Tuesday, March 31, 2009

G20 to address global recession

By Mikhaila Crowie
31 March 2009

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe has departed for London today to join world leaders at the G20 Summit scheduled for Thursday.

Host, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, wants the gathering to focus on cleaning up the world’s banking system.

Virtually no-one has been untouched by the world economic crisis and the London meeting will be aimed at finding a solution.

Foreign Affairs' Nomfanelo Kota said our country’s participation takes place within the context of the country’s continued commitment to the reform of the global financial architecture.

“Previously our Foreign Minister Dr. Dlamini Zuma had indicated that as the G20 countries look at the packages to salvage their own economies they must also think about the economies of the developing countries particularly in Africa.”

Fuel prices rise at midnight

By Mikhaila Crowie
31 March 2009

Fuel stations are expected to become busy again this afternoon with the price of 95-octane petrol going up by 31c a litre from midnight.

The wholesale price of diesel goes up by just under 40c.

The hikes are largely due to the implementation of two taxes announced by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in his budget speech in February.

Fuel levies and the Road Accident Fund levy have been increased. But the wholesale price of paraffin will decrease by five-cents a litre.

18-year-old goes missing

14-year-old girl missing

SADC leaders suspend Madagascar

By Mikhaila Crowie
31 March 2009

Southern African leaders have suspended Madagascar from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for what they describe as an unconstitutional change of government.

The member states further called on Andry Rajoelina to step down and vacate the President’s office as a matter of urgency or face the consequences.

Marc Ravalomanana withdrew his leadership of the east African island under pressure two weeks ago.

The military handed power to opposition leader Andry Rajoelina who was then installed as head of a transitional authority.

The 15-member body held a special summit in Swaziland yesterday to discuss the findings of a fact-finding mission which was sent to Madagascar to investigate the crisis.

SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Salomao said the summit chose not to recognise Rajoelina as the president of Madagascar.

“His appointment did not only violate the constitution of Madagascar and the democratic principles but also violated the core principles and values of the SADC treaty, the African constitutive act and the United Nations charter.”

Man rescued after 5 hours

By Sasha Forbes
31 March 2009

A search and rescue operation was launched a man was reported missing by his wife. 40-year-old Wayne Burgstorm who wife reported him missing after he had not returned home from fishing. National Sea Rescue Institute’s Craig Lambinon says that Burgstorm had told his wife that he would be back in an hour.

“According to the man he had fallen out of his boat at about 11:00 in the morning after his boat hit a wave. About 7 to 8 nautical out to sea the NSRI found him at about 4:10 in the afternoon, so he had been in the water for well over 5 hours,” said NSRI’s Craig Lambinon

“The man is currently recovering in Knysna Hospital, he is reported to be doing well but still suffering from the ordeal that he experienced yesterday,” said Lambinon

Bakkie driver hits lamp post

By Mandisi Tyulu
31 March 2009

Yesterday a driver of a 1400 bakkie, that was carrying paint thinners, traveling in the direction of Bantry Bay, "blacked out" and hit a lamp post.

ER24’s Tristan Wadeley says there was no glass between the cab and the canopy, so paramedics suspect that the driver may have been over come by fumes from the cargo which caused him to "black out".

The twenty eight year old man was treated for a fracture of his right upper arm and taken to New Somerset Hospital.

House robbery and theft of motor vehicle

By Mandisi Tyulu
31 March 2009

Yesterday morning at approximately 05:30 a robbery occurred at a house in Serruria Close, Plattekloof 3, Parow. Captain Marie Louw says A 55 year old female was on her way to work, when she opened the garage door from inside, she was confronted by 2 armed men in front of the garage door.

“’ One suspect grabbed and choked the victim and forced her into the house. The suspect then tied up the victim and her 61 year old husband who was also in the house. Another 3 suspects then entered the house.”

They took a plasma television, jewellery, cellular telephones, a music system, cash and two firearms. They fled the scene in the victim's white Isuzu LDV with registration number CY 389325,says Captain Louw.

Any person who can assist with this investigation is kindly requested to call Crime Stop on 0860010111.

Monday, March 30, 2009

28 year old man arrested for illigal fire arm

By Mandisi Tyulu
30 March 2009

Yesterday afternoon police arrested a 28 year old male for being in possession of illegal fire arm and ammunition at a certain address, Lotus informal settlement.

Captain Elliot Sinyangana says the police were on routine patrol when they stopped at a house and inside there were two males and two females chatting. Police asked permission to search them and during that search a pistol was found at the waist of the 28 year old male person.

“He was requested to produce a license or permit to possess that fire arm and failed to do so.’ Preliminary investigation was conducted around the ownership of the fire arm.”

The fire arm was robbed from its lawful owner and a case was reported last year in Khayelitsha. Apparently the Victim was walking along Lansdowne road when he was held at gun point, khayelitsha area and his fire arm taken
says Sinyangana.

“The suspect will face a charge of possession of illegal fire arm and ammunition as well as armed robbery.’’

He is due to appear on Tuesday, 30 March 2009 in the Athlone Magistrate court.

Traffic services nab drunk drivers

By Mikhaila Crowie
30 march 2009

The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Services clamped down on drunk and speeding drivers over the weekend, in a bid to make the roads of Cape Town safer.

37 drivers were arrested for drunk driving at roadblocks, held along Vanguard Drive at Bluegum Road and Modderdam Road near the N2 on Friday and Saturday.

92 drivers were fined for being in charge of unlicensed vehicles.

A total of 1 821 tickets were issued for those caught speeding.

The fastest speed recorded was at 190 kilometres per hour in an 80 kilometre per hour zone.

City works on Belhar water distribution system

By Sasha Forbes
30 March 2009

Tomorrow the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department will be working on the water distribution system supplying the Belhar area between 11:00 and 14:00.

All residents should remain patient and the department will try their best to make sure that things run smoothly, requests the City’s Farouk Roberts

“The reason for this is that we have got to some tests that will assist us when we do the installation of a manager installation that will happen again later in April. This will all enhance of our ability to best manage the water pressure within the reticulation and then system also in so doing also manage our water conservation practices within our infrastructure,” said Robertson

SA saves 400 megawatts during Earth Hour

By Mikhaila Crowie
30 March 2009

Eskom says South Africa saved about 400 megawatts during Earth Hour on Saturday night.

This mean South Africans switched off a total of 4.7 million 60 watt light bulbs between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm as part of a global initiative for action against climate change.

Eskom said one unit of power was saved at each of the country’s small power stations.

Cape Town turned off the lights on their world-famous landmark, Table Mountain to support Earth Hour while Johannesburg restaurants opted for candle light.

Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Convicted child rapist gets suspended sentence

By Sasha Forbes
30 Mach 2009

A convicted rapist was handed a suspended sentence, as well as correctional supervision, community service and R15 000 victim compensation instead of the prescribed sentence.

According to Cape Regional Court Magistrate Petro de Villiers she had found substantial and compelling circumstances to change from the prescribed sentence.

At the end of the 6-year trial convicted Wayne McBean who was accused of raping a girl from the age of 10-years-old to the age of 12-years-old in the late 1990’s.

De Villiers said that she took into consideration the victim, the community and McBean’s personal circumstances when making her decision.

Hout Bay fire under control

By Mandisi Tyulu
30 March 2009

Cape Town fire fighters were battling a runaway blaze on the slopes above the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay yesterday.

Platoon Commander Theo Lane says two helicopters were sent to water-bombing the area and assists fire fighters on the ground.

The are no buildings that were damage. Emergency workers went all out to prevent the flames from reaching the thousands of people in the informal settlement, says Lane.

“There fire has been stop there was no one that was hurt or injured.’’

Motorcyclist killed in a head collision

By Mandisi Tyulu
30 March 2009

A motorcyclist died when he and a Peugeot allegedly hit head on in Gie Road at the Blaauwberg Road intersection in the early hours of yesterday this morning.

ER24’s Tristan Wadeley says the motorcyclist is believed to be nineteen years old, was dead on arrival of the emergency services.

“Paramedics initiated CPR and advanced life support resuscitation was carried out. The ambulance rapidly transported the young man to Milnerton Medi-Clinic where doctors reassessed him and declared him dead, say Wadeley.

“It was unclear to paramedics exactly what the cause of the accident was, but police were in attendance and will be investigating the incident.”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Three suspects arrested in position of Catha Edulis and stolen goods

By Mandisi Tyulu
29 March 2009

Yesterday morning a white man truck was stopped in one of the roadblocks that were held during Operation ‘Mongoose’.

Captain Bernadine Steyn says the truck was traveling in the direction of Cape Town and stopped on the N1 highway near De Doorns.

“Police members searched the truck and found 104 bundles of CAT plants with an estimated value of about R104 000-00 and Counterfeit goods tobacco, cigarettes, clothes, and sport bags with an estimated value of more than R1.2 million, says Steyn.

“Three suspects’ two men aged 26 and 25 from Johannesburg and a female aged 27 from Wynberg were arrested on the scene.’’

They are expected to appear in the Worcester Magistrate’s court on 30 Monday 2009.

Australian rugby player knocked down

By Mandisi Tyulu
29 March 2009

A member of the Australian Brumbies Super 14 team is in a critical condition in a Durban hospital after being knocked down in Umgeni Road in Morningside early this morning.

ER24’s Derrick Banks says the 26-year-old victim’s name is being withheld at this stage. The rugby player and his team mates were leaving a night club just after four this morning when he was hit by a driver, who drove away, but returned to the scene 10 minutes later.

The police were on the scene but it is not yet known whether the motorist has been arrested. The police will be investigating the accident.

Body of an 80 year old male found dead

By Mandisi Tyulu
29 March 2009

Yesterday morning in Kensington, an 80-year-old Cape Town man was found dead in his house.

The police’s Bernadine Steyn says William Bedin’s wife found his body on his bedroom floor.

“An electrical cord was found near the body and an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Anyone with information is asked to come forward, says Steyn.

The police have opened a case of Murder for investigation and anyone with information can contact the Investigating Officer, Inspector Frank Bailey on 021-918 3000.

11 Fishermen rescue

By Mandisi Tyulu
29 March

The National Sea Rescue Institute helped rescue 11 fishermen after their trawler ran a ground in thick fog off Noordhoek on the Cape Peninsula early yesterday morning.

NSRI Craig Lambinon says rescue swimmers were sent from the beach through the surf to rig a rope from the Amber Rose to shore.

Lambinon says the skipper remained safely on board while the vessel had to wait for salvage team.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Four suspects arrested for armed robbery

By Mandisi Tyulu
28 March 2009

Yesterday morning in Gugulethu four unknown male suspects, pointed the victim with a fire arm and threaten to kill him then robbed him an undisclosed amount of cash and cell phone.

Captain Elliot Sinyangana says the investigating team was in the process of investigating an armed robbery case which was reported on a previous day, when they landed in that specific address through following leads and arrested 21yr old man after they found him in possession of illegal fire arm and ammunition.

Two suspects aged 21 and 23 were arrested for the robbery that was reported on 25 March. As the investigation was in progresses another 23 yr old man was later apprehended for being in possession of illegal fire arm and ammunition, says Sinyangana.

All four suspects appeared on Friday, 27 March 2009 in the Athlone Magistrate court.

City’s Traffic Services to continue enforcement in peak hours

By Mandisi Tyulu
28 March 2009

Yesterday morning, Cape Town Traffic Services shifted its focus from the BMT lane to Mew Way, Spine Road and Faure Road in the Khayelitsha area.

Cape Town Traffic Services media spokesperson, Merle Lourens says the operation involved 55 officers from all sections of Traffic Services.

“It resulted in 299 traffic fines being issued for offences ranging from unlicensed drivers, various defects on motor vehicles to illegal taxi operators and overloaded taxis.”

Two unroadworthy vehicles were suspended from use of a public road. Five motorists were also arrested on 58 outstanding warrants of arrest to the value of R60 850, says Lourens.

“Taxi operators were not in favour of enforcement being done in the peak hours as this interfered with their daily routine.’ They subsequently abandoned their taxis at the intersection of Lansdowne Road and Mew Way, causing major traffic congestion. A contingency of SAPS and Metro Police assisted in calming the situation.”

There is a need to ensure that safe and reliable transport is available for commuters, therefore enforcement projects such as these will continue, even in the peak hours”, says Lourens.

Motorist warned to expect delays on N2

By Mandisi Tyulu
28 March 2009

Motorists are warned to expect delays when travelling along the N2 between Baden Powell Drive and Macassar Road near the Engen and Shell 1-Stop garages in Somerset West this weekend and on Saturday, 18 April 2009.

The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Department’s Edward Brander, Senior Superintendent says they need to re-position high voltage electricity cables. In order to do this safely, traffic will be managed on a stop/go system.

Motorists are advised to either use the detour along the R102 and Macassar Road or to please be patient while construction work is in progress, says Brander.

Electricity officials will work on the cables on the following dates:

Friday 27 March 2009 from 15:00 to 19:30

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March 2009 from 06:00 to 08:30

Saturday 18 April 2009 from 06:00 to 08:30 and 11:00 to 13:30

March 31 last day of Blue Flag Season

Sasha Forbes
28 March 2009

The six Cape Town Blue Flag Beaches: Mnandi, Bikini, Strandfontein Pavilion, Muizenberg, Clifton 4th and Camps Bay, will each be hosting an Open Day on Tuesday, 31 March in celebration of the last day of Blue Flag Season.

“We will be present there in a big way and talk to our beach goers and educate them on what a blue flag beach is and how important they are and that hopefully they will all be back in much bigger numbers, when the blue flag season opens on December 1st,” said Lindie Buirski, Head Environmental Capacity Building, Training and Education, Environmental Resource Management Department.

Armed robbery in Claremont

By Mikhaila Crowie
28 March 2009

This morning Claremont police received a report of an armed robbery at a bank in Grove Avenue.

It’s been alleged that three security officers collected a money box from the bank when three males approached them.

Captain Angie Latchman from the Claremont police said the suspects fled the scene in a getaway vehicle, which was reported stolen in January.

Latchman also said no arrests have been made thus far and investigations will continue.
“Investigations have also established that once the suspects were fleeing on foot, one of the security guards fired a shot in ther direction, no injuries were sustained.”

Further investigation also led to the recovery of the getaway vehicle, which was in a parking lot in the vicinity of the Claremont Boulevard.

“Police are appealing to anyone with information, surrounding the incident, to contact the Investigating Officer Detective Inspector George Ainslie at the Organized Crime Unit on 021- 9183180 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.”

SAMRO denies reports of unpaid royalties

By Mikhaila Crowie
27 March 2009

The CEO of the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), Nicholas Motsatse said an arbitration process is underway between SAMRO and the executor of Brenda Fassie’s estate.

Motsatse briefed the media in Rosebank today, regarding a dispute involving royalties that have not been paid.

Copyright specialist Graeme Gilfillan, David Feldman, the executor appointed to recoup her income, and SAMRO have been in dispute since October 2006 regarding the late singer’s money.

Yavi Madurai, spokesperson for SAMRO, said the purpose of the briefing was to refute allegations made against them saying that they were withholding money belonging to Brenda Fassie.

“We have made payments to Brenda Fassie’s royalties account on all Brenda Fassie’s royalties while she was alive and after her death in terms of her estate.”

Madurai added that they would be making their books and records available to an independent auditor to establish and end result.

“We believe we have accounted to Brenda Fassie in terms of our rules throughout her lifetime as well as after her death to her estate.”

16-year-old reported missing

By Mikhaila Crowie
27 March 2009

A 16-year-old girl from the Mitchells Plain area has been reported missing.

Charlene Henry was last seen at her school, Norman Henshilwood, which is situated in Constantia yesterday.

She was last seen wearing her school uniform, which is blue and maroon.

Spokesperson for the Mitchells Plain police, Captain Rewayne Muller said the 16-year-old is about 1.6 metres tall and has short black hair, brown eyes and is light of complexion.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts can contact Inspector Charles Julies on 073 805 2000.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mayor of Cape Town attends Relay for Life

By Sasha Forbes
27 March 2009

Tomorrow Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille and Bellville Sub-Council Chairperson, Councillor Glen Kleinsmith, will attend a 24 hour Relay for Life event held by the Cancer Association of South Africa.The event is held internationally each year in memory of cancer survivors and to raise funds for cancer treatment.

“Now we very fortunate that she can attend our Relay for Life here in the Northern Suburbs and we hoping that she will be in time for our crazy hat lap so that she can join us in the fun activities that we are going to have right through the night, to create awareness for Cancer and also to celebrate our Cancer survivors,” said Relay for Life’s chairperson Adele Pope

SA plunges into darkness as citizens switch off lights for Earth Hour

By Mikhaila Crowie
27 March 2009

Parts of the country will be in darkness at 8:30pm tomorrow to raise awareness about climate change.

The lights out forms part of Earth Hour, a global campaign by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Millions are expected to switch off their light for an hour in their time zones, causing a “Mexican wave” of darkness.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu heads the South African campaign.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million Australians switched off their lights for an hour. A year later, 50 million people took part in the campaign.

No criminals safe from City’s “Drug Buster” unit

By Sasha Forbes
27 March 2009

While the City’s specialised “Drug Buster” substance abuse unit concentrates on apprehending those who manufacture or trade in illegal narcotics, their presence in areas where crime is prevalent often pays fortuitous dividends.

“Over the past few months a numerous amount of articles which include stolen property, child pornography and illegal substances have been confiscated, the unit now definitely is fighting the battle on behalf on the citizens of Cape Town, clamping down on the criminal activity as no criminal is safe from the drug buster unit,” said The City of Cape Town’s Councillor Glen Kleinsmith

“We will continue our efforts in securing our neighbourhoods and in fighting drug abuse and alcohol abuse in our society,” said Kleinsmith

SA puts final touches to Confederations Tournament

By Mikhaila Crowie
27 March 2009

The South African Government said they were putting the final touches to its preparations for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Gert Oosthuizen, said South Africa was just about ready to host the tournament which is being billed as the 2010 FIFA World Cup appetiser.

Oosthuizen was speaking at the launch of South Africa’s 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup campaign in Milan, Italy yesterday.

The Deputy Minister went on to say that the country looks forward to having the current world champions, Italy, in the country.

“Our football loving people here in South Africa are looking forward with excitement and passion to see your team perform well on African soil.”

Oosthuizen assured the Italian team of a warm reception and great support from the South African public.

“Our government has, since the first bid to host the World Cup, given its unequivocal support for the project.”

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crash stops traffic

26 March 2009
By Mishkah Anthony, Sasha Forbes and Mikhaila Crowie

Salt River traffic came to near-standstill this afternoon, as rescue services tried to free accident victims after a collision involving a Golden Arrow bus, a goods truck transporting cement and a Toyota Corolla.

According to Bush Radio’s Busisiwe Mtabane, who arrived at the accident scene and spoke to eyewitnesses, the Golden Arrow Bus jumped the red robots which resulted in the bus colliding with the goods truck, which then eventually swerved into the Toyota Corolla.
Tristan Wadeley, ER24 spokesperson, said paramedics on the scene were unable to determine the cause of the accident that injured 37 people.

Wadeley said one person was seriously injured, five people were moderately injured and 31 people sustained minor injuries.

The injured were sent to various hospitals around the city.

Pictures by: Sive Msolo and Busisiwe Mtabane

Man dies in scooter accident

By Mikhaila Crowie
26 March 2009

ER24 paramedics were called out to an accident on the N1, involving a vehicle and a scooter.

Paramedics found the scooter rider, a male believed to be in his 30s, lying on the side of the road.

The scooter had collided with a Toyota Rav 4, and the victim sustained head injuries and probable internal organ damage.

Tristan Wadeley, spokesperson for ER24 in the Western Cape, said after the patient was carried to the ambulance, his condition began to deteriorate.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate him but he was declared dead after the ambulance transported him to Groote Schuur Hospital.

City introduces new waste management by-law

By Sasha Forbes
26 March 2009

The City of Cape Town will be introducing a new Integrated Waste Management By-law which will enable it to impose stiffer fines for littering and illegal dumping.

The new by-law replaces all of the old b-laws and aims at regulating and controlling the management of waste, said City of Cape Town’s Councillor Clive Justus

“The City’s 3.2 million residents produce some six-thousand tons of waste per day, this works out to an average of two kilo grams per person per day. With waste generation growing at 7 percent per annum, it is the city’s aim and objective to reduce that by ensuring that waste minimisation, recycling and re-use of waste can be adequately accommodated,” said Councillor Justus

DA wins in Mitchells Plain and Bellville wards

By Mikhaila Crowie
26 March 2009

The Democratic Alliance has retained its seat in Ward 2 in Bellville and Parow and now tightened its grip on Ward 79, which consists, of Beacon Valley, Eastridge and parts of Portland.

Ward 2 became vacant in January when DA councillor Wim van der Bijl passed away.

Ward 79 became vacant after councillor Dennis Williams moved from the Independent Democrats to the DA.

The DA won nearly 97 percent of the vote in Parow and close-on 80 percent in Mitchells Plain.

Tension mounted in yesterday’s by-election in Mitchells Plain when the ID in the Western Cape claimed that some of their canvassers were ambushed and assaulted by a Democratic Alliance candidate and supporters.

Two cases of Crimen Injuria and Common Assault have been made and will be investigated.

Couple rescues after being swept out at the Krom River Mouth.

By Sasha Forbes
26 March 2009

NSRI St Francis Bay was called out yesterday afternoon due to reports of a couple being swept towards the Krom River Mouth on their river boat.

“A group of swimming the river at the time had reportedly tried to assist the couple but had abandoned their attempts due to strong currents,” said NSRI’s Craig Lambinon

“The NSRI launched their rescue craft Pierre on the scene, got to the couple who at that stage got wedged on a sand bank, the sand bank prevented them from being swept out the river mouth and they were brought to shore safely where they required no further assistance,” said Lambinon

NSRI rescue lost fishermen

By Sasha Forbes
26 March 2009

On Tuesday evening NSRI Lamerts Bay were alerted about three fishermen who had been lost at sea in thick fog, somewhere between St Helena Bay and Lamberts Bay. NSRI attempted to assist them using cell phone contact but lost contact later, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon

“The NSRI attempted to assist them using cell phone contact and explained to simply put out anchor and wait out until the mist lifted. We lost contact with them on their cell phones at about 4am on Wednesday morning,” said Lambinon

A search was launched by the air force at fist light yesterday morning. “At 11:20 the small boat, with all 3 men on-board, was found 11.5 nautical miles South West of Lamberts Bay and they were all reunited with their families,” said Lambinon

IRT system gets assessed

By Sasha Forbes
26 March 2009

Juan Lopez-Silva, an International Consultant on Carbon Financing will be assisting the City of Cape Town by assessing exactly how much the City’s proposed Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system could reduce carbon emissions.

“What his doing is assessing the carbon credits that the system could potentially create for Cape Town, so his looking at the public transport system and saying that this will resolve is a certain reduction in an amount of carbon dioxide that Cape Town as a whole puts into the air everyday,” said City of Cape Town’s Kylie Hatton

“By doing this he is creating credits for the city, which mean that we could potentially sell them on the international market,” said Hatton

Four suspects arrested for alleged stolen goods

By Mandisi Tyulu
26 March 2009

Yesterday afternoon, police arrest four males aged 21 yrs and 26 yrs old in an incident that occurred at E Section, Khayelitsha. Police were busy with their routine patrols when they spotted a speedy red Mazda.

They immediately stopped the vehicle, the five males in the car fled on foot and the police gave chase. Police managed to apprehend four suspects and requested to search them. While searching they found a box full of jewelry valued at R300 000.00, said Inspector Siphokazi Mawisa.

“While police were chasing the suspects shots were fired wounding a 24 yr old male in his stomach. He was taken to the nearest hospital and he is in a stable condition and under the police guard.”

A case of attempted murder has been registered against the police for investigation, added Inspector Mawisa.

“On further investigation police found that the incident occurred in a jewelry shop at Somerset West and a case of business robbery was opened.”

The four suspects will appear at Strand Magistrate Court today on charges of possession of suspected stolen goods and robbery.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tension mounts in Mitchells Plain by-election

By Mishkah Anthony and Mikhaila Crowie
25 March 2009

Tension is rising as residents are expected to vote in Ward 79 by-elections after the councillor for the ward, Dennis Williams, resigned from the Independent Democrats to join the Democratic Alliance.

The ID in the Western Cape claims that some of their canvassers were ambushed and assaulted by a Democratic Alliance candidate and supporters.

Media reports suggest that ID members were canvassing in Eastridge, Mitchells Plain when a 15-year-old girl was pulled of the back of a bakkie and assaulted.

It’s alleged that the 15-year-old was rushed to hospital thereafter.

Bush Radio spoke to Robin Carlisle, spokesperson for the DA.

Carlisle could confirm that the candidate was not arrested but he could also confirm that a case of Crimen Injuria and Common Assault has been made.

Meanwhile Sakie Jenner from the Independent Democrats said intimidation in the area continues.

“No, there’s just a lot of intimidation from the DA’s side. A lot of intimidation like gangsters with DA t-shirts on, chasing our people around in Littlewood.”

Meanwhile the chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum, Michael Jacobs confirms that two cases were made in connection with the by-elections.

“However we want to caution that investigation is still in its early stage, and we don’t want to speculate on the matters of the case.”

Jacobs urged the community to refrain from commenting on the issue until investigation has been completed.

BUSA welcomes repo rate cut

By Sasha Forbes
25 March 2009

After yesterday’s 100 bases point repo rate cut, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is glad to say that they welcome the decision by the Reserve Bank.

“This is a very important decision at this stage, given the fact that we are facing the possibility of a recession and indeed the impact of the global crisis on the South African Economy, so the reduction of interest rates will be of help to the average business person and indeed the consumer to lighten their burden a little,” said BUSA’s CEO Raymond Parsons

The most important point that came out of the Reserve banks statement yesterday was that we can look forward to further reductions over the next few months. “So it holds out the possibility that if present conditions continue to prevail it would be possible to see our interest rate two or three points lower by the middle of 2009,” said Parsons.

Illegal electricy connections problem continues

By Sasha Forbes
25 March 2009

Eskom says despite public awareness campaigns, electricity thieves continue to reconnect illegal cables after they have been cut. The national energy provider says it spends millions of rands to remove illegal cables in areas like Du Noon, Nomzamo and Crossroads.

“From Eskom’s side we are more concerned about the safety aspect the connections have got, the wiring is very unsafe and it often poses a danger in particularly to children and or to animals who are exposed to the wires,” says Eskom’s Jolene Henn

“We appeal to the public to report any case of illegal reconnection, if they have any information they can call 0800 112722,” says Henn

Mitchells Plain voters head to the polls

By Mikhaila Crowie
25 March 2009

Voting stations in Ward 79, which consists of areas Beacon Valley, Eastridge and parts of Portland, have been opened today for a by-election, in order to choose another ward councillor, following the resignation of Dennis Williams.

Most of the voters in the area hope their vote will bring employment to the area, which is plagued by evictions and drug abuse.

The by-election will be contested by 7 parties, namely the Democratic Alliance, The African National Congress, the Congress of the People, the Independent Democrats, the Universal Party, the African Bond of Unity and the Cape Party.

Dennis Williams will represent the Democratic Alliance after resigning from the Independent Democrats.

He cited that there was too much in-fighting within the party.

The voting stations are: Alliance Francaise in Wall Street Portland; Oval North High School; Baecon Valley Community Centre; Beaconvale Community Centre for the Frail and Aged; Town Centre Library; Eastville Primary School; Imperial Primary School and Beacon Valley and Littlewood Primary School.

Voting station are open from 7am-7pm and for more information you may call the Independent Electoral Commission on 021 944 5300 or the toll free number 0800 22 1350.

Cash-in-transit robbery takes place in Somerset West

By Sasha Forbes
25 March 2009

Yesterday a security vehicle responsible for the transit of cash was collecting a cash box from Caltex garage in Dolphin Square Somerset West. Upon returning to the vehicle with his collection, the security guard was approached by 3 armed men, who held him at gun point and took the cash box containing an undisclosed amount of money.

“The suspects then fled the scene in a white Toyota Hi-Lux vehicle. The security guards fired several shot at the suspects and we have reason to believe that one or more could be wounded,” said Superintendent Andre Traut

“We make an appeal to any persons who can shed light on the circumstances or is approached for medical assistance with regard to a gun shot wound, to phone 10111 or Crime Stop on
08600 101,” requests Traut

Premier Brown gets her hands dirty

By Mandisi Tyulu
25 March 2009

Yesterday Western Cape Premier Lynne Brown got her hands dirty when she launched a green rights project in Delft in which hundreds of activists will roll out 250 food gardens to beneficiaries in the area over a five-day period.

Beneficiaries will each be provided with a food suitcase from the Department of Agriculture that contains all materials needed to grow a food garden, including gardening tools.

Premier Lynne Brow said, the idea is that as we build houses we green communities and also help to bring food gardens so that communities can feed themselves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

29 more days till the country goes to the poll

All set: The IEC's Courtney Sampson (left) and Granville Abrahams (right) address the media.

By Mishkah Anthony and Mikhaila Crowie
24 March 2009

As the 2009 General Election is fast approaching with only 29 days to go to South Africa’s 4th democratic elections, the Independent Electoral Commission has been working around the clock to make this year’s election run more smoothly.

The IEC today held a media workshop to brief the media on the IEC readiness for this year’s election.

Granville Abrahams, Administrative Director for the IEC in the Western Cape, presented the media with statistics from South Africa’s previous democratic elections.

In our first democratic election, the IEC saw an 85.8% voter turnout and this year, the IEC recorded the highest number of voter registrations to date, with 23 181 997 voters registering of which 2. 6 million were from the Western Cape.

Abrahams referred this year’s elections to that of “eating an elephant” and the IEC is “eating it piece by piece” rather than the first democratic election, where the excitement was so high, “we bit off chunks”.

This year, the IEC will have more than 19 000 voting stations across the country with over 202 000 staff members ensuring free and fair election.

The IEC noted that their may be challenges ahead but Courtney Sampson, Provincial Electoral Officer of the Western Cape, said they are vigorously stamping out irregularities on election day and says any corruption will be dealt with, that could potentially threaten a democratic election.

Entrepreneurs benefit from international conference

By Sasha Forbes
24 March 2009

The City of Cape Town will be the first African city to host such a big workshop in conjunction with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of the Witwatersrand Business School.

“The conference aims to bring together entrepreneur students, business and government officials from across the world to discuss our entrepreneurial eco-system and how to improve our entrepreneurship in the City of Cape Town,” said the City’s Mansoor Mohamed, Executive Director: Economic, Social Development and Tourism, City of Cape Town

About 250 delegates will be helping Cape Town position itself globally in terms of entrepreneurship, according to Mohamed.

World TB day a success

By Mandisi Tyulu
24 March 2009

Today the world marks Tuberculosis Day. A Pilot project in Khayelitsha has been launched as an effective way to deal with drug-resistant TB.

Health Promotion manager, Maureen Mccrea says, in 2008, Ubuntu clinic in the area treated nearly 200 extremely drug-resistant TB patients. The clinic’s programme offers a "holistic alternative to hospitalization" and includes home visits and a daily regime of medication.

This is a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape government and humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières, says Mccrea.

“We had a glorious ceremony were people were giving talks on TB day and highlighting the scene for World TB day”, says Mccrea.

“We hope that people can open their windows on this World TB day.”

Traffic Officials clamp down on BMT lane offenders

By Sasha Forbes
24 March 2009

Cape Town Traffic Services have taken a no-nonsense approach regarding enforcement of the BMT lane. Although there are cameras strategically installed along the N2, it is essential, but not always possible, that visible policing is also carried out.

“Yesterday a total of 348 fines were issued of which a 184 were issued for disregarding the BMT lane itself,” said spokesperson for Cape Town Traffic Services Merle Lourens.

People need to acknowledge the fact that the BMT lane is there for public transport and not for normal motorists as it is there for public commuters to get into the city centre faster and for them to get to work on time.

“Our officers will be out there in full force and we will be doing this on a daily bases, not necessarily on the exact same spot but we will be continuing these types of operations,” said Lourens

67-year-old man still missing

Economists predict interest rate cut

By Mikhaila Crowie
24 March 2009

Economists are predicting a 100 basis point reduction in interest rates.

The South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet earlier than scheduled and will meet every month except July amid fears of a recession.

The committee wraps-up a two day meeting today and economists predict an interest rate cut.

The central bank’s decision to hold a meeting four weeks ahead of schedule has fuelled speculation that rates will be cut to revive the economy.

Lower mining output and tight household budgets have put South Africa on course for its first recession in 17 years.

New bicycle parking at Green Point Stadium

By Sasha Forbes
24 March 2009

The City of Cape Town has made ample provision for bicycle parking as part of its new Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system around the new Green Point Stadium.

“There will be two parking areas for bicycles at the stadium, one near to McDonalds, and the other close to the Virgin Active Tennis Courts.
We are also looking at available parking option in areas such as Green Market Square and the Waterfront,” said the City’s Kylie Hatton

As part of the first phase of the IRT system, the city is looking at rolling out bicycle paths and lanes right across the city. “If you look at the construction that we are doing on the R27 one of the things we are doing is adding in safe bicycle ways all the way into the city, so that people will be able to cycle into the city as well as use public transportation,” said Hatton

83 year old woman found dead

Mandisi Tyulu
24 March 2009

On Friday on the 21 March at approximately 9:45 a sister at Dekaylan Old Age home did a random visit to the rooms and she discovered an 83 year old woman dead in her bed.Apperently the woman was attack by a brick and she died due to the injuries that she sustained.

Kluisriver communication officer, captain Isaacs van Nierke says the deceased is identified to be Joseph Petrolane Steenkamp.

"A case of murder is open by Kluisriver police and the investigation continues',says Van Nierke.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Athlone stadium gets a revamp

By Mikhaila Crowie
23 March 2009

Athlone Stadium will begin its anticipated revamp on Wednesday when the old pitch will be replaced with a new one.

The Athlone stadium will be utilised as a training venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Cape Town teams Ajax Cape Town and Santos currently use the venue for their home games but will now use alternate venues.

Ajax is expected to use Newlands stadium while Santos will play their home games in Coetzenberg near Stellenbosch.

Nick Whiteley, 2010 spokesperson said the grass pitch will be replaced by a “high quality World Cup standard pitch”, to be a training venue for the World Cup teams when they come out here.

“We see this as being a start of a new era for Cape Town football, especially with our teams doing so well now on the national front.”

Errant motorist brought to the book

By Mandisi Tyulu
23 March 2009

The Metro Police campaign to make roads safer for all users has brought a number of errant motorists to book in the past three days.

Last Friday, a number of vehicle check points were set up in the Helderberg area and 137 motorists were fined for various transgressions of the Road Traffic Ordinance. On the R44, 66 traffic fines were issued of which 23 were for not wearing a safety belt.

Metro Police spokesperson, Nowellen Petersen, said Motorists who under-estimate the risk of driving without a safety belt and this is particularly relevant on the R44 which has a high accident rate.

During a joint operation with members of the Goodwood police station on Saturday evening, six motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The operation started at 22:00 and finished at 01:00 on Sunday morning, says Petersen.

“Voortrekker Road, which is exceptionally busy at night, was the target of the operation and, in addition to the six arrests, 60 traffic fines were issued. Thirty three were for motorists driving without a licence and 13 for unlicensed motor vehicles.”

Operation reclaim a success

By Sasha Forbes
23 March 2009

Since the beginning of January 2009 Operation Reclaim has held 122 check points using the licence plate recognition system (LPR), to apprehend errant motorists who fail to appear in Court. The LPR system is a camera which recognises the registration numbers of approaching vehicles, feeds the information through a computer, and alerts the operator if there are any warrants outstanding.

