CCS Events
CCS Libraries
About CCS
CCS Projects
CCS Highlights

Publication Details

SA protest News 6 - 30 May 2011 (2011) SA protest News 6 - 30 May 2011.  : -.

Residents attack Somali shops
IOL News 26 May 2011

Four Somali shops have been burnt down and 55 shops have been looted in Motherwell and Kwadwesi, in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

“About 200 Somalis ran away from their shops, where a lot of them live, when other residents started attacking them,” said Captain Andre Beetge.

He did not know the reason for the attack. He said he had heard of some physical assaults on Somalis, but no cases had been opened.

Fifty-two shops were looted and three were burnt down in Motherwell and three shops were looted and one was burnt down in Kwadwesi.

The attacks began on Wednesday afternoon and continued until the early hours of Thursday morning when police contained the situation.

“There was some stone-throwing at police when they arrived at the scene, but it wasn't a general thing,” said Beetge.

“The situation is stable and quiet now and a lot of the Somalis have returned to their homes. Some are operating their businesses already,” he said.

No arrests had been made. - Sapa

Workers protest outside JMS meter reading company

Workers working for the JMS meter readers company have been denied a decent wage increase. Many of the workers the JMS meter reading company employs get paid a meagre salary, which is barely enough to feed them and their families.

The employer has offered a meagre R800.00 salary increase at the CCMA but now they have went back on what was agreed upon at the CCMA and are only willing to offer a shameful R500.00 increase. The workers are currently demanding R950.00 increase.

Workers have currently gathered outside JMS meter reading company in Randburg, protesting and demanding that the company gives all workers what they deserve. It is the workers who have made that company what it is today, at the very least they deserve a decent living wage.

We are encouraging the employer to ensure that it listens and concedes to the workers reasonable wage demands. Workers will not work for slave wages.

The employer has even gone so far as to say that workers won’t get paid, if they go on strike.

The workers of this company will embark on an indefinite strike, up until such time that the employer concedes to giving the workers a decent living wage.

The physical address where workers will be protesting; 343 Surrei avenue, Ferndale, Randburg.

For further comment contact SAMWU’s organiser Vicky Masina on 078 960 2126 or SAMWU’s greater JHB Branch Chairperson Essau Mbele on 073 8119678.

Issued by;
Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity Officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Fax: 0866186479.
Cell: 0829403403.

Also visit SAMWU’s website:

Protest over ANC-imposed councillor
Jauhara Khan 24 May 2011

The ANC’s controversial council candidates selection process has continued to have repercussions, with residents of Waterloo, Verulam, protesting over the election of ward councillor Mxolisi Ndzimbomvu by burning tyres and intimidating people on their way to work and school early on Monday.

Last week, protesters set Ndzimbomvu’s home alight after he was elected councillor for ward 58, which includes Verulam, La Mercy and Umdloti, north of Durban.

It was reported that the residents wanted an independent to represent the ward.

Speaking on Monday afternoon, police Captain Thulani Zwane said officers had quelled the unrest in the area. Earlier, protesters had also burnt wood in the streets.

During the day, residents held a peaceful meeting at the Waterloo sports grounds at which they handed over a memorandum for the ANC, Zwane said.

“The area is quiet now, police have controlled the situation and no incidents have been reported,” he said. “The peaceful gathering was monitored by police. The crowd dispersed afterwards, and police are patrolling the area now.”

Sapa quoted a Waterloo resident, who asked that his name be withheld, as saying he had decided not to go to work because he feared that his home would be damaged.

“I decided to stay home because they were burning tyres at around 4am (on Monday),” the man said. “I know many pupils who did not go to school.”

Ndzimbomvu said the strong police presence in the area had led to the protesters dispersing quickly.

“They were trying to protest, but they had no impact,” he said.

“They were going up to people to stop them from going to work and school. Police were visible all over, and I was told not to go near the protesters. But the situation is stable for now.”

The ANC secretary for eThekwini region, S’bu Sibiya, said the party was unaware of the residents’ desire to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

“We had no idea of this meeting and that is why no one attended it or came to collect the memorandum,” Sibiya said.

“The memorandum was brought to us by the police station commander in that area, and it has called for Ndzimbomvu to be removed.

“There was no need for them to protest - they are undermining a democratic process. We will now study the memorandum and decide what to do.”

The Education Department criticised the protesters for stopping pupils from going to school.

“It is an unfortunate incident and we condemn it in the strongest way possible,” department spokesman Sihle Mlotshwa said. “Pupils have a right to go to school and the protesters should not tamper with their right to learn.” - The Mercury

Man dies in row over electricity
NEO MADITLA (IOL News) 24 May 2011

A fight between residents in two informal settlements over illegal electricity connections has left one man dead, another in hospital and two homes petrol bombed.

Some residents in the Philippi informal settlement of Nevernever packed up and moved out yesterday because they feared more violence after Sunday’s clashes.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area and have called in colleagues from other stations to assist them in keeping the peace.

Nowethu Sautana, 68, who said she was a community leader in Nevernever, said she had been sitting at home on Sunday with a friend, whose name she gave only as Dorah, when she heard people calling her.

The group outside her house asked her to go to neighbouring settlement Marcus Garvey and illegally set up electrical connections for them.

Sautana said homes in Nevernever, which was established in 2001, did not have electricity, and some residents went to Marcus Garvey to steal electrical connections.

In recent weeks, she said, the electricity in Marcus Garvey had started tripping and Nevernever residents had been blamed.

She had been called in to mediate between the two communities, she said, and was surprised when people arrived and asked her for help with illegal connections.

The group had entered her house, she said, and “started beating me”.

“Then Dorah ran out to get my husband

. When my husband tried to protect me, they started hitting him as well.

“Then they took me to an open field where one of the guys threatened to shoot me but he didn’t because at that stage someone had already called the police and we could see them coming.”

Sautana said the police had taken them to the police station where they made a statement and laid a complaint.

While she was at the police station, her house and three others had been petrol bombed, Sautana said.

One of her neighbours, Gcinikhaya “Majola” Willem, 36, had rushed to try to extinguish the flames. It is not clear what happened to him, but his family has suggested that he was beaten to death while heading towards his neighbours’ burning homes.

Nomsa Deli said that her brother had died in hospital at midday yesterday.

Deli said she and Willem had heard the commotion on Sunday and ran to help extinguish the burning homes.

She said they had run to Sautana’s house first and then, while on their way to a second house that was on fire, they had seen a group of men coming towards them.

“Majola hid among houses and I carried on to the second house. When I came back, I saw him lying there and asked for help to take him to the main road where we could get help.

“He had a wound in his head and he was just lying there not able to speak,” Deli said.

She said her brother left his girlfriend, Noxolo Tono, and his two children, Lilitha, 4, and Ludumo, 17.

Tono described her boyfriend as caring and said that although he was unemployed, he always tried to be helpful around the neighbourhood.

Sautana, Deli and Tono have sent their children to stay with family elsewhere because they fear another attack.

Philippi East police station spokesman Nondumiso Paul said they were investigating two cases of assault, two cases of arson and a case of public violence after some people had thrown stones at the police vans on Sunday.

Paul could not confirm that four houses had been petrol bombed: “There may have been more but these were the only two that were reported to us,” she said. At the time of going to print, she was unable to confirm that a murder case had been opened in connection with Willem’s death. - Cape Argus

COSATU N Cape march against labour brokers and for accelerated service delivery
23 May 2011

COSATU Northern Cape press statement on the march against labour brokers and for accelerated service delivery

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Northern Cape will embark on a march on Thursday, 26 May 2011 in Kimberley. The purpose of the march is to submit our memoranda to three different offices.

We will march to the regional office of the Dept. of Labour where we will hand over a memorandum with our demands for the banning of labour brokers. It is our considered view that labour brokers compromise the decent work agenda in that they recruit workers for a short period of time and pay them starvation wages. The regional manager of the Department of Labour is expected to accept the memorandum on behalf of the minister.

From the DoL we will proceed to the Ministry of Transport, Safety and Liaison to deliver two memoranda to the MEC as well as the Provincial Commissioner of SAPS. Our memorandum is in demand of the immediate and visible transformation of the SAPS in the province.

We have seen a number of negative developments in the SAPS of the Northern Cape since the appointment of the current Provincial Commissioner by the National Commissioner. There have been a number of incidents of police brutality in Pixley Ka Seme, Siyanda and John Taolo Gaetsewe regions.

We have also seen the random replacement of experienced and competent senior officers for no apparent reasons and the escalation of crime as a result thereof.

The Provincial Commissioner has been requested to join the MEC in receiving the memorandum at the offices of the Ministry.

Our last destination is Sol Plaatjie municipality where there are serious problems in the administration starting from incompetent managers to outsourcing and privatisation. We demand a total overhaul of the Sol Plaatjie Management for accelerated service delivery to the poor masses of our people.

One example of incompetence is the recent outsourcing of the filling of potholes which has brought no difference as we are still driving in massive pot holes throughout the city, especially in Galeshewe where none of the managers of Sol Plaatjie stay.

We call on all the people who want change to join the alliance in a march that will start at the Open Air Arena at 09h30 on Thursday, 26 May 2011.

For any further information please call the COSATU N Cape Provincial Secretary, Anele Gxoyiya @ 082 829 1961

16 protesters arrested in Bizana
IOL News 23 May 2011

Sixteen people were arrested for alleged public violence during an ANC protest against newly-elected councillors in Bizana on Monday, Eastern Cape police said.

“About 5000 people blocked the municipal office and the department of education. They also forced people out of the shops to join the toyi-toyi,” spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Sibongile Soci said.

African National Congress members were apparently unhappy with the ward councillors elected for the area during local government elections.

Soci said people were ferried in to the area to take part in the protest.

“The group has since dispersed, but the situation is still tense. Police are monitoring the area as there are fears they might re-group again.”

Bizana is the seat of Mbizana local municipality, which is made up of 25 wards. It was transferred from the OR Tambo district to the Alfred Nzo district municipality following local elections. The ANC won 73.2 percent of the vote in the province

Defiant backyard dwellers stay put
Caryn Dolley 23 May 2011

A few backyard dwellers who have refused to budge from a field which hundreds of backyarders invaded in Tafelsig last week are rallying together and helping one another survive.

Last Sunday hundreds of backyarders from Mitchells Plain built shelters on the field, which the city wants for formal housing.

Police and members of the city’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit forced them off the field they called New Horizons.

Last week the city was granted an interdict from the Western Cape High Court preventing the residents from building on the field..

On Sunday only two wendy houses still stood at New Horizons and only a few groups of backyarders were staying on.

Lenaise Titus said the anti-land invasion unit had not demolished her home as it was completely built and fully furnished.

“They told me I now have until June 1 to leave.”

Titus said at least 10 backyarders were living in her home.

“We’re looking after 20 more people. With the little that we’ve got we’re helping as many people as we can,” she said.

“We put up a tent for these people at night, but have to take it down early in the morning in case the anti-land people come and remove it. We’re getting fresh water from the residents with houses. It isn’t really enough, but we’re getting by,” Titus said.

Carmelita Oncke lay in the centre of a big tyre, a duvet covering her for warmth.

“We have to wake up so early in case the law enforcement people come and take the tent,” Oncke said.

On Sunday mayor designate Patricia de Lille was reluctant to speak before she had been sworn in as mayor.

She said she hoped a pilot project in Langa and Hanover Park, where backyarders were put on a register, would be rolled out in other areas

Survey shows 2011 quiet year for service protests
Business Report 20 May 2011

Municipal elections appear to have had a dampening impact on service delivery protests, according to research by Municipal IQ, which carries out a Municipal Hotspots Monitor. As reported by the Local Government Research Centre’s Clive Keegan, in terms of service delivery protests, 2011 has been a relatively quiet year when compared with 2009 and 2010

Backyarders refuse to vote
Zara Nicholson 19 May 2011

Tensions simmered, with residents saying they were fed up with living in other people’s backyards and wanted to build houses on the land, which has been vacant for decades.

Since Sunday, backyarders and police have been involved in violent clashes after the backyarders occupied the field in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, on Saturday.

The field, which backyarders have called “New Horizons”, was littered with debris after the city’s anti-land invasion unit demolished people’s illegal structures.

As the morning went by, some residents made their way to the outskirts of the field to give support to the backyarders.

Soon residents spotted what they called “snipers” at the top of a hill overlooking the field.

They started whispering: “There’s the police, now they are going to start shooting at us again.”

On the other side of the field, dozens of police armoured vehicles pulled up, but stayed watching the backyarders from a distance.

By this time the crowd of residents had grown to around 500.

A small group of backyarders set a tyre alight, causing five armoured vehicles and around 200 police and metro police officers to begin moving towards them.

Residents left the field to avoid violence, and the backyarders retreated, but later they again come face to face with police.

The officers then started slowly retreating while the backyarders applauded and waved goodbye. The mood calmed down significantly and most people dispersed.

Shireen Samuels, a Tafelsig resident who supports the backyarders, said: “This land has been open for years, people just want a place to build houses.

“The gangsters commit crimes and murder on this field. Now when people want to build houses, the police act like this, but when there’s a murder here, you don’t see them going on like this.”

Terence Hosking, a community spokesman, cursed politicians and said people would not vote.

“They will not have our vote. Until someone gives us a piece of signed paper to say we can have the land, we will not give them our vote. Give us our land first,” he said. - Cape Times

Union members disrupt voting in North West
Molaole Montsho 18 May 2011

Protesting National Union of Mineworkers members disrupted proceedings at the Karee Mine voting station in Marikana near Rustenburg on Wednesday.

The group ordered Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials to close the voting station until their problem had been resolved, presiding officer Aubrey Koloko said.

The workers were not happy that their branch secretary and chairman had been suspended. They would not explain who, between their union or their employer, had suspended them.

In a note handed to the IEC official, they demanded that Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi come and speak to them. They vowed not to vote until their leaders were reinstated.

Police kept an eye on the hundreds of mineworkers, who brandished knobkerries as they left the voting station.

“We are coming back,” they said, waving knobkerries at the IEC officials.

Koloko said 11 people had voted since the station opened at 7am.

Outgoing ward councillor Nosipho Dabe said 1 700 people were expected to vote at the Karee Mine voting station.

The ANC and DA have fielded candidates in all 38 wards of the Rustenburg municipality. Seven independent candidates are competing in six wards.

Earlier one voter, Meikie Janties, complained that it was difficult for disabled people such as herself to vote.

“I wanted to vote, but the voting station is not accessible. This infringes on my human rights as a person with a disability.”

Three men lifted Janties in her wheelchair to enable her to enter the voting station at the Lethabong Community Creche.

Construction workers maintaining the road had left a heap of soil in front of the gate, making it inaccessible to people in wheelchairs.

Janties said she had applied for a special vote, but was not visited by an Independent Electoral Commission official during the two days set aside for special votes.

“I wanted to vote and I will,” said Janties as she was wheeled into the voting station. - Sapa

Residents whip alleged gate thief
Graeme Hosken 19 May 2011

A man alleged to have tried to steal a garden gate off its hinges outside a shack in a squatter camp near Atteridgeville was attacked by a mob alerted by the homeowner’s screams for help.

The man, who was struck by stones, was rescued by police who spotted the commotion as they were driving past on patrol through the squatter camp.

The 30-year-old man, who is from Atteridgeville West, is believed to have been seen by the homeowner as he walked out of his home in the Brazzaville squatter camp to go to vote.

Community members who responded to the man’s calls for help allegedly stoned the man before apparently whipping him. It is understood that people were whipping the man when the police patrol drove past.

Atteridgeville police station spokesman Captain Thomas Mufamadi confirmed the attack and said the man was rescued before being arrested for the alleged attempted theft.

He said the man had severe head injuries and was taken to Kalafong Hospital, where he was being treated under police guard.

“At the moment no one has been arrested for the attack, although we are hoping to make arrests soon,” Mufamadi said.

“We are appealing to anyone with information on the identities of the suspect’s attackers to come forward and talk to the police.

“We are also appealing to people not to take the law into their own hands.

“If a person suspects someone of committing a crime they should rather call the police.”

Police were also investigating a case of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Community chases down alleged robbers
IOL News 17 May 2011

Two men have been arrested in connection with a business robbery in Stinkwater, north of Pretoria, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said the men, aged 23 and 34 were arrested on Monday after they approached the scrapyard owner and pretended to be customers.

He said they subsequently pointed a firearm at the victim, demanded cash and cellphones, and immediately they fled the scene.

He said members of the community saw what happened and gave chase. They were joined by police who arrested both suspects.

The stolen money and both cellphones were recovered.

Ndou said the men were also found with an unlicensed 9mm pistol and ammunition.

They were expected to appear on charges of business robbery and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition at the Temba Magistrate's Court soon. - Sapa

Fee protests at CPUT campus
Michelle Jones (IOL News) 17 May 2011

Students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) have vowed to continue protesting and disrupting classes until management scrap a 15 percent fee increase next year and provide more resources.

On Monday morning, about 300 protesters sang and danced through the sciences building at the Cape Town campus, stopping at lecture halls along the way to disrupt lessons and encourage students to join them. Protesters sprayed the contents of a fire extinguisher into a room full of students in a bid to empty it.

Students also protested on Monday at the university’s Bellville campus, where they were later addressed by vice-chancellor Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga.

Members of the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) and the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC) demand that fees not be increased next year, residences be properly maintained, libraries stay open until 12am, and more printers and computers be made available to students.

Their demands are similar to those made at two separate protests two years ago, during which 37 students were arrested on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.

Scores of students at the Cape Town campus joined the march but appeared not to know what it was about.

“I don’t know what’s happening. I’m just singing,” said one student.

Others ignored what was happening around them and continued to chat to friends, eat lunch and complete assignments. A number of students said the protesters had disrupted their classes and that they were now concerned about their forthcoming exams.

After making their way through the sciences building and to the administration building, a number of organisers addressed the assembled crowd.

Ayabulela Pinzie, acting chairman of the SRC, said protests would continue there daily until their demands were met.

“We will stop the classes and we will not stop until someone comes to address us.”

Pinzie said Monday’s protest was just the first phase of events planned to encourage university officials to communicate with students.

Pasma chairman Mfowethu Mlaeteki said the protest had been organised as a last resort to get the attention of university management.

“We are saying no to fee increases until services increase. We are going to continue with this strike until management comes to address us,” Mlaeteki said.

CPUT spokesman Thami Nkwanyane said members of the university’s executive management would this morning meet with students to receive the memorandum.

“Then they will look at the demands and respond.”

Nkwanyane said he was not aware of damage or injury.

Cape Town Central police spokesman Ezra October said that aside from the disrupted classes the protest had been peaceful. After the protest had ended, students were reluctant to speak to the Cape Times about it. - Cape Times

Land grab clashes escalate
Caryn Dolley and Aziz Hartley 17 May 2011

Live ammunition was fired at police during a second day of violent clashes with groups of Mitchell’s Plain backyard dwellers who have invaded land in Tafelsig and refuse to leave.

Bricks and rocks were also thrown at police, who responded with rubber bullets, teargas and a water cannon.

The clashes followed land invasions next to the Swartklip Road sports field and an open piece of land near Kapteinsklip train station in Tafelsig on Friday and Saturday. The City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit demolished hundreds of structures the backyarders erected during the invasion, leading to a tense stand-off.

On Monday, scores of residents pelted police with stones and set fire to tyres in bushes when officers arrived at the stretch of land along Swartklip Road, and which residents have named New Horizons.

On a wall leading to the settlement, the name New Horizons was spray-painted near the words: “Whe shal not be moved”(sic).

As officers moved around the settlement, a few residents could be seen running towards officers, threatening to use live ammunition. Two young men had handguns and could be seen shooting at police.

They bragged afterwards they had fired at the officers.

As a police helicopter hovered, a police water cannon sprayed jets of bright blue water at residents and a number of teargas grenades were lobbed at the residents throwing rocks and stones.

Eighteen people, including police officers and children, were injured and at least 14 residents arrested since Sunday.

On Monday, as police were shooting at the invaders, a man could be seen running away with a bleeding neck wound.

A policeman could also be seen bleeding from a cheek.

Plumes of thick, black smoke rose in the air as residents burnt tyres and bushes on dunes alongside the field.

Residents gathered at the top of the dunes as police in armoured vehicles and officers with riot shields approached.

“The police can try and kill us or force us away, but we will be back and stay here,” screamed a resident, who was hit by a rubber bullet.

Mitchell’s Plain police spokeswoman Mugelaine van der Vent said officers had been called to Tafelsig, and while they were there shots had been fired at them.

“Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse to crowd,” she said,

Following a brief visit to a field nearby New Horizons, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said he believed the invasions were politically motivated and set up to happen just before tomorrow’s local government elections.

“It’s so close to the elections that I have to say it’s politically motivated. It’s well-timed ahead of the elections,” he said.

City of Cape Town spokesman Pieter Cronje said only five of about 400 illegally erected structures were still at the Swartklip Road invasion site.

He said the city’s law enforcement officers and metro police were there in support of police, who led the operation.

“We are preparing for a possible eviction order or for an interdict. The city has had reports, but cannot confirm, that it seems the invasion was well organised.

“There are allegations that there was a meeting on Thursday evening at the Freedom Park Hall where the occupation was discussed. The timing (of the occupation) seems significant.

“We reacted with calm as it is in nobody’s interest to have another Hangberg (in Hout Bay, where residents clashed with police trying to evict them and to demolish their informal homes in September),” Cronje said.

Asked if the city would probe the allegations, he said: “We have a 24/7 fraud and corruption hotline and we appeal to people and those who had been offered something that is too good to be true, to report it.” - Cape Times

Bricks, bullets fly in land grab
IOL News 16 May 2011

An open field in Tafelsig turned into a war zone yesterday as a group of land invaders pelted police and city law enforcers with rocks and bottles.

The officers retaliated by firing rubber bullets and blasting the invaders with a water cannon to bring them under control.

The group, who call themselves the Mitchell’s Plain Backyarders’ Association, moved on to the Swartklip Sports Field on Saturday.

They built makeshift shacks and set up tents on the field, saying it should belong to them.

Yesterday, members of the city’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit tore down 338 structures and 100 tents before they were forced to retreat.

In tit-for-tat moves, the land invaders continued to move in to rebuild their structures, only for them to be torn down again by a phalanx of policemen, flanked by a water cannon and heavily protected metro police officers.

Residents claimed they had been pepper sprayed, and insisted that metro police had used “live ammunition”, a claim the city strenuously denied.

City of Cape Town spokeswoman Kylie Hatton said rubber bullets had been fired several times, but officers had “definitely not” used live ammunition.

She said two law enforcement officers and a metro police officer were injured.

Police said today 14 people had been arrested after yesterday’s clashes.

Yesterday, residents showed the Cape Argus injuries they said were sustained during the day’s skirmishes. Some said they had been hit by bottles and rocks, and others by rubber bullets.

The water cannon blasted the land invaders with coloured water, marking them for later identification.

