Friday, January 29, 2021

Statement by Health Department - no need for plastic wrapping at funerals

The Department of Health has received reports of coffins of people who died of COVID-19 being wrapped with plastic and in some cases, human remains are also wrapped inside and coffins marked with biohazard stickers prior to burial.

A meeting was convened on Tuesday 26th of January 2021with interested and affected parties in management of human remains. These parties included the Federations and Associations of Funeral Undertakers and Parlours, Funeral Undertakers, Funeral Parlours, Provincial Managers of Environmental Health, Provincial Coordinators of Forensic Pathology Services, Municipal Health Services Managers, Environmental Health Practitioners and National Department of Health: Environmental Health Directorate.

The Department of Health has issued health directions on the management of human remains that died of COVID-19 that prescribes measures to be implemented. These directions do not prescribe the covering of coffins with plastics, use of biohazard stickers nor wearing full PPE by funeral directors or sanitising of the graves or clothes of people attending the funeral as this is unnecessary.


This is unless it is prescribed as an additional measure by the relevant municipality where the grave is excavated in an area with a high-water table. Such additional measures are applicable to all burials (not only COVID-19), if the water table is too high for normal burial. The public and the industry must note that the measures prescribed are evidence based and may change as and when new evidence is presented.


The revised guidance from World Health Organization indicates that transmission of SARS 2 from a human remain to people who are alive has not been proven therefore the Department is in a process of reviewing the requirement of a body bag for burial to align to current evidence. Human remains can be buried either in a body bag or be wrapped in a shroud or blanket as the case may be. The body bag can be used for medical reasons or the family may decide to bury using these body bags.


In addition to the current COVID-19 health directions, the department has, as part of regulatory role under the National Health Act, 2003 (Act No61 of 2003), as amended, issued regulations governing the establishments of funeral undertakers’ premises and Mortuary, conveyance of human remains, burial, cremation, exhumation, reburials and general provisions.


COVID-19 is a new disease which is virulent in nature and can easily affect a huge number of people if health protocols are not adhered to. The department has regulated the number of people that can attend funeral gatherings to reduce the possible exposure to the disease. The process of handling human remains affected with COVID-19 poses a risk to the members of the public who are doing it and to their immediate families and the community at large.


The human remains should only be conveyed to the deceased`s home on the day of the burial and viewing is only allowed under control environment within a mortuary or funeral undertakers` premises. These measures are still necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 amongst mourners.


Exhumation is a process of removing human remains from a grave and is regulated under the regulations governing the management of human remains promulgated on 22nd May 2013.The law states exhumation or reburial shall not be done unless:


Authorized by the relevant government and permitted by the relevant municipality; or

A court order is issued by a magistrate of the court and shall be permitted by the relevant local government in whose jurisdiction the exhumation and reburial will take place.

Members of the public wishing to exhume human remains must do so following the provisions of the above-mentioned legislation. Therefore, illegal exhumation of human remains is prohibited and is punishable by law.


We appeal to all citizen of South Africa to observe the above requirements so that as a country we can move towards combating the spread of the disease.


Issued by: National Department of Health

Northern Cape elderly woman's bank card cloned; undisclosed money withdrawn

Three suspects will appear before the Kuruman Magistrate’s Court in the Northern Cape, soon on a charge of robbery.

It is alleged that an elderly woman was attempting to withdraw money at an ATM, when the three suspects cloned the 60-year-old's bank card and withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash from her account.

‘’The security guard managed to apprehend one of the suspects while the other two ran away. According to reports, the victim's bank card was found in possession of the suspect as well as an undisclosed amount of cash. A manhunt was launched by police and the remaining two suspects were swiftly arrested.’’ said Warrant Officer, Mosimaneotsile Letsapa.

 The John Taolo Gaetsewe Acting District Commander, Brigadier Francis Hender urged residents to be more vigilant and alert when withdrawing money at ATMs, and not to request or accept assistance from strangers when withdrawing money, but instead to go inside the bank, if possible.

