Category Archives: TR Section

West Cape News: TR Section residents say police shoot at will after 8pm

TR Section residents say police shoot at will after 8pm

Although police deny it, residents in the embattled Khayelitsha TR Section that has been ablaze with protests for eight weeks, say an 8pm curfew is being enforced, with police firing rubber bullets at will.Over 50 residents spoken to in TR Section said police in blue SAPS uniforms, but with their faces covered with balaclavas, patrolled the area at night and shot at anyone they saw outdoors after 8pm.

Resident Mncedisi Sam said he was drinking with friends last Sunday when police opened the door and told the group to go home.

“I went out and found some of the police waiting outside, they told us to run.”

He said he stumbled as ran. “Three of them came straight to me and shot me on my hand because I was covering my head, and another policeman shot me in my private parts.”

Thembelani Mcanda, 17, said he was shot five times on his legs on Monday (Nov 18) while he was on his way to the shop at about 8pm.

“I didn’t see them because they were hiding. They never asked any questions, they just shot me. I fell down but that cop waited for me to stand up and shot me again,” said Mcanda.

Hlathi Stoto, 53, said he was standing inside his yard when a police van pulled up. He said he was ordered to go inside his house.

“I refused, asking how can I sleep while the police van is next to my house? He didn’t answer, he just shot me and I fell.”

He said he vomited blood the next day.

“I can’t even open a case against them because they are not even wearing name tags so I can’t say who shot me, I just know he’s a police,” said Stoto.

Residents’ committee chairperson Luvuyo Hebe said many people had brought complaints to him.

“Some of the residents told me they opened cases in Lingelethu Police station against the police but nothing has happened,” said Hebe.

Lingelethu police station spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa said she was not aware of any cases being opened against the police.

Mawisa said the police only used rubber bullets to disperse crowds when residents were protesting.

She said police were patrolling Mew Way which runs next to TR Section, but if police were covering their faces while on duty they should be reported. – West Cape News reporters, West Cape News

West Cape News: Lack of services remains the core of ongoing Khayelitsha protests

Lack of services remains the core of ongoing Khayelitsha protests

Four Golden Arrow buses, a government car carrying matric exam answers, private cars and trucks are among vehicles set ablaze over the last two weeks.

Last weekend a bus transporting children to a camp was also stoned, slightly injuring two children, and a pre-school was badly vandalized because the owner would not let residents hold a community meeting there. The streets in and around the TR Section Bongani informal are strewn with rubbish, rocks and burnt debris.

While the protests may have been sparked by shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo’s call for a month of service delivery protests over October, TR Section continues to burn.

As to who’s responsible, fingers seem to be pointed in all directions but it appears that while there are indications of political opportunism, the 2 500 residents of the informal settlement are genuinely frustrated over years of what they perceive as broken promises, and they have had enough.

Following the burning of three vehicles in TR Section on Tuesday November 11, ABM Western Cape chairperson Mzonke Poni released a statement blaming the ANC Youth League.

Poni said the ANCYL represented the “interests of the predatory elite within the ANC” and were aattempting to “hi-jack the legitimate struggles of the poor in Cape Town in an attempt to win back power from the DA”.

Co-ordinater for the ANC Youth League Dullah Omar region, Loyiso Nkohla, denied stoking the protest action.

While some TR Section residents say ANC and ANC Youth League leaders do regularly address protest planning meetings and are looking to put the DA-led council in an unfavourable light ahead of next year’s local government elections, these seem to be acts of political opportunism riding on a genuine way of frustration over lack of housing, electricity and water.

Some residents, such as Nowinile Mbaxa, 42, said ahead of the protests called by ABM in October, some ANC branch executive members spread rumours that the DA municipality would switch off water to the area.

Additionally, said Mbaxa, ANC leaders were saying that the municipality was deliberately not fixing broken and blocked drains in the area.

“The protests are as a result of ANC branch leaders conveying wrong messages about the DA led municipality,” said Mbaxa.

However, accusations of opportunism on the ANC’s part would also play into the hands of the DA who could lay the blame on political game-playing rather than on the lack of housing and services.

And an equal number of residents disagreed that politics played a part in the matter, and all expressed frustration at a lack of services.

A member of the TR Section residents committee who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the protests were apolitical and stemmed from long-standing frustration over the non-delivery of housing promised by the provincial government.

He said a succession of MECs and ward councillors had since 1995 made promises that housing would be provided for them.

The latest promise, made in 2008, was that 900 families would be moved to a new provincial housing development called Nievebegen in Kuils River.

