||South African Protest News 2 -12 March 2011 (2011) South African Protest News 2 -12 March 2011. : -.
||Mob members held in Limpopo
IOL news 11 March 2011
Two people have been arrested in Sekgosese after a mob stoned a home and car belonging to a man suspected of ritual murders.
Limpopo police spokespersson Colonel Mohale Ramatseba said on Thursday the group went to the 59-year-old's house in Lemondokop at 7pm on Wednesday. They threw stones, but no injuries were reported.
The community claimed the home owner was involved in the murder of a 47-year-old man, who died in a tractor accident in January, and whose body parts they alleged were removed.
Ramatseba said a post mortem had confirmed that no body parts were missing.
The two faced charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. More arrests were expected. - Sapa
Taxi strike is on - Santaco
IOL News 11 March 2011
From midnight on Sunday, there will be no taxis on the roads of Cape Town, says Santaco provincial spokesman Mvuyisile Mente.
Transport MEC Robin Carlisle and the SA National Taxi Council have failed to resolve differences and a strike by 12 000 taxi operators is set to start on Monday.
South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) provincial spokesman Mvuyisile Mente said taxi operators were angry about issues such as the impounding of taxis and delays in issuing operators permits.
He said Santaco had met Carlisle on Wednesday and another meeting was planned for Friday. And while a task team that included transport and public works officials and Santaco was formed to address the council’s complaints, Santaco’s members were ready to strike on Monday.
“The strike is still on. The MEC must consult with his department and the city. We need action, for example, on the relaxation of impoundment of vehicles. Some vehicles are impounded for being on the wrong route, but they are actually not loading passengers and are simply heading back to base,” Mente said.
In a joint statement, Carlisle and his city counterpart Elizabeth Thompson said:
“We have urged Santaco to call off the planned strike. It will do nothing to create the peaceful, well-regulated and prosperous taxi industry we all seek and may compel the provincial government to reconsider the nature of its support for the taxi council. A team of officials from the city and province will meet tomorrow (Friday) to finalise and inform the public about alternative plans to mitigate the impact of the strike.
“The stated aims of the strike in no way reflect the realities on the ground in terms of either BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) or impoundments.
“The city and the province worked closely and in good faith with the industry. What has been disappointing is that Santaco met the province three weeks ago to express their concerns about impounds and related matters. We collectively agreed to the establishment of a joint task team to tackle the specific concerns.”
Said Mente: “We have been talking to the MEC for a long time and nothing has happened. The strike is definitely on. From midnight on Sunday, there will be no taxis on the roads.
“What we are also doing now is consulting drivers at Metrorail and Golden Arrow Bus Services to join the strike.” - Cape Times
Revived Pagad sends out a warning
IOL News 10 March 2011
In one of its biggest marches in recent years, People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) has led hundreds of Manenberg residents to the homes of several suspected drug dealers, some of whom were made to face the crowd.
And the message to the suspected dealers was clear: ”Stop or we will make you stop.”
Hundreds of Manenberg residents walked to about eight different suspected drug dens. Police officers on foot kept a close watch while a convoy of police vehicles followed the marchers.
“No to drugs, yes to life!”, “Down with the merchants, down!” they shouted as they made their way through the streets. People who had been watching from their gardens and on the pavements were encouraged to join in.
At the first house they arrived at, the targeted suspected drug dealer was hauled out of his house and told to face the crowd.
“That’s him! That’s him!” came shouts of confirmation from the crowd.
Pagad leaders questioned the man about his alleged drug dealing. He denied the allegations.
A quick slap to the back of his head. “Tell the people what you do here!” he was ordered.
He admitted he was a dealer. He was warned by a Pagad leader: “We are saying to the SAPS, this man has admitted he is dealing in drugs; tonight he is a convicted drug dealer by this community.”
The crowd cheered then moved on to the next house. At the second house, which some residents claimed was also a brothel, another man was forced to face the crowd.
He was ordered to stop allowing children to take drugs at his house.
Marshalls ensured that only Pagad leaders entered the suspected drug dens and monitored the crowd. Pagad leaders reminded the marchers to maintain discipline.
Nyanga Cluster Community Policing Forum chairman, Hanif Loonat, said Pagad had not applied for permission to march but police had allowed the march to continue on condition that there was no violence.
