||ANC members burn party t-shirts
SAPA 4 July 2013
Tlokwe, North West - Members of the ANC burnt party T-shirts outside the Tlokwe local municipality offices in protest against the expulsion of 14 councillors, the party said on Thursday.
“This conduct by all involved vindicates the ANC and confirms the correctness of the decision to expel these ill-disciplined members by the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC),” provincial spokesman Kenny Morolong said in a statement.
The ANC condemned the burning of T-shirts and maintained its position that it do not recognise the removal of Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle, Morolong said.
The ANC claimed that 16 of its councillors participated in an irregular council meeting where they voted for Maphetle's unseating.
This was the second attempt to remove him.
In November, ANC factions in the municipality passed a motion of no confidence in Maphetle.
He was replaced by Annette Combrink - the first Democratic Alliance mayor in the province - when she defeated ANC candidate Lucky Tsagae by 20 votes to 19.
However, Maphetle was returned as mayor in February, when he won by 31 votes to Combrink's 21.
In the latest attempt to oust him, DA North West leader Chris Hattingh said 29 councillors from all parties, including the ANC, had unanimously voted to return Combrink to the position of mayor.
The ANC said the actions of its members were contrary to the party's code of conduct.
The 16 councillors were scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, but only two of them attended the meeting.
The two, who pleaded guilty, were “reprimanded” by the PDC and it was decided that they would be provided with “guidance” by the party, and would not be expelled.
The other 14, who did not arrive for the meeting, were expelled. - Sapa
Councillor living in fear after mob attack
IOL News 3 July 2013
A Hammanskraal ward councillor is living in fear following death threats, an attack with a spade and being “held hostage” for three hours by protesters at the Temba municipal offices.
Ward 75 councillor Jane Makgatho said she was one of 11 ward councillors who, according to her, were trapped in the Temba council chambers on Tuesday as a mob of about 100 people prevented them from leaving.
But metro police and the SAPS said no hostage drama had been recorded.
According to the police, the councillors decided of their own accord to wait inside the chambers until the crowd had dispersed. They apparently feared being attacked.
The crowd had begun its protests on Monday to express anger about an employment selection process for the Magalies water project. The project is part of the upgrading of the Magalies water treatment plant.
According to Makgatho, the mob was led by people who were feeding lies to the community about the project.
“This whole problem is because some people were selected to undergo training and other tests by the contractor for the project. The people who led this mob lied to them and told them this was the final selection process, which it is not.”
Makgatho said she had appointed a community liaison officer and labour desk officer to select at random 20 unemployed people from each ward in Region 2. This was to bring to 250 people the number of people employed for the project.
A source at the municipal offices said training was to have begun on Monday, but had been disrupted by the mob.
The source said about 200 people stormed over the fence, through the gate and into the building, looking for Makgatho.
Among other things, the mob had vandalised the client service centre and overturned a car in the parking area, the source said.
Makgatho said someone in the mob had then tried to attack her with a spade, but she had escaped with the assistance of police.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do. They threatened my life. They said they are going to burn down my house. I don’t know what to do, I can only hope that the police will protect me and my family.”
On Tuesday, more drama unfolded outside the municipal offices.
According to police spokesman Warrant Officer Llifi Ramatlo, residents had gathered outside the building after a promise that they would be addressed by councillors.
“The councillors instead locked themselves inside the building and didn’t address the crowd. They (residents) waited until late afternoon, but no one came to address them. It was not a hostage situation.”
Tshwane metro spokesman Blessing Manale said the city regretted the unfortunate situation.
“We confirm unassessed damages to the Temba Call Centre and a lock-in which was as a result of a stand-off between the councillors and the representatives of the groups. However, it cannot be classified as a hostage drama, but a grave form of public intimidation and harassment.”
Low turnout for Cosatu drive-slow
Yolande du Preez 3 July 2013
Tuesday’s drive-slow by Cosatu members in Pretoria and surrounding highways in protest of e-tolls did not cause major traffic disruptions.
About 30 cars, bearing large red stickers with messages such as “tolling Gauteng highways must be stopped” and “stop the privatisation of public highways” departed from End Street in Hatfield and slowly made their way to the Fountains circle via the N4 east, N1 south and the R21.
Metro Police spokesman Isaac Mahamba said several cars joined along the way and about 60 cars completed the drive-slow.
As the convoy approached the Kings Highway bridge near the Lynnwood off-ramp, hooting, and flashing headlights, many drivers reduced speed, hooted and waved in support.
The convoy, which took up two lanes of the highway, was accompanied by about 20 metro police officers on motorcycles and in police vehicles. Traffic moved freely in the other three lanes.
Mahamba said although traffic along the route was disrupted, it was nothing compared to the major traffic back-ups caused by the drive-slow earlier this year. He said several off-ramps along the route had to be closed for a short period to allow the convoy to pass.
Mahamsba said there were no incidents of violence.
“I can confirm that members dispersed peacefully at the Fountains Circle,” he said.
Cosatu provincial secretary Dumisane Dakile said he was satisfied with the turnout.
“So many people joined today and we had tremendous support from road users along the way.
“We are planning more activities in protest of e-tolling in the near future - this is not the end of the road,” he said.
The fight against e-tolling will continue in the Supreme Court of appeal in September.
Meanwhile, the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance has been involved in a lengthy court battle with South African National Roads Agency Limited about e-tolling.
Outa spokesman Ari Seirlis said the alliance was grateful to groups of concerned citizens making bold statements in the public.
“We are not saying we are in favour of public disruptions but this is the biggest public outcry in the past 20 years by South African citizens.
“People are taking their own time to make public dissent and that says something about how strongly they feel about the issue,” he said. - Pretoria News
Traffic backed up as Cosatu drive-slow continues
SABC News2 July 2013
Cosatu's Phutas Tseki says more motorists have joined the drive slow protest on the N1 South (SABC)
The Cosatu drive slow convoy against e-tolls is currently on the N1 South towards Johannesburg passing the Lynnwood off-ramp.
Traffic on the N1 is heavily backed up and traffic officers continue to enforce traffic rules. Tshwane Metro Police Officers are out in numbers to make sure that motorists obey the traffic rules.
Cosatu's Phutas Tseki says more motorists have joined the convoy. Passing motorists continue to hoot in solidarity while others have become slightly anxious due to the heavy traffic.
Motorists taking part in the drive slow campaign have so far behaved well and are obeying road traffic rules.
The protesters are expected to move to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital to pay their respects to former President Nelson Mandela, who is being treated there.
The labour federation continues to call on motorists not to register for e-tags. Motorists were expected to gather at End street in Hatfield in the morning were the drive slow campaign would start. This will be followed by a provincial strike over the issue on Friday.
Poo protest closes N2
Nontando Mposo (IOL News) 1 July 2013
Cape Town - Protesters blocked a portion of the N2 highway in Khayelitsha on Monday with toilet pots full of faeces and burning tyres.
However, police soon cleared the road, said Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut. The protest started at about 5.30am.
Traffic spokesman Kenny Africa said the protest started on the R300 and spread to Mew Way.
The incident follows a spate of protests about sanitation in Cape Town that has resulted in numerous closures of the N2 and a number of arrests for dumping human waste. Some 184 people were arrested for public violence in Woodstock last month and nine men on Tuesday for dumping human waste at Cape Town International Airport.
Chaotic start to poo-dumping case
Jade Otto (IOL News) 2 July 2013
Cape Town - More than 20 people protesting outside the Bellville Magistrate’s Court in support of the alleged Cape Town International Airport faeces-tossers were arrested on Monday for being too close to the court building without permission.
They were at court for the appearance of the nine people arrested at the airport last week - city councillor Luyiso Nkohla, expelled councillor Andile Lili, Yanga Njingwana, Ben Dyoni, Bantubakhe Ngobodiya, Wandesile Mkapa, Jaj Dimiso, Bongile Zamazo and Thembela Mabajwa.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk said 14 men and eight women, aged between 21 and 45, were arrested for protesting within 100m of a court without permission. They would appear in court soon.
Inside the court, magistrate Jannie Kotze heard that seven of the nine arrested for dumping human waste “had a propensity to commit similar crimes”.
Prosecutor Greg Wolmarans said the State opposed bail for the nine men because, based on their previous conduct, it was likely they would commit similar crimes if released.
Seven of the men, excluding Ngobodiya and Mkapa, were arrested early last month for dumping human waste on the steps of the Provincial Legislature or flinging faeces at Premier Helen Zille’s vehicle while she visited Khayelitsha.
The court heard that the seven had pending cases of public violence, and the Cape Town magistrate had issued an order that prohibited them from engaging in illegal protests.
The airport protest followed that order.
The men in court on Monday have been charged under the Civil Aviation Act.
If convicted they face a fine or 30 years in custody.
Advocate Thembalihle Sidaki, for the nine, read bail affidavits into the record.
The men all had fixed addresses, said they would not evade their trial, did not know any witnesses and would not interfere with them.
Nkohla said: “I was called on by the people to highlight the unhygienic and unbearable sanitation services by the City of Cape Town.”
