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South African Protest News 22 May 3 July 2015 (2015) South African Protest News 22 May 3 July 2015.  : -.

‘Illegal’ protest against Uber in Joburg
Fin24 tech 3 July 2015

Johannesburg - A group of taxi drivers launched protest action against internet ride sharing service Uber in Johannesburg on Friday without the necessary permission from local police.

The head of Uber for sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, told Fin24 that the “illegal” protest happened earlier on Friday and that the protesters have since “come and gone”.

Lits, who is based in Uber’s Johannesburg office in Parktown North, said his team has not been at the office on Friday because of the protest.

Posts on social media emerged on Friday indicating that taxi protesters intended to move from a park in Sandton to the Uber office a few kilometers away in Parktown North.

However, spokesperson for the Johannesburg Metro Police Edna Mamonyane said protesters had not received permission from authorities to launch their picketing action on public roads in the city.

“As metro police we are the custodian of the Gathering Act together with Saps (South African Police Service) and we don’t have anything from the metered taxis,” Mamonyane told Fin24.

“So, what we have done is send officers to go and check.

“We might have to open a case against them. We can’t let people wake up and go do anything they like,” said Mamonyane.

Mamonyane said permission for protest action on public roads is needed to ensure the likes of free flow of traffic and road diversions.

Protesters’ demands
Local newspaper the Sandton Chronicle has posted a video to YouTube of the protest that outlines the metered taxi drivers’ demands.

Speaking in the video is Lucas Seale, who is the spokesperson for the Gauteng Metered Taxi Operations.

“Uber is not a very fair competitor when you come to this industry, because of their price, they’re next to nothing,” said Seale.

“It’s actually destroying the economy of the country - that’s what they are doing,” he added.

In the video, he also accused Uber of exploiting its partner drivers and not being faithful to them. He also accused Uber of prompting “black-on-black” violence.

Uber on the protest
“That happened this morning. They did go to our offices, but it’s long over now,” Uber’s Alon Lits told Fin24.

“It’s not going on at the moment,” Lits told Fin24 on Friday afternoon.

“It was an illegal protest. They had no form of approval or court documents to officially protest. So, it was an illegal gathering.

“It was an illegal gathering of taxi operators who have no affiliation to any formal taxi association in Gauteng or Johannesburg. So, they seem to be some form of splinter group and their intention was to deliver a memorandum to us. We haven’t seen that memorandum.

“They were peaceful, but it was an illegal protest,” he said.

Lits further said that he welcomes engagements with the taxi drivers and ways that Uber can partner with them.

A protest against Uber was launched by metered taxi drivers in Cape Town earlier this year in January.

Uber is also discussing a clear route to licensing its drivers in Cape Town. Traffic officials in Cape Town have impounded over 200 Uber vehicles this year amid drivers not having metered taxi licences.

In Johannesburg, Uber drivers obtain chartered service licences, which are said to be less onerous to receive than metered taxi licences.

Municipal buses are interrupted as bus drivers strike in Durban.
Beria Mail 3 July 2015

eThekwini Municipality has issued a statement informing all commuters utilising the Municipal bus service -operated by private operator, Tansnat – of an interruption of the service in all areas due to a strike by bus drivers.

According to Tozi Mthethwa, spokeswoman for the EThekwini municipality, yesterday afternoon, 2 July, the majority of bus drivers downed tools and the service was running at a skeleton scale.

“However, as from this morning, Friday 3 July, more drivers have decided not

to get behind the wheel and the entire service has been affected,” said Mthethwa.

The bus operator has informed the Municipality that they are in talks with the drivers to resolve the labour dispute and hope the service will be back to normal soon.

“The Municipality wishes to apologise to all commuters for the inconvenience caused.

Commuters are urged to make alternative travel arrangements during this interruption,” added Mthethwa.

Commuters commandeer City to City bus
IOL News 2 July 2015

Johannesburg - Taxi drivers protesting against Autopax, the bus service replacing Putco in certain areas, continued in Pretoria on Thursday morning, leaving passengers stranded.

In Vosloorus, passengers who had been waiting 90 minutes for a bus flagged down a City to City bus - part of the Autopax fleet.

The driver told the commuters he couldn’t transport them as he was en route to another location.

But the commuters demanded he keep to the agreement his company had made - that the routes, times and fares would remain unchanged when Autopax took over - and transport them.

Although he argued that he was unfamiliar with the route, passengers said they’d advise him.

Outnumbered, he agreed.

As the commuters shouted out their locations to him, he tried to collect their fares.

But the chaos meant he undercharged passengers.

Although many passengers appreciated the driver’s patience, they were unsatisfied with what they saw as a breach in Autopax’s promise and grew increasingly panicked as it got later.

Sello Sedibelo

said: “I wake up very early to be on time for work.”

So did Nonhlanhla Sibiya.

She said the new bus company had not sent any buses to Vosloorus on Wednesday, forcing commuters to take taxis which were more expensive than buses.

“And I was late for work because I had to take two taxis,” she said.

The bus driver, who did not want to be named, told The Star that he formerly worked as a Putco bus driver transporting passengers in Soweto, but that he now worked for Autopax. His route is the Spruitview one.

He had decided to transport Vosloorus passengers because he understood their plight.

“These people are poor and they need to get to work. The bus company should have informed the passengers of the routes ahead of time,” he said.

The driver added that training should have been provided to the drivers beforehand, with routes made clear.

In Mamelodi, chaos continued on Thursday morning with roads being blocked by rubble and stones and some buses damaged as taxi operators continued to oppose the new bus system.

This despite Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi, Mamelodi Taxi Association (Mata), and Mamelodi Long Distance Taxi Association (Malta) representatives having talks to end the protest on Wednesday.

Mata and Malta claimed they had reached an agreement with the city to fill the void left by the departure of Putco buses.

But City of Tshwane spokesman Selby Bokaba told The Star’s sister paper the Pretoria News that theirs was not an agreement, but a proposal that had been submitted by both associations.

“They formed a company and submitted a proposal. But the province had already acquired the services of Autopax in the form of a three-month contract,” he said.

Autopax could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday morning.

* Additional reporting by Kutlwano Olifant,

Premier scolds protesters
IOL News 2 July 2015

Lerato Park - Premier Sylvia Lucas on Wednesday scolded the community for their rudeness and for taking their unhappiness to the streets.

This comes after another protest where the roads in Lerato Park were barricaded with rocks and burning tyres during the early hours of on Wednesday morning.

Community members are angry that the June 30 deadline has passed without any names of the beneficiaries of the new houses under construction being announced as promised.

Police officers physically pushed back members of the community and journalists, preventing them from standing behind the Premier, as they initially struggled to hear her speaking without a loudspeaker.

Lucas warned that the housing project would not go in if the community continued to protest.

“I have evidence that the community threatened housing officials for conducting door-to-door visits in order to verify the housing beneficiary lists. I also received messages on my phone where I was threatened.

“The project will not go on if people feel intimidated, where tyres are being burnt and stones are flying through the air.”

She added that the community should report bribes that were being exchanged to secure houses.

“Ons is nie hier om skollies vet te maak nie (we are not here to enrich lawbreakers). The community will be involved in deciding who will receive houses.”

Lucas added the identities of the new housing recipients would be done in a structured manner at a community hall at a date that has yet to be announced.

“Each person will be given an opportunity to scrutinise the list. We don’t have time for cowards who want to complain behind our backs.”

She also stated that the houses where illegal occupants had moved into in the first batch of houses that had been built were the subject of a legal battle.

“The eviction process is ongoing. No one will be allowed to move into the houses until the matter has been finalised in court.”

She instructed community members to decide who their leaders were.

“Some of the leaders are in positions in order to promote their own interests and are rude towards me.”

Lucas advised the community to direct requests for the provision of water and electricity in the informal settlement to the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

She added that Sol Plaatje executive mayor, David Molusi, was “at school” and that he had yet to honour his outstanding appointment to visit Lerato Park.

“I don’t wish to speak on his behalf because infrastructure is the responsibility of the municipality. Molusi will be coming back on Thursday (today).”

Residents branded the meeting as a “waste of time” and shunned the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) Alvin Botes, who also arrived with the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Martha Bartlett.

“We don’t want Alvin because he is telling us lies,” residents of Lerato Park and Bobo se Plaas said.

“We don’t want a repeat of Phase 1 where beneficiaries who are not entitled to the houses benefited through underhanded tactics involving government officials.”

Botes, who previously indicated that the names of the beneficiaries would be presented before the end of June, did not address the gathering on Wednesday.

Community members pointed out that no-one had seen the list that was apparently at Coghsta.

They also said were aggrieved that they were accused of being drunk over the weekend, where arrangements were discussed to schedule the meeting to reveal the identities of the housing recipients.

“We want the ward councillor to be there,” they demanded before threatening to burn more tyres.

DA protests against crime
North Eastern Tribune 30 June 2015

JOBURG – The increase in crime in the Jeppestown, Doornfontein and Joburg CBD areas led the Democratic Alliance (DA) to hold a silent march to Jeppe Police Station to hand over their demands to the station commander.
June 25, 2015

Councillor Bongani Nkwanyana habdiover a memorandum to Jeppe Police Station Commander Govandsamy Mariemuthoo.
Councillor Bongani Nkwanyana habdiover a memorandum to Jeppe Police Station Commander Govandsamy Mariemuthoo. The protest was led by the party’s Member of Parliament Dr Heinrich Volmink, together with councillors Percy Koji and Bongani Nkwanyana. Speaking to the protesters Nkwanyana said, “We have gathered here today to show our unhappiness with the lack of police visibility in wards 61 and 123. We propose that police capacitate and channel more resources in preventing crime in our area.”

Among their demands were that police needed to act on information they received about drug dealing and many other criminal activities in the area.

Nkwanyana added that the dilapidated buildings in the Johannesburg CBD, Doornfontein and surrounding areas were not well patrolled and were home to criminals.

“We also need the reintroduction of the specialised narcotics and organised crime units to combat drug dealing, lolly lounges [prostitution houses] and other organised crime activities,” Nkwanyana said.

Koji said the DA wanted to encourage people to work closely with the police in an effort to curb crime in the area. “Police lack resources which makes their lives difficult in fighting crime,” he added.

“We need government to employ more police and provide all necessary resources so police can do their work.”

Volmink concluded, “We need to take our streets back. We need more police visibility. We believe in freedom and there is no freedom if people live in fear of criminals.”

Cry for help from terrified farm kids
IOL News 30 June 2015

Cape Town - Children from several farming communities, many of whom have to walk long distances to school and are targeted by criminals while en route, are demanding intervention from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

On Monday about 200 children, accompanied by representatives from the Women on Farms Project, marched to the provincial legislature where a memorandum of demands was handed over to an education official.

Several of the children spoke of the dangers they face every day, from crossing railway lines while on their way to school, to being robbed of their money.

Karen Roos, women’s health and empowerment co-ordinator for the Women on Farms Project, said that in some instances children were physically assaulted and arrived at school or home with “bleeding noses and blue eyes”.

The march followed days after a meeting between Education MEC Debbie Schäfer and representatives from the project to discuss the results of a recent survey of 320 children in Stellenbosch, Wellington, Wolseley and Grabouw.

Among other things, it showed that:

* A third of the children had experienced violent sexual abuse while on their way to schools and there were two reports of rape.

* More than half of the respondents had been robbed while on their way to or from school.

* More than half couldn’t attend extramural sports after school as buses home departed immediately after the last class.

The children’s demands included that buses be provided for children who want to attend extra classes and sport activities, regular visible policing on the major walking routes and bus shelters for children who make use of the buses.

They also demanded that the department amend its transport policy to allow children in rural areas who live less than five kilometres away from the nearest school to qualify for transport.

Schäfer’s spokeswoman, Jessica Shelver, said the department provided transport for pupils from poor communities who live more than 5km from their nearest school, if they didn’t have access to hostels, and if no public transport was available.

“The 5km radius is a WCED Learner Transport Scheme policy requirement that can unfortunately not be amended to cater for learners who are residing less than 5km away.

“As a department we need to operate within our budget limitations. If changed, it will have serious financial implications for the department.”

She said principals could arrange with the service provider, “where it is practically possible”, that pupils who had to attend either afternoon/extra classes or sport activities be transported later.

She said the provision of bus shelters “is not a WCED mandate”.

Last week Shelver indicated that Schäfer had asked the department to contact the local police offices within the affected areas and ask for assistance in terms of visible policing.

SDCEA to protest electricity crisis
Southlands Sun 23 June 2015

Protest action has been scheduled, following a South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) hosted community meeting on the electricity emergency in the SA on Wednesday, 17 June.

The meeting, which focussed on load shedding, increases in tariffs, the need for subsidies and renewable energy, saw community members discuss their concerns and struggles.

To make their voices heard, the gathered residents decided protest action was required and are now calling on others to join as they pick up their placards.

A picket will be held outside Eskom’s Westville offices (24 Menston Road) on Friday, 26 June from 8am.

‘Pay back our money!’ say protesting Buffalo City traffic cops
Times Live 24 June 2015

Traffic cops blockaded the main street outside new Buffalo City Metro (BCM) mayor Alfred Mtsi's City Hall offices.

This was a strangely private public protest. Neither the 50 traffic cops‚ the South African Police Service (SAPS)‚ nor senior BCM officials would say anything to the media.

A siren wailed‚ and the uniformed traffic cops‚ some carrying side-arms‚ shouted out their discontent with not being paid an “allowance since December”.

They also shouted: “We are tired! We want our additional responsibility allowances. Pay back our money!”

About 10 traffic cars blockaded Oxford Street for about an hour.

In an odd turnaround‚ the traffic officers-turned-protestors and SAPS were seen huddled in intense talks in the middle of the street as traffic stood still.

One traffic cop shouted: “We are trained to boost them (SAPS) at all costs. Now they want to move us but we want to talk to management.”

The SAPS kept a cool presence despite palpable tension.

At one stage‚ the SAPS were keen to disarm the traffic cops but conflict was averted when a South African Municipal Workers' Union organiser in a black T-shirt arrived. He refused to give his name.

Traffic cop protestors gathered around a BCM-shirted official who‚ speaking in an urgent tone‚ was heard saying: “As your leadership‚ we are proposing that you move (the demo).”

The officers traipsed off to a venue where they would apparently negotiate with BCM and some traffic cars were moved.

Dispatch journalists have been told that traffic officers resent having to push brooms and shovels to remove rubble strewn on roads by demonstrators‚ wade through flooded roads to reach blown sewer holes‚ and humping heavy barricade fences.

They say this work falls outside the National Road Traffic Act. - RDM News Wire, Daily Dispatch‘Pay-back-our-money’-say-protesting-Buffalo-City-traffic-cops

Two arrested after service protests
IOL News 23 June 2015

Rustenburg - Two people were arrested for public violence in Tlhabane near Rustenburg following a service delivery protest, North West police said on Tuesday.

“The suspects were arrested after the community of Tlhabane barricaded the road from Phokeng to Lefaragatlha village on Monday, in protest of service delivery and shortage of water in the area,” said police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko.

“It is alleged that approximately 5 000 community members barricaded the road with burning tyres and stones. According to the information, the community allegedly damaged three vehicles and six robots [traffic lights] in the area.”

He said more arrests were expected as the police were continuing with the investigation.

“At the moment the situation is calm and police are monitoring the situation.”

North West acting provincial police commissioner, Major General Jacob Tsumane, condemned the actions and appealed to residents in Tlhabane to use relevant platforms to address their dissatisfaction over service delivery.

“Damage of property and disturbing the flow of traffic will not be tolerated,” said Tsumane.

Clashes at TUT during Zuma visit
IOL News 23 June 2015

President Jacob Zuma arrived at the Tshwane University of Technology in Soshanguve amid chaos on the campus.

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma arrived at the Tshwane University of Technology in Soshanguve on Thursday amid chaos, with ANC supporters clashing with their EFF counterparts.

His motorcade pulled in as ANC supporters refused EFF supporters entry into the hall, saying they provoked them by chanting “pay back the money” as the president was arriving.

Zuma is at the university as part of the Siyahlola programme to monitor and assess the effectiveness of government’s interventions aimed at supporting youth to acquire higher and post-school education and skills.

The visit forms part of government's Youth Month activities, which focuses on education, skills development and job creation, under the theme “Youth Moving South Africa Forward”.

Zuma visited two homes which accommodates needy students before proceeding to the campus.

The official programme started at TUT while tensions remained high outside the hall, and as the police tried hard to contrain the violent outbursts.
Pretoria News

Sign or face tribunal, UCT tells list of 240
IOL News 22 June 2015

The Rhodes Must Fall supporters have been handed admission of guilt letters which could see them reprimanded for taking part in recent protest action at UCT.

Cape Town - UCT wants to charge 240 “students and staff” for their involvement in transformation protests at the university.

The Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) supporters have been handed admission of guilt letters which could see them reprimanded for taking part in recent protest action at UCT.

The latest move from the university’s management – who removed a statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the campus grounds in April following RMF protests for transformation at UCT to be fast-tracked – relates to students “illegally occupying” a building.

RMF supporters had occupied Avenue House, an administrative building for Student Housing and Residence Life, on April 29.

The occupiers were charged by UCT for their actions, but then handed amnesty for all protest-related activities up to May 18.

Four students opted to stay in the building, eventually leaving on May 26.

“Four students were identified as having allegedly continued to occupy Avenue House in defiance of repeated instructions. In spite of the amnesty, these four students face charges arising from this continued occupation beyond May 18,” UCT spokesperson Kylie Hatton said.

Hatton explained that after the four students were handed suspension orders, UCT management received a document which listed the names of 240 students and staff members.

“The document claimed ‘support and were complicit in the occupation of Avenue House’ and exhorted the university authorities to charge them along with the four previously identified.

“On June 17, 18 and 19, these students were invited to sign admission of guilt pleas,” Hatton said.

The letter invites those on the list to admit to occupying Avenue House between May 18 and May 25, and so doing “obstructed, disrupted and interfered with the administrative duties of the university”.

“If the students pleaded guilty to one or more of these charges… the students would not have to appear before a hearing tribunal, but would receive a reprimand and would need to complete 10 hours of community service at UCT.

“UCT has sought this approach to avoid an unnecessarily drawn-out disciplinary process and rather to focus collective efforts on the agreed mediation process between UCT and RMF, and the broader work around transformation at UCT,” Hatton said.

RMF spokesperson Kealeboga Ramaru said on Sunday the movement was aggrieved by UCT’s latest move.

“They have stooped to yet another low instead of seeking to reason with us. It is another example of bad faith in what we stand for and shows that the university is blatantly opposed to protest action,” she said.

Ramaru said the correspondence was clearly in bad faith as the university and the RMF collective are set to engage in a court-enforced mediation process.

Ramaru said RMF would be meeting at 7pm on Monday.

Meanwhile, RMF member Chumani Maxwele has been suspended from all university activities until September 24.

UCT handed Maxwele a second provisional suspension on Wednesday, just days after an independent disciplinary tribunal lifted the university’s initial suspension against the student activist.

Maxwele had been suspended by the university last month for allegedly racially abusing and threatening a lecturer.

The student activist then laid a counter-complaint against the lecturer, alleging he was victimised and racially profiled.

The incident in question allegedly took place on May 1 and UCT provisionally suspended Maxwele on May 7.

A hearing followed and the first provisional suspension order was made final on May 14, when Maxwele was handed a two-month suspension.

Maxwele appealed to the tribunal overseeing the hearing to have the final suspension order overturned.

The tribunal then heard the appeal on June 10 and ruled that “the suspension be set aside on technical grounds”.

On Friday, the vice-chancellor’s (VC) nominee handed Maxwele his latest suspension.

Maxwele said: “We are not surprised by the ruling of the VC’s nominee. She was the one who ruled against me at first and her ruling was overturned by UCT’s own appeals committee.”

Officials probing matric ‘cheats’ attacked
IOL News 19 June 2015

Durban - Education officials investigating matric exam cheating in KwaZulu-Natal have been attacked during violent protests by pupils.

The Basic Education Department revealed on Thursday that at three schools where disciplinary inquiries were being held, officials were locked inside the venues where the hearings were proceeding.

The attacks happened in the past week.

Six cars, most of them rented by the department, were vandalised.

The schools where protests were staged were Mashiyamahle (Ilembe district), Sibanesihle (Umgungundlovu district) and Ntsikakazi (also Umgungundlovu).

Department spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said the hearings had been moved to more secure locations and criminal charges had been laid.

“We will not be intimated and the hearings will go on as scheduled. Those resorting to such violent and drastic measures appear as if they have something to hide. We will work closely with police to have them arrested. These disruptions only serve to delay the inevitable outcome for those who may be found guilty at the end of this process,” Mhlanga said.

The pupils demanded that their results, which were being withheld, be immediately released .

One thousand and seventy-six KwaZulu-Natal pupils have been accused of cheating.

“We have received confessions from a significant number of learners who have indicated that they were assisted by adults invigilating, or by their teachers and principals.

“The department has indicated that honesty will be considered as a positive mitigating factor, and we encourage learners who have information, and wish to confess, to join the many who have already done so.”

The hearings into cheating uncovered last year have also been under way in the Eastern Cape. The process is expected to be finalised at the end of this month.

While the department is willing to grant the pupils some mercy, the same cannot be said for principals, teachers and invigilators found guilty.

Mhlanga said the adults would face “full disciplinary action” because they were meant to be setting a good example to pupils.

“The provisions in the exam regulations stipulate that those found guilty of cheating in the National Senior Certificate exams can be excluded from writing the exams for a period of three years. We are, however, aware that even one year is a long period of time in the life of a child, and while we want to teach these learners a valuable lesson and create a strong deterrent from future participation in such behaviour, we will also be sympathetic in our approach to the learners and in each case the sanction will be determined by the merits of the case.”

The department has put measures in place to prevent a similar blight on the class of 2015. It has admitted it was not adequately prepared for the extent of the copying, and the involvement of teachers and invigilators.

Schools used as exam centres would be categorised according to risk this year. At high-risk centres, provincial education officials would oversee the writing of exams. One way of identifying high-risk centres would be to monitor whether schools had taught the year’s curriculum in its entirety. An official from the national department would monitor matric exams in KwaZulu-Natal and report back to the Pretoria headquarters every week.

Violence mars Youth Day rally
IOL News 17 June 2015

The multiparty KwaZulu-Natal Youth Parliament, meeting in Greytown on Wednesday and Thursday, has been jeopardised after the DA and IFP said they had withdrawn following violence aimed at opposition members at a Youth Day rally in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

Both parties said they would take part once the safety of their delegates was guaranteed.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed a case of assault was being investigated by the Pietermaritzburg police.

Chairs were hurled at opposition leaders from the DA, IFP, NFP and MF, who were also pelted with water bottles and cans at the government-organised event.

The politicians ran from the venue as ANC supporters attacked them when they complained that an ANC Youth League delegate had been allocated a longer time on the podium.

Some injured delegates were taken to hospital.

DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said he would write to KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu demanding an explanation for what happened.

He said the DA had taken a decision to boycott events of the Youth Parliament pending an apology and condemnation of the assault from the premier’s office.

Mncwango said none of the DA’s 11 delegates would be seen at the legislature until they had been given assurance that they would be safe.

He added that he was further concerned by allegations - as yet unconfirmed - that Mchunu and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande were laughing when the opposition leaders were attacked.

IFP national chairman, Blessed Gwala, said he was to meet the speaker on Wednesday morning to discuss what happened.

“We abhor this type of violence. ANC supporters don’t like to hear the truth about the corruption in this province especially when it comes from the opposition,” he said.

“Throwing bottles, cans and even apples is just not acceptable. It paints a gloomy picture of the intolerance of the opinions of others.”

He said the party would only attend the youth event if it received assurances of no further violence.

Minority Front (MF) spokesman Patrick Pillay said none of the party’s members had been injured.

“People who attend these events need to be taught to respect the views of others. That is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.

However MF youth would attend the session on Wednesday.

The NFP could not be reached for comment.

DA councillor Halalisani Ndlovu said all opposition representatives were heckled and struggle songs were sung as they tried to deliver their speeches at the Youth Day event.

Ndlovu said even though a prompt meeting between all the parties to address the issue was quickly convened, this did not help the situation.

“We called for the programme (organisers) to intervene and explain to the people that this was not an ANC event, that this was a government event,” Ndlovu said.

“This did not help, we were given just two minutes to speak and the ANCYL speaker was maybe five minutes into his speech when we complained signalling with our hands. Then they started throwing chairs, water bottles and cans at us,” he said.

The Office of the Premier’s spokesman, Thami Ngwenya, said Mchunu and other leaders of government reaffirmed the importance of being tolerant to others after the fracas.

“The premier expressed this on stage and affirmed that everyone should be given an opportunity to speak. The leaders stood up on that matter, and we want to stress to people that it is important to allow others to express themselves.

“We need to be respectful and tolerant of other people, this is how we must honour the 1976 generation,” Ngwenya said.

CPF chief charged with intimidation
IOL News 19 June 2015

Pretoria - A crowd of supporters filled court B in the Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court on Thursday as the leader of the Stimamollo community policing forum, Jack Phahlane, appeared on charges of intimidation and malicious damage to property.

It is alleged that he forcefully removed 54 owners from their RDP homes. He was arrested on May 12 and released on bail of R500 two days later.

State prosecutor Silas Nobela said as representations made by Phahlane’s legal representative had been unsuccessful, they had decided to proceed with the trial.

Members of the community filled the court room to capacity, with some standing, huddled in corners, to listen to the fate of someone they regard as a hero.

Community member Emily Matsha, 67, said she had been waiting for an RDP home since 1996.

She said she was going to continue supporting Phahlane as he was willing to expose the corruption in the allocation of houses in their community.

“He is the only one willing to stand up and do something against the corruption of councillors and the housing department. People have died with aching hearts still waiting to be given RDP houses, so action is needed,” said Matsha.

Isaac Mabuza, 50, said he was certain that without help from the likes of Phahlane, he would never walk into his own home anytime soon as he had applied as long ago as 2002.

“Can you imagine if people who applied as far back as 1996 haven’t gotten their homes, what chance do the rest of us stand?

“He (Phahlane) gave us the green light to fight for what is rightfully ours by finding out the truth about the department, councillors and the police,” said Mabuza.

“The reason why they have arrested him is because he has information about their shady dealings. But we all know the truth is that if you don’t have money to pay someone you will never get a house even if it is yours,” he said.

