Saturday, June 30, 2007

Strandfontein man robbed and killed in his driveway

By Tando Mfengwana
30 June 2007

A 44-year-old man was shot and killed and robbed in his driveway on Corvette road in Strandfontein on Saturday.

Apparently the victim was returning from the bank when the four unknown armed suspects hit his vehicles window at gunpoint and demanded money.

“They fired several shots wounding him in his chest and grab an undisclosed amount of cash,” says police spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa.

He died at the scene.

The suspects fled the scene with their vehicle and are still at large.

Anyone with information should contact CrimeStop on 08600 10111.

Cape Town taxi driver killed

By Tando Mfengwana
30 June 2007

A 22-year-old Cape Town taxi driver was shot dead on Friday night.

Thuto Dupane from Mandalay was shot at by men driving a Toyota Cressida after he had dropped off a passenger at a house at the corner of Luzuko Drive and Myezo Street in Phillipi East.

“The suspects fired several shots at the driver, who sustained gunshot wounds to his chest and neck,” says Police spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa.

He died on the scene.

The suspects fled the scene with the Toyota Cressida and are still at large.

“The motive at this stage is still unknown but all possibilities will be investigated,” said Mawisa.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Poor hit the hardest by cold weather

By Chanel September
30 June 2007

The icy and cold conditions experienced in Cape Town this past week have affected the poor and those living in informal settlements the hardest.

The freezing conditions have left many homeless as their homes were flooded by heavy rainfalls.
“The rain contributes to the rising of the water table and in low lying areas where informal settlements are located, areas which are not really suitable for development’, says Disaster Management spokesperson Johan Minnie.

But health problems also pose a threat. “Cold and winter illnesses led to a greater number of people visiting community health centres, clinics and hospitals with colds and flu being the common problems”, says City of Cape Town health director Dr Ivan Toms

"The spread of tuberculosis in winter is a cause of concern as the TB bacteria survived longer in damp conditions”, says Toms.
Despite the last few days of sunshine experienced in the city residents can brace themselves for, another cold front as more rain expected for the weekend.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Police member allegedly attacked at home

By Tarryn Le Chat
29 July 2007

A police member had been allegedly attacked by three armed unknown gun men at his home in Samora, Phillipi after his colleagues had dropped him off at home last night.

Police spokesperson, Captain Elliot Siyangana says, “It is alleged that the suspects had been waiting for the officer at his home and fired several shots at him as he strolled towards his house. He sustained a bullet wound to his right shoulder.”

The gunmen had fled on foot and are still at large.

“The officer had been taken to hospital for medical attention. However, the motive for the attack is robbery because the suspects had tried to take his pistol, but he had retaliated with gun shots at them. As a result the attackers immediately ran away”, says Siyangana.

Police are investigating a case of attempted murder as well as attempted robbery.

A request is made to anyone with information to contact our Crime Stop share call number 08600 10111.

SAPS member found with an unlicensed firearm

By Odette Ismail
29 June 2007

Police arrested one of their own yesterday evening after the 40-year-old had been found with an unlicensed firearm, ammunition and possessions of the station in Kensington.

Captain Elliot Sinyangana says the employee was arrested at 18h00 last night.

“ He was arrested for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, police properties such as a police uniform, blue lamps and stationery.” , says Sinyangana.

He confirms that the suspect is an employee of the South African Police service and was working as a General worker.

He will face charges of being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and also being in possession of stolen property. He will appear in the Cape Town Magistrates court on Monday 2 July 2007.

Police will further investigate the incident.

Community Information Network

By Chanel September
29 June 2007

# There will be a Down Syndrome Association Western Cape outreach programme for people with intellectual disabilities at the Lenteguer Library every Monday at 9am. For details call Esther Adams on 021 919 8533 or 083 7423 162.

# The Golden Bridge Academy of Learning will be having Karaoke tonight June 29 at Bonny Town. The karaoke will start at 7:00pm. Tickets cost R20. For information contact 021 7034410.

# The Association for Youth Advancement will be hosting youth campus from Monday July 2, until Thursday July 5 and from Friday August 3 until Sunday August 5. If you are interested call 021 393 7289 or 072 227 1121.

# The South African National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (SANCA) is offering a 12-week comprehensive out-patient treatment programme. To make use of this service you must be 13 years and older show commitment to change and be able to access the programme in every session. The programme costs R20. For more information contact SANCA Athlone on 021 638 5116 or 021 638 5181.

# The Sisterhood of Temple Israel in Green point sells secondhand clothing to raise funds. Individuals and bulk buyers are welcome. For details phone Pam on 021 434 8901

# The Weltevreden Recreation Centre will have a holiday programme from Thursday June 28 to Monday 16 July. Activities will include a modeling show, gardening skills, arts and crafts, baking and a hike. The centre will be open from 7am to 4.30pm and the programme will cost R30. For details and enrolments forms call 021 392 5131 and for transport 021 392 6948.

If you have any information for the CIN team please feel free to send us an email to you can also contact us on 021 448 5450 or fax us on 021 448 5451 if you have missed any of the numbers mentioned.

Survey reveals Capetonians are positive about 2010

By Chanel September
29 June 2007

A survey revealed that Capetonians are in favour of the reconstruction of Green Point stadium, with 82% of the poor and unemployed supporting it.

Independent market research company TNS Research Surveys, has found that over two-thirds of the residents in the city regard the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup as vital. However, the majority thinks that South Africa will not be ready to host the event.

“These are exciting and gratifying scientific results, and it shows a growing excitement in Cape Town,” says City of Cape Town’s executive director for service delivery integration, Mike Marsden.

This is the first scientific research done since the construction of the stadium began.

According to the survey more affluent and older respondents were the least positive about the stadium, but 50% still said they were in favour of the construction of the multi-purpose stadium.

“This shows that over three-quarters of residents realise the importance of the investments, legacy and benefits that hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup will bring to the economy. This “can do” approach should start building from now", says Marsden.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

City acquires new fire fighting vehicles

By Tando Mfengwana
28 June 2007

The City of Cape Town has acquired 11 new fire fighting vehicles to strengthen the City’s fire-fighting capability.

Mayor Helen Zille is announcing this acquisition to media on Thursday at the Roeland Street fire station.

The new vehicles are part of the city’s replacement programme that will reinforce the current Fire and Rescue Service fleet.

Five of the vehicles are Mercedes based Destroyer 1528 Rescue Pumpers; four fully equipped 4x4 Rescue vehicles and two fully equipped 4x4 Bush Fire-fighting vehicles.

In a statement the City’s Chief fire officer, Ian Schnetler says that the vehicles will not only enhance operational efficiency but also boost morale among fire-fighting personnel.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Numsa appalled at alleged PSL executives increase

By Tarryn Le Chat
27 June 2007

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) says it is horrified at the latest revelation that Premier soccer League (PSL) executives will allegedly earn up to R30 million in each in commission after clinching a contraversial deal with pay-television Supersport for broadcasting rights.

Mziwakhe Hlangani, spokesperson for Numsa says that, “the union, which represents 220 000 workers, is infuriated and concerned that the four PSL executive members reportedly stand to benefit a share of R160 million including commissions for securing the agreement.”

The union believes its members and many of the poorer communities will be dispossessed of their right to watch their favourite sport.

“The deal will give indeed the dedicated DSTV Pay Channel exclusive rights to PSL soccer matches. Soccer matches will be the sole preserve of the few rich people in the country who subscribe to private MNET screens, depriving millions of workers and poor communities,” says Hlangani.

The union says the poor and middle class should not suffer while the executives make a profit off the deal with Supersport.

Two nabbed for murder and armed robbery-Kuils River

By Tando Mfengwana
27 June 2007

Police arrested two suspects for murder and robbery in Kuils River on Monday.

An Elsies River bystander, in his thirties, was fatally wound when four men exchanged fire with police.

An undisclosed amount of money was taken.

Police followed a yellow Opel Astra that collided with another vehicle; on the corner of Westbank Main road and Stellenbosch Arterial, Delft.

Two occupants in the vehicle fled the scene in different directions on foot.

“A 27-year-old man from Khayelitsha was arrested near the accident scene,” says police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn.

“The other suspect fired several shots at police, who returned fire. The 20-year-old from Philippi sustained a bullet wound to the right leg” says Steyn.

Both suspects were taken to hospital.

Two pistols, of which serial numbers had been filed off, were confiscated at the scene.

The suspects will appear at the Blue Downs Magistrate’s court soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cosatu denies decision to suspend strike

By Sonata Lee
26 June 2007

Trade union COSATU and other affiliated unions held a press conference in Cape Town today to announce the possibility of a suspension of the public servants strike.

At the meeting the Cosatu Western Cape branch denied taking a unilateral decision to suspend the strike.

This announcement comes after a statement by the National Professional Teacher’s Union (Naptosa) and the Health and Other Service Personnel Union (Hospersa) that they would suspend their participation in the strike.

“Our members over the weekend decided that because there are some members in the inland provinces on holiday already and our teachers are not on strike there,” said Naptosa President Dave Balt.

“It was unfair for the teachers on the coastal regions to continue striking and lose pay at this particular time where there are no negotiations taking place,” he added.

A daily newspaper reported that Hospersa President Gavin Moultrie described the government’s current offer of 7.5% as “fantastic for us.” However, Balt says that Naptosa cannot accept the government’s latest offer and Naptosa has the option of reinstating the strike action if the unions do not accept the latest proposal.

Meanwhile, Cosatu President Willie Madisha said there would be no wage deal with government until at least tomorrow. This, he said, applied to Cosatu-affiliated and non-Cosatu public service unions.

Suspects flee after alleged armed robbery and murder

By Tarryn Le Chat
26 June 2007

An armed robbery and murder occurred at a grocery store in Van Riebeeck Road, Kuils River yesterday.

Police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn says, “It had been alleged that four armed suspects entered the store - at which time both customers and staff had been inside the shop - had some of the employees at gun point.”

The suspects demanded money from the employees after which they fled with an undisclosed amount.

“During the incident, a man believed to be in his thirties from Elsies River, was fatally wounded in the head and his licensed pistol had been taken by the suspects. No one else sustained serious injuries during the incident”, says Steyn.

The robbers fled the scene on foot and are still at large.

Water thief arrested in Ravensmead

By Chanel September
26 June 2007

Five water meters and six stop valves were recovered by the City of Cape Town’s special task team on Monday after a resident was arrested in connection with the theft.

The Ravensmead resident was arrested when he was found in possession of several municipal water meters.

The identification numbers on the stolen equipment could be traced back to houses in Ravensmead, Parow and Elsies River.

“Syndicates ‘employ’ individuals to steal copper cable, metal sheeting, grids, ladders, water meters, taps and manhole covers. These are then melted down and sold to scrap metal merchants for a few rand,” says chairperson of the Cable Theft Task Team, Pieter van Dalen.

“Over the past year alone the municipality has lost over R22 million as a result of the theft of non-ferrous metals. This results in less money being available for other municipal services such as street lighting and speed humps,” says van Dalen.

Report any suspicious activity to the City’s 24 hour Cable Theft Hotline on 0800 222 771.

Metro official caught soliciting bribe

By Tando Mfengwana
25 June 2007

A Cape Town metro police officer has been arrested for allegedly attempting to solicit a bribe from a taxi driver on Friday.

The driver alleged that he was pulled over at Sir Lowry Road during peak hour traffic.

Witnesses told police that the officer told the taxi driver that he was driving with an expired permit and that the matter could be resolved if he paid 50-rands. The driver said he would return to pay this amount after dropping off his passengers. He was issued with a warning ticket says Metro police spokesperson Nowellen Petersen.

The taxi driver then reported the incident to traffic officers at the Station deck taxi rank and then returned to Sir Lowry Road accompanied by another traffic police officer. The officer had gone with the taxi driver and disguised himself by wearing a jacket over his uniform.

“The man has been suspended and a hearing would be scheduled as soon as possible,” says Petersen.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Community Information Network

By Chanel September
25 June 2007

# Cape Town Child Welfare will have free arts and crafts training in candle and gel candle making, soap making, bath salt making, basket weaving, sewing and food gardening at its head office in Gatesville. The next courses will be held in the last two weeks of June and the fist two weeks of July. Call Maureen Skilder or Desree Uys on 021 638 3127 for details.

# Turfall Chesire Home for the physically disabled needs donations of clothing, bric-a-brac and furniture for its newly opened charity shop. For more information contact Ivan on 021 6921220 or 083 44774551.

#The Palm Tree House for Healing will host a two hour healing workshop on Wenesday June 27th Saturday June 30 and August the 9th. Call 021 706 4561 or 084 508 1208.

# The Khayelithsha Arts Project is calling all community theatre practitioners in Khayelthsha to the Masisebenze Artisits Symposium to be held at the Shawco center on Friday June 29th The symposium starting at 2pm. For more information contact Given Jikwana on 076 050 0618.

# The Pinelands Diabetic Support Group will have it’s next meeting on Wednesday June 27, from 6:30 pm to 8pm in the Pinelands library committee room. The guest speaker will be Margot McCumisky. Call Mala Makan on 021 532 2967 or 076 175 1044.

# Unemployed people 22 years and older can apply for Logra Community Skills Training Centre courses in basic plumbing, basic electrical work and welding. Each course costs R50. Interested people can apply from Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 12:30pm, with their South African ID book, at the Logra Office at the Lofob Building on the corner of First and Klip roads, Grassy park. Call the Logra office at 021 706 7161 for details.

If you have any information for the CIN team please feel free to send us an email to you can also contact us on 021 448 5450 or fax us on 021 448 5451 if you have missed any of the numbers mentioned.

ANC councillor fears for his life after alleged assassination attempt

By Tarryn Le Chat
25 June 2007

Two bodyguards sustained bullet wound injuries over the weekend while protecting an ANC councillor in what is believed to be an alleged failed assassination attempt.

Xolani Sotashe, an ANC councillor of Lwandle, near Somerset West, returned home to ‘switch off his lights’, when his two bodyguards’ screamed for him to ‘get down’ as bullets flew past them.

Both bodyguards’ sustained gun shot wounds, one fatally.

According to an online report, Sotashe claimed attempts had been made on his life before. After the incident had occurred, Sotashe contacted Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane, who sent a team of police to his home.

Police spokesperson, Inspector Bernadine Steyn says that the wounded bodyguard, age 32, sustained a bullet wound to the eye and is in a stable condition in hospital.

Michael Merana, 33, the guard situated at Sotashe’s home died. He was from Site C in Khayelitsha.

Provincial Secretary of the ANC, Mcebisi Skwatsha, was unavailable for comment as he is being held up in meetings.

The gunmen fled on foot and are still at large.

Taxi drivers killed in two separate shootings

By Chanel September
25 June 2007

Two taxi drivers were fatally wounded this past weekend after two separate shooting incidents in Wallacedene, Kraafontien.

On Friday evening 27-year-old Mandisi Jezile sustained two gunshot wounds to the head after a white minibus taxi stopped in front of a house in Matshowa Street.

“Two unknown males allegedly approached the driver on foot and fired several shots. He died on the scene”, says police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

The suspects fled the scene on foot and are still at large.

Meanwhile on Saturday evening 29-year-old Armstrong Mayekiso was shot dead in a separate shooting incident. Mayekiso sustained gunshot wounds to the neck and chest and died on the scene.

“A white & blue minibus taxi was parked in front of a house in Boesak Street,” Steyn says. It is alleged that an unknown male approached the vehicle on foot and fired several shots at the driver. The suspect fled the scene on foot and is still at large.

Police are investigating the possibility that the incidents might be related, but the motives for both incidents remain unknown.
Anyone with information can contact Inspector Werner Bothma at the Organized Crime unit in Bellville South on (021) 950 1400 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Robber shot dead in Milnerton

By Tando Mfengwana
25 June 2007

A robber was fatally wounded when he and another man tried to rob a shop at a garage in Koeberg Road, in Milnerton on Sunday.

