Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kollapen contract ends

By Nomava Nobumba
30 September 2009

Commissioner Pregs Govender has been appointed as Chairperson of the SA Human Rights Commission, until the process of appointing additional new Commissioners is complete.

Commissioner Govender, who was recently appointed as a Commissioner in December 2008 will occupy this position until such time as the new Commissioners are able to meet and elect a Chairperson for the Commission.

Today the terms of office of Commissioners Jody Kollapen,Zonke Majodina, Leon Wessels, Tom Manthata, and Karthy Govender came to an end and new Commissioners are expected to take office soon.

As part of this process, the National Assembly last week unanimously recommended that Ms Lindiwe Mokate, Adv Bokantla Malatji , Adv Lawrence Mushwana , Adv Loyiso Mpumlwana, Ms Janet Love and Dr Danny Titus will serve as new Commissioners.

Residents protest over service delivery

By Nomava Nobumba
30 September 2009

Residents of the Makhaza informal settlement in Khayelitsha barricaded roads with burning tyres today as part of a service delivery protests.

Police were called out to the scene to calm the situation. Police intervened and held peaceful talks the group in a bid to calm the situation.

Meanwhile Mpumalanga police have confirmed that the Independent Complaints Directorate is investigating the death of a man who died during a service delivery protest earlier this year.

Police were reacting to a report in the local newspaper that policemen allegedly shot dead a man and injured five others during protests at Mashishing township in June.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwe was asked to comment on the incident during a radio interview this morning but said he could not do so because he was not aware of it.

Cape Town Stadium set for completion in three months

By Kim Saulse
30 September 2009

With less than nine months to 2010 World Cup kick-off, construction of the new Cape Town stadium is nearing completion, as contractors are busy with the final touches to what could be one of the most impressive stadia in the world.

“Work is also underway on the internal architectural finishes such as painting, ceilings, doors and locks,” said City spokesperson Nick Whiteley.

Most of the inside equipment has been installed on five of the six levels.

“We expect the stadium to be completed by December 14 this year,” said Whiteley.

The raised Green Point traffic circle is almost complete and is already taking traffic on the incoming lane to the city centre.

Cape Town will host eight World Cup matches, most of them at night, including one semi-final.

Health to focus on nursing colleges

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 September 2009

The Department of Health is to focus more energy on revitalising nursing colleges and creating a vibrant nursing education and training system.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said strengthening colleges was the next focus for his department and discussions with the Department of Higher Education and Training were at an advanced stage.

The two departments have begun a project to assess what exists in the system, where its strengths lie and what the weaknesses are in terms of teaching and learning resources.

Dr Motsoaledi explained that through this process, the departments would guide and build a national nursing college system which responds to the needs of their system, whether in producing the numbers they want and assisting learners especially from poor backgrounds to complete their studies at colleges.

According to reports, Motsoaledi said the department had also agreed with the Department of Higher Education and Training on the need for a diversified nursing education and training system, cutting across higher education and further education programmatic levels in the National Qualifications Framework.

However, the minister warned that this had to be done in partnership with other sections of the schooling system, post-compulsory schooling system and the higher education system.

CTV goes off air

By Kim Saulse
30 September 2009

Cape Town TV has been forced to go off air temporarily.

Cash flow problems have prevented the station from paying its broadcast costs, but the station’s management is confident that the situation will be resolved soon.

“ We were unable to make the payment to Sentech, which is the parastatal that distributes our signal. Until we’ve paid them the amount outstanding, which we hope will be in the next few weeks, we’ll be off air,” says Mike Aldridge, CTV broadcast manager.

The Department of Communications does not subsidise community television, forcing CTV to meet the entire cost of broadcast.

“Community TV should also get a subsidy like community radio, and we’ve been working hard for some time now to lobby the department to implement that policy,” added Aldridge.

City gears up for 2010 draw

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 September 2009

The City of Cape Town is gearing up for the 2010 draw with city officials working flat out to ensure they are ready to welcome the world.

Cape Town's first opportunity to showcase its readiness for global sport's biggest showpiece will come when it hosts the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on December 4.

Illustrating the city's commitment to staging a successful Draw for the world's football fraternity was the fact that the city's executive deputy mayor, Ian Nielson, was personally on hand and an eager participant in the deliberations.

The Final Draw for Africa's first football World Cup will be a mega showcase for the city as it welcomes the world's media, broadcasters and FIFA football family, as well as the coaches of all the qualified teams such as Fabio Capello, Dunga and Bert van Marwijk.

With football powerhouses such as England, Brazil, Holland, Japan, the two Koreas and Ghana among the countries that have already qualified for the World Cup, excitement is mounting for the draw – which will determine the tournament's groupings and match locations.

“Ghost Squad” arrests wanted murder suspect during traffic blitz

By Kim Saulse
30 September 2009

Vigilant patrolling by the City’s “Ghost Squad” paid off at the weekend, when routine operations led to the arrest of a wanted murder suspect.

On Sunday night, during a special operation to curb illegal street racing, the team was charging two motorists at the intersection of 35th Street and Modderdam Road, Belhar, when eight men intervened.

The group hurled stones at the officers which prompted them to arrest two of the men.

Charges were laid against the four men at Bishop Lavis police station.

Further police investigations revealed that one of the suspects was wanted for murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and several other offences registered at the Delft SAPS.

“A Traffic Officer generally deals with day to day traffic offences, some more serious than others but, from time to time, we do come across hardened criminals,” says Chief Inspector Merle Lourens, media spokesperson for Cape Town Traffic Services.

Labour brokering hearings set for provinces

By Ofentse Mokae
30 September 2009

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Labour will hold public hearings on labour brokering in four provinces next week.

The hearings will start from Monday October 5 to Thursday October 8 this year.

The towns to be visited are Welkom in Free State on Monday, Klerksdorp in the North West on Tuesday, Germiston in Gauteng on Wednesday, and Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

Last month, the Committee held a two-day public hearing in Parliament where stakeholders, including trade unions, civil society and labour brokers, were given an opportunity to present their views on labour brokering.

Labour committee chairperson Lumka Yengeni says the process is unavoidable as parliament is obliged to involve the public in all national matters.

“This is in line with Parliament’s role of facilitating debate on key national issues, and its continuous effort to involve everybody in that process, the Committee resolved that the hearings should be extended to provinces,” she said.

The hearings will enable the Committee to get first hand information from the communities about labour brokering.

New legislation limit smokers

By Ofentse Mokae
30 September 2009

Cape Town’s nightclubs are imposing strict new smoking measures to stay away from heavy penalties and criminal charges.

The management of some popular city venues report that customers are sticking to the new rules, despite some objection.

Some of the nightspot places have created smoking areas, while some clients have to leave the premises to attend to their craving.

The smoking legislation which was gazetted on August 21, have put new limits on cigarette manufacturers.

These include their marketing campaigns, and restrict smoking in public places such as sports stadiums and at bus stops, or near the entrances to buildings.

Cigarette vendors have also been restricted and may operate only in areas to which minors do not have access.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Public entity bosses scoop big in bail outs

By Ofentse Mokae
29 September 2009

South African Airways 2008/09 annual report tabled out today, has revealed that former CEO Khaya Ngqula was paid over R13 million on settlement.

This is despite him being under investigation for mismanagement, conflict of interest and procurement irregularities.

The figure includes R9.3 million paid out for the termination of his contract.

Ngqula was paid the amount despite SAA posting an operating loss of R72-million for 2007/08, during which time the airline was under his management.

His payout follows that of former SABC CEO Dali Mpofu who received a R12 million pay out after his exit from the state entity; that has also been rocked by financial crisis.

In a statement the Democratic Alliance says the payment is a slap in the face of the South African taxpayer.

“This happens and the ANC government shows no signs of adopting the requisite attitude necessary to address the problem. We as DA will be asking parliamentary questions on the matter,” the statement said.

The statement further says the consequence of this is that the public has to pay twice for poor management.

“First, it is required to fit the bill for a bale-out, when the relevant institution loses money; then, instead of their being consequences for that poor management, it is forced to once again payout the relevant CEO,” the statement concluded.

Earlier the current CEO of Eskom, Jacob Maroga, was awarded a R5 million salary increment despite Eskom posting R9-million in loss.

In another similar development state arms company Armscor, revealed that CEO Sipho Thomo received a total increase in remuneration from R1.7 million to R3.27 million an 89% increase.

Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan is yet to respond to these issues from parliamentary questions submitted by members of the opposition, some dated from as early as July this year.

Fraud suspect wanted by Mitchell's Plain police

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 September 200

Mitchell’s Plain are requesting the assistance of the public in a fraud case involving an alleged police officer.

It is believed that the suspect pretended to be a police officer then robbed the complainant.

“The complainant withdrew R40 000 cash at a bank in the Town Centre Mitchell's Plain. As he left the bank, he saw an undisclosed amount of money lying on the ground”.

It is alleged that an unknown suspect picked up the cash and offered to share with the complainant.

The complainant accompanied the suspect to Katdoring Street, to the monitor vehicle license testing centre, said police spokesperson Inspector IG Williams.

The driver introduced himself as a police detective, who then accused the complainant of theft of Cash and proceeded to confiscate the money he had in his possession.

“After questioning, a closed brown envelope containing paper instead of his money, was handed back to the complainant,” added Williams.

The suspects drove off in a white Golf and are still at large.

Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspects is asked to contact Detective Sergeant D. Samson of the Mitchells Plain Fraud Unit at 021 3701706/ 079 313 9003.

Collision leaves 11 hospitalised

By Kim Saulse
29 September 2009

A collision between a taxi and a car at the intersection of Durban Road and Eversdal Road in Durbanville left 11 people hospitalised.

“One occupant of the car sustained serious injuries and another sustained moderate injuries, the Fire Department used hydraulic rescue equipment to help extricate the patients from the vehicle, both patients from the car were taken to Durbanville Medi-Clinic,” said ER24 spokesperson Tristan Wadeley.

The passengers of the taxi sustained minor to moderate injuries and were taken to Kraaifontein Day Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital for further treatment.

It is alleged that the taxi and car collided, with the taxi then climbing the pavement and hitting a signage pole head on.

Son of Judge President face fraud charges

By Nomava Nobumba
29 September 2009

The son of Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe is to go on trial next month on fraud charges by way of plea-bargain proceedings.

It has been reported that Thuthuke Hlophe’s first appearance last month in the Commercial Crimes Court, he faced six counts, involving fraud and uttering.

It is alleged that he used a false identity document to open bank accounts.

He then allegedly bought a car with post-dated cheques that were dishonoured.

The car was involved in an accident and Hlophe junior had it repaired for almost 20-thousand-rands, which he was reportedly unable to pay.

Five arrested for illegal possession of crayfish

By Nomava Nobumba
29 September 2009

Western Cape police have arrested four men and a woman for being in illegal possession of crayfish worth 20-thousand-Rand yesterday.

Police says they received information and searched a home in the Bokmakierie area on the West Coast.

They found the suspects packaging the crayfish in the garage.

“We confiscated 514 whole crayfish, 177 crayfish heads and 16 crayfish tails,” said police spokesperson Inspector Ian Bennett.

Male suspects aged between 21 and 53, and a 30-year-old woman will appear in the Athlone Magistrate court soon.

19 year killed in drive by shooting in Observatory

By Kim Saulse
29 September 2009

Last night Woodstock police were alerted of a drive by shooting in Observatory that left a 19 year old man fatally wounded.

On arrival, the blood stained body of the young man was discovered, with two gun shot wounds to the head.

It is alleged that the deceased and his friend had been walking home, when an unknown car with three occupants pulled up next to them in William street.

The suspect fled the scene in a Blue Toyota Conquest and is still at large.

The identity of the deceased cannot be revealed until the next of kin is informed.

A case of Murder has been opened for investigation by Woodstock Police.

Anyone with information regarding the murder is asked to contact the investigation officer Detective Inspector David Miles on 021 486 2877 or crime stop on 08600 10111.

All municipalities must have a Blue Drop certificate ahead of 2010.

By Ofentse Mokae
29 September 2009

The Blue Drop Certification Programme aims to see qualifying municipalities receive what is known as the "Blue Drop Status."

This status will indicate that the town's drinking water is of good quality and consumers will be secure in the knowledge that wastewater is managed and discharged in a sustainable, eco-friendly way.

The status will reflect the water regulator Water Services Authority's level of confidence in the town's drinking water quality management levels per service system in towns and cities.

Minister of Water Affairs, Buyelwa Sonjica said the only municipality in the North West that had the status was the Tlokwe Municipality.

Sonjica was speaking yesterday at the provincial Water Indaba which is expected to address water challenges and come up with solutions on ensuring water sustainable resource management as well as develop a tangible water action plan.

Three Cape Town women freeze to death in Swartberg

By Ofentse Mokae
29 September 2009

Police and other rescue services were despatched into the Swartberg Mountains near Oudtshoorn in cold weather last night in an effort to find six hikers.

Police spokesperson November Filander says three women aged 46, 50 and 51 from Kuilsriver and Bellville froze to death before they could be rescued.

Two of the bodies were found last night and the other at noon today.

A woman and two men were rescued.

Filander says the group of six hikers got separated in dire weather conditions and bad light.

An investigation into the incident has been launched.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Two freeze to death

By Nomava Nobumba
28 September 2009

Two Cape Town women have been found dead after freezing to death while lost in the mountains yesterday.

Details remained sketchy, but it is understood that the bodies of two women were airlifted by a rescue chopper from the Swartberg Mountains near Oudtshoorn earlier in the day.

Media reports rescuers from the Wilderness Search and Rescue, Cape Nature and the police were still searching for a third woman at midday today.

Three others survived.

Foetus found in toilet pit

By Kim Saulse
28 September 2009

A premature baby was found in a long drop toilet in a Kwa –Zulu Natal suburb this morning.

Police and the Netcare rescue unit responded to the scene to recover the baby from the toilet pit.

Upon arrival at the scene, they were taken down a muddy pathway to an old toilet pit.The baby was wrapped in a plastic bag and thrown into the partially covered pit about one and a half meters deep .

Dave Stein from S A P search and rescue used a long stick to lift the bag out of the hole. The rescue teams found a small under developed foetus wrapped in the packet .

Police are still investigating the incident.

Five in court for murder

By Nomava Nobumba
28 September 2009

Five suspects including a woman are appearing in the Wynberg Magistrate court today for the murder of Sithembele Mathiso high school principal.

Two of them were arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning in Cape Town and three arrested later that day while they were traveling to the Eastern Cape.

Police have said that one of the suspects was employeed at the school.

52 year old Nomzoxolo Dziba was shot dead in her office last month.

South Africa reaps rewards ahead of 2010 at Soccerex

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 September 2009

2010 FIFA World Cup only kicks-off in June, South Africa is already reaping the rewards of hosting the world's biggest single-code sporting event, through the annual Soccerex convention.

The organisers of the convention, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 28 November to 2 December, have released the schedule for this year's event.

Focusing on the business of football, Soccerex is a global event that sees the world's most experienced football business professionals come to share their knowledge about the business end of the beautiful game, with networking, not goal scoring, being the name of the game.

Involving a conference, exhibition, gala dinner and football festival, Soccerex has regularly attracted the sport's biggest names and clubs.

For the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, Soccerex will have massive legacy benefits for South African football.

Soccerex Chief Executive Officer Duncan Reeve said the Soccerex Expo in Sandton would serve as a blueprint for Brazil, the 2014 FIFA World Cup host.

25 year old arrested for murder

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 September 2009

A 25 year old man has been arrested for murder of a female in Thabatha Street in Thembalethu, George.

The body of a female was found at the back of the informal settlement, with multiple stab wounds to her back.

“We also found an Identity book of the alleged suspect on the crime scene”.

“It is alleged that the deceased and her female friend was involved in an argument with the suspect when he grabbed a knife and stabbed both of them,” said police spokesperson Inspector November Filander.

Police later arrested the suspect after members of the community handed him over to police.

The 25 year old suspect will appear in the George magistrates’ court on murder charges.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is requested to contact the investigating officer, Inspector Frank Brown from the Thembalethu detective branch at 082 696 5958 or at (044) 802 8931, during office

Anti-crime raid leads to 21 arrests

By Kim Saulse
28 September 2009

Twenty-one alleged Cape Town drug dealers are behind bars after the Metro police’s anti-crime raid over the weekend.

Spokesperson James Kitching says the suspects were arrested for the possession of drugs.

The action formed part of Operation Razor which is targeting the Cape Peninsula’s most notorious drug and crime infested areas.

Police confiscated 173 packets of tik in a raid on 14 premises in Kraaifontein.

Kitching says alcohol related offences were also targeted.

Eskom’s proposed power plant potential for irreversible disaster

By Ofentse Mokae
28 September 2009

Correspondence sent between senior Eskom executives, including confidential e-mails and memos, reveals that Eskom’s proposed Medupi power plant could rash an irreversible environmental disaster, the Democratic Alliance said in a statement.

The DA shadow deputy minister on Energy Cobus Schmidt says this is despite Eskom’s senior management appearing to be sitting idly by unwilling to take action.

Eskom reveals that the projected future water needs for the area, following completion of Medupi, could be up to 500% of the current usage level.

Strike by clothing industry set to continue today

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

The national wage strike by more than fifty-thousand clothing workers is set to continue today. It will be the 9th working day of the strike.

Last Sunday, the union and the employers received an offer from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CCMA) to intervene in the dispute, in terms of Section 150 of the Labour Relations Act.

In a statement Secretary General Andre Kriel says the parties accepted this offer and consequently met in Johannesburg at the CCMA Head Office last Tuesday, in formal Conciliation for which the CCMA had appointed two senior Commissioners.

“At this meeting, after having heard the parties respective positions, the CCMA tabled a process framework proposal for further engagements at a follow up meeting proposed for Friday this week,” Kriel said.

Kriel says the parties eventually met in CCMA facilitated conciliation in Cape Town over the weekend, but regrettably no settlement could be found.

“The employers had regrettably not accepted the CCMA process framework proposal and this proved to be a major stumbling block towards a settlement in the discussions over the last few days,” Kriel added.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Head of charity organisation under investigation for fraud

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

Chief Executive officer of Age-in-Action, a national non-profit organisation, has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds.

The NPO which receives money from the Lotto and the Department of Social Development suspended its head Martha Mokholo earlier this month.

In statement chairman John Phillips Confirmed Mokholo’s suspension, saying it is alleged that certain transactions have taken place without the appropriate level of authority being granted.

He said they have engaged their independent auditors to investigate the transactions, and they will report back within the next two weeks.

Age-in-Action protects and promotes the interests of the aged.

On its website, the organisation says it represents more than 2.7 million older people and has more than 800 NGOs as members.

Mokholo worked at the organisation's national offices in Cape Town but returned to her KwaZulu-Natal home after being suspended.

First Lady proud owner of farms, while country starves

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

First Lady Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, owns dairy farms that sell up to a million litres of milk a year to food giant Nestle', while millions in her country starve.

London’s Sunday Telegraph reports Grace Mugabe took over six of the country’s most valuable white-owned farms around 2002.

Mugabe, his wife and other members of his administration are the subject of European Union and United States sanctions as a result of their controversial 29-year rule over once-prosperous Zimbabwe.

Nestle, the multinational food company which is the largest customer of Grace Mugabe's dairy farm, is not obliged to comply with those sanctions as its headquarters are in Switzerland, the Telegraph said.

ANC Youth League leader owes thousands in speeding fines

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

The president of the ANC Youth League Julius Malema could soon find himself in hot water over speeding fines that he has not paid.

Media reports Malema has notched up thousands of rands in unpaid speeding fines in the Johannesburg metro alone.

With 14 traffic offences worth more than five thousand rands to his name, he is ahead of the Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu who has managed to rack up a dozen unpaid fines amounting to two-thousand-625 rands.

Malema's top recorded speed was 169 kilometres per hour in a 120 kilometre per hour zone on 21 September last year.

Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar says that any person will be accountable for any traffic fine, no matter who they are.

Earlier a well-known paper reported that Malema is living a questionable lavish lifestyle way beyond his means.

He lives in a big, smart house in upmarket Sandton and is always seen in expensive cars, from BMWs to Lexus's to Mercedes Benz's, the report said.Very comfortable in designer labels such as Fabiani, Malema insists that his flashy lifestyle shouldn't be an issue.

"It's not me, it is this office. When I come here they give me a cellphone, a laptop, and they're trying to make my work easier. I don't know which car is which one. When they come to me and say, 'chief, we are using this car today', I get in and we go," Malema said.

He says there is nothing wrong, with a flashy lifestyle if you can afford it.

The ANC youth wing confirmed that he only gets an ANC salary of about R20 000, a month.

Zuma calls for closer ties with South America

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

President Jacob Zuma says Africa’s relationship with South America will contribute to the development of both continents.

Zuma was speaking at the opening of the second summit between Africa and South American.

Zuma also warned that failure to take into account the link between the regions will worsen the global economic crisis that has affected millions of poor people.

He called for forging closer ties and a global multilateral system of benefit to all, enabling strict controls in banking systems.

Other topics of interest to the South African delegation are climate change, human rights and non-proliferation and disarmament.

DA calls for an independent inquiry into tender claims

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

The Democratic Alliance believes Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies must authorise an independent inquiry into the alarming situation at the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro).

The DA says he must also consider steps to suspend the Valor IT tender, pending the results of such an investigation.

In a media statement DA shadow deputy minister of Trade and Industry ANDRICUS Van Der Westhuizen says the details emerging before the South Gauteng High Court are extremely concerning.

These include tender rigging involving senior officials at Cipro.

“Of particular concern is the alleged role of some of Cipro’s senior staff, like the Chief Information, in the allocation of the questionable tender for R152,7 million to a small and little known closed corporation ValorIT”, said van der Westhuizen.

Van der Westhuizen says the DA urge Minister Davies to state publicly what action is being taken to resolve these serious matters.

Attempts to reach the trade and industry ministry proved unsuccessful.

Cosatu condemns “racist” killing of farm worker

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

Congress of South African Trade Unions says it is very disturbed by the news that a farm worker has been shot dead by a white farmer while crossing the farmer’s land in the Lichtenburg area.

In media statement, North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe says the federation has called on the Department of Justice to be decisive in its response to the defence of farm workers and dwellers who are killed by farmers.

Phetoe says Cosatu sees the latest incident as an act of racism.

“As COSATU we are not apologetic to say to the public this shooting is racism,” Phetoe said.

He says the they call on the National Human Rights Commission, Agri NW and Agri forum to tell them whether this is not racism.

City sangoma in training suspended

By Ofentse Mokae
27 September 2009

An upmarket city hotel has suspended an employee after she refused to remove the white beads that indicate she is a sangoma in training.

Media reports Zolelwa Mpofu, a linen keeper in the housekeeping department of the Radisson Blue hotel near the V&A Waterfront, said she had gone on leave from the company on August 18 after feeling ill and deciding not to ignore the calling of her ancestors.

When she went back to work nearly a month later, wearing the traditional "instimbi" or white beads, she was asked to remove them.

The beads indicate she is in training and has obeyed the ancestors' call.

Labour Department said Mpofu was advised to report the case to the CCMA offices so that the alleged unfair dismissal can be investigated

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Legalise prostitution,says union

By Ofentse Mokae
26 September 2009

South Africas top union Cosatu has called for the legalisation of prostitution.

The call was made by majority of Cosatu’s affiliates attending the the unions 10th national Congress in Midrand.

They say must be legalised and local governments must be tasked to formalise places of trade for sex workers.

The call was however cautioned by SA democratic teachers union president Thobile Ntola who said the motion if accepted had far wider implications for South Africans.

SACP secretary General Blade Nzimande said this industry exploited woman and young girls.

“Its correct for workers to take a lead on this matter and commit to a programme, but we need to be cautious we dont move ahead of our people," Nzimande said.

Fuel price relief expected

By Ofentse Mokae
26 September 2009

Consumers can expect further relief in the form of lower petrol prices next month.

Economists say lower international crude oil prices and a stronger rand should push petrol prices down by about 40-cents a litre.

In August petrol prices fell, while September saw a rise.

Now analysts anticipate a price decrease for October which means inland motorists could be paying around seven-Rand-65 per litre for unleaded petrol.

Heavy security at Safa Annual General Meeting

By Ofentse Mokae
26 September 2009

The South African Football Association's annual general meeting kicked off on time at a hotel near the OR Tambo Airport this morning under heavy security.

Upon entrance to the hotel where the meeting is being held, vehicles were all searched by members of the police.

There are more than 100 police members on duty in an around the hotel outskirts and 40 marshals.

There is concern that the meeting could become reckless when the delegates vote for a new president to replace outgoing Molefi Oliphant.

There is a bitter rivalry between the two leading soccer officials, Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza who are contesting for SA soccer's top job.

Khoza is chairman of both the PSL and the 2010 Local Organising Committee while Jordaan is the CEO of the 2010 LOC.

SA Minister arrives in Switzerland for UN refugee session

By Ofentse Mokae
26 September 2009

Home Affairs minister Dr Nkosaza Dlamini-Zuma has arrived in Geneva in Switzerland today, ahead of the United Nations Sixtieth session of the executive committee of the UN High Commission on Refugees.

The session is scheduled for Monday September 28 till Wednesday 30th.

Dlamini-Zuma is expected to address the session on behalf of South Africa on Immigration and Migration issues.

Her spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa says, she is also expected to hold bilateral discussion there.

“While in Geneva Minister Dlamini-Zuma is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Swedish State Secretary, as well as Director for International Organisation for Migration,” Mamoepa said.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma was in New York where she joined the South African government delegation to the opening session of the UN General Assembly.

Man dies in car crash

By Ofentse Mokae
26 September 2009

A man, believed to be in his thirties, was found dead after allegedly rolling his vehicle on Klipheuwel Road, near Lichtenburg Road, late last night.

ER 24 spokesperson Tristan Wadely says it is suspected that the car was seen in ditch in on the side of the road.

“It is alleged that the vehicle was spotted lying in a ditch at the side of the road and police started searching for the man,” Wadely said.

After around an hour of searching, the man was found approximately fifty metres from the vehicle but was already dead.

The cause of the accident was unclear but police are investigating the incident.

South Africa to participate in Africa-South America Summit

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 September 2009

South Africa is to participate in the 2nd Africa-South America Summit which aims to further enhance cooperation between the two regions.

The summit will be held at the weekend on the island of Margarita, Venezuela.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Nomfanelo Kota, South Africa will participate in the summit within the context of consolidating the African agenda through deepening South–South cooperation.

The first summit between the two regions was held in the city of Abuja, Nigeria, in 2006.

During the summit, leaders will among others things, adopt strategies and measures that will translate the vision of the Africa-South America Cooperative Forum into concrete economic, political and social benefits.

According to Kota, the meeting also aims to intensify cooperation and consultation at all levels to exploit the immense opportunities which bound the two continents.

The leaders will also develop appropriate common positions in multilateral negotiations such as the reform of the Global Multilateral System of Governance and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has already departed from New York for Margarita to lead a South African delegation to the ministerial segment of the summit.

The minister was in New York accompanying President Jacob Zuma, who led a

President Zuma, who is currently in Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania leading a South African contingent to the G20 Summit, will also proceed to Venezuela at the weekend.
About 30 Heads of State of the two regions as well as delegates from 60 countries have confirmed their attendance.

FIFA cracks down on illegal 2010 tickets

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 September 2009

FIFA is working closely with international authorities to crack down on the sale of illegal 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets.

As the excitement surrounding the world cup gains momentum, tickets have been in high demand worldwide which have led to illegal ticket sales.

While genuine tickets are sold online exclusively via the official website, dishonest individuals are taking advantage of the great appeal of this event by trying to use the internet to sell tickets they do not possess, FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA would like to recall that one of the measures taken to prevent forgery will be to print the official match tickets only a few weeks before the event in South Africa in 2010.

Many unauthorised operators are exploiting the popularity of the FIFA World Cup to lure unsuspecting fans across the world into purchasing illegitimate or unauthorised tickets and/or ticket-inclusive travel packages.

Comprehensive and up-to-date information regarding match tickets as well as the list of the appointed tour operators and match Hospitality sales agents can be found on

Friday, September 25, 2009

Initial findings point to engine failure in plane crash

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 September 2009

Preliminary findings are indicating that it could have been engine failure that was responsible for Thursday’s SA Airlink plane crash in Merebank, south of Durban.

According to initial reports, the SA Airlink Jetstream 41 Turboprop aircraft, which had twin engines, broke in two after crashing into a school ground in Merebank, shortly after take-off from the Durban International Airport around 8am yesterday.

In a statement spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority Phindiwe Gwebu said the prelimary phases of the investigations were complete and they can confirm the possibility of an engine failure could have caused the crash.

It is not yet known when the final report will be released.

Gwebu said the wreckage could now be removed since the crash investigators have completed collecting all the physical evidence at the scene, and have documented evidence from the crash site and other parts of the plane.

She said the crash investigators are expected to return to Johannesburg later this afternoon, where investigators will continue to examine their evidence, interact with various experts, including the manufactures of the plane, in order to understand what exactly happened.

Four people sustained injuries in the crash; two pilots are in a critical condition in ICU; a flight attendant suffered back and neck injuries; and a municipal worker on the ground was injured and taken to hospital

Couple appear in court

By Nomava Nobumba
25 September 2009

A couple has appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate court today on the charges of fraud.

The two are facing a number of charges after police confiscated the following items: laptops, seven cell phones, three moderns, a skimming device and documentation linking them to the fraud.

“It is believed that the suspects are involved in numerous fraudulent transactions approximately to the value of R13 million,” said police spokesperson Captain Bernadine Steyn.

Police say more charges may be added as police probe their action.

The pair was arrested in their home in West Beach yesterday.

FIFA cracks down on illegal 2010 tickets

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 September 2009

FIFA is working closely with international authorities to crack down on the sale of illegal 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets.

As the excitement surrounding the world cup gains momentum, tickets have been in high demand worldwide which have led to illegal ticket sales.

While genuine tickets are sold online exclusively via the official website, dishonest individuals are taking advantage of the great appeal of this event by trying to use the internet to sell tickets they do not possess, FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA would like to recall that one of the measures taken to prevent forgery will be to print the official match tickets only a few weeks before the event in South Africa in 2010.

Many unauthorised operators are exploiting the popularity of the FIFA World Cup to lure unsuspecting fans across the world into purchasing illegitimate or unauthorised tickets and/or ticket-inclusive travel packages.

Comprehensive and up-to-date information regarding match tickets as well as the list of the appointed tour operators and match Hospitality sales agents can be found on

Drugs valued at R5 000 seized in Woodstock

By Kim Saulse
25 September 2009

Early this morning , members of the Woodstock Police arrested a 27 year old man in Hercules Street, Woodstock for allegedly dealing in drugs.

The police members were busy with routine stop-and-search and visible policing patrols. When they approached the man he fled on foot.

They gave chase and apprehended the suspect.

“We searched the suspect and confiscated 50 packets of tik, six pieces of heroine and R1380- 00 in cash found in his possession. The estimated street value of the seized drugs is R5 000-00.

“The 27 year old suspect is currently in police custody. He is facing a charge of Dealing in drugs and will appear in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Monday,” said SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Hilton Malila.

Six killed in head-on collision

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 September 2009

Six have died on the N1 this morning in an accident involving two cars.

A Mercedes Benz travelling in the direction of Cape Town and Opel Corsa travelling in the direction of Johannesburg collided.

“In one vehicle one male and a female and an 11 year old child died on the scene two males and a female died on the scene”.

“Two children age 14 and 16 were taken to Beaufort Hospital, the road was closed for an hour but it was later opened,” said Western Cape provincial spokesperson, Xenophone Wentzel.

Vavi to step down in 2012

By Kim Saulse
25 September 2009

The Trade Union federation, Cosatu, ended its national conference in Midrand yesterday with the announcement that its general secretary will step down in 2012.

Zwelinzima Vavi said that his present term will be his last. Addressing delegates at the conference,Vavi said he can’t stay forever.

Vavi was re-elected to his position by congress delegates, but he said if he were offered a position in the ANC leadership he will not refuse.

Cosatu also announced its nominees to fill the trade union federation’s top position.

S’dumo Dlamini ,Zwelinzima Vavi and SACTWU's Freda Oosthuysen was nominated as treasurer.

Three more arrests for murder of school principal

By Nomava Nobumba
25 September 2009

Three more suspects have been arrested for the murder of Sithembele Mathiso High school principal.

The suspects were arrested in the Eastern Cape yesterday evening.

Police spokesperson captain Bernadine Steyn says the three were arrested between Graaff Reneit and Cradock after the vehicle they were travelling with was spotted by police members.

This brings the total number of arrested suspects to five, following the arrests that were made in Cape Town yesterday morning.

52 year old Nomzoxolo Dziba was gunned down in her office last month.

Police refused to divulge any further information about the suspects at this stage.

“Due to the sensitivity of the case at this stage, we can not reveal further information,” said Captain Steyn.

The suspects will appear in court on Monday.

SACTWU welcomes election of its member COSATU National Office

By Ofentse Mokae
25 September 2009

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union has welcomes the election of the new COSATU National Office Bearers.

In a statement SACTWU says they are particularly humbled by the election of Freda Oosthuysen, a SACTWU member.

“Freda was elected unopposed as COSATU’s new National Treasurer at the federation’s just-concluded 10th National Congress,” the statement said.

SACTWU secretary-general Andre Kriel says Oosthuizen was first elected as the National Treasurer of SACTWU in 2006.

“That same year, she was also elected to be the Chairperson of the Clothing Industry Provident Fund, as well as the Chairperson of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry – the second oldest and one of the biggest bargaining councils in the country,” Kriel said.

Oosthuizen is an Examiner at House of Monatic, a clothing company in Cape Town.

As an Examiner, Oosthuizen checks garments to ensure that their quality meets the high standards required by the industry.

Freda was involved with the merger process between GAWU and ACTWUSA to form SACTWU in 1989.

SACTWU was launched in September 1989 at the University of the Western Cape, exactly 20 years ago.

Eight to appear in court for theft

By Nomava Nobumba
25 September 2009

Eight suspects will appear in the Knysna Magistrate Court today for theft.

The suspects were arrested on Tuesday during a crime operation held in Smuttsville, Sedgefield.

Police acted on information they received from the public regarding stolen property which was stored at private dwellings in the Sedgefield area.

During their operation police seized the following items: a Sunbeam toaster, a Leather man knife, Samsung and Nokia cell phones, Ipod, Sunglasses, two Dvd Player's with surround-sound speakers as well as ammunition.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Key lock shock for Kraaifontein residents

By Ofentse Mokae
24 September 2009

Kraainfontein residents in a government-subsidised housing scheme shockingly revealed that they may as well sleep with unlocked doors.

This follows after the residents discovered that the keys to their homes were not unique.

They keys to their homes could also unlock the doors of those of their neighbours.

One resident, who has been living in the France housing development, said her house was on one stage broken into, while her sister’s house that is close by also had a similar experience.

She says even if she had put in burglar bars to tighten security, she still had sleepless nights being fearful that someone might break into my house.

Deputy chairperson of the housing development forum in the area, said despite several interactions with the community, this is the first he has heard of the problems regarding similar locks.

Few changes expected in Cosatu top jobs

By Nomava Nobumba
24 September 2009

Cosatu is expected to announce who will fill the trade union federation’s top positions today, but few changes are likely.

The fourth and final day of its national congress is underway in Midrand.

S’dumo Dlamini is standing unopposed for re-election as president and Zwelinzima Vavi as general secretary.

SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union National Treasurer Freda Oosthuysen was nominated as treasurer.

Cosatu’s Patrick Craven says there are bound to be some changes because there are three vacant positions.

Former athlete hangs himself

By Nomava Nobumba
24 September 2009

Former Springbok athlete and television presenter Andries Krogman hanged himself in his Paarl home last night.

His body was discovered in the garage by his wife after returning home from her son's matric farewell party.

The wife told the media that Krogman had been threatening to kill himself in the past two weeks because of financial difficulties and recently updated his will.

Krogman was the South African 10-thousand metres champion in the 1970s.

More recently, he became well-known for his food show on the Maak 'n Las SABC programme, which is currently being re-broadcast.

Robben Island out of bounds on Heritage Day

By Nomava Nobumba
24 September 2009

One of South Africa’s most attractive heritage places, Robben Island will be out of bounds today.

The ferries are expect to be back up and running by next week.

Reports say all trips to the historic landmark were suspended after the main ferry experienced gear box problems.

All emergency ferries are also said to be out of commission.

Robben Island council said they are still waiting for new parts to arrive from overseas, but have reassured those who have already paid that they will be reimbursed.

Remote reading of water meters – City starts pilot project

By Ofentse Mokae
24 September 2009

Cape Town loses almost 19% of its piped water through burst water mains and domestic leaks and, while this is well below the losses for most other cities in the country, it nevertheless costs the City more than R4m annually.

The city will be assessing the effectiveness of a pilot project for the remote reading of water meters. This uses a technology that can discern whether there are water leaks or other factors contributing to excessive water loss.

“The three trial areas, where meters for the pilot project have been installed, are the Sunset Beach residential area in Millerton, the entire Epping Industrial area and the N2 Gateway residential housing project”.

“Results from these very different areas would provide feedback and pinpoint potential problems that might arise if this project was to be implemented on a larger scale in future” said mayoral committee members Clive Justus.

He said the technology for these meters is well established internationally.

The new remote-read meters are able to measure the complete range of meter sizes and flow rates.

The use of the automated remote readings for all consumption within a suburb, combined with simultaneous readings of bulk zone meters supplying the suburb, will enable a detailed, zone-specific water balance to be calculated.

The system allows all water meters to be read automatically and simultaneously and at the exact end of the month, with minimal reasons for missed readings and estimated accounts.

New pension fund board meets

By Khanyisa Tabata
24 September 2009

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan has urged the newly constituted Government Employees Pension Fund Board of Trustees to place greater focus on service delivery.

Minister Gordhan called for regular interaction and consultation between his ministry and the new chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

The GEPF Board of Trustees consists of 16 members and Arthur Moloto, who is a special adviser to Public Enterprise Minister Barbara Hogan, was elected as its new chairperson.

The GEPF is the largest pension fund administrator in Africa with over 1.3 million contributing members. The fund is responsible for more than R707 billion worth of assets under its management.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Former minister says new commissioner on ethics is needed

By Ofentse Mokae
23 September 2009

Former water affairs and education minister Kader Asmal wants President Jacob Zuma to appoint a national commissioner of public ethics.

Asmal, who resigned from Parliament last year, has called for a significant tightening of rules governing the private business interests of public officials and representatives.

Asmal who was speaking at a news conference in Cape Town is currently teaching law at the University of the Western Cape.

He says there should be an urgent national debate on whether senior civil servants should be allowed to have private business interests at all.

Asmal urged that reporting obligations should cover spouses and partners as well.

IFP criticises Popcru’s efforts to legalise dagga

By Kim Saulse
23 September 2009

The Inkatha Freedom Party has slammed police union Popcru’s renewed efforts at Cosatu’s congress in Midrand to legalise dagga.

According to reports, the IFP’s Velaphi Ndlovu says Popcru’s new arguments is that they want to “empower the people who produce dagga to contribute to South Africa's economy”.

They added that the legalisation would allow the police to focus on more serious crimes.

Ndlovu says legalised dagga use will affect productivity, increase road accidents and increase the incidence of child neglect.

Four in custody for child abuse

By Nomava Nobumba
23 September 2009

Four men have appeared in the Beaufort West court yesterday on charges of rape and abuse of several teenage girls.

The five are accused of sexually assaulting girls aged between 15 and 17 over the period of two years.

The case was postponed for the 29th of this month. However the two of the accused will appear before another Judge for the bail application.

“The remaining two accused are waiting for correctional report to see whether they can be released on correctional supervision,” said police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie.

Slight victory for city traders

By Ofentse Mokae
23 September 2009

Traders at the Mitchells Plain Town Centre are pleased over what they call a “slight victory” over an eviction battle they have with the City council.

City of Cape Town’s Randall Strikker has announced that the eviction of over half of the Town Centre traders has been moved until the end of October.

Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association Chairperson Mischka Cassiem says the postponement is a slight victory.

“This postponement is a slight victory due to the pressures put on the city by the traders, but it still remains that the city will continue with evictions,” said Cassiem.

Earlier this month the traders met with the WC Premier Helen Zille who vowed to help and assist wherever she can.

CHATA thanked her for her time; however, tensions are still running high in the Town Centre regarding the eviction.

“CHATA takes the words of Premier Zille seriously, but knows the fight is not over and cannot rely on city officials after there have been lies and unfulfilled promises in this entire process,” she added.

Former policeman undergoes sentencing for murder of children

By Kim Saulse
23 September 2009

A former police member, Marius van der Westhuizen, is being sentenced today for the murder of his three children in 2006.

The Western Cape High Court heard that Van der Westhuizen had apparently committed the murders to punish his wife.

According to reports, a probation officer has suggested that correctional supervision would be an appropriate sentence as van der Westhuizen would not survive in jail.

But the State and Judge Willem Louw has questioned the probation officer’s report.

DA commend JSC for its decision against Hlophe

By Nomava Nobumba
23 September 2009

The Democratic Alliance has commended the Judicial Services Commission for excluding Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe from its shortlist for the four vacancies on the Constitutional Court.

The DA’s Hendrik Schmidt says Hlophe’s character and reputation remain fundamentally tainted.

Schmidt adds that Hlophe’s appointment would have damaged the Constitutional Court, and judicial independence in South Africa.

He calls on President Jacob Zuma to select very carefully the four candidates who will best uphold the supremacy of the constitution, and the separation of powers.

City unveils transformed safety and security plan for 2010

By Kim Saulse
23 September 2009

The city has announced its masterplan for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

This plan will see an improvement and facelift in safety and security, throughout the city.

Cllr JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety & Security, says they want to “ensure that visitors to the city, both local and foreign, are left with pleasant memories of their visit and no incidents”.

“We’ve put in place security plans that will make the areas involved in 2010 (fan parks and the fan mile) safe and secure.

“ To do that we’ve had to roll out extra resources, which include extra traffic cops, extra law enforcement members, metro police members and also vehicles and equipment for all of them,” said Councillor Smith.

Additional CCTV cameras will also be installed. Councillor Smith added that mobile incident management and disaster risk management has also been beefed up.

South Africa’s non-agriculture jobs decrease

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 September 2009

Employment in the formal non-agricultural business sector decreased between the end of March to the end of June 2009, Statistics South Africa.

In March, the figure stood at an estimated 8 326 000 employees to an estimated 8 259 000 employees in June.

Additionally gross earnings that were paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural business sector increased between the March and June quarter.

Gross earnings that were paid to workers during the quarter ending in June came in at R259 652 million reflecting a quarterly increase of R429 million compared to the March quarter.

Gross earnings paid to workers in the formal non-agricultural business sector increased between the quarters ended March 2008 and March this year. The increase between the two quarters reflected an increase of R15 631 million.

According to Stats SA, employment in the same sector decreased between the quarters ended June 2008 and June 2009.

The quarterly survey found that the average monthly earnings that include bonuses and overtime payment paid to employees in this sector increased between February and May 2009.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

City sets up a Climate Change Think-Tank

By Ofentse Mokae
22 September 2009

The City of Cape Town has set up a newly formed Climate Change Think-Tank in the city today.
The tank consists of renowned academics and specialists who will assess climate change and its effects on Cape Town.

In a media statement the city says it aims to be a leading local authority in its response to climate change.

“The Council has already adopted an Energy and Climate Change Strategy and has established an Energy Committee,” the statement.

It says the newly formed Climate Change Think-Tank will lead the proactive response to climate change.

Chairperson of the Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee,
Alderman Brian Watkyns says climate change presents potentially formidable challenges for Cape Town.

This is with particular risk to the economy, service delivery, resource sustainability and its most vulnerable communities.

The Think-Tank will meet quarterly for the next two years.

Regular updates from the group will be made available to the public.

Community schools march for school libraries

By Nomava Nobumba and Khanyisa Tabata
22 September 2009

Thousands of learners around Cape Flats have marched from Salt River to City Hall today, to hand their petition to Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.

Learners from Khayelitsha, Mitchells’ Plain, Kraaifontein and the surrounding areas are protesting for school libraries.

They want the Education Department to build libraries in the school premises claiming that public libraries are full and too far away from them.

“Public libraries are not safe as they are too far away from our homes and you also need to apply for access card to access the internet,” said Veliswa Mathibe from Masibambane High school in Kraaifontein.

Student Representative Luthando Nkulati from Bulumko High school in Khayelitsha says they want government to give all students the same education.

The students are represented by Equal Education, the organisation that fights for the student’s rights.

Co-ordinator of this organisation Lukhanyo Mangona says on their petition they want government to legislate their demand.

Traffic on Victoria Road in the direction of the CBD is slow moving.

Crime still a serious threat in the country

By Ofentse Mokae
22 September 2009

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa accompanied by national police commissioner Bheki Cele today released crime statistics for the 2008/09 financial year.

These statistics according Mthethwa are used in the management of crime combating by the SAPS.

Statistics shows that business robbery cases increased by over 41-percent compared to the previous year.

Aggravated robberies saw an increase in three areas, namely business robberies, house robberies and hijackings.

But the highest increase was recorded in business robberies.

The minister acknowledged the progress made in crime combating however he also admitted that much still much needed to be done.

Meanwhile earlier the Democratic Alliance slammed the decision by the Police ministry to hold the meeting with the portfolio committee behind closed doors.

DA shadow minister for police Dianne Kohler-Barnard says the Constitution requires that Parliament conduct its business in an open and transparent manner.

“Holding this session behind closed doors, and then holding a press conference immediately afterwards, gives off the impression that the minister is trying to stage-manage the release of crime statistics, instead of allowing due parliamentary process to be followed,” Kohler-Barnard said.

Kohler-Barnard says the public including the media has a right to hear the minister account before parliament for the crime rate in South Africa.

Santana remains as Bafana coach

By Nomava Nobumba
22 September 2009

South African Football Association chief executive Raymond Hack has rubbished claims that Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana is facing axe.

Earlier it was reported that Santana is going to be replaced by Dutchman Leo Beenkhakker, following an unconvincing performance.

However, Hack said they will honour the Santana’s contract , which expires after the World Cup.

2010 World Cup Trophy to tour Africa

By Khanyisa Tabata
22 September 2009

Thousands of fans will enjoy a rare close-up view of the authentic 2010 FIFA World Cup Trophy, which will visit every nation in Africa, giving fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look at, but not touch, the coveted piece.

FIFA and Coca-Cola yesterday announced that the world cup trophy will tour 86 countries in the world, including 53 African countries.

Only State Presidents and World Cup winners have been known to touch the exclusive trophy, and only a handful of people know where it is kept.

It will wrap up its African tour in Cape Town on 2 December 2009, just in time for the FIFA World Cup draw.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the international reach and marketing expertise of their partner Coca-Cola is an enormous benefit in strengthening the game.

He said it helps bring the excitement and passion of the sport to more people around the globe.

Coca-Cola has also unveiled a grand marketing campaign for the soccer extravaganza inspired by the joyous dance celebrations.

The company has invited fans to express their optimism and passion for football through active dance celebrations and a promise to award the best dancer during the tournament.

In the months leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an range of programmes will be activated that will bring fans closer to the world cup experience.

City beefs up traffic services

By Kim Saulse
22 September 2009

This past weekend saw the city’s traffic officials intensify their action against motorists driving under the influence of alcohol in the Mowbray and Sea Point areas when 27 motorists, including three females, were arrested on this charge.

At the Sea Point roadblock on Saturday, a female passenger was arrested for riotous behavior when the driver was arrested for alleged drunk driving.

City traffic services spokesperson Merle Lourens has warned motorists of the risks involved when drinking and driving, as traffic services beefs up its operations.

“Driving whilst intoxicated is exceptionally dangerous and irresponsible. If you’re going to socialise and have a drink, arrange for someone of sober habits to drive you home or call a taxi,” said Lourens.

Three suspects to appear in court

By Nomava Nobumba
22 September 2009

Three suspects will appear in the Bellville Magistrate court today on charges of possession of abalones.

The three were arrested yesterday after officers received a tip-off that led to a search of the house in Willow Street in Stikland.

“During the search 13 800 shucked abalones, about two tons were found with an estimated value of about R1.6 million,” said police spokesperson Captain Bernadine Styne.

The three were arrested on the scene.

Democratic Alliance wants the briefing to be open

By Khanyisa Tabata
22 September 2009

The Democratic Alliance has objected to the fact that the portfolio committee meeting in which the police minister will be reporting back on crime statistics will be held behind closed doors.

The DA says the Constitution requires that Parliament conduct its business in an open and transparent manner.

“Holding this session behind closed doors, and then holding a press conference immediately afterwards, gives off the impression that the minister is trying to stage-manage the release of crime statistics, instead of allowing due parliamentary process to be followed”.

“Instead of accounting to parliament for the crime rate, the minister wants to hold a press conference on his own turf, and away from parliamentary oversight. That is not something the DA finds acceptable," said DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard.

Government launches project for children behind bars

By Khanyisa Tabata
22 September 2009

An initiative for South African babies and toddlers, who live with their imprisoned mothers has been introduced to ensure that they live in a friendly environment, and are later placed in alternate centres outside prison walls.

The Imbeleko Project, which is currently being rolled out in different provinces, aims to ensure every child is kept in conditions conducive for optimal development and that they are treated in a manner that takes into account the childs age and basic needs.

It is hoped that this law will make certain that children do not spend too much time with their mothers and that they are reintegrated into society at a tender age to be socialized in a proper and natural environment.

The project is the result of a visit by the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Hlengiwe Mkhize, to Durban’s Westville Correctional Centre.

South Africa is also a signatory to various international agreements on the protection of children.

Monday, September 21, 2009

23 accused residents are free again

By Nomava Nobumba
21 September 2009

A case of Khayelitsha residents has been dismissed in the Khayelitsha Magistrate court today due to a lack of evidence.

23 residents from Mandela Park were arrested yesterday on charges of public violence and malicious damage of property.

Harare police station assistance station commissioner, Superintendent Siviwe Somtsewu, says 23 residents were released after there was no witness was present in court.

Minister assures public of National Health Insurance objective

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 September 2009

Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi has assured the public that the proposed National Health Insurance should not be seen as a monster.

In a media statement Motsoaledi said people should not think of the NHI as monster. He said the NHI will enable all South Africans to access quality health services which will be free to a point of service.

He said improving the quality of healthcare services was on government’s ten-point programme to improve the lives of South Africans.

The minister said the overhaul of the healthcare system was necessary so as to deliver better healthcare for the country.

According to repots Motsoaledi said he noted there was a need for hospitals to be better managed following a recent visit to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and he would also investigate the low number of new doctors entering the medical field.

SACTWU accepts CCMA’s offer to mediate in dispute

By Kim Saulse
21 September 2009

Textile workers’ union Sactwu has accepted the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration’s offer to mediate in the union’s dispute with employers.

Last week the union rejected the employers latest wage offer, causing the strike in the sector to continue.

Sactwu says their offer of an 8% increase, although in line with the workers original demand, comes with too many conditions.

The countrywide strike started on Tuesday.

If employers accept the CCMA’s offer, a senior negotiator will mediate at the commission’s Johannesburg head office tomorrow.

Accused in housing scam appears in court

By Nomava Nobumba
21 September 2009

The suspect who is allegedly involved in a housing scam of about R50 million is appearing at Kuils River Magistrates court today.

Eugene Hendricks took deposits from victims, offering a promising Housing Project.

He also offered a fixed payment system of R700 per month for 15 years to allow people to become home-owners.

Over a thousand residents in Atlantis, Eerste River and Scottsdene had fallen victims to the scam.

Police spokesperson Captain Frederik van Wyk says the scam received white publicity as it was alleged that there were 1500 victims of his scam.

Van Wyk also said they are hoping that more victims of Hendricks scam will come forward.

Minister assures public of National Health Insurance objective

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 September 2009

Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi has assured the public that the proposed National Health Insurance should not be seen as a monster.

In a media statement Motsoaledi said people should not think of the NHI as monster. He said the NHI will enable all South Africans to access quality health services which will be free to a point of service.

He said improving the quality of healthcare services was on government’s ten-point programme to improve the lives of South Africans.

The minister said the overhaul of the healthcare system was necessary so as to deliver better healthcare for the country.

According to repots Motsoaledi said he noted there was a need for hospitals to be better managed following a recent visit to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and he would also investigate the low number of new doctors entering the medical field.

25 Year old male fatally wounded in drive by shooting

By Kim Saulse
21 September 2009

A drive by shooting in Belhar early this morning, left 25 year old Llewellyn September dead.

Two men and two woman were at home when unknown suspects fired several shots at the house. September was fatally wounded after sustaining several gunshot wounds to his body.

Another victim is in a critical condition in hospital after sustaining two gunshot wounds in his back.

The motive for the incident is been investigated.

Police have opened a case of attempted murder and murder for investigation.
Anyone with information is requested to contact the Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Albertus Pienaar at the Belhar police station on (021) 953 8100.

Police accused of negligence

By Nomava Nobumba
21 September 2009

A woman has accused Khayelitsha police of negligence after the search for two children who were reported missing was delayed at the weekend.

It is alleged that a Site C woman reported her 4 year old girl and niece at police station on Friday, but she was only told to come back the following day with their photos.

The woman decided to launch her own investigation and the children were found safe in Mfuleni on the following day.

Police spokesperson, Captain Anneker Van der Vyfer says the internal investigations are underway.

“With regards to the allegations made by the mother, it will be investigated internally and action will be taken against the members should they found guilty,” said Van der Vyfer.

Health Director General resigns

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 September 2009

Health department director general Thami Mseleku has resigned three months before his five-year contract runs out.

This is by mutual agreement between him and Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

He confirmed Mseleku would be leaving the department at the end of the month.

Mseleku's term has not been without controversy. He has been criticised for poor administration and for reportedly seeking to ban provincial health officials from speaking on HIV/Aids matters.

Metro Police successful over the weekend

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 September 2009

Cape Town Metro Police officers have arrested 45 drunk drivers and nabbed 18 suspects for numerous offences at the weekend.

386 traffic fines were issued of which 93 were unlicensed drivers and 72 unlicensed motor vehicles during numerous operations throughout the City.

“At a Vehicle Control Point at Lansdowne and Symphony, motor vehicles and people were searched.

“During these searches three suspects were arrested, two of them tested positive on the Morpho touch machine of which one suspect were sought for an outstanding theft case and the other one for two outstanding drunken driving cases,” Cape Town Metro Police Deputy Chief Yolanda Faro.

At the drunken driving roadblock in Nyanga, one person was also arrested for riotous behaviour and one person for possession of dagga added Faro.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Judge Ngcobo Constitutional Court interview concluded

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 September 2009

Judge Sandile Ngcobo has told the Judicial Service Commission that no one in South Africa is above the law.

Ngcobo, who was nominated to the post by President Jacob Zuma, concluded his marathon two hour interview for the post of chief justice.

Ngcobo was asked what people should look for in a judge and he seemed slightly moved as he gave his answer.

He added that he regrets that his parents did not live to see this day.

DA calls for Armscor’s CEO’s salary increase to be explained

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 September 2009

The Democratic Alliance believes that the 89-percent remuneration increase of Armscor chief executive Sipho Thomo needs to be explained to Parliament’s defence committee.

The DA’s David Maynier says Thomo’s increase includes a 19-percent salary hike to one-point-45-million-Rand and a one-thousand-181-percent benefits increase to over one-million-300-thousand-Rand.

Maynier says this happens while Thomo was required to undergo counselling to deal with his management style as well as a disciplinary hearing after making offensive remarks to an employee.

20 year old shot in Bishop Lavis

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 September 2009

One person has died after she was allegedly in the face by two men in Angela and Eva Street, Valhalla Park, Bishop Lavis.

According to witnesses one of the suspects fired two shots at the female worker inside. She sustained a gunshot wound in her face and passed away on the scene.

“The suspects fled the scene in a vehicle that was later found burned-out in Nooitgedacht”.

“We have opened a case of Murder for investigation and nobody has been arrested yet,” said police spokesperson Captain Marie Louw.

Anyone with information can contact the Bishop Lavis Police on 021 935 9802.

Call for immediate release of antenatal clinic survey results

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 September 2009

The Democratic Alliance has called on the Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motoaledi to release the results of the 2008 Antenatal Clinic Survey saying they were promised by the Deputy President that they will receive the results.

“It is part of this government’s ongoing neglect of the HIV/Aids epidemic that every year the DA has had to take action to have this report released”.

“This is the third year in a row that the DA has been forced to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act to have the report released, which has now been held back for several months,” said Mike Waters.

The survey measures HIV levels in pregnant women attending clinics and is one of the only sources of on-the-ground information there is on infection rates across South Africa.

It is conducted every year, added Waters.

Constitutional Court candidates grilled

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 September 2009

The Judicial Service Commission has started interviewing nine candidates for Constitutional Court positions.

The candidates include President Jacob Zuma's nomination for chief justice, Sandile Ngcobo, and controversial Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe.

The appointment of four new judges will constitute the largest shake-up of the Constitutional Court since its formation in 1994.

The interviews in Soweto come as critics of the JSC have accused it of letting Hlophe off the hook by failing to investigate whether he tried to interfere with cases relating to Zuma.

Judge Ngcobo’s interview began at 9am and he is likely to face questions about his time on the Constitutional Court and about how he will heal division in the judiciary.

Bafana Bafana ends drought

By Khanyisa Tabata
20September 2009

Bafana Bafana may have ended their six-match losing streak with yesterday’s 1-0 win over Madagascar in Kimberley, but many of their fans are not convinced.

Experts say coach Joel Santana has a lot of work to do if he wants to build a competitive side for the World Cup finals on home soil in June. But Santana said he was happy with the result.

He says despite mistakes in the first half, his team put Madagascar under pressure in the second half and dominated the game from the start.

Politicians send best wishes to religious communities

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 September 2009

President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress have sent their well-wishes to Muslims and the Jewish community as they celebrate religious holidays.

In separate statements issued by the Presidency and the political party, Zuma and the ANC reminded the Muslim and Jewish communities of their importance to South Africa.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille also conveyed her party’s best wises to the two communities.

South African Muslims are celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan today, while the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, started on Friday evening.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Seli 1 fuel removal resumes

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 September 2009

Work has resumed in Bloubergstrand to try and rescue the fuel on the stranded Seli 1.

The work resumed today after weather conditions hampered the operation last night.

The Panama registered vessel ran aground almost two weeks ago after encountering rough sea conditions.

Fuel aboard the ship had to be removed because of fears of a possible oil spillage.

Yawa commends arrest of alleged criminal policeman

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 September

North West MEC for Public Safety, Howard Yawa, has commended the arrest of a Lehurutse policeman who has been accused of kidnapping and murdering a suspect related to stock theft.
It has been alleged that Taffa was summoned to the police station by Constable Motswiri for questioning on a case related to stock theft. He was the last person to be seen with the deceased.

Investigations by police have established that the deceased had at one stage complained that the suspect had slashed the tyres of his car.
Yawa has assured Taffa’s family and community that justice will be done if the police officer is found guilty.

Constable Motswiri is expected to make his second appearance at the Lehurutse Magistrate Court today, for bail application.

Proteas beat the West Indies

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 September 2009

The Proteas have claimed victory in their warm up match against the West Indies. The Proteas claimed a 188 win.

Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy scored in the 80’s. The bad news for the Proteas is that Hershelle Gibbs could be out of the tournament because of could be a creacked rib.

The results are expected on Saturday when he sees a doctor.

The Proteas were in preparing for the ICC Champions Trophy which starts on Tuesday.

All Blacks takes the second spot in the Tri-Nations

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 September 2009

New Zealand beat Australia 33-6 at Eden Park in Wellington to take second place in this year’s Tri Nations Series. Flyhalf Daniel Carter scored 18 points and had a hand in three tries.

Winger Cory Jane scored a first half try off a high kick from Carter and Ma’a Nonu touched down in the second half try from a Carter in-pass.

Winger Joe Rokocoko added his 45th test try on the fulltime whistle form an initial cut-out pass from Carter to seal New Zealand’s third-straight win over Australia this year.

Australia’s only points came from a penalty to Matt Giteau and drop-goal to Berrick Barnes. South Africa already grabbed the 2009 Tri-Nations title in Hamilton last week.

Heritage Month to showcase South Africa’s rich culture

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 September 2009

Heritage Month represents an opportunity for South Africans to celebrate their rich and diverse cultural heritage.

South Africans should use the month to create a stage for the African community to unite, celebrate and preserve Africa's indigenous cultures through traditional dance, music and crafts said Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile.

September marks national Heritage month in South Africa and this year's theme is “Celebrating South Africa’s Craft, our Heritage”.

During this month, the Department of Arts and Culture will pay tribute in particular to the crafters, many of whom are found in the rural areas.

Heritage month recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our historical inheritance, language, the food and craft.

PSC calls government to review loopholes on employment of people with criminal records

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 September 2009

The department of Public Service and Administration says government needs to close the loopholes which allow the employment of people with criminal records as civil servants.

The department was reacting to a Public Service Commission finding that 223 people with criminal records are employed in the public service.

In a report released this week the PSC said 166 of these employees held positions in 14 national departments.

Rabbits to be killed on Robben Island

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 September 2009

Robben Island authorities are to embark on a major cull of the island's rabbits, fallow deer and cats next month.

The island is heading for an environmental disaster," the island museum's acting CEO Jatti Bredekamp said.

He said the 25 000-plus rabbits on the 475 hectare island were causing "absolute havoc, destroying vegetation under historic buildings.

The animals would be shot by a team of experienced professionals, working after the last tourist of the day had left, and in the early mornings.

At the same time, the department of public works would help eliminate the island's rats.

However the SOCA intends to question the officials about their plans to kill the animals next months.

Thousands of rabbits were picked in November last year but the island’s population has reportedly ballooned since then.

Government to look into opening universities in Northern Cape and Mpumalanga

By Kim Saulse
19 September 2009

Minister for Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande, has been assigned to looking into establishing universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

According to reports, Chairperson of Parliament’s higher education committee, Marius Fransman, says while South Africa has 23 universities, these two provinces have lost out since the new dispensation and new provincial borders.

Fransman says the move was part of President Jacob Zuma’s call to “capacitate” provinces to meet the needs of rural areas.

SACTWU strike ongoing

By Kim Saulse
19 September 2009

The textile workers’ union Sactwu, has rejected the employers latest wage offer, causing the strike in the sector to continue.

The union says the employers offer of an 8% increase, although in line with workers’ initial demand, comes with too many conditions attached.

The countrywide strike started on Tuesday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Teen arrested for murder

By Nomava Nobumba
18 September 2009

Police have arrested the third suspect last night for the murder of a couple of Lower Crossroads in Philippi East.

The 17 year old boy was arrested in his brother’s place in Masiphumele, where it is believe he was hiding.

The suspect’s 20 year old brother was also arrested for defeating the ends of justice.

The first two suspects who were arrested on Wednesday have appeared in court yesterday.

Teen arrested for murder

By Nomava Nobumba
18 September 2009

Police have arrested the third suspect last night for the murder of a couple of Lower Crossroads in Philippi East.

The 17 year old boy was arrested in his brother’s place in Masiphumele, where it is believe he was hiding.

The suspect’s 20 year old brother was also arrested for defeating the ends of justice.

The first two suspects who were arrested on Wednesday have appeared in court yesterday.

Deputy Minister calls for closer economic cooperation

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 September 2009

Deputy Minister of International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said African countries need to create closer cooperation in order to work towards building integrated economies.

Minister Ebrahim said Africa’s leaders had decided to build the African Economics Community which will aim at strengthening existing economic structures.

Strong coalitions among the countries of the south could help open-up trade and economic opportunities which otherwise would have been overlooked had it were not for efforts to build such relations.

Minister Ebrahim said it was of note that Africa has become central to the struggle for influence over global affairs.

He pledged tactical engagements among the continent’s countries saying it was in everybody’s interest to do that considering the central role that African countries still play in global affairs.

First Presidential Hotline caller will be assisted

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 September 2009

The very first person to get through to the Presidential Hotline when it was launched on Monday is to receive assistance.

The caller from Mount Free in the Eastern Cape was the first person to get through and she spoke to President Jacob Zuma himself.

The caller had a problem to access her late husband’s money who passed away in 2006.

According to reports The King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality has acknowledged that there is an outstanding amount of money due to the caller and said they had been unable to locate her as she had moved from her place of residence.

President Zuma has promised that the staff will follow her complaint until she receives her money.

Twenty one specially trained public liaison officers took up their seats at the Union Buildings to handle calls and respond to general public inquiries and complaints over service delivery and questions about government.

Police investigate a robbery case

By Nomava Nobumba
18 September 2009

Claremont police are investigating a robbery case after a pensioner was attacked and robbed in Claremont yesterday.

Two suspects broke into the man’s house while he was watching television. They assaulted him and got away with a computer monitor, flat screen TV and wallet.

Police spokesperson Angie Latchman said: one suspect is believed to be aged between 30and 40, small build, light in complexion while the second suspect was wearing an orange and coloured pant.

Anyone with the information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects is urged to contact the Investigative Officer, Detective Constable Willemse on 021 657 2264.

Medical parole under spotlight

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 September 2009

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa- Nqakula has revealed that more than 65 percent of all people that were released in jail are still alive.

Addressing a media briefing following a summit reviewing parole boards in the country, Mapisa-Nqakula said a lot of work and thinking is required to improve the current medical parole system.

Mapisa-Nqakula was speaking at a summit held in Boksburg, marks the first five-year review of the parole system.

The Act governing parole boards refer only to terminally ill prisoners and are silent on parole with severe illnesses.

Three arrested in connection with shooting incident

By Kim Saulse
18 September 2009

A Mfuleni businessman has died after he was shot by two men yesterday in Poanoane Street, Mfuleni. The two armed suspects approached a retailer and his driver at the owner’s retail store. The suspects fired several shots at the two victims, wounding the retailer and driver in the head and side .

The two suspects then took possession of the vehicle, while the victim was still on the back, and drove towards the Khayelitsha area, where they disposed of the victim at the False bay College in Mew Way.

His body was later recovered. The driver who was left behind at the scene was later hospitalised, and is in a serious condition.

The tracker in the vehicle was activated, and SAPS was led to an address in Lost City Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain, where they spotted the vehicle being washed by three male suspects.

They were arrested and are aged 18, 19 and 23 .

The suspects are being detained on charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery, and are due to make a court appearance in due course.

An illegal firearm was also recovered and confiscated.

SA’s economy nearing recovery – Reserve Bank

By Kim Saulse
18 September 2009

Outgoing Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni says South Africa’s economy may begin to recover from its first recession in 17 years over the next few months, while inflation continues to ease.

In his last speech to an annual general meeting of the bank, Mboweni said the slowdown in inflation was being hampered by rising electricity and wage costs.

He added that the current strength of the Rand may be overdone.

The Reserve Bank is worried about possible imbalances created by recent trading levels.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Five arrested for cash in transit heist

By Kim Saulse
17 September 2009

Five suspects have been arrested following a cash-in-transit heist in Lingulethu West this morning.

One of the suspects who tried to flee was shot in the knee. Police spokesperson André Traut says a gang forced a cash vehicle off the road, held the security staff at gun point and removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the vehicle before fleeing.

Quick action by various SAPS units led to the arrest of the suspects and the recovery of the money. Four illegal firearms were also seized.

Further investigations led SAPS to NY 5 and NY 7 in Guguletu where two more suspects were arrested. A Mitsubishi Pajero, believed to be used in the crime was also confiscated.

The suspects are being detained on charges of armed robbery, and will make a court appearance in Khayelitsha soon.

Thuli Madonsela to be recommended as Public Protector

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 September 2009

Thuli Madonsela is expected to be the name put forward in the National Assembly next week to replace Lawrence Mushwana as the country’s Public Protector.

Mushwana’s seven-year term will come to an end on 15 October and is not renewable.

Committee Chairperson, Advocate Tshililo Masutha, said in an interview the short listing, interviewing and nomination process had gone well and that all candidates had been highly competent and competitive.

According to Masutha, the nomination of Madonsela as South Africa’s new Public Protector is expected to be tabled and endorsed by Parliament next week Tuesday. It will then be up to President Jacob Zuma to sign off on the appointment.

He said Madonsela was the most suitable candidate. He further believed that in executing her duties as the country’s first female Public Protector, she would be impartial and independent.

Madonsela also writes prolifically on human rights, gender, race and various justice reform matters. She is the co-architect of the South Africa Bench Book for Equality Courts and has authored several books and reports on law, gender and human rights.

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