Friday, March 31, 2023

Three suspects arrested in connection to the Go George bus explosions

Western Cape police have arrested three suspects in connection with the bomb attack on the Go George bus earlier this month. 

Police spokesperson Sergeant Christopher Spies, says that the three men, aged between 24 and 27, remain in custody and are expected to make their first court appearance today in the George Magistrate’s Court. 


PICTURE: GO GEORGE 

They face charges of malicious damage to property and municipal infrastructure. 


“The trio remains in police custody. They are expected to make their first court appearance on Friday, at the George Magistrate’s Court on charges of attempted murder, arson, malicious damage to property and malicious damage to municipal infrastructure,” Spies added.


Spies says that the investigation revealed that the passenger bus was travelling towards the central business district of George when it was struck with two petrol bombs.



Done By: Thaakiera Ackerdien 


Thursday, March 30, 2023

Metro Police officers confiscated R56 000’s worth of drugs within five days

Metro Police officers confiscated R56 000’s worth of drugs within five days.

The latest incident occurred on Wednesday, when a 37-year-old man was arrested in Freedom Park informal Settlement, Delft, after he was found with dagga with an estimated street value of R15 000.

‘’Just after 10am, officers conducting crime prevention patrols in Freedom Park informal settlement came across a man leaving a property. When he spotted the officers, he ran away,’’ said Ruth Solomons, Metro Police spokesperson.

‘’They managed to apprehend him, and returned to the premises to conduct a search. Officers found various quantities of dagga, and arrested a 37-year-old male suspect,’’ she added.

COURTESY: Metro Police


Two days prior, officers arrested a 54-year-old man after he was found in possession of drugs worth more than R25 000 in Grassy Park.

Furthermore, officers recovered mandrax tablets in Heideveld on Sunday, with an estimated street value of R16 000.

‘’These successes are either the result of visible policing or information received from the public, and the Metro Police Department thanks those residents for their tip offs,’’ said Ruth Solomons, Metro Police spokesperson.

Solomons encouraged the public to report any criminal activity to the police, or the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialing 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

 

Cabinet approves bill to open up the electricity market

A measure on electricity regulation that will make way for power trading and private generation projects in South Africa has been approved by the cabinet.


For a century, Eskom has provided over 90% of the energy required by the continent's most industrialised country. A power-buying body is described in the Energy Regulatory Amendment Bill as a step toward building a competitive market.


PICTURE: Pexels


According to Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Draft Electricity Amendment Bill has been approved for submission to parliament and will be prioritised. 


Ntshavheni said in a statement that the law will enable procedures for establishing a transmission system operator, including the “provision of an electricity trading platform on a multi-market basis, and provide access to the transmission network on a non-discriminatory basis.” 



Done by: Thaakiera Ackerdien 

 

Suspect arrested involved in Ottery Centre shooting

City of Cape Town Traffic Officers arrested a suspect involved in a fatal shooting incident in Ottery on Wednesday.

Spokesperson, Maxine Bezuidenhout said officers were conducting an enforcement operation near Ottery Centre when they heard shots.

‘’They immediately responded, and members of the public pointed out a suspect running from the scene of the shooting.  The officers, assisted by private security staff, pursued the suspect and managed to apprehend him, despite some attempted interference from bystanders.’’

‘’Witnesses indicated that a firearm had been thrown into nearby bushes, but officers couldn't find the firearm,’’ she added.

The suspect was detained at Grassy Park SAPS for further investigation.

 


Done By: Mitchum George

Children under 15 urged to vaccinate for measles, as national campaign draws to a close

The Western Cape’s Health & Wellness Department has called on the support of parents, guardians and caregivers to vaccinate their children under 15 years of age, against measles, before the national campaign ends on Friday, if they have not done so already.

The province has 11 laboratory confirmed measles, with a current vaccination rate at 32%. As of 15 March, a total of 545 121 measles vaccines have been administered provincially as part of the measles vaccination campaign. In addition, a total of 18 284 measles vaccines have been administered by private pharmacies, clinics and healthcare providers. This translates to 32% of the 1 727 392 children under the age of 15 that need to be vaccinated by the end of March.

PICTURE - WCDoH: Measles infographic



Sonia Botha, the coordinator of the Western Cape’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation, said getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent measles.

“Our target is for a large proportion of eligible children to be vaccinated against measles, therefore the support from parents is very important. This will help to ensure that we avoid any complications from the measles disease and keep our children safe. Unvaccinated children can still access a free measles vaccine at a clinic or at a minimal cost at one of our private partners. The vaccine is also being offered at several schools.’’

‘’Through the ongoing measles campaign, we aim to interrupt measles transmission amongst our communities. Children 6 months to 15 years of age are included for vaccination during the outbreak response and nationwide campaign. Most side-effects from vaccination are minor and quickly disappear. Severe allergic reactions are rare. If any reaction is severe or persistent, or if you are worried about your child, please contact your healthcare worker or doctor,’’ she added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A sidebyside search is currently operating regarding Tembisa Hospital alleged corruption


The Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team conducted a search operation at Bedfordview offices in Germiston and Edenvale on Wenesday. 

According to the South African Police Services, the action is by the ongoing investigation into alleged tender irregularities that resulted in approximately one billion rand being siphoned from the Gauteng Department of Health.

This operation is a continuation to the one that was executed at the Tembisa Hospital premises towards the end of 2022. This include schemes that reportedly thrived in violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

No arrests have been made at this stage but the investigation is pending.

 

Done by Esobusi Mkangelwa

Mercedes driver caught looting KZN Woolworths store pleads guilty

A man has pleaded guilty to theft and contravention of the National Road Traffic Regulation in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday for looting items from a Woolworths store in Durban during the 2021 July unrest.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, Mbuso Moloi, 32, stole household items from a Woolworths store in the Davenport area during the looting.

She added that Moloi’s explanation for the car licence plates was that he had failed to replace the “dealer plates” with the correct license plates allocated to the vehicle as he claimed that he and his friend were driving around with the intention of purchasing some items on the day of the incident.

It is said that last November, ‘The Mercury’ reported that Moloi’s Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupé was abandoned by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the NPA in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Since the vehicle was under a purchase agreement from a bank, it was handed over to the bank,” said Ramkisson-Kara.

The matter was postponed to the 31st of May 2023 for pre-sentencing reports.

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Langa celebrates centenary on Human Rights Day

 

 KwaLanga or the place of Langa as it is affectionately known, is the oldest township in Cape Town commomerated its 100th anniversary since its establishment on the 21 March2023, on Human Rights Day.

The township was initially built in phases before being formally opened in 1927. It was developed as a result of South Africa's 1923 Urban Areas  Act commonly known as the "pass laws" which was designed to force Africans to move from their homes into segregated locations.

The name literally  means "sun" in isiXhosa, the name of the township is derived from the name of Langalibalele, who was a chief and renowned rainmaker who in 1873 was imprisoned on Robben Island for rebelling against the Natal government.

Cape Town Mayor Gordin Hill- Lewis announced plans to revamp Langa as a way to celebrate centenary, the plans included the restoration of historic monuments, prescient improvements and series of community events.

The mayor also paid tribute to Langa’s Fallen hero’s acknowledging they contribution to the country especially in Cape Town.

Langa is also where several people were killed on 21 March the same day as the Sharpeville massacre, during the anti-pass campaign.

While the commemoration took place down in Gugu’sthebe the PAC together with AZAPO honored fallen heroes urging locals to vote right in the upcoming elections.

 

Done by: Sibulele Stuurman

Table Mountain National Park conducts ‘prescribed burn’ along Tafeberg Road to reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires

Residents along Tafelberg Road, Cape Town, can expect a bit of smoke to linger in the area for the next few days. This comes after the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) conducted a biodiversity prescribed burns in the Northern Section of the park on Wednesday morning.

