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SA protest news 21 - 30 November (2009) SA protest news 21 - 30 November.  : -.


Protest Against State Repression to be Held at at Macassar Village Tomorrow
Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Press Statement, 27 November 2009

We will be holding a protest against state repression at New Road,
Maccassar Village, from 11:00 on Saturday 28 November 2009.

Our movement is under serious attack in Durban. Our comrades in Abahlali
baseMjondolo in Durban have been attacked and had their homes destroyed
by an armed ANC militia supported by the local police and politicians.
They have also been arrested, denied bail, beaten while in custody and
attacked and seriously beaten by the police while going about their
ordinary activities in their communities. Many of our comrades are
living under death threats and have been turned into refugees. Many of
our comrades are no longer able to appear in public in Durban. There
have been longstanding problems with democracy in Durban but it is now
clear that there is no longer any democracy in Durban. Durban ceased to
be a democratic city on 26 September 2009 when this wave of violent
repression was launched against our movement.

This is the worst case of state repression in post-apartheid South
Africa but it is far from the first case. Over the years all of the
movements in The Poor People's Alliance have had their marches banned
and been subject to arrest, assault and even torture at the hands of the
police. We are all very familiar with rubber bullet, tear gas, holding
cells and courts. We all confront regular illegal and violent evictions
at the hands of the state. Here in Cape Town Abahlali baseMjondolo has
recently confronted mysterious violent attacks, illegal and violent
evictions from the state and arrests and police violence. Neither the
criminalistion of the poor nor the criminalisation of dissent are new.

Our protest is in support of our comrades in Durban and we are demanding
the immediate restoration of democracy in Durban. We also support the
demand for an independent inquiry into all the attacks on our movement
in Durban including those from both the militia and the police.

Our protest is also in defence of our own struggle here in the Western
Cape. We also face repression here and it is clear that if we allow
democracy to be done away with in Durban it will not be long before
democracy is also done away with in Cape Town, in Johannesburg and
across the country.

Silence is the speech of the defeated. We are not defeated and we will
not be defeated. We are organised and we will remain organised. South
Africa belongs to all who live in it and therefore we will continue to
take our place in the cities and in all discussions affecting our
communities and our lives. Our position is that each person's life and
intelligence counts the same and no ward councillor, police officer or
land invasions unit will succeed to make us deviate from this position.

For more information and comment please contact:

Mzonke Poni: 073 256 2036
Mthobeli Qona: 076 875 9533

Guards demolish shacks
Nompumelelo Magwaza 26 November 2009

Residents of Mpola informal settlement at Marrianridge, near Pinetown,
spent Thursday rebuilding and repairing their shacks.

This was after a group of armed municipal security guards had ransacked
and demolished more than 20 shacks, leaving about 100 people homeless.
The guards were acting on the orders of ward councillor Derrick Dimba.

The residents said that the evictions were illegal because the guards
did not have an eviction court order.

One, Lindiwe Ndlovu, said the guards ordered people out of their shacks
before breaking them down.

Sipho Hlambisa said he had to take time off from work to rebuild his shack.

"If they want to evict us, they must be prepared to take us somewhere else.

"They should not just remove our furniture and demolish our shacks."

Dimba said he had sent the guards to demolish the shacks because the
residents were occupying the land illegally.

"The people invaded that land.

"The area is not designed to be a residential area - the place is steep
and it is near a stream.

"The municipality has no plans to build houses or for any projects in
that area."

Dimba said eviction orders were necessary only where people had built
proper houses.

Centre for Applied Legal Studies researcher Kate Tissington said,
however, that an eviction without a court order was illegal, "and this
most definitely is".

"The occupiers of Mpola informal settlement are protected by the
Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act and if the municipality wants to
evict those living there, it needs to go through the eviction
application process and get an order of court."

Tissington said the city had acted illegally by bypassing the act's

The eThekwini council speaker, James Nxumalo, said he understood that
the city had to obtain a court order to evict people. He said although
councillors acted as the eyes of the municipality, they did not have the
right to evict people.

# This breaking news article was supplied exclusively to
by the news desk at our sister publication, The Mercury.

Man shot during Red Ants eviction
Poloko Tau 27 November 2009

A man was shot and wounded when police allegedly shot him with a rubber
bullet when he tried to claim his belongings during an eviction at a
suspected hijacked building in the Joburg CBD.

Speaking from his bed at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic
Hospital, 39-year-old Stanford Mahuna said he was trying to get his DVD
player from a Red Ant Security Services officer when he was shot in a
leg yesterday.

Mahuna and other residents at the Athlone Building in Mooi Street were
left homeless after they were thrown out. About 40 families were left

He said the infamous security personnel arrived at about 6pm, while he
was still in his curtain-partitioned room, and ordered them out.

"I was confused as I had moved into the building only about three weeks
ago. I quickly grabbed whatever I could, and we were pushed out and told
that the Red Ants will bring the rest of our belongings down," Mahuna said.

"I waited outside by the door and people were receiving their belongings
as they were moved out. A while later I saw a man carrying my DVD player
and it looked like he was taking it to a truck nearby, and that's when I
went to him and demanded it, and then I was shot."

Mahuna said he had been told the rubber bullet wound was "bad and I
could have sustained some bone injuries".

"I did not do anything wrong as I was only trying to get what is mine
... Instead I was shot. I ran around bleeding and the officer chased me
around," he said.

"Now I have lost my stove, clothes and a television set because I could
not remain there to guard my belongings."

Mahuna's wife, Esther Selemane, 29, said: "I cried watching (Mahuna)
being shot and running around bleeding, and the officer still followed
him. I was scared and everyone around thought they were going to kill him."

Anti Privatisation Forum housing co-ordinator Sipho Magudulela has
blamed the government for evictions, yet "building hijackers walk about
freely, while they are the main cause of the problem".

Athlone Building resident Thembelihle Buthelezi, 48, who has two young
children, said: "We were evicted in June and the police still harassed
us, but the case was won in the high court and we moved back. I thought
it was over, and I don't know where to go to from here."

Asked about the shooting, police spokeswoman Inspector Lorraine van
Emmerik said Mahuna had been "interfering with official duties". She
said the shooting was being probed.

Mahuna said he would open a case against the officer who shot him.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star
on November 27, 2009

UKZN labour conditions are ‘appalling’
25 Nov 2009
Chris Ndaliso

CLEANERS and security guards at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)
are working under appalling labour conditions.

This was revealed at a seminar organised by the Centre for Civil Society
(CCS), together with the UKZN Workers' Forum at the university’s
Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday.

