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Publication Details

Reference
South African Protest News 30 May - 14 June 2011 (2011) South African Protest News 30 May - 14 June 2011.  : -.

Summary
Car set alight in KZN protest
IOL News 14 June 2011

Residents of Plessislaer in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday blocked a road with burning tyres and set a car alight in protest against poor service delivery, the provincial community safety department said.

“A crowd of about 300 community members were obstructing traffic (on Selby Msimang road) and set a car alight in the centre of the road,” spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said.

At 9am the crowd apparently threw stones at police and damaged several cars. Police retaliated with stun grenades and teargas. No arrests were made.

Community safety MEC Willies Mchunu said there were other ways to resolve issues besides protesting and damaging property.

“There are community structures that are put in place to ensure that all communities' needs are met,” he said. -
www.iol.co.za


Protesters burn tyres at NCape premier’s office
IOL News 14 June 2011

A group of protesters burnt tyres and blockaded the road outside the Northern Cape premier's office in Galeshewe police said.

A group of protesters burnt tyres and blockaded the road outside the Northern Cape premier's office in Galeshewe on Monday, police said.

“It is believed that approximately 60 people gathered at the Mayebuye Centre in Galeshewe earlier today (Monday) and set tyres alight and blockaded the road,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mashay Gamieldien.

“From there the group proceeded to the premier's offices in Roper street where they also set tyres alight and blockaded the road.”

Nobody was injured and no property had been damaged.

Gamieldien said it was believed that the protesters were “unhappy about salaries, posts and promotions”.

The Kimberley public order policing unit was monitoring the situation.

Premier Hazel Jenkins'office said the director-general was dealing with the matter, but he was not immediately reachable for comment. -
www.iol.co.za


30+ arrested in Mpuma protests
IOL News 14 June 2011

Over thirty people have been arrested during violent protests in Pienaar East, outside Nelspruit, Mpumalanga police said on Monday.

“The protest has been going on for about a week now. It's still going on. Residents are blockading roads with stones and burning tyres and pelting cars with stones,” said Captain Leonard Hlathi.

The arrested residents, including some minors, would be charged with public violence, Hlathi said, but he did not know when they would be appearing before court.

“The families cannot come to the police station because of the blockaded roads so we don't actually know when they will all go to court.”

He said the Independent Complaints Directorate would also be investigating injuries of residents who were shot during the protest.

“We don't know who shot who and with which bullets... it's still too early to say but let me say that there have been injuries.”

Mbombela municipality spokesman, Joseph Ngala, said the residents were protesting over water shortages.

“There have been breakdowns at the local water stations since last week... about 260,000 people have been affected.”

He said some residents were claiming they had not had water for weeks.

Thirteen tankers had been supplying the area with water “but these couldn't get to some of the areas today because of the blockaded roads,” Ngala said.

“We take this to mean that there is an element of criminality here... people are using these shortages as a way to pursue other agendas.” -
Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Mob stones man to death
IOL News 14 June 2011

A Zimbabwean national was stoned to death by a mob in Seshego north-west of Polokwane, Limpopo police said on Tuesday.

“The allegations levelled against foreign nationals there is that they are involved in criminal activity and a group of people went about intimidating them,” said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

“Unfortunately, there was a Zimbabwean national who was cornered by this group and then they stoned him to death. Other victims had their houses vandalised and their belongings were thrown out of their houses.”

The man was stoned at Section 75 in Seshego around 8pm on Monday.

Mulaudzi said there were “groups” intimidating foreign nationals.

The police's public order unit from Polokwane managed to disperse most of these groups and were still deployed in the area on Tuesday morning to keep the peace.

“These irresponsible people wanted to cause mayhem but the situation has calmed down now (Tuesday morning),” said Mulaudzi. – Sapa
www.iol.co.za



Councillor ‘innocent until proven guilty’: ANC
IOL News 20 June 2011

An ANC ward councillor arrested in connection with the stoning of a Zimbabwean man in Seshego, is “innocent until proven guilty”, the party in Limpopo said on Monday.

The ANC “upholds the principle of innocent until proven guilty”, spokesman David Masondo said in a statement. “We reiterate that no one is above the law and any person, including our ANC members found violating the law should be punished accordingly.”

Masondo called on people not to take the law into their own hands.

Last Monday, a Zimbabwean man was stoned to death at Section 75 in Seshego. Locals alleged the man had killed two South Africans during a house robbery.

Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi last week said groups of local residents had been intimidating foreigners.

The councillor, a 29-year-old woman, was arrested along with five other people early on Friday morning. The six were expected to appear in the Seshego Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of murder, public violence and arson. – Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Suspicions as another ANC office gutted by fire
Sharika Regchand 13 June 2011

An office that ANC activists are convinced is occupied by Msunduzi deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe went up in flames on Saturday night.

There have been calls for Shelembe to be removed from his position for being party to the near-collapse of the municipality last year.

Another fire, also thought to be the work of arsonists and in the same Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street building last October, gutted the office of ANC provincial chairman and premier Zweli Mkhize.

ANC activists, who have staged a sit-in at the building for 13 days, protesting against Shelembe and Msunduzi Speaker Zonke Mbatha’s appointments, said they suspected that Saturday night’s fire had been started either to cast blame on them or to destroy evidence that could implicate people in fraud and corruption. The activists say that Shelembe and Mbatha were both part of the Msunduzi executive committee that had contributed to the municipality facing financial ruin last year, and questioned Shelembe’s appointment while he still faced fraud and corruption charges relating to his previous appointment at the uMgungundlovu district municipality.

They also opposed the appointments of other members of the ANC’s regional executive committee to top positions in municipalities.

The activists have set up house in the building, cooking, eating and sleeping there.

Today they are expected to meet ANC national executive committee member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is leading a task team investigating complaints over the party’s nomination of election candidates.

The activists were convinced that the gutted office belonged to and was still being occupied by Shelembe, the ANC’s regional treasurer, despite the regional general secretary, Super Zuma, maintaining that he had occupied the office since November, after his previous office had been damaged in the fire in October.

Although arson was suspected as the cause of that fire, which destroyed several first-floor offices and documents, no arrests have been made.

ANC activist Sibongile Mkhize said the activists had nothing to do with Saturday night’s fire. She said teenagers in their group had heard footsteps in the vicinity of the torched office at about 11.45pm.

“They came running to us and the men went to investigate,” she said. The men smelled smoke and the fire department was alerted.

Mkhize said a man carrying a rifle, calling himself “Mbuso”, had joined the sit-in on Saturday. She said he had been arrested after the fire for illegally carrying a gun.

Another activist, Siyabonga Mthembu, suspected that the fire had been started to get rid of incriminating information, perhaps relating to money being pocketed by certain ANC members or to tender fraud.

The activists’ actions were endorsed by Cosatu and the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) last week, both getting behind the call to have the political office-bearers removed.

Shelembe said he had occupied the office until November 2010, and refused to comment on the fire.

Zuma confirmed that confidential documents and files had been kept in the office.

ANC spokeswoman Makhosi Khoza said the “damage to the office runs into hundreds of thousands of rand, which will all have to be borne by the organisation”.

Police Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said police were investigating the cause of the fire.

Fire Department Inspector Richard Dlamini said arson was suspected.
www.themercury.co.za


Police deny Noordgesig shooting claims
IOL News 11 June 2011

Police have denied shooting rubber bullets and teargas at protesters in Noordgesig, Soweto, from two helicopters on Friday night.

“The chopper has not fired any rubber bullets, the same applies to the ground patrol team,” said Captain Katlego Mogale.

She was reacting to claims to this effect by National Association for the Advancement of Affected People founder Mark Trimble, who also charged that innocent bystanders returning from work were getting caught in the crossfire.

Trimble said the protesters had indicated that at 6am they would block the main road where the funeral cortege of ANC stalwart Albertina Sisulu was to pass.

“We are aware about intentions to disrupt the funeral and we will deal with that situation,” said Mogale.

Sisulu died at the age of 92 in her Linden home on Thursday. Her official funeral service takes place at the Orlando Stadium, in Soweto, on Saturday.

A night vigil was being held on Friday at the Holy Cross Church, in Soweto.

Mogale said that in Noordgesig on Friday night, protesting residents were stoning police vehicles.

“We have removed sedans because residents are throwing stones at the police, only nyalas (armoured vehicles) are patrolling inside.”

The residents started protested on Wednesday after spending two days without electricity. They were joined by residents from Newclare, Westbury, Riverlea and Eldorado Park.

The City of Johannesburg said power could be restored by Friday night, if residents co-operated with technicians.

“If this happens, City Power is confident that all residents will be reconnected before they go to bed tonight,” said spokesman Gabu Tugwana.

“The electricity supply was disrupted earlier in the week after an important cable supplying electricity to the area was severed,” he said.

“Engineers and technicians were dispatched to the area to repair the damage.”

He said the repair work would have taken just over three hours to complete under normal circumstances.

However, the turnaround time was increased by residents' intimidation of technicians and additional damage - including cable theft - caused to other electricity infrastructure. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za



Protest reaching ‘explosive point’
IOL News 10 June 2011

Protests in Noordgesig, near Soweto, were reaching an “explosive point” on Friday, the National Association for the Advancement of Affected People (NAAAP) said.

“Residents are adamant, we are trying to calm the situation,” NAAAP founder Mark Trimble said.

“Police are forming a barricade and it's getting more heated.”

Earlier Trimble said the protest was “very peaceful”, although tyres were burning no one was throwing stones.

However, the situation was volatile and anything could happen, he said.

Metro police and the SA Police Service (Saps) were on the scene and the main road had been closed off.

“We hope Metro and Saps don't start pummelling us with rubber bullets... they have no right to start shooting unless people start intimidating them,” Trimble said.

On Thursday, the NAAAP accused police of assaulting and shooting at protesters.

Trimble said those injured were planning to lay charges against the police.

Police spokeswoman Captain Katlego Mogale said: “If that's the route they want to take then they must take it”.

She said police were on the scene trying to bring the situation back to normal after the protest flared up again on Friday.

Residents of Noordgesig protested on Wednesday after spending two days without electricity. They were joined by residents from Newclare, Westbury, Riverlea and Eldorado Park.

City power reconnected the power following the protest, but it went off again shortly after that.

The protesters also used the opportunity to demonstrate against frequent water shortages, poor service delivery, lack of housing and inflated billing by the City of Johannesburg.

City spokesman Gabu Tugwana said it had committed to work with all the communities to quickly resolve the problems.

“The people of these communities need to ensure that there is no damage to the electrical infrastructure. There wouldn't be a need to switch off the power to repair it then.” - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


BHP Billiton: No plans for wider strike
Independent Newspapers 9 June 2011

Around 3,500 union workers at Australia's BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance, the world's biggest producer of metallurgical coal, plan several work stoppages next week but are not planning wider strike action at this stage, a union official said.

The workers plan several six-hour work stoppages next week but also plan to continue negotiations with the BHP Billiton

and Mitsubishi owned joint ventured on June 21-22 over a new enterprise agreement, Steve Smyth, Queensland president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union said on Thursday.

“At this stage all we plan are stop-work meetings, not full strike actions,” Smyth told Reuters. “These stoppages are for the purpose of talking to our members en masse,” he said.

The unions have given notice of stop work meetings scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at the Norwich Park, Blackwater, Gregory Crinum, Goonyella, Saraji and Peak Downs mines.

Union workers at the Broadmeadow colliery already hold separate agreements with the alliance and will not participate in the stoppages, according to Smyth.

Smyth said he expects the stoppages to have some impact on production but could not say to what degree.

Smyth said workers will look to reopen talks over the role of non-union contractors, who outnumber union staff.

BHP Billiton in a statement said BMA did not intend to replace employees' jobs with contractors and urged workers to rethink their stoppage plans.

A spokeswoman for BHP Billiton declined to discuss any contingency plans BMA may be considering in the event of industrial action.

Disruptions to the mines could impact the Australian economy adversely - the mines have a combined production capacity of more than 58 million tonnes per year, with nearly all of their output shipped overseas for steel production.

Coal is Australia's largest export and exports of metallurgical coal accounts for A$24.5 billion of the nation's A$202.17 billion in total goods exports last year, according to government data.

Queensland state lost up to 30 million tonnes of coal production when monsoon rains and a cyclone battered the eastern seaboard between November and February, exacting a high financial toll on the national economy.

The drop, equivalent to 15 percent of annual output, has curbed economic growth and exacerbated a worldwide shortfall of coal. - Reuters
www.dailynews.co.za


SARS EMPLOYEES TO MARCH TO THE UNION BUILDINGS IN PRETORIA TOMORROW
NEHAWU 9 June 2011

SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICES WORKERS IN GAUTENG WILL TOMORROW MARCH TO THE UNION BUILDINGS IN PRETORIA TO HANDOVER A MEMORANDUM OF DEMANDS

NEHAWU members from all South African Revenue Services offices{SARS} in Gauteng will march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria tomorrow to handover a memorandum of demands following the failure of the agency to respond and solve a myriad of problems that were submitted to the senior managers on the 20th of April 2011.

The poor management and the victimisation of our members at SARS offices in the province of Gauteng must come to an end because if our calls for action are not heeded we will be forced to escalate our action. Workers at the agency have worked hard to service South Africans and have built up a credible reputation for the agency. The march to the union buildings is a cry for leadership and intervention from the presidency because workers are not prepared to sit idle while the agency is being sabotaged by managers who do not have the interest of the country at heart.

The level of anger and dissatisfaction from our members’ means that the taxpayers are likely suffer because an unhappy workforce cannot deliver quality service. As a progressive organization and a workers champion we are looking for an intervention and an amicable solutionr but if we do not get a satisfactory response from government and the presidency in particular we will be forced to escalate our action.

The agency is beset with victimization, lack of transparency and accountability that has resulted in tensions between our members who are fighting dishonesty and those managers who want to hide their nefarious activities. NEHAWU is aware that the agency is very critical to our economy and the lives of our people but we are also resolute in our pursuit for justice and fairness even if it means withdrawing our labour and shutting down the agency. We are deeply disturbed by the victimization of our members and the bullying tactics that have been used by management to try and coerce our members into submission.

NEHAWU will not keep quiet when workers are being exploited, bullied and victimized.

DATE: Friday 10TH June 2011
VENUE: Cnr Schoeman and Van Der Walt proceeding to the Union Building
TIME: 11H00 – 15H00


Service delivery protest in Lenasia
IOL News 9 June 2011

Residents of Thembalihle in Lenasia South threw stones at passing cars and burnt tyres on the K43 road on Thursday morning.

Residents of Thembalihle in Lenasia South threw stones at passing cars and burnt tyres on the K43 road on Thursday morning, Joburg police reported.

Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said community members were unhappy about bad service delivery, saying they needed electricity and RDP houses.

He said a small group of residents sang and blocked roads at about 3am and police arrived at the scene just after 4am.

“The situation is calm because (police) are here monitoring the situation. No shots have been fired and no one has been arrested,” Makhubela said.

Johannesburg Metro police spokesman Wayne Minnaar advised motorists to avoid the K43 and rather make use of the Golden Highway. – Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Rainbow Chickens Workers In Second Week of A National Strike
FAWU 9 June 2011

About 4 500 employees from Rainbow Chickens’ processing and farm plants in the Western Cape, the North West, Mpumalanga, Gauteng , Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape are in their second week of a national strike that started on 26 May,2011. These FAWU members are demanding better wages, a reduction in working hours and backdated payment to April 2011.

The processing workers demand a R 500.00 wage increase (across the board) while those on Rainbow farms demand a minimum wage of R 4 400.00. Current salaries of processing and farming workers are R 4 422 and R 3800.00 respectively. The union and the company also differs with regard to the backdated payment. FAWU wants the increases to be backdated to April 1, 2011 since the collective agreement expired at the end of March 2011 while the company believes it should be paid on the date that the agreement is reached.

In addition, we demand a 40 -hour working week instead of the present 45 hours per week. Our members report that they are exhausted after working nine- hour shifts - often in cold room facilities - and it affects their ability to concentrate, especially when working with machines.

If this situation persists, poorer quality products could be produced as a result of lack of concentration and fatigue and the risk of injury is much higher. FAWU ensured management that production targets will be maintained if each worker only one hour less than normal which will have each worker on an eight hour shift. We believe that a 40 hour working week will ultimately benefit the company as their workforce will be well-rested and able to work more effectively, resulting in higher products quality.

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


A secondary strike looms at United Manganese Mine
NUM 9 June 2011

Over a 100 members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have been on strike at United Manganese Mine (UMK) since the end of May. The workers demand that the anti-union company should bargain with them whilst the company has kept its hostility towards them. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has now called on a secondary strike by all contract workers employed by various contractors at the mine. “Our intention is now to bring the mine to a complete standstill” says Peterson Muleya, the NUM ‘s Organiser in the Kimberly Region. United Manganese Mine is situated some 80 kilometers outside Kuruman in the Northern Cape near Hotazel.

Peterson Muleya- (NUM Organiser in Kimberly) -071 681 1467

Lesiba Seshoka- (NUM National Spokesman) - 082 803 6719


Over two thousand miners to deliver memorandum to Petra Diamonds
NUM 9 June 2011

Over two thousand members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will tomorrow in the afternoon march to the offices of Petra Diamonds in Cullinan to handover a memorandum of demands. The demands include that Petra Diamonds should close the wage discrepancies that exists between people of different races doing the same job. The Union further demands that the workers be given proper accommodation and that the company should accelerate the training of Africans. The NUM is disappointed that the company has been training Africans as learner miners and maintenance personnel for three years without progress. “We want the company to recognize us as a union and abandon unilateralism” says Mike Sekele, the NUM Branch Secretary in Cullinan.

“The march is a warning to the company that they either fix the mess or face the ire” says Sekele. The details of the march are as follows:

Date: 09 June 2011
Place: Cullinan, outside Pretoria
Time: 16H00 gather from 14H30

Mike Sekele (Cullinan Branch Secretary)- 083 573 5976
Lesiba Seshoka –(NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719


COSATU North West protest march on 10 June 2011
Cosatu 10 June 2011

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its members, with the support of the communities around Rustenburg, will be marching to the Rustenburg police station demanding the arrest of those suspected of killing the late Moss Phakoe who was shot in March 2009 during the national election campaign.

COSATU in the province has been marching every year demanding the report on why the people who killed Moss Phakoe are not being brought to book. Names of suspects have been appearing in the newspapers, with clear information from the same police who must arrest them. Nothing has happened since 2009 till now.

The late Moss Phakoe was buried on 27 March 2009. Since then we have been told by the police that the investigation is at an advanced stage. When is it going to be at the arrest stage? When is it going to be at the trial stage? When is the advanced stage ending? Somebody must respond to these questions.

COSATU will not rest until somebody answers our questions with a clear response on who killed the late Moss. The workers, communities, business people, political parties, young people of this province and ancestors knows that the late Moss was killed for exposing corruption in the Rustenburg municipality, including the matter of Rustenburg Kloof and the fight for service delivery to the poor communities.

The protest action will include the cases of police who decided to be the enemies of the people of this province during the protest mass action. The police of the North West are killing our people. The late Pullman Dlamini was assaulted to death by the Orkney police during the election campaign. Our poor young lady was shot to death by the police during the mass protest against the missing of the young boy (Thabiso Moloi) at Tlokweng Village. The police are quick to arrest those who kill the farmers but they refused to arrest farmers who continue killing our poor farm workers and their families.

A memorandum will be received by the MECs of Human Settlement, Public Safety and Liaison, Health, and Local Government and Traditional Affairs and the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in the North West province.

This is our last protest action on this matter. The next action will be a mass provincial action, which will include the communities of the province with a total stayaway from work.

It is proven that our government will only listen when we are out on the street.

Media is invited to the march, on the 10 June 2011 from 13h00 – 16h30.

For more information please free to call COSATU NW provincial secretary, Solly Nani Phetoe, on 082 304 4055


NUM takes gloves off at Exarro
NUM 8 june 2011

It is official and final. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) would strike at resources company Exarro as from next Monday. Over 7000 workers at Exarro will down tools. The NUM served the company with a 48 notice this morning after an overwhelming vote for strike action. The dispute is over the possible retrenchment of 300 workers across Exarro operations. “We have now finalized our preparations for a strike, we will now marshal our soldiers for a complete shut down of that small company with a big head” says Khaya Blaai, the NUM ‘ Head of Collective Bargaining.

“For almost a week, the company said it was not notified about the strike. We have now notified them formally and officially and there is no looking back” says Blaai.

Khaya Blaai- 0834278539

Lesiba Seshoka (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719


Tension still high in KwaDukuza
IOL News 10 June 2011

The mood was still tense in KwaDukuza, north of Durban, on Friday following week-long protests against taxi fare increases. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

The mood was still tense in KwaDukuza, north of Durban, on Friday following week-long protests against taxi fare increases, the police said.

“The situation is still tense but under control. Several cars were stoned last night and our guys are still there monitoring the situation,” said Director Phindile Radebe.

People stoned cars to voice their response to an agreement reached during negotiations which were attended by national police commissioner, General Bheki Cele.

During the two-day long negotiations, it was agreed the increases would be capped at R2, instead of R2.50.

The protests started on Monday when taxi fares went up from R4.50 to R7.

Protesters said they could not afford the new fare.

Two people were killed during the protests and the Independent Complaints Directorate and the police were investigating, Radebe said.

They were shot dead by live bullets, Radebe said earlier in the week.

The police distanced themselves from the shooting, saying they only used rubber bullets.

The police were investigating allegations that the pair were killed by security guards hired by the taxi associations.

Radebe said over 200 people had been arrested.

“Most of them managed to get bail. The majority of those who did not get bail are those who are charged for attempted murder,” she said.

Two cars, a truck and a police officer's home were torched earlier in the week. The R102 between the Shakaskraal and Gledhow off-ramps was closed to traffic.

Michael Ngwane, a former councillor in KwaDukuza, said the road was open on Friday morning.

“The road is open and people are able to use their cars. There are no taxis at the moment and we hope that they will be operating this weekend.”

He confirmed some cars were stoned on Thursday evening.

“The police managed to stop them and the situation is calm at the moment.” – Sapa
www.iol.co.za



Fatal turn in taxi fare protest
Lungi Langa and Nompumelelo Magwaza
8June 2011

Ntombiyenkosi Mabika, 24, was trying to make her way to work when she was shot dead. She is suspected to have been shot by one of several security guards hired to protect the associations’ taxis.

Police Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that one person had been killed during Monday’s protests, when 155 people were arrested for public violence and arson.

He said a murder case had been opened in connection with Mabika’s death, but no arrests had been made.

Naicker said the police were in the area monitoring the situation.

However, they were unable to protect the property of one of their own, whose car and home were torched by the protesters.

Umhlali Warrant Officer David Nzuza said he rushed home after being alerted that his home was on fire.

Nzuza arrived home to find his car gutted and part of his house, which had been vandalised, on fire.

“These people are accusing me of injuring a child during the protest. There were many police on duty that day (Monday). How can they be sure that I did it? Even if that was so, attacking my family is not the way of dealing with that.

“If I did wrong, why did they not report it at the police station?” he said.

Police said more protesters had been arrested on Tuesday, increasing the number to about 270 people.

The protests started on Monday over taxi fare increases from R4.50 to R7. The protesters said they could not afford the hikes.

Ward councillor Ann McDonnell said the R102 between Shakaskraal and Umhlali had been blockaded by the protesters until early on Tuesday.

“I went to see what was happening, but I was told to leave because it was too dangerous. I understand that the violence in some areas has escalated, and I am so sad to hear that somebody has died from this,” she said.

Bongizwe Mhlongo, of the KwaDukuza Taxi Association, said the association had no intention of decreasing fares. He said the commuters had decided to protest without expressing their concerns to the association.

“When other businesses increase prices for items, you do not see people protesting against it,” he said.

The newly inaugurated KwaDukuza mayor, Ricardo Mthembu, said he was in talks with the association to find a solution. He would meet the association on Wednesday.

The protests have prevented residents from going to work and pupils from getting to school.

KwaDukuza resident Thembelihle Gumede said she could not afford the increased transport costs for her two children, who travelled by taxi to school. She said one had started writing exams, but could not get to school.

“We are not fighting with the taxi owners; we just want them to reduce their prices,” she said. - The Mercury
www.iol.co.za



Protester’s death probed
Nompumelelo Magwaza and Sinegugu Ndlovu
9 June 2011

As municipal workers began a massive clean-up operation on the R102 between Umhlali and Shakaskraal on Wednesday, the Independent Complaints Directorate was starting an investigation into the death of a man, allegedly at the hands of police, during violent protests against taxi fare hikes in the KwaDukuza area on Tuesday.

Nhlanhla Mchunu, 21, was the second of two people killed in the protests, which started on Monday. Ntombikayise Mabika, 24, was shot and killed, allegedly by a security guard hired by taxi operators, on Monday. The deaths have deepened tensions between the taxi owners, police and locals.

Locals are protesting against taxi fare increases of up to R2.50 a trip.

On Wednesday, an urgent meeting attended by national police commissioner General Bheki Cele – called to put an end to the escalating violence that has seen about 207 people being arrested – failed to resolve the situation, with taxi associations refusing to back down from the fare hikes.

Protesters had blockaded the R102, the main road connecting several towns in the KwaDukuza area, by burning tyres and other objects on the road. Residents of some towns feared leaving their houses in case they were attacked by protesters, who wanted commerce in the region to be brought to a halt.

In areas patrolled by police, people walked several kilometres to work in the KwaDukuza CBD, as there was no transport available on the main road. A clean-up by the fire department, municipal workers and police started in the morning and was still under way in the afternoon.

Cele said two people, Mchunu and Mabika, were confirmed dead. He said the ICD would investigate Mchunu’s death because it was alleged that police were involved. However, Cele refused to believe that officers could be responsible for his death.

“The police have confirmed what we know, and that is that they do not use live ammunition, especially the kind of cartridges that were shown on the news.”

KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance spokesman Bafana Mhlongo defended the Kwadukuza and Dolphin Coast taxi associations’ decision to increase fares by R2.50, saying that fares in the area had not increased in five years.

He said other associations had also increased fares because of rising input costs, including petrol price hikes and vehicle maintenance costs.

“When we increase fares, it’s by between 10 percent and 30 percent. We notify the public well in advance… so that people with concerns can come forward and speak to us.

“In a business, you don’t negotiate price hikes. We are overburdened by high operational costs, which are higher than our profits,” he said.

Concerned Commuters Organisation of SA spokesman Bongani Ntuli blamed the government for not providing proper public transport.

He said the KwaDukuza residents were reacting violently “because they have been pushed against a wall”.

He said the R2.50 increase was exorbitant.

The organisation was engaging with Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele on public transport issues.

“For one, toll fees are high and this impacts on the poor. Workers spend a huge percentage of their salaries on transport. The government must provide quality yet affordable public transport on top of privately owned transport,” said Ntuli. – The Mercury
www.dailynews.co.za



Taxi fare protest turns violent
Jauhara Khan (IOL News) 7 June 2011

Protesters burn tyres at KwaDukuza, north of Durban, after two taxi associations implemented fare hikes yesterday. Violence broke out as police tried to restrain residents by using rubber bullets and teargas, with scores being arrested. Picture: Bongani Mbatha

Rubber bullets, teargas and water jets were used to disperse thousands of commuters in KwaDukuza, who blocked streets while protesting against taxi fare increases introduced in the town on Monday.

The Kwadukuza and Dolphin Coast Taxi Associations implemented the increase in fares in Shakaskraal, Kwadukuza (Stanger), Umhlali and Ballito.

Residents said notices of the increases, which they had not been consulted about, only appeared on taxi windows on Friday. The increases vary, with a trip from Shakaskraal to Ballito increasing from R4.50 to R7.

Commuters from Shakaskraal and surrounding townships began their protest peacefully, congregating at the Shakaskraal Clinic Park in the morning. Later they burnt tyres in the streets and blockaded the road, preventing vehicles from moving throughout the morning.

The situation got worse after police officers arrived and began shooting rubber bullets into the throng. Officers also released teargas and sprayed water from a tanker on the crowd, sending people running for cover.

Several protesters stoned police vehicles.

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said the situation had become “volatile” as the morning wore on, with several people being arrested for public violence.

Shaken residents, who congregated in the park after the morning’s events, said police had “besieged” the area.

Commuter Vusi Cele said: “We were peacefully marching down the road when the police showed up. They shot rubber bullets at us and we ran into the bushes to hide. We did not do anything for the police to treat us this way; we’re just not happy with the increases.”

Shakaskraal Clinic sister Thiloshnee Sass said the clinic had treated 40 people, while some with serious injuries were taken to hospital.

Ilembe mayor Welcome Mdabe said he had been in a meeting on Monday night with police officials to release 160 residents who had been arrested.

He also met the taxi associations to resolve the clash with residents. He said community representatives, ward councillors and the associations would meet at the Ilembe Hall tomorrow.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance secretary Bafana Mhlongo said that fuel price increases had necessitated taxi fare hikes.

“We are not doing this to make a profit. We want to also maintain our vehicles so that they are safer for passengers. The government has failed to subsidise the taxi industry, despite taxis being the most used form of transport. We would not have fare increases if it was subsidised,” he said.

However, commuters should be informed of price hikes two weeks in advance.

The taxi associations were not available for comment on Monday night. – The Mercury
www.iol.co.za


NUM declares a dispute at Kumba’s Sishen Iron Ore Company
NUM 6 June 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) declared a dispute with Kumba‘s Sishen Iron Ore Company comprising of Thabazimbi mine, Kolomela and Sishen over non-implementation of a housing clause in the 2010-2012 wage agreement. The three operations employ over 8000 workers. The contested clause reads as follows:

“The company agrees to assist with decent accommodation as per the mining charter within three months after signing this agreement for employees staying outside the 30 km radius. The parties will encourage employees to come forward for assistance. In the event that this cannot be arranged within three months after an individual request has been received, the company will provide temporary assistance to employees”

The National Union of Mineworkers is highly perturbed that the company failed to implement the terms of the agreement and failed to respond todate to letters of dispute. “We can only hope they come to the party otherwise we will be left with no option but to call on a strike” says Eddie Majadibodu, a Chief Negotiator representing the NUM at the company.

Lesiba Seshoka- (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719

Eddie Majadibodu- (NUM Chief Negotiator at Kumba)- 082 809 3227


NIA probes xenophobia links
City Press 5 June 2011

The state security agency is ­probing links between various loose-knit “business forums” ­fomenting xenophobic violence across the country.

The move comes as momentum builds in the number of attacks against foreign-owned businesses across the country and follows ­violence directed at Somali ­business people in Port Elizabeth last week.

On Wednesday, police held back a crowd of more than 100 – including members of the Greater Gauteng Business Forum (GGBF) – in Ramaphosa informal settlement near Germiston, east of Joburg, as they attempted to forcibly close ­foreign-owned businesses there.

National Intelligence Agency spokesperson Brian Dube confirmed this week that they are monitoring the forums and investigating if there were links between what ­happened in Eastern Cape and Gauteng, and also whether there is a syndicate involved.

“There have been sporadic incidents in various parts of the country with common elements. The state security agency is monitoring the anti-foreigner sentiments which are fuelled by competition in a depressed economic environment,” said Dube.

City Press has spent weeks in Ramaphosa and Soweto investigating the rise and links between the forums.

We have witnessed active efforts by these groups to connect to each other and to coordinate their ­activities.

We have also attended ­meetings where representatives of groups from townships across Gauteng have spoken of working together to get foreign businesses out of their communities.

The GGBF, which serves as the mother body of about 120 business structures in Gauteng, said it had been receiving “calls and invitations” to open up branches in ­Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Port Elizabeth and Western Cape.

The forum’s organiser, Mandla Yende, said he has received a number of calls from people who either want to join the forum or want branches opened in their townships.

Yende said he even got a call from a Port Elizabeth business person just 24 hours before the outbreak of violence in ­Motherwell, where four shops were burnt down and more than 50 were looted from.

But he denied that the attacks in Port Elizabeth had been coordinated by the forum.

Yende said: “We had absolutely nothing to do with what happened in Port Elizabeth. They took the decision to close down Somali shops themselves because they are angry.”

He said the attacks in Port Elizabeth and the march to Parliament by the Cape Peninsula Business Forum a few weeks ago was a clear indication that small-business people from across the country are frustrated.

But the chairperson of the ­Somali Community Board, Abdul Hakim Mohamed, said he believed that there was a “greater force” working behind the scenes.

Mohamed said he had received information from one of the GGBF members in Soweto who had ­decided to inform him about plans to intensify the ­forum and extend its activities ­nationally.

Mohamed said: “He has told me that the GGBF was trying to make contact with the KZN shack dwellers forum and other guys in PE and Cape Town.”

The GGBF has denied the ­allegation, saying that these links are simply business people from other provinces who want to join the forum.

Mohamed said the sequence of moves against foreign nationals ­also suggests that there could be a link between the forums.

He pointed to the rise of the ­GGBF in March, them handing letters to foreign shopkeepers ordering them to shut up shop and leave areas; the Cape Peninsula Business Forum, which marched to Parliament to protest foreign traders in Cape Town townships; last week’s violence in Motherwell in Port Elizabeth; and this week’s moves in Ramaphosa.

Jean Pierre Misago, a researcher for the African Centre for ­Migration in Society at Wits ­University, said he did not believe that there was a syndicate behind the attacks on foreign nationals.

“It is hard to say that because we don’t know whether the Greater Gauteng Business Forum has been to Eastern Cape or Cape Town, but what we do know is that they have been mobilising communities around Gauteng to join them,” he said.

Misago said other provinces could well be drawing inspiration from the coverage that the GGBF has received in the media lately and that is possibly why there have been similar cases.
www.citypress.co.za


Three men beaten to death
IOL News 4 June 2011

Three men were beaten to death and another was injured by angry community members in Flagstaff on Saturday, Eastern Cape police said.

Captain Mduduzi Godlwana said that there had been a spate of housebreakings in Flagstaff and the community believed that the four men, aged between 20 and 25, were responsible.