“Yesterday, nine people were arrested on 49 outstanding warrants to the value of R49 550. One motorist was arrested on 26 warrants valued at R30 800, and appeared in the municipal court,” said Cape Town Traffic Services’ Inez Lackay

“Motorists are urged to ensure that when they receive a notice to appear in Court, they should pay their fines either on or before the stipulated dates to avoid being summoned. When they fail to appear in Court on the dates specified, they run the risk of being found in contempt of Court. Warrants are not only executed during our check points, but we also visit your homes and places of work”, advised Lackay.

Bystander injured during argument

By Sasha Forbes
23 March 2009

On Saturday morning a 19-year-old women was shot and injured after one of her neighbours and an unknown man got into an argument. According to Captain Randal Stoffels of SAPS the unknown man knocked on the door of the Senator Park resident after which the argument broke out.

“The suspect ran down the passage, turned around and fired several shots. The 19-year-old female sustained a gunshot wound to her chest and she was taken to Somerset Hospital,” said SAPS Captain Randal Stoffels. The young woman was released from hospital on Sunday morning.

“At this stage no suspect has been arrested as yet,” said Captain Stoffels

IEC to decide on objections today

By Mikhaila Crowie
23 March 2009

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will decide today on the objections made against nominated candidates of political parties that will contest the 2009 General Elections.

In terms of the Election Timetable, the objections received by the Commission must be considered and decided by today, March 23rd.

The Electoral Commission will then compile a final list of candidates on or before April 3rd, and on April 7th; candidates will be issued with their certificates.

The IEC published the candidate’s lists submitted by political parties last Monday and Tuesday in national newspapers for public inspection.

The candidate’s lists were also made available at the national, provincial and municipal offices of the IEC.

Residents were able to inspect the candidates' lists and accompanying documents.

On the cut-off date on Wednesday, the IEC had received 338 objections against candidates out of a total of 9 425.

The IEC said three candidates were found to be non-South Africans, while a further 110 candidates were not on the voter's roll.

Copperheads crackdown on counterfeit syndicate

By Mishkah Anthony
23 March 2009

A huge consignment of counterfeit Nike products worth thousands of rands was confiscated during a joint crime fighting operation at Parow station.

The raid was co-ordinated by the SA Police Services and included the City of Cape Town’s Copperheads, Customs & Excise, Home Affairs, SA Revenue Services and representatives from Nike.

Councillor Pieter van Dalen, Chairperson of the Copperheads crime-fighting unit says this is the first of many such raids as any trade in counterfeit merchandise effectively destroys local jobs and is detrimental to the country’s economy.

“This crime against the citizens of South Africa is carried out by a syndicate that imports these goods illegally. It might even be aided and abetted by some of the people that police our borders.

Van Dalen says the market is flooded with counterfeit goods and just about every stall is selling them. He days the City plans to take tougher action against these illicit sales and urges all residents to avoid purchasing these unlicensed products.

“We are forging stronger partnerships with the different crime fighting agencies and this is the way to go in the future,” says Van Dalen.

Missing 15-year-old found

By Mikhaila Crowie
23 March 2009

A 15-year-old boy who has been reported missing has been found.

Limba Thulane was last seen leaving his home on March 16th.

Thulane is from the Vrygrond area and works at the taxi rank in Retreat.

Dessie Rechner from the Pink Ladies organisation said it was the great police work by Inspector Vester that brought Thulane back home.

Thulane was found in Khayelitsha.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two men arrested for rape of 73-year-old woman

By Cindy Witten
22 March 2009

Two men in their early 20's from Kleinkrantz near Wilderness, George have been arrested in connection with the rape of a 73-year-old victim from Sedgefield.

“The motive for the specific deed is not known as yet. The two men are currently being detained at the Knysna SAPS holding cells, where they are being interrogated,” said Southern Cape police spokesperson Malcolm Poje.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Knysna Magistrate court this week, while police investigations continue.

Muizenberg boy reported missing

Mitchell’s Plain girl found

By Cindy Witten
22 March 2009

The 16-year-old Mitchell’s Plain girl, who was reported missing on March, 16 has been found.

Xanavier Jacobs went missing from the Southern Suburbs Academy School in Grassy Park.

Dessie Rechner from the Pink Ladies organisation says that she is back with her mother.
“She was found in Bishop Lavis somewhere. It was because of all the notifications that went around, so thank you to everybody that helped,” said Rechner.

Missing person spotted in Humansdorp

By Cindy Witten
22 March 2009

67-year-old Johan Redelinghuys from Plettenberg Bay, who was reported missing on February, 27 is still missing.

Police followed up on numerous leads, but Redelinghuys has not yet been found.

Dessie Rechner from the Pink ladies organisation says that he suffers from Alzheimer’s and may not know who he is.
“At the present moment we are concentrating on the Humansdorp area into Hanky. There have been three sightings around that area, so there is the possibility that he is there,” said Rechner.

If anyone has information or knows of his whereabouts, they can contact the Pink ladies on 072 214 7439.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

City holds operation reclaim

By Cindy Witten
21 March 2009

The City of Cape Town’s Traffic services held Operation Reclaim on Thursday morning at the intersection of Koeberg Road and Boundary Road, Rugby.

To arrest rebellious motorists who fail to appear in Court, 122 check points have been held so far this year, which uses the licence plate recognition system (LPR).

According to an issued press release, spokesperson for the City’s traffic services, Inez Lackay, said that on Thursday, nine people were arrested on 48 outstanding warrants. She said that one motorist was arrested on 26 warrants and appeared in the municipal court.

“Motorists are urged to ensure that when they receive a notice to appear in Court, they should pay their fines either on or before the stipulated dates to avoid being summoned.

When they fail to appear in Court on the dates specified, they run the risk of being found in contempt of Court. Warrants are not only executed during our check points, but we also visit your homes and places of work”, said Lackay.

South Africans celebrate Human Rights Day

By Cindy Witten
21 March 2009

While South Africans across the country are celebrating Human Rights Day today, we commemorate the tragic death of 69 people who were shot dead during the Sharpeville massacre 49 years ago.

President Kgalema Motlanthe today delivered the keynote address at the national event in Kimberley in the Northern Cape.

Government says the day has been set aside to remind South Africans and the world that South Africans will never again be denied their human rights.

Death of toddler Unabantu Mali

By Mishkah Anthony
21 March 2009

The City of Cape Town has conducted a preliminary investigation into the death of toddler Unabantu Mali, who died on his grandmother Ntombizodwa Mali’s back after they were reportedly turned away from two Provincial Government Clinics and one shared Provincial and City Government Health Facility this week.

The City’s Communication Director Peter Cronje says the City cannot comment on the issue of Gugulethu Community Health Centre and KTC Maternity Obstetrics Unit, which are Provincial facilities.

However Cronje says the City commissioned an investiagtion into the City of Cape Town section of the Nyanga Clinic.

“There was no record of Mrs Mali coming to the clinic on Tuesday this week, and no staff members said that they had seen her.

“ They had one record of Mrs Mali and her grandchild coming to the facility on 9 March, in which the child was treated and a nurse used her personal vehicle to take Mrs Mali and Unabantu home.”

Cronje says the City will cooperate with Provincial government who now instituted an independent investigation. If the investigation finds that any of our staff members did not follow the City of Cape Town’s strict policy of not turning people away from its clinics, and then we will take immediate disciplinary action.

Friday, March 20, 2009

9 metal thieves arrested

by Mishkah Anthony
20 March 2009

The City of Cape Town’s metal theft unit, Copperheads, has caught nine suspects stealing thousands of rands worth of railway property in Netreg, near Bishop Lavis.

The unit was tipped off after one of its officers spotted the men removing the heavy metal fence poles next to the railway line in broad daylight.

“Inspector Ezekiel Kiewiets was on a routine crime prevention patrol in the area, when he noticed the men uprooting the poles,” says Councillor Pieter van Dalen, Chairperson of the Copperheads.

Inspector Kiewiets immediately called his colleagues and the SA Police Services for backup. As soon as they arrived on the scene, the suspects fled in all directions.

The police immediately gave chase, and caught a 17-year old youth with two of the poles in his possession. They then followed a getaway car to a house in Netreg and arrested another eight suspects.

“This was the first successful joint operation between the Copperheads and General Nyanda Services, which has been contracted by Transnet to focus on the theft of railway property. We are now busy training GNS staff,” says Van Dalen.

According to him, gangsters in Bonteheuwel and Netreg are targeting fencing poles at railway stations, which are then sold for scrap to fund their drug addictions.

“These three meter long poles weigh 100 kg each and are planted about one meter deep into concrete. During the past two days, 300 of the poles have been stolen. The Copperheads and GNS have since recovered 108 of these at a bucket shop in Bonteheuwel, and the owner has been taken into police custody,” he says.

A contractor employed to remove the poles and to put up palisade fencing at Bonteheuwel and Netreg stations, was even threatened by gangsters to hand over the poles to them. Anybody found with the poles will be arrested and charged for being in possession of stolen goods.