PICTURE: Unsplash

Done By: Mitchum George

Jazz icon, Sibongile Khumalo, dies at 63

Renowned Jazz singer, Sibongile Khumalo, has died on Thursday. She was 63-years-old.

Her hits such as Mayihlome and Thula Mama became household names, and her songs took her to the top of the radio charts. She was also known for her award-winning opera and concert work.

She performed at late president Nelson Mandela's 75th birthday. She also led the New Zealand and SA national anthems at the historic 1995 World Cup rugby final.

Khumalo was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver by the presidency.

Parliament Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture, Beauty Dlulane, said Khumalo will leave a void in the South African music industry.

“Death has been unkind to South Africans who have made indelible mark on the music scene worldwide. It pains us when we have to say goodbye to stalwarts of music in the manner and frequency it is occurring. It’s starting to feel like we have lost a part of us. Sibongile had a lot to offer to up-and-coming jazz artists and musicians generally.’’

PICTURED: Sibongile Khumalo at Bush Radio Studio's

 Done By: Mitchum George

3 suspects arrested in separate incidents in M/Plain for unlicensed firearm and ammunition

Mitchell’s Plain police arrested a 28-year-old man on Thursday, for being in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

‘’The members followed up on information this morning about firearms at a house in Nile Way, Portland, Mitchell’s Palin. Upon their arrival at the address, they found a man with two backpacks in his possession.’’ Said SAPS spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana

Four firearms with ammunition, two laptops with accessories, and other items were confiscated.

In a separate incident, police also arrested two suspects in Tafelsig.

‘’Upon their arrival at the house, police searched a wendy house in the yard and found two firearms and 79 rounds of ammunition. Two suspects aged 29 and 32 were arrested.’’

The three suspects are due to appear in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court, once they have been charged.



Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Investigation on metro police officers caught on video firing at defiant driver

 An ongoing investigation has been opened after a video went viral of the metro police shooting at a defiant driver. The Independent Police Investigation Directorate are looking into the viral video that took place Monday near Milnerton.

The footage shows metro police shooting flat the car tyres of a male driver in a silver Audi A4 car alongside the R27.

The man had allegedly skipped a red light in full view of the officers and rammed into their car as they attempted to stop him. When they caught up to him again he, once again, refused to heed the officers' instructions and instead tried to drive away. Various videos taken by bystanders then show the officers firing their handguns at the car's tyres in an attempt to immobilize him.

The chase continued and the driver in an attempt to lose his pursuers, smashed through a rolled-down security entry barrier at an underground parking lot.

City Safety and Security executive director Richard Bosman said the suspect refused to obey a lawful instruction to stop and exit the vehicle, and continued in his attempts to resist arrest and evade the officers, who were forced to take immediate action in an attempt to immobilise his vehicle.

With an alarming level of violence being displayed against officers and levels of increased lawlessness on roads, officers are often forced to take difficult decisions in the course of their duties.


By Everngelista Muza.

80 farm workers injured when a truck overturned near Wellington

The Western Cape’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to a call on Wednesday morning, in which involves an overturned truck on the R44 before the Durbanville off ramp, in the direction of Wellington.

The vehicle was transporting eighty farm workers.

‘’The call for assistance came through to the EMS Communications Centre at 06:52. Two patients are seriously injured, twenty seven sustained moderate to serious injuries and 51 sustained minor injuries.’’ Said Deanna Bessick, ems Communications Officer.

‘’A total of 2 Rescue vehicles are currently at the scene, as well as 12 EMS ambulances.’’ She added.


Done By: Mitchum George

BATSA concerned by surge in cigarettes armed robberies

British American Tobacco SA (BATSA) says it is concerned about an increase in armed robberies of its products and the rise of organised crime in the illicit trade of cigarettes.

BATSA General Manager, Johnny Moloto, says they have observed a spike in robberies since the lifting of the lockdown ban on tobacco sales last year.

"This alarming increase in criminals targeting our products should be of major concern to the authorities.

