Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Many family members, their children, sons and daughters-in-law, and grand-children enjoyed a fun-filled day at the Japanese Garden in Durban North on Boxing Day (Dec 26 2017).
The family members turned up despite other commitments and the rush of the festive season. Those who attended included family members from Port Shepstone, Isipingo, Chatsworth, Phoenix, Verulam and Johannesburg. They were Yogi and Soobry, and son Neeran and his wife, Avril; Rani and Knox, son Mervyn and his wife and daughter; and Veni and Nanda, daughter, son Nelosh and Previn and his wife. Cousin Baby and sister-in-law, Baby, and grand-daughter of Isipingo; nephew Jackson Naidoo, his wife, two teenage sons and daughter of Phoenix; Maliga, her husband, Poobal, son Clive and his wife from Johannesburg; Dolly Reddy of Phoenix; Nomzamo Zondi, Mafu and Senati of Verulam; and Sadha and Thyna of Umdloti.Karnagie and Leshan Reddy; Neil, Pre and their son. A number of family members could not make it because of the recent death of our third generation cousin, Mrs Radha Muniamma Govender, of Unit 9, Chatsworth. Many members also sent in their apologies.
The family members had a great time and expressed the view that family members must keep in touch with one another despite the hurly, burly and constraints of our 21st century society. We want to thank everyone who made the decision to attend the gathering.
LAUNCH OF FAMILY HISTORY BOOK We did not publicly discuss the day for the launch of the Muniamma Family Roots History Book but most of the family members are of the view that we should hold the launch sometime in March. The venue will be the conference centre at the former Louis Botha Airport in Isipingo. If any one has a specific day in mind for the launch, it would be appreciated if you could get in touch the writer. (email: subrygovender@gmail.com, 082 376 9053, 031-568 1309). All the best for the rest of the festive season and the New Year (2018).

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Now that the Deputy President of South Africa - Cyril Ramaphosa - has been elected as the President of the country's ruling ANC – concerted calls have been made on him to deliver on his promises to bring all those involved in corruption – especially President Jacob Zuma – to book. Ramaphosa was elected ahead of Zuma's wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at the party's elective conference at the NASREC conference centre in Johannesburg on Monday, Dec 18 2017. Calls have also been made for Zuma to introduce policies that will grow the economy in order to overcome the high rate of unemployment among the youth and the marginalised people. The ANC conference ends on Wednesday, December 20. Subry Govender filed this radio report from Johannesburg…… .

Friday, December 15, 2017


Dec 15 2017
South Africa’s people of Indian-origin who had played an important role in the rise to power of the ANC in 1994 are today, 23 years later, mere spectators in the new South Africa. When the ANC holds it 54th elective conference at the Nasrec Conference Centre in Johannesburg from Dec 16 to 20, the Indian-origin delegates will be far and few between. In this radio feature produced in November 2007, a month before the Polokwane conference – veteran journalist Subry Govender looked at how Indian-origin people looked forward to the creation of a non-racial and democratic new South Africa. It’s now hoped that the NASREC Conference should also re-consider how the ANC will re-commit itself to the promotion of a non-racial society instead of allowing some leaders and members to propagate racial hatred. The best leader for the top position should emerge at this conference in order to promote the culture of non-racialism and democracy. (Dr Farouk Meer - extreme right - is quoted in the radio report. he is seen here with veteran struggle stalwarts at Mewa Ramgobin's one year memorial in Durban in late 2017)

(Dr Farouk Meer talking KZN Premier Willies Mchunu recently in November 2017.) class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">

Thursday, December 14, 2017


One of the anti-apartheid activists and leaders who paid the ultimate price for our freedom was Griffith Mxenge. A lawyer by profession – Mxenge – was brutally killed by apartheid agents on November 19 1981 at a time when he was playing a crucial role in promoting the release of Nelson Mandela and other leaders. Only 39-years-old at the time of his murder, he was married to another activist, Victoria Mxenge. Victoria Mxenge was also brutally murdered on August 1 1985 at her home in Umlazi, Durban. Subry Govender compiled this radio feature on Griffith Mxenge on June 5 2008 at a time when a controversy had arisen over the re-naming of the Mangosuthu Highway in Umlazi after Griffith Mxenge. This radio feature is being loaded onto the internet as part of Subry Govender’s “Rich History” series… .




