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South African Protest News 15 - 21 March 2010 (2010) South African Protest News 15 - 21 March 2010.  : -.

Protests during SWC unlikely
SAPA 19 March 2010

Johannesburg - Service delivery protests during the World Cup were
unlikely, an interim ministerial committee said on Friday.

Briefing media on World Cup preparations, Sports Minister Makhenkesi
Stofile said people had the right to protest but the committee believed
residents would be caught up in soccer fever and would not use the
opportunity to disrupt the sporting event.

"As the ultimate optimist I am absolutely convinced that no right
thinking South African will attempt to disrupt the World Cup."

He said an impending national strike by the taxi industry was not their

This was despite violent protests by the industry in Johannesburg over
the weekend.

The taxi industry had said government had not clarified if it would be
involved in the World Cup, but Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said
they would meet the industry next week to outline plans.

"They were involved in the Confederations Cup and they will be fully
involved in the World Cup."

Warm welcome for fans
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said hosting of the World Cup offered
an opportunity to improve services and they were eager to show the world
that the country was emerging from the racial divide of the apartheid area.

"Let them all come and they will receive a warm welcome."

Motlanthe said Fifa had invited former president Nelson Mandela to
attend the opening ceremony and "God willing" his health would make it
possible to do so.

When asked by a journalist from South America, part of a large
contingent of journalists from that country, if Motlanthe preferred
soccer to politics, he said like football, politics was a team game and
that in many ways football was a philosophy of life.

Islam SA
Maulana Yunus Patel, a senior Islamic scholar with a significant South
African and international following, has lambasted the South African
government for squandering financial resources at the expense of the
poor. The Maulana presented his thoughts during a Friday sermon, 12
March 2010, at the Malinson Road Masjid (mosque) in Overport, Kwazulu-Natal.

During the lecture, Patel criticised government for spending billions of
rands on the construction of elaborate Fifa 2010 Soccer World Cup
stadiums. "Look at the billions. They have made dhulm (oppression). They
have sucked the blood of the taxpayer and made all these stadiums," he
said to the attentive crowd. Patel added that all this is merely for
temporary entertainment while the greater causes and needs of society go
unnoticed by government.

According to the "Towards a Fifteen Year Review Synthesis Report" of
government, 48% of South Africans live below the poverty line. This
poverty line is used to distinguish between South Africans earning below
or above R322 ($48) a month. The total cost to build of renovate the 10
stadiums to be used during the competition is expected to cost the South
African government approximately R9 billion.

"People haven't got homes to live (in), they haven't got food to eat,
they are begging at the doors, they don't even have clothes to cover
their body and these ministers are passing bills upon bills and
sanctioning stadiums and entertainment and fun and pleasure," Patel
lashed out.

He is one of the first Islamic scholars to openly criticise government
for its economic policies and its expenditure processes. He added that
the government is oppressing the poor. "Whose money?" questioned Maulana
Patel. "The taxpayer's money and yet we are there to support these
Dhaalims (oppressors)."

World Cup
He said Muslims who participate in World Cup activities are supporting
oppression. The sermon comes in wake of service delivery protests
mushrooming across areas of Gauteng and Mpumulanga and a noticeable
increase in racial intolerance. During a service delivery protest at the
Tembelihle informal settlement south of Johannesburg earlier this month,
protestors curved their anger from government non-delivery to verbal
attacks on communities from other races.

One black protestor told satellite radio broadcaster, Channel Islam
International, that Indians and Muslims in particular, are racist and
worst than white people. "They have got a lot of apartheid. They don't
like us (blacks)."

According to Vincent Magwenya, the SA presidential spokesperson, "In the
State of the Nation Address, the president said the defining feature of
his administration would be that it knows where people live, understands
their concerns and responds faster to their needs". Magwenya added that
President Jacob Zuma, "…also undertook to change the way government
works, and to ensure that service delivery occurs faster and in a more
caring manner. Part of this exercise includes effective and hands on
monitoring and evaluation".

The Fifa 2010 World Cup will run from the 10 June 2010 to 11 July 2010.
South Africa is the first African country in the history of the
competition to host the sporting extravaganza. "The World Cup is
coming," said the Tembelihle resident. "I'm going to miss out. I don't
have electricity."
CII (Azhar Vadi)

Spooks to sniff out who's behind protests

ANC claims that service delivery protests are being coordinated came
under fire this week and, as Gauteng erupted in further protests after
last week's surge, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has revealed
that it is monitoring the protests.

Residents of Ivory Park, Rabie Ridge, Kanana, Phomolong, Poortjie and
Ennerdale took to the streets this week. On Wednesday police arrested 30
people and charged them with attempted murder and malicious damage to
property in Poortjie, near Orange Farm.

At least 12 municipalities in Gauteng saw similar protests last week,
the Mail & Guardian reported.

"It seems there is a systematic pattern and that the protests are
coordinated with a clear objective to destabilise government," Dumisa
Ntuli, the ANC Gauteng spokesperson, said at the time.

Asked this week who might be coordinating the protests, Ntuli told the
M&G there were "many forces". "People from Sanco [the South African
National Civic Organisation], people from the party itself, intra- and
inter-alliance conflict ..."

He said that there was "definitely a role played by members of the ANC
and ANC supporters; they were the main forces behind the protests. The
PAC [Pan Africanist Congress] also plays a role," Ntuli said.

The SACP's Gauteng spokesperson, Jacob Mamabolo, directed the Mail &
Guardian to its joint statement with the ANC, Cosatu and Sanco on
Wednesday this week which said that service delivery is not really
behind the protests. Rather, the protests are in communities where "a
lot of development is under way" and so are "more about calling for
speeding up of service delivery".

Later Ntuli told the M&G that "inter-party conflicts" characterised the

But Cosatu's spokesperson, Patrick Craven, told the M&G: "We don't
believe there's any mysterious third force behind the protests ... The
people have genuine grievances about service delivery which was promised
to them."

Dumisani Mthalane, the Sanco spokesperson, told the M&G the organisation
was "not part of the disruption". "Government and civil society must
work together to identify problems. Sanco is there to keep government
accountable, so there is no way we would make the country ungovernable.

"We will protest if there is a problem, but we don't support
destruction. Sanco marches are peaceful. We negotiate first and if that
fails, we protest," he said.

Mfanelo Skwatsha, the PAC secretary general, said the party's
involvement had been mainly in Sharpeville. He said, particularly with
Sunday's commemoration of the 1960 Sharpeville uprisings looming, people
were unhappy about not getting the respect they felt they deserved.

"It is not just about service delivery but about how the government has
been conducting itself, especially with regard to Sharpeville," he said.

Attributing the protests to factors such as people positioning
themselves before the local government elections next year was a
"smokescreen by the ruling party", Skwatsha said.

"Very soon the whole country will be engulfed in service delivery
protests. The people have a lot of grievances."

Brian Dube, the NIA spokesperson, told the M&G: "We are involved as
[the] state security agency in terms of our mandate but, due to the
operational nature of our work in this regard, we are not at liberty to
provide further details."

In May 2005 then-intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils said the NIA would
investigate the causes of the surge in violent service delivery

Target of the people's anger
City of Johannesburg spokesperson Virgil James told the M&G that
Poortjie residents stoned the cars and house of their local ANC
councillor, Advocate Nyambe, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
They then dragged him and members of his family, including two children,
from the house and assaulted them.

Nymabe's house was "practically destroyed", James said. "The councillor
was seriously injured; he's currently in hospital in a stable condition.
The two kids were checked for internal injuries and discharged [later on

By Thursday morning Nyambe was still under police protection in a
hospital James declined to name, citing fear for the councillor's

Captain Johannes Motsiri at the Orange Farm police station told the M&G
that "about 30 people" had been arrested on Wednesday following the
attack on Nyambe. They will appear in court on charges of attempted
murder and malicious damage to property.

Teens held for Jub Jub protest
SAPA 19 March 2010

Johannesburg - Two Soweto learners were arrested on Friday afternoon
after hip hop artist Jub Jub and his co-accused were granted bail in the
Protea Magistrate's Court, police said.

Captain Mbulaheni Netshivhodza said the 13-year-old and 17-year-old boys
were arrested for public violence.

"After the court granted the accused bail, the people outside the court
became very angry and started throwing stones at the police," he said.

"We used the water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse them. These two
(who were arrested) did not listen and were arrested."

They will appear in court on Tuesday.

Netshivhodza said the 13-year-old was released into the custody of his
parents. Police were still looking for the 17-year-old's parents. Once
they had been located, he will be released into their care.

Police did not know which school the boys attended.

"They did not want to tell us," Netshivhodza said.

Sutcliffe Continues His War on the Poor
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release 19 March 2010

The notorious Michael Sutcliffe continues to launch illegal attacks on
our basic democratic rights.

He has now given in to our pressure and removed his illegal ban on our
right to march but he has issued a permit that only allows us to march
from Botha Park to Albert Park. Our march on Jacob Zuma, scheduled for
22 March 2010, was planned to go from Botha Park through Pixley KaSeme
Street and to the City Hall. But Sutcliffe’s unilateral imposition of
unreasonable restrictions on our right to protest means that we will
only be able to march about 600m and that our march will be kept far
away from the centre of the city – it will be hidden away, just like a
transit camp.

Our members from across this city – from Lamontville, to Pinetown and
Umlazi – are determined to march because it is essential that we
demonstrate our dignified anger and our mass support in public. We are
the people who are being swept out of the cities like dirt. We are the
people who are being hidden away in transit camps. We are the people who
are supposed to suffer in secret in the human dumping grounds like Park
Gate. If our protest also has to be hidden away and contained on the
outskirts of the city then there is no point in having a march. The
whole point of having a march is to show our power and our determination
to assert our right to the city in the city. We cannot and will not
accept that we must hold our protests in secret.

It is clear that we who are from the jondolos have to pay a very high
price for our rights. When we ask for what is promised to all citizens
we are attacked, driven from our homes, slandered, beaten, tortured and
jailed. A simple procedure like arranging a legal march becomes a
complicated game that takes all of our time and energies. Now it is
clear that we will have to go to court to ask a judge to defend our
basic rights against Sutcliffe. We are briefing a lawyer right now. But
why do we have to pay such a high price to realise our basic rights? The
only logical answer seems to be that these rights are no longer intended
for us – that we are the people that don’t count and who must be silent
as we are driven out of the cities.

When the media first reported on Sutcliffe’s illegal ban of our march
the police spokesperson said that all marches would be banned due to the
World Cup. If it is true that our basic democratic rights are being
removed as a result of the World Cup then we say, very clearly, that the
World Cup is a new kind of colonialism that every person who is right in
their mind must reject and resist with all their force in their mind and
in their muscles.

Sutcliffe insults Human Rights Day, he insults our democracy and he
insults Pixley KaSeme and the memory of the struggle for our democracy
when he bans us from marching down Pixley KaSeme Street and taking our
anger to its rightful home - the City Hall - on the national public
holiday to celebrate Human Rights Day.

We strongly recommend that journalists and the police familiarise
themselves with the legislation governing the right to march. The system
whereby permits had to be granted for marches to be legal was struck off
the statute book in 1993. These permits have had no basis in law since
then. And the Gatherings Act prohibits the authorities from imposing
unreasonable conditions on our right to protest. Our right to protest is
not negotiable. There is a good summary of the Gatherings Act available
online at:

For further information and up to the minute updates on the legal battle
to have Sutcliffe’s attack on our basic democratic rights overturned
please contact:

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo President: 083 547 0474

Troy Morrow, Chairperson of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Hillary Branch:
071 511 8446

Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary: 082 830 2707

Protest against poor sanitation services- SJC
Gavin Silber 19 March 2010

Gavin Silber says lack of access to proper toilets is a major concern of
residents of informal settlements


Hundreds to Queue Outside Sea Point Public Toilet to Draw Attention to
Poor Sanitation Services in Informal Settlements

Last year, Ntombentsha Beja - a 75 year old resident of Makhaza,
Khayelitsha was stabbed in the chest while walking to a toilet ten
minutes from her home. She is not alone - men, women, and children risk
robbery, assault, rape and murder daily in attempts to use a toilet.
Access to clean and safe sanitation facilities - which affects both
personal health and exposure to crime and violence - is one of the
primary concerns of residents of informal settlements. There are
insufficient clean and functioning toilets, whilst safe water sources
are extremely limited; drainage is non-existent; and refuse collection
is irregular. As a result, waterborne diseases and parasites - including
gastroenteritis, worms and diarrhoea - are increasingly rampant.

These illnesses intensify the effects of HIV/AIDS, particularly amongst
young children. At the same time, residents are often forced to walk
long distances down unlit ‘pathways' that wind between shacks, through
backyards and sometimes across busy roads; they are frequently robbed,
hit by cars, beaten and raped. In many cases toilets are wholly absent -
forcing residents to relieve themselves in bushes on the outskirts of
the community - increasing their vulnerability to crime and exposure to

The law stipulates that there should be no more than 5 households per
toilet in informal settlements, yet the city average currently stands at
12.6 households per toilet (City of Cape Town, 2009) - of which many are
dysfunctional. A recent study (Water Dialogues South Africa, 2009) shows
that 500 000 people in the City of Cape Town's informal settlements have
no access to basic sanitation (non-bucket toilets), and just under half
of those have no access to sanitation whatsoever. The City's informal
settlements are grossly understaffed and resourced - although at least
20% of the City's population reside in these under-developed areas only
2.6% of the city's Water and Sanitation personnel work in these areas,
which directly receive only 1.7% of water services revenue.

The Social Justice Coalition is committed to realising the rights of all
people in South Africa to be free from all forms of violence whether
from public or private sources. The first step is to demand safe, clean,
hygienic and private sanitation facilities for people in Khayelitsha and
informal settlements across the country.

An international campaign is being held from 20 - 22 March 2010 during
which participants at various events around the world will symbolically
queue for a toilet in solidarity with the 2.5 billion people globally
who do not have access to a safe and clean toilet (End Water Poverty;
2009). In doing so, participants will attempt to set an official
Guinness world record for the world's longest toilet queue.

Coinciding with National Water Week and the Human Rights Day weekend,
the SJC will be hosting a Cape Town Queue to draw attention to both the
international initiative and the challenges faced by residents in South
Africa's informal settlements. Participants from across the city will
join a ‘queue' outside a designated public toilet in Sea Point. Public
toilets in this affluent area are cleaned and maintained regularly by a
dedicated caretaker, are well lit, and often provide security personnel
for safety. This is in stark contrast to Khayelitsha's public toilets,
which are sparsely located, never cleaned, or provided with neither the
luxuries of toilet paper nor a simple toilet seat. On display will be a
photographic exhibit of sanitation facilities in Khayelitsha, as well as
mock ups of existing sanitation facilities in informal settlements. It
is hoped that the event will create awareness amongst people who are
generally unfamiliar with the poor level of sanitation services in
informal settlements, as well as provide an opportunity for City
residents to call on the local government to address the issue.

We will encourage participants to sign a petition demanding from the mayor:

1. A commitment, reasonable plan and budget to ensure that every
household in Khayelitsha's informal settlements has access to basic
sanitation and access to water by October 2011.

2. A public consultation of no longer than 6 weeks across the City of
Cape Town to redefine minimum norms and standards and where necessary,
to create regulations to ensure that toilets are safe, clean and
maintained regularly, water points are hygienic, adequate drainage is
provided and communities are educated on the use and maintenance thereof.

Where: Sea Point Promenade (opposite SABC studios), Cape Town

When: 10h00 - 12h30, Saturday 20 March

For more information please visit, , or the Facebook event titled "The Queue for
Sanitation, Safety & Dignity".

Statement issued by Gavin Silber, Social Justice Coalition, March 18 2010

Protest hits campuses
Khulekani Mazibuko (Sowetan) 18 March 2010

DISPLEASED: Students at the Durban University of Technology clash with
police during another strike yesterday. PHOTO: THULI DLAMINI

STUDENT protests at the embattled Midlands campus of the Durban
University of Technology’s have spread to the Durban campus in

Yesterday university authorities suspended lectures at all four of its
campuses in Durban.

This after hundreds of students protested over grievances not addressed
by management earlier this year.

In January students in Durban went on strike for a week over several
issues, severely interrupting the registration process.

On Monday the university’s Midlands campus in Pietermaritzburg was
closed after violent clashes between students and the police.

Police reinforcements were called in to supplement private campus
security police.

N o confrontations, injury or damages were reported during the protest.

But the protest disrupted exam venues and some students had to return
home without writing their papers.

Student representative council president Buyisani Mlaba said the strike
was a continuation of grievances that were forwarded to the university’s
management last month.

Mlaba said they were still protesting against shortages of accommodation
for students and calling for the expulsion of director of housing Doc
Nyasengwe .

He also said the pricing and the quality of food provided to students
was unacceptable.

“During the last strike management said it was our task to find
accommodation, but whatever we have come up with has been turned down,”
Mlaba said yesterday.

“We understand we are interrupting classes but we want these issues to
be resolved.”

Police spokesperson Captain Khephu Nldovu said their presence on
campuses was aimed at safety and there had been no reports of damage to

“There was no confrontation between students and the police and nobody
was injured ,” Ndlovu said.

Acting vice-chancellor Nqabomzi Gawe said lectures in Durban had been
suspended until tomorrow .

“Management at DUT have suspended all academic activities on all
campuses with immediate effect until Friday (tomorrow) due to
difficulties experienced in relation to the student protests this
morning,” she said.

Gawe said management at the Midlands campus in Pietermaritzburg was in
talks with student representatives to address grievances.

Lectures in Pietermaritzburg we re expected to resume today.

DUT campuses closed again
Lauren Holley 19 March 2010

All DUT campuses have been closed again.

Management said via a statement a short while ago that the decision's
been taken due to the volatile situation involving acts of violence and
vandalism, and in fear for the safety of staff and students.

This latest closure comes after a series of violent protests at DUT
campuses in Durban and the Midlands this week.

Yesterday management said that academic activities would resume today
after violent protests led to the closure of all campuses on Wednesday.

But management has again ceased all academic activity until next week
Tuesday and staff and students have now been sent home.

Meanwhile, a group of protesting students has marched from the Steve
Biko Campus to Curry's Fountain in Durban.

Police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge says they're keeping a close watch on
the situation, which got heated at the campus earlier today.

"We had a group of about 200 students who were threatening to assault
the security officers. But the members of the public order policing unit
who were there, intervened immediately and the situation has since

Mafikeng traffic cops protest
Sapa 19 March 2010

JOHANNESBURG - Traffic police officers in Mafikeng took to the streets
on Friday to protest against the poor conditions of their service cars,
the North West public safety department said.

Departmental spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said protesting officers were
members of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union.

Although no violence had been reported by 9.30am, Kgwele said his
department was on standby and would intervene if called on to respond to

“This will be done to ensure that there is no lawlessness and that road
and public safety in general is not compromised.

Dismissal sparks protest
Laurentia Robertson (Breede Standard) 18 March 2010

THE windows of the Thusong Multi-purpose Centre in Zweletemba was left
shattered and the streets littered with burning rubbish after a violent
protest broke out last Thursday (March 11).

In his opening statement at an executive mayoral committee meeting on
Tuesday (March 16), Breede Valley Executive Mayor Charles Ntsomi­ said
the action was sparked by the termination of employment of a strategic
manager from his office.

Rubbish was also strewn in front of the home of Cllr Phillip Tyira,
councillor for ward 16 in Zweletemba, Ntsomi said.

According to Capt. Mzikayise Moloi, spokesperson for the Worcester
police, protesters pelted rocks at police vehicles when they arrived on
the scene.

According to Moloi three men (all in their 30s) and a woman (25) were
arrested and appeared in court on Monday on a charge of public violence.

Their next court appearance is on April 1.

Ntsomi spoke out strongly against the violence, saying that such anarchy
cannot be allowed.

There are legal processes in place if you feel that you have been
deprived of your rights or unfairly dismissed, Ntsomi continued.

Fellow South Africans

Now is the time for all South Africans to take hands and stand-up
against municipalities who fails to deliver the services you pay for.
If your town does not have a rate payers association we will help you to
start one within weeks.

Please look at our website and see our RPA Plan for
South Africa as well as our Corpa Instructions.

No court can give judgement against you to pay for something you don't
get, it is against our constitution and your human rights.

We are fed-up to see that millions can be spend to change the names of
cities and streets, but there is no money for the basic needs of all
South Africans.

Please see the 'News' section on our website : We have a message for
'Comrade Malema'

Forward this mail to everyone , we need to give the 'poor' guy all the
attention he needs

Under the 'News' section you can also view pictures of the water in
Brits today 11-3-2010

Thank you
Jaco Dercksen

Linbro Park residents block street in protest over noisy trucks
The Star 19 March 2010

Led into battle by a little yellow Hyundai dubbed "Noddy", residents of
a quiet agricultural suburb north of Joburg used their cars to blockade
a street and stop a noisy flow of trucks.

The unusual protest took place yesterday along Clulee Road in Linbro
Park, where homeowners walk their dogs or ride their horses through the
peaceful suburban streets.

That was until one piece of land was rented out to a group of
construction and demolition companies to be used as a landfill and
crushing site for sand, cement and mangled steel.

Since then, residents say, "country living" turned into a nightmarish
"truck city" with around 30 000 cubic metres of rubble having been
dumped just metres from rows of driveways. Yesterday's protest was the
proverbial breaking of the camel's back.

Police officers had to be called in to force residents to move their
cars. Officers kept an eye on the negotiations as the man responsible
for the land - the one who rented it to the truck companies - was called
in to explain.

Community member Joao Azevedo said the trouble began about a month ago.

A businessman, JP Botha, had received permission from the landowner to
hire it out as a dumping site. Immediately, tipper trucks began pouring
in and offloading. The plan, Botha confirmed, was to crush the rubble
(on site) into a material that could be sold off and used in building roads.

But a good business idea to some turned into a disaster for others.
Azevedo said neither the landowners nor Botha had the right to hire out
the land to such industrial projects.

The trucks were dusty and extremely noisy, running all week up until 10
or 11pm. They had allegedly killed some dogs in the neighbourhood and
caused near accidents with motorists. Horse riders have also been forced
to avoid the street, with the animals being terrified of the metal beasts.

The trucks were too large for the narrow street and had covered it in
sand and caused potholes, residents claimed.

Plus, the dumping site itself was an eyesore. "It has affected our
lifestyle in a very negative way. The trucks rule our lives. This is
supposed to be country living... now it's truck city," resident Silke
Kaiser said.

Azevedo said discussions had been held with the council but nothing had
been done.

"Today (yesterday) it was just enough," he said. "I almost had an
accident and decided it was time to get mobilised."

About 10 cars were used to block the street. "We came in peace," Azevedo

But the protest worked, and Botha promised that a bulldozer would neaten
the rubble piles, that trucks would stop until further notice and that
he would sit down with residents to discuss the way forward.

Title: Taxi strikes hamper economic recovery - SACCI
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
18 Mar 2010

Pretoria - Minibus taxi strikes hamper South Africa's recovery from the
global economic meltdown, says the South African Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (SACCI).

"The ongoing taxi strikes and threats of strikes are hampering South
Africa's hesitant recovery from the global crisis and casting a shadow
over the success of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup," said the Chamber on

According to SACCI, demonstrations such as the one in Port Elizabeth
where taxi operators were arrested after they refused to disperse in a
march, showed contempt for the rule of law.

"Those in Johannesburg, in protest against much needed transport
infrastructure improvements are accompanied by violence, illustrating a
disregard for private property and human life," said SACCI. This follows
on protests by taxi drivers against the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

The chamber said with three months to go before kick-off of the world
cup protest and the threat of protests has the potential to discourage
visitors from supporting the tournament.

"The reputational risk faced by the country is considerable. SACCI
appeals to the taxi associations and unions to 'put South Africa first'
and to desist from actions that tarnish the country's reputation as a
caring, friendly destination," said the chamber. - BuaNews

Security tight ahead of Human Rights Day commemorations
19 March 2010

Security in Sharpeville is expected to be beefed up as South Africa
prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Sharpville Massacre.
Residents of the Vaal Township have threatened to boycott the event.
They want their service delivery concerns addressed.

The massacre occurred on March 21, 1960. The Pan Africanist Congress
orchestrated an anti-pass law protest were more than 5 000 people
marched to the local police station demanding arrest. This resulted in
69 people dying - of the 69 - eight were women and 10 children. More
than 180 people were wounded on the day, with most shot while fleeing
from police.

"We don't know what happened - we just heard the gunshots and we ran
away. Some pregnant women were shot - it was blood all over," says
Abraham Mofokeng - one of the survivors.

The events of the day were beamed all over the globe showing the world
how brutal and cruel apartheid was. This resulted in South Africa being
isolated internationally. The apartheid government responded by banning
most political parties. Sharpeville Day became known as Human Rights Day
after 1994 in recognition of the sacrifices many have made for the
attainment of freedom.

Today, the area is again protesting, this time over service delivery.

Sharpeville is still bleeding

The muddy road leading to the Makiti household at 1 844 Mofolo Avenue,
Sharpeville, was thick with journalists this week.

Emerging from his facebrick house, a bespectacled Ike Makiti (67), a
former Robben Island political prisoner and survivor of the Sharpeville
massacre, leads us into his modestly furnished lounge, announcing that
"even more" journalists are expected to arrive to interview him.

Makiti gets straight to the point of the story he has told many times
since March 21 1960. But it still makes him weep.

"The shooting only lasted for about 15 minutes under a dark cloud above
us. As dead bodies lay strewn like piles of rubbish in front of the old
police station, it rained so heavily, washing away the blood, people’s
brains ... to me, the rain signified a new beginning for us," he says,
his speech punctuated by sobs.

On that morning, says Makiti, about 20 000 residents, old and young,
converged in front of the police station gates. They were waiting for a
response from the police to a letter from Pan Africanist Congress leader
Robert Sobukwe notifying them about the march against the pass laws.

"The answer came in the form of a bullet ... all I heard was the
rat-a-tat-a-tat of machine guns, and then the wailing of ambulance
sirens, and a red helicopter which flew surprisingly low."

Afterwards, Makiti fled to Lesotho, where he was arrested and sent to
Robben Island. There he served a five-year jail term for furthering the
aims of a banned political organisation.

Fifty years later, Sharpeville's gravelled streets have barely changed
-- except now they have more potholes. Sixteen years into the new
democratic dispensation, the town where blood flowed in freedom's name
carries the makings of a slum.

Only three roads have been tarred since 1994 and two schools were
recently closed down. There are no sports facilities. The famous George
Thabe Stadium, where the Constitution was signed in 1996, is a neglected
hulk. Residents complain of non-existent municipal services and
corruption. Unemployment and crime continue to rise.

The police have changed, the issues have changed, but the effects
remain: for most who live here, quality of life and basic rights are
severely compromised.

Sharpeville residents recently clashed with police during service
delivery ­protests.

Hofni Mosesi, the leader of the Concerned Residents of Sharpeville, is
all too aware of the irony. "It blurs the difference between our
government and the apartheid government. It is bitter. Today we are the
electorate but we still get the same treatment like under the apartheid

Another bitter irony: nothing happens in Sharpeville until Human Rights
Day approaches.

"It means this township is good for the 21st of March, and nothing
else," Mosesi says.

When we visited Sharpeville just days before the 50th anniversary, the
streets buzzed with municipal workers painting faded road markings. At
the old Phelandaba cemetery, more workers, diggers and steamrollers
prepared the area where a monument was erected in memory of the victims
of the march. It stands near their graves.

Mosesi and others are pushing for Sharpeville residents to drive the
March 21 commemoration.

They met the Gauteng provincial government this week to voice their

"I do not even know who is coming here because I'm not interested. His
[Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe] coming here will not change our lives.

"We are still struggling, we are still protesting and we are still
burning tyres ... At some stage, hell is going to break loose and we do
not know when."

At a luncheon organised for the survivors of the massacre by the
Sedibeng district municipality and held this week at the Vaal Technorama
Museum, many dug into painful memories.

Ziphora Maleho (76) was pregnant then. She was shot in the leg. As she
lay in the dust and in the rain, she recalls: "An Afrikaner policeman
came to me and said, 'How does it feel to have your Africa now?'"

Piet Tshabalala (86) still tosses and turns at night, thinking of the
harrowing events of that day.

"Something hit me on the leg and I saw blood. The pregnant woman next to
me lay in a pool of blood after being shot in the stomach ... We could
see parts of her unborn twins falling out."

Back at Makiti's house, the elderly man's tears finally turn into a
smile as he recalls a song taught to him by the late Zephania Mothopeng,
former PAC president, in jail. His face lights up and he sings: "Izwe
lethu ... Unite Ma-Afrika, unite Ma-Afrika, and rally behind the banner
of Afrika."

Highjacking history
For some residents of the township where tragedy and history mingled,
Sharpeville Day, as it is popularly known, is "just another boring
holiday". For others, it is an excuse for the ruling ANC to hijack the

In recent years the official commemmorating of the events of March 21
1960 (Human Rights Day) has become a political celebration that,
according to Sharpeville resident Kgosi Manyathela, is a "continuous
failure to reflect the truth".

He says the ANC uses its political muscle and ruling party status to
steal the limelight from the PAC.

"The ANC hosts big parties on this day at the George Thabe Stadium and
there is never a mention of [PAC founding president] Robert Sobukwe ...
the person who started all this.

"A few PAC members and leaders usually converge on a patch of land on
the outskirts of the township," he says.

Just off the busy Seiso Road is the Memorial Precinct which includes a
park and houses a permanent exhibition to mark the day.

A dramatic display of black-and-white photographs of the massacre and
its aftermath drape the wide walls -- men fleeing from the police on
bicycles, bodies being carried to safety and a lone picture of a smiling
Sobukwe moments before he handed himself over to the police in Orlando,

Almost a revolution

As South Africa marks the 50th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre
on Sunday, the political party that led the protest against apartheid
pass laws and came closer than any other liberation movement to pulling
off a national revolution, faces political extinction.

For a brief but explosive moment in the history of this country's
liberation struggle, The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC)
dominated the agenda and the action. Today the party struggles to
survive: it has a single parliamentary representative, a president --
Letlapa Mphahlele -- who is hardly a household name, and zero
representation in any of the nine provincial legislatures.

But in 1960, less than a year after breaking away from the ANC, the PAC
was a very different animal. Thirty-five-year-old Robert Sobukwe, with
other dissidents, broke away from the ANC to form the PAC. Fort
Hare-educated, charismatic and driven by Africanist ideology, Sobukwe
was known as The Professor by his friends and followers. Though opposed
to the ANC's policy of allying itself with anti-apartheid organisations
of other races, Sobukwe had friends and admirers from all races and is
described by those who worked closely with him as a self-effacing leader
who radiated warmth, generosity and intellectual vigour.

From the start the PAC attracted massive support and led marches in
several townships against the pass laws. Sharpeville, during which 69
people were shot dead, was the first and the bloodiest. It was followed
by several more planned protests across the country, notably the huge
(and largely peaceful) Langa march in Cape Town nine days later. A
24-year-old economics student in short pants, Phillip Kgosana, led 30
000 protesters into the city centre.

The speed, efficiency and scale of these marches marked out the PAC as
the party of action and their intervention was a huge turning point in
the struggle against apartheid and, in particular, against the pass laws
that controlled every movement of black South Africans.

Since those heady days there has been a steady decline in both the
party's membership -- now estimated at "between 20 000 and 30000"
according to Mphahlele -- and its political muscle.

But the PAC's decline started almost immediately after the protests of
1960. Leaders were arrested or fled into exile and both the PAC and the
ANC were banned. Also, says Mphahlele, "the organisation was an infant.
Nothing was developed in terms of the succession plan or the strategy
documents to guide the activities of the party."

The government's clampdown on PAC leaders left the party almost
leaderless and unable to regroup.

For Ike Makiti (67), a Sharpeville massacre survivor who helped organise
the 1960 march, it still rankles. "The PAC nearly swept the ANC off the
political platform, but now it has lost that power. It is very painful
seeing the PAC the way it is today."

Makiti spent five years (1963-1968) on Robben Island. "When we were
released we had to start from scratch. We tried to get new members, but
it was difficult. People were scared of the apartheid police after the
massacre and the organisation was banned, making it difficult to
organise from within the country."

Trying to reconstitute the PAC outside the country also proved hard as
the party's exiled communities were scattered in different countries,
failing to forge a united way forward or to agree on the official status
of the party.

There had been campaigns against pass books before 1960, but it was the
PAC-led marches that produced visible results. The killing of 69 people
in Sharpeville and two in Langa, Cape Town, fuelled anti-apartheid
sentiment across the world. Pass laws were suspended -- for nine days --
by a panicky apartheid government. Two days after the pass laws were
reinstated, the PAC and ANC were banned. A state of emergency was
declared and significant foreign companies left the country.

Support for the PAC started to rival that of the ANC. Makiti remembers:
"Sobukwe knew what he wanted. His bravery shaped the politics of this
country. He gave people the courage to defy the pass laws when the ANC
had done nothing since it was formed in 1912."

The other factor in the slow death of the PAC was poor leadership
following Sobukwe's imprisonment. After Sobukwe, many leaders failed to
rebuild the PAC into the firebrand organisation it had been before the
Sharpeville massacre. Says Mphahlele: "That disruption in continuity was
bound to cause harm."

Some blame Potlako Leballo, who led the PAC in exile in Lesotho and
later succeeded Sobukwe, for the party's leadership woes. Leballo was
the PAC's deputy during the March protests and secret meetings were held
at his Soweto house. But his public boasts about the revolutionary war
that the PAC was poised to launch soon came to the attention of the
authorities. The apartheid police seized letters -- containing the names
of other PAC members -- that were being carried across the border by
Cynthia Lechaba. In April 1963 more than 3000 were arrested, leading to
an almost total collapse of the PAC inside South Africa.

By the 1990s, the PAC was unable to capitalise on the new freedom in the
wake of its unbanning. Says Mphahlele, who was then commander of the
PAC’s military wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army (Apla): "We
had no clear policy on education, on politics, on governance. Even at
that stage, we were still infants."

Besides poor leadership, the PAC was for a long time dogged by squabbles
and breakaways -- one of which led former PAC member Patricia de Lille
to start the Independent Democrats.

Ill feeling between the ANC and the PAC -- which feels excluded, even
derided, by the ruling party -- persists. But this Sunday Mphahlele will
appear alongside ANC officials at a joint Human Rights Day commemoration
rally, demonstrating a rare moment of solidarity between the two parties.

Fifty years after Sharpeville, the PAC struggles to get recognition for
its contribution to the fight for freedom. Its founding leader Sobukwe
was never honoured by the ANC-led government and the PAC's demands for
March 21 to be called Sharpeville Day have fallen on deaf ears.

The PAC, which has not managed to capture more than 1% of the national
vote since the first democratic elections in 1994, remains almost

Beginnings and endings

6 April 1959
A group of ANC members breaks away to form a new party, the PAC.
21 March 1960
Police shoot at marchers, protesting in Sharpeville against pass laws,
killing 69 and wounding 180.
30 March 1960
The government declares a state of emergency. It lasts four months.
1 April 1960
The UN Security Council calls on the South African government to abandon
its race policies.
8 April 1960
The PAC and the ANC are banned.
31 May 1961
South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations, the majority of
members of which are opposed to the policy of apartheid.
The PAC launches its first formal structure in Lesotho.
21 March 1966
The UN General Assembly proclaims March 21 as the International Day for
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The PAC is expelled from Lesotho, where it had been allied to the
opposition Basutoland Congress Party, and from Zambia, which favours the
The PAC splits into two: a faction led by Potlako Leballo, and the other
by David Sibeko.
11 February 1990
The ban on the ANC and PAC is lifted.
10 December 1996
President Nelson Mandela signs into law the Constitution of South Africa
in Sharpeville.

Sharpeville victims 'deserve better'
Baldwin Ndaba 19 March 2010

Some Sharpeville residents are disgruntled on the eve of the
commemoration of the anti-pass massacre this weekend because they feel
the 69 victims have not been remembered appropriately.

The massacre victims, who were answering a Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)
call to demonstrate against the pass laws, were gunned down during an
anti-pass protest 50 years ago this Sunday.

Sharpeville residents say they find it odd that the history and
backgrounds of those who laid down their lives has yet to hit the
shelves of the Sedibeng District Municipality's (SDM) libraries.

In 2001, then-deputy president Jacob Zuma inaugurated a garden of
remembrance in their honour, with their names cast in stone.

Fours years later, former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa officially
opened the Sharpeville Memorial Exhibition Centre. But apart from their
names on memorial stones, nothing else commemorates the victims' lives.

Residents are also unhappy that the Sharpeville District Municipality
(SDM) has offered the freedom of the town to President Zuma and another
award, Patron of the Sedibeng Development Agency, to one of his wives,
Sizakele Khumalo, on Sunday, Human Rights Day.

The couple will not be at the ceremony.

Municipal spokesman Andile Xaba said the SDM would consider, at a later
stage, honouring Nyakane Tsolo, who led the PAC anti-pass march and
others who lost their lives.

He said they were still collecting information about what actually
happened, and would file it in its libraries.

Local PAC leader Ike Makiti said he was not surprised.

"The SDM have always undermined the role of the PAC... the best they can
do is ignore the sacrifices of the people of Sharpeville by instead
honouring their leaders," he said.

Strike enters fourth day at Vergenoeg Mine
NUM 19 March 2010

A strike by the total workforce of over 200 mineworkers has today entered its fourth day at Vergenoeg mine. Workers demand a living out allowance, a transport allowance and medical aid cover. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) demands that the company offer an inclusive living out allowance, medical aid and transport allowance of R3000 a month and the company is currently at R1100. “We took this matter to the CCMA for resolution, unfortunately the matter could not be resolved. The CCMA awarded us a certificate to strike and we are exercising that right” says Sally Mathlabegoane, the NUM Branch Secretary at Vergenoeg. Vergenoeg is a fluorspan mine situated at Rust de Winter at the border of Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.

The NUM strongly condemns the attitude of Vergenoeg mine in not acceding to the reasonable demands of their workforce.

Lesiba Seshoka – (NUM Spokesman)- 082 803 6719

Presidency bans all marches to Union Buildings - Equal Education
Equal Education 16 March 2010

NGO says the Tshwane Metro has blocked application on instruction of DG


Equal Education (EE) is a national movement of learners, parents,
teachers and community members working for quality and equality in South
African education. EE has over 1,000 members and over 50,000 signed-up

EE is presently leading the Campaign for School Libraries, a national
campaign of poor and working class people aimed at securing and
implementing a National Policy on School Libraries.

Our objective is to ensure access to books and information for every
learner in South Africa. This Campaign was triggered by the fact that:

According to the government only 8% of public schools have libraries.

South Africa's learner literacy level is amongst the worst in the world;
in a 2009 study involving 14 Sub-Saharan African countries South Africa
was ranked ninth behind countries including Mozambique, Tanzania and

Since 1997 six draft school libraries policies have been circulated by
the former national Department of Education, yet none has been implemented!

The last week of March is SA Libraries Week. To promote our call for
school libraries marches are being held in Cape Town (21 March),
Pretoria-Tshwane (26 March) and Polokwane (30 March). 2000 supporters
are expected to attend our march to the Union Buildings, the seat of
government, on 26 March 2010. The marchers will largely comprise of
members of EE, school going children and parents who pose no security risk.

EE gave notice to Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) of our
intention to march to the Union Buildings more than a month in advance,
even though the legislation requires only a week's notice.

Since then the TMPD has repeatedly refused EE the right to march to the
Union Buildings. The reason TMPD gives is a blanket ban on all marches
to the Union Buildings as directed by the Director General (DG) in the
Presidency, Mr. Vusi Mavimbela. EE will give documentation to the press
upon request.

