Monday, October 26, 2020

CPUT Students’ protest over connectivity glitches

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students from the New Market Junction (student housing centre) protested on Friday for connectivity glitches.

South Point released a statement on Monday condemning the protest behaviour by CPUT students at the New Market Junction, which has negatively impacted on the safe and peaceful living of the residents around Woodstock district.  

“SouthPoint’s IT team was on site at NewMarket Junction on Wednesday, 21 October, to assist students with connectivity issues after rebooting the system’s update authentication. Protests began on that day with students demanding free uncapped Wi-Fi, ultimately resulting in the building’s close-down by Friday, 23 October with SouthPoint staff (including its IT team) and security being removed from the premises” statement said.

Students were burning tyres and throwing litter in the middle of the road because they want their frustrations to be attended to.

Unfortunately the Bush Radio News team were not permitted to speak to the protesters.

In the statement it is said that the issues stayed unresolved with the parties planned to have a subsequent meeting later on Monday.

 

Done by: Chwayita Hlangwana

 

Police arrest suspect as bodies are discovered in Wolseley, Breede River Valley

A 33-year-old suspect has been arrested by police in Wolseley, Breede River Valley, after he was seen on Saturday evening dragging something that turned out to be the body of a local 20-year-old woman in the Pine Valley informal settlement.

In a statement, the South African Police Services said community members alerted the police to suspicious activity in the Pine Valley area after 11p.m. Upon arrival the police made the gruesome discovery. The suspect, who also resides in the area was subsequently arrested.

Police were called out to the area again yesterday, where a shallow grave was discovered in an open field by a passer-by. With the assistance of the forensic pathology services, a yet-to-be identified woman’s body was dug up from the shallow grave. A further search of the area by police led to the discovery of another grave not far from the first one. A second body whose identity, age and gender have not been determined yet, was discovered.

''Crime scene experts from the police including the K-9 unit, detectives and finger print experts were on the scene until late afternoon. How the deceased persons died is part of a police investigation and autopsies will also be conducted soon.''

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, October 22, 2020

African Union condemns violence in Nigeria

 Moussa Faki Mahamat – Chairperson of the African Union – office released an official statement on Thursday morning stating that he strongly condemns violence in Nigeria that broke out on 20 October 2020 during protests in Lagos that ended in multiple deaths and injuries.

The statement said, “The chairperson appeals to all the political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law”.

Mahamat’s statement on Thursday didn't explicitly rebuke the security powers' action.  

It said he welcomed Nigeria's choice to disband the police's hated Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Amnesty International said, since 8 October Nigerians have been possessing the roads of significant towns and cities across 21 states of the country, requesting an end to police ruthlessness, extrajudicial executions and blackmail by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian police entrusted with battling vicious wrongdoings.

The use of lethal force by security forces drew international condemnation, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying reports suggested it could have been premeditated, according to Eye Witness News.

The Nigerian Army denies the reports about soldiers firing shots at protesters

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Rocklands Community Hall declared a National Heritage Site

Rocklands Community Hall in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, has been declared a National Heritage Site. The site was first unveiled as a Provincial Heritage Site in August 2019.

Rocklands Community Hall was the venue of a historic gathering on 20 August 1983, which saw the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and signified a turning point in the struggle against Apartheid. The gathering at Rocklands heralded a new phase in the Liberation Struggle as the UDF placed itself at the forefront of intensified and sustained mass protests that took place across South Africa between 1984 and 1986.

“The value of the Rocklands Community Complex lies in its political and social nature and is of outstanding significance for the memorialisation and acknowledgement of civil organisations and their role and contribution to our democratic society as experienced today,” said the Western Cape’s MEC of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais.

“The declaration of the Rocklands Community Hall as a National Heritage Site is indeed welcomed by the Western Cape Government as we can all agree that the value of the Rocklands community complex lies in its societal nature, amplified by its socio-political significance. We look forward to collaboratively sharing the significance of the newly declared National Heritage Site of erf 11553 at the Rocklands Community Hall and thank all who had a hand in the approval of the National Heritage Site status,” Marais added.


Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Western Cape Education MEC requests information regarding alleged fraud charge against teacher

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has requested information of a coloured teacher allegedly facing a fraud charge by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

TimesLive reported on Wednesday that Glen Snyman, a teacher at an Oudtshoorn school, was summoned to a disciplinary hearing nearly three years after applying for a position at a school. Snyman claimed to be “African” in his CV, instead of his “official” coloured identity.

Schäfer said: “I have learned only today of a WCED teacher who has allegedly been charged with ’fraud’ for classifying himself as ’African’ on his CV.

