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Reference
South African Protest News 27 February - 3 April 2015  () South African Protest News 27 February - 3 April 2015 .  : -.

Summary
Industrial action at HMM
NUM Press Statement 30 March 2015

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Kimberley Regional Office has learnt with shock of an apparent industrial action at Hotazel Manganese Mines, a subsidiary of BHP Billiton.

The NUM will deploy a high-level team to investigate the root cause and challenges that led the employees and some of our members to down tools. As a signatory to the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry, we call on all HMM employees to allow current discussions between the NUM led Task Team and HMM Management to continue and on Monday morning return to their shifts at both Wessels and Mamatwane mining operations. We are informed that there are three possible triggers for the current action by employees, namely:

1. An incident at Wessels mining operation that led to a suspension of an NUM member, which is being investigating by both parties;
2. The Disinvestment of BHP Billiton, uncertainty in the South 32 providing sustainable employment and possible future altering of conditions employment.
3. Lastly allegations of a 2007 Employee Share Ownership Scheme.

We call on all parties to apply restraint and ensures that due processes are followed at all times, the union structures will be in constant contact with our members through our branch and regional offices.

For more information, please contact:

Lucas Phiri: NUM Kimberley Regional Coordinator: 082 883 7290
Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257

Workers embark on a strike at toll-gate in Pretoria
SABC News 2 April 2015

Workers at Pumulani toll plaza outside of Pretoria on Thursday embarked on a strike, causing long queues at the toll gate as people travel for the Easter holidays.

Bakwena Platinum, which operates the toll gate, spokesperson Charmaine van Wyk said temporary staff have been hired to man the toll gate.

"We are experiencing high volumes of traffic at the toll gate as a result of the strike, more so especially since people are embarking on Easter holidays and to church pilgrims in Limpopo,"she said.

It was not yet clear why the employees were on strike.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said officers were keeping an eye on the queues at Pumulani.

No incidents were reported.

Van Wyk said: "We are appealing to motorists to please be patient at the toll gate. We have contingency plans in place."
www.sabc.co.za

Education group plans Parly ‘sleep-in’
IOL News 1 April 2015

Equal Education plans to hold a "sleep-in" outside Parliament, demanding the publishing of infrastructure execution plans. File photo: Michael Walker
Cape Town - Advocacy group Equal Education (EE) is expected to hold a “sleep-in” outside Parliament on Wednesday night and on Thursday, demanding the Department of Basic Education publish infrastructure implementation plans for all nine provinces.

EE members will also sleep outside the offices of the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria and the Eastern Cape Education Department in King William’s Town.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/education-group-plans-parly-sleep-in-1.1839988

Congolese man abducted in Isipingo
IOL News 2 April 2015

Durban - A Congolese man living in Isipingo has been missing since Monday, after looters apparently beat him badly, shoved him into their car and drove away.

Durban’s spokesman for Congo nationals in the region, Shako Kumingo, said he only found out about his missing countryman, Mwanabeke, when he went Isipingo police station on Wednesday.

“I went to deliver food to those who are seeking refuge at the police station and they told me that Mwanabeke was last seen on Monday,” he said.

Mwanabeke is one of about 20 shop owners who were robbed of their belongings and assaulted by locals on Monday.

The xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals are alleged to have been sparked by King Goodwill Zwelithini’s recent comment in which he said they should return to their home countries.

Looters allegedly told the foreigners that Zwelithini said they should be gone by Wednesday.

King Zwelithini’s spokesman Judge Jerome Ngwenya denied this, saying the king was only referring to foreign criminals who entered the country and broke the law.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Thulani Zwane said the number of foreigners harboured at the Isipingo police station kept increasing.

There were now more than 400 foreign nationals at the station.

“A case of public violence is being investigated by Isipingo SAPS. The police are monitoring the situation. No other incidents have been reported in the province. No arrests were made, investigations are continuing,” he said.

Kumingo said the situation was heartbreaking because young children and women had been forced to leave their homes and feared going back.

He could not confirm that everyone had been accounted for except Mwanabeke.

“There may be more people missing. At the moment I’m trying to find his family so that I can get his picture to take to the police. We are really worried because witnesses said he was beat up quite badly,” he said.

Foreign nationals from other parts of the province have been delivering food to those at the police station.

“Some don’t have anything but the clothes on their backs so we are putting our heads together so we can deliver blankets,” said Kumingo.
www.iol.co.za

Rondebosch Common invasion alert
IOL News 1 April 2015
The City of Cape Town is on high alert following threats that Rondebosch Common will be invaded on Easter Monday.

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is on high alert following threats that Rondebosch Common will be invaded on Easter Monday.

The threats were allegedly made by the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, who chose April 6 because historically it was known as Van Riebeeck’s Day.

Mayoral committee member for Human Settlements Benedicta van Minnen said Rondebosch residents had already been warned about the possible land invasion.

“We have appealed to the community to contact their ward councillors if they see anything.”

City law enforcement agencies and the police were on alert.

“There is indication that Ses’khona is interested in the land invasion… it was a way of bringing attention to land issues in the city.”

A vegetation fire at the common on Sunday was allegedly started to make way for the invasion.

City Fire and Rescue spokesman Theo Layne said his department suspected the fire was set deliberately.

“Three different places were burning at the same time. This indicates that it was a malicious set.”

His department was on high alert for the possible land invasion.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said a witness claimed to have seen two men set the fire. “Forensics confirmed it was arson.”

He said officials were keeping an eye on the common because it was an invasion hot spots.

“It’s council land.”

Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement spokesman Loyiso Nkohla denied that his organisation intended to invade the common.

He said they had no plan at leadership level, but if a group of people wanted to invade the common they would not deny them.

At this moment I am unaware of this and the leadership has not issued any instructions to invade land.”
zodidi.dano@inl.co.za
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/rondebosch-common-invasion-alert-1.1839853

Prepaid water meters a drain
IOL News 1 April 2015

Johannesburg - About 600 Orlando East residents protested on Tuesday against the City of Johannesburg installing prepaid water meters in the area.

The protest, which began at the Ritz Square in Masupha Street, was led by Orlando East Task Team chairman Seth Mazibuko.

He said ward councillors had implemented prepaid water meters under false pretences at the end of last year without consulting residents.

“We are a poor and elderly community,” Mazibuko said. “Many are pensioners who cannot afford to give their child R20. How can they be expected to pay for this?”

He said the community was using the march as a platform to protest against Orlando Stadium being sold and renamed as well as against plans to build flats on a rugby field in the area.

“Our rugby field gives our children a place to play and helps them to stay away from drugs and crime. Where will they play if it’s destroyed?”

Young and old members of the community turned out, carrying placards and chanting as they ripped out at least seven prepaid water meters.

A 65-year-old Orlando East resident said the government was creating a hard life for people in Orlando East.

“It’s bad, we have no money here. They must give us a new councillor. We cannot pay for this rubbish.”

Another resident, AB Mefetoane, said he was saddened about the situation, adding: “I’m on a disability grant, I cannot pay for this water meter. It’s not fair what they are doing.”

As protesters made their way to Orlando East police station, DA MPL and Orlando East resident Tsepo Mhlongo joined the protest.

Mhlongo said: “I’m here because water is a basic need. People have the right to choose whether they want to install these prepaid water meters. You cannot force it on them,”

He said he took the issue personally because his parents were affected.

PAC spokesman Lehlohonolo Shale also took part in the march. “Families cannot be expected to live on 6 kilolitres of water a month. This is just like e-tolls,” he said. “It’s a way for the government to milk people dry. This is the opposite of service delivery and we must stand up against it.”

Protesters arrived at Orlando East’s council offices in Sofasonke Street to hand a memorandum to Zamokuhle Mhlongo, who is overseeing the prepaid water meter project.

He accepted the memorandum but declined to comment.

Protesters made their way to the municipal offices to meet ward councillor Sechaba Khumalo, who failed to arrive, prompting the community to return to Ritz Square to discuss the next step.

Khumalo said he was doing what he could to meet the community halfway.

“We are even planning to increase the amount of water from 6 kilolitres to 10 kilolitres a month. We have to implement this into the infrastructure as a way to stop corruption from forming within. That is why we started this,” he said.

ilanit.chernick@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

RIGHT2KNOW PROTEST RALLY IN JOHANNESBURG AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
PRESS STATEMENT from Gauteng Right2Know Campaign 13 March 2015

To voice our outrage at increasing police brutality and the growing attacks on the right to protest, the Right2Know Campaign will hold a protest rally on Saturday, 21 March 2015 (Human Rights Day), at the Johannesburg Central Police Station.

Date Saturday, 21 March 2015
Time 10:30 – 12:30
Venue Johannesburg Central Police Station, c/o Hubert Street and Commissioner Street. (previously called John Vorster Square)

NUM Press Statement, 13 March 2015

NUM march to Glencore Head Office in Johannesburg
NUM 13 March 2015

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will embark on a protest march against Glencore at its head office in Johannesburg tomorrow (14 March 2015)

This is after Glencore took a decision to close down Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga.

The proposed closure of these operations would affect approximately 1000 permanent employees and 500 contractors. The decision to close down the operations has left our members shocked because they were not given any prior notice of closure.

The details of the protest march are as follows:

Date: Saturday, 14th March 2015
Time of Arrival: from 09h00 to 11h00. From there, official proceeding
will commence at 11h00 to 14h00.

Assembly point: “Melrose Arch “. From the open space at corner Athol
Oakland’s road and Melrose Blvd. Up to the Gate/entrance of Melrose Arch on Atholl Oaklands.

For more information, please contact:
Jabu Khambule, NUM Glencore Campaign's Coordinator, 071 681 1474
Livhuwani Mammburu, Acting NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257

Media statement on the massacre of people of Chief Albert Luthuli Park N12 Putfontein Daveyton
Cosatu 16 March 2015

The African National Congress Branch (Nicia Ntilane) ward 24 in Ekurhuleni Gauteng is appalled and disturbed by the shooting and gun down of members of the community of N12 Informal Settlement at Chief Luthuli Park Cloverdene in Daveyton, on Saturday the 14th March 2015 around 21h00 by unknown people that resulted in the massacre which killed innocent women and children.

Twelve community members were shot at, of which five (5), four women and one man were declared dead on the scene, including a 1 year and 7 months old girl. Those dead are from 3 family members (mothers and daughters and a granddaughter). It is believed that those survived are fighting for their lives in hospital which include a 2 year old girl whose mother and grandmother died on the scene.

The ANC is more disturbed that most of the people who died are women and this happens during International Women Month, when the whole world is preserving women’s achievements, recognising the challenges and mobilising the communities to do their parts in ensuring that women empowerment and gender equality forms part of their daily lives.
What is more disturbing is the unavailability of police during this tragic moment, and the community believe strongly that the police are taking bribery from illegal miners, hence the lack of patrols and as the ANC we strongly condemn this act of barbaric criminality. We however urge members of the community to keep calm, and work with the police in uprooting these criminal elements, including rotten cops; there is no better time than this for the community to unite.

As we mourn with the members of the community, the ANC is appealing to the Ekurhuleni municipality to lend a helping hand to the families of the deceased as this is a disaster and a massacre. One family lost 2 members, the other lost 3 and the other lost a breadwinner.

On these tragic moments, the ANC would like to further appeal to the funeral undertakers and local business people to assist the destitute families.

To the faith-based organisations, your contribution and spiritual support for the families will be highly appreciated to strengthen the families and the community at large.

The African National Congress calls on all members of the community to assist and give necessary support to the families, we also call on Police to work tirelessly to apprehend the suspects as soon as possible.

As the ANC in the ward we lower our banners and declare this week a week of mourning and therefore call to all the community to join us in these mourning times.

ANC will be hosting a Memorial Service for all the deceased on Wednesday 18 March 2015 at 15h00 venue will be Chief Luthuli Secondary School.

Members of the community, media, and members of public will be informed in due course of funeral arrangements in consultation with families.

Issued by ANC Nicia Ntilane Branch (ward 24, Ekurhuleni)
Contact: Bangilizwe Solo
0829514222 / 0713870424

NUM march to Assmang Blackrock Mine in Kuruman.
NUM Press Statement 16 March 2015

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will embark on a protest march against Assmang Blackrock Mine in Kuruman, Northern Cape tomorrow (17 March 2015)

The purpose of the march is to hand over a memorandum of demands to the company and amongst the demands is for the company to stop the retrenchments and create jobs. To develop and empower the surrounding communities around the mine in line with Social and Labour Plans (SLP) particularly in Kuruman.

Assmang Blackrock mine is intending to retrench 375 workers. The majority of these workers support a maximum of 10 people within their families. This suggests that about 3 750 families will also be affected by the retrenchments. The company employs more than 2 500 workers.

The details of the march are as follows:
Date: 17 March 2015
Time: 06h00 in the morning
Venue: From the main company gate to the main offices

For more information, please contact:
Lucas Phiri: NUM Kimberley Regional Coordinator: 082 883 7290
Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257

Chaos on standby
Randburg Sun 23 March 2015

COSMO CITY – Residents say they will fight with all they have should City Council demolish their houses.

Affected residents meet to discuss the way forward and vow to fight the City Council. An alleged demolition notice from the City of Joburg has left residents of the informal section of Cosmo City furious – ready to fight and have the area in flames. This was the collective view of most residents who attended the meeting that was said to be an action plan on how to deal with their challenges.

According to residents, they received notices on Thursday 19 March that the illegal extensions to their homes will be demolished the following day – Friday 20 March (the day they had the meeting). Their uttermost dissatisfaction is that the City gave them very short notice and also does not appear to have their interests at heart.

“Most of us are unemployed and these backrooms are our only source of income, how can they take that away from us?” stated one resident.

Another resident said the City showed lack of respect for them. “Those letters were dated 2014, how can we only receive them in 2015?” questioned the residents.

At the same time, foreign shop owners were left in despair as they had received threats that their shops will be looted. Somali shop owner Mohamed Salif said before residents went to their meeting, some youngsters told them that they are coming back to help themselves to their stock. “I just closed my shop as I cannot take this kind of threat lightly – we have seen what happened to our brothers in other areas recently,” said Salif.

Honeydew Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Karen Jacobs said their officers were busy monitoring the situation to ensure that no violence took place in the settlement.
http://randburgsun.co.za/253597/chaos-on-standby/

March for animal rights
Witbank News 31 March 2015

More than 60 animal lovers and their four-legged friends marched against animal cruelty.

Marchers make their way down Mandela Street. The march took place from Kay’s Interiors on March 21.

Entrants paid R10 or donated pet food to register and wore the orange ribbon against animal cruelty. Upon registration everyone was entered into a draw for R100 Pet and Pool vouchers.

Winners of the lucky draw were Natalie Daniel, Linda Neveling, Sanet McCullum, Michelle Williams, Coebie du Toit, A. Murdoch, L. Potgieter, C. Young, and Tarryn Freeme.

The winners of the raffle for the One Direction tickets and hampers were Charlene Barnes, Angela van der Schyff and Pat Barnes.
Witbank SPCA would like to thank the community of eMalahleni who came out either with or without dogs.

“Thank you for your efforts in making the public aware that animals have rights too,” said Lizelle Mitchell, Witbank SPCA chairlady.
Caron Andrews took a great imitative and collected close to R300 from passing motorists, well done Caron. Her last stop was Brazen Head and they kindly donated another R200 to the SPCA.

Thank you to Pet and Pool for making their premises available and for donating R1 000 worth of prizes as well as the charcoal for the day and supporting the drive full on.

The marchers and their four-legged friends having a rest after the march at Pet and Pool.

The SPCA would also like to thank the Traffic Department for safely leading the march down Mandela Street.

To the staff of Witbank SPCA for coming out on their public holiday to take part – great teamwork.

To the committee of Witbank SPCA for filling in all the other areas of organisation, thanks to Mark Conway, Eric Conway, Martin Potgieter, Harold Hide, Oliver Nielsen and Tyler Carlitz.

Thank you to Witbank Hockey Club for acting as marshals and assisting in the march. To certain members of the Spartans Hockey Team of Witbank Hockey Club for assistance with setting up and selling of wors rolls.
Thanks to Des Conway for the behind the scenes organising at Witbank SPCA and to Kim Parsons for sponsoring the One Direction tickets to be raffled and another precious behind the scene member of Witbank SPCA.
Thank you all ‘from those that can not talk for themselves.

Altogether R3 351.10 was raised from the march and the sale of One Direction raffle tickets.
http://witbanknews.co.za/39453/a-march-for-animal-rights/

Protesters are demanding houses, says councillor
Beria Mail 31 March 2015

In addition to barricading roads with burning trees and tyres, the protesters have been damaging infrastructure in the Umgeni Park area.

THE entire Ward 34 area has been engulfed in mass protest action since 2am this morning, local ward councillor, Deochand Ganesh, confirmed.

Briardene, Umgeni Business Park, Kenville, North Coast Road as well as Sea Cow Lake Road have seen the protesters burning tyres, trees, toyi-toying and destroying infrastructure.

According to Ganesh, the rioting was triggered by lack of action form the government. “The people say the government promised them houses and have failed to fulfill their promise, and they want the houses now. I don’t believe this issue will be solved overnight,” he said.
THE entire Ward 34 area has been engulfed in mass protest action since 2am this morning, local ward councillor, Deochand Ganesh, confirmed.

Briardene, Umgeni Business Park, Kenville, North Coast Road as well as Sea Cow Lake Road have seen the protesters burning tyres, trees, toyi-toying and destroying infrastructure.

According to Ganesh, the rioting was triggered by lack of action form the government. “The people say the government promised them houses and have failed to fulfill their promise, and they want the houses now. I don’t believe this issue will be solved overnight,” he said.
bereamail.co.za

Mass protest action in north Durban area
Beria Mail 31 March 2015

Violent protesters have allegedly barricaded several roads surrounding Umgeni Business Park.

PROTESTERS completely blocked off the Umgeni Business area this morning. According to reports, the entrance to Sea Cow Lake, Burnwood Road, the Kenville area as well as Inanda Road were barricaded with burning tyres.

The rioting also gridlocked the N2 highway, and is said to have turned violent.

Police officials were on the scene, assisting to divert the traffic away from the area.

The fires and rioting on Northcoast Road have reportedly subsided, and the road is being cleared.


Fed up residents evict home’s occupier
IOL News 30 March 2015

Members of the community forcefully remove belongings from an RDP house in Atteridgeville Extension 7 which they claim was unlawfully occupied. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - Furniture, clothes and kitchen utensils out on the street bore testimony to events of on Sunday when angry residents of Atteridgeville Extension 7 forcefully evicted a man from an RDP house they claimed was unlawfully occupied.

Tempers had been flaring since early morning and residents declared they were fed up with corruption and irregularities in the allocation of the houses.

As onlookers watched, a protester got inside the man’s car, tossed aside a pack of condoms on the seat, and with the help of two others, pushed the car out of the yard.

Alfred Sello, who had documents to prove he was the rightful owner of the house, stood near the front door and held up the keys while the crowd applauded.

As they walked away, an elderly woman who identified herself as the mother of the occupant, Tsietsi Molala, came in through the back gate.

She was furious and yelled “the house would eat up” Sello, just as it did to his late father.

Molala had attempted to argue with the crowd and at one stage told them it was a family matter, which he said they could resolve on their own.

Sello is his cousin.

But his reluctance to sign an agreement that he would vacate the house was his undoing.

Within minutes, the house was empty and floors swept, with a safe in the corner his only remaining belonging.

The main door and two gates were locked with chains when the large crowd left and went to another house.

Sello, who said he was renting a room elsewhere at R600 a month, told the Pretoria News he would move into the house as soon as possible.

At the second house, the residents had earlier left a letter giving the occupant seven days to vacate the house or be evicted.

The occupants, who asked not to be named, invited the leadership inside and expressed concern that taking a mob there placed his and his family’s safety at risk.

While the impatient crowd called for eviction, an agreement was reached to meet today to discuss the matter further.

From there, the residents took matters into their own hands and decided to evict the occupants of the RDP houses by themselves.

Where the occupants were not available, letters were left warning them to “move out of the house which does not belong to you” within seven days, failure of which would result in eviction.

Led by Stimamollo community policing forum leader Jack Phahlane, they snaked through the streets singing Struggle songs and holding placards.

Phahlane said RDP houses were occupied by people with no right to be there while title deed holders had nowhere to stay.

There are people who owned several houses, while those who were employed and should not have RDP houses were also occupants, he said.

“This situation, which the forum has been fighting for many years, has to come to an end.

“These people rent out the houses and collect large sums of money monthly while they live in affluent areas,” Phahlane said.

City of Tshwane mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said the municipality remained committed to cleaning up the housing sector.

Manale said it was wrong to lease out or sell an RDP house before occupants became the legal owner, which was in about eight or nine years.

“When communities take action on these matters, the government will not always be readily available to help, as was the case on Sunday,” said Manale.

He condemned the action by residents, but said their frustrations were understandable.

“Community leaders should meet with the MMC for Housing and Sustainable Human Settlement Development Joshua Ngonyama, to discuss a way forward,” he said.
kennedy.mudzuli@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Foreigners attacked in Isipingo
Sphelele Ngubane (The Mercury) 31 March 2015

( “Foreigners must go; the king said they must go, ‘ makwerekwere awahambe’”)

CONGOLESE living and running businesses in Isipingo came under siege yesterday when locals attacked them in their shops and trashed the house they had run to for refuge.

The locals allegedly told the foreigners that King Goodwill Zwelithini had given them an ultimatum that “by April 1” they should have gone back to their home countries.

However, the Royal Household Trust’s chairman, Judge Jerome Ngwenya, denied that the actions of the locals were triggered by the king’s utterances, adding that the violence was started by foreigners fighting among themselves in Umlazi earlier.

Ngwenya said according to his knowledge, the violence started at a shopping complex in Umlazi where a foreigner shot dead another foreigner.

He said the trust maintained that the king did not say foreigners must be deported.

“He did not use the word ‘foreigners’. He did not say the foreigners must leave. He said izigilamkhuba (thugs) who illegally enter the country and continue with their criminal activities must go back to their countries.

“The king is not talking to foreigners who are legally here and are working … and who do not break the law.”

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said that no case had been opened. “We urged the victims to come forward,” he said.

He could not link the Umlazi incident and the Isipingo one.

Congolese Raphaely Fikiri, 30, said the violence started between 10am and 11am when a crowd of people looted shops, chasing people away, and told them that foreigners must go.

Fikiri said when they ran to the house which they rented, police arrived but were too few to manage the hostile crowd.

“They came in one small car and they left. The looters then got a chance to enter the house. They damaged four cars, they threw stones,” he said.

Some helped themselves to car stereos and bags with personal belongings. A number of people suffered minor injuries to the head and body after being hit by stones.

The Congolese attacked at the house were at the Isipingo police station for their safety and could not go back to the house last night.
Fikiri said their relationship with the locals had been peaceful since he had got there in 2006.
“People just took a chance because they heard the king saying all foreigners must move,” he said.

“I forgive the king because he does not know what he has said. We know that his wife is also a foreigner. She also can go back.”

Fikiri, who has been in the country legally for 10 years, said they were defenceless. He said most of them had hair salons and one of them was a car mechanic. Some of the four cars on the property had been brought in by owners for fixing.

Daniel Dunia, 33, said he was in his shop when he heard the locals singing in the streets: “Foreigners must go; the king said they must go, ‘ makwerekwere awahambe’”.
Dunia said police who returned to the scene advised them to close down.

A vendor who saw the crowd said he heard them saying: “The foreigners must have gone back home by April 1.”

Human Rights Commission spokesman Isaac Mangena said they condemned the attack and called on communities to understand the rights of foreigners.

“They do have a right to stay in the country, to find employment and to start businesses. Law enforcement agencies must ensure that they arrest perpetrators and protect the foreigners,” said Mangena.

Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu said the attack was “pure criminality that should be treated as such”. He said attacks on foreigners were undermining peaceful efforts to resolve such violence.

Independent violence monitor Mary de Haas said the locals were using “what the king had said as an excuse, but that is their responsibility … It gives them an excuse to do it and it is criminal mob behaviour.”

De Haas was also astonished that no arrests had been made, and at reports that police who first arrived at the scene went back to the station and returned later on.

During a moral regeneration event in Pongola two weeks ago, the king called for the government to send foreigners back home because they were changing the nature of South African society with their “amanikiniki” (shabby goods) and enjoying wealth that should have been for local people. The HRC is investigating the king’s speech.
www.iol.co.za

Anger over hiring practices at Langa mall
IOL News 30 March 2015

Cape Town - Langa residents were set to escalate protests in the township on Monday morning after they claimed they have been given “no answers” on alleged corrupt hiring practices at a new mall built in the area.

Protests began on Wednesday morning after the R60 million Langa Junction mall, situated at the train station, was opened for business. Heralded as an economic boost for the township, that would create 200 jobs for residents, angry protesters said it had not benefited anyone, at least not in Langa.

Sihle Tshabalala, a former representative on the Project Steering Committee for the mall, said most of the jobs were being given to residents of other townships.

Tshabalala has vowed to continue protesting until the “steering committee’s corruption has been exposed”. “These jobs are being given to people who don’t live in Langa. Now we have this big mall and it is not benefiting anyone here… I ask you, what is the point of this mall then?”

Granbuild’s Winslow Hare said the majority of subcontractors came from the local community. Granbuild handled the mall’s construction.

The centre, which already includes a host of tenants including Shoprite, will also offer opportunities to local entrepreneurs to set up trading. Langa Junction forms part of an extensive upgrade of the local train station and surrounding precinct.

But Tshabalala claimed that people hired by both the contracting company and the stores that have taken over new space had lied about their addresses.

“They ask friends and family living here for their address and pretend that they are from here. That is not fair. Now, we have people desperate for these 200 jobs but they have been excluded.”

The chairman of the steering committee, local ward councillor Nelliswa Ngqose, was unavailable for comment.

But another one of the area’s councillors, Mayenzeke Sopaqa, said if Tshabalala’s claims were true, it would be a serious concern. “If people in Langa are not getting the jobs at this mall, if that really is the case, that is a very serious concern.”
www.iol.co.za

Transnet pensioners march for R79 billion
The Citizen 29 March 2015

Transnet pensioners marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday in order to hand over a memorandum of petition to the Presidency, pleading for funding that was promised but never given. While the pensioners who say they are suffering will ask the president to intervene, they will also be filing a class action court application against Transnet, claiming R79 billion for more than 65 000 pensioners who once worked for the parastatal railway and freight company.

Daniel Letlhakwale, 67, said he had dedicated 34 years of his life to Transnet and that it hurt him gravely not to be benefitting from his service. He said his pension was not correct and has not been adjusted, which has left him impoverished and destitute.

“They are not giving enough money to survive,” said Letlhakwale.

The Freedom Front Plus was part of the march, with the political party saying they have been trying to help Transnet pensioners for more than a decade. Party MP Anton Alberts said they have been fighting in Parliament to help the flight of pensioners in Transnet when they were approached for help in 2007.

The parliamentary process did not bear fruit according to Alberts, which led them to approach the court. In 2013, the Pretoria High Court ruled that pensioners could act as a class action suit.

Transnet has not yet commented on the march.
citizen.co.za

Rhodes now in a box
IOL News 30 March 2015

Cape Town - The Cecil John Rhodes statue, which has occupied a prominent spot at UCT for more than 80 years, has been boarded up and is now out of sight.

The statue, which has been overlooking the campus rugby fields and the Cape Flats since 1934, was boxed in with wooden boards on Saturday night.

This came after UCT vice-chancellor Max Price tabled a motion to the university’s Senate on Friday, on behalf of the Senior Leadership Group, to remove the Rhodes statue from its current position.

The Student Representative Council, which is spearheading the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) campaign, proposed the statue be permanently removed from campus.

“This amendment was supported, as was a further amendment that while awaiting a final decision from the UCT Council and Heritage Western Cape, the statue should be boarded up. The final amended proposal was supported by 181 votes, with one against and three abstentions,” Price said.

Student activist Chumani Maxwele, who initiated what has become a nationwide campaign to “decolonise” universities when he flung human excrement on the statue on March 9, said Friday’s vote was a victory for the students.

“It came as a result of a narrative of student power, which has been reawakened. It was never going to be the willingness of the Senate; that statue has stood there for over 80 years. This is a victory for the students who have shown that there is power in unity.”

Price said the Academics Union had also confirmed its support for the statue’s removal.

“The University Convocation will meet on Tuesday to express their view and Council will make the final decision at a specially called meeting on Wednesday.”

Asked on Sunday how many times the University Council had gone against a decision voted for by the Senate in the past, and if the decision to board up the statue was ratified by the Council, UCT spokeswoman Pat Lucas replied: “It is important to note the independence of Council on all matters that come before it, and Council’s decision on the statue, as on any other matter, cannot be assumed to go one way or another.”

Lucas said questions about Senate and Council decisions, and about the Senate discussion around boarding up the statue, would require her to consult colleagues who may not be accessible on a Sunday. “The minutes from the Senate meeting may not be ready yet, or they may require signing off before they can be available.”

Following three weeks of protests and students’ current occupation of the Bremner Building, which houses the university management’s offices, UCT has committed to transformation.

Maxwele, 30, said the RMF collective, who described themselves as an independent collective of students, workers and staff who had come together to end institutionalised racism and patriarchy at UCT, would remain in the Bremner Building, which they had unofficially renamed Azania House, until the statue was removed.

“There are to 300 of us and about 100 students sleep in the building overnight. Our next step is to mobilise the workers at UCT – the ones who are outsourced and don’t get benefits, and to tackle the curriculum and the percentage of black academia.

“We cannot still have a situation where there are no black female lecturers at UCT,” he said.
carlo.petersen@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

UKZN statue row rages on
IOL News 27 March 2015

The statue of King George V at the University Durban - The defacing of the King George V statue at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has sparked a fiery debate on campus, with some students praising the vandalism as a “revolutionary” deed, while others said they were “embarrassed”.

The statue that towers over the Howard College campus was this week splashed with white paint, bearing the message: “End White Privilege.”

Other messages printed on A4 paper and plastered on the statue read:

* “The white race is the chosen race and blacks will work for us for ever.”

* “Our identity, our statues, our heritage and no one can remove them #KingGeorge.”

* “We rule universities as whites and all of the blacks are our servants.”

UKZN spokesman, Lesiba Seshoka, said an urgent naming committee meeting “to review the status quo of all statues on all our campuses” would be convened.

Below the towering statue, a midday debate raged among students. Some who were interviewed by the Daily News refused to be named or photographed, citing fear of victimisation.

Tricia Nxumalo, a third- year psychology student, said she was embarrassed by the incident.

“Someone’s just gone and ruined it with paint. It is part of history. It will be sad if they put it down because that money can be used on other things which can help with the challenges faced by students. The money spent on paint could have been used for a better cause.

“I am embarrassed. Are we just copying because of UCT (where students have called for the removal of a statue of Cecil John Rhodes)? We have bigger issues to deal with.

“You say this is about solidarity, but when we strike twice a year because of financial aid, do UCT students strike in solidarity? No,” she said.

Eketsang Keke, a third-year law student and a former UKZN SRC member, said he did not know who was responsible for the vandalism.

“He (George) does not belong here, he must go and be placed in a museum. This is not about race, we are attacking the system. This here is a great piece of art,” he said, pointing to the painted statue.

“Any colonial symbol that has the blood of our people, we will denounce, we are not saying ‘George Must Fall’ because he is white. It is because he has blood on his hands and cannot stand proud here.”

King George V was the husband of Queen Mary and reigned from 1910 to 1936, when he died, according to the official website of the British monarchy.

Many students did not know who George V was when asked, and Keke said this was because students were not interested in attending SRC programmes which educated them about the country’s colonial past.

Danielle Hall, a third-year psychology student, said it was a shame that a national monument had been defaced.

“In my opinion, I feel they have taken a political stand, but I feel the statue doesn’t represent anything about the university. To mess a monument up is bad, so I feel what they have done is wrong,” she said.

Andile Zulu, a third-year politics student, said the vandalism had caused a commotion, but called for the removal of the statue. “Steve Biko was a student at this very campus, but we never hear about him.

“We need to, as a country, undergo a process of having symbols that represent what we want as a country,” he said.

Another student who said he was neutral on the matter, said he did not care if the statue was removed or not.

“I’ve walked past this statue for the past three years and I have never cared who he is or what he represents. Why must I care now?” he asked.

Seshoka condemned the vandalism and called for students to exercise “restraint and care”.

“UKZN is recognised as the most transformed institution in South Africa and we are saddened and disappointed that the protesters chose not to raise any concerns through the proper channels established within UKZN,” he said.

Military historian and author, Ken Gillings, said the statue was “innocuous” and “our heritage is here to stay, whether we like it or not”.

Gillings argued that rather than seek to destroy the statues, they could be used to build for the better. He said city-state Singapore – a former British colony – had used its colonial heritage to create a tourism industry.

“Look at it now: it is wealthy… They had a rough history, but they built on it,” Gillings said. “How would you feel if a Mandela statue was defaced in 80 years’ time?”

ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, Sihle Zikalala, said the issue needed to be discussed. Defacing statues was inappropriate.

We could not get away from the fact that the statues were symbols of South African history and represented white privilege but, “if people at Howard have a problem they should discuss it. Destroying does not build”, Zikalala said.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/ukzn-statue-row-rages-on-1.1838072

Gangsters stripped, led through streets
IOL News 30 March 2015

Kimberley - The Galeshewe community’s anger towards gangs boiled over this weekend when eight young alleged gangsters were caught, stripped to their underwear and marched through the streets to a police station.

Members of an organisation called “Wanya Tsotsi”, an anti-crime group and residents expressed their frustration with gangs in the area when they apprehended the youngsters during a stop-and-search operation over the weekend.

Residents also claimed that the youths are linked to various crimes the were committed in the area.

One of the members of the organisation, Lucky Kale, said they started the organisation to root out gangsterism and crime.

“The organisation is just a few days old but we started it because we have had enough of the rising crime that is being committed by these gangs. We can not just sit back and let them run our streets while we have stay behind locked doors,” he said.

He said community members are deceived by the appearance of the gangs.

“The gang members are young, but the crimes that they commit are heinous. They look like innocent school children and you will never believe that they are able of committing a crime. They do not care about anyone or anything . . . they rape, steal, break into homes and some have even committed murder.

“People are also fooled by the way they dress because they are well dressed and do not come across as thugs,” he said.

Several dangerous weapons were found on the youths who were stripped of their clothes and made to walk to the police station.

Kale said they decided to let the suspects walk by foot because they (the anti-crime organisation) wanted to send out a stern message to other gang members.

“They must know that we are serious about this. This might stop them from committing another crime, but if they do, they know what the punishment will be. We will take them to the police station and charge them.”

Residents in Galeshewe commended the organisation for the work they have done.

“We are not safe from gangs and of being victims of crime. It does not matter where you go, whether you are at home or at the shops, they target you. These gangs are ruthless and have done terrible things. “They target the young and old and have no respect for anyone or anything, not even human life,” a community member said.

The police, however, stated that they could not charge the youths with anything.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant Donald Mdhluli, urged community members to work in partnership with the authorities when trying to bring criminals to book.

“Seven boys and a girl were brought to the Galeshewe Community Service Centre by community members who alleged that the youngsters are involved in criminal activities.

“The youngsters were questioned by police but could not be linked to any reported crimes and therefore they were subsequently released. We appreciate the fact that the community is playing a role in eradication crime. However, we urge the community not take the law into their own hands but to consult with police in finding a way forward. “We further plead with members of the community to make use of structures such as the Community Police Forum (CPF) as the police engage their respective Sector Coordinators whenever they suspect that certain people are involved in crime,” Mdhluli said.

In 2009, the then Deputy Minster of Police, Fikile Mbalula announced a crime fighting operation dubbed with the same title in Parliament.

Mbalula said the name of the operation was a “radical African expression and a display of strength and zealousness against one’s enemy”.

He said the aim of the operation was to mobilise communities against crime.

The organisation said it will continue to conduct patrols to ensure that residents are safe.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/gangsters-stripped-led-through-streets-1.1838702

‘One gangster, one bullet’
IOL News 29 March 2015

About 50 Pagad supporters joined a dozen Parow residents in an anti-drug march yesterday, stopping at the houses of alleged gangsters where they shouted “one gangster, one bullet”, over a loudspeaker.

Parow residents from the anti-crime group Concerned Residents, who organised the march, said they had invited Pagad to join them.

“We hope that today will be the start of a new era,” said Concerned Residents founder Najee Najib at the start of the march in Glenlily.

“This area has become infected with drugs, prostitution and drug dens.”

Three police cars escorted the marchers, who carried placards which read “One Merchant, Two Bullets”, “Justice is Coming” and “Vang die Ding, Hang die Ding (Catch the thing, hang the thing).”

They stopped outside houses of alleged drug dealers, and over loudspeakers warned the occupants to stop dealing drugs.

Residents taking part in the march said tik, dagga and Mandrax were dealt openly on Voortrekker Road.

Sherm Arendse, a member of Concerned Residents, said she had lost faith in the police.

Late last year 11 police officers from Parow were arrested on corruption charges.

Asked afterwards if language used in the march – such as “one gangster, one bullet” – did not incite violence, Pagad spokesman Haroon Orrie said it was the drug dealers who were violent.

The marchers, he said, were well behaved and law-abiding.

Unlike gangsters who used guns, the marchers used only words, he said.

“It’s better than picking up a stone and throwing it,” he said. “It’s better than picking up a gun.”
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/one-gangster-one-bullet-1.1838480

City counts cost of looting damage
IOL News 27 March 2015

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town on Friday said it was considering options following Thursday’s “violence and looting” by the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement in the city centre.

“We condemn the violence and looting that accompanied Ses’khona’s march and are assessing any damage to public infrastructure. We will pursue civil court action to recover these damages from the organisers,” said Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson.

The City granted permission for Thursday’s march after organisers guaranteed it would remain peaceful. However, at the end of the march some protesters ran into St George’s Mall, allegedly looting and harassing traders and eatery patrons.

The march was dispersed by riot police but, according to an eyewitness, they arrived “a little too late”.

An informal trader and Wimpy management reported having been targeted by the protesters.

The City reported additional disruption including the “overturning of bins and flower-pots, interfering with members of the public and looting the stalls of several informal traders”.

Once dispersed from St George’s Mall, police escorted protesters to a heavily-guarded Cape Town train station.

“Some turnstiles were damaged as well as the window of a large retailer,” said Nielson.

The City would now consider the role it could play in assisting victims of looting and possible prevention methods against protester unruliness.

As part of their assessment, Nielson requested any “visual evidence identifying the culprits” to be submitted to the office of the Executive Mayor.

“Anyone who suffered damages or financial losses as a result of the actions of the protesters is also invited to provide proof of the damages and accompanying statements of the events as they unfolded,” he said.

Nielson said the City would review comments made by march organisers leading up to the protest to assess threats of violence.

“The City respects and supports the right of organisations to march or stage protest action, provided this is done in a lawful and orderly manner. However, we cannot tolerate any threats to the safety and well-being of the public at large,” he added.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/city-counts-cost-of-looting-damage-1.1838190

VIDEO: Cape Town protest looting
IOL News 27 March 2015

www.iol.co.za

Cops on alert after CBD looting
IOL News 26 March 2015

Cape Town - Police maintained a watchful eye over St George’s Mall with at least four riot officers patrolling there, while the Cape Town Train Station remained under heavy police guard following a Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement march in the City Centre earlier on Thursday.

“Police arrived a little too late. The protestors achieved their goal,” said an eyewitness who only identified himself as Jackson.

Protesters from Ses’khona started marching on Thursday morning over what they called a lack of service delivery and a response from the Western Cape government.

On return from the Western Cape Legislature, the protesters ran down St George’s Mall – a popular inner city pedestrian walkway.

“They thought they would be able to disturb the Thursday outdoor market but luckily all those stall owners packed up when the march began,” said Jackson.

But not all traders were left untouched.

A Somalian trader had chips and cold drinks stolen from his stall, but said fortunately it would not cost too much money to replace.

“Now I must clean up the mess they made here,” he said.

The stolen drinks were thrown at unsuspecting Wimpy patrons and the owner was hurt in an attempt to protect his customers from the protesters.

“They came here and tried to steal our chairs so they could throw it at the Somalian,” said the owner who did not want to be named.

Eyewitnesses said the police arrived soon after the Wimpy incident but it was “a little too late”.

“It’s end of month and we’re supposed to be busy but now no one wants to eat here because of what the protesters did,” said Wimpy manager, Everson Gengezha.
www.iol.co.za

National #RhodesMustFall protest spreads to other campuses
Mail & Guardian 26 March 2015

The campaign to remove the statue is gaining momentum, placing the ‘Eurocentrism’ of national university curricula under the spotlight.
Protests for transformation in South African universities have been gaining support from universities around the world. (David Harrison, MG)

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) student-initiated Rhodes Must Fall campaign has been gaining traction across South African and international campuses, with similar protests spreading to the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

Messages of support have also been coming in from as far afield as Oxford University, the University of the West Indies and the University of California, Berkeley.

Alex Hotz, a member of the UCT student representative council (SRC) and the UCT Left Students’ Forum, says students at UKZN have defaced the King George V statue that foregrounds the university’s Howard College campus in Durban. Pictures circulating on social media, with the hashtag #GeorgeMustFall, depict the statue splashed with white paint and draped with a banner bearing the words “End white privilege”.

The campaign’s momentum, which has revived calls to change the name of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, has also drawn solidarity from students at campuses such as the University of the Witwatersrand, where there have been demonstrations to change the “Eurocentric” curriculum.

Real problems in focus
Thembani Onceya, a member of the Rhodes-based Black Student Movement, says that in addition to pursuing the name change issue unapologetically, the body has also set its sights on the immediate problems facing underprivileged students at Rhodes.

“For example, there is an issue with accommodation. When this term ends and the university closes, there are students who won’t be able to afford the transport to Mthatha or elsewhere, especially when you consider that in two weeks they’ll have to be back here. Some of them are supported by [state] pension grants. What does the institution say about these people?”

Onceya says that following a demonstration, the handing over of a memorandum and a subsequent meeting with the vice-chancellor, an agreement has been reached about housing a number of students who cannot afford to go home.

Richard Pithouse, a politics lecturer at Rhodes University, says the recent protests at the campus have “changed the way in which discussions are framed. Whereas before, discussions have framed transformation as the problem, such as the issue of not having enough black staff, now the racism of the institution and the real problems within it are in focus.”

Reactionary protests
Benjamin Fogel, a former Rhodes student, characterised the culture of student protest while he was there as “reactionary”.

“I was at Rhodes from 2009 to 2012. In that time, the only protest of significance I saw, in terms of numbers, was when the kitchen staff went on strike and then the students protested about the quality of the food. This is the kind of student culture you have there. It was like: ‘We don’t really care about your rights; we just want our food.’”

Fogel, who witnessed the groundswell of protest in Grahamstown last week, says there was a gathering attended by more than 1 500 people, most of whom were in favour of changing the university’s name.

But the current wave of mobilisation does have antecedents. People say an organisation called the Students for Social Justice existed at some point and then petered out. But as Onceya explains, the Black Student Movement may have been established in solidarity with the UCT’s Rhodes Must Fall movement but it draws its inspiration from the consciousness that student organisations had during the apartheid years.

“It’s a way of sharing our experiences about an institutional culture that alienates people from other backgrounds ... If Rhodes Must Fall, then the name of this institution must change.”
Protecting ‘brand UCT’

In contrast with the active role played by UCT’s SRC, the response of the Rhodes SRC has been bland. Its call for government intervention and a referendum has seen it being lampooned by students as part of a “depoliticisation campaign happening on campus”.

The government, too, has been standoffish, with Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa commenting that any entity that wants to remove a statue needs to undertake a 30-day consultation process, including presentations to the authorities and comments from affected and interested parties.

UCT’s Hotz says a Wednesday evening meeting that included university workers, students and administrative and academic staff was taken over and then chaired by students, who read out racist comments that had been sent to people involved in the Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

“It has been so easy to reprimand students for throwing shit on the statue, but there has been no condemnation of these statements of racism,” says Hotz.

“We do not believe that there is a process of investigating these comments. They’ve been saying they are doing a lot of things but the university is merely concerned with protecting ‘brand UCT’.”

‘Reject Rhodes, reject Mandela’
Ashwin Desai, a former student activist and a professor of sociology at the University of Johannesburg, says: “Every generation sets itself new tasks. In the universities in the 1980s and the 1990s, it was about getting in. It was about deracialising residences. We hardly took statues and monuments seriously… Black students fought the structures and were expelled and so on.

“This generation is confronting what they are being taught at lectures, the ethos of these institutions. What I wonder is if they have the capacity to realise what they are taking on.”
Desai said a rejection of Rhodes amounts to a rejection of Mandela, because Mandela “rescued” Rhodes. “The Mandela-Rhodes scholarship gave Rhodes legitimacy. At the launch of that scholarship, Mandela said something like: ‘Rhodes would be happy with how we are running the economy.’

“A rejection of Rhodes is a rejection of the negotiated settlement that gave rise to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC said it was only interested in what happened during apartheid, when the contours of South African history were shaped by what happened way before 1948. Mandela et al, in their zeal to win over the white minority, allowed entities like De Beers, the manifestation of Rhodes’s legacy, not to come to the TRC and account.”

Desai said there is still a need for students to succinctly articulate what they mean when they refer to wanting a “black curriculum”.

Simamkele Dlakavu of Transform Wits said when students challenge the curriculum at the institution it is because “to learn about Africa, you have to go outside the institution. Western political thought is still being promoted. The only black thinkers that we are being taught are Fanon and Biko, which leaves a number of important theorists out and this is tied to the demographics of who is teaching.”

She says the movement to transform campuses cannot be seen in isolation but as part of the cracks that have been showing in South African society since the Marikana massacre.
mg.co.za

Cops on alert for armed Ses’Khona marchers
IOL News 26 March 2015

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town urged Ses’Khona People’s Rights supporters to remain peaceful as they began gathering for a large march taking place on Thursday, some armed with hockey sticks, whips and sjamboks.

At around 9am, people belonging to the movement – led by so-called “poo protesters” Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla – began gathering on Keizergracht.

Numbers swelled to over 700 as more supporters arrived, some carrying hockey sticks, whips and sjamboks.

There was a heavy police presence as the city prepared for possible riots, fearing that breakaway groups might charge through the CBD, damaging stores and assaulting vendors, as they did in 2013.

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith claimed that Lili had spoken on the radio calling on supporters to “bring hammers” and smash storefront windows on Thursday.

However, Lili denied the accusation.

He said that the protesters were simply planning to march to the provincial legislature and demand answers to their memorandums on service delivery issues in the Marikana township, situated in Philippi.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said Lili’s claims that the provincial government had not responded to memorandums handed over during previous marches was untrue.

She said the Western Cape government had constantly attempted to engage with the organisation and address its concerns since 2013 despite the fact “they have continuously broken the law during their protest action”.

“Our interactions with the organisation’s leaders, namely Nkhola and Lili, have also been conducted in good faith but the same cannot be said for them.” She said calls to meet the organisation’s leadership had often been ignored by Lili and Nkhola.

Mayco member for Human Settlements Benedicta van Minnen said the city firmly rejected claims made by the organisation that it had not responded to previous memorandums.

“While the city respects the right of organisations to voice their concerns, it must be done in a peaceful manner.”
kieran.legg@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Mpuma strikers cook on open fires
IOL News 19 March 2015

Mbombela - Striking staff members at the Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust have built cooking fires outside the premises to feed themselves during the strike.

Since Monday, the strikers prevented non-striking workers and students from entering the facility, in Kanyamazane near Mbombela, demanding their annual bonuses for 2014, a Sapa correspondent reported on Thursday.

They made fire at the gates and cooked porridge, cow head meat, tripe and beef to feed themselves.

“We shall cook and eat while we strike. This is how we do it when we strike. We know that hunger brings anger, so we want to strike without any anger,” said one of the strikers.

Hospitality students have been unable to attend class all week because of the strike.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) acting regional chairman Scara Masilela said the protesters wanted the seven percent increase they were supposed to get last year.

He said the union took the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration but it was never resolved.

“That's why we took to the streets.”

He claimed Nehawu tried, but failed, several times to engage the management peacefully.

Masilela claimed the strike was legal and protected.

A second-year student, who asked not to be named, said the strike was unfair on students.

“They were burning tyres and the gate was locked when the workers were protesting. This is unfair for us because we are being left behind with our studies,” she said.

She said those who did not participate in the protest were called names.

MRTT chief executive officer Davis Moropane's phone rang unanswered.
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What about the money, judge asks Aurora
IOL News 24 March 2015

Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday questioned how Aurora Empowerment Systems intended running mining companies when it did not have enough money for the massive project.

“What troubles me is the fact that control was given to Aurora in the beginning of 2009, with no discernible source of funds at that stage,” Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann said.

The court is hearing a claim for damages brought by Aurora's liquidators against the company's directors. The directors are accused of stripping the assets of the liquidated Pamodzi Gold mines in Springs, Gauteng, and Orkney, North West.

“As far as I remember the papers, there was no money in the kitty at that stage. How were the running expenses, and in particular the payment of the workers, going to be funded between October and December 2009?” Bertelsmann asked.

Louis Hollander, for Aurora directors Zondwa Mandela and Thulani Ngubane and consultants Fazel and Solly Bhana, said “family members came in”.

“There is a paragraph in my affidavit which says R15 million was available,” said Hollander.

He said the businessmen had courted a Malaysian investor, who they believed was going to inject money.

Hollander said the businessmen had taken a calculated business risk and should not be penalised.

The judge responded: “Well, it depends on the equation of the calculation. That is why I am asking you, between the beginning of October and the end of December 2009, as at the dates when the mines' responsibility was transferred to Aurora, what was in the kitty?”

He asked Hollander to explain what Aurora had, regarding promises of investment. Hollander said the amount rose to R30m.

“The point is that, my lord, there was funding in as far as the expenses were concerned. Other than just the purchase price of the mines, that funding came from family members.

“That funding may not have turned out to be ultimately all that was needed, but it cannot be said that when the respondents entered into the transaction there were any red flags to a reasonable business person that the transaction would not come to fruition,” said Hollander.

Former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Zondwa Mandela and President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma are among the company owners the Aurora liquidators want held responsible for the company's alleged fraudulent running.

The former mineworkers gathered outside court on Monday, waving placards.
Sapa
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Court bid to halt Plastic View auction fails
IOL News 21 March 2015

Pretoria - Six businessmen cut sorry figures in courtroom 4E on Friday after Pretoria High Court Judge Sulet Potterill dismissed their application to halt Tuesday’s auction of the Plastic View informal settlement by the City of Tshwane.

However, the court will hear another urgent application on Monday to interdict the city from going ahead with the auction pending a review.

The City of Tshwane is defending the matter, initiated by residents of the informal settlement, assisted by Lawyers for Human Rights.

The informal settlement in Moreleta Park is situated on one of more than 80 parcels of land that go under the hammer to raise an estimated R500 million to fund maintenance and infrastructure requirements, as well as basic services provision.

The businessmen, trading as Rakohe Investments, felt hard done by; they obtained an order from the same court last October setting aside the cancellation of their bid by the city for a mixed-used development at Plastic View.

Rakohe had submitted a bid for the establishment of a “new city” on the land about five years ago.

The bid was accepted by the city and funding was available, said Tshepo Mahlangu, of Rakohe Investments.

“We engaged with the residents and intended bringing them on board by way of setting up a trust fund to accommodate them in the new development,” he said.

“If we in the business sector can be sympathetic towards the residents, what stops a government from doing so?”

Mahlangu said the tender process was on the verge of entering a second stage, which involved negotiating for and signing the contract with the city. But the city cancelled the tender and sent a letter to the company to that effect.

Subsequently, the land was put up for auction and will be sold to the highest bidder in one of the country’s biggest land auctions which will be held at Summer Place in Hyde Park. Tshwane appointed The High Street Auction Co to manage the process.

Rakohe Investments went to court and was granted an order setting aside the cancellation of the tender pending negotiations.

Mahlangu said it was in the middle of the negotiations that the city decided to put the land up for auction.

He said this was in defiance of the court order, prompting Rakohe to return to court.

Their hopes were dashed when Judge Potterill dismissed the matter, saying the applicants failed to comply with the court regulations on urgent applications.

Placard-bearing residents of the informal settlement toyi-toyed on the pavement outside the court.

A few were in the courtroom and left soon after Judge Potterill delivered judgment.

They vowed to be back on Monday.

Mahlangu said they would also return for what could be the final bid to interdict the auction.

He said they were “extremely” disappointed, as the court failed to comply with its own decision, referring to the judgment to set aside the cancellation of the tender.

“This is not the end. We will evaluate and further consult on this matter. It has been four to five years of planning and negotiations, during which exorbitant costs were incurred,” he said.

Tshwane mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said Plastic View land was illegally occupied and residents were there in terms of a 2012 court order.

He said the city was in an advanced stage of negotiations with Lawyers for Human Rights, on behalf of residents, to discuss available options when the land is auctioned.

“Our intention is to negotiate a resettlement plan to avoid a legal confrontation with the residents,” he said. “The overall benefits of the land sale will benefit the greater development needs of the people while resolving the current issues.”
kennedy.mudzuli@inl.co.za
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Rea Vaya buses back for some routes
IOL News 19 March 2015

Johannesburg - Joburg’s Rea Vaya buses were due back on the roads on Thursday under heavy police guard following a six-week strike by drivers.

The private company that operates the system, Piotrans, said on Wednesday it would run at a limited capacity service of 80 percent, covering some of its main routes including Soweto, the CBD and Cresta.

Police officers would monitor operations because Piotrans feared some of its former workers could pose a security risk to its operations.

A total of 162 drivers were fired after they illegally downed tools.

They were demanding the bus system be operated by the municipality rather than a private company.

It has emerged that internal squabbles in the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), which represents the drivers, may have led to their sacking because they were given mixed advice on their strike.

Dion Makhura, a Samwu shop steward who was called in by the police when the drivers downed tools, has been denounced by the union’s national leadership for assisting them, saying he was not the right person for the job.

But Makhura said the union’s leadership was holding talks with Piotrans without updating the drivers.

Drivers went on strike on February 2, which led to a shutdown of bus services for six weeks.

Piotrans said on Wednesday it had lost R29.4 million during the mass action.

Company spokesman Dumisani Mntambo said it would take years to recover the losses.

Although new drivers have been hired, Samwu and Makhura say they have gone to the Labour Court to get the axed employees reinstated.

Earlier this month, the union’s general secretary, Walter Theledi, warned drivers against Makhura.

“This is the same individual who is responsible for the loss of over 160 jobs at Rea Vaya, and he is continuing with the same tactics at JRA (the Johannesburg Roads Agency).

“We are concerned that this may lead to further job losses. It is for this reason that we, in the interest of our members, will intervene,” he said.

Makhura has hit back, saying the union intervened only when he was called by police who needed help dispersing the drivers after they gathered illegally on the day they abandoned the buses.

Makhura said infighting at Samwu had led to the axing of the drivers.

“They (the national leadership) are fighting with us because we say they must give us back our stolen money,” he said.

“The union is battling a multimillion-rand fraud scandal which led to the arrest of its project management consultant, Samuel Phaswane, who will face charges of theft involving R7m when his trial resumes.”

Meanwhile, the system is expected to be back in full operation by the middle of next month, after Piotrans employs 70 new drivers to join those who were recently employed.
www.iol.co.za

22 held for Jeppestown violence
IOL News 18 March 2015

Johannesburg - Twenty-two people were arrested in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, on Wednesday, Gauteng police said.

Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said they were arrested after they turned violent when their planned march to the Johannesburg mayor's office was not allowed to proceed.

“They did not have a permit to march. They were not allow to march and they turned violent.”

The protest started on Tuesday night after they were informed that they would be evicted from dilapidated buildings they occupied.

Makhubela said order was restored and police were monitoring the situation.
www.iol.co.za

Rural women marching out for land
IOL News 22 March 2015

Cape Town - Hundreds of women who work in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors, including those illegally evicted from farms, on Saturday launched a campaign calling for more land ownership.

The Long March campaign, spearheaded by the Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA), gathered close to 500 women from across the country, dressed in black and green T-shirts emblazoned with the words, “Women, guardians of seed, life and earth”. They formed a circle on a field in Keizersgracht Street and loudly chanted: “We want land now!”

The campaign launch marked Human Rights Day on Saturday. Its supporters marched to the Western Cape provincial legislature offices to hand over a memorandum with their demands for more land rights and access to other productive resources to address food security.

The RWA campaign will culminate in a mass march in Pretoria in August, in celebration of national women’s month.

A postcard distributed to the women had space for them to write down their grievances. This is to be handed to rural development and land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti at the August march.

RWA’s North West co-ordinator Nombulelo Mbandezi told the crowd they were “tired of starving”.

“We demand one hectare a woman as they work hard to provide for their children,” she said.

Gertruida Baartman, 47, from Ceres was also at Saturday’s campaign launch. Baartman has been a seasonal farm worker since she was 15. She has endured many of the inequalities that women in the agriculture sector face.

Walking with a crutch, the mother of two said the rights of women on farms were often overlooked.

“In the past, no matter if you were pregnant, you had to work the crops, which were laden with poisonous pesticides that had a negative impact on the health of many farmworkers, who got sick,” said Baartman.

Other issues she cited included a lack of proper healthcare facilities, unequal pay, as men often earned more than women for the same job and working hours, and escalating evictions from farms. Statistics from the Women on Farms project show that only one out of every 100 farm evictions is legal.

From Citrusdal, farmworker Lien Maton, 40, said together with her husband, they fought a four-year court battle in their attempt to prevent her employer from evicting them from the farm.

“While we waited for a court date, the (farmer) cut our water and electricity and eventually kicked us out with our two kids. The law doesn’t protect us as women at all,” said an outraged Maton.

In a statement, the RWA reported that with the slow rate of progress, it would take 77 years for women to achieve equality in pay, and 123 years for rural women to gain labour equality.

The association said new legislation has promised an end to the practice of “willing buyer, willing seller” and it called out the ruling ANC for taking 20 years – since the start of democracy – to admit that “land reform is failing”.

As the group of protesters reached the provincial legislature buildings in Wale Street, they started chanting for Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to come out and receive their memorandum.

Among their list of demands include the fast-tracking of land reform that benefits women; housing contracts that stipulate women farm workers as home owners; preferential access and rights for artisanal and subsistence fishers; the right to use forestry plantation to generate income; and farmers who are guilty of illegal evictions to face prosecution.

With the appearance of the premier’s spokesman Michael Mpofu, the crowd grew angry shouting “No Zille, No Vote!”

An RWA representative told the protesters they were being “disrespected once again” by a provincial government which claims “to defend their human rights”. They proceeded to read the memorandum, which Mpofu signed, accepted and promised to “bring it to the attention of the premier”.
janis.kinnear@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

ANC ’dompas’ protest in Worcester
IOL News 21 March 2015

Cape Town - ANC officials marching under the banner of the party’s “Stop Racism Campaign” in Worcester on Friday lashed out at the DA and its leader Helen Zille, accusing them of taking the Western Cape back to apartheid days by allowing the use of controversial green cards to be enforced on their watch. However, the DA counters that the cards’ origins lie in ANC-led Gauteng.

About 80 people turned out for the protest against the green card system operating in the town’s wealthier suburbs, permitting entry to employed workers. The backlash included accusations that the hated “dompas” system, part of the oppressive pass laws of the apartheid era, was being brought back.

The card system initiated by the Worcester Community Policing Forum (CPF) confirms the identity, work history and criminal record (if any) of workers.

“We as a community are being victimised. Back then my parents also carried a dompas and 9 o’clock you had to be in the house and when they walked somewhere they had to have it at all times. The green cards are a step backwards and we cannot allow our children to go through that again,” said Heks Park resident Farieda Kerspuy, 60.

Among the protesters clad in yellow ANC T-shirts and various other party regalia was Angeline Kamfer, 49, who furiously recalled how they had to adhere to the apartheid curfew restrictions and be out of town at a designated time, or face being thrown into jail.

Her grandfather was African and she recalled how he changed his surname to “sound more coloured” in order to secure a job in Worcester.

While the ANC has laid a complaint about the green card practice with the Human Rights Commission, it was reported on Friday that the Boland town’s CPF, in a meeting with party representatives, said they would not “backtrack” since they believed the system promoted community safety.

On Friday the protesters, bearing placards bearing the words “Racism” and “SA deepens racial divide”, made their way from Vanhuysteen Laan to the Worcester Civic Centre.

“We can’t just sit arms folded when we see a violation of our constitution. We want to stop racism in our province and can’t allow racists to lead our country. The DA is a devil alliance,” said Sinzo Mthini, the ANC Boland regional secretary.

During a sitting in the provincial legislature on Thursday, Zille questioned the ANC’s motives in linking the DA to the card issue.

According to Zille, a letter written by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, and published in The Star on March 13, outlined plans to introduce a similar initiative in the rural areas of that province.

Zille quoted from the letter, saying Nkosi-Malobane recommended launching a rural “programme of action against crime” that stemmed from a rural safety summit convened by the Gauteng Community Safety department, and attended by farmers’ unions, farmworkers, owners and tenants.

Among the recommendations in the letter was that “farmers must hire legal and documented workers, and create profile cards to be verified at the local station”.

The letter concluded: “The task team will commence with the implementation of these recommendations within two months, and will report back on the progress made in the next six months.”

Asked to comment on Zille’s statements, Mthini said that whenever she was confronted about pressing issues in Parliament, the premier would “bring up that the same thing was being practised in other provinces”.

“It’s like the issue of the open toilets. She will always quote an ANC province, but she’s in charge of the Western Cape. She should ensure that the municipality cannot allow something that’s not in their by-laws. We cannot blame the CPF because they should be guided by good governance.”

As the ANC protesters reached the civic centre, five DA protesters led by provincial party leader Ivan Meyer held aloft placards on the corner of High Street.

“Weg met ANC + SAPS dompas” (“Away with ANC and SAPS dompas”), their posters read.

Meyer said: “We are opposed to the apartheid-style dompas system. It’s an ANC and SAPS initiative exported from Gauteng,” Meyer charged.

He added a call from the DA for an “apology” from the police after national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega’s admission that the green cards were in fact a SAPS initiative.

In the ANC’s memorandum, read out to the crowd, was the call for an “immediate end to the green card or dompas system”, but also a demand that the Breede Valley Munici pality provide employment equity statistics, as well as details of broad-based black economic empowerment companies.

The document was then signed by Mthini and Worcester police station commander Brigadier Vuyani Mdimbaza.

There was some confusion when Mdimbaza said reports about the green card system had surfaced in November 2012. According to earlier reports, the local CPF stated that it had only taken effect from June.

Mdimbaza claimed the system had been scrapped in November. But when questioned about which November, he said only that the police had “never arrested anyone for not carrying a green card”.
www.iol.co.za

Swastikas and Hitler imagery at UCT
IOL News 19 March 2015

Cecil John Rhodes's statue on UCT's campus.
Cape Town - Posters of Adolf Hitler and swastikas were put up around the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) landmark Jameson Hall in the latest salvo in the ugly spat around the fate of the contentious Cecil John Rhodes statue on the campus.

Meanwhile, the ruling ANC has expressed its support for the student-led campaign in the latest turn of events which have rocked UCT in recent weeks.

“We had hoped that by putting up symbols of evil relatable to the majority of society, we would have activated people to feel what we are feeling and to see what we see,” said student activists grouping Black Monday in a release on their Facebook page on Wednesday evening. “Hitler committed a gross crime against humanity, and equally, Rhodes committed a gross crime against humanity.”

The statement by the group came as a result of complaints lodged to UCT’s Student Representative Council (SRC) over the use of the Hitler and swastika imagery.

The SRC deemed the protest in “ill-taste”, but Black Monday stated they were not anti-semitic and condemned the use of the swastika to incite violence. However, they argued the use of the symbol was needed to garner support for the “Rhodes Must Fall” campaign.

“We believe this is a defendable cause that should be supported by society as a whole; however, we have been met with apprehension and division along racial lines,” said the group.

“We wanted people to walk to campus and see symbols of evil. We wanted them to feel uncomfortable and to complain. But mostly, we wanted people to empathise with our cause. To ask themselves why they are not uncomfortable with the statue of Rhodes and why they do not complain about these issues,” the group said.

Kgotsi Chikane, organiser of last week’s protest gathering at UCT and president of youth-led movement Inkhulufreeheid, condemned the actions of Black Monday.

“Using Swastika’s to prove a point is senseless to say the least. The whole act lacks strategic foresight and pushes to exclude rather than include,” he said on his Facebook page.

“It in fact divides black people in particular because it forces you to take a side that is unrelated to your original goal. It clouds your end goal by making your debate a debate about other issues… It’s time-consuming. Time we simply don’t have”.

University spokesperson Pat Lucas was unable to provide comment on management’s response to Black Monday’s actions.

However, the group reported they were, within 30 minutes of the posters going up, called into a meeting by UCT management.

“Let us expose UCT management for their hypocrisy. For more than a week, students have been campaigning about the removal of the Rhodes statue yet we have received an inadequate response that came in very late; whereas the University has been very efficient in responding to bad press. In just 30 minutes of the Hitler and swastika poster going up, the University called Black Monday to a meeting to account. This inconsistency highlights UCT’s embedded institutional racism,” claimed the group.

For the rest of the week, the group would continue putting up symbols of Adolf Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, the Confederation Flag, and the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.

Meanwhile, the ANC released a statement on Thursday expressing their support for “the courageous efforts and campaign by the progressive students of UCT, under the leadership of the SRC, to transform the institution – including removal of racially offensive symbols.”

The statement came in response to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) call in National Assembly urging all to support the “Rhodes Must Fall” campaign.

Although the ANC did not agree with the manner in which the EFF’s call was made, they since communicated alignment with the students’ campaign.

“Rhodes’s name is synonymous with the darkest era of our country’s history, in which black people were subjected to a murderous, unjust, inhumane, criminal, and oppressive system on the basis of the colour of their skin,” said a statement from the office of ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani. “Having monuments glorifying the legacy of such individuals who embody such an evil system undermines our ongoing endeavour for national reconciliation and unity.”

The ANC said it was aware the removal would not bring “overnight transformation” to UCT but would serve as a powerful gesture by university management.

“We agree that such historical monuments serve as a reminder to the nation never to forget our collective history and to value the future we have. However, their location should not be offensive or make other races feel unwelcome in the country of their birth,” said the ANC.

The ANC would, in the near future, table a proper parliamentary motion on the matter, it said.
www.iol.co.za

Four in court for Letlhabile protest
IOL News 18 March 2015

Johannesburg - Four people arrested for public violence in Letlhabile appeared in the Brits Magistrate's Court, North West police said on Wednesday.

Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said they appeared in court on Tuesday and were released on warning. Their case was postponed to March 28.

He said Vivian Masenya, 31, Nkele Mokotedi, 25, Lydia Nhlapo, 37, and Shamlindah Tshwaane, 20, were arrested on Monday during a protest over water.


Teachers chased away from school
IOL News 18 March 2015

Cape Town - Three teachers were chased off the grounds of their Kraaifontein school and told never to return, as protests over the dismissal of the principal continued on Tuesday.

Imvumelwano Primary in Wallacedene was closed for several days last month and again on Tuesday after the dismissal of the principal on misconduct charges sparked protests by parents and residents who want him to be reinstated.

There was a strong police presence around the school and a heap of rubble, that had been set alight earlier, was still smouldering outside the school gate by about noon.

The principal had been charged with “five charges of misconduct under sub-sections 18(1)(dd), 18(1)(q) and 18(1)(s) relating to sexual assault and harassment, and two charges of misconduct relating to dishonesty under section 18(1) (ee) of the Employment of Educators Act”.

Chippa Arosi, the chairman of the SA National Civic Organisation in the Kraaifontein area, said members of a steering committee, which includes himself, governing body members and other residents had tried to intervene, but the “community” demanded that the three teachers leave their classrooms.

“They were then chased away.”

He said the three were among 11 teachers who residents accused of conspiring against the principal.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer announced on Tuesday that her office had received new evidence in the case.

Last week her office received a report from an independent investigating officer.

She said this investigation had found that the process by the Western Cape Education Department had been “procedurally and substantively fair” and that there was nothing that occurred in the duration of that process which, in their minds, would justify an approach to a court for the overturning of the dismissal on that basis.

It was, however, recommended that the principal be advised to refer the matter to the Education Labour Relations Council for arbitration, “notwithstanding that the principal had refused to pursue this avenue beforehand”.

“However, subsequent to receiving the report, my office then received new evidence, in the form of a sworn statement pertaining to the facts of this case and which may, or may not, have had an influence on the charges that were laid, the evidence that was led and hence the findings of the disciplinary panel in this matter.”

She said there had been an agreement with officials that, based on the new evidence received, they would not oppose any application for condonation, which the principal was now advised to launch.

“I now request the community to respect my decision and, if they so choose, lawfully participate in that arbitration process further, once initiated by the principal.”

She condemned the violent protest action.
ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/teachers-chased-away-from-school-1.1833557

Samwu threaten to burn down municipality
IOL News 18 March 2015

Cape Town - Outraged members of the SA Municipal Workers Union threatened to burn down the Oudtshoorn Municipality after discovering money deducted from their salaries each month had not been paid to their pension funds, medical aids and other third parties.

They believed the money had not been paid since November. Charges have been laid and police are investigating.

About a hundred workers took to the streets over the past two days, burning tyres and rubble in front of the municipal building while demanding swift action.

On Tuesday, the municipality said “all monies that needed to be paid to the third parties have since been paid in full”.

Acting municipal manager Ronnie Lottering said the workers could have followed internal legal processes to voice their grievances instead of resorting to an unprotected illegal strike.

“This activity is a gross breach of the code of conduct that all are subscribing to and shows a great degree of irresponsibility.

“Management will ensure that all the necessary disciplinary actions are instituted accordingly.”

But despite the municipality’s assurances, union secretary Xolela Silinga said workers had laid criminal charges of fraud and corruption against Lottering and the municipality’s acting chief financial officer, Francois Human, for failing to pay the third parties.

“Our salary slips show that this money was deducted but we found out that it was never paid over. Workers are angry and they want answers. We will burn down this municipality and are prepared to go to jail if need be, but we will not allow people to rob the poor of their hard-earned money.”

Silinga said workers were fed-up with fraud and mismanagement at the local authority and called for national government intervention.

Police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie confirmed that a case of fraud and corruption had been opened by municipal employees.

Lottering said they were still negotiating with the union leadership.
warda.meyer@inl.co.za
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/samwu-threaten-to-burn-down-municipality-1.1833589

SRC walks out of Rhodes statue talks
IOL News 17 March 2015

The universitys student representative council (SRC) staged a walkout during a discussion with members of the institutions management. Picture: David Ritchie
Cape Town - Controversy over a statue of Cecil John Rhodes at UCT reached boiling point on Monday when the university’s student representative council (SRC) staged a walkout during a discussion with members of the institution’s management.

The SRC has demanded the statue be removed.

UCT vice-chancellor Max Price told the Cape Times that talks about removing the statue from the university campus were at a “stalemate”.

The SRC has taken a hardline stance, refusing to partake in any discussions on the matter and simply demanding that a date be set for the statue’s removal.

During a protest last week, student Chumani Maxwele flung human excrement on the statue, calling for the monument to be taken down.

Maxwele and his followers called for transformation of the university’s infrastructure, including the renaming of campus roads and buildings.

Following the protest, more than 2 000 students gathered at the university campus on Thursday, when many called for the statue to be removed.

The statue of Rhodes is on the upper campus, overlooking the university’s rugby fields on Madiba Circle, formerly known as Rugby Road.

The university’s upper and middle campuses are on land that was bequeathed to the nation by Rhodes as the site for a national university.

SRC chairman Ramabina Mahapa was seen leading the charge on Monday as SRC members and supporters walked out of a discussion on heritage, signage and symbolism.

The meeting was the first in a series of discussions which university management insists will take place throughout the year.

“We are not at a point where management wants to meet with us in a fruitful way. There are a number of things we are upset about,” Mahapa said.

“The charges brought against Chumani Maxwele for throwing poo on the statue need to be dropped.”

Mahapa detailed the SRC’s demands before he and other SRC members walked out of the meeting, which had been arranged earlier.

“This is something we’ve been speaking about since last year. They cannot say we we have not been engaging with them. The university has serious issues about transformation that it hasn’t dealt with,” he said.

“The statue is really a symbol. The issue is bigger than the statue.

“If one looks at the paintings on walls here, they depict the poverty of black people, the naked black body of black people and other aspects we don’t identify with as our history.

“Other things like black staff being marginalised and readdressing affirmative action and promotions. These are our issues,” said Mahapa.

“Once we are given a date for the removal of the statue, it will give a firm indication that management is ready to address these issues,” he said.

Mahapa said the SRC and its supporters would hold a march on Friday to protest over the lack of transformation at the university.

“The SRC wants the statue removed and they are not willing to discuss it. They are not willing to meet with us until we give them a date,” Price said.

The UCT management was “totally open” to discussion and open to proposals about the matter, he said.

“There are various stakeholders at play here, but we need to be inclusive.

“If the statue is one of the things that makes people feel isolated, then we need to address it, but we will continue our discussions with or without them,” Price said.

He denied that the university had laid charges against Maxwele, saying the charges were lodged by a private entity.

UCT spokeswoman Pat Lucas would not be drawn, while Maxwele could not be reached.

carlo.petersen@inl.co.za
Cape Times
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/src-walks-out-of-rhodes-statue-talks-1.1832940

Khayelitsha buses diverted after attack
IOL News 17 March 2015

Cape Town - Following the torching of a Golden Arrow bus and a bakkie on Sunday in Khayelitsha, the bus company has decided to divert its buses on certain routes in parts of Khayelitsha as a “precautionary measure”, spokesperson Bronwen Dyke has confirmed.

As a result of the redirecting of the buses, according to Dyke, “there have been no delays and we are operating normally”.

“Diverting just means that we skip a part of the route or go around a part of the route – so in this case, all the buses are running as per the normal route, just slightly differently,” she said.

Dyke added that “our passengers are all made aware of this, so the impact on them is minimised”.

On Sunday, a Golden Arrow bus had stopped to offload passengers near BM informal settlement when a group of people suddenly appeared and demanded that the driver get off the bus.

The passengers were forced to climb off before the bus windows were destroyed and the vehicle set alight.

Nine hours later, a bakkie that was deployed by the company to direct buses in the area was also set alight after the driver was doused with petrol and the group had allegedly threatened to set him alight.

Dyke said both the bus and the bakkie were completely gutted. No one was injured.

“We are not sure why our vehicles have been targeted, but it may have something to do with service delivery protests in the area.”

She said there have been no further reports of incidents in the area since the bakkie was torched on Sunday evening.

Police spokesperson André Traut said a case of public violence has been registered.

“Officers were deployed to the area to maintain law and order,” said Traut.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/khayelitsha-buses-diverted-after-attack-1.1832937

Attacks on Cape Town cops slammed
IOL News 16 March 2015

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies came under a series of attacks during operations in Phillippi on Friday, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith revealed on Monday.

“The events in Philippi are a blatant attack on the State and cannot be tolerated. I want to make it very clear that we will not be intimidated by criminals,” said Smith.

The City’s Metro Police Department were carrying out one of several operations in Philippi on Friday when members were threatened and attacked by illegal taxi operators.

An Metro officer was mobbed by a group of approximately 20 people while driving an impounded vehicle Smith reported. He was assaulted and the group tried to grab his service pistol before members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) fired a warning shot, forcing the crowd to disperse.

An hour later, another crowd attacked two Metro Police vehicles at the intersection of Stock and Rochester Roads in Philippi.

“When the department’s Tactical Response Unit arrived, they were met with bricks and stones before two rubber rounds were fired to disperse the crowd,” Smith added. “That evening, a Metro Police officer was leaving the department’s Philippi depot when an unknown man pointed a gun at him. The officer then requested an escort to transport him, driving just a few metres before three shots were fired at the police vehicles.

