Wednesday, September 09, 2020

International FASD Awareness Day

Wednesday marks the 21st annual commemoration of International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day.

The World Health Organization reports that the prevalence of FASD in the world is projected to be 1,5%. South Africa has the highest reported FASD prevalence rates in the world, with rates as high as 28% in some communities. It is estimated that the country’s overall rate is at least 6%. According to the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR), all children with FASD have some form of permanent brain damage, presenting as developmental delays, learning and behavioural problems. FASD is incurable.

To show support, the Western Cape’s Social Development MEC, Sharna Fernandez, observed a minute’s silence at 09h08 for affected children and their families, thereafter rang a bell at 09h09. Annually, on the 9th day of the 9th month at 09:09, bells are rung across the world to raise awareness about FASD, and the irreversible damage to unborn children caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

Fernandez urged expected mothers to refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy: “I encourage all pregnant women to care for their unborn children by not drinking alcohol while pregnant. No amount of alcohol is safe. We all have a responsibility to support pregnant women, and encourage them to abstain from drinking alcohol throughout their pregnancies.’’

“It is critical that we acknowledge the harms caused by alcohol misuse, and that we support our family members, friends, and loved ones who may need help,” says MEC Fernandez.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, says more needs to be done to prevent FASD

‘’The high prevalence rates of FASD must be ascribed to the lack of a comprehensive and multi-sectoral policy.’’

‘’ Appropriate prevention and management efforts continue to pose a challenge for policymakers and service providers. A sustained call for a co-ordinated effort for the prevention and management of FASD has been made by stakeholders,’’ says Badroodien


Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Cape Town dam levels are 95.6% full

Dams across the Western Cape have seen good increases, thanks to a good winter rainfall season. The latest average dam level in the province is 75.3% full. This is nearly 10% higher than what it was last year (2019: 66.3%).

“It was wonderful to see in the past week how a few of the Clanwilliam dam sluices were opened to try to lower the dam’s water level which was above 102% full. Only a month or two ago the dam was less than 20% full,’’ says Anton Bredell, the Western Cape’s MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

Cape Town dam levels are standing at 95.6% (2019: 81.9%). This is an increase of 4.9% from the previous week. Water consumption for the same period increased by 21 million litres per day from an average of 633 million litres per day the previous week to 654 million litres per day.

Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg, said this is ‘riveting’: ‘‘Seeing the dam levels draw nearer and nearer to the 100% mark is absolutely riveting. For everyone who grimly watched the weather forecasts on the edge of their seats through the winters of the past few years, reaching 95,6% today is remarkable.’’

Limberg said lowering of water tariffs depends on the increase in water consumption. According to the City of Cape Town, they have moved to reduced tariff levels to level 1. It says water tariffs was adjusted to align with projected volumes.

‘’As previously stated, a reduction in tariffs will be dependent on an increase in consumption. Currently, the City is selling approximately 30% less water than before the drought, but is facing additional costs that come with increasing our resilience. It is important that the City cover its costs to ensure that the maintenance and augmentation programmes can be carried out.  Should the amount of water we are selling significantly increase, this will be factored into the tariffs, but given the uncertain impact of climate change, it may not be wise to actively encourage such an approach at this stage.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, September 07, 2020

Glass particles found in Liqui Fruit Red Grape 330ml cans

Pioneer Foods has informed the National Consumer Commission (NCC) that one of their products, Liqui Fruit Red Grape 330ml cans, to recall a batch of the product after receiving reports of small glass particles inside them.

In a statement, the company said that the investigation as to the root cause and extent of the issue is underway, but as a precautionary measure, the company is conducting a product recall.

Acting Consumer Commissioner Ms. Thezi Mabuza said: ‘’The information we have is that there are glass particles found in the product and this poses a health risk to consumers if consumed. We urge consumers who bought this product to stop consuming it immediately and return it back to the retailer of purchase for a full refund.’’

The description of the product in question is as follows:


        Pioneer Foods Product Code: 27327

        Outer case Barcode: 6001240225615

        Shrink pack Barcode: 6001240225608

        Single Unit Barcode: 6001240225592 – (printed on side of can)

        With this specific date coding BB 01.04.2021 C TIME and BB 02.04.2021 C TIME


If the can is identified as being among this batch, you must return them to the retailer for a full refund.

Pioneer Foods has assured customers that all other products are safe to consume.


Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape Transport MEC warns of possible taxi ranks closure

Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela warned of a possible closure of taxi ranks and routes in the province, if the violence and shooting incidents persists.

Madikizela met with representatives from two groups, namely Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) ‘’to engage both sets of leaders on the current taxi related violence and murders that involve their members and affiliates.’’

The transport MEC claims taxi associations wants to vie for control over taxi routes and ranks throughout the Western Cape, including current ‘hotspots’ in Bellville, Mbekweni, Houtbay, Masiphumelele, Ceres and other areas.

In recent months, there has been a surge in violence linked to competition over routes.

According to the MEC, there were 56 taxi-related murders and 32 attempted murders since the start of the year.

‘’SAPS is making good progress with investigations into these cases and others with 106 arrests over the last 3 years and 54 cases currently on the Court rolls.’’

CATA and Codeta leaders expressed their concerns and complaints along with their own proposals towards the resolution of specific disputes. Madikizela said his department and the affiliates had a lot of similarities

‘’from which I and my officials were able to extract a number of common threads that have been used to craft a set of resolutions that were sent to both parties and to affected municipalities for their inputs. The draft resolutions include a number of ‘non-negotiables’ which I tabled at the start of each of the two meetings.’’


Done By: Mitchum George


Sunday, September 06, 2020

Police launches 72-hour activation plan after Malawian-National was shot & killed in George

A 23-year-old Malawian-National was shot and killed on Friday in Touwsranten near Wilderness, George. Misheck Jemitalla, who is a shop assistant at a spaza shop, succumbed to his injuries after a bullet hit him in the chest.

Police spokesperson, Michael Pojie said the suspects opened fire without any warning.

‘’Preliminary investigation reveals that the shop that is situated in Begonia Street, Touwsranten was still trading at about 19:40 when two suspects of which at least the one was armed with what seems to be a 9mm black pistol, entered the shop and closed the entrance door behind them. Both wore facial masks to cover their faces.’’

‘’The assailants robbed two customers of their cellphones before they fled towards the dense bushes on foot after taking a substantial amount of cash from the cash register.’’, Pojie added.

Police also confiscated three 9mm spent cartridges.

Police has opened a murder and business robbery case for further investigations.

The suspects were described to be in their late twenties, both of slender build and approximately 1.75 metres tall. Their faces were covered.

The Eden Cluster Commander, Major General Oswald Reddy and senior members visited the scene and immediately activated the 72-hour plan to bring the suspects to book. Reddy condemned the incident and appealed to the George community to be vigilant at all times and to come forward with information that can assist with the investigation.

‘’We appeal to anyone with information that can assist the investigation to please contact the investigation officer, Sergeant John Boezak at the George Detectives offices at 044 803 4764/14, 072 942 0042 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111. All information will be dealt with confidentially.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

Saturday, September 05, 2020

St. Helena residents march for #JusticeForLeo

Laingville residents is set to march on Saturday for justice for 9-year-old Leo Williams. Williams died last month after being hit in the head by a stray bullet as police clashed with demonstrators outside his home last month. The boy was watching TV when the bullet struck him.

The community will march under the banner #JusticeForLeo.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz, urged residents to refrain from any form of violence during Saturday's demonstration.

“I call for calm amidst reports of planned protest action in St Helena Bay. I urge residents to refrain from any protest action which is violent and/or causes damage to property as it is both illegal and criminal.”

“I again wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of young Leo Williams. No parent should have to bury their child. His death is a tragedy and has devastated the community as a whole.” 

Fritz said that he has previously written to the office of the Provincial Commissioner, requesting further clarity on this matter and welcomed the investigation by Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

“Going forward, I will closely monitor IPID’s recommendations into the investigation and liaise with the provincial Minister of Human Settlements on related service delivery complaints. I will further engage with a local community leader to update him on these interventions in efforts to bring restore calm to the community.”


Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Western Cape Community Safety MEC hosts violence prevention workshop for youth

The Western Cape’s MEC of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, held an internal workshop on Monday focusing on its approach to violence prevention for youth. Fritz said that violence is a public health -, police and correctional services issue. Addressing violence requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response.

The programme included a focus on conceptual design, looking at the Western Cape Safety Plan and the public health approach to violence prevention.

After the workshop, the MEC had a session on situational analysis on youth in the province, after the workshop which included an overview on the Department’s programmes and content mapping. The program was concluded with a session on building the framework.

MEC Fritz said: “The discussions were underpinned and guided by the Western Cape Safety Plan. The WC Safety Plan aims to halve the murder rate in the province over the next ten years through a combination of additional law enforcement and a range of violence prevention programmes. These programmes will particularly target the 11 priority areas where and when crime is most likely to take place.”

Fritz reflected on the day’s happenings: “We enjoyed robust and fruitful discussion yesterday (On Monday) which helped us to map out the impact of violence on youth, and how best we can prevent it. In particular, we discussed the impact of alcohol in propelling violence and related smart interventions that can be taken to address this. Going forward, the lens of public health will be critical in our approach to reducing and preventing the prevalence of violence in our province.”


The death of an innocent

 On Thursday 27th August 2020, Nathaniel Julius - a down-syndrome 16 year-old teenager - was shot in Eldorado Park, Gauteng allegedly by a police officer. The young boys death sparked outrage in the community of Eldorado Park, with members of the community calling for justice for the death of the teenager who lived with Down syndrome. It is alleged Nathaniel had left to to obtain food for his family and, while outside, saw a police van with emergency lights on. According to reports, the teenager was unarmed and became excited and police shot at him and dragged into a police van. Police then  rushed him to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where they have also been accused of trying to cover up the events surrounding the shooting. Nathaniel later died in hospital. President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to the family of Nathaniel who has been deprived of a future and whose tragic death has caused anger and unrest in the coloured community, adding that the death of any young person was a matter of concern.

On Friday 28th August 2020,  IPID spokesperson Ndileka Cola said they struggled to conduct their work the previous day because of the volatile situation in the community, however since then the Police watchdog has annnouced they were investigating Nathaniel’s death “as a result of police action”. An allegation was then made against an officer known as 'Scorpion', however IPID head Jennifer Ntlatseng said the police watchdog had conducted a ballistics analysis, which found that the bullet which killed the teenager was not from Scorpion’s gun and that she had been told by members of the local Community Policing Forum that Scorpion was a “no nonsense police officer” and in fact not a villain as depicted by the media. Eldorado Park residents protest outside the police station following the death of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies, who was allegedly shot by police after they allegedly became frustrated with his responses to their questions.

Ntlatseng said IPID was also busy reconstructing the crime scene to determine if the version of events they had received from the police was consistent, adding that they were looking at a period of about two weeks to conclude their investigation and the four officers would be moved from the Eldorado Park Police Station until investigations were complete. The suspected officers were arrested on Friday night. Members of the community also demanded arrested community leaders be released and Bheki Cele said the police would arrange with the prosecution to see if they could be released on Friday 28th August 2020 ahead of their court appearance on Monday 31th August 2020, facing  murder charges and  "possibly defeating the ends of justice".An additional charge of possession of prohibited ammunition, which was confirmed by Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson, Ndileka Cola, has been added to the charges against two police officers implicated in Eldorado Park teenager, Nathaniel Julius', murder.

His death, allegedly at the hands of the South African police, has also raised the question of whether coloured lives matter and has once again brought into sharp focus the level of police brutality suffered by black communities in South Africa. His death has united the coloured community and given it a chance to express its views on coloured culture and the continued neglected suffering of coloured communities. Rightly or wrongly, as a result, some have chosen to distance the coloured community from the Black Lives Matter movement, electing to rally behind what they call "Coloured Lives Matter". However that is not the import of what needs to be said about police brutality and South Africa’s culture of violence today. There is said to be hopes that his killing will highlight what needs to be fixed within the South African police force.

 Bush radio followed up on the case with a member of the Eldorado community on the 31 August 2020:

 Reference audio from outside the Protea Court House:

Done by Bush Radio news team


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