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South African Protest News 11 October - 5 November 2014
 (2014) South African Protest News 11 October - 5 November 2014
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Marching in honour of Senzo Meyiwa
Nameera Sarjoo (Ladysmith Gazette) 5 November 2014

Placards displaying messages of admiration and love for their hero, as well as anger at a life cut short, were held up high

A march was held through town on Friday morning to commemorate the late Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.

Supporters of the soccer sensation and icon (who was goalkeeper and captain for Orlando Pirates and the national team) shouted their disgust and verbally condemned the men who senselessly shot him during a robbery in Gauteng.

Placards displaying messages of admiration and love for their hero, as well as anger at a life cut short, were held up high. “We want Senzo’s murderers arrested and thrown in jail for this terrible crime,” shouted one upset protester.

Public Safety officers monitored proceedings and directed traffic to make sure everything went smoothly.

The march started from the Kandahar Avenue grounds, proceeded through town and ended back at the sports grounds.

VIDEO: Pandemonium onder Kroningsparkplakkers
Krugersdorp News 5 November 2014

Sowat 30 Kroningsparkplakkers het onder die Rooimiere se trok gaan sit om protes aan te teken.
Marizka Coetzer | 5 November 2014 10:00
One comment

Irene van Niekerk (heel links) kyk hoe die plakkers hulle misnoeë te kenne gee.
Gemoedere het hoog geloop met die aankoms van die Rooimiere om die Kroningspark-plakkers uit hulle tente na hulle nuwe tuistes te neem.

Op Vrydagoggend 31 Oktober het sowat 30 inwoners hulself onder die Rooimiere se vragmotor tuisgemaak. Die inwoners het geweier om onder die trok uit te klim, tensy die sperdatum vir die trek verleng word.
Sommige van die plakkers het opstandig geraak en ‘n paar het selfs gedreig om uiteindelik die waarheid te vertel oor die manier waarop die kamp die afgelope paar jaar bestuur is.

Amanda de Lange, Vryheidsfront Plus raadslid vir Mogale City was ook daar en het probeer om lig op die saak te werp.

“Ons staan nie die hofuitspraak teen nie, maar wel die bestuur van Mogale City vir die onmenslike wyse waarop hulle die armste onder die armes behandel,” sê De Lange.
Verskeie plakkers het hul gevoelens oor die hofuitspraak en die toestand van die behuising in Munsieville duidelik aan die news te kenne gegee.

Die inwoners meen dat die behuising wat spesiaal vir hulle opgerig is, nie op standaard is nie, en dat hulle beter daaraan toe is in hul huidige tentetuistes by die dam.

“Strukture wat opgerig is, is lamlendig. Huise het min vensters en die dakke en mure het sulke groot gapings dat mens daardeur kan kruip. Die dakke is boonop met toue vasgebind omdat dit kort na oprigting begin afwaai het. Sinkplate is van so ‘n lae kwaliteit dat dit selfs skeur in die wind,” sê De Lange.

Inwoners is ook bekommerd oor water wat skynbaar nog nie gekoppel is nie asook hul veiligheid.

Die plakkers glo dat die strukture nie gepas is nie.

“Die terrein waarop die hervestiging plaasvind was ‘n ou vullishoop wat bloot gelyk geskraap is. Uit die gemors in die grond, wat duidelik nie gekompakteer is nie, blyk dit dat die gebied nie voldoende gerehabiliteer is nie.”

Die news beoog om ondersoek in te stel na die beweerde korrupsie en leuens wat al jare in die park hoogty vier.

Luister na ‘n opname van waar De Lange die plakkers toespreek

'Retrenchment' prompts strike at Mpumalanga mine
SABC 5 November 2014

NUM secretary says over 200 workers at Koornfontein Coal Mine are faced with retrenchment.(SABC)

Hendrina Mpumalanga Koornfontein Coal Mine NUM Lucky Mnguni More than 700 mineworkers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have downed tools at the Koornfontein Coal Mine in Hendrina, Mpumalanga.

According to branch secretary of the Lucky Mnguni mineworkers are against the employer's deviation from retrenchment policies.

Mnguni says over 200 workers at the mine are faced with retrenchment.

“The employer is not willing to move from what he has offered to the employees, which is not according to the agreement we are having.”

Mnguni adds: “The mandate from the workers is that they are not going back to their workplace until the company comply with the agreement, because they fear that next year February there will be a second phase of retrenchment.

Mnguni says if the employer does not comply with their current agreement: “How are they going to determine the retrenchment payment next year.”

Sanral 'surprised' at DA e-tolls protest
News24 4 November 2014

Johannesburg - Dozens of DA members gathered outside the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) offices in Pretoria on Wednesday to protest against the e-tolling system in Gauteng.

Dressed in blue party T-shirts, they carried placards reading "Which ANC must we believe", and "Premier, Minister: Scrap e-tolls now".

A few of the women in the crowd carried young children, with one toddler wearing a Democratic Alliance shirt and cap.

"We won't pay," the group chanted.

A large speaker powered by a generator blasted from the back of a van.

Addressing the protesters, DA MPL Solly Msimanga said they had had enough of being "milked dry".

"Our children and our great-grandchildren will have to continue paying for tolls," he said.

This was unfair and government should find other ways to settle the existing e-toll debt, said Msimanga.

In the building, a review panel appointed by Gauteng premier David Makhura in July to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the e-tolling system set up to fund it, continued its hearings.

Sanral and the transport department were scheduled to testify on why e-tolling should stay.

"These people are scared of us. They won't come out to address us," said one protester.

DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the ANC itself was confused about the tolls.

"Cosatu says it doesn't want the tolls," she said.

No one wants tolls except Sanral

"No one wants the tolls except Sanral and the department of transport."

The group eventually dispersed.

"I think we've made our point and we'll continue like this until e-tolls are scrapped," said Van Damme.

In a statement, Sanral said it was surprised by the DA's protest.

Spokesperson Vusi Mona claimed the agency had not been informed about the protest and no permission for it had been granted.

Mona said the DA had presented its views on the e-tolls and should allow Sanral to do the same.

"They did so without any form of outside protest and disturbance. It is a pity that they do not want to extend this basic courtesy to other institutions which are exercising the same right," said Mona.

The panel was expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of the month.

Cops physically remove councillors
IOL News5 November 2014

Johannesburg - Nine former councillors from Limpopo's Mogalakwena municipality had to be removed from council premises after refusing to leave, police said on Wednesday.

The nine challenged their dismissal in the High Court in Pretoria, Colonel Ronel Otto said.

“The high court enforced the dismissal. On Monday, they were still on the municipal premises, although they had been dismissed.”

They ignored instructions to leave as they were trespassing.

“The new councillors asked the police to escort them into chambers,” Otto said.

“We forced open the gate, and we forced open the door to chambers, and then we basically escorted those dismissed councillors out of the building and let them go.”

No arrests were made and no cases opened.

The provincial co-operative governance, human settlements, and traditional affairs department was not immediately available for comment.

On August 22, the African National Congress said its national disciplinary committee (NDC) had dismissed an application by 22

Mogalakwena councillors for a review of their expulsions from the party.

“The NDC rejected the five arguments presented by the councillors and provided full reasons in its nine-page finding,” committee chairman Derek Hanekom said at the time.

The councillors were expelled on July 6. They claimed the provincial disciplinary committee's hearing was irregular.

Hanekom said the NDC found the failure by the 22 to attend the disciplinary hearing, held between June 27 and 29, prejudiced their case and they had no valid excuse for not attending.

They were suspended after reports that they attended a council meeting with opposition parties in April, where discussions around removing the mayor, chief whip, and some members of the executive committee, were held.

On Tuesday, Democratic Alliance police spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement police had staged a “coup d’etat” at the municipality.

She claimed police had acted without a warrant, court order, or in accordance with provincial or national instruction.

“They allegedly arrested the municipal manager, and forced the council to swear in nine new councillors,” Kohler Barnard said.

“This meeting had no notice, agenda, or democratic mandate and therefore has to be considered illegal.”

On Wednesday, AfriForum said the police's “invasion” of the municipality could possibly be declared an act of terrorism, according to legislation.