“In Q1 2020, armed robbers stole 1,195 cartons per month (239,000 individual cigarettes) of our products. We, obviously, had no robberies during the tobacco sales ban as we were not transporting products. When the ban was lifted, on a monthly average 2,845 cartons of cigarettes (569,000 individual cigarettes) were stolen during armed attacks on our distribution vehicles. And this, although we have increased security measures.’’ He added.

Moloto says in February 2020, the last full month before the lockdown ban, there were four robberies.

"In September, the first full month after the ban was lifted, there were 12, a four-fold increase.’’

‘’The lockdown sales ban led to an explosion in the illicit trade and the increased involvement of organised crime syndicates,” he said.

Moloto is concerned that the ban also normalised the purchase of illicit cigarettes by South Africa’s 11 million smokers.

“Since the ban, we have seen a dramatic growth in the sale of illicit cigarettes in mainstream outlets, which can also be attributed to the economic hardship being suffered by South Africans," adds Moloto.

He says the police have been notified of all incidents.

‘’As is required by law in South Africa, all robberies against BATSA are reported to SAPS with the aim of achieving arrests of criminals targeting our business, as well as recovering stock and preventing it from entering the illicit supply chain.’’

Moloto has called for cigarette manufacturers to comply with COVID-19 regulations.


Done By: Mitchum George

SOPA to be held outside Cape Metro for the first time

The Western Cape’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) will be taking place, for the first time, outside of the Cape Metro.

Speaker of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Masizole Mnqasela, said that SOPA 2021 will take place in Genadendal, in the Overberg region.

Last year’s SOPA took place in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain.

‘’Last year, I felt privileged to give my SOPA speech at the Rocklands Civic Centre in Mitchells Plain. Rocklands Civic is a historic site which holds an important place in the history of our province and our nation. This year, I look forward to delivering my first SOPA outside of the City of Cape Town, in the Overberg region.’’ said Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde.

Mnqasela said that the State Of The Province Address will take place on Wednesday, 17 February 2021, adding that they’ll remain in the area for the multi-party debate on the premier’s SOPA and the premier’s reply to the debate the following day.

Winde said he was looking forward to delivering his third address in the Theewaterskloof district.

‘’The lockdown regulations in place over (the) past year have had a devastating impact on many businesses around the province - particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The choice to host the SOPA in a small town like Genadendal will also provide a boost to local businesses.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Police probes murder cases after man (43) was fatally wounded in Langa

Police are investigating the circumstances following the death of a 43-year-old man in a shooting incident at a popular Langa restaurant over the weekend.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said the man was fatally wounded at Jordan Ways of Cooking on Sunday.

“A case of murder has been opened for investigation after a shooting incident at Washing Street, Langa. According to information, a 43-year-old man was shot and fatally wounded by unidentified suspects, who are yet to be arrested. The circumstances surrounding this incident are being investigated,” Rwexana said.

Jordan Ways of Cooking announced on its Facebook page that it was closed until further notice.

“With a heavy heart, I'm announcing that Jordan Ways of Cooking will be closed until further notice, pending a police investigation after a tragic incident yesterday (Sunday).

“I sincerely apologise to our customers for having to witness this as we were serving three tables at the time.

“My staff are still traumatised by the events that occurred, and are receiving all the necessary help.

“When we reopen, tighter security measures will be in place. The police have promised to do due diligence with this investigation.

“Please keep the family in your prayers.”

Facebook: Jordan's Way Of Cooking

Police are yet to make arrests.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact Crime Stop on 08600 1011


Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, January 25, 2021

DA in the Western Cape calls for urgent clarity on communicating vaccine safety

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has called on national government to urgently communicate COVID-19 vaccine safety to residents.

The party wants clarity, as South Africa prepares for the first batch that is expected to arrive early February.

One million doses will reach the country by the first week of February.

"Nothing withholds government from embarking on a mass campaign to distribute factual information around the particulars of a safe vaccination process in the interests of residents. National government has dragged its feet in providing clarity on the COVID-19 process when it comes to payment, process and planning," said the party's health spokesperson, Wendy Philander.

