||Councillor’s house set alight
IOL News 14 June 2012
A councillor's house in Mahikeng was set on fire by residents protesting against poor service delivery, North West police said on Thursday.
“There was nothing the police or emergency workers could do to save the house when we arrived,” spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.
Ngubane said the house, in Extension 38, was torched on Wednesday, during ongoing protests in the province.
“The community of Extension 38 have joined other communities in the North West who are complaining about the municipality's poor service delivery.”
Ngubane said the councillor reported that children in the area were stoning cars and barricading roads.
“The situation currently is calm and under control, but we will continue to monitor the area,” he said on Thursday afternoon.
“Telkom poles were also damaged through the night and the department of public works has since promised to assist with the clearing of roads,” Ngubane said.
No arrests had been made. - Sapa
TAC marches over drugs shortages
Yusuf Omar (IOL News) 15 June 2012
TAC activists marched on the Department of Health in Joburg CBD to protest against the lack ARVs at public clinics. Photo: Dumisani Dube
More than 400 people, most of them women, marched on the Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development on Thursday demanding basic health services in their communities.
“Do not gamble with our lives,” some of the placards read.
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) members came from all corners of Gauteng, singing the same struggle songs and echoing the same complaints – drug shortages in clinics, namely ARVs.
Arriving on Sauer Street shortly after noon, many donned white-and-yellow “HIV positive”-branded T-shirts and bibs.
“On national television, the Minister of Health Doctor Aaron Motsoaledi said the depots are fully stocked with drugs, but it’s not the case,” said community leader, Mlungisi Dlamini.
There are 2 000 TAC members of 33 branches across Gauteng.
TAC deputy chairman Lotty Modjadji read the memorandum out to the crowd, before handing it to a representative of the department. “We have multiple reports that clinics don’t have adequate supplies of ARVs.”
He said blood samples took months to be processed and there was a shortage of nurses across the board. “This problem is not unique to Gauteng. It’s a national issue,” said Modjadji.
He said clinics were giving patients replacement ARVs, with severe side effects. “No to Stavudine. We need Tenofovir now!” the marchers cried. “We are dying,” a woman shouted.
The TAC has given the department 14 working days to respond.
“We are tired of coming back here,” TAC Ekurhuleni deputy chairwoman Portia Serote shouted over the loudspeaker. “This is our constitutional right to life. Section 27 says everyone has a right to health-care services.”
Department of Health spokesman Simon Zwane observed the march from the periphery. “These claims are based on a historical understanding. The situation of ARV availability has improved over the past two months,” said Zwane.
“We used to get supplies from two companies. This has now increased to four,” he said.
Zwane said budgets were no longer an issue and that all suppliers had been paid in April.
He acknowledged that when there were no regional supplies of an ARV, a clinically approved substitute would be given.
A community’s pact over mob killing
Daneel Knoetze 15 June 2012
A 35-year-old man, centre, was released after being held for questioning over a mob murder. He was released without charge. Photo: Henk Kruger
A crowd of about 200 people gathered outside Atlantis police station on Thursday awaiting the release of a man accused of a mob justice killing.
The victim of the vigilante killing was accused of murdering the brother of the man who had handed himself over to police for questioning on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old man’s brother, 24, was killed after a dispute on Sunday.
When it became clear that the police were intending to hold the man overnight, a crowd of about 500 people gathered in Witsand (an informal settlement outside Atlantis) and marched on the police station, demanding his release.
The man had been due to appear in the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, but negotiations between his lawyer and the magistrate had led to his release without charge, said Cyril Dicks, Atlantis police station spokesman. “The murder investigation is still ongoing. If enough evidence is gathered to positively link him to the murder, we will not hesitate to arrest him.”
A hero’s welcome awaited the man as he left the gates of the Atlantis police station on Thursday.
He was ushered to the front of a singing crowd and led them on foot back to Witsand.
Community members were reluctant to discuss the circumstances that led to the killing of the man suspected of murdering the released man’s brother.
The released man said: “It is not right what was done. But sometimes we have no choice. We have lost our confidence in the police.”
“We will stand as one,” shouted a man over a megaphone to the crowd.
“Investigators will come to our houses and ask us questions, but we will all say: ‘We don’t know’.”
Ward councillor Barbara Rass said the mob killing was an “isolated incident” that stemmed from an argument between two men.
Modderdam protest cleared
IOL News 14 June 2012
About 100 people blocked roads with burning tyres in Modderdam, Cape Town, on Thursday morning but later dispersed, Western Cape police said.
Warrant Officer November Filander said residents gathered on the corner of Lavis Drive and 35th Avenue to protest over a lack of housing.
He said stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd as they were throwing stones. The road was cleared by 7am. No arrests were made.
On Wednesday morning, about 150 people protested nearby at the corner of Stellenbosch Road and Modderdam East road.
Filander said residents were apparently unhappy about their living conditions and also wanted houses.
A 19-year-old man was arrested for public violence.
A councillor arranged a formal meeting with the community of Freedom Park and Malawi Camp and the crowd dispersed around 9.30am. – Sapa
Horrific conditions led to protests
Neo Maditla (IOL News) 14 June 2012
Rosetta Afrika, 44, lifts two wooden boards in her backyard to reveal a hole in the ground, which is to be her toilet for the next six months.
Afrika and her neighbours in Malawi Camp, on the corner of Modderdam Road and Stellenbosch Arterial, have no electricity, running water or toilets. They either have to relieve themselves in buckets in their homes or dig holes outside to use as toilets.
She was one of the residents from Malawi Camp and the neighbouring Freedom Park who took to the streets in a service delivery protest on Wednesday.
Nceba Ngongoshe, a Freedom Park community leader, said they wanted an investigation into the allocation of new houses in Delft to residents who they said had only lived in the area for a few years while those who have been on the waiting list for 20 years are still waiting. He said they were “fed up” and would continue protesting till they got answers.
Across the road lies Malawi Camp, where Afrika and her neighbours, spurred on by what they saw in Freedom Park, also started protesting.
Gordon Khudunyane, a community leader in Malawi Camp, said they also wanted to know why their water had been cut off a month ago.
The tap a few feet from Afrika’s house is not working, neither is one a few metres down the road. They have to walk a long way to get water.
She shares her two-roomed shack with her husband, three children and her three-year-old grandson.
Afrika showed the Cape Argus a document from 1996, which showed she’s on the housing waiting list.
She is still waiting, while newer arrivals get houses, she says.
CWU STATEMENT ON S.A POST OFFICE
IOL News 13 June 2012
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) in Gauteng will be marching to the Union Building in Pretoria (Tshwane) to defend workers rights against Labour brokers at the South African Post Office (Sapo) tomorrow on 14 June 2012.
The S.A Post Office has been making allegations that they have reached an agreement with CWU. As CWU we want to make the record straight that we have never reached any agreement with S.A Post Office and any agreement that they claim or maintain to be reached is illegal in terms of our recognition agreement. Our course is clear and unambiguous that “Labour Brokering” must be banned and that employees must be converted into permanent jobs. CWU believes that this is possible given the amount of money budgeted for the payment of Labour Brokers
CWU urge all S.A Post Office labour brokers workers to down tools tomorrow join and CWU’s march to the following. (i) the Union Building (Tshwane); (ii) Department of Communications; (iii) Public Enterprise and (iv) Treasury. We also urge permanent workers in the ICT Sector who may not be on duty to join this march in solidarity with fellow workers.
CWU will march to Union Building in Pretoria (Tshwane) to demand the following:
· Total ban of Labour brokers at the S.A Post Office and they must employ all workers under Labour brokers permanently.
· NO to Youth wage Subsidy
· Reinstatement of 250 Call Centre workers retrenched by the government of Gauteng in the GSSC.
· Reversal of the Speed Service outsourcing to Courier Freight Group (CFG).
Details of the march:
· Date: 14 June 2012
· Venue: Church Square (Pretoria)
· Time: 9:00am
All media houses are invited.
For more Information, contact: CWU Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala – 0829948196
Matankana Mothapo, CWU National Spokesperson - 0827590900
Man shot in Zandspruit protest
IOL News 14 June 2012
A man was shot and wounded at the Zandspruit informal settlement, west of Joburg, during a protest on Wednesday night, police said.
The shooting apparently happened when two groups of protesters clashed.
Eye witnesses told the police one group wanted to loot the shops of foreign nationals while the second one sought to stop this, Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said on Thursday.
He said the man was rushed to Helen Joseph Hospital in Joburg in a critical condition.
Police were investigating a case of attempted murder.
Dlamini said police arrested 12 people on Wednesday during protests over service delivery.
“They will appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday to face charges of public violence,” he said.
Dlamini said police had to stop a group of protesters from attacking a mall in Randburg.
Police were still keeping watch, he said.
Johannesburg metro police said protesters continued burning tyres in Beyers Naude Drive, resulting in the road being partially closed between Juice and Peter roads.
Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said there was a heavy police presence and motorists were advised to avoid the area and use Malibongwe Drive and Hendrik Potgieter road as alternatives.”
On Wednesday, protesters blocked Beyers Naude Drive with stones and rocks and threw stones at cars. – Sapa
Zandspruit protest ends
IOL News 13 June 2012
“The protest has now ended, and we, along with the JRA (Johannesburg Roads Agency) have started to clear the debris,” spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
He said the protesters dispersed just after 9am.
Earlier, police officers were deployed to Beyers Naude drive when residents threw rocks at passing cars and burnt tyres in the road. A section of the road was subsequently closed.
Minnaar said the residents were protesting because they wanted to host the ANC centenary flame.
“We now know why they were protesting, they wanted the ANC centenary flame to go to Zandspruit.” But media reports from the scene said the protest was related to service delivery in the area. - Sapa
Protests in Zandspruit
IOL News 13 June 2012
“Due to rocks and stones in the road and people throwing stones at cars we have had to close Beyers Naude Drive near Peter Road,” spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
“Cars going from Krugersdorp to Johannesburg will not be able to use that road. We are not sure about the reasons for the protest but it is not safe.”
Minnaar said there is a heavy police presence in the area. - Sapa
Refugees protest in Pretoria
IOL News 13 June 2012
Captain Louise Reed said the refugees were unhappy with the way they were being treated at the offices and began to get “rowdy”.
“They burnt a few tyres, but that was it. Some of them are still hanging around and seem to be negotiating with the head people (at the office),” she said.
“A helicopter flew overhead (and) did a rough estimate of the protesters. We can say that there were about 1 000 people there, but it's all over now and to my knowledge no one was injured.”
Legal organisation Lawyers for Human Rights said the protest started just after 6am when officials at the office allegedly refused to serve the refugees.
“The protest appears to be motivated by the poor access to the facility and the inability of asylum seekers and refugees to be able to get the services which are supposed to be provided by that office,” it said.
“They will need to return next week if their permits are not renewed today, which will place many of them in a serious situation, where they will be vulnerable to arrest and detention if their permits lapse.”
Eye witnesses at the scene said that there were nearly 3 000 people protesting. – Sapa
March against ill health
Sipokazi Fokazi (IOL News) 13 June 2012
Community health forums say they have been sidelined and not been properly engaged in the running of health services in the Western Cape, leaving them in the dark about health delivery failures.
On Tuesday, a small group of community health workers, led by the Cape Metro Health Forum, marched to the provincial legislature to deliver their list of grievances which include a lack of response by the department to the chronic medication crisis.
The province has been experiencing ongoing problems with the distribution of chronic medication to clinics following the takeover of the centralised Chronic Dispensing Unit (CDU) service.
UTi Pharma took over the distribution of chronic medication to almost 200 000 patients in the province in April.
Since then, the service has been beset with problems – including delays in the delivery of pre-packed medicine and shortages of medication. These glitches have resulted in long queues and some patients being turned away.
In a memorandum handed over to the department yesterday, the forums said there was not only silencing of community participation under Health MEC Theuns Botha’s leadership, but also an abuse of power at community level, exploitation of community care workers, as well as a lack of funding of these structures.
The department said the forum was marching to air its grievances with the withdrawal of its funding.
COSATU NW to march to demand protection of women and children – Friday 15 June
Cosatu 13 June 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West is disturbed by the alarming increase in gender-related violence and criminal activities in the province.
It has now become a daily or hourly activity that a women, a child or both are raped, killed physically abused, assaulted or all of the above.
What is worrying is the rate of arrest and conviction of the accused in these kinds of crime and the willingness of the courts to give the perpetrators bail of as little as between R100 and R1000. Often the same perpetrators go on to kill their victims if they are still alive.
In this province our women and children are no longer safe in any way.
The community of North West, including the working class and the poor, will not stand on the periphery and leave the criminals to reign.
COSATU has found it important to take up this matter of the community as the members of the community are members of COSATU and are affected by these social ills
COSATU has called a march to the South African Police Service, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Departments of Human Settlement, Public Safety and Liaison and Social Development, Women, Children and People with Disabilities, to demand the protection of women and children and also to demand that the perpetrators must be brought to book and no bail must be given to anyone accused of these type of crimes.
The COSATU march will be led by the President and General secretary of COSATU, Sidumo Dlamini and Zwelinzima Vavi, the second deputy president of COSATU, Zingiswa Losi, the premier of the North West, Thandi Modise, church leaders and the members of the Central Executive Committee of COSATU, who are national office bearers of COSATU unions.
The march will be on Friday 15 June 2012, gathering from 10h00 at Tshwaraganang centre in Ikageng location in Potchefstroom and we will march at 12h00. COSATU will hand over the memorandum to the leadership of the above-mentioned departments at the Wespol Park at 14h 00.
All people who are against women and child abuse are welcomed to join us, as we fight against these social ills which are terrorising our society, in particular the young children, and young girls who are raped on a daily basis.
We call on our members to join this action with massive support to fight and protect our children and women.
The media are invited to attend and report.
For more information contact Solly Phetoe, COSATU North West Provincial Secretary, at 082 304 4055
DA’s march for youth wage subsidy
Sherlissa Peters (IOL News) 12 June 2012
About 200 DA supporters marched through Pietermaritzburg’s CBD on Monday to Premier Zweli Mkhize’s offices in Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street demanding the introduction of a youth wage subsidy.
Led by DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu, the marchers toyi-toyied through the streets carrying flags and placards.
Mazibuko and Mchunu handed over a memorandum to the premier’s representative, Cyril Xaba, after which the march ended peacefully.
Addressing the crowd and the premier’s contingent, Mazibuko said the DA had noted Mkhize’s support for a youth wage subsidy. “We are calling for the premier to back the Western Cape call for provinces with the political will to roll out the subsidy, to be given a share of Treasury’s budgeted R5 billion,” she said.
Mazibuko further asked that young people in KZN “be given the opportunity to rise to their potential and enter the economic arena”.
According to the memorandum handed to Xaba, there are 3.1 million unemployed youths in SA, and research by the Human Sciences Research Council indicated that less than 50 percent of current matriculants will hold jobs before they turn 24.
The DA has said that a youth wage subsidy would act as an incentive for on-the-job training.
After the march on Monday, Premier Mkhize called on political parties to engage constructively on youth development instead of playing with emotions of vulnerable members of our society in order to advance narrow, party-political interests.
“We have long expressed our support for the youth wage subsidy, which was initially announced by the Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan two years ago, with an allocation of about R5bn in the February Budget estimates. We have expressed our hope that this matter, which is currently before the National Economic Develop-ment and Labour Council will be resolved speedily and recommendations made to national and provincial cabinet,” Mkhize said.
“We can safely say that KwaZulu-Natal is readying itself for the implementation of this initiative.”
Mkhize said that to support students from poor families, the provincial government has awarded 2 743 students bursaries worth more than R112.2 million so far this year.
There are more than 1 051 interns this year working for various provincial government departments, costing government more than R52.4m.
Mkhize also said that R55m has been allocated towards the Youth Ambassador Campaign in an attempt to deal with the challenges of social ills.
Last month, the DA marched to the Congress of SA Trade Unions’ headquarters in Johannesburg about job losses and Cosatu’s opposition to the youth wage subsidy.
The march turned violent when it was met by toyi-toying Cosatu members.
Cosatu is against the subsidy, which it said would encourage companies to hire cheap, young labour just for the subsidy, leading to the retrenchment of older workers.
Sapa reported that the process of adopting a youth wage subsidy was being speeded up following an announcement by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on Monday. Replying to a written parliamentary question from DA MP Kenneth Mubu, Patel said moves were under way to accelerate discussions at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.
Parliament’s finance committee has been told the design of the subsidy will be completed by the end of June. - Daily News
Two arrested for violent protest
IOL News 7 June 2012
Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said the protest started at noon.
“Protesters torched the office of a local councillor, while roads were barricaded with rocks and logs.”
Labans said the situation was quiet on Thursday evening and that police were monitoring the area.
The two people arrested faced charges of public violence and were expected to appear in court soon, he said. - Sapa
Cop in court over violent protest
IOL News 7 June 2012
A police constable accused of instigating a violent protest in Barberton was granted bail on Thursday.
A police constable accused of instigating a violent protest in Barberton was granted bail on Thursday, Mpumalanga police said.
Const Melusi Muzikayise Manyisa, 31, appeared in the Barberton Magistrate's Court with Alfred Mkhabela, 32, said Sergeant Gerald Sedibe.
“Both these men face charges of public violence, arson and intimidation, and the matter was postponed to August 6,” he said.
Sedibe said they were allegedly part of group of protesters which torched a satellite police station and municipal buildings on Monday. Manyisa was off-duty at the time.
Sedibe said the protest started on Monday morning, and police had to use teargas when residents looted shops belonging to foreigners.
“Protesters were demanding that the proposed Mpumalanga University, rumoured to be constructed in White River, be built in Barberton.”
He said Manyisa was also the subject of an internal police investigation. - Sapa
Angry mob gather at house of councillor
Rod Skinner 6 June 2012
Breaking news story: An angry mob surrounded the house of Ward 1 councillor in Ezakheni
Police and Public Safety officers rushed out to Ezakheni C-section after receiving reports that a councillor was being assaulted by the community.
Angry residents sealed off parts of C-section with rocks, burning tyres and litter.
Emergency services battled to get to the councillor's house.
While initial reports said the councillor was injured, this was not the case.
While a large crowd gathered outside his house, he was not home at the time.
The crowd is expected to return when he returns from work.
Police and Public Safety officers are out in force.
Community overpowers cops, burns suspect
IOL News 9 June 2012
A suspected criminal is in a critical condition after he was forcibly taken from police custody and burnt by community members in Diesploot.
Johannesburg - A suspected criminal is in a critical condition after he was forcibly taken from police custody and burnt by community members in Diesploot, Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) said on Saturday
Spokesman Synock Matobako said the team arrived on the scene at 7am on Saturday.
“He (the alleged criminal) was already under arrest but we are not sure why. We received information that the community had overpowered the police and took him out and burn him.”
“We were not able to get in because there were a lot of community members.
“We normally tell our paramedics that if an area is not safe, they should wait for a police escort.”
The paramedics had five police vehicles with them, but Matobako said the EMS felt that it was still not safe for them to advance into the area.
“So the police went in and brought the patient to us....he had first degree burns to his whole body. We weren't able to ascertain if they used petrol of if they used a tyre” said Matobako.
The man, in his 30s, was taken to the Thembisa Hospital. - Sapa
Suspected shoplifter beaten to death
IOL News 7 June 2012
A suspected shoplifter was beaten to death in Polokwane after he allegedly stole sweets from a shop, Limpopo police said on Thursday.
Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the man was caught by a mob as he tried to flee the shop.
“It is believed the mob used different objects to beat the man to death.”
Ngoepe said the man was declared dead on the scene by paramedics.
“We are very worried about the trend of people resorting to taking (the) law into their (own) hands.”
Ngoepe warned that those involved would be prosecuted.
Police were investigating a murder case. – Sapa
COSATU NW engage on rolling mass action to fight the social ills and making the lives of the people better
Cosatu 7 June 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West will start a programme of rolling mass action to make the lives of the people of the province better and as part of its campaign of revolutionary commitment to serve the people of the country.
COSATU will start this campaign with an address to the 850 dismissed workers of Chubby Chick on 7th June 2012 in preparation for the handing of food parcels on 15th June 2012 in Potchefstroom by the Gift of Givers Foundation.
This will be followed by a follow-up meeting with workers of Aurora who have since been left in poverty by heartless employers who have been refusing to pay then since 2009. The meeting will be on 8th June 2012 at 10h00.
COSATU will then convene a march which will be led by its general secretary and the premier of the North West to demand the protection of women and children and an end to gender-based violence that is haunting the province.
On 16 June 2012 COSATU together with Sun City will continue with a brick-making project at Moruleng in order to build a house for the family whose house has collapsed. The house will be handed over on 18 July as part of the Mandela day activities. Gift of Givers will also issue food parcels to the family
On Monday 18th June 2012 COSATU together with the Gift of the Givers foundation will visit Pica Pau school in the most rural part of the province of Pomfret to give out school uniforms, clothes and shoes. Gift of the Givers will, together with COSATU, erect a water tank to make sure that water is supplied in the school.
On July 16 COSATU and Gift of Givers will open a food kitchen in Verdwaal as part of the poverty alleviation programme, since four children died when they went to look for their mother who went to look for food for them.
Our campaign against the high toll fees on the N4 will not left behind as we will march to the toll gate again on the 22 June 2012. This time we will have one march in Groot Marico and another march in Swartruggens. We call on all the motorists who support this campaign to join us on that day.
As COSATU North West we want to high light the fact that we care about all the issues which are affecting the communities and the working class at large and we will fight for them until our demands are met.
COSATU as part of the revolutionary commitment will continue to defend the poor communities including its members who are exploited by the racist employers and killed by our own African black brothers after raping the young girls and old women.
We call on all civil society, the MDM structures, our alliance, our churches including our youth to support our march demanding that criminals must rotten in jail, no bail or if it is granted it must be very high.
For more information call the COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on 0823044055
MEC condemns protest vandalism
IOL News 6 June 2012
Mpumalanga community safety MEC Vusi Shongwe condemned the vandalism of government property during a residents' protest in Barberton on Wednesday.
“Whilst we acknowledge the concerns that they are raising, we cannot tolerate anarchy and those who break the law would be severely dealt with,” Shongwe said.
Community members started a service delivery protest on Tuesday, following a similar protest on Friday.
In a memorandum, residents demanded the removal of Umjindi Local Municipality's executive mayor Lazarus Mashaba and his council. They want a university, rumoured to be built in White River, to be built in Barberton.
“We cannot have the situation in which people continue demanding without anything happening,” said Society for the Protection of the Constitution spokesman Mahomed Vawda.
Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said residents set alight a satellite police station.
He police had arrested 32 protesters. They appeared in the Barberton Magistrate's Court on Wednesday on charges of public violence and damage to property. - Sapa
Violent protest continues in Mogwase
IOL News 6 June 2012
A total of 36 people have been arrested since the start of a violent protest in Mogwase, North West police said on Wednesday.
They faced charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson, said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.
He said the protest started on Tuesday night, and turned violent on Wednesday when protesters assaulted a bus driver and torched a bus.
“During the early hours of Wednesday, protesters threw petrol bombs at a house of a municipality councillor,” he said.
Two trucks were also pelted with stones and badly damaged.
Ngubane said the community of Bakgatla ba Kgafela, in Moruleng, was unhappy that it had not received feedback from the Bakgatla ba Kgafela Tribal Authority (BBKTA) to a memorandum of grievances handed over in May.
The community had demanded, among others, that the BBKTA do something to ensure local people were favoured for employment at the Pilanesberg Mines, near Mothlabe village. It claimed the BBKTA held shares in the mine.
“Schools were closed on Wednesday as teachers could not reach the schools,” said Ngubane.
He said traffic was brought to a standstill when protesters barricaded roads.
Ngubane said the situation remained tense and police would continue to monitor the affected areas. - Sapa
Violence worsens in protests
IOL News 7 June 2012
Two trucks were set alight on Thursday in worsening public violence in Kanana and Moruleng, North West police said.
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said one truck driver managed to escape while the other was assaulted by a mob.
In another incident, a truck was involved in an accident after it swerved to avoid a stone barricade and hit a tree. The driver was unharmed.
In Magong Village near Moruleng, a shop belonging to a foreign national was looted, with police arresting one person. Twenty people were arrested by Thursday afternoon.
Ngubane said that a march was planned for later on Thursday, from Lerome to Moses Kotane Municipality.
“The purpose of the march is the demand for (Reconstruction and Development Programme) housing and alleviation of unemployment,” said Ngubane.
The march was organised by a group called Activists For A Better Life For All. – Sapa
Unfair labour practices at Legend Lodge Golf Estate
COSATU LIMPOPO MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE : 05 JUNE 2012.
TO : ALL MEDIA HOUSES
COSATU LIMPOPO, has learned with shock the unfair labour practices that are happening at Legend Lodge Golf Estate, in Mokopane, Waterberg Area.
The workers have been on strike for nearly a month now and negotiations will again resume tomorrow at 11h00 am. The workers’ demands amongst others are as follows:
· They haven’t received increase for two years
· No provident fund
· No bonuses
COSATU Provincial Secretary will address the workers at Legend Lodge Golf Estate on the 6th of June 2012 at 10h00am
For further information please contact, Cde. Dan Sebabi on 072 515 6699 or 082 779 2421.
Dan Thotogelo Sebabi
COSATU Limpopo Provincial Secretary
082 779 2421 / 072 515 6699
Strike of Ace Parking Marshalls.
DSM South Africa 6 June 2012
Please be informed that the parking marshalls employed by Ace Parking, a company contracted by the City of Johannesburg and other councils including, Cape town metro to manage the parking services in the metro areas,have embarked on strike action today in demand of the following amongst others;
1) Minimum wage of R3500
2) Provident fund and other benefits
3) End to privatisations of the roads and parking services.
Currently the workers are toyi-toying outside the Ace Parking offices (corner Eloff and Commissioner streets, Johannesburg) while management is scandalously keeping other workers inside the locked building, where they are irregularly being forced to sign new contracts. Those who refuse have been told that they no longer have a job.
We believe that the whole contract of the City of Johannesburg and Ace Parking is part of the neo-liberal programme to privatise essential public services including roads and parking, with the view to exploit both workers and the residents who are being made to pay exhorbitant parking fees to enrich not the parking marshalls, who are getting only 15% of their daily collection or the City coffers, which is only entitled to 25% of revenue, but Ace Parking which stand to make gain R1,3 billion rands in the next coming three years if their plans to expand and cover the whole of Johannesburg are realised. We are therefore calling for a democratic public management of parking services on principles of community and workers control to ensure that parking services are affordable for motorists, roads and parking services are well-maintained, secure and accessible; and marshalls paid decent wages.
The protest is going on right now at Ace parking offices at Cnr Eloff and Commissioner, His Majesty Building and will be unfolding through a programme of rolling mass actions, including calls for occupation of Johannesburg streets and joint march to the Metro council on Friday, which will be involving community and resident organisations. We believe that just as privatisation of roads through the e-tolling was defeated, if only temporarily, by mass action and Cosatu general strike, equally privatisation of parking spaces can be defeated by a determined and conscious resistence of the workers and community.
For further information please contact Mametlwe Sebei at 072 657 6750 or Wilson Makola at 0747140707
Western Cape had most protests
IOL News 6 June 2012
JOHANNESBURG: The Western Cape was the most protest-afflicted province in 2012, an independent local government and data intelligence organisation said yesterday.
“The Free State takes second place while the North West and Eastern Cape follow narrowly in a joint third position,” said Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese.
Protest activity in Gauteng had dropped.
“A policing solution to contain violence and destruction of property is certainly relevant, but it is important for local government, especially councillors, to acknowledge protests without justifying violence,” she said.
Councillors had to be seen to be acting on the valid grievances of protesters.
Heese said the highest number of monthly protests ever recorded on its Hotspots Monitor was registered in May.
“Protests in May were as diverse as they were common. From demands for housing in Cape Town to a cluster of North West protests for tarred roads, the worrying theme was that they were violent and demonstrated high levels of frustration.”– Sapa
Home Affairs denies refugee ‘riot’
IOL News 5 June 2012
There was no riot at the Lindela Repatriation Centre outside Krugersdorp, the department of home affairs said on Tuesday.
Spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa denied there was a riot at the centre on Monday as reported by some media on Tuesday.
“Our reports are contrary to that. Our understanding is that inmates were trying to force early release from the centre.”
He denied reports that there were violent confrontations between guards and inmates at the centre.
According to the Immigration Act, the department cannot detain refugees for more than 120 days.
“There is a trend developing where inmates refuse to supply details of their nationalities, which leads to delays because we cannot contact their embassies,” Mamoepa said.
The department was powerless to deport inmates or process their applications without consulting the relevant embassy.
This put the department in a “difficult position” because inmates were sometimes kept longer than 120 days because of the lack of co-operation, he said.
The Times reported on Tuesday that inmates of the West Rand refugee centre staged a protest that turned violent when guards fired rubber bullets and teargas.
The reason given for the alleged riot was that the department held them for periods longer than the permitted 120 days.
A Lindela inmate, who asked not to be named, said he had signed a document for his release on Thursday after being detained for more than three months.
“Instead of being released together with other inmates, we were taken to different police stations where we spent the night.”
They were then returned to the repatriation centre.
Home affairs spokeswoman Manusha Pillai denied there was a riot on Monday.
“Some of the deportees, however, allegedly attempted to incite others to riot against the department's mandate to deport foreign nationals, in breach of South Africa's immigration law,” she told the newspaper. - Sapa
Mob mission: Beat to kill
Sibongakonke Mama (IOL News) 4 June 2012
Nyanga residents are taking the law into their own hands, hunting down youngsters they claim are terrorising their community.
This comes as acts of vigilante necklacing in Khayelitsha and surrounding areas have claimed the lives of eight people so far this year.
Every evening for the past week, a group of men have gone door to door on the streets of Hlazo Village, around the Newlands hostels, searching for young men they accuse of mugging them on their way to work.
The men then beat the youngsters and demolish or sometimes burn their shacks.
Residents say the police have failed them.
“That police station might as well close down. They (police) don’t exist here,” said one resident who preferred not to be named.
“We beat to kill. That’s it, there’s no other way. We don’t want them anywhere here. If they don’t go back to the rural areas, we kill them.”
He said that if they didn’t find the youngsters at home, their families had to account for them because they were protecting them.
“As a parent, you can’t not know where your child is,” he said.
He said beating the culprits to discipline them was not an option.
“If we don’t kill them, they will come back for us with their thug mates. We burn their shacks because we don’t want them to have a place to stay here. We can’t have them influencing the younger ones,” he said.
Young males known to be involved in theft have fled the area. Residents say some of the youngsters have been badly beaten and admitted to hospital, while there are unconfirmed reports of at least one death.
On Friday, one of the youngsters left Cape Town for the Eastern Cape because of the threats made to his family.
“I heard they (the community) don’t even want to beat me. They just want to put a tyre around my neck and set me alight,” he told the Cape Argus.
He was lucky not to have been in his shack when residents arrived with knobkieries, knives and axes last Monday morning.
“They got to my place just before 3am on Monday. They found two of my friends and beat them up. The guy who lives in the shack next door tells me they were looking for me and a DVD player that a friend had asked me to keep for him. I’m scared. I’m also very worried about my family.
“They’re just hitting anyone now. Yes, I’m a thug, I’ve been on tik since 2005. I steal, but I don’t steal from people in my own community. I do my stuff outside the community. I don’t mug my own people.”
He said it was difficult for him to go to the police.
“I have to walk past the residents who are after me when going to the police station. I’m just going to go home and see when I come back whether or not they kill me,” he said.
Families of these youngsters said they fear for their and the young men’s lives.
Theophilus Mangoli, councillor for Ward 37, said he was aware of the problem and had intervened through the police. “The community is very angry. The crime rate is too high and it’s mostly because of these young ones, so I understand their patrols. But they have to be co-ordinated and there has to be accountability.”
Mangoli said he had a meeting with community leaders, police and patrollers at the police station on Thursday. “(Today) we will have another meeting where we will map the way forward regarding the patrols.”
Although he supports the patrols, he does not condone the beatings and burning down of shacks.
Mangoli said many of the children stole to support their drug habits.
“A good plan would be to close down the drug dens in the community. The community is well aware of where these drug dens are,” said Mangoli. “They live here, they see what happens. These youngsters get arrested today and they’re out within the next three days. I can’t dispute (the community) saying that the police don’t do their jobs, but not all police are like that.”
Relatives of the young criminals say they also feel as if they are under attack.
A woman, whose brother is the young man who left for the Eastern Cape on Friday, said she felt like a prisoner in her own home.
“I didn’t even sleep at home on Wednesday night. I went to a friend’s place just to get a little peace of mind.”
A woman who has also sent her son back to the Eastern Cape said she was scared for her life.
“They said they will do to me what they were going to do to him if they find out that I’m hiding him. They said they don’t even want to see a picture of him, I must burn it,” she said.
“I’m not protecting my son, he is a thug. He steals people’s phones. I’m always telling him to return them.
“The police don’t arrest these children, and if they do they are released the very next day.”
Residents seem torn about the mob justice in the area.
One man said the residents were doing the right thing.
“These boys harass us every morning on our way to work. No one is safe. In the middle of the night, sometimes, you hear screams of women being attacked. The police can’t do anything; the community is right in dealing with them,” he said.
One woman understood residents’ frustration, but said police needed to step in.
“The police don’t do their jobs. If they did none of this would be happening. These youngsters are causing trouble, but I don’t agree with the way they’re being beaten,” she said.
Police could not confirm the number of attacks, deaths or people hospitalised, but said they were aware of “acts of vigilantism” in Nyanga, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.
Police spokesman Lieutenant- Colonel Andre Traut said communities would not be allowed to take the law into their own hands.
“Those who make themselves responsible for punishing members of the community become criminals themselves. They will be dealt with accordingly,” said Traut.
Orange Farm residents in battle for service
NTOMBI NDHLOVU (IOL News)
5 June 2012
Pensioner Maria Radebe was supposed to be at the clinic on Monday, but instead she decided to join hundreds of protesters who were demanding housing, electricity and toilets in Orange Farm.
The service delivery protest in Link Road was characterised by shouting, and stones and sticks being thrown, with policemen at the ready.
Residents are complaining about the lack of infrastructure development and basic services. They want a library, community hall, a park, tarred roads, housing and electricity.
Most of the residents from Stratford 2 who came to the protest outside the Orange Farm Multipurpose Centre were women.
“I was supposed to be at the clinic, collecting my medication, but I decided to come here to add my voice to our cries,” said Radebe, 65, a resident of Stratford 2 since 1990.
Radebe has applied for an RDP house five times and, like so many other residents, she has been waiting for 18 years.
Radebe’s long-time friend and neighbour, Adelaine Mjothini, 76, who has been living in the area for more than 20 years, is waiting for service delivery in her area.
“What hurts me the most, though, is that I have been here for 22 years and all other developments are happening right in front of me (in other areas).”
Mjothini is referring to sections called Bambayi and extensions 4, 5 and 6.
“These areas came way after our area in Stratford 2, but they are developed. They have houses, tarred roads and other services.”
The elderly women’s sentiments are echoed by the hundreds of residents gathered outside the gates of the centre.
They complained, too, that the pit toilets had caused a rodent infestation and were the source of many illnesses in the area. The pit toilets are also a popular spot for some people to dump their newborn babies.
Ambulances won’t come to their area because the roads are too bad.
“An old woman died on the road, trying to reach an ambulance that was waiting for her at a corner,” one of the elderly women recalled.
The rainy season was bad as their shacks leaked.
“We are old and we are cold,” said Radebe. “Are we going to die under these conditions?”
Residents want their Ward 2 councillor, Mcingathi Mazibuko, to explain why housing is not featured on the budget.
“We want to know why this is not a priority and what is happening to all the money budgeted for our development,” said Leonard Mokoena, 38, who has been a resident in Ward 2 for 15 years.
“We are tired of councillors lining their pockets and filling their bellies.”
Justice Ngalonkulu, the City of Joburg’s chief whip, addressed the crowd behind the centre’s locked gate.
“The people who are in authority and have the power are not here today. I have spoken to three MECs – for housing, social development and infrastructure development; they will all be here tomorrow to address you,” he said.
Eric Nyundu, appointed by the residents to represent them at the meeting, said: “We took our issues such as housing, lights and toilets to the table. We didn’t get concrete responses because they told us the relevant people are not here to address us.”
Mazibuko and Ngalonkulu went on a walkabout with the residents through the area so they could show him first-hand their dire living conditions.
Mazibuko said corruption was to blame for the fact that most residents didn’t have houses that they had applied for 18 years ago.
“It does happen that when the time comes to hand houses to the right people, the houses were passed on to somebody else. There is corruption involved, I will admit,” he said.
Mazibuko added that for most of the 8km walk with the residents, he had kept his head down, in what one resident called “the walk of shame”.
Highway barricaded in protest
IOL News4 June 2012
Several residents from Orange Farm in south Gauteng have barricaded sections of the Golden Highway during a service delivery protest on Monday, police said.
“The protesters are using rocks and tyres. The protest started at around 1am, and it is still carrying on,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
“We have police there to oversee the situation, and there has been no violence.”
He said the protest was related to service delivery, but could not provide further details.
Johannesburg metro police spokesman Superintendent Wayne Minnaar advised motorists to use the N1 highway as an alternative. - Sapa
‘People’s plan’ for wetlands
Lauren Manning (IOL News) 4 June 2012
“I quickly explained that he would throw the fish back, but I think it says a lot about children wanting to save nature and their appreciation for the environment,” Bam said.
Environmental protection was just one of the goals expressed at the launch of the People’s Plan for Princess Vlei yesterday.
Bam, a co-ordinator for the Princess Vlei Forum and chairman of the Lotus River, Ottery, Grassy Park Ratepayers’ and Residents Association (Logra), was joined by community members and conservationists to promote the alternative plan for the wetland.
The rally included a walking tour, picnics and braaing along the shore, and more information about the development plan.
Residents have been fighting against the proposed development of a shopping mall on the vlei since 2009. The plan was initially rejected by the city, but developers were given the go-ahead in April by the provincial government despite community opposition.
“It’s inappropriate development. We’re not against all development, but it should be something that maintains a public open space,” Bam said. “You can’t have something that the people don’t want.”
The People’s Plan includes a number of components meant to improve the site’s cultural, historical and environmental significance.
“Don’t rob us, don’t rob our children and don’t rob our grandchildren of the beauty that’s been given to us,” community member Edward Copperfield said.
Residents propose a number of alternative developments including a cultural centre, as a “space for education”.
The community also plans to recreate a Khoisan village to establish more understanding of the area’s historical significance.
Bam thinks the area is important as a place of “remembering” what it meant to the first people in the Cape and how it was used during the colonial era, the apartheid years, the start of democracy and today.
There are also discussions about the establishing of overnight urban hiking trails to Elephant’s Eye Cave and the Macassar Dunes, and the continuation of a community-led ecological rehabilitation project.
On June 16, supporters of the People’s Plan for Princess Vlei will return to the area for a protest rally.
Edenburg protesters arrested
IOL News 1 June 2012
Nine people were arrested during a protest in Edenburg, in the southern Free State on Friday, police said.
Captain Rulene Kuhn said a group tried to block the R717, the turn-off road into town from the N1 highway at 8am on Friday.
Police used teargas to disperse the crowd. Five women and four men were arrested for taking part in an illegal gathering.
Township residents told local radio station OFM they were struggling with service delivery problems.
They had delivered several memorandums to the municipality highlighting their grievances, but had not had any response.
Kuhn said the situation in the town had been quiet since 1pm on Friday. - Sapa
Mpumalanga protesters in court
IOL News 1 June 2012
Twenty-seven people arrested during a protest appeared in the Barberton Magistrate's Court on Friday, Mpumalanga police said.
They were arrested earlier in the day and were charged with public violence, said Sergeant Gerald Sedibe.
He said three of them were released on bail of R750, and the rest on warnings. Eighteen other people arrested were released earlier, after police discovered they were minors.
The protesters barricaded roads with stones and burning tyres. Police used teargas on them when they looted shops belonging to foreigners.
They were demanding that the proposed Mpumalanga University, which was rumoured to be built in White River, instead be constructed in Barberton.
They believed that this would alleviate unemployment in the area. - Sapa
Protesters held over violence
IOL News 1 June 2012
A total of 45 people were arrested for public violence during a protest in Barberton, Mpumalanga on Friday, police said.
Police used teargas when residents looted shops belonging to foreign nationals, Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said.
He said roads were barricaded with stones and burning tires.
Protesters were demanding that the proposed Mpumalanga University, rumoured to be constructed in White River, be built in Barberton.
They believed this would alleviate unemployment in the area.
Those arrested would appear in Barberton Magistrate's court soon. – Sapa
Doctors protest over unpaid wages
IOL News 29 May 2012
Eastern Cape doctors protested because the provincial health department has failed to pay their salaries for almost six months.
Eastern Cape doctors protested on Tuesday because the provincial health department has failed to pay their salaries for almost six months, the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) said.
The picket, held at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, was led by the SA Medical Association (Sama), said Numsa provincial spokesman Phumzile Nodongwe.
Numsa supported the protest because it threatened the quality of healthcare for the poor.
“In as much as doctors should provide service to poor patients and the elderly, it would be unfair to expect them to execute their duties with perfection without being paid for almost six months.”
The union called on Sama to strike if the matter was not rectified.
Eastern Cape health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the department was working to resolve the technical difficulties that caused the delay in wage payments.
Of the 7 000 staff affected, 4 000 would receive their salaries on Thursday after payments were processed on Monday night. The remaining 3 000 would be paid soon, with the department working overtime to speed up the process.
“The majority are volunteer community health workers who are entitled to a R1500 monthly stipend, but some doctors and nurses were also affected.”
He said the problem was related to a system change, which involved putting in place measures to centralise payments to root out fraud and so-called “ghost” employees.
The new system also required workers and local health institutions to submit documentation before they could be paid. Kupelo said the doctors picketed during their lunch hour because of the salary backlog.
“We are continuing to do everything we can to ensure the salaries are paid,” Kupelo said. Sapa
Vehicles burnt in protest
IOL News 31 May 2012
A police car and a municipal vehicle have been destroyed after they were set alight during a protest in Musina, Limpopo.
A police car and a municipal vehicle were destroyed when they were set alight during a protest against the mayor in Musina, Limpopo police said on Thursday.
“Members from the Musina Residents' Committee started blocking the road between Musina and the Venetia mine at approximately 10pm on Wednesday,” Lieutenant-Colonel Ronel Otto said.
Several other vehicles were also damaged when protesters stoned them.
Otto said the area had been hit by protests in recent months, with residents demanding the dismissal of mayor Carol Phiri and her council. They wanted the area's former municipal manager to return to his post.
No one was injured and no arrests had been made by Thursday morning.
“Police members from Musina succeeded in defusing the situation and patrolled the affected area throughout the night.”
On Thursday morning, the atmosphere in the area was tense and more police officers would be sent there over the weekend.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Simon Mpembe condemned the violence.
“Although we respect the right of people to protest, we will not tolerate criminal elements and people violating the law that is in place to protect other people and their properties,” he said. – Sapa
Service delivery protest near Brits
IOL Newsc 28 May 2012
Teargas was fired at protesters in Bethanie near Brits on Monday morning, North West police said.
Captain Adéle Myburgh said protesters started preventing people at the local taxi rank from going to work, from around 3am.
