Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Indian commando introduces construction programme

By Odette Ismail
31 October 2006

The director-general of The National Academy of Construction (NAC) in India, Commando CT Chari, presented today a construction training programme implemented in his own country. The commando was hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technloghy, Bellville campus.

The programme provides unemployed people from rural areas with an opportunity to obtain skills desperately needed in construction.

In India each trainee is provided with quality skills and a guaranteed employment opportunity relating to construction.

The NAC is supported by the government and various non-governmental organisations.

At the moment the programmes are booming for India as all unskilled people who undergo training become fully equipped with skills.

Commando Chari says that he believes the programmes working well depend on the socio-economic issues of a country. Trainees in India are being trained for three months says Commando Chari.

He argues that this is too little time to fully equip workers and says most of them have a need to finish up and provide for their families.

Also attending the discussion were representatives of SETA, Eskom, lecturers of various techical and construction institutions as well as students from other academic institutions.

Gang robs cash van and shoots cop

By Tando Mfengwana
31 October 2006

A gang of 15 robbers used a truck to smash a 10-ton truck into a Cash Paymaster Services vehicle on Monday.

They then shot a police officer on the scene and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

The incident took place on the R614 road between Wartburg and Tongaat.

Police spokesperson inspector Michael Read, said that the cash vehicle had overturned after it had been smashed into by a truck and overturned.

The truck was followed by a 4x4 vehicle at about 8:30 in the morning.

Fifteen men armed with AK47’s and shotguns got out and opened fire on the on the four guards.

The Mercury reports that a police constable who had arrived at the scene of the incident was shot in the chest.

He was transported to Victoria Hospital in Tongaat. He is in a critical but in a stable condition in hospital.

The report says that the gang fled the scene after hijacking another bakkie that was passing by, and it was found abandoned nearby.

The serious and Violent Crimes Unit, the SAPS Airwing, Dog Unit and Emergency Services searched for the gang, but no arrest have been made.

Teenager missing on the Cape Flats

By Nadia Samie
31 October 2006

Cape Town Police are requesting the public’s assistance in finding 17 year old Tabo Lubambo from Nyanga, who was last seen on Wednesday, the 25th October at approximately 5PM in the Company Gardens in the city centre.

Tabo has short black hair, brown eyes and is dark of complexion. He also has two scars, one on the right side of his head and one on his left arm. At the time of his disappearance he was dressed in a black tracksuit pants, check jersey and black shoes.

Anyone with information can contact the investigating officer, Inspector Herman van Deventer at the Cape Town Police station on (021) 467 8023 or (021) 467 8002. Alernatively, contact Crime Stop on share-call,
08600 10111.

Cellphone shops faced with new cellphone scam

By Tando Mfengwana
30 October 2006

Cellphone shops are targets to an emerging cellphone scam that has hit Cape Town recently. Genuine cellphones are swapped for a fake that looks identical to an authentic phone and are the same weight as the original.

More than 20 cases of cellphone theft have been reported by cellphone shops over the past two weeks.

Ben Lombard, a Cape Town based expert that tracks down shop staff who steal merchandise, said that the only visible difference between the fakes and the authentic phones was the back cover and batteries of the fake phones could not be removed, according to the Cape Times. He believes that a batch of stolen fake phones, which were produced by cellphone suppliers as display models, was being used in the scams. Lombard said that a customer would ask staff to have a look at a phone and when they had the phone they would ask to see another model.

The thief would swap the authentic phone with the fake one while the salesperson was taking another out the display cabinet. The report says Lombard suggest that shops should put paper stickers on their phones to prevent this kind of theft from happening.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Children in Khayelitsha to cycle to school

By Chanel September
31 October 2006

For a lot of children riding a bicycle is for fun. In some townships however it’s a way to get to and from school.

In Khayelitsha many students have to walk more than 30 minutes to get to their classrooms.

The department of Transport and Public Works wants to make their journey a bit easier. The government is giving 50 bikes to 10 schools in the Khayelitsha.

That, however, is only enough for five students in each school.

Schools will give bikes to those underprivileged students who live within a three to five kilometre radius and who do not receive subsidies.

Several students gathered to see the bikes being handed over to their school principals. They say that they are very happy.

Bicycles were also given to schools in Malmesbury. Two hundred bicycles in all were given to both communities.
MEC for transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, Marius Fransman, was at Masiphumelele Primary school in Khayelitsha for the presentation.

He says “the focus is to make sure that the bicycles are used to get to various destinations and to encourage people in the province to use bicycles as a form of transport.”

Children killed in car crash

By Tando Mfengwana
30 October 2006

Three children, including a five-month old baby, were killed in a car crash between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp.

Police spokesperson Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe said that the driver of a bakkie lost control of his vehicle while trying to avoid hitting a dog.

The bakkie hit a six-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister who where walking on a pavement.

The vehicle then overturned and a five-month-old baby died on the scene. Six passengers were taken to a nearby hospital and were treated for serious injuries.

Police arrested the driver and an investigation will take place.

Taxi drivers to protest again

By Tarryn Le Chat
30 October 2006

In anticipation of more strike action by disgruntled taxi drivers today, the Western Cape Taxi Council has called a meeting with drivers and owners to try to resolve the situation.

Last Thursday saw thousands of taxi drivers on strike, unhappy at what they called victimisation by law enforcement officials, abandon their vehicles and hurl stones, in running street battles with police on some of the city’s main roads.

The N2, R300 and roads into various townships were blockaded temporarily as the striking drivers’ burnt tyres, attacked buses and hurled rocks and stones at commuters and police.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse taxi drivers who blockaded the N2 and tried to stage illegal marches to central Cape Town.

Western Cape Taxi Council chairperson, Junaid Peters said today’s anticipated strike was not about the government’s R7 billion taxi recapitalisation programme, “The strike is against law enforcement. We anticipated some kind of action today.”

Peters said that the situation has become unruly and the owners don’t accept the hijacking and burning of buses.

Another shack fire leaves two men to die

By Odette Ismail
30 October 2006

Two men died after weekend fires destroyed their shacks.

Disaster management spokesperson Johan Minnie confirmed that more or less eight people were left homeless.

In Delft and Mfuleni only the two men’s shacks were caught in the fire.

Yesterday a fire also destroyed three homes in an informal settlement in Khayelitsha.

The Red Cross Society donated food and blankets to the homeless. They will also receive building materials. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Burials seen as a meeting place

By Tarryn Le Chat
30 September 2006

For many city residents, it would seem the cemetery is becoming one of the most popular places to meet and greet family members, friends and old acquaintances.

More than 300 well-dressed people filed through gate 4A at the Maitland cemetery yesterday morning.

It also appeared that most present had done this many times before. Tow groups of mourners sample out of the many which dotted the cemetery.

An increase in the number of burials has been taking place, especially amongst younger people who are losing their lives to HIV/Aids.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Educor to provide 20 'affordable' private schools

By Tarryn Le Chat
29 October 2006

South Africa is to get 20 ‘affordable’ private schools in the next 10 years, says the country’s largest private education provider, Educor.

Managing Director Hennie Louw said the sites for the first two schools would be announced shortly.

Louw said for the past two years they had been investigating the opportunities to build affordable private schools that would allow parents to pay for the same fees as former Model c schools.

Costs at SA’s top private schools start around R3 000 a month while Educor’s school fees would be between R 1000 to R2 000 a month.

Classes would have a maximum of 20 pupils. These costs would vary according to grade and pupils’ subject choice.

Educor calculated that it would cost about R30 million to build a 13-grade school – grades 0-12 – so the venture would be expensive, but not as costly as SA’s most elite schools which would cost R60-75 million to build from scratch.

These schools would be dual medium, English and Afrikaans and each grade would have four classes.

Plans for 2010 to be revised next week

By Tarryn Le Chat
29 October 2006

The tender for the management of Cape Town’s 2010 soccer World Cup Stadium will be advertised next week, but a spokesperson for the Green Point Common Coalition says the government is moving too fast.

