Saturday, September 30, 2006

Two time zones for South Africa

By Tarryn Le Chat
30 September 2006

South Africa should be split into two time zones to stagger peak hour demand on Eskom. This is according to Eskom council member and electrical engineer Professor Christo Viljoen.

Viljoen has urged the government to seriously consider his proposal.

According to the Weekend Argus, there has long been a strong lobby for daylight saving in Durban, because the sun in South Africa's most easterly city rises and sets about 50 minutes earlier than in Cape Town.

Viljoen, however, emphasised that he was not talking about daylight saving, but just one hour's difference would have a major impact on the electricity supply in this country. The time zones would be permanent.

Different time zones worked well in other countries, thus Viljoen says if his proposal is implemented, it would go a long way to alleviating the current electricity crisis until another power station is built.

Revamps for prisons in South Africa

By Tarryn Le Chat
30 September 2006

South Africa is to spend R763 million in refurbishing eleven prisons across the country.

Warning s that government was cracking down on crime and criminals, Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Belfour announced that the initiative creates nearly 2 000 new prison beds.

According tot he Weekend Argus, Belfour was speaking at the opening of a renovated and expanded prison at Wolmaransstad in the North West Province. New facilities there will cost R18.6 million.

Belfour said it was expected that the programme would ultimately further unlock an additional bed space/accommodation capacity of about 2 000 for inmates.

According to the report, the launch was also attended by the speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Thandi Modise, who said traditional African societies did not use prisons.

Level of violent crime drops

By Chanel September
29 September 2006

The level of violent crime has dropped in the Western Cape by 17.1% but the there has been a increase in the number of cash-in -transit heist from 20 to 53, which is a cause of deep concern.

Western Cape MEC for Safety and Security Leonard Ramatlekane told the Cape Argus that he was concerned about the growing number of cash-in-transit heist.

A plan is now set in place to deploy the most experienced police officers in the trenches of crime zones or stations is being remodelled into a national plan to change policing in the country.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Protests against Nuisance By-Law

By Chanel September
29 September 2006

Today various organisations were protesting against the Nuisance By-Law that the City of Cape Town intends to impose.

A call has been made against the City to put a stop to the By-Law as this new law will not only discriminate against the poor and the working classes across the whole of Cape Town, but also create problems for people living in poor or working class communities.

The concerns raised by the various authorities were outlined in a detailed memorandum which was delivered to the City.

The recommendations made in the memorandum clearly explained the concerns that the organisations had.

Attacked Somali receives a death threat note

By Odette Ismail
29 September 2006

A Somali shopkeeper has claimed that after he was stabbed at his shop in Phillipi he received a letter containing a threat to kill him.

Abdikeni Yusuf told the Cape Times that he had been living in Bellville for three years. When he returned to his business on Tuesday he found a note from the 12 men who tried stabbing and shooting him three weeks ago.

The letter is believed to be very descriptive of how the attackers hurt him and their promise to return to kill him. Yusuf said he did not report the incident because he was too afraid. He explained how 12 men broke off his door on September 8 at nine-o-clock the evening while he and a colleague were busy cleaning up.

His colleague however escaped, but he got stabbed four times. Yusuf was nearly shot but after one of the suspects pulled the trigger it did not go off. Residents heard him shout and contacted the police, but the suspects already fled with everything in Yusuf’s shop.

Director of the Somali Association of SA, Ahmad Dawlo said that everyday they receive reports from Somalis in the Western Cape. He also said that Yusuf’s case would be investigated. Police are since September 6 began investigating the recent killings of Somalis. Dawlo says there are 30 Somalis killed while the police only confirmed 12.

Poor education will affect economy

By Tando Mfengwana
29 September 2006

Education minister Naledi Pandor says that the poor quality of education in South Africa will subsequently hurt the country's economy.

Business Report quotes the minister as saying that her department has doubled efforts to ensure the quality of education.

The South African economy has grown significantly throughout the past few years, but government wants even higher growth in order to tackle widespread unemployment and poverty.

A report from the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) criticized the government for failing to honour its commitment to deliver quality of education.

Sadtu referred to the HIV/Aids pandemic as a primary factor to the crisis in the education system.

The report says that 12. 7 percent of teachers are infected with HIV and an estimated 10 000 are in need of antiretroviral treatment.

Sadtu’s general secretary Thulas Nxesi is said to have called for school spending to be raised above the current six percent of gross domestic product.

The report says that the government has been accused of neglecting public schools, particularly schools in poor and black areas.

Decline in South Africa's job figures

By Chanel September
29 September 2006

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana told the Cape Argus that the drop in unemployment figures is an indication of good labour markets and this also shows how well our labour market policies are functioning.

The figures were issued by Statistics SA yesterday showed a decline in unemployment from 26.5% in March 2005 to 25.5% in March this year, the lowest since 2001.

The number of people seeking employment also increased and a further 1.2 million jobs had been created over the five year period.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Zille unsure of ID support

By Nadia Samie
28 September 2006

A meeting between Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille and the leader of the Independent Democrats in the metro, Simon Grindrod, ended with the mayor turning down an offer of support from the ID. Zille reminded Grindrod that the ID had voted with the ANC during the last election.

Grindrod accused the mayor of hypocrisy, citing that the DA’s election manifesto had promised a collective executive system. Speaking to Bush Radio this morning, Zille said that she was not prepared break promises to the six parties in the multiparty government.

MEC for Local Government and Housing, Richard Dyantyi informed the city on Wednesday that it had 30 days in which to consult with the provincial government about the proposed change. Capetonians will have to wait at least three months to hear if there will be any changes to the way the city is governed.

Tune in to Bush Radio's current affairs show, NEWSLINE, tonight at 7 for the latest on this story.

SAPS crime report

By Tando Mfengwana
28 September 2006

The South African Police Service yesterday released its annual crime statistics report.

The statistics showed that murder has not had any significant decline with only about two percent decrease of reported cases.

Rape showed a decrease of 1 percent and indecent assault by 3.7 percent. These crimes remain a cause for concern said the Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula.

Assistant Police Commissioner Dr Chris de Kock said that if SAPS did not achieve a seven per cent decrease this year, this does not mean they can’t do it at all.

Attempted murder showed a considerable decline of 16.6 percent, with common robbery decreasing by 6.2 percent, assault by 15.6 percent and serious and violent assault decreased by 9.6 percent. SAPS said that it is satisfied with the figures.

Government set out a target of seven to ten per cent decrease in serious and violent crimes for SAPS to achieve. This will be reviewed again in 2009.

The Democratic Alliance’s chief whip Diane Kohler Bernard said that South Africans should be very worried as there is no significant improvement, and that the ANC is nowhere near achieving the seven percent it set out to reduce crime.

Kohler Bernard said that “frankly nothing will improve in this country until such time as we fire the minister”.

Proteas lose to Aussies at hockey World Cup

By Odette Ismail
28 September 2006

The South Africa women’s hockey team’s campaign at the World Cup got off to a bad start when they lost 1-0 to Australia yeterday in their opening match in Pool B.

The winning goal came from a deflection by Nicole Arrold just a minute before halftime. Although the team was under pressure they maintained a strong defence throughout the game.

South African Coach Jenny King said that the result of the game was half expected but that the aim was to frustrate the other team. South African midfielder Lesley-Ann George put in a great performance, keeping the Aussies on their toes but failing to put anything on the scoreboard.

The Proteas look forward to doing well in today’s match against South Korea.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Moral Regeneration Movement Campaign launched today

By Odette Ismail
27 September 2006

The debate to launch a Moral Regeneration Movement campaign has been cleared. The department of correctional services will launch the campaign today.

Spokesperson for the department Eddie Johnson told the Cape Argus that the aim of the programme is to facilitate, promote and restore morals in society. He says that the wounds of ‘moral decay experienced over the years’ need to be healed.

The launch will coincide with the department’s Corrections Week Campaign. Western Cape correctional officers and offenders will be taking part in the launch.

Pollsmoor Prison hosted a breakfast to introduce their new area commissioner, Albert Khumbule for Pollsmoors’ management area.

Area co-ordinator for development and care Veliswa Kokong said that Pollsmoor will be running programmes in the Khayelitsha area. She says communities will be able to recognise rehabilitation programmes in the area.

Madiba awarded Amnesty International's highest honour

Staff reporter
27 September 2006

Former president Nelson Mandela has been awarded the Ambassador of Conscience Award by Amnesty International.

This is the highest honour awarded by the human rights watchdog.

Art for Amnesty founder and organiser of the annual award, Bill Shipsey, said that "More than any other living person, Nelson Mandela has come to symbolise all that is hopeful and idealistic in public life."

Amnesty said it was bestowing the award on Mandela in recognition of his fearless championing of freedom and justice around the world, as well as his advocacy of the rights of millions of people with HIV/AIDS in Africa and beyond.

Eighty-eight-year-old Madiba will be presented with the award in Johannesburg on November 1.

Mother tongue education vital to learning

By Tando Mfengwana
27 September 2006

A Human Science Research Council report says that pupils who have less than six years of mother tongue education are likely to fall behind up until matric after switching from their home language to an international language, like English.

The report is based on an international meeting of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) that saw ministers of education from African countries meet in Gabon in March this year.

The ministers discussed the use of mother tongue education as well as the findings of the ADEA Unesco institute for Education study.

The Chief research specialist in the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme with the HSRC, Kathleen Heugh wrote that if all goes well, learners would be better prepared to begin learning an international language from the beginning of Grade 7.

University students unable to find work

By Chanel September
27 September 2006

Researchers have found that up to 30% of university students are unable to find work.

This shock statistic was found among a study done by Unitech and will be investigated further by the University of Cape Town. It is found that graduates were that of the fastest growing numbers of the unemployed.

The official unemployment rate is 26.7% but unofficial figures were as high as 40%. According to the Cape Argus the alarmingly high dropout rate and inappropriate career advice that students receive are also causes for the growing number of unemployment.

A solution to rectify the current situation was recently launched as the Joint on Priority Skills Acquisition under the leadership of Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Missing Delft boy found

By Chanel September
26 September 2006

A 10-year-old boy from Delft who went missing in last week has been found and is at a place of safety.

Damian Moolman was found by police after he apparently left his house for school on Friday morning.

According to inspector Bernadine Steyn Damian had allegedly been spotted in Belhar before being found in Ravensmead late on Monday afternoon.

He was not hurt, he is to be evaluated by social workers before he can return home to his family.

Shaik encourages Mbeki and Zuma to sort out differences

By Odette Ismail
26 September 2006

Durban businessman Schabir Shaik standing accused of corruption with former deputy president Jacob Zuma urged President Thabo Mbeki and Zuma to settle differences.

Shaik said that it was ‘tragic’ that the two cannot work things out, according to Independent Online. He says that he would like Mbeki to see the damage he’s done to some which he says cannot be ‘irreparable.’

Judge Hilary Squires found Shaik guilty on two charges of corruption and one charge of fraud in July 2005. It was also revealed that Shaik had a ‘corrupt relationship’ with Zuma. He has been sentenced to a 15-year-prison term.

Shaik did not go to Bloemfontein to be present at his appeal against his sentence in the Supreme Court of Appeal, but instead stayed at home to spend tome with his 5-month-old boy.

He added that Judge Herbert Msimang’s decision to throw out Zuma’s corruption case will not have much effect on hi own appeal.

Public hearing to be held on violence in schools

By Chanel September
26 September 2006

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is holding a two-day public hearing this week.

The hearings will investigate the rising number of school-based violence and the long term impact it will have on the human rights of those affected.

Provincial Education MEC Cameron Dugmore will lead a senior delegation of department officials and give detailed input on ways to deal with the problem.

The hearings will allow schools, teachers and the public at large to have their say.

The public hearings will take place on Thursday and Friday at the City Council Chamber at the(Civic Centre) and will start from 08:30 in the morning.

Mboweni critical of Chinese import restrictions

By Nadia Samie
26 September 2006

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has spoken harshly against the restrictions on clothing and textile imports from China. Mboweni told Business Report that the decision is ill-advised, counter-productive and will fail to assist the local industry to become competitive.

Mboweni told the portfolio committee on finance that the textile industry had since 1994 to become competitive, and if the industry had failed to do so until now, then it didn’t stand a "dog’s chance in hell of becoming competitive" in the next three years.

He told MPs that cheap imports helped to bring down the inflation rate, and that putting a ban on imports was inviting retaliation.

Mboweni said that the South African government could not stop buying goods from China without expecting China to stop buying from South Africa.

Trade unions have welcomed the import restrictions, saying that it will lead to more employment opportunities locally.

Taxi specifications changed following discussions

By Tando Mfengwana
26 September 2006

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe says that the specifications for taxis in the R7.7 billion taxi recapitalisation programme has been changed following discussions with the car makers and the National Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa.

Business Report says that the changes to the stipulation published earlier this month follows discussions with the South African motor industries earlier this year on a number of issues such as doors, wheel bands and seating configuration.

According to the report Radebe says that the programme is a major investment for small, medium and micro enterprises. Radebe was speaking at eThekwini Municipality’s seventh SMME Fair.

Half of world's shark attacks occur in South Africa

By Nadia Samie
26 September 2006

At least half of the 99 Great White shark attacks that occurred worldwide since 1990 happened in South Africa. This is according to a study conducted by the Natal Sharks Board.

The study, by shark scientist Dr Jeremy Cliff, was published in Finding A Balance, a collection of specialist reports. The findings will be submitted to Cape Town authorities. It is intended to inform local government about strategies dealing with shark conservation.

Cliff says that it is still not known what causes the sharks to strike, as no patterns have emerged.

Cliff says that spearfisherman stood the greatest risk of being attacked by Great White’s, as the ventured far off-shore and spent several hours in the water. They also have “highly conspicuous silhouettes” and handle bleeding fish, which is attractive to sharks.

According to reports, 28 shark attacks have been reported in the Cape Peninsula since 1960.


Man shot during robbery

By Tando Mfengwana
26 September 2006

A man was shot and wounded during a shoot-out with the police after he and three other suspects robbed a butchery in central Johannesburg.

The Cape Times reported that the three men held up staff at the TJ Spot Butchery, made them open the safe and made off with an undisclosed amount of money and a firearm was taken from a security guard.

Police on patrol saw the men running and cornered them at an intersection, they opened fire on the police, when the police returned fire one of the suspects was hit and wounded in the stomach.

The other three men escaped. Police recovered the wounded man’s firearm and the one taken from the security guard.