The two were armed with a pistol and a knife; they pointed a gun at two employees at the shop and demanded money.

Milnerton police were notified and approached the shop on foot. “When the police was about 2 meters from the entrance, the armed suspect appeared in the door,” says police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

Steyn added that the suspect pointed his firearm at the police inspector, who in turn fired several shots.

The suspect, who is unknown at this stage, was fatally wounded in the head.

“The other suspect, aged 27-years-old, from Joe Slovo, Milnerton, was arrested on the scene,” says Steyn.

On Monday morning police arrested a co-accused, 36-year-old man, who is an employee at the shop, at his house in Du Noon.

Both suspects will appear at the Cape Town magistrate’s court for Armed Robbery on Wednesday, June 27.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cases of XDR-TB quadruples in the province

By Chanel September
24 June 2006

Cases of the extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) have quadrupled in the Western Cape in the past three months.

This comes as the City of Cape Town has drawn up emergency plans in the event of an XDR-TB outbreak.

Since World TB Day in March, 45 XDR-TB cases have been reported in the province of which eight people have lost their lives.

Currently 30 patients are admitted at the Brooklyn Chest Community Hospital, three people are in the communities waiting to be accommodated at the hospital and four prisoners are in the prison hospital section.

“We have been actively reviewing our entire multiple drug resistant cases and looking for those who have not been progressing well. We have also been checking and investigating them further”, says executive director of city health, Dr Ivan Toms.

“The city is working towards improving the initial treatment of TB as it is important to detect the virus early, get patients on proper treatment and cure patients the first time round”, says Toms.

Mikayla found dead near her home

By Chanel September
24 June 2007

The body of six-year-old Mikayla Rossouw who went missing from her home in Swellendam in the Western Cape, two weeks ago has been found dead.

Police discovered her body in a box a few houses from where she lived.

“Police found Mikayla’s body at 2-o-clock on Saturday afternoon. It is not yet known what caused her death”, says police spokesperson Billy Jones.

“We are investigating a case of murder as the crime scene is being processed by a forensic team”, says Jones.

A 24-year-old man was taken in for questioning and a case of murder has been opened.
Meanwhile on Friday a couple was arrested after they allegedly demanded money from police in exchange to help find the little girl.

“We don’t believe that the two were involved in Mikayla’s disappearance, but follow-up investigations will continue”, says Jones.

He added that the couple faces charges of fraud and attempted extortion. “They will appear in the Swellendam Magistrate's Court on Monday”, says Jones

Strike to come to an end

By Anele Siwa
24 June 2007

The three week national civil servants strike that has brought the public sector into its knees could be over on Sunday as unions may be willing to settle on a wage demand.

Thus Far, Cosatu has rejected government’s previous wage offer of 5.4%, 5.5%, 6.0%, 6.5%, 7.0%, 7.25% and 7.25%, but the union is willing negotiate on the latest offer of 7.5%.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven confirms that the unions are waiting for government’s last proposal which includes 7.5% wage increase.

Craven added that the decision will be taken among Cosatu members if they take the offer or not.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Flower seller knocked down by truck

By Chanel September
23 June 2007

A Grassy Park man selling flowers on the corners of Eversdal and Fairtrees road in Durbanville lost his life when landed under the wheels of a Mercedes truck.

According to police the accident occurred on Friday afternoon at about 16:40 when the 22-year-old was standing in the road between the traffic lanes when he was knocked over by a truck.

“The man died on the scene. Police are investigating a charge of culpable homicide”, says police spokesperson inspector Bernadine Steyn.

Refugee seminar marks world refugee day

By Chanel September
23 June 2007

Over 600 refugee children from all over the cape metropole gathered at the Good Hope Centre today for a youth seminar to mark World Refugee Day.

The event which focused on the plight of refugee children particularly orphans hosted youths between the age’s 10 and 25 years.

The participants of the seminar were from countries such as Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe

“This year’s theme for World Refugee Day is ‘The Unheard Voices of Refugee Children’. The aim of today’s event is to facilitate integration between refugee youth and local youth in a fun, interactive programme,” says manager of inter-governmental relations for the city, Kemal Omar.

“It builds on the foundation that we lay on the adoption of the refugee charter that we held a few months ago and leads up to the policy conference that we will host later”, say mayco member for safety and security JP Smith.

Smith adds that there is an enormous diversity problem in the city and it’s important to make the refugee population in Cape Town part of the economic and social development that the city is experiencing.

A scrap dealer and council staff arrested for copper theft

By Odette Ismail
22 July 2007

Police have arrested a major scrap merchant and two municipal employees in Parow in connection with stealing several thousand rands’ worth of Council cables and drain covers.

This arrest followed just hours after a high-level summit on copper cable theft hosted by the City of Cape Town.

It is believed that the scrap merchant who was arrested attended the summit where Mayor Helen Zille was appealing to the industry to get rid of dealers trading in stolen metals.

Councillor Pieter van Dalen, head of the City’s cable theft task team says the City and SAPS have adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ approach. “We aim to hit at the very heart of this scourge which is undermining municipal service delivery. “says van Dalen.

A statement reveals that task team investigators recovered 70 metres of copper cable weighing 625kg, water metres and other council equipment. The value of these stolen items is estimated at R73 000.

“The scrap yard owners were not able to explain how they came to be in possession of the goods, nor were they able to produce documentation of their purchase.” says van Dalen.

Further investigations traced water meters bought by a scrap metal trader in Stikland and over a ton of drain covers and metal frames were found worth R30 000 on the premises.

The equipment was then traced back to the Council’s Water Services depot in Bellville where two Council staff members confessed to theft. Further arrests are expected.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Car plunges almost 100m down Sir Lowry's Pass

By Tando Mfengwana
22 June 2007

A motorist body was found lying outside his vehicle near Sir Lowry’s Pass on Wednesday.

It is not known what happened, but a silver Toyota hit the opposite barrier, flipped over the railing and rolled about 100m down the mountain.

The damage to the railing was small and the car had landed so far down the mountain that it was barely visible from the road.

Police received a call from a passing motorist who spotted the vehicle.

Another man , a passenger in the car also sustained injuries. He was found almost 22 hours later, walking 200 metres away from the accident scene and trying to find help.

The two men had been driving from Gordon’s Bay towards Grabouw when the incident occurred, says Police spokesperson Billy Jones.

“Their names will be released at a later stage,” says Jones.

Police have opened an inquest docket into how the accident took place.

Gold employers to consult trade unions

By Odette Ismail
22 June 2007

Talks between employers and workers in the gold mining industry are to resume after the chief executive of the Chamber of Mines contacted trade uinons yesterday.

Dr Elize Strydom, the chief executive contacted trade unions with a request for talks on July. This is when the chamber will make a new offer to the trade unions.

Solidarity and the National Union of Mineworkers on Wednesday declared a dispute after employers did not budge on an offer to the unions.

Andre van der Merwe, Solidarity’s mining general secretary said this dispute which may lead to a strike has now been suspended until next month.

“Events on the first day of the negotiations proved that a tough negotiating season lies ahead for the gold mining industry. We have decided to hold off the dispute as a sign of our commitment to a negotiated settlement.” says van de Merwe.

Reports reveal that the rand gold price has gone up by 65% which means the demand for gold is higher therefore this has raised the expectations of employees.

“The combined pressure brought about by the expectations of the workers in view of the industry’s performance and inflationary pressure on workers creates a climate for tough negotiations.” says van de Merwe.

Residents against eviction of four families from Grassy Park

By Tarryn Le Chat
22 June 2007

The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition is against the removal of four families from the Grassy Park area, allegedly by the City of Cape Town.

The Coalition says that they are warning the council that any forced removal for these four new families that have settled on the area, would have strong resistance.

