop was targeted but they looted it and afterwards they decided to burn it. I have lost everything that was inside, I have R200 000 worth of goods in the shop including six fridges. How can people do such a bad thing to another fellow human being,” asked Mr Mohammed.

Goods worth more than R200 000 was looted and burned in this shop in Vosman

Mr Mohammed suspects that a petrol bomb was used to burn his shop. No one has been arrested and police are investigating a case of robbery and arson.

We’re tired of crime - Westlake protesters
IOL News 6 November 2015

Cape Town - Claims of police inefficiency in Westlake drove hundreds of residents from the area to march to the Kirstenhof police station to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

On Thursday, residents marched from False Bay College to the police station where they broke out in song in front of the building.

Vusumzi Nelani, a resident, said: “The protest is about crime in the area, we are tired of it. Even the police, when we report crimes, never take us seriously.

“We even show police places that sell drugs, and houses where these criminals stay, but they never do anything.

“You just see police vehicles parked in front of these houses for hours,” he said.

Another resident, Walter Chanoko, said: “We are sick and tired of criminal activities in our community.

“We are trying to work hand in hand with the police, but even when they arrest the criminals, the following day they are back wandering the streets.

“A Malawian was killed last month and no one has been arrested. The killers are among us.If we don’t see any change in this situation we’ll have to find a way to change it.”

The memorandum read: “We have had enough of crime in our community and the police are turning a blind eye.

“We want all to know that we will do everything in our strength to stop crime in our community with the assistance of a co-operative police.”

Police spokeman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that Kirstenhof police had opened a case of public violence.

He said the memorandum had been received by officers at the station.

“The memorandum was forwarded to the Provincial and Cluster Office to deal with,” Van Wyk said.

Pupils in Ganyesa return to classes
IOL News 3 November 2015

Rustenburg - Pupils from 17 schools in villages near Ganyesa have returned to classes after learning and teaching were brought to a standstill by community protests, the North West provincial department of education said on Tuesday.

Department spokesman Elias Malindi said after engaging with the local communities, it was decided that classes would resume on Monday.

Schooling in the area was interrupted following service delivery protests on October 24.

Malindi said grade 12 learners were moved to “safe camps” where their examinations started off successfully.

Later, about 115 matrics from the area were accommodated at Kgononyane Secondary School in Southey village following the protests which threatened to interrupt the final examinations.

They were part of the 213 Grade 12 pupils who were originally accommodated at the camps.

Forty-three pupils of the Bogosing Secondary School in Maphoitsile were accommodated at PH Moeketsi Secondary School in Taung after community members threatened to disrupt their examinations.

Another 55 pupils from Kopela near Delarayville were taken to Vryburg after schools were burnt down during protests on September 30.

North West Education MEC Wendy Matsemela said she was happy that pupils from Ganyesa have returned to school.

“We are excited that learners have returned to school and as a department we are ready to roll out our recovery plans for learners to recover from lost time,” said.

“It is always a pity that whenever there are protests in communities learners become victims. We are pleading with our communities that when there are protests learners be protected.”

Still no peace in Grahamstown’s Joza
IOL News 4 November 2015

Shops remain closed in Grahamstown townships following xenophobic attacks and looting. A meeting on Sunday night in the predominantly black township of Joza, on the outskirts of Grahamstown, failed to reach consensus that would have seen the victims of violence return. Photo: Michael Pinyana
Cape Town - A week of meetings, and calls on the Joza community to co-exist peacefully with foreign nationals have not yielded much, while the rest of Grahamstown has welcomed back the men and their families who were violently chased out of the town.

A meeting on Sunday night in the predominantly black township of Joza, on the outskirts of Grahamstown, failed to reach consensus that would have seen the victims of xenophobia, the mostly Pakistani men, return.

Grahamstown police spokesperson Marli Govender said despite threats, some shopkeepers had returned to Joza, even though their presence there was not welcomed by everyone.

“Many people want them back, but there are others who won’t let them return to the area,” said Govender.

Despite the police’s claim that no foreigner had been arrested on suspicion of being a “serial killer”, some in the community continued to insist that Pakistani shopkeepers were responsible for the four dead bodies which had been found in the township, one of them mutilated while another was in an advanced stage of decomposition.

Govender said most of the foreign nationals would remain in a safe house outside Grahamstown until it was safe for them to return.

Makana municipality spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo said returning the foreign-born shopkeepers to Joza, where up to 50 percent of people were unemployed, was going to be a long process.

“Its not all in the community who are supportive (of their return). We have to work on them before the foreign nationals can come back to Joza,” said Ramokolo.

Jamila Raaes, married to a Pakistani businessman with shops in the Grahamstown central business district, said she had opened two of her businesses.

“But the shops in the township are still closed. Because they were vandalised, they won’t be able to operate soon,” said Raaes.

She said there was very little tension in the town’s central business district.

”One of those shops is my mother’s house. The roof was removed, along with the doors and windows,” said Raaes.
Cape Times

KZN drought sparks violence
IOL News 5 November 2015

Durban - Desperation for water has turned violent in Jozini. Community members rampaged, barricading roads with burning tyres and boulders and stoning motorists on Wednesday morning.

Ward 7 and Ward 2 residents have closed the main access roads connecting Jozini to the N2, demanding water.

At the heart of the protest are allegations that the Umkhanyakude District Municipality has failed to provide drinking water, delivered by water tankers, for more than two months.

Some community members had to travel 8km to draw water in the centre of Jozini.

The protest, which started in Ward 7 on Friday last week and spread to Ward 2 on Wednesday, prevented children going to school, and those working outside the town were unable to get to work. Roads to hospitals were blocked and ambulances were unable to ferry ill patients.

By Wednesday afternoon the protests had quietened down after three tankers had delivered water to Ward 7, and the tarred road was reopened. But the gravel road in Ward 2 remained closed.

Umkhanyakude district mayor Jeffrey Vilane said the district needed more water tankers.

The protest came as the province buckled under the strain of drought that had led to low dam levels, water restrictions and the destruction of rural livestock.

Umkhanyakude is one of the worst-affected areas.

Geh Phungula, a resident in the area, said: “It’s bad. The people blocked both roads in and out of the town and are demanding water to be delivered. Water tankers have not delivered for the past two months.

“The community is now forced to walk seven to eight kilometres to collect water in the taps in the town. People who have cars drive there. I am not sure what the other people did.”

Another resident, Jabu Nxumalo, said protesters prevented people from going to work.

Police said the protesters had dispersed and there were no reports of damage.

Taxi blockade in Cape Town CBD
IOL News 5 November 2015

Cape Town - Stun grenades were fired at a group of about 50 frustrated taxi drivers who closed off roads in Cape Town’s CBD on Thursday morning.

The taxi drivers said five of their taxis had been impounded by traffic cops between 5am and 9am for allegedly operating on a proposed MyCiTi Sea Point bus route.

Jonathan Swartz, spokesman for the group of taxi drivers who are part of the Western Cape Taxi Association, said the city was in breach of an agreement that they had made last year.

He said: “We have a letter here where the city states that we could operate on these roads until the issue is amicably resolved.”

Swartz said that taxi drivers were excluded in the MyCiTi roll out and that the city was taking food away from their tables.

“Most of us here are bread winners; the taxi business is all that we know.”

As the taxi drivers blocked Strand Street with their minibuses; they were cheered on by commuters who refused to use the MyCiTi bus service.

