WOZA members won’t pledge

Members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have refused to participate in the government dictated school pledge programme.

Members, adults and child human rights defenders met on 30 April and 1st May 2016 and shared knowledge of what school officials instructed children and their parents to do at close of the last school term.

Members resolved to refuse to participate and will refuse to give their consent to their children’s participation on the following basis.
1. There was no consultation of themselves or their school development association representatives.
2. The wording of the pledge is problematic to christians even if it is paraphrased from the preamble of the Constitution.
3. To sequence the saying of the pledge immediately following the Lord’s prayer borders on blasphemy.
4. To force children to therefore make a pledge or oath violates many sections of the Zimbabwean Constitution.
4. WOZA is a movement of nonviolent human rights defenders who believe in democratic solutions to develop Zimbabwe. Forcing children to salute the flag militarises and brainwashes them and such an act should not be allowed by any responsible parent.

WOZA members views are captured in the attached newsletter and members commit to the included plan of action. WOZA Moya April 2016 I wont Pledge

Natioinal Peace and Reconciliation Bill Commentary

The following Bulawayo Organisations having met on 27 January 2016 to set the minimum standards regarding the content, process and framework for national peace and reconciliation Zimbabwe. The organisations will therefore urge government to amend the NPR Bill to give effect to the provisions of Section 252 of Constitution.
The Organisations have noted that the Bill falls short of the minimum standards (International Best Practise) .The Following were noted:

• The Constitution establishes an NPRC that is accountable to Parliament; the Bill proposes an NPRC that is accountable to the Executive through the Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation.
• The Constitution protects the Security of tenure of Commissioners while the Bill seeks to give the President Powers to terminate the services of the Commissioners at will.
• The Constitution empowers the Commission the power to recruit its own staff, while the Bill seeks to empower the Minister to appoint staff from the Civil Service to work as Secretariat staff of the Commission thereby compromising the independence of the Commission.
• The Commission is not independent .The Minister decides the meeting place,dates and time of the Commission (First Schedule section 6 (10).Section 8(7) gives Minister power to stop disclosure of evidence by issuing a certificate barring disclosure .This defeats independence as per section 235 and undermines the truth telling section 252 (c)the Minister has power to bar the truth from being told.

• In terms of Section 252 the mandate of the NPRC is to deal with the past in a manner that facilitates the following:
a) Ensuring post conflict justice ,healing and reconciliation
b) Truth telling about the Past
c) Making of amends and the provision of Justice
d) Peaceful resolution of disputes

The wording of the Bill seems to be opposite in fact its roles seem to be duplicating the Human Rights Commission.
• The Constitution does not provide any term limits for Commissioners .Section 237(3) provides that the conditions for the removal of Judges shall apply to members of independent Commissions .However the Bill Provides in Section 3(1) that the term limit is Five Years or Commissioners and the President can either appoint a further 5 Year term or decline .This takes away the independence of the Commissioners as their further appointment is subject to Presidential approval.
• The NPRC Bill sections 10(1) and 11(1) gives the Minister power to assign current serving Civil Servants to work as Secretariat for the NPRC. International Best practise recommends that such commissions best function with limited government interference and that there should be diversity in terms of ethnicity and professions from different backgrounds and disciplines such as Legal Experts, Researcher ,Social Workers, Investigators ,Scientists and many others .The recruitment of the Civil service will affect the Integrity of the Commission .
• It has been noted that why most Independent Commissions have not been effective because of resource starvation .Notably has been the Anti Corruption Commission. The NPRC Bill‘s main Weakness has been that it gives the Government the power to control the NPRC’S financial Resources .Section 14 (1) (c) gives the responsible Minister to approve donations to the NPRC .The Financial autonomy of the Commission is lost.
• The NPRC makes the Commission to be accountable to a Minister yet the Constitution is Clear that the Commission is accountable to Parliament .Section 235 makes it Clear that Independent Commissions are accountable to Parliament. The Bill makes the Commission almost like a Ministerial Taskforce and the Commissioners dependent on a Minister .The Constitution envisages that the Commission reports to Parliament through the Minister. But the Bill makes it look like that the Commission reports to the Minister who may Cherry pick what he can share with Parliament.
• Section 252 lists the functions of the Constitution .The Bill in Section 6 has a section titled the Functions But does not broaden the functions. As Best Practise its always expected that subsidiary Legislation should always be expanded to give effect to the Constitutional provisions.
• Section 8(13) of the NPRC makes some reference to witnesses and Victims and guarantees of safe and impartial space .The Bill is not exhaustive on the specifics of the protection mechanisms to guarantee safety of would be witness and victims .It does not spell out relevant Psycho Social mechanism available to assist witnesses and
• Certain provisions of Bill create Legal Bureaucracy. Section 8(5) allows the alleged Perpetrator to be represented by a lawyer this creates room for justice for the rich who can get away with offences on legal technicality as the Commission becomes more of a Court.