Monday, December 11, 2017


(Ms Sally Padaychie (second from left) with ICASA CEO, Mr Willington Ngwepe (fourth from left) and other ICASA officials. Also in the picture are Mr Deven Moodley (treasurer) and Mr Richard Naidoo (Joint DEputy Chairperson) STRUGGLE FOR FREQUENCY The struggle by Southside FM Radio to obtain a frequency to launch its south-Indian radio station took another turn on Monday, December 11 (2017) when Southside officials held yet another meeting with the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) at its regional office in central Durban. The latest meeting follows a meeting that was held at the offices of Mr Logan Naidoo in Musgrave Road, Durban, between Southside Board of Governors and ICASA’s former CEO, Pakamile Pongwana, and his senior officials in March this year. This meeting was held at the request of senior ANC leader and Treasurer General, Dr Zweli Mkhize, after he held talks with Southside about the frequency problems. The meeting on Monday (Dec 11) was requested by Southside to find out what plans ICASA has to provide Southside with a frequency in and around the Durban area. Southside has been struggling for a frequency for more than eight years. This despite the fact that Southside has complied with all the requirements and had been granted a licence in 2011.
Those who represented ICASA were: Mr Willington Ngwepe (CEO); Ms Anele Nomtshongwana, senior official; Mr Zakhele Kganakga, Executive, Human Resources; and Mr Nsiswa Gumede, Regional KZN Manager. Those who represented Southside were: Mrs Sally Padaychie, Chairperson; Mr Subry Govender, secretary; Mr Deven Moodley, treasurer; and Mr Richard Naidoo, joint deputy chairperson. MATTERS RAISED After the initial introductions, Mrs Padaychie outlined the origins and history of Southside FM Radio and pointed out that Southside had waited far too long for a frequency to get off the ground. She informed the new ICASA CEO and his officials that Southside has been frustrated in its attempts to launch despite the fact that its initiative has been supported right from the President’s office, former Communications Ministers, the former Chairperson of the Parliamentary Communications Portfolio Committee, and even leaders within the ruling ANC such as Dr Zweli Mkhize. She called on the new ICASA CEO to go the extra mile in helping Southside to get off the ground. Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr Govender, Mr Naidoo and Mr Moodley. Mr Govender also made available to Mr Ngwepe a cutting of a letter that was written by one concerned supporter, Mr Dhayalan Moodley, and published in Post on December 6. The letter indicated the kind of frustration being experienced by supporters and donors of Southside FM Radio. MR NGWEPE’S RESPONSE Mr Ngwepe said he was aware of all the representations made by Southside and the struggles over the past eight years. He said he was also fully informed of the last meeting held with the former ICASA CEO, Mr Pongwana, and the representations made to DSTV. After intense discussions with Southside officials, Mr Ngwepe gave an assurance that he would look at some alternatives and he would come back to us within a matter of two weeks. One of these alternatives included the provision of a frequency in an area proposed by Southside officials. Mr Ngwepe also gave an assurance that once the digital migration programme is completed by 2019, Southside would be given priority in being granted a frequency that would then become available


By Subry Govender Many South Africans believe that ANC Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will be the best leader who should be elected as the ruling ANC’s new president to succeed the much compromised Jacob Zuma, who has been embroiled in fraud and corruption allegations ever since he gained the presidency ten years ago. This is the impression I gained when I spoke to a number of people on the eve of the ANC’s 54th national elective conference scheduled for the NASREC conference centre in Johannesburg from December 16 to 20. Ramaphosa, a former trade unionist who has played a major role in South Africa’s transition from apartheid oppression to a non-racial democracy in 1994, is the main contender along with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the ex-wife of Jacob Zuma and a former Cabinet Minister. She has also served as the Chairperson of the African Union for five years until early 2017.
(Mr Sipho Tabethe with a friend, Duduzu Ndlovu) Mr Sipho Tabethe, a young man who wants to become an entrepreneur, told me in an interview that Ramaphosa fully understood that the right conditions must be created for the economy to grow in order to tackle the serious challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality plaguing the country at the moment. “I think for me,” he said, “the person with a very proven track record is Cyril. He started his business from nothing to become a highly-successful entrepreneur. So in terms of going into business and creating jobs, unity and confidence, I think Cyril will be a much better candidate to lead the country going forward.”
(BONGANI ZULU) Another young man who also wants Ramaphosa to be elected the next president of the ANC and the country is Bonango Zulu, who is studying to become a lawyer. “I think it’s Cyril Ramaphosa. Mr Ramaphosa has been in politics for a long time ago. He can attract businessmen from around the world because he is also a businessman. In 2019 I will only vote for the ANC if Mr Ramaphosa gets elected now. If he doesn’t get elected, then I won’t vote for the ANC. “I don’t trust Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma because of the relationship she has with Jacob Zuma. I think somehow Zuma has influence over her.”