Pagad gained notoriety in the 1990s when their marches on the homes of drug dealers frequently ended in violence. It was at one such confrontation where Hard Livings gang boss Rashaad Staggie was shot and set alight during a protest march on his home in August 1996. - Cape Argus
City strikers axed as mayor vows to tackle ill-discipline
IOL News 9 March 2011
The Tshwane Metro Council confirmed yesterday that it had dismissed 1 054 Samwu members who took part in an illegal strike that turned ugly last Thursday.
High-level discussions will be held today between Cosatu, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the ANC’s national executive committee following their dismissal.
Tshwane executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa yesterday called for “swift and decisive action” in dealing with ill-discipline in the municipal bus service and waste management divisions.
In his State of the City address, Ramokgopa said poor industrial relations were a perennial problem in the waste management division, “often resulting in illegal strikes that negatively affect our ability to deliver services”.
There was also a need to stabilise labour relations in the Tshwane Bus Service, he said.
“Management is already handling cases of ill-discipline in the bus service, and we insist on decisive and swift intervention that honours fairness and justice.”
Samwu spokesman Tahir Sema said the union resolved at its meeting yesterday to ask for the ANC to intervene.
“The executive committee (feels) the dismissal of the workers is unacceptable. (If) the ANC fails to intervene, we might consider not taking part in the local government elections,” Sema said.
The union would not rule out the possibility of legal action against the municipality, he said.
“But we are calling for political intervention first because the court process is a protracted procedure.” The management’s attitude towards workers also needed to change. The municipality could not summarily dismiss workers without following the correct procedures, he said.
Ramokgopa said parties had to strike a balance between the constitutional rights of workers and the right of communities to quality service. To this end, the council worked with unions to cut the number of unwarranted strikes that affected services.
“We are on the verge of concluding disciplinary action against some Tshwane Bus Service workers. We hope this will result in a better managed TBS (and) good service to commuters.”
said: “Concerted efforts are under way to get to the root of (poor industrial relations in the waste management division), so that we can rid our city of this cancer that threatens to undermine the good work in other areas of service delivery..
“We will intensify our engagement with the representatives of unions to cultivate a different culture and work ethic,” he said.
Turning to the council’s community safety division, Ramokgopa said there was a need to support the metro police by addressing alleged corrupt practices by some officers. “We have intervened with suitable staff re-enforcements to strengthen the leadership of the Central Region”.
Ramokgopa said one of the legislated mandates of the metro police was crime prevention.
Over the past year the metro police had done 745 joint operations, mainly with the SAPS, but sometimes with other state agencies such as home affairs (when dealing with illegal immigrants) and Sars (when dealing with contraband).
“We did way more than 425 joint operations envisaged, which means we are intervening decisively against crime.”
The metro police would continue to strive to bring down road accidents and fatalities and the fight against drunken driving would be stepped up, he said.
A memorandum of agreement had been signed with SABMiller to help build an Alcohol Evidence Centre at the metro police’s offices in Vermeulen Street. It would help secure valid and reliable evidence on the alcohol consumption legally admissible in courts, he said. “The impact should be visible in due course as our conviction rates increase and alcohol-related accidents and fatalities decline.” Patrick Hlahla - Pretoria News
Taxi strike looms
CAPE ARGUS 9 March 2011
Thousands of commuters queue for minibus taxis at the Mitchells Plain taxi rank. Photo: Brenton Geach
The Western Cape provincial government is making contingency plans for a planned taxi operators' strike, the province's transport spokesman Solly Malatsi said on Wednesday.
“The announcement is that the strike will start on Monday. We are working on contingency plans,” said Malatsi.
The provincial government was still gathering information on reasons for the strike, but had been told that there were concerns about the roll-out of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and the impounding of taxis.
“We will also be liaising with all the law enforcement agencies in the province,” he said.
The roll-out of Johannesburg's BRT was also marked by taxi strikes and several shooting incidents.
Comment from Western Cape taxi operators was not immediately available.
The Johannesburg operators had complained about poor consultation and threats to their livelihood as taxi and bus services and routes were streamlined.
In that dispute, operators felt they were being robbed of routes that they had developed over decades in response to poor public transport.
Malatsi said the department knew there was a complaint about taxis being impounded, but felt that this formed part of its law enforcement intervention to keep roads safe.
The New Age newspaper reported that operators in the province were not happy with BRT and wanted answers to their concerns. - Sapa
Youths held after Mpuma protests
IOL News 8 March 2011
After a brief lull, protests flared up again in Mpumalanga leading to the arrest of 13 people, police said on Tuesday.
“Yesterday (Monday) there were violent service delivery protests at Embalenhle in Secunda,” said Captain Leonard Hlathi.
The groups, mostly youths and minors, barricaded sections of the area and then went to the KI Malaza School and tried to get pupils there to join them.
“The kids refused and most of the windows of the school were broken,” said Hlathi.
The 13 were arrested and might appear in court on Tuesday.
Hlathi said that everything was now back to normal.
The province has borne the brunt of most of the “service delivery” protests over the last few years.
These protests have invariably been linked to frustration over delays in providing basic services and allegations that local government officials are unresponsive to residents' complaints, or corrupt.
During the last wave of protests in the province, people said that they were unhappy with the way candidate lists for the local government elections set for May 18.
Comment from a representative of the protesters was not immediately available. - Sapa
Fury over lesbian murder trial delay
Luvuyo Mjekula 8 March 2011
Gender activists protested against the more than 30 postponements of the trial of nine men accused of murdering a lesbian. Picture: Cindy waxa
As the trial of nine men charged with the murder of lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyana resumed on Monday after a string of delays, a row over a sworn statement broke out in court and left a crowd of gender activists seething.
One of the accused, Zolile Kobese, among four accused who escaped from custody last year, rejected a warning statement the State alleged he had made shortly after Nkonyana’s murder in February 2006.
The statement contains Kobese’s version of events on the night of Nkonyana’s murder and was apparently written in a blend of Xhosa and Tsotsitaal (a township argot which includes African and Afrikaans words).
Through his newly acquired attorney, Wayne Hencock, Kobese denied ever making or signing the statement and this prompted the State to call for samples of his handwriting and signature to be taken and compared to the statement by an expert.
State prosecutor Alfred Isaacs asked for a postponement as he expected a report from the expert by Wednesday morning.
However, Hencock’s response, that the defence would seek its own expert to do the same, had a group of gender activists protesting in anger.
“I am not happy. It’s a great injustice,” shouted Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) activist Mary-Jane Matsolo as more than 100 protesters surrounded her.
She said the case would be delayed again because of a warning statement. There had been more than 30 postponements since the trial went to court in 2006. Nkonyana, 19, was murdered on February 4, 2006 after she had refused to use a male toilet. Nine men aged between 19 and 25 were charged with her murder.
They pleaded not guilty.
The escape of four of the accused from holding cells of the Khayelitsha Regional Court in September last year caused further delays.
When it restarted on Monday, Hencock, who replaced Kobese’s former attorney after the escape, applied for a trial-within-a-trial.
He recalled two State witnesses, police officers Melvyn Geldenhuys and Frank Newman, to the stand and grilled them about the statement.
Geldenhuys and Newman testified they had read Kobese his rights and he had made and signed the statement. Magistrate Raadiyah Wathen postponed the case to Wednesday for the results of the samples.
Outside court, TAC, Social Justice Coalition and Free Gender activists called for speedy justice. “It’s not enough that we are singing, we need to make our feelings and opinions known,” said Matsolo.
Free Gender leader Funeka Soldaat said authorities had promised the case would be prioritised. - Cape Times
Protesters support public protector, demand Cele be investigated
Chantall Presence 8 March 2011
Several protesters have gathered outside the parliamentary gates on Tuesday to demand the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate the conduct of Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele and Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.
Both have been named in a public protector report, which states they wrongfully acquired a new police headquarters in Pretoria
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Tuesday briefed members of parliament (MPs) on the police’s widely condemned visit to her offices last week.
Hands off our public protector, the message clearly displayed on placards outside Parliament.
Members of Khayelitsha based non-governmental organisation, The Social Justice Coalition wants the NPA and the independent complaints director to probe whether Cele and Mahlangu-Nkabinde acted outside the law and whether they should be punished.
Early, MPs raised their voices against the unannounced visit by the police intelligence staff at the public protector’s office.
MPs have called the visit inappropriate and have promised Madonsela their full backing.
(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)
Metsweding residents threaten to protest
News 24 8 March 2011
Pretoria - Residents of Metsweding on Wednesday threatened more protests against the "unconstitutional" merger of Metsweding with Tshwane.
They handed over a memorandum of grievances to Metsweding executive mayor Agnes Mlondobozi on Monday.
"We will be embarking on more and larger actions of protest. The people give government seven days to respond," the Metsweding Demarcation Forum said.
"Depending on the response from government, we will be embarking on more and larger actions of protest," it said.
