Thursday, August 31, 2006

Federer cruises towards third consecutive US Open title

By Tando Mfengwana
31 August 2006

Tennis world number one, Roger Federer, cruised past Taiwan’s Wang Yue-tzuoo in the first round of the US Open yesterday.

The Cape Times reports that Federer was pushed hard in the first set by Yue-tzuoo, who is ranked 109. Yue-tzuoo succumbed 6-4 6-1 6-0 in just one-hour, 41 minutes. Federer will now play either Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski.

Meanwhile, fist-pumping second seed Rafael Nadal, advanced to the second round with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over wildcard Mark Philippousis. The report quotes Nadal as saying that he was playing a very aggressive game. The two-time French Open champion pumped his fist and roared with each key point in a two-hour, three minute encounter to advance to the second round.

NUMSA continues campaign

By Odette Ismail
31 August 2006

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) launched a Campaign against what it termed racist companies on Saturday, 19 August 2006. One hundred members demonstrated at Simons Auto Centre in Goodwood. NUMSA says that the company allows coloured workers to carry knives and pangas to attack African workers.

The demonstration, called Name and Shame Them, then moved to the Andrag Machinery at La Belle Way, Stikland on Thursday. Lunch hour pickets took place between 13h00 and 14h00. The union claims that the company showed no regard for labour legislation and that the demographics were totally off the mark.

NUMSA will reveal the names of other companies that it believes are racist in the Western Cape at the Andrag Machinery picket on Thursday between 13h00 and 14h00.

The union is demanding compliance with all labour legislation including Employment Equity. They are also calling on Provincial and National government to cancel all tenders with such companies and to blacklist them.

Probe ordered into Somali killings

By Nadia Samie

31 August 2006

Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool has ordered a probe into the killings of Somali’s living and working in Cape Town. The total number of Somali’s killed in the past month alone is thought to be 27.

The investigation comes after the looting of almost 30 Somali-owned shops in Masiphumelele near Kommetjie, earlier this week. Many Somali shopkeepers have fled the informal settlement. The shopkeepers and other Somali’s are being housed at the Ocean View police station and the local community centre.

According to reports, the South African Human Rights Commission will meet with the Somali’s to hear their concerns. Meanwhile, Rasool has approached MEC for Community Safety, Leonard Ramatlakane to investigate the allegations that rival businesspeople are hiring hitmen to attack the Somali shopkeepers.

Rasool told the media yesterday that South Africans could learn a lot from the Somali business-owners, adding that he believed the motive behind the attacks is that the Somali’s have been successful.

So far two arrests have been made. Anyone with information regarding the attacks is asked to contact crime-stop on 08600-10111.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Drastic need for blood in Western Cape

By Odette Ismail

There is a dire shortage of less than two-days blood supply in the Western Cape due to the increase in usage recently as well as the reduced collections.

Graham Thurtell promotions and planning manager at the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service told the Cape Times that on Tueday their various blood banks have used an average of 350 units of blood per weekend, which is twice as much.

Their spokesperson Marika Champion confirmed that this immediately caused reserve stock to drop effectively. She said that it daily needs to be between 600 and 700 units, but collections reached a low of only 500 to 600 units this week.

Anyone who is able to donate blood should contact 021 507 6300 for the closest blood donor clinics.

Attacks on Somali's xenophobic

By Tarryn Le Chat

Twenty-seven Somali’s have been killed in the province in a recent spate of robberies and attacks.

All 27 Somali-owned shops in Masiphumelele were closed for fear of their lives following Monday night’s xenophobic attacks by people they believe are ‘jealous and ignorant’ businessman from the area.

According to the Cape Times, Monday night’s attacks prompted Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane to say that the attacks were xenophobic.

“We condemn this type of crime, which has some xenophobic tendencies to it. Crime committed against anyone in our country, it does not matter whether one is South African, an assylum-seeker or a refugee, will be dealt with directly”, said Ramatlakane.

According to the report, Ramatlakane said it is important for all South Africans to remember that fellow Africans from the continent played a key role in the liberation against apartheid.


Morris to lead Bafana?

By Tando Mfengwana

Bafana Bafana’s interim coach, Pitso Mosimane, has revealed that he may give Nasief Morris the captain's armband for the African Nations Cup opening qualifier match.

The match against Congo will take place at the FNB stadium on Saturday.

The Cape Town-born defender, who has some captaining experience with the under 23 national side, told the Cape Times that the experience of captaining the under 23 national team was fascinating and it would be a great honour to do it for the senior team.

Morris, who plays for the Greek club Panathinaikos, was the best defender for South Africa in the last friendly against Namibia and should be the automatic choice for the centre half position — along with Aaron Mokoena.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kaaiman’s River Pass on verge of collapse

By Nadia Samie

Disaster management officials are waiting for what seems to be the inevitable collapse of the Kaaiman’s River Pass between George and Wilderness.

Retailers driving from Cape Town woke up to the reality this morning that they would have to drive an extra 400 kilometres to reach the holiday town of Knysna.

The situation has reached dangerous proportions, with a section of the road sliding towards the sea at a rate of 2mm per hour. Traffic officials say that the N2 leading to the Kaaiman’s Pass on both sides has been closed.

Gerhard Otto, Disaster Manager for the Eden Municipality, says that they are waiting for the collapse to happen so that they can establish what will remain of the pass.

When the collapse occurs, Independent Online reports, it will take with it a section of the Outeniqua Tjoe-Choo railway line, a holiday home and a flat situated below the pass. Transnet has already cut the lines below the expected collapse area. Floodlights have been installed to minimise the possibility of danger. Experts say that when the collapse takes place, it will be catastrophic.


Taxi groups give warning to government

By Odette Ismail

The government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme was in the spotlight on Monday at the Western Cape Taxi Council’s week-long business development conference at Worcester.

Taxi associations warned government that there will be chaos if issues regarding the scrapping of old vehicles are not addressed.

According to Independent Online the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations in the Western Cape, Kwazulu-natal Transport Alliance and Johannesburg’s Top Six Taxi Management and others conceded that blockades and strikes would erupt.

Council chairman Junaid Peters added that they had signed a combine agreement with some of their partners, Caltex, Absa, Nedbank, Channel Life and Commutanet. The South African Revenue Services (Sars) will also be attending.

Peters said that the main focus will be the recapitalisation programme.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Taxi drivers threaten to go on strike

By Tando Mfengwana

South Africa will have to prepare itself for another violent strike — but this time from taxi drivers who are upset about the government's taxi recapitalisation programme.

The Cape Times reports that the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) , which has about 7 000 members, the KwaZulu Natal Transport Alliance and Johannesburg’s Top Six Taxi Management have warned of strikes, blockades and violent opposition to the programme if the government does not listen to their concerns regarding the recapitalisation.

Taxi operators are especially unhappy about the R50 000 scrapping fee offered by government. Sipho Maseti, Cata president was quoted as saying that they will only go on strike if government refuses to give them a hearing.

Western Cape Taxi Council secretary, Mongezi Mamani said that information about the programme will be given to operators.

Taxi operators want to know who is given the tender to supply the new vehicles and when they will get the R50 000 or new vehicles.

Two toddlers burn to death in a shack fire

By Odette Ismail

Fires destroyed parts of Cape Town over the weekend leaving 36 informal houses in Zone 23, Langa in ruins in one fire and the cause of the deaths of two toddlers in another. The toddlers aged one and three burnt to death in the blaze.

According to the Cape Times, Disaster Management spokesperson, Greg Pillay, reported that the fire started at 3am leaving roughly 150 people without homes.

Residents of the Langa Informal settlement insist that a drunken man allegedly knocked over a parrafin stove, which caused the fire. The man is believed to have run away.

An NGO, Historically Disadvantaged Individuals was to provide food and blankets for those left without homes. The city’s human settlements division was also notified and will extend help with building materials.

Bus fares increase by 4.5%

By Chanel September

Golden Arrow bus fares are set to go up by 4.5% on Monday.

This after the Transport Department has approved the notion. The company says that the rise is due to a 23% diesel fuel increase in April this year.

The new fare rate will mostly affect cash fares of pensioners and scholars.

According to the Cape Times a trip from Khayelithsa to Cape Town now costs clip card holders R5, 60 and R17, 60 on cash fares.

Pensioners and scholars will however pay R3, 35 and R6, 85.

Mbeki to desolve nine provinces to four or five

By Tarryn Le Chat

In a two-day meeting held in Cape Town, President Thabo Mbeki expressed his concern about the racial challenges in the Western Cape.

