Monday, January 31, 2011

40 left homeless in Nyanga blaze

By Kim Saulse
31 January 2011

An early morning fire has destroyed 11 shacks, leaving 40 Nyanga residents homeless.

Fire rescue services from Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu and Ottery were dispatched to the scene to bring the fire under control.

“At first light this morning, City Disaster Response Teams with the assistance of the Department of Social Development of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape were on-site to assist the victims with food parcels, blankets, baby packs and building material,” says Solomons-Johannes.

Disaster Risk Management’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes says no one was injured and an investigation into the cause of the blaze has been launched.

City and Hangberg community reach agreement

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 January 2011

An agreement between the City of Cape Town and the Hangberg community reached through mediation.

Mediator Brain Williams says the mediation process was not the order of the court but a decision for the mediation was taken in a meeting on the 18th of October last year.

Williams says this was an alternative from going to the court to settle the dispute between the people of Hangeberg and the City.

“The parties have agreed that they will work within a constitutional framework to obtain solutions in a democratic, transparent and accountable manner.

“There are no intentions to relocate the community to Blikkiesdorp and are committed to trying to find a solution within the area. It also includes that the City and Sanparks shall arrange for training on awareness of fire safety,” said Williams.

Over 12 elections took place before 39 representatives were to present nine different clusters from the area. This happened after a public meeting on the 09th of December last year where people knew when they can nominate an individual, added Williams.

“Those who were elected know that if they should be recalled another election process will take place.

“In terms of the agreement the City has committed itself to transferring 61 row houses to the rightful owners in terms appropriate legal process,’’ said Williams.

Shilowa’s disciplinary action will go ahead in his absence

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 January 2011

A disciplinary action against Mbhazima Shilowa will go ahead in his absence at the Congress of the People’s parliamentary offices.

Shilowa, who is claiming leadership of the troubled party is facing numerous charges, including mismanagement of funds.

Should he be found guilty, he could be expelled from Cope, and as the party’s Member of Parliament.

This weekend, Shilowa said Cope would be a united party again by the end of next month.

However, analysts say the party has little chance of surviving the upcoming local government elections.

Motor industry strike might go ahead

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 January 2011

The Motor Transport Workers’ Union says it has no option but to strike if its demands are not met.

Labour is calling on the Road Freight Association to provide a 20-percent wage increase over two-years, as well as ban labour brokers.

The RFA says it can only offer 15-percent.

The Association also says it has not yet received official notice of the strike and all the information it is getting is via the media.

The union has been threatening strike action since last week .

Taxi fare to increase in the Western Cape

Lusanda Bill
31 January 2011

Commuters in the coming weeks in the Western Cape can expect an increase in taxi fares.

This increase follows repeated petrol price increases with another petrol price increase tomorrow, whereby petrol will go up by 26 cents a litre at midnight.

Council spokesperson Mvuyisi Mente said the price hike must first be discussed amongst the various associations.

The Western Cape Taxi Council has stated that it cannot confirm when the increase in taxi fares will happen.

A newborn baby girl found in a plastic bag alive

Lusanda Bill
31 January 2011

A newborn baby girl was found yesterday near the Centurion cemetery in Pretoria.

The baby was found wrapped in a plastic bag and her umbilical cord was still attached.

When paramedics arrived on the scene, the baby was dehydrated and hypothermic.

LifeMed ambulance’s Hugo Minnaar says the newborn’s condition is stable.

The baby girl is now in the Pretoria Academic Hospital in the intensive care unit.

Two police officials arrested for rape

Lusanda Bill
31 January 2011

Two police officials and two other men were arrested over the weekend for allegedly raping teenage girls in two separate incidents in Pretoria.

One police constable and another man stopped to give a 15-year-old girl a lift home from school on Friday.

They took the girl to a house and raped her.

In another incident a police constable and a man allegedly kidnapped and raped a 19-year-old girl in Centurion.

The police’s Lungelo Dlamini says the four men are expected to appear in court soon.

Damon Jordan and Chelsea Bergstebt have been found

31 January 2011
Lusanda Bill

Two children both 3-year-old who went missing have both been found yesterday.

3-year old Damon Jordan from Geluksoord Farm, Kraaifontein went missing on the 27th of January 2011.

He was found last night the 30th January 2011 and is now safe.

In the other missing case 3-year old Chelsea Bergstebt from Charlesville, Bishop Lavis has also been found after she went missing.

She was also found last night and is safe.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Missing Person Alert: Damon Jordan

Cope to be united again

By Jurina Nkwazi
30 January 2011

According to the Congress of the People’s Mbhazima Shilowa, the political party will be united by the end of March.

Shilowa says, “The party needs to put internal issues aside and move forward.”

It is believed that the party have little hope of surviving the upcoming local government elections.

Seeing that Cope had a failed electoral conference last year and Shilowa and his main rival, Mosiuoa Lekota, both claiming to be the party’s president.

Weather patterns the new normal

By Jurina Nkwazi
30 January 2011

The extreme weather patterns of drought and floods that South Africa’s been facing is said to be the new normal.

Meanwhile, SA’s top scientists say that we cannot depict that global warming is the reason for the shift in weather conditions.

About 88 people died in the country due to heavy rainfall and floods in the past six weeks.

The Department of Co-operative Governance has concluded that the floods in eight provinces will cost R2.3-billion.

Mandela happy to be home

By Jurina Nkwazi
30 January 2011

Former president Nelson Mandela say he’s happy to be home and are is sleeping better at home than he was at hospital.

The 92-year-old gave South africans a scare when he was hospitalised to the Milpark private hospital in Johannesburg earlier this week.

He was suffering from an acute respiratory infection.

Deputy-president Kgalema Motlanthe visited Madiba yesterday and reportedly told Motlanthe that he was glad to be home.

Five-year-old run over by bus and motorbike

By Jurina Nkwazi
30 January 2011

A five-year-old boy was killed when his parents got a lift from Humansdorp to Clarkson in the Eastern Cape.

Spokeswoman Gerda Swart said, “The boy and his parents had just gotten out from a vehicle when he suddenly ran across the busy N2 and was struck by the school bus travelling from Knysna.”

Swart said, “The bus ran over the boy, followed by the motorbike which was travelling behind it.”

No arrests have been made.

A case of culpable homicide is being investigated.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man killed at Lenasia shopping centre

By Jurina Nkwazi
29 January 2011

A man believed to be in his twenties was shot and killed at a shopping centre in Lenasia, Johannesburg on Saturday.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak says, “They were called to the scene, but the victim was already dead from multiple gunshot wounds.”

The man was trying to assist a robbery victim when he was apparently shot by unknown number of armed.

No one else was injured during the incident.

Concern over WC rhino poaching

By Jurina Nkwazi
29 January 2011

There is a growing concern that rhino poaching could potentially be moving to the Western Cape.

On Thursday, a white rhino bull was shot and dehorned on on a private game reserve near Mossel Bay.

Hundreds of rhino’s were killed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal last year.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust says, “There north is quieting down but I hope it will not pop back in the Western Cape and elsewhere.”

Drugs worth R1.1 million found in Beaufort West

By Jurina Nkwazi
29 January 2011

Cocaine and khat worth over R1 million was confiscated in three busses in Beaufort West during a police search.

Western Cape police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn said, “A black bag containing about 1.1kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of R923 000 was found in the luggage compartment of a Volvo bus when sniffer dogs searched the luggage compartment.”

Three suitcases and three sport bags containing 1 382 bundles of khat with an estimated street value of about R138 200 were found in the luggage compartment of a white Mercedes bus.

Steyn said, “379 bundles of khat with an estimated street value of about R37 900 were found in two bags were found on the third bus.”

No one has been arrested yet.

Old age home collapse in North West

By Jurina Nkwazi
29 January 2011

An old age home that collapsed in Potchefstroom has left over 70 elderly people homeless.

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson says many of the victims had lucky escapes from serious injuries as the dining room collapsed minutes after they had been eating there.

The elderly were given temporary shelter at the University of the North West and other was taken home by family members.

An investigation is underway to establish the cause of the collapse.

No one was injured during the incident.

Deadline for the Protection of Information Bill drafting extended

Lusanda Bill
29 January 2011

The committee that has been tasked with drafting the Protection of Information Bill has been given another two months to get the bill completed.

Yesterday was the last day for the committee to report to Parliament on the Secrecy Bill.

The chairperson of the committee Cecil Burgess says they have until the end of March to fix the heavily-criticised piece of legislation.

The Democratic Alliance has welcomed the extension.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Petrol price to increase next week

Lusanda Bill
28 January 2011

Motorists must expect another petrol hike next week.

The Energy Department has confirmed that the price of all grades of petrol will rise by 26-cents a litre next week.

Diesel will cost between 30- and 32-cents more, the price of illuminating paraffin will go up by up to 42-cents and LP gas’ price will go up by 41-cent.

This hike is reported to be the second highest hike in row.