EE has written multiple letters to the TMPD and the DG to try to avoid
legal action. We have given extensions and now resort to legal action as
a last resort. Therefore on Tuesday 16 March 2010 Equal Education's
legal representatives, the AIDS Law Project, will launch an urgent
application seeking to overturn the prohibition of a march to the Union
Buildings and asserting our rights to demonstrate, as provided for in
section 17 of the Constitution.

EE desires to work with government to address the crises of quality and
inequality in our education system. We seek a positive working
relationship with the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

We do not want to waste time in unnecessary court battles. But in this
case we are left with no other choice.

Statement issued by Equal Education, March 16 2010

No ban on marches to Union Buildings - Presidency
Vusi Mona, Head of Communications in The Presidency,16 March 2010

But, Vusi Mona says, marches to the seat of govt should only be a last

Statement by The Presidency on marches to the Union Buildings

The Presidency has noted a press release by the organisation ‘Equal
Education' suggesting that there is a blanket ban on all marches to the
Union Buildings.

The Presidency wishes to place on record that it has not instituted any
ban on marches to the Union Buildings.

The Presidency upholds the right of all citizens to freedom of
expression and peaceful demonstration. It will continue to work with all
relevant stakeholders to ensure that such rights are exercised within
the law and in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders.

Following last year's march by soldiers to the Union Buildings, which
ended in a violent confrontation, the Presidency has sought to improve
the management of marches to the Union Buildings, working together with
the Tshwane Metro and the relevant line function departments.

The Presidency always encourages march organisers to channel whatever
issues they may have to the relevant departments. We would encourage
people only to march to the Union Buildings as a last resort.

The Presidency remains ready to engage with the parties concerned to
ensure that this matter is amicably resolved.

Statement issued by Vusi Mona, Head of Communications in The Presidency,
March 16 2010

Two admitted to hospital: Students, police in clash on campus
Latoya Newman (The Mercury) 16 March 2010

TWO students at the Durban University of Technology claim they were
attacked by police, despite not being part of student protests at the
university's Midlands campus in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Both the students were taken to Edendale Hospital.

In the first case, a student suffered an asthma attack after police
stormed her room at the residence on campus.

"The police just kicked down my door. I was about to go into the
bathroom so I was naked. They told me I was under arrest. I told them I
was not part of the strike, but they just pulled me out into the corridor.

"I started feeling dizzy and I could feel the attack (asthma) coming on.
I told them I was sick but they said I was telling lies. I fainted and
they started kicking me all over. I want to lay a charge but I cannot
identify them; there were too many," she said. The student has asked not
to be named.

In the second case another student, who also refused to be identified,
said he had left his room to buy bread when he was struck by a rubber
bullet. "I saw a group of students running towards me, but I thought
nothing of it and continued to get the bread. Then I heard shots and saw
the police. I was shot near my eye," he said.

The clash between students and police took place during a protest by
about 800 students, said police reports. Ten students were arrested for
public violence.

The students demanded that food prices at the canteen be lowered,
security be beefed up on campus and that residence renovations be
speeded up.

Police claim they were monitoring the protest when students started
throwing stones at them. However, the students representative council
claimed their protest was peaceful and police had suddenly fired rubber

Senior Superintendent Jay Naicker said that when police arrived officers
established that the students had damaged the roof and windscreen of a
vehicle parked inside the premises and they had also removed fire
extinguishers from the campus.

"The students were also throwing stones and bottles at the police. After
numerous requests to disperse, the protesters refused to comply. Police
were then forced to fire rubber bullets and use stun grenades, after
which the crowd subsequently dispersed," he said.

Midlands campus SRC president Sipho Mdliva said the students threw
stones at police after being attacked. He said their strike would
continue until their needs were met, despite the "brutal" treatment.

"In block five at the Indumiso site, students have no hot water.
Renovations that were supposed to be completed in February are going at
a snail's pace. As a result, male and female students are sharing shower
facilities. The quality of the food at the canteen is poor and it is
very expensive, and the management has done nothing about crime on
campus. Students continue to be attacked by criminals who come on to
campus," he said.

DUT spokesman Professor Nqabomzi Gawe said the Midlands campus had been
temporarily shut down. "Lectures will resume on Thursday, when students
will be given feedback on their concerns. DUT is not aware of any issues
relating to disruptions to the supply of water to the campus."

Tensions peaked during a protest at the Durban University of
Technology's Indumiso site at its Midlands Campus yes172terday when a
clash between about 800 students and police resulted in officers firing
rubber bullets and stun grenades into the crowds. Several students were

'Our conditions will never change'
Sapa 15 March 2010

The government came under heavy fire on Monday because of poor service
delivery in the community of Refilwe, east of Pretoria.

Angry residents said the government had been unresponsive and used the
opportunity to voice their fury at a parliamentary public hearing.

Heavy weather and thunder could barely be heard as one by one the
residents filed their complaints.

"Until a step is taken to stop corruption in government nothing is going
to stop," Ivan Shabangu told the hearing by the parliamentary ad hoc
committee on service delivery.

He said he felt their conditions would never change.

Stephen Phelani told the panel small businesses were under threat
because of Somalian nationals.

"In the end there will be violence. We will fight and we blame the
municipality for that."

Phelani said he had lost business at his tuck shop because Somalians
encroached on his turf and reduced their prices.

Charles Shirinda said since 1994 he had never received basic services
such was water, electricity and sewage drainage. Road infrastructure was
also a problem.

"If there is crime, the police can't get here."

Shirinda said despite the committee listening to residents' problems,
there was nothing it could do.

"We give them our problems, but we never get feedback."

Phelani also argued that many attempts to get local mayor Annah Digoro
to meet them had been fruitless.

"I have been arrested because I raised some issues and we wanted for the
mayor to attend our meeting, but she doesn't come."

One of the other speakers who addressed the committee said the
government was making no effort to care for them.

Another said they had not received any money for infrastructure
development. The speaker added that their reaction to poor service would
not be hampered by any intervention.

"You dare call the police today and you will see what will happen to you."

Another resident said he needed to "shine" about his residential area,
because in 19 years they had received basic infrastructure such as
electricity, water and sewerage.

Despite this he said they were not "fully covered" as they wanted a
library, community hall and a sports facility.

He said housing was also a problem because RDP houses were not properly
built, leaving residents to suffer in heavy rains because their roofs

Phelani lashed out at the committee for paying lip service to the
community, claiming they did not listen.

Adults brought their young children to the hearing to urge the
government to pay attention to them.

Speaking during the meeting, community chairperson Lechesa Tsenoli, one
of a panel of 11, said the committee was taking note of all complaints
and they would compile a report to be filed in Cabinet.

He said this would only be done after public hearings in Limpopo,
KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape. - Sapa

Shiceka gets tough on struggling municipalities
Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka
March 16 2010

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka
is to invoke section 139(b) of the Constitution, against five
municipalities in the North West province which have failed to render
effective service delivery to their communities.

The provision allows the Minister to appoint an administrator to run the
affairs of the local authority, if it is failing to render effective
service delivery to residents.

Shiceka visited Rustenburg to conducted an assessment of the performance
of local authorities and provincial government departments by ANC
national executive committee deployees in the province and the
provincial task team.

The affected local municipalities are Moreletele, Madibeng, Moses Kotane
and Tswaing. The section will be extended to Dr Modiri Molema District
Municipality, which was placed under the same section, until December
last year.

"These interventions are not the end today. We are still going to
intervene in many more. All these things are based on the report that we
drafted. As you can see now, we are meeting with provincial government
to assess the deployees of the ANC in the government - at the political
administration level to assess the performance of the government with
the intention of strengthening it," says Shiceka.

A team of specialised administrators will also be deployed to the North
West to assist different provincial departments, to improve service
delivery. Residents of North West have been engaging in a series of
protest actions throughout the province, against alleged lack of service
delivery by both local authorities and the provincial government.

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 16 Mar 2010
Title: Gauteng to curb service delivery protests

Soweto - The Gauteng provincial government has promised to intensify its
work with municipalities to curb ongoing service delivery protests.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said government will engage communities
regarding their grievances and other needs crucial to their lives.

The premier appealed for restraint and respect of the law during
protests, saying only genuine grievances would be attended to.

"The assurance that we give our people is that if delivery has not
happened in your area it will happen soon as it did in other areas where
people waited patiently," she said on Tuesday.

Mokonyane was speaking during her service delivery monitoring visit to
the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in the wake of ongoing service
delivery protests by residents countrywide.

Most of the protesters echoed the same concerns of unemployment, poor
housing delivery, lack of clean water, electricity and the need for
clinics and extra police resources.

She said government had already made the commitment to urgently attend
to concerns of communities to reduce service delivery backlogs.

Mokonyane said the province had identified among others, lack of
capacity, as causes of protests. This includes some dysfunctional
governing structures.

She said she was not surprised by threats made by communities to
intensify their protests during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"No one will choose a dull moment for a protest ... we've decided not be
scared, but rather engage people to avoid drama."

The national government will in the next three weeks visit service
delivery hotspots. After the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital visit,
President Jacob Zuma will visit Madelakufa in Tembisa on 19 March.

Visits to other areas such as Siyathemba in Balfour, where a library was
torched in a recent protest, are also planned. - BuaNews

No end to Gauteng service delivery protests Comments
Sapa 16 March 2010

Service delivery protests continued in Gauteng on Tuesday, Johannesburg
metro police said.

Inspector Edna Mamonyane said metro police had to disperse protesters at
Poortjie, west of Johannesburg, along the Randfontein road.

"They demand that a councillor must step down... We dispersed the crowd
along the road and stopped them from blocking it," she said.

She said the situation was calm, but that metro police officers were
monitoring conditions.

"We have to ensure that passing motorists are not stoned and the road is
not blocked to disrupt traffic flow."

She said there was another protest in Ennerdale extension four, south of

"The situation there is under control. There has been no report of

On Monday, irate residents of Kanana, Phomolong and Rabie Ridge went on
the rampage, blocking Modderfontein road, near Midrand, and Mayibuye and
Republic roads with stones and burning tyres. They were demanding RDP

Police fired rubber bullets when the crowd become unruly and pelted
police vans with stones.

Forty-two of them were arrested for public violence. They were later
released on warning.

Police spokeswoman Sergeant Joyce Setshedi said the situation was calm
on Tuesday, but police would continue to monitor the area. - Sapa

No end to service delivery protests in Gauteng
jozifm 16 March 2010

It looks like there’s no solution to service delivery protests in Gauteng.

Service delivery protests are spreading like wild fire from one
community to another.

Today metro police officers had their hands full in Poortjie, west of

Residents in this area went on rampage demanding that their councilor
step down.

Metro police’s Edna Mamonyane said they had to disperse protesters.

She said the situation is calm, but metro police officers were
monitoring the situation.

She said there was another protest in Ennerdale extension four, south of

Infighting behind protests: ANC
Sapa 17 March 2010

JOHANNESBURG - Infighting and jostling for leadership positions were
among the reasons for service delivery protests, the ANC in Gauteng and
its alliance partners said on Wednesday.

“Councillors are being deliberately maligned and discredited by those
who are positioning themselves for the list nomination for election
process,” ANC provincial secretary David Makhura told a media briefing
in Johannesburg.

Gauteng has recently been hit by a wave of service delivery protests in
areas from Orange Farm to Sedibeng, with some turning violent.

The ANC and its alliance partners, Cosatu and the SACP in the province
will visit areas that had seen service delivery protests to address
concerns raised by residents.

It also called on the government to fast-track service delivery by
focusing on “quick fix” areas which included waste collection, provision
of electricity and water, cutting grass, maintenance of public spaces
and removing people illegally occupying property.

The alliance condemned the violent nature of the protests, saying
irrespective of whether grievances were justified, it was not enough to
resort to violence.
- Sapa

Laura Miti: Who can, will halt the anarchy?
Laura Miti (Daily Dispatch) 16 March 2010

IT WAS reported at the weekend that a Bus Rapid Transport system bus
came under fire in Soweto on Friday night. The reports are that a sedan
with four occupants in it opened fire on the bus, which was picking up

This attack followed strike action by members of the United Taxi
Association Forum, who say the BRT system in Johannesburg is being
forced on them. They further allege that the city has been impounding
their taxis in large numbers in order to facilitate a movement of
commuters to the BRT system.

While there is no proof that the shooting in Soweto had anything to do
with this unhappiness in the taxi industry, suspicions are high that it did.

The taxi strike was far from being the only area of unrest in Gauteng
this week. The province also saw a member of service delivery protests.
Once again, the protests turned violent with roads being blockaded,
tyres being burnt and the police and even members of the defence force
having to fire rubber bullets to disperse the marauding, looting crowds.

I don’t know whether I am the only one who finds myself wondering how
long these violent strikes and service delivery protests that keep
erupting so regularly all over the country can go on before it all
degenerates into widescale mayhem far worse than the xenophobic attacks
of 2008.

While it is true that we are increasingly hearing politicians speak
strongly against the violent nature of these protests, it is also true
that the statements from civic and political leaders across the country
sound like those of people very unsure about how to proceed on a matter
that they know requires urgent and decisive action.

Last week Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane said of the raging battles
in her backyard, that citizens needed to be reminded that democracy did
not mean they could do whatever they wanted.

In spite of that warning, one could almost be certain that the Gauteng
law enforcement agencies are right now biting their fingernails to the
quick about the drive-by shooting at the BRT bus, convinced that it will
happen again.

