Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mthethwa challenges WC Premier about Khayelithsa Commission of Inquiry

Athenkosi Mvane
31 October 2012

The Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa today said he is challenging the Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille legally, concerning the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry in Khayelitsha.

 Mthethwa spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the legal team is currently finalising the papers and are expected to be filed before the end of this week.

Mthethwa questions the motives behind the commission’s foundation as it appears to spotlights the South African Police Services and sidelines the Western Cape metro police.

Mnisi said “we are not looking at a segmented solution; we are looking at the holistic solution which will help us deal with the issue of crime, not only in Khayelitsha but across the Western Cape.”

The commission, on Wednesday went ahead with its job in spite of threats of lawsuit.

On Tuesday, subpoenas were served to provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and the station commanders of Khayelitsha, Lingelethu and Harare police stations.

A subpoena had already been sent last week to, the acting provincial head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Lamla Tyhalisisu.

Premier Helen Zille’s spokesman, Zak Mbhele said Zille will not make any statements until she has received a court order.

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Verdict to be deliverd to SAPS member on Friday

Imogen Vollenhoven
31 October 2012

The labour appeal court is expected to deliver its verdict in an affirmative action case against the South African police on Friday.

Renate Barnard applied for the position of Lieutenant Colonel on two occasions in 2005, but was denied the position on the basis of her skin colour.

Trade union Solidarity’s Dirk Groenewald, who is representing Barnard, said the matter goes beyond this case furthermore he says there are also a number of other employees on which they have already instituted legal action against the SAPS.

Thereafter they will have to reconsider if the SAPS will have to probe the matter and whether  they will be able to resettle it.

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National lotteries board undertake an assesment

Imogen Vollenhoven
31 October 2012

The National Lotteries Board is to undertake a nationwide assessment of beneficiaries to determine the challenges they face, in order to improve the funding process.

The Board has often been criticised for slow or inappropriate funding.The National Lotteries Board will from next month visit several Gauteng regions. Spokesperson Shershan Naidoo futher more explains that they need to have five percent of the funds going to each province.

As provinces such as Northern Cape North West and the Free Sate have not been able to make that five percent and the National lotteries Board will take this initiate to these specific areas and tell them about this funding.

They plan to focus on the more rural areas so that that these people are aweare of the funding and can also access it more easily.

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Renewable energy to be made available in South Africa

Imogen Vollenhoven
 31 October 2012
  
Wind energy development company Windlab is very encouraged by government’s commitment to get renewable energy going in South Africa.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters announced that her department was almost ready to finalise a renewable energy programme which will open up the market to independent power producers.

Windlab’s Peter Venn says around 47-billion-Rands will be invested in the country through the programme.
 
They have already had positive responses from international investors.
 
Wind power is the cheapest form of power to put into the grid and it is also the start of privatization of the electricity industry in South Africa by brining independent power producers onto the grid.

This will however change the way electricity is produced in the country, one from the mix of the actual source of power for example rewneable either wind or solar and then moving away from Eskom as the main source of producing energy in the country. 

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13 miners arrested

Andiswa Mkosi
31 October 2012

At least 13 striking miners were arrested yesterday after clashes with police and security guards near Rustenburg, North West.

They apparently tried to prevent emergency services from extinguishing a fire they had allegedly started at a substation.

Meanwhile, Legal Aid SA says it cannot afford to help the 78 miners who were injured or the 275 arrested during the shooting in Marikana in August.

The organisation says it provided one-point-two-million-Rands to pay the legal team acting on behalf of 23 families of miners killed in the tragedy.

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Census reveal black women hardest hit by unemployment

Andiswa Mkosi
31 October 2012

Employment amongst black Africans remains scarce, with black women having the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest employment opportunities.

That's according to the results of Census 2011 released in Pretoria yesterday.Official unemployment for black women stands at 41.2%.

The expanded definition of unemployment puts the rate for black women at almost 53%. The Media Spokesperson of SA Stats  Trevor Oosterwyk says we must understand that the Census is not the official unemployment rate.

Oosterwyk says the unemployment statistics are important for government and policy makers.

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Section27 Group gives credit to the Basic Education Department

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 October 2012

The Department of Basic Education earlier this month said that they are trying their best to ensure that all the books are delivered on time for 2013.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshega said that they do not want a repeat of what happened in 2012.

Activist group Section27 says some schools in Limpopo are still without their textbooks.

Section27 has given the Basic Education Department credit for delivering more than one-million textbooks, but says some gaps remain, with the school year drawing to a close.

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Farmers worried by a sheep disease

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 October 2012

The Ovine Johne's Disease is having the South African sheep farmers worried.

The illness is spread by bacteria and affects the digestive systems of sheep.

Leon de Beer from the National Wool Growers Association said they are not certain yet as to how widely spread is the disease in South Africa at the moment.

De Beer also said according to the regulation when a farm is diagnosed with this disease a farmer can sell these animals in auctions.

The Farmers are expected to hold a meeting next month in trying to find solutions to control. 

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Susan Moodie goes for a disciplinary hearing

Athenkosi Mvane
31 October 2012

The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape said its disciplinary committee was probing into a racist comment made by Mossel Bay councillor.

Earlier this year, Susan Moodie allegedly made the comment on a telephonic conversation to committee member Elsabe Moolman.

When asked by Moolman about the comment, Moodie reaffirmed it.

In September, Moodie was found guilty of contravening the party’s policy and penalised a fine of R10 000 and instructed to make an apology.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Community Safety MEC pledges financial for 11-year-old’s funeral

Athenkosi Mvane
30 October 2012

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko has offered a helping hand to the family of the 11 hear old girl who was killed by a stray bullet that is believed was from a policeman’s gun.

 
On Tuesday, Mazibuko visit went to Kimberly Mzizi’s home in Soweto on Tuesday.

 
The cause for her visit was learning the Mzizi family was having difficulties raising funds to bury their daughter this weekend.

 
The little girl was killed during a cross fire between police and a man who had violated a pritection order.

 
The Independent Police Investiga Directorate is in the process of investigating the incidence.

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Graveyard killer found guilty


Imogen Vollenhoven

30 October 2102

Maartens van der Merwe was today found guilty of the murder of Michael van Eck in a Welkom graveyard in the Free State last year. Virginia Circuit Court Judge Ian van der Merwe ruled that the accused had no psychological illness and could differentiate between right and wrong at the time of the murder. He pleaded guilty to all charges including robbery with aggravating circumstance and dismembering the victim's body.

The State said his third psychological evaluation report had been completed. Van der Merwe was sent to Pretoria central prison where a psychologist examined him and his defence team then deemed him fit to stand trial. Van der Merwe was then taken to Bloemfontein after a circuit court judge could not attend the case in Virginia.

Van der Merwe is accused of helping Charne van Heerden murder and dismembering Van Eck, 23, at a Welkom cemetery in April 2010.

His trial was separated from Van Heerden's last year. He has yet to enter a plea. Van Heerden was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years behind bars on November 25, after being convicted of killing and dismembering Van Eck.

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2011 Census data released

Andiswa Mkosi
30 October 2012

Stats SA today released Census 2011 results, showing that the country’s population grew to 51.8 million people.The Census of 2001 put South Africa’s population at 44.8 million people, and the 2011 Census returned a count of 51.8 million.

The difference in the population numbers between 2001 and 2011 is seven million and represents a 15.5% population increase over the last decade.

The Eastern Cape recorded population decline in the national population and housing count, slowing from 15.1% in 1996 to 12.7% in 2011.

The latest census revealed large-scale urban migration into Gauteng and the Western Cape, draining at least four of the country’s other provinces.

Western Cape Premier’s spokesperson Zak Mbhele says migration from rural to urban as well as from other provinces into the Western Cape has been an ongoing trend for many years.

Mbhele said that poses a challenge for the Western Cape government in terms of rolling out infrastructure and providing basic services.

The release analyses the country’s demographics, population distribution, and access to services, average household size, income, migration, and mortality.

The Census 2011 was the third national population and housing count in post-apartheid South Africa. The exercise saw 156 000 field staff employed last year to count more than 14.6 million households.

The average household income for black Africans was R60 613 while whites was highest at R365 134.

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MEC encourages parents to play an active roll and monitor their children's bahviour

Imogen Vollenhoven

30 October 2012
 
The Western Cape Education Department has called for a report on the number of late comers at schools in the City and the surrounding areas .
This comes after allegations that pupils visit the station deck to buy drugs before attending school.
However they did not find any substances as it is alleged that the activities pick up after school. The Department says that they have discovered that learners are bunking school and require more visible policing are required in this time.
The department has in this regard also urged parents to be more vigilant and monitor their children’s whereabouts and be on the lookout at all times.

Parents don’t always know what their children are up to during these hours but the department has asked that parents take an active interest in their children’s lives and also build a relationship with their children’s educators so that they are always on par with their children’s doings.

The Department urges parents to call the save our schools hotline  when they suspect that their children are abusing subsistence or for advice on how to deal with their children  to make use of the hotline on 0800 45 46 47.

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MEC clamps down on corrupt builders

Andiswa Mkosi
30 October 2012

The Western Cape Human Settlements Department yesterday reported that a number of measures have been put in place to prevent dodgy building suppliers and contractors operating in the Western Cape.

Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela met with Khayelitsha residents on Monday, after some housing projects were recently unblocked.

The MEC’s  spokesperson Bruce Oom says the people that suffer are those who need houses the most.

Oom says the MEC made two changes one is insuring that theirdepartment’s signs contract directly with the suppliers and the builders.

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Two Angolan men arrested for theft of dogs

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 October 2012

On Monday Cape Town police and the Animal Welfare task team received a tip-off about animal smuggling in Cape Town.

The Police together with the team confiscated 13 pure bred puppies’ minutes before they were to be loaded on to a flight to Angola at the Cape Town International Airport.

The heavily sedated puppies were taken from crates and transported to a shelter.

Police Captain FC Van Wyk said two Angolan men were arrested and they are currently in police custody.

Van Wyk said they will be charged on theft of dogs and incorrect import and export documentation.

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Public Works Department to be questioned about Nkandla upgrade

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 October 2012

The revamp of President Jacob Zuma`s private residence in Nkandla has been on the spotlight for a while.

The upgrade is estimated to cost taxpayers almost 250-million-rand.

The Democratic Alliance Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said that the DA will not allow this to go unanswered.

Mazibuko said the economy is in crises and while millions of South Africans find themselves unemployed and in poverty.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts will take the department of public works to task over the project.

Scopa Chairman Themba Godi said the department will be questioned about the Nkandla project when it presents its financial report to the committee but they will not be launching any stand-alone investigation into the matter.

The Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is already investigating the matter.

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CGE to host Policy Dialogues

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 October 2012

The Commission for Gender Equality will host a series of Policy Dialogue with high-level decision makers from selected organs of state, government departments and other key stakeholders in the private and civil society sectors throughout the country.


The    Policy Dialogues are scheduled to start this week in various venues in all the provinces.

 CGE Spokesperson Javu Baloyi said these Policy Dialogues are to relay findings and recommendations of the work conducted by the Commission on various areas such as gender equality in the water sector, employment equity, widowhood, education and land reform.

Baloyi also said these Policy Dialogues will be convened with relevant senior-level stakeholders and policy makers from each of these sectors across all the nine provinces as well as at national level. 

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Child pornography suspect trial nears conclusion

Athenkosi Mvane
29 October 2012

A man accused of taking pornographic pictures of two girls appeared in the Parow Regional court on Monday.

He is charges with 94 counts including indecent assault, sexual assault and possessing child pornography.

In Monday’ hearing, Kleinhans denied his alleged association with child pornography, but said he was introduced to pornography during one of his journeys abroad.

The suspect was found in possession of child pornography and claims he had meant to remove them and eventually wound up in his drawer.
He allegedly bought Christian books for his victims.

The case continues, on Tuesday, when closing arguments are expected to be delivered.

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NPA looks for harsh sentencing for rapist teacher

Athenkosi Mvane
29 October 2012

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape has proposed a life sentence as the penalty for each rape case Lawrence Gagu committed.

NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the State should record Gagu’s name in the National Register for Sex Offenders.

The shamed teacher will be sentenced on Wednesday, after being found guilty of raping seven girls between 2009 and 2010.

He conned the girls to go with him to his shack after giving them dance lessons.

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South African pirate hostage survivors to testify in The Hague

Andiswa Mkosi
29 October 2012

South African hostage survivors Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz are in The Hague today, where five Somali men are standing trial in the International Criminal Court for allegedly kidnapping them off the Tanzanian coast two years ago.

The couple was held hostage by Somali pirates for 20 months before being rescued in June.

Pelizzari is expected to testify in court today and Calitz will enter the witness box tomorrow.

Calitz says she is not scared and that she really wants to come face to face with the men who held her captive.

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WC Traffic Authorities concerned by high number of road accidents

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 October 2012

The Western Cape Traffic Authorities held 24 road blocks over the weekend.

Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said they arrested many drivers for varoius offences,from drunk driving and exceeding the speed limit.

Africa said there were several accidents that occurred on the Western Cape roads over the weekend.

Africa said on Saturday night, five people, including a mother and her three-month old baby boy, died when a truck and car collided head-on in Knysna.

Africa said the province has experience a high number of fatal accidents in the last few weeks.

He added that the rate of accidents was unacceptable.

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Lawyers threaten to stop the Marikana Commission of Inquiry

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 October 2012

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry was adjourned last week and it is expected to resume again today.

The Department of Justice is alleged to have decided to stop paying the transport and accommodation costs for the victims' families attending.

The Department’s Jacob Skhosana said some family members had offered to return back to their homes.

The lawyers representing victims' families in the Inquiry have threatened to make a high court application to halt proceedings.

Family members of the 34 miners shot dead by police on August 16th refute Skhosana`s statement.

Department of Justice Spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said they have not received a formal notification of legal action from the lawyers.

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Shack fires claim a life

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 October 2012
A child burnt to death in a shack fire at the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi on Sunday.

Disaster Risk Management Centre Spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the fire broke in one of the shacks at evening.

Solomons-Johannes said two more shacks were destroyed at Section C, Fisantekraal informal settlement in Durbanville.

As a result of the fire three adults and one minor were left homeless.

He added that the centre assisted the displaced residents and the causes of the fires on both incidents are unknown.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cosatu threaten to strike agains e-toll

Athenkosi Mvane
28 October 2012

 
Cosatu Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi swore that the unions will make Johannesburg idle, if the government plans to continue with e-tolling.

 
The union is reported to have already commenced dialogue in organizing the forthcoming strike, should e-tolls be launched

 
Vavi stated that South Africans already have hikes in fuel prices, food and electricity.

 
“Cosatu is already in talks with Nedlac for a legal protection of our members, in case employers want to fire them for opting to participate in protest action, instead of going to work,” Vavi said

 
He says e-tolling will counter efforts of economic freedom, because there is already under enough pressure.

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Public school fees “shock” Education Minister

Athenkosi Mvane
28 October 2012

 
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga expressed surprise at discovering how much school fees will cost at some government schools next year, but is not in a position to change the status quo.

 
Motshekga’s disapproval comes after finding out that some of the schools had chosen to charge over R30 000 for tuition for the year 2013.

 
The Minister blamed the schools of “privatising public education”, making it too expensive for some parents’ budgets.

 
A media survey revealed one of the most expensive schools, from Durban, will cost R31 111 next year.

 
The most costly school has not yet been disclosed, as some schools have not examined theirs.

 

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Minimum wage agreements reconsidered – Cosatu

Athenkosi Mvane
28 October 2012

 
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi wants all minimum wage agreements reconsidered.

He said that workers should be paid according to the jobs they are doing.

“Rock drill operators must be paid well because their job is demanding, they must be rewarded” Vavi stated, speaking at a Cosatu rally at Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg on Saturday.


 
He said that for future negotiations, the they would not discuss percentages as workers “want money, not percentages”.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Homophobic attack in Gugulethu

Athenkosi Mvane
27 October 2012

Two women in Gugulethu were hospitalized after a man attacked them.

They were allegedly beaten, kicked and verbally abused after leaving a disco in the township because they were homosexual.

Spokesperson of Free Gender Funeka Soldaat said something needs to be done to put more pressure on government because violence against women should be a priority.

Western Cape police confirmed that they were investigating the matter, no one has yet been charged or the incident.

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Amplats miners to be reinstated

Athenkosi Mvane
27 October 2012

North West provincial Cosatu secretary Solly Phetoe said that all the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) miners who were fired will be reinstated unconditionally and be paid R2 500 once off bonus.

Phetoe said the trade union had been discussing with Amplats and it had agreed to recall the workers.

Amplats dismissed 12 000 workers after they had failed to appear for disciplinary hearing.

They were striking since September 12, demanding a minimum of R16 000 per month for their salaries.

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Striking miners forcefully dispersed by police

Athenkosi Mvane
27 October 2012

Rubber bullets and stun grenades were used by police to diffuse a crowd of striking Anglo-American Platinum miners at the Congress of South Africa Trade Union’s assembly in Rustenberg.

The group was dressed in black t-shirts jamming the entrance to the Olympia stadium where the rally was set to take place.

The entourage is believed to be members of a committee stand for striking miners in the region.

Among the speakers who were expected at the gathering, were SA Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and Cosatu's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

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Concerns over e-toll implementation

Athenkosi Mvane
27 October 2012

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance on Friday said government’s announcement to go ahead with the Gauteng e-toll system comes as no surprise.

This comes after Transport Minister Ben Martins on Friday confirmed in Pretoria that the system will go ahead, despite a 30-day public comment process which started on Friday.

Outa Spokesperson Wayne Duvenage said this will not stop them from going ahead with their court case scheduled for November.

Martins said that tariffs have been lowered, caps have been reduced, discounts are being offered on tagged vehicles and during peak hours and exemptions have been introduced for public transport vehicles.

The Business Unity South Africa today said there remains widespread criticism of the impact which e-tolling will have on the regional and national economy.

Busa said that the process will also be further interrogated in the High Court hearing on the 26th of next month.

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ANC Youth League rally postponed

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 October 2012

The ANC Youth League postponed their scheduled rally in the Eastern Cape for today.

 The coincide with President Jacob Zuma`s rally in the same area the on Sunday.

 ANC Youth League Spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said deputy-president Kgalema Motlanthe was going to address the rally in Mbizana to celebrate the life of Oliver Tambo.

 Sangoni-Khawe also said although their rally was planned for two months ago but they are canceling it to avoid clashing with the President.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Thousands of job seekers had gathered at CT ICC

Mluleki Mrwebi
26 October 2012

Thousands of unemployed people today had gathered at the labour department's Jobs Fair in Cape Town.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant had called for unemployed people to come to the Cape Town Convention Centre to meet prospective employers or government departments that could assist with employment or learning.

Oliphant addressed the crowd and explained the department's initiatives, offering encouragement and hope for them.

She said through the Unemployment Insurance Fund R37.8 billion had been invested in government bonds and parastatals, for infrastructure improvement and job creation.

Some of the job seekers arrived at the venue as early as 5:30am to be early. 

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