“One of the many evils of apartheid was the classification of people by their so-called race. This was what many people have fought to rid our country of. So I am understandably shocked to discover that my department is apparently charging someone because of how they choose to classify themselves.

The Education MEC says she won’t condone such behaviour.

“If this is in fact the case, it is anathema to me. And we will not tolerate victimisation of people who do not conform to an artificial and arbitrary classification of who they are deemed to be.”

“On the face of it, it does not appear to be in line with what this administration stands for,’’ Schäfer added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Western Cape COVID-19 test positivity rate below 10%

The Western Cape is currently showing a COVID-19 test positivity rate of below 10%, along with a decrease in the demand for testing at public and private laboratories.

This means that there are fewer people testing positive for Covid-19 in the province and efforts to combat the pandemic continue to prove successful as more sectors are opening. The decline is further reflected in the Hospital Admission Rate which currently stands at under 5%. 

As of Monday, 504 patients were in hospital, with 111 of these in ICU or high care. The Western Cape currently has 113 032 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with the death toll in the province standing at 4 260. 105 136 people recovered from the coronavirus in the Western Cape.

The Democratic Alliance’s Western Cape Health Spokesperson, Wendy Philander, urged citizens to follow the necessary health protocols.

“I still urge residents to maintain social distancing and good hygiene, as the Coronavirus remains with us for the foreseeable future. It is important that we get back to work and restore dignity, but it is also vital that we remain vigilant against the virus and to prevent a second wave of infections.’’

As of last week, the rate of cases in the country as a whole declined from approximately 10 000 to 1 000 new cases per day.

‘’This means that hospitals are able to recalibrate elective surgeries and clinal services. The provincial department of Health indicated that they have scaled up procedures along with prioritising urgent operations whilst remaining vigilant to manage Covid-19 at public health facilities,’’ Philander added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Sixty law enforcement officers redeployed to Hanover Park to quell gang violence

Sixty additional Law Enforcement Advancement Programme (LEAP) Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) appointed through the Western Cape Safety Plan, were redeployed to quell the latest spate of gang related violence in Hanover Park. The officers have been deployed to assist SAPS in a joint operation.

Over the past week, there have been reports of mass shooting incidents in Hanover Park, Joe Slovo (Milnerton) and Ravensmead.

The Western Cape’s MEC of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has welcomed the redeployment.

“I wish to commend all actors who have played and are playing a role in ensuring the safety of residents in the province. Going forward, I will be meeting with the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Matakata on the spate of shootings that we have seen in Hanover Park, as well as Joe Slovo and Ravensmead.”

“In particular, I wish to commend SAPS and the LEOs deployed through the Western Cape Safety Plan which have contributed significantly to towards the stabilization of Hanover Park over the past weekend. Violence and gangsterism has no place in our society and we not tolerate or condone it. I have called on residents to report known criminal elements who disrupt the safety of their community,” Fritz added.

The deployment follows Fritz’s meeting with the local Councillor, Antonio van der Rheede and the Station Commander, Colonel Fredericks on Friday in Hanover Park amid gang violence.

During the meeting, Colonel Fredericks outlined his station’s safety plan to quell violence. 

Fritz added: “I am determined to ensure that the Law Enforcement effort as seen here today (Monday) will be closely linked with a comprehensive Violence Prevention component. Violence Prevention is about working together with all role-players, including parents, schools, NGOs, faith based organisations and local government to ensure that we permanently stop the violence plaguing our communities from happening in the first place. We will particularly work with young people to ensure that they have access to different kinds of opportunities that will show them a path away from violence, apathy and possible gang influence and involvement. In the coming months we will work together with SAPS, LEAP, and Law Enforcement to implement this integrated violence prevention interventions on a sustained basis.”

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Two EMS officials attacked in Khayelitsha

The Western Cape Government Health's Emergency Medical Services  (EMS) responded to 4 930 incidents in the province over the weekend. There were 124 incidents in red zone areas and 164 transport-related incidents.

Red zone areas are areas where ambulance crews are not allowed to enter without a police escort. Most red zone area incidents occurred in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain.

A male and female EMS official were attacked at 11a.m on Monday. The incident occurred in Site C, Khayelitsha, in Mew Way road, while the crew were on their way to pick up patients from Khayelitsha (Site B) Community Health Clinic.

Three young, male suspects flagged the vehicle down and gun pointed the officials. Two of the suspects stood in front of the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle and one suspect stood in front of the windscreen with a gun and began to threaten the officials. The suspects demanded that the officials hand them their wallets and cellphones. The male official, who was the driver of the vehicle, began to plead for his wallet after the officials handed it over to the suspects.

‘’He begged the suspects to take the cash from his wallet and leave his wallet and identification document behind. He had withdrawn cash from the ATM not long before the incident occurred. One of the suspects proceeded to slap the male official in his face, threw his wallet in the road and they all fled from the scene. The incident was reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the EMS officials are currently being counselled and will be sent home and provided with time off from work. The area which the incident occurred in has been declared a temporary red zone area,’’ says Western Cape Health’s Communication Officer, Deanna Bessick

The Western Cape Government of Health condemned the high frequency of attacks that has been occurring.

EMS Director, Dr Shaheem de Vries, has called on the community to help protect and support the EMS officials

“We are urging the public to protect and support EMS officials. It is the most vulnerable who are the most affected by these attacks. We are calling on the community to work closely with us to eradicate this criminal behaviour. Should anyone have any information on any attacks, it should be reported to the nearest SAPS.”

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

 

6th October 2020

 

At around 11am this morning there were 3 suspects at a Caltex garage on Victoria road, Salt River. Police caught 2 of the suspects, however 1 is still on the loose.

As the cops arrived on the scene the 2 suspects were in the car, asked them to get out, as they got out of the vehicle the 1 suspect ran away, however the cops got the suspect, and put both them in the vehicle van.

Upon searching their vehicle cops found 2 weapons. Details around the arrests are still unknown, however investigations are underway.







Friday, October 02, 2020

Community Safety MEC condemns Khayelitsha shooting incident

The Western Cape’s Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz has condemned the shooting in Site C, Khayelitsha which left six people dead and four others injured.

Six people were shot dead and four others wounded in a mass shooting in Solomon Tshuku Road on Wednesday.

According to police, gunmen opened fire on the group who were sitting in a house. Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa, said police were called out to the scene around 4pm.

Fritz said he was alerted to this “gravely concerning incident” after attending the memorial service for anti-gang unit member Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear.

“I wish to condemn this incident in the strongest terms. It is reported that police were called out at approximately 4pm as an unknown gunman entered the Solomon Tsuku home and began shooting. SAPS reported that the motive was unclear.”

Fritz called on police to pull out all stops to catch the perpertrators.

“I call on SAPS to leave no stone unturned in their investigation. We cannot sit by idly and allow violent crime to undermine the safety of our communities,” Fritz said.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and loved ones of those who were brutally killed in yesterday’s shooting. Violence has absolutely no place in our society. I further wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured in the shooting.”

Fritz continued: “I was alerted to this incident following SAPS’ memorial service held for Lieutenant Colonel Kinnear yesterday. As a province and provincial government, we are deeply saddened by the loss of this exceptional police officer.

“I again extend my heartfelt condolences to the Kinnears during this difficult time and call on SAPS to focus their energies on ensuring that those responsible for his death face the full might of the law as an attack on our police service is an attack on the state.”

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or use the tip off function on the MySAPS cellphone application.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape Blood Services low on two blood groups

The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) urged citizens to donate blood, after blood groups O+ and B+, are critically low.

As of 2 October 2020, the WCBS has 2 days blood stocks left, for both O+ and B+.

The O blood group is the universal blood group and can therefore be given to other blood groups (O+ can be given to all positive blood groups and O- can be given to all negative blood groups).

The service said there had been a significant decline in blood stocks as most facilities were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 “The safety of blood donors, staff and blood recipients have always been our main priorities and WCBS has implemented stringent hygiene and precautionary measures since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure their ongoing safety," said public relations manager Marike Gevers.

The coronavirus cannot be transmitted through a blood transfusion as respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion.’’ Gevers added.

You are eligible for blood donation, if you are between the ages of 16 and 75, weigh 50kg or more, are healthy on the day of donation and lead a safe lifestyle. For your own safety, says WCBS, you won’t be able to donate blood if you are a competitive sportsperson training for a big event, or are involved in a hazardous occupation.

For more information, visit www.wcbs.org.za

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Voter registration weekend for municipal by-elections

Voter registration will be held on 3 & 4 October 2020 for the 96 municipal ward by-elections, which is scheduled to take place in 56 municipalities on Wednesday, 11 November 2020. By-elections are scheduled in all nine provinces across 461 voting districts affecting over 600 000 registered voters.

Voting stations in affected wards will be open this weekend from 08:00 – 17:00 to allow all eligible voters to register and for current voters to check their registration details and to provide or update address details where necessary.

The Independent Electoral Commision (IEC) reminded voters to take their identity document with them. Citizens will also need to complete their physical home address on registration or provide sufficient particularities of their place of residence.

The IEC warned that documented proof of address (e.g. a municipal account) is not required. Voters are reminded that it is a criminal offence to register and vote in a ward, in which they are not ordinarily resident.

In a statement, The IEC said the by-elections will be held under strict new COVID-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of others.