Endoresed by
1. Abammeli
2. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
1. Bulawayo Vendors and Trader’s Association
2. Basilwizi Trust
3. Christian Legal Society
1. EWF
2. Iibhetshu likazulu
3. National Youth Development Trust
5. Radio Dialogue
6. Skills and Technologies Hub Institute
7. South Western Region Gender Network
8. Street Wise Informal Traders Association (SWITA)
9. Victory Siyanqoba
10. Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)
11. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

#2Save Education 2Save our children WOZA Report

Constitutional Right to Education Survey Report
The state of education in Zimbabwe and how the deterioration is affecting our children
It’s time for Collective Action to Save Education in Zimbabwe
“Education is a public good and fundamental human right recognised in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and upheld in various international and regional human rights conventions and treaties”.

Section 27 of the national objectives and section 75 of the Bill of Rights, Chapter 2, on Education says the following:
(1) The State must take all practical measures to promote
(a) Free and compulsory basic education for children; and (b) higher and tertiary education.
(2) The State must take measures to ensure that girls are afforded the same opportunities as boys to obtain education at all levels.

Despite this Constitutional clause; consultations and surveys conducted by WOZA reveal substantial violations against the right to education by the state which is, overloading parents with a burden too heavy in this climate of economic chaos. This right is also negatively impacted by poor infrastructural development at schools, unqualified teaching personnel, limited and poorly managed resources being allocated to the education sector. Overburdened parents suffering unemployment are unable to participate fully in School Development Committees (SDC) where democratic structures, processes and procedures are not followed.

In assessing the extent of the crisis WOZA believe that no one person, organisation, political party, government department or school can solve this crisis but rather a comprehensive collective solution must be found.
WOZA therefore calls for a “Save Zimbabwe Education” national dialogue by all relevant stakeholders to chart a collective way forward. It’s time to ACT!
In later 2015, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) conducted a survey to determine the state of education and the impact on the lives of members and their children. Members of WOZA, like all Zimbabweans are very concerned about the deterioration in educational provision by government and its employees, the teachers, which means that most children are failing to access their constitutional right to a meaningful education. The failure in the education system has many negative consequences for individuals, for families and for the nation as a whole. WOZA member’s number over 100000 but the survey focused on organised structure of urban and rural adults and urban children. They were asked to provide their views on what problems they are experiencing in educating their children, to identify the specific rights abuses involved, and to try to develop a strategy on the way forward to make a contribution towards resolving these problems.
This report presents the findings; these are not quantitative, but qualitative, describing the abuses but not attempting to indicate the extent of each or the numbers of communities in which they exist. Responses to the survey have been categorised according to social groups; there are responses from urban adults, urban children, and rural adults. Thus they provide a snapshot picture of the situation that prevails in our schools from three different perspectives.

See the full report here Its time for collective action to save education to save our children WOZA Zimbabwe Report

see the previous report WOZA published on the state of education here http://wozazimbabwe.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/the-state-of-education-in-zimbabwe-woza-perspective1.pdf