In a statement, TMNP said these prescribed burn will take place between March and April under favorable weather conditions, i.e. temperatures under 25°C, moderate winds of less than 20km/hr and 2-3 days after light rain have fallen.

PICTURE: Table Mountain National Park


‘’Although we appreciate that such burning is a source of concern to many Cape Town residents, it must be stated that wild fires will occur and an uncontrolled fire or wildfire could pose a huge risk to life and property on the urban edge.  The removal of dry flammable material by means of a prescribed burn will reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires.’’

‘’Fynbos vegetation is both fire-prone and fire-adapted and the use of fire forms an integral part of the ecological management of the park. TMNP Fire Management Department together with the SANParks Cape Research Centre has developed a scientific Prescribed Burning Plan for the entire park – this plan determines and prioritizes areas for prescribed burning, taking into consideration veld age, rare and endangered species, alien clearing etc.  (biodiversity as well as protection of properties),’’ it added.

Park management said conducting prescribed burns in fynbos vegetation are necessary as it reduces fire hazards by reducing the unnecessary “fuel” accumulated in field as a result of Alien Plant Clearing operations; To rejuvenate the fire-adapted and fire-dependent fynbos vegetation; and to form an essential part of control operations aimed at eliminating invasive alien plants.

‘’When the burn takes place, surrounding residents are advised to please keep their windows shut while burning takes place. Flammable items such as gas canisters should be removed from outside areas and laundry should be taken off washing lines to prevent odor contamination from the smoke. (pets, asthma),’’ said Philip Prins, Fire Manager at TMNP, said

‘’All owners and occupiers of adjacent properties have a right to lodge written queries/objections to the proposed open burning with the City by seven days after publication,’’ he added.

Table Mountain National Park fire management said by 12p.m, it had to close out the prescribed burn, due to deteriorating weather conditions and has decided to stop burning at this stage.

‘’Please note that @NCCWildfires Working on Fire and the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services remain on scene to conduct mop up operations in the area. Crews will be operating in the area for the next week or so.’’

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Elderly woman in Bonteheuwel mauled to death by pit bulls

Bishop Lavis police are investigating an inquest case, after the body of an 88-year-old woman was found by her son in her backyard at her residence in Loganberry Street, Bonteheuwel on Tuesday afternoon.

‘’According to reports Bishop Lavis SAPS, members attended to the scene (at about 17:00), where a female was attacked by pit bull dogs. Circumstances surrounding this fatal incident are under investigation,’’ said Captain F.C Van Wyk.

PICTURE - Facebook: Angus McKenzie // Elderly woman mauled by pit bulls in Bonteheuwel


Van Wyk added that a Senior Inspector of Law Enforcements Animal Control Unit of the City of Cape Town came and removed the dogs.

‘’At this stage no foul play is suspected. Investigation continues,’’ he added.

Anyone with any information about this fatal incident is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor, Angus McKenzie, identified the victim as Mrs Grill. McKenzie expressed his disbelief at the tragic incident.

“I've been up most of the night just trying to make sense of how Mrs Grill a 92-year-old lady that has lived a rich, long and blessed life and devout member of the Bonteheuwel West Congregation - NAC church in Bonteheuwel had to endure a gruesome, horrific and tragic death as a result of being mauled to death by 2 pitbull dogs. It does not make sense, it should not make sense, it is just is not possible.Indeed shock overwhelms sadness. It is just not fair,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Done By: Mitchum George

Former Western Cape Traffic Officer jailed for accepting bribes

The Hawks have welcomed the four-year sentence that was given to a former traffic officer by the Bellville Magistrate’s Court.

The 53-year-old Gavin Heinrick Zass was convicted of taking bribes from taxi operators in 2016.


Zass was arrested after a sting operation was conducted at the Bellville Traffic Department. He was arrested in possession of R10 000 entrapment cash and was charged with corruption. 

