Friday, June 30, 2006

ACDP calls for stringent action in the Kebble-linked tax invasion

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The African Christian Democratic Party has called for stringent action in the Kebble-linked tax invasion. This comes after reports that some ANC youth league leaders have benefited in the money that was donated by the late mining magnate Brett Kebble and one of the youth league member, Songezo Mjongile, appeared in court for tax invasion. ACDP Western Cape Leader, Hansie Louw says it is quite possible that some of the money was diverted to the ANC. He says Mjongile is setting a bad example for the youth. Louw says reports suggest that Kebble not only passed money to Youth League executive members, but also to former ANC Western Cape Leader, Chris Nissen. According to Louw, Nissen needs to come clear on these accusations.

Knysna dj set to plead not guilty

By Chanel September

The Knysna disc jockey accused of raping and murdering two young women last year trial’s date is approaching after months of postponements, the Knysna District Court heard Thursday. Magistrate Elmarie Potgieter postponed the matter for further investigation after a brief hearing. Heinrich van Rooyen supported by family members was not asked to plea, but his attorney Daan Dercksen told the court repeatedly, that he would profess his innocence. Dercksen also stated that a date for trial has been set for August 24. According to the Cape Times the family of both Jessica Wheeler and Victoria Stadler were not present in court. Wheeler’s partly clothed body was found on October 13 and Stadler one month later November 15, both girls reportedly knew van Rooyen. Van Rooyen is set to remain in custody as he his lost bail application.

Initiation victim starves to death

By Odette Ismail

Eastern Cape police and health department officials yesterday arrested 6 people involved in running illegal circumcision schools. The body of an uncircumcised 17-year-old boy was found in Ntabankulu near Mthatha. It is reported that the he starved to death. Eastern Cape Provincial health department spokesman, Sizwe Kupelo, says rescuers found the boy dead amongst 21 other boys in the region. The boys had been kept over 3 weeks and were not allowed to have food. Survivors were taken to hospital and are being treated for starvation. The death toll has now risen to 11 in the province since the start of the initiation season. A postmortem will be conducted on the boy and a case of murder is to be opened.

Young people to be trained in drug counselling

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The Western Cape Social Services and Poverty Alleviation MEC, Ms Koleka Mqulwana, accompanied by Premier Ebrahim Rasool, will be launching the department's Siyabulela Campaign, at the Gugulethu Sports Complex today. The campaign will see one thousand unemployed and poor young people, mostly from rural areas, employed and trained in drug and substance abuse intervention mechanisms. The young people will subsequently be deployed throughout the province to provide counselling to people suffering from drug addiction.
pic:http://www.info.gov.za

Local pricipal suspended on sex charges

By Chanel September

A primary school principal suspected of indecent assault and possession of child pornography has been suspended. The Department of Education in the Western Cape suspended the school principal after receiving affidavits from parents. Education MEC Cameron Dugmore says that the department will keep a close eye on the court proceedings and will conduct their own investigation. The suspect was granted bail on Wednesday in the Bellville Magistrate Court. Counselling for the pupils and parents have been arranged by education officials. Meanwhile an; acting principal has been assigned to take over when the new school term begins.

Disabled youth cries out in Youth Parliament


By Odette Ismail

Concerns were raised about accessibility for disabled youth at the two-day long National Youth Parliament hosted by parliament on Tuesday. This debate increased when the organisers of the Youth Parliament did not provide proper structures in accommodating the disabled. Ms Gwen Mahlangu, deputy speaker of the National Assembly in Tshwane, was very disgraced that disabled people were carried out of buses and demanded an explanation. There was a cry out to government to ensure more support and access to especially obtaining information for the disabled.” Let us show them we walked the path,” said Mahlangu, who referred to the youth of 1976 who joined forces so that the 30th anniversary of June 16 can be celebrated. Other highlights for the day were the need for safety in schools and the availability of jobs after the completion of studies. The results of the discussion will be written up in a report to be tabled for further consideration.

picture:www.ztpm.sk

Parliament seeks resolution for education


By Tarryn Le Chat

Parliament of the Republic of South Africa have been seeking to resolve issues within education and other topics by hosting the National Youth Parliament to mark the 30th anniversary of June 16, 1976 uprisings. The main focus was on issues within education itself, such as substance abuse, teacher/learner ratio, and disability, funding for education, language barriers and discrimination in schools. Tsietsi Tolo, chair: select committee on education put these issues forward to members on the committee to come up with resolutions. South African Students Congress says, “Government should take necessary steps to make environments more accessible to disabled students”. A committee member from Gauteng noted that language barriers wouldn’t be solved if they were taught in their ‘mother tongue’ at schools. “This will have a dangerous outcome”, Jolie said. However, the chairperson dismissed these claims saying, “Africans should be taught in their ‘African language’.” Further queries or reports can be sent to the parliament website, http://www.parliament.gov.za/ for the issues that were addressed for the different committees.

Youth representatives behaviour criticised

By Chanel September

As the month of June draws to a close, so does Youth Month, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the June 16th uprisings. The Republic of South Africa therefore hosted a National Youth Parliament to not only celebrate but also commemorate the Youth Month. The debated issues that were discussed at the youth parliament were those core problems affecting the youth of South Africa today. Some youth representatives behaviour were critised. Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Gwen Mahlangu said that she was embarrassed at the behaviour and felt that some representatives should be given the rules of parliament as youth issues in South Africa are to be taken seriously.

pic:www.meyerandferreira.co.za

GERMANY BRACES FOR THE NEXT ROUND

By Nadia Samie

BONN, GERMANY: It’s another rest day today for the remaining eight teams in the 2006 World Cup. The quarter-final qualifiers this year are Brazil, England, Germany, Argentina, France, Italy, Portugal and Ukraine.

Defending champions Brazil advanced to the next round of the World Cup by beating Ghana 3-0 in Dortmund on Tuesday, which saw Africa exit tournament.

But it’s really the people in the middle of the field that are making headlines constantly during this World Cup. The referees have come up for a lot of criticism from all sides. A committee met yesterday to decide on which of the 22 referees will remain in Germany to officiate the quarter finals. A full list will be revealed at a press conference later today. After 55 of the 64 matches that will be played in the tournament, 306 yellow cards and 25 red cards have been dished out. Both are World Cup records.

German fans are waiting with baited breathe as their team take on Argentina in Berlin at 5PM tomorrow, while Italy play Ukraine in Hamburg at 9PM. France meet Brazil in Saturday’s quarter final, while England take on Portugal.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

SA youth voice their issues in Parliament

By Tando Mfengwana

Western Cape youth and Youth organisation from all over South Africa gathered in Parliament for a two-day long program in Parliament. This event is hosted every year in order to stimulate debates about issues affecting the youth of South Africa.This year the youth present at the gathering edged other young people to take responsibility and take part in improving development of the country and not leave things to the government. Other issues that were dug out were teenage pregnancy, the implementation of peer education, cultural practice, gender relations, poverty leading to crime, communication and the lack of involvement by the youth in community projects.

Zidane still on par

By Tando Mfengwana

Zinedine Zidane scores the third and final goal in injury time to seal off Spain’s hopes of World Cup glory. In a typically ordinary style European soccer match the French midfielder played some good attacking soccer and composed himself to slot in his 29th international goal in his 105 appearance. The goal ensured the "Les Blues" as they are commonly known, advancement to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup. They are now set to meet with the current World champions, Brazil, whom just qualified by an unconvincing win over African hopefuls Ghana who made it to the last sixteen on their debut. Zinedine came back from retirement in order to play and assist France in their World Cup assault in Germany 2006 and this showed his critics that his still on par with the best in the world.

Local baby eventually receives heart operation

By Odette Ismail

Bridgetown baby Shakier Tofa finally had his heart operation on Wednesday at the Red Cross Children’s hospital, after he was sent away three times. Shakier’s surgery was arranged for May 23, but it was rescheduled to June 19 and then again to Monday this week. According to the Cape Argus the baby’s parents, Nadeema and Ali Tofu were extremely upset and concerned about their child’s life. Spokeswoman for the Red Cross hospital said that the reasons for the delays were ‘ increase in service pressures.’ She says this results in less intensive care unit beds and so like Shakier who needed ‘post operative care’ had to come back for surgery on another date. Shakier eventually had his surgery on Wednesday morning after it was rescheduled again this Monday.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

City to take next step in SATAWU damages claim

By Megan Hartogh

The City of Cape Town is set to take its claims for damages against the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, to the next step. This comes after the city held a public meeting where members of the public could come forward to report damages caused by security guards during their strike on May 16th. According to the City of Cape Town’s spokesperson, Pieter Cronjé, 248 people reported damages that totaled R1,15 million. Cronjé says that after the meeting, the City recorded the information given by the complainants and opened a data-base of the information. Cronjé also says that a test case will be pursued by the City’s attorneys, on behalf of a selected group of claimants. He says that if the test case is successful, it will serve as a guideline for the rest of the cases. The data-base of the public’s reports and footage from the City’s closed circuit television cameras have been handed over to the police and the attorneys. The footage allegedly shows security guards damaging public property and committing acts of violence. The City is urging all claimants to keep all the evidence they may have in connection with the violence and damages, so that it can be used in the claims to be made against SATAWU.

NSRI seek missing fisherman


By Odette Ismail

The search to find Jacob Friesly, a Lambert’s Bay fisherman continued on Tuesday. He fell overboard from a fishing vessel west of Nature’s Valley on Sunday. Air and sea teams could not find Friesly on Monday but the search was expected to resume early Tuesday morning. According to the Cape Times Ray Farnham, the National Sea Rescue Institutes’s Plettenberg Bay station commander, Friesly was not wearing a life jacket.
Fishing vessels have been told to keep a lookout for the missing fisherman.

SAPS pay tribute to officers killed at Jeppestown

By Tando Mfengwana

South African Police Service payed tribute to four fallen heroes of a gruesome gun-battle that broke out between the police and about 19 gang members. The gun-battle occurred after a robbery at a Pick ‘n Pay supermarket in Honeydew, Johannesburg. Eight of the suspects were killed and eleven were taken into police custody after giving up arms to the massive police presence around their alleged base house in Jeppestown. Four senior ranked policemen were killed during the shoot-out. The police were led to the house in Jeppestown and were met by a heavily armed gang. Inspector Frederick van Heerden (32) and Inspector Nzama Victor Mathye (49) were of the West Rand Dog Unit, Sergeant Gert Schoeman (30) was of the West Rand Emergency Response Services and Constable Peter Francois Seaward (31) from the Johannesburg Dog Unit were gunned down inside the house while trying to protect the public.

Racism blamed for rugby players death


By Tarryn Le Chat

Suspicions have arisen around the death of 24-year-old Riaan Loots, a Rawsonville rugby player, after a racism face off between rugby players of Delicious and Rawsonville Rugby Clubs turned ugly. Loots was declared brain dead at Worcester Medi-Clinic on Saturday. His death came as a result of an alleged assault during the match. DP Spangenberg, Chairperson of the Rawsonville rugby team, claims that Loots was allegedly punched and as he fell was kicked against the head. According to Bennie Leendertz, Chairperson of the Delicious rugby club, his players were provoked and taunted by players of the opposing rugby team who used racial slur. Leendertz alleges that a player of the Rawsonville team said to a player of the Delicious team, "Luister hier, hotnootjie. Ek gaan vir jou donner (Listen here, hotnootjie. I'm going to beat you up)." Leendertz would like to see the Rawsonville team face suspension with immediate effect as both teams were involved in the fight. Investigations are now underway on Loots' death and the Delicious rugby team is suspended with immediate effect.

Picture: www.bgs.qld.edu.au

N2 Gateway applications extended


By Chanel September

The closing date for the tenant applications for the N2 Gateway Project has been extended after scores of people queued at the Langa police station to hand in applications. Vusi Tshose spokesperson for the Local Government and Housing Department confirmed the extention of the deadline to Friday 30 June 2006. According to the Cape Argus the seven housing officials were being inundated with questions and did not know if there would be an extention. Officials had to close gates as many of those standing rushed to make it in time. The large turnout from residents clearly indicates that more time is needed to submit applications.

Picture: www.shf.org.za

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Missing boy found dead

By Chanel September

The body of 14-year-old Gudio Keyster was found above the Grootwaterval ravine on Monday. Keyster went missing in the Grootwinterhoek Mountains near Porterville after he had gone hiking with friends, 13-year-old Eldino Patience and a 15-year-old whose name has not been released. According to the Cape Times the 15-year-old returned home without reporting his friends missing. Police were alerted by the missing boy’s parents as he never returned home. Meanwhile a farmer came across Patience and he was taken to hospital in Paarl. Patience later helped police find the missing teen’s body when he pointed out the last place he saw Keyster.

Men appear for Jeppestown bloodbath


By Megan Hartogh

The 11 people arrested in connection with Sunday’s bloodbath in Jeppestown, appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s court on Tuesday. According to police spokesperson, Mary Martins-Engelbrecht, the accused were scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, but the change had been made early on Tuesday morning. It is reported that the courtroom, which was cleared of all journalists and onlookers, was filled by approximately 20 armed police officers. The 11 are believed to have been involved in a robbery at a Pick ‘n Pay in Honeydew, Johannesburg. According to reports, police officers were led to the house, where the shootout occurred, by a person who was arrested at the scene of the robbery. Four police officers – Inspectors Fredrick van Heerden and Nzama Victor Mathye, Constable Peter Francois Seaward and Sergeant Gert Schoeman – and eight robbers were killed.

Picture: www.saps.gov.za

SAPS launches the Beat project

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The Women's Network for Legal Services in the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be holding a "Beat Project" on the 28th June 2006 at Lotus Gardens Secondary School in Pretoria West. The project is called BEAT meaning BUILDING EXTREME ACHIEVEMENTS TOGETHER. Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent, Tummi Golding says the project is meant for identifying and adopting a place of safety for children from disadvantaged spheres of life, which is in line with the objective of the SAPS Women's Network. She says the network is promoting external services to women and children who have fallen victims of serious and violent crimes.
PIC:http://www.saps.gov.za

Access denied to hijacking accused

By Megan Hartogh

Access to the 21-year-old student, who is accused of attempting to hijack an SAA aircraft, has been restricted. This comes after a female journalist apparently visited Tinashe Rioga, posing as an employee from the University of Cape Town’s cafeteria. Rioga’s lawyer, Joshua Greef, made this announcement in the Bellville Magistrate’s court on Monday, when information surrounding Rioga’s bail application was made. Magistrate, David Tomisi, granted that visits to the accused be restricted. Only Rioga’s defence team, the investigating officer, a relative, a medical practitioner and members of the police force will be allowed access to the accused. During the bail application, Greef said that his client had no previous convictions or pending cases. However, prosecutor, Zamani Gcelushe, said that Rioga would have “to convince the court of exceptional circumstances for bail to be granted”. Rioga allegedly tried to re-route an SAA aircraft that was on its way to Johannesburg from Cape Town, to Maputo in Mozambique on June 17th. He also allegedly threatened an airhostess with a hypodermic syringe. Rioga, who is an information technology student at UCT, is charged with contravening aviation regulations by trying to seize an aircraft in flight and with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Rioga’s bail application has been postponed until July 5th.

Police looking for missing people

By Megan Hartogh

Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating three children and an adult who went missing on Saturday, June 24th. The four were last seen at the Retreat Railway station at approximately ten-past-ten on the morning of their disappearance. They were on their way to Wellington to visit relatives during the school holidays. However, according to the family friend who was meant to meet them at the Wellington train station, they were nowhere to be seen. Police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn says that two of the four missing are twins, Karlin and Sandra Manuel from Cedar Road, in Westlake, Kirstenhof. Steyn says that the twins are 13-years-old and are 1,5 metres tall. Steyn says that they are slender built and have dark brown eyes. Karlin, who has black hair, and Sandra who has red hair, were wearing blue jeans, orange and black t-shirts, black and white takkies and light blue jackets. According to Steyn, the other two missing people are half-sisters, Andrea Williams and Bernedeen Goliath. Williams is 12-years-old, has brown eyes and is 1,5 metres tall. She was last seen wearing a brown skirt, brown jacket, brown t-shirt and boots. Goliath is 20-years-old, has short, curly brown hair and is also 1,5 metres tall. Steyn says that Goliath has a tattoo of a bird on her back. At the time of her disappearance, she was dressed in blue denim skirt, a blue denim jacket, a white top and black boots. Williams and Goliath are both from Kestrel Way, Westlake, Kirstenhof. If anyone has information about their whereabouts, please contact the investigating officer, Inspector Rodney Franks, on(021) 701 24 26 or the Crime Stop number of 08600 10 111.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Missing Plettenberg Bay man presumed to have drowned

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Plettenberg Bay Sea Rescue officials are searching for a man who is believed to have drowned last night. According to the NSRI the man was not wearing a life jacket when he fell overboard the fishing vessel approximately one nautical mile off-shore. NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon says the search and rescue operation was suspended by midnight and Maritime Radio Services continued to broadcast to vessels in the area to be on the look-out. Lambinon says they will resume with the search today.
PIC:http://www.nsri.org.za/

Follow-up meeting regarding Jonkershoek land issue

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The Western Cape MEC of Agriculture will today attend a first follow-up meeting with regard to evictions and land matters in Jonkershoek. Minister, Cobus Dowry says in view of the problems affecting the farming community, it was decided to have a meeting to resolve the matter in an amicable way and to investigate ways and means for a possible longer term solution. The meeting will take place at the Council Chambers in Stellenbosch. Dowry says this process of dialogue and constructive engagement in agricultural communities may very well be the first of its kind and may serve as a blueprint for other similar areas in the Province and South Africa.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Shoplifting charges dropped against Mfeketo's son

By Megan Hartogh

Shoplifting charges that were brought against the son of Cape Town’s former mayor, Nomaindia Mfeketo, were dropped on Friday. The charges against Ondele Mfeketo were withdrawn, after a security guard – who was the state’s only witness – did not turn up to testify in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court. According to the Weekend Argus Mfeketo’s attorney William De Grass, asked magistrate Menzi Tyulu, to have the case struck from the roll, which was done. This now means that Mfeketo’s case may only be reinstated with written consent from the Western Cape Directorate for Public Prosecutions. Mfeketo was charged with shoplifting after stealing maize meal, fruit juice and potato crisps from the V & A Waterfront’s Pick n’ Pay in May 2005.

Is Cape Town ready for 2010 ?

By Lunga Guza

Readiness of Cape Town for the 2010 Soccer World Cup is still a burning issue. Today the Western Cape department of Cultural Affairs and Sport held a meeting with six regional representatives of the South Africa Football Association to discuss the readiness of the city for the tournament. Department MEC, Whitey Jacobs, says the outcomes of the congregation determined that the construction of the Green Point stadium should be given a go ahead. Jacobs added that the meeting decided that a Soccer Summit should be held to discuss provinces soccer development. Today’s meeting is a predecessor of the meeting that will take place on Monday between the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town. The meeting will decide the future of the province during the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Metrorail Commuters were left stranded yesterday evening

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Yesterday evening Metrorail commuters were stuck in trains for more than two hours on the Northern line. With no reason given why the trains were suddenly halted. After 8 PM an announcer announced that the trains on the Northern lines would be subjected to delays. No explanation for the delay or indication as to the length of the delay was given.

According to eyewitnesses some commuters at the Bellville station started to attack the ticket verifiers who ran for safety. Fortunately no one was injured during the incident. When asked about what happened yesterday, Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said “We have so many trains, so it is impossible for me to keep track of each train”. After keeping Bush Radio on the line for five minuteswe were told that it was due to cable theft.

When asked why passengers were not told about the delay she said “The PA announcer did not know what was happening, she did not have any information that is why she did not mention it during the announcements’’.
pic:http://www.capemetrorail.co.za/

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

FEATURE: Life in a fan camp

By Nadia Samie

DORTMUND, GERMANY: Recently, I visited a fan camp in Dortmund with a colleague from Indonesia and another from Germany, to do a story on “the life of a fan”. To deal with the huge demand for accommodation during the world cup, hosts Germany have provided fan camps close to some of the 12 world cup stadiums for their guests from around the world.

Just some background on Dortmund: It is a formerly industrial area, famous for steel and carbon. It now houses one of Germany’s biggest football stadiums, where six World Cup matches will be played.

We arrived at the fan camp around 3-o-clock on a Saturday afternoon, and after checking in, we were given a yellow plastic bracelet that would identify me as a “fan-camper”. We were given a bed in the “mixed’ hall (there are three halls: male, female and mixed). After travelling for two hours, we were eager to dump our bags. As we walked into the hall that would be our base for the next two days, I immediately got the feeling that something was missing.

Doors! There are no doors in the place. Two-thousand-five-hundred people and no doors! Upon closer inspection, I realised that there were no mattresses or pillows either. It was going to be a long night…

We dumped our things and set out to do some interviews, following two newly arrived fan campers from Brazil from the reception desk to their beds, to witness their reaction, and what they said is not fit for publication.

Then we set out to watch a game in the fan hall, where a few big screens had been erected. Brazilian, Australian, Swiss, Swedish, English and Irish fans, consuming large quantities of beer, were amongst those watching the game when we arrived. It was the Brazil-Australia match.

Various entertainment was arranged for fans. An African festival had been arranged for the night we stayed over, live music from the likes of Mory Kante, Magic System and Vitamin X could be heard from the stage.

At twelve, my Indonesian colleague, Nita and I walked back to our beds. As we neared our section, without warning, the lights were switched off. Finding our way in the dark we went in search of the shower area, and then settled down on our “beds” for the night.

We couldn’t sleep. I don’t know if it was the uncomfortable stretcher-like “bed”, the lack of a pillow, the thought that all our recording equipment and belongings were practically out in the open, or a combination of it all. I finally fell asleep around 4.30AM. And that’s when the party animals decided return. What followed was a chorus of giggles, screeches and loud whispering.

At 8AM, as the rowdy party-campers slept away their hangovers, we made our way to the bathrooms again, eager to wrap-up our last interviews and say goodbye to the camp and hello to the comfortable beds in our hotel.


Family murdered in Cape Town

By Lunga Guza

There has been a family shooting in Guguletu in Cape Town. Three people, including a two-year-old girl, have been shot dead. Police spokesperson, Billy Jones, says that the shooting occurred after an argument between a family member and male friend, who visited the house. The shooting took place this morning at NY 89 Guguletu. Jones says the man has been arrested and detained at the Gugulethu police station. Jones added that other family members, who survived the shooting are receiving counselling at the police station.

Bush Radio contributes in the upliftment of Communities

By Lunga Guza

It was all smiles, when Bush Radio staff, volunteers, friends and colleagues took to the streets of PJS in Site B Khayelitsha on Saturday, to bring disaster relief to some of the residents in the area. Bush Radio sponsored the residents with tarpaulin (sails) in an effort to reduce flooding in their dwellings. Bush Radio administrative manager, Brenda Leonard, said that the station provided the tarpaulin to ten of the dwelling owners that had leaking roofs. Leonard added that the program is initiated to bring about social upliftment in townships.



Its lunch time :Bush Radio staff, volunteers, friends,colleagues and community members posing for a picture, after work done.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The latest on the security strike

By Megan Hartogh

The security guard strike, which has lasted nearly three months, may soon be coming to an end. This comes about after a meeting was held, under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, between the South African Transport and Allied Worker’s Union and employers in the security sector. According to SATAWU spokesperson, Ronnie Mamba, the latest offer takes the union’s two major issues into account – the salary increment and maternity leave. Some of the key changes, in the latest proposal, are that the Grade E guards who work in area five will be phased into area four. Mamba says that this means an automatic increase of R232 for the lowest paid security guards. All other demands, including that of maternity leave, meal intervals, study leave, night shift allowance and service benefits, have been met by security employers. Talks between the union and employers are set to resume on Thursday, and Mamba says that SATAWU will sign the proposed agreement if their members are satisfied and give them the go ahead.

One killed during SAPS operation

By Megan Hartogh

One man was killed and three policemen were wounded, while police were performing an operation in the Mfuleni area on Tuesday morning. The operation reportedly forms part of the SAPS’s ongoing investigation into taxi related violence. According to police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn, the 25-year-old suspect opened fire on police officers at a house in Drift Sands, Mfuleni. Steyn says that it was when police officers returned fire that the suspect was shot in the right leg and abdomen, and died on the scene. The injured police officers are in a stable condition in a local hospital. A case of attempted murder and an Inquest Investigation into the incident is being investigated. A case of possession of an unlicensed firearm will also be investigated after police confiscated a R5 shotgun and two 38 special taurus.

A burned body of a baby found

By Lunga Guza

Police are requesting the public’s assistance of any person who can assist in an investigation of a burned body of a baby that was found inside a burned tyre in Belhar. Police found the baby’s body in the bushes next to the railway line in Belhar on Saturday. Police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn, says a case of concealment of birth and murder is being investigated. Anyone with information can contact the investigating officer, Constable Maxine Charles at the Delft police station on (021) 954 1345 or the police toll free number 08600 10111

More money for no fee schools

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The Western Cape Education Department has allocated 29 million rand to fund the introduction of no fee schools during the 2006/07 financial year, focusing on the poorest schools.

The department plans to allocate 139 million rand in 2007/08 and more money for the following years to expand the no fee initiative to cover more schools over the next three years. Schools are ranked for funding purposes based on the relative poverty of the communities surrounding the schools.

The department says it is allocating 527 rand per learner to cover the first phase of the initiative this year. It also plans to expand the programme to cover 37.6 percent of learners in 2007, while increasing the allocation to at least 554 rand per learner.

Spur robbed of R10 000

By Megan Hartogh

Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating seven unknown gunmen, who robbed a restaurant in Howard Centre, Pinelands on Sunday. According to reports, the men entered the Spur Steak Ranch posing as customers. The store’s owner, Colin Roll, said that the men were “mingling and blending in at the Salad Valley”. Roll said that one of the men demanded one of the restaurant’s managers to open the cash register. The men got away with R10 000. Police spokesperson, Billy Jones, says that the men fled the scene in a black Peugeot. Jones says that no customers were injured during the incident. Anyone who may have information regarding the robbery, is asked to call the Crime Stop number of 08600 10 111.

Attempted hijacker to remain in custody

By Megan Hartogh

The 21-year-old University of Cape Town student, who attempted to hijack an SAA flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg on Saturday, appeared in the Bellville magistrate’s court on Monday. Tinashe Rioga, who is from Zimbabwe, faces two provisional charges. These are: assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and the other of contravening aviation regularities by attempting to seize the aircraft while in flight. According to reports, the third year UCT student’s case will be postponed until June 26th, to allow for further investigation into the matter. Until then, Rioga will remain in police custody at the Bellville South police station.

REPORTING ON THE WORLD CUP

FIFA 2006: "OFF THE PITCH"

Log onto http://blogs.dw-world.de/football2006/ for all the latest stories from a team of international journalists who are in Germany, covering the World Cup.


Above: Reporters (L to R) Nadia Samie (South Africa), Nita Roshita (Indonesia) and Ehsan Bahador conduct interviews in Unna, Germany

Pic: Peter Hille (Germany)

The team is currently based in Bonn and Berlin, where they are producing for both radio and television. Click on the link http://blogs.dw-world.de/football2006/ to read all about their daily exploits!