He said residents who used the portable toilets felt their rights to dignity had been violated as the human waste had not been removed for two months.
Sidaki said that no flights or equipment had been affected or damaged, and he questioned the charge brought against the men.
But Wolmarans said that according to the Airports Company South Africa, faeces and tyre-burning protests on the N2 near the airport had caused a collective 10-hour flight delay recently, amounting to a loss of R500 000.
The men are due back in court on Tuesday, when Wolmarans is expected to argue why bail should be denied.
Anti-Obama protesters dispersed
IOL News 29 June 2013
Johannesburg – Police officers on Saturday fired a stun grenade at a group of protestors near the entrance of the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit there.
Spokeswoman Sally de Beer said about 120 protestors gathered about 400 metres from the gates to the campus.
The group were allowed permission to protest, but only until 2pm.
“When their time lapsed at 2pm, they refused to comply with a request to disperse as they were required to ...the police fired one stun grenade and they then dispersed,” de Beer said.
No arrests were made.
De Beer said: “We totally respect everyone's right to demonstrate peacefully, but if they are required in terms of their permission to protest, they must stick to the requirements.”
Obama was due to address young people at an event at the Soweto campus. – Sapa
Cops, protesters clash ahead of Obama visit
IOL News 29 June 2013
Johannesburg - Police fired stun grenades on Saturday at hundreds of protesters rallying against President Barack Obama's visit to South Africa, an AFP correspondent said.
At least three bangs were heard as police tried to move the demonstrators away from a university campus where Obama is expected to hold a town hall event later in the day. - AFP
Ovation for Obama despite protesters
IOL News 30 June 2013
When the US president made it into the White House back in 2008, South Africa rejoiced. There were house parties, people wore Obama T-shirts and the US Embassy handed out commemorative coins.
How times have changed.
Outside the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus, protesters gathered on the other side of Chris Hani road accused the first black US president of being the “kitchen boy of the White House”.
Some of the posters were more direct. “Say no to Obama House Nigga,” said one. The protesters were made up of a collection of organisations. Other placards carried pictures of Obama with a Hitler-style moustache.
There were about 200 protesters, held back by the police.
There was the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), the SACP and even a group of Ethiopians who called themselves Let Our Voice Be Heard. There was even a member of the Zimbabwean Communist League.
“Stop using military force in Africa,” said Goolam Mohamed, of Sadtu. “And no more double agenda hypocrisy.”
The Ethiopians said they were here because their president was supported by the US.
The SACP called for the release of the Cuban 5, lifting of the blockade against Cuba and closing of Guantanamo Bay. And stopping the terror in Palestine. “Phansi (down) Zionist Israel, phansi,” the communists shouted.
One member of the SA Students’ Congress called on those invited to watch the president to take a radical course of action. “I want those who are going inside to make a citizen’s arrest,” Nhlamula Siwela said.
An independent protester, A’shiq Osman, said the irony was that Obama had been awarded the Noble Peace Prize, but had refused to close Guantanamo Bay even though it was part of his election promises. “I guess now that he has got his second term, he can do what he wants,” Osman said.
But inside the UJ there was a different atmosphere. The packed auditorium sang Shosholoza. Obama got a standing ovation as he strode in. “I believe this is one region on the move,” he told the audience. He said that the June 1976 uprising changed his life.
“The uprising here opened my eyes to the world,” Obama said.
He added that he was visiting a new Africa, that was more prosperous, more confident and the reason for this was the young generation he was addressing today. The town hall meeting was a question and answer session, where Obama answered questions asked by young people from South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria.
Obama announced the launch of a programme called the Washington Fellowship for Young Leaders, which will enable Africans to come to the US to study. This would help build a network of African and US collaboration that would benefit both countries, he said.
Hundreds protest Obama visit
News 2428 june 2013
Pretoria – Activists from various groups marched to the US embassy in Pretoria on Friday, protesting against President Barack Obama.
The protest started at the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria, where hundreds gathered singing and chanting slogans denouncing Obama ahead of his official visit to South Africa.
One activist, on a truck mounted with a public address system, led the songs and slogans.
He shouted: "Free Palestine. Free Swaziland. Free Zimbabwe. Down Obama, down!"
A large banner with Obama's face had the words: "Meet the world's top assassin".
Many protesters wore black hoods.
Others were dressed in Young Communist League red regalia.
Placards at the stadium read: "No, you can't Obama".
AFP reported that the US president flew from Senegal to South Africa on Friday to pay homage to his hero Nelson Mandela, after a visit largely overshadowed by Madiba’s fading health.
Many local and international journalists, who were camped outside the nearby Medi-Clinic Heart hospital where former president Nelson Mandela is being treated, rushed to the stadium.
As the group passed close to the hospital, they shouted messages of support for the ailing anti-apartheid icon.
Six police vehicles, including a Nyala, escorted the lively protesters.
Poo-throwing threat over tuck shops
Sandi Kwon Hoo 28 June 2013
Kimberley - The Independent Community of Kimberley (ICOK) has called on residents to rally against illegal tuck-shop owners by littering and throwing faeces at the entrances of government buildings as well as the homes of councillors on July 2.
The ICOK on Thursday said it had requested the Public Protector to investigate fraudulent leases where bribes of goods, money and airtime was allegedly being given to a local attorney, law enforcement authorities, municipal and South African Security Agency (Sassa) officials in exchange for securing business premises for foreign nationals.
ICOK convenor, Brian Banga, discouraged the use of violence but insisted that steps had to be taken to ensure that foreign nationals conducted their businesses according to health and occupational regulations.
“Health inspections, proof of business and tax registration as well as the validity of asylum papers should be verified at all tuck-shops in our municipal wards by Monday.
“If this does not happen we will ‘gooi k*k’ (throw faeces) at the gates of all municipal and government offices and ban the sale of products from illegal tuck-shops. We have already mobilised 800 members of the ICOK to participate,” Banga said.
He said that according to a study that they conducted, about 20 000 foreign nationals were living in the Northern Cape with an estimated 10 000 illegal tuck-shops that had mushroomed throughout the Province in the past three years.
He said that about 128 tuck-shops were operating in Lerato Park, with over 80 that had sprung up in Club 2000 and John Daka as well as over 50 tuck-shops, each situated in Phutanang, Barkly West and Ritchie.
Banga also claimed that foreign nationals were provided with the contact details of vulnerable pensioners who were registered on the social grant recipients’ database.
“The elderly people are being exploited because they are poor and illiterate. They are forced to sign five-year leases where containers are set up next to their houses with illegal electricity connections.”
He added that lease agreements stipulate that rent is payable of between R750 – R1 200 per month while the cost for the provision of electricity and water will be paid for by the home owner.
Banga said up to two people were working and living in the zinc containers while the ICOK was prevented from entering the shanties to inspect their washing facilities.
“There is no water connection to flush the toilets, no windows for ventilation, fire extinguishers and escape routes in the event of an emergency.
“While food, fresh produce, meat and perishables such as bread and polony are sold, we don’t know if hygiene is being adhered to.
“Cigarettes, tobacco, matches and oka pipes are said to be sold to children, without supervision. The excessive use of electricity to run their lights, television sets and fridges in order to run and live in their businesses resulting in electricity cuts to large sections of the neighbourhoods.”
He added that many of these business operators did not have identity documents and only possessed permits allowing them to operate in Johannesburg or the Eastern Cape.
Sol Plaatje municipal spokesman, Sello Matsie, said the Urban Planning Division was working with the police, Department of Home Affairs, Sars and the National Prosecuting Authority to address the growing number of illegal tuck-shops.
“Various complaints have been received and are being dealt with separately. In our database there are about 200 permits that were cancelled because the owners wanted to discontinue their businesses.”
He added that the Urban Planning Division and the police successfully raided legal and illegal taverns and tuck-shops in Galeshewe in March, and that several owners consulted the municipality in an attempt to remedy their actions.
Matsie said that all legal tuck-shop owners should be in possession of a five-year permit from the municipality that can be renewed.
“Every tuck-shop is subject to health inspections while illegal electrical connections are not permitted. The legality of the structure must be verified before electricity is installed.”
He added that tuck-shop owners were not allowed to sleep in the tuck-shop premises, which should solely be used for the sale of goods.
“The law is clear that children under the age of 18 may not purchase cigarettes.”
Spokeswoman for Sassa, Inno Khunou, said they were not aware of the allegations of any officials who divulged information listed on their database.
“We urge the ICOK to contact us with concrete evidence to ensure that the allegations are fully investigated. We appeal to anyone with related information to contact our social grant fraud and corruption toll-free number on 0800 701 701.”
She added that anti fraud tip-off boxes would be placed at all Sassa offices by the end of July.
Youth march against crime
Charmaine Slater(Look Local)26 June 2013
The Cleveland SAPS Youth Desk took to the streets on June 22 to voice their concerns regarding crime in the area. The march was aimed at raising awareness of troubles faced by youth in the area including drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy and education.
Security workers protest
Look Local 28 June 2013
Employees of a private security company, which does work for the Ekurhuleni Metro on a tender basis, protested on the premises of the service delivery centre on Tuesday morning.
Tracey-Lee’s family feel let down by cops
Kutlwano Olifant 27 June 2013
Johannesburg - As the world celebrated International Day Against Drug Abuse on Wednesday, residents of Klipspruit West in Eldorado Park and Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko took to the streets of the township.
The march was in memory of 28-year-old Tracey-Lee Martins, who was killed on April 27, allegedly by men she had grown up with who wanted a “quick drug fix”.
Martins was assaulted until she died in front of her three-year-old son. Her body was found tucked in bed. Martins’s grandmother, Rookeya van der Westhuizen, was punched in the face and choked by the killer.
On Wednesday, the family said they had lost confidence in the police.
They told Mazibuko and Kliptown station commander Johannes Mnguni they wanted the investigating officer removed from the case.
The MEC heard that Van der Westhuizen and her great-grandson had moved out of the house in fear.
“We feel intimidated and unsafe. Tracey-Lee’s grandmother is afraid to live in her own house because some suspects were released,” said Martins’s uncle, Richard.
Family spokesman Robert Pillay said there were witnesses in Klipspruit West, yet the police still failed to act.
The sister of one of the suspects was even willing to testify in court, he claimed.
The officer was described as one of the best detectives on the case.
Strike closes E Cape traffic offices
IOL News 26 June 2013
Port Elizabeth - Three traffic department offices in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro were closed on Wednesday because of strike action, a municipal official said.
Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the offices in Korsten, Sidwell and Uitenhage were affected.
He said preliminary information suggested about 30 staff members were striking because of salary gradings.
“The management is currently in consultation with the striking employees to bring the situation to normality.
“For now, we cannot confirm when the offices will re-open.”
People who had appointments on Thursday were advised to keep their documentation as proof when re-scheduling.
The municipality apologised for the inconvenience. - Sapa
Protesters lash out as ANC conference kicks off in Bay
The Herald (PE) 26 June 2013
WHILE registration for the Eastern Cape ANC provincial conference kicked off without a hitch today, a group of disgruntled Nelson Mandela Bay branch members protested outside the city hall, accusing the party’s regional leaders of manipulating their branch meeting.
The members of Ward 41, which is the ANC’s biggest branch in the Bay, claim the party’s Bay regional secretary Zandisile Qupe and Constituency Coordinator Fikile Desi held a meeting which did not have a quorum.
There were also allegations of an attendance register that was stolen and taken to Motherwell, making it difficult to verify all those who were in attendance.
ANC national executive committee member Zizi Kodwa, who addressed the angry crowd, said they would listen to their complaints and resolve the matter today.
At a press conference held at the Feather Market hall earlier, Kodwa said the members were complaining because their preferred candidate, who would represent them at this week’s elective conference, had lost.
"In my experience, people complain after their preferred candidate has lost and that is what has happened here.
"Some people left the meeting because they saw that they were losing, now they think the conference should be held at mercy for them.
"They will have a full report on what transpired today,” Kodwa said.
Faeces dumped at Cape airport terminal
IOL News 25 June 2013
Cape Town - Five people were arrested on Tuesday afternoon for dumping human waste in the departure terminal at Cape Town International Airport, Western Cape police said.
“Police are still on the scene to monitor the situation and will take action if (necessary),” Lt-Col Andre Traut said.
The five would appear in court once charged.
Acting airport spokeswoman Deborah Francis said the group apparently pretended to be passengers and carried plastic bags through to the domestic and international departures terminal at about 1.30pm.
“It happened literally within a few split seconds... They threw it, jumped back into the cars and sped off,” she said.
The group was then apprehended by police.
Francis said the airport was a national key point.
“The scene was handed over to the SA Police Service, and the area has been demarcated. Once they've assessed everything, there are Hazmat consultants that will clean up.”
Francis said the incident had not resulted in any operational delays, and two entrances in the terminal hall remained open.
Two weeks ago, 183 people were arrested on public violence charges at the Esplanade train station in Woodstock for carrying portable flush toilets and human waste in blue municipal bags placed in milk crates.
They apparently also sang freedom songs which included a reference to Western Cape premier Helen Zille as a dog.
The group appeared in court, was released on warning, and told to return on August 2 after further investigation.
The State was unsuccessful in its bid to block bail for former councillor and ANC Youth League member Andile Lili, and Yandani Kulati and Thembela Mbanjwa.
At the start of the month, a group of people in Khayelitsha threw human waste at a bus and cars used for transport to a green economy event hosted by Zille.
A day before that, two men dumped faeces on the steps of the Western Cape legislature in a protest about portable flush toilets (PFTs).
The men identified themselves to the Cape Argus newspaper at the time as Lili and ANC proportional councillor and youth league member Loyiso Nkohla.
The protests were linked to the apparent dissatisfaction by some communities over sanitation in informal settlements and rolling out PFTs.
ANCYL national task team co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe said the ANCYL distanced itself from faeces throwing, but not from raising poor service delivery.
“We are (telling) them that there is a better way that we can employ in raising the plight of our people without having to throw faeces all over the province,” he said.
“If they do not listen to that, we are forced then to look at the internal processes of disciplinary action.” - Sapa
KZN protest leader shot 12 times
NKULULEKO NENE (Daily News Durban) 27 June 2013
Durban - A Cato Crest man who led protests in the area this week over the allocation of RDP houses was shot 12 times - just hours after a high level ANC delegation met with angry community members.
Nkululeko Gwala, 34, had told the Daily News during the week and two hours before he died, that he was afraid he would be killed. He was shot by two men as he made his way home at about 10.30pm.
This is the second killing related to the allocation of RDP houses in the area since violence first flared up in March. Thembinkosi Qumbelo, the leader of the Cato Crest Residential Association, was gunned down on March 15 by four gunmen. No arrests have been made.
The latest killing came just hours after eThekwini mayor, James Nxumalo and Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo - who is also chairman of ANC in the city - met community members at the Cato Crest Community Hall to discuss rising tension in the area during which two local councillors’ offices were torched.
Speaking to the Daily News before his death, Gwala said he did not want to attend the meeting because he feared he might be killed.
He said the main reason he had led the protests this week was that councillors were giving low cost houses to politically connected people.
“People should get houses because of merit and not politcal affiliations,” he said.
“If they say I am guilty of leading the protest then that is fine because I am doing it for the rights of people.”
He was dead two hours later.
Long-standing tension over the allocation of RDP houses intensified this week after land invaders, evicted from their shacks, blockaded part of King Cetshwayo (Jan Smuts) Highway on Monday morning.
This morning, his girlfriend, Thembi Mazubane, 42, said he was ambushed by two men who were later seen running away from the scene.
“After Qumbelo’s death, two women jokingly said I must buy black panties and bras in preparation for mourning. I believe that those who shot him also murdered Qumbelo. He (Gwala) had been receiving death threats since the protests started,” she said.
Addressing community members on Wednesday night, Dhlomo slammed police for not stopping the mob that went on the rampage in the area. He said police did nothing to stop the violence or arrest offenders.
The offices of ward councillors Zanele Ndzoyiya and Mzimuni Mnguni were torched on Tuesday night and Vusi Mzimela (Bellair) Road and King Cetshwayo Highway had been blocked with rubble and burning tyres.
“I am going to have an urgent meeting with (MEC for Community Safety and Liaison) Willies Mchunu to vent our unhappiness on how police conducted themselves during the protests.
“We hear that police accompanied the hooligans while they were destroying properties. We urge the community not to rely on police, but be protective of this area and its infrastructure,” said Dhlomo, who was addressing Cato Crest residents at a special meeting on Wednesday.
He appealed to the community not to allow hooligans to stand in the way of development. “Otherwise, the budget set for building homes in the area will be taken elsewhere,” he said.
Nxumalo was among the speakers at the meeting, which was attended by thousands of residents. He also criticised the police, calling them incompetent.
Nxumalo referenced Gwala - who had been mentioned by several residents - in his address to residents, telling them that he knew him from their home town, Inchanga, and that he had come from a “good home”.
Nxumalo appealed to people to be patient as the shortage of land hindered development. However, he said there were other housing projects, such as Cornubia, where they could be housed.
Mnguni said it was disappointing to see infrastructure being destroyed and development halted because of a few unruly people.
Police confirmed Gwala’s death and said they were investigating.
ANC CONDEMNS VIOLENT PROTESTS IN DURBAN
Statement issued by Cde Senzo Mkhize, ANC KZN spokesperson, 26 June 2013
The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal strongly condemns the incidents of violence and destruction of property which have accompanied protests in the eThekwini Municipality in the past few days.
The violent protests at Durban's Ward 30 and the Glebe Hostel have seen two offices of municipal councillors, people's cars, homes and community halls vandalized. These incidents are very unfortunate, as the communities are going to be badly affected because it will take time to replace the damaged properties.
It is disappointing that these incidents took place at the time when the leadership of the ANC in the eThekwini Region is busy engaging with residents of these two areas with the aim of addressing their concerns.
