Barometer of Resistance: South Africa

KC JOURNAL NO 5 APRIL 2004

13 November 2003 Mauritius

Communities held a demonstrations calling for the removal of the notorious Prison Security Squad and the arrest of the guards. Prisoner Wendy Lafleur survived a one-week coma as a result of the beatings by the guards. The communities also demand five minutes a day for prisoners to phone their families so that there are not beatings that guards can cover up.

10 December 2003 Mauritius

One hundred and fifty Chagossian people and Lalit protest for their right to return to Diego Garcia Island, from where they were forcibly removed between 1965 and 1973. The British colonisers decided to rent the island to the USA for a huge US military base now there. The forcible removal has been described as the biggest mass kidnapping in history.

19 January 2004 Mauritius

Lalit militants are taking police to Court to ensure that police stop beating up people and stop concocting charges against people who protest against police brutality and torture. This after police arrested two Lalit members who were

assisting a man who had been beaten by the police.

06 February 2004 Namibia

NAFWU, the union organising farm workers, accused the government of protecting white commercial farmers. NAFWU wants to put farm workers fired and evicted from commercial farms who had no place to go on 15 other whiteowned farms. The government threatened to send in a paramilitary force to deal with the unionists.

16 February 2004 Botswana

Street vendors demonstrate over harrasment by the city officials.

18 February 2004 Zambia

Some 3,000 Zambian workers marched to parliament as a national strike takes hold. Under pressure from donors, income tax was increased and public sector wages frozen in this year’s budget, which the unionists are urging MPs to reject.

24 February 2004 Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government shut down the Daily Newspaper. Subsequent to that the newspaper announced that it will retrench its media workers in March 2004.

23 February 2004 Zambia

Zambian workers demonstrated to Parliament against Pay-As-You-Earn tax which has been increased from 30 per cent to 40 per cent. The workers were also against the wage freeze imposed on civil servants by government as a condition for reaching the HIPC completion point. Addressing protesting workers in Ndola, President of the National Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers, Terry Malama, who is also the Vice-President of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), said the labour movement had decided to petition Parliament to reject this year’s budget. He also demanded that the Finance & Economic Planning Minister Ngandu Magande should “go back to the drawing board, prepare a new budget and present it to Parliament.”

23 February 2004 Zambia

Unions and the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia’s President Napoleon Kpoh called for the reinstatement of workers who had been suspended for supporting the anti-wage freeze demonstration organised by the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions and the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia.

23 February 2004 Zimbabwe

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change, was assaulted while on his way to his rural home.

26 february 2004 Mauritius

An activist of Lalit was told to appear in a court to answer an unstated charge

 27 January 2004 Tunisia  The journalist, Abdallah Zouari, began a hunger strike to protest the worsening of his prison conditions after being jailed by the state on 9 October 2003 for “defamation” and “failing to obey an administrative order”. The journalist had been released on 6 June 2002, having served an 11-year sentence for “belonging to an illegal organisation”. Another journalist, Hamadi Jebali, has been imprisoned since 1991 for having published an article that criticised the military court system
 26 February 2004 Zimbabwe  The Combined Harare Residents Association reported a crackdown on homeless people by the Town Clerk of Harare, using municipal workers, which reportedly led to the death of five homeless people.
 26 february 2004 Namibia

Six workers at Ongombo West Farm were fired in October 2003, and did not receive their salaries. When the magistrate ordered the farm owner to reinstate them, he re-employed the workers for 24 hours before firing them again after consulting new lawyers. The Namibia Farm Workers Union (Nafwu) wants to have them reinstated again.

 26 February 2004 Swaziland  Nurses of the Swaziland Nurses’ Association went on a strike demanding the state pay them overtime arrears dating back as far as 2001.

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