||SA Protest News 2-6 November (2009) SA Protest News 2-6 November. : -.
||CALLING THE COMMUNITIES: COMMUNITIES FROM ALL OVER DURBAN WILL BE PROTESTING BECAUSE OF A LACK OF SERVICE DELIVERY FRIDAY 6TH NOVEMBER
The communities of South Durban and other parts will no longer sit idle
while its fundamental rights are compromised. Like other communities, we
have rights to decent housing, redevelopment, affordable electricity
rates, ownership of long rented and paid for units, affordable rent,
proper recreational facilities, a pollution free environment and a right
to be listened to when we voice our views. The South Durban community
are strongly concerned with the lack of housing delivery for the
overcrowded of their community. They are worried with the fact that the
flats they presently live are not upgraded and maintained yet the
municipality and Provincial Housing wants to transfer to ownership.
ESKOM and the eThekwini municipality has recently as 1st July2009
increased the electricity and water tariff’s to unaffordable rate and
since then we have seen communities deprived of water and lights.
Further tariff increases by Eskom will affect the poor and marginalized
which will result in an increase in electricity cut offs to their homes.
On 6 November 2009, the South Durban community together with sister
organizations and communities will lead a march to the City Hall after
which it will proceed to the offices of the provincial housing
department to issues memorandums to both these government structures. We will also be sending a letter to the Department of Social Welfare and Development demanding that all pensioners be exempt from paying tax and
bank charges. Our list of demands to the provincial and metro governments is the following:
MEMORANDUM OF GRIEVANCES
We the community of Wentworth gathered here today hereby demonstrate our anger and disappointment with the following:
1. The water and electricity bills that are extremely exorbitant thus
being unaffordable to the pensioners, the grant earners, the poor and
2. The bellicose attitude adapted by the EThekwini Metro council in
dealing with the Barracks community and the arrogance that council
displayed when it refused to entertain any further discussions regarding
the Lansdowne project. Remember that Nigel Gumede told the community to
go to hell and threatened to allocate people from outside Wentworth in
the Lansdowne project which was intended for the Barracks community;
3. Lack of provision of basic services like:
3.1 Street cleaning
3.2 Cleaning of parks and repair of recreational facilities;
3.3 Refuse removal
4. Threatening to rezone residential land in order to extend pollution
We therefore demand the following:
a) The reduction of water and electricity costs as basic human
necessities so as to make it available and affordable to all in line
with the provisions of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa,
Act No 108 of 1996 as amended from time to time;
b) That there be a meeting between the WDF/Barracks Committee and Metro
representative (housing) as a matter of urgency to discuss the Lansdowne
Road project further;
c) That we be given written guarantees that basic services shall be
provided and that a task team consisting of Metro staff and members
nominated by the community be established to monitor the provision of
the basic services;
d) That the plan of rezoning the residential land in order to provide
Engen with more land be abandoned forthwith
For Further information or transport: Call Desmond D’Sa cell 0839826939.
A People United will never be defeated
Gugulethu residents to march against corruption at new Gugulethu Mall
Anti-Eviction Campaing Press Alert 5 November 2009
Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign will be protesting at the new Gugulethu
Square Mall tomorrow morning at 08h00am.
Residents are angry that most of the jobs at the mall are going to
people who do not reside in Gugulethu. Despite Mzoli’s assurances, very
few of the jobs are going to locals. Since the mall is being build on
land that should rightfully be owned by the Gugulethu community, it is
only fair that residents benefit from development happening on their land.
Last week, police under pressure from Mzoli and the local ANC councillor
shot at peaceful protesting residents with rubber bullets. They then
went and arrested protesters and charged them for public violence. The
charges were dropped the next day for lack of evidence.
This happens all the time. Police shoot and then realise they have to
lie and say that protesters were violent and then they go and arrest
protesters and attempt to frame them.
But this time, the march has gotten the permission of the City. If they
try to shoot us, everyone will be watching.
For more information, click here for the previous press statement.
Thozamile Tsotsobe at 078 555 8662 Bulelwa Bolsiki at 074 960 8964
Mncedisi Twalo at 078 580 8646 Malibongwe at 074 639 9551 Thando
Swakamisa at 076 498 5096
Police arrest Qwaqwa protesters for public violence
Sapa 5 November 2009
BLOEMFONTEIN - Sixteen people were arrested during protests in Qwaqwa in
which the R712 route between Harrismith and Phuthaditjhaba was blocked
on Thursday, police said.
Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said the protesters took part in an illegal march.
“The arrested residents are alleging they had raised their concerns in
the past over no electricity supply at the Disaster Park section of
Mophiring said the residents, who were mostly women from Disaster Park,
used stones to block the R712 at around 2am. The road is used by buses
to reach Harrismith, Bergville and Phuthaditjhaba.
“The police found them in the act of blockading the road.”
Three of the 16 people arrested were school pupils.
Mophiring said the group was expected to appear in the Makwane
Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to face charges of public violence.
Sapa 5 November 2009
UNIVERSITY of Zululand students went on the rampage on Tuesday night,
burning a lecture hall and destroying a number of buildings, police said
Captain Thulani Zwane said a case has been opened, but no arrests had
According to student leaders, a lecture hall was destroyed by fire and
the student representative offices, the library and computer labs were
Leaders of the ANC-aligned student wing, Sasco, had allegedly walked out
of a meeting called to resolve a serious impasse in the student
representative council (SRC) elections. - Sapa
Bystander shot twice while waiting to go to work
By Kanina Foxx (The Star) 5 November 2009
Now Riverlea breadwinner is under arrest while recovering in hospital
Eddie Wenner woke up at 5am like every other day. He dressed for work
and left the house at 5.30am. In the streets of Riverlea, south of
Joburg, service delivery protesters had been gathering since 4am.
Wenner saw Metro police in the spot where he usually waited for his lift
to work, and decided to stand behind them.
As the 61-year-old waited for a colleague to fetch him for his job
operating machinery in a carpentry factory, a policewoman opened fire on
the crowd. She swung her weapon sideways, and the first shot of the day
hit Wenner in the corner of his right eye.
The rubber bullet lodged itself in the delicate folds of an eye socket.
A second shot lodged another bullet near his eyebrow.
A former police reservist, who didn't want to be named, said the
policewoman next turned her gun towards him, saying: "I'm going to shoot
His car was parked in his yard. The windscreen was shattered by rubber
Wenner's wife Cheryl said: "The men's guns were all still in their
pockets. She (the policewoman) was the only one who started shooting.
And then they all started."
Residents claim the protest was intended to be peaceful. But the
policewoman's actions changed the nature of the game.
By the time the protest was defused at about 2am the next day, the
streets of Riverlea were littered with the empty blue shells of rubber
Children were among the victims. The Star found an 11-year-old boy with
three bullet wounds in his legs.
A resident, Gillian Meyers, said: "I was sitting in my yard and they
shot me." Said Lucy Feldman: "They shot at everyone. You couldn't open
your door and they were shooting." According to Benjamin Williams: "They
shot recklessly, recklessly.".
Wenner has had two separate operations to remove the bullets from the
area around an eye. The socket was swollen and leaking blood. He will
retain his sight.
But he has no medical aid and doesn't know how much his medical costs
will amount to.
But this is the least of his worries.
Standing next to the window of the hospital ward, two policemen watch
Wenner. There have been two people guarding him day and night since he
"They escort him to the toilet like a murderer," said family friend
Fifteen people have been charged with public violence as a result of the
Riverlea protest. Wenner is one of them. Since he wasn't part of the
protest, he thinks his arrest is strategic.
"They charged me because they hurt me. They are protecting themselves,"
Residents say they went to Langlaagte police station the day after the
protest to open cases against the police, but weren't allowed to lay
Wenner has a big house and no need to protest. He was not involved,
Yet he will have to spend two months recovering before he can return to
work because the sawdust in his workplace might get in his eye.
He has four adult children living under his roof, and he's the only one
with a job.
By Kanina Foxx
I heard three shots and my son lay dead
Pertunia Ratsatsi 5 November 2009
ANOTHER young man has died and his mother hospitalised with serious
gunshot wounds after policemen allegedly fired at them at their home in
Thembisa, Ekurhuleni. Temba, 20, was shot in the chest. His mother
Johanna Sibanyoni, 59, was shot in the left shoulder and hip. She is
recovering in hospital.
Sibanyoni said she cannot believe that her son died at the hands of
people who are supposed to protect him.
She said after the police realised what they had done, they turned
around and accused her of disarming a police officer and shooting her
“I am still struggling to come to terms with my son’s death. His
girlfriend had visited for the weekend with her nine-month-old baby. She
left the child on Sunday afternoon and returned at about 9pm claiming
that she went to see her boss,” she said.
“My son was angry about that and asked her to leave the house but
instead she left her bags behind and went to the police station. We were
sleeping when she came back with police at about 2am on Monday, accusing
my son of assaulting her.” Sibanyoni said she explained to the police
what had happened but they would not listen .
“There were three police officers and one of them was very rude. I asked
the girlfriend to take her bags and leave because my son never touched
her. While she was busy picking up her bags my son asked her to leave
the clothes he bought her. But when he tried to take the clothes the
rude officer slapped him and he fell . I stood in front of him to stop
the cop from hitting my son again and to my surprise he fired a shot
between my legs.”
Sibanyoni said she told her son to come with her to the police station
to report the matter but the police insisted they go in the police van.
When they refused the cop started dragging her son to the van.
“ I tried to stop him , the next thing I heard were three gun shots and
my son collapsed. ”
Captain Lesibana Molokomme said the girlfriend came to the police to ask
them to accompany her to fetch her bags at her boyfriend’s house.
“When the police arrived at the house the boy was violent ,” he said. An
inquest and attempted murder case has been opened.
BLIKKIESDORP COMMUNITY- DELFT (SYMPHONYWAY TRA)
DATE:2ND November 2009
To: The Mayor – Dan Plato
From: Blikkiesdorp Anti- Eviction Campaign Western Cape
Subject: Installation of Electricity
It has become common knowledge that the government and politicians
ignore the poor. Members of the Blikkiesdorp community have been trying
to set up a meeting with Mayor Dan Plato for several weeks now regarding
the installation of electricity in the area
Our first contact with Dan Plato occurred in May 2009. As has become
customary for politicians, he arrived in our area with scores of
bodyguards and great words of promise about how he was going to role out
electricity in Blikkiesdorp Phase 1 and 2 by August 2009. As has also
become customary with politicians, these words were a lie. Today, we are
still standing without any electricity. In the mean time three shacks in
Blikkiesdorp have burnt down because people have to continue to use
paraffin for cooking. During these fires, sadly two people were injured.
Added to this, at a public meeting, one community member also recounted
how she is incurring serious health problems as she can’t refrigerate
her insulin, which she needs to control her diabetes. So we continue to
Up until now we have tried to give Dan Plato the benefit of the doubt.
We have continuously tried to make follow up appointments with Dan Plato
about his promise to provide electricity. In September 2009, we
contacted him to remind him of his promise and call him to a meeting.
His curt response was that he was due to go on an overseas trip, but
that he would make sure to set time aside for a meeting with us after
the 15th of September 2009. Sadly, this promised meeting never happened
as again his words turned out to be hot air.
This morning, 2nd of November, we once again contacted Plato to remind
him of his promises. Again we asked for a meeting to discuss the issue
of rolling out electricity in our area. This time round Dan Plato simply
refused to meet with us. Sadly, this is yet another instance of the poor
simply being brushed aside by politicians. First they dump us in
Blikkiesdorp and then they ignore our outcries – ‘democracy’ South
African style! So while Dan refuses to see us, shacks carry on burning
and the sick become sicker. Clearly, Dan Plato doesn’t care - his plush
Mayoral House, and the houses of the rich who he actually serves, have
Since Dan was not willing to help us we thought we would go straight to
Eskom. Eskom was no more helpful than Dan. Eskom told us that the
electricity poles, minus the electricity, that have been installed have
been installed in the wrong places. They said these poles will have to
be removed and maybe if we are lucky we will get electricity in 2010!.
Are we actually to believe this?
We will not be ignored. We will also continue to contact Dan Plato and
Eskom until we have our electricity. We call on all social movements,
NGOs and unions to assist us by also contacting Dan at
Eskom at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Power to the people in more ways than one!
