Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Congress of the People appoints its first mayor

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 May 2011

The Congress of the People has appointed its first mayor in the country. Jan Julies will oversee the Karoo Hoogland local council in the Northern Cape.

The council governs the towns of Fraserburg, Sutherland and Williston.

Cope won a 31-percent share of the vote in the recent local government elections, and has entered into a coalition agreement with the Democratic Alliance, which won 21-percent.

Investigation begins into attempted Boeremag escape

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 May 2011

Investigations have begun into how a daring escape attempt at the North Gauteng High Court, by five members of the Boeremag, was allowed to take place.

Police spokesperson Sally de Beer says the men, who have all since been recaptured, sprayed ammonia into the eyes of the police members who were guarding them at the court.

De Beer says an investigation into how the suspects got their hands on the ammonia has begun.

Buthelezi not surprised by the ANC-NFP coalition

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 May 2011

The Inkatha Freedom Party says the ANC-NFP coalition has signalled a "dark day for democracy in KwaZulu-Natal. IFP spokesperson Musa Zondi says the agreement will only further decimate the political opposition in the province.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi says he is not surprised the breakaway party has resolved to work with the ANC in all hung municipalities the province.

He says he repeatedly warned the electorate that a vote for the NFP was a vote for the ANC.

Buthelezi says his warning has now been confirmed. ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize earlier today said his party and the National Freedom Party had agreed on a governing partnership in several municipalities in the province.

South African ambassador found guilty of hate speech

Lusanda Bill
31 May 2011

South Africa's ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane has been found guilty of hate speech by the Johannesburg Equality Court.

The court found that a cartoon in a newspaper column Qwelane used to write amounted to hate speech, and that both his article and the cartoon spread hatred and harm.

The article was published in July 2008 under the headline: "Call me names, but gay is NOT okay”.

He has been ordered to make an unconditional apology to the gay and lesbian community, and pay R100 000 to the SA Human Rights Commission.

Another suspected police killer arrested by the Hawks

Lusanda Bill
31 May 2011

The Hawks have arrested a second suspect in the killing of two Cape Town police members.

The 22-year-old man was found with a bullet wound in the Tygerberg hospital.

Detectives traced the first suspect, 23-year-old Sivuyile Songovana to the Groote Schuur Hospital where he was being treated for a bullet wound.

Constable Canon Cloete and Warrant Officer Gurswin Matthee were killed in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein last Sunday morning and robbed of their service pistols.

Songovana will appear in court again on Friday, while the second suspect remains in hospital under police guard.

SA economy slowly recovering from recession

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 May 2011

The Financial and Fiscal Commission has projected South Africa’s economy to grow between 3.5% and 3.8% this year.

This is an up from -7.1% and 2.8% respectively in the last two years.

The Commission says the growth shows the economy is mending from the recession.

But it added that despite the positive picture, a lot still needs to be done as unemployment, poverty, inequality and low growth continues.

The Commission tabled its recommendations for the next two years before Parliament.

Police team to quell violence in North West village

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 May 2011

North West’s department of public safety says acts of intimidation and arson in Tlokeng village, near Swartruggens, has prompted police intervention.

The unrest apparently started with the alleged ritual murder of 25-year-old Thabiso Moloi.

A car and house belonging to the owner of the tavern at which Moloi was last seen were torched and the tavern owner has been intimidated.

After Moloi’s funeral over the weekend, angry community members blocked roads with burning tyres.

A high-powered police deployment arrived in the village yesterday afternoon to mediate for restraint.

Four arrested for stealing state medicine in Eastern Cape

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 May 2011

The Hawks in the Eastern Cape have arrested three women and a man for allegedly stealing and selling state medicine worth about R200 000.

The medicine had been stolen from various depots of the province’s health department.

The investigation began almost a year ago, after the Hawks received a tip-off that medication meant to be distributed in state hospitals and clinics were being sold by officials who were enriching themselves.

The suspects, all employees of the department, will appear in court in Mthatha tomorrow.

Zuma says Gaddafi is ready for truce

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 May 2011

President Jacob Zuma says Muammar Gaddafi is ready for a truce to stop the fighting in Libya.

After his meeting in Tripoli with the Libyan leader, Zuma mentioned some conditions that Gaddafi insists on, that analysts say have scuttled previous cease-fire efforts.

Gaddafi will accept an African Union initiative for a cease-fire that would stop all hostilities, including Nato airstrikes in support of rebel forces.

But as part of what Zuma called a “roadmap” Gaddafi wants all Libyans to be given a chance to discuss the country's future.

Zuma did not say the Brother Leader, as Gaddafi is known, was ready to step down.

This is the central demand of the rebels.

Meanwhile, political analyst Harald Pakendorf says nothing came of an earlier attempt by a delegation from the African Union because rebel forces will accept no less than Muammar Gaddafi’s removal from power.

Pakendorf says Gaddafi’s close ties to the ANC may help Zuma tackle the problem.

Monday, May 30, 2011

President Jacob Zuma in Libya for talks

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 May 2011

President Jacob Zuma faces an uphill task in trying to bring about an end to the conflict in Libya.

Political analyst Harald Pakendorf says nothing came of an earlier attempt by a delegation from the African Union because rebel forces will accept no less than Muammar Gaddafi’s removal from power.

Pakendorf says Gaddafi’s close ties to the ANC may help Zuma tackle the problem.

Libyan state television said Zuma was going to discuss the implementation of the AU roadmap for peace.

Cosatu calls for investigation into Aurora and its liquidators

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 May 2011

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called for an immediate investigation into Aurora Empowerment Systems.

The country’s largest union said in a statement that an investigation of the two recently-dismissed liquidators at the Pamodzi mine must also be done.

Aurora was last week told it had until today to vacate the mine after allegations surfaced that they were asset-stripping the mines by looting and selling off equipment.

Zille announces Western Cape cabinet reshuffle

Lusanda Bill
30 May 2011

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has reshuffled her cabinet today.

This follows Patricia de Lille being elected as Cape Town’s new mayor.

Zille has made two changes in her cabinet.

Former Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato is now the province’s Community Safety MEC and Albert Fritz is now MEC for the Social Development Department.

Experts says tougher laws won’t protect police

Lusanda Bill
30 May 2011

Johan Burger, a senior researcher at the Crime and Justice Programme of the Institute for Security Studies says tougher laws against cop killers will do little to protect the country’s police.

This follows the increase in police killings in the last few months.

Burger says National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele, who made the call for tougher laws this weekend, looks set on addressing the problem of police killings after they have already occurred.

Burger maintains that this is the wrong approach.

A collision leaves five people injured

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 May 2011

A collision on the N2 highway just past the Vanguard off ramp left five people injured this morning.

At this stage it is not known what caused the collision but it involved a total of nine passenger vehicles a minibus taxi and a large truck and trailer.

Earlier reports from the scene showed that the truck had jackknifed causing an obstruction on the busy highway.

Multiple emergency Medical Services were at the scene and a total of five people involved in the collision received treatment for injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to suspected back and neck injuries.

The N2 highway inbound was later closed for traffic, as the busy morning traffic needed to be rerouted onto vanguard drive.

All eyes on Zuma’s meeting with Gaddafi

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 May 2011

President Jacob Zuma’s meeting with Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli will be keenly watched today.

Zuma is meeting Gaddafi in his capacity as a member of the African Union High Level Panel for the resolution of the conflict in Libya.

But he has also promised to assist in facilitating the return of photographer Anton Hammerl's body for burial in South Africa.

Hammerl's family has appealed for Zuma’s help, describing the situation as a “nightmare” that cannot end until he has been brought home.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shabir Shaik beaten up at golf course

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 May 2011

Convicted fraudster Shabir Shaik has decided not to lay charges after being beaten up by four men at the same KwaZulu-Natal golf course where he allegedly assaulted a journalist four months ago.

Shaik says the drunk men accused him of sucking up to black people.

They used much stronger language, including the k-word.

He had confronted them when he apparently overheard them denigrating President Jacob Zuma. Shaik says no one tried to help him as he was being punched and kicked

Eight suspected rhino poachers behind bars

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 May 2011

A tactical operation has put eight alleged members of an international rhino poaching syndicate behind bars.

Police set up a trap with a dummy rhino after being tipped-off that a gang was targeting a private game reserve near the Kruger National Park.

When the attackers shot at the dummy, police fired back, killing one suspect and seriously wounding another. The arrested suspects will appear in the Barberton Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

Cele urges police to defend themselves decisively

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 May 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has for the fifth weekend in a row had to attend the funerals of slain police members.

At the burials of two Cape Town police members yesterday, a visibly upset Cele urged officers not to be intimidated after four of their colleagues were murdered and three critically wounded in a week of violent crime.

The commissioner says when police members are under attack, they must defend themselves decisively.

Mining union says good riddance to Aurora

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 May 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers has welcomed the fact that Aurora Empowerment Systems three days to evacuate the premises of the Pamodzi mines in Orkney in North West and Springs in Gauteng.

The union says the decision by the provisional liquidators to terminate Aurora 's interim trading contract is long overdue.

The beleaguered company owes workers millions. Num says it hopes such companies will never again be given a chance to play games with poor people’s lives.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cape housing project halted for fraud probe

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 May 2011

Payments for a Western Cape housing project in Middelpos have been suspended following claims of corruption around site allocation.

The province's human settlements department says it is probing allegations of corruption against the outgoing Saldanha municipality, relating to the allocation of up to one-thousand-350 sites to housing beneficiaries.

The area had been part of the ANC-controlled Saldanha Bay municipality. The DA took over the reins following last week's local government elections.

Home Affairs cracking down on fraud

Lusanda Bill
28 May 2011

Home Affairs is cracking down on fraud and corruption, arresting 12 of its employees in the past two weeks.

With the help of the Hawks, the department’s anti-corruption unit has arrested officials at the OR Tambo International Airport, in Mount Frere, Grahamstown and Durban.

Director-general Mkuseli Apleni says four immigration officers at OR Tambo were arrested for facilitating the illegal entry of foreign immigrants.

The Eastern Cape and KZN officials were caught in connection with fake marriage certificates.

Prasa’s train collision pay-out labelled a ploy

Lusanda Bill
28 May 2011

The South African Association of Personal Injury Lawyers is urging commuters injured in two train accidents in Gauteng not to accept the 10-thousand-Rands each the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa offering them.

Lawyers have labeled it a cynical ploy to head off a class action that could cost the rail operator a billion-Rands.

Prasa has put aside 10-million-Rands to pay out the more than a thousand victims of two train collisions, one in Pretoria last month and one Soweto last week.

The train victims have to sign a waiver preventing them from suing Prasa in court.

Two slain Kraaifontein police laid to rest

Lusanda Bill
28 May 2011

In Cape Town, slain Warrant Officer Girshwin Matthee and Student Constable Cannon Cloete will be laid to rest today.

The two police officers were ambushed and robbed of their service pistols in Wallacedene early on Sunday morning, will be laid to rest in Kraaifontein this morning.

Twenty-three-year-old Sivuyile Songovana is under police guard in hospital in connection with the killings after detectives traced him to Groote Schuur Hospital.

More arrests are expected.

More police members wounded

Lusanda Bill
28 May 2011

A police member has been critically wounded in a shoot-out during a house robbery in Heidelberg.

Three of the robbers were killed and a fourth suspect was arrested.

No less than three Gauteng police members have now been wounded in the line of duty in the space of just 24-hours.

On Thursday night, a member was wounded in a supermarket robbery in Mayfair, Johannesburg.

Three men are behind bars in connection with that attack.

A few hours later, a law enforcer was shot and wounded by hijackers in Katlehong on the East Rand.

Loss of minority votes troubles Zuma

Lusanda Bill
28 May 2011

President Jacob Zuma is worried that statements by some senior ANC leaders before the municipal elections could have divided minority voters.

Party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu briefed journalists in Pretoria about Zuma’s political report presented at a national executive committee meeting which started on Friday.

In it, Zuma calls very serious introspection on the ANC’s loss of minority votes, a trend also evident in the 2009 national polls.

Meanwhile, apparent dissatisfaction with election results has led to the torching of a councillor’s house in the Free State village of Tsetsi.

Eight people died in two separate accidents

Lusanda Bill
28 May 2011

Two people died and four were seriously injured in a head-on collision outside Rustenburg in North West.

The accident completely closed the N4 Bakwena Platinum Highway yesterday evening.

Authorities say the tragedy happened when one car apparently tried to overtake in the face of oncoming traffic.

In Durban, six people died and one escaped with minor injuries after their vehicle smashed into a tree along this morning.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Right2Knows calls for Protection of Information Bill to be scrapped

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 May 2011

The Right2Know Campaign has called for the proposed Protection of Information Bill to be scrapped entirely.

Right2Know’s national coordinator, Murray Hunter, says the ANC appears to be committed to pushing the Bill through, despite months of public protest against it.

Hunter says the ANC must be willing to take the necessary time to ensure that the Bill adheres to the South African Constitution.

Meanwhile, the African Christian Democratic Party says some headway has been made into getting the ANC to revise the proposed Bill.

ACDP parliamentarian, Steve Swart, says the committee dealing with the Bill has agreed to lift the threshold for application of confidential documents.

This means it will be more difficult to classify information as secret. Swart says however that some questionable aspects of the Bill remain stubbornly in place.

Man appears in court over Kraaifontein police killings

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 May 2011

A Western Cape man has appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on charges of killing two policemen in Kraaifontein last weekend.

Police say they found 23-year-old Sivuyile Songovan at the Groote Schuur Hospital, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound.

The murdered police members’ service pistols have still not been recovered.

Songovan will remain in custody until next Friday, when he is due back in court.

Eastern Cape ANC leader refuses to work with newspaper

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 May 2011

The Herald newspaper says it has tried on several occasions to engage with the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape.

The paper’s editor Heather Robertson says they have even asked Nceba Faku, the ANC leader in the metro, to write a column.

Faku stirred up controversy recently when he called on ANC supporters at an election victory rally to quote “burn The Herald” end quote.

Faku denies the accusation, but Robertson maintains that their reporting was accurate.

Gauteng’s toll roads bill to possibly cost 14-billion-Rands

Lusanda Bill
27 May 2011

It is reported that the cost of operating Gauteng's toll roads may be as high as 14-billion-Rands.

This is more than double the six-point-22-billion-Rands the National Roads Agency had said it would cost.

The 14-billion-Rands exclude the cost of likelihood studies, the design of the toll system and the supply of e-tags.

The inflated operational costs are contained in a confidential report.

Zwelinzima Vavi warns of uprising against unemployment

Lusanda Bill
27 May 2011

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says unless drastic action is taken to reduce unemployment, South Africa could face another 1976 uprising.

In a speech delivered in Johannesburg, Vavi described the crisis as “a ticking bomb”.

He says affirmative action remains essential to achieve reconciliation.

But the policy will not work if it comes down to condemning more people from minorities to unemployment and poverty, while enriching a small number of people from the majority.

DA states Manuel is right for the IMF job

Lusanda Bill
27 May 2011

The Democratic Alliance has added its voice to recent calls for Trevor Manuel to take up the top position at the International Monetary Fund.

Speculation that the Planning Minister in the Presidency is a contender for the position surfaced last week.

This follows after former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned over allegations of sexual assault.

The DA’s Dion George says Manuel is the right man for the job.

Kraaifontein police killing fraudsters

Lusanda Bill
27 May 2011

Police in the Western Cape have issued a warning in Kraaifontein.

SAPS stated that people are going around the Kraaifontein area in search of donations for the families of two policemen who were murdered in the area last weekend.

Two police officers were murdered in Kraaifontein while on duty at the weekend.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut says the SAPS will never ask for donations and community members should not be fooled by the fraudsters.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Newly appointed head of the SASSA vows to improve service to social grant beneficiaries

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 May 2011

Recently appointed head of the South African Social Security Agency Virginia Peterson will implement a number of strategies to turn the organisation around to improve service to beneficiaries of government assistance.

Addressing the media in Pretoria, Peterson said she would start by introducing a new payment system to reduce the massive R6 billion administration cost of social grants and pensions.

Peterson says it will come up with several interventions to stop elderly social grant beneficiaries from being targeted by loan sharks.

She adds that her organization will be working closely with the Social Development Department to educate beneficiaries about the dangers of dealing with loan sharks.

Anton Hammerl’s family ask President Jacob Zuma for help

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 May 2011

The family of slain South African photo journalist, Anton Hammerl, have pleaded with President Jacob Zuma to help locate his remains in Libya.

Zuma is due to visit the troubled North African country next week.

It recently emerged that Hammerl had been killed by soldiers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

He had been presumed missing for 45-days before his family found out about his death.

They have vowed to give him a decent burial in South Africa.

South Africa chooses service delivery over the Olympic Games

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 May 2011

Cabinet has decided that South Africa will not bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

At a post-Cabinet media briefing, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said government has decided to rather focus on service delivery.

Cabinet calculated that the Olympic bid would have cost about R35-million.

It says service delivery should now be the priority.

Manyi lashed out at the media during the briefing.

After repeatedly refusing to answer questions about whether government supported Trevor Manuel for next leader of the International Monetary Fund, journalists told Manyi he need not have called a news conference at all.

Manyi said media briefings were necessary so that the blind and the deaf could also get information.

Rising concern over police murders

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 May 2011

Cabinet has expressed alarm at the rising number of police members who die at the hands of criminals.

Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi briefed the media following the regular Cabinet meeting, saying ministers had called on South Africans to partner with the police to help protect the law enforcers.

Cabinet also warned that those who attack police members will be dealt with harshly.

More than 30 police members have already been killed this year.

Meanwhile, Western Cape police have issued a warning to the public of a fake letter requesting donations for the relatives of two Kraaifontein officers who were recently gunned down.

Gurswin Matthee and Cannon Cloete were shot dead in Wallacedene on Sunday.

Police spokesperson André Traut says the fraudsters carry a letter with a South African Police Service logo and a fake signature.

12-billion-Rands needed to repair roads in the North West

Lusanda Bill
26 May 2011

The North West Business Forum has calculated that about 12-billion-Rands is needed to repair and upgrade roads in the province over the next five years.

It says there will be an annual funding shortfall of about one-point-eight-billion-Rands.