Philander says she will write to the Western Cape’s Health MEC, Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo

‘’I will however, write to the provincial Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, to establish how and when the provincial department will roll-out its campaign to keep residents informed on the particulars of a safe Covid-19 vaccination process.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

Investigation launched into Mpumalanga Premier not wearing a mask in public

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, has asked for an investigation into the conduct of Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, who was spotted on national TV not wearing a mask at the funeral of Jackson Mthembu in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga on Sunday.

Cele says the matter was brought to his attention from various corners of society.

“If South Africa wants to beat this invisible enemy which is COVID-19, we simply can’t let down our guard down. This is why I have spoken to the National Commisioner of the South African Police Service, General Khehla Sitole to look into the matter of the Premier and an investigation must be conducted, and necessary action must be taken,” says Cele.

“Any person who fails to comply with a verbal instruction by a law enforcement officer, to wear a mask, commits an offence, and is, upon conviction, liable to a fine or a period of imprisonment, not exceeding six months or both,” warns the Minister.

In a statement, the Mpumalanga Premier claimed that her mask was damaged and somehow fell off without her realising that she was not wearing her mask.

“Upon arrival at the cemetery and disembarking from her vehicle, the Premier’s mask was damaged, and the Premier was oblivious of the fact that it had fallen off. The Premier was of the belief that the mask was intact as had been the case throughout the proceedings.’’

‘’The Premier’s aides promptly sought a replacement mask which the Premier utilized for the rest of the proceedings,” reads the statement.

The Premier has since apologised, and reitersed the importance of mask-wearing.

‘’Mtsweni-Tsipane extends an apology for that momentary lapse, where her mask fell without her being aware of it. We emphasise the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 regulations, and urge people to wear masks constantly.”

Courtesy: Twitter - Khaya Sithole
Mpumalanga Premier seen not wearing a mask.


Done By: Mitchum George

Sunday, January 24, 2021

No new West Coast rock lobster strandings in West Coast red tide

There has been no new strandings of West Coast rock lobster since Saturday, 16 January 2020, according to the environment, forestry, and fisheries department.

"This is despite research findings indicating that the red tide stretched along the northern shores of St Helena Bay, from Dwarskersbos to north of Lambert’s Bay, and moved south and is now located off the Berg River [estuary]," the department said in a statement on Sunday.

On Friday, the red tide was responsible for marine mortalities, including about 1 000 kg of West Coast rock lobster in the vicinity of Elands Bay, about 220 km north of Cape Town.

The flow of the algal bloom, or red tide, into the southern region of St Helena Bay meant that there was unlikely to be further lobster mortalities of significance, owing to the smaller lobster populations in that region.

Further mortalities of other marine life were possible, particularly at risk was the Berg River estuary.

"The public is warned not to consume any decayed fish and shellfish washed ashore as a result of the red tide which could pose a serious health hazard," the department said.

Red tides are a natural phenomenon in coastal waters caused by a dense accumulation of microscopic algae. Some of the algal species are harmful because they contain toxins, which are poisonous to humans.

Poisoning may either take place through the consumption of contaminated seafood or by toxic aerosols or water-bound compounds that cause respiratory and skin irritation.

Other red tides cause harm through the depletion of oxygen (anoxia), which affects all marine creatures, and can lead to mass mortalities of the entire marine communities or mass walkouts of rock lobsters that try to escape the anoxic conditions.

In 2014, an extensive and long-lasting red tide occurred for the first time along the South Coast, extending from Knysna to beyond Port Elizabeth and causing wide-scale mortalities of fish.


Done By: Mitchum George

Minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, laid to rest

The late minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, has been laid to rest at Pretoria Memorial Park Cemetery on Sunday.

Mthembu died on Thursday, due to a Covid-19 related illness, becoming the first minister to succumb to the virus.

‘’Minister Mthembu contributed immensely to the liberation struggle as an anti-apartheid activist, student leader and unionist, for which he was subjected to harassment and detention by the apartheid security forces.’’ Said the presidency in a statement.

The late minister in the presidency was a member of the ANC national executive committee since 2007 and served as the ANC chief whip in the National Assembly from 2016 to 2019.

He was appointed as a minister in the presidency by President Cyril Ramaphosa after the 2019 general elections.

Delivering the eulogy, Ramaphosa says he was shocked, sorrowful and heartbroken when he received the news of Mthembu's passing.

‘’During the pandemic, he carried our message of compassion, solidarity and unity. Minister Mthembu was at the forefront of our national effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic; the very pandemic that has now claimed him.  When we found ourselves close to despair, as a people and a nation, he offered hope. When our nation’s spirits were down and flagging, he lifted them up. ‘’ said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

‘’He brought clarity, certainty and the utmost professionalism to every task he was assigned. He has left a huge void in our government, in the movement to which he dedicated his life and in the country of which he was such a proud citizen.’’ He added.

Mthembu’s daughter, Thuli Mthembu spoke on behalf of his children, saying that her dad was, as she describes as ‘’a breath of fresh of air".

Thuli says the family is comforted by the messages of love and support from the public. She added that he was a joy to the rest of the world, as much as he was to them.

Deputy president, David Mabuza, is also expected to deliver the keynote tribute in honour of Mthembu at a memorial service which was postponed from Saturday to Monday, after consultation between the presidency and Mthembu’s family.


SUPPLIED: @PresidencyZA - 
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the eulogy of the late Jackson Mthembu

Done By: Mitchum George

Friday, January 22, 2021


The global pandemic – Covid-19 has claimed yet another life in the country, the honourable Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

It is confirmed that he died on Thursday morning due to covid-related illness. The President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a statement confirming the passing of the Minister and described him as an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy.

A week ago Minister tweeted that he was at a hospital in Tshwane to get medical attention for his abdominal pain.

Minister Mthembu was much loved and greatly respected. President Ramaphosa extended his greatest sympathies to the Minister’s family, colleagues and comrades so did other politicians and Political parties.




Friday, January 15, 2021

Police use water cannon as SASSA recipients que at Belville office

Video footage of police using water cannons outside the Social Security Agency of South Africa (SASSA)office in Bellville on Friday, is being shared on social media.

SASSA grant recipients were queueing to have their temporary disability SASSA grants reinstated.

It's understood that police gave them one minute to social distance themselves.

police had told the growing group that only 110 people could be served, with wheelchaired-bound people served first.

Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu also climbed into the armoured vehicle and pleaded with them to socially distance.

The DA’s Western Cape Community Safety Spokesperson, Reagan Allen, called the incident as ‘deplorable’.

“The situation involving excessive use of police force at SASSA venues is deplorable – that the police have been instructed to use water cannons against vulnerable residents, many of whom are disabled persons, is an abuse of power. This once again shows the inefficacy in the use of policing resources. ‘’

 ‘’The reckless behaviour today is even more concerning when considering the high levels of crime in nearby communities.  Communities and individuals would feel safer if they are able to trust the South African Police Service and if resources are used in efficient and effective ways.” Allen added.


Done By: Mitchum George

Schools to reopen mid-february

With the country experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, government has decided to delay the reopening of both public and private schools by two weeks, to 15 February 2021.

Addressing a media briefing on Friday in Pretoria, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Reginah Mhaule, said the decision to delay the opening of schools was made by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) in conjunction with the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet.

This decision took into consideration the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks, occasioned by increased COVID-19 infections, which has led to the second wave.

Private schools that have reopened already will need to postpone their reopening to a later date.

“This is done to provide relief to the health system which is already struggling to cope with the current demands. The new dates for the reopening of private schools will vary depending on the calendar that they follow,” the Deputy Minister said.


For public schools and private schools, which follow the same calendar, changes are as follows:

·        School Management Teams (SMTs) shall report for duty on Monday, 25 January 2021;

·        Teachers shall follow on Monday, 1 February 2021; and

·        Learners return on Monday, 15 February 2021.


The SMTs will go first to prepare for the return of teachers; and the teachers will prepare for the return of learners. 