Above: Ivory Coast's Drogba practices in Triosdorf, close to Bonn

Pic: Chen Xianging (China)

While germany is abuzz with football fever, there are many other stories playing out off the pitch that has kept a certain group of journalists very busy. Read their stories here: http://blogs.dw-world.de/football2006/

MEC Fransman calls for more safety measures on the roads

By Lunga Guza

The Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public works, Marius Fransman has called on motorists to practise safety measures during the June school holidays. Fransman was responding to the accident that claimed the lives of twelve people in Leeu Gamka this morning. The accident was between a taxi and a bus. He also urged people to be more visible and vigilant when they are using roads. Fransman added that drastically measures will be exercised by his department in partnership with the safety and security department, forming road blocks in the Western Cape roads.

Monday, June 19, 2006

22 killed on roads this morning

By Megan Hartogh

A total of 22 people have lost their lives on the country’s roads on Monday morning alone. Twelve of the deceased were passengers in a taxi that was involved in an accident on the N1 near Leeu-Gamka in the Western Cape. It is reported that the taxi apparently drove into the back of a bus, 20km outside the town. According to Metro Rescue officials, eleven other taxi passengers were taken to the Beaufort West hospital – two with serious and nine with minor injuries. Meanwhile, ten people lost their lives in a bus accident between Kroonstad and Koppies in the Free State at 1 a.m. on Monday morning. According to police spokesperson, Rosa Benade, the bus overturned with 60 passengers on board. Benade says that the cause of the accident is still unknown.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Attempted hijack on SAA plane

By Busisiwe Mtabane

A man tried to hijack a South African Airways domestic flight early today that was from Cape Town on its way to Johannesburg. SAA has confirmed that the incident occurred on SA 322 but the man was subdued before he could enter the cockpit. IOL quotes SAA spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan as saying that it appears a passenger threatened a crew member with some sort of weapon demanding access to the cockpit. O’Sullivan says the flight turned back to Cape Town and landed safely. Reports states that Officials say no passenger was injured in the incident. Pic:www.flysaa.com

Cape Town train torched

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Two coaches were completely burnt down in Cape Town after a train caught fire this morning. Police Spokesperson Superintendent Billy Jones says the train had stopped at Philippi Station when the fire broke out between 5 am and 6 am. He says the train was apparently torched and a case of malicious damage to property has been opened. News 24 reports that according to Metrorail this was a third fire incident in as many days on its trains after two trains were burnt in Pretoria on Thursday night. No casualties were reported in all three cases.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Molo Songololo commemorates June 16

By Lunga Guza

More than eighty children from the Western Cape have gathered at the Robben Island for the Youth Indaba. The indaba is organised by Molo Solonglo to commemorate and celebrate June 16. Molo Songolo spokesperson, Patrick Solomons, says the youth indaba will bring together children to play a positive role to prevent abuse, violence and delinquency amongst children. Solomons says the indaba intends on providing participats an opportunity to reflect on and learn about the history of South Africa and about future. The indaba forms part of a series of activities organised by the task team for Child Protection Month

Re-occupation of houses in Stellenbosch farms

By Lunga Guza

The Congress of South African Trade Union, COSATU has called on all residents of Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch to be part of the re-occupation of farm houses that their were evicted from in the area. Western Cape Regional secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, says the reoccupation will be a joined initiative between government, municipality, the union and resident, signing an agreement that allow people to go back to their farm houses. Ehrenreich says the reoccupation is an advance of social justice and to exercise the rights of the farmers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Magazine editor killed in Johannesburg

By Megan Hartogh

Routes editor of Drive Out magazine, Megan Herselman, was found in a rental car on the N1 South Highway in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning. According to police spokesperson, Sefako Xaba, Herselman had been found in her vehicle that had rolled downhill. Xaba says that Herselman sustained four bullet wounds to her lower abdomen. It is reported that the deceased was apparently confronted by an unknown gunmen, while traveling to an undisclosed a hotel in Sandton. Herselman was in Johannesburg to attend an Outdoor Adventure Expo on the day that her body was found. The motive for the incident is still unknown, and police are appealing to the public who may have any information surrounding Herselman’s murder to call the Crime Stop Call-Share number of 08600 10 111.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hi-Jacking and Kidnapping suspects wanted

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Police are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the person on the Identi-kit who can assist them with the investigation of the hi-jacking and kidnapping case. The incident happened on Saturday at a petrol station in Lotusriver. Two female occupants in a white Toyota Tazz were ordered to drive in the direction of Hanover Park by two men, who later dropped them in Springfield Road in Phillipi before droving off with their car. Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on call-share on 08600 10111.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Golden Arrow employees injured during an armed robbery

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Police are investigating charges of armed robbery and two attempted murder charges and are appealing for the Public’s assistance. This follows a robbery that took place yesterday morning in Khayelitsha. Police say four armed males fired shots at the Golden Arrow mobile ticket office that was parked at Makhaza bus terminus, wounding two male Golden Arrow employees. Police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana says the suspects robbed an undisclosed amount of money. Anyone with information can contact Detective Inspector Saardick Benjamin of Harare SA Police service at (021) 363 90 34 /35 or crime stop at 08600 10111. Pic:www.gabs.co.za

de Klerk making steady progress in hospital

by Lunga Guza
Former South African president, FW de Kerk, is reportedly recovering at the Panorama Medi-Clinic in Cape Town, after suffering lung complications on Thursday.
According to the SABCnews.com, de Klerk was placed on a ventilator after lung problems that arose after he underwent cancer surgery last week.
The website quotes de Klerk's spokesperson, Dave Steward, as saying that the former president has regained consciousness but is still under sedation. de Klerk had a malignant tumor removed from his colon.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Possible end to the Security guard strike

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The ongoing security strike, which has been marred by violence, could be called off by this afternoon. This follows a new offer that was put on the table by the employers last Friday.

SATAWU spokesperson Jackson Simon says they have taken the offer to their members and the response has been positive so far. According to SABCnews, Simon says some regions still have to meet this afternoon to discuss the offer. He said should other regions reject the offer, the strike will continue.

Missing ten year old from Mitchell’s Plain

By Lunga Guza

The Mitchell Plain Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating a ten-year-old boy from Veerpyl Street, Beacon Valley in Mitchell’s Plain. Micarlo Anthony Stroydom went missing from his home on Thursday 8th of June 2006. Police spokesperson, Randall Stoffels, say at the time of his disappearance he was dressed in a blue tracksuit pants, blue t-shirt and grey sandals. Stoffels says the boy is described as of average build, 1.2 metre tall, light of
complexion, short black dark hair,brown eyes , thin upper and thick lower lips and tanned in complexion. Should anyone recognize or know his whereabouts is requested to contact the Investigating Officer, Inspector Winston Julies of Mitchells Plain SAPS on 021-370 1600 / 1622 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A head-on-collision claim five life’s in Mpumalanga

By Lunga Guza

A head-on-collision between a bus and truck has left five people dead and about eighty- seven injured at the Mangweni in the Nkomazi region, in Mpumalanga. The accident occurred this morning. SABCnews website quotes Joseph Mabuza, a spokesperson for the Mpumalanga transport department as saying four of the injured have been admitted to the Tonga Hospital in a critical condition. MEC of transport in the province, Fish Mahlalela, is expected to visit the injured at the hospital today.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Three fatalities after shack fire in Cape

By Lunga Guza

A shack fire has left three people dead in Mandela Park near Hout Bay in the Western Cape. Police spokesperson, Randall Stoffels, say a forty-year-old mother and her two daughters, aged four and six, were asleep in their dwelling late last night when it burned down. Stoffel’s says the course of the fire is still unknown, but forensic experts will today investigate the exact cause of the fire, but no foul play is suspected. The names of the deceased will be released as soon as their next of kin have been informed.

NEWS FROM THE WORLD CUP

IT'S ARRIVED! THE DAY EVERYONE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR
By Nadia Samie

BONN, GERMANY: It’s the day everyone has been waiting for; the mood in Germany is definitely one of excitement. Three-point-five million tickets have been sold, one billion television viewers are expected accross all continents, and the 12 host cities are prepared.

Preparations for the following four weeks have been going on for the past four years! The 32 teams are ready and 3.5 million tickets have been sold for this sporting spectacle that will play out in 12 German cities.

Tickets to any of the 64 matches have certainly not been easy to come by, so many fans will be finding a place in front of the big screens that have been set up around the country. More than 60 big screens that have been erected countrywide. More than 2000 people were expected to converge on the Cologne area alone to watch the Germany/Costa Rica clash at 6PM, which is being played in Munich.

At 7.30PM, it’s also kick-off between Poland and Equador.

There have been many injuries during the friendly matches over the past two weeks or so. Probably most notably, Wayne Rooney was ruled out of the first three games of England’s challenge. He is expected to be fit for the knockout stages. Rooney and Steven Gerrard trained with their England team-mates on Thursday ahead of their World Cup opener against Paraguay. Rooney returned to Germany on Wednesday night after undergoing a scan in Manchester on his metatarsal injury.

Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse has also been ruled out of the world cup after he suffered a fracture to his tibia during a friendly against China.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Police seek missing woman


By Megan Hartogh

Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating Monica Le Roux. 44-year-old Le Roux was reported missing after leaving her Chestnut Street home, in Bonteheuwel, on May 29th and not returning. According to reports, she was last seen at approximately 4:30 P.M on the day in question. Police spokesperson, Nomathemba Mgwebile, says that at the time of her disappearance, Le Roux was wearing a white striped shirt, black pants, black shoes and a grey jacket with fur edging. Anyone with information regarding Le Roux whereabouts, is asked to contact Inspector Arries of the Bishop Lavis police department, on 021 – 935 98 02. Alternatively, call the Crime Stop Call Share number of 08600 10 111.

ID's future strained

By Megan Hartogh

According to reports, the Independent Democrats’ future is in the balance following Wednesday’s bi-elections in Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain. The bi-election was won by the Democratic Alliance, who now hold one-hundred-and-six seats in the city’s multi-party government. Wednesday’s by-election came about after ward candidate, Sheval Arendse, defected from the ID to the DA, in a protest against the ID for siding with the ANC in it’s vote for Cape Town’s mayor. According to political analysts, the loss is a major setback for Patricia De Lille’s political party, who obtained less than 30-percent of the votes on Wednesday.

ACSA surprised by their inclusion in the name and shame campaign list



By Busisiwe Mtabane

Yesterday it was reported that the Cape Town international Airport and other Cape Town big businesses including the national and the provincial government owe the City of Cape Town more than 15 million rand for rates and taxes. The Airport Company South Africa management says they have been in formal discussions with the City since 2003 after they received a nine hundred percent increase in their rates and taxes.

ACSA spokesperson Deidre Hendricks says while in the process of these discussions, they came to an arrangement whereby an agreed amount was paid to the City in 2004 and 2005 with the City confirming in writing, that any potential outstanding balances will be settled in full once a final valuation of the airport is reached between ACSA and the City.

She says they have been working closely with the City on this issue and the process has almost reached conclusion, hence they are taken by surprise by the recent reports. Hendricks says as a good corporate citizen, ACSA takes its obligations very seriously and therefore it is incorrect to suggest that ACSA has failed to pay its rates and taxes to the City of Cape Town.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Two vehicles used in Belhar shooting found

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Police have found two vehicles that were used in a shooting incident in Belhar yesterday. Late last night Police patrols found the vehicles abandoned in the area. Two people who were fatally wounded during the incident were taken to a nearest hospital where they received treatment. Police spokesperson Randall Stoffels says both cars a Mazda bakkie and a Toyota corolla are confirmed to be stolen in Stellebosch and Bellville last month.

MP’s concerned over shortage of time for important debates

Several MP’s feel that opposition parties do not get enough time to debate important matters such as budgets in parliament. This was revealed during the debate over parliament's budget. Beeld reports that the Freedom Front Plus’s Corne Mulder complained that 120 seconds was not enough time for an opposition party to react to important aspects such as budgets in which millions of rand were involved. Mulder said parliament should be representative of everyone and consequently debates from both sides should be heard fully because the matters involved were important to members of the public. Before Mulder could add anything more, he ran out of time.

Tennis news from Paris

Roger Federer of Switzerland saw off Croatia’s Mario Ancic in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the French Open for the second time. The score was 6-4, 6-3 and 6-4. In the semis, the world number one will play third seed David Nalbandian of Argentina. Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia will face Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the other semi.
Belgium’s World number two Kim Clijsters reached the women’s semi-finals when she ousted Martina Hingis of Switzerland 7-6, 6-1. Clijsters will now face compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne in the one semi-final, with the Czech Republic’s Nicole Vaidisova and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova squaring up in the other semi.

Iraq releases 600 prisoners

Iraq has released about 600 prisoners, the first of 2-thousand 500 due to be set free as part of a national reconciliation initiative. The BBC reports that more than 100 prisoners were brought to Baghdad by bus, where each was given a gift of 200 dollars by a Sunni Arab politician. Most prisoners are believed to be held on suspicion of involvement in the insurgency that has gripped the country since 2003. Correspondents say this is expected to be one of the biggest releases of prisoners since US-led forces invaded the country in 2003. About 29-thousand prisoners are believed to be held in US and Iraqi-run jails.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

WORLD CUP NEWS FROM GERMANY

Authorities concerned about World Cup sex trade
By Nadia Samie

BONN, GERMANY: While Germany puts the finishing touches to the World Cup preparations two says ahead of kick-off, authorities have a dilemma on their hands: how to deal with the expected surge in the illegal sex trade industry.

Prostitution is a legal enterprise in Germany, and the competitive trade employs some 400 000 prostitutes. However, it is not the legal sex industry that authorities and the German Council of women are concerned about, but rather the thousands of young women from the eastern parts of Europe who are thought to be forced into prostitution.

Reports here estimate that 40 000 women will be brought into Germany during the World Cup to accommodate the higher demand. Other reports put the figure closer to 200 000.

Some hosts cities such as Cologne and Dortmund are even preparing temporary locations. There are concerns from authorities about the impact of the World Cup on prostitution, and they are now considering handing out condoms at World Cup stadiums.

19 injured in Sasol explosion

By Lunga Guza

A blast that left 19 people injured, two with serious burn wounds was reported at Sasol's plant in Sasolburg in the Vaal Triangle yesterday morning. The explosion occurred when a contractor was removing a dangerous substance from the premises. The two people with serious burn wounds were admitted to a Johannesburg Hospital. Solidarity spokesperson, Jahni Cowley, says Solidarity will be involved in the investigation into the latest incident.

NPA concerned over criminal charges facing prosecutor

The National Prosecuting Authority has expressed concern over reports that one of its prosecutors, Alpheus Shai, is facing a variety of criminal charges. The charges include drunken driving, resisting arrest, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Shai allegedly bit off the tip of police officer Isaac Mampani's finger during an incident at the weekend. Surgeons tried to reattach Mampani’s fingertip after he drove himself to the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

Body found next to railway line in Johannesburg

The naked body of man has been found next to the railway line between Sharon Park and Dunnottar on Johannesburg's East Rand. Police spokesperson Andy Pieke says the body has wounds indicating he may have been thrown off a moving train. Pieke said they are investigating the possibility that the man's death may be linked to the ongoing security guard strike. More than 20 people have been thrown off trains since the Satawu strike began more than two months ago. It is suspected that the attacks could have been perpetrated by striking guards. Talks between the union and employers are expected to be resumed on Wednesday.

Minister announces SA's first national standards for air quality

South Africa’s Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced in the National Assembly today that he is establishing South Africa's first ever national standards for air quality. The air standards will define specific levels of air pollution such as benzene, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter. NewsFlash’s political correspondent reports that the standards will be published in Friday's Government Gazette and 90 days will be allowed for public comment. Van Schalkwyk is also creating a two-million rands tourism equity fund, which will provide access to much needed support for small and medium sized tour operators.

FROM THE 2006 WORLD CUP IN GERMANY

German town knits its way into the World Cup
By Nadia Samie

The residents of a little town in central Germany have found an interesting way of participating in the 2006 FIFA World Cup – off the pitch, that is.

The residents of Unna, a town of 70 thousand inhabitants, situated about a hundred kilometres from Cologne, have been knitting a scarf for the past year now.


Above: The 12.5km scarf knitted by the residents of Unna

This is not just any scarf, it is made up of many little scarves, which each depict the flag of a country that is playing in the world cup. The scarf now measures a whopping 12.5 kilometres, and was on display at a celebration held in the town recently.

Werner Kolter, the town’s mayor, says that world cup fever has hit the town in a big way. The residents are hoping to get the woollen scarf into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Organiser of the event, Elfie Blees is an actress in Unna, and is not very involved in sport. The scarf is a result of her wanting to be involved in the world cup in some way, but not necessarily on the field. She received many calls from peoples in surrounding towns, who all offered to knit once they had heard about the idea. Blees says that more than a thousand people assisted in the knitting process.

But what exactly do the residents plan to do with a scarf that measures 12 and a half kilometres? Blees says that she plans to sell the scarf, and she will use the proceeds to boost sports clubs for the youth in the area. Meanwhile, the mayor, who is a big football fan, has put in his prediction of which two teams will clash in the world cup final:
"I think the final will be between Germany and Brazil, and I think the score will be 2-1 to Brazil!"


Pic: Nadia Samie

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Bafana Bafana coach to be named on the 14th

Although the new Bafana Bafana coach will only be named on the 14th of next month, the South African Football Association's technical committee will forward their recommendation to the Safa national executive committee on Wednesday. The Daily Sun reports that this has been confirmed by the Safa technical committee chairperson Sturu Pasiya, who said his committee would choose from the seven coaches on the short list. Pasiya explained that it would not be ethical to announce the new Bafana Bafana coach before the end of the World Cup, as there are coaches on the short list who are involved with teams in Germany.

250 people left homeless after Cape Town fire

The City of Cape Town is clearing up an area in Langa where at least 250 people were left homeless when 60 shacks were burned down. Wilfred Solomons of the Disaster Operations Centre says two hostels were also partially affected by the fire. The 72 families are trying to recover their valuables today. Solomons says the victims have been registered and the Housing Department will issue building material to the families. They were sheltered at the Langa Civic Centre last night and the Mustadafin Foundation provided blankets, clothing and meals. Solomons says the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Zimbabwe added to US State Department’s human trafficking blacklist

Zimbabwe has been added to a United States State Department blacklist of countries trafficking in people. Iran, Syria, Uzbekistan, Laos and Belize are the other inclusions on the department's report. It analyses efforts in about 150 countries to combat trafficking for forced labour, prostitution, military service and other purposes. The six countries join Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Myanmar on the so-called Tier Three list as the worst offenders, who could face sanctions if they do not take steps within 90 days. News24 quotes US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as saying an estimated 800-thousand people, primarily women and children, fall victim each year to trafficking.

Angolan refugees encouraged to return home

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has mounted an information campaign in a bid to encourage Angolan refugees in South Africa to return home. This is in pursuit of a programme launched last month by the commission, Home Affairs and the Angolan government, on the voluntary repatriation of about 14-thousand Angolan refugees in South Africa. Spokesperson for the commission, Phumla Rulashe, says that they assist Angolans to return home by offering free air tickets for refugees and by not charging tax on belongings brought into Angola. The campaign has already started in areas such as Langa and the Samora Machel informal settlement in Cape Town.

SA’s customs policy to be brought in line with global advances

A new green paper on customs policy is to be issued shortly, which will bring South Africa’s practices in line with global advances. SA Revenue Service Commissioner Pravin Gordhan says it will aim to improve the way importers and exporters do business, but will also maximise security. Advances by the World Customs Organisation will require action by Sars. They want to set up a standardised data requirement, so that traders don’t have to answer different questions for different countries. They are also proposing a unique, global number for each consignment, so that it can be tracked wherever in the world it is.

Thousands of suspicious transactions reported to authorities

Forty-four and a half thousand suspicious transactions have been reported by financial institutions to the Financial Intelligence Centre since it was established in February 2003. Almost twenty thousand of these reports were made this year. FIC director Murray Michell says these suspicious transactions are analysed by the centre’s experts and if appropriate are then referred to the police or the scorpions for further investigation. Michell insists that compliance needs to be improved and this year the centre’s fire will concentrate on estate agents and the casino and gambling sector.

Tennis news from Roland Garros

Spain’s Rafael Nadal remains on course for a second successive French Open title after beating Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round. Nadal's power eventually proved the difference as he saw off the Australian 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 and 6-2. The Spaniard now faces Novak Djokovic of Serbia & Montenegro, who beat Gael Monfils of France 7-6, 7-6 and 6-3.

Sri Lanka thrashes England

Spin-wizard Muttiah Muralitharan took 8 for 70 as Sri Lanka thrashed England at Trent Bridge yesterday to draw the three-Test series one-all. England were bowled out for just 190 on the fourth day, losing by 134 runs. Sri Lanka had set England a formidable target of 325 to win. Despite a brave 155 from opener Andrew Strauss, the home side soon collapsed to defeat.

Government the biggest property investment company

The government has now become the biggest property investment company in the country as the Public Investment Corporation – an arm of the National Treasury – already has 600 billion rands worth of assets under management. A billion rand of this is invested in rural and township shopping centres around the country. The chief executive of the corporation, Brian Molefe, told a media briefing at parliament that government-owned shopping centres span the country from Garankuwa and Shoshanguve to Mitchell’s Plain and Empangeni. He said another billion rand is going to be invested similarly in the next three years.

Mozambique monument to cost South Africa millions

South Africa will foot an eleven-point-two-million rand bill to upgrade a monument that marks the site in Mpumalanga where late Mozambican president Samora Machel was killed. African Eye news service reports that the funding, which is to be shared by the provincial and national art and culture departments, will include commissioning a statue of Machel. It will be erected in Mbuzini, south of Komatipoort, at the site of the plane crash that killed Machel and 33 other Mozambican government officials on October 19 twenty years ago. Provincial government spokesperson Lebona Mosia says the initiative will be a major economic boost and job-spinner for Mbuzini residents.

SATAWU talks continues

By Staff reporter

Talks between unions, involved in the ongoing security guard strike, and employers, will continue tomorrow. These talks will be held under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration. Ronnie Mamba, spokesperson for the South African trade and Allied Worker’s Union, says that both unions and employers are hoping that an agreement will be reached, as they believe the security industry needs to be normalized. Mamba says that he hopes the outcome of tomorrow’s meeting will be a good one.

A rock chip killed teen hunter

A ricocheting rock fragment, not a bullet from a hunting rifle, killed 16-year-old Ryan Dankwerts during a hunting trip near East London on Saturday. Ryan's father, John, told Die Burger a post-mortem had found that a rock fragment hit his son under the ear. Ryan was one of a group of 13 relatives and friends who went hunting on his uncle's farm. He died instantly after being hit by the fragment. Dankwerts said no one could be blamed for his son's death, as it was a freak accident. The accident happened when the group of hunters spotted a bushbuck and all shot at the animal.

Equatorial Guinea frees a sick South African

Foreign Affairs has expressed its gratitude to the government of Equatorial Guinea for releasing Marius Boonzaaier, one of the men found guilty of being involved in a attempted coup in that country in 2004. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema pardons prisoners every year on his birthday and Boonzaaier was released on humanitarian grounds on Monday because he has been ill for some time and requires surgery. He is one of 11 men arrested and charged with involvement in the alleged coup plot. Three South Africans have so far been pardoned. Boonzaaier is expected to arrive in South Africa soon.

A Free State mayor and ANC chief whip die in a motor accident

The mayor of the Nala Local Municipality in Bothaville, Thabo Nkone, the ANC's chief whip in the council, Michael Mabaso, and two other people have been killed in a road accident near Wesselsbron. Free State police spokesperson Stephen Thakeng says the accident happened late yesterday afternoon on the road between Bothaville and Wesselsbron. Thakeng says violence broke out in Bothaville when the community heard about the deaths. The house of the former mayor of the municipality, the house and vehicle of the municipality’s treasurer and a police vehicle were damaged and tyres burned in the street. Two people were arrested on public violence charges.

In the Karoo, five people, including a child, were killed in a head-on collision between a bakkie and car between Leeu-Gamka and Prince Albert last night. Police say the bakkie was travelling to Beaufort West and the car was on its way to Cape Town when the accident happened. Two people in the car and one in the bakkie were injured and are being treated in hospital.

Telkom applies for ADSL broadband price cut

Telkom announced on Monday that it filed for a cut in ADSL broadband internet rental of up to 32 percent and an overall price cut of two-point-one percent with the independent telecommunications authority, Icasa. If approved, the price changes will take effect on the 1st of August. Despite inflationary pressures, local call charges remain unchanged. The price of long distance calls have been reduced by 10 percent. Telkom’s Steven Hayward says although the net impact of the proposed prices will vary among customers, depending on the types of services they use, the overall effect will be a reduction in the cost of telecommunications.

Beating heart transplant breakthrough

Transplant surgeons have successfully kept a human heart alive and beating outside the body, in an advance that could extend the life-saving operation to scores more patients. The Independent reports that the first successful beating heart transplant was performed in the UK, at Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire. Surgeons kept the organ pumping blood for five hours after removing it from the donor. The donor heart was kept in a specially designed Organ Care System while it was transported between two hospitals. Doctors say if the system continues to prove successful, it could significantly increase the number of donor hearts available.

Beating heart transplant breakthrough

Transplant surgeons have successfully kept a human heart alive and beating outside the body, in an advance that could extend the life-saving operation to scores more patients. The Independent reports that the first successful beating heart transplant was performed in the UK, at Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire. Surgeons kept the organ pumping blood for five hours after removing it from the donor. The donor heart was kept in a specially designed Organ Care System while it was transported between two hospitals. Doctors say if the system continues to prove successful, it could significantly increase the number of donor hearts available.

Beating heart transplant breakthrough

Transplant surgeons have successfully kept a human heart alive and beating outside the body, in an advance that could extend the life-saving operation to scores more patients. The Independent reports that the first successful beating heart transplant was performed in the UK, at Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire. Surgeons kept the organ pumping blood for five hours after removing it from the donor. The donor heart was kept in a specially designed Organ Care System while it was transported between two hospitals. Doctors say if the system continues to prove successful, it could significantly increase the number of donor hearts available.

An Islamist militia seize Somalia's capital

An Islamist militia says it has seized Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, after weeks of fighting against an alliance of warlords supported by the US. The BBC reports that the warlords have controlled the capital since they toppled Somalia's last effective government 15 years ago. Islamist officials say a meeting is being held to discuss the surrender of fighters still loyal to the warlords. In a statement, Islamic Courts leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said the control of Mogadishu by warlords was over and urged residents to accept the new leadership. President Abdullahi Yusuf urged the US to channel its campaign against Somalia's Islamists through his government, rather than the warlords.

Tony Leon to lay charges over an election pamphlet

Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon will lay charges of crimen injuria on Monday. He is asking Cape Town police to investigate defamatory pamphlets about him and his wife that have been distributed in Tafelsig in Mitchell’s Plain ahead of Wednesday's crucial by-election. The DA says the pamphlet, purporting to be the product of the Africa Muslim Party, is a racist defamation of Leon and his wife Michal. The AMP has denied any involvement. Criminal charges will also be laid because the pamphlet is a violation of the Electoral Act. A DA win in the ward 82 by-election will double its slender majority in the city council.