“The community took them to a soccer field, where they were interrogated,” he said.

The crowd beat the men with sticks, killing three of them.

Godlwana said that the fourth man was in police custody.

A case of murder had been opened, but no arrests had been made yet. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


NUM prepares to strike Exarro over retrenchments
NUM 6 June 2011

Over 7000 workers belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Exarro are readying themselves for a massive strike action in the week ahead. This comes after the NUM was awarded a certificate of non‑resolution to a dispute over retrenchments on Friday. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has been engaging Exarro over the possible retrenchment of 300 workers. The engagement failed and Exarro pushed for unilateral implementation. The NUM took the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and was awarded a certificate of non‑resolution to the dispute paving the way for the massive strike action that is set to leave Exarro reeling and leaking its wounds.

“We are meeting our members for a vote on the strike action on Tuesday and already many have said there is no need for a vote as there is agreement to ground Exarro” says Khaya Blaai, the NUM ’s Head of Collective Bargaining.
“We did not want a strike action, Exarro asked for one by sending people with no mandate to talk to us. They are speaking unilateral implementation and we are going to strike unilaterally too” says Blaai.

Lesiba Seshoka (NUM National Spokesman)‑ 082 803 6719

Khaya Blaai‑ (Head of Collective Bargaining)‑ 083 4278539


Secret location for swearing in ceremony
IOL News 1 June 2011

ANC members disrupted proceedings because they were apparently not happy with the people being appointed.

The swearing in of councillors and a mayor at Madibeng local municipality in the North West had to be held at a secret location after ANC members disrupted proceedings, SABC news reported on Wednesday.

“The inauguration of councillors went ahead as planned. It took place at the Brits Magistrate's Court offices,” Madibeng spokesman Patrick Morathi told the broadcaster.

“It happened there because there were some disruptions by some groupings of people. But however, I can indeed confirm that all councillors were sworn in,” he said.

ANC members disrupted proceedings because they were apparently not happy with the people being appointed, alleging that some leaders of municipalities had failed to provide basic services to its residents. They also claimed that some officials were linked to maladministration and corruption. -
Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Thirty-eight held after Bizana protest
IOL News 1 June 2011M

Thirty-eight protesters were arrested outside the Bizana municipality building on Wednesday morning, Eastern Cape police said.

Captain Mlungisi Matidane said the demonstrators, who were protesting over election candidate lists, marched to the municipality and started throwing stones at the windows.

The protesters, who were handed a court order preventing them from coming within 100 metres of the building, also threw a petrol bomb but it did not explode.

Police had to use water cannons to disperse the crowd, he said.

The 38 protesters were expected to appear in the Bizana Magistrate's Court on Thursday. -
Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Tea plantation faces collapse after worker rampage
Mail & Guardian 3 June 2011

The largest tea estate in the southern hemisphere, Magwa Tea outside Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, faces ruin after being looted and abandoned by its workers earlier this year.

The 1 803 hectare farm had a turnover of R65-million a season and provided jobs and career training for 1 200 permanent and 2 300 seasonal workers.
mg.co.za


Six Thousand Pelagic Fishing Workers On Strike
F.A.W.U 3 June 2011

About 6000 FAWU members employed in the pelagic fishing sector, are embarking on a legal strike today, Friday, 3 June 2011 at 12h00, at various plants in the West Coast, Gansbaai and Hout Bay areas after CCMA negotiations last week failed to produce a positive outcome between the union and Premier Fishing, Oceana, Gansbaai Marine, Suid –Oranje, Saldanha Group and Marine Products ( Foodcorp) over the union’s demand for a relief fund for seasonal workers in the industry.

The union is demanding a relief fund for these vulnerable workers as they often find themselves out of work for months at a time. Mthunzi Mhlakane, fishing sector organizer of FAWU, says that the workers are not even allowed to go do other work while being contracted by these fishing companies. These large companies make use of mechanisms to ensure that they catch all quotas in as short a space of time as possible in order to minimize the amount spend on wages. Although these workers are employed on a contract basis from January through to December , workers believe that they will be out of work by August and won’t be able to survive with no income. The union is therefore suggesting an allowance of 40 percent of their normal weekly wage ( about R 412.00) for every week of non-production just to ensure that employees have something to cover their most basic needs during the months when they are not being used by the fishing companies.

The union believes that these fishing companies can afford to offer their employees some form of monetary assistance for the sake of employee welfare, especially if they are not allowed to perform any other similar work while under contractual obligation as alleged by workers. This behavior by fishing companies is inhuman and immoral as workers surely cannot be expected to survive with no income. Striking workers will be out in full force today at the premises of these fishing companies in protest over the companies’ ruthless behavior. The union anticipates that the production and processing of fishmeal will be affected seeing that the strike action takes place during peak season.

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

Kindly call the writer or Mthunzi Mhlakane, FAWU fishing sector organiser on 082 440 4035.


GS presstatement Rainbow and Merchanising Strikes
FAWU 2 June 2011

Members of FAWU in various companies are on strike in pursuit of bargaining demands.

1. Rainbow Chickens: The 3 700 members of FAWU at Rainbow Chickens, in both farms and processing plants, have been on a national strike since the 26th May in pursuit of R500 wage increment, 40 hour
working week and a minimum of R4 000 minimum wage on farms.

2. Cold Storage: 150 of FAWU members were on strike action that started on the 9th May 2011, in demand of National Bargaining Forum within the Cold Storage Company covering three workplace centers. However, a compromise agreement was reached today at the Cape Town’s Commission of Conciliation, Arbitration and Mediation (CCMA) in which some issues will be dealt with at a national forum and some at workplace forums. Therefore, the strike will be terminated from tomorrow (Friday) and workers will return to work as from Monday (6th June 2011).

3. Sales and Merchandising Companies
In the sales and merchandising sector, the union remains on the campaign to get workers in this sector of labour broking to be treated as human beings.

- Field Sales Services: 600 of our members at Field Support Services (FSS), a company providing sales and merchandising services to the newly merged Kraft/Cadbury and other manufacturing companies, have been on strike since the 27th May 2011. They intend to hold on until their demands, including 11% wage increment, are met. We are mobilizing our members at Kraft and other manufacturing companies for a secondary strike.

- Vital Merchandising Services: In Vital Merchandising Services (VMS) our 1 200 members began their strike action in pursuit of wage demand of 10% increment as of the 01st June 2011. This is a company handling dairy products of Douglasdale Dairy and feed products from Nestle Purina among others. We are consulting with our members at Nestle for a solidarity strike.

Please call the Bargaining Secretary, Sipho Khumalo at 082 494 7665 , and the National
Sales and Merchandising Organizer, Lekgotla Morake at 082 492 5138, or Katishi Masemola
on 082 467 2509 for more information.
Katishi Masemola
FAWU General Secretary


Protest over youth fest non-payment
Yolande du Preez and SAPA June 2 2011

Taxi owners Philemon Sokgobela and Stanley Sokhela say the metro council failed to pay them for their service rendered for the youth festival.Picture: Phill Magakoe

A small group of transport service providers brought early morning traffic in Vermeulen Street to a standstill when they protested outside the Munitoria building on Wednesday.

