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South African Protest News 6 February 9 March 2016 (2016) South African Protest News 6 February 9 March 2016.  : -.

‘Illegal’ strikes disrupt Tshwane bus services
IOL News 7 March 2016

Johannesburg - The A re Yeng and Tshwane bus services have been “totally” disrupted by an “illegal industrial action”, the City of Tshwane said on Monday.

The City of Tshwane said it would “like to inform both the Tshwane Bus Service and the A re yeng Rapid Bus Service commuters that transport services continues to be disrupted as a result of the current illegal industrial actions by bus drivers and other employees”.

The City said the industrial action was a result of a recognition dispute between the bus drivers affiliated to the South African Transport and Allied worker Union (Satawu) and the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) who embarked on an unprotected strike since last week Monday.

“We regret that the strike action has resulted in total disruption of the bus services, and urge commuters to consider alternative transport means, as we continue to engage with the workers representatives, and enforce our interdicts,” said the City of Tshwane in a statement.

“We will proceed with the appropriate legal action to ensure that workers wishing to return to work are not intimidated and that our commuters are safe and continue to benefit from a reliable municipal bus service.”

Both unions, Satawu and Samwu, were not immediately available for comment.

Pikitup strikers clash with cops
IOL News 11 March 2016

Johannesburg – The national office of the Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) on Friday urged its regional leadership to allow its members at Johannesburg’s waste management entity, Pikitup, to return to work immediately.

Since going on strike over salary increments, Pikitup workers have caused havoc in the city centre by trashing rubbish cans all over the roads.

On Friday afternoon, there were reports of clashes between Pikitup workers who were on strike and members of South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on Rissik street in central Johannesburg, resulting in stun grenades being fired to disperse them.

One injury was reported initially, that of a woman who had apparently been hit by a rubber bullet, and she was taken to a nearby medical facility.

Samwu’s regional deputy secretary, Paul Tlhabang, was not immediately available for comment.

The illegal strike by Pikitup workers entered its third day on Friday, despite the company issuing an ultimatum to workers to return to their posts by Thursday noon.

A statement issued on behalf of Samwu’s national office bearers said the trade union had engaged the regional leadership which was currently leading the protest action.

“We have further taken steps to ensure that our members’ legitimate grievances are addressed and such we will be meeting with Pikitup management in a bid to resolve the impasse.

“Therefore urge our members at Pikitup to return to work so to allow this process to unfold. Our members should return to work as early as the next shift begins,” said Samwu.

Pikitup threatens to dismiss striking workers
IOL News 14 March 2016

Johannesburg - Pikitup has issued a stern warning saying it will take action against striking workers if they continue to stay away from work.

The striking workers, who are affiliated to South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), are demanding better pay and the immediate dismissal of Pikitup managing director, Amanda Nair, whom they accuse of corruption. Even though Nair was cleared of charges of impropriety relating to a R263m tender in 2015, Samwu has maintained allegations of wrongdoing.

Pikitup workers went on an illegal strike on Wednesday – the fourth one since November 2015.

An management ultimatum to its employees to return to work by noon on Thursday was ignored.

The Johannesburg’s waste management utility released a statement on Sunday saying it was “issuing pre-dismissal notices as a result of the workers’ failure to return to work on Thursday, 10 March. The workers also failed to heed the call by their own union to return to work on Friday, 11 March”.

Instead, they intensified the strike, took to the streets and left a trail of rubbish in their wake all over the city center of Johannesburg.

On Friday Pikitup striking workers clashed with the police, resulting in some injuries.

Samwu has since urged striking workers to return to work while negotiations continue.

“Following the unruly behaviour of workers during the recent illegal strike where the City’s assets were damaged, 19 workers were arrested. Eleven of them were released due to lack of evidence while the others are set to appear in court on charges of malicious damage to property and intimidation. More arrests are expected,” Pikitup said.

Samwu’s regional deputy secretary, Paul Tlhabang, could not be reached for comment about the dismissals.

Pikitup has apologised to affected residents and businesses, advising them to take out their bins as per their normal refuse schedule starting from Monday.

They have contracted private companies to remove waste and clean up the city.

Folweni residents riot over ANC nominations
IOL News 2 March 2016

Another wrangle over an ANC nomination process for the local government elections led to a mob of Folweni residents looting and then torching municipal buildings and vehicles worth millions of rands.

A municipal building, containers that were converted into offices, a grader, a light delivery vehicle, a tractor-loader-backhoe vehicle and two police vehicles were set alight last week.

More than 1 000 spades and 100 wheelbarrows were stolen.

Members of the unhappy faction said the SACP members had been sidelined and they did not agree with the nominated candidate ANC ward councillor.

Municipal spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa said he cost of the damage was being quantified.

“We can confirm that there has been damage to the depot, but the culprits are unknown.”

Municipal employees said more than 100 wheelbarrows, about 1 000 spades, various tools and chemicals had been stolen from a storeroom during the violence.

A fridge and a stove were stolen from one of the buildings.

A municipal motor mechanic said the grader had been badly damaged. “It would cost half a million to fix. People also stole batteries and wires from this grader.”

Resident Nonhle Mlotshwa said dissatisfaction among ANC members should not affect the whole community.

“This equipment was used to repair our roads. The councillor’s office helped us with proof of residence and making complaints about poor service,” she said.

An ANC member at a nearby ANC office in Folweni, who did not want to be named, said the group of residents were mostly “SACP supporters” and had been unhappy about Thokozani Xulu’s being nominated as the candidate for the local government elections.

He said the group wanted Sisulu Nhlumayo, an SACP activist, to stand for the elections.

The current Ward 95 councillor, Senzangakhona Shange, had not been nominated.

An ANC member, who supports Nhlumayo, said during the nominations held on February 14, ANC members, who were also SACP activists, were excluded from the nomination process.

“We had preferred that the branch meeting be held in Mduduzi Hall, which is central to everyone. But it was held in Qhosheyakhe Primary which is far away from other sections. I had to take a taxi to get there, many people could not afford taxi fare.”

Another ANC member said: “Since the nominations we had been expecting that community meeting would called … to nominate their preferred candidate. But that meeting had not taken place, and all of a sudden we heard that Xulu will be the candidate, which is what sparked the anger.”

In another violent incident last week, ANC supporters burnt down a house and car belonging to KwaDukuza ward councillor Jetro Bhanda after they had accused him of being nominated without following ANC policy and guidelines.

The ANC and SACP have been embroiled in a bitter struggle over the nomination process, with the SACP complaining about its members being sidelined.

Last month, the two parties said they had reached a peace agreement and reruns would be held in some areas.

ANC regional secretary Bheki Ntuli said that on Sunday members of the regional executive met the group of residents and also had a meeting with the area’s branch executive committee. He said a community meeting would be held soon to decide what should be done about the nomination process. He did not comment on the damage.

Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said police were investigating charges of arson and public violence, and no arrests had been made.

The SACP could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

PICS: Factories torched in Isithebe protests
IOL News 7 March 2016

Durban – A number of people were treated for light injuries during protests that saw vehicles being burnt and factories torched in Isithebe on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Monday.

Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said that at least 50 people had been arrested for public violence since the protests erupted late on Sunday night.

He said that four factories and two trucks had been set alight as were three containers.

Members of the communities, who were protesting, were complaining about the re-nomination of the ex-mayor for the upcoming election, Zwane said.

He said police units were deployed from Empangeni, Newcastle and Ulundi to restore order in the area.

Paul Herbst, Operations Manager for IPSS Medical Rescue, said as a result of stone throwing a number of people had been treated for light injuries.

Isithebe is located near Mandeni, which is about 90 kilometres south of Richards Bay.

Scores arrested in KZN protest chaos
IOL News 7 March 2016

Durban – More than 170 protesters are reported to have been arrested in two KwaZulu-Natal townships engulfed in violent protest action on Monday.

In Isithebe, North of Durban, despondent residents vented their frustration “about the re-nomination of the ex-mayor for the upcoming elections,” KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Thulani Zwane said.

“One hundred and twenty suspects were arrested and charged for public violence, arson and malicious damage to property were opened for investigation”, he said.

Zwane said the damaged property included four factories; a truck; two vehicles and five containers set alight and police vehicles.

In Umlazi, South of Durban protesters embarked on a service delivery protest blocking entries and exits in the township.

Zwane was unable to confirm how many were arrested but according to initial reports the number was as high as 50 protesters. The protest was allegedly sparked because of lack of electricity.

KZN Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said: “Violence during protest action will not be tolerated. The police have a responsibility to protect property and lives during these violent protests. Members of the community are warned that we will execute our constitutional mandate and perpetrators of such violent protests will be arrested and prosecuted,” she said.

The detained protesters at Isithebe were charged with public violence, arson and malicious damage to property and are expected to appear at the Inyoni Magistrate Court soon.

More arrests are expected as the police are still monitoring and diffusing the crowds in these two areas.

Protesters block off uMlazi
IOL News 7 March 2016

Durban - There was pandemonium in uMlazi on Monday, as angry protesters blocked entries and exits to the south Durban township.

Reports of protests in the area emerged on Sunday night, when emergency response vehicles were prevented access.

Netcare 911 spokesman, Chris Botha, said just after 6pm, paramedics were called to attend to a person who was in a diabetic coma.

“They were in J-Section, when protesters started lobbing stones at them.”

A response vehicle was badly damaged, Botha said, and paramedics were forced to turn back.

A truck owner in uMlazi said on Monday morning there was anarchy in Z-Section, near the police station, with burning tyres strewn across the road.

A police officer at the scene said the crowd, which was more than 1 000 strong, was fed up because they did not have access to electricity and illegal power connections had caused injuries.

Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said residents of the Izimeleni and Glebelands hostel area blocked the road demanding electricity in the nearby informal settlement.

Residents took to social media to vent their ire.

Cynthia Hlambisa said: “Can someone please tell me what’s going on in uMlazi? #nowayout”. And Thembile Bhelekazi Khuboni said: “Stuck for I don’t know how long... Mangosuthu Highway dead stop.”

At about 8am, traffic had begun to clear.

Affected areas included the Mangosuthu Highway (through D-Section), Kwa-Mdladla (A-Section), V-Section and the uMlazi-Isipingo alternative exit.

Call for calm as Tshwane protesters run amok
IOL News 9 March 2016

Pretoria – Streets signage and sidewalk barriers were damaged as residents of Malusi infomal settlement near Pretoria north went on on a rampage on Wednesday morning, blocking major roads and burning tyres.

Representing Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, who was said to be as a summit in Limpopo, municipal executive director Lesutla Moroaswi appealed to the protesters for calm.

“I have urged them (protesters) to just remain calm. Allow us to talk to the mayor. He is competent enough to come and deal with this issue. I have told them that within seven to 14 days, the mayor must come here and report to them. The mayor is in a better position to come and deal with issues,” Moroaswi told reporters after meeting the protesters.

“I have received the memorandum on behalf of the mayor. Some of the demands on the memorandum are genuine. We do know the demands, for example the issue of buses which carry their children to school is caused by the SAMWU municipal workers strike. As I’m speaking now, we have communicated with our department and in the morning the buses will be back to transport the children.”

He said the informal settlement dwellers have felt neglected, but the municipality had their grievances on its agenda. The houses promised when the community was moved to the area were awaiting an environmental assessment green light.

“We are still waiting for the (environmental assessment) report so that the project can start. The community is feeling very neglected, but proper protocol must be followed,” said Moroaswi.

The municipal official received a hostile reception from the protesters, who kept demanding that Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa must come and address them.

“The mayor is not here because he is at a lekgotla, which started on Tuesday. They have booked a place where they are dealing with council and municipal issues somewhere in Limpopo,” said Moroaswi.

In the memorandum given to Moroaswi, the protesters demanded that the use of Afrikaans around Pretoria north schools, which they deemed was exclusionary, must be abolished.

“Our kids have the right to learn and to education, like everybody. They are born in this country and their parents fought for democracy. We therefore demand that the department of (basic) education must instruct all schools to use English as the medium of instruction. African languages must also be introduced in the schools,” said said a leader of the protesters, Mpho Mashishi, as he read out their memorandum of demands.

He said the use of Afrikaans in schools around the areas was detrimental to black children, particularly from the informal settlements.

“Black people must be integrated into these areas. This is a democratic South Africa.”

In response, Moroaswi, said the issue would be directed to the department of basic education.

“Historically, in this area, the schooling in this area was normally offered in Afrikaans. I’m not defending the community. The only way to address it is to change the language policy by bringing teachers competent in our mother tongue languages. The department of education must hire teachers who are competent in other languages,” Moroaswi said.

“I can’t answer for the department of education, but we will deliver that memorandum. Remember this is a concern even in universities. This is not the competency of the municipality. This is a real concern because they (protesters) feel their children are segregated because of the language policy.”

Democratic Alliance ward councillor, Frik Van Wyk, said he had been raising the issue of service delivery to the informal settlement dwellers in council.

He said the children from the informal settlement could not be accommodated in nearby schools simply because the school classes were full.

Earlier, Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, said there had been reports of some protesters intimidating children at nearby schools.

“We have taken some precautionary measures and sealed off the streets. These streets have been filled with burning tyres and objects thrown onto the road,” said Mahamba near the protesters,” said Mahamba.

“It went to an extent that some parents in the nearest schools panicked and went to collect their kids from school. We have information that at a certain school, some people went to threaten kids in that school.”

He said the situation remained tense and roads, including the busy Bremer Street, would remain closed.

“As police, we remain here to monitor the situation. At this stage there are no reports of injured people. We have not arrested anybody up to this stage,” he said.

By midday, the barricades had been removed and the roads were now accessible to traffic.

Violent protest rocks province’s shacklands, townships, factories
S’mangele Zuma and Sphelele Ngubane (The Mercury) 8 March 2016

DISORDER erupted at a public park near Tehuis hostel in Umlazi yesterday after the eThekwini land invasion unit demolished shacks that had been erected by land grabbers.

The owners of the shacks disrupted traffic flow on Mangosuthu Highway. They burnt waste and debris on the road, stopping vehicles as they demanded that the unit halt the demolition. Motorists driving in and out of the township had a difficult time and some had to find alternative routes before police could restore calm.

Umlazi police had their hands full as there was further trouble in Prince Mcwayizeni Road, where Zimeleni and Malandeni informal settlement residents held a service protest.

Tehuis land grabber Mzukisi Sapo, 28, whose structure was demolished, said most of the people who invaded the land had been staying at the Tehuis hostel and Glebelands hostel. Some had been renting private homes.

“I was tired of being squashed in a hostel room and that is the reason I chose to join the people invading this park,” he said.

Sapo said they were not prepared to surrender and after every demolition, they would reconstruct their shacks.

Ward councillor Robert Mzobe said they had on many occasions warned that seizing land was illegal.

“We have repeatedly tried talking sense to the people who want to invade the park. We do not know what to say to them any more. We have also heard grievances from the people in Prince Mcwayizeni Road who were protesting and we have plans to build houses for them,” he said.

“People must understand that development will not happen at once for everyone.”

The head of the parks, recreation and culture unit, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said they would not let people build shacks in the park.

“If they continue breaking the law we will have them arrested.”

At Mandeni, in Zululand, 120 people were arrested and police continue to search for more after violent protests that caused havoc in the area on Sunday night and yesterday.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said four factories, a truck, two vehicles and five containers were set alight. The protesters also damaged police cars. Eight computers were taken at one of the factory offices and two were later recovered.

Mandeni Local Municipality mayor Siphesihle Zulu said there were two issues believed to have caused the protests.

“First, the community has rejected an ANC candidate who is contesting the local government elections, and, secondly, the chief is said to have appointed his own induna instead of the one favoured by the people. These were not addressed to me and it was the first time I got to know about them,” he said.

Yesterday the whole of Mandeni was at a standstill and no public transport had access to the area as the situation remained volatile. Schoolchildren and workers were turned back. Firms closed and sent home workers who had already started work.

Zulu said that tomorrow they would address the community to restore order.

“The 120 suspects were arrested and charged for public violence; arson and malicious damage to property were opened for investigation. More arrests are expected as the police are still monitoring and defusing the crowd. More manpower has been deployed,” said Zwane.

uMlazi protest chaos
Bernadette Wolhuter 7 March 2016

All roads in and out of uMlazi were blocked by protesters on Monday.

Durban - There was pandemonium in uMlazi on Monday morning, as angry protesters blocked entries and exits to the south Durban township, placing it under lockdown.

Reports of protest action in the area emerged on Sunday night, when emergency response vehicles were prevented access.

Netcare  911 spokesman, Chris Botha, said just after 6pm, paramedics were called to attend to a person who was in a diabetic coma.

“They were in J-Section, when protesters started lobbing stones at them.”

A response vehicle was badly damaged, Botha said, and paramedics were forced to turn back.

A truck owner in uMlazi said on Monday morning there was anarchy in Z-Section, near the police station, with burning tyres strewn across the road.

And a police officer at the scene said the crowd, which was more than 1 000 strong, was fed up because they did not have access to electricity and izinyoka – electricity thieves and illegal power connections had caused injuries.

It was not a peaceful protest, he said, but no-one had been hurt as of Monday morning.

Social media users who live in the area took to Facebook.

Cynthia Hlambisa said: “Can someone please tell me what’s going on in uMlazi? #nowayout”.

And Thembile Bhelekazi Khuboni said: “Stuck for I don’t know how long... Mangosuthu highway dead stop.”

At about 8am, traffic had begun to clear.

Affected areas included the Mangosuthu Highway (through D-Section), KwaDladla (A-Section), V-Section and the uMlazi-Isipingo alternative exit.

Police used rubber bullets and water cannon to disperse residents of the Zimeleni and Malandeni informal settlements and Glebelands hostel who had blockaded Prince Mcwayizeni Road in Umlazi yesterday. The residents staged the protest to demand houses, electricity and other improved services. Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said injuries or damage to property had not been reported, and that police continued to monitor the situation. STORY P4

News below from comrades protesting in Ward 76, Umlazi today.

Early this morning the ward 76 community Areas such as Zimeleni opposite Jeenas Goat hives, V section which is well known as Stambu, and other local areas were on Protest due to lack of service delivery as this Ward is known as abandoned in Kzn through political influence by the leading organisation. Evidence was shown by community members that enough is enough. All local IEC voting stations were quiet as we seen and heard in other Provinces.

The burning of tyres were also taking place at Ward 76. All local schools were shut down today. The so called group of ANC volunteer's (at Glebelands) were loud hailing on Friday up until Sunday but they were shouted at by residents. They were less than 6.

It symbolizes something has been done wrong by ANC leaders and the majority of this Ward they stated it clear they are not going to cast their votes on this forthcoming elections.

All power to the people!
Amandla ✊��aluta continua!

Glebelands residents recently alleged they were forced by thugs firing guns in the air, to attend the ANC Branch General Meeting on 7 February for the nomination and election of the ward 76 ANC candidate for the coming local elections. Many who were not registered card-carrying ANC members, or not even ANC supporters, reported that they were provided with blank pieces of paper to serve as membership documents so that they could thus gain access and voting eligibility at this meeting. They were then automatically registered at this meeting as ANC members, using these blank papers and coerced to support the re-nomination of existing ward councilor Robert Mzobe. It was reported that Mzobe was the only candidate nominated by the thugs who convened the meeting and most residents drifted out of the hall shortly after arriving. The nomination process was allegedly conducted and adopted by a mere handful of people - the ward that has several hundred thousand constituents.

It must be noted that Mzobe has already served two terms in this position and a third term is a constitutional contravention. This entire process allegedly took place in the presence of a female ANC Regional Executive deployee.

According to witnesses, the police did not arrest, or even caution, those firing guns in the air and also took no action when thugs vandalised rubbish skips on their way to the BGM.

It was reported that Mzobe’s nomination was formalised at another highly questionable meeting at the Glebelands Community Hall on 21 February.

Prior to this BGM, it has been reported that several meetings have, since 2014, been held at Glebelands to elect a new Branch Executive Committee. None were successful however, as a quorum could not be reached due to the large number of residents who can no longer move freely within the hostel grounds because they may not enter the ‘no-go zones’ without risking being killed by hitmen from the old blocks. This has severely impacted on the political freedom and other democratic rights of residents.

It has been alleged that two of the men assassinated last year, former ANC Glebelands branch chairman – Richard Mbona, (killed on 6 November at the entrance to Glebelands after reportedly being followed from the councilors' office); and former MK cadre, Frank Khuzwayo, (shot in the head at Block S on 7 November – rumoured by the resident renegade police member and other Glebe hitmen, and died in Prince Mshiyeni Hospital on 8 November) had both been considered popular candidates for nomination and may have contested the ward. Hitmen involved in both incidents are believed to have killed other residents both before and after these incidents.

In 2013 Mzobe was awarded private security at a cost to ratepayers of R230 000 per month by the eThekwini Municipality after the community protested, demanding his removal because of allegations of corruption, poor service delivery and that he was dividing the community. It was reported in a January 2014 media report that Mzobe’s was the most expensive private security detail awarded to any state official of that level in the country. The cost of Mzobe’s current private security cannot be established.

The killings at Glebelands started shortly thereafter.

Limpopo school, shop burnt in protest violence
Times Live 8 March 2016

A school and shop were set alight at Masakona village in Limpopo, allegedly by a group opposing government's plan to include them under a new municipality.

We will boycott voter registration – Limpopo protesters We will boycott voter registration – Limpopo protesters
Political parties out in full force for voter registration weekend Political parties out in full force for voter registration weekend
Register to vote, political parties urge South Africans Register to vote, political parties urge South Africans

Police said four mobile classrooms and three fixed classrooms at Rasikhuthuma Secondary were set alight on Friday evening.

A group also targeted the shop of man suspected of backing the new municipality.

Police spokesperson Ronel Otto said they were investigating arson and public violence.

Some residents were angry about the decision to create a new municipality in the area, which will include Makhado (under which Vuwani falls) and Malamulele.

A group protested on Friday by blockading roads and pelting police vehicles with rocks.

Then they marched on the streets demanding that government reverse its decision to encompass them under the new Vhembe district.

Electoral Commission of South Africa voters’ registration centres remained closed in the area.

‘Give us tenders, or else!’
IOL News 4 March 2016

Durban - A group of “militant” business people in Durban, who sabotaged eThekwini Municipality services in demand for tenders, have vowed to continue to disrupt water and electricity services in the city if they are not awarded municipal work.

Instead the members of the Amadelangokubona Business Forum, who admit that they are former criminals, have given the municipality an ultimatum to give them tenders without a bidding process or they would plunge the city into chaos.

But Premier Senzo Mchunu said, in a statement on Thursday, that it was disturbing that the forum’s members were boasting about being “hardcore criminals” and that they “not were scared of being arrested”.

Mchunu cautioned the forum that the provincial government would pursue legal action if it continued to hold the municipality at ransom.

“We must refuse to be outnumbered by unruly elements,” he said.

Last month, the municipality got an interdict against the group to prevent its members from interfering with, intimidating and threatening municipal workers

The city said in its court papers that terrified workers in the municipality’s electricity, roads, stormwater and solid waste departments had been unable to attend to work on specific sites across the city for several months because of threats made by the forum.

City manager S’bu Sithole had said in an affidavit that the municipality could not be held to “ransom to thugs” and that it had offered to provide training to the forum, but this had been rejected.

Despite the court case, last week the ANC regional executive, along with Mayor James Nxumalo, met with the forum and it was agreed that the city would provide training to the forum’s members on supply chain management so could learn how to apply for tenders. But the forum’s leader, Nathi Mnyandu, said yesterday that the group did not need training on business skills.

He said the ANC in the eThekwini Region had promised the forum that the city would freeze tenders until its concerns were addressed and a follow-up meeting was scheduled for March 23.

Mnyandu said the group, which was founded in Umlazi, had 18 branches in the city and was made up of ex-convicts who have com-mitted”schedule six” crimes including murder, rape, cash-in-transit heists.

“We brought those people together and told them to stop the crime. Those people use crime as a means of living. But they changed with a hope that they would be accommodated in the new government, but they have been left out,” he said.

He added that Nxumalo had been informed that they had rejected the training offer.

Mchunu said his office has held meetings with leaders of the National Prosecuting Authority, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha, Judge President Achmat Jappie, magistrates, judges and lawyers in the province to discuss how to tackle escalating lawlessness in the province.

Mnyandu said he was aware that members of the Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans had been given tenders without following due processes.

“Bidding is a fake process to get a tender as there are people who have already been earmarked for it.”

Municipal economic development planning committee chairwoman deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala declined to comment on the matter yon Thursday and municipal spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa referred the matter to the “ANC regional office”.

However, ANC regional spokeswoman Zinhle Cele said on Thursday that the party had made it clear at least week’s press briefing that the party would not be involved in the functioning of the municipality and any discussions about tenders.

Protesters set bus, truck alight
IOL News 2 March 2016

Cape Town - A Golden Arrow bus and a truck carrying crates of beer were set alight on Wednesday morning in an alleged service delivery protest by the community of Tsunami informal settlement near Delft.

The truck was on the N2 outbound, while the bus was in Blikkiesdorp.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said on Wednesday morning some community members stopped a bus and got the passengers and the driver out before setting it alight and burning rubble on the road.

He said it is alleged that they were protesting because electricity in the area had been cut off.

Van Wyk said no injuries were reported and police were still on the scene monitoring the situation.

Golden Arrow's John Dammert said they were disappointed that a Golden Arrow bus had once again become a target of protesters. He said it was unfortunate that people who experienced service delivery problems took out their frustrations on a company that provided them with a service.

City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Liezl Moodie said a truck and rubbish were burning on the N2 outbound between R300 and Mew Way.

She said they dispatched two fire engines, one water tank and one rescue vehicle, and the truck was severely burnt. No injuries were reported.

Moodie said a Golden Arrow bus was also set alight in Blikkiesdorp informal settlement on Symphony Way on Wednesday morning.

She said no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was suspected arson and the incident wass also protest-related.

City traffic spokesman Richard Coleman said, before Symphony Way, the road was closed after a truck caught fire in the early hours of this morning.

The road was opened later with just one lane closed.

Cape housing units petrol bombed
IOL News 27 February 2016

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has condemned the petrol bombing of 16 city housing units in its Sir Lowry’s Pass Village incremental development area (IDA).

“The units, all of which have been earmarked for vulnerable beneficiaries, have been damaged beyond repair. In addition, a further approximately 100 units were damaged when the doors were kicked in and the windows broken,” mayoral committee member for human settlements Benedicta van Minnen said on Friday.

“This criminal action is in retaliation after the city [on Thursday] acted to prevent the illegal occupation of the units by persons who are not beneficiaries of these units. City officials tried their best to prevent the invasion of the structures but, regrettably, without the support from the South African Police Service, they were unable to stop these thugs from damaging the units,” she said.

This had dire consequences for the IDA project as the identified beneficiaries would now have to wait while repairs were carried out, which could take some time.

They would not be able to immediately take up their rightful opportunities.

An assessment of the damage would be done and an amount in rand was not yet available.

“It is, however, safe to say that the damage is expected to amount to hundreds of thousands of rands. This situation is heart-breaking, exasperating, and completely unacceptable.

“I plead with the community that if they have any information regarding this situation they should come forward immediately and report what they know to the South African Police Service for investigation. They can also give anonymous tip-offs to the city by contacting 021-596-1999,” Van Minnen said.

Protesters petrol bomb municipal offices in Folweni
Sowetan 26 February 2016

Protesters petrol-bombed the Folweni municipal offices near Durban on Thursday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

The group also damaged a municipal vehicle, said spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane.

The crowd of about 3 000 was protesting over the lack of service delivery in their area.

"A case of malicious damage to property has been opened at Folweni Police station for investigation and no arrests have been made," said Zwane.

Police did not immediately respond to a question on whether any protesters were injured.

Prasa warns against torching of trains
IOL News 25 February 2016

Pretoria - Metrorail, a division of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), has issued a stern warning against the burning of trains and assaults on train drivers, saying services would be suspended if such behaviour continued.

The warning follows the torching of two stationary train sets by disgruntled commuters on Tuesday night at Pretoria Station.

The five coaches that were ruined include three coaches from the Metroplus Express and two from the Business Express.

At the time of the incident a train that was to depart from Pretoria Station to Joburg was delayed.

In a separate incident on Monday, train services were suspended in Spings, Daveyton and Dunswart corridor as a result of increasing intimidation and assaults by commuters on train drivers and metro guards.

Tembela Kulu, provincial manager of Metrorail Gauteng, said they condemned what he described as growing incidents of assault directed towards staff members across Gauteng as and when challenges of delays in services are experienced.

“These incidents of vandalising Metrorail assets and attacking personnel are totally unacceptable. We will ensure that law enforcement agencies prosecute those perpetrators to bring an end to this wanton destruction of our assets. We are determined to throw the book at those found guilty of this criminality and will work hand in hand with the prosecuting authorities to ensure that they are charged with wilful destruction of public property and economic sabotage,” said Kulu.

Although Metrorail sympathised with the concerns of commuters around train service challenges experienced within the system, most of which are beyond their control, the destruction of property was in no way complementary to this process, Kulu said.

“It cannot be that while the country is desperately trying to improve its public transport system, with government injecting billions to make this a reality, others are determined to undermine this at all costs,” added Kulu.

A spokeswoman for Prasa in Gauteng, Lillian Mofokeng, said it was too soon to quantify damages but predicted it was in the millions of rand.

Police spokesman Augustinah Selepe confirmed that one person has been arrested for malicious damage to property and will be appearing in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today.

Commuters expressed their views on social media. Mabelane Condrey said that trains to Joburg were running late since last week. She said the issue was that there were no trains to Joburg from 4pm till 7pm on Tuesday. She said commuters decided that enough was enough and torched the train.

Xolisani Maziwayinkosi Bhebhe said: “People are fed up with Prasa.”

Shakong Lesely Maila: “Yaaa, (it) does good; Prasa disrespects the commuters.”

Meanwhile, in the past, Prasa has acknowledged that it was experiencing challenges ranging from old infrastructure and old trains, which have led to delays in services.

Since November 2015 Gauteng alone has seen 67 of its drivers and Metro guards attacked for circumstances which were beyond their control.

Train services in Pretoria will operate based on the availability of assets and infrastructure.

Commuters have been advised to exercise patience and listen with care to announcements as there will be changes to the normal train schedule as a result of this incident, Prasa said.

Protest over working conditions heats up
IOL News 25 February 2016

Cape Town - Residents of the Siqalo informal settlement, who work for Silver Solutions, a company that collects porta-loos in the area, burnt tyres and blockaded a portion of Jakes Gerwel Drive on Wednesday.

The protest was about their working conditions, said

Yandisa Pempele.

“We are not getting paid well and when we ask the owner Nothemba Ncoliwe, she tells us she doesn’t have money; we can’t even take leave. The little money we get gets deducted,” she said.

She said they had been trying to talk to Ncoliwe, but she refused to listen.

Pempele said they decided to protest and block the road so they could be heard.

Thomas Mbakuse, who also works for Silver Solutions, said their lives were in danger every time they returned from work.

“The trucks that transport us don’t even have functioning head lights and that puts us in danger every day,” he said.

Mbakuse said they had been talking to their employer and she never did anything to improve their working conditions.

He said even the gear they wore to protect themselves while working was not in a good condition.

The community joined in the protest, saying they understood what their neighbours were going through.

Community leader Thandokazi Zayedwa said they were participating in the protest in solidarity of community members.

She said people became sick because of the work they did and their employer did not do anything to assist them.

She added they would continue with the protests until they got what they are asking for. The community did not want to work with Ncoliwe.

Ncoliwe said she could not comment as her company was a sub-contractor.

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said protesters closed the road, throwing stones and damaging a traffic light control box and a city vehicle.

Call for peace after NFP leader shot dead
IOL News 22 February 2016

Durban - Two weeks after the NFP held an event to remember party members killed in political violence since it was formed five years ago, a local party leader was slain in Ulundi.

Police spokesman, Nqobile Gwala, said Phositshe Mbatha, 51, was shot dead and another 30-year-old man was wounded when unknown men opened fire on them at Basamlilo, near Ulundi, on Friday.

The incident occurred just before midnight.

Gwala said no arrests had been made. “Charges of murder and attempted murder are being investigated by Ulundi SAPS,” he said.

According to the NFP, Mbatha, who was a publicity secretary at Ward 4 and led volunteers for the elections, had left one of his homesteads to visit another when he was killed.

“He was on his way to another homestead after receiving calls when he was shot. One person he was with was injured and another escaped injury,” NFP national working committee member, Siphamandla Ntombela, said.

Mbatha’s killing was condemned by the NFP and Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Willies Mchunu, and both called for a speedy investigation.

NFP chairman, Maliyakhe Shelembe, said his party was saddened Mbatha’s family had lost a loved one.

“On behalf of our president, Zanele kaMgwaza-Msibi, we send our condolences to his family and friends,” Shelembe said.

He also said it was shocking that Mbatha was murdered two weeks after the NFP’s memorial event, and just weeks before the voter registration weekend on March 5-6.

Next week the party would launch its municipal election campaign in Pongola.

“Even though we can’t say his killing is political, it is shocking that he is killed as we approach the local government elections,” Shelembe said.

“We call on all parties to ensure there is peace. We commit to free and fair elections.”

Ntombela said they trusted that anyone in the community with information on Mbatha’s killing would give it to the police.

Shelembe called on provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, and Mchunu, to prioritise the investigation and arrest of Mbatha’s killers.

Mchunu said the incident was disturbing because the province was preparing itself for municipal elections.

“This attack should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Police have been directed to work around the clock to ensure that those responsible for this murder are brought to book immediately,” said Mchunu.

Water protesters target cops’ homes
IOL News 23 February 2016

Modimolle – Angry protesters in Modimolle targeted police officers’ houses and senior government officials’ properties as service delivery protests over access to clean water rumbled on in this Limpopo town.

Protesters burned police and municipality satellite offices on Tuesday after an earlier attempt to burn down local Modimolle municipality mayor Kgaretja Lekalakala’s house.

The protesters marched through the streets on Tuesday, barricading the road with branches, stones, construction pipes and pavement bricks.

The protest started on Friday after residents complained that they had had enough of drinking filthy water from the municipality. Locals described the water as a “coffee” colour and unhealthy to drink.

The situation turned ugly after protest leaders were arrested and street battles erupted between the protesters and police as authorities sought to bring the situation under control.

Over two hundred police officers from across the province joined the Modimolle police and were engaged in hours-long skirmishes with protesters.

While police were trying to disperse protesters, two local police officers’ houses were petrol bombed.

At a constable’s house, protesters had apparently found a woman in the house and ordered her to leave before they set the house alight.

Windows were broken and furniture also set alight.

As the situation unfolded, affected police members said described their loss as devastating. “I received a call from my colleagues and they said they are rushing to my house as protesters had burned it,” one constable told African News Agency.

“Now I am only left with the uniform that am wearing, all my clothes were burnt. I have nothing, I don’t have a place to sleep or food to eat. I am just here by myself.”

His five-room home was set alight and only a part of the kitchen survived.

Another police officer had his car and house damaged by protesters.

“They broke into the house, smashed my TV and pelted my car with stones,” said the warrant officer.

Relatives of the police officers said they feared for the safety of their family members.

Police spokesperson Ronel Otto confirmed that the police officers’ houses were burnt, but said they were yet to conduct an assessment. “We are going to assist them but at this stage we still have to assess the level of damage,” she said.

She added: “Now its difficult to make an assessment as protesters have blocked the roads.”

Earlier on Tuesday, a councillor’s car was removed from the Phakgameng settlement after it was stoned.

#JRAProtest: Truck tyre set alight
IOL News 24 February 2016

* New information indicates that a truck's tyre, not a truck, was set alight in Joburg CBD on Wednesday morning. We apologise for the error.

Johannesburg - A large truck tyre was set alight in Joburg’s CBD on Wednesday morning during a protest by Joburg Road Agency workers.

Smoke billowed in the air from the burning tyre on Pixley ka Seme Street (formerly Sauer Street), with traffic severely affected.

On Tuesday, traffic was also brought to a standstill on parts of Pixley ka Seme Street after JRA workers blocked off traffic with trucks and other vehicles.