Addressing the ANC’s Western Cape provincial committee, Mbeki said, “Building a non-racial society is one of South Africa’s greatest challenges, but nowhere more challenging than in the Western Cape. There was a greater sensitivity to issues of race in the region than anywhere else in the country”.

This statement comes with regard to government’s feeling about the development of a non-racial society and believes what is being done here, and will be done in the province is bigger than provincial importance.

“We have to make progress in this area. The Western Cape is the only province where ‘Africans’ were a minority”, said Mbeki.

According to the Cape Times, there was also an ‘old history’ of coloured labour preference areas in the region.

“When it came to allocating resources in the province, this needed to be done ‘in a way that doesn’t communicate a message that democracy means discrimination against a certain section of the population”, said Mbeki.

Western Cape premier, Ebrahim Rasool, told journalists that race issues ‘remained a contest during elections’ in the province.

“Parties exploit the fears of people, rather than their hopes. We have seen this in every election. They exploit the fears particularly of the coloured people”, said Rasool.

The Democratic Alliance said yesterday that such a debate should take place in parliament.

Former environmental affairs and tourism minister-turned businessman and ANC NEC member, Valli Moosa, recently made a presentation that took a critical look at the effectiveness of provincial departments, questioning the relevance of having departments such as health, education, safety and security and transport at provincial level.

According to the report, the ANC is expected to discuss the revised presentation at its next national executive committee meeting.

A Sunday Newspaper reported that the government, in a confidential document, was considering scenarios about the number and powers of provinces that could include abolishing provincial legislature while retaining current administrations with an elected executive.

The paper quoted the document as saying, “The key objective in changing provincial boundaries, would be to reduce the number of provinces from the current nine to four or five, where the Old Transvaal would be re-established, and the Northern and Western Cape combined”.

Spokesperson for the provincial and local government ministry, Zandi Nkuta, said yesterday that although the authors of the document had been commissioned by the department, it did not reflect the government’s position.

“The authors were not government employees”, says Nkuta.

However, DA leader Tony Leon yesterday said, “We must move very cautiously before we decide to scrap an entire elected system of provincial governments’.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Man falls while hicking on Otter Trail

By Chanel September

A 58-year-old man was seriously injured after he fell while hiking the Western Cape's Otter Trail on Saturday.

The man was part of a group of 10 people when he fell near the Bloukrantz River mouth at 11am.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon told Independent Online that a doctor who was one of the team members from the hiking group managed to assess the man's condition and called rescue services for help.

The man was later transported to hospital and is in a serious but stable condition.

Another Somali killed in the Peninsula

By Chanel September

Another Somali refugee has been gunned down in Cape Town brining the death toll of Somalis in the province to 27.

Police however continue to claim that the attacks are motivated by robbery and not xenophobia.

Mohammed Ahmed Hassan was shot dead on Friday by four armed men in Wesbank Mfuleni.

Police spokesperson Captain Randall Stoffels told Sunday Argus that Hassan had been visiting friends in the area and shot dead when he left.

Stoffels also added that the attacks started in Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay and are now continuing in the Western Cape.

Two toddlers die in shack fire

By Chanel September

Two children were killed in a fire that burned two shacks and a small RDP house in Lotus River on Friday.

A call came through at 9pm and emergency services and a fire engine were dispatched to the scene.

Greg Pillay of the Cape Town Disaster Management told the Sunday Argus that the children were aged between one and three.

It seems that the fire started by a toppled candle.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Six arrested after chain store rampage

By Chanel September

Six people believed to be striking workers were arrested on Friday after they allegedly damaged and stole items from a chain store in Fish Hoek on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn told Independent Online that a man in his 60s was injured when a group of about 50 people believed to be striking workers assaulted staff and members of the public at the store.

The injured man was hit by a stone on his head and was taken to a nearby hospital where he was in a stable condition.

The arrested five men and a woman from Khayelitsha were aged between 17 and 32.

The suspects are to appear in the Simonstown Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and theft.

Victim returns fire in highway shootout

By Chanel September

A shootout between highway robbers and their victim broke out, midday at the highway below the University of Cape Town on Friday.

Other drivers stopped as a hail of bullets flew in all directions. Traffic was backed up for kilometres after police cordoned off the crime scene.

A city businessman, who had loaned a courtesy car while his own vehicle was in for repairs, ran out of petrol on the bridge on the M3 near the university as he was transporting R24 000 in staff wages.

Peter Petersen, owner of a construction company told The Weekend Argus that he had called for assistance and was waiting for a friend when three men approached him and held him at gunpoint.

A shootout then followed.

Police said no arrests had been made yet and investigations are still underway.

Yengeni moved to Malmesbury Prison

By Chanel September

Former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni has been moved from the overcrowded Pollsmoor Prison, hours after he reported there to serve his jail term, to the more modern Malmesbury Prison.

Ministry spokesperson Luphumzo Kebeni told the Saturday Star that prisoners who were not convicted of violent crime could request a transfer "subject to an assessment of the prisoner, accommodation and rehabilitation programme".

Kebeni denied that Yengeni had been given a special lunch and dessert. Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour and prison officials have said that he will be treated as an inmate like any other.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cabinet relaxes rules to draw foreign skills

By Tando Mfengwana

In a bid to ease the growth-constriction obstacle to importing foreign specialists, cabinet has approved a bill amending the rules governing immigration once more.

The Business Report quotes Themba Maseko, cabinet spokesperson as saying that the Immigration Amendment Bill will attempt to address concerns raised by business about issues related to work permits and transit visas.

The present regulation allows transferred executives into the country to stay for just two years, on permits that are not renewable, while the new draft will allow them to stay on board for five years. This is much more in line with keeping with world trends.

Immigration specialist who heads up the immigration working group of the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob), Julian Pockeroy, is quoted as saying that home affairs is missing an opportunity to rectify a series of variations in the law, by bringing the amendment forward too early.

The main problem started last year when the ministry failed to publish the quota of categories scheduled on the national critical skills list, which means that people seeking permanent residence were not allowed to do so under the quota system until the list was published this February.

Pockeroy said that he’s seen a number of changes being made and that they were warmly welcomed. The Business Report says that the draft makes rules clearer on what the subsidiary or a branch company is and what relations of the South African entity must be, but Sacob is objecting to the two weeks given to interested parties to comment on the new legislation.

Businessman being investigated for rape of teens

By Odette Ismail

Eastern Cape police said that a man is under investigation for the kidnapping of two girls and the raping of one of the girl last Tuesday.

The businessman from Port Elizabeth allegedly went to New Brighton School, offered the girls’ lunch but instead lured them to his house in Westering.

Both girls were locked up in his home and were drugged, where he repeatedly raped one girl over period of five days.

Inspector Hazel Mqala told Independent Online, when the concerned parents looked for the girls and found information leading to the businessman he released the them over the weekend.
Mqala conceded that the man has not been arrested yet. He is expected to be arrested next week.

George experiences a bit of sunshine

By Odette Ismail

The Southern Cape police confirmed on Friday that the N2 between George and the wilderness is still closed off due to flood damage.

Captain Malcolm Pojie told Independent Online that the Kaaimans Pass was still block obstructed by rock falls and heavy mudslides. Motorists have been advised to use the R62 via the Langkloof pass.

In George a man was reported to have drowned while another man went missing in Riversdale on Thursday night as a result of the floods.

People that are cut off in areas are receiving food by helicopters with the police remaining vigilant. Pojie said that the 85 people out of 285 people who were rescued still were able to return home. The amount of houses flooded in the Heidelberg area amounted up to 173.

Pojie said he believes the flood has past and that George currently is experiencing a bit of sunshine.

Long walk to prison

By Tarryn Le Chat

Former ANC chief whip, Tony Yengeni, was carried shoulder-high by ANC leaders and hundreds of ululating supporters on a short walk to jail at Pollsmoor Prison yesterday.

Yengeni denounced his incarceration for fraud as ‘a travesty of justice’.

He contends that in the democracy he fought for, jail sentences should be reserved for violent criminals.

According to the Cape Times, his application for leave to appeal for his four-year sentence has been refused, leaving him to serve time behind bars for fraud for failing to declare a discount on a Mercedes-Benz SUV arranged for him, while he was head of parliament’s defence committee, by one of the bidders for a multimillion-rand arms contract.

