||Durban community angered by power cuts
IOL News 3 July 2011
10 held for public violence
IOL News 4 July 2011
Ten people have been arrested for public violence in Boitekong near Rustenburg, North West police said on Monday.
Constable Provin Tseke said residents of Yiz-Yizo informal settlement and Extension 13 barricaded roads in the area with burning objects at 5am.
They were reported to be unhappy about the councillor elected in the May 18 municipal election.
The SABC reported that protesters complained about a lack of water and a sewage spill which had gone unattended.
Further information on the arrests and comment from a community spokesperson was not immediately available.
Tseke said the police were monitoring the situation. – Sapa
Durban metro police were called to the scene of a clash between Kennedy Road residents and eThekwini municipal guards. Photo: Supplied
Johannesburg - Kennedy Road residents in Durban clashed with eThekwini municipal guards after they disconnected electrical cables in the settlement on Sunday, the South African shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo said.
“The community had previously negotiated an understanding with the municipality that they would not send their security guards into the settlement to disconnect,” spokesperson Mnikelo Ndabankulu said.
“However, this morning this agreement was violated and the people resisted the disconnections.”
A man was shot in the face with a rubber bullet when residents confronted the guards.
Metro police arrived after residents blocked roads into the settlement.
The eThekwini municipality was not immediately available for comment.
Abahlali baseMjondolo was created at the Kennedy Road settlement in 2005. It is the largest shack dwellers’ organisation in South Africa. - Sapa
Striking metal workers halt Joburg traffic
IOL News 4 July 2011
Thousands of metal workers have descended on the Joburg CBD vowing to bring the city to a standstill to highlight their demands.
JMPD and SAPS officials were this morning diverting traffic as bus loads of workers made their way to the Workers' Museum in Newtown.
With the planned march to the Harrison Street offices of Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa), the march was likely to disrupt midday and afternoon traffic.
This would be further exacerbated by the ANC's weekly National Working Committee meeting, which prompts the closure of a section of President Street.
Unions, including Numsa representing 117000 workers, called the strike to demand a 13% pay increase, down from their initial demand of 20%.
Employers are offering 7%.
“We have to bring Johannesburg to a standstill so people know it's the metalworkers that are on strike,” announced a speaker addressing the crowd from the back of a flatbed truck. - Beauregard Tromp
Diepkloof: Eskom persuades protesters to step down
Mail & Guardian 2 July 2011
Diepkloof in Soweto was quiet on Saturday morning after protesters blocked off roads and set tyres on fire because of electricity cuts, Gauteng police said.
"They dispersed peacefully last night. There was no violence or any arrests," Captain Nondumiso Mpantsha said.
She said Eskom representatives had spoken to protesters on Friday night and they had dispersed shortly afterwards.
Protesters blocked off roads and set tyres on fire on Thursday and Friday.
Parts of Marthinus Smuts Road, Immink Drive and Beyers Naude were closed so that traffic could be diverted away from the area.
Mpantsha said on Saturday police were still at the scene.
Protest in Zandspruit
Meanwhile, this week saw another violent protest in Zandspruit in north-west Johannesburg involving deep-seated discontent over ward councillors in ANC-controlled areas.
The protests have raised questions about the progress of the ANC's task team that is meant to be looking into "list irregularities".
After protests and court action brought against the party by its own members -- who claimed that the nomination process was flawed -- and before the municipal elections took place, President Jacob Zuma announced the formation of the team in a bid to unite the party.
Early on Thursday morning, Zandspruit residents, dissatisfied with service delivery under Ward 100 councillor Maureen Schneeman, again took to the streets to demand that she be removed. Police barricaded one end of a road while at the other, behind a blockade of branches, rocks and burning tyres, a mob of young and old sang struggle songs.
"You see what we have to do to get the government to listen to us?" said Johannes Melley, pointing to the rubbish and rocks on the road.
It has been two months since the elections and the community is angry because no one has been there to address them or their grievances. As they marched, they carried posters calling for Schneeman to step down. - Sapa and Staff reporters
Numa to announce mass action
Business Report 1 July 2011
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will announce “rolling mass action” in the engineering sector at the weekend, an official said on Friday.
Spokesman Castro Ngobese said details of the labour action would be made public at a press conference on Sunday.
“Numsa... held a special national executive committee meeting to finalise rolling mass action battles to be waged by the union in the engineering sector and allied sectors as part of fighting for a living wage and improved conditions for worker,” he said in a statement.
He declined to give out more information, saying “internal processes” first had to be followed ahead of the media briefing. - Sapa
ANC activists refuse to end sit-in
Leanne Jansen and Sipho Khumalo 1 July 2011
ANC members unhappy with the party’s posting of officials at municipalities say they will not be moved from the party’s offices in Pietermaritzburg, despite being threatened with eviction and disciplinary action.
The activists have camped at the party’s regional headquarters for the past month, despite being without electricity for some time now.
The group has vowed to continue occupying the premises until provincial leaders agree to disband the ANC’s regional executive committee.
Aside from accusing the committee of assigning themselves to positions of power at local municipalities, the activists also charge them with “gatekeeping” membership of the ANC and of violating the principle of unity and equality enshrined in the Freedom Charter.
Sibongile Mkhize, a spokeswoman for the activists, said yesterday that the reshuffling of the Msunduzi municipality’s executive committee this week was a positive move, and that her co-conspirators applauded the provincial leadership for “correcting their own mistakes”. But she said the two opposing parties had reached a stalemate.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the provincial leadership warned that ANC members acting in an “unusual and foreign” manner would be brought to task.
Mkhize said that if the comment referred to the activists, they could “bring it on”.
ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala could not be reached to comment
Meanwhile, Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube has made the extension of Msunduzi administrator Sibusiso Sithole’s term official. Sithole yesterday said that his updated report on the continued forensic investigations into the municipality’s affairs would be presented later this month.
Dube announced that the cabinet had decided that government intervention would remain in place at three of four municipalities facing administrative and financial crises, including Msunduzi.
She said the situation at the uMhlabuyalingana municipality had improved. However, administrators would remain in place at Msunduzi, uKhahlamba (Bergville) and Indaka (outside Estcourt), where the department was trying to recover more than R100 million.
Among weaknesses identified at Msunduzi was a need to stabilise revenue collection, with well over R400m in outstanding debts still to be recovered.
This emanated from electricity theft and water loss.
The Indaka municipality had failed to implement measures put in place by the administrator. Several officials had been suspended.
There were still matters that required attention at uKhahlamba, with the municipal manager having been suspended.
Police stoned during Zandspruit march
IOL News 30 June 2011
Police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters after
being stoned in Zandspruit. Photo: Supplied
Johannesburg - Residents of Zandspruit, north of Johannesburg, pelted
police with stones on Thursday during a protest over poor service delivery.
Police officers at the scene, who did not want to be named, said they
were trying to break up the crowd when they were attacked.
“We brought in nyalas and attempted to disperse them, but they turned on
us,” said an armed officer clad in riot gear.
“I'm not sure if anyone was injured.”
He said officers used teargas and rubber bullets to prevent the crowd
from petrol-bombing rubbish they had thrown onto Beyers Naude Drive.
The group was armed with sticks and knobkerries, and sang struggle-era
Metro police spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said residents
earlier threw stones at passing motorists.
Part of the road in the area was closed for a short while on Thursday
One resident, Precious Ndou, said they were upset about inadequate
sanitation and poor housing. - Sapa
Zandspruit residents take to the streets
Shain Germaner and Kristen van Schie 1 July 2011
Elections promises made. Votes cast. And still no service delivery.
This was the frustration voiced by Zandspruit residents as they protested on Thursday morning, blocking traffic and combating policemen.
Protests flared in the settlement just before the municipal elections in May. Residents were upset with their ward councillor, Maureen Schneeman, and wanted her to be removed and replaced by a local representative.
Thursday’s protest focused on the RDP houses promised to residents before the elections.
“We haven’t heard a thing since the elections,” said resident Tryphina Senosi, who has lived in Zandspruit with her three children for more than a decade. She has been waiting for an RDP home since 2004.
Meshack Masia moved to Zandspruit four years ago, leaving his Limpopo home in search of work.
“Life here is terrible,” he said. “It’s overpopulated. The toilets are always full – it takes many days for them to come and drain them.”
Residents said they only saw Schneeman when she was campaigning ahead of the elections.
“And then we vote and don’t see her anymore,” said Masia.
“We don’t want a councillor living in a townhouse. We want somebody from Zandspruit, who knows how we’re suffering.”
The protest, which began in the early hours of Thursday morning, saw a few hundred protesters take to the main road, trying to block the route ahead of morning rush hour.
It lasted only about an hour before police moved in and cleared the scene. Tactical response teams, Nyalas and some heavily armed police stood opposite the settlement from 5am, monitoring the hundred or so protesters who were toyi-toying in the street.
Protesters filled Beyers Naudé Drive with bricks, rubble and tree branches, but the officers pushed the angry community back into their settlement. By 5.45am, the road had been reopened.
After 8am the situation flared up again, with about 100 striking residents, mostly young people, trying to take back the street. The road was closed in both directions while police attempted to push back the final group.
By afternoon, the remaining residents had traded their protesting for anger and gone home. – The Star
Rainbow Chicken Ltd To "Punish" Workers For Strike
Food & Allied Workers Union 30 June 23011
Despite renewed efforts by the Food and Allied Workers’ Union [FAWU] to continue negotiations by revising our demands for 4500 workers on a national strike with Rainbow Chickens Pty Ltd, the company refuses to meet the union halfway. Even intervention by the MEC for Social Development in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Dr. Meshack Radebe, failed to produce any results this past Tuesday.
FAWU has revised its demand from 14.9% to 8% for farming workers and from 11.4% to 7.5% for workers in the processing division. We believe the company is acting in bad faith and in fact taking negotiations backwards by offering strikers less of an increase than those who did not go on strike as a result of the “ inconvenience” the latter caused. This is tantamount to punishing workers for exercising their legal right to strike.
FAWU also condemns the company’s poor attempts to weaken our strike and divide workers by claiming that half of the workers have returned, when this is in fact not the case. Our members in all provinces remain united and adamant to continue the strike, despite the no- work no- pay rule and despite being intimidated by rubber bullets, teargas and security guards with dogs. This shows their sheer determination to strike for a living wage and a better life.
It has become increasingly evident that FAWU can expect only the worse from the company since the death of a worker at the Hammarsdale plant in Kwa-Zulu Natal in April this year whereafter the company expected workers to continue business as usual. We have yet to hear the outcome of the investigation into this untimely departure of comrade Eric Nhlangulela.
Released by FAWU media officer , Dominique Swartz on 082 498 5631.
Vandals destroy new homes
Beauregard Tromp IOL News 30 June 2011
Two hundred and fifty hopeful families may have to wait another year for their own homes because protesting Dube hostel residents broke down and burnt new low-cost flats.
The protesters broke down doors and tried to set fire to flats adjoining the hostels.
From as early as 2am on Wednesday, a group of 300 protesters took to the dusty streets of Dube and started breaking down the doors of newly constructed RDP blocks of flats.
Some doors were used to make fires on the tiled floors of the unoccupied homes, while some stoves were stolen from the houses.
A contingent of about 100 policemen, some in riot gear, confronted the protesters, who fled to adjoining hostels.
Nineteen suspects were arrested, and police, led by Major-General Eric Nkuna, fear the protests will spread to other hostels in Soweto.
Gauteng provincial housing authorities say the damage could set the R55.4 million project back many months, as they were readying to hand over keys to the first level of occupants.
“The department of housing promised to build houses for people staying in the hostels, who are mostly unemployed and poor,” community leader Sipho Nkwanyana said.
“They built these things (RDP flats) but they’re too expensive, and if people can’t pay rent, they get kicked out and these government people move their friends in,” he said.
The government has condemned the violent action by protesters, who they say do not appreciate the work undertaken to better their lives.
With 416 of the 500 units completed, phase one was designed for low-income families and people who had fixed employment, with rentals priced from R1 500 to R3 500. These units were made available exclusively for residents of Dube hostels.
“We received 258 applications for the 150 units, showing the real need for this type of accommodation,” said Gauteng department of Housing spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa.
Phase two, scheduled for 2012, would see RDP-type financing arrangements for those who qualified for the full government subsidy.
“With things in disarray, it will definitely postpone phase two. These perpetrators have disregarded the rights of ordinary citizens,” said Motlhaolwa.
He said the Dube hostel community had been consulted throughout the construction, with regular meetings and consultations with indunas.
Motlhaolwa said the government appreciated the frustration felt by some people - some of whom had been waiting for proper housing for more than a decade.
He added that such actions undermined the government’s attempts to address the massive backlog.
Yesterday morning, police made door-to-door searches of the hostels to try to counter criminality in the area.
“I’m afraid that these things will spread to other hostels. Then I’m going to have a really big problem,” said Nkuna.
In the 1980s, Dube hostel was an IFP stronghold during the bitter Inkatha-ANC clashes in the lead-up to the first democratic elections.
At Dube hostel on Wednesday morning, many young men were basking in the morning sunshine as police descended to conduct body and home searches. - The Star
Vigilantism claims 7 more lives
IOL News 28 June 2011
In Port Elizabeth, four people were killed "necklacing style" in separate incidents. One person had been arrested.
Seven suspected criminals have been killed in vigilante attacks in the Eastern Cape in the past three weeks, police said on Tuesday.
In Flagstaff, three suspected thieves were killed and a fourth was seriously injured when members of the Ndimakude community assaulted them, said Captain Ernest Sigobe.
At least 20 people had been arrested in connection with the crime and were expected to appear in the Flagstaff Magistrates Court on July 12.
In Port Elizabeth, four people were killed “necklacing style” in separate incidents. One person had been arrested.
Necklacing involves forcing a rubber tyre soaked with petrol over a person's chest and arms, and setting it on fire.
Sigobe said an eight-member task team had been established to investigate the vigilante acts.
“More arrests are imminent,” he said. -
Man held for alleged necklacing
IOL News 27 June 2011
A Eastern Cape man was arrested on Monday for the alleged necklacing of two men in New Brighton, police said.
Necklacing is the placing of a tyre around someone's neck, dousing it with petrol and setting it alight to burn the person to death.
Warrant Officer Dumile Gwavu said the 27-year-old man was allegedly among a group of residents who attacked and necklaced the men after seeing one of them wearing clothes belonging to a man who had been robbed and murdered. -
Dobsonville calm after protest
IOL News 24 June 2011
A fire fighter hoses down the front of a bus that was burnt down by angry commuters in Dobsonville, Soweto. Picture: Mujahid Safodien
Dobsonville, Soweto was calm on Friday morning following protests in the area the previous day, Gauteng police said.
Lieutenant Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said: “So far the area is very calm.”
He said police would continue to monitor the situation.
On Thursday, a 40-year-old man was arrested for allegedly torching three buses at the Putco bus depot in Dobsonville.
He was allegedly part of a group of commuters who protested against a proposed increase in bus fares.
Initially, protesters complained to the management and left without taking any action, but later the buses were set alight.
Protesters also threw stones, but no injuries were reported.
On Friday, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said Elias Motsoaledi Road, which had been closed due to the demonstration, was reopened at 11pm on Thursday.
He confirmed that calm was restored in the area on Friday morning. – Sapa
Commuters torch 5 Putco buses
IOL News 24 June 2011
A fire fighter hoses down the front of a bus that was burnt down by angry commuters in Dobsonville, Soweto. Picture: Mujahid Safodien
Five Putco buses were gutted, a sixth partially damaged and a bus driver sent to hospital as angry commuters vented their frustration in Dobsonville.
And, while police set up a cordon, three men casually strolled past them and placed an incendiary device inside a bus that burst into flames.
The incident started at about 5.30pm on Thursday at the corner of Elias Motsoaledi Road and Van Onselen Street, opposite the Dobsonville Shopping Centre.
“People started stoning the Putco buses and set them alight. One driver was hit in the face and taken to hospital,” said police Captain Mpande Khoza.
He said the attack seemed to have been sparked by a price increase, with monthly tickets going up by as much as R70.
Putco bus drivers on Thursdaynight feared for their safety as they watched from their depot, 30m from the incident, as firefighters doused the flaming buses.
“Drivers will show up tomorrow, but I’m not sure that anybody is going out on the road,” said a Putco driver. When tempers started fraying, bus drivers say they called the police.
“At the end of the day it was two policemen, and they could do nothing but watch,” said another Putco driver, who witnessed the torching.
“It was a big crowd. They said they want more buses. Then they set the bus alight.”
A police source, who was one of the first at the scene, said only one of the buses in the cluster of three was set alight. A bus less than a metre away also caught fire. With police in attendance and trying to control the crowd, one neatly dressed man flanked by two others walked nonchalantly up to a third bus and stepped inside.
An hour later, the buses were reduced to molten metal and ash as the fire destroyed the hulks. A fourth bus with a blackened side could be seen further up Elias Motsoaledi Road, while even further away, two more stood destroyed.
The policeman said it had been impossible for the initial police units to stop the angry crowds as the officers carried only live ammunition.
One person, who was spotted throwing rocks at the buses, was arrested on Thursday night. A 40-year-old suspect was expected to appear on a charge of malicious damage to property in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court today, police said. - The Star
A massive strike eyes De Beers as dispute goes to CCMA
NUM 22 June 2011
A massive strike by members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is likely to hit diamond giant De Beers after the parties reached a dispute this afternoon. The NUM has put forward a wage demand of 15% whilst De Beers responded by a mere 5%. The parties have also reached a dispute on the agency shop and the standby allowance. The NUM demands an 8% standby allowance whilst the company offers 6%. On the Agency Shop, the company refuses to agree thereby turning itself into a hive of free-riders.
The National Union of Mineworkers has notified the company that it is now formally in dispute and would refer the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) which would pave the way for a massive strike action.
“We have said to De Beers, two is company, three is a crowd. It is better for us to resolve the issues amongst ourselves and not call on a third party but the company prefers a crowd” says Peter Bailey, the NUM‘s Chief Negotiator at De Beers.
“We are not getting a third party with the CCMA and after that we will give them a big crowd to provide free music to their ears” says Bailey.
Peter Bailey (NUM Chief Negotiator at De Beers)- 082 883 7302
Lesiba Seshoka (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719
Exarro strike remains on the cards
NUM 22 June 2011
The strike by over 7000 workers at Resources Company Exarro remains on the cards. The strike is still suspended pending a court process after Exarro obtained an interim court interdict stopping the mass action. The warring parties will meet on the 1st July at the Labour Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg where the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will argue against the court granting Exarro a permanent order. Should the court decide in the NUM ‘s favour, Exarro will face a rolling mass action that would cripple its operations. The NUM is hopeful that it will give Exarro an indefinite strike action that would leave the company reeling and leaking its wounds. The issue at the centre of the dispute is Exarro ‘s insistence to unilaterally retrench 300 workers.
Union hails deputy mayor’s resignation
IOL News 22 June 2011
The Communication Workers' Union on Wednesday welcomed the decision by embattled Msunduzi municipality (Pietermaritzburg) deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe to step down.
The move would bring stability to the municipality and help it focus on rebuilding itself, CWU KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thami Mzileni said.
“We still further confirm as CWU our support is fully behind the mayor Christ Ndlela and we believe that through his leadership, we are going to have a positive turnaround strategy.”
He said the ANC Youth League’s statement opposing the call for Shelembe to be removed lacked “maturity”.
“The statement was uninformed and lacked maturity and was just somehow a statement of popularity.”
Shelembe announced his resignation at a briefing in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday. It took place after he made a brief appearance in the local magistrate's court on charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
He announced he was resigning from his position as regional treasurer in the ruling party. Shelembe’s appointment as deputy mayor after the local government elections was met with fierce opposition from opposition parties, ANC members and Cosatu. – Sapa
Union bashing at United Manganese Mine
NUM 20 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. United Manganese Mine is a company whose shareholders includes Chancellor House Mineral Resources, Pitsa ya Setshaba and Kuruman Community Trust. The NUM is disappointed that a company with respected political credentials such as Chancellor House can be part of the other with such union bashing tendencies.
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
COSATU condemns taxi operators’ action
Cosatu 20 June 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions fully respects and supports the right of all South Africans to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to peacefully protest and assemble and to freedom of speech.
We however condemn some Soweto taxi associations who today, unilaterally and without consulting COSATU, any other organisation or even their own customers, withdrew their services today, 20 June 2011. This has left thousands of commuters stranded and unable to get to work. The federation demands that no workers should be penalised for failing to get to work through no fault of their own.
In particular COSATU strongly condemns the intimidation of drivers of buses and trains.
The taxi operators are demanding that government subsidise their service and that they should be allowed to use the BRT lanes, but these demands should be taken up with the relevant authorities, rather than by penalising workers struggling to get to work.
Contract workers ‘pose hygiene threat’
IOL News 20 June 2011
Striking workers at the Rainbow Chickens processing plant in Worcester say hundreds of contract workers live on the premises with no washing facilities.
In addition, workers claim, when they are kitted out in their white protective clothing they walk to use toilets, which is not permitted.
The workers have been part of a nationwide strike since May 26.
They are demanding a R500 a month pay increase and a reduction in working hours from 45 hours a week to 40.
Solinda Hector, a general contract worker, explained that people in protective clothing were not allowed to leave the premises or to visit the bathroom.
“That is a huge hygiene hazard because they could return with germs on their shoes and clothing,” she said.
Hector added that even when workers eat, they are supposed to remove their protective gear and place it in a special locker.
Group human resources and corporate affairs director of Rainbow Chicken Stephen Heath denied Hector’s allegations, saying there were toilet and shower facilities.
He also insisted workers were not leaving the premises in their protective gear.
On Friday, three police cars were parked outside the premises as striking workers protested opposite them, kept out by rolls of barbed wire.
Temporary workers who have continued working through the strike are being housed in two big white tents. - Natasha Bezuidenhout
Threat to make city ‘ungovernable’
IOL News 20 June 2011
The embattled Msunduzi deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe and his fellow ANC regional committee members have been given an ultimatum: step down by the end of this month, or face an ungovernable city.
This was the message from about 1 000 angry protesters, who brought the Pietermaritzburg CBD to a grinding halt on Friday afternoon, when they marched from Dale Park to the legislature, protesting against corruption.
At the legislature, they handed over a memorandum to provincial government leaders.
The memorandum read: “Some of the very people who caused trouble and were at the helm when the municipality collapsed have been re-invited to serve in the council. This is the worst insult ever, and at best, an act of trivialising the collapse of the municipality…
“As an alliance we take a dim view of the re-deployment of these councillors, including as a specific and most urgent case, the deployment of the former council speaker, Alpha Shelembe, as the deputy mayor.”
Chants including, “Down with thieves who steal from ratepayers” and “Down with criminals disguised as ANC members” echoed across the city.
Premier Zweli Mkhize also came in for stick from protesters, who criticised him for not acting swiftly enough to stop the corrupt ANC members from claiming leadership positions within the city council.
ANC activist Nana Mnandi, who spoke on behalf of protesters who are staging a sit-in at the ANC offices in Jabu Ndlovu Street, said they were willing to bring the city to its knees and render it ungovernable unless their concerns about corruption were addressed.
The protesters demanded that Shelembe be recalled as the deputy mayor along with other councillors – among them Zonke Mbatha, who has been elected as council speaker – who were serving on the municipality when it collapsed amid allegations of mismanagement and fraud last year.
Msunduzi spiralled into a financial meltdown and was placed under administration last year by local government MEC Nomusa Dube. The protesters want the outcomes of investigations into Msunduzi to be made public within 14 days.
It has been reported that ANC heavyweight Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her task team are still in Pietermaritzburg trying to bring an end to the protests and disillusion-ment over the way certain factions were said to be controlling the selection of candidate councillors to the ANC election list.
Minister and MEC run for cover
Michael Mokoena 20 June 2011
A Northern Cape MEC had to run for her life and a national minister had to abandon his plans to attend an ANC rally in Daniëlskuil, about 150km from Kimberley, when residents protested outside the community hall.
Community leader Norman Prince said education MEC Grizelda Cjiekella had to be barricaded inside a room at the back of the hall where she was shielded from angry protesters.
When Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi arrived at the hall he saw that protesters were pelting cars with stones, turned his vehicle around and sped away.
“It was total anarchy as angry community members set the hall alight with Cjiekella still inside,” Prince said.
Cjiekella and Motsoaledi had gone to Daniëlskuil on Saturday to attend the ANC’s Siyabonga rally to thank the community for voting for the party and to congratulate the new mayor of the Kgatelopele municipality, Gloria Kgoronyane.
Prince claimed Cjiekella incited the people who had gathered outside the premises of the hall to peacefully protest against Kgoronyane, who was apparently appointed as mayor against the will of the people.
“Before the protest got out of hand, we as community leaders, asked to have a brief meeting with Cjiekella, which she then agreed to.
“But while we were telling her that we do not want Kgoronyane as our mayor because she was not chosen by us and did not come from this area, she (Cjiekella) arrogantly told us that she had nothing to say to us,” stated Prince.
At this point the protesters became hostile, he said.
“All hell broke lose as protesters pushed on to the premises of the hall and started setting it alight. What ensued was chaos with everyone running for cover.
“The MEC had to be barricaded at the back of the hall.
“Stones flew, cars were pelted with rocks and police reinforcements had to be deployed to contain the situation.”
Cjiekella, Kgoronyane and her councillors had to be escorted out of the hall under heavy police guard.
“Even at this point people still wanted to get their hands on Cjiekella and Kgoronyane,” he said.
Prince conceded that, as the leadership of the community, their efforts of containing the conduct of the protesters failed at some point.
“It is difficult to control the anger of people whose cause is just. We are standing together on this issue, we want her (Kgoronyane) gone and we will not compromise.
“In fact, we are going to make this municipality ungovernable until she and her council, which were appointed at a police station, are out of office,” he said.
Northern Cape police confirmed on Sunday that it had to escort Cjiekella, Kgoronyane and members of her council out of the hall to the police station.
“We are investigating a case of malicious damage to property, after three vehicles were damaged, including that of MEC Cjiekella and the mayor and a police vehicle,” said police spokeswoman Mashay Gamieldien.
She said no one had been arrested as yet in connection with the incident. We are, however, monitoring the situation closely.”
The ANC in the province said on Sunday it would not reverse the appointment of Kgoronyane as mayor of Kgatelopele municipality.
“No amount of stone-throwing will make us change Kgoronyane.
“She was a councillor in that municipality for five years and there was nothing wrong with her then, but now that she is mayor, not everyone wants her. We will not agree to that,” the party’s provincial secretary, Zamani Saul, said.
Cope in the province said it was unacceptable that the vehicles of high ranking government officials be stoned.
“It is also unfortunate that the life of Minister Motsoaledi was put in danger. However, we once again warn the government to start listening to the people.
‘We will not condone what those people did, but it is time for the government to listen to the views of the people. Let leaders be elected by the people,” said the party’s MPL Pakes Dikgetsi. – Pretoria News
‘Slutwalk’ to strut into SA
NONTANDO MPOSO (IOL News) 20 June 2011
Slutwalk, an international movement rapidly gaining momentum worldwide after being started earlier this year to object to the notion that women could avoid sexual assault by not “dressing like a slut”, is coming to South Africa.
The suggestion came from a Toronto police in January, offering a shocking insight into the way that some police force members viewed sexual assault against women. Since then there have since been 70 “SlutWalk” marches worldwide, with two earlier this month in Scotland and Brazil. Others have been held in Mexico, Delhi, London and Melbourne.
Women dressed in schoolgirl mini skirts and teetering heels take to the streets to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights, and to demand respect for all.
Actress, designer and sexual assault survivor Sandi Schultz is the driving force behind the upcoming SlutWalk Johannesburg, with dates for the Joburg and Cape Town events still to be finalised.
Schultz was abused as a young child, and said that when she read about the SlutWalks in Toronto and the rest of the world, “it resonated”.
“I know from experience that rape and sexual assault have nothing to do with what you are wearing, or what you are doing,” she said, adding that rape was not about sex.
Women take part in a 'Slutwalk' protest in central London, in a global phenomenon sparked by comments from a Canadian police official who said that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised."