The workers brandished jackhammers in the air, set fire to trash and spilled black tar onto the doorsteps of their head office to express their frustration at what they called pitiful salaries.

Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers had their hands full when they were forced to redirect traffic.

They also had to endure the wrath of enraged taxi commuters, all of this while SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) officials met with JRA management in a bid to discuss and get feedback on certain issues between them.

According to one of the JRA workers, Bernard Makhubela, the fulfilment of the seven percent increment on their salaries which was promised to them last year, was one of the grievances.

Makhubela told The Star that workers performed a variety of tasks but earn only around R5 000 a month.

“We earn peanuts; are we the workers or the slaves?” he said.

The workers also questioned the qualifications of acting managing director, who they claimed does not have a civil engineering degree.

While the meeting was underway, throngs of JRA workers, dressed in orange overalls, gathered outside the office and sang and danced in protest.

They turned away any vehicle that attempted to drive through the section of the road that they had cordoned off.

On Tuesday JRA spokeswoman Bertha Peter-Scheepers confirmed that the JRA board agreed for a delegation to meet with the union.

Samwu deputy regional chairperson Vuyani Singozo could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Taxi operators blockade oThongathi
IOL News 24 February 2016

Durban - Tensions ran high in oThongathi (Tongaat) on Wednesday after taxi operators intimidated motorists suspected of running lift clubs.

Traffic came to a standstill on Wednesday morning for about 45 minutes as taxis blockaded entrances to the North Coast town. This was after the arrest of a man who had allegedly intimidated a motorist who had been taking relatives to work.

oThongathi police spokeswoman, Warrant Officer Manisha Maharaj-Marie, said a woman was pulled off the road by a taxi operator who suspected her of being a lift club operator.

“The woman was pulled off and instructed to drive back home, but instead she drove to the police station. She got here around 7am. She was shaken by the ordeal. A case of intimidation was opened and one man was arrested,” said Maharaj-Marie.

After the arrest, taxi operators blockaded the town. The situation was volatile, but the police were in control, said Maharaj-Marie.

“Last year there was an issue between taxi and lift club operators, with the former arguing the latter were operating illegally as they had no permits to do so.

“On Monday we received reports lift club operators were intimidated, and this morning we had this scene. It was really ugly but fortunately there was no violence, although tensions were high. Metro transport arrived and after talks with other motorists, including the taxi operators, the situation was calmed,” she said.

The Daily News reported in December that Chatsworth taxi operators had been intimidating school transporters and lift clubs. They issued operators with letters warning them not to transport people from January and angry residents convened a meeting where a committee was formed to challenge the attack on lift clubs.

The committee met the area taxi association to discuss their position on school transporters and lift clubs.

Transport Department spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said lift clubs could not be regulated because individuals formed agreements among themselves. But he warned those who used cars not designed for that purpose to stop.

Nico Mkhize, deputy chairman of the Tongaat Taxi Association, said they had no issue with people transporting pupils to school, but with those who operated lift clubs.

“Our gripe is with those who transport workers to their workplaces. We commend the transport department because the number of such people has decreased by about 80%. What triggered this morning’s incident is the arrest of our security guard by the police when we stopped cars to talk to drivers about the unlawfulness of what they were doing,” Mkhize said.

Provincial police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, said taxi operators wanted lift club operators to get permits.

Four held as land unit acts against invaders
IOL News 24 February 2016

Cape Town - A total of 63 families were left homeless and four people arrested when the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit (ALIU) demolished structures erected on an open field in Parkwood Estate, near Grassy Park, on Tuesday.

The unit removed some pegs used to mark plots, where people intended to build structures.

Residents retaliated by stoning the police and blocking roads by burning tyres.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said stun gre-nades and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd.

She said no injuries were reported.

Parkwood resident Leonard Crowley said the people whose structures were demolished were backyarders who had started building on Sunday, after it was decided in a community meeting the previous night to build on the open land.

He said the community was angry about the unit demolishing the structures and they had vowed to continue building.

Crowley said a number of people were injured by the rubber bullets the police fired.

Antonio Adams, 33, whose structure was demolished, said he used to sleep with his wife at his parents’ home, but it was now overcrowded.

Adams, who had already been staying on the open field with two of his children since Sunday, said alternative accommodation should have been provided for the affected families.

“I sleep on the floor at my parents’ house and need a place of my own which my children can call home,” Adams said.

“We have been asking the City to identify land for us to build houses, but our pleas fell on deaf ears. We are not going to step back, but keep on rebuilding.”

He added that a major worry was his building material, which cost him a lot of money.

But Mayco member for human settlements Benedicta van Minnen said the land invasion unit “had to act to protect land”.

Van Minnen said the backyarders were warned on Sunday that they were acting unlawfully and that they should take down the structures.

She said City officials had engaged with the backyarders again on Monday morning, warning them to refrain from erecting illegal structures.

However, the group refused and their structures were still in place on Tuesday morning.

When the unit removed the structures on Tuesday, Van Minnen said the community reacted with violence and aggression.

Van Minnen said a group of about 200 residents threw stones at the officials and police before burning tyres on the road.

“The City will continue to monitor the area and take all necessary precautions to prevent further illegal land invasions,” said Van Minnen.

She said the invasion of land resulted, among others, in poor access to City services, continual flooding and high crime rates.

Rwexana said four men – aged 24, 27, 29 and 30 – were arrested and are expected to appear at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on charges of public violence.

Zuptas vs Juligans in Parliament
IOL News 23 February 2016

Parliament – President Jacob Zuma and his political nemesis, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, were both subjected to name-calling and insults on Tuesday as the words “Zupta” and “Juligans” became currency in the National Assembly.

Tabling notices without motion, several EFF MPs referred to Zuma as Zupta – a reference to Zuma’s apparent close links with the influential Gupta family. Speaker Baleka Mbete insisted they withdraw their remarks.

EFF MP Mmabatho Mokause begrudgingly withdrew her “Zupta” remarks, but her chief whip Floyd Shivambu would not budge on the issue.

“There is nothing wrong with saying the word Zupta in this Parliament. It’s not unparliamentary because we are going to use it consistently…,” he said.

Shivambu was eventually ejected after he called Mbete by her first name.

“Don’t do that. You have no right to call me by my first name… and in fact you must leave the house,” a visibly angry Mbete said.

Shivambu continued shouting: “On which grounds?”

Mbete replied with: “On the grounds that you are even calling the chair by the first name and that amounts to disrespect. Honourable Shivambu please leave.”

After Shivambu’s exit, the name-calling persisted as Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty offered an analogy to explain why the word “Zupta” was offensive and insulting to the president.

“If I were to call the honourable members Juligans simply because I associate the word Julius with hooligans then they would find that offensive,” he said.

“The honourable member had in the past suggested that the honourable president was being manipulated by the Guptas and the combination of the word Gupta and Zuma are a clear demonstration of that belief and is indeed regarded as being offensive.”

EFF MPs demanded an apology, but Mbete said she would study the recording of the sitting before making a ruling.

African News Agency

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Twenty arrested for torching councillor’s house
Berea Mail 22 February 2016

“The protest is not over until someone addresses us”.

Twenty people are today expected appear in the Umhlali Magistrates’ Court, near Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal, after they were arrested for public violence during a protest.

This after Shakashead residents outside Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal closed N2 and R102 with burning tyres and tree branches before setting fire to councillor Jetro Banda‘s home and car yesterday, North Coast Courier reported.

The protesters were calling for Banda’s removal as councillor.

Umhlali police spokesperson warrant officer Vinny Pillay confirmed twenty people were arrested for public violence early yesteday. They were released on R500 bail and will appear in court today.

Protesters reportedly attempted to burn down business parks in Shakas Head on Monday evening.

Pillay added IPSS Security had to fire warning shots to disperse the crowd.

He said the police and security companies would remained in the area throughout the night monitoring the situation.

Protestor and Shakas Head resident, Fanokwakhe Ntaka said the community will not return to their homes until the authorities has addressed them.

“We are angry that some of us were arrested this morning; we don’t know why and we need them back,” he said when protesters had gathered at a soccer field in Shakas Head.

“The protest is not over until someone addresses us”, said Ntaka.

Meanwhile, protesters in Limpopo attacked the house of Modimolle Municipality mayor, Elizabeth Lekalakala, early on Tuesday morning.

“The mayor’s house was attacked with an assortment of objects at 2am. The gate lights were smashed, electric cable cut off and and the gate dented. No arrests have been made,” said spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto.

Residents of Phagameng in Modimolle went on a rampage last week protesting against water shortages in the area. Police said obstacles were placed on roads in the area, bringing traffic movement to a halt.

Protesters storm City Hall
Berea Mail 22 February 2016

Protesters have barged into the old council chamber at the Durban City Hall.
about 1 hour ago
Chaos inside city hall as protestors break through the door to the old council chamber where the DA are in caucus.
Chaos inside city hall as protestors break through the door to the old council chamber where the DA are in caucus. PROTESTERS are believed to have broken through a door inside the old council chambers at Durban City Hall where the DA caucus is meeting.