Mabuza said their support was unwavering because Phahlane had not asked for money from anyone nor was he in need of an RDP house himself.

Addressing the crowd after his appearance, Phahlane thanked the community for their support and said he would not be intimidated by officials who came to his place of work wanting to talk to him.

“The government told us to inform it if we see any wrong-doing and that is exactly what we are doing. I will not be intimidated by these people; we will go forward and get people their houses they deserve,” said Phahlane.

The matter was postponed to August 27.

Fiery power protest in freezing Joburg
IOL News 18 June 2015

Johannesburg - On the coldest night in Joburg since the start of winter, enraged Soweto residents braved the bitter chill to protest against power cuts.

On Wednesday night, a group of about 50 residents from Diepkloof Zone 6 took to the streets to vent their frustrations. They barricaded one of the main roads with garbage and lit fires obstructing traffic.

The disgruntled community claims that for the past two weeks they have been receiving more power cuts than residents in other parts of Soweto.

The group vowed not to disperse until somebody from Eskom came with answers but by 9pm, there was no sign of anyone and some simply could not stand the cold and left.

Police spokesman Captain Nomvula Mbense said on Thursday morning that calm had been restored to the township.

She said no major damage or injuries were reported in the protest and no one had been arrested.

Community leader Ntombi Ndaba was one of the last residents to leave.

She said they had hardly had hardly electricity for the past two weeks. “We did not have electricity from 8 in the evening until the next day at about 2 in the afternoon. This happened every day.

“I decided to buy a gas stove as electricity in this area is unreliable.”

She said on Monday and Tuesday there was no electricity for the entire day and night.

Ndaba said the community had on several occasions used Eskom’s customer care service line in a bid to air their complaints but their attempts had been futile.

“Somebody who does not tell us their name said Eskom was aware of our problem but we never received any help.

“Our children have to bath with cold water,” said Ndaba.

She said the community had also tried to contact the local councillor without success.

The greater parts of Zone 6 were still without electricity when The Star visited the area at about 9pm.

Another affected resident, Lucky Khumalo, now relies on a paraffin stove to cook.

He showed The Star e-mails and messages he had been sending to Eskom for help.

He never received any correspondence back from them.

“We have decided that the only way to get the attention of those in power is to come out here and block the roads; we are not leaving until they attend to us,” said Khumalo.

Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe told The Star on Thursday morning that although the power utility was investigating the claims, illegal connections could be to blame for the township’s electricity problems.

Phasiwe said many Soweto households had a transformer capable of catering to the needs of an average household.

But when they share power with those living in backrooms and shacks, sub-stations are not able to carry the extra load and crash.

He urged residents to desist from connecting to power sources illegally and to report illegal connections to Eskom, so that sub-stations could be adapted.

Chaos errupts at ANCYL election conference
Soutrh Coast Herald 15 June 2015

The Lower South Coast ANC Youth League had been disbanded due to some irregularities.

The Lower South Coast ANC Youth League elected its new leadership on Sunday following delays on its first day, at an elective conference held at the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre over the weekend.

Violence erupted on the first day of the congress after disgruntled members were barred at the gate for causing chaos. The commotion was caused by some comrades who did not see eye to eye.

“Some members caused disruptions but they were stopped from entering the venue,” said ANC spokesman Sicelo Khuzwayo. He added that rubber bullets were also used to disperse the crowd. “Stun grenades were used by police but no one was affected,” he added.

Scores of delegates attended the conference including KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu and ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Nathi Mthethwa.

The Lower South Coast ANC elected Cde Thami Ngubane as the chairman, Cde Kwazi Mshengu as deputy chairman, Cde Thanduxolo Sabela as the provincial secretary, Cde Sibongile Khathi as the deputy secretary and Cde Siyabonga Nene as Treasurer.

Speaking at the conference, ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu said the election of a new Youth League leadership would close a big gap in the South Coast as there had been no youth league since it was disbanded years ago.

ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Cde Nathi Mthethwa also congratulated the newly elected leadership. He encouraged the new leadership always to have a programme of action and champion the needs of young people.

“The ANC Youth League has always been about raising views within the structures and we encourage robust debates. Young people should always have views that will take the ANC and this country forward,” said Cde Mthathwa.

He also remarked that the first task of this newly elected leadership is to unite this province and make sure that the youth wing works towards building solid foundations.

The ANCYL was disbanded by its mother body, ANC, in 2013 and a national task team was elected to rebuild the youth league’s structures. KwaZulu-Natal was the last province to have an elective conference after the other eight provinces had had their congresses

ANC and EFF join hands to disrupt Free State Youth Parly – DA
The Citizen 12 June 2015

The inaugural Free State Youth Parliament was disrupted on Thursday allegedly by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) youth structures, said the Democratic Alliance (DA). “The ANC and the EFF joined hands in disrupting the first ever Free State Youth Parliament to the extent where complete chaos reigned,” said DA Free State youth George Michalakis.

“It was left to the DA Youth participants to try and bring reason and maintain decorum and dignity to today’s proceedings.”

The first Free State Youth Parliament kicked off in Bloemfontein on Thursday as part of national and provincial governments’s Youth Month celebrations.

The disruption of festivities, according to Michalakis, was not a surprise as the “despicable behaviour exhibited by the youth members of the ANC and the EFF” was but an emulation of leaders in the mother bodies.

Michalakis referred to the disruption as a joining of hands by the EFF and ANC but later stated that at one stage, an ANC Youth League member crossed the floor and attacked a member of the EFF.

“Following the events that took place at today’s Youth parliament, it is clear for all to see that the DA is the only party that can bring positive change to all young South Africans,” said Michalakis.

The EFF’s Mandisa Makesini responded to the allegations by Michalakis saying the DA were mistaken.

“We did not join hands with the ANC, that will never happen,” she said.

Mandisa added that the DA interpreted debate as “chaos” and that was their prerogative.

Taxi drivers likely to face terror charges
IOL News 11 June 2015

Durban - The State will throw the book at 15 men who are allegedly part of a group that went on a rampage in the Durban CBD last month, stoning vehicles and assaulting people, during a taxi strike.

On Wednesday the Durban Magistrate’s Court heard the 15 men were facing 150 counts relating to charges including malicious injury to property, public violence, common assault, aggravated robbery and obstructing traffic.

Taxi operators went on a one-day strike on May 26 to demand that the city’s metro police release 295 minibus taxis that had been impounded for not having permits.

The protests were violent and some protesters marched to the city hall demanding to speak to Mayor James Nxumalo.

The strike was called off the following day when the city agreed to release 40 impounded taxis without any fines being paid and the remainder were released because the owners had agreed to a fine payment plan with the metro police.

Prosecutor Barend Groen said on Wednesday that the State was opposed to bail and he intended to charge the men in terms of the Terrorism Act of 2004, but needed special permission from the office of the national director of public prosecutions to do so.

Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Johan Burger said on Wednesday he strongly agreed with the tough stance adopted by the State as the taxi industry should not be allowed to act with impunity.

Conductors Khetani Mkhize, Senzo Shange, Simdimkhe Khawula, Nkosinathi Mkhize and Tsepiso Mokado have been charged along with drivers Bhekowakhe Mabuza, Scelo Zulu, Omega Dhlamini, Mondli Mdlalose, Simphiwe Mthambo, Mandla Mkhwanazi, Sengezo Mathe and Msindiseni Phoswa, as well as rank manager Phumelela Nzama and Bongani Fuyaiya, who washes taxis for a living.

They have been charged with blockading roads, and stoning 80 buses, 25 cars and buildings during the strike in the city centre, as well as assaulting a journalist, damaging the SABC headquarters and destroying rubbish bins and other municipal property in the city centre.

The State said they tried to take back the impounded taxis, but the police stopped them.

Relatives of the men packed the public gallery on Wednesday and court security stood guard to ensure there were no disruptions. Groen handed in media articles describing the violence and said the men were being charged under the principle of “common purpose”.

The accused men’s representative, Attorney Ridewaan Sayed, handed in affidavits in support of the bail application. The men said they intended pleading not guilty to the charges against them.

They said they had fixed addresses and would not evade their trial if released on bail and could afford bail of about R2 000 each, which would be paid by their employer. The men admitted they participated in a protest, but said they had not been involved in any violence.

They said they were arrested because they were “closest” to police vehicles after police officers had used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Burger said there had been numerous incidents in Durban in which the taxi operators had protested when police had taken action against them for contravening traffic laws. “These protests by the taxi industry when law enforcement authorities are trying to do their job have to be stopped. They challenge the authorities’ right to uphold the law and hold the system to ransom. While their right to conduct lawful business must be respected, they cannot be allowed to act outside the law and get away with it. If it continues like this, then the system would be encouraging a state of lawlessness.”

Other incidents in which taxi operators have held illegal protests include one in April when armed taxi operators chased workers off construction sites for the R20bn Go!Durban public transport project. In October, taxi operators from areas west of the city caused mayhem in the CBD when they blocked Dr Pixley kaSeme (West) Street, in protest against the Go!Durban system.

In August, Nxumalo ordered the metro police to suspend roadblocks near Pinetown’s CBD after a violent stand-off between operators and metro police. In July, about 100 armed taxi drivers caused chaos in and around the Warwick Triangle. Last June, a taxi march in Dr Pixley KaSeme Street turned violent. In the same month taxi operators smashed shop windows, stoned buses and damaged a metro police vehicle.

The case was adjourned to Thursday for further evidence.

Cars, bus set alight in NWest protest
IOL News 12 June 2015

Brits - Four cars and a bus were set alight in Bapong near Brits on Friday during a protest aimed at forcing a mining company to employ residents, North West police said.

“Four vehicles belonging to Lonmin workers were burnt. A bus was partially burnt,” said Captain Paul Ramaloko.

He said the Sun City road was blocked with objects.

“The N4 is open for traffic, only the Sun City road is blocked.”

Residents were allegedly protesting in a bid to force Lonmin to employ them.

Ramaloko said no arrests had been made.

Gunfire, death threats in taxi feud
IOL News 12 June 2015

Cape Town - Taxi wars in Delft saw the area grind to a halt as a group of 50 protesting drivers blocked main roads during peak traffic on Thursday morning.

Commuters found themselves trapped and panicking as rival associations clashed in the streets, the rattle of gunfire echoing between homes.

Residents are now fearful that they may be caught in the crossfire of the long-running feud over the lucrative Delft-Cape Town route that has been burning hot-and-cold since 2006.

Nombasa Mandla’s son was queuing in a long line at the taxi rank on Main Road at around 5am. A pupil at Queen’s Park High School, the 16-year-old is forced to catch a minibus to Woodstock almost every morning.

However, this time he never set foot in a taxi. At 5.30am he spotted a man striding towards them, and watched as he pulled out a gun.

His mother, who said the teenager was still distraught on Thursday afternoon, recounted his story to the Cape Argus.

“He said he ran, but everyone was panicking. They started running too.”

He fell under the stampede, an unseen foot crushing his ankle. As he lay on the ground, he heard gunshots go off and he quickly jumped up and limped to safety.

“He came home and I asked what happened?” said Mandla. “I was so worried.”

Elsewhere, commuters were forced to step off taxis as they found their routes blocked by the protesting drivers.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said that they had been called out to Main Road after there were reports that a few taxis were blocking the street.

When police officers arrived, they found around 50 vehicles blocking off the flow of traffic at the circle near the Golden Crust bakery.

He confirmed that gunshots had been fired but there had been no reports of deaths or injuries at the time of going to print.

Police, assisted by city traffic services and metro police, searched several drivers and eventually took in two men for questioning. A firearm was confiscated and police were set to conduct an investigation into whether it was fired during Thursday’s chaos.

According to the Delft-Cape Town Taxi Association, the protesting drivers were rivals belonging to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association who have clashed frequently over the right to operate along the Delft-Cape Town route.

Speaking to the Cape Argus at the taxi rank, one of the Delft association’s executive members – who did not want to be named, fearing that he would be “added to the hit list” – said the organisation had received numerous death threats since last week.

“So this morning we stopped all of our drivers from going out, I didn’t want any blood on my hands.”

He said other associations were always trying to grab a “slice of the cake” when it came to the Delft-Cape Town route, for which the Delft Cape Town Taxi Association’s members hold operating licences.

“This is our route and we are being bullied out of it by illegal drivers,” he said on Thursday.

Operators and drivers belonging to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association’s Seawater group, which according to the Department of Transport holds permits to operate along the Delft-Cape Town route, did not want to speak to the Cape Argus on Thursday.

Siphesihle Dube, spokesman for Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant, said illegal operators claimed they had a right to drive on the route because there was a demand for their services.

“The City of Cape Town has been requested to do surveys to review the supply and demand for taxis to and from Delft, because of the rapid growth of this township over the past 15 years.

The city is conducting this survey,” he said.

In the interim, provincial and city traffic services along with metro police are impounding illegally operating taxis.

“At least five such minibus taxis were impounded (yesterday) morning. These operations have been going on at different times since the unrest began.”

Grant has requested that police maintain a strong presence in the area to prevent intimidation of legal operators by illegal operators, said Dube.

But Mandla, the mother of the distraught child who was forced to flee a gunman on Thursday morning, said taxi associations should refrain from fighting until after the morning commute.

“It is too dangerous out there right now she said. They are shooting each other while our children are in the streets.”