(EMMANUEL NDLOVU) Mr Emmanuel Ndlovu, who wants to enter the accounting field, is yet another young man who is also of the view that Ramaphosa could change the current negative situation prevailing in the social, economic and political areas. “I think Cyril Ramaphosa is right for the position at the moment,” he said. “I don’t think Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is fit for the position because she wants to save Zuma from being charged with corruption. She will not be able to tackle the unemployment situation. Mr Ramaphosa, on the other hand, is a businessman and I think he will be able to take positive measures to overcome the unemployment situation in South Africa. I will vote for him. I would like to see him as the next president of South Africa.”
(DUDUZU NDLOVU) Some of the people I spoke to also want Dlamini-Zuma. Mr Duduzu Ndlovu, who wants to enter the Transport and logistics field as a businessman, is one of the people who preferred Dlamini-Zuma. “Personally I would like to see Nkosazana Dlaimini Zuma to be the president. She’s been a very good leader. I think she can do a better job. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is the right candidate for me at the moment,” he said.
(CEBO NGCOBO) At the same time, however, a number of people said they did not identify with Ramaphosa or Dlamini-Zuma because they considered politicians “who are only interested in furthering their own nests”. Mr Cebo Ngcobo, a young activist, said he had no confidence in the ANC to overcome the high rate of poverty, unemployment and inequality faced by a growing number of people. He believes the ANC will lose the elections in 2019 because of the rampant corruption and inefficiency affecting the ANC. “In 2019 the ANC will not be part of the Government as a majority. It is showing that it is dominated by people who are voting for themselves. I have no faith either in Dlamini-Zuma or Cyril Ramaphosa. “Nkosazna Dlamini-Zuma has failed even at the AU, while Cyril Ramaphosa is a friend of the white monopoly capitalists who are eating from the poor. I don’t have any confidence in them.”
(SIZWE DLAMINI) Another young man who held a similar view is Sizwe Dlamini, who is looking forward to radical changes in the country 23 years into South Africa’s democracy. “I would say that the person who has numbers to emerge from the conference as president is Cyril Ramaphosa, but I don’t support either of them. I believe they are there to attain their own benefits. They are going to extend their own agendas at the expense of the people. “I don’t have any confidence in those two people. I also have no confidence in the current crop of leadership that the ANC has. Come 2019 I don’t see the ANC emerging as a majority party. The best thing is going to happen is that we are going to see a coalition government. And we are going to see a person emerging from outside the ANC.”
(TOKOZO MASONDO) Another youth who is also disillusioned with the current leasdership of the ANC, including Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma, is Tokozo Masondo, who is involved in community work. He said he was not impressed with those contesting the leadership positions in the ANC because he claimed the contenders were there to promote their own interests. “I think Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma did nothing for the African people when she was in the African Union. For me she’s not fit to be the president of our country. As for Cyril, he is a businessman. I don’t have any faith in a businessman running the country properly. Look at Donald Trump. Cyril’s business interests are going to tamper with the needs of the people.” He does not have any confidence that the ANC conference will run off smoothly because of the factional battles. “Speaking of 2019 elections, the ANC will never deliver a president because the people are fed up with the ANC. The different political parties opposed to the ANC will come together to form a coalition and deliver a president who will be someone other an ANC person.” While the ordinary person in South Africa held divergent views about the leadership of the current ruling party and the country in 2019, Mr Ramaphosa has told ANC members over the past few days that he wants to be elected President of the ANC and the country because he is concerned about all the socio-economic problems that millions of people face in the country. He wants to introduce policies that will promote the business sector so that the economy will grow and unemployment, poverty and inequality will be tackled. At the same time he wants all those who had been involved in corruption to be brought to book. He did not mention the name of President Jacob Zuma but it’s obvious that he was referring particularly to Zuma who has become ingrained in corrupt activities with many business people – especially the Gupta business family. On Monday (Dec 11) the head of the National Prosecution Authority, Shaun Abrahams, announced that he had extended Zuma’s deadline to January 31 2018 to submit documentation as to why Zuma should not be charged with corruption. Zuma was to have responded by November 30 but he missed the deadline. Abraham’s action had come as an ironical development as Zuma only a few days earlier had appealed the Pretoria High Court’s decision for Abrahams to be suspended as head of the NPA. Ramaphosa has called on South Africans not to keep quiet about the corruption that has become ingrained in South African society. “We see corruption happening and we keep quiet. Sometimes we see people stealing money and we keep quiet and now comrades we are saying no more silence, now we must talk about all these things that are eating our movement. Now we must speak out because the longer we keep quiet the more this worm is going to eat the African National Congress. The more this worm will finish the African National Congress.” He said he wants to ensure that as President he would fulfil the needs of the people for a better life for all. “Our task is to make sure that the ANC fulfils the task it was founded for. And that task is to transform society and to transform our country.” For her part, Ramaphosa’s main rival, Dlamini-Zuma, has also been on the road to garner last minute support from ANC members. In