“Rape is about violence; how someone is dressed is not an invitation to assault them.”
The aim of the movement is to empower women to realise that no matter their actions or attire, they have the right not to be sexually assaulted – and if they are, they are not to blame.
SlutWalk Cape Town and Johannesburg are joining forces to try to synchronise dates for the local protest, in a bid to make as big an impact in South Africa as possible.
For support and updates, follow on Twitter@slutwalkjhb
firstname.lastname@example.org - Independent Cadet News Agency
Mineworkers march to Samancor Chrome
NUM 17 June 2011
Over three thousand mineworkers will tomorrow march to Samancor Chrome in Morningside to submit a memorandum of demands. The miners demands amongst others that the company should promote and implement an inclusive housing ownership programme as well as the banning of labour brokers. The workers further demand that nepotism, racism and discrimination which are prevalent at the company ‘s operations should come to an end.
“We further demand that the company should transform itself into an inclusive company where training and development with clear career paths are there for all” says Mandla Tyesi, the Secretary for Samancor Shosteward Council.
Details of the march are as follows:
Time: 10H00 am
Place: Corner Grayston and Rivonia Road and will proceed into Cullinan Road into Block B, Cullinan Close, Morningside
Mandla Tyesi‑ 072 967 1010
Lesiba Seshoka – (NUM Spokesman)‑ 082 803 6719
Mayhem at youth day celebration
IOL News 17 June 2011
Music blared inside, violent anger flared outside. It could have been the Ellis Park tragedy all over again as people stampeded outside the stadium and forced their way through the fences because of poor crowd control at the official Youth Day commemoration at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Thursday.
While children danced inside the stadium to Afrikaans singers, hip hop songs and kwaito groups, outside, other youngsters broke down the steel fencing to get in and had mace sprayed in their faces, and were kicked by security guards in order to restore order.
The day started with good cheer.
It was a historic moment when thousands in the stands stood and cheered to Loslappie while people were waiting for President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema to arrive. He pitched up more than three-and-a-half hours late.
But even before he arrived, the good vibes didn’t last long.
At about 1pm, organisers decided that the stadium was full, and closed the gates. Outside, thousands of children with their yellow tickets still wanted to get in. The longer they were denied entry, the angrier they became. They started to shake the steel gates. Two policeman on horses arrived and tried to keep the teenagers back. It worked for a minute.
Marshals in orange bibs then tried to form a line to try to prevent he teenagers from entering. The children screamed at the marshals. One or two jumped the gate, and were dragged away, kicking and screaming.
Each time a youth was grabbed, the crowd became angrier, until eventually many hands managed to tear away the steel from its support. First one fence went down, then two, three, four…
The crowds rushed in. Out of nowhere, a group of men wearing red shirts with “Diligence Security” written on them came in to try to close the broken fences with their hands.
A few teens still tried to make their way in; they were sprayed with mace and kicked by the guards.
Nompumelelo Kheswa was one of the first victims. Her eyes running, she couldn’t believe what had happened to her.
“He sprayed in my eyes. He kicked me. He said he doesn’t have family in South Africa, so he doesn’t care what he does,” said Kheswa.
Dressed from head to toe in ANC clothes, Tabita Yendi was furious at what she was seeing. An elderly woman, she couldn’t believe that the youths were being abused by the authorities.
“They kicked our children,” she screamed.
The atmosphere appeared to calm down for a while, but an hour later, the crowds regrouped and blocked off Gate C, screaming at security officers.
Banging against the gates once again, shouts of “let us in” and “f*** you” could be heard as the crowd became more vicious.
Suddenly, dozens of angry youths began slipping through the fence again. Security began spraying mace indiscriminately. Some of the younger children fell down and were stomped on by those behind them.
One teenager lay on the ground, his breathing shallow. Two nurses ran forward and took off his top, trying to clear the air around him of the mace. Eventually, Sibusiso Phaladi got up, eyes streaming.
“I’m not good. I’m not okay. I’m f****ed up,” Sibusiso said. “They want me to vote ANC? Never again.”
He said the tickets had been given to them by ANC Youth League branches and they had been told they would get free food. He and his friend both had the same number printed on their ticket.
At about 3pm, the overcrowded stadium started emptying out, fed up with waiting for Zuma. When the president arrived, it was to an almost empty stadium. – The Star
No pay for staff striking at university
Sinegugu Ndlovu 15 June 2011
UMlazi’s Mangosuthu University of Technology said yesterday that it would apply the no work, no pay rule to striking staff who downed tools on Monday for salary increments and a housing allowance.
The strikersdisrupted exams on Monday, removing students from examination rooms.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is demanding a minimum increase of 9 percent across the board, on condition that the university introduces a housing allowance of R1 100 per employee per month.
The management is offering a 6.5 percent increase and no housing allowance. It says that Nehawu’s 9 percent demand plus the housing allowance translates to an additional cost of about R17.6 million to the university.
“This is in a situation where the current budget for salary increases is approximately R8.7m. Taking into account the already precarious financial position of the university… this would seriously jeopardise its sustainability and viability,” said university spokesman Mbali Mkhize.
The university’s management and the union did not meet yesterday, and the strike continues.
Doctors march for better security
Lungile Langa 15 June 2011
The murder of a Durban doctor at a hospital in Mpumalanga province last week was not an isolated incident, said KwaZulu-Natal health workers, who will march to the Durban city hall today to demand safe working conditions.
They said they did not feel safe while trying to save people’s lives at hospitals, with patients sometimes coming in carrying dangerous weapons.
The doctors were speaking after the murder of Senzo Mkhize, 27, who was stabbed by a patient, at Mpumalanga’s Middelburg Hospital last week.
Dale Creamer, of RK Khan Hospital, Chatsworth, where several doctors were held up last year, said security measures had been put in place, but these were insufficient.
He said a guard was posted outside the doctors’ quarters and one patrolled the grounds with a dog, but people could still enter the hospital carrying weapons.
Creamer said doctors often discovered weapons on patients when they were sedated.
“We often get drunk people coming in after they had been injured. Most of these people are aggressive.
“Recently a doctor was punched by a patient who was being stitched,” he said.
The KZN president of the SA Medical Association, Jacob Mphatswe, said today’s march would be held to respond to these and other issues affecting health-care workers.
“There have been many reports of health-care workers being assaulted, intimidated, robbed and even raped,” he said.
Last year, after the RK Khan Hospital incidents, Sama and the KZN Health Department had decided to review security services at hospitals, to install proper lighting in corridors, surveillance cameras and metal detectors, he said.
But not all these changes were introduced. Sama wanted hospitals to employ their own guards.
Health Department spokesman Chris Maxon said the department was conducting security audits of hospitals in response to the safety concerns of health-care workers and patients.
La Montanara Cheese Factory workers take a stand against slave labour
Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers' Union (CSAAWU)
15 June 2011
The Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers' Union (CSAAWU), alongside the workers of the La Montanara cheese factory in Ashton (Western Cape province), demand that the company pays a living wage, provides increased benefits and improves working conditions for all its workers.
In response to the ongoing struggle of the workers for a living wage and better working conditions, the La Montanara bosses have locked them out in a desperate attempt to force the workers to accept a paltry R39 increase in weekly wages from the present wage of R350 per week. Rightfully so, the workers are refusing to accept this slave wage. The workers demand a minimum wage of R1,000 per week.
At a time when the prices of food, transport and all other basic needs and services are increasing on a monthly basis, the salaries of the La Montanara have remained the same for 4 years. The bosses proposed R39 a week raise is an insult to the dignity of workers and their families who are swimming in a sea of poverty. Meanwhile the La Montanara bosses and many of the farmers in the area live in relative luxury, feeding off the continued exploitation and impoverishment of the workers and the rural communities in which they live. It is clear that the La Montanara bosses do not care for anything other than their own interests and increased profits.
The La Montanara workers also demand better facilities. As a food producing factory, the factory is required by law to maintain hygienic standards including for the workers. Yet, 40 female workers are using only one toilet. As if it was during the apartheid era, white workers use separate and far-better toilets. The workers are forced to eat from a small dilapidated container which is also used as a locker where airborne diseases can spread easily, even more so in this cold and wet winter. The single toilet and poor eating facility are degrading. Therefore, the workers also demand decent toilets and eating facilities that not only meet legal standards for workplace hygiene but also respect their humanity and dignity.
CSAAWU calls on Pick’n Pay and Woolworths (as La Montanara’s biggest clients who regard themselves as ethical retailers with minimum standards for their suppliers) to put pressure on the owners of La Montanara.
The workers of La Montanara say enough is enough! We cannot accept being treated as little more than animals, being used to enrich a small elite and being largely ignored by the very government that is supposed to ensure all workers receive a living wage and are treated with respect and dignity.
Have we forgotten the universal battle cry of workers – ‘An Injury to One is an Injury to All’? We must come together to put an end to this modern day slavery. To the community of Ashton – CSAAWU says do not allow yourselves to be used as scab labour to replace the striking workers. Stand by your brothers and sisters! To all of the workers and poor in Ashton and elsewhere, CSAAWU says let us form a united front against such gross exploitation and slave wages. To government, we say enforce labour legislation and side with the workers. Real change will only happen if we stand together.
WHEN WORKERS AND THE POOR UNIFY AND BELIEVE IN THEIR OWN POWER NOTHING CAN STAND IN OUR WAY!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL CSAAWU:
·Karl Swart – 072 991 3371
·Susan Rensenberg - 072 826 3553
·Peter Presence - 083 950 8995
·Trevor Christians – 083 546 2911