What is tragic about the South African law and order situation right
now, is that it can also be stated with near certainty that the four
persons said to have been in that sedan are absolutely relaxed right
now, knowing that the chance of their seeing a uniformed officer at
their door is marginal.

It is in this unhappy set of circumstances – in which criminals have
little to fear and communities are turning violent – that the ANC power
base is also degenerating into an increasing state of indiscipline and

You see when ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema decides that he is
going to lead students at a university campus, singing a song that he
knows full well will cause an uproar, the problem goes beyond being one
of deliberately fanning national division and disunity.

He, like the gun-toting individuals in drive- by shootings and community
members who burn libraries and loot shops owned by foreign nationals, is
putting on a display of recklessness that he thinks, nay knows, he will
get away with.

When the spokesperson of the ANC then says Malema was simply singing an
historical song of protest, and then the State President tries to
appease the offended Afrikaners by meeting them for dinner, you know
everyone is off on their chosen tangent.

One has to ask how, with the lack of discipline and cohesion at the
centre, citizens at the margins angry because democracy and a black
government are not delivering what they feel they are entitled to, all
this can be prevented from, one of these days, setting enterprise alight.

In short I am wondering if anyone in government has as his or her
primary concern right now, the drafting and execution of a plan to
address and contain the frightening violence that is spreading in the

More interesting is the question, from which authority can this person
(or commission) be drawn in order to halt the degeneration into anarchy
that we are seeing?

Laura Miti is a freelance writer based in East London. Her e-mail is

Service delivery protests rage on
Sapa 17 March 2010

Service delivery protests continued in Gauteng yesterday, Joburg metro
police said. Inspector Edna Mamonyane said metro police had to disperse
protesters at Poortjie, west of Joburg, along the Randfontein road, who
were demanding that a councillor step down. The situation was calm but
metro police were monitoring conditions. A protest in Ennerdale
Extension 4, south of Joburg, was under control. On Monday, Kanana,
Phomolong and Rabie Ridge residents blocked Modderfontein Road near
Midrand, and Mayibuye and Republic roads, with burning tyres. Forty-two
were arrested for stoning police vans, and released on a warning. - Sapa

Councillor beaten in Gauteng service delivery protest
Sapa 17 March 2010

JOHANNESBURG - A councillor was assaulted and his shack damaged during a
service delivery protest in Poortjie near Orange Farm, south of
Johannesburg on Wednesday, police said.

Constable Edwin Ntsheo said a mob went to councillor Advocate Nyabe’s
shack at 5.30am, broke all the windows and damaged his two cars with
stones and sharp objects.

“They kicked the door opened and assaulted him with sharp objects and
stones. He sustained a deep wound on the head and was taken to
hospital,” Ntsheo said.

Thirty-six people were arrested for attempted murder and malicious
damage to property. They were detained at the Orange Farm police station.

Ntsheo said the R58 road (Randfontein road) was blocked with stones and
burning tyres.

“The road has been cleared and police are monitoring the area,” he said
at around noon, adding that police expect to arrest more people.

In Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, seven people were arrested for
public violence after they blocked a road.

“They refused to heed a police order to disperse from the road and seven
of them were arrested. They were detained at the Ennerdale police station.”

He said about 1000 Ennerdale residents were at noon waiting to hand over
a memorandum of their grievances to an official from the Gauteng
provincial government.

“They alleged that their councillor owns projects in the area and he
must step down,” he said.

He said the situation was calm and police were monitoring it.

Protests in Ennerdale and Poortjie started on Tuesday, a day after
residents in Kanana, Phomolong and Rabie Ridge took to the streets
demanding RDP houses. Sergeant Joyce Setshedi said there were no
protests in Rabie Ridge on Wednesday.
- Sapa

The troubled streets of Gauteng
Karabo Keepile 12 March 2010

Police fired rubber ­bullets at residents of Finetown, near the Grasmere
Toll Plaza in Gauteng, on Thursday as waves of service delivery strikes
hit the province throughout the week.

Finetown residents took to the streets on Thursday morning, throwing
stones, burning tyres and strewing rubbish. By midday younger community
members were still burning tyres. Residents aired their frustration to
the Mail & Guardian about unfinished RDP houses and lack of feedback
from government.

Spreading service delivery unrest: Timeline since February 2009

This followed a torrid week in Gauteng, which saw similar protests in
Mamelodi and Bronkhorstspruit (on Monday), and Dobsonville in Soweto (on

On Thursday the protests escalated sharply to take in Dobsonville
(again), Reiger Park and Daveyton on the East Rand, Ennerdale
(Johannesburg South), Protea Glen in Soweto, Ramaphosa informal
­settlement, Atteridgeville and ­Mamelodi in Pretoria.

Residents of the Oukasie informal settlement in nearby North West also
took to the streets on Tuesday.

"We are suffering here in Finetown because we live in shacks," Gladys
Mangali of Block 1 told the M&G. "And we want proper roads."

Fellow resident Silvia Mangali said she had lived in the township since
1993. "I live in a shack that leaks when it rains," she said.

Councillor 'drives a Hummer and has three houses'

Cash Mkhabele (22) finished ­matric two years ago and is still
unemployed. He joined Thursday's protests, telling the M&G: "We don't
have a library. If we’re looking for one, we have to take a taxi to
­Lenasia or Ennerdale."

The municipality was no help, Mkhabele said.

"Our councillor doesn't want to talk to us. He drives a Hummer and has
three houses."

Younger community members are destroying the equipment used to build
what they call "box RDP houses".

By mid-morning on Thursday five metro police cars were lined up on
Impala Road in Dobsonville, Soweto, keeping a watchful eye on the area
where protests had been held an hour before, as well as on Wednesday.
Burnt tyres lay scattered at an intersection.

Taxi marshall Lucky Mokwena told the M&G he had watched protesters, who
had taken to the streets demanding RDP houses hours earlier: "They were
burning tyres and protesting for houses. They say they have been waiting
since 1994."

Angry residents -- who the M&G understands were from Zola, Emdeni and
Chiawelo -- said they would be back the following day.

BRT passengers face delays
Sapa 16 March 2010

Commuters in Soweto had to put up with long queues along routes of the
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on Tuesday morning as taxi drivers
continued to withdraw their services in protest against the system, the
City of Johannesburg said.

Spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said however that the buses were
"running smoothly" and that all commuters will be transported to their

"No [violent] incidents have been reported as yet, but people will have
to be a bit patient because the queues are a bit long as there are no
taxis, but we will move all of them like we did yesterday," he said.

Police monitoring situation
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar also said there
were no incidents reported on Tuesday following incidents on Monday
where commuters were prevented from using trains as an alternative to
the strained BRT system.

BRT bus stops had also been vandalised on Sunday night and a bus depot
in Nancefield was blockaded with rocks and stones.

Gauteng police spokesperson Govindsamy Mariemuthoo said police were
monitoring the situation.

"No major incidents have been reported, we've got police all over... we
are monitoring the routes," he said.

Worried about their livelihoods and claiming not to have been adequately
consulted, some taxi companies refused to work on Monday, overloading
the BRT system.

They are opposed to the roll-out of the new complementary bus service
running directly from Dobsonville to the Johannesburg central business
district, and Ellis Park station, as well as feeder services
transporting passengers from Naledi to Thokoza Park station, from Jabavu
to Lake View station and from Mofolo to Boomtown station.

PE taxi operators busted in protest
I-Net 16 march 2010

Eighty-three taxi operators have been arrested for an illegal march in
Port Elizabeth on Monday, Eastern Cape police say.

Eighty-three taxi operators were arrested for an illegal march in Port
Elizabeth on Monday, Eastern Cape police said.

Spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said police were forced to
use stun grenades to disperse between 150 and 200 protesters who
protested at the Port Elizabeth court against the arrest of a well-known
Nelson Mandela Bay taxi boss, Melikile Hani.

"We warned them to move away and had to take action when they refused,"
said Janse van Rensburg. The protesters were arrested for illegal
gathering and appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court. They
will appear again on April 21."

Hani, an official at the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality's housing
department, was arrested for attempted murder on Thursday for an
incident that occurred in January. He was held over the
weekend and was not released on bail on Monday.

Janse van Rensburg said protesters threatened the metro's bus services
on Monday, forcing the buses not to operate. Some taxis also did not
work on Monday.
"We also closed off all the roads around the courts," she said.

Stanley Uys on the political reawakening of the white African minority

Afrikaners are experiencing a reawakening. They are being urged to stand
up for their rights and confront the ANC if necessary. Support appears
to be building up for the withholding of taxes. This follows 15 years of
relative silence among Afrikaners since the ANC take-over in 1994, and
it is a disturbing development for the ANC government.

In an article in Die Beeld, the historian, Professor Hermann Giliomee,
writes: "Opinion polls indicate that Afrikaners have a significantly
greater need for political solidarity and sense of belonging than exists
among white English-speakers. Until recently they were not aware how
from a minority position they could mobilise against attack on their
rights and in support of their language and culture. This is changing

Giliomee refers to a fed-up factor among Afrikaners (also known as the
keelvol or gatvol factor). He says that "among northern Afrikaners (it)
has increased so much that in a recent opinion poll...more than half
indicated they would prefer to live in a homeland" (a separate state).

"With the exit gap of emigration mostly closed and with an incompetent,
wavering president in the power position, South Africa in the next five
years can become a very interesting place where minorities, including
Afrikaners, can regroup and renew themselves. The final chapter on the
Afrikaners has by no means been written yet."

Giliomee has written two new chapters for his 2003 book The Afrikaners.
He draws on this new material for his latest comments.

Clearly uneasy over the new mood among the now unpredictable Afrikaners,
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has invited Die Beeld to
"facilitate a live debate...with the aim of enabling greater
understanding and reduced suspicions among us as a people." Mantashe
(also chairman of the SACP) promises that "I, personally, commit to such
an engagement."

In an article in Die Beeld, Mantashe accuses Giliomee of "inciting"
Afrikaners and of being "economical with the facts." He says Giliomee
wants to put the clock back to 1994 and restore privileges Afrikaners
enjoyed "during the 86 (sic) years of apartheid nationalist rule".
(Apartheid in fact prevailed from 1948 to 1994 - 46 years).

President Zuma, too, is in conciliatory mood. He held a private dinner
last week for Afrikaner leaders at which among other matters the
unrestrained statements of ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema,
were discussed.

Giliomee is by no means alone in his encouragement of a reawakening
among Afrikaners. He believes language marginalisation and poverty go
hand-in-hand, and addressing a conference on poverty organised by the
trade union Solidarity (to which many white workers belong) he called on
churches and schools to play their part. He said Afrikaners should
recapture their political will and self-trust if they wanted to deal
with poverty in their communities.

The conference was attended by 300 delegates representing 66
organisations. Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance, the Freedom Front
Plus and the Afrikanerbond are mobilising opposition to the ANC mooting
possible legislation to declare agricultural land a "national asset" -
an expropriation threat.

In the 2009 elections, Afrikaners were as united as they were in 1966
when 82% of them voted for the Democratic Alliance. Yet with the ANC
power elite steadily downgrading the importance of Parliament, the
minorities have been looking to sites of opposition to government.

Like the English-speaking white middle class, the Afrikaner middle class
are groaning under a heavy tax burden and escalating prices. Giliomee
notes: "Johan van Zyl, managing director of Sanlam, declares that the
middle class are under intense financial pressure as is evident from the
increase in insurance policies for which the premiums cannot be paid.

"Nevertheless, the government is planning a compulsory national health
scheme which, according to Professor Harms of Pretoria University, will
cause the tax rates to increase by two thirds".

In a recent article in these columns, Dave Steward, executive director
of the FW de Klerk Foundation (writing under the headline White
Disaffection in South Africa), said many members of South Africa's
minorities "feel themselves less and less represented in the
institutions of their country. The glow of the initial years of the
‘rainbow nation' has, unfortunately, faded...Instead, there is a growing
sense of alienation.

"The most potent form of Afrikaner resistance to the authorities is the
non-payment of rates and other forms of local taxes until service
delivery improves. Blacks have also mounted various form of protest
action, including violent protests against poor services."

"As a group of approximately three million spread over the country, the
Afrikaners dominated most of the city councils and municipalities before
the transition in 1994. Afrikaans-speaking skilled personnel were the
first to be displaced by the new-government's ill-conceived
transformation policy".

Meanwhile, the Risk Unit Analysis of the SA Institute of Race Relations
has just issued the follow warning: "Protest action against the
Government and the ANC has escalated over the past 24 months. This is a
new phenomenon and its implications for future stability in South Africa
are serious. The Unit has identified the risk of a new grass roots
political movement growing out of local government protests as perhaps
the greatest political threat to the political hegemony of the ANC. "

Addressing a conference of the Solidarity trade union, which includes
many of the country's white civil servants among its members, Giliomee
touched on the issue of taxation of whites. Giliomee said: "South Africa
has one of the strangest systems in the world: those with political
power have no economic power and those with economic power have no
political power. The Economist wrote that the ANC's Achilles' heel was
the white taxpayers, while the late Chris Louw remarked that the
influence of Afrikaners reduced to its demographic proportions was: a
meagre 6%.

Beeld's editor, Tim du Plessis, believes there is a revival among
Afrikaners. "People, communities, minorities...are standing up and
saying: enough is enough. Now we are taking our rights back." They
resist the "stifling ANC hegemony of the past 10 years", are fighting
for their city's name (Pretoria), and withholding service taxes in
protest. "Perhaps garages which refuse franchises to minority groups
should be boycotted."

The ANC's National Democratic Revolution, says Du Plessis, still aims to
dominate every nook and cranny of South Africa, but everywhere it is
being forced into reverse - "everywhere, except at Stellenbosch
University, where the opposite is happening - the right word is abdication".

Du Plessis said someone should tell the "transformers" at Stellenbosch
that the battle between verligtes and verkramptes was over. "Verlig has
won; mission accomplished."

Beeld's sister newspaper in Cape Town, Die Burger, taking the opposite
view, says the refusal of householders to pay service taxes is an
absurdity (onding). The editor Henry Jeffreys (himself coloured) writes:
"The ‘white' taxpayers have the means to withhold and invest it in a
quasi-trust fund...this is unlawful...Withholding taxes ultimately is
the civilised and sophisticated face of anarchy."

Among the angry responses, a reader wrote: "Neglecting to check his
facts shows that Jeffreys is not a good journalist. It is time for him
to be promoted to something like the Mitchells Plein Edvertaaiser." For
the first time, Die Burger has lashed out at Giliomee in a front-page
report. Yet, in Beeld, Du Plessis backs him to the hilt.

Continuing his Beeld article, Giliomee wrote: "The three most important
developments of the last five years have been the renewal of the ANC
Alliance's policy document, the National Democratic Revolution, the
weakening belief in the Constitution to protect minority rights, and the
ways in which the Afrikaners have repositioned themselves".

The NDR to which Giliomee refers requires the state to control all
levers of power, public and private. The NDR, says Giliomee, has a long
history, but was given fresh life by the SACP 1962 policy document, The
Road to South African Freedom.

Giliomee doubts whether Zuma personally endorses the NDR as the ANC's
directive philosophy, but by having to accommodate it to other policy
priorities, he has landed himself in an "ideological muddle" which
increasingly characterizes the Zuma-ANC. "Without the NDR," says
Giliomee, "Julius Malema's present role would not have been possible."

Giliomee makes other points concerning Afrikaners: (a) loss of faith in
the 1990-1996 settlement between the ANC and whites: whereas Afrikaners
accepted it as a binding contract, the ANC saw it as just a stepping
stone in the revolutionary process; Afrikaners split, but regrouped -
with their more affluent members identifying themselves with the
cosmopolitan English-speakers; while at the lower level most Afrikaners
just struggled for survival.

At the Solidarity conference, Dr Danie Langner, executive director of
the Solidarity Helping Hand, said it was necessary to talk about poverty
because there are "about 430,000 Afrikaners who have to exist in
squatters' camps, corrugated iron shacks, caravans, tents and even
pigsties. It's a quiet poverty today about which people are afraid and
ashamed to talk for fear of another political slap in the face...But it
is no less intense than the poverty after the Anglo-Boer war and the 1930s."

For an academic's overview of the current debate among Afrikaners,
readers can turn to "Suid-Afrika op soek na ‘n opvolgskikking," by Prof.
Pierre du Toit of the Department of Political Science, University of
Stellenbosch. Opvolgskikking can be translated as a renegotiation of the
agreement reached between the National Party government and the ANC in
the early 1990s, but Follow-up Settlement perhaps is better.

Du Toit asks whether the 1990-1993 negotiations took place in good
faith, and whether there was ever underlying unanimity that the
negotiations did not mean the armed struggle would continue simply as
"war by other means"?

Other questions raised by Du Toit are whether the negotiators ever
thrashed out among themselves the nature and essence of the democratic
concept; whether the question was ever settled of the opposition's role
- to confront, or to help, the government; and whether civil society
should include only those who had suffered under apartheid. Du Toit
lists various differences which, he says, "persist... and keep the
present settlement under continuous pressure".

An academic paper such as Du Toit's (with its subtle handling of a
"reawakening" among the Afrikaners) cannot be given proper attention in
a short article such as this one. Crisp and lucid, it merits detailed study.

It offers this succinct comment: "A ruling party based on imposing a
hegemony of ideas offers by definition no space in which the talent of
all South Africans can be harnessed in a free-ranging way. Creative
thinking cannot be constrained by ideological conditions. Such an
ideology, with its inherent demand for hegemonic control over everything
from the internet to mineral rights, is a debilitating mind-set, wholly
inadequate for the necessary problem-resolving capacity".

Community gathers for Jub Jub court appearance
Sapa 17 March 2010

Dozens of police officers gathered at the Protea Magistrate's Court on
Wednesday ahead of the court appearance of hip-hop artist Molemo
Maarohanye, known as Jub Jub, and co-accused Themba Tshabalala.

A large number of community members and local school pupils were
expected to protest against a bail application for the pair, who are
facing four murder charges.

By 7.45am, people were slowly making their way to the court house in
rainy conditions, while police monitored the situation.

Several journalists and photographers were setting up their camera

The situation was calm.

Last week, protesting high school pupils threw stones at the police van
transporting the accused.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala face murder charges after four school pupils
were killed and two critically injured during what was described as a
drag-racing incident in Soweto, Johannesburg, last week.

They face four charges of murder, two of attempted murder and one each
of reckless driving and drunken driving.

At their first appearance last Wednesday, State prosecutor Liezl van
Jaarsveld told the court the two were allegedly racing in a residential
area with many pedestrians, on a two-way street during peak-hour traffic.

She asked for a seven-day postponement to allow the state to obtain
statements from witnesses and to conduct technical investigations on the
two cars involved.

Defence counsel Ike Motloung opposed the postponement, but it was
granted by magistrate Brian Nemavhadi.

The Star reported on Wednesday that African National Congress Youth
League leader Julius Malema visited Jub Jub in prison on Monday morning,
quoting several correctional services officials.

ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu told Sapa he knew nothing about the
visit. -- Sapa

Pupils embark on violent protest in Lenasia
Sapa 17 March 2010

JOHANNESBURG - The situation was tense at Azara Secondary School,
Lenasia on Wednesday as pupils embarked on a violent protect against
alleged “unfair treatment” by the principal, police said.

Pupils began protesting just after 8am and threw stones which allegedly
damaged six cars belonging to teachers and two police vans, said Captain
Mbulaheni Netshivhodza.

“They also broke all windows in six classrooms.”

Netshivhodza said teachers were leaving the school because they feared
for their lives.

Teachers told the officers that the pupils were unruly and wanted to use
drugs and alcohol at school.

Pupils started to disperse after handing over their memorandum of
grievances against the principal to the school’s governing body,
Netshivhodza said.

The Democratic Alliance Gauteng education spokesman Khume Ramulifho
condemned disruptions of classes at the school.

“We are urging the department to make an urgent intervention to calm the

Ramulifho said the principal had allegedly suspended pupils without
giving reasons.

“Two weeks ago there was a learner who was suspended and after the DA
advised the department to intervene, the learner was readmitted to the
school. The role of the district seems to be unclear,” he said.

He also urged pupils to be disciplined and remain focused on their
academic activities throughout the year.

Cost of Stadium Reveals Tensions in South Africa
Benedicte Kurzen for The New York Times New York Times

In the shadow of the new stadium that is being built, wooden shacks are
used as shelter for the workers who work on construction.

BARRY BEARAK 12 March 2010

NELSPRUIT, South Africa — Come June, soccer’s World Cup will be hosted
by South Africa. Though only 4 of the 64 games are to be played here in
Nelspruit, a $137 million stadium was built for the occasion. The
arena’s 18 supporting pylons reach skyward in the shape of orange
giraffes. At nightfall, their eyeballs blink with flashes of bewitching

The people who live nearby, proud as they are to host soccer’s greatest
event, also wonder: How could there be money for a 46,000-seat stadium
while many of them still fetch water from dirty puddles and live without
electricity or toilets?

The 2010 World Cup is meant to display South Africa at its very best: a
modern, prosperous nation friendly to commerce, tourists and democratic
ideals. This is the first time the event will be held in Africa, and it
was buoyantly suggested by the former president, Thabo Mbeki, that the
competition was a milestone for the entire continent, “sending ripples
of confidence from the Cape to Cairo.”

Such boasts may well turn out to be true, for South Africa has spent
more than $6 billion on stadiums, roads, airports and other projects.
But Nelspruit, in preparing for its own six hours of championship
soccer, is instead an example of the nation at its worst, with
distressing inequality — measured by some economists as the worst in the
world — and an epidemic of local corruption that often leads the
downtrodden to rise up in anger.

Simon Magagula lives in a mud house accessible by a dirt road whose
cavities deepen with each rainfall. His doorway is a short jaunt to the
new stadium. “Those who’ll benefit from this are the wealthy that
already have plenty in their hand,” he said, not in resentment so much
as weariness.

And indeed, with the stadium project came an infusion of money, catnip
to the corrupt who congregate at the junction of money and power.

“No point in trying to hide it, there was a total collapse of good
governance, primarily around the World Cup,” said Lassy Chiwayo,
Nelspruit’s mayor, who was installed as an emergency caretaker in late
2008 after his predecessor was removed.

Independent investigators into the matter found that millions of dollars
had been misspent on big contracts. Their final report calls for
criminal charges against the former municipal manager and the directors
of three companies managing the stadium project.

The Nelspruit area, with a population of 600,000, has been home to a
long-running feud between rival members of South Africa’s governing
party, the African National Congress. The antagonists want a bigger
share of patronage and other spoils. Killings seem to have been used as
a tactic.

In the past month, three supposed hit lists landed in South African
newspapers. One includes people to be shot, another those to be
poisoned. The Sunday Times recently quoted a repentant Mozambican
assassin who asserted that he was hired by top-level politicians and
businessmen to kill their adversaries, describing his profession as the
work of a “cleaner.”

Mayor Chiwayo appears on each list, and while he said he was unsure if
any of the threats were genuine, he noted that several designees had
died suspiciously.

“I’m afraid mindless greed has eaten into the soul of the A.N.C.,” he
said of his own party.

In January 2009, the speaker of the municipal assembly, Jimmy Mohlala,
was gunned down in front of his house. He had gathered evidence about
stadium deals and declared that he was ready to name names and shame the

This past January, another man on the lists, Sammy Mpatlanyane, the
deputy director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and
Recreation, was shot as he lay in bed. He was “a very influential
decision maker,” the mayor said.

When it comes to the World Cup, Nelspruit, well known as a gateway to
Kruger National Park, seems to put its worst foot forward repeatedly.

The acquisition of the stadium site itself seemed nefarious. The
municipality convinced the trustees of a huge tract of ancestral land to
sell 173 acres for 1 rand, or 13 cents. The people intended to benefit
from the trust objected, and a judge canceled the deal, likening it to
when colonial powers robbed the naïve in return for “buttons and shiny
mirrors.” The eventual price was about $1 million.

“There has been nothing but duplicity, double dealings and double
agendas,” said Richard Spoor, the lawyer who handled the case. “And what
will we have after the World Cup is played? There’s no team to occupy
the stadium. It will be a white elephant. Politicians will use it to
make speeches.”

Two schools — John Mdluli Primary School and Cyril Clark High School —
sat on the purchased land. They were bulldozed in 2007, and the students
were transferred to hot and airless prefabricated classrooms.

Parents and their children repeatedly staged protests. They blocked
streets, burned tires and once even torched a police car. The police
dispersed them with rubber bullets. This year construction began to
replace the demolished schools.

“The school problem made us furious, that and the need for jobs,” said
Mr. Magagula, who lives near the new arena. “Some people were hired to
work on the stadium, but not enough. We’ve been promised a better life,
but look how we live. If you pour water into a glass, you can see things
moving inside.”

And yet he loves soccer, the favorite sport of black South Africans. He
cannot wait for the World Cup to begin. He could afford only one ticket
for one game, an $18 seat specially priced for the country’s residents.

Nelspruit is one of five cities to get new stadiums, including some
arenas that are quite spectacular. It will host Honduras versus Chile;
Italy versus New Zealand; Australia versus Serbia; North Korea versus
Ivory Coast.

“I chose the Italians,” Mr. Magagula said proudly. “I don’t really care
who wins. But whatever happens, I’ll never forget it.”

Sydney Masinga contributed reporting from Nelspruit.

Our conditions will never change'
Sapa 15 March 2010

The government came under heavy fire on Monday because of poor service
delivery in the community of Refilwe, east of Pretoria.

Angry residents said the government had been unresponsive and used the
opportunity to voice their fury at a parliamentary public hearing.

Heavy weather and thunder could barely be heard as one by one the
residents filed their complaints.

"Until a step is taken to stop corruption in government nothing is going
to stop," Ivan Shabangu told the hearing by the parliamentary ad hoc
committee on service delivery.

He said he felt their conditions would never change.

Stephen Phelani told the panel small businesses were under threat
because of Somalian nationals.

"In the end there will be violence. We will fight and we blame the
municipality for that."

Phelani said he had lost business at his tuck shop because Somalians
encroached on his turf and reduced their prices.

Charles Shirinda said since 1994 he had never received basic services
such was water, electricity and sewage drainage. Road infrastructure was
also a problem.

"If there is crime, the police can't get here."

Shirinda said despite the committee listening to residents' problems,
there was nothing it could do.

"We give them our problems, but we never get feedback."

Phelani also argued that many attempts to get local mayor Annah Digoro
to meet them had been fruitless.

"I have been arrested because I raised some issues and we wanted for the
mayor to attend our meeting, but she doesn't come."

One of the other speakers who addressed the committee said the
government was making no effort to care for them.