According to Facebook posts by Councillor Martin Meyer, the workers stormed and occupied the old chambers. “The City manager seems unwilling to get involved. The city has started this trend of giving in to criminal activity, and now every one with grievances, legitimate and not, will be using the same strategy to get their way. The mayor has lost control of the city,” he wrote.

In another post, Councillor Rick Crouch wrote: “Information is that Metro Police are protesting outside City Hall while we are inside at out caucus meeting. They just broke through the door here where we are holding our meeting.

Protest over water shortage in Limpopo
Gertrude Makhafola 19 February 2016

Modimolle - Residents of Phagameng in Modimolle embarked on a protest on Friday morning and blocked roads, including the R101 between Modimolle and Naboomspruit, Limpopo police said.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said the residents took to the streets early in the morning.

“The community is striking over shortage of water supply in the area. Travellers in that area are advised to use the N1 and avoid the Phagameng,” she said.

No violent incidents have been reported.

Quick march as fast-paced ANC supporters descend on Pretoria
MSN News 19 February 2016

The ANC has urged anyone to join their march regardless of their political affiliations. The ruling party has marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand a memorandum on racism to the presidency.© eNCA / Alexandra Willis 19 February 2016 - The ANC has urged anyone to join their march regardless of their political affiliations. The ruling party has marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand a memorandum on racism to the…
PRETORIA - Thousands of people are at the Union Buildings in Pretoria central during the African National Congress (ANC) march for unity and non-racialism on Friday.

Many in the crowds were wearing yellow ANC t-shirts written “Hands off Zuma” and “Vote ANC”. Some were waving placards written “Register to vote ANC”.

On Thursday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the march was not a protest, but the mobilisation of society against racism.

“The ANC calls for South Africans to move beyond merely identifying racism as a persisting challenge to uniting in action and to completely eradicate it together with all other forms of discrimination,” said Mantashe.

“In the same way our people were united against apartheid the ANC seeks to mobilise all South Africans, black and white, to contribute to the ongoing transformation of our country.

“This is not a protest march … it is a march about facilitating conversation among South Africans.”

Several buses brought supporters into Burgers Park in the city centre from where the march commenced.

Susan Shabangu, Minister of Women in the Presidency will be accepting the memorandum.

The Tshwane Metro Police said several streets in the CBD would be affected by the march until 4pm.

The ANC has urged anyone to join the march regardless of their political affiliations.

Angry protest heats up Riverlea
IOL News 11 February 2016

Johannesburg - A protest in Riverlea, Joburg, left roads littered and blocked with burning rubbish, tyres and tree branches on Wednesday.

Angry residents said they were sick and tired of the lack of service delivery. “This is not about politics or DA or ANC, this is about a community that is suffering,” said a resident who identified herself as Cheryl.

“We don’t have clinics, jobs, houses or sanitation,” said another resident, Susan. “There are people here who have been waiting for houses for 30 years and are still living with their children and grandchildren in a one-room Zozo hut,” she said.

A 25-year-old resident, who asked not to be named, said that since finishing school several years ago, he and many others were unemployed.

“We need jobs. We are the youth and the voice of this country. It’s unfair. We’re not asking for everything at once, we just want to be treated properly,” he said.

“Without jobs, our youth are turning to drugs and crime, they are angry,” Cheryl added.

Residents called on the mayor to address their problems as he “knows about the situation but does not care”.

As the day wore on, residents made their way back to the entrance of Riverlea after police had earlier chased them away with rubber bullets after the younger residents had barricaded Nasrec Road. Residents remonstrated with police: “We have the right to stand here and protest. You can’t make us leave.”

With municipal elections on the horizon, residents began shouting at cars passing along Nasrec Road: “No service, no vote”, to which some cars hooted in agreement.

Soon afterwards, DA ward councillor Basil Douglas arrived. Residents began shouting at him: “You’re a liar, you say one thing to the media and other things to us. You make empty promises and tell us you can’t do anything, but you eat all the money.”

Douglas said it was the “people on top who are failing the community”.

The protest has been taking place since Monday.

Protests over land grabs in Hammanskraal

IOL News 18 February 2016

Pretoria - No one allocated stands to Trevor Monaise and other residents in Kanana Extension 3, Hammanskraal - they helped themselves and started building shacks illegally.

Monaise said he grabbed the land out of desperation to build a place for his child.

“We are six at home and I have a child; I would like my child to have a roof over his head.”

While they built their shacks, another group of irate residents was taking to the streets, angry that people had illegally occupied land earmarked for RDP housing.

The demonstrators marched to hand over a memorandum of their grievances to ward councillor Abram Marobane at Mandela Community Hall. They accused him of having engineered the land occupation by selling the stands.

But Marobane dismissed the claims, saying they were cheap politicking during the electioneering period. The protesters were going to be the beneficiaries of the imminent RDP housing project, he said.

Marobane promised to elevate their issues to Joshua Ngonyama, the MMC for housing and sustainable human settlement development in the city.

“I have made it clear to the protesters that my job does not entail allocating stands to people or removing them from the stands,” he said.

The councillor condemned the illegal occupation of the stands and distanced himself from the settlement.

“I don’t want to associate myself with the place. I will never set foot there,” he said.

But Monaise said: “The other settlements in Hammanskraal were started in the same way.”

The illegal land occupiers said they had grown impatient with the government, which was taking time to build them the RDP houses. They claimed to have applied for the houses a long time ago.

Xolani Skhosana said he had applied for an RDP house in 2013, but he was still waiting for it.

He said he knew about the plans to construct the houses on the land. However, he said he was frustrated because the housing project had been postponed several times.

Maria Malakane said she was there to assist her daughter to put up a shack.

She was still waiting for her house to be approved, she said.

Woman’s visa picket enters 4th day
IOL News 11 February 2016

Pretoria - After spending three days and nights outside the British High Commission in Pretoria, Patronella Treasure is still anxiously waiting for answers on why her visa has been declined.

Treasure began her lone picket on Monday in a desperate attempt to be granted a visa to join her husband John Treasure in Britain.

The 46-year-old from Soshanguve has been sleeping, eating and bathing in her car parked outside the high commission.

When the Pretoria News visited her, she was lying in the back of her Toyota Avanza visibly drained. She has been sleeping in the back of her car and admitted that at times, especially at nights, she got scared that something might happen to her. “It's really not safe for a woman to be out in the streets at night; anything can happen to me, but I’m left with no choice because I need solid answers about my visa,” she said.

Since she got married last year, she has been refused a visiting visa on five occasions with no valid reasons or a right to appeal or administration review, she said.

For years, she travelled in and out of the UK without any glitch when she visited her then fiancé, she said. In 2012 while she was visiting him, she was involved in a bus accident at Heathrow Airport in London.

Treasure said she was a passenger in a bus which crashed into a minibus taxi. She sustained severe back and shoulder injuries and was admitted to Wexham Park Hospital.

Treasure added that she was emotionally and psychologically drained. “I just want to be in my husband’s arms and get treatment for my injuries.”

Her husband, meanwhile, spoke to the Pretoria News from Slough, west of London, and said he was disappointed. He said he believed the British High Commission officials in Pretoria were prejudiced and racist.

The 73-year-old said he was a soldier and guarded the British Queen for nine years, and made sure that she was safe and free from harm and thus feels betrayed that this was happening to him. “This is the thanks I get for guarding the queen; a slap in my face by my own authorities,” said John.

He said he fully supported his wife and would be flying to South Africa next month to help her. “It also pains me that I can’t spend time with my wife. We talk every day on the phone, but that is still not enough.”

A spokesman for the high commission said: “All applications for entry clearance to the UK are assessed on their own merits.

“We do not comment on individual cases.”

Breaking News) Video: Flames, threats as municipal workers rampage
Middleburg Observer 12 February 2016

Doors were broken, palm trees alight, and councillors were violently chased from a chamber meeting on Friday, when hundreds of municipal employees stormed the municipality in protest following last Tuesday’s pepper spray attacks on the public by traffic officials.
about 1 hour ago

Two palm trees were set alight by the protesters.

Two palm trees were set alight by the protesters. Traffic officers launched an impromptu strike on Tuesday, due to the municipality’s unwillingness to adhere to a list of demands which included calls for danger allowances for traffic officers and firemen.

The wardens sprayed pepper spray in order to force the public out of the licencing officers, which were placed on lockdown by them.

Today, the municipality was forced to send all office personnel home for their safety, while Mayor Mike Masina and acting Municipal Manager, Mr Mandla Mnguni, were locked in negotiations with shop stewards, who joined the violent protest in solidarity with the traffic officers involved in last Tuesday’s drama, who were served with suspension notices.

“They were given an opportunity to submit why they should not be suspended for their individual parts in last Tuesday’s strike,” a source close to Mayor Mike Masina told the in the waiting area of his offices.

Armed police officers secured the building and four were stationed outside the Mayor’s office to see that no harm befell him and the municipality’s administrative head.

Traffic officers are demanding a salary increase, danger allowances, uniform overtime arrangements on all public holidays as well as increased overtime.

“Smaller municipalities pay danger allowances to their personnel, it boggles the mind why a large municipality like Steve Tshwete would not afford their emergency services personnel the same perks, there’s simply no consistency in our government today,” another source close to Steve Thswete’s top brass told the amidst threats hurled at Middelburg Observer journalists.