EFF members tried to disrupt Mmusi Maimane's walkabout at Disteneng
Godfrey Mandiwana (The New Age) 11 June 2015

Economic Freedom Fighters member disrupted DA leader, Mmusi Maimane’s interview with the SABC Tv during his walkabout at Disteneng Informal Settlement near Polokwane on Wednesday.

The fighter ordered the TV photographer, journalist and Maimane to leave the place with immediate effect. He said Disteneng belongs to the EFF and they can’t allow any political party to campaign at their place.

DA members manhandled him and told him South Africa doesn’t have a no go area. He was pushed until he took out his cellphone and reported to his leaders.

Limpopo DA Chairperson, Bodlani Langa said they will stage their campaign everywhere they like. He said there is no political party that own a village or town in South Africa.

“We are not apologetic, there is no Chief at Disteneng where we should go and report before we could start with our campaigns. That young man was out of out and we can’t allow that to disrupt our leader’s campaigns,” said Langa.

Mmusi Maimane said it is wrong for the Polokwane Municipality to demolish people’s shacks and left them sleeping in an open space. He said people have the right to get accommodation and the poor should be provided with RDP houses. “It is toucning to see the 63-year-old Frans Maboya losing his belonging when municipality bulldozer crashed them. I’m going to raise it in the national parliament to solve it,” said Maimane.
One of the Disteneng Informal Settlement dwellers, Peaceful Ngwenya from Zimbabwe said he is not enjoying his stay in South Africa because the Polokwane Municipality left him when they relocate others to Ext 106.
Aonother dweller, Frans Thobejane (54) said his Spaza Shop was demolished by the municipality bulldozers and he doesn’t have any plan to generate income. “My children are suffering in the shack without food while municipality officers are enjoying warmth in luxury houses. I don’t know where to go because I’m a South Afrocan citizen,” he said.

Polokwane Municipality Spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said the municipality and the residents of Disteneng have without duress agreed, that the municipality will re-settle identified and qualifying households on demarcated sites in Ext 78.

She said the Community collectively and duly represented by their leaders referred to above as Block Committee consented to be re-settled in accordance with the established Township Lay-Out Map of Polokwane Extension 78.

"Disteneng Residents collectively represented by their leaders consented to relocation of excess households to a holding land referred to in this agreement as Ext 106.

There are people who just came and settled at the place where they were supposed not to be there. We were tagerting 200 people to be relocated. Those who quality don’t have stands at 78 should go to 106. People who quality stands are more than the available stands at 78," she said.

"We are committed to finalised the process and to the point where we will be able to provide basic services to those extensions. Those stands are for low stands housing. Some are not legal in the country and some’s salary don’t qualify them," said Chuene.

E Cape school burnt down by pupils
IOL News 10 June 2015

Eastern Cape – Angry pupils burnt down the Mpozolo Senior Secondary School in Willowvale, causing damage estimated at R1 million, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.

Captain Jackson Manatha said the pupils burnt down the school, situated in the Mpozolo Location, Mendu Village, on Monday morning.

“It is alleged that the learners were complaining about the school buildings needing renovations but the authorities were neglecting attending to this problem,” he said in a statement.

“The schools inspector was called to address the learners but they allegedly pelted the vehicle of the school inspector with stones causing damages to the vehicle. The fire destroyed all the books and equipment and other documents and the damage is estimated to be R1 million.”

Jackson said the school management reported the incident to the police and a case of arson was opened.

A case of malicious damage to the property was also opened.

Jackson said the car was badly damaged by the learners.

No arrests have been made and investigations continue, he said.

Butterworth station commander Colonel Sipho Hokwana appealed to the pupils not to resort to violence and crime or vandalising and destroying public property when addressing their concerns.

Anger at Unisa exam fracas
IOL News 9 June 2015

Durban - Hundreds of Unisa students demanded a second chance to write their exams after they were attacked with stones halfway through their papers in Durban on Monday.

The students, who were writing a variety of subjects, were attacked by about 40 other students at the Badminton Hall exam centre near the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The attackers demanded to be allowed to write their papers despite being late.

The exams started at 8.30am and students had been instructed to be seated by 8.15, but some arrived at about 8.45. They said they had been travelling from Umlazi and had been delayed by heavy traffic.

After the latecomers failed in their attempt to be admitted, they became violent and demanded that those already writing stop.

They kicked the doors of the centre and hurled stones at other students and invigilators.

Unisa spokesman Martin Ramotshela said the institution was investigating the situation and would release a statement to the media later on whether the students would be able to write again.

During the attack, students had to abandon their papers and, together with invigilators, run for cover.

Some of the students, however, did return later to write or attempt to write their papers once police had restored order.

Police were called in to control the situation and remove those who had not marked the register.

“As we were writing we heard noise from outside, and we heard the roller doors banging violently. People came in making noise and hurling stones at us,” said a student, who did not want to be named.

“We had to run outside with our question and answer papers. After police had calmed the situation we returned to the hall, but we could not continue to write properly because we had lost time,” said the student.

Some of the late students allegedly grabbed exam question scripts from others.

“Others were taking pictures of the scripts using cellphones,” another student said.

Those who came late alleged that during the disruption some students who had signed the register went to their cars and copied questions and then returned to write again.

Ntokozo Mngomezulu, a second-year Bachelor of Education student, said she arrived 10 minutes late for her natural science paper.

She said she had left home at 7am and her taxi was caught up in traffic congestion in V section.

“The traffic moved very slowly as there was only one lane open because of the roadworks.

“There was a broken down truck near Mega City Mall. When I finally arrived at the centre after 8.30am, I was not allowed to write.”

She said they had been told they would only get another chance to write in November.

She said previously Unisa had used an exam centre in Umlazi, but last week they were told that the centre was no longer available.

Olwande Mkhize said she was supposed to write an English paper, which she required to complete her postgraduate certificate in education.

“If I don’t write now it means that I will only be able to write in November, and I will not be able to apply for a job,” she said.

Ramotshela said that the exam centres were at times changed for security reasons or because lease agreements had expired.

“It was not the first time that students had written at this particular venue. Venues are changed all the time. We are looking at the cause of today’s situation,” he said.
VIDEO: Protest halts Unisa exams

Five held for trio's necklace deaths
IOL News 9 June 2015

The field in Lwandle informal settlement in Strand, where three men were burnt to death in a mob justice attack. Photo: Ross Jansen
Cape Town - Western Cape police have arrested five suspects in connection with the deaths of three young men who were allegedly killed by a vigilante mob in Lwandle near Strand after accusing them of robbery.

In a statement on Tuesday, police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said: “On Sunday, at approximately 06:00 police were called to a scene at Freedom park in Lwandle where they encountered three males who were allegedly set alight by the members of the community. It was alleged that they robbed one member of the community of a cellphone and cash.

The victim then pointed out the suspects to the members of community who then beat and subsequently burnt them with tyres. The males aged between 18 and 23 succumbed to death and police opened three counts of murder.

“Sterling Police investigation led to the arrest of five suspects on Tuesday morning at approximately 02:00 in relation to this incident,” Van Wyk said.

“The five suspects, aged between 22 and 38, are expected to appear in Strand Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.”

“The arrest is a clear indication that there is trust between the police and the community. Police would like to thank the community for the information they provided that led to the arrest of the suspects. We further discourage the acts of this nature in our communities and people should refrain from taking law into their own hands,” police said.

Van Wyk said co-operation from the Lwandle community had recently seen Lwandle police secure the successful conviction of two accused, aged 33 and 35, for crimes they had committed in 2013. The pair were sentenced to 35 years and 15 years respectively for attempted murder, aggravated robbery, rape and housebreaking and theft at Somerset West High Court in February this year.

“In a separate incident, two accused, aged 27 and 34, were recently sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and robbery aggravated they committed during 2013,” Van Wyk added. “The quality investigation by Lwandle SAPS Detectives ensured their conviction. They were sentenced in Cape Town High Court on 11th May.

“Lwandle SAPS are committed to working with the community in ensuring that the law takes its course and in the upcoming community meetings with the police, incidents of this nature will be discussed.”

Three killed in mob justice attack
IOL News 8 June 2015

The field in Lwandle informal settlement in Strand, where three men were burnt to death in a mob justice attack. Photo: Ross Jansen
Cape Town - Mob justice has claimed the lives of three men in the Lwandle informal settlement near Strand. The bodies of the men were found burnt to ashes on Sunday.

The community reacted after a man was robbed of his cellphone and wallet.

The situation had returned to normal by Sunday afternoon with residents doing laundry and some making their way home from church.

But for Nosiphiwo Maqoma – mother of Athathule Maqoma who was burnt to death – it was a sombre Sunday.

She said she was sad because she would never see her son again.

A weeping Maqoma said she had never had any problems with her son who lived alone in the informal settlement.

“My son never robbed anyone before and he didn’t rob that man on Sunday.

“His friend is the one who did it and they killed him because the stolen cellphone was in his possession,” she said.

She added that the man who had committed the robbery had told the mob that Maqoma was not involved, but they had killed him anyway.

Nosipho Xungu, mother of one of the alleged robbers, Lwazi Xungu, said this was not the first time her son had robbed someone.

“When Lwazi is high from the dagga he smokes he always does bad stuff, and I have been asking him to stop smoking but he never listened and now he is dead.”

Xungu said she would miss her son because he would always help her clean the house.

She said he “was a very neat person”.

Community leader Mandla Moyakhe said he was surprised to hear what the community had done.

“We are new in this area… and I was surprised to hear that residents beat and burnt three men; it’s not our style,” said Moyakhe.

Although he had never heard about anything Maqoma had done wrong, Moyakhe said he might not have robbed people from his own community.

Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana confirmed that the incident took place on Sunday morning at about 2.30am at the Asanda Village in Lwandle.

Kinana said police received reports of the killings while they were allegedly in progress and when the police arrived at the scene they saw a group of people chanting songs.

“As the police drove further into the area they came across three burnt bodies, one with a concrete block on his chest,” he said.

He said the circumstances surrounding this incident were being investigated and a murder case was opened but no arrests had been made.

Tenants facing rent increase hold vigil
IOL News 9 June 2015

Cape Town -In a bid to remain in a place they have called home for years, residents of a block of flats on De Waal Drive held a vigil on Monday night to show a united front.

The residents lined the street in front of the flats that have been earmarked for an upgrade that would mean a rent increase for the tenants, some of whom have been living in the area for more than 60 years.

Resident Tony Johnson said he had been living in the flats for 35 years and decided to call for the vigil to keep up the morale of residents.

“The people are feeling down because of this and the fight between us and the government is really slow and we are not getting much from government. But by doing this we want to hold the community as one, we don’t want them to go their separate ways and end up losing faith.”

Johnson said he came up with the idea on Monday morning and by the afternoon decided to go knocking on doors to get members of the community to join in the vigil.

Johnson added that the plan was to move them to Pelican Park. Another resident, Riedwaan Galvaan, said he has been to the area and said the houses there are very small by comparison.

“We don’t want to be pushed around anymore. Most of the people that live here are from District Six and they were part of the forced removals then and they will not be moved again.”

Galvaan added that the “government was using scare tactics” on the residents as a way to force them to move.

Galvaan claimed that the Western Cape department of Human Settlements told them that the area was going to be upgraded and the rent would be between R4 000 up to R6 000 per month.

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had been living in the area for 22 years and said their families would be affected if they had to move.

Previously, Zalisile Mbali, spokesman for MEC for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela, had denied claims that residents would be forcibly removed.

He said there was also no plan to sell the complex off to a developer but added that government wanted to rent out the flats to economically active people wanting to live close to the CBD.

Soweto churchgoers march against cops
IOL News 9 June 2015

Members of the Unity Fellowship Church during a protest march to Braamfontein. Photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - Some Soweto worshippers have vowed to use all resources at their disposal to protect themselves from alleged harassment by the Joburg metro police department.

They said the acts of harassment were a violation of their human rights.

On Monday, about 1 000 worshippers braved the cool weather to march through the Joburg CBD to raise their grievances. The enraged congregants said they have had enough of the police’s conduct towards them, which included a raid at their premises in Midway, Soweto.

The police had apparently raided the premises after receiving complaints about worshippers making a noise


Members of the Unity Fellowship Church (UFC) and other religious denominations from Soweto marched from Pieter Roos Park in Parktown to the office of executive mayor Park Tau in Braamfontein to hand over their memorandum of demands.

During the almost 3km route, the large crowd sang and danced in the streets, carrying posters denouncing the police raids.

“Stop harassing us for praising God,” one of the posters read.

Once at the municipal offices, UFC director Theopilas Mukhuba read out their memorandum of grievances while being cheered on by his congregants.

The trouble started in 2009, when the police visited the church, saying they were responding to residents’ complaints of noise, which they said violated the city’s by-laws.

But Mukhuba said Christians have the right, as South Africans, to practise their religion.

He added that the church was based in an industrial zone and that the city could not “justifiably apply residential noise regulations to an entity based in an industrial area”.

Tension escalated last month when a large contingent of JMPD officers allegedly jumped over the church’s walls and broke the gate in a bid to raid the building following complaints from residents.

“They pepper-sprayed our workers and threatened to shoot them,” Mukhuba said.

He alleged that the officers did not have a search warrant or a court order to conduct the raid.

Mukhuba said the council was intent on thwarting the growth of the church, and that they had purposely stalled approving land earmarked for the building of a new church in Eikenhof, south of Joburg.