The Forum says the focus should therefore be on the most critical roads in need of repair, which will cost one-point-four-billion-Rands.

A solution has been identified by the Road Network Management System in the form of a loan application for critical projects.

Mbalula recovering after collapsing at a meeting

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 May 2011

Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula was monitored overnight in hospital after collapsing at a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

A statement released by government said the 40-year-old gave in to flu-like symptoms.

Mbalula, who is also ANC’s head of organising and campaigns, was involved in a car accident earlier this month.

Ministerial spokesperson Paëna Galane said his programme would be eased up for some time to allow him time to rest.

Part of his job was to help run the party’s campaign for the May 18 local government elections.

Missing Adult: Derick Wilks

South Africans urged to intervene in Africa

Lusanda Bill
26 May 2011

Celebrations took place in different places across the African continent yesterday as it was Africa Day.

The Freedom Front Plus says South Africa needs to do more to help its sister states.

FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder told Parliament that South Africans and Afrikaners in particular, have a vital role to play in developing the continent.

Mulder warns that South Africa is in danger of going down with the rest of Africa if it does not soon intervene.

Secrecy bill expected to be pushed through Parliament

Lusanda Bill
26 May 2011

The ANC seems poised to use its majority to push the controversial Protection of Information Bill through Parliament.

Observers say the ruling party seems to have abandoned a consensus-seeking approach in the committee discussing the bill, and will outvote the opposition if necessary.

The secrecy bill, gives officials the right to declare almost any government information classified.

It also prescribes harsh prison sentences for people found guilty of exposing such information.

A teenager critically injured in a rugby match

Lusanda Bill
26 May 2011

A 15-year-old North West boy is in a critical condition after being injured during a rugby match at a school in Sannieshof on Wednesday.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks says the teenager was apparently injured when a scrum collapsed.

He was unable to move on the field. Paramedics transferred him from a hospital in Sannieshof to a private medical facility in Klerksdorp for further care.

The extent of his injuries will become clear today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jub Jub murder trial postponed due to technical issues

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 May 2011

The murder trial of Molema “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala has been postponed in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto due to technical issues.

Proceedings were delayed for two-and-a-half-hours while prosecutors struggled to get a video that was meant to be shown to the court working.

The video reportedly shows Maarohanye at the wheel of one of the cars that ploughed into a group of school children last year.

Maarohanye faces charges of murder and attempted murder.

The trial continues on Friday.

Rising water table causing flooding in Johannesburg roads

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 May 2011

A rising water table is reportedly causing Johannesburg roads and properties to become flooded.

Residents of areas like Roodepoort, Randburg, Soweto, Lenasia Parkwood, Orange Grove, Houghton and Eldorado Park say underground water is seeping through the roads, causing huge sinkholes and flooding properties.

Some residents are installing drainage systems to protect their foundations.

The water is apparently trapped by a rocky layer.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency will only install drainage systems on roads.

18-year-old eyewitness testifies in Jub Jub murder trial

by Lelethu Mquqo
25 May 2011

An 18-year-old eyewitness, who recorded a video of murder-accused Molema "Jub-Jub" Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala allegedly racing in their cars in Soweto in July last year, testified in the Protea Magistrate's Court today.

Ntokozo Mahlangu says she recognised "Jub-Jub" as one of the drivers.

She gave a copy of the cell phone video to an unidentified journalist.

Four teenagers died when two cars ploughed into them in the incident.

Two others suffered severe injuries, including brain damage.

Afrikanerbond getting impatient about its Malema hate speech case

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 May 2011

The South African Human Rights Commission is allowing itself to be led by the nose by prominent politicians.

This is according to Afrikanerbond chief executive Jan Bosman, who says they have been waiting more than 14-months for the Commission to make any kind of progress in their hate speech case against Julius Malema.

Bosman says more than 500 similar complaints have been lodged against the ANC Youth League leader.

He adds that they are running out of patience.

Nine-thousand North West mineworkers to lose their jobs

Lusanda Bill
25 May 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers says about nine-thousand workers at Lonmin’s Marikana operations in Rustenburg in North West are about to be dismissed.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka says this follows disruptions at the platinum mine.

This was during last week's elections over an issue which, he claims, had nothing to do with the employer.

Seshoka says the union will help people reapply for their jobs where required, but will not to support those who have broken the law.

A mother recovers in hospital after losing her husband and two kids

Lusanda Bill
25 May 2011

North West police says a mother is still recovering in hospital.

This after her husband and two children died when their shack in the Colridge informal settlement in Vryburg caught fire.

Three-year-old Tebogo Mosepele and six-year-old Nthabiseng Mosepele were alone in the shack when it burst into flames.

Their 34-year-old father Thabo Gakeyegope died in hospital from burn wounds he sustained, when he tried to save the sleeping children from the blaze.

The murders of a two-year-old girl have been arrested

Lusanda Bill
25 May 2011

The parents of a two-year-old girl who was murdered and raped in Mfuleni in Cape Town last year have been arrested.

Police spokesperson November Philander says the pair faces murder and rape charges.

Petronella Geyser was found dumped in some bushes in Mfuleni in November last year.

Her mother and father will appear in the Blue Down’s Magistrate’s Court today.

Water prices set to rise

Lusanda Bill
25 May 2011

Parliament’s Water Portfolio Committee chairperson Johnny de Lange has warned the Water Affairs Department to be careful of pushing for an independent water regulator.

Water boards across the country will increase their prices on the first of July.

Durban residents are facing a 38-percent increase and people in the North West and Gauteng will have to pay 28-percent and 12-point-nine-percent more respectively.

De Lange says an independent water regulator could hike prices well past what poor communities can afford.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Questions on who’s taking over top position at the IMF

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 May 2011

Debate has been raging over who will take over the top position at the International Monetary Fund.

This follows the arrest of former head Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York earlier this month.

The IMF has had a European chief executive since its inception in 1944.

Econometrix economist Tony Twine says there is no real reason for this, especially considering the economic troubles currently facing some EU states.

Twine contends that the organisation will nevertheless cling to this practice.

Motata could retire on full judge’s salary

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 May 2011

Judge Nkola Motata, who has been found guilty of drunk driving, has been paid almost R5 million while on special leave for the past four years.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe is quoted today as saying Motata should remain on special leave with full pay until the Judicial Services Commission has concluded its investigation into allegations of gross misconduct.

AfriForum has complained that the judge used racist language against whites.

Should the JSC not conclude its investigation by February, when Motata retires, he could go on pension with a judge’s full salary.

A Ncgobo hospital to receive a upgrade

Lusanda Bill
24 May 2011

A hospital in Ncgobo will be receiving a 47-million-Rands upgrade by the Eastern Cape health department.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says MEC Sicelo Gqobane made a surprise visit to Mjanyana hospital to make the announcement.

This follows complaints by traditional leaders to President Jacob Zuma about the decaying state of the facility.

The Eastern Cape health department last month announced that it would be spending one-point-nine-billion-Rands on renovating hospitals and building clinics in the province.

ANC members want councilors of their choice

Lusanda Bill
24 May 2011

Less than a week after the local government elections, ANC members are already demanding that councilors of their choice be installed at municipalities.

This follows unhappiness over election candidates not chosen by communities.

Eastern Cape police say 16 people were arrested for alleged public violence during a protest in Bizana yesterday.

A crowd of about five-thousand people had blocked the municipal office and the department of education before police were called in.

Sanef reacts to Herald incitement

Lusanda Bill
24 May 2011

The SA National Editors’ Forum says a disciplinary action must be taken against ANC chairperson in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Nceba Faku.

The Editors’ Forum has strongly reacted to comments made by Faku last week that ANC supporters should burn down the offices of The Herald newspaper.

Sanef deputy chairperson Raymond Louw says Faku’s comments are just the latest in a long list of anti-media freedom utterances.

Louw added that the media serves as a watchdog for political parties.

Trevor Manuel tipped to lead the International Monetary Fund

Lusanda Bill
24 May 2011

Planning Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel has been mentioned as candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund.

The Minister is joining calls for the West to relinquish its hold on the financial body's leadership.

Manuel is quoted as saying developing countries are playing an increasingly important role in the global economy.

He adds that it is fundamentally wrong that "birth right” is regarded as more important than ability in choosing the IMF chief.

A European has headed the institution since the first managing director was named in 1946.

Monday, May 23, 2011

43 people arrested in Cape Town over the weekend

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 May 2011

Cape Town Metro police had a busy weekend during which they arrested a total of 43 people for drunk driving and eight for drug related charges.

A total of 709 traffic fines were also issued.

Following a tip-off from the public, police found illegal cigarettes to the value of R28 000 in the Mitchells Plain Town Centre.

Spokesperson Wayne Le Roux says they will focus their roadblocks in the vicinity of nightclubs and known illegal drag racing hotspots.

A number of people questioned about police murders

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 May 2011

Western Cape police say they have taken in a number of people for questioning in connection with the murders of two police officers in Kraaifontein outside Cape Town at the weekend.

Warrant officer Gurswin Matthee and Constable Cannon Cloete were gunned down after they responded to a complaint at the Wallacedene Informal Settlement.

Both were shot in the head and robbed of their service pistols.

Provincial Commissioner Arno Lamoer says no arrests have been made yet, but several people have been questioned.

Earlier, the Western Cape Community Police Forum has called on residents of the Kraaifontein area to come forward with information about the killing of the two police members.

The CPF’s Hanif Loonat says National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele must come up with an effective plan to stop the deaths.

Some 32 police members have been killed around the country so far this year.

Loonat says something must be done.

Two road accidents claim 14 lives

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 May 2011

An accident in North West and one in the Eastern Cape have claimed the lives of 14 people.

Six people died and one was critically injured in a head on collision involving a sedan and truck on the R-509 Derby-Boons road in North West this morning.

Spokesperson Moses Kwele says a car with seven occupants driving from Johannesburg to Zeerust veered into the path of an oncoming lorry near Kwakfontein.

A woman in her 50’s, three children aged 8, 11 and 13 and infant twins of about 3 months died on the spot.

The accident in the Eastern Cape involved a collision after a car overturned and rolled into the path of another.

Eight people died at the scene. The drivers of both vehicles have been left critically injured.

The accident occurred on the N-2 between Butterworth and Ndabazaki.

Police killings on the increase

Lusanda Bill
23 May 2011

Thirty-two police members have been killed so far this year.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says the killing of a single police officer robs the nation.

The Minister was reacting to the recent spate of murders; Mthethwa urged society to work with police in apprehending the criminals.

Four members of the Force have been killed while fighting crime in just three days in different parts of the country.

A sergeant is also fighting for his life in hospital after being seriously wounded.

Maccassar mother Shamiela Stanley to appear in court today

Lusanda Bill
23 May 2011

The Maccassar mother who allegedly played a role in her seven-month-old baby’s disappearance is set to appear in the Somerset Magistrate’s Court today.

Shamiela Stanley was arrested earlier this year after police suspected that she could have had a part to play in her son’s disappearance.

At a previous court appearance, the 20-year-old was granted permission to be admitted to Valkenberg after claiming that she was hearing voices.

The search is still on for seven-month-old Dewandre Stanley.

Free State boy’s miraculous escape after an electric shock

Lusanda Bill
23 May 2011

Free State paramedics say a 12-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after an electric shock by an overhead railway cable in Viljoensdrift near Sasolburg over the weekend.

The boy was on top of a stationary train coach with a friend, when he came into contact with an overhead line supplying electricity to the coach.

Netcare 911’s Jeffrey Wicks says the boy plunged nearly five metres to the gravel below.

He sustained severe facial and leg burns, but miraculously, was uninjured in the fall. He is being treated in the Sebokeng Hospital.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shooting of policemen has reached crisis proportions

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 May 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has strongly condemned the killing of another two police officers in Cape Town this morning.

Thirty-nine-year-old Warrant Officer Gurswin Matthee and 23-year-old Student Constable Cannon Cloete were gunned down in cold blood in Kraaifontein.

They were investigating a routine incident in the informal settlement of Wallacedene when they were confronted by armed suspects and shot dead.

In just a matter of three days, four members of the South African Police Service have been killed and a sergeant remains in hospital after being seriously wounded in Creighton, KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

Cele says the murders must be regarded as a crisis and called on police in all the affected provinces to pull out all the stops to catch the killers.

Two Cape Town policemen gunned down in cold blood

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 May 2011

Cape Town police say they will not rest until they have captured the gunmen who shot and killed two of the comrades in cold blood in Kraaifontein this morning.

Spokesperson Andre Traut says the 39-year-old warrant officer and the 23-year-old student constable were both shot in the head while attending a routine complaint at an informal dwelling in Wallacedene.

He said they were approached by a group of armed people and shot on the corners of Pedro and Boesak streets.

Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape Police, Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer, urged community members to come forward with any information that could help in the investigation of the case.

Nearly 60-percent of registered voters made their crosses

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 May 2011

Chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula has congratulated South Africa’s voters for setting a record with the highest ever turnout for a municipal poll on Wednesday.

At the official declaration of the results in Pretoria last night, Tlakula said a low turnout in local government polls was the international trend.

The IEC had been hoping for a turnout of around 40-percent, but 57-point-six-percent was achieved.

The IEC confirmed that the ANC had secured 62-percent of the vote, less than the 67-percent it had gained in the 2006 elections.

The DA’s support jumped to 23-point-nine-percent, from 14-percent in 2006.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

At least six people die in road accidents

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 May 2011

Road accidents have claimed at least six lives in South Africa during the past 12 hours.

Four men died in a car accident on the N-12 East in Lenasia when the car they were travelling in overturned.

The men were travelling from Potchefstroom when the accident occurred.

A woman was killed and sixteen other people were injured, three critically, when a fully-laden minibus taxi left the N-3’s southbound carriageway near Heidelberg.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks says the taxi rolled several times before coming to a stop on its roof.

And in the Northern Cape a man was killed when he was struck by a light motor vehicle on the N-12 Transvaal Road near Kimberly.

The victim died before paramedics could attend to him.

Vote counting process completed

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 May 2011

The Independent Electoral Commission says all votes in the 2011 local government elections have been counted and verified.

Spokesperson Kate Bapela says they are preparing for the official announcement at 18:00 this evening.

Bapela says the objection process has been rounded off without any significant glitches.

A number of dignitaries and visitors are expected to attend the official announcement in Pretoria this evening.

Outrage grows over Hammerl’s killing

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 May 2011

The New York based Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists have called on Libya to release the body of slain South African photographer Anton Hammerl.

The activists also want the country to investigate the role the armed forces played in his death.

The South African government yesterday accused Libyan leader, including Muammar Gaddafi, of repeatedly lying about the fact that they knew that Hammerl had been dead for weeks.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says Libya’s actions are not only cruel, but also unlawful.

The ANC has, meanwhile, also said it was incensed by the Libyan government's use of force against civilians and journalists.

In a statement, the ruling party says it is particularly disappointed by the dishonesty of the Libyan government, which assured the world the Hammerl was alive and in custody.

The ANC says that raised the hopes of his family and friends, only to be crushed later.

Efforts are now being made to retrieve the cameraman’s body.

De Lille confirmed as Cape Town mayor

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 May 2011

The latest election results show that the ANC has won control of the Mangaung Metro, receiving 67% of the vote, the DA was second with almost 28%.

In 2006, the ANC got 73% of Bloemfontein’s vote, while the DA had only 17% support then.

The Independent Electoral Commission has also announced that there is very little doubt that the DA’s candidate Patricia de Lille will be Cape Town’s new mayor.

This is despite a recount of votes from some township areas.

With more than 98% of the votes having been tallied, the DA had secured 62% of the vote in the metro, and the ANC just under 32%.

The IEC’s Courtney Sampson says he is convinced that an official’s failure to hand in voting slips from three areas, which necessitated the recount, was not malicious.

In Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma said people knew which party had the ability to bring change to their lives.

He says this is why they supported the ANC in massive numbers in this week’s local government elections.

Over a thousand people flocked to the ANC’s victory party near Luthuli House in Johannesburg yesterday evening.

Zuma thanked party supporters and officials who worked hard to keep the party in charge.

Tatane police accused granted bail

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 May 2011

The Ficksburg community has expressed shock at the grating of bail to the eight police members accused of the fatal assault of protester.

Andries Tatane died after allegedly being shot by police during a service delivery protest last month.

Community leader Sam Matyane says the family was not even aware that the men had appealed yesterday in the Free State High Court against the Ficksburg Regional Court’s refusal to grant them bail.

The suspects were released after posting a R1 000 each.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Patricia de Lille the new Cape Town mayor

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 May 2011

City of Cape Town’s new Mayor Patricia de Lille’s has made her first speech at the results centre in Bellville.

De Lille says as the DA they will establish on the track record they have built over the past five years

She added that they have taken five wards that were under the ANC saying making a promise that she will deliver as the mayor of Cape Town.

Recounting of votes in Khayelitsha not yet finalised

Khanyisa Tabata
20 May 2011

IEC chairperson in the Western Cape Courtney Sampson says the recounting of votes in Khayelitsha has not yet been finalised.

He says one of the IEC officials failed to submit the results slips for a number of polling stations.

Sampson says about 98.5 percent of the votes last night and also they have noticed a huge number of the voter turn out. He says in the Western Cape is at 64% to 65%.

The results will be released tomorrow and he added that “it is safe to say that Patricia de Lille is the new Mayor of the City of Cape Town”.

“I am convinced that this was negligence it was not sabotage but I think it is a matter of importance to look at this. We will look at this in terms of the IEC disciplinary hearing.

“If you look at what we have at the parties contesting the Metro the DA has 62% of the votes and the ANC has more than 30% of the votes,” said Simpson.

IEC recounting votes at several Cape Town polling stations

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 May 2011

The Independent Electoral Commission is conducting a recount of several voting districts in the Khayelitsha Township in Cape Town.

This, after an election official failed to submit the results slips for a number of polling stations.

Analysts say the area is a traditional ANC stronghold in the city, but the results are not expected to have a significant impact on the DA’s overall majority lead for the metro.

Meanwhile,the African Christian Democratic Party, like many other small political parties, has not fared very well in this year’s local government elections.

The party says however that it has managed to hang on to its core membership base.

ACDP chairperson Jo-Ann Downs says they are satisfied with their performance in Limpopo and the Western Cape.