Cleaners, security guards, students and National Education, Health and
Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) representatives attended the seminar.

UKZN Worker’s Forum representative Zama Hlatshwayo said they have
engaged the university management in an attempt to find middle ground on
the issue of labour brokers at the institution.

“In August, we met with university top officials and employees to say we
want employees to be brought back under the institution’s pay-roll. That
meeting has not yielded any positive results,” Hlatshwayo said.

A study report conducted by Caroline Skinner in August reveals that
cleaners are paid between R8,50 and R8,76 per hour. This amounts to
between R1 067 and R1 175 per month.

Security guards get an average R10,30 per hour, which comes to between
R1 944 and R2 100 after deductions. The study incorporated areas around
all the UKZN campuses.

The report estimates that a household in these areas survives on a
minimum amount of R3 157,64 per month.

CCS’s Trevor Ngwane said many of the workers have served and were on the
university pay-roll since the late 1980s. In a cost-cutting measure in
1998, the university decided to give workers early retirement, enlisting
the services of contractors instead.

Abolishment of outsourcing services enjoys the support of the students.

In yesterday’s seminar student representative Mlungisi Manana urged
wor­kers to unite against exploitation by contractors.

“This is the time to fight labour brokers to the core. We as students
cannot stand aside and watch while our mothers, fathers, brothers and
sisters are exploited by those whose main goal is to line their own
pockets at the expense of the poor,” Manana said.

Sun City fires guards over strip searches
Sapa 27 November 2009

The employees who were searched have been provided with counselling

A group of Sun City security officers have been fired after the union
threatened a work stoppage in support of 5 employees who say they were

“In responding to the issue of the five staff members who were searched
at Sun City on suspicion of theft, Sun International confirmed today
that the security officers concerned, employed by 24/7 Security
Services, had been suspended immediately after the incident and
subsequently dismissed for a breach of protocol.

“The employees who were searched have been provided with counselling and
they have indicated they wish to consider the matter closed,” a
statement read.

Police said one person has appeared in court charged with indecent
assault after five complaints were laid.

Captain Aafje Bothma did not want to give more details but said the
37-year-old woman would appear in court again on December 17.

An angry Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the North West said
they would bring traffic to the resort to a standstill and that all
staffers would not work during a protest on December 3.

The union federation’s North West spokesman Madito wa ga Molebalwa said
they would still go ahead with their protest, despite today’s announcement.

A security company spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

A number of employees of another security contractor, Falcon, had to
leave over the recent playing of a racially offensive CD at a party for
resort staff.

Uproar over return of official
Frank Maponya 25 November 2009

THE woes of former Modimolle municipal manager Charles Powell are set to

This follows a decision by residents to protest against his impending

Powell, who was fired from the municipality after being found guilty of
at least 10 financial mismanagement charges in June, was set to return
to work following an alleged recommendation by Limpopo premier Cassel

But the Modimolle residents said yesterday they would protest to stop
Powell from returning to work .

A municipal source said an urgent council meeting was to be held late in
the afternoon to ratify a decision to reinstate Powell.

Mathale's spokesperson Phuti Mosomane said the matter had nothing to do
with the premier's office because "Mathale would not insist on
appointing someone with such a record".

Cape Town traders threaten to disrupt 2010
Sandiso Phaliso West Cape News 25 November 2009

Informal traders incensed at the City's clampdown on trading stalls
which contravene the Land Use Planning Ordinance and city by-laws, have
threatened to disrupt service delivery during the 2010 World Cup.

On Tuesday about 300 traders marched to the Civic Centre demanding that
they City of Cape Town officials involve them in decision making
regarding issues which concern them.

The traders gave the city seven working days to respond to their
grievances or they would make Cape Town "ungovernable come 2010" , they said.

While traders are unhappy about the clampdown of businesses run on
sidewalks or from shipping containers placed on land not zoned for
business, they are also upset over the City not including them in 2010
World Cup plans.

Singing and dancing while carrying placards reading “we demand to be
consulted now rather than later or we will make Cape Town ungovernable”,
the marchers handed their memorandum to City’s business manager Paul

Speaking on behalf of over 10 informal traders’ associations,
chairperson of the Western Cape Informal Traders association Charles
Riedewaan said 288 informal traders had their businesses shut down this
year in Bellville alone.

Due to the Grand Parade being an official FIFA fan zone come the World
Cup, he said 100 of the 250 informal traders there faced eviction.

Riedewaan said the City had told them that they don’t have provision for
informal traders and could only accommodate a few during the World Cup.

“We want him (Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato) to stop the evictions so that
we may sit with him with all the concerned and affected parties.

“We oppose to the City’s strategy of sending eviction letters to our
members without consulting with us,” he said.

On Tuesday Plato was meeting informal traders from Mitchells’s Plain and
the Grand Parade about their benefiting from the World Cup, but
Riedewaan asked: “What is the point of talking with one group and
evicting the others?”

Bellville informal trader David Willy said his stall was shut down about
a month ago. He said he was told not to open again because there was no
space for him in Bellville.

Willy said he operated out of a shipping container and sold airtime, ran
a cobbling business and fixed electrical appliances.

He said his stall had been his only form of income and now he was unable
to put food on the table and his three children were going hungry.

Protests spark trader fears
Voice of the Cape 25 November 2009

EXCLUSIVE - A cloud of fear and anxiety hung over the Mother City on
Tuesday as hundreds of unlicensed informal traders protested against
what they called "continued harassment" by law enforcement officers from
the city council. Several unlicensed informal traders descended upon the
usually busy Belleville business district, forcing licensed traders to
close their businesses and join them in the march.

The protestors told VOC they were fed up with the City's law enforcement
officers for taking their goods because they were trading "unlawfully"
on the streets. "We are fed up with these law enforcement officers. They
normally come without warning, take our merchandise and never issue us
with tickets fines which we can follow up. This is day light robbery," a
DVD seller who operates on a Bellville street said. Another illegal
trader asked, "If they don't permit us to sell on the streets, do they
want us to be robbers?"

By noon on Tuesday, groups of licensed informal traders operating along
Durban Road and Kruskal Street in the Bellville CBD were seen hurriedly
closing down their stalls. This came after they were warned by the
protestors that they would loose merchandise if they did not close shop
to join the protest. A few who refused to close their businesses were
allegedly robbed.

At the same time, word had spread that some xenophobic elements in the
townships were coming to rob foreign businesses in the area. It resulted
in high police visibility in the form of patrols around the Bellville
CBD after cases of intimidation and theft by the protestors were reported.

"I witnessed last year's brutal xenophobic attacks, where I lost goods
in my shop. So I can't take another risk. Once I hear of any reports
suggesting xenophobia, I start to run," Maimuna, a Zambian trader, told
VOC, as she packed her merchandise into Chinese bags. She added that
whenever there are protests in the form of toy-toying, informal traders
selling on the streets are robbed if they do not close their stalls.

However, shops belonging to most foreign traders were still open
although they were clearly fearful. By the time of going to press, the
usually busy and crowded Bellville bus station area was deserted as most
street vendors had closed their stalls. Foreigners are currently living
in fear after last week's xenophobic attacks in the De Doorns in Boland,
were 3,000 Zimbabwean farm workers were displaced.

The Zimbabweans were driven out by locals from the Stofland informal
settlement after being accused of stealing their jobs by accepting lower
wages. Foreigners who have been on tenterhooks since a wave of
xenophobia hit the country last May now fear that the De Doorns attacks
will spread to other parts of the Western Cape. VOC (Hassan Isilow)

DA Youth protest over cop ‘brutality: Wake up – ANC told
Nawhal Kara 25 November 2009

The DA Youth yesterday marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to
demand action from the Ministry of Women, Children and People with

Led by DA regional chairperson Cilliers Brink, the youth said Minister
Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya needed to “wake up” to the reality of violence
being perpetrated by the police against women and children.

The marchers dispersed after two hours because there was no one to
receive their memorandum. Metro police stopped them from advancing to
the entrance of the Union Buildings for “safety reasons”.

The protest, on the eve of the start of the 16 Days of Activism against
gender-based violence, was aimed at prompting Mayende- Sibiya into action.

“The ANC should face 16 days of shame for merely paying lip service to
the rights of women and youth, while presiding over a government that
negligently allows its agents to abuse these very rights,” said Brink.

Brink also said that 406 criminal offences were committed by police
officers in Gauteng, with a further 25 rapes committed by officers
nationally, according to the Independent Complaints Directorate’s annual

He referred to incidents in Kempton Park and Rustenburg, where two women were allegedly raped in custody by police officers.

Joint statement by Ehlanzeni’s COSATU, SACP and SANCO

The SACP, COSATU and SANCO in Phillip Radebe (Ehlanzeni) District
convened a joint meeting on Saturday, 14 November 2009 at Saccawu
Regional office. The meeting coincided with the national Alliance Summit
convened at Essellen Park, Gauteng on the same weekend.
We are inspired by the statement of the Alliance Summit which said:

“All Alliance partners views the unity of the Alliance to be paramount
and sacrosanct. It is the responsibility of the ANC as the leader of the
Alliance to ensure that the Alliance remains united. But equally it is
also the responsibility of the leaders of the other Alliance components
to keep the ANC strong so that through the Alliance programme of action,
the Alliance is able to lead the country and positively contribute
towards a better continent and a better world."

In that context we were under no illusion about the fact that ordinarily
the Alliance meeting would have been convened by the ANC as leader of
the Revolutionary Alliance, however as this has not happened over time,
as partners to this revolutionary marriage, we took it upon ourself to
convene ourself even when the ANC is not present. To that end our major
area of focus was an assessment of the state of the Alliance in the region.

We noted with grave concern the current spate of community protests that
has engulfed the province in the past few months. We viewed this as a
serious indictment on the part of the movement as it demonstrated the
absence of leadership on the ground resulting in the masses becoming
frustrated and thus vent their anger in any manner possible
notwithstanding the opportunistic elements that seek to confuse our
people for selfish gains.

To that end we unequivocally condemn the violence and the destruction of
property that was associated with these community demonstrations. We are
fully conscious and understand the pain that our people endure resulting
from poor service delivery by some of our municipalities. We have
observed that largely the people’s grievances are related to the
indifferent attitude and utter disrespect that some municipality
officials and public representatives treat them.

We appreciate the intervention by the ANC NWC and we do hope that it
will bring an end to abuse of state apparatus and the politics of
patronage and cronyism that characterize most of our municipalities
where state resources are used to advance narrow factionalist interests.
Nevertheless we appeal that the final report be made available to
structures of the movement.

We are however appalled at the manner in which the recent Regional
General Council (RGC) of the ANC in Ehlanzeni was conducted. To us this
was a missed opportunity for the NWC deployees to gather views as widely
as possible about how the movement prosecute the National Democratic
Revolution. Accordingly we want to voice our displeasure at being
disallowed speaking rights at this RGC particularly as this is
unprecedented and inconsistent with how the RGCs’ in the other regions
were conducted. We can only hope that this is not associated with the
new anti communist/working class tendency prevailing within the movement.

After through-going deliberations, we resolved on the following as a
guide to our political work:

  • Development of a programme on structured Alliance meetings

  • Development of an Alliance programme of action

  • Enhancement of Political education

  • Building our structures and strengthen the ANC and the broader Alliance

  • Support the state led transformation of the health sector

  • Embark on and lead community campaigns to enhance our visibility on
    the ground

  • Call for our members to actively take part in the ANC and government

  • Call for the ANC to convene a regional Alliance Summit preceded by the
    Alliance ten- a side

  • Commitment to defend the gains of Polokwane by defending the unity of
    the ANC and the Alliance

  • Expose factionalist tendencies in what ever way it manifest itself

  • Guided by the statement of the Alliance Summit alluded to earlier, we
    therefore take it upon ourself to invite the ANC to a Regional Alliance
    ten - a – side meeting scheduled for Saturday, 28 November 2009.

    De Doorns residents protest
    Jan Gerber 24 Novembwer 2009

    Cape Town - A South African who demonstrated outside the De Doorns
    Magistrate Court on Monday in support of 23 people who allegedly
    attacked Zimbabweans, said: "There is no sympathy for what happened."

    A woman and 22 men appeared in court after being arrested for public
    violence after last Tuesday's xenophobic violence. About 3 000
    Zimbabweans were displaced by the violence.

    Only one family member per suspect was allowed in court and the case was
    postponed to Monday. The suspects remain in custody.

    Some of the demonstrators outside the court, who did not want to give
    their names, said it was unfair that 23 people were arrested because
    "the whole of De Doorns was part of the public violence".

    Posters and comments by the demonstrators clearly showed their
    dissatisfaction with the Zimbabweans.

    Farmers in the area were also blamed.
    Agri Western Cape once again issued strongly-worded statement about the
    allegations that farmers employed illegal immigrants, paid workers less
    than the minimum wage and employed workers without legal contracts.

    "With regards to the allegations that workers are paid less than the
    minimum wage, Agri Western Cape wants to challenge those making the
    allegations to show proof to the Department of Labour so that those who
    are guilty of this, may be investigated," said Agri Western Cape.

    Western Cape police chief, Commissioner Mzwandile Petros, visited De
    Doors on Monday in a helicopter. After he spoke to all the relevant
    parties and visited the refugee camp at De Doors, he expressed his
    satisfaction with the situation.

    A Western Cape representative of the UN's High Commission for Refugees
    (UNHCR), Dr Lawrence Mbangson, said provision was made for all the basic
    needs of the Zimbabweans, but he hoped the situation would be resolved
    soon. He couldn't say when reintegration would take place.

    Meanwhile, the immigrants say they are becoming bored in the camp. "We
    didn't come here to sit, we came to work," said Charity Moyo, 23, who
    came to South Africa two months ago. She said it was not true that they
    worked for R40 a day.
    - Die Burger

    Wildcat strike enters day three
    Chantall Presence & Giovanna Gerbi 25 November 2009

    Government said sacked doctors will have to reapply for their posts when
    government’s revised salary offer is implemented.

    The wildcat strike by public sector medical professionals appeared to
    dominate Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

    Government spokesperson Themba Maseko urged doctors to return to work
    while negotiators were finalising a deal.

    Maseko said the offer had a limited shelf life.

    “The offer that’s on the table is valid for 21 days so the unions have
    to take a decision. At the end government will implement the offer.”

    Maseko said if doctors continued striking they could face strong action
    by government.

    He added if they were fired, they would not automatically get their jobs
    back after the deal was implemented.

    “Those doctors who have been fired at that particular time will have to
    reapply for their post. The posts will be advertised and other doctors
    will be invited to apply.”

    Cape Town’s Anglican Archbishop is concerned many babies will die unless
    state hospital doctors get back to their post immediately.

    Archbishop Thabo Makgoba issued a statement condemning striking doctors.

    Only emergency services are working at some of the Western Cape’s
    biggest hospitals.

    The archbishop is worried babies and children will suffer is mothers are
    turned away as well as being concerned people will die unnecessarily if
    they are not attended to.

    “I’m concerned that doctors who are striking illegally will compromise
    the health system and that will affect the poorest of the poor.”

    He wants government to reach a decision about doctors’ salaries as
    quickly as possible.

    A doctor at Worcester’s Provincial Hospital said all practitioners were
    united in protest action.

    Only emergency cases are being attended to at the hospital in the Breede
    River valley.

    Doctor Peter, who spoke on behalf of the 50 striking practitioners,
    claims all the departments have come to a standstill.

    He added he was liaising with Tygerberg and Groote Schuur Hospital

    “At this stage, everybody is partaking in the strike. Every single
    member of the medical staff at Worcester Hospital is [sic] partaking.”
    (Additional Reporting by Danya Philander)

    Mdantsane Crowd Demands Houses
    Trufmwebmaster 24 November 2009

    A crowd of shack dwellers in Mdantsane yesterday burnt tyres and closed
    down main roads, demanding houses from Buffalo City Municipality.

    The protest started at about 3.30am and lasted for six hours, leaving a
    cloud of smoke over the township. The residents were from Ward 18, which
    covers Slovo Park, Daluxolo in NU6, Ngindi Park in NU8, Ekuphumleni,
    Vukani and Ramaphosa in NU7, Madolwana in NU2 and Nazo Park in NU1.

    Residents’ spokesperson Siyabulela Simane said “We just found out after
    the Integrated Development Programmes that there were no funds allocated
    for our housing project.”

    Municipal spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said “the municipality has not
    allocated funds for houses for Ward 18 this financial year,” however a
    consultant had been appointed to carry out assessment of existing
    settlements, which included Ward 18.

    Women, Energy and Climate Change Forum
    Women,Energy and Climate Change Forum 24 November 2009

    The Women, Energy and Climate Change Forum will have a
    demonstration/picket on the 25th Nov 2009 at the Gauteng Regional
    offices of Eskom, Smit Street, Braamfontein. The demonstration will
    start at 10:00am and will end at 12:30pm. This demonstration coincides
    with the 16 Days of no Violence against Women.

    The 25th November is celebrated by human rights activist the world over
    in celebration of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of
    Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) of which the South African
    government has ratified. Human right groups in SA have used the day to
    highlight and celebrate the positive impacts of the convention towards
    women. The day is also used to highlight other forms of discrimination
    and challenges facing women. The Women, Energy and Climate Change Forum
    will be highlighting economic and policy barriers access to energy.

    Energy is fundamental to sustainable development; however the energy
    system in SA is not adequate for women to lead meaningful lives. Eskom
    is acting as a barrier towards development in the country, especially
    for poor people. Poor women are unable to pay the high tariffs demanded
    from Eskom.

    Many poor households remain unconnected to the electricity grid, or are
    unable to afford electricity entirely, leading to them instead to use
    fuel-wood, coal and paraffin as their primary energy carriers. Many
    others suffer varying frequencies of disconnections due to their
    inability to purchase electricity in advance, although most are able to
    pay at least some on a regular basis.

    In addition Eskom’s current generation path (coal and nuclear) will
    result in environmental destruction, through global warming and
    radioactive waste, and will not address the chronic unemployment that
    blights South African Women. Renewable energy avoids environmental
    destruction and creates more jobs than either coal or nuclear.

    We will be calling on Eskom to:

  • End prepaid electricity metering system and institute meaning free
    basic electricity for all South Africans. Eskom’s current proposal of
    70kWh per month on a 20amp connection is an insult to millions of women,
    when it can subsidise Australian mineral; BHP Billiton to the tune of R9
    billion a year.

  • Invest massively in renewable energy technologies and halt the
    building of new coal fired power stations.

  • Stop investing in nuclear power; it is not safe, cost effective
    alternative to coal. We demand that no new nuclear power plants should
    be built in South Africa.

  • Reconsider the current price hikes as they will impact negatively on
    poor women the majority in our country.

  • About the Women, Energy and Climate Change Forum
    The forum is a coordinated network of women’s groups from poor
    communities across Gauteng. It was formed to enable women a voice in
    energy and climate change debates.

    For more information
    Makoma Lekalakala
    Earthlife Africa Jhb
    Cell: 082 682 9177
    Tel: 011 339 3662

    Road trashed over service delivery
    KOWTHAR SOLOMONS Staff Reporter 23 November 2009

    HUNDREDS of Khayelitsha residents burnt tyres and tipped over rubbish
    bins in the latest service delivery protest in the city.

