Civil society, community-based organisations, trade unions and activists protested in major cities and towns around the country to demand better living and working conditions.
Protests around the country to mark the start of a national campaign by different organisations to build and connect community struggles against covid-19 and government austerity took place on Saturday, 1 August.
According to gender activists, the lockdown due to covid-19 has tightened the grip abusers have over their victims at home.
After being violently removed by the police from the offices of the health department, community careworkers vowed to continue their struggle.
Protestors say that the promises that the President made are not enough to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence.
About 3,000 protestors gathered outside Parliament in Cape Town before going to the World Economic Forum meeting in the International Convention Centre, calling for action to combat men who rape and murder women.
A memorial service was held on Tuesday for police officers killed at the Engcobo Police Station in the Eastern Cape last week. Five officers and a retired soldier were killed when a gang attacked the station. Suspects linked to a cult in a nearby village were arrested in a raid on their church.
On Friday 15 September the Durban Magistrate’s Court sentenced Mxoleleni Hopeson Bhani to life imprisonment for the murder of Sipho Ndovela, killed on 18 May 2015 at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court, and 12 years for the attempted murder of another Glebelands resident. But there were others – police members – also implicated in Ndovela’s murder. Bhani did not act alone. Glebelands will never be free of violence and fear unless officers colluding with killers are brought to book. The late Sipho Ndovela was the former Block 56 chairperson. He ran a small tuckshop and provided security at a nearby taxi rank.
There has been an increasing number of land and housing activists that have been murdered lately. Mthunzi “Ras Moziah” Zuma was shot and killed during a road blockade next to the land they were occupying near Khayelitsha Mall. Less than a month later another land and housing activist in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay 41 kilometres west of Khayelitsha was shot by the police during a housing protest and later died in hospital.
Land and housing activists have pledged to continue taking and occupying vacant land despite brutal repression by the state and the killing of those who fight for land. The commitment was made at seminar in Khayelitsha Monday night where different groups of organisations representing activists from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town met to share their experiences of state and police brutality.
In the space of just 4 weeks, another community leader and housing activist has been killed and this time at the hands of the South African Police’s Public Order Policing. Songezo Ndude died at Groote Schuur Hospital after he was hit by rubber bullets during a housing protest in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay.