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Publication Details

Reference
South African Protest News 16 February - 10 March 2013 (2013) South African Protest News 16 February - 10 March 2013 .  : -.

Summary
"ORANGE ALERT – HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS”
COMMUNIQUE FROM OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: PHYSICAL PLANNING AND OPERATIONS 11 March 2013

Dear Staff and Students

This morning a group of students have disrupted a number of lectures at the Howard College campus. Risk Management Services is monitoring the situation and the SAPS have been asked to assist. In terms of the "Campus Alert Procedures", the Howard College campus is now on an Orange Alert."

“An Orange Alert will signify that campus unrest may exist but is under control, e.g. non-violent disruption of activities by protestors.”

Issued by
Mr Charles William Poole
11 March 2013


Cosatu to march against rape
IOL News February 28 2013

Cosatu will march against rape on Friday, said its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

“We need to do far more to combat the shocking level of rape, assault and murder of women and children,” Vavi said on Thursday.

He said the rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp, had turned the spotlight on a much wider and deeper problem.

“We read almost daily of rapes and assaults on infants and 97-year-old grannies, and women and children of all ages.”

Vavi said the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) central executive committee (CEC) had resolved to organise marches on March 8, International Women's Day, and to picket at the courts where people accused of crimes such as this were appearing.

There would be marches in the North West and the Free State on Friday.

Vavi said the CEC had also resolved to demand the transformation of the whole judicial system.

He said the bail hearing of murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius had shown the world that South Africa's legal system catered only for the rich.

“If you can hire advocates who charge thousands of rand an hour and put up R1 million rand for bail you can soon be back at home.”

He said Cosatu would campaign to ensure the poor had access to the justice system.

“The current amounts demanded by lawyers and advocates are way above the heads of workers and the poor. This lies behind deepening levels of inaccessibility of justice to millions.”

He said justice was a basic constitutional right, and should not be a privilege for only the wealthy. - Sapa
href="http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cosatu-to-march-against-rape-1.1478808">http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cosatu-to-march-against-rape-1.1478808


Angie must resign , says Sadtu in Durban
IOL News 8 March 2013

Durban - Teachers' union members have said they intend calling for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's resignation during a march in Durban on Friday.

Motshekga had not been taking education seriously, said the SA Democratic Teachers' Union's (Sadtu) Durban south regional secretary Sibongiseni Xulu.

He said the education department had faced many problems since 2011.

Xulu mentioned Limpopo where students were left without textbooks for about seven months last year.

He said some teachers in the Eastern Cape were not being paid their salaries, and the province was also suffering from a shortage of teachers.

“There is no proper delivery of quality of education in the Eastern Cape,” he said.

Xulu accused Motshekga of not seeing through her programmes, such as the laptop teacher initiative which was supposed to supply laptops to teachers. This had not been done, he said. Xulu said there was also no security at schools.

He said Sadtu members would march to the offices of the education department at noon.
www.iol.co.za


Students rampage on Cape campus
IOL News 8 March 2013

Cape Town - Students went on the rampage at the College of Cape Town campus in Crawford on Thursday, damaging property, flipping a car and tearing out a fence to access the building.

Students were reportedly protesting against the current transport grant system, according to the provincial Education Department.

Provincial police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said it was reported that students from other campuses arrived in Athlone to demonstrate.

He said no arrests were made, but a case of malicious damage to property was reported. He said he heard that there may have been assaults, but none were reported to police.

Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell said it appeared that the students were demanding R6 000 as a transport grant.

Attwell said that according to the national bursary guidelines, a college can pay up to R6 000 in transport grants.

Once the course fees and accommodation costs are covered, the transport grant would depend on specific transport needs - for instance, the distance that students need to travel or where they live, but some of the students were saying they were entitled to the R6 000 regardless, Attwell said.

natasha.prince@inl.co.za
Cape Argus
www.iol.co.za


Prostitutes protest against cop brutality
IOL News 8 March 2013

Johannesburg - Sex workers in Joburg are tired of constantly being harassed by police officers while plying their trade.

On Thursday, they used the International Sex Workers’ Day celebrations to protest against police brutality and unlawful arrests.

At least 80 sex workers gathered at the Workers’ Library in the CBD and marched to the Johannesburg Central police station to express their anger at the police.

The march was organised by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and Sisonke, a movement for sex workers.

The workers wore orange T-shirts that read “Decriminalise sex work now”.

They had their faces covered with masks to protect their identities. They waved placards that read “We need respect because we are all human!” and “Stop sex workers abuse”.

In their memorandum, they stated: “Your police rape us and we cannot report cases to anyone because sex work is a criminal offence. When we do try to report this, they deny us that right. Our rights are human rights, as embedded in the South African constitution. Criminalisation leaves us vulnerable and at risk, with no access to security or justice. We call on you to address this as a matter of urgency.”

It further stated: “Your police use municipal by-laws to detain us, and then they deny us access to our medication. Your police demand money in exchange for not arresting us.”

The memorandum was received by Colonel Chester Spiers on behalf of the police station. He said he would make sure the memorandum reached the relevant people.

Among the protesters was Pal*, a 36-year-old mother-of- three. Pal says she isn’t ashamed of her job as a sex worker as it pays for her children’s schooling.

She has been in the sex industry for 23 years. She came to South Africa from Zimbabwe when she was just 13 years old.

She is among sex workers who claim she has experienced police brutality, with the men in blue also robbing her of her income.

kutlwano.olifant@inl.co.za
The Star
www.iol.co.za


Lonmin workers embark on biggest strike since Marikana shooting
Thalia Holmes (mail & Guardian) 5 March 2013

Workers at Lonmin's Saffy and Newman shafts in Marikana have stopped working in the largest single strike since the shooting at the mine last year.

The strike was allegedly incited by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) workers who demanded that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) offices at the Saffy shaft were too close to their own and should be moved off the property.

NUM shop steward Edwin Pholo told the Mail & Guardian on Tuesday that NUM members were scared of Amcu.

"They are demanding the key to our offices but I don't know why," he said.

Lonmin's executive vice-president Mike Munroe said the company's management would be meeting with the unions on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's contrary to the peace accord and it's illegal," he said. "Our objective is to find a solution to this situation."

Strikers included 2 150 employees at the Newman shaft and 271 contract workers as well as 3 360 employees at the Saffy shaft and 377 contract workers.

The strike began at the Saffy mine where many members of the media were scheduled to visit. Management said this was not coincidental.

Claims of manipulation
​Last month, platinum producer Lonmin denied manipulating the union membership verification processes to benefit Amcu.

"Lonmin believes in freedom of association. There is no intimidation. We cannot decide who joins what union," spokesperson Sue Vey said at the time.

Her remarks came after the Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi condemned the management of Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin for apparently giving Amcu preferential treatment as it sought members.

"[They] are manipulating the membership verification process and employing the age-old tactic of divide-and-rule," said Vavi.

Platinum mines in and around Rustenburg were plagued by labour unrest since August.

Violent protests said to be linked to rivalry between the NUM and Amcu claimed the lives of at least 44 people.
mg.co.za


Anger over no water for two months
Lali van Zuydam (IOL News) 2 March 2013

North west - Residents in Steve Bikoville near Hammanskraal have been protesting since Thursday afternoon after allegedly being without clean water for about two months.

Protesters claim they have not received clean water, suitable for drinking, since January.

“We have a very big problem with water in the area. The water does not reach us,” said a member of the public.

Another resident claimed she got sick from the water from a nearby stream. “No water comes out when taps are opened. When toilets are flushed, no water comes out,” said yet another resident.

Members of the community said they have had enough after the third child from the area was hit by a car on Thursday after fetching water at a nearby river. “A seven-year-old child went to fetch water with a wheelbarrow and on her way back, a car ran her over and just left her there,” said a member of the community who wished to remain anonymous.

The child is recovering at Jubilee Hospital in Temba. After the incident, a community meeting was called.

Protesters allegedly took to the streets, burning tyres and water tanks. The road into Steve Bikoville, near the Dinokeng Nature Reserve, was black after residents closed off the roads, burning everything in their way. “Forty thousand people live here and the community at large took part in the protest,” said a member of the community that witnessed the protest.

Late Thursday night, the angry mob apparently broke down a section of the wall next to the N1 highway. On Friday morning, both the South African Police Services and the Tshwane Metro Police were monitoring the situation.

Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, spokesman for the metro police, said the protest took place on Thursday but officers stayed until Friday afternoon to ensure there were no further disruptions. “There were some disruptions on the R101 at Steve Bikoville, but yesterday no further incidents were reported,” he said.

When Pretoria News arrived, police were patrolling the area in Nyalas and about 30 people had gathered on a dirt road off the R101.

They initially refused to speak to the Pretoria News.

Onlookers warned that the crowd were hostile and could become violent. One resident told Pretoria News they used water from a nearby stream for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing clothes.

“We get sick from the water. We develop stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Sometimes I even bleed when I have diarrhoea,” she said.