This hike next week has been caused by the weakened Rand against the dollar in the past month.

Former President Nelson Mandela discharged from hospital

Lusanda Bill
28 January 2011

Former President Nelson Mandela has been discharged from the Milpark Hospital and he has been taken to his home in Houghton in Johannesburg.

He recently suffered from an acute respiratory infection but responded well to treatment.

South African Surgeon-General Vijay Ramlakan confirmed in a press conference this afternoon, that former president Nelson Mandela has undergone routine tests, in accordance with his health history and age.

Mandela will be receiving home based care and will be monitored closely by medical staff.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation received over 10-thousand messages of support from all corners of the world in the past few days.

South African Surgeon-General Vijay Ramlakan and Acting President Kgalema Motlanthe appealed for Mandela’s privacy to be respected.

Drugs worth R70 000 seized on W.Cape roads

By Kim Saulse
28 January 2011

Provincial traffic officers and police clamped down on several drug trafficking operations on provincial roads this week, seizing drugs with a collective street value of over R70 000.

Minister for Community Safety, Albert Fritz, says operations were targeted on the N1 near Beaufort West, which is emerging as an entry point for drug trade in the province.

The success of these busts, has led to similar operations on the N2, N7 and R27.

Fritz has vowed to intensify these operations and put an end to drug trafficking on major routes.

“We have now intensified our law enforcement operations to stop the distribution of drugs to our young people in the Western Cape. We take this very seriously and will continue to intensify all the time,” says Fritz.

Suspect arrested for murder of Sea Point woman

By Kim Saulse
28 January 2011

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of a 26 year old woman, whose body was found in her flat in Main Road, Sea Point on Wednesday evening.

Warrant Officer November Filander says the arrest follows after the accused was released on bail from Pollsmoor Prison for the rape of another woman on Monday.

Filander says it has emerged that the suspect is the owner of the flat.

The deceased, who has been identified as 26 year old Desirè Davids from Delft, sustained multiple stab wounds to the body.

Investigations into the circumstances that led to her death are ongoing.

Drugs worth R64 000 seized in Athlone

By Kim Saulse
28 January 2011

Two suspects will appear in the Athlone Magistrates Court today after police confiscated drugs at their Belgravia residence in Athlone.

Mandrax tablets worth an estimated street value of R64 000, tik and 8 x 357 magnum rounds of ammunition were seized.

The police’s Ian Bennett says the arrests were made after the police’s Tactical Response Team and Crime Intelligence Unit executed a search warrant.

AfriForum concerned about FSU

28 January 2011
By Lelethu Mquqo

AfriForum Youth expressed deep concern that its members have been banned from conducting a survey at the Free State University.

The survey was concerning management’s decision to remove the word “God” from the institution’s motto.

Student Dean, Rudi Buys, reportedly threatened to have students arrested if the survey was published.

AfriForum’s Ernst Roets says they view the Institution’s conduct as undemocratic and oppressive.

Regional medical parole board could be set up by the Department of Correctional Services

Lusanda Bill
28 January 2011

The Department of Correctional Services wants to set up a regional medical parole boards.

Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative spokesperson Clare Ballard said immediate changes needed to be made “to remedy the problem whereby inexperienced doctors are attending to potential medical parolees."

The Correctional Matters Amendment Bill is currently before Parliament.

The Bill sets to make clear when are prisoners qualified to be released from jail due to health reasons.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blue Bulls case of a murder plot postponed

Lusanda Bill
27 January 2011

The case against Manda Reyneke the woman accused of trying to kill Blue Bulls rugby player Deon Helberg last year ha been postponed.

The 26-year-old appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today.

Manda Reyneke allegedly hired two hitmen to kill Helberg, who is 26-years her junior, after he broke off their relationship.

The case has been postponed until the 25th of February for further investigation.

Rape accused wanted by police

By Kim Saulse
27 January 2010

Police are seeking public assistance in tracing 28 year old Ikeraam Jacobs who is wanted for rape.

Jacobs was found guilty of rape early last year in the Wynberg Magistrates Court but failed to appear for his sentencing after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Warrant Officer November Filander says the suspect has managed to evade capture but it is believed he could be in the Wellington or Mitchells Plain area.

“The accused has so far managed to evade the detectives as he moves around a lot and its believe he shaved his head bold to disguise his image. The accused is 28 years old and is 1.7m tall.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Mitchell on 082 522 1085 or 021 467 6002.

Three nabbed for Wynberg shooting incident

By Kim Saulse
27 January 2010

Police are investigating cases of attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition following a shoot out in Wynberg that left two injured earlier today.

The police’s November Filander says the shoot out ensued between occupants travelling in two separate vehicles on Mybeck road in the area.

“During this crossfire one bystander was wounded in his right upper arm and another person frayed both his knees in his attempt to seek cover,” says Filander.

Police managed to arrest three suspects and recovered a 9mm pistol in their possession at the corner of Pearce and Lipton Street in Wynberg.

Filander says police have not ruled out the possibility that the incident might be gang related.

The three suspects, who reside in Lavender Hill and Steenberg, will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court soon.

Body found in Sea Point flat

By Kim Saulse
27 January 2010

Police are investigating a case of murder after the body of a Sea Point woman was discovered in her flat.

Inspector November Filander says neighbours alerted police of a stench coming from the deceased’s flat.

Filander says the woman, who has not yet been identified, sustained multiple stab wounds.

“When police arrived, they found the body of a female with a plastic bag over her head with multiple stab wounds to her body,” said Filander.

No arrests have been yet as police investigations continue.

12-year-old collapses and dies during athletics training

Lusanda Bill
27 January 2011

Emmanuel Maroga a 12-year-old boy from Steelpoort Primary School in Limpopo has died, after collapsing on the athletics field.

Maroga was one of the top long-distance athletes in his school.

He was training for an event called the Mariepskop which will be taking place on Saturday, when he collapsed.

Principal Anton Alberts said “teachers who saw Maroga collapsing immediately carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after finding no pulse. After continued resuscitation, he had a weak pulse, but died thereafter”.

When emergency services arrived on the scene the boy had already died.

The cause of his death is still not known.

Ninth suspect arrested for involvement in child porn syndicate

By Kim Saulse
27 January 2011

A ninth suspect has been arrested in Hammanskraal in Gauteng for her alleged involvement in a child porn syndicate exposed at the end of last year.

The 31 year old, believed to be the wife of one of the nine suspects, was arrested early this morning at her work place.

The latest suspect, together with the other eight who stand accused, will appear in the Pretoria North Regional Court tomorrow on charges of possession, production and distribution of pornographic material.

The first eight suspects were apprehended in December during a police raid in Pretoria North.

North West schools reopen after floods

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 January 2011

A number of schools in the North West have reopened after flooding forced their closure.

However, the provincial education department says lessons can still not take place in the Tlapeng and Mmammutla villages.

Pupils could also not get to school in Bethlehem in the Free State yesterday.

People living near the Crocodile River in Mpumalanga have now been warned to be cautious of rising water levels.

In Limpopo, the National Defence Force is providing humanitarian assistance to flood victims in the Vhembe District Municipality.

Panic about Madiba’s health calmed

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 January 2011

News that President Jacob Zuma is not rushing home from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, despite former president Nelson Mandela being admitted to hospital, has calmed some of the panic about the elderly statesman’s health.

Local and international journalists rushed to Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital when the news about Madiba broke.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation insists that, despite the 92-year-old Mandela being weak, he is only undergoing routine tests.

Several members of his family visited him in hospital yesterday.

Education department in the Eastern Cape denying allegations made by SADTU

Lusanda Bill
27 January 2011

The Basic Education Department of the Eastern Cape has denied that the schooling system in the province is facing collapse.

Department spokesperson, Loyiso Pulumani, admits however that they are facing numerous problems due to a lack of funds.

The South African Democratic Teacher’s Union, has stated in a statement that 1 130 Section 20 schools have not received learner materials due to alleged fraud in the tendering processes.

Pulumani says SADTU which made the claims, is up in arms because the Department has not renewed term teacher contracts.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Government called to set up a commission of enquiry to investigate the SABC

Lusanda Bill
26 January 2011

Government has been called by the National Press Club to set up a commission of enquiry to investigate the SABC.

On Tuesday the South Gauteng High Court ruled that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa should reopen its investigation into affairs at the corporation.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA stated that the ruling by the court was a victory for the public.

Press Club Chairperson Yusaf Abramjee says the public broadcaster has been weighed down for far too long.

New TB strategy to be rolled out in February

Lusanda Bill
26 January 2011

The Health Department is changing its approach in combating TB.

The department want to go out and find patients instead of waiting for patients to come to clinics and hospitals.

David Mametja from the health department's TB control and management unit said "We want to move beyond clinics and hospitals and start looking for TB in the households".

South Africa is the third country in the world to be TB burden behind India and China.

TB kills more South Africans than any other condition.

The new strategy by the health department is expected to be rolled out in February.

Porn ring arrests now at 9

By Jurina Nkwazi
26 January 2011

A 30-year-old woman has been arrested for her involvement in the Pretoria child porn ring.

This morning’s arrest has brought the total to 9 in what is believed to be South Africa’s biggest child porn manufacturing ring in history.

In December, Gauteng police raided four homes in and discovered that six children, from the age of about 4 were used for sex videos.

A family of eight were arrested and the latest arrest is also a family member.

Social workers became suspicious after two foster children who were removed from the families in March and October last year started performing poorly at school.

NSRI finds missing fisherman

By Jurina Nkwazi
26 January 2011

The National Sea Rescue Institute says the four fishermen who got lost in thick fog in Paternoster on Tuesday have been found.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said, “They were found off shore of the Cape Columbine lighthouse.”

None of the fishermen were injured.

“The search was hampered by the thick fog and they had no radar capabilities because there were no metro on board,” he said.

The men lost their way in the mist yesterday afternoon.

Tax payers won’t pay more for renaming of prisons

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 January 2011

Correctional Services says taxpayers will not be paying too much for the renaming of 11 of the country’s prisons.

The aim of the renaming is to honour freedom fighters who were held in these prisons during the apartheid years.

Minister of Correctional Services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, says an official announcement will be made at a launch in March this year.

Departmental spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga gives the assurance that tax money won’t be wasted.

Sadtu in the EC says education system is on the verge of collapsing

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 January 2011

The South African Democratic Teachers Union in the Eastern Cape says the province’s education system is on the verge of collapsing.

According to Sadtu, thousands of learners are unable to get to schools due to the suspension of scholar transport.

The school nutrition programme which is the only source of a meal for many learners has been suspended.

Temporary teachers’ contracts have not been renewed and more than a thousand schools have not received learner materials due to alleged fraud in the tendering processes.

The union has called for drastic intervention.

Country counts damage caused by floods

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 January 2011

According to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the floods have so far caused damage estimated at R356 million.

Regarding agriculture, damages are estimated at more than R2 billion.

A number of farmers in the Free State, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are said to be on the verge of giving up.

Government however has pledged to come to the rescue of farmers whose crops and infrastructure have been damaged.

It cannot provide financial assistance, but will help with seed, fertilizer and infrastructure such as canals and pipelines.

Paupers in South Africa will burry French couple

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 January 2011

The Hawks say the French couple who died in the Karoo last week will be buried as paupers in South Africa.

Spokesperson McIntosh Polela says the French embassy will not take responsibility for the burial.

Philippe Menière and Agnes Jardel died in a shootout with police last week after being on the run for six days.

They were being sought for allegedly shooting dead student Constable Jacob Boleme and wounding Warrant Officer Glenwell du Toit.

R150 million project to tackle potholes in the country

Lusanda Bill
26 January 2011

In March 2011 government is planning on a project which will cost R150 million to tackle potholes.

Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said yesterday "Our roads are in an undesirable state, most of them have potholes".

The project is estimated to create about 14 000 jobs and the project will begin in Sandton.

She also added that the money is not enough but said “We will never get anywhere if we wait for the millions needed."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finance Department calling on South Africans to give tips on how tax money should be spent

Lusanda Bill
25 January 2011

South Africans are once again asked to give suggestion on how they would like their tax money to be spent by the state.

The Finance Department said South Africans could submit tips for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, as the annual budget speech is coming up.

Treasury spokesperson Lindani Mbunyuza said “These tips are tested in the Treasury. They are read by Treasury officials and the minister. We want to know whether the suggestions that people give us can be utilised”.

Some of the suggestions given could be incorporated in the budget speech.

Inspection shows the Western Cape has a compliance rate of 48 percent

Lusanda Bill
25 January 2011

The Western Cape has been declared by the Department of Labour that its Domestic Sector Compliance is not yet ideal.

The Western Cape labour inspectors inspected 215 households across the province, with only 103 meeting the terms of the labour laws.

The results from the inspection showed that the Western Cape has a compliance rate of 48 percent.

Labour Provincial Spokesperson Temba Gubula says the labour department will do a follow up inspection in February, to make sure employers comply with the labour laws.

The National Freedom Party a new breakaway party from IFP launched

Lusanda Bill
25 January 2011

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s has split and a breakaway party has been launched.

Former national chairperson of the IFP Zanele Magwaza-Msibi unveiled a new political party the National Freedom Party at the Durban City Hall today.

She has been elected to lead the new party and the party has also been registered with the Independent Electoral Commission.

The National Freedom Party (NFP) will be contesting the upcoming local government elections.

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s President Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he feels sad, betrayed and disappointed over Zanele Magwaza-Msibi move.

He also stated that the split in the IFP is driven by personal ambitions.

Abalone suspects to appear in court

By Jurina Nkwazi
25 January 2011

Two abalone suspects who face charges for the illegal possession of abalone are expected to appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court in Cape Town today.

Spokesman Captain Frederick Van Zyl said, “A high-speed chase ensued from Gordon's Bay to Mitchells Plain where abalone worth R1, 5-million was seized.

Almost 7 235 shucked abalone in 42 bags were found stashed in the car.

Pupils still waiting for textbooks

Lusanda Bill
25 January 2011

The 2011 schooling has started and millions of pupils in primary school still have not received their basic literacy and numeracy workbooks.

Many schools especially in the rural areas have lost teaching time because of the essential teaching books that are needed.

Andries Makalela, principal of Agonkitse Primary, a rural school about 75km from Rustenburg, in North West, said his teachers were being forced to improvise because the school had not received its workbooks.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga stated that the literacy and numeracy workbooks are the most effective tool for teaching.

Granville Whittle, the basic education spokesman, said that about 37% of the 11.8million workbooks had not been delivered to 19000 schools by Friday, almost two weeks into the school term for inland schools.

Another price hike to hit SA

By Jurina Nkwazi
25 January 2011

According to analysts motorists can expect another fuel price increase to hit South Africa next week.

We could see petrol prices rising by 26-cents and diesel prices by 29-cents-a-litre effective next Wednesday.

The announcement will be made on Friday.

Analysts say if international oil prices and the Rand exchange rate stay on their current levels, petrol prices in the interior could top nine-Rands-a-litre for the first time since October 2008.

Parliament wants to know who runs Cope

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 January 2011

Parliament has asked the Congress of the People to sort out who is in charge of the party.

In a statement the National Assembly says it wants to know before Parliament open in the middle of next month whether Mosiuoa Lekota or Mbhazima Shilowa is Cope’s official leader.

In December, the body received a letter from Lekota which said the leadership structure of Cope, as elected in 2008, would continue.

But this month, Shilowa informed Parliament he had been elected president at an elective conference held in December.

Potgieter family murder case postponed again

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 January 2011

The case against five men and a minor charged with the murder of the Potgieter family on their Free State farm has been postponed again.

The suspects, who have been denied bail will appear in the Lindley Magistrate's Court again on the 31st of this month.

Attie Potgieter, his wife Wilma and their three-year-old daughter Willemien were found brutally murdered on the 2nd of December.

Little Willemien has since become the face of farm murders in South Africa.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Audio: Tributes to Johnny Issel

Many prominent activists and politicians attended the funeral of Johnny Issel this morning.

Issel was was one of the organisers in South Africa's struggle against apartheid and past away yesterday after a short illness.

He was a teacher, a student activist, a trade union and community organiser and one of the founders of Grassroots Newspaper and the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Bush Radio recorded tributes from various individuals including his daughter Leila Issel, former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel and cleric, Allan Boesak.

The audio is available on the Bush Radio blog (


Death toll in mines rises to nine this month

Lusanda Bill
24 January 2011

The death toll in the country’s mines has risen to nine in this month alone.

The National Union of Mineworkers has warned the Chamber of Mines of serious consequences, should it continue to talk about improved safety when breadwinners are lost in largely preventable accidents.

Two mineworkers died this weekend one died at Samancor Millsell after falling while working in the mine, and another one died at Angloplatinum when a rock fell on him.

Lesiba Seshoka National Spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers says more needs to be done to ensure safety in the mines.

Drugs worth R1 mill found in Beaufort West

By Jurina Nkwazi
24 January 2011

The traffic department has again seized dagga worth almost R1 million on the N1 highway near Beaufort West over the weekend.

A delivery van was pulled over during road blocks in the province.

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said, “Dagga to the value of R875,000 was confiscated.”
Two people were arrested.

Last week three people were arrested in connection with a R19 million drug bust.

Registered taxpayers increase

By Jurina Nkwazi
24 January 2011

According to the South African Institute of Race Relations the total number of registered individual taxpayers in South Africa grew from 3.4 million in 2002/03 to 5.9 million in 2009/10.

The Institute’s Marius Roodt, said, “The increase in the number of individual tax payers was good news. ‘At the same time, however, wastage and corruption within the Government and its various departments are a cause for concern, and there is no guarantee that revenue is spent wisely.”

