Ministry, DA at odds over strike violence

2012-10-09 20:27

Johannesburg - Continued violence during a strike by truck drivers is proof of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's shortcomings, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.

"The continuing transport strike violence is yet another example of our Police Minister’s inability to maintain public order," DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement.

She said a man had died and 23 trucks had been torched as a result of the strike.

"This particular strike has been going on for over two weeks and yet the police have not managed to bring the criminality and violence under control."

Police spokesperson Zweli Mnisi defended the department's handling of the strike and accused Kohler Barnard of "grandstanding".

"The criticism is unsubstantiated, but riddled with grandstanding," Mnisi said.

Kohler Barnard said that while Mthethwa had issued a statement promising action against strikers "once again words have not been translated into action".

Mnisi countered that in the hours following Mthethwa's statement, 45 people were arrested by police.

Kohler Barnard also accused police of not responding to a "pattern of the burning of trucks" by strikers.

She said the trucks represented millions of rands to their owners who were not being protected by the police.

The burning of property was damaging the nation's global image.

"The TV footage of burning trucks and violent and often armed protesters is being shown around the world.

"The impact on our economy is and will continue to be, inordinate," Kohler Barnard said.

  • - 2012-10-09 20:34

    Okay, so now there were discussions about the situation, still awaiting action!

      Jane - 2012-10-10 08:57

      There won't be any action, thats the problem with the ANC, they don't have a clue how to deal with anything! They will spend months and millions of rands drawing up reports which will amount to nothing. This is evidence of an uneducated ill-equiped bunch of idiots trying to run a country. Look at the rest of Africa, we are not that far off. And it is no wonder the police won't do anything, they too scared. Their hands are tied, they are told to maintain law and order, yet when they do, they are accused of murder. Look what happened with the Marikana fiasco!

      sani.ghana.3 - 2012-10-15 18:39

      the DA always critisize and ANC dont like it, we must say thank you to the DA and other parties for fighting this corruption and chaos

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-09 20:41

    Unsubstantiated and riddled with grandstanding. Pretty much what govt promises amount to.

      alf.pop - 2012-10-09 20:51

      If anything is NOT unsubstantiated it is the fact that our police minister is incompetent and unfit to hold public office. He follows Zuma's lead and makes promises and statements that never translate into action! As for destroyed property, i.e. trucks, this puts extra revenue in the deep pockets of our government in the form of taxes, license fees etc. Is there an agent fee at stake here?

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-09 21:26

      @lacrimosewol:)that spokesman needs the new Oxford Advanced Dictionary, Eighth Edition to look for the words unsubstantiated, unbridled grandstanding. They seemed to be too big for him. What needs to be substantiated when the pictures of burnt-up trucks with their cargo are splashed all over the news. This reminds one of the late(my his soul rest in peace) Ali Hassan Al-Majid, better known as Comical Ali, who denied the existence of the American invasion of Iraq with the American Army tanks behind him. Deny, deny, deny until people believe you.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-10 08:51

      Correct. No accountability, no responsibility, we'll just observe and monitor whilst millions of rands worth of property gets destroyed by barbarians. What a country. What outstanding police initiative. Is the prevention of crime no longer a police mandate?

  • Manduleli Rotherham Mtyoki - 2012-10-09 20:48

    DA likes to critisize too much, they had their own ways of excluding blacks from whites nd we fought that. Now they come with the strategy of doing the best for this country. LMAO, a good example of Khayelitsha, Nyanga! What did they do to improve the people's lives? Shem on you DA, I wish I can hire you to my funeral, you will be good mourners!

      julio.sanfona - 2012-10-09 20:57

      Hey Manduleli, you sound very confused!

      kim.buren - 2012-10-09 20:58

      Sheep !! Your funeral, hopefully sooner than later

      boltonbarry - 2012-10-09 21:05

      If they were given chance to run the country then they could make a difference if the sheeple like you would stop voting with your skin and with your brain. But i guess people who like the DA's criticism also doesn't like the inconvenient truths they are complaining about

      kim.buren - 2012-10-09 21:13

      Goodguy. Where have you been? Are you completely oblivious to how your cANCer is destroying South Africa?