Bulawayo member arrested and appears in Court

A Bulawayo member Susan Sango was arrested early 16 September 2015 by police carrying a 27 July 2015 warrant of arrest for a 2009 arrest. Another member Maria Tshamala was arrested and released on Monday 14 September on the same case and told to bring her co- accused to appear in court on 28 September 2014. Susan Sango appeared in court 1 under Magistrate Mushove who ruled that Susan should not be detained and she was released from custody. The Magistrate recognised that the warrants of arrest were erroneously issues and all warrants are therefore cancelled. If the state is to proceed it must proceed by way of summons only after it has the case in order.
WOZA believe this is blatant harassment based on WOZA protests to the Bulawayo Mayor and Minister Kasukuwere Harare office on 9 September 2015. Additionally WOZA criticised the First lady for distributing looted goods to party members at a Zanu PF rally.
Police have restrained themselves from arrests during the protest but WOZA believe this is covert harassment and an attempt to strike fear in members to deny the right to protest. The arrest of Susan and six members went through the magistrate’s court on 2009 and 2010 and went to the Supreme Court as a constitutional challenge.
Additionally since this arrest in 2009, WOZA challenged and obtained a ruling in 26 November 2010 that their arrest was unlawful under section 37 of the Public Order Security Act. The case was taken by Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu for a 16th October, 2008 protest.
Seven members are arrest during a peaceful protest on 17 June 2009. Badly beaten they are denied medical attention and detained. They are charged under section 37 1 A of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, (sections of the Public Order Security act).
On 19 June 2009 seven members arrested are released on bail of USD 20 each.
They are remanded out of custody to 3rd July 2009 and have to report to their nearest police station every Friday.
They appeared in Bulawayo Magistrate’s Court but the state was not prepared with either the docket or state witnesses. They are further remanded out of custody until 22nd July.
On 22 July 2009 they appeared again in Bulawayo Magistrate’s Court and the case is postponed to 19th October. Defence lawyer, Kossam Ncube, notified the court of his intention to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the charges. The activists are charged under Section 37 1 A of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act – ‘disturbing the peace, security or order of the public’.
On 6th January 2010 they appear and lawyer expects a ruling for removal off remand s the case has been received by the Supreme Court. The ruling was not ready however and so the group was further remanded to 12th January.
On 12 January 2010 the magistrate was not available and so the group was again further remanded to 25th January and were finally removed off remand 25 February 2010.
Additionally Zimbabwe now has a new Constitution allowing the right to petition and protest which is ignored by this arrest.

Harare petition Kasukuwere

FOLLOWING on from the 26 august 2015 protest to The Bulawayo Mayor and handing over of a yellow card, WOZA members in Harare have conducted a protest to the Minister of Local Government Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere. The 9th of September 12noon protest drew participation of 600 members.

Two protest groups converged at the Ministry of Local Governance located along Leopold Takawira Street and two members delivered the petition which was accepted by the Ministers Secretary. The protestors delivered their message through song – ‘vendor’s aramba’ (which means vendors have refused) and ‘Mavendor musawashungurudze’ (which means do not abuse vendors). As it traditional at WOZA protests, two prayer warriors led the prayers calling on Zimbabweans to respect the right to trade and called on divine intervention to stop the looting of vendor’s goods.

Members petitioned the Minister Saviour Kasukuwere his predecessor Minister Chombo is the one who began this human rights violation with orders for vendors to be forcefully removed. The petition included 11 demands and called on Minister Kasukuwere as follows:
“As women and mothers of this city, we ask that you work towards finding solutions that will cater for both the interests of the local authority and informal traders. Women have to put food on the table. They live at the sharp end of desperation seeing children’s faces showing hunger and this is what motivates them to try and find food. Vendors should not be persecuted for trying to feed their families. We expect you as our Minister to protect the rights of vendors and allow for peaceful trading. The issues we need to be addressed as we dialogue for a lasting solution include:
• City council collect vending fees and also allow Park Rite Africa to collect a second payment. Why did council mandate a parking company to collect weekly payments from vendors? We demand to have affordable standardised monthly fees which can be paid directly to the city council for transparency and accountability.
• We demand receipts for confiscated goods from all police officers seizing these – there must be transparency and accountability and no theft.
• We demand to know where looted goods are taken and the process to help us recover our goods. Vendors should be allowed to reclaim their goods. It is an injustice to give the first lady, Grace Mugabe confiscated goods for her political campaigns. Where is the justice for those affected by this looting?
• City council should have conducted an audit of stand allocation and one person; one stand
• Vendors should be allowed to trade undisturbed on a daily basis. Many vendors have their right to trade disturbed by party youth who come and force vendors to leave their stands and goods to attend party events. This violates their Constitutional freedom of assembly and association (chapter 4, section 58)

WOZA petition 9 Sept15

WOZA tell Mayor to man-up and he does!