After breaking the main entrance door to the municipality, violent protesters used bottles of water to force employees and councillors from the council chamber, where a LED meeting was underway.

Meanwhile two palm trees were set alight by a mob outside the licencing offices, the public was barred from entering or leaving, with tractors, solid waste removal trucks, and municipal bakkies blockading all entrances.

Electrical, waste removal and parks employees were all driven from the municipal stores, to the Civic Centre in solidarity with the traffic officers and firemen.

Tensions simmered down around 11:00 though all non protesting municipal employees were sent home.

The outcome of negotiations bewteen the Mayor, Municipal Manager and shop stewards, could not be confirmed before print.

#SONA2016: Cops fire stun grenades
IOL News 11 February 2016

Cape Town - Police fired stun grenades on Thursday to disperse crowds that were threatening to breach barricades erected outside parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's annual State of Nation Address

Thousands of protesters were heading to Parliament from different directions in defiance of police orders to move back.

Scuffles between protestors and police were reported and stun grenades were heard.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has threatened to disrupt Parliament if Zuma fails to explain in his SONA why he fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene late last year, a move that caused market turmoil.

Earlier, a police officer, who refused to be named, said they have water cannons and stun grenades to contain possible riots.

He said police anticipated the worst scenario to happen during Zuma's SONA.

PICS: Ses’Khona marches ahead of #SONA2016
IOL News 11 February 2016

Cape Town - The Ses’Khona People’s Rights Movement clashed with police when they marched to Parliament ahead of the State of the Nation address.

The protesters were stopped at the corner of Plein and Barrack streets by a fleet of armoured vehicles.

A scuffle broke out during which stones and bottles were hurled at riot police who were armed wit a water cannon.

The crowd dispersed after an agreement was reached between the marchers and the police.

#SONA2016 protests keep cops on their toes
IOL News 11 February 2016

Cape Town - The mood around the Cape Town CBD is tense as flash protests continue to spring up around the City Bowl in the lead up to the State of the Nation Address by President Jacob Zuma later this evening.

Several protesting groups from various political parties and organisations have taken up spots around the parliamentary precinct as police monitor and occasionally drive them further away.

A #ZumaMustFall protest coupled with a Ses’khona People’s Movement march and gatherings of groups from the ANC, EFF and PAC has stretched police across the city.

Public Order Police kept a close eye on the protests as a police helicopter hovered around above them.

Earlier in the day, a wall of barbed wire was erected around most parts of parliament and surrounding streets.

President Jacob Zuma will deliver the State of the Nation address this evening at 7pm. Last year Zuma's speech was interrupted by members of the EFF who were subsequently removed from the parliamentary chamber by security forces.

#SONA2016 protesters show humanity
IOL News 11 February 2016

Cape Town - During the chaos outside of Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, strangers came together to help an injured elderly man.

“Excuse me sir, may I help you?” asked a towering man in a two-tone blue shirt.

He was talking to elderly African National Congress (ANC) supporter, Ntombeko Adonis, who had fallen during a scuffle between party protesters and the police.

The elderly man, who was dressed smartly in a suit with his ANC t-shirt, had fallen and dislocated his shoulder.

The stranger knelt down in front of the elderly man and began to explain some basic first aid.

Soon, with the help of fellow ANC members and Townhouse Hotel staff, the man's arm was in a makeshift sling, made from bedsheets.

Attempts to find transportation to the closest hospital - Christian Barnard - in the heavily secured and gridlocked city centre were unsuccessful due to preparations for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address which was due to take place on Thursday evening.

According to staff at the hotel, an ambulance had been called but was yet to respond.

The ANC's provincial spokesperson Yonela Diko, who was on hand to assist the two strangers, commented on the action between the two strangers, one white, one black.

“That was symbolic,” said Diko.

He added the elderly man was courageous as he was at the forefront of the protests despite the obvious danger.

“The old man was brave, it is what we have come to appreciate about the old guard of the ANC,” said Diko.

As the elderly man sat outside of the hotel, staff and ANC members continued to look for transportation for the injured man.

Police, protesters clash outside Parliament
IOL News 11 February 2016

Cape Town – Riot police and protesters on Thursday clashed outside the parliamentary precinct in Cape Town.

Stones and bottles were thrown at members of the police’s public order policing unit, who told the crowd – appearing to be a mix of African National Congress and Ses’Khona People’s Rights Movement members – to move back to their meeting spot.

The City of Cape Town earlier this week gave permission for three protests ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address, one of which was for Ses’khona to gather at Keizergracht street.

However, at about 3pm on Thursday, protesters disregarded the agreed City approval and made their way to Parliament.

One of the police officers on scene was overheard saying: “Today, you don’t get into Parliament”.

Zuma will deliver his address at 7pm in what is regarded as his most challenging SONA yet.

African News Agency

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#ZumaMustFall march - PICS
IOL News 11 February 2016

Cape Town - "Zuma is a thief” was just one of the phrases chanted by protesters at the #ZumaMustFall march in Cape Town’s CBD.

About 100 people gathered in Greenmarket Square on Thursday afternoon before marching to the Grand Parade, ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address later on Thursday.

Protesters gained a lot of attention as they walked while repeatedly shouting “Zuma Must Fall”.

“DA Must Fall”, one bystander said in response.

Cape Town organiser of the #ZumaMustFall march, Christelle Scheepers, addressed the crowds once they had reached their destination.

“Our intended outcome here is, we would like to see [President] Jacob Zuma recalled and replaced with a worthy candidate. As we have said on numerous occasions, we are here for South Africa and everyone who lives here in peace and harmony.

“For those of us who want to see South Africa reach a level of success that we know we are capable of achieving, we will need leadership who will uphold and honour our laws,” Scheepers said

“Our constitutional democracy states that we are all equal before the law, and that those who infringe upon it must and will be held accountable.”

Protester Brian Russels, from Green Point, said that: “Zuma must stop leading this country.”

“He makes a good ceremony presidential but he’s got no idea as a executive president. We are a sophisticated country and basically what is happening is that he doesn’t understand what is going on,” Russels said.

Protesting pupils want principal removed
IOL News 10 February 2016

Hundreds of Masiphumelele High School pupils staged a protest outside the school on Tuesday, barricading the gate with burning tyres and calling for the removal of the principal.

The demonstration followed a series of protests held by the pupils in an attempt to have their principal removed from his post.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed there were about 200 pupils outside the school gates, in Guinea Fowl Road, blocking the entrance by burning tyres.

“According to information gathered at the scene, the pupils were protesting because no formal teaching has taken place at the school since the beginning of the school term. They also demanded that the principal be removed from his post,” he said.

The protest, that started at 8.50am, was cleared up by the afternoon but public order police, metro police and traffic stayed behind to monitor the situation.

The chairman of the school’s governing body, Silulami Mtirara, said the reason for Tuesday’s protest was unclear.

“We are uncertain of the reasoning behind this protest. We just don’t know what the pupils want now.”

Mtirara said the governing body was handed a letter with a list of grievances by the pupils two weeks ago.

Included in that list was the removal of the principal for an alleged unfair suspension of 20 pupils, as well as the R10 monthly levy the pupils had to pay.

“We resolved at least 70 percent of the grievances they had. The 20 pupils were called back to school and the levy issue was resolved. Some of the issues were long term and needed the education department’s intervention – and they understood that.”

Mtirara said the students had not provided substantial reasons for their call for the principal’s removal.

“The principal is hired by the Department of Education, he cannot just be fired.”

The spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, Jessica Shelver, said they were aware of Tuesday’s “unrest and unruly behaviour”.

“We note with serious concern that a group of learners from Masiphumelele High School are intent on disrupting schooling for the entire school.

“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Shelver said a district official met with pupil representatives, the governing body and community representatives last week to discuss the grievances.

“The deputy principal has confirmed that the majority of the learners’ grievances have been resolved while some are currently being investigated,” she said.

Protests close DUT lecture halls
IOL News 9 February 2016

Durban - Durban University of Technology students had barely sat down for their first class when protest action by the SRC forced the suspension of the academic programme.

Spokesman for the university, Alan Khan, said vice-chancellor, Professor Ahmed Bawa, had decided to stop lectures for at least Monday and Tuesday after receiving a memorandum.

SRC deputy secretary, Zama Mncube, said their grievances, as set out in the memorandum, included financial and academic exclusion, registration fees and residence issues.

“Classes cannot continue until these issues are resolved,” Mncube said.

Khan said the suspension of the academic programme would give Bawa an opportunity to meet the SRC and “to agree on a way forward”.

Also among the demands was for security and cleaning staff to be employed directly by DUT, rather than through private companies contracted to the university.

Last week, 29 students, many part of the EFF Student Command, and cleaning and security staff were arrested after “gathering illegally” to demand a response to their own memorandum from Bawa.

At the time, Bawa had not engaged with them because the SRC had distanced itself from the EFF-led #OutsourcingMustFall gathering.

They were released on bail, but were all issued suspension letters or SMSes by their employers.

Others who were part of the gathering, but had not been arrested after the two police vans and micro-bus were full, were also suspended.

One of the security guards arrested and now suspended, is a 34-year-old man who asked not to be named for fear of being “further victimised”.