In the past six years, the church claims that city officials failed to show up at meetings and ignored a petition signed by about 65 000 people.

Mukhuba said the memorandum was the church’s last resort to address the city’s “apparent total onslaught against the Christian churches”.

In the memorandum, the congregants said they were demanding that Tau take immediate action to stop the raids or face their full wrath.

They also demanded that city officials, its associated functionaries and the officers who participated in the raid be investigated and sanctioned accordingly.

UFC also wants Tau to ensure that the JMPD desists from harassing Christian churches and that the land applications for the church’s use be expedited.

Municipal spokesman Virgil James said the council would give a response after studying the memorandum.

Protest against power cut during bitter cold
IOL News 8 June 2015

Johannesburg - Glass, stones and rubber bullets littered the corner of Pela and Butshingi streets in Dube, Soweto, on Monday morning after hostel dwellers protested against power cuts on Sunday night.

They took to the streets, causing havoc from the afternoon until about 7pm, because the electricity in the rest of Dube was on throughout the bitterly cold day on Sunday.

An FNB ATM was badly damaged while two others were rendered unusable.

However, the road was busy as usual with morning traffic as onlookers surveyed the damage.

A security guard said no money had been taken from the ATM.

“There is just no point for people to do this,” he said.

A KFC outlet, the first in Soweto, was also damaged with its windows and glass doors cracked where it was hit by stones. The inside of the store was littered with rocks and rubble. Protective glass at the paypoint was damaged.

A liquor store nearby was looted with broken beer bottles littering the pavement. The police had cordoned off the area, barring journalists from entering.

According to police spokeswoman Captain Phephi Matlou-Mteto, the protest began on Sunday afternoon and escalated as evening fell. “Several shops were looted. Two ATMs, a liquor store and a KFC were damaged by the protesting hostel dwellers,” she said.

“They were protesting because there was load shedding in the hostel area, but they could see the other side of Dube still had power,” Matlou-Mteto said. She said the police arrived just after 7pm and dispersed the protesters. “They went back into the hostel.”

A Dube hostel leader, Mlungisi Mabaso, told The Star on Monday morning that they hadn’t had power since Wednesday. He said by Sunday morning the residents had had enough and decided to protest.

One hostel resident, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of his safety, said there was a big split in the hostel over the issue.

He said when there were power cuts, some people decided to act and protest; others thought it was wrong to protest and didn’t understand the point of doing so.

An onlooker agreed. “If there is no power, why attack the place that feeds you?” she asked.

Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said no arrests had been made.

“A case of public violence and malicious damage to property has been opened,” he said.

The situation was calm on Monday morning after electricity was restored at about 10am.

Ex-medic on intimidation rap gets bail
IOL News 3 June 2015

Durban - Former government paramedic, Sifiso Dlamini, was carried off on the shoulders of his supporters soon after being released on R5 000 bail at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Addressing the media outside court, Dlamini denied the intimidation charge he faces, in connection with an illegal strike last year, saying he had the support of 1 500 KZN health department employees.

Court room 10 was packed to capacity with emergency service workers who came to support Dlamini and are believed to be on a go-slow. Some of his former colleagues also stood in the corridors straining to hear the court proceedings while others waited outside the building for the outcome of his formal bail application.

Prosecutor Herman Mouton said the State did not oppose bail but requested certain conditions to be attached.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu granted Dlamini R5 000 bail and ordered that he cannot:

* Contact the investigating officer directly or indirectly;

* Enter any health facility run by the provincial health department unless he is ill; and

* Contact employees at the Emergency Medical Services at the KZN health department.

He was also requested to hand over his cellphone to the police for further investigation, if he had not done so already.

Dlamini, dismissed from the provincial health department two years ago, agreed to the terms and was cheered by his former colleagues when he was granted bail.

The case was adjourned until July 3.

Six rescued from bloodthirsty crowd
Krugersdorp News 3 June 2015

Police releases new information about the brutal mob-justice attacks in West Village earlier this week.

Six suspects were rescued from the brutal mob. Paramedic treated them at the police station. Mob justice was served in the Makhulugama informal settlement following an attempted murder.

The Krugersdorp Police arrested six suspects for possession of unlicensed firearms, pointing of firearms and attempted murder.

An initial report, to read click here, by the News stated that residents of the informal settlement took the law into their own hands after two murder cases had been opened at the Kagiso Police Station over the weekend.

Since the article had been published the News received a second formal statement from the police that tells a different story.

“It is alleged that the suspects were robbing illegal miners of the soil they had brought up from underground. The community of Makhulugama informal settlement near West Village retaliated and started stoning the suspects, assaulting them with sharp objects and also stoning their vehicle,” Constable Tshepiso Mashale, spokesperson for the Krugersdorp Police said.

According to Mashale, one of the suspects started shooting at the community members.

Police had to rescue the six suspects from the angry crowd.

Four of the six suspects who sustained serious injuries in the attack were transported to hospital under strict police guard.

“Two unlicensed firearms were recovered at the scene,” Mashale commented.

The suspects are aged between 19 and 42 and are due to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court.

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VIDEO: Durban pro-xeno march suspended
IOL News 2 June 2015

A Durban march in support of xenophobia, organised by the Co-operative Revolutionary Movement, has been suspended.

Three held for ANC councillor’s murder
IOL News 2 June 2015

KwaZulu-Natal - Three suspects charged with the murder of KwaZulu-Natal councillor, local speaker and educator Vusi Ntombela, and that of a pupil, were arrested and in police custody an hour after the incident had occurred, provincial police reported on Tuesday.

“This morning at about 09:50, a 47-year-old educator [and councilor] was fatally shot by unknown men inside his classroom at Luvisi area in Nquthu. Within the hour three suspects were arrested and a firearm believed to be the murder weapon was recovered,” said KZN police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker.

On Tuesday morning the three suspects entered Ntombela’s classroom and allegedly shot and killed him. Ntombela, an African National Congress member who simultaneously held the positions of educator at Luvisi Primary School, councillor, and speaker at Nquthu local municipality in northern KZN, sustained five fatal gunshot wounds.

Two pupils were also injured in the shooting and taken to hospital with one of the pupils declared dead on arrival.

“The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage,” said Naicker.

“Nquthu police have registered cases of murder as well as attempted murder and immediately began with their investigation,” he said.

KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube condemned the killing: “The death of a councillor who is an elected servant of the people leaves a gaping void in the sphere of local government and has robbed us of one more foot soldier in our fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment.”

Ntombela’s murder was the third reported attack on an ANC councillor across the country in the last two weeks. In late May, a Mpumalanga ANC councillor sustained critical wounds after being shot and on May 28, the home of an ANC councillor in Cape Town was burnt down.

“We do not know the cause and the motive, said Dube-Ncube of the latest attack on an ANC councillor, “We are, however, worried that the killing of councillors is becoming a disturbing trend, noting that it is not happening for the first time.”

Dube-Ncube urged police to ensure the suspects, who were in custody and due to appear in court soon, were brought to justice.

Sex workers protest as Mthethwa appears
IOL News 1 June 2015

Cape Town - Sex workers were determined to be heard as they waited on the steps of the Western Cape High Court for Zwelethu Mthethwa on Monday morning. The internationally acclaimed artist and photographer has been charged with the murder of Nokuphile Kumalo.

The 23-year-old sex worker was allegedly beaten and kicked to death in Woodstock on the 14th April 2013.

Holding placards that read “Everybody is equal before the law” and “Sex work pays my bills”, a group of about fifteen women crowded around Mthethwa and defence advocate William Booth as they left the high court.

Chanting “sex work is work” the women followed Mthethwa and Booth down the street. When the two escaped into a building, one woman said “tomorrow we will see you”, to which Mthethwa disdainfully shook his head. He is currently out on bail of R100 000.

The trial against Mthethwa was due to start on Monday after a string of postponements, but was shifted until Tuesday as the defence has had difficulty getting “all its ducks in a row”.

State prosecutor Christenus van der Vijver said “much of the evidence is of a technical nature”. It apparently includes CCTV footage that allegedly implicates Mthethwa in the attack.

Defence advocate William Booth told the court there were problems gaining access to certain business premises which would “allow experts to finalise their reports”.

Booth insisted that the defence was not trying to delay the trial. But the group of sex workers who had made their way to the High Court and stood in the bitterly cold wind were not convinced. Asayk Anderson said “I’m feeling broken in my heart. There is no equality.”

Director of Sweat, Sally Shackleton said: “Sex workers experience violence on a daily basis, not just from clients, but from the police as well.” The sex workers’ rights group is calling on government to decriminalise sex work.

Kumalo’s mother Eva said she just wants to know why her daughter was killed. She said: “It’s my child, there is a pain inside me.”

Samwu suspends CT strike
Eye Witness News 2 June 2015

Municipal workers downed tools at the beginning of last month due to several issues.

FILE: The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has suspended its strike against the City of Cape Town after reaching an agreement on some employment issues. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN
Samwu Samwu threaten to strike Samwu strike Samwu protest in Cape Town Samwu,Samwu threaten to strike,Samwu strike,Samwu protest in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN - The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has suspended its strike against the City of Cape Town after reaching an agreement on some employment issues.

Municipal workers had downed tools at the beginning of last month due to issues relating to a lack of transport for workers, alleged racism and victimisation of shop stewards.

The union put the industrial action on hold after the mayor appointed a task team to deal with the problem.

Samwu's Michael Khumalo said the group signed an agreement on Tuesday.

“There is a process that needs to be followed ensuring that we implement that agreement among other things including the issue of the task team composed from delegates from the employers and from Samwu on weekly basis to monitor certain areas of process.”

CWU prepares for 3rd week of protests at MTN
Eye Witness News 2 June 2015

The union says MTN should prepare for more industrial action if their demands are not met.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says MTN should prepare for a third week of protest action, if it continues to ignore their demands.

Workers are demanding increased wages and bonuses.

MTN has accused striking staff of assaulting four of its employees.

The CWU says it will be opening a case against Gauteng police after officers allegedly fired rubber bullets at striking workers in Johannesburg on Friday.

The union says it now has the support of Nigerian workers in its battle for a salary hike.

Spokesperson Clyde Mervin says, “We have tried with MTN, and MTN was stubborn. We have also spoken to the Nigerian MTN union leaders and they are going to give us some moral support from Monday. So, we’re ready for action.”

He says they have met with the network provider once more and have yet again revised their demands.

“We have revised our offer, which is still confidential for now because we’ve not yet touched base with all the members.”

In the meantime, MTN has offered workers an eight percent guaranteed bonus and says it will look into the unions outstanding demands.

Five held over illegal protest in KZN
IOL News 30 May 2015

Durban - Police in KwaZulu-Natal have arrested five people on charges of public violence related to a service delivery protest in Mbazwana, police reported on Saturday

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said: “On Saturday, Mbazwana police and Public Order Police arrested five suspects for public violence. The community embarked on an illegal protest, they blockaded the road with shards and burning tyres demanding service delivery.

“Police were alerted about the demonstration and they proceeded to the area where they met the violent crowd. Police instructed them to disperse but they resisted. Then five suspects were arrested and taken to the police station for detention. They will be charged for public violence and will appear at Jozini Magistrates’ Court.”

Police Commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, condemned the violent acts by the community during protests, saying: “We appeal to the community to use proper channels to voice their needs and refrain from damaging private property because that will land them behind bars.”

VIDEO: Councillor’s house burnt in protest
IOL News 28 May 2015

Service delivery protesters caused chaos in the streets of Marikana, Philippi, burning down a councillor's house early on Thursday morning. They also destroyed 5 trucks at a depot on Wednesday evening. Each truck was worth R2 million.

Cape drug rehab centre needs premises
IOL News 1 June 2015

Cape Town - About 50 Hout Bay residents have called on the City of Cape Town to provide land for the Hout Bay Cares drug rehabilitation centre which has been instructed to vacate its premises currently located on council-owned land.

The plight of the rehab came to light after an e-mail from the Peace and Mediation Forum (PMF), cited that the facility was on “private property” and needed to move.

Hout Bay Civic Association secretary Roscoe Jacobs said the PMF had a meeting with the city without consulting the community to which the rehab centre provided a service.

“As a community we can’t allow (Hout Bay) Cares to be attacked in a manner such as this. We need to protect this service which assists drug users to get clean,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs said the centre was currently also using a space in the local day hospital and the community hall. “They also create awareness in schools and the community and offer family support groups. We want the city to come up with a long-term solution and identify land for (Hout Bay) Cares and we will even help raise funds for the facility so they can operate from one sufficient space,” he added.

He said the rehab assisted over 80 people from Hangberg, which proved the “positive impact” it has had in aiding the community in the fight against drug abuse.

The group handed a petition listing their grievances over to city Disaster Risk spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, who accepted it on behalf of mayor Patricia de Lille.

Solomons-Johannes said he had explained to the community that the centre had “encroached” on council property.

However, he added that the city would try and assist to make more space available to the rehab, but which complied with city regulations.

Four die in Cape protest ‘war zone’
IOL News 1 June 2015

Four people died, nine were injured, more than 100 shacks burnt and nine brick houses set alight as two communities  Marikana informal settlement and Lower Crossroads  clashed at the weekend. Photo: Courtney Africa
Cape Town - Four people died, nine were injured, more than 100 shacks burnt and nine brick houses set alight as two communities – Marikana informal settlement and Lower Crossroads – clashed at the weekend.

