Monday, September 20, 2021

Endangered Penguins killed by Bees in Simonstown

 A swarm of bees has killed 63 endangered African penguins on a beach outside Cape Town, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds said on Sunday.

African penguins, which inhabit the coast and islands of southern Africa, are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list, meaning they face a high risk of extinction

The protected birds, found on Friday, were from a colony at Simon's Town, a small town near Cape Town.

The area is a national park and the Cape honey bees are part of the ecosystem.

The South African National Parks said the birds were taken to the foundation for post-mortems and samples sent for disease and toxicology testing.

The foundation's David Roberts, a clinical veterinarian. Has said that after tests were done they had found bee stings around the penguins' eyes.


Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi


3 dead, 2 injured in Nyanga shooting

Nyanga police have launched a manhunt after three men were shot dead, and two other seriously injured in Crossroads on Saturday afternoon.

Brigadier Novela Potelwa said that a woman in her thirties who was standing outside her home was hit by a stray bullet during the shooting.

‘’It is alleged that suspects in a minibus taxi fired several shots at four men standing on the corner of Situlo Street after 14:00. Three died on the scene while a fourth one sustained serious injury.’’

‘’The ages of the victims are estimated between 25 and 33 years of age. Their identities will be released once their next of kin have been informed,’’ Potelwa added.

The motive for the shooting is yet to be determined. Police are yet to make an arrest

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Brackenfell police seize R2million worth of abalone

Two suspects, aged 26 and 36, were arrested in Brackenfell on Sunday after they were found in possession of nearly R2million’s worth of abalone.

‘’Brackenfell police members were busy with patrols earlier today (Sunday) when they spotted a double cab Ford Ranger, loading boxes onto a truck. The members called for backup and managed to stop the truck near to the corners of Viben and Petersen Roads and inspected the cargo,’’ said Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

PICTURE: SAPS


The men were found with a total of 12 boxes containing dried abalone.

PICTURE: SAPS


Once charged they are expected to make a court appearance in the Blue Downs Magistrate court on a charge of possession of abalone.


Done By: Danielle Mentoor

Saturday, September 18, 2021

WC flying squad sends stern warning to drug dealers

The Western Cape’s Flying Squad sent out a stern warning to drug dealers, saying that they will respond to all information received and arrest perpetrators when found in possession of drugs, which contributes to the execution of more serious crimes.

This warning comes as an integrated law enforcement team received a tipoff on Friday about drugs being kept at an address in Kraaifontein. ‘’Upon arrival, they conducted a focused search as per the information at their disposal. A 9 mm pistol and a huge consignment of drugs with an estimated street value of R64 000 were confiscated. A 33-year-old man was arrested and detained,’’ said Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi.

In an unrelated matter, also on Friday, the Anti-Gang unit confiscated a cocktail of drugs in Blikiesdorp informal settlement in Delft.

‘’The members strategized and proceeded to the address. Upon arrival they searched the premises and confiscated a huge consignment of mandrax tablets and an undisclosed amount of cash. A 35-year-old man was arrested and detained,’’ added Swartbooi.

Meanwhile, Overberg police confiscated tik worth an estimated street value of R 250 000 in Napier

‘’Overberg Rural Flying Squad were busy with routine patrols near to Papiesvlei Road, Napier, when their attention was drawn to a suspicious Nissan Navara. The members stopped the vehicle and confiscated a bag with methamphetamine with an estimated street value of R 250 000-00 and an undisclosed amount of cash. Four males aged between 29 and 36 were arrested and detained,’’ said Swartbooi

 

Done By: Mitchum George

2 dead on fishing vessel in West Coast

West Coast police have opened an inquest docket after two crewmen died on the fishing vessel in Yzerfontein.

The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon said that NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew and police were alerted following reports from a local fishing vessel that they were heading towards Yzerfontein harbour with 8 crew onboard of which 2 crewmen were suspected to be deceased, just before 10am on Friday.

“NSRI medics met the vessel on her arrival at Yzerfontein harbour and a doctor, who happened to be at the harbour at the time, assisted. Two adult male crewmen of the fishing vessel were sadly confirmed to be deceased,” said Lambinon.

“Police attended at the scene and investigations are under way. The bodies of the deceased men were taken into the care of Western Cape government health forensic pathology services. Police have opened an inquest docket."

According to the police’s Joseph Swartbooi, the circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation. Swartbooi added that no foul play has been suspected.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

IEC hopes more youth & first-timers will register for elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape has called on all eligible voters and existing voters in the province to use the registration weekend (18 September & 19 September) to register or re-register if their registration details have changed or needs updating.

The IEC in the province has recruited and trained 3 290 registration staff for this weekend.

All of the province’s 1 577 voting stations are open from 8a.m to 5p.m on Saturday & Sunday. Of these, 38 are temporary voting stations where permanent structures are not available or no suitable structure exists.  There are currently over three million voters registered in the Western Cape, and the IEC is hoping to increase voter registration among young people.

‘’The IEC is hoping to increase this figure, especially in regard to the youth and first time voters, and have therefore created an Online Registration facility as additional means of registration,’’ said the IEC’s Western Cape’s Electoral Officer, Michael Hendrickse.

Hendrickse warned that eligible voters would only be allowed to cast their ballots on 1 November if they were registered by the end of this weekend.

‘’In order to vote in the Local Government Elections to be held on 1 November 2021, voters need to be registered by 20 September 2021 which is when the national Minister of CoGTA will be proclaiming the elections. Any person registering after that date, will not be able to participate in the election on 1 November 2021, but may do so for other future elections.’’

‘’Voters are reminded that they need to be registered in the voting district in which they are ordinarily resident. You do not need to bring any proof of address, but you will be asked to provide your address or indicate the place where you reside – not having a formal address does not deprive an eligible citizen from registering and voting,’’ added Hendrikse

 

An online voter registration facility allows new voters to register and existing voters to update or amend their registration from the ease and convenience of their homes or anywhere.

When registering online:

·        Go to (www.elections.org.za) and go to registertovote

·        Enter your name and surname, contact details, and create a password

·        Capture your address details

·        Upload a photo or file of your valid SA ID – green ID book, smart ID or temporary ID

·        Insert the One Time Pin (OTP) sent to you

·        Receive a notification that you are registered to vote within 24 hours

To check if you are registered:

Ø SMS your ID number to 32810 (R1 per SMS)

Ø Go to your local IEC office from Monday to Friday during office hours

Ø Go to the IEC website: www.elections.org.za and follow the link “Am I registered to vote?’

Ø Check the Voters’ Roll at the voting station where you are registered to vote during the voter registration weekend

Ø Call Toll-free from a landline to the call centre 0800 11 8000

 



Done By: Mitchum George

More vaccination sites open in Western Cape

The Western Cape’s Deaprtment of health (WCDoH) Health Department will be opening more vaccination sites on Saturday and Sunday.

In a statement, the WCDoH said there will be 43 vaccination sites open across the province on Saturday, with 24 in the Metro and 19 in the Rural areas.

Additionally, 12 sites will be operational on Sunday– nine in the Metro and three in the Garden Route.

‘’This weekend will also see more operational sites on a single weekend than ever before, as we increase access to vaccinations on the weekend,’’ the WCDoH said in a statement

‘’Many of our vaccination sites have a quick, slick and efficient vaccination journey in place. It is also completely free. We know time matters, which is why at most of our sites, from the time you arrive, until you leave, and including the mandatory 15-minute observation period, you will be in and out, vaccinated and protected, within 30 minutes!,’’ added the provincial health department.

There has been a slight decline in the number of vaccines administered in the Western Cape, from the previous week. The WCDoH has a weekly target of 200 000, but only 194 695 got the jab this past week. The Western Cape have administered 2,475,569 vaccines, either through being partially or fully vaccinated, which translates to 37,12% of the total adult population in the province already being protected,

‘’These are good signs, but we cannot let up now and we need to push ahead! We have the supplies and the infrastructure in place, and it has never been easier to get vaccinated so please take up the opportunity as soon as possible. We need a collective response if we are going to beat COVID – get vaccinated, continue practicing safe behaviour and let’s support each other on this journey!’’

 


SUPPLIED: WCG

Done By: Mitchum George

Friday, September 17, 2021

Over 1500 known drug houses in the Western Cape

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has confirmed that about 1 577 known drug houses have been identified in the Western Cape

In a recent reply in parliament, it was revealed that by mid-2021 there are 741 known drug houses in the rural areas

‘’This is a stark contrast to the 53% of such premises identified in the Metro which is understood to be a lucrative environment for drug-related crimes due to population density,’’ said DA’s Community Safety spokesperson, Reagan Allen.

A Known Drug House refers to a premises that is allegedly used to distribute drugs and is known in a community at large and to the local SAPS.

According to Allen, the latest crime statics showed that an increase in efforts led to a 137% rise in crime detected as a result of police action.

”This is especially notable when it comes to the confiscation of illegal firearms or the detection of drug-related crimes. However, clamping down on these illegalities is highly dependent on ongoing intelligence-driven operations from the police service, as even just one drug house is one too many.’’

Allen said that he will write to the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, to enquire about what measures the SAPS is undertaking to prevent and clamp down on the sprawling of known drug houses to rural areas in particular.

The Western Cape’s Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz, submitted the Western Cape’s Policing Needs and Priorities Report for 2020/21 to Police Minister, Bheki Cele, last week.

‘’This accurately identifies that drug trade, abuse and related crimes have been consistent since 2013/4 here in the province,’’ said Allen.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape’s Community Safety MEC urged citizens to be mindful of alcohol-related harms and to act responsibly this weekend

The Western Cape’s Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz, has urged citizens to be mindful of alcohol-related harms and to act responsibly as we enter the weekend.

The call comes as under alert 2 of the nationwide lockdown, alcohol sales are now permitted from Monday to Friday.

Fritz appealed to citizens to not engage in any illegal activities.

“I want to appeal to citizens to remain within the confines of the law this weekend. Please do not engage in any illegal activities. Please trade in and enjoy your liquor responsibly. Our law enforcement agencies, including SAPS, Metro Police, LEAP and the Western Cape Liquor Authority inspectors will all be conducting operations. They will also be ready to respond to complaints from citizens.”

Fritz adds that over the past week, LEAP Officers conducted 252 inspections at on-site consumption liquor outlets, where eight people were arrested for dealing in liquor.

“The Western Cape Liquor Authority conducted 209 inspections, of which 63 was focused on underage drinking. 18 non-compliance cases have been submitted for prosecution. 6 license holders were fined, while 1 license was revoked,” Fritz said.

A total of nine integrated operations between the WCLA and LEAP Officers and/or SAPS were conducted, in which 70 premises were also inspected in areas such as Paarl, Franschhoek, Bellville, Cape Town, Hout Bay, Kraaifontein, Observatory, Constantia, Claremont, Mfuleni and Mowbray.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Three arrested during police's stop and search operations

On Thursday the Western Cape Provincial Integrated Task Team performed stop and search operations near to Ntlazane road in Harare where they were able to arrested a 34-year-old man found in possession of a 9mm pistol with ammunition. 

Meanwhile Caledon police members stopped a vehicle on the N2 Highway. The passengers fled the scene on foot when instructed to leave the vehicle, whilst the driver was arrested. When the members searched the vehicle they confiscated a pistol and weapon with ammunition and made their arrest.  

In an unrelated matter Steenberg police were busy with routine patrols when they searched an unknown man near to Grindal Avenue in Lavenhill and found a .38 special revolver tucked to his waist and arrested the 19-year-old man.

Once charged the suspects are expected to make a court appearance in the Khayelitsha, Caledon and Wynberg Magistrate courts respectively on charges of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

 


by Everngelista Muza

 

 

 

 

 


Men pretending to be police officers rob a family

KwaZulu-Natal police are investigating a robbery and police impersonation after a Tongaat family were robbed by men allegedly dressed in police uniform.

Spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the complainant alleged that after 5pm on Thurday just as he he arrived at his home, he noticed a vehicle that had pulled up behind him. He said two unknown males, dressed in police uniform walked up to him, requesting to search his premises for drugs and money laundering.

When the man took out his cellphone to call the SAPS to confirm, one of the men grabbed his cellphone and pointed a firearm at him. Mbele said the perpetrators then forced their way into their home along with other two other suspects in civilian clothing.

The complainants allege that he and his family were held up and the suspects, ransacked the house, took an un-disclosed amount of money from the safe, along with other items, and drove off in their getaway vehicle.

Prem Balram, from Reaction Unit SA, said the suspects are still at large.


by Everngelista Muza

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Matric exams moved to accomodate LGE

The 2021 national Senior Certificate (NSC) exams will start earlier than scheduled, because of the local government elections.

The Department of Basic Education has confirmed the final matric exam timetable  will now start on 27 October and not 1 November as initially scheduled.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says the decision was taken by the Council of Education Ministers on Wednesday morning.

“The CEM meeting took place following the series of consultations with the key stakeholders in the Basic Education sector. The changes were necessitated by the local government elections which will take place on 1 November 2021. Learners eligible to vote would now be able to cast their ballots.”

Mhlanga says the papers which were scheduled for November 1 and 2 will now be written on 27 and 28 October respectively.

“The best interest of the learner was a key consideration in addition to ensuring that a minimum change to the current timetable was made to avoid confusion.’’