“Although the reason for the invasion is still unclear, AfriForum suspects political foul play,” head of community safety Ian Cameron said. - Sapa

Cosas steps up Woolies pig’s head protest
IOL News 5 November 2014

Cape Town - The Congress of SA Students (Cosas) in the Western Cape is intensifying its campaign against the management of Woolworths, and has warned that seven more pigs’ heads will be placed in stores around the province.

Seven pigs’ heads were displayed outside Woolworths’ head office in Cape Town on Tuesday following an incident last month where a pig’s head, believed to have been “smuggled” in a pram, was placed in a Woolworths store in Sea Point.

Cosas claims to have placed three pigs’ heads in other stores around the province and says the retailer had not informed its customers about this.

Cosas provincial chairman Siphakamise Ngxowa said they were “giving a voice to the voiceless” and said Woolworths had given no undertaking that it would stop buying products from “apartheid Israel”.

Cosas provincial secretary Siphelo Makeleni said they were standing in solidarity with the pupils of Palestine.

The campaign was not meant insult anybody but to send a message to Woolworths.

The pigs’ heads had been donated by “Jews who want to remain anonymous”.

Last week members of the Jewish community expressed outrage at “anti-Semitic” behaviour following the incident at the Sea Point store.

On Tuesday, Wendy Kahn, national director of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, said the board was shocked that Cosas was “so adamant” to hurt fellow South Africans.

“It is such a violation against our democracy and our constitution.”

The board has laid a complaint against Ngxowa with the SA Human Rights Commission.

Paula Disberry, group director: retail operations at Woolworths, said while it respected the right of Cosas to peaceful and lawful demonstrations, it considered the pig’s head protest “objectionable and condemn it in the strongest possible terms”.

“It is deeply offensive, socially divisive and disrespectful, particularly to our employees and the Jewish and Muslim communities. It is insensitive to their religious and cultural beliefs.”

Limpopo residents protest over water

SABC 4 November 2014

Residents in Budeli and Dumasi in Limpopo have blockaded the Malamulele-Thohoyandou road with stones and burning tyres demanding the provision of water.

They are accusing the Vhembe District Municipality of failing to supply them with water.

The villages are located near the multi- million rand Nandoni dam.

Police used rubber bullets to disperse the protesting residents.

About 300 protesting residents are currently gathered near the Punda Maria road to map out their next step.

Community leaders say five people have been injured after they were allegedly shot by the police with rubber bullets.

Motorists traveling between Malamulele and Thoyonadou are advised to use the Punda Maria road leading to the Kruger National Park.

Cosatu 30 October 2014

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Limpopo embarked on a provincial march on 30 October 2014 attended by more than four thousand workers from all over the province. Amongst the demands submitted to the Premier’s office was a demand for the immediate resignation of the CEO of GAAL.

As COSATU we believe that GAAL is one of the most important parastatals of the provincial government and deserves to be led by qualified individuals. However, we clearly doubt the qualifications of the current CEO of GAAL in relation to his in matric certificates, BA and Honours in Communications.

We therefore demand:

a. That the Premier must suspend the CEO of GAAL with immediate effect or he must resign, and
b. That the SAPS and Public Protector must urgently investigate the qualifications of the CEO of GAAL

Issued by COSATU Limpopo
For more information contact Gerald Mkhomazi Twala, COSATU Provincial Secretary at 071 587 2872

Community turns on murder suspect after discovery of woman’s body in old taxi.
The Tembisan 3 november 2014

Members of the community torched the house of a murder suspect following the discovery of a woman’s body in an old taxi this morning.

The Tembisan earlier reported a 40-year-old man was attacked by members of the community after he allegedly raped and killed a 47-year-old woman, who was a mother of three children.

The woman was followed from a tavern last night and raped and later killed.

The woman’s body was discovered this morning in an old taxi. The SAPS arrested a suspect, who was being attacked by members of the community

Pupils demand safety at schools
IOL News 1 November 2014

More than 400 pupils from across the province marched to the provincial legislature on Friday to call on the Education Department to assure their safety while travelling to and from school in violence-ridden communities.

The pupils, led by education rights group Equal Education (EE), handed their memorandum to Education MEC Debbie Schafer.

Other items on their list of demands included dignified sanitation at schools, support for pregnant pupils and after-school programmes.

The memorandum said that many pupils arrived at school traumatised and unable to learn “because of what we see and experience in our communities”. It quoted statistics that said 32 percent of pupils had seen another human being getting shot, while 46 percent had witnessed a stabbing.

Murder is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 19 living in Khayelitsha.

“In such a violent and unsafe world, our schools must be non-violent, safe spaces for us. The department may not be in charge of stopping all crime, but it is their shared responsibility to make sure that our schools are safe and secure. EE members demand and will fight for proper fencing and proper security guards,” the pupils said.

Activist Zackie Achmat, speaking on behalf of Equal Education, called on the provincial education department to guarantee pupils’ safety. He said schools were broken and education was unequal in 1956, and that little had changed. “What we want from provincial government is a commitment to full after-school care. We want to play netball, we want to play soccer, we want music classes and we want supervision for homework,” he said.

Sthembele Zwayi, a Grade 11 pupil from Khanyolwethu High School in Strand, said it was important for all pupils to stand together.

Schafer accepted the memorandum and promised pupils that their concerns would be addressed. She met EE leaders earlier this week to discuss some of their concerns.

“Whenever something is wrong, tell us. There is vandalism of classes and stolen fences at many schools… We need to work together to improve schools and the quality of our education,” she said.
- Saturday Star

Protest over Woolies pig’s head stunt
IOL News 31 October 2014

Members of the South African Jewish community demonstrate outside the Woolworths store on the corner Main Road and Fort Road in Sea Point. Photo: David Ritchie
Cape Town - Protesting Jews expressed their outrage at “anti-Semitic” behaviour after a pig’s head was smuggled inside a Woolworths store and placed inside a freezer containing kosher meat last week.

On Thursday dozens of people brandishing posters reading “Say no to anti-Semitism” and “Free speech not hate speech” stood shoulder to shoulder and sang the national anthem outside the Sea Point Woolworths.

The pro-Palestinian BDS South Africa (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) has called for boycotts of the Woolworths chain because it sources goods and products from Israel.

Wendy Kahn, national director of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, said the board had lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission against the Congress of SA Students and its Western Cape provincial chairman Siphakamise Ngxowa for the anti-Semitic demonstration and hate speech.

“What happened here exactly a week ago with a pig’s head being smuggled inside a baby’s pram and placed in a freezer assumed to contain kosher meat, shows a vicious and vulgar hatred that cannot be tolerated by South Africans,” said Kahn.

Their protest outside the store was in no way against Woolworths, she said. “It is time for South Africans to say no to hate.”

There had been an escalation in levels of anti-Semitism and hate speech against Jewish South Africans, including verbal threats, anti-Jewish grandstanding by political and civil society leadership, as well as physical threats of violence through social media.

Labour lawyer Michael Bagraim joined the protest and said he was against “the persecution of a minority”.

“We come from a sordid past and have a particular problem with hate speech.

“People need to speak up.”

DA MP Darren Bergman said he felt the incident was an attack on all minorities and was a “highly offensive act”.

Sea Point resident Angela Rothbart said she was in support of fostering peace among all communities. “We have room for everyone in South Africa and today we’re doing our bit for peace. Minority groups are also important. There comes a time when you have to stand up and say you can’t accept anti-Semitism.”

She was revolted by the pig’s head protest and could not understand the reasoning behind the move.

Ses’khona movement turns on ANC
IOL News 31 October 2014

Cape Town - Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement has called for the suspension of provincial ANC secretary, Songezo Mjongile, claiming he used his position to halt a job-creation project.

On Thursday the group, whose members toyi-toyied through the CBD, called Mjongile a “useless individual” who could not manage the ANC’s internal affairs.

Spokesman Sithembela Majova said Mjongile had influenced key role players, including the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), to halt their project.

The project, a partnership between Prasa, the national Department of Transport, Ses’khona and a women’s empowerment group, is a five-year plan to create 25 000 railway reserve cleaning jobs.

The proposal was drafted in March, and according to Majova it was already in the planning stages.

But Ses’khona claims that Mjongile’s “meddling” influenced Prasa which got cold feet and pulled the plug.

“During strategy planning Prasa informed us that they had received e-mails from Mjongile warning them not to work with us,” said Majova.