Government says Libya lied about Hammerl

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 May 2011

Government has defended its handling of the killing of photojournalist Anton Hammerl by saying it had been constantly misled by the Libyan authorities over his whereabouts and condition.

Addressing a news conference in Pretoria, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said at one point even Muammar Gaddafi himself directly lied by confirming that Hammerl was alive and well.

When American journalists were released yesterday, it emerged that Hammerl had already been dead for 45 days after being shot by Gaddafi loyalists.

Nkoana-Mashabane says government is determined to ensure that his remains are brought back for a decent burial.

Hiccup at the final hurdle of the voter tally

Lusanda Bill
20 May 2011

An area in Khayalitsha did not hand over its ward count and party representative slips.

This now has caused a delay in the final results being released.

Independent Electoral Commission spokesman Trevor Davids said in a short media briefing that the IEC is now recounting and capturing the votes again in that area.

The next press briefing is schedule for 18:00pm today

Suspected rhino killer shot dead in the Kruger National Park

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 May 2011

The National Defence Force says soldiers have shot dead three suspected rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park.

Spokesperson Marinda Meyer says the suspected poachers opened fire on patrolling soldiers at Houtbosrand, north of the Olifants River, this week.

The men started shooting at the soldiers and they returned fire.

An AK-47 assault rifle, a hunting rifle, two axes and two cell phones were found in the suspects’ possession.

Soldiers were brought in to help fight the scourge of rhino poaching in the park just over a year ago.

Soweto train crash leaves hundreds injured

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 May 2011

Hospitals in and around Soweto were put under extreme pressure after 644 passengers were injured when two trains crashed in Meadowlands late yesterday afternoon.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks says two of the patients were seriously injured.

Fifteen ambulances were used to rush patients to the Chris Hani Baragwanath, Helen Joseph and various private hospitals.

A passenger train apparently hit a stationary train head-on between Mzimhlophe and Phomolong stations, leaving hundreds of passengers scattered on and along the track, many with broken limbs.

Election results paint worrying picture for ANC

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 May 2011

The Democratic Alliance, Congress of the People and National Freedom Party have all exceeded expectations in this year’s local government elections.

So says political analyst Harald Pakendorf, who adds that the results so far have painted a worrying picture for the African National Congress.

Pakendorf says the ANC may have claimed victory in the majority of municipalities, but in some, this was by a very small margin.

He adds that the startling rise of the NFP spells trouble for the leadership of their KwaZulu-Natal rivals.

ANC wins the Johannesburg metro

Lusanda Bill
20 May 2011

The final votes are streaming in fast this morning, with the latest results coming from the Johannesburg metro.

The Johannesburg metro votes have been finalised and the ANC won with 58% followed by the DA with 34% of the votes.

As it stands now the IEC has counted 94% of the votes, with the City of Cape Town metro still outstanding.

Final results are now expected to be finalised by 11:00am today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

90 percent of votes counted already

Lusanda Bill
19 May 2011

IEC officials are still counting the votes but at the moment 90 percent of the votes have been counted already.

Votes that still need to come through is the metro votes which will determine who takes the Western Cape.

Popularity stats show that the Democratic Alliance is standing at 76 percent and the African National Congress standing in at 28 percent.

Final results are expected to be released by the end of tonight.

A high possibility of results to be released by tonight

Lusanda Bill
19 May 2011

Results for the local government elections are streaming and the leading party so far in the Western Cape is the Democratic Alliance.

The latest results that were released are from George, Paarl and Beaufort West.

In George the Democratic Alliance had 56.646 total valid voters and the DA won 51.02 % seats won. The African National Congress had a total of 43.876 valid voters and it won 38.78% of seats. The lowest party to win seats in George is the Congress of the People, it had 1.026 total valid voters and won 2.04% seats.

In Paarl the DA won followed by the ANC and the lowest party that won in Paarl is the People’s Democratic Movement. The DA had 84.535 total valid voters and won 57.38%. The ANC had 45.818 voters in Paarl and won 31.15%. The People’s Democratic Movement had 1.010 voters and won 1.64.

The IEC’s Chief Electoral Officer Courtney Sampson addressed the media and stated that the whole process will be completed by tonight.

Dubula ibhunu declared provocation to murder

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 May 2011

The Equality Court, sitting at the South Gauteng High Court, has started hearing closing argument in Julius Malema’s hate speech trial.

AfriForum argues that the ANC Youth League leader’s singing of the Shoot the Boer song threatens some farmers and Afrikaners.

The ANC says the song is part of its struggle history.

On Monday the words dubula ibhunu were declared provocation to murder in a judgment handed down in a separate case in the same court.

That case had been brought by two members of the Society for the Protection of Your Constitution.

ANC streaks ahead

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 May 2011

With over 50-percent of the results from yesterday’s local government elections finalised, the ANC has a two-thirds lead.

While big changes can still be expected as results continue coming in from some townships, the ruling party had 43-percent of the support in Johannesburg a while ago.

In Ekurhuleni the ANC had 60-percent of the votes and in the Tshwane Metro, 56-percent.

It also has the majority in Nelson Mandela Bay and in Mangaung.

In Cape Town, the DA’s massive lead of almost 80-percent is expected to decrease a bit as more results are announced.

Cope has put in a bit of a showing so far, especially in the Northern Cape, but the Freedom Front Plus is not doing well at this stage.

On a sad note, an ANC local government candidate died this morning just hours after winning his ward in Manguzi, KwaZulu-Natal.

Dlanini Tembe died of natural causes in hospital after taking Ward 17 from the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Political analyst surprised by the level of hostility towards the vote

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 May 2011

A political analyst says the only real surprise to come out of the local government elections is the level of hostility towards the vote.

Isolated protests were seen in various parts of the country yesterday. Dirk Kotzé of the University of South Africa says this is the first time he has seen people actively refusing to take part.

He adds, however, that both the ANC and the DA will do well in various respects.

Kotzé says the DA will do very well in the Western Cape and the ANC will do well in KwaZulu Natal.

However he says if Congress of the People loses the Nelson Mandela Bay then ANC might just capitalise on that.

Election results trickle in slowly

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 May 2011

Laingsburg could give an indication of where Cope’s sentiments lie. Results from yesterday’s local government elections have been declared in the Karoo town, with the ANC and the DA being allocated three seats each.

Cope is the king-maker, having won one seat. No-one is prepared to say at this stage how the coalition will pan out.

In the Northern Cape, the ANC has snatched the ward of Thembelihle from the DA.

In the Southern Cape, the DA won an outright majority in Knysna in the Eden district.

The DA has also taken an early lead in the highly-contested Midvaal municipality.

Midvaal is the only municipality in Gauteng run by the DA.

The ANC had a significant lead in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in the Eastern Cape a while ago.

Pravin Gordhan says IMF should appoint a managing director from a developing country

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 May 2011

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan believes the International Monetary Fund should appoint a managing director from a developing country.

He says such a candidate will bring a new perspective that will ensure that the interests of all countries are fully reflected.

Gordhan’s statement came after current IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested on Saturday and formally charged in New York on Monday with seven counts involving sexual assault and attempted rape of a maid in a luxury hotel.

South Africa’s Trevor Manuel’s name is being mentioned as a possible successor.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IEC official under investigation for trying to influence voters

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

The Independent Electoral Commission says it is investigating reports that one of its polling station officials has tried to influence peoples’ votes.

Reports say an official at the Factreton polling station in Cape Town tried to convince queuing voters to mark their ballots in favour of the National Party.

Western Cape IEC head Courtney Sampson says they are looking into the matter and have since removed the official from his post.

Meanwhile the MEC of Community Safety Albert Fritz told the Bush Radio News Team that the IEC official was still at the polling station.

Results expected as early as midnight today

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

The IEC says the first results are expected before midnight.

Final results should be out by no later than Friday morning the IEC stated today.

Changes to the Electoral Act, an Electoral Court will for the first time have the right to declare an election null and void as a result of objections.

This means that elections will take place again in that specific area before the end of the month.

Voters upset by Blade Nzimande special treatment at voting stations

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

Communist Party general secretary and Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande upset voters queuing at Johannesburg’s Emmarentia Primary School.

This morning the Minister got special treatment and jumped a queue of about 70 people, including a man in a wheelchair.

It was a different story in Soweto’s Orlando West High School when struggle hero Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was whisked through to cast her vote.

Other politicians, like Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan patiently waited with the rest of the voters to make their crosses.

High police presence in Swartklip Mitchell’s Plain

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

Police presence is still strong at the Swartklip sports complex in Mitchell’s Plain today.

This comes after people attempting to occupy land which is owned by the City of Town.

About 50 people are still occupying the piece of land, despite the city having secured a court interdict on Tuesday forcing them to move.

Violence has flared in the past few days, with people being arrested and inhured.

Several problems reported to the IEC today

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

The Independent Electoral Commission says problems have been reported from about five-percent of stations countrywide, with power cuts causing disruption in parts of Gauteng.

Other stations opened late because officials or ballot papers had not arrived.

Voters have come out in droves in hotly-contested Cape Town as well, with the Cape Flats seeing long queues before polling points had opened.

Police are watching Tafelsig where homeless protestors clashed with law enforcers this week.

