Friday, August 31, 2012

Radebe wants NPA to explain

Andiswa Mkosi
31 August 2012

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe wants the National Prosecuting Authority to explain why the 270 arrested Marikana miners are facing murder charges.

The charges were confirmed in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court in North West yesterday, following the killing of 34 miners in a confrontation with the police two weeks ago.

Radebe says in a statement the decision has caused a sense of shock, panic and confusion among the public, prompting him to seek clarity.

The arrested group were initially charged with public violence.

Petrol prices expected to go up

Andiswa Mkosi
31 August 2012

In a shock announcement for motorists and consumers, the Energy Department has announced that the price of all grades of petrol will shoot up by 93-cents a litre on Wednesday.

The diesel price will go up by 69-cents a litre.

Merina Willemse, economist at Efficient Group says the almost one rand per litre increase in petrol prices will be a small adjustment to consumers budgets now.

The diesel price will go up by 69-cents a litre.

Petrol price to increase on Wednesday

Lusanda Bill
31 August 2012

The Energy Department has announced that the price of all grades of petrol will increase by 93-cents a litre on Wednesday.

The diesel price will go up by 69-cents a litre.

The increase brings the price of 95-grade petrol in Gauteng to just under 12-Rands a litre.

The department's Robert Maake said, the main reason for the hike is the increase in crude oil prices during the period under review.

Democratic Left Front wants charges against miners dropped

Lusanda Bill
31 August 2012

The Democratic Left Front has voiced it shock and anger of the decision made by the National Prosecuting Authority to charge 270 workers from the Lonmin Platinum Mine with murder. 

DLF’s Mazibuko Jara said the Judicial Commission of Inquiry looking into the Marikana incident is a waste of money, since the state has found the workers guilty.

DLF is calling on the NPA to withdraw the charges of common purpose against the Lonmin workers.

Meanwhile the the peace meeting in Marikana between the Department of Labour, the police and three unions has been postponed to Monday.

This is to allow people to attend the funerals of some of the 34 miners killed in the confrontation with the police.

Pregnant woman’s body found in Atlantis

Lusanda Bill
31 August 2012

A half naked pregnant woman’s body was found in a field in Atlantis on Thursday.

Witnesses said the body was covered in bruises and severally swollen.

The woman has been identified as 33-year-old Liezel Wagner.

Captain FC van Wyk said the circumstances surrounding the murder are unknown at this stage.

Van Wyk added that no arrests have been made yet.

Anyone with information surrounding the murder is asked to contact crime stop on 08600 10 111.

Dagbreek students apologise

Andiswa Mkosi
31 August 2012

Stellenbosch students living in the Dagbreek residence have apologised for past transgressions against people of colour in the town.

This follows information that their predecessors from the residence had attacked black and coloured people in their homes in 1939.

After the attacks, they had refused to hand in their weapons to authorities.

Current Dagbreek leader Pieter Nel told a media organisation they wanted to apologise for the disobedience and lovelessness that lead to the actions.

Mantashe distances himself from allegations

Andiswa Mkosi
31 August 2012

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has distanced himself from a media report in Botswana alleging that South Africa’s ruling party had disowned the Botswana National Front.

Mantashe says the ANC’s relationship with the BNF has been cemented by many years of the common struggle for freedom.

Mantashe does admit in a statement that the ANC would like their Botswana comrades to engage more formally.

He says this includes avoiding meeting by accident.

Woman constable to appear in court

Andiswa Mkosi
31 August 2012

A woman constable will appear in the Worcester Magistrate’s Court in the Boland today on an attempted murder charge.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate says the married Rawsonville officer allegedly booked out a firearm for a shooting exercise on Wednesday.

According to IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini, the woman allegedly fired two shots at a male colleague.

The pair, based at the same police station, is believed to have had an affair. The man was critically wounded.

Gordan: SA needs to fight the root of corruption

Lusanda Bill
31 August 2012

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said South Africans need to work together to prevent the country from giving in to a culture of greed and corruption.

He was speaking at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Gordan said the country's leadership and its people needed to fight the underlying factors that influenced corruption such as greed and selfishness.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is also expected to speak at the Summit.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kayamandi High School without electricity

Lusanda Bill
30 August 2012

Teachers at Kayamandi High School have been struggling to teacher as the school has been without electricity for the past two weeks.

Pupils from the school marched to the Stellenbosch municipal offices on Wednesday demanding a solution.

Western Cape Department of Education Bronagh Casey said the WCED and the Department of Transport and Public Works is dealing with the matter.

Casey added that contractors have started repairing the unit which was comprised and should be ready by Friday morning.

Teenage pregnancy for Sonke Gender Justice Network

Lusanda Bill
30 August 2012

Sonke Gender Justice Network today shared it concerns regarding teenage pregnancy being a major challenge for local schools. 

Gender Justices Patrick Godana said there are seven pregnant learners at Maitland Secondary School alone. 

It has been reported that nearby clinics have reported high numbers of learners seeking termination of pregnancy. 

Godana said Justice Network have been doing activities the whole week like handing out pamphlets to students.

According to Patrick Godana another concern is backyard abortions that the students are using.

Cape Town Street names given the go ahead

Lusanda Bill
30 August 2012

The Cape Town City Council has decided on six street names that will be changed, along with two civic centres.

Naming Committee chairperson Brett Herron says new names include Hendrik Verwoerd Drive being changed to Uys Krige Drive, Coen Steytler Avenue to Walter Sisulu Avenue. NY1 Street in Gugulethu will be renamed Steve Biko Drive.

According to Herron there were 13 street names on the original proposal that the council decided not to rename.

 Brett Herron said nearly 19-thousand people voiced their opinions about the name change.

Paramedics project off to a shaky start

Lusanda Bill
30 August 2012

An initiative launched by MEC of Health in the Western Cape Theuns Botha and Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has started off on a disappointing note.

The project has to do with members of neighbourhood watches in Khayelitsha accompanying paramedics to call-outs to ensure their safety.

The initiative was launched following several attacks on paramedics in the Khayelitisha area.

It is alleged that some paramedics were not informed about the project.

MEC Botha’s spokesperson Hélène Rossouw said the reason why paramedics were not aware of the project was because it was still a pilot project. 

Rossouw added that the paramedics will be briefed next week and given the necessary equipments.

Cosatu supports protest against Blair

Andiswa Mkosi
30 August 2012

Cosatu has announced that it supports protests against the visit to South Africa by former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu caused a stir yesterday by withdrawing from a leadership summit in Johannesburg because of Blair’s attendance.

Lungile Mpharu reports that Cosatu agrees that Blair should not be welcomed in the country.

The British High Commission's Gary Benham said they were also not involved in Blair's visit.

CT property owners need a permission to do alterations

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 August 2012

Cape Town property owners who renovate their homes without securing permission are being hauled before the City’s municipal courts and ordered to fork out thousands of rands in fines.

There were more than 100 planning cases before the municipal court in the past three months.

In some cases, property owners are paying R5 000 for failing to follow regulations.

The City`s Belinda Walker urged the people to consult with the council before they make any alterations to their houses.

ANC in the WC condemns painting

Andiswa Mkosi
30 August 2012

The ANC in the Western Cape has condemned the latest painting that depicts President Jacob Zuma with his private parts exposed.

In a statement, the party says the artist Ayanda Mabula must be reminded that his depiction is a violation of a number of rights.

The ANC has called on all citizens, leaders of communities and political parties to also condemn the painting.

Provincial spokesperson Cobus Grobler says they have not yet decided on any specific action.

Two people killed in a bus accident

Andiswa Mkosi
30 August 2012

Two people have been killed and nearly 50 injured in a bus accident near Kranskop in KwaZulu-Natal.

Reports say the bus overturned attempting to avoid goats on the R74 near the rural settlement of Ntanjamili.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha says eight people were seriously injured while another forty sustained minor injuries.

Botha says emergency personnel had to use hydraulic equipment to free several people trapped inside the wreckage.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Helen Zille is not happy with Nathi Mthethwa`s call stop the commission

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 August 2012

Premier Helen Zille says she is baffled by a request from Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa asking her to postpone a commission of inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelistha. 

Zille established the commission last week.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa claimes that he was not informed about the inquiry. 

Zille Spokesperson Zak Mbhele said the Minister was informed in advance about the inquiry. 

Mbhele added that the Minister`s office was informed as early as December in 2011 together with the Provincial Police Commissioners.

MEC Dan Plato to address Wesbank residents

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 August 2012

The MEC of Community Safety in the Western Cape Dan Plato will be addressing the Wesbank community at the peace tent this evening. 

Plato will be talking about safety concerns that the Wesbank community members have. 

MEC Dan Plato Spokesperson Greg Wagner said that this is an initiative by the Wesbank initiative of peace.

Wagner said that this initiative will empower the youth and provide them with opportunities. 

Four men arrested for possession of drugs

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 August 2012

Four men have been arrested in Cape Town for possession of drugs with an estimated street value of R125, 000.

 Captain FC Van Wyk said the men, aged between 21 and 28 years-old were arrested on Tuesday. 

The men face charges of illegal possession of drugs and ammunition and will appear in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Friday. 

Van Wyk requested the public to come forward with any information regarding criminal activities in their communities.

School caretaker arrested on rape charges

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 August 2012

A school caretaker has been arrested after a nine-year-old Mfuleni girl alleged that she was raped on Friday.

Western Cape Education Department Spokesman Paddy Attwell said the reported allegation took place in the community and not on school grounds. 

Attwell also said the school reported the matter to the department on Saturday.

Attwell further said the department is investigating the incident.

He added that the caretaker is still in police custody. 

Protection of Information Bill under the spotlight

Florentia Roman
29 August 2012

The African National Congress has announced further special consideration on the controversial Protection of Information Bill. 

The National Council of Provinces on Wednesday resumed its deliberations on the bill.

The ruling party agreed to delete two contested clauses. 

The committee’s deadline is the 30th of September to consider proposed amendments before reporting on the bill to the NCOP.

Minister Dlamini responds to the SASSA tender court filing

Florentia Roman
29 August 2012

Today the Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini, together with official from the South African Social Security Agency, addressed the media regarding the outcome of the social grant payout tender of yesterday’s judgement by North Gauteng High Court.

The court ruled that there were irregularities in the Supply Chain Management processes which led to the tender award being declared illegal and invalid.

The tender involves children who are beneficiaries of child support grants, older persons, war veterans and disabled persons. 

The Minister said that she wants to reassure all 10.6 million beneficiaries that the social grants will be paid out without any disruption.

CT Council meeting evokes serious questions

Andiswa Mkosi
29 August 2012

Today a council meeting was held in the city centre where the Mayor Patricia De Lille delivered a speech and the councillors had a podium to question points made by the Mayor.

De Lille opened her speech by seeking a moment of silence for those who have passed in the Marikana massacre and the victims of the recent spate of protests sparked in the Western Cape.

The Mayor claimed she resents the ‘Johnny come latelies’ who know nothing about the struggle.

She emphasised that she gets angry when youth league threatens to make the city ungovernable not taking into account that destroying services provided to the poor will only affect the poor.

Councillor Demetrius Dudley of the ACDP lauded the Mayor for the amount of services that they have rendered to the people of Cape Town.

Dudley asked the Mayor when will she be getting back to the  church leaders of Blikkiesdorp  who sent in letters to the mayors office seeking a meeting with the her.

On the other hand Councillor Tony Ehrenreich of the African National Congress asked the Mayor what type of leadership is being given to the people if the gap of inequality is getting bigger.

A number of other councillors were also concerned about the slow process of service delivery.

In closing De Lille said councillors are supposed to be leaders in their communities and that being a councillor does not mean getting a fat salary and attending meetings at the end of every month.



Phiyega: Public order policing neglected

Lusanda Bill
29 August 2012

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has admitted that members of the service’s training on dealing with crowds and in public order policing have been neglected since 1994.

Phiyega was addressing the parliamentary committee on policing on Tuesday.

According to Phiyega dealing with crowd control had not been a priority in terms of police training.

The commissioner says crowd management training is coming to the fore again in the wake of new protests.

Social grants improving living standards

Lusanda Bill
29 August 2012

A new research has revealed that there is a smaller proportion of South Africans were living at the bottom of the living standards step in 2011 compared to 10 years ago.

In 2001, some 11-percent of South Africans fell into the category with the lowest living standards.

The South African Institute of Race Relations says the improvement can be attributed in part to the increase in the number of people receiving social payments.

Majority of South Africans are receiving social grants and old-age pensions.

Wage negotiations at Wits will resume today

Mluleki Mrwebi
29August 2012

A wage dispute protest broke out at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

This comes after salary negotiations with the institution's management broke down.

Wits Joint Union Spokesperson Kezia Lewins said negotiations are expected to resume today.

She further said the academics still receive salaries that on a ten year old policy.

Zille denies accusations against her

Andiswa Mkosi
29 August 2012

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has denied accusations by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that she had not informed him of her plans to institute a commission of inquiry into the apparent breakdown in relations between the residents of Khayelitsha and the police in the area.

She says she had repeatedly forwarded complaints to his office, along with requests for comment.

Zille adds that at least 13 people in the Cape Town township have lost their lives in mob justice.

She says this is allegedly as a result of police inefficiencies.

NCP passes an amendment bill

Andiswa Mkosi
29 August 2012

The National Council of Provinces yesterday passed an amendment bill to restructure the Hawks that they say is in line with the Constitutional Court's Glenister ruling.

The bill was approved in the National Assembly in May with the DA and Freedom Front Plus opposing, and now goes to President Jacob Zuma to sign into law.

Businessman Hugh Glenister has been fighting against the bill being passed for months.

He says the Hawks position within the SAPS does not provide the anti-corruption unit with enough independence from police interference.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ID calls for discussion on job losses

Mluleki Mrwebi
28 August 2012

The Independent Democrats Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Rodney Lentit says the 30 600 jobs lost in the textile, clothing and leather goods industry within the province is a great concern.

More than 50 percent of workers in the industry lost their form of income within a 16 year period.

Provincial Executive Member, Rodney Lentit said intends to request a meeting with the MEC of Finance and Economic Development Allan Winde to discuss this issue.

Lentit added that he is optimistic about the MEC`s strategies to grow the industry.

A breakthrough for malaria treatment

Mluleki Mrwebi
28 August 2012

The University of Cape Town today announced the discovery of a compound which will help in the treatment of malaria.

The compound has the potential to become part of a single-dose cure for all strains of malaria.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says the development is a significant victory in the battle to alleviate the burden of disease on the subcontinent.

Department Spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said that the Department funded the research, which involved the collaboration between Medicines for Malaria venture based in Switzerland and the Drug Discovery at the University of South Africa.

He added that they are excited about this breakthrough.

The best taxi drivers awarded

Mluleki Mrwebi
28 August 2012

MEC of Community Safety in the Western Cape Dan Plato today handed over awards to taxi drivers who came first and second place in a competition. 

The competition was part of the departments Best South African Taxi Driver campaign. 

Department Spokesperson Greg Wagner said the award recognises and promotes safe driving in the taxi services industry. 

Wagner also said that responsible driving will reduce road accidents.

Wagner added that over 7000 taxi drivers took part in this competition and two of those come from the Western Cape.

Nehawu critisised for their defence of the SIU

Mluleki Mrwebi
28 August 2012

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union on Monday released a statement defending the Special Investigating Unit.

The union also supports the Head of Business Support Mizeria Nyathi, who refused to take a polygraph test, as required by her contract of employment.

The Democratic Alliance says this is unacceptable for the union to be involved in the SIU issues.

DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Debbie Schafer said it is concerning that Nehawu fails to focus on serious issues.

New initiative by the Red Cross hospital

Florentia Roman
28 August 2012

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Trust have partnered with Mediclinic South Africa to fund a series of “Saturday Surgeries”.

The Hospital has a high volume of non-emergency surgery case patients who have prolonged waiting periods that may not be life-saving but life-changing.

The Manager of the Trust, Philippa Douglas said the initiative will commence on 1 September 2012 and end on 24 November 2012.

She said it will provide an extra day of surgery on Saturdays to lessen the Hospitals long waiting list for non-emergency general, ENT and plastic paediatric surgical procedures.

National crime stats to be announced

Florentia Roman
28 August 2012

The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa and the National Commissioner of Police Riah Phiyega will announce the South African Police Service National Crime Statistics for the past year.

The statistics provide a systematic assessment of the state of crime in the country.

While there have been steady declines in various crime categories over the past few years, government acknowledges that more still needs to be done.

Spokesperson for the Minister, Zweli Mnisi said the announcement will be made on 20 September 2012.

Dysfunction families concerning

Florentia Roman

28 August 2012

The South African Institute of Race Relations says they welcome Zuma’s recent statement calling for a national debate on families in South Africa.

The Institutes’ Lucy Holborn says the most recent statistics show that half of all South African children had absent but living fathers.

A third weren’t living with either of their biological parents.

Holborn says the prevalence of dysfunctional families is a serious issue that needs more attention.

Zille won’t have the Western Cape after 2014

Florentia Roman

28 August 2012

ANC Western Cape deputy chairperson Abe Bekeer told cheering demonstrators at an ANC Youth League march yesterday that the DA would be ousted from provincial leadership after the 2014 elections.

Political analyst Gerrie Swart disagrees.

He said he thinks that the ANC Youth League protest is unlikely to do much harm to the DA government’s control of the province.

Swart notes that Premier, Helen Zille does not seem to be phased by these statements and that the DA cloud still possibly rule the province for some time.

Banks under pressure to make services more cost-effective

Andiswa Mkosi
28 August 2012

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says more needs to be done to ensure South Africans have access to fair and cost-effective banking.

The National Treasury wants banking services offered to middle- and low-income groups to be simple, transparent, accessible and competitively priced.

Gordhan met bank officials yesterday to discuss the role banks could play in solving the country's socio-economic problems.

Leaders in the sector agreed that the ongoing European and global financial crisis posed difficulties, but gave the assurance that local banks remain well-capitalised and liquid.

Zuma’s remarks about women analysed

Andiswa Mkosi
28 August 2012

The Commission for Gender Equality has confirmed that it has received the Democratic Alliance’s complaint about alleged sexist statements made by President Jacob Zuma.

The President reportedly said in a television interview that it was not right to be single and that having kids was important to women because it gives them extra training to be a mother.

The DA says because the remarks are sexist they are unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the South African Institute of Race Relations says they welcome Zuma’s recent statement calling for a national debate on families in South Africa.

The Institutes’ Lucy Holborn says the most recent statistics show that half of all South African children were under the hands of single mothers.

Correctional Services Minister sends condolences

Andiswa Mkosi
28 August 2012

Correctional Services Minister S’bu Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the family of a warder who was shot and killed in the line of duty in the Eastern Cape over the weekend.

The regional commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast says 11 awaiting trial detainees escaped after holding officials hostage at the Barkley East Correctional Centre on Saturday.

Fifty-four-year-old Mzukisi Michael Dusubana was fatally wounded during the incident. A number of his colleagues were wounded.

Four of the escapees have been rearrested.

Police Minister requests a meeting with the Helen Zille

Mluleki Mrwebi
28 August 2012

The Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa on Monday wrote a letter to the Western Cape Premier Helene Zille to request a meeting.

Mthethwa hopes to discuss her announcement of a Commission of inquiry into allegations of the police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

Mthethwa said he and the Premier have the same objective when it comes to crime.

Spokesperson for the Minister, Zweli Mnisi said that the Minister believes that the enquiry would not be a solution.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Johannesburg Correctional Services Department is without an office

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 August 2012

The Democratic Alliance has raised their concern about reports saying that the Community Corrections Branch of the Department of Correctional Services in Johannesburg is continuing to operate without an office.

This comes after allegations that the Department owes 2 million Rands in rent.

The DA’s media officer Cameron Arendse said that the parolees and the probationers are reportedly being forced to register and be interviewed at a single desk on the streets.

Arendse added that the situation places intolerable strain on both officials and parolees alike.

ANC Youth League promises to claim back the province

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 August 2012

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was not present to accept the memorandum at the ANC Youth League march.

Protestors refused had refused to hand over the memorandum to anyone other than Zille, but eventually they handed it over to Provincial MEC for Finance, Alan Winde, eventually accepted the memorandum.

The United Democratic Front’s Mario Wanza said that poor people need to take back their land from the rich.

 The ANC Youth League Spokesperson Magdelene Moonsamy said that they will claim back the Western Cape in the next election. 

Athlone power station remains to be removed

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 August 2012

The remains of the Athlone power station are to be removed to make way for new development on the site.

In 2010 the two cooling towers were demolished, erasing the land marks from the skyline.

The removal cost amount to 9.7 million-rand.

Councillor Shaam Sims said that the tender process has been prepared.

She said there are other processes required to be done before the operation can begin.

Denosa angered by Floyd Shivambo statement

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 August 2012

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa has reacted with shock and anger on the statement made by the suspended ANC Youth League Spokesperson Floyd Shivambo.

Shivambo referred to the Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini as Sister Dlaimini.

Denosa wants Shivambo to publicly apologise for his comments.

Denosa`s Simphiwe Gada said this statement may discourage young men who want become nurses.

Gada said that people like Shivambo need to understand that nurses have always played a role in fighting for the liberation of the country.

Shivambo released the statement through the Friends of the Youth League, where he said “Sister Sdumo Dlamini need to focus on fighting nurses at hospitals”.

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 ...