Police were called in and teargas was used.
“It was a service delivery protest. Once police intervened, negotiations ensued between protest leaders and police.”
The situation had been brought under control by noon. – Sapa
Murders spur anti-crime protest
IOL News 31 May 2012
About a 150 people protested in Delmas on Thursday following the murder of a day mother and a five-month-old baby boy, Mpumalanga police said.
Lt-Col Leonard Hlathi said the protesters handed a memorandum to the local police on Thursday afternoon.
“The protesters also trampled on the South African flag while handing over the memorandum,” he said.
Two men appeared in the Delmas Magistrate's Court on Thursday in connection with the murders.
Hlathi said Enock Mbele, 44, and Lazarus Mabhena, 54, were denied bail.
“The matter was postponed to June 7 for further investigation.”
The march was organised by members of the Afrikaner Volksraadskommissie (VVK) who were protesting against violent crime against women and children.
The Democratic Alliance condemned the way in which the march was held.
DA Limpopo leader Anthony Benadie said racist remarks, slogans and posters were used at the march.
Some of posters at the march read: “Black cowards - leave our women and children alone”, “Besteel, verkrag, vermoor: Ons is klaar met swart Suid-Afrika (Robbed, raped, murdered: We are finished with black South Africa)” and “Barbare los ons kinders uit (Barbarians leave our children alone).”
Benadie said the murders were condemned and should outrage every South African.
“However it was uncalled for that the VVK chose to reduce such a tragic event to a racial slur, by proclaiming that this murder was racially motivated.”
VVK chairman Paul Kruger denied the allegations.
“One should look reality in it's eyes. The truth is the truth. White people in South Africa are mostly killed by black people.”
He said the memorandum was an effort to communicate with the government in order to create a homogeneous ethnic state in South Africa for his nation. - Sapa
Unrest sweeps through SA campuses
Bongani Nkosi 31 May 2012
Violent demonstrations are sweeping through the country's FET campuses as students protest against bad management. (Lauren Mulligan, Gallo)
A wave of unrest is sweeping through the country’s public further education and training colleges as students demand improved management.
Students say they have been driven to the edge primarily by the mismanagement of public funds allocated for their transportation, as well as problems related to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme bursaries.
Classes have already been indefinitely suspended at two Limpopo colleges, Letaba and Waterberg. Students are set to take to the streets again on Friday after police put a stop to an illegal protest at Letaba, arresting nine students who were subsequently released after a night in custody.
“We will have a legal march to management this Friday,” said a student who asked not to be named.
The chief executive of the Waterberg college, Patrick Mailula, told the M&G classes would remain suspended until a solution was found.
The college stopped classes after last week’s violent protest, during which a college vehicle was torched.
But although issues remain unresolved in their institutions, students in two Western Cape FET colleges who went on strike last week have returned to class while their representatives continue negotiations with management.
Sello Nkhatho, provincial secretary of the South African Students’ Congress (Sasco), told the M&G that students in the College of Cape Town and False Bay College resumed classes after demonstrations last week.
New protests broke out in the Umlazi campus of the Coastal KZN College in KwaZulu-Natal over claims of mismanagement on Wednesday, exactly a week after students in the As-Salaam campus went on strike. Students in As-Salaam are up in arms over allegedly being forced to practise Islam once enrolled in the campus, located in the Kwa-Makhutha village.
Coastal KZN College students will march to the education department on Friday, SRC’s Mfundo Mokoena said. “We will hand over a memorandum calling for the removal of Coastal KZN College’s top management,” he added.
The striking Letaba students maintain the system used to administer transport allocations disadvantages them. Furthermore, grievances over NSFAS bursaries have also compelled them to abandon classes. The student who spoke to the M&G said they had not received letters of approval from the college, which indicate how much money they have been allocated for the year.
She said students feared that they might be given bursaries that do not cover all fees, as it happened in 2010. She still owes fees for that year, though she has progressed to subsequent levels of study. “I’ve not seen my results since 2010.”
Students in the Western Cape’s colleges also felt hard done by the transport funds allocation system. They complain that often they are granted funds that do not cover all transport costs, while the government’s policy sets R6 000 as the maximum transportation amount one can receive per year.
Unified allocation of funds
Nkhatho said the root of problems in travel allowances is that the higher education and training department has not set policy for college management to follow.
“There is a need for the department to provide a unified and consolidated way for allocation of funds,” said Nkhatho. “Right now the department does not have a clear policy on how colleges should allocate travel allowances. College CEOs just use their discretion, with some allocating less to students.”
But the national higher education and training department has resolved that guidelines for administration of travel allowances need to be reviewed. “The department is ... in the process of revising the bursary guideline document with clearer stipulations on the administration of the transport award,” said Vuyelwa Qinga, the department’s spokesperson.
Qinga said the department’s position on the R6 000 travel allowance has been communicated to all colleges. “No college may award amounts exceeding the R6 000 maximum allocation.”
There are now plans to organise a workshop with SRCs from all FET colleges to sort bursary administration issues, said Qinga. “The annual training that is conducted by the department for bursary administration officers in the colleges will similarly address this issue.”
“The department has visited those colleges that have experienced protests by students to explain the position to students and college management,” Qinga added.
Guards face charges after firing shots
Karabo Seanego (IOL News) 31 May 2012
Six security guards working at the National Post Office in Pretoria are facing charges of attempted murder after they allegedly shot at workers who were picketing outside the post office on Wednesday.
According to the police, the disgruntled workers, who have been picketing for almost two weeks, were having their normal peaceful picket when they were allegedly told that they should not cross a certain line at the premises. It is not known what triggered the shooting in which eight picketers were injured and taken to hospital.
The picketers scrambled to safety as they tried to outrun the gun-wielding security guards, but not all of them escaped uninjured.
Police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsinyane said after all the commotion, eight people were found injured and had to be taken to hospital.
“Police arrested six security guards and confiscated four short guns and two pistols in the process,” said Tsinyane.
The men aged from 25 to 35 years were arrested and taken to the Pretoria Central police station where they were charged. Tsinyane said police were still not sure what led to the shooting, but they were investigating the case.
“Investigations are still ongoing and the suspects will appear at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of attempted murder,” said Tsinyane.
Truck set alight on N3 highway
IOL News 31 May 2012
A truck was set alight on the N3 at the Pelser bridge following unrest in the Somalia informal settlement near Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni metro police said on Thursday.
The R103 between Barry Marais and Pelser Roads was barricaded by a burning Toyota Tazz, foreign objects and burning tyres on Wednesday night, Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng said.
“(A man) alleges that, as he was travelling on the N3 freeway direction south by the Pelser Bridge, he slowed down and came to a halt, due to burning tyres and loose stones barricading the freeway.
“As he (got out of) his truck, he was greeted by flying objects before he abandoned his vehicle and ran for his life,” said Mokheseng.
The truck was set alight by unknown people and goods valued at R300 000 were damaged.
As police were trying to clear the scene they heard gun shots from the informal settlement, said Mokheseng.
The N3 towards Durban was partially closed. – Sapa
Protesting students kicked out of dorms
Bongani Hans 31 May 2012
A row over the observance of Islamic customs and rules has left about 70 students without a roof over thier heads.
More than 70 further education and training students on the South Coast have been left without a roof over their heads after they were kicked out of the institution’s dormitories following a row over the observance of Islamic customs and rules.
The Coastal KZN As-Salaam campus in Braemar near Umzinto suspended lessons two weeks ago after students protested that those staying in the college dormitories were being forced to follow the religion.
About 500 students study at the college premises.
The campus was reopened on Tuesday, but more than 70 students who had been living in the dormitories, were told to find their own accommodation outside the institution.
Those living in dormitories were funded by the Department of Higher Education’s national student financial aid scheme, which was believed to be paying about R16 000 a student a year towards meals and accommodation. The beneficiaries said they could not afford to pay for their accommodation and meals because they were from poor families.
“Now that we have been kicked out of the dormitories, our parents have been forced to pay for rent outside the college. I’m paying R300 a month and I’m sharing the room with 11 other students, and I still have to buy groceries. In the dormitories, I was sharing the room with four people, and the meals were provided by the college,” student Zanele Mgedezi said.
The Mercury has learned that there were no lessons on Wednesday as lecturers had gone on a go-slow protest to force the institution to allow students back into the dormitories.
Thabile Mofokeng, an office administration student, said she was concerned that her parents would not be able to pay for her expenses.
For the past three years she had been supported by the national student financial aid scheme.
The students went on strike after campus management allegedly compelled them to study the Qur’an and wear Muslim clothes.
They said they were not allowed to carry Bibles inside the premises.
The campus belongs to the Department of Higher Education, which rents the premises to the As-Salaam Institution, which promotes Islamic education and religion.
“All we wanted was to be free to practice our own religions and not be forced to follow Islam, but now we have been punished by being deprived of safe accommodation,” said Mofokeng.
“Some of my classmates have not returned to the college as they were concerned about their safety if they live outside the college.
“Since we have returned to the college, lessons have not started as lecturers are demanding that we be allowed back to our accommodation.”
The head of the Coastal Central further education and training college, Patche Tigere, said he was not in a position to talk to the media about the matter, but said that he was working to resolve the matter.
Higher Education spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said her department was talking with the college management and education officials in the province to resolve the matter.
ANC members want Free State premier out
29 May 2012
ANC members march against Magashule
About 250 ANC members from Free State arrived in Joburg on Monday night on three rented buses and several smaller vehicles to protest against Free State Premier Ace Magashule.
The protesters carried signs reading: “We don’t need Ace Magashule anymore in the Free State”, “We change. Ace Magashule must go” and “Magashule is destroying the ANC in FS”.
Magashule has served as Free State ANC chairman since 1992. The protesters were prepared to stay overnight in front of Luthuli House.
The group accuse Magashule of ignoring the community’s votes by appointing councillors who had allegiance to Magashule as an individual rather than to the ANC as a whole.
Furthermore, membership audit processes before the Fezile Dabi regional conference two weeks ago had not been done according to ANC protocol, requiring a rerun of the regional elections on May 26.
“We don’t have leaders for life in the ANC,” one of the protesters said.
The group had missed an appointment at Luthuli House for 10am on Monday and were reluctant to outline their grievances in detail before receiving an audience with ANC officials, which they hoped would occur on Tuesday.
Community declares war on crime
Barbara Cole 30 May 2012
A grieving father whose son was murdered in eManzimtoti two weeks ago, told a packed meeting on Tuesday night that poor police work and a lack of communication was adding to his woes.
“The murderers ran through my house and should have left fingerprints, but no one took fingerprints in the house,” Stephen Coetzee told 700 local residents who flocked to a special meeting on crime called in the wake of the murder of his 22-year-old son, Stephen.
“There has been no response up to now,” he told the meeting at the civic centre, attended by Major-General Dumezweni Chiliza, the SAPS cluster commander, as well eManzimtoti station commander Colonel Den Mkhize, and Metro Superintendent Glen Ndlovu.
His son was gunned down by a gang of five would-be hijackers at the family’s Umdoni Grove, St Winifreds home on May 11. The father has previously told how his son took the bullet that was meant for him.
Chiliza said on Tuesday night that since the new police station commander Colonel Den Mkhize, had taken over in January, there had been “a downward trend on crime”.
Before Mkhize took over, the station “was not doing well”. Several strategies had been tried and in the end, “we had to change”, Chiliza said.
Although Mkhize “pushed” his members, there were some crimes which still persisted, Chiliza told the packed “War Against Crime” meeting in the eManzimtoti civic centre.
Chiliza told the meeting that he intended having a one-on-one with Coetzee and the two men had a lengthy conversation after the meeting.
The meeting was told that more than 20 extra police were being called in from around the province to crack down on criminals, patrols were being mounted in crime hot spots, undercover Metro police were in the area assessing the by-law contravention situation, joint SAPS and Metro police crime prevention roadblocks were being planned and the once-fashionable Neighbourhood Watch “eyes and ears” system, was about to be re-introduced.
Coetzee, who has criticised the attitude of the police who responded, saying they seemed uninterested in setting up a roadblock, said in an interview after last night’s meeting: “There is a very slippery floor and they must have grabbed a door or something as they ran through, yet no fingerprints have been taken in the house. The police took fingerprints on the car, but not enough. One man jumped into the boot and the police never took fingerprints there.
“I think the police botched this. There are no words to describe how I feel,” he said.
Vicky Wagner, the mother of another local murder victim Shane Venter, 24, who was killed in Illovo three years ago, was also at the meeting and said she was helping Coetzee with advice about the investigation: “I am still fighting for justice for my son after all this time and I don’t want Stephen to go through the same battles that I have had to go through.
“ - Daily News
Spike in protests is ‘political’
Clayton Barnes (IOL News) 30 May 2012
The sudden spike in service delivery protests is politically motivated and part of a plot to destabilise Western Cape municipalities, says Local Government MEC Anton Bredell.
On Monday, Botrivier residents blocked entrances to the town and stoned buildings out of frustration at the lack of service delivery. And on Tuesday some 1 000 people marched to the Breede Valley municipality in Worcester, demanding decent houses, electricity and basic services.
Bredell said he would instruct the mayors to hold urgent community meetings to address the residents’ concerns. “The mayors have received memorandums and they will deal with the issues. But there is a political agenda behind these protests.
“The people’s issues are being addressed through the correct processes, but certain people in these communities are fuelling the fire by rallying people to march and protest.”
Bredell said certain parties and candidates refused to accept the results of last year’s local elections. “They will do anything to destabilise a municipality for their own gains.”
But the ANC in the Western Cape hit back, saying there was “nothing political” about the protests. ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said the protests had been led by communities who were “tired of the DA-led provincial government’s tricks”.
“In this instance, the DA cannot say it is politics,” Mjongile said. “People are truly suffering. It is winter and it is cold; people’s living conditions have pushed them to this point.”
He said the Western Cape government’s “toilet and tap approach” to housing delivery was not working. “It’s a failure,” he said. “People need houses, not serviced sites with a toilet and tap.”
Pat Maran, ANC Boland chairman who was part of the march yesterday, said residents were “sick” of the DA’s “non-delivery”. He said the people’s primary need was housing.
“There are serviced sites with basic services in Worcester and many other settlements, the people want walls – houses and nothing less,” Maran said. “Another concern is electricity cuts. People are being issued pink letters, but they cannot afford the high tariffs.”
Bredell said the provincial government did not have enough money to build every citizen a house.
He called on communities to refrain from participating in violent protests, which he said brought the towns to “a grinding halt”, saying his door was open should communities not find joy with their mayors.
DA pickets health departments
IOL News29 May 2012
The DA began a week of pickets on Tuesday outside health department offices in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, the party said.
The DA began a week of pickets on Tuesday outside health department offices in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, the party said.
The protests were to show solidarity with those suffering due to the health care “meltdown” in both provinces, spokesman Mmusi Maimane and health spokeswoman Patricia Kopane said in a joint statement.
The DA would submit the same memorandum to both departments on Tuesday, they said.
The memorandum demanded the uninterrupted supply of all medication to health facilities, adequate doctor and nurse numbers for patients, and budgets properly managed to address building and equipment problems.
“While people suffer without the most basic healthcare, the ANC is demonstrating its narrow focus on internal politics ahead of Mangaung as it marches against freedom of expression today,” Maimane and Kopane said.
They said poor planning had led to tons of medication going to waste in both provinces.
There was also basic infrastructure, equipment, doctor and nurse shortages.
The DA would offer solutions over the coming days to resolve the health crisis affecting Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, said Maimane and Kopane.
“The solutions we are demanding to be put in place in these provinces will be based on successful strategies for public healthcare where we govern.” – Sapa
NUMSA SUPPORTS DOCTOR’S PICKET IN EASTERN CAPE AS LED BY SA MEDICAL DOCTORS ASSOCIATION (SAMA)!
Numsa 29 May 2012
The Eastern Cape National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) supports the decision by the medical Doctors to go to a rolling mass picket action in demand of their unpaid wages from the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Health. This rolling mass picket action taking place today, Tuesday May 29, 2012, at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, led by South African Medical Association (SAMA) should be located and understood within the broader class struggles waged by workers and poor for equal redistribution of income at the point of production.
As NUMSA we call on our revolutionary and people’s government as led by the ANC to resolve this wage impasse in line with the key electoral priorities of providing quality health-care for the poor. The inability by the ANC-led provincial government to resolve this impasse might undermine the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot projects as announced by the hardworking and energetic Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
We are extremely worried that Doctors in the Eastern Cape have not been paid for over six (6) months, whilst the very same Doctors are expected to provide quality service in public hospitals in the interest of our poor communities. We firmly believe that this impasse could have long been resolved, and that in as much as Doctors should provide service to poor patients and the elderly, it would be unfair to expect them to execute their duties with perfection without being paid for almost six months.
We demand that our people’s government consider the implications for poor patients and the elderly and ensure that they continue to access quality service in public hospitals. The failure by the ANC-led provincial government to avert this impasse might led to a wide scale shut-down of hospitals and this will be a betrayal to the patients and the elderly.
As NUMSA we call on SAMA to intensify their picket action by embarking on indefinite strike action until their demands are met by the incompetent Provincial Department of Health.
Contact: Phumzile Nodongwe, Regional Secretary - 0788023140
Man’s finger shot off during Botrivier clash
Sibongakonke Mama (IOL News) 29 May 2012
Clouds of tear gas swirled over Botrivier during a day of service delivery protests by residents, during which a 75-year-old man lost a finger after being shot at by police.
Residents’ range of complaints include poor housing, lack of adequate water supply, poor roads, and the fact that jobs go to people from outside the area.
They are also demanding a high school and a school for special needs children be built in the area.
Locals also pointed a finger at ward councillor Pearl Stanfield, alleging she had “done nothing for the Botrivier community”.
More than 800 protesters gathered outside the Botrivier municipal offices from as early as 4am on Monday.
There were more than 15 police vehicles in Botrivier by 2pm, with most stationed on Fontein Street and others outside the town entrance on the N2 and on other roads.
Police fired tear gas on at least three occasions during the 13-hour protest, and arrested one person.
“Police had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd after they blockaded two entrances to the local area with burning tyres and the throwing of stones. One man was arrested for public violence and will appear in the local court tomorrow,” said police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander.
Arthur Kemp, 75, was hit after one round of tear gas.
“They shot my finger off,” he cried.
“I was just walking and the policeman saw me coming. He aimed directly for me. I didn’t know what was happening. I just looked at my hand and saw my finger was off.”
Louw was rushed to the local clinic where his right hand was bandaged.
During the day protesters threw rocks at the municipal offices and post office .
Part of the post office’s fence was pulled down, as was the gate at the municipal offices.
Sandra Newman, 35, a resident of Fontein Street, said she wanted Stanfield out.
“We hardly see her here, we asked for her and we were told she’s not here. She is here, but she’s hiding.
“When she started here she asked people to vote for her, and she promised us houses and said she’d fix the roads. She has done nothing for the community,” said Newman.
At lunchtime it seemed calm, until more than 500 protesters descended on Fontein Street, heading to the Kammaland Nursery School, singing Sohlala siyinyova iApartheid (“We’ll keep fighting apartheid”). At the school community leaders were in a meeting with Mpho Mogale, executive director in the national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
The group then headed back to Heide Avenue where some protesters threw rocks at police officers.
Police fired tear gas, apparently injuring Louw.
At this point protesters, flinging rocks at the municipal offices, broke windows and set off the alarm, then started a fire in the offices. Police extinguished it.
Community leader James Pheiffer condemned the residents’ vandalism but warned they would not back down.
“We shouldn’t destroy buildings, that is our infrastructure,” he said.
He said residents were fed up with poor service delivery, and lack of communication from the municipality.
“We asked the municipality to arrange someone to meet with us (on Monday) and they told us they couldn’t join us. It is only when Mr Mogale called them (the municipality) to ask them to allow Tania Russouw, town manager, to meet us, that they agreed,” said Pheiffer.
Pheiffer said community leaders wanted to discuss about 31 demands from the community, with the municipality
“We want to come up with a solution to make everyone happy and comfortable.
“Our demands include adequate housing, improvement of streets, electricity, job creation, empowerment, and skills development,” said Pheiffer.
At 4.20pm the meeting with Russouw ended and Mogale gave feedback to residents.
Mogale explained that he had decided to come to Botrivier himself after he too was unable to reach the municipality on Monday upon receiving telephonic complaints from residents.
“We’ve agreed that at the next meeting the ward councillor will have to be present. Also, additional matters have not been covered, and community leaders will complete a final list tonight, to be handed to me by noon tomorrow (on Tuesday),” said Mogale.
Mogale said his department will mediate a meeting between residents and the municipality on Wednesday at 6pm.
“We need an agreement between the two parties on how to address the issues in the community. While the community waits they must remain vigilant in monitoring leadership,” said Mogale.
But residents were not pleased with the feedback.
“We are not happy at all, but for the sake of progress we have accepted, and we will proceed as discussed in themeeting. We need to give them a chance to keep their word,” said Pheiffer.
Protesters ‘manhandled’ in Sandton
IOL News 29 May 2012
Five activists protesting against discussions on nuclear energy were "roughed up" at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) office in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, Greenpeace Africa said.
The environmental group staged the protest in an attempt to halt talks aimed at expanding nuclear energy on the continent, spokeswoman Ferrial Adam said in a statement.
"Five Greenpeace activists have been roughed up outside the Industrial Development Corporation building in Sandton... following their action this morning where they demanded a halt to discussions aimed at expanding nuclear not only in South Africa, but also the rest of the African continent."
She said the protesters had chained themselves to the gates of the IDC when about a dozen private security guards started to "intimidate" them.
"They used their batons to break the chain and started pushing us around. Then they pulled us inside (the premises) and claimed we were trespassing," Adams said.
Greenpeace reported the matter to police, as they believed the guards used "excessive force".
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters opened the conference, which was organised by Omega Investment Research, a Cape Town-based international advisory firm.
Police could not immediately confirm the incident. - Sapa
ANC members march against Magashule
IOL News 29 May 2012
About 250 ANC members from Free State arrived in Joburg on three rented buses and several smaller vehicles to protest against Free State Premier Ace Magashule.
Protest over chiefs near Brits
IOL News 28 May 2012
Protesters unhappy over traditional leadership in Bethanie near Brits handed a memorandum to officials on Monday morning following a legal march, North West police said.
“They are unhappy with the chiefs' leadership in the area,” Captain Adele Myburgh said.
The protesters, represented by community leaders, handed over the memorandum at the tribal hall at 11am, about an hour after the march began.
Government officials and the chief received the memorandum. The marchers dispersed and the area was calm.
Earlier in the morning police fired teargas at illegal protesters around the local taxi rank after protesters prevented people from going to work. It was believed to be a service delivery protest.
“Once police intervened, negotiations ensued between protest leaders and police,” said Myburgh.
The situation later was calm. – Sapa
Support the march against offensive painting
Cosatu 28 May 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called on all workers, employed and unemployed, youth and students, and all who object to the painting of anyone’s genitals, worst of all the President of the country, to join the march assembling at Zoo Lake at 09h00 on Tuesday, 29 May 2012. But please wear clothes!
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or 010 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
Wild Coast king fights mining
Samantha Enslin-Payne (IOL News) 28 May 2012
The uphill battle against mining by an impoverished Wild Coast community, which last year appeared to have been won, seems set to begin again after a local subsidiary of Australian firm Mineral Resource Commodities (MRC) applied for a prospecting licence.
The prospecting rights application lodged for the Kwanyana block of the Xolobeni area in March is being opposed by 400 members of the Amadiba community, who last week rejected the plan in a consultation process run by the company.
Xolobeni is the traditional homeland of the Amadiba people, a community under the leadership of King Sigcau and Queen MaSobhuza of Pondoland.
The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) said in a statement that it was outraged that the community again faced a mining application even after Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu revoked Transworld Energy and Minerals’ (TEM) mining rights last year. TEM is a subsidiary of MRC.
The application “comes at a time where we were just managing to get the eco-tourism venture back on track, after Xolco members had actively worked to undermine it because its success conflicted with their ambitions to mine coastal dunes”.
Xolco is TEM’s black economic empowerment partner.
Sarah Sephton, an attorney at the Legal Resource Centre, which is representing the crisis committee, said the ACC had vigorously opposed the application verbally and would also do so in writing.
Sephton said the company had applied for prospecting rights on the same block as before, as it was “trying to cure the defects of their first attempt”.
Shabangu revoked TEM’s mining right in May last year due to outstanding environmental issues, and the company was given 90 days to provide additional information.
Andrew Lashbrook, MRC’s South African representative, said the application for rights to the Kwanyana block had been lodged in March and further documents would be submitted to the Department of Mineral Resources on Friday.
He said the company’s position had never changed. “We believe there is a sustainable way to do this project to the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Lashford said the conditional mining right at Kwanyana was based on certain environmental issues being addressed, which the company always intended to do. But before it could complete this work, an objection was lodged and the mining right was revoked.
The company was unable to comply with the outstanding issues within 90 days and after discussions with the department, opted to reapply instead.
TEM already has prospecting rights on four other blocks in Xolobeni, with Kwanyana being the fifth block. Last year prospecting rights for the other four blocks were renewed for a further three years.
Following a public consultation process last week, which was run by water and environmental consultants GCS on behalf of the company, both King Sigcau and the ACC said the process was flawed.
The king said: “We are alarmed that the traditional leaders of the affected area have not been correctly approached in terms of custom and tradition and that we are only learning about this latest application through other sources.”
He added that the Amadiba coastal residents had already convinced Shabangu to revoke the mining rights that were awarded in July 2008, when after a protracted internal review process, it was found that issues raised by the then department of environmental affairs and tourism had not been satisfactorily addressed to ensure the venture met requirements for ecological sustainability.
It was found that mining in this area was a wholly inappropriate use of the land from an economic development perspective, King Sigcau said.
The ACC said Xolobeni had ecological and environmental importance as part of the Pondoland Marine Protected Area and was one of the most important centres of plant diversity and endemism in South Africa.
It had been advised that the proposed mining would cause pollution and irreversible environmental degradation.
The spokesman for the Department of Mineral Resources was not available for comment.