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South African Protest News 1 August - 1 September 2014
 (2014) South African Protest News 1 August - 1 September 2014
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Buses set alight in Nyanga
IOL News 1 September 2014

Cape Town - Nyanga was a no-go area on Monday morning after protesters torched seven Golden Arrow buses on its roads.

City of Cape Town Safety and Security director Richard Bosman said some drivers had been injured as rioters ran amok.

On the corner of Govan Mbeki and New Eisleben Road, four Golden Arrow buses stopped at a set of traffic lights headed into Cape Town were petrol bombed and burnt to a crisp where they stood.

Not far away, at the Nyanga bus terminus another two buses were torched in middle of peak commuter traffic.

It could not be confirmed where the seventh bus was set alight.

The group damaged four more buses but were stopped before they could set them on fire.

Authorities rapidly dispatched teams to the area and blocked off intersections to prevent motorists from entering the volatile neighbourhood.

Bosman all Golden Arrow and MyCiti bus services in the area had been pulled out to protect staff.

Delivery trucks came under attack too, and drivers escaped with their lives leaving their vans at the roadside with smashed windscreens.

There was sporadic violence all over the greater Philippi-Nyanga area as key arterial routes hit gridlock due to the blocked off roads.

At around 9.30am, Golden Arrow teams with massive tow trucks began the laborious task of hauling away the empty shells of the gutted buses using hydraulic cranes.

Bosman said the situation was under control.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said no arrests had been made yet. Police would remain in the area to keep a watchful eye on the situation.

“Stone throwing also occurred at the Khayelitsha taxi rank in Site C,” he added. “Commuters and road users are asked to refrain from these areas and make use of alternative roads and transportation.”
Cape Argus and Sapa

Pensioner stands firm in e-toll protest

IOL News 30 August 2014

Johannesburg - For one hour everyday, 68-year-old Cavey Parker stands on a bridge over the N1 highway, defiantly displaying his banners .

“Proudly E-Tag free” and “Hoot against Etoll”, the banners read with a coffin on the side. This, he says, symbolises his hopes that “Scamral” and its etolls will soon perish.

The pensioner is one of a group of anti-e-toll protesters who show their disgust and disapproval on various bridges around Johannesburg asking motorists to hoot if they agree with their gripe.

“I’m opposed to e-tolls because it’s putting the price of food and transport up, and it’s going to affect the poor people. What happened to the petrol levy we’re paying for?

“I’m a pensioner and I cannot afford e-tolls,” he said.

This week, the review panel set up by Gauteng Premier David Makhura to assess the socio-economic impact of e-tolls started engagements with different stakeholders including the general public, trade unions and The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

The panel is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the premier and cabinet by the end of November.

“We hope the government will listen to the will of the people and stop e-tolls, not only in Gauteng but the rest of the country as well,” says Parker.

“Looking from the bridge, I can see many cars without e-tags and this means motorists support our cause to have e-tolls abandoned.”

The energetic man chats while waving his flag to motorists who are respond by blowing their hooters loudly, supporting him.

But it wasn’t without drama for the pensioner from Roodepoort.

About seven Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers arrived and confiscated his banners.

“You can’t do this, people will bump each other because of you,” they told him this week. “Where is your car? You don’t even have a car but you’re protesting against e-tolls.”

But Cavey did not let the JMPD’s attempt to silence him, deter him from his cause.

“With or without banners I will return to this bridge every day and protest against E-tolls. The dice is on: who will be first in the box, me or them? We will win! R.I.P Scamral!” said the stubborn e-toll activist, pushing his empty trolley back home.

Tasers fired as ANC battles flare
Kennedy Mudzuli 29 August 2014

Pretoria - Political battles have been ignited among ANC members in Region 7, which includes Bronkhorstspruit, Zithobeni and surrounding areas.

This is the declaration of members who are recovering after allegedly being attacked in the chaos that preceded a branch meeting on Sunday.

They have vowed that the leadership of the branch will work from the Bronkhorstspruit sport centre - where they were elected - and will not set foot in the townships. The aggrieved members claimed they were chased away as they entered the local sports centre for the meeting.

The incident had its roots in the ANC Tshwane regional conference held in October, they claimed.

The complainants, members of the ANC Youth League in the area, told the Pretoria News the attack was part of the intimidation in the build-up to the conference.

They claimed members were being intimidated and audit processes were being manipulated by the leadership to ensure only those who would support them participated in the conference.

Ronnie Motha said he was caught and beaten up before being rescued by police.

Another member, Cherwin Mathabathe, said he had just arrived at the sports centre when the group of men arrived in two minibuses, armed with guns and Tasers.

“They chased us away from the venue. I used my pepper spray to fend off a man who attacked me with a Taser. Several other people were shocked with the Tasers,” he said.

Sizwe Skhosana said the attackers had gone to the meeting prepared and seemingly fearless.

He said they walked around as if they were not afraid of anyone.

“But this is our branch. They are not from here and had no right coming here and acting like they called the shots,” he said.

Mathabathe said local members were prepared to die to fight for the integrity of the ANC. “The branch is going to be dysfunctional. If no one resolves the leadership issues at the branch, there will be no municipal election in 2016 in this region.

“Branch members across the region are unhappy with the leadership. When you raise issues you get attacked.”

Motha added: “The war is not over; it has only just begun. They can go to the regional conference, re-elect each other and return with the leadership no one recognises, like is the case with our branch leaders.”

Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo denied claims that the leadership was manipulating the membership process. He said membership was the responsibility of the branch, not the leadership.

He said he had not received a full report about the Sunday meeting.

29 August 2014

Approximately 150 individuals embarked on illegal protest action at the Westville campus this morning. Management has found that a large number of the protesting individuals are in fact no longer students of the University, making their actions a serious case of trespassing.

Protestors have caused disruption at lecture venues and buildings across the campus. Security on campus has been beefed up. SAPS, University Risk Management Services and the Public Order Policing is present and monitoring the situation on campus.

No roads, no school - Kuruman residents
IOL News 28 August 2014

Kimberley - “No roads, no schools” This is the slogan that the angry residents of Kuruman shouted at high-ranking government leaders who visited the area this week to plead with the public to allow close to 20 000 children to return to schools in that area.

A total of 55 schools have been closed since the ongoing violent service delivery protests erupted in that area in May.

On Wednesday a government delegation led by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga failed to convince the residents to re-open the schools.

According to the chairman of the Kuruman Roads Forum, Lebogang Batshabane, “Motshekga came empty-handed and promised nothing on the issues of the roads”.

“She only came here to plead with us to re-open the schools but she is saying nothing about the construction of the roads. That is why people also made it clear to her today that: no roads, no schools,” Batshabane said.

Snail mail delivery hit by strike
Goitsemang Tlhabye and Sakhile Ndlazi
(IOL News) 29 August 2014

Several post offices in the city have closed owing to a strike by casual workers demanding to be employed as permanent staff. Photo: Masi Losi

Pretoria - Waiting for your credit card to be delivered or end-of-month’s bills to arrive in the post? Well, you might have to wait a bit longer. The Pretoria News has been inundated with complaints by readers who have not received their mail or parcels as the Post Office’s casual employees have been on strike for the past two weeks.

The workers allege they have been working without contracts since 2012 and their pleas for contracts are ignored by top management. In 2012, casual Post Office employees embarked on a three-month strike, demanding permanent contracts and full-time employment. Last year, the strike resurfaced, again over demands for permanent contracts. And in February, another strike erupted.

Workers’ representative Thabo Maisale said management had over the years reneged on every agreement they had signed with workers’ representatives: “They have not honoured any memorandum of understanding agreed on.”

Maisale said workers had tried to remain patient but management refused to meet them halfway.

Jacquelina Maja, another task team member, said the team had been to labour offices in Pretoria this week to seek intervention but were referred to the CCMA.

Patrick Makimta, one of the striking workers, said they were not being taken seriously despite being on strike for the past two weeks.

Khulani Qoma, head of group communication and citizenship at the South African Post Office, confirmed the casual employees had been on strike for the past two weeks, resulting in customers experiencing service interruptions.

“Service at post offices in the Tshwane and East Rand have been interrupted as a result of illegal industrial action by casual workers.”

Qoma said processes were under way to keep operations going and to minimise the impact of the strike on customers. The workers were unhappy about the speed at which permanent positions are being created, he said. “The strike is unnecessary as we’ve already started converting 900 casual positions into permanent positions. This was part of the agreement we reached with the casual workers’ leadership.”

But in an about-turn, Christopher Hlekane, group chief executive of the Post Office, said in a statement issued by Qoma: “All efforts to resolve the industrial action - which included negotiations, ultimatums and a Labour Court interdict - came to naught. Therefore, the SA Post Office could not conceive of any other alternative but to dismiss the striking employees.”

People are feeling the effects of the strike as offices from Glenstantia, Lyttelton, Pretoria central (Church Street) and Menlyn Retail mall are reported to be closed.
Pretoria News

Tembisa residents hand over memorandum
IOL News 29 August 2014

Johannesburg - The Ekurhuleni mayoral committee received a memorandum of demands from residents of the Sophiatown informal settlement in Tembisa on Friday, a spokesman said.

“Member of the mayoral committee Councillor Makhosazana Maluleka met with the community this morning and received a memorandum,” mayoral spokesman Zweli Dlamini said in a statement.

The residents had demanded electricity and flushing toilets.

“The municipality will respond to the community's demands within 14 days,” said Dlamini.

The residents had called off the protest after the committee engaged them.

“We are very happy that the protest has been brought to a halt,” said Dlamini.

“We are, however, still going to meet the leadership of the community.”

Twelve people were arrested for public violence during the service delivery protest which began on Friday morning.

“They will probably appear in court on Monday,” said spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago.

Residents burnt tyres and placed rocks on roads.

A main road in the area was also barricaded, but was reopened after 9am.

Residents of Birch Acres near Kempton Park had also handed over a memorandum to the committee, demanding a school, library, and a clinic.

“The demand to have the school in the area of Birch Acres will be escalated to the provincial department of education,” said Dlamini.

Birch Acres and Tembisa are burning this morning: three shot
Kempton Express 29 August 2014

There are also reports of rubber bullets being fired to disperse the crowd

WHAT should have been a peaceful service delivery protest in Birch Acres today, has turned ugly as residents of Sophiatown, an informal settlement in Tembisa next to the suburb, have barricaded roads.

According to reports three people were taken to hospital after being wounded by the Gauteng Public Order Policing Unit.

“Birch Acres is a no go area this morning, the whole area has been barricaded and one cannot leave or enter the place,” said metro police spokesman, Chief Supt Wilfred Kgasago.
Members of the police and metro police officers are at the scene. There are also reports of rubber bullets being fired to disperse the crowd.
Kgasago said the protesters from Sophiatown, next to Birch Acres started burning tyres and placing rocks on the roads at around 3am.
The surrounding Andrew Mapheto and Isimuku streets have been closed, Kgasago said.
Express yesterday reported that the peaceful protest had been organised by Birch Acres Residents Committee and had been given the go ahead by the metro.

According to Ronald Mashaba, spokesman for the committee, all the residents of Birch Acres ext 23 to 44, as well as residents of Sophiatown, a squatter camp in Tembisa situated just opposite Birch Acres Mall, were expected to join the protest march against the lack of service delivery in the area, including problems with local schools, clinics and police station.

12 held in Tembisa protest
IOL News 29 August 2014

Johannesburg - Twelve people were arrested for public violence in Sophiatown informal settlement in Tembisa on Friday morning during a “cat and mouse” protest, Ekurhuleni metro police said.

“They will probably appear in court on Monday,” said spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago.

“The people in this area are playing a cat and mouse game with us. They block the roads and when police get there they run off.”

Residents of Sophiatown began a service delivery protest at 3am.

They were burning tyres and placing rocks on roads.

A main road that had earlier been barricaded was reopened after 9am.

Kgasago said municipal officials were due to visit the area on Friday to address residents and resolve the matter.

Tembisa protesters block roads
IOL News 29 August 2014

Johannesburg - Residents of Sophiatown informal settlement in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg protested and barricaded roads on Friday, Ekurhuleni metro police said.

“Birch Acres is a no go area this morning, the whole area has been barricaded and one cannot leave or enter the place,” said spokesman Chief Supt Wilfred Kgasago.

“Members of the SA Police Service and metro police officers are at the scene.”

He said the protesters from Sophiatown, next to Birch Acres started burning tyres and placing rocks on the roads at around 3am.

The surrounding Andrew Mapheto and Isimuku Streets have been closed, Kgasago said.

It was not yet known why the residents were protesting.

Father protests for access to his child
IOL News 29 August 2014

Johannesburg - It is an illegal protest, yet a 30-year-old father from Midrand is willing to take the risk and protest outside his baby’s mother’s workplace every day.

His demands? To be granted access to spend time with his 11-month-old baby girl.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, has been protesting since Monday morning outside his ex-wife’s workplace.

He stands outside the gate of the well-known company with a placard that reads: “PLEASE tell (the ex-wife’s name) to stop denying me access to our daughter. Every child needs a father.”

The man says he has seen his child once this year, in June. This was organised through his lawyers and the woman’s legal team after she had denied him access on several occasions.

“What I am doing might be wrong, but I have no choice,” he said. “I’ve lost so much time requesting to see my daughter, yet my e-mails and phone calls to make these arrangements are ignored. Sometimes when I called and asked to visit, she simply said ‘No’ and hung up.”

The man said he was forced to take the legal route because the woman filed a protection order against him in March.

“On the protection order she claims I’m intimidating and harassing her, and that this is affecting our baby.

“How can she say that?” asked the man.

He said trouble started in November when the woman ended their relationship.

“She just ignored me. She failed to return my calls, messages and e-mails. I sometimes feel all she wanted from me was a child because that’s what she kept saying she wanted.”

She insisted on having a child before marriage. He paid lobolo and all the medical fees related to the pregnancy and birth but she told people they never married, the man said.

“This is my child, my mother’s first grandchild, yet my family and I have no access to her. It’s heartbreaking.”

The Star tried to contact the baby’s mother but she did not respond to an SMS or voicemail messages.

Bus torched in Witbank protest
IOL News 27 August 2014

Nelspruit - A group of protesters set alight a bus when they barricaded the N4 near Witbank on Wednesday, Mpumalanga police said.

They barricaded the Vosman and Wakefield street intersection around 6am, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said.

Two cars were damaged when the group threw stones at passing vehicles.

Police dispersed the group and the road was cleared. No injuries were reported and no arrests made.

Mohlala was unable to provide a reason for the protest.

“Police will continue monitoring the situation,” he said.

Death threats at Medunsa: AfriForum
IOL News 27 August 2014

Johannesburg - Students who refused to boycott classes at Medunsa in Ga-Rankuwa had received death threats, AfriForum Youth said on Wednesday.

“Innocent students get death threats on social media, in smses and on campus,” spokesman Henk Maree said in a statement.

He said racist remarks were directed at “non-black” students who did not want to participate in the boycott.

“I was under the impression that the strike was over but I have been receiving complaints of death threats from students.”

The group had written to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and the SA Human Rights Commission calling for their help.

“AfriForum Youth demands a probe, action, as well as the implementation of a plan to ensure the safety of students at Medunsa.”

The university was not immediately available for comment.

The institution was closed on August 6 after students had been boycotting lectures for about two weeks.

They demanded the removal of certain lecturers alleged to be failing students. The students were also believed to be unhappy about renaming the campus Sefako Makgatho.

Management said the decision to close the campus was informed by the stubborn behaviour of both the student representative council and the student body.

It was re-opened the following day after university management and student representatives reached an agreement, ending the boycott.

'Shoot Malema!'
Yahoo News 28 August 2014

Around 200 ANC members gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday chanting "Dubula uMalema" (shoot Malema), saying that they were there to defend the ruling party.

According to the City Press newspaper, the crowd sang struggle songs while waiting to be registered for admittance into Parliament.

"We are here to defend democracy and this Parliament. We can’t, when we have struggled so much, allow hooligans and criminals like Malema and his EFF to undermine our party. We will never allow that," said one of the angry protesters.

"We are coming to observe because this is the Parliament of the people. Everything is being disrupted; we are here to see what’s happening. Someone is disrupting the majority party. We are here to make sure that those people are not disrupted," said another protester, Musa Makolo.

The National Assembly descended into chaos last week when riot police were called in to remove EFF MPs, including party leader Julius Malema, after they refused to leave at the request of speaker Baleka Mbete.

Since the incident, it has emerged that action may be taken against the EFF MPs involved in the incident while an investigation is conducted by the Powers and Privileges Committee.

Mbete has reportedly asked the EFF MPs to explain to her in writing why they should not be suspended while the probe is underway.

In the wake of last week’s chaos, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula revealed that security would be improved in Parliament to avoid future incidents.

COSATU 26 August 2014

Workers at Formscaff nationally, belonging to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have down tools and they are embarking on a protected strike since Monday 25 August 2014.

The strike action is due to the fact that the employer in the scaffolding industry has arrogantly failed to meet our demands. The Union (Numsa) as mandated by its members has taken a decision to exercise its only power at its disposal to embark on an indefinite strike action.

We are fully aware of the socio-economic burden the strike action will impose on our members, since the bourgeois principle of No Work No Pay will be lifted, and might be used by the greedy Bosses to weaken and fragment our genuine demands for a Living Wage and improved conditions of employment. We are emboldened by resolve of our members to use this strike as a tactical tool to force the Bosses to return to the negotiating table.

These are some of our core demands; (1) 15% wage increase across the board; and R20 minimum wage, whichever is greater; (2) 40 hrs working per week without any loss of pay; (3) 1 year Bargaining Agreement; (3) 75% employer contribution towards medical aid; (4) No implementation of the Employment Tax Incentive Scheme in the company/sector.

Our demands should be understood or located within the ideological fog being spread by politicians that we have a “Good Story to Tell”, since the dawn of democracy. In reality it has not only been a bad to story to tell by workers, but it has been a disastrous two decades given the fact that workers continue to be subjected to colonial apartheid poverty wagers, living in squalid and dehumanizing conditions.

Our members organised in this company live in shacks and informal settlements, their wages are insufficient to afford decent housing and other important basic necessities. The bosses are only interested in extracting huge profits from our labour. Our lowest paid members earn a paltry R2 640 per month while it is common cause that this contracting company is reaping millions of rands from the construction companies.

We are willing to unleash all our organisational power by halting production, in order for the bosses to concede to our demands. We are forever ready to engage provided an offer is placed on the table. It has never been our intention to embark on an indefinite strike, but it has been imposed on us by the bosses, and we will not allow ourselves to be blackmailed by anyone – we will forge ahead with this strike until our demands are fully met by the bosses.

Vusi Mabho, National Sector Co-ordinator: 0834503892


Approximately 200 individuals embarked on illegal protest action at the Westville campus from around midday today. The protestors marched through the campus singing and chanting. A small group are reported to have disrupted some lectures. SAPS and the University’s Risk Management Services are addressing and monitoring the situation.

The University is unaware of the reasons for the illegal protests as these individuals have not raised their concerns through the correct channels.

University Management is committed to assist students in as far as it possibly can. Established protocols are in place and can always be used to raise any concerns. There are various avenues available to students to raise their concerns, including the route of communication through the respective SRC representatives.

Management is committed to a process of consultation and dialogue with students.
Management thanks all students and staff that were inconvenienced by the protest action this afternoon for their patience. We reassure all students that every effort will be made to ensure that the campus is conducive to academic teaching and learning.

Issued by
Mr Convy Baloyi

EFF marches against removal of homeowners
Solly Maseko (Witbank News) 20 August 2014

Members of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and South African Concerned Housing Association (SACHO) took to the streets to voice their grievances.

Members of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) together with members of South African Concerned Housing Association (SACHO) march in the streets of the city to voice their grievances.

Members of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and South African Concerned Housing Association (SACHO) took to the streets to voice their grievances.

The group started their march from Lynnville on Thursday, August 14 and they marched to the city to hand over a memorandum. Executive mayor, Cllr Salome Sithole, and city administrator, Mr Theo van Vuuren, received copies of the memorandum.
The group said

Taxi owners on a drive slow Members of the Local Taxi Association (LOTA) took to the highway to voice out their grievances.
Solly Maseko (Witbank News) 21 August 2014

Members of the Local Taxi Association (LOTA) took to the highway to voice out their grievances.