Home Affairs Offices opened across the country today

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

All Home Affairs offices across the country are opened today to provide services to members of the public who require documents to enable them to participate in today’s local government elections.

The department is also rolling out mobile units where it does not have a physical presence.

The mobile units have the capacity to issue temporary identity certificates for those without permanent ID’s.

An operational centre in Pretoria will constantly update Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on developments today.

South Africans choose their councillors

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 May 2011

The country’s 20-thousand-868 voting stations should just have opened for South Africa’s fourth democratic local government elections. More than 23-million registered voters have the opportunity to elect their municipal councillors today.

Unlike in previous municipal elections, every voter in South Africa will be able to vote for one of four-thousand-277 ward councillors to represent them in their municipality.

A further 458 councillors will be appointed though a proportional representation vote in each municipality. This excludes district council councillors.

Voters living in one of South Africa's eight metropolitan councils will receive a yellow ballot paper to vote for a party, and a white ballot paper to vote for a ward councillor of their choice.

In South Africa's 226 non-metropolitan local councils, voters will also receive a third green ballot paper.

This is to vote for a party, which will through its candidate list appoint a percentage of councillors who will represent them in 44 district councils that will be responsible for providing bulk services to their municipalities.

Unlike in the previous national election in 2009, people can only vote at the station where they registered.

Farmers responsible for half of the country’s electricity theft

Lusanda Bill
18 May 2011

Eskom says farmers are responsible for nearly half of the country’s electricity theft incidents.

The power utility’s manager for energy loss, Maboe Maphaka, says they will soon take the matter up with the National Maize Producers’ Organisation with the aim of engaging with its 70-thousand members.

Maphaka says association appear to be operating across the country, and are tempting farmers to tamper with electrical installations.

It is believed that some Eskom employees are also involved, charging a hefty fee in the process.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

International interest in SA’s local polls

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 May 2011

South Africa’s local government elections, especially the open toilet saga, are making international headlines.

Britain’s influential The Guardian wants to know in an article why South Africa is still providing what it calls “apartheid toilets”.

The journalist asks how a nation that can build five-star hotels and airports and host a successful Soccer World Cup still fail to provide decent sanitation.

African democracy institute Idasa’s Judith February told the paper there was nothing more powerful than the image of a woman sitting on a toilet without an enclosure.

Meanwhile, National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has revealed that KwaZulu-Natal police are searching for a man accused of sending a hit man to kill a Durban ANC candidate.

The target was the party’s candidate in Newlands East.

Cele says the attacker was sent from Johannesburg.

According to the Commissioner, the hit man wounded himself in a scuffle with his intended victim before being arrested.

IEC says they are ready for tomorrow’s municipal elections

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 May 2011

Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission Brigalia Bam says she is satisfied with the turnout for the special vote.

Speaking at the close of the special votes yesterday, Bam said more than 200 000 people had cast their votes.

There had been some minor problems yesterday, but these would be ironed out by tomorrow Bam said.

Overall the process had proceeded smoothly and she sees it as a good omen for tomorrow’s municipal polls.

President Jacob Zuma will personally inspect all operations at the IEC results centre in Pretoria today.

He will also interact with staff at the centre.

Zuma officially ended his election campaign yesterday with a warning to incoming councillors of consequences for those who did not perform.

Meanwhile, a new Ipsos Markinor survey has found that the ANC remains the strongest political party in the country, although its support seems to have decreased since the 2009 general election.

The ANC got the support of nearly 57% of South Africans over 18, followed by the Democratic Alliance with 19%.

The Inkatha Freedom Party came in third with just over 2%.

Countrywide investigation into sanitation services

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 May 2011

Government’s Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Department is investigating what led to the building of open toilets in the Free State’s Moqhaka municipality.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane says they will, together with the Human Settlements Department, report to the Human Rights Commission on the quality of sanitation services delivered countrywide by local government.

The HRC requested a report within a month after finding that the municipality had failed the residents of the township near Viljoenskroon by not providing decent toilet facilities.

In its response to the HRC’s findings on the ANC-run Moqhaka municipality, the DA says the ANC must apologise for calling it racist over the so-called Khayelitsha toilet saga in the Makhaza area of Cape Town.

DA spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko says the ANC needs to focus on the real issues at hand.

Voting begins in the 2011 local government elections

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 May 2011

Thousands of people have begun making their mark in this year’s local government elections by casting their special votes.

The Independent Electoral Commission says about 239 000 people made arrangements to cast a special vote yesterday and today.

In order to qualify they had to be disabled or unable to make it to their voting station on Wednesday.

Former President Nelson Mandela cast his vote in absolute privacy at his Johannesburg home yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the IEC has urged South Africans to thoroughly check their ballot papers before casting their votes.

Courtney Sampson, the chief electoral officer in the Western Cape, says a ballot paper without an official IEC stamp on the reverse side will be counted as a spoilt vote.

He says this has always been one of the security measures used to prevent vote rigging.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cosatu and NUM calling for an investigation into the death of Pullman Dlamini

Lusanda Bill
16 May 2011

Cosatu and the National Union of Mineworkers are demanding an urgent investigation into the death in custody of activist Pullman Dlamini.

He was arrested yesterday while campaigning for the ANC in North West.

It is alleged that he accidentally injured a police member’s foot while driving through the Kanana Township.

According to NUM, Dlamini was beaten up by police and died today; the union added that the circumstances of his death are very disturbing.

Public urged to collect their ID's

Lusanda Bill
16 May 2011

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says her department has some 400-thousand identity documents in its offices.

People have been appealed to collect them before Wednesday.

Zuma says that the bar-coded IDs are essential for people to cast their votes.

Zuma cast a special vote in Newlands in Cape Town today in order to be free to work with the Independent Electoral Commission on Wednesday.

Mitchells Plain land invasion turns violent (WARNING Explicit language and visuals)

An eyewitness account by Brenda Leonard, Bush Radio Managing Director
16 May 2011

The Mitchell's Plain Backyard Dwellers invaded two pieces of land on Saturday, 14th May at 13h00. Approximately 2000 people invaded the first piece of land which is next to the Kapteinsklip Station. Over 4000 people invaded the second piece of land next to the Swartklip Indoor Sports Field. The City Police gave the invaders a warning and asked them to dismantle their structures and disperse, but people refused. When night fell, the City Police and SAPS withdrew from both sites. On Sunday, at about 10h15, the City Police and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit of the City of Cape Town moved in to demolish the structures at Kapteinsklip station, and they removed the materials that people used to build their structures. Four people were arrested.

At approximately 14h00 on Sunday afternoon, the City Police, SAPS and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit of the City of Cape Town moved in to demolish the structures at Swartklip Sports Field. People formed a barricade to prevent them from entering the site, and the City Police and SAPS then used teargas to disperse people. When this did not work, they used a water cannon to disperse the crowd and to break down the shelters. When people resisted the breaking down of the shelters, they arrested the people. The situation escalated and the SAPS and City Police used rubber bullets to disperse people. The invaders and surrounding communities retaliated and threw stones at the City Police and SAPS, causing them to withdraw from the site. The residents then burned tyres in the road trying to prevent the City Police and SAPS from coming back, and it resulted in thirteen people being arrested at Swartklip Sports Field.

Dog fighting ring bust in Plettenberg Bay

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 May 2011

Police Plettenberg Bay arrested ten people in connection with illegal dogfights at the weekend.

Eight Pit Bull Terriers have been confiscated. Two of the animals were seriously injured. The arrests were made on a farm at Ladywood.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie says they acted on information received from the public. They found two dogs fighting in a cage erected in the living room of the farm house. All the animals have been handed over to the Animal Welfare.

The suspects hail from Cape Town, Johannesburg, East London and Queens Town. They received bail of one-thousand-500 rands each and will appear in court on Thursday.

Zuma says fraudulent candidates will be removed

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 May 2011

President Jacob Zuma has acknowledged that some ANC candidates may not have been chosen with the participation of their communities.

Speaking at a massive rally in Johannesburg’s FNB stadium yesterday, Zuma said an ANC task team would investigate problems relating to fraudulent candidates after the election on Wednesday, removing those found guilty.

He is confident that the ANC will win all municipalities, saying the ruling party is best placed to rectify the housing and poverty inequalities which still plague the country.

Police constable wounded during a robbery in Mitchells Plain

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 May 2011

A police sergeant was seriously wounded during a robbery by three unknown suspects on Swartklip Road, Mandalay, Mitchells Plain.

Police spokesperson warrant officer November Filander says the attack happened when the member who was on foot to work, and dressed in full police uniform, was approached by three men.

“they unsuspected fired a shot at him, wounding him in his neck, and robbed him of his private firearm.

“The Mitchells Plain SAPS has registered a case of attempted murder. He is still in hospital, said Filander.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who knows the whereabouts of the suspects is kindly requested to contact the investigation officer, Warrant Officer Pieter Joubert of Mitchells Plain SAPS on 0763739556 or the toll-free police number Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

23 arrested for drunk driving

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 May 2011

Twenty-three drivers have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in an operation conducted by the Traffic, SAPS and Municipal Traffic over the weekend.

Minister for Community Albert Fritz says the highest alcohol reading was 1.46mg, recorded in Brackenfell, also up from last week’s 1.0mg.