On Saturday, police separated the two communities by pulling razor wire down Sheffield Road, which divides Marikana and Lower Crossroads, following a night of violence that left the area looking like a war zone.

Marikana residents have been protesting for the past week, demanding that the City of Cape Town install water and toilets on the land they are occupying.

They burnt seven municipal trucks, set five other vehicles alight, stoned police and private vehicles, and torched offices at Phakama High School.

The area ward councillor’s house was also set alight during a service delivery protest for water and toilets.

Karel Dilgee, of Mandalay, died when he was struck by a concrete brick when the car he was travelling in got caught up in the protest.

The two communities turned on each other when Marikana protesters torched Letitia Mali’s home on Friday morning while they protested by burning tyres on Sheffield Road.

Mali said her house was torched because she had asked the protesting residents not to burn tyres in front of her house.

Residents said people from Lower Crossroads supported Mali and retaliated by burning shacks in Marikana.

Lower Crossroads residents said they were being held hostage by the Marikana protesters because they blocked the roads and burnt tyres.

Attempts by community leaders and the police to find a solution to end the violence yesterday were unsuccessful.

Lower Crossroads residents said they want residents from the Marikana informal settlement to leave and would not accept apologies from the Marikana community leaders.

Police spokesperson André Traut confirmed that there were three fatalities at the weekend, in addition to the death of Karel Dilgee.

Traut said on Saturday that three men – a 29-year-old, a 28-year-old and a 32-year-old – had been shot and killed.

Residents said two other people were shot on Friday night and Saturday morning, but Traut could not confirm this.

On Sunday, he described the situation in Marikana as “tense but under control”.

“Police deployments will remain in the area to maintain law and order until we are satisfied the area has stabilised,” said Traut.

Police arrested a number of people for public violence and arson, and the suspects are expected to appear in court today, said Traut.

A meeting for peace, which followed a meeting between leaders and police on Saturday afternoon, had to be called off because tempers flared.

A resident at the meeting, Nkosikho Mvana, who lives in Lower Crossroads, told the crowd that the meeting was “absolute nonsense”.

To loud applause, Mvana said Marikana residents should pack their belongings and go. “You can never destroy schools when you are protesting for service delivery and expect that things would be normal. The councillor’s house and the schools have nothing to do with their plight for services that they need from the City.

“When they invaded the private land illegally, they knew they would not be provided with services.”

A Marikana resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We know we have done wrong and we ask for forgiveness”.

Protest outside Malema court - PICS
IOL News 1 June 2015

Pretoria - Hundreds of Economic Freedom Fighters supporters protested outside the High Court in Pretoria on Monday as arguments in Julius Malema’s tax case were being heard.

The busy Madiba Street in front of the court was blocked to traffic – much to the frustration of several taxi drivers and other motorists.

The protesters, wearing red T-shirts and berets, ran up and down the street. Some waved placards reading: “We will kill for Juju” and “Zuma the thief”.

Officers from the South African Police Service and the Tshwane Metro Police were monitoring the protest.

The crowd went into a frenzy, cheering, whistling and shouting when Malema arrived at court in a Mercedes Benz Vito.

The court is hearing arguments as to whether Malema’s provisional sequestration order should be lifted or whether it should be made final.

The provisional sequestration order against Malema regarding his outstanding tax bill was postponed in March.

In February last year, the court issued a provisional sequestration order against the EFF leader for a reported R16 million in tax debt.

EFF group holds night vigil for Malema
Goitsemang Tlhabye 1 June 2015

Pretoria - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members gathered outside the Presbyterian Church in Pretoria on Sunday night to hold a night vigil ahead of party leader Julius Malema’s appearance in the Pretoria High Court on Monday.

Members gathered on Schoeman Street voicing their unrelenting support for Malema no matter what happened.

The supporters came clad in their red attire and some even came prepared with blankets to cover themselves for protection against the chilly weather.

Member Godney Sedibeng from Atteridgeville said they were determined to stay until court proceedings began in the morning.

“We are tired of Zuma and his constant battle to try to get to Julius. It won’t work and we will stand by him no matter what,” he said.

The EFF’s Gauteng provincial spokesman, Ntobeng Ntobeng, said they expected 2 000 members for the night vigil.

Ntobeng said the vigil comes after the realisation that the South African Revenue Service had been turned into a political weapon by the ruling party in its bid to collapse the EFF in Parliament.

“We are doing this to show them that come what may tomorrow (today) we are ready for war. This sequestration case has nothing to do with tax. It is a direct attack on our commander-in-chief. It is politically motivated and a sign of war for the people who are in favour of the Freedom Charter,” he said.

Malema will appear in connection with the tax charges brought by Sars.

Power outages lead to more protests
The Tembisan 24 May 2015

The smell of rubber in the air were from burning tyres barricading cars en-route to private dwellings.
May 24, 2015

The smell of burning rubber in the air came from the burning tyres, which were barricading cars en-route to private dwellings. Electricity cuts on the night of May 10 unleashed protests, where residents’ frustrations over power outages resulted in them throwing rocks and burning tyres.

The smell of burning rubber in the air came from the burning tyres, which were barricading cars en-route to private dwellings.

The Tembisan previously reported that Phomolong residents gathered on May 8, when they demanded answers from the ward councillor about the ongoing power outages.

Following the May 8 gathering, the City of Joburg (CoJ) moved swiftly to curb further problems in wards 12 and 13.

The CoJ called an urgent meeting on May 9 in response to a request by community leaders who led the previous day’s protest.

The council arrived at the sports grounds, flanked by the municipal officials. The council’s aim was to make the community aware of the causes leading to electricity cuts.

Programme director, Clr Ndala Sibanyoni from ward 13, appealed to an angry community to exercise tolerance when engaging with the council.

Mr Hendric Raedane, the customer care manager for the electricity department, said there were two cables which were the only feeders from City Power and they were enough to cater for the electrical needs in the entire Phomolong section.

One cable is 400amps and the other is 500amps. One of the two cables blew up at the Alendale substation, which affected the supply of electricity to the Phomolong area.

Mr Raedane said the council’s plan B is to shift the load in order to prevent the second circuit breaker from blowing up.

“Some sections of Phomolong had to be switched off while other areas had power. Areas that had power then continued receiving electricity, while those that previously did not have power were then switched on. Even councillors didn’t know about this technical mishap,” he said.

Residents were told City Power will resolve these problems within four to five weeks.

During question time, community members raised numerous concerns including house appliances being damaged due to power cuts, the inability to cook and children being unable to do homework.

Residents also alleged that the cost of electricity was higher when compared to other sections in Tembisa.

The Phomolong community demanded that power cuts take place during the day.

More than 1 000 gather in a bid to call for better services
The Tembisan 25 May 2015

Over 1 000 residents are protesting for better service delivery in Rabie Ridge, Tembisa.
May 25, 2015

Residents march to Midrand as they demand better service delivery. They will hand over a memorandum to regional director Abigail Ndlovu at City of Joburg. Residents from Ivory Park, Kaalfontein, Ebony Park and Rabie Ridge sections are marching to Midrand to call for better service delivery.

According to The Tembisan‘s journalist, Malebo Debeila who was at the scene, “At the same time there is a dispute between ANC members and EFF members who are also at the march. The ANC members don’t want the EFF members to raise their banners and placards because they don’t want them to use the demonstration as an EFF campaign.”

The march is heading towards Midrand, where residents will hand over a memorandum to the regional director Abigail Ndlovu at City of Joburg.

According Rabie Ridge SAPS spokesperson, Constable Jacob Nhlongo, while on their way to Midrand, the dispute between ANC and EFF members continued.

“SAPS members has since returned as the march is now outside of the Rabie Ridge SAPS precinct. Midrand SAPS, Public Order Police and JMPD members are now escorting the march to Midrand,” said Const Nhlongo.

Students set fire to college gate house
South Coast Herald 22 May 2015

According to unconfirmed information, the students want to be paid a certain allowance they say is due to all of them.
May 22, 2015

(Supplied) POLICE are monitoring the situation outside the Gamalakhe FET College after students went on a rampage this morning.

The protesters forced their way in by burning the gate house and then proceeded to break classroom windows.

According to unconfirmed information, the students want to be paid a certain allowance they say is due to all of them.

“Most of them are complaining that the college owes them travel and accommodation allowances from National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) dating back to last year. Those who are not staying on-campus say they have not yet received their allowance,” said the source.

Police spokesman, Captain Gerald Mfeka has confirmed the incident.

Taxi troubles continue in Sheppie
South Coast Herald 26 may 2015

The unrest has caused major disruptions to early-morning traffic.

Traffic is backed up in Albersville Road. AFTER a period of quiet, taxi violence has again erupted at the Port Shepstone rank.

According to reports received this morning, traffic has been disrupted in Nelson Madela Drive, which leads to the Sheppie rank.

Traffic has been diverted near HQ Tyres in Marburg and there is apparently a 40-minute delay from below Port Shepstone Primary.

There have also been reports of shots fired at the rank, but this has not been confirmed. Police are at the scene.

Three people have been arrested at the rank and a public violence docket has been

Residents want councillor removed
Alberton Record 24 May 2015

A group of angry residents of Greenfields Extension 5, Eden Park, and Thina Zonke marched to Clr Gladstone Zide’s office, shouting: ”Away with Zide, Zide must go”.

The aim of the march, on May 19, was to hand over a memorandum of demands, which included the removal of the Ward 53 councillor, and that he hands over of his office keys.

Residents also demanded the release of all those arrested for the assault of Zide, that took place on March 27.

Attached to the latest memorandum was a copy of the demands first made on February 18, when another march, also aimed at the removal of the councillor, was undertaken.

MMC for Water and Energy Doctor Xhakaza, accepted the last memorandum.

He praised the residents and organisers for the orderly and peaceful march and promised to respond within seven days.

The crowd dispersed peacefully.

Elderly deprived of receiving keys to new homes
Alberton Record 27 May 2015

Recipients of new homes, mostly elderly residents, were deprived of the opportunity to receive their keys, when angry residents blocked the entrance to Eden Park West recently..

EDEN PARK – The MEC and officials from the Department of Housing were due to address residents of Eden Park West and also to issue keys to the completed homes in the area to the rightful owners. However, the event came to a stop before it even started. The marquee for the event could not be erected that morning, because residents blockaded the entrance, and the event was postponed and the venue changed.

Clr Gladtone Zide said: “Residents refuse to understand that the houses are for the disabled, child-headed families and the elderly, whose homes in Extension Five were invaded in 2008. The Housing Department issued 39 keys and happy letters to the elderly, at the community hall, on May 19.”

We are not sex symbols,” cried DA women after mayor’s sexist remarks
Pretoria East Record 29 May 2015

The Democratic Alliance wants the mayor of Tshwane Kogosiento Ramokgopa to applogise for his sexist remarks towards a council member and stage a protest on Thursday. But it seems if the mayor just laughed in their faces.

We are not going to tolerate sexism. There is no place in this city for a sexist mayor.

This is the message the Democratic Alliance (DA) wanted to get across when they staged a peaceful protest on Thursday, shortly before the start of a special council meeting.

Around twenty women and men – Bruce Lee, a council member, was spotted wearing a sexy black dress – gathered in front of Sammy Marks Square with blue placards stating: ‘Sputla must apologise’ and ‘No place for sexist mayor’.

Bronwynn Engelbrecht, council member for ward 42, said she was ridiculed by mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, also dubbed as ‘Sputla’, during a political debate following the state of the capital address last Thursday.

During that session Engelbrecht said the city had lost a press ombudsman case against a daily newspaper after they had reported among other matters about the mayor’s alleged extra-marital affair.

Ramokgopa then said Engelbrecht just wanted his attention. “I have a wife at home who give me attention. She, then he pointed at Engelbrecht, doesn’t have a husband at home to tell her she is beautiful.”

He followed that up with a comment about Engelbrecht’s appearance and hair colour. “She does not even know what her own hair colour is.”

Engelbrecht is a natural red-head but she is always spotted with different hues of red in her hair. Therefore, most of the other council members supported Engelbrecht’s hair colour by putting hues of red in their hair. “I love red hair,” said councillor Elma Nel, a placard reading, ‘He is not fit for office’ in her hand.

At that stage four police officers were moving closer to the protesters. “If they wanted to arrest us, they are welcome,” councillor Elmarie Linde said. “We know this protest is illegal, but we just want to make a point that sexism won’t be tolerated.”

Councillor Chrizaan Bosch had organised this protest. “We are all wearing black for two different reasons. Firstly, we are standing together against sexism and secondly, this could be a reference to the Black Sash.”

The Black Sash was an organisation consisting mainly of women protesting against apartheid during the eighties.

“We are not a bunch of sex symbols,” added Bosch. She said female councillors in the ANC were very quiet about the mayor’s remarks. Lee, who borrowed a black dress from a friend, said: “It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you look like, as long as you deliver and serve the city. But I won’t wear this dress every day,” he laughed.

Police tried to prevent the protesters from moving up the escalators, but the DA members just forced their way through. Ramokgopa spotted them with their placards and just laughed to their faces.

“They are all a bunch of liars who made a mockery of the council,” Ramokgopa said at the start of the session.