Councillor van Dalen urged the public to continue calling the Copperheads’ toll-free hotline on 0800 222 771 with any tipp-offs.

Bilateral discussions to strengthen ties

By Mikhaila Crowie
20 March 2009

South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkozasana Dlamini Zuma arrived in the USA to hold discussions with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The aim of the dicussion is to strengthen the existing relations between South African and the United States of America.

America remains one of South Africa’s largest trading partners.

The meeting between Minister Dlamini Zuma and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the first since the appointment and confirmation of Hillary Clinton as the new US Secretary of State.

Dlamini Zuma said it was certainly a pleasure to meet the Secretary of State in a new capacity.

“We have this opportunity to really look at our bilateral relations and to see how to strengthen it and to see how to broaden it and how to co-operate in many other areas of mutual interest.”

Clinton was also said to be very excited about the meeting and said there was a lot to discuss.

“We have so many important issues to discuss with South Africa. And the opportunities for us to have a comprehensive relationship that touches on all of these important matters is very exciting to me, Madame Minister.”

Stellenbosch students released on bail

By Mikhaila Crowie
20 March 2009

Four students were identified and arrested in connection with the assault of a black student at the University of Stellenbosch earlier this month.

Gino Gattardo, Kyle Wright, Morné Dormehl and Jack du Toit appeared in court and were released on bail.

Stellenbosch police said the motive of the attack is still not known.

Captain Rene Matthee said the student was beaten, kicked and strangled.

A stranger came and rescued him.

“After thorough investigation by the Stellenbosch detectives, the suspects were identified and arrested on Monday the 16th of March.”

Meanwhile the rector of Stellenbosch University Professor Russel Botman says the institution will not tolerate any form of racism.

Various meetings have taken place between the management of the university and the local police.

Botman says the university will persist in its campaign to root out racism.

Media Liason for the University, Mohamed Shaikh suspected that the incident had “racial undertones”.

“We're not exactly sure, we doing our own investigations at the moment and obviously we will make our judgement based on the investigation but we will also look at what is coming out in the court case.”

Four arrested for possession of illegal firearms.

By Mishkah Anthony
20 March 2009

Bishop Lavis police arrested four people at a house in Kalksteenfontein for Possession of illegal firearms and ammunition yesterday.

The arrests follow after shots were fired in the Kalksteenfontein area in the same evening.

Information gathered on the scene was followed-up and led to a house in Gousblom Street, Kalksteenfontein where the four suspects were arrested.

Inspector November Filander says a gun, one magazine, rounds and revolver were confiscated.

The revolver has been reported stolen during 2008 in Ravensmead.

The suspects are due to appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates court today on charges of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

April 22 declared public holiday

President Kgalema Motlanthe has declared the 22nd of April a public holiday.

South Africans will go to the poll on the day to elect the next government. The announcement was made late yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rand at six-month high

By Mikhaila Crowie
19 March 2009

The rand is trading at firmer levels after it rose to a six-month high earlier today.

Analysts say the currency has been bolstered by expectations that the Reserve Bank could start trimming lending rates at a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee which has been brought forward to Monday and Tuesday.

Some economists expect lending rates to fall by 100 basis points next week due to the pressure the slowing economy is exerting on businesses and consumers.

However the Congress of South African Trade Unions says the Reserve Bank seems to have heeded its warning about the impact the global economic slump is having on the South African economy.

In welcoming the bank’s decision to call an earlier meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee next week, Cosatu says it hopes the Reserve Bank will abandon its obsession with inflation-targeting.

The trade union federation wants a broader look at growth and employment as well as inflation. It has also called for a dramatic slashing of interest rates.

Cape fire-fighters on high alert

By Mikhaila Crowie
19 March 2009

Fire-fighters in Cape Town are still attending to sporadic flare-ups of the fire against Table Mountain.

The wind has picked up today, keeping fire-fighters on their toes.

A homeless person died of his injuries and his wife is still in a serious condition in hospital.

Five fire-fighters sustained minor injuries in yesterday’s blaze and veterinarians are treating several injured wild animals.

Meanwhile two people were seriously injured when they jumped out of a burning building in the Johannesburg city centre.

The building is located on the corner of Jeppe and Polly streets. Emergency services said the patients have been taken to hospital along with eight other victims who suffered from smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out in the building early this morning.

Fishing trawler saved from sinking in Cape Point

By Yamkela Xhaso
19 March

Yesterday afternoon the National Sea Rescue Institute received a report from a Captain that a fishing vessel Amber Rose was sinking.

Brad Geyser from NSRI said the vessel had 12 crew on board was taking in water 15 nautical miles South of Cape Point.

Geyser says the trawler could not stay afloat for longer than an hour and luckily there was another fishing trawler close by which assisted them to pump water from Amber Rose.

Geyser said they managed to pump the water from Amber Rose in 15 minutes. The owners and crew are going to fix the vessel today.

Health MEC assures there is no meningitis crisis

By Mikhaila Crowie
19 March 2009

The rapid spread of meningitis has caused a widespread of concern for many in the Western Province.

It’s been confirmed that 12 people have been treated in the province for meningococcal meningitis and two people have died thus far.

MEC for Health in the Western Cape, Marius Fransman, briefed the media yesterday on the widespread of meningitis in the province and said there was no need to panic.

“This particular one (meningococcal meningitis) is quite infectious, very acute, and people can die. However again its speaks to the way we ensure treatment and they say it is especially where there are a lot of people that’s coming together.”

Fransman went on to explain that it occurs where a lot of people stay together for example informal settlements and school hostels.

Professor Craig Housem of the Provincial Department of Health, described the meningococcal as an acute infection which is dangerous and has rapid progression.

Housem added that this is the reason it requires treatment with antibiotics.

“The good news is that if you are diagnosed and effectively treated, you also get better very quickly and in general without any complications.”

Housem said the problem arises when there is a delay in instituting in medical treatment.

He went on to explain that it is vital that both the communities and health workers are aware of the symptoms.

Government urges South Africans to take part in Earth Hour

By Mikhaila Crowie
19 March 2009

The government has urged South Africans to join a campaign of switching off lights for an hour later this month to raise awareness of climate change.

Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk says climate change should be recognised as an issue that affects not just nature, but humans, and especially the poor.

In the global event "Earth Hour" South Africans will be asked to switch off all non-essential lights on Saturday night, March 28th, from half past eight.

The V&A Waterfront, will host Cape Town’s celebration of WWF’s Earth Hour, A Concert in the Dark.

The event will see Table Mountain plunged into darkness for an hour.

The concert will be webcast to millions around the world as a statement on the need for action on climate change.

More than a thousand cities in 80 countries and 25 time zones have already signed up to take part in the one hour lights-out campaign.

Manuel says world was warned about financial crisis

By Mishkah Anthony
19 March 2009

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel says the world was warned about the current global financial crisis.

Writing in the Financial Times, he said the historical record repeated itself - "confidence gives way to exuberance, panic is followed by decline, retrenchment precedes reconstruction."

He added that the world needed to acknowledge that the financial crisis could not be unwound without addressing global trade imbalances.

Manuel said the world needed a shared commitment to resist protectionism, and to take the actions required to build more balanced trade relations and earnings patterns.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Domestic worker raped in Table View

By Cindy Witten
18 March 2009

A domestic worker working at a residence in Table view was attacked by four men this morning.

The woman was tied up in the garage and raped, before the men ransacked the house. Police spokesperson Superintendent Andre Traut says that the suspects fled with cash and a note book computer. No arrests have been made.

Traut urges anyone with information to come forward.
“Anyone who can assist police in this investigation is kindly requested to phone Table View police station on (021) 521 3300 or crime stop on 08600 10111.”

TMNP fires contained

By Cindy Witten
18 March 2009

The veld fires that started up on Devils Peak last night, forced residents living in and around the area to evacuate their homes.
For many, the thick palls of smoke made it unbearable to breathe.

Fire fighters worked throughout the night and managed to keep the flames under control. Phillip Prince, fire manager of Table Mountain National Parks (TMNP), says that the fires have been contained. However, helicopters are water bombing the mountain to ensure that all flames are 100% eliminated.

“Everything is now more or less quiet. Everything is contained at this stage, it’s only here in the game camp, below Rhodes Memorial, above De Waal Drive where there’s still a lot of smoke,” said Prince.

He added that the reason for the smoke is that pine trees tend to create huge amounts of smoke when burning.

“Everything has burned out, so at this stage it’s not actually a threat,” he said.

City warns traders on counterfeit goods.

By Yamkela Xhaso
18 March

The City of Cape Town has warned of tougher action against traders who sell counterfeit goods as the 2010 World Cup gets closer.

Alderman Ian Nelson, Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Economic and Social Development and Tourism says that atleast 25 percent of the retail sales of sports licensed products are lost due to the sale of counterfeit goods.

Nelson said this kind of action impoverishes the city .

33-year-old reported missing

By Mikhaila Crowie
18 March 2009

A 33-year-old male from Steenberg has been reported missing.

Uriah Alexander Malingo was last seen by his father on March 8th and was wearing a green t-shirt, white pants, and black shoes.

