Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Jacob Zuma refuses to be examined by NPA doctors.

Former president, Jacob Zuma has refused to be examined by NPA doctors because he feels like he is tired of his ill health issues being met with distrust, the Jacob Gedleyehlekisa Zuma foundation says.  It was reported earlier this month that Zuma’s advocate, Dali Mpofu came into full agreement with KwaZulu Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg, Judge Piet Koen that the state may grant a medical practitioner of its choice to assess the health and the ability of the former president to stand his corruption trial

However, the JG Zuma foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi has accused the state of “second guessing” the report that was produced by military doctors who were responsible for Zuma’s care. "They are saying [to the military doctors]: we don’t believe you… your professional integrity means nothing," Manyi said. "What nonsense is this?"

"I haven’t heard the case from the NPA to say why this is necessary," he said, adding that the State "must show that they (the military doctors) are being dishonest". 

“But when president Zuma says, 'I am not well', there’s some second guessing of sorts. This is a problem… The attitude of president Zuma is informed by a pattern of what has been happening…for some reason authorities, particularly in the judiciary space, tend not to believe him”. Manyi concluded

Done By - Yandisa Qwabe 

Cape Town dam levels exceed 100% mark

Thanks to recent heavy rainfall in the Mother City, the metro’s dam levels have surpassed the 100% mark.

According to the latest figures, Cape Town dam levels are currently at 101.6% full. This is a 2.7% increase from last week’s 98.9%. At the same time last year, dam levels were at 90,3%.

Daily water consumption for the same period in the metro increased to 738 million litres per day, compared to 718 million litres the week before.

The municipality said that dams supplying Cape Town have for the second year running made the 100% mark – this year sooner than in 2020, when dams hit full capacity in October. Prior to that, dams were last full in 2014.

The Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, says dam levels for the province continues to see record high levels for this time of year.

The average dam level for dams in the Western Cape has increased to 81.42% (2020: 71.7%).

“We continue to see increases in most dams across the province. The dams providing water to the City of Cape Town at record levels, currently at 101% full. In August 2016 the level was 56% and heading for record low levels later in that year.”

The City’s mayco member for water and sanitation, Xanthea Limberg, urged consumers to continue using water sparingly.

‘’While the robust dam levels are certainly something to be thankful for, we cannot afford to become complacent in our ambitions for water security, and reducing reliance on surface (rainfall) water. The City continues to pursue its New Water Programme and the commitments laid out in its Water Strategy, come rain or shine.’’

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Another Cold Front Set to Hit Cape Town

 The city, in the past two weeks, has been experiencing extremely heavy rains and cold weather with some areas affected by flooding. The weather man has asked Cape Townians to not put their jackets away as of yet because there is another cold front set to hit the mother city soon.

This is due to high volumes of disruptive snowfall of 5cm to 10 cm over the high- lying areas in the Western Cape. Statement from the Weather South Africa (WSA), that Cape Townians can expect a clear gradual clearing in weather conditions, combined with a consistent recovery in daily daytime temperatures soon. Given that overnight minimum temperatures may take several days to recover in the wake of this cold spell, there is a distinct possibility of overnight frost occurring over parts of the interior as of early September.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town stated residents must always ensure safety and to stay away from anything that can incite fire. The city is on standby to deal with any incidents related to the cold front and willing to assist residents.

By Lucille Dyosi

No new rabies cases detected in W.Cape

The Western Cape’s Agricultural Department confirmed that no further cases of rabies have been detected in the province.

This comes after two dogs tested positive for the disease in Khayelitsha last week.

MEC Ivan Meyer said that persons and animals in contact with the original two cases have been traced and have been vaccinated as well as gotten medical treatment. Meyer says that over 900 dogs and ten cats have been vaccinated thus far

‘’Veterinary Services officials and animal welfare organisations have been going door to door throughout last week to vaccinate all dogs and cats within a 1km radius of the confirmed cases. So far, we have vaccinated over 900 dogs and ten cats,’’ said Meyer.

Pet owners who were not home at the time of the official visit and who still need their pets to be vaccinated should call the office of the State Veterinarian on (021)808 5253 or visit the nearest animal welfare clinic to arrange vaccination.

SUPPLIED - WCG:
Animal Health Technician, Rudolf Nieuwehuis, preparing administers rabies vaccination


Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, August 30, 2021

Gang-related triple murder suspects appear in court today

The 3 suspects aged 22,23 and 26-years appeared at the Paarl Magistrate Court in connection with the alleged gang related triple murder in Paarl on Friday night.

Four male victims were found with gunshot wounds at the scene in Rocky Street, three of victim were announced dead on the scene and one sustained serious gunshot wounds.

According to the Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa, victims have not yet been identified. 


October school holiday to go ahead as planned

Basic education minister, Angie Motshekga has confirmed that the 2021 school calendar will not be changed and the October holiday will still go as planned. Minister Angie was speaking at a media briefing on Sunday.

This follows after the department had earlier proposed that the October school holiday must be scrapped because of the schooling days that were lost as result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Motshekga said after consulting with all role players, it was decided that the t school calendar must go as planned and not change.

Minister Angie also mentioned that the unpredicted academic losses because of the pandemic would negatively affect learner’s ability to advance in their careers and earning in the near future.

“Of particular concern are the learning losses reported across the system since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The unpredicted closure of schools and unplanned disruptions to teaching and learning have resulted in the reversal of gains made in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, research indicates that lost school days lead to forgone learning. Our international experience and research has confirmed that learning losses, experienced during the pandemic, lead to long-term adverse effects including learners obtaining lower overall education values and ultimately lower lifetime earnings.” The minister said.

 

Done by: Yandisa Qwabe

A Sign of Relief as the Law Enforcement Returns Items to the Homeless

 

The city’s law enforcement has been ordered to return items they had took from homeless people in Green Point on the 27 of August. This was in an agreement made by the Legal Counsel for the homeless people and the city’s municipality.

The city’s law enforcement had operated an illegal search where about twenty-one people were demolished and seized off their belongs. On Friday, a heavy law enforcement presence and a private security planned response vehicle kept watch over the group of homeless people at the Green Point Tennis Club which they had instructed them not to put up the returned tents.

Thanks to the Western Cape High Court that has agreed to the law enforcements return items to the homeless. The case is still ongoing and will be argued in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, the 31 August 2021.

Done by Lucille Dyosi

Last chance for ECD centres to verify details of Stimulus Employment Relief Fund

Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) that were not approved for the ECD stimulus relief fund, but have since received text messages from the department, have until Tuesday to correct their data information, in order to be approved for the roll-over funding.

Department of Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said those who did not previously qualify for funding because they gave incorrect data information could reapply for the stimulus relief, subject to verification processes.

“We are aware that we did not make payment to all stimulus applicants. The money has not all been spent and we have applied to the National Treasury that the money rolls over, and those who have not been paid will be paid,” she said.

Zulu urged ECD applicants who have received text messages to go back to the application website and reapply. No new applicants would be approved, only those who received text messages from the department.

The Western Cape’s Social Development MEC, Sharna Fernandez, has encouraged those to verify their information if they haven’t done so already.

‘’The ECD sector has been particularly hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic due to prolonged closures. Consequently, the Early Childhood Development Employment Stimulus Relief Fund is part of sustaining employment opportunities in the sector in light of the high unemployment rate and job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.’’

As part of the ongoing verification process that is completed by the National Department of Social Development, field workers have been deployed in all nine provinces, to provide ECD Stimulus Employment Relief Fund applicants with onsite support to attend to outstanding matters on their application.

 

During the site verification visit, services are requested to take note of the following to ensure that they do not share personal information with unauthorised persons.

 

·        Fieldworkers will be wearing a name tag with the fieldworker’s full name and fieldworker code.

·        Fieldworkers can present a signed letter from the DSD stating the purpose of the visit.

·        Fieldworkers can present the SurveyCTO app on their phones used for capturing the site verification data.

 

It is important to note that ECD services will NOT be allowed to start new applications or add new staff members to their current applications.

 

WHO TO CONTACT:

 All applicants that have not received payment are requested to check their application status on www.ecd.gov.za/ecd/application/start. Once services have logged on using their application ID or reference, they will be able to view their application status and address any verification failures indicated. Should services not be able to correct the indicated error, services should email their query to ecdstimulus@dgmt.co.za before 31 August 2021.

 

        Fieldwork enquires (related to site visits): Milton Yose – milton@datainnovators.com // 011 568 3333

        Remote support: Masego Tabane- masego@datainnovators.com // 011 568 3333

        Programme Manager: Olwethu Sizani- Olwethu@datainnovators.com

 

The National Department of Social Development further notes that it is unable to process any payments if applications have bank and staff verification inaccuracies as a result of wrong information submitted by applicants. Hence, applicants need to verify their details and do the necessary corrections to avoid payment delays.

2-year-old dies after he fell in drain outside his Khayelitsha home

Cape Town police are probing the circumstances surrounding the death of a 2-year-old boy after he fell into a drain outside his home in Greenpoint, Khayelitsha, on Sunday.

The police’s Joseph Swartbooi said the incident happened at about 14:20.

‘’According to reports the body of a 2-year-old was discovered in a drain as it was believed the toddler fell into it. The victim was declared deceased on the scene. A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death," said Swartbooi.

Khayelitsha police have since opened an inquest docket for further investigation.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Friday, August 27, 2021

More Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines expected this weekend; COVID-19 vaccine to be mandatory

South Africa is expecting to receive at least 2.2 million more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses at the weekend.