On Wednesday, August 20 they drove slowly on the N4 Highway to hand over a memorandum. A route dispute with Witbank Taxi Association (WTA) (long distance taxi association) since 2008 led to the drive slow.
Lota claimed that WTA does not have proper licence to operate and local routes belong to them.

Calm restored in Mhlumayo
SABC News 27 August 2014

KwaZulu-Natal Mhlumayo Indaka Municipality Ladysmith Thulani Zwane Midlands Calm has been restored in Mhlumayo after police intervention when a service delivery protest turned violent in the Indaka Municipality near Ladysmith in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Angry community members who were marching to demand water and electricity barricaded the local road with burning tyres and rocks on Wednesday morning.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane says they have removed all the burning tyres and stones from the road, but the protest is continuing.

“The situation at Mhlumayo, Zakheni Road is under control. It is alleged that plus minus 200 people were protesting but their protest was illegal because they didn’t get the permission to march or protest. But what they did was they started to block roads with burning tyres and stones. They are complaining of service delivery in their areas, but now the situation is under control and police are monitoring the legal protest,” says Zwane.

Protest on N3 near Mooi River
IOL News 25 August 2014

Durban - Ten people have been arrested in protests in Mooi River calling for the removal of a KwaZulu-Natal mayor.

The protesters blocked part of the N3 passing Mooi River on Monday, police said.

Captain Thulani Zwane said the 10 were expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

The protesters had been calling for the removal of Mooi Mpofana local municipality mayor Ntombi Mpangase.

The protests started on Friday, but died down over the weekend.

They erupted again on Monday.

“The situation is still tense and police are monitoring the situation,” said Zwane.

KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs spokesman Lennox Mabaso said in a statement the department had sent “a high level rapid response team to the municipality to end the protest action which is blocking traffic on the N3 highway near Mooi River”.

KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said officially the road was not closed, but that protesters had closed it.

She said a joint command centre had been set up, but that comment needed to be obtained from the police.

The N3 toll concession's marketing manager Andy Visser said:

“Our main concern is that of our staff at the (toll) plaza and motorists using the route.”

Apart from an unconfirmed report of a car being struck by a stone on Friday, Visser said she had not heard of further incidents affecting motorists.

Most of the problems, including the burning of tyres, were on the Durban-bound lanes near the toll plaza.

The plaza had remained open despite the fact that a number of staff had been unable to get to work because of the protests.

“It hit full swing this morning, but it changes constantly,” Visser said of the protest.

Motorists were urged to be careful and, if possible, delay their departure until authorities had restored calm.

No comment could be obtained from the municipality.

Their main switchboard number went unanswered. - Sapa

ANCYL ready to stop EFF ‘anarchists’
IOL News 25 August 2014

Durban - The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has urged its members to prepare to “physically defend” South Africa’s democracy from the “anarchists” in the EFF who disrupted Parliament last week.

Calling the EFF an unnecessary irritation, Magasela Mzobe, co-ordinator of the national task team set up to run the youth league, said the ANCYL must be the “Doom” that “destroys that mosquito”.

The league could not sit back while President Jacob Zuma was insulted and Parliament was disrupted by Julius Malema and the EFF, Mzobe told about 100 members at a meeting at Durban University of Technology on Sunday.

Mzobe, who is being backed by the ANC’s powerful eThekwini region to take over as youth league president at next month’s elective conference, said they planned to meet the EFF in the streets outside Parliament - “where the rules of Parliament do not apply”.

“They are physically disrupting Parliament and we must physically defend our democracy… If you understand our role, you will know that we do not need the permission of the ANC leadership to defend our democracy,” Mzobe said, to wild applause.

“The police of the Western Cape failed to bring order to Parliament. They could not bring order... that is why the youth league must stand up and defend this revolution,” he said.

Mzobe, along with Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula - a former youth league president - was addressing a “political class” of youth league members in Durban.

Malema told the Daily News on Sunday that he was unfazed by the youth league’s threat.

“Tell them we will be waiting for them,” he said.

Parliament had to be adjourned on Thursday after members of the EFF interrupted Zuma while he was replying to a question on the security upgrades to his Nkandla home. They demand-ed he pay back the more than R200 million that had been spent on the upgrades.

Mzobe said the ANC in Parliament should be focused on implementing the mandate of the electorate, but was having to deal with “anarchists” instead.

“We told the ANC to leave the EFF to us now. (The) EFF will not be stopped by the rules of Parliament... You can’t have government undermined... There is a mosquito in Parliament,” he said.

“We sent (ANC) leadership to Parliament to change the lives of people. The EFF is becoming an unnecessary irritation and the youth league must be the Doom that must destroy that mosquito.”

Said Mzobe: “We are talking to the chief whip in Parliament and told him to give us the date for the next sitting. We must be there to defend.”

Mzobe said Zuma should ignore those who wanted him to pay for Nkandla, as the issue “was long exhausted”.

“The people of South Africa gave a verdict on that issue on the 7th of May (election day). They said comrade Zuma was not guilty. They wanted him to go back to Parliament and lead South Africa.”

Zuma did not need to pay for the security upgrades to his home, Mzobe said. “He never asked for a swimming pool. We meet with him every Monday and he spoke about many things, but he never said anything about taking swimming lessons. He is too busy being president, he does not have time to swim,” he said, to applause.

Mzobe said government officials who authorised the upgrades should be prosecuted.

He assured delegates attending the league’s September 24 elective conference that there “will be no showing of bums”, as was the case when Malema’s supporters took down their pants when he was elected president in 2008.

Mzobe, however, said the youth league would resist attempts to turn it into a “desk of the ANC”.

“The youth league must remain militant. Attempts to make the ANCYL a desk of the ANC is going to kill the existence of the ANCYL. We must let the (ANC) leadership know they must not rest until… the lives of all young people are changed,” Mzobe said.

“But militancy is separate from anarchy. Attacking ANC polices is not militancy, it is anarchy,” he said. “Anarchy must be dealt with in a manner befitting anarchy.”

Sit-in at Kokstad municipal office
IOL News 25 August 2014

Durban - People in Economic Freedom Fighters attire staged a sit-in at the offices of the Kokstad Greater Municipality's municipal manager on Monday.

Municipality spokesman Sabelo Ncwane said a group of people occupied the offices between 9am and noon.

“They had sent a memorandum alleging financial irregularities. The municipality was still applying its mind when they invaded,” he said.

Answers were being demanded by the protesters.

Ncwane said police and the municipality's traffic department were called, but despite heated tempers no one was injured or arrested.

Lennox Mabaso, spokesman for the province's department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), said municipal staff and management had been ordered from their offices.

However, Ncwane said no one was removed from their offices.

Mabaso's statement quoted the province's Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube as saying: “The EFF's actions at Kokstad municipality does not seek to put things right. It is a calculated move to cause further instability. The EFF's so-called demands bring nothing new to the table. The actions of the EFF at Kokstad, are not an isolated incident judging by this political party's conduct in Parliament but part of a well-orchestrated campaign to render public institutions ungovernable.”

EFF KwaZulu-Natal convener Vusi Khoza said he was not aware of any incident involving EFF members in Kokstad, but would first have to make inquiries before commenting further. - Sapa

EFF storms Kokstad council offices
IOL News 26 August 2014

Durban - The Economic Freedom Fighters brought Kokstad Municipality to a halt on Monday when they stormed the council offices to demand that officials respond to allegations of corruption.

The action drew an angry response from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who accused them of trying to hold the municipality to ransom.

“The EFF have taken their destructive behaviour from Parliament to Kokstad, where they are disrupting the functioning of the municipality,” read a statement from Dube-Ncube’s office.

EFF members on Monday demanded a response to a memorandum handed over during a march early this year. They had demanded that certain senior officials be fired for corruption and accused some councillors of enriching themselves through tenders with the municipality.

Kokstad municipal manager, Zamokuhle Mkhize, said EFF members wearing red regalia forced their way into the offices. They proceeded to his office and demanded to see him.“

They really behaved like hooligans, the same behaviour they displayed in Gauteng and in (national) Parliament,” he said.

Mkhize said he could not meet their demands.

“They wanted staff members to be fired for being implicated in corruption. I told them the municipal manager could not just fire people without following processes.

“They also accused councillors of having tenders, even though they could not present evidence. They also demanded an investigation into the allocation of (low cost) houses,” he said.

He said the police had to be called in to remove the EFF members.

EFF organiser, Mawethu Mathe, said, “We handed over the memorandum and gave them 30 days to respond. They thought we were just doing it for the general elections, but we are very serious, because that municipality is rotten.”

He said they later went to the police station to lay charges of corruption against officials.

“We did not intimidate anyone, it was just a sit-in,” he said.

Dube-Ncube said the EFF’s action was a calculated move.

“This is not an isolated incident, judging by the party’s conduct in Parliament, but part of a well-orchestrated campaign to render public institutions ungovernable.”
The Mercury

Medunsa students vow to stay away
IOL News 26 August 2014

Pretoria - Students of the Medical University of SA (Medunsa) vowed to stay away from class until the charges of malicious damage to property faced by five of their colleagues were dropped.

They abandoned classes and flocked to the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Monday, to support the five who were arrested over the weekend for damage to property during recent strike action at the Medunsa campus.

Among the arrested students was the president of the student representative council, Malose Marakalala, who emerged from the courthouse to address the students, and encourage them not to go back to class until all charges were dropped.

“We will not go back to school until these charges are dropped,” he told the waiting students, who chanted and shouted their agreement. Tensions had been high outside the court while proceedings continued in court, while others stayed inside the buses used to ferry them to court.

Marakalala was arrested on Saturday, together with Tshepo Lerumo, King Maswanganyi, Sydney Magagula and Mluleki Maphumula, for their alleged role in the damage to university property during a riot in mid-July.

They were part of a group of students who allegedly broke into the administration building in search of seven lecturers they wanted off the campus, over allegations of the victimisation of fifth year paediatric students. The students had broken open the main door and rampaged through the building, smashing glass and dislodging fire extinguishers along the way, before partially breaking open the door to the executive suite.

During the three-week strike, students had locked staff outside the campus and burnt two campus vehicles, before an agreement was reached with the university administration.

University management had then called the police in to view footage of the damage to property, resulting in the arrests.

The student body pledged their solidarity with the arrested five and went to court on Monday morning, and agreed not to go back to school until the charges were dropped.

Medunsa students in court
IOL News 25 August 2014

Johannesburg - Five Medunsa students appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Monday, following a strike at the university, Gauteng police said.

The five were arrested on Saturday and charged with malicious damage to property, Captain Rheineth Motlana said.

“They were granted free bail and will appear in court again on the 23rd of September.”

She could not provide further details on the students.

The university's student representative council (SRC) could not immediately be reached for comment.

Students at the Medical University of SA (Medunsa) in Ga-Rankuwa embarked on a two-week strike at the university at the end of July, demanding the removal of certain lecturers alleged to be failing students.

A car and the university's main gate were reportedly set alight during the strike.

The university ordered the students to vacate the premises on August 6. A day later university management and student representatives reached an agreement to re-open the campus.

“The president of the SRC agreed to write and distribute a communiqué indicating that students would cease protests, stop vandalising the school's property and stop harassing our staff members,” university spokesman Kgalema Mohuba said at the time.

10 shot in violent Joubert Park eviction
IOL News 26 August 2014

Johannesburg - In a violent eviction in which 10 people were injured by rubber bullets and allegedly beaten, about 200 families were thrown out into the street on Monday night by the Red Ants, assisted by the SAPS and the Joburg Metro Police Department.

On Tuesday, those who spent the night on the street after being evicted from a block of flats in Joubert Park, Joburg, vowed to stay put until they are allowed into the building.

The residents of Castle Blaney in Leyds Street on Tuesday morning were trying to sort out their belongings and furniture, much of which was damaged.

But Amos Gumede, who heads the Castle Blaney Housing Co-operative, said the residents owned the building and showed The Star photocopied title deeds.

“A co-operative housing company, Cope, which got R1.2 million from government to renovate the building, put the building in our name - the Castle Blaney Housing Co-operative - before it was liquidated. Everything was fine until 2005. We were paying our municipal bills and were up to date, and then we got a bill from the council under another name, Castle Blaney Pty Ltd, for R4.9 million. After that we got other accounts, under different names, which do not belong to us,” he said.

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Jacob Mamabolo on Monday night denounced residents’ violence.

His spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa said gun shots were fired from the building.

“The violence which broke out today confirms numerous reports indicating that criminal elements are taking advantage of legitimate housing concerns of the poor inner-city residents to promote their illegal activities.

“It is also clear that criminal gangs are provoking contractors employed by the sheriff to execute the evictions to cause violence and mayhem. Their actions are criminal and we are working with the law enforcement agencies to take drastic action against those who are responsible,” said Mamabolo.

The department, he said, had been in constant contact with the sheriff and all parties involved to advise residents to leave the building before the eviction date.

“After reviewing the case and consulting all parties, we are satisfied that the eviction is legal and is being conducted in a fair and just manner,” he said.

Mamabolo said his department was working with everyone involved to minimise the number of evictions by using mediation, and ensuring that in cases where his department was unable to assist, evictions were carried out violence-free.

He said theirs was a humanitarian approach not intended to undermine the courts, but to pro-actively avert ongoing and “ugly” confrontations associated with most evictions.

“Since the establishment of a provincial evictions task team, we are seeing a new trend in which parties are now allowing us to mediate through the Housing Rental Tribunal thereby assisting in averting pending evictions. Shelter is a human right and restores the dignity of the poor. We need all stakeholders to work together to find lasting solutions to the inner-city housing challenges,” said Mamabolo.

COSATU NW picketing against Aurora
Cosatu 25 August 2014

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, jointly with the National Union of Mineworkers, with the support of Solidarity Trade Union, will be picketing at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday 25th August 2014.

The picketing will be against the postponement of the case against Aurora directors who have not paid workers for years. For five years the case has been before the court and they now want it to be postponed for another 12 months.
We will be picketing outside the court to appeal to the court not to grant them the permission for postponement on the basis of workers who have been waiting for their monies since 2009.
Many of those workers are sick today due to stress. Others have lost their families and their properties and children have been expelled from schools, and worst of all we have lost lives.

We request the court to rule in favour of those poor workers and all the creditors and that Aurora must pay workers what is due to them so that they can start a new life with other companies.

We call the all workers around Pretoria to support the picket against the exploiters who have been getting away with murder for years and today they want the court to listen their stories of not having money to appoint lawyers. The court must just rule that their properties must be attached and workers must be paid their monies by the second week of September 2014.

We call media to support the workers by exposing those criminals. The picketing will be starting at 9am until the court is over
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe [0823044055]

Teargas fired at Daveyton protesters
IOL News 24 August 2014

Police fired teargas to disperse a crowd outside the Sinaba stadium in Daveyton on Sunday, after Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele spoke to them about their housing concerns.

A group of people burnt tyres and threw stones. They were unhappy with Gungubele's speech in the stadium earlier. He told them the mayoral committee needed more time to address their concerns.

“We are aware of the challenges and we need time to address them,” Gungubele said.

The committee would conduct a housing audit and draft a list of people who qualified for RDP houses, especially those living in back rooms. The committee was expected to finalise the audit by next month.

“We are angry because this is an empty promise. We have already been waiting for houses,” said a local resident who did not want to be named.

Another resident, Isaac Hlophe, said they were unhappy because housing officials and councillors were taking bribes to give houses to other people.

Gungubele told the gathering an investigation into the alleged corruption would be conducted.

“They (the committee) also say they are going to investigate, but they never do,” Hlophe said.

Hundreds of people gathered at the stadium on Sunday morning to hear Gungubele. They sang and danced as they made their way into the stadium.

Many carried placards with the words “stop selling RDP houses” and “we want land”.

Some people booed and started leaving the stadium as Gungubele began to speak. Ward councillor Victor Chiloane called for calm and said the meeting was for people who had concerns, not a place for disruptions.

Residents began protesting on Monday after they tried to illegally invade land and police prevented them from doing so. Protesters blockaded roads in the area with rocks, tree-trunks, tyres, and other objects.

A number of foreign-owned shops were looted on Tuesday.

“Criminal elements organised themselves into small groups of between six and 12 people and went and looted different shops from around sunset yesterday (Tuesday) until around 9pm,” Ekurhuleni metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said on Wednesday.

Six people were arrested for the looting. - Sapa

Firefighters attacked after killer blaze
Botho Molosankwe 25 August 2014

Residents at the razed shacks at Platform Five in Joburgs Jeppestown. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Johannesburg - A blaze ripped out the heart of Platform Five in Joburg’s Jeppestown early on Sunday. But when the firefighters arrived, they needed police to protect them from a barrage of bricks and fury.

But they were too late. Three people were dead, burnt beyond recognition. Those who survived the inferno had lost everything – their shacks, their belongings and whatever cash they had saved.

About 2km away, another team of firefighters also faced the community’s wrath when their fire engine apparently ran out of water. They were nearly beaten up by residents, as the blaze continued unhindered.

One resident said that another engine dispatched to the scene broke down on arrival and a mechanic had to be called out to fix it.

The first fire broke out at about 1am at the George Goch informal settlement.

The water allegedly ran out while the firefighting teams were still putting out the fire.

A tanker later arrived, but residents said its water also ran out, leaving the firefighters at the mercy of the angry residents, who had to stand and watch their homes go up in flames as the fire spread.

The community accused the firefighters of being “useless” and for getting paid for doing nothing.

A resident is reported to have threatened firefighters with violence, saying that if he had had his gun with him, he would have shot them.

While the teams were still at George Goch, another fire broke out nearby at Platform Five.

Thobile Madlala, Ncamisile Mtshali and Bongiwe Bhengu said the fire started at about 3am.

The alarm was raised, but firefighting teams arrived only just before 6am, they claimed.

The women said a Mozambican couple died in the time they waited for help.

A third person – a man believed to be from Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, died in his shack. A fourth was hospitalised as the shacks were burning to the ground.

When the firefighters arrived, angry and frustrated residents were boiling with rage, the three Platform Five residents said.

They stoned the fire engine and threatened to hit the firefighters to force them to leave.

They came back with the police in tow. By then, there was nothing left of the shacks.

Madlala said the firefighters had failed them. “If they had arrived earlier, some shacks could have been saved,” she said.

As a chilly morning breeze swept through Platform Five, carrying with it soot from the burnt shacks, many people sat on the piles of the little belongings they had salvaged. Some children had no clothes or shoes, as their belongings had been destroyed.

Pupils said they had lost their books and uniforms in the flames.

Joburg Emergency Services spokeswoman Nana Radebe denied their teams had been late or that they had run out of water.

“There are no hydrants in George Goch as it is an informal settlement and when the water ran out, the firefighters had to go to replenish it,” she said.

Radebe said it was not true that the firefighters had arrived late at Platform Five. The fire department had received a call at about 5am and as all the nearby fire engines had already been dispatched to George Goch, they had to send one from Sandton, she said.

The fire engine came under attack, with residents throwing stones when it got to the scene. The firefighters went to Fairview police station to be escorted back.

But they did extinguish the fire, Radebe pointed out.

Madlala said a brazier might have started the Platform Five fire, which the injured men had left burning at night.

The cause of the fire at George Goch settlement was unknown, but Radebe said about 50 shacks burnt down at Platform Five. Residents put the figure at about 2 000.

Radebe added that the City of Joburg had two working tankers, while three were being repaired.
The Star

Philippi cops accused of shooting
IOL News 23 August 2014

Cape Town - Police have been accused of using live ammunition during violent protests in Philippi yesterday, with one man shot in the leg recovering in Tygerberg Hospital.

Although community leader Tumi Ramahlele insisted live ammunition was used, Tygerberg Hospital spokeswoman Laticia Pienaar said they had not yet ascertained whether live ammunition caused the injuries sustained by the patient, Robert Sobutyu.

Sobutyu was in a stable condition last night, Pienaar said.

Violence broke out yesterday after about 600 people were evicted from land near the controversial Marikana site, where evictions have been ongoing for months.