Monday, September 25, 2006

New version of Mxit raises concerns

By Tarryn Le Chat
25 September 2006

A new version of the instant cellphone messaging service Mxit is to be active from noon on Monday.

Unlike the previous version, users will now be able to send photo's of themselves for a few cents, whilst chatting on Mxit. This has raised concerns among school principles and parents.

Herman Heunis, the brains behind the service, said that children have always been able to send photographs to contacts via mms (multi-media message service), a service provided by all cellphone providers.

Mxit currently has 1.8 million registered users, with the number increasing by an average of 8 000 a day.

Heunis said he expected more than 50 000 downloads of the new software today.

Homeless World Cup kicks off

By Tarryn Le Chat
25 September 2006

Spirits were high and thousands of fans turned the Grand Parade into one big party as the fourth annual Homeless World Cup kicked off in Cape Town.

According to the Cape Times, the event, which coincided with National Heritage Day celebrations, maintained a festive atmosphere and the street football got the crowds going.

In his Heritage day address, President Thabo Mbeki said he is very happy that Cape Town is hosting this popular event.

According to the report, the Homeless World Cup co-founder, Mel Young, said the tournament needed to show that sport and football could put an end to the social problem of homelessness.

Shaik gets his moment in court

By Tarryn Le Chat
25 September 2006

Durban businessman, Schabir Shaik, long awaited fraud and corruption appeal of is expected to start in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) today.

According to the Cape times, the SCA has set aside five days to hear Shaik’s appeal against his Durban High Court conviction last year on charges of fraud and corruption.

Shaik was granted permission to challenge the fraud finding, that he discussed with his auditors the irregular write-off of loans, some made to former deputy-president Jacob Zuma.

According to the report, Zuma, was relieved of his duties as deputy president following Shaik’s conviction and was brought to court on related charges this year.

However, Zuma’s case was struck off the roll last week.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Six drown in boat accident in Orange River

By Odette Ismail
24 September 2006

Rescue workers continued to search for the bodies of six people on Saturday who are believed to have drowned in the Orange River near Gariep Dam.

Southern Free State police spokesperson Inspector Harry Nagel told the Weekend Argus that their boat overturned around seven –o-clock Friday evening.

Nagel says eleven people were on board performing what he calls witch doctor rituals when the water-gates were opened. The people were unaware that the gates opened and they were pulled down the river.

Currently two of the eleven people have been rescued and three bodies were discovered.

Cosatu striking statistics

By Odette Ismail
24 September 2006

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has acknowledged reports by the Reserve Bank that the number of working days lost from strikes has increased from about 700,000 in the first half of last year to 1, 6 million in the first half of this year.

The strikes mainly organised by Cosatu-affiliated trade unions has resulted in workers becoming restless, especially those who get paid the least. Workers are starting to feel that they are being marginalised and left with an ‘economic’ boom that does not benefit them at all.

National Spokesperson of Cosatu Patrick Craven said that workers who see their employers getting bigger salaries are more determined to get their bigger share in the profits made.

Cosatu has denied any allegations of them focussing too much on political issues and says in no way do political campaigns receive top priority and that it is not at the expense of the demands on their basic “bread-and-butter” demands.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cape Town runway closed for an hour

By Odette Ismail
23 September 2006

A light aircraft veered off a runway at the Cape Town International Airport today. The runway had to be closed off.

Spokesperson for the Airport Company South Africa,Deidre Hendricks told Independent Online that the aircraft was landing at 9am when it veered off 20 metres off the runway. It then landed in the grass.

According to airport procedures in a situation like this the runway needs to be closed off.

Two domestic flights had to be diverted to Geroge. By 10-o-clock the runway was repopened and everything went back to normal.

No-one was injured the incident.

Homeless World Cup teams excited

By Odette Ismail
23 September 2006

The South African Homeless World Cup Team confidently welcomed the Dutch homeless soccer players at the Cape Town International Airport yesterday.

Ties between the Big issue (South Africa) and Straat nuus, from the Dutch team, both organisers of the event have worked together well to establish a good relationship over the past few years.

The South African team known as Bafowethu told the Weekend Argus that they are excited to go against the team from Chile tomorrow. This will be the official start of the seventh day tournament at the Grand Parade.

South Africa’s team manager Jamaine Cloete said that the team has been confident and that the team is convinced that they will win the cup this year.

This event has drawn teams from 48 countries worldwide. It is now in its fourth year and it will run for a week at the Grand parade from tomorrow.

The idea sparked off by ideas from Mel Young and Harold Schmied in 2001 and the main drive is to keep the communication between people all over the world open to better the lives of others.

Pilot already dead when found

By Odette Ismail
23 September 2006

The pilot, who died in the aircraft crash into Table Bay off Milnerton yesterday, was the only occupant of the plane.

According to Independent Online, spokesperson for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Craig Lambinon said that by the time paramedics found his body, he had already died. The pilot’s family needs to be notified before his name can be released.

The pilot took off from Air force Base Ysterplaat in a two-seater aircraft, owned privately by a Czech-owned built Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin jet trainer. He was part of team formation flight.

The aircraft was managed by the Sasol Tiger formation aerobatic team.

South Africa Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu conceded that a investigation will take place to find out the cause of the crash.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Zuma claims there is no presidential race

By Tarryn Le Chat
22 September 2006

Former deputy president, Jacob Zuma, says he has no thoughts of being the next president of South Africa nor is there a presidential race within the ANC.

Speaking at a televised press conference, screened by etv, Zuma said that the NPA was driven by improper motives in its investigation of him.

Zuma also lashed out at the media coverage of his trial and of all matters concerning him, "I am concerned that the media coverage of me is focused on the so-called presidential debate. There is no such thing."

Zuma maintained that he was ready to serve the African National Congress in whatever capacity it decided and appealed to the media to give him space to perform his party duties.

When asked about claims of a political conspiracy against him and possible economic policies, Zuma answered, that he would address the conspiracy claims against him 'at the right time' and that policies were made by the ANC and not individuals.

Train ablaze in Khayelitsha en route to Cape Town

By Tarryn Le Chat
22 September 2006

This morning at approximately 4:40 smoke was seen coming from a train en route from Khayelitsha to Cape Town.

The smoke came from a coach next to the driver’s cabin. Passengers were evacuated safely when the train stopped just outside of Nolungile railway station.

The fire was extinguished by the Fire Department

The estimated cost of the damage to the train is at R1.5 million.

Police are investigating a case of Malicious Damage to Property and anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on call-share on 08600 10111.

Girl allegedly raped in police holding cell

By Chanel September
22 September 2006

Police have opened a rape docket against a policeman at the Athlone police station after a teenager alleged that she was raped in a holding-cell by a policeman.

The 18-year-old girl says she was raped by a police official on Tuesday night.

The girl and her boyfriend had been arrested in connection with a robbery in Atlhone.

Police Spokesperson Superintendent Billy Jones confirmed that a sexual offence case had been reported. He says that the alleged perpetrator has not yet been identified.

High rent could bring up more shack dwellers

by Christopher Hoesl
22.September 2006

The national Department of Housing has so far built units for the Gateway project. The dwellers of Joe Slovo and Langa were expected to pay a rent expense of R500 but it now seems that they will have to pay an incredible amount of R1050
per month . The dwellers are not impressed as this amounts are high for them. The dwellers should attend a workshop before being give there key.
Dan Plato, the city's mayoral committee member announced yesterday that the fixed interest rate on municipal home loans of 13.5% could drop to 11%.
With that the people have more money .This will help tremendously so that they can pay there debts.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

DA's Gibson censured after visit to Mbeki house

Nadia Samie
21 September 2006

Following his now infamous visit to President Thabo Mbeki and First Lady Zanele Mbeki’s retirement home, Democratic Alliance chief whip Douglas Gibson was censured by Parliament yesterday.

Parliament found that Gibson had infringed on the Mbeki’s dignity.

On the 1st September, Gibson led a group of journalists and photographers to the president’s retirement home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

ANC Chief Whip Mbulelo Goniwe called Gibson’s actions "reprehensible", saying that his conduct exceeded all bounds of political maturity, was undignified and unbecoming" of an MP.

The motion before parliament called on the House to condemn Gibson's actions, saying that he should apologise to the Mbeki’s, to Parliament, and to the nation. After fierce debate, the motion was agreed to by the house.

Gibson reiterated to Bush Radio again this afternoon that he would not apologise for what he calls “doing his job".

'Zuma for president' - supporters

By Nadia Samie
21 Septembder 2006

With about six months to go before the ruling ANC puts forward names as candidates for the party’s leadership position’s the ball seems to have landed in ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma’s court. New leaders will be elected at the ANC’s conference in December 2007.

The decision by Judge Herbert Msimang in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday to strike Zuma’s corruption trial from the court roll has left many of his supporters believing that he will succeed as the next party president, and possibly as the president of the country as well.

Sixty-four-year-old Zuma was cleared last May in the Johannesburg High Court in an unrelated case of rape. After yesterdays decision in Pietermaritzburd, Cosatu called for Zuma’s reinstatement as the country's vice-president, a post from which he was sacked last year by President, Thabo Mbeki.

With the succession race on our doorstep, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and prominent businessman Cyril Ramaphosa have both denied that they have aspirations to the presidency, with Manuel citing that he is too attached to his freedom.

Ramaphosa is the man that Nelson Mandela originally wanted as his successor.

Cabinet warns opponents of legislation

By Tarryn Le Chat
21 September 2006

Cabinet has warned those opposed to the legislation on same sex marriages that they should be careful not to behave in a way that suggests they want to defy the decision of the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the land.

In a briefing after cabinet had met, government communications head, Themba Maseko, said that the cabinet had noted the discourse on the Civil Union Bill.

Maseko, during the course of the briefing, suggested that those taking part in the debate should not express themselves in a way that suggests they wanted to defy the constitutional Court.

“While every individual or group has the right to express their views openly on same-sex marriages, the cabinet emphasised that the need for everyone to be reminded that the definition of marriage in the Marriage act was unconstitutional”, said Maseko.

Government does hope that Parliament, which is holding public hearings on the matter, will resolve all the outstanding issues in time.

Cabinet has not discussed a proposal by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) to change the constitution.

The deadline for the proposed legislation is November 30th.

Call to bring drivers to book

By Chanel September
21 September 2006

A high number of drivers in the province go unpunished because of the government’s inability to enforce traffic laws and bring non-complainant motorist to book, parliament heard earlier this week.

Transport portfolio committee chairman Jeremy Cronin told parliament on Monday that 30% of motorists in the country did not pay their traffic fines. According to the Cape Argus a draft resolution on the fatalities and injuries on the country’s roads was presented in parliament.

Some political parties were, however, not impressed with Cronin’s input, saying that the outcry of South African roads is a national disaster.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Zuma: case struck off the roll

By Nadia Samie
20 September 2006

Former deputy president Jacob Zuma’s corruption case has been struck from the roll in the Pietermaritzburg High Court earlier today. Zuma stood accused of accepting a R500 000 a year bribe from French arms manufacturing company Thales International. Two Thint companies are co-accused in the case.

Presiding Judge Herbert Msimang said he saw no reason for him to give the State a postponement as it had requested, and he was left with no choice but to strike the case from the roll.

Msimang said he needed to take the "spirit of the Constitution" into account when making a judgment, pointing out that the prosecution's case depended on the outcome of appeals against search and seizure raids.

Msimang said Zuma had suffered social prejudice. He said the state's decision to prosecute was "anchored" on unsound principles. The thousands of people gathered outside the court in support of the ANC deputy leader began cheering and dancing. A large group of chiefs in traditional clothing ran out of the courtroom to break the news to the masses.

Delivering judgment, Msimang said Zuma had to be treated the same as any other person, irrespective of his position in the country.

Pic: Reuters

New TB strain spreads into the Free State

By Tando Mfengwana
20 September 2006

Six miners from Harmony Gold and Gold Field mines in the Free State were diagnosed with the extremely drug resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB).

Business report quotes the Chief Executive of Harmony mines Bernard Swanepoel, as saying that a company doctor confirmed a single case of tuberculosis that was highly resistant to drugs.

Reports said yesterday that Gela Naude, the spokesperson for the Provincial Department of Health in the Free State, said that the miners were kept in isolation at the Ernest Oppenheimer hospital and will be moved to the provincial isolation unit within the next few weeks.

National Union of Mine workers delegate at Harmony Gold mines, Mhlupheki Mira said that shop steward at the St Helena Hospital in Welkom confirmed three miners were in isolation after it was establish that they had contracted the TB strain.

The report says that Gold Fields spokesperson Willie Jacobzs said the company had identified employees with the TB, but this is not the drug resistant Tb strain.

Between 2005 and March 2006, about 63 cases of the drug resistant TB had been identified in the KwaZulu Natal Province, with 60 fatalities. reports that the KZN Premier S’bu Ndebele, is satisfied by the progress that the province has made in responding to TB.

Meanwhile the KwaZulu Natal Health Department is expanding treatment for the strain to all districts; it has also started active surveillance for the disease in the Msinga Area.

A Stormers and Blue Bulls nightmare

By Tarryn Le Chat
20 September 2006

The explosive and always entertaining Vodacom Super 14 challenge beginning at the end January next year, will see the Stormers and Blue Bulls facing the ‘All Star teams’ of Australia and New Zealand.

The cream of the crop is thought to be the Crusaders, Waratahs, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Highlanders in the first clashes for consecutive weeks.

The ‘swamped travel schedule’ will test the endurance and performance of both South African provincial teams. Bok coach Jake White will have a variety of choices to pick from for the Rugby World Cup squad in 2007.

The Sharks and Cheetahs will have a home advantage in the opening round, as will the Lions or Spears –which ever team the courts decide on — for inclusion in the Super 14.

The ever-ferocious Sharks endured a hectic travel schedule last year and performed well. They were out of the semi-finals, but only on a point-difference.

These clashes will see the Super 14 without 22 of the All Blacks in the New Zealand teams.

Ministry of health comments on HIV/Aids

By Odette Ismail
20 September 2006

At the 9th National Congress of Cosatu yesterday the ministry of Health acknowledged the appeal for unity in the fight against HIV and Aids.

All speakers present except for Treatment Action Campaign chairman Zachie Achmat called for all stakeholders to stand together and stop the spread of Hiv infection as well as minimise the impact of Aids.

The Congress avoided the topic on the call from Achmat to remove Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and rather concentrate on implementing a comprehensive response to HIV and Aids.

The ministry also welcomed the congress emphasis being placed on the prevention and the need to encourage testing. They also stood firm on their position that nutrition is not another way to treat the virus.

The health department will continue to make sure that everyone is aware of the access to all the elements of the plan.

Somali attacks: Xenophobic or business rivalry?

By Lydia Langeni
20 September 2006

Debate continues in the Western Cape about the reasons behind the attacks on Somali's. Are the motives xenophobic or robbery?

Forty-year-old Yusuf Abdille was the 12th Somalian to be murdered this year. Fellow Somalians say that he was attacked by three men at his shop in Delft South.

Police believe that this attack was a random robbery, but the Somalians maintain that it was an act of xenophobia. Somalians are furious as these attacks affect their business, communities and more importantly, their trust in South Africans.

Western Cape premier Ebraim Rasool has confirmed that nine arrests have been made on counts of public violence against Somalis. Rasool agrees with the police and says that these attacks should be seen as economically motivated and not as xenophobic acts.

Emergency teams tested in simulated plane crash

By Clarence Eiseb
20 September 2006

Elsie’s River looked like a battleground yesterday with emergency services rushing to save passengers.

This exercise is done every two years to test the readiness of emergency and security services who deal with accidents involving passenger jets. It’s done by Cape Town International Airport and the Airports Company of South Africa.

The exercise simulated a passenger aircraft with one hundred ninety six people onboard. The plane caught fire, whereby emergency services had to search and rescue, do body recovery and contain the fire.

Johan Minnie, City Disaster Management spokesman, said that more than three hundred emergency personel attented.

Alan Meyer, South African Airways station manager said that, should such a situation occur, all the safety policies are in place.

Record petrol price drop expected

By Christopher Hoesl
20 September 2006

The petrol price is expected to drop by 66 cents per litre in the next month. This is the biggest drop in the petrol price ever reported in the country. The price of 93 octane petrol, is likely to drop to

Mike Schussler the sec chief of economist told the Cape Times that a price drop would be a result of a fall in the oil price because of sufficient supply, with no sanctions arising from situation in Iran and the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel.

While the current petrol price does not influence inflation, a drop in price could have an impact, not only for the consumer, but also on companies. Companies will expect to sell more products because people have more money to spend.

DA vs ANC - Its war

By Tarryn Le Chat
20 September 2006

Mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, and the ANC are at logger-heads over the latest controversial ANC bid to change the mayoral executive system.

The DA-led multi-party government has slammed the ANC’s bid to topple the city’s administration as a “malicious” and “blatant abuse of power” by a party unwilling to accept its role as the opposition.

MEC for local government and housing, Richard Dyantyi, sent out a letter of this proposed amendment to the executive mayoral committee.

However, two hours before the letter was sent, Dyantyi’s spokesperson, Vusi Tshose continued to deny that such a letter had been drafted and signed.

The announcement by Dyantyi ended weeks of speculation that plans were afoot to strip Zille of her power.

According to the Cape Times, Zille said the city “had seen it coming” after ANC provincial chairman, James Ngculu, reportedly announced at a campaign launch last week that “we must remove the DA from any semblance of power”.

The report stated that the current system represented only half the voters and that key decisions were being forced through with a majority of one or two votes.

If the change is approved, Cape Town will be the only council out of 29 in the Western Cape not using the mayoral executive system.

Zille states that the change will be a waste of time, money, energy and would destabilise the city.

Two fires leave 100 homeless

By Chanel September
20 September 2006

Almost 100 people have been left home less after two fires ripped through Khayelitsha informal settlement on the Cape Flats.

According to reports most of the 79 people whose shacks were destroyed on Monday managed to escape the first fire unharmed but one man was hospitalised with severe burns in the second blaze.

City Disaster Management division spokesperson Wilfred Solomons said that two shacks had been destroyed in the second blaze and that the city has provided clothing, blankets, food parcels and building materials.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another Somalian gunned down

By Chanel September
19 September 2006

Another Somali shop owner was shot dead yesterday evening bringing the number of Somalis’ killed in the province to 12.

Yusuf Abdille was shot in the neck and died on the scene while his colleague was wounded on the left thigh.

The incident took place at about half past seven on Monday in Delft south, when three armed men approached the vehicle and opened fire.

The men fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police are still searching for the men and cases of murder and armed robbery are being investigated.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on 08600 - 10111

Flight stimulation exercise at CT International Airport

By Tarryn Le Chat
19 September 2006

The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) at Cape Town International Airport has activated a full scale emergency response exercise.

The exercise is held every second year and is mandated by South African Aviation legislation as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

This full-scale exercise is designed to thoroughly test emergency procedures and responses.

It will include all the participants who would be called upon in the event of a major aircraft incident at the airport.

The exercise scenario will stimulate a crash involving a passenger flight carrying a cargo of hazardous material.

Members of the public and motorists may notice some smoke and will certainly be able to see emergency vehicles moving to the scene. This is all part of the exercise.

The public is requested not to interfere with the activity and are advised that no unauthorised person will be granted access.

Normal airport operations will not be affected.

More land for housing

By Clarence Eiseb
19 September 2006

The City of Cape Town is in the processs of earmarking plots of land to be released for low–cost housing.

Forty-four hectres of land has been released to help aliviate the housing backlog, Dan Plato, mayoral committee member for human settlement said yesterday. Plato told the Cape Times that they are hoping to release an extra 44 hactres, if not more in the near future.

Thus far, land has been identified in Westlake, Wetton, Wallacedene, Southfield, Langa, Ottery, Rugby and Maitland.

Robbers target jewellery store

By Odette Ismail
19 September 2006

Three robbers fired gunshots while stealing jewellery yesterday at the V&A Waterfront. This took place at the Diamond International jewellery Design Studio at roughly 7-o-clock last night.

A woman standing near to the store told the Cape Times that the suspects ran off with jewellery estimated to be worth more than R1-million. It is when they were blocked by one of the store employees that one of them turned in their tracks and started firing shots.

Police cordoned off the area and took statements from witnesses. Police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana said that three men wore masks and held up the employees.

They opened the drawers and stole the diamonds. The men drove off in silver Polo Playa and police has launched a search for the suspects.

Cosatu's 9th National Congress derailed

By Tarryn Le Chat
19 September 2006

The start of Cosatu’s 9th National Congress was derailed by two hours yesterday — by a court order, a cleaning company and striking workers — amidst concerns of a serious health crisis which could affect delegates.

Addressing the delegates at the start of proceedings, Secretary–General Zwelinzima Vavi explained that affiliate union Satawu (South African Trade and Workers Union), had pointed out that a cleaning company had been contracted by organisers to ensure the venue and toilets remained spic and span.

However, a month-long cleaning strike produced a court order prohibiting strikers from being anywhere near non-protesting workers.

This meant that Satawu delegates present, who were from the cleaning sector, would be in breach of that court order if the company cleaners remained on the premises.

As applause echoed from delegates, Vavi expressed his views saying, “We have asked the company to leave now.”

Vavi told delegates that it would have been seen as intimidation and that Cosatu was working with Satawu to find an alternative.

However, Vavi explained that there might be a problem as the company had been asked to leave and no one was cleaning the facility, as there were more than 3 000 delegates who would all be using the toilets.

“We may experience serious health crisis”, said Vavi.

Cosatu has pledged their solidarity with Satawu and those of its members in the cleaning sector who were on strike.

Vavi appealed to employers to settle the strike before the end of the congress on Thursday.


Doctor falls to his death whilst hiking

By Odette Ismail
19 September 2006

After the body of a Johannesburg doctor was found in Wellington over the weekend, family and friends still cannot come to terms with his death.

Lloyd Turner, 30, fell 15 metres down a cliff in the Yellowwood Amphitheatre on Friday. He had been hiking with a friend when the incident occurred.

Hugo Vaughn, his partner in mountain climbing told the Cape Argus that Turner was studying as an orthopaedic surgeon and that he was an experienced mountain climber.

Vaughn also Duty manager for the Wilderness Search and Rescue said that Turner was very quiet, but confident.

Family members from KwaZulu-Natal arrived in Cape Town yesterday.

Rescuers searched for the two through bad conditions and steep terrain. They found his friend at 7-o-clock on Saturday morning and recovered Turners body at noon.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Christians protest against same sex marriages

By Tarryn Le Chat
18 September 2006

A group of Christians, who are against the Civil Unions Bill which only allows the ‘holy union’ between same sex couples, marched to Parliament on Saturday.

The Home affairs portfolio committee chairman Patrick Chauke, says he will not allow his religious beliefs to interfere with the way he and his committee deal with the draft legislation on gay marriages.

Protestors sang hymns, prayed and chanted “hallelujah” -- as Chauke addressed the crowd -- Chauke went on to say that some people thought politicians did not attend church.

When asked what church he belongs to, Chauke responded that it was his private business.

Opposed to the bill, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart, who was standing alongside Chauke, addressed the crowd saying, “The institution of marriage has been the cornerstone of civilised society for thousands of years.”

The Home Affairs portfolio committee was scheduled to begin countrywide public hearings on the bill with a meeting in Soweto tomorrow, but Chauke said yesterday that this might not happen as planned.

City hosts second community clean up hike

By Chanel September
18 September 2006

The City of Cape Town’s Wolfgat Nature Reserve will be hosting their second community clean up hike.

The nature reserve, which lies in the heart of the Cape Flats, is considered one of the natural wonders of the Cape.

A group of 80 youths from Mitchells Plain and Khayelithsa have eagerly taken up the challenge.

They are participating in the popular hiking event in celebration of national clean up week.

The community clean up hike will include an environmental educational experience offered by Conservators,volunteers and other various partners.

Cosatu's 9th congress underway

By Nadia Samie
18 September 2006

Cosatu President Willie Madisha has appealed to the union’s leadership structures not to mimic the succession battle currently underway within the ANC.

It is alleged that Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s supporters are plotting to oust Madisha. There is a rift in the trade union federation, with the rift in the ANC playing a big role. According to reports, Vavi and most Cosatu members are believed to be pro-Jacob Zuma, while Madisha is considered to be a Mbeki man.

The in-fighting comes in the midst of Cosatu’s 4-day national congress which began in Midrand, today. The last national Cosatu congress was in 2003.

Three-thousand-five-hundred people are expected to attend the congress at Gallagher Estate. HIV/Aids has been allocated a lot of time on the congress programme. Zuma, the embattled ANC deputy president, made the keynote address this morning. The congress will run until Thursday.

Somali death toll rises

By Odette Ismail
18 September 2006

Another Somali shop assistant was shot dead on Saturday by four gumen in Tembalethu in George.

Police are investigating a case of murder and armed robbery. This brings the death rate of Somalis to 11 in the Western Cape.

Police spokesperson Ntobeka Mangqwengqwe told the Cape Times that four gunmen entered the shop and pointed the gun to the owner.

When the shop-assistant came out of another room he was shot in the chest. He died at the scene.

The suspects ran off with an unknown amount of money and cigarettes. The gunmen are still at large.

In a media briefing last week Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool said that nine arrests had been made in connection with the murders of Somalis in the previous two weeks.

The arrests followed incidents involving Somalis across the province.

Province moves closer to Currie Cup

By Tarryn Le Chat
18 September 2006

Western Province is back on track for a home semi-final in the Currie Cup after Saturday’s 66-13 thumping of the Falcons at Newlands stadium.

With their five-point haul, Province overtook the sharks, who lost 50-32 to the Blue Bulls in Durban.

However, the current champions, the Cheetahs, remain in the pole position thanks to their 68-12 win over the Pumas.

Provinces next heavyweight clash will be against the resurgent Lions, who have won their last six matches and are just four points behind the fourth–placed Bulls.

Mystery at CT Airport

By Tarryn Le Chat
18 September 2006

Police sniffer dogs and explosive experts were rushed to Cape Town International Airport following a security alert that caused hundreds of passengers on domestic flights to be evacuated from the terminal.

According to the Cape Times, a delay of almost two hours affected other domestic flights, Airports Company of SA (ACSA) officials tried hard to downplay yesterday's drama.

In a statement all ACSA had to say was: "Following a security alert domestic departures out of Cape town were delayed for approximately one hour and 15 minutes."

Police spokesperson Randall Stoffels said, "ACSA's security called us and we sent out the dog unit."

Accoring to the report, ACSA's security chief Jody Egypt said, "I'm not at liberty to comment. We have a policy and procedure regarding this . You must put your questions forward to our communications officer."

All in all 409 passengers were affected by the delay of domestic flights.

Health officials to discuss TB

By Chanel September
18 September 2006

Western Cape health officials are to attend an emergency meeting to formulate a plan to fight the deadly strain of extreme drug resistant tuberculosis. This extreme form of TB has already claimed the lives of at least 52 people. A special task team will now be formed.

Despite a provincial cure rate of 70% of ordinary TB, the disease is still growing in the province at an alarming rate. Keith Cloete, head of the TB/AIDS Programme in the Western Cape told the Weekend Argus that health authorities were still not close to curbing the spread of the disease.

The emergency meeting, which is assembled by provincial government, will take place on the 28 of this month.



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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Campaign to drive out Manto

By Chanel September
17 September 2006

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is out to raise R4 million to fund a drive to put Health Minister Manto Tshabala–Msimang out of office.

TAC spokesperson Mark Heywood told the Weekend Argus that the initiative was a public appeal for financial help to put pressure on government to respond properly to HIV/AIDS.

Themba Maseko, government spokesperson, said that it was the president’s prerogative and no organisation could tell him what to do.

However government will still remain focused on accelerating and expanding its comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme, he said.

Men arrested in two separate tik busts

By Chanel September
17 September 2006

Two men have been arrested for the possession of tik worth more that R140 000 this week in two separate incidents on the Cape Flats.

A 24 –year-old man was arrested for the possession of 391 small packets of tik worth R90 000 and a 56-year-old man has also been arrested on Friday for the possession of tik worth R54 000.

According to the Sunday Weekend Argus police were acting on a tip-off they received from the community.

The men are expected to appear in court on Monday.

Another cash-in- transit heist in the Peninsula

By Chanel September
17 September 2006

Two Fidelity security officers were robbed of two cash – boxes, containing an undisclosed amount of money on Saturday morning in Bluedowns, an area, in the Cape Peninsula.

The cash van was busy with a pick up at a business premises when two cars pulled up along the van.