The doses were donated by the United States of America via the COVAX facility – an international group lobbying for the equal access to and procurement of vaccines.

Briefing the media on Friday, Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla said the arrival of the vaccine doses would ensure that the country has a stable supply of the vaccine.

“We are grateful to the government of the USA for donating through the COVAX facility another 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccines, which are arriving on Saturday, 28 August 2021, adding to the 5.6 million we received in July. This donation will reinforce our stock levels,” he said.

Meanwhile, Phaahla acknowledged that there have been calls by some for the COVID-19 vaccination to be made mandatory.

“A suggestion has been made by various influential people in society that we should consider a mandatory vaccination policy. This is a matter which we are very reluctant to venture into but it is a matter which we are discussing in various forums,” he said.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

First payments for SASSA relief grant made

 Sassa has made the first payments of the government’s social relief of distress R350 grant. Sassa says it received 8 931 375 applications from all nine provinces, 41% of whom were men and 59% women.

Further disbursements to applicants are set to continue over the next few days. Applications for this social relief of distress opened on August 6. The grant is set to benefit unemployed citizens, most of whom lost their jobs during the hard lockdown.

To avoid overcrowding at post offices during payment of approved recipients, a joint strategy was put in place by Sassa and the SA Post Office, where the last three digits of approved beneficiaries’ identity numbers will be used for payment collection on a specific day of the week.

Applicants who have been approved are urged to first wait for an SMS confirming that the grant is available before approaching the post office.

By Danielle Mentoor

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Khayelitsha residents to experience load reduction on Thursday evening

Khayelitsha residents will experience load reduction between 5-9p.m on Thursday evening.

In a statement, Eskom says load reduction is necessary to protect Eskom’s assets by reducing electricity load during peak hours in high-density areas, which Eskom says is overloading the network.

It added that network overloading causes damages to electricity infrastructure through explosions of transformers, mini substations and poses danger to individuals.

The ailing parastatal says it is battling to keep up with the increased impact of illegal connections and tampering, as well as the equipment failure caused by overloading.

The areas affected in Khayelitsha includes Site C, D, DT, and CT sections

Eskom says customers from the affected areas are asked not to log a fault during these times on Thursday evening.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Cape taxi driver and guard arrested after kidnapping woman

A Cape Town taxi driver and his guard have been arrested after attacking and pepper spraying a woman before robbing her of her handbag and watch.

‘’Just after 3pm, officers were busy with an operation along Jakes Gerwel Drive, when they noticed a woman in a taxi, screaming at them and banging against the door of the vehicle,’’ said the City’s Traffic Spokesperson, Richard Coleman.

In a statement, the City said the woman got into a taxi heading to Bellville, along Voortrekker Road in Goodwood, but the driver changed course and instructed his guard to rob her.

When they stopped the vehicle, the woman informed them that the taxi driver and his guard had attacked her.

"Officers accompanied the 29-year-old woman to Goodwood SAPS, where a docket was opened, and the suspects, aged 29 and 27, were detained," says Coleman.

The pair is expected to appear at the Goodwood Magistrates Court soon on charges of robbery, kidnapping and assault.

 

Done By: Lizeka Tsotetsi & Mitchum George

Inclement weather expected to hit the Cape from Thursday

Cape Town Disaster Risk Management is on standby, ahead of inclement weather expected for Cape Town from Thursday.

The South African Weather Service forecasted disruptive rainfall and strong winds and wave heights up to 6 metres.

The City’s Charlotte Powell appealed to residents to help prevent flooding in their area.

“We appeal to residents to help reduce flood risks by clearing out drainage system, raising the floor levels of a structure so it is higher than the natural ground level like digging trenches around the house, reporting blocked drains and illegal dumping.”

The Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, says the areas which can expect heavy rains will be Cape Town, Drakenstein, Overstrand, Stellenbosch and Theewaterskloof.

Bredell is urging members of the public to stay indoors and to limit travelling around the province if possible during this time.

“Conditions will be difficult with strong winds expected and extreme cold weather moving into the weekend. We are urging people to be cautious on the roads and to avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where possible. Over the weekend the cold weather may cause challenges to people and livestock caught outdoors.”

Residents are urged to report any flooding incidents on 107 on the landline or call 021 480 7700 from your cellphone

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Abalone worth R1.2m confiscated near Caledon

Overberg police confiscated abalone worth an estimated street value of R1.2 million on the N2 near Caledon on Wednesday morning.

Police captain, FC van Wyk, said that Overberg Rural Flying Squad received a tipoff about abalone being transported on the N2 to Cape Town.

‘’Members received information from a reliable source about abalone being transported on the N2 to Cape Town. The gathered intelligence was immediately operationalized and the mentioned vehicle was spotted on the N2 near Caledon. The vehicle was subsequently stopped and searched and found to be containing bags of abalone. The driver could not produce a valid licence to transport the abalone and was immediately arrested,’’ said van Wyk.

PICTURE: SAPS


‘’The 29-year-driver resisted arrest but was brought under control and arrested. The abalone comprising 2929 unschucked units, including the vehicle which was used to transport the abalone was confiscated,’’ added van Wyk.

PICTURE: SAPS


The suspect will appear in the Caledon Magistrates Court on Thursday on charges of illegal possession of abalone and resisting arrest.

 

Done By: Danielle Mentoor

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Robben Island Appoints it’s 1st female Executive

 Maphootla Makhoalibe has been appointed as the 1st Female Executive Manager and will take up the responsibility of infrastructure and Facility management ,since the Museum got National declaration status in 1997

Makhoalibe who is a professional with over 19 years experience in complex investment projects from inception, implementation and acquisition through to disposal in Africa (SADC), the Middle East (Qatar & UAE), the US and the UK has thanked the Musuem for the opportunity to partake in preserving the Country’s heritage

Spokesperson of Robben Island Museum Morongoa Ramaboa has said Makhoalibe’s appointment is validation that women are ready to lead in strategic positions.

 

Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi

3 dead in gang-related shooting in Lotus River

Anti-Gang Unit detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a shooting incident that left three men dead on Tuesday evening.

According to the police’s Novela Potelwa, the bodies of the victims were discovered shortly before 20:00 on an open field in Gemsbok Road, Lotus River. The victims had been shot multiple times.

‘’Preliminary investigations indicate that the incident is gang related. The identities of the deceased men aged 31, 35 and 37 are yet to be released.’’

Anyone with information that could help expedite the police investigation is urged to contact police on 08600 10111 or via the MySAPS App.

 

PICTURE: SAPS

Done By: Danielle Mentoor

NSRI are appealing to the public not to climb aboard and not to jump off the BOS 400 crane barge wreck at Maori Bay

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has appealed to to the public to not climb aboard the BOS 400 crane barge wreck at Maori Bay, just south of Sandy Bay. This appeal comes after several people were injured at the barge shipwreck.

“On arrival on the scene a group of people were observed on the shore on rocks above the wreck. An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the water and he swam ashore where it was determined that 2 University students, aged 21 and 23, were injured after they had reportedly jumped off the crane of the BOS 400 wreck,” said the NSRI’s Craig Lambinon.

Lambinon says two of the injured were in the care of their fellow hikers including a student nurse, first aiders and an off-duty NSRI Witsand crewman.

“Both patients were treated for serious injuries, including lacerations, abrasions, and hypothermia. WC Government Health EMS ambulance and Life Healthcare response paramedics were activated to stand-by at NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue base.”

Additional NSRI rescue swimmers were also deployed from the sea rescue craft, and both patients were transferred from the shore to the sea rescue craft and taken by private transport to a hospital for medical care.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the group of hikers believed to be mostly young students had planned a hike where some had reportedly believed that the hike would include swimming at Sandy Bay. When they arrived at the BOS 400 crane barge wreck, it apparently became evident that some in the group may have prearranged to climb aboard the wreck in order to jump off.

Lambinon says the crane barge wreck is at an advanced stage of deterioration, with rusted steel on the wreck threatening to collapse including rusted steel that has fallen off the wreck and submerged in the water around the wreck, making the wreck and the surrounding water unsafe.

Picture: NSRI


Done By: Danielle Mentoor

Blaauwberg Nature Reserve declared as a Provincial Heritage Site

Blaauwberg Nature Reserve has been declared as a Heritage Site.

This site contains the archaeological remnants of three historical stock farms, namely Weberskraal, Meybooms Dam and a portion of Sleutel can Compagnies Dam, as well as the portion of outspan and farm of Blaauwbergvlei which served as outspan to the northern road and field hospital during the 1806 Battle of Blaauwberg.

The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is also in possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of South Africa’s natural and cultural heritage. It conserves three indigenous vegetation: Cape Flats dune strandveld, now endangered; Swartland shale renosterveld, currently critically endangered and the Cape Flats sand Fynbos, also critically endangered.

The 1806 Battle Site is the only battlefield in the Western Cape where the site has remained undeveloped and the original topography is visible. It is the second, and last, battle of occupation to take place at the Cape of Good Hope between two “colonizing” powers.

The Western Cape’s Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC, Anroux Marais says the site lies in its historical nature, amplified by its socio-political and scientific significance.