“The Department of Basic Education urges candidates preparing for the examination to keep working hard,” added Mhlanga.

Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schafer shared the same sentiments.

‘’This was the option that was least disruptive, and the decision was made in the best interest of our learners. I wish our learners well as they make their final preparations for the exams, and I appeal to the residents of the Western Cape to support our matrics, so they can do their very best in the exams despite another tough year.’’

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Two suspects sought for murder and attempted murder in Hillview, Muizenberg

The Anti-Gang unit are seeking the assistance of the public to trace two suspects responsible for a murder and attempted murder on the corners of St Charles and Dahlia Streets in Hillview, Muizenberg.

According to reports, two unknown armed suspects approached three victims on 24 May 2021.

‘’One of the suspects took out a firearm and fired several shots at the victims, instantly killing a 22-year-old male, whilst a 25-year-old man sustained gunshot wounds and was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. A man, aged thirty, escaped unharmed,’’ said Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi

‘’The two suspects, one dressed in a black hoody top and his accomplice dressed in a blue top, fled the scene on foot in an undisclosed direction and is yet to be arrested,’’ added Swartbooi.

Anyone with information that will lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of the suspects are requested to contact the investigating officer Detective Sergeant Elton Logenstein on 071 298 2349 or alternatively call Crime Stop on 08600 10111

 


COURTESY: SAPS

Done By: Mitchum George

Convicted Cape murderer, Phelo Mtala, sentenced to 2 life terms

A notorious criminal was sentenced to 2 life terms behind bars at the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

According to reports, 36-year-old Phelo Mtala, has killed innocent people since 2014, but was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.

Mtala was convicted for the murders of Anga Dekeni, Solethu Nongenzi and Mzimasi Majelimane and of the possession of an illegal firearm in 2016.

The police’s Joseph Swartbooi said that the suspect continued shooting several victims, threatening families of the victims until he was arrested in 2019 for the possession of drugs.

Whilst in custody he managed to escape but was soon apprehended and returned to prison.

Mtala, had been due to return to Pollsmoor prison in 2019, after his court appearance but managed to escape by allegedly putting his fingerprints on somebody else's release form, who had been in court with him on the day, and who was then taken back to Pollsmoor instead.

‘’After an intense investigation by a committed team of seasoned detectives, the suspect learned his fate in court when he was sentenced to two life terms behind bars,’’ said Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi

The Western Cape Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt. General Thembisile Patekile lauded the team of committed detectives for their dedication and commitment in ensuring that justice is served. 

 

PICTURE SUPPLIED

Done By: Mitchum George

Three bodies discovered with gunshot wounds in Kuilsriver

Kuilsriver police have activated the 72-hour activation plan to track down suspect(s) after three bodies were discovered in a canal in Sarepta on Thursday morning.

Brigadier Novela Potelwa said that several spent cartridges were discovered in the vicinity.

‘’Reports from the scene indicate that police were called out at around 06:00, after passers-by spotted the bodies of two women and a man with gunshot wounds in the water. Several spent cartridges were discovered in vicinity. Police divers responded and retrieved the bodies from the water,’’ said Potelwa.

‘’Police have instituted the 72 hour Activation Plan for the mobilisation of resources in search of the suspect/s and determining the motive for the murders. At this point of the investigation, the identities of the deceased persons remain unknown,’’ added Potelwa.

Anyone with information that could assist the police investigation is urged to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or convey information via My SAPS App. Information received will be handled in strict confidence.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Ex-police officer and alleged mastermind of six murders breaks down in court

Nomia Ndlovu is former police officer who allegedly killed six of her family members including boyfriend and plotting to kill seven more with the hopes of claiming insurance money.

She is facing charges of murder, attempted murder, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

These allegation came to light when a hit man reported her and worked with the police to get her indicted. The case made news headlines this week when a video emerged on social media showing her planning her sister’s murder.

She has denied all accusation against her, and had an explanation for each incident her family faced. During trial she showed multiple strange behavior posing for the camera. The former police office broke down when she was asked about her boyfriend who was found stabbed multiple times in an open field in 2015.

She said the last time she saw him was a while before that.

However, the State has already presented compelling evidence that disputes Ndlovu’s version of events.


by E. Muza

24 year old woman found beaten to death in a refuse bag

A Hermanus family is struggling to come to terms with the murder of  A 24-year-old woman found in a refuse bag , allegedly at the door of her boyfriend's shack in Marikana informal settlement, Zwelihle, early on Saturday morning. Sinathi Mag-qazana, is believed to have been beaten to death with a hammer by boyfriend. According to the police the perpetrator handed himself to the police

Community members demolished the boyfriends shack on Monday, the police are currently investigating the man after he allegedly handed himself to the police.