one of her last minute campaign speeches, she said if she won the ANC presidential election, she would interact with all role players – mainly business – to tackle the serious challenges facing the country. She said it’s not about who emerged victorious but how the ANC and the country acted on the challenges. “The crisis in this country is not about who wins. The crisis in this country is the majority of the people who are poor; people who are going hungry; kids who can’t afford education; the growing army of unemployed young people; growing inequality; growing violence – especially very violent crime against women, against children; so this is the crisis that one must look at. The issue of people not being part of the mainstream economy, the majority of people being landless, that’s the crisis facing the country. It’s not about who wins the election.” Dlamini-Zuma said she would also tackle the issue of land restoration to the African people. She would not embark on programmes that would lead to a situation where there’s more crises and lawlessness. “We will engage, we will find a legal way, a way that will not create another crisis but a way that will be a solution to the landlessness of many people.” Will she win? “For now I can’t say I will defeat but all I am saying is that the campaign is going well, it’s looking good.” From all accounts it seems that the battle for the crown will be a hard-fought affair and both Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma will continue with their campaign strategies even at the conference until the elections are held. It’s hoped that the ANC delegates will make the right choice for the presidency of the party by selecting the leader who will be able to restore the confidence of all South Africans. As stated earlier, many people say Ramaphosa will be the leader who will be able to live up to the values and principles of transforming the country in the interests of all South Africans – and not just a few elites who want to continue to loot and plunder the wealth of the country. ends subrygovender@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


BY SUBRY GOVENDER INTRO: At a time when South Africans are enjoying the full benefits of international sport, it’s appropriate to recall the struggles of our sporting administrators who made this possible. Veteran journalist - Subry Govender – contends in our ongoing series on Struggle Heroes and Heroines that the role played by non-racial sports administrators was a vital element in the broader struggles for the creation of a non-racial and democratic South Africa. One of the leaders was Krish Mackerdhuj, the former president of the non-racial South African Cricket Board, who passed on, on May 26 2004.
It was a period in the 1980s when white cricket at that time was feeling the full impact of the isolation of South African sport that Krish Mackerdhuj, who was president of the non-racial South African Cricket Board(SACB), came to the fore. He and his fellow anti-apartheid sports administrators were taken aback by moves by a former captain of the whites-only national cricket team, Ali Bacher, to lure the former West Indian cricket great, Clive Lloyd, to visit South Africa to intervene between white and non-racial cricket administrators. Bacher was the CEO of white cricket at this time and he was busy preparing rebel tours to break the international isolation of white cricket. This isolation was led by all the former colonised countries such as India, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The other cricket-playing countries such as England, Australia and New Zealand only joined the boycott of South Africa at a later stage. Clive Lloyd, also a former captain of the great West Indies team, who was not fully aware of the socio-political-economic situation in South Africa, agreed to come to the country to speak to all cricket administrators. But Mackerdhuj and his fellow non-racial officials were totally opposed to Lloyd visiting South Africa at a time when the white minority was still in control of the country.
(Krish Mackerdhuj attending a workshop at the Sastri College Hall in Durban in the 1980s when the struggles against apartheid sport were at its height.) They had adopted the policy of “no normal sport in an abnormal country”, a vision of Mr Hassan Howa, who was president of the South African Cricket Board of Control (SACBC) in the late 1970s. The opposition by Mackerdhuj and his officials was fully supported by the South African Council of Sport(SACOS), the United Democratic Front(UDF), the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee(SANROC), which was based in London; and the ANC in exile. I spoke to Mackerdhuj about their attitude to Clive Lloyd’s proposed visit. He outlined that they respected the West Indian great as a cricketer but they as South Africans knew when international isolation of South African sport should be lifted. This is what Mackerdhuj had told me in an interview at that time: “We have the utmost respect for Clive Lloyd as West Indies captain and his efficiency and ability in cricket. The system here would use him without any strings attached. They will go out of their way to use him and that’s why people like Ali Bacher jumped to issue an invitation to him. “By Lloyd coming here he would embarrass us. He must have nothing to do with them. Change must come from within the country. People who sit to talk must talk on an equal basis. There can’t be a master-slave relationship. There can’t be a privileged person sitting with an under-privileged person.” Mr Mackerdhuj, who in the early 1990s became the first president of the new United Cricket Board of South Africa, was just one of the hundreds of non-racial sports administrators who used sport to further the struggles for a non-racial, just and democratic new South Africa. The others included such luminaries as M N Pather, who was the secretary general of the non-racial tennis union and SACOS; Don Kali, who was involved in the tennis union; Mr Morgan Naidoo, who was leader of the non-racial swimming union; Mr Norman Middleton, who was leader of the non-racial South African Soccer Federation; Paul David, who was involved in the Natal Cricket Board and the Natal Council of Sport (NACOS)and Mr Hassan Howa.
