[Debate] (Fwd) Protests: docs, public sector, Mashisheng, Warwick, Umlazi, Macassar, Nersa, teachers, Tamils, protest law seminar in Durban
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Jun 9 06:33:41 BST 2009
Independent on line
Doctors may strike during 2010
The government's reluctance to resolve the crisis over doctors' pay and
working conditions could have severe repercussions for the 2010 Fifa
Disgruntled doctors in public hospitals, some of whom earn less than bus
drivers in Johannesburg, have threatened to intensify their protests
around the country.
Several doctors said they would continue to protest and would have no
qualms about going on strike during the World Cup. "How else can we
pressure the government to help us?" one asked.
Research by the South African Medical Association (Sama) shows that
doctors are underpaid by as much as 70 percent and their working
conditions are a nightmare.
As part of the occupation-specific dispensation (OSD) system, doctors,
dentists, pharmacists and emergency care workers were to have been on a
similar pay system by June last year. But only nurses in the public
service, who went on strike for a month in 2007, got pay hikes of 20
percent, better medical coverage and housing subsidies.
Sama chairwoman Denise White said: "Doctors study for long periods and
after qualifying are saddled with study debt and living expenses. They
have lost almost half a decade of earning potential compared to other
professionals, but they are asked to work long hours and perform
miracles with limited resources."
A doctor, after studying for six years, earns R8 000 a month as an
intern. A Metrobus driver who has three years of service gets R8 800 a
month. Entry-level nurses get between R10 000 and R12 000.
While it is against the law for doctors to strike - they are classified
as an essential service - many employed at government hospitals have
taken to the streets.
On Friday, doctors marched to Parliament in Cape Town. In the past two
months, there have also been marches in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga,
Gauteng, Limpopo and North West.
White said there was one doctor for every 3 846 people in the country.
The burden on doctors at state hospitals was severe; because of
budgetary cutbacks, 30 percent of posts had been frozen.
"Doctors are under severe stress, and ultimately it is the patient who
suffers," said White.
"Doctors are angry and have legitimate grievances. I've heard that as
many as 3 000 doctors have applied for certificates from the Health
Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) that would enable them to
work overseas. This would worsen the problem," she said.
"The OSD model is structured to increase salaries based on specific
criteria such as performance, qualification, scope of work and experience.
"The government is being lambasted for its tardiness in implementation,
as well as for the insultingly low offers made in the bargaining process
Other factors leading to the protest action include deteriorating
academic facilities, too few doctors being trained, poor working
conditions for health professionals in the public sector and the often
atrocious conditions facing patients at public health facilities.
"Sama's public and private sector doctors remain committed to ensuring
that the OSD becomes a reality, as it is critical to prevent the
wholesale walkout of doctors from the public sector and from our
country," White said.
Last year, according to the HPCSA, 34 687 doctors were registered in the
country. Of those, 10 653 were working in the public sector.
The number of medics in community service declined from 1 224 in 2007 to
just 295 last year - apparently as a result of poor planning and
mismanagement by the national Health Department when it converted the
MBChB degree from six years to five and introduced a two-year internship.
Asanda Fongqo, the spokesperson for the Democratic Nurses Association of
South Africa, said all health-care professionals, especially doctors,
should be rewarded.
"It is not fair to pay some and not pay others, there is no consistency.
We support better pay and working conditions for both nurses and
doctors, in addition to tools of the job, like resources, safety and
HPCSA registrar and chief executive Boyce Mkhize, has expressed concern
about threats of further strike action.
"While we support the need for commensurate remuneration packages and
improved working conditions for public service health care
practitioners, we request all parties to mediate until settlement is
reached," he said.
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said: "We are meeting with government
(tomorrow) in a bid to sort it out without further delays."
Last month Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi acknowledged that doctors
were poorly paid but said that it might take a year to resolve problems
with the new system.
Talks positive, but crisis not yet averted
Mass action still possible, says Cosatu
June 09, 2009 Edition 1
WHILE Cosatu has described a meeting yesterday with the ANC and public
service ministers as "positive", it has warned that this will not
prevent rolling mass action if its demands are not met.
"This meeting is subject to a broader public process involving other
unions, and until unions have had an input it's difficult to say we have
averted the crisis or not, but the objective that we think we have
achieved is that we are closer to resolving this (Occupation Specific
Dispensation) issue than before," said S'dumo Dlamini, Cosatu's president.
"We were happy with their response. The way forward is clear now, but
this doesn't mean that our planned mass action has been averted, because
we still have demands concerning the OSD issue."
The ANC said "agreement was reached that the matter be referred to the
formal bargaining structures".
Cosatu met the ANC and several ministers at Luthuli House.
Those present included ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, ministers
Aaron Motsoaledi (health), Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (correctional
services), Angie Motshekga (basic education), Edna Molewa (social
development) and Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi.
Dlamini said that the Cosatu delegates felt "much better" about the
ministers' responses to their questions.
The federation has been on the warpath, threatening to bring public
service to its knees if the government did not implement the OSD, a
framework to review salary scales. While both the ANC and Cosatu were
cagey about disclosing what had been discussed, sources close to the
alliance partners said the ANC had tried to mediate to avert the strike.
But Mantashe, who a fortnight ago warned unions not to threaten the new
administration with industrial action, denied any mediation attempt by
the ruling party.
Cosatu demanded the meeting two weeks ago, citing frustration in the
public service and warning that further delay would result in "wild-cat"
strikes and an "explosive spate of uncontrollable labour unrest across
Dlamini said they were now looking forward to tomorrow's meeting between
all affected public sector unions and government negotiators at the
Public Service Co-ordinating and Bargaining Council.
Baloyi, who led the ministers' group, also met the Independent Labour
Caucus and the Federation of Unions of SA - which are not affiliated to
Cosatu - at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday to discuss the OSD
As part of the OSD agreement in 2007, the government promised unions
that the salaries of various public servants would increase over time,
based on performance, qualifications and competencies, scope of work and
The OSD would enable professionals and specialists to progress to higher
salary levels that would be equal to or higher than earnings of
managers, without having to move into management or supervisory positions.
Dlamini said Cosatu would discuss the OSD with the Independent Labour
‘Missing millions’ protests lead to fatal shooting and mass arrests
08 June 2009
Riot Hlatshwayo - riot at sowetan.co.za
The body of Jacob Malakane,
Samaria Malakane holds a photo of her dead grandson .
CHAOS: Debris burns in Mashishing after residents staged delivery
protests on Friday. PHOTOS: SAMUKELISIWE GWEBU and ANDREW HLONGWANE
THE family of a man who died after police opened fire in the Lydenburg
area has accused the officer who they claim pulled the trigger of
killing him so that he wouldn’t have to pay a building debt.
Jacob Malakane, 24, of Mashishing township, was shot on Friday.
Police say they opened fire to protect themselves against angry
community members demonstrating against their municipality.
A 15-year-old girl, Emily Madonsela, who was on her way to a spaza shop
to buy bread, is fighting for her life in hospital.
More than 20 other people were wounded and have been hospitalised.
Ten other people, including a leader of the Mashishing Activist Forum,
were arrested during the protest.
The community has protested for the past three weeks after discovering
that more than R3million had disappeared from the Thaba Chweu
municipality’s bank account.
The protests, in which the community wants mayor Clara Ndlovu and other
top officials to step down, included storming the council’s chambers.
Samaria Malakane, the grandmother of the deceased, said her grandson had
told her the policeman (his name is known to Sowetan) owed him money
after failing to pay for the tiling of his house.
Police spokesperson Sibongile Khumalo denied police used live ammunition
– despite cartridges being found at the scene.
Protest death probed
Johannesburg - A man is dead after police opened fire with live
ammunition on protesters who allegedly threw petrol bombs at police
officers’ homes in Mashishing.
Two other men were also injured in the protest against poor service
delivery on Thursday night.
The Mpumalanga police are now waiting for a post mortem to determine the
cause of the man’s death. They say he only had a wound on his arm and
had not been shot.
According to police spokesperson Abie Khoabane, the two injured men were
shot with live ammunition, and the man that later died was not injured
during the shooting.
Protest became violent
“About 5 000 people showed up over (poor) service delivery and soon
The police shot at them with rubber bullets since they were obstructing
roads, burning vehicle tyres and throwing rocks at passing cars and
buses,” said Khoabane.
According to him, the police only started using live ammunition when the
protestors started attacking the homes and families of police officers
and a council member.
Their actions were “in self defence”.
The officers’ families were in their homes when protesters started
throwing petrol bombs at the houses.
Six police vehicles and shops were also damaged.
On Sunday the police were still in the area.
According to Khoabane, a post mortem will be done this week, and will
show the cause of the man’s death.
Public debate needed on Warwick Triangle
June 09, 2009 Edition 1
Glen Robbins and Caroline Skinner
ON JUNE 4, 2009, Michael Sutcliffe, the eThekwini municipal manager,
responded to concerns raised by more than 30 academics and urban
practitioners about the proposed Warwick Mall.
Our reply, outlined below, was canvassed with many of the contributors
to the original letter (The Mercury, June 3, 2009) and is informed by
years of work done in the area, as well as interactions with the trader
community and commuters.
Central to Sutcliffe's argument is that the proposed mall is good for
commuters. The commuters using Warwick Triangle are overwhelmingly
working class people forced to use an expensive and inadequate
transportation system resulting from government failures to address
shortcomings inherited from the apartheid era.
However, as anyone who has spent time in the area would know, one of the
upsides for these commuters is that Warwick traders sell much-needed
fresh produce and other goods at affordable prices. A comparison of
prices for goods sold at the Early Morning Market (the intended site for
the Warwick Mall) and Spar (the proposed anchor tenant in the new mall),
is very revealing.
For nine products that form a core part of poor household consumption
(including potatoes, tomatoes, onions and apples) on Thursday morning
Spar was on average 118 percent more expensive than the Early Morning
In an era of high food inflation and in a context where concerns about
corporate price-fixing are widespread, if the city is concerned about
poorer consumers, there should be more markets of this nature, not less.
Sutcliffe rightly points out that commuters are vulnerable to criminals.
Everyone agrees that the area needs more effective policing and improved
Placing a mall in the centre of this precinct will, however, not
necessarily address these issues. A delegation of architects who met
with city officials to raise concerns about what they knew of the
proposals, argued that the plans might well increase rather than
decrease crime in the precinct. Key to crime prevention through urban
design is that pedestrians have a range of route options and that
maximum surveillance is afforded through open public access.
The present design for the mall is essentially an enclosed box, which
forces commuters through single corridors. While crime might be dealt
with inside the mall (essentially a privatised space), the current plans
are likely to aggravate crime in the rest of the precinct.
For many years, the city supported a traders' initiative - Traders
against Crime - that effectively reduced crime in the area, so much so
that they won a mayoral award. This proposed mall threatens the
livelihoods of the very traders who are key to fighting crime.
As Sutcliffe mentions, the area is in need of further ablution
facilities. However, it is unlikely that the mall developers and
managers will magnanimously allow half a million commuters to use their
facilities. The city simply needs to build more public toilets.
There is also agreement in many quarters with the argument that
transport arrangements need reconfiguring. However, plans associated
with the development have significant question marks associated with
them. Sutcliffe claims taxis are in the wrong location. However, it is
the location of the bus ranks that are more of a concern. In the present
proposals, bus ranks will stay where they are. True to the style of this
process, the transport plan has not been subject to consultation, so it
is difficult to assess whether what is planned will resolve
Sutcliffe claims the traders are "happy" with the proposals. The
numerous protests in the last few weeks certainly challenge this. The
public meeting called by the Democracy and Development Programme is a
case in point.
The venue was full to capacity with over 600 traders raising their
concerns about being marginalised in what should have been a democratic
It is true some traders have conceded to move, more out of a sense of no
alternative than based on a preference.
The fact that city officials keep pointing out supposed exploitative
relations between traders of different races suggests they are creating
divisions rather than working against them. The practice of selectively
employing trader leaders is also questionable in a time of such tensions.
Sutcliffe makes reference to the share ownership for this new
development. He points out that currently only 25 percent of the
development's investors are people of African origin. He then claims
that the mall "will place African South Africans in the mainstream of
Analysis of the share ownership of the Warwick Mall Pty Ltd suggests
that rather than being broad-based and involving a variety of local
stakeholder groups, it is made up predominately of well-heeled BEE partners.
The process to get to this point has been fundamentally flawed. Traders
have not been consulted but presented with a fait accompli. Traders, who
stand to lose the most, are not included in the share ownership of the
mall. The city did not call for expressions of interest when they
released this valuable piece of public land.
The city has not secured a heritage permit to demolish the 84-year-old
wall that forms the core of the Early Morning Market. No environmental
impact assessment has been done for the proposed site. Further, the
precinct plan has not been made public.
The future of the Warwick Junction area is of interest to academics and
urban practitioners because they care about the future of the city. To
simply dismiss a constructive critique of the council's plans is
contrary to the principles that underpin the democracy the city manager
Constructive public debate would examine the merit of the impact of this
mall on ordinary people. Surely it is only reasonable for the
municipality, representatives of stakeholders in Warwick (including
commuters and traders, ratepayers), and specialists to seek a more
inclusive and deliberative way forward on this part of our city,
important economically and historically to so many poorer traders and
# Glen Robbins and Caroline Skinner are researchers based at the School
of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Traders told to leave by end of July
June 09, 2009 Edition 2
TRADERS at the Early Morning Market in Durban's Warwick Junction have
been given until the end of next month to vacate the premises to make
way for a R700 million development project, which would include a
The eThekwini Municipality served the traders with lease termination
notices on Saturday. In addition to the lease terminations, the traders
were also reminded in their letters that they had failed to pay their
rental fees, which collectively amounted to R20 million.
The traders were ordered to vacate the market by no later than the end
of next month.
The municipality's Business Support and Markets Unit head, Phillip
Sithole, said the city had been patient with the traders, having engaged
with them since 2007. He said the city had complied with all relevant
rules and regulations in moving ahead with the development.
"We're now following legal processes (in dealing with the matter). The
first step is to serve termination notices… we need the site for
development. We've held meetings with everyone who's invested in this
venture and we're left with no option but to terminate the lease agreements.
"…This relocation comes with a package which includes a rent-free,
six-month period and the marketing of the new site, but they refuse (to
Sithole said more jobs and business opportunities would be created by
"Three hundred jobs will be created during the construction and 500
decent, sustainable jobs will be created after the development, unlike
the people employed at Warwick Junction with no rules and regulations.
It's the people who owe R20 million in arrears who don't want to
relocate. The public needs to gauge these issues," he said.
Early Morning Market Association chairman Harry Ramlal said the traders
would seek legal advice over the city's latest move. He disputed that
traders owed the city R20m because their rentals had been reduced by 40
percent in 2000.
Violence erupts in Umlazi
8 June 2009, 08:17
By Wendy Jasson da Costa
The police are monitoring Glebelands hostel in Umlazi after an illegal
gathering on Saturday turned ugly and several people were wounded when
police fired rubber bullets into the crowd.
Two men were arrested in connection with the incident, in which police
tried to disperse hundreds with rubber bullets and stun grenades,
leaving three people injured.
The incident comes amid allegations by COPE that its supporters at the
hostel were being attacked by ANC members.
However, the ANC has said that the incidents were criminal in nature,
and not politically motivated.
Superintendent Jay Naicker said Saturday's clashes happened while ANC
and COPE leaders met at the hostel.
He said the drama started at 6am when a 32-year-old Glebelands resident
was confronted by a group of men. The man opened fire in self-defence
and shot one of his attackers in the knee and shoulder.
Naicker said a case of attempted murder had been opened but no arrest
He said a crowd burnt down a storage container at the hostel later in
the day and a case of damage to property was opened.
The chairman of the ANC in the eThekwini region, John Mchunu, yesterday
returned to the hostel and said the situation was still very tense.
He said four ANC supporters were being treated in hospital for injuries
sustained in the clashes. "It is all about criminality. We've lost so
many people but no arrests have been yet," he said.
Mchunu said Saturday's protest at the hostel was not a political event,
but had been staged by residents demonstrating against crime.
He said all criminals should be arrested, no matter which organisation
they belonged to.