Just before noon police arrived, and gave the group of taxi drivers a deadline to disperse by 12.20pm.

Police used stun grenades to disperse the protesting drivers, and made a number of arrests.

It is uncertain exactly how many protesters have been arrested.

D6 claimants demand end to development
IOL News 5 November 2015

Cape Town - Seventy-four-year-old Amien Jannicke was one of the more than 200 District Six land claimants who marched to the offices of mayor Patricia de Lille on Wednesday, demanding an end to development in the place they once called home.

The group, which comprised old and young people, sang while marching as they prepared to hand over a memorandum of grievances to De Lille.

Jannicke, who now lives in Mitchells Plain, said the treatment he received when he and his family were removed in 1980 was brutal.

“We were evicted like animals and as a result I have become poorer since leaving District Six. I had to worry about travelling expenses for the whole of my family which was not the case before.

“I had to buy new furniture because the ones I owned wouldn’t fit in the new house.”

”My mother became paralysed when she heard we were being moved, and she didn’t want to be moved. She died in District Six.”

“Today’s government is treating us the same way the apartheid government treated us.

“They are not coming to the party to help solve this situation we see ourselves in now.

“They are selling our land and if nothing happens we’ll build shacks on the land.”

Demands listed on the memorandum included

the verification and validation of past and present claimants; retrieving lost land in District Six; suitable alternate land and “saving” the Good Hope Centre.

Another former District Six resident, Cyril Wagner, 92, said, he was moved to Steenberg.

“It felt very bad when we were moved, because all religions lived together in one place and everything was cheap because we didn’t have to pay for transport, and life changed tremendously for us. I want my wife and I to go back to where we were born.”

The city council’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, who received the memorandum on behalf of the mayor, acknowledge they would respond to it.

”We’ve engaged with the people before and they are knocking on the wrong door.

“We have released all the land in District Six to the national government.

“The mayor has established a committee to fast-track the process.”

“We won’t let narrow-minded people drive their political agendas leading up to the elections.”

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “Substantial progress has been delayed due to the impact of various special interest groupings, including that of the District Six Working Committee which has been a partner in public engagement.

“It is now time to stop driving narrow agendas and do what is right for the broader community.”

”The city council, provincial government, and the department of Rural Development and Land (Reform) have stood together in our joint determination to see the development of District Six proceed as soon as possible.”

Department of Rural Development and Land Reform spokesman Vuyani Nkasayi said: “We’ll only comment once we’ve seen the contents of the memorandum. It was handed over to the city council not to us.

“We can’t comment at the moment.”

Video: District 6 land claimants march
IOL News 4 November 2015

District Six land claimants are demanding the City speed up the land restoration process, 50 years after being forcibly removed.

Protest threats: matrics in safe camps
IOL News 30 October 2015

Rustenburg - More than 200 matric pupils are writing final exams at safe camps in the North West following threats of a school shutdown due to service delivery protests, the provincial education department said on Friday.

Department spokesman Elias Malindi said 115 pupils were accommodated at Kgononyane Secondary School in Southey village near Ganyesa. The pupils were from 17 schools in the neighbouring villages that had threatened to shut down schools in protest at a lack of service delivery.

The pupils arrived at the school on October 24, accompanied by the school governing bodies (SGB), who ensured that learners were safely housed with 24 hour security.

Education MEC Wendy Matsemela visited the school on Thursday to monitor examination at various centres. Matsemela was happy with the conditions of the learners at the school and also commended the SGBs for their proactive role in giving learners a chance to write their National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

“It is important for the department to provide a conducive space for these learners because if these learners were not given an opportunity to write, they would be frustrated and discouraged,” she said.

Forty three pupils at Bogosing Secondary School in Maphoitsile were accommodated at PH Moeketsi Secondary School in Taung, after threats by community members to disrupt schooling and examinations due to service delivery demands, when the matric exams started on Monday.

Another 55 pupils from Kopela near Delarayville were taken to Vryburg after schools were burnt down during a service delivery protest on September 30. A total of 33,844 learners from 383 schools across the North West province are writing matric examinations.

Bail for vigilante murder suspect
IOL News 3 November 2015

Cape Town - It was a victorious day for residents of Masiphumelele who witnessed their leader Lubabalo Vellem – accused of murder relating to a mob justice killing in the area – leave the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on R5 000 bail on Monday.

Vellem – who also faces charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property – was released after spending 10 days in the Mitchells Plain police station’s holding cells.

It is alleged that Vellem, 35, instigated the mob justice incidents in Masiphumelele after the murder of 14-year-old Amani Pula in the area two months ago.

After Amani’s murder, a group of residents went on the rampage in the area, allegedly killing a man and then stoning the police.

Residents said they were protesting against the lack of police presence in the area. One said that the killing had sent a warning to other criminals.

Residents had decided to take the law into their hands and rid the area of drug dealers and other crime. And on October 22, Vellem was arrested for allegedly assaulting a well-known drug dealer called “Japhta”.

On Monday, thousands of Masiphumelele residents marched from the informal settlement near Fish Hoek to join others who were demonstrating outside the court building calling for his release.

As Vellem was released on Monday, residents cheered, comparing his release to that of Nelson Mandela’s in 1990.

They rattled empty cooldrink bottles, waving them in the faces of the police who stood nearby.

Vellem thanked the crowd for their support and encouragement. He said in a struggle there had to be casualties in order for

things to work out for those involved.

Another community leader, Tshepo Moletsane, said Vellem had fought against the struggle of drug abuse in the area and regarded him as a strong person who “recognised the drug problem and dealt with it”.

“We are still going to fight against drugs and will respect his bail conditions. He remains innocent until proven guilty,” Moletsane said.

Earlier, magistrate Crystal McKenna released Vellem on strict bail conditions, which included that he be removed from the community and that he move to the home of his sister, Nomathemba Vellem, in Khayelitsha.

He was told to report to the Lingelethu police station three times a week.

McKenna said: “The accused has great support from the area where he lives. Most people in the community want him released which is why there is a demonstration outside court.”

The State initially opposed his release, saying that he did not have a fixed address and that his sister did not want him at her home.

That statement was corrected when the investigating officer went to her house to verify and confirm the address.

Prosecutor Gift Hina argued that Vellem should remain behind bars. “The four cases are interlinked which means the accused took the law into his own hands.

“He is a problem in the community who is facing a murder charge and has disturbed the public by burning a police van in front of police; that shows he has no respect for the law.”

Hina said there was no doubt that the State had a strong case.

He added that the police were still searching for nine other suspects in connection with the case.

Defence attorney Lennox Ntsimango said Vellem had no pending cases, warrants of arrest or previous convictions.

He said: “The court shouldn’t punish the accused by denying him bail.

“If the community was saying no bail; it could have been a different thing, but residents want the accused released.”

Vellem is due to appear in court again on January 14.

Zuma is a father, don’t attack our father’
IOL News 30 October 2015

ANC Women's League chairperson Bathabile Dlamini. Photo: @ANCWomensLeague
Johannesburg - ANC Women's League chairperson, Bathabile Dlamini has urged South Africans to exercise freedom of speech with responsibility.

Speaking to journalists at the ANC women's march to defend President Jacob Zuma, Dlamini said some people were abusing their freedom of expression to attack ANC leaders.

She vowed that the ANCWL would not sit and watch while the ANC was being unjustifiably attacked, and that they would defend the organisation.

“In other countries people respect their leadership, but in South Africa people are very active in badmouthing President Zuma. We are marching today to say we are not afraid of people who attack the president, and that we will defend him,” she said.

She said the women were marching to defend the revolution, democracy and the leadership of the ANC.

Help for matrics uprooted by unrest
IOL News 30 October 2015

Cape Town - Locals have opened their hearts to the plight of Masiphumelele matric candidates after unrest in the area forced the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to move them to an undisclosed location.

Earlier this week the Cape Argus reported that 206 pupils from Masiphumelele High School had been bused to a temporary location last weekend to ensure their safety and that they could write their final exams.

The department has since moved them to another location.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the department was grateful for the generous contributions of food and other items from members of the public, NGOs and companies.

“This has been a co-ordinated effort between the facility where the children were being accommodated, education officials and a local NGO. The items received included vegetables, cereal, loaves of bread, cartons of milk, tins of coffee, jams, peanut butter as well as toiletries, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary towels and other items. Members of the public are still pledging their help.”

She said the pupils would remain at the new location until the matric exams have been completed or until calm has been restored within the Masiphumelele community.

Chaperones have been arranged for the pupils and Shelver said study spaces had been made available to them.

Unrest in Masiphumelele has been in the news for several weeks.

On September 22 the Cape Argus reported that there had been a spate of vigilante attacks in the area.

On September 28 Community Safety MEC Dan Plato conducted a safety oversight visit to the area.

A day after, the Cape Argus reported that residents had blocked off Kommetjie Road during a protest against the arrest of seven men for allegedly beating and shooting one man to death and then beating and burning another, leaving him seriously injured.

Members of the public and organisations can drop off their donations at the WCED circuit satellite office situated at the Fish Hoek School Clinic on 5th Avenue in Fish Hoek. The matric exams are scheduled to conclude on November 27.

Masiphumelele marchers sow fear
IOL News 31 October 2015

Cape Town - Angry Masiphumelele residents caused chaos in Simon’s Town and Glencairn on Friday when they marched through the suburbs, with police firing a smoke grenade at one point which caused the protesters to flee into an upmarket area.

Late last night, at the time of publication, a large police contingent was monitoring the informal settlement

in case of flare-ups of more violence and will continue doing so today.

Some residents are angry one of their leaders Lubabalo Vellem, 35, was arrested last Thursday and held in custody.

Vellem applied for bail in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday, but the matter was postponed to Monday.

A group of residents, infuriated that Vellem was not freed, marched from the court building where they had protested for his release and made their way back to Masiphumelele on foot.

And that was when the chaos broke out.

After Friday’s postponement Vellem turned to the public gallery in court and urged residents there not to protest.

Other community leaders also urged the hundreds of residents gathered outside the court to remain calm.

But a small group then broke away.

Police struggled to control the group of about 100 people and officers ran to shops in Main Road, Simon’s Town, warning them the protesters were coming.

“Close up, right now,” they shouted.

Shoppers then ran outside and to their cars, while workers peeked nervously from inside locked stores.

At the turn-off to Glencairn, police fired a smoke grenade at protesters who blocked the road. They then ran between the home and to a shopping complex.

“What’s happening? Help,” one of the shoppers screamed.

Vellem faces charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and inciting public violence.

He intends pleading not guilty to all the charges.

During Friday’s court proceedings it emerged eight people had been murdered in Masiphumelele since the middle of September, and that Vellem was believed to be the ring leader behind mob killings and violent protests in the area.

Some of the violent acts he is alleged to have been involved in were detailed, including how police managed to save a man who was being necklaced.

A picture also emerged of fighting among residents in the form of retaliatory mob attacks.

Testifying in his own defence, Vellem said that before his arrest he had been staying at a home along the main road in Masiphumelele for a week.

This was because his home had burnt down.

He said he was not sure what had caused the fire. But State prosecutor Gift Hina said residents wanted to kill Vellem, and had set his home alight.

“The State is going to lead evidence that actually the community doesn’t want you there,” he said.

This upset residents in the public gallery, who shouted their support for Vellem.

Vellem insisted he was not a community leader but rather the head of a smaller group of residents, the Masiphumelele Backyarders and Informal Settlement Forum.

But the investigating officer in the case, Siyasanga Maputuka, testified that Vellem was an influential community leader.

He testified that the situation was so volatile in Masiphumelele a resident threatened him, saying if he entered the informal settlement he would be killed.

Maputuka said the crimes Vellem was accused of started hours after 14-year-old Amani Pula was murdered and apparently raped in his home in Masiphumelele.

At 1.10am on September 15, he said, Vellem, with a group of residents, went to the home of a resident, Mkululi.

“(Vellem) took Mkululi out the house to the community. He sprayed his pepper spray in the house and closed the gate.”

The resident was then assaulted so severely that he died at the scene.

In another incident on September 15, Maputuka said a group of residents tried to find Amani’s rapist and targeted a man. “They killed the guy and he was innocent. They used stones and hanged him.”

On September 20, Vellem allegedly led a group to a resident named Lucky, who they believed was selling drugs.

“They took him and hit him against the shack. (Vellem) had an iron rod. The one was carrying an axe, another a stick,” Maputuka testified.

Lucky was beaten and forced to say who he was selling drugs for.

Police saved Lucky after residents tried to necklace him.

The man he allegedly sold drugs for was killed.

Maputuka testified that he feared that releasing Vellem on bail would disrupt the Masiphumelele community.

Land invasion near Vosman
Witbank News 29 October 2015

A group of people invaded a land near Vosman and the land on the road towards Clewer.
Hundred of people invaded the land making some markings on the empty land. According to sources the invasion started on Sunday October 25 in the morning as people were seen using poles, tapes and other materials to mark ‘their stands’. It is believed that the police and the law enforments from the city council told the people not to continue with their markings but apparently they were ignored. Even the Red Ants were involved trying to bring some sense to the people.

A lady who said she was from Vosman was found digging and indicated that they were desperate for ground to build their homes.

She said: “They told us that the lands belong to Top Surface or a mining company but we are going to build our shacks no matter what. People in other areas like in Marikane they force their way onto that land, what can prevent us from doing that. All we want is to be left in peace to continue with our markings.”

Police vans and Law enforcements cars were at the scene monitoring the situation on Monday morning and a group of people continued with the land invasion. Soon as the information about free stands spread like wildfire people were seen heading to the area.

The people said they were tied of staying in their crowded homes. The land invaders parked their cars near the road; some of the cars parked were the latest models indicating that the owners were well off.

Acting municipal manager Mr Theo van Vuuren in his Face book page said on Sunday morning a large group of people across the N4 from Vosman has started to occupy lands at the corner of Costas, at the turn off to Clewer. He said as the municipality they tried talking to the land invaders but attempts to talk to them failed. They were informed that their action was illegal and that it can not be tolerated. The land belongs to a mining group.

“We understand that this action is being incited by some individuals. The issue of land development to accommodate the many thousands of families residing in informal settlement areas as well as in back rooms are indeed a serious one. The municipality together with the Department of Human Settlements both at a provincial and national level are working tirelessly in finding permanent solutions. To this end a strategy to address informal areas has been adopted by council during its meeting of September and the development of more than 10 000 new serviced stands at Klarinet and Siyaqoba are making good progress. Significant upgrades in bulk infrastructure are also in process.”