(Krish Mackerdhuj with Nelson Mandela at a cricket match in the early days of the new South Africa.) There were others such as Mr Cassim Bassa, who was involved in table tennis, Mr Ramhori Lutchman, Dharam Ramlall, S K Chetty and Mr R K Naidoo of the South African Soccer Federation Professional League; and Mr Pat Naidoo and Harold Samuels of the Natal Cricket Board. Mr Mackerdhuj in that interview in the early 1980s expressed the views of his fellow anti-apartheid sports administrators when he had said that “normal sport” could only be played and enjoyed once the country’s people were also politically free. This is what he had told me: “You can’t have discrimination in some fields and no discrimination in others. This is our fight in sport. You can’t say there’s going to be no discrimination in sport and yet we have discrimination in other aspects of our lives. We have made it clear what we stand for, I don’t think the other side have made it clear what they stand for. “And these people you know recently came out with a declaration of intent and Ali Bacher was one of them. The Declaration was that they were preparing for non-racialism in sport. “We say the declaration of intent by any sane thinking person with interest in non-racial democracy in South Africa should be against detentions without trial, against the unjust laws in the country, against discriminatory education, against influx control, against the activities of the police and defence forces in the townships. That’s the kind of declaration that must come out of people who are interested in a future non-racial and democratic South Africa.” POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS Mackerdhuj, who was born in Durban in August 1939, had become politically-conscious after he matriculated at Sastri College and studied at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape for his BSC degree from 1958 to 1963. While at Fort Hare he joined the ANC but this open involvement was shattered when the ANC and PAC were banned in 1960. He told me that when he returned home in 1963 and joined Shell and BP as a technologist, he had decided to use sport to further the cause of the ANC in the struggles for a non-racial and democratic society. Although he was active in soccer and table tennis, he had decided to concentrate on cricket, both as a player and administrator. He joined the Crimson Cricket Club and thereafter promoted the cause of non-racial sport through the Durban and District Cricket Union, the Natal Cricket Board, the South African Cricket Board of Control and later the United Cricket Board(UCB). In the ongoing struggles for a non-racial and democratic society, he served the NCB as president for eight years from 1976-1984; president of SACBOC from 1984 to 1990; the South African Council of Sport(SACOS) since its inception in 1970s and the Natal Council of Sport (NACOS) as a founding member and president. In the struggles to isolate apartheid South Africa, Mackerdhuj, after being denied a passport on several occasions, travelled to London in 1987 to attend a meeting of the International Cricket Council(ICC). Here he campaigned successfully with the help of Sam Ramsamy of SANROC for South Africa to be banned from international cricket until apartheid was abolished and the disenfranchised people people in South Africa attained their political, social and economic freedom. MACKERDHUJ AT LORDS IN LONDON Mackerdhuj travelled to Lords in London again in 1989 to present a petition to the ICC against the rebel tour to South Africa by England’s Mike Gatting and his team. After the establishment of a united cricket body following the release of Nelson Mandela and the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, Mackerdhuj served as deputy president of the UCB for one year from 1992 to 1993 and as president from 1993 to 1997. Mackerdhuj stepped down from the UCB in 1997 after he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve as Ambassador to Japan. He served South Africa in this position for five years. During one of his visits back home at this period, I again interviewed Mackerdhuj while I was working as a senior political journalist at the SABC. "MY NEW ROLE AFTER FREEDOM" He had told me that throughout his life he had served the country and the ANC by campaigning for a non-racial democracy through the medium of sport. “I am now happy to serve my country in a new role after we have attained our freedom. We have a long road to travel because we have to continue to work in all spheres to promote a better life for all people. “We will have to be prepared to overcome many hurdles because the road ahead will not be easy.” In the new South Africa, Mackerdhuj was presented with a number of awards for his contributions to the struggles. These included the State President’s Award for Sports Administration by President Nelson Mandela in 1994; the Sports Administrator of the Year award in 1993 and 1994 by the Natal Sportswriters Guild; and life member of London’s Marleybone Cricket Club(MCC) in 1996. Mackerdhuj passed on, on the 26th of May 2004 at the age of 65. The role played by Mackerdhuj and others such as M N Pather, Morgan Naidoo, Hassan Howa and George Singh should not be forgotten. But, unfortunately, 23 years into our new non-racist society, the contributions by activists of the calibre of Mackerdhuj seems to have been trampled on by the return of racism in many disguised forms. What a shame? What a sad commentary of the state of affairs? Ends – subrygovender@gmail.com


WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH - SAY RESIDENTS IN RIVERVIEW ROAD, MUNN ROAD, SCHOOL ROAD AND OTHER AREAS OF OTTAWA AND NEARBY RESIDENTIAL COMPLEXES (One of the community leaders - Charles Govender - making it clear at the meeting that they had had enough of the sewer stink) By Subry Govender "REDUCE OUR RATES" - IS THE CALL TO THE ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY The residents of Ottawa, near Verulam, on the North Coast in South Africa have decided to intensify their campaigns for a rates reduction following admissions by Ethekweni council officials that they will have to live with the sewer stench problem engulfing the area. They took the decision at a fiery meeting held under the auspices of the Ottawa Environmental Forum at the Ottawa Town Hall last Thursday (Nov 16). The meeting was a follow-up to an emergency meeting that was held at the same venue a fortnight ago after serious sewer odour engulfed Ottawa and the Woodview and other areas of Phoenix. The residents expressed their anger after council officials disclosed at the November 16 meeting that sewer stench emanating from the nearby Phoenix Waste Water Treatment plant will recur during the current upgrading processes of the plant. (Ottawa residents attending one of the recent meetings at the Ottawa Hall) “There will be regular upgrades and maintenance work and during this process, some odour will escape into the atmosphere,” said Ritesh Kandhai, an electrical and mechanical engineer. He told the residents he could not say for how long the residents of Ottawa would have to put with the sewer odour. He said the Phoenix sewer plant was being upgraded to cater for the increase in sewer from nearby Cornubia and the Cornubia Mall. Community leaders and residents said they were fed up and not prepared to accept the current situation. One resident said they would have to resort to stronger actions in order to highlight the failure of the municipality in taking into account that the residents of Ottawa and other residential areas were entitled to “clean and fresh” air. One of the local community leaders, Mr Charles Govender, said it seemed the municipality was not concerned about the health of the residents. “In view of the disclosure now that this odour will not be completely eradicated, we call on the municipality to reduce our rates for as long as we have to live with the stench,” he said. (Another concerned residents speaking out during the recent meetings at the Ottawa Hall)
(THE FACILITATOR OF THE OTTAWA ENVIRNOMENTAL FORUM - MS ANDISHA MAHARAJ - WHO IS LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST THE DAMAGE BEING CAUSED TO THE HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT BY THE SEWER STENCH) The facilitator of the Ottawa Environmental Forum, Ms Andisha Maharaj, told the meeting that the current sewer odour problem was a direct result of the failure of the municipality to plan properly. “If any planning was done at a strategic level, then it certainly was not to serve the interests of the people. The decisions taken are bearing down on the lives of residents already in the areas of Cornubia, Ottaawa, Parkgate, Palmview, and Woodview. “The authorities are fully liable for the chaos that have been created in the region,” said Ms Maharaj. In addition to the re-iteration of their demands for a reduction in their rates, the residents have also resolved to pursue their representations to the Human Rights Council(HRC) which has already been informed of the denial of their human rights to “clean, fresh air”. They also resolved to pursue legal processes to enforce their rights to clean air. MONITORING THE STINK In the meanwhile, the residents have appointed three community representatives to work with municipal officials to monitor the ongoing sewer odour emanating from the Phoenix treatment works. The monitoring team municipal officials were seen in Munn Road and Riverview Road in Ottawa on Wednesday, November 22 (2017) talking to residents about the sewer stench. One resident, Mrs Radhika, of Riverview Road said the stink emerged once again on Tuesday (November 21) evening. “This stink is terrible. We were just sitting down to have our evening meal when we got the stink,” she said. “It seems the municipality is taking us for granted. It’s terrible that they don’t care about us.” Mrs Radhika said the sewer dam should be moved to Umhlanga Rocks because the Phoenix Water Treatment Plant was unable to cope with the extra flow of sewer from nearby areas such as Cornubia and Cornubia Mall. Ends – subrygovender@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