COPE claimed that its members at the hostel were being targeted in an
ANC offensive to destabilise any area in which the new party had won
votes in the April 22 general election.
However, Mchunu said: "COPE didn't do well in all these areas and is
therefore not an issue here. The issue is criminals."
COPE provincial secretary Philip Mhlongo said the party had been warned
by the police crime intelligence unit last week that it was not safe to
go to Glebelands because ANC supporters had allegedly taken a lot of
weapons into the hostel.
Mhlongo said the party decided to go ahead with the visit to Glebelands
on Saturday, with COPE president Mvume Dandala, despite the warning.
He said the situation at the hostel was very tense, with COPE and ANC
members clearly on opposite sides of a stand-off, and police in the centre.
Mhlongo claims several incidents in recent weeks proved that the attacks
at Glebelands were politically motivated and that the ANC was clearly
These included forcing female Cope supporters to parade naked in front
of a crowd of ANC supporters at Glebelands and fuelling ethnic tensions
between Zulus and Xhosas at Embo, in the Hillcrest area.
Mchunu, who previously said at least 40 people had been killed at
Glebelands since 1994, yesterday attributed the murders to criminal
* This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on June
Voice of the Cape
Macassar protest causes havoc
Housing protests like this on in Samora Machel recently spread to
Macassar on Monday morning, causing all sorts of havoc.
A heavy police presence is patrolling the Macassar area in the vicinity
of Kramat Road on Monday morning, after a bread delivery truck was set
alight during a protest near Mew Way. According to the City of Cape Town
spokesperson, Kylie Hatton, the group is suspected to have protested
over an ongoing land dispute with the City.
Details are still coming through but we believe the protests are taking
place regarding the land which we have identified for low cost housing.
Law enforcement authorities are on the scene and have confirmed that
they will arrest anyone acting up, causing public disorder. We will do
anything in our power to protect the Citys property.
Metro traffic spokesperson Merle Lourens told VOC News that road
closures are still effective and traffic has been diverted away from the
protests. Kramat Road is closed at the R102 and at Mew Way. We were
first alerted about the violence at 6am this morning and immediately
dispersed our traffic officers to ensure the safety of our motorists.
Thus far, no other incidents have been reported.
Meanwhile police spokesperson Superintendent Andre Traut confirmed that
no arrests have been made, despite the damage caused as a result of the
burning vehicle. A Blue Ribbon truck was set alight by a group of men
and women early this morning. The truck was burnt to the ground but
nobody was injured. Police are on the scene and will remain in the area
until the protests settle down. VOC (Shanaaz Ebrahim)
Bread truck burned out in Macassar
June 08, 2009 Edition 1
A Blue Ribbon bread delivery truck was set alight during a protest in
Macassar near Khayelitsha this morning, Superintendent André Traut said.
"The truck was burned to the ground, but nobody was injured," he said.
Traut said details were still sketchy, but it was suspected that the
group was protesting over an ongoing land dispute.
Protest outside Eskom hearing
JOHANNESBURG - A group of protesters gathered outside the venue where
the National Energy Regulator of South Africa is hearing oral
submissions into Eskom’s 34 percent interim price increase application.
The group of about 100 people sang and held posters which read “Eishkom,
your prices bite”.
The protesters were mainly from the non-governmental organisation
Earth-Life Africa, and with them came a contingency of Tshwane metro
Earlier, during the hearing, a Soweto resident made a submission to
Nersa detailing the plight of the poor as a result of high electricity
The 80-year old woman was a late addition to the day’s programme and her
heartfelt address was welcomed by Nersa as well as the public gallery
and other organisations waiting to make their submissions.
She said pensioners in Soweto owed tens of thousands of rands to Eskom
due to the high price of electricity. As she spoke, she held up a list
of names of elderly and poor people in the suburbs south of Johannesburg
who were battling to make their electricity payments.
“Dear Eskom, please don’t destroy us... we want to pay for it but in an
affordable manner,” she said.
Earth-Life Africa spokesman Stewart Dikghatso said the protest was being
held to highlight the effects of Eskom’s proposed hike on the poor as
well as the environment.