Mr van Vuuren added to say that:

“Land invasion especially when instigated with political or financial interest by a few, abuses the need of people for land and defies the legal processes aimed at addressing the issue. It can and will not be tolerated. Our city already have 69 informal settlements which as it’s not planned nor link to services provide an unhealthy and unsustainable situation and drains resources of authorities. The municipality will together with the private land owners proceed with legal actions and counter invasion measures.”

Vosman police communication officer Captain Klaas Maloka said they were aware of the land invasion by about 500 community members who wanted to occupy the land illegally next to N4 Highway. He said: “The area belong to Anglo mine. Law enforcement and police are monitoring the area. There were attempts to build but the people were stopped as it was illegally to do so.”

Support for Ses’khona fizzles out
IOL News 29 October 2015

Cape Town - Support for Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement appeared to have fizzled out as less than a hundred people gathered for the movement’s service delivery march to the provincial legislature on Wednesday.

Members of the movement usually attended marches in their numbers, but on Wednesday, only a few showed up to support their leader Andile Lili.

Lili quashed rumours that there was division in the movement, saying “the rumours are a lie”.

“We are under house arrest; we only get two hours free time as part of the conditions, Loyiso Nkohla’s time is 9am until 11am; mine is from 10am until noon.”

He said Nkohla could not attend the march based on those reasons.

Lili attributed the poor attendance to lack of mobilising.

He said normally leaders visited each community, but this time it was done using social media.

Addressing the crowd, Lili said the march was a reminder to Premier Helen Zille that the organisation was still in existence and that their cries had not been responded to.

“We came here with a number of memorandums and all those memorandums have not been attended to.

“We are here to demonstrate our dissatisfaction and to remind Madam Zille that Ses’khona is still alive, Ses’khona is still kicking, Ses’khona is still a voice for the poor. It is not dead.”

The organisation demanded subsidised houses, electricity in informal settlements and “proper” service delivery.

Also on the list of demands was the eviction of Delft residents from houses they had been occupying for over 20 years.

“The government is giving title deeds to people who then sell the houses, what about those who are being evicted after occupying the houses for the past 20 years,” Lili said.

The memorandum was signed and received by provincial human settlements head of department Thando Mguli, who has seven working days to respond.

Khayelitsha resident Luzuko Xuma agreed that they would protest en masse: “We are tired of this waiting.”

Lili said the next Ses’khona march would be at the end of next month.

Stop-and-go employees protest on R39 road
Standerton Advertiser 26 October 2015

Altogether 49 locals are currently employed at the stop-and-go and 20 of them are expected to stop working.

Stop-and-go employees refuse to stop working, after they received a notice from Dreykon Klus Civil .

Stop-and-go employees refuse to stop working, after they received a notice from Dreykon Klus Civil . Stop-and-go workers, employed by a local sub-contractor Moloi Trading, embarked on a strike this morning.

According to them, Dreykon Klus Civils, that is currently upgrading the R39 Road between Standerton and Ermelo, has given notice that 29 employees will no longer continue working in November.

Altogether 49 locals are currently employed at the stop-and-go and 20 of them are expected to stop working.

According to Moloi Trading, they do not have a contract with Dreykon Klus Civil, stating when their employees will stop working on the project.

They said they only reached a verbal agreement and they are now going back on their word.

School stops dad from protesting against bullying
News 24 29 October 2015

Pretoria - A school has obtained an urgent interdict against a father who staged a protest with a huge banner and fliers outside the school because he believed they had done nothing about his daughter being bullied.

The father was forbidden by the High Court in Pretoria to enter the school without prior arrangement.

He may also not state by means of a banner, placard, pamphlet, social or news media that the principal of his daughter's school was doing nothing to stop bullying and should be fired.

Further, he may not send any person to the school premises to act as a bodyguard for his daughter.

In terms of an agreement reached between the father and the school, the court order will remain in place pending the finalisation next month of a formal investigation by the school into allegations of unfair treatment and bullying involving his daughter.

Angry residents stop noisy trucks
IOL News 26 October 2015

Chatsworth residents who brought a trucking company operation to a halt over noise levels has won the first round after the company agreed to stop working through the night.

Residents of the Moorcross Community Alliance gathered at 3am on Sunday outside Granada Street Freight and blocked the entrance with their private vehicles. After three years of battles between the residents and the eThekwini Municipality over the trucking company’s operating hours proved fruitless, the residents decided enough was enough.

Alliance spokesman, Elvis Govender, said their complaints had fallen on deaf ears, prompting them to make a stand. The residents say the 24-hour operation disturbs their sleep. During a previous meeting with residents, the trucking company owner said he could only stop the business between midnight and 4am, but residents refused, saying they needed eight hours of sleep.

Yesterday, after an intense morning, a senior metro policeman, Samuel Singh, and Dhiren Krishna, the owner of the trucking company, met the community. Krishna agreed that the trucks would stop working at 8pm until Wednesday after which, Govender said, there would be a joint meeting with relevant role-players to find a long-term solution.

In a list of complaints sent to the metro police, residents said:

- A container stacker made a loud bang when removing containers or offloading containers from trucks.

-Trucks revved excessively when they entered and left the premises.

- Hooting by truck drivers was excessive.

- The trucks’ braking was excessive.

- A diesel fuel tank on the premises had no consent.

- Trucks must work between 7am and 7pm.


“These trucks are carrying close to 40 tons on residential roads. The owner is arrogant. Enough is enough. He defies many by-laws and operates with impunity. We must find common ground. We are not saying he must not operate, but he cannot operate above the law,” Govender said.

Krishna did not want to comment. The company had moved to the site in 2012. There were about 20 trucks and trailers on the premises.

The residents did give way to vehicles from the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa which shares the same driveway along the Moorton Railway station. They gathered under a tree and sat on chairs overlooking the truck depot.

In e-mail correspondence with Govender, ward councillor Jayraj Singh said that, according to town planning, Moorcross Drive was a Class 4 Road designed to accommodate heavy and articulated vehicles. Singh said the Fire Department had fined the company R2500 for dispensing fuel.

“An environmental health practitioner (EHP) stated that a notice was served on the operator until Friday.

“Thereafter the EHP will prosecute in terms of by-laws at their disposal. Metro Fire said it will issue a fine for every contravention that occurred but cannot stand at the site waiting for a contravention. Regular inspections will be carried out,” Singh said.

Govender’s request for mass restriction and truck prohibition signs on the roadside was declined by the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA).

In an e-mail to Govender, the ETA, stated that applying mass restriction would not alleviate the situation.

Even if they did put up a timed mass restriction, apart from not dealing with the problem, to detain the trucks at the prohibited time, metro police would have to be sitting there the whole night.

The ETA stated that in many cases they put up mass restrictions, only to find that the signs disappear after a short while.

EFF warns Bapo over discrimination
IOL News 23 October 2015

The Bapo Ba Mogale Traditional Council in Bapong, near Marikana in North West, must treat all villagers equally or face the wrath of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the party said on Friday.

“The traditional council of Bapo must stop discriminating (against) people. We are told to be employed at Lonmin you need a letter from the council and the council refuse to give such letters to non-Setswana speaking people,” said Thulani Makhanye, the chairperson of the EFF in the Bojanala Region.

He was speaking to party supporters during a protest march at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana.

“The council must stop this discrimination or we will challenge them. I am not scared of them,” said Makhanye.

“We are all South Africans. They must not see us [as] Motswana, Sotho or Xhosa. We are all equal and need to be respected.”

He called on party members not pay for jobs at Lonmin.

“There is a man who is collecting R500 from you promising you jobs. You must not give out money. Lonmin must employ you.”

About 500 EFF members braved the scorching heat to participate in the march.

They demanded that Lonmin must employ them irrespective of whether they were Setswana-speaking or not. The mine was given 14 days to respond to their demands.

Lonmin representative Victor Tseka and head of public affairs Happy Nkhoma received the memorandum on behalf of the mine.

EFF members dispersed peacefully after handing over the memorandum.
African News Agency

Xenophobia ‘misplaced' amid municipal rot
IOL News 30 October 2015

Cape Town - What started off as a protest by taxi drivers over the town’s potholed roads soon evolved into xenophobic violence as Grahamstown’s poor targeted foreigners for a series of “unexplained” deaths.

Four bodies in total were found recently in advanced stages of decomposition. Locals pointed fingers at foreigners and shops were looted.

At a meeting in the Joza township on Wednesday night, many residents still blamed foreigners for the deaths, despite pleas that all the deaths could be plausibly explained.

Seated in the shade of an acacia tree, driver Lonwabo Nxedi says he has yet to be convinced that foreigners, mostly shopkeepers from Pakistan, were not behind the deaths and mutilated corpses.

“The Xhosa people who were caught by the community for the killings said they were sent by foreigners to harvest body parts,” said Nxedi.

But police spokesperson Marli Govender said no one had been arrested and despite claims, the three recent bodies had not been mutilated.

Last week, the town’s taxi drivers, including Nxedi, took to the local municipality’s offices and barricaded the street to prevent councillors and mayor Nomhle Nogaga from moving their vehicles.

Their complaint: service delivery in the municipality remained non-existent despite promises from local ANC leaders that the situation would soon be remedied.

With a population of almost 90 000 residents, the Makana municipality is owed over R240 million in rates and taxes.

And a forensic audit report, which had long been kept under wraps by the municipality and only recently released, showed the extent of mismanagement in the municipality.

The Kabuso audit report pointed the finger at numerous Makana officials, including former mayor Zamuxolo Peter.

One of the issues highlighted was the municipality’s payment of R108 374 for the legal costs of former municipal manager Pravine Naidoo, even though this had not been authorised by the council.

There were also gross irregularities in the municipality’s recruitment processes.

For instance, it hired Emmanuel Madlavu, Peter’s former landlord, as director of infrastructure even though he had been flagged for being a convicted criminal.

The DA’s caucus leader in the Makana municipality, Les Reynolds, said problems had been festering for years, with no political will to fix them.

“The bottom line is the municipality is bankrupt. Over the years the credit controls have been poor,” said Reynolds.

The municipality’s tax base was too small to support the continued expansion of Grahamstown. He said the continued construction of RDP homes was placing a burden on its constrained finances.

“They don’t even have money for diesel for the municipal vehicles. Along with this, the municipality owes Eskom millions,” said Reynolds.

Last year staff and students at Rhodes University marched on the Makana municipality’s office, demanding that something be done about the poor provision of water services after those living in Grahamstown’s high-lying areas went 19 days without water.

ANC sub-regional chairperson Mabhuti Matyumza said the party acknowledged the findings of the Kabuso report and was working on fixing the Makana municipality.

He said Grahamstown had over the years attracted an influx of residents who could not find employment in either East London or Port Elizabeth.

“This is a city shouldered with all the problems of the Eastern Cape,” said Matyumza.

The removal of Peter was evidence that the ANC was serious about tackling the rot.

But while politicians were removed from their posts, the ANC leader

would not say whether the municipality would force Naidoo to repay money allegedly paid to him fraudulently.

Polokwane municipal offices bombed
IOL News 28 October 2015

Polokwane - Offices belonging to the Polokwane municipality were petrol bombed on Wednesday morning after the council disconnected electricity to residents who had been defaulting on their payments.

The municipality executive mayor Councillor Thembi Nkadimeng said the incident happened after residents revolted against the local housing rental body.

Furniture and computers were incinerated at the wooden office at the Ga-Rena rental village.

The village is on R35 million worth land featuring 501 residential units designed for low-income earners who don't qualify for a bond or RDP housing.

Nkadimeng said they were not deterred by the arson attacks, and said her municipality would continue to disconnect the water and electricity of defaulting residents.

“We are not doing this out of air, and we had requests and demands that we made. There is no way where people will say we want a free house which is not meant to be a free house, we want free electricity, we want free water, when you owe the house allocated to you,” she said.

Nkadimeng said if the municipality accepted the occupants' demands not to pay for electricity and water, it would not make sense to continue collecting revenue from other residents.

“It's not right.”

She said the proposal by occupants to buy the units from government had collapsed due to lack of funds.

“There was a proposal to buy, but those are government houses and are meant for interim measures as you measure yourself, that is why the bracket says nobody (who earns above) R3 500 should occupy [the houses],” she said.

Currently residents are paying R800 per month to the Polokwane Housing Association. The municipality expressed its concern that some beneficiaries had turned the units into business properties.

“They are not paying that R800, instead they are collecting R3 000, and I must just smile because they are going to burn the office. I think we,” said Nkadimeng.

Limpopo police spokesman Mohlaka Mashiane said they were investigating a case of arson and malicious damage to property. “What happened is there was squabbles between Polokwane municipality officials and some residents, as the fight continued the office was set ablaze,” said Mashiane.

Forensic experts were at the scene on Wednesday afternoon, combing through the debris to ascertain the cause of the fire. The cost of the damage has not yet been confirmed and no arrests have been made.

Masiphumelele in chaos again
IOL News 27 October 2015

Cape Town - Masiphumelele erupted in protest again on Monday night as residents pushed a container on to Kommetjie Road and then set it alight while police in riot gear faced off against a crowd of hundreds of angry people.

A tense calm hung over the area this morning and Kommetjie Road was reopened for traffic. Tyres were still burning inside Masiphumelele itself.

The unrest mounted on Monday after a local community leader appeared in court to face charges including murder as a result of previous alleged vigilante action.

Some residents expressed their opposition to the case against Lubabalo Wellem, 35, while others were worried that the unrest was preventing them from going to work, conducting business or sending their children to school this morning .

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith described the situation as volatile.

“All role players (are) still in the area,” he said. “Businesses in Fish Eagle Park are currently closed due to protesters threatening to target that area.”

The police confirmed the uneasy calm. “The situation this morning in Masiphumelele can be described as quiet following a riotous situation on Monday night when police were needed to take action against a group of protesters,” said liaison officer Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.

“Damage was caused to the road surface which led to a road closure this morning. The Police members will remain on alert in the area to monitor the situation.”

A resident who wanted to be known as Khethiwe said: “I didn’t go to work today because the place I work at, which is very close to the community, has been closed down. And that means no work (and) no pay for us.”

She said: “It’s not only affecting us but our children can’t go to school and they have exams, it’s really getting out of hand now.”

Another resident, Msora, said the community wanted to get rid of drugs in the area. “(The drugs) result in crime. Crime is quite high here and we are tired. Police aren’t doing their job, which is why we are doing it for them. We even report every incident but nothing gets done.