The authorities were planning to start building in January for completion by July 2009, but this would be impossible unless their reasons for building the stadium in Green Point were ‘sound’.

David Polovin of the coalition said the government was working on proposed 68 000 multi-purpose African Renaissance Stadium on the assumption that there was no opposition, but this should not be taken for granted.

The provincial government is set to react to the environmental impact assessment next Tuesday and announce whether the stadium will be built on the existing stadium site, of if part of the Metropolitan Golf Course site would be used.

If the new stadium were built on the present site, the 47-metre high structure would overwhelm the main road and dwarf nearby buildings.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Constitutional Courts hears single mother's plea

By Tarryn Le Chat
28 October 2006

A single mother facing several months in jail for fraud has asked Chief Justice Pius Langa to help keep her out of prison to avoid her children being taken into foster care.

Karen Maneveld’s children are to speak on her behalf when the court hears why she believes she should not go to jail.

Her case will be heard by the Constitutional Court early next year.

Maneveld was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with the provision that she be considered for correctional supervision after serving eight months.

Justice Langa indicated that the question the court wanted to hear argument on was what was the duty of a sentencing court in the light of the constitution’s stating that a paramount importance in every matter concerning the child?

Housing project spends substantial amount wihtout business plan

By Chanel September
28 October 2006

The provincial department of local government and housing has spent almost R92-million on the N2 Gateway project without a formal business plan.

This has been disclosed in the auditor-general's report, included in the department's 2005/2006 annual report made public this week.

Vusi Tshose, spokesperson for local government and housing, said the department had had to go ahead with the project before approval was finalised because of the "great pressure for housing delivery" in the province.

Under the N2 Gateway project, begun last year and touted as a national pilot for low-income housing, about 22 000 units are to be built for low-income earners in Langa, Gugulethu, Crossroads and Airport Industria.

According to the Cape Argus the R6,5-million was paid by the City of Cape Town, but later reimbursed by the provincial department of housing.

Friday, October 27, 2006

City call centre flooded with calls

By Odette Ismail
27 October 2006

Residents are flooding calls to the City of Cape Town’s call centre. They are trying to make arrangements to pay off their debts. This is causing irritation as it blocks the lines.

Revenue director Derek Harris says people responded to Mayor Helen Zille’s invitation to all residents to come forward and take advantage of the indigent policy.

Mayor Helen Zille says in a statement: “While we are obliged in terms of the Municipal Systems Act to collect rates and service fees, and also implement credit control and debt collection. We do not want people who are experiencing financial difficulties to feel that they have nowhere to turn.”

The Customer Care Office in the Civic Centre in Cape Town will be open from Monday-Friday and on a Saturday from 07:00, to help residents.

The other offices will only operate during business hours.

More unrest on the city's roads

By Nadia Samie
27 October 2006

Commuters, drivers and police had to endure another turbulent morning on the city’s roads. Taxi drivers in Cape Town have vowed to keep protesting until they receive better treatment. Hanover Park taxi driver, David Jaggers, told Bush Radio in an eyewitness account this morning that taxi drivers were driving around the areas in cars, preventing drivers who were working from loading passengers.

Jagger says he had heard reports of a driver being shot in Mitchell's Plain, but police spokesperson Captain Billy Jones said that the shooting incident could not be confirmed. Jones said that incidents of stone-throwing and blockading are being encountered along Meeuway and Spine Roads and the N7. If possible, motorists should take alternative routes.

Yesterday morning striking taxi drivers blocked several parts of the N2. They say they're unhappy with Transport Minister Jeff Radebe's taxi recapitalisation programme and they also claim they're being victimized by police.The recapitalisation program has resulted in the arrest of more than 600 taxi drivers since April.

Mob stones suspected rapists to death

By Tando Mfengwana
27 October 2006

A mob overpowered police and pulled out two men suspected of rape from a police vehicle and stoned them to death yesterday.

Captain Sabelo Gugu said that the men were arrested yesterday morning on charges of rape and serial rape.

Gugu said that when police drove the two to the K-section of Kwa-Mashu, in Durban, a mob took the men and stoned them until they died. No arrests have been made, according to the Cape Times.

Research says women wake up grumpier than men

By Tando Mfengwana
27 October 2006

A study has shown that women are in a bad mood for up to four hours after waking up. The Sleep Council found that 13 percent of women are grumpier when they wake up in the morning, compared to 10 percent of men, the Cape Times reports.

Forty percent of those studied put the cause of their bad mood on a disturbed night. Twenty-four percent said it was because of stress and worry. eople from London, UK are the grumpiest. But only seven percent of those surveyed in northeast UK get seven nights’ good sleep.

Mfuleni boy goes missing in bus terminus

By Tando Mfengwana
27 October 2006

A Mfuleni boy disappeared at the Golden Arrow bus Terminal in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Police Spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana, said that Sino Molteno, four, was last seen wearing a blue top with a picture of wrestler John Cena and beige trousers and he was carrying a black- and – red Spiderman backpack.

The boy was with his 10 year old sister at the time of his disappearance. Molteno and his sister commute from Cape Town to Mfuleni every afternoon.

Members of the public who have any information about the boy’s whereabouts can contact the Cape Town Central police station on 021 467 8001/2 or crime stop on 08600 10111.

Pupils fined for use of their cellphones

By Chanel September
27 October 2006

The use of cell phones in schools has become a nightmare with some principals being forced to start fining some students to ensure that they pay attention in class.

Pupils at some schools are fined from R5 to R250 for not adhering to school policy.

According to the education department does not have a cell phone policy, but states that states school governing bodies have power to implement them.

Principals from local schools in Cape Town all condemned the use of cell phones at school.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Demonstrators rally behind Zille and DA

By Tarryn Le Chat
26 October 2006

Hundreds of protestors were out in the streets of Cape Town, this morning. They were holding a peaceful march in support of Cape Town mayor, Helen Zille, and the Democratic Alliance.

Supporters of Zille believe the ANC is trying to seize power from the DA by stripping the mayor of her executive powers. They fear such a move would turn the mayor into a figure head.

The demonstrators needed a police escort as they marched from Tennant Street to Wale Street.
Zille’s team had organized buses so that people as far away as Mitchell’s Plain could attend the march.

The several hundred demonstrators sang songs and chanted ‘Viva DA viva!’ They also carried placards of the DA, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and several other parties.

Moving down to Wale Street, the supporters shouted, down with Dyantyi! Down with the ANC! The crowd held strong saying he should be removed as MEC for housing and fired from local government.
Another slogan read ‘Zille in power is democracy’.
The march was a colourful one with people of all races and religions taking part.

Addressing the crowd in Wale Street, Zille said the ANC’s move is a ‘power grab’ to get back the City of Cape Town and is reminiscent of Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe.

DA leader Tony Leon said his party would fight not only for the citizens of Cape Town, but for democracy. Leon went on to say, “the question on everybody’s lips is, why only the Municipality of Cape Town? What about changing the other provinces as well and other municipalities in the Western Cape? And if the ANC should lose control of the country, will they try and do the same?”

Representatives of the other participating parties riled up the crowd with their speeches and their stance behind the DA to secure the Mayoral executive committee and democracy in Cape Town.

A call to clean up City Graffiti

By Chanel September
26 October 2006

Cape Town's Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for Metrorail's trains to be cleared of graffiti before the 2010 World Cup.

The chamber's president, Janine Myburgh, says it would be some time before the plans to improve public transport were implemented, but there were a number of things that could be tackled immediately.

One of these was the removal of graffiti on trains. The estimated cost of cleaning a coach's exterior is R20 000.The removal of graffiti will be included under operational funding.

Myburgh says that Cape Town has great visual appeal which would become one of the most filmed and photographed cities in the world in the run-up to 2010.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Taxi drivers strike tomorrow

By Tando Mfengwana
25 October 2006

Western Cape Taxi Drivers are going on strike tomorrow on what they say is their victimisation from law enforcement official.

He says that taxi drivers are complaining of harassment from Traffic officials in the highways, as they are targeted as the only traffic offenders.

Drivers have accumulated a lot of warrants reaching up to R40 000 to R90 000 and they have been arrested.

The drivers have no union that represents them and they are in a planning process of formulating an organisation to represent them. At the moment a task committee is formulating a union.

Taxi drivers say that they want to be recognised as any other employee, as this is not the case in the Western Cape, according to Leon Mbandezela who is commissioned by the taxi driver to organise the march.

The strike is only expected to be a one day event, but Mr Leon Mbandezela who is appointed to the task team that organised the strike action to take place tomorrow.

But he says that if they receive hostility from the government they will continue to strike for the rest of the week.

Farewell to Strand kitesurfer

By Odette Ismail
25 October 2006

Kitesurfers have said goodbye to their colleague at a seaside ceremony at the Strand.

Pierre Nel died last week while kite-surfing in fierce winds off Macassar on the False Bay coast-line.

Members of the Strand Kitesurfing fraternity used their huge kites to form a circle on the beach, in which they stood and held a minute of silence.

Nel’s fiancée, Roslyn Burger told the Cape Argus as looking out to sea that Nel loved being there.

His kite had dragged him for a distance across the water while still being in the air. Friends thought that Nel drowned, but an autopsy revealed that he had in fact died of a heart attack.

Burger also added that she was very shocked, because instead of planning to get married, she has to plan a funeral instead


By Tarryn Le Chat
25 October 2006

Today, Bush Radio 89.5fm, will be meeting with the US Ambassador Eric M Bost live in studio with a direct link up to Voice of America (VOA) broadcasting live to the world.

The discussion has various topics ranging from politics to even language. The United States of America (USA) affects us all!

Young people will speak directly to the Ambassador and listeners will have the opportunity to participate in the discussion and ask questions they have always wanted to know about the USA.

The programme will start at 15h00 – 17h00 (South Africa time).

Call Bush Radio at (021) 448 5450 (Cape Town, South Africa) to participate.

For Listeners in the USA:

· You can participate on the TTA (broadcasting at 1400 UCT daily).
· Call VOA on +1-202-6199-3111.
· You should place your call through their international operator and remember to reverse the charges.
· VOA will pay for your call
· If you do not have a system that permits collect calls, place the call yourself and give them our country code, city code and phone number and they will cal you right back.

Send e-mail: talk@voanews.com
Send SMS text: Africa and Worldwide: +27 831 421 012 0010
Send a fax: +1-202-260-8572
Call with feedback: +1 -202-205-3291 (anytime)

New Campaign launched for Grade ones

By Chanel September
25 October 2006

A campaign urging parents to ensure their children are old enough for the Grade One enrolments for 2007 is under way.

Education spokesperson for the Western Cape, Gert Witbooi, says that, by law, children had to be six years old by June 30 of the year they began school or turn seven in Grade One.

Eva van Belle occupational therapist says that it is crucial for children to be enrolled at school at the right age.The drive is expected to kick off today.

For Grade One placement inquiries, contact the department at 0800 2005 06.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cape's transport plan ahead for 2010

By Tando Mfengwana
24 October 2006

Transport and Public Works minister Marius Fransman announced a major plan to deal with the transport challenges in Cape Town.

This plan is aimed improving public transport ahead of the 2010 FIFA world cup. Fransman said that his department, the National government and the City of Cape Town have put aside R3, 5 million for the project.

He said that this would go towards the addition of about 10 to 20 new train sets over the next three years, the rolling out of safety mechanisms on trains.

A R100 million upgrading of infrastructure at the Cape Town Central station which will possibly receive R95 million for restructuring, Athlone, Heideveld and Langa station have also been earmarked for upgrading.

The government plans to introduce corridors between:
· Kraaifontein – Bellville – CBD Cape Town Corridor
· Khayelitsha – CBD Cape Town corridor
· Simons Town – CBD Cape Town

It also plans to increase usable train sets from 80 to 107 sets and render train services for 18 hours a day after the addition of additional trains.

Fransman says that the department plans to create and cycle ways in conjunction with pedestrian ways in the city centre as part of the program.

The department will work with the City’s Transport Department to clarify national and regional requirements and emphasise legacy projects.

The minister said that they are discussing with the city a possible rail link between the city and the airport.

The department and the City of Cape Town have applied for R1 billion funding for transport and infrastructure projects in the city.

Fransman is hoping these plans will renew people’s confidence in public transportation. The project is expected to be finished in time for the World Cup in 2010.

More school violence in Gauteng

By Tando Mfengwana
24 October 2006

A primary school boy, 13, was rushed to hospital after he was stabbed, by an alleged fellow pupil on Monday.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi, said that the Primary school boy was stabbed while waiting for his transport outside the primary school in Kempton Park according to the Cape Times.

The boy was bleeding tremendously when his parents arrived at the scene. They rushed him to the hospital.

This is the second stabbing in a Gauteng school in the last three weeks.

Police are still searching for a 14-year-old boy who fled the scene following this incident.

This incident took place at a time when Education minister Naledi Pandoor and other provincial education MEC’s were discussing the recent overwhelming increase of violence in schools.

Gauteng MEC, Angie Motshegka expressed shock at the stabbing in a Gauteng school.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Initiation school investigation continues

By Odette Ismail
23 October 2006

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Right’s Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (CRLC) said that more community on board is needed before making policy recommendations on initiation schools.

Speaking at the last of four public hearings, Chairperson Dr Mongezi Guma said that there are certain issues to work out before anything can be finalised.

He revealed according to News24 that likely additional hearings will take place in the Western Cape, western part of Eastern Cape as well as Mpumalanga.

The aim of the hearings held by the CRLC and the SA Human Rights Commission is to help the commissions to make policy recommendations to focus on making initiation processes a bit safer.

It was reported that over 200 initiates had died and over a hundred others had to have full or partial penile amputations in the Eastern Cape only in 2001.

Traditional healers, traditional leaders, education department officials and the general public were all present at these hearings.

The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Four men arrested after routine roadblock

By Chanel September
23 October 2006

Four Zimbabweans were arrested after a truckload of Zimbabwean cigarettes were seized near Mutale.

Captain Mashudu Malelo said that police had stopped the truck at a routine roadblock at approximately 08:30 on Sunday morning.Four men aged 27, 33, 40 and 44, were arrested.

They are expected to appear in the Mutale Magistrate's Court soon.

Lebo Mathosa dies in car accident

By Nadia Samie
23 October 2006

Twenty-nine-year-old R&B singer Lebo Mathosa has died in a road accident in Germiston in the early hours of this morning. Mathosa’s manager, Linzy Cowley, confirmed that it was in fact Mathosa who had died, after speculation this morning as to which female singing star it was.

Police say Mathosa’s driver lost control of the vehicle at the Heidelberg off-ramp shortly after midnight. Mathosa star died at the scene. Her driver sustained light injuries.

Mathosa shot to fame in 1994 as front vocalist and dancer for the multi-Platinum, Boom Shaka. She released her debut album Dream in mid-2000. In 2001 she won two South African Music Awards.

Four weeks after the launch of Dream, the album went gold and Mathosa won Best Dance Album for Dream, Best Dance Single for Intro and Best Female Vocalist at the coveted SAMA awards. In 2001 she performed at the South African edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town, the Celebrate South Africa concert in London's Trafalgar Square, on tour in Malaysia and Singapore and for the Malaysian queen.

Two years ago, Mathosa told journalists: “You can’t deny death, you can’t fear it. I’m sure God has a better place for us, if you’re a believer.”

Strand fire claims a life

By Tando Mfengwana
23 October 2006

A person died in a fire that broke out at Nomzamo informal settlement near Strand early on Saturday.

Police say that the body of a 36 year-old man was found with burnt wounds in a shack, according to the Cape Times.

Fire and rescue services were kept very busy this weekend as a fire broke out in Nozuko in Khayelitsha, Roosendal in Delft, and at Nozuzu and Wallacedene in Kraaifontein.

On Sunday, a fire is said to have destroyed a house in Green Point. Shacks were destroyed at Burundi in Mfuleni and in Macassar.

Transport minister speaks at indaba

By Chanel September
23 October 2006

Thirteen thousand people die on South Africa's roads every year and the number is increasing annually.

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said that this translates to a R43-billion cost to the economy each year. The minister was addressing the two-day transport indaba at the Johannesburg University in Soweto.

Independent Online reports that the South African government has also set aside R3.8 billion for public transport for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The indaba two day ends on Monday.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Plans to better WC transport system

By Chanel September
22 October 2006

Western Cape provincial government has joined forces with major commercial banks to develop a better and more modern fleet of taxis.

The aim is to attract more people to use public transport and help ease the traffic congestion in the city.

Transports and Public Works MEC Maruis Fransman said that he had met with the representatives of Standard Bank, First International and ABSA on Friday.

Fransman told the Weekend Argus Sunday that the idea was to reduce the number of private vehicles on roads and make public transport safer and more user friendly.

Men trapped in burning car

By Chanel September
22 October 2006

Two men were seriously injured when their car hit the middle embankment of the M1 highway at the Empire off ramp in Johannesburg last night.

News 24 reports that the driver and his male passenger were on their way home when the accident occurred.

Spokesperson Werner Vermaak said that the car was on fire when emergency services arrived at the scene.

The two suffered severe head injuries and they were both taken to Johannesburg hospital.

Housing developments to targets lower income group

By Chanel September
22 October 2006

The City of Cape Town is planning to make more land made available for housing developments targeting low income earners.

The homes will be made available to people who earn too much to qualify for government housing subsidies and too little to take part in the competitive property market.

Independent Online reports that the 10.4 hectares is in addition to the 42 hectares already approved by the City for housing for this market.

Mayoral committee member for housing Dan Plato said there would be a special focus on backyard dwellers and the lower end of the identified market when allocating the land.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Man accused of raping girl seeks bail

By Chanel September
21 October 2006

A 25-year-old man charged with a hammer attack on a 10-year-old girl in her home in Kuilsriver will have to wait until next week for the outcome of his bail application.

Magistrate Beatrice Vermeulen, in agreement with State prosecutor Charlene Monis postponed the case until next week Wednesday.

The man cannot be named because he has not appealed yet.

The girl who was alone at home on May 25 when an intruder brutally attacked her with a hammer before raping her.

Backlog of over 2 million housing units

By Chanel September
21 October 2006

A total of 500 000 houses would have to be built every year to meet the Housing Department’s own target of eradicating informal settlements by 2014.

The department is rolling out 250 000 housing unit a year, but there is still an estimated backlog of over 2 million housing units.

According to director general Itumeleng Kotsoane there could be a shortage of cement.

The housing department was criticised this week by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel who questioned the accuracy of the official figures of houses that had been built since 1994.

Bodies of murdered men identified

By Chanel September
21 October 2006

The three men found shot dead in Khayelitsha have been identified by police on Thursday.

Alphonso Coglan, Randall Bonzaaier and Garth Walters were found by passers-by in an open field in Harare on Wednesday morning.

The three men are from Westridge, Woodlands and Portland. Superintendent Billy Jones said that it is appeared to be an execution style murder.

The investigation into the motive and circumstances surrounding the killings is continuing.

Anyone with information can call the Harare police station on 021 363 9000 or Crime Stop at 08600 10 111

Cape Flats residents protest against service delivery

By Tarryn Le Chat
21 October 2006

About 100 residents of Elsies River, Uitsig and Bishop Lavis joined the rolling service delivery protest against the City of Cape Town yesterday.

The group gathered in front of the Goodwood municipality in voortrekker road, protesting against a lack of cleaning services and the state of council flats.

A daily newspaper, reports that the protests were arranged by Elsies River Peace forun, which handed a memorandum to the sub-council shairperson Theresa Thompson.

Elsies River residents said that the dirty streets and leaking drains posed a health risk to children.

Friday, October 20, 2006

N7 bridge re-opened for two-way traffic

By Odette Ismail
20 October 2006

The N7 Vanguard Drive Bridge that was damaged due to an informal settlement fire has been re-opened for two-way traffic.

Spoornet found consultants who conducted tests on the bridge. They informed the city that the bridge will be able to handle two lanes.

Motorists are able to travel from Goodwood to the due to it only allowing traffic to flow from the N1 towards Goodwood.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Charles Coopers confirmed reports that the road would be closed again sometime for work to continue under the bridge.

Suspect killed in hijack shooting

By Tando Mfengwana
20 October 2006

A man fatally wounded one his hijackers during a shooting in Johannesburg on Friday morning.

Police spokesperson Constable Sefako Xaba said that a 50-year-old man was approached by three armed men, when he was returning to Saxonwold home at 12am, according to Independent Online.

The man ordered him to get out of his car and demanded the keys to his vehicles. When he got out, he grabbed a firearm from one of the suspects.

Five shots were fired, and the last shot hit the suspect in the elbow.

The report says that when paramedics arrived at the scene, the man was already dead.

The other two suspects had already fled the scene in the victim’s Mercedes Benz.

Police are searching for the two hijackers, Xaba said.

Pupil allegedly forced to drink own urine

By Odette Ismail
20 October 2006

Two teachers have been arrested for allegedly forcing a pupil to drink his own urine. The KwaZulu-Natal education department suspended the two teachers after this incident.

Spokesperson Christi Naude told the Cape Times that on Tuesday evening both Philile Mpanza and Willem Kriel has been suspended ‘with immediate effect’ which will depend on the outcome of a probe into the incident.

Police spokesperson Tienkie van Vuuren said that the Ubomba Magistrates Court in northern KwaZulu-Natal granted both teachers bail of R200 each.

The suspects will appear in court again next month.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Safer roads for Nyanga residents

By Chanel September
19 October 2006

Residents of Nyanga are threatening to barricade a stretch of the Klipfontein road if it not made safer soon.

Two children have died and six have been injured. Complaints of drivers travelling at high speeds have been reported.

Ward councillor Depouth Elese told the Cape Argus that work has begun but the department of road works asked that this be delayed until Wednesday.

The cause for the delay is due to no concrete blocks being available. Work on guidelines, rumble strips and signs are to begin today.

Second nuclear plant may be built

By Tarryn Le Chat
19 October 2006

The country’s second nuclear power station could be built on the Northern Cape coastline.

An Eskom spokesperson stated the Skulpfontein or Brazil near the Kleinsee has been earmarked as one of the possible sites.

Other sites for consideration are along the southern Cape and West coast.

The Cape Times states that the second station was being built to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the Western Cape, as well as for the future needs of South Africa.

Eskom expects their feasibility studies to be conducted by the end of the year. The second nuclear station will be a more modern version of the Koeberg Nuclear station.

Nuclear energy is considered to be less damaging to the environment, as it generates relatively small amounts of waste and no carbon emissions or greenhouse gases.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mxit services used to lure and capture sexual predator

By Tarryn Le Chat
18 October 2006

Police have used a cell phone-based messaging service to arrest a sexual predator who lured an underage school girl using the same service.

The 33-year-old man – whose name has not been revealed – abducted the 16-year-old girl for five days. He had apparently developed a cyber relationship with her through Mxit, the popular messaging service used mostly by teenagers.

According to police, the West Rand man lured the girl by cellphone, slowly gaining her confidence until she made the mistake of giving him her home address.

Last week Tuesday, the man arrived at the girl’s home on the Welgedacht plots in Springs, Ekurhuleni and kidnapped her metres away form her front door.

The girl, who cannot be named, was held captive for five days at the man’s home in the West Rand in Johannesburg.

On Sunday the girl escaped and fled to a nearby suburb where she contacted the police.

The police suspect she may have been sexually assaulted. The girl told detectives that she had met the man on Mxit.

The detectives then used the text messaging service (Mxit) to lure and capture the man after pretending to be a teenage girl.

The man was arrested at a venue in Randfontein on Monday.

He appeared in the Springs Magistrate Court where he was charged with abduction.

Picture: www.defza.com

Delft-Dumping ground for the city's displaced

By Tarryn Le Chat
18 October 2006

The suburb of Delft is increasingly becoming the ‘dumping ground’ for the city’s displaced and marginalised communities says frustrated residents.

Residents are losing their patience with authorities as a result of the bad living conditions and a lack of communication.

The Cape Times says some of the displaced Joe Slovo fire victims, being temporarily accommodated in Delft after the huge blaze two years ago, are choosing to move back to their original area because of the long distance they have to travel to work and school.

An estimated 250 Nyanga residents along with Klipfontein road will be moved to the area.

According to some residents, racial tensions between new arrivals and the existing community are also on the increase.

Former backyarders Hilton Muller and his partner Natasha van Wyk are renting their house from a Joe Slovo fire victim who chose to move back to Langa informal settlement.

Muller said the owner of the house told him that his people (Xhosa), “don’t like coloureds” which is another reason he left.

However, Muller stated that most of the coloured gangs are blaming the rise of violence in the area on the people who are coming in.

Four arrested in TIK bust

By Tarryn Le Chat
18 October 2006

Crystal methamphetamine, better known as TIK, worth n estimated R1.2 million, was seized yesterday.

A 54-year-old Atlantis man was arrested in Kenilworth with four alleged accomplices.

The accomplices, whose names were not mentioned, were a woman, 51 and three men aged 30, 49 and 52. They were arrested at lunchtime outside a shopping centre.

They will appear in court and face charges of dealing in TIK.

Shoprite workers suspended after strike

By Chanel September
18 October 2006

Approximately 200 Western Cape Shoprite workers have been suspended by the company after the three month strike.

The SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) confirmed last week that a wage agreement has been reached.

However the return of striking workers to work has not yet been set as there is still unresolved issues.

Workers have returned to work but those that were involved in serious misconduct have been suspended awaiting disciplinary hearings.

Crosby Booi, provincial secretary of SACCAWU said that the union is currently in talks to resolve the issue and proposals have been put forward.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

NGO Task Team challenges Nuisance By Law

By Chanel September
17 October 2006

Today the independent NGO task team gathered to discuss and challenge the implementation of the Nuisance By Law which the City of Cape Town intends to impose.

A call has been made by various NGO’s and the general public to re think putting the By Law into practice as it will not only violate the constitutional rights of people but it will discriminate against the poor.

A memorandum has however been handed over to the city. NGO’s emphasised that if the city indeed does implement the By Law it will criminalise the poor.

However Anna Weeks of Sweat said that they have to date not received any information from the city and do not intend to draw up further memorandums.

Alleged robber escapes after crashing into four cars

By Tando Mfengwana
17 October 2006

After crashing a car into four vehicles which were standing at the robot at the corner of Main and Boundary road, overturning it and hijacking another car, in Newlands yesterday, a suspected robber escaped police on foot.

The man in his mid 20’s was driving a navy Ford Fiesta when he was stopped by Metro Police at a routine stop and search in Main road, Claremont, as they checked his driver’s licence, a police officer spotted an assault rifle, thought to be an AK-47 or possibly an R-4 rifle, on the back seat, this is according to Police spokesperson Captain Randall Stoffels.

Police have confiscated the assault rifle for further investigation.

The suspect jumped into the vehicle and sped off, but collided into four vehicles that were standing at the robot at the corner of Main and Boundary road and overturned.

Five people, one a three year-old, were slightly injured.

A paramedic heading to work, assisted by Newlands Pharmacy workers, stopped and attended to a family of four and a man lying in the road, according to the Cape Times.

The report says that Ross Norton, who was hijacked by the suspect said that he watched the bleeding man crawl out of the overturned vehicle, which was branded with details of a Bellville cellphone shop.

It’s said that the owner of the cellphone shop is baffled about the branded car as the company used only white bakkies.

She said that it must be fraud, and that they are waiting for more information from the police before taking any steps.

Norton said that the man came to his window and shouted to him to get out; he was pulled out of the car and his clothes were stained with the hijacker’s blood.

Norton’s white Toyota Corolla was later found dumped in Toll lane, a few blocks away.

Colin van der Berg, a bridge renovator, said that he saw a car stopping as a truck was blocking the bend, according to the report.

He said an armed civilian chased and nearly caught the hijacker and that a domestic worker ran out, saying the man had raced across her employer’s property.

Five die in head-on-collision

By Odette Ismail
17 October 2006

Five people have burnt to death after a head-on-collision today, near the Tugela bridge on the N2 highway in Norhtern Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Colin Governder reveals in a News24 report that a BMW collided with a Toyota Yarris causing it to catch alight.

A Netcare 911 spokesperson said that a woman in the Toyota was in a serious condition and had to be airlifted to the Entabeni Hospital in Durban.

It is believed that the BMW tried to overtake on a double white line when the accident took place.

Suspects arrested for armed robbery and motor theft

By Tarryn Le Chat
17 October 2006

Two male suspects, both in their 30's, were arrested by police for armed robbery and theft of a motor vehicle that occurred at a Take Away shop in Auckland Street, Paarden Eiland.

At approximately 16:35 three armed men entered a shop. It is alleged that the suspects pointed the victim and his wife, both in their 60’s, with firearms and demanded cash.

According to Police Inspector Bernadine Steyn, both victims were taken to a nearby hospital and were released after medical treatment.

The suspects then drove off with the victim’s blue Toyota Corolla.

No shots were fired during the incident and the firearms used will be sent for ballistic tests to determine whether it was used in other serious and violent crimes.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s court on Thursday.

Youth arrested after allegedly setting woman alight

By Tarryn Le Chat
17 October 2006

Nineteen-year-old Ashwin Hammers, who was arrested over the weekend on a provisional charge of attempted murder after allegedly setting a Strand woman alight, has appeared in a Magistrates Court there.

Monique Martin, also 19, was drenched in petrol and set alight in the bedroom of her Elijah Ville home by two youth after a quarrel broke out over a cell phone last Thursday.

Martin was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital’s burn unit were her condition is still unsatisfactory.

Police spokesperson, Billy Jones, said that Hammers was remanded after appearing briefly in the Strand Magistrates Court.

According to Jones, the arrest of the second youth was imminent as the suspect is still at large.

According to Martie Carstens, public relations officer for Tygerberg Hospital, Martin’s family did not want the details of her condition divulged.

DA lukewarm about ID apology

By Nadia Samie
17 October 2006
The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape has welcomed the Independent Democrats announcement that they do not support MEC for Local Government and Housing MEC Richard Dyantyi’s proposal to change the system of governance in the metro.

ID leader Patricia de Lille made a public apology for voting for an ANC mayor following the March elections.

Provincial DA leader Theuns Botha, however, says that he hopes de Lille’s apology is sincere and not merely the result of internal party pressure. He says that it is possible that de Lille’s about-turn is only to avoid the public’s reaction to the proposed changes.

Botha says that, if de Lille is truly apologetic, she must withdraw her support of the ANC in the Cederberg, Bergriver, Saldanha, Witzenberg, Drakenstein, Breede Valley, Breede River, Winelands District, Overberg District and the West Coast District municipalities.

Health services struggle as patients increase

By Chanel September
17 October 2006

According to reports the Western Cape health department is struggling with a R500 million capital works backlog, for primary health care services.

The reason for the backlog is due the increase in patient number that continues to grow.

Health Minister Pierre Uys told the Cape Argus that he is concerned about the primary health care centres.

Identified area’s in the province are Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Grabouw and the Overberg basins.

Craig Househam said that there is a need for quality infrastructure as some of these centres are in a bad state.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Youth confesses to child killings

By Chanel September
16 October 2006

The youngest of three teenagers accused for the murder of 5-year-old Ayanda Dlabantu, has abandoned his bail application.

The three youths accused have been charged with murder and appeared in the Bellville Magistrates Court on Friday.

Ziyaad Dollie, representing the 14-year-old, submitted a confession implicating him to the murder. According to the Cape Argus the representatives of the other two accused asked for a postponement until the state finds a place of safety for the two, should they be granted bail.

The case was postponed until November the 3.

Trade unions meet with police chief

By Nadia Samie
16 October 2006

Trade unions met with National Police Chief Jackie Selebi in Pretoria this morning to discuss the violent cash-in-transit heists that have been plaguing cash-van drivers for months.

The Federation of Unions in South Africa, or FEDUSA and its affiliate, the Motor Transport Workers Union, which represents 90 percent of the security who man cash-in-transit vehicles, raised their concerns with Selebi, citing that, in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, every worker is entitled to a safe workplace. The unions say that government is under obligation to ensure the safety of cash-in-transit security people.

FEDUSA says that while travelling with large sums of cash between towns, a strong army presence would deter robbers from attacking vans, while in suburban areas, a stronger police visibility, and a strong police undercover programme would deal effectively with detering and pre-empting attacks.

Earlier this week, a cash-in-transit heist in Johannesburg claimed the life of 15-month-old Khensani Mitileni, who was shot dead while strapped to her mother’s back.

Emily Fourie, general secretary of the Motor Transport Workers Union says that they will not hesitate to strike if something is not done urgently to protect the sector. Should this strike materialize, it would mean that ATM, shops and banks would be stranded with no way to transport large sums of money during the busy festive season.

According to the latest annual SAPS statistics, cash-in-transit heists have drastically increased by 74.1 percent.

Fire kills baby, others left homeless

By Chanel September
16 October 2006

Two separate fires ravaged two informal settlements over the weekend. A fire in Wallacedene on Saturday night caused the death of three-year-old Angelique Johnson.

Disaster Management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons told the Cape Times that 15 shacks were destroyed and 60 people were left homeless.

Relief has been provided for the families affected in the fire and the city has issued building materials. The cause for the blaze is still unknown.

In another incident a fire in Joe Slovo Park destroyed 29 houses, including back yard shacks in the area at about 11-o-clock on Sunday morning.

Food and blankets have been provided to the 78 people affected.

Destitute desperate to hang onto disability grants

By Tarryn Le Chat
16 October 2006

As of April next year, tens of thousands of South Africans living with HIV/Aids and on anti-retroviral therapy (ART), who are ‘illegitimately’ drawing disability grants to keep themselves and their families from destitution, will be turned away. This could spell prolonged ill-health for them and possibly death.

This will be the outcome of a new ‘harmonising’ tool co-ordinating the disability grant application process between the department of health and social development, currently being piloted in the Western Cape.

The current choice is: either you adhere to ART and risk being disqualified for the temporary disability grant when your CD4 cell count climbs back above the 200 CD4 cut-off, or shun compliance, risk death and retain the income.

The Cape Times reports anecdotal stories of near-destitute people deliberately becoming HIV-infected, or pregnant, or resorting to bribery or fraud to access social grants, with an HIV-positive diagnosis sometimes being called “winning the lotto”.

The disability grant is the only social grant available to adults of working age in South Africa, where unemployment is currently estimated between 26% and 41%.

About 45% to 55% of South Africans are estimated to be living in poverty. Disability grants more than doubled, from 600 000 in 2000, to almost 1.3 million in 2004.

Multimillion rand fraud at Eskom investigated

By Tando Mfengwana
16 October 2006

Minister of Public Enterprise Alec Erwin is said to be aware of a police investigation into the reported fraud at Eskom, but is taking on a hands-off stand on the matter.

Erwin’s spokesperson Gaynor Kast said the minister believes this to be an operational matter and that the board and Eskom’s management should handle the situation the Cape Times reported.

A Police spokesperson has confirmed that a fraud involving millions of rands and several of Eskom managers were being investigated.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Checkers warehouse damaged after fire

By Odette Ismail
15 October 2006

Johannesburg emergency services revealed that a Shoprite Checkers warehouse in Fourways was destroyed after a fire broke out today.

Chief Superintendent Malcolm Midgeley said that security guards contacted emergency services about the fire just after midnight.

He said according to News24 that it did not reach the store itself, but conceded that the warehouse was in a bad condition. He says all the structures including the stock were in ruins.

The cause of the fire however is still being investigated.

Blackman Ngoro to be media tycoon

By Odette Ismail
15 October 2006

Blackman Ngoro who was fired after racist comments about coloured people, might become this country’s latest media tycoon.

Ngoro is planning on launching a “knock-and-drop” newspaper called Uhuru. Uhuru means freedom in Swahili.

The first copy is expected to be issued out in Port Elizabeth and part of the Karoo early next year. Ngoro’s partner in this project is believed to be Enver Buys, who according to reports thinks Ngoro is a ‘hero.’

While Ngoro was employed by the City of Cape Town he had comments on his website which read that ‘coloureds must undergo ideological transformation if their race is to prosper and not die a drunken death.’

This did not hinder the two men from starting their own newspaper, as Buys is, in fact coloured. The men ssay that the paper will ‘give voice to the voiceless.’

Cape Town's former mayor did, however, sack Ngoro from his job as media advisor due to the controversy that built up around his comments.

The DA took Ngoro to the Equality Court, but the matter was settled.

Buys said that a discuusion did follow after the incident, but Ngoro told him that he had been misquoted. He also adds that mainstream media unlike Ngoro do not seem to cover stories around ordinary black people.

Education in some schools alarming

By Odette Ismail
15 October 2006

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) revealed that almost 80% of South African high schools are failing their pupils.

Nick Taylor wrote in the IJR’s 2006 Transformation Audit, titled Money and Morality that this is very bad for South Africa. He says nearly 80% of schools provide education of such poor quality that this hinders social and economic development. This also restricts the majority of poor children from receiving full citizenship.

Taylor says many schools are unable to provide children with attitude ad intellectual skills needed to build a modern state.

The main drive now is to develop strategies to better the poorest performing schools. He also adds that nothing done by government and non-government sectors so far has helped this situation. He says more money can only be spent on improvement programmes.

It was revealed that most children in these failing schools were African.

Taylor, according to the Sunday Argus tested schools by their performance in mathematics. He says schools that are dysfunctional needs outside help and the removal of their principals.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Labour minister will not apologise

By Odette Ismail
14 October 2006

Labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana emphasised yesterday that he will not apologise for any mistakes in a “name and shame “campaign.

Speaking at the Black Managers forum conference in Durban, Mdladlana said that he will not apologise to anyone.

He said that companies that submitted equity reports under different names were in the wrong.

He also warned over one thousand employers which he claimed had not submitted equity reports for last year to clear their houses before they come at them.

He landed up in the spotlight last month when he named 10 JSE companies who he says failed to adhere to employment equity legislation.

However according to the Weekend Argus, it emerged that many companies had filed reports, but possibly under various names.

Malawi Children's rights group unhappy

By Odette Ismail
14 October 2006

A children’s rights groups in Malawi has called on the government to delay plans for American pop star Madonna to adopt a one-year-old boy.

The group showed concern yesterday about the adoption process, saying it should not be like buying property. The group warned it may seek to block a court order this week.
According to Malawi law, the couple’s adoption will be reviewed for 18 months before the judge gives his final decision.

Madonna and her husband left the southern African nation yesterday ending a nine-day trip. But the one-year-old boy, David Banda, remained in the country because of ongoing legal proceedings.

Parents arrested following son's death

By Odette Ismail
14 October 2006

Police have arrested the father and stepmother of the missing three-year-old whose body was found amongst bushes in Phillipi East.

Police found Adilson Khasamba’s body near the railway station.

The boy’s father and stepmother were arrested on a charge of negligence. The couple, according to the Weekend Argus now face charges of murder.

Friday, October 13, 2006

New project launched for train commuters

By Chanel September
13 October 2006

Capetonians who walk to the Cape Town station to catch a train can now do so without fear of being mugged, as trained security officials are now escorting commuters through the city centre to the station.

According to reports between 3pm and 7pm people walking to the station are escorted along five routes.

The routes start at the top of Riebeeck, Coen Steytler, Keisergracht, Wesley and Long Street.

More than one million people use public transport in the city each day of which 600 000 catch a train for part of their journey.