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members numbering around one thousand converged upon the Executive Mayors office in fife Street Bulawayo to urge the majoy to stand up for the constitutional rights of vendors.

As the members began their activity at city hall having marched from 11 different locations, a council staffer handed WOZA national coordinator a formal response to the WOZA open letter of 24 June 2015.

The letter confirms council position that the deadline will not be adhered to until council and stakeholders together find and expand vending sites.

The mayors letter closing calling for ‘good sense will prevail and we can be allowed enough time to organise ourselves as Bulawayo’

WOZA applaud the antiRiot police for restraining themselves and merely observing proceedings.

WOZA members keenly watch for news of a response from Mininster Chombo to the Mayor and hope it will promote peace and dignity.

see the mayors response here:
MAYOR response 25 June2015

see pictures at https://twitter.com/radiodialoguefm/status/614368793494728704

Members urge Mayor to stand up for right to trade

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) today submitted a letter to the Executive Mayor of Bulawayo Councillor Martin Moyo, calling on him to stand with the people of Bulawayo trying to eke out a living by informal trade. The majority of WOZA members are involved in informal trading.

WOZA members urged him to be courageous and defend the Constitutional right to earn a living.

WOZA made recommendations as to what issues the Executive Mayor should address as part of a collect Council and Civic Society initiative and ignore the ultimatum from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for vendors to vacate the pavements and streets by 26 June 2015.

The open letter reads, “Executive Mayor we will stand by you if you stand by us. Let’s us find sustainable livelihood’s in a dignified manner befitting Zimbabweans. Don’t be a part of another ‘moment of madness’. We will not be moved from our streets until there is a comprehensive plan in place.”

See the open letter here
Open Letter 24 June 2015

WOZA and CSOs march Dont DiscriminHATE march

AT 10am 7 May 1400 members from Bulawayo civic organisations including WOZA members marched to demand an apology from President Robert Mugabe for tribal slurs made at the SADC summit.

First stop after the march started was at the Human Rights Commission offices along Fife Street. Commissioners did not come out to address the peaceful citizens. Fortunately an ‘early bird’ had already dropped in before the protest to deliver the petition.

The procession then proceeded to the Mhlahlandlela government complex to deliver a petition to government to disassociate themselves with the president’s insults. At the complex 12 anti-riot police officers blocked the gate into the complex refusing to allow any delegation to go in to hand over the petition to the resident minister Ms. Sandi or welcome her to address the crowd. Fortunately a copy had already made its way by early bird into her office.

Members sang song calling for unity of all Zimbabweans and an end to discrimination. Several civic leaders address the crowd calling for the president to apologise soon. Leaders also detailed the long track record of tribal and racial discrimination suffered by Zimbabweans and said enough was enough.

A young Kalanga lady speaking in the Kalanga language also addressed the crowd. She said that it was Mugabe’s intention to push people out of Zimbabwe that is why he has dis-invested the building of schools in Matabeleland causing challenges in people of Matabeleland getting an education.

The procession peacefully dispersed with police officers remaining in position at the government complex gate.

WOZA wish to thank the Zimbabwe Republic Police for practising restraint today unlike the Valentine’s Day procession where they forcefully pushed WOZA members out to the industrial area beating those who tried to divert to their commuter points.
CSOs Petition to the Human Rights Commission of Zimbabwe

CSOs Petition to the Government of Zimbabwe

CSO Statement on President Mugabe’s inflammatory tribal comments

On April 29, 2015, the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, who is also the current SADC and AU Chairperson, speaking at a press conference at the end of a special SADC summit on industrialisation in Harare said the ‘…the Kalangas were/are very notorious in South Africa,… known to be crooks because they are not educated enough to get (descent) jobs’.

This blatant insult to the Kalanga people comes a few months after Grace Mugabe’s insults to men in Matabeleland South, accusing them of being ‘lazy’, ‘interested in sex’ and ‘run away to South Africa’, while in Gwanda during her whirlwind meet-the-people rallies. These statements reflect the ZANU PF Government’s thinking about the people of Matabeleland.