Dessie Rechner from the Pink Ladies organisation said he was last spotted by members of the public, after visiting one of the local shops.

“He’s 1.7metres, 75 kilos and has short shaven black hair. He has a goatee beard with an unshaven upper lip, straight teeth and brown eyes.”

Rechner added that Malingo is mentally ill and also suffers from Schizophrenia.

“If anybody sees him would you please contact Constable Anthony at 021 702 9066 and as always the Pink Ladies at 072 214 7439.”

Cape Town residents flee homes as fire rages

By Yamkela Xhaso
18 March

A blaze has threatened a game at the Groote Schuur Camp last night at the Table Mountain National Park.

Fire fighters battled with the out-control fire all night.

Phumeza Mngxashe from Table Mountain National Park told a leading newspaper that that the wind made the fire stronger.

Cindy Witten from Bush Radio said she could see the fire from her house in Parow.

Fortunately no injuries were reported and it is not yet known what had started the fire. Ian Schnetler from City’s fire department could not be reached for a comment.

Pictures sent by Faizel Hermans

Eskom to ask for another significant increase

By Mikhaila Crowie
18 March 2009

Eskom has admitted that it will seek a significant increase from the National Energy Regulator when it applies for a tariff increase in a few weeks time.

Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu told Reuters the new tariff would take effect from the 1st of next month.

Eskom wants the tariff increase to help fund its power expansion programme over the next five years.

Zulu says they delayed the submission to take into account the impact the financial crisis would have on consumers, and the utility’s own ability to borrow given the state of the global markets.

Khayelitsha family tragedy

By Mishkah Anthony
18 March 2009

A 22-year-old Khayelitsha man is in hospital in a serious condition after allegedly shooting dead his 14-year-old brother on Monday.

Khayelitsha Constable Mthokozisi Gama says the two brothers were in their house in Site C when a shot went off while the 22-year-old was apparently playing with a firearm.

The suspect then went outside, turned the gun on himself and fired two shots.

The 22 year old brother later sustained injuries to his head. Gama says police have opened a case of murder.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Man arrested for murder of Green Point resident

By Cindy Witten
17 March 2009

On Friday evening, the body of a 36-year-old Charles Vergotine was discovered by his house mate. The woman found the body in their Green Point apartment.

According to a police statement, the deceased was found in the bathroom with injuries to his face. He was fully clothed and the preliminary autopsy report suggests that the cause of death could have been strangulation.

With the assistance of Beaufort West Police, Sea Point Police arrested a suspect in Beaufort West during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Inspector Bheki Xulu from the Sea Point Police department says that the suspect was on a bus traveling to Bloemfontein at the time of the arrest.

“The Sea Point investigation team managed to track down the suspect who was on his way to Bloemfontein. Early on Saturday morning, the suspect was arrested in Beaufort West where police found that he was in possession of the deceased’s items,” said Xulu.

The suspect is expected to appear in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court this week.

Ocean View police puts three suspects behind bars

By Yamkela Xhaso
17 March

Ocean View Police have arrested three suspects on murder charges. Superintendent Naidoo says that last month Wynberg regional court sentenced Anthony Allen to 10years direct imprisonment for murdering his friend on 2007 in Ocean View.

Also Two weeks ago Cape Town High Court sentenced gang members Albert Albertus, 38 and his partner in crime Ricardo Titus, 18 years were sentenced to 22 and 18 years direct imprisonment respectively on charges of murder.

Two arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle in Ocean View

By Yamkela Xhaso
17 March

Ocean View Police arrested tow suspects during their routine patrols in the area.

Superintendent Naidoo says the two Ocean View constables noticed three males coming out of a bakkie and coming into a white Toyota Tazz with a broken front window.

After further investigation it emerged that another car’s window was broken by the three males.

Police found complainants from the beach who confirmed that they were both owners of the vehicles.

A stolen cooler bag was also found in the suspect’s car which was later discovered that the suspect’s car was a stolen vehicle whom he stolen in Claremont.

All three suspects were arrested for theft and investigations continue.

ICD launches investigation into 4-year-old’s death

By Mikhaila Crowie
17 March 2009

The Independent Complaints Directorate will look into the death of a 4-year-old boy, who was knocked down by a police van.

Yanga Dyanti, from Wallacedene was run over by the van on Sunday morning and the ICD has confirmed the investigation yesterday.

Louise Strydom, Kraaifontein police spokesperson, said they were responding to a reported murder when the accident happened.

The police rushed the 4-year-old to hospital but the boy died of his injuries.

A case of culpable homicide has been opened.

Dlamini Zuma delivers conclusion address at Zimbabwe – South Africa joint commission

By Cindy Witten
17 March 2009

During her conclusion of the third session of the Zimbabwe – South Africa joint commission, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said that she hopes successful steps will be taken to better the current situation in Zimbabwe.

Dlamini Zuma explained that the work of the joint commission is discussed between the sittings of the commission.

She says that the joint commission evaluates and draws a programme, after which the work to implement the ideas starts.

“We hope that when we meet next time in this format, we will be able to see what steps have been taken between now and then,” said Dlamini Zuma.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Police still searching for Richard Van Wyk

By Cindy Witten
16 March 2009

Ravensmead police request help from the public in tracking down 52-year-old Richard van Wyk. van Wyk was last seen in Parow returning from his workplace in Brackenfell on April 27.

“He is approximately 1.7m tall, slender, weighs 78kg, has brown eyes and short black hair with a bald patch in centre of head. He also has a tattoo on his chest of a man with an afro as well as a cut mark on his stomach and a mark over his nose. He was last seen wearing a blue overall pants, blue long sleeve t-shirt covered with paint on marks, black & grey long sleeve top and brown shoes,” said Ravensmead Police Spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk.

Anyone with information can contact the investigating officer, Constable Arnold van Wyk on (021) 933-9000 or 083 619 0672.

Police arrest 9 in Gugulethu

By Yamkela Xhaso
16 March

Gugulethu Police arrested 9 suspects on charges of different crimes ranging from housebreaking, robbery, being in possession of dangerous weapons.

Police were conducting their routine patrols. One of the suspects arrested is an 18 year old man who was charged for committing five murders.

There were other suspects who charged for similar crimes.

On Friday afternoon they arrested a suspect who in possession of dagga worth R 265 000. Captain Elliot Sinyangana says all suspects appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s court today.

SAPS perform crime prevention operations at the weekend

By Cindy Witten
16 March 2009

The South African Police (SAPS) conducted crime prevention operations in all the 27 policing clusters in the province at the weekend.

Police say that the main purpose for these operations is to strengthen policing across the province in the run to the National and Provincial Elections.
“The operations amongst others have focus on the strengthening of sector policing in terms of capacity and deployment, high visible policing patrols in identified areas of concern, road blocks, vehicle check points and the searching of persons, vehicles and premises,” said Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

“The various clusters commanders were responsible to identify and focus on the areas of concern within their policing precincts,” she said.

According to police, more than 2700 people were searched during the operation. 261 arrests were made for various crimes including murder, possession of drugs and robbery while illegal substances such as tik and dagga were seized. 27 arrests were made for outstanding warrants. Fines amounting to over R94 000 were issued.

Steyn says that similar policing cluster operations will continue.

Three arrested for Bishop Lavis murder

By Mikhaila Crowie
16 March 2009

Three suspects were arrested yesterday morning following the murder of 39-year-old Avron Steyn.

Police arrested the three suspects, aged 17, 20 and 22, in Kiaat Road, Bonteheuwel.

39-year-old Steyn sustained a gunshot wound in his chest and passed away on the scene Friday night.

Inspector Filander November said the 22-year-old suspect could possibly be linked to another murder case and two attempted murders.

“The suspects remain in custody and will appear tomorrow in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s court.”

Devil's Peak fire monitored

By Mikhaila Crowie
16 March 2009

Cape Town Fire-fighters have been monitoring a fire on Devils Peak. The blaze broke out near Table Mountain yesterday afternoon.

Officials say a team has been dispatched to keep a close eye on the area.

Meanwhile according to an international Airport Rescue Firefighting compliance report, poorly trained airport firefighters at the Cape Town International Airport do not know how to use their equipment, do not know their assigned duties on fire trucks and lack the experience of driving the trucks.

This poses as a risk and might jeopardise the airport’s operating licence

Candidate list released for public scrutiny

By Mikhaila Crowie
16 March 2009

The lists of candidates submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission by political parties contesting the April 22 national and provincial elections will be released for pubic scrutiny today.

The lists will determine who will go to parliament and the provincial legislature, depending on how many votes their party gets.

Anyone is allowed to inspect the list and the documentation submitted to show that the candidates qualify and agree to abide by the Electoral Code.

The lists can be inspected either at the commission’s head office in Pretoria or at any municipal offices.

The commission will accept objections to any candidates on the grounds that they are not qualified to stand in the elections.

Manual positive with G20 summit decisions

By Mishkah Anthony
16 March 2009

Ministers from the Group of 20 industrialised and emerging market countries were locked in talks this weekend, attending a G20 summit on how to deal with the economic crisis.