“The number of speeding offences continues to soar with nearly 1350 drivers found exceeding the speed limit.

“We also had a tragic accident on the N1 just outside Touwsriver in the early hours of this morning, when the driver of a minibus taxi en route from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn,” said Fritz.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Malema rejects “a smiling president”

By Khanyisa Tabata
15 May 2011

As voters prepare to go to the polls, Julius Malema has taken an apparent swipe at President Jacob Zuma.

Reports from Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal quote the ANC Youth League president as saying when it came to the redistribution of land, South Africa didn’t need what he described as “a smiling president”.

Malema told a crowd that white people made up only 10-percent of South Africa’s population, yet they controlled 90-percent of the land.

To wild applause, he added that while the Freedom Charter said South Africa belonged to all who live in it, black people were, and we quote, “congested like

Body of a 75 year old man found in Pinelands

By Khanyisa Tabata
15 May 2011

Police have recovered a body of a 75 year old man after they were alerted by a local security guard in Pinelands.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer November Filander says the deceased was overpowered by two unidentified men at his house in Heldersig Street, Thornton in Pinelands, while busy removing his garbage.

“He was forcefully taken to the back of the house where he was fatally stabbed several times with an unknown sharp object.

“His 75 year old wife, who was alone with him the time of the incident, were also attacked by the suspects and later taken to a nearby hospital with head injuries,” said Filander.

He added that at this stage only two cellphones and the house keys were reported missing and a case of murder and house robbery has been opened.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects can contact the investigating officer, Detective Constable Magnum Kersouw from Pinelands SAPS on 083 6288 778 or 021-506 2118.

South Africans should vote for the values they believe in says Pieter Mulder

By Khanyisa Tabata
15 May 2011

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said South Africans should vote for the values they believe in.

Mulder reminded supporters that with the proportional electoral system, one does not only have to vote against the ANC, one can also vote in favour of something.

Citing service delivery problems, corruption and what he called “the divisive comments” of Julius Malema and Jimmy Manyi, Mulder said it was in the country's interest to vote against the ANC.

Meanwhile, the ANC says around 100-thousand people are being bussed in to Johannesburg’s FNB stadium for what it calls its “traditional victory rally, Siyanqoba,” - even before Wednesday’s polls.

Today’s festivities will be beamed to provincial rallies in Cape Town, Mangaung and Pietermaritzburg. President Jacob Zuma will deliver the key-note address, despite a bout of flu.

Zuma promises electricity for all

By Khanyisa Tabata
15 May 2011

President Jacob Zuma has reconfirmed government’s commitment to ensure that all communities, households, clinics and schools will have electricity by the year 2014.

He spoke at the official opening of the Hlobo electricity sub-station in Engcobo, Eastern Cape. Zuma admitted that the country’s electrification programme faces huge backlogs.

Municipalities are also often faced with a shortage of skills, limited human resources and not enough time to manage projects.

But Zuma assured the crowd that today’s launch confirmed that government was moving towards meeting its commitments.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Politicians wrap up election campaigns

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has told her party’s final election rally in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, today that every person who wants a better life for all should come out and vote for the DA in Wednesday’s local government election.

Zille says many councils hang in the balance, including the major urban centres of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Port Elizabeth. She says the DA has a chance of winning an outright majority in Cape Town.

Speaking in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, Zille told people that they don’t have to continue living in poverty, as the DA proven that it can deliver services for all.

The ANC will hold what it calls its “traditional victory rally, Siyanqoba,” at Johannesburg’s FNB stadium tomorrow - even before voters make their crosses.

The ruling party is expecting around 100-thousand people to descend on the stadium. President Jacob Zuma and other dignitaries’ addresses will be beamed to provincial Siyanqoba rallies in Cape Town, Mangaung and Pietermaritzburg.

Fraud investigators to swoop on Ehurhuleni

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

Police on the East Rand are reported to be preparing to swoop on the Ekurhuleni municipality and arrest five senior officials.

The Saturday Star says the crackdown could happen even before Wednesday’s election after the uncovering of an elaborate tender fraud in which hundreds-of-millions-of-Rands was spent on a computer system that does not work.

Whistleblowers are reported to have tipped off auditors. Specialist forensic investigators Aurco were called in when the scope of the fraud proved to be too big for the municipality’s auditors to handle.

Politicians wrap up election campaigns

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has told her party’s final election rally in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, today that every person who wants a better life for all should come out and vote for the DA in Wednesday’s local government election.

Zille says many councils hang in the balance, including the major urban centres of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Port Elizabeth. She says the DA has a chance of winning an outright majority in Cape Town.

Speaking in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, Zille told people that they don’t have to continue living in poverty, as the DA proven that it can deliver services for all.

Meanwhile the ANC will hold what it calls its “traditional victory rally, Siyanqoba,” at Johannesburg’s FNB stadium tomorrow - even before voters make their crosses.

The ruling party is expecting around 100-thousand people to descend on the stadium.

President Jacob Zuma and other dignitaries’ addresses will be beamed to provincial Siyanqoba rallies in Cape Town, Mangaung and Pietermaritzburg.

Half a million worth of worth of historic East-Asian porcelain stolen in Pretoria

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

Pretoria police are searching for thieves who got away with half-a-million-Rands’ worth of historic East-Asian porcelain artefacts stolen from the Akademie vir Wetenskap and Kuns.

The science and art academy’s Jacques van der Elst suspects the theft is part of a larger syndicate targeting porcelain art works. He adds that part of the historic building housing their offices was destroyed after the burglars came in through the roof.

They were disturbed by the alarm system, but had already taken half of the rare Japanese and Chinese porcelain collection.

Threats against foreigners in Gauteng

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

Lawyers for Human Rights have called on police to protect foreign traders who are closing their businesses after allegedly being threatened by the Greater Gauteng Business Forum.

The lawyers’ group’s Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh says terrified traders are packing up in areas like Freedom Park, Ramaphosa, Kagiso, Diepsloot, Tembisa and Orlando East in and around Johannesburg.

He says locals, motivated by xenophobia, have distributed eviction letters to foreign-owned businesses.

Missing alert

Court to rule on ANC appeal against ban on controversial song

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

Judgment is expected to be handed down next week in an application by the ANC for leave to appeal an order that the Shoot the Boer song incites crime.

The South Gauteng High Court is expected to rule on Monday after a Mpumalanga farmer in March successfully applied for an order to ban the song which ANC Youth League president Julius Malema insists on singing.

Civil society group AfriForum points out that this case is separate from their hate speech case against Malema for singing the struggle song.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Conduct Committee is this morning hearing a racism complaint against Judge Nkola Motata.

The complaint reates to remarks Motata made after he crashed his car into a wall in Johannesburg while drunk.

AfriForum says an audio recording of the events, played in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court during his trial, revealed that he had made racist remarks against whites after the crash.

They believe Motata's conduct violates the public's confidence in the legal system.

Johannesburg billing crisis slowly being resolved

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

The City of Johannesburg says it has resolved more than 51-thousand of the 65-thousand queries relating to its billing system.

Spokesperson Stanley Maphologela thanked residents of the city for their patience while they wait for the remaining queries to be answered.

The city came under fire earlier this year after thousands of residents received inflated electricity and water bills. The City says it has since redesigned its revenue system to become more customer-focused.

Thousands of police deployed for polls

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 May 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele says police won’t hesitate to act against anyone who tries to disrupt next week’s local government elections.

Cele says 186 people have already been arrested nationally for elections-related crimes.

Fifty-thousand police members will be deployed from Tuesday to Thursday to ensure a peaceful poll. Those on leave have been recalled for duty.

Cele says they know of protest plans in parts of the country, depending on the results of the election, but would not give details on which areas are regarded as problematic.

Meanwhile, Free State police are monitoring the volatile Meqheleng township in Ficksburg after a protest had to be broken up with the use of rubber bullets yesterday

The township, where protestor Andries Tatane was killed a month ago, erupted yesterday after residents had met with provincial officials regarding an investigation into corruption.

Three directors and a manager from the Setsoto municipality are on special leave pending the result of the investigation. But residents reportedly also want Ficksburg mayor Mbothoma Maduna suspended.

One of South Africa’s most wanted criminals arrested

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 May 2011

One of South Africa’s most wanted criminals has been arrested near Beit Bridge in Limpopo.

Police spokesperson Neville Malila says 29-year-old Bongani Moyo, who was the leader of a notorious bank robbery gang, was arrested shortly after eleven last night.

Moyo has been linked to some 35 bank robberies and has been described as dangerous.

He escaped from the Boksburg Prison in March. Malila praised the public for their assistance and the detectives for their diligent work in catching Moyo.

Toilet wars become an election feature

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 May 2011

With local government elections just days away, the Gauteng local government and housing department yesterday started delivering the first batch of chemical toilets to the Sicelo Shiceka informal settlement in Midvaal.

MEC Humphrey Mmemezi promised to provide the toilets in the hotly contested DA-led municipality after finding during a walk-about in the area that residents had to rely on open pit toilets. The ANC has vowed to win back the municipality.

Meanwhile, the ANC has vowed stern action if the mayor of the Maqhaka municipality had benefitted from the Viljoenskroon open toilet debacle. The ANC in the

Free State has admitted that mayor Mantebu Mokgosi had informed them that her husband's company was a sub-contractor in the project.