This morning, some of the invaders, many of whom had slept in tents on the field last night, were slowly rebuilding their structures.

Cooking fires were dotted across the field, and people started their day by brewing coffee in small pans.

Some said they were uncertain of their next move, with others saying they would try to keep the police at bay without using violence.

Hatton said the area was quiet this morning.

This weekend, another group of people also invaded a plot of land in nearby Kapteinsklip, and city law enforcement officers moved in swiftly to dismantle 75 structures, Hatton said. Building materials were removed from that site.

The plot of land in Tafelsig is city-owned.

“Residents have been trying to illegally occupy the land and we as landowners have the right to prevent the illegal occupation,” Hatton said.

As the invasion started this weekend, members of the Mitchell's Plain Backyarders’ Association cordoned off “plots” on the Tafelsig field using rope and sticks.

They also assigned erf numbers to people, saying these had been given to them by the council.

But Hatton said the numbers were “certainly not sanctioned by council”.

“We found that the people themselves marked off and pegged the numbers to the area,” she said.

Tempers started flaring yesterday as the Anti-Land Invasion teams moved in to pull down structures on the demarcated “plots”.

One man, Nasief Abrahams, swore as he watched his tent pulled down and shouted: “They don’t do anything for us but they want our vote!”

Abrahams said he, his wife and their two children had been living in a friend’s backyard for seven years.

“All we ever wanted was for the government to offer us a piece of land with electricity and water… they have the budget for other projects. Why can’t they invest in a project that will help us get the land?” he said.

He said he had spent all Saturday night in his tent on the field and he would not go to work because he felt he was fighting a just cause.

“I will keep fighting until I get what I want… we’re going to be back here (today) until we’ve got our land,” he said.

Terence Hosking, spokes-man for the Mitchell's Plain Backyarders’ Association, said they would stay on the land “until the day of death”.

He said it was unfair |that backyarders in Tafelsig were paying between R500 and R1 500 to live in people’s yards.

“We have been negotiating with them (the city) and now we’ve said enough is enough.” - Cape Argus

Protest Action Against Corrective Rape - Cape Town, South Africa - 15 May 2011
QueerZa 15 May 2011

In response to an epidemic of hate crimes, citizens of South Africa have come together in a series of protests. This Cape Town based protest was held on Sunday 15 May 2011 outside Parliament.

We cannot stand another rape of a lesbian, or a gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer or genderqueer person. We cannot have another one of our own murdered. It has to stop now.

We need to place pressure on government and civil society to speed up the formation of the hate crimes task team, and to take immediate action. Policy is good and well only if it results in action and ultimately a change in our society.

Fresh Ficksburg protests sparked
IOL News 13 May 2011

Police had to use rubber bullets to disperse about 200 disgruntled Meqheleng residents during renewed protests in Ficksburg on Friday, Free State police said. Captain Phumelelo Dlamini said protesters began burning tyres, barricading roads and stoning police around 9am.

“We had to fire rubber bullets at the crowd, use stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the unruly crowd,” he said.

A 20-year-old man was arrested. No one was injured.

Residents had apparently gathered for a talk with provincial co-operative governance department head Kopung Ralinkontsane on the results of an investigation into corruption at the Setsoto municipality.

Ralinkontsane announced that three directors and a manager from the municipality were sent on special leave following allegations of corruption.

The directors were from the finance, co-operative services and economic and community services departments. The manager is from the roads and storm water department at the municipality, which incorporates Ficksburg.

According to Tsiliso Mpekoa from the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens group, protesters also want Ficksburg mayor Mbothoma Maduna suspended.

Mpekoa said the protests occurred before and after the talks.

Residents also wanted to march but were denied permission.

“The march then turned into a briefing session, where residents were informed ... how far investigations have come,” he said.

“People want the mayor to also be put on special leave, but we have advised them that the time will come. We have a list of 19 people we want dismissed.. and (with) the four that are on special leave already (it) shows progress. They were also encouraged to vote ... (in) the up coming local government elections.”

He said residents “calmed down” after police intervened and they were spoken to. Dlamini said police were on high alert and conducting regular patrols in the area.

During heated protests last month Cope member Andries Tatane was killed in a confrontation with police during a service delivery protest march in Ficksburg.

Tatane, 33, was beaten and shot, allegedly by the police, during the protest.

Eight policemen were arrested and refused bail by the Ficksburg Magistrate's Court. They will next appear on June 2. -

Somali shops looted in Motherwell
IOL News 12 May 2011

Fourteen shops owned by Somali nationals in the Motherwell area were looted and some burnt on Thursday, Eastern Cape police said.

Warrant Officer Dumile Gwavu said a group of people began the looting at 3am in Kamvelihle, Ramaphosa and Wells Estate.

“Doors and windows were broken and on some of the shops, burglar guards were removed.”

Two shops were burnt to the ground in Kamvelihle and one in Ramaphosa. When the violence began, other Somali shop owners, who had not yet been affected by the looting, removed their stock and moved to a safe place.

No arrests were made and police were on “high alert”.

Everything was currently “back to normal

Nehawu 12 May 2011

NEHAWU the progressive worker’s champion will be picketing in front of the Western Cape provincial legislature tomorrow, Friday, 13th of May 2011 to expose and oppose the DA government ‘s reactionary policies and prove that their ill conceived “modernisation” programme in the provincial government has been a disaster.

The DA has continuously lied and repeatedly broke all its promises that it made to the workers in the Western Cape because they said the “modernisation” programme would not lead to job losses instead there would be job creation. However, during its implementation the DA government has laid off hundreds of workers in the Department of Community Safety and in the Department of Social Development. It also refuses to fill funded vacant posts.

The DA is a passionate proponent of anti-worker policies and in the Western Cape the Premier decided to centralise power and has also been terrorising the workers since it took over the provincial government. The Premier has centralised HR functions in her department and this is a throwback to the 1940s era of grey suits. The experience of the provincial government staff of dealing with an understaffed, under-resourced HR unit is very frustrating and unproductive.