Sinathi Mag-qazana, who is believed to have been beated to death with a hammer.

The incident comes a week after the dismembered and charred remains of 27-year-old Siphokazi Booi from Mbekweni in Paarl were found dumped near a train station. Her boyfriend Sithobele Qebe is on trial for her murder.

 by Everngelista Muza

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Gangsters Lure Women and Young Girls to Join Gangs

A research conducted by Mullar has found that gangsters in the Cape Flats are alluring girls as of age 12 years old to join Gangsterism. Registered counsellor and psychology master’s degree holder, Imanuella Muller says gangs often use fear and intimidation to lure young girls and women to be part of their gang also in the research shows gangsters are aware of the vulnerability of women and young girls which they uphold and tend to use to their advantage.

“Women play various roles in gangs. These include being information carriers, hiding and handling contraband, ‘trapping’ rival male gang members, selling drugs and taking part in robberies. ’This clearly shows that women are in fact part of core gang activities, and do not just exist on the sideline of gangs,” says Muller.

According to Muller, existing pre- and post-intervention initiatives may not offer sustainable change for some young girls and women due to a lack of funding. She adds that some programmes may not be holistic enough in addressing the diverse needs of this group of women.

Done by Lucille Dyosi


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Eskom employees who were taken hostage in Mabopane have now been released

Eskom employees who were taken hostage in Mabopane have now been released. Eskom said in a statement on Monday night its workers had been held against their will by Morula View residents, who were demanding a mini substation be replaced in their community. The power utility admitted it was facing a shortage of mini substations.

Eskom said they have experienced high incidents of equipment failure due to illegal connections, unauthorised operations on the network, meter bypasses and tampering and infrastructure vandalism. Its workers were safely evacuated by law enforcement agencies overnight.


by Everngelista Muza

250 additional LEAP Officers training to be deployed in Cape crime hotspots

The Western Cape‘s crime-fighting efforts received a boost when 250 law-enforcement officers were recruited for the province’s most dangerous neighbourhoods.

On Monday, community safety MEC Albert Fritz said the new Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers would be ready for deployment in some of the crime hotspots in the Cape Flats by mid-December, in time for the festive season.

In the next few weeks, LEAP officers will receive training in how to use a handgun, a tonfa (baton) and pepper spray, how to stop and approach people, as well as radio procedures.

The new intake brings the number of Leap officers in the Western Cape to 1,081. The unit has 110 Leap commanders, who have already been deployed.

Fritz said the new officers would increase visible policing in the identified crime hotspots in Cape Town. The officers are being deployed as part of the Western Cape safety plan which was launched late in 2019, when the province and Cape Town were dealing with a murder epidemic.

News of the training for new LEAP officers comes on the back of calls from MEC Fritz for greater policing responsibility to be devolved to provinces. At present, policing policy is centralized in the National Minister of Police, with provinces limited to playing oversight.

“The Western Cape Government wants more policing responsibility, so that we can make policy that speaks to the needs of our province, and support the Western Cape SAPS to a far greater extent than we are currently doing. The Constitution makes provision for greater involvement by the provinces, beyond just an oversight role. We can’t afford to be mere spectators ticking boxes. Our citizens need us to be more involved!”

“the current centralized approach to policing is not working, as evidenced by the SAPS’s owns statistics; and as the Provincial Government, we want to get more involved. We received no resource allocation for LEAP, but we’ve nevertheless managed to train and deploy more than 1000 officers. We have laid the foundation with our Provincial Safety Plan, and we are ready to take it to the next level now. Why stop us? Our citizens need us to realise that the fight against crime is one fight that cannot be superseded by a ANC versus DA contestation. Our citizens need us to work together on this,” Fritz added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Cape Town’s law enforcement agencies made nearly double the arrests from the previous week.

 The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies have showed significant success during enforcement operations after making nearly double the arrests from the previous week.

231 have suspects have been arrested and 83 252 fines issued, during operations throughout the metropole.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said Metro Police officers arrested 26 suspects for the illegal possession and dealing in drugs. He also said illegal street racing remains a big challenge within the city. This past week, officers arrested 13 motorists for reckless and negligent driving, seven for driving while under the influence of alcohol, and issued 554 fines during drag racing operations.

by  Everngelista  Muza

Children 12 years and Older Will Soon be Eligible to be Vaccinated

 South African Health Products Regulator has approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for use by children aged 12 years and older. The decision comes after a review of safety and effectiveness information for teenagers, which was submitted in March this year.

Vaccination campaigns have risen in recent months with a solid supply of shots secured just over 12% of its more than 60 million people vaccinated but health insurers argue vaccine hesitancy is now the main issue influencing the pace of the campaign. 

Pfizer which has already being administered to teens is planning tests on even younger children. Countries around the world are now considering or administering vaccines to children, while other vaccine developers including Moderna are seeking the green light for the use of their shots on teens. Government will continue launching efforts to persuade people to be vaccinated. South Africa has a large youth population nearly 28% under the age of 15 years old. 

Done By Lucille Dyosi

Monday, September 13, 2021

7-month-old baby reunited with Cape mom after being hijacked

A mother was reunited with her 7-month-old baby after suspect(s) made off with the VW polo vehicle with the baby inside in Bishops Street, Observatory on Monday morning.

‘’The circumstances surrounding a hijacking incident in bishops Street, observatory at around 10:30 is under police investigation,’’ said Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

“The immediate response by the members of the Flying Squad and the K9 Unit resulted in the vehicle being recovered in Voortrekker Road, Maitland,” added Swartbooi.

However, the baby was not found in the vehicle.

Swartbooi said investigations at the scene where the car was found led the police to an address in Dellville Square in Maitland, where they found the child unharmed.

He said a possible suspect was identified but a formal arrest was yet to be made.

The Western Cape’s Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz, commended officers for their swift response

“When I was alerted to this story I was really upset. This is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to any parent. I would therefore like to commend the South African Police Service for their speedy response and the successful arrest in this matter. And, most importantly, I want to thank them for ensuring the safe return of the little baby to his mother. Today, we can be proud of our men and women in blue.”

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Growing opposition to vaccine passport has erupted.

A growing opposition to a ’vaccine passport’ has erupted on social media has erupted with many South Africans calling the ’vaccine passport’ a violation of civil liberties. This new revelation has prompted a group of people to call for protests across the country this Saturday.

Shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the movement of the country to lockdown level 2 from level 3. Twitter user Lonwabo Mfundisi published a chain of tweets of people holding signs for the protest in different cities.

Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana said he will not be forced to carry a pass in SA in the 21st century.

While many supported the opposing stance, some brushed off the call for protests as just another Twitter rant and some called on to the police to investigate following beliefs that this was loot instigators hiding behind rallies. Health Minister Joe Phaahla previously ’vaccine passports’ would probably be non-negotiable.



A Decline In Farmers Since the Start of the Pandemic

In a report created by Essential Food Pricing Monitoring has stated that a number of farmers in South Africa seem to be declining. This is due to the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic on food markets in the country.

The report also stated that small-scale and emerging farmers were particularly hit hard by poor yields, low productivity, and struggled to grow their operations. Part of the obstacles includes access to finance, infrastructure also routes to the market.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a global trend towards the localization of farming and shorter supply chains the report also added. Customers are increasingly buying local because of climate and environmental concerns, food safety, quality and logistical considerations. This trend could favour small scale and urban farming operations especially since shorter supply chains can save transport and other costs.

According to the report, there have been clear price increases for products such as potatoes, tomatoes and cooking oil, though these were not linked to the progression of the pandemic  rather, increased frequency in extreme weather events likely drove high food price inflation.

Done by Lucille Dyosi

Friday, September 10, 2021

NSRI searching for Gauteng man who drowned at camps bay beach

 The search for a 23-year-old Gauteng man will continue today. This after the man was caught by rip current and was swept away at Camps Bay beach.

Eyewitnesses reported a drowning incident to the National Sea rescue institute just after 1 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, between Camps Bay beach and Glen beach.

A local unidentified surfer had attempted to reach the casualty before he disappeared under water.

The NSRI Bakoven sea rescue craft Gemini Legend and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter conducted a sea and air search.

Rescue swimmers were deployed and performed free dive search efforts. Despite extensive search efforts there is still no sign of the missing man. Police have opened an investigation.

By Danielle Mentoor

Cape Nature offers free access to Nature reserves to the Public

In celebration of Tourism Month and Heritage Day, CapeNature is offering free access to the public at its 22 nature reserves in the Western Cape.

Visitors to CapeNature will enjoy free day entry to explore their natural heritage at selected reserve destinations from 13 to 20 September.

Free access will not apply when booking through the call centre or when making an online booking.

The offer excludes accommodation bookings, and normal rates and access fees apply with any accommodation booking.