‘’The by-elections will be held under strict new COVID-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of voters, election staff, party agents, observers and other stakeholders. These include implementing strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters enter and exit the voting station.’’

‘’Voters, election staff and all those entering the voting station will be required to wear a mask at all times. Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, although pens will be provided and sanitized after each use.’’ IEC added.

 

For more information, visit www.elections.org.za

 

Done By: Mitchum George

World No-Alcohol Day

Friday is World No-Alcohol Day. People around the world have been encouraged to give up alcohol for 24 hours on 2 October, in support of the call for more effective measures in all countries, to reduce the high global levels of alcohol-related harm.

According to research by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, driver alcohol intoxication accounts for 27.1% of fatal crashes in the country, costing the economy an estimated R18.2 billion annually. The RTMC says that 55% of fatal crashes happen at night, 60% over weekends, with around 30% occurring during vacation periods.

‘’The issue of drinking and driving is of particular concern as the country moves towards the festive season. December will be the first mass movement to holiday destinations since the start of the pandemic in March. The roads are therefore likely to be more congested than normal, increasing the risk of traffic incidents which could lead to injury or death,’’ says Maurice Smithers, Director at Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance South Africa (SAAPA SA).

‘’This risk is much higher if drivers have been using alcohol, hence the need to speed up the passage of the Bill so that, as Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula promised in June this year, it can be enacted by December in time for the holiday season.’’ Smithers added.

The research also shows that the risk of injury or death to other road users increases greatly if a driver is drunk – pedestrians, for example, are three times more likely to die in a crash where a driver is intoxicated.

This year, SAAPA SA and its partner organisations in other Southern African countries, are commemorating the day with the launch in each country of a Memory Quilt Project. The project will call on families and friends of those who have suffered injury or death as a result of the harmful use of alcohol to remember them by contributing a panel to one or more Memory Quilts. Once completed, the quilts will be displayed at different locations in each country to highlight the need for more effective legislation to manage the sale and consumption of alcohol.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

 

 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

R30 000 reward for information leading to Grabouw school principal’s murder

A R30 000 reward has been offered for any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects who murdered aschool principal in the Overberg, in the Western Cape, earlier this month.

Zameka Mfubesi, 46, was gunned down in Grabouw while driving along the N2 highway about 2 p.m on 18 September 2020. Mfubesi was the principal of Umyezo Wama Apile High School in Grabouw. The motive for the murder is unknown at this stage.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), provincial police and the family of the victim, Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schäfer, said her department have agreed to contribute R20 000 to the reward, while Ms Mfubesi’s family is contributing the remaining R10 000.

“Ms Mfubesi’s death came as a great shock and is a profound loss to her family, school community and the WCED, and members of the public are urged to come forward to assist in bringing the perpetrators to justice. All information provided and received will be treated confidentially,” Schäfer said.

She also noted the reward will be paid for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspects and will be shared if more than one person furnishes the authorities with information.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Western Cape Community Safety MEC condemns policing inefficiencies

The Western Cape’s MEC of Community Safety, Albert Fritz has written to the office of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman noting reported incidents of police inefficiencies that occurred in May 2020, where a senior police officer allegedly threatened an elderly woman, a pregnant woman and several Muizenberg residents.

It was further reported in April 2020, that a Lavender Hill mother was left bruised and humiliated after Steenberg police officers allegedly arrested, physically assaulted and spat in her face when she went to seek help at the police station.

MEC Fritz said, “On 11 May 2020, I wrote to the WCPO, Mr J.J. Brand, regarding the numerous complaints of police inefficiencies reported during the lockdown period at Muizenberg and Steenberg SAPS and requested an investigation into these allegations in terms of section 17 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act (the Act).”

“Of course, reports of police inefficiencies are not limited to Muizenberg or Steenberg SAPS alone and there are in fact reported cases of police inefficiencies from across the province. I call on residents who experience such to immediately come forward and report it to the office of the WCPO. It is unacceptable that certain members of SAPS should act so aggressively towards the residents that they are duty-bound to serve. Now I must add that by and large, we can be proud of our police officers who serve us and make us safer in a tireless and dedicated manner. We are concerned about a few instances in which this is not the case, and each instance deserves our attention,’’ Fritz added

The Community Safety MEC welcomed the WCPO’s investigation into allegations of unacceptable behaviour by members of Muizenberg police and calls on members of the public who experience such to come forward and report it to the WCPO.

“I wish to commend the WCPO, Mr Brand, and his office on their investigation into the reports of police inefficiencies at Steenberg and Muizenberg SAPS. As a province, we are fortunate to have invaluable resource which guides us in conducting investigations into reports of police inefficiencies and barriers in community and police relations.”

 

Done By: Mitchum George


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