Computers stolen from a Pretoria court

Six computers have been stolen at the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court where a suspect is expected to appear on Monday in connection with the ANC hoax email scandal. It is not yet clear if the computers taken in the overnight break-in have any connection with the case but police are investigating. Meanwhile, a second man is expected to hand himself over to police on Monday in connection with the saga. The emails surfaced last year and showed what purported to be communication between some ANC leaders about an alleged conspiracy against former deputy president Jacob Zuma.

King Zwelithini urges young people to abstain from sex

King Goodwill Zwelithini urged young people to abstain from sex to curb the high rate of HIV and Aids when he attended an abstinence walk campaign in Durban. The Mercury reports that the eThekwini Community Church launched its first Abstinence Walk Campaign, in an attempt to encourage abstinence from sex and restore moral values among young people. Addressing the gathering, Zwelithini said that abstinence was a way to show respect to one another and that it was a solution to curbing HIV infection rates. He added that abstinence was also in keeping with Zulu culture and it was a way to respect it.

Telkom beats expectations

Africa's biggest telecoms company, Telkom, beat expectations with a 36 percent rise in annual headline earnings per share thanks to a leaner wage bill and strong growth at its mobile unit Vodacom. Engineering News reports that Chief Executive Papi Molotsane said Telkom had sharpened its strategy to focus on new technologies and boost broadband Internet penetration. Telkom has so far failed to deliver on plans to buy an IT company to beef up its data business and to expand outside South Africa. Molotsane added that Telkom was still looking at opportunities to expand in the rest of Africa but that nothing was on the table.

Oil prices surge after Iran warns the US

Oil prices have surged above 73-dollars a barrel after Iran warned the US that any wrong move regarding Iran could endanger oil movements in the Persian Gulf. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was referring to shipments that pass through the strategic Strait of Hormuz near Iran and other countries. About 17 million barrels a day, or 20 percent of the world's daily needs, leave the Gulf region via oil tankers using the narrow passageway. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice deflected concern about the remarks and told CNN they were not going to react to every statement that comes out of Iran.

Three more security guards killed

Another three security guards have been killed in attacks believed to be linked to the ongoing security guard strike. In Port Elizabeth, a security guard was found dead at Salt Lake near Galvandale. Police spokesperson Verna Brink says the man was in full uniform but details surrounding the murder are still unclear. And in KwaZulu-Natal, two working security guards have been shot dead in separate incidents in Chatsworth and Pinetown. More than 20 security guards have lost their lives in attacks around the country over the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, six robbers used axes to attack security guards in cash in transit heist in Johannesburg. The police’s Mosima Manganyi says the robbers had guns, but hacked the two guards with axes in their upper bodies. They are being treated in hospital and are in a serious, but stable, condition. The robbers rammed the security van with their vehicles in Kensington on Sunday afternoon before attacking the guards and fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money.

Three people die in fires

Three people have been killed and one seriously injured in two shack fires in Johannesburg. Emergency services spokesperson Malcolm Midgeley says one person died when between 80 and 100 shacks caught fire in Malvern. The people who lost their homes are being cared for by church groups. In Midrand, a shack burnt down, killing two people and seriously injuring another. The causes of the fires are still being investigated.

Minister announces 392 additional long-term fishing rights

Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has announced the allocation of 392 additional long-term fishing rights in the West Coast rock lobster near-shore fishery sector. The area where the rights are allocated stretches from Port Nolloth to Gansbaai. Van Schalkwyk says approximately 70 percent of the West Coast rock lobster caught 30 years ago occurred higher up on the West Coast from Port Nolloth to the Saldanha area. Ninety percent is now caught between Dassen Island and the Cape Peninsula. Research conducted by marine scientists confirms the shift in the distribution of marine resources.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Teen killed in hunting tragedy

A teenage boy has been shot dead by a fellow hunter near East London. Police captain Errol Francis says 16-year-old Ryan Dankwerts was with a group of 12 men on his uncle's farm on Saturday when the tragedy happened. According to Francis all 12 hunters fired when they saw a bushbuck. The boy was caught in the crossfire and he suffered a single wound below his right ear. He died immediately. Police have confiscated 12 hunting rifles. The rifles will be sent for ballistic tests to establish which one fired the shot that led to Dankwerts' death.

Smart ID cards put on hold

The process aimed at replacing South Africa's green identity documents with sophisticated smart cards similar to credit cards, has been put on hold for now. Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says controversies had arisen regarding a suitable model for the smart ID card and Cabinet is still to make a decision. The smart ID card is part of the Home Affairs National Identification System, or Hanis, aimed at converting the manual identification systems to a technology-based one. Conceived in 1993, Hanis includes the automated fingerprint identification system.

Yengeni misses appeal deadline

The deadline for former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni to ask the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal has come and gone, without a word from Yengeni or his legal team. A spokesperson for the registrar's office at the Supreme Court told Beeld at the weekend that the deadline was last Monday. He said that, strictly speaking, Yengeni now had to present himself at prison to start serving his sentence. Yengeni was sentenced to four years' jail by Pretoria commercial crimes court after he entered a plea bargain, admitting to defrauding parliament in connection with a discount he got on a Mercedes-Benz from a bidder in the arms deal. He appealed to the High Court, but the judges confirmed the sentence.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Three die in Eastern Cape bus accident

Another serious bus accident in the Eastern Cape has claimed three lives. Transport spokesperson Tshepo Machaea says 20 people were injured when the bus overturned on the R-56 between Ugie and Dordrecht early on Sunday morning. Machaea says that the bus was travelling from Johannesburg to Mthatha when a tyre apparently burst. Three of the injured people are in a critical condition.

Kidnapped Russians freed in Iraq

Four Russian foreign service employees kidnapped in Iraq have been released. Sky News reports that Russian commandos launched a surprise night time raid on the hideout in south eastern Baghdad and freed the four who were all unharmed. One diplomat was killed when the kidnappers attacked their car in Baghdad on Saturday. The kidnappers were all arrested. At least 439 foreigners including diplomats have been kidnapped in Iraq since the US-led invasion three years ago, according to figures from a US anti-kidnapping task force. More than 40 people were killed across Iraq on Saturday and dozens more injured. Twenty-eight died in a suicide car bombing in Basra.

Security guard strike blamed for rising crime

It’s been reported that crime is rising while the security guard strike drags on beyond two months. Senior police officers have told the Sunday Independent the upsurge in house break-ins cause them to believe criminals are taking advantage of the situation. It’s understood there has also been a rise in attacks in shopping centres. The strike has seen high levels of intimidation and at least 25 deaths. It is suspected that several people who have been killed on trains were working guards targeted by their striking colleagues. Last week, union leaders told demonstrating guards in Johannesburg that a meeting this Wednesday could result in a breakthrough.

South African-branded taxi popular in Switzerland

The first South African-branded London taxi returned to Britain from Switzerland after giving the South African stand at the Swiss Economic Forum in the Alpine town of Thun a huge lift. The sky-blue taxi, bearing the slogan: “In South Africa, the sky matches this cab 350 days a year”, stood out in the fleet of cars which ferried VIPs. BuaNews reports that the Forum, Switzerland’s biggest economic gathering, showcased South African tourism, trade and investment. The International Marketing Council of South Africa has about 20 SA-branded taxis in London which carry a range of slogans promoting South Africa as a destination for tourism and investment.

Nigerian oil workers released

British police are frantically searching for evidence of what security sources fear is a plot to unleash sarin nerve gas or another deadly agent. But two British men arrested at their home on Friday vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism. One of them is recovering from a gunshot wound in a London hospital. News24 reports that their neighbours defended the brothers, whom they described as devout Muslims, and accused London's Metropolitan Police of heavy-handed tactics against the Muslim community. The police have extended their search to the suspects’ London workplaces, which press reports said were the Royal Mail postal service and a Tesco supermarket.

Communist party wants amnesty for blacklisted debtors

Members of the South African Communist Party marched to banks and businesses in Randfontein on Saturday to demand a one-off credit amnesty for all blacklisted South Africans. Mail & Guardian Online quotes spokesperson Nkosiphendule Kolisile as saying hundreds of the party's members and the West Rand community sang struggle songs as they marched to demand that businesses stop what they called reckless lending. The party handed over memorandums to managers of banks, furniture retailers and fashion shops in the area. The SACP called on businesses to convene a summit where they would discuss alternative ways of dealing with debtors with the community.

Terror suspects arrested in Canada

Police in Canada have arrested and charged 12 men who they say were planning an al-Qaeda-inspired bombing campaign in and around Toronto. Five other youths have also been charged, following an investigation involving more than 400 officers. Police seized bomb-making materials in a series of raids in Toronto, including three tons of ammonium nitrate. According to the BBC, officials said the group posed a real and serious threat with the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks. Fifteen of the suspects appeared in a heavily guarded courtroom in Brampton, a Toronto suburb, on Saturday.

ANC leaders take on Zuma

The ANC will reportedly call on Jacob Zuma to account for statements he made during his rape trial. According to the Sunday Times, the party’s National Executive Committee has instructed senior leaders to summons Zuma. It is understood he will be asked to prove that he is the victim of a conspiracy to prevent him from succeeding Thabo Mbeki as president, as he repeatedly implied during the trial. The paper reports that Zuma will also be asked to explain his statement that after having sex with an HIV-positive woman, he took a shower to minimise his risk.

