Weekly newsletter 23 - 27 June 2014: Who won the platinum strike, black consciousnes, land evictions, gay refugees and other stories
News: Shackdwellers\xe2\x80\x99 movement Abahlali baseMjondolo plans to take legal action after the forcible eviction at the weekend of residents of two informal settlements near Durban.
After the historic five-month long platinum strike, mineworkers and corporate executives are retreating to their tin shacks and BMWs respectively. The country is left wondering: who won? What the increases mean for the lives of the workers and the fortunes of the platinum producers is difficult to quantify. However, it is possible to compare the implications \xe2\x80\x93 for workers and company costs \xe2\x80\x93 of the various offers, demands and the final settlement.
During apartheid, a nuclear weapons programme at Pelindaba used workers from nearby settlements. Decades have gone by and millions of rands have been spent on investigations, yet questions remain and hundreds of workers who claim to have become ill after exposure to hazardous material are still fighting for compensation.
Mandy de Waal and Jon Pienaar
News: The situation in Macassar remains volatile following two days of violent protests. Residents have been protesting against relocation of Strand residents who were evicted from Sanral land earlier in the month.The mayor has promised to meet with community leaders tonight, 7pm, 26 June.
News: Some Zimbabweans in Cape Town are asking how one can be patient and not panic when they have lost their jobs, find their bank accounts frozen, their children unable to go to university, and their work permits expiring.
Brief: Cosatu in the Western Cape has called off its planned strike against Metrorail fare increases on train services in the province. Last week, Cosatu had said the strike was imminent following the breakdown of talks between the trade union federation and Metrorail Western Cape.
News: Residents of Site B in Khayelitsha were shocked and angered after the body of a baby was found in a toilet last week. The tiny body lay between pieces of paper inside the bucket system toilet.
News: Dustin Kramer, Deputy General Secretary of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), says he has received a threatening SMS, demanding that he gets Angy Peter and Isaac Mbadu to confess to the murder of Rowan du Preez.
News: State prosecutor Phistus Pelesa concluded his cross-examination of Angy Peter on 25 June at the Western Cape High Court drawing into question Peter\xe2\x80\x99s alibi.
News: State prosecutor Phistus Pelesa cross-examined Angy Peter on 23 June at the Western Cape High Court seeking to clarify the order of events leading up to the killing of Rowan Du Preez.
News: Last week, GroundUp witnessed law enforcement officers confiscating the fruit of two street vendors on the corners of Belmont and Main Road, Rondebosch. They are among thousands of informal vendors breaking city bylaws to sell their goods at traffic lights and intersections across the City in order to make their daily living.
Barbara Maregele and Adam Armstrong
News: Capetonians who voted for the Economic Freedom Fighters have mixed feelings about the performance of Julius Malema during his first week in parliament.
Pharie Sefali and Johnnie Isaac
News: Every day at 4pm the small community of Pullenshope in Hendrina is shaken by a loud explosion, earth-shaking tremors and clouds of dust. Situated less than a kilometre from the Eskom-owned Hendrina Power Station, residents say respiratory illnesses are on the rise.
News: Junior Nsamia, 25, of Democratic Republic of Congo and Flavirina Naze, 32, from Burundi are refugees and activists. They have endured both xenophobia and homophobia. It has also been challenging for them to integrate with the South African lesbian and gay community.
News: Nearly six years ago, Sindiswa Tati of Mandela Park in Khayelitsha, was going blind and often spent her days alone at home. Now, Tati, 68, has recovered, and since joining the AgeWell programme, says she feels \xe2\x80\x9cyounger, confident and empowered\xe2\x80\x9d to help others in need of a friend.
News: Seven-year-old Kukhanya Ngxumza suffered severe burns when he was only a few months old. Today, he is teased at school, but he doesn\xe2\x80\x99t let bullies win.
News: Too few gay men engage in gay issues, gay activist Sibusiso Nquqeka of Khulani Khayelitsha Queer Project told the audience at a memorial service this week for two murdered women.
News: Hopes are high for 49 students from 20 different African countries who graduated with a master\xe2\x80\x99s degree in Mathematics in Cape Town this week. The students \xe2\x80\x93 from countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa \xe2\x80\x93 completed their studies at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) located in Muizenberg.
News: From 4 to 8 July, Cape Town will host the first ever War Resisters International Conference to be held in Africa. The Pan-African conference will bring together representatives of grassroots movements from over 25 African countries.
News: On 24 June, Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa, in conjunction with the Mail & Guardian and SECTION 27, hosted a breakfast seminar in Johannesburg on journalism and social justice in the country\xe2\x80\x99s mainstream media.
Activist Beat: This week we cover the imprisonment of Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, demands for a regional seminar about gender-based discrimination, anti-xenophobia efforts in De Doorns, and environmental research in Mpumalanga.
Opinion: Che Guevara famously said that: “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” Black Consciousness itself is guided by the feelings of love; it is a philosophy of love. This was central to some of the philosophy on which the movement was founded such as the work of people like James Cone and Paulo Freire.
Opinion: The platinum strike has correctly been categorised as a national crisis, but it is only one aspect of a much more severe crisis that confronts the country. This was highlighted on Tuesday by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation (SoNA) address in which he stressed the economy.
News: Siphiwe Ngwenya, founder of the Maboneng Township Art Experience, has set out to change the standard way tours to the townships of Cape Town are run. Maboneng, which means \xe2\x80\x98place of light\xe2\x80\x99 in seSotho, runs annual festivals in townships as a means to generate income for locals.
News: Of the eight players that have been selected from the Western Province team to showcase their baseball skills internationally, two players, who play for the Athlone As baseball team, may see their dream of playing in an international event shattered.
News: Chippa United, recently promoted to the Premier Soccer League team, held the first of its open trials on 25 June. Over 100 players from around the Cape and the country made their way to the Philippi stadium, home of the Chilli Boys as Chippa United is affectionately known.
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