Monday, October 31, 2011

ANCYL slams reports over Malema’s possible arrest

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 October 2011

The ANC Youth League says it has noted various what it calls “sensational rumours” that Julius Malema is to be arrested. But it says no law enforcement agencies have contacted him.

The League says in a statement if the Hawks do investigate Malema the League will fully cooperate, because he is innocent.

But it says it won’t respond to faceless cowards who secretly speak to newspapers.

ANC Youth League spokesperson says the spreading of rumours and constant attempts of character assasination actually inspire and agitate the leadership and membership of the ANC YL to fight with more determination.

Widow of slain High Court judge pleads not guilty

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 October 2011

Thandi Maqubela has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, forgery and fraud in the Western Cape High Court.

The widow of the late Western Cape High Court judge Patrick Maqubela has been accused of suffocating her husband in their Bantry Bay home in June, 2009.

The case has been moved upcountry as judges in the Western Cape were reluctant to hear the case. The trial continues.

Maqubela’s co-accused Vela Mabena also pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.

She is accused of forging her husband’s will by attaching a signature to it which purported to be that of Patrick Maqubela, but in fact was not.

Over 17 000 households refused to be counted

By Khanyisa Tabata
31 October 2011

Statistics South Africa Statistician General Pali Lehohla today briefed the media about the Stats SA Mop-up phase as this year’s Census 2011 comes to an end today.

Lehohla said operations on the ground indicate that there still houses that have not been counted. He said 98.8%enumaration areas were visited by field staff over the past 21 days.

“The focus for the statistical agency now moves to the payment of fieldworkers, collection of all questionnaires with the payment for the field workers starting on the 10th of November 2011.

“Each field worker will be paid R5000 while supervisors will be paid R7500 each,” said Lohohla.

Lehohla said that they will be embarking on a mop-up phase, the statistical agency going to escalate their enforcement against those who refuse to be counted.

“To date there are 17 000 refusals that had been registered during the population and housing around the country,” said Lehohla.

“An independent team has been established to go to the field to conduct Post Enumeration Survey, a quality check exercise to determine among other things the census coverage and measure the undercount.

“What we are certain about is that the census 2011 will be able to give the government population trends, demographic trends, the level intern migration and income levels of our country,” said Lehohla.

The results for this year’s census are expected to be announced in November 2012.

Possibility of the Hawks arresting Julius Malema

Lusanda Bill
31 October 2011

There are claims that ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema faces possible arrest by the Hawks.

The Hawks might arrest him on charges relating to his financial affairs.

The special crime unit has allegedly uncovered evidence of wrongdoing in the awarding of tenders to companies with close ties to Malema, in his home province of Limpopo.

A report today states that Malema has dared the Hawks to lay charges against him.

Trouble looms for Stats SA

Lusanda Bill
31 October 2011

Disgruntled census workers in Inanda, Durban, say they will withhold questionnaires if they are not paid by Stats South Africa.

Census 2011 officially comes to a close today, with residents of more than 97-percent of the country’s 14-million households estimated to have been counted.

StatsSA’s KwaZulu-Natal head, Nthabiseng Makhatha, has urged the enumerators to come forward with their concerns.

She promised them that they will be paid in due course.

Missing Child Alert: Liyema Mconi

Census 2011 comes to a close

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 October 2011

South Africans have been urged to keep their doors open for enumerators as Census 2011 comes to a close.

The national count officially ends today, but many of the estimated 14 million households in the country are yet to be visited.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane called on people to let census staff get on with their work.

People who refuse to cooperate were earlier this month informed that compliance is a legal requirement.

Warning letters are due to be issued to anyone who has refused to be counted.

President Jacob Zuma’s top cop appointment questioned

By Lelethu Mquqo
31 October 2011

President Jacob Zuma’s decision to appoint Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi as the acting National Police Commissioner last week continues to raise eyebrows.

Weekend reports say Mkhwanazi leapfrogged at least 30 more senior police officials to grab the position from suspended top cop Bheki Cele.

Cele was suspended while a commission of enquiry investigates his involvement in doggy police headquarters lease deal.

The DA’s Diane Kohler Barnard says they want to know which other candidates were considered for the position and why Mkhwanazi was selected over them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Census officials say everyone will be counted

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 October 2011

With Census 2011 ending tomorrow, Statistics South Africa has assured those who have not yet been counted that they will not be left out.

A so-called “mopping-up period” kicks in from Tuesday in which distributed forms will be collected.

Enumerators will also get to people who had not been available during the past two weeks, or where field workers could not get access to properties.

People who need more information can call the toll free number 0800 11 02 48.

Sports minister fails to silence newspaper

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 October 2011

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula approached the South Gauteng High Court yesterday to try and force City Press to carry his comments on a report implicating him in a sex scandal.

His spokesperson Paena Galane says their efforts were too late as the High Court sitting would have happened after the newspaper had gone to print.

City Press editor Ferial Haffajee says Mbalula had not answered questions sent to him on Thursday afternoon.

According to the report a model claims she is pregnant by Mbalula.

The minister confirmed that he had had a relationship with her but claims it happened while he was briefly separated from his wife.

Qantas grounding leaves world leaders stranded

By Khanyisa Tabata
30 October 2011

President Jacob was not left stranded in Australia by the grounding of the entire Qantas fleet yesterday.

He used a private plane to return to South Africa from the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Perth.

Seventeen world leaders, booked on Qantas flights, had to change their travel plans after the grounding in a bid to end a bitter industrial dispute.

Tens of thousands of passengers around the world were stunned when the national carrier announced the extraordinary shutdown of all its flights.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says aircraft will remain on the ground for as long as it takes.

He has vowed not to bow to union demands for a pay increase. Union members also want Joyce to abandon a plan to shift the airline’s operational focus to Asia.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Census counting almost done

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 October 2011

Statistics South Africa says some 97-percent of households have been counted since the start of the Census2011 three weeks ago.

However, spokesperson Trevor Oosterwyk admits that while they have been hard at work, there will always be a few people not at home when they are visited.

Those who have not been counted yet must contact Stats SA so that an enumerator can be sent to them.

Juvenile detainees set their cell on fire

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 October 2011

Correctional Services has revealed that three juvenile detainees set their prison cell on fire at Krugersdorp Prison on Gauteng’s West Rand. The youths suffered serious injuries.

Spokesperson Sibongile Khumalo says the three, who were awaiting trial, blocked their cell with a steel bed yesterday and set it on fire.

They were taken to Leratong hospital, where one of them is in a critical condition.

Media freedom safe in SA

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 October 2011

Government’s commitment to media freedom as enshrined in the Constitution remains solid.

This was stressed by government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi as Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe leads the Cabinet in a meeting with the National Editors' Forum over the weekend.

The role of the media in the country is on the agenda. Manyi says the groups will also discuss how the media can contribute towards building a democratic society and an informed citizenry.

South Africa to move from analogue to digital broadcasting in three years

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 October 2011

Newly-appointed Communications Minister Dina Pule says her first priority is to ensure that the country meets its digital broadcasting obligations in the next three years.

South Africa needs to migrate from analogue to digital by 2015 as the out dated analogue television signal will no longer be supported internationally thereafter.

Pule says a way has to be found to meet the funding challenges to the get the project finalised.

Tough bail welcomed in jogger killing case

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 October 2011

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has welcomed the bail conditions imposed on the man accused of killing five joggers while allegedly driving drunk.

Sibusiso Langa, a 43-year-old engineer, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court yesterday and was granted 80-thousand-Rands bail, and not 18-thousand-Rands as reported earlier.

Ndebele is particularly pleased that Langa is not allowed to drive while out on bail. The joggers were killed last weekend while preparing for the Soweto Marathon.

Men arrested for possession of illegal firearms

By Lelethu Mquqo
29 October 2011

The police in Cape Town say they were fired on by a Somali shopkeeper.

They raided five Somali owned Spaza shops in Browns Farm, Philippi.

On arrival at one of the shops someone fired a shot at police through a door, but no one was injured.

Four Somali men and a South African were arrested.

During their search police found four firearms and rounds of ammunition.

It was later established that all the firearms had been reported as stolen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mkhwanazi promoted to lieutenant-general

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2011

President Jacob Zuma has promoted acting National Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi to the rank of lieutenant-general.

This happened two days after the 38-year-old Mkhawanazi was appointed as stand-in for the suspended Bheki Cele.

Cele was suspended on Monday pending an investigation in his involment in the police building lease deals.

Experts say the promotion came after outcry over the fact that about 26 more senior lieutenant-generals, who were overlooked for the acting position, would have had to report to the more junior-ranked Mkhwanazi.

Another steep fuel price hike

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2011

The Energy Department has announced that the petrol price will rise by 23-cents a litre next week.

Diesel users will have to cough up even more with its price shooting up by 36-cents a litre.

It is the fourth month in a row that hard-pressed consumers have to deal with steep fuel price hikes.

The department says while global oil prices went down recently, the Rand weakened, prompting the steep hike.

Nxesi promises protesters government will respond to their demands

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2011

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has promised protestors at the Union Buildings that government will soon respond to their memorandum demanding economic relief.

The ANC Youth League’s top demand is that the Constitution should be amended so that land can be expropriated without compensation.

They also want to see the nationalisation of mines and of banks.

The thousands of weary marchers are now making their way home after a two-day protest which saw many of them walking overnight from Johannesburg to Pretoria.

ANCYL freedom march in its final day

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2011

The ANC Youth League march for economic freedom has entered its last day today.

ANCYL president Julius Malema addressed a crowd of thousands as their arrived in Pretoria in the early hours of this morning.

A memorandum outlining the ANCYL demands will be handed over at the Union Buildings.

Malema says young people are claiming what is rightly theirs.

50 people left homeless in Khayelitsha

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2011

A fire in Khayelitsha left 50 people displaced and destroyed 12 shacks.

Fire services Theo Layne said most of the people were not at home during the fire, so no one was injured.

The 50 displaced were assisted with food, blankets, clothing and building material. Further social assistance will be provided by the social development department of the Western Cape provincial government and the SA Social Security.

The cause of the fire is still not known at this stage but the case has been handed over to the police

Mthethwa takes a strong stance on lazy police officers

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2011

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned incompetent and lazy police officers that their days with the force were numbered.

Mthethwa was in Ndevana in the Eastern Cape, where he gave station commanders 24-hours to address issues raised by local communities.

These include poor response time by police, allegations of bribery, a lack of resources and fears that the women and children would become victims of rapists.

Mthethwa expects to be updated on progress made in addressing the complaints.

ANCYL determined to continue marching for economic freedom

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2011

The ANC Youth League says it is making history with its two-day mass action to demand economic freedom and jobs.

Spokesperson Floyd Shivambu says never before has so many young people walked so far with such high levels of discipline.

Some estimate that around eight-thousand people joined the march in Johannesburg yesterday.

Meanwhile Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has condemned reported incidents in Johannesburg in which pupils say they were forced out of school to join the march.

A plan to curb identity theft on the way

Lusanda Bill
28 October 2011

South African banks and Home Affairs are working on an online fingerprint verification project to curb identity theft.

This is aimed at protecting the identities of South Africans while assisting in the international effort against fraud and corruption.

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi explained that the system will work in a way whereby if a person cannot make a transaction, then the bank will take a fingerprint and compare it with the Home Affairs data base.

Manyi added that if the fingerprints do not match then the police would be called.

A trade union threatens to ground Mango

By Lelethu Mquqo
28 October 2011

Trade union Solidarity has warned that if airline company Mango does not get serious about wage negotiations immediately, it will bring the airline’s flights to a halt.

According to a Solidarity spokesperson, wage negotiations with Mango have not gained momentum since August.

Solidarity says all Mango employees work on a contractual basis and do not receive medical and pension benefits.

The union says they are therefore not remunerated on nearly the same level as other industry employees.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality employees ignore Samwu’s call to go on strike

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2011

The Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality has applauded its employees for disregarding a call by municipal union Samwu to go on strike.

Despite the call, the municipality has recorded a hundred-percent employee attendance.

The union is unhappy about the dismissal of the seven of its Ekurhuleni shop stewards.

The municipality is defending the dismissals at the Local Government Bargaining Council.

The shop stewards are accused of assaulting the presiding officer at a disciplinary hearing.

Thousands join ANC Youth League’s march

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2011

The ANC Youth League has blamed taxi delays for the fact that its economic freedom march in Johannesburg started four-hours late. It was supposed to kick off at eight this morning.

Spokesperson Floyd Shivambu says around five-thousand protestors descended on Beyers Naudé Square and many more are still joining the mass action.

Scores of law enforcers are maintaining order along the route to the Chamber of Mines and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Observers have reacted to the protest by pleading for discipline.

Econometrix economist Zandile Makhoba warns that local and international investors could be scared off should violence erupt.

Makhoba adds that investors want the assurance that their money will be safe, should they invest in the country.

Lindiwe Mazibuko the new DA parliamentary leader

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2011

Lindiwe Mazibuko has been announced as the new Democratic Alliance's new parliamentary leader.

The DA’s 83 member caucus voted this morning.

Mazibuko defeated incumbent Athol Trollip who has been the DA’s parliamentary leader for two and half years.

Lindiwe Mazibuko received support from a number of the DA’s stalwart including Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille.

DA to vote for new leadership today

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2011

Today is the DA’s crucial parliamentary leadership vote.

Many of the party’s stalwarts have come out in favour of Lindiwe Mazibuko against incumbent Athol Trollip.

The contest will be decided by the DA’s 83-member caucus which includes MPs from the ID, along with leader Helen Zille.

The party will also select a caucus chairperson and deputy, a deputy chief whip, the DA leader of the National Council of Provinces and eight whips.

More deaths caused by firearms in the Western Cape

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2011

The University of Cape Town’s Professor Lorna Martin has revealed that the Western Cape is seeing more deaths caused by firearms than ever before.

The Professor was speaking at UCT on Wednesday.

Martin said ten years ago most deaths were caused by stabbings.

She added that “In the nineties, there were a lot more stabbings. A lot more knife wounds and incidents. Now, especially in the Western Cape, we have switched to guns”.

Professor Lorna Martin also revealed that alcohol is still playing a huge part in deaths.

Investigation into alleged raped cancer patient underway

Lusanda Bill
27 October 2011

The Health Professions Council has expressed dismay at accusations that doctors had ignored the alleged rape of a terminally ill cancer patient in Bloemfontein.

The Council’s Bertha Scheepers says the horrific incident has sent shockwaves across the country.

Scheepers said they view the incident as a dreadful incident and goes against humanity and their core values.

Scheepers has given the assurance that a full investigation is underway.

Cosatu says it will not join ANC Youth League marches

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 October 2011

The Congress of South African Trade Unions says it has decided not to participate in the ANC Youth League marches in Johannesburg and Pretoria as they would rather take part in an ongoing three-day Young Communist League summit.

The marches are due to take place today and on Friday.

Gauteng police say every effort will be made to minimise disruptions.

The League is calling for the nationalisation of mines and the redistribution of wealth.

They will march to the Chamber of Mines, as well as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, before making their way to the Union Buildings.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini says they are happy that young people are taking the initiative.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Term of inquiry in arms deal to be announced

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2011

The terms of reference for the latest Commission of Inquiry into the controversial arms deal are set to be announced tomorrow morning.

Justice Department spokesperson Tlali Tlali says this will spell out the scope of the inquiry, as well as the powers of the new Commission.

Supreme Court of Appeals judge Willie Seriti was appointed earlier this week to chair the Commission.

He will be joined by Willem van der Merwe and Francis Legodi; both of whom currently serve in the North Gauteng High Court.

Free State loses two rhino to poachers

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2011

The Free State has been hit be the province’s second incident of rhino poaching.

Two white rhino have been found shot and with their horns removed.

The carcasses of an adult pregnant cow and a younger cow were found at the Sandveld nature reserve near Bloemhof.

Provincial environmental spokesperson Kgotso Tau says the animals were apparently shot on Sunday night.

Tracks suggest the poachers were in the reserve on foot.

DA Youth objects to NYDA’s support of the ANCYL marches

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2011

The Democratic Alliance Youth is objecting to the state-funded National Youth Development Agency’s support for the ANC Youth League’s economic freedom march.

The ANCYL has planned to march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Chamber of Mines and the Union buildings on Thursday and Friday.

DA Youth leader Makashule Gana calls the Agency’s stance a violation of the Public Service Act and possibly also the Constitution.

Makashule has asked the Public Service Commission to investigate the matter, which he says is equivalent to the Treasury endorsing a DA election rally.

Madikizela-Mandela believed to be defending Malema

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 October 2011 `

Julius Malema’s disciplinary hearing has resumed at the FNB Stadium in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is believed to be testifying as the final witness in the ANC Youth League leader’s defence.

Earlier it was rumoured that national executive committee member Tony Yengeni would also speak in favour of Malema.

He faces charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division in the party. Closing arguments are scheduled for the 3rd of next month.

Ninety-nine-year-old woman raped

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 October 2011

An 18-year-old Eastern Cape youth will appear in the Elliotdale Magistrate's Court tomorrow after being arrested in connection with the rape of a 99-year-old woman.

Police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela says the suspect was arrested at Mqhele, near Mthatha, this morning.