It is an open secret that the DA led government consistently threatens to roll back the rights of workers through phone calls directed at people perceived to be critical of its administration in the province. The DA government refuses to consult with workers in open forums and rather changes HR plans unilaterally. Despite its claims of building an “open opportunity society”, the DA is running a jobs-for-white-pals scheme and hires DA-aligned officials without taking them through open interview processes.

The details of the picket are as follows:

Date: Friday, 13 May 2011
Time 12:00 – 13:00
Place: Provincial Legislature, Wale Street, Cape Town

Members of the media are invited to attend the picketing and report.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office

For further information, please contact: Luthando Nogcinisa{NEHAWU Western Cape Provincial Secretary}: 021 424 4580-082 455 1795 or Sizwe Pamla (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 011 833 2902 - 082 558 5962 or email:

Visit NEHAWU website:

Road dug up to prevent speeding
Xolani Koyana 12 May 2011

Luyanda Myaluza was one of the pupils who demonstrated in Samora Machel where residents set tyres alight to demand that speed bumps and pedestrian crossings be put in place along Weltevreden Road. Picture: Neil Baynes

Samora Machel residents were so desperate to put an end to vehicles speeding on Weltevreden Road and Oliver Tambo Drive, that they dug up part of the road on Wednesday calling for speed bumps and pedestrian crossings to be put in place.

Residents say children, who have to cross the road to get to school, are particularly in danger. They say five children have already been run over, while one was killed by a speeding vehicle.

About 300 people, most of them pupils from Samora Machel Primary, barricaded Weltevreden Road with burning tyres.

At about 7am, pupils marched along the road before being joined by a group of older residents.

Tyres were set alight, and vehicles on the way to Colorado Park or coming from Mitchells Plain had to use alternative routes.

About six SAPS vehicles, including a helicopter and four metro police vehicles, were dispatched to the scene to monitor the protest.

Samora Machel School principal Shirley Koti said many pupils who live in Kosovo informal settlement had to cross the road to get to school.

She said after an accident where a child was hit by a car, the city’s Road Safety Management said they would help the community with the implementation of speed bumps and pedestrian crossings.

“Parents decided in a meeting on Monday that they have had enough of this waiting and said they wanted to picket,” Koti said.

Community leader Alpheus Ndima said they had taken up the issue with ward 75 councillor Natalie Bent in 2008 after a hit-and-run on the road.

She told them that she would look into the matter, he said, but Bent could not be reached for comment.

“They do acknowledge that there is a problem but they never attend to it. Obviously they don’t take this thing seriously. A lot of the children will keep dying if the City of Cape Town is not doing anything about this.

“We will not stop until they listen to us,” Ndima said.

They were expected to continue to demonstrate on Thursday if their demands were not met.

Noluthando Mabutho, who lives in Kosovo, which is located along the road, said residents had previously demonstrated with the same demands about two years ago.

“We have to cross this road every day because there are few taps here, so we have to go to the other side and it’s very risky.

“Cars come speeding down this road from the bridge. Sometimes they hit people and leave them,” Mabutho said.

The city’s head of transport network development, Sean Glass, said they had received an application for Oliver Tambo Drive.

However, he said speed bumps were not appropriate for that road.

He said they were not permitted in terms of the City’s Traffic Calming Policy.

“The Transport Department is, however, willing to investigate the need for additional measures such as pedestrian crossings,” Glass said. - Cape Times

Commercial Cold Storage Workers on Strike
Food & Allied Workers Union [F.A.W.U.] 12 May 2011

Commercial Cold Storage Strike- Secondary Strikes To Follow

About one hundred employees of Commercial Cold Storage in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town downed tools on Monday, 9 May 2011 in protest over the company’s refusal to engage in centralized bargaining as well as wage disparities across the different cities.

The majority of employees are members of the Food and Allied Workers’ Union [FAWU] and workers believe that it would make much more sense for the union and the company to engage in one national bargaining process over wages and working conditions instead of negotiating for each plant as is currently the case. Workers are also unhappy over differing working conditions since they are all performing the same jobs and should be earning the same salaries.

Management argues that they have good relations with union officials at the different plants and see no need to fix something that they view as “ not broken”. It appears that the company cannot be bothered by the needs of their workforce.

FAWU Bargaining Secretary, Sipho Khumalo, said that the union would look into getting other FAWU members to embark on secondary (sympathy) strikes under the Oceana Group’s banner, since Commercial Cold Storage is a division thereof.

Centralised bargaining would benefit the company in several ways- saving time and money by negotiating for wages and working conditions in a single process instead of negotiating on plant level. Commercial Cold Storage would do well to follow in the footsteps of well-known local companies who follow this process seeing that they claim to be the biggest bulk commercial cold storage provider in Africa.

Workers in Cape Town will resume picketing in Paarden Eiland (Vrystaat Road) tomorrow.

Released by FAWU media officer, Dominique Swartz on 082 498 5631.

Foreign traders threatened: cops
IOL News 11 May 2011
Nine people were arrested after allegedly intimidating foreign business owners in Orlando, Soweto, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.

Captain Nomvula Mbense said the group, all business owners in the area, arrived at Orlando police station on Tuesday shouting and singing songs in protest against foreign traders.

The station commander dispersed the crowd who then apparently held an illegal meeting next to the Orlando stadium.

When police attempted to break-up the gathering, the group allegedly threw stones. They were then arrested.

Mbense said the group allegedly intimidated business owners from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Somali on Tuesday by shouting at them to go back to their countries.

They believed the foreigners were taking business away by charging lower prices.

The group would be charged following investigations. - Sapa

COSATU, NUM and the Barplats Crocodile River Mine
Cosatu 11 May 2011

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and National Union of Mineworkers met the mine bosses of the Barplats Crocodile River Mine today to discuss the issues that were agreed to be taken up as per the memo that was signed by the managing director of the mine on 7 May 2011 during the underground action that took place for two days.

The management agreed that issues raised by workers on that day are very serious and need to be discussed with the union leadership. It was agreed that the first meeting should have been taken place on Sunday 8 May 2011, which was cancelled by management.

We are now at a stage where the arrogance of the racist management is being seen by all workers. All workers are now suspended pending the investigation when the memo signed by the managing director confirmed that no worker will be subjected to a discipline or victimisation. As from today all workers are out on the street.

COSATU is calling for the mine to withdraw the suspensions against all workers and the reinstatement of two shop stewards who were dismissed as part of the union bashing.

We also demand that the agreement in the memo signed by the managing director be respected by the same mine bosses including the issues of the contract workers to be employed permanently by the mine as promised.

We calling the Department of Labour to investigate the matter of rights of the women mine workers who are being treated unfairly during their pregnancy and that the full investigation must be done by inspectors from outside NW.

We are also calling the mine to respect the rights of the all employees and the rest of the communities in the area of Madibeng.

We are calling the media to expose the super-exploiters and racist attitude of the white bosses.

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe on 0823044055

Limpopo protesters held for public violence
IOL News 11 May 2011

Limpopo police have arrested three people for public violence and arson over the six vehicles that were torched during a protest in Lephalale, they said on Wednesday.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the situation at Medupi power station was quiet and that police were monitoring the area.

On Tuesday, thousands of protesters torched two buses, and damaged two police vehicles and two cars in the area.

They claimed Eskom was not considering local people for positions of boilermakers and were placing only foreigners.

“Eskom has closed the station. It will only be operational for business once the issues have been sorted out,” said Mulaudzi. - Sapa

Limpopo protesters torch vehicles
IOL News 10 May 2011

Thousands of protesters torched two buses and damaged four vehicles during a strike at the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Thousands of protesters torched two buses and damaged four vehicles during a strike at the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo, on Tuesday morning, police said.

“Residents alleged that Eskom is employing foreign-experienced boilermakers and not considering the residents for the positions,” said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Two buses were set alight and two police vehicles and two cars were damaged during the protest, he said.

Police had deployed members of the public order policing unit to stabilise the situation.

Mulaudzi said police condemned violence by people who did not want to engage in dialogue when they had problems.

“As the police, we will not hesitate to take action against anyone who transgresses the law,” he said.

Police were monitoring the situation. No arrests had been made and no injuries had been reported. -

Suspected thief beaten to death
IOL News 11 May 2011

A 30-year-old man was arrested for allegedly beating to death a suspected robber in Qokolweni, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.

The man and a group of residents saw a 20-year-old man running out of a house with a TV at 9 on Tuesday night and started assaulting him with whips, Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said.

The suspected thief died soon after from his injuries.

Fatyela said more arrests were imminent. The man would appear in the Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Thursday. - Sapa

UKZN Management 10 May 2011

Dear Colleagues
On Friday 6 May and this morning, Management's representatives on the Joint Bargaining Forum (JBF) met with the two Unions in dispute, COMSA and UKSU, under Section 150 of the Labour Relations Act under the auspices of the CCMA.

During this mediation process both parties considered a number of permutations around management’s offer. Unions indicated their willingness to settle on the salary composition irrespective of the packaged form for years 2 and 3 as offered by management subject to the following conditions:

1. The employer’s right to implement the “no work no pay” rule be foregone;

2. The employer’s right to institute disciplinary action for acts of misconduct during the strike be foregone.

After extensive consultation, management was unable to concede to the two demands as mentioned above. These issues that have been added by the Unions in dispute have nothing to do with salary negotiations but the University’s rights which are protected by law.

As a result of the non salary issues the unions refused to finalise the salary negotiations and sign an agreement. This agreement would have ensured that COMSA and UKSU members receive 8% salary increases, backdated to January in the May 2011 salary run.

We urge all striking employees to reconsider management’s salary proposal and ensure a smooth return to work.

Dr Mojaki Mosia Ms Nomonde Mbadi
Executive Director Executive Director
Human Resources Corporate Relations
This statement is issued on behalf of Executive Management.

Strike suspended after ANC 'intervention'
Mail & Guardian 10 May 10 2011

Municipal workers have suspended their strike planned for Friday after talks with the ANC, South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) spokesperson Tahir Sema said on Tuesday.

"The Samwu national strike action that was to take place this Friday has been suspended, due to the late but welcome intervention by the African National Congress," Sema said in a statement.

"Samwu's national leadership had been locked in closed-door meetings with the ANC and Cosatu for most of yesterday [Monday] and had welcomed the commitment made by the ANC to look into all areas of concern raised by the union."

About 220 000 municipal workers, excluding essential services, were planning a nationwide strike on Friday, five days before local government elections.

Sema said on Monday the union had various concerns, chief among them that local government had failed them.

"We have mentioned time and time again, local government is not working for our people. Something drastic needs to be done to turn it around."

'Shiceka not serving the country'
He said the strategy proposed by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka, who has been on sick leave since February, was "hollow" and had "nothing substantial to improve delivery of services".

Samwu has called on President Jacob Zuma to sack Shiceka as "he is not serving the country".

The union was also demanding that Zuma not sign the Municipal Amendment Bill into law. The Bill is intended to "depoliticise" municipalities and ensure they appoint skilled people.

The meeting with the ANC started on Friday at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe present.

Samwu wanted provincial governments scrapped, and the funds diverted to local governments to improve service delivery. It also wanted the government to address its concerns about the alleged victimisation of members who blew the whistle on corruption.

Sema said the union had initially demanded an 18% salary increase, but this would be "negotiated down".

"It has been misconstrued in the media that we are demanding 18 percent% ... but this is how negotiations work. We put a high figure on the table and negotiate down."

As wage negotiations deadlocked on Friday, the wage demand had now been added to the union's list of grievances it discussed with the ANC.