Gauteng has decided to have fewer than the existing 15 municipalities so it can render more services to communities.
MAKE 12 MARCH 2011 A DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH ROBERTSON ABATTOIR WORKERS
CSAAWU 8 March 2011
The Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers’ Union (CSAAWU) calls for actions of solidarity with the 48 workers of Robertson Abattoir who were first subjected to an illegal lockout on the 30th November 2010, and then dismissed on the 3rd of December. Hennie De Bod owns the abattoir. Robertson is a small farming town 150 kilometres from Cape Town, and 50 kilometers from Worcester in the Langeberg Local Municipality. The economy of the town is dominated by agriculture (wine and fruit) with some agri-processing. These workers, who are members of CSAAWU, critically need support from individuals, activists, trade unions, community organisations, lawyers, professionals and other progressive organisations.
The main markets for the Robertson Abattoir meat are Woolworths and Excellent Meat. These companies continue to buy meat from the abattoir despite unfair labour practices. CSAAWU calls on consumers to use their power to make Woolworths and Excellent Meat aware of the plight of Robertson Abattoir workers. CSAAWU calls on consumers to challenge Woolworths and Excellent Meat in order for them to put pressure on Robertson Abattoir to heed the demands of workers and to use their power in favour of decent working conditions at the Abattoir.
On Saturday, 12 March 2011, the community of Robertson will join the 48 workers in a day of mass action and solidarity aimed at De Bod. On this day, there will be a mass march in the centre of Robertson. The march will deliver memoranda of demands to the Department of Labour, the local branch of AgriSA, the South African Human Rights Commission and the SA Police Services. CSAAWU calls on all to undertake actions of solidarity with these workers. In particular, we call for:
Joining the mass action in Robertson on Saturday, 12 March 2011
Messages of support released to the media;
Letters of protest and call on Woolworths and Excellent meat to put pressure on Robertson Abattoir:
· Woolworths Head Office: (name of official?), Tel: (021) 407 9111,
Fax: (021) 4073939,
· Excellent Meat Corporation: (Jonathan Herbert), Tel +27 (0)21 929 7300,
Fax +27 (0) 21 931 7331, Email:
email@example.com, Cell: 083 252 0745
4. Letters of protest to the Worcester office of the Department of Labour (Ms. Mandisa Gxoyiya, Fax: 023 342 7507, Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
5. Letters of protest to the Western Cape AgriSA (Agri Western Cape, Tel: 021 860 3800. Fax: 021-8723388, E: email@example.com)
6. Where possible, protest actions in the week of 14 March 2011 in front of the offices of the Department of Labour or AgriSA;
7. Letters to newspapers and phone calls to radio stations to highlight the plight of Robertson Abattoir workers;
8. Copying all the above letters of protest and to the media to CSAAWU; and
9. Donations to the CSAAWU bank account as part of building funds for the legal costs in defence of the workers.
De Bod (who is also a commercial farmer) treats black workers and farm dwellers not as human beings but as an extension of machinery. Workers at the abattoir were forced to work excessive hours under conditions that bear resemblance to slavery. Often they had to work as many as 39 hours overtime in a week being paid a basic wage of only R315 (without benefits). This is illegal and in contravention of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1995 (BCEA). The workers resisted these conditions and joined CSAAWU to organise for decent working conditions and a living wage. The lockout and the dismissals are the employer’s response to penalise the workers for their exercise of their right to freedom of association. The excessive exploitation of the workers was made possible because of the failure of the Department of Labour in Worcester to enforce compliance with the law.
During negotiations in November 2010 the company promised CSAAWU that it would adhere to the BCEA. In return CSAAWU was prepared to negotiate a system to overcome bottlenecks in production. However instead of continuing negotiations the company resorted to an illegal lockout and to bring in labour from the poor community in Paarl.
The use of desperate labour from other communities is a way for owners to exploit the more and more desperate situation of the poor and unemployed in these times of economic crisis as a tool to create division within the working class and depress wages. In response CSAAWU and the workers brought the case to the Labour Court. The Labour Court ruled in favour of the workers, and issued an interim interdict that ordered the company to reinstate the workers. The case will continue to be pursued by CSAAWU and the workers before the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) to deal with other labour issues (wages and working conditions).
The same De Bod is accused of attacking and racially abusing two farm workers (who are responsible for his sheep) by calling them “kaffirs”. The case has been reported to the police. But they are reluctant to act and take up this case.
A victory for CSAAWU and the 48 workers will send a strong message to the employer and other farmers in the area who supply the animals to the abattoir. A victory for CSAAWU and workers will strengthen the power of the working class and its unions throughout the region and it will be an important step in the struggle towards better working and living conditions for the rural working class.
CSAAWU and the workers are not able to continue the court case without the aid and support of our comrades. Therefore we appeal for financial donations from comrades and sympathisers, so we are able to pay the costs of bringing the company to court and continue the struggle at legal level.
Name of account holder: CSAAWU
Branch name: Tyger Manor
Branch code: 050410
Account number: 072003596
FOR COMMENTS, CONTACT:
Trevor Christians, CSAAWU General Secretary: 083 546 2911
Karl Swart, CSAAWU Assistant General Secretary: 076 662 6978
Zille is ‘the devil herself’
Quinton Mtyala 7 March 2011
Premier Helen Zille was not at the meeting.
Described as a “devil” by one speaker, Premier Helen Zille came under fire at a meeting called to discuss a community’s response to a shooting by City of Cape Town law enforcement officers.
The Struggle Veterans Association, not affiliated to the ANC, had called the meeting at the St Andrews High School in Elsies River on Sunday following the shooting last week, in which the ANC said 10 people were injured.
Karl Cloete, deputy secretary-general of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, told the meeting the shooting should be reported to the Human Rights Commission.
“You can’t make apologies for Zille, she is the devil herself,” said Cloete.
According to the City of Cape Town, the shooting came after about 400 people attacked law enforcement officers who were removing six shipping containers, converted into spaza shops, which city officials alleged had been erected illegally on council land.
Speaking at the meeting, community activist David William said the incident had left him and many others “deeply disappointed” in the city council.
“We’re trying as much as possible to help our people, but instead people were given eviction notices,” said William.
“Those containers were helping our people with their cheap prices.”
William alleged that a law enforcement official who led the operation came without a court order to show that the city had the right to remove the shipping containers from the land.
“When I pointed this out to him, he went ahead and ordered his men to shoot,” said Williams.
Ebrahim Mukadam, a local shopkeeper known for exposing the bread price-fixing cartels, said the city’s actions were a direct assault on poor people.
“There a tragedy happening in our country. It has become a sin to be poor. Who is waging a war on the poor? Whose aims are being served?” Mukadam asked his audience of about 100 people.
He said “the war on the poor” was a deliberate campaign to serve the aims of “big business” that operated in township areas.
Dickie Meter, an ANC activist in Hout Bay, also blamed the premier for the shooting last week - and that in Hangberg last year in which several people lost eyes.
As Meter spoke to the group in the school hall, he was heckled by DA supporters, in party colours, who had been allowed into the hall.
Ward 24 councillor Asa Abrahams said Zille was not there to defend herself.
But this did not deter Cloete, who said he blamed the DA for the shooting.
“The DA is responsible for shooting our people, whose only crime was seeking a decent living, and must be reported to the Human Rights Commission,” Cloete said.
Soon afterwards, the DA supporters in the hall, led by Abrahams, walked out of the meeting.
ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman described the shooting as “a serious onslaught” on poor people, an attack on African and coloured people.
Meanwhile, former ANC provincial chairman Allan Boesak said he had refused an invitation to the meeting as he had been told he would be sharing a platform with Fransman.
Boesak had been billed to attend, but he said on Sunday he wanted no part in party politics. - Cape Times
Metrobus strike continues
Mail & Guardian 7 March 2011
A strike by Metrobus drivers entered its fourth week on Monday as unions and the employer prepared to meet in the afternoon, an official said.
"We are meeting at 4pm today [Monday]," said the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) spokesperson Dumisani Langa.
"The strike is continuing."
Langa said on Friday that the parties involved in talks to settle the labour action were "very close to settling this thing".
He said the facilitator of the talks would only be available late afternoon for the talks to continue.
The strike, involving 70 Metrobus drivers, started on February 9 amid dissatisfaction about new shifts implemented on December 6.
Metrobus suspended the public bus service three weeks ago because of incidents of intimidation, with five non-striking drivers assaulted the week before.
Negotiations with Samwu deadlocked and the company then to the Labour Court for a ruling to end the strike but it was ruled legal.
On February 22 Metrobus appealed the ruling, which was unsuccessful. -- Sapa
Sex workers want to be legalised
Chad Cupido (IOL News) 4 March 2011
Sex workers from around the province marched to the premier’s office on Thursday and handed over a memorandum demanding the decriminalisation of sex work, because they say the current laws keep them oppressed and stigmatised.
Thursday marked International Sex Worker Rights Day and members of associations in nine African cities marched for sex workers’ rights.
The Cape Town march was attended by the African Sex Workers’ Alliance (Aswa), Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat), the Sisonke Sex Workers’ Movement, Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) and members of the public.
“We call for access to health services and an end to human rights violations against sex workers. When we dare to be powerful, to go on to the streets and make our voices heard, we know there are those who will try to shame and ridicule us, with the hope that we will be isolated and silenced,” Aswa regional co-ordinator Kyomya Macklean said. “But this won’t be the case.”
Protesters wore masks to help protect them from stigma and abuse, and carried red umbrellas, symbolising protection. A sex worker from Gugulethu, who only wanted to be known by her working name “Gugu”, said they were victims of exploitation, police brutality and other abuse daily.
“I’ve been a sex worker and have operated in Bellville for the past four years. It was never my dream to do this, but a reality as there is no work that will pay enough to provide for my family,” she said.
“Becoming a sex worker is a reality when there is no food on the table. We are human beings trying to make a living and shouldn’t be judged.”
A homeless transgender sex worker, who only wanted to be known by her working name “Chevaunacym”, said she had been in the industry for the past 18 years.
“The sex industry has grown since I started and for many it is a result of poverty. I don’t believe anyone strives to do it,” she said.
“We as sex workers are raped, pepper-sprayed, sworn at and have no voice because police don’t regard us as citizens. I am currently attending night school where I hope to complete my basic education and training course.”
WLC attorney Stacey-Leigh Manoek said the WLC and Sweat had “monitored the human rights abuses that are inflicted on sex workers by the police and the vice squad”. She hoped the squad would be disbanded.
She said the WLC had identified various types of abuse including harassment, rape, being issued with unlawful spot fines, being unlawfully arrested and placed in cells with men, and intimidation and blackmail.
“Our research has shown that, of the sex workers interviewed, 27 percent were subject to unlawful arrest and assaults related to the arrest,” she said.
“This is not only a violation of the previous court order obtained by Sweat, but also a violation of the constitutional rights of sex workers. They enjoy the same constitutional rights as others, which include the right to inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected (section 10).
“In addition, everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause.” - Cape Times
COSATU condemns killing of SAMWU worker
Cosatu 7 March 2010
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is appalled by the death of a SAMWU shop steward, comrade Petros Msiza, who was shot by South African Police Service officers who opened fire on peaceful striking bus and refuse workers, at Tshwane’s Church Street depot on Thursday 3 March 2011.
COSATU sends its condolences to the Msiza family and his fellow workers. He was a committed trade unionist who, as SAMWU says “will forever be remembered by his contribution he made to the union movement”.
The workers were protesting against disciplinary action against their members in the city's troubled bus services and demanding the sacking of Tshwane Bus Services director Bernard Mojapelo.
COSATU backs SAMWU’s call for the police officers responsible to be identified and brought to book, and for “a Judicial Inquiry to be charged with assessing evidence of police violence, and the application of policing methods that inflame and provoke and injure workers instead of maintaining the peace”.
The federation repeats its call for the SAPS to adopt of Code of Conduct for dealing with protest demonstrations. During the World Cup in 2010, the police were commended for their restraint in dealing with spectators. Yet they continue to use brutal methods against South African exercising their constitutional right to peaceful protest.
SAMWU has also condemned the SAPS for spreading rumours that the protestors were damaging property to justify why they opened fire. “It is disgraceful that the SAPS would resort to lies, to cover up their brutality. In recent months there have been hundreds of cases of brutality by the SAPS against innocent South Africans”.
As the union says, “this attack and killing is an attack on the working class, not just SAMWU”. COSATU totally agrees and will not tolerate such brutality by the SAPS who are supposed to be protecting our lives and our democratic rights.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets
Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080 / 6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
Police open fire on strikers in pictures
IOL News 4 March 2011
Police arrest an alleged Samwu member who was part of a group protesting outside the Tshwane bus depot. A policeman was injured and 12 strikers were arrested at the Church Street bus depot in Pretoria. The incident occurred when striking members of the waste management service joined bus service strikers in the bus depot. The police arrived and asked the strikers to leave, but when they refused rubber bullets were fired. Baloyi said the situation was brought under control. One metro policeman was injured in the incident and 12 strikers were arrested. Photo: Masi Losi, Pretoria News
A mafia soapie unfolds at the High Court over Aurora
NUM 4 March 2011
Over a thousand Aurora workers camp outside the Union buildings to demand state intervention
The National Union of Mineworkers notes with serious concern the outcome of the court case in relation to the Aurora Empowerment Systems liquidation process of Pamodzi mines in which the court gave the liquidators until August 16 to finalize the process. Whilst the intention sounds good that an extension has been given to the liquidators to finalise selling the mines to whomever or dispose of the assets thereof, the NUM sees the entire intention as being to give Aurora a lifeline. Firstly, the court was supposed to decide not on the final liquidation process but to decide whether Aurora is able to have guarantees and continue to run the mines or not. What we now have is just a disguised extension to Aurora to finalise getting guarantees. The NUM is disappointed that the whole scenario fits a mafia soapie in which none of the government departments nor the courts are able to reach a conclusion. The union had hoped to put Aurora aside as well as the so-called lead liquidator so that new liquidators come on board.
“The poor workers ‘s poverty got another extension of time today” says Frans Baleni, the NUM General Secretary. The NUM is flabbergasted that liquidators, government departments and now the courts are spitting onto the poor workers by deliberately making wrong decisions that sends thousands of marginalized workers onto the periphery of dumbing sites to scavenge for food. The union is angry that those who are supposed to make decisions only seem to understand poverty from big university textbooks and have never in reality encountered it. They have become only armchair decision-makers speaking from ivory towers.
Meanwhile, over a thousand Aurora workers are currently camping outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand intervention from the Highest Office of the land after Aurora kicked them out of the hostels and the court‘s decision.
Lesiba Seshoka- 082 803 6719
Frans Baleni (General Secretary)- 082 375 6443
UPDATE: STUDENT PROTEST ACTION: HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS
Communiqué from the office of the Executive Director: Corporate Relations 3 March 2011
The academic programme at Howard College Campus has been disrupted over the past three days by illegal student protest action. We are extremely concerned at the damage and destruction to property and investigations are continuing. Any student found damaging University property will be dealt with in accordance with the University rules.
Throughout the protest, Management has been committed to discussions with students in a peaceful and constructive manner to resolve the issues.
The SRC has stipulated preconditions that preclude immediate meaningful discussions.
We reiterate that management acknowledges the right of students to protest in a peaceful manner. Equally, management recognizes and respects the right of all students to attend lectures and pursue their academic endeavour.
In this regard, every effort will be made to ensure that lectures will resume tomorrow,
Thursday 3 March 2011.
Ms Nomonde Mbadi
Executive Director: Corporate Relations
Free Education Protest update
Sasco 3 March 2011
Below are lists of the times for the Free Education protests already underway and those times for those that have not yet started. Free Education protests in the Durban University of Technology and the Vaal University of Technology are already underway.
At the University of Johannesburg (Kingsway campus) they are starting at 11am. The Wits University will begin its Free Education Protests at 12:00. The Cape Peninsula University Cape Town Campus will be starting at 11:30 while the Bellville campus will be starting at 12:00. Walter Sisulu University (East London, Zamukulungisa, NMD) will begin protests at 12:00. The NMMU will begin with its campus protests at13:00.
Times for other campuses will be confirmed later. We will continue to update members of the media about the progress of our campaign.
Contact: Lazola Ndamase, Secretary General - 082 679 8718
COSATU NW back to Dept of Health against privatisation
Cosatu 2 March 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is going back to the Dept of Health today, 2 March 2011, with a protest action fighting against the privatisation of medication to a labour broker called Amalgamated Medical Store since 2007.
The company was awarded a tender to provide medication to all hospitals and clinics for 180 million and it has failed the province. It continues to be rich while our poor communities, including the poor farm workers and dwellers continue to die due to poor medication.
They dismissed over 68 workers over the past six weeks after workers demanded an improvement in their conditions of service and were exposing corruption both in the Dept of Health and Amalgamated Medical Store.
Since the dismissal of those workers our NW province’s poor people who do not have medical aid are exposed to death due to the attitude of a few senior officials of the Dept of Health who are beneficiaries of the tender.
As COSATU NW we welcome the suspension of the acting head of the dept on 28 February 2011 due to alleged corrupt activities which include the Amalgamated tender and the building of a new office of the Dept of Health.
Our action today is to demand the following:
1. Amalgamated Medical Store be terminated now.
2. That the Dept of Health takes back their core function of providing medication to our poor people including the rest of people who are not able to afford the medication.