Roodt added that although the total contribution of personal income tax payers was the single highest, it contributed only a third of total revenue that the Government received from tax.

Companies registered for tax grew from 815 000 in 2002/03 to 1.9 million in 2009/10.

Whereas Trusts grew from 255 000 in 2002/03 to 332 000 in 2009/10.

Employers registered for pay-as-you-earn tax grew from 253 000 to 396 000 between 2002/03 and 2009/10, an increase of 57% and Value-added-tax grew from 506 000 in 2002/03 to 686 000 in 2009/10.

New police recruits begin training today

Lusanda Bill
24 January 2011

Over 5,000 new police recruits started their training today all over the country.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced last year that recruits had to undergo a full year of basic training as opposed to just six months, as was previously the arrangement.

The Police Minister welcomed 2,000 recruits to the Police Training College in Pretoria West today.

Mthethwa said “If an individual is recruited from your community and you as a member of the community know that this person does not fit the bill of the kind of cadre of cop we want, we are able to eradicate those”.

Johhny Issel dies

By Jurina Nkwazi
24 January 2011

Freedom fighter Johnny Issel died on Sunday at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

Issel was a member of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association and the founding members of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1983.

He was known for criticizing the values of post-apartheid South Africa.

MKMVA provincial secretary Desmond Stevens said, "Today the MKMVA in Western Cape dip our revolutionary banner in memory of comrade Johnny Issel who died on January 23.”

"Johnny Issel has his place forever in the people's gallery of liberation fighters who fought for and sacrificed so much for our freedom.

"We call on all the progressive people in the Western Cape to honour comrade Johnny’s memory in building a strong united and non-racial ANC, who will work tirelessly to eradicate poverty, hunger and underdevelopment," Stevens said.

Concerns about overcrowding at the George Mukhari neonatal ward

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 January 2011

The Democratic Alliance has raised serious concerns about overcrowding at the George Mukhari neonatal ward outside Pretoria.

It is alleged that says only three professional nurses are caring for 15 critically ill babies.

Last year six premature babies died at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic hospital.

DA spokesperson Jack Bloom says the situation at George Mukhari is nearing crisis point.

More money needed for flood relief

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 January 2010

Government says it needs an additional R20 million for flood relief in several provinces.

The Social Development has joined forces with the private sector and civil society in its relief efforts.

At least five-thousand families affected by the floods are still in need of help.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says a task team has been set up to deal with the crisis

Dlamini says the focus this week will be on the Northern Cape.

It is one of the provinces with the least access to resources.

R5 million is being processed for KwaZulu-Natal, where 88 of the more than 100 flood deaths have occurred.

Provincial Development Council to be scraped

Lusanda Bill
24 January 2011

The Provincial Development Council will be removed by the Western Cape government.

The council was put in place to discuss issues affecting development in the Western Cape.

Western Cape Economic Development MEC Alan Winde said scrapping the body is the right thing to do.

The Democratic Alliance insisted the structure was ineffective, while the South African National NGO Coalition has criticised the move.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gauteng education to strengthen the teaching of literacy

Lusanda Bill
23 January 2011

Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy announced yesterday that measures were in place to strengthen the teaching of literacy in the province.

Creecy was speaking to more than 7,000 primary school teachers in Johannesburg.

Gauteng province would like to increase the literacy and numeracy pass rate to 65 percent by 2014.

Teaching material in 2011 has been made simpler to assist in the classrooms.

Barbara Creecy also stated that primary school teachers would receive all the assistance they need to teach basic literacy properly.

A 9-year-old girl dies after a wall collapsed on top of her

Lusanda Bill
23 January 2011

A 9-year-old girl has died in the Masiphumelele informal settlement in Cape Town.

A wall collapsed on four informal structures while the people inside the shacks were asleep. The young girl was trapped under the wall that collapsed.

Disaster risk management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes says a preliminary investigation conducted by a city building inspector, has revealed that the owner of the small holding had erected the wall in an incorrect manner.

It is also believed that a gale force wind contributed to the accident.

Two reservist constables arrested in Cape Town

Lusanda Bill
23 January 2011

Cape Town police have arrested two reservist constables.

It is alleged that the reservists threatened the accuser and demanded cash from him.

The two constables went with the man to an ATM at St George’s mall and withdrawn R900 from the man’s account.

By the help of a CCTV-footage the police could then identify the two reservist constables.

Police have now opened an investigation of extortion.

Cope’s main concern is the upcoming government election

Lusanda Bill
23 January 2011

The Congress of the People is in chaos ahead of elections, with fighting over who is the leader of the party.

The National Committee of Cope had a meeting yesterday, whereby the members ensured necessary measures will be taken to ensure the party's success in the upcoming local government elections.

Cope's spokesperson Phillip Dexter, says the meeting discussed various important issues, following the sabotaged National Elective Congress held in December.

At the meeting it was also discussed that the national congress of the party will be reconvened as soon as the necessary steps had been taken to stabilise structures of the party.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Autopsy to be performed on the French couple killed in Sutherland

Lusanda Bill
22 January 2011

An autopsy is to be performed on the French couple who were killed in a shoot-out with police on a farm in Sutherland in the Northern Cape this week.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said the French embassy has offered to help.

Phillipe Meniere and Agnis Jardel’s have been accused of killing a policeman and wounded another.

The couple were also suspected to be part of a survivalist cult.

A murder investigation underway in Cape Town

Lusanda Bill
22 January 2011

Cape Town police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder.

This is after a 29-year-old man was killed and his friend wounded in a shooting in Bonteheuwel yesterday.

The 29-year-old and his friends were visiting a house, while on the direction of the nearby railway station, a group of men opened fire.

The man was shot numerous times and died on the scene and one of his friend was also shot and wounded.

Investigation into eight police official who stole alcohol from an SAB truck

Lusanda Bill
22 January 2011

An investigation is being launched by the Johannesburg Metro Police department into eight police officials who allegedly stole alcohol from an overturned truck in the North West.

The eight officials stole alcohol from an SAB truck that overturned on the N12 highway on Thursday.

They were all arrested and were granted bail of one-thousand-Rands each.

All the eight official will now reappear in the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court next month.

SA flood death toll now at 70

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 January 2011

South Africa’s recent flooding has claimed the lives of 70 people.

About 8-thousand-four-hundred families were displaced and most most of the deaths occurred in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Meanwhile, The United Nations says almost every country in southern Africa is on alert for potential flooding.

Spokesperson for the UN's Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, Elisabeth Byrs, says flash floods are common in this part of Africa and the rainfall this year is heavier than in the past.

Illegal immigrants found on Mozambican border

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 January 2011

Almost a hundred of illegal immigrants were discovered on a farm near the Komati River on the Mozambican border.

Earlier this week, Lionel Eva found 96 immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India on his farm.

It is alleged that the immigrants were transported in an illegal manner across the border between South Africa and Mozambique.

Eva says, “Only some of the immigrants had passports while others had contact numbers for family members in South Africa.”

Derby-Lewis to be hospitalised

By Jurina Nkwazi
22 January 2011

75-year-old Clive Derby-Lewis who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Chris Hani would need to be hospitalised next month for seven weeks as his cancer is taking its toll.

According to his latest oncology report he would also have to attend daily radiotherapy for almost a month.

The hope is that Derby-Lewis will be granted parole since he’s been denied parole in 2007 and 2010.

His lawyer Marius Coertze says his client learned on Friday that his prostate cancer was aggressive.

He confessed to his role in Chris Hani's assassination to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ramtha School of Enlightenment distance themselves from French couple's actions

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 January 2011

The Ramtha School of Enlightenment has distanced itself from the actions of the French couple shot dead on a Karoo farm yesterday.

In a statement the RSE’s founder JZ Knight admits that Philippe Meniére and Agnes Jardel attended several of its courses before 2004.

But the school, based in the United States, says they do not condone violence.

Knight expressed condolences to the family of 27-year-old Constable Jacob Boleme, who was shot dead, and 42-year-old Warrant Officer Glenwall du Toit, who was wounded in a confrontation with the couple on a Sutherland farm a week ago.

Missing Child Alert:

Johannesburg warned of more power disruptions

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 January 2011

Municipal workers have warned that Johannesburg residents can expect service disruptions until City Power pays them the performance bonuses they should have received in October.

South African Municipal Workers Union’s members have restarted protesting in support of their demands.

The union says City Power’s revenue increased substantially last year, meaning there is no reason why workers can’t be given what they were promised.

Samwu also wants the City of Johannesburg to intervene.

Three die two Durban taxi accidents

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 January 2011

Three people have died in two separate incidents in Durban this morning.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha "Two taxi commuters were killed while the driver escaped with minor injuries after slamming into the rear of a stationary truck at the intersection of Sarnia road and Alfa crescent this morning just before 05:00."

“The two passengers were trapped in the wreckage and the driver was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries,” he said.