“I work Monday to Friday, 6am to 6pm… that’s a 12-hour shift, five times a week. Guess what I get paid? R3 400.”

The man said this January had been especially tough on him with his three children at school in the care of his parents in Richmond.

“I’m lucky if there is overtime, then it can be a bit more, that means I will take less from mashonisa (loan shark) that month, but I have to take every month to make ends meet.”

Besides caring for his children and family, the man pays rent at the uMlazi back room where he lives to be closer to work.

“Every day, I see students coming in and out of the DUT campus. Every year, I see many graduate and go on with the bright future. I can’t afford this kind of future for my children. They may never walk the corridors of DUT because I am living from hand to mouth.”

He said although the situation had not improved since he started working at the university in 2007, what was driving him to speak out now was learning the university paid his company so much more for his services than he received.

“It’s ridiculous. They take such a large portion because they provide us with the tools of the trade… this is no better than slave labour. We only want what is fair.”

He said he was prepared to risk his job to ensure that #OutsourcingMustFall – if not for him, then for “those who are too scared to fight for a living wage and for those who will be employed in future”.

Bawa last week said a task team was appointed to look into insourcing and would report back to the university council in June.

Khan said the university would remain open and the registration process would continue.

Cornubia home invaders desperate
IOL News 10 February 2016

Durban - Homelessness, overcrowding and being racially sidelined were some of the reasons Newlands East residents invaded Cornubia homes last week.

Local resident, Neville Campbell, who has lived in the area for 30 years, said if the city did not respond to their demands for housing this week, they would invade vacant homes in Cornubia.

The residents, who are demanding that houses in Cornubia be allocated to them, held a placard demonstration in Newlands on Tuesday evening.

“This time, we won’t leave. This community was built by the old government in 1973. Since then we have been suffering with overcrowding, high crime rate, drugs and empty promises. Women in our community get raped when they are renting. There are up to 14 people living in one house.

“In 2012, flats have been condemned in our area and promises to remove the people by officials have not been met,” Campbell said.

Last week, the Newlands East community handed over a memorandum about its call for housing to eThekwini Municipality. They were told they would receive a response on Tuesday.

eThekwini Municipality spokeswoman, Tozi Mthethwa, said feedback would be given to the Newlands East community through appropriate channels.

At the time of going to press, the residents had received no response and had threatened to invade the homes again.

The residents, who arrived at the Cornubia housing project in buses last week, denied being responsible for damaging doors and writing their names on the walls, windows and doors. They pointed fingers at another group from KwaMashu.

Campbell said they had been forced to live in horrific conditions in Newlands East.

“We are told to vote… for what and for who?” he asked.

DA eThekwini proportional councillor, Shontel Asbury, said she understood the frustration of Newlands residents, but at the same time did not condone land or home invasions.

“It must be placed on record that I spearheaded the prevention of land invasion in Newlands East almost three years ago. As much as residents are unhappy about the housing allocation, they need to recognise that it is the ANC that pushed through its racist housing allocation.

“It was the DA who consistently voted against the policy that only allows 1% of the homes to be allocated to minority groups,” Asbury said.

Community protests over paving project
IOL News 10 February 2016

Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth police are maintaining a strong presence near the New Brighton police station following a protest staged by angry community members.

New Brighton resident, Themba Mtati told ANA that residents had started burning tyres at around 8am on Wednesday morning. “I even got to work late this morning, the people were angry, I saw them burning tyres, all the action was taking place in Ferguson road,” said Mtati.

The group of about 250 residents are reportedly upset over the non-completion of a community paving project. The residents allege that the funds for the project were misappropriated.

Police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge said that ward councillor Mfundo Vena addressed the residents a short while ago. Beetge said that protesters were burning tyres and blocked the road with rocks and debris.

Currently the community is waiting for a representative from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to come and address them.

PayBackTheMoney march - PICS
IOL News 10 February 2016

Johannesburg - The SAPS's crowd control measures came under scrutiny when police officers battled to control thousands of EFF supporters outside the Constitutional Court in Joburg on Tuesday.

This was after EFF supporters breached police barricades cordoning off areas reserved for the DA and Cope and marched to the steps of the Constitutional Court building, where the Nkandla matter was being heard.

The police had their hands full trying to keep the crowd back, but to no avail, prompting them to use a Casspir vehicle to cordon off the thoroughfare with razor wire.

EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema was scathing of the police's inability to control the party’s supporters, saying he had briefed the police officers early on Tuesday on such measures. He said his suggestions were not followed.

“You (police) messed up the whole plan. You don’t know how to control a crowd. Public order policing is about effective crowd control. Now they come and say: Chief, chief, please talk to them (supporters)”, Malema said, urging the women and men in blue not to provoke them.

“We are here to deal with the man who is stealing your money, so maximum co-operation will enable us to have a peaceful gathering,” he said, referring to the millions of rand spent on non-security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla home in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

Police spokeswoman Brigadier Mashadi Selepe said: “I won’t confirm or challenge what Malema said. All I can say is that we’re incident free. There were no casualties and we applaud them for their behaviour.”

Earlier, as Malema led his EFF supporters in their march to the court from the Joburg CBD, there was panic in the streets when business people saw a sea of red approaching. Some quickly shut their doors as others struggled with roller doors and heavy chains.

Despite Malema asking EFF supporters to march peacefully, some of them broke away from the main group and ran around brandishing the sticks they had been carrying.

This scared some bystanders, who started running and scattering. At one point on the way to the court, the police asked security guards in a cash-in-transit van to hurry up because the marchers were approaching.

Finding himself swamped by red berets, one of the guards manning the cash van with a gun turned around.

This raised the ire of an EFF marcher walking ahead of the crowd and pushing a man in a wheelchair. “Don’t point the gun at me,” the man shouted, wagging his finger at the guard.

Malema earlier, while addressing EFF supporters at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, dismissed Zuma’s offer to pay back the non-security upgrades costs at his Nkandla home as a “Mickey Mouse deal”.

He questioned why Zuma had, after telling the nation that he used a bond to build his Nkandla home, made his turnabout.

“All we wanted was to get the head of the executive, the president, to be accountable, that’s all we are doing. He (Zuma) offered us some Mickey Mouse deal which we have rejected.

“We said to him we are not accepting your deal. We are saying to the Constitutional Court, please do the right thing. This matter is in the interest of the nation, and therefore, we must bring it to finality,” Malema said.

“People have reported on it and talked about it for far too long now, and it has to come to an end,” Malema said, paying homage to journalist Mandy Rossouw, who died two years ago.

Malema reiterated his threat that Zuma will not have it easy during the State of the Nation Address. “You must see what is going happen on Thursday, watch the TV. The sugar levels are going to get very high,” Malema said to raucous laughter.

He continued his war talk at the Constitutional Court, saying Zuma thought he was “untouchable and could just continue laughing” despite the Nkandla debacle.

Malema vowed that once the court had resolved that Zuma must pay back the money, the EFF would ensure he was removed, the same way Thabo Mbeki was recalled.

“This is an opportunity to correct the mistakes of putting Zuma in power. Thank God we had an opportunity while we were still with the liberation movement,” Malema said.

Hostel wrath rains down on motorists - PICS
IOL News 2 March 2016

Joburg motorists were confronted by an angry mob from the Jeppe Hostel on Wednesday morning who surrounded their vehicles and demanded that they turn around.

A truck and a bakkie were torched, with police who tried to intervene pelted with stones and debris by a group from the George Goch Hostel who had congregated in Ruven Road near the M2 highway.

Motorists trying to get down to the Vickers Road off-ramp into the city were forced to turn around into oncoming traffic to get back onto the highway.

The large contingent of SAPS and Joburg metro police officers also prompted other motorists who tried to enter the busy roads to find alternative routes.

“Take another route or your car might be damaged or you could lose your life,” one of the officers advised a motorist.

Those intent on driving through the area had to swerve to avoid debris scattered in the streets, including burning tyres, big rocks and bricks.

Among the motorists who ignored the officers’advice was Nagen Bones, who was later forced to abandon his bakkie after protesters confronted him.

The fruit and vegetable vendor told The Star that at about 5am he was on his way to the market to buy produce when he encountered the crowd.

“They started throwing stones at my bakkie so I just got out and ran towards the police across the road,” said Bones.

Armed with sticks and knobkieries, the protesters sang and danced while marching down the street, preventing anyone, including police and journalists, from getting too close.

This prompted more officers to arrive on the scene as they battled to contain the crowd and keep motorists away from the commotion. They tried to negotiate with the protesters to return to the hostel and abandon their protest, but this caused the mob to become increasingly volatile.

Police fired rubber bullets at the protesters to disperse them.

One of the protesters, Nkosikhona Khanyile, said the reason for the protest was the possible demarcation that the hostel dwellers were not consulted about.

“The demarcation board wants to separate our ward but they didn’t inform us,” he told The Star. He demanded that officials address them and rectify the situation.

City of Joburg spokesman Virgil James said part of Ward 65, which the hostel falls under, was being split up to accommodate the creation of five more wards in the city.

“Hostel dwellers think it’s politically motivated, but it’s not the case. This was undertaken with a lot of consultation so that registered voters don’t diminish in those areas,” said James.

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