For more information
Willy Heyn 073 144 3619
Tough action long overdue
Weekend Post 4 November 2009
THERE can be no gainsaying factionalism has become a hallmark of the ANC
and the discipline on which the organisation once prided itself is now
all too often lacking.
Against that background the decision announced in East London yesterday
that Buffalo City Mayor Zukisa Faku had been expelled is a welcome
development and will, hopefully, signal the end of the mayhem in that
Faku, who did not attend the disciplinary proceedings in Bhisho on
Monday, was found guilty of bringing the ANC into disrepute and
undermining the organisation as well as other charges connected to the
irregular use of council credit and petrol cards.
Such tough action has been long overdue. It is to be hoped that
elsewhere in the country where individuals have assumed a position where
they believe they are no longer beholden to the organisation and, more
importantly, are not under any obligation to the people who elected
them, similar action will now be taken.
The protests, some of them violent, that have erupted across the country
are a warning sign to government of a growing impatience among those who
have been waiting far too long for houses and other services. Speeding
up delivery and so reducing the temperature of the protest can only be
achieved if the divisions within the ANC and the undisciplined are dealt
Meeting to air residents’ concerns
Eyewitness News 4 November 2009
The City of Johannesburg is urging Eldorado Park residents to attend a
public meeting to discuss complaints about basic services.
The meeting with provincial and local government is scheduled for Thursday.
City officials met community representatives earlier this week to make
sure all goes according to plan.
Last week residents took to the streets in violent protest after
Johannesburg metro police demolished illegally built shacks.
The city’s Virgil James said the meeting would allow residents to air
George protest over Glentana project appeal
Cathy Dippnall GARDEN ROUTE CORRESPONDENT 4 November 2009
HUNDREDS of protesters marched to the George Municipality yesterday to
protest against an appeal by a group of Glentana residents who have
taken their objections to the Lagoon Bay Lifestyle Estate development to
the High Court.
The protesters, led by the George Leadership Forum, started from the
Conville Civic Centre.
The Glentana residents are concerned about the environmental impact of
yet another large golf development, but the protestors say it will
create much-needed jobs.
Over 400 people stood outside the George civic centre shouting “we want
work” and “Flip de Swardt come out and face us”.
The mayor eventually appeared, closely guarded by the police.
Isaac Felix, one of the forum leaders, read a memorandum demanding the
municipality immediately approve the rezoning of Lagoon Bay, and that
council address the water crisis and not use it as an excuse to reject
The memorandum also demanded council stop using poor people living in
RDP houses as political pawns, and that it stop supporting attempts to
develop exclusive white areas in places like Glentana under the guise of
The memorandum said council should address the alleged racist issues
behind the High Court application to “prevent a racist war”.
“If our demands are not met, we will make this town ungovernable,” Felix
De Swardt said the rezoning application was with the Housing and
“It is also not the municipality’s main function to create jobs.”
Felix accused De Swardt of being arrogant and conceited, and De Swardt
in turn said Felix was a bad organiser who could not control the crowd.
De Swardt left under a police escort when the crowd started shouting
that white businesspeople would be in danger if they came into the
townships to work.
De Swardt later said he believed “somebody else” was behind the
protestors as the placards were neatly written out. “There is definitely
somebody behind these protestors inciting racism,” he said.
Felix said: “I object to that – the forum is against violence and
racism, but we can’t be held responsible for what desperate people might
do. We are also not stupid and got a professional sign writer to help
make the signs.”
The marchers all said they were desperate for work.
“I can’t get work and support my family. I am forced to stay in a shack
with my wife and three children, with no food to put on the table,” said
labourer Stephen Thys.
Jerome Carelse, a painter, said the contract employees did not receive a
living wage. “After working for three days I got only R5 in my pay.
There are 17 of us working as painters for subcontractors and now we are
all sitting at home,” Carelse said.
Mathilde Ferbona, an unemployed grandmother, said she was “sick and
tired” and berated De Swardt for not supporting his people.
According to Felix, the police dissuaded the marchers from continuing
their protest in Glentana.
“Instead, we are getting a lawyer to support us and we will go if
necessary to the Cape High Court to resolve this situation as soon as
possible – it can’t drag on for another 18 months.”
What the hell has gone wrong with our cops?
FURY OVER RISING SHOOT TO KILL TOL
LCecil Motsepe and Sipho Masombuka 4 November 2009
THE government’s “shoot to kill” approach towards armed criminals has
come under fire as the killings of unarmed suspects by the police
Two more killings were reported in Mpumalanga following a police raid
that turned violent at Matsulu, outside Nelspruit.
The bodies were found after the raid, prompting the Independent
Complaints Directorate to launch an investigation.
Sowetan reported on Monday that the police shot and killed a fleeing and
unarmed Kgothatso Ndobe of Atteridgeville, Pretoria, at the weekend.
The ICD has revealed that the number of deaths in police custody and
those resulting from police actions increased by 15percent between
2007-08 and 2008-09, reaching a staggering 912.
This was after a fruit vendor was shot dead on Monday.
ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they would oppose bail for two
constables charged with the recent killing of a street vendor in
Pretoria who was shot in the eye and arm when he prevented the cops from
taking his sweets without paying. The cops were off duty and allegedly
drunk when they attacked the Angolan vendor on Sunday morning.
Reacting to these incidents yesterday the Young Communist League said it
was “dismayed and repulsed”.
The ANC-led administration was also lambasted by Cope.
“This is an assault on our human rights culture and is based on
quick-fix solutions to our societal problems,” said Cope spokesperson
“The bankruptcy of this approach will be proven by the rising numbers of
innocent people being killed by police.”
He said the government needed to recruit better trained individuals into
the police ranks in order to ensure proper investigation of criminal
“We are surprised by Cosatu’s silence on this matter because the
majority of these victims are their own members in the townships and
people who voted for the ANC,” quipped Ngwema.
He equated the government’s latest approach to “instant gratification of
those in charge”.
“There is no data or scientific proof to show that our problems can be
solved through the barrel of a gun,” said Ngwema.
At the time of going to press the trade union’s Patrick Craven could not
comment as he was driving.
BRUTALITY OF THE MEN IN BLUE
October 11: Police shoot and kill Olga Kekana after suspecting she and
her companions were hijackers. Her friends, Sophie Kgarake and Andrew
Singo were shot in the abdomen and the right hand and thigh respectively.
October 30: Pretoria police spray a VW Golf with bullets, wounding the
driver, after a car was reported hijacked.
November 1: Police shoot and kill Kgothatso Ndobe of Atteridgeville
after he panicked and ran away.
September 30: We reported that cops fired bullets at toddlers while
driving through Mashishing in Mpumalanga – while trying to disperse
crowds during recent service delivery protests.
Our men in blue uniform allegedly:
Fired two rubber bullets into three- year-old Neo Khumalo’s forehead and
Shot and hit Mongezi Maila, 6, above the right eye with a rubber bullet;
Fired a live bullet into teenager Emily Madonsela’s right cheek;
Held Sfiso Nkosi to the ground and fired a bullet into his penis,
another into his buttock and one under his arm;
Shot Jacob Malakane dead; and
Dragged Marcus Masilela, 38, out of his yard and shot him twice in the leg
Choppy start to academic year if issues not resolved
TAMLYN STEWART 1 September 2009
IT COULD be an explosive start to the academic year at several tertiary
institutions around the country if tense talks between students and the
management of universities break down.
South African Students' Congress president David Maimela said student
bodies were negotiating various issues - including registration fees and
accommodation - with universities at campuses around the country.
Maimela said where students couldn't reach agreement with management,
they would "take the fight to the streets".
Students are already protesting at Medunsa, in Limpopo and at the Durban
University of Technology.
Sasco has cited registration fees, a lack of accommodation, and a lack
of transport as the issues they want resolved at the Durban University
Protests began last week and reached a frenzy on Friday when police
fired rubber bullets at protesting students.
The Durban University of Technology confirmed it would remain closed
until this Friday due to the student protest.
Nomonde Mbadi, Durban University of Technology's executive director of
public affairs and communications, said staff and students were asked to
go home last week. Staff are expected to return to work tomorrow.
"Students are expected to return to campus next Monday," she said.
Sasco said it expected "very tense negotiations" at Tshwane University
of Technology and at the University of Venda.
Tshwane University of Technology spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said that
students and management had come to an agreement two weeks ago so that
registration could go ahead, but "there are still some issues that need
to be addressed", she said.
But University of Venda registrar Khuliso Nemadzivhanani said the
university had already agreed on a R3000 registration fee with the
students' representative assembly and he did not expect any student
protests on campus.
"As far as I'm aware we discussed the matter and an agreement was
reached," he said.
Registration is set to start on February 21 and classes will begin on
Sasco's "Right to Learn" campaign lists free education as one of its goals.
Mary Metcalfe, head of the Wits University School of Education, said
free tertiary education was not currently possible, as it would require
more money from the national budget to be allocated to education.
Metcalfe said: "There are acceptable and unacceptable forms of protest.
The way to prevent unacceptable conduct is to establish a relationship
of civility where peoples' concerns are listened to and answered."
Meanwhile, the University of the Witwatersrand said it was not
anticipating any problems because it had reached agreements with student
organisations last year after protests over fees.
"We haven't had any indication of protests or unhappiness.
"I think we have been through that process already," said Wits
University spokeswoman Shirona Patel.
Protests ‘tied to economy’
STEVEN TAU Citizen 3 November 2009
JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general
secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says the recent wave of service delivery
protests which are about specific local grievances are also related to
the structural problems in the economy.
He said this during his address to the SA Municipal Workers’ Union
(Samwu) congress yesterday.
The patience of increasing numbers of poor working-class communities is
running thin, Vavi said.
“They are facing a huge squeeze in the former black-only residential areas.
“People in places such as Alexandra are living with massive unemployment
and grinding and humiliating poverty, while across the road they see
that the grass is green around the flashy buildings in Sandton,” said Vavi.
Commenting on the recent Statistics SA Labour Survey which revealed that
the number of employed people fell by a staggering 484 000 – to 12 885
000 – in just one quarter, Vavi said this increased the country’s
official unemployment rate from 23,6% in the second quarter of 2009 to
24,5% in the third quarter.
“But of particular concern is that the manufacturing sector, which
should be an engine of growth and job creation, shed 150 000 jobs,
equivalent to 8% of total jobs in the industry, while wholesale and
retail trade lost 110 000 jobs.”
A total of 4,192 million South Africans are now jobless, and that rises
to 4,702 million if you add the 510 000 who have given up on looking for
a job or opted out of the labour force completely, said Vavi.
All this, according to Vavi, means that since this year began, a total
of 959 000 jobs have been lost.
“Multiply this by five, which is the average size of a working-class
family, and we have a staggering 4,8 million people pushed into
poverty,” he said.
Protest turns into political stand-off
Sandile Waka-Zamisa 2 November 2009
A SERVICE delivery protest turned into a stand-off between ANC
supporters and protesters in Mpumalanga township in Hammarsdale on Saturday.
The residents of Phumlani Area in Mpumalanga’s Ward 6 were marching to
Ethekwini Metro offices in the township when more than 200 ANC
supporters wearing ANC and SA Communist Party T-shirts, started
toyi-toying inside the metro offices gate and blocking the entrance.
About 100 marchers led by an IFP leader in the area, Victor Dladla,
could not enter the metro offices to deliver their memorandum. Dladla
said the march was not a political party protest, but a protest by
“We came here to raise our concerns as a community about the lack of
service delivery. We applied for this march and were given permission.
What the ANC is doing in standing in our way is against the law.
Firstly, they do not have permission to hold a protest, and they are
preventing residents from exercising their right to protest.” Dladla
said the ANC supporters were transported to the metro offices earlier in
the day to disrupt the march.
The Phumlani residents said the local councillor has failed to provide
them with basic services. “About six years have elapsed and the
residents of Phumlani have no electricity, water and toilets, despite
the promises that were made to them,” said Dladla.
Residents threaten councillors wife in protests
Sapa 1 November 2009
JOHANNESBURG - Residents of the Msobomvu Township in Butterworth on
Sunday threatened the wife of a councillor during a service delivery
protest, Eastern Cape police said.
Captain Jackson Manatha said between 50 to 60 residents gathered outside
the councillor’s home, toy-toying and demanding an improvement in
The councillor was not home at the time. This angered the residents, who
then broke the windows of his home and threatened his wife.
The group later dispersed due a heavy downpour of rain.
No arrests have yet been made. Police were investigating a case of
malicious damage to property.
PROTESTERS MAY BOYCOTT WHITE BUSINESSES
By Cathy Dippnall 2 November 2009
Thousands of protesters are threatening to boycott white-owned
businesses in townships to show their dissatisfaction with a Cape High
Court appeal against the final rezoning of the R10-billion Lagoon Bay
Lifestyle and Golf estate at Glentana.
The protest is being arranged by the George Leadership Forum, a
volunteer organisation established to address the job needs of
disadvantaged community members.
Tomorrow they will march to the George municipal offices to appeal to
Mayor Flip de Swardt for help.
“We are sick and tired of seeing poor people suffering without jobs,”
forum leader Cornelius Essau said yesterday.
He said feelings were running high and members would “boycott all
white-owned businesses in our townships”.
“If our people can’t work in Glentana, why should we support them?”
After the march, Essau said protesters planned to take buses to Glentana
where they would camp outside the holiday homes of a group of residents
who had objected to the final rezoning.
The forum has welcomed the massive development for its job creation
potential, but the residents have appealed against the approval given
earlier this year for Lagoon Bay.
“We will make sure they won’t be able to have their holidays there,”
The homeowners, who were reluctant to speak about the appeal, said
through spokesman Louis Raubenheimer that they were not happy with the
environmental impact the development would have on the ecology of the area.
Werner Roux, the owner and developer of the luxury resort, planned to
have two 18-hole golf courses, more than 1 200 houses and lodges, 150
apartments, a hotel and conference centre, promised local residents up
to 18 000 temporary construction jobs, 1 200 permanent jobs, as well as
homes and jobs for farmworkers living on the land.
“This (appeal) could cost us a delay of up to 18 months,” Roux said.
In May, he and other stakeholders promised jobs in the new year to 6 000
unemployed people who attended a meeting at the Conville Civic Centre.
Roux said a skills audit would be done and a skills training facility
built to train local labour before construction began.
Lagoon Bay was given the green light in April when former Western Cape
developmental planning MEC Pierre Uys approved the record of decision.
The Wildlife and Environmental Society of Southern Africa was among
those opposed to it.
Source: The Herald
Democracy is on the Brink of Catastrophe
S'bu Zikode (Abahlali) 1 November 2009
Shamita Naidoo and S'bu Zikode spoke to the topic of 'Democracy is on
the Brink of Catastrophe' at a seminar held at Rhodes University by the
Faculty of Humanities and the Women's Academic Solidarity Association on
Friday 30 October. Not everyone could be accomodated in the room and a
number of people had to be turned away. S'bu's talk is below. Shamita
did not bring a written version of her contribution but a transcription
was typed up and will be available shortly. Abahlali baseMjondolo were
joined at the talk by the Unemployed People's Movement from Grahamstown
and spent Friday afternoon with the movement in the Vukani settlement
where they saw the atrocious conditions there including pre-fabricated
houses that have rotting floors after less than a year; RDP houses, also
less than a year old, built (like in Durban) on a slab and without any
foundation, with asbestos roofs (many of which have blown off in full or
in part), walls with cracks so big that you can put your first in them,
large gaps between walls and roofs, walls that have blown over the in
the wind and walls that shake when you bump them. People will die in
these houses in the winter and it is inevitable that people will also be
killed when these houses collapse on to them. For comment on the
situation in Vukani or the work of the Unemployed People's Movement in
Grahamstown contact Ayanda Kota on 07825 6462.
Democracy is on the Brink of Catastrophe
Rhodes University, 30 October 2009
The road to real democracy has not been easy to those who are still
searching for the truth in it. It is like the long road of Abahlali
baseMjondolo to the Constitutional Court. Democracy means different
things to different people. To some leaders democracy means that they
are the only ones who must exercise authority upon others. For some
government officials democracy means accepting anything that is said
about ordinary men and women. With the attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo
in Kennedy Road we have now seen that this technocratic thinking will be
supported with violence when ordinary men and women insist on their
right to speak and to be heard on the matters that concern their daily
lives. On the one side there is a consultant with a laptop. On the other
side there is a drunk young man with a bush knife or a gun. As much as
they might look very different they serve the same system – a system in
which ordinary men and women must be good boys and girls and know that
their place is not to think and speak for themselves.
It must be remembered that we have no world without families, without
neighbourhoods and without nations. If democracy is to be a living force
it must be a reality in the real world of our lives. Therefore there is
no democracy in settlements like Kennedy Road if residents are forced to
take instruction from party politicians, while those who refuse to take
such instructions are attacked and killed. The attack on Abahlali in
Kennedy Road was an attack on our democracy.
We must be clear that our democracy is not perfect. It is a democracy of
the few, for the few and by the few – a democracy for the rich and by
the rich. It is a class democracy, a democracy that criminalises our
believable movement and most movements of the poor and by the poor. It
is a democracy that does not only protect the interests of its champions
but leaves its ordinary members to rot in jondolo (shacks), substandard
housing and the life threatening conditions that are found in places
like the Kennedy Road settlement.
Our democracy has failed the poor. Therefore it is our responsibility to
make it work for the poor – to turn it into a living force in the lives
of the poor by building the power of the poor and reducing the power of
the rich. We need to struggle to democratise all the places where we
live, work, organise, study and pray. The solution to the fact that our
democracy has failed the poor is not to attack democracy from above.
The attack on Abahlali members, its leaders and its offices in the
Kennedy Road settlement on the 26th of September 2009 has been a
wakening call that our democracy is on the brink of catastrophe. A
catastrophe in which no man or woman may be able to rebuild or connect
the spirit and soul of our humanity.
Abahlali have been attacked because it has organised the unorganised, it
has educated the so called uneducated, it has given voice to the
voiceless. Our movement has forced the senior officials to investigate
their own employees on all allegations of misallocation, mismanagement
and corruption in the delivery of housing and in tender issuing
processes. Abahlali have stopped most eviction in the cities where we
have members by protesting and taking some municipalities and some
government departments to court. We have taken the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal to the Constitutional Court.
