Saturday, March 31, 2007

Two men arrested after stealing a boat

By Odette Ismail
31 March 2007

Police arrested two men yesterday after they were found with a stolen boat worth R14 000 on the R21 between Pretoria and Kempton Park.

Captain Jethro Mtshali told a daily paper that they received a tip-off regarding the stolen boat and decided to investigate the matter.

According to reports police came across the bakkie with the boat on the freeway.

Police pulled off the occupants in the bakkie early Friday morning and arrested the two men.

Drugs, a claw bar, handgloves and teargas were also found in their bakkie.

The men are expected to appear in court soon.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Rietvlei Wetlands Reserve re-opened

By Tando Mfengwana
30 March 2007

The waterbody of the Rietvlei Wetlands Reserve in Cape Town has been reopened to the public, following its closure due to toxic blue-green algae found in the water last year.

Visitors to the Vlei will receive leaflets informing them of the dangers of coming into contact with the algae.

Reserve manager Koos Retief says that toxin levels have since dropped hence the re-opening.

“Up to now we’ve established that the toxin levels have dropped well within acceptable standards for recreational waterbody, so we don’t fear that there is immediate threat to the public…”

Retief said that if a person comes into contact with the blue-green algae they should contact a doctor immediately or face serious implications.

“If you have physical contact with blue-green algae scum, you could have serious skin irritation resulting from that, also if you were to ingest water contaminated with the blue-green algae toxin that could cause gastro-intestinal disease. And also you could have complication with your breathing with your lungs if you were to inhale water spray that contains blue-green algae.”

Although the scum has not completely disappeared, reserve staff remains wary of it, and will report any reoccurrences.

Once any is spotted, it will be reported to the City Health Scientific Services Branches. If they find the toxin to be at dangerous levels in the vlei waters, this would result in the vlei being closed to the public again.

Traffic authorities prepare for Easter weekend

By Odette Ismail
30 March 2007

With schools closing today for Easter, authorities have warned that major provincial roads will be congested.

Today will see the MEC of Community Safety Leonard Ramatlakane and the provincial department launch the provincial leg of safer Easter holiday.

Eric Ntabazalila, spokesperson for MEC for Transport and Public Works, Marius Fransman told a daily paper that he wishes to warn motorists, pedestrians and other road users to obey to the rules of the road during this critical period.

He says that bus and taxi drivers need to check tyres and vehicles to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy.

Managing director of the intercity bus company Road Link says that the state of certain buses namely old ones need to be addressed. Ready says that bus companies should disclose safety information to their passengers.

He also appeals to inspectors to make routine checks.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

SA temporary passport easily forged

By Tando Mfengwana
29 March 2007

South African citizens planning to travel to Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg or Belgium may not be able to enter the countries with a temporary passport.

It is nearly impossible for South Africans who are not in possession of, or with an expired passport, to enter these countries in cases of emergencies, due to the Department of Home Affairs' six-week delay on passport being issued.

These conditions were launched in Germany on March 1, and will be effective in the Benelux countries from April 1.

Reports quote the spokesperson for the Dutch consulate as saying that they are not allowed to turn Visas into temporary passports anymore because the documents were easily forged.

A German consulate said that the passports were no longer acceptable even in cases of emergencies.

Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Jacky Mashapu said that the acting director General Joel Chavalala was to meet with the representatives of the four countries to discuss a way to facilitate returning South Africans from those countries.

According to reports a number of Cape Town travel agencies were not aware of these regulations. South Africans planning to go oversees should consult the Department of Foreign Affairs' website.

Police clamp down on second-hand dealers

Staff reporter
29 Mrch 2007

On Wednesday, Western Cape police conducted several operations simultaneously on second-hand dealers in Kuils River, Bellville, Parow, Goodwood, Kensington and Maitland. A blue VW Golf was seized at Chukuf Mechanical workshop in Maitland that police believe is stolen.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Elliot Sinyangana says that an inquiry of investigation is being conducted around the vehicle, and the business place was closed.

“During these operations, forty-seven second-hand dealer’s premises were visited by police. Several fines were issued to the value of about R18 300 and two shops were closed. We also arrested two illegal immigrants and notified the Department of Home Affairs,” SInyangana says.

Dire blood shortage as long weekend approaches

By Nadia Samie
29 March 2007

With the long Easter Weekend looming on our doorstep, the SA National Blood Service’s (SANBS) has appealed for donations, as they are sitting with a serious shortage.

SANBS spokesperson Gail Nothard says that they only have a three day stock of blood for Johannesburg and less than two days for coastal areas. The bank is supposed to have a seven-day stock in its reserves.

The blood bank has appealed to travelers to donate blood before going on holiday.

The SANBS website outline the following criteria for becoming a donor:

  • Weigh at least 50kg;
  • Be between the ages of 16 and 65;
  • Be in good health;
  • Lead a sexually safe lifestyle; and
  • Consider your blood safe for transfusion to a patient

    Anyone willing to donate blood can call the toll free number on 0800 119 031 for information on their nearest clinic. Donors Click here for the Western Province Blood Transfusion Services website.
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Proposed City Budget

    By Tando Mfengwana
    28 March 2007

    Cape Town mayor Helen Zille tabled the city’s draft budget of R20, 3 billion in council today.

    Zille said residents will have to cough up 15 percent more on average rates and tariffs, but the blow would be cushioned by a number of rebates.

    This increase is higher compared to last year’s figure of 5 percent increase.

    Zille said the hikes in tariffs are necessary in order to upgrade the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.

    Mayoral Committee member Ian Neilson said that the city has very significant service delivery needs that have fallen behind.

    He said areas such as water, sewerage, and roads need additional capacity.

    Other areas that the city is looking at are fire service which are dramatically understaffed and the cleansing services in the Cape Flats.

    He said that in order for the city to increase the standard of service delivery, they are looking at significant increases in the budget and that’s the reason that tariffs such as electricity, water and sanitation are increasing.

    For property owners whose value has increase on the average of all property which is about three to three-and-half times can expect their total municipal account to increase about 10 to 15 percent.

    But anyone, whose property value has increased less than three times, can anticipate the converse.

    Property values that have increased four times and more can expect very significant increases in their rates.

    The mayor said that R16, 5 billion of the money will be spent on operations and the remaining R3; 8 billion will be spent on capital projects.

    The city would invest R158 million on a new programme to address water leaks, servicing informal settlements with a specific target on toilets.

    The mayor stressed the matter that this is the proposed draft and was not the final draft and is open for public comment.

    Resident faces murder charges after house break-in

    By Odette Ismail
    28 March 2007

    A Cape Town resident will face a murder charge after shooting a robber in his home yesterday, in apparent self defence.

    Police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana says that the incident took place at 3am yesterday morning at the owner’s house in Buxton Avenue, Oranjezicht.

    The owner heard noises and was woken up. It is believed that the burglar gained entry through an upstairs bathroom window.

    The 55-year-old man told the Cape Argus that he heard scratching at the side of his house and shortly afterwards saw the suspect through his bedroom keyhole, walking up the stairs.

    The resident apparently took his firearm from his dresser confronted the man and told him to go downstairs. He then made the intruder sit down.

    While contacting the police the unarmed suspect allegedly attacked the man and this is when the owner shot the suspect in the chest.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Philippi opens the Joe Gqabi Drivers Centre

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    27 March 2007

    Mayor Helen Zille will officially open the Joe Gqabi Driver’s Licence Testing Centre in Philippi today.

    The mayor will be accompanied by the MEC for Transport and Public Works, Marius Fransman and members of the mayoral committee.

    Since the year 2000, Philippi and surrounding areas had been identified for such a centre and thus led to the establishment of the driver’s testing licence centre.

    The centre includes facilities for learner driver’s testing, testing for driver’s licences and the issuing of roadworthy certificates.

    The centre will be equipped to handle roadworthy tests for all types of vehicles, ranging from tucks to buses and cars.

    The installation of the National Traffic Information System (NATIS) will allow the centre to extend its capacity to make provisions for other services. This will also ease the backlog of learner’s and licence tests.