On Tuesday night, a municipal office at Ward 30 was torched, homes and cars of innocent people badly damaged. Earlier on Tuesday, the protestors had blockaded roads and intimidated motorists and last week the protestors at Glebe Hostel destroyed a municipal office and a community hall.
While the ANC acknowledges the constitutional right for every citizen to express their concerns freely and lawlessness will not be condoned under any circumstances. We call on our people to exercise their rights to protest in a peaceful and orderly manner.
If people in the community have complaints, they should engage with the ANC or the municipality directly. It concerns us that during these protests, service delivery is affected.
The ANC led eThekwini Municipality has done well in changing the lives of people of Ward 30 by building decent homes, schools, roads and community halls. The eThekwini Municipality is currently building homes at Ward 30 and unfortunately the contractors are being blocked by the protestors.
Cato Mano Protest
China Ngubane 25 June 2013
“About 700 Cato Manor residents started the protest yesterday around 8pm along Bellair Road and the numbers swelled to over 3 000 this morning” said Mphume Ntshangase, a tinned house resident. “Police invaded the area yesterday evening and started throwing teargases on protesters, they continued to the tinned houses where they tossed teargases on roofs and passages”. This was the main reason why people come out in their numbers because they were forced out of their homes due to teargases. Mphume was also affected, as she was responding to this interview she was wearing sunglasses, protecting her teargased red-eyes.
Children and the aged people including family members already suffering from asthma and TB struggled to escape, three people were rushed to hospital living others suffocating. Nkau Mbambo, also a tinned house resident said police went on to shoot with rubber bullets and two community members (names not yet known) were shot and one is hospitalised, where Mbambo himself was also shot on the leg and is walking with difficulty.
Members of the community blocked the roads and traffic since yesterday saying they will continue with civil disobedience until their demands are met and this include that they are tired of their Councillor, Zanele Ndzoyiya who secured the position through the back door. Asimfuni uNdzoyiya, (we don’t need her anymore), chanted the protesters. Ndzoyiya is corrupt on houses and for year’s people are living in the shacks without toilets and proper sanitation. Since Ndzoyiya got into office she has never called for a single public meeting to hear public concerns.
According to Mazwi Bhengu the community is even more frustrated that when they call for Ndzoyiya she sends her husband to meet the people. “We feel that is public provocation as Ndzoyiya’s husband in not our councillor and also that he has no mandate to handle community issues” said Bhengu. Bhengu said we are very angry about our politicians even though we like them. They unleash police to shoot us for what reason, what have we done to them? If we call them they don’t come, they are always giving false promises, and this is why we are not going to vote for them. We rendered countless memos and demands but all in vain. Our ward committee, also oppressed by the councillor tabled these issues since when the current Mayor (James Nxumalo) was the speaker, Nxumalo together with Nigel Gumede have promised to provide houses and development and this never materialised for a number of years.
Mxolisi Cele, a ward 30 resident said this protest follows false promises and non-response from the Mayor and his municipality. On the 23rd of May people protested and the Mayor was quick to come and bluff people. We were even called to the Mayor’s office the following day only to be told lies. Of all promises nothing was fulfilled. The Mayor came to visit the area and promised to solve some other concerns promptly but that never happened. Today’s march is mainly to remind the officials to practice what they preach. “We have no faith in our councillors and Mayor anymore, they failed us, we will continue burning tires and we will even go to bigger highways until we see our president”, said Avhiwe. “We want Msholozi here” said the chorus. “We stayed here for twenty years but no development. Most of us are members of the ANC but we are angry against our party for not respecting the will of the people” said a disgruntled community member.
Cato Manor resident continue to live without electricity, water, proper housing, infrastructure and other social amenities. The Councillor is corrupt and is shielded by ANC senior officials, “when we ask her to meet the community Ndzoyiya says she need immunisation from diseases before she comes”. Today we are saying enough is enough, Ndzoyiya must step down, we need a new Councillor that will listen to the people said Sibusiso Mthembu The Province and the regional government have failed and now President Zuma must come and address ward 30 issues. James Nxumalo promised to come back within two weeks and that never happened, we are rest assured that he will never come because he made similar promises years ago that he never fulfilled.
Ward 30 Community will continue with protest until their call is addressed. There are signs however that protester will continue to disturb traffic even in the freeways.
Violent protest erupts in Cato Crest
SABC 26 June 2013
Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane says the crowd has dispersed and police are monitoring the situation in Durban after a service delivery protest. (SABC)
A service delivery protest has turned violent after angry protesters burnt a councillor's office and a shop in Cato Crest in Durban.
The protesters are blockading the roads with burning tyres, rocks and are damaging police cars. The protests started Tuesday morning when police arrested seven suspects.
They were charged with public violence and malicious damage to property. The suspects are due to appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane says the crowd has dispersed and police are monitoring the situation.
Tear gas used on Durban protesters
Daily News 25 June 2013
Durban - Police used tear gas on protesters who blocked traffic in Vusi Mzimele (Bellair) Road on Tuesday morning.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said three people were arrested for public violence.
Metro police were redirecting traffic while the SAPS were trying to disperse disgruntled Cato Crest residents in Ward 30 who want their ward councillor, Zanele Ndzoyiya, removed.
Metro police spokesman, Superintendent Eugene Msomi, said Vuzi Mzimele (Bellair) Road would only reopen once the fires had been extinguished and the rubble cleared.
A resident, who did not want to be named for fear of being victimised, said she was away in the Eastern Cape and returned on Monday afternoon.
“We don’t know why this is happening. We’re being harassed by police as if we’re part of this protest, which began last night, while we’re not,” the resident said.
Three people were arrested for public violence in Cato Crest after disgruntled residents went on the rampage. Pictures: Sibusiso Ndlovu
Another woman had injured her leg while running away from a police officer who reportedly aimed tear gas at a group of people watching the chaos.
She said all residents were being punished for something a handful had started.
Last month, residents blocked Vusi Mzimele Road demanding that Ndzoyiya step down because they claimed she “rigged” the elections.
Ndzoyiya said today that she had not been contacted by the community and was unaware of the complaints.
“No one has come to me. I don’t know the reasons behind the chaos,” she said.
Ndzoyiya said she did not elect herself.
“It had to have been the people who elected me.
“There has been no instruction from the ANC for me to step down as a councillor.”
This protest is unrelated to Monday’s demonstration in which King Cetshwayo (Jan Smuts) Highway was closed off.
Cato Crest residents of Ward 101 had gone on a rampage, using rubble and burning tyres to blockade the highway and threw objects at passing vehicles.
Residents claimed that RDP houses in the area were being allocated to people who were not Cato Crest residents, and that ward committee members were selling these houses.
They were meeting their ward councillor, Mzi Ngiba, on Tuesday morning.
“It’s been a long time since the councillor made promises and nothing has materialised,” said resident Ndabo Mzimela.
He said residents decided to take to the streets after some were removed from their shacks that were destroyed to make room for RDP houses.
“They don’t care whether you are home or not, they just destroy your shack,” Mzimela said.
An elderly man, who cannot walk, had to explain to a group of angry protesters gathered in his yard how he had been allocated an RDP house.
Police had to intervene, telling protesters to get off the man’s property and report their issues to their councillor.
Community police forum chairman S’bu Nguse said the residents who protested and destroyed municipal assets at the same time had been dubbed the “Marikana gang” as this was not the first protest of this kind they had staged.
“They went around burning and kicking down portable toilets that they also use,” he said.
Nguse said it made no sense at all for these residents to destroy things they used and needed.
Ngiba met the residents’ representative on Monday.
He said most of the residents who had made these allegations did not own the shacks, and were renting.
“We can’t allocate houses to tenants,” Ngiba said.
He said before development began people owned five or six shacks each and they rented these out.
“We discussed these issues and we will look into how they can be assisted at another meeting today,” Ngiba said.
Zwane said they would continue to monitor the area on Tuesday.
Motorists stoned by Mayville mob
Lungelo Mkamba (IOL News) 25 June 2013
Durban - Mayville in Durban came to a standstill on Monday when a mob trashed streets, pelted motorists with rocks and tried to forcibly evict an elderly man who was accused of occupying a government house illegally.
The police watched as the group, estimated to number about 700 people, went on the rampage, destroying public toilets, blocking the road, and stoning motorists and police cars in protest at alleged corruption in low-cost government housing.
They demanded the removal of Ward 30 councillor Zanele Ndzoyiya, identified in an ANC investigation as being among those whose elections were “illegitimate”. An ANC task team led by Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma probed allegations of irregular nominations of ANC candidates for the 2011 local government elections.
On Monday, the police’s public order unit used teargas to disperse the crowd.
Metro police cordoned off Vusi Mzimele Road (Bellair) from 5am and diverted motorists to alternative routes.
The group’s leader, Nkululeko Gwala, said eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo knew about their plight.
Violence also nearly erupted between the mob and taxi bosses, who were upset that the protest was affecting their business because taxis could not use their normal routes.
Gwala led the mob to the home of Khuba Mpungose, where they accused the pensioner of occupying the house illegally.
The group tried to storm into the house and remove Mpungose, who was with his young grandson, but police blocked the door. The outnumbered officers called for back-up and drove the mob from the yard.
Ndzoyiya could not be reached for comment.
Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said police would continue monitoring the situation.
Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu condemned the violent protests, including the burning of council buildings in uMlazi at the weekend. “What is happening undermines the rule of law, and is criminality,” said Mchunu.
Cosatu protests N West toll-gate
IOL News 21 June 2013
Rustenburg - A motorcade is set to drive slowly to the “expensive” Swartruggens toll-gate in the North West to demand that its fees be reduced, Cosatu said on Friday.
“We have been raising this issue about this expensive toll-gate since 2011 and nothing has been done. This march, in the form of cars driving slowly, is aimed at causing a traffic jam at the toll-gate,” said Congress of SA Trade Unions North West spokesman Solly Phetoe.
The “drive slow” was scheduled to begin on Friday afternoon, and a memorandum would be handed over to a representative from the transport department.
“This is the most expensive toll-gate in the country, and it is robbing the poor of their hard-earned livelihood; we will continue to fight this.”
A task team formed to address the matter was not functional, did not have terms of reference, and was biased, Phetoe said.
“We want to put on record that the task team has failed the masses of our province and the motorists who use this road on a daily basis.”
The motorcade would leave from the Swartruggens police station and proceed to the toll-gate. - Sapa
Cosatu revs up drive against e-tolls
IOL News 25 June 2013
Cosatu is planning another provincial strike against Gauteng’s multibillion-rand e-tolls as its campaign opposing the controversial tolling system gains momentum.
The trade union federation said it would seek permission to use more than one lane in its next drive-slow on Gauteng freeways, after another “successful” drive at a snail’s pace around Johannesburg on Monday.
Cosatu Gauteng spokesman Dumisani Dakile said they would urge law enforcement agencies to allow them to drive at less than the prescribed 40km/h.
If granted their wish, Dakile said, a drive-slow with a heavier impact could be expected in Pretoria, where Cosatu Gauteng was planning its next campaign action next Tuesday.
This will be followed by a provincial strike against e-tolls on July 5, which will see Cosatu members and those opposing e-tolls march across Joburg, handing over memorandums to several offices.
During Monday’s protest, about 200 vehicles, including police cars, drove at 40km/h from Cosatu House to the M1 North and N1 North, turned back at Olifantsfontein Road via the N1 South, then the N12 East at the Diepkloof interchange, before joining the M1 North as the convoy headed back to the starting point in Braamfontein.
Joined by minibus taxis supporting the campaign, the long procession used the far-right lane, while the next lane was occupied by Joburg metro police and the police, who were keeping a close eye on the convoy.
Despite at least one lane left for normal traffic, the flow of traffic was badly affected and backed up on the M1 North towards the Olifantsfontein off-ramp. The same sight was seen on the N1 South as the procession went past Sunninghill.
Dakile said: “The numbers are up compared to what we had in Ekurhuleni recently. Our aim is not to disrupt traffic, but to raise awareness and to demonstrate the gravity of our opposition to e-tolls.”
“The drive-slow campaign has definitely reached momentum.”
“We had to compromise when metro police only allowed us one lane and a speed of 40km/h, but we’ll go back and request amendments to some conditions. We’d want to drive at least at 20km/h and use more lanes in the future.”
Dakile described an e-toll project that already has 45 gantries built on freeways around the province as “daylight robbery”, which will “see about R616 million leaving our shores, going to international investors”.
“This is just the beginning of our campaign against this robbery and a build-up to more actions to come. More drive-slows, marches and other actions will be seen in the future and we’ll continue until our voices have been heard,” he said.
“We still urge drivers out there not to buy e-tags or register for e-tolling.”
Cosatu and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance have been leading the war against e-tolls. - The Star
Armed mob disrupts NFP meeting
Lungelo Mkamba 24 June 2013
Durban - The National Freedom Party’s campaign for next week’s by-election at KwaMashu Hostel was disrupted on Sunday when an armed mob fired shots into the air and marched on the hall where NFP president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi was addressing supporters.
Her plan was to visit at least four areas, including Sulabasha in the embattled hostel area, but when news spread about violent clashes between the ANC and IFP, who were also campaigning, the decision was made to withdraw.
Several NFP supporters called on their president not to be “bullied”, and for a planned march to Sulabasha to go ahead.
However, after consultation with police, kaMagwaza-Msibi said it would be too dangerous, and told supporters to return to the community hall.
The by-election, to be held on July 3, follows the resignation of IFP ward councillor Sakhi Ngcamu, who was elected in December. He resigned after being arrested in connection with the murder of a fellow IFP member. He was also charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Meshack Khwela is running for the ANC, Qedusizi Buthelezi for the NFP, and Bongumusa Zondo for the IFP.
In a brief interview, an unfazed kaMagwaza-Msibi pointed out that the hostels were notorious for violence.
“People have a lot of fear, and we want to rid them of that fear before they come to vote next week. I have seen the level of poverty here. People are being treated like animals,” she said, after walking door to door in the IFP stronghold, accompanied by the police and armed private security.
KaMagwaza-Msibi also went into taverns and encouraged people to vote.
While she was addressing her supporters, IFP members armed with hammers, spears, pangas and guns marched on the hall, triggering fear and chaos among NFP supporters.
The police and security guards formed a human wall to keep the opposing sides apart.
* These are the second by-elections in the KwaMashu Hostel area in seven months after IFP councillor Themba Xulu was kidnapped and murdered last year.
Protesters loot shops, burn down Police Station
Look Local25 June 2013
A furious mob of more than 1 000 people went on a violent rampage in the township of KwaZamokuhle in Hendrina on Sunday - threatening violence against Mayor Mike Masina and other Councillors whom they blockaded at the community stadium for almost 30 minutes.
But this was not before they stoned the Mayor's vehicle and interrupted his speech in which he addressed several concerns raised by KwaZamokuhle residents about a week earlier regarding service delivery. The residents are demanding among others a mall, a hospital and a clinic.
Shortly after Mayor Masina and Councillors were provided safe passage by the Hendrina SAPS and left the area, the angry mob went on to burn a library, satellite police station and community hall.
The residents also burnt shops belonging to foreign nationals on Sunday night. Mostly Ethiopian shop owners were affected. They stated that at least 30 of their businesses were completely looted.
"Our walls were broken down with sledgehammers. We fled for our lives. Every single item was stolen - even chappies. Fridges were unplugged and carried away," said Ethiopian national Ayele Abush.
Just over 50 Ethiopians are currently being accommodated at the local police station - most of whom claim that they've not a single cent left in their pocket. Hendrina police spokesperson, David Mbenekazi, said five people have been detained on allegations of arson, public violence and malicious damage to property They are yet to be formally charged.
"The investigation is ongoing and we expect to make more arrests during the course of the week," he said.
• The residents of Kwazamokuhle held a protest march to Hendrina Municipal buildings on 10 June 2013 to hand over a memorandum to Mayor Masina - but he was not present to receive it and this infuriated the protestors.
Angry residents made some serious threats towards the Mayor's office as they waited for two hours for him to arrive - only to be informed that he was in a meeting in Nelspruit. Protestors dispersed and went back home. The following Friday, on 14 June 2013, residents blocked the Arnot - Hendrina road, burnt tyres and stoned vehicles. A Police task force was called in to help subdue the unrest and 37 people were arrested on charges of public violence.
Black clouds of smoke could be seen for miles around Kwazamokuhle. Three people were taken to hospital to be treated for rubber bullet wounds they sustained during the protest.
The people of Kwazamokuhle and Hendrina want a Police Station in Kwazamokuhle, a 24 hour Clinic and English Medium Schools - all before the 2014 elections.
Protestors torch library
Yahoo News 24 June 2013
A library, a satellite police station and a community hall were set alight by protestors in the Zamokuhle Township near Hendrina in Mpumalanga.
According to the SABC, residents from the township, who went on a rampage following a speech by the mayor, are demanding a hospital, a mall and a clinic.
The national broadcaster quoted Mpumalanga police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi as saying: “What happened was that on Sunday, after the mayor delivered his speech, the people went on [a] rampage and they stoned his vehicles.”
Protestors also burnt down shops belonging to both South Africans and foreign nationals. Those forced to flee their homes are currently being accommodated at a local police station.
Police have arrested four people on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property, and have called for calm in the area, the SABC reported.
Women in portaloo sit-in on city steps
Natasha Prince 21 June 2013
Cape Town - In the latest incident in the sanitation protests, police blocked demonstrators carrying portable toilets and a bag of faeces at Cape Town Central train station on Thursday.
A short while later, a group made up mostly of women gathered at the steps of the provincial legislature in Wale Street to hand over a memorandum charging Premier Helen Zille with “genocidal neglect” and protesting against sanitation issues.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said police had responded to “a potential protest situation” when people were seen carrying bags of faeces on a train.
“The crowd was blocked and prevented entry to the CBD,” Traut said.