(MR GOVIN REDDY) BY SUBRY GOVENDER Mr Govin Reddy, a media personality who passed away in the early hours of Friday Oct 13 (2017) morning at the age of 74, was also a struggle activist who contributed and paid the price for South Africa’s freedom. Forty-one years ago in the early hours of August 19 1976, six apartheid security policemen descended on his home in Overport, Durban (near the former famous Admiral Hotel), and detained him under the notorious and infamous Internal Security Act. The security policemen raided and searched his home for more than an hour from 3am to 4am for “communist literature” and for being a “threat to the security of the state”. Mr Reddy, who was a research officer for the South African Institute of Race Relations at this time, was detained along with eight other people in the Durban area and taken to the Modder B Prison in Benoni, near Johannesburg. The others detained were four medical students now doctors – Diliza Mji, David Dube, Norman Dubizane and R. Taoele -; three leaders of the Umlazi Residents Association – Mr Vitu Mvelase, Mr David Gaza, and Mr George Sithole; and Mr Bobby Mari, an activist from the township of Merebank. Prior to his detention, Mr Reddy had just started work with the Institute for Race Relations and was active with leaders of the calibre of Professor Fatima Meer in the Institute for Black Research and with Archbishop Denis Hurley. He also worked very closely with the late Mewa Ramgobin, who was leader of the Natal Indian Congress at this time. A visiting American professor of history, Dr John Rowe, who was a guest of Mr Reddy and his family, was present when the security policemen conducted their raid at Mr Reddy’s home on the morning of August 19 1976. Mr Reddy had studied under the tutorship of Dr Rowe at the Northwestern University in Evaston, Illinois from 1969 to 1973 when he had completed his Masters Degree in History. He had travelled to the United States after completing his BA (Hons) at the then University of Durban-Westville in 1969. Dr Rowe, who was on a tour of Africa at this time, spoke to this correspondent who worked for the Durban Daily News at this time. He said in an interview a day after Mr Reddy’s detention that the raid by the security policemen had been a great shock and a traumatic experience for Mr Reddy’s young wife and year-old son. It was also a traumatic experience for him as a visitor. This is what he told me: “I stood in the pre-dawn darkness watching the police, who kept saying that they were going to keep him (Mr Reddy) for a long time, away from his family. Beside me, his wife held their year-old son in her arms and cried softly as Mr Reddy was being taken away by the police. “Mr Reddy is concerned for the future wellbeing of his country, believing that the best way to combat Communism is to bring the races together rather than keeping them apart.”
Mr Reddy and his fellow detainees were held for four months and during this period, this correspondent visited him at Modder B Prison in Benoni. Asked about his detention and him being away from his young family, he had said: “This incarceration and detention is something that we have to put up with until we get rid of this apartheid regime and establish a non-racial and democratic society. It’s a sacrifice for our freedom.” Mr Reddy and the other activists had been detained at a time when the former apartheid state was conducting massive repressive actions against social, religious, sporting and political leaders in the aftermath of the Soweto uprisings on June 16 1976. On his release on December 29 1976, Mr Reddy was served with a five-year banning order which prevented him from continuing with his work at the Institute of Race Relations. He was banned along with Mr George Sithole, secretary of the Umlazi Residents Association; and Mr Rashid Meer, who was detained a day earlier on August 18. Mr Meer, who is now late, was the only son of Professor Fatima Meer and her husband, Ismail Meer. Mr Reddy set up a small book shop in West Street to “make ends meet”. He later set up an office next to the offices of the Press Trust of S A News Agency in 320 West Street Building to assist leaders such as Griffith Mxenge, Dr Khorshed Ginwala, A E Gangat and Archie Gumede in the launch of the Ukusa newspaper. But the security police came to know of this move and sabotaged the project by regularly raiding the offices of Press Trust and banning the chief proponent, this correspondent. Mr Reddy found that the security policemen were making life difficult for him and sometime in 1981, he skipped the country through the Natal/Swaziland border to go into exile. After being in Swaziland for a few months, Mr Reddy travelled to Europe. He was stationed in Rome in Italy from 1985 to 1988, working for the Inter Press Service (IPS). Through the IPS, he published regular articles on the South African struggles. In this regard, he obtained most of his information through the Press Trust news agency. In 1989 he moved to Harare in Zimbabwe where he worked for the Africa South magazine until 1991. He returned to the country in 1991 and settled in Johannesburg at a time when serious negotiations were taking place between the ANC and other organisations on one side and the apartheid regime on the other for the establishment of a non-racial and democratic society. Mr Reddy put his media expertise into constructive use by joining organisations for the transformation of the broadcast media in the country. After serving as vice-chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa that was based in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, between 1992 and 1993, Mr Reddy served as chairman of the Broadcast