Running battles raged as police clashed with angry residents.

By late yesterday, a heavy police presence remained on Stock Road, which was littered with stones blocking traffic.

Several roads were closed following the clashes.

Cape Town traffic spokesman Richard Coleman said traffic officers had to be posted along the nearby N2 freeway after protesters hurled stones at motorists.

Officers had set up barriers at several intersections in Philippi, Coleman added.

But Ramahlele charged that residents found themselves caught in a war zone, and were forced to use whatever material was available to shield themselves from rubber bullets and live ammunition.

Police were adamant that they did not use live ammunition.

Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said they used rubber bullets and gas grenades.

Four policeman were injured by the rock-throwing, but police had received no reports of injured civilians.

Eleven arrests were made and the suspects have been charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.

Two trucks’ windscreens were damaged by the stone throwing, and a building

behind the Philippi Cash and Carry had been set alight.

Late last night Van Wyk said the situation had calmed down, and that police would maintain a presence in the area overnight.

Deep in the settlement where the demolition of about 600 shacks had taken place, families sat around their remaining belongings. Some made sandwiches, others gathered what materials they could.

But all said they were determined to stay put.

It was the quiet in the storm, a storm that saw running battles raging across several kilometres in Marikana settlement in Philippi East as police clashed with angry residents who said all they wanted was a place to call home.

The authorities, however, say they’re building shacks on privately owned land, thus breaking the law, and must be dealt with.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, questioned whether “criminal elements” were using the land invasion.

“The structures have been erected on privately owned land. The landowners have interdicts in place against illegal occupation. Thus, the persons who have erected the structures are breaking the law,” he said.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is the lead agency, assisted by the city’s law enforcement agencies, Smith explained, adding that “anyone who insists on continuing to invade this land is breaking the law and they should be prepared to face the consequences”.

Amid claims and counter-claims about the use of live ammunition, with police admitting to only using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, community leader Tumi Ramahlele said residents were only responding to the use of force against them.

“We used tactics, and blocked ourselves,” he said.

Ramahlele claimed that even though “people were shot between the eyes”, they had managed to push the police out of the area.

A Weekend Argus team on the scene later yesterday saw people nursing their injuries, while guarding their remaining belongings.

Nomthemba Mayekiso, hobbling around with the aid of metal pole, said a rubber bullet had struck her on the leg.

Linda Sulani said she had not had the chance to get her belongings before a uniformed official entered her shack and chased her away.

Nomawethu Dlela said her fridge, TV and stove were gone.

Loyiso Nkohla, from the Ses’Khona People’s Rights Movement, was on site addressing residents. He said that authorities should have offered the affected residents alternative accommodation.

Earlier yesterday, rioters ran through the smoke carrying cases of Coca-Cola after looting a wholesaler, and by late yesterday, an overturned minibus still blocked the way to the settlement. One policeman was heard shouting into his radio: “We’re dealing with a monster. Rome is burning.”

A waste recycling plant was petrol-bombed, setting fire to two trucks.

A police water-cannon truck sped to the scene to drive the crowds back to allow City of Cape Town firefighters to extinguish the many blazes.

As the crowd melted away before reforming about a kilometre away, another law enforcement officer shouted: “We need more rubber bullets.”

Roads were littered with rocks and burning tyres, and several cars were stoned.

The crowds initially took heed of journalists' right to safe passage, but some were later threatened with death.

One woman clutching an ANC flag stopped alongside a VW Polo, which had had its windows smashed and sub-woofer speaker ripped out of the boot through the smashed glass: “This is not right. What if this driver had no insurance? How will he pay? I am ANC but this (violence) is so wrong.”

Meanwhile Tony Ehrenreich, provincial head of Cosatu and ANC leader in the Cape Town City Council, condemned the violence, calling it “completely unacceptable”.

But he added that the police had in the past not managed evictions “properly… in a humane way”.

“Both sides need to be really careful in the way they conduct themselves,” Ehrenreich said.

He went on to call for an urgent meeting of local political leaders to thrash out solutions to the housing crisis.

“So what we must urgently do, as all the roleplayers, led by the city, is to find solutions to the growing needs. People are not invading land out of hostility, but our of their desperate circumstances.

“We’re going to see an explosion of that – of moving on to land. Rental prices for backyarders has sky-rocketed, so they have no choice but to move on to land.

“So instead of fighting with poor people, we must find coherent solutions – not to the symptoms, but the causes of homelessness across the city,” Ehrenreich warned.

Mamelodi residents go on rampage
IOL News 21 August 2014

Pretoria - More than 250 residents of Mamelodi East incensed by miscommunication and impatience over service delivery barricaded streets with debris and burnt tyres, disrupting traffic in the area for most of the day on Wednesday.

The protests stem from electricity and other basic services problems and the City of Tshwane’s decision to relocate them to Nellmapius without their consent.

Solomon Mahlangu Drive and Tsamaya Road were blockaded, preventing cars from entering or leaving the area.

Children were prevented from going to school while some residents could not go to work because the area was a no-go zone.

Putco buses in the area were also affected.

There was a heavy police and metro police presence. Police spokeswoman Constable Rosette Makgatho said no arrests were made and no cases of damage to property had been opened.

Local ANC chairman Sam Mangena said the protest was unfortunate because progress was being made and there was infrastructure for electricity in place. Just a few glitches need to be resolved.

He added that the unrest was fuelled by a few mischievous residents who were aligned with “opposition parties”.

“The development is there. The infrastructure has been set up with the poles and electricity wires already up. We just need to sort out the issue of the meters and the issue of the old electricity connections for the roll-out to occur,” Mangena said.

He said some residents needed to be moved because they were close to a railway line while others lived on flood-prone land.

“You can’t live in a danger zone. During the rainy season we will have a problem and that’s why we would like them to move to a better place,” he said.

Member of the mayoral committee for roads and transport George Matjila agreed with Mangena and added that those who were suspected of wrongdoing would be investigated.

“Appropriate action will be taken against those who are responsible for illegal acts,” he said. He pleaded with the residents to be patient. “We have a time frame and things operate within it. There is no need to protest,” he said.

Protesters said the strike began at about 7pm on Tuesday and continued through the night and into Wednesday morning.

They said the protest began after a community meeting.

One of the protesters, Edwin Ntshehi, said progress was being hamstrung by a councillor who was selling the utility poles designated for electricity. “We delivered a memorandum to the police station and want our demands met,” he said.

Ward councillor Absalom Borotho said he would be looking into the grievances to find a resolution. He denied being involved in selling utility poles, saying that the community was mistaken.

‘Ses’khona is a front for the ANC’
IOL News 21 August 2014

Cape Town - Civic group Ses’khona does “not fit into the agenda of the people of Cape Town” and it should move its ungovernability campaign to the north, says mayor Patricia de Lille.

In yet another scathing attack on Ses’khona, De Lille said in her mayoral speech on Wednesday that the organisation was a proxy for the ANC, and that it “shamelessly exploited the poor” in the Western Cape.

“These enemies of the future have found a home in the ANC-front organisation Ses’khona.”

She added: “It is quite ironic that that they are not in other parts of the country where things are far worse. My advice, as they shamelessly exploit the poor in the Western Cape, is that they should trek north... and do the same things there.”

De Lille also put the blame for the recent violent land invasions firmly at Ses’khona’s door. “Led by current and former councillors of the ANC, Ses’khona has made it its business to create human misery from which to profit.”

The recent land invasions of city-owned and private land were part of a “politically motivated campaign to make the city ungovernable”.

There was footage of them inciting crowds in Philippi East, she said.

“As such, they are responsible for any conflict that results from the tensions between the land invaders and the police.” Ses’khona was therefore also responsible for the conditions that developed in these settlements because of land invasions.

“These include poor access to city services, constant flooding, high crime rates and poor connections with economic opportunities.”

De Lille said her office had been “flooded” with complaints from people who had been told they would get jobs at Metrorail if they paid Ses’khona R25. Others had been told that, for R4 000, Ses’khona would sell them plots of land.

Many of these residents had laid criminal charges with the police, De Lille said.

Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement leader Andile Lili said the mayor was panicking. “She can see we are growing more powerful, we are going to make sure the government of the DA is taken out of power. They have every right to panic.”

He said the suggestion that his organisation operated only in Cape Town was a “blatant lie”. According to Lili, Ses’khona had strongholds in KwaZulu-Natal and Port Elizabeth.

“But Cape Town is an example to our people suffering there, an example of what can be accomplished.”

After the statement made by De Lille that he should head north, he said he was tempted to tell his members to grab any open land they could find and start building shacks.

“The number of people we have right now will be uncontrollable for police and law enforcement… I am this close to making that call.”

The ANC’s Xolani Sotashe asked De Lille why she engaged with Ses’khona if it was just an ANC proxy. He also questioned the city’s rejection of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) findings of discrimination against Khayelitsha residents.

De Lille said she had had meetings with Ses’khona, but “nothing can justify the lawlessness for which they are responsible”.

De Lille said the city had appealed against the SAHRC’s findings, based on the substantive and procedural flaws of the report.

Additional reporting by Kieran Legg

Running battles rage across Cape’s Marikana
IOL News 22 August 2014

Cape Town - Rioters ran through the smoke carrying cases of Coca-Cola after looting a wholesaler in Marikana, Philippi, on Friday morning as the area once again flared into violence while evictions were under way.

At the time of publication, running battles raged across several square kilometres as police clashed with angry residents.

Small armies of rioters, carrying rocks and makeshift shields, kept police under constant attack.

The police, who had a helicopter circling, retaliated with tear gas and thunderflashes.

At about 10.30am the crowd broke into a Cash&Carry building and raided a stack of crates of Coca-Cola, screaming: “Free drinks!”

Police riot control vehicles raced to the site as looters sought new targets.

A vehicle fleeing the violent mob at the wholesalers smashed into a metro police car.

Shortly after 11am a lone police vehicle came under heavy attack, surrounded by hundreds of residents, some searching for petrol to make bombs.

Sources said on Friday’s evictions would see more than 600 shacks demolished by teams.

It will be the largest number taken down by authorities since evictions in the area began, with an average of 100 dwellings toppled daily during previous operations.

The current round of evictions are taking place on land bordering on contested property which over the past two weeks has been a hotbed of conflict as law enforcement officers, the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit and police have battled to remove squatters from private land in the Marikana township.

Previous skirmishes have seen both residents and police injured as rubber bullets, stun grenades and rocks flew.

Numerous rounds of evictions have been unsuccessful as defiant residents rebuilt their dwellings overnight.

In the past, police have been recalled after the situation was deemed to be too dangerous.

Residents said they would continue to build on private land and that there was nothing the city could do to stop them.

Tumi Ramahlele, a resident and community leader, did not respond to calls at the time of the trouble on Friday morning.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “The City of Cape Town’s law enforcement agencies are assisting the South African Police Service with an operation in Philippi around the removal of illegal structures from privately owned land.

“The land owners have interdicts in place against illegal occupation. The City of Cape Town will continue to uphold the rule of law and an orderly, just and equitable housing delivery system. Anyone who insists on continuing to invade this land is breaking the law and they should be prepared to face the consequences.”

Today’s evictions follow operations this week in Enkanini, where law enforcement and police were pelted with stones in the Khayelitsha township. Smith said land invasions in Philippi were “clearly politically motivated”, while this may not be the case in the other township.

Scuffle between EFF, ANCYL at Parliament
IOL News 21 August 2014

Parliament - Police had to break up a scuffle between EFF MPs and ANC Youth League national task team member Braam Hanekom at Parliament on Thursday.

The scuffle broke out shortly after National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete adjourned the House following the Economic Freedom Fighters' refusal to leave after she ordered them out.

The EFF members stood their ground. Long after being ordered out they were still sitting in their benches chanting and singing.

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele and his successor as state security minister David Mahlobo were in the Chamber and appeared to be negotiating with EFF leader Julius Malema and Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu.

The EFF eventually left the National Assembly and retreated to their office in the Marks Building.

There was a heavy police presence in Parliament. Mbete adjourned Parliament for the day shortly after 4pm, announcing that President Jacob Zuma would not complete presidential question time because of the protest by EFF MPs.

“South Africa knows that the president was here to perform his constitutional duty and was not given an opportunity to finish off and therefore we would like at this point to adjourn,” she said.

The EFF members disrupted proceedings while Zuma was answering questions. Mbete instructed Malema and his fellow MPs to leave the House because they were “not serious” about proceedings.

MPs return after EFF’s disruption
IOL News 21 August 2014

Parliament - Members of Parliament started re-entering the National Assembly around 4pm on Thursday after Economic Freedom Fighters MPs disrupted business in the House.

Proceedings came to a sudden end earlier when they refused to leave after being repeatedly instructed to do so by Speaker Baleka Mbete.

The EFF members stood their ground and refused to leave the Assembly.

Long after being ordered to leave they were still sitting in their benches chanting and singing.

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele and his successor as state security minister David Mahlobo were in the Chamber and appeared to be negotiating with EFF leader Julius Malema and Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu.

Several police officers were standing around the Chamber. The doors to the Chamber had been locked on those inside, including journalists.

The EFF members earlier disrupted proceedings while President Jacob Zuma was answering questions. Mbete instructed Malema and his fellow MPs to leave the House because they were “not serious” about proceedings.

Malema was not happy with Zuma's reply to a question about when he was going to “pay back” part of the money spent on the R246 million security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

“I will throw you out of the House if you don't listen,” Mbete shouted at EFF members, who responded by chanting “pay back the money”.

Mbete suspended proceedings and called security.

While Zuma and MPs from other political parties left the chamber, EFF members remained, still chanting “pay back the money”, and insisting they would not move.

EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu shouted at Mbete: “You won't remove us.”

Twitter was abuzz as South Africans watched the EFF refuse to leave the National Assembly after Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them out.

Some on the social networking site praised the Economic Freedom Fighters for standing its ground, while others thought the party was making a mockery of Parliament.

For others it was entertaining.

@silentnoyse tweeted “Big up to the #eff for taking a stand.”

@shauntheprawn26 wrote: “While I don't always agree with the EFF has to say, in this case I am behind them. And at least they have the balls to stick to their guns.”

@clarencesdb said: “Eish...I better head down to parly....House party happening hosted by #EFF I wonder if Kent is playing!”

@AncCadres asked if “Mfundi Vundla must hire the EFF to replace the Generations stars! They're very good at entertainment!”

“EFF at it again! Screw Generations, there's Parliament!” said @KingKayII.

Others like @aandiswaa were not impressed with the EFF's behaviour, saying: “I don't find EFF entertaining, their actions at the National Assembly paint a very ugly picture about our country and the world is watching.”

“EFF members try so hard to be relevant #NationalAssembly,” said @BrightsonSA.

MPs tweeted blurry pictures of the EFF refusing to leave the National Assembly. - Sapa

Eye-gouge accused warned to stay in jail
Kieran Legg (IOL News) 21 August 2014

Angry protesters gathered outside the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court warned that three men charged with gouging out the eyes of a young woman should be denied bail for their own safety.

Cape Town - Angry protesters gathered outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning warned that three men charged with gouging out the eyes of a young woman should be denied bail for their own safety.

Siyabulela Mrhawu, Mxolisi Rwanqa and Sekhobo Pule, charged with blinding a woman in Mandela Park before robbing her, were set to appear for a bail application on Thursday.

Mandela Park community leader Judy Ngange said it would be best for the community, and for the three men, if they were not granted bail as their safety was at stake.

Ngange said if they were released, they would quickly become victims of vigilante justice.

The anger of the community was evident in the about 50 people gathered at the court on Thursday morning.

They sang and danced, waving signs above their heads.

“No! No bail stay in jail,” read one poster. “Cruel b******s we don't need you,” read another.

The three men were arrested after police linked them to the brutal attack on Thembela Mjulenia, 23.

Mjulenia was walking home when she was allegedly grabbed by the trio late last month.

They allegedly choked and beat her, before gouging out her eyes. They also allegedly stole her earrings and cellphone.

During their previous appearance, the court heard Rwanqa had been convicted of rape in 2004.

The State said it was opposing bail. This was met with approval from the demonstrators outside.

Community leaders said the crime was severe because a defenceless young woman had been left disabled.

“She will be far more helpless than a blind person from birth since she will have to start from scratch to learn how to negotiate the world.”

They said they had had to quell rage in the neighbourhood.

“Releasing the accused on bail will make their lives unsafe.”

An added effect was the potential loss of confidence in justice, “leading to anarchy and communities taking the law into their own hands”, the statement concluded.

At the time of publication, the three accused had not yet appeared.

Grabouw resident protest for better services
IOL News 20 August 2014

Cape Town - Despite a heavy rainstorm, around 1 000 Grabouw residents took part in a service delivery protest and march to the offices of the Theewaterskloof municipality on Wednesday.

They handed over a list of grievances to deputy mayor Mlulami Tshaka and town manager Anton Liebenberg.

The protest was organised by the Grabouw Civic Organisation (GCO) with support from the Western Cape ANC, SA Communist Party, and the Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement (SPRM).

“We have been waiting for 20 years now for an improvement in services. Houses that have been promised in some areas have not been built and those that have been completed are of such poor quality they now have to be repaired. Even that is taking too long,” said Margaret le Roux of the GCO.

“Other grievances included a poor and expensive electricity supply and bad road conditions. Our roads are full of potholes and nothing is being done about it,” she said.

Expelled former Cape Town councillor and leader of the SPRM, Andile Lili, said his organisation had been active in Grabouw and the Theewaterskloof area for a few weeks now and were at the scene to show support for the GCO.

“We have set our sights on the rural areas and have started recruiting more members in areas such as Grabouw, others towns in the Theewaterskloof and the Hermanus and De Doorns areas,” Lili said.

Barry Mitchell, second deputy provincial secretary of the SA Communist Party, told the protesters there would be no time to rest from now until the 2016 municipal elections.

“We need to work together and bring the municipalities back into ANC hands,” he said.

A platoon of the SA Police Service public order policing unit in Paarl was sent to Grabouw on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning.

They stepped in when rocks were piled and tyres set alight on several roads in the Pineview area. A second platoon was sent to help.

The Pineview north entrance to Grabouw from the N2 was blocked until the protesters dispersed around noon.

Le Roux announced that ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman would visit the ANC office in Grabouw later in the afternoon to show support and receive a copy of the list of grievances.

‘We will build again’
Kieran Legg 20 August 2014

Cape Town - The bang of a stun grenade marked the start of the second day of evictions in the Enkanini settlement in Khayelitsha.

Nervous demolition workers, many of whom had dismantled homes in Philippi East just a week before, looked out for flying rocks as they hurriedly began bashing down newly-erected homes on a strip of city-owned land.

People moved on to the land on Monday night after an eviction which saw them clash with the police on Sunday. They worked through the night, and by on Tuesday morning around 300 shacks stood on the “wrong” side of Mew Way.

At first residents formed a human wall to shield the structures on the outskirts near Baden Powell Drive. But the line collapsed when the police, in full riot gear, charged forward - stun grenades and rifles loaded with rubber bullets, at the ready.

“Get out of here, you can’t do this to us,” shouted a fleeing resident as the first clangs of metal rang out over the coastal township.

But for every resident retaliating, there were three saying they “didn’t want any trouble”.

“We are not violent - just let us have our peace,” said a resident from behind a concrete wall.

There was a brief scuffle when a man stood defiantly in the middle of the street. It took five policemen to restrain him, and even when they dragged him to a waiting van he managed to wriggle free - dashing underneath the vehicle where officers couldn’t reach him.

Residents began hurling rocks, but a stun grenade sent them dashing for cover among a maze of shacks.

The man continued to struggle even after the police had dragged him out but he was eventually arrested.

Demolition teams, guided by a vanguard of policemen, worked their way down the homes. Some were not finished and collapsed easily, while others took more effort.

After the evictions were completed, residents gathered on Mew Way. The smoke from a burning tyre billowed over their heads. Some residents threw rocks at cars on Baden Powell Drive.

City director for safety and security Richard Bosman said the police and law enforcement officers had to act quickly when they first discovered that squatters were erecting shacks on the land again on Monday night.

If they were able to “inhabit a structure” - meaning they had technically moved into the shack and slept there - evicting them would become a protracted legal process that could take up to two years, added the portfolio’s mayco member JP Smith.