The project was launched by the Department of Public Works and Transport this week.

Charges dropped against accused in school shooting

By Chanel September
13 October 2006

A charge of attempted murder has been provisionally withdrawn against the 15-year-old Grade 9 pupil who allegedly shot fellow pupil 14-year-old Tara Pontello.

She was shot in the left side of her lower body on Thursday, August 10.

State prosecutor Nadeem Walters requested a further postponement in Bishop Lavis Magistrates Court yesterday.

Defence attorney David Petersen opposed a further postponement on the grounds that the state did not have the medical report needed for the case to be tried.

The accused stayed in Bonnytown, a place of safety before being place under his mother’s supervision.

According to the Cape Argus Pontello was operated on last week and her final check-up was on Thursday.

Mbeki to hold discussion with Mulder

By Tarryn Le Chat
13 October 2006

President Thabo Mbeki has agreed during question time in Parliament that there was still room to discuss the renaming of towns and cities named after Afrikaner heroes.

Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Mulder, had concerns on the renaming Pretoria, Potchefstroom and Lydenburg to Tshwane, Tlokwe and Mashishing.

“The message that Afrikaners are at present receiving from the ANC at local government level is that their heroes cannot be accommodated in South Africa”, said Mulder.

Mbeki acknowledged that the issue was important and posed “its own challenges with the different claims we have in the country, where in quite a lot of instances my hero might very well be your villain.”

Mbeki agreed that discussion with all concerned was the best way to handle the issue.

Initiation principle pays R50 for each teen abducted

By Tarryn Le Chat
13 October 2006

Young people were often hired as agents to abduct peers and take them to initiation schools, police revealed during public hearings this week on circumcision rites in the Free State.

The Cape Argus reported that the heads of the schools pay R50 for every kidnapped child.

Police were able to rescue twenty-two kidnapped children, unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to arrest the principal.

According to the report, police have; however, arrested offenders responsible for deaths in initiation schools, there were difficulties in convicting them due to a lack of co-operation between the police and the Department of Justice.

Public hearings were set up to focus on the deaths and injuries of initiates at these schools.

Gibbs in fear of possible arrest

By Tarryn Le Chat
13 October 2006

The Proteas star batsman, Herschelle Gibbs, strides onto the filed today for his first cricket match in India in six years.

Gibbs, however, is still haunted by the fear that he will be detained by police.

In 2000, Gibbs - along with the late great captain of the Proteas, Hansie Cronjé - was involved in a match fixing scandal.

New Delhi police yesterday questioned Gibbs on his part and reported that they (New Delhi police) were satisfied with his (Gibbs) answers.

Gibbs’s father, Herman, however, speaking from Cape Town, however, said that Herschelle is still in fear of being detained and is experiencing enormous stress.

Peter Whelan, Gibbs’s lawyer had a lot of contact with the police about what would and wouldn’t be done before they left the tour.

However, according to a daily paper, one policeperson said he would not hesitate to detain Gibbs.

The Indian press erupted in full cry today, reporting the claim by police commissioner KK Paul that Gibbs implicated and named three South African players – Derek Crookes, Pieter Strydom and Henry Williams.

Williams’s case had already been dealt with and Strydom was found not guilty to the match fixing allegations.

As a result, the Indian media were reporting on Gibb’s admission that he had accepted $15 000 from Cronjé to score fewer than 20 runs in a one-day international against India in 2000.

Whelan will attend South Africa’s opening ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand in Mumbai on Monday before returning to South Africa.

Woman killed after visit to future in-laws

By Tando Mfengwana
13 October 2006

A 53 year old woman has been shot dead by attackers who allegedly wanted her bag.

Gillian Hurvitz and her husband had been visiting their son’s future in-laws in Gresswold, Johannesburg.

As the two were walking to their car, which was parked in a closed-off area, Hurvitz was grabbed and an assailant tried to snatch her bag. As she tried to escape she was shot in the neck and died at the scene.

The Star quotes Police spokesperson Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht as saying officers apprehended one of the suspects near the scene.

The suspect led detectives to two other assailants; Engelbrecht said that at the time of the arrested they did not believe that they had right people. But then the murder weapon was found in their possession.

The woman’s son, Greg Hurvitz is quoted as saying that his mother had not resisted her attackers and that the shooting had not been provoked.

'W Cape financial dept has two blemished reports'

By Tarryn Le Chat
13 October 2006

Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool says that, according to the auditor-general’s report, four entities in local government have received blemished reports but no detection of fraud, maladministration or corruption was found.

Rasool, joined by MEC for Finance Lynne Brown, yesterday discussed the report on the Annual Financial Statements of the Western Cape provincial government for the 2005/2006 financial year.

The two departments with blemished reports are the Department of Community Safety that received a qualified report and the Education Department that had a disclaimer.

The Community Safety report had the following problems:
· Lease commitments – personnel leave not properly kept, time and dates not accounted for
· Have more stringent rules and criteria

The education department received a disclaimer (adverse opinion related to neglect with the prescribed accounting framework and the management of non-current and current assets).

In explaining why the education department received a disclaimer, the auditor-general said these two categories applied:
· Inconsistencies in the system
· Unsatisfactory housing allowances specifically regarding the public entity of the housing development fund

Rasool went on to say that financial governance is one of the eight pillars in government. At present the Western Cape is on a level 3 standard. The auditor-general and provincial government would like to reach level 4, which is the highest level obtainable by provincial government in finances.

“Treasury will analyse all the auditor-general has put forth and Human Resources will eliminate all these weaknesses where no control is kept over staff members in certain areas”, said Rasool.

Brown said that treasury would unpack systematic problems and how to handle certain situations, such as, a supply chain management field.

Rasool added that provincial government is set to improving the financial governance as one of the eight strategic priorities towards promoting iKapa Elihlumayo (a growing Cape).

Mufamadi to discuss proposed system change with Zille and Dyantyi

By Tarryn Le Chat
13 October 2006

Local Government Minister, Sydney Mufamadi, will meet Cape Town executive mayor Helen Zille and Local Government and Housing MEC Richard Dyantyi next week.

Mufamadi called the urgent meeting to find common ground on Dyantyi’s system changes. Mufamadi says that a ‘meeting of minds’ is necessary. He added that the mayor has concerns that national government considers legitimate.

Mufamadi said that, “Things have come to a point where we think this intervention has become necessary. We want to, at all costs, avoid an intergovernmental dispute.”

However, Mufamadi was reluctant to answer some of the questions asked at a press conference yesterday, saying he could not elaborate on details still to be discussed. The meeting will take place on the 18th of October.

Asked whether the ANC are acting like ‘big bullies and cry babies’ in the fact that they could not accept the outcome vote to the Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, and thus want to use their power to overturn the decision, Mufamadi answered, “That is between the ANC and the DA, his responsibility is to find a way forward for the City of Cape Town.”

Mfuamadi made it clear that differences exist between spheres of government, but a decision needed to be reached that works for both the local and national government, which includes the City of Cape Town’s municipal committee.

Meanwhile, Zille confirmed that she would be attending the meeting.

Mufamadi, said that, should the talks fail, either party wanted to go to the Constitutional Court, he would not stop them.

Police find missing Cape Flats boy unharmed

Staff reporter
13 October 2006

Mannenberg police last night found a 7-year-old boy who went missing on the Cape Flats on Wednesday, October 11. Rasheed Japhta went missing from his home in Siene Walk in Mannenberg.

Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn told Bush Radio that the child was found by SAPS members unharmed at the home of a family friend in Mannenberg at half-past-eleven last night.

Cash van guards to go on strike

By Chanel September
13 October 2006

Cash-in-transit security guards will go on strike next Friday if government does not intend to come up with solutions to the risk of attacks by robbers.

The general secretary, Emily Fourie of Motor Transport Workers Union, has called for urgent intervention and for President Thabo Mbeki to declare a state of emergency to stop the growing number of cash-in-transit.

According to Kris Pillay of the Unisa School of Criminal Justice said that guards were stressed and demotivated.