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-09 21:27

      Manduleli - does the above have anything to do with black and white. It has to do with inability to control the violence in our country!!! When a certain sector of the population have nothing constructive to say, they call black/white. Are you honestly so ignorant that you buy your own nonsense!

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-09 21:28

      Some rashes have been known to kill.....come on rash!!

      Desilusionada - 2012-10-09 21:46

      "they had their own ways of excluding blacks from whites nd we fought that." If I read you correct this means that the DA who used to be the NP " had their own ways of excluding blacks from whites nd [you] fought that." (sic) No wonder HZ called you and your ilk "refugees" Go back to the E/Cape and hand your school certificate, that you did not pay for, back. Your knowledge of the political history of SA is even worse than that stupid Malema's score for woodwork. Whatever you actually meant, could perhaps be more clearly understood if you were commenting in a grammatical manner more suited to these forums. As for Khayelitsha, Nyanga. The same person you are trying to defend is the same chop who is supposed to sort the problems of Khayelitsha, Nyanga out. Do you expect the DA to command the Police or the Army, instead of the Central Government? But your problem really stems from the fact that you are indoctrinated by BS sprouted and you, having the chip on your shoulder, believes it. Which you can blame the government for as well. The dysfunctional Health dept. could otherwise have removed it....

      nataliepv - 2012-10-09 22:29

      You know what I give SA 10 years Max untill it falls flat to the ground!at the end of the day the black people will fall just as hard as the white people!!then you black people are going to realize that your precious ANC ruined the country it will be to late!so open your eyes now maybe just maybe we can save this country!!stop throwing racism arouns you idiot look around its your brothers and sisters that's trashing everything!

      nataliepv - 2012-10-09 22:30

      You know what I give SA 10 years Max until it falls flat to the ground!at the end of the day the black people will fall just as hard as the white people!!then you black people are going to realize that your precious ANC ruined the country it will be to late!so open your eyes now maybe just maybe we can save this country!!stop throwing racism around you idiot look around its your brothers and sisters that's trashing everything!

      joyce.beeton - 2012-10-10 08:50

      ? Do you actually understand the tripe you talk? Because nobody else does! Get an education, these days it's free.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-10 08:53

      And this is exactly the attitude that has brought this country to where it is - on it's knees. We're calling for Law and Order, it's not a casual complaint.

  • john.cryink - 2012-10-09 20:49

    Is this not a form of terrorism? When ever there a strike streets are trashed (can deceases be spread through this?). Mine properties get damaged. Maybe it is time that workers to start paying for these damages.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-10-09 20:55

    Im not joking,a foreigner told me,that when they watch South African news,its like watching a horror movie,im sad to say.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-09 21:01

    Nathi Mthethwa's knowlegde of tactical deployment and control in areas of striking, unrest and violence is non existent. General Mkwanazi who was acting commisioner is very knowledgeable but Mthethwa has now snubbed him. While the police cannot be fully blamed for what happened at marikana for example, the panic they showed was a sign of the lack of experienced leadership within the ranks to deal with the current violence.

  • joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-09 21:03

    There's more tha just his shortcomings!

      andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-10 07:53

      He’s not a complete idiot, some parts are missing

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-10-09 21:05

    Nathi does not worry about crime, why should he? He knows that no matter how bad it may be, he can just wave his magic wand once a year and Poof! miraculously the crime rates are reduces on all fronts. Such is his power!!!!