‘We have conducted countless meetings negotiating with local government and municipality officials. We signed lots of agreement documents but nothing shows that we’re moving forward. In one of the previous meetings Provincial Human Settlement Department told us they are waiting for municipality to grade the area. But when we met with the mayor, Dan Plato, in September 2009, he told us they have never been requested as municipality to grade Nievebegen land housing. We then realized that someone out there is fooling us.”

Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s spokesperson Zalisile Mbali said the building of 900 houses for TR Section Bongani residents had been delayed due to “technical problems”, but now “everything will be sorted out”.

“We will start preparing the land by the end of this month in Nievebegen next to Kuilsriver and the infra-structure will be done in May next year,” he said.

The City of Cape Town says so far the protests have resulted in about R1.5million in damages from destruction to roads, traffic lights and city property.

Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke said it would cost in excess of R5,6 million to replace four buses that have been set alight. – West Cape News reporters, West Cape News

Cape Argus: Matric scripts burnt in riot

Matric scripts burnt in riot
Service delivery protesters torch car carrying Grade 12 exam answers

November 12, 2010 Edition 2


A NUMBER of matric exam answer scripts were destroyed when a service delivery protest in Khayelitsha turned violent, with residents stoning and torching three vehicles.

Although the Western Cape Education Department has said there is no evidence that it was the target of protesters’ ire, one of the cars torched belonged to them.

Inside the car was a sample of answer scripts that had been completed and collected for “pre-marking” by the chief marker before a national memorandum meeting, which were destroyed.

The department’s Brian Schreuder said: “The fire destroyed a number of the scripts. The vehicle was not carrying question papers.”

Schreuder said the department would inform the affected schools once its investigation was complete.

A formula to work out a mark for affected candidates, based on results in previous exams, had been provided by Umalusi, the body responsible for certifying exams, for situations such as this one.

Supplementary exams in February was another option, Schreuder said.

The department did not reveal how many scripts had been destroyed in the fire, nor which subjects were affected.

The Department of Social Development was also investigating last night whether another car belonged to them.

A truck was also set alight during the protests.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Sipokazi Mawisa said residents of the TR section had concealed themselves between shacks before stoning vehicles travelling on Mew Way.

“The drivers ran from their vehicles and then the residents set the (vehicles) alight,” she said.

Mawisa said the protests were part of a series held recently to voice residents’ dissatisfaction over a lack of service delivery, including water, sanitation, housing and refuse removal.

However, lobby group Abahlali baseMjondolo, which has spearheaded several such protests, issued a statement yesterday distancing themselves from the incident.

Chairman Mzonke Poni said he had been alerted to the incident by media. He later issued a statement accusing the ANC Youth League of arranging the protest and “hijacking the community’s cause for political motivation”.

While the ANCYL’s Andile Lili rejected the accusation and also distanced the league from the arson attack, he did confirm that a campaign to make the city ungovernable would be launched soon.

“We have been contacted by blacks, whites, coloureds and people from all over to complain about a lack of service delivery, but despite our pleas to provincial government, nothing has been done.

“We aim to consolidate our protests into a 14-day series of protests to make the city ungovernable to show the city that they can’t be arrogant while the voters get no response from them,” Lili said.

No one was injured or arrested yesterday, but police registered a case of public violence.

Cape Argus: Rioters stone children’s bus

Rioters stone children’s bus
Service delivery protesters run amok

November 13, 2010 Edition 1

Leila Samodien

A bus carrying about 30 children and NGO workers was stoned in Khayelitsha’s TR Section as residents protesting against poor service delivery ran amok for the second day running.

Trucks were set alight, cars stoned, and police said people also tried to set a creche alight.

The ANC’s Youth League has warned of more of the same today. The league says it has organised a service delivery march, with the region’s treasurer, Andile Lile, saying he could not be certain that the protest would not turn aggressive.

“The thing that happened in Khayelitsha, it might happen again,” he said.

“We won’t be able to control people’s emotions. We can’t say nothing will happen. But the most important thing is that we will continue with our protest and programme.”

Yesterday several children were hurt when a crowd attacked a bus carrying them to a year-end camp. Natalie Mason, a British musician from Birmingham and a facilitator at the Music Therapy Community Clinic, said they were “shocked” by what had happened.

Mason, four colleagues and children aged between 10 and 16 were travelling along Mew Way, one of Khayelitsha’s main roads, about 2.30pm when they reached a roadblock barring access to TR Section.

But when the bus turned around, a group of people began pelting it with rocks.