Another said they had not received any money for infrastructure
development. The speaker added that their reaction to poor service would
not be hampered by any intervention.

"You dare call the police today and you will see what will happen to you."

Another resident said he needed to "shine" about his residential area,
because in 19 years they had received basic infrastructure such as
electricity, water and sewerage.

Despite this he said they were not "fully covered" as they wanted a
library, community hall and a sports facility.

He said housing was also a problem because RDP houses were not properly
built, leaving residents to suffer in heavy rains because their roofs

Phelani lashed out at the committee for paying lip service to the
community, claiming they did not listen.

Adults brought their young children to the hearing to urge the
government to pay attention to them.

Speaking during the meeting, community chairperson Lechesa Tsenoli, one
of a panel of 11, said the committee was taking note of all complaints
and they would compile a report to be filed in Cabinet.

He said this would only be done after public hearings in Limpopo,
KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape. - Sapa


Hola the service delivery protests are not by any chance subduing, and
knowing townshipians as much as we do, it’s only the beginning, services
delivery protests are the in thing, like it’s fashionable for a certain
township to stage theirs and demonstrate how destructive they can be. In
the recent round of the protests we know have witnessed how dangerous
the situation can turn during these protests as firefighters and police
where shot at by the protesters in Soshanguve in Tshwane , Soshas as the
township is affectively known throughout the neighbouring townships of
Gauteng, might have escalated the problem to a national security threat,
police being shot at in a township can be the beginning of a full scale
war, with General Cele in charge and his ready to shot cops insight we
hope he gets preoccupied with his next fashion endeavor, he might be the
last thing the townships need now. The current governments lukewarm
undecided response to the crisis that has reach this dangerous levels is
worrying to say the least, however it’s not unexpected. The ANC is a
party that is turning to the unknown, totally lost to the psyche of the
masses, a party that is still somewhat enjoying the benefits of freeing
South Africans from apartheid, a party that is led by a powerful bunch
of millionaires, who at close inspection seems dazed by the protests
that are now a part of life in the townships. Ramaphosa, Soshanguve,
Daveyton, Reiger Park, Protea Glen, Mamelodi and so forth are burning,
the 80’s we are there. Life in the townships is harsh, lets face it,
especially in those townships that have just recently being formed,
after the exodus of the rural areas in post 1994 AD South Africa.
Immigration in South Africa is not well managed and due to years of
neglect of this issue, we now face up to these challenges, mirroring
themselves as service delivery protests. Gauteng is overly populated, as
people from all over the country had migrated to the townships of
Gauteng in their thousands, thus seeing a huge number of informal
settlements sprung up adjacent to Gauteng’s townships of the Apartheid
era, the likes of Tembisa, Katlehong, Soweto, Mamelodi and Alexandra.
Then the building of RDP houses worsened the situation with thousands
more people streaming into Gauteng with the hope of getting an RDP
house, as the believe then was that RDP houses were easily available in
Gauteng, than in the rural areas of Kwa Zulu Natal , Eastern Cape,
Limpopo and so forth. A case in action would be Khotsong which saw a
community being hell-bent of not being transferred into North West from
Gauteng. Currently the majority of the immigrants find themselves in
dire situations, in shacks , no jobs and most importantly no RDP houses,
as they arrived to find the locals in housing waiting lists, that date
back to 1996, they have now turned into protesters. Controvencail as
this might seem but Township Vibes is calling for the re establishments
of some of the past laws, which where designed to control immigration by
the apartheid state. As in it’s current form immigration is poorly
managed and will over time led this country into chaos unimaginable. The
ANC can learn a thing or two from the past policies of the apartheid

Back to the millionaires of the ANC who are dead dazed by the protests
in the townships. In the run up to the elections that gave us
millionaire President Jacob Zuma, the millionaires spent their hard
earned millions in modern electioneering with huge billboards, TV
advertisements, road shows and they organized parties of note with the
help of an AD Agency, the ANC was rebranded it had the looks of a modern
party that was ready to take South Africa into full steam modernization,
the youth of townships where swayed by the ANC, the ANC was Yippie. It
was a touch of a master. In Katlehong they where just brilliant,
helicopters flew all over the township throwing down pamphlets to invite
the masses to an ANC event at the newly refurbished Huntersfield
Stadium, whilst in Soweto they arrived in motorcycle parades, hummers
and mini coopers charming the hell out of the people in that process.
The ANC had not been so effective in it’s communication with the people
as much as it was during that electioneering program of theirs, never
had the ANC communicated with the masses directly as they deed with
those flew in pamphlets, thousands turned up at Katlehong’s Huntersfield
Stadium. As soon as the news hit us that the AD Agency had experienced
severe difficulties in being paid millions by the ANC, Township Vibes
knew that we are back into post apartheid South Africa. The ANC as the
governing party is doing a pathetic job in communicating with the
masses, promises and more promises, and media statements won’t calm down
the people of Siyathemba, Soshanguve, Daveyton who are in the deepest of
poverty in this economically unequal land of Mandela, the ANC need a
wake up call, the townships have turned into mini war zones and the
tense situation it’s now rapidly growing and getting more violent and we
have seen opportunists behavior by the equally violent taxi industry who
hijacked service delivery protests and turned them into their own strike
in the Vaal region, then Millionaire Gwede Mantashe will to a non
existent third force . To the millionaires of the ANC, Township Vibes
suggest that you pay up that Ad Agency, get into Helicopters and do you
thing again, however this time your pamphlets should be in line with the
mood of the people of the townships, engage them, even if it means you
apologies, so be it, your tenders depend on it.

COSATU 17 March 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates will be marching to the Premier of North West on 19 March 2010 at Mafikeng. The march will start from the Crossing mall to the legislature.

Our demand is to terminate all the use of labour brokers in the government departments, municipalities and private companies that are doing business with the government. We demand the withdrawal of the letter terminating contract of employment of 200 community development workers who have been employed for ten years by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. This action is also preparing our members to fight against the high electricity increase which is currently affecting the poor working class and rural poor people.

COSATU calls all affiliates, members of the community, civil society and churches to support the protest action for better life for all.

For more information feel free to call Comrade Solly Phetoe on 082 304 4055

NUM receives green light for strike action at Gold One
NUM 16 March 2010

Over 1000 workers will soon go on strike at Gold One Mine- Modder East Operations in Springs after the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was awarded a certificate of non-resolution to the dispute by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) today. The dispute was over a living out allowance. Many of the workers at Gold One fall within the cracks; they do not qualify for RDP houses and at the same time do not qualify for bank loans. The company recruits most of its workers from as far as Limpopo and Matlosana who have now become shack-dwellers. The NUM further demands that the duration of the wage agreement be a year whilst the company argues for two years. The mine is owned by Gold One International, an Australian multinational.

Lesiba Seshoka (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719

MEC: Protests may hurt delivery
SAPA 15 March 2010

Johannesburg - Ivory Park protests could disrupt the delivery of
houses currently underway in the Johannesburg east township, said
Gauteng MEC for housing Kgaogelo Lekgoro on Monday.

"I'm seriously concerned by the spate of service delivery
protests, especially in places where there is visible delivery of
houses and building contractors are currently on site," said

"The sporadic and mostly unplanned protests that take place
during the early hours of morning are a cause for concern.

"In some instances, instigators are aware of the government
plans, programmes and are kept up to speed with the delivery of

He said four contractors were building houses in the township and
this should result in the delivery of 7 000 houses.

His concerns followed protests by around 3 000 residents of Kanana,
Phomolong and Rabie Ridge who took to the streets in the early
hours of Monday morning protesting against poor housing. They
wanted to be allocated RDP houses.

Sergeant Tsholofelo Madumo said the crowd became unruly, pelted
police vans with stones, damaging some of the vehicles which led to
42 people being arrested.

Lekgoro said the department had used up 14 627 stands since the
settlement was promulgated as a township in 1997.

He said it was quite strange that there was visible delivery of
houses but "some people have resorted to violence, thus
causing confusion and further delaying the construction of

"The department would like to appeal to communities to allow
construction of houses to continue as planned. As much as it is
within the rights of communities to protest, we cannot allow
anarchy and lawlessness.

"Where such incidents continue to occur, the law enforcement
agencies will deal with perpetrators harshly."

BRT protest: Situation calm
Lunga Biyela 15 March 2010

Johannesburg – A strike by minibus taxi drivers over the introduction of
feeder systems for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has calmed down,
according to Johannesburg metro police.

“The situation in Soweto is calm, and we have everything under control,”
Metro police spokesperson Inspector Edna Mamonyane told News24.

She said taxis drivers are believed to be gathered at a Shell garage at
eMdeni in Soweto. “It appears as though they are having a meeting.”

“At the moment, we do not know what they will be doing next,” she added.

Sapa reported on Monday that police had to escort the roll-out of the
latest phase of Johannesburg’s BRT system on Monday while taxis withdrew
their services, leaving commuters stranded.

Ten taxi drivers were arrested for public violence in Soweto as tension

Gauteng police spokesperson Govindsamy Mariemuthoo said drivers were
blocking the road and some taxi companies said the BRT system was a
threat to their livelihood.
- News24

COSATU condemns taxi protest violence

The Congress of South African Trade Unions deplores the violence that
has erupted during the protest action by taxi operators against the
roll-out of the latest phase of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in

COSATU condemns unreservedly the shooting of commuters, blocking of
roads, and burning and stoning of buses. We demand zero tolerance
towards anyone who threatens or uses violence against BRT staff or
passengers or the general public.

The law enforcement agencies must protect the travelling public and BRT
workers, and arrest, prosecute and punish those who are guilty of
unlawful acts of violence and intimidation.

Taxi operators have the constitutional right to engage in peaceful
protests to defend their interests. But they have no right to violently
deny other South Africans their constitutional right to travel to and
from work in peace and safety, without being held to ransom by violent

The BRT system is a very welcome move towards a safer, faster and more
punctual and user-friendly form of public transport which has already
proved very popular with commuters. Its Phase Two feeder services must
continue, so that commuters can more easily access, and make full use
of, the buses on the existing routes.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets
Braamfontein, 2017
P.O. Box 1019
Johannesburg, 2000
Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080/6940/ 086 603 9667
Cell: 0828217456

Shack dwellers vow to march
Gugu Mbonambi (The Mercury) 15 March 2010

Abahlali Basemjondolo yesterday vowed to go ahead with a march on March
22 - despite the eThekwini municipality refusing it permission to do so.

The shack dwellers' movement has also threatened to take legal action
against municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe, who it blames for not being
granted a permit to march.

Abahlali spokesman Mnikelo Ndabankulu said Sutcliffe's office had
responded that the city did not have sufficient police officers to
provide security at the march.

"If the city does not have enough police to monitor about 20 000 people
who will be marching for just four to five hours on one day, how can
they say that Durban has enough police and the capacity to protect the
whole world for a month when they come for the World Cup?" he asked.

Ndabankulu said it was common practice for the city to delay its
response to Abahlali's requests to march.

"In 2007, our movement was banned from marching because the city claimed
that our organisation was not known.

"We took Sutcliffe and former KwaZulu-Natal transport and community
safety and liaison MEC Bheki Cele to court and won the case. If we have
to go to court again before marching, we will do so," he said.

The movement wants to march to call for an investigation into the
"double ownership" of RDP houses and for transparency from the
municipality in their allocation.

Metro police spokeswoman Joyce Khuzwayo said: "We were informed by the
city that all marches should be put on hold for now because they will
clash with the city's preparations for the World Cup."

The Mercury was unable to get comment from Sutcliffe.

Zuma announces series of service delivery monitoring visits

Forty two people were arrested in Rabie Ridge, east of Johannesburg this
morning, when a protest against lack of service delivery turned violent,
police said.

Sergeant Tsholofelo Madumo said a crowd of about 3000 people became
unruly and pelted police vans with stones, damaging some of the vehicles.

"The police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, 32 men and 10
women were arrested for public violence," she said.

"We managed to restored order and the area is calm."

Residents of Kanana, Phomolong and Rabie Ridge took to the streets in
the early hours of the morning protesting against poor housing. They
wanted to be allocated RDP houses.

This comes as parliament’s Ad Hoc committee meets with residents to
discuss service delivery issues north east of Pretoria.

The Ad hoc committee is tasked with investigating public service
protests and violence which have continued around Gauteng and other
parts of South Africa over the past two months.

Service protest in Rabie Ridge
Sapa 15 March 2010

Residents in Rabie Ridge near Tembisa barricaded roads with burning
tyres and stones this morning, police said.

Sergeant Tsholofelo Madumo said about 3,000 people from Rabie Ridge,
Kanana and Phomolong barricaded Mayibuye and Republic roads at 3am,
protesting about a lack of RDP housing.

"They want RDP houses... so far no incident has been reported, the crowd
is under control and the police are monitoring the situation," she said
just before 8am.

DUT campus shut after protest
SAPA 15 March 2010

Durban - The Durban University of Technology's (DUT) Pietermaritzburg
campus was on Monday temporarily closed till Thursday after a protest in
which ten students were arrested.

"Management at DUT has temporarily closed its Midlands Campus, following
student protests regarding the cost of food supplied by service
providers," said spokesperson Professor Nqabomzi Gawe.

She said the prices had not been increased since 2009.

"Lectures would resume on Thursday and management was reviewing the
concerns raised by students," she said.

Car damaged
About 800 students from DUT's Ndumiso Campus in Pietermaritzburg
protested, causing damage to the roof and windscreen of a car parked on
the premises, police said.