3. That the MEC and the premier must put a very high investigation team from outside the NW to investigate the whole tender of Amalgamated Medical Store, including the R7 million claim from the skills levy which was claimed every year by the same labour broker claiming that they have trained workers who are not trained and dismissed today for fighting against super-exploitation led by both our government and the Amalgamated Medical Store.
Our protest action will be starting from the crossing in Mafikeng from 11h00 to hand over the memorandum the office of the MEC today, 2 March 2011.
Media is invited to the action to expose the killers of our poor communities.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe on 0823044055.
COSATU NW marches against labour brokers and union bashing
Cosatu 2 March 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate NUM will march to Herenic Ferro chrome mine on Friday 4th March 2011
COSATU will be marching to demand that:
1. The company must stop union bashing which is perpetuated by the racist white managers and the head of security
2. The company must remove all the labour broker companies and contractors, namely Hydro Sebenza, Izinyoni and others
3. The company must reinstate all suspended shop stewards with immediate effect
The march will be held on 4th March 2011 at 09H30 starting from Ruskool in Brits to the main entrance of Herenic Ferro Chrome.
All members of COSATU and the Community of Madibeng are welcome to join this march
For more information contact Solly Phetoe COSATU Provincial Secretary of North West at 082 304 4055
Matatiele protest planned
Independent Newspapers 2 March 2011
Matatiele residents will on Wednesday protest against the incorporation of the area into the Eastern Cape.
“The people of Matatiele will be reviving a rolling mass action against the incorporation of the area into Eastern Cape by the ANC,” Mass-Action Organising Committee spokesperson Mandla Galo said in a statement.
The action was intended to force Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka to announce whether the area would stay in the Eastern Cape or not.
Galo said according to a ballot conducted in October 2008, a total of 87 percent of residents voted to be incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal.
“Shiceka committed that people would know their fate before 25
December 2008. It is now 2011 and the people are still kept in limbo.”
According to Galo in August 2005 the ANC took the decision to incorporate the area into Eastern Cape without consulting the affected people.
He said residents had since used peaceful means to express their opposition to the decision.
“The angle is to take away power from them by not voting for the ANC. Shiceka is a liar and we want to expose him. If he does not respond in 21 days we will take the matter to President Jacob Zuma.”
Shiceka's spokeswoman Vuyelwa Vika said the department was not aware of the planned march.
“The national Cabinet advised the minister to test the views of the individuals on the demarcation of Matatiele. This was done in late 2009 and early 2010. We have since submitted the report to the Cabinet and are awaiting a response.”
A decision would only be announced after a solution on all demarcated townships has been reached by the Cabinet, she said. -
JHB police respond to Lenasia protests
Camilla Bath 2 march 2011
Calm has been restored to the Thembelihle informal settlement near Lenasia in Johannesburg following Thursday morning’s protests.
Johannesburg police have been closely monitoring the situation.
Residents say they have been asking for electricity for almost 16 years.
They have resorted to illegal connections so that hundreds of people staying in the area can have power for light, heat and cooking purposes.
Earlier, residents blocked a road running through the township with burning tyres and knocked over a traffic light.
The K43 was closed to traffic between Bangalore and Vaal roads because of the protest.
The impoverished settlement has been the scene of several service delivery protests in the past.
The metro police’s spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said the unrest started overnight and flared up again in the morning.
An eyewitness said, “There were rocks and actually tyres burning, but it was extinguished already and there was a police presence.”
UPDATE: STUDENT PROTEST ACTION: HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS
Communiqué from the Office of the Executive Director: Corporate Relations 2 March 2011
Students are continuing with the illegal protest action on Howard College campus this morning, Wednesday, 2 March.
Reports from Risk Management Services state that students blockaded the entrance to the campus this morning and thereafter broke up into small groups, intimidating students and disrupting lectures. Access to the campus has been restored. The South African Police Service (SAPS) and Risk Management Services are monitoring the situation. Lectures on the Howard College campus have been suspended and students have been informed accordingly.
The students held a student meeting at Howard College yesterday, Tuesday, 1 March to discuss recent events regarding the protest.
The University acknowledges the right of the protestors to protest peacefully. We therefore urge students to exercise restraint until their concerns can be dealt with.
The University management regrets the disruption of lectures and assures staff and students that every effort will be made to resolve matters.
Ms Nomonde Mbadi
Executive Director: Corporate Relations
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