Flanked by Premier Ebrahim Rasool and other ANC heavyweights, his wife Lumka, adult daughter Nandi, son Mandla, and aged parents, the ANC’s former chief whip spoke to the spirited crowd from the back of a bakkie outside the prison in Tokai.

The provincial leadership of the ANC publicly pledged their solidarity, saying Yengeni had been a leader in the struggle, had ‘done no crime’ and would not lose his position on the ANC national executive committee.

According to the report, Yengeni blamed the media for making him sound like a thief who ‘broke into parliament and into the safe’ – a statement that was greeted with loud cheers and whistles.

However, the DA used the very institution to accuse the ruling party of supporting criminals rather than their victims.

DA chief whip Douglas Gibson said it was a disgrace that senior ANC members, including Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool, had accompanied Yengeni to Pollsmoor prison.

“This ‘hero’s parade’ sets an appalling example to ANC members and to the rest of the country, and flies in the face of President Thabo Mbeki’s stance on corruption”, says Gibson.

Naledi Pandor, Minister of Education, was quick to respond to Gibson saying, “The DA and its leadership had not fought against apartheid, nor had they been prepared ‘to lay down their lives or liberty in the interest of the oppressed of South Africa’.”

In fighting spirit, Yengeni said he would walk into prison, serve his term and not ask favours of anyone. “Those who think prison will break me are in for a rude surprise. I will come out stronger”, said Yengeni.

Nqakula gets tough on Saps

By Tarryn Le Chat

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula lashed out at members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) who failed to tackle crime or to help people in danger, in Pretoria yesterday.

“If you don’t have a car, ride bicycles or a donkey”, Nqakula told police officers who cited lack of transport as a reason for slow response to crime calls.

Speaking at an awards ceremony for police, Nqakula was responding to months of criticism from members of the public who claim they are not receiving the service they deserve.

“We are living in a society where tolerance is allowing people to get away with murder. If you cannot or are not willing to do your job then get out of the organisation”, said Nqakula.

The minister calls on law-abiding citizens and members within Saps, who knew of corruption within the organisation, to stand up and nip crime in the bud in South Africa.

“If you do not do anything to stop crime, then you become the criminal”, said Nqakula.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

TAC launches Global Day of Action

By Tarryn Le Chat

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) launched a Global Day of Action at the Saint George’s Cathedral in Cape Town today.

Amandla! Viva TAC viva! These were the cries of supporters and fellow members of the TAC, as various issues were spoken about concerning prevention and protection of people living with HIV/aids in South Africa.

Reverend Mash, of the Anglican Church, opened the proceedings with prayer. TAC General-Secretary, Sipho Mthathi, spoke about the failure of Government, Parliament and the sacking of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

“Across the world people living with HIV/aids supports the South African government and progressive change, but we as the TAC feel there is no respect for Human Rights. We are a democratic country, yet we condemn the failure by government on aids”, said Mthathi.

As Sipho continued, supporters rose up and began singing as one in the Cathedral.

Government and Correctional Services have failed to fulfil its constitutional duty to prisoners who live with HIV/aids. They have to wait long periods of time before receiving any treatment, exclaims Mthathi.

The Treatment Action Campaign feels government has lied and distorted the truth with the aids epidemic in South Africa.

Mthathi further expresses her disgust, “What has become of the Government and Parliament we elected? WE want an end to the Health Ministers’ reign and a plan to combat the aids epidemic”.

The TAC wants their demands met otherwise protests will continue across the country and members and supporters will not be intimidated by government.

In a message of support, Mash had this to say, “We want anti-retroviral medication for all and prevention of violence. There is no difference between an HIV positive and HIV negative people. It is the right of every person to receive treatment. We want prevention of new infection and protection for women and children”.

Mama Dalina of the New Women’s Movement called for Minister Tshabalala-Msimang to apologise, for misleading people at the International Conference held in Canada, saying that a scientific cure for HIV is lemon, garlic and beetroot.

The TAC stands united in saying, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

“We must work together and support the TAC”, said Dalina


Rise in rape and violence

By Tarryn Le Chat

More than a third of the 743 new rape survivors treated in the past 12 months at a Khayelitsha centre were younger than 14 years, one in 10 was raped at home by a family member, the youngest was one years old – and Doctors Without Borders has warned that these cases are ‘just the tip of the iceberg’.

According to the Cape Times, the first annual report by the Simelela Rape Survivors Centre, released yesterday by the international group of doctors in partnership with the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Rape Crisis, police, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Department of Health, says that on average two or three rape survivors a day turn to the facility for treatment.

The court in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, has been so over-burdened with cases that an Adult Sexual Offences Court has been opened.

Anne-Astrid Burlet, project co-ordinator of Doctors Without Borders, said: “This is just the visible part of the iceberg”.

Khayelitsha, with a population of 500 000, has the highest incidence of reported rape in the Western Cape.

Burlet said poverty, unemployment and overcrowding were to blame.

According to the report, a worrying trend was that more than 25% of the survivors had been raped by more than one person and 12% identified their rapist as gang members.

Chantel Cooper, of Rape Crisis, said that men and women need to take responsibility and this is not happening.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Traffic cop caught driving a stolen car

By Tando Mfengwana

City traffic officers nabbed three men for car theft and also arrested a senior Parow traffic officer who had allegedly been driving a stolen vehicle.

Cyril Windgrove, 37, was arrested in Parow and appeared in the Goodwood magistrate court on charges of possession of stolen property; the officer was released on bail and is expected to appear in court in October.

The Cape Argus reports that two traffic officers trailed a vehicle from Bellville containing three men, the officers received confirmation that the car was stolen. The men were stopped and arrested, but one of the men told the officers that he wanted to make a call from his cellphone to a friend.

The officers waited for a few minutes when Windgrove arrived at the scene and he wanted to know what was going on, then an argument broke out and the officers called the control centre to check Windgrove’s car which turned out to be stolen.

He was arrested and taken to his house were the officers allegedly found another stolen vehicle.


Yengeni will receive same treatment

By Chanel September

Former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni who is due to report to Pollsmoor Prison on Thursday, will receive the same treatment as any other prisoner.

He will also be subjected to a strip search and his fingerprints will be taken.

Correctional Service Luphumzo Kebeni told the Cape Times that there is no category of more or less important inmates.

However, a prisoner who wishes to remain anonymous, told the paper that high – profile inmates were usually put in single cells for their own protection.

The Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed Yengeni’s application for leave to appeal against his four-year sentence, imposed in 2003 in relation to fraud.

It is likely that Yengeni will just serve a eight month sentence.

Another Somali shopkeeper dies

By Tarryn Le Chat

Yet another Somali has been shot dead in his shop less than 24 hours after two of his compatriots were shot dead at their store on Sunday night. Now community leader’s claim that there is a campaign to hunt them down and execute them.

Four gunmen shot Gulet Abdi Nuur, 27, in the face at point blank range in his shop in an informal settlement in Mfuleni, Kuils River, on Monday night. It is understood nothing was stolen during the incident.

The murder was the latest in a series of attacks on Somalis that leaders of the refugee community denounced as a wave of xenophobia sweeping townships.

Mohammed Qare, of the Mitchell’s Plain Somali community, said his compatriots were unsure of the motives.

“It could be xenophobia, jealousy of our business — Somalis keep a low profile and work hard — or organised crime”, said Qare.

Police spokesperson Billy Jones confirmed that no arrests had been made in the latest two incidents, but could not certain about the other cases.

Mohamed Kaliph, of the Bellville Somali community says, “It is more dangerous to live here than in Somalia. If you are killed there, it is for a reason. We came here for peace and safety, now we would rather go home”.

“All we are asking for is to be protected or to be allowed to go home”, said Ismail Yusuf, who was shot in February and hospitalised for a month.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

COSATU condemns strike violence

By Odette Ismail

COSATU held a press conference on Tuesday, which focussed on the violence, associated with strike action and the condemnation of such violence. Various leaders attended the conference to express support as to alleviate any violence linked to strike action.

Colin Tyhalidikazi chairperson of SACCAWU emphasised police brutality on the Shoprite workers who were striking. He added that there needs to be more pressure being put on the employers, but reiterates COSATU’s standpoint on condemning any acts of violence during the respective strikes.

Members of SATAWU commented on the cleaning sector and appealed to the public for support. They also expressed their grievances of employers who they say, “ show no reluctance.” It was also appealed by all trade unions that emphasis be placed on the low wages strike and how it affects them and their families.

Tiger on a roll

By Tarryn Le Chat

All signs point towards Tiger Woods being ready to go on another roll.

