Monday, July 31, 2006

Three in court for smuggling dagga

By Tando Mfengwana

A South African and two Britons who are suspected of attempting to smuggle marijuana to the United Kingdom are to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's court on Monday.

It is estimated that the dagga had a street value of R175 million. The Scopiorns busted the international syndicate after a tip-off from a member of the public.

They recovered four tons of the high-grade and compressed dagga in a Milnerton warehouse. The dagga was being packed in apple boxes for export to the UK.

The DA wants Judge President Hlophe to leave his duties

By Odette Ismail

The Democratic Alliance feel Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe must step down relating to the continuing outcome of a Judicial Service Commission (JSC) investigation into his conduct.

According to the Cape Times the DA states that it is not suitable for a judge to proceed in carrying out his duties while his conduct is in questioning. Justice spokesperson Len Joubert, said the Party’s Federal Council passed a resolution on the situation on Sunday.

The outcome of the resolution was that the JSC reacts faster on the allegations against Hlophe. Hlophe is alleged to have received R10 000 from April 2002 to March 2003, from Oasis Group holdings in Cape Town in the form of a ‘consultation tariff'.

Cosatu and YCL wants arms deal case reopened

By Tarryn Le Chat

On the eve of the start of former deputy president Jacob Zuma's trial on corruption charges, calls for a renewed probe into the arms deal dominated the South African Communist Party's 85th anniversary rally yesterday.

Both the Young Communists League (YCL) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) called for investigations into the deal to be reopened.

YCL deputy president, Buti Manamela, told a packed Wadley Stadium it did not make sense for Jacob Zuma to be prosecuted for corruption after the government said the arms deal was above board.

Manamela said, "We are shocked that Jacob Zuma has been charged with corruption on the basis of investigation into the arms deal. Why say it (the arms deal) was clean and above board and then try and convict members of the NEC (national executive committeee of the African Natonal Congress)?"

Cosatu Secretary General, Zwelinzima Vavi echoed Manamela's call, saying the case against Zuma should be dropped.

Zuma is to go on trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court today on charges of corruption relating to the arms deal.


Boy stabbed for soccer ball

By Chanel September

A ten – year – old boy is too scared to return to school, after he was attacked and stabbed three times by two pupils in the boy's toilet on Thursday.

Carl Forbay a pupil at Sir Edmund Hilary School in Kensington, Johannesburg was attacked by the 13 – year –old boys when he refused to give them his soccer ball.

According to the Cape Times Forbay had not been sleeping well as he had repeated nightmares and was in constant pain.

The incident had been reported to the Jeppe police station on Friday and police promised to arrest the attackers.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Five Koeberg staff members suspended

By Chanel September

Five senior Koeberg power station staff members were suspended by the National Nuclear Regulator for technical violations after failing to start – up the second unit this week.

Phil Nkhwashu, spokesperson for the regulator said that the five licensed had been suspended and the violation had resulted in a reduction of safety measures, but one that would only have had consequences in the event of an accident.

According to a source in the Sunday Weekend Argus the operators were suspended with full pay, he added that the instructions had been clarified 100%.

Cape fire engine collides with taxi

By Chanel September

A fire tender rushing from Mitchell's Plain to assist at a fire in Salt River collided with a taxi in Westridge, killing a passenger and seriously injuring several other people.

The fire engine was rushing to the fire after staff and engines at the Salt River and Central Fire Stations proved too few to fight the blaze.

One taxi passenger was killed, four were critically hurt and one seriously injured in the accident shortly before 7pm on Saturday.

The fire, in the factory of a cabinet-making firm in Frere Street, Charles Miller Cabinetmakers, required four pump trucks and two hydraulic platforms.

The cause of the fire at the factory, which gutted the building, has not yet been established and investigations continue.

Zuma attends SACP fundraiser

By Chanel September

African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma made a surprise guest appearance at the 85th anniversary fund-raising dinner of the SA Communist Party (SACP) in Durban on Saturday.

Zuma, who is expected to attend the SACP's 85th anniversary in Pietermaritzburg on today said that South Africa is an amazing country where communists and capitalists can sit on the same table.

Zuma did not speak about his upcoming corruption trial but apologised for not being able to donate to the SACP.

According to IOL, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande repeated the party's call for a once off amnesty for all people who had been blacklisted by credit bureaux.

Those present at the fundraiser were the top leadership of the SACP and leading local community leaders.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Police officer kills his children and turns gun on himself in family shooting

By Chanel September

A 44-year-old policeman from Brackenfell near Cape Town shot and killed his three children before turning the gun on himself on Saturday.

On arrival at the scene, police were told by the man's wife that her husband had fired several shots at the three children inside the house.

The three children aged between one and 16 years were killed and the man seriously wounded himself late last night.

According to IOL, Inspector Randall Stoffels said that the motive for the shooting cannot be confirmed, but it forms part of our investigation.

Paper companies cut the amount of money received for recycled paper

By Chanel September

A Cape Town mother who pulled herself out of a life on the streets by running a recycling depot could soon lose her livelihood.

As big paper companies like Nampak and Mondi have dramatically reduced the amount of money they pay for recycled paper and cardboard.

Denise Felix, 47, who slept on the streets of Kalk Bay for 22 years, is now a worried woman. She earns about R1 500 a month but it has been enough to buy a wendyhouse in Seawinds which she shares with her daughter and granddaughter. Saliem Haider, of the city of Cape Town's solid waste management, said that according to Nampak, telephone directories weren't taken because the paper took too long to be processed.

It did not break down easily in water and the glue used to bind the pages was not acceptable in the recycling process.

Hugh Tyrrell, a marketing consultant for the city's waste wise programme, however urged the establishment of more markets for recyclables.

Teenager has a lucky escape with shark

By Chanel September

A Fish Hoek lifesaver has survived a close encounter with a large shark that attacked his surf ski while he was out paddling in the bay.

Lyle Maasdorp felt himself and his ski being lifted out of the water and then heard a loud sound, before he realised that a shark had taken a large bite out of the rear end of his borrowed surf ski.

Lifesaver Anthony Pearse was about 10m behind Maasdorp when the shark attacked. Pearse sped out with a rubber duck to recover the damaged ski.

The teenager was frightened, but left unharmed.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cape Town to host the 2006 Homeless Soccer World Cup

By Tando Mfengwana

Cape Town is preparing to stage the 2006 Homeless Soccer World Cup. The Arabella Sheraton Hotel will host the countdown to the event, that will be attended by sporting celebrities and the First Lady Zanele Mbeki.

The World Cup is an international street soccer tournament organised by the Big Issue magazine. The city will serve as a fundraiser for this years tournament, the tournament will be held at the Grand Parade in September.

South Africa will also announce the name of its new national coach at the event. Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool will unveil the logo for the tournament and international sports memorabilia will be auctioned.

The homeless World Cup has provided eight socially-marginilised people with regular work, 12 are either soccer coaches or are players for profesional soccer clubs or semi-professional clubs.

Street children steal from tourists

By Odette Ismail

Two British tourists were robbed by street children in Long Street, Cape Town on Thursday. Steve Ollier and Clare Wilding from Wales were walking when three street children threatened to stab them if they were not given money.

Ollier told the Cape Times that the children shoved them into a corner in the busy street and threatened them, but Ollier said he did not see any weapons.

Meanwhile Wilding was not aware that Ollier was being robbed, as she pushed one child who stood on her foot.

Ollier said he took R40 out of his pocket. The children then grabbed the money and ran off. The two had landed in South Africa earlier on Thursday morning.

This is the couples’ first visit to the country. Their intention was to stay for nine weeks, but they have since decided to cut short their visit to Cape Town to just one week.


Puplis arrested on charges of public violence

By Odette Ismail

A fight broke out at Westonaria High between black and white pupils. Eight pupils in connection with the fight were arrested on Thursday.

According to the Cape Times police spokesperson Captain Siphiwe Ndlovu said that police were told that the fight was going on since Monday.
He said complaints from black students relating to white pupils was that they were never heard.

Ndlovu said police were only notified when the fight got out of hand. Five black and three white pupils were arrested and a pair of scissors and pepper spray was taken off.

The boys will appear in the Westonaria Magistrates Court on Friday on charges of public violence.

Angry backyard dwellers stone removal trucks in Delft

By Tarryn Le Chat

Tension between Delft's backyard dwellers and residents relocated from Langa intensified yesterday, when police were forced to use stun-grenades to disperse stone-throwing protesters.

Windscreens of at least two removal trucks transporting belongings of the Langa residents were shattered as irate Delft residents pelted the vehicles with bricks and rocks.

The backyard dwellers, some of whom have been living in wendy houses for more than five years, said they should be the one's moving into the temporary structures being erected near Delft's main road.

According to Asla, the civil contractors building the structures, 1 300 people will be moving into the temporary relocation area.

Steven Erasmus, of the city's informal settlement division, said earlier that the temporary relocation area was reserved for Langa residents and the victims of the Joe Slovo fires in which hundreds of shacks were razed in 2004.

However, Delft's backyard dwellers tend to disagree, saying the temporary structures should be split 50/50 with the Langa residents so that some of them would stance a chance of getting a house. It was alleged by the backyard dwellers that city officials told them that the allocation would be amended to allow this.

Erasmus exclaims that there is no way that anyone would make that promise. The structures would still be reserved for people moving in from Langa.

Delft councillor Buyiswa Bala-Mjobo, pleaded with the crowd to be patient, explaining that the occupation of the houses by Langa residents is temporary. The Delft residents felt that it was 'not good enough' and would no longer attend meetings chanting, "We want houses! Not meetings!" and as the crowd grew louder, Bala-Mjobo retreated to the safety of her car.

The irate crowd then threw bricks at the windscreens of the removal trucks as they drove into the relocation area. Metro Police and the SAPS in riot gear tried to control the crowd.

Two people were arrested and taken to the Delft police station.


ANC revisits some provincial departments

By Tarryn Le chat

The African National Congress (ANC), is considering phasing out some provincial departments as a way of tackling poor service delivery and improving financial management.

As its national executive committee (NEC) meeting, former environmental affairs and tourism minister-turned-businessman, Valle Moosa, gave a presentation that took a critical look at the effectiveness of provincial departments.

According to an NEC member who was at the meeting, Moosa questioned the relevance of having such departments as health, education, safety and security, and transport at provincial level. "He basically took an overview and historical look at provincial competence and performance".

Moosa has also questioned "whether it was necessary to have provincial roads, for example", the NEC member said.

ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama, however, confirmed there had been discussions 'to that effect', but said he was not present when Moosa made his observations.


Angry backyard dwellers demand accomodation

By Tarryn Le Chat

Irate backyard dwellers in Delft, say they will petrol-bomb temporary homes that have been allocated to residents from Langa, unless they too are housed.

Those from Langa who were being moved into the one-roomed wood-and iron structures at the temporary relocation area near Hindle road yesterday, were mainly victims of the Joe Slovo fire.

They will be housed in Delft, until the units at the N2 Gateway are completed. Referring to yesterday's voilence, Local Government and Housing MEC, Richard Dyantyi, said any voilent protest would be viewed as criminal activity and the Metro Police and SAPS would be called in to take action.

Metro Police and SAPS were deployed to the area yesterday, after a group of disgruntled backyard dwellers burnt tyres in protest.

Security guard, Alex Dyasi says, angry Delft residents damaged the structures when they heard people from Langa would be moving in. "They said they will come back and put petrol bombs in the houses".

By late yesterday afternoon, a police cordon ensured that the growing crowd of angry backyard dwellers did not disturb the 10 families as they moved into their new homes.


Deadline for swopping old light bulbs

By Tarryn Le Chat

Monday is the final deadline for Eskom customers to switch to free energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the southern municipalities.

In the third week of July, Eskom distributed 4.7 million free CFLs to about 350 000 households and has saved 204MW of electricity.

The energy could be enough to supply about 120 000 houses during peak period, says Eskom. CFLs have replaced ordinary light bulbs as part of Eskom's energy-saving campaign.

Exchange points have been established for users to exchange the traditional lamps for CFLs. CFLs will be available for sale at retail stores for customers who did not meet the deadline.

Adrew Etzinger, Eskom's manager responsible for the rollout in the Western Cape, says the public's support of the CFL initiative has been extremely effective.

Etzinger says, "If it wasn't for the positive response of the public, we would not have been able to save the amount of megawatts through CFLs that we have".


Suspect in teen's murder up for trial

By Tarryn Le Chat

The 22-year-old New Crossroads man, held in connection with the gang murder of five Cape Flats teenagers and the wounding of three others, is to appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court today.

He was arrested on Tuesday and faces charges of murder and attempted murder.

The Police commented on Monday night, stating that two men stormed a wendy-house in Zone 4, Langa, and fired on 10 people inside.

The five teenagers who have passed away are, Mandla Gywili (24), Langa Zenzile (18), Mlandeli Nomala (22), Luyanda Mboma (18), and Thando Mahlotshane.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Further delays in the allocation process of the N2 Gateway

By Chanel September

The allocating of the remaining 700 completed N2 Gateway units could be delayed due to fraudulent applications being uncovered.

Local government and housing MEC Richard Dyantyi said on Tuesday that the latest challenge to the housing project was the abuse of the application process as people who stay in Khayelitsha have used Langa addresses to apply for the housing units.

More than 8000 applications were submitted by residents hoping to receive one of the 705 units.

According to the Cape Times the selection process has started, but additional problems have surfaced slowing down the allocation process.

HIV campaign comes to a halt

By Tando Mfengwana

HIV prevention campaign, Khomanani, will close its provincial offices on Friday, bringing the door-to-door campaigning of more than 1 300 community volunteers to a stop at the end of next month.

This comes after Health Department officials decided against appointing a new service provider before existing contracts expired.

Government has declared 2006 the year of accelerated HIV/Aids prevention. This will especially put emphasis on communication campaigns to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Government figures released on Friday show that more than 5. 4 million people are HIV positive in South Africa, making it the country with second highest HIV infection rate in the world, after India.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Three men face charges on perlemoen dealing

By Odette Ismail 25 July 2005

Three men were pulled off a road near George by police. They were arrested on being found on with perlemoen worth R500 000 in their cars.

According to the Cape Times Police followed them from a roadblock on the N2 between Swellendam and George. A “tik pipe”, a firearm and 19 bags of perlemoen were seized.

The police was monitoring the transportation of ostrich to make sure that measures get taken to prevent the spread of bird flu. It resulted in them following a car that looked suspicious.

The men were aged from 23 to 46 and 48. The men face charges of possible dealing in perlemoen, being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and possessing tik.

Unit 2 reactor at Koeberg to operate at full capacity

By Chanel September 25 July 2005

The Koeberg power station’s Unit 2 reactor is expected to operate at full capacity, after the refuelling and maintenance of the unit is expected to be completed at the end of this week.

The unit was synchronised to the national network and its power level would be gradually increased over the next few days.

Eskom said that during the gradual return to full power of Unit 2, various tests and inspections would be done.

According to the Cape Times Unit 1 has been operating at full capacity, supplying the Western Cape with 900MW since last month.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Boy rescued after being trapped for 50 hours

By Odette Ismail

A five-year-old boy was carried to safety after being stuck in an 18-metre-deep hole for 50 hours in a northern Indian village.

According to the Argus, the boy who is only identified as “Prince” came out wrapped in a towel in the arms of a rescuer. Thousands of people were present to witness the rescue.

The army rescuers had dug a hole parallel to a hole through which the boy fell into on Friday. After digging the hole they created a passageway connecting the two holes. The soldier then reached Prince through the connecting pipe and together with four soldiers back to the surface through a hole which they dug out.

Army engineers were called in on Saturday to rescue the boy , but local police were concerned that the sand could cave in and this delayed the work.

A monitored camera that was lowered by the army into the pit, showed Prince looking around very timidly and eating biscuits and tea that is mother made. The snacks were lowered to him by a rope into the hole.


Two abseilers left stranded without right equipment

By Chanel September

Two frightened abseilers unable to climb out of the Wynberg Cave were pulled out by rescuers on Sunday night.

Three women and two men climbed the Constantia Nek on Sunday and abseiled down into the Wynberg cave.

Rescue manager Kevin Tromp said that they received a call at 7:15pm and were on the scene by 8:30pm and had everyone out of the cave by 9:30pm.

No one was injured. According to the Cape Times the abseilers did not have the gear needed to pull themselves out, leaving the two stranded in the cave.

Family murder suicide in Grassy Park

By Chanel September

A man from Grassy Park is suspended of shooting his wife and an 18 year – old – boy before turning the gun on himself yesterday.

Douglas Baadlies, his wife Magdalene and Craig Benjamin their son lived in a flat in the backyard of a house in the area.

The residents of the house called the police when they heard two shots at 7am. As police arrived they tried to negotiate with Baadjies, he however refused and shot himself.

Police found Baadjies wife and son both dead with a shot to the head.

According to the Cape Times police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn said that the motive is still unknown.

Sexual harrasment charges within SAPS

By Chanel September

Sixty – seven charges of sexual harassment in the South African Police Service have been reported since the beginning of the year.

All the cases had been investigated and 20 SAPS members had been found guilty of whom four had been dismissed. Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula said that 53 of the charges had been laid in 2005 and 14 this year.

According to the Cape Times ten had received suspended dismissals and fines, and one a ten month salary reduction.

All Black tidal wave hits wounded springboks

By Tarryn Le Chat

This past Saturday’s Test match between the heavyweights, the All Black and Springboks, has proven the Black tide cannot be stopped even when playing without eight of their best men.

In another show stopping case, the Boks looked empted and ready for action, scoring a try in the first seventeen seconds of the first half.

Although, during the course of the match, the Boks gave away unnecessary penalties, as Kiwi flyhalf, Daniel Carter, capitalised by scoring twenty-five points on penalties alone.

The Boks discipline and defence was like the Great Wall of China, but unfortunately was penetrated and knocked down in the end.

Bok coach, Jake White, claims his side has silenced the critics after their performance on Saturday. White undoubtedly believes the Boks can win the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Furthermore, White says, when his injured players are back in the playing arena with team-mates who stood up and were counted in the test match, the Boks will give both the Wallabies and the Kiwi’s a run for their money.

The Springboks will now leave for Sydney, Australia, for their next Tri-Nations test match on the fifth of august.

Meanwhile, the Wallabies and the All Blacks will clash this Saturday which will prove to be one test match not to be missed.

Kaizer chiefs have victory over Man United

By Odette Ismail

The pre-season for Kaizer chiefs is going extremely well due to them winning the Vodacom challenge on Saturday, after a penalty shoot out in the late evening.

According to the Argus, they fought off advances from Manchester United for 90 minutes, forcing a penalty shootout.

It was all left to Rowen Fernandes the Chiefs goalkeeper who saved Chris Eagles’ penalty and then turned the match into a joyful occasion when he scored the winning goal.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rudolph and Amla score centuries

By Odette Ismail

The Proteas had a an impressive score of 351/3 on the opening day of their warm up match, against the Sri lanka President’s at the colts ground on Saturday.

The Argus reported the big score was brought about, by fine centuries by Jacques Rudolph and Hashim Amla. The batsmen ran a tight partnership after the dismissal of Herschelle Gibbs just before lunch.

Amla and Rudolph were only separated four hours later after contributing 242 runs for the third wicket which led South Africa to a position of complete dominance.

The only batsmen who did not add to the score for the day was opening batsman Boeta Dippenaar( 1). He was caught leg before wicket by left-arm seamer Nuwan Zoysa in the first over as well as Gibbs who caught out by Michael Vandort.


Six die, 11 injured in clash

By Odette Ismail

Six people died while eleven others were seriously injured when a mini-bus taxi and a truck collided near Paarl on Friday.

The injured taxi driver was amongst the two women and four men who died on the scene. According to the Argus, the fact that the driver was injured quite badly makes it more difficult for police to establish what went wrong.

Police Spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana said that the injured people were still in a bad condition at nearby hospitals and could not give information to the police.

Both vehicles were damaged and it was confirmed by Sinyangana that the accident occurred on the R45 in Groote Drakenstein near Simondium. A case of capable homicide has been opened.

Cape Town voted best city

By Odette Ismail

Cape Town was voted the best city in Africa and Middle East in a yearly poll of readers of Travel and Leisure magazine. The executive deputy mayor of Cape Town, Andrew Arnolds received the award in New York this week.

The event is considered to be one the highest account for tourism awards worldwide. Florence in Italy won the overall Best City in the World Award as well as the Best city in Europe title. According to the Argus, Arnolds said that the award reclaimed Cape Town as a world-class tourist destination.

He said over the past two years, Cape Town has jumped 17 positions on the International Congress and Convention Association’s global rankings. The Mother City is currently in 30th place and is on par with destinations like Sydney, Vancouver and Glasgow.

He also said that the award gave strength to the city’s positioning in the international market and could help South Africa’s socio-economic problems.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Companies queue to buy Waterfont

By Odette Ismail

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront are attracting buyers all over the world as it is South Africa’s biggest tourist asset. The tender process will hopefully close next week said Derick van de Merwe, chief executive of the V&A. This is only if the owners (Transnet and the different pension funds), of the Waterfront identify a possible buyer for the premier development.

According to the Weekend Argus, Transnet and the pension funds did mention that they were keen to sell the development earlier this year.

Van de Merwe said the V&A management company will sell everything which includes the land, buildings and all future development rights to the ideal buyer.

A spokesperson for Investec, one of the institutions contracted to find a buyer said that not only international companies were interested, but local companies as well. Transnet, which had inherited the land from old SA Railways and Harbours, sold 80% of the Waterfront to the Transnet Pension Fund.

Transnet was criticised quite a bit for the sale which some said was just a ‘paper transaction’ with no real money.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Handbag thief steals cop bicycle

By Tarryn Le Chat

Police in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt were stunned when a thief they had just released from custody, stole an officer’s bicycle on his way out and rode off on it.

Police had earlier arrested the 22-year-old man, after he was caught stealing handbags. The man was released on condition that he report back to them later.

The officers could scarcely believe his cheek when he took the bicycle. The man was re-arrested, claiming he thought the bicycle belonged to a friend of his. This handbag/bicycle thief won’t be getting out of jail so quickly this time.


Heavy weights to clash this Saturday

By Tarryn Le Chat

As the pride of the South African nation lies in the hands of the Springboks yet again, anxious rugby fans patiently wait on the tri-nations test between the Springboks and the All blacks on Saturday.

In their previous test, the Boks lost 49 - nil to the Wallabies. Although All Blacks assistant coach, Wayne smith, has a 'niggling doubt' about what they can expect from the Boks, recalling the narrow win in Dunedin last year. The All blacks are taking their cue from one of the rugby's oldest cliche's-that there is nothing as dangerous as a wounded springbok. Meyer Bosman has been chosen as flyhalf over Butch James.

Time will tell in Saturday's game, whether Bok coach, Jake White, made a good choice in Bosman, and whether the Springboks spirit will be healed for the heavy weight clash on Saturday, as that is the only wound they suffering from.


A plaque unveiled to commemorate murdered scholar

By Chanel September

Over a hundred school learners and community members from Manenberg gathered on Thursday to commemorate the first anniversary of Cheslyn Jones’s death at Manenberg High School.

Jones was stabbed a couple of blocks from the school last year on July 20.

Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille, Education MEC Cameron Dugmore along with family and friends attended the service.

A plaque in memory of Jones was unveiled and the planting of a tree took place on the school grounds.

According to the Cape Times Zille commended Proudly Manenberg calling the community organisation a social capital. Learners were encouraged not to turn to gangsterism and try to further their studies.

Mandela and other freedom fighters honoured

By Chanel September

Former president Nelson Mandela and seven other University of Fort Hare alumni were presented with "honorarium" rings by the Eastern Cape-based institution in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The university also presented Mandela with a striped blazer for his birthday, which was on Tuesday.

According to IOL the rings were also presented to Oliver Thambo, Robert Sobukwe, Govan Mbeki, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ephraim Mokgokong and Khoza Mgojo.

Emergency plan in place as cold front hits Cape Town

By Chanel September

Cape Town’s disaster and emergency services have been placed on high alert as a massive cold front moves over the Western Cape.

Today’s top temperature in Cape Town is expected to be 15°C, which is also the average for the rest of the province. A 100% chance of rain, high seas and snow on the mountains forecast.

Cape Town Disaster Management’s Greg Pillay said his department had been central to workshopping a storm response plan over several months and were better prepared than anytime before. Unlike previous years the main focus will be informal settelments.

According to the Cape Times Western Cape farmers should also benefit from the widespread rain.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

DA councillor wife pleads quilty

By Chanel September

Cape Town councillor Sheval Arendse distanced himself from his wife Pamela ‘s behaviour on Wednesday after she pleaded not guality and paid a fine in the Athlone Magistrates Court for contravening sections of the Social Assistance Act.

The mother of two paid a R5000 fine for illegally receiving a child grant – money – money she was not entitled to.

According to the Cape Times Arendse said his wife was contrite and glad the matter was finalised, he also said that. He supports his wife and his wife had already paid back the misappropriate money in full.

Culling of ostriches under way

By Chanel September

Hundreds of ostriches are being culled following an outbreak of avian influenza near Mossel Bay, in the Western Cape.

Dr James Kitching Western Cape’s veterinary chief said on Wednesday that a couple of thousand ostriches will be culled, the number is small and can be compared to the same number a single abattoir handles in a week.

The department of Agriculture placed an ostrich farm near Mossel Bay under quarantine when the flu was detected.

According to the CapeTimes consumers can be assured that local ostrich meat remains safe for consumption.

Woodstock squatters refuse to move away

By Chanel September

Squatters legally evicted from a Woodstock premises the city council leased to the unregistered Al Noor Orphanage, have moved into an adjacent sports field in Mountain Road.

The five families including 16 children, now live in tents donated to them the by community. The group spent the last eight years squatting in the disused Castle Bowling Green club house.

With their eviction Al Noor house offered them accommodation in Salt River, but the gesture was rejected.

According to the Cape Times the City Council offered to let squatters stay in Langa and Happy Valley near Brackenfell for free but the squatters said that these places were too far from Woodstock. The group only recently applied for housing.

Mbeki offers a message of support to Indonesia

By Odette Ismail

President Thabo Mbeki has sent a message of support to his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, after the tsunami that hit the coast of Java on Monday, the Cape Argus reports.

Mbeki said that the thoughts and prayers of the South African government and people are with Indonesia.He offered his condolences to those who had lost loved ones and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

Former mayor lays no charge

By Odette Ismail

Sanettte Smit, the former mayor of the Berg River failed to report the verbal abuse she claimed she received from an official.

Last week Smit resigned after alleging that she had been verbally abused by ANC provincial deputy secretary, Max Ozinsky. Ozinsky has denied the allegations of racism, sexism and defamatory statements.

According to the Cape Argus, Police spokesperson Superintendent Elliot Sinyangana said a case of crimen injuria had been registered by Smit at Porterville police station.

Sinyangana said that not all of the elements that could contribute to the above charge were present though. The row between the two arose from talks around the axing of the municipality’s manager Arnold Brehenhand.

The ANC is confident that Ozinsky acted in the right way in trying to stop the removal of Bredenhand’s contract.Smit declined to comment

Indonesia death toll continues to rise after tsunami

By Nadia Samie

The death toll from the tsunami that hit Indonesia’s Java Island had reached 525 by early Wednesday evening.

Panic broke out on Wednesday when aftershocks triggered rumours of another tsunami. Thus far, a total of 52 aftershocks have been recorded since Monday's 7.7 quake, DWR reports.

Indonesia’s department of Social Affairs says that more than 35 000 people have been displaced by the disaster, which struck on Monday. Fishing villages and buildings have been destroyed and more than 300 people are still reported missing.

The question everyone is asking now is why no warning had been issued prior to the tsunami. The BBC reports that government officials say they had received a warning that the island of Java was threatened by a tsunami, following an underwater earthquake off the coast.

The government say they were unable to pass the warning on to the coastal areas. Indonesia is in the process of building an early warning system, but this could take up to three years to complete.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pair in rugby murder off on R500 bail

By Tarryn Le Chat

As the trial got underway, the small Rawsonville Magistrates Courtroom was packed with spectators and journalists. The accused Ben Zimri, 26, of Ceres, and Wayne Matthee, 19, of Paarl, who were charged with the murder of Rawsonville flyhalf, Riaan Loots (24), both got off on R500 bail yesterday. Both Zimri and Matthee arrived at court in their Delicious Rugby Team jackets, while only the coach of Rawsonville, DP Spangenberg and executive member, Jerome de Villiers, wearing their black club jackets made an appearance. Magistrate Theresa Theron was presiding. Attorney, Barnit Klaase, for Zimri and Matthee, asked Theron for his clients to be freed with a warning instead of being held in custody till their next appearance in court on the 8th of September 2006. State prosecutor, Nolan Lendor also asked for a postponement of six-to-eight-weeks to tie up loose ends.


Meeting planned as 43 schools in province vandalised

By Chanel September

Forty –three schools were vandalised in the Western Cape during the three week school holiday which ended on Friday.

Damages ranged from the destruction of gates to the wholesale theft of computer equipment.

MEC for Education in the Western Cape Cameron Dugmore said that schools have been under attack from criminals in the last few years.

The MEC spokesperson Gert Witbooi said that important information from Safer Schools programme about which schools had been targeted will be discussed at a meeting.

According to the Cape Times there are 1600 primary and high schools in the province.

The department ensured that after the information was received prioritised funds would be made available for the repairs of schools.

SA still on alert for flu strain

By Nadia Samie

While the dangerous strain of influenza that hit South Africa this winter is subsiding, the elderly and those with weak immune systems are advised to take special care.

The country had experienced a flu epidemic during the peak winter-time. Sapa quotes Johan Cloete, spokesperson for pharmacy group Alpha Pharm, as saying that the declining sales of flu and cold medicines indicate that South Africa is over the worst.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases says that the number of new cases of influenza being reported has also decreased significantly.

Certain strains of Influenza can cause severe illness and even death to those who are most vulnerable. High-risk groups include the elderly, those with heart problems, diabetes or HIV positive.

Vitamin C and immune-boosting supplements, adequate rest and reduced stress have been advised by medical practitioners to ward off flu infection during the remaining weeks of winter.

Herschelle's back on top as opening batsman

By Tarryn Le Chat

Herschelle Gibbs will return to his favourite position of opening batsman and take the role of first slip during the Proteas tour of Sri Lanka. However, Gibbs does hope that he will be allowed to play his normal postion-backward point- in the one day internationals. National coach, Mickey Arthur, made the announcement yesterday, as AB de Villiers will field at second slip due to the absence of Graeme Smith and Jaque Kallis. Smith and Kallis both have corrected injuries and are re-cooperating, while Shaun Pollock will miss the first test, due to the birth of his second child. New captain, Ashwell Prince, says the absence of some team stars could also work in South Africa’s favour.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ratanga junction faces R320 000 claim after gas explosion

By Chanel September

The owners of Ratanga Junction theme park are facing a R320 000 damages action in the Cape High Court, after a trainee suffered severe burns on her hands and ankles during a gas explosion at the park’s food court more than two years ago.

Melanie Abrahams 22 of Bridgetown says she reported for training at the theme park’s food court as one of the group of 62 trainees, when the blast took place.

But owners say that outside technicians were supposed to ensure that the gas installation was safe and that the necessary safety features were in place.

According to the Cape Times Abrahams is claiming loss of earnings, medical expenses and general damages.

If the court find the theme park negligent they will argue that Abrahams contributed to her injuries by not vacating the premises after she was aware of the smell of a gas leak in the kitchen.

Tsunami kills more than 80 on Java coast

By Nadia Samie

More than eighty people were killed on Monday after a Tsunami — triggered by a powerful under-sea earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 — hit the coast of Indonesia’s Java Island.

Buildings, homes and hotels were damaged and hundreds of fishing boats destroyed in the chaos.

By late Monday night there were 80 confirmed deaths, with 68 reports of serious injuries, Reuters reports. These numbers are expected to climb in the coming days, as rescuers scour for survivors, and bodies, that were swept away by waves.

Nita Roshita, an Indonesian journalist based in Jakarta, told Bush Radio that slight tremors could still be felt by Monday evening, and that there are fears in communities that the tsunami would strike again.

According to locals, waves up to 1.5 metres crashed into Pangandaran beach near the town of Ciamis, 270 km southeast of Jakarta, killing 37 people there.

Less than two years ago the region was hit by a Tsunami that killed almost 230 000, with many others reported missing to this day.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Tourism youth indaba held to encourage youth

By Chanel September

The third annual Tourism Youth Indaba was held at Goudini Spa in the Breede River Valley last week where the leadership of tourism industry was encouraged to reflect the demographics of South Africa. Finance and Tourism MEC Lynn Brown said the youth continues to play a crucial role in attaining this goal. She was addressing more than 400 youths from the tourism industry who attended the Indaba, served as a networking forum for people between 18 to 35 dealt with various aspects of the tourism industry. Discussions also focused on creating uniquely indigenous products, which differed from merchandise currently available locally that could be obtained anywhere in the world.

World Icon slowly disappearing from public after 88

By Tando Mfengwana

Former South African President, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela’s larger-than-life appearance is slowly disappearing from the public eye. Reports say that Madiba will spend his 88th birthday in his home in Qunu, rural Eastern Cape, this Tuesday. Madiba, as he is well known, will shift from public appearances to enjoy a quiet retirement. His foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children’s foundation will continue to capture his legacy through memory and dialogue work. This will see photo exhibitions of his early years and a tribute to his former university, by legendary photographers Alf Khumalo and Jurgen Schadeburg.


White blames Referee for dismal performance

By Tarryn Le Chat

Jake White and Captain of the Springboks, John Smit, blames Referee Paul Honiss for the heavy loss against the Wallabies on Saturday in Brisbane. The Springboks were confident coming onto the field, but claim that Honiss penalised them before they could get their hands on the ball for off-sides and hands in ruck. White says as he listened to commentary from former Wallaby, Rob Kafer, on the TV wrap-up, he agreed with the statement that Honiss blew poorly. According to White, Australia got away with murder at the breakdowns. Meanwhile, New Zealand coach, Graham Henry, is convinced the Boks will not produce the same inept performance in Wellington on Saturday. Henry believes the Boks might bounce back at the weekend, saying they will take out their frustrations on the field as they are a physical pack, but only time will tell whether the Boks can lift their game.


Cape Town college leaves students stranded

By Chanel September

When 800 students of the Cape Town Business College returned after a one week holiday, they found the institution had closed. Three of the lectures of the college have started their own tertiary institution. One of the three lectures Conway Evertson, head of the new Mother City College said that the college had not been registered with the department of education, nor had it submitted an application to be registered in its three to four years operation. Education Minister Naledi Pandor warned of these unregistered institutions. According to the Cape Times most parents didn’t even know who the owner was. Police are now investigating the matter.

Police Patrol Bellville taxi rank

By Odette Ismail

There was an increase of patrols by law enforcement officials at the Bellville taxi rank over the weekend due to recent shootings. According to the Cape Times police adopted a zero-tolerance approach in terms of taxi drivers operating without permits and those in possession of illegal firearms. Police Superintendent Elna de Beer said that last week’s taxi shooting were analysed at their last planning meeting and that statistics on various seizures would only be released later in the week. The taxis travelling between Kraaifontein and Bellville were watched closely by the SA Police Service, Metro Police and members of the Special Operations Unit. Firearms were confiscated and several taxis were impounded over the last three days. This was after roadblocks were held and search-and-seize operations were conducted at several locations.

World’s most powerful nations unite

By Tarryn Le Chat

The World’s most powerful nations united in calling yesterday for an immediate end to Israeli Military action in Lebanon and Gaza and to abductions and shelling by “extremist elements” as the toll of bloodshed rose on both sides of the conflict. The G8 also urged the UN to consider deploying an “international security or monitoring presence” in Lebanon. Hezbollah rockets left eight people dead in the Israeli city of Haifa yesterday and bombs shook Beruit as Israel pursued a five-day-old assault in Lebanon aimed at crippling the Shia muslim group.


Idols Winner boyfriend to appear in court

By Tarryn Le Chat

Boyfriend of Idols winner Karen Kortje is to appear in the Bellville Magistrates Court this morning on possible charges of murder and robbery. Kortje’s boyfriend has been arrested in connection with the murder of the owner of a Durbanville guesthouse, Le Petit Chateau, at which the couple stayed last week, saw owner, Renate Kellerman (35), found half naked and with numerous stab wounds in one of the rooms. Police believe the motive for the murder is robbery.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

for all the latest stories from a team of international journalists who are in Germany, covering the World Cup visit

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Springboks face biggest loss in 85 years

By Megan Hartogh

The Springboks lost their opening Tri-Nations match 49-0 against the Wallabies on Saturday afternoon. The win marks Australia’s comeback after their 32-12 loss against New Zealand last week. By the end of the first half, Australia was leading 30-0, with tries by Jeremy Paul, Greg Holmes and Matt Giteau. Giteau also scored in the second half, with Mark Chisholm and Chris Latham adding to the demolition of the Springboks. The Wallabies win on Saturday is their biggest over the Springboks in 85 years.

Pictures: (Springbok logo) (Wallabies log)

Rodrigues' intimidation trial date set

By Megan Hartogh

Orlando Rodrigues, brother of Dina Rodrigues, will begin his intimidation trial in January 2007. This decision was made by the Cape Town Regional Court on Friday. The intimidation charge was made against Orlando after he allegedly signalled harm towards Neil Wilson, father of baby Jordan-Leigh Norton, by running his finger across his throat. The alleged incident took place outside the Cape High Court where Dina and four co-accused are on trial for allegedly murdering baby Norton in June last year.


Four rob Lakeside petrol station

By Megan Hartogh

A shopkeeper, a customer and three petrol attendants were robbed of approximately R3500 at the Total garage in Lakeside on Friday. According to police spokesperson, Billy Jones, a group of four men, one of whom was armed, fled in a green Volkswagen Golf after robbing the garage. Jones says that no shots were fired during the incident and that nobody was injured. The suspects are still at large. Police are requesting that anyone with information regarding the robbery, call Crime Stop on 08600 10 111.


Tax payers get one day's grace

By Megan Hartogh

South African taxpayers have been given one extra day to submit their tax returns. This come as the South African Revenue Service extends the July 14th deadline to Saturday, July 15th. However, taxpayer’s will only have until 12:30 P.M to hand in any outstanding returns. According to reports, the extension was granted after SARS “experienced long queues throughout the country.” All tax return submissions that were made on Saturday will be handled as though it was submitted by Friday’s deadline. However, SARS commissioner, Pravin Gordhan, says that there will be no further extensions for South Africans to make their tax return submissions, and that those handing in late submissions will receive penalties. Gordhan says that the penalties will depend on how many returns the person and outstanding and on how late they were in submitting those returns.


Two to be charged following rugby player's death

By Megan Hartogh

Two men are to be charged with murder and assault in connection with the death of Rawsonville rugby player, Riaan Loots. This decision was made by the National Prosecuting Authority this week. According to The Weekend Argus the NPA has announced that the two men will be charged after being implicated in the police investigation into Loots’ death. Police spokesperson, Randall Stoffels, says that the two men will be charged and arrested by the Rawsonville police next week. Stoffels says that the men will possibly appear in the Rawsonville court on Tuesday, July 18th.

Meanwhile, the Boland Rugby Union has started their own inquiry into Loots’ death. Supreme Court advocate, Ismail Jamie will be heading the inquiry. According to the CEO of the Boland Rugby Union, Piet Bergh, Jamie may present his report of the inquiry by the end of next week.

Loots, who was a flyhalf for the Rawsonville Rugby Club, was declared brain dead after allegedly being hit and kick in his head during a match against Delicious Rugby Club on June 23rd. He died two days later. It is reported that alleged racist remarks by members of Delicious, was the main reason for the incident.


Manchester United hailed into Africa, with the sounds of a vuvuzela

By Tando Mfengwana

English football giants, Manchester United, arrived at the Durban International Airport yesterday. The Red Devils were met by hundreds of fans blowing vuvuzelas to welcome their overseas heroes. United will however be without some of their well known players such as Wayne Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand. Veteran players, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have also made the trip to South Africa. United will take on Orlando Pirates at the Absa Stadium today, before heading to Cape Town where they will face Kaizer Chiefs at Newlands on Tuesday.

City to launch international skateboard facility

By Tando Mfengwana

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the Urban Renewal Programme, will today launch a new skateboard facility in Mitchell’s Plain. Construction of the R470 000 rink began in March. Garin Cavanagh, chairperson of the sports and recreation portfolio committee, will be the officiator of the event. Spokesperson for the City of Cape Town, Ivan Anthony says that they have transformed the amphitheatre in Westridge gardens into a recreational facility.

Man in court after rape of girl

By Chanel September

Outstanding medical, forensic and DNA reports could determine whether a rape suspect is granted bail in the KuilsRiver Magistrates Court. The 10-year-old was expected to give light on what had happened after she was brutally attacked with a hammer and raped. A 25-year-old man appeared in court for a bail application hearing on Thursday. The man faces charges of attempted murder and rape, but cannot be named as he did not plea yet. According to the Cape Argus, Magistrate Beatrice Vermeulen said that the crimes were gruesome and terrible. The bail hearing has been postponed to July 27.

Mandela and Bill Clinton raise funds

By Odette Ismail

According to the Cape Argus, Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton have joined together to raise funds for African children with heart problems by offering “tea with Mandela”. On Thursday, former US president Clinton said that no child should die without the chance to live his or her dreams. Clinton joined Mandela for the launch of the ‘Priceless Moments’ campaign, for the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa at Sunninghill Hospital in Sandton. The campaign wishes to raise R80 million for the unit which will treat children with heart problems all over Africa. Six people can bid from November 6 to have tea with Mandela and Walter Sisulu’s widow, Albertina. Clinton and his wife Hillary agreed to pay for two operations.

Picture credit:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Schumi rules out Nascar

By Tarryn Le Chat

Seven times Formula One Champion, Ferrari’s Michael Schumaker declines to join the US stock car series, Nascar. Schumaker has been reported in France as saying he does not see the attraction of running around in ovals and driving a lower standard of performance racing cars, following the recent statement made by opposing Formula One Mclaren driver, Juan-Pablo Montoya who is moving to Nascar. Montoya stunned the world of Formula One at the weekend when he turned up in Chicago to announce he seeks to join oval racing, switching from Formula One to the US series in 2007 to drive a Dodge for Chip Ganassi’s team. Canada’s 1997 World Champion and BMW’s Sauber driver, Jacques Villeneuve, supports Montoya’s decision to switch to oval racing saying Montoya has previous racing experience in the States and that he made the move on his own and not because he was left without a drive. However, Schumaker has been dismissive and has yet to decide his future beyond this season.


Woman raped in jail

by Danika Marquis

Police officers in George could be suspended after an eighteen-year-old woman was brutally raped after being locked up in a cell with four male teenagers. The woman had been arrested in a George suburb for allegedly being under the influence of alcohol, and was placed in a cell with the youths because nearby police stations were full. According to police spokesperson, Captain Malcolm Pojie, the teenagers, who ranged from ages 14 and 17, took turns to rape her. The woman was found by two police officials, who immediately removed her from the cell after she told them what had occurred. The law states that men and women may not be put in the same cell, and Pojie says a senior officer has been appointed to undertake a departmental investigation into the incident. The teenagers have been charged with rape and will appear in court on Tuesday.

Boks prepared for Wallaby face-off

By Tarryn Le Chat

As the Tri-Nations are underway, the Springboks are confident of their game against Australia on Saturday. Although the Springboks are fielding far from their first-choice team because of injuries sustained to key players, Bok coach, Jake White, still boasts a monster pack including Victor Matfield, who has an enormous presence on the field. Injured players are playmaker Jean de Villiers, flyhalf Andre Pretorius, lock Bakkies Botha and flank Schalk Burger. White’s game plan is not to move away from what works for the Boks. White believes that if you have a pack of forwards that dominate and win games in one abstract, then you stick to it. Time will tell in Saturday’s match whether the Boks’ power will win out against the Wallaby’s skill on the field.


Fuel may top R7 per litre within weeks

by Danika Marquis

According to Pretoria News, South African motorists can expect a sharp increase in the price of petrol over the next few weeks as world oil prices hit record highs on Thursday. This follows a fresh outbreak of violence in the Middle East, as Israel launched an offensive into Lebanon, leaving scores of people dead on both sides in counter-attacks that seem to be escalating. Economist Dawie Roodt believes that because of Middle Eastern tensions, South Africans can expect to pay anything between 20c and 40c more for fuel. Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald says that even before the latest crude oil increases, economists had predicted a rise in the price of petrol toward the end of July. He further adds concerns that by next month motorists will probably be paying about R7 a litre for petrol. South African National Consumer Union spokesperson Ina Wilken says the increases will have a devastating effect on the ordinary person, affecting the poorest of poor as rising transport prices add to food costs.

Toddler dies in Johannesburg shack fire

by Danika Marquis

A two-year-old girl burnt to death in a shack in Alexandra yesterday. The Emergency Management Services say the toddler dies after her mother left her in the shack with a paraffin stove on. The girl’s mother had apparently gone to visit neighbours at 8am. When she returned, the home the shack was already engulfed in flames. According to spokesperson Malcolm Midgeley, the shack had collapsed and the baby girl was already dead by the time the fire fighters arrived. Midgeley says the toddler’s death is the third shack-fire death in two days. As of yet, it is still unclear whether the mother will be charged.

The Squatters are not returning to district Six, says city

by Danika Marquis

At least two shacks have been spotted since Wednesday on prime land between the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the Oriental Plaza. According to the Cape Argus, the city obtained a court order last year preventing squatters from building in district six, but according to the Central City Improvement District, this is to no avail. The City, however, denies the return of squatters, saying that they are aware that people shelter their overnight, but the shelters are removed by morning, so the temporary inhabitants are merely seen as vagrants. But CCID chief operations officer Derek Bock confirmed that the shacks are visible in the area during the day, stating that the city should not allow these illegal structures to remain. According to Bock, crime levels decreased significantly after the shacks were demolished last year. District Six has been cleared for a pilot housing project that is currently under construction; and new residents of the first pilot project are concerned about potential squatters, and the increase in crime that they may bring.

Union Solidarity to meet employers over wage negotiations

By Lunga Guza

The Union Solidarity is to hold a meeting with the National Petroleum Employers Association today.The meeting is an attempt to find a solution to a wage deadlock between the two party’s. Solidarity spokesperson, Jaco Kleynhans, says striking certificates have already been issued to Solidarity and other workers organisations. Kleynhans says after today's meeting with the petroleum Employers, they will determine the future actions. The employers are offering a wage offer of 6 percent, mean while workers demand 10 percent increase.

Second shootout claims one life and leaves others injured

By Chanel September
The on going war between rival taxi groups has left one shot dead and two critically wounded at the Bellville Taxi Rank. This has been the second shootout in days. Jackson Pele of Mandalay was shot in the head and died at the scene. The other two were hospitalized. They were all members of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta). The violence of the last two days shattered a peace pact between the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and Codeta. According to the Cape Times the. Metro Police were instructed to maintain visibility and the traffic department will apply strict measures to remove unlicensed operators from routes.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bill will safeguard rights of senior citizens

By Chanel September
The elderly will soon have the law to protect them against abuse and discrimination. The golden Age of Hope and Growth conference has been told at a conference, held on Tuesday to familiarise senior citizens with the Older Persons Bill which was arranged by the Department of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation. The bill which focused on rights and aims to prevent the abuse of older people, create a supportive environment, and provide community-based care. The Cape Times reports that Deputy Minister of Social Development Jean Benjamin called on communities to restore the digninty of older people.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Missing Publication

By Lunga Guza

Langa Police are requesting the public’s assistance in finding 19-year-old Lundi Memani. Memani went missing from his home in Zone-3, Langa on the 02nd of July 2006. Police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn, says he has short black hair, dark eyes, 1.7-metres tall and weights about 60 kilograms. Steyn says that at the time of his disappearance Memani was dressed in a grey top and pants

Anyone with information can contact the investigating officer, Inspector Lesley Lawrence on (021) 695 8000 or Crime Stop on call-share on 08600 10111

Medicine and blood shortages in Mumbai hospitals may claim many more lives

by Danika Marquis

Hospitals in Mumbai are overwhelmed as hundreds of wounded pour in after last night’s bombings. Hours after, the train bombings in India’s financial capital claimed 183 lives, ambulances are still carting the over 500 wounded survivors to nearby hospitals. Many of the blast victims have lost their limbs and even eyes, and doctors have had to amputate on many of the wounded. One eyewitness described the scenes as chaos as onlookers, police and ambulance staff flocked to aid the injured in the rain. And police have attempted to free the traffic-clogged streets for the ambulances to swiftly respond to the scene. But the shortage of blood and medicine after the disaster may still claim more lives.

Police still pick through the rubble after the Mumbai bombings last night.

by Danika Marquis

One hundred and eighty-three people were killed and over five hundred have been wounded after a series of bombs blew apart several trains during Tuesday’s evening rush hour in Mumbai. The bombers targeted the first class trains and stations on the affluent Western line of India’s financial capital. And according to Hindustan Times, the attack was only aimed at people who represent the face of globalising Mumbai. Local newspapers say the Indian police are investigating possible links to the Student’s Islamic Movement of India and the Army of the Pious, a militant group banned in India. Police, who have been combing the wreckage for clues, found a timer device and another unexploded device, which could prove vital in locating the culprits. Condolences and condemnations pour in from around the world, and the bombings have been labeled by British Prime Minister Tony Blair as brutal and shameful.

Taxi rank in chaos

By Odette Ismail

An officer and two bystanders were wounded in a suspected shootout at the Bellville taxi rank in Cape Town on Tuesday. Police closed the rank until Wednesday morning. This left thousands of commuters stranded and in difficulty to find ways to get home. According to the Cape Times, police said they were uncertain of what had led up to the shootout, but were aware of rivalry between taxi associations Codeta and Cata were sparking up. This was due to arguments over profitable routes between Kraaifontein and Cape Gate in Brackenfell. Police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana said the shooting broke out at 3:45 pm. A woman was wounded in the arm and a passerby in the leg. A policeman who tried to break the fight was also wounded. All three were taken to hospital and are stable. Attempted murder cases have been opened and no arrests were made.

DA wants Trade and Industry Minister to explain the lottery money

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The Democratic Alliance says the Trade and Industry minister should explain to parliamentary portfolio committee about the unused lottery money. DA spokesperson Dr Pierre Rabie says Minister Mandisi Mphahlwa must explain the reasons for the delay of appointment of the new lottery distribution agencies and when will they be appointed. Rabie says the DA will continue to put pressure on the Ministry of Trade and Industry to resolve this situation in a quick and transparent manner so that these public funds can be directed to where they should rightfully be.

ACDP slams KZN name change proposal

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The African Christian Democratic Party has slammed the Kwazulu-Natal name change proposal. The ACDP says this will divide ethnic groups in that province. The name change proposal was made by the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini. He says the province must be known as just Kwazulu because the name Natal is a reminder of the colonial rulers. Meanwhile ACDP’s president Kenneth Meshoe says they believe that KwaZulu-Natal is the appropriate name to promote the aims of reconciliation.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Taxi groups point fingers at each other

By Chanel September
A meeting was held with police yesterday, to discuss the problems of taxi’s operating illegally on routes between Kraaifontein and Capegate shopping Mall in Brackenfell. Police patrols monitored the situation after weekend tension between Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta). David Speelman chairmain of Codeta said that there was an agreement between them and Cats that only taxi permits should be allowed on the routes. However there was tension this morning because Cata members now want to change the arrangement. Both groups and the police declined to reveal any details of yesterday’s talks.

Over a hundred police served with eviction notices

by Danika Marquis

Police suicides may increase as over 150 officers are evicted from police housing. Western Cape junior police members have recently been served eviction notices to make room for senior officers. One of the men to be evicted from the police flats, a corporal who doesn’t want to be named, warns that this action may lead these police to take their own lives out of desperation. According to South African police union spokesperson Billy Daniels, the police blame Provincial Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros for the evictions, after he promised housing to new senior members, who he brought to the province. In the meantime, police work has been affected as the inspector says the evictions make it difficult to concentrate on work as they worry what will become of their families in the months to come.

Malatsi to take the witness stand today

By Lunga Guza

Former Western Cape MEC of Environment Affairs, Divide Malatsi, will today testify at the Bellville Regional Court on alleged charges of fraud and corruption. The case was postponed from yesterday after Malatsi’s defence council wanted time to prepare his client to take the witness stand. report that Malatsi and the former Western Cape premier, Peter Marais, are accused of what the state call “accepting bribes” for the approval of the Roodefontein golf estate in Plattenberg Bay. Reports unveil that an R 400 thousand donation was offered to the New National Party (NNP) in 2002 by an Italian developer, Riccardo Agusta for approval of the golf estate.

Western Cape Social Services MEC to host a conference on Older Person's Bill

By Busisiwe Mtabane

The Western Cape MEC for Social Services, Ms Kholeka Mqulwana will today host a conference on the Older Person’s Bill. The conference will be hosted at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Simphiwe Xako, Mqulwana’s spokesperson says the conference will ensure the education of older persons about their rights and prepare them to actively participate in matters that concern their lives.


Special coins minted for 2010 World Cup

By Odette Ismail

According to the Cape Times, a new set of coins were minted by the South African Mint which is aimed at the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The first of the coins named “Africa calling,” was handed over to Fifa and the South African Local Organising Committee in Berlin at the weekend. The new gold and silver coins feature the official logo for the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Thabo Mbeki and Fifa president Sepp Blatter accepted the special coins. Ceo of the South African organising Committee, Danny Jordaan also received a coin set. These coins are the first in four years in worldwide coin programme that will lead up to 2010 Soccer World Cup hosted in South Africa. On Sunday, July 23 the official “2010 Soccer Coin Series will be launched at the open day at the Mint. Free soccer tokens will be available in the Mint’s Shop, called Coin World.

Christiano Ronaldo ‘Storm in a teacup’

By Tarryn Le Chat

Portugal winger Christiano Ronaldo seeks to leave Manchester United Football Club, after England Striker Wayne Rooney fouled Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalno during the World Cup quarterfinal, which Portugal won. Ronaldo ran forty metres to protest against Rooney when the foul was committed, which saw the England striker red-carded. The Portuguese winger is now reported as saying he can no longer play for Manchester United and is opting for a place in Spanish giants’ Real Madrid or Barcelona football club. Ronaldo says, “After what happened with Rooney, I can’t remain there. I will not be welcomed in England. There are making a ‘storm in a teacup’. In a couple of days, I will have my future sorted out and I want to go to Real Madrid”. The likelihood of Ronaldo leaving Manchester and playing for Real Madrid, however, seems slim. Newly appointed coach of Real Madrid, Fabio Capello exclaims, “Christiano Ronaldo is a great player, but he belongs to Manchester”. Further talks will have to take place before anything is finalised.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Lack of police patrols on the N2 still an issue

By Danika Marquis

Strife between the City of Cape Town and the provincial government continues over the lack of police patrols on the N2.

It has been two weeks since the launch of a project to ensure the safety of drivers on the N2 through joint police patrolling by the city and the provincial government.

However, communication issues between the two are hindering progress, and city representative Bongani Maqungwana believes that this may force them to do the job alone.

Community Safety MEC spokesperson Makhaya Mani, however, denies any problems, stating earlier that things were going well.

He further suggested that any communication difficulties were probably due to the City representatives failing to report in.

However, while the mud-slinging contest between the provincial and city government lasts, rocks continue to be thrown at cars along the N2.

And according to one irate driver – no police patrols were in the area at the time when his windscreen was smashed yesterday.

In response to this, the provincial department of community safety comments that motorist’s expectations for safety are too high.

Shocking Cape literacy rates

by Danika Marquis

More than half of grade 6 children in the Cape are still unable to read and write well enough to pass this year. A recent report compiled by the Provincial Department of Education states that the literacy figure of grade 6 pupils is only 42%. And figures for maths proficiency are far worse, where only a third of students are able to pass. MEC of Education Cameron Dugmore says that the poor literacy and numeracy rates are directly linked to poverty, with only 0.2% of children from formerly disadvantaged communities achieving required maths results. It is believed this is because most qualified math teachers are leaving the township schools to seek more money in the private sector. However, despite these bleak statistics, the literacy rate has still increased by 7% since 2003. And the Department of Education is determined to provide more support to schools, but also hold to them more accountable in upcoming years.

Jeppestown shooters may have been hired

By Chanel September
The ‘Tsunami’ a name befitting a gang of AK-47 wielding robbers who stood – off against police in the Jeppestown massacre. IOL reports that the gangsters operated on a freelance basis, called upon when and where their services were required. The gang leader is believed to be among the 24 either to be captured or killed. Meanwhile six of the eight gangsters have now been identified, through four fingerprints. Gert Serfontein of the West Rand Serious and Violent Crimes Unit denied rumours that arrest were made at the weekend. The suspects are due to appear in court at court at the end of the month.

IT plan for SA, overseen by Former US President, Bill Clinton

By Tando Mfengwana

Microsoft chairperson, Bill Gates and former US president, Bill Clinton will arrive in Cape Town today to supervise the launch of a computer program that will accelerate Africa’s link with the world. The software giants are hoping to work closely with the African governments, with several already in Cape Town along with other top managers of Microsoft for the opening of the Microsoft-Governments Leaders’ Forum, to help them detect and alleviate IT security threats.

World Cup final reaches climax

By Tarryn Le Chat

The world’s most watched sporting event, reaches its climax today, as heavyweights France and Italy enter the final knock-out round to be crowned champion of world soccer in Berlin, Germany. Italy’s record proves them to have a slight edge over France. Marcello Lippi’s side have scored eleven goals and conceded one-that was an own goal. Whilst Raymond Domenech’s France has scored eight times and let in only two goals. France started off sluggish, but since the quarter-final upon beating champions Brazil, have improved dramatically. Zinedine Zidane also retires after this game, which leaves France hoping he has a huge impact in the game and delivers one of his best performances ever. Both teams are playing for National pride and the honour of winning the prestigious Soccer World Cup.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

34-year-old fraudster arrested

By Busisiwe Mtabane

Police are requesting people who have been victims of a fraudster in Elsies River between July 14, 2005 and June 25, 2006 to come forward as they are investigating a case of fraud. This comes after a 34-year-old man was arrested at Stellenbosch Police station for Impersonating a Director at the National Ministers Office. It is alleged that Martin Fredericks from Blackheath, visited several Police stations in the Boland area between 23 June 2006 and 30 June 2006, identifying himself as a Director from the office of the National Safety and Security.

The suspect appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's court on Wednesday July 5, 2006 and was granted bail of one thousand rand. The case was postponed until 25th of August 2006. Shortly after his appearance he was arrested at the court for two cases of Fraud that occurred in Elsies River.

It is alleged that he pretended to be an advocate and an estate agent. He offered his services to two clients from Matroosfontein, taking a total of 114-thousand-rand from them. He appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate's court on Friday July 7, 2006 and the case was postponed until Friday July 14, 2006 for a bail application.

Police request other victims to come forward and report the incident to their nearest Police station or contact Superintendent Zanemvula Mkhuzo on (021) 809 50 17.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Man dies as busses collide

By Megan Hartogh

A man was killed in a tragic accident between two Golden Arrow busses on Bonga Avenue in Khayelitsha on Friday morning. According to a passenger on one of the busses, it seemed as if the bus driver was trying to overtake a taxi, and collided with the bus that was coming from the opposite direction. It is reported that the one bus was hit just behind the driver's seat. The right-hand back side of the other bus was partially ripped. The busses were still together after coming to a stop. There were several passengers injured in the accident, 30 of them were taken to the Khayelitsha day hospital for treatment. One was taken to Tygerbeg. The identity of the deceased has not yet been released.


Two men caught in possession of Cocaine worth R252 million in Still Bay

Two men appeared in the Riversdale Magistrate’s Court on Monday after being found in possession of cocaine valued at R252 million. Picture: ...