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St Andrews
St Andrews

Tag: Protests

Violent Protests erupt at VUT

At the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students have voiced their anger last week, after those who qualify for NSFAS funds learned that their December Allowance may not be paid ‘until scheduled exams are completed’. Protesting learners at VUT were told a similar story before sitting for their assessments.

The torch of discontent has now been passed from the Cape to the Vaal, and students turned out in their numbers to fight for the money that they’ve been promised. However, several battles have been reported in Vanderbijlpark this afternoon as students clashed with law enforcement officers.

Some VUT students shared their harrowing situations with the Twitter community, explaining in their tweets how a failure to pay the December Allowance before all exams have been sat leaves them feeling both worried and frustrated.

Fires were started outside of the main gates, but the protests remained largely peaceful until the police arrived at the campus. Many students dispersed, but others weren’t so lucky. Reportedly at least one student has been detained following the demonstration outside VUT. However, despite the interventions, the situation remains tense.

EFF Disrupts and Intimidate

Debbie Schäfer the Western Cape Education MEC  has accused Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of not being interested in resolving concerns over alleged racism at Brackenfell High School. The EFF cancelled a scheduled meeting with provincial education officials that was intended to find resolutions without disruption. EFF supporters are expected to protest outside Brackenfell High School on Friday.  Schäfer said that the Freedom Fighters had only one goal – Intimidate and disrupt schooling.  The EFF undertake to protest peacefully and not disrupt the exams.

Schäfer said that her office was aware of EFF leaders making repeated threats of violence on social media and on radio and extensive preparations by the police were being made ahead of tomorrow’s protest in the event of the protests turning violent.  The protests erupted after a private function was allegedly a “whites only” matric farewell.  The EFF is yet to respond to requests for comment on preparations for Friday.

A Positive Action Campaign (PAC) protest in Brackenfell is also currently under investigation by police. PAC supporters gathered in the neighbourhood on Wednesday to protest against alleged displays of racist behaviour during the EFF’s recent demonstration outside the high school.

Andre Traut, the Police spokesperson said that officers would remain in the area until calm was restored: “The circumstances surrounding an offence in terms of the Gathering Act and Public Violence are under investigation. Public order police were deployed in the area to maintain law and order and they were forced to take action. The crowd was then dispersed and no arrests have been made as yet.”

Lagos Protests end in Deadly Shooting

On Tuesday, gunmen opened fire on a crowd of protesters  in Lagos, Nigeria. Amnesty International blamed security forces for the shooting. No deaths were reported but several victims have been hospitalized and treated. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governer, claimed that 25 people were wounded, of which two required intensive care.

Governor Sanwo-Olu took to Twitter on Wednesday and posted several pictures of himself visiting victims in hospital early this morning. “This is the toughest night of our lives as forces beyond our direct control have moved to make dark notes in our history. I recognise the buck stops at my table and I will work with the FG (federal government) to get to the root of this unfortunate incident,” he Tweeted. The Nigerian army however did not issue a direct statement but also used Twitter as a platform, saying that reports of soldiers shooting protesters are “fake news”.

Protests against police brutality have been spiralling out of control in the city. The hated Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is at the center of allegations of uncontrolled police brutality. Sanwo-Olu announced a curfew from Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to stop the protests. The chief of police also ordered anti-riot units to deploy.

Meanwhile, US Presidential candidate Joe Biden urged the Nigerian president and military to “Cease the violent crackdown on proteters in Nigeria.” In his statement Biden said: ” The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy. I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.”

 

Senekal Protests Update

16:10 Update – The case has been postponed to 20 October 2020 for the cross-examination of the investigating officer by the defense.

15:50 Update – While results of the analysis on the blood stained clothes is still outstanding, blood samples taken from Horner’s bakkie and sent for private testing by a private investigator, revealed if was the blood of three different males, according to Captain Myburgh

15:45 Update – The only item stolen from Horner’s body, was his wallet.  A witness told police that she overheard the accused saying they took the wallet of the man they assaulted on the farm.