“Schools will use the time to finalise outstanding matters, regarding admissions, especially the unplaced learners in certain cases.


Done By: Mitchum George

Man dies after attempting to hijack a Porsche

A man allegedly attempting to hijack a Porsche Cayenne died in a shooting on Old Johannesburg Road near the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria on Thursday.

The dead man is believed to be about 30 years old.

Police spokesperson Capt Augustinah Selepe said the police are investigating a case of murder and attempted hijacking.

“It is alleged five suspects driving a red Toyota double cab blocked a grey Porsche Cayenne. Suspects approached the driver of the Porsche and he immediately took out his firearm and shot one suspect. The other suspects drove off,” she said.

Selepe said the suspect’s firearm and ammunition were discovered on the scene. The firearm will be taken for ballistic tests to ascertain whether it was previously used in serious crimes.

ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell said the man was declared dead on the scene by paramedics.

“ER24 paramedics, police and private security services arrived at the scene at 6.38pm. The man was found lying in the road in a very critical condition after suffering gunshot wounds. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he died.”



Done By: Mitchum George

City of Cape Town says it can't always 'protect' consumers from load shedding

Eskom implemented rolling blackouts on Thursday, saying Stage 2 load shedding will continue until Sunday.

In a statement, the power utility said load shedding was necessary due to loss of generation capacity overnight.

If your electricity is supplied by the City of Cape Town, you’ll only load shed on Stage 1. The municipality said this will continue until 18:00 on Friday.

It said that the uninterrupted round of Eskom load-shedding could make it difficult for the City to protect its customers fully or even from one stage of load-shedding.

‘’This is because there will be insufficient time to generate sufficient excess capacity from the City's Steenbras Hydro Pump Station at night, while at the same time also having to replenish necessary reserves.’’ it said on a social media post.

It added that ‘’due to the continuous day and night nature of Eskom's current load-shedding operation, the City says it is thus using the reserve capacity that it has to assist with a stage of load-shedding during the daytime only, where possible.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Increase in number of Western Cape learners who committed suicide

The number of learners who committed suicide at Western Cape schools, has increased five times since 2015, despite a slight dip in 2019.

According to the Western Cape Education Department, seventeen learners committed suicide in 2020. This is six pupils more than the previous year.








Total of WC learners who committed suicide








Head of Department, Debbie Schafer says:

‘’Psycho-social support interventions follow a three-fold approach based on the learner’s level of risk: high level interventions, with the cooperation of the provincial Department of Health, are targeted at learners who are at a high-risk, which is the suicidal stage. Followed by low-to-medium risk learners, who receive classroom and counselling support.’’

Learners can also contact our Safe Schools hotline for counselling support.

The DA’s Western Cape Education Spokesperson, Lorraine Botha, said the numbers beg a greater concern for the well-being of learners.

‘’We must commit greater attention to learner Mental Health issues, particularly due to the added pressures associated with Covid-19, including reduction of contact time and related anxiety on learners’ performance.’’

‘’As the DA in the Western Cape, we will monitor the well-being of learners as we still operate in uncertain times that impact our futures. We call on teachers and parents to exercise due cognisance toward the mental health of learners.’’ Botha added.

Learners are further encouraged to use the Safe Schools hotline at 0800 45 46 47 for counselling support.


Done By: Mitchum George

Help find missing Kathleen Rossouw (15) from Nooitgedacht

Bishop Lavis police are asking the public to help find missing 15-year-old, Kathleen Rossouw, of Nooitgedacht.

It is alleged that Kathleen was last seen on 11 December 2020 at around 9a.m, when she left the house, without informing her foster mother of her plans for the day.

At the time of her disappearance she was wearing a green tracksuit pants, black t-shirt and a pair of Nike running shoes. 

Any person with information regarding her whereabouts is kindly requested to contact Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi on 082 302 8437 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

PICTURED: SAPS - Kathleen Rossouw

Done By: Mitchum George

MJC dismisses claims being involved in after-hours or penalty fees being charged at the Mowbray Cemetery

The City of Cape Town said it had allocated extra space for 837 Muslim burials at Maitland cemetery after Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park filled up.

