Monday, December 31, 2012

Twelve people rescued in an elevator

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 December 2012

Twelve people were rescued in an elevator this afternoon in a shopping mall in Hillcrest, Kwazulu Natal.

It is alleged the people got stuck in the elevator for an hour after it was overloaded.

Netcare Limited Spokesperson Santi Steinmann said the twelve people, including children, entered an elevator designed only for eight people.

Steinmann also said the paramedics had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue the victims.

She adds that they were all treated at the scene and no one was injured.

Farm workers prepare for another strike

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 December 2012

Bawusa on Sunday met in Paarl, to discuss ways of how best to support the farm workers in their struggle.

In November the farm workers embarked on two week long strike, demanding wage increases of up to R150 a day.

The strike resulted in the death of about two people and some vineyards set alight.

BAWUSA Spokesperson Nosey Pieterse said they heard the cry and have seen the plight of farm workers.

“Therefore we have taken a resolution to heed the call made by farm workers to go on strike on the 9th January 2013”said Pieterse.

He further said they have noticed with grave concern the role played by the police during the farm worker struggle which started on the 1st November 2012.

The workers are currently earning between R69 to R75 a day.

Pieterse adds that hundreds of farm workers have been seriously injured and 271 have been arrested of which approximately 10 are still in detention. 

Father alleged to have raped his daughter in the North West

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 December 2012

A 22 year-old woman was allegedly raped by her 54 year-old father in the North West.

The incident allegedly took place on Saturday night while the victim was asleep.

The Rustenberg police have arrested the man.

North West Premier Thandi Modise has condemned the incident in the strongest terms.

Premier’s Spokesperson Lesiba Moses Kgwele said the spate of rape incidents particularly those involving victims that are known to perpetrators have reached unacceptable and alarming proportions and point to moral decay that needs urgent intervention before communities start taking the law into their own hands.

The suspect who is in police custody appeared at the Rustenburg Magistrate Court today.

Missing Child Alert: Micheal Mzizi

Department prepares to register new babies on New Year’s Day

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 December 2012

The Department of Home Affairs has urged all citizens to ensure that all their children are registered.

The department said the effort to register child births comes within the context of the ongoing National Population Registration Campaign launched by President Jacob Zuma to consolidate a secure, accurate and credible national population register with a single point of entry at birth.

Ministry Spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said the National Population Registration Campaign is aimed at, the registration of all child births within 30 days of delivery, Mobilisation of youths of 15 years and above to apply for ID’s and to end the practice of late registration of births.

Ngqengelele also said Minister Naledi Pandor will tomorrow, lead the Department’s campaign for the registration of New Year’s Day child births at the Bonteheuwel Maternity Clinic in Cape Town.

President Jacob Zuma wished all South Africans a happy New Year

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 December 2012

President Jacob Zuma has wished all South Africans a happy new year.

In his message for the new year he said South Africa has made a lot of progress in 2012 in continuing with the mission to build a united, non racial, non sexist democratic and prosperous country.

He also urged motorists to remain alert on the roads at all times.

Presidency Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Government alone cannot work alone on building a society where all will have water, electricity and good health, but will need to work with people from all walks of life to find solutions.

The Presidency also reminded all South Africans to keep praying for the Former President Nelson Mandela until he fully recovers.

“January 2013 will be an exciting month as we host the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Let us receive Africa with warm hearts and open arms as always” said Maharaj.

Public Service Department prepares for the New Year

Mluleki Mrwebi
31 December 2012

The New Year presents an opportunity for building a clean government accountable to the people, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said yesterday. 

“To serve one's country is the greatest one can expect”said Sisulu.

This privilege falls squarely on those in the public service, Sisulu said in her festive message to public servants. 

Departmental Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said the Minister has declared the new year to be the year to deliver to the public.

He adds that the department will also focus on fighting corruption and be accountable.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Zuma's wife in trouble for unapproved renovation plans

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 December 2012

 President Jacob Zuma’s third wife, Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, who commissioned renovations to her R8.8 million Durban North home without planning approval from the eThekwini Municipality, is to face rates penalties and might be forced to demolish illegal alterations to the house if her plans are not approved.

 According to alleged reports it revealed that Madiba-Zuma’s opulent hilltop home, bought from former Springbok rugby captain Gary Teichmann, was being expanded to accommodate Madiba-Zuma and her two children.

 The property was bought by the Madiba Family Trust in March last year and was transferred in August. Weeks later, construction crews started extensive renovations.

Young Communist League to stop publishing of matric results

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 December 2012

Matric IEB results were released yesterday while the results of government schools will be released on Thursday.

The Young Communist League of South Africa has called on the Basic Education Department to stop publishing matric results in newspapers.

Spokesperson Khaya Xaba says they have raised the issue with the department.

Xaba says publishing the results in newspapers only benefits publishers.

Meanwhile, the Basic Education Department says it will consult members of the public, parents, learners and other stakeholders on whether to continue publishing matric results in newspapers or not.

It says it has the concerns that the Young Communist League of South Africa has raised.

Karabus’ detention results in tensions

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 December 2012

It has emerged that the detention of Cape Town professor Cyril Karabus has resulted in a fall-out between International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

According to reports the retired pediatric oncologist was arrested and sentenced in absentia to a three-and-a-half-year jail term in 2004, on charges related to manslaughter.

But he was only arrested in August 2012, while in transit in Dubai.

It is alleged he failed to give a three-year-old patient who had been suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia a blood transfusion, and falsified medical record to make it appear as if he did while he worked as a locum in the UAE in 2002.

North West Premier concerned about police suicides

 Imogen Vollenhoven
30 December 2012

Early detection of police officials who are stressed might prevent incidents of members of the police service killing their partners and thereafter committing suicide, North West Premier Thandi Modise said on Friday.

Premier Modise said that post-traumatic stress disorder associated with conditions that police experience during the course of their work demand for advanced psychological services to ensure that whatever pressures police experience in their personal lives do not trigger violent reaction.

Spokesperson Lesiba Kwgele adds that the Minister is concerned about incidents of violence that have resulted in loss of lives involving members of the police service particularly as they have occurred close to one another.
The Premier’s comment follows a report that another police officer shot his life-partner dead before turning the gun on himself in Tlhabane near Rustenburg. 

According to police, the incident took place during the early hours of the morning after neighbours reportedly overheard the pair arguing before they heard gun shots

Captain Amanda Funani said that the Tlhabane police were called at Geelhout Park in Rustenburg where they found two bodies of a 33 year-old constable and his 32 year-old girlfriend lying on the floor with gunshot wounds.

The incident follows another tragedy in Modimong village near Taung where Constable Boitumelo Kwate shot his girlfriend Portia Mojakgolo on her hip before turning a gun on himself on Christmas eve.

Police ready to nabb law breakers

30 December 2012

Gauteng police intend to spoil the festive mood for law-breakers over the festive season, police said yesterday.

According to reports police spokespersonLungelo Dlamini said officers responded to a few criminal incidents, including house and business robberies, yesterday.

Dlamini said they would do everything in their power to ensure that criminals spent New Year's Day in police cells.

Dlamini says police operations will focus on drug trafficking, drunk driving, arresting those participating in the illegal trade of alcohol and those found to be in the illegal possession of stolen goods.

At the same time, Western Capepolice say various safety patrols will be conducted at public places throughout the province during the festive season.

Search for missing Khayelitsha girl continues

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 December 2012
It has been five days since a Khayelitsha girl went missing on Christmas morning and her desperate mother is pleading for her safe return.

Before five-year-old Lilitha “Nini” Mgwebi had the chance to don her new Christmas clothes, she was allegedly snatched a few metres from her house in Khayelitsha’s Green Point informal settlement.  

Lilitha was last seen dressed in pink trousers and a long-sleeved pink-and-white striped golf shirt.

Dessie Rechner from Pink ladies said Lilitha is still missing and extensive searches are taking place all the time , there is no update as yet.

 Rechner adds that there is nothing new to tell around the case but that the serch is ongoing and they hope and pray thart they will be able to find her as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rail union calls for armed guards to be employed on commuter trains

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 December 2012

UTATU SARWHU, the rail union of which Mr JP du Plessis- the train driver stabbed to death on Christmas Day - was a member, has called for armed guards to be employed on urban commuter trains.

General Secretary, Steve Harris said rail workers and more particularly train drivers cannot be asked to put their lives on the line each day when they report for work.

 They have to be protected. Harris adds that this is not a panic call on their part.

 Sad experience has shown that the lives of commuter train drivers and their support personnel are under constant threat from gangsters and even from commuters when there are rail delays.

The union will formally demand armed protection on selected trains when it meets with Metrorail’s group chief executive, Lucky Montana, on the 3rd of January to discuss the murder of Mr du Plessis and safety issues going forward.

