[News] South Africa's popular struggle
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 24 12:46:20 EDT 2009
Several stories follow
Looting of shops 'tip of the iceberg'
July 23 2009 at 06:19AM
By Ntokozo Mfusi
The leader of a group of unemployed people said
the looting that occurred in Shoprite and Pick n
Pay stores in Durban was only the beginning,
adding that more stores would be targeted.
Ninety four people, all members of the South
African Unemployed People's Movement, were
arrested on Wednesday after storming into the two
supermarkets in Dr Pixley KaSeme Street in the
city centre and helping themselves to food without paying.
The organisation's chairperson, Nozipho Mteshane,
said until the government took them seriously
they would carry on with their action.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg and I myself
cannot stop the people because they are angry -
we handed in a memorandum to the city a week ago
and gave them seven days to respond and they have not," Mteshane said.
She said this was a message to the government
that people were hungry and were struggling to make ends meet.
"We want the government to provide the unemployed
people of this country with a R1 500 basic income grant."
Onlookers at Shoprite said the group was eating
roasted chicken, chips and other goods inside the
store and loading goods such as cooking oil,
frozen chicken braai packs, vegetables and beverages inside trolleys.
Police spokesperson Captain Khephu Ndlovu said 44
people were arrested at Shoprite and 50 at Pick n
Pay for illegal gathering and theft.
Sociologist Mary De Haas said these kinds of
protests would escalate because people were
unhappy as service delivery was slack.
"I am not surprised people are disgruntled, they
have high expectations, but (the) government has
promised a lot yet people are losing their jobs.
This is a symptom of failure of the people
elected to (the) government," she said.
City manager, Michael Sutcliffe, said this
behaviour needed to be condemned in the strongest term.
"There seems to be political element in this -
it's true they handed in a memorandum last week
and we know there is a lot unemployment and
poverty, but they are not the poorest of the
poor, which is why we feel there are other
elements involved. (The) government is looking
into it and will deal with this accordingly."
* This article was originally published on
page 2 of <http://www.thestar.co.za>The Star on July 23, 2009
Give us a basic grant of R1500 or well wreak havoc
17 July 2009
A GROUP representing the unemployed in
KwaZulu-Natal has threatened to set townships
alight and unleash an army of looters on shops unless all jobless people
UP IN ARMS: Unemployed people have vowed to
destroy shops in KwaZulu-Natal if the government
fails to meet their demands within seven days . PHOTO: THULI DLAMINI
received a basic income grant of R1500 a month.
National spokesperson for the SA Unemployed
Peoples Movement, Nozipho Mteshana, said a
survey the group commissioned had uncovered more
than 26million unemployed people in South Africa,
more than half of the population.
The figures had gone up recently because of job
losses from the economic meltdown.
Mteshana said the country would soon be in flames
if the government failed to do something because
peoples anger could not be contained much longer.
We give our government and eThekwini
municipality, which is our focus at this point, seven days to give us answers.
The group has handed the municipality a memorandum of their grievances.
If we dont get positive answers by next
Wednesday we will let people loot all the big
shops and take whatever food they find in those
shops. If this is the only language our
government understands, then we will speak it very loudly, she warned.
Mteshana said most of their members were young
tertiary graduates. They were fed up with ANC
pals and the same people getting tenders while others went hungry.
She said in a country where pensions were granted
only at 60 it pained her to note that most
unemployed people were between 18 and 35.
Crime was escalating because people were hungry.
Hungry stomachs are angry stomachs, which is why
we feel that unemployed people should be provided
with a basic income grant. Our government has
money but it is not prioritised properly.
Economic expert Bonke Dumisa said it was unreal
to expect an economic solution to these problems.
Business cant do it. Business is in the
business of making money with as few people as
possible, given the economic downturn.
He said the answers lay with the politicians and
their will to deal with the real unemployment figures.
Link to photos
was better than ANC, say Thokoza protestors
South Africa - Thokoza Protest - 21-07-09
The news medias unsubtle censorship of this amazing protest poster:
July 24 2009 Afrikaners cant believe their
eyes. This picture taken by Shayne Robinson of
The Star newspaper, today has been making the
rapid rounds of many hundreds of
Afrikaans-language blogs inside and outside the
and many bloggers comment that they
believe its a hoax, It shows protestors holding
handwritten protest signs with the words:
* AWB was better than ANC, and We vote for
better life, not for worse.We live like pigs
Afrikaner language-rights leader Dr
<http://www.praag.co.za/>Dan Roodt, publishing
the picture on his blog, writes that this is the
most inexplicable protest poster hes seen.
Indeed, many journalists reporting on the Thokoza
unrests where this photograph above was taken
by Shayne Robinson of The Star in Johannesburg,
must have realised that this was the ultimate
insult to the ANC-leadership: black voters in
Thokoza had voted overwhelmingly in favour of the
presidency of Jacob Zuma, yet there they were
just months later -- stating that South African
blacks would be better-off under the rabidly
white rightwingers in the Afrikaner
Weerstandsbeweging than they now are under ANC-rule.
Of course its irrelevant that the AWB never
ruled the country... this sign expresses a very
intense and genuine anger felt by these black voters.
* Over the past three elections, these many
millions of black voters have repeatedly been
promised a golden future which included jobs,
free housing, free electricity, lower
food-prices, better schools
Instead, they are
still living like pigs, as the other poster next to it, states so clearly.
* Also note the large number of weapons in
the hands of these protestors, from bricks to heavy metal rods.
AS noted earlier, this photograph was taken by
Robinson of The Star in Johannesburg, (cell
27767318361, w 27116332231
Its unclear whether his own newspaper published
this picture, judging from its own published
pages reporting the story (left), they may not have done.
journalist Michael Georgy reported from the
scene that the protesters hurled stones at
police, who fired back teargas and rubber bullets
(on Wednesday July 22 2009) -- after thousands
marched in a show of anger at poor services and a
lack of jobs. This journalist
not however note the contents of this poster, but does note:
* While anger was largely directed at local
officials, there was also unhappiness with the
government of the ruling African National
Congress, which has ruled since the end of
apartheid in 1994. "This government is rotten to
the core," said Bongani Mazibuko, unemployed for years
They have intensified uncertainty after a wave
of strikes in Africa's biggest economy, Reuters
comments. The unrest, with scenes reminiscent of
violence against foreigners last year that killed
62 people, also undermined South Africa's hope of
showing a positive image with less than a year to
go before the soccer World Cup..
Reuters wrote that protesters pelted cars with
stones and blocked a highway near Johannesburg.
At Siyathemba township, 90 km (55 miles)
southeast of the city, other protesters were also
demanding jobs and better schools, clashing with
police and threatening the local mayor. And
matters are going to get even worse:
workers now are also threatening to strike
which will make service delivery come to a dead-halt.
* Farm invasions:
* Protests turned violent for a second day
in Johannesburg's Thokoza township, where
residents are demanding better housing and
services. Thirty-five residents are due to appear
in court. Residents in Meyerton, south of
Johannesburg, occupied the (state-owned Pielie
Farm) - in invasions similar of those in
neighbouring Zimbabwe. They were protesting at
being evicted from their temporary settlement.
Guardian also writes from the UK:
* Fifteen years after the ANC won its first
election, more than 1million South Africans still
live in shacks, many without access to
electricity or running water. The gap between
rich and poor is also growing. Nearly 3m houses
have been built, but the allocation has been
prone to nepotism and corruption.
Eljah Ngobese, reporting from Thokoza for The
Citizen, came closest to reporting about the AWB
better than ANC poster, quoting residents as telling him:
* "We are tired of empty promises. All this
government want from us is a vote, nothing else.
They are treating us as monkeys. How can they
shoot us while we are protesting for our rights?"
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