“Officers at the Philippi East station also found a bullet hole in the door of one of their vehicles.

“Our job is to enforce the laws and it is very unfortunate that those who believe that they are above the law have the temerity to react in this manner,” said Smith.

The Philippi operation formed part of a series of operations carried out by the City’s enforcement agencies last week.

“I want to commend the officers for staying the course during this operation. We are thankful that there were no serious injuries,” said Smith.

The operations yielded many successes, including:

– Nearly 90 arrests

– 19 vehicles impounded

– 23 traffic fines issued

– Arrests of 33 motorists for drunk driving

– Arrests of 40 suspects for various crimes including murder, attempted murder, possession of drugs and stolen property

– Confiscation of various quantities of tik, dagga and mandrax, a Norinco Star pistol and various types of ammunition.

The City’s enforcement agencies’ successes also extended to that of the Traffic Services’ Ghost Squad who arrested six civilian motorists for reckless and negligent driving.

These were as a result of an operation focused on illegal street racing in Athlone and Ottery.

One of the suspects was found to be twice over the legal alcohol limit Smith said.

The Ghost Squad had also conducted a pre-operation briefing outside the Milnerton police station when a speeding vehicle was spotted on Koeberg Road.

The driver had almost collided with a traffic post before he proceeded into the police station premises. On approach, officers discovered the driver in full police uniform, smelling of alcohol. The officer, who was nearly three times over the legal limit, was the seventh motorist arrested for reckless and negligent driving.

“This arrest is really disappointing. When the people who are meant to uphold the law are the ones breaking it, it is no surprise that some residents have no regard for the law or those who enforce it,” added Smith.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/attacks-on-cape-town-cops-slammed-1.1832756

Burning tyres, glass litter Jeppestown
IOL News 18 March 2015

Johannesburg - Disgruntled evictees caused chaos on the streets of Jeppestown in Joburg on Wednesday morning.

Motorists endured major traffic delays as several roads in the industrial area were blocked off due to a protest sparked by eviction notices served on residents living in nearby properties on Tuesday night.

Those driving along many of the main roads, including Jules Street, had to avoid burning tyres, broken glass, large rocks and litter as protesters with knobkieries and large sticks sang and danced amid a cloud of black smoke from burning tyres.

A police officer at the scene, Sergeant Mduduzi Zondo, said protesters took to the streets on Tuesday night after being informed that the dilapidated buildings they occupied had been bought by someone else.

The protesters said they had nowhere else to go and rallied the support of the men living in nearby hostels to back their cause.

Together the large groups congregated and began barricading the roads.

They also emptied municipal bins, threw the litter onto the streets and set it alight.

Although a large contingent of officers from the Joburg Metro Police Department and SAPS were on scene early on Wednesday morning, the mob was undeterred and continued marching along Wolhuter Street.

As they danced and sang along the street,

their compatriots stood on the rooftops of the dilapidated buildings they were evicted from, and acted as lookouts.

But police continued to monitor the protest and were stationed across the entire region.

They redirected traffic and urged pedestrians to avoid getting too close to the protest action.

Mike Ngobeni, a pedestrian walking past the protest, said he feared for his life.

“I can just walk past and something can be thrown at me or anyone just walking past.”

Meanwhile, in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni on Tuesday night, anger over the disconnection of illegal electricity connections resulted in the torching of a municipality building, a mobile clinic and 10 vehicles.

A clinic was stoned and partially burnt, windows of a library and two others vehicles were smashed and the customer service centre was looted of its equipment before being torched.

This happened when Winnie Mandela residents went on a rampage after the Red Ants disconnected their illegal electricity connections.

When Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele arrived at the scene on Wednesday morning, to see the devastation for himself and address the community about issues that led to what happened, he was dismayed by what he saw.

“I am not fine at all on Wednesday morning,” he said.

Gauteng provincial police spokesman Colonel Kay Makhubela said residents blocked roads with burning tyres and went to the clinic and torched vehicles parked there, one was a mobile clinic.

Makhubela said residents also targeted foreign owned shops, looting and vandalising them.

Gungubele said during the apartheid regime, Tembisa residents had to go to Kempton Park for all their municipal queries. In the dawn of democracy, the government decided to take services closer to the people and built customer care centres in their townships with clinics and libraries next to them.

“Many people here are unemployed and do not have money to go to Kempton Park and now the one-stop centre has been burnt down… They stoned the clinic and partially burnt it, private as well as municipality vehicles were burnt too… We have done a lot in Tembisa and can still do more but we need to talk about issues,” he said.

karishma.dipa@inl.co.za and botho.molosankwe@inl.co.za
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Durban bouncer killed by petrol bomb
IOL News 17 March 2015

Durban - Durban police have launched a manhunt after an unknown man flung a petrol bomb that killed a bouncer outside a city centre pub at the weekend.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said a 46-year-old man was severely burnt outside Buffalo’s Sports and Action in Monty Naicker Road (Pine Street) on Saturday. He later died.

“It is alleged that an unknown suspect threw the object at the bar.

“As a result a bouncer was seriously injured and taken to hospital. He later died.”

He said Durban Central police were investigating a case of murder.

A police source who attended the incident said it was a grisly sight.

The incident happened just before midnight.

“Emergency services - the fire department and paramedics - were already at the scene when we got there.

“We went to check on him. He was severely injured on his right arm and head,” he said. “There was no damage to property.”

Witnesses said bouncers at the pub were standing guard at the entrance when the incident happened.

“It looks like he was caught off guard because he first ran into the premises and ran out again,” the police source said.

“We are told that he was hysterical and ran away covered in flames.

“He collapsed just before the KFC restaurant. There was a whole lot of commotion.”
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/durban-bouncer-killed-by-petrol-bomb-1.1832900

Madibeng protest violence criminal: MEC
IOL News 17 March 2015

Brits - North West community safety MEC Gaoage Molapisi on Tuesday condemned the burning down of public and private property in Jericho, near Brits.

“Those involved in these criminal activities will be arrested and we are definitely going to oppose bail for those arrested,” he said.

A councillor's house and tribal council office were torched during a protest over water in Jericho on Monday night.

“Public safety is our responsibility as the department and we are not going to allow violent actions and damage to public and private property,” Molapisi said.

He appealed to residents to stop unlawful acts.

North West police said the tribal council office was partially burnt while damage to the councillor's house was “massive”.

“It is alleged that before setting alight the buildings the protesters looted from two foreign national owned shops,” police spokesman Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.

The protest was sparked by a shortage of water in Jericho and Letlhabile at the weekend, the Madibeng municipality said.

Municipal spokeswoman Lebogang Tsogang said the municipality had water supply problems due to ageing infrastructure at the Brits water treatment works. When the water supply was cut the municipality used water tankers.

Jericho resident Rakgadi Mokubela said schools were closed on Tuesday and people did not go to work.

“Roads have been blocked and a shop near the police station was looted,” she told Sapa.

“We are gathering at the police station waiting for the mayor of Madibeng (Jostina Mothibe) to tell us when will the municipality supply us with water,” she said.

“We have water meters installed in our yards but the taps are dry.”

She said the taps ran dry about three years ago. They had been buying water at R3 for a 20 litre, and R50 for a 200 litre, container.

In February residents of Majakaneng, south of Brits, protested about water supply.

Four people died in Mothotlung, Madibeng, during a protest over access to water in 2014.

Ironically Madibeng means “the place of water”. The name was derived from the natural beauty of the area that encompasses the Hartbeespoort, Rooikoppies, Vaalkop, and Klipvoor dams.
www.iol.co.za

Eight held for Thembelihle protests
IOL News 17 March 2015

Johannesburg - Eight people were arrested in protests in Thembelihle, near Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Tuesday, Gauteng police said.

They were charged with public violence for allegedly trying to close roads in the area, Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said.

Police had tried to disperse the group but crowds continued to regroup.

Makhubela said residents were protesting over service delivery in the area.

“They say they want to be addressed by officials, but we are not sure who is supposed to address them,” Makhubela said.

Police continued to monitor the area. Those arrested were expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court soon.
Sapa
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/eight-held-for-thembelihle-protests-1.1833338

Teargas, rubber bullets used at Lenasia protest
IOL News 17 March 2015

Johannesburg - Police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of protesters in Thembelihle near Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Tuesday, Gauteng police said.

Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said residents blocked the K558 road during a service delivery protest.

He said no arrests had been made and the road was being cleared.

“The police and Johannesburg metro police are at the scene. We will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
www.iol.co.za

Bizana taxi drivers released on warning
IOL News 11 March 2015

Johannesburg - Bizana taxi drivers arrested in a protest, during which a police officer was shot and wounded, were released on a warning on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said.

The 24 drivers, arrested on Monday for malicious damage to property and public violence, would appear in the Bizana

Magistrate's Court again on March 20, Lieutenant Khaya Tonjeni said.

On Monday evening taxi drivers, demanding tarred roads, blocked roads with their minibuses and threw stones at passing vehicles.

When police arrived at the scene, a scuffle ensued between the police and taxi owners.

“A police member was shot in the left arm by an unknown person who fired from the protesting crowd,” Tonjeni said.

The officer was taken to hospital and later discharged. Several shops, including a Spar and a KFC, were vandalised during the protest.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/bizana-taxi-drivers-released-on-warning-1.1830634

Cecil John Rhodes statue covered in bags
IOL News 16 March 2015

Cape Town - UCT students targeted the prologue of the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race at the campus on Sunday to continue their protest calling for the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, covering it with black bags.

The statue was covered for most of the day with the words, “Rhodes must fall”, written in chalk on the steps in front of the statue.

The mountain bike race continued despite the protest.

Last week, student Chumani Maxwele threw faeces over the base of the statue and the 30-year-old student was involved in the protest on Sunday.

“We covered the statue because we do not want it to be the symbol of the university. Since the last protests people have come up and supported our cause which has been very encouraging for me. It shows that we have people of different races that can come together and help make a better South Africa. But how can we be unified with such a divisive figure like the Rhodes statue standing in the way?” said Maxwele.

On Thursday, students, led by UCT’s SRC, packed the plaza above Jammie Steps, calling for the statue to be taken down.

The management of the institution has suggested the possibility of taking the statue down. The SRC and Maxwele are hoping for a decision by the end of this week.

“The SRC has organised a march on Friday from the statue to the Bremner Building, which is where the vice-chancellor’s office is. We will march to the office on that day to get a date from the university of when the statue will be taken down.

“If we do not get a date then the SRC has promised to cut all communications with the university board, which just shows how much they believe that the statue must be taken down.”

Maxwele has vowed to keep the statue covered.

“Until Friday I will make sure that the statue stays covered even if it means that I must cover it all the time.”

The university condemned Maxwele’s poo protest last week and opened an investigation into the incident.

Maxwele, however, says he has been encouraged by how much support he has garnered since his initial protest.

“The language of the university certainly changed since last week.

“I went from the barbaric black man to being part of a group of young South Africans that want to enforce change. We are also meeting with the university tomorrow to get any charges dropped and for them to stop any sort of investigation.”

UCT said it would comment on the latest protest action on Monday.
junior.bester@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Media statement on the massacre of people of Chief Albert Luthuli Park N12 Putfontein Daveyton
Cosatu 16 March 2015

The African National Congress Branch (Nicia Ntilane) ward 24 in Ekurhuleni Gauteng is appalled and disturbed by the shooting and gun down of members of the community of N12 Informal Settlement at Chief Luthuli Park Cloverdene in Daveyton, on Saturday the 14th March 2015 around 21h00 by unknown people that resulted in the massacre which killed innocent women and children.

Twelve community members were shot at, of which five (5), four women and one man were declared dead on the scene, including a 1 year and 7 months old girl. Those dead are from 3 family members (mothers and daughters and a granddaughter). It is believed that those survived are fighting for their lives in hospital which include a 2 year old girl whose mother and grandmother died on the scene.

The ANC is more disturbed that most of the people who died are women and this happens during International Women Month, when the whole world is preserving women’s achievements, recognising the challenges and mobilising the communities to do their parts in ensuring that women empowerment and gender equality forms part of their daily lives.

What is more disturbing is the unavailability of police during this tragic moment, and the community believe strongly that the police are taking bribery from illegal miners, hence the lack of patrols and as the ANC we strongly condemn this act of barbaric criminality. We however urge members of the community to keep calm, and work with the police in uprooting these criminal elements, including rotten cops; there is no better time than this for the community to unite.

As we mourn with the members of the community, the ANC is appealing to the Ekurhuleni municipality to lend a helping hand to the families of the deceased as this is a disaster and a massacre. One family lost 2 members, the other lost 3 and the other lost a breadwinner.

On these tragic moments, the ANC would like to further appeal to the funeral undertakers and local business people to assist the destitute families.

To the faith-based organisations, your contribution and spiritual support for the families will be highly appreciated to strengthen the families and the community at large.

The African National Congress calls on all members of the community to assist and give necessary support to the families, we also call on Police to work tirelessly to apprehend the suspects as soon as possible.

As the ANC in the ward we lower our banners and declare this week a week of mourning and therefore call to all the community to join us in these mourning times.

ANC will be hosting a Memorial Service for all the deceased on Wednesday 18 March 2015 at 15h00 venue will be Chief Luthuli Secondary School.

Members of the community, media, and members of public will be informed in due course of funeral arrangements in consultation with families.

Issued by ANC Nicia Ntilane Branch (ward 24, Ekurhuleni)
Contact: Bangilizwe Solo
0829514222 / 0713870424

Murder suspects freed after siege
IOL News 16 March 2015

Pretoria - Fuming residents of Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium gathered in vast numbers outside the Laudium police station on Sunday, demanding the release of three suspects linked to the alleged murder of an elderly woman.

This followed an incident two weeks ago when an 8-year-old boy from the Itireleng informal settlement went missing.

His body was later found mutilated and dumped behind a mosque. The boy’s eyes had been gouged out, and his hand and nose cut off.

This angered residents, who stoned and vandalised a school attached to the mosque, claiming foreign nationals were behind the murder. The foreigners fled.

The angry residents did not stop there. A source who didn’t want to be named told the Pretoria News that the residents of Itireleng then consulted a traditional healer to point out the murderer of the boy.

“We contributed money as a community to go and see a traditional healer in Hammanskraal, so she could tell us who did this to the poor boy.”

It is alleged that the traditional healer in Hammanskraal told the community that a foreign traditional healer residing in their informal settlement had mutilated the boy for magic purposes. “We had our suspicions that it was a sacrificial killing because of the way the body was dissected and dismembered,” said the source.

Following the revelation on the alleged murderer, the community began looking for suspects based on the information they received.

“We finally found out who it was. This foreign couple had always been suspected for their devious ways.”

The foreign couple were confronted by the Itireleng community on Saturday night. The husband, who is a traditional healer, was not home when residents went to their shack. So the community members beat the wife to a pulp demanding she tell them the whereabouts of her husband. “She was crying and said she didn’t know.”

Realising that she was not going to tell them where her husband is, the wife was forced to drink petrol and was necklaced with a tyre before being set alight.

The livid residents then left her burnt body in an open field near the informal settlement.

Captain Louise Steynberg confirmed that three male suspects between the ages of 18 and 24 had been arrested in connection with the woman’s death and have been charged with public violence.

Livid residents of the Itireleng informal settlement took to the streets on Sunday and marched to the Laudium police station demanding that the three suspects be released.

“If the police are going to arrest anyone it should be the whole community, because we all did this, not just the three guys. We demand they be set free,” said Mpho Sidebe, a resident from Itireleng.

Police from the Laudium police station called for back-up from surrounding police stations to keep order. “We need as much help as we can in case things get out of control,” said Steynberg.

After much interrogation and negotiation the police agreed to release the three suspects.

“It sets a bad precedent. We cannot be bullied like this. People must respect the police force and their rules and regulations. Now people are going to mobilise every time a crime is committed,” she said.
Pretoria News
www.iol.co.za

Foreign owned shops in N West looted
IOL News 15 March 2015

Rustenburg - Police in the North West have arrested 13 suspects for public violence in Stella after a crowd of about 200 people had started looting foreign owned shops.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Kealeboga Molale said the arrests came after violence at Rekgaratlhile location in Stella on Saturday night.

“It is alleged that about 200 community members started looting two foreign national shops after the police did a tavern raiding and seized the alcohol. It is alleged that this made the community not to be happy.”

The suspects are due to appear in Vryburg Magistrates’ Court soon on charges of public violence.
www.iol.co.za

Violent end to EFF ‘land grab’ attempt
IOL News 14 March 2015

Johannesburg - A land grab attempt by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) turned violent in Kagiso on Friday when a group of residents clashed with police and Red Ants, and a vigilante mob draped in ANC T-shirts arrived to deliver “street justice”.

The exercise of invading vacant land in Swaneville, Kagiso – west of Joburg – by EFF members ended in tears, broken ribs, scars and blood for some who had come to be allocated free plots to erect shacks.

More than 300 portions were being allocated to about 700 people who formed two long queues to register their names for the land earmarked for a shopping centre, when police in full riot gear and Red Ants arrived to remove them.

The police ordered the crowd to disperse from their “illegal gathering” and remove poles and rocks used to demarcate individual plots. But the crowd taunted them and refused to leave. Police opened fire with rubber bullets and threw tear-gas canisters.

Rose Mangathe, who queued for a piece of land, paid a heavy price. She was hit by a rubber bullet on her right leg that floored her next to a open tear-gas canister, forcing her to inhale its smoke.

With her teary eyes, a sore heel that left her unable to walk, Mangathe was still defiant. She did not regret taking part in the failed land grab.

“I have lived here for 12 years now and (for) 10 years I have been on the housing waiting list for a house,” she said. “I have children to raise in a one- room backyard shack.

“Do you think I was going to sit back when I heard there was allocation of land? I am not a member of EFF but support them on this. I don’t care where I get land from. I want to get a place to raise my children.”

Mangathe insisted that she was shot at by the police and Red Ants while trying to walk away from the crowds.

Several residents of Swaneville, however, accused the land grabbers of being “outsiders who came to our area to cause mayhem”.

A resident who would not give her name said: “These people come from as far as Tshepisong to cause trouble here. Youngsters were bussed in to make this whole thing look like it’s a major event by the residents of Swaneville.”

After the crowds dispersed and retreated into the township, a vigilante group in ANC T-shirts came wielding knobkerries, sjamboks and pangas to “administer their own justice” on those wearing EFF’s T-shirts or a beret.

The group – described by some locals as infamous for delivering mob justice in a place known as Mayibuye – said they came to “take back their streets”.

They chased the EFF members down the streets, assaulting some with sjamboks and hitting them with rocks.

Bonolo Thamae was one of those cornered by the mob aided by Red Ants. She was hit several times as she lay helplessly on the road while other residents cheered the mob.

She sustained several wounds and bruises and later had to be treated at the clinic.

EFF West Rand regional secretary Itani Mukwevho vowed that “no amount of violence” would stop them from taking vacant land and giving it to the people. “By April we will have taken all the land that is idle and unused.”

Local councillors’ houses were guarded by armed Red Ants after the crowd allegedly threatened to attack them.
www.iol.co.za

Bare-bum protest against hostel ruling
IOL News 13 March 2015

Durban - Hundreds of angry women on Thursday night flashed their buttocks, blocked the road and protested against a Durban High Court ruling which granted 24 children permission to stay with their mothers at the Thokoza Women’s Hostel in the Durban CBD.

The group was in full voice, wielding planks and banging on plastic city bins as the bottom of Dr Yusuf Dadoo (Grey) Street was blocked off by four metro police vans during the protest.

The group was led by former hostel chairwoman, Mabongi Ngcobo, who said the judgment was unfair because it did not consider the well-being of other residents.

She said there was a lease agreement in place that dictated that pregnant women move out for six months and send their children home when they had been born.

“We all agreed that children are not allowed here, and that when you fall pregnant you will move out for six months and return later and find your bed. Now that they are pregnant and have children, they say they have no families, whereas we hire people to take care of our children in the homelands,” Ngcobo said.

Ngcobo claimed some women drove cars and were not supposed to be living at the hostel, as it was meant for poor people.

She claimed some of the mothers were government and municipal workers.

She called for the eThekwini Municipality to move the women to an alternative property because the hostel was already overcrowded.

Another angry dweller, Thembi Dlamini, said the conditions were not conducive for children to live in.

“We don’t want the children in the hostel. There are only 24 who want children here, while there are nearly 980 of us who don’t want children here.

“The conditions inside are bad. We are cramped and they are making decisions for us without consulting us. There are three beds per room, there’s no space to even walk inside, the toilets are dirty and they leave the children’s napkins lying around anywhere and their children are always crying,” she said.

Ngcobo said the lease agreement allowed children to visit in December and leave in January, and said the municipality should prioritise family units.

Some women chanted that if children were allowed, they would bring their men inside the hostel as well.

“The court was not supposed to grant permission. The court has not been here to see the conditions; maybe if they had seen the conditions they would understand that this is not a good environment for children to grow up in,” Ngcobo said.

Another angry woman, Jabu Sithole, said it was unfair to be subjected to living with children.

“The rooms are small. Imagine, when you are trying to eat and somebody is changing nappies. Is that fair? These hostels were made for people who seek employment to provide for their families. If people want to see their children, they must visit them like the rest of us,” she said.
Daily News
www.iol.co.za

Chaos outside court after Flabba case
Naledi Shange Comment on this story (IOL News) 10 March 2015

Johannesburg - Chaos erupted outside the Alexandra Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday following the appearance of Sindisiwe Manqele, accused of killing musician Nkululeko “Flabba” Habedi.

Manqele was thought to be Habedi's girlfriend.

Local residents clashed with a group of women and a man, understood to be Manqele's relatives. The two groups traded insults, and the residents insisted Manqele should not be granted bail.

The 38-year-old musician was stabbed in the heart in his Alexandra home in the early hours of Monday.

“How do you know what happened? You weren't even there,” one of Manqele's relatives shouted. Residents responded with outrage and banged on the family's car.

The relatives struggled to get into the car and, once inside, the driver could not reverse out of his parking bay outside the court as the crowd blocked his way.

“No bail, no bail,” they shouted.

After several minutes, the car drove out. It was not clear whether a crack in its windscreen was caused by the confrontation.

The crowd ran after the car, which got stuck in the traffic building up on the narrow road outside the court.

Habedi's brother Tshepang, the family's spokesman, sped away from the court in a white VW Golf. Journalists chased after him, hoping to get comment.

Earlier, dozens of people could not get a seat inside regional courtroom one, which was packed to capacity ahead of Manqele's appearance.

Some of Habedi's relatives struggled to get in. An irritated female relative said she had expected better control of who entered the courtroom, after a court official refused her entry.

Manqele appeared in court dressed in a hoodie, black T-shirt, and leggings. Through her lawyer, the petite young woman said she had sustained bruises and stab wounds to her arms and stomach.

On the instruction of her lawyer, she removed the hoodie to show the court her injuries. She complained of pain.

The magistrate agreed to letting a doctor see her.

The case was postponed to March 16.


Maruleng residents up in arms as Malamulele calms down
SABC 9 March 2015

All the roads in the Maruleng Municipality between Hoedspruit and Tzaneen in Limpopo have been blockaded. Residents are concerned about the Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan's recommendation to de-establish the municipality.

Maruleng Municipality is one of the municipalities that will be de-established in the country. The ministry says the aim is to reduce the number of financially unviable municipalities.

Some chronic patients say they did not receive their medication as the areas are inaccessible.

“What worries us is that the clinical cars did not manage to enter into the village because of those blockades. Those who were supposed to get their medicines couldn't because of the blockade. Even to buy a bread we don't have enough shops. We don't have any activity that could be run at this present juncture we're suffering.”

Meanwhile, life is slowly returning to normal in Malamulele in Limpopo, four weeks after the suspension of a shut-down that lasted for five weeks.

Schools have re-opened and learners are receiving extra classes to make up for lost time. Business and other services are also running smoothly.

Residents had embarked on a boycott to demand a municipality. They accused the Thulamela Local Municipality of failing to deliver basic services such as water and sanitation to their area. Street vendors in Malamulele say they're happy that the situation is returning to normal.
www.sabc.co.za

MEC deplores fatal shooting of IFP member at hostel Shooting has potential to undermine political stability and tolerance in province.
Southlands Sun 9 March 2015

KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, has strongly deplored the fatal shooting of an IFP member at Jacob’s Hostel at the weekend.

Reports suggest that the IFP held a branch launch at Jacob’s Hostel in Durban and when people were exiting the venue, several gunshots were fired. One IFP member died and another was injured and rushed to hospital.

“This is troubling news. It is extremely disturbing and regrettable that members of political parties are targeted by criminals. This shooting, comes just as we are geared up for the 2016 local government elections, has the potential to undermine gains made in bringing about political stability and tolerance in the province,” said MEC Mchunu.

He also called for calm and restraint while police are working around the clock to arrest those responsible for senseless shooting. “We urge anyone who may have information about this shooting to contact the police immediately.”
MEC Mchunu extended his condolences to the family, friends and political colleagues of the deceased. He wished the injured IFP member a speedy recovery in hospital.
southlandssun.co.za

Foreign-owned shops looted in Limpopo
IOL News 3 March 2015

Polokwane - Foreigners in Ga-Sekgopo, east of Polokwane in Limpopo, have abandoned their shops after protesting villagers allegedly looted them during violence in the area.

The violence erupted after a foreign shop owner was found in possession of a cellphone belonging to a local man who was killed three weeks ago.

The discovery triggered violence as villagers demanded answers on how the shop owner got the man's phone.

Police said one of the alleged killers took the phone to the foreigner but they did not know whether it was sold to him or was brought there to be fixed.

One suspect was arrested for the murder and another handed himself to police on Sunday.

Violent protests erupted on Sunday with villagers sending all the foreigners packing and pushing them out of 11 villages in Sekgopo.

Somalian shop owners said they lived in fear as villagers issued threats to burn them alive.

One of the shop owners said he had lost his stock and would not regain the profit lost during the looting.

“We have lost our stocks, including groceries, clothes and building materials,” he said.

Other owners were worried that they were being made to pay for the sins of their fellow foreign nationals.

“It is sad because we are not even part of the cellphone scandal, but just because we are foreigners, we were included. We lived with this community for many years. We were a family, we were one of them,” he said.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said police were patrolling the area.

“The situation is now calm and a case of public violence has been opened. We will continue to monitor the area,” said Ngoepe.

Ngoepe said the first suspect was arrested shortly after the murder and was released on R1000 bail.


Murder suspects rescued from vigilantes
IOL News 9 March 2015

Rustenburg - North West police on Monday appealed to community members to refrain from taking the law into their own hands following an attempted lynching in Boitekong, outside Rustenburg, over the weekend.

Police officers had to rescue five suspected murderers, three of them minors, on Saturday after angry community members caught them and set them alight.

Police suspect the minors, aged 15 to 17, a 22-year old man, and a 19-year old man were behind the murder of a 30-year old man in the area in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“It is alleged that members of the community caught the suspects and took the law into their own hands by assaulting and setting them alight. The police managed to rescue the suspects who were taken to Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital for medical treatment of severe burn wounds,” said police spokesman, Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone.

Police have only charged the 19-year old man thus far. He will appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Officers released the minors into the custody of their parents so social workers could do an assessment in terms of the Child Justice Act.

The 22-year old man was also released from custody pending the outcome of further police investigations
www.iol.co.za

MyCiTi bus strike ends
IOL News 6 March 2015

Cape Town - The month-long strike by MyCiTi bus drivers ended on Friday, the City of Cape Town said in a statement.

The City confirmed that Transpeninsula Investments, which employs the drivers, and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union had resolved their differences.

“We are relieved,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Brett Herron.

“I also want to thank our commuters for their patience and understanding. We will do everything in our power to ensure that the MyCiTi service operates on schedule on the inner-city routes as soon as possible.”

The City expects the MyCiTi service to operate normally on all routes from Monday March 9, when all of the drivers will return to work.

The City urged passengers to contact the Transport Information Centre at all hours on 0800 65 64 63 for the latest information regarding the MyCiTi service.

Passengers were also asked to make use of social media by following @MyCiTibus on Twitter or visiting the MyCiTi facebook page, ‘MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transit System’.
www.iol.co.za/business/companies/myciti-bus-strike-ends-1.1828380

Pupils protest for new school
IOL News 6 March 2015

Cape Town - Around 350 pupils of Philippi Secondary School protested outside the head office of the Western Cape education department in Cape Town on Friday, the department said.

“The learners are demanding a new high school in Philippi,” spokesman Paddy Attwell said.

The school shares a site with Hinds Park Primary School at present.

“The department plans to build a new high school in the area, but does not currently have land for the school.”

Western Cape police could not immediately confirm speculation on Twitter that either a smoke or stun grenade was used to disperse the protesting pupils.
www.iol.co.za

‘Cops used stun grenades on pupils’
IOL News 6 March 2015

Cape Town - Police maintained a visible presence in Cape Town’s CBD on Friday after a protest which saw officers apparently use crowd control weapons, including stun grenades, on a group of pupils from Philippi High School.

Informal traders operating outside the Western Cape Education Department’s office at the Grand Central building on Darling Street, said they saw about 200 pupils running towards them just before 11am with police in pursuit.

The children stopped outside the department’s offices demanding to speak to an official. They were reportedly unhappy about having to be taught in shipping containers for the past year instead of in proper classrooms.

Informal trader Andile Oliphant: “The police argued with them for a long time, telling them with a loudspeaker to leave. But the kids just sat down on the ground. That’s when I heard the bang.”

Oliphant said his co-worker, who suffered from heart problems, fainted at the sound of what he believed was stun grenades.

“The sound made me lose control. I had to help my sister who fainted,” he said.

Some informal traders said police fired rubber bullets at the pupils and threw smoke grenades into the crowd.

The children scattered in all directions. It’s not clear if any pupils were injured but Oliphant said he saw at least two children bleeding.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cops-used-stun-grenades-on-pupils-1.1828223

Cops face rage after charges withdrawn
IOL News 6 March 2015

Cape Town - Residents of Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain turned on the police in a violent protest after charges against a man accused of killing his mother, 61-year-old mother Gafsa Roberts, and dumping her body in a rubbish bin, were withdrawn.

Shakur Roberts, 21, was arrested on Monday after a neighbour made the gruesome discovery.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said charges against Roberts were provisionally withdrawn on Wednesday pending further investigation, but could be reinstated later.

About 50 angry residents, who wanted him to admit he had killed his mother, went to his house.

He was not home at the time, but someone saw him later, Tafelsig resident Martin Knowles said on Thursday.

“We chased him. When we caught him, we brought him to the house and tried to make him confess to the murder,” Knowles said.

The crowd swelled to about 500 and when police arrived to escort Roberts, residents hurled stones at the police.

Police spokesman FC van Wyk said police vehicles were damaged and cases of malicious damage to property and public violence were opened.

Residents lined Winterhoek Street with torched tyres and fuelled the blaze with rubble. They petrol-bombed police, who retaliated with water canons, rubber bullets and stun grenades. The protest lasted until about 11pm.

The house where Roberts and his mother lived stood empty on Thursday.

Abie Isaacs, Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum chairman, said it was unfair that the community had turned on police, who were merely doing their duty.

“We need this community, and South Africa as a whole to respect police and the judiciary. The anger vented at police is uncalled for,” Isaacs said.

“All police can do is arrest someone. It is up to the courts to prosecute people. People know the saying ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

“Taking the law into your own hands makes you a criminal too.”
francesca.villette@inl.co.za
Cape Times
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cops-face-rage-after-charges-withdrawn-1.1828024

Khayelitsha hall set alight, three held
IOL Newws 2 March 2015

A protest resulted in rock and tyre barricades after children came home ill from a sports and recreation function. Photo: Leon Knipe
Cape Town - A community hall in Khayelitsha was set alight by a mob of angry residents when their children returned home from a city sports and recreation function with suspected food poisoning.

It resulted in the closure of parts of the N2 on Saturday night.

On Saturday the city’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department hosted a youth games event at the OR Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha.

It is alleged that children from the BM informal settlement, near Mew Way, who attended the sporting event returned home with complaints of stomach cramps.

Their parents believed the cramps were caused by food poisoning. Three children were taken to the Khayelitsha Hospital.

In the early hours of Sunday the parents met a group of residents who were protesting for houses. The two groups worked together and set the community hall alight.

Three women were arrested.

Ward councillor Monde Nqulana said the three women were parents of the children who fell ill.

Nqulana said BM residents were upset by two issues - the first being housing. He said the BM residents were promised housing from the Bosasa project in Mfuleni after their homes were burnt down in 2013.

He said after a long wait the residents learnt that the project had been put on hold by the city. “Last night they decided to protest and closed the N2 and Lansdowne with tyre barricades.”

He said housing protesters met the parents of the children in the morning.

“The food poisoning spiked the anger and I am afraid the hall is badly damaged. I doubt that there will be any sports taking place there now. The infrastructure is badly damaged.”

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said police were deployed to the scene and were there most of the morning.

He confirmed the arrests of three women. “Arson and public violence are being investigated.”

Mayoral committee member for community services and special projects Belinda Walker condemned the torching of the community hall.

She said the kitchen of the facility was destroyed and other parts of the building suffered minor structural damage. “It’s horrifying that people think that burning down a hall and inconveniencing people for an extended period of time is the way to air their grievances.”

She confirmed that the city received reports that 30 children fell ill with suspected food poisoning and that the participants were taken to Khayelitsha for treatment.

“While officials were briefing parents regarding the situation, a group of community members entered the venue as they were under the impression the meeting was related to housing development and service delivery matters.”

Walker said after it was explained that the meeting was not housing-related the group left and later returned in the morning to torch the hall.

“The city will launch an investigation into the matter of food poisoning due to refreshments supplied by the service provider, Ameena Ebrahim Caterers, and will, if necessary, take action.”

Additional reporting by ANA
zodidi.dano@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Protest doesn’t resonate with all
IOL News 9 March 2015

Johannesburg - Sophie Moleka didn’t really understand why she found herself in Sandton among the throngs of people taking part in an anti-Israel trade expo on Sunday.

“I can’t say I know why I’m here,” she said, shrugging her shoulders in response to a question from a curious onlooker.

She directed the man to a makeshift stage on a small truck parked outside the Sandton Convention Centre, where the SA Zionist Federation conference was being held.

Speaking to The Star, the 51-year-old mother-of-three from Orange Farm said: “They called me late on Sunday (Saturday) to say there was an event in Sandton and buses were available. They said we can go because buses were available.”

The call, she said, had come from one of the local SACP leaders.

“I don’t know why we are here, who we are supporting and against who,” Moleka said.

For Pertunia Nkwanyana, 34, also of Orange Farm, the universal appeal of Nelson Mandela and Yasser Arafat seemed enough to convince her to attend on Sunday’s march.

“Mandela was close to Arafat because they both fought against apartheid. I think South Africans and Palestinians are the same thing.”

Sunday’s protest march was the last leg of the 11th Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa.

Various speakers from the ANC and SACP, the youth wings of the two parties and pro-Palestine organisations took turns criticising Israel.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele was listed among the speakers but was nowhere to be seen.

The green, red, white and black of Palestine flags fluttering in the gentle breeze blended with those of the ANC and SACP.

The speakers were unambiguous in their calls: boycott and ostracise Israel and its businesses from the international community.

“Those South Africans who defend the Israeli state, like the SA Zionist Federation, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), the ACDP - they should be ashamed of themselves,” said Suraya Dadoo of the National Coalition for Palestine.

“The plight of the Palestinian people makes every South African a Palestinian. We also have a message for our leaders in government - sanctions now!”

Buoyed by the small but loud audience, Dadoo continued: “We must deny the state of Israel any formal recognition. It must be isolated and shamed. When will the Israeli ambassador to South Africa (Arthur Lenk) be recalled? When is comrade Sisa Ngombane going to be recalled from Tel Aviv?”

Deputy Minister in the Presidency and ANC subcommittee on international relations member Obed Bapela’s talk was mainly against Jewish people in South Africa “still on the side of Israel”.

For Moleka, the march seemed a distraction from the pressing service delivery issues in her community.

“There were meetings that were planned for today to talk about issues of community projects, but all of that was interrupted by buses fetching people to this event.”

The SAJBD reacted angrily to on Sunday’s march, accusing the protesters of intolerance and inciting violence.

“From the outset, it was clear that the aim of the demonstration… was to shut down Sandton and ensure no Zionist conference be held on our soil,” SAJBD chairwoman Mary Kluk said.

Bapela’s utterances were “unbecoming of a deputy minister”, she added. “As worrying as these displays of anti-Semitism are, it is equally worrying that Deputy Minister Bapela chose to attack the SAJBD. One would expect a more measured and dignified tone from a state official.”
lebogang.seale@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

Bekkersdal protesters arrested
IOL News 6 March 2015

Johannesburg - Eight people were arrested for public violence during a protest in Bekkersdal on Friday, Gauteng police said.

The protest started when disgruntled residents wanted to march to the Westonaria municipal offices, but were refused permission, Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

“They started throwing stones and things in the road and a Bangladeshi shop was looted.”

Three people were arrested for the looting.

Just after 3pm, the protesters were standing in groups with debris still strewn in the streets, said Mogale.

“They keep regrouping and when the police move away they find a new target,” she said.

Police would remain in the area to monitor the situation.

Co-operative governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo said in a statement the protesters had wanted to submit a memorandum about a delayed auditor general's forensic report on the municipality, and the removal of its mayor.

He said there had been progress in provision of services in the area.

“We cannot afford any more damages to public property in the name of service delivery. The money we have injected in the commuity is a sign that we want to uplift the community of Westonaria for the better.

“It is premature to call for the removal of the executive mayor as we are still waiting for the auditor general's forensic report,” he said.
www.iol.co.za

E-tolls: DA pickets Makhura's office
IOL News 4 March 2015

Johannesburg - The DA has picketed in front of the Gauteng premier's office to urge him to call for a referendum on e-tolls.

Provincial leader John Moodey said on Wednesday at the picket in central Johannesburg: “We're here as the voice of the people of Gauteng and to raise awareness that we're taking their fight forward.

More than 100 people wearing Democratic Alliance T-shirts danced and sang in Simmonds Street, where Moodey was expected to address them later.

“We will continue to raise the issue of the total scrapping of e-tolls,” he said.

“We're making a plea to the premier for a referendum on the matter so that the people's voices can be heard once and for all.”

He said they would not hand over a memorandum as thousands of people had already e-mailed the premier expressing opposition to the system.

CONTEMPT
DA spokesman for roads and transport Neil Campbell called for a fuel levy to pay for roads, instead of e-tolls.

""We reject the e-tolls with the contempt they deserve,” he said. “We do want to pay for the roads by a dedicated, ring-fenced national fuel levy.”

He asked who was getting rich from the e-tolls, and said because of apartheid-era spacial planning, the poor were paying the most for transport.

Makhura's suggestion of a hybrid system would increase in cost year after year, he said.

DA provincial chairman Solly Msimanga compared the relationship between Gauteng's residents and the e-toll system to the relationship between a battered wife and her partner.

The abuse, by the government and its e-toll system, started slowly, but people would continue to accept it, even if it got worse.

He said the premier was not listening to what the province's people wanted.

"Instead of listening to us they're doing what the previous government did to us," he said. "This is an unwanted way of collecting money for the roads."

VOX POPULI
Peter Polan, from Eldorado Park, said it was difficult for him to pay e-tolls on top of other expenses.

“The petrol price, food price and electricity is going up and I must still pay e-tolls,” he said. “Everything increases because of the e-tolls. It's counterproductive.”

Letticia Spani said it had become expensive to travel by taxi into Johannesburg each day from her home in Grasmere.

“We are using a taxi. It's too expensive,” she said.

Peter Stewart said e-tolls ate into the little bit of money he had left at the end of each month.

“It takes that bottom bit of money that you've got left, that's gone,” he said.

“Everything goes up, rates, taxes, petrol. Then you've still got to cope with e-tolls.”

Stewart said the tolls affected everyone and that there was no alternative.

“There's no public transport, Rea Vaya is on strike, the Gautrain doesn't run everywhere.”

During the picket, police blocked the entrance of the premier's office.
www.iol.co.za

Charges against SANDF protesters dropped
IOL News 3 March 2015

Pretoria - Public violence charges against soldiers accused of marching illegally to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in August 2009 were struck off the roll by the Military Court in Heidelberg on Tuesday.

“The public violence charges were struck off the roll by the court,” said Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga.

The trial of 35 soldiers who were charged for being AWOL was at the same time postponed to Wednesday.

“(The) Director Military Prosecutions intends to provisionally withdraw charges against the accused.”

The charges could, however, be reinstated at any time, Mabanga said.

On August 26, 2009 around 1000 soldiers participated in a protest march in Pretoria. They had clashed with police who had to use rubber bullets and teargas.


Student funding protest in Tshwane
IOL News 2 March 2015

Pretoria - A small group of students marched to the higher education and training department in Pretoria on Monday for what they call “free and quality education for all”.

Waving placards bearing slogans such as “A revolution of consciousness”, “Bailouts for SAA, Eskom - what about education?” and “Blade we demand NSFAS”, students marched in the streets while singing struggle songs.

They said they were protesting against the lack of funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and to eradicate debt among students.

The protesters expressed their dissatisfaction over a shortage of funding from the government scheme. Students said universities were charging exorbitant tuition fees as a form of modern day exclusion.

“We are back in apartheid days,” they said.

“We are tired of fighting against something that could easily be addressed in a single motion,” student Thato Molopo said.

Genius Tshabangu, a student at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), said government was failing to cater for students.

He said he could not understand why “African children are being blocked from studying”.

One of the students, wearing an Economic Freedom Fighters beret, said Higher Education and Training Minister “Blade Nzimande must climb into his car or plane and come here to sort out this mess”.

The issue of financial aid for students sparked a number of incidents of violence at the TUT and the University of Johannesburg last year when half of the applicants to the NSFAS scheme were turned down.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/student-funding-protest-in-tshwane-1.1825837

Business rivalry driving attacks: cops
IOL News 27 February 2015

Johannesburg - Police on Friday said they suspected that local shop owners may be behind unrest and attacks on foreign-owned shops around Gauteng.

“We can say that we have information that they may be local business people involved in the attacks,” said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.

“We believe some of the people arrested may be working together with business owners.”

Police have been monitoring Thembelihle, Tsakane, Dobsonville, Doornkop, Vereeniging and Springs this week, following unrest activity.

“These protests often result in foreign nationals being attacked,” said Makgale, adding that he was concerned about the criminal activity.

Nine people were arrested after a foreign national was cornered in his shop in Soweto on Thursday.

His shop was petrol-bombed and he was set alight. The man was hospitalised with serious injuries.

“ 1/8The suspects 3/8 are expected to appear in the Dobsonville Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence, attempted murder and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition,” said Makgale.

Their firearm was recovered in Dobsonville and would be sent for ballistic tests in order to establish whether it was also used in other crimes.

A foreign shop owner was arrested in Snakepark for possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Three other people were arrested for damaging property after they allegedly threw stones at passing vehicles.

Meanwhile, a man has been arrested following a clash between the Indian community from Lenasia and black people from Thembelihle.

“We have now charged a suspect who was arrested for firing shots at protesters in Thembelihle, leading to a community member being injured,” said Makgale.

“Contrary to some of the media reports, the victim has not died. He is in hospital.”

Makgale said the situation was currently quiet but tense in all the areas.

“We will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
www.iol.co.za

Protesters throw poo on Rhodes statue
IOL News 10 March 2015

Cape Town - A foul stench drifted up Jammie Steps at UCT after a dozen protesting students drenched the statue of Cecil John Rhodes in human excrement.

Student Chumani Maxwele led the way as he flung the human waste on the statue, calling for the monument to be taken down.

“As black students we are disgusted by the fact that this statue still stands here today as it is a symbol of white supremacy. How we can be living in a time of transformation when this statue still stands and our hall is named after (Leander Starr) Jameson, who was a brutal lieutenant under Rhodes,” said Maxwele.

Maxwele and his followers called for transformation of the university’s infrastructure, including the renaming of campus roads and buildings.

“This poo that we are throwing on the statue represents the shame of black people. By throwing it on the statue we are throwing our shame to whites’ affluence.

“As black students here we have to change our ways just to fit in, and we have to keep quiet for almost three years before we can speak in the classrooms. It is time for all of that to change.”

It is not the first time that Maxwele’s name has been in the news. The 30-year-old politics student made headlines in 2010 after he was detained by President Jacob Zuma’s bodyguards for flashing his middle finger in the direction of the president’s motorcade.

The statue of Rhodes is on the upper campus overlooking the university’s rugby fields on Madiba Circle, formerly known as Rugby Road.

The university’s upper and middle campuses are on land bequeathed to the nation by Rhodes as the site for a national university.

But Maxwele said: “How can this statue still stand on a road called Madiba Circle? By doing that we are making history beautiful when it is not. Also every year we have the Steve Biko memorial speech and it is held in the Jameson Hall. These are all fraudulent relationships.”

University spokeswoman Patricia Lucas said the institution was unaware of the protest.

“The university has procedures in place to allow students to hold peaceful and safe protests on issues that concern them. The protesters did not follow such procedures, and by dumping excrement in a public place they violated the law. They did not inform UCT of their intention to demonstrate, nor did they issue a statement to the university about the reasons for this protest.

“UCT is investigating this action and we will take legal steps if it is established that there was unlawful behaviour,” said Lucas.

During the protest a UCT security officer attempted to physically stop Daily Voice photographer Ayanda Ndamane from taking pictures, although students took pictures and filmed the incident with their cellphones.

Lucas said: “The vice-chancellor’s office has demanded a comprehensive and immediate report on this alleged incident.”
junior.bester@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za

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