“He told Prasa we are a chaotic organisation.”

Now Ses’khona plans to march to the Prasa and the ANC offices in Thibault Square next Thursday.

But Mjongile refuted Ses’khona’s allegations, and accused the NGO of extorting money from people in return for jobs, demanding a R45 “joining fee”.

Ses’khona has denied the allegations.

Wildcat MyCiti strike turns violent
30 October 2014

Cape Town - A MyCiti bus was damaged on Thursday morning after angry drivers pelted the vehicle and police with stones during an illegal protest in Dunoon that started on Wednesday.

On Wednesday the strike turned violent when residents burned tyres and police responded with stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Uniformed drivers, as well as residents, screamed and scattered as police officers shot rubber bullets into the crowd. Residents lobbed stones at police vehicles.

Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said about 100 bus drivers had gathered in the Dunoon-Table View area this morning.

“During their action, they are alleged to have pelted the police with stones and, as a result, one of the buses was damaged.

“A case of damage to property will be investigated.”

He said no arrests had been made and no injuries reported.

The City of Cape Town said it condemned the violence and intimidation by the small group of striking bus drivers, who are employed by Kidrogen, a MyCiTi vehicle operating company.

“The strike is illegal. Furthermore, violence is not a lawful or legitimate form of protest, no matter the reason for the grievances or unhappiness,” said Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, this morning.

Certain MyCiTi services have been disrupted since on Wednesday afternoon, with more disruptions to the service in Table View, Atlantis, Melkbosstrand and Century City during the peak hours of this morning.

According to reports, some of the striking drivers gathered at the Dunoon station blocking the dedicated bus lane, preventing MyCiTi buses from operating.

Commuters had to use alternative transport this morning to get to work and school.

One of the bus drivers who gathered at the Dunoon MyCiTi bus terminus at 9am, said the city should stop “playing tricks” on drivers.

“We are getting R5 000 to R7 000 a month and want R15 000.”

They were also demanding that the city “clear our names” for outstanding warrants and fines of up to R20 000.

Other complaints include that trainee drivers, whose contracts were due to come to an end in December, could become unemployed.

“Some are under training and being threatened that they won’t have a job once their contract end at the end of the year.

“These drivers were taxi drivers and the city said they want to empower them but now the city says they won’t accept anyone without a Grade 10.

“But they knew these drivers were unqualified, many with only Grade 3. These people are now without jobs.”

He added that drivers would not operate until they were addressed by Herron and Kidrogen’s management.

This morning Herron said he would only meet with drivers if they “stop and renounce their violent protest”.

“There are labour laws that govern employer-employee relations and these drivers failed to follow these procedures.

“Their strike is illegal and their violence, intimidation and attacks on the buses is criminal conduct.

“If they want dialogue, they need to stop this and follow proper processes and I will be happy to meet with them.”

The unprotected strike began on Wednesday as a wage demonstration at the Table View bus station. It was peaceful but disruptive to commuters trying to get home from school and work.

After wage negotiations with Kidrogen deadlocked once again, some drivers parked their buses across the dedicated MyCiTi lane, blocking peak-hour traffic.

More than 100 drivers joined the strike and 12 buses were abandoned.

Police rounded the drivers up and escorted them on foot along the MyCiTi lane to the Dunoon depot.

As he walked on Wednesday, bus driver Sibusiso Den said their working conditions were unacceptable and that all efforts at negotiating had failed.

“The management doesn’t care about us,” he said. “We get up at 3am, we work until 7pm and we only get paid for seven hours. We are the guys loading passengers on to the buses and we are only paid R5 000 a month.”

Den said the strike was a last resort but that it would remain peaceful, and the police response was unnecessary.

“The police must not chase us like this. We’ve done nothing wrong. We are unarmed, we would never burn anything, and we’re not going to do any damage.”

Den warned that there could be trouble in Dunoon because residents would join in the strike.

“It’s going to be worse there – the community will come and join us,” he said.

“We wanted to keep this away from the community.”

Sure enough, when the crowd of drivers arrived at Usasaza station, near the bus depot, some Dunoon residents threw stones and blocked roads with tyres.

Periodically buses came through but were blocked by the tyres. Some of the drivers moved the tyres and cleared the way.

A man who was not wearing a MyCiTi uniform threw the tyres back into the road, and soon they were set on fire. The bang of a stun grenade sent people running for the nearby shacks, some hit by rubber bullets or tear gas as they went.

“We need answers, otherwise we’re going to close down this depot,” said one driver who did not wish to be named.

“We know it’s illegal but we have to do something. The anger and frustration is growing.”

Kidrogen directed all media inquiries to the City of Cape Town but Transport MEC Herron said the dispute was between the drivers and Kidrogen.

“While the drivers’ grievances are a matter between the employer and its employees, the city is extremely concerned about the impact of the strike on commuters,” Herron added.

Chaos as MyCiTi drivers strike
IOL News 30 October 2014

Cape Town - An unprotected MyCiTi bus drivers’ strike over wages turned violent late on Wednesday when Dunoon residents burned tyres and police responded with stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Uniformed drivers as well as residents screamed and scattered as police officers shot rubber bullets into the crowd. Stones were lobbed at police vehicles by angry residents.

The strike began as a wage demonstration at the Table View bus station 6km away. It was peaceful, but hugely disruptive to the masses of commuters trying to get home from school and work.

After negotiations with MyCiTi vehicle operating company Kidrogen again resulted in no wage increase, some drivers parked their buses across the dedicated MyCiTi lane, blocking peak-hour commuter traffic.

Their anger was mostly directed at Kidrogen, although they called on the City of Cape Town to intervene.

Twelve buses were abandoned, although more than 100 drivers joined the strike. Police rounded the drivers up and escorted them on foot along the red-tarred MyCiTi lane to the Dunoon depot 6km away.

As he walked, bus driver Sibusiso Den said their working conditions were unacceptable, and that all efforts at negotiating had failed.

“The management doesn’t care about us,” he said. “We get up at 3am, we work until 7pm, and we only get paid for seven hours. We are the guys loading passengers on to the buses, and we are only paid R5 000 a month.”

Den said the strike was a last resort, but that it would remain peaceful and the police response was unnecessary.

“The police mustn’t chase us like this. We’ve done nothing wrong. We are unarmed, we would never burn anything, and we’re not going to do any damage.”

Den said things would be worse when they arrived in Dunoon, because residents would join in the strike and things would escalate.

“It’s going to be worse there – the community will come and join us,” he said. “We wanted to keep this away from the community.”

Sure enough, when the crowd of drivers arrived at Usasaza station near the bus depot, some Dunoon residents joined in with tyres and stones. Periodicially buses came through, but were blocked by tyres. Some of the drivers moved the tyres and cleared the way.

A man not wearing a MyCiTi uniform threw the tyres back into the road, and soon they were on fire. The bang of a stun grenade sentpeople running for the nearby shacks, some hit by rubber bullets or tear gas as they went.

The drivers said they would continue to protest on Thursday.

“We need answers, otherwise we’re going to close down this depot,” said one driver who did not wish to be named. “We know it’s illegal but we have to do something. The anger and frustration is growing.”

He had left the taxi industry to become a MyCiTi driver because he was promised better wages and working conditions. Now, he said, he was hungry, disappointed and determined to get a response from his employer.

“We are looking for the truth from between the city and Kidrogen. Life is expensive. We need to earn a reasonable salary.”

Kidrogen directed all media inquiries to the City of Cape Town, but Brett Herron, of Transport for Cape Town, said the dispute was a matter between the drivers and Kidrogen.

“While the drivers’ grievances are a matter between the employer and its employees, the city is extremely concerned about the impact of the strike on commuters.”

The routes affected were Table View, Dunoon, Atlantis, and feeder routes to Table View and Century City.

“The city apologises for the inconvenience caused and requests commuters to please be patient.”

Axe ANC councillors, say protesters
IOL News 30 October 2014

Johannesburg - Disgruntled ANC supporters on the West Rand have vowed to vote against their party in the 2016 local government elections – citing rampant corruption within the Merafong City Local Municipality.

The threats were made to a senior official of the national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mpho Mogale, and his Gauteng counterpart Simphiwe Brukhwe in Carletonville.

Mogale and Brukhwe were representing Minister Pravin Gordhan and MEC Jacob Mamabolo when they accepted a memorandum of grievances from residents on Wednesday.

The almost 200 protesters, most of whom wore ANC T-shirts, as well as some EFF members, marched to the municipal offices to demand the immediate resignation of all their municipal councillors, led by mayor and West Rand ANC deputy secretary Maphefo Mogale-Letsie.

Senior municipal officials, including the acting municipal manager, George Seitisho, were accused of maladministration, fraud and corruption.

The memorandum stated: “As members of the community, we have lost confidence in the entire leadership of the Merafong City Local Municipality.

“Councillors and ward committees have ceased to work in communities; the municipality no longer consults on integrated development plans and budget processes.

“It is our firm view that the leadership of the municipality is corrupt and incapable of addressing community needs. We call on the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs to dissolve the council and call for by-elections to refresh the mandate of the council.”

The protesters, led by Themba Wisani – chairman of the Merafong Progressive Partners Forum – painted a picture of a municipality crumbling and on the verge of collapse.

Wisani also claimed that local residents were ignored for job opportunities in the council while preference was given to people from Joburg and Limpopo.

They also claimed that some senior executive directors and managers in the council were not suitably qualified to do their jobs.

“Supply chain management has literally collapsed in the municipality, whereby the Municipal Finance Management Act is not observed, and deviations from the act have also been reported by the Auditor-General in the financial year 2013/2014.

“We demand that all procurement deviations be investigated,” Wisani said.

They demanded too that all tenders that were allegedly awarded to “family members of councillors and other officials of the municipality be investigated”.

“The current recruitment process of the municipality is based on nepotism and is biased towards members of the ruling party.

“We demand that all recruitment for municipal, community work programme, the extended public works programme and others be opened to all community members without regard to political affiliation,” the memorandum stated.

Municipal spokesman Chris Spies said he couldn’t comment on the allegations because he had not seen the memorandum.

Mzi Khumalo, the ANC’s deputy chairman and spokesman on the West Rand, was reportedly in a municipal council meeting in Randfontein when contacted for comment.

Residents protest at mall opening
IOL News 29 October 2014

Johannebsurg - Orange Farm residents barricaded roads and burnt tyres demanding jobs at the opening of a new mall in the area, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.

Captain Johannes Mophiri said about 80 people were protesting for jobs, outside the mall. They had submitted their CVs to the mall's management but only a selected group were hired.

“The mall management said they received 10 000 CVs but were only looking for 1 500.”

He said management decided to keep the rest of the CVs for future posts which may become available.

The protests began around 4am. The roads leading to the mall were barricaded with stones, rocks, burning tyres and tree stumps.

A fight broke out between a protester and a security guard. They were both arrested for assault.

“The protesters wanted to push the gates open to enter the mall premises.”

The crowd had dispersed by 7pm, Mophiri said.

Police monitored the mall on Tuesday and on Wednesday.

Kroonstad miners granted bail
IOL News 27 October 2014

Kroonstad - Seventeen miners arrested for public violence at a diamond mine near Kroonstad appeared in court on Monday, Free State police said.

The Kroonstad Magistrate's Court postponed the matter to November 26 and released them on R500 bail each, Captain Stephen Thakeng said.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union protested at the Lace Diamond Mine on Friday, blocking the main entrance. When police tried to negotiate with them they became violent.

Police fired rubber bullets. Four people were injured and taken to different hospitals.

Three in dock over Tambo statue
IOL News 27 October 2014

Mthatha - Three people appeared in the Bizana Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with the burning of ANC stalwart Oliver Tambo's statue at the heritage site in Nkantolo village, Eastern Cape police said.

The case against them was postponed to November 3 for formal bail applications, Colonel Sibongile Soci said.

The three face charge including arson. They were arrested on Friday after a task team appointed by the Eastern Cape provincial commissioner investigated the incident.

The statue, which formed part of a heritage site, was burnt on Wednesday.

Tambo, born in Bizana, was among the founding members of the African National Congress Youth League in 1944 and became its first national secretary. He later became ANC president. Tambo died of a stroke in April 1993.

Students take credit for Woolies pig’s head antic
Lisa Isaacs (IOL News)27 October 2014

Cape Town - The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that calls for boycotts against Israel has distanced itself from an incident in which a pig’s head was placed in the meat section of Woolworths Sea Point.

Calling it “completely offensive”, Sumayya Omar of the organisation said the group “condemned” the action.

“We are completely distancing ourselves from the incident. BDS is not involved or implicated at all,” she said, adding that the campaign had Jewish and Muslim members.

Members of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) Western Cape branch placed the pig’s head at Woolworths on Thursday as part of a protest against the store for stocking Israeli products.

The pig’s head was brought into the shop concealed in a pram. Three protesters took a picture of themselves with the head before they left the store.

Cosas provincial convener Siphakamise Ngxowa said it supported the people of Palestine and denounced the “killing of innocent children”.

He said Cosas members had decided to take “drastic action” against Woolworths as they believed the retailer continued to buy products from Israel.

He said 16 students had been involved.

“It was not done with the intention of disrespecting Muslim and Jewish customers,” he said.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions repeated its stance of condemnation of the protest action. It also condemned Woolworths for selling Israeli products.

“BDS SA will continue with peaceful protests,” it said.

The organisation said the retailer sourced products and produce from Israel. Items Woolworths imports from Israel include pretzels, matzos, coriander, figs, litchis and mangoes.

Paula Disberry, Woolworths Group Director of Retail Operations, said the act was “unacceptable and offensive” to employees and customers, particularly Jews and Muslims.

She said Woolworths would destroy Halaal products that may have been affected.

Group arrested for Woolies protest
IOL News 25 October 2014

Johannesburg - A total of 57 people who had protested in a Woolworths store in Killarney Mall were arrested on Saturday, Johannesburg police said.

The group was charged with public disturbance, said Constable Thabo Malatji.

“They went to Woolies and started disturbing customers inside the shop,” said Malatji.

The protests are linked to continued calls to boycott Woolworths as it continued to trade with Israel following the deadly war in Gaza.

Tasneem Essop from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, who organised the protest, said some of those arrested were minors.

“It is completely ridiculous and it goes against the values we wish to uphold,” said Essop.

She said the protest was completely peaceful and demonstrators had simply walked into the shop and lay on the ground with their placards.

Essop explained that the activists were not arrested inside Woolworths but were already outside of the mall doors when they were approached by police. - Sapa

Cape residents march over service delivery
IOL News 23 October 2014

Cape Town - Hundreds of frustrated Philippi residents marched to protest against poor service delivery on Thursday morning, while police monitored the situation.

Marikana and Rholihlahla informal settlement residents marched to the Fezeka municipal offices in Gugulethu to demand basic service delivery.

About 200 residents dressed in yellow ANC branded T-shirts with a picture of President Jacob Zuma, marched down Sheffield Road, voicing their frustration.

As they sang struggle songs, police in two vans kept an eye on the situation in an effort to prevent violence breaking out.

Residents claim they have had no access to water, sanitation and electricity since moving on to privately-owned land at Marikana and Rholihlahla in August.

A series of eviction attempts by police and other officials ended in violence and residents soon returned to the site.

Phillip Mvundlela, chairman of the Rholihlahla Street Committee, said residents had signed a petition which would be handed to the chairman of Subcouncil 13.

“The subcouncil chair must hand the petition to the mayor (Patricia de Lille) and she should see that we get these services,” he said.

Mvundlela said residents were not aware the land they had invaded was privately owned.

However, he said even if it was privately owned, the fact should not infringe on their human rights.

“Its been three months now. How do they expect us to wash?”

Another resident, Nosiphiwo Lali, said they were tired of not being heard.

“A month after settling here, we approached the ward councillor asking for basic services. He still hasn’t got back to us, so we are going to his superiors.”

But some residents did not participate in the protest.

They said there was a court case pending about the illegal invasion and marching was against court rules.

Gcinikhaya Ngqangqu said: “We are dealing with a court case against the owners of the land and the City of Cape Town is the second respondent in that court case.

“We were supposed to wait for the outcome before protesting.”

Eersterus taxi meet turns violent
IOL News 22 October 2014

Pretoria - Two people were injured when chaos erupted during a meeting of taxi drivers in Eersterus, east of Pretoria on Wednesday, Gauteng police said.

