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South African Protest News 8 - 26 May 2012  (2012) South African Protest News 8 - 26 May 2012 .  : -.

KwaThema protest turns violent
Eye Witness News 25 may 2012

KWATHEMA – Gauteng police were forced to use tear gas and rubber bullets on unruly protesters in KwaThema on Gauteng’s East Rand.

Residents were demonstrating against increased electricity tariffs outside municipal offices on Wednesday.

Authorities were forced to intervene when protesters looted shops and burnt cars.

One resident said it was extremely chaotic at the moment.

“They [the demonstrators] have broken into a lot of shops and even municipal offices. Police used teargas and shots were fired.”

According to the witness, computers were stolen from municipal offices and police were forced to use rubber bullets.

Democratic Alliance councillor David Moshela was also there during the clashes.

“There’s a lot of looting and burning of cars, and blocking of highways. Police started shooting tear gas.”
(Edited by Zethu Zulu)

Angry residents attack rape suspect
Nondumiso Mbuyazi (IOL News) 25 May 2012

An enraged mob on Thursday attacked an uMlazi man accused of raping an eight-year-old girl.

The man, who the girl had apparently identified as her attacker, was struck with stones, sjamboks and knobkieries. He had to be rescued by police

Residents of uMlazi A-Section said the man had allegedly twice raped the Grade 2 pupil.

The girl’s aunt said the family had become alarmed at a change in her behaviour.

“She just sat inside the house and refused to play with her friends,” she said, speaking from Prince Mshiyeni Hospital where the girl was being examined by doctors on Thursday.

The woman said her niece finally broke her silence on Wednesday evening.

“She wet herself while sleeping and when I asked her what was wrong… she just broke down and cried,” the aunt said. “She told us that she had been raped by the man and it wasn’t the first time.”

After neighbours were alerted, the man allegedly tried to flee. He was captured by residents, who attacked him.

Bloodstained trousers, a pair of running shoes and a trail of blood were seen by a Daily News team at the scene on Thursday afternoon. A police officer at the scene said that the girl was traumatised.

“The man is receiving treatment at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital,” said the policeman, who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge, confirmed the incident and said the man was in a critical condition.

“He has been charged with rape,” he said. - Daily News

3 ANC supporters held in F State
Andre Grobler 24 May 2012

Three people have been arrested for attacking others with spades at an ANC meeting near Odendaalsrus, Free State police said on Thursday.

Captain Steven Thakeng said police were called to the Phakisa race course after a fight broke out.

The Free State ANC's Lejweleputswa region was busy with a branch auditing process at the venue ahead of the regional elective conference expected to be held this weekend.

Police said three men allegedly took spades from gardeners at Phakisa to use in the fight. Four people were injured.

The three were expected to appear in the Odendaalsus Magistrate's Court soon on assault charges.

Similar scuffles had broken out at other ANC elective gatherings ahead of the ruling party’s provincial elective conference on June 16.

Free State ANC spokesman William Bulwane said he did not know about the Phakisa incident and would find out. He could not be reached for comment since.

However, he earlier confirmed that ANC headquarters Luthuli House had ordered the Free State ANC to reconvene its Fezile Dabi (Parys) regional conference to re-elect the leadership structure.

Many questions were raised after the regional conference elected its leaders some three weeks ago in Parys, the hometown of Free State ANC chairman and premier Ace Magashule.

Bulwane said the resolutions and declarations made at the first conference would stand, but the election of leaders had to be held again. The “half-day conference” would take place on Saturday.

Three regions in the Free State still needed to hold their regional conferences before the provincial elective conference. The Lejweleputswa regional conference (Welkom) was planned for this weekend. The Thabo Mofutsanayana regional conference (Bethlehem) would be held on June 1.

The Motheo regional conference (Bloemfontein) was planned for June 8.

Bulwane said these last remaining regional conferences would go ahead once audit queries were resolved by national executive committee members.

Clashes within the Free State ANC started after Magashule's bodyguards allegedly fired shots into the air at an ANC branch meeting in Mangaung in April, when members opposing and supporting Magashule started fighting.

The fight apparently began when ANC members against Magashule were stopped from attending the election of leaders of the Silver City branch. Police said the matter was being investigated.

In February, Magashule reshuffled his provincial cabinet, getting rid of economic, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, who was expected to challenge him as provincial leader next month.

Members of the Free State Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association also expressed their unhappiness with Magashule this year. - Sapa

Uitsig residents protest
Eye Witnes News 22 May 2012

CAPE TOWN - Residents of Uitsig on Tuesday took to the streets over what they called the city’s failure to deal with their concerns.

They burnt rubbish and tyres on the main road.

Motorists were forced to drive through smoke from the burning fire and rubbish.

Residents stood on the side of the road carrying placards.

They complained about poor workmanship on upgrading work done on their houses by officials.

Some said said toilets were built in the kitchen and the houses did not have enough windows and ventilation.

Uitsig Community Forum’s Etienne Arendse said city officials have failed to meet with them over the matter.

Earlier in May, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village residents took to the streets over poor service delivery.

The protesters threw a petrol bomb at a local police station.

They also accused police officers of brutality during the protest.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

Nurses protest over hospital’s future
IOL News 24 May 2012

The provincial Health Department has assured workers at St Aidan’s Hospital that their jobs are safe after a non-violent protest last week, but the future of the hospital is still uncertain.

Nursing staff and other workers at the hospital on Wednesday met the department’s eThekwini area manager Dr Mandla Mhlongo, to find a resolution to several issues, including vacant managerial positions such as chief executive officer and medical manager.

“We have agreed with workers to investigate a number of issues presented to us,” he said.

Mhlongo said they would meet the workers next week to present a report on the problems raised.

The future of the hospital was not on the agenda, and a decision about this would be made by the department’s management committee.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA welcomed the outcomes of yesterday’s meeting.

“The situation is back to normal pending feedback. The department promised to launch an investigation into the positions available,” said Cassim Lekhoathi, Denosa provincial secretary.

Hundreds of members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union picketed outside Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital on Wednesday.

They wanted to hand a memorandum to KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, but he sent a representative to meet them, hospital chief executive Sifiso Mtshali said.

The union also picketed last Wednesday. They wanted the MEC to fire the hospital’s human resources and systems managers, claiming they were incompetent, Mtshali said.

Provincial Health Department spokesman Chris Maxon said Dhlomo could not meet union members because he had a meeting, but would address the matter.

College shuts after protest
Bongani Hans (IOL News) 24 May 2012

A college on the South Coast has shut down after a fire destroyed a building following a protest by students, who said they were opposed to the imposition of strict Islamic religious and cultural rules.

The Coastal KZN As-Salaam further education and training campus closed after more than 500 students protested that they were forced to study the Qur’an and wear Islamic garments, while males were banned from wearing shorts.

During the protest at the South Coast site last week, a building caught fire.

Yesterday the management held a meeting with parents where campus principal Ebrahim Majam announced that the dormitories, which accommodated about 70 students, would be closed permanently.

Non-Muslim students complained that their Christian religion was not tolerated and that they were not allowed to wear clothes that exposed any part of their bodies, other than the face and hands.

Nor were they allowed to read the Bible, they said.

But the campus management said Islamic rules were enforced because the Department of Higher Education was renting the building to the As-Salaam organisation, which promoted Islamic education.

Zaid Langa, who is in charge of student accommodation and Islamic studies, denied that students were forced to follow the religion. But he admitted that they were compelled to attend prayer meetings and to dress “decently”.

“This is an Islamic area, so everyone should respect it and dress accordingly. The Bible has not been banned because in our library we have holy books from various religions. Students should attend the prayer meeting, but they are not forced to pray,” he said.

But student representative council member Dudu Mdluli said: “The Bible is not allowed inside the institution and we are forced to read the Qur’an. We are made to study the Qur’an and write tests.”

Students were compelled to attend 30-minute prayers five times a day as well as one-hour Qur’an lessons twice a day.

It is believed that the department’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme pays R16 000 per student a year to As-Salaam for meals and accommodation.

Some parents believed that students should learn to live with the practices, while others felt the institution should allow diversity of religion.

The management said parents and students had to sign and agree to a list of rules.

Majam said the As-Salaam Institute had decided to shut down the dormitories to protect them from vandalism.

“Parents who need accommodation for children should contact the management,” he said.

SA Human Rights Commission spokesman Vincent Moaga said that the complaints would have to be investigated before he could comment.

Higher Education spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said that she would only be able to comment once her department had spoken to the management and parents.

Implats confirms Rustenburg work stoppage
IOL News 23 May 2012

Impala Platinum confirmed on Wednesday that its flagship Rustenburg mine, where it is losing 3,000 ounces a day, had shut for a second day running because of the latest flare-up in a union turf struggle.

Implats head of human resources Johan Theron also told Reuters that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) was demanding recognition and claimed to have 10,000 members at Rustenburg, or a third of the workforce.

AMCU has been challenging the dominant National Union of Mineworkers for membership at the mine. - Reuters

COSATU NW intensifies its action against Swartruggens toll plaza
COSATU 23 May 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West province is continuing with its mass action against the most expensive toll gate in the country

When COSATU was at the toll gate on 11 May 2012 we made a promise that we will come back every two weeks if our demands are not met. As part of that promise COSATU will go back to the toll gate on 25th May 2012 and this time it will be in a form of a motorcade.

These is part of our mass actions in the province to take our program off the ground, fighting against e-tolling which includes the Swartruggens tollgate which is the most expensive in SA, and the fight against the labour brokers.

Members of COSATU will assemble in the Swartruggens town with all their vehicles and from there they will make a procession to the tollgate which will start from the Koster junction to the toll gate and driving back.

As COSATU this is one form of displaying our dissatisfaction on the price of the tollgate and the poor quality of the road which continues to deteriorate.

COSATU invites all the motorists who are affected by this tollgate to join us as we protest.

The action will take place on Friday 25th May 2012 from 12h00 to 18h00 and will start in the Swartruggens town as mentioned above

COSATU still maintains its demand that the toll fee must be reduced to R20 and we would also like to take this opportunity to make motorists aware that the R71 they pay is for 190 kilometres irrespective of your destination and there are no discounts for frequent users and public transport operators.

As COSATU we believe that it is unfair for motorists who are not using the full 190 kilometres to pay the R71.00 and this has been going on for the past ten years.

We are calling on all taxi and truck drivers to come in numbers; this time we will block the traffic in totality for five hours. Please, if you are not supporting our call, do not use the N4 road on that date.

For more information contact Solly Phetoe, COSATU North West Provincial Secretary, at 082 304 4055

Pupils hauled out of class to join protest
Mandlilakhe Tshwete (IOL News) 22 May 2012

Protesters brought an entire neighbourhood to a standstill, shutting down shops and schools.

The Mfuleni residents marched to eight schools, ensuring that each one shut their gates and sent their learners home on Monday.

About 1 000 learners joined in the protesting mob of about 300 adults as they went from school to school and shut down a supermarket.

The mob was armed with knobkierries and golf clubs.

The siege of the sprawling township is exactly what the residents had vowed to do a week ago.

They say they want their councillor Themba Honono to step down – and this is the only way to draw attention to their housing issues.

Protesters held up placards reading: “Honono we don’t want you as our councillor” and “You said our mothers stink, you think you are better than us”.

When the Daily Voice arrived early on Monday, residents had forcefully removed pupils from Bardale Primary School.

Moments later, they gathered outside Bardale Secondary as learners waited for word from the principal to shut the school down.

Community leader Thandazile Qave says: “We wanted the children to join us because they are part of the struggle.

“They sleep where we sleep. We are aware they missed out on school but then they had to be here and fight for what they deserve – which is better housing.”

One of the men at the head of the protest, Thembile George, says police tried to stop them from closing the first school.

But then after threats from residents, they backed down.

“We were not going to stop because of the police – what we wanted was to close the schools and we succeeded in that,” says George.

“And we still want the councillor to step down and we will make sure he does.”

Locals say they have been quiet for a long time but now they are standing up to the councillor.

“He thinks he’s above everyone, he has his favourite people who he caters for,” adds George.

“There are people on the housing list which he says they registered in 1970.

“But Mfuleni was only established in 1974. In 1970 people were busy fighting for freedom and there was no list drawn for this area.

“Now we want to be treated fairly.”

After shutting down the schools, the mob broke through heavy steel gates at Shoprite in Mfuleni shopping centre.

But moments after running inside, security guards fire rubber bullets, scattering the crowd.

By the time the crowd left, the centre had also closed its doors.

As word of the blanket shutdown spread, anxious parents raced to schools to collect their kids.

“Our children have nothing to do with this protest,” one parent complains.

“I don’t understand why they have to be affected by this.

“And what makes it worse is that the children are preparing for their exams and they are disrupted by people who won’t get what they want by keeping learners out of school.”

After five hours of demonstrations, the residents went to Bardale Informal Settlement where they planned to dismantle shacks.

But a small army of cops was waiting for them and the mob, now led by children – some of whom are still primary school learners – were told to go home.

Backyard dwellers leader Mzoxolo Mbudu says: “People built shacks on the field and the City of Cape Town evicted them and they have been living in the streets since then.

“And then yesterday morning we saw that people were building shacks and they got the go-ahead from the City and the councillor.

“All we want is for the councillor to work with us in accommodating everyone in the community.”

One suspect was arrested for malicious damage to property, says police spokesman November Filander.

He is accused of throwing stones at homes in Nuwe Begin housing project.

But the man was later released because he is mentally ill.
This article was published in the Daily Voice

ECape town protests over roads
IOL News 21 May 2012

Residents in Ludeke in the Eastern Cape burnt tyres on the R61 on Monday in a demonstration described by police as a service delivery protest.

More than 600 people, including school children, began protesting on Monday morning, police spokesman Captain Mlungisi Matidane said.

Residents wanted tarred roads and the renovation of a church.

“Residents believe that former president Nelson Mandela got married in this church.”

No arrests had been made and the protest had abated by Monday afternoon.

Mbizana local municipal manager Simphiwe Thobela said on Monday the tarred roads were discussed with residents.

“We are busy dealing with issues raised about the road construction.”

He could not confirm whether the church renovation was one of the matters discussed. – Sapa

Zuma painting defaced
IOL News 22 May 2012

The controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma in the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg has been defaced, gallery staff confirmed on Tuesday.

A man is being held by the gallery security team.

"The work has been painted over with black and red paint," a spokesman said.

Police are on their way to the scene.

Meanwhile hundreds of people carrying posters slamming the painting of President Jacob Zumu toyi-toyied outside the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The ANC's court challenge to have a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma removed from the Goodman Gallery will be broadcast live on television on Thursday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled on Tuesday.

Wearing T-shirts proclaiming: “President Zuma has the right to human dignity and privacy” in the same red and black as the Brett Murray painting the ANC wants removed, his supporters sang songs and ululated in Kruis Street opposite the court.

Glossy posters with the ANC logo saying “We say no! To artistic expression” were held aloft as a man dressed in military camouflage led the group in song and chanting.

A large ANC branded stage backed into Pritchard Street opposite court and traffic was diverted for the application by Zuma and the ANC.

They want the Goodman gallery, which is exhibiting the painting which shows Zuma's genitals, to remove it because it violates his and the party's right to dignity. They also want City Press to remove images of the painting from its website.

Both the the gallery and City Press have refused. - Sapa, IOL

Councillor joins in a march against him
Mandilakhe Tshwete 21 May 2012M

A ward councillor had a strange response to protesters who chanted songs accusing him of being a k** leader.

Instead of arguing with the marchers, the ANC’s Luvuyo Hebe joined them as they sang, “He is a dog, he must go”.

Some people were shocked to find out the TR Section main man Luvuyo Hebe is the bad man portrayed in the songs.

When the Daily Voice arrived at the Andile Msizi Hall in Site B, Khayelitsha, the people were singing: “Ulawula ububhanxa Hebe”, meaning “Your leadership is k**”.

Hebe stepped out of a red BMW and walked up to the the crowd.

Wearing a long coat and a Malema-style beret, the councillor started toyi-toying with the furious residents.

People pointed at him saying: “Stop interfering with the housing project!”

But Hebe continued demonstrating with them.

Community leader Albert Khoza says: “He has kept us out of all the meetings about the housing project in Nuwe Begin.

“And he only took some of his friends and gave them jobs at the construction site.

“We are tired of him having secret meetings with some people.”

When one of the community leaders tried to read the hand-written memorandum, Hebe interrupted and told the people he wanted to go inside the hall.

But people refused and started threatening to beat him up.

But he confidently said: “No one will touch me, I’m not worried.

“But I will not stop whoever wants to.”

He told the crowd that they were fighting for something they know nothing about.

“On Friday morning, I went to Mfuleni to the development which the residents shut down on Wednesday, we went to make sure that the workers continued with the construction,” Hebe says.

“There was no agenda or secret meeting.”

After talking to the people, he marched again with them to another hall along Mew Way.
*This article was published in the Daily Voice

Wits Students enter a hunger strike
Cosatu 20 may 2012

The struggle for the reinstatement of 17 unfairly dismissed black workers at Wits continues. This is after close to a thousand students marched on 16 May Wednesday in demand of the university management to intervene in the matter.

Royal Mnandi, which offers catering services to all students in the university residences, has up to this point refused to concede to the demands of its clients. Over the past two weeks more than two thousand students have engaged in periodic boycott by cancelling their meals, which resulted in hundreds of thousand Rands in losses on the part of Mnandi.

The march was therefore an attempt to get the university management, which had hitherto remained silent, to intervene in the matter.

On Friday, 18 May 2012, the university responded to this demand by taking an abstentionist position. The management argued that “the university cannot comment on, or as requested, override the disciplinary process and outcomes of an outsourced service provider”.

The SRC insists that the university should enter into business with companies that embrace the values of the university, respect labour laws. Thus, argues the SRC, the actions of Mnandi, even on natural justice terms, have dealt an assault on these values. The spirit and content of the law is being compromised with the emphasis of legal processes when workers live without pay.

They say “the very fact that this is a private company’s ‘internal matter’, and not ostensibly a university concern, is proof that outsourcing, and by implication those who implemented it, is responsible for the plight of the workers. Therefore, our demand for the university’s intervention in the matter is merely calling on them to own up to what is in essence their creation.”

As of yesterday, the students have embarked on an occupied of the main administration building of the university. 32 students, which includes members of the SRC, ARC and WSC woke up from the floor on this cold day and have also started a hunger strike from today.

The occupation and the hunger strike are meant to move the moral conscience of the university leadership. Last week, COSATU, NUMSA, ANC YL and SASCO released statements in support of the solidarity efforts by Wits folks with the 17 dismissed black workers.

The SRC say they will sleep there, take tests from there, and study from there. They will hold demonstrations every 13h00 with the rest of the university community, demanding the intervention of the university.

For more info:
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (Campaign Spokes person): 073 133 3012, Tebogo Thothela (SRC President): 074 585 8022

Protesters solicit bribes
IOL News 18 May 2012

“Drivers were allegedly requested to pay a certain amount of cash before they could be allowed to pass using that road,” said Warrant Officer Sam Tselanyane. The incident happened on Thursday night.

A bus belonging to Amandelbult mine was set alight, but no injuries were reported.

On Friday, the protesters approached Kgamanyane High School pupils and forced them to join the protest.

Tselanyane said school management had no choice but to release the pupils to go home. The school had to close for the day.

Two cases of malicious damage to property were opened.

The Lesetlheng community has been protesting since last week over the non-employment of villagers and retrenchments at the mine. - Sapa

104 in court for xenophobia
IOL News 15 May 2012

Lt-Col Malesela Ledwaba said the matter was postponed until August 31 for further investigations.

“The men and women arrested face various charges which include public violence, theft and malicious damage.”

He said 20 of the people in court were juveniles and had been sent on rehabilitative programmes. The others were released on warnings.

“All of them were arrested over the weekend following attacks on foreign nationals in the Phagameng township outside Modimolle.”

Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Simon Mpembe said the violence was sparked by the murder of 20-year-old Tlaela Leratho.

Patrolling police found Leratho's body at the side of the R101 last week. She had been strangled and her body set alight. Police later arrested her 26-year-old Pakistani boyfriend.

Mpembe said Phagameng residents attacked Pakistanis and Ethiopians on Sunday, looting their shops.

“Police were called in to defuse the situation and more than 30 families sought refuge at the local police station while others have fled the area.” - Sapa

Taxi strike turns violent
IOL News 19 May 2012

Durban - About 50 protesters overturned bins and trashed the Besters taxi rank in Phoenix, north of Durban, on Saturday.

“They allegedly threw bottles at the patrol vehicles and with back-up from the flying squad, the group was dispersed and order restored,” said KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker.

The incident was believed to be related to the taxi strike, which started in Durban's city centre on Thursday.

Taxi drivers complained that eThekwini's metro police were targeting them when issuing traffic fines. About 60 people were arrested since the start of the strike.

The city streets were quiet on Saturday with no taxis operating or protesters visible. - Sapa

Taxis banned from Durban
IOL News 19 May 2012

All taxis have been pulled off the streets of Durban this weekend amid warnings that commuters who use buses instead could be in danger.

One of the major casualties of the decision to stop taxis running this weekend will be Saturday’s sell-out match between Orlando Pirates and local Lamontville Golden Arrows at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Long-distance taxis will also not be allowed to enter the city, taxi driver associations said on Friday night.

The decision was taken by taxi operators after a lengthy meeting with municipal manager Sbu Sithole, Mayor James Nxumalo, Transport MEC Willies Mchunu, senior Metro Police officials and taxi bosses on Friday evening at the eThekwini Transport Authority office in the city centre, to try to resolve the situation.

Dalisu Sangweni, a spokesman for Top Six, an umbrella body of taxi associations from Durban’s central and western areas, said the strike would intensify this weekend.

“There won’t be any taxis operating in Durban this weekend,” he said.

KZN Taxi Alliance chairman Eugene Hadebe advised bus drivers to heed their call to not ferry commuters this weekend.

Municipal spokesman Thabo Mofokeng, however, said municipal buses would be operating, adding that the city would engage with other bus operators to increase the number of buses.

He also reassured bus drivers and commuters that they would not be intimated or assaulted by the striking taxi drivers, saying police numbers and visibility would be beefed up.

Sangweni and Hadebe said the city’s decision to insist on buses operating would perpetuate violence.

“They (municipality) are being stubborn. Their actions show they don’t care about their residents. There will be casualties if buses continue to operate,” said Sangweni.

Hadebe echoed Sangweni’s sentiments. “If buses continue to load passengers then there is no guarantee that taxi drivers won’t stone and burn the buses, injuring or even killing some innocent people.” - Independent on Saturday

Durban taxi drivers protest
IOL News 18 May 2012

Hundreds of taxi drivers were gathering in Durban on Friday for a second day of protests against the eThekwini metro police.

Police officers at the Botha Gardens were donning riot gear. They had brought riot vehicles and a water cannon.

Several of the minibus taxi drivers wielded metal pipes, knobkerries, planks, pangas, fire extinguishers, and hockey sticks.

Police were attempting to negotiate with the drivers to disperse. The drivers claimed the metro police were unfairly targeting them.

On Thursday police fought running battles with the drivers throughout the city centre. At least 20 were arrested. – Sapa

Mayhem as taxi protest turns violent
IOL News 18 May 2012

Taxi drivers turned central Durban into a war zone on Thursday as they trashed streets, assaulted passengers, stoned taxis and brought traffic to a standstill in protest at Metro police “harassment”.

The violence was sparked when about 500 drivers and taxi operators marched to the city hall about 10.30am in protest at alleged corruption and harassment by the metro police.

They also demanded that metro police go soft on traffic violations and taxi inspections during commuter peak times.

The protest turned violent soon after the march and traffic officers had to close off several streets. By late afternoon thousands of commuters remained stranded or stuck in the traffic jams that ensued in several parts of the city.

Eventually members of the SAPS and the metro police used tear gas to disperse some of the protesters.

Police also sprayed water mixed with a green dye.

Any taxis that were transporting passengers in the city centre were forced to a halt by protesters, and passengers and drivers were hauled out of the vehicles. In some cases, passengers were dragged through open taxi windows. Several taxis were dented by rocks and knob-kieries, and windows and windscreens were smashed.

Dr Pixley Kaseme (West) Street came to a standstill as the drivers marched, while scores of SAPS officers battled to control the situation.

Carrying sticks and knobkieries, the drivers marched through the CBD, hurling insults at metro police head Eugene Nzama.

Several shops and a number of banks evacuated customers and closed their doors.

Violence broke out near the Durban University of Technology (DUT) City Campus after police fired tear gas at the protesters, causing students and bystanders to scatter.

On Anton Lambede (Smith) Street, a taxi driver had to dodge marchers and eventually came to a screeching halt in the middle of the road.

He was made to watch as his taxi was stoned and bashed with sticks and knobkieries.

The driver described how the marchers removed his passengers and struck one of them on the head with a knobkierie.

The provincial secretary general of the SA National Taxi Council, Mdu Xaba, distanced his organisation from the protest.

March organiser Jerry Sibisi said the average taxi driver logged up R5 000 in fines a week, yet was paid only R700 in weekly wages.

“The fine does not go to the owner of the taxi. The police ask us for bribes or they arrest you.”

Asked about the violence, Sibisi said: “I do not know those people (behind the violence). They are not with us.”

Some drivers also requested that ticket fines and warrants be printed in Zulu.

The taxi drivers said they wanted the city to respond to their grievances within seven days.

After the marchers reached the city hall, the violence intensified as drivers spread out to other areas, including Warwick Avenue, which was shut.

Police said at least 20 people were arrested for public violence.

They also fired tear gas at a group of men who banged their hands and fists against police vehicles.

At the Umlazi taxi rank in Joe Slovo (Field) Street, vehicles were stoned, while metro police were nowhere to be seen.

A senior metro police officer said his men had withdrawn after being attacked repeatedly during the day.

“We were concerned about the safety of our officers,” he said.

The crowd also spread to Greyville, near the Independent Newspapers building.

Photographer Sibonelo Ngcobo saw drivers forcing passengers to get out of taxis.

“They fled when the police arrived,” he said.

Metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said drivers had been given permission to march to the city hall, but had become violent and unruly. At least one policeman was in hospital after being struck by a stone.

Late on Thursday, large numbers of commuters were walking along King Dinizulu (Berea) Road towards Chesterville and Cato Manor.

Others stood in long queues waiting for transport, while taxis stood motionless at the ranks.

Mandla Sibisi, his wife, Nomusa, and their six-month-old baby were left stranded at the Pinetown taxi rank, unable to find transport take them home to Etshelimnyama near Mariannhill.

“I finished my shift and found that there was no transport to go home,” Sibisi said. “I have not slept, yet I have to report for duty at 6pm. I’m going to be in trouble with my boss because I am not going to make it to work without transport.”

Stations were crowded as commuters turned to trains to get home.

Metrorail spokeswoman Thandi Mkhize said staff had to deal with long queues of people desperate to get tickets.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said the organisers of the march had failed to maintain control over the large number of people.

“Charges of public violence and contravention of the Gatherings Act have been registered for investigation with the Durban Central SAPS and 21 people have been arrested.”

Police deployments would remain in place to continue to monitor affected areas until order had been restored. - The Mercury

Implats: rival unions clash at Rustenburg mine
IOL News 17 May 2012

Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest platinum producer, said rival unions had clashed at its troubled Rustenburg mine on Thursday but police had intervened.

An illegal strike and union turf war shut the Rustenburg mine for six weeks earlier this year, costing Implats 120,000 ounces in lost production and pushing the spot price of platinum higher. - Reuters

High school starts ‘occupy’ campaign
Ilse Fredericks 17 May 2012

A Diep River high school has started a gradual “takeover” of a former primary school in their area and blames government departments of having “dilly-dallied” with their applications to use the building.

Staff and pupils from South Peninsula High marched to the old Central Primary School on Wednesday and “occupied the building”.

Principal Brian Isaacs, said Central Primary opened in the 1950s and closed under the Group Areas Act, then was used by the army for years.

“In 2005 we started to apply to use it. We have applied to the national and provincial departments of public works and national education ministers. They have dillied and dallied for seven years.”

They were told the buildings were going to be used as a rehabilitation centre, and, at some point, as a security company.

Isaacs said half of his school consisted of prefabricated buildings. Some classes had to be held in the hall.

“We felt now is the time to say to the department you cannot allow education buildings to stand vacant for seven years while there are schools crying out for facilities,” he said.

The classrooms at the old school would be cleaned, and, once in a suitable state, pupils would be sent there.

The national Department of Public Works is expected to comment on Wednesday.

Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the provincial education ministry condemned the fact that pupils were encouraged to take part in a march during school hours.
Cape Argus

Taxi drivers protest against metro cops
IOL News 17 May 2012

About 100 minibus taxi drivers staged a protest in Durban on Thursday, complaining that metro police officers were targeting them when issuing traffic fines.

Officers in about 15 metro police cars were monitoring the protest on Bram Fischer and KE Masinga roads in Durban.

A Sapa reporter on the scene saw broken glass and people waving knobkerries.

Metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi could not provide further details. - Sapa

Police watch Carolina protests
IOL News 17 May 2012

Mpumulanga police were keeping watch on a violent protest in Selobelo, near Carolina, on Thursday afternoon.

Lt-Col Leonard Hlathi said the protest started on Thursday morning and 25 people were arrested, mostly school children.

“Six police officers were injured when protesters pelted them with stones as they were trying to defuse the situation.”

Hlathi said residents were protesting over service delivery in the area.

A municipal office and a library were set alight and partially burned down.

“Three police vehicles and six water tankers were also damaged, while four foreign nationals' shops were looted.”

The 25 were expected to appear in the Carolina Magistrate's Court on Friday, on charges of public violence and possession of stolen property. - Sapa

25 held in violent protest
IOL News 17 May 2012

Twenty-five people have been arrested when a protest turned violent in Selobelo township in Mpumalanga.

Twenty-five people were arrested on Thursday when a protest turned violent in Selobelo township near Carolina, Mpumalanga police said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the protest started on Thursday morning and the people arrested were mostly school children.

“Six police officers were injured when protesters pelted them with stones as they were trying to defuse the situation.”

A municipal office and a library were set alight and partially burned down. Residents were protesting about service delivery in the area, Hlathi said.

“Three police vehicles and six water tankers were also damaged, while four foreign nationals' shops were looted.”

The 25 were expected to appear in the Carolina Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of public violence and possession of stolen property. – Sapa

CWU march to South African Post Office (SAPO) and Gauteng Premier’s Office

CWU march to South African Post Office (SAPO) and Gauteng Premier’s Office

Tomorrow 16th May 2012 members of Communication Workers Union (CWU) in South African Post Office (Sapo) in Gauteng will march to SAPO’s regional offices in JHB, Braamfontein and thereafter proceed to the Premier’s Office in the JHB CBD. The march will gather at Cosatu House, 110 Jorrissen and cnr Simmonds Street at 9am.

At 10am the CWU Gauteng Chairperson, Comrade Veli Zulu will welcome and addressed the masses and then proceed to the Sapo regional office where they will be addressed by the 1st Deputy President of CWU, Comrade Clyde Mervin and the Provincial Secretary, Comrade Aubrey Tshabalala will present the memorandum. All Post Offices Depot and Mail Centres in Gauteng will be closed (Shut down).

The march will then proceed to the Premier’s office in the Johannesburg CBD where they will be handing over another memorandum to the Premier of Gauteng.

The march is as a result of the unresolved 2005 agreement entered into by both CWU and S.A Post Office to convert labour brokers workers to permanent positions in the company. CWU further demand that the company dismiss the Senior General Manager in the Mail Delivery (Pieter Swart) and the Group Executive Mail Business (Janras Kotsi) with immediate effect, both of whom are culprits of sabotaging CWU and Sapo agreement of 2005 that outline the process of doing away with labour brokers in the company.

CWU demand that the integration of Speed Courier Service into Courier Freight Group that was recently signed by the Minister, Comrade Dina Pule be halted. The move that is been viewed as outsourcing one of the core functions of the S.A Post Office and it has a potential of compromising service delivery. It is CWU believe that organized labour was not properly consulted; this process will be detrimental to worker’s quality jobs.

The union demand that a transparent report with regards to R425-million that was spent on the 10-year lease, an amount which the board of Sapo deemed as an “irregular expenditure”. Furthermore the irresponsible spent of R19-million prior to renting out of the new building at Eco Point in Centurion, all this is tantamount to corruption and all those who were responsible in a form of receiving “kick backs” should be brought to books.

Issued by the Office of CWU Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala – 0829948196

Matankana Mothapo, CWU National Spokesperson - 0827590900

DA march turns ugly
IOL 15 May 2012

The streets of Joburg are set for a political showdown between the DA and Cosatu on Tuesday when party members are set to march on the federations headquarters.

DA marchers taking part in the march against Cosatu in Johannesburg took off their blue shirts in fear of Cosatu supporters as police fired teargas on Tuesday morning.

While marching down Jorissen Street in Braamfontein, they were met head-on by Cosatu supporters wearing red T-shirts.

Cosatu supporters were intimidating the DA supporters and not allowing them to pass as they headed towards Cosatu House.

Police fired teargas at Cosatu supporters to try to control the crowd.

Several hundred people wearing blue T-shirts converged on Beyers Naude Square in the city centre to protest against the union federation's opposition to the youth wage subsidy.

DA leader Helen Zille, youth leader Makashule Gana, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and national spokesman Mmusi Maimane led the protest.

The planned route was along President, Rissik, Jeppe, Sauer, Burger, Jorissen, Melle, and Simmonds streets.

Meanwhile, Cosatu supporters in red T-shirts waited outside the federation's offices.

“We are here to welcome the DA when they arrive,” Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said.

Earlier, police said the protesters could not end their march outside Cosatu House in Braamfontein. Instead it was agreed they would finish at least 50m away, on the lawns of the Joburg (formerly the Civic) Theatre.

The DA believes the youth wage subsidy will create at least 423,000 jobs for young, unemployed South Africans. - Sapa

Lilydale protesters in court
IOL News 9 May 2012

Nine protesters appeared in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate's Court on Wednesday on charges of public violence and arson, Mpumalanga police said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said they each received R1000 bail and the matter was postponed to May 31.

“Two minors were also arrested on Monday, but they have since been released into the custody of their parents,” he said.

On Monday, protesters in Lilydale burnt municipal offices and a grader. They were unhappy that drinking water in the area had been found unfit for human consumption.

According to the 2012 Blue Drop Report, the water of 14 municipalities, including Bushbuckridge, did not meet government standards.

Residents were advised to treat the water by boiling it or adding bleach before drinking it.

Hlathi said the situation on Wednesday was quiet and no incidents of violence had been reported. - Sapa

Free State police watch Oranjeville
IOL News 8 May 2012

Police were keeping watch in Metsimaholo at Oranjeville in the Free State after clashes between two African National Congress groups, police said on Tuesday.

Constable Peter Kareli said police reinforcements were deployed at the town after the community accused the police of favouring one group over another during clashes at the weekend.

Kareli said fighting between the two groups flared up at the weekend.

A fight also broke out between rivals in a group of about 14 people gathered at the police station, after opponents went to open charges of assault against each other on Saturday.

Kareli said because the small police station had only two members on duty they were unable to intervene.

Members of one group marched to the same police station to complain about the police not protecting them on Sunday.