Thee union compliments Metrorail and its senior executives for their sensitive handling of Mr du Plessis’s murder thus far.

Fedusa, the labour federation to which UTATU SARWHU belongs, has added its considerable weight to its affiliate’s calls for armed guards to be employed to protect rail workers.

Rise in road deaths call for cleansing ceremony

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 December 2012

The South African National Civic Organisation on Friday said the rise in the number of road deaths called for a cleansing ceremony at the country's major roads.

According to the report, Zuma said it was important to have such a ceremony in the wake of incidents such as the Marikana shooting in August, political assassinations and the country’s rape crisis.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation announced this week that 1, 068 people had lost their lives in road accidents between 1 - 25 December.

Sanco said church and traditional leaders should work together and organise a cleansing prayer at some of the country's major roads.

Grassy park community lashes out at police

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 December 2012

A Grassy Park community activist has accused police of not following established protocol when children go missing.

On Thursday, a body was found on a field off Plantation Road, Ottery, and it is clear police suspect it is that of 12-year-old Jennifer Williams of Parkwood, who disappeared near her home on December 20th.

The badly decomposed body was found by a passer-by behind the old Ottery reformatory.

Yesterday, Jennifer’s mother, Rachel Williams, said police had refused to let them try to visually identify the body.

 Although police have not confirmed the identity of the body they took DNA mouth swabs from Jennifer’s family.

Man plunges to death at an apartment building in Century City

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 December 2012

In the early hours of this morning, a young man fell from the fourth floor of an apartment building in Century City.

 Paramedics treated the man for multiple injuries at the scene including broken bones, internal injuries and head injury.

ER24’s Vanessa Jackson said  the man was in a desperately critical condition and they quickly loaded him into a waiting ambulance and took him to the nearest hospital.

Upon arrival at hospital, his condition had started to deteriorate even more which led to the initiation of resuscitation efforts.

Sadly, despite all efforts to save the young man's life, nothing more they did revived him and he died a while later.

City makes use of new all terrain emergency response vehicle

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 December 2012

The city of Cape Town has received a much needed boost during the peak festive season, the busiest time of the year on the City’s many beaches and extensive coastline.

Thanks to a solar operated, electric off road emegency response vehicle that has been made availabe by the airborne outdoor advertising.

Alderman JP Smith said it is extreamly benefitial because it is quiet and it runs on battarries so theres no emitions and no sound and it doesn’t disrupt the beach environment and the positive thing is offcourse low running costs, as the soloar panel charges itself as it goes during the day.

Smith adds that it is very useful to the law enforcement and lifesaving purposes, the lifesavers can get to points far more quickly because it has a decent top speed.

 He adds that law enforcement will be able to reach much further on their daily avtivities.

Missing child alert: Lilitha Mwebi

Minister Davies to explain his non support of local business

Imogen Vollenhoven
29December 2012

 Trade and industry Minister Robert Davies should explain why he does not appear to support local business interests and the protection of local jobs.

Instead of fighting the Brazilians for dumping chicken locally and in the highly competitive market, Davis chose the soft and blunt option of hiding general tariffs without providing compelling factual reasons for his actions.

DA shadow minister for trade and industry Dr Wilmot James said that the DA believes that what ought to be done in the case of imported chicken from Brazil is that the Minister should heed the advice of the local producers and apply anti dumping penalties rather than introduce a general tariff against all imported goods.

James adds that the only time that a general tariff works is when everybody must play by the rules and in the cases of European Union there is already an agreement, to not pay tariffs.

James said the DA believes that the Minister should stand up in the interest of local business because all they want is fair trade and a fair price.

Missing adult alert: Nazeer Mohammed

Missing: Jeppe GP Nazeer Mohammed 34 yrs 7 December 2012. Circumstances: Nazeer was wearing a blue jeans and black t-shirt when he went missing at around 11am on the 7th Dec 2012 from his business.
It is alleged he was kidnapped.
He was last seen getting into a black Nissan Nivara with tinted windows outside his car sales business NZR Motor City in Jules Street, Belgravia near the Johannesburg CBD.
If you have any information please call Col. Punt 011-624 6000 or PLTT 078 584 1365 or 071 249 0388. Please share, download a flyer and send thanks PLTT.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The National Union of Mineworkers losses a stalwart

Imogen Vollenhoven
28 December 2012

The National Union of Mineworkers notes with sadness the sudden
passing of one of its stalwart’s uMama Sylvia Benjamin who together with
James Motlatsi, Cyril Ramaphosa and the late Elijah Barayi led the NUM in
its early founding years.
Benjamin was the first woman Treasurer General of the NUM and laid the sound financial management and control of the NUM in the founding years.
Spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the NUM owes its success in the latter years to her sound financial stewardship.
Seshoka adds that Mama Benji, as she was popularly known remained a pillar of strength and provided guidance even after her term came to an end.
Seshoka furthermore said she has been with the NUM through thick and thin even during the most turbulent times of the 80s.
The NUM dips its flag and banners in honour of this giant and mother of the
trade union movement.