  • carl.debeer.33 - 2012-10-09 21:07

    "Grandstanding"... the ANC are professionals at inventing jargon that counteracts their circumstances.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-09 21:09

    Where has Ms Barnard been for the last three months while these truckers did everything in their power to avert the need to strike, where was she when Union leaders, and the Road Freight Employers Association avoided any form of negotiation for the adjustment of truckers salaries, this stared way before June and only came to a head when Marikana happened, fueling truckers resolve to go it alone, this is when Union leaders only came into action, Employers still won't continue to negotiate unless it is on their terms. It will be interesting to see who of the 45 arrested are actually truck drivers, and which companies they work for and why they were arrested. If they broke the law then throw the book at them. As for the tarnished international image of South Africa, the ANC/Alliance is much, much more to blame for this than anybody else in this country. And the reality is, who the hell cares what the world thinks when our streets are once again burning, people are put in danger and lives lost, because of salaries that have stagnated for more than a decade. What is the Madam's priorities, global image or public protection? I do however have to agree with Police spokesperson Zweli Mnisi that the DA is grandstanding, while shouting what is obvious to all South African's. None of the parties are actually taking note of what the majority of 'gat-vol-joe-public' are actually thinking, saying and wanting to do... and that is burn down the establishment.

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-10-09 21:29

      Thumbs down all the way I see, ignore them, you have my thumb up, you said it like it, all of these parties are indeed as ignorant of the SA problem as they are....stupid and myopic.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-09 21:30

      Glen - you seem to have shifted your stance and now have your legs on both sides of the fence - be careful of that barbed wire my friend!

      shaylene.stenger - 2012-10-09 22:05

      Do me this favour and shut up! Get your facts straight before writing such a bs comment. There is a lot more to the story than what u think or may think u know. My suggestion is get hold of freight companies who are battling with the strikers, ask them exactly what is going on. The \strikers\ and \unions\ who u presume to be innocent and are not actually innocent I know this because I have a relative in that industry who is battling his ass off to resolve this strike oh and for the records this is a 2nd strike in a year to come about, how much more can companies take?

      shaylene.stenger - 2012-10-09 22:05

      Do me this favour and shut up! Get your facts straight before writing such a bs comment. There is a lot more to the story than what u think or may think u know. My suggestion is get hold of freight companies who are battling with the strikers, ask them exactly what is going on. The \strikers\ and \unions\ who u presume to be innocent, are not actually innocent I know this because I have a relative in that industry who is battling his ass off to resolve this strike oh and for the records this is a 2nd strike in a year to come about, how much more can companies take?

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-09 22:21

      @Chris I have got my feet perfectly on the ground...f*ck the fence.... the politicians in this country are ridiculously stupid, arrogant, lazy and so out of touch with reality it is like watching a comedy show.... gone bad.. I am not betting on any one of these parties, they waste the publics time and money they like the pits endless bottomless pits.....of dangerous acid .... that needs gaviscon....or stop infecting the public with their bullsh8t Maybe some hot coals under there 'poophalls' will get them to start thinking about doing their jobs properly.... the political cr8p that goes on in this country is so putrid there is only one thing to do and that is to continue to stir the sh8t, or we will all drown in the stuff our politicians are getting up to. chris... I hope you have not resigned yourself to be behind a fence my dear... for G*ds sake...if you least attempt to climb on top, the barb wire will be the least of your least you will have some excitement whatever save yourself from your believes... do you want to be a 'skaap' in a 'camp' all your life.... liberate yourself..... have some fun....and taste the K8K every now and then while you stir the pot, don't be that fence you talk about... and trample it down...into the ground... I am so glad you realize that there is a is not is do something about it unless you like to be a "skaap" in a 'kraal'

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-09 23:15

      I doubt you will even think to understand.... but Shaylene, I don't know what it is with people who tell other people to shut up, on an open forum.... how freaking rude... is that what your parents told you to do when you were young, did you just shut up, is this what you are going to tell your children... just shut up.... shame... or are you trying to be popular, like one of those play ground bullies.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-10 09:02

      Glen - Strike or no strike, when I see millions rands worth of property going up in smoke, and people losing their lives, then I definitely do not see what is wrong with any party, opposition or otherwise, appealing to the police (those who are entrusted to uphold Law and Order), to damn well get up off their butts and do something about it. It is 100% appropriate to make such a call. Call it what you want, this is not grandstanding, this is an appeal to the police department to stop monitoring and rather do something to stop the carnage.