George Matjila, member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for roads and transport and the ANC leader of the region, and Jacob Masango, MMC for infrastructure, met about 300 community members in an open field on Friday. “We are aware of their problem. We are here to listen to the community,” said Matjila.

Masango said water trucks were sent, but the community chased them, stoning some of them.

He said the water reservoir in the area was empty and promised clean water would be provided within the next two weeks. “We will bring in water tanks as soon as we can,” he said. He added that the municipality was working on both a short-term and a long-term plan to curb the water crisis. “The water shortage is not only a problem here. Many areas are without water,” Masango said.

There were allegations that the officials responsible for distributing water in the area charged the residents for water. “Bring us the evidence and we will investigate,” said Masango.

It was reported the Potchefstroom and Rustenburg areas are also suffering a water crisis
www.iol.co.za


City did not deny farmworker march
IOL News 1 March 2013

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town did not deny permission for a coalition of farmworkers to march to Parliament at the weekend, an official said on Friday.

City spokeswoman Kylie Hatton said that in a meeting with the police and the applicant, the Trust for Community Outreach and Education, it was pointed out that there were two other marches happening on Saturday.

“They then decided to move the march to Sunday. At that point the convenor, Gavin Joachims, contacted the City to advise that they wanted to postpone their march to March 23,” she said.

Farmworkers had wanted to march on Saturday against farmers' “ongoing efforts” to undermine the new minimum wage for workers.

On Thursday, the coalition claimed the City and police service had refused them permission, claiming a shortage of police officers.

It said: “There is no such shortage when events such as the Soccer World Cups are happening... This is clearly a political decision to frustrate the legitimate struggles of farmworkers.”

Hatton said the trust was asked to cancel their original march request and submit a new request, which they did.

“They postponed it on their own terms,” she said.

The new minimum wage requirement for farmworkers came into effect this Friday.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on February 4 that the minimum wage for farmworkers would increase to R105 a day, from R69, with an increase of inflation plus 1.5 percent in subsequent years.

The decision to increase the minimum wage was made after a series of violent protests by Western Cape farmworkers.

Labour department spokesman Page Boikanyo urged farmers to comply with the new wage.

“We believe most farmers will comply, but we emphasise that those who are unable to pay should apply for relief.

“Government has this mechanism in place to provide support for those who really can't afford it,” he said.

Boikanyo said the department's focus was to process the applications it received from farmers, but said it was unclear how long this process would take.

He could not immediately say how many applications for assistance the department had received.

Farmers seeking relief would need to submit their books to the department to prove their financial distress. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/city-did-not-deny-farmworker-march-1.1479328


Police remain watchful in Sterkspruit
IOL News 28 February 2013

Port Elizabeth - A large police contingent was keeping watch in Sterkspruit after a week of protest action there, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

Brigadier Marinda Mills said that although the Sterkspruit Civic Association (SCA) signalled their decision to suspend protest action, police would maintain a presence.

Sterkspruit residents, under the banner of the SCA, shut down the town for two weeks.

They demanded a stand-alone municipality separate from the Senqu municipality, which incorporates Lady Grey and Barkly East.

Other complaints related to lack of service delivery in Sterkspruit, and allegations of corruption and nepotism within the Senqu municipality.

SCA chairman Mcebisi Mgojo said the organisation decided to put the protest on hold after Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi addressed residents at the Bensonville College Stadium on Wednesday.

The SCA would investigate the proper channels to make complaints and expected these to be deal with within three months.

“We are willing to help facilitate the process,” Mgojo said.

Earlier in the week, protesters reportedly blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres and demanded a “toll fee” from motorists who wanted to use the roads. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Man beaten up after granny’s rape
Daily News 26 February 2013

Durban - BATTERED and bruised after being assaulted by residents of KwaDinidi in the Midlands, a 23-year-old has admitted to raping a 91-year-old woman.

The attacker, who made his first appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday, was arrested by police on Friday after residents apprehended him.

Asked what he intended to plead to the charge of rape, he said: “I did it. I did it all,” drawing shocked gasps from a packed public gallery.

He was remanded in custody until today, when he is expected to formally plead guilty.

The 91-year-old woman was raped in her home last Sunday night. She was about to go to bed in her single-room dwelling when she heard a knock on the door and on the window, which she ignored.

Climb

A short while later, an unknown man, armed with a knife, climb into her room through the window.

It is believed the man instructed her to lie on her bed and covered her face with a blanket. The frail woman was raped repeatedly until early the following morning.