The cause of the accident is not yet known

In another incident, a 76-year old jogger was killed when he was hit by a minibus taxi in Pietermaritzburg.

Botha said, “The man went jogging along Table Mountain road in Pietermaritzburg early this morning at around when a taxi hurtled down the road and smashed into the jogger."

He died due to extensive injuries.

No word from Cele’s office over R50 million lawsuit

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 January 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele’s office has not yet responded to British journalist Simon Wright’s plans to sue the Minister of Police for 50-million-Rands.

It is alleged that Wright put up soccer fan Pavlos Joseph who was found in the England team’s dressing room at the Cape Town Stadium during the 2010 Soccer World Cup

Wright was arrested and Cele reportedly accused him of conspiring to put South African security in a bad light.

Repo rate in line with analyst’s prediction

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 January 2011

Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus announced yesterday that the repo rate would remain at a thirty-year low of five-and-a-half-percent.

Marcus said the inflation risk has increased.

Meanwhile, analysts say the repo rate is in line with their expectations.

Economist Azar Jammine said that the economy is doing quite well so far.

Police officers arrested for stealing alcohol

By Jurina Nkwazi
21 January 2011

Eight Gauteng metro police members were arrested after being caught stealing alcohol which had fallen from an SA Breweries truck.

The accident happened on the N12 outside Potchefstroom yesterday when the officials loaded bottles of alcohol into their vehicles.

The driver of the truck had summoned the metro police after motorists had alerted him to the pallets falling of his vehicle.

They will appear in the Potchefstroom Magistrate’s Court in North West.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pressure on the SABC

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 January 2010

Pressure is rising on the South African Broadcasting Corporation to reveal the details about the amount paid out to former chief executive, Solly Mokoetle.

The public broadcaster yesterday said Mokoetle would not receive a golden handshake when he announced his immediate departure.

Reports say however that he will receive as much as 30-million-Rands.

The Democratic Alliance says the SABC has no right to keep the details secret as it is funded by the public.

Mokoetle held the position as group CEO for just six-months.

Fedusa calls for interest rate cut

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 January 2010

The Federation of Unions of South Africa has called for a 50 basis points drop in the repo rate.

South African Reserve Bank Governor, Gill Marcus, is expected to make an announcement about the rate later today

Economists say that the rate, which is currently sitting at 5.5%, will not be changed.

Fedusa general secretary, Dennis George, says the Reserve Bank should lower the rate further to stimulate the economy.

Consumers encouraged to pay off their debt

By Jurina Nkwazi
20 Jurina 2011

Economist Merina Willemse is cautioning people not to overspend, but rather to settle outstanding debt.

As the Reserve Bank is expected to announce the repo rate later today consumers have been encouraged to pay off their debt while the interest rate is still at a low.

The repo rate is currently at 5-point-5-percent while the prime lending rate is nine-percent.

Willemse says they do not foresee a cut in the repo rate.

Meanwhile, The Democratic Alliance has also stated that it does not believe that the Reserve Bank will change the repo rate.

The DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance Dr Dion George sad, “There is a lot of inflation pressure in our economy especially with fuel, utility and food increases. Therefore we consideration must manage inflation.”

“Unless the economy is stimulated slightly there will be an increase of pressure in inflation,” he said.

Teen mom to appear in court for strangling her baby

By Jurina Nkwazi
20 January 2011

A 17-year-old mom facing murder charges after allegedly strangling her daughter is expected to appear in the Butterworth Magistrate's Court today.

Captain Jackson Manatha said, “She was arrested on Wednesday and appeared in court on the same day.”

It is alleged that she strangled her daughter on Saturday after she had an argument with her mother over the baby.

Chinese people threatened in North West

By Jurina Nkwazi
20 January 2011

Media reports state that outraged North West residents have been threatening Chinese people operating businesses.

This came about after a 22-year-old man was allegedly attacked by two Chinese people for shoplifting from one of their shops.

The man who is now in hospital was charged with theft. He will make a court appearance once discharged from hospital.

The Chinese men appeared in court last week on charges of intent to do grievous bodily harm and were released on a warning to reappear before court on January 21.

Meanwhile, Acting public safety MEC Magome Masike said, "They condemn alleged xenophobic attacks on Chinese businessmen by residents of Madibogo village in the North West province are an exaggeration of a moderately tense situation."

Bus driver arrested for overloading

By Jurina Nkwazi
20 January 2011

A 53-year-old man bus driver was arrested for transporting 116 school children in a vehicle designed for 62 passengers on Wednesday.

Captain Bernadine Steyn said, “Traffic authorities saw the vehicle was overloaded and pulled him off the road. He was transferring passengers from school,"

He was charged with overloading and will appear in court later this month.

Quarterly reviews to intensify in the provincial departments and state-owned enterprises

Lusanda Bill
20 January 2011

Quarterly reviews of mismanaged provincial departments and state-owned enterprises are on they way, the Auditor-General Terence Nombembe announced yesterday.

Terence Nombembe said “Instead of coming and reviewing them in a bundle at the end of the year we will confirm that, for instance, the accounting officers are looking at what they should be looking at.

Most of the issues that we’re highlighting here are coming about because of basic disciplines not being in place.”

Wasteful expenditure in the public entities came to over R116 million in the years 2009 and 2010.

Nombembe stated that although quarterly reviews will create an overload in the work, it is necessary.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sentencing of Umzinto Sugar Cane serial killer welcomed

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

The sentencing of Thozamile Taki has been welcomed by many across the country.

Thozamile Taki was convicted of killing 13 women and dumping their bodies in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

The Durban High Court has sentenced Taki to life imprisonment for each of the 13 murders and 16 years for each of the 13 counts of robbery.

The Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities released a statement saying “We commend the investigating team and prosecutors for the sterling work done to ensure successful conviction in this case and we urge them to continue with this great work on other cases of violence against women”.

The Congress of South African Trade Union in Kwa-Zulu Natal also released a statement saying “As COASTU we are very much encouraged by this sentence to continue with our 365 days campaign of no violence against women and children. We thank our members, the leadership of the Alliance and the ANCWL. We extend our words of comfort to the families of the victims but do hope that justice has been done, though their loved ones will never return”.

ANCYL Julius Malema hate speech court case postponed

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

The hate speech against ANC Youth League President Julius Malema has been postponed again by the Equality Court in Johannesburg.

A confusion over email address for correspondence sent to Malema's legal team caused papers not to be filed on time which has caused the postponement.

Julius Malema has now been given until Monday by Judge Collin Lamont to file the papers.

The complaint was lodged by AfriForum because of Malema’s continued use of the "Shoot the Boer" slogan.

The court case will now resume in April.

SABC CEO Solly Mokoetle has resigned

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

Suspended chief executive officer Solly Mokoetle has resigned with immediate effect, the SABC has just announced.

Mokoetle was suspended because of not presenting a turn-around scheme for the SABC and for creating debate over the appointment of Phil Molefe as head of news.

The SABC has stated that all disagreement between Mokoetle and the corporation’s board have been sorted out.

The corporation refused to reveal the conditions of Solly Mokoetle resignation.

Commuters in Cape Town angry at the increase of taxi fare after 8pm

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

Cape Town commuters are up in arms over some taxi drivers increasing the taxi fare after 8pm.

Commuters say they are being exploited and that divers are doing this for their own pockets.

The Western Cape Taxi Council has defended taxi operators for the increase in taxi fare and said the money went to regulators who worked overtime.

Council spokesperson Mvuyise Mente said drivers were allowed to increase their fares as regulators must be compensated.

Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said he wanted to see the city’s busses and trains extend their services so they could stop the after hours monopoly of taxis.

A student in Cape Town tries to commit suicide after failing matric

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

Neliswa Mpongwana from Gardens Commercial High School in Cape Town tried to commit suicide after she failed matric.

Mpongwana failed because she obtained 39 percent in English.

Her mother Nomathamsanqa Mpongwana found her on her way to committing suicide and took her back home.

After the incident Neliswa’s mother went to the education department and demanded a re-mark in front of her.

Paddy Attwell Director of Communications in the Education Department confirmed that Neliswa Mpongwana, had indeed failed matric.

Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal lose R463 for housing

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

The Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal have had R463 million taken from them, by the Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale for failing to deliver.

The Free State will lose R263 million and KwaZulu-Natal R200 million.

The money has been moved to Limpopo and Northern Cape, two provinces that delivered on their targets.

Two other provinces that were also on the list for not meeting their targets, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape are on the watch list and will be monitored.

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said "It is important to note that the R463million will be used to contribute directly to the housing backlog and the needs of the poor rather than being rolled-over and/or returned to National Treasury."

Seven-year-old girl killed by bus

By Jurina Nkwazi
19 January 2011

Durban paramedics say a seven-year-old girl was hit and killed by a bus in Pinetown this morning.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha says, “It is believed that it was her first day of school.”

"She was killed by a passenger bus at the intersection of Blair Athol and Nipper roads in Pinetown and then landed under its wheels."

Botha said,"She died due to the extensive injuries that she had sustained."

6-year-old dies after jumping from a 10-storey building

Lusanda Bill
19 January 2011

A 6-year-old epileptic boy fell from the second floor of a 10-storey school building and died.

Katlego Nkabinde had just started his new school at Providence Academy in Johannesburg, and had celebrated his birthday ten days ago.

It is alleged that the 6-year-old boy went into a classroom on the second floor, put a chair by the window, climbed onto the chair and fell to his death.

Providence Academy principal Brighton Sikwili said: "It is hard when people entrust their children to you and this sort of thing happens”.

Gauteng department of education spokesperson Charles Phahlane said, "We will send a team to investigate whether the school is compliant with its registration terms, including municipal by-laws. They should have a health and a fire certificate."

Missing Person Alert: Jackie de Beer

Coastal provinces back at school

By Jurina Nkwazi
19 January 2011

South Africa’s coastal provinces will be starting their academic year today.

The Eastern and Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of the Western Cape schools that chose not to open on Monday will be back at school.

It appears as if those who were back on Monday will most probably have a longer break during the April holidays.

Drugs worth R6-million seized in Beaufort West

By Jurina Nkwazi
19 January 2011

Beaufort West police have seized drugs to the value of R6-million during a road block.

Two Tanzanian’s were arrested after two bags containing 20 kg of dagga worth R20 000 were found inside their vehicle.

The men will appear in the Beaufort West Magistrates’ court soon.

In another incident, a sports bag containing 7 kg Heroin with an estimated street value of R6 million and 950 Mandrax tablets with worth R47 500-00 was found in the luggage compartment of a Volvo bus.

Meanwhile, four boxes of Khat were found in the luggage compartment of a Mercedes bus.

Missing Person Alert: Kirsten Muller

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Home owners around Cape Town compliant regarding labour laws

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 January 2011

Provincial Department Labour inspectors have given of home owners in the Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt have been given a clean sheet.

Provincial Department chief director, Teboho Thejane says the first day of inspections showed residents in the area were compliant with labour laws regarding domestic workers.

Many were found to be treating their domestic workers very well, some even paying their workers’ children’s school and university fees.

Inspectors will visit Constantia, Pinelands and several other suburbs over the course of this week.

Department optimistic that it will reach deadline

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 January 2011

According to the Department of Home Affair, they have received at least 58 100 Zimbabwean applications for passports.

Out of these, 16 427 have already been issued.

Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni says an estimated 350 applicants wanting to legalise their stay in the country per day don’t have a passports.

The department is optimistic that it will achieve the June 30 deadline put for the documentation of Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

Foreign Nationals arrested in Laingsburg for piracy

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 January 2011

Two foreign nationals accused for being in possession of pirated DVD’s were sentenced in the Laingsburg Magistrate Court yesterday.

Police officials say they acted on a tip-off received from the community and found the men selling 216 pirated DVD’s at R20 each.

The men were allegedly travelling from Cape Town.

John Kriss from Burundi and Iddy Mbarakus from Tanzania were sentenced to 3 years imprisonment with an option of a three thousand rand for each of them.

Cape weapons cache suspect identified

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 January 2011

The Western Cape police have confirmed that the suspect arrested in connection with a weapons cache in Durbanville last week is a former policeman.

The cache included explosives, firearms, and ammunition at the farm.

The 59-year-old man is hospital under police observation as he recently underwent a back operation.

It remains unclear if the weapons can be linked to any robberies in the province.

The suspect is also a co-owner of a gun shop in Bellville.

Fraud charges against Majali dropped

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 January 2010

Fraud charges were finally dropped against controversial businessman Sandile Majali by the Specialised crimes court.

The court dropped the charges after receiving Majaili’s death certificate, who was laid to rest at his home in the Eastern Cape over the weekend.

He was arrested in October last year after he hijacked the directorship of mining company Kalahari Resources along with seven individuals.

Majali was found dead in his room at the Sandton Quatermain Hotel in Johannesburg in December last year.

The cause of his death is still a matter of investigation.

Matric pass rate likely to increase if attending Model C schools

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 January 2011

The Institute of Race Relations says a learner's chances of passing matric will be improved if they attend a former model C school.

The Institute’s Marius Roodt says, “The high percentage pass rate of 98-percent in 2009 is an indication that Model C schools are still better resourced and managed than other schools.”

He says, the matrics with the best results still come from these schools and they can afford to hire more teaches.

Search for French couple continues

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 January 2011

The search for a French couple continues who shot a police officer and wounded another last week on a farm in Sutherland.

The police's Hendrik Swart says, “Philippe Pierre Meniere, a 60-year-old medical doctor and his 55-year-old wife Agnes Jeanne Jardel are on the run after they shot at police and the owner of the farm they were staying on.”

It is alleged that the farmer called on the police to assist him in evicting the couple who were in possession of illegal firearms.

The couple is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Arms cache cases postponed

By Jurina Nkwazi
18 January 2011

Three suspects appeared in court for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition following the arms cache discoveries in Boksburg and Katlehong last week.

Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Mthunzi Mhaga, says Leon Kruger and Juan Cornelius van Dyk appeared in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court and their case has been postponed to 27 January for further investigation.

Meanwhile, Mxolisi Vincent Stoff, the man linked to the arms cache found in Katlehong, appeared in the Germiston Magistrate's Court yesterday and his case was postponed to 20 January for bail application.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fire fighter dies in a rescue operation

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 January 2011

A fire-fighter has lost his life while helping with search and rescue operations in Gauteng’s Midrand.

The 42-year-old man’s canoe apparently overturned while he and a colleague were patrolling flood waters.

He was airlifted to hospital for treatment but paramedics were not able to save him.

The Jukskei and Hennops Rivers broke their banks late last night, causing heavy flooding in the area.

Meanwhile, residents near the Orange River in the Northern Cape are waiting to hear if they are allowed to return to their homes.

At least 400 families were evacuated when water levels on the river rose and flooded nearby farms last week.

DA wants to set record straight regarding mayoral position

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 January 2011

Following recent speculations that Dan Plato was being replaced as Cape Town mayor, the Democratic Alliance says they want to set the record straight regarding the mayoral nomination procedures for the City of Cape Town.

This follows reports that Western Cape Social Development MEC, Patricia de Lille, is being groomed for the Cape Town mayoral position ahead of this year’s local government elections.

Mitchell’s Plain ward councillor Grant Pascoe has also mentioned as a possible candidate following the local government elections later this year.

ANC plans to create 5-million jobs over the next ten years

Lusanda Bill
17 January 2011

African National Congress secretary general, Gwede Mantashe briefed the media today on the ANC's two-day Lekgotla that was held in Johannesburg last week.

Gwede Mantashe said “the party remains confident, that five-million jobs will be created over the next ten-years”.

He called on everybody to come up with practical programmes to create jobs.

Government plans to create jobs in areas such as agriculture, tourism, mining and business services.

An 18-year-old arrested for stabbing his friend to death

Lusanda Bill
17 January 2011

An 18-year-old is expected to appear in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape, for allegedly stabbing his friend to death during an argument.

It is alleged that the 18-year-old and a 17-year-old were drinking in a local tavern when an argument about their manhood started.

Police spokesperson Jackson Manatha said “the 18-year-old fled the scene after he stabbed the 17-year-old”.

Community members caught the 18-year-old who tried to run away and beat him up.

He was eventually arrested by police.

A search continues for seven people believed to have drowned in Centurion floods

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 January 2011

Tshwane rescue personnel are searching for the bodies of to have been swept away by flooding in Centurion.

The Jukskei together with the Hennops Rivers burst their banks late last night.

Several people were rescued after spending most of the night on the roofs of their cars after being swept away by the flood.

Tshwane Community Safety spokesperson William Baloyi says the situation is now under control and they are monitoring water levels very closely.

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80% of schools have began in the Western Cape

Lusanda Bill
17 January 2011

80 percent of schools have opened their doors today and ready for the school year to begin.

The Western Cape Education Department has estimated that almost one million learners will be returning to the classroom this week.

Schools were given the option of opening school today rather than open on Wednesday, in order to close for two days during the long weekend in April.

Education spokesperson Paddy Atwell said “almost all schools completed their preparations for the 2011 school year at the end of last year.”

Education MEC Donald Grant visited the Golden Groove Primary in Claremont to observe the first day of school in 2011.

No problems have been reported so far.

Flooded areas to be declared disaster areas

By Jurina Nkwazi
17 January 2011

The worst hit flood areas in the country are to be declared national disasters, government said.

This comes as hundreds of people are trapped as the water levels at the Orange River continue to rise.

Government have called in the army to assist part of Upington in the Northern Cape that’s flooded.

Meanwhile power utility Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe says the floods have interrupted coal transport.

NYDA to show how Youth Festival money was spent

By Jurina Nkwazi
17 January 2011

Opposition parties have called on the National Youth Development Agency to publicly account for the funds used for the World Youth Festival.

The Democratic Alliance youth leader, Makashule Gana, says, “The Youth Agency has no idea what it is supposed to be doing for young South Africans.”

Gana says, “The agency does not know how to use scarce budgetary resources productively to create real opportunities and develop skills.”

Meanwhile the Youth Foundation of the African Christian Democratic Party national youth chairman, Lusani Mulaudzi, says this culture of excessive spending on entertainment is a disturbing trend in a country with such high levels of poverty.

Post Office murder caught on CCTV

By Jurina Nkwazi
17 January 2011

The murder of Highlands North Post Office manager Magda Frazer has been caught on closed circuit television cameras in Johannesburg.

On Saturday, Frazer was killed by two robbers when she arrived at work morning.

The police's Phillip Maganedisa says,”Her body was discovered after a client couldn't get into the post office and alerted security officials.”

The footage has shown how she was repeatedly beaten with a hammer by one of her part-time employees while the other one remains unidentified.

ANC angered at Mandela’s death hoax email

By Jurina Nkwazi
17 January 2011

The African National Congress is angered by a hoax email on social networking site Twitter which reported that ANC stalwart and former President Nelson Mandela had died.

ANC spokesperson, Brian Sokutu says, “These rumours are not only "malicious but insensitive" to the Madiba family and the South African nation.”

Sokutu says,”It also goes against the African culture and tradition to claim that a living person is dead.”

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Two people drown in Berg River

By Lelethu Mquqo
16 January 2011

The National Sea Rescue Institute at Mykonos on the Cape West Coast has assisted police in recovering the bodies of a 33-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl from the Berg River on a farm near Hopefield.

The girl allegedly got into trouble while swimming in the river and the man dived in to save her but got into difficulties himself.

The river was calm and flowing very slowly at the time of the incident.

The victims, who lived in the area, were not related.

Their names have not yet been released.

Another arms cache discovered in the Western Cape

By Lelethu Mquqo
16 January 2010

Police say a huge assortment of explosives, firearms, ammunition and replica firearms have been seized on a farm in Durbanville near Cape Town.

Among the firearms recovered were two pistols, two rifles live ammunition and 14 firearm replicas.

This is the fourth cache discovered in the country in a week.

Police say the discovery of the replica firearm devices is of grave concern to them

Missing Children Alert:

Surfer dies in the Border area

By Lelethu Mquqo
16 January 2011

A 16-year-old provincial surfer from Port St Johns has been killed in a shark attack.

Zama Ndamase was surfing with his brother and other members of the local surf club at Second Beach when he was attacked.

He is the fifth shark victim at the same beach in the past three years four of which have been fatal.

Ndamase was awarded a SA Surfing Scholarship in 2009.

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old man drowned near Keimoes in the Northern Cape last night when the Kakamas Dam burst its banks.

The man was apparently walking next to the Orange River when he was swept away.

Hundreds of families were evacuated from their homes in Kakamas as flood waters swept through the entrance to the town.

Disaster management in the area are on high alert following the flooding caused by the burst dam.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A bus accident claims 19 lives

By Lelethu Mquqo
15 January 2011

A horrific bus accident has claimed the lives of at least 19 people between on the R-26 in Fouriesburg and Bethlehem in the Free State.

Netcare911 spokesman Jeff Wicks says a number of babies were among the scores that were seriously injured.

The cause of the crash is still not yet known.

Wicks says the bus appeared to have veered from the road and ploughed into a roadside furrow and shallow stream.

The injured were transported to various hospitals and clinics in the area.

Ten of the injured are reported to be in a critical condition.

A massive search for a killer underway

By Lelethu Mquqo
15 January 2011

Police from Sutherland in the Northern Cape are busy with an immense search for a man who shot and killed a student constable and seriously wounded a second policeman.

The shooting took place yesterday when a farmer asked for assistance in evicting a French couple from a house on his property.

Spokesperson Hendrik Swart says they found several illegal guns in the house in which the couple were staying and while they were leaving, the man began firing at them.

The student officer died on the scene and the wounded man was rushed to hospital in a serious condition.

The couple have fled into the veld and trackers are being used to help find them.

Flood-devastated areas to be declared disaster areas

By Lelethu Mquqo
15 January 2010

Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka says several flood-devastated areas in the country will be declared disaster areas this weekend.

The Minister says the Vaal area had previously been declared as crucial because of the Vaal dam.

More rain has been predicted for the Highveld which could cause more flooding.

The city of Johannesburg has set up a joint operations centre and a flood management task team to reduce the risk of any major flood disaster.

At least 38 people lost their lives while hundreds of homes were lost in floods which recently gripped parts of the country.

Zuma express condolences to Brazil

By Jurina Nkwazi
15 January 2011

President Jacob Zuma has conveyed South Africa’s condolences to the government and the people of Brazil.

Over 500 people have died due to the heavy rains causing flash floods and mudslides in the east of the South American country.

Weather forecasters predicted that more rain can be expected.

Brazil has seen the quantity of rainfall ex months coming down within 24 hours.

Friday, January 14, 2011

DA welcomes Sithole’s arrest

By Jurina Nkwazi
14 January 2011

The Democratic Alliance has welcomed the arrest of Mabutho Sithole, the former spokesperson of Mpumalanga Premier, David Mabuza.

Sithole allegedly paid a journalist R 5000 to make a story implicating the premier in a 230-million-Rands farm equipment tender disappear last year.

He was granted six-thousand-Rands bail in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

His next court appearance will be February,11.

Third arms cache discovered

By Jurina Nkwazi
14 January 2011

Gauteng police have discovered another arms cache in Pretoria earlier this morning.

This shocking find comes just four days after the first was discovered in Boksburg and another in Katlehong on Tuesday.

According to media reports police found rifles and hand guns.

Firearms, explosives, rocket launchers and ammunition were discovered in the previous incidents.

Meanwhile, a 31-year-old man has handed himself over to police yeasterday in connection with the discovery of a weapons cache in Katlehong on Gauteng’s East Rand.

Free State reinstate 91 employees

By Jurina Nkwazi
14 January 2011

The Metshimaholo Municipality in the Free State has reinstated 91 workers for illegally taking part in a three-week-long public servant’s strike last year.

The employees who were fired earlier this week were given written warnings.

SAMWU spokesperson Tahir Sema says, “The union are pleased with the reinstatement of its members.”

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union threatened a nationwide strike in solidarity with the workers if the Municipality did not reinstate them.

SA to switch from analogue to digital TV by 2015

Lusanda Bill
14 January 2011

Weeks of speculation has ended after Communications Minister, Roy Padayachie revealed details about South Africa’s planned switch to digital television.

Roy Padayachie said in Midrand today “South Africa will adopt the digital television standard DVB-T2 and the country will complete the process of migrating from analogue to digital television by December 2012”.

Cabinet has examined two European broadcasting standards and one Japanese standard.

The minister hopes the switch from analogue to digital TV will happen by 2015.

Scholar transport vehicles nabbed

Lusanda Bill
14 January 2011

Numerous scholar vehicles have been nabbed by traffic officials since the start of the school year in inland schools on Wednesday.

The Gauteng Traffic Police want to step up vigilance on the major school routes around the country.

Today traffic officials targeted Laudium in Tshwane on the R55 where 28 vehicles carrying school children.

Director of the Gauteng Traffic Police Thami Malesela says this operation will spread throughout the country.

ANC National Congress National Executive Committee meets on creating jobs

Lusanda Bill
14 January 2011

The African National Congress National Executive Committee is meeting today to look at ways each sector can create jobs.

Yesterday President Jacob Zuma told the NEC he wanted concrete plans with estimates on how many jobs could be created.

One of ANC main concern for this year is creating more jobs.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said they are using the new growth path document as a basis for discussion.

Some of the other main concerns of the ANC will be published in the State of the Nation address and the budget speech.

FF Plus condemned the brutal attack of a British tourist in the Free State

Lusanda Bill
14 January 2011

The Freedom Front Plus has come out and condemned the brutal attack of a British tourist in the Free State.

The 51-year-old British tourist woman was on a hike at a nature reserve in Bloemfontein when she was attacked by two men and sexually assaulted.

The Freedom Front Plus Abrie Oosthuizen said “this is proof that the attackers have no respect for other people and the law”.

Abrie Oosthuizen also stated that incidents like these do not show the tourism industry in South Africa in a good light.

Parliament approves 14 short listed names for the SABC board

Lusanda Bill
14 January 2011

Parliament has approved 14 short listed names for vacancies on the South African Broadcasting Corporation board.

Members of Parliament stated that the SABC board needs people with special skills to bring about stability within the organisation.

The interview process will take place next week.

The Congress of the People’s Juli Killian says her party will not support any candidate who is connected to the African National Congress.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Missing Person Alert: Pheladi Seema

SANDF called in to assist flood-stricken NC

By Jurina Nkwazi
13 January 2011

The South African National Defence Force has sent medical personnel and aircraft to parts of the flood-stricken Northern Cape to assist with search and rescue operations.

Defence Force spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini says, “An assessment of the affected area is currently underway.”

On Wednesday, the Water Affairs Department issued flood warnings along the Orange River, with water levels around Uppington expected to peak by later today.

Agri-SA welcomes increased safety on farms

By Jurina Nkwazi
13 January 2011

The Agriculture Department announced today that efforts will be made to increase safety on farms.

Agri South Africa Organisation president, Johannes Möller, says, “They welcome the announcement but he is not quite sure how Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson intends to do this.”

South Africa has seen an increase in farm deaths over the last few months.

Möller says, “The Department needs to work together with private farming associations to build on existing security programmes.”

Students drink alcohol on their way to school

By Jurina Nkwazi
13 January 2011

Three high school learners drinking alcohol in uniform were captured in Gauteng while going to school.

The 2011 academic has just begun for learners on Wednesday in the province.

It has been reported that two of the boys are from schools in Kagiso near Krugersdorp.

According to another report one high school in Tembisa has a huge dagga plantation on the school grounds.

Gauteng discovers second weapon’s cache

By Jurina Nkwazi
13 January 2011

A second cache of weapons has been discovered on Gauteng’s East Rand.

Eleven hand grenades and assorted ammunition were confiscated at a house Boksburg North.

Weapons expert, Helmoed Heitman says, “Criminals are somehow getting their hands on leftover weapons from the apartheid era.”

He’s biggest concern is that the weapons being discovered are more powerful than the average handgun.

The home owner will face charges of crimes against the state.

12 people injured in an accident on the N2 highway

Lusanda Bill
13 January 2011

On the N2 highway before the Borcherds Quarry off ramp a minibus taxi collided with a vehicle.

It is alleged that the minibus taxi collided with the vehicle in front of it at some speed causing three other vehicles to also rear end each other.

ER24 paramedics arrived at the scene and treated twelve people who needed medical assistance. Eight of the twelve people sustained minor injuries.

ER24’s Andre Visser said “all of the patients were treated at the scene before being transported to multiple medical facilities in the surrounding area”.

Flood warning issued again for the Northern Cape

Lusanda Bill
13 January 2011

Another flood warning has been issued by the department of Water Affairs in the Northern Cape.

Water level are fast rising in the Orange River, downstream from the town of Douglas.

The department of Water Affairs has warned that the water levels could reach up to seven-point-nine-metres.

In recent flooding in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal about thirty-two people have died.

The South African Weather Service on Wednesday warned more heavy rains and flooding could hit Gauteng and several other provinces this weekend.

A new specialised unit to be established to curb road deaths

Lusanda Bill
13 January 2011

The Road Traffic Management Corporation is planning on establishing a new specialised unit to curb the road deaths in the country.

Acting chief executive of the corporation, Collins Letsoale, says the unit will especially be focused on areas where the most road deaths are recorded.

The unit which will be established will be known as the National Traffic Law Enforcement Unit.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation wants the unit to help to increase police visibility on the roads, and help to curb the death toll on the country's roads.

In the festive season in South Africa around one-thousand-five-hundred people died in road accidents.

The IEC fires 50 presiding officers

Lusanda Bill
13 January 2011

50 presiding officers have been fired by the Independent Electoral Commission.

An investigation revealed they allegedly held positions in political parties.

IEC's chief electoral officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula said yesterday at the launch of the 2011 municipal elections in Johannesburg, officials, who have already been replaced, were found to belong to political parties. She said the officials had been recruited to assist the IEC with voter registration.

10 of the candidates who were fired by the IEC came from the Western Cape.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

City reviews liquor by-law

By Jurina Nkwazi
12 January 2011

The City of Cape Town has commissioned a legal review of its new liquor by-law before any amendments are gazetted.

City Spokesperson Dirk Smit said, “We don't foresee any major changes to the by-law, except for a few minor technical adjustments.”

Cape Town has the highest formal incidence of alcohol and drug abuse of any city in South Africa and the new by-law constitutes part of the City's strategy to address the scourge of alcohol abuse.

21-thousand polling stations for local elections

By Jurina Nkwazi
12 January 2011

About 21-thousand polling stations will be available in the upcoming local government elections.

Independent Electoral Commission chief electoral officer, Pansy Tlakula made the announcement today in Midrand.

“Voter registration will take place on the 5th and 6th of next month with a possible second round of registrations still on the cards,” Tlakula says.

She added that it is important that the voters roll is accurate and up-to-date.

Minister says schools are ready for 2011 academic year

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 January 2011

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says schools are ready to tackle the 2011 academic year.

Motshekga and other officials at the Department visited schools in Gauteng today to assess their readiness.

She said her Department has made great strides in key areas including the production and distribution of learner workbooks as well as Annual National Assessments for Grades three, six and nine.

Meanwhile, two teenagers have been arrested for allegedly burning down the headmaster’s office at a Free State high school.

The young men, aged 18 and 19, are expected to appear in the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on charges of arson.

It is believed that they are angry at not being promoted to a higher Grade this year.

Two people die in an accident in Belhar

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 January 2010

A serious collision occurred this morning on the corners of Symphony and Stellenbosch Arterial in Belhar claiming the lives of two people.

A medium sized refrigerated delivery truck allegedly collided with the side of a small hatchback sedan.

ER24 paramedics, Metro Rescue and ambulance services including Fire and rescue services attended to the scene.

The front passenger of the sedan received the full force of the impact as the collision was on the left side of the vehicle and was declared dead at the scene.

The driver of the sedan's injuries were severe and unfortunately paramedics were unable to revive the man and he was also declared dead at the scene.

An investigation has been opened to discover the cause of the accident.

Residents take action over illegal dumping of food

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 January 2010

An illegal food dumping incident over the weekend in a township near Strand in Cape Town saw over 150 people being treated for food poisoning.

Today residents of Lwandle will be meeting to decide whether lay criminal charges against the companies suspected of dumping rotten food in the area.

Meanwhile, authorities in Cape Town said they would take legal action after the illegal dumping of expired food in the area.

City spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes told media over the weekend that samples of the food were taken for testing.

Cape Town police asking the assistance of the public

Lusanda Bill
12 January 2011

The Cape Town Central police are asking the help of the public in their latest investigation.

Police are trying to trace three male suspects, who are suspected of theft which occurred at a building in Bree Street, Cape Town on Friday the 7th of January.

It is alleged that three males, aged around 25-years-old, entered a building in Bree Street at approximately 16:30 and on the 2nd floor, stole two laptops. The value of the laptops is R12 000-00.

The public is urged to call Constable Wayne Hare on 073 986 6354 or 021-467 8150, for any information.

Illegal drag racing den cracked down by police in Cape Town

Lusanda Bill
12 January 2011

An illegal drag racing den has been uncovered by traffic police in Cape Town.

Police received complaints in hot spot areas such as Athlone and Bellville.

Traffic services spokesperson, Kevin Jacobs says the traffic service is greatly concerned, about the growth in popularity of illegal drag racing in Cape Town.

Seven unroadworthy vehicles were towed away from the scene, three drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and two tow-truck drivers were charged for various traffic offences.

Four provinces could lose their housing grants

Lusanda Bill
12 January 2011

Director-general of the department of Human Settlements, Thabane Zulu, says four provinces could lose their housing grants due to under-performance.

The four provinces are the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Free State.

These provinces are behind in with delivery or are under-spending.

Thabane Zulu says the funds may be redirected to provinces where the performance is better.

First day of school in 2011 begins

Lusanda Bill
12 January 2011

All key routes in Johannesburg are being monitored this morning by the Metro Police as the first day of the school year begins.

Metro Police Wayne Minnaar says public vehicles transporting children will be checked for roadworthiness.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said “We are indeed ready to begin the 2011 school year. We enter this New Year with renewed vigour and excitement, after the encouraging results achieved by the class of 2010”.

Schools in Mamelodi and Tembisa will be visited this morning by Basic Education minister, Angie Motshekga and her deputy minister Enver Surty.

Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe and Gauteng premier, Nomvula Mokonyane will be visiting a school in Soweto.

Five rhino poachers killed in the past week

Lusanda Bill
12 January 2011

A report has shown that five rhino poachers have been killed in the Kruger National Park since Saturday.

Yesterday during a shoot-out with rangers, three poachers were shot dead.

The other two were killed on Saturday in the north of the park, near the Mozambique border.

More than three-hundred rhinos have been killed in South Africa in 2010 and over one-hundred-and-forty of those rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park.

Matrics to apply early for ID’s

By Jurina Nkwazi
12 January 2011

Matrics of 2011 have been urged to apply for their Identity Documents early in the academic year.

The Home Affairs Department says applicants must apply by June to ensure they write their National Senior Certificate exam.

Awareness campaign initiatives will be making its rounds at schools.

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