According to a statement released by the group, the council has told the families they would be back in 24 hours to demolish the shacks the families are living in.

The Coalition says the council has seen Happy Valley as a dumping ground, removing shack dwellers from their homes and relocating with a ‘starter shack pack’ which includes three sticks and a piece of heavy plastic.

However, Steven Erasmus, head of management for informal settlements from the City of Cape Town, says they have no knowledge of demolishing shacks in that area and that it must be on private property.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Air Pollution survey to kick off in Khayelitsha

By Odette Ismail
21 June 2007

The City of Cape Town will on Friday launch a pilot project in Khayelitsha to try and establish the main causes of air pollution in the area.

The launch will take place at the Oliver Tambo Sports and Recreation Centre, at the corners of Mew Way and Landsdowne Road in Khayelitsha

The Khayelitsha Air Pollution Strategy is the first air quality survey to be started by local authority and funded by the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

The study will consist of door to door interviews which is suppose to take among 1000 houses in Khayelitsha.

This would be conducted by employing fieldworkers from the local community.

According to a statement the 11 month project is a partenership between the municipality, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the University of Cape Town. Palmer Development will be in charge of implementing the project.

Councillor Martin Fienies, Mayoral Committee Member for Health will deliver his keynote speech at the event.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Five to appear in court after armed robbery

By Odette Ismail
20 June 2007

Police arrested five males from Gugulethu this afternoon for armed robbery after their White BMW crashed into a State vehicle. The arrest follows an incident that took place in a business place at Voortrekker Road, Goodwood.
Police spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa says five males robbed a victim at gunpoint of an amount of R30 000.

“The BMW collided with the police vehicle at Corner of Paarl and Dingle Roads after the victim closely followed them.” says Mawisa.

The suspects then jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot while shooting back at the police, but nobody was confirmed injured during the incident.

“During the arrest police confiscated two illegal firearms, as well cash that was stolen during the robbery.” says Mawisa.

All suspects are facing charges of Armed Robbery, possession of illegal firearms, Attempted Murder and Reckless and Negligent Driving. They will appear at the Goodwood Magistrates Court on Friday.

Security officials arrested after tip-off

By Chanel September
20 June 2007

Police recovered an undisclosed amount of money on Tuesday after police acted on information that led to the arrest of four security officials.

Police arrested the security officials who all work the SBV Company after they acted on information. “We cannot disclose from who police received the information that led to arrest of the security officials”, says police spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa.

“During the search process police discovered the money from the alleged suspects. One of the suspects was also found in possession of tik”, says Mawisa.

All four suspects will appear in the Goodwood Magistrates Court for charges of theft and one for the possession of tik on Wednesday June 20.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Popcru's response to interdict by South African Police Services

By Tina George
19 June 2007

Popcru is protesting against the South African Police Service over an interdict served against the union on the 15th June.

National Popcru spokesperson Pat Ntsobi said the issues giving effect to the interdict are being dealt with by the union's National Executive Committee.

The union says that SAPS is preventing its members working in this sector from participating in the strike but that this would not silence them.

As disappointment and frustration is mounting, these police officers feel it is unfair that they are not able to exercise their right to strike.

Now Popcru has developed and adopted a programme which entails demonstrations starting on Thursday, for the whole of next week. According to Ntsobi, the culmination of this action will definitely result in a national march.

Popcru members can expect feedback from the union as of Tuesday regarding the planned action.

Unions angry over slow pace of negotiations

By Anele Siwa
19 June 2007

The Federation of Unions of South Africa has come out in support of the letter issued by the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confedatration Guy Ryder to South African President Thabo Mbeki on Friday.

In the letter, the ITC talks about the slow progress in negotiations and the dismissal of hundreds of workers in the public sector.

FEDUSA general secretary Dennis George says it is unacceptable that the wage dispute is dragging on while many nurses, teachers and other government officials are suffering the consequences of industrial action and the country feels the slump in service delivery.
George says he will attend tomorrow’s Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council meeting on attempt to facilitate a break in the current deadlock.

Meanwhile, school exams are still on hold as unions and government continue the negotiations. Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Gert Witbooi the department is hoping for a speady resolution as it is concerned about the learners’ exams. He added that there have been no dismissals in the department of education so far.

DA blasts backlog in Forensic Science Labs

Celeste Ganga
19 June 2007

The Democratic Alliance spokesperson for Safety and Security, Diane Kohler Barnard, has released a statement questioning the backlog at the country’s Forensic Science Laboratories.

The Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, was recently asked in Parliament by the DA to release the details of the amount of cases that have been dropped, struck off the roll or withdrawn due to delays at Forensic Science Laboratories.

Barnard says that the public has a right to know about these figures.

“The DA is releasing this information to the public so that people are aware of this situation.” she added.

Normally, an investigating officer would have to wait 102 days for results on a biology sample. The shortest amount of time to receive these results is 35 days; this also includes Questioned Documents and Scientific Analysis categories.

The FSL has a training budget for 2007-2008 that totals more than R1 million. This budget funds more than nine hundred positions.

“The high number of samples in the backlog as well as the long waiting periods is a cause for concern. It is hoped that the drive to recruit more personnel will improve matters,” Barnard said.

Approached by Bush Radio, SAPS Director Phuti Setati conferred with the Safety and Security minister that the backlog figures were correct.

City of Cape Town tackles cable theft

Rhodé Marshall
19 June 2007

Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille is attending a summit today that aims to tackle copper cable theft within the city -- a problem that the city has been grappling with for many months.

The summit being held Tuesday at the Cape Town Civic Centre, will have representatives from the business field, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the scrap metal industry, who are all affected by it.

In 2006, the illegal trade cost the City of Cape Town R22 million to replace, and this figure excludes labour.

Robert McDonald, spokesperson for the mayor, says the amount of money being lost and the problem of cable theft does not meet the mission the mayor has set for the city.

The damage and loss that comes with the trade has a negative impact on businesses, and ultimately the economy.

McDonald says: "The summit brought together people in the business field who would love for this problem to be tackled so that even those who are affected by power shortages will have their problem solved."

Fifa President Sepp Blatter in Cape Town

Ilhaam Hoosain
19 June 2007

Fifa President Sepp Blatter is in Cape Town this week to assess progress for 2010.

Executive Mayor Helen Zille and Premier Ebrahim Rasool are scheduled to give Blatter a full progress report.

Pieter Cronje spokesperson for the City of Cape Town says: “The Fifa President will see impressive progress and he will see that all construction is ahead of schedule. Phase one is complete and they will be moving on to phase two.”

According to Rasool’s office, development on public transport, hotels and infrastructure is going smoothly. This is all part of preparation for the 2010 World cup.

Cape Town has long been a favourite to host some of the World Cup fixtures, because of its beautiful scenery, including Table Mountain, the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island, all of which will be the backdrop of semi-finals during the 2010 tournament.

Council offers relief to low-income ratepayers

By Henry Booysen
19 June 2007

The City of Cape Town is urging pensioners, people with disabilities and home owners struggling to afford basic services to register for additional support.

  • Applicants qualify for the support on the following grounds:
  • Total household income should not exceed R1740;
  • The applicant must own the property, and not have more than one;
  • Must be the full-time occupant of the property;
  • Must agree to pay their monthly accounts and an additional amount towards their arrears

    Those earning between R1740 and R5000 may apply for a rates rebate, depending on their monthly household income.

    All households will receive 6000 litres of water free each month. Households using less than 400kWh of electricity per month over an average of 12 months will receive 50kWh free each month.

    “No restriction, disconnections and/or legal steps will be taken against any debtor who has registered as indigent and who sticks to the arrangements,’ the city’s Debt Manager Trevor Blake said

    For more information on the indigent support contact your nearest customer care contact centre or Housing Office or phone 086 010 3089.

  • Shooting incident kills 1 and injures 2 people

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    19 June 2007

    A man was fatally wounded this morning and two other people had been seriously injured during a shooting incident that occurred in Lalo Street, Delft south.