The group provided transport for thousands of guests during the controversial World Festival of Youth and Students in December, but have not yet been paid for their services.

The festival sparked a huge outcry when it emerged that the organisers, the National Youth Development Agency, had received R75 million for the event. The festival was disorganised.

The agency incurred expenses of more than R100m, earning the wrath of the public. Some political parties said the festival was a waste of taxpayers’ money.

According to Philemon Sekgobela, who is acting as spokesman for the disgruntled group, all the service providers submitted invoices to the City of Tshwane, one of the sponsors of the event, early in January.

“We have been negotiating since early February, but there has been no progress,” Sekgobela said.

They had been told the reason for the delay in payment was that a report was missing at the Department of Transport.

Sekgobela said that an estimated R4.6m was due to all the transport providers.

“Only about 9 percent of that is profit. The rest is all costs.”

The agency said the issues raised by the transport providers were the subject of discussions between it and the City of Tshwane.

“While the agency remains committed to resolving this issue with the City of Tshwane, it is necessary to note that it did not contract any bus operators. The dispute is over invoices submitted last month to the agency by the City of Tshwane relating to services that the agency did not contract. We are hoping for a speedy resolution.’’

Tshwane council spokesman Console Tleane said the agency was liable for paying the service providers directly.

He confirmed that the city was in touch with the agency to persuade it to honour its commitment.

He said the city was on record as having revealed publicly that R2m had been approved to assist the agency in paying for the venue used for the festival, the Tshwane Events Centre.

The city had also provided other services, including metro police, the fire brigade, ambulances, municipal buses and waste management.

The festival report detailing the expenses has not been made public. Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Monday the report was first to be tabled in Parliament.

Earlier this week, agency chairman Andile Lungisa said all festival expenses had been paid. - Pretoria News


CWU Strike
CWU Media Alert 1 June 2011

Following the media statement released by the Communication Workers Union(CWU) in the past week regarding the industrial action that has commenced with effect from today 1 June 2011, we are hereby bringing to the attention of media houses and journalists that the strike has commenced this morning with a complete withdrawal of labour coupled with picketing and demonstrations at different workplaces.

For media coverage purposes, those workplaces’ geographic locations are as follows:

Gauteng – 269 Meersig Building
West and Lenchen Avenue (Next to Lake Hotel)
Centurion

Eastern Cape – 61 Kimberly Road
East London
- North yard - Mthatha

Kwazulu-Natal – 8 Royston Road
Mountain Rise
Pietermaritzburg

Free State – 226C Church Street
TFMC/Telkom building (next to cash build)

Bloemfotein
Mpumalanga – 38 Litre Street
Middelburg

At the centre of the dispute is the salary increment whereby the company is offering 7% salary increment against CWU’s 8% demand of increase. CWU has moved from its initial demand of 15% as negotiations progressed to where we stand now. The company TFMC has moved from its pittance of 4% increase to its 7% offer.

N.B The action would be intensified in Durban tomorrow at 2 Olive Road @ Umbilo.

For more information contact:

Matankana Mothapo, CWU’ Spokesperson @0827590900


‘Why would they kill them like dogs?’
Mpumi Kiva and Mandilakhe Tshwete (IOL News) 31 May 2011

An unidentifiable charred body was found in this car in Siyanyanzela squatter camp.

Cape Flats residents have left at least five bodies in their wake in a day of vigilante justice shrouded in mystery.

The Daily Voice can on Tuesday reveal that there were three separate attacks in less than 24 tense hours in just one Flats neighbourhood.

The Daily Voice retraced the trail of terror in Philippi and tracked down the victims’ relatives on Monday.

In the first incident at about midnight on Saturday, two friends were beaten to death near a shebeen.

In the second just an hour later, two other men were also beaten to death outside a popular drinking spot.

And residents have also confirmed that the body of an unidentified person found in the boot of a burnt-out Toyota may have been the victim of a kangaroo court.

The charred remains in the boot of a Cressida, thought to be a cockroach taxi, were found near a vlei in the Siyanyanzela squatter camp in Philippi.

An eyewitness says the only thing left of the body is the intestines and the skull – even the gender cannot be determined.

“That is the only thing I noticed about the body,” says the shaken witness.

“I didn’t see a car burning close to our area, so I have no idea how the car got here.”

Nyanga police spokeswoman Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi says: “The body was found inside the boot of a burnt car.

“... We are unable at the moment to determine whether the deceased is a male or female because the body is burnt beyond recognition.”

Mystery also surrounds the violent deaths of two friends at about midnight outside a shebeen in Village Four in Browns Farm, Philippi.

Cops say Nyameko Vava, 22, and his friend Siyabulela Bambelo, 22, died of multiple wounds to the head and torso.

Their bodies were found by relatives after they received anonymous phone calls telling them where to find the men.

Bambelo died in a churchyard opposite the shebeen, while his friend died next to the gate of the shebeen opposite the church.

Bloodstained bricks were found around their beaten bodies.

A resident who refused to be identified says that the two men were murdered by a mob armed with pangas, knives and bricks.

“They were attacked with different kinds of weapons,” he says.

He says the trouble started at the shebeen and spilled out onto the street.

But he says he cannot say what the men did to cause the mob to take their lives.

As with other mob justice attacks, the community is keeping quiet about the incident.

Sitshitshi says two suspects have been arrested for the murders and urged residents not to take the law into their own hands.

Nyameko’s brother Malibongwe Vava, 28, tells the Daily Voice that a neighbour came to tell him that his younger brother was being attacked.

“I went to the scene and found my brother lying in a pool of blood,” he says.

“He had a big gash in the heart and there was also a big hole on his back and forehead.

“My brother had come from the bush and found a job to further his studies.”

He insists both victims were not criminals and that they were harmless.

“The people who killed them must explain to the family why would they kill them like dogs,” says Malibongwe.

Siyabulela’s mother, Busisiwe Bambelo, says her son had just completed Grade 12 last year.

An hour after their bodies were found, another mob attacked Mweli Nohashe, 24, and Sandiso Mpehle, leaving them for dead.

Mweli’s younger brother Runki Nohashe, 22, says that his brother was stoned and stabbed outside a tavern in Brown’s Farm.

“I was inside the tavern when I heard a noise and I came out in time to see a crowd attacking my brother,” he says.

“They had stoned and stabbed him to death.”

Runki says he has no idea as to why his brother and his friend were so brutally murdered.

But just as in the case of Nyameko and Siyabulela, the mob dispersed quietly and the community is keeping mum.

Nyanga officer Sitshitshi adds that that two suspects have been arrested and charged for the murders of Mweli and Sandiso. - Daily Voice



Angry ANC members stage sit-ins
The Mercury 31 May 2011

KwaDukuza mayor Thulani Khuluse was looking forward to being inaugurated for his second term as the municipality’s first citizen today, but there was doubt last night over whether the ceremony would go ahead today.