The swift action seen on Tuesday is likely to be repeated if people invade the land again, which is what many people threatened to do.

“They will not keep us off this land, we will just build again,” said Lungelo Nofemele, as others nodded in agreement. “This land sits empty, that is why we are building there. How can the (city) say it will develop on this land when it’s been empty for so long.”

But Smith dismissed these justifications. “What it comes down to is people are breaking the law and constitutionally we need to protect that land and the landowner.”

Unlike in Marikana in Philippi East, where Smith suspected there was a political agenda, he said residents in Enkanini were just taking chances. “They can see we are busy in Philippi so they try their luck here.”

He rubbished claims that residents had no other choice. Some, such as Nosiphiwe Mthathi, said the main part of the Enkanini township was overcrowded and expensive.

“Not one of these people is coming from nothing, they have left behind homes to try and take something that doesn’t belong to them,” said Smith.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said on Tuesday night there was a protest on the corner of Mew Way and Lindela Road. They blocked Baden Powell Drive, Mew Way and Lindela road with burning tyres and other debris.

He said one person had been arrested during the evictions for riotous behaviour but released later.

“We have opened four cases of malicious damage to property - after police and law enforcement vehicles were stoned - and one of theft out of a motor vehicle after a private car was stoned and the driver was robbed of his cellphone,” he added. The roads were closed and traffic was diverted.

“The situation is under control at this point,” he said at around 6pm.

Shops looted in Daveyton
IOL News 20 August 2014

Daveyton residents protesting for housing by trashing and blocking the streets of the Ekurhuleni township. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - A number of shops owned by foreigners in Daveyton have been looted, Ekurhuleni metro police said on Wednesday.

“Criminal elements organised themselves into small groups of between six and 12 people and went and looted different shops from around sunset yesterday (Tuesday) until around 9pm,” Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said.

“Police could not get to all the shops at the same time, we could only get to some. So for those shops we could not get to the residents themselves protected the other shops being looted.”

No injuries were reported.

Metro police have arrested six people.

“Law enforcement officers arrested them and they will be appearing in the Daveyton Magistrate's Court within the next 48 hours,” Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said.

Kgasago was unable to say exactly how many shops were looted.

“It calmed down overnight and this morning (Wednesday) it was fairly quiet,” he said.

“Some of the rocks that were used to blockade roads yesterday have been removed. There is free passage to motorists to enter and exit Daveyton.”

However, some intersections were still blocked.

Kgasago said a meeting between protesters and officials was scheduled for Wednesday to try to resolve the issue.

Another meeting was planned for Thursday.

The protest began on Monday when residents tried to illegally invade land and erect shacks but were prevented by authorities.

SACP supports service delivery march in Grabouw
SACP 19 August 2014

The South African Communist Party in the Overberg District will join the community march in Grabouw, organised by Grabouw residents on Wednesday, 20 August 2014. Our support for the march by our opposition to any form of the exploitation of the working class. It is in Grabouw where all forms of apartheid tactics are still prevalent, perpetuated by the arrogant and racist party of the monopoly capital which harbours and is further in alliance with apartheid era racist exploiters (DA).

In the Western Cape, the fall of apartheid didn¡¦t necessarily translate into the complete abolishment of race, class and gender oppression and the elimination of apartheid practices. The current structure of the Western Cape still reflects in all material respect the foundation and development of the apartheid past. Over the years, in Grabouw, we have seen the worst brutality which was used by the DA against working class community members based on race. The divide and concur has always been one of the strategies the DA is using between the Coloured and African working classes.

Central to the march is the poor service delivery which has been made worse by the The Waterskloof Municipality. The municipality:

„X Reduced water consumption by 6 litres per day,
„X Coerces farm worker stay without water and electricity and has pushed up electricity prices to sky-rocketing levels.
„X Through the Provincial DA administration builds few houses and their use as a tool to divide the working class.
„X Refuses to provide electricity to the informal settlements and houses are built without electricity.

We are against the use of public funds to pursue an implementation of an ideological line that develops a class of the rich and/or race at the expense of others based on race.

Issued by SACP Western Cape


Masonwabe Sokoyi
SACP Western Cape Provincial Spokesperson
Cell: 0765243242
Office: 021 696 2522
Fax: 086 558 2481
Twitter: @SACPWC
Facebook: SACP Western Cape

Protests against DA's Hlaudi case 19 August 2014

A High Court application by the DA to have SABC chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng¡¦s appointment set aside has been met with fierce resistance.

A group of protesters have gathered outside the Western Cape High Court where the matter is being heard.

Motsoeneng¡¦s appointment was made permanent by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi last month.

Advocate Anton Katz, who is representing the DA, has described Motsoeneng as a toxic element and has called for his immediate removal.

The DA charges that Motsoeneng¡¦s appointment to the position was irregular and the proper procedure was not followed.

The decision to appoint Motsoeneng permanently last month was taken despite Muthambi agreeing to comply with an adverse finding by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommending his suspension.

The party quoted from Madonsela¡¦s report which Motsoeneng¡¦s appointment was irregular, stating that he committed fraud by lying about his matric qualification.

Her investigation also showed that Motsoeneng received three appraisals which increased his salary from R1.5-million to R2.4-million a year.

But the Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement, who are protesting outside court, say they don¡¦t care whether Motsoeneng has a matric or not as he¡¦s been with the public broadcaster since 1995.

Evictees pelt cops, officials with stones
<>Siyavuya Mzantsi (IOL News) 19 August 2014

Police and Cape officials were pelted with stones and other missiles as shacks in Khayelitsha were demolished. Photo: Brenton Geach

Cape Town - Police and city officials were pelted with stones and other missiles as shacks erected during a land invasion in Enkanini in Khayelitsha were demolished on Sunday.

The invasion followed a meeting of some of the area¡¦s backyard dwellers who said they could no longer afford the rent their landlords wanted.

It was at the meeting that they decided to occupy an open field which the city owned.

Police fired rubber bullets and lobbed stun grenades to disperse a crowd of protesters who
burnt rubble, tyres and set alight electric poles on Mew Way after the city¡¦s anti-land invasion team demolished 24 shacks on Sunday.

Police spokesman FC Van Wyk said no one had been arrested and injuries were reported.

¡§We thought we needed to do something about this open field because bad things happened here, that is one of the reasons we decided to build here,¡¨ said a backyard resident who refused to give her name.

¡§Another reason is why should we suffer paying rents we can¡¦t afford when there is available land here.

¡§We are tired of living in these conditions and we want places of our own.¡¨

She said the backyard residents had raised their grievances with community leaders, but had never received feedback.

¡§Our leaders say they don¡¦t get anything positive from the City of Cape Town officials. This means no one really cares about us.

¡§We will forever live like this if we don¡¦t take action.

¡§We won¡¦t stop building on this land despite them shooting at us.

¡§We want them to take us seriously,¡¨ she said.

Motorists were forced to use alternative routes as the protesters threatened to stone them.

Another resident Michael Koba said the police should have addressed them before firing rubber bullets.

¡§We are backyard dwellers who are looking for help,¡¨ he said.

¡§The police just came and shot at us.

¡§If the officials had come and talked to us, we would not have been violent.

¡§They treat us like animals. They do not need to shoot at us because we are not violent people,¡¨ he added.

Koba said the decision to invade the land had been taken on Friday. He said the meeting was organised by residents themselves.

¡§A child was murdered here on this land in May,¡¨ Koba said

¡§People do all sorts of things here and that affects us. Our children are not safe anymore,¡¨ he said.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said a resident in the area had informed officials about the land invasion.

¡§After we received information that there were people invading the land, we sent officials to the area,¡¨ Smith said

¡§The land belongs to the city and we need to protect it.

¡§There were more than 800 people on the land and 24 structures were built, he added.

Sunday¡¦s eviction came a day after hundreds of families had reoccupied an open field in Marikana informal settlement near Philippi.

The residents, mostly backyard dwellers had been evicted four times since August 8.

Striking Generations cast members sacked
Mail & Guardian 18 August 2014

MMSV Productions, the producers of South Africa's most popular soap opera, Generations, has terminated the contracts of the show's cast members.

The cast members of Generations, who are demanding better wages and royalties, have not returned​ to work, despite a warning from producers. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

MMSV Productions, producers of South Africa¡¦s most popular soap opera, Generations, has terminated the contracts of 16 of the show¡¦s cast members.

MMSV Productions released a statement on Monday afternoon to say that the contracts of the striking actors had been terminated. ¡§MMSV Productions, following consultation with the South African Broadcasting Corporation [SABC], have today [Monday] terminated the contracts of the striking actors on the SABC1 soap drama, Generations. The termination follows calls by both parties for the actors to return for recordings, following the start of their illegal strike.¡¨

In the statement, the SABC and MMSV Productions said measures have been put in place to ensure the future of the show and that this would be made public soon.

The cast of Generations confirmed that they have received letters of dismissal with immediate effect.

In a statement released on behalf of them, the actors state they made a decision to examine their legal options. ¡§We are saddened by this development, but remain steadfast in our goal to ensure fair working conditions for ourselves as creative professionals.¡¨

Earlier on Monday, the cast members of Generations refused to go back on set, despite a warning from producers of the show.
Bulelani Mzamo, lawyer for the actors, confirmed to the Mail & Guardian that the actors were still on strike.

Roads blocked in Daveyton protest
IOL News 19 August 2014

Johannesburg - Protesters were blockading roads in Daveyton on the East Rand on Tuesday after they were prevented from invading land in the area, Ekurhuleni metro police said.

¡§The whole situation started yesterday (Monday) when people tried to illegally invade land and law enforcement took action and prevented them from doing so,¡¨ spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said.

¡§They are angry and at 5am started barricading roads with rocks, tree-trunks, tires and other objects. The roads affected are those leading in and out of Daveyton.¡¨

He said the blockaded roads included Gumede Street, Eiselen Street and Laurie Road.

Police were trying to remove some of the barricades, he said.

No arrests had been made and no injuries had been reported. - Sapa

Riverlea councillor gets protection order
IOL News 18 August 2014

Johannesburg - A DA councillor in Riverlea, Lynette Pretorius, says she fears for her life after residents attacked her last week. She claims the ANC is behind protests against her in the area.

On Thursday she obtained a protection order against three residents and also got six arrested after they allegedly manhandled her.

On Monday morning protests erupted in Riverlea, where residents burnt tyres and prevented vehicles from entering the area in anticipation of the hearing of the protection order at the Joburg Family Court.

Residents accused her of giving a road building contract, through the Johannesburg Roads Agency, to ¡§blacks¡¨.

¡§The tender was awarded before I became a councillor. They also accuse me of not getting potholes and water leaks repaired, but what more can I, as a DA councillor, do, except report the issues and follow through?¡¨ she said.

Pretorius says because she is the first DA councillor in a historic ANC ward, residents want to get the party out. ¡§I will not back down even though I am afraid. I have to stand up to the threats.¡¨

Dawn Gamiet, against whom Pretorius got the protection order, has denied assaulting the councillor.

¡§I was a DA member before this - it has nothing to do with politics, she is just not doing her work,¡¨ she said at the court on Monday morning.

Riverlea residents take to streets over service delivery
SABC News 18 August 2014

The blockade has forced peak-hour traffic to take alternative routes.(SABC)

Angry residents of Riverlea Extension 1, South of Johannesburg, are blockading roads with burning tyres and stoning passing cars.

The blockade has forced peak-hour traffic to take alternative routes.

The residents say they are protesting over a lack of service delivery in the area.

Motorists are advised to avoid Nasrec and Main Reef Roads.

Anthony Williams, a resident of Riverlea Extension 1, says there has been no development in the area since 1964. According to Williams, residents don't want their councillor, Lynette Pretorius, adding that ¡§the Democratic Alliance just comes here now and then and makes promises that they are going to suspend and fire her.¡¨

Williams laments that there is no service delivery in the area. ¡§Since 1964 this location has been standing like this and they do nothing about it. So when we fight, the cops came out and they want to shoot us. So what must we do now?¡¨

Police are reported to be on their way to the scene.

Limpopo residents vow to continue protest
SABC News 18 August 2014

The residents have blockaded the main road leading to the University of Limpopo, Mankweng hospital and the magistrate's court as they demand electricity.(SABC)

Protesting residents of Mankweng Block G outside Polokwane in Limpopo have vowed not to stop their demonstration until they're addressed by Polokwane executive mayor Thembi Nkadimeng.

They have blockaded the main road leading to the University of Limpopo, Mankweng hospital and the magistrate's court as they demand electricity.

They say that the Polokwane municipality promised them electricity 17 years ago, but all in vain.

The angry crowd has used burning tyres and rocks to blockade the roads.

School children who have since joined them say lack of electricity is negatively affecting their studies.

Residents say crime is also too high in the area due to lack of lights.

Heavily armed police officers are monitoring the demonstration.

Tears, violence amid Marikana evictions
Kieran Legg 15 August 2014

Cape Town - He smashed his spade into the riot shield, pulling back quickly to strike again. People began shouting as police cops in full riot gear marched forward to tackle the two residents scuffling with officers on the front line.

¡§This is wrong,¡¨ shouted someone from behind a shack before rocks began to fly and onlookers darted for cover.

It was the fourth round of evictions in Marikana on Thursday and violent protests erupted in the Philippi township again. Just the day before protesters had attacked police, destroyed a traffic light and smashed the windscreen of a delivery truck in retaliation for the dwellings dismantled in the area.

Squatters, who illegally moved on to the land last Friday, are being evicted after the land owner obtained a court order to have them removed.

Evictions began at around 11.30am just as the sun broke through the dark clouds. Workers made their way through the township, following directions from police present and dismantling empty or newly built shacks with thick iron rods.

As they worked, residents formed a ring around the police, law enforcement officers and workers.

They shouted insults and tried to salvage bits of wood and metal as dwellings collapsed. Initially it seemed residents would not fight back, but when two men - protecting a newly built shack - began attacking officers with a spade, residents were infuriated and began throwing stones.

The projectiles missed their intended targets, bouncing lazily along the uneven and waterlogged ground.

The protest was quickly silenced with the deafening bang of two stun grenades.

Later, as police moved deeper into the township, they met more resistance. Rocks began to fly again as a man with a hammer turned threateningly on a group of riot policemen, sending them fleeing for the safety of a nyala parked on the outskirts.

But after they regrouped, police charged at residents, using stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

They arrested a number of people for throwing stones.

¡§I don¡¦t understand, what are you doing? I was just sitting in my home,¡¨ said one resident as he was dragged towards a police van.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said three people were arrested on charges of public violence.

¡§One of the police officers was assaulted with a hammer in the face.¡¨

The officer¡¦s face was injured and his finger was cut.

Operations were concluded at 3pm. In the aftermath of the evictions, the township was dotted with empty plots of land where shacks once stood, mattresses lay out in the open surrounded by splintered wood.

¡§I don¡¦t know what to do,¡¨ said Thandiwe Bonga, 22. She had arrived on Thursday to erect a shack only for the police to march in and confiscate her materials. It came as a shock to her grandmother, who screamed and pleaded for them to stop.

Still crying, Bonga said she was exhausted.

¡§I was told by the other residents that they would not let the police evict me. They said this is a place where you don¡¦t pay rent and no one can tell you what to do¡K Now look at this. All my money is gone.¡¨

She spent R3 500 on the corrugated iron and wooden frame that was meant to be her new home.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said 102 structures had been demolished during the evictions.

By Thursday night there were still reports of sporadic stone-throwing in the township. Van Wyk said police were still deployed in the area to deal with any further violence.

Mayhem at Cape¡¦s Marikana
Zodido Dano (IOL News) 14 August 2014

Cape Town - City of Cape Town law enforcement officers with shotguns fled from a crowd of angry Marikana residents carrying rakes, hammers and stones.

For the fourth day running residents were protesting against the demolition of 100 shacks erected at the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi on Sunday.

The site, at the corner of Sheffield and Stock roads, is privately owned and has been earmarked for development.

On Wednesday, the intersection was closed off to motorists while protesters burnt tyres in the road.

City law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets at the crowd, and then left under a hail of stones.

For half an hour an increasingly angry crowd wreaked havoc in the intersection, attacking traffic lights and passing vehicles, including media vehicles and a truck carrying planks and gas tanks, smashing the windscreen and stealing the freight.

A taxi carrying people to Philippi from Bellville was also attacked, along with a city traffic vehicle.

Law enforcement officers later returned accompanied by police in two Nyalas.

Two men were arrested for public violence.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said law enforcement officers acted correctly by leaving the scene.

¡§At a certain point the operation commander has to make a decision to defuse the situation by either withdrawing staff or by escalating the force. To withdraw means they will go back to the scene with more resources and manpower.¡¨

A Cape Argus team saw a policewoman hit in the stomach with a stone. She fell to the roadway but did not appear to be seriously injured. Smith said he had not been informed about it.

Franco Stallenberg, the driver of the Swartland Logistics truck, was injured on his left hand.

Stallenberg and his colleague Titus Swartz had driven into the area to make a delivery when they were forced out of their vehicle by protesters.

The truck¡¦s windscreen was smashed in with a hammer, and the

keys and gas tanks were taken by the mob.

Stallenberg said: ¡§They came running towards us, throwing stones; we could not stop. Why wasn¡¦t this road closed? Why weren¡¦t police here? This is our lives they were playing with.¡¨

Asanda Maye, a passenger in the Bellville taxi, said she was awoken by a loud bang.

¡§I was sleeping in the taxi, so I didn¡¦t see what was happening. I just heard the two loud bangs and those were the windows being smashed in. I¡¦m tense now and scared.¡¨

Residents said they were not going to let the evictions continue.

Lulekwa Joyi¡¦s shack was demolished on Wednesday. She had moved into the area on Monday after getting tired of paying high rent. Joyi said: ¡§I can¡¦t afford the rent because I¡¦m unemployed and have a 2-year-old child to take care of.

¡§All my materials are gone - R3 000 down the drain.¡¨

Crackdown on Philippi squatters
IOL News 13 August 2014

Cape Town - Squatters on private land in the Marikana in Philippi were served another court order to leave the property on Wednesday morning.

The property - earmarked by a private developer for development - has been the arena for demolitions and rebuilding since Sunday when 100 shacks were first flattened by police.

The land owner had earlier obtained an urgent court order to remove the squatters.

On Wednesday morning, Tumi Ramahlele, a resident who serves as an informal community leader, said a large number of city law enforcement officers had gathered in the township.

He repeated that the residents would not budge from their homes.

Residents, who said they ¡§had no other choice¡¨, erected shacks again on Monday, prompting a second round of evictions, which turned into a stand-off when they pelted police with rocks.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said a stun grenade had been used to disperse the angry crowd.

On Tuesday new shacks were being built. While some were rebuilding what they lost, most were new arrivals. The township is growing and residents such as Ramahlele said this was something to celebrate.

Referring to JP Smith, the city¡¦s mayoral committee member for safety and security, he said: ¡§He can try his luck, we are ready and we will not let them evict another resident.¡¨

But Smith said it was not the city¡¦s fight. ¡§This is a battle between a private land owner and people moving illegally on to his land.¡¨

City law enforcement would continue helping police with evictions until the process had been completed.

Smith said: ¡§What they are doing is stealing and it¡¦s costing this land owner a lot of money¡K The aim is to build something on that land that actually will aid the community through creating job opportunities, and this is really getting in the way.¡¨

If shacks were rebuilt overnight, with residents giving spare materials to those who had lost their homes, they ¡§will be demolished again¡¨.

¡§We are executing a court order.¡¨

For residents such as Siviwe Mdema there is no fear. ¡§I have no other choice ¡V if they destroy my home I will have to build it again.¡¨

Others, such as Asanda Ndula, were still homeless early yesterday as they waited for new materials after their old materials were seized by police.

Safety and security director Richard Bosman said police had been unable to continue their part in evictions on Tuesday because resources had been sent to the Bellville Magistrate¡¦s Court where a crowd gathered for the appearance of the leadership of the Ses¡¦Khona Human Rights Movement.

* The city has welcomed a Constitutional Court ruling that Marikana land invaders had no chance of success in appealing against a Supreme Court of Appeal finding.