    According to the statement, Metro Police spokesperson Nowellyn Petersen says, “It is our endeavour to reduce the current six month waiting period for learner and driver’s tests to three months or less”.

    ANC councillor released on bail

    By Odette Ismail
    26 March 2007

    The ANC councillor who was arrested for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm, that was allegedly linked to past murders, has been released on bail.

    Xolani Nyanga is a ward councillor for Harare in Khayelitsha and part of Tafelsig in Mitchell’s plain. He appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court on Friday.

    Magistrate Maya Prag did not oppose his bail and he was released on R1000 bail with other conditions, according to a daily paper.

    Nyanga has to report to the Harare police station on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The case has been postponed to 12 July.

    Police arrested Nyanga on March 17 after he apparently fired shots at another motorist after an accident. While police responded to the scene they found the firearm hidden underneath his seat.

    It is believed that Nyanga told police that he had taken the firearm away from gangsters in December last year.

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Maharaj in the hot seat over credit card-type licencing

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    26 March 2007

    The Democratic Alliance has called for a full performance audit of the credit card-type licence system, from its inception.

    DA Member of Parliament, Stuart Farrow says, “The party believes that such an audit would only be constructive, since should it reveal major flaws in the system, then at least these flaws could be properly addressed.”

    The focus is particularly on the process leading to the involvement of convicted fraudster Shabir Schaik and his company, Probida.

    In recent events, there has been a scandal involving bribes that were allegedly paid to former transport Minister Mac Maharaj and his wife, Zarina, by Shaik’s companies, to have the licence tender awarded to Prodiba.

    According to Farrow’s statement, if the allegations against the former transport minister are found to be true, then it would strengthen any evidence against Maharaj that he will not be able to contest.

    Farrow will be asking for the audit performance in Parliament tomorrow.

    New device to be launched in KZN

    By Odette Ismail
    26 March 2007

    A hi-tech device to curb hi-jacking by means of one touch of a button has been launched in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Rob Edwards,a businessman and insurance broker Glen Harvey has launched this special device.

    They have dubbed the device ‘ResQme” which is fitted to the motor vehicle and links your cellphone to your car. This will enable you to lock and unlock your car’s doors without the keys. It also acts as a tracking device and a panic button to guide you to your desired destination.

    Harvey told the Weekend Argus that some people will be able to just have the cellphone and panic button installed.

    This service fee is R69 a month and the installation is free.

    The cellphone panic button was launched three years ago but was taken further to have it advanced and possibly linked to the vehicle. The device makes it impossible for criminals to steal your car.

    For more information on ResQme call 0860 737 763.

    Police on the hunt after officer shot

    By Tando Mfengwana
    26 March 2007

    Police are hunting for an unknown gunman who opened fire on them after angry Hanover Park residents attacked police during the arrest of a rape suspect.

    A police officer was shot in his right knee and three others were hit by stones and their vehicles were damaged when violence broke out, after the resident tried to lynch the suspect.

    Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the angry mob that had gathered.

    This follows the return of a eight-year-old girl who was abducted on Saturday at about 9am.

    The girl managed to escape her captor, at around 8am and 9am the next day.

    She was found in a field and returned home, where she told her family that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

    The 35-year-old suspect was found by the angry community, but police intervened.

    Police spokesperson Captain Elliot Sinyangana said that they have been patrolling the area and arrest a man in possession of an illegal firearm.

    A few members of the public were also arrested for public violence.

    A case of attempted murder has been opened against the unknown gunman.

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Solidarity launches campaign to canvass skills

    By Odette Ismail
    25 March 2007

    Solidarity has announced a campaign today where they will look to recruit as many unemployed and expatriate skilled South African artisans for positions in municipalities.

    Gwede Mantashem chairperson of the technical task team of the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) has announced that the vacancy rate at municipalities is high. According to a statement Mantashe says he will personally increase the applications of unemployed white tradesmen.

    Flip Buys, general secretary of Solidarity says that the union has been concerned about the number of artisans in the country.

    In August 2005, the Glenburn lodge dialogue between South African community leaders and government reached an agreement that everything should be done to make use of all skills in the country, to relieve the skills shortage.

    They have planned a large-scale awareness campaign to recruit more South Africans with scarce skills as possible.

    An internet service enables all South Africans worldwide to submit their CV’s to solidarity’s website: .

    Jaco Kleynhans, spokesperson for solidarity says that that people are also able to contact the control centre from Monday to Friday where you can be part of the database skills of South Africa.

    Contact the control centre on 0861 25 24 23 and submit your details.

    Zuma says the needs of the poor has to be addressed

    By Odette Ismail
    25 March 2007

    Jacob Zuma has urged for political tolerance and an open discussion in the ruling tripartite alliance.

    According to a weekend paper Zuma has called on the SACP and the young communist league to work harder in order to have the needs met of the poor and working class of the country.

    He announced this after delivering the annual Chris Hani Memorial Lecture to commemorate the SACP member who was assassinated in 1993.

    The lecture took place at the University of Limpopo yesterday. It is believed that Zuma touched on and referred to internal conflict occurring as there is much debate around the ANC succession.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    Fifa is happy with plans around 2010

    By Odette Ismail
    24 March 2007

    Fifa, the world’s football governing body says that doubts around security and logistics for 2010 have been dismissed.

    Fifa president Sepp Blater is quoted in Weekend paper saying that they trust South Africa. He announced this after meeting with governing body chiefs.

    He said that the executive committee is convinced that South Africa will be a good host for the World Cup.

    Blatter went on to say that SA took a bold step after last month’s approval of an extra budget in which to tackle security for fans a nd visitors as well as transport.

    He however, according to reports was still worried last month at the pace of new stadiums being built.

    Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the South African World cup has apparently promised that building will be completely by October 2009.

    IFP man retaliates after alleged discounted vehicles

    By Odette Ismail
    24 March 2007

    The former Inkatha Freedom Party MP who allegedly received discount on two vehicles from a company believed to be linked to a arms deal wants to clear his name.

    Mandla Msomi told the Weekend Argus that he is meeting with his lawyers to see if he has any recourse against the Independent Democrats and the Freedom front leaders.

    According to reports Patricia de Lille (ID) and Pieter Groenewald (FF+) spoken out on his alleged relation to the discounts.

    De Lille has come out and laid charges of apparent bribery and corruption against Msomi and 28 others which include politicians, businessman and public servants.

    She is aware of Msomi’s threat to sue and denied that her ain was to find the 29 guilty, but said that it was urgently needed to be investigated.

    Groenewald welcomed Msomi’s plans to sue and told a Weekend paper that he hopes he would be able to prove himself innocent.

    Gang violence shut Manenberg housing estate

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    24 March 2007

    The Manenberg Housing Estate office has been temporarily closed following gang violence and the threat it poses to the staff in the area.

    The office is situated on the border of two rival gangs in the area. Regular shootouts take place around the office and these have meant the facility has had to be closed on a regular basis over the past few months.

    Grace Blouw, manager of the existing settlements for the City of Cape Town says that, “On several occasions staff have had to hide under their desks until the violence subsides and it is safe for them to leave the premises. They have been severely traumatised and their health badly effected.”

    “It has become very difficult for maintenance staff to work in the area as they are being mugged and robbed on a daily basis,” says Blouw.

    Alternative arrangements will be put in place to ensure that a level of service delivery prevails during the temporary closure of the facility.

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    City's sport and recreational facilities need R26m boost

    By Chanel September
    23 March 2007

    At least R26 million will be needed for some of Cape Town’s sports and recreational facilities in the next financial year.

    The money required by the city will help fund the repairs and maintenance, of facilities on the verge of collapsing.

    Mayco member for amenities and sport Grant Haskin says the city needs to spend R150m, if it wants to bring its 755 facilities up to international standards within the next three years.

    He added that most of the city’s facilities were operating in sub-standard conditions.

    According to the sports directorate many facilities did not meet the council’s health and safety requirements.

    Another problem that council faced was the shortage of staff; making maintenance difficult as some facilities were often vandalised

    World attention on TB day

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    23 March 2007

    World Tuberculosis Day is an international opportunity to draw the world’s attention to the growing TB epidemic.