According to the Cape Times, Wood’s victory in the PGA Championship on Sunday was his third straight on the PGA Tour, the fourth time he has put together such a winning streak.

Two of them were majors, and the world NO 1 has completed his past three tournaments in 60-under-par. Next up is Firestone, where he already has won four times and is the defending champion.

The new Tiger might be even better, and it has more to do with the space between his ears than whatever is going on with his swing.

According to the report, Woods is still one week away from his 10-year anniversary of turning professional, the American already has won 51 times to tie Billy Casper or sixth on the all time PGA tour chart.


Second-string Kiwi team to face Springboks

By Tarryn Le Chat

All Black coach, Graham Henry, is set to toll out his second-string line-up for Saturday’s Tri-Nations match against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

According to the Cape Times, tight head prop Carl Hayman is already a confirmed non-starter after having been knocked out in the weekend’s 34-27 win over Australia, while there are strong indications that captain Richie McCaw, the victim of pre-meditated violence by the Wallabies, won’t play either.

The All Blacks confirmed that motivation is still high. Bok coach, Jake White, says he wouldn’t be surprised if either Dan Carter or Richie McCaw isn’t at the game.

“South Africa in South Africa is a different kettle of fish. They are very motivated, they’re hugely physical. They put their bodies on the line”, said Henry.

According to the report, the Boks are yet to lose at home to New Zealand under White.

White will have a full squad to pick from after at one stage last week having been reduced to only 19 fit players.


Fear sparked in Somali community

By Chanel September

The fatal shooting of two Somali shopkeepers by robbers in Khayelithsa this past weekend has sparked fears in the Somali community.

Somali’s in the area feel that they are being targeted by thugs, while government and the United Nations do little to help.

The estimated death toll in the province in the past month alone is between 14 and 25.

Nansh Mohamed a shopkeeper in Khayelithsha told the Cape Times that they fled war and came to a democratic South Africa, but that they are most targeted in the area.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bail granted to Ayanda's alledged killers

By Chanel September

The three teenage boys who were charged with the murder of five-year-old Ayanda Dlabantu, who went missing from his Delft home, have requested a bail application hearing in the Bellville Magistrates Court on Monday.

The boys’ parents, who told Independent Online that they would appoint attorneys for their bail hearings, supported their pleas.

Magistrate Suzette Marais agreed to the hearing and posponed the case until August 31.

Yengeni to start jail term

By Nadia Samie

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Monday dismissed Former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni’s application for leave to appeal against his four-year prison sentence, imposed in 2003 in relation to fraud.

Yengeni was ordered to report to Pollsmoor Prison within 72 hours to start serving his sentence.

Yengeni filed court papers in June this year to appeal against his sentence.

The Democratic Alliance has responded to the ruling by saying the public will never be satisfied that justice has been done until all of the senior ruling party officials who have been implicated in the Arms Deal are brought to justice. The opposition party has called for a judicial commission of enquiry to be appointed.

Search continues for Swazi pupil's body

By Odette Ismail

The search for the body of the Swazi student who was swept out to sea by a fierce current on Campus Bay beach last week will resume on Monday.

Sibongiseni Mazibukothe aged 18, was pulled into sea while 53 classmates and eight teachers of Endzikgeni Nazarene High School were enjoying the sunset on Thursday evening. The group was on an educational outing on Cape Town and going to the beach was the last stop.

According to Independent Online the teenagers were taking a group photo in the water when Sibongiseni fell over and was immediately swept away by a strong current.

Rescue workers, Police divers and NSRI members joined forces to look for the body. The search ended at 10pm on Thursday evening and continued until Sunday.

NSRI Spokesperson Craig Lambinon says the search will proceed until the body’s found.


Cleaning sector intensifies strike action

By Nadia Samie

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union says that the strike in the cleaning sector will be stepped up this week, after negotiations last week failed to reach a breakthrough.

The strike in the cleaning sector began on August 1st. The strikers, who are from SATAWU and 15 other unions, say they have been left with no other option but to escalate their strike action. National co-ordinator of SATAWU’s cleaning sector, Dollie Motshwua, says that the following strike action will take place this week:

  • Wednesday 23rd August: there will be demonstrations at all international airports, including Johannesburg International, Cape Town International, Port Elizabeth etc.

  • Thursday 24th August: pickets will be held at selected private hospitals nationally.

  • Friday 25th August: the same will be held at selected Shopping Malls.

    SATAWU has now called for a sympathy strike from cleaning sector workers in Kwa-Zulu Natal, who are not currently on strike as they have a different bargaining forum. They have also called on other sectors within the union, including security guards, to join the strike.

  • Taxi bosses to ask Mbeki’s help

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Rival taxi groups are going to ask President Mbeki for help to intervene, since provincial government has failed to resolve the re-occurring problem of taxi violence and several deaths of innocent bystanders and taxi drivers in the Western Cape.

    According to the Cape Times, the City Council will be asked to control all taxi ranks in the Cape Town Metro pole area.

    Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA) spokesperson, Howard Dyubeni says, “We have had violence for so many years it has become sickening. How many more people must die before this problem is treated with the seriousness it deserves?”

    “Provincial government does not seem to be effective enough”, says Dyubeni.

    According to the report, Dyubeni’s comments followed Friday’s shooting in Khayelitsha long-distance taxi rank, where a taxi operator was shot dead and six others, including three passengers were wounded.

    Police said armed men had opened fire while passengers were preparing to leave.

    Police spokesperson, Billy Jones said three of the six people who had been wounded were discharged from hospital yesterday.

    No arrests have been made and the investigation into the shooting continues, said Jones.

    “Criminals have taken over taxi ranks and local government proceeds to do nothing about the situation”, said Dyubeni

    Department of Community Safety spokesperson, Makhaya Mani said that the leaders of taxi associations directly influenced the process of finding solutions to the conflict and those decisions taken at meetings between taxi groups and the authorities were not being filtered down to their members.


    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    City needs plan to remove N1 squatters

    By Odette Ismail

    A group of squatters have taken their own initiative to live on a narrow piece of road reserve along the N1 near the Woodstock turnoff.

    The squatters who apparently are from Congo, Malawi and Nigeria have been living probably there for 18 months according to Independent Online.

    Woodstock residents and motorists passing along have complained about the increase of smash and grab incidents, cars being broken into and squatters crossing the road in heavy traffic.

    Angelique Van Niekerk, a Woodstock resident says the area simply is not safe.

    JP Smith, Democratic Alliance city councillor and chairman of the safety and security portfolio committee said he was not sure whether it was the city’s responsibility to provide houses for them, but concedes that it was a problem and that something needs to be done

    Shooting at Khayelitsha taxi rank

    By Odette Ismail

    Western Cape police revealed that a taxi owner was shot dead and four others wounded in a shooting on Friday night at a long-distance taxi-rank in Khayelitsha by a group of men.

    Superintendent Billy Jones told Independent Online that three passengers-two men a woman- also got caught in the shooting.

    At 8.45pm a group of gunmen made their way to the rank and started shooting while passengers were getting into the taxi.

    The other three taxi drivers were in a serious but stable condition after being wounded in their stomachs and legs. The fourth taxi driver who was wounded in his leg was discharged from a hospital on Sunday. The three passengers who were also shot in their legs were also released from hospital.

    It is believed that the suspects sped off in a silver Nissan Almera and a charcoal double-cab bakkie.

    Anyone with information can contact the police at Crime Stop on 08600-10111.


    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Shark bite survivor receives offer for prosthesis

    By Odette Ismail

    The survivor of a shark attack, Achmat Hassiem accepted an offer for a free prosthesis and rehabilitation for a year. According to Independent Online, Hassiem may be in a position to walk in six weeks.

    An orthotics and prosthetics company called Progressive Ortho-paedics in Cape Town at Vincent Palloti hospital, offered to pay for his therapy and biokinetic rehabilitation. The cost of the limb can be expected to be roughly R60 000.

    Hassiem a lifeguard of the False Bay Life Saving Association was attacked last Sunday, when he was busy taking part in an exercise at Sunrise Beach in Muizenberg. It was reported that he might have been bitten by a Great White which bit off his right foot.

    Jayson Chin owner of Progressive Orthopaedics decided to assist the Hassiem Family as the company heard that Hassiem was not covered by medical aid
    Hassiem says he thinks that it is a great gesture and cannot wait to recover so that he can continue being a lifeguard.


    TAC members in custody after protest

    By Odette Ismail

    Forty-four members of the Treatment Action campaign (TAC) were arrested besides attempts on the call to arrest Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang on Friday.

    TAC chairperson Zackie Achmat was amongst protestors and has been charged with trespassing.

    Independent Online reports that the protest was ignited after the death of an HIV-positive prisoner at Durban’s Westville Prison. The unnamed inmate together with 15 other prisoners and the TAC won a case last month that ordered government to give Westville Prisoners ARV’s immediately.

    The departments of health and correctional services appealed against the ruling and this seems to further anger the TAC.

    The protestors entered the building at 4 Dorp Street on Friday morning in an attempt to occupy the offices of health MEC Pierre Uys. When the crowd didn’t disperse they were arrested.

    Achmat said that the law was broken due to government not taking the ruling seriously and for playing with people’s lives. Their demands in a memorandum were handed over to the office of Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool.


    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Man out on R500 bail for the murder of baby

    By Chanel September

    A man from Philippi has appeared in the Bishop Lavis Court on Thursday charged with the murder of ten-month-old Leshay Muller.

    In court Xolani Yako indicated that he would plead guilty and was released on R500 bail. Yako’s gun and the bullet that killed Leshay have been sent for forensic tests.

    The outcome of the tests will determine if he is to be charged with murder or culpable homicide.

    State prosecutor Nadeem Walters told the Cape Argus that many people witnessed the incident.

    However he was granted bail and asked that the case be postponed for three months until November 17 for further investigation.

    Tutu's emerging leadership organisation

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Today, 20 learners from across Cape Town discussed pressing social issues with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Rita Marley, wife of the legendary Bob Marley, at the Mount Nelson hotel.

    The secondary school learners seeked answers and advice on leadership and the current and future obstacles and goals facing their communities and their country.

    Another purpose for Rita Marley's visit is to continue discussions for her forthcoming 'Africa Unite' concert to be held on Bob Marley's birthday (6 February) in Cape Town next year.

    The concert is part of a mission to empower communities and to alleviate poverty, especially in Africa, based on the principles of compassion and love.


    Laws declared invalid

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    A legal amendment allowing nurses to perform abortions and the Traditional Health Practitioners Act has been declared invalid by the Constitutional Court because the public was not given sufficient opportunity to have its say.

    According to the Cape Times, the ruling has been given by Justice Sandile Ngcobo and seven other judges in a 117-page judgement. Justices Zak Yacoob and Johann van der Westhuizen held opposing views.

    According to the report, the invalidity order has been suspended for 18 months to enable parliament to fulfil its constitutional duty to allow sufficient public participation.

    The organisation held that, contrary to the Constitution, the National Council of Provinces did not allow sufficient public involvement in passing the bills.

    Arsonists hit Metrorail trains

    By Nadia Samie

    A metrorail train en-route from Kapteinsklip to Cape Town was set alight yesterday, allegedly by about 300 striking workers from the cleaning sector. It is believed that those responsible are members of the South African Transport and Allied workers Union (SATAWU).

    Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott says that the train was set slight at about twenty-to-twelve yesterday afternoon. It took emergency services two and a half hours to extinguish the blaze. Trains operating on the Khayelitsha, Monte Vista and Bellville via Lavis Town lines were delayed until the damaged train was removed.

    SATAWU spokesperson Evan Abrahams has meanwhile denied that it is SATAWU members that is responsible. The police's Captain Elliot Sinyangan says that no arrests have yet been made, and a case of malicious damage to property has been opened.
    Anyone with information on the incident, or who witnessed the incident, is asked to contact crime-stop on 08600-10111.

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Police increase visibility in Cape Town CBD

    By Chanel September

    To increase police visibility at ground level in the Cape Town CBD area, 200 police officers led by provincial commissioner Mzwanile Petros, took to the streets yesterday in line with the provinces People’s Orientated Sustainable Strategy.

    The strategy brings experienced senior police officials to ground level.

    The team consists of 40 senior members, among them directors and assistant commissioners.

    Police Director Novela Potelwa told the Cape Times that the exercise should be seen as a deterrent to criminals and that the city centre was a just a starting point, as other areas will be identified.

    Government commits to eradicate bucket toilets

    By Nadia Samie

    The government has committed itself to eradicate the so-called “bucket toilet system” by the end of 2007. At present, about one-hundred and fifty-five thousand buckets are still used in areas where there is a lack of sewerage pipes.

    However, according to Water Affairs Minister Lindiwe Hendricks, this arrangement does not apply to “informal settlements”. Instead, it was put in place for what she calls “formal establishments” and the townships.

    Hendricks told told MPs on Wednesday that the needs of informal settlers will be addressed through housing and human settlement programmes.

    The minister says her department has requested that the National Treasury make available the R600-million earmarked for bucket eradication in the 2007/2008 financial year, so that the December 2007 deadline can be met.

    Informal settlements and townships exist in all of South Africa’s major towns and cities, and many more have sprung up in recent years as following the movement of people from rural to urban areas in search of work.

    Proteas make thier way back home

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    The Proteas have abondoned their cricket tour to Sri Lanka after an independent security firm announced that the level of risk to the team was 'unacceptable'.

    The decision, announced yesterday in Johannesburg by the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, Gerald Majola, came two days after a terrorsit bomb attack in Colombo claimed the lives of seven people. The attack took place near a shopping mall a metre away from the hotel the Proteas were staying at.

    According to the report, Majola said the International Cricket Council had appointed an independent, Dubai-based security company, the Olive Group, after CSA's own company, Steyn and Nicholls, had initially reommended that the team come home.

    The coach said that the team had also been concerned about the number of threatening messages received by the South African High Commission this week.


    Stray bullet claims an innocent life

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    A baby girl was struck by a stray bullet and died as she was waiting at the garden gate for her mother to come home from work.

    According to the Cape Times, the bullet had been fired by Metrorail security guards as they pursued robbers along the station platform across the road from nine-month-old Leshey Muller's home.

    Leshey always waited at the gate with her 12-year-old cousin to watch her mother get off the train at Netreg station and cross the road to their home in Ranunculus Street, close to Modderdam Road, beside the N2.

    Little Leshey fought for her life for seven hours at Tygerberg Hospital before she died. She had asked for her mother according to the family.

    Acording to the report, Metrorail has extended their condolences to the family and offered them free tauma counselling and train tickets to travel to the psychologist in Cape Town.


    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Nine-month-old killed by stray bullet

    By Tando Mfengwana

    Police have arrested a 37-year-old man in Netreg, Cape Town, this after he allegedly shot dead a nine-month-old baby.

    The baby was hit by a stray bullet on the left side of her head when she was sitting in front of her house in Ranunclus Road, Kalksteenfontein. She was taken to the Tygerberg hospital where she later died of her injuries.

    Police spokesperson Nomathemba Mgwebile says that the man will appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate Court a charge of murder on Thursday.

    Heavy snowfall in Eastern Cape

    By Odette Ismail

    Arrive Alive has warned that roofs of houses and businesses are in danger of collapsing in the Eastern Cape due to heavy snowfall.

    Arrive Alive spokesperson Tshepo Machaea told Independent Online that the area experienced snowfalls through the night and that the R58 between Barkly East and Elliot would be closed off on Wednesday morning.

    Meanwhile Disaster teams and traffic officials have been using graders to remove snow off the road. Machaea also gave caution to motorists in the northern parts of the province to drive carefully as rock falls had been reported.

    Six people died in floods which swept Port Elizabeth last month while gales and very rough seas along the coast got hold of the Cape south coast, the Kwazulu-Natal north coast as well as the Western Cape south coast.


    Costs of flood damages rise

    By Chanel September

    The costs for damages that were sustained in the recent Southern Cape floods are four times higher than set at the start.

    The flood wreaked havoc in the region when it was struck by a cut – off low pressure system with heavy rain and gale – force winds.

    Premier Ebrahim Rasool has however reiterated that the region will not be declared a disaster area.

    The Premier told Independent Online that an estimated increase of R80 million was expected, but now the latest figure is R353 million.

    The provincial executive is to meet today to discuss its restoration strategy.

    Aids poses security risk to South Africa

    By Nadia Samie

    South Africa’s safety and security could be at risk if the prevalence of HIV/Aids among the South African Police Service is not given the attention it deserves, the International Aids Conference heard in Toronto, Canada last night.

    Police live and work in an environment that increases their risk of HIV infection, yet despite this, reports indicate that over two-thirds of police in the Johannesburg area have received no HIV/Aids awareness training.