15:15 Update – Myburgh testifies that the bloodstained clothes seized from Mahlamba’s residence has been sent for forensic testing and analysis.

15:08 Update – The post mortem determined that Horner was strangled to death.  He also suffered stab wounds on his arms, shoulder and hands, according to Myburgh.

15:05 Update – Captain Gerhardus Myburgh is now testifying for the State in the bail application of the accused.  Captain Myburgh is on the investigating team.

14:28 – Update – The state does not intend to lead Viva Voce evidence, and will be doing so by way of evidence.  They have asked for a short postponement until 15:00

14:10 Update – It is now extremely hot in Senekal.  The EFF leadership has disappeared.

13:22 Update – Matlaletsa claims he has two previous convictions for stock theft and one for illegally buying a pig.  Through the affidavit he tells the court that he has no pending cases against him.

13:15 Update – Matlaletsa, accused no 2, says he will be pleading not guilty and will remain silent with regards to the merits of the case.  He also said he is unemployed and living of a disability grant

12:55 Update – A video was posted about an hour ago of Colonel Franz Jooste, form SADF Civil Force.  “If they want war they will get it.”

12:46 Update – The State prosecutor alledges that Mahlamba’s girlfriend refutes his assertion that he was with her the night that Brendin Horner was murdered.  She stated under oath that he did not spend the entire evening with her on October 1st 2020.

12:22 Update – The state has a witness that claims to have heard Mahlamba boasting about how he “assaulted a white man on a farm”, while they were at a tavern on the 2nd of October, late in the afternoon.

12:20 Update – The State asks Mahlamba if police recovered his bloodied trousers from the Freezer in his house.  He denies the allegation and claims that there is no deep freezer in his house.

12:13 Update – EFF supporters have burned an ANC / Ramaphosa Tshirt in Senekal.

12:10 Update – EFF supporters have gathered in front of the stage again.  They are waiting for Julius Malema to address them once the bail hearing has been concluded.

11:55 Update – Court back in session.  The state will now cross-examine Mahlamba.  The state asked about assets he may have and if he will be paying for the bail amount himself.  Note: The state prosecutor has asked the court that he not be identified or have his images taken in court, and an order to that effect was granted.

11:50 Update – Young farmer explains in Afrikaans that they simply want a peaceful protest.

11:35 – A biker has been saying praying in front of EFF supporters outside the Senekal Magistrate’s court.

https://twitter.com/iol/status/1317036093301280769?s=21

11:30 Update – In court, Mahlamba claimed that he was not read his rights when arrested, and was never informed how he was linked to the murder of Brendin Horner.  He also claimed that police said they would release him.  The State will now cross-examine the accused, Mahlamba, after a short adjournment.

11:21 Update – EFF members destroy and vandalize public property.

11:12 Update – Inside the courtroom of the Senekal Magistrate’s Court.  Accused no 1 denies knowing accused no 2.  But he know where he lives

11:05 Update – The EFF wants to remove the name of Van Riebeeck Street.  Is this considered damage of state property?

11:00 Update- Reports off bricks and rocks being thrown at bikers by EFF supporters, police nowhere to be found.

10:55 Update – The first accused, Sekwetje Mahlamba has taken the stand.  He will be applying for bail via viva voce evidence.  He told the court he has a pending court case for stock theft and that he was out on bail when arrested for the murder of Brendin Horner. He coes not have a job and survives doing odd jobs, making around R1,500 a month.  He supports his girlfriend and a child.  Mahlamba said he has no previous criminal convictions and the stock theft charge is back in court in February 2021

10:45 Update – More tension between farmers and EFF

10:40 Update – The head of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) is strongly condemning the EFF

10:35 Update – It seems that tension is mounting in Senekal between the EFF and opposing protesters.

Update 10:25 – The state prosecutor opposed the media application to film proceedings and broadcast live.  The prosecutor argued that the case was at a sensitive stage and that he did not believe people should read the sensitive information on social media.  The magistrate adjourned the court and will return with a ruling on the media application for live broadcast of the case against the alleged killers of Brendin Horner

Update 10:20 – Julius Malema has now entered the court in Senekal.