He said that containers were also confiscated and the situation was defused.
No arrests were made and police could not confirm how many containers had been confiscated.
Meanwhile, at the legislature, the group of women placed a clean portable toilet on the steps leading to the building’s entrance.
The women took turns sitting on it.
Khayelitsha resident Nolizwi Ngcana read out the memorandum. “The refusal of the Zille government to take immediate and urgent steps to provide the people living in informal areas, decent, safe and sanitary toilets can only be described as abject genocidal neglect.”
It referred to hygiene problems caused by pollution and raw sewage and e.coli bacteria arising from poor sanitation.
“To add insult to injury, the municipality has resorted to gimmicks of handing out so-called portable flush toilets which add more humiliation for the users as family members have to relieve themselves in front of siblings, parents, grandparents,” the memorandum stated.
Ngcana said the portable toilets were a disgrace.
Vuyokazi Ncinane, from Khayelitsha, said Zille was “disrespecting the ladies” and said she came to the protest to warn Zille that if she did not respond within seven days they would be back to make a mess at the legislature.
The women were escorted by police and law enforcement vehicles as they marched down Adderley Street toward the train station.
Wayne Naidoo, from the premier’s office, collected the memorandum.
Brett Herron, the acting mayoral committee member for utility services, said portable flush toilets were an additional sanitation service offered to communities still using a bucket system and a “dignified, safe and hygienic sanitation provision”.
Councillor’s offices torched in Umlazi
IOL News 24 June 2013
Durban - The offices of an Umlazi councillor were torched by disgruntled residents, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.
About 200 people burned down the offices on Sunday at Glebelands Reunion hostel in Umlazi, south of Durban, Captain Thulani Zwane said.
The residents held a protest on Thursday complaining about service delivery.
Police were investigating a case of arson.
No arrests have been made and no injuries were reported.
Zwane would not comment on the motive for the attack.
Ethekwini municipality spokesman Thabo Mofokeng could not immediately comment. - Sapa
GLEBELANDS HOSTEL DEMANDS IMMEDIATE RESPONSE FROM CITY MAYOR
Umbilo Action Group 23 June 2013
After protests last Thursday in which Glebelands Hostel residents demanded the immediate recall of ANC councillor, Mr Mzobe, eThekwini Mayor, James Nxumalo dispatched a representative to deal with residents concerns. Hostel dwellers were assured feedback by Friday 21 June.
Tempers flared at Glebelands today when residents and hostel committee members are still without a response from the city authorities and Cllr Mzobe remains in office, albeit now with security - bodyguards - provided by the city at ratepayers' expense.
In their frustration residents have set fire to the councillor's office and the adjoining community hall is also ablaze. Glebelands Hostel demands the city authorities respect their concerns and provide immediate response as was promised 3 days ago. They will no longer be ignored by political and municipal structures.
They are insisting Mzobe is recalled immediately so a suitable representative can be elected.
Issued by Vanessa Burger
On behalf of Ubunye Bamahostel
For more info contact hostel committee spokesman:
Mthembiseni Thusi: 0738894385
Quiet after Soweto protest
Sapa 21 June 2013
The situation at Dube Hostel in Soweto was quiet on Friday morning, Gauteng police said.
"It was the hostel residents that went out on the road yesterday [Thursday]," Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
"They stoned passing cars and they also damaged the KFC nearby."
Dlamini said police were called to the hostel and the crowd dispersed.
No one was arrested. The reason for the protest was apparently because the hostel had no electricity.
"Today it is quiet," he said.
Nine arrested for Free State protests
IOL News 20 June 2013
Kwakwatsi - Nine people were arrested in a protest outside the Koppies Magistrate's Court on Thursday, Free State police said.
They had been protesting in support of 26 people arrested on Tuesday in connection with violent protests in Kwakwatsi, said Constable Peter Kareli.
He said residents had gone on the rampage, looting almost all the tuck-shops in the area, after the municipality apparently failed to respond to their grievances.
When the protesters heard on Thursday that the 26 had been denied bail, they refused to leave the premises.
“We gave them time to leave, but they would not listen, so we had to force them to move using rubber bullets and teargas.”
They started stoning the police, damaging a police van. The crowd dispersed, but re-grouped in Kwakwatsi.
Kareli said the area was quiet, but that the police would monitor the situation.
He said the nine protesters arrested on Thursday would appear, with the others, in the Koppies Magistrate's Court on Monday. - Sapa
Foreigners flee in fear
Yolisa Tswanya and Daneel Knoetze 21 June 2013
Cape Town - Wallacedene was calmer on Thursday night, but fearful foreign nationals still felt unsafe and resorted to spending the night outside the police station in Kraaifontein, after estimates that more than 200 Somali-owned shops had been looted, and many set alight.
Foreigners said they were threatened with violence by “the Xhosas” in Wallacedene and thought it would be better to take their belongings and sleep outside the police station.
Protests broke out in the area after residents claimed there was corruption with the allocation of RDP houses. They alleged the houses were sold to people from other areas.
At a burnt-out container that was used as a Somali shop some residents rummaged through the rubble in hopes of finding food products that were left after the inferno. Others used grinders and spades to cut up pieces of the container to sell for scrap.
One woman, who was waiting for her boyfriend to bring a trolley to take their loot home, said they were poor and the “free” goods would help them.
“I wasn’t here when the fire started but I got a lot of stuff like I got some rice, Surf and beans.”
She said she would share the goods with the rest of her family.
Michelle Daniels’s thoughts differed. She said the looting was wrong and that this was not about the housing issues anymore.
“They were striking for houses and now they are robbing the shops. It was very wrong what happened here. It was wrong to burn down the shops, I feel for these (Somali) people.”
Despite thinking the looting was wrong, she admitted taking a bag of rice and beans.
A resident in Bloekombos, a few blocks from Wallacedene, said she rented out a room in her house to Somali shopkeepers and was trying to protect the fridges and other valuables left behind.
“It was mostly youngsters that were involved in the looting and the Somalis came back a few days ago and I haven’t seen them since.”
Police spokesman Colonel Andre Traut said the looting was the result of criminals using the volatile situation as an opportunity to carry out criminal acts.
He said 55 people had been arrested on charges of public violence and were due to appear in the Kuils River Magistrates Court on Monday.
“Provincial commissioner of the Western Cape Police Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer met with community leaders and representatives from Somali-owned businesses and addressed their concerns. Lieutenant-General Lamoer strongly condemned the violence and assured the community that it will not be tolerated.”
There was a heavy police presence in the area and Traut said police would remain there to monitor the situation. Earlier, police described the situation in Wallacedene as being “under control”.
However, looters remained busy on Thursday afternoon. With little left to steal, they resorted to stripping metal and other scrap from containers that had housed shops.
Protests over alleged corruption in the handing over of RDP houses spilled over into xenophobic violence and looting on Wednesday.
Braam Hanekom, director of refugee rights NGO People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty, said between 10 and 20 Zimbabweans had been displaced from the RDP houses they were renting by angry residents on Tuesday.
The protesters contend that the houses should have been made available to registered beneficiaries.
Mohammed Aden Osman, co-ordinator for the Somali community in the Western Cape, estimated that more than 200 Somali shops had been looted since the protest was hijacked by “opportunistic criminals”.
While authorities could not confirm this number, every shop the Cape Argus came across in the area had been looted, with many of them set alight.
At the meeting between Lamoer, Osman and Wallacedene community leaders at the station on Thursday, discussion centred on the community’s housing grievances and police protection for Somalis.
Yet, despite police assurances, running battles between police and hundreds of residents on the streets of Wallacedene continued yesterday afternoon.
Residents pelted a police nyala with stones and stripped what remained of the Somali shops of anything that could be sold for scrap.
The embers of fires were still burning in shops that had been torched during the night as residents, often consisting of groups of young children, sifted through the debris.
Hammers and crowbars were used to pry scrap loose - the last of the merchandise had been carried away during the course of Wednesday night.
Rumours that the private residences of Zimbabweans would become the next target led to panic.
Early on Thursday, a group of Zimbabwean men - one armed with an axe and the others carrying knives - inspected a looted and ruined television repair shop owned by one of them.
They said they were were willing to protect their homes by force if the rumours turned out to be true.
Later, the Cape Argus witnessed a number of bakkies transporting loads of furniture out of the area. It could not be confirmed whether these were possessions owned by foreigners.
Linda Masuka, one of a group of Zimbabwean women outside the police station, told the Cape Argus she would not return home while uncertainty over the community’s attitude towards Zimbabweans remained.
Hanekom, however, dispelled the fears as alarmist and maintained that the Zimbabwean community remained largely “integrated” in Wallacedene. He advised them to stay put.
Ali Ahmed, who is living through his third bout of xenophobic violence in Wallacedene since arriving in 2005, said he and most of the other shopkeepers had bunked up with their countrymen in Bellville and Brackenfell on Wednesday night.
Fear grips Wallacedene
Daneel Knoetze 20 June 2013
Wallacedene residents on the rampage
‘No human should live in such conditions’
Cape Town - Groups of Zimbabwean men armed with knives and axes gathered early today in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, to defend themselves against possible attacks by disgruntled locals.
This followed rioting in the suburb on Wednesday during which Somali and Chinese-owned shops were looted, roads were blocked, property was damaged and stones were hurled at police and journalists by residents frustrated by poor housing and service delivery.
Ironically, today is World Refugee Day, an annual commemoration established by the UN to “honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence”.
Police said about 1 000 residents had been involved in Wednesday’s rioting and that about 15 Somali shops had been attacked. Five people were arrested and charged with public violence.
A group of Zimbabweans told the Cape Argus on Wednesday that they were ready to protect their homes and businesses.
The group, armed with knives and an axe, patrolled in a bakkie and were inspecting a friend’s television sale and repair container shop that had been trashed and looted earlier on Thursday.
The owner of the shop, Bra Kapela, said he had lost uninsured merchandise worth more than R20 000.
One of the group was Shannon Siya, an environmental science student who moved to Wallacedene five years ago. He said Zimbabweans had “peacefully co-existed” with other people in Wallacedene for many years.
“Criminals and looters have taken advantage of the situation, and we hear that they want to target us now. We cannot put our faith in police, we must protect ourselves,” he said.
Nearby, looters were sifting through the remains of half a dozen other shops. Some had been torched and were still smouldering. Elsewhere, vandals were breaking open the latches of other shops.
A group of Zimbabwean women who left their Wallacedene homes for fear of being attacked gathered at Kraaifontein police station today.
One woman, who asked not to be named, said her house had been invaded by a group of men this morning who had demanded money. The woman’s neighbours had chased them off.
“Our Xhosa neighbours accept us, we live with them and we are good neighbours. It is only a small criminal element, mostly comprised of youngsters who don’t go to school and want to steal,” she said.
She complained that she had had to go to the police station for protection, “instead of the police coming to our community to protect us”.
What started as protests over allegations that government housing in the area had been handed over to beneficiaries from Khayelitsha and other “outsiders” turned to anarchy and looting yesterday.
Graham Daries, who said he applied for a home in the early 1990s, explained the frustrations which sparked the initial protests.
“We see people moving into these homes. They are Eskom employees, they are teachers and they are from far-flung townships,” he said.
“What aggravates the people more is that they have money. Within days of moving in, they start building high walls to enclose themselves from us, and mount DStv dishes on their walls.”
On Wednesday the Cape Argus found no sign of the Somali and Chinese businesspeople whose shops were attacked. Residents said they had fled.
The refugee rights NGO People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty condemned the violence and asked the police to provide security to “vulnerable” foreigners.
Police had not provided an update on the situation at the time of going to print.
Wallacedene residents on the rampage
Yolisa Tswanya 20 June 2013
Cape town - Somali shops were looted, tyres were burnt and police and journalists had rocks hurled at them as angry Wallacedene residents went on the rampage over housing and service delivery issues on Wednesday.
Residents said they were angry because they had been waiting for proper housing for years and they claimed that government servants and Somali shop owners were buying and renting RDP houses, allegedly from ward councillor Brenda Hansen.
On Wednesday, about 50 illegal structures were removed from the area by city law enforcement officials, and this seemed to fuel the anger of about 1 000 residents.
Police spokesman Thembinkosi Kinana said police had negotiated with the protesters and five people were arrested.
“On arrival at the scene, the police negotiated with protesters who refused to leave the place,” he said.
“At that moment the police ordered the protesters to disperse. It is estimated that about 15 shops in the area were affected by the violence.”
Residents of Wallacedene took to the streets, barricading roads and throwing stones at police and the media in protests about housing and service delivery issues. Pictures: David Ritchie
“We call upon the people not to use violent acts as a form of resolving their problems. The police respect the rights of the people to protest peacefully. However, where acts of violence which infringe on the rights of people are reported, the police have an obligation to intervene and protect lives and property.”
Hansen said regular meetings had been held with the temporary relocation area (TRA) committee members and were aware that residents were angry about a number of issues, especially housing.
“A meeting was scheduled for Monday at 2pm, as agreed with the TRA committee. However this could not take place as some criminals damaged houses and uprooted trees.”
Earlier in the week, residents protested about the same issues and uprooted trees and burnt tyres before marching to the housing office in Kraaifontein.
Hansen denied the allegations made by protesters, and said she was not aware of RDP houses being sold.
“I would, however, urge anybody with information to please forward that to the SAPS, myself or the mayor.”
Resident Skhumbuzo Mkhize said it was unfair that government employees were able to buy the houses.
“The houses are meant for the poor. Here, if you want a house, you must be able to pay. They cost between R15 000 and R18 000, and that is easy money for a police or a teacher to get.”
Mkhize said they had been living “under uncomfortable circumstances” for more than 15 years and they had had enough, adding that Somali businesses were targeted because their owners were also buying RDP houses.
“Now we are burning stuff and making a mess here in our area, but we will loot in town and even go to Parliament,” he said.
Photographers and journalists were subjected to violence and some damage to property.
A Cape Argus photographer was taken into a shack to hide, after threats from protesters. He escaped with a bruise on his leg.
Another photographer was threatened while walking through the area. Three boys chased him and one pulled out a knife.
Residents intervened and escorted the journalists out of the area.
An SABC cameraman was hit on the back of his head by a brick thrown at him.
Kinana said those arrested would be charged with public violence. A strong police presence would remain in the area.
Chaos as police fire tear gas at refugees
Aziz Hartley 19 June 2013
Guards turn hose on desperate refugees
Refugee ‘abuse’ will be probed
Cape Town - Police fired tear gas into a crowd outside the Home Affairs refugee centre on the Foreshore after some people tried to jump the queue and force their way in, refugees said yesterday.
“There were about 500 people in the queue outside and suddenly there were some people who jumped the queue and went for the doors,” said Mohamed Osman, waiting to renew his asylum-seeker temporary permit. “Then there was a lot of pushing and shoving and people shouting at each other.”
He said the police were called after security guards struggled to bring the situation under control.
“Police came and they fired tear gas. My eyes are still burning,” said Osman, a Somali who arrived in the country in 2008 and lives in Oudtshoorn.
Jeanott Mwangala, who hails from Congo, said: “There were about 1 000 people waiting outside when the doors opened at 8am and by 9am people were already having arguments in the queue.
“Then later in the day things became chaotic. Some people were fighting. I saw a lady collapse. When police came they sprayed tear gas. It was just hectic.”
Osman and Mwangala said there was no communication from Home Affairs officials at the centre. After waiting in vain for hours yesterday, they had to leave and would return today, they said.
Tuesday’s incident was the second in as many weeks after refugees in the queue were hosed with cold water and Cape Argus photographer Thomas Holder was allegedly assaulted by a guard when he took pictures of a chaotic situation outside the centre on May 30.
Days later, Home Affairs provincial head Yusuf Simons announced that the head of security at Customs House had been removed and investigated for bribery.
Simons said yesterday he was on leave and referred queries to acting provincial head Martha Mxgashe, who could not be reached.
Streets blockaded near Glebelands
IOL News 21 June 2013
Residents of Glebelands hostel near Umlazis V section protested, demanding the removal of their councillor, Robert Mzobe. Picture: Sandile Makhoba
Durban - Protests rocked Glebelands hostel near Umlazi on Thursday as residents took to the streets to protest against their councillor.
They blockaded roads in the hostel complex and outside ANC councillor Robert Mzobe’s offices, where they met a municipal official and appealed for Mzobe’s removal.
Residents claimed Mzobe did not consult them on developments in the area and was a dictator.
A resident, who identified herself as Sinenhlanhla, said the councillor “divides the community”. She said he had failed to show respect for the community.
She said the protest started on Wednesday night and intensified early on Thursday.
“He took RDP houses and gave them to people that are not from the area,” said Sinenhlanhla.
An unofficial community spokesman, Themba Pina, said Mzobe had refused to help certain residents as he had personal vendettas against them.
He said the councillor had declined to issue residents with proof of address letters, saying they were not paying rent.
Residents on Thursday met Bheki Mngwene, of the mayor’s office, and he said their concerns would be discussed with the relevant stakeholders.
Mngwene said the councillor was elected by the community and if it was unhappy with him it should take it up with his party, not the council.
He said the protesters had no permit to protest.
Mzobe denied all the claims made against him and said he he had brought programmes to the community as requested.
GLEBELANDS HOSTEL IN FLAMES AGAIN
Umbilo Action Group 20 june 2013
Glebelands Hostel residents are protesting their continued lack of representation by ANC ward councillor Mr Mzobe. The protest has been ongoing since last night as residents burn tyres and chant for the removal of the councillor, who is also a hostel resident. Residents have stayed away from work today to continue their protest action. According to residents Mzobe is arrogant and does not deal with issues of concern to them. They are insisting he is recalled by Provincial structures so a suitable representative can be elected.
Issued by Vanessa Burger
On behalf of Ubunye Bamahostel
For more info contact hostel committee spokesman:
Mthembiseni Thusi: 0738894385
Sewage day for DA again
Norma Wildenboer 19 June 2013
Kimberley - The DA’s national leader, Helen Zille, was met in Kimberley on Tuesday with sewage of a different kind… this time from a hosepipe after treated effluent water was sprayed by an irate municipal worker in an attempt to dampen a public meeting in the municipal gardens.
The drama unfolded in the Sol Plaatje municipal gardens on Tuesday during events leading up to a visit by Zille.
Zille was in Kimberley to mark the centenary of the 1913 Native Land Act and to honour Sol Plaatje for his fight against the notorious Act.
DA supporters, eager to catch a glimpse of their national leader, gathered early at Sol Plaatje’s Memorial, where a wreath-laying ceremony and public address by Zille were scheduled to take place.
While waiting for Zille, who also visited Sol Plaatje’s grave and the Sol Plaatje Museum and Library before her scheduled appearance at the gardens, DA supporters were met by a municipal worker watering the lawn with a hosepipe, mindless of the sound-system, electrical wires and the podium.
The supporters asked the man to stop drenching the lawn with water because it could have created a safety hazard.
When the worker refused, the crowd became angry, and DA supporters accusing the ANC of deliberately trying to sabotage the event.
The Sol Plaatje Municipal spokesman, Sello Matsie, was forced to step in and confirmed that the worker was instructed to clean litter and not to water the lawn.
The hosepipe was put away, only to re-emerge after local South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) chairman, Manne Moremi, called an impromptu gathering of members a few metres from the DA event in an attempt to disrupt Zille’s visit.
“We must resist the infiltration of an opposition party and the disruption of our workers during working hours. The Sol Plaatje Municipality is supposed to be an institution for service delivery, not a playground for politics. We can’t allow them to continue, as it will show that we are not in control,” Moremi stated.
Moremi also accused the DA of seizing its history and political icon, Sol Plaatje, for their own political gain and said that the DA did not get the proper permission to host the political event. Samwu demanded to speak to the DA leadership to voice their dissatisfaction about the gathering and marched to where the DA supporters were gathered.
The hosepipe’s tap was again opened as the union members confronted DA supporters.
A scuffle ensued between the two groups, with the hosepipe spraying recycled sewage water over the crowd.
Moremi further incited municipal workers by encouraging them to sing struggle songs. “You must now behave like revolutionaries, not stepchildren of the struggle. You must sing the songs,” Moremi urged the workers.
One DA supporter asked why the municipal workers chose to come and disrupt the gathering while they were supposed to be on duty. “They are the ones making the noise, not us. Why are they not working? We did not invite them here,” she said.
The police intervened and a meeting was called between Samwu and the DA inside the municipal offices. The union raised its concerns with Matsie, saying that holding a political rally in the municipal gardens during working hours was not only unethical but also not justifiable.
The DA’s Gerald Benjamin reacted by saying that a written request had been handed in and that the Executive Mayor’s office gave permission for the wreath-laying and public address, on the condition that no music was played.
Zille arrived at the park shortly afterwards and the ceremony continued without any further disruptions. When asked about Samwu’s allegations that the DA was using Sol Plaatje, one of the founding fathers of the ANC, for the party’s own political gain she replied: “Sol Plaatje was not only a citizen of South Africa but of the world. All people who leave behind the kind of legacy he did, must be celebrated.”
Zille was also seen picking up litter in the gardens and looking for dustbins before leaving the grounds.
Diamond Fields Advertiser
Sterkspruit protests condemned
IOL News 19 June 2013
Port Elizabeth - The Eastern Cape executive council has condemned service delivery protests in Sterkspruit.
“(We) condemn in the strongest terms the disruption of government services and various acts of intimidation meted out against civil servants,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.
It blamed a group that called itself the “leadership of civic organisations in the Sterkspruit area”.
It said the protests resulted in civil servants staying away from work, which made government offices inaccessible.
“(We are) calling upon all civil servants to return to work with immediate effect to provide the required services to citizens,” the council said.
Police had been mobilised to ensure the safety of civil servants and government property.
In February, Sterkspruit residents, under the banner of the Sterkspruit Civic Association, 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 in the Senqu municipality.
Protesters reportedly blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres and demanded a “toll fee” from motorists.
Eastern Cape premier Noxolo Kiviet's spokesman Mxolisi Spondo said the unrest in Sterkspruit was ongoing. - Sapa
Residents chase Premier, MECs away
IOL News 14 June 2013
Mpumalanga premier David “DD” Mabuza and his entourage of MECs were chased away when they visited a ward in the Bushbuckridge local municipality on Thursday afternoon, a Sapa correspondent reported on Friday.
Mabuza, who went to Moloro village outside Acornhoek on a fact-finding door-to-door mission as part of the provincial executive's outreach programme, was called an “immature and confused” politician who disguised ANC campaigns as government service delivery.
Most of those who chased Mabuza and his delegation away belonged to the Bushbuckridge Residents' Association (BRA), which won Ward 15 in the 2009 elections.
They accused Mabuza of visiting the area without consulting, or at least informing, BRA councillor Delta Mokoena.
“Mabuza is undermining the people. He came under a government cap but talked about people voting for the ANC while also urging people to leave BRA because I do not have money and the ANC has money,” said Mokoena.
“First he didn't invite me as the councillor of that area to go with (him) to see what needs to be done in the area. When he got there he talked his nonsense and people started getting pissed off and told him to leave.”
The crowd sang insulting songs against the premier, telling him to never return to their area.
“DD, nhloko yenyoko, hamba,” they sang, insulting him about his mother's head.
“What the premier did is a sign that he’s not mature and he is confused. My last-born is far more intelligent than him,” said Mokoena.
He said the community felt undermined when public works, roads, and transport MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu visited the area in May to launch a road that government had long ignored.
“On May 22, MEC Mahlangu came here to do a sod turning for the road project. She was not talking government programmes but politics, saying people must not vote for BRA. She said the ANC has enough money and took out a bundle of money that she threw at the public.
“The money is believed to have been R10 000 and it angered the community, who decided that they would show the premier when he comes here,” said Mokoena.
On June 4, when the contractor went to start the road project, he was chased away because no locals were employed.
“All the people who were employed came from ANC-led wards and this did not sit well with our people,” Mokoena said.
Mabuza's spokesman Zibonele Mncwango confirmed that Mabuza was not received well at Ward 15, but denied Mokoena's claims, saying Mabuza was doing government work and did not talk about the ANC or how much money he had.
“The premier was not campaigning; he was doing a door-to-door campaign checking from the people if they get government services. They are lying that the premier said Mokoena doesn't have money,” said Mncwango.
The premier had failed to alert the councillor of his visit because they were doing random visits in the Bushbuckridge municipality as part of their campaign.
“Getting through communities we work with councillors and these were random visits. I must put this straight, the premier came as a government employee and to do government work.
“And for people to say the premier is immature is an insult; it shows no respect for leaders, which shows that those saying that are immature themselves,” said Mncwango. - Sapa
Khoi activists to ask for stay of eviction
IOL News 19 June 2013
Court evicts ‘Khoisan descendants’ from flats
District Six face-off
Cape Times - The group of Khoi activists who occupied several units in a District Six apartment complex on Saturday are to submit papers to the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday morning asking for a stay of an eviction order against them.
The group was meant to be evicted from 11 units on Wednesday morning, but wants a stay until the members are able to dispute the contents of the original eviction order in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.
Their papers state that the eviction order made by Judge Robert Henney on Monday had not stipulated what time they had to leave the units, and was therefore not applicable.
Tania Kleinhans, head of the Institute for Restoration of the Aborigines of South Africa, has been chosen by the group to put its case to the court tomorrow.
At this stage it is not clear if Kleinhans will be accompanied by a lawyer.
The papers set out how Kleinhans will argue the group’s case, that it be allowed to remain in the units: “We will show that the reclaiming of land process has been bedevilled with problems since inception,” state the papers.
“The voices of the claimants have not been listened to.”
The group will also argue that the “human dignity of the claimants has been compromised”, as some are homeless and live in backyards without electricity or running water.
Kleinhans will also argue that only a few legitimate claimants have been able to move back to District Six.
The group occupied the units in the housing development on Saturday, claiming the area as “ancestral Khoi land”.
On Monday, Western Cape High Court Judge Henney granted an interim eviction order against the group, saying the claimants had to leave the units on Tuesday.
If the group did not vacate the units, Henney said, the sheriff of the court was entitled to expel them on Wednesday with police aid.
But the group has vowed to stay.
The complex, completed in 2011, includes 115 units earmarked for beneficiaries of a District Six resettlement initiative.
The application to evict the group was brought by The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, together with the trust that manages the apartment complex.
The department said yesterday that the “legitimate” owners of the units were set to move in on Saturday, but this process had now been put on hold.
Each unit is valued at about R1.2 million.
Khoi-Mac, one of the group’s spokesmen, said if evicted they would move on to an open field opposite the complex.
Group member Arthur Martin said a handful of frail occupiers had left during the night, as they feared being “manhandled” by the police.