    According to Harare police spokeswoman Nosiphiwo Mntengwane, more than
    300 protesters blocked Baden Powell Drive yesterday afternoon.

    "The protest was generally peaceful and no injuries were reported. Once
    the police arrived the crowd dispersed."

    Residents claim their refuse had not been collected for some time and
    that it had begun to affect their health.

    Mayor Dan Plato said people had the right to protest but shouldn't
    resort to violence to get their point across.

    "People will often complain with the service delivery. These things
    happen from time to time. In certain cases their cause is justified, but
    act inappropriately and that's wrong. Regardless of the situation, when
    the problem comes up we deal with it just like we dealt with it today,"
    said Plato.

    Residents said they are tired of waiting on government and will take to
    the streets again if their demands are not met. The road was under heavy
    guard by police after the protest.

    Memorandum from Pagad protesters snubbed
    NIKITA SYLVESTER and NATASHA PRINCE Staff Reporter 23 November 2009

    Mitchells Plain police have refused to accept a memorandum from about
    200 People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) members after the group
    marched through the streets of Lentegeur.

    The memorandum called for police to crack down on the rampant drug trade
    in the area.

    But after their two-hour march, the Pagad members were disappointed when
    an official at the Mitchells Plain police station refused to accept the

    Pagad's Cassiem Parker told the angry 200-strong crowd the official
    refused to give reasons for declining the memorandum.

    He said police were not interested in hearing the concerns of people who
    oppose gangsterism and drugs.

    Some people threatened to take the law into their own hands in order to
    protect their children and the greater Mitchells Plain community.

    But Mitchells Plain station commissioner Jeremy Vearey said this morning
    state organisations like the police had the right to decide whether or
    not to receive a memorandum.

    Vearey said the police did not recognise Pagad as a legitimate or
    constructive organisation.

    He said police had informed Pagad leaders at a meeting on Friday that
    they would not be accepting the memorandum.

    While Pagad had a right to protest, Vearey said, it could not dictate
    the state's response to these protests.

    He added that marches held by local street committees and neighbourhood
    watches were far bigger than Pagad marches and that the police's
    relationships with established community organisations were far more
    constructive in terms of making arrests than their relationship with Pagad.

    "We do have street committees that are bigger (than Pagad) and we would
    rather spend more constructive energy with people who work with us,"
    Vearey said.

    He and Pagad have never seen eye to eye: during the mid-1990s Vearey was
    involved in investigating the organisation, which made the US list of
    alleged terror organisations.

    In August this year the Cape Argus reported that Pagad had flooded
    Mitchells Plain with flyers questioning the ability of Vearey and his
    officers to deal with drug and crime problems.

    Although the organisation said at the time that it was not targeting
    Vearey, it admitted that the flyers, headlined "Be Vearey careful of
    political opportunists", were designed to draw attention to what Pagad
    perceived as the commissioner's shortcomings in combating the area's
    drug problem.

    Western Cape Informal Traders picket in front of Dan Plato’s office
    tomorrow morning

    CHATA Press Alert 23 November 2009

    Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association of Mitchell’s Plain will be
    protesting outside Mayor Dan Plato’s office tomorrow (Tuesday) from 9am
    until 1pm as part of the Western Cape Informal Traders Coalition.

    The Western Cape Informal Traders Coalition is a grouping of hawkers and
    traders organisations from all over the Western Cape. Members will
    assemble at the Civic Centre by the Mayor’s office on Hertzog Blvd at
    09h00 and are scheduled to present a list of demands to the mayor. Plato
    has agreed to come and accept our memorandum. All informal traders in
    the province are invited to participate.

    CHATA has recently just one a significant victory forcing the City to
    consult with us through a series of workshops. Even though the City had
    officially called of the evictions weeks ago, underhanded and illegal
    evictions were still taking place. As of a few days ago however, all
    evictions have been completely stopped and no one will be moved at least
    until the end of December.

    However, this is only a temporary victory. CHATA demands that the City
    re-look at the Michell’s Plain Umbrella Body of traders which is
    undemocratic and unrepresentative. There has recently been a vote of
    no-confidence in the Umbrella Body but the City has ignored that. We
    demand that the Umbrella Body be declared illegitimate immediately.

    CHATA will also be marching in support of all other informal traders in
    the Western Cape who’s grievances are being ignored by the city. Each
    group’s grievances are legitimate and should be addressed by the City.

    For more information on CHATA contact Mischka 0731286657, Naiela
    0729050779 and Yasmeen 0842875220

    For information on the traders WC Informal Traders Coalition, contact
    Mischka Cassiem at 0731286657 and Rashida Miller (Grand Parade Traders)

    Shebeen protest at Liquor Board
    Malungelo Booi 23 November 2009

    Several hundred shebeen owners from across the Cape Peninsula on Monday
    protested at the Western Cape Liquor Board offices.

    They were demanding the proposed Liquor Act, which they claimed was not
    giving them recognition, be scrapped.

    The protesters said if the Liquor Act went ahead, it would force them
    out of business.

    They collected nearly 10 000 individual objections to the act and
    presented this to Provincial Finance Minister Allan Windy in a coffin.

    They claimed they were symbolically burying the act, adding they did not
    want to hear about it again.

    Angry workers stage a sit in.
    SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 24th November 2009

    SAMWU and IMATU members of Musina Local Municipality in Limpopo province
    have embarked on a sit in due to mismanagement by the Municipal Manager.
    Organised Labour concerns include the following:

  • Blatant corruption by Municipal Manager and the CFO.

  • Lack of safety equipment for general workers.

  • Failure to fill positions that have been advertised since December 2008.

  • Unworthy state of vehicles.

  • Corruption with regards to Tenders awarded.

  • A protest march was held on the 4th of November, calling for the
    suspension of the Municipal Manager. Demands from the protest march were
    submitted to council but council has not responded since.

    SAMWU members from the Musina Local Municipality have discovered grave
    corruption and malpractice; these findings have emerged in cheques, bank
    statements and financial reports of the Municipality.

    Workers from the Musina Municipality say “We are sick and tired of the
    lack of service delivery; the roads in Musina are full of potholes and
    the Municipalities equipment, such as tractors and vehicles has to be
    pushed every morning in order to start them because there are no
    finances to repair them. The Municipalities account to buy safety
    equipment and clothing has been closed because of non payment.”

    For comment contact SAMWU local Chairperson Ali Sematla on 0847704717

    Cape residents threaten more protests over grievances
    22 November 2009

    Angry residents at the Enkanini informal settlement outside Khayelitsha
    in South Africa’s Western Cape have threatened to go back to the streets
    if their grievances are not immediately dealt with by the City of Cape
    Town. About 200 people took to the streets, blocking Baden Powel Drive
    earlier today to protest lack of service delivery.