Captain Johannes Maheso said taxi drivers held a meeting with senior taxi association officials to voice their unhappiness with certain issues relating to the running of taxis.

“The meeting went out of control, a minibus taxi was damaged,” he said.

He said one man fired shots in a bid to disperse people attacking him.

“He was arrested for discharging a firearm in public.”

It was not yet established whether the two injured men were shot or hit with stones.

“The nature of their injuries has not yet been established. Others were throwing stones while others had sjamboks,” he said.

Two cases of assault were opened at the Eersterus police station.

He said police deployed to the area managed to bring the situation under control and taxis were operating as usual.

Feedback on National Day of Action March
SOC R2K 22 October 2014

Dear Supporters of SOS

SOS and R2K held a joint protest at Media24 and the SABC on Saturday 18 October. This was part of a National Day of Action commemorating Black Wednesday (19 October). Between 150 and 200 people attended. We had speeches calling for free media and free set top boxes in the transition to digital TV. We had dancers. A wide range of organisations supported the march. A Memorandum (attached) was due to be delivered to the SABC Management. Both the office of the SABC COO and the SABC Spokesperson ignored attempts by SOS and R2K to ensure a representative of Management engaged with protesters and accepted our Memorandum of demands to keep our media free.

Shame on our public broadcaster for not wanting to lead the fight for media freedom and freedom of expression!

And thank you to all those who are part of a growing number of people who show they care about our public broadcaster!

Pictures are uploaded on the SOS Facebook page:

Micro farmers demand land and housing.
Riaan van Zyl (Roodeport Record) 21 October 2014

MEC for Housing Dan Bovu and Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu arrive at the handing over of houses.

Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu was the guest of honour this afternoon, 20 October, in Fleurhof when three houses were handed over to Umkontho we Sizwe (MK) veterans.

Unbeknown to the minister, residents and micro farmers from the area were gathering in protest a few 100 metres from the event, demanding land to farm on and houses. The leader of the protesters, Sicelo Sithole says it was a peaceful demonstration and asked to speak to the minister. Sithole says the group have been trying to engage with officials on the matter of land for the past three years, but to no avail.

Metro Police eventually convinced the more than a hundred protesters to disperse.
Resident Paul Meek, Chairperson of the South African Civics Organisation (Sanco) and a member of the MK Veterans Association told the record “the process of receiving the houses has been delayed, but at least we are one step closer now”. Meek who was in exile in among other places Angola and Russia, returned to South Africa 20 years ago. He is one of the MK recipients who received one of ten flats in Fleurhof last year.
DA Councillor Dave Dewes was also in attendance.

March against drugs

Members of the community took to the streets to voice out their anger about the widespread drug abuse in the city.

Solly Maseko (WitBank News) 20 October 2014

Members of the community participate in a peaceful march against drugs, in the streets of Hlalanikahle on Saturday, October 11.

The residents marched from Hlalanikahle Community Hall to hand over a memorandum to Vosman Police Station. The march was held on Saturday, October 11 and a prayer was said before the march.

The residents said they raised their concerns about drug users and they then approached their leaders. They said the criminals were now using drugs in front of young children, stealing from homes to feed their craving and harassing community members. They were also found burning tyres to sell the steel wires inside.
A Drug Indaba was held, a task team of six members was formed and it was agreed that a peaceful march should be held.

A number of issues were raised during the meeting:

*Young people are smoking drugs publicly without fear of the police and members of the community;

*Some police officers are highly involved in drugs and they are using those who are affected to sell drugs for them;

*Police are visible but are failing to fight drug abuse and some officers are allegedly friends of dealers and drug smokers;

*There is a lack of criminal intelligence and specialised unit to fight drug problems;

*Drug users are disrespecting members of the community by smoking drugs in front of young children, stealing anything that they can lay their hand on to get money for drugs;

*Some RDP houses are used as drug dens;

*The dropout of youngsters from schools is increasing because of youth killers;

*Drug dealers are easily released after being arrested;

*The justice system is too soft, unable to give drug dealers long sentences;

*Community members have lost trust in police because of lack of effective strategy to fight against drug abuse;

*Lack of recreational facilities like sports fields, tennis courts, parks, swimming pools, youth centres and libraries to discourage young people to be involved in drugs;

*There are no proper programmes for youth development in this municipality; and

*There is no rehab centre for young people who are affected.

The community members also came up with recommendations:

*Municipality must provide land for a rehabilitation centre within three months and police will not be allowed to go to that rehab because some of them are involved in dealing with drugs;

*Municipality must provide the community with sport and recreation facilities to assist in youth development programmes and projects;

*Municipality must allocate people in RDP houses and places used for drugs activities within three months;

*Vosman Police officers must rotate from this station with immediately effect due to failure to combat drug abuse;

*Appeal for the red beret police to intervene in combating drug abuse and removing drug users from street corners;

*No bail should be given to people who are arrested for selling drugs;

*South African Police Services must employ people that volunteer their service in this department instead of employing people from outside; and

*Municipality must urgently re-establish drugs and substance abuse forum that involves all stakeholders.

Mr Sizwe Mayisela received the memorandum on behalf of city administrator Mr Theo van Vuuren and Brigadier Makhosazana Kheswa received the memorandum on behalf of the police.

Mayisela promised that he would pass the memorandum to the relevant personnel but said the marchers need to be realistic about time frames.

Brigadier Kheswa said she needed names, not allegations about police officers that are involved in drug trade and cannot work in the darkness. She added that she has already started meeting with different stakeholders in the community.

“Last month I had meetings and I am still going to do follow-up meetings. I believe in working with the different structures in the community, we need each other, because my child is your child and your child is my child. Get involved in Community Policing Forums, be active in community patrols, volunteer and know what is happening in your communities. Councillors must work hand in hand with the police and let’s form these partnerships, we need each other to fight crime,” she said.

Tembisa post office damaged
Victor Mukwevho Ne-vumbani (The Tembisan) 22 October 2014

People who work at Tembi Mall in Tembisa were surprised by this scene when they reported for work on Wednesday morning last week. One resident said she wanted to deposit money for her child at the Post Office, but she found that it had been vandalised and windows were broken. "I think this has to do with the ongoing Post Office strike. I am praying that the powers that be, can come to an agreement with workers and resolve their problems. Some of us depend on the Post Office to send money to our

Somalis shot in tuck shop terror
IOL News 21 October 2014

Somalis in KwaZulu-Natal are living in fear after a spate of violent attacks on their community, including the alleged killings of five countrymen over the past three months.

They urge government to afford them the same protection as citizens.

In the latest attack, a man was shot dead in Inanda on Monday and another is fighting for his life in hospital.

Police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, confirmed that two men were shot when four unknown men robbed them at gunpoint in their shop of cash, cigarettes and other items.

“A 32-year-old male died at the scene and the other one was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Inanda police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder. No arrest has been made at this stage,” Zwane said.

Ahmed Sheik, 24, said on Monday he survived the shooting because he was asleep in another part of the building when the gunmen arrived at their tuck shop just after it opened in the morning.

The other two - the deceased, Farah Dahir Badul, 32, and Abdirahman Mohamed Farah, 28, who was critically wounded - were attending to customers in the shop.

He said three robbers carrying guns entered the shop while the other waited outside.

“They just started shooting each of them without saying a word,” Sheik said.

“They shot the deceased through his chin when he was looking through the counter window, asking if he can help them. The guy in hospital was shot in the right side of his chest. They took whatever they wanted and fled.”

Sheik said that when he heard gunshots, he ran for his life through the back door.

Another Somali national, Ismael Abid Aadan, said on Monday there had been several gun attacks on his countrymen over the past three months. Eight Somalis had been shot and five had been killed in that time, he said.

Aadan said Somali-owned tuck shops in KwaMashu, Ntuzuma, uMlazi, Chatsworth, KwaDukuza (Stanger) and Pinetown had been attacked.

“We are just not getting protection from government. When we call for help from emergency (providers), we never receive immediate help. As Somalis we don’t commit robberies in this country. We try to get tuck shops in order to survive,”Aadan said.

He said Monday’s incident followed one on Sunday in Pinetown, where Mohamed Abdi Noor, 27, was shot dead by “robbers”.

“There is another victim (Jamaa Shire, 26) who was attacked at his tuck shop in Stanger. He was shot 14 times two weeks back and is still fighting for his life in hospital,” Aadan said.