Members of the public will have daily free access to the following nature reserves:

 

WEST COAST: Groot Winterhoek, Bird Island, Cederberg, Matjiesrivier, Rocherpan.

WINELANDS: Limietberg, Hottentots Holland, Assegaaibosch (picnic only).

OVERBERG: Kogelberg, Stony Point, De Mond, De Hoop, Marloth, Grootvadersbosch, Walker Bay.

GARDEN ROUTE: Robberg, Keurbooms River, Goukamma, Geelkrans.

KAROO: Swartberg, Gamkaberg, Anysberg.

 

Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women. This was revealed by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)

Friday is World Suicide Prevention Day and this year’s theme is “Creating Hope Through Action.”

The theme emphasises that suicide should not be treated as a taboo subject.

‘’Talking about suicide has often been viewed as a very taboo and shameful topic, with many too scared to talk about Suicide in the fear that it may “plant the seed” or that they would say the wrong thing,’’ says Zamo Mbele, Clinical Psychologist and SADAG Board Member.

“You don’t need to have all the answers. People are often reluctant to intervene, for many reasons including fear or not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing. It is important to remember, there is no specific formula. People in distress, who are thinking about suicide are not looking for specific advice. They are looking for compassion, empathy and a lack of judgement,” she added.

SADAG says it has received over 75 000 suicide calls since January 2021 from people who are really struggling, having serious suicidal thoughts, behaviours, and callers who have previously attempted suicide.

“There are still many more people who haven’t reached out, or who are too scared to talk to someone, and don’t know where to go for help,” said Cassey Chambers, SADAG operations director.

Chambers says the majority of callers are in their youth, adding that the pandemic has contributed to socio-economic and mental issues on citizens.

“Before COVID lockdown in 2020, we were receiving about 600 calls per day. At the beginning of lockdown our call volumes doubled overnight to 1200 per day. Now 18 months later, we are fielding over 2 200 calls per day. And this figure excludes the hundreds, and thousands more, emails, whatsapp’s, social media and sms messages from people reaching out for help each day.’’

‘’The COVID19 pandemic has contributed to increased feelings of isolation, vulnerability, trauma, depression and anxiety amongst all age groups, races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds – suicide does not discriminate,’’ Chambers added.

 

 

SUPPLIED: SADAG

Things to look out for, regarding suicidal thoughts

1. Learning the warning signs of suicide and symptoms of depression

2. Changing the way we talk about or refer to mental health and Suicide in our day-to-day conversations

3. Take the time to reach out to someone who is not coping – checking in, asking directly if they are feeling suicidal or asking how they are really doing, knowing what to do or who to speak to for help for someone who may be feeling suicidal could change the course of their life and open an important conversation.

4. Creating awareness – change starts with us. Sharing resources and helpful information on mental health and suicide can help educate others, normalise conversations around difficult topics and link people to treatment and support


SUPPLIED: SADAG


 Psychiatrist and Psychologist, Dr Frans Korb, says “Over 75% of people who die by suicide tell someone first – it is so important to know the warning signs so you can identify when someone you care about needs urgent help.”

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or thinking about ending their life, please urgently speak to a mental health professional (Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Social Worker, GP or Counsellor), or contact the Suicide Helpline 0800 567 567, Cipla Helpline 0800 456 789, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or sms 31393.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Zwelethemba bridge in Worcester has been reopened

The Breede Valley Municipality in Worcester has reopened the Zwelethemba bridge after two months of repairs.

The bridge over the Hex River, which links the Zwelethemba community to the Cape Winelands town of Worcester, was damaged due to harsh weather conditions in July.

Local Government and Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell said that the bridge had never collapsed but had been damaged by the raging flood waters.

The engineering report said that they have observed no structurally significant defects.

MEC Bredell says that a municipal project steering committee meeting consisting of Mayco Members, the Municipal Manager, Ward Councillors from Wards 8, 16, 17 and 18, SANCO, community members and Municipal Officials met with the engineers on Tuesday. Following the meeting the committee agreed to the reopening of the bridge.

The temporary roadway that was set up to provide people from Zwelethemba with access to the town, will also remain in operation.

COURTESY: BVM


By Danielle Mentoor

Over 36 000 sexual offence cases backlogged in the western Cape due to unserviced DNA sample machines at SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory

 The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape has made a call to the president of South Africa and his command council for GBV to act swiftly and resolve what they call “DNA analysis backlog” in the province.

The DA revealed that there are over 36 000 sexual offence cases outstanding because of what they believe is caused by the malfunctioning DNA machines at the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory in Platekloof.

Speaking at a DigiCon on Wednesday, Gillion Bosman who is the DA’s spokesperson for social development in the Western Cape confirmed that they have submitted a Dossier to the president and his command council for GBV where they are outlining and stressing the importance of having the machines at the SAPS Forensic Science laboratory fixed, in order to speed up the process of analyzing DNA specimen still outstanding. 

 “I have submitted a dossier to the President’s National Council on Gender-Based Violence which outlines the status of GBV in the Western Cape and the enormous backlog of DNA cases related to GBV at the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory. Our request is that the Council facilitate the collaboration of SAPS with the private sector to outsource DNA processing so that the backlog is eradicated as an urgent priority". 

The DA in the Western Cape is concerned about the number of unresolved sexual offence cases and Bosman has blamed the SAPS' incompetence, He says that SAPS has failed to secure a tender process that would allow the DNA analysis machines and related equipment to be serviced, instead there’s a situation where DNA machines have been out of service for 1 200 days.   

Done By: Yandisa Qwabe     


COVID-19 vaccine reduces hospitalization and death - Dr. Saadiq Karriem

The Western Cape Department of Health presented an overview of the effectiveness of vaccines when it comes to reducing hospitalization and death, this past week.

The Department used comprehensive data of cases diagnosed with COVID-19 in those over 60 years during the week of 14 – 20 August when the Western Cape was in its peak of the third wave of COVID-19 infections.

This age group was the first to receive the vaccinations and presents the highest number of people fully vaccinated. In this cohort, 270 619 people (over the age of 60), or 38%, out of a population of 720 000 were fully vaccinated during this time.

The analysis, led by Professor Mary-Ann Davies, Professor & Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research at UCT and Public Health Medicine Specialist at the Western Cape Department of Health, makes for compelling reading:

 

COVID-19 infections in those over 60 years

·        2455 contracted COVID-19, but

·        2245 or 92% of people were NOT vaccinated – only 8% of those vaccinated contracted COVID-19

 

Hospitalisation

·        729 people over the age of 60 required hospitalization, but

·        699 or 96% were NOT vaccinated – only 4% of those vaccinated required hospitalization

 

Death

·        292 people over the age unfortunately died due to COVID-19, but

·        287 or 98.3% were NOT vaccinated – only 1.7% of those vaccinated died due to other complications and not the vaccine

 

‘’The effectiveness of the vaccines, and how they reduce your risk of ending up in hospital or dying from COVID-19, could not be illustrated in a  clearer manner. This is why we continue to engage communities and continue to encourage people to take up vaccination to protect themselves and save their lives,’’said Chief of Operations for the Western Cape Department of Health, Dr Saadiq Kariem.

‘’If you are unsure about whether you should get vaccinated, consult your local doctor or healthcare worker and ask questions. We understand there are some understandable concerns, but the emerging local (and international) data presents very clear evidence that the vaccine will offer you excellent protection against severe COVID-19 disease and will save lives,’’ added Karriem.

SUPPLIED: WCG

 

Done By: Mitchum George

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day

Thursday is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day.

According to the World Health Organization, South Africa has the highest reported FASD prevalence rates in the world.

Each year on the 9th day of the 9th month at 9 minutes past 9, bells are rung across the world to raise awareness about FASD, and the irreversible damage to unborn children caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

The Western Cape's Social Development MEC, Sharna Fernandez joined hands with the Foundation of Alcohol Related Research (FARR).

FARR is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) that is dedicated to building positive futures in South African communities by significantly reducing birth defects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The focus of their major activities is on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

FASD is caused when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy. FARR notes that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable intellectual disability in the world. It can lead to severe and lifelong disabilities collectively referred to as FASD. 

The symbolism of the number 9 is significant, as a woman is ordinarily pregnant for nine months; hence the ringing of a school, church or handbell on the 9th day of the 9th month at 09:09, as a call to action.

“To every pregnant woman out there, please avoid alcohol during your pregnancy to ensure that when it comes to your unborn child’s health - you will be giving them a healthy start to their future,’’ said MEC Fernandez.

‘’I wish to remind all those women who are struggling to stay away from alcohol no matter how hard they try that we are here to help,” added Fernandez.

In South Africa, research completed by (FARR) in five of the nine provinces reports rates as high as 282/1000 live births in some communities in the Northern Cape Province. 

 The Western Cape Province has rates as high as 250/1000 live births (25%) (FRASER-SA report).

SUPPLIED: WCG


 

Done By: Mitchum George


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