“We won’t stop until we see that everything is normal.”

Business owner Trevor Bowker said the violence was affecting business.

“I’ve lost two days of production. And it’s affecting my staff as well because they can’t come to work. They get threatened.”

Much of the discontent in the township near Kommetjie has been ascribed to the arrest of a community leader on charges including murder as a result of alleged vigilante actions.

The tension mounted on Monday as community leader Lubabalo Wellem made his first appearance in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court.

The protesting residents, a smaller group within the greater community, dragged a shipping container into the road and set it on fire on Monday night. Other residents said they were threatened.

Wellem appeared before magistrate Crystal McKenna and was remanded for a bail hearing on Friday.

Police in the area were on high alert after residents began gathering on Sunday night. There were calls for protests against Wellem’s detention.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said Wellem was appearing on charges, including murder, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property.

Ntabazalila said it was Wellem’s first appearance and the matter was postponed for a bail application.

Meanwhile, residents say they do not understand the charges against Wellem.

In anticipation of Wellem’s bail hearing, residents of Masiphumelele raised R21 000.

Nontembiso Madikana said residents were unhappy with the outcome of Monday’s court proceedings.

She said: “Everyone was expecting him to be released on bail.

“We made a collection and were prepared to pay his bail.”

Madikana said Wellem was away for three weeks before he was apprehended by police.

“Lubabalo is a regular churchgoer. He motivates our children, but admittedly is very outspoken.”

Cape Argus

206 matrics moved to safe location
IOL News 27 October 2015

Cape Town - Unrest in Masiphumelele has forced the Western Cape Education Department to move more than 200 matric candidates from the area to an “undisclosed location” to write their final exams.

The 206 candidates were bused to the location at the weekend and are expected to stay there for the remainder of the week or until a more permanent solution is found, said Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

Most matric candidates started their final examinations on Monday morning, when the first papers in English were written.

By Monday afternoon no exam irregularities had been reported.

Schäfer visited Gardens Commercial High School in the city centre where she chatted to matric pupils after the exams on Monday.

“We encourage all our candidates for the 2015 NSC examinations to stay focused and to put in the hard work required to prepare for the upcoming examinations.”

Matric pupils at the school who spoke to the Cape Argus after the exams agreed that the paper had been fairly easy.

“The paper was chilled,” said Olwethu Memani.

Chesna Philander said she had expected the paper to be difficult, “but it was the complete opposite”.

Dominic Mburundu said the questions were easy, adding that Afrikaans was the one exam he was not looking forward to.

Cassidy Whittaker said maths was the exam she was most concerned about and had been attending extra classes to help her prepare.

Accounting as well as several language papers, including the first paper in isiXhosa, are scheduled to be written on Tuesday.

The exams will conclude on November 27, but Schäfer said candidates should be available until December 4 should any “rewrite be required or for other eventualities”.

Marking will take place from December 5 to 14 and more than 3 600 markers have been appointed.

The department has also appointed 525 mark checkers to ensure that markers’ calculations are correct.

At national level 801 688 candidates have enrolled for the exams, including 674 232 full-time and 127 456 part-time candidates.

A total of 273 348 candidates have registered for the maths exams, an increase of 43 460 candidates compared with last year.

Police on alert in Masiphumelele
IOL News 26 October 2015

Cape Town - The City’s Stabilisation Unit and police were deployed to Masiphumelele on Sunday night, following word that residents planned to torch a nearby caravan park.

This followed a protest on Friday where protesters hurled stones and set vehicles alight, which one resident said was over the arrest of a community leader.

On Sunday afternoon the streets were strewn with rubber bullet casings after violent protest action on Friday.

Shops in the area closed out of fear that protesters would start looting while some residents were prevented from going to work.

Children played with the springs of a burnt bed in the main road while motorists drove on pavements to avoid rocks placed on the road. A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said people were angry that the police had arrested a community leader who played a role in fighting crime in the area.

He said residents were gearing up to wreak havoc again if the leader was not released on Monday.

“We try to chase drug dealers and thieves out of the area and police arrest us for doing so. There will be another protest here if he is not released,” the man said.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said six suspects had been arrested for public violence last week and were expected to appear in court on Monday.

“Police are performing crime prevention duties in the area,” Rwexana said.

Mayco safety and security member JP Smith said the protests had moved from being about crime to sheer hooliganism.

“People are taking advantage of the situation,” Smith said.

Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said residents used force and intimidation to prevent him from going to work.

He lost out on R300 that he would have made cutting grass.

“I understand that people are frustrated with crime in the area.

“But it is ridiculous and painful that they prevent us from going to work.

Prior to the arrests, residents marched through the township’s streets in a show of force against crime, saying they would be working closely with the police.

Ocean View police station commander Rufie Nel said a satellite police station would be set up in Masiphumelele.

No end in sight for Masi protests
IOL News 25 October 2015

Cape Town - Residents of Masiphumelele are gearing up to again disrupt the settlement and its surrounds on Monday following a tense weekend during which armed police officers were stationed at every access point to the area.

This followed violence on Friday when protesters hurled stones and set vehicles alight, leading to businesses in surrounding areas being forced to close early and the evacuation of a nearby animal shelter.

Some businesses closed early on Saturday because of concern that further protests were iminent.

The protesters were angry with police because officers arrested one of their leaders, a man said by supporters to be instrumental in organising anti-crime marches, and they want him released from custody.

He is expected to appear in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on an assault charge.

“He’s a good guy who’s been keeping this place safe. He’s doing the job of the police,” a resident said on Saturday.

Another said it was his friend, who he identified only as Luba, who had been arrested.

“He did nothing wrong. He goes after the drug dealers and criminals. That’s not bad,” he said.

On Friday protesters stormed the nearby Fish Eagle Business Park, smashing windows. A bus was also set alight.

Staff at Tears, an animal rescue organisation based alongside the informal settlement, were on Saturday desperately trying to find shelter at nearby private homes for their remaining animals after they started evacuating their building late on Friday.

The decision to evacuate came after protesters marched along the road where Tears is located and set two boats and a car alight, blocking thoroughfares.

On Saturday a man who asked not to be named as he feared he would be targeted showed Weekend Argus a shack he used for storage which had also been set alight.

“I don’t know why they did this. They broke all the windows,” he said. “I’m very scared. But this is life and I shouldn’t complain.”

The owners of the gutted boats and car were not at the scene on Saturday. Some onlookers said the boats and cars had not been in use and were scrap items.

Yesterday a mound of burnt debris blocked the road leading into Masiphumelele, which was littered with rocks and crushed rubber bullet casings.

Scores of Metro Police and SA police officers were stationed around the settlement to prevent any possible protest extending to the surrounding areas.

An armoured police vehicle was parked at the main entrance to the settlement and a joint operations centre, including traffic officers and police, set up alongside it. Metro Police officers, armed with shotguns, were stationed at the the business park.

It’s not the first time residents have disrupted the area because of arrests – a month ago more than 1 000 protesters clashed with police following the detention of seven men in connection with a vigilante attack. They stopped protesting when the men were released from custody.

Vigilante killings and protests began in Masiphumelele on September 15, when two men were murdered hours after 14-year-old Amani Pula was found killed and apparently raped in his home there.

The same morning the teen’s body was found, a 24-year-old woman was raped in a separate incident.

About a month ago residents fatally attacked a man and beat another, who they suspected of being burglars.