Monitoring Project between 1993 and 1994. After the democratic elections in April 1994, Mr Reddy was appointed as the head of radio at the South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC). He served in this position under the late Zwelike Sisulu, who was the CEO of the SABC after 1994. In 1997, Mr Reddy was appointed acting CEO of the SABC after Mr Sisulu resigned to enter the business world. Mr Reddy had hoped to be appointed to this position on a permanent basis but was forced to move out of the SABC in 1998 after major differences with some members of the SABC Board. Despite the unpleasant treatment by the SABC, Mr Reddy continued to work in the media sphere as President of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 1998. Then for three years he worked as Chief Executive of the Mail and Guardian until 2002. Between 2002 and 2008 he served the media and business world in a number of capacities. These included the Sol Plaatjie Media Leadership Institute at Rhodes University, Media Development and Development Agency, The Media Magazine, IPS, International Marketing Council of South Africa and the South African Business Forum in India. At the time of his passing on August 13, Mr Reddy was a non-executive Director of the National Lotteries Board and Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University and Department of Political Science at Pretoria University. He was also chairperson of the IPS Africa and members of Advisory Board of the Centre for Indian Studies at the University of Witwatersrand. I had come to know Mr Reddy very closely and became a family friend and colleague after one day in the early 1970s he walked into the newsroom of the Daily News in the former Field Street, Durban. When I saw him I walked up to him and asked him whether I could help him. He told me that he had just returned from the United States and that he had been appointed a research officer at the Durban offices of the S A Institute of Race Relations. He had a press release on his appointment and asked whether we could publish it. I told him that he must leave it with me and I would write a story about his appointment. The following day Mr Reddy telephoned to thank me for the article saying it had been published in the news column of the Daily News. Since then I used to visit him regularly at his office and even at his home in Overport. We became comrades in the struggle against white minority rule and domination. Mr Reddy’s funeral took place on Oct 16 2017 at the Brixton crematorium in Johannesburg. The funeral was attended mainly by family members and friends. A memorial service was held for him at the SABC in Auckland Parl in Johannesburg on Sunday, October 22 (2017). Mr Reddy, who was born in the Wyebank area, west of Durban, is survived by his wife, Tessa, four children – Sudeshan, Priya, Maica, Nyal, a new-born grandchild and several siblings, nephews, nieces and cousins. Ends – subrygovender@gmail.com Oct 16 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017


(PREMIER WILLIES MCHUNU TALKING TO FORMER STRUGGLE ACTIVIST, DR FAROUK MEER, AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE) The Premier of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Mr Willies Mchunu, has called for those using violence to promote their political ambitions to be identified and brought to justice. He made the call when addressing a number of political activists, political prisoners and others who attended the one year memorial service for struggle activist, Mewa Ramgobin, at the Somtseu Road Temple in Durban on Sunday, Oct 15. Mr Ramgobin passed away at the age of 84 in Cape Town on Oct 17 last year. Mr Mchunu said Mr Ramgobin and other leaders had stood for a united ANC without factions and divisions. He said the current violence in the province had affected unity in the ANC. “We are promoting dialogue to end this problem and we have faith in the Moerane Commission to identify the people responsible and for justice to be done,” he said.
(PREMIER WILLIES MCHUNU IN CONVERSATION WITH SATISH DHUPELIA, ELA GANDHI AND MEMBERS OF THE GANDHI FAMILY) Mr Mchunu also strongly condemned those involved in corruption and said this evil must be rooted out.
Mr Mchunu identified and acknowledged the former activists who attended the service. The activists had contributed to the liberation of South Africa and the establishment of a non-racial, democratic society. Some of the people he acknowledged were Ms Ela Gandhi, Mr Swaminathan Gounden, Dr Farouk Meer, Bishop Rubin Philip, Dr Dilly Naidoo, Sonny Singh, and Paddy Kearney.
He also acknowledged Mr Logie Naidoo, the former Deputy Mayor and Speaker of Ethekwini Municipality. He called on Mr Naidoo and the other activists to use their special skills in order to promote greater interaction and social cohesion between the African and Indian people. “Prior to the establishment of the group areas act we all lived side by side in Cato Manor and other areas. We lived in peace and harmony but this was shattered when the apartheid regime created townships such as Phoenix, KwaMashu, Umlazi, Chatsworth and Wentworth. “In the new South Africa we must all work together and promote the dream of our non-racial and democratic South Africa,” he said.
Ends – subrygovender@gmail.com