Speaker Mosupyoe Letshoe also reprimand the DA by saying: “You make a mockery out of this council. You can’t invite people to toi-toi in front of this building. We are the people who must uphold the law.”

Protesters torch councillor’s house
IOL News 28 May 2015

Cape Town - A City of Cape Town councillor’s home was burnt down on Thursday, allegedly by a group of protesting residents from the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East.

The police and city law enforcement officers were on scene at the house of ANC councillor Mzuzile Mpondwana, who was not home at the time of the attack.

No injuries were reported.

According to the ANC chief whip in the city, Xolani Sotashe, the entire house was destroyed.

“I’ve just spoken to him (Mpondwana). He’s fine but his house has been burnt down with everything that was inside,” said Sotashe.

“Apparently they (protestors) attempted to go burn the municipal office where the councillor was working from but when they arrived, the police were there already so the group split, with one group going to the councillor’s house. Apparently they threw the petrol bomb.”

It was unclear whether any arrests had been made.

Residents of the Marikana informal settlement have been clashing with police this week as they attempt to rebuild their homes after being evicted from the privately owned land.

Pupils march to ‘reclaim’ school
IOL News 29 May 2015

Cape Town - A Diep River principal says his school will “reclaim” a disused primary school in their area if government doesn’t respond to their pleas to use it.

South Peninsula High School principal Brian Isaacs said his school needed extra buildings and had applied for permission to make use of the nearby Central Primary School a decade ago, but was still waiting for an answer.

During an interval on Thursday, teachers and Grade 11 pupils marched to the vacant building, singing songs and holding up posters stating, “How much longer must we wait?” and “We will take back what is ours”.

“Since 2005 this building has been standing vacant in a country where students are crying out for classrooms,” Isaacs said in an address to pupils outside the old primary school.

Boards with the South Peninsula’s name printed on it were attached to the four corners of the fence.

Thursday’s march followed three years after the school also undertook a march to the old primary school.

“We are saying to government this is the last time that we are coming here and not going inside.

“The next time we come we will cut the locks and make use of the building.”

Isaacs said Central Primary had closed after residents were removed from the area under the Group Areas Act and forced to send their children to schools on the Cape Flats. It was later used by the army.

Many of the Central Primary pupils attended high school at South Peninsula.

He said the school wanted answers about why they were not being granted permission to use the vacant school.

“This school is ours and nobody is ever going to remove us from this school again. No other business or residential property developer is going to get hold of this building.”

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the Western Cape Education Department and the provincial department of transport and public works were looking into the status of the application.

DA protests against implementation of Unabridged Birth Certificates
The New Age 29 May 2014

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will on Wednesday protest against Home Affairs’ implementation of Unabridged Birth Certificates that are required for minors to travel in an out of the country, arguing that it will affect SA’s economy particularly the tourism sector.

DA’s Beverley Schäfer says the picket will be in front of the NCOP leading up to a debate this afternoon.

Schäfer said “This is a final attempt to make Minister Gigaba realise the negative economical impact the Unabridged Birth Certificates will have.”

The regulations are set to take effect on June 1 and stipulate various onerous amendments for traveling minors, including having the certificate in addition to a passport.

South African Institute of Race Relations (IRRs) warned that the new travel requirements could result in international tourists choosing other travel destinations over South Africa.

Director-General Mkuseli Apleni said “this requirement should assist in curbing the abduction and kidnapping of children, sometimes even by one of the parents, in addition to the issue of child trafficking”

In the instance that one parent is absent when a minor is travelling with a single parent then the absent parent should give consent in the form of an affidavit.

When an adult is not a biological parent of the child, the person needs to produce a copy of an unabridged birth certificate and an affidavit saying they have permission to travel with the child.

Peace corps protests at budget speech meeting in Germiston
Kempton Express 28 May 2015

The mayor arrived to address the workers

MEMBERS of Ekurhuleni’s peace corps are currently protesting outside the council chambers in Germiston where Ekurhuleni’s budget speech will be delivered later this morning.

Executive mayor, Clr Mondli Gungubele, arrived to address the workers. According to Kempton Express’ journalist on the scene it seems he has calmed them down.

Gungubele said he understood their frustration but as people who were hired to retain peace in society, this was not the right way to address their issues.

He said he would get a task team to deliberate with the leaders of the corps to come to some sort of understanding.

The protesting workers had been employed on a two-year contract, which is now up for renewal. This contract paid them a stipend.

Mary Goby of the DA said, in a statement released earlier this week, offered them training in hope of a better future, through skills development.

“However, for many, their contracts are up for renewal and they are now striking for meaningful employment. Various peace corps members await feedback from the MMC of Community Safety.

In the meantime, the all-new peace corps that have just finished college, are working but not in uniform for fear of intimidation.

Teachers ordered to return to class
South Coast Herald 20 May 2015

The matter was taken to court.

Teachers have been forced to return to their classes by the Department of Education. THE Department of Education (DoE) has confirmed that a court interdict has been issued and served to South African Teachers Union (Sadtu) Lower South Coast members, who staged a protest outside the DoE offices last week.

The teachers claimed that their protest was because the regional director, Mfundi Sibiya, was implicated in the murder of Sadtu chairman and school principal, Nkosinathi Zondi.

Mr Sibiya was acquitted on all charges in a court case last year.

Education department spokesman Isaac Luthuli has confirmed that an interdict was issued and served to Sadtu memberswho has embarked on a ‘go-slow’ in some schools.

“They must return to their classes with immediate effect,”said Luthuli

Ndo Nkwanyana, Sadtu secretary, said members have returned to classes only because they have been ordered to do so.

“We have taken the issue to our provincial leadership to address with the MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni,” said Nkwanyana.

The Provincial African National Congress has also issued a statement, urging the department to intervene.

Students protest against principal’s return
GDE responds after pupils’ protest against reinstatement of principal.

The Tembisan 27 May 2015

Children wait outside the school gate in protest. Students of Ikusasa Comprehensive School protested against the reinstatement of the school’s principal.

The protest took place on May 20.

According to students, they were not consulted about the principal’s return to the school.

Students listed a shortage of learning material, among a number of complaints, that led to to the protest against the return of Ms Grace Tshetlo.

A parent, who has two children in the school, said when Ms Tshetlo was principal her daughter had to travel from Mangweni to Winnie Mandela Section to share text books with her classmate.

“Things have changed for the better in the school since the deputy principal Zanele Mpela took over,” she said.

Some parents agree and support their children’s demonstration.

It is claimed the principal was suspended in 2013 following a similar protest due to an alleged misappropriation of funds.

“We are happy with the current acting principal,” said pupils.

Teachers declined to comment, as well as members of the Representative Council of Learners (RCL).

The Gauteng Department of Education‘s spokesperson, Ms Phumla Sekhonyane, said the department confirms that pupils from Ikusasa Comprehensive School were protesting on May 20 against the return of the principal.

“The former principal, Ms Tshetlo, was never suspended but instead started reporting to the district in September 2014 after the staff of Ikusasa Comprehensive School lodged grievances.

“A forensic investigation was conducted and the department is currently implementing its recommendations,” said Ms Sekhonyane.

“The department, through its district, consulted with the SGB and staff in two separate meetings. The RCL is part of the SGB and there was RCL representation in the SGB consultation meeting,” she said.

“The department has, since the May 20 protest, intervened and pupils were back in class on May 21 when learning resumed,” she said.

100 arrested for Richards Bay FET protest
IOL News 27 May 2015

By Carla Bernardo Comment on this story

Durban - Over 100 student protesters were on Wednesday arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

“Richards Bay and Public Order police arrested 121 students for public violence and malicious damage to property at a FET (Further Education and Training) college in Richards Bay,” said KZN police spokesperson, Colonel Jay Naicker.

The students allegedly embarked on a violent protest in the early hours of Wednesday morning, said the police. The protest apparently had to do with unhappiness over a lack of financial assistance.

Speaking out about the damage the students caused, Naicker said: “They damaged campus property and set waste bins on fire. Police were alerted of the incident and proceeded to the area where the protesters attacked them.”

He said that after students had ignored police’s instructions to disperse, water canons were used to break up the group of protesters. “No injuries were sustained during the confrontation and police were able to arrest 121 students,” said Naicker.

Police were monitoring the situation at the FET College on Wednesday. The suspects were due to appear in the Empangeni Magistrate’s Court soon.

Wits students stage sit-in over jobs
IOL News 28 May 2015

Johannesburg - Wits university students spent the night at vice chancellor Adam Habib’s office to force the institution to secure employment for campus electrical workers who had lost their jobs earlier this year.

The workers had been employed by Wits contractor MJL Electrical, which was for months accused of not paying full wages or unemployment insurance.

Wits discontinued its contract with MJL earlier this year.

On Thursday morning when The Star team arrived at the vice chancellor's office the area was on lock down for security reasons but we were able to gain access.

Thirteen people - who all spent the night there -sat in Habib’s reception area. Five are students and members of the Wits EFF and Wits’ Workers Solidarity Committee.

“We are putting our degrees on the line for this cause and will continue to do so until outsourced workers are treated fairly,” said Wits EFF member Koketso Poho.

Deputy vice chancellor: Information, Knowledge and Infrastructure Management Tawana Kupe told The Star that the rights of the protesting students were not going to be infringed upon.

“The VC's office is not the place to protest. They are allowed to protest but in areas that will not disrupt university activities. At the same time they need to protest in a place where they can be seen and others can join.

“We're giving them time today to voluntarily leave and if they don't then we will have to use the (court) interdict and have police remove them from the VC's office,” Kupe said.

The protesters said they would not leave unless they were forced too.

“(The university) refused to do anything to secure the workers’ jobs,” said Thembi Luckett, a protesting student and member of Wits’ Workers Solidarity Committee.

The workers want Wits to employ them or to allow them to be absorbed by another university contractor.

“They promised to secure our jobs but at this stage they said it is not their own responsibility to do that,” said Richard Ndebele, a MJL worker.

Habib said the university could not afford to directly employ the workers without government subsidies or raising students’ fees by 15 percent, and that doing so would set an unrealistic precedent for all campus contract workers. He said Wits made sure the money it owed to MJL was directly paid to the workers.

Luckett said they had been there since shortly after noon.

“We have requested the students because they know the English. They can deal with this. They can answer questions on our behalf,” Ndebele said.

Wits spokeswoman Shirona Patel said Habib had told the protesters he would meet with workers directly or with their appointed union but would not discuss matters of salaries or employment with third parties, such as students.

“We've got university policies and procedures, that’s the appropriate route to follow,” Patel said.

The university told the protesters it would get a court interdict to remove them if they did not leave by Thursday morning.

But Luckett said they planned to stay “until our demands are met or until we're forced to leave”.

Taxi strike resolved- impounded taxis released
Beria Mail 27 May 2015

Calm seems to be restored in Durban but eThekwini has not been able to confirm that the taxi stike has been resolved.
4 hours ago

The taxi industry protesters tried to get into the Durban Drive In on Sylvester Ntuli (Brickhill) Road where the impounded taxis were kept demanding they be released and police had to fire teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the mob. WHILE calm has been restored in Durban city centre after yesterday’s taxi strike, the eThekwini Municipality has not confirmed that the strike had been resolved after talks with industry stakeholders yesterday.

On Tuesday morning, at least a hundred taxi operators charged through the city leaving a trail of chaos as they upturned municipal bins and burnt the trash along the streets and stoned motorists. The angry mob made their way to the Old Drive In site where nearly 300 taxis were kept after they were impounded by Metro Police over the weekend.

Reports of the strike being resolved and the impounded taxis released could not be confirmed by Ethekwini municipality at the time of publishing.

Police said no incidents of public violence or damage to property was reported this morning.

R300 reopened after protest
News 24 27 May 2015

Cape Town - The R300 has been reopened after striking workers barricaded it with burning tyres earlier this afternoon.

City of Cape Town traffic services spokesperson Richard Coleman confirmed authorities were still on scene.

The road was closed at about 13:30 between the N2 and AZ Berman Drive.

Facebook users described the freeway as "chaotic", and traffic officials advised motorists to use alternative routes.

The reason for the protest was not immediately clear and authorities were unable to confirm who was leading the action

Grisly find during taxi protest
IOL News 26 May 2015

Durban - The body of an infant was discovered in a bin toppled over by protesting taxi drivers in Durban’s CBD on Tuesday.

Paramedics cordoned off the area and covered the infant’s body.

The matter will now be subject to a criminal investigation.

Taxi drivers and owners blockaded major routes in Durban on Tuesday to protest against their vehicles being impounded by metro police.

Thousands of commuters coming into Durban by minibus taxi were forced to get out and walk.

The affected routes were the N3 east-bound, Higginson Highway and the M4 coming in from the south.

The National Taxi Alliance spokesman Bhekisisa Nzuza said all taxis were being stopped and none would operate until their vehicles impounded by Metro Police were released.

He claimed about 300 taxis had been taken off the road for not having permits.

“It’s the very same authorities who centralised the process of getting permits from Pietermaritzburg, with the whole of KZN applying for permits in the same place, causing massive delays,” Nzuza said.

The owners and drivers gathered at King Dinuzulu Park, toyi-toying and heckling passing buses.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the protesters after a group joining them from the centre of town stoned buses.

One bus had its door damaged and an officer had to kick it open to let passengers escape. Three of them were treated by paramedics while other paramedics treated the drivers of a van and car which had crashed into the bus as it tried to escape the protesters.