The President’s statement was a direct affront to the constitution of Zimbabwe’s Section 56(3) of the Zimbabwean Constitution, under the Bill of Rights (Chapter 4) provides for non-discrimination, unfair treatment on such grounds as their tribe, ethnic or social origin, culture, or economic or social status. The statements also negate Section 90(2) which outlines one of the duties of the President as being to ‘promote unity and peace in the nation for the benefit and well-being of the people of Zimbabwe’.
President Mugabe’s tribal insults are only a perpetuation of his tendency to destroy every opportunity for realising national peace and cohesion. Over the years, the President has been quoted advising his ZANU PF supporters to treat fellow Zimbabweans as ‘snakes’, ‘weeds’, ‘rotten pumpkins’, ‘puppies’, ‘sellouts’ among other derogatory names. He has previously labelled ‘Zimbabweans who are descendants of Malawians, Zambians, Mozambicans and other nationals as totem-less outsiders’ among other names and insults.

These have incited, Gukurahundi and destruction of infrastructure, physical, emotional and other forms of violence against white farmers, opposition party members, women and human rights defenders among other groups.

President Mugabe, unlike other Presidents who have sought to protect their citizens against xenophobic attacks, fuels further xenophobic attacks against Kalanga people whom he has described as ‘criminals’. The implication also is that the Kalanga and people in Matabeleland have invited xenophobic attacks on all foreigners in South Africa.

President Mugabe’s utterances that Zimbabweans are ‘voluntarily’ leaving the country to enjoy life in South Africa, are a disingenuous attempt to hide the real reasons why Zimbabweans have left the country in numbers to look for opportunities elsewhere. If Mugabe is to be sincere, he should surely know that Zimbabweans have not risked their lives skipping borders to other countries out of choice but have been pushed by economic hardships violence and his failed leadership.

We, the undersigned organisations, urge the President to personally and unequivocally retract the blatantly discriminatory, derogatory, divisive, demeaning and unwarranted statement and apologise to the Kalanga people in particular and people of Matabeleland in general without delay.

We call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to disassociate itself from such statements which promote tribal hatred and scandalously flout the constitution of the land and take corrective measures to ensure that the Kalanga and all Zimbabweans leaving in South Africa are protected both in South Africa and back home.

President Mugabe, as Chairperson of SADC has made statements that are against the vision and common agenda of the regional bloc which are geared towards the attainment of social protection of citizens. His statements are also an affront to the SADC Treaty which upholds the principle of non-discrimination in Article 6(2).

We thus call upon SADC, to reprimand its chairperson and disassociate itself from his statements that promote discrimination and violence against a people.

The President has a duty, as the Chairman of the African Union to uphold the African Union Charter on Human and People’s Rights recognizes the right to freedom from discrimination (Article 2 and 18(3)), equality (Article 3), life and personal integrity (Article 4), dignity (Article 5). President Mugabe’s insult to the Kalanga people and indeed all people of Matabeleland South is a direct affront to these provisions.

We then call upon the African Union to also disassociate itself from the statement from its Chairperson and ensure that the AU Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Charter on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Zimbabwe has ratified are respected and implemented by its Chairperson and member states.

We also call upon the Roman Catholic Church in particular and Christians in general to denounce the statements by President Mugabe as they are against Christian values.

The leadership and membership of the undersigned civil society organisations convey heartfelt condolences to families who lost their beloved ones in the xenophobic violence in South Africa, state-sanctioned violence in the post-independence Zimbabwe. We call upon fellow Zimbabweans to vigilantly safeguard the constitution and demand responsible leadership and Government.

(Note South Africans may colloquially refer all people from as Kalanga)

List of Organisations:
1. Bulawayo Agenda
2. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
3. Bulawayo Unemployment Youth Agenda (BUYA)
4. Christian Alliance
5. Christian Legal Society (CLS)
6. Freedom First Project
7. Grace To Heal Trust
8. Gwanda Residents Association
9. Habakkuk Trust
10. Ibhetshu Likazulu
11. Makokoba Development Trust
12. Mission to Live Trust
13. Mthwakazi Heritage Trust
14. National Youth Development Trust
15. Plumtree Development Trust
16. Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe
17. Radio Dialogue
18. Rural Communities Empowerment Trust
19. Shalom Project
20. Umkhonto kaMthwakazi
21. Victoria Falls Residents Association
22. Victory Siyanqoba Trust
23. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
24. Zimbabwe Chambers of Informal Economies Association (ZCIEA)
25. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
26. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
27. Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)

Police disturb WOZA loveday

Bulawayo members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) selected Friday 13th February 2015 to conduct their 13th Valentine’s Day procession. At 245pm, two processions began, one in 9th Avenue and one in 14th Avenue. Both processions had over 550 members taking part and marching through the city to the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex to hand over a petition to the resident minister.