    The world health organisation this year emphasises that every country has to be alert and be part of the world wide fight against TB due to the ease with which TB is spread.

    According to Dr Ivan Toms of the City of cape Town health department, “The City will be honouring clinic staff and related Non-Governmental Organisations in a World TB Day celebration at the Oliver Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha.”

    Internationally TB is once more seen as a health emergency due to the growing extreme drug resistant TB-XDR outbreak in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

    This deadly outbreak has seen eight such cases confirmed in Cape Town of which one has died.

    Suspect arrested for Manenberg shooting

    By Tando Mfengwana
    23 March 2007

    An eight-year-old boy was grazed by a stray bullet to his shoulder outside his home in Reogrand, Manenberg yesterday.

    Three men allegedly fired several shots at a 15-year-old boy in the street.

    A 21-year-old man was arrested nearby after the incident on charges of two charges of attempted murder.

    Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn said they are investigating the motive for the shooting.

    The suspect is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s court on Monday.

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Dugmore Supports Bike To Work Day

    By Ashley Wichman
    22 March 2007

    Western Cape MEC for Education Cameron Dugmore is encouraging his fellow South Africans to participate in Bike To Work Day, which takes place on Friday.

    MEC Dugmore rode to Rondebosch Boys’ High and Rustenberg Girls’ High this morning to discuss with staff and learners a bike drive that would collect used bikes from learners, parents and past pupils.

    The bikes will be donated to Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Leonard Ramatlakane for Bambanani school safety volunteers.

    The Pedal Power Association and the Bicycling Empowerment Network have called for all bicycle owners to support Bike To Work Day, by using bicycles to get to work and for errands.

    Serial rapist's case postponed

    By Chanel September
    22 March 2007

    A 61-year-old serial rapist’s review judgement has been postponed to Friday by the Cape Town regional court.

    Alwyn Menziwa made a brief appearance before magistrate Eric Mbiyo on Tuesday.

    In 2006 he applied for review of his sentence after serving more than 10 years in Pollsmoor.

    Menziwa was accused of raping a nurse in Valkenberg where he was a patient.

    The application was sent to the Cape High Court by his legal representative Andre Parries.

    According to a daily paper, Mbiyo says that the case was postponed, although the review judgment was ready, it had not yet reached his office by Tuesday.

    Constantia man killed in home

    By Tando Mfengwana
    22 March 2007

    In a gruesome attack from robbers a 59-year-old man was killed in Constantia on Tuesday.

    It is alleged that two men gained access to the plush neighbourhood villa through an open window.

    To their dismay the robbers found the owner and a cousin in the lounge. A shot was fired at the owner. Dennis Nixon sustained a bullet wound to his neck and died instantly.

    Nobody else was hurt during the incident.

    Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn says the suspects took cellphones and jewellery and fled the scene on foot.

    Inspector Ezr October of the Wynberg police station said that they “need to educate the community, that people are being robbed in their houses.”

    He said he, “understands that people don’t want to be locked up in their houses, but people need to safeguard their personal safety at night.”

    October said that Constantia is not a lit up area, so robbers may think of it as an easy opportunity.

    Police are investigating a case of murder and house robbery and anyone with information can contact the Wynberg Police Station on 021 799 1400.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Farm workers demonstrate for change

    By Chanel September
    21 March 2007

    Farm workers from around the Western Cape gathered outside parliament yesterday calling for radical changes.

    Approximately 70 people demonstrated under a heavy police presence.

    The Alliance of Land and Agrarian Reform Movements spokesperson Mercia Andrews told a daily paper that most of the farm workers earn under R1 000 per month.

    She added that police in rural areas just drop cases of violence against women especially when the perpetrators are white farmers.

    Alarm says that the government must urgently address problems of the rural poor.

    A memorandum was handed over listing their grievances and demands to a representative of the Speaker's office.

    Ruling extended of Vodacom strike to April

    By Odette Ismail
    21 March 2007

    The court ruling following the suspension of strike action against Vodacom by the Communication Workers Union last week has been extended to next month.

    A Johannesburg Labour Court extended the ruling to April 18 so that more time is provided to figure out both parties arguments.

    Mandla Gqamlana of the CWU told a daily paper that they would plan action after next month’s ruling.

    Vodacom last week obtained an interim court order to stop workers belonging to the union from striking.

    According to reports Gqamlana says the ruling will state whether industrial action will take place.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Murder in Athlone

    By Tando Mfengwana
    20 March 2007

    A 59-year-old man's body was found in a house in Latvan road, Athlone, last night.

    Mohammed Salwary was found with an open wound to his neck by an acquaintance in the lounge.

    Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn said that no arrest has been made.

    Police are investigating a case of Murder and anyone with information can contact the Athlone Police station on 021 697 9200.

    N2 gateway project brought to a halt

    By Chanel September
    20 March 2007

    Frustrated contractors waiting to be paid, has brought local government’s housing project to a complete halt.

    Building of the multibillion-rand N2 Gateway in Delft has been stopped, due to claims by contractors of an unpaid bill of R3.5 million for services installed between May 2005 and November 2006.

    Mayoral spokesperson Robert MacDonald says that sub-contractors told the city the project is not moving due to poor cash flow management.

    He added that mayor Helen Zille is to meet with the national director of housing Itumelang Kotsoane.

    The city was removed from the N2 Gateway project by the National Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in June when Thubelisha homes took charge of the project.

    When Bush Radio tried to get hold of Kotsoane, he was not available due to back to back meetings.

    But according to a daily paper, he denied that work has stopped on the Delft site blaming the city for the hold up so that the building of the houses could not be completed.

    Anti-rape device made available to women

    By Odette Ismail
    20 March 2007

    After much controversy, a South African female condom-like, anti-rape device will be made available soon.

    According to reports the device, known as rapex, had wide reaction when it was launched one and a half years ago.

    Inventor Sonnet Ehlers told the Cape Argus that she is currently busy with the final pre-production phase after waiting for seven years. She says the product will be on the market soon.
    The device is believed to have fish-like teeth that attach itself to parts of the male’s genitals. The debate around the production of the device, is around whether it is a medieval device made to impose hatred on males or if it will indeed help reduce rape cases.

    Ehlers has also made news in other countries after debates of her invention and the merits thereof.

    She says the device will give women a chance to escape harm while the rapist is dealing with the pain. She says her aim is for the male to be identified and evidence of penetration to be detected.

    It is believed that once finalised, it will be mass produced in China to make the selling of the device cheaper.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Home Affairs to get tough on their officials

    By Chanel September
    19 March 2007

    The Home Affairs Department in the Western Cape has roughly 60 officials facing disciplinary action.

    The department has nationally taken action against 600 officials for corruption and mismanagement.

    Spokesperson Khulekani Ntshangase confirmed the Western Cape figure but added that not all cases are related to corruption.

    Ntshagase says that there are people in the department who are corrupt, incompetent and have been fired.

    The support intervention task team was seat up to fix the department so that it can achieve its best mandate in terms of delivery.

    A report completed by the task team stated that corruption was a challenge facing the department.

    NSRI search continues for missing men and women

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    19 March 2007

    The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Durban and the Vodacom Netcare 911 surf rescue helicopter and Netcare 911 ambulance services were activated on the weekend after the South African Police Service requested assistance with the search for eight men and women, suspected missing, following heavy rainfall and flooding in the Baymbai informal settlement in the North of Durban.

    On arrival at the scene, the police search and rescue team recovered the body of a man, who was one of the eight people in the group.

    The continued ground search by the NSRI rescue swimmers and Netcare 911 paramedics assisting police, found no trace of the seven remaining missing men and women.

    Police reinforcements from neighbouring areas took over from the NSRI, while the Vodacom Netcare 911 surf rescue helicopter remained at the scene.

    According to police during the heavy rainfall a stream flooded causing some homes to be washed away.

    Alleged police killer nabbed

    By Tando Mfengwana
    19 March 2007

    A murder and robbery suspect was spotted and apprehended by an off-duty police sergeant on-board a taxi in Ny1, Guguletu yesterday.

    The suspect climbed in the taxi and was allegedly in the process of taking out a gun, when the sergeant drew his gun and fired at the suspect wounding him in the leg.

    Police were searching for the 19-year-old suspect in connection with an incident that occurred on the 8th of February 2007. A police constable was murdered and robbed of his official firearm in Browns Farm, while picking up a colleague for duty.

    The suspect was arrested for murder, armed robbery and the possession of an illegal firearm.

    Hw will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate Court soon.

    Community Information Network

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    19 March 2007

    # Women’s Hope Education and Training (WHEAT) Trusti invites you to attend a seminar to continue the dialogue about crime in our society, and to celebrate and promote the work of grassroots women. We will be meeting at the Portlnads Indoor Sports Centre in Mitchell’s Plain, from 9 till 4 on Friday the 23 March. For more information and RSVP, please call Nikki at (021) 447 3366 or email

    # Trade unionists are hosting Cape Town’s second labour Film Festival to be held on Wednesday and Thursday April 18 and 19, at SACTWU Hall, Industria House, 350 Victoria Road, Salt River from 6pm to 9pm, and at Community House, Salt River Road on Friday April 20th. After screening of the films there will be open discussions. Entry is free and you can call Lynn, Erna or Ronell at 021 447 2727 for details.

    # The SA Psoriasis Association will hold a meeting at the Pinelands Municipal Hall on Thursday 22nd March at 20h00. Dr Dagmar Whitaker (Dermatologist) will speak to us on the current trends of Psoriasis Treatment and also Biologicals. Entrance and refreshments are free. All sufferers and family are welcome. For further information call Marion at 021 981 1650.

    # De Grendel Lions Club are looking for used spectacles for recycling and redistribution to the underprivileged. Contact Malcolm Stuppel on 021 558 5430 or Michael Dempsey on 073 313 4426 or email for more details or to arrange delivery.

    # The Oaks of Righteousness, a registered NGO, is running its free after school programme for youth between the ages of 11 and 18 again this year. The programme offers homework assistance, soccer, baseball, netball, volleyball, drama, dancing, arts and crafts and awareness programmes on HIV/Aids and substance abuse. Call Wendy Dennis on 073 921 8512.

    # Donate your clothing, bric-a-brac, toys or anything you no longer need to the Good News charity shop in Station Road, Fish Hoek. Stock is needed to fund students at the Bible Institute of South Africa. Call 021 786 6909 or 072 918 7131.

    Add your information to the Community Information Network!
    Tel: 021-448-5450
    Fax: 021-448-5451

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Home Affairs needs director-general - DA

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    18 March 2007

    The department of home affairs has been targeted by the Democratic Alliance for being inconsistent in the past ten years as they have changed the person in the post of Director-General a number of times, and are therefore inconsistent.

    The post of the former Director-General became vacant in October last year, leaving a vacuum in the department. An acting Diretor-General has been appointed.

    However, DA spokesperson on home affairs, Sandy Kalyan, believes there is, “a dire need to bring stability to the department of home affairs.”

    Kalyan says, “Granted, some recommendations may require some time to implement. However, the fact that the task team’s final report has found poor leadership and management topping the list of issues needing attention.”

    A task team has identified the problems and the recommendations are at the disposal of Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and her department.

    Kalyan says that the, “ball is now in the minister’s court.”

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Joint probe of arms deal ended

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    17 March 2007

    A second joint investigation involving the Public Protector, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Auditor-General will not be the subject of allegations related to wrongdoing in South Africa’s arms deal process.

    According to reports by a weekend paper, they have come together in a joint consideration. They agreed that each institution would deal with issues that have been raided based on their own mandates.

    In the report, the public protector’s office had received a complaint from the DA which made accusations of wrongdoing against Chippy Shaik.

    Shaik, at the time, had been head of the procurement for the defence department in the multi-billion rand arms procurement process. His brother Schabir Shaik is in jail for corruption relating to the arms deal.

    Reports stated that NPA spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said they had had a request for information and investigation from ID leader Patricia de Lille.

    Health minister accused of jumping the queue

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    17 March 2007

    Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been accused of jumping the queue for a liver transplant. However, her physician of four years, Professor Jeff Wing says this is not the case.

    Reports state that Wing and the team of specialists who attended to Tshabalala-Msimang held a press conference at Wits University's Donald Gordon Medical Centre to demystify issues around the ministers liver transplant.

    According to a weekend paper, Wing explained that the minister’s tissue-typing rendered her a universal recipient. More importantly, Dr Russell Britz, the Johannesburg Hospital’s chief transplant surgeon, explained that the minister scored the highest points to be a recipient.

    Reports stated that Britz clarified how they determine the criteria on who gets allocated an organ.

    "The allocation policy is done through an international grading systems, Meld (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) and Unos (United Network for Organ Sharing) which give doctors medical data. "The scoring category goes from 10 to 40. The closer to 40 the more ill the patient.", said Britz.

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Missing 14-year-old girl reunited with family

    By Chanel September
    16 March 2007

    Due to the swift action of local police a 14-year-old girl was found on Thurday evening, after she was reported missing. Fatima Samuels went missing from her Salt River home on Monday.

    It is believed that she was in the area when a neighbour spotted her on Wednesday.

    Inspector James Davids of the Woodstock police station says, “We found Fatima in a residential house in Ken Road, Woodstock between 6 and 7pm last night”.

    He confirmed that the incident was drug and gang related.

    Fatima’s mother Hajira Samuels told Bush Radio that she is just happy to have her daughter back home as this experience was very traumatic for the family.

    According to police a suspect has been detained.

    Drive-by shooting leaves three wounded

    By Odette Ismail
    16 March 2007

    A drive-by shooting incident in Belhar yesterday left four people wounded and one teenager unharmed.

    A Blue Jetta was driving on Symphony Way from Belhar towards Bellville, when a silver-grey Honda Ballade overtook the car, and allegedly opened fire at the Jetta. It is believed that the Ballade then rushed off.

    The police's Captain Elliot Sinyangana confirmed that there were four occupants, one woman and three males. “Three people were wounded while one got off lucky,” says Sinyangana.

    The woman, aged 43, sustained gun shot wounds to her left leg and chest. A 25-year-old male was shot in his back and chest, while the third male was shot in his left leg and buttocks. A 17-year-old youth caught up in the incident remained unharmed.

    The three injured survivors were taken to hospital for medical attention. Sinyangana says the motive for the attack is not yet known.

    Anyone with information should contact Crime stop on 08600 10111

    Scuffle outside school leaves youth injured

    By Tando Mfengwana
    16 march 2007

    A 20-year-old man and his twin brother were arrested after fighting with security officials outside Table View High School.

    It is alleged that a security guard got into a scuffle after he removed his gun from its holster to try and disperse the brothers and his friends.

    The gun went off and the 20-year-old was shot in his right shoulder and was treated at Groote Schuur Hospital. He was later discharged.

    Charges of attempted murder and of releasing a firearm in a municipal area were laid against the security guard on Wednesday.

    The police's Captain Elliot Sinyangana said that, because the intention of criminality was not shown by the security guard, his case will be investigated and sent to the office of the senior prosecutor.

    Reports say that the school had no connection with the twins.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Open Letter to the Cape Town Prosecutor's Office

    The following is an open letter written to the office of the Cape Town prosecutor by Laura Wiens, regarding the case of Richard Englebrecht and the death of little Annestacia Wiese. Wiens was stabbed in the neck and head by Englebrecht in a City museum in February 2006. Wiens, an American journalist, was an intern at Bush Radio 89.5fm.

    "I am horrified by the news of Annestasia Weise's death. As a former victim of her alleged assailant, Richard Englebrecht III, I feel both complicit and troubled that this man was not behind bars, or in a mental health facility."

    "It was only last month that I stumbled across the IOL article online on the proceedings of Mr Englebrecht's hearing in November. The headline was "Victim 'never wanted her attacker jailed ", which was a surprise to me, to put it mildly.

    I am very angry that this was the primary reason that the prosecutor's office gave for not pursuing the trial on my stabbing. In fact I had aggressively sought out the justice department because the constable in charge of the case had identified a pending rape charge on Mr Englebrecht, and
    wanted my testimony in the trial to shore up the case.