A group of ANC members who were opposed to Khuluse’s appointment as mayor had occupied the Stanger town hall, where the inauguration was due to take place.

The leader of the group, who would not be named, said the group, which already numbered about 300 by 8pm, would sleep at the hall last night to prevent the inauguration from being performed. He said more supporters were to be bused in.

The man said they were opposed to Khuluse’s being appointed mayor again because they were unhappy with aspects of his performance in his first term.

Contacted last night, Khuluse said he did not want to comment on the matter.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said he was aware of the hall’s occupation.

“We have received reports about the community’s grievances about the elected mayor. We are going to follow it up and engage with the community,” he said.

The situation was replicated at the ANC regional offices in Pietermaritzburg, where party members staged a sit-in, demanding answers from the party about how members of the ANC’s regional executive committee had been allowed to earmark top positions in municipalities for themselves.

ANC stalwart and activist Sibongile Mkhize said they had been reliably informed that Alpha Shelembe, treasurer of the Moses Mabhida region, was to become Msunduzi’s next deputy mayor despite having been charged in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court with corruption, fraud and money laundering.

It was alleged that Shelembe, while a councillor at the uMgungundlovu district municipality, had been instrumental in the “negotiation, proposal, processing, recommendation and approval” of the purchase of a property from which he illegally profited, in 2003.

Former uMngeni (Howick) mayor Edward Dladla, the chairman of the committee, is to be appointed Speaker of the uMgungundlovu district municipality, said Mkhize. Dladla was accused of not paying rent while occupying a house bought for him by the council for more than R1.75 million.

The secretary of the committee, Super Zuma, was expected to be given a top position in the uMngeni or district municipality, said Mkhize.

Thobani Zuma, the leader of a local government election team, was to be appointed Speaker or whip of Msunduzi.

“In terms of ANC policy, you can’t have the whole committee putting their names on top of the list at the municipalities,” she said.

Mkhize added that the committee’s members had screened councillors and were now on the same candidate list they had screened.

“It is a conflict of interest… we are therefore calling for the intervention of the province and the national executive committee for sanity to prevail in the province and especially the city,” she said.

ANC spokeswoman Makhosi Khoza said the ANC had not yet announced who would occupy the positions.

Nevertheless, the party could not act on the basis of allegations. Khoza added that people could submit their grievances to the party and they would be investigated.
www.themercury.co.za


Protest subsides in Tlokweng
IOL News 1 June 2011

A car and house - belonging to the owner of the tavern at which Moloi was last seen - were torched.

Tlokweng returned to normal on Wednesday after violent protests over ritual killings left two dead and one injured.

North West public safety department spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said the unrest which began on Sunday in the village, near Swartruggens, had subsided.

MEC Desbo Mohono said this was an indication that intervention by the provincial government had helped appease residents.

“Mohono is hopeful that though the situation in the village remains tense, it will improve over time to allow families that have lost their loved ones in the recent protests space to mourn for their loved ones in dignity,” said Kgwele.

Two people were shot and killed and another injured during the protest sparked by the alleged ritual killing of Thabiso Moloi.

Residents went on the rampage on Sunday after Moloi's funeral. His decomposing body was found in the bush and Tlokweng residents suspected that he was killed for muti.

Buses transporting people to work were stopped and schoolchildren were not allowed to go to school on Monday.

A car and house Ä belonging to the owner of the tavern at which Moloi was last seen Ä were torched and the tavern owner was intimidated.

Government officials told residents that an independent team would be set up to probe ritual murders in Tlokweng over the past four years.

The Independent Complaints Directorate was investigating the shooting of the three residents.

The department appealed to the community to guard against “criminal elements” who “hijacked” the protests after reports that local businesses were looted.

The MEC urged the community “not to provoke police through acts of violence and criminality.

“(She) stressed that police have a duty to protect lives and properties and that law abiding citizens have a civic duty to support them by reporting those who are involved in acts of criminality,” Kgwele said. -
Sapa
www.iol.co.za



Man shot in Tlokweng protest
IOL News 31 May 2011

A 21-year-old man was shot in a "skirmish" with police during a protest in Tlokweng.

A 21-year-old man was shot in a “skirmish” with police during a protest in Tlokweng, the North West department of public safety said on Tuesday.

“He was part of a group that attacked police. A police vehicle was burned, shots were fired,” said spokesman Lesiba Moses Kgwele.

The man was shot during a protest on Monday in which residents of Tlokweng near Swartruggens blocked a road passing through the village with stones and burning objects.

Residents went on the rampage on Sunday after the funeral of Thabiso Moloi, whose decomposing body was found in the bush. They suspected that Moloi was killed for muti. Buses transporting people to work were stopped and school children were not allowed to go to school.

A car and house belonging to the owner of the tavern at which Moloi was last seen were torched and the tavern owner was intimidated.

Kgwele said the situation was “tense but calm” on Tuesday after a lengthy meeting between the community and public safety MEC Desbo Mohono on Monday night.

“MEC Mohono and senior police engaged community leaders and structures in a bid to mediate for restraint for villagers to give the investigations into the alleged ritual murder of Thabiso Moloi a chance,” he said.

Mohono and North West premier Thandi Modise were visiting the area and would address residents at 11am.

Kgwele said the Independent Complaints Directorate would probe the circumstances surrounding the shooting of the 21-year-old.

SABC television news footage shocked the country last month when it showed a group of policemen beating and shooting protester Andries Tatane at a protest in Ficksburg in the Free State.

Eight policemen are currently on trial for assault and murder. – Sapa
www.iol.co.za



Murder sparks protests in Tlokweng
IOL News 30 May 2011

A township resident erects burning barricades during protests over the delivery of basic housing and education near Ermelo, 200km east of Johannesburg. According to reports, one resident was killed but the police would not confirm or deny the report. Photo: Reuters

Residents of Tlokweng near Swartruggens blocked a road passing through the village with stones and burning objects on Monday, the North West Department of Safety said.

Spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said residents went into a rampage on Sunday, after the funeral of Thabiso Moloi, whose decomposing body was found in the bush.

“Twenty-five year-old Moloi was purportedly last seen at the Mochacho's tavern on the night of April 15, before his decomposed body was discovered by villagers in a bush outside the village last week Tuesday May 17,” he said.

Residents suspected that Moloi was killed for muti, buses transporting people to work were stopped and school children were also not allowed to go to school.

Kgwele said Safety MEC Desbo Mohono has appealed to villagers to exercise restraint, promising that the police would not rest until those responsible for the suspected gruesome murder of Moloi were behind bars.

“The police are observing the situation and will not hesitate to arrest those who wish to take advantage of the situation by bring forth their nefarious agenda,” Mohono said in statement.

The road passing through the village is used as an alternative route to the N4 highway connecting Rustenburg and Mafikeng. – Sapa
www.iol.co.za

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