It is alleged that the man threatened her at knifepoint and demanded cash. She handed over R250 that she had under the pillow and he fled.

There have been a number of attacks and rapes on the elderly in the Midlands and Pietermaritz-burg areas recently.

Two women, aged 94 and 82, from Swayimane in KwaZulu-Natal, were raped: a 74-year-old woman was assaulted, robbed and raped in her home in Bisley, Pietermaritzburg; and a 91-year-old woman was attacked in her home in Mills Circle in Hayfields, also Pietermaritzburg, where she was tied up and then raped twice before her assailant made off with cash and other items.
www.iol.co.za


School reopens after parent protests
26 February 2013

KwaMhlanga - Classes at Sizamile Primary School in KwaMhlanga have resumed, the Mpumalanga education department said on Tuesday.

“Things are going well. Learners and educators are back at school. The report we get from our circuit is that things are going well since Monday,” spokesman Gerald Sambo said.

Disgruntled parents closed the school last week demanding the removal of the principal and her deputy, accusing them of corruption and intimidation. They also alleged the principal was divisive.

“The department intervened and it was decided that the all learners and educators must return to school,” Sambo said.

The principal and her deputy also reported for duty on Monday. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


MEC calls for calm after protest
IOL News 26 February 2013

Lethlabile - A North West MEC called for calm in Letlhabile, near Brits, after public violence erupted during an illegal protest on Tuesday, an official said.

Local government and traditional affairs acting MEC Paul Sebegoe urged residents not to destroy property or barricade roads during the protest, departmental spokeswoman Dineo Lolokwane said in a statement.

Lolokwane said the department would send a team of officials to the area to investigate residents' complaints.

Two women were arrested for public violence during the protest.

Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said rubber bullets were fired to disperse protesters when they marched towards the business area.

He said the group was demanding water, after taps ran dry at the weekend.

“They were promised that they will have water by Monday evening. This morning, when there was no water, they embarked on an illegal protest march.”

They barricaded the road passing through the township to Hebron.

Two women, both aged 35, were arrested for public violence.

No injuries were reported. Police were monitoring the situation. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Classes cancelled as DUT staff strike
Daily News 26 February 2013

The Durban University of Technology has warned of further disruptions at its seven campuses after staff went on strike on Monday, forcing the cancellation of some classes.

The strike came after wage talks between staff unions and university management deadlocked.

The Tertiary Education National Union of South Africa, National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and National Tertiary Education Union are demanding a 13 percent salary hike.

DUT is offering 7.5 percent.

Nehawu DUT chairman, Milton Estrice, said the strike would continue until their demands were met. Estrice accused the institution of ”negotiating in bad faith”.

“There are no negotiations now, but the strike will go on indefinitely,” he said.

Protesting staff marched around the Steve Biko campus and blocked the road in front of Vice Chancellor Ahmed Bawa’s offices. Staff from the DUT’s Pietermaritzburg campuses were expected to join their Durban colleagues on strike on Tuesday.

A striking administration staff member, who asked not to be named, said they had only embarked on industrial action as a last resort, following five months of negotiating with the institution.

He said the strikers “don’t want the students disturbed” and hoped the impasse would be resolved soon.

The DUT has released a statement warning of possible disruptions and has postponed its test week – pre-exam tests taken by the students to qualify for their mid-year exams – indefinitely.

“We have not suspended classes, but we anticipate disruptions,” said DUT spokesman Alan Khan.

Khan said the institution was unable to quantify the number of students affected by Monday’s strike, but said post-graduate classes had not been disturbed.

Student Representative Council president, Ayanda Ngidi, said the SRC supported the strike, but would not participate.

Students have taken to Facebook to comment on it.

One student, whose identity is known to the Daily News, said: “Staff strike at DUT is causing trouble. All labs closed, no lectures, but deadlines remain unmoved. Really, we just can’t go on like this!”
www.iol.co.za


Commotion ahead of Tlokwe meeting
IOL News 26 February 2013

Potchefstroom - Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was among hundreds of ANC and DA supporters gathered outside the Tlokwe (Potchefstroom) municipality in North West on Tuesday ahead of the tabling of a motion of no confidence in the DA mayor.

The African National Congress in the municipality intended tabling a motion of no confidence in Democratic Alliance municipal leader Annette Combrink at the council meeting.

Former Gauteng local government MEC Humphrey Mmemezi was also present.

Supporters of both parties stood outside the offices, waving flags and wearing T-shirts supporting their parties.

There was a heavy police presence, which included a police Nyala (armoured vehicle) parked at the entrance to the municipal complex.