    The victim (29-years-old), and two survivors, aged in their twenties were alleged were alleged to be inside the residence when unknown armed men fired several shots at them.

    Police spokesperson, Siphokazi Mawisa says, “The 29-year-old man died on the scene and the other male had been wounded in his lower right leg and the female sustained bullet wounds to her upper left arm and left side of her chest.”

    According to Mawisa, the two survivors are currently in a critical condition in a nearby hospital and the suspects are still at large.

    The motive is still unknown and the police are considering all possibilities.

    A case of murder and attempted murder is being investigated.

    Anyone with information can contact Delft police station on 021 954 9000 or Crime stop on 08600 10111.

    Support plan set to help pupils affected by strike

    By Chanel September
    19 June 2007

    A support programme which intends help thousands of pupils in the Western Cape has been put in place by the education department for the 109 schools worst affected by the teachers strike.

    The support plan aims to help those pupils who have missed out on school lessons due to the two week teachers strike.

    The programme includes support classes, study groups and using community newspapers as a way of providing learners with exemplars.

    “We didn’t foresee that the strike would last this long, things are getting a little prolonged and as a way of assisting our learners the plan has been put in place”, says education spokesperson Gert Witbooi.

    However the plan does not include the writing of exams while teachers are on strike as the department maintains that they are unable to conduct examinations at some schools in the province since June 1.

    “Once the strike is over our district officials and curriculum advisors will meet with the principals of all the schools. Many schools have been writing since today”, says Witbooi.

    He added that once the strike is over the department will work with the schools to ensure that learners are not unfairly disadvantaged.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Nehawu holds public service wage report back meeting

    By Odette Ismail

    18 June 2007

    The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union will today have a public service wage report back meeting for all it's members. The meeting will take place at the Goodhope Centre in Cape Town from 10h00 to 12h00.

    On the agenda will be discussions on Public Service Wage report Back Dismissals and the Non-payment and deductions from salaries.

    Suraya Jawoodeen, Provincial Secretary for Nehawu indicated in a statement that a special negotiator will report back on the latest government offer of 7.25%.

    She says it is compulsory that all Nehawu Shopstewards and members from Cape Town, Worcester, Stellenbosch and Paarl attend the meeting.

    Members also need to make sure that their transport needs are communicated to the provincial office early this morning.

    Jawoodeen says the health department is trying to get members to sign an affidavit which is not according to procedure. She adds that no member must indivually communicate with their mangers regarding their dismissals.

    Police nab murder and robbery suspect, more arrest to follow

    By Tando Mfengwana
    18 June 2007

    A 35-year-old man from Khayelitsha has been arrested for alleged murder of a 22-year-old Strandfontein woman and the related burglary at her parent’s home last week.

    Lameez Isaacs was allegedly kidnapped by three burglars in Privateer Road in Strandfontein on Wednesday morning.

    Neighbours told police that they saw a white VW Golf three occupants parking into the driveway.

    A visiting relative discovered that the house had been burgled although there were no signs of forced entry.

    A firearm, revolver, DVD player, TV, and a cellphone were taken from the house. The burglars also took a white Toyota Corolla with registration number, CA 897053.

    The body of the woman was later found next Baden Powell Drive, near Strandfontein.

    She had a single gunshot wound to the head. Police spokesperson Randall Stoffels says that the arrest was made after the man was taken in for questioning on Thursday and was interview throughout the day.

    He says that more arrest could follow in the course of the investigation.

    Stoffels says the man has been formally charged and will appear at the Mitchells Pain magistrate court on Monday.

    Three armed robbers arrested, security guard shot dead

    By Tando Mfengwana
    18 June 2007

    Police shot and wounded two cash-in-transit robbers during a high speed chase in Parow on Monday.

    A coin security official was on his way to a cash van after collecting money from a business in Station Road, Parow. Three unknown armed men pulled up in a Toyota Corolla and fired several shots at the 35-year-old, fatally wounding him on the scene.

    The suspects fled the scene without any cash as police responded to the alleged robbery quickly.
    Parow police members gave chase, and the suspects fired several shots at them. The police returned fire, wounding two suspects, one in the foot and the other in his chest, arm and leg.

    They were taken to a nearby hospital under police guard.

    “Three suspects, aged 24, 28 and 31-years-old, from Nyanga and Gugulethu were arrested metres away under Jan Van Rebecca Bridge in Parow,” says police spokesperson Constable Siphokazi Mawisa.

    Police confiscated two firearms and a Toyota Corolla. Mawisa says the three suspects will appear in court soon.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    SA magazine promoted in London

    By Odette Ismail
    17 June 2007

    A Magazine, the first glossy edition upholding South Africa abroad, was launched last week at an event in London.

    This was launched at The Born Free Freedom ball, a glamorous charity ball by South Africa Tourism.

    It is known as South Africa and is published by a group of South Africans situated in London.

    The magazine includes features on travel, culture, food and wine and much more.

    Johan Govea the ZA Publishing MD told a Weekend paper that with the 2010 World Cup coming up, many is interested regarding information on South Africa.

    He says the magazine fills an important need in the market to introduce South African tourism and investment opportunities worldwide.

    DA calls for debate around alleged Spoornet capacity shortages

    By Odette Ismail
    17 June 2007

    The DA says reports that Spoornet has been neglecting the agricultural sector in allocating transport capacity allegedly because mass transport of mining commodities is more profitable are of great concern.

    A DA statement reveals that Spoornet was only able to transport 60% of the 418 044 tons in grain produce after producers wanted transport for over 500 000 tons.

    The DA’s Dr Manie Van Wyk says that these constraints arose despite agriculture making up a miniscule of 6% of annual export tonnage. He adds that farmers would then have to make use of road transport which will add to the expenses in producing these commodities.

    “The situation seems to have degenerated sufficiently for Spoornet to at long late relinquish some government control and allow the private sector some opportunity to invest in improving efficiencies on some of the minor lies. “ says Van Wyk.

    However he says it is still a long time before public-private partnerships will be able to boost the country’s transport capacity. “South Africa needs to grow it’s economy so that more people may be employed.” says Van Wyk.

    The DA will send a letter to the public enterprises portfolio committee chairperson, to request that this matter is debated.

    Man found stabbed to death

    By Odette Ismail
    17 June 2007

    Relatives who visited a family member’s house in Caravelle Street, Stranfontein yesterday afternoon found the body of 55-year-old Vincent Abrahams with his hands tied to his back with mask tape.

    Police spokesperson Captain Randall Stoffels says the relatives noticed that the front glass door had been broken.

    It was later established that the back door was unlocked One of the relatives then jumped over the back wall to investigate.

    Abrahams was found in the back room with his hands tied to his back with tape and an open wound to his throat. He died on the scene.

    “It was later established that the owners Nissan bakkie that was parked in a garage was missing. It is alleged that the perpetrators fled the scene in the deceased’s vehicle.” says Stoffels. The bakkie was later found abandoned in Grassy Park.

    It is believed that nothing was taken from the man's house. He lived on his own.

    Stoffels confirmed on Sunday that police are still investigating the circumstances around the incident. The suspects are still at large and police have launched a search.

    Police have opened a case of murder for investigation.

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Youth event promotes sport in Gugulethu

    By Odette Ismail
    16 June 2007

    The Looksmart Solwandle Ngundle Sucouncil will today promote sports among young people at the Gugulethu Sports Complex in light of Youth day.

    Kayise Nombakuse, manager of the subcouncil says this initiative aims to show young people that sport is a safe and healthy form of recreation for them.

    Speakers at the event will be range from the subcouncil Chairperson Cllr Nondzaliseko Makanda, ward councillors, senior City officials to religious leaders from Gugulethu.

    According to a statement the main objectives are not only to promote sports amongst young people, but also to emphasise the dangers of Tuberculosis (TB).

    The public can look forward to traditional dances, performances by marimba bands and local choirs. Plays and poetry readings will reflect how young people think about the events captured in 1976.

    There will also be testing stations at the complex where participants can establish whether they have TB or not.

    President Thabo Mbeki to meet leadership of PAC

    By Anele Siwa
    07 August 2007

    President Thabo Mbeki will meet with the President of the Pan African Congress of Azania, Letlapa Mphahlele and his delegation at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday.

    “The meeting is going to be about a whole range of issues, we can’t speak about specific issues, but I can confirm that the President is meeting with the PAC leadership,” says Presidency spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga.

    Ratshitanga says that the President regularly meets with the leaders various organisations in society, including leaders from different political parties.

    President Thabo Mbeki will be accompanied by The Minister of Justice, The Minister of Defence and the Minister of Public Service and Administration.

    Mayor to host copper cable theft summit

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    16 June 2007

    Mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, will be hosting a summit on copper cable theft and how they plan to put a stop to copper cable theft.

    Copper cable, at the estimated amount of R77 million has reportedly been exported from the Western Cape to China last year. The Western Cape, however, has no copper mines.

    This comes as Mayor Zille, who initiated a top-level summit with Business Against Crime, the Cape Chamber and representatives of the scrap metal industry as an offensive against syndicates that steal the copper cables.

    In the past 12 months alone, the Cape town ratepayers have had to cough up R22 million in tax to replace stolen and repair vandalised cables and equipment.

    The City of Cape Town recently set up a 15 member ‘cable theft task team’ to combat the scourge.

    According to a statement, syndicates ‘employ’ individuals to steal copper cable, as well as other non-ferrous metal items such as sheeting, grids, ladders, water meters, taps and manhole covers. These are melted down and sold to scrap metal merchants.

    Councillor Pieter van Dalen of the City of Cape Town was unavailable for comment.

    Take back your neighbourhood- June 16 campaign

    By Odette Ismail
    16 June 2007

    Residents living in Khayelitsha who would like to play an active role in curbing crime in their area are encouraged on Saturday to go the Khayelitsha Mall.

    The Social Crime Prevention Unit has a project where community members are encouraged to participate in crime prevention initiatives.

    Nowellan Petersen, media liaison for Metro Police Services says 60 residents have already received training in interpersonal skills, conflict resolution and self-defence.

    “However today is just a graduation ceremony and also introducing those participants of the project to the community as well as also to explain their role to the community.” says Petersen.

    Metro Police, the SAPS and the Crime Prevention forum will at the mall, provide trainees and residents with information on community responsibility in taking back neighborhoods and protecting their areas.

    South African rock star to sing Anthem

    By Anele Siwa
    14 July 2007

    Pete Guthrie, vocalist of chart-topping South African rock group Spoonfeeddas will deliver the South African National Anthem before the start of Vodacom Tri-Nations Test between Springboks and All Blacks today.

    “ We are extremely proud of musicians we have in this country, so we had an opportunity of having South African musician to sing in Christchurch”, says South African Rugby event Manager Jenny Wentzel.

    Wentzel added that the jumped into that opportunity and tried to find who is available because it’s not something he will be paid for.

    “We found that he from Durban band and basically he paid for himself to get to Christchurch.

    Gthrie says he is excited, not just because he will be performing what he believes to be the most powerful and motivating national anthem in the world, but because he is such a passionate and patriotic South African

    Eight-year old Candas Kasper went missing

    By Anele Siwa
    11 July 2007

    The eight-year old girl Candis Kasper has been missing since Saturday.
    Kasper was reported missing by her family who resides in Hartebees Street ( Scottsdenne) in Kraaifotein. Anele Siwa reports ( Track 2)

    “At about five-o-clock Saturday afternoon the family of eight-year of Kasper came into Kraaifontein police station to report that the girl has been missing since Saturday

    Kasper is a very young girl and since that time we are searching for the girl and we now joined by the members of the community as well as community safety members.
    We have not been very lucky because the information that her mother is giving to n us is not helping us to find the girl and we are doing all our best to check for the body and we would definitely get to the community as soon as find the child”,says police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana.

    Friday, June 15, 2007


    By Tarryn Le Chat
    15 June 2007

    # The Winter Teddy Bear fair will be held at St Thomas Church hall, Campground Road, Rondebosch in support of Childhood Haematology Oncology Clinics (Choc) on Saturday June 16, from 10am to 3pm. Donation of bears or wool for CHOC will be appreciated. For more information, contact Carol on 083 309 5651.

    # Living on the fence, Poems by Women who are refugees from various countries in Africa will be launched on Sunday June 17, at small publisher’s stand at the Cape Town International Book Fair and on Wednesday June 20, at the centre for the book, Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town. Email Anne Schuster at for details.

    # The Motor Neurone Disease Association of South Africa is having a fundraising evening of the musical Hair at theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, on Thursday June 21, at 8pm. This event coincides with the MND global awareness day. For ticket bookings or for more information contact Roxy on 082 468 8980, or email

    # Animal Rescue Organisation’s charity shop in Kalk Bay is seeking second-hand clothing and bric-a-brac. For more information email or call her on 021 396 5511.
    # The Sultan Bahu Rehabilitation Clinic in Westridge has introduced two new programmes this month, one of which is the Teen Intervene programme aimed at children between the ages of 12 and 19 years old. Contact the centre on 021 392 2945.

    # The Disabled Children’s Action Group (DCAG) will have a kareoke fundraiser on July 6 at 8pm, at the Farm recreation centre in Montrose Park, Mitchell’s Plain. All money raised will go to children with disabilities. Tickets cost R15. Call Sandra Ambrose on 021 797 5977 or Senora Carelse on 072 967 4779.

    If you have any information for the CIN team regarding events happening in you community, please feel free to contact us on 021 4485450 or fax us on 021 448 5451. Alternatively you can email us on If you have missed any of the numbers mentioned you can give us a call.

    Strikers cause havoc at local primary school

    By Chanel September
    15 June 2007

    More than 1000 striking teachers caused chaos at a primary school in Cape Town on Thursday, demanding access to the premises.

    Strikers invaded three classrooms at Northpine Primary School intimidating teachers and traumatising learners.” I opened the gates to prevent it from being damaged”, says principal of the school, John Hendricks.

    “Strikers are targeting schools were exams are scheduled to take place, this is going to lead to increased tension and conflict”, says education spokesperson Gert Witbooi.

    “The department condemns the behaviour of the teachers in the strongest possible terms and we are going to beef up security at those schools at risk”, says Witbooi.

    The department has also informed SA Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) of the actions of their members.

    “We are aware of what happened at Northpine Primary School. At the moment we are circulating reports about incident”, says provincial secretary for SADTU, Jonavan Rustin.

    Rustin added that, “further investigation in currently underway and if members of the union had transgressed we will deal with them in terms of our disciplinary code of conduct”.

    Meanwhile in separate incident learners from Eben Donges High School in Kraafontein had to evacuate the school premises after a bomb scare. Police arrived at the scene and combed the area for explosives. Learners were sent back to class after it turned out to be a hoax.

    Cosatu to march to the convention centre

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    15 June 2007

    The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will be holding a demonstration at the convention centre today, to protest against the SA government’s disregard it has shown towards public service wage demands.

    Tony Ehrenreich, provincial secretary for Cosatu says, “What is clear is that the South Africa government is more concerned about the World Bank and its impressions than the interest of the South African population.”

    “The World Bank is the ones who are calling telling the South African government to cut its public expenditure so it can give more money back to the wealthy in tax cuts. These policies of the world Bank have been discredited across the world”, says Ehrenreich.

    According to Ehrenreich the government has a surplus of R12 billion and the money needed to give a 10 percent increase would cost R3 billion.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Two arrested after woman's body found

    By Tando Mfengwana
    14 June 2007

    Western Cape Police arrested two suspects on Wednesday in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old woman whose body was found in the backyard of a house in Milnerton.

    The two men, aged 23 and 24, were arrested in Engcobo near Queenstown in the Transkei.

    The woman’s body was found under a black bag with several open wounds to the head in the yard of a house in Church Street, Maitland on Tuesday.

    She was last seen dropping her daughter at school on Friday, 8 June 2007.

    The deceased’s vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz, was found abandoned in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.

    Young woman's body dumped on road after robbery

    By Chanel September
    14 June 2007

    The body of a young Strandfontien woman was found by a passer-by on Wednesday morning beside Baden Bowell Drive with a single bullet wound to the head.

    Lameez Isaacs was alone at home when her house was burgled by thieves in Privateer Road. The 22-year-old’s parents had already left for work when the incident occurred.

    According to police three men in a white VW Golf were later seen driving and parking their car in the garage. “Shortly afterwards a relative who came to visit Issacs, found the garage door open with the victims brother’s car missing”, says police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn.

    After police combed the Isaacs home it was discovered that two firearms, a revolver and a pistol were missing from the safe.

    “The burglars took jewellery, a television and DVD player and a cellphone”, says Steyn.

    Police are investigating a case of murder, housebreaking and theft charges. No arrests have been made yet.

    Any one with information can contact investigating officer John George at the Strandfontien police station on 021 370 1515 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

    Solidarity wins case against company that discriminates

    By Odette Ismail
    14 June 2007

    Trade Union solidarity says they are happy that the Labour Court has seen the court case unfair regarding a truck driver who had been dismissed on the grounds of him promoting the trade union amongst colleagues.

    In 2005, a truck driver also a member of Solidarity was dismissed for his involvement with and promotion of the trade union.

    The ruling also revealed that the employer will be awarded 16 months’ pay in compensation.

    Nic Arnold head of Solidarity’s legal action says the person was charged by his employer, Lesaka Crushers (PTY) Ltd, with planning an illegal strike and inciting fellow workers to take part in the strike two years ago.

    “This was after he explained to his colleagues the benefits and function of Solidarity and the constitutional rights of workers. He was suspended without pay after a disciplinary hearing.” says Arnold.

    The case was taken up and the matter was referred to the Labour Court.

    “We are delighted with the finding, because we find it absurd that there should still be employers who attempt to dismiss workers on the grounds of their involvement in trade union activities. The Court has reconfirmed that workers and trade unions do indeed have rights, and that they must claim these rights.” says Arnold.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Public sector strike noted as more unified

    By Odette Ismail

    13 June 2007

    Protestors once again came out in their numbers in front of parliament on Wednesday in support of the public servants strike after wage talks last night failed to reach a settlment.
    Various union leaders addressed the masses saying they will stand firm with their members again on Friday if their demands are not met.

    Unions have rejected the offer of 7.25% and are pushing for 10%, but SADTU’s General Secretary Thulas Nxesi says they are still committed to their demand of 12%.

    The crowds were unified carrying posters, demanding not only a wage increase but better benefits. Some were waving placards saying “Down with government propaganda” and “We want decent pay for decent work.”

    They have vowed to down tools again if an agreement is not reached.

    Cosatu’s Provincial secretary, Tony Ehrenreich told the crowd that they will reinstate all companies who have ordered dismissal letters. “We are ready to negotiate but we will never sell our members out.” says Ehrenreich.

    Public Services and Administration Minister Geraldine Frasier-Moleketi was reportedly not willing to go out into the crowds to accept a memorandum from unions. It is believed she wanted three representatives but Ehrenreich told the protesters that this was not a form of unity.


    The following memorandum is being submitted to government offices today by the public service trade unions.

    Memorandum in support of the demands of labour in the public service co-ordinating bargaining council

    Trade Unions representing South Africa's more than one million public service workers tabled collectively their demands on wages and improvement in conditions of service in October 2006. Public service workers are saying that they:

  • Refuse to accept wage increases linked to inflation that results in no real wage increase over the last 10 years
  • Condemn the insistence of the Employer to commit salary negotiations over a multi-term period commencing each year on 1 July
  • Reject the continued stance of the Employer to keep salaries within a sixteen notch system linked to performance whilst the state lacks capacity amongst its officials to implement any performance management system
  • Are frustrated by the state to use the collective bargaining process to advocate their own medical aid scheme thereby discriminating the benefit of Medical Aid to all workers
  • Need to have access to home ownership which has been denied as a result of the ever widening gap between poor salaries and the high cost of housing
  • Cannot operate in a system where vacancies remain unfilled, thereby increasing the number of casual workers, over a long period of time
  • Deplore the issuing of dismissal notices to workers involved in the strike, which is clearly a provocative attempt to intimidate workers into returning to work.

    Unions collectively are further saying that the refusal by the State to conclude Minimum Service level agreements for public service workers deemed as essential service over a number of years is tantamount to denying these workers a right to strike as entrenched in the constitution of the country and the right to fight for the general improvement in their conditions of service and divide them amongst fellow workers. Not willing to conclude the MSA denies our constitutional right to strike. Accordingly we are calling on the government to sign minimum service agreements
    with the unions immediately so that no hospital is left unmanned during the strike.

    Public service workers are unanimously rejecting, as out of hand, the assertions by the Minister of Public Service and Administration that the state is committed to negotiations and improving overall conditions of service. She further alludes to wanting to workshop unions on the offer currently on the table. Unions are saying that the recent utterances of the Minister is ill informed as the state has never put a comprehensive offer on the table inclusive of all details. In addition the leadership and members of unions are constantly appraised by their representatives on the content and process of issues for negotiations. A call to workshop is undermining and demeaning.

    Public Service Employees are therefore demanding:

    • A 10% salary increase over a single term commencing on the 01 April of each year
    • A reduction in the number of notches in the pay progression system & de-linking from performance
    • Increase the Employer contribution in Medical Aid to be in line with the Medical price consumer index and desist from forcing employees onto GEMS
  • Ensure that the home owner allowance is brought in line with a home value of R300 000
  • Fill all vacant substantive posts with immediate effect and create vacancies
    to meet the demand of the public service
  • The closing of the wage gap by collapsing level 1 and 2 into level 3
  • The immediate withdrawal of all notices of dismissal issued to workers involved
    in the strike.

    Unions have vowed continue their strike until these demands are met. Concurrently they are indicating that they are willing to return to the negotiating table at any time should the state be willing to drastically improve its current offer of 6.5%.
  • Public to comment on draft policy on gated developments

    By Odette Ismail
    13 June 2007

    The City has released a Draft Land Use Management Policy on gated or Enclosed Developments for public comment.

    The document contains details on how it wants to prevent the creation of exclusionary environments closed off from public places.

    Councillor Owen Kinahan chairman of the multi-party, multi-portfolio working committee says the draft is aimed at balancing the safety of communities with binding areas together and improving the access of these areas.

    “ In addition to serving as a guide to developers, it will provide City officials and decision-makers with a common reference framework in assessing and determining applications involving gated communities, as part of Council’s statutory development management function “, says Kinahan.

    It will also be used to make decisions on proposals for new developments or conversions of areas to gated or enclosed areas.

    Reports reveal that an applicant would require having evidence that other ways of settlement security was not working.

    Kinahan has encouraged members of the public to comment on the draft policy. They can do this until July 13. It will also be included in the city’s 23 sub-council meetings for June. Interested organisations can also attend a public hearing on July 26.

    The draft is available at municipal libraries, sub-council offices, district planning offices and the at

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Mayor condemns floor crossing

    By Chanel September
    12 June 2007

    Evidence of councillors being bribed to cross the floor has surfaced in the media after proof was obtained by the City of Cape Town.

    Last week the speaker of the City Jacob Smit received evidence of meetings held between councillor Badih Chabaan and other city councillors.

    At a media briefing on Tuesday Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille revealed that various sources have stated that Chabaan is currently paying councillors between R5000 and R10 000 to cross the floor. He is also offering business opportunities and well-paying positions to the councillors to cross the floor in September and join the National People’s Party supposedly being formed by Chabaan.

    The evidence obtained against Chabaan consists of tape recordings, affidavits and oral and written statements.

    “Floor crossing is an accepted part of democracy but being bribed to cross the floor is not, especially in a list system. In this situation we totally condemn the offering of cheques and promotions, says Zille.

    Zille adds that safety measures have been put in place for councillors to come forward with information. She reiterated that members who have been approached should come forward now so that the matter can be dealt with.

    Chabaan faces a disciplinary hearing but a specific date could not be confirmed.

    Poor materials lead to increased pipe bursts

    By Odette Ismail
    12 June 2007

    The City of Cape Town says the current winter rains are increasing the possibility of pipe bursts in the city’s mains, particularly in the older areas.

    This is due to the materials (cast iron, fibre cement and ferrous cement) used for the manufacture of water pipes in use in the older areas.

    Sipho Mosai, the City’s director of Water Services says pipes made from these materials are rigid and inflexible and the slightest movement in the ground after rain causes pipes to burst.

    "Due to the flexible nature of the new PVC type material now being used in pipe construction, fewer pipe bursts are being experienced. All mains replacements are now done with new PVC pipe material," says Mosai.

    The Water Services are appealing to people to be patient during the winter season.

    "We commit ourselves to repair burst water mains as speedily as possible," says Mosai.

    All reports of burst pipes ad other water-related problems, can be directed to the Water Call Centre on 0860 103 054 (24 hours).

    Senior Citizens to picket outside Parliament

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    12 June 2007

    The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Sanlam are hosting their senior citizens events today.

    These citizens from the Western Cape, one of many other sectors within the society are coming out in support for the call from the Public servants demand for a 12 percent wage increase.

    The senior citizens are picketing at the gates of Parliament today from 10h00 – 11h30am to show their support for the striking workers.

    According to a statement, senior citizens have free access to trains from 9h00 – 15h00pm and must provide their identity documents on the station if they are over the age of 60 years.

    Busses are also provided from Adderley Street (Greyhound offices) to the gates of Parliament in Plein Street.

    Volunteers are on the station to help direct the people to busses.

    Getrude Thompson, chairperson of Cosatu Senior Citizens committee, was unavailable for comment on the publishing of this article.

    SAMWU joins sympathy strike

    By Tando Mfengwana
    12 June 2007

    The SA Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) will embark on a sympathy strike on Wednesday in support of the ongoing public service sector industrial action.

    This after the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) applied for an interdict restricting workers from striking, which the Labour Court dismissed with costs.

    “We are so excited about the judgement today, SAMWU has been vindicated by the allegation brought before the court, alleging the primacy on the strike itself to the public servants, and the whole question of essential services,” says SAMWU General Secretary Mthandeki Nhlapo.

    Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town has put in place contingency plans to ensure minimal disruption of services during the strike.

    Workers in essential services may not go out on strike. These are Health Services, Traffic Services, Fire and Emergency Services, Provision of Water, Electricity and Sanitation and Metro Police

    "While the City respects the right of employees to strike, its first duty is to ensure minimal disruption of services. All municipal offices will be open for business as usual,” says City Manager Achmat Ebrahim.

    “Residents should treat Wednesday as a normal collection day for refuse removal and put out their bins if their collection normally takes place on a Wednesday,” he added.

    Cosatu has also been granted permission to picket in the Cape Town city centre on Wednesday from 1pm until 2:30pm. A march will take place from Keizergracht into Darling Street, left into Buitenkant, right into Roeland and then to the National Parliament.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Another police officer killed in Cape Town

    By Tando Mfengwana
    11 June 2007

    Two suspects have been arrested following the murder of an off-duty police constable at Mfuleni hostels near Blue Downs on Sunday.

    Constable Maboyise Gqoboka and his friends were chatting inside a house when the two suspects barged in and disrupted the conversation.

    According to police 30-year-old Gqoboka left the house when he became aware of the two suspects hostile attitude. It is believed that a chase ensued and the constable was assaulted with sharp objects.

    “The deceased sustained several stab wounds and died instantly on the crime scene,” police spokesperson Captain Elliot Sinyangana says.

    The two suspects fled the scene on foot.

    “Further investigation led to the arrest of two adult males, a 58-year-old and a 26-year-old, as alleged murder suspects,” Sinyangana added.

    Both men are to appear in the Blue Downs magistrate court on Thursday, June 14.

    75 healthworkers to be dismissed

    By Chanel September
    11 June 2007

    More than 70 healthcare workers in the Western Cape will be released from their duties on Monday for participating in the nation-wide strike action.

    This comes after the 75 healthcare workers failed to pay attention to government’s ultimatum that essential service workers may not strike. Workers were informed that they would lose their jobs if they do not report for work on Monday.

    The decision to take action against the striking workers was taken after a meeting in Pretoria on Saturday between the Minister of Health Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Frasier Moleketi and other officials from the health ministry.

    Dismissal notices has already been sent to the various workers informing them about the action taken against them.

    “The department is forced to take the necessary disciplinary action. However the workers will have an opportunity to appeal against the letters they received”, says provincial health spokesperson Fazia Steyn.

    The 75 workers are mainly from Groote Schuur, Tygerberg and Khayelithsha.

    Meanwhile, Cosatu has condemned the government's issuing of notices terminating the services of workers.

    Nehawu condemns alleged threats to dismiss health workers

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    10 June 2007

    The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has strongly condemned the alleged threats by the Minister of Health to dismiss health workers who are striking.

    According to their statement, the union stated before that such threats could only provoke more anger form the workers and undermine the current negotiations in the PSCBC which are at the sensitive stage.

    With the current situation at health facilities, also a direct consequence of government failure to agree to a Minimum Service Agreement with the unions, negotiations are the only way to get the unions to stop striking.

    Sunday, June 10, 2007

    Independent Democrats new policy conference

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    10 June 2007

    The Independent Democrats has reviewed, refined and consolidated their policy agenda. The party says their agenda is social democratic, but are placing it in a modern and an African context.

    Lance Greyling, ID policy convenor says, “The ID’s vision and goal, which will be driven by its policies, is putting people at the heart of the country’s political discourse.”

    The party’s key policy themes are; Economics, Housing, Health, Education, Policy on Women and safety and security.

    Greyling says that the Independent Democrats are recommitting themselves to the restoration of the family and the social fabric of the country.

    “The ID believes that the Minister’s recent announcement that Community Policing Forums must be at the frontline of crime prevention is mere hollow rhetoric unless it backed up with proper financing and provided with adequate resourced as well as transparent crime statistics in their localities”, says Greyling.

    Hostage-taker killed by police

    By Tarryn Le Chat
    10 June 2007

    Police received a complaint of a shooting incident that occurred at a restaurant in Long Street, Cape Town over the weekend.

    On arrival several shots had been fired at the police vehicle that was damaged on the right side. The two student constables and constable from Cape Town police station sustained no visible injuries.

    Police spokesperson, Inspector Bernadine Steyn says, “It is alleged that the suspect entered the premises and that several shots were fired inside the restaurant, wounding a male employee in the leg. Some of the employees ran out of the building, including the injured male employee who was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, after which he was discharged.”

    A police team entered the building, stun grenades were thrown and several shots were fired during which the 26-year-old suspect from Site B, Khayelitsha, David Kula, had been fatally wounded in the chest.

    Steyn says they are investigating several attempted murder charges.

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    Two miners killed in seperate incidents

    By Tando Mfengwana
    09 June 2007

    Two miners were killed in two separate incidents at Gold Fields in Driefontein and at Angloplat in Rustenberg on Friday.

    In the first incident a miner was found dead after being trapped underground for more than 15 hours following a tremor that hit Gold Fields Driefontein East Mine near Carletonville on Thursday.
    He was trapped along with three other miners who were rescued during a rescue operation.

    In the second incident a miner was injured by a drill machine at Angloplat in Rustenberg.

    He died of his injuries in the mine hospital, although it is not clear how the accident occurred.

    The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for an agent investigation at Angloplat, as four deaths have occurred in the space of a week.

    “We are calling for the finalisation of investigations at Gold Fields, so that we know who to blame on this, because qiut obvioously all these incidents are preventable,” says NUM national spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

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