    The angry residents claim the contractor and the City of Cape Town have
    failed to address their concerns over refuse collection in the area.
    Community spokesperson Sondela Mamba says they are not happy with the
    idea of one person having to clean more than 450 a day. Mamba says the
    35 people employed to handle refuse collection in the area need extra
    hands to help them out, thus they are calling for more people to be

    During their earlier protest, residents left a trail of destruction on
    Baden Powel Drive with refuse bags strewn all over the road. The street
    had to be temporarily closed as residents blockaded it with cargo
    containers used to store refuse. The crowd has dispersed peacefully
    under a strong police presence.

    Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato says they will investigate the matter.

    Mdantsane protest halts traffic

    A service delivery protest erupted in Mdantsane on Friday morning.
    Dispatch reader Loyiso Mantewu captured the drama on camera on his way
    to collect his friend Innocent Kaukungwa in Mdantsane for work at
    06:30am.Held-up with a number of motorists who couldn’t pass through the
    Qumza Highway due to the protest, Mantewu grabbed his video camera and
    spoke to a few of the protestors to find out what was happening. After
    20 minutes, Mantewu left the scene and took an alternative route to
    collect Kaukungwa.

    “I jumped out [my car] and started taking pictures and video … there
    were no police.” says Mantewu.

    By late morning, municipal workers were already clearing-up the remains
    of the protest and official comment on the incident is still pending.

    Malema cautions youth over protests
    22 November 2009

    ANCYL President Julius Malema has used the funeral service of Free State
    government spokesperson Teboho Siki to warn the youth that burning tyres
    and damaging public property during protests will not be tolerated.

    He has called on the youth to protest against poor service delivery, but
    adds that this should be done responsibly. Malema has described Sikisi
    as a devoted ANC member who did his best to protect the legacy of the
    ruling party. Sikisi's funeral service is being held at the Free State
    University's Vista Campus in Bloemfontein. He died in a car accident
    last weekend.

    His widow has told mourners that she will always cherish the moments she
    has shared with him. Mpho Sikisi says death has robbed her not only of a
    husband but a mentor.

    Health Minister, Molefi Sefularo and Free State Premier Ace Magashule
    are also among the dignitaries attending the funeral service. The driver
    of the car in which Sikisi died was buried yesterday.

    Xenophobia in De Doorns - SJC
    Gavin Silber 20 November 2009

    Gavin Silber on the background to the violence and the current situation
    Widespread xenophobic attacks broke out in De Doorns - a small
    grape/wine farming town just beyond Worcester - over the weekend, and
    peaked early Tuesday morning. Reports of displaced people ranged from
    500 at the outset to 2800 at its peak. Police claim that over twenty
    people have since been arrested (the majority for assault and public
    violence, but four for looting), and that there has been no significant
    subsequent violence since Tuesday. A SJC team visited the area yesterday
    to assess the extent of the displacement, and responses by local and
    provincial authorities. Below is a brief report of the situation as it
    stood late Thursday afternoon.

    Background & Situation
    The vast majority of those displaced were people from Zimbabwe, many of
    whom had recently arrived in De Doorns to find work during the harvest
    season. Locals (as well as some labour brokers) claim that farmers opt
    to hire Zimbabweans to work during the harvest, because they are able to
    pay them less, don't pay them for overtime (it was claimed that many
    foreign labourers work seven days a week and over holidays), and tell
    Zimbabwean workers that they do not have the right to fair labour
    practices, the minimum wage and social benefits like UIF. A group of
    locals claimed that the local community have been upset about this for
    some time, and recently attempted to organise strike action for a
    universal minimum wage.

    The law on the legal status of all Zimbabweans is clear. The political
    and economic crisis of the last fifteen years in that country has led to
    a mass refugee crisis in South Africa. The government has given
    Zimbabwean people the right to live and work for six months to earn
    money which will contribute to rebuilding the country, as most of the
    people want to return. Our labour laws protect all workers (legally
    documented or undocumented migrants) against the type of exploitation
    suffered by the Zimbabweans in De Doorns.

    Some legal labour brokers claim that some farmers utilise illegal labour
    brokers, who are paid to source workers and are themselves responsible
    for deciding on what percentage to pay labourers. The De Doorns Table
    grape Association claim that all workers receive the same wage (despite
    nationality) and in some case receive more than the prescribed minimum
    wage. A closed meeting was convened yesterday for farmers, labour
    brokers, and members of the Parliamentary Labour Portfolio Committee. A
    decision was reportedly taken not to employ any further Zimbabweans
    until the situation is resolved. This is incredibly disturbing insofar
    as it sends a signal that violence will be rewarded. It is also clearly
    in contravention of fair labour standards. The SJC will be taking legal
    advice as to the legality of this decision, and potential subsequent
    courses of action.

    We also visited the camp where the displaced are being housed, and found
    the following.

    Number of People Displaced
    According to the onsite Disaster Management team (headed by Ray
    Veldtmann) there were approximately 717 displaced people with
    documentation and 250 without (practically all of whom were Zimbabwean),
    bringing the total official figure to just under 1000 people. At midday
    yesterday it appeared that there were only a few hundred on site, but we
    have been told that many of the inhabitants are working on farms during
    the day. It would also appear that displaced persons are leaving the
    camp to be housed on their employer's farms.

    Inhabitants are currently being housed in three large tents on a local
    sports field in the town centre. Two of the tents are 1000 m2 and the
    other 1400m2 in size. Upon inspection yesterday, none of the tents
    seemed particularly crowded.

    Two meals are being served a day - about mid-day (sandwiches) and dinner
    (rice and protein). Inhabitants seemed fairly happy with food, but were
    initially unhappy with stocks of baby food and formula feed. The latter
    was due to be delivered late yesterday. There were some complaints that
    those who leave early for work did not get food.

    The Red Cross, Paramedics and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are onsite.
    Chronic medication (such as ARVs) is being provided as well as most
    essential drugs, however there was a shortage of antibiotics.

    Toilets & Access To Water
    There are currently about 35 toilets onsite, with more en route. Fresh
    water sources are limited, but 50 additional taps were due to be
    installed this morning. There is a shortage of soap.

    How You Can Help
    The following supplies are most urgently needed:

    Formula feed
    Baby food
    Disposable nappies
    Clothing (children and men/women)
    Children's toys
    All donations can be delivered to St Joseph's school in Belmont Road,
    Rondebosch or call 0217624638 or 0835360242.