    (Left: Laura Wiens)

    I had to resort to the contacting The Cape Times in order to finally be approached by a prosecutor, a measly week before the trial — my trial —was supposed to come before the courts.

    And I was poised to buy a ticket to fly to Cape Town, but it was told to me that because this was apparently Mr Englebrecht's first offense, the State believed it was best to negotiate a plea bargain. Now if the SA's prosecutor's office is not interested in pursuing a criminal trial, it is very difficult for someone in my position to negotiate that. He apparently pled guilty to "assault", rather than to the "attempted murder" which was his original charge, a much more serious crime. And was given the freedom to again roam the streets.

    This same article also cited the official testimony given by Mr Englebrecht on his reasons for attacking me — some nonsense about how I could not tell him where his missing brother was. Because he never went on trial for my case, I suppose that his statement went on record as fact. But his words directly contradicted the signed affidavit that I gave to the constable immediately following the stabbing.

    Isn't the very point of this kind of hearing to have the assailant atone for his crime by explaining it fully and honestly? This obvious lie was never challenged by the prosecution nor confirmed by me, and I ultimately only learned of it many months later, in the archival news. Absurd. The prosecutor's office, in my opinion, has failed to take its responsibility seriously. I wonder how many prior rape or attempted-murder charges were linked to Mr Englebrecht (I can't imagine that the constable simply invented that story), which the district attorney chose to ignore.

    But even if my attack — an unprovoked stabbing, in my head and neck — was truly his first offense, please tell me how many violent assaults one needs to execute before being considered dangerous? Doesn't someone like him still warrant a bit more… supervision?

    I am so deeply saddened by Annestasia Weise's death, and still more so at how easily it could have been prevented."

    Laura Wiens, USA

    Click here to read the full IOL story of Laura Wiens attack.

    Police investigate stolen goods at Mowers' hideout

    By Odette Ismail
    15 March 2007

    Police are to meet today to deal with the stolen property that was found at the man-made burrow of the alleged serial rapist of the Hemel-En-Aarde who terrorised residents of the area and held two children captive.

    A farmer told a daily paper that a joint venture between them and the police will see investigations into whether Johannes Mowers was helped.

    However, police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn says that this is not true.

    "We will be looking at exhibits that were found at the burrow,” she said, adding that she was not allowed to say who the police were meeting with.

    Mowers escaped from Caledon Circuit Court in 2004, and police arrested him again on March 4. He appeared in court on Tuesday where he was sentenced to three years for the escape.

    Mowers faces more charges of housebreaking, rape and pointing a firearm.

    Cape mother arrives at police station after search

    By Tando Mfengwana
    15 March 2007

    Several days after an 18-month-old baby was discovered by Athlone police and a group of security officers in Carnie Road in Rylands Estate, the mother arrived.

    Thirty-eight-year-old, Nita Bleeaw, a domestic worker at a house in Carnie Road, had left her baby girl in the care of a couple on the same premises while she did her chores.

    The baby, dubbed Mary-Ann, crawled unnoticed out of the house and disappeared.

    A task team was assembled by Athlone police to search for the mother, soon after the baby was found crawling over Carnie Road at about 7pm on Friday.

    But the search was unsuccessful, and the baby was sent to a place of safety in Langa .

    Social workers took the infant for a medical check-up to a city hospital before taking her to the Children’s Court in Wynberg, and then returned her to the Langa place of safety.

    Athlone police spokesperson Andre Ventre told reporters that the baby would not be given back to Bleeaw because social workers were still investigating the issue.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Department of Foreign Affairs Releases Statement on Zimbabwe

    By Ashley Wichman
    14 March 2007

    The South African government issued a statement yesterday regarding the recent turmoil in Zimbabwe.

    According to Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad said that South Africa urges Zimbabwe to respect the rights of all Zimbabweans, including opposition political leaders.

    Pahad also said that South Africa has concern about the recent reports of arrests and assaults toward opposition leaders in Zimbabwe, and that the current difficulties are symptoms of broader political and economic issues in the country.

    “South Africa will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with all parties in Zimbabwe in the political, economic, trade and social sectors to ensure that the objective of dialogue among all political parties is realized,” said Pahad.

    Zimbabwe has been in the news this week after opposition leaders were reportedly beaten unconscious by police.

    Teacher among men arrested in cash theft

    By Ashley Wichman
    14 March 2007

    A teacher was arrested yesterday morning in connection with a cash-in-transit heist that occurred on Monday in Bishop Lavis.

    An undisclosed amount of money and a fire arm were stolen around 10AM from a Fidelity Guard security official. Five suspects are still at large.

    Police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana said that the teacher was arrested along with an unemployed man. The suspects were apprehended in a green Opel Astra vehicle parked outside a business in the Delft area.

    The men will appear in Bishop Lavis Magistrate court on Thursday.

    Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

    Case of murdered Annestacia Wiese postponed

    By Odette Ismail
    14 March 2007

    Murder suspect Richard Engelbrecht who faces charges of killing Annestacia Wiese appeared briefly in court where the case was postponed.

    Engelbrecht did not apply for bail and the case has been postponed to the 22 of March. He was not been asked to plead and will remain in custody.

    Annestacia Wiese’s body was found on Sunday in the ceiling of her home after she went missing on Friday.
    According to reports he is also serving two years under correctional supervision for stabbing an American journalist, Laura Wiens who did her internship at Bush Radio.

    Speaking to Bush Radio, Wiens sent her condolences to Annestacia's family, and expressed anger that the perpetrator was still out on the street, and not behind bars.

    Engelbrecht stabbed Wiens in the head and shoulder at the Iziko SA Museum in February last year.

    Above: Annestacia was brutally murdered

    The Cape Times reports that Annestacia’s mother appeared in court supported by the mother of the five-year-old boy Rafique who was found dead near his Portlands home two years ago.

    It is believed that Engelbrecht testified in the case of Rafique’s death. No-one has been arrested for the boy's murder and his disappearance.

    Zille should stay as mayor - ID

    By Tando Mfengwana
    14 March 2007

    The Independent Democrats says that Helen Zille should stay on as Cape Town mayor.

    Reports say that Zille will decide whether she is staying on as mayor or run for the DA’s soon to be vacated leadership, role this week.

    Current DA leader, Tony Leon will be stepping down this coming May.

    Caucus Leader in the Western Cape Simon Grindrod said that he believes that she must stay in the interest of consistent leadership for the city.

    He said that this city has suffered too much as a result of changes in the leadership.

    The DA’s leadership is being contested by the party’s chairperson, Joe Seremane and Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Gang-related shooting claims another life

    By Chanel September
    13 September 2007

    Another Kensington resident has been gunned down in what police believe is an apparent gang related attack.

    The incident which occurred on Monday; comes just one week after Abduragiem Booth was killed in the same area.

    According to police, 24-year-old Bradley Solomons was shot in the side and the stomach. He died on the scene shortly afterwards.

    Police spokesperson Billy Jones says that the circumstances surrounding Solomons death is currently being investigated as possilbe suspects have been identifed by police.

    Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

    Community Information Network

    By Tando Mfengwana
    13 March 2007

  • Imperial Primary School in Beacon Valley, Mitchell’s Plain will be having their 10th annual Beacon Fun Run on Saturday. There will be a 5km and 10km fun run or walk. The race starts at 8h00 the morning and there will be a lucky draw starting from 10h00. Anyone interested in participating should contact the school on 021 376 1105.
  • The SA Psoriasis Association will hold a meeting at the Pinelands Municipal Hall on Thursday 22nd March at 20h00. Dr Dagmar Whitaker (Dermatologist) will speak to us on the current trends of Psoriasis Treatment and also Biologicals. Entrance and refreshments are free. All sufferers and family are welcome. For further information call Marion at 021 981 1650.
  • Trade unionists are hosting Cape Town’s second labour Film Festival to be held on Wednesday and Thursday April 18 and 19, at SACTWU Hall, Industria House, 350 Victoria Road, Salt River from 6pm to 9pm, and at Community House, Salt River Road on Friday April 20th. After screening of the films there will be open discussions. Entry is free and you can call Lynn, Erna or Ronell at 021 447 2727 for details.
  • De Grendel Lions Club are looking for used spectacles for recycling and redistribution to the underprivileged. Contact Malcolm Stuppel on 021 558 5430 or Michael Dempsey on 073 313 4426 or email for more details or to arrange delivery.
  • The Oaks of Righteousness, a registered NGO, is running its free after school programme for youth between the ages of 11 and 18 again this year. The programme offers homework assistance, soccer, baseball, netball, volleyball, drama, dancing, arts and crafts and awareness programmes on HIV/Aids and substance abuse. Call Wendy Dennis on 073 921 8512.
  • Donate your clothing, bric-a-brac, toys or anything you no longer need to the Good News charity shop in Station Road, Fish Hoek. Stock is needed to fund students at the Bible Institute of South Africa. Call 021 786 6909 or 072 918 7131.