This just month before a world leader’s summit in April.

Meanwhile it was reported that the British government denied that there is a major division between countries attending the summit.

This as British diplomats had to play down a leaked document that stated Australia was one of the low- priority countries attending the summit.

Meanwhile Finance Minster Trevor Manual was the only representative from Africa at the summit. Manuel says the G20 finance ministers' agreement to give more money to multi-lateral development banks will play a strong role in dealing with the global recession.

Manuel told media that it was less about the amount of money pumped into the system - it is a sense of responsibility and collegiality about how you deal with these issues going forward

Furthermore the G20 group has vowed to cut interest rates and guard against protectionism to pull the world economy out of recession.

With divisions between the United States and Europe over priorities for rescuing the global economy, the finance ministers from the club of 20 vowed to do whatever it takes at the meeting in Sussex in southern England.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Visible policing seems successful in crime fighting

By Mishkah Anthony
15 March 2009

The South African police service in conjunction with South African Air Force, Marine and Coastal Management, Metro Police, Provincial Traffic Police conducted a two day crime fighting operation in different parts of the city on Thursday and Friday.

Members of the different forces were airlifted by an Oryx helicopter and SAPS air wing and dropped off at various main routes. The aim of the operation was to address priority crimes and road safety. Roadblocks and Vehicle Control Points were carried out on oncoming and outgoing routes, and Helicopter drops were carried out at specific identified points.

Captain Bernadine Steyn says, ”during the operation four people were arrested ,three for Possession of Drugs and one for Driving under the influence, 426 Traffic fines were issued to the value of about R287 520-00.”

Steyn says 9 people were arrested for Warrants of arrest due to traffic offences,a Mazda 626 that was reported stolen was confiscated,2647 people were searched and 1335 vehicles were searched.

Steyn says the attitude of the public was very positive during the operation and SAPS would like to thank people for the co-operation they received

Taxi bosses refusing to budge

By Mishkah Anthony
15 March 2009

Police forcibly removed protesting taxi bosses from a public transport meeting with Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille yesterday.

Zille and elements within the taxi industry are at loggerheads over plans by the city to roll out a new and improved public transport system ahead of 2010,named the Integrated Rapid Transport system.

The city presented details of the plan under tight police guard at the Civic Centre in Cape Town, but disgruntled taxi representatives started shouting and singing, bringing the event to a brief standstill.

Man killed in Bishop Lavis

By Mishkah Anthony
15 March 2009

A 39-year-old man was shot dead while he was walking along a street in Bishop Lavis, Bishop Lavis police said on Saturday.

Inspector November Philander said Avron Steyn and his friend were walking in Prunus Street when they were followed by another man. A shot was heard after which the man, who was following them, fled on foot.

“He sustained a gunshot wound in his chest and passed away on the scene.”

The suspect, whose identity is not known, is still at large.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting incident can contact Detective Constable Mandla Fubesi on (021) 935 9803 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mayor to meet with taxi industry today

By Mishkah Anthony
14 March 2009

Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille will meet with representatives of the taxi industry today as part of an ongoing engagement with the mini-bus taxi industry about the City’s proposed Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system.

Spokesperson for the Mayor, Robert McDonald says the mayor will explain the role of the taxi industry in this new transport system.

“This is a separate group from the NTA, which has refused to listen to the presentation and walked out of the meeting with the Mayor last week after threatening violence.”

Meanwhile Cape Town will know by Wednesday whether or not they need to brace themselves for yet another violent taxi strike. The National Taxi Alliance announced on Thursday that they would inform the associated taxi bodies on when and where the strike would take place.

10 suspects arrested in Nyanga

By Mikhaila Crowie
14 March 2009

Ten people were arrested by Nyanga police during an early morning raid yesterday.

The suspects, aged between 18 and 24, were wanted for numerous crimes committed in various parts of the city.

Police said these included murder, robberies and break-ins whilst some were linked to gang-related activities.

Police said one of the men was wanted for at least four murders.
“Some of them are from KTC, Samora Machel, New Crossroads, and Nyanga and one of them is linked to four murder cases.”, said Police captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi.

The suspects will appear in court on Monday.

Community Information Network

The Shine Centre is looking for volunteers to help Grade 3 and 4 pupils at Zonnebloem Primary to read for 2 hours a week. The project will be launched on Friday March 13. To apply email shinecapetown@gmail.com or call Carrie on 079 165 2066.

# Beacon Spurs Football Club is having a karaoke/disco on Saturday March 28 in Firgrove. Tickets will cost you R35 each. For more information contact Nigel on 078 126 0078.

# The Victim Support Room at the Mitchell’s Plain police station needs volunteers urgently. The facility offers trauma debriefing, counseling, HIV and Aids awareness workshops. For details call Beatrice Leng, the Victim Support Room co-ordinator on 021 370 1693 or on 083 766 8044.

# Join circle dancing, on Saturdays at the Centre for Creative Education in Plumstead between 4pm and 6pm. The entry fee is R10. For more information, call Maxine on 021 788 5711.

If you would like our community information network to announce your community notice, submit a paragraph detailing the information of your event or project. Send those details to news@bushradio.co.za or fax them to 021 448 5451 or call us on 021 448 5450. You can even send a sms to 32158. Don’t forget notices that can uplift the community will be broadcast free of charge. From the CIN team, I’m…

Friday, March 13, 2009

Foreign Affairs minister attends Nordic – Africa meeting

By Cindy Witten
13 March 2009

In her final address of the Nordic – Africa Foreign Ministers meeting held in Denmark this week, South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said that the conference was a great success.
“The meetings were very frank, very open, very candid. That is what is good about these meetings,” said Dlamini Zuma.

Dlamini Zuma, accompanied by Foreign Affairs Director General, Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba, South Africa’s Ambassador to Denmark, Dolana Msimang and senior government officials, attended the 8th Informal Session of the two day meeting in Copenhagen.

Dlamini Zuma said that even though there was anxiety about whether the conference would produce the proper out come and whether all parities would reach a consensus on certain issues, the feedback was positive.
“I think the general feeling was that once we sit down and really exchange views through dialogue, we would be able to reach a consensus,” she said.

Amongst others, topics addressed included the climate change conference, that will be hosted by Denmark and the Durban review conference, to be held in Geneva.

New by-law to target shebeens and drug lords.

By Yamkela Xhaso
13 March

The City of Cape Town has come up with a draft of a new by-law will target drug lords and sheebeens.

The city says that punishment will punishment will range from between R20 000 and two year imprisonment.

Councillor Glen Kleinsmith, Chairperson of the Drug Busters, City of Cape Town said the bylaw is still at the beginning stages and still needs to be scrutinised by their legal department, go to the legislator process and will include public participation process.

“The proposed bylaw is however a clear indication of the council’s commitment in stepping out alcohol and drug abuse”

He said that they will explore every aspect of the law to challenge drug dealers and sheebens. The will include issuing fines and demolishing illegal structures and strengthen its regulations.

NTA warns of more violence

By Mikhaila Crowie
13 March 2009

Cape Town will know by Wednesday whether or not they need to brace themselves for yet another violent taxi strike.

The National Taxi Alliance announced yesterday that they would inform the associated taxi bodies on when and how they would embark on the strike.

Taxi operators in the City are opposing the Bus Rapid Transit system, which is to be introduced before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mayor Helen Zille announced earlier this week that she would call the army in, to maintain order.

Zille is expected to meet with Western Cape Premier Lynne Brown, later today.

79-year-old dies of heart attack after house robbery

By Mikhaila Crowie
13 March 2009

A 79-year-old Hout Bay resident died of a heart seizure, shortly after an interview with the police.

A security company in the area was called out after receiving a complaint of house-breaking from the 79-year-old, who lives with his wife at retirement village.

Inspector Tanya Lesch said the police were unsure about how entry was gained by the burglars but they found that the burglar bars were removed.

Lesch added that the complainant ordered his wife to lock herself in the room because of an intruder in the house.

“He also informed the security guard of a young african man that was in his house and did not feel well and passed away on the scene.”

Lesch said the deceased had a small cut on his right forearm.

“His wife was transported via ambulance to a hospital because she was very traumatised.”

It is not yet known whether anything was stolen from the house and a case of house robbery was opened.

No arrests have been made yet and there were no eyewitnesses on the scene.

Anyone who can assist with the investigation is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Suspects still at large after Camps Bay robbery

By Mikhaila Crowie
13 March 2009

Early this morning, members of the SA Police service were called out to a house robbery in Camps Bay.

The suspects, armed with knives, entered the house by forcing a window open.

The residents were locked in the bedrooms while the suspects ransacked the house. The suspects fled the scene and are still at large.

“At this stage it seems that 2 laptops, 3 cell phones, jewellery and cash were taken.”, said Bernadine Steyn, captain for the South African Police Service.

Steyn added that the family are still in the process of compiling a list of all the stolen items.

Nobody sustained any injuries in the incident.

The police have opened a case docket of House Robbery for investigation. Anyone with information can contact the Investigating Officer, Constable Gerome Mathews at the Caps Bay Police station on 021 437 8140.

Ilmainen www-laskuri