Supporters tried to get places in the municipal chamber for the meeting, which began shortly after 10am.

According to the programme, the motion itself was expected after noon.

The DA in Tlokwe approached the High Court in Pretoria on Monday for a decision on what DA North West leader Chris Hattingh described as irregularities in the ANC’s attempt to regain power in the municipality.

“The DA believes that the ANC is resorting to irregular means to gain back power in an attempt to cover up fraud and corruption before it is exposed,” Hattingh said.

Fighting ANC factions passed a motion of no confidence in party-aligned mayor Maphetle Maphetle in November.

He was replaced by Combrink - the first DA mayor in the province - when she defeated ANC candidate Lucky Tsagae by 20 votes to 19 for the mayoral position.

Hattingh said the motion of no confidence in Maphetle was based on a number of documented allegations of fraud and corruption.

“A forensic investigation instituted by the DA-led Tlokwe municipality into these and more allegations is at an advanced stage,” he said.

“This may be the reason for the desperate ANC attempts to regain control and to start a cover-up operation, a common tactic in the North West provincial government.”

The DA said on February 7 it would table a motion of no confidence in Barei Segotso, the municipal speaker, at the same meeting on Tuesday.

According to reports, President Jacob Zuma, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and chairwoman Baleka Mbete made an unannounced visit to the municipality on February 11.

Mantashe later told reporters the leaders were there to discuss numerous problems in the North West, and were not looking at Tlokwe in isolation.

DA leader Helen Zille said on Saturday that there had been significant improvements in the municipality in the three months it had been led by Combrink. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Protesters make motorists pay
Yahoo News 25 February 2013

Protesters who have blockaded roads in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape, have forced motorists to pay at least R50 to pass through, the Daily Dispatch reported on Monday.

Motorists told the publication that roads between Lady Grey and Sterkspruit were barricaded.

Sterkspruit residents, under the banner of the Sterkspruit Civic Association (SCA), are demanding to have a standalone municipality that is not part of Senqu Municipality, which incorporates Lady Grey and Barkly East.

Other complaints relate to a lack of service delivery in Sterkspruit, and allegations of corruption and nepotism within the Senqu Municipality.

Pupils in Sterkspruit have not been to school since 11 February as roads were blocked with stones and burning tyres.

The SCA has condemned the behaviour of the residents.

"We strongly condemn the stoning of vehicles, assault of people and blocking emergency of vehicles from passing through," SCA chairperson Mcebisi Mgojo told the newspaper.
za.news.yahoo.com


PIETERMARITZBURG STUDENT PROTEST
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CORPORATE RELATIONS
PIETERMARITZBURG STUDENT PROTEST
26 February 2013

Dear Staff and Students
Academic lectures on the Pietermaritzburg Campus have resumed following a protest by a small group of students on the campus this morning.

Risk Management Services (RMS) is monitoring the campuses.

Regards
Nomonde Mbadi
Executive Director
Corporate Relations

"ORANGE ALERT – HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS”
COMMUNIQUE FROM OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: PHYSICAL PLANNING AND OPERATIONS 25 February 2013
Dear Staff and Students

This morning a group of students have disrupted a number of lectures at the Howard College campus. Risk Management Services is monitoring the situation and the SAPS have been asked to assist. In terms of the "Campus Alert Procedures", the Howard College campus is now on an Orange Alert."

“An Orange Alert will signify that campus unrest may exist but is under control, e.g. non-violent disruption of activities by protestors.”

Issued by
Mr Charles William Poole
25 February 2013

25 February 2013

Dear Staff and Students

Following reports of student protest action on the Howard College campus I wish to inform you that some classes were disrupted and students were asked to leave the lecture venues.
The academic programme on the Howard College campus is continuing.
Risk Management Services is monitoring the situation and the SAPS have been asked to assist.

Issued by
Ms Nomonde Mbadi


Unions threaten new farm strikes
IOL News 22 February 2013

Cape Town - Unions in the agriculture sector have threatened more strike action if farmers undermine the minimum wage and dismiss workers.

The minimum wage of R105 a day, announced by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on February 4, will come into effect next month.

This came after farmworkers in the Boland went on a three-month strike demanding R150 a day and better working and living conditions. Many were earning the R69 current minimum wage. Unions say farmers are using the new minimum wage as as an excuse to dismiss workers.

At a government-arranged meeting last week, farmers said the R105 was not affordable and would lead to job losses. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe assured them the government would help. He said those who were not able to pay the amount could apply for an exemption.

“Cosatu is concerned about an orchestrated political attempt by farmers to circumvent and undermine new minimum wages. These concerns are borne out by threats of retrenchment even before applying for exemptions. This is their way of fighting new minimum wages in principle,” Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said.

The government should expropriate farms where owners refused to co-operate, he said.

“These farms could then be put into partnership by farmworkers. Should farmers not heed this warning, the Western Cape agriculture sector could see a return to strike action on the farms.”

Food and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary Katishi Masemola said the union would not support a call for a blanket strike but targeting farmers “hell bent” on undermining the minimum wage.

“It is the rotten potatoes that should be dealt with. We can’t just call strikes against farmers (who) are law abiding, even if that call is made by Cosatu,” Masemola said.

The union was aware of workers who had been been dismissed in the province, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Bawsi Agricultural Workers’ Union of SA head Nosey Pieterse said the the union was negotiating with farmers to reinstate more than 200 workers dismissed for taking part in the strike. “It is because of this blatant undermining of the law that we would support Cosatu’s call.”
www.iol.co.za


Mail piles up amid ‘illegal’ strike
Ntando Makhubu (IOL News) 22 February 2013

Piles of mail destined for and from the city lay unattended for yet another day on Thursday, as Tshwane Mail Centre workers continued with strike action. This has prompted the municipality to warn ratepayers to pay their usual monthly bills despite the delays, and the SA Post Office to intensify investigations into the “illegal” industrial action.

Production at the post office has been characterised by stayaways for the past year as employers and employees have haggled over a wide range of issues – from finances and working hours to demands for dividends from profits.

This has resulted in delays in the delivery of mail, and post office branches across the city have closed for days at a time.

The recurring problems often raised the ire of residents as mail from the centre got stuck between post boxes, and residents complained that important mail did not reach its intended destinations.

At about midday on Thursday, just more than 100 workers met across the road from the Tshwane Mail Centre for an intended march on the offices. They agreed to call off the march after being told that their representatives had been called to a meeting in Joburg.

One worker told the Pretoria News during their meeting: “We are being told about a high court order forbidding the march and our leaders say we must wait for feedback from the meeting before taking any more action.”

Another worker, who also did not want to give his name, said they would not go back to work until their grievances had been addressed: “Unfortunately the people will suffer, but we are not going back yet.”

This is the second week of the strike action.

On Thursday, the city council asked that ratepayers pay their usual monthly amounts despite the anticipated delay in the delivery of their account statements.

The city’s marketing department said: “Residents can also request their latest account at their nearest customer care centre.”

Affected suburbs, the city said, included Nellmapius, Mahube Valley, squatter camps, Mamelodi West, Mamelodi East, Wespark, Kwaggasrand, Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville, Atteridgeville X 17, Necsa, Broederstroom, Arcadia, Loftus, Brooklyn, Hatfield, Menlo Park, Ashley Gardens, Waterkloof, Erasmusrand, Philip Nel Park, Asiatic Bazaar, Pretoria Zoo, Pretoria central business district, Tshwane Showgrounds, Pretoria West, Westview, Elands-poort, Danville, Proclamation Hill, Pretoria Industrial, Salvokop, Groenkloof and Equestria.

The post office confirmed that the processing of mail was being delayed. “The work stoppage remains illegal and could potentially compromise service delivery,” it said, adding that it wanted to resolve the matter swiftly.

The no work, no pay principle applied in this situation, it said.
ntando.makhubu@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Mob beats alleged robbers to death
IOL News 19 February 2013

Two men were beaten to death by an angry mob for allegedly robbing a supermarket in the Mbombo region, Eastern Cape police said on Tuesday.

Major Ernest Sigobe said the men, aged 24 and 33, were attacked by the mob on Monday evening.

They were cornered by the mob after robbing the supermarket at knifepoint. A third man ran away.

No arrests had been made in connection with the killings, said Sigobe. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Residents create stink over rubbish
IOL News 21 February 2013

Johannesburg - Fed up with shoddy service delivery, Orange Farm residents have emptied their waste bins on their ward councillor’s doorstep.

According to one resident, who declined to be identified because he is employed in the municipal office as a general worker, their ward councillor, Lindelwa June Nhose, had “dared us to do as we saw fit” when they complained about the lack of waste removal services in the area.

“And so we rose to the challenge,” he said.

The residents, from ward 3, rounded up all their waste bins and made sure they had “collected enough bins to make a statement”.

They claim they had been complaining that Pikitup, the waste management company, had not been servicing their area since December 16.

They also claim they had approached the company’s area manager, who informed them that trucks used to load waste bins had broken down.

“We didn’t believe him. So we approached the head office, who told us they were not aware of the problem. When we took the matter to our councillor, to whom we have been crying about this for weeks, she gave us attitude, and so we reacted,” said Pule Semahla, one of the protest organisers.

Residents wheeled their bins to Nhose’s front yard and emptied the waste there on Saturday afternoon.

According to Semahla, it was a “filthy sight”. He said worms, maggots and flies were everywhere and “you had to hold your breath”.

The refuse was finally collected on Tuesday. This is not the first time that Nhose has come under fire from the residents.

In July, they took to the streets to protest about their dissatisfaction with Eskom’s plan to install new prepaid meter boxes. These would cost R2 000 per household.

The protest reached a climax at Nhose’s offices at the multi-purpose centre.

The ward councillor had to be escorted out by the police as the crowd turned rowdy, with roads being blocked and some properties vandalised.

The Star attempted to contact Nhose on Wednesday, but her cellphone was switched off. Pikitup was unable to respond in time for publication.
www.iol.co.za


Police deployed amid Durban taxi war
SABC News 19 February 2013

Police and SAPS members have been deployed at Moore Road and Williams Road to monitor two taxi associations clashing over the taxi route from the city to the Eastern Cape.
Metro police spokesperson Eugene Msomi says the Sisonke and Sonqoba Taxi Associations have been clashing over the taxi routes and rank facilities.

He says they're now engaged in a meeting to resolve the issue.

“We received this morning the allegations that there were problems regarding the two taxi groups that are travelling to the Eastern Cape on the south coast.”

Msomi says the two groups were fighting over the taxi ranking facilities. “We have our Metro police members deployed there also the SAPS deployed there.”

“So we actually managed to confine these people off the road. William's Road that has been affected this morning, has been re-opened and it's moving smoothly,” Msomi added
www.sabc.co.za


DA marches against rhino poaching
SABC News 19 February 2013

Scores of Democratic Alliance (DA) members marched to the Kruger National Park's Phalaborwa Gate in Limpopo to highlight the fight against rhino poaching.

The party is concerned about the increasing numbers of rhinos killed for their horns. It says government is not doing enough to clamp down on rhino poaching in the country.
“All the workshops that have been
held with regard to rhino poaching and specifically in our province it became a talk shop, we therefore decided to embark on a campaign for the whole year starting at the Kruger National Park Phalaborwa today, so that we ensure that we put more emphasis until something is happening,” says DA caucus leader in the Limpopo legislature, Desiree van der Walt.
The marchers were wearing the party’s blue and white colours, while some have rhino horn replicas on their heads. The police are closely monitoring the peaceful protesters.

Over 96 rhinos have been poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year. Environmental Affairs authorities say of the rhino poached, 66 rhino were killed in the Kruger National Park, 11 in North West, and 10 in KwaZulu-Natal.

Five more were poached in Limpopo and four more in Mpumalanga.

Meanwhile, Ba-Phalaborwa Municipal mayor, Anna Sono, says the killing of rhinos is negatively affecting tourism in the area.
“As you know that Ba-Phalaborwa is the tourism town so if this issue of rhino poaching is not addressed quickly it will hamper the mission of the municipality we are hoping to be the best tourism destination in 2020,” adds Sono.

Last year a total of 633 rhinos were killed across the country with the Kruger National Park being the most affected.
www.sabc.co.za


Betogers ontwrig verkeer aan Wes-Rand
IOL News 19 February 2013

Johannesburg. - 'n Betoging oor dienslewering het Dinsdag daartoe gelei dat paaie in dele van die Wes-Rand versper en verkeer ontwrig is.

Hoofsupt. Wayne Minnaar van die Johannesburgse metropolisie het gesê die protesoptrede was in Vlakfontein, Roodepoort waar betogers reeds van 04:30 af verkeer in Main Reefweg en Corlettstraat ontwrig het.

"Hulle (die betogers) het die pad versper deur klippe te gooi en brandende buitebande in die pad te plaas," het Minnaar gesê.

Motoriste is aangeraai om alternatiewe roetes te gebruik. - Sapa
www.beeld.com


Women protest at Oscar’s bail bid
IOL News 19 February 2013

Pretoria - A group of women protested on Tuesday at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court where murder-accused paralympic star Oscar Pistorius was appearing.

The group waving placards sang and danced along Frances Baard street adjacent to the court. The group included members of the ANC Women's League.

Some of the larger placards read “Pistorius must rot in jail” and “No violence against women”. Others read: “No to killing of women and children”.