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-10 10:34

      Big Chief If the politicians did their work then this would not be happening, standing up and shouting the obvious in parliament is nothing more than grandstanding, the public and everybody knows what there is to know, the whole country is appealing. Why is she not appealing to the various negotiating parties involved in the strike to speedily complete their talks and complete the deal, what does she want the police to do, arrest every single striking truck driver, why does she not present a plan in parliament to help hasten the end of the strike, No politicians have a plan, that is the problem. What is the public paying them for, to appeal the obvious? Waste of money!

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-10 13:23

      @ Shaylene I don't presume anything, strikers may be and may not be guilty, I was not their to witness any of the atrocities that are happening on the streets. I can not presume them to be caused by the truckers and neither can you. I do not however have to presume though, that there is much more to the story as you so rightly claim there is, for instants Imperial Holdings (member of the Road Freight Employers Association) made a profit of over 80 000million rand Operating profit improved 25% to R5 638 million of which they took out of South Africa over 300Million rand to buy out a company in Germany, and you don't want to know what truckers earn in Europe. This is a tip of nonsense that is going on in South Africa. As South African's who are told the economy is in the dustbin, how is it possible that companies are able to do this? Companies belonging to the Employers Club?---fixing 'prices' of their employee's, this they have been doing for years. We the South African public should ask ourselves what other 'prices' are being fixed in our disturbution chain. I tried putting this out to you before but it seemed as if the matter is to sensitive an issue to put into the public domain, either that or News24 is a subsidiary to this monopoly, that is holding South Africa ransom anyway which way you want to look at it. I have a suspicion that the strikes and protest are going to become worse.

      desmond.s.leaner - 2012-10-13 10:48

      Thank you Glen! This is what I see - All the DA ever does is to promote viable plans for the middle class, and condemns the resulting negative result of the poor low-income population. The poor of this country, according to the DA, has no work ethic, they get violent over frivolous issues, they are so stupid to be manipulated by the ANC and unions, they bring South Africa to shame by being lawless, they keep blaming apartheid. Even if the ANC's promises keeps being empty and are not effectual - they at least appear interested and do not point out their voters' "alleged stupidity" or condemns their concerns. A long time ago in South Africa's history white people decided which jobs are deemed unskilled which they can shove onto blacks people and pay them little money, while reaping huge profits for their white board members. Black people were then bred for these jobs, so that blacks would know exactly what their children's destinies would be. Now black people are realizing that in the rest of the world, the jobs that they were designated to do with little pay is actually more valuable than what they've been deceived to believe. The unions are in a difficult position I believe because they have some ties with these companies.

      desmond.s.leaner - 2012-10-13 10:58

      Until white South Africans forget that they are in South Africa, and see black people as human beings with the same desires and emotions as themselves, and then develop the ability to see how the unfair treatment that black people have had to endure has had on their psychological state, they will remain to be regarded and seen as inhumane and selfish. Its is not in the nature of black people to want to kill, destroy and to bring harm - if you believe that you believe that black people are not humans and you might as well stop reading because then you are just ignorant of the underlying issues in favour of expressing your racial hatred. Your fellow South Africans are starting a revolution that should have happened in any case to transition from apartheid to true democracy. Nobody cares about international image or public property when you work hard but cannot sustain yourself and your family. Until I see the DA come up with a plan to transition the disadvantaged who have to live on these ridiculous wages into proud employees they can screw themselves.

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-10-09 21:09

    I am glad that the DA is taking a constructive stand.I hope other parties follow suit.Violence and the destruction of property is not the solution.Hold the unions accountable as well as nathi who is not protecting the citizens of our country.

  • davy.botha - 2012-10-09 21:37

    Poor Goodguy you poor fool, being happy as the village fool, getting treated as a non significant person, allowing your representatives to disregard you, you deserve what are happening to you and will not stop till you hold them accountable

  • thabelo.ramabannda - 2012-10-09 21:39

    stop blaming police officials,..