However, Zwane said: “We have checked the Pinetown and Tongaat Crime Administration System; there are no records of related incidents reported.”

A spokesman for the Somali community in Durban, Abdul Aziz, said the attackers should be caught and prosecuted.

“South African authorities must bring justice. We want to see equality. One of the guys was stabbed at the same tuck shop in Inanda and he is scared to go back to work there. Justice is denied and delayed and all we want is to bring these criminals to book,” he said.

When asked by the Daily News if he thought Somalis were victims of xenophobic attacks, Aziz said: “This was not a racial attack. It is just criminals and our main point is to get protection from government. We don’t want this to stir racial tensions, but protection.”

Yussuf Sheik, another Somali, said the only help they had been receiving was from Muslim communities.

“It’s hard to bury someone today, tomorrow and the next day. We bring this to the media so the public and government know our situation,” he said.

“Who knows what is going to happen next or killed, because we also do not know.”

Sheik said there had been attacks on Somalis in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, but not in KZN - until recently.

Post Office strike deal is off for now
Fin24Tech 21 October 2014

Cape Town - A grassroots rebellion by Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) members outside the Western Cape region has apparently stalled the deal brokered by Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele to end the Post Office strike. And the 7 271-member South African Postal Workers’ Union (Sapwu) is also unhappy with the fact that it was a government minister and not the employer who put forward a pay offer.

On Monday CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala told Fin24 that he was confident the minister’s deal would be accepted on the same night, and that the strike by CWU members would be called off.

However, at that stage only the Western Cape had agreed to return to work. One of the main areas in dispute is the pay increase for this year.

Until now, the embattled SA Post Office (Sapo) management has maintained that there is no money for any increases. Cwele’s proposal puts forward a 6.5% rise, followed - depending on the financial situation - by more in January.

“This is something that should have come before the bargaining council,” said Sapwu general secretary David Mangena. Sapwu has a scheduled hearing before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration on Thursday relating to the pay increase issue. “And we still have to hear what our members think about what the minister has put forward,” said Mangena.

In the meantime, both unions and the smaller Democratic Postal and Communications Union are awaiting the publication of the public protector report on corruption, maladministration and fraud in Sapo. The complaint was lodged by the CWU in 2011.

Protest keeps learners out of school
IOL News 20 October 2014

Mankweng - Pupils at several Limpopo schools, including matriculants, were prevented from attending classes and writing exams on Monday because of a service delivery protest, the DA said on Monday.

“Learners from Maphotho, Solomondale, Sebayeng Primary Schools and Baphutheng, Mafolofolo and Leruleng Secondary were prevented (from going) ... to their schools and (were) forced... to join the strike,” Democratic Alliance Limpopo leader Jacques Smalle said.

“The DA is deeply concerned that learners in Grade 12 will not be able to write their final-year exams scheduled to commence today.”

Smalle said residents blocked roads with burning tyres and rocks to protest against a lack of services in the area.

“The DA has requested (education) MEC (Thembisile) Nwedamutswu to urgently arrange alternative plans to accommodate the matric learners who did not write their exams today.”

Provincial education spokesman Paena Galane clarified that independent schools were starting their matric exams on Monday.

“(Government school) matric exams will start on the 28th.”

Galane said parents had recently began preventing their children from attending school because of service delivery problems. He cited the disruption of teaching and learning in Mankweng in August due to protests as an example.

“We had an intervention when we launched the countdown to exams 2014 - we called community leaders, parents and principals all together under one roof,” he said.

“We said that whatever the problem, the issue of closing schools is not a solution. They must find other means of raising issues.”

He said it was concerning that parents were still preventing pupils from attending school.

“We are hopeful that when we start examinations next week we will not have these kinds of issues.”

Police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said on Monday that police were monitoring protests in Solomondale and Lebowakgomo.

“We don't know the number of protesters, but we know that they are fighting about water and electricity,” he said.

“Officers are monitoring the situation. Everything is still fine, we are just clearing out barricades on the roads.”

Shackled activist outside Oscar court
IOL News 21 October 2014

Pretoria - Between the roar of the traffic on Madiba Street outside the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday morning, the sound of chains clanking could be heard.

Ahead of Oscar Pistorius's sentencing on Tuesday, prisoner rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu stood outside the court with chains shackled to his waist, wrists, and ankles. He stood in the closed-off lane in the street and journalists shouted questions at him to make themselves heard above the traffic.

He wore an orange T-shirt with the words “DOC (Department of correctional services) prison work force” printed on the back.

“Why are certain offenders more equal than others,” was written on one of the two placards he held.

“They say Oscar cries like a baby, screams like a woman, and shoots like a soldier,” Bhudu said.

An ambulance with red lights flashing, pulled up outside the court shortly before 8am. A police nyala was also parked outside the court.

A cameraman wearing a broad-brimmed hat perched on top of the bus shelter outside the court

About 50 journalists, camera people and photographers were waiting, smoking, jabbering above the roar of the passing buses and the hooting minibuses.

An Australian TV journalist, his long-distance runner's body poured into a crisp navy suit, strolled into the road, microphone in hand and cameraman in tow, to speak to Bhudu.

A cyclist in a yellow top stopped and looked at the crowd for a moment before moving on. - Sapa

KZN Metro cops in vagrant row

Durban - Tensions over the rounding up and dumping of vagrants is claimed to be behind a senior officer allegedly stabbing a constable with a pen on Thursday.

About 100 metro police officers gathered outside the Albert Park station this morning, demanding management address them over the alleged incident.

SA Municipal Workers¡¦ Union (Samwu) deputy chairman for the eThekwini region, Lindani Sicwala, said members were not on strike but merely wanted management to reassure them of their safety.

¡§If a shop steward can be stabbed inside the union office at the station, how unsafe are we as ordinary members?¡¨

This follows the injury to Constable Mxolisi Dlamini, allegedly after challenging a senior officer¡¦s instructions to round up vagrants and dump them in outlying areas.

NUM on strike at Glencore Koornfontein Mine in Mpumalanga
NUM 20 October 2014

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike at Glencore Koornfontein Mine Gloria shaft in Mpumalanga.

The strike started on 17th of October 2014 after the company and NUM deadlocked at the CCMA.

NUM is embarking on a strike because Glencore is paying NUM members at Koornfontein Mine one week of service per year and in other operations it is paying three weeks per year of service as a result of the LRA 186A

"Why is the company paying separate packages? Glencore is deviating from the same formula it is using at other operations like Tweefontein and TUGO. This company is very arrogant because even when we were dealing with picketing rules we could not reach an agreement because they wanted to impose their own picketing rules. The CCMA ended up imposing at least reasonable picketing rules to parties," says NUM Highveld Regional Secretary Stanley Lebelo.

"We are being undermined and we will make sure they feel the pinch. We are also intending to apply for a secondary strike from other Glencore operations," he added.

EFF helps white families with power problem
IOL News 18 October 2014

Johannesburg - A community of mostly pensioners pleaded for help. The ANC never replied to their e-mails. The DA said they couldn¡¦t interfere because this was a private matter. As a last resort residents of West Village, Krugersdorp, contacted the EFF.

They had been forced to sign for their prepaid meters to be replaced with conventional meters by West Rand Power Distributions, a private company that supplies electricity to the area, they said. The EFF¡¦s Gauteng spokesman, Patrick Sindane, and his team were assisting the about 300 white families.

¡§When they contacted us, I knew there had to be a real problem,¡¨ said Sindane. ¡§We don¡¦t need a government that allows private companies to pressure our people, especially sick pensioners who depend on oxygen machines to breathe,¡¨ he said.

Walking through West Village this week, accompanied by John Barnardt, the community leader, and other residents, Sindane said people here were now selling their belongings to pay for electricity and about 15 homes went without power because they couldn¡¦t afford it.

¡§The residents were saving money when these conventional meters were not there, and now their bills have increased from between R800 and R1 000 per month to beyond R1 000 to R5 000. And before the conventional meters were installed, the residents had to make a down payment of R1 500. This is robbery without violence,¡¨ said Sindane.

