Sunday, October 31, 2010

NUM threatens more protest action

By Jurina Nkwazi
31 October 2010

The National Union of Mineworkers has threatened more protest action if government does not open a criminal case against Aurora Empowerment Systems for not paying workers’ salaries.

Trade unions Cosatu and Num have called on the Department of Mineral Resources to take action against the company.

Mineworkers at Aurora’s Grootvlei and Orkney have allegedly not been paid for a couple of months and that deductions for the Unemployment Insurance Fund have also not been paid.

Inquest docket opened for man killed by lions

By Jurina Nkwazi
31 October 2010

A man has been killed by lions at a crocodile and lion ranch in Addo on Sunday morning.

“The 30-year-old man allegedly climbed over a fence and sat on a pole when one of the lions got hold of his legs,” said the police's Gerda Swart.

She said, "The lion pulled him off the pole and he could not be rescued in time."

Police have opened an inquest docket.

Warrant of arrest issued for Shongweni massacre

By Jurina Nkwazi
31 October 2010

KwaZulu-Natal police has issued a warrant of arrest for two brothers who were allegedly involved in the massacre of six people on Monday.

Colonel Jay Naicker "An investigation has leaded us to the issuing of this warrant for Philani Nxele and his brother Khetha.”

The victims were gunned down in two Shongweni Dam homes outside Durban.

Two boys aged two and eight and a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly raped were among the dead.

A 32-year-old woman was also shot but survived the attack.

North West to arrest motorists who flashes lights

By Jurina Nkwazi
31 October 2010

The North West traffic department have warned motorists who flash their headlights to alert other drivers will be arrested.

"Motorists who commit this offence during zero-tolerance festive season will be arrested for defeating the ends of justice," The province's public safety MEC Howard Yawa said.

Traffic officials will be on guard at all times on the province's raods leading up to the holiday season.

The initiative was launched at the beginning of this month as part of the province's support for the Department of Transport's national rolling enforcement plan.

Drowned Mitchell’s Plain man’s body possibly found

By Jurina Nkwazi
31 October 2010

A body of a man believed to be that of two men who drowned on Monday has been found on the False Bay beach.

NSRI spokesperson Graig Lambinon said, “The family of one of the men was on the beach at the reserve in Mitchell's Plain on Saturday when the body of the man was spotted in shallow water around noon.

The corpse has been send for DNA analyses which will determine the man’s identity.

A search for the other man will continue today.

Another suspect arrested for the rape of Bloemfontein doctor

By Jurina Nkwazi
31 October 2010

A 29-year-old man has been arrested for raping a female doctor at the Pelonomi Private Hospital while she was on duty.

The suspect is the third to be arrested along with his 16 and 24-year-old accomplices in connection with the assault.

It is alleged that the three men overpowered her, hit her on the head with a brick and then took her to a ward that was being renovated to rape her.

The three men will appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court tomorrow.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A man has been sentenced to house arrest for stabbing his wife

Lusanda Bill
30 October 2010

Henry Beukes who stabbed his wife with a broken bottle neck during an argument has been sentenced to three years house arrest.

Yesterday he was sentenced to house arrest in the Bellville Regional Court.

He has been found guilty of assault with the intent to cause serious bodily harm.

Beukes arrived home drunk in March last year to find his wife was drunk as well.

A fight broke out and Beukes stabbed his wife with the bottle neck.

His house arrest will allow him to work and also to attend church.

A person died after trying to flee from traffic officials

Lusanda Bill
30 October 2010

A person has died in an accident near Vereeniging while trying to flee from traffic officials.

The Traffic officials tried to stop the driver for a speeding violation.

The driver ignored their signals and turned his car around to flee the situation.

The car was travelling against the flow of traffic when it collided head-on with a bakkie.

The passenger of the car was declared dead on the scene and the driver of the bakkie has sustained serious injuries.

The driver of the car was arrested on the scene and sustained injuries.

Six people killed in a car accident

Lusanda Bill
30 October 2010

Six people have been killed in an accident on the N14 near Ventersdorp in the North-West today.

The accident involved a car and a bakkie.

Three men and two women who were travelling in the car, died on the scene.

The sixth victim is a passenger who was on the back of the bakkie that crashed into the car.

Two police officers who stopped at the accident scene were seriously injured when an oncoming bakkie hit them.

City of Cape Town finding ways to save water

Lusanda Bill
30 October 2010

The City of Cape Town has introduced an amendment to an existing by-law in a bid to save water.

The amendment states that before the transfer of a property a home seller must submit a certificate from an accredited plumber to the municipality.

The certificate that would be given to the home seller would state whether water installation at the home conformed to the national building regulations and whether there are any defects in the plumbing.

The city says this clause is necessary as there is not much the city can do to control water wastage on domestic properties.

Case postponed for the men accused of trading in animal parts

Lusanda Bill
30 October 2010

Four Chinese men who have been accused of bribery and illegal trading in animal parts.

They all appeared briefly in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The men appeared in court for charges of being in possession of elephant tusks, abalone and ivory.

The men were arrested by the Hawks in Sea Point, earlier this week.

The case against the four men was suspended and they will be reappearing in court of the 4th of November to apply for bail application.

Hanover Park gang violence stabilised

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 October 2010

The City of Cape Town says the situation in Hanover Park on the Cape Flats has been stabilised.

This follows an incident that lead to the closure of the Hanover Park Day Hospital on Thursday.

This was due to gunshots that were fired by suspected several gang members in the area.

Eight people have been killed and more than a dozen others injured since the violence erupted two months ago.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz has called for armoured police vehicles to be stationed between the hospital and the bus terminus.

Fritz says the area is seen as the heart of violent outbreaks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Majali’s co accused to undergo mental observation

By Lelethu Mquqo
29 October 2010

Three people co-accused of committing fraud with businessman Sandile Majali have been sent by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg.

Majali’s co accused have to undergo mental observation.

Stephan Khoza, Elvis Ndala and Haralambos Sferopoulos stand accused of attempting to illegally take over the directorship of Kalahari Resources in August.

The mining company owns a 40-percent stake in an 11-billion-Rands manganese mine in the Northern Cape.

Petrol price to increase next week

Lusanda Bill
29 October 2010

Petrol will again rise by 20 cents per liter on Wednesday next week.

The energy department said the wholesale price of diesel with 0.05 percent sulphur content would rise by 11 cents per liter, and diesel with 0.005 percent sulphur content would increase in price by 12 cents per liter.

The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin would increase by 14 cents per liter, while the single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin would rise by 18 cents per liter.

A liter of 95 ULP in Gauteng would now cost R8.32 per liter.

Pick n Pay workers embark on nationwide protests today

By Lelethu Mquqo
29 October 2010

Pick n Pay says they have put emergency plans in place to reduce the impact of a nationwide strike.

At least 27 000 Pink n Pay workers went on strike from today.

The workers are demanding a 12% or R500 wage increase, whichever is better.

The workers, who are affiliated to the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union, are participating in protests around the country.

Pick n Pay says its main concern is the safety of customers and staff members who arrive at work today.

Icasa announces cellphone rates cut

By Lelethu Mquqo
29 October 2010

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa says cellphone service providers will have to cut their call rates by March next year.

The broadcast regulator says peak time call rates will be 73-cents per minute, down from the current rate of 89-cents per minute.

Off-peak calls are expected to drop to 65-cents from 77 cents.

The move to cut call rates comes despite warnings from cellphone service provider Vodacom.

Vodacom has warned that such cuts could be disruptive to the communications sector as well as the economy at large.

Fire put out at Johannesburg’s Telkom Tower

Lusanda Bill
29 October 2010

A fire at the Telkom Tower in Hillbrow which broke out this morning has been put out.

It is believed that faulty lighting may have caused the fire.

The blaze was limited to the soccer ball on the outside of the tower.

Officials have stated that they do not expect disruptions to any broadcast, internet or telephone services as the inner workings of the tower have not been damaged.

On the north eastern side of the tower there is huge black smudge where the fire took place.

“South Africa’s Commonwealth Games team too white”

By Lelethu Mquqo
29 October 2010

Chairperson of the parliamentary oversight committee on sport and recreation, Butana Komphela, has been criticized for saying that South Africa’s Commonwealth Games team looked more European than South African.

Komphela told the committee that his comments were not his view alone but the view of the South African high commissioner to India, where the games were held, Harris Mbulelo Majeke.

Minority Front’s Amichand Rajbansi says the African National Congress must criticize the lack of sports and sporting facilities in schools instead of making racial comments.

The FW de Klerk Foundation said that if correctly quoted, Majeke’s comments were offensive.