Windows were smashed and several children were hit. One child’s lip was cut and another was struck in the back by a rock.

“It was all so sudden; we were very shocked,” said Mason. “Luckily no one was injured too badly, and the children are doing well.”

The group, on its way to a camp in Villiersdorp, had already picked up children from Heideveld, and were collecting the last of the children in Khayelitsha.

Music Therapy Community Clinic director Sunelle Fouché said that while everyone had a “big fright”, they had gone ahead with the camp. “We got a new bus and informed all the parents, who are still happy for their kids to go on the camp.”

This stoning was one of many in Mew Way yesterday. Hostile residents randomly stoned cars and trucks, making it difficult for even the police to reach the area.

Authorities hung back, closing the road off at the Lansdowne Road intersection.

At the next traffic lights just a couple of hundred metres beyond the intersection, residents pelted selected vehicles with stones.

Later, however, they turned on any vehicle which drove past, including a big furniture removal truck and vehicles driven by other Khayelitsha residents.

Khayelitsha police spokeswoman Captain Anneke van der Vyver said that after violence on Thursday, things had quietened down, only to flare up again.

“This morning they tried to burn down a creche but they failed, and the owner laid a charge,” she said.

“One man even came into the police station threatening to burn down a creche in TR Section.”

Yesterday’s incidents came just hours after the ANC Youth League called a press conference to distance itself from Thursday’s trouble, during which protesters set alight several vehicles including a government car carrying matric exam scripts.

Allegations were rife yesterday that the youth league was behind the violence, with organisation Abahlali baseMjondolo, which itself faced blame for the incident, pinning it on the league.

At yesterday’s press conference, called by the league’s Dullah Omar region, it denied any involvement in the TR Section violence, and announced it would hold a 14-day protest against poor service delivery, which would begin when they secured a protest permit from the City of Cape Town.

Lile said a separate league march would be held today to protest against poor service delivery and against banks which did not assist poor clients.

But the City of Cape Town said if today’s march went ahead it would be illegal.

Spokesman Charles Cooper said the league’s application for a permit had not been granted for today.

“We informed them that the police could not attend to them because of another commitment and they agreed to protest on November 19.”

He said the city had also not received an application for a 14-day protest, which Lile said they had submitted last Monday.

The Protests in TR Section Today Are Organised by the ANC Youth League and Not by AbM Western Cape


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Email: office admin: 073 2562 036/ 083 446 5081

The Protests in TR Section Today Are Organised by the ANC Youth League and Not by AbM Western Cape

We have just heard that three vehicles were burnt during a protest in TR Section, Khayelitsha, today. One of them contained stationery for the matric exams.

We want to make it absolutely clear that this protest was organised by the ANC Youth League and not by Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape. We only heard about it for the first time when we started to get calls from the media.

It is well known that the ANC Youth League represents the interests of the predatory elite within the ANC. They are part of the power structure against which we are struggling. They are attempting to hi-jack the legitimate struggles of the poor in Cape Town in an attempt to win back power from the DA. We condemn their attempts to hi-jack the struggles of the poor and we condemn their actions this morning.

We know very well that the ANC is evicting and oppressing shack dwellers all over South Africa. We know very well that the ANC Youth League is the most reactionary faction in the whole of the organisation. We condemn any attempt by the ANC Youth League to try and camouflage their predatory agenda in Cape Town by making it look like it is part of the ongoing country wide rebellion by the poor. Our movement will provide no shelter for the ANC Youth League and their ambitions to return to power in Cape Town. We call on all other organised poor communities to take a principled position against the dirty tricks of the ANC Youth League and to organise, speak for and struggle themselves.

We also note that in Durban Abahlali baseMjondolo is accused by the ANC of being a front for the IFP and Cope. In Howick our movement is accused by the IFP of being a front for the ANC. In Cape Town we are accused by the DA of being a front for the ANC. And here in Cape Town TAC has blamed us for the actions of the ANC Youth League. We are an autonomous and democratic poor people’s movement that rejects all the political parties in South Africa. We often start our meetings by saying ‘Phantsi DA! Phantsi Cope! Phantsi IFP! Phantsi ANC!’. Our project is to build the power of the poor against all the political parties.

Our movement is driven by no force other than our members and the discussions that our members organise in our meetings. It is time that the political parties, the media and the NGOs accept that poor people can think for themselves, organise themselves and mobilise themselves.

For comment call: Mzonke Poni ABM WC Chairperson 073 2562 036/ 083 446 5081