How authorities are trying to prevent violence:

* A police task team is investigating recent mob attacks and protests.

* A satellite police station may be set up in the informal settlement.

* Intelligence is gathered during protests to determine how police deploy resources.

Masiphumelele protesters burn vehicles
IOL News 24 October 2015

Residents throw rocks at police to protest the arrest of one of their leaders. Picture: Nic Bothma
Cape Town - The arrest of a community leader from Masiphumelele, who has been a driving force behind protests in the area, sparked fresh uproar in the settlement on Friday, with hundreds of residents disrupting the area.

And they’ve vowed to continue until the arrested man, who sources say is being held at Wynberg Police Station so the community cannot access him easily, is released from custody.

But this may happen only on Monday.

Police have said they will spend the weekend monitoring the area, which has recently been gripped by violent flare-ups and a spate of mob killings.

In the latest surge of violence on Friday, more than 600 residents obstructed roads, set two boats alight and threw rocks and stones at police and journalists.

They also set fire to cars and a bus and moved out of the informal settlement to nearby roads, preventing cars from passing.

One resident, who did not want to be identified, said they were angry because one of their leaders had been taken into custody late on Thursday.

“We want the police to release him. He should be here with us. We won’t stop until he is free,” the resident said.

Ayanda Apollis, another community leader, confirmed that his colleague had been arrested and that residents were protesting in reaction.

Police spokeswoman Noloyiso Rwexana said it appeared protesters were demanding the release of a person arrested on Thursday on suspicion of having carried out an assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The suspect was expected to appear in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Rwexana said the protest began about 5am on Friday.

“According to information, the protesters burned two boats and a caravan, and placed rocks on the road… At this stage it is not known why the community is protesting,” she said, also urging residents to stop the violence.

Yesterday another resident, who asked not to be named, told Weekend Argus she was too scared to leave her workplace because angry residents were marching through the streets.

“They’re throwing stones and shouting. I’m too scared to go home,” she said.

Police have been trying desperately to prevent further violence and group killings in the area.

Last week acting provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile told Weekend Argus that a team had been assembled to probe the recent spate of vigilante murders, and identify any residents who may have been involved.

He had said extra police officers were deployed to the informal settlement to try and quell the trouble, and that there were also plans to set up a satellite police station there.

The spate of mob killings in Masiphumelele started on September 15, when two men were murdered hours after 14-year-old Amani Pula was found killed and apparently raped in his home there.

On the same morning the teen’s body was found, a 24-year-old woman was raped in a separate incident.

A week later residents fatally attacked a man and beat another. They suspected the duo of having carried out burglaries in the area.

Seven men were arrested during the attacks on the two men, and when they appeared in court a week later, after being held in custody, a massive protest ensued with the more than 1 000 residents turning on police.

About two weeks ago, in the fourth attack, a man was set alight and burnt to death.

Weekend Argus

Pupil stabbed in test protest
IOL News 29 October 2015

Cape Town - Grade 9 pupils who refused to write a test caused havoc at their school and two others on Wednesday. In the ensuing pandemonium, a Grade 10 pupil was stabbed.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said it was reported that pupils from Iqhayiya High School in Khayelitsha had participated in a protest as they refused to write the provincial systemic tests. The tests are written by Grade 3, 6 and 9 pupils to assess their language and maths skills.

Shelver said the pupils went to Bulumko High School “to allegedly force” pupils to join them in their protest.

“The learners broke down the gate and stormed into the school while chanting that the tests would not be written. The learners reportedly disrupted classes at Bulumko and threatened teachers.”

She said that, according to reports to the department, the pupils then made their way to Masiyile High School “to ask for support”.

But the Masiyile pupils were against their protest and assisted police in “chasing away the learners who wanted to force them to join the illegal protest”.

A Bulumko High School pupil was stabbed in the arm during the chaos.

“The incident reportedly took place in between schools while the learners were chasing each other.”

Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said the incident occurred at about 10am in Mongezi Street, Khayelitsha.

“According to the reports, an 18-year-old male was stabbed in his arm and was transported to hospital for treatment.”

Shelver said there would be an investigation and disciplinary action would be taken.

At Iqhayiya there were no matric pupils as their candidates didn’t have to write Wednesday’s Afrikaans exam, while at Bulumko the protests didn’t affect the candidates that were writing.

Shelver said security at Iqhayiya would be increased on Thursday to ensure that matric candidates can write their exams.

PICS: EFF march draws huge crowds
IOL News 27 October 2015

Over 40 000 EFF supporters joined the party’s Economic Freedom March to the Chamber of Mines, the Reserve Bank and the JSE.

Over 40 000 EFF supporters joined the party’s Economic Freedom March to the Chamber of Mines, the Reserve Bank and the JSE.

PICS: EFF marchers breach JSE security
IOL News 27 October 2015

Johannesburg - The EFF Economic Freedom March has reached the Johannesburg Stock Exchange .

The members broke through a security barrier kicking down the temporary fence and then camped right outside the main entrance of the JSE amid a strong police presence.

Around 40 000 people descended on the seat of the South African economy led by EFF leader Julius Malema.

Malema: We're not here illegally. JSE of racist whites. Your days are numbered. We're nt Mandela who promotes reconciliation without remorse

— EFF Official Account (@EconFreedomZA) October 27, 2015

Despite the long trek , the marchers were in high spirits as they stomped through Sandton.

Malema: Racists do not deserve reconciliation #EconomicFreedomMarch

— EFF Official Account (@EconFreedomZA) October 27, 2015

For the EFF this was indeed a massive show of political might. Throughout the day , EFF leadership stressed discipline to their members and they duly obliged on the route.

30 000 EFF supporters march to Sandton
IOL News 27 October 2015

Johannesburg - The crowd participating in the EFF’s Economic Freedom March has now swelled to over 30 000 people.

Marchers are now making their way to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton after handing over memorandums at the South African Reserve Bank and the Chamber of Mines.

The protesters are in high spirits, singing and chanting.

There have been no major incidents reported.

The EFF claimed on Twiiter that there were now 50 000 people marching, while police on the ground put the figure at arounf 35 000 marchers.

“We call on all South Africans on our route to give our fighters water,” the EFF tweeted.

EFF also marching for free education
IOL News 27 October 2015

Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Front’s march against financial institutions is about to kick off as supporters filled Mary Fitzgerald Square .

The march was scheduled to kick off at 10 but an hour later EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi took to the stage and led the crowd in song.

Ndlozi said the Reserve Bank must be nationalised.

He has warned against those that will attempt to infiltrate the march and disrupt it.

Nobody is going to collapse us. We will march with military discipline, he said.

Supporters have been bussed in from all around the country.

The EFF say they are expecting around 5 000 people to participate in the march that will see them delivering memorandums to the Reserve Bank, Chamber of Mines and the JSE.

EFF leader Julius Malema is expected to arrive shortly to lead the Economic Freedom march.

Malema told talk station 702 on Tuesday morning that they wanted to see the formation of free, quality education and the creation of jobs through economic transformation.

“We are protesting the exploitation of the public… the majority of people who were systematically excluded by the apartheid regime are still being excluded today.

“The Chamber of Mines and mining companies continue to protect the white monopoly at the expense of workers who are exploited and paid peanuts,” he told talk station 702.

He said his party had ensured that it learnt from what was happening globally, especially in places like Greece.

