‘Samwu members’ assault DA for cleaning up the city

EIGHT Democratic Alliance members were attacked with bags filled with trash during a cleanup in upper Oxford Street yesterday.

A woman member of the party was hit in the face and said her cheek was swollen and a “rash” was appearing.

Bottles and stones were also thrown but there were no other injuries reported.

DA BCM operations manager Marion Mackley said their group of about 40 members and councillors – led by the party’s provincial leader Athol Trollip – was attacked by a group of suspected strikers who emptied the bags of trash they had collected back into the Oxford Street and St George’s Road intersection.

“Some more are coming!” she shouted on the phone. “They are throwing bags at us! They are hitting our backs. They are tearing the bags and damaging vehicles, but we are carrying on!”

DA councillor Kobus Botha said some attackers wore Samwu T-shirts.

Trollip said the attackers had told him in Xhosa that they would make sure that “this place is dirty”.

The alleged strikers also accused the DA group of taking away their jobs, and one jibed: “Where are the other white people? Why have they only got black people working for you today?”

Nosimo Balindlela, the former ANC member and Eastern Cape premier-turned DA Amathole constituency director, claim the attackers said to her: “You are so thin because you are no longer getting that fat cheque from the ANC. You look miserable.”

CLEANUP CREW: The DA hit the streets of Southernwood yesterday to clean up uncollected trash.

But she said: “We came to clean the community and show that we care. Their behaviour was disgusting. How can we expect to improve BCM’s economy? We will lose investors. Nobody wants a dirty city.”

Trollip said about 100 people, believed to be Samwu workers, had emerged from a meeting at a nearby church hall and started throwing bottles, stones and bags at the DA group.

He said: “BCM is a disgrace. Trash has not been removed for two weeks. BCM ANC are sitting with their arms folded and can’t, or won’t, negotiate with the workers.”

Elsewhere scores of business people and residents heeded a call by Algoa FM to clean their own section of neighbourhood.

Michele Gravett, of Jawitz Properties East London, said all their eight estate agents donned household gloves and cleaned their area of Beach Road of hundreds of bags.

She said it felt so “liberating and positive” that they distributed 200 leaflets calling on residents in Nahoon to join the effort.

In Western Avenue, Vincent, Algoa FM show host Gordon Graham and about 15 staff from the station, the local SuperSpar and a car servicing firm were cleaning up.

A cockroach ran out of his trash, and he and staffers screeched before Graham stood on it. “Something was moving in there. I am a big woes!” he quipped.

The station was bowled over by the huge public response it received to its call for people in the community to get out there and clean up.

Algoa FM staffer Jill Andrews and Tracey Gravett listed nine people and groups who were cleaning up in Greenfields, Nahoon, Beacon Bay, West Bank and Southernwood.

Samwu BCM secretary Zolani Ndlela did not respond to calls. — mikel@dispatch.co.za


  1. What an unbelievable miserable country South Africa has become under the ANC leadership – “We are a protesting nation” Zuma said! We are petitioning to stop the protesting, we will protesting against the protesting actions soon because some or other group has protested and the whole country will be “protesting” in due course.

    How can it be allowed that a small group of protesters can hold an entire city at ransom – and destroy property paid for by citizens of this city – fire the entire lot, put their names on a database so THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET A JOB IN THIS COUNTRY AGAIN!!

  2. Just wanted to say I am very impressed with the Dispatch`s multimedia approach to covering this story. Its not just a wall of text, there is an informative video as well.

    Very proud of my local news outlet.

    If you would like to see video of the people throwing bags, rubbish and bottles at the DA protesters check out this Youtube video:

  3. Surely one must now deduct the refuse collection portion from your rates bill. Organise private collection and protect yourself against the 14th chequers er fuckquers.
    Public health trumps unwarrented protest action.

  4. !!Some people will never change …you expect the whole country to change but you have denied transformation to yourself… What at typical resolution you have just proclaimed and I’m sure D.F Malan and Verwoed would have came up with the same solution:fire the entire lot, put their names on a database so THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET A JOB IN THIS COUNTRY AGAIN!!

    As if poverty and unemplolyement is the key to a greater good and loving country.

    Wokers need a living wage -and the right to join unions of their own choice and to participate in determining policies that affect their lives.

    Try to talk to those who are employers of BCMM not thos who are employees of BCMM!! Since the hold the key to end this Madness….

    Job,job and jobs are the dividing line in many families between a decent life and a wretched existence-Dr.N.R.Mandela

    • Well All I can say to you my friend is this, the strike has given work to many unemployed people. Some have started small refuse removal companies, that now offer paid for services to residents in various suburbs. And this will continue. You see , everybody wants to strike and burn when their demands are not met. Let me tell you something. I havent had an increase in 2 years, I dont get a 13th cheque – LET ALONE A 14th ONE. My salary is a mere R14500 a month. Keep in mind no one forced any one to take the jobs they have. If you dont like it… Simple solution, FIND ANOTHER JOB !
      Verwoerd and Malan has nothing to do with the way people behave and act. You choose that yourself… Start accepting responsibility for your own actions and people might show you the respect you deserve.

      All I can say is thanx for striking SAMWU, you have given jobs to 25 white and coloured workers and created 3 new companies. Now that real job creation

      • I totally agree with you. Well said. I’m sitting in the same situation, similar figures, no increase, no 12th or 13th cheque…

        It’s almost come to a point where I’d suggest taking family and starting over in Namibia. Not because I’m afraid or fear for my life, because nothing gets done in RSA. Our tax money is wasted on parties, houses and pretty much nonsense. Everything but improvement.