“We are now going to the pound, at the old drive-in, where our vehicles are being kept, we want them released today,” Durban regional secretary of the South African National Taxi Council, Yusuf Khaliva said.

Commuters stranded during taxi protest
Sphelele Ngubane (The Mercury) 27 May 2015

THOUSANDS of commuters were left stranded and traffic was brought to a standstill when taxi operators blockaded roads, burnt bins and stoned buses and vehicles in the Durban CBD yesterday.

Commuters crammed into buses at the Workshop late yesterday after waiting for hours for transport.
The operators demanded the release of 295 minibus taxis impounded by the metro police.
They also marched to the city hall and protested outside the building until mayor James Nxumalo adjourned an executive council meeting to allow 14 representatives to address him.

One bus’s door was damaged and a police officer had to kick it open to let passengers out. Three of the passengers were treated by paramedics. The drivers of a van and car which had crashed into the bus as it tried to escape the protesters were also treated for injuries.
Municipal spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa said municipal buses carrying passengers were attacked and stoned. Law enforcement authorities spread out across the city to monitor the situation.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said minibus taxi operators gathered on the outskirts of the city at about 6am, disrupted traffic and stopped buses, forcing passengers to get out.

“Thereafter, at 8.30am, about 300 taxi drivers proceeded to other areas, mainly Samora Machel (Aliwal) Street, Warwick Triangle and in the CBD where they continued to disrupt the traffic flow.

“Police reacted timeously, but encountered resistance when their vehicles were stoned. Tyres were also set alight. Various attempts by police to disperse the protesters were met again with resistance where private vehicles were stoned and property damaged en route to the city hall,” Naicker said.

He said at least one member of the public and two police officers were allegedly assaulted by protesters.

Fifteen people were arrested for public violence and would appear in court soon, he said.
Public Transport Voice, an organisation that advocates for quality public transport, condemned the violence and the disruptions.
The organisation’s spokesman Zingisani Nkanjeni said: “We condemn the violence against commuters and vandalism of municipal buses that occurred in eThekwini in the strongest possible terms.

“We call for calm and an initiation of workable solutions to all parties affected by the violence. We call on the police to bring the perpetrators to book and local government in that region to release the taxis that were impounded,” he said.

The SA National Taxi Council’s chairman for Durban Central, Yusuf Khaliva, said they wanted the municipality to release the impounded taxis without the owners or drivers paying the fines.

But Nxumalo said the taxi operators were wrong to attack buses and other municipal assets.

“We are shocked about what is happening as this has put the lives of innocent people at risk. We have received reports that some people were injured after vehicles were stoned and such acts of violence will not be tolerated,” he said.

Mthethwa said the issues raised by the taxi operators during the meeting with the mayor included the release of all the impounded taxis, which was their main demand, the difficulty they experienced in applying for operating permits, and inconsistent processing of cases via the courts.

City manager S’bu Sithole said the municipality would go through the metro police records to ascertain why each vehicle was impounded and establish the number of vehicles still in the pound.

“We can’t take a blanket approach … We will assess each case based on its merits,” said Sithole.

The taxi operators had a meeting which ended last night and Sithole said no agreement was reached. The meeting would reconvene this morning.

However, Khaliva told the taxi operators that the municipality would release the taxis this morning.

Health MEC threatens workers
IOL News 26 May 2015

Durban - In a strong act of defiance, dozens of emergency service workers toyi-toyied in front of Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The group, believed to be on a go-slow, said they had come to court to support their “leader” Sifiso Dlamini and had legitimate grievances the department needed to address.

The group of people, some of whom had placards including one which read “Pay back the money, Dhlomo”, sang loudly as Dhlomo spoke to journalists outside court.

Dlamini, who was dismissed from the department two years ago, appeared in court on Monday charged with intimidation in connection with illegal strike action this year.

His release on bail was opposed by the State as it said there were other allegations that the police needed to investigate against him.

Emergency workers had packed the courtroom and Dlamini, who looked calm in the dock, raised his fist when one worker shouted a message of support.

Dhlomo said it was “mind boggling” that Dlamini had managed to mobilise so many workers to support him.

“They are coming to support an alleged saboteur and intimidator.”

He said the workers, who had come to court, showed that they had no regard for their jobs.

“They are supposed to be at work. I do not think we need these people. The head of department is going to take action against them. They have made a choice: it is more important for them to support Dlamini at the expense of them providing a service to the public. They have dismissed themselves.”

The department said some of the incidents of vandalism and intimidation by workers included:

* The burning of two ambulances in the uThungulu district last month.

* The partial burning of an ambulance in Newlands West last Thursday.

* The stoning of a vehicle carrying patients, including a pregnant woman, in Empangeni last week.

* Alleged intimidation of workers in the eThekwini, uThungulu and Hluhluwe regions.

The department said it had taken contingency measures to deal with the illegal strike.

One of the workers, who asked not to be named, said their grievances with the department dated from 2012.

He said they wanted to be paid occupation specific dispensations (OSD) and to receive a danger allowance. They also had a problem with an increase in their working hours, he said.

The worker alleged Dlamini was dismissed after he raised the workers’ problems and they were also not afraid to lose their jobs.

“They are taking our money when they should be paying us. So we are not worried about being dismissed,” he said.

Dlamini is to appear in court next week for a formal bail application. He was remanded to the Durban Central police station.

Officials to meet over violent taxi strike
IOL News 26 May 2015

Durban - eThekwini municipality officials will hold an urgent meeting with members of the taxi industry in a bid to end the public transport strike that has left thousands of commuters stranded.

On Tuesday morning, taxi drivers blocked major highways and roads leading to the city centre.

Several incidents of violence were reported across the city with municipal buses being stoned and passengers being pulled out of buses and taxis still operating.

eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo condemned the acts of violence.

“We are receiving reports that while the strike action is currently taking place our municipal buses are being attacked with passengers inside. We are highly concerned about the recent turn of events and urge people to raise their concerns through following the appropriate channels without resorting to violence,” said Nxumalo.

City manager S’bu Sithole says that they had not received any memorandums and were not sure what the reasons behind the strike were.

“At this stage we are not clear what the issues are that have led to the strike by members of the taxi industry. We are hoping that a formal meeting which will be convened will indicate what their demands are and how we can engage to find solutions to those demands. Last (on Monday) night we received conflicting messages as to whether or not the strike would take place but this (on Tuesday) morning we noticed that taxis are not operating throughout the city,” said Sithole.

One taxi driver who wished to remain anonymous said that taxi drivers were upset about the proposed new rapid transport system that the city was to implement.

They believe the new system similar to the Reya Vaya system in Johannesburg and the MyCiTi in Cape Town will see the taxi industries routes severely hampered.

While others said they were unhappy at being targeted by the city's metro police.

Public transport strike turns violent
IOL News 26 May 2015

Durban - A public transport strike in Durban on Tuesday morning has seen roads blockaded and operating buses and taxis stoned.

Hundreds of taxi drivers stopped their vehicles on the highway in Chatsworth, south of Durban, and got out of their vehicles.

Traffic has been severely affected and thousands of commuters have been left stranded.

In other areas operating taxis and buses are being stoned.

Bullets fly at KZN men’s hostel
IOL News 26 May 2015

A gun battle broke out at Durban’s notorious Glebelands hostel in Umlazi on Monday night, according to police.

“There was shooting at the hostel and police are currently engaged in an operation inside the hostel,” police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said late on Monday.

When police arrived at the scene, they came under fire too as hostel dwellers tried to prevent them from entering the building.

Naicker said the police gained access and were still inside at around 10.15pm, searching for the gunmen.

Naicker said he did not know if anybody had been injured or killed.

Several men were reported to have fled the scene in cars.

Last week, the Right to Know (R2K) Campaign demanded an official investigation into allegations of police complicity in a recent spate of murders at the men’s hostel.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, it emerged that one man had been shot and killed on Prince Mcwayizeni Road near the hostel. Police were on the scene.

Gun battle at Glebelands hostel
IOL News 25 May 2015

Durban - Police in Durban are locked in a gun battle at Durban's notorious Glebelands hostel in Umlazi.

Police responded to a shooting incident. When they arrived at the hostel they were fired at and prevented from entering the hostel.

According to police spokesperson Jay Naicker, police managed to gain entry to the hostel and are currently searching for the shooters.

Nearby residents say they can still hear random gunfire coming from the hostel.

The hostel has been rocked by a spate of violence recently amid allegations that there is a warlord running the hostel and terrorizing residents.

UCT acts against building occupiers
IOL News 26 May 2015

Cape Town - UCT has issued provisional suspension orders to four students who it claims were illegally occupying Avenue House after May 18 – the deadline for an amnesty period granted by the university.

The university had urged members of the Rhodes Must Fall movement to vacate the building, but students were refusing to budge.

Earlier this month, vice-chancellor Dr Max Price said a decision had been taken to grant an amnesty period in respect of all protest-related incidents that took place between March 9 and May 18.

He said no disciplinary action would be brought against any student or staff member in respect of these events.

Gerda Kruger, UCT’s executive director: communications and marketing department, said the university had hoped that the occupation would end following the amnesty but it didn’t. “We called in third parties to try to mediate to find a solution; they were not successful. We have made multiple and repeated attempts to persuade the occupiers to leave the building as they are interfering with university business. They have bluntly refused.”

She said the orders didn’t interfere with the students’ ability to attend lectures or take exams but prohibited them from entering or occupying Avenue House and other administration buildings.

The university has issued notice of intent to seek a court order that would evict students from the building and prevent them from occupying it.

“Students who are suspended have a right to a hearing within 72 hours. Those hearings allow the students to make their case in regards to the suspension. The chair at the hearing may after hearing the two parties decide to confirm, vary or set aside the suspension. The hearings are taking place today (on Monday). It is too soon to know the outcome.”

Members of the movement protested outside the Bremner building on Monday where the hearings were scheduled to take place.

In a document posted on its Facebook page, the Rhodes Must Fall movement said the university had “arbitrarily charged four more RMF comrades with suspension hearings for the ‘occupation’ of Avenue House when in fact more than 50 students occupied the space at different periods after the 18th of May 2015”.

“Management has also initiated court proceedings against the movement as a whole for both this and our previous ‘occupation’, despite the false promise of ‘amnesty’, a term which must be problematised. Amnesty suggests that the movement has done something wrong and it also absolves management from their own complicity in their violent actions towards black student protesters.”

It stated that the university processes were unjust and acting in accordance with them was “to allow a violent system to continue unchallenged”.

Communities not happy with payment initiative
Operation Hlasela has been met with hostility.
Witbank News 20 May 2015

The communities of KwaGuqa and Hlalanikahle are not happy with Operation Hlasela. They protested by burning tyres and preventing people from going to and from work earlier this week. Residents in KwaGuqa and Hlalanikahle showed their dismay by barricading roads and burning tyres because they are apparently not interested in Emalahleni Local Municipality’s efforts to increase the municipality’s revenue to settle the escalating Eskom debt.

This protest that started up on Monday, May 18 is to prevent the municipality from continuing with its operation against illegal electricity and land uses.

The municipality is pulling all the rabbits needed out of the hat to prevent Eskom from flicking the switch and implement a bulk electricity interruption.

Operation Hlasela, a strategy to normalise electricity usage and payments, is just one of the desperate initiatives the municipality is undertaking.

The communities of KwaGuqa and Hlalanikahle are not happy with Operation Hlasela. They protested by burning tyres and preventing people from going to and from work earlier this week.

Other negotiations with government to recover outstanding debt are finalised, whilst cut offs of businesses in arrears are on track. Tenders for energy efficient solutions to public lighting and buildings are out and a project to start installing split prepaid meters in protective structures commenced last week.

A second tender for the further roll out of split meters on a large scale will be published soon.
“I remain positive that as a city we can prevent the potential interruptions in bulk supply next month. However, structurally there are extreme problems in our system, more than half of our electricity demands are not being recovered from users, and our processes to rectify these are meeting many stumbling blocks. Some of these are rooted in resistance from individuals, especially those who have abused previous lack of good law enforcement and administration,” Acting Municipal Manager, Mr Theo van Vuuren said.

The communities of KwaGuqa and Hlalanikahle are not happy with Operation Hlasela. They protested by burning tyres and preventing people from going to and from work earlier this week.

There is a tiny light at the end of the tunnel as the municipality managed to pay R54-million to Eskom on May 12.

“A further down payment on the arrears must still be done and we are in the process of mobilising funds for that purpose. The provisional target is R150-million. These targets can be achieved if we work together. Our ability to meet these targets will greatly determine whether we will be able to reach an agreement with Eskom,” Van Vuuren said.

He said for the municipality to become financially sustainable, the resolving of the Eskom debt is a first priority. Without that burden, significant amounts of funding can then be channelled to investment in the infrastructure.

The Democratic Alliance demanded that the Provincial Executive of Mpumalanga consider urgent negotiation with Eskom, to assist these municipalities before June 5 when the power utility plans to flick the switch and leave the municipality in total darkness.

“The Provincial Executive has the power to provide guarantees to Eskom, which may avoid power cuts,” the DA persisted.

Winter is fast approaching and if something is not done, residents are going to face a long and very cold winter.

The communities of KwaGuqa and Hlalanikahle are not happy with Operation Hlasela. They protested by burning tyres and preventing people from going to and from work earlier this week.

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