The community had suffered long enough, and it was unfortunate that they could not get help from the ANC and DA, Sindane said. ¡§I wrote a letter to Mogale City and gave them three days to respond. They didn¡¦t, so we took a decision to stage a sit-in at the council building this week. They were forced to listen¡K we made them aware that this is one struggle we are going to pursue.¡¨

Barnardt said: ¡§Hats off to the EFF, old folks and young here will vote for people that believe in them.¡¨

Wheezing through an oxygen mask, Henk Pelzer, a resident at West Village with emphysema said: ¡§We want our prepaid meters back, we can¡¦t afford this electricity.¡¨

In a meeting yesterday with Mogale City, West Rand Power distributions, Eskom, West Village residents, and the EFF, a decision was reached to put back the prepaid meters.

A technical team has been put together and will start on Monday to evaluate the meters and will give feedback on October 28 on how and when the process will be carried out.

E-toll protesters burn unpaid bills in coffin
IOL News 18 October 2014

Johannesburg - Protesters burnt their unpaid e-toll bills on top of an empty coffin while singing the national anthem outside Sanral's offices in Pretoria on Saturday.

¡§Today we bury a stillborn that was born in December last year, and before December this year, we will cremate him,¡¨ a Congress of SA Trade Unions member said in reference to the electronic tolling system.

A 50-vehicle-strong convey led by Cosatu embarked on a drive-slow on Saturday morning from the trade union federation's headquarters in Johannesburg to the SA National Roads Agency Limited offices. They were joined by bikers and taxi drivers.

¡§We will pay for e-tolls when (President Jacob) Zuma pays for Nkandla,¡¨ said a biker.

The group later danced and sang outside the Sanral offices.

Some sang: ¡§Voeksek)bugger-off) Sanral Voetsek,¡¨ and ¡§Sanral gaan v** jouself (Sanral go f*** yourself)¡¨.

John Baun, owner of the Bronville Taxi Association, travelled from the Free State to be part of the campaign.

He had to pay around R250 in e-toll fees when his taxis made a single trip to Gauteng.

¡§We drove through to support the campaign because e-tolls are crippling our businesses too,¡¨ said Baun.

Earlier motorists travelling along the M1 hooted and cheered as the convoy made its way across the highway.

However, some motorists were left frustrated by the backlog caused by the convoy, which left only one lane out of three open.

One irritated driver called out to the convoy: ¡§Is this what you do with your time?¡¨

Banners, inviting people to ¡§Hoot against e-tolls¡¨ were draped across bridges on the highway.

Police were on the scene and diverted traffic away from the drive-slow protest.

At times, the protesters got out of their vehicles to sing and dance along the lanes of the highway, more typically occupied by speeding city slickers.

Earlier, this week Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said the protesters also planned to enact the ¡§burning of the e-tags and the bills which had been received by our people.¡¨

He accused Sanral of abusing more than R20 billion on upgrading the province's highways without consulting citizens.

He suggested Sanral was ¡§selling our public roads to the highest bidder and to monopoly capital without caring about our country and its people.¡¨ - Sapa

E-toll drive slows starts
IOl News 18 October 2014

Johannesburg - A convoy, led by Cosatu members, began their trip from Johannesburg to the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) offices in Pretoria on Saturday in protest against the e-toll system.

About 50 vehicles, including motorcycles and minibus taxis, were cheered on by onlookers as they made their way through the streets of Johannesburg before reaching the M1 highway.

Metro police diverted traffic from the convoy's route.

A bakkie at the front of the convoy carried members of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), who bore aloft a wooden coffin with the words ¡§RIP e-tolls¡¨ attached to it.

Some of the signs attached to the other vehicles read: ¡§Stop privatization, open national roads,¡¨ and ¡§We will not buy e-tolls.¡¨

Cosatu announced on Thursday that it would stage a drive-slow protest to Sanral's offices.

¡§We are going to hand over a memorandum to the Sanral offices... including burning of the e-tags and the bills which had been received by our people,¡¨ Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said at the time.

He accused Sanral of abusing more than R20 billion on upgrading the province's highways without consulting citizens.

He suggested Sanral was ¡§selling our public roads to the highest bidder and to monopoly capital without caring about our country and its people.¡¨ - Sapa

¡¥Smash e-tolls, stop highway robbery¡¦
IOL News 18 October 2014

Johannesburg - Bikers, taxi drivers and Cosatu members gathered in Johannesburg on Saturday morning, ahead of a drive-slow to the SA National Roads Agency Limited offices in Pretoria.

Johannesburg metro police vehicles lined the perimeter of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) headquarters in Braamfontein awaiting the protest against the electronic tolling of Gauteng highways.

Many of protesters carried signs reading ¡§bring back our 'freeway'.¡¨

Members from the National Taxi Alliance attached signs to their vehicles. ¡§Smash e-tolls, stop highway robbery,¡¨ read one.

Cosatu members, dressed in the union federation's red attire, sang and danced outside the building.

¡§Bye bye e-tolls,¡¨ they sang.

About twenty bikers, dressed in leather, also arrived at the Cosatu headquarters.

¡§We are here to support this worthwhile cause because e-tolls are killing our economy,¡¨ said a biker who did not want to be named. - Sapa

Slovo park residents block roads
The New Age 15 October 2014

Protesters from the Slovo Park informal settlement near Bushkoppies, south of Johannesburg, blocked roads on Wednesday morning, metro police said.

Chief Supt Wayne Minnaar urged motorists travelling from the south to use the R554 or N12 as alternative routes.

Both the Golden Highway and Stockwell intersection were affected.

"They have placed big rocks on the road."

The protests began around 5.30am. The reason for the protests were not known, he said.

NUMSA 15 October 2014

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from locomotive and rolling stock manufacturing firms around Gauteng will march in Ekurhuleni¡¦s town of Nigel tomorrow Thursday 16 October 2014, at 10h00am, Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW), No. 1 Marrievale Road, Vosterkroon, Nigel, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng provinces.

The march is against what we consider a ¡§fishy¡¨ R50-billion Transnet tender, awarded wrongfully by Transnet to the Chinese, France and US firms; and will benefit a host of powerful and well-connected politicians and individuals. Communities around the areas of Kathlehong, Duduza and KwaThema under the banner of a UNITED FRONT will join the march and present a Memorandum of Demands to the Minister of Transport DIPUO PETERS. The Minister of Transport will be present to receive the Memorandum.

Amongst the key demands from workers and community is for the government to:

„X A review of the R50-billion Transnet tender to build 1 064 locomotives that was awarded to four foreign-owned companies, and that threatens thousands local jobs; AND
„X A government commitment that as a shareholder, that the democratic State will ensure that Transnet prioritizes South African companies with significant local capacity in the production and manufacturing of rolling stock and locomotives in the State-owned company¡¦s investment programme.

The march will be led by NUMSA¡¦s President Comrade ANDREW CHIRWA and Deputy General Secretary KARL CLOETE, on behalf of NUMSA¡¦s National Executive Committee (NEC).

The details of the march are as follows:

DATE: Thursday 16 October 2014
TIME: 10H00am
VENUE: Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW), No. 1 Marrievale Road, Vosterkroon, Nigel

Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.


Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 627 5197
Tel (dir): 011 689 1702

Cape¡¦s ¡¥Open Mosque¡¦ attacked again
IOL News 14 October 2014

Cape Town - Police are investigating an attack on Cape Town¡¦s controversial ¡§Open Mosque¡¨, after it was rammed with a 4X4 vehicle and the caretaker was held at gunpoint.

Dr Taj Hargey opened the mosque, at 4 Lester Road, Wynberg, on September 19 - and has since been embroiled in debate within the local Muslim community around the status of women in Islam.

Hargey had invited Muslim women ¡§to celebrate the end of the hajj pilgrimage on Sunday¡¨ (October 4) but the night before the building suffered an arson attack and was extensively damaged.

Last weekend, in a second attack, shortly after 3am on Sunday, a white Toyota Fortuner smashed open the double steel garage doors through which the mosque is accessed.

The caretaker was inside when two men in the vehicle used its power and its robust front bull bar to buckle and force open the doors, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Cape Argus.

Once inside, however, the men noticed that a closed-circuit television monitoring system in the mosque¡¦s office was recording their every move.

The men then held up the caretaker at gunpoint and began ripping out wires.

They took the computer¡¦s hard drive, on which their movements had been recorded and fled.

The police were alerted and a criminal case was opened.