The salary increases were due to be implemented in July.

Sema said a detailed statement would be issued later on Tuesday.

Since the early 1990s Samwu and the ANC have been on a collision course because of their differences over issues such as local government restructuring and the privatisation of key state assets.

Samwu's anti-privatisation stance prompted some senior ANC leaders at the time, including then local government minister and ANC national executive committee member Valli Moosa, to label the union ultra-left.

'Smelly cities'
The union's strike announcement came only days after it suspended a three-week strike by union members employed by Pikitup, Johannesburg's waste management company, which left the city littered with uncollected refuse. Speaking to the Mail & Guardian at the end of April, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa took a swipe at Samwu leaders.

"This [the planned action] is in poor taste and it contradicts the spirit of what was agreed upon in the alliance [meeting] to support the ANC manifesto," he said.

Phosa said although the ANC respected the union's constitutional right to voice its opinion in public discourse, it did not approve of the opportunistic way in which Samwu members disrupted local public services.

That did not serve the democratic cause, he said. "They should engage on issues without crossing the line. We are not saying people should not express their anger, but to make cities smelly during election time can't be condoned. - Sapa and Staff reporter

Gugulethu community submited grievances to municipality – vow protests if not heard!
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign 10 May 2011

The Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign held a protest today which converged on Fezeka Municipality Offices in Gugulethu. Poor and unemployed residents came from all over Gugulethu, KTC, Crossroads and Nyanga to have their voices heard.

We submitted the following list of grievances to the municipality this morning.

On Tuesday, the 17th of May at 8:30am, the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign will mobilise in numbers and return to Fezeka. If we are not heard and our grievances addressed, we will protest and block the entrance to Fezeka. If the City claims to work for us, then they must start working with us.

No Dignity! No Vote!Our Grievances

Poor communities here are experiencing many evictions, water cut-offs, etc under both the ruling party and the oppositions parties – the ANC and DA, etc
Many poor families in poor communities experience broken families and many children as a result of policies in the new South Africa become orphans and/or street children.
White owned and black elite shopping malls in townships are killing poor families’ small businesses, such as spaza shops and house shops.
Government institutions do not provide enough employment for our community. We demand jobs in all government institutions as soon as possible.
Private and government companies must stop keeping the land of the poor.
Poor communities are totally against the so-called building of cheap low-cost housing for the poor. We demand that government consults with us meaningfully on its housing policy.
There is lots of land in South Africa and in Cape Town but it is mostly owned by government or private owners to be used for speculation and big development projects. We demand that you stop saying that there is no land to build decent, adequate, strong and big houses for the poor!
The land in South Africa was stolen from us. The poor majority demands the land that was taken from our fore-fathers.
The ‘New’ South Africa and its Constitution are meaningless for the poor majority. The government only follows laws when they serve the rich.
Where is the white community’s conscience, kindness, feelings, and humanity, as 87% of the land has been occupied by a minority made up of the black elite and white ownership groupings.
We have no land, no jobs, and therefore no food to feed our children. The poor community demands a Basic Income Grant for all poor families
We demand a response within 7 days.

For comment, please call:
Zoliswa – 0731496065 0731496065
Zukiswa – 0737509436 0737509436 Siyabulela – 0745565314 0745565314 Nandiswa – 0712353253
Mncedisi – 0785808646 0785808646

COSATU NW and Eastplats Crocodile River [Barplats Mines Ltd]
Cosatu 10 May 2011

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate NUM congratulate and thank its members for accepting the union’s request to suspend the protest action which has been taking place underground since 6 of May 2011 until last night at Barplats Mines.

COSATU and NUM engaged the mine bosses after the intervention of the department of mineral resources at the federation’s request. The mine management agreed to have an urgent meeting with the union leadership on Sunday 8th May 2011.

The workers’ demands are to improve their working conditions. The history of the mine is that every time the negotiations deadlock the mine start with restructuring, dismissing union leaders, dismissing women who are pregnant and undermining their rights as human beings.

The workers also demand that all contract workers be employed by the mine and that all workers who have been in the underground protest action since Friday not be dismissed or charged. They also demand that their union leaders who are currently dismissed must be reinstated and management must not victimise workers.

The workers demand a full investigation by the departments of labour and mineral resources on health and safety in the mines.

COSATU NW is calling the mine board of directors to intervene or we will have to go back to our members for solidarity support of those workers.

COSATU and NUM met the mine bosses on Sunday 8 May 2011 to deal with issues and it will give feed back to members today, Monday 9 May2011..

For more information call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe on 0823044055.

 cast your net a little wider...
 Radical Philosophy 
 African Studies Association (USA)  
 New Dawn Engineering 
 Indymedia Radio 
 Southern Africa Report online 
 Online Anti Apartheid Periodicals, 1960 - 1994 
 Autonomy & Solidarity 
 New Formulation 
 We Write 
 International Journal of Socialist Renewal 
 Journal of African Philosophy 
 British Library for Development Studies 
 The Nordic Africa Institute Online Library 
 Political Economy Research Institute Bulletin (PERI) 
 Feminist Africa 
 Jacques Depelchin's Tribute to Harold Wolpe 
 African Studies Quarterly 
 The Industrial Workers of the World 
 Anarchist Archives 
 Wholewheat Radio 
 Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa  
 Zanon Workers 
 Public Citizen  
 Open Directory Project 
 Big noise films 
 London Review of Books  
 New York Review of Books 
 Monthly Review 
 New Left Review 
 Bureau of Public Secrets  
 Zed Books 
 Pluto Press 
 Duke University Press  
 Abe Books 
 The Electric Book Company 
 Project Guttenberg 
 Newspeak Dictionary 
 Feral Script Kiddies 
 Go Open Source 
 Source Forge 
 Ubuntu Linux Home Page 
 Software for Apple Computers 

|  Contact Information  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy