Monday, November 30, 2009

Ireland insist room must be made for them at the 2010 World Cup

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 November 2009

Fifa’s Sepp Blatter has revealed that the Republic of Ireland have requested a spot in the 2010 World Cup finals as an extra team after their play-off defeat.

The Republic lost to an extra-time goal against France after a French hand ball during the build-up.

Blatter says he will bring the request to the attention of the Executive Committee.

He also says Fifa is considering using goal-line technology and extra referees during the actual World Cup.

Meanwhile, the police say one on the first events of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the switching on of Cape Town’s festive lights last night, was a great success from a policing point of view.

The event, seen as an indicator of what to expect from Friday’s Fifa Final Draw, was attended by more that 120-thousand people.

Only five people were arrested, after being searched during stop-and-search operations.

A sixteen-year-old from Woodstock was arrested for possession of an unlicensed firearm and his 20-year old friend for possession of ammunition.

The remaining three arrests were for possession of small amounts of dagga.

Mandela Park residents demand meeting with MEC over housing

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 November 2009

Mandela Park backyard residents today demanded an urgent meeting with the Western Cape Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela to discuss their housing problems.

Earlier this year, the MEC laid criminal charges against several residents from the area after they vandalised newly built homes.

In a terse letter to Madikizela, the residents demand answers on when he intends building their houses.

They also accused the MEC of negligence, saying he refused to attend previous meetings with them and that this had damaged his credibility.

The community accused Madikizela of lying to them by promising them homes.

Madikizela had said in the past their demands would only be addressed when they raised them in a civil manner.

Policeman arrested for possession of drugs and 18 sets of car keys

By Kim Saulse
30 November 2009

A Cape Town Central police officer appeared in court today after his arrest at the weekend, for possession of drugs and an instrument to commit a criminal act.

The 25 year old constable was arrested during stop and search patrols at the corners of Jan Smuts Drive and Klipfontein Road.

Captain Frederick van Wyk says also in the constable’s possession, were 18 sets of car keys, possibly used for car theft.

The police’s dog unit carried out the search, and also recovered one stop of dagga and two units of tik.

Van Wyk says the police are not offering preferential treatment to anyone, be they civilian or in the police.

“Everyone will be treated the same. If you break the law, we will come after you. It doesn’t matter if you’re an ordinary citizen or a policeman. All criminals will feel the brunt of the law,” said Van Wyk.

SAMA calls for people to go for HIV test

By Ofentse Mokae
30 November 2009

The South African Medical Association has called on people to get HIV tests done to celebrate World Aids Day tomorrow.

SAMA’s Dr Norman Mabasa says it is important for everyone to know their HIV status by regular testing and for every South African living with HIV to have access to antiretroviral treatment.

In an interview with the station Mabasa says they also encourage pregnant women to test early in their pregnancy for HIV to prevent their babies being infected.

“We also encourage pregnant women to test early in their pregnancy for HIV, so that they can prevent their babies from becoming infected,” said Mabasa.

Mabasa says World Aids Day is about increasing awareness of HIV and AIDS, but also about education and fighting prejudice.

“It is important for everyone to know their HIV status by testing regularly for HIV and for every South African living with HIV to have access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment,” added Mabasa

He said this act should be a continuous exercise not only a one day initiative.

“SAMA repeats our call that treatment should commence as soon as the CD4 count has dropped to 350 and below,” he said.

World Aids Day will be marked by an event at the Pretoria Showgrounds, to be attended by President Jacob Zuma and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as well as deputy President Kgaleman Motlanthe who also chairs the SA National Aids Council.

Security measures beefed ahead of 2010 world cup activities

By Ofentse Mokae
30 November 2009

Security forces around the city have beefed up their operations ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw on Friday.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) working together with 14 other government departments have been hard at work to ensure that South Africa hosts a safe and secure tournament.

Natjoints Director Sally De Beer says the police and the army will deploy some of their key units and state-of-the-art equipment and will engage an inter-departmental strategy in order to secure the various activities leading up to the draw.

“The South African Police Service, the South African Defence Force and the intelligence agencies are ready to decisively deal with any contingency, be it on land, in the air or at sea,” De Beer said.

The Natjoints will establish a National Joint Operational Centre in Cape Town between today and December 7 2009 and will work together with the Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure.

Natjoints will also work with FIFA and the Local Organising Committee to ensure that all security obligations are met efficiently.

To this end, one of the security measures to be implemented is the temporary restriction of airspace during certain periods in the vicinity of the Cape peninsula and Robben Island.

“The aim of the temporary flight restriction, as is the aim of all the security forces 2010 FIFA World Cup activities, is to ensure maximum safety with minimum disruption to the community,” added de Beer.

Minister to propose changes in municipal operations

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 November 2009

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka is expected to submit a proposal to amend the operations at municipalities when Cabinet meets this week.

The amendments would see the adoption of a new approach to service delivery to involve public participation.

Media reports Shiceka as saying government wants to create a situation where the views of people are taken seriously.

He says municipalities must make sure that they involve public participation on their day-to-day operations.

He added that there were going to be changes in terms of the municipality’s structures and composition.

Bloody Sunday on country’s roads

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 November 2009

At least ten people have died and over 80 others were injured in road accidents across the country yesterday.

According to reports by paramedics and metro officials bad weather played a major part in several of the accidents which took place in Durban, Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal.

In the most serious incidents, two people were killed in Germiston and sixteen others were injured when a taxi knocked down and killed a pedestrian before ending up in a ditch.

On the R101, north of Pretoria, two people were killed and 15 critically injured when a taxi and a bakkie collided head-on and burst into flames.

In one incident in Durban, the driver of a minibus taxi was killed and five of his passengers injured when he lost control while travelling on the M35 near Malagazi.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, a motorist burnt beyond recognition after their car burst into flames after crashing into another vehicle on the N1 near Joostenbergvlakte.

More arrests in De Doorns condemned

By Nomava Nobumba
30 November 2009

PASSOP condemns the arrest of more than 20 asylum seekers at the weekend in De Doorns.

Organisation’s Braam Hanekom who was also arrested says these are the xenophobic, politically motivated, and unlawful arrests.

He views them as an attempt to silence, intimidate and disempower PASSOP and the displaced community.

Hanekom says the charges under which the Zimbabweans were arrested were trumped up and the minor charge against him was baseless.

He says the arrests came after organisation had a meeting and were about to address the community.

“Police came and force me to live the premises, following my forceful removal a protest erupted,” said Hanekom.

He went on saying its not surprising that there is xenophobic violence outbreak in the area when the police and the local politicians behaving in bad manner.

“Definitely we will take them to court for unlawful arrests against us,” he added.

Driver burn beyond recognition

By Nomava Nobumba
30 November 2009

A Citi Golf driver was burnt be yond recognition yesterday after his car collided into the back of a Toyota Quantum on the N1 near Joestenbergvlakte.

The collision caused the Golf to overturn and shortly after that, burst into flames.

Two passengers managed to get out but the driver was trapped to the vehicle.

ER24 spokesperson Tristan Wadely says when paramedics arrived they found Golf lying on its roof and was still alight.

“The patients, a male and a female were taken to Tygerberg hospital with moderate to serious injuries,” said Wadely.

No injuries were reported from the Quantum.

Police were investigating the matter.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Proteas under perform in PE

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

South Africa roared like lions at Newlands on Friday but went like lambs to the slaughter against England in Port Elizabeth today.

The Proteas could only manage 119 all out in just 36-point-5 overs with top batsmen Graeme Smith scoring two, Hashim Amla 11, AB de Villiers 22 and JP Duminy six runs respectively. The last five wickets fell for just nine runs.

James Anderson was the executioner in chief, taking five wickets for just 23 runs.

Needless to say victory for England is a mere formality to leave South Africa in the position where they must win the final one-day encounter in Durban later this week to share the series.

After ten overs, England had scored 40 runs without loss.

SA joins in call for rich nations to curb greenhouse emissions

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

A clutch of emerging economies including South Africa, China and India have forged a united front to put pressure on developed countries at next month's climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

Reuters reports that over two days of quietly arranged talks in Beijing, the countries said they had reached agreement on major issues, including the need for the West to provide finance and technology to help developing nations combat global warming.

The meeting was attended by senior officials from China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Sudan. China is the world's top greenhouse gas emitter and India is the fourth largest, while Brazil is also a leading emitter, mainly through deforestation.

SA joins in call for rich nations to curb greenhouse emissions

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

A clutch of emerging economies including South Africa, China and India have forged a united front to put pressure on developed countries at next month's climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

Reuters reports that over two days of quietly arranged talks in Beijing, the countries said they had reached agreement on major issues, including the need for the West to provide finance and technology to help developing nations combat global warming.

The meeting was attended by senior officials from China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Sudan. China is the world's top greenhouse gas emitter and India is the fourth largest, while Brazil is also a leading emitter, mainly through deforestation.

Tshabalala- Msimang may need another liver transplant

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

It has been reported that former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is seriously ill and may have to undergo another liver transplant.

She underwent her first transplant just two-and-a-half years ago.

69 year old Tshabalala-Msimang was admitted two weeks ago to the private Folateng-wing at the Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg and had to undergo several tests this past week.

Prof Jeff Wing, Tshabalala-Msimang's specialist, has confirmed that the former minister is in hospital and that her condition is related to the first transplant.

He says her body may be rejecting the liver that she received in March 2007.

Tshabalala-Msimang was health minister from 1999 to September last year.

Ruling party visits North West

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

The ANC's national working committee is visiting the troubled North West today.

The provincial leadership was disbanded before a task team was set up earlier in the year.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu says the national working committee will address all the regional general councils in the province.

It will look at how the leaders at local level addressed community concerns.

The regions to be visited include Bophirima, Ngaka Modiri Molema, Bojanala and KK Kaunda.

Two die in Gauteng smash

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

Two people lost their lives when three vehicles were involved in a collision in the Midrand suburb of Noordwyk.

Paramedic spokesperson Werner Vermaak says eye witness reports indicate that one of the drivers, who is from Malawi, apparently lost control of his vehicle and smashed into two bakkies.

One of the bakkies was towing the other at the time. Three people were injured, one of them critically.

The Jaws of Life had to be used to free some of the injured from the wreckage.

Illegal medical waste poses serious health problems

By Nomava Nobumba
29 November 2009

Authorities have warned that the persons responsible for dumping raw medical waste in the back yard of a factory in Welkom in the Free State could face a fine up to ten million rands.

It has been reported that some 300 tons of bloody swabs, body parts, filthy bandages, used needles, vials and discarded pills was found buried, making it the Green Scorpions biggest medical waste discovery to date.

The dumping poses serious health risks including ground water and bore-hole contamination, and the spread of hepatitis and HIV.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Five dead in Eastern Cape accident

By Nomava Nobumba
28 November 2009

Five people have been killed in two separate accidents in the Eastern Cape.

Police in Humansdorp say three men died in a head on collision involving a truck during the early hours of this morning.

Meanwhile two other people, were killed when two vehicles and a fire engine collided in Uitenhage.

The driver of a bakkie died on the scene while the fire engine driver died on the way to hospital.

Occupants of the sedan a family of five only suffered minor injuries.

Another injury for Springboks

By Nomava Nobumba
28 November 2009

The Springboks have suffered a major blow ahead of their clash against Ireland today.

Bakkies Botha has been ruled out with a back injury.

The Springboks are hoping to end their year-end tour on a high. The Boks have lost three of their four matches so far.

Also on today, Italy take on Samoa, Scotland host Argentina, Wales battle Australia and France play New Zealand.

Sisulu and Sexwale deny power struggle

By Nomava Nobumba
28 November 2009

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale have denied that there’s a power struggle between them.

This follows media reports that a public spat erupted between the ministers, with Sisulu saying Sexwale had failed to come up with new programmes and have been claiming credit for initiatives she introduced while still housing minister.

It has been reported also that Sisulu said Sexwale has not launched a single project since he took over the portfolio.

But in a joint statement the two departments said the ministers have a great working relationship and continued to consult each other on matters of governance.

Teen’s body found

By Nomava Nobumba
28 November 2009

Police today recovered the body of a 13-year-old Alberton boy, who drowned at a dam at the New Market Race Course.

Details of the drowning were still unclear but it was understood he was playing with his friends in the area.

His friends then realised he was missing and saw him drowning in the dam.

Police divers spent hours yesterday looking for his body but had to call off the search due to bad light.

Woods out of hospital

By Nomava Nobumba
28 November 2009

Tiger Woods have been released from a hospital in good condition after being hurt in a car accident in Florida yesterday.

Police say Woods’ wife came to his rescue when he crashed into a fire hydrant outside his home and apparently used a golf club to smash the rear window of his car to help him get out.

It has been reported that Woods who made a triumphant return to professional golf this year after missing much of last season following reconstructive knee surgery suffered serious injuries but his office called the accident minor.

The accident was not alcohol-related and police are continuing to investigate the case.

Two injured as train collides with car

By Nomava Nobumba
28 November 2009

Two people have been injured after their corolla vehicle collided with a train at Lynedoch in Stellenbosch this morning.

A man and a lady from the car were taken to Stellenbosch Provincial hospital and Stellenbosch Medi-clinic for treatment.

ER24 spokesperson Tristan Wadely says the man was exitricted from the wreckage by rescue crews from Fire Department and Metro rescue.

Opposition parties oppose Semelani’s appointment

By Nomaba Nobumba
28 November 2009

Opposition parties are rallying to stop Menzi Simelane from taking office as National Director for Public Prosecutions.

Three separate bids have been launched and could end up derailing Simelane’s bid to become the country’s next NPA boss.

The General Bar Council and the Public Protector have both been approached to considering complaints made against him while DA leader Helen Zille is seeking legal advice claiming that Simelane’s appointment was unlawful.

Taxpayers thanked for remarkable response

By Ofenste Mokae
28 November 2009

The Revenue Service says by the tax season deadline on the 20th of this month, it had received a remarkable new record number of over four-million returns for individuals and trusts.

This exceeded last year’s filing by some 800 000, or 26%.

The services views the breakthrough as a major step towards improved tax compliance in the country.

Sars has thanked the thousands of taxpayers who patiently stood in long queues at branch offices.

Others who sought help from the call centre, and the many thousands who filed an electronic tax return through eFiling.

Defence ministry participates in 16 Days Activism campaign

By Ofentse Mokae
28 November 2009

The South African National Defence Force soldiers took part in a parade in Pretoria yesteray marking the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse campaign.

Spokesperson for the department Siphiwe Dlamini said their participation was symbolic and was intended to show that soldiers were also involved in the fight against abuse.

The city’s police and metro police officers also took part in the parade.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an international campaign.

It takes place every year from 25 November.

During this time, the South African Government runs a 16 Days of Activism Campaign to make people aware of the negative impact of violence on women and children and to act against abuse.

2009 marks the 10-year anniversary of the 16 Days Campaign in South Africa.

In the campaign focus is on the abuse of women and children, which are reinforced by the year long 365 Days Programme.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Calls for submissions to improve basic education

By Ofentse Mokae
27 November 2009

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education is calling for submissions that will lead to the development and enhancement of basic education in the country.

The call is also aimed towards the delivery of, and challenges facing, quality education in South Africa.

This is after the committee noted areas of concern, particularly with regard to equal access to quality education by all categories of learners and questionable levels of learning outcomes.

The Committee is now calling for written submissions on aspects affecting quality outcomes in primary and high schools.

Among the aspects are curriculum content, teacher development and class size.

Submissions are also invited on the issue of access to education.

“This pertains to such issues as geographic location of schools and infrastructure; language barriers; homeless children/orphans; children in trouble with the law and education in prisons and inclusive education,” the committee said in a press statement.

Through these submissions, the Committee aims to obtain first-hand information on the pressure points and to find mutual solutions that would make positive contribution towards improving areas of concern within the basic education system.

Submissions should be sent to Mr Llewellyn Brown secretary to the committee.

City’s cleansing service prepares for festive holiday makers

By Kim Saulse
27 November 2009

The City of Cape Town’s cleansing service has been allocated R17 million to prepare for the annual influx of visitors over the festive season.

Mayoral committee member Clive Justus says in addition to the normal holiday influx, hundreds of visitors will descend upon the City for the Fifa World Cup Draw on the 4th of next month.

Many are likely to stay on for a holiday. To cope, 910 temporary staff have been employed to enhance visitors experience of the city.

Fuel prices hiked

By Kim Saulse
27 November 2009

The price of all grades of petrol is to rise by 27 cents a litre next week.

The Energy Department has also announced that the wholesale price of diesel will go up by 25 to 26 cents a litre.

The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will rise by 29 cents and the single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin will increase by 39 cents a litre.

The increases come into effect on Wednesday.

The prices remained stable this month.

Efforts to block new chief prosecutor’s appointment

By Khanyisa Tabata
27 November 2009

A senior counsel of the Pretoria Bar, Patrick Ellis, is taking action to have the new national chief prosecutor Menzi Simelane struck off the roll of advocates before he takes up the position on Monday.

On Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma named the justice department's former director-general as the country's prosecutions head.

It is believed Ellis is arguing that Simelane is not fit and proper to hold a public office.

But Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe said yesterday that Simelane was indeed fit for the position.

Speaking at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Radebe said nothing would prevent Simelane from assuming his position.

Radebe says Simelane has two degrees and was a director general for the Department of Justice for years.

Former speaker Frene Ginwala questioned Simelane’s conduct during an enquiry into his predecessor at the Prosecutions Authority Vusi Pikoli.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille says her party will also fight Simelane’s appointment. Zille says in her weekly newsletter that the dismissal of Pikoli and the appointment of Simelane was pure power abuse.

She accuses President Jacob Zuma of appointing someone who believes it is the job of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to do whatever government tells him to.

Zille says Zuma knows that the DA is seeking a High Court review of the decision to withdraw charges against him.

Spat between Cabinet ministers

By Khanyisa Tabata
27 November 2009

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has launched a blistering attack on Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

In a blunt message, Sisulu accuses Sexwale of failing to come up with new programmes.

She also reportedly said he was claiming credit for initiatives she introduced while she was still minister of housing.

Media reported this morning an extraordinary attack by one Cabinet minister on another appears to have been triggered by revelations that the former housing department under Sisulu spent more than 22-million-Rands on a play, performances of which Sexwale has halted.

Woman survives armed robbery at Table View home

By Kim Saulse
27 November 2009

A 52 year old woman was robbed at knife point at her home in Table View yesterday.

The suspect is believed to be known to the family and has worked at their home before.

The woman was locked in her bathroom, while the perpetrator made his getaway.

ER24 spokesperson Tristan Wadeley says the woman suffered moderate injuries while she was trying to free herself from the bathroom.

She was later taken to a nearby hospital by ER24 paramedics for treatment.

Labour brokers the cause of tensions in De Doorns

By Ofentse Mokae
26 November 2009

Labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana says the major contributor for tensions at the De Doorns in the Western Cape is the use of labour brokers in the agricultural sector.

Mdladlana was briefing the media at parliament yesterday amid tension between foreign workers and locals.

The local residents claim the Zimbabweans are willing to work for less than the minimum wage, and steal the local community's job opportunities.

Mdladlana said the middleman also refered as brokers provided farmers with workers for a certain commission and also decided their wages with farmers.

He said in some cases the brokers would take a lot of desperate workers to make big money.

Mdladlana added that the practise to pay workers differently was a recipe for disaster.

However he did caution against panting farmers with the same brush as there existed good farmers who abide by the law.

Soccer zone keeps young fans entertained

By Ofentse Mokae
27 November 2009

The City of Cape Town has introduced a Soccer Zone to thrill young fans at Sunday evening’s traditional switching on of the Festive Lights in Adderley Street.

The event kicks off with a free concert.

In addition to a strong soccer theme in the light displays, soccer fans will be able to interact with local players, as well as Bafana Bafana stars, Matthew Booth and Lance Davids.

The festivities form part of the lead up to the 2010 Fifa Final Draw on the 4th of next month.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stop and search operations pay off in Mfuleni

By Kim Saulse
26 November 2009

Mfuleni police have carried out a series of stop and search operations on the streets of Happy Valley, Wesbank and Mfuleni.

During raids at illegal shebeens, police confiscated pangas, other knives, scissors and even toy guns.

Police spokesperson Captain Nomathemba Muavha says these weapons are used for robberies and stabbing people in the shebeens.

He added that these “stop & search” operations and shebeen raids have led to a decrease in the number of violent crimes.

Producer Price Inflation drops

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 November 2009

Statistics South Africa says the Producer Price Index continued to decline last month.

October's PPI fell by a more-than-expected three-point-three-percent year-on-year, from a decline of three-point-seven-percent year-on-year the previous month.

Earlier this week, data showed that consumer inflation had slowed to five-point-nine-percent.

And South Africa came out of its first recession in 17 years with the gross domestic product growing by point-nine-percent in the third quarter.

Wealth inequality on the increase

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 November 2009

The South African Institute of Race Relations have found that the distribution of wealth in the country is now more unequal than a decade ago.

Researcher Kervin Lebone says the development may be an unintended consequence of black economic empowerment and employment equity policies.

The trend is revealed in the so-called Gini measure, which measures the level of wealth distribution.

Zero represents perfect equality, while a score of one represents perfect inequality.

Most developed countries have scores of between 0.20 and 0.40.

It has increased over the past decade from point-64 to point-66 in South Africa.

In South Africa, most racial groups saw their Gini scores increase over the past 10 years, meaning that the distribution of wealth has become more unequal.

Man arrested for speeding twice the limit in Karoo

By Kim Saulse
26 November 2009

Traffic officers arrested a speeding driver in Beaufort West in the Karoo after he drove his BMW at 140-kilometres per hour in a 60 kilometers speed zone.

Community Safety MEC Lennit Max says the 42 year old Cape Town man was fined R4 000.

Max warns that any driver caught speeding will be treated likewise.

He added that no fine can repay the injuries and damage caused by such indiscretions.

Huge boost for Aids programme

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 November 2009

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says over the next five years, South Africa will have an additional 800-million-Rand to fund the activities of the National Aids Council.

Following a Sanac plenary meeting, Motlanthe announced that South Africa’s application for funding from the Board of the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria had been successful.

South Africa’s two previous proposals were not successful.

Motlanthe says the additional funding comes at the right time, as the council scales up its interventions in a difficult fiscal environment.

City’s new R34 million pipeline will save water

By Kim Saulse
26 November 2009

Work has been completed on a new R34 million pipeline that will distribute treated sewage water from the City of Cape Town’s Athlone Wastewater Treatment Works to surrounding areas.

City spokesperson Clive Justus says despite Cape Town’s rapid growth in population and industrial expansion, the City has shown a 26 % saving in water usage by the end of the previous financial year and the new pipeline will help to improve on that figure.

Justus says the new pipeline will make available purified and treated sewage which is of high quality and suitable for irrigation and industrial usage.

New prosecutions head appointed

By Ofentse Mokae
26 November 2009

President Jacob Zuma has appointed Menzi Simelani is the new national director of Public Prosecutions.

The appointment is made days after former prosecutions head Vusi Pikoli accepted a R7.5 million payout to withdraw his legal bid to be reinstated.

Simelane’s appointment is expected to draw criticism.

Former speaker Frene Ginwala found his testimony at the inquiry into Pikoli’s suspension was contradictory and without basis in fact or law.

The Presidency says 39-year-old Menzi Simelani has the necessary experience and qualifications to lead the National Prosecuting Authority.

Last month senior NPA staff were fuming after Simelane allegedly told them after his appointment as deputy prosecutions boss that he was to implement the African National Congress' vision for the National Prosecuting Authority.

Zuma also announced the appointment of 14 judges to various courts across the country.

Among the appointments are those of Lorrimer Eric Leach, Jeremiah Buti Zwelibanzi Shongwe and Zukisa Laura Lumka Tshiqi to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Sadtu finally claims victory on OSD

By Ofentse Mokae
26 November 2009

The South African Democratic Teachers Union says its patience, consistency and collective leadership have finally paid off.

This follows after the education department announced that the Occupation Specific Dispensation for teachers being implemented in full before Christmas.

Sadtu says teachers have been waiting for months.

The union says teachers will now receive the payment in full and not partially as offered by the department at one stage.

The union sent letters of demand yesterday, and the department has now announced it will pay for the full agreement in the current financial year.

Last month the union accepted a R2,3 billion made available by National Treasury for the partial implementation of OSD to be implemented.

This was done although the total cost of implementation of OSD was R4,5 billion, SADTU took the R2,3billion with the view that the remaining money will become available in April 2010 next year.

In a statement Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluke said the victory was proof to other opportunistic organisations who tried to claim easy victories on the processes that led to the signing of the OSD agreement.

"We are aware, our members nearly lost patience in the process but we want to assure them that in the end, SADTU has come out victorious," Maluleke said.

We would like to thank our members who remained committed to the union by supporting the leadership in our endeavour to close this chapter on OSD.

SADTU is the largest union in the public service with 246,280 members and represents two-thirds of teachers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lower inflation unlikely to lead to interest rate cuts

By Ofentse Mokae
25 November 2009

Economists are warning that although consumer price inflation fell back into the Reserve Bank's target range of three to six percent in October, it is unlikely to persuade the monetary policy committee to lower interest rates.

According to Statistics SA, CPI eased slightly to five-point-nine-percent year-on-year in October.

Investec group economist Annabel Bishop says inflation is unlikely to consistently remain within the target range.

She says salary and wage increases are still running well above six-percent. Eskom proposed price hikes also remain a worry.

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions said today it wanted a total overhaul of the economy.

The trade union federation favours a Rand exchange rate of about 10 to the dollar to boost the country's weak manufacturing sector.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says South Africa inherited an economy that was designed to serve the interests of a small minority.

He says the country has not developed an industrial strategy. The Rand has gained about 25-percent against the dollar so far this year.

Two arrested for possession of 200kg of dagga

By Kim Saulse
25 November 2009

Two suspects have been arrested in Philippi for the possession of 200 kilograms of dagga.

Police acted on a tip off which led them to the house in Dimbaza Street.

Police searched the house and confiscated three bins of dagga.

A 20 year old man and 29 year old woman were immediately arrested but claimed the dagga belonged to their mother’s friend.

The two will appear in court soon.

They face charges of possession of dagga.

CTV calls for freedom of the airwaves

By Kim Saulse
25 November 2009

About a hundred people joined Cape Town TV as they marched to parliament today where they handed a memorandum to Ishmael Vadi, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Communications.

Central to the protest were the costs involved in broadcasting as a community station.

CTV says that they are charged commercial rates for transmission facilities by the state owned signal provider Sentech.

Recently CTV was forced to go off air because they could not afford to pay transmission costs to Sentech.

CTV is also demanding that community TV is protected during and after the migration to digital terrestrial television.

Other demands include that Sentech provides CTV with a good quality signal and transmission for free or at a reduced rate.

They also want a frequency allocated to carry the channel when ICASA licenses a new cell phone TV operator next year.

Zuma warns Shaik

By Nomava Nobumba
25 November 2009

President Jacob Zuma has pointed out to his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik that he could face a reprimand, or have his medical parole terms altered.

Giving a written reply to a parliamentary question from the Congress of the People’s Anele Mda, Zuma said the Correctional Services Act set out the procedure to be followed where there were allegations of non-compliance with parole conditions.

But media reports that the President added that Correctional Services had not received any formal complaint alleging non-compliance by Shaik.

Nobel Peace Centre honours four laureates

By Rosie Chauke
25 November 2009

Iziko museum is hosting an exhibition that is aimed at honouring four of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and F.W de Klerk.

Briefing the media at the gallery CEO Professor H.C Bredenkamp said South Africa is a dynamic country, filled with hope, promises and a rich diverse heritage and history.

The exhibition will run in South Africa until the end of the year before it moves to Oslo, Norway next year.

Bente Erichsen CEO of the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo says the main reason they are doing this through art, documentaries and photography is to focus on war, peace and conflict resolution.

“Since the opening in 2005, we have also produced temporary exhibitions about the freedom of expression, about climate change.

“Two years ago, we launched a new program profile, we decided to focus more on our icons, more on the most brave and respected laureates,” said Bente Erichsen.

Erichsen added that the natural first choice was the dramatic history of South Africa with its transition from apartheid to democracy and the four men forever related to this transition.

Foreigners threatened in Hout Bay

By Nomava Nobumba
25 November 2009

Foreigners are living in fear in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay after some residents warned locals not to harbour immigrants in their homes.

The threat followed an incident over the weekend when a three-year-old girl was raped, allegedly by a Malawian man.

At a community meeting last night, immigrants were given 24hours to leave the area or be forced out.

It has been reported that locals claim crime has increased in the area since the arrival of immigrants.

MEC concerned on sexual abuse cases

By Ofentse Mokae
25 November 2009

Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha says is concerned about sexual abuse cases in the city.

This follows Botha’s visit to the GF Jooste Hospital in Mannenberg ahead of the 16 Days of Activism against Abuse campaign yesterday.

He said he was amazed the hospital attended to more than 100 rape victims per month at their tiny trauma centre, adding he was pleased the trauma centre ensured victims received all the necessary medical attention they needed.

GF Jooste’s abortion clinic was also kept busy by women wanting to terminate their pregnancies.

However, hospital staff said women were using easy access to abortions as a method of family planning.

The MEC said more attention must be paid to accessible and free alternative, including contraception.

Meanwhile deputy health minister Molefi Sefularo says an independent health watchdog will be introduced by April.

The watchdog will ensure that clinics and hospitals across the country adhere to quality standards.

The National Health Act will be amended to create the watchdog body, which will report to Parliament either directly or through the health minister.

Sefularo says the body will have wide-ranging powers, including the ability to shut down private or public facilities it deemed unfit.

City opens Village Green Public Open Space

By Ofentse Mokae
25 November 2009

The City of Cape Town will officially open the Observatory Village Green ‘Quality Open Space’ and the Rededication of the War Memorial today.

During the opening scheduled for 5pm today Ward Councillor, Cedric Thomas, will officiate.

The War Memorial was originally located on Settlers Way just below Hospital Bend and has since been relocated to the Village Green.

In a statement the city says the space project was created to link 2010 soccer tournament to local improvement initiatives.

“Equally important was the need to extend the existing City programme of providing public open spaces where people can gather and socialise,” the statement said.

The city says the focus of the programme is the creation of a lasting legacy by establishing neighbourhood public places.

“These spaces are multi-functional and offer scope for new community events to consolidate the existing social calendar,” the statement added.

The city’s Ward Councillor, Cedric Thomas, says they followed an in-depth consultative approach in the Pinelands Subcouncil.

“A few sites were identified and after a healthy debate and consultation it was decided to upgrade the existing village green in Station Road, Observatory,” Thomas said.

Thomas says the area of his ward had become a problem and the quality open space project was an ideal opportunity to revitalize the area to ensure optimal utilization.

“I am excited by the co-operation of everyone who has been involved in the project, to ensure that it is something the community and the entire city can be proud of,” Thomas added.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ANC expresses sadness over death of DA MP

By Ofentse Mokae
24 November 2009

The office of the ANC chief whip has expressed its sadness over the death of Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, Cobus Schmidt.

Schmidt died in a car accident last night.

Mathole Motshekga says Schmidt was one of the hardest working MPs who always contributed excellent arguments that enhanced the quality of Parliament’s oversight role.

The ANC has sent its condolences to Schmidt’s family and friends.

Earlier DA leader Helen Zille expressed her and the party's shock at the sudden passing of Schmidt and described Monday night's accident as tragic.

"Cobus made a big impact in the short time he served as a Member of Parliament," she said in a statement.

Schmidt was the party's shadow deputy minister of energy.

Zille said he exposed Eskom's failure to fill critical vacancies, which led to load-shedding.

He was a member of the energy portfolio committee and a constituency MP in the southern Free State.

Zille said Schmidt was a patriot devoted to his country and serving the public.

Before his election to parliament, Schmidt was a councillor in the Masilonyana municipality and deputy headmaster of the Reseanohetse Primary School.

Nematandani defends Modise

By Nomava Nobumba
24 November 2009

South African Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani has appealed to fans to give Bafana Bafana midfielder Teko Modise a break.

Supporters have been berating Modise over his loss of form and some even suggested that he be dropped from the national team.

Modise’s coach at Orlando Pirates Ruud Krol has supported Nematandani and says even the world’ best players lose form.

Modise was twice honoured as the PSL footballer of the season.

End of recession will only be felt next year

By Nomava Nobumba
24 November 2009

Economists say ordinary South Africans will only begin to feel the effects of the end of the recession next year.

This follows news that the economy is officially out of its first recession in 17 years.

Data released by Statistics South Africa shows that the gross domestic product grew by point-nine-percent in the third quarter of this year on an annualised basis.

This compares to a revised decline of two-point-eight-percent in the second quarter.

But the rise in unemployment has not yet been reversed, leading to many families facing a bleak festive season.

Watchdog wants Balfour recalled

By Khanyisa Tabata
24 November 2009

Government watchdog Scopa wants President Jacob Zuma to recall former correctional services minister Ngconde Balfour from his position as ambassador to Botswana.

Scopa head Themba Godi is quoted as saying he is perplexed at how Balfour can continue to represent South Africa when he so seriously let the nation down.

The Special Investigations Unit has uncovered suspected corrupt dealings in the correctional services ministry under Balfour's watch.

African National Congress spokesperson Jackson Mthembu says today that "at this stage" Balfour would not be questioned.

Towards a fairer allocation of housing an accurate Housing Demand Database

By Khanyisa Tabata
24 November 2009

Minister of housing in the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela today unveiled the departments plan to deliver houses through Housing Demand Database.

Madikizela said the new Housing Demand Database will allow for much better provincial planning and policy making because that planning and policy will be based on accurate and update information.

“We intend to have a supplier in place by mid-December to undertake this important work to strengthen the collection and maintenance of data used by municipalities to select beneficiaries for housing projects.

“One of the key outcomes of the project will be the migration of date collected by municipalities to a central repository of date by the province and the continued updating of this data,” said MEC of Housing Bonginkosi Madikizela.

Madikizela added it is important that people have confidence in the process whereby beneficiaries are selected based on fair and transparent selection policy and effective communication with communities so that they understand how many beneficiaries can be assisted.

Big drug arrests in Hout Bay

By Rosie Chauke
24 November 2009

Early this morning, members of Hout Bay SAPS followed up information and searched a house in Imizamo Yethu.

During the search they found 4 bags containing dagga and 31 parcels of dagga inside the house.

Two arrests were made.

The suspects are 24 and 30 years old and will appear in the Wynberg Magistrates court on Thursday .

They face charges of possession of dagga and dealing in dagga.

Botha visits GF Jooste hospital

By Nomava Nobumba
24 Novenber 2009

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, is on a visit to the GF Jooste hospital in Manenberg.

Botha went there to ascertain the circumstances at the hospital, to talk to patients and to staff.

Minister’s spokesperson Helene Rossouw says the department received complaints from the members of the public about the staff at the hospital.

“Minister Botha will go around the hospital to see exactly what the situation is, talk to the patients and also staff,” she said.

16 year old girl reported missing

By Kim Saulse
24 November 2009

16 year old Nicole Roodt from Mitchells Plain has been reported missing.

She was last seen at her home in Beacon Valley two weeks ago.

At the time of her disappearance she was wearing a pair of khaki pants, a red and white hooded top and blue and white takkies.

Nicole has green eyes, short brown hair and is about 1.4 meters tall.

The 16 year old has run away before, and was found in the Ottery area.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Inspector Julies on 073 804 2000 or the Pink Ladies Organisation on 072 241 7439.

"Bundu courts" resurface in Khayelitsha

By Kim Saulse
24 November 2009

Khayelitsha police have urged residents of the area, especially those in Site B, not to take the law into their own hands.

This request follows after three incidents of so-called “bundu courts” at the weekend.

It is alleged that a group of community members stoned suspects believed to have been involved in housebreaking and theft in the area.

“Police maintain a zero tolerance against these community members. These incidents will not assist the police in the solving of crimes in any way but rather assist in generating additional problems with regards to crime,” says Constable Mthokozisi Gama

“We need to rid our area of vigilante groups and make our streets safe for our children again,” added Gama.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents is requested to contact Superintendent Franklin Plaatjies, Khayelitsha Detective Services, on 082 469 1681 or during office hours on 021 360 2359.

City fits ‘safety seats’ on conservation vehicles

By Ofentse Mokae
24 November 2009

The City of Cape Town has fitted ‘safety seats’ on six of its nature conservation vehicles.

The seats are used at its 24 nature reserves across the Cape metropole.

In an interview with the station the city’s Reserve Manager in the Blaauwberg Conservation Area Jacques Küyler, says the seats will improve safety for their staff.

“These specialised seats will improve the safety of our staff who often travel on the back of open vehicles on gravel roads,” Küyler said.

The welded tubular frame with three roll bars of 76mm tubing fits a light delivery vehicle (LDV) with a long wheel base.

Each frame has four individual chairs on each side and each chair has a four-point safety belt system.

The frames are covered with rip stop canvas which is dust and water resistant, and easy to remove.

The City’s Biodiversity Management Branch manages 24 nature reserves across the metro-pole, which contain some of the last remaining critically threatened biodiversity in Cape Town.

The reserves include, amongst others, these well known reserves; Blaauwberg Conservation Area, Rietvlei, Rondevlei, Zandvlei and Helderberg.

“The safety frame has been designed to suit the operational requirements of the nature conservation staff,” added Küyler.

Küyler says they hope that the retrofitting of the vehicles will set an example for other City departments to follow suit.

Business as usual for local businesses during World Cup Final Draw

By Ofentse Mokae
24 November 2009

The City Of Cape Town has re-committed itself to allowing local businesses operate as normal during the Final Draw of 2010 Fifa World Cup on December 4th.

This follows media queries regarding Fifa’s Rights Protection Programme.

The city however caution that businesses should not infringe on the intellectual property rights of Fifa’s sponsors, partners and affiliates of the tournament.

In an interview with the station, the city’s director of communications Peter Cronje says it is universally accepted that sponsorships are the lifeblood of events like the World Cup.

“Sponsors therefore need to be given fair exposure and be protected against exploitation,” Cronje said.

Cronje says if an event organiser can’t secure the support of its sponsors, the event will be at risk.

In terms of the Host City Agreement between Fifa and the City of Cape Town, the City is obliged to implement the Rights Protection Programme.

“Rights holders pay large sums of money to be able to use the event for marketing purposes, so it is logical that non-rights holders who attempt ‘ambush marketing’ should be prevented from doing so,” Cronje added.

According to the city only official sponsors, licensees and partners of the World Cup are allowed to suggest a connection with the event.

“For the City of Cape Town it’s business as usual, but the 2010 by-law will ensure that the rights of sponsors are carefully protected in the so-called exclusion zones,” concluded Cronje.

Attempted assassination for former metro police chief revealed

By Ofentse Mokae
23 November 2009

Police believe there was an assassination attempt on Robert McBride’s life.

This is after the former Ekurhuleni metro police chief exposed an unscrupulous land deal in Meyersdal near Johannesburg.

This dramatic turn of events emanates from a string of strange and unexplained incidents which led to his near fatal accident in December 2006.

The former metro police chief has since been charged with defeating the ends of justice and drunk driving.

Minister to participate in Commonwealth Summit

By Ofentse Mokae
23 November 2009

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane is scheduled to leave for Trinidad and Tobago today.

Her department says in a statement she will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

While the summit will take place this weekend, a meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers will take place earlier in the week.

The meeting will discuss and make recommendations to heads of state regarding various political issues, the global economic situation, climate change and the youth.

Nkoana- Mashabane will depart for Cuba following the summit where she will co-chair the Sixth South Africa-Cuba Joint Bilateral Commission.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Two women murdered in Lotus River

By Nomava Nobumba
23 November 2009

Two women were shot and killed by unknown man in Lotus River last night.

It is alleged that a white Ford Bantam bakkie with the suspect drove past them, fired several shots killing them instantly.

Police’s Inspector November Filander says the place where the incident occurred is a well-known drug outlet.

The deceased are 32 year old Jessica Amos and 22 year old Heidi Baarde, both from Lotus River.

Anybody with information regarding the incident can contact investigative officer Detective Inspector van Niel 082 567 4835.

Opposition to an agreement safeguarding South Africa investments in Zimbabwe

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 November 2009

AfriForum says it will apply for a court interdict if a discriminatory investment agreement between the governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe is signed in Harare on Friday.

It says the agreement aims to protect investments by South Africans in Zimbabwe, but expressly excludes the investments of South African farmers who have been affected by the take-over of farms in Zimbabwe.

AfriForum says a leading South African human rights advocate has made it clear that the agreement is in contravention of the South African Constitution and several international legal principles, as well as existing court orders of the Supreme Court in Pretoria and of SADEC’s tribunal.

ANC helps to stop the closing of a school in Langa

23 November 2009
Thandazani Nkomo

Western Cape provincial ANC has stepped in to help stop the pending closure of Lagunya Finishing school in Langa.

The party has established a task team headed by former Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore.

The Congress of South Africa Students and more Lagunya Finishing School learners met last week with the provincial task to discuss the matter.

The students had earlier embarked on a campaign to disrupt matric exams at other schools over the pending closure of their institution.

Taxi driver murdered in Muizenberg.

23 November 2009
Thandazani Nkomo

Police are investigating a hijacking and murder after a 27 year old taxi driver from Lotus River was shot dead yesterday.

He was taken to Muizenberg Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Inspector Stephen Knapp says five armed men hijacked a taxi belonging to Retreat taxis association. The driver, after being threatened with fire arms managed to jump out of a moving taxi. He broke his right leg in the process.

A short while, the same taxi pulled up to the one which had passengers in it. The suspects discharged an unknown amount of shots. The shots caught the driver who was rushed the hospital, Knapp said.

Hout Bay marred by hostility

By Kim Saulse
23 November 2009

Hout Bay police have beefed up patrols in the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement after local residents threatened and intimidated their foreign neighbours living in the Biko Street block.

This comes after police arrested three Malawian nationals on Saturday night who allegedly raped a three year old girl from the area.

Community members allege that the one of the suspects raped the little girl while the other two watched.

An angry mob broke down the shack of the suspects, while threatening other foreign nationals to leave the area as soon as possible. By late last night most foreigners in Biko street had left the area.

Meanwhile 26 people are expected to appear in the De Doorns Magistrate Court today in connection with the xenophobic violence that flared up in the area last week.

More than 3 000 people, mostly Zimbabweans evacuated shacks in De Doorns after locals claimed they were robbing them of jobs on farms in the area.

Station Commissioner Desmond van der Westhuizen says 22 suspects will be charged with public violence while four others will be charged with theft.

MEC calls on public transport industry to put safety first

By Ofentse Mokae
23 November 2009

Community Safety MEC in the Western Cape Lennit Max urged the local public transport industry to clean up its act for the festive season.

Advocate Max met with public transport bosses over the weekend.

He said if they are to reduce the number of casualties on the province’s roads they need taxi and bus drivers to be committed to safety.

Max said they are gearing themselves up for a bumper festive season and will embark on a major safety awareness campaign.

Speaking on his behalf his spokesperson Julian Jansen as government they want to see greater voluntarily compliance with all the rules and regulations applicable to the sector.

“We implore the companies not to cut corners as far as safety is concerned because in doing so they are considerably increasing risk factors to their passengers and other road users,” Jansen said.

Deputy president satisfied with government’s initiative on poverty

By Ofentse Mokae
23 November 2009

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says he is satisfied with the positive results made by government's poverty alleviation project in southern Free State.

Over the weekend Motlanthe visited poverty stricken communities of Donkerhoek and Generations in Jacobsdal to monitor the progress of the anti-poverty campaign launched in the area last year.

The War on Poverty is a nationwide campaign aimed at reducing poverty among the country's poorest citizens.

During his visit in the area, Motlanthe said government's priority was to end poverty in all poverty-stricken communities.

Montlanthe said young ones must be encouraged to go back to school and acquire the necessary skills that will enable them to make a living for themselves.

He said the idea is to lift all communities and that grants were not enough to root out poverty.

During his visit in the area, most beneficiaries said they were happy with the campaign since they were now able to provide food for their families on their own

Through the campaign, most deprived households identified were visited periodically by a team of professionals and community workers to identify their specific needs, accelerate their access to government services and provide safety nets.

During his visit Motlanthe was accompanied by several national ministers, Free State MECs and government officials.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Special courts for Soccer World Cup

By Ofentse Mokae
22 November 2009

South Africa plans to create special courts dedicated to handling crimes committed during the Soccer World Cup.

It aims to speed up the judicial process, especially for cases involving foreigners.

Government hopes the promise of swift justice will help stamp out crime during the event and ease worries of fans visiting one of the world's most violent countries.

Reports say if any foreigners are involved in crimes - either as victims or perpetrators - their cases will receive priority at the special courts.

Meanwhile the South African National Roads Agency says a spate of wet weather in Gauteng has caused a delay in 2010 construction work.

The company says the delays will not have a major impact on next years building deadlines.

This week’s persistent rain brought most of the province’s construction sites to a standstill.

SA government said to have known of Equatorial Guinea coup plans

By Ofentse Mokae
22 November 2009

Mercenary Niek Du Toit says the South African intelligence services knew of the 2004 foiled coup in Equatorial Guinea beforehand, but did nothing to stop the operation.

In an interview with a local publication Du Toit said the government gave its tacit approval because it wanted to get hold of the financiers behind the plans.

Du Toit, coup leader Simon Mann and three other South Africans were released from the notorious Black Beach Prison earlier this month after five years behind bars.

Strife continues for COPE in the Western Cape

By Ofentse Mokae
22 November 2009

The strife in the Congress of the People continues with a group of Cope members convening a grudge meeting in Langa, Cape Town this afternoon.

A group led by Bernard Joseph accuses the provincial leadership of undemocratic practices.

They are particularly unhappy about the actions of Mbulelo Ncedana in the Southern Cape.

The group accuse Ncedana of setting up a parallel leadership structure, in opposition to what they call the legitimate structure in the region.

The national leadership has been invited to this afternoon’s meeting.

Earlier this month Alan Boesak COPE’s provincial leader resigned from the party and tendered his resignation as a member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature.

Boesak said COPE in the Western Cape continued to be in disarray and was characterised by faction fighting, strife, pitched battles for political supremacy and duplicity.

Meanwhile the party’s well known national leader Lyndall Shope-Mafole is under investigation by her former employer the communications department for an alleged multi-million rand scam.

COPE's national spokesman Phillip Dexter says they are aware of the meeting, however since its not an official party meeting they will not be part of it.

Dexter also confirmed reports of alleged scam by his party colleague Shope-Mafole however says she denies herself of any wrong doing.

A press statement is expected to be sent out later in the day by party officials.

Former DG and current COPE leader under investigation

By Ofentse Mokae
22 November 2009

Well-known Congress of the People leader Lyndall Shope-Mafole is under investigation for an alleged multi-million rand scam.

It is alleged that she poured 30-million-Rands into an initiative, run by her boyfriend that was meant to help schools into the digital age.

The Department of Communications claims that the initiative produced nothing.

A forensic probe has been launched into how the former director-general signed off 29-million-Rands in payments.

The payments include three-and-a-half-million-Rands for a business plan - to an organisation led by her partner, Henry Chasia.

Shope-Mafole is quoted as saying she can account for every cent.

She resigned from her post as DG in the communications department leaving the ANC and joining COPE last year.

UFS elects new council chair

By Ofentse Mokae
22 November 2009

The Council of the University of Free State has appointed a new chairperson.

The council announced that High Court Judge Faan Hancke has been replaced as its chairperson.

Another judge, Ian van der Merwe, was appointed in his place.

University spokesperson Lacea Loader says Hancke’s leaving has nothing to do with the problems at the university.

Some of the problems are those surrounding the Reitz students video saga and the decision by rector Jonathan Jansen to pardon them.

Loader says Hancke’s term has merely expired.

“The Council also welcomed the following new members who were present at the meeting Free State MEC for Education Mr Pule Makgoe, Mr Ndaba Ntsele, Chief Executive Officer of the Pamodzi Group and Mr Willem Louw, Managing Director of Sasol Technology,” Loader said.

The new Chancellor will be elected as soon as the proposed statute is approved by the Council in 2010 and published in the Government Gazette.

Prof. Jansen will act as Chancellor for the interim period from 1 January 2010.

Pikoli settles for millions

By Ofentse Mokae
22 November 2009

Former national director of Public Prosecutions Vusi Pikoli will walk away from his spat with government to get his job back with a seven-and-a-half-million-Rands out-of-court-settlement.

The Presidency says the parties yesterday agreed that Pikoli would withdraw his court bid which would have started in the North Gauteng High Court tomorrow.

Pikoli believes former president Thabo Mbeki unfairly suspended him to prevent former police commissioner Jackie Selebi being prosecuted.

The Ginwala inquiry found Pikoli fit for the job, but Mbeki’s successor Kgalema Motlanthe nevertheless fired him.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Zuma calls for end to water contamination

By Ofentse Mokae
21 November 2009

President Jacob Zuma has called for an urgent end to water contamination.

The president says that spillage of sewerage into South Africa’s water supplies would lead to water undrinkable.

Zuma was speaking during the official launch of the upgrade of the Nsezi Water treatment plant in Richards Bay this afternoon.

Zuma said the country must deal with the spillage of sewerage into our water supplies and other forms of contamination.

He says if we don’t deal with it urgently our water will end up undrinkable because of the high levels of contamination.

Road accident claims life of radio DJ

By Ofentse Mokae
21 November 2009

A Cape Town radio DJ has been killed in an accident on the N1 near Bellville in Cape Town this morning.

Az Abrahams is best known as a DJ at Heart FM.

Police say Abrahams was travelling in the direction of the city when his car crashed into a concrete barrier, causing it to overturn and roll.

He was flung out of the car and declared dead on the scene.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident and a case of culpable homicide has been opened.

Attempts to reach the station for comment proved unsuccessful.

KZN accidents keep paramedics busy

By Ofentse Mokae
21 November 2009

KwaZulu Natal paramedics had their hands full as several accidents occurred in the province in the past 24hours.

In the most recent incidents a taxi accident has left 14 people injured on the N3 near Ashburton in KwaZulu Natal.

Netcare 911 paramedics say it appears as if the rear wheel of the taxi had a blow out causing the driver to loose control of the vehicle before it overturn.

Five of the 14 passengers sustained serious injuries.

In another incident last night, seven taxi commuters were injured when their taxi and a bakkie collided head-on in Durban.

Two of the passengers are in a serious condition.

Meanwhile a motorcyclist has been killed when his motorbike collided with a vehicle in Musgrave last night.

The pizza delivery man was flung off his bike and landed on the curb.

Netcare 911 paramedics say the man sustained massive head injuries and died on the scene.

Hewana to hear his fate soon

By Ofentse Mokae
21 November 2009

Former Goodwood Station Commander Siphiwo Hewana will have to wait until the end of the month to hear his fate.

This follows after being charged with defeating the ends of justice, interfering with police investigations in a drunken driving charge against former ANC Chief Whip Tony Yengeni and false swearing.

Yengeni has since been acquitted on the drunk driving charge...

The Parow Regional Court will hand down judgement on the case on November 30.

Hewana pleaded not guilty to the three charges against him.

Accident claims one

By Ofentse Mokae
21 November 2009

A 32 year old man has been killed after his car overturned on the N1 highway just before the Malibongwe off-ramp this morning.

Johannesburg Emergency Services say the car rolled, went off the highway and landed six metres down on Rabbie Street, leading to Randburg central.

The driver died on the scene and three passengers were rushed to Helen Joseph Hospital in a critical condition.

Meanwhile the body of a policeman, who was swept away when a bridge over the River Derwent in Workington collapsed, has been found.

The officer was trying to help a group of people who were having difficulties. Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Graham says the force has taken the news badly.

Madiba concerned about the plight of children

By Ofentse Mokae
21 November 2009

Former President Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel say being awarded the decade global award for helping children, is very special given the place children occupy in their hearts and lives.

The couple will get about half of the 1-point-63 million US-dollars prize money from the Decade Child Rights Heroes award.

The remainder will be shared by the other 12 annual prize winners.

Mandela and Machel however expressed concern that too many children still suffer from hunger, disease, abuse and neglect.

The Swedish Children’s World Association has been awarding the annual award since 1999 for outstanding contributions in defending the rights of children and youth.

More than 7 million children took part in the global vote this year.

Twenty-six arrested for xenophobic in De Doorns

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 November 2009

A total of twenty-six people have been arrested in De Doorns in the Western Cape after xenophobic violence erupted this week.

More than three-thousand people, mostly Zimbabweans, evacuated their shacks in De Doorns when locals claimed they were robbing them of jobs on farms in the area.

Station commissioner Desmond van der Westhuizen says the suspects were allegedly involved in public violence during Tuesday’s confrontations between locals and the foreign workers.

Mayor removed from her position

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 November 2009

The African National Congress in the Eastern Cape, in consultation with the national leadership, has removed Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nondumiso Maphazi from her post.

Zanoxolo Wayile is the Mayor-elect, with Nancy Sihlwayi as deputy.

The ANC says the decision follows a thorough evaluation of the political situation in the region, that has resulted in tensions and confusion.

The party confirms that it regards the Nelson Mandela Metro as the strategic hub of the province’s commercial and industrial zone.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Secret incident room for Soccer World Cup

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 November 2009

A super 2010 incident room, with links to all nine provinces, is to be established to keep an eye on crime and disasters during next year’s Fifa Soccer World Cup.

According to the senior government official responsible for the tournament, Zukile Nomvete, the room will be a nerve centre, the location of which is to be a closely guarded secret.

The staffing complement of the centre is also not to be publicly known.

Two behind bars for public drinking

By Nomava Nobumba
20 November 2009

Two people have been arrested for public drinking in Atlantis this morning.

This was during an ongoing Western Cape anti-crime operation ‘Operation Razor’ targeted gangs by Metro police and SAPS ahead of the festive season.

Search warrants were also executed for suspected drug dealers in the area.

“Fifteen search warrants were executed and we also confiscated drugs,” said Metro Police spokesperson Nowellen Pertesen.

COSATU set to march to UFS for continuing racism

By Kim Saulse
20 November 2009

Cosatu has arranged a march to the campus of the University of the Free State tomorrow, to protest against what it says is continuing racism at the university.

It says in a statement the Reitz Four have indicated that they won’t apologise for their alleged racism.

Cosatu says this confirms that it was wrong for the Rector, Professor Jonathan Jansen, to forgive the students before justice was done.

The labour federation says it has been informed that the university will seek a court order to prevent the march, but it will see the university in court.

22 arrested for xenophobic attacks in De Doorns

By Kim Saulse
20 November 2009

22 people were arrested in De Doorns today in connection with xenophobic attacks earlier this week.

Some 2 000 foreigners were forced from their homes when locals accused them of stealing their jobs and threatened to attack their families.

A local labour analyst believes the employment of foreign labourers fuels xenophobic attacks.

Cape Labour and Industrial Consultants’ Bernard Reisner said foreigners were often prepared to be exploited because they were desperate for jobs.

He said foreigners don’t complain about labour law and the minimum wage.

Meanwhile the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has sent a senior Home Affairs delegation to De Doorns in the Western Cape, where a number of Zimbabweans were forced out of their homes earlier in the week.

The delegation is being led by Deputy Director-General Jackie McKay.

Its main task is to assist those immigrants who lost their documentation during the protests this week.

No rematch for Ireland

By Nomava Nobumba
20 November 2009

Fifa says it will not grant the Football Association of Ireland's request for a replay of Ireland’s World Cup play-off against France, which France won.

The Republic of Ireland was beaten 2-1 on aggregate after France won with a goal from William Gallas, after Thierry Henry had his hands on the ball in the build up.

Fifa says its rules state that a referee's decision on points of fact is final and that’s that. It says a decision to replay the match would cause absolute chaos for football.

The Competition Commission targets well-known executives

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 November 2009

The Competition Commission is for the first time proceeding with five cases of criminal prosecution, against well-known former South African executives.

It has been reported that Arthur Barnett, the suspended chief executive of Adcock, is accused of lying and continuing the deception while aware that the Commission was investigating his company's affairs.

Former Vodacom legal executive Eleni Christodoulou is accused of lying to the Commission during an investigation into the merger planned between Vodacom's subsidiary Vodacom Service Provider and Global Telematics SA.

Ireland asks for replay of World Cup play-off

By Nomava Nobumba
20 November 2009

The Football Association of Ireland has lodged a complaint with Fifa asking for their World Cup play-off against France to be replayed.

Republic of Ireland were beaten 1-2 on aggregate after France won with goal scored when captain Thierry Henry handled the ball. Fifa insists its disciplinary code says referees' decisions "are final".

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen also called for a replay, saying he would raise the issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a Brussels summit.

UCT student fakes own kidnapping

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 November 2009

A University of Cape Town student who last month claimed she had been kidnapped and held random, has been arrested and charged for making a false statement.

Twenty-three-year-old Sharon Kaufmann allegedly faked her own kidnapping.

She informed her friends by a text message that the “kidnappers” wanted a 50-thousand-Rands ransom for her safe return.

Her friends reported the incident to the Rondebosch Police. But the student returned the same day to say that she had managed to escape and was somewhere in Kempton Park.

Kaufmann has appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and her case was postponed for the 17th of next month.

The police’s Angie Latchman says police investigations are continuing.

70 year old woman arrested for drug dealing

By Rosie Chauke
20 November 2009

An operation carried out by members of the DPCI (Hawks) resulted in the arrest of three female suspects for being in possession of a large quantity of drugs.

Information received from the local community initiated an investigation of the activities of the suspects aged 70, 50 and 44 respectively.

It is suspected that they operated a drug outlet from their residence in Mansfield Road, Ottery.

"During the operation, 20 000 Mandrax tablets, Cocaine and 1 kg Tik to the tune of
R 2 million were confiscated, which is deemed a considerable blow to the drug market," said police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk.

The suspects are being detained on a charge of dealing in drugs and are due to make a court appearance in Wynberg on Monday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Motlanthe urges men to fight social ills

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 November 2009

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says International Men’s Day should encourage men to stand up to be counted in the fight against abuse of women and children, plus in fighting poverty and all other social ills.

Motlanthe addressed a gathering in Orlando, Soweto, today.

He encouraged men to play their part in the battle against HIV and Aids by promoting condom use and by opposing sexual violence. Motlanthe says men should live their lives as if every day is international men’s day.

Five appear in court for licensing scam

By Kim Saulse
19 November 2009

Five people appeared in court today for issuing fraudulent licences.

The five- four traffic officials and the owner of a driving school, were linked to 106 fraudulently issued learner licences through fingerprints.

“Initially the case was struck off the roll after the safe that contained exhibits relevant to the case were stolen from the Stellenbosch detectives offices. The department of transport then requested the reinvestigation which led to the suspects being linked by their fingerprints,” said police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk.

The case has been postponed to December 4.

The five have been charged with fraud, defeating the ends of justice and racketeering.

They are out on R1000 bail each.

Anti-drug group lobbies for hookah to be banned

By Kim Saulse
20 November 2009

Westsiders Against Addiction, an anti-drugs group, has called on the hookah pipe or hubbly bubbly to be banned.

The organization will lobby the ban at parliament early next year. Spokesperson for the organization George Pappas, says that smoking the pipe increases the risk of throat and lung cancer, and is a gateway to hard drugs.

Pappas attributed this to the organizations interaction with school children, where they found that the trend is for children to replace molasses with dagga, mandrax and even heroin.

He says some substitute water with alcohol.

Westsiders Against Addiction, CANSA and the Medical Research Council are among the organisations lobbying the ban in Parliament early next year.

‘They must rot in jail,’ say residents

By Nomava Nobumba
19 November 2009

New Crossroads residents were protesting outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court today, where three murder accused appeared.

The three are accused of murdering Sithembele Mathiso principal Nomzoxolo Dziba in August.

Angry residents say they must rot in jail.

The throng was vying for Dziba’s blood,carrying placards saying ‘no bail for the accused’.

They also claim that they employed the third accused Vuyisile Ndzumeka to be the chairperson of the School Governing Body, but he turned on them by killing their principal in cold blood.

But that was before the court heard that Ndzumeka and his wife Yalezwa are denying bail.

The two told the court that they rather remain in jail until the case is finished.

While the second accused Luvo Nketo is still waiting to be granted bail.

The case has been postponed until the 28th of January next year.

Murder accused refuse bail

By Rosie Chauke
19 November 2009

The couple accused of murdering Sithembele Matiso principal Nomzoxolo Dziba have suddenly denied bail when they appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court this morning.

Vuyisile Ndzumeka and his wife Yalezwa told the packed court room that they want to remain in custody.

However, the third accused Luvo Nketo is still waiting to be granted bail.

The case has been postponed for the 28th of January next year to give police enough time to continue with their investigation.

Meanwhile, the three will remain in police custody.

Woodstock suspect arrested for theft of Motor vehicle

Thandazani Nkomo
19 November 2009

Police arrested a 25 year old male early this morning. A motor vehicle suspect was arrested on the corners of the avenue and Chamberlain street in Woodstock.

Police on patrols noticed a White Isuzu vehicle with two occupants. The vehicle had no number plate in front.

Upon seeing the police the vehicle sped off. After a long pursuit, the vehicle stopped on the corners of the Avenue and Chamberlain Street. One of the suspects was arrested and the other is still at large.

The twenty five year old will appear before Cape town Magistrate Courts tomorrow. He faces charges of stealing a motor vehicle. Police are still looking for the other suspect.

Anyone with the information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect must notify the Woodstock police on 021-4423141

Two hit by car

Thandazani Nkomo
19 November 2009

Two pedestrians, a mother and her daughter, were hit by a BMW that had lost control and rolled in Bishop Lavis.

The incident occurred on the centre island in 35th Avenue, Lavis Drive yesterday.

On the same spot, a bakkie travelling the opposite direction hit multiple cars. When paramedics arrived the scene was packed with onlookers.

According to bystanders, the mother and daughter sustained minor injuries. They were rushed to Tygerberg Hospital for medical attention.

African soccer champions Egypt out of World Cup

By Nomava Nobumba
19 November 2009

Algeria beat African champions Egypt one-nil in a tense match last night that saw six yellow cards being handed out.

The win means that Algeria had qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Security in and around the stadium was tight as police feared a repeat of Saturday’s violence in Cairo when 20 Algerian fans and three of the country’s players were injured.

Jubilant Algerians waved flags and fireworks, and drove through the streets of the Sudanese capital Khartoum cheering their first qualification for the World Cup finals in almost quarter of a century.

Now Algeria has joined Cameroon and Nigeria, who qualified on Saturday, and Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, who qualified earlier, for the World Cup.

DA enquires over lavish spending

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 November 2009

The Democratic Alliance plans to ask every Cabinet minister whether he or she had spend money on a private jet.

This follows the revelation that the Police Service had purchased a Cessna Citation Sovereign private business jet.

The DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard says the jet, costing 150-million-Rands, will be used to transport Cabinet ministers and senior officials.

Kohler Barnard calls the purchase a disgraceful waste of public money. She wants to know whether any other department had made such a purchase.

Mthethwa guarantees security for 2010

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 November 2009

With just over 200 days left before the biggest soccer showpiece in South Africa, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa unveiled a comprehensive security plan to ensure the safety of visitors during the tournament.

He said the plan, which includes addressing terror threats and hooliganism, has been endorsed by FIFA.

Mthethwa said about R640 million has been set aside for the deployment of 41 000 police officers specifically for the event. The figure includes 31 000 permanent members and 10 000 reservists.

The vast majority of the police deployed for the World Cup will be trained officers with experience in major events.

In addition, countries competing in the tournament will send their own specially trained police officers to assist with language and cultural differences and to support the South African Police Service.

Each of the 32 qualifying teams is also expected to send at least two police officers to support the security forces during the tournament.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Foreign farm workers aren’t paid slave wages farmers say

By Ofentse Moka
18 November 2009

Agri Western-Cape has strongly denied paying foreign workers less than locals.

Reacting to the past two days’ attacks on Zimbabwean seasonal workers in De Doorns in the Hex River Valley, chief executive Carl Opperman said what farmers pay their workers could be checked as employers were legally required to keep wage sheets.

Local residents attacked foreigners and drove them from their dwellings after accusing them of being prepared to work for slave wages.

Agri Western-Cape’s Portia Adams says foreign labour is only used because of shortage of workers.

“At the moment there is a shortage of local labour and therefore producers are making use of foreign labour especially during season time,” said Adams.

Adams says during season time the number of workers required on the farms increases significantly thus the use of foreign labour.

Climate change receives upper hand during hearings

By Ofentse Mokae
18 November 2009

Amid national debate on the political, economic, legal, gender and social impacts of climate change, parliament’s joint committees conducted public hearings on the matter.

The joint committees which included the portfolio committee on water and environmental affairs as well as energy amongst others, heard a number of submissions from environmental and agricultural based organisations and individuals.

The hearings which started yesterday were also aimed at positioning South Africa’s stance with regards to issues around climate change ahead of the Copenhagen Conference on climate change.

The conference will shape the outline of the successor to the Kyoto Protocol in December this year.

During the hearings, Agri SA, a federal organisation, which promotes the sustainable profitability and stability of commercial agricultural production, said increament in resilience by the sector is needed for improvement in productivity.

“The best way for agriculture to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change is to increase its resilience through improvements in agricultural productivity in a sustainable way,” the organisation said.

It says farmers have the capacity to provide solutions to both adapt to, and mitigate climate change through sustainable agricultural practices that decrease green house emissions from agriculture.

The Applied Center for Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS) says South Africa plays an important role internationally in understanding global warming and planning a response to the daunting scientific and social challenges that it presents.

“South Africa can enhance its stature and benefit its people by taking advantage of the opportunities that our location and history provides to be a leader in this field,” ACCESS said.

It further said climate change poses profound ethical and policy challenges.

“Climate change requires balancing the needs of the historically disadvantaged with the avoidance of creating generations of future disadvantaged,” concluded the center.

Chairperson of the water and environmental affairs committee Makgotso Sotyu concluded the hearings which ended today, and said they will consider all the submissions presented during the hearings as they prepare for the Copenhagen conference.

FIFA extends ticket sales deadline to fans

By Kim Saulse
18 November 2009

Fifa has announced that the second 2010 ticket sales phase has been extended until Friday.

With the excitement of the final qualifier round reaching its peak today, fans will still be able to immediately purchase their tickets for the tournament.

To meet the strong demand by football fans, especially in the qualified countries, it has been decided to extend the second sales phase so that supporters do not have to wait until the third and main ticket sales phase kicks off the day after the final draw on the 5th of next month.

Body found on top of rubbish pile

By Rosie Chauke
18 November 2009

Police have found a decomposed body of a 66 year old man in Rondebosch East, yesterday.

Constable Gail Delis says, the man was found lying on top of a rubbish pile which was spread throughout his home, almost to the ceiling.

The fire department removed the body.

“We are still trying to determine the cause of death,” she said.

The inquest docket has been opened for investigation.

Eskom denies cutting tariff proposal

By Kim Saulse
18 November 2009

Eskom has denied reports that it was considering dropping its proposed tariff increase by 10%.

The power utility said earlier that it planned to apply for 45% price increases in each of the next three years.

According to media reports, Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger, says he does not know where the 10% speculation comes from.

He says they are still securing inputs on their proposals.

A final application will be submitted to the National Energy Regulator by next Friday.

Land Claims Commission’s 10-billion-Rands bill

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 November 2009

The Land Claims Commission can reportedly not afford to honour at least 10-billion-Rands in outstanding commitments to land owners and claimants.

Media reports this could result in huge damages claims against the commission and a ballooning bill for taxpayers as claimants and owners turn to the courts to enforce their rights.

Rising tension may even spark violence.

Claimants have been told new land purchases were on hold. Signed commitments for billions in post-settlement grants for land already transferred cannot be honoured.

Two hit by trains, one dies

By Nomava Nobumba
18 November 2009

ER24 paramedics attended to two separate incidents where commuters were hit by trains yesterday.

A man, believed to be in his late thirties, was found lying on the tracks, under the train, at the Muldersvlei station in Stellenbosch .

ER 24 spokesperson Tristan Wadely says the man sustained serious injuries and was dead on arrival of emergency services.

“According to the eyewitnesses, it is alleged that the man jumped in front of the train,” said Wadely.

In a separate incident, a 21 year old man allegedly fell while attempting to get on a moving train at the Bellville station.

“He was found lying under the train between the tracks and the platform,” said Wadely.

Wadely says the victim sustained serious injuries, but in a stable condition was taken to Tygerberg Hospital for further treatment.

Outcomes Based Education failed pupils

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 November 2009

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says South Africa must return to tried and trusted teaching methods as Outcomes Based Education has in many ways failed to provide pupils with essential skills.

Motshekga told Parliament's portfolio committee on education the school curriculum would be reviewed over the next year.

Motshekga is quotes as saying the OBE curriculum had placed too heavy an administrative burden on teachers that undermined their primary task. It resulted in children not acquiring skills they needed.

Half naked body found in Woodstock

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 November 2009

The half naked body of a female was found murdered in Woodstock yesterday.

Police were informed about the body, which was lying at House of Cabins in Marine Drive.

Upon police arrival, the half naked body was lying underneath the staircase at one of the businesses situated in Marine drive.

Police’s Seargeant Hilton Malila says the deceased is believed to be in her late 20's.

A preliminary investigation revealed blood stains on the side of the deceased head.

“It’s been alleged that the deceased was hit with a blunt object, and later died due to the injuries sustained.The motive for the incident is being investigated,” said Malila.

Malila adds that they are waiting for the outcome on the autopsy report, to determine the cause of death.

Anyone that can shed light on this incident , is ask to contact Detective Sergeant Denver Parsons, at the Woodstock police on 021 486 2877.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Repo rate remains unchanged

By Ofentse Mokae
17 November 2009

The Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged today.

Newly-appointed Governor Gill Marcus said the Monetary Policy Committee had decided to keep the key repo rate at seven-percent.

This means that commercial banks’ prime lending rate stays at 10-and-a-half-percent.

The Reserve Bank has cut its repo rate by 500 basis points since December 2008 to support the economy, which has been hit by its first recession in 17 years.

The decision will not please labour unions who had demanded a dramatic interest rate cut to ease job losses.

Two to appear in court for murder

By Nomava Nobumba
17 November 2009

Two men are due to appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court soon on the charges of murder.

The pair was arrested yesterday in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu respectively, after police received a tip-off from the community.

Lingelethu spokesperson Inspector Siphokazi Mawisa says the information led them to 19 Block, Makhaya in Khayelitsha and arrested the first suspect.

He was arrested for two murders which occurred last month at A and E Sections.

Mawisa went on saying, on their further investigation they also arrested another suspect in Gugulethu who was wanted for the same murder that occurred at E Section.

“We also confiscated an illegal 9mm firearm, which may have been linked to the two murders at the first suspect’s home, said Mawisa.

Both suspects are age 21.

SARS extends hours of operation

By Kim Saulse
17 November 2009

The Revenue Service is extending its hours of operation at all branch offices to assist taxpayers trying to meet the Friday deadline for the electronic submission of tax returns.

Sars branch offices will be open from 7am to 6pm daily until Friday.

Some branch offices will be open until 7pm in the evening depending on taxpayer volumes during the day.

Until yesterday, the tax man had received three million income returns, nearly 700 000 more than in the same period last year.

Gill Marcus to reveal her interest rate policy

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 November 2009

All eyes will be on new Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus this afternoon, with labour unions demanding interest rate cuts to ease job losses.

Marcus is chairing her first Monetary Policy Committee meeting. Most analysts say Marcus will probably keep the repo rate at seven-percent.

But a few say she could surprise with a 50 basis point rate cut. Trade unions lobbied for former governor Tito Mboweni’s removal in the hope that they would have his successor’s ear.

Metro Police ‘Operation Choke’ chokes crime in Athlone

By Ofentse Mokae
17 November 2009

City of Cape Town’s Metro police ‘Operation Choke’ saw three people arrested and nearly 300 bullets found in Athlone.

Metro Police teams move into the area at the weekend and on Sunday evening, acting on a tip-off, they raided a house in Downing Street.

Also 90 R5 and 25 hollow point rounds were confiscated.

Metro police spokesperson Nowellen Peterson says a smoke grenade was also found which the South African Police regarded as significant because a smoke grenade was used last week during an armed robbery in Athlone.

On Friday six suspects were arrested in Athlone.

At a vehicle check point in Jan Smuts Drive a motorist was arrested for a fraudulent licence disc.

“Thereafter the focus shifted to crime prevention and two suspects were arrested for drug related offences and 44 packets of TIK were confiscated,” Peterson said.

Two people were also arrested for outstanding arrest warrants as they were wanted by the Athlone police on charges of shoplifting and possession of drugs, respectively.

Deputy metro police chief Yolanda Faro says another suspect was arrested in Eland Street in Kewtown, for the possession of dagga.

Twenty dagga stoppe and four TIK lollies were confiscated.

Fifty Mandrax tablets and quantities of TIK and dagga were also confiscated.

She says the operation has proved effective in Tafelsig and Athlone and this team is also operating in Atlantis.

“We appeal again for assistance from the residents in these communities who are the first to benefit when we put drug dealers and gang members behind bars,” Faro said.

Ilmainen www-laskuri