“On the aesthetic front, Blaauwberg Hill and Kleinberg are landmarks within the cultural and natural landscape. There is an uninterrupted view from Blaauwberg Hill of Robben Island and Table Mountain, which are both World Heritage Sites. This makes it the only place in Cape Town where two World Heritage Sites can be viewed simultaneously, which I am sure would be a TikTokker’s delight in a bid to uncover unknown gems to share with the world of social media”.

COURTESY: WCG - From left: Ward Councillor: Nora Grose; Chairperson of Heritage Western Cape Interpretation Grading and Inventories Committee: Ron Martin; Chairperson of the Heritage Western Cape Council: Adv. Mandla Mdludlu; Minister Anroux Marais; Blaauwberg Nature Reserve Manager: Koos Retief and City of Cape Town Director for Environmental Management Department: Lorraine Gerrans.        


 Done By: Mitchum George

Pet owners to be on the lookout after 2 dogs tested positive for rabies

Western Cape’s Agriculture MEC, Dr Ivan Meyer says that veterinary officials are vaccinating pets in Khayelitsha and surrounding areas, after 2 dogs tested positive for rabies.

According to the Western Cape Veterinary Service Head, Dr. Gininda Msiza, rabies is a viral disease affecting animals and people.

"It is transmitted by saliva or other body fluids, and a dog or person can be infected by being bitten, scratched or licked by a rabid animal."

"However, rabies is very easy to prevent by vaccinating dogs and cats,” added Msiza.

According to Msiza, dogs with rabies often show a behaviour change and become suddenly aggressive or unusually tame for no reason.

"Dogs with rabies struggle to swallow and often walk around with their mouths open, drooling or making choking sounds as if they have something stuck in their throat. If you suspect a dog has rabies, do not touch it and contact your nearest private or state veterinarian immediately.”

MEC Meyer says they are working closely with the welfare organisations and medical doctors to check on contacts and any people who may have been bitten and need treatment.

Investigations are currently underway to ascertain the source of the outbreak.

‘’If you suspect that you have had contact with a rabid animal, getting preventative treatment as soon as possible saves your life. Wash any bite or scratch wound thoroughly with soap and water, and then go immediately to your doctor or clinic to get rabies vaccinations. The sooner you receive treatment, the better you will be protected against rabies," said Meyer.

"Pet owners are encouraged to be vigilant and to take their pets to their private veterinarian or animal welfare organisation to make sure their rabies vaccinations are up to date," added Meyer.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, August 23, 2021

Joburg healthworker arrested for selling fake COVID-19 negative test certificates

A 28-year-old male City of Johannesburg health worker stationed at the Parkhurst Clinic will appear in the Booysens Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he will be charged for fraud.

He was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly selling fake Covid-19 negative test certificates to travellers for R500 after being closely monitored for over a week.

His arrest was effected during a sting operation which was led by the City Executive Mayor, Councillor Jolidee Matongo working with the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) department and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department.

The suspect allegedly sold fake Covid-19 negative test certificates to people wishing to travel to other countries without conducting tests and taking blood samples. All he allegedly required was the buyer’s identity number. After a day or two, the buyer would receive a message from the laboratory indicating that they had tested negative for Covid-19.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the suspect is not working alone. More suspects are expected to be arrested as the investigation is ongoing.

 

Done By: Danielle Mentoor

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Law enforcements on high alert following threats of national shutdown

South Africa's law enforcement agencies are on high alert to ensure the safety of citizens amid threats of a national shutdown on Monday.

Authorities said they have put measures in place to ensure the safety and security of South Africans

“The NatJOINTS is aware of inflammatory messages on various social media platforms advocating for violence. Those behind these messages are warned that inciting violence is a criminal offence. Members of the public are cautioned against spreading such divisive messages,” said NatJOINTS spokesperson Lt-Col Robert Netshiunda on Sunday.

Netshiunda said equally, a different set of messages is also doing the rounds where people are mobilising to respond to the supposed shutdown.

Police have urged the public not to respond to such calls.

“The public is urged not to respond to calls for violence and criminality, and are thus discouraged from participating in activities that seek to defy the rule of law and undermine the authority of the state.’’

“We are calling on community police forums and related sub-forums to work with the police as they usually do and to mobilise the community against any form of lawlessness. Law-abiding citizens should be at ease knowing that the NatJOINTS is not taking these threats lightly,” said Netshiunda.

NatJOINTS warned that adjusted alert level 3 regulations remain in place.

“Currently outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 persons,” Netshiunda said.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Government says it is monitoring the situation.

“Nonetheless, at this point we want to reassure the public that the provincial authorities continue to be on permanent standby across the province for any eventuality and our partners are prepared to respond in the event of any escalation. The PDMC meets with the provincial police and the SANDF on an ongoing basis and the situation is being thoroughly assessed on a daily basis. There is no cause for alarm at this point. Members of the public with information or concerns are urged to share such with their nearest police station,’’ says James-Brent Styan, Local Government spokesperson.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Friday, August 20, 2021

22 scholars injured after taxi crashes near Parliament

Cape Town police are investigating the exact cause of an accident after a taxi crashed near Parliament on Friday morning. The vehicle was transporting 22 children to school when it crashed into a bollard in Plein Street.

It’s understood that the learners, aged between 6 and 14 years, are from 12 different schools, largely within the city bowl and Walmer Estate areas. The learners sustained minor to serious injuries and was sent to various health facilities.

‘’I am deeply distressed by an incident that happened outside Parliament this morning involving learners on their way to school. 21 learners and 2 adults were in the minibus taxi when it crashed. This is clearly overloading.  The injuries of the learners range from serious to minor, with learners being sent to Red Cross Hospital. Somerset Hospital, Green Point Clinic and District 6 clinic,’’ said Education MEC, Debbie Schafer.

According to the Western Cape’s Education Department, the driver allegedly has no drivers license nor does he have an operating license.

‘’We have been in contact with our colleagues from Department of Transport and Public Works regarding investigation of these matters and what action can be taken.‘’

‘’Our learners' lives matter. Their safety matters. This kind of reckless and irresponsible behaviour by the driver and/or owners of this vehicle must not go unpunished,’’ she added.

Parliament issued a statement conveying condolences to family and friends of a pupil it claimed died in the accident.

Schäfer has meanwhile disputed parliament's claim that a pupil succumbed to the injuries.

“We have checked with the SA Police Service, emergency medical service, the hospitals — no death of a learner reported. It appears that the statement from parliament was incorrect.”

 

Done By: Mitchum George

All adults eligible for COVID-19 jab

South Africans over the age of 18 are eligible to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Cabinet this week approved vaccinations for the 18 to 34 age group as part of the country’s measures to increase the vaccine rollout and curb Covid-19 infections.

Vaccinations for this group were originally set to kick off on 1 September.

“Cabinet welcomed the vaccination rollout plan to increase the uptake of vaccines, particularly in provinces that had shown a reduction in uptake,” said cabinet.

To date, more than 10 million vaccines have been administered in SA, with more than seven million people partially vaccinated and more than four million fully vaccinated.

Briefing the media on government’s effort in mitigating the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa, on Friday, Health Minister, Dr. Joe Phaahla said, 184 000 people in the 18 years and over group have registered for the vaccine thus far, with 73 000 in Gauteng. He says this number is expected to grow during the course of the day and beyond.

Responding to questions, Minister Phaahla again encourages young people to vaccinate and also bring their older family members to get their jabs so we can open the economy fully once we have population immunity.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Raising awareness on Psoriasis

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month.

Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition. It can cause red, itchy patches to develop that are covered in silvery white scales.

‘’The lesions are usually found on the extensor surfaces, such as the elbows and knees, as well as on the lower back and gluteal cleft. Special areas of involvement include the scalp, the external ear canals and sometimes the skinfolds. Nails can look very abnormal with very irregular pitting (small dents) and separation of the nail plate from the nailbed. Psoriasis can also affect the joints and cause severe destruction thereof,’’ says the Western Cape Government of Health.

PICTURE: WCGH


The condition demonstrates a bimodal distribution, with some developing the condition in early teens and others after middle-age. 1-2% of the world’s population has psoriasis. Very little is known about the exact incidence in South Africa. Psoriasis has a strong genetic background with at least seven genes having been identified up to now.

In more recent years, psoriasis has also been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.

There is no cure for Psoriasis.

‘’Therefore, the focus is on management of the condition – educating the patient on learning to manage the disease themselves. General practitioners, dermatologists and sometimes physicians, rheumatologists and cardiologists are involved in the treatment of psoriasis,’’ said Dr Suretha Kannenberg, Consultant Dermatologist in the Department of Medicine at Tygerberg Hospital.

“Psoriasis is a very strange condition. A lesion may appear on a particular site and disappear after a few years, with new ones appearing elsewhere. This is one of the ‘koebnerising’ conditions. That means that a new psoriasis lesion can develop at areas of injuries; so, we usually recommend staying away from tattoos, for example. Stress, throat infections and certain medications, such as beta blockers and ibuprofen, can trigger a flare of psoriasis,” added Kannenberg.

PICTURE: WCGH


Treatment of skin lesions include moisturisers as well as prescription cortisone creams and ointments. A vitamin D derived ointment also plays a significant role in the day-to-day treatment. Tar containing shampoos can be very helpful for scalp psoriasis. Phototherapy of widespread disease can be very effective and is often preferred if one has access to it. For severe disease, particularly with joint involvement, medications such as methotrexate and ciclosporin A can be added to the treatment. In the last 10 years, many new highly effective medications have been developed for psoriasis treatment. Many of these are available in South Africa although their use is limited by their exorbitant costs.

World Psoriasis Day is on 29 October.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula elected as new Speaker of the National Assembly

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been elected as the new Speaker of the National Assembly.

The election comes after Thandi Modise resigned as Speaker following President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed her as the new Defence and Military Veterans Minister

After a voting process that lasted for over three hours, Mapisa-Nqakula was elected after she received 199 votes out of a total of 298 votes cast during a secret ballot. Dr. Annelie Lotriet MP, who was a nominee from the main opposition DA, received 82 votes, while 17 ballots were spoilt.

She is the seventh Speaker since a Democratic South Africa, six of whom were women Speaker’s.

Addressing the National Assembly sitting for the first time as Speaker on Thursday afternoon,  Mapisa-Nqakula described Parliament as the last line of defence of the country's constitutional democracy. She urged all parties to collaborate in service to the people of South Africa, and pledged to ensure that fairness and integrity of Parliament is protected and promoted without fear of favour.

 

PICTURED: 
New Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 


Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Life sentence for man who murdered his child's mother infront of her

A 30-year-old man has been sentence a life imprisonment for the murder of the mother of his daughter at Emzinoni near Bethal.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said in a statement, the Mpumalanga man, whose identity is being withheld to protect his daughter, was sentenced on Tuesday for killing his ex-lover in September 2018.

The murder took place at aunt of his child’s mother where an argument ensued, which resulted in him stabbing the 23 year old woman in the presence of their two-year-old in Emzinoni.He then fled the scene, leaving the woman bleeding profusely with the child next to her. Police in Emzinoni and paramedics were called to the scene and the woman was certified dead and a murder case opened.

A manhunt was launched for the suspect and (police officers) arrested him at Embalenhle who was later arrested in August 2020. He was charged for murder and went on trial. The state presented a watertight case against the accused and he was eventually convicted and sentenced.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Two toddlers left unattended die in house fire

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga has appealed to parents and guardians to avoid leaving children unattended.

This comes after two 2-year-olds died in a house fire on Monday at Amersfoort. According to Police spokesperson Donald Mdhluli the children’s guardians left the children alone to buy food. Community members were able to save one of the children whilst the two girls could not be saved and were later certified dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Mdhluli said the boy was rushed to hospital where he's currently receiving medical attention.

Last month, the SAPS in Western Cape arrested the parents of twin nine-month-old babies who died in a fire that destroyed their home in Delft South.


by Everngelista Muza

Toddler found in Knysna after being kidnapped in Eastern Cape

A 2-year-old girl was reunited with her family after she was kidnapped earlier in August.

The toddler was playing outside her Kirkwood home on 4 August 2021 when she disappeared.

‘’A woman who was allegedly spotted with the missing girl, was circulating on various social media platforms in the vicinity of Knysna on Monday, 16 August 2021. It was then that authorities became aware of her whereabouts. Members attached to the Tsitsikamma K9 Unit responded to the information and embarked on an intensive search for the pair.  First without any success,’’ says the police’s Christopher Spies.

After receiving a tipoff, police searched a house in Rolihlahla Street, where they found the toddler sleeping in one of the rooms.

A 21-year-old woman was arrested on a charge of kidnapping. She remains in custody and will be transferred to the Eastern Cape where she is expected to make a court appearance once charged.

Meanwhile, the toddler was admitted at a local hospital for medical assessment. 

 

PICTURE - SAPS (Officers involved in the safe return of the toddler; search and rescue dog)

Done By: Mitchum George

Dam levels best since a decade ago, says Local Government MEC

The average dam levels in the Western Cape have increased to 77.9%

The Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, says the latest dam levels are the best levels in a decade.

“These are the best levels we have seen for this time of the year since 2013/14 and in some areas the best levels we have seen in a decade. We continue to monitor and support where possible the regions where sufficient rainfall has not yet fallen. This is largely within the Karoo regions of the province,’’ says Bredell.

The total capacity of dams supplying the Cape Town metro increased by 0,4% to 98,1%. Daily water consumption for the same period in the metro increased to 756 million litres per day, compared to 726 million litres the week before.

The City’s Mayco member for water and sanitation, Xanthea Limberg says albeit there is no water crisis in the metro, water tariffs will not be lowered, at this stage

‘’As dam levels have been increasing following substantial rainfall recently, some residents might be questioning whether water tariffs can be lowered. It is important to keep in mind that the amount of water in our dams, which we share with several other municipalities, does not directly influence the cost of delivering the overall water and sanitation service.’’

 


Done By: Mitchum George

Ravensmead man drowns whilst on duty at Cape Town Harbour

Cape Town police have opened an inquest docket after a 38-year-old man from Ravensmead drowned at Cape Town Harbour on Tuesday.

It’s understood the man was on duty at the time of the incident.

 ‘’At 22h00, Tuesday, 17 August, NSRI Table Bay duty crew and the City of Cape Town (CoCT) water rescue network were activated following reports of a drowning in progress in the Port of Table Bay, E Berth, at the Cruise Liner Passenger Terminal,’’ says Paula Leech, NSRI Table Bay duty controller.

‘’On arrival on the scene rescue swimmers entered the water and recovered a man who was found lifeless and face down in the water and he was attended to by paramedics but sadly he was declared deceased,’’ she added.

Officials are trying to ascertain the cause of the drowning

‘’It remains unknown what caused the man, believed to be aged 38, from Ravensmead, who was at work at E Berth at the time, to fall into the water. The body of the man was taken into the care of WC Government Health Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.’’

 

PICTURE: NSRI

Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

R1.16m dagga seized in Paarl

Western Cape detectives arrested two suspects on the N1 freeway in Paarl on Monday night after receiving a tip-off that the pair is transporting a large quantity of dagga.

The police’s Joseph Swartbooi says 68 bags of dagga with an estimated street value of R1.16 million were seized.

‘’Members of the Provincial Detectives reacted on information that a Toyota Quantum was driving on the N1, transporting a consignment of dagga, destined for Cape Town. The route was monitored and the vehicle was eventually spotted between Paarl and Klapmuts where the driver was instructed to pull over. Upon searching the vehicle, a total of 68 bags of dagga with an estimated street value of R1.16 million were seized. Two male suspects aged 21 and 31 were arrested and detained.’’

The pair are expected to appear in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on a charge of dealing in drugs.

 


PICTURES: SAPS

Done By: Mitchum George

M/Plain police on manhunt for suspects who shot a man in Eastridge

Mitchells Plain police are on the manhunt for unknown suspects after they shot a man in Eastridge on Friday.

The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. The incident is believed to be gang-related

‘’On Friday (2021-08-13), at about 21:20, they responded to a complaint in Bontebok Street in Eastridge. According to reports the victim was chased by occupants in a black VW Golf, who fired numerous gunshots at him. The victim fled into a nearby premises and were declared deceased by the medical personnel at a nearby hospital. The motive for the attack is possibly gang related,’’ says Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

Anyone with information is urged to call the investigating officer Detective Sergeant Randal Davids on 079 894 1511 or alternatively call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Walk-ins for COVID-19 jab allowed at Athlone Stadium

The Western Cape Government, in partnership with the City of Cape Town launched one of the biggest vaccine sites in the province at Athlone Stadium on Monday.

The Vaccine Centre of Hope aims to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the province.

The site is accessible to Cape Flats residents and could improve low vaccination rates in some districts. It is also the first drive-through and walk-through mass vaccination site in the province.

‘’The Athlone Stadium was chosen as it is easily accessible, via all forms of transport, to the broader Klipfontein community and serves a large majority of the uninsured population in the Cape Metro. In addition, the stadium is also very well known to the Cape Town community and resonates with the people of the Cape Flats such as Gugulethu, Nyanga, Heideveld, Hanover Park, Athlone and Manenberg,’’ says Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde.

At full capacity, according to the department, the site would be able to administer more than 4 000 vaccines per day through both its walk-in and drive-through sections, making it as big as the CTICC's Vaccination Centre of Hope.

Winde said the site demonstrated the province's commitment to a vaccination programme based on fairness, access and equity.

‘’The philosophy of fairness and equity underlines the opening of the Athlone Vaccination Centre of Hope at the Athlone Stadium, which will bring a mass vaccination site closer to residents of the Cape Flats, while providing an efficient, well-run service. Every life matters, and so every person must have access to these life-saving vaccines. It doesn’t matter where you live, or what you earn.’’

This walk-through service will have 40 vaccination stations while the drive-through services will have five lanes. The drive-through will follow the same steps as a walk-through, with cars stopping at five stations, which will ensure that clients are successfully screened, registered, and vaccinated.


SUPPLIED -WCG



Done By: Mitchum George

Lover hammers girlfriend and son to death

 A man from Worcester man has been given two life terms after murdering his girlfriend and her 10 year old son.

Moegamat Kassiem Fortuin was also sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, two years’ imprisonment for attempted arson and a further five years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of his sister.

Adler and her son were murdered their home. During court hearing he pleaded guilty to the charges against him. Fortuin admitted during his plea hearing to bashing Adler with a hammer on her head, which he claimed to have used from his toolbox after they had an argument relating to Adler allegedly terminating her pregnancy without his knowledge. When her 10-year-old son intervened, he attacked the boy with the hammer too

The court heard that the cause of death of the deceased was “blunt force trauma to the head.

Eric Ntabazalila, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape, welcomed Fortuin’s sentence.


by Everngelista Muza

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 ...