Our attackers are very rich and are using the tax payer’s money to carry
out the attack. They even remote the attack from a distance so that the
poor can been seen to be fighting amongst themselves. We have seen in
the past how the poor have been made to turn their anger against their
fellow brothers and sisters without sound and able reasons. This is
catastrophic and must be stopped now.
The poor must be allowed to seriously engage on the issues that make
them poor. They must be supported in all efforts and methods by which
they intend to liberate themselves. Everyone has a role to play, be they
rich or poor, in shaping this country in to one that immediately begins
to respect and look after its poor of the poorest as we move to an end
to poverty. The land and all other resources must be shared equally; the
laws must apply to everyone including those who make them. The concerns
of the poor must be raised loud enough to be heard without fear or
fever. The poor must be allowed to determine their own future without
allowing party politic to mislead our generation.
The Constitutional Court ruling in favour of Abahlali means that a
people’s democracy will not be undermined at every turn. It means that
forced removal to transit camps can no longer be considered as the
delivery of adequate and alternative housing as was a provision of the
already buried Slums Act. Abahlali have always been open to free
discussion and have always promised to return every meaningful
engagement by the state with a meaningful contribution from below.
Despite all the attacks on our movement and the long road to the
Constitutional Court the ruling of the Constitutional Court in favour of
Abahlali means that while party politic is trying to bring our democracy
to the brink of catastrophe the Constitutional Court recognises our
humanity and it recognises that the poor have the same right as everyone
else to shape the future of the country. We encourage everyone who
believes in real equality before the law and all democrats to refuse any
form of attack on our democracy -a democracy fought very hard to be won.
Let us do whatever it takes to protect our children, our nation and our
I take this opportunity to share with you how disturbing and difficult
it is to be forced to exile in your own country. I and many leaders of
our movement have been made refugees in our own country, in our own
province, in our own city, in our own settlement. Our families,
including our children, are going through a very difficult time. Some of
them have been admitted in hospitals because they cannot cope with the
trauma. The state has not responded with any relief for those whose
homes were burnt down and who were made homeless by this attack. The
state has not condemned our attackers. The state has not arrested anyone
from our attackers but continues to threaten our members in the courts
and outside the courts. We continue to receive death threats. We are
even threatened with death in court whenever we attend the bail hearing
for our members. On behalf of Abahlali I also take this opportunity to
express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have supported our
movement in this difficult time, through writing solidarity statements,
through demonstrations, through the collection of donations etc. I thank
all those of you who have made written submissions to oppose the already
buried Slums Act. A celebration of our victory is starting on Sunday, 01
November 2009 by slaughtering of a cow. You are all invited to join us
in our celebration of this important victory on the long road to land
and freedom. You are all welcomed.
I thank you all.
Presenter: Bongani Bingwa (Carte Blanche) 1 November 2009
This week, protest marches at the gates of higher learning in the Free
It is the second time in recent history that racial tensions have boiled
over at the university. We witnessed the riots the first time around...
[Carte Blanche 2 March 2008] Devi Sankaree Govender (Carte Blanche
presenter): Two weeks of running battles have left its Bloemfontein
campus branded a hotbed of racism.
Bongani Bingwa (Carte Blanche presenter): 'In January last year, South
Africa was hit with the biggest race scandal in over a decade.'
It revolved around a video produced by the so-called 'Reitz Four' -
'white' Afrikaans young men who lived in the now infamous Reitz
residence. They made this amateur video in protest against the
university's integration programme.
[Amateur Video] Once upon a time, the Boere lived happily here on Reitz
Island, until the day that the previously disadvantaged discovered the
word 'integration' in the dictionary.
The students made five elderly workers perform a number of humiliating
acts in a mock initiation ceremony. The most shocking of the tasks was
to eat a meal that had seemingly been urinated on.
Bongani: 'The 10 minute movie prompted over a million Internet downloads
and caused an outcry across campus and throughout the country. Old
apartheid wounds that had barely healed had reopened.'
Prof Jonathan Jansen (Vice Chancellor: University of the Free State):
'My stomach turned. I couldn't believe that this was possible.'
Prof Jonathan Jansen took up the office of vice chancellor at the
University of the Free State three months ago.
Prof Jansen: 'And what made it worse was that, unlike the shooting of
poor 'black' folk in the North-West Province - where there is no visual
material - here you have visual material. And it's played over and over
and over again to remind you of that horror.'
Bongani: 'The Reitz residence was closed because of the furore. The
students behind the video were suspended from the university and charged
criminally. But this week the new vice chancellor, Prof Jansen,
announced this res would be opened again as a model of reconciliation,
and he offered an olive branch to the offending students and invited
them back onto the campus.'
Prof Jansen's decision to forgive has turned up resistance from many
There has also been criticism from on high - from cabinet - and the man
in charge of higher education, Minister Blade Nzimande, has called the
move grossly insensitive.
Mary Metcalfe (DG, Higher Education): 'There are no shortcuts to
DG for higher education, Mary Metcalfe has concerns about the process.
Mary: 'And the essential element of reconciliation is that the person
that has caused offence needs to apologise, and the person who has been
offended needs to feel that their humanity and dignity is restored.'
Bongani: 'But this kind of criticism is quite unprecedented, isn't it?'
Mary: 'I think that Prof Jansen does feel that this has been very direct
and very harsh. I think he needs to think more carefully, and this is
what I have requested from him about why there should be such an angry
reaction. What pain does this touch in so many people?'
On campus students are emotional and divided - pretty much along racial
Woman 1: 'It would have been the right decision if he has contacted the
Woman 2: 'I understand where he is coming from, but I think those four
boys did not show enough remorse.'
Woman 3: 'A lot of people think that what they did wasn't that bad.'
Woman 4: 'Well, we want them to personally apologise publically.'
Woman 5: 'So I still feel they're not even guilty; so I don't know why
they have to apologise actually.'
Man 1: 'What they did was wrong, but it's in the past.'
Woman 6: 'It is preposterous because you can't exactly forgive someone
who isn't sorry to begin with.'
Bongani: 'One of the major concerns voiced by Prof Jansen's critics is
that the Reitz Four have simply not shown enough remorse. When we spoke
to them last year, 'I'm sorry' was not part of their vocabulary.'