"They also removed fire extinguishers from the campus. The students were
also throwing stones and bottles at the police," Superintendent Jay
Naicker said.

"After numerous requests from the police to disperse the protesters
refused to comply."

Rubber bullets and stun grenades were used to scatter them, but there
were no serious injuries, Naicker said.

Rubber bullets hit students
Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said rubber bullets struck one
student in the head and another in the abdomen.

"Ten suspects, aged between 18 and 25, were subsequently arrested and
charged for public violence and malicious damage to property," Naicker said.

All would appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court shortly.

Gawe said the university had one contracted service provider for both
the Midlands Campus's sites, Indumiso and Riverside.

"According to the agreement the service provider is allowed to sell
takeaway retail items at market related prices," Gawe said.

Students injured in clash with police
Latoya Newman 15 March 2010

A clash between students and the police at the Durban University of
Technology's Midlands Campus in Pietermaritzburg has resulted in at
least two students being taken to hospital with injuries from rubber

A Netcare 911 spokesman, Jeff Wicks, said one student had been struck in
the head.

The students said they were protesting for several reasons. These
included high food prices at the campus canteen, unfinished renovations
at the Indumiso site and poor campus security.

About 800 students took part in the protest early on Monday morning. The
police said that 10 students had been arrested for public violence.

The Unemployed Youth of Grahamstown Issue a Call to Students for
Solidarity in Action

Unemployed People’s Movement 15 March 2010

The lives of the unemployed youth in Grahamstown may seem to be a world
apart from those of the students. For us the only choices are to accept
defeat and to sink into depression or to organise and fight for a place
in this society. For you it seems that there is a clear path to a good life.

But capitalism is not a stable system. You may find yourself unemployed
after you graduate. You may also find yourself sitting at home waiting
for your life to begin. In fact some of you may find yourselves excluded
from the university before you graduate if you cannot pay your fees

Right now we are poisoned by the same water from the Makana
Municipality. Right now the same tenderpreneurs are poisoning the whole
society for everyone.

No country can be stable or just when some young people are on the way
to wealth and power while others remain stuck in unemployment. Join us
and fight for a country where everyone has a future.

Together we can fight for:
  • Free education for the poor and the working class. No one should be
    excluded from university because they do not come from a rich family. We
    are willing to fight together with students to ensure that the doors of
    learning and culture remain open to all.

  • Work for all. Unemployment in Grahamstown has reached crisis levels.
    Even people with matric or degrees are unemployed. A decent society must
    guarantee decent work for all.

  • An end to corruption. Corruption is theft from the people. The
    tenderprenuers are a cancer that must be rooted out of our society. In
    Grahamstown our municipality has been engulfed by the most obscene forms
    of corruption. R26 million rand has disappeared and cannot be accounted
    for. This while the walls of RDP houses blow over in the wind, children
    die from diarrhoea and we are poisoned by the heavy metals in our water.

  • Free political activity for all. Across South Africa social movements
    are facing increased repression at the hands of the police and local
    party goons. Our comrades in movements like Abahlali baseMjondolo and
    the Anti-Privatisation Forum have faced ongoing repression, including
    violence and the unlawful banning of marches, and we to have had to face
    police violence. We are demanding a democracy that is not just for the
    rich – a democracy for all.

  • Immediate resolution of the water crisis. We are all, rich and poor,
    being poisoned by the water in this municipality. This situation will
    continue for as long as we do not organise on this issue. Let us unite
    on this issue and demand clean and safe water for all.

  • All around the world students are rebelling to demand an end to the
    commodification of education. These student rebellions are now moving
    outside of the universities to link up with social movements and demand
    a different kind of future. Here in South Africa the culture of student
    solidarity with social movements is being revived in Durban and in Cape
    Town. We are calling for it to also be revived here in Grahamstown.

    We are marching on Friday 19th March. The march begins at extension 7 at
    7:00 am and will continue to the Municipal Offices. Will raise all of
    these issue and we will keep raising them until they are addressed. All
    students are welcome to join the march and to work together with us for
    a society in which there is a place for everyone.

    Ayanda Kota
    Unemployed People’s Movement,

    Unemployed People’s Movement 15 March 2010

    Unemployment is hovering at around 70 percent in Grahamstown. The most
    affected are young people, including graduates. Unemployment in
    Grahamstown has increased in the past few years. Several industries that
    provided employment have closed down. These include the railway
    industry: the line between Grahamstown and Alicedale, which used to be
    the core railway junction in South Africa before the mid-1990's, was
    closed down. A kaolin (white clay used in the manufacture of ceramics,
    medicine, coated paper, in toothpaste, light bulbs, cosmetics and
    porcelain) processing factory was also closed down. The Municipality now
    exports kaolin, in the process making jobs outside Grahamstown. A
    poultry firm has also been closed down. The Makana Municipality is not
    creating any labour absorbing activities to absorb the unemployment
    created by the closure of these industries.

    The services sector in Grahamstown, such as Rhodes University and the
    Grahamstown Arts Festival, has not created enough jobs to compensate.
    Jobs that are created usually require specific skills or are temporary
    or casual in nature. This sector has not done enough to address the
    plight of the unemployed. The scale of human suffering this problem is
    causing must not be underestimated. The rate of crime has increased,
    especially in the township. The liquor and drugs industries are the
    fastest growing industries. There have been a number of suicide cases,
    and some unemployed people have died due to stress. Families are
    breaking down, and women and children are being abused.

    The Auditor General's report which was tabled at a special council
    meeting last month revealed that Makana Municipality did not account for
    at least R26-million and that it did not claim for VAT input on the
    expenditure incurred during that financial year.

    Grahamstown’s ostrich product exporters, have conducted tests over the
    last two years and found that chlorine levels in the local water have
    been erratic and at times fall below the level which keeps our drinking
    water bacteria-free. If chlorine levels drop below the standard, the
    amount of bacteria will increase and drinking it could lead to illness
    and disease. In the Makana region over November and December there were
    a total of 25 infant deaths due to diarrhoea, according to the
    municipality's account at the recent social services, community
    empowerment and protection services meeting.

    There is backlog in service delivery. RDP house in Vukani are falling
    down due to inferior quality and poor workmanship. The problem with the
    houses is structural, weak bricks, leaking water pipes, roofs, drains
    and toilets. The story of RDP houses in our area is a story of fraud,
    general mismanagement and corruption. When we approached the
    municipality that the roofs are leaking we were given black plastic bags
    to cover the roofs. On the 25th February we lost Comrade Nomiki Ncamiso,
    she died due to pneumonia related illness. She lived in Vukani in a
    house that was hit by tornado, the wall fell on her and she was given a
    black plastic bag by Makana Municipality for replacement of the wall.
    The roof is crumbling down and the whole house will fall anytime soon.
    She died fighting with the Makana Municipality, demanding that the RDP
    houses be repaired fearing for the health of her family and children who
    may get TB or pneumonia due to cold. She knew little that she will be
    the first victim.

    When we go to the streets and stage gatherings, demanding service
    delivery, we are shot with rubber bullets, we are pepper sprayed and we
    are jailed. The president of this country calls us criminals. The police
    have been given the right to shoot and kill us. Our comrades in Balfour
    are in hiding because the police are looking for them and they will be
    shot and killed. Their families have been harassed and tortured. Our
    comrades in Durban, Abahlali baseMjondolo are constantly under siege
    from the ruling party and government syndicates. Comrades in Western
    Cape have been abducted and tortured for no apparent reason. Comrade
    Nozipho Mnteshana was placed under house arrest for t5he period of not
    less than 18months, to frustrate her and her children, reason for
    leading the march of the unemployed people in Durban. We have witnessed
    kids being shot and wounded in these demonstrations.

    This is the admission that this society continue to be entangled in an
    insoluble contradiction with itself that it is left into irreconcilable
    antagonisms that it is powerless to dispel. A state must preserve the
    status quo; the state must protect the property clause enshrined in the
    constitution. The state is the institution of violence.

    We are not criminals but criminals are those who want to bind us to
    perpetual servitude. Tenderpreneurs who profited from more than R130m
    worth of tenders in just two years are criminals; it is Malemas of this
    world who should be jailed not us. It is the construction company that
    built Vukani houses that must be jailed not us. It is the corrupt
    government officials, from Zuma to the councillor in Grahamstown that
    must be jailed not us. They profited from more than R38 billion tenders
    of Arms Deal, they profited from the travel gate scandal and they
    continue to plunder the resources of our country.

    The courage and determination of the struggle during the apartheid must
    serve as an example to the oppressive regime of the Zuma administration
    that the more you suppress the people the more they resist. It is trough
    those struggle that we have the Zuma administration today and it is
    through the street protest and mass mobilization that we will topple
    this capitalist government and the tenderpreneurs that defend it in the
    language of the left.

    As social movements we can learn from such struggles by re-examining the
    programme, strategy and tactics, learn from the experience, the triumphs
    and failures and see how we can apply these lessons today.

    We are not criminals but we are in a cause to retaliate against
    syndicates who are looting our resources, we are retaliating against
    government thugs and mafias who are enriching themselves under the
    pretext that they did not join the struggle to be poor, so we did not
    join the struggle to enrich the few. We remain true soldiers who are
    committed to the question of truth.

    Ayanda Kota
    Unemployed People’s Movement,

    Driving school owners protest
    IOL 15 March 2010

    Durban driving school owners were planning to protest in the city centre
    on Monday against government's refusal to recognise their businesses.

    Ubumbano Driving Schools Association chairman Mike Ncanane said their
    grievances ranged from problems with learner licence applications to bad
    treatment they received from the inspectors at testing grounds.

    "We have had several interventions with the previous and current
    ministers to find solutions with our problems but nothing is being
    done," said Ncanane.

    He said they were told that although driving schools were not
    recognised, the person applying for the driving test was recognised,
    Ncanane said.

    "We teach people to drive, how can our driving schools be unrecognised?"
    Ncanane asked.

    KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Willies Mchunu's spokesperson Bhekisisa
    Ncube said they were still negotiating with driving school owners.

    "It is not true that we have said driving schools are illegal. We
    received a letter from the driving schools and were still engaging with
    them," Ncube said.

    He said driving schools were a private business and as long as they were
    registered and paid taxes there should not be a problem.

    Ncanane said driving school owners would march from Durban's Curries
    Fountain to the office of KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize. - Sapa

    Protesting taximen held in PE
    Sapa 15 March 2010

    JOHANNESBURG - Eighty four taxi operators have been arrested in Port
    Elizabeth after refusing to obey a police order to disperse on Monday,
    Eastern Cape police said.

    Captain Sandra van Rensberg said they would be charged under the
    Regulations of Gatherings Act.

    The group marched to the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court where their
    leader was appearing on a charge of attempted murder.

    They refused to obey a police order to disperse because their march was

    Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse them.

    Thousands of commuters in Port Elizabeth were left stranded as a result
    of the taxi operators’ march.
    - Sapa

    Cosatu fights Eskom hike
    COSATU 15 march 2010

    The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) said on Sunday that
    it is in the processes of mobilizing its members for strike action
    against the tariff increase that was granted to Eskom for the next 3
    years. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) last month
    granted Eskom a 25 percent increase in its tariffs. According to the
    national spokesperson for COSATU, Patrick Craven they will first try to
    ask NERSA and Eskom to re-look the tariff increase before embarking on
    strike action.

    "We will have to make the attempt to see if we can sway government,
    Eskom and Nersa on their policy but we are not optimistic about that. We
    have to make that attempt and then proceed under the labour relations
    act to call a strike on a socio-economic issue under section 77,"
    explained Craven.

    He said that COSATU was particularly concerned about the secret deals
    Eskom had negotiated with bigger consumers. "Some of them are paying far
    less than the average consumer, putting the cost on the consumers, which
    is a truly retrogressive way of raising money. The poor are going to pay
    more and the rich are going to pay less.

    Secret deals
    "We are particularly concerned that these deals are secret not only from
    the South African public but even from the regulatory authority NERSA.
    They took a decision to approve Eskom's increase without full knowledge
    on what the existing tariffs policy is and this we think is totally
    unacceptable," said Craven.

    He felt that the increase granted to Eskom will lead to an increase in
    the cost of living. "COSATU has been consistently opposed to this
    excessive tariff increase by Eskom. These increases will virtually
    double the cost of electricity over the next three years and it will hit
    individuals, particularly the poor who actually pay far more per unit of
    electricity than the big users," the trade unionist said.

    The new tariffs will also lead to an increase in inflation according to
    Craven. "Most companies pass on their extra electricity costs to their
    consumer. This could also lead to a loss of jobs. As the South African
    Chamber of Commerce and industry has predicted 250,000 jobs could be
    lost as a result of this," said Craven.

    He is of the opinion that the money which is Eskom needs is for capital
    expenditure for new generating capacity and not for the running cost of
    providing electricity. "We believe that money which is basically to
    invest in a national asset should be raised by government and if
    necessary through additional taxation. Because taxation unlike tariffs
    works the other way so that the rich pay more and the poor less and that
    is a far fairer way of raising money when it is necessary," said Craven.

    He said should COSATU not be successful in negotiating a change in
    policy they will mobilize their members and take to the streets. "We
    will call our members out on strike and we are convinced that we will
    get the support of the overwhelming majority of the people of South
    Africa in any protest that we organize," he said.

    Craven could not give a date for the strike action as the union will try
    to negotiate a change in policy through Nedlac. VOC (Dorianne Arendse)

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