The protest was conducted under the theme – Demanding Dignity – Demanding Women’s Empowerment! The protest followed a civic education programme covering the constitution clauses on the right to earn a living. Members’ demands were written on placards and contained in the Woza Moya newsletter being distributed along with the traditional red roses.
The demands included the creation of jobs, a halt on the relocation of informal traders from Bulawayo city centre and the urgent convening of a country wide consultation to map a collective way forward on how to revamp the economy putting women and youth at the centre of the economic empowerment action plan.

Both protest groups arrived undisturbed at the government complex after a 20 minute march. The police officers in the vehicles merely watched and followed. Upon arrival at the complex, the security guards immediately locked the gate barring the two members due to deliver the demand entry. Undeterred the peaceful members began their Mhlahlandlela programme, singing their composed songs stating their demands and putting across their views. As the final stage of the programme was coming to an end, 15 anti riot police officers who had been dropped off a distance away arrived where the singing and slogan chanting members were located.

They made to surround those by the gates and started to push them away with baton sticks. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu both advised the police officers that the protest was now dispersing and asked them to allow for closing slogans for peaceful dispersing. Both were rudely told to shut up and get away, both were manhandled as they tried to stress that police officers were now causing disorder by prodding and threatening to beat members, by now many afraid and beginning to run away. The police officers continued to push the leaders and members down the road towards Herbert Chitepo Street.

As the front group reached this street, they made to turn left to go towards the bus terminus, anti riot officers ran and blocked them once again prodding and manhandling those trying to get to the terminus through this road. With no choice those in this forced procession, and then went towards 12th avenue hoping to once again take a route to the terminus, once again the police officers ran and blocked them. Now perplexed most members kept demanding where they should go and they were answered by baton sticks in the ribs or back respectively depending on which way they were facing.

A police twin cab showed up with an occupant obviously a high ranking officer, both Williams and Mahlangu went to ask him if he could make the orders clear but he ignored both with a stony demeanour. This officer was engaged repeatedly by WOZA leaders but he remained un-responsive and showed no obvious role as an officer sworn to uphold peace and order.

As the members now in some sort of a ‘forced procession’ continued to be shepherded out of town some police officers began to let on that they were pushing members to the industrial sites. Some police officers threatened that they were awaiting the arrival of a vehicle to take members to be dumped in Plumtree, a town 100 kilometres away. For several more city blocks the police officers blocked any exits, using baton sticks and threatening now numbering over 90 members. They refused to allow a slower pace or rest in the shade for anyone, even the elderly.

At the intersection of 15th avenue and H. Chitepo Street, the start of the industrial area, two members fainted. One member, Thabani Nyoni was beaten on her lower back and immediately fell down and was unconscious. The other member was quickly revived but Thabani spent over 10 minutes unconscious. When she came to she could not speak, an ambulance had to be called due to her condition. At this time some police officers had continued to push members for another 30 minutes deeper into the industrial area. Some members managed to stay behind with the unconscious members, until the ambulance had arrived and loaded up Thabani to take her to hospital.

After the ambulance left, 50 members marched back into the city in a final action of defiance exercising their right to protest. As they marched they sang ‘WOZA will never be killed’ right up to the bus terminus where they peacefully dispersed as had been the original plan. The police boss and 6 officers followed in the twin cab but made no further attempt to disrupt the march. As this final contingent came back through the route they had taken forced by police baton sticks, vendors and bystanders who had witnessed the first event clapped hands and ululated.

Five members had to receive medication for soft tissue bruising and Thabani was admitted to the emergency rooms and finally discharged two hours later.

WOZA leadership met on 16 February to discuss police behaviour during the protest. They resolved to write a formal letter of complaint to the police who did not follow their legal mandated procedure and allow member to peacefully disperse. Instead they used cruel , inhuman and degrading treatment forcing members out of town and using violent means to deprive them of their constitutional right to protest.