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South African Protest News 26 January - 15 February 2013 (2013) South African Protest News 26 January - 15 February 2013.  : -.

46 Medupi protesters arrested
Times Live 15 February 2013

Forty-six workers were arrested at the Medupi power station in Lephalale following violent protests there, Limpopo police said on Friday.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said protesting workers torched an Eskom vehicle and damaged a police vehicle during the protest on Thursday night.

They would appear in court soon on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.

Last month, Eskom temporarily closed the power station when contract workers went on strike.

Construction of the coal-fired power plant, set to be commissioned in 2015, was also interrupted when workers downed tools in September last year.

E Cape learners protest amid teacher-shortage claims
SABC 15 February 2013

Teaching has come to a standstill at Sandisilwazi High School in Paterson in the Eastern Cape as scores of learners and parents protest outside the facility.

Learners allege that the education department has failed to appoint maths teachers for grades 8 to 12.

Yesterday, the department said it had reached an agreement with teacher union, Sadtu to redeploy teachers to where they are needed.

Meanwhile, at Mary Waters High School in Grahamstown, teaching has also been disrupted over the past two days as the school is without the required nine teachers.

Education spokesperson, Malibongwe Mtima says the department is attending to the matter.

"We would like to see teachers in each and every school. We have a deadline for the end of March. By then, all schools should have their teachers," says Mtima.

He says that they have been working with the ruling party to make sure that all the parties that are critical in settling the matter should sit down together to find an amicable solution that will suit everyone.

Flash mobs for One Billion Rising
IOL News 15 February 2013

Thousands of students and faculty members dance to the theme song of the One Billion Rising campaign in the quadrangle of the St. Scholastica college in Manila.

Cape Town - Flash mobs across the country led by various organisations took to major cities to protest against rape and violence against women and children in the One Billion Rising campaign.

As a backdrop to the brutal rape and killing of Anene Booysen, organisations in Cape Town gathered at the Cape Town station to protest.

Speaking at the demonstration, LeadSA’s Yusuf Abramjee called on President Jacob Zuma to act.

“We need stricter enforcement of the law. We need civil society to unite.” Protesters shouted: “Stop Rape, LeadSA.”

Dancers from Dance for Life, and a group of traditional dancers from Burundi led the crowds in a universal “protest dance”.

“We are calling for an end to violence against women through dance and harmony,” said a dancer from the Sonke Gender Justice Network, Merle O’Brien.

Stellenbosch University students also hosted a mass silent protest on campus on Thursday.

“Stellenbosch University itself has lent its support to the student protest,” said rector and vice-chancellor Russel Botman.

Participating students’ mouths were covered with duct tape, to symbolise solidarity with those whose voices are not heard.

Pupils and staff at Springfield Convent School in Wynberg have also taken a stance to raise awareness by dressing in black on Friday.

“By wearing black, our pupils will become more aware of making a stand against all forms of violence,” said principal Barbara Houghton.

Cosatu said on Thursday that the brutality and violent nature of sexual crime in the country was of serious concern.

“This is not only about rape, but the brutality and extreme violence that accompanies the crime,” the trade union federation said.

Protests as child murder accused appears
IOL News 12 February 2013

North West - Residents of Mmakau, outside Brits, were protesting at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, North West police said.

Captain Amanda Funani said residents were calling on the court not to grant a 41-year-old man bail. He is accused of the murder of 11-year-old Ofentse Mogale.

He allegedly broke into her parent's Mmakau home on February 2 and snatched her as she was sleeping with her younger sibling.

Her body was later found in a neighbour's shack, hidden under a bed. She had been strangled. - Sapa

Fort Hare closes campus after protest
IOL News 12 February 2013

Alice, Eastern Cape - The University of Fort Hare, in the Eastern Cape, temporarily closed its Alice campus on Tuesday after violent protests about increased residence fees.

“All the students are required to vacate the premises of the university by no later than 5pm on February 12,” university vice chancellor Mvuyo Tom said in a statement.

He said the continuing violent demonstrations, which were accompanied by the intimidation of staff and the destruction of property, had resulted in the closure of the campus until next Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Dispatch Online reported that students burnt tyres and blocked the university's entrance, preventing senior management from entering.

This happened despite a court order issued by the High Court in Bhisho preventing the students from protesting.

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) said the increase in residence fees was unacceptable as most students were from poor families.

“Daso also objects to the shocking living conditions of the students,” said MP Atholl Trollip in a statement.

“Four students cannot be expected to share a room, which has been originally created for two students.”

He said a petition would be circulated to urge Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to intervene.

“We call on the minister to urgently intervene, as this disruption in education and inhumane living conditions cannot be allowed to prevail,” said Trollip. - Sapa

69 held in E Cape after protest
13 February 2013

Eastern Cape - Sixty-nine people arrested for public violence in Sterkspruit were expected to appear in court on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said.

Brigadier Miranda Mills said 37 were arrested on Monday during a protest where roads were barricaded and stones thrown.

Another 32 were arrested on Tuesday as the protest continued.

The situation was under control and several public order police officers had been sent to the area.

“These members are conducting patrols and are strategically placed to enable them to swiftly react to any acts of violence.

“Our Constitution provides for peaceful protests and we call on the community to abide by the law, or risk been arrested.”

The Dispatch Online reported that entrances to the town were barricaded with stones and logs on Monday, when residents marched through the streets.

They had expected Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi to address them, but he did not arrive.

The residents wanted Sterkspruit to be moved from the Senqu municipality and be a municipality on its own. - Sapa

SADTU 13 February 2013

SADTU has described its picket outside the headquarters of the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria on Tuesday, 12 February 2013, as a success. The picket – calling for among other things, the dismissal of the Department’s Director General Bobby Soobrayan attracted close to 1000 members.
Addressing the picketers who were dressed in red t-shirts and brandished posters written NO TO MUD SCHOOLS, FIRE BOBBY SOOBRAYAN, ABSORB TEMPORARY TEACHERS, PAY THE MARKERS, DEVELOP PROPER INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION, AWAY WITH DECLARING EDUCATION AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE; SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke sent a strong message to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga that SADTU will not allow education to be declared an essential service because the department has no capacity under Bobby Soobrayan (the Department’s Director General) to ensure that all the resources needed in our schools are there. ”Bobby does not have the competency, capacity and will to ensure that textbooks are in classrooms. We cannot leave Bobby to head this department, Bobby must go” Maluleke said.

In the four years Soobrayan has been in office, only two collective agreements have been signed and both agreements are not implemented. Soobrayan is undermining collective bargaining by not implementing the agreements; one being the agreement to increase the rates of markers. Bobby is a failure. We demand that markers be paid as per the agreement we have signed. We also demand that the rural allowance that has been withdrawn by Soobrayan without consultation in the ELRC, be reinstated.

The picket was the first phase of the rolling mass action by the Union.

We are happy with the support shown by COSAS on all our demands. We will work with them to promote quality public education for all. We want quality public education to be brought in first. We must all agree and adhere to the non-negotiables and as part of these, government has to provide resources.
SADTU is cautioning government against taking decisions in haste. We agree that education is the only effective tool that will take us out of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
We further call for:
● Permanent appointment of temporary teachers in vacant substantive posts;
● Equalization of pay progression;
● Development of proper infrastructure – do away with mud schools – build laboratories and libraries at our township and rural schools;
● Payment of norms and standards to schools;
● Pay rural allowance to qualifying teachers;
● Dismiss corrupt officials; and
● Do away with overcrowding and review the current post provisioning and norms.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi 082 719 5157

Cosatu warns of more e-toll action
IOL News 12 February 2013

Cosatu has warned of more drive-slow protests against e-tolling on Gauteng highways after what it considered a “very successful” protest on Monday.

The union federation and some of its affiliates have embarked on a drive-slow protest against e-tolling, a system it says would be detrimental to the working class if implemented.

The protest, which started with a handful of cars driving slowly in the Pretoria city centre, caused severe traffic delays, as intended by the organisers.

Later the convoy, led by nearly 30 cars owned by Cosatu members and branded with the labour federation’s posters and slogans, also brought traffic to a near-standstill on the N1 and R21 highways.

Many drivers, especially those unaware of the protests, appeared frustrated when caught up in the huge traffic backlog.

Tshwane metro police deployed more than 60 officers on motorcycles and in metro police vehicles to marshal the traffic.

An officer was injured when the motorcycle he was riding collided with one of the cars taking part in the protest near the N1 and R21 interchange. Metro police spokesman Isaac Mahamba said the accident was the only incident during the protest. Demonstrators were marshalled until they returned to the old Putco bus depot in Marabastad.

“The accident took place on the N1 direction south,” Mahamba said. “Both the officer and the Cosatu driver were taken to hospital and were stable.

“The officer did a U-turn as he was helping to control the traffic but the driver did not see him.”

“That was the only incident to report, so the protest went very well without any major incidents.”

Mahamba said although many drivers were frustrated by the traffic, they appeared to support Cosatu’s stance and eventually accepted they would be stuck in traffic for a while.

“Most of them were hooting in approval and showing their support,” he said.

Cosatu’s secretary for Gauteng, Dumisani Dakile, said that the unions were organising more drive-slow protests around the province.

“There will be more drive-slow protests.”

“We want to make our point about the e-tolls, which is that the public is against them,” he said.

“We had a very successful protest today, even though the turnout was low in the beginning. As the day progressed you could see that many people were supporting the protest.

“There are still more drive-slow protests being organised and we know they will be as successful as what you saw here today.”

According to Dakile, it was too early to say whether the protests would make the government change its tune on the implementation of the e-tolls.

“It’s too early to tell, but with the many other protests that we are planning, we hope to make a serious impact and the more support we get from people, the higher the chances of having this e-tolling scrapped,” said Dakile.

“We are not backing down.”

The protest disrupted the morning traffic in the city centre. It also affected evening traffic along the highway as it was still taking place between 5pm and 6pm when many people were returning from work. - Pretoria News

‘We will never pay,’ say toll protesters
IOL News 11 February 2013

Pretoria - Protesters campaigning against the e-tolling of highways in Gauteng vowed on Monday never to buy e-tags or to pay for e-tolls, even if the system becomes law.

Moleen Tsedu, 34, said she joined the “drive-slow protests” because she was already struggling to cope economically.

“As it is now, I do not have enough to take care for my small family. If they (the government) implement this system, I do not know how I will survive,” she said.

The mother of two said the price of fuel had steadily increased over the years, putting many workers under severe financial strain.

She joined the protesters in Pretoria central, and blew a vuvuzela as she drove.

James Pale said the government should foot the bill for the e-toll gantries erected on the freeways.

“As we march today, we are clearly saying no to e-tolling of our roads. Government must pay for those tolls, not the people,” he said.

As the anti-toll procession made its way through the city centre, many people peered through their office windows. Some came out and waved in support.

Byron Heindrich said even though he did not have the time to join the convoy, he supported the protests.

“We are encouraged by men and women who find the time to protest on behalf of everyone. My job makes it difficult to be on the street protesting, but I back the idea 100 percent,” he said.

Members of the Congress of the SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) protested across Pretoria on Monday, blocking major roads in the city before heading onto the N1 highway.

Cosatu Gauteng chairman Phutas Tseki said motorists should not pay for the e-tolls, as they had not been consulted about them.

“We were never consulted, even when these gantries were coming up. In the absence of our involvement regarding our own roads, we are saying no to e-tolls,” he told the protesters.

He said other events like picketing, sit-ins, protest marches and the signing of petitions would be held in the future.

Pointing to a nearby crowded Home Affairs refugee reception centre, Tseki said that with the rising cost of living, more and more South Africans were languishing in poverty.

“As Cosatu, we are worried when we see such things. I am not sure where we are going to run to. We have the sea on our left and right. At least they 1/8refugees 3/8 could move from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and even as far as Nigeria to seek better life.”

He said further protests would be held around the province.

“We are saying to government, we the workers are not happy. The development of the transformation agenda is going astray from what we expected in 1994,” Tseki said.

“We had the view that we were going to have free education 1/8and 3/8 free movement on the roads. Government now wants to exclude some sections of society from these roads.”

He said Cosatu hoped the transport department would “rescind its decision and review what they are saying”.

The protesters' convoy and the police escort reached the N1

before 3pm.

Last month, Cosatu's Gauteng provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said there would also be protests in other provinces to ensure the opposition to e-tolling became a “national act”.

An application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to have the electronic tolling of Gauteng's major roads scrapped was dismissed in December by the High Court in Pretoria.

The court granted Outa leave, in January, to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. - Sapa

Municipal workers went on rampage
IOL News 9 February 2013

Pretoria - Tshwane mayor’s failure to accept a memorandum of grievances on Friday upset marching municipal workers who then went on the rampage and trashed city streets.

Members of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) who marched to the offices of the mayor refused to hand over a memorandum to a senior member of the executive, demanding that the executive mayor must receive it himself.

After dispersing from the march, some of the workers went on the rampage, littering the city streets by turning over rubbish bins. They scattered refuse across the streets, pulling down steel barricades onto the roads. Large rocks were also placed on carriageways. This made it difficult for motorists to negotiate city streets leading to snarl-ups across the Tshwane CBD. Traffic only cleared after 6pm.

Major intersections in the city centre were gridlocked following the closure of some streets by the metro police because of the march.

The inconvenience caused to motorists and city residents due to the march came to nought when the purpose of the march – which was to hand over the memorandum – was not fulfilled.

In fact, the same exercise is expected to be repeated next week when they will march again to deliver the memorandum, which they insist will have to be received by Ramokgopa.

The workers were angry to see mayoral committee member responsible for corporate and shared services, Thembi Mmoko, coming out to receive their memorandum.

Mmoko arrived from the Isivuno Building, which has now become the municipality’s headquarters, flanked by armed police officers and other officials, including senior director in the metro police Joe Mabunda.

The Samwu leadership agreed with the workers that the memorandum would only be handed to Ramokgopa, despite no prior indication being given by the city or Samwu that he would receive it.

At the centre of the grievances are corruption allegations within various divisions in the city, the loss of jobs when labour brokers’ contracts are terminated, and restructuring processes following the merger with the former Metsweding municipality.

Samwu also claimed that the provisional report released by the Special Investigating Unit last year into corruption in the city was being selectively used by the municipality to purge Samwu workers and leaders while “political cronies” were being protected. Samwu acting regional secretary, Moses Moerane, said there were officials who were said to have been suspended by the municipality but were still working.

“The report is used selectively by the management of the municipality to target certain people.

“But if you look closer, there are many people who were supposed to have already been suspended or dismissed but they are being protected by the political leadership.

“The mayor has spoken repeatedly about cleaning up corruption in the city, but his cronies are still employed in the (council) even though they have been fingered in these investigations,” said Moerane.

According to Moerane, issues of corruption and restructuring were adversely affecting service delivery and had to be resolved.

“We are always in meetings trying to resolve issues of this restructuring, because (not much) consultation was done with us by the city.

“They promised they would consult but we have not seen that happening,” he said.

Cosatu Gauteng chairman Phutas Tseki, who also took part in the march to show his support, said the way the city was treating workers would hurt them during next year’s general elections.

“We are always accused of being harsh towards the ANC when we strike, march or criticise the ANC when there are elections around the corner, but these are issues we raise even when there are no elections looming.

“Sputla (the mayor) must advise us on what to tell the people about service delivery when we go to campaign, because there is no service delivery due to corruption in Tshwane,” he said.

Tseki urged workers to support Cosatu’s opposition to the ANC’s call for education to be declared an essential service as it would deny their colleagues their democratic right to strike.

“We know education is important, but we cannot deny workers their constitutional right to embark on labour action.

“You must be very careful, because the next thing will be to declare municipal services as essential services and you will have absolutely no rights as workers,” said Tseki.

The municipality had not responded to a request for comment on the strike on Friday afternoon, including the trashing of the streets by workers, and whether the mayor would receive the memorandum from the workers next week.

Pupils hurt during school protest
IOL News 12 February 2013

Cape Town - Two pupils and a protester were injured when demonstrators prevented the principal from entering the grounds of a Crossroads primary school on Monday.

There was a strong police presence at Qingqa Mntwana Primary School, where a number of teachers and parents were opposed to principal Nosthembele Mahlathi’s return, while others welcomed her back. Some pupils were alleged to have thrown stones.

Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said it was reported that a protester and two pupils were injured during the incident. Their injuries were not serious and they received treatment.

Casey said the principal had been prevented from going to school last year after “certain allegations” were made against her by teachers and residents. Mahlathi, pictured, stayed away as she feared for her safety.

“Our officials have investigated and have found no grounds to take action against her,” Casey said. “She has never been suspended because there were no grounds on which to do so. Therefore she has every right to return to the school.”

Some parents and school governing body members who spoke to the Cape Argus said they did not want Mahlathi at the school. They said she did not respect parents and did not treat pupils well.

But some parents said they wanted her to return so that teaching could resume.

The Western Cape Education Department said it would continue to work with everyone concerned to ensure teaching and learning continued.

It was unclear if the principal was to return to the school on Tuesday. The department said police would be deployed again this morning.

At another school in Crossroads - Dr Nelson R Mandela High School - teachers again refused to teach on Monday. Last month, teaching at this school was disrupted for a few days due to unhappiness over the principal’s return.

Teachers said they remained unhappy and wanted the people assigned to guard the school gates removed. They said the guards had insulted teachers.

After last month’s protest, Casey said the department had sent the teachers letters saying their refusal to work was in violation of their contracts, and required them to provide reasons why misconduct charges should not be laid against them. After this, the teachers returned to work.

On Monday, 20 teachers refused to work, Casey said. They said they would not return to work until the security personnel had been removed.

“It is most unfortunate that these educators see fit to protest during school hours and to disrupt the learning opportunities of these learners.”

Bredasdorp residents, DA, ANC march
IOL News 12 February 2013

Bredasdorp - A group of people marched through the Western Cape town of Bredasdorp on Tuesday morning to express their outrage at the alleged rape and murder of teenager Anene Booysen.

They started where Booysen's body was found and ended in front of the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court, where two of her alleged killers were expected to appear on Tuesday.

Joining the march were residents and singing members of the provincial African National Congress Youth League and the Democratic Alliance, who wore their party shirts and held a large banner.

A group of about 100 men, women and children picketed outside the court, holding signs with slogans like “Your child is my child”, “Dubbele lewenslange straf” (Double life sentences) and “Sluit hulle toe, gooi weg die sleutels” (Lock them up, throw away the keys).

Booysen, 17 was allegedly gang-raped and disembowelled after visiting a club on Friday, February 1. She was found at the Asla Magwebu construction site, where she worked, not far from her RDP home, the next morning. She died in hospital that night.

Speaker of the Cape Agulhas local municipality, Eve Marthinus, handed a memorandum of demands from the “torn community” to the court's manager, to give to the “provincial minister of justice and police”.

In the memorandum they call for stricter criminal sentences, an end to all types of violence and for the innocent to be protected from sexual predators, drug dealers, and irresponsible alcohol traders. - Sapa

Councillor bows to residents' pressure
Sowetan 8 February 2013

RESIDENTS of Holomisa Camp informal settlement in Soweto have ended their week-long protest after City of Johannesburg councillor Dan Bovu addressed them yesterday.
WAY FORWARD: Dan BovuBovu, who is a member of the mayoral committee (MMC) in charge of housing, bowed to demands from the protesters to meet them.

"He came to see us and we told him our problems. He said that as the committees in the area we can meet with him on February 15 at his office," block committee chairman Phillip Mnomiya said.

Bovu's spokeswoman Palesa More said: "The MMC offered to work with the committee. In the meeting the MMC told the committee that they need to embrace the development or project and take ownership.

"The MMC also explained that the area is going to be developed as a precinct and not in isolation because it is in a great economic node close to the train station and Maponya Mall.

"The committee then agreed to work with Bovu. On February 15 they will have a meeting in the MMC's office and in that meeting Gauteng local government and housing, Joshco (Johannesburg Social Housing Company) and the developer of the area will discuss the maps and way forward for the project in totality."

Mnomiya said Bovu agreed to go to Holomisa Camp and meet the residents to see the conditions they live in.

The protesters had blocked off Tsolo Road near Nancefield railway station over the road being built ahead of RDP houses they say they were promised.

The residents complained that other developments took place ahead of their RDP houses and this had angered them.

There are about 400 shacks in the informal settlement, and in some cases 10 people live in one shack.

The residents use 10toilets and only have access to four taps. -

Samwu members march gainst 'corruption'

Eye Witness News 8 February 2012

PRETORIA - A few hundred members of the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) on Friday gathered in the Pretoria CBD to march to the Tshwane Municipality's headquarters.

They are demanding an end to alleged corruption and maladministration within the municipality.

In their signature red t-shirts, the municipal employees sang songs denouncing “Sputla” - the nickname of Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

Bus drivers, metro police and general workers marched in solidarity.

They accuse municipal management of restructuring without proper consultation, and claim it was an effort to purge Samwu from the city.

They also called on management to act on numerous reports implicating senior officials in corruption.

Traffic delays are expected throughout the CBD.

Activists march on mining indaba
Fin24 7 February 2013

Cape Town - Bishop Johannes Seoka, one of the religious leaders who mediated talks between strikers and mine management that led to an agreement that ended the violent strike at Marikana, on Tuesday launched a blistering attack on mines for depleting natural resources, causing environmental damage and neglecting communities surrounding mines.

Seoka led a crowd of protestors to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the venue for the world's biggest mining investment conference.

The march brought motorists to a standstill as they thronged along the road to the conference site.

The group chanted slogans such as "nothing about us without us" and "profit must not come before people".

"We want to deliver our petition in peace so that you can continue to plot and plunder and steal our natural resources," said Seoka over a loudspeaker.

It was drafted under the auspices of the Alternative Mining Indaba, organised in response to Cape Town's annual mining indaba.

The protesters waited for close to three hours to hand over their petition to a government official, but instead handed it over to Janine Hills, a media adviser for the mining indaba who promised to deliver it to the parliamentary committee on mining.

Reading the petition, Seoka said that the “Corporate Mining Indaba 2013” excluded the participation of the actual owners of the mineral resources who should have been at the centre of the discussions.

The conference fails "woefully to address environmental degradation, deepening of poverty, slippages in the quality of life and concentrating instead on the reckless pursuit of profit at any cost throughout the continent and the world," the clergyman said.

"We note with concern that African governments are over-dependent on mining and foreign direct investment as the path to development at the expense of other people-centred alternatives.

"We also express our unwavering support and solidarity with all other people who are victims of economic, environmental and social injustices surrounding the mining deals that put profit before people throughout the world."

The petition also called on communities affected by mining to put up a united front to fight for social and economic justice in the exploitation of mineral and other natural resources.

Some protesters approached delegates entering the building and waved placards stating "our mines, our resources, our future" and "remember the slain of Marikana".

Sibusiso Sbono, a demonstrator from Witbank, said that mining licences should be reviewed. "Communities should be consulted and there needs to be a stronger focus on the social impact of mines," he said.

Bulelwa Mukenge from the Democratic Republic of Congo took a swipe at foreign investors. "Foreign investors are looting the people and corrupting officials in the mining sector."

An activist from Marikana, Chris Molebatsi, said South Africa is a rich country but some people continue to live in squalor.

He also condemned the government for looking after the interest of the elite. "The ANC is not willing to give the land back to the rightful owners because they are making space for the elitists' BEE," Molebatsi said.

Alvin Mosioma from Kenya, who is the director of Tax Justice Network Africa, said mining needs to be looked at from the people’s perspective.

"Governments tend to listen only to the mining companies, and other stakeholders like communities and churches are not reflected and included in policy making," he said.

Police at the convention centre threatened to act if Seoka did not contain the protesters, after they were ushered away from the entrance to the centre due to a permit limitation.

However, the clergyman passed security officials demanding to speak to a government official, but the MP shooed him away.

Seoka was one of a group of religious leaders who mediated talks between strikers and mine management which led to an agreement that ended the Lonmin strike that claimed the lives of more than 40 people, 34 of whom was shot dead by police on August 16.

150 Nurses currently staging a sit-in protest at Gauteng’s Health Department in Sauer Street, JHB
Denosa 7 February 2013

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Gauteng and 150 nurses are staging a sit-in protest at the Gauteng’s provincial Department of Health at Sauer Street, JHB.

The nurses, who qualified as nurses in May 2012, are still paid as nursing students and are demanding rightful payment. They are at the department to demand rightful translation as nurses as far as payment is concerned. Last year, the provincial department issued a statement stating the government has hired nurses. As DENOSA Gauteng challenged, this was not accurate as these nurses were still paid a stipend despite being qualified nurses since May 2012.

Members of the media are invited to report the sit-in protest which is currently underway at the Department’s offices in Sauer Street, Johannesburg.

For more information, contact DENOSA’s Simphiwe Gada on 079 501 4869 or 082 741 6983

Sibongiseni Delihlazo | Communications Manager | DENOSA Head Office
Tel: +27 12 343 2315 Fax: +27 12 343 3622 | Mobile: 079 875 2663 |
Postal Address: P.O Box 1280, Pretoria, 0001
Physical Address: 605 Stanza Bopape Street, Pretoria

Wolmaransstad calm after protest
IOL News 6 February 2013

Wolmaransstad, Free State - A service delivery protest in Wolmaransstad, North West, had abated by Wednesday afternoon, North West police said.

“This morning, there was a lawful march and it went well and there were no arrests (made),” said Captain Adele Myburgh.

A memorandum of demands was handed over to municipal officials, she said.

Maquassi Hills municipal spokesman Gontse Maruping said the municipality would respond to these within seven days.

Residents of Wolmaransstad extension 15 complained about, among other things, a lack of sanitation and water.

They moved into the area, which is a new establishment, early last year. The municipality was in the process of developing the area, Maruping said.

“We were in the process of connecting sewer networks when they rushed and moved there by force. Even the houses: we were still making applications with the human settlement department for houses to be built,” he said.

“And for water supply, the cable that makes sure the reservoir is pumped with water was stolen.”

The cable was stolen in December, resulting in only partial supply.

“In the mornings there is water because we operate the reservoir manually and during the day there is no water,” Maruping said.

On Tuesday, Myburgh said another group was complaining about the building of a road between Schweizer-Reneke and Wolmaransstad.

“Community members are allegedly dissatisfied with the contractor... because no local persons were employed for this project.”

The group gathered on the N12, but later dispersed. One person was arrested for public violence. It was not clear when he would appear in court.

Myburgh said the police continued to monitor the situation. - Sapa


In light of the most recent horrific murder by rape near Bredasdorp of 17-year-old Anene Booysen, the Umbilo Action Group calls on
communities across Durban to join us in saying:
LUNCHTIME 13H00 - 14H00
Vanessa Burger: Chair: Umbilo Action Group: 0828477766 Barry Bolter: Coordinator Youth
Development: 0833678890
Evil flourishes when good people do nothing!

COSATU to support farmers by targeting retailers for profiteering and colluding on agricultural products
Cosatu 6 February 2013

COSATU will be launching a campaign against retailers who pay farmers a pittance for the products that are produced on South African farms. Research has shown that retailers are setting ridiculously low prices for products that they buy from farms. It is partly these practices that have seen the distorted pricing structure in agriculture. This information shows how retailers have been central in structuring the Apartheid style cost practices in agriculture and how retailers promoted, profited and benefited from low slave wages, there will be protest in major retail stores on 27 February 2013

The workers have won a victory on the farms, in relation to moving their wages away from the slave-wage structure of Apartheid. That energy will now be directed at retailers. We intend protesting at the main stores of the retailers on 27th February 2013, as COSATU, with farm workers and retail workers. Our retail unions will be taking up the issue of pricing agricultural products with the 4 main retail stores in South Africa. We are also calling on the Government Employees Pension Fund to come into the negotiations to urge more responsible trading practices, as they are the biggest shareholders, in retailers.

Farmers should, instead of making threats to fire workers, be working with the unions and Government to ensure that they get decent prices from the retailers and that there is more international market access for their products. Government should also come to the party and ensure that there are subsidies that support farmers to the same extent that competing markets are subsidised. This however can only follow a comprehensive land reform process, where workers are real partners, in setting a coherent agricultural industrial policy.

We want to work with good farmers and their associations to find solutions, but bad farmers who now want to dismiss workers as spite for the higher wages set, must get out of agriculture and out of the country. We need patriots who will build partnerships between farmers and farm workers to craft a new agricultural sector. There is no place for those who still want to practice baasskap mentality. Government must take their land, with minimal compensation, so real farming communities can develop that land in the national interest.

Agri SA has really let down farmers badly in these developments in the agricultural sector. They tabled an amount of R94 at the Employment Conditions Commission, as what they wanted as the new minimum wage, so clearly there was some mandate to engage with the wage issue. This is in spite of them maintaining throughout the wage strike that they did not have a mandate to negotiate wages. They took this sector into the brink of a civil war, with their baasskap attitude of not wanting to recognise or negotiate with workers and their organisations. They now have a Government set wage imposed on them, and still they try and undermine it, further intensifying the historical hostility that exist between farmers and farm workers.

Here was an opportunity where Agri SA could have developed a more sophisticated approach to the negotiations that could have seen them win fundamental victories. They could have offered a R100 new minimum wage, which would have bought incredible goodwill. They could then in return have asked Government to give them some subsidies, assist them to get greater foreign market access, and define a clearer pricing structure with the support of labour for the local retailers. National Government should also be asked to fund water and electricity on farms. There was however no leadership in Agri SA to explore this new route, that could have seen a win-win situation.

The absurdity of Michael Bagraim, Chairperson the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who supported the DA in labelling this a political action against the DA rather than a desperate struggle by workers earning slave wages of R69 a day, is condemned. This business body, which must assist to ameliorate conflict, must stop taking party-political sides, as it is just an affront to its black members. CCCI was seen to be supporting exploitation and the maintenance of the apartheid generational advantage, which is a core agenda of the DA, and has to answer for this to its black members.

We remain hopeful that good faith negotiations will find solutions, but we can assure all the role players that a new sector will be structured by workers, with or without them. The strike has shown that the present trajectory is unsustainable, and will only see deepening conflict.

For questions please call COSATU W Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, @ 0827733194 or W Cape Provincial Chairperson, Dan Malapi, @ 0731272558

Classes suspended at DUT
IOL News 5 February 2013

Durban - Student protests about accommodation shortages and other issues disrupted lectures at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday, a spokesman said.

DUT spokesman Alan Khan said a decision to suspend lectures was made in the morning.

“The level of threats were sufficient for police to advise us to close the campuses,” he said.

Lectures were scheduled to resume again on Wednesday, but a heavy security and police presence would be maintained at the university's seven campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Khan said the university's student representative council had tabled a list of demands with the university's management.

The DUT had been allocated R234 million from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for students who sought financial assistance.

Khan said the DUT had approached NSFAS for additional funding for those students who had not received assistance.

“Our hands are tied in this. The funding does not come from the university. It comes from NSFAS.”

He said the DUT provided accommodation for 4700 students, but that there was a shortfall of between 500 and 600 beds.

The institution had 24 500 enrolled students of which 12 500 were receiving financial assistance.

Khan said there were 70,000 applications for the 6600 places available this year.

SRC chairman Ayanda Ngidi could not be reached for comment.

Police spokesman Lt-Col Vincent Mdunge said he was not aware of any incidents where the police had been forced to act.

Durban's Daily News reported on Tuesday that about 1000 students staged a protest march on the offices of university rector Ahmed C Bawa on Monday. - Sapa

Residents implement own 'slow down'
IOL News 5 February 2013

Durban - Residents of Rick Turner (Francois) Road in Glenwood have taken the law into their own hands by painting “Slow Down” on the busy street after failing repeated attempts to get the city council to implement traffic calming measures.

They say the stretch from the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Umbilo Road has become a racetrack for motorists who regularly crash into boundary walls and hit light poles.

Last year, in the most tragic of a series of incidents, 15-year-old Sakhile Manzini, a Glenwood Boys’ High pupil, was run over by an allegedly speeding car as he walked home. “We have taken it upon ourselves to do something because the council refuses to do anything. We cannot wait any longer,” said Craig McLachlan, a resident.

McLachlan said that over the years, residents had asked the municipality to install a pedestrian crossing or build speed humps.

Recently the council installed a 40km/h speed limit sign on the east-bound lane, but this had not deterred speedsters.

“This is why people have resorted to painting the (east-bound) road. We are tired of the speeding and not being able to get out of the driveway (because) motorists drive way over the speed limit.”

McLachlan said residents were so fed up with the municipality’s inaction that they planned to paint the west-bound lane, and a pedestrian crossing for pupils from Durban Girls’ High.

He said there was on average one crash a month. Last year the council had to replace one particular lamp-post four times. Two wooden crosses under a tree on the west-bound lane bear testimony to the lives lost on this road.

“We have three schools – Durban Girls’ High, Eden and Penzance – very close to where all the speeding takes place. I warned the council three years ago that someone was going to get killed and sadly it happened last year,” McLachlan said.

“We refuse to sit back and do nothing.”

He said residents were aware that the road markings were illegal, but had vowed to protest against removal of their markings.

“They cannot come and paint over the road because the residents will just do it again. If they come and try to paint over it, we will not accept it. These markings help.”

Ward councillor Warwick Chapman said that while marking a public road was illegal, he understood the concerns of the residents.

“This is what frustrated residents do. I feel for the residents in this road because they are the ones who are awoken at 2am when a speeding car crashes into their wall and open their gates to see dead or injured people in their driveway,” he said.

Chapman said that he had tabled a motion in council last year for the city to buy more speed cameras, but it was rejected. -Daily News

Sterkspruit residents threaten to continue protesting
SABC 1 February 2013

Sterkspruit residents have threatened to continue with their protest action, if their concerns are not met by Local Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi in Eastern Cape.

Baloyi's visit today is a follow-up to a series of visits to the area in an attempt to resolve the service delivery concerns and the request for a stand-alone municipality.

In October last year, Sterkspruit was under siege, roads around this rural enclave were closed and burning tyres littered the dusty streets.

Residents demand clean drinking water and improved roads. They also want their own municipality. Currently they fall under the Senqu local municipality.

A member of Sterkspruit complains: "If for example I have to register my car I have to drive to Lady Grey with R100 petrol, and the money for the car registration. If my electricity is faulty I have to go to Alliwal North which is about 60 km. Why is Sterkspruit treated differently?"

Another resident says: "We want water, electricity and corruption must stop in that Senqu Municipality."

Residents demand clean drinking water and improved roads. They also want their own municipality. Currently they fall under the Senqu local municipality.

Residents now put their hope on the decision that will be taken by Baloyi.

Resident chairperson, Mcebisi Mgojo says: "We are expecting the minister to sit down and hear from us and the task teams in terms of the all the information that have been collected."

We hope to get a response to our call from the Municipality based on the evidence that has been presented in front of them. We are confident that all the information that has been presented before the task team will give us an opportunity to have our own municipality."

Three task teams have been formed for corruption, service delivery and one for demarcation.

Police on high alert in E Cape after xenophobic attacks
IOL News 1 February 2013

Police remain on high alert at Kwa-Nobuhle in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape where public violence has broken out, leading to a string of looting incidents.

This after two days of unrest where Somali traders had to flee from their shops as angry residents began looting them.

At least 10 shops were looted on Wednesday night with one being set alight. Last night police had to escort various other Somalians as tensions peaked.

Uitenhage police are investigating a case of murder and public violence following a string of looting incidents also at Khayelitsha townships over the past two days.

Thirteen people were arrested, with four allegedly found in possession of stolen property. Tensions escalated last night following the death of a teenager who was shot dead and police are investigating a case of murder.

Somali Association deputy chairperson, Ahmed Genaye says: “Today they looted everywhere, all the shops. When I investigated the matter they say that the community is okay. "

Two trains torched in Durban
IOL News 31 January 2013

Durban - Two trains were set alight on Thursday at KwaMnyandu Station outside Durban, resulting damages of R40 million, Metrorail said.

“One train was en route to Durban from Umlazi while the other was en route to Umlazi from Durban,” spokeswoman Thandi Mkhize said.

Mkhize said a group of agitated commuters torched the trains because of delays Ä which were the result of cable theft at Duff Road Ä and vandalised points at KwaMnyandu Station in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Trains travelling to KwaMashu and Umlazi were delayed for about 30 minutes.

“A group of agitated commuters attempted to force a train en route to Umlazi to turn around at KwaMnyandu. They then proceeded to torch the two trains while other commuters were on board,” Mkhize said.

She said commuters also attempted to stone the buses that were arranged to transport commuters to their destinations, but the police intervened and got the situation under control.

No injuries were reported.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa CEO Mosenngwa Mofi condemned the acts of violence.

“We are determined to throw the book at those found guilty of this criminality, and will lobby prosecuting authorities to charge them with wilful destruction of public property, economic sabotage and even attempted murder where people have been injured as a result of their actions,” Mofi said. - Sapa

Grooms strike
Cosatu 1 February 2013

Date: 31 January 2013
The South African Grooms Association, an association of South African horsemen working with racehorses is not recognised by the Horseracing Authority. We are tired of being victimised and abused by the industry because we are not educated and poor. We watch rich people’s horses and look after their important horses during big races where they invite other rich people. They fail to cater for the people looking after those horses. Horses are more important than the people who look after them.

We have submitted our demands to the National Horseracing Authority and wait to hear from them and this is the reason we are NOT going to work from SATURDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2013.

The demands are:
1. Recognition Agreement.
2. R17million stolen by Phumelela the company that is managing the J&B Met of 2 February. They stole R17m grant funding that was given to the Grooms for houses. The money was in the Horseracing Development Fund.
3. Cancel the trainer, Ian Jayes’s eviction by Phumelela.

4. Better working conditions for grooms.

We have complained for many years and now we are tired. This is time for action.
For more information: Chophelikaya Simoto, Chairperson of SAGA
082 533 2902

Pretoria train crash ‘was act of sabotage’
IOL News 1 February 2013

Pretoria - Metrorail has claimed the train accident that resulted in hundreds of people being injured in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, on Thursday was an act of sabotage by striking train drivers.

More than 300 people were injured when a train ferrying passengers on the Atteridgeville line collided with the rear end of a stationary train.

Most of the injured passengers were taken to the nearby Kalafong Hospital. Others were treated at hospitals around the city. The driver was taken to Milpark Hospital in Joburg in a critical condition.

Metrorail said a cable theft incident that was reported shortly after midnight had resulted in the automated signal system turning off, forcing Metrorail to operate the trains manually.

Because of this, a train was authorised into a line occupied by a stationary train, leading to the collision.

Metrorail chief executive Mosenngwa Mofi said the rail operator had serious suspicions that the cable theft was an act of sabotage by those leading the train drivers’ strike. It is led by the new union, the National Transport Movement (NTM), which is seeking recognition from the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

Several trains around Gauteng have also been torched.

Metrorail has since laid charges of malicious damage to property for the torching of the trains against the union and its president Ephraim Mphahlele, who on Thursday refuted the claims and challenged Mofi to produce evidence that NTM was responsible for the cable theft which led to the accident.

“We have strong suspicions that this cable theft was linked to the current strike,” Mofi said.

“During such strikes there are usually acts of sabotage. We suspect it is the same in this incident.

“There have been four incidents of arson since this strike has started and only after we successfully interdicted them did the torching and the violence stop.”

Mphahlele refuted Metrorail’s claims, saying the union had nothing to do with the accident. The accident was most likely caused by a fatigued driver who was “overworked” by Metrorail, he said.

Transport authorities and emergency personnel hurried to the accident scene shortly after it occurred, with Netcare 911 alone sending 17 emergency vehicles. Transport Minister Ben Martins and Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi also rushed to the scene.

The Kalafong Hospital, which is the closest to where the accident occurred, was overrun with patients and authorities started transferring them elsewhere.

Passenger Rose Ditlhake, who works at a retail store in Atteridgeville, was in the moving train.

“I was sitting in my seat when I heard a big bang. I fell down when the train crashed. I could not get up because there were people everywhere. Some people near the doors fell out of the train from the impact. It was horrible,” she said.

Themba Ncalo, a former Tshwane councillor and the secretary general of the Gauteng Civic Association, said the community was concerned about the growing number of train accidents.

“There is a deep sense of worry because every year there are more rail accidents,” he said.

He urged Metrorail to bring back proper security services to prevent cable theft. “If current security does not work, it must be done away with,” he said.

One of the passengers, who did not want to be named, boarded the train to Saulsville at 6.40am on his way to work. “Between Cordelfos station and Kalafong station, the train just stopped,” the man said.

“The train was stationary for about 45 minutes and then the other one hit it from the back. Everyone completely freaked out.”

Martins said there were precautionary measures against cable theft, but it remained a huge challenge to the efficient and safe operation of trains. “This is why the transport ministry wants the justice and security cluster to start considering it as an act of attempted homicide or murder because of these ramifications.

“We are also looking at a massive infrastructure overhaul because most of (it) is very old and needs to be refurbished to improve the safety of those using trains.”

The train service along the Atteridgeville route was severely disrupted by the accident. The Railway Safety Regulator and Metrorail are investigating the accident .

Protests at Eskom hearings in Midrand
News 2431 January 2013

Johannesburg - A group of around 100 people, mostly dressed in red T-shirts, protested in Midrand on Thursday at Nersa's public hearings on Eskom's proposed tariff hike.

The group sang struggle songs and danced outside the gate of the Gallagher Convention Centre.

Several of them carried posters reading: "We say no to 16 percent", "Eskom's application equals job losses and inflation" and "Link electricity tariff increases to inflation".