    More startling, according to, is the fact that fifty-percent of police commanders indicated that HIV/Aids is not their responsibility, while fifty-percent of police overall have not seen the SAPS HIV/Aids policy.

    Senior Superintendent Magda Loubscher, the head of the police’s HIV section however disagrees with the report, says that a strategy had been implemented, which is aimed at creating awareness among police, preventing new infections and building capacity.

    South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV/Aids in the world, with five million people infected.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Man arrested for unlicensed gun

    By Odette Ismail

    A 27-year-old man from Soweto was arrested on Tuesday for being in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

    Captain Mbhazima Shiburi told Independent Online that members of the flying squad spotted the man carrying a bag on his shoulder going into his house.

    Shiburi said the man looked suspicious and police decided to follow him ,finding two 9mm pistols with 30 rounds of live ammunition in his bag.

    The man was arrested immediately and will appear in the Protea magistrates court on Wednesday.

    Pahad emphasises UN resolutions

    By Odette Ismail

    In respond to the humanitarian help in Lebanon Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said on Monday, that South Africa is very proud of groups like the Gift of the Givers’ who extended help to Lebanon in last week.

    He reiterated that they can now only call on the South African community as well as the International community to raise greater effort as the entire village’s infrastructure in Lebanon was destroyed.

    The minister also said that South Africa can only give the basis of a solution to solve problems between Israel and Lebanon, and to emphasise UN resolutions.

    He also commented on the situation in Sri Lanka by saying that he acknowledges that the situation is deteriorating in Colombo but that it is up to the cricket players if they wish to come home. Recent reports show that the bomb has caused the area to be very chaotic.


    Retail group temporarily closes stores

    By Chanel September

    The strike by Shoprite Checkers workers has reached a critical point, as acts of violence and vandalism has forced the retail group to temporarily close some of its stores.

    This comes after three stores were stormed and set alight by angry staff. Nine suspects, thought to be striking workers, appeared in court on Monday.

    Shoprite Checkers is now considering launching a civil action suit against the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU), but the union denies any association with the vandalism, saying that the allegations are ‘malicious, if not propaganda’.

    Mike Tau the chairperson of SACCAWU told the Cape Times that it is the people of the community who committed the acts and not their union members.

    Stores in Cape Town have reportedly been closed as a precautionary measure.

    Number 7 to exchange backs

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    The Wallabies are seeking to dump flank George Smith to make place for Phil Waugh at the number 7 position.

    This comes as Wallaby coach, John Connolly wants to mix up the team facing the almighty Kiwi's on Saturday in the next Tri-Nations clash in Auckland, New Zealand.

    Smith, who ranks second behind All Black captain and flank, Richie McCaw as an outstanding openside in international rugby, is facing the likelihood that he will have to make way for Waugh.

    According to the Cape Times, Connolly refused to confirm that Waugh would start ahead of his long-time rival, but he admitted that they needed a change in their team.

    "Their a different team and, against the All blacks, you play a different way. You have different tactics for different games", said Connolly.

    Having already lost the Bledisloe Cup for a fourth straight year due to defeats in Christchurch and Brisbane, the Wallabies must snap the All Blacks' unbeaten streak of 20 tests, dating back to 2003, to keep alive their Tri-Nations hopes.

    According to the report, an upset victory by Australia will leave the All Blacks needing to win one of their two remaining tests against the Springboks — both in South Africa — to retain the trophy.

    Draft media bill raises concern

    By Nadia Samie

    A draft legislation to amend the Films and Publications Act is still in its early stages, yet it has already caused concern among media watchdogs.

    It is believed that the amendment bill, which was intended to mend loopholes regarding child pornography, threatens media freedom. If the proposal, as it is now, is accepted by parliament, it would mean that the print and broadcast media would be subjected to dictates of the board.

    The Act is in place to regulate films and publications other than news media by classification, and determines the age restrictions on films, and how they should be displayed in shops, amongst other duties.

    Now the three biggest media freedom organisations in the country – the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), the South African Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) – have expressed shock at what they call the “government’s intention to impose direct censorship on the print and broadcast media”.

    Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance has issued a statement encouraging public hearings on the bill, saying also that the opinions of media experts should be considered.

    According to reports, the new bill would mean that the media could be subjected to pre-publication censorship. The media industry is at present regulated by the press ombudsman, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC).

    Bystander shot after attempted cash-in-transit heist

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    A bystander was wounded during a attempt cash-in-transit robbery in Steenberg yesterday.

    According to the Cape Times, the botched attempt occured at the intersection of Prince George drive and Military Road.

    Police said a group of eight to 12 armed men tried to rob a Fedility cash van. A white Mercedes-Benz, a black Nissan Hardbody and a white Ford Bantam bakkie surrounded the cash van and forced it off the road.

    Policemen patrolling in the vicinity rushed to the scene and shots were fired at them by the robbers. The armed men then drove off in the bakkies when the officers returned fire, leaving the mercedes at the scene.

    The bakkies were found abandoned in Chad Road near the Retreat railway station.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Baby Jordan trial continues in Cape High Court

    By Chanel September

    After five months of in and out court proceedings Natasha Norton can finally receive closure. Norton says that not to be looking forward to the trial, but feels that it is better for the trial to come to an end.

    Norton told Independent Online that she is a keen hockey player, has just returned from two hockey tours and is spending her time relaxing.

    The state has alleges that the suspected mastermind Dina Rodrigues hired Sipho Mfaze, (33) Mongezi Bobotyane (22) Zanethemba (18) and a 16-year- old youth to kill the infant.

    All pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated theft and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

    The trial resumes in the Cape High Court on Monday where the defence will be opening their case.

    Police prevent invasion at N2 Gateway housing project

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Metro police were deployed to the N2 Gateway housing project yesterday to prevent people from invading the completed units.

    According to metro police spokesperson Nowellyn Petersen, the situation at the site late yesterday afternoon was 'very tense'.

    Although none of the units was occupied, Petersen said metro police were monitoring 'some threatening activity' in the area, adding that police would remain on-site till the threat of invasion had dissipated.

    According to the Cape Times, extra off-duty metro police were also called in to help. Mayor Helen Zille warned recently of large-scale land invasions if the housing backlog was not addressed, saying the city's housing crisis was 'almost insurmountable'.


    Six appear in court for trespassing

    By Odette Ismail

    Six people are to appear in the Goodwood Magistrates court on Monday following acts of public violence in Kensington over the weekend.

    Metro Police spokesperson Nowellen Petersen told the Cape Times that four men and two women were arrested for public violence and failing to abide with lawful instruction. This sparked off when the structures of the six people were destroyed by authorities.

    Petersen said due to instructions last week, 21 structures had to be removed. A docket was opened at the Kensington police station for trespassing. Then another deed took place at 18th Avenue and Acre Road.

    The Metro Police reacted after being made aware of more structures being taken down, Petersen conceded.

    Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille gave warning to local authorities that the housing processes are to be dealt with faster as chaos could develop in the city.

    Shot student's mother plans to sue school

    By Chanel September

    The mother of the 14 – year – old pupil who was shot in a classroom at Bontehewel High School on Thursday has threatened to take legal action against the school.

    Velma Pontello, the mother of the pupil Tara Pontello said on Sunday that she is planning to discuss the matter with her attorney today.

    Tara was allegedly shot by a fellow pupil, in the lower waist. The bullet exited her body on the opposite side.

    Doctors told Pontello that her daughter’s hip had been damaged; however more doctors’ reports are expected today.

    The Western Cape Education Department has urged schools to monitor their premises and encouraged them to search schools.

    Meanwhile, the boy has since been arrested and appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates court.

    Nine shoprite strikers to appear in court today

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Nine people believed to be striking workers are to appear in court today for allegedly storming and torching three Shoprite Checkers stores at the weekend.

    Police said that on Saturday about 10am, a group of between 60 and 70 striking workers went into the Goodwood store armed with axes, knives and pangas.

    Police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn said, "They damaged the doors to the store, papers were set alight and an undisclosed amount of money was taken from the cash registers".

    The suspects, six men and one woamn, aged between 25 and 40, were arrested and are to appear in the Goodwood Magistrate's Court for public violence, robbery and arson.


    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    1 630 mandrax pills seized in Cape Flats

    By Tando Mfengwana

    Police seized 1 630 mandrax tablets in Valhalla Park on the Cape Flats following heedful community policing.

    In a combined venture between the areas crime combating unit and the Bishop Lavis police station, police arrested a man allegedly in possession of drugs with a street value of almost R65 000, the Cape Argus reports.

    Alistair Townsend of the crime combating unit said that patrolling police had seen a man walking with a plastic bag at about 11:45 pm on Saturday in Angela Street, Valhalla Park, when the police approached the suspect he then ran away, the police gave chase and he was caught.

    Police are hoping the arrest could lead them into more arrests.

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Illegal cigarettes cost the country billions.

    By Tando Mfengwana

    According to the South African Revenue Services, illegal trade of cigarettes is growing at a 2% rate each year in South Africa.

    This means that almost R2 Billion in revenue is lost every year, money that can be used to build about 12 500 low cost houses, almost a 100 000 families could have owned their homes.

    Illegal trade in tobacco products has grown from zero ten years ago to more than 20% of the total South African market.

    The Weekend Argus reports that in Gauteng this is almost 30%, with some vendors selling illicit products almost exclusively.

    Cigarettes are especially attractive for illegal traders because they have a high value-to-volume ratio and are relatively easy to transport. They also offer a high profit prospect than most other fast moving consumer goods, due to significant tax portion of the retail price.


    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Durban to have new airport for 2010

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Building work on the King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy, north of Durban, will begin in March next year, the Transport department said yesterday.

    The airport, expected to be completed in the first quater of 2010, would cost about 2.5 billion and would replace the Durban International Airport, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said.

    The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and Dube Tradeport - a trade company owned by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government - would be involved in the building and development of the airport.

    Radebe said all developments that did not fall within the definition of airport or tradeport business would be owned and developed jointly by Acsa and Dube Tradeport.


    Employers can go online to pay UIF for domestic staff

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    The department of Labour has launched an online system for the payment of Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions by domestic employers and small businesses.

    In the past three years, the department had registered 657 000 domestic employers, while more than R65 million had been paid out in benefits to 74 000 domestic workers. the average amount paid for each claim was R882.11.

    Domestic workers could claim from the fund for illness, maternity and death benefits.

    The system would also spare employers having to visit the department in dealing with new appointments, resignations, deaths or dismissals as the procedures could be completed on line from the office or home.

    The employer should print out and sign the summary page before faxing it with a copy of his or her identity book to 011 361 4545.

    Registration would take 24 hours and confirmation would be sent to the employer by sms or e-mail.


    Hijackers make off with R100 000

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Armed men made off with R100 000 in coins after they hijacked an Ottery wholesaler's driver on his way to the bank yesterday morning.

    According to the Cape Times, the incident took place in broad daylight and happened in heavy traffic at the Vanguard Drive and Klipfontein Road intersection in Gatesville.

    The driver, Ismail Davids, said he was on his way to deposit the money at the Absa Bank in Goodwood.

    After the herendous act took place, Davids stopped a police patrol vehicle to report the incident. On his arrival at the Athlone police station, he heard that the hijacked truck had been found in Manenberg. Davids said he is glad to be alive.

    Spokesperson Randall Stoffels confirmed that police were investigating the hijacking.


    CPUT under investigation for corruption

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    According to the Cape Times, days before its council is to attend a special meeting on allegations of corruption at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), unions have called for a forensic auditor's investigation into claims that some council members have financial interests in the institution.

    Council vice-chairman Justice Siraj Desai has spoken out strongly against council members having financial interests in the CPUT. The council is to meet on Monday. The university has been dogged by allegations of impropriety.

    These came to the fore when unions slammed the handling of the selection of a new vice-chancellor last year following the merging of the Peninsula and Cape technikons to form the CPUT.


    bus fare increase for commuters

    By Chanel September

    Bus fares are expected to increase by more than four percent a trip on August 28, following the 23-percent diesel fuel increase in April.

    However Golden Arrow Bus Services still awaits the department of transport's approval to increase its fares.

    The company's fare increase will affect all passengers, including pensioners and scholars, and all cash fares with effect on August 28.

    Golden Arrow said a weekly clip card bought on August 27 would be valid until the second week of September and a monthly ticket bought on the same day will be accepted until October 3.

    Parreira will not be in Windhoek

    By Odette Ismail

    The new Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Parreira will not go to next week’s friendly international between South Africa and Namibia in Windhoek.

    The South African Football Association chief, Raymond Hack told the Cape Times, that he did not know when Parreira would be arriving in South Africa because the organisation didn’t apply for a work for the coach.

    Hack said Parreira is only expected to arrive next week. According to the Cape Times this seems to be the reason why in earlier reports from Brazil that Parreira would rather take this job offer in 2007.

    Bafana’s 2008 African Nations Cup qualifying exam starts next month, but it seems that Parreira’s arrival is not first priority for Safa.

    Boy arrested after shooting in classroom

    By Chanel September

    A 15-year-old boy was arrested on Thursday for shooting and wounding a female classmate at the Bonteheuwel secondary school in Cape Town.

    The boy who fired a shot in the in class at 1.50pm, wounding a 14-year-old girl on the left side of her lower body.

    The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, is expected to appear in the Bishop Lavis magistrate's court on charges of attempted murder.

    Captain Elliot Sinyangana said the girl was in a stable condition in hospital. He could however not say what led the boy to open fire, saying the matter was still under investigation.

    Hijackers flee with R100 000

    By Chanel September

    Armed men made off with R100 000 in coins after they hijacked an Ottery wholesaler's driver on his way to the bank on Thursday morning.

    The incident, which took place in broad daylight, happened in heavy traffic at the Vanguard Drive and Klipfontein Road intersection in Gatesville.

    The driver, said that he was on his way to deposit the money at the Absa Bank in Goodwood.

    When he reached the robot, there was a truck and four cars in front of him. The driver stopped a police patrol vehicle minutes after the incident.

    On his arrival at the Athlone police station, he heard that the hijacked truck had been found in Manenberg.

    IOL reports that police spokesperson Randall Stoffels confirmed that police were investigating the hijacking.

    Taxi groups fire shots in Montague Gardens

    By Odette Ismail

    Police broke up shooting between two independent taxi organisations at an illegal taxi rank at Montague’s Gardens on Thursday morning.

    The shooting between Dunoon and Joe Slovo taxi organisations sparked off due to the apparent lucrative, but informal taxi rank at Marconi Beam. A public member alerted the police of the chaos at the rank, but no-one was injured and there were no charges filed with police.

    Police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana told the Cape Times that drivers were told to leave the area. Sinyangana said that no-one came forward to explain the reason for the shooting. So far the police have no suspects.

    A senior figure in the taxi industry said that the Congress of Democratic Associations (Codeta) and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations (Cata) will never see eye to eye. This friction between groups ignited especially after the fatal shootings in the Bellville and Kraaifontein areas.
    In the past two weeks two Cata operators were murdered in front of their homes. The senior also said that rivalry between Cape Town-based taxi organisations started as early as the 1980’s already.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Title-hungry Els puts in extra practice

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    According to the Cape Times, South African Ernie Els is hungry for his first victory of the year. He has given himself extra time to prepare for the International starting at the Castle Pines Golf Club today.

    The world number 7, who has not played competitive golf since finishing third at last month's British Open, arrived at the picturesque Colorado course as early as last weekend.

    Els, 36, has not hit top form this season after being sidelined for four months at the end of last year following a knee surgery. He twisted his left knee on a family sailing holiday a week after the 2005 British Open and has visited the winner's circle only once since then.

    The popular South African faces a strong field at Castle Pines, with many top players reparing for the final major of the year, the US PGA Championship at Medinah next week.


    Study of domestic violence identifies abuse by race groups

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    According to the Cape Times, verbal and psychological abuse were found to be the most frequent forms of abuse in the Western Cape in a study that aims to assess among other things the impact an Interim Protection Order (IPO) had on the well-being of domestic violence victims.

    The study was conducted by Mosaic, a local non-government organisation operating as a healing centre for women who are are victims of domestic violence.

    It was also done in conjunction with Tertia Vogt, a Stellenbosch University doctoral student of psychology.

    The aim of the study also included ensuring a greater understanding of domestic violence in the province and identifying the needs of victims.

    Statistics showed that white and coloured groups experienced the most verbal abuse, while there was a trend in the black group to experience less. Coloured groups experienced less physical abuse than in white and black groups.

    Shouting was cited by 100% of white participants, 93% of coloured participants and 87% of black participants.

    There was a trend within white groups to destroy property more than in the other groups. There was a trend for abusers in the coloured group to take the victim's money more than in the black groups, however, black groups were more proned to kicking.