This year the city demolished informal structures on privately owned land at Marikana. The land invaders went to the Western Cape High Court which declared the city¡¦s actions ¡§unconstitutional and unlawful¡¨.

After the Supreme Court of Appeal found in the city¡¦s favour, the invaders approached the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal against that finding. But last Thursday that court refused that request, saying the application had no prospects of success.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said the city¡¦s actions ¡§in protecting private property from land invaders is compliant with its constitutional obligations¡¨.

MEC threatens arrests as evictees rebuild
IOL News 12 August 2014

Cape Town - Hours after people were evicted from Marikana in Philippi following a violent confrontation with police, they were back rebuilding shacks ¡V with scores of newcomers.

Those who lost their homes on Sunday and on Monday when police demolished dozens of shacks said they had no choice but to rebuild. However, JP Smith, Mayco member for Safety and Security, said the land was ¡§under siege¡¨ and there was no option but to arrest people.

The reconstructing of shacks was a ¡§desperate effort by the leadership of the Ses¡¦Khona Human Rights movement to cause trouble for the DA¡¨.

¡§The only solution here is to start arresting people,¡¨ he said when he discovered shacks had been rebuilt last night, just hours after they were taken down.

Smith added the land owner ¡V who had obtained a court order to evict squatters ¡V was desperately phoning to have something done about the growing number of shacks on his property. He bought the land in 2007.

However, this morning, residents at the site said Ses¡¦Khona had nothing to do with them moving to Marikana.

Resident Tumi Ramahlele challenged police to attempt to evict residents again: ¡§They can try their luck; we are ready and we will not let them evict a single resident.¡¨

These words followed on Monday¡¦s evictions, where police demolished homes that had been rebuilt after Sunday¡¦s action.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said residents had thrown stones at police, who had in turn fired a stun grenade to disperse them. Police then left the township.

On Tuesday morning, there were no police in the area.

Sitting among the debris of her dismantled home, Asanda Ndila was unaware of the land dispute.

The small shack was her only option as she could no longer afford rent at the house where she used to live.

She said it wasn¡¦t Ses¡¦Khona that had brought her to Marikana, ¡§it was necessity¡¨.

For every former resident rebuilding, there were three times as many new people moving on to the land.

Siviwe Mdema, who erected a new shack overnight, said this was the only place he could find to live.

When asked whether he was concerned that he and his family could be evicted, he shook his head.

¡§We will rebuild. Everyone gives materials to those who are evicted¡K We are a community that sticks together.¡¨

This explained the rapid pace at which new homes had sprung up on the land.

More evictions are planned in the area. Safety and Security director Richard Bosman said city law enforcement officials were meeting police to discuss how to proceed.

¡§Yesterday was dangerous and police had to pull out.¡¨

At the time of publication, a decision had not yet been made.

* Additional reporting Cindy Waxa

Tears and anger as shacks pulled down
Siyavuya Mzantsi 12 August 2014

Cape Town - Residents pelted law officers with stones after shacks were torn down - and fled as rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired in response on Monday.

One woman, who broke down as her home was razed, assaulted and chased a City of Cape Town official leading the demolitions in the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi.

Scores of families had settled on the privately owned land on Friday.

The owners secured an urgent interdict to prevent building on the land.

A hundred of the shacks, in Symphony Way, were pulled down on Sunday and the building materials removed, police spokesman FC van Wyk said.

More shacks sprang up overnight. Police, members of the city anti-land invasion unit and law enforcement officials demolished these.

Nosango Mjelo wept as she watched the land invasion unit team tear down her home. When they began to remove her building materials, she tried to stop them.

¡§Why are you doing this to us?¡¨ she said desperately. ¡§Because we are poor, you are taking advantage¡K That we are here means we cannot afford to pay rent.¡¨

Mjelo picked up a stick and lunged at the officials, shouting: ¡§Get away from my house, why are you taking my stuff?¡¨

Suddenly other residents - numbering about 300 - began throwing stones at the police.

Nolulamile Tywabi, a mother of five, said: ¡§I have nowhere to go. I came here because I was a backyard dweller and couldn¡¦t afford to pay rent while taking my children to school.¡¨

Residents said they had moved from Lower Crossroads, Khayelitsha, Isiqalo, Nyanga and Philippi. They had not orchestrated the occupation.

The mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: ¡§Reports on the ground suggest this land invasion is politically orchestrated by Ses¡¦Khona (People¡¦s Rights Movement).

¡§If these allegations are true, it would suggest this is a continuation of the lawlessness they have sown across Cape Town - as we have witnessed in Lwandle.¡¨

The landowners had obtained an order.

¡§The City of Cape Town condemns the invasion of private and public land as it is of paramount importance to maintain a fair and systematic housing delivery regime.¡¨

Ses¡¦khona leader Sithembele Majova said the group did not encourage the occupation of land.

The city accused the movement whenever people settled on private land, he said.

Mayor released Emalahleni executive mayor released.
Witbank News 11 August 2014

Executive mayor Cllr Salome Sithole.
Earlier this evening executive mayor of Emalahleni Cllr Solome Sithole was taken hostage at Emalahleni FM.

After negotiations with protestors the executive mayour was released.

The hostage situation at Emalahleni FM followed fruitless talks this morning on Monday, August 11 after protest actions this past weekend was unsuccessful.

Warning: The protest action might continue tomorrow Tuesday, August 12 as protestors plan to close off the N4 highway.

Emalahleni executive mayor being held hostage.
Witbank News 11 August 2014

Executive Mayor Cllr Salome Sithole
Salomie Sithole, Executive Mayor of Emalahleni is being held hostage At Emalahleni FM Radio-station.

Journalist Solly Maseko on scene.
Strong police presence at Emalahleni FM where the mayor is being held hostage. Theo van Vuuren is also on scene.

The community have no access to entrance or exit at Overline, Ackerville and Lynnville. Large community gathering outside the radio station.

The situation at Emalahleni FM is very tense.
After unsuccessful negotiations the public has taken the executive mayor hostage.
Awaiting further updates.

Destructive protestors use service delivery as an excuse
Amoryn Golden (Krugersdorp News) 13 August 2014

The absence of police and other authorities will be placed under the spotlight.

On-going protest in Magaliesburg has led the DA to intervene.

According Alan Fuchs, DA Mogale Constituency Head and Member of Parliament the DA has received a number of complaints of persistent unrest in the Ga-Mogale township in Magaliesburg.

Residents say the unrest is fomented by a small group of people who do so under the guise of service delivery problems.

It is alleged that residents are intimidated and prevented from going to work, that roads are being barricaded and that a number of passing cars have been stoned by protestors.

¡§Since Magaliesburg attracts a number of tourists, these violent and intimidatory tactics will have a severe effect on the local economy,¡¨ says Fuchs.

Despite these matters being reported to the local police, residents allege that police have not processed or acted upon any of the complaints.

¡§Following a number of discussions with my colleagues across Gauteng, it seems that similar problems are being experienced throughout the province,¡¨ says Fuchs.

¡§South Africans from all walks of life enjoy the protection of the Constitution that safeguards our freedom of movement and association, and police are mandated to ensure that these rights are upheld,¡¨ he says.

To this end, DA provincial leader and member of the Gauteng Legislature¡¦s Community Safety Committee, John Moodey, has undertaken to write to MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, requesting the MEC to engage with the SAPS and improve its on-the-ground intelligence.
Fuchs says Moodey will raise this matter with the portfolio committee, and request members to pay the area an oversight visit to determine the facts on the ground.

¡§We cannot allow our communities to be harassed and intimidated by lawless individuals. It requires strong leadership and political will to end this scourge,¡¨ he concludes.

Boycott Woolworths campaign grows
Primedia Online 12 August 2014

Boycott Woolworths campaign growsA campaign calling for a boycott against Woolworths is apparently gathering steam.

According to a report on Eyewitness News, a Palestinian solidarity group called on consumers to boycott the Woolworths and other retailers importing products from Israel.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) last week sent out its call in a newsletter and on Twitter, using the hashtag #BoycottWoolworths.

The group said that Woolworths imports a number of products from Israel, including figs, coriander, litchis, plums and mangoes.

They have staged protests outside of a number of Woolworths shops and have encouraged others to join them.

Woolworths responded by saying it has no political affiliations.

"We respect our customers¡¦ right to make individual purchasing choices, which is why we clearly label every product¡¦s country of origin and fully comply with government guidelines on products from Israel."

Mayhem at poo protesters¡¦ court date
IOL News 13 August 2014

Cape Town - Several police officers, including a metro police official who was left bleeding, came under attack from supporters of the Ses¡¦khona People¡¦s Rights movement outside the Bellville Magistrate¡¦s Court on Tuesday.

Police in turn retaliated with rubber bullets, tear gas and a water cannon to disperse the crowd when mayhem broke loose.

There were also reports that two women who had run away from the protest had been struck by a passing car. The two suffered minor injuries.

Hundreds of supporters had gathered outside the court where the movement¡¦s leader Andile Lili and eight other accused were appearing on charges of dumping human waste at the entrance of Cape Town International Airport in June last year.

An Independent Newspapers photographer was also injured and admitted to hospital after he was hit on the head with a stone.

The altercations broke out when Lili came out of the courtroom to address the 500 supporters during the lunch adjournment on the proceedings.

¡§We want to make sure that this case is thrown out of the court because there is no case against us,¡¨ Lili told the crowd.

¡§If we don¡¦t fight for ourselves, no one is going to fight our battles. We will make sure that on Wednesday there are more of us here.¡¨

Soon after his speech, Lili claimed he was being pushed by a police officer. ¡§Don¡¦t push me, my brother, please,¡¨ he shouted.

At the same time, an altercation also erupted between fellow supporter Loyiso Nkohla and a policeman.

The crowd became volatile and stones were flung into the air, igniting the tension.

More altercations followed between police and supporters. When tear gas was fired, lawyers, journalists and security guards had to seek shelter inside the court. Lili and two others were later arrested. Police spokesman Andre Traut confirmed that three people had been arrested. He said they would appear in court on charges of public violence soon.

Earlier in the day, the court heard testimony from three State witnesses who took to the stand in terms of the poo throwing at the airport. Two witnesses were from the airport and one was from the City of Cape Town.

Ahmed Abbas, who works in the maintenance department at the airport, told the court they were in the process of replacing the carpet, where the human waste had been dumped. He said the carpet at the entrance of the airport had been damaged when it was sent for cleaning. Abbas said the costs to replace it could amount to more than R80 000.

¡§We needed a special company to clean the mat because the company we employed could not clean it. The mat was then removed and taken to hazardous cleaning services. The mat was removed the same day and when it came back, it was damaged,¡¨ Abbas said.

He said airlines were not disrupted, but passengers were forced to use another entrance which is about 15m from where the alleged dumping took place.

City official Pierre Maritz who works in the utility services department, came under fire from defence lawyer advocate Pearl Mathibela when he told the court that the city cleaned portable flushed toilets three times a week. The portable toilets were under the spotlight during cross-examination because they were allegedly where the human waste that had been dumped came from.

Maritz told the court the city cleaned these toilets three times a week and residents never complained about using them.

But Mathibela fired back and said the toilets were not cleaned for two months in places such as Barcelona informal settlement in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

¡§There was a dispute between the employer and the employee of the company contracted to the city to clean the toilets,¡¨ Maritz said.

Maritz said 16 informal settlements were affected.

In her conclusion of her cross-examination Mathibela said the city did not care for the people as it claimed it did.

She said the city violated the human rights of residents there.

Protesters stone passing motorists
IOL News 14 August 2014

Mossel Bay - Protesters in Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay threw stones at motorists during a protest over electricity connections on Thursday morning, Western Cape police said.

¡§There were sporadic incidents of stone throwing, but we intervened and it has calmed down now,¡¨ said Captain Malcolm Pojie.

¡§There is police visibility in the area to maintain order.¡¨

No injuries were reported.

Hundreds of residents have been protesting since Sunday over the disconnection of electricity. Roads have been barricaded, tyres burnt, and shops looted.

Police said 34 people were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday for public violence and looting.

A municipal building, situated next to the police station, was also set alight.

At the time, Pojie said protesters tried to burn down the station, but police prevented it.

Protesters threw petrol bombs at police, who fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the crowd.

There were no reports of injuries.

Pojie told Sapa the 34 appeared in Mossel Bay Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

¡§They were released on a warning and told to reappear on September 14,¡¨ he said.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News reported that the Mossel Bay municipality had agreed to reconnect illegal electricity in Kwanonqaba after three days of protests.

DA keeps ward in tense by-election
IOL News 14 August 2014

Cape Town - Mossel Bay¡¦s Ward 13 by-election ¡V won by the DA ¡V took place amid tensions after three days of violent protests.

Police were out in force.

In an attempt to quell the tension on Wednesday, mayor Marie Ferreira, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and Deputy Minister of Human Settlements Zou Kota-Fredericks met a residents¡¦ committee to discuss solutions to problems in Kwanonqaba, part of the ward.

Later, at a meeting at a sports stadium, Ferreira was given a hostile reception, while Plato was heckled and residents scuffled with ANC office-bearers.

The DA retained the seat, with 737 votes for its candidate, Rosina Henrietta Ruiters.

Elizabeth Joubert of the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa gained 476 votes and Faizell Baselero Porter of the ANC, 259

The provincial head of the Electoral Commission of SA, Courtney Sampson, said the ward had 3 292 registered voters.

The seat became vacant when the DA ended the incumbent¡¦s party membership.

DA provincial elections manager Jaco Londt said: ¡§We are happy with the way voting took place. Despite four days of protests, a heavy police presence in the area ensured things ran smoothly.¡¨

The run-up to the by-election had been marred by violent protests that broke out in Kwanonqaba on Sunday.

Residents demanded that the municipality stop cutting illegal power connections, install electricity services, and provide sanitation and housing for people in informal settlements.

A municipal office was set alight and a police unit¡¦s offices petrol-bombed. Thirty people were arrested.

Addressing about 1 500 people at the stadium, Ferreira said the municipality was concerned about illegal electricity connections as they posed a danger to residents, especially children.

¡§But for humanitarian reasons, I¡¦m giving an undertaking to stop the disconnection of the illegal connections. I¡¦m appealing to the protesters to stop these actions, so service delivery can go back to normal.¡¨

Ferreira said she would meet the residents¡¦ committee at 1pm on Thursday to discuss grievances.

Taking the microphone, a resident on the podium shouted that the protests would continueuntil all demands had been met. This was greeted by cheers, with some in the crowd gesturing that Ferreira should leave the stadium.

They demanded the release of residents arrested on public violence charges.

Tensions ran high, with some residents becoming involved in a scuffle with ANC office-bearers, including the party¡¦s provincial secretary, Songezo Mjongile, who was pushed around.

They accused the officials of failing the community.

Plato asked residents to select seven people with whom the officials could ¡§negotiate¡¨.

Kota-Fredericks said what had taken place in Kwanonqaba was ¡§an explosion¡¨ of issues ignored by the municipality.

She condemned the violence.

Children have not attended school since the protest started.

Resident Madoda Sonandi said the protest was started by residents of Ezindlovini, an informal settlement near Kwanonqaba, after municipal workers severed a cable they were using for electricity. Kwanonqaba and Langeni residents had joined the protest in solidarity.

Municipality restores illegal electricity
IOL News 13 August 2014

Mossel Bay - Mossel Bay municipality has agreed to re-connect illegal electricity in Kwanonqaba after three days of protests, Eye Witness News reported on Wednesday.

The municipality agreed to reconnect the illegal points after hundreds of residents protested following the disconnection on Sunday

Thirty held for Mossel Bay protest violence
IOL News 13 August 2014

Mossel Bay - Thirty people have been arrested for public violence and looting shops during protests in Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.

The protest was apparently over service delivery and electricity in the area, and the 30 people were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday, Captain Malcolm Pojie said.

¡§They are all still in custody,¡¨ he said.

The protests began on Sunday, with people barricading roads with burning tyres, sticks, and stones.

¡§They also burnt down the Kwanonqaba municipal building, next to the local police station,¡¨ said Pojie.

He said the protesters also tried to burn down the station, but police managed to prevent them.

The protest began with about one hundred people on Sunday, while the number grew to about 3000 on Monday and 7000 on Tuesday.

¡§There is just a small grouping today (Wednesday) and the situation is much calmer, said Pojie.

He was unable to provide the number of protesters assembled on Wednesday.

The protesters threw petrol bombs at police, who then used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

¡§A police helicopter is also being used to monitor the crowd from above,¡¨ said Pojie.

He said there were no reported cases of any injuries. Police were monitoring the protesters.

The arrested protesters would appear in the Mossel Bay Magistrate's Court soon.

Mossel Bay protesters wreak havoc
Warda Meyer (IOL News) 13 August 2014

Southern Cape police have called in air support from Cape Town to help monitor violent protest action in KwaNonqaba, Mossel Bay, where protesters have wreaked havoc over the past three days, damaging municipal buildings and road infrastructure.

Disgruntled residents took to the streets over the lack of electricity in their township and the municipality cutting what is believed to have been illegal power connections in the area.

On Monday, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse at least 3 000 residents who gathered outside the KwaNonqaba municipal office, which is adjacent to the local police station. Protesters burnt tyres and stoned vehicles, even targeting the police station itself.

Small groups of protesters continued to gather around KwaNonqaba on Tuesday. Rubber bullets and tear gas were again used to disperse them.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato also went to Mossel Bay on Tuesday afternoon to intervene. Plato was set to meet Mossel Bay¡¦s executive mayor, Marie Ferreira, and the KwaNonqaba police to get first-hand information about the violent protests.

Plato said it was concerning residents had been targeting infrastructure, which ultimately meant they were damaging their own facilities.

By late yesterday the Mossel Bay municipality¡¦s executive officer for strategic services, Harry Hill, said the municipality was still counting the cost after the protest action.

¡§While we have not determined the total cost of the damage caused to municipal property, the traffic lights that were ripped out and damaged by protesters amounted to about R300 000.¡¨

Meanwhile, a by-election is scheduled in Ward 13 in Mossel Bay on Wednesday. The ward, previously represented by the DA, became vacant after the party terminated the councillor¡¦s membership.

Faizell Baselero Porter of the ANC, Rosina Henrietta Ruiters of the DA and Elizabeth Joubert of the Independent Civic Organisation of SA will contest the ward.

¡¥Mossel Bay riots are politically inspired¡¦
IOL News 12 August 2014

Cape Town - Southern Cape police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a 3 000-strong crowd in KwaNonqaba in Mossel Bay on Monday.

This was after the protesters had torched a municipal buildings, set fire to a school, stoned cars on the N2 highway, and damaged police vehicles.

The violent service delivery protest started on Sunday.

The angry mob took to the streets over lack of basic services, including electricity cuts in their township, but the municipal manager¡¦s office called the riots ¡§politically inspired¡¨, taking place as they did days before a by-election in the area on Wednesday.

Harry Hill, the town¡¦s executive officer - strategic services, said municipal offices in KwaNonqaba and a municipal community centre had been torched while protesters also set Garden Route Primary School on fire.

Protesters also stoned vehicles on the N2, vandalised traffic lights and burnt tyres. Police vehicles at the police station were damaged.

¡§The fire at the school was put out before too much damage was caused,¡¨ said Hill. ¡§The KwaNonqaba offices were, however, badly damaged. Traffic lights at the Mayixhale Street and Louis Fourie Road intersection were pulled out and bent.¡¨

Hill said the municipality had been unable to access their damaged buildings, to assess the full extent of the damage, as protesters had continued to gather throughout the day.

Disputing claims of electricity cuts, Hill said there had been none, other than illegal connections that had been cut about a month ago.

The Southern Cape police said the situation remained volatile and they were still monitoring the area.

Spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie said they were investigating a case of public violence as KwaNonqaba municipal offices, next to the police station, had been torched on Sunday.

He said protesters also targeted the police station and damaged vehicles parked in the yard.

Police arrested 13 people for public violence on Sunday but they had been released on Monday without being charged. He said the police had responded to sporadic incidents of tyres being burnt and roads been cordoned off in the area on Monday.

Meanwhile, the DA said it was ¡§no coincidence¡¨ that the attack happened mere days before a crucial by-election in Ward 13.

¡§Most disturbingly, a DA councillor had to vacate his house because of intimidation and threats to his family, while the DA candidate in the upcoming by-election received an anonymous phone call, asking her to withdraw as candidate,¡¨ said the DA¡¦s constituency head, Piet Pretorius.

The party added while the DA was running an orderly campaign in the spirit of free and fair elections, their opponents had ¡§stooped to intolerance, threats, intimidation, violence and arson¡¨.

Rubbishing the DA¡¦s claims, the ANC¡¦s southern Cape regional secretary, Putco Mapitiza, said people had serious issues about service delivery under the DA.

Protesters¡¦ kids inhale teargas
IOL News 11 August 2014

Police use teargas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to subdue protesters. File picture: Brenton Geach

Cape Town - Three minors were treated for teargas inhalation during a protest in Mossel Bay on Monday, Western Cape police said.

¡§The minors were treated by paramedics and later released,¡¨ said Captain Malcolm Pojie.

He said they were with their parents, who were protesting, when police fired teargas after the crowd turned unruly.

The ages of the minors were not immediately known.

Pojie said residents had protested in Kwanonqaba location for service delivery.

¡§They burned tyres, threw petrol bombs and stoned several police vehicles.¡¨

The protest began on Sunday when residents damaged a street light and burned a municipal building.

Thirteen people were arrested for public violence but were released on Monday afternoon, pending an investigation.

Malcolm said the situation was still volatile but police were monitoring the area.

He dismissed reports that a teenager was shot and injured when police fired rubber bullets.

Tears and anger as shacks pulled down
IOL News 12 August 2014

Cape Town - Residents pelted law officers with stones after shacks were torn down - and fled as rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired in response on Monday.

One woman, who broke down as her home was razed, assaulted and chased a City of Cape Town official leading the demolitions in the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi.

Scores of families had settled on the privately owned land on Friday.

The owners secured an urgent interdict to prevent building on the land.

A hundred of the shacks, in Symphony Way, were pulled down on Sunday and the building materials removed, police spokesman FC van Wyk said.

More shacks sprang up overnight. Police, members of the city anti-land invasion unit and law enforcement officials demolished these.

Nosango Mjelo wept as she watched the land invasion unit team tear down her home. When they began to remove her building materials, she tried to stop them.

¡§Why are you doing this to us?¡¨ she said desperately. ¡§Because we are poor, you are taking advantage¡K That we are here means we cannot afford to pay rent.¡¨

Mjelo picked up a stick and lunged at the officials, shouting: ¡§Get away from my house, why are you taking my stuff?¡¨

Suddenly other residents - numbering about 300 - began throwing stones at the police.

Nolulamile Tywabi, a mother of five, said: ¡§I have nowhere to go. I came here because I was a backyard dweller and couldn¡¦t afford to pay rent while taking my children to school.¡¨

Residents said they had moved from Lower Crossroads, Khayelitsha, Isiqalo, Nyanga and Philippi. They had not orchestrated the occupation.

The mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: ¡§Reports on the ground suggest this land invasion is politically orchestrated by Ses¡¦Khona (People¡¦s Rights Movement).

¡§If these allegations are true, it would suggest this is a continuation of the lawlessness they have sown across Cape Town - as we have witnessed in Lwandle.¡¨

The landowners had obtained an order.

¡§The City of Cape Town condemns the invasion of private and public land as it is of paramount importance to maintain a fair and systematic housing delivery regime.¡¨

Ses¡¦khona leader Sithembele Majova said the group did not encourage the occupation of land.

The city accused the movement whenever people settled on private land, he said.

Pro-Palestine supporters held in custody
IOL News 12 August 2014

Cape Town - A group of pro-Palestine supporters were held for questioning on Monday by the Hawks Special Investigations Unit over alleged ¡§security concerns¡¨.

The five protesters were arrested on Sunday afternoon after forming a convoy of vehicles to demonstrate against pro-Israel supporters who had gathered at The Piazza on Hatfield Street.

They were held overnight, and were set to appear at Cape Town Magistrate¡¦s Court on Monday. But instead they were taken to the Hawks¡¦ offices in Bellville, said the police unit¡¦s spokesman Paul Ramaloko.

¡§They are being questioned over a security concern.¡¨

He said the Hawks usually got involved in instances that involved ¡§crimes against the state¡¨, such as the destruction of state property.

¡§Once we are done questioning them, we will make a decision on whether to charge them or not,¡¨ he added. He did not disclose the details of these potential charges, but said they would appear at Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning if a formal charge was laid.

Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said the five were arrested close to Hatfield Street - where the pro-Israel supporters had gathered - on charges of inciting violence and disobeying a police officer who told them to turn round.

Others were later arrested when they proceeded in a motorcade towards Buitenkant Street.

The arrests have sparked outrage among the pro-Palestine supporters involved in Sunday¡¦s demonstration. According to People Against Gangsterism and Drugs¡¦ national co-ordinator, Abdus-Salam Ebrahim, the only ¡§crime¡¨ protesters committed was ¡§waving a flag¡¨.

¡§This is not on, these are trumped-up charges,¡¨ he said.

He was one of many who had gathered outside the court on Monday to support those awaiting questioning.

The organisation¡¦s spokesman, Osman Sahid, said the demonstration had been peaceful throughout.

He, among others, accused the authorities of conspiring against them.

The arrests followed marches on Saturday, where pro-Palestine marchers protested against Israel for the death of civilians in Gaza.

SA Jews stand up against Israel
IOL News 11 August 2014

Durban - Five hundred South African Jews - among them anti-apartheid veterans, prominent authors, musicians, doctors, judges and lawyers - have added their voice to the growing anger against Israel¡¦s military assault on Gaza.

On Sunday, in a half-page advertisement in the Sunday Times, they said they were ¡§appalled and devastated¡¨ by Israel¡¦s assault on Gaza and called on like-minded people of the community to sign an online petition against the aggression.

They also distanced themselves from local Jewish organisations, accusing them of having ¡§blind support for Israel¡¦s disproportionate actions¡¨.

Prominent Jews who signed the petition include former MP Ben Turok, Dr Ann-Marie Wolpe, the wife of anti-apartheid activist Harold Wolpe, authors Mark Gevisser, Maureen Isaacson, Antony Altbeker, musician David Kramer and High Court judge Dennis Davis.

They called for a permanent ceasefire in the region that has so far claimed the lives of more than 1 800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.

The petition will be handed over to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk and Avrom Krengel, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation.

According to the advert, some signatories had asked to remain anonymous out of concern that they may face intimidation or marginalisation in the community.

The petition says that more than 70 percent of the Palestinian casualties have been civilians, a quarter of whom were children. About 9 000 Palestinians had been wounded and 520 000 displaced.

¡§Prior to the assault on Gaza at least nine people lost their lives in clashes in the West Bank, including the murder of three Israeli teens - Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah - and the burning alive of Palestinian teenager Mohammad Abu Khdair; we condemn these murders and mourn these lives lost,¡¨ the petition reads.

¡§This is the third assault on Gaza in six years. Together with the seven-year blockade these assaults have severely damaged Gaza¡¦s medical facilities, water and sanitation, and electricity infrastructure. Gaza¡¦s economy has been crippled and there is a critical shortage of basic goods. Despite Israel¡¦s physical withdrawal in 2005, Gaza remains unfree.

¡§We are proudly Jewish. We know that every human being is invested with inherent dignity, every life equal. Just as we resist anti-Semitism, we refuse to dehumanise Palestinians in order to make their deaths lighter on our collective conscience. We sign this statement in order to affirm their humanity and our own.¡¨

They called for an immediate ceasefire and an ¡§end to the death and destruction¡¨.

The petition continued: ¡§Beyond that we believe that the way forward must involve Israel lifting the blockade of Gaza, ending the occupation of the West Bank and fully complying with international law. Attacks on Israeli civilians and rockets fired into Israeli towns must stop; these are illegal, counterproductive and wrong.

Lubna Nadvi, spokeswoman for the KwaZulu-Natal Palestine Solidarity Forum, welcomed the petition and said many ¡§people of conscious¡¨, including Jewish people, were realising that there was ¡§genocide¡¨ taking place in Gaza.

¡§This is a human rights issue and not based in a religious context although the Israeli government would want you to believe it is,¡¨ she said.

Mary Kluk, national chairwoman of the Jewish Board of Deputies said the Board as well as the signatories believed the tragic conflict needed to end.

¡§A negotiated peace for two peoples living in secure borders is an urgent priority. However, we do not apportion all the blame to one side; we believe as does the South African government that both sides need to end the conflict and begin to negotiate a peaceful future for all.¡¨

Chairman of the SA Zionist Federation, Avrom Krengel, said this morning: ¡§My only comment is that I look forward to their 37-page advert condemning the murder of 150 000 Syrians by Bashar Assad.¡¨
Additional reporting by Kamcilla Pillay

Northern Cape protests hamper classes
Michelle Jones 11 August 2014

Cape Town - For more than two months, nearly 17 000 pupils from 54 Northern Cape schools have been unable to attend classes.

The schools had been closed since June 5 when community members began a protest against the state of roads in the Joe Morolong local municipality. Some schools had been set alight and damaged by protesters.

Of the pupils affected, 469 were matric pupils who were expected to begin writing their final exams in less than three months.

The majority of the affected schools were primary schools.

¡§Community protests in the Joe Morolong local municipality started on June 5. Since the start of the community protests, 54 schools were shut down. The total number of learners affected is 16 455. This number includes 469 Grade 12 learners,¡¨ said Sydney Stander, Northern Cape Education Department spokesman.

He said the department had arranged intervention activities for all grades.

Grade 10 to 12 pupils would be expected to complete assessment tasks which would be set by teachers and moderated by subject advisers.

¡§Afternoon and Saturday classes will be conducted for all subjects. The subject advisers will provide learners with material including winter school notes, examination guidelines, annual teaching plan, previous question papers and telematics CDs.¡¨

He said subject advisers would use community radio to present exam tips, study guides and career guidance.

¡§The district will work out a plan for motivation of Grade 12 learners.¡¨

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had condemned the burning of schools.

¡§Preventing learners from their right to an education and malicious destruction to infrastructure cannot be tolerated,¡¨ Motshekga said.

Today a criminal case was expected to be opened at the Kimberly police station by the DA¡¦s Annette Lovemore, shadow minister of basic education, and Safiyia Stanfley, Northern Cape spokesperson on basic education.

They would ask police to investigate ¡§the protesters who are responsible for preventing the children of John Taolo Gaetsewe District from attending school¡¨, said the DA.

The Cape Times was unable to contact community members associated with the Local Road Forum on Sunday.

King David won¡¦t punish student
IOL News 11 August 2014

Johannesburg - Josh Broomberg is safe for now. The deputy head boy of King David Victory Park will not be demoted or be stripped of his academic honours - despite sparking an outrage in the local Jewish community by standing up for the Palestinian people.

Last week he posted a picture of himself and two members of the national schools debating team wearing Palestinian scarves, alongside the caption: ¡§Team South Africa¡K show our opposition to the human rights violations being carried out against the people of Palestine.¡¨

The team is in Bangkok taking part in the world schools debating championship.

More than 2 000 people signed an online petition over the weekend, addressed to Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and the head of the SA Board of Jewish Education, Rabbi Craig Kacev, demanding that Broomberg be severely punished for bringing the school into disrepute.

On Monday morning Kacev told The Star that King David would not be bowing to pressure groups.

¡§We are not the ¡¥thought¡¦ police. Our students are encouraged to talk about and debate issues in Israel, which they do every day. This was blown out of proportion because of heightened sensitivity around the Middle East issues,¡¨ he said.

Kacev said he believed it was outside groups, not the school students or their parents, that had started the petition. ¡§Our students are used to debating this openly. Yes, the school is committed to the idea of the centrality of the state of Israel as a priority, and politics follows as a secondary issue,¡¨ he said.

Broomberg, he said, was a superb pupil who was entitled to return to a safe school environment.

¡§However, I will be having a conversation with him to discuss with him the implications of his actions.¡¨

Broomberg has since apologised on Facebook: ¡§Firstly, I would like to apologise. It was not intended to create the uproar it has¡K or offend or upset¡K It was not about politics. It was about humanity. We stand with the thousands of civilians who have lost their lives in the conflict.¡¨

In another move, 500 South African Jews - among them anti-apartheid veterans, authors, musicians, doctors, judges and lawyers - have added their voice to the growing anger against Israel¡¦s military assault on Gaza.

On Sunday, in a half-page advertisement in the Sunday Times, they said they were ¡§appalled and devastated¡¨ by Israel¡¦s assault on Gaza and called on like-minded people of the community to sign an online petition against the aggression. They also distanced themselves from several local Jewish organisations, accusing them of having ¡§blind support for Israel¡¦s disproportionate actions¡¨.

Prominent Jews who signed the petition include former MP Ben Turok, authors Mark Gevisser, Maureen Isaacson and Antony Altbeker, musician David Kramer and high court judge Dennis Davis.

They called for a permanent ceasefire in the region that has so far claimed the lives of more than 1 800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.

The petition will be handed over to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk and Avrom Krengel, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation.

Some signatories had asked to remain anonymous out of concern that they may face intimidation.

¡§We are proudly Jewish. We know that every human being is invested with inherent dignity, every life equal.

¡§Just as we resist anti-Semitism, we refuse to dehumanise Palestinians in order to make their deaths lighter on our collective conscience. We sign this statement in order to affirm their humanity and our own.

¡§Beyond that we believe that the way forward must involve Israel lifting the blockade of Gaza, ending the occupation of the West Bank and fully complying with international law.

¡§Attacks on Israeli civilians and rockets fired into Israeli towns must stop; these are illegal, counterproductive and wrong,¡¨ it said.

¡¥Blood on hands¡¦ chants stop Ramaphosa
IOL News 11 August 2014

Pretoria - The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into events at Marikana was brought to a standstill on Monday afternoon.

During the cross-examination of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, protesters banged on tables and clapped hands shouting "Ramaphosa must resign" and "blood on his hands."

Bodyguards rushed into the auditorium and many police officers stood at the entrance.

After a short while Dali Mpofu, for the arrested miners, managed to calm the protesters.

Chairman of the inquiry, retired judge Ian Farlam, said it was vital for Ramaphosa to be allowed to give his evidence.

Earlier the protesters had prevented the group from entering the venue in Centurion.

The workers said they had attended the commission since the beginning, ¡§but today they are stopping us because their leader in here¡¨.

Some of them were wearing T-shirts printed ¡§McCyril the killer¡¨ and ¡§Bufalo head¡¨. (Ramaphosa apologised in 2012 for his R18 million bid at an auction for a buffalo amid a ¡§sea of of poverty¡¨.)

* Earlier in the day, Ramaphosa said he did not in anyway intend influencing police to shoot at striking miners during the Marikana uprising.

He told the commission he wanted the police to take appropriate action to protect lives and properties.

Ramaphosa's Shanduka Group has shares in Lonmin. He became a board member in 2010, later chairing the transformation committee.

He said people had already been killed by the time he was informed on the events that were unfolding.

¡§It was terrible seeing people getting killed and their body parts cut out,¡¨ he said.

¡§I felt that police needed to take appropriate action to identify the perpetrators and arrest them so they could not carry on.¡¨

Ramaphosa said this assessment was based on the information that was supplied to him by people on the ground.

¡§I wanted police to do their job and never prescribed any form of action,¡¨ Ramaphosa said.

The deputy president said his position was fuelled by the fact that what was unfolding at Marikana was no longer a labour matter but act of criminality.

The perpetrators had to be characterised as such.

Ramaphosa said he first became aware of the situation at Marikana through an email from Shanduka transformation manager Thandeka Ncube.

Led through his submission by David Unterhalter SC, he said the email elaborated on the crisis that was unfolding.

Ncube wrote that the rock drill operators wanted a salary increase while Lonmin had proposed a bonus.

She stated that Lonmin also wanted to resolve the dispute via a disciplinary process.

Ramaphosa said he responded that he was concerned that what Lonmin was paying the miners was way below industry standards.

He feared that offering bonus was not a workable solution and that the workers would not accept that.

Under cross examination, Ramaphosa said mass dismissal of workers was not an option and that the matter could be resolved by negotiations.

He was responding to a question on whether the solution to resolve the matter through negotiations could not have been raised sooner.

He said the situation was further elaborated in another correspondence with Albert Jamieson.

Ramaphosa submitted he called the police ministry to ask for more police on the ground to ensure the lives and property were protected.

¡§I responded that the situation was getting worse and that let's keep cool heads and take immediate steps.

¡§Some of the description of how people were being killed was horrific. When I say take appropriate measures, I expected police to identify the culprits and act as they would normally do.

¡§I said we should keep calm heads because I did not want us to raise alarm. I still believed the situation could be brought under control.¡¨

Numsa send warning after triple slaying
IOL News 11 August 2014

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) is prepared to tell its members ¡§to defend themselves¡¨ if the police do not properly investigate the murder of three of its shop stewards last week.

The three, Njabulo Dube, Sibonele ¡§John-John¡¨ Ntuli and Ntobeko Maphumulo, were shot in KwaZulu-Natal, where Numsa leaders said they were central to its launch of a Movement for Socialism.

This is widely perceived as the vehicle which the union will use to launch a political party.

While the party may only be launched next year, it is clear Numsa leaders plan for it to challenge the the ANC during the municipal elections, scheduled for 2016.

At the weekend the union took the next step towards the launch of the party by convening an international symposium of political parties on the left.

The symposium brought together trade unionists, activists and political strategists from Bolivia, Uruguay, India, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Egypt, among other countries.

From South Africa, participants included the Democratic Left Front (DLF), the Pan Africanist Movement and the ANC Veterans League - but Cosatu national office bearers avoided the event.

Meanwhile, Numsa may have to fight for its place in the trade union federation (Cosatu) on Tuesday when a special central executive committee meeting is convened, with a report back from the ANC on its mediation efforts on the agenda.

This comes on the back of the ruling party¡¦s last-ditch efforts to prevent Numsa from mobilising voters against voting for the ANC before the May 7 elections.

At that time, the ANC deployed its deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and its deputy general secretary, Jessie Duarte, to facilitate a ceasefire between warring Cosatu factions - but that did not last long.

And while Numsa has had its hands full with the month-long strike in the metal industry - which continues in some provinces - deputy general secretary Karl Cloete has said the union is still waiting to meet Ramaphosa and Duarte.

However, Duarte in particular, appears to have earned the ire of Numsa through comments she made at the National Union of Mineworkers¡¦ central committee meeting in July, when she referred to the union as scaring off ANC funders.

But on Monday, the Numsa national executive would meet in Joburg to discuss the killing of Dube, Ntuli, and Maphumulo, Cloete said.

In a long-ranging interview, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said former Numsa president Cedric Gina¡¦s Metal and Allied Workers Union of SA (Mawusa) was behind the killings.

¡§Jomo (Khoza) must be investigated. When last did police meet with him?¡¨ he said, referring to Mawusa¡¦s new general secretary.

Khoza, meanwhile, contends that the three were part of the ¡§core forming Mawusa¡¨ - a claim rejected outright by many at this weekend¡¦s symposium.

As the second anniversary of the Marikana tragedy looms this weekend, it will be interesting to see if tension continues to mount this week, or if the ANC¡¦s ceasefire will hold.

PICS: Pro-Israel rally in Cape
IOL News 10 August 2014

Thousands of people from Cape Town¡¦s Jewish community ¡§broke the silence¡¨ at a rally held at the Jewish Museum, showing their support for Israel. The rally was organised by the Zionist Federation Cape Council.

¡¥Up to 50 000¡¦ at Palestine rally in Cape
IOL News 9 August 2014

Cape Town - Tens of thousands of people supporting Palestine marched to Parliament in Cape Town on Saturday in one of the biggest rallies the city has seen in 20 years.

The huge crowd, which stretched halfway across the inner city, chanted, sang and held aloft banners and posters calling for an end to the violence in the Gaza Strip.

¡§We estimate there are well over 30 000 people, and the figure could be as high as 50 000,¡¨ Cape Town's executive director safety and security Richard Bosman told Sapa.