[Carte Blanche 2 March 2008] Devi: On Friday we met Van der Merwe and
Malherbe in their legal team's offices. They seemed bizarrely oblivious
to what the world perceived the video to be.
[Carte Blanche 2 March 2008] RC Malherbe: 'We didn't think. It was
really just for a cultural evening. We just wanted to show something on
Given the extreme nature of the violations on video, leading voices in
human rights are finding it difficult to understand Prof Jansen's
decision to say all is forgiven.
Jody Kollapen (Former chairman, Human Rights Commission): 'It is hard to
forgive when those who are forgiven don't even accept as a starting
point that they have erred.'
As the former chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Jody Kollapen was
central in bringing the Reitz Four to court.
Jody: 'And also, it is impossible to forgive on behalf of somebody else.'
Prof Jansen: 'My thinking was the following: 'We've got a very divided
community here.' And I said to myself, 'One of the many things that I
have to consider is how to make sure that our brothers and sisters that
happen to be 'white' also feel this is their university.''
Shortly after he took office, Prof Jansen introduced a quota system in
the residences - insisting on integration. Among 'white' students, it
was an unpopular move.
Prof Jansen: 'I got a roasting in the 'white' Afrikaans press I can
assure you. I got a roasting, I can assure you. They called it, in
Afrikaans, 'forced integration'. And I was accused at that time of
sucking up to 'black' people.'
Integration and segregation have been longstanding issues on this campus.
Prof Jansen: ''White' people, whether you like it or not, really think
that the country is no longer for them; that they've been targeted as
racist every single day; that they are on a campus that is increasingly
'black', therefore they are being gradually forced out.'
That's why Prof Jansen decided to make a symbolic gesture of
reconciliation by pardoning the 'Reitz Four'.
Prof Jansen: 'Because, remember, for the average 'white' South Africans,
certainly Afrikaners, the Reitz incident wasn't about the boys. The
Reitz incident was absorbed as a commentary on the group.'
The video came out of a history of institutionalised racism here. So,
Prof Jansen believes the university must take some responsibility moving
Prof Jansen: 'We do, as universities, as institutions in the broader
sphere, also have a responsibility not to every time chop off people's
heads only, but also to say there is an opportunity for parole. And if
we don't do that, I think we are creating a very dangerous society.'
This kind of thinking goes over the head of Free State chairman of ANC
Youth League, Thabo Meeko. On Monday this week he was on the streets
baying for blood.
Thabo Meeko (Free State Chairperson, ANCYL): 'If there is one thing Prof
Jansen wishes to be is to be a 'white' person.'
Bongani: 'They're basically calling you an Uncle Tom.'
Prof Jansen: 'If you believe you are making the right decision over the
long term, it doesn't really bother me what people call me... I've been
called the 'son of' many things before.'
Jody: 'Calling him a 'white' person I think somehow suggests that all
'white' people are somehow tainted in this country; that there is a
label you attach to all of 'them' as being anti-transformational, and I
think that is unfair to all 'white' people.'
Thabo: 'Prof Jansen is equally a criminal, like these racist young
student[s] at university. And we agree with the president of the ANC -
shoot and kill a criminal.'
Bongani: 'Is there space for this kind of rhetoric in 2009?'
Jody: 'Absolutely not. And I think you could disagree as much as you
want to with Prof Jansen. Deal with the issue. I think suggesting that
he is a racist ignores his history, his background, his commitment to
transformation in our society. And I think it is a sad reflection of the
immaturity of the political discourse that some within our country have
chosen to adopt.'
Prof Jansen: 'I listen to the criticism. I don't respond in kind. I try
to make sense of what the anger and anguish is about and I meet with
In keeping with his conciliatory ways, Prof Jansen met with Youth League
president, Julius Malema on Thursday.
Julius Malema (President: ANCYL): 'We are not opposed to students, the
four students, coming back.'
Okay, so that was the first change of heart. Here's the second...
Reporter: 'I just want to find out if you guys talked about the 'shoot
to kill' comments that were made by the ANC Youth League chairperson in
the Free State?'
Julius: 'You see, you must be very ashamed to even ask that question
because you wrote a wrong statement. In the same way we are fighting
crime we must fight racism. That's what he said and even in your video -
you must go watch that video 15 times - there is nowhere where the
chairperson of the youth league said we are going to kill Prof Jansen.'
In case you missed it - like the Youth League president seems to have -
here is that video again:
Thabo: 'Prof Jansen is equally a criminal, like these racist young
student[s] at university. And we agree with the president of the ANC -
shoot and kill a criminal.'
Away from the jury of the people and back in Bloemfontein's magistrate's
court, four young men stand accused of racism. Inside these walls, there
are calls for the perpetrators and victims to come together.
Mary: 'I am fully in support of the process in the court that will bring
the young men and the women together because that will restore dignity
to both. The institution, in my view, failed to use this opportunity to
build that understanding.'
Prof Jansen: 'Okay, let's do it again... let's present the idea again,
which is what I am doing at the moment, and let's see if there is a way
forward, okay? And I believe it will work out. Once you get past this
noisy period in which you are going to see quite a dramatic moment when
everybody comes together. But we have to start somewhere.'
Matatiele awaits its fate
By Sipho Khumalo 2 November 2009
Despite huge protest at the glitches that accompanied referendum on
whether the residents of Matatiele should remain part of Eastern Cape or
should instead be incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs yesterday expressed
satisfaction with the process.
The voting, over four days, to determined the choice of Matatiele
between KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape was dogged by massive problems
with reports that some ballot boxes were not sealed, leaving them open
to tampering .
Yesterday two senor municipal officialls and two teachers appeared in
court for allegedly tampering with the voting.
The case was reminded and the three will appear in court on Thursday
this week for bail application.
Another service delivery protest flares up in Gauteng
SABC 31 October 2009
Another service delivery protest has flared up, this time at Bekkersdal
in Gauteng on the West Rand. The Bekkersdal community is accusing the
Gauteng government of neglecting them and not fulfilling its service
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) spokesperson
Tebogo Makolwane says: "The situation right now is still bad because the
community is still hungry for service delivery that they have been
complaining about. The main thing in this case is housing. They are also
demanding a better life.” In the past week alone two municipality cars
and a community centre have been set alight by angry protesters,
demanding better service delivery.