    Most participants (83.8%) felt that the IPO helped them in that the abuse either became less or stopped entirely. The study made several recommendations.

    One of the recommendations was that court processes be improved and another was the proper training of court personnel.

    Court sentence passed on 'rapist' pastor

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    The Cape High Court has sentenced a 50-year-old pastor to life inprisonment on Tuesday for raping a nine-year-old girl.

    Acting judge Aboobaker Mohamed said in the sentencing that the rape has gained very little but, killed the spirit of three women - the victim, her mother and his own wife.

    Pastor Sakhayedwa Hlatswayo was convicted in the local regional court of raping the girl in December 2003.

    The girl, who remains un-named, had sometimes played in the pastors house. The case was transferred to the high court as the prescribed sentence exceeded the jurisdiction of the trial court.

    Mohamed said that when the legislature passed the minimum sentence for rape, deterrence was the main component of sentencing.

    "Rape is a perverted and cowardly abuse and to do it to a girl of nine is to kill innocence itself", the judge said.


    Suspect found dead in police cell

    By Chanel September

    A man who was arrested in the Strand, near Cape Town, on Tuesday on theft and housebreaking charges was found dead in the cell where he was kept.

    The man was arrested at 1pm and was found dead at 3pm. Captain Elliot Sinyangana said on Wednesday, that he was placed in a police cell with another male person and at about 3pm.

    On arrival they found the suspect hanging from the cell bar with a string he made by tearing a blanket.

    An inquest docket has been opened and local police were investigating.

    Ntini and Pollock battle it out to be fit

    By Odette Ismail

    South Africa’s two greatest pace bowlers, Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock are competing to be fit for the opening match against Sri Lanka on Monday.

    Proteas Physiotherapist Shane Jabaar told the Cape Times that he was concerned about both players whose old injuries recurred. Ntini is still battling to overcome the effect of a “chronically unstable” left knee, while Pollock has a sore lower back.

    Jabaar said Ntini is paying the price for his intense and heavy workloads over the past five years and Pollock whose career goes way back. Jabaar said he only has the power to recommend players like Ntini and Pollock to rest but that’s as far as it goes.

    He also added that unlike coaches in America and gridiron who are able to refuse players to play, he does not have the power. Jabaar also said if he had the power there would be many players who would not have played in matches they played in.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Rasool rejects inquiry into Kebble donations

    By Tando Mfengwana

    Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool says that he does not support the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into donations received by the African National Congress from slain mining mogul, Brett Kebble.

    Rasool said that the province has never given gifts or any favours to Kebble, when he was responding to questions from the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape legislature. But, the ANC has never denied receiving money from Kebble.

    Forensic auditors found that Kebble had given R25 million to the ANC, that included R5. 7 million as a donation to the party in the Western Cape.

    Ebrahim said that he would not want to yield whether the money would be returned or not by the ANC, he said this should be determined by the legitimacy of the donations.


    City not paying nature reserves

    By Tando Mfengwana

    The contract of Nature Conservation Corporation, a company responsible for running 13 of the city’s nature reserve for the last three years, has been cut by the City of Cape Town, and the company is considering taking legal action against the city.

    The city could not pay the company because of what it called irregularities, at the end of July 2006. The city is investigating all service providers for all city departments; nature conservation is the first to be investigated.

    Tygerberg, Rondevlei and Helderberg nature reserves had to be closed over the weekend because there were no staff members. Workers had to be retrenched because there was no money to pay them.

    The city’s nature reserves include some of the last variety of lowland fynbos. Rondevlei is recognised internationally as a haven for migratory and prevalent birds, and is home to several hippos.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Two arressted for murder and mutilation

    By Tando Mfengwana

    Police have arrested two men, aged between 19 and 25 for the murder and horrific mutilation, believed to be muti-related, of a 23-year old man from Philippi.

    Siyabonga Shasha’s body was found on an open field near Bristol Road, Nyanga, early Saturday morning, with his heart, genitals and throat removed from his body, said the police spokesperson Randal Stoffels.

    The gruesome killing came as a shock to his family as they had just buried one of their younger sons, who was short in gang related violence in July.

    Shasha’s older brother, Sivuyile said that he had seen his brother in a Philippi shebeen on Friday, and he borrowed him money so that he could buy breakfast for himself.

    Residents living near the area where Shasha’s body was found say that this is not the first time bodies have been found in the area. They say that bodies of two men who had been shot in the head were found in the same place two months ago.

    Three-way race to host international journalists for World Cup 2010

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    According to the Cape Argus, Cape Town may join a three-way race with Johannesburg and Durban to be selected as the main international media centre for the 2010 World cup.

    The chairman of the local Fifa World Cup organising committee, Danny Jordaan, confirmed that Cape Town and Durban had "shown an expression of interest" in the centre - but he said only Johannesburg had come up with a concrete proposal.

    Johannesburg wanted to accomodate the centre in the 35 000 metre-square Nasrec exhibition hall, a 15-minute walk from the Soccer City stadium.

    A media centre in Cape Town would be based in the International Convention Centre. The CTICC would double its size from 10 000 metre-square to 20 000 metre-square to house the centre, expanding on the side facing Customs House.

    The media centre would host more than 3 000 journalists. CTICC managing director Dirk Elzinga said decisions and concrete plans would be made at a september board meeting.

    The organising committee will inspect possible media centre venues in October. The director of the 2010 World cup team in the City of Cape Town, Teral Cullen, said the city supported the CTICC as a venue for the media centre and would submit a bid "and see how it goes" after the Fifa inspections in October.


    Grassy Park school burgled twice

    By Odette Ismail

    Montaqu Gift Primary was broken into twice in four days. The students and teachers at the school in Grassy Park told the Cape Argus that they were very upset.

    The robbers broke in through the roof of the school last Wednesday and stole a computer and two towers. After three days the school was under fire again as the robbers returned to steal two more computers.

    The computers were not connected yet as the school just received it as a donation by Rotary clubs. Principal Daphne Barlie said that pupils and teachers were put off with the incident.

    While the school was trying to fix up the roof, another burglary took place through the roof again.

    Teachers are taking computers home to avoid them being stolen again. The Grassy Park police are offering a reward for any information on the burglaries.

    Teenage boys questioned in connection with Delft murder released

    By Chanel September

    Two teenagers’ boys, who have been questioned in connection with the weekend murder of five-year-old Ayanda Dlabantu, will be released on Tuesday morning.

    The dead toddler's body was found on a open field on Saturday, close to his Delft home. The boys were in custody on Sunday night.

    The five-year-old boy reportedly saw them stealing a cellphone.

    Police spokesperson Joel Wilson said the teenagers are being released because of a lack of evidence.

    Manenberg community vows to fight crime

    By Chanel September

    The Manenberg community policing forum and the police have vowed to strengthen their fight against crime and drugs in the area.

    Residents were encouraged to express their concerns on crime and suggest fighting measures to stop the problem.

    Deputy Police Commissioner Glen Schooling was at the Manenberg Community Hall last week and told the community that crime in Manenberg had dropped markedly, but that there was still room for improvement.

    He attributed the success to strong co-operation between the police and the community. According to IOL, Schooling said that the police were working on a number of projects, including Safer Trains and Safer Schools projects.

    Some community members suggested regular police raids on shebeens and the homes of suspected druglords.

    Aussie commentator sacked for racist comment

    By Tarryn Le Chat

    Former Australian test player, Dean Jones was sacked from his job as a commentator yesterday after referring to South African Muslim batsman Hasim Amla as a "terrorsit".

    Jones, who admitted making the comment and apologised, was on a TV commentary team covering the second test between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo.

    According to a statement issued by Cricket South Africa (CSA) yesterday, viewers heard Jones say, "the terrorist has got another wicket" when Amla took the catch that dismissed Kumar Sangakkara.

    Amla is a devout muslim who sports a beard for religious reasons and has succesfully negotiated with the South African team's main sponsors, SA Breweries, not to wear the Castle Larger logo on his playing and practice gear.

    Gerald Majola, CSA chief executive said, "We take the strongest exception to this comment, and we will lodge an official complaint with the host broadcaster, Ten sports, that employs him. We will be asking for his immediate suspension and a full apology".

    Jones says, "It was a silly comment, but I didnt think anyone would hear me".

    According to the Cape Times, switchboards of both the CSA and Supersport, that takes a feed of the broadcast to South African audiences, have been jammed with calls from angry people.

    The match is being broadcast live in South Africa.


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