The Chiawelo Struggle

Friday 14 September 2007

July 2007 The community in Chiawelo is unhappy with the new pre-paid meters being installed in their community without any consultation. There have been numerous meetings by the community to discuss further on what action needs to be taken by the community in making sure that all the stakeholders reach an agreement about the issue of these pre-paid meter boxes.

March to the councillors’ home on the 03rd July 2007 A march was organised by the residents to the councillors house (Ward Councilor Margaret Ramafora) where the community was going to deliver a memorandum about their grievances. She was not at home when the residents marched to her house but to the surprise of the community there was a heavy police presence in the area. People were requested to disperse from the gathering but they quickly assembled to have a meeting on a Wayforward about the action. The South African Police together with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department started to open fire on the protestors who ran for dear life. Three comrades (Luciano Khadzi, Mashaka Dangale & Maphungo Dangale) were arrested and were charged with Public violence and their case number is 431906/07 but they were released on R3000.00 bail each and two comrades (Godfrey Chikozi and Brenda Tscikonelo) were wounded by the gun shots. They were taken to the local Chiawelo clinic and a case (case number 24/06/07 & 27/06/07) was opened against the police at Moroka Police Station by the parents of the comrades.

Arrest of two more comrades on the 04th July 2007 The two comrades (Zano Hlamuse & Baby Gumbi) were arrested by the police after operation crackdown in the homes of the community. They were also arrested for public violence and were pointed out by the councillor.

The appearance of the Chiawelo 5 at the Protea Magistrate 05 July 2007 The court case was postponed to the 27th July 2007

The wounded Comrade passes away on the 10 July 2007 Comrade Brenda Tscikonelo passed away after being shot next to the ear by a rubber bullet on the 03rd July 2007 and she vomited blood. After minor medical attention at the local clinic, she was released to go home. She is survived by her parent and two little girls aged fourteen and seven. She was buried a week later at her hometown in Venda.

The appearance of the Chiawelo 5 at the Protea Magistrate on the 27th July 2007 The court case was postponed to the 02nd August 2007

The appearance of the Chiawelo 5 at the Protea Magistrates Court on the 02nd Augustus 2007 The court case is postponed to the 22nd August 2007

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