Shortly after 1pm on Saturday, thousands of people were thronged for blocks around Parliament's main gates in Plein Street as speakers addressed them from the back of a flat-bed truck.

The march was called by the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P), which comprises more than 30 religious and civil society organisations, trade unions and political parties, including the Muslim Judicial Council, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, and the ANC Youth League.

In a statement earlier this week, the grouping said it was demanding ¡§decisive action from the South African government against the Israeli attacks, killings, displacement and destruction of the Gaza Strip¡¨.

It was also calling for an international inquiry into the conduct of Israeli armed forces in the Palestinian territory.

Earlier on Saturday, the marchers had followed a route from Keizergracht via Christiaan Barnard, Adderley and Plein streets to Parliament.

Melomed 24 Ambulance Services operations manager Shadley Abrahams told Sapa there had been no serious casualties among the marchers, whom he described as well organised.

¡§There were no serious incidents, thank goodness. We had some exhaustion cases, about eight of them, and four people tripped and hurt themselves, including one two-year-old boy who knocked his head.¡¨

Abrahams, whose company had volunteered its services for the event, said it was one of the biggest marches he had seen in Cape Town.

¡§When the first marchers were half way up Adderley Street, the tail had still to leave Keizergracht,¡¨ he said.

Bosman confirmed the march had gone smoothly.

¡§There were no serious incidents. It was entirely peaceful,¡¨ he said.

There was strong anti-Israel sentiment among the marchers, with many displaying posters stating ¡§Shame on Israel¡¨, ¡§Israel is an apartheid state¡¨ and ¡§Stop Israeli murder¡¨.

According to reports, more than 1900 people have been killed since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Gaza a month ago.

Israel has said its aim is to stop the firing of rockets by Hamas militants into its territory, and to destroy a vast network of tunnels used to launch attacks into Israel.

The United Nations says over 1350 of those killed were civilians, including hundreds of women and children.

Israel has reported that more than 60 of its soldiers have been killed in the fighting. It also claims that about 900 militants have been killed.

The end of a three-day ceasefire in the region was marked on Friday morning by the firing of more rockets from Gaza into Israel.

In retaliation, Israel has resumed air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip.

Police kept a close eye on the marchers.

A police armoured vehicle was parked higher up Plein Street, blocking the road, and police officers, several in body armour, could be seen gathered around it.

Along the route taken by the marchers, scores of people could be seen gazing down at the spectacle from roofs and balconies. Many of them were using their cellphones to record and photograph the event.

Earlier this week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe avoided a direct response to a question on what government's exact position was on growing calls for a boycott of goods from Israel, and the withdrawal of both countries' ambassadors.

¡§We want peace in the Middle East. We are committed to facilitating the resolution of the conflict there. That is why (President Jacob Zuma) sent special envoys (to Palestine). So that's the position of the South African government,¡¨ he told journalists on Thursday during a media briefing in Pretoria. - Sapa

Thousands join pro-Palestine march in Cape
IOL News 9 August 2014

Cape Town - Thousands of people were streaming into central Cape Town before noon on Saturday ahead of a pro-Palestine march through the city's streets to Parliament.

Many sang and held up posters and banners as they streamed towards the main gathering point at Keizergracht, from where the march was scheduled to have started at 11am, but is yet to get underway.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mandla Mandela was reportedly in the crowd.

Hundreds of people had already started assembling outside Parliament's main gate in Plein Street, where film crews were focusing on a line of women, all wearing the red, green, black and white colours of the Palestinian flag, standing behind a banner proclaiming ¡§South African government must stop selling arms to Israel¡¨.

Another held up a sign stating ¡§Zuma suffer of (sic) historical amnesia¡¨.

Two hundred metres down the road, a group of drummers added to the chants of ¡§free Palestine¡¨ with some African rhythms.

¡§We're from Burundi, but we've come to add our voices,¡¨ their spokesman, who wore a T-shirt with the words ¡§Africans understand colonialism¡¨ emblazoned across the front, told Sapa.

The march was called by the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P), which comprises more than 30 religious and civil society organisations, trade unions and political parties, including the Muslim Judicial Council, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, and the ANC Youth League.

In a statement earlier this week, the grouping said it was demanding ¡§decisive action from the South African government against the Israeli attacks, killings, displacement and destruction of the Gaza Strip¡¨.

It was also calling for an international inquiry into the conduct of Israeli armed forces in the Palestinian territory.

According to the gathering permit issued two days ago by the City of Cape Town, ¡§the maximum amount of participants of 10 000 shall not be exceeded¡¨, but the number of people jamming into the central business district on Saturday suggested this figure could well be exceeded.

The prescribed route the marchers are expected to take towards Parliament from Keizergracht will take them down Christiaan Barnard Sreet and across and back up Adderley Street, where they will turn left at the top and then up Plein street to the complex main gates.

Traffic on the outskirts of the city was reportedly gridlocked by noon on Saturday. - Sapa and IOL

A community stands together against social evils, crime
Marietta Lombard 8 August 2014

These pupils campaign against violence.
Note from the Editor -
The Edenvale community, for the second consecutive year, united against social evils and crime.

Rival schools, competing security companies, the Edenvale SAPS and other police units, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department and residents took to the streets on Friday in a united front against drugs, violence, bullies and human traffickers.

The Tiles4Change march kicked off from Horwood¡¦s Farm with about 1 500 school pupils and adults marching to Karaglen SuperSpar.
Marchers proudly showed off their campaign posters, spreading individual messages calling for an end to the mentioned social evils and crimes.

¡§I salute each and every school pupil, community member, security officer, police officer and resident who took part in the march.
¡§A united front between different parties is seldom possible and if achieved, can be extremely successful. I was left in awe by what I witnessed today ¡V 1500 people standing together against social evils and crime. I salute every participant and organiser, including the NEWS¡¦ very own Online Editor and Edenvale journalist, Charmaine Slater,¡¨ said the Editor of the Bedfordview and Edenvale NEWS, Marietta Lombard.

Sama calls for end to Medunsa strike
IOL News 7 August 2014

Johannesburg - The SA Medical Association (Sama) on Thursday called for an end to the ongoing strike at Medunsa in Limpopo.

¡§Sama calls upon all stakeholders involved in the Medunsa impasse to work together towards an immediate long-lasting solution to the current strike,¡¨ Sama president Phophi Ramathuba said in a statement.

¡§We call upon government to guide, management to manage, and the student community to commit towards a just and visionary course for their own future and the future of this rainbow nation.¡¨

The university was closed on Wednesday with management ordering students to vacate the premises. Students had been on strike for about two weeks demanding the removal of certain lecturers alleged to be failing students.

The students were also believed to be unhappy about the renaming of the campus to Sefako Makgatho.

Management said the decision to close the campus was informed by the stubborn behaviour of both the Students Representative Council (SRC) and the student community.

The university management would take full responsibility for SRC affairs.

Ramathuba said the country prided itself at being a miracle nation, where negotiations remained the best and only way to resolve conflicts.

She called on all stakeholders to put aside their differences and desist from milking the situation to settle personal scores and grudges.

¡§All involved have to understand that what was at stake here is beyond their individual and group interest, this is a matter of national importance. The shortage of health professionals is a national problem that adversely affects delivery of health services,¡¨ she said.

The current situation was not a winner takes all contest but conceded that the university itself should be the ultimate winner with both management and students continuing their respectable duties.

¡§The management should provide visionary leadership, academics should research and teach, and students should study and contribute towards building a winning nation,¡¨ said Ramathuba.

Eikenhof tense after shacks demolished
IOL News 7 August 2014

Johannesburg - The situation was tense on Thursday during a stand-off between police and Eikenhof residents who were angry over the demolition of their shacks in the informal settlement.

A journalist was hurt as the residents turned on the media covering the stand-off.

The shacks had allegedly been erected illegally and when they were demolished it sent the residents into a frenzy.

They rallied behind the owners of the shacks, putting rocks on the road and allegedly stoning cars passing by.

This morning a traffic light lay damaged on the road, others had been smashed and debris was lying everywhere.

Police had to stop people from using the R554 to Lenasia as they feared for their safety. At one point a car arrived from the other side of the R554 and the residents started stoning it.

The driver had to negotiate his way through the rocks that were blocking the road, driving fast to flee the raging mob.

Police ran towards the scene, firing rubber bullets at the crowds to disperse them.

Joburg metro police spokes-man Wayne Minnaar said the violence started on Wednesday over the demolition of two shacks that had been illegally built.

Sibongile Mnguni of the SA Police Service said the people who lived in Eikenhof were normally relocated to Lehae, an RDP development nearby.

The agreement between the housing department and the residents was that when people were relocated, no one was supposed to build a shack where those people used to live, Mnguni said.

However, on Wednesday, when the department arrived in Eikenhof, they found three additional shacks.

Five people were arrested for public violence.

Residents protest against Gaza violence
Bedfordview & Edenvale news 7 August 2014

¡§We are proud Jews with a conscience who stand against this celebration of war on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We will not be silent in the face of such a morally abhorrent event,¡¨ said the organiser, Ms Rina King.
Kgomotso Nkabinde

Huddle Park via @SkyeMacArthur on Twitter
The Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP) held a rally in support of an end to the conflict in Gaza.

The protest took place outside the Huddle Park Golf Course in Linksfield on August 3.

The protest was organised by the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and was supported by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD).

¡§We are proud Jews with a conscience who stand against this celebration of war on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We will not be silent in the face of such a morally abhorrent event,¡¨ said the organiser, Ms Rina King.
The protest was later supported by members of the Muslim community, Palestine solidarity movement as well as members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Left Front (DLF).

¡§As Jews of conscience, we are grateful for the support we received from fellow South Africans in our stand. Perhaps in solidarity with the Palestinians we will forge the future that we hope to see one day in Palestine and Israel,¡¨ said Ms King.

¡§JVJP members are diverse in background and perspective, and represent a broad cross-section of the South African Jewish community. What we have in common, however, is a firm belief in the core values of our Jewish tradition. This includes peace, compassion and meaningful dialogue, as well as a commitment to speaking out where we can against abuses of power and the perpetration of human suffering and injustice,¡¨ said Ms King.
¡§We hope for a ceasefire and an end to this violence. More than that, though, we hope for long-term peace in Israel and Palestine, a peace that can only be achieved through compassion, justice and a redress with genuine dialogue. We are proud Jews with a conscience, who object to acts of violence being carried out in our name. We will not be silent in the face of such atrocities,¡¨ said said Ms King. @bedfordjourno

Water protests leave one dead
IOL News 7 August 2014

Durban - Traffic on the N2 near Port Shepstone had to be diverted on Wednesday after disgruntled residents caused havoc during a violent service delivery protest.

Hundreds of people blocked the road with burning tyres and debris demanding ¡§fresh tap water¡¨ after water cuts at the weekend.

The upheaval, which started on Monday, culminated on Wednesday in the death of a man believed to be one of the protesters.

¡§The body of Michael Mathenjwa, 26, was found in an area close to where the protests were taking place. He had no visible injuries. The cause of death is unknown and a post mortem will be conducted. The case is still under investigation,¡¨ said police spokesman Jay Naicker.

Police struggled to contain the hostile crowd, which demanded to be addressed by KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu.

Naicker said the crowd hurled stones at police on Tuesday. Five people, aged between 32 and 47, were arrested for public violence.

On Wednesday Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said traffic had to be diverted between Murchison Hospital and at the Marburg robots, where the situation was most volatile.

The ANC¡¦s lower south coast secretary, Mzwandile Mkhwanazi, said the community¡¦s grievances were genuine. ¡§Their complaint is that this water issue is on and off. They have water for three days and then they don¡¦t have it for two days - it¡¦s been like that for about three months,¡¨ he said.

Ugu District Municipality spokesman Sipho Khuzwayo blamed the water shortages on power cuts at the weekend.

¡§The water pumps use electricity and there was a power failure at the weekend. The water levels decreased in reservoirs before the pumps could be fixed,¡¨ he said.

He said the public was up in arms on Monday demanding fresh tap water and refusing to fetch water from water tankers.

¡§The mayor met them and they eventually agreed to the water tankers. But tankers were stoned and we decided to pull them out,¡¨ he said.

East Coast Radio Newswatch on Wednesday reported that Mchunu visited the area and addressed the angry crowd, reassuring them that their concerns would be addressed. The MEC said allegations of police brutality during the demonstration would be investigated.

Wheelchair-bound demonstrators protest at UIA opening ceremony
Lorna Charles (BeriaMail) 5 August 2014

After threatening to demonstrate outside the UIA 2014 Confrence, more than six years ago because of KZN architecture institute¡¦s inability to make their building accessible.

Albert Dubler, president of UIA opens the conference while QASA protesters sit outside.
MORE than 50 disabled people demonstrated outside the UIA 2014 Architecture Conference, while the UIA president Albert Dubler opened the conference on Monday morning in a bid to finally air their voices against inaccessible buildings.

Ari Seirlis, CEO of theQuadPara Association and organiser of the demonstration, said he had warned the KZNIA six years ago that QASA would demonstrate at the architects' conference. ¡§We are doing this to challenge and change the mindsets of all architects throughout the world. It they want to talk accessibility they must walk their talk! We feel disrespected by the KZNIA and have to put ourselves through this because you can't talk to the world about accessibility when you are sitting in a building that is inaccessible.¡¨
Wheelchair bound protester, Shane Malcomes said he was at the demonstration to protest against the inaccessibility throughout the city. ¡§The Constitution was changed in 1994, but that was just on paper for the disabled because in the real world its very different. If you spend one day in a wheelchair you will see it!

¡§You will find that you can't get from your front door to a car on the street or from the car to your office without serious difficulty.¡¨
Malcomes said from the time a wheelchair-bound person leaves home, he or she faces a multitude of barriers. ¡§Architects are still designing buildings that are inaccessible to us, twenty years into our democracy. Very few buildings are built with universal accessibility in mind and never included in the main design, only as an add on, like we are an afterthought!¡¨

Ladders were symbolically set on fire to represent the hardships that disabled people face when they need ramps and designs with greater access.

Chicken factory staff in stayaway over pay
HeraldLIVE 5 August 2014

HUNDREDS of Sovereign Foods chicken factory workers demanding an hourly wage increase of R8 and better working conditions have accused the company of not caring for its workers, saying it had offered them a mere 18 cents an hour increase.

The workers, affiliated to the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers¡¦ Union (Saccawu), have been on a stayaway since Thursday.

This comes after the union and the employer failed to reach an agreement following six months of negotiations. The workers earn R12.41 an hour.

Workers at the company have been complaining for years about what they say is unfair treatment as some have to walk more than 5km in the early morning hours. They have also complained about the use of labour brokers and poor working conditions.

Yesterday, about 300 workers picketed outside the company¡¦s gates. Police were parked nearby monitoring the picket. There was no violence.

Saccawu Uitenhage organiser Chris Thwalo said the parties started negotiating in June, but the talks reached a deadlock.

¡§The workers initially demanded an increase of R8 across the board, but you know with negotiations you do not always get what you want. But the company has refused to meet us halfway.

¡§We have been negotiating for a long time and we are still willing to negotiate, but an increase of 18 cents is an insult to each and every dog out there.

¡§We tried our best and we are not people who negotiate in Amcu style of demanding a fixed amount and not moving from it.

¡§We came up with many alternatives to try and resolve the impasse but the employer has failed to meet us halfway.

¡§Should the parties fail to reach an agreement soon, the union¡¦s 1800 members at the factory might go on a full-blown strike,¡¨ Thwalo said.

The company¡¦s investor relations team leader, Wendy Giddings, had not responded to questions e-mailed to her at the time of going to print.

The company¡¦s Martin Manley failed to comment after promising to do so in writing.

The company also failed to return several calls yesterday.

The workers are also demanding medical aid, provident fund and transportation. Worker Fuzile Mthethani said their women colleagues became easy prey for criminals when they worked the late-night shift or in the early hours of the morning.

¡§There is no transport and workers are being robbed and raped when they are done with the morning shift. The company does not care about the workers. All the bosses are concerned about is making a profit.

¡§We work 12-hour shifts and get one break which is only 30 minutes. If you spend more than seven minutes in the toilet, they deduct money from you because they say no one should be there that long.¡¨

Another worker, Makhosonke December, said when chicken cutters injured themselves with the sharp machine they used, they would be told they were careless or even given a written warning. ¡V Mkhululi Ndamase

Call to shun Woolies for Israel link
IOL News 6 August 2014

Johannesburg - A Palestinian solidarity group has started an aggressive social media campaign, calling for consumers to boycott Woolworths because it imports products from Israel.

On Tuesday, BDS (Boycott. Divestment. Sanctions.) South Africa sent out its call in a newsletter and on Twitter, where the hashtag #BoycottWoolworths trended for a short time.

According to the BDS campaign manifesto, Woolworths imports several of its products from Israel, including figs, coriander, litchis, plums and mangoes.

The non-profit organisation says that choosing to buy from the food retailer is tantamount to ¡§buying from apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and claiming to be apolitical¡¨.

One of the ways in which the organisation urged shoppers to react in Woolworths stores was to take products imported from Israel through the cashier and then refuse to pay for them, forcing the sale to be reversed.

The organisation also urged non-violent protests at stores and encouraged demonstrators to engage with workers and managers at the shops to inform them of their alleged wrongful practices.

Woolworths has responded, saying it has no political affiliations.

In a statement on Tuesday, the company said: ¡§We respect our customers¡¦ right to make individual purchasing choices, which is why we clearly label every product¡¦s country of origin and fully comply with government guidelines on products from Israel.

¡§Less than 0.1 percent of our food is sourced from Israel.¡¨

In reaction, SA Jewish Board of Deputies chairwoman Mary Kluk said: ¡§Taking out your frustration on local companies is counterproductive and divides our nation even further.¡¨

She said companies such as Woolworths made decisions to import products from various countries based not on politics, but simply on what made financial sense.

Kluk added that the South African government had always supported efforts to bring peace in the Middle East, and this was the board¡¦s stance too.

While the reaction on Twitter was mixed, with pro-Palestinian users joining the campaign and disseminating the hashtag, others felt that attacking a local company was unnecessary.

Some users showed images of products that had been bought from Woolworths to which they had attached anti-Israel stickers.

Cops rescue naked man from mob
IOL News 5 August 2014

Cape Town - A Mfuleni man was stripped naked, beaten with sticks, an iron rod and planks and was about to be necklaced before police arrived and took him away after he and three others allegedly robbed two residents.

One of the two men allegedly robbed of their cellphones explained on Monday what happened. Speaking on condition his name not be published as he feared for his safety, he said he and a friend were confronted by four men on their way from a friend¡¦s house on Saturday.

¡§They asked us questions that did not make sense and when we did not answer they started pushing and shoving us. They had knives, but we fought back and we were able to get away,¡¨ he said.

¡§It seems they followed us because after I arrived at my house, I heard noise from outside. I checked and they were breaking windows at my friend¡¦s house. He was renting the place and I thought I should go and tell the house¡¦s owner. When I came back, there were more of them. They ran away when they saw us,¡¨ the man said.

¡§The windows were smashed and the door was completely removed. My friend was stabbed three times and he had several wounds in his head. He was lying of the ground. We quickly rushed him to Khayelitsha Hospital that night,¡¨ he said.

He said residents were angry.

¡§I came back from hospital on Sunday. One of the guys had been captured by the community members. He was identified by my friend¡¦s girlfriend. They caught him at a shebeen and brought him here where he was assaulted. I was sleeping when I heard he had been captured. When I checked there were lots of people around him. He was asked to name his accomplice and was unable to,¡¨ the man said.

¡§People say those guys are from this area, but I don¡¦t know them. I forgive them and ¡K would like to talk about this situation because we are not fighting with them,¡¨ he said.

A picture showing a naked man with a tyre around his waist was posted on Facebook. Police could be seen in the photograph.

Khayelitsha Hospital spokesman Sithembiso Magubane confirmed it had treated a man for stab wounds while police spokesman Lindile Dubeni said they had no record of the incident.

Fired staff suspected of train vandalism
IOL News 5 August 2014

Cape Town - Metrorail suspects that the vandals responsible for wrecking Metrorail¡¦s Mitchells Plain line last week were former security guards for the railway who were disgruntled after they were fired.

Regional manager Richard Walker said the group responsible were ¡§90-plus¡¨ security guards who worked for a company contracted to patrol and protect Metrorail¡¦s assets.

The group were fired by their employer after a dispute, and could have sabotaged Metrorail¡¦s signalling system as twisted revenge on their boss, said Walker.

The train service was up and running by yesterday morning, although there is still work to be done to complete the R2.5 million repair effort.

Walker said that judging by the modus operandi of the vandals, it could only have been the ¡§guys who previously patrolled the rails¡¨.

He refused to name the security company. Last week, Metrorail laid a charge of vandalism with police.

Nothing had been stolen during the attacks ¡V the aim was just destruction. One signal was set on fire using a tyre filled with petrol.

¡§You can practically see how this group moved minutes apart, as we lost contact with the signals.¡¨

The Western Cape High Court granted an urgent interdict against the group on Sunday, and their case is due to come before court today.

Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant said that sums would be run to assess the economic impact of the major public transport disruption.

¡§But I¡¦m also worried about the effect it has had on relationships between employers and employees,¡¨ he said. ¡§There is a lack of trust as a result of train delays.¡¨

Meanwhile, the train line chaos has proved a boon for the new MyCiTi N2 expressway route.

Demand for the city-run bus service more than doubled last week as stranded commuters looked to alternatives, according to mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron.

He said that MyCiTi would continue to run additional buses on the route because of all the new passengers.

Golden Arrow manager Francois Meyer thanked passengers for their patience which was severely tested as the buses provided a contingency service while the trains were not running.

Picket over W Cape e-toll case
IOL News 4 August 2014

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance and Right2Know Campaign members picketed outside the Western Cape High Court on Monday in protest over a Sanral application to have its provincial tolling court case kept out the public domain.

Around 50 DA members in blue shirts kept warm by singing and dancing. They also held up signs stating ¡§Say No to Toll¡¨.

On the other side of the road, a small group of R2K protesters held up a sign stating ¡§Secrecy is for skelms 1/8crooks 3/8¡¨.

Next to the sign was a cardboard cut-out of a red loudspeaker tied in a knot.

In May last year, the City of Cape Town was granted an interim interdict to halt the proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway project.

The interdict remains in force until the court has reviewed the SA National Roads Agency Limited's (Sanral's) declaration of the project and the selection of the preferred bidder.

In court on Monday, Sanral was arguing for related court documents to be kept out of the public domain because of commercial confidentiality.

The hearing was being heard in camera.

Alison Tilley, speaking on behalf of R2K, said outside the court that they had applied to Judge Ashley Binns-Ward to be a party to the hearing but this had been denied.

She said they were told that an application should be made only if they wanted to overturn his order, while they wished to influence the order.

¡§At this point, the whole record is sealed and nobody is allowed into the hearing except those who have signed confidentiality agreements to keep whole documents secret at this point.¡¨

Tilley said it was unusual for any court case to be held in secret unless it involved minors or sexual assault.

¡§In general, there is the principle of open justice; that justice must be seen to be done. For that reason court and court hearings are open not only to the parties but to the general public.¡¨

Mob beat man after girl raped in toilet
IOL News 4 August 2014

Kimberley - A 20-year-old man who was caught raping a 6-year-old child inside a shebeen toilet in Lerato Park became the victim of mob justice over the weekend

The girl had apparently gone to the shebeen to look for her mother on Saturday afternoon at about 4pm when the man allegedly dragged her into the toilet and raped her.

A shebeen patron, who said she was involved in administering mob justice, said on Sunday that it was the only effective deterrent.

¡§We will not allow these evil deeds to take place in our community. The man was almost beaten to death.¡¨

Kedibone Fish, who found the alleged rapist, indicated that she decided to call the shebeen owner after standing in the queue outside the toilet for a long time on Saturday.

The shebeen owner hurried the man, telling him to ¡§finish his business¡¨ because he was holding up the queue.

¡§No one knew what was happening because everyone was inside the shebeen and the music was blaring in the background,¡¨ the shebeen owner, who preferred not to be named, said.

He explained that he had to force open the zinc door after asking the man what was taking him so long.

¡§I peered through the opening and saw that the man was sitting on the toilet with his pants around his ankles. I heard what I thought was a woman¡¦s voice and discovered that there was a small girl inside.

¡§I asked him what he was doing with her. By the time we discovered the child, she was already dressed and appeared to be in shock.¡¨

He added that while the suspect was not a patron at his shebeen, he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

¡§Had we found the child at a later stage, the damage could have been much worse. We know the girl because her mother visits the shebeen and they stay in the vicinity.¡¨

He stated that a police van that was patrolling the area was flagged down in order to arrest the man.

¡§Rogue elements like him are not welcome here because he will give my business a bad name. I do noit allow children inside the shebeen or serve alcohol to minors.¡¨

He indicated that the shebeen was his only source of income which enabled him to support his elderly and sickly mother.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, said the Galeshewe Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit was investigating the rape of the six-year-old girl.

He also said that a 20-year-old man, who was arrested on the scene on Saturday, would appear in the Kimberley Magistrate¡¦s Court on Monday on a charge of rape.

Community members called for the establishment of a mobile police station or that police patrols be carried out on a 24-hour basis due to the spike in violent crimes in Lerato Park.

Picketing at Municipality
Lerato Mnculwane 31 July 2014

Middle Class Earners committee and its members picketing at the entrance of Civic Centre against Msukaligwa Municipality slow pace in allocating land at now complete Ext 7.

Ermelo ¡V Middle Class Earners committee and its members picketing at the entrance of Civic Centre against Msukaligwa Municipality slow pace in allocating land at now complete Ext 7.
Installation of infrastructure has been underway for months and the contractor has completed the job.

The municipality is yet to inform the people on its allocation strategy or criteria to follow for those who want to buy portions of land at EXT 7

Westbury demands justice for toddler
Eye Witness News 4 August 2014

JOHANNESBURG ¡V Protesting members of the Westbury community are demanding to see the man arrested in connection with an incident of suspected gang violence that saw a three-year-old boy being shot in the head.

The residents have also threatened to take the law into their own hands if they're not given access to the 22-year-old man, who is being detained at the Sophiatown Police Station.

Tempers flared inside the police station when the suspect shouted through the window of his police cell that only ¡§God can judge him¡¨.

Luke Tibbetts is fighting for his life in hospital after getting caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout on Sunday.

He was sitting on his mother¡¦s lap at the back of a vehicle transporting them when the incident occurred.

A witness who was in the car said she heard the boy¡¦s mother scream that her son had been shot.

The boy was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and placed on life support.

Tibbetts¡¦s family members, along with the chairperson of the local community policing forum and Westbury residents, have threatened to deal with the suspect themselves.

The suspect is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, the child¡¦s friends accompanied by their teachers marched to the police station holding up posters which read ¡¥bring back the death penalty¡¦.

Tibbetts¡¦s teacher at Hamilton Memorial Pre-School says the community has had enough of violence in the area.

¡§We just want justice for Luke. He is a baby.¡¨

The incident comes just three weeks after the death of four-year-old Taegrin Morris who was killed in a hijacking in Boksburg after he was dragged behind his parents¡¦ hijacked car.
(Edited by Gadeeja Abbas)

SA rally in support of Israel draws thousands
Mail & Guardian 3 August 2014

A rally in Johannesburg drew a crowd of well over 10 000 people from across the country in support of Israel's actions in Gaza.

The South African Zionist Foundation called the rally an "unprecedented gathering". (M&G, Delwyn Verasamy)

An Israel support rally in Johannesburg on Sunday, organised by the South African Zionist Foundation (SAZF), drew a crowd of well over 10 000 people from across the country. The rally was organised by the SAZF in support of Israel¡¦s fight against what they¡¦ve termed ¡§Hamas terrorism¡¨ and to appeal for peace in the region.

Getting access to the event was no mean feat however, with stringent security measures in place and attendees required to show their identity documents and have their photo taken in order to enter.

Chairperson of the SAZF, Avrom Krengel, told the Mail & Guardian that South Africans and South African Jews were ¡§extremely concerned¡¨ about what had occurred in Gaza. He expressed his organisation¡¦s full support for Israel, but said he regretted the death of civilians.

Krengel also praised the South African government and encouraged it to continue trying to assist in finding a solution to the conflict. ¡§There needs to be a lasting solution. At the end of the day a two-state solution is the only solution. Everyone who wants peace must just keep trying,¡¨ he said.

¡¥Unprecedented restraint¡¦
Chief rabbi of South Africa Warren Goldstein addressed the crowd, praising Israel for its ¡§restraint¡¨ in the fight between the two groups. ¡§A terrorist state goes to war with the only true democracy in the Middle East ¡K and that democracy responds with unprecedented restraint,¡¨ he said.

Israel began its air and naval offensive against Gaza on July 8 following what it said was a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and other guerrillas. Israel later also launched ground incursions.

Palestinian officials say 1 775 people, most of them civilians, had been killed in Gaza. Israel had confirmed that 67 soldiers had died in combat, while Palestinian shelling had also killed three civilians in Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel¡¦s ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk, told the masses at the rally that the Palestinians were ¡§our neighbours, not our enemy¡¨. He added that when the conflict ended, Israel should help to rebuild and demilitarise Gaza.

He later told the M&G that he was in favour of co-existence and that the civilians in Gaza were not the target of Israeli attacks. ¡§Israel doesn¡¦t need to be and shouldn¡¦t be condemned,¡¨ he said in response to criticism of Israel¡¦s attack on civilians in Gaza.

Lenk praised the turnout at the rally. ¡§I think it¡¦s amazing to see South African and Israeli flags together,¡¨ he said. ¡§They¡¦re both democracies ¡K divorced communities who want to live with their neighbours in peace.¡¨
Last month the ANC Youth League in the Western Cape called for Lenk to leave the country amid the unrest in Gaza.

¡§We call upon ambassador Arthur Lenk to pack his bags and prepare for travel to avoid unnecessary trauma,¡¨ provincial convenor Muhammad Khalid Sayed said in a statement.
¡§We will support our leaders while they take necessary action and recall our ambassador to Israel [Sisa Ngombane] and expel Israeli¡¦s ambassador to South Africa.¡¨

President Jacob Zuma is also on record as saying that Israel should withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

¡§The Israeli defence force must immediately withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories,¡¨ he said in a speech on July 19.

¡¥Great deal of emotion¡¦
Mary Kluk, chairperson of the South African Jewish Board of Directors (SAJBD), which supported the rally, expressed her pleasure at the large crowd of supporters.

Asked why South Africans cared so much about the conflict in Gaza, Kluk pointed to the region as being the home of the three most prolific religions on the planet, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. ¡§There¡¦s a great deal of emotion tied up with the land and the heritage of the land,¡¨ she said.

Krengel echoed this sentiment. ¡§We [South Africa] are a deeply religious country and we have a connection to the region, an emotional attachment.¡¨ He added that there were over 20 000 South Africans living in Israel.

However, Kluk was also quick to condemn the division that the conflict has caused in South Africa and blamed the media for their role in this. ¡§The media is part of provoking that narrative that divides us,¡¨ she said. ¡§The SAJBD tries to limit that divisiveness.¡¨
A member of the crowd, Joel Shapiro, also slammed the media for their role and accused the press of not engaging in fair debate on Israel. ¡§We have to support Israel against the international media onslaught against our basic right to defend ourselves. The real enemy is Hamas,¡¨ he said emphatically.

Israel not an apartheid state
Talking to the M&G, president of the African Christian Democratic Party, Kenneth Meshoe, summed up why his party attended the rally and what the rally stood for, saying: ¡§We¡¦re here as black people to dispute the lie that Israel is an apartheid state,¡¨ he said.
Meshoe condemned Hamas¡¦s call for ¡§annihilation,¡¨ stating that Israel had a right to exist within safe and secure borders. He also emphatically maintained that Israel had the right to defend itself and berated those who thought otherwise. ¡§If people throw stones at your house, what will you do?¡¨ he asked. ¡§There was more than a week of Hamas firing rockets before Israel fired back,¡¨ Meshoe said.

Furthermore, Meshoe called on the international community to instruct Hamas to stop using women and children as human shields.

These sentiments were reflected on the numerous placards held by members of the crowd. While Bishop Nkosi Phakama Shembe and other members of the Shembe church danced on stage the crowd waved posters that read: ¡§Free Gaza from Hamas,¡¨ ¡§Israel we stand with you¡¨ and ¡§Israel wants peace, Hamas wants war¡¨.

The SAZF expressed their satisfaction with the number of people who attended the rally. Vice chairperson of the organisation Ben Schwartz called it an ¡§unprecedented gathering¡¨. ¡§Never before in South Africa have there been so many people in solidarity with Israel,¡¨ he added.

Meanwhile, outside on the pavement, stood a small group of protesters. The group of less than 20 people were opposing Israel¡¦s ¡§war on civilians¡¨. Their protest, which was organised by Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP), was joined by a small group of EFF supporters. Nailed to a nearby tree was a baby¡¦s vest with ¡§Israel don¡¦t kill me¡¨ written on the front.

JVJP spokesperson Rina King has been disowned by her family for the stance that she has taken. She told the M&G that many Jewish people felt the same way she did, but were afraid of repercussions from the community. ¡§Joburg Jews do not support what Israel is doing,¡¨ she said determinedly. ¡§We are outraged and devastated at the loss of lives.¡¨

¡¥Blind support¡¦ of Israel
King described the Israel rally as ¡§blind support¡¨ of Israel. ¡§We oppose Israel¡¦s use of violence on civilians,¡¨ she said. ¡§It¡¦s been shown not to be useful. It has the military might to choose between negotiations and war.¡¨
King criticised the framing of the war as a war between equal sides. ¡§The rockets are coming from Gaza because Gaza¡¦s under siege, it¡¦s been under occupation,¡¨ she maintained.
Although the JVJP protest did not seem to affect the SAZF, Kluk took offense to the JVJP framing their rally as being in support of the killing of women and children.

King¡¦s response was that ¡§to support Israel in this war is to kill women and children¡¨. She added that 80% of the deaths were civilian deaths. ¡§It¡¦s quite clear that that¡¦s what [is] happening.¡¨

A delegation from Palestinian groups, including militant organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met in Cairo on Sunday for indirect ceasefire talks with Israel to be conducted through Egyptian officials, Egyptian and Palestinian sources said.

Truce talks would include Hamas¡¦s demand that Egypt ease movement across its border with blockaded Gaza. Israel said on Saturday it would not send envoys as scheduled, accusing Palestinian Islamists of misleading international mediators.

Palestine supporters protest at Zionist rally
IOL News 3 August 2014

Johannesburg - Pro-Palestine supporters had gathered outside the Huddle Park Golf Course in Linksfield on Sunday, to protest against a rally being held by the SA Zionist Federation in support of the end the Middle East conflict.

Heavily armed police and security guards were stationed at the entrance to the venue.

The security guards requested that anyone that wanted to go inside the venue should produce an identity document.

The venue was filled with people who arrived in several cars and buses.

Pro-Palestine supporters, who stood at the entrance of the venue, were prevented by police and security guards from entering.

The supporters shouted anti-Israel slogans, while others displayed placards portraying anti-Israel messages.

One placard read, ¡§Down with the Zionists,¡¨ while another read ¡§Free Palestine.¡¨

Some people shouted at Israeli supporters saying they were ¡§child killers.¡¨

Police were monitoring the situation. - Sapa

PE township forces anti-apartheid museum to close
Max Matavire 31 July 2014

South African shantytown residents have forced the closure of a museum honouring anti-apartheid heroes, accusing the authorities of building "a house for dead people" while they live in squalor.

Once a tourist magnet, The Red Location Museum in New Brighton outside the southern city of Port Elizabeth houses hundreds of "memory boxes" containing the life stories of anti-apartheid activists, including the late liberation icon Nelson Mandela.

The modernity of the 22 million rand ($2 million) building, which won several international architectural awards, stands in total contrast to the plastic and corrugated iron structures which serve as houses for the neighbouring community.

The museum closed nine months ago in the face of threats by residents to assault visitors and efforts to reopen it have been met with violent protests.

Its website says only that it "is closed due to community protests", in what is one of the oldest settled black townships of Port Elizabeth.

The building has now been stripped by people helping themselves to electrical wiring, water pipes, power sockets,fencing and wooden fittings for their shacks.

Like many of the poor around South Africa, the New Brighton residents feel they have not benefited enough from the end of apartheid and the rise to power of Mandela's African National Congress.

"We raised this issue from the beginning -- in 2005 when they started building this museum," community leader Thembisile Klaas told AFP.

"Why build a house for dead people when us the living do not have a roof over our heads?

"We are living in shacks which get flooded each time it rains....and yet the municipality spends millions of rands building a museum."

Community leaders say they have demanded houses for years but have only received empty promises from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality -- the local authority for the area.

- 'Getting worse' -

Some security guards hired to patrol the perimeter of the building -- which was also used as a research facility by historians -- have abandoned their posts in fear for their lives.

"The conditions are getting worse. The fencing has been cut in several places and there is no lighting," said one guard.

"Even the covers of the drains outside have been pilfered. It is dangerous, you don't know when you will be attacked," he said.

"The building used to be very busy and we used to mingle with international tourists here but now it's a ghost."

Deputy mayor Chippa Ngcolomba said the housing problem was being addressed but complained that the issue was being used as a "political football".

"We have put in place a number of security interventions to make sure the museum is safeguarded," Ngcolomba said.

"We are still investigating the situation so as to come up with a long-term solution."

Port Elizabeth was a hotbed of the anti-apartheid struggle where ANC leaders such as Govan Mbeki, the late father of former president Thabo Mbeki, once lived.

Chris du Preez, the museum's acting assistant director, says no artefacts or documents were stolen or damaged during the looting.

The museum's 'memory boxes' -- 12, unmarked, rusted, room-sized containers measuring six metres by six (36 square feet) and 12 metres tall (19 feet) -- were inspired by the boxes migrant workers used to hold their prized possessions when separated from their families. Each offers a different vision of the struggle in South Africa.

Large portraits of apartheid activists are also on exhibit, along with photographs of migrants labouring in South African mines and others depicting the horrors of apartheid such as black people being whipped by police.

"We are lucky that the thieves have not yet laid their hands on important and valuable documents, files and other materials inside or on display inside museum," he said.

"They have been stealing things which form part of the building structure and not the records, files and other items kept inside," said Du Preez.

The museum won the 2006 Lubetkin Prize awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects as the best new building outside the European Union.

Its open space design and saw-tooth roofs are seen as a reference to the port city's industrial activity and strong trade union history.

City authorities could not say when the museum would re-open, while community activists said it would not happen until they had decent houses.

Arson suspected after MUT fire
The Mercury 1 August 2014

Durban - Fifteen female Mangosuthu University of Technology students were treated for smoke inhalation after they awoke to find their residence on fire in the early hours of on Thursday.

The institution got a court interdict to try to prevent further unrest after students started protesting last Thursday over fees.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mashupye Kgaphola said ¡§a suspected arsonist or arsonists¡¨ set fire to one of the female residences on campus.

None of the students was injured.

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, Kgaphola said: ¡§The affected building is one in which we have placed female students with disabilities.

¡§The suspected arsonists chose the most vulnerable students who they knew would find it more difficult to escape.

¡§The estimated cost of damage since the beginning of the protests is about R250 000, and that includes what we suspect to be about R90 000 from today¡¦s fire,¡¨ said the deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Khehla Ndlovu.

The institution had tightened security measures again after the latest incident.

On Wednesday a palm tree and an ambulance were set alight.

Ndlovu said five students who had been identified as the ringleaders of the protests had been suspended and would be contacted about their disciplinary hearing within the next 14 days.

Student representative council spokesman Thulani Mchunu condemned the suspected arson attack and said he did not understand why some students thought damaging university property would achieve anything.

¡§We are here to get an education, not for politics. Even when we don¡¦t see eye-to-eye with management that doesn¡¦t mean we should do things that could cause harm to our peers,¡¨ he said.

¡§I do, however, wish the closing date for registration could have been extended to at least next week Friday, seeing that we have had so many disruptions,¡¨ said Mchunu.

Police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property. No arrests have been made yet.

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