The victim is being treated in hospital. It is alleged that the 18-year-old kicked down the elderly woman's door before raping her. Nothing was taken from the house.

Fatyela said police assisted in making the arrest by information provided by the public.

Missing Child Alert: Sfiso Eze

High accolade for Cape Town

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2011

Cape Town has been awarded the title of World Design Capital 2014.

The Mother City competed with two other world cities, Dublin and Bilbao.

A high-level delegation, led by Mayor Patricia de Lille, is in Taipei where the official announcement was made this morning.

The bi-annual World Design Capital designation recognises cities that use design for social, economic, and cultural transformation.

Cape Town’s bid focused on creating an inclusive city for all.

ANCYL to hold night vigil

Lusanda Bill
26 October 2011

The ANC Youth League says its planned night vigil in Pretoria tomorrow night will be moved to another venue.

The Tshwane Metro Police has refused the League permission to hold the vigil at the Union Buildings.

However, the mass march to the Union Buildings to demand jobs for young people will go ahead on Friday.

Spokesperson Floyd Shivambu says the vigil cannot be held at the Union Building because it is a national key point, subject to special security measures.

Between 300 and 500 law enforcement officials will be on hand during the ANC Youth League’s march.

FF Plus says Finance Minister is becoming desperate to balance books

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 October 2011

The Freedom Front Plus says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appears to have run out of options to balance the country’s books.

Gordhan released the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Cape Town yesterday.

FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder says it seems as if the Minister is getting desperate.

Mulder however welcomed the emphasis on better discipline in the civil service, as well as moves to curb wasteful expenditure.

Meanwhile, the African Christian Democratic Party says they broadly support Gordhan’s mini budget.

Party spokesperson Steve Swarts says the Minister had very little room to move, given the current global economic uncertainty and South Africa’s sluggish economic growth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Robben Island will go on strike tomorrow

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 October 2011

About 150 workers on Robben Island will go on strike tomorrow.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union have demanded a hike on their R3 000 and monthly salary.

The demands also include a housing allowance and a medical aid subsidy.

Nehawu spokesperson Luthando Noncinisa says the museum management has failed to implement a 2010 salary hike agreement, which was supposed to come into effect in May.

Gordhan under pressure with mini-budget

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 October 2011

All eyes are on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan this afternoon. He remains under pressure to enable job growth when delivering his Medium-Term Budget Policy statement in Parliament.

The Democratic Alliance says as South Africa grapples with high unemployment levels, Gordhan cannot afford to let government finances slip.

The DA’s Dian George points out that President Jacob Zuma's promise of 2011 being the “year of the job” is not materialising. Instead, unemployment is reaching crisis levels with nearly seven-million people unemployed.

The Congress of the People says Gordhan needs to use today’s medium-term budget policy statement to show he has a firm grip on government's finances.

Cope spokesperson Nic Koornhof says Gordhan needs to prove that the National Treasury's grip had not slipped in the transition from former president Thabo Mbeki to President Jacob Zuma.

Perlemoen poaching continues unabated

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 October 2011

Western Cape police have uncovered one of the largest perlemoen haul to date.

11-thousand poached perlemoen were found in the vehicle of two Port Elizabeth men stopped yesterday at a roadblock outside Caledon in the Overberg.

The value of the haul is estimated at well over nine-million-Rands.

This follows Sunday’s discovery of more than three-thousand perlemoen worth around three-point-two-million-Rands when a vehicle was stopped near Worcester in the Boland. The driver was arrested.

The halt on toll roads is seen as a victory

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2011

The Automobile Association has welcomed the decision by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele to stop the tolling of national roads pending further talks.

Ndebele has instructed the National Roads Agency to put on hold all processes for the tolling system.

The decision was also welcomed by AfriForum’s Alana Bailey.

She says the proposed tariff structure would have reduced ordinary motorists to the milk cows of the new tolling system.

Boystown residents urged not to stall housing project

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2011

Concerns have been raised by the Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela about the disagreements between Nyanga residents and their councillor.

Madikizela said the disagreements should not stall development.

Residents from Boystown have claimed that their councillor is autocratic and refuses to take suggestions from them about the development.

MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela added by saying “I had several meetings with community leaders. Time to talk some sense into them because I don’t understand what the issues are resulting in them not seeing eye to eye”

The councillor has since dismissed all claims against him.

Bheki Cele respects Zuma’s decision

Lusanda Bill
25 October 2011

Bheki Cele’s office says the national police commissioner respects President Jacob Zuma's decision to suspend him.

Cele is nevertheless extremely confident that he will emerge completely set free from the inquiry into his involvement in the procurement of two leases for new police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had found that Cele's involvement in the leases, valued at one-point-six-billion-Rands, was unlawful and amounted to maladministration.

General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi will act in Cele's position.

Opposition parties welcome Cabinet sackings

By Lelethu Mquqo
25 October 2011

Reaction is pouring in following the sacking of Sicelo Shiceka and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde as Cabinet Ministers.

The pair stands accused of various graft charges, and Zuma has been under pressure to deal with the allegations for weeks.

The Democratic Alliance says the sackings are better late than never while the Independent Democrats say this sends a clear message to government officials.

The African Christian Democratic Party also welcomed the announcement.

Spokesperson Steve Swarts says Zuma’s decision was long overdue.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Man accused of killing Midrand runners set to apply for bail

By Lelethu Mquqo
24 October 2011

The driver accused of killing five runners in Midrand this weekend is due to apply for bail on Friday.

It is believed that the man was drunk when he slammed his vehicle into the runners as they were preparing for next month’s Soweto Marathon.

A sixth runner remains in critical condition.

Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele has called for murder charges to be laid against the accused.

Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle

By The Newsteam
24 October 2011

President Jacob Zuma has suspended Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele with immediate effect.

He has appointed a commission of enquiry into the Police Headquarters deal saga.

Zuma appointed Nhlanhla Mkwanazi as the acting police commissioner.

Zuma made the announcement while making a cabinet reshuffle which saw the dismissal of Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde and Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde is replaced by deputy minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Thulas Nxesi.

The Public works department will no longer have a deputy minister.

Minister Richard Baloyi, the Minister of Public Service and Administration, replaces Shiceka as the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Communications minister Roy Padayachee was appointed minister of public service and administration.

The president also announced a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the “arms deal”.

Honourable Mr Justice Willie Seriti, Judge of the Supreme Court of
Appeal, Honourable Mr Justice Willem van der Merwe, Deputy Judge President of the North Gauteng High Court and Honourable Mr Justice Francis Legodi, Judge of the North Gauteng High Court were appointed.

Mr Justice Seriti will chair the Commission, which is expected to complete its work within two years.

Other changes in the cabinet are as follows:

1. Ms Dina Pule, currently the Deputy Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, has been appointed Minister of Communications.

2. Mr Obed Bapela, the Deputy Minister of Communications, has been appointed Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

3. Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister of Public Works, will be the Deputy Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disability.

4. Mr S. Lechesa Tsenoli, chairperson of the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, has been appointed as Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform.

5. ANC Member of Parliament, Ms Thembisa Stella Ndabeni, will become the Deputy Minister of Communications.

SAMWU calls for road projects to be scrapped and investigated

By Khanyisa Tabata
24 October 2011

The South African Municipal Workers Union has welcomed Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele’s announcement that the toll road projects be halted for now.

SAMWU’s national spokesperson Tahir Sema says the working class was not going to cooperate with the project and pay-over exorbitant amounts of money, to use the countries roads

“Apart from just halting the toll road projects, Government must investigate as to who was responsible for steam-rolling these projects past all the relevant processes

“This toll road saga and how it was handled is an example of what a Government in any normal democracy should never do,” said Sema.

He adds that the people of this country must not be taken for granted, as the working class of this country they cannot afford exorbitant charges for services rendered and massive price increases for basic necessities much longer.

24 arrested for drunk driving

By Khanyisa Tabata
24 October 2011

Twenty four drivers have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol with 1505 screening for being under suspicion of the offence.

Community Safety acting spokesperson Greg Wagner says the highest breath alcohol reading was recorded in Beaufort West area which was more than 3 times over the legal limit.

“The weekend saw three tragic fatalities on the provincial roads, on Saturday one person lost their life in a road incident on the R27 near Saldanha in a head on collision and yesterday saw 2 fatalities in two separate road incidents on the N1.

“One person died on the N1 near Worcester in a head on collision and another person died on the N1 near Paarl where the driver lost control and the vehicle overturned,” said Wagner.

Gang peace treaties not supported in Lavender Hill

Lusanda Bill
24 October 2011

The Lavender Hill community policing forum says peace treaties between local gangs are not worth it.

This comes after a 14-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet on Tuesday, and on Saturday a 18-year-old girl was shot and wounded in the cross-fire between police and suspected gangsters.

The Lavender Hill CPF's Kevin Southgate said they are disappointed as there have been too few interventions in gang violence.

The Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has been asked by the Lavender Hill Community Forum to intervene.

Missing Adult Alert: Tsholofelo Lenyora

Missing Adult Alert: Attie van Wyk

Ndebele calls for murder charges against driver accused of killing five joggers

Lusanda Bill
24 October 2011

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele wants the driver of a Mercedes ML500 who slammed into six joggers in Midrand on Saturday to be charged with murder.

Four women and a man died on the scene, a seriously injured woman is being treated in hospital.

The joggers were preparing for next month’s Soweto Marathon.

It is alleged by witnesses that the driver was drunk.

At least 20-thousand drunk drivers have been arrested across South Africa over the past eleven months.

Missing Adult Alert: Luzanne Amelia

Missing Child Alert: Buhle Masimanga

Toll road project in Cape Town and Gauteng put on hold

Lusanda Bill
24 October 2011

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the Department of Transport’s latest announcement.

The Department of Transport has halted of all Sanral’s toll road projects until further investigations are completed.

The City had launched a High Court challenge, opposing that the full impact of the N1/N2 tolling project on the economy and residents of Cape Town has not been fully considered.

The Gauteng tolling project has also led to a public outcry, resulting in the lowering of fees before Sunday’s surprise announcement about the suspension.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

International Relations denies Bheki Cele diplomatic posting

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2011

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says that contrary to recent reports, there is no discussion underway regarding the possibility of National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele taking up a diplomatic posting in Canada.

Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela says all diplomats are put through a training programme before being sent abroad, adding that Cele has undergone no such training.

Questions have been raised about the top cop’s future, following his handling of a dodgy police headquarters lease deal.

Police and Hawks accused of illegal deportations

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2011

Members of the SA Police Services and the Hawks have been accused of conducting renditions, or the illegal deportation of prisoners.

Media reports that police are arresting Zimbabweans and then sending them over the Beit Bridge border post to be killed.

The paper claims Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is aware of at least three such incidents.

Hawks boss Anwar Dramat claims the three individuals were legally removed from South Africa.

Libyan authorities expected to announce liberation

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2011

Authorities in Libya are expected to formally announce the country’s liberation later today.

This will officially start the countdown to the country’s first democratic elections in more than 42 years.

It comes more than two months after rebel fighters managed to capture the capital city, Tripoli, from forces still loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

Dramatic video footage of Gaddafi’s capture in Sirte earlier this week has surfaced, and the ousted leader has since died.

Investigation into Gauteng runner deaths

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2011

An investigation has begun into the deaths of five runners in Midrand, Gauteng.

It is believed that a drunk driver slammed into the group early yesterday morning.

Metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane says the investigation has been made a top priority, saying the person responsible will face the full might of the law.

Mike Finch of Runner’s World magazine says the entire running community is stunned by the tragedy.

KZN authorities reject taxi alliance’s plans to form its own road trust

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 October 2011

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has rejected a call by the KZN Transport Taxi Alliance to establish its own trust fund to compensate road accident victims.

Departmental spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane says part of the problem is that some taxis are not roadworthy and are driven by people without drivers' licences.

Ncalane says allowing the KZN transport alliance to establish their own trust fund would be tantamount to government endorsing illegal operators on the road.

Meanwhile, from the Eastern Cape comes the news that four people have been killed and seven others injured after a minibus overturned between East London and King William's Town.

Arrive Alive spokesperson Tsepo Machaea says the driver lost control of the vehicle which veered off the road and landed in the bush.

The injured have been taken to East London's Frere Hospital.

And in the Western Cape one person has been killed and two others seriously injured in a head-on collision outside Saldanha on the West Coast.

Emergency and rescue officials say the accident happened when two bakkies crashed head-on on the R27 early yesterday morning.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mazibuko says diversity is the cornerstone of DA’s strategy for growth

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2011

Democratic Alliance spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko says diversity is the cornerstone of the party’s strategy for growth.

Speaking at the DA’s Mpumalanga Provincial Congress, Mazibuko said diversity was about much more than winning more black votes for the party.

She says they are not trying to replace one race, language or gender group with another.
What needs to be done is far more complex and revolutionary.

She says the DA is building a party for all of South Africa's people, regardless of their race, gender, creed or orientation.

Mazibuko says once they have achieved this, the DA should be able to win 30 percent of the vote nationally and become the biggest party in Gauteng and the Northern Cape.

Tension still high as Alexandra residents voice their concerns

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2011

Hundreds of residents of Johannesburg's Alexandra have gathered at a stadium in the township, amid a strong police presence.

They are voicing their anger over allegations that foreigners are bribing government officials for RDP houses.

Reports say foreign residents have been told they have until the end of today to leave the area.

But Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi says the problems are caused by South Africans who are selling their RDP houses to foreigners.

He stresses that the houses are meant for the poor and may only be sold after owners have had them for eight years.

Mmemezi stresses that government is following up allegations of corruption and the six officials have already been suspended.

War crime investigation into Gaddafi’s killing

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2011

The United Nations has demanded an international investigation into the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, saying it could well have been a war crime.

UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns says a proper investigation into the deposed Libyan leader’s death will be a key test for Libya’s future as a democratic and accountable state.

Heyns says the Geneva Conventions clearly state that prisoners who are captured may not be executed wilfully.

Meanwhile, Libya's National Transitional Council has delayed Gaddafi's burial.

According to Muslin rites, he should have been buried within 24-hours of his death.

But the NTC is arranging a secret location for his burial.

They also want time for an investigation into his death by what they call a "third party from outside of Libya”.

Mother and son to appear in court for possession of dagga

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2011

A North West mother and son will appear in the Orkney Magistrate’s Court soon.

The 63-year-old mother and her 36-year-old son were arrested in Kanana outside Klerksdorp, after they were found in possession of dagga with an estimated street value of R 600 000.

A neighbour gave police a tip-off which led to a raid on the house.

They found 300-kilograms of dagga stored in 22 litre plastic containers.

Tension in Alexandra over housing allocation

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2011

Residents of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, are planning to meet today to discuss the alleged unfair allocation of RDP houses to foreigners.

Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi has nevertheless dismissed claims of brewing xenophobic violence in the township.

Foreign residents say they are being intimidated by a group called the Alexandra Bonafides.

The foreigners say they have been given until this afternoon to leave the area.

Tension between locals and foreign residents has also been reported from parts of Pretoria.

Mthethwa says marches won’t improve people’s lives

By Lelethu Mquqo
22 October 2011

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned against what he describes as "dangerous elements" that play on people’s emotions and needs.

Mthethwa says the “elements” claim that a march to Pretoria next week will improve the lives of the poor overnight.

Mthethwa was speaking in Durban at a conference of the SA Democratic Teachers Union.

The ANC Youth League plans to march to the offices of the Chamber of Mines, the JSE and the Union Buildings to highlight the plight of unemployed young people.

Agri SA against unlawful land grabs

Lusanda Bill
22 October 2011

AgriSA says they will not tolerate the unlawful occupation of land.

This is despite the ANC’s apparent wait-and-see response to farm invasions.

AgriSA’s Johannes Moller says this could be an orchestrated strategy by the ruling party to exert pressure on land owners, in order to get them to accept policy initiatives aimed at land reform.

Moller added that he expects the government will not allow this orderly process to be undermined by irresponsible statements.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chris Hani Secondary learners want principal removed

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2011

Students at the Chris Hani Secondary in Khayelitsha are calling for the removal of their principal.

Today the students marched to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature.

In September a matriculant was severely beaten by two volunteers, allegedly at the request of the principal.

An investigation was done and the principal was cleared of all charges.

King Shaka International Airport receives a bomb scare

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2011

A woman has been arrested at King Shaka International Airport in Durban for suggesting that she had a bomb in her bag.

The woman was due to travel from Durban to Johannesburg on a Kulula flight earlier today.

The Airports Company of SA says the bomb squad was called in after the woman gave an inappropriate response when asked about her luggage at the check-in counter.

The airport has since been declared safe.

Housing meeting ends in a heated debate

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2011

A meeting on Thursday about Hangberg, Hout Bay housing saga had to be cancelled.

The meeting was cancelled due heated arguments amongst those present.

Peace and Mediation Forum called the meeting on Thursday.

Last year September violence erupted between metro police and Hangberg residents over shacks that were demolished, by the city.

The city stated that the shacks had to be demolished because they were built on a firebreak on the Sentinel.

Forum member Helen Abrahams said it was necessary to have the meeting to reassure people and to clarify some of the issues in the accord.

ANC says Gaddafi’s death could have been avoided

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2011

The ANC says the gruesome killing of Muammar Gaddafi could have been avoided if the United Nations adopted African Union’s peaceful approach.

Party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu says the National Transitional Council should embrace all Libyans, irrespective of who they supported during the conflict.

Tom Wheeler of the SA Institute of International Affairs says the NTC government in Libya is not expected to struggle with the fact that they no longer have an enemy to fight, in the form of Muammar Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, political analyst Harald Pakendorf says Gaddafi’s demise sends a clear message to world leaders.

He added that notorious dictators such as Kim Jong-il and Robert Mugabe may not be fazed, but other leaders will take this as a sign.

Thuli Madonsela’s investigation team strengthened

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2011

The Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will strengthen her investigation team.

This will be with a ten-million-Rand funding increase received from government.

Madonsela says the money will be used to create 18 new investigation posts in her office.

The additional appointments will bring the number of investigators to 112 in the 20 walk-in offices across the country.

Fines or jail time for people who don’t take part in Census 2011

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 October 2011

South Africans who refuse to be counted by Census workers could face heavy fines, or even jail time.

Statistics SA says an increasing number of people are not cooperating during this year’s Census, which has led to an application for court permission to enforce a ten-thousand-Rand fine, or six months imprisonment.

Census 2011 is due to end on the 31st of October.

South Africa hopes for peace following Gaddafi’s demise

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 October 2011

Government has reacted to the killing of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi by expressing the hope that the latest events would lead to a cessation of hostilities and the restoration of peace.

The Presidency has urged the National Transitional Council of Libya to begin in earnest the process of building national unity and reconciliation as well as the disarmament of all combatants and their reintegration into society.

Reports from Sirte say Gaddafi was captured cowering in a drainage pipe full of rubbish and filth.

A rebel fighter called his end ironic, seeing that Gaddafi had often referred to those who opposed him as rats. Libyan officials also confirmed that one of Gaddafi’s sons, Muatassim, has been killed.

He had been hiding with his father. His brother and presumptive heir Seif al-Islam was wounded when he was captured and is recovering in hospital.

NUMSA lashes out at Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele

Lusanda Bill
21 October 2011

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has lashed out at Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele latest statement.

Ndebele stated that women should not wear miniskirts whilst driving.

Numsa says the Minister’s comments are a setback to the struggle of reversing the humiliation and oppression of women across South Africa.

The union also lashed out at the ANC Women’s League for remaining silent on the issue.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi allegedly killed (updated)

***UPDATE: According to BBC reports the National Transitional Council (NTC) have confirmed Gaddafi's death - see: Muammar Gaddafi killed in Libya***

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2011

Unconfirmed reports from Libya suggest Muammar Gaddafi has been captured and killed.

A commander of the Libyan National Transitional Government, Abdel Majid, says Gaddafi was caught following an attack on the loyalist stronghold of Sirte.

It is understood that both his legs were wounded and he has since died.

No news agencies can confirm if Gaddafi is really dead.

Thembalethu residents march for better service delivery

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2011

About 3 000 Thembalethu residents are embarking on a march to the municipal offices in George.

The residents are planning to hand over a memorandum of demands.

Earlier this month residents protested over the lack of water and problems with sanitation.

Acting director for community safety in George, Barend Nelson says the resident’s memorandum will deal with service delivery in the township.

M1 highway to be blocked next week by the ANC Youth League

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2011

The ANC Youth League is planning to block the M1 highway in Gauteng next week Friday.

They will be marching to highlight the nationalisation of mines and the plight of the poor.

Julius Malema will lead the march, which will start from the Johannesburg city centre before moving to the Stock Exchange and to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

SA Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande last week urged the youth not to join the march if they did not agree with the League’s demands.

Walmart deal due in Competition Appeals Court today

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 October 2011

An appeal by three Cabinet Ministers for the Competition Tribunal to review the Massmart-Walmart merger is due to go to the Competition Appeals Court today.

The Ministers are looking to enforce stricter regulations on the deal. This sentiment is shared by several trade unions, who have vowed to fight against the proposed merger.

Walmart representatives are expected to answer key questions relating to job creation in today’s session.

Dagga worth R600 000 confiscated in Lwandle

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 October 2011

A 21 year man has been arrested for being in possession of dagga worth R600 000 in Polile Park Squarter Camp, Lwandle.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Lance Goliath says police responded to a tip off received from the public about an alleged dealing in dagga and confiscated 14 eight kilogram blue containers full of dagga.

“A 21year old suspect was arrested and he will appear in the Strand Magistrates’ Court on charges of possession and dealing in dagga once he has been charged,” said Goliath.

Bus driver crams 124 passengers into 65-seater

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 October 2011

A North West bus driver will appear in the Madikwe Magistrate's Court today after being caught transporting 124 passengers in a vehicle certified to carry 65 people.

Provincial public safety spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele says the 52-year-old driver was arrested in Seshibitswe village, outside Rustenburg.

Many of the passengers were schoolchildren and workers. The vehicle belongs to the Bonjanala Bus Service.

HIV counselling and testing reaches 14.7 million South Africans

Lusanda Bill
20 October 2011

14.7 million South Africans have been reached through the mass HIV counselling and testing campaign.

Government’s initial target was to reach 15 million South Africans by the end of June.

The Health Department officials on Wednesday told Parliament they have come close to their target.

A mere 13 million South Africans take the HIV/AIDS test.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Louise de Waal remembered

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2011

A memorial service was today held for teenager Louise de Waal.

Friends and family gathered at her school in Hoërskool die Burger in Roodepoort.

De Waal was murdered while walking to school and her burnt body was discovered on a farm in Magaliesburg.

Johannes Jacobus Steyn was arrested and has since confessed to being the Sunday rapist.

Steyn is yet to be formally charged with the murder.

First-ever Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture to mark Black Wednesday

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2011

Today marks the anniversary of Black Wednesday.

The National Press Club will mark the anniversary with the first-ever Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture at the University of South Africa.

Tonight’s event is in honour of the well-known editor who served at The World until the newspaper’s offices were closed and the paper was banned on this day in 1977.

Press Club chairman, Yusuf Abramjee says they will continue to fight for media freedom.

Professor Kader Asmal to be honoured by the City of Cape

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2011

The late Professor Kader Asmal will be honoured by the City of Cape Town through the launch of a river cleaning project.

The city are spending close to R138 million on the project.

The city’s Invasive Species Coordinator Louise Stafford said she hoped that in the long run maintenance of the project could sustain over 32,000 jobs.

Deep River, Salt River, Black River and West Lake River are some of the catchment areas that would be cleaned up.

Activists demand government action against child sex rings

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 October 2011

The Family Policy Institute is demanding that Parliament urgently finalises and passes the Prevention and Combating in Trafficking in Persons Bill.

This follows the revelation by child protection group Molo Songololo that a mother who was told that her daughter was sexually involved with a police member in Nelspoort helped uncover a child sex ring in the small Karoo town.

Five girls aged between 12 and 15-years were involved.

Molo Songolo’s Una Wentzel says six men, including three police members, will appear in the Beaufort West Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

It is alleged that some of the girls had been kidnapped in the Free State.

South African Media Freedom Day (Remembering Black Wednesday)

Original post: Remembering Black Wednesday – 19 October 1977 #zamediafreedom

Transport Department cracks down on licence scam

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 October 2011

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has ordered an investigation into fake learners and drivers licences allegedly being issued in Johannesburg.

Ndebele says those who accept bribes, as well as those who offer bribes, will face the full might of the law.

A report has revealed that fake licences are being sold for between R 800 and R4 500 at four of the five City of Johannesburg testing centres.

Several suspects have already been arrested.

ANC slams IFP and Cope over Daila Lama court application

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 October 2011

The ANC has slammed as astonishing silliness the IFP and Cope’s application for an order to declare the government's handling of the Dalai Lama's visa request unlawful.

In their application in the Western Cape High Court, the two parties said they wanted to force the government to treat future applications by the Tibetan spiritual leader fairly.

But the ANC’s Parliamentary caucus has dismissed the move as a bizarre publicity tactic.

IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini said it was necessary to go to court because Parliament has no teeth in holding the executive to account.

Terre’Blanche accused sorry about AWB leader’s death

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 October 2011

The trial of the accused in the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder case took an unexpected turn yesterday.

The High Court sitting in Ventersdorp in North West heard that farm worker Chris Mahlangu was bitterly sorry about how the right wing leader had died.

Mahlangu’s lawyer Kgomotso Tlouane said during cross-examination of an expert that the more evidence Mahlangu heard about the body, the sorrier he felt.

Mahlangu and the minor accused with him have pleaded not guilty to beating Terre’Blanche to death in April last year.

SARS calling on taxpayers who have defaulted tax payments

Lusanda Bill
19 October 2011

The South African Revenue Services have offered an official pardon to taxpayers who have defaulted on their tax payments in the past.

The public have until the end of October to voluntarily disclose outstanding tax affairs.

Sars spokesperson, Anton Fisher says people will be granted relief from penalties, interest and possible criminal prosecution if they take advantage of the voluntary disclosure programme.

He added that the offence or the transgression must have occurred before the 17th of February 2010.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three men found with unpolished diamonds in Cape Town

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2011

Cape Town police today arrested three men who were found in possession of unpolished diamonds.

The suspects were driving towards Mowbray earlier today, when police pulled them over and searched their vehicle.

The three men were found with fourteen uncut diamonds, three cell phones and a large amount of Zimbabwean dollars.

The three men are expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Walter Sisulu University in financial strain

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2011

Some of the staff at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape have been told they will not be paid this month.

Almost two-thousand staff received a memo from human resources acting executive director Siyabulela Mnyaiza saying that the institution had to delay salary payments, due to their inability to raise capital.

Government announced earlier this year that WSU would be placed under financial administration.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande is expected to announce intervention plans later this week.

ANC to start public consultation on Secrecy Bill

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2011

The African National Congress is preparing to hold meetings this week in all nine provinces.

These meetings are to prepare its public participation programme for the proposed Protection of State Information Bill.

Earlier this year the ANC withdrew the controversial bill from a Parliamentary debate, saying it wanted to engage in public consultations.

The so-called Secrecy Bill is now due to be debated in Parliament before the end of November.

Three arrested for posing as police officers

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 October 2011

Three people have been arrested after they tried to rob a Wesbank store while pretending to be cops.

Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk says the men aged between 31 and 55 were wearing police uniforms when they attempted to clean out a Somali-owned shop at the weekend.

“A fake search warrant was found in their possession, along with a toy gun.

“After interrogation it became evident that the foreigner and the two locals were impostors, and one of the locals was a serving member of SAPS but was dismissed from the Service in January 2011,” said Van Wyk.

Van Wyk added the three suspects are currently in police custody and will appear in the Bluedowns Magistrate Court once they have been charged on the said charges.

Proposed Airport tariff hikes will hurt SA economy

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 October 2011

The International Air Transport Association has warned the Airports Company of South Africa that proposed tariff hikes could harm the local economy.

Acsa have been cleared to implement a 161-percent increase in airport charges over the next five years.

The Transport Association’s Tony Tyler says the hikes are a clear indication that reform is desperately needed in the South African aviation industry.

The hikes could lead to the country having the most expensive airports in the world.

Third person dies from super bug outbreak

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 October 2011

A third person has died from a bacterial outbreak at the Glynwood Hospital in Benoni.

Nine people were reported to have contracted the NDM1 bacterial strain, which affects the lungs and urinary area.

The so-called super bug was first detected in New Delhi, India, in 2009.

It surfaced in South Africa several weeks ago.

Officials say the bacterium is spread through food, water and person to person infection.

More witnesses expected to testify in Eugene Terre’blanche murder trial

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 October 2011

At least 34 more witnesses are expected to testify in the Eugene Terre’blanche murder trial.

The trial is currently in its seventh day at the High Court, sitting in Ventersdorp in the North West.

Eight witnesses have been called so far.

Chris Mahlangu and a 15-year-old boy stand accused of brutally killing the right-wing Afrikaans leader at his farm house in April last year.

It is believed that the murder was the result of a salary dispute.

Botswana plane tragedy claims 10 lives

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 October 2011

The Botswana government has announced that ten people, including seven European tourists, were killed when a light plane crashed in the Okavango Delta region.

The Cessna 208 came down shortly after take-off from an airfield in a nature reserve on Friday. A spokesperson for the Botswana Civil Aviation Authority says the dead include three Swedes, three French citizens and a British tourist.

Apparently two Botswana nationals and the British pilot were also killed.

Two French tourists and two people from Botswana survived the crash. The cause of the tragedy is still being investigated.

Nationalisation of mines march to go ahead

Lusanda Bill
18 October 2011

The ANC Youth League says planned demonstrations in favour of the nationalisation of mines will go ahead.

The march will go ahead despite the objections from Blade Nzimande’s.

The SA Communist Party secretary general had earlier called for young people to not attend the planned marches, if they did not agree with them.

League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu says the Nzimande’s actions call into question whether there is consistency of discipline within the tripartite alliance.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Four year driver’s license proposal to be discussed

Lusanda Bill
17 October 2011

The process of applying for a driver's licence could take up to four years if a new proposal by the Transport Department is given the go ahead.

Department spokesperson, Logan Maistry, says there will be some significant changes to the current system, but repeated that these must still be properly discussed.

Maistry says the new system is aimed at reducing carnage on the roads.

Almost 20-thousand motorists have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol since October last year.

Murder suspect's house burnt down in Gugulethu

Lusanda Bill
17 October 2011

Residents of Gugulethu in Cape Town have burned down the house where the body of a murdered toddler was found stuffed in a suitcase last week.

The man who lives in the house has been arrested.

He has been charged with the murder of three-year-old Athenkosi Nkone.

City fire and rescue spokesperson Theo Layne says furious residents also hurled stones at the fire truck when it arrived to soak the flames.

COPE and IFP call for an investigation into Dalai Lama visa

Lusanda Bill
17 October 2011

The Congress of the People and the Inkatha Freedom Party have jointly launched an application in the Cape High Court.

Both parties are challenging the legality of government’s failure to issue the Dalai Lama with a travel visa.

Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota and IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi say an investigation into the matter has to take place.

The Tibetan spiritual leader had been invited to attend the 80th birthday celebrations of his close friend, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu earlier this month.

Missing Child Alert: Lindokuhle Cebile Ntuli

Reports on Bheki Cele diplomatic posting denied by police

Lusanda Bill
17 October 2011

Police have blasted the media for allegedly reporting false information that National Commissioner Bheki Cele has been fired.

Weekend reports suggested that Cele has also accepted a diplomatic post in Canada.

This follows allegations of his involvement in suspect lease agreements for properties in Durban and Pretoria.

Police spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha says the reports are the result of editorial incompetence, or corruption; or both.

Man charged with Louise de Waal’s murder set to face more charges

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 October 2011

Police are confident that more charges will be laid against the man arrested for the murder of 16-year-old schoolgirl Louise de Waal.

Police investigator Piet du Toit says the methods used in the Louise’s murder are very similar to those used by the so-called Sunday Rapist.

Du Toit has been hunting down the rapist since November, 2008.

The suspect was due to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court this morning, but proceedings were delayed while the magistrate and police held private discussions over which evidence could be used in the case.

Stats SA beefs up security on Census 2011

By Lelethu Mquqo
17 October 2011

Statistics South Africa says they have partnered with police in a move to ensure that workers involved in Census 2011 are kept safe.

This follows reports of three separate incidents in Cape Town over the weekend, were a couple of enumerators almost got robbed.

One enumerator was roped in to a domestic situation and another was almost raped.

Western Cape census co-ordinator Marius Cronje says intelligence services are identifying hot spots and dangerous areas.

Massive assistance for families hit by natural disasters

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 October 2011

The Department of Social Development says some 10-thousand households countrywide will begin receiving financial assistance today after their homes were destroyed by natural disasters.

Department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant says the assistance is the final phase of providing relief.

Twenty-eight municipalities were declared disaster areas by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka in January. The relief effort will start in Gauteng.

Zuma says there was a plot to assassinate him as deputy-president

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 October 2011

President Jacob Zuma told a gathering in KwaZulu-Natal that there had been a plot to assassinate him while he was still Deputy-President.

Zuma was speaking at the funeral of police captain Patrick Maphumulo, whom he said had refused to be drawn into the plotters plan. Maphumulo’s duty at the time was to protect the deputy-president.

The mourners were told that Maphumulo had refused to give information about Zuma’s movements to those who wanted to have him assassinated. Zuma had not clarified his statement by late last night.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Investigation underway into a deadly fire in Nyanga

Lusanda Bill
16 October 2011

Police are today investigating a fire which caused the death of three children in Nyanga.

The children were killed when their home caught fire on Saturday night.

The children's burnt bodies were found in a burnt cupboard still holding one another.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said a death inquest case dockets has been opened.

The cause of the fire is still not known at this stage.

DA calls Zuma to set up a commission of enquiry into phone hacking

Lusanda Bill
16 October 2011

The Democratic Alliance has called on President Jacob Zuma to set up an independent commission of enquiry into allegations of phone hacking in South Africa.

This follows a report into hacking by the Mail and Guardian newspaper.

DA leader Helen Zille says phone hacking is a concern for all South Africans, not just politicians.

Zille added that President Zuma needs to act decisively in the matter to put to rest peoples’ fears that the country is becoming a surveillance state.

Zuma praises outgoing IEC members

Lusanda Bill
16 October 2011

President Jacob Zuma has heaped praise on the outgoing members of the Independent Electoral Commission.

IEC chairperson, Brigalia Bam, has stepped down from her position, along with commissioners Thoko Mpumlwana and Fanie van der Merwe.

They have been involved in six elections in the country.

Zuma says the IEC has ensured that the government was chosen through a fair ballot.

The thanked the outgoing trio for their efforts over the last 14 years.

Malema’s disciplinary hearing to resume on the 26th of October

Lusanda Bill
16 October 2011

The ANC disciplinary hearing against Youth League leader Julius Malema has been adjourned until the 26th of this month.

He and several other League officials stand accused of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing disruption within the party.

Disciplinary committee head Derek Hanekom says closing arguments in the case will take place on the 3rd of November.

The final report will be made public once the verdict has been discussed.

Two matric’s busted for trying to buy exam papers

Lusanda Bill
16 October 2011

Two matric students have been arrested for allegedly trying to buy examination papers in Limpopo.

Police say they received a tip-off about the illegal transaction and set a trap, near Polokwane.
They caught the girls trying to buy maths and physical science papers from an Education Department official for two-thousand-Rand each.

The trio will appear in the Thabamoopo Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

Home Affairs denies deporting Zimbabweans

Lusanda Bill
16 October 2011

The Department of Home Affairs has denied that it is involved in the secret deportation of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

The Department was accused of being involved in the illegal deportations by immigrant rights advocacy groups.

The allegations came despite the Department’s assurances that no deportations would take place until its Zimbabwe documentation project is complete.

The groups claim that at least 300 Zimbabweans were deported to Zimbabwe in the past three days.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crowds gather in Johannesburg and Cape Town to demonstrate change

Lusanda Bill
15 October 2011

A growing crowd of demonstrators have gathered outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange under the banner of the Occupy SA movement.

The demonstrators say they are showing their solidarity with the Occupy Movement worldwide, and are demanding change.

The Occupy Wall Street Campaign has seen huge support in New York.

In Johannesburg, one group from Thembisa are demanding wind turbines and renewable energy in their township.

Others say they would like an end to greed and corruption.

A similar protest took place in Cape Town this morning.

A fire leaves 22 people homeless in Khayelitsha

Lusanda Bill
15 October 2011

A fire in a Khayelitsha informal settlement today has resulted in 22 people being left homeless.

Disaster Management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the residents were provided with the necessary aid.

No one was injured in the fire and the cause of the fire is sill not known.

Meanwhile in Hanover Park one backyard dweller was affected by fire, leaving three people displaced.

Louise de Waal murder suspect questioned today

Lusanda Bill
15 October 2011

The suspect in the murder case of Louise de Waal is expected to be questioned by police today.

The man handed himself over to police at the Margate police after he admitted to kidnapping Louise de Waal.

He is believed to be the ‘Sunday rapist’ who preyed on school girls.

The whereabouts of where the suspect is being held is unknown as police remain silent about the investigation.

A memorial service for Louise de Waal is expected to be held on Wednesday.

160-million illegal cigarettes confiscated last month

Lusanda Bill
15 October 2011

The Tobacco Institute of SA says the Revenue Service and SAPS confiscated 160-million illegal cigarettes last month.

In the latest bust, about five million illegal imports cigarettes were confiscated in Delmas in Mpumalanga this week.

The illegal imports cigarettes were found in possession of a trader who could face a fine of 20-thousand rands or a five year prison sentence.

The confiscated cigarettes are shredded by a custom built hammer mill before being ploughed into landfill sites.

National Health Insurance supported by SAMA

Lusanda Bill
15 October 2011

The South African Medical Association has commended the Department of Health’s Ministerial road show on the proposed National Health Insurance plan.

SAMA vice chairman Mark Sonderup believes the road show is a very practical means of engaging on the matter.

Sonderup says he also supports the ongoing consultation on the National Health Insurance Green Paper.

Sonderup added that the road show underpins that the NHI is a collective thing not just a government plan.

Legal battle between Sicelo Shiceka and Thuli Madonsela begins

Lusanda Bill
15 October 2011

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka says he will go to court to fight the accusations levelled against him by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela.

Shiceka was found guilty on five of the six allegations against him.

The Ethics Committee had asked Madonsela to investigate Shiceka's conduct; this is after media reports emerged accusing him of misappropriating public funds for his own benefit.

Her report has been handed to Parliament's Ethics Committee.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wits cancel the ANC Youth League talk by Julius Malema

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 October 2011

Wits University has forced the ANC Youth League to cancel a talk by Julius Malema on the campus this afternoon. Malema was to have given a lecture on “Economic Freedom” on campus at 5pm.

But the League says in a statement the Vice Chancellor, Loyiso Nongxa, forced the cancellation of the lecture because he felt the University would not be in a position to manage the number of people who were going to attend.

The League says this is despite its assurance that only Wits University students and workers would be allowed to attend.

Minister’s trip to Switzerland cost taxpayers 540-thousand-Rands

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 October 2011

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka spent 540-thousand-Rands on a trip to Switzerland in 2008, not 367-thousand as had previously been reported.

She says the expenditure for the controversial trip constitutes a financial loss for government, as it was of no benefit or any value to the state. Madonsela has recommended that President Jacob Zuma take serious action against the Minister.

Meanwhile, there is mixed reaction to the Public Protector’s report. The DA and Cosatu say Shiceka should immediately be fired and also be made to pay back the money he has spent.

The ANC says however that President Zuma must be given time to come to an appropriate decision.

President Jacob Zuma called to take action against Minister Sicelo Shiceka

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 October 2011

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has called for President Jacob Zuma to take serious action against Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka. Madonsela released her final report into the Minister’s controversial 2008 trip to Switzerland earlier today.

She says Shiceka deliberately misled the Presidency about a trip, claiming it formed part of preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but really using it to visit his girlfriend in Zurich.

Madonsela says Shiceka’s actions were unlawful and constituted maladministration, dishonesty in respect of public money and improper conduct. He has been on sick leave since February.

The Democratic Alliance has responded to the report, saying Zuma has no choice but to fire Shiceka immediately, as well as make him pay back the costs of his trip.

The party’s James Lorimer says the ball is now firmly in the President’s court.

Graphic pictures of Eugene Terre’blanche removed from Facebook

By Lelethu Mquqo
14 October 2011

Graphic pictures of Eugene Terre’blanche’s lifeless corpse have been removed from Facebook after the right-wing leader’s family threatened to take legal action.

The pictures appeared yesterday on the profile page of the Afrikaans group, Boere Krisis Aksie.

The group claims that its mission is to inform the public about the political reality in South Africa.

It has posted pictures of numerous other crime scenes as well.

The National Prosecuting Authority says the posting of the Terre’blanche pictures borders on contempt of court, as the matter was still under judgment.

DA says Simelane is not Serious about sexual offences

By Lelethu Mquqo
14 October 2011

The Democratic Alliance is questioning the National Prosecuting Authority’s failure to disclose sexual offences statistics in its annual report.

The DA’s Debbie Schaffer says the NPA has reported sexual offences data for the last four years, despite the courts handling multiple types of cases.

Schaffer says the Authority’s national director, Menzi Simelane, is not serious enough about sexual offences.

NUMSA threatens to close down Xstrata

By Lelethu Mquqo
14 October 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers has threatened to shut down the operations of diversified resources group Xstrata.

Num’s strike action against Xstrata gets underway on Sunday.

The trade union says its members voted in favour of strike action at the group after fallout over the company's employee share ownership plan.

Num negotiator at Xstrata, Eddie Majadibodu says they are demanding that all employees be entitled to equal benefits.

Last day at school for 2011 Grade 12’s

By Khanyisa Tabata
14 October 2011

Today thousands of Grade 12 learners experience the last day of their school career before they begin writing their National Senior Certificate examinations.

Western Cape Minister of Education Donald Grant spokesperson Bronagh Casey says we are confident in the Class of 2011 and their abilities they have worked hard and have remained focused throughout the school year.

“We are especially pleased with the enthusiasm shown in our Grade 12 programmes, this year we saw a marked increase in attendance at our tutoring and telematics programmes and holiday schools.
“On Monday, the first examination will take place with around 9 000 learners will sit down to complete the Computer Applications Technology Practical examination, said Casey.

She adds that the first of the written examinations will take place on the 24th of October, with English First Additional Language, Home Language and Second Language.

“The last of the scheduled exams will be written on the 1st of December with Religious Studies Paper 2 and Design,” said Casey.

Results are expected to be released on the 5th of January 2012.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

230 000 items of porn confiscated

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 October 2011

The Film and Publication Board has confiscated 230-thousand items of illegal pornographic material, unclassified films and publications from both the streets and shops around the country in the past financial year.
FPB opened 759 cases with police in the year under review exceeding its target of about 300 cases.

More than 900 non-compliant stores were raided across the country surpassing their target of 265 raids.

The work being done by the FPB was lauded in Parliament today.

Zuma says SA’s foreign policy is independent

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 October 2011

President Jacob Zuma has clarified South Africa’s foreign policy, saying it was independent and issues of national interest are made public.

Delivering a lecture on South Africa’s foreign policy at the University of Pretoria today, Zuma said Pretoria was not dictated to by other countries, individuals or lobby groups.

He said the government looks at what is of benefit to the South African people, and what will advance domestic priorities at that given time.

Government has come under fire recently over the delay in the visa application of spiritual leader Dalai Lama, with some assuming that Pretoria was being pressurised by China.

Man suspected of Roodepoort teenager murder admits to kidnapping

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 October 2011

The man suspected of murdering Roodepoort teenager Louise de Waal has admitted to kidnapping the 16-year-old.

Police say the man, who may not be identified until he has appeared in court, made certain confessions after handing himself in at the Margate police station in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this morning.

The man has also been linked to at least nine cases of rape and one of murder, but has not confessed to any of those at this stage.

Two die in Free State bus accident

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 October 2011

Two people have died and 18 others injured after a passenger bus and a bakkie collided head-on on the R714, near Bethlehem in the Free State.

Netcare 911 Chris Botha says paramedics arrived at the scene to find the two occupants of the bakkie still trapped in their vehicle.

“Eighteen passengers from the bus sustained minor injuries and after medics stabilized them on scene, they were transported to various hospitals in the area for the care that they required.

“Exact details to the cause of the accident are still speculative and remain a subject for police investigation,” said Botha.

Gauteng police confirm arrest of Roodepoort murder suspect

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 October 2011

Gauteng police have confirmed that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 16-year-old Roodepoort girl.

Louise de Waal was allegedly kidnapped yesterday morning just outside her home.

A body believed to be Louise’s was found burnt beyond recognition on a farm in Magaliesburg, but DNA tests are needed to confirm its identity.

Police spokesperson Major General Nobesuthu Masiya told reporters in Johannesburg that the suspect handed himself over to the police in KwaZulu Natal.

The man is allegedly linked to nine other cases of rape and one of murder.

The City of Cape Town clashes with Sanral over proposed toll roads

By Lelethu Mquqo
13 October 2011

The South African National Roads Agency Limited has come out fighting after the City of Cape Town took legal steps to stop a 10-billion-Rand proposed highway toll road project.

Sanral is adamant to continue with the project to toll sections of the N1and N2 in the city as of next year.

Sanral announced its preferred bidder in the project just a day after the City applied for a High Court interdict.

Sanral spokesperson Priya Pillay says they are disappointed with the City’s recent actions.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town says it is unacceptable that Sanral is proceeding with their plans despite the matter now going to court.

Councillor Brett Herron says Sanral’s refusal to acknowledge a dispute could result in careless spending.

Alleged murderer of Roodepoort teenager turns himself in

By Lelethu Mquqo
13 October 2011

The man thought to be responsible for the kidnapping and murder of a Roodepoort teenager has reportedly turned himself in to police.

Louise de Waal’s body was found burnt beyond recognition on a farm in Magaliesburg yesterday.

Police spokesperson Tshisikhawe Ndou says the family identified the body by a unique belly ring that she was wearing, but adds that this needs to be confirmed by DNA testing.

De Waal had been due to celebrate her 17th birthday this weekend.

The suspect has been previously investigated in connection with other incidents involving school girls in the Roodepoort area.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Evidence on how Eugene Terre’Blanche died

By Khanyisa Tabata
12 October 2011

When AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche was found he was lying on a bloody bed in his farmhouse, with a panga lodged in his chest.

This is according to today’s evidence by a local policeman, Sergeant Jack Ramonyane.

He was testifying in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp. Ramonyane says when he entered the house the two accused, 28-year-old farmworker Chris Mahlangu, and a minor, were in a police van outside the farmhouse.

He testified that he brought them there after they had admitted to him that they had killed Terre’Blanche.

Vavi to lead protest against corruption in Rustenburg

By Khanyisa Tabata
12 October 2011

Cosatu General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, will lead a protest march against corruption in Rustenburg tomorrow.

Cosatu says in a statement it has noted the current spate of corruption in the country and the failure or unwillingness of the government to deal with it.

It says in a statement it believes that the tendering system is the major contributor to corruption. Cosatu says the situation is particularly bad in North West.

ACDP supports Zuma’s IEC candidates

By Khanyisa Tabata
12 October 2011

The African Christian Democratic Party has come out in support of President Jacob Zuma’s four preferred candidates for possible appointment to the Independent Electoral Commission.

ACDP’s Cheryllyn Dudley says list included many suitably qualified candidates with excellent track records and relevant experience.

“The ACDP shares the sentiments of many in being both grateful and proud of the Commission’s achievements to date.

“The candidates generally agreed by the ad hoc Committee have the full confidence of the committee to accomplish the enormous task before them in ensuring continuity and maintaining an established standard of excellence,” said Dudley.

A baby found dumped in bushes in Philippi

Lusanda Bill
12 October 2011

Another baby has been found after being dumped in bushes in Philippi.

The newborn was found by a resident, who found the baby wrapped in a plastic bag.

Police spokesperson November Filander said efforts to find the infant’s next of kin has been fruitless thus far.

Filander added that a case of concealment of birth is being investigated.

Heavy police presences in Hout Bay

Lusanda Bill
12 October 2011

Traffic officials in Cape Town say they have seen an increase in violence between rival taxi drivers in the Hout Bay area.

A taxi driver was stabbed last week and there are reports of drivers having stones thrown at their vehicles.

Traffic spokesperson Merle Lourens says they are monitoring the situation with the assistance of the Metro police.

Last week, Transport MEC Robin Carlisle threatened to shut down taxi services in the area if violence persists.

Witnesses say teenager confessed to killing Eugene Terre’blanche

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 October 2011

More witnesses in the Eugene Terre’blanche murder trial have testified that the 15-year-old boy accused of brutally killing the right-wing Afrikaans leader confessed to the crime.

The boy and his co-accused, 28-year-old farm worker Chris Mahlangu, are currently on trial at the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp, in the North West.

They are both accused of beating Terre’blanche to death in his North West farm in April 2010.

They have both pleaded not guilty to the murder.

SABC acting chief executive believed to have signed off 20-million-Rand deal

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 October 2011

The Broadcasting, Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union says the SABC’s acting chief executive Phil Molefe is responsible for recent wasteful expenditure at the cash-strapped public broadcaster.

It was revealed yesterday that 20-million-Rand has been spent on the rental of luxury cars for SABC news staff.

The union says the rentals deviated from tender processes and violated an expenditure moratorium.

It is believed that Molefe signed off on the rental agreements.

The SABC says no money has been paid yet and they are investigating the allegations.

Trade union says Telkom cable usage hearings must not cause job losses

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 October 2011

Trade union Solidarity says the sharing of Telkom’s underground cable infrastructure must meet certain requirements.

The Local Loop Unbundling hearings kicked off at the offices of the Independent Communications Authority of SA in Sandton yesterday.

The long-awaited hearings will flesh out how other internet service providers in the country will be allowed access to Telkom’s cable infrastructure.

Solidarity spokesperson Marius Croucamp, says they are concerned about job losses.

DA wants an investigation into wasteful expenditure by the SABC

Lusanda Bill
12 October 2011

An investigation has been requested by the Democratic Alliance into the SABC’s alleged 20-million-Rand splurge on new cars.

In a report the DA states that eighty-six luxury cars were purchased despite a halt being put in place to curb such expenditure.

DA’s shadow minister of communications, Natasha Micheals, the SABC is abusing state resources.

Micheals added that she hopes that the people involved will be taken to task, at the very least a suspension pending the outcome of an investigation.

The DA says the time has come for people in the SABC to be held accountable for wasteful expenditure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Matriculants face a bleak future

Lusanda Bill
11 October 2011

An economist says the sluggish pace of the South African economy means this year’s matriculants face bleak prospects when they enter the job market next year.

Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt says a growth rate of at least 5-percent annually is needed to stimulate job creation.

He says it is unlikely that the government’s youth subsidy will help.

Roodt added that matriculants finishing this year chances are 50 percent of them will not have a job by the end of next year.

Steady progress being made on Cape Flats water maintenance - CoCT

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