R2 million for City's libraries

By Tarryn Le Chat
13 October 2006

The library at Hangberg in Hout Bay is to reopen as the City of Cape Town has scraped together R2 million to prevent the closure of libraries in some of the poorest communities in the middle of school exams.

According to the Cape Times, many Matric students and other pupils use the libraries facilities, such as computers and the library books; help them to prepare for their Matric final.

City spokesperson, Wesley Douglas, has announced urgent interim measures including the immediate reopening of the Hangberg library and the development of a new staffing strategy for the 2007/2008 financial year.

Shoprite Checkers strike resolved

By Nadia Samie
13 October 2006

The twelve-week long Shoprite Checkers strike has been resolved, the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) accepting a three-year wage deal.

In terms of the agreement between the trade union and employers, the salaries of full-time employees will increase by R280 per month this year. In 2007 and 2008 this will increase to R290 and R300 respectively.

Earlier, Saccawu had demanded an increase of R300 or 10 percent with a minimum salary of R2500.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Police search Cape Flats for missing child

By Nadia Samie
12 October 2006

A 7-year-old boy has gone missing on the Cape Flats. Rasheed Japhta went missing from his home in Siene Walk in Mannenberg yesterday afternoon.

Rasheed has short black hair, is about 1 metre tall, has light brown eyes and weighs about 20 kilograms. He has a birthmark on his stomach and a black mole on his left leg. He has a speech impediment.

At the time of his disappearance, Rasheed was wearing cream jeans, a blue T-shirt and white slippers with red stripes.

The child was last seen yesterday afternoon at about half-past-two. He was reported missing this morning. A joint operation centre has been established at the Mannenberg police station and several addresses have been visited, but no leads have been found as yet.

Anyone with information regarding Rasheed’s disappearance is asked to call the investigating officer, Inspector Andre Heldsinger at Mannenberg SAPS on 699 9400, or call crime-stop on 08600-10111.

Robbers flee in security firm bakkie

By Tando Mfengwana
12 October 2006

Three robbers fled in a security company bakkie after robbing a Pretoria cellphone shop this morning, police say.

Constable Brenda Kgafela says that four robbers broke into the main door of Kollonade shopping complex this morning at about 3:30 am, Independent Online reports.

Three of the men headed to a cellphone shop and stole items while the fourth stood at the main door to keep a look out. The report says that security guards noticed the incident, called the police and back up from their firm.

When the police arrived they exchanged fire with the robbers, and an ADT security guard was injured in the process.

When the injured guard tried to flee to the safety of the bakkie, he was beaten to it by one of the robbers, who managed to get two of his accomplices in the bakkie and fled the scene, the fourth robber fled on foot.

The security van was later found in east Lynn, south of Pretoria. Two unlicensed guns were found along with the items stolen from the cellphone shop in the bakkie.

Police are investigating cases of attempted murder and business robbery.

N7 Bridge remains closed from Goodwood area

By Nadia Samie
12 October 2006

The full re-opening of the N7 bridge will in all likelihood take several months, this is the word from the City of Cape Town authorities.

Traffic flow on the N7 bridge in the vicinity of Acacia Park will continue in the present southbound direction only, until at least mid-day on Friday, 13 October.

The N7 bridge was damaged by an informal settlement fire under the bridge in the early hours of last Monday morning.

The construction of temporary cross-overs to allow a single lane of traffic in either direction on the southbound carriageway has not yet been completed.

The signage and markings required to direct the traffic is also not ready as yet.

Traffic in the direction of the Milnerton area has been re-routed to Meldon and Frans Condradie Roads.

Number of Somalis killed in the province rises

By Chanel September
12 October 2006

The Somali trader who was shot on Monday in the Mbekweni Township in Paarl has died in hospital.

Ebrahim Issack was shot at point blank range allegedly by three men. The men came into his shop demanded money, but fled the scene with without taking anything.

Mohamed Dawlo the director of the Somali Association of South Africa told the Cape Times that police are in a denialist state about Somalis being driven out of the country and that there was a growing concern about safety.

According to Dalwo, Issacks death brings to 34 the number of Somali’s killed in the province in the past 10 weeks.

The exact figure of how many Somail’s have been killed in the Western Cape has been disputed by police.

Sometimes 'hard decisions' were made even if 'unpopular'-Dyantyi

By Tarryn Le Chat
12 October 2006

Housing and Local Government MEC, Richard Dyantyi, says he has no problem should the City of Cape Town seek to challenge his decision to change the mayoral system through the legal process.

Dyantyi was speaking after an international housing conference where he said that sometimes he needed to make hard decisions even if they were unpopular.

Asked by the Cape Times whether or not there was ANC consensus at his decision, Dyantyi said he received a lot of support including the ANC.

The National Cabinet were discussing the issue the same day that Dyantyi made his comments.

Government spokesperson, Themba Maseko said that while the ramifications such as a decision could have on democracy in South Africa had not been discussed; the cabinet feels that the Western Cape provincial government was legally able to change the system.

Dyantyi requested individual meetings with councillors from all represented political parties next week where he could ‘personally convey’ his views about the proposed change.

Mayoral spokesperson, Robert MacDonald, said that the city council was still consulting with its legal team to determine whether it was in its best interest to meet Dyantyi.

MacDonald could not say whether the meetings, scheduled for October 17th, would be open to the public.

Bail granted for alleged campus rape

By Odette Ismail
12 October 2006

A university of Cape Town student charged with raping another student was released on bail yesterday in the Goodwood Magistrate’s court.

The magistrate Johan De Beer warned the 35-year-old man to not go anywhere near the complainant. The state didn’t oppose the bail application due to the accused having a fixed address and a source of income.

De Beer said that rape is a serious offence and that the case would be transferred to the regional or high courts.

The accused did not plead guilty to the rape charge and applied for legal aid. The matter was postponed to November 28.

This alleged rape is believed to have caused frenzy in relation to campus safety. Spokesperson for the university Gerda Kruger told the Cape Times that rape remained a serious concern for UCT and that unreported rapes is a concern.

Some students agreed that the safety on campus was a worrying problem and that rapes often do not get reported. They say even though they have a Campus Protection Service that walk them down at night they feel this is not enough.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blackman Ngoro's eye on community media

By Nadia Samie
11 October 2006

Former Cape Town Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo’s controversial axed media advisor, Blackman Ngoro, is back in the headlines. Ngoro, who was sacked from the mayor’s office in August 2005 for racist remarks about coloured people made on his personal website, is now launching a new community media group called Uhuru.

Ngoro, who edits an Afro Asian news website, has formed a partnership with who he calls seasoned community entrepreneurs, and The Eye Level, a subsidiary of Chaza Strategic Management.

Left: Blackman Ngoro

Uhuru plans to enter the community newspaper, community television and community radio sector. The group says that at present, there is a lack of focus on the suffering of rural people who don’t have access to basic services.

In a media statement — which says that the group will launch early in 2007 — Ngoro blames the Democratic Alliance’s electioneering politics for the racial rift in Cape Town at the time of the 2006 local government election. Ngoro fails to make mention of the article he wrote on his website, where he claimed that black Africans are “culturally superior” to coloureds’.

An inquiry found that Ngoro should be charged with misconduct, as he had insulted coloured people and increased racial tension in the province.

More libraries set to close in the Peninsula

By Chanel September
11 October 2006

Cape Town’s libraries are facing a crisis as seven more libraries across the Peninsula face temporary closure due to staff shortages.

According to reports, the City of Cape Town is trying to raise R5 million to alleviate the current shortage.

Seven libraries in the northern and southern suburbs and the Atlantic seaboard are expected to be closed at the end of this month. Libraries in Bonteheuwel, Lansdowne, Hangberg in Hout Bay and other disadvantaged communities have been affected.

Cape Town’s central library has already reduced its hours by approximately four hours.

The city says the problem due to a lack of funds from provincial government. Mandla Yeki, spokesperson for MEC of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Whitey Jacobs says that the problem is not only in the Western Cape, but a national problem and that a task team has been commissioned to investigate the problem.

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: ...