“No bail for Pistorius, no bail,” a woman at the front of the group chanted. The rest of the group joined in on the chant.

Police officers guarding the entrance asked the protesters to move away from the court entrance.

The protesters then assembled at a parking lot. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Mine workers shot at Amplats mine
18 February 2013

At least five workers have been shot after security guards at an Anglo American Platinum mine near Rustenburg allegedly opened fire.

It followed clashes between rival union factions, eNews Channel Africa television said.

The station said it believed one worker at the Siphumelele shaft had been killed.

Union and company officials were not immediately available for comment.

Anglo American Platinum, or Amplats, in January raised the ire of labour and the government when it said it planned to mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14 000 jobs.

The world's largest platinum producer was hit by violent strikes last year, sparked in large part by a turf battle between rivals unions for membership.

Amplats shares were down more than 5% in afternoon trade. – Reuters
mg.co.za


Mob hunts down alleged murderer
17 February 2013

Johannesburg - A man who allegedly murdered his girlfriend's other lover was attacked by community members on Sunday in Madobogo Village, North West police said.

The 36-year-old man had gone to visit his girlfriend late on Saturday night, when he apparently found her with another man, said Captain Amanda Funani in a statement.

“A fight ensued between the suspect and his girlfriend and the latter's other boyfriend intervened and defended the woman.”

The man then apparently stabbed the other boyfriend, aged 37, in the chest with a beer bottle.

The man then died on the scene.

On Sunday morning members of the village hunted down the alleged murderer at his aunt's house.

“They took the law into their own hands by beating him up, before handing him over to the local police station.”

Funani said the man was only slightly injured by the mob and had been taken to a clinic for treatment. He will appear in the Atamelang Magistrates' Court on Monday.

No assault charges have been registered against the mob. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Unite against abuse, communities urged
IOL News 18 February 2013

Cape Town - An anti-rape rally organised by Cosatu on Sunday featured representatives from various organisations addressing a crowd of about 100 people on the Grand Parade.

Speakers called on communities to make an effort to put an end to the abuse and rape of women and children.

Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich said Capetonians must unite to put an end to the scourge.

“Ending violence against women and children requires all people coming together,” he said.

SA Students Congress provincial secretary Monwabisi Luthuli called on society to actively participate in anti-rape rallies.

“We call on young people to unite and realise that democracy does not include such violent crimes, and that young people can help put an end to this devilish tendency,” Luthuli said.

The rally comes after the brutal rape and murder of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen that shocked the nation.

yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Pupils rally against rape
Natasha Prince 18 February 2013

Cape Town - Rape cases in Grassy Park - the most recent of which involved children - has residents on edge and has sparked protest action by primary school pupils.

The most recent incident involved a primary school pupil who was allegedly picked up by a man in a bakkie and raped. The girl was reportedly found with her skirt lifted and her shirt unbuttoned.

Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirmed a suspect had been arrested and that he appeared in court last Monday on a charge of indecent assault.

The suspect has since been released on bail.

On January 24, a 17-year-old pupil from a high school was abducted and gang-raped. She had been on her way to school when she was abducted in 8th Avenue, taken to an unknown location and raped by three unknown suspects in a black Toyota Tazz.

It is alleged that a rag soaked in a chemical substance was used to cover her mouth and her nose before she was shoved into the car.

She was dropped off near the school and found by a staff member.

Traut confirmed the two incidents. He said police were investigating both cases.

The incidents have sparked an outcry from local pupils.

On Friday morning, grades 5 to 7 at Fairview Primary staged a picket on a busy road in Grassy Park, holding aloft placards which read: “Where is the justice - stop rape now!” and “Real men don’t rape, stop rape abuse!”

Fairview Primary School principal Aubrey De Wet said the school wanted to create awareness around the issue: “Especially for the boys… we want to show the boys it’s not acceptable.”

De Wet said the children at his school were taught to “speak up” about everything.

Teacher Rufqa Allie said the children were affected because their friends, neighbours and peers were becoming victims.

“They definitely understand(rape). It’s so rife among them, the recent incident - it was the neighbour of one of the children in my class, it affects them,” Allie said.

Phillip Bam, Grassy Park Community Policing Forum chairman, said he was with the police two weeks ago when they raided premises where a group of men had been drinking.

He said police found two young girls - one of whom was 15 - who had been drinking alcohol with the men.

“It’s very disconcerting, there’s such a lot happening to youngsters, and you wonder: do parents know where their children are?”
natasha.prince@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


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