Provincial ANC secretary Sibongile Besani says they had decided to handle the matter on a political and not on an individual level. Observers say the so-called toilet wars have become a feature of the election.

Youth League accuses Zuma of isolating Malema

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 May 2011

The ANC Youth League has accused President Jacob Zuma of isolating its president Julius Malema from the organisation.

This follows Zuma’s comments that Malema’s views on land redistribution without compensation are the Youth League leader’s own, and not that of the organisation.

The Youth League says in a statement that the views on land reform are contained in an official discussion document and are not just the views of an individual.

Zuma this week told farmers in KwaZulu-Natal not to worry about their land being taken without compensation.

Meanwhile, Zuma yesterday warned the North West community of Phola, outside Lichtenburg that the ancestors would turn against those leaving the ANC.

He says those who leave because they had not been chosen as election candidates would have “bad luck” forever. Zuma added that voting for the ANC added value to the development of the country.

Education Dept. issues stern warning to Delft learners ahead of march

By Kim Saulse
13 May 2011

The Western Cape Education Department has issued a warning to learners at the Masibambisane Secondary School in Delft who plan to partake in a march today.

Department spokesperson Bronagh Casey warned that “any learner or educator that leaves school during school hours will face disciplinary action”.

Casey says it is not clear what sprung the learners into action, but the planned march comes after a number of disruptions at the school in recent weeks.

She says the march, which appears to be led by two learners and supported by the African People’s Convention, has little to do with the concerns of the learners.

“There have been numerous attempts to engage constructively on the concerns learners have raised in the last few weeks. However, the substance of these concerns change everyday to the extent that the only conclusion to draw is that this has little to do with education matters and has broader political overtones,” says Casey.

Casey added that the safety of learners and their rights will be prioritized by the department and police.

“Regardless of the motivation for a march, I wish to make it very clear that the WCED along with SAPS will do everything to ensure the safety of learners and school property,” says Casey.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The fight for the Western Cape (Part 4)

Independent: Thembisile Mbenenene, Lusanda Bill (Bushnews), Mario Wanza

Catch the forth of a series of debates with political parties contesting the 2011 Local Government Elections in the Western Cape on Newsline tonight (12 May 2011) at 7pm, repeated Friday at 8pm.

Tonight the Bushnews team spoke to two independent candidates.

Tune in via 89.5FM or www.bushradio.co.za


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Allegations of inadequate training at SAA dismissed

By Kim Saulse
11 May 2011

Allegations that South African Airways long-haul cabin crew have inadequate training have been dismissed.

This after it was revealed that the airline had to reschedule a 16 hour flight from Johannesburg to the United States of America after it emerged that the crew did not complete the necessary training.

Meanwhile, the National Aviation Authority said the national carrier did not contravene any of its safety regulations.

Seasoned journo will be sorely missed- Communications Chairperson

By Kim Saulse
11 May 2011

The Portfolio Committee on Communications has expressed its condolences to the family of seasoned political journalist Kgomotso Sebetso who was the casualty of a fatal accident in Gauteng at the weekend.

In a statement Chairperson of the committee, Eric Kholwane, said the loss of the Sebetso was not only a loss to the national broadcaster, but also to the journalism fraternity.

“Mr Sebetso knew how to balance a story, reflecting all the different sides of an issue,” added Kholwane.

Politicians get personal

By Khanyisa Tabata
11 May 2011

Personal attacks are increasing as next week’s local government elections draw near. ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu has accused Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille of “not thinking like a human being”.

Jackson was responding to Zille’s reported statement that the open toilet saga in Cape Town had been blown out of proportion.

Following the Cape Town incident, for which the ANC took the City to court, it has emerged that residents of an ANC-controlled municipality at Viljoenskroon in the Free State have been subjected to unenclosed toilets for years.

Meanwhile, the ANC says employers who don’t release their workers to freely cast their vote border on undermining the laws of the land.

Mthembu says if workers have to be at work for whatever reason on next week Wednesday’s public holiday, arrangements must be made to release them to go and vote before returning to work.

One pupil still in hospital after eating expired gum

By Khanyisa Tabata
11 May 2011

The provincial health department says one learner is still being treated for food poisoning after eating expired chewing gum.

Health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever says the learners aged seven and 14 were transported to Kraaifontein, Delft and Elsies River Community Health Centres as well as Tygerberg & Karl Bremer Hospital. Children were also treated at the Fisantekraal Clinic but were discharged

Van der Heever says the Environmental Health officers from the City of Cape Town's Health Department investigated the matter and samples of the goods were taken for laboratory tests.

He says the Western Cape Department of Health appeals to the communities not to eat food which had already expired as it could be very dangerous.

Medupi project on hold

By Khanyisa Tabata
11 May 2011

Eskom has suspended construction of the Medupi power plant in Limpopo due to violent protests by contract workers. The plant is meant to help prevent a looming power crunch.

Work has also been suspended at Eskom's Kusile power plant in Mpumalanga following protests there last week.

Workers are apparently unhappy about foreigners being hired as welders. Eskom has said that power supply will be tight for several years due to a lack of capacity.

200 learners admitted to hospital after eating an expired chewing gum

By Khanyisa Tabata
11 May 2011

At least 200 learners from the Trevor Manuel Primary School in Fisantekraal in Cape Town were admitted to hospital yesterday after they ate expired chewing gum.

The learners reportedly started vomiting after the gum raised their blood sugar levels too rapidly.

The City of Cape Town’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes says a group of learners found the chewing gum on a nearby farm and shared it with their classmates.

He says the goods were intended to be disposed of in the correct manner and the city’s department of health will investigate the matter and they’ve taken samples of the goods that will be taken for laboratory tests

ANC does toilet damage control

By Khayisa Tabata
11 May 2011

Julius Malema has promised that heads will roll over the ANC open toilet scandal in the Free State. After inspecting the humiliating sight in the Rammulotsi township near Viljoenskroon, the ANC Youth League leader said someone had to take responsibility for the debacle.

Last month, the Western Cape High Court ordered the DA-led City of Cape Town to enclose one-thousand-300 toilets in the Makhaza settlement in Khayelitsha.

During yesterday’s visit, Free State Premier Ace Magashule repeated the ANC's earlier comment that it had not known about the open toilets in an area controlled by the ruling party.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission has reacted to the unenclosed toilet saga by calling on political parties to respect the Constitutional mandate and independence of the Commission.

The HRC says the critical human rights of the poorest people should not be reduced to political footballs.

After criticism from the DA that the investigation into the Viljoenskroon toilets had dragged on for months, the Commission gave the assurance that its report on the matter would be released shortly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sheryl Cwele given special leave from her KwaZulu-Natal municipality job

By Khanyisa Tabata
10 May 2011

Convicted drug trafficker Sheryl Cwele has been placed on special leave by the Hibiscus Coast Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

The wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele was last week sentenced to 12-years in prison by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Municipality officials say Cwele has been placed on special leave and not fired, pending her planned conviction appeal.

She has appealed her conviction, and is on R100,000 bail, while Nabolisa is in custody and intends to appeal both the sentence and conviction.

Why are young people voting in the Western Cape?

source: Bushblog

MEC Donald Grant concerned about latecomers at school

By Khanyisa Tabata
10 May 2011

Western Cape Education Minister Donald Grant says he has taken into account the late coming and loitering by learners of Vista High School after he received the information from a member of the public.

Grant says this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. He says learners need to be at school.

“This morning I went to Vista High School to investigate the public’s complaint and I met the principal of the school, who explained to me that late coming was a concern.

“Each morning, the names of the late learners are recorded and each of them then has to report for a 40 minute detention after school that day,” said Grant.

Grant says last term; over 100 learners were late on any given day, with some learners arriving over one hour after the first school bell.

“Therefore, not only have the numbers of late learners decreased, the amount of teaching and learning time lost has also declined.

“It is evident that many of the learners are making an extra effort to be at school on time in order to avoid attending detention,” said Grant.

Staff evacuated at Medupi power station

Lusanda Bill
10 May 2011

Staff at Eskom’s Medupi power station project have been evacuated in Limpopo.

Vehicles were set alight and tyres burnt during a violent protest at the station this morning.

It is alleged that workers are unhappy about foreigners being hired as welders.

When Medupi, near Lephalala, comes online next year, it will be the largest dry-cooled coal fired power station in the world.

Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial postponed to October

Lusanda Bill
10 May 2011

The former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial has been postponed until the 10th October.

The trail has been hit with several delays including defence advocate Puna Moroko’s pulling out.

Eugene Terre’Blanche was murdered on his farm in the North West in 2010.

It is alleged that he was murdered by two of his employees.

Samwu national strike suspended

Lusanda Bill
10 May 2011

The national planned strike of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union for Friday has been suspended.

The union had planned that more than 200,000 workers, excluding those in essential services, would go on strike on.

Samwu’s spokesperson Tahir Sema said “The strike action has been suspended due to the late, but welcome intervention by the ANC. The ANC had made firm commitments to the concerns and demands we have raised”.

Sema added that if the ANC does not keep its promise than a strike will go ahead.

Ilmainen www-laskuri