Category Archives: police

#FeesMustFall: Democracy Under Fire

Adam Haupt argues that both the corporatisation of universities and repression of student protests erode constitutional freedoms. The Con

The rise of the #FeesMustFall movement in South Africa has revealed key fault lines. I would like to offer two arguments here. The first is that the use of police brutality against peaceful protesters on campuses undermines citizens’ rights to free speech. The second is that the corporatisation of public institutions produces the same negative effects on the public sphere as state repression of dissent. Public institutions’ mandate to preserve an information commons is undermined by an economic system that places a low premium on public spending. Universities are thrown at the mercy of the market and, effectively, cost barriers to education are introduced. It is in this way that any talk of a national democratic revolution is reduced to empty rhetoric. Continue reading

S. Africa accused of spying on civil society groups

South African intelligence agencies have been accused of illegally spying on civil society groups and community leaders in the country.

“Intelligence officials are reportedly calling people working for civil society groups and asking them for information about the groups in exchange for money,” Murray Hunter, a spokesperson for the Right2know campaign, told.

He said that, although intelligence agencies had a legitimate role to play, they also at times viewed certain activists as threats to the state.

“Our report primarily looks at physical surveillance, for example, where officials call and ask activists when they will be attending their meetings,” he said. Continue reading

Daily Maverick: The Army vs. Thembelihle: Where the truth lies

Richard Poplak

At around 3:30am last Wednesday, a young man named Sipho Dlamini was startled awake by insistent knocking. It was the sort of baton-on-zinc wake-up call that people have been experiencing in this country for generations. When he leapt out of bed and approached the source of the commotion, Dlamini couldn’t help but notice that his shack was surrounded by a phalanx of cops and soldiers. The law had shown up before dawn on this chilly morning, ostensibly to deal with the problem of xenophobic violence. But Dlamini wasn’t involved in xenophobic violence—in fact, he was involved in protecting foreign nationals from xenophobic violence—and he suspected that the men with guns might have arrived with something else in mind. When the first blows connected, he knew he was right.

“Ah, comrade, they were very rough,” Dlamini told me. Continue reading

The Times: More than 180 arrests in raid on Thembelihle informal settlement

Police‚ metro cops army and home affairs officials descended on the Thembelihle informal settlement near Lenasia on Thursday morning.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela‚ who said Thembelihle had been identified as a hotspot for violent crimes‚ told RDM News Wire that‚ at the time of publication‚ more than 180 people‚ including illegal immigrants‚ had been taken into custody.

“It’s more than that [180]‚ much more‚ and we expect to make many more arrests for various crimes during the course of the day‚” said Makhubela. “We will be here the whole day.”

A media briefing with arrest statistics is expected to held later on Thursday. Continue reading