Presidency defends Zuma’s dog comment

Imogen Vollenhoven
28 December 2012

The presidency today defended President Jacob Zuma's comments on caring for dogs as being part of white culture, saying the remarks were aimed at decolonising the African mind.

 On Wednesday, members of the media  quoted Zuma as saying that spending money to buy a dog and taking it to the vet and for walks was part of white culture.

Zuma was giving a speech at Impendle in KwaZulu-Natal.This created a stir on social network Twitter on Thursday.

Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj said the comments were meant to start a debate on reconciliation.

The ANC parliamentary caucus slammed the media for trivialising comments.

Metro Police warns motorists not to drink and drive

Imogen Vollenhoven
28 December 2012

In the  light of the recent unacceptable high number of drunk driving arrests on our roads, the City of Cape Town Metro Police Department will be embarking on a strict approach against drunk drivers as we are gearing towards New Year celebrations.

According to Metro Police spokesperson, Nowellen Petersen, motorists can expect an increase in roadblocks and visibility patrols during this period leading up to News Years celebrations.

 Peterson adds that they would like to warn motorists to refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol as they will be adopting a strict approach in their efforts to combat drunk driving on the roads.

Petersen said drunk drivers will not compromise the safety of law abiding road users and therefore the City appeals to all motorists to obey the rules of the road.

Metro Police also warned bathers not to consume alcohol on beaches and picnic areas after large quantities of liquor confiscations have already been reported since the beginning of the festive season.

Peterson added that members have been deployed on all the city’s main beaches and picnic areas and the city will not hesitate to act where liquor is found in the possession of bathers.

Police nabb drug pushers on West Coast road

Imogen Vollenhoven
28 December 2012

 Two women were arrested at a road block on the West coast road after police found 96 bags of dagga in their car yesterday.

 Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said shortly after the women were arrested, a man travelling on the same road was nabbed when money bags filled with dagga were found in his car.

Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said that through out the province they are clapping down on drug smugglers and will make sure that when people come the Western Cape province, they will stop vehicles and make sure there are no illegal substances coming to the province and will arrest those people coming in with any form of illegal drug.

Africa said there is a dog unit which is always with them and with the unit they make sure no drugs come in the Western Cape province.

Police continue to search for missing girl from khayelitsha

Imogen vollenhoven
28 December 2012

 It has been three days since five year old Lilitha Mgwebi from khayelitsha went missing on Christmas morning.

 Her desperate mother is pleading for her safe return.

 The police’s Captain FC Van Wyk said that the parents conducted their own search and then went to khayelitsha Site B police station for assistance.

Police then immediately launched a search for the little girl but to no avail.

Lilitha is an average built girl with dark brown eyes, short black hair and she is light of complexion.

She was last seen wearing pink trousers and a long sleeve white and pink strip golf shirt.

 Anyone with information are kindly requested to contact the investigating officer Sergeant Bernard Mouton on 082 522 2884 or 021  360 32 08  or the crime stop number on  08600 10111.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries released status of Marine Fishery Resources

Imogen Vollenhoven
28 December 2012

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has officially released the status of the South African Marine Fishery Resources, yesterday.

The report is an annual publication that presents and summarises the current status of the South African fisheries resource.

This document serves to evaluate the status and management of South Africa’s fish stocks.

Spokesperson Lionel Adendorf adds that it is very difficult to say whether the depletion of particular stocks are the  result of over fishing or poaching but what is known is that there are also ecological factors that come to play when considering declines of particular species.

He adds that it needs to be understood and appreciate  the fact that it is not only a South African phenomenon only but it is also  an international phenomena.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Four arrested in Delft on charges of arson

Imogen Vollenhoven
27 December 2012

Four men were arrested in Delft on charges of arson after allegedly setting an Eskom container alight.

Polices Captain FC Van Wyk adds that members of the Delft Police were  called to a scene where members of  the community were protesting about the lack of electricity .

 Van Wyk  said a group of between 70 and 100 people were burning tyres and in the process set the container alight, belonging to Eskom which is situated in the N2 Gateway settlement.

 Van Wyk said with the help of security officers, the police managed to identify and arrested four male suspects aged between 20 and 40 years of age.

Upon arrival of the police the protesters  had already dispersed , after setting the container alight, and causing damage of more than R 100.000.

 The suspects have been detained and will face charges of public violence and arson.

Long wait for Matric results almost over

Imogen Vollenhoven
27 December 2012

 The long wait is almost over for the class of 2012, who will receive their final matric results in a weeks time.

The overall Provincial and national results  will be released next Wednesday.

Western Cape MEC for  Education Donald Grant said he is hopeful that there will be an improvement in the results this year.

 Spokesperson Bronagh Casey said that the department is confident in the class of 2012 and they are hopeful that there will be remarkable changes.

Casey adds that the best way to analyse  and to interpret the results is to  not only look at the past rate but to also look at the concern the number of candidates passing and the quality of the passes.

Casey furthermore  added that the Department will look at different aspects including whether more learners are progressing to grade 12 and  passing each year.

The Department adds that they have yet to find out how many have passed but it is already noted that the retention rate has improved since 2009.

Three rescued from drowning on City beaches

Imogen Vollenhoven
27 December 2012

 The City of Cape Town today said three people were rescued from drowning yesterday.

 Spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said an eight year-old boy Luyanda Skafungana of Atlantis was rescued at Melkbosstrand.

In Table View 15-year-old, Waylin de Vos was rescued and transported by ambulance to the Somerset Hospital.

 He said one-year-old, Nick Sumba found himself in distress at Muizenberg Beach yesterday afternoon.
Solomons-Johannes said all the patients were transported to various hospitals for observation and further medical treatment.

 Meanwhile the  City of Cape Town said the 20-year-old man who was rescued from drowning at Hout Bay beach yesterday however  did not make it and died at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said attempts by the medical staff at the hospital, to completely resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

At 4.45pm the doctor on-duty at the emergency trauma unit declared the patient from the Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement in Hout Bay as deceased.

Solomons-Johannes said an autopsy would be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Three die in arson attack on christmas day

Imogen Vollenhoven
27 December 2012

Gunshots and petrol bombs ended the lives of three people in Philippi East on Christmas Day.

 Thembisa Mondleki, 26, and Garry Dladla, 38, died in hospital after their shack was set alight by Mondleki’s ex-boyfriend in the early hours.

Nolusindiso Batyi, 30, owner of the house at which the couple was renting a shack, said they had been sitting together with the couple and a few friends enjoying a few drinks on Christmas Eve.

Captain FC  Van Wyk adds that christmas day ended very tragically for three families in Philipi east when they each lost a relative after a fire was started by an alleged jealous ex-lover.

Van Wyk said that a confrontation followed after which the ex boyfreind threw petrol bombs at the couples shack, trapped them inside and the boyfriend retaliated by shooting the suspect and fatally wounding him.

Van Wyk adds that the police are investigating a case of arson and murder.

Man airlifted to hospital following a drowning Incident

Imogen Vollenhoven
27 December 2012

 The National Sea Rescue Institute on Wednesday said a man was seriously injured after nearly drowning at Hout Bay Beach.

The Imizamo Yethu resident got into difficulty while swimming with a friend near the Disa River mouth.

 His friend tried to save him but was not strong enough.

 NSRI’s Andew Ingram further explained that the NSRI volenteers arrived shortly after the incedent , put on diving masks and found that men floating in 2 meters of water.

 Ingram futher more said that was then pulled out of the river and  CPR started immediately , paremedics then arrived and took over with advanced life support . He was airlifted to Groote Schuur Hospital where he is receiving treatment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Three family members seriously injured after sustaining gunshot wounds

Imogen Vollenhoven
26 December 2012

Three family members were seriously injured after they sustained gunshot wounds in Canelands, Durban earlier today.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinman adds that they responded to a call in Canelands in the phoenix area.

Upon arrival they found three people seriously injured after a shooting, Netcare 911 treated and stabilized all three patients on scene before transporting them to the Netcare Umhlanga hospital for further treatment.

The exact details as to the cause of the accident will remain subject for police investigation and comment.

IEC commissioner accused of fraud was granted R20k bail

The Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Nomsa Masuku has been granted R20,000 bail following her appearance in court on a charge of fra...