“We do not promise things that are going to lead the economy of South Africa into a disaster.

“We are a democratic organisation that engages with private sectors and the public and we want to bring the best of the best policies which will grow this economy and create jobs for everybody and also distribute the wealth of South Africa to all of South Africa,” he said.

When asked about the EFF’s policy on nationalisation, Malema said: “Just because it didn’t work in Greece… doesn’t mean it will not work in South Africa.

“South Africa is not Greece… we can learn from what the Greeks had to go through.”

He said the EFF was proposing a different kind of model for nationalisation.

“It’s nationalisation of profitable minerals and that type of nationalisation will not lead to a complete exclusion of the private sector.

“It will just guarantee majority control and ownership of the economy by the state,” Malema said.

Joburg metro police spokesman Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said motorists around Joburg would be affected as “the march will go north towards Rissik Street, then into Joubert Street and Victoria Street… Oxford Road, Rivonia Road and West into Maude street”.

Sea of red as EFF gathers for march
IOL News 27 October 2015

Johannesburg - Mary Fitzgerald Square in the Johannesburg CBD is slowly becoming a sea of red as hundreds of EFF members start arriving ahead of their Economic Freedom march on Tuesday.

Fighters clad in their trademark red berets armed with whistles and placards are in fine form as they chant and sing ahead of the march against financial institutions.

The EFF say they are expecting around 5 000 people to participate in the march that will see them delivering memorandums to the Reserve Bank, Chamber of Mines and the JSE.

Vendors selling red berets at Mary Fitzgerald Square say they are expected to make a substantial windfall today.

The trademark red berets are selling for around R120.

You could also pick up a sun hat for around R40 or a flag for around R20.

And for those on a tight budget, perhaps a free EFF T-shirt and a whistle for R10 or a temporary tattoo for just R5.

Salesman and EFF member Moses Mashaba says he is expecting to make good money.

I should make around seven or eight thousand rand today. We are expecting a lot of people and everybody wants a beret these days. It's a fashion statement, said Mashaba.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department has warned of traffic disruptions during the march.

The march will go north into Rissik Street, north into Joubert Street, then Victoria Street, Oxford Road, Rivonia Road and west into Maude Street, the JMPD said.

EFF to march on JSE, Reserve Bank
IOL News 27 October 2015

The Economic Freedom Fighters is set to lead an economic freedom march in the Joburg CBD on Tuesday. File picture: Nic Bothma
Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters is set to lead an economic freedom march in the Joburg CBD on Tuesday.

The EFF says they will march from Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, at 10am to the Chamber of Mines to fight against the retrenchment of miners.

The march will proceed to the JSE in protest against labour brokers.

“Labour brokers take the little salary you make and keep you poorer. You’re basically working for free,” EFF leader Julius Malema said over the weekend.

From the JSE, the march will move to the Reserve Bank to advocate that the working class qualify for credit so they can also buy their own houses.

“This government works to please the white people. They don’t care about the black life,” Malema added.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department has warned of traffic disruptions.

The march will go north into Rissik Street, north into Joubert Street, then Victoria Street, Oxford Road, Rivonia Road and west into Maude Street, the JMPD said.

Memorial walk at Rhodes Park
IOL News 22 October 2015

Johannesburg - Hundreds of Kensington residents surrounded the fiancée and mother of slain teacher Zukisa Kela and watched as the women prayed and cried at the spot where he died.

Community members were taking part in a walk at Rhodes Park on Tuesday to show solidarity for two men who were murdered there on Saturday.

Kela, who was a teacher at Westbury Secondary School, his fiancée and another couple were attacked, and one of the women was raped. The men drowned after being tied up and thrown in the lake

Community police forum chairwoman Alison Roberts said they wanted people to use the park and take it out of the hands of criminals. She said she walks there every morning with her dog Timmy and would continue to do so.

Hundreds of people walked around the lake and stopped at the point where Kela and his friend were murdered. His fiancée, who many didn’t know would be there, stepped forward and stared at the spot where he drowned. She didn’t want to be identified.

She came with some church members, who said they were there to show solidarity with the men who died. “This is too terrible. How could those men have stood there and watched people drown? It’s sick,” a community member whispered as the young woman stared at the lake.

She walked back into the arms of the woman who would soon have been her mother-in-law.

Shilda McDonald, a Kensington woman, stepped forward, tears running down her face, and took the woman’s hands.

“¨We are crying today, Lord. We pray you give this woman back her dignity… But Lord, please, we know we must forgive, but we want these men to be found. We want them to pay for what they have done,” she said. McDonald went to Kela’s mother and prayed that she too would find strength.

The fiancée said she felt it was important to be there before she began to cry. Strangers came up and hugged her, telling her they loved her.

People sang hymns and the woman cried bitterly. She was led away as people watched, their faces grim. “We are a community that is shattered. We need to stand together and bring each other strength,” said ward councillor Carlos da Rocha.

Resident Gregg Daniels said he felt it was important to get more people involved. “I blame us as a community, we don’t do enough, we have stayed away from the park because of the crime,” he said.

No arrests have been made.

Pupils protest after brutal park murders
IOL News 21 October 2015

Johannesburg - The heartache caused by the brutal death of Joburg teacher Zukisa Kela at Rhodes Park in Kensington has prompted several sectors of society to take a stand against crime.

The Westbury Secondary School teacher, his fiancé and another couple were attacked by a gang of 12 men at the park on Saturday evening. The men were tied up and thrown in the lake where they drowned.

The gang then proceeded to rape one of the women while the other escaped unharmed.

When news of the gruesome attack reached St James Preparatory School in neighbouring Jeppestown, they decided to take action.

As a form of protest, a group of children in Grade R as well as Grade 7 pupils stood on the pavement outside the school on Tuesday and held up placards which reflected anti-crime messages.

“Rhodes Park attack,” “Where is it really safe?” and “Where will the children play?” read the pupils’ posters, which attracted the attention of passersby and commuters on the busy road.

Wande Nduna, one of the pupils involved in the demonstration, said that the incident has left her enraged.

“It has hurt us and has affected the entire community,” she said.

“As youngsters, we don’t feel safe in our own neighbourhoods anymore.”

Her sentiments were echoed by fellow pupil Qamar Ngqawana, who said the crime ridden area has resulted in children becoming isolated.

“It’s so dangerous that we can’t play in the parks or go to the swimming pools. It has got to a stage where we only interact with our classmates and family members.”

As the St James pupils fight against crime and justice for Kela, the youngsters who he taught are still battling to cope with his death.

James Adams, the father of one of the pupils, said that his 13-year-old daughter has lost her appetite after hearing about Kela’s death.

“This broke me as a parent and as a human because the criminals have robbed our children of a humble teacher.”

Adams visited Rhodes Park on Tuesday and took pictures of the site to show it to his grieving daughter in a bid to bring her some closure.

Meanwhile, Kela’s relatives are still making funeral arrangements and awaiting the arrival of the deceased’s mother from the Eastern Cape.

His aunt Babalwa told The Star they want those responsible for his death to be brought to book.

“It is sad because we have lost a son,” she said.

“The law must take its course and find those who killed him.”

When The Star visited the park on Tuesday, two different security companies were patrolling the area.

Joburg mayor Parks Tau said measures had been taken to improve safety and security in public places.

“A partnership among safety and security stakeholders will be initiated immediately to root out criminal elements,” he said.

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