The hearings began in Midrand on Wednesday. Many of the protesters were present then as well.

Eskom had applied for an electricity price increase of 16% every year for the next five years. This would more than double the price of electricity over five years, taking it from 61c a kilowatt hour in 2012/13, to 128c a kWh in 2017/18.

The Nersa hearings, chaired by Thembani Bukula, are being held to gather views on Eskom's multi-year price determination (MYPD3) application.

Mduduzi Tshabalala from the Batho Ba Tlahaho Environmental Group, took to the podium. Dressed in grey school shorts and a white shirt, Tshabalala said he represented the children in his area.

He said they wanted Eskom to explore other avenues of creating electricity, preferably ones that would not damage their health.

Eunice Zungu, chairperson of the Voice of the Poor group, said the poor were already facing many stresses and did not need the price hike.

"Sixteen percent will create more poverty... We already owe Eskom, so this will just increase our debt."

She argued that water, food and petrol prices would increase and the poor would be severely affected.

Zungu suggested that more solar-powered electricity systems be installed. She said those who could afford the price hike should rather foot the bill.

"Those who have the money should pay, and they shouldn't hide behind the poor," she said.

Nine held for looting shops
IOL News 31 January 2013

Kwanobuhle - Nine people were arrested for looting several foreign-owned businesses in Kwanobuhle, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

“A shop owned by an Ethiopian in Phato Street was also set alight by a group of people... the owner managed to flee the scene and notified the police,” said spokesman Warrant Officer Gerda Swart.

The incident happened on Wednesday evening.

The group also pelted police vehicles with stones but no-one was injured, said Swart.

Six of those arrested were juveniles.

They are expected to appear in the Kwanobuhle Magistrate's Court on Friday to face charges of public violence and possession of stolen property. - Sapa

Community marches over water meters
IOL News 30 January 2013

Johannesburg - Residents of Klipspruit in Soweto protested over the installation of water meters in their area on Wednesday, a community leader said.

“We have handed over a memorandum to the local councillor's office. We do not want water meters... we are unemployed and cannot afford to pay,” said Sello Tladi.

He said most people who lived in the area were unemployed and depended on government grants.

The City of Johannesburg was due to begin with the installation of the meters next month, said Tladi.

Comment from the City of Johannesburg could not immediately be obtained.

Police spokeswoman Constable Zanele Bens said the march was peaceful. - Sapa

‘Pensioners can't afford prepaid meters’
IOL News 31 January 2013

Johannesburg - Pensioner Miriam Mayisela has eight people who depend on her.

With her monthly R1 200 state pension, she buys groceries for her children and grandchildren, and pays a monthly amount for a funeral policy.

Like other pensioners in Soweto, Mayisela is concerned that she won’t be able to afford water and electricity prepaid meters.

She claims the prepaid system is too expensive for a person like her, and yesterday she joined hundreds of fellow pensioners in Pimville in a protest against the installation of both water and electricity prepaid meters.

“Pensioners in Soweto are suffering. Prepaid water is difficult to maintain, especially for people like us.

“The amount of water won’t be enough for cooking, bathing and to flush the toilet,” she said.

The woman from Diepkloof said she joined the march because she was supporting other pensioners who were facing the same problems that she was.

The march was organised and supported by the Pan Africanist Congress, Operation Khanyisa Movement and the Soweto Electricity Committee.

The protest, which was peaceful, began outside Musi High School in Pimville and saw pensioners walk to the ward councillor’s office to deliver a memorandum.

However, when they got there, they found that the gates were closed.

Inside the property, with dozens of people, were councillors Elizabeth Mabasa and Vusi Shongwe.

Mabasa accepted the memorandum but refused to sign it.

Some of the demands in the memorandum include:

- Free basic services for all.

- Adequate free clean water and electricity for all.

- Immediate and complete stoppage of the installation of prepaid meters - both water and electricity - in all areas.

“I am receiving the memorandum and taking it to Johannesburg Water on behalf of residents of Pimville.

“I’m not going to sign as I’m not going to deliver what is demanded from the memorandum,” said Mabasa, who was given seven days to respond.

There were sounds of ululation from Mabasa’s office after he addressed the protesters. As the marchers left, a group of his supporters, some wearing ANC T-shirts, danced outside the gate.

Simphiwe Zwane, representing the Operation Khanyisa Movement, said the residents were furious and opposed the installations.

“Most pensioners are breadwinners in their homes, with most people not working. People won’t survive,” she said.

Joburg Water spokeswoman Millicent Kabwe said they were currently consulting residents.

“We haven’t started any installations. We are in Pimville conducting door-to-door campaigns and educating residents about the usage of prepaid meters.

Once residents understand and everyone is satisfied, then the project can start,” Kabwe said.

Meanwhile, Eskom spokeswoman Lerato Nkosi said in an e-mail reply: “Eskom is not installing any prepaid meters in Pimville.”

Cosatu set to continue e-toll demonstrations
Mail & Guardian 28 January 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions says it is planning renewed protests against e-tolling.

Cosatu in Gauteng note that the e-tolls have not been scrapped by government since our last demonstration," Cosatu provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile told reporters in Johannesburg.

"Therefore ... the campaign to occupy the highway and massive demonstrations will continue," he said. The protest would commence on February 11.

"We are going out ... we will occupy freeways on that day." He said the action would be carried out in other provinces to ensure it became a "national act".

The second protest would be held on February 25, the same day as the opening of the Gauteng legislature.

"People there [at the opening] were invited to wear suits and ties. We will wear t-shirts and demonstrate with the workers, we will fight for the scrapping of e-tolling."

'A taste of what is to come'
The third protest would be held on March 7, the anniversary of Cosatu's nationwide strike against e-tolling and labour broking last year.
"There must be a stay away on that day. The country must come to a standstill." Dakile said the protests last year were "a taste of what is to come".

"Even if it means that there must be action every week ... until government listens to us we are prepared to do so."

On Friday the North Gauteng High Court granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) leave to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Outa had applied to appeal a December 13 2012 judgement which dismissed its bid to have the electronic tolling of Gauteng's major roads scrapped. – Sapa

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