Writing in an online publication, ANC Today, ANC NEC member Malusi
Gigaba said some of the service delivery protests are a result of the
arrogance of certain local councillors deployed to positions of
responsibility. Gigaba was referring to the recent protests in Sakhile
near Standerton in Mpumalanga.
He said the protest raised service delivery issues to highlight much
deeper challenges which relate to the political leadership of the
councillors. He says Sakhile residents were angry because their
leadership had turned their backs on them.
Meanwhile, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister,
Sicelo Shiceka says the turnaround strategy for local government is to
be finalised in December. This is aimed at addressing issues raised
during service delivery protests in more than 31 municipalities across
the country since the beginning of the year.
There is racism in this institution'
Sapa 31 October 2009
Protesting Cosatu members broke through a steel barrier at Sun City near
Rustenburg on Saturday.
The barrier is put in place to prevent them from gaining entry to the
hotel's main gate during their protest march.
"We are not going to hand over the memorandum here, we want to hand it
over there at the main gate," said North West provincial secretary Solly
Phetoe before the protesters broke the barrier.
Public order police managed to keep the crowd under control.
The entrance to the hotel was blocked until the memorandum was handed over.
"There is racism in this institution. The worst they did was to insult
our international leader, our father (former president) Nelson Mandela,"
Phetoe said, referring to an incident in which Mandela was referred to
as a "k****r".
"With Nelson Mandela, we are not going to compromise," he said.
About 1000 Cosatu members in Moses Kotane took to the streets to protest
racism and working conditions at Sun International Resort.
Key to the protest was an allegation that an employee of a security
company had played a music CD with lyrics referring to Mandela as a
"k****r" and former president Thabo Mbeki as a "baboon".
Phetoe said Sun City must terminate the contract of Falcon Security,
whose employee allegedly played the CD.
"If they do not agree, we will protest at their concert and the million
dollar golf tournament."
Phetoe said racism was rife at Sun City, to an extent that African
workers were subjected to polygraph tests while their white counterparts
were not subjected to the tests.
Cosatu also wanted the immediate dismissal of a white supervisor who
allegedly told two workers that they smell like baboons.
She allegedly told them that they should bath, and if they could not
afford deodorants he would gladly buy it for them.
In the memorandum, Cosatu alleged that one worker, Debra Danke, was
locked in a room with snakes after she was accused of stealing money
from a hotel room.
She was locked with snakes after a polygraph test cleared her of the theft.
The union alleged blacks were dismissed for petty issues, while whites
escaped with warnings in serious cases.
Cosatu also alleged that a white employee nonprocedurally took goods
amounting to R2 million out of the resort to his place in Swartruggens
and was only given a warning.
Kurt Peter, divisional manager at the resort, who received the
memorandum on behalf of Sun City and Sun International said they
rejected any form of racism.
"We are waiting timeously to eradicate racism and we challenge Cosatu to
work with us to uproot racism," he said.
He explained that comprehensive investigations were being conducted into
the alleged insult on Mandela.
He said a manager at Falcon Security had been fired in connection with
the incident and another was on suspension.
Cosatu threatened to lobby Fifa not to use Sun International facilities
during the 2010 soccer world cup. "We will request the international
world not to do business with Sun International if they don't stop
racism," said Phetoe.
Cosatu in the Western Cape had also threatened to launch an offensive
campaign against Sun International hotels in the province, namely Grand
West Casino and Table Bay Hotel.
North West Cosatu said if their were grievances were not responded to by
Monday they would mobilise internationally for sanctions against Sun
International. - Sapa
Turnaround strategy for local govt to be finalised in December
SABC 31 October 2009
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Sicelo Shiceka
says the turnaround strategy for local government is to be finalised in
December. This will help to address issues raised during service
delivery protests in more than 31 municipalities across the country
since the beginning of the year.
Shiceka was responding to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA)
about service delivery protests and how the issues raised by the
residents during the protest are being tackled. He says officials have
visited all of the areas where protests were held and have listened to
issues raised by the communities.
Shiceka also says over R1.5 billion was not spent by municipalities due
to delays in the registration of projects through poor planning. This
was out of a total of R8.3 million given to municipalities. Around R287
million was stopped due to significant under spending by 31
municipalities around the country.
Meanwhile, ANC NEC member Malusi Gigaba says some of the service
delivery protests are a result of the arrogance of certain local
councilors deployed to positions of responsibility.
Gigaba was referring to the recent protests in Sakhile near Standerton
in Mpumalanga. He says in an online publication, ANC Today, the protest
raised service delivery issues to highlight much deeper challenges which
relate to the political leadership of the councillors. He says Sakhile
residents were angry because their leadership had turned their backs on
Chaos cripples many SA municipalities
Brendan Boyle 31 October 2009
Sicelo Shiceka, the minister for cooperative governance and traditional
affairs, has lifted the lid on the chaos that has crippled many of South
Africa's 283 municipalities.
Current Font Size:
Responding to parliamentary questions, he said he would table a
comprehensive strategy next month to bring order to towns across the
Shiceka revealed that:
* Thirteen municipalities had failed to implement the new Municipal
Property Rates Act on July 1 as required. This meant they could no
longer bill for rates because they had no valid valuations to work from.
They were in North West, Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and
Free State. He had tabled emergency legislation to allow those
municipalities another two years in which to collect rates based on old
* Municipalities were owed R2.4-billion by government departments on
June 30, of which nearly R500-million had been owed for more than a year.
* A comprehensive reconciliation, including outstanding household and
business debt, will be ready next month;
* Twenty-seven municipal managers and four chief financial officers are
suspended pending disciplinary action;
* A majority of households lack proper sanitation in more than half the
283 municipalities, more than two- thirds of towns have no regular
rubbish collection and more than a third do not have water;
* Poor planning and a lack of capacity meant that R1.2-billion of the
R8.4-billion municipal infrastructure grant to local authorities for the
year to March was not spent; and
* Seven municipalities have been placed under administration this year.
The reasons included political infighting, conflict between top
management and councillors, fraud and misuse of municipal funds.
Startlingly, although he was aware that a number of allegations of
corruption had been made under the Municipal Systems Act, he was unable
to get details.
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