ANC councillor appeals sacking after poo protests

Phumeza Boyce (22) is a huge fan of expelled City of Cape Town ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who was sacked from his job after being arrested for being part of a protesting group of poo-throwers in Cape Town.

"I am here to support him because he is fighting for us," Boyce told the Mail & Guardian after she peeled off from a vast, heaving crowd marching up Long Street. "He is fighting for us to have proper toilets in Khayelitsha. He was arrested when he was fighting on our behalf. We must support him."

Boyce was one of the many supporters of Nkohla who congregated outside the Western Cape High Court, where he was making a court appearance to appeal the decision by the City of Cape Town to sack him.

The crowd later marched up bustling Long Street, causing some concern to shop and bar owners who were not expecting a march in the upper parts of the city.

In sweltering hot weather, the crowds marched with hand-drawn posters, some calling for portaloos to be removed from Khayelitsha.

Protest action
Nkohla came under fire from his employers after he was arrested and identified as being involved in a series of faeces dumping protests in Cape Town.

As the poo protests got under way last year, protesters dumped human faeces on the steps of the provincial legislature, at Cape Town International Airport and in other areas in protest at the poor sanitation in informal settlements and townships. 

The city and provincial government have been pro-active in trying to identify those involved in hazardous poo-throwing protests.

Last year a group of people threw human waste at a bus transporting Western Cape premier Helen Zille and others to a green economy event in Khayelitsha. Two men were arrested for public violence after the attack.

Named and shamed
In August 2013, Zille held a press conference and released the names of those involved in the so-called poo protests, as well as showing video footage of poo-throwing attacks.

Informal settlement leaders claimed their protests were not driven by the ANC, and were not an attempt to make the city ungovernable before the elections.

While such protests appear to have died down following many arrests by police, the activists were today praised for their bravery by some of the marchers, who had congregated to support Nkohla. 

"Nkohla was protesting on our behalf, he was supporting us and protesting poor sanitation in Cape Town's informal settlements," said Zandile Mdliva (21). "Now he has lost his job and we are here to support him."

Police presence
Police parked vehicles half-way down Long Street to prevent marchers from going further and the crowds marched back into the centre of the city.

Protesters told the M&G that should Nkohla’s sacking not be overturned, they would return to protest in Cape Town in greater numbers. 

The ANC suspended Nkohla and six other members in September last year for their role in the sanitation protests in Cape Town.

While Nkohla has court battles ahead of him, he is likely to receive ongoing support.

For Mdliva, Nkohla is an activist who has earned his respect for standing up for the rights of others.

"To be honest, he is our role model. He is fighting for changes in our country, and trying to change the sanitation system," said Mdilva. "Some people are still using buckets, and others are using portaloos. Now he has lost his job, all because he was trying to help us."

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Poo throwers sentenced to community service

Poo thrower and ANC provincial executive member in the Western Cape Andile Lili will have to exchange his buckets of faeces for gloves and a shovel.

W Cape poo-flingers turn on ANC

The group will march to the ANC provincial headquarters for what they say is the ruling party's wrongful political meddling in Prasa's affairs.

Defecation defection feared

The ANC's 'poo two' were reinstated to forestall any bid to take their popular support to another party.

Poo throwers welcomed back in the ANC

Loyiso Nkohla and Andile Lili have been re-instated as members of the ANC after they led protesters dumping human faeces around Cape Town.

ANC expels Cape Town poo protester

ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla has been expelled from the party for his involvement in faeces-dumping protests in Cape Town last year.

DA lashes out at ANC, ANCYL over CPT protests

Following violence and looting in the Cape Town city centre, the DA has lashed out at the ANC and its youth league for "pure vandalism and thuggery".

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Fees free fall, independent schools close

Parents have lost their jobs or had salaries cut; without state help the schools just can’t survive

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday