Komape trial shows state at most callous, and other stories

GroundUp’s stories from the past seven days

| By
Photo of people celebrating
People celebrated in the streets of Harare upon hearing the news that Robert Mugabe resigned.

Subscribe to GroundUp’s Newsletter

Michael Komape

Michael Komape fell into a pit toilet at his school on 20 January 2014, and drowned. His parents are suing the state. GroundUp is covering every day of the trial.

Here is the latest report:
State offered a pauper’s burial for Michael Komape

Here are reports from the rest of the trial.

Violin players

This is a wonderful story of hope: Meet Masiphumele’s budding violinists.

Zimbabwe in photos

Our photographer in Harare (who wants to remain anonymous) captured the past week’s seminal events beautifully. Here are photos from what some protesters called Zimbabwe’s second independence day. He caught on camera students shutting down the University of Zimbabwe. And he also shot the celebrations when Mugabe finally resigned.

Social housing

Activists are campaigning for affordable housing. We took an in-depth look at one particular model: state-subsidised rentals. These are generally for households earning too much to qualify for RDP housing, but too little to afford private sector rents.

A day after publishing this report, evictions took place at Steenvilla, the biggest rent-based social housing project in Cape Town.

Remember the fire in Hout Bay’s Imizamo Yethu township earlier this year? The City of Cape Town promised to reblock the burnt area. It isn’t going well.

Last week we ran an opinion piece by a Woodstock resident Ute Kuhlmannquestioning the City’s approach to affordable housing in the area. Here is a response by Nick Budlender of Ndifuna Ukwazi. It’s a fascinating and important debate, well worth reading.


The travails of PRASA and Metrorail continue. This week the Railway Safety Regulator released a damning report about train safety.

Commuters were stranded for two hours between stations on Cape Town Metrorail earlier this week. It’s true this is not unusual, but we intend to report incidents like this regularly so that the terrible state of Cape Town’s train transport system remains in the public eye.

Social Grants

Friday (the day you receive this email) is supposed to be the day that a deal between SASSA and the Post Office will be reached to pay social grants.

Will Butterworth ever get to swim?

Two years ago we reported how it had taken many years and far too much money for Butterworth’s public pool to be built. The good news is that the pool has been built. The bad news is that there isn’t water to fill it.

Setback for artisanal coffee in Khayelitsha

Five years ago we reported the opening of the Department of Coffee in Khayelitsha. Sadly this week we report its closure, hopefully temporary, following the burglary of their machines. The popular baristas are appealing for financial help to get their business going again.


Stink-up at Cape Flats school

“My stomach turns and I feel as if I’m about to vomit”

By Vincent Lali

Energy minister insists on nuclear

Committee demands clarity on costs but gets none

By Suné Payne

Protesters demand equal distribution of police officers

Case on SAPS resources will be heard next week

By Tariro Washinyira

uMlazi swamped by rubbish and sewage

Residents accuse municipality of neglect, while councillor says residents must clean their own mess

By Nomfundo Xolo

Farm workers accuse police and farmers of working “hand in glove”

Dispute on Eastern Cape farm after video shows farmer pulling down family’s home extension.

By Joseph Chirume

Human Rights Commission hears of abuses in remote towns

SAHRC says it wants to be “more accessible” to people living far from big cities

By Barbara Maregele

Health department wants to close informal facility for destitute people

Khululabantu Bam centre in Butterworth described as “not appropriate” for mentally ill

By Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

Beacon Bay community takes protest to mayor

Showdown looms as residents demand timeframes but Xola Pakati refuses to give any.

By Thembela Ntongana

Victory for community organisations in Mining Charter battle

Chamber of Mines fails to block activists from taking part in upcoming court case

By Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti

Kraaifontein sports complex stripped by vandals

City says it will cost one million rand and take three years to restore

By Vincent Lali

Trollip offers R25,000 reward to catch electricity and water saboteurs

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality says supply to poor areas is being sabotaged on weekends

By Joseph Chirume


Next:  SASSA’s failures make smooth grant handover impossible, warn experts

Previous:  Epileptic man left on floor for hours in hospital

© 2017 GroundUp. Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.