    Fot further queries please contact Gavin Silber at

    The Social Justice Coalition team included Deena Bosch, Dustin Kramer,
    Angy Peter and Gavin Silber. Thanks to Wendy Pekeur of Sikhula Sonke for

    Issued by Gavin Silber of the Social Justice Coalition, November 20 2009

    Five minutes to pray - and then leave.
    Paul Trewhela 23 November 2009

    Paul Trewhela on the Diakonia Council of Churches and the Kennedy 13
    "Five minutes to pray - and then leave".

    This was the order of the station commander of Sydenham Police Station
    in Durban, Senior Superintendant Nayager, to the Diakonia Council of
    Churches last week, when it requested permission to visit 13
    impoverished members of the shackdwellers' movement, Abahlali
    baseMjondolo (AbM), to pray with them.

    The Diakonia Council accuses the Sydenham police of having stoof idly by
    when a xenophobic pogrom gang associated with local ANC political
    authorities in the Durban area attacked the AbM community at Kennedy
    Road on 26 and 27 September, killing four people, destroying houses,
    causing thousands to flee in terror, seizing property and setting
    themselves up as unelected dictator over the residents.

    Police from Sydenham Police Station allowed the murderers to flee
    unscathed, and then arrested 13 of the residents who had been attacked.

    In a subsequent statement, issued on Saturday 21 November, the Council
    acccused Sydenham police of having once again stood idly by last Friday
    when the same semi-fascistic gang - reminiscent of Hitler's Brownshirts
    - was permitted freely to attack and demolish houses of AbM residents at
    Kennedy Road all over again.

    The Kennedy Road 13 have been refused bail at the Durban Magistrate's
    Court on six separate occasions, most recently on Wednesday 18th
    November, when more than 30 clergy, headed by Bishop Rubin Phillip,
    Anglican Bishop of Natal, held a prayer service outside the court to
    stand by the detainees. (See "Church and state collide at Kennedy Road",

    Describing the incarceration of the 13 as amounting to "detention
    without trial", the trial itself as a "political trial" and the court a
    "kangaroo court", Bishop Phillip called for "people of conscience
    outside of the state" to join him and fellow clergy in setting up "an
    independent inquiry into the attack on Kennedy Road on 26 September; the
    subsequent demolition of the houses of Abahlali baseMjondolo members,
    the ongoing threats to Abahlali baseMjondolo members, [and] the role of
    the police, politicians and courts in this matter."

    The Diakonia Council of Churches described Superintendant Nayager's
    attitude in limiting access to pray with the 13 in his police station to
    five minutes as "hard and callous", reflecting a "blatant disregard for
    human rights".

    In its statement of 21 November, the Council said that despite many
    phone calls to the Sydenham Police Station to intervene, not one person
    had been arrested for last Friday's attacks.

    The Diakonia Council of Churches states that it "condemns these ongoing
    attacks in the strongest possible terms. The Council furthermore
    condemns the inaction of the police, and the silence from our government
    on this issue."

    The silence of the government of President Jacob Zuma on this basic
    issue of constitutional governance suggests at least toleration of these
    criminal attacks on what ANC political structures in KwaZulu-Natal
    clearly view as an intolerable affront: the successful mobilisation of
    the poor by what they view as a rival source of authority.

    With justice, the Council believes that what is at stake is "the
    preservation of our democracy".

    The Council began in the 1970s when the late Archbishop Denis Hurley
    sought an ecumenical organisation to work for justice in the Greater
    Durban Area. He was motivated by awareness that the church should have
    been doing much more about apartheid: but how could churches which were
    themselves divided have any impact on the problem, unless they first
    overcame some of their own barriers? Archbishop Hurley looked to Durban
    to take the lead in setting up an inter-church structure that would
    concentrate on the sufferings of ordinary people: "Working together to
    alleviate suffering and to humanise society is perhaps the most
    promising and exciting opportunity for ecumenism", he said.

    Archbishop Hurley started discussions with the other church leaders in
    Durban, looked for the right person to head up this work, and founded
    Diakonia - using a Greek word which means serving the people. This was
    in March 1976 and the person was Paddy Kearney, who continued to serve
    Diakonia until 2004.

    Since the first democratic elections in 1994, the work of the Council
    has increasingly focused on poverty.

    Membership of the Diakonia Council includes:

    * Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA)
    * Dutch Reformed Church (DRC)
    * Ethiopian Episcopal Church
    * Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA)
    * Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (Natal-Transvaal)
    * Orthodox Church
    * Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA)
    * Reformed Church in Africa (Observer Status)
    * Religious Society of Friends
    * Roman Catholic Church
    * Salvation Army
    * United Apostolic Church (UAC)
    * United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA)
    * United Methodist Church
    * Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
    * Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa

    All political parties, civic organisations, law associations and
    academic institutions should take up this issue, following the lead set
    by the Diakonia Council.

    Citing a "severe threat to the credibility of South African democracy",
    a seminar was held at the premises of the South African Human Rights
    Commission (SAHRC) in Johannesburg on 4 November, under the heading:
    'Democracy under threat? What attacks on grasssroots activists mean for
    our politics". Organised by the Centre for the Study of Democracy, based
    at Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg, the seminar was
    addressed by Steven Friedman (CSD), Pregs Govender (SAHRC) and Andile
    Mngxitama (Foundation for Human Rights), as well as by representatives
    of AbM including its chairman, S'bu Zikode, who had to go into hiding
    after his house was wrecked and looted in the attacks on 26/27 September.

    The silence of most of the mainstream press is, however, a scandal.

    The two statements of the Diakonia Council appear below.

    Diakonia Council of Churches voices strongest disappointment at
    restricted access to Kennedy 13.

    Diakonia Council of Churches Press Statement 21 November 2009

    Diakonia Council of Churches wishes to express its deepest dismay at the
    decision by the Sydenham Police Station Commissioner Nayager to restrict
    pastoral access to the Kennedy Road 13.

    Immediately after the sixth postponement of the bail application of the
    Kennedy Road 13, on Wednesday 18 November, and upon hearing they were to
    be removed from Westville Prison and further incarcerated at Sydenham
    Police Station, a group consisting of clergy, representatives of
    Diakonia Council of Churches, and Abahlali baseMjondolo, visited the
    police station and met with the Station Commissioner, Senior
    Superintendent Nayager. The purpose of the visit was to plead with the
    Station Commissioner for adequate visitation times for clergy, friends
    and family to visit the Kennedy Road 13.

    Nayager responded by granting no more than 5 minutes per day for
    pastoral visits with the Kennedy Road 13, which could only be availed of
    between 12pm and 1pm or 5pm and 6pm. "When pastors come and pray with my
    policemen, they are done and gone in two minutes. How much longer does
    one need to pray?" he responded.

    When asked whether he considered the needs of free police officers to be
    different to those of the Kennedy Road 13 who have been detained without
    trial for two months, and who have been subjected to extreme violence
    and stress, he refused to be drawn into further debate.

    The Kennedy Road 13 have made it clear that they refuse to eat food
    served to them at this station, and when asked whether they would be
    allowed food from friends and family, Station Commissioner Nayager
    responded that all food would be examined and searched for drugs and

    In response to Nayager's statements, S'bu Zikode, Chairperson of
    Abahlali baseMjondolo noted that "I am not surprised by the response
    from Nayager. He has never viewed us as human beings and continues to be
    satisfied in ensuring that we live in sub-human conditions. Like others
    he is happy for us to remain in squalor and filth and be satisfied with
    the least possible."

    Diakonia Council of Churches expresses its deepest concern for the
    spiritual and mental welfare of the Kennedy Road 13, and is deeply
    saddened by the hard and callous attitude of the South African Police
    Services, as displayed by the Station Commissioner of Sydenham Police

    Bishop Barry Wood, the Chairperson of Diakonia Council of Churches,
    said, "We believe that our request was made in good faith and we remain
    disappointed and disturbed by this response. We call on all people of
    faith to pray and protest against this blatant disregard for human
    rights - our need for prayer and communion with our Higher Power and one
    another, are at the core of our common humanity."

    Diakonia Council of Churches condemns the ongoing attacks and targeting
    of homes, property and lives of members of Abahlali baseMjondolo

    Diakonia Council of Churches 19 November 2009

    Last night, the homes of members of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), two of
    the original Kennedy Six, were attacked and demolished by the same mob
    of people who continuously and repeatedly perpetrate these deeds on
    known members of the organisation.

    Despite many phone calls to the Sydenham Police Station to intervene,
    not one person has been arrested for the attacks.

    Diakonia Council of Churches condemns these ongoing attacks in the
    strongest possible terms. The Council furthermore condemns the inaction
    of the police, and the silence from our government on this issue.

    The Council, along with numerous church leaders, activists, academics,
    other faith groups and partner organisations, and sympathetic voices
    around the world, have repeatedly called for an independent judicial
    inquiry to be established into the events around 26 September when
    members of AbM were attacked and thousands displaced. This call has, to
    date, not been heeded by government.

    The Council now calls upon our elected leaders to immediately intervene
    and to halt all further targeting of AbM; to immediately establish a
    judicial inquiry comprising independent voices, including
    representatives of the faith community and other civil organisations;
    and to immediately commence with investigations and the prosecutions of
    those who continue to harass, attack and threaten the lives and property
    of members of AbM.

    The Council notes with deepest dismay the silence and inaction of
    government, of our city officials and of the local ANC leadership, and
    remain unconvinced that the same are not complicit in the orchestration
    and execution of the ongoing terrorisation, eviction and destruction
    which is being perpetrated in our informal settlements, including
    Kennedy Road, Motala Heights, Amaoti and Pemary Ridge, where AbM have
    established themselves democratically.

    The Council is committed to the preservation of our democracy, for the
    sake of all South Africans.

    Diakonia Council of Churches
    21 November 2009

    Community TV is under threat!
    Join the “FREE-THE-AIRWAVES” march to Parliament on Wednesday, 25 November.
    10am – Keizersgracht Street – Cape Town (opposite the Castle).

    Cape Town TV (CTV) has been on air for more than a year, providing
    relevant, informative local and international programming to nearly a
    million viewers. Our channel is now coming under threat due to
    government’s lack of support for community TV. Most citizens are not
    aware of what is happening in the broadcasting policy environment and
    have not made their voices heard. If we want to save community TV from
    commercialization and preserve it as a space for our freedom of
    expression, it is critical that we stand up for our RIGHT TO COMMUNICATE!

    * ICASA plans to take CTV off air early next year to make way for cell
    phone TV because ICASA has not allocated any frequencies for CTV use !
    * Non-profit community TV stations are charged commercial rates for
    transmission costs by the state owned Sentech.
    * Community TV stations are not protected during and after the migration
    to digital terrestrial television.

    We demand:
    * That CTV is not switched off when ICASA licenses a new cell phone TV
    operator next year but that a frequency is located for CTV’s use.
    * Immediate government financial support for community broadcasters
    signal distribution costs – including community radio.
    * That Sentech provides CTV with a good quality signal and transmission
    for free or at a significantly reduced rate.
    * That community TV is protected during and after the migration to
    Digital Terrestrial Television.

    Demand freedom of expression and the right to communicate!
    Support our demands – JOIN THE MARCH!

    Explosion hits during mine sit-in
    Sapa 21 November 2009

    Police arrested 32 mine employees at a Rustenburg mine after an
    explosion during a sit-in which injured three police officers, a
    spokesperson said on Saturday.

    On Thursday evening, three former employees of mining contractor Murray
    and Roberts staged a sit-in at the central shaft of the Aquarius
    Platinum Mine in Kroondal outside Rustenburg, police national
    spokesperson Senior Superintendent Musa Zondi said.

    The miners were protesting their dismissal from the company after an
    illegal strike a few weeks ago.

    "Following the arrest of the three, 32 former employees of MRC forced
    their way down the mine, assaulting current employees who numbered at
    least twenty five," Zondi said.

    Police are still investigating how and when the miners gained access to
    the shaft. They demanded the immediate issuance of their Unemployment
    Insurance Fund certificates.

    Mine management withdrew employees who were underground. These miners
    were assaulted on their way to the surface.

    Police forces, including task force members, explosives experts and
    negotiators, were deployed on Friday to stabilise the situation.

    "While forcing their way down the mine, the disgruntled former employees
    illegally gained access to explosives and set up "booby traps" to
    prevent special forces from reaching them," Zondi said.

    "Two Task Force as well as a member from the Provincial Explosives Unit
    in the North West were injured by the shrapnel when the booby traps went
    off," he said.

    Police arrested the 32 on charges ranging from attempted murder, illegal
    possession of explosives, malicious damage to property, trespassing and
    assault. They will appear in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court on Monday.

    "SAPS also managed to confiscate a number of explosives, including shock
    tubes and blasting cartridges," Zondi said.

    The injured officers were taken to the George Shimakane Hospital. - Sapa

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