Armed men then jumped out of the vehicles and fired several shots whilst threatening the driver to open the door.

The suspects’ allegedly then pistol whipped one security over the head.

Police have now launched a search for the suspects and opened cases of armed robbery and attempted murder for investigation.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop 0800 10 111.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

City's nightclubs first hit by anti - smoking regulations

By Chanel September
16 September 2006

Nightclubs in and around the City of Cape Town could be the first hit with the new anti-smoking regulations.

This after parliament discussed amendment to the Tobacco Control Bill by the Health Department this week.

One of the new penalties increases a hundredfold - from R200 to R20 000 - the fine for the owner of a public place or for the employer who fails to ensure there is no smoking in a smoke-free area.

Executive Director for health in the City of Cape Town Dr Ivan Toms told the Cape Times that the laws have been ineffective because fines have been too small and that the whole point is protecting people from passive smoking.

He believed the swingeing new fines would serve as a strong incentive to obey the law and confirmed that there would be a greater focus on policing nightclubs.

Premier orders probe in MEC's love smses

By Chanel September
16 September 2006

The Premier of the Western Cape Ebrahim Rasool has ordered a probe into community safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane’s love SMSes.

This after a Cape Town tabloid published the messages between Ramatlakane and a journalist working for the SABC with whom the MEC allegedly had an affair.

Rasool told the Weekend Argus that at the time of these beaches of provincial government security broke the government and society from illegal surveillance.

Spokesperson for the Natonal Intelegence Agency Lorna Daniels said that it policy not to publicise investigations and that the outcome will be liased with the relevant parties.

City of Cape Town aims to increase job creation

By Tando Mfengwana
16 September 2006

The city of Cape Town is looking for an economic growth rate of over seven percent by the year 2010 as part of its newly drawn Economic and Human Development Strategy.

Director of economic and Human Development Department, Zolile Siswana says that the objectives of this strategy are to enhance the city’s global competitiveness by accelerating economic growth, maximizing empowerment and reducing poverty.

Siswana says that the strategy aims at creating jobs for low and semi-skilled workers, to reduce the gap between the halve poverty and to build social and human capital this is in line with national and provincial policies.

Mayoral committee member, Wasfie Hassiem, said that the Western Cape economy grew at an average annual rate of 3, 3 percent while Cape Town grew at 3, 7 percent. Cape Town contributes 76percent of the provincial economy and therefore the bulk of the growth must come from the metro area,

Over 30 percent of the people living in Cape Town are living below the household subsistence level.

The strategy is aid to have identified the most pressing concerns, which are infrastructure, basic services, public transport, and environmental management.

The city will focus on strategies that will benefit its 3, 2 million residents, such as skills development, and facilitating and enabling environment including Red Tape reduction and the establishment of a One-Stop-Shop for Investment Facilities.

Launch of first community television

By Odette Ismail
16 September 2006

The launch of the first Community television in Cape Town will be launched on Saturday. The station will be broadcasting only from may next year.

The television station will broadcast issues on local culture, news and current affairs. Karen Thorne one of the station’s steering committee members told the Cape Argus that Capetonians can look forward to having their voices heard.

The launch will take place at its annual general meeting at the Community House in Salt River. There it will be decided on a strategic plan as well as adopt a constitution and elect members to be on the station’s board.

Thorne says that in order to maintain the ownership of the community radio television is to place it in the hands of the community, representatives from non-profit organisations will nominate representatives to the board.

The station is not quite running independently but will operate through the SABC for two hours a week.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Attack leaves man paralysed

By Tando Mfengwana
15 September 2006

A 24-year-old man from Rondebosch was left paralysed after a night out with friends outside the corner of Main and Protea Road, Claremont at about 2am last Saturday.

The Cape Times reports that Andrew Merryweather, was paralysed from the waist down, and doctors have warned that his chances of full recovery are slender.

Merryweather could recollect little bit of the attack as the attackers came from behind.

The report says that despite the doctor’s diagnosis, the slightly built restaurant manager is disarmingly positive about his chances of recovery.

It is said that Merryweather was attacked by eight men whom police reservist said were larger that him.

His parents Joy Smith and Peter Merryweather have kept vigil at Groote Schuur’s D7 advanced spinal ward since Sunday.

Merryweather did say that he did not recognise his attackers and could not explain what provoked the attack.

The report says that eight suspects appeared for identification parade on Wednesday, Police spokesperson Captain Randall Stoffels said that no arrests have yet been made, and that the docket had been referred to the public prosecutor.

The previous charge had been assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, but this was changed to a charge of attempted murder given the nature of the injuries.

Govt. must take rapid action to fight new TB strain

By Anya van Wyk
15 September 2006

The new strain of TB needs to be controlled to prevent it spreading across South Africa. The government needs to take visible action now as they did not do so after a warning was received last year.

This is according to Umesh Lalloo, of Durban’s Nelson Mandela School of Medicine. The Mail and Guardian reports that eighteen months ago the extreme drug resistant (XDR) strain of TB killed 10 people within days. Dr Tony Moll — who discovered the new strain — and his staff members, in KwaZulu-Natal, were alarmed and alerted the province's health officials. He made an appeal for them to investigate the magnitude of the outbreak and establish a better way of detecting it. Dr Moll and his colleagues received little response.

Moll sent a letter to KwaZulu-Natal Health Minister, Peggy Nkonyeni, asking for research to be conducted in conjunction with America’s Centres for Disease Control (CDC). This was not done on before of the government.

Official responses to Moll’s pleas were only made last week with CDC’s and the World Health Organisation (WHO) visit to South Africa. The CDC and WHO said that more money for drug development and laboratories needs to be put forward.

Dr Moll told the Mail and Guardian that about 60 have died within the space of 16 days.

80 and still hitting?

By Tarryn Le Chat
15 September 2006

An 80-year-old man received stitches to his head after his brave and desperate attempt to protect five fellow pensioners with his walking stick during a mugging in Newlands Forest earlier this week.

The two muggers, one tall and the other short, were in close range of the elderly when they were taking their routine stroll near the stream at 9:30am on Monday.

The six pensioners put up a fight as the attempted mugging took place.

The 80-year-old, who did not wish to be named, struck with his walking stick at the Laurel and Hardy characters.

Two of the elderly women started screaming which caught the attention of passers-by, when the two assailants ran off and left in a white BMW that was waiting for them.

These ‘A-team’ pensioners reported the incident to the Table Mountain National Park.

Police spokesperson, Billy Jones, said the matter had been reported to the Claremont Police Station.

Shebeens given a chance to legalise

By Anya van Wyk
15 September 2006

Township shebeens will have a year to legalise. They will be given temporary licences during this period and are required to meet the minimum standards of health and environmental bylaws to become legal.

According to the Cape Times, this will be enforced when the provincial liquor bill comes into being next year. The bill excludes shebeens associated with crime and that ignore bylaws. Legal liquor businesses that supply to shebeens will face fines and possible imprisonment.

There has to be an application of consent during the year. There are also certain regulations that will be instituted to receive consent from municipalities. The regulations are that liquor outlets cannot be near schools, mosques and churches. Signs stating that no sales will be made to minors have to be put up. Fire and safety issues also have to be dealt with by shebeen owners during this year, with permission from council.

If shebeen owners comply with the regulations and receive the necessary consent from the council and police during this year, a license will be issued.