    Add your information to the Community Information Network!
    Tel: 021-448-5450
    Fax: 021-448-5451
  • Suspect to be appear in court for Cape girl's murder

    By Odette Ismail
    13 March 2007

    The suspect linked to the murder of 11-year-old Annestacia Wiese is expected to appear in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court today.

    The 24-year-old was arrested on Sunday evening and it is believed he is closely associated with the family.

    The girl went missing on Friday and her biological father, who does not live in the same house, found her body in the ceiling of her home in Woodridge Mitchell’s Plain on Sunday morning.

    This followed an extensive search by the community throughout the weekend.

    A family relative told a daily paper that her funeral arrangements has not been finalised yet, due to the girl’s father being treated for stress in hospital.

    Obz trio impersonating police

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    13 March 2007

    Observatory has seen the first of a robbery turned ugly when a student and her house-mate were both tied up and she was allegedly raped by three men impersonating police officers last week.

    The three men, who are still at large, knocked on the front door of the student’s home in the lower main road and said that a suspect had jumped over the wall and was hiding out in their backyard. They (robbers) were let in as the men had said they were police officers.

    After gaining access, the men looted the house, tied up both student and put a towel over his head. It was reported that the female student had allegedly been raped by one of the robbers.

    A daily newspaper reported that one of the robbers had been wearing a police-issue bullet proof vest with the word ‘police’ inscribed on it.

    Residents of Observatory are now on the look out for the three men. They are to set up a neighbourhood watch and alert as many residents in the area as possible.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Khayelithsha fire claims two lives

    By Chanel September
    12 March 2007

    Six people living in a shack in Harare, Khayelitsha have been left homeless after their shack burnt down. The incident, that occurred on Sunday evening has claimed the lives of two people.
    Fire fighters acted swiftly as the blaze was quickly put out.

    The cause for the fire is still unknown but all possible leads are being investigated.

    Disaster Management spokesperson Johan Minnie says that the four other occupants also residing in the shack, have been offered assistance by the city’s human settlement fires and the Red Cross.

    He could however not confirm if all six occupants were related.

    Minnie added that the several fires have been reported over the weekend.

    Delft school resumes back to learning

    By Odette Ismail
    12 March 2007

    Schooling is soon expected to return back to normal for the learners of Masibambisnane High school in Delft after last week’s protest.

    The governing body together with parents held a meeting yesterday to deal with the protest by learners over teacher cuts and pupils.

    Pupils were angry over the number of teachers being reduced at the school from 48 to 38 due to the reduction of pupils in the school.

    The protest saw three pupils injured which resulted in the Department of Education closing down the school for two days.

    Gert Witbooi, education spokesperson says that, officials the governing body and a pupil representative body have been working on a revised timetable to try and get the learning process at the school back to normal.

    Cape Flats man killed in drive-by shooting

    By Tando Mfengwana
    12 March 2007

    A man was killed in a gang related drive-by shooting at delft in Cape Town on Sunday.

    A group of man from a rival gang allegedly drove past the 34-year-old man and fired several shots at him.

    Police spokesperson captain Elliot Sinyangana said he died at the scene inside his vehicle.

    The deceased was allegedly aligned with the “28’s” gang.

    He said after a quick investigation eight men, belonging to the victim’s rival gang, the “26” gang, were taken in for questioning.

    Two of the suspects were charged with murder and will appear at the Bellville magistrate’s court soon.

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    Drug addiction increases prostitution

    By Tando Mfengwana
    11 March 2007

    Drug addiction amongst teenage girls is fuelling the boom in teen prostitution in Cape Town.

    Teenage girls are said to be selling their bodies to earn money to buy drugs or having sex with merchants in exchange for drugs.

    Pregnancy, assault, HIV or other Sexually transmitted diseases are just some of the associated risks to drug addicted teen prostitutes.

    Nicolette Kwalie, social worker at the Mitchells Plain branch of the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence told the Cape Argus that an increase in the use of drugs, particularly tik and heroin among some girls.

    She said this had resulted in the increase in the numbers of teenage prostitutes.

    Shafiek Davids, director of Drug Treatment Centre said young girls as old as 12, feel that it’s ok for men they tik with to take advantage of her while she’s high.

    Patrick Solomons director at Molo Songololo a children’s rights organisation, said that while drugs were a factor, gangs who took advantage of their vulnerability and inability to protect themselves pushed these girls into prostitution.

    He said that girls who turned to prostitution were often previously emotionally scarred by previous sexual abuse earlier in their lives.

    Solomons said often the girls were left with no psychological help for the emotional effects of prostitution and sexual abuse, after they managed to kick the habit.

    A Cape Town rehab centre manager said that from noon till 3pm, girls could be seen roaming the streets of Muizenberg, Hanover Park, Lansdowne Road, Kenilworth and Wynberg.

    He said experience at his rehab centre showed that many Grade 7 girls between 13 and 14 were falling into the prostitution trap because of their addiction to drugs.

    Missing girl's body in ceiling

    By Tando Mfengwana
    11 March 2007

    After two days of desperately looking for the 11-year-old girl who went missing from her home in Mitchell’s Plain on Friday morning, close family members recovered her body.

    Her body was found on the ceiling of her mothers house.

    She was last seen walking towards a shop in the company of a bald, well built man.

    Neighbours and friends of the family joined in a massive search, going from door-to-door in an effort to find her.

    Annestacia's mother, Janine Wiese, pleaded on Bush Radio for her daughter's safe return.

    Police spokesperson Superintendent Billy Jones said that they have taken in a male suspect, who is known to the victims family, for questioning.

    Details surrounding her death are not yet known.

    Four killed in separate accidents

    By Tando Mfengwana
    11 March 2007

    Two separate car accidents saw four people die and a dozens injured near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

    Three people were killed in the first accident which involved a taxi, down the R61 between Queensland and Tarkastad.

    Arrive Alive spokesperson Tshepo Machaea is quoted as saying that the three were killed instantly and another three was injured when the taxi overturned after the driver lost control.

    Independent Online reports that the injured were taken to the Frontier Hospital in Queenstown.
    The second accident involved a woman who died after a bakkie and a car collided on the R67 near Queenstown.

    Two people were slightly injured in the accident.

    The cause of the accidents is not known.

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    11-year-old Mitchells Plain girl abducted

    By Tando Mfengwana
    10 March 2007

    Yesterday morning, an eleven-year-old girl went missing in front of her home in Children’s Way, Woodridge in Mitchells Plain.

    Annestacia Wiese, was last seen by her mother when she allegedly went to a shop in Mitchell Avenue, which is situated a street-block away from her house.

    Police spokesperson Superintendent Billy Jones, said that she apparently never arrived at the shop.

    He said that was she allegedly was seen walking with an adult man who took her by the hand in the direction towards the Woodlands High School.

    Annestacia is brown in complexion, medium built, 1.4 metres tall; she has black hair and brown eyes, and a thin face with a narrow forehead.

    At the time of her disappearance she was had no shoes on, she was wearing blue jeans and a pink top.

    Police say that the man she was allegedly seen with is light in complexion, well built and bald.

    A case of Abduction has been opened for investigation at the Mitchells Plain Police station.

    Anyone who has information about Annestacia’s whereabouts can contact the investigating officer Charles Julies on 073 894 2000 or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

    Drownings at the Strand

    By Tando Mfengwana
    10 March 2007

    The NSRI and police divers have found the body of a 14-year-old boy who drowned at the Strand in False Bay yesterday.

    The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon says divers combed the area yesterday but could not find the boy.

    He is from Khayelitsha and went missing while on a school outing.

    In another incident a five-year-old boy is believed to have drowned in a nearby area.

    According to witnesses the boy and his friends dove off the jetty, he unfortunately was swept into the sea by a strong currents and he's freinds escaped unharmed.

    The NSRI and police are at the scene searching for the boy who’s presumed to have drowned.

    Follow-up- on 5-year-old missing boy

    Yesterday afternoon the NSRI and Police divers were searching for a five-year-old boy who was presumed to have drowned in Strand Pavilion in Strand.

    The little boy was fortunately later found safe and unharmed at home. The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon said that they suspect that the child wondered off and his family panicked after the boy went missing and reported the drowning.

    Paedophile's case postponed

    By Chanel September
    10 March 2007

    The former principal of a Delft primary school who was arrested last year for indecent assault and being in possession of child pornography appeared in the Parow Regional Court yesterday.

    The 57-year-old principal, who cannot be named, is out on R2000 bail on condition that he does not contact the complainants.

    Police seized computers and cameras from his home in June 2006.

    Evidence was also collected on the school premises after three parents laid a charge of indecent assault against the principal this according to a daily paper.

    The trial has been postponed until the 13 of April 2007.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    FAWU strike continues

    By Odette Ismail
    09 March 2007

    The Blue Ribbon strike which started on Monday left one member at the Salt River plant arrested after police claimed the man’s behaviour was unruly.

    Over two-hundred Members of FAWU (Food and Allied Workers Union) were protesting peacefully yesterday, but when one man asked for the translation of documents handed over to the group of protestors, police reacted by arresting him.

    Dominique Swarts, Media liaison for FAWU confirmed that police accused one of their members of bad behaviour and wanted to arrest him.

    “Today workers are out there demonstrating yet again, it is peaceful, and our workers are consuming in their strike to demand a central bargaining forum as well as the request of management to deal with wage disparities.” , says Swarts.

    After three days of national strike action by about 200 FAWU members, they want to resort to secondary strike actions within the Premier Foods group, including Premier milling.

    Katishli Masemola, General Secretary of FAWU says they appeal to their sister union SACCAWU to call on its members to refuse handling all the Premier Foods products. He says, “ not necessarily through secondary strikes, but through other action, but we are calling on all their retail workers not to deal with any food products of the Premier Foods group. “

    Five-year-old Manenberg boy recovering in hospital

    By Chanel September
    9 March 2007

    Cameron Adonis the five-year-old boy, who was shot in the head by a stray bullet, underwent neurosurgery yesterday at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

    Spokesperson Diana Ross says there is a slight improvement in his condition as he remains in the intensive care unit.

    Ross adds that Cameron is responding to his family but that he’s still in a critical condition.

    Cameron was shot last week at his Manenberg home.

    It is believed that a stray bullet smashed through the window in a suspected ongoing gang turf war between the Americans and Hard Livings gangs.

    Police are still investigating possible leads and anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

    Heated argument ends tragically for 14-year-old

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    09 March 2007

    Emotions soared at the Cape High Court after 66-year-old Moegamat Saiat Patrick was convicted on charges of murdering his 14-year-old girlfriend. He has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

    Patrick - and his deceased girlfriend Bernadette Kuboni - lived together in Parkwood. They got involved when she was only 13-years-old. At the tender age of fourteen, Kuboni gave birth to their son.

    According to a daily newspaper, on New Year’s Day in 2005, the couple got into a heated argument about Kuboni’s tik addiction. Patrick then took out his gun and shot her.

    Acting Judge John Riley convicted Patrick earlier in the week on charges of murder, statutory rape and the unlawful possession of a firearm. Riley said Patrick had shown no remorse and was old enough to be the girl’s grandfather. He has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

    The judge questioned Patrick’s love for his girlfriend and mother of his son. Riley also questioned the love Patrick had for his son. The judge made reference to the fact that Patrick had killed Kuboni in their son’s presence.

    Reports stated that before Patrick had been taken to the holding cells, he burst into tears and said goodbye to his son.

    The boy is with a family member.

    Survey reveals - staple foods on the increase

    By Chanel September
    9 March 2007

    Consumers are set to spend more money on groceries as food prices soar above government’s inflation-rate target of 6%.

    Staple foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and maize will increase causing consumers to fork out more for their monthly groceries.

    The latest price survey done by the National Agriculture Marketing Council showed that food inflation has risen; this according to a daily paper.

    Among the food items that increased were spaghetti, cooking oil, stewing beef, sugar and frozen chicken.

    However consumers have been urged to make their voices heard to retailers.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007


    Celebrating women.

    World marks International Women's Day

    By Nadia Samie
    8 March 2007

    Women across the globe are commemorating International Women’s Day today, March 8. The day has been celebrated around the world since the early 1900's. A quick poll done around the Bush Radio studio today revealed that women have very different opinions about this important day.

    "Women's Day means a lot because it shows how women fought hard in the struggle. Without women, there would be nothing on earth," says 20-year-old Simaza Rilityana, a public management and law student and trainee receptionist at the station (pictured on the right). She is from Samora Machel, and who feels very passionate about the plight of women.

    Mother of two Brenda Leonard (pictured on the left) is the Bush Radio administrator, she resides in Strandfontein. Leonard says that, while this day is a celebration of how far women have come, we must not become complacent.

    "On International Women's Day, women around the world are still suffering, in different ways... violence, poverty, malnutrition, HIV/Aids, rape and landmines. So International Women's Day is a day to show solidarity with women worldwide. We unite around issues affecting women," she says.

    "It (International Women's Day) means being proud to be a woman, but there's no real celebration," says 22-year-old Rahima Omar (pictured on the right), a trainee producer who is always on the look-out for a party. Her statement mirror's many other young women's opinion about the day, that while it is important, nothing is really done to mark the day in a special way.

    Not everyone has latched onto the importance of the day, however. Twenty-five-year-old journalism student Busisiwe Mtabane (pictured on the left), who is the trainee presenter of Sakisizwe (12pm-2pm) says that International Women's Day means, "nothing much," to her, shaking her head in a bewildered way.

    Sharing the young woman's sentiment is the receptionist Belinda Sepkit (pictured below). "For me it's just another day," says the busy mother to six children. She expressed suprise that today is International Women's Day.

    The United Nations says on its website that, “International Women's Day is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.”

    Women’s Day was established in Copenhagen in 1910, to honour the movement for women's rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women.

    Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven says that, “In particular we dedicate this day to strengthening the ties of solidarity with working women in the worldwide struggle against their double exploitation as both workers and women.”

    Pictures: Adrian Louw

    Three hospitalised after toxic gases inhaled

    By Chanel September
    8 March 2007

    Gases released from a nitric acid container, was the cause for three people being to be rushed to hospital yesterday afternoon, after they inhaled the toxic gases.

    The accident occurred at the Airzone Powder Coating in, Athlone Industria .

    It is believed that employees allegedly left a piece of metal to soak for too long in the acid.

    Two women and a man were treated for the inhalation of toxic gases at the Gatesville Medical Centre. They are reportedly in a stable condition.

    Disaster Management spokesperson Johan Minnie says nitric acid was dangerous and could be lethal.

    Minnie added that Disaster Management was overseeing the clean-up to ensure that the spillage was only limited to that area.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Western Cape Health Dept employees arrested

    By Ashley Wichman
    07 March 2007

    A search and seizure operation conducted by the Forensic Investigative Unit in the Department of the Premier and the South African Police Service has resulted in three arrests.

    Following a tip-off, the residences of three employees of the Tygerberg Laundry of the Health Department were searched, and numerous items belonging to the Provincial Government of the Western Cape were seized, including tools, computer equipment, and linen.

    According to Premier Ebrahim Rasool's spokesperson Shado Twala, “The Premier welcomes these arrests which follow on his announcements in December to have a provincial wide Forensic Investigative Audit into all Provincial Government Departments pertaining to matters of emphasis, significant matters and other matters as raised by the Auditor General in respect of the 2005/2006 financial year.”

    The probe is being conducted across other Health institutions and is expected to be finished in the next six weeks.

    Education receives priority in Western Cape budget

    By Odette Ismail
    07 March 2007

    Western Cape education MEC Cameron Dugmore has welcomed the amount allocated to the education sector after finance Minister Lynne Brown announced her provincial budget.

    The minister announced yesterday that education will receive the biggest share, of up to 37% of the total budget.

    Brown said yesterday that emphasis would be placed on skills development, teacher development, salaries for teachers as well as administrative personnel and the provision of infrastructure.

    Dugmore says, "The additional funds fro teacher development, incentives, schools principals, administrative capacity and extra resources to strengthen our district management capacity, gives us real hope to parents, teachers and schools.”

    He says in a statement that the money will go towards building up human capital in the province and to further establish quality education.

    However, Dugmore says infrastructure still remains a challenge.

    Alleged drug dealer arrested after tip-off

    By Tando Mfengwana
    07 March 2007

    Police arrested a man in possession of 700 mandrax tablets and four sachets of tik with a street value of R43 400.

    Police spokesperson Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe said that information from the public led to the man’s arrest on Monday.

    Police received a tip-off that a vehicle travelling from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn was possibly carrying the drugs.

    The 42-year-old man will appear in the Calitzdorp Magistrate’s court today on charges relating to dealing with mandrax and tik.

    Little boy is key witness to blind mom's murder

    By Tando Mfengwana
    07 March 2007

    A five-year-old boy was found sleeping next to the body of his 41-year-old mother at the weekend in Mossel Bay.

    Josenia du Preez's body was found with multiple stab wounds to her head, neck and body by a friend on Saturday morning.

    Du Preez husband, Willem Langerveld (51) was later arrested at a relative’s house, in connection with the murder of his visually impaired wife on Friday afternoon.

    Police spokesperson Ntobeko Manqwenqwe says that the boy is the police’s key witness in solving the investigation. He says that at the moment there are no other witnesses to the murder, except the boy.

    The motive for the killing is unknown and police are investigating. Langerveld is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Ghana celebrates 50 years

    By Nadia Samie
    6 March 2007

    It was all systems go in Ghana as the African nation celebrated 50 years of independence on Wednesday. The colours of the national flag, red, green, yellow and black, could be seen everywhere in the capital of Accra, on t-shirts, cars and hanging in windows.

    The guest list included Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe; Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo; the president of Gabon, Omar Bongo; US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and World Bank Chief Paul Woflowitz.

    The Ghanaian government spent $20 million on the Golden Jubilee celebrations, an amount detractors’ have decried as excessive. Ghana was the first African country south of the Sahara to gain sovereignty in 1957.

    Speaking to Bush Radio, Ghanaian journalist Joushua Anny said, "For me it shows that we still have a long way to go. After 50 years, economic structures have collapsed and we’re consumed by tribal and ideological differences."

    Again, the country at 50 has no policy plan that would be followed by all parties. Each party comes to power and either destroys what is already there or, abandon them completely.
    After 50, the country is still grappling with a high rate of graduate unemployment, mass exodus of Ghanaian professionals abroad, and polarization."

    Part of Tuesday's celebrations saw Ghanaians re-enacting one of the country's most historic scenes from 5 March 1957, where the the Ghana independence leader Kwame Nkrumah was remembered. Also included was a commemorative parliamentary session in the capital and a fireworks display at the Memorial Park.

    "There were regional celebrations in all the ten regions. A reenactment of Nkrumah’s declaration of independence took place at the memorial park where he was buried. There was a huge musical concert in the capital Accra. A street was named after the Nigerian president Obasanjo at a gala night," Anny says.

    Cosatu's Patrick Craven says he wishes Ghana well as they celebrate their 50 years of independence.

    "The 50 years have not been easy. The imperialist powers that conceded their direct, political control of Africa have kept an iron grip on their economic domination of the continent. They have continued to exploit our natural resources and cheap labour. They have erected tariffs to protect their own economies at the expense of the developing world, while trying to force African countries to embrace the ‘free market’. They have stifled the development of manufacturing industry, and imposed ‘structural adjustment’ programmes, through the IMF and World Bank, which have had dire consequences for the people of Africa, most of whom still live in desperate poverty.

    "All this has inevitably had a destabilising impact on Africa. Many independent countries, including Ghana itself, have suffered from coups, dictatorships, civil wars or foreign incursions. Yet, despite massive problems of poverty, hunger and disease, most are now back on the road to democracy," Craven said.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Ghana for serving as an example for freedom movements across the African continent.

    According to the World Bank, the number of Ghanaians living below the poverty line has dropped from more than half the population in 1990 to about 37 percent today.

    The 6th and 7th March have been declared public holidays in Ghana.

    Report back on 16-Days of Activism campaign

    By Tando Mfengwana
    06 March 2007

    Today the National Convenor for the 16 days of Activism for no violence against women and children campaign, Deputy minister for Provincial and local government, Nomatyala Hangana gave a detailed report back on all aspects of the campaign for 2006.

    The minister announced that the campaign will no longer run for just the 16 days between November 25 and 10 December, instead, it will in turn run for the whole year.

    Hangana said that the campaign last year focussed on rural and informal settlement-based women and children, and on getting men and boys to come on board as partners in the campaign.

    Other focuses were that the campaign should go beyond the South African borders and raise funds for shelters and organisation helping abused women and children.

    SMSes and postcard initiatives aimed at raising funds to help sustain organisation helping abused women and children, were launched.

    The minister said that a total of 1 million postcards were sent by South African Post Offices (SAPO) and a total of six hundred thousand was distributed

    Four hundred thousand of these postcards were distributed by Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) to various government departments.

    Hangana said that 400 000 were signed and returned, which turns to R79 250 worth of funds. The SMS campaign saw some good returns of R17 304.55 out of the 6076 SMSes sent.

    The deputy minister also took the opportunity to thank the department of Public Enterprise's, together with the State-owned enterprise for giving them about R1. 6million.

    In her closing comments the National Coordinator said the campaign has placed the issue of women and children on the national agenda.

    It has got women to understand that gender-based violence is not an issue to hide away and that silence is the worst enemy in fighting the scourge.

    She said they have made steps in getting traditional leaders and men to commit themselves in the fight against violence against women and children.

    ATM explosion a first in Cape Town

    By Chanel September
    6 March 2007

    In the early hours of this morning police attended to an explosion scene at a Caltex Garage ATM in Mfuleni.

    On arrival police discovered that the ATM machine was damaged and that some of the cash had been removed. Police spokesperson Captain Elliot Sinyangana says that five suspects fled the scene in an unknown vehicle.

    Sinyangana adds that this is the first incident of an ATM bombing in the Western Cape. Police are investigating a case of theft.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mfuleni police on 021 909 9307 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

    MEC delivers Western Cape provincial budget

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    6 March 2007

    Minister of Finance and Tourism, Lynne Brown, delivered the Western Cape provincial budget today.

    R24 million rand was allocated to school safety over the next three years. With this, 109 Bambanani volunteers will be sent to schools across the Western Cape that has become targets of gang violence and drug merchants.

    (left: MEC Lynne Brown) The allocated amount on the health budget for the 2007 – 2008 period is over 7 billion rand. An increase in percentage is set to rise each year. The proposed amount for the year 2009 – 2010 is R8.4 billion. An additional cost for health professionals is R128 million for the next three years.

    The agriculture sector is earmarked to receive R39 million, which will help to push the budget for structured agricultural training up to 22 percent to reach R29.5 million in the 2007 – 2008 period.

    The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will be pushed forward in its expansion and improvement of social welfare services and its businesses. The department will receive R892 million in the 2007 – 2008 periods.

    Early childhood development will receive R96 million, Brown announced.

    Libraries in the province play an important role. The minister has allocated R91.5 million over the 2007 period. The money allocated will be to upgrade libraries, to stock books, recapitalise library facilities and to expand services.

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