Kareli said no major injuries were reported. - Sapa

North West protests spread
IOL News 10 May 2012

Service delivery protests in North West spread to nine villages in the Ganyesa region on Thursday, police said.

“About 144 protesters have been arrested so far for public violence in Ganyesa,” said Brigadier Thulane Ngubane.

Residents burned businesses and a community hall in Phofala village. A wholesale shop was looted and vandalised, and R20,000 worth of groceries were recovered.

Those arrested would appear in court soon.

“The main concern of the communities which fall under Kagisano Molopo district municipality was apparently the need for a tarred road linking the affected villages to Ganyesa,” Ngubane said earlier.

Residents were outraged because they were promised tarred roads three to four years ago.

Public Works MEC Raymond Elisha was expected to address the Southey village community.

Teaching at primary and high schools was disrupted and pupils were forced to join in the protests, Ngubane said.

“Police are monitoring the situation as the roads continue to be barricaded with trees, tyres and stones.”

The other villages affected included Tlhapeng, Dipudi, Tsaodi, Kgokgole, Eliasm and Tshaneng. - Sapa

Bus drivers vow to disrupt service
Lungelo Mkamba 11 May 2012

Thousands of Durban commuters and school pupils may have to find alternative transport today, as bus drivers have vowed to “stop any bus from entering the road” until their grievances are settled.

Yesterday hundreds of drivers gathered outside the Durban central depot, downing tools and protesting loudly.

When The Mercury arrived at the scene, the group was singing Struggle songs while police monitored the situation.

A driver and spokesman for the group, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were upset that a fellow driver had been fired.

“He was fired because he challenged management and voiced our grievances. Besides our fellow driver being fired, there are several other issues that need to be ironed out,” he said.

The demands include a provident fund, all drivers to get a salary of R10 000, and the reinstatement of sacked and suspended drivers with immediate effect.

“Our managers do not issue warnings, they fire you. Our wages are R3 000, while others receive R4 000 and R10 000. We also do not have UIF.”

The man said some of the buses were operational yesterday, but “we will make sure that none of the buses gets on the road today”.

When asked why they allegedly locked the gates or intimidated other drivers, he replied: “We did not intimidate anyone or lock any gates. The managers locked the gates.”

Tansnat Africa contact manager Stephan Niemandt referred to the protest as a “work stoppage”. He told The Mercury that “the drivers had reported for work normally and the protest did not affect any work”.

When asked about the grievances raised by the drivers, he said: “We will address their concerns next week during a meeting.”

He said the drivers had not followed the correct procedures in raising their concerns. “They want everyone to be paid R10 000, even the new drivers. The majority of the people who protested yesterday are suspended or dismissed.”

Pay protest disrupts services
IOL News 10 May 2012

A pay protest by municipal workers brought services to a halt at Mangaung metro's office in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

There was a strong police presence at the Bram Fischer building, where workers sat on the lawns around the buildings.

Chairman of the SA Municipal Workers Union at the municipality, Pule Molalenyane, said workers were protesting to get what they deserved.

“This is about salary adjustments, not politics.”

He claimed the metro's executive management had already received upgraded salaries, but not the workers.

“They must take corrective steps to rectify this.”

The Mangaung local municipality became a metro after the May 2011 local government elections. Metro spokesman Qondile Khedama said Thursday’s protest was unprotected and illegal.

Molalenyane said the metro was willing to adjust salaries of the councillors and the new management, without using a performance management system, by more that 17 percent, but not those of the people doing the “real work”.

Molalenyane said new metro manager, Sibongile Mazibuko, apparently earned a R2.1 million salary, which the union said was 24 percent higher than the municipal manager's wage in the previous system.

Samwu said the metro’s executive directors were all being paid about 17 percent more.

Molalenyane told reporters that workers wanted to get paid what other metro workers earned.

The metro said workers should realise that municipalities could not negotiate salaries at local level. All municipalities were represented by the SA Local Government Association (Salga), and salaries were bargained for centrally.

Khedama said structures in the metro would look at the placement of all employees on the new metro structure. He urged the workers to return to their jobs.

Some metro employees still working on the second floor were sent home after taps in the toilets were left running, flooding offices. Residents arriving to pay rates and taxes were turned away during the morning. – Sapa

7 held in protest
IOL News 10 May 2012

Seven men were arrested on Thursday morning for torching a satellite police station in Sir Lowry's Pass village, Western Cape police said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said petrol bombs were thrown at the station and an armed vehicle. The damage was being assessed.

Residents protested over service delivery on Wednesday morning, burning tyres and other items.

Traut said the situation was tense. The men would appear in Somerset West Magistrate's Court on Friday on public violence charges. – Sapa

Free State police watch Oranjeville
IOL News 8 May 2012

Police were keeping watch in Metsimaholo at Oranjeville in the Free State after clashes between two African National Congress groups, police said on Tuesday.

Constable Peter Kareli said police reinforcements were deployed at the town after the community accused the police of favouring one group over another during clashes at the weekend.

Kareli said fighting between the two groups flared up at the weekend.

A fight also broke out between rivals in a group of about 14 people gathered at the police station, after opponents went to open charges of assault against each other on Saturday.

Kareli said because the small police station had only two members on duty they were unable to intervene.

Members of one group marched to the same police station to complain about the police not protecting them on Sunday.

Kareli said no major injuries were reported. - Sapa

15 arrested in North West protest
IOL News 8 May 2012

Fifteen people were arrested for public violence in Lomanyaneng in the North West on Tuesday following violent protests, police said.

The community started burning tyres and barricading roads from around 2am, said Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said. They were protesting over service delivery and lobbying to have ward councillors in Ward 27 and 31 removed.

Ngubane said Vryburg police were trying to defuse a protest in Dipodi, Southey, Kgokgole and Tlapeng villages, which had started on Monday.

A pregnant woman died in Southey on Tuesday when an ambulance was blocked by protesters from entering the village

“The ambulance was turned back by the unruly mob,” said Ngubane.

Police vehicles were stoned by the crowd and shops belonging to Pakistani nationals were vandalised and looted. Children were not able to attend school since Monday.

“According to the information at our disposal, the main concern of the community is alleged to be a need for a tarred road which they were apparently promised three to four years ago,” said Ngubane.

“Police today attempted to calm the situation after community members of Dipodi and of the surrounding villages, started throwing stones on passing vehicles, burning the grazing field with tyres which they took from a Scrap yard in Dipodi village.”

Police were investigating claims that community members were plotting to destroy government property in Southey.

The 15 arrested were expected to appear before the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court soon. - Sapa

17 dismissed workers at Wits University Press statement
Cosatu 11 May 2012


This is a press statement by the Wits University SRC, All Res Council (ARC) and the Workers Solidarity Committee (WSC). SASCO, the ANCYL and YCL are also part of the boycott under the leadership of the structures of student governance.

The Wits (University of the Witwatersrand) Student Representative Council (SRC), Workers Solidarity Committee (WSC) and the Wits All Residence Council (ARC) invite all media to a march in demand of the 17 unfairly dismissed workers of Royal Mnandi food service solutions. Royal Mnandi provides catering services to Wits Residence Students.

The March is a culmination of a student boycott of meals in which close to 3000 students take part in. The students are demanding that all 17 workers be to unconditional reinstated to their jobs. In the first periodic boycott which developed over three days, close to 1600 students boycotted their meals, from the 07 - 09 May 2012. The march will be held under the following details:

Date: 16th May 2012
Time: 13h15-14h00
Venue: Wits University, Great Hall Stairs (from here to the East Campus of Wits)

Feziwe Ndwayana
Cell: (078) 784 3751

Wits students boycott meals
IOL News 8 May 2012

Students at the University of Witwatersrand have refused to eat at its canteens in solidarity with dismissed catering company workers, the SA Student Congress (Sasco) said on Tuesday.

“We want to salute the 875 students who cancelled their meals yesterday (Monday) at Jubilee and the main dining hall in solidarity with the dismissed workers,” said Gauteng chairman Ndumiso Mokako.

He said the meal boycott campaign was in solidarity with 17 workers dismissed by Royal Mnandi Solutions.

“We condemn the unfair dismissal of the Wits 17, a group of workers who were dismissed without written warnings by a catering company called Royal Mnandi Solutions,” he said in a statement.

He said the workers were dismissed for refusing to move to other dining halls off campus, due to a lack of consultation and the additional financial burden they would incur as a result of relocation.

Royal Mnandi confirmed that the workers had been dismissed.

“We believe we have followed due process throughout the dismissal of these employees, both procedurally and substantively,” said Pauline Mahlangu, human capital executive.

She said the conduct of the employees was addressed in terms of the company’s code of conduct.

An appeal hearing was held on May 2.

“At this time, we have not received the outcome of the appeal hearing from the chairperson, who is an independent contractor not employed by Royal Mnandi.”

She said the outcome of the appeal hearing would be made known to the former employees timeously.

“Should the decision of the company be upheld, the employees can then refer the case to the Bargaining Council,” she said. – Sapa

COSATU NW goes back to Swartruggens toll gate
Cosatu 9 May 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West will go back to the Swartruggens toll gate on 11 May 2012 as a continuation of our action against the high tollgate.

COSATU has observed the continued arrogance displayed by Bakwena by repeating the same issues that are in dispute and their undesired attempts to use the courts to oppose our actions and to intimidate us.

COSATU have heard that some motorists continue to use the good-quality road for free while the policy demands that there should be proportional payment per kilometres travelled.

COSATU have also noted that other motorist pays for the kilometres they are not using as this toll gate does not exempt those who are not going to enter through Lobatse in Botswana.

As COSATU we will not be intimidated by any amount of money that anybody has and we will not rest until our demands are met.

In our last visit on 30 April 2012 we were sent a low-level delegated person to receive our memorandum, who was arrogant and had no respect for the workers, and we ended up not giving him the memorandum. We want to warn government that the next time they send this kind of person we will not move until the person we have requested to come arrives to receive our memorandum.

We are happy that this time the MEC of public works, roads and transport has confirmed in writing to receive the memorandum on 11May 2012 at 15h00.

It has been observed and concluded that the state and the Bakwena Platinum corridor are not willing to listen as they continue to repeat the same thing that we are disputing without trying to resolve anything or convening a meeting to properly negotiate on the demands forwarded.

COSATU call on the members of the community, all motorists and all affected people to come and join our action as we march to this toll gate on the 11 May 2012 from the Swartruggens police station from 12h00.

For more information contact Solly Phetoe the Provincial Secretary of COSATU North West at 082 304 4055

COSATU Salutes Wits Students’ Heroic Boycott Campaign
Cosatu 9 May 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) salutes the resilient boycott campaign undertaken by Wits Students in support of the 17 dismissed Royal Mnandi dining hall workers.

Wits students embarked on this meal boycott campaign after Royal Mnandi catering company dismissed 17 of its workers. The workers were dismissed for merely refusing to move to other dining halls outside of campus due to lack of consultation and the additional financial burden they will incur as a result of relocation. The student boycott campaign has seen Royal Mnandi lose thousands in profits.

COSATU is encouraged that so many young people have refused to be neutral in the battle between the rich and the poor in this country. We salute the revolutionary conscience of these students who would rather go hungry than allow injustice to be committed against workers.

Students and youth have a rich history of challenging injustice and inequality. This is reminiscent of the role that youth and students played in the anti-apartheid boycotts which contributed to making the entire apartheid system unworkable. The Wits students’ response to the attack on the worker rights by this company is line with the struggles undertaken by students across the world such as Chile and France against neoliberal policies and a global assault on the poor.

We call on the students to intensify the campaign against out-sourcing, labour brokering and the privatisation of services in universities. Experience has shown that students and workers are the main losers in the privatisation and out-sourcing game.

COSATU urges Wits students to press on with this action until the company unconditionally reinstates the dismissed workers.

Phindile Kunene (Shopsteward Magazine Editor)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
Mobile: +27 79 167 9544 or 82 494 2409

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