In a statement, the municipality said it was working with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to increase burial capacity at the remaining 10 municipal cemeteries with a Muslim allotment. Cape Town also has private Muslim cemeteries.

“Currently, city cemeteries accommodate approximately 150 Muslim burials per month,” said the statement.

“Covid-19 has increased the number of janazahs [funerals] per month, which has caused space to fill quickly and has led to the city opening up more space for our Maitland cemetery.

“Until now, Klip Road cemetery has been the preferred burial site, but regrettably, the Muslim allotment at this site has been exhausted.

“While there is sufficient capacity at other cemeteries, the city has also created a new Muslim burial block at the Maitland cemetery that can accommodate a further 837 graves.”

This is in addition to burial blocks created for all denominations in 2020 as part of the Covid-19 response.

“The city is working with the MJC to ensure that burials happen timeously, with dignity and in line with the city's operations,” said the statement.

“To this end, we appeal to the Muslim community to please try to bury during working hours where possible and before sunset, in the interest of funeral-goers' safety, but also city staff.”

Meanwhile, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has dismissed claims that it is involved in after-hours or penalty fees being charged at the Mowbray Cemetery. This, after a video went viral on social media, showing a worker at the cemetery refusing entry to a group of men who allegedly arrived after the 4’o clock deadline, unless they pay a R500 fee. Second Deputy of the MJC, Sheikh Riyaad Fataar, says the MJC has no authority over the pricing structures, operating hours, and decisions made by the cemetery’s board, because they are private. 

Attached: MJC statement in response to Mowbray Cemetery video

Done By: Mitchum George


Vehicle licenses and license disc not included in expired grace period

The Department of Transport has clarified that the announcement of the extension of licenses did not include vehicle licenses and license disc.

The clarification comes after transport minister Fikile Mbalula erroneously posted the that these licences are included in the extension on social media.

In a 30 November Government Gazette, expiry was mentioned of all learner licenses, driver license cards, temporary driving license cards and professional driving permits that expired between 26 March and 31 December 2020. In the gazette, government extended a grace period that would see these documents would remain valid until 31 August 2021.

“License discs were not included. The extension was created to open up space for all types of license renewals, updates and makes at DLTCs responding to the backlog created by the lockdown period,” the department said in a statement.

The department has urged residents to use the extension to their advantage and either update or obtain their driving licence for the first time.

Furthermore, the department said that the extension period was created to cater to the backlog caused by the hard lockdown period.


Done By: Mitchum George

Agriculture Professor Mohammad Karaan passed away

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza, says she is greatly saddened to learn about Professor Mohammad Karaan’s passing.

Karaan is a former Dean of the Faculty of Agri-Sciences at Stellenbosch University and a champion of agriculture and rural development.

He served in the government’s National Planning Commission and was the Chairperson of the National Agricultural Marketing Council. He is also a former board member of the Land Bank and the Agricultural Research Council and most recently, a member of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

“Prof Karaan’s passing is a massive loss for the country, at a time when we need leading development thinkers and practitioners like him the most, as the country begins to implement the Economic Recovery Plan,” said Minister Didiza.

“Chapter six of the National Development Plan was largely drawn from his vision for agricultural and rural development, which emphasised a need for public-private partnership approaches in agricultural development.”

Western Cape Agricultural MEC, Dr. Ivan Meyer, said Karaan brought people together.

‘’He was a bridge builder between government and the agriculture sector and brought people together. He was a great facilitator of dialogue and reason in the political economy of South Africa.  He understood the impact of policy uncertainty on the agricultural sector and offered pragmatic solutions.  Agriculture was his passion and his legacy will continue to inspire us. ‘’

‘’He also contributed to developing the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's approach to agri-processing, the design of halaal products, and the training required for farmers to access the halaal markets.’’ Meyer added.


PICTURED: (Prof.  Mohammad Karaan

Twitter via @AEASA_LEVSA)

Done By: Mitchum George

Police seeks 2 suspects who burgled a bicycle store in Sunningdale

Table View police, arrested a suspect and the recovery of a high-end bicycles valued at around R850 000.

On Wednesday, shortly after 9p.m, a security guard at a retail centre in Sunningdale, Blouberg was approached by three armed suspects, who took his cellphone and hand radio.

‘’They proceeded to burgle a bicycle shop by gaining access through a window which was smashed with a concrete slab. The suspects fled with a number of bicycles in a getaway vehicle.’’ Said the police’s Andrè Traut.

Traut added that the security guard managed to activate a panic button and within minutes the armed response officers arrived at the scene and the suspects fled.

Table View police was also alerted and soon joined the armed response officers in the apprehension of the fleeing suspects.

‘’Eventually, the robbers were cornered and stopped their vehicle and fled further on foot in different directions.  Police fired one shot and injured one of the suspects and arrested him.  His accomplices managed to escape and are being sought.’’ Said Andre Traut.

The injured suspect was taken to hospital for treatment, and will make his court appearance once he has been discharged. All the stolen bikes have been recovered.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape Lt. Gen., Yolisa Matakata ,expressed her gratitude and applauded the armed response officers for their swift reaction and for alerting police.

She is urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of the other suspects to contact Table View police at 021 521 3300, or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.


Done By: Mitchum George

Eskom implements Stage 2 load shedding until Sunday

Eskom has announced it will implement Stage 2 loadshedding from Thursday midday until Sunday evening.

This comes after two generation units at the Kusile Power Station tripped due to the failure of the main coal feed conveyor belts supplying coal to the units.

In a statement, the ailing power utility added that a unit each at the Kriel and Duvha tripped due to ‘unforeseen breakdowns’.

“We presently have four generation units whose return to service from planned maintenance has been delayed,” reads the statement.

The power utility said loadshedding was necessary due to loss of generation capacity overnight.

“Loadshedding is also required to manage the use of the emergency reserves, which will help us contain the stage of loadshedding required. The system remains vulnerable and unpredictable, should any further breakdowns occur, the stage of loadshedding may change at short notice,” said Eskom.

Currently, Eskom has 5 358MW on planned maintenance, while another 14 748MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and the outage delays mentioned above.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town will ‘protect’ its customers from one stage – implementing Stage 1 load shedding from noon until midnight.

In a social media post, the municipality said it will update residents on a daily basis on whether it will continue load shedding on Stage 1.

Eskom urged consumers to use electricity sparingly, in order to help minimize loadshedding.


Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hand in your illegal/unwanted firearm & ammunition without being persecuted

South Africans who own an illegal and unwanted firearms, firearm parts or ammunition, can surrender their equipment, without fear of being persecuted.

With only two weeks left, the South African Police Services (SAPS) said it is concerned that since the approval of the second amnesty period, about 23 000 firearms and close to 120 000 rounds of ammunition were surrendered, since August 2020.

‘’Of the firearms surrendered, 3 139 were voluntarily handed in by their legal owners while 20 260, for which licenses have expired were handed in. Subsequent to this, 23 724 rounds of ammunition were also voluntarily handed-over to police including, 96 057 rounds of ammunition that were surrendered by owners whose firearm licenses had expired.’’ said Police Colonel Athlenda Mathe.

The deadline for the firearm amnesty ends on 31 January 2021.

‘’Members of the public who are in possession of a firearm, firearm parts or ammunition are therefore urged to take advantage of this opportunity by handing in their firearms and ammunition either for destruction, or for re-licensing the specific firearm with a relevant competency at their nearest police station. This applies to estate firearms whose owners have died.’’

‘’In addition, this period allows members of the public with the opportunity to surrender firearms whose licenses had expired without fear that they will be charged for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm or ammunition.’’ She added.

Mathe warned that those who are found to be in possession of illegal firearms, firearm parts and ammunition, after 31 January 2021, will face the full might of the law.

‘’It cannot be emphasized enough that as of 01 February 2021, those who are found to be in possession of illegal firearms, firearm parts and ammunition will be charged and processed accordingly.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

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 ...