During the morning, Nersa heard submissions from the Chamber of Mines,
various municipalities, and NGOs.
After lunch, submissions are expected by trade unions, which vehemently
oppose the 34 percent price hike application.
Warning of legal battles
Eskom rate hikes 'are unlawful'
June 09, 2009 Edition 1
Anna Cox & SAPA
Eskom's application for a 34 percent hike in electricity tariffs was
unlawful and technically flawed, a municipal manager told public
hearings in Pretoria yesterday.
If the increases were approved, the government and the National Energy
Regulator of SA (Nersa) could face huge legal battles, Nelson Mandela
Bay city manager Graham Richards said.
Under the Municipal Finance Management Act, bulk providers like Eskom
had to notify municipalities and the National Treasury of increases and
give them 40 days to comment. Eskom had not done so.
Eskom also had not motivated the increase properly, another unlawful
act, Richards said.
His warnings were part of widespread condemnation by labour, business
and ordinary citizens of the proposed increases at a time when the
economy was in its first recession in 17 years.
Richards advised Nersa to inform the government of the flawed process,
the possibility of legal action, and the consequences thereof.
The proposal was flawed because it did not take into account that
municipalities had to table budgets by the end of May.
"This remains contrary to the act and amounts to introduction of a
retrospective tariff from April 1. Nersa has acceded to this in the past
and Eskom now assumes it may adjust its tariffs each year."
Richards said Eskom's proposal addressed only its own capital investment
programme and did not consider the need for a balance between that and
other impacts on the economy, which shrank at a 6.4 percent rate in the
Should the increases go ahead, the manufacturing industry would shut
down and there would be no need for additional Eskom capacity.
"Eskom's dilatoriness has left industry unable to budget or plan."
In addition, Eskom had failed to motivate the hike, saying only that the
agreed increases were insufficient.
"Eskom advances no reason why it could not have submitted an 'interim'
application early enough to comply with the act, subject to discussions
on a funding model."
Richards said Eskom's plans were developed in response to the generation
crisis of 18 months ago, ignoring a shrinking economy, lower interest
rates, lower fuel prices, and a drop in coal demand.
Others who testified included:
# Cosatu's Jonas Mosia, who said that "poor households would bear the
burden of high electricity tariffs". Higher prices could lead to a
"vicious cycle" in which people defaulted, were disconnected and
resorted to illegal reconnections.
Cosatu also called for a more rigorous investment in renewable sources
# The Chamber of Mines said the poorly motivated application was "not
clear" on how a hike of 34 percent was calculated.
Spokesman Dick Kruger said: "The problem is exacerbated by no 2009
annual report by Eskom."
Kruger recommended that Nersa approve a tariff increase that would
ensure the parastatal had sufficient revenue to operate until it tabled
a funding model.
# Lebohang Mashego, of the Displaced Ratepayers' Association, said she
owned a small vetkoek business, but could not make a living because all
her money was used to pay electricity costs.
# Solidarity's Dirk Hermann said Eskom's increase in operating costs was
"astronomical". He called on Nersa to investigate coal costs "because
there's something wrong" after coal prices had dropped 60 percent since
peaking last year.
# The Energy Intensive User Group also called for an audit into the
costs incurred by Eskom, describing them as "extremely high".
Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga said reserve margins were well below
industry standards and Eskom's cash requirements for its capacity
expansion were increasing. The global financial crunch made it difficult
to access funding, so tariffs were the only source.
No Sadtu disruption: Gauteng education
JOHANNESBURG - There were no reports of disruptions by the SA Democratic
Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) after it threatened to disrupt classes in
Johannesburg on Monday, the Gauteng education department said.
On Monday the Sowetan newspaper reported Sadtu was planning to disrupt
classes in defiance of President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address.
Gauteng education spokeswoman Nanagolo Leopeng said the department had
not received any word from the union as to what their grievances were
and when the disruptions would take place.
She said the department was available for discussions with the union to
resolve the matter urgently.
Sadtu in Gauteng was unavailable for comment on Monday morning. The
national spokesman Jon Lewis said the threatened disruption was a local,
not national, initiative.
According to the Sowetan, Sadtu planned to drag teachers out of their
classes and disrupt work at the Gauteng education department’s
Braamfontein district offices.
The union had promised “no schooling” on Monday, the newspaper reported.
Last Wednesday Zuma called on all teachers to be in schools teaching
instead of disrupting classes. The following day, the union’s members
reportedly disrupted work at the Gauteng department of education’s
district 12 offices in Florida on Johannesburg’s West Rand.
After chasing away staff, Sadtu members went to Die Burger High School
and interrupted examinations. They claimed it was unfair for some pupils
not to be allowed to sit for exams.
Five hundred pupils at Die Burger High School were apparently not
allowed to write exams because they had not paid school fees.
The Gauteng African National Congress Youth League has condemned Sadtu’s
actions, the Sowetan reported.
Tamil Federation to discuss Sri-Lankan situation with SA govt June 08
2009 , 6:00:00
The South African Tamil Federation is to meet government this week over
a controversial UN Human Rights resolution passed last month on the
Sri-Lankan war. This weekend hundreds of mostly Tamil South Africans
took to the streets in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg to protest against
what they called mass genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The United Nations has said that the death toll from Sri Lanka's civil
war is "unacceptably high" amid reports that 20,000 people were killed
in the government's final onslaught against Tamil Tiger rebels. The UN
has declined to give official figures.
Sri-Lanka declared victory in the war after confirming on May 19th that
it had killed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader
Of the 47-member Council, 29 countries including South Africa, voted for
Sri Lanka’s resolution, 12 against and 6 abstained. U.N. Human Rights
Chief Navi Pillay had told the Council there was credible evidence that
both the forces and the LTTE grossly violated international humanitarian
The passed resolution text condemns the Tamil Tigers and “welcomes...
the liberation by the government of Sri Lanka of tens of thousands of
its citizens that were kept by the LTTE against their will as hostages.”
The Tamil Tigers were accused of holding civilians as human shields in
the last phase of the war, while government troops were alleged to have
indiscriminately shelled rebel-held areas packed with civilians.
“The SA government has been receptive to the plight of Tamils in Sri
Lanka in the past. We don’t know what happened with this resolution”
said protestor Devan Govender.
More than 250 000 displaced people are now battling to survive in
refugee camps where aid agencies say the situation is desperate.
Tamils make up 12.6 percent of the 20 million population of the
Sinhalese-majority Island but have long complained of discrimination and
restriction of movement.
Legal Capacity Workshop on the Regulation of Gatherings Act (RGA) and
the Promotion of Access to Information Act
Freedom of Expression Institute
10-11 June 2009
DAY 1: Wednesday, 10 June 2009
9h00-9h15 Welcome and introductions.
9h15-9h45 Introduction to the work of the FXI and objectives of the project.
9h45-10h30 The right to freedom of expression;
The right to protest;
The history of the regulation of gatherings in South Africa.
10h30- 11h00 Introduction to the Regulation of Gatherings Act:
What does it mean to protest;
Who can protest;
Where can you protest;
How can you protest.
11h00 – 11h30 Tea Break
11h30 – 13h00 The workings of the Act:
Section 4 meeting;
Grounds for prohibition;
Challenging a prohibition;
Requirements for a peaceful protest;
Dealing with arrests;
Holding the police to account.
13h00 -14h00 Lunch
14h00 -15h00 Q &A and discussion on experiences.
15h00 - 15h30 Brief presentation on national trends around protest action
and brief overview of FXI’s audit.
15h30 – 15h45 Tea Break
15h45 – 16h30 Finalisation of a strategy and referral network for
16h30 Closure for day 1.
DAY 2: Thursday, 11 June 2009
9h00-9h15 Summary of main themes coming out of day 1 – FXI
9h15-9h45 Introduction to the Promotion of Access to Information Act
9h45-11h00 The workings of the Act
Who can request information;
Who does the Act allow you to request information from - public and
11h15-13h00 Continue with workings of the Act
Records that are not accessible;
What must public bodies do to ensure records are available;
Submission of requests;
Records affecting 3rd parties;
Lodging an appeal;
Evaluating access to information from a civil society perspective;
Closure and thanks
More information about the Debate-list