Manase Makwela, who is Sports department spokesperson, says more work needs to be done at development level.

Police are searching for a man who raped a 9-year-old girl

Lusanda Bill
29 October 2010

Police of Vredenburg are trying to find a man who allegedly abducted and raped a nine-year-old girl in Darling.

Police say the man has been out of jail for sometime on parole.

The nine-year-old girl was abducted and was taken to a veld where she was raped and tortured.

The girl managed to free herself from her attackers and ran to a nearby road, where she was hit by a car.

The child is in hospital in a serious condition.

The police’s Frederick van Wyk said investigators are looking for Stephen Isaacs, who they believe can help them in their probe. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Stephen Isaacs can call 022 913 8814.

A 14-year-old stabs to death a 17-year-old

Lusanda Bill
29 October 2010

A 14-year-old boy will be appearing in the Willowmore Magistrate's Court today on a charge of murder.

The boy allegedly stabbed to death a 17-year-old while fighting over a rugby tackle, on a playground at Willowmore Secondary School yesterday.

Captain Ernest Sigobe said “the boy was part of a group playing an informal game of rugby at the school when he allegedly tackled a 14-year-old boy too hard. This sparked a fight between them”.

It is alleged that 14-year-old boy left the grounds and returned with a bread knife and stabbed the 17-year-old.

The 17-year-old pupil died on the way to hospital.

Plans to reopen Hanover Park Day Hospital today

By Lelethu Mquqo
29 October 2010

The Western Cape health department is planning to re-open the Hanover Park Day Hospital today.

Patients had to be turned away because the hospital had to be shut down on Wednesday due to gang violence threatening the lives of patients and staff.

The health and community safety MECs, Theuns Botha and Albert Fritz, met with the management of the hospital and the area’s community policing forum yesterday morning.

They say the safety of the patients and staff will remain a priority.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Police Commissioner shocked by recent killings in KwaZulu-Natal

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2010

Police Commissioner Bheki Cele is shocked by the killing of ten people in two separate incidents in KwaZulu-Natal.

Today, four people including a six-month-old girl, were found shot dead in their home in Itshelimnyama near Mariannhill.

On Monday, six people, including two children aged two and eight, were killed and a 13-year-old girl raped in Bhusa Road in Shongweni.

Cele says it is beyond understanding how anyone can kill people, especially babies, in cold blood.

The commissioner is visited the affected areas and nearby police stations today.

Pick n Pay workers will embark on a strike tomorrow

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2010

The commercial and catering union has confirmed that more 27 000 of its members at Pick n Pay will embark on a full blown strike as from tomorrow.

Saccawu says the strike is a conclusion of the argument over wages and employment conditions.

The union says the wage disputes have been dragging for been dragging on for more than ten months.

A mass protest march is taking place in Ekurhuleni, today, where Pick n Pay is planning to open a new store.

This will be followed by protest marches in nine cities tomorrow.

Corruption gets high attention

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2010

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi says corruption can collapse the economy in ways that are realised only when the economy does in fact collapse.

Baloyi said this in his address of the Business Union South Africa anti-corruption forum in Johannesburg this morning.

Baloyi encouraged businesses and the public service to have stickers on their vehicles with numbers that can be phoned if corruption is detected.

The minister says government’s communication with businesses has led to the National Anti-Corruption Forum, which is focusing significant stakeholders’ attention on the matter.

A second baby has been poisoned in Cape Town

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2010

A 32-year-old woman is facing charges of murder, after allegedly poisoning her toddler.

The woman allegedly threw tablets into her 22-month-old baby’s bottle before trying to commit suicide.

Police spokesperson Marie Louw said, “When police arrived on the scene, the mother had already been taken to hospital but unfortunately her baby died on the scene.”

Police have also confirmed that a suicide note pointing to financial issues was found on scene.

The mother is currently in hospital. Yesterday, a 14-month-old girl was buried in Philippi after her mother allegedly poisoned her and her eight-year-old sister, before trying to commit suicide.

The eight-year-old is being treated in the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. The mother is behind bars.

Bishop Lavis mother might be charged with murder

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2010

A Bishop Lavis mother who tried, but failed to kill herself and ended up killing her one-year-old child, might be facing a murder charge.

The incident on Tuesday’s increases the number children who have been abandoned or murdered, allegedly by their mothers, to seven in Western Cape in just one month.

In a suicide note, the 32-year-old woman stated that she was financially strained and she was struggling.

She said her daughter’s father was not supporting their only child and no one was helping her and her children.

It was discovered that the woman tried to kill both her and her daughter by overdosing pills.

This is the second incident of this nature in a space of a week.

The mother Philippi mother who poisoned both her and her two daughters last week was discharged from hospital and is currently in prison charged with murder and attempted murder.

Four people including a six-month-old baby murdered in KZN

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2010

Another multiple murder has taken place in KwaZulu-Natal, whereby four people including a six-month-old baby were murder.

The murder took place on a remote farmhouse outside Mariannhill.

Police’s Jay Naicker said “At this stage our various forensic units are on the scene conducting investigations”.

Due to the remote area where the murder occurred the bodies were only found in the early hours of today.

Earlier this week, six people were murdered in Shongweni, west of Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal authorities have set-up a task team to crack the case as well as other crimes in the area.

Four arrested for scheming municipality at an estimation of R2.5million

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2010

Four people have been arrested for fraud estimated at R2.5million at the Nketoana municipality in Reitz.

Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said police were notified of attempts to withdraw money from accounts, which were frozen by a bank and the municipality.

Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said the money was transferred from the municipality's accounts through the internet and paid into different private accounts.

The four are expected to appear in the Reitz Magistrate's Court facing charges of fraud.

Government officials may be linked to rhino horn theft

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2010

Some government officials may be linked to an armed robbery that took place at the Thaba Manzi game farm in Limpopo of seven rhino horns.

The farm was attacked on Saturday by a group of armed robbers. The robbers stole seven horns, two firearms, 15-thousand-Rands in cash and electronic equipment.

Johan Pretorius who is the farm’s marketing manager said that only vets and officials from the provincial Environmental Affairs Department knew where the horns were located.

The department had given the rhino horns to vets who are located on the farm to safeguard the horns.

An investigation is underway into the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court fire

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2010

Today authorities will begin an investigation into the cause of a fire at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, which happened yesterday afternoon.

It is believed that arson may have caused the fire that destroyed more than 20-thousand court documents.

The Justice Department says every effort is being made to minimise the effect of the fire on court proceedings.

It says electronic backup systems will be used to retrieve important documents.

No one was injured in the fire.

NYDA looking to work with AfriForum Youth

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2010

The National Youth Development Agency says it is committed to supporting young South Africans, regardless of skin colour.

The agency met with AfriForum Youth this week after the organisation expressed concerns over the exclusivity of the NYDA.

Chairperson Andile Lungisa repeatedly said that the agency's doors are open to all young South Africans.

The two organisations are looking to work with each other to identify poor white communities where incorporated programmes can be developed.

AfriForum Youth's Ernst Roets has welcomed the development.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finance Minister released Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement today

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2010

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has promised that government will not move in implementing National Health Insurance.

He assured tax payers that the scheme may not necessarily mean higher taxes.

Gordhan was tabling his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament this afternoon.

He admitted that it was possible that some of the commitments required for NHI could be met by a widening tax base.

But he added that South Africa’s improved economic performance has contributed to an increase in tax revenue of more than 30-billion-Rands.

With public servants being granted a 7.5% increase this year, he said high wage settlements may have slowed the job creation.

Gordhan assured South Africans that the country was over the worst of the recession, but pointed out that we live in very uncertain times.

Cape Town Opera rejects Tutu’s plea

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2010

Cape Town Opera has rejected Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s plea, to cancel a planned visit to Israel next month in protest over Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

Managing director Michael Williams said in a statement that while they respect Tutu's views, they are first and foremost an arts company.

Williams says they believe in promoting universally held human values through opera.

They are reluctant to adopt a political position of disengagement from cultural ties with Israel or with Palestine.

R2K march against Secrecy Bill in Cape Town

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2010

The Right to Know campaign organised a march today in Cape Town and in Durban, to protest against the proposed Protection of Information Bill which is currently before parliament.

Cartoonist Jonathan "Zapiro" Shapiro on the Right2Know march
The march in Cape Town started at 9:30 this morning from Keizersgracht Street to parliament to hand over a memorandum.

Many speakers from different organisations like the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Western Cape representative of trade union Cosatu and the New Women’s league to name a few came out in support of the R2K campaign.

Amongst the speakers at the march was former Member of Parliament and African National Congress veteran Kader Asmal.

Professor Kader Asmal speeching at the march

Asmal said in his speech that he was ashamed to have to stand in front of what use to be his office for many years because of bad decisions.

He added that he resigned from parliament two years ago because he wanted to keep the Scorpions and dismissing them was a bad decision.

Journalist and writer, Max Du Preez marching in support

Chants like “silwela amalungelo ethu” (we are fighting for our right) were some of the songs that dominated march.

Some of the colourful signs at the protest

The memorandum which was handed over stated that if the “Secrecy Bill” is passed, it will create a society of secrets.

The march had a huge turn out, with journalists from different media houses gathered to show support of the march.

Suspect arrested thanks to 'Big Brother'

By Jurina Nkwazi
27 October 2010

A suspect who had stolen goods from a motor vehicle on Friday has been arrested thanks to Metro Police’s CCTV cameras.

Metro Police spokesperson Nowellen Petersen, said “ CCTV operators noticed two suspects tampering with a silver Volkswagen Golf parked in the CBD and reported the incident.

“Officials were dispatched to the scene but the suspects had already fled the scene”, he said.

The suspects were spotted again via CCTV, this time on the Station Deck.

Police managed to arrive in time to arrest one of the suspects.

A cell phone, which had allegedly been stolen from the vehicle, was found in his possession.

He will face a charge of theft out of a motor vehicle.

Ractliffe’s case postponed till next year

By Jurina Nkwazi
27 October 2010

The case against former trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund Jeremy Ractliffe has been postponed in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg to March.

He faces charges related to the possession of uncut diamonds which he received from supermodel Naomi Campbell in 1997.

Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor allegedly gave Campbell the so-called blood diamonds.

Ractliffe resigned from the fund in August and has been released on a warning.

More bloodshed in SA’s mines

By Jurina Nkwazi
27 October 2010

The National Union of Mineworkers says they are disappointed and shocked to see that workers are still dying in South Africa’s mining industry.

This comes in the wake of yet another mineworker who has lost his life at the Bafokeng rasimone Platinum Mine in Rustenburg early morning and two others on Monday.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said, “The circumstances which led to the accidents are being investigated.”

He said, “A tractor driver died at Ocon bricks in Rustenburg when the vehicle slid from a berm, overturned and fell on him on Monday. “

“Another mineworker died just four hours later at Copper Slate in Swarttuggens when he fell from a trailer‘s drawbar drawn by a tractor,” he said.

Frans Baleni, the NUM General Secretary said, “All these are what the mining industry calls safety improvements in South Africa”.

“This bloodletting has to stop and it must stop now. If it does not stop, then someone must be held accountable", says Baleni.

NUM says they have repeatedly called on the mining industry in South Africa to take tangible steps to improve safety rather than relegate safety to workshops, talkshops and lunch hour meetings over beer.

Education department hoping the class of 2010 will pass last year’s pass rate of 60.7%

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2010

The Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said yesterday that a lower pass rate this year would be disastrous.

The matric exam started this Monday with no reports of irregularities across the country.

Schooling has been disrupted several times, due to the public servants strike and the extended winter holidays due to the soccer world cup.

The minister said “2010 had its own challenges and it also turned out to be a blessing. We had the private sector in particular coming forward in a way they have never done before”.

Last year the pass rate stood at 60.7% and the education department hopes that the pass rate this year will increase.

KZN MEC of safety shocked at the increase in crime in the Pinetown region

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2010

The KwaZulu Natal Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu will be meeting with safety officials today to discuss the sudden increase in crime in the Pinetown region.

This comes after an entire family was killed by gunmen on Monday night, another man was killed, a woman wounded and a girl raped.

The MEC said “We are not aware of any political killings that need to take place in this area at this point in time. Therefore we cannot say it is that but police are working on all possible motives”.

MEC Willies Mchunu visited the area west of Durban yesterday to see the families of the victims.

Investigation underway into the collision of two planes in Pretoria

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2010

An investigation is underway into finding out how two planes collided at Wonderboom Airport yesterday afternoon.

The accident left three people critically injured, so far the identities of the three injured have not been confirmed.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said at least one of the planes was a training flight. However, it is not certain whether the student or teacher was piloting the craft.

It is believed that the accident occurred when the one plane was taking off and the other was landing, witnesses have stated that the pilot may have been blinded by the sun while trying to land.

The airport is expected to open this morning, after it was closed last night so the wreckage could be cleared.

33-thousand Zimbabweans apply for South African ID documents

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2010

More than 33-thousand Zimbabwean nationals have applied for documentation at the Home Affairs Department.

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says more than one-thousand Zimbabweans, have also handed over their fake South African ID documents.

This is part of the department’s amnesty programme which is underway in the country.

The minister stated that her department has adjudicated nearly 10-thousand of the applications so far.

The Zimbabweans living in South Africa illegally have been given until the end of the year to apply for work, study and business permits by the department.

Hospitals in Gauteng could come to a standstill

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2010

Trade union Solidarity has raised its concerns over state hospitals on Gauteng’s East and West Rands.

The union says the hospitals could come to a standstill if employees decide to resign over wage issues.

Employees who perform contract work for the provincial government have not received overtime, night shift or Sunday pay for the past 10 months.

Solidarity’s Labour Court Division Head, Dirk Groenewald says workers have been told to wait until the new financial year for their outstanding pay.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Task team deployed to uncover Shongweni Dam massacre

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2010

KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu has condemned the massacre at the Shongweni Dam near Durban that occurred last night.

Six people were killed and two others seriously injured.

A13 year-old girl was who is believed to have been raped during the attack is one of the injured two.

Police say four gunmen entered two houses near the dam, which stand about 500-meters apart from each other, at about 11-PM last night.

Mchunu says a task team has been deployed to the crime scene to help find the killers.

Shilowa says Cope’s elective conference cannot be postponed

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2010

Congress of the People deputy president, Mbazima Shilowa, says there is no way the party’s elective conference can be postponed.

Shilowa was suspended by party leader, Mosioua Lekota, for alleged mismanagement of the party’s funds, which Shilowa says they are unable to prove.

The deputy says it is quite clear that the actions by Lekota and his faction are those of desperate people.

Shilowa says the elective conference must go ahead in Thaba Nchu in the Free State next week Friday.

Two injured during a bank robbery

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

Several armed men today robbed a bank in Montague Gardens today in Cape Town.

It has been reported that the armed men robbed a security guard carrying a cash box inside the bank.

The armed men held ten employees at gunpoint before forcing them to open the box.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Lauren Copley said “the robbers assaulted both the guard and a female bank employee. The paramedic treating them on scene said they sustained head lacerations and bruises”.

The injured were taken to Milnerton Medi Clinic. Police are expected to release more information about the robbery later today.

Cape Town man arrested for an illegal firearm and explosives

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

A 29-year-old man from Mitchell’s Plain has been arrested after illegal firearms and explosives were allegedly found in his possession.

Police spokesperson Captain Rewayne Muller said a warrant was obtained to search the house.

Police confiscated, amongst others, six unlicensed firearms, police-issue bulletproof vests, police appointment cards, police handcuffs, a stun-grenade and chemicals used to make explosives.

Muller also stated that police also found 9mm pistol ammunition and software believed to be used to change cellphone software.

The man is expected to appear in the Mitchell’s Plain Court tomorrow.

Government denies Cabinet reshuffle

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2010

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko has squashed media speculation about a Cabinet reshuffle by saying such an event will not happen any time soon.

Maseko says despite media reports, a meeting held yesterday was used to discuss the country’s economic growth plan.

Maseko says Cabinet does not meet to discuss reshuffles in any case, adding that it is the right of the President to decide if and when changes should be made.

In a media briefing today in Union Buildings, Pretoria, minister of Economic Development Mr Ebrahim Patel said the meeting was strictly to discuss the new economical growth plan.

He said a target of creating 5 million jobs in the next 10 yeears has been put.

He added that job creation needs to increase from 25% to 50%.

Goldfield mineworkers strike from tonight

By Jurina Nkwazi
26 October 2010

About three-thousand mineworkers will go on strike at Goldfields from tonight at their South Deep Mine in Carletonville, Johannesburg.

The National Union of Mineworkers Workers says its members are unhappy at the lack of transformation at the mine.

Num spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka says senior managers in Goldfields are mainly white males.

He said, “We believe that this can’t be the case, 16 years after democracy.”

“We have approached the court for an interdict against Goldfields which is currently in session,” he said.

In the meantime, Goldfields spokesperson, Sven Lunche said the National Union of Mineworkers wants a say in who the mine buys its services from.

They also want to play a role in the management of the mine’s capital and tender procurement.

Man accused of assaulting his daughter will make a court appearance next week

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

A 32-year-old man who’s accused of assaulting his 2-year-old daughter is now expected to appear in court next week.

The man allegedly threw his daughter against a wall, during an argument he was having with the child’s mother last week.

He was arrested immediately after the incident by police in Cape Town.

The local Community Policing Forum spokesperson Jan Frieslaar said, “The court decided he must stay for seven days and we have already given a petition. He will definitely stay in jail.”

21 injured on Durban’s roads

By Jurina Nkwazi
26 October 2010

About 21 people have been injured in three separate collisions on Durban’s roads this morning.

A man is currently fighting for his life while two others are in a serious condition after a head-on collision between two motor vehicles on Stella Road.

Meanwhile, fourteen people were injured and five seriously when a minibus taxi and a light motor vehicle collided in the junction of Stanger and Argyle Roads in central Durban.

In another incident five people were seriously injured in a four minibus taxi pile-up at the intersection of Richmond and Alexandra Roads in Pinetown.

The taxi had allegedly struck the car and swerved on the road into a traffic pole.

Netcare911’s Jeffrey Wicks said, “Paramedic treated and stabilised the injured on the scene before they were transported by ambulance to nearby hospitals for treatment.”

Wicks said, “the cause of the accidents will be investigated by the South African Police Force.”

Deputy Principal arrested for sexual abuse to appear in court today

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

The deputy principal of Roosevelt High School is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate Court today for his second appearance.

The 50-year-old man has been accused of harassing five girls at his school in northern Johannesburg and molesting another at the school where his wife taught.

He was arrested after the six pupils laid criminal charges against him at the Parkview Police Station.

Last week at the Johannesburg Magistrate Court the prosecutors asked for a seven-day postponement, in order to give time to the police to finish their investigation.

He will be allowed to apply for bail today.

Investigation is underway for the murder of six people in KZN

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

Police in KwaZulu Natal are investigating the murder of six people near the Shongweni Dam outside of Durban.

Six people were killed including two children aged two and eight when a group of gunmen opened fire on two separate homes yesterday night.

A 13-year-old survived being raped and shot and was immediately taken to hospital for treatment.

The motive for the killings is still not known.

A special task team has been appointed to investigate the murders.

The police’s Phindile Radebe said “we are very confident that we will soon bring the perpetrators to book”.

Two drown in Mitchell’s Plain

By Jurina Nkwazi
26 October 2010

Brent Florence and Ashley Haas drowned in Mitchells Plain when they were swept away by strong currents while swimming on Monday.

The incident happened at the Wolfgat nature reserve on the False Bay coast when the men part of eight took a swim before there team building were about to start.

The session was to be filmed for an episode of the current affairs programme Fokus on SABC2 as part of an insert about the James Restoration Home, where the men received treatment for their drug addiction.

Florence allegedly went into the sea to rescue Ashley and Ricky Adams who were in trouble.

He managed to bring Ricky half way to the beach and returned to help Ashley.

By the time he returned Haas drifted further away into the deep blue sea and the current became to strong for Florence which made it difficult for rescuers to help them.

National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon said, “The swell was about a metre-and-a-half high, there were nine rip currents over a distance of 50 metres as well as strong gusts of winds when rescue workers arrived at the scene a little while later.”

Police divers were unable to continue there search for the men due the bad weather conditions.

Three teenagers arrested for attempted robbery

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

Three teenagers aged 16, 17 and 18-years-old have been arrested in the Eastern Cape.

The three teenagers attempted to rob school children with a fake gun.

The police’s Stephen Marais said the teenagers allegedly pointed the fake firearm at the children and tried to rob them.

Once the teenagers were seen by a taxi driver who was driving by, the teenagers ran to the bushes.

Police had to call upon the K9 dog unit to assist in the arrest.

The three pupils will be appearing in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Jason Julian De Kock Missing

Nkosinathi Tembani Missing

Lulama Nancy Giyose Missing

Matric exams off to a good start

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2010

The matric examinations which kicked off yesterday, started on a good note.

There were no serious problems reported anywhere across the country.

The department of basic education is satisfied with the way the first day of examinations went.

The Freedom Front Plus also stated that in the Free State everything ran smoothly.

The party's youth members visited various schools in the province and were happy that papers were delivered on time.

Johannesburg residents up in arms about cutting down trees

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2010

Johannesburg residents are angry about plans to cut down more than 70 trees.

This cutting down of trees is a plan to make room for the city's bus rapid transit service along Empire Road.

Members of Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust earlier tied black paper ribbons around trees to raise awareness about the area's rich heritage.

Johannesburg City Parks spokesperson, Jenny Moodley, says the responsibility is on companies like Rea Vaya to see to it that the environment is fully restored after construction work is complete

Monday, October 25, 2010

Female seriously injured in an accident

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 October 2010

A female driver is fighting for her life in a Johannesburg hospital after a head-on collision at the intersection of Atlas and Geldenhuis roads yesterday.

Details as to what caused the accident are still being investigated.

Firemen worked tirelessly to free the critically wounded female using the Jaws of Life while Netcare 911 paramedics working eagerly to stabilise her.

The Netcare 1 medical helicopter with a trauma doctor on board was dispatched to the scene to assist medics to stabilise the injured female.

Netcare 911 doctor and paramedics placed the patient on a ventilator and she was airlifted to the Netcare Union hospital for further treatment.

Staff unqualified for regulating foreign-qualified workers

By Jurina Nkwazi
25 October 2010

The Democratic Alliance will be calling on the health minister to review the composition of the Foreign Workforce Management Programme.

The FWMP is the body who decides whether or not individuals with qualifications in the medical field can work in this country.

DA Shadow Minister of Health Mike Waters said, “In a reply to a DA parliamentary question it was revealed that only one member of the Health Department’s FWMP has a degree in health related matters and one member does not even have matric."

He said,” It seems highly suspect that such a body of importance only has one person with a medical qualification.

"Many applications takes about three years or more to be finalised and this where we have over 60 000 vacancies for nurses,” he said.

The DA has also noted that the FWMP rejects applications on highly questionable grounds such as the application of a British nurse with a Masters in nursing because her degree was too specialised.

Two collapse in Pretoria sewer

By Jurina Nkwazi
25 October 2010

Two workers in Pretoria were trapped in a raw sewerage drain after they inhaled gas.

Netcare 911’s spokesperson Chris Botha said,” Apparently one worker went into the drain to do some work and was overcome by some gases in the sewer. He’s friend went in to assist him but he also collapsed.”

He said, “Paramedics and firemen had to use special breathing apparatus and ropes to bring the men to the surface.”

One of the men was placed on a ventilator and had to be resuscitated on the scene.

Both men are in a critical but stable condition.

Unions say they will fight Standard Bank’s retrenchment plans

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 October 2010

Trade unions say they hope to put measures in place to stop planned mass retrenchments by Standard Bank.

Finance union Sasbo, which represents 15 000 Standard Bank workers, says they are seeking legal opinion along with Solidarity in order to stop the dismissal of 1 500 bank employees.

Sasbo’s Eugene Ebersohn says they will meet with legal experts tomorrow to investigate ways to challenge the bank.

Last week Standard Bank announced the retrenchments as a way of cutting costs.

Kebble dodges yet another trail

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 October 2010

Glenn Agliotti’s lawyer says State witness Roger Kebble is playing around with the South Gauteng High Court.

He said this after Kebble failed to testify against Agliotti due to an apparent “heart condition”.

Agliotti stands accused of organizing the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble,who happens to be Roger’s son, in 2005.

The trial was postponed for two months in August because Kebble was due to undergo a knee operation, which never happened.

Defence lawyer Laurence Hodes says the man who has been given the name “Roger the Dodger” is intentionally wasting the court’s time.

A woman killed in a rail accident

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2010

A woman was killed this morning after her car collided with a train at a level crossing near Paarl.

Emergency Metro Services spokesperson Kerry Davids said, “The woman was on her way to work at Shantay Winery and was in her 30s. She was declared dead on arrival at 8:28am. The passengers on the train are fine.”

The car was traveling on the Simonsvlei Road in Suider Paarl, which runs between Klapmuts and the R101, the old main road to Paarl. The level crossing is near the Paarl SPCA.

In August ten children were killed when a taxi they were traveling in jumped a safety boom and collided with a train in Blackheath.

Community Information Network

# The Salvation Army is having its annual Spring Music Festival, in partnership with the South African Navy Band, on Friday 12th November 2010 at 7:30pm at St. James Church, Kenilworth. Donation tickets are R25.00. For more information you can call
021 761 8530.

# Lourier Primary School is hosting a Bazaar on the 30th of October 2010 at Lourier Primary School Bladgen Street; it will start at 10:00. For more information you can contact Mrs Solomon on 021 713 6753
or Mrs Quickfull 021 713 6753

# St Joseph’s Adult Education Programme in Rondebosch is offering a beginners’ computer course every Saturday. Call 021 686 84 26 for details.

# Jobstart Training Centre is now open for enrolment for Hospitality Training (course Housekeeping, Assistant Chef, Table Attendant, Commercial Cleaning) for next year. For more information please call Zelda or Chantel at 021 461 1404

# St. Anne’s Homes will be hosting a breakfast fundraiser on Saturday the 30th of October at St Anne’s Homes, 48 Balfour Street in Woodstock. Tickets cost R70 per person. The price includes 2 lucky draws of hair salon vouchers worth R180. The even will start at 9:30 for 10:00. You can contact Zieta on 021 448 6792 for bookings.

If you would like our community information network to announce your community notice, submit a paragraph detailing the information of your event or project. Send those details to or fax them to 021 448 5451. You can even give us a call on 021 448 5450. Don’t forget notices that can uplift the community will be broadcasted free of charge.

Pick n Pay workers get ready for a nationwide strike on Friday

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2010

On Friday around about 27,000 Pick n Pay workers will be embarking on a nationwide strike.

The workers are demanding a R550 or a 12% monthly increase, and they also want the part time staff to be made permanent.

Deputy General Secretary of the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union’s, SACCAWU said “On Friday, all members throughout the country will embark on an indefinite strike until the dispute is resolved. There will be nine marches directed to various operating units of the company”.

The Johannesburg region would set the tone on Thursday with a march to a new store opening in Vosloorus.

At least 30 people killed in road accidents over the weekend

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2010

This weekend has been a bloody weekend on our country’s roads with at least 30 people being killed.

The 30 people include 19 people who died in a head-on collision between a mini-bus taxi and a bakkie in KwaZulu-Natal.

Minister Sibusiso Ndebele says as part of the ‘Make Roads Safe’ Campaign two motorists who exceeded 170 kilometres per hour were arrested and detained. More than 700-hundred vehicles and drivers have been stopped and checked and thousands of fines issued for various traffic offences.

Transport spokesperson Logan Maistry said “We want to express our condolences to the families and relatives of all those who lost their lives on the roads over the past weekend.”

Exams begin today for the class of 2010

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2010

Today more than 600,000 Grade 12 pupils will be writing their exams in more than 8,000 exam centres.

The grade 12’s will be kicking off today with information technology and computer application technology.

Many of the 640-thousand candidates’ learning were seriously disrupted this year by the public service strike and a long winter holiday to accommodate the Soccer World Cup.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said yesterday that she was confident despite the teacher’s strike that this year matric rate will be higher than last years.

Education MEC Barbara Creecy said “We want to wish them strength; cool heads, strong hands, and you have all of our thoughts, blessings and prayers”.

*** In order to help Matrics, Bush Radio 89.5 FM has made its Matric Revision Programmes available online for download. (CLICK HERE)***

Ministers sign for a safer SA

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 October 2010

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe says the signing of service delivery agreements by ministers shows government’s obligation to ensuring that all people in South Africa feel safe.

Ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster have signed the agreement at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma amongst others have signed the agreement committing themselves to working towards a safer South Africa.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

TAC says it will oppose NHI

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 October 2010

The Treatment Action Campaign says it will oppose the proposed National Health Insurance system if South Africans have to pay for its implementation.

The Aids group’s chairperson Nonkosi Khumalo says the TAC will assemble its members to comment on the NHI once a document on the proposed system is of public knowledge.

He says they will oppose user fees and upfront payments for patients.

The cost of the NHI is estimated at 128-billion-Rands in 2012 and is expected to increase to about 267-billion-Rands in 2020.

Derby-Lewis’s parole may have been compromised

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 October 2010

Chris Hani’s killer Clive Derby-Lewis’s parole application may have been further compromised by his wife’s attempt to smuggle a laptop into the hospital where he is getting treatment.

Correctional Services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela says Gaye Derby-Lewis tried to smuggle the laptop to her husband during a visit.

The 74-year-old is in hospital after seriously damaging his leg.

The computer has been confiscated and experts are examining it.

Derby-Lewis has served 17 years of a 25-year sentence for his part in the murder of South African Communist Party secretary general Chris Hani.

Zuma calls cabinet meeting

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 October 2010

President Jacob Zuma has called a special cabinet meeting in Pretoria tomorrow.

Despite speculation that he may be planning a reshuffle his cabinet, cabinet spokesperson Themba Maseko insists that the focus of the meeting will be an economic growth path for the country.

Before Zuma announced tomorrow’s meeting, which takes place before the usual Wednesday meeting, he had one-on-one meetings with ministers.

Speculations are that the meeting is the result of Cosatu and the Communist Party’s unhappiness at the government's failure to develop a new economic plan.

Road accidents continue to claim lives

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 October 2010

A horror taxi accident near Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal has claimed the lives of 19 people.

Eighteen victims died on the scene while another passed away in hospital.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele says an independent team of specialists has been sent to investigate the accident.

Ndebele says law enforcement officers will continue to prosecute drivers who disobey the law.

He adds that more than 500 000 vehicles have been stopped and checked and thousands of fines issued since the beginning of the month.

Meanwhile, in another accident on the road between Clarence and Fouriesburg in the Free State, four people were killed and four seriously injured in a head-on collision late last night.

Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

missing person alert:

De Lille wants the impact of curbing liquor advertising investigated

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2010

Western Cape social development MEC Patricia de Lille wants the impact of curbing liquor advertising investigated.

She expressed concern about what she regards as “macho and sexy” billboards advertising alcohol in townships.

De Lille was speaking at the second annual Western Cape Liquor conference today.

She says liquor should not be portrayed as glamorous while trauma staff at Cape Town’s Tygerberg Hospital report that more than 90% of their patients had been drinking heavily.

De Lille told delegates that alcohol was the third greatest contributor to death and disability in South Africa.

De Lille says South Africa is one of the top three drinking nations in the world, with Western Cape having the highest number of heavy drinkers.

Sasbo leaves no stones unturned to protect its members

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2010

The finance union Sasbo, which represents over 15 000 employees of Standard Bank, says it is shocked that the bank wants to retrench more than 1 200 of its workers.

This is around four-percent of the bank’s workforce in South Africa.

Sasbo criticizes the fact that Standard Bank is placing profits before employees’ job security and livelihoods while it remains a highly profitable institution.

The union says it will leave no stone unturned to protect its members who now face an uncertain future.

five Solidarity members awarded

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2010

Four of the five Solidarity members who operated Murray & Roberts’ Strata 950 drill during the rescue effort to free 33 trapped Chilean mineworkers received the trade union’s Stars in the Community award at the OR Tambo International Airport this morning.

Riaan Viviers, Wynand Botes, Johan Badenhorst and Mario Scholtz arrived from Buenos Aires.

Christo Esterhuizen will also receive an award when he comes home later.

The Murray & Roberts team drilled the circulation tunnels that were used to send food, water and other supplies down to the miners.

Solidarity’s Deputy General secretary Derrick Hermann says, the Solidarity member’s achievement was like a world cup, the difference is that their prize was 33 Chilean miner’s lives.

Teen kills one in an accident in Alexandra

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2010

16-year-old boy is in hospital fighting for his life after he crashed an allegedly stolen car.

The teenager caused a tragic accident in Alexandra in Johannesburg yesterday when he showed off in his father’s car that he had allegedly stolen.

A group gathered to watch him spin the car, but he lost control andcrashed into the group, killing a 17-year-old girl.

A 35-year-old woman, her three children and six high-school pupils were seriously injured.

The suspect is under police guard in hospital.

Parliament calls on public nomination fro SABC board

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2010

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has called on the public to nominate individuals to fill non-executive vacancies on the SABC board.

The posts are a result of the resignation of four members of the SABC board.

the board's deputy chairperson Felleng Sekha and three board members, including Barbara Masekela handed their resignations to President Jacob Zuma about a week ago.

Experience in media law, business practice and finance, marketing and journalism, broadcasting policy and technology, as well as social and labour issues, are some of fields of expertise needed for nomination for the board.

missing person alert:

missing person alert:

Long distance train back on track

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2010

Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa have agreed to resolve their differences.

This follows an intervention into the three-month deadlock by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and Public Enterprises Minster Barbara Hogan.

Senior officials from the two organisations have agreed to make peace.

A disagreement between the duo has led to an almost complete shutdown of South Africa’s long distance train service, the Shosholoza Meyl.

Ndebele says the service is expected to be back on track soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Father arrested for assaulting daughter

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2010

Strand police have arrested a 32-year-old father for allegedly assaulting his young daughter in Cape Town.

The father allegedly threw the toddler against a wall by her feet during an argument between her parents earlier this week.

Police spokesperson Godfrey Tawana says the father was arrested under the Child Care Act.

Tawana says the man faces charges of child abuse and will appear in the Strand Magistrate Court on Monday the 25th of October 2010.

DA says Cwele “simply does not get it”

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2010

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele has refused to back away from his quest to classify potentially thousands of State documents.

Cwele told Parliament’s ad hoc committee on the Protection of Personal Information Bill that under the new law he would allow classified information to be disclosed to lawyers, the Auditor General and the Public Protector, but not to the media.

Meanwhile, The Democratic Alliance says Cwele missed an important opportunity to make positive proposals, in response to public submissions, on the Protection of Information Bill.

DA’s member of the Ad hoc Committee on the Protection of Information Bill David Maynier says Cwele simply does not get it.

Seamen discover a foetus

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 October 2010

A foetus estimated to be six months developed was found floating at the Simonsberg waterfront in Simons Town.

Captain S Knapp said,” Two seamen of the SA Navy made the discovery early this morning.”

This comes just days after a baby was found in a drain in Khayelitsha.

Anyone with information or the whereabouts of the mother can contact Detective Warrant Officer Petrus Steen kamp on 021 786 8640.

Zuma assault trial date set

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2010

Durban Magistrate’s Court heard that the trial of the man accused of spilling his drink on President Jacob Zuma will start on the 10th of December 2010.

An investigation against 31-year-old Daryl Peense from Alberton in Johannesburg, hasbeen completed and the State says it is ready to proceed with the trial.

Peense, who claims it was an accident, faces charges of assault.

He briefly appeared in court today and was accompanied by three people.

3 die in SA’s mines

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 October 2010

The National Union of Mineworkers says three mineworkers have died in separate accidents in the past 24 hours.

One worker died at the Impala Platinum early this morning in Rustenburg, North West.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said, “We are shocked and disappointed to hear about the death of yet another mineworker who died after inhaling noxious gases.”

Meanwhile, a team leader was run over by a guardhopper at Goldfields 's Beatrix Mine in the Free State Wednesday afternoon.

Harmony’s Mr Jackson Morena said, “Another worker died at Harmony’s Kusasalethu when a skip was dislodged and fell down the shaft killing a rigger.”

“This comes at a time when the mining industry talks about industry progress on the safety of mines”, Seshoka said.

“We are calling on the department of mineral resources to make quick intervention to bring this mine industry to book,” he said.

De Lille says fathers need to take responsibility

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 210

Western Cape Social Development MEC Patricia de Lille has urged fathers to take responsibility for their actions.

De Lille said this after a 28-year-old woman from Philippi allegedly poisoned her two children aged eight and 14-months-old.

It is alleged that the woman went to ask for food money to the children’s father and he refused.

The14-month-old baby died, while the eight-year-old is recovering in hospital.

This follows two incidents in Khayelitsha, where two babies were found abandoned and killed.

Meanwhile, an autopsy has been done on an infant found dumped in a drain.

The police can confirm that it was in fact a boy bu the cause of death is still unclear.

De Lille says she does not condone the women’s actions, but men need to start taking responsibility.

Another Johannesburg teacher arrested for sexual assault

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2010

Police arrested a Krugersdorp high school teacher on allegations of sexually assaulting school girls.

The Johannesburg provincial education department said they were approached by police to confirm if the teacher was employed by the department.

He made his first court appearance yesterday and is out on R5000 bail.

He was arrested after school children went directly to the police and laid charges with the police.

This is the second arrest of a teacher on allegations of sexual assault in just one week in Gauteng.

A Roosevelt High School, Johannesburg, teacher was arrested earlier this week on similar charges.

His wife, who was also teacher at another school committed suicide shortly after his arrest.

Five arrested for R5m abalone

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 October 2010

Gauteng police have found abalone with a street value of R5m at a house in Glenvist, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Tshisikhawe Ndou said, “The arrests came after police received information about the storage and processing of abalone at the house.”

When police arrived at the house the men were busy processing and packaging abalone.

Four Chinese and a South African will be charged in terms of the Marine Coastal Management Act.

The suspects will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Three arrested for counterfeit goods R80 900

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 October 2010

Three men have been arrested for drug-dealing and Metro police confiscated counterfeit goods in two separate incidents on Wednesday.

Police officials issued search warrants after receiving numerous complaints from residents in the Maitland, Athlone, Parkwood, Lotus River and Bellville South areas.

Metro Police Deputy Chief Yolanda Faro said, “The three men were arrested by the Metro Police Drug Unit for dealing in drug.

She said, “Nine Mandrax tablets, two large bags of TIK and five small packets of TIK were found.”

The suspects have been charged for possession of and dealing in drugs.

In a separate operation Atlantis goods with a street value of R80 900 were seized and a shop owner was issued with a R15 000 fine.

Defence says Cwele phone records must not be used

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2010

The legal team of Sheryl Cwele and her co accused Frank Nabolisa argued that using transcripts of intercepted cellphone calls of his clients would be unconstitutional.

Cwele’s lawyer said this at the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday.

The State aims on producing transcripts of calls between the two and convicted drug mule Tessa Beetge as evidence in their trial.

But Cwele’s advocate argued that the transcripts would violate his client’s privacy.

Beetge allegedly acted on the instructions of the accused when she was arrested in Brazil in 2008.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marcus unclear on interest rates

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 October 2010

Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus insists that the bank cannot be accused of being soft on inflation.

He added that the monetary policy committee will not necessarily cut interest rates again next month.

Marcus says a decision on the 18th of November will depend on the information before the committee.

The Reserve Bank has reduced interest rates by 600 basis points since the end of 2008 to support the economic recovery.

Since then, inflation has slowed to a four-year low of 3.5%.

Carletonville mine worker dies

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 October 2010

An accident at Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville on Wednesday has left a mine worker dead.

The crew on the ship were busy moving equipment in the shaft when the incident occurred.

The company said, "Hoisting operations have temporarily been stopped until such time as an investigation into the accident has been completed."

Zille has hope over Cape Town Stadium

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 October 2010

Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille says her first choice before the World Cup was that, Cape Town’s Newlands Stadium should have been adapted for the soccer tournament’s matches.

Zille believes that would have been a much cheaper option than to replace the old Green Point Stadium.

She confirmed, however, that the new Cape Town Stadium would be feasible for years to come.

She urged Cape Town people to get together and to remember the spirit of the World Cup.

Two girls poisoned by their mother

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 October 2010

A 28-year-old mother who is believed to have poisoned her two daughters has been arrested for murder and attempted murder on Wednesday evening in Cape Town.

Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said, “The woman, from the Brown’s Farm informal settlement, allegedly asked her boyfriend for money to buy food for her children.”

She said, “When he refused, she fed herself and the children poison.”

The 14-month-old girl baby died while she and her eight-year-old daughter were rushed to hospital.

The woman is facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

She is currently being guarded by police in hospital.

Unsuccessful armed robbery in the City

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 October 2010

What was initially thought to have been a hostage drama in the central business district has turned out to be an unsuccessful jewellery store robbery, Cape Town police said.

It was reported earlier that a hostage drama was underway in central Cape Town.

City officials closed off a building in St George's Mall surrounding the area.

Police spokesperson André Traut said,” The suspect fled through a fire escape. He fired a single shot and no-one were injured.

He said,”the suspect left empty handed because he couldn’t open the safe.

The incident is being investigated.

Grade 12 learner killed in attempted hijacking

By jurina Nkwazi
21 October 2010

A KwaZulu-Natal matric learner has been killed in what police say was the fourth attempted hijacking on Wednesday evening in the Pinetown area.

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said, "The learner's 22-year old brother was speaking to a friend outside when a group of men arrived in a vehicle and demanded the keys to his friend’s car."

The suspects then shot him in the leg when he jumped over the property's fence to call for help.

Meanwhile, the grade 12 learner was shot in the face when he came out of the house. He died on the scene.

The 18-year old were part of a twin, who is currently writing their matric exams.

The men fled the scene with a blue Toyota Yaris.

Strict instruction for Tshwane Metro police

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 October 2010

Tshwane Community Safety Department head, Daniel Manganye criticized some metro police officers for intolerable behavior outside the city’s courts.

Manganye has reportedly ordered that no metro police officer may attend court in uniform or while on duty.

This follows an incident last week, where a Blue Bulls jersey was torn into pieces by officers outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

This incident took place during a court appearance by Bees Roux on a charge of killing a metro police officer.

Manganye has made his statement clear, and says his instruction is clear and simple.

He said those who want to attend court can do so in their personal capacity while off-duty.

The Democratic Alliance’s Karen Meyer said they completely support this move by the Manganye.

Satawu concerned about Aarto traffic demerit system

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2010

Transport union Satawu has stated that it may resort to industrial action against the new Aarto traffic demerit system.

Satawu’s concern is that its members will be out of work if the increase of demerit points should cause them to lose their licenses.

The Transport Department has assured the unions that they have discussed the matter with the union.

Meanwhile Ezrom Mabyana insists that Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele continues to turn down requests for meetings to discuss their concerns.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Education Department angered by arrest of deputy principal for sexual abuse

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2010

The Deputy Principal of Roosevelt High School was on Friday taken into custody this was after five girls of the school laid charges against him.

The 50-year-old has been accused of molesting and sexually abusing the five girls in the school.

The school today has denied that their girls were molested by the deputy principal saying they were in fact sexually harassed.

The school’s Sheldon Smith said “The charges that the girls from our school have laid are just really sexual harassment charges, there is no physical abuse that has been done to those girls. Our way forward is to really offer support to the girls that have been affected, we need to try the best we can for the girls going into exams”.

The Gauteng Education Department has been angered by the incident saying sexual abuse at schools cannot be tolerated. It said regardless of whether the teacher is released on bail, he poses a threat to the girls and will not be allowed to return to teaching.

Violent demonstrations in Khayelitsha blamed on criminals

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 October 2010

Violent demonstrations erupted in Khayelitsha in Cape Town yesterday.

The shack dwellers’ body Abahlali baseMjondolo has blamed violence that erupted during protests on criminals taking advantage of peaceful displays.

At least two cars were set alight, journalists were stoned and streets were left littered with rocks and cement blocks.

It has since been calm in the township due to extensive visibility of police in the area.

Abahlali baseMjondolo has called for a national week-long protest to highlight the difficulties of people living in shacks.

A baby found dead in a bag

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2010

A woman has been arrested after she murdered her newborn baby and, the baby was found dead in a bag in central Johannesburg.

Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele said the woman was arrested on Tuesday morning when police found her baby's body wrapped in a bag she had left at work.

Community neighbours called police after they noticed that there was no baby, but the woman was pregnant and had given birth.

The woman received a call from her employer during police questioning, asking her to pick up her bag from work.

It was then that the baby was found. The newborn baby was declared dead on arrival, and an autopsy still has to be done to determine the cause of the baby’s death.

The 25-year-old will be appearing in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court soon.

Department of Basic Education sends warning to matrics

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 October 2010

The Department of Basic Education has warned all matric students who may be tempted to cheat in their exams which start next week, not to even consider it.

Departmental spokesperson Granville Whittle says any student caught cheating will be banned from re-writing the exam for three years.

Not only that, cheats will also be criminally charged.

Whittle warned that strict security measures were put in place to fight cheating.

In Mpumalanga, where five papers were leaked before the exams last year, the national department has taken over the management of the process.

Baby dumped in a Khayelitsha drain

By Jurina Nkwazi
20 October 2010

A resident in Green point, Khayelitsha discovered the body of a newborn baby in a storm water-drain on Tuesday.

“The baby was found in Greenpoint informal settlement by a 27-year old resident who poured washing water down the drain,” said Captain Anneke van der Vyver.

It is unknown at this point whether the baby was a full-term- or a premature birth.

An autopsy will determine the gender and the identity of the baby.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information can contact the Investigating Officer, Constable Nivard Adams on 082 469 0353 or 021-360 2388 during office hours.

Unions accept government's wage offer

By Jurina Nkwazi
20 October 2010

Most of the public servants’ unions have accepted government’s current wage offer.

About 66-percent unions have singed the seven-point-five-percent wage increase and an 800-Rands monthly housing allowance agreement.

The Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said, “the opportunity still exists for several more unions to agree to the deal, but added that the 66-percent majority ensures that government will implement the resolution and begin the paperwork immediately.

This move by the unions has calmed fears of continued strike action.

WC schools highlight climate change

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2010

25 schools in the Western Cape have been praised for their efforts to highlight climate change and the need to preserve fragile resources.

Both the Education Department and Disaster Management Department applauded learners’ efforts to raise awareness about the need to preserve natural resources.

The Disaster Management Department aimed to encourage energy efficiency through a two month programme.

Upon completing the course, pupils submitted poems and essays to demonstrate what they had learnt.

The special prize-giving ceremony was held in Athlone yesterday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

International resistance to media tribunal remains strong

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2010

The International Press Institute addressed delegates at a Press Freedom Day tribute in Johannesburg this afternoon.

Acting director of the Institute Alison Bethel McKenzie said the proposed media appeal tribunal, could be used to control the flow of information to the public.

The Institute fears that government’s efforts to regulate the media, could be mechanisms used to influence or punish journalists.

McKenzie said “international news agencies and diplomats have expressed their concerns, including lawyers who have warned that this is unconstitutional”.

Tokyo Sexwale and Buyelwa Sonjica respondents in the Makhaza toilet saga

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2010

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, have agreed to be respondents in the legal challenge over Cape Town's toilet saga.

Other respondents that have been chosen are the Western Cape provincial government, and the SA Human Rights Commission.

The toilets were erected by the city on the understanding that local residents would enclose them. As a disturbance, driven by the youth league, developed over the issue, the city enclosed them with corrugated iron.

Members of the league broke down the enclosures, and city workers then removed the toilets altogether.

The city and province have said they will rebuild the toilets and enclosures if the league gives an assurance the enclosures will not be broken down again.

Members of the African National Congress Youth League have asked the court to order that concrete toilets be erected where there were once open-air toilets at Makhaza in Khayelitsha.

Blackouts could be on the cards again in South Africa

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2010

South Africans could be facing another series of blackouts as from next year.

Energy services company Manoa said the economic slowdown in the economy temporarily saved South Africa from even worse blackouts than those experience two years ago.

South Africans experienced blackouts in January 2008, concerns are being raised about delays in the construction of Eskom’s Medupi Power Station which is due to come online in April 2012.

Manoa director Esmé Bluf said “Normally because January is a very rainy season we could look at the potential of it happening again in January but it is more likely to happen in winter time when we use more due to the cold weather”.

Exam standards will not be drop by the Education Department

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2010

The matric final examinations will begin on Monday, and the Basic Education Department has started that the standard of the exams will not drop.

Schools across the country have encountered disruptions due to the public sector strike that left many classrooms without teachers.

Basic Education’s Nkosinathi Sishi stated that the department is ready to start the final exams in a week’s time, and the department’s exam standards cannot be compromised.

The department has not received reports from schools stating that they are not ready to write the exams.

Sishi said “I would assure you that in all the nine provinces we have not received reports that the minimum number of tasks that must be completed have not been completed”.

Six hundred and forty-two thousand grade 12 pupils across the country will write the exams 22,000 more than last year.

Shilowa speaks about his suspension

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 October 2010

Congress of the People Deputy President Mbazima Shilowa says he will save all the fight in him for the party’s elective conference which will be in November.

Shilowa was today respond for the first time to his suspension as the party’s chief whip and accounting officer.

Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota said that the move was not a political scheme ahead of the conference.

Shilowa however, said he would prove that he did not submit fraudulent documents to Parliament when Cope’s central committee sits again.

He believes the decision to suspend him is an attack on his integrity ahead of the elective conference.

Zuma disappointed about SABC resignations

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 October 2010

President Jacob Zuma is reported to be very worried about the state of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Yesterday Zuma accepted resignations of four of the corporation’s board members.

Amongst the resignations was that of deputy chairperson of the board Felleng Sekha and Barbara Masekela.

Presidency spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says, although the president accepted the resignations he is disappointed and wants to see a well-run SABC.

Until new members are selected, the board will only be able to form a quorum if the executive members who work full-time at the corporation attend meetings.

Pinelands day care centre not registered

By Jurina Nkwazi
19 October 2010

Aunty Dawn's Day Care in Pinelands where a five-month old baby died last week was not registered.

Western Cape social development minister Patricia de Lille said, “These were our findings after a departmental investigation which started on Wednesday into the death of Ava Barley who apparently fell from a bed.”

The owner applied for registration in 2008 but her department failed to follow up after a health inspector had to visit the facility.

“Our social worker, the Environmental Health Practitioner and a representative from the fire department will meet on Wednesday to determine how the facility will be dealt with from here on,’ says De Lille.

‘I have also called an emergency departmental meeting with the Chief Director, Director and Deputy Director responsible, to look at how the Department can fast track the registration of unregistered partial care facilities,“ she said.

De Lille said, “Accidents can happen, whether a place is registered or not. However, the owner should not have operated without a registration certificate.”

Police have opened an inquest docket.

NGO launches campaign to combat abuse in Delft

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2010

The Cape Town NGO has been receiving daily complaints of child abuse in the community of Delft.

Delft has been known for its high level of abuse and gangsterism. The NGO has received complaints of rape, assault and neglect.

The organisation this week will be embarking on a campaign to educate locals and raising awareness about child abuse.

About 80 Ma-Afrika Tikkun caregivers conducted door-to-door visits.

They explained what abuse is, what signs to look out for and handed out pamphlets with details of organisations that could help.

Monday, October 18, 2010

24 school children injured in a taxi crash

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2010

Twenty-four school children have been injured in Durban today.

The school children aged between six and ten-years-old, were injured, eleven seriously.

The minibus taxi they were traveling in was struck, by a heavy goods truck in the junction of the M13 Jan Smuts Highway beneath the N3 Sherwood Bridge this afternoon.

Netcare911 Paramedics arrived at the scene to find the taxi stuck against a traffic signal pole with the heavy goods truck nearby.

The children were treated and stabilised on the scene, they were then transported to the city hospital for medical checkups.

The cause of the accident is still unclear, but the South African Police Force will be investigating the accident.

Police searching for a murder suspect

18 October 2010
By Lelethu Mquqo

Police today are searching for a man who man who shot and killed a 22-year-old Viva Youth College student.

The student was shot on Friday nighre at hs cottage on the collag’s premises in Timsrand, near Centurion

The young man was shot without warning then the suspect allegedly fled on foot.

Viva Youth College is a centre for teenagers and young adults diagnosed with neurobiochemical disorders, including bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.

The victim cannot be named because of mental health regulations.

The shooter ran off without taking anything. No arrests had been made at this stage.

Hout Bay eviction case postponed till November

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2010

The Western Cape High Court today heard an application to have more than 50 shacks dismantled on the slopes of the Sentinel in Hout Bay.

The court has postponed the case until the 29th of November.

The court has urged the parties to spend the next few weeks mediating what has become an explosive issue.

SANParks has backed out of backing the evictions, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille stated that this move by SANParks was politically motivated.

Residents of Hout Bay came in their numbers today to protest outside the court, police and security guards tried to negotiate with the rowdy crowd.

Missing 19-year-old girl found stabbed to death

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 October 2010

A 19-year-old girl’s body was found dumped at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve three days after she went missing on October 8.

Andrelette Peters went to the shop with her friend Lynette to buy airtime and never returned home.

Peters was stabbed 120 times in the face. Her mother identified her by a tattoo which had her nickname “Ponkies” on her left arm.

Her mother Lonely Taai said, “She got worried when Andrelette didn’t return home and decided to search for her daughter the next day along with her friend Lynette.”

When she couldn’t find her daughter she opened a missing person’s docket.

She was allegedly last seen with a group of men in a blue taxi with tinted windows about a week ago.

Lonely provided police with a picture of Andrelette without knowing that the unidentified body which she suspected of as her daughter’s was at the morgue.

She said her worst nightmare became a reality when she was contacted by the police who suspected the body belonged to her daughter.

She appealed to the children not to mix with the wrong friends. Instead they should follow their dreams for a bright future.

Anyone with information can call Warrant Officer JA Malan on 021 370 1760 or 082 297 9629.

MEC meets with Hanover Park community over gang related violence

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2010

The Hanover Park Community Policing Forum met with the Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz and Western Cape Social Development MEC Patricia De Lille on Sunday.

The meeting came in the midst of renewed gang violence in the area that has left at least four people dead in just over a week.

Hanover Park Community Policing Forum has stated that the constant change in management has seriously affected the fight against gangsterism.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said, “What I am told by the Community Policing Forum is that they make an agreement with one police commissioner. Whether or not the agreement is working, well he gets replaced. Probably for other reasons or whatever reasons but they say they do not have a kind of continuous implementation of agreements”.

Community members have told a media organisation that in the last two years, there have been three different police commanders in the area.

Residents of Hangberg protest outside the WC High Court

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2010

Residents of Hangberg gathered outside the Western Cape High Court today.

Hangberg residents gathered outside the court, to protest the City of Cape Town’s eviction order to have more than 50 shacks built on the slopes of the Sentinel in Hout Bay down.

Most residents are still very angry and frustrated at the situation and especially at Helen Zille.

The City of Cape Town is very hopeful that proceedings in court will go their way, as the illegal shacks are built on a fire hazard area.

On the other hand locals have stated that the evictions were handled very badly.

A 10-year-old boy burnt to death

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2010

A 10-year old boy has burnt to death in a caravan in Theunissen near the Free State.

The caravan was being occupied by Louis van der Linde and three people; they were all sleeping in the caravan when it caught fire.

Two children and a man sharing the caravan were dragged out of the caravan by family and friends, who were in the near by tent.

Louis van der Linde could not be rescued as the caravan collapsed on top of him, and he burnt to death.

The man and two children sustained burns and smoke inhalation. Police are now investigating the cause of the fire.

James Nkambule’s death investigated

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 October 2010

The Mpumalanga police have confirmed that the death of politician James Nkambule is being investigated.

It is reported last week that Nkambule was allegedly poisoned.

An autopsy concluded that Nkambule's death had been unnatural.

Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said “We've taken some body tissue and we've sent it to forensics for further investigation and determination of the cause of death."

An inquest docket has been opened.

Jub-Jub case postponed

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 October 2010

The murder trial of hip hop artist Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and Themba Tshabala was postponed in the Protea Magistrate's Court today.

The trial which was set to start today was postponed to 13 December this year.

Jub Jub’s lawyer Ike Motloung was reportedly busy in a High Court as an acting judge and could not represent his client.

The case will be set down for four days, beginning December 13.

The pair faces four murder charges following an accident in March this year which killed four schoolchildren and critically injured two others.

Jub-Jub to appear in court today

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 October 2010

The trial of hip hop artist Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and his co-accused Themba Tshabalala, is due to start today.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala are charged for murder after killing four school children in a road accident.

The pair's trial is set to take place in the Protea Magistrate's Court from Monday to Friday this week.

The men face four murder charges, relating to an accident that happened in March this year.

The accident saw four school children walking next to the road dead and two others critically injured.

It is alleged that the pair were drag racing in Soweto when their Mini Coopers swerved off the road killing four and injuring two.

The prosecution said earlier that preliminary tests revealed that Maarohanye had cocaine and morphine in his system at the time of the crash, while Tshabalala was twice over the legal alcohol limit.

The men are both out on bail of R10,000 each.

R985 000 worth of dagga found during road block

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 October 2010

Two men aged 30 and 31, have been arrested for being in possession of dagga valued at R985 000 during a road block near Kwanonqaba on Sunday morning..

Captain Bernadine Steyn said the men were traveling in a white freight liner truck from Cape Town to Durban.

“About 29 bags of dagga were found in two compartments situated on the left side of the truck,” she said.

The men will appear in the Mossel Bay Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, on a charge of dealing in dagga.

DA wants are seeking for answers on the termination of the arms deal

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2010

The Democratic Alliance has asked Themba Godi who is the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, to look into the termination of the investigation into the arms deal.

In a joint statement DA's David Maynier and Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille said “They need to explain why the investigation into corruption in the arms deal was closed”.

The DA have stated that the decision by General Anwar Dramat, Head of the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), to shut down the arms deal investigation is part of the biggest cover-up of corruption in the history of South Africa.

The Democratic Alliance said the Hawks knew the arms deal corruption went all the way to the highest levels of government, and by closing the investigation they had effectively let some very big political fish off the hook.

The party will now be writing to Themba Godi, and requesting an urgent special hearing into the termination of the arms deals investigation by the Hawks.

Steady progress being made on Cape Flats water maintenance - CoCT

The City of Cape Town says steady progress has been made across the five sites where the municipality’s 72-hour water shutdown on the Cape ...