        This country has had a ”brainwash” where it seems the government owes us something. All we want is for the government to quit. Private sector would flourish

    • Thandisizwe,

      The ANC taught you how to disrupt civil society in the run up to 1994, now you have the power, use it responsibly! Small minds like you and your SAMWU cronies that hold the entire city at ransom – think again, you have forgotten that with all your rights also came all the obligations of being a responsible citizen of this city and this country! You have a job and are well paid – now you want more and more and even more – stop this demands and eat less, exercise more – more than half the cleaners in BCMM’s employ are so fat they can’t even walk to do their job – but when it comes to toy toy, they bounce up and down like rubber balls all day long without tiring!

  5. I fully agree with Thandisizwe …. these people require a FORCED STRATEGY to change their mind sets… I always wonder as to where they think they are !!! A reminder :This is the NEW SOUTH AFRICA people, please check the FREEDOM CHARTER maybe you will be better informed..

  6. It still comes down to economics…cost versus output.
    If you can proclaim that workers are giving value & that funds are not misappropriated by managers? Truthfully?
    The 14th cheque is a non-brainer though. Take it this idea was sprung up from that visiting alien who mentioned that his planet had 13 months in the year.

  7. Nowhere in your much revered Freedom Charter does it say we must trash entire cities thereby creating health harzards for the citizens. There are more civilised ways of getting your demands to be heard and trashing is not one of them. These similarly stupid trashers are putting the whole city’s health under threat; don’t they think about the state of their children’s or families’ health, ’cause their narrow minds seem to think that this rubbish won’t affect them. What irks me the most is the fact that these hooligans will want to work overtime when they eventually return to work and they will want to be paid for that overtime. Guess who will foot the overtime bill!

  8. Im all for paying a living wage, but I wont do it down the barrel of a gun. Workers have the right to protest, but they have no right to stop others from cleaning up where they are failing.

    There is a difference between a legal peaceful strike and holding an entire city hostage.

  9. At what point is SAMWU leaders going to be held responsible for this? Why is Zolani Ndlela not locked up for this or at least held accountable! petrol bombs on historic buildings (also demolishing with state evidence in the process) open fires in public areas such as oxford street, looting, destruction of property, the list is endless. At what point is BCM mayor Zukiswa Ncitha going to step up, do something, say something. Anything! Her running to Jhb for “meetings” while this town is in turmoil was exactly what Ndlela needed to stoke the fire.

    Thandisiwe please do not quote Nelson Mandela on this platform concerning BCM and the striking unions. The ANC that once was a proud, strong, iconic, political is dead and gone and replaced by corruption, illiteracy, bribery and laziness. Its bad enough they’re running their political campaign with pictures of Mandela, Sisulu, Tambo. Rather go to Oxford Street and open your eyes.

  10. We signed the petition because at least we are doing something but I want to know
    how are these people going to be forced to stop their savagery. Who is going to force BCM officials to do what is necessary? I can tell you: NO ONE! These people are untouchable and they know it and therefor we will not see any improvement if we don’t take things into our own hands. I’m waiting for someone to put a fire to the powder keg, the situation is explosive because people are gatvol of savages holding us ransom. I wonder if this is not instigated by BCM officials who are involved in the R6m taxi bill as a smoke screen to divert attention away from their thuggery.
    I agree with one of the above opinions about Mandela, he gave us nothing but what we see happening all over the country today or do we honestly think he could not foresee how his ANC comrades would abuse their authority as they are doing?

  11. Enough of these polarizing arguments! Let’s all get back to basics and ask each other what kind of life, standard of living and facilities do we want to see in this country. Most of us will agree on this. Then we need to ask how we can get there. For most whites this is as good as it gets and we should be willing to advise and contribute what we know to get everyone on board towards an increase in the middle class and decrease in poverty. This will not be done by fraud and corruption though. Each of us needs to put our pride in our pockets and neither exploit on the one side nor refuse to follow advice on the other. There are enough former “Third World” countries to follow as examples of success so it is possible. We need a new mentality and willingness for this to happen and those on both sides must feel comfortable and encouraged to cooperate for this to happen.

  12. It is very true that empty vessels make a lot of noise… go on and defend your RACIST BEHAVIOUR as you might be back to NETHERLANDS after the upcomming elections and True South Africans will take control of farms that you took from them by force… AWAY WITH WHITES ONLY & LONG LIVE to the AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS !!!

  13. Samwu members are crazy, but to blame ANC for the attach on DA members is ridiculous to say the least.

    @ Will E – Ideally if you are unhappy with your wage you negotiate with your employer or quit and find another job. Unfortunately for most South Africans the latter is unrealistic considering the high rate of unemployment. This leaves disgruntled employees with only one choice to NEGOTIATE, the most effective way in SA is through unions.

    • Unions yes, before I continue. Did you watch the video? Seems not. I think everybody would have been okay with this situation if there was no burning of buildings or tossing black bags at people cleaning streets.

      As for your unemployment rate bit, 20 years… Couldn’t the ANC foresee a problem? Didn’t they realize the economy is growing? More jobs would be needed in the future? Simple questions and very layman’s terms but no answers.

      To be honest, you wrote a whole lot of nothing. Look up the word Negotiate – bet you it’s nowhere close as to what we see on the video.