Zimbabwe train accident claims five lives

Five people were killed and 24 injured when a freight train rear-ended a passenger train in southern Zimbabwe. The goods train was travelling from Rutenga to Gweru. Four of the dead were employees of National Railways of Zimbabwe travelling on the freight train. The other was aboard the passenger train. Six of the survivors were described as having severe injuries. News24 reports that the accident comes a little more than a week after 34 passengers were injured when 10 carriages and a dining car derailed near Dete in north-western Zimbabwe.

De Klerk undergoes tumour surgery

Former President F W de Klerk underwent surgery in Cape Town on Saturday for the removal of a tumour in the upper part of his colon. The FW de Klerk Foundation says in a statement the operation was a success and there were no signs that the tumour had spread. He is recuperating in the intensive care unit of the Panorama Medi-Clinic. De Klerk’s doctors say the prognosis is good.

Good news for the unemployed

Unemployed workers will have more cash in their pockets following the announcement of the second increase in two months, in maximum earning levels of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The Labour Department says from the 1st of next month, the monthly level of remuneration for determining maximum contributions and benefits will be increased from under 11-thousand rands to just over 11-thousand-600 rands. Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana says it is a 12 percent adjustment and comes less than a year after the huge 24 percent increase in October last year. All workers who earn above the maximum level will only contribute up to the maximum.

At least 14 people killed in road accidents

It’s turning out to be a deadly weekend on the roads with at least 14 people killed in accidents so far. Three people died and four were seriously injured when a minibus taxi collided with a car near Mtumbatuba on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. It is alleged that the driver of the car made a u-turn on the N-2 highway before it was hit by the minibus. Earlier, three people were killed and two seriously injured when their car overturned on the R-66 between Melmouth and Ulundi in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

On the East Rand, a man was killed after losing control of his sports car on the M-12 West in Germiston. The 44-year-old man apparently hit the curb and the car overturned. Three people died at the Glen Douglas mine near Meyerton in Gauteng when a 50-ton truck drove over a car. In North West, two truck drivers burnt to death after their vehicles collided on the N-12 between Bloemhof and Wolmaranstad in the North West. One vehicle was a petrol tanker and the other truck was transporting vehicles. And in Mpumalanga, two motorcyclists were killed and a woman was critically injured when two powerful motorbikes collided between Sabie and Graskop during the Graskop Paradise Race.

Nigerian rebels take eight oil workers hostage

Six Britons have been kidnapped on an offshore oil rig in Nigeria. Two other foreigners, an American and a Canadian, were also taken hostage in the raid on the Bulford Dolphin rig, operated by Aberdeen-based Dolphin Drilling for Nigerian oil company Peak Petroleum. Sky News reports that the kidnappers now want to negotiate with the companies who contracted the Scottish firm. A group calling itself the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has carried out a series of attacks on pipelines and oil plants. It has also kidnapped foreign workers in the past.

Laila Ali to fight in Cape Town

With 18 knockouts under her belt and one of the world's most legendary boxers as a father, triple-crown super middleweight champion Laila Ali is coming to South Africa for her next bout. Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi told The Star 28-year-old Ali, whose nickname is She-Bee Stingin', would travel to South Africa in August, but a final date had not yet been set. He was also tight-lipped about who her opponent would be, saying that Stofile would break the news at a media conference next week. The bout will be held in Cape Town. Mnisi said the probable venue would be the Good Hope Centre.

Cape provincial official investigated for surfing porn sites

A highly-paid senior Western Cape provincial official is under investigation for allegedly surfing internet porn sites on his office computer for 600 hours. The official, who cannot be named, works in the department of social services and poverty alleviation. According to the Pretoria News, the department this week confirmed it is investigating the official. The man was apparently caught red-handed while provincial MEC Koleka Mqulwana was away on a recent trip to Cuba. He allegedly surfed the porn sites during work hours - when taxpayers were paying for his time.

Seven people die in three road accidents

At least seven people have lost their lives in three road accidents over the past 24 hours. Three people reportedly died at the Glen Douglas mine near Meyerton in Gauteng when a 50-ton truck drove over a car, killing the occupants. In North West, two truck drivers burnt to death after their vehicles collided on the N-12 between Bloemhof and Wolmaranstad in the North West. One vehicle was a petrol tanker and the other truck was transporting vehicles. Both drivers burnt to death when the trucks caught fire. The road had to be closed for hours.

And in Mpumalanga, two motorcyclists were killed and a woman was critically injured when two powerful motorbikes collided between Sabie and Graskop during the Graskop Paradise Race. The woman is a police captain, stationed at the Graskop police station. She is being treated in hospital.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Tony Leon continues attack on Nqakula over crime

The Democratic Alliance won’t let up in its attack on Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula who said people should stop whingeing about the high crime rate or leave the country. DA leader Tony Leon addressed voters in Tafelsig in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town on Saturday morning, where a crucial by-election takes place on Wednesday. He said Nqakula had become a latter-day Jimmy Kruger. The apartheid Minister of Police said that Steve Biko’s death had left him cold. Leon says Nqakula had in the same vein added insult to injury for victims of crime and for the thousands of South Africans who lose loved ones each year to murder.

Sars’ e-filing proves popular

The South African Revenue Service says more than one-and-a-half-thousand taxpayers logged on to its online tax filing system in less than 24-hours since its launch on Thursday. Extending e-filing to individuals is one of the services Sars is offering taxpayers during this year’s filing season campaign. The campaign reminds taxpayers to file their returns by the deadline of the 14th of next month. Spokesperson Adrian Lackay says potentially some two-point-seven-million individuals who earn a basic salary of more than 60-thousand rands per year or a basic salary with allowances will be able to submit their tax returns on the internet. The turnaround time on the service is 48 hours.

Stolen manhole covers replaced in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Water has set aside three-million rands to replace stolen manhole covers in the city and surrounding areas. Spokesperson Baldwin Matsimela told BuaNews the money would be used to intensify the water utility’s programme to replace missing and vandalised manhole covers, valve and meter box covers. This is in conjunction with the safety awareness campaign launched last year in Soweto. More than eight-and-a-half-thousand missing manhole covers have to be replaced in Sandton, Alexandra, Soweto, Roodepoort, the Johannesburg CBD as well as Deep South. Matsimela says the theft of manhole covers and meter covers is an ongoing crime that impacts both on Johannesburg Water and residents.

Afrikaner body opposed to changes to Women’s Monument

An Afrikaner body is protesting at the historic Women's Monument in Bloemfontein to demand that the monument remains an Afrikaner symbol. Afrikaner Kultuurbond spokesperson Sam de Klerk says the AKB is concerned about a statement by the Minister of Arts and Culture Pallo Jordan on possible changes to the monument to also accommodate black women and children. iAfrica.com quotes De Klerk as saying the announcement has put this cultural heritage of their nation in the fire line. The monument was unveiled in December 1913 in memory of some 27-thousand Afrikaner women and children who died in concentration camps during the second Anglo Boer War.

Theft costs Spoornet millions

Cable and locomotive battery theft east of Johannesburg has cost Spoornet over 140-million rands in lost revenue. Spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe says the disruption has been on trains out of and into Johannesburg, particularly on the Natal and the Cape corridor. Independent Online reports that last month alone cable and battery theft affected 494 Spoornet trains, which caused serious delays and the cancellation of 94 trains. Spoornet now faces the challenge of having to secure about 23-thousand kilometre of rail track with limited security resources. But hotspots have been identified, several syndicates arrested and overhead copper wire cables replaced with tiger wire which doesn't have a high resale value.

Old Mutual settles in racism case

Legal representatives of the SA Trade and Allied Workers Union and Old Mutual have reached an out of court settlement regarding racist slurs against an employee. The union brought the case on behalf of Xolile Finca against Old Mutual and a female employee who made racist remarks against Finca. In April, a judge found that the company had failed to take proper steps to prevent racism at the workplace. In a joint statement by the parties, Old Mutual says it has agreed to pay Finca 150-thousand rands in settlement of any damages he may have suffered. Old Mutual will also pay the union’s legal costs.

Anger over Nqakula’s dismissal of crime complaints

South Africans of all colours have reacted with outrage to Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula’s statement that people should stop moaning about crime or leave the country. The Democratic Alliance says by Nqakula’s own statistics, every day 51 South Africans are murdered, 151 rapes are reported by women and children and 347 armed robberies take place. DA spokesperson Roy Jankielsohn says Nqakula is out of touch with the feelings of ordinary South Africans, perhaps because he rarely visits victims of crime and is protected by VIP security. He says instead of berating citizens, Nqakula should be taking action to allay their fears.

Axed Cape Town manager loses final court bid

The Constitutional Court has rejected a bid by axed Cape Town municipal manager Wallace Mgoqi to have it hear his case. The decision was handed down on Friday, three days after the Cape High Court turned down his bid for leave to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The new Democratic Alliance-led Cape Town city government fired Mgoqi, claiming the extension of his contract by the previous mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo was invalid. Mgoqi challenged this but in last month, a full High Court bench set aside the extension, and ordered that Mgoqi vacate his office.


Ilmainen www-laskuri