Update 10:15 – After some singing of banned racist songs, EFF leaders made several short speeches denouncing farmers and Afriforum as “racist”.  The EFF crowd is moving into town now.  Malema told supporters: “This town is not called Senekal, its called Matjhabeng.”  He then told the EFF crowd to march into Senekal to see “our town”.

10:10 Update – The Farmer Protest crowd have grown in numbers.

10:05 Update – EFF leaders continue to address supporters.

09:55 Update – Areas surrounding the court has been barricaded with barbed wire fences to keep groups separated as tensions mount in Senekal.  Police have shown a strong presence in the town and helicopters and water cannons are at the ready.  A short incident between EFF members and a group called Kommandokorps were quickly resolved by police before it became violent.

The South African Sense of humour stays intact.  Several people have been tweeting: “KFC should charge double today in Senekal”, “OK FOODS could make some real profit with the EFF there today”

Bheki Cele, Minister of Police has just arrived at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court.

 

A group of farmers are gathered on an open field in Senekal.

EFF Supporters now singing the banned racist song “Shoot to kill, Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer”

 

Julius Malema just arrived and will be speaking to his followers now.

 

How did we end up here?  Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32, and Piet Matlaletsa, 44, murdered the 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner on the 1st of October near Paul Roux.  Brendin’s body was tied to a pole with a rope around his neck.  At the first court appearance on the 6th of October, a group of angry farmers stormed the courthouse and demanded the suspects be handed over.  A police vehicle was also overturned and set alight.  52-year-old Andre Pienaar was arrested and charged with attempted murder, malicious damage to state property, and public violence.  He was denied bail earlier this week.   The two accused are due to appear in court today for the second time.

This morning, Senekal is quiet but rather tense.  Hundreds of EFF supporters have already gathered, brandishing golf clubs, cricket bats, and knopkieries.  Elsewhere a few farmers have started to gather.  Police have been out in full force since early this morning.  Although most parties present today have undertaken to keep it quiet and peaceful, there is a tense and unsettling atmosphere in the town.

 

 

EFF gathered in front of OK FOODS.

News: Protests against the brutal farm murders in SA

Farmers in Limpopo are protesting against the rapid increase in brutal farms murders around the country.

Last week, Alwyn van Zyl was murdered by armed robbers causing the rural communities to stand together.

The accused suspects are expected to appear in court near Naboomspruit today.

There has been an escalation in farm murders despite the lockdown and police presence.

Farmers, workers and landowners are all victims of these attacks.

 

Lockdown: Police warn restaurants not to go ahead with protests.

The police have warned restaurants that their planned mass protest action today will be illegal.

Organised by the Restaurant Association of SA (RASA), restaurants and coffee shops are planning to block the roads outside their premises by placing all their empty tables and chairs on the street.

The protest – called 1 Million Seats on the Streets – seeks to highlight the plight of the industry, which is on its knees as the coronavirus crisis and stringent lockdown measures threaten the livelihoods of its 800,000 employees. Many restaurants have gone out of business already.

The protest is expected to last two hours, from 12:00 to 14:00.

But in a letter to RASA, the police warned that all public gatherings are currently banned under disaster management legislation – unless it is to conduct “normal business”.

“When tables and chairs are moved to the street in front of a restaurant, one can hardly argue that the conduct forms part of the legitimate business of a restaurant to which the exception in DMA regulation 37(1)(l) applies,” police deputy commissioner, lieutenant general Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi wrote.

Where a local authority has permitted restaurants to block a road, and where shopping mall owners have allowed the planned protest, these actions would be not be illegal.

But Mkhwanazi warned RASA that from the police’s viewpoint “your intended peaceful demonstration is not protected” and will be regarded as prohibited.

RASA CEO Wendy Alberts hit back in a message to members.

“It is amazing that this is the attitude the Police are adopting, yet other protests are simply ignored. As always and as law abiding citizens, we are deemed soft targets.

But she warned members to stay on the “right side” of the police. “We have suffered enough.” She advised people to protest by standing on their own, and not to form part of a gathering.

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