As part of the ongoing controversy, Hargey had the previous week invited Muslim women to visit the mosque to attend the Eid prayer, saying: ¡§The Open Mosque warmly welcomes all female worshippers as full and equal participants.

¡§While it is common for most Muslim women throughout South Africa to remain at home and not attend Eid al-Adha prayers, this pernicious form of gender apartheid was not sanctioned by the Prophet Muhammad himself.

¡§For the first time, Muslim women will be at the centre stage and heart of Eid devotions in a mosque.¡¨

The event took place despite the arson attack.

Similarly, the mosque remains open after the recent attack.

Alex youths block Rea Vaya construction
IOL News 14 October 2014

Johannesburg - Construction work on the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system in Alexandra came to a halt on Monday after Alfred Nzo Street and several surrounding roads were barricaded with burning tyres and bricks.

Workers were denied access to the building site by disgruntled residents who said no jobs had been given to local residents or businesses.

Police were on site trying to persuade the group not to vandalise public property.

Moses Ntuli, secretary-general of the Region E Business Forum, said they were tired of speaking to the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which is responsible for the Rea Vaya construction.

¡§We have held several meetings and sent them several memorandums, requesting that jobs and contracts be given to local Alexandra people, but they just ignore us or tell us there are no suitable people for the scope of the work in Alex.

We don¡¦t believe them as we see construction at the same stage in Louis Botha Avenue and in Kramerville and it is work we can do,¡¨ he said.

Ntuli said construction work would stop until the matter was resolved.

¡§We will not allow any workers on site. We tried to resolve this peacefully, but we are being ignored. It is not fair,¡¨ he said.

Xolani Sibanda of the ANC Youth League, which was also protesting, said all they wanted was work.

¡§We have qualified people here who could be doing the work, but we sit at home. My child needs nappies but I can¡¦t buy them because I don¡¦t have a job ¡V he will grow up thinking I am useless. We are not giving up. We will be in the streets until they give us the jobs they promised.

¡§We cannot have people from Soweto and other areas working here. We have seen foreigners working here. It is time for us to fight back,¡¨ he said.

Bongani Ndebele, also from the Region E Business Forum youth league, said the JDA had promised 30 percent of jobs would be for Alex youths, and this had not happened.

¡§We will not allow them back until they address our concerns,¡¨ he said.

The JDA, however, said it takes community and stakeholder participation in its projects seriously and its history of community involvement and participation had always been the main ingredient in the successful implementation of its projects.

The JDA said it acknowledges the unemployment problems in Alexandra.

JDA spokeswoman Susan Monyai said:

¡§However, we acknowledge that our projects alone will not be able to address the full scope of the employment needs.

¡§To date we have consulted on our approach to, and employment, of local labour. We will continue to consult and reach a progressive solution so that construction work can proceed,¡¨ she said.

Local SMMEs from affected wards are usually invited through the regional office to submit their business profiles. This process would run over a period of seven to 30 days, depending on project size.

On the Alex projects, this process ran over a two-month period, Monyai said.

The JDA would specify the minimum requirements that each SMME needed to meet to be considered on the project.

¡§On the current Alexandra project, most of the SMME opportunities are for paving and kerbing-related works.

¡§SMMEs were required to demonstrate experience in kerbing and paving-related works and also to have been registered with experience in civil engineering projects. They must also have a valid tax-clearance certificate.

¡§For the current Alexandra projects, more than 200 profiles were received from local SMMEs, but only 10 met the minimum requirements.

¡§Most of the SMMEs had just opened their companies with no experience; some had no relevant experience at all,¡¨ she said.

All the paving-related work had been given to local SMMEs.

¡§We have employed five local SMMEs and 90 local labourers,¡¨ she added.

Limpopo residents protest over services
IOL News 13 October 2014

Mankweng - Residents of Mankweng township and Thoka village in Limpopo embarked on service delivery protests on Monday.

The protesters used stones, timber, and burning tyres to blockade the R71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen.

Others barricaded a road leading to the University of Limpopo in Turfloop and obstructed traffic heading to the Mankweng Magistrate's Court, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Foreigners who own shops and other small business operators on Turf Road closed their shops as they feared looting.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse one group.

The protesters were demanding that they be provided with electricity and taps in their yards instead of communal taps.

Those who did have taps in their homes complained about being inaccurately billed due to a faulty billing system.

¡§They must write off these debts 1/8and 3/8 start afresh with reliable meters. We are more than prepared to pay for services because this is a government we have elected. We are saying write off everything and we start afresh,¡¨ said community leader Makama Malebana.

Malebana claimed they had addressed the municipality several times but no assistance had been forthcoming.

Two months ago, the city and protesting residents agreed to the formation of a task team.

Malebana said the task team had been ineffective and was used by the council to silence residents.

Reservoir Hills wants better policing
IOL News 13 October 2014

More than 1 000 people joined the anti-crime march in Reservoir Hills.

Durban - Concerned about rising crime, the community of Reservoir Hills have their fingers crossed that their plea for their own police station is successful.

More than 1 000 people staged a march on Saturday to highlight the escalating crime in the suburb. Residents from other areas, also concerned about rising crime levels, joined in to highlight the issue.

Afterwards, organisers met Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu and handed over a memorandum of requests.

Top of their list was for the satellite station, which the Reservoir Hills community had funded - and which had never been used by police - to be up and running.

¡§We asked that it be re-opened in 14 days and manned by qualified staff, not reservists,¡¨ said Sankith Hannuman, the march chairman.

He would be ¡§quite shocked¡¨ if their request fell on deaf ears.

¡§The MEC said that it was not an unreasonable request.¡¨

Sipho Khumalo, the spokesman for the KZN Department of Community Safety and Liaison, said the MEC would raise the residents¡¦ issues with the provincial and national police commissioners.

¡§He will do his best to address the concerns of the community,¡¨ he said.

The MEC had praised the community for the stand they had taken against crime, which was in line with the department¡¦s flagship programme to forge a united front against crime. He added that Mchunu wished that the action of the community could be duplicated in other areas in the province.

Quoting the MEC, Khumalo said: ¡§We have said time and again that police alone can¡¦t resolve the challenge of crime.

¡§We need all community sectors to rise against crime and criminals and claim back their space from criminals.¡¨

The MEC promised to return to the suburb to personally give a report back, Khumalo said.
Daily News

ANCYL, Daveyton community march on crime
IOL News12 October 2014

Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League in Gauteng, together with Daveyton community members, handed over a memorandum to police on Sunday to highlight the increase of crime in the area, the league said.

¡§We marched from the Sinaba stadium to the police station and handed over the memorandum to the police chief,¡¨ said provincial executive committee spokeswoman Mbali Hlophe.

She said about a hundred people, mostly woman, attended the march.

¡§Woman are the most vulnerable people in society and are often the target of crime,¡¨ said Hlophe.

The group sang, danced and carried signs which portrayed their crime prevention messages.

¡§Enough is enough,¡¨ read one sign.

Hlophe said the march was part of an initiative to bring attention to the spike in criminal activities in the area, and to urge police to take the necessary action.

¡§There has been a increase in crime, especially car hijacking, in Daveyton,¡¨ she said.

¡§Police must play their part and combat crime.¡¨

She said the organisation called for the implementation of street committees.

The march was led by ANC national executive committee member Pule Mabe and ANC Youth League national task team convenor Mzwandile Masina. - Sapa

Protesters block roads in Lenasia
IOL News 13 October 2014

Johannesburg - Protesters blocked roads leading out of Lenasia, south-west of Johannesburg, on Monday morning, with rocks littering roads in the area.

Metro police Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the protest was affecting traffic on the Golden Highway and Wimbledon Road.

¡§There are rocks on the road and traffic is being diverted at Provincial Road. The reason for the protest is unknown at this stage,¡¨ he said.

A Sapa journalist on the scene said roads leading into and out of Lenasia had been blocked off by the protesters. People wanting to go to work were looking for a way to leave the area.

Minnaar could not comment on the reason for the protest but residents were told it was about service delivery. A pamphlet was apparently handed out by taxi drivers on Friday indicating there would be a protest on Monday,

Only taxis were being allowed in and out the area.

Last week Monday, protesters in Ennerdale, near Lenasia, stoned cars, with Provincial and James roads affected.

At the time, it was believed the protests were about housing issues. - Sapa

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