Gareth Strachman, chairman of SA Local Government Association, said that if outlets loose their licence they will be subjected to the consequences of the bill. Imprisonment and a R100 000 fine are amongst the penalties.

Student gets a beating with a belt

By Odette Ismail
15 September 2006

A school student from Pretoria was taken to the intensive care unit of a hospital on Wednesday. She had been assaulted by a fellow student at a school function.

According to Independent Online Maricel Pienaar, 16 at Hoërskool Oos-Moot was allegedly attacked by another school girl with a belt in the school’s bathroom.

Pienaar claims that the incident occurred at a cross-country meeting. The other student asked
Pienaar for money, but when she said she didn’t have, the student became persistent. Pienaar then pushed her away.

The alleged attacker and a friend followed Pienaar to the bathroom where they threw water on her. They threatened her with the belt and according to Pienaar started hitting her till there was blood visible on the floor.

Pienaar’s mom Zelda said that her child feels very unsafe and that they had a meeting with the school principal where they are considering taking legal steps.

Pienaar was discharged from hospital yesterday but has to return to her specialist due to x-rays showing brain abnormalities.

This is after she already had a concussion when a garage door fell on her head. This beating to her head could cause epileptic seizures in the future.

Beaches to receive shark nets

By Tarryn Le Chat
15 September 2006

Cape Town may get shark nets at some beaches to protect swimmers against shark attacks.

According to the Cape Times, this is one of the recommendations of a major report released yesterday designed to increase the safety of people using the sea around the peninsula, while keeping the impact on endangered Great White sharks to a minimum.

The report states that the nets proposed for selected local beaches are known as “exclusion nets” which have a small mesh and act as fence between swimmers and sharks, but do not kill sharks or other marine creatures.

The exclusion nets can be used only in calm areas inside the surf zone.

Proposals are that exclusion nets are feasible for Fish Hoek, Gordon’s Bay and Simon’s Town.

Khayelitsha to receive a hospital

By Anya van Wyk
15 September 2006

Plans to build a 230-bed district hospital in Khayelitsha are underway. This falls under the Department of Health’s strategic plan for 2010, called “Health Care 2010”. The construction of the hospital is set to start as soon as next year.

Mitchell’s Plain is also going to have a district hospital built next year but the exact location is undecided at present.

The construction of both hospitals will cost R600-million. According to Independent Online, these plans were made official as the city of Cape Town approved the sale of municipal land in Khayelitsha to the provincial administration.

The building of this hospital will add to Khayelitsha’s growing public sector as it already has a magistrates court, home affairs office and welfare and poverty alleviation centres.

There are also plans to build a fire station in Khayelitsha.

49-year-old man missing

By Tarryn Le Chat
15 September 2006

The Bishop Lavis Police are requesting the assistance of the public in finding Nickolas Africa, 49-years-old, who went missing from Lilly Haven old age home, in Privet Street, Bonteheuwel.

He is about 1.8 metres tall, has brown eyes, black hair and weighs about 60kg. At the time of his disappearance he was dressed in a grey and blue pyjama pants, green T-shirt and white takkies.
Anyone with information can contact the Investigating Officer, Inspector Roy Arries at the Bishop Lavis Police station on (021) 935 9803 or Crime Stop on call-share on 08600 10111.

Mannenberg campaign celebrates anniversary

By Odette Ismail
15 September 2006

The Mannenberg campaign envisioned to uplift the youth and get rid of stigma attached to gangesterism in the area will celebrate their anniversary tomorrow.

A conference will be held to assess whether the campaign has been efficient.

Mario Wanza, organiser of the campaign, told the Cape Times that community members in Manneberg struggle to steer the stigma of gansterism away from the area

Wanza says employers think all people living in Mannenberg are gangsters or drug dealers. He adds that this causes the youth to feel rejected and find it pointless to search for work.

The conference is expected to adopt a plan of action for the next year.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Issues confronting the Western Cape discussed

By Anya van Wyk
14 September 2006

Ebrahim Rasool, the premier of the Western Cape, addressed the media on key issues facing the Western Cape at present. Lynne Brown, Minister of Finance and Tourism, and Leonard Ramatlakane, Minister of Community Safety, joined him to discuss these issues.

Rasool first discussed the brutal murders of 7 children over the last three months in the Western Cape. He said that the community as well as the guardians need to take responsibility for the safety of children in conjunction with the government’s efforts to institute programmes that will protect the children. On such programme is ‘Hands off our children’.

Ramatlakane discussed the ways to keep children safe. He said that we need to know where children are at all times, keep them in sight, never send them alone anywhere and never leave them alone.

Rasool also discussed the attacks and murders of Somali’s by South Africans. He acknowledged the serious nature of the situation and said the attacks were rooted in economic conflict.

Lynne Brown addressed the destruction of the Southern Cape caused by floods and its effect on tourism. Talks to declare the Southern Cape a disaster region are underway. This will ensure that destruction can be repaired as soon as possible. Lynne Brown said that the perception that there is an economic meltdown is incorrect and that the tourism season should not be affected.

These issues were addressed and reflected on by the Cabinet members and possible solutions looked at.

Lives of black people at farms cheap

By Tarryn Le Chat
14 September 2006

Organisations championing the rights of farm workers have threatened mass action if Rawsonville police do not take action within 10 days against four farmers and a farm worker suspected of gang-rape and assault.

In April, a 22-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped and her 15-year-old friend, who witnessed it, was beaten with a vineyard pole, tied to a bakkie and dragged through a river.

The 15-year-old, who was badly injured during the event, had to miss school and stay with his mother to recover.

Even though the victims have lodged complaints with the police, and have identified the suspects, five months later, police have not arrested anyone, nor have charges been pressed.

The docket had gone missing for a while.

Celine's murderer pleads not guilty

By Tarryn Le Chat
14 September 2006

James Barnes, the 31-year-old man accused of murdering four-year-old Celine Cowley, says that he is innocent and that he had never intended to plead guilty to the murder; but that the state had pressured him to do so.

The case has been postponed for three months so that Barnes can bring an application to have his conviction set aside and his guilty plea changed to one of not guilty.

The community, however, is fed up and protested outside the Cape High Court to say that they have had enough of criminals who are protected by the justice system.

Barnes had been assaulted in Pollsmoor Prison before he was brought to court and will not make it alive out of Pollsmoor if he is not transferred to another prison, the court heard.

Barnes sat in the dock, his head wrapped in a bandage and the hood of his top splattered with blood.

Schumcher strikes back

By Tarryn Le Chat
14 September 2006

After a personal attack by Formula One driver Fernando Alonso on Michael Schumacher, Schumie is set to respond on track to the ‘below-the belt’ remarks.

Bild newspaper yesterday quoted Willi Weber as saying that Alonso’s comments to Spains Radio Marca was an ‘unbelievable insult.’

Weber who has represented the seven-time world champion since 1988, demanded an apology from Alonso for what he described as ‘unfair and cheap’ remarks.

Alonso was incensed that he had been demoted five places to 10th on Sunday’s starting grid at the Italian grand prix for impeding the qualifying lap of Felipe Massa, the German’s Ferrari team mate.

Meanwhile Formula One supreme Bernie Ecclestone has come out in support of Alonso and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore over the controversial five-place penalty.

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