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-10 09:05

      Well then they need to do something, like....ummmmm their job perhaps - prevent people from destroying property. It's called crime prevention, or in this case maintaining Public Order.

  • Johann Enslin - 2012-10-09 21:44

    My wish to all news24 contributors: may you get what you deserve.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-10-09 21:46

    Everyone is asking for 1 thing ie. A SOLUTION.The practical solution as mentioned the other day,is a Skills Audit for ministers with such sensitive positions,or the only direction well go is down.Its pointless talking about the past in this case.

  • kswanepoel - 2012-10-09 21:52

    I'm really dissatisfied with the ongoing Strike action. Especially, as the Union doesn't take into consideration the loss of income to a Company or the result thereof should Companies start to loose Clients! Our work is handed to Companies not affected by the Strike Action, as they don't employ workers who belong to Unions! Companies who employ Union members are fighting for survival. Our Economy is at a stand still! Small and Medium Businesses can't afford to take these kind of knocks in the present Economic circumstances and the Unions don't realize the damage being done, which will have a huge impact in the very near future! Unions have a huge reserve of funds derived from their membership fees and don't feel the pinch the Employers or Union Members do. In my opinion South Africa's Constitution allows for every person to make the choice if they wish to partake in Strike Action or not. It's a Democratic Right. Yet, this is not taken into account by fellow Union Members, who opt to torch Company Vehicles and to intimidate fellow workers! Violence against another person or Company property should in no circumstances be tolerated in this Country! Thousands of people are unemployed, yet those who are employed don't appreciate their jobs! Strikes in my opinion can be compared to a war - there are no winners (although every party may very well believe they've achieved results). The casualties and damage done far outweigh the percentage of increase agreed on!

      carl.debeer.33 - 2012-10-09 22:07

      Educated people would understand your comment which is common sense. On the other hand imagine if all Employers never came to work for a week to save on overheads cause of strike action...makes you think....

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-10-10 07:47

    Well, if Diane Kohler is grandstanding, you as Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa have not shown any leadership in controlling destructive crowds. It has been confirmed some 46 trucks have been torched and destroyed and no arrests. How is it possible with all the police resources not to have these hooligans under control. It may not be impacting on your luxury lifestyle, it most certainly affecting many of us with no petrol, and a shortage of basic food in the stores.

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-10-10 08:48

    Diane Kohler Barnard is right about insufficient action. The victim who recently died as a result of a rock being thrown through the window of the truck in which he was a passenger is a prime example. His grief stricken family have laid criminal charges against the perpetrators of this evil deed and to date the vehicle has never been inspected, nor has any follow-up investigations taken place. What a disgrace!! Nathi Mthetwa should step down. All he seems to do is change suits!!!

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-10-10 08:54

    Manduleli Rotherham Myoki's comment is as ridiculous as his name!!

  • karel.freysen - 2012-10-10 11:52

    Get rid of the unions. They are power hungry morons - think they are running the show! SA would be utopia without them!

  • aiazmir - 2012-10-10 20:29

    If you wish to understand this, you should understand the strategy of the ANC in their 2nd transition strategy, i.e. economic power transfer. The ANC through their coalition partner Cosatu, will foment continuous labour strife, combined with a motor-mouth Malema onslaught, that begins to intimidate business to give into the demands of labour. Naturally, this strategy will cause wages to increase that will lead to higher inflation, that will lead to the haves having to pay more to sustain their lifestyle. However, what these idiots fail to understand is that the cost of living will increase for the poor as well. So the workers who participate in this nefarious scheme will be worse off in the end, and the country as a whole will have lost an enormous amount of productivity. The only beneficiaries will be those pulling the strings, the ANC elite.

  • alf.pop - 2012-10-12 21:16

    Mthethwa does not have shortcomings - he is utterly and totally useless! He is arrogant and ignorant - a lethal combination! Step down and make space for somebody who knows the job!

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