PICTURE: ThePanda



Hawks provincial spokesperson, Zinzi Hani, says Zass has the option to pay a fine of 40 thousand rands or serve four years in jail.


“In 2016, Zass was impounding taxis that did not have roadworthy permits and would release the taxis without following proper procedure. In return, he would request a bribe from taxi owners. The matter was immediately reported to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in Bellville for further investigation,” said Hani.


Zass was further declared unfit to possess a firearm. 




Done By: Thaakiera Ackerdien 


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Four men were shot and killed in a mass shooting on Tuesday in Khayelitsha

The Provincial Serious and Violent Crimes unit made an arrest of two suspects aged 22 and 30 during an integrated operation following a mass murder in Khayelitsha.

Four men aged between 33 and 42 were shot and killed while they were travelling in a LDV in Y Block, and in the incident five other males aged between 23 and 39 were shot and wounded and admitted to hospital for treatment.

It is believed that it was a retaliation attack after accusations of a hijacking that was committed earlier in the area and an intensive investigation led to the arrest of the two suspects. One of the victims who was injured during the mass shooting was also arrested and is in hospital.

The suspects are expected to make their court appearances in Khayelitsha where two will face four charges of murder, five charges of attempted murder and the possession of unlicensed firearms.

 

Done by: Esobusi Mkangelwa

54-year-old man arrested in Grassy Park, for drugs worth more than R25 000

Metro Police officers arrested a 54-year-old man in Grassy Park on Tuesday, after he was found with drugs with an estimated street value of more than R25 000.

‘’At around 10:30, the officers acted on a tip off, and sought permission to conduct a search of the premises. They found various quantities of heroin, mandrax, tik and ecstasy hidden in a tumble dryer, as well as several hundred rand in cash,’’ said Superintendent Ruth Solomons.

SUPPLIED: Metro Police


The suspect was detained at Grassy Park SAPS and will appear before the Wynberg Magistrates Court on a charge of possession of drugs.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Six SAPS members arrested in Cape Town for corruption

The Western Cape SAPS has arrested six of its members, while the arrest of a seventh suspect is imminent.

Following an investigation by members attached to the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit spanning six months, the team executed a warrant of arrest at the Maitland Flying Squad on Tuesday.

Colonel Andrè Traut said two sergeants and four constables aged between 31 and 42 were detained on charges of corruption while awaiting their court appearance in Cape Town on the 30th of March 2023. They are accused of corrupt activities where boxes of abalone were seized from suspects on a number of occasions without making any arrests or handing in the abalone as exhibits.

They are also accused of harbouring a corrupt relationship with persons on the wrong side of the law by escorting drugs with a police vehicle.

The Western Cape provincial commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile welcomed the arrests and sent out a stern warning that corrupt members masquerading as police officers will be brought to book to face the full might of the law.

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Zandile Mafe to undergo evaluation at Eastern Cape hospital

The Western Cape High Court ordered alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe to undergo 30 days of mental health observation at an Eastern Cape psychiatric hospital.

Mafe appeared in court on Tuesday.

Presiding over the case, Judge Nathan Erasmus referred Mafe to the Fort England Psychiatric Hospital in Makhanda, Eastern Cape, this after Mafe refused is going to a hospital outside the Western Cape because he refuses to return to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town.

Mafe is accused of arson, housebreaking with intent to commit arson, terrorism and theft in connection with the Parliament fire in 2022.

Judge Erasmus ordered healthcare practitioners to determine whether the accused had mental illness or intellectual disability at the time of the alleged offence and whether he could understand court proceedings.

The Court said a psychiatric evaluation report must be made available by 8 May. However, if more time is needed for the evaluation, an extension may be granted, and his stay in the Eastern Cape may be prolonged.

If the psychiatric evaluations is completed before 8 May, Mafe will return to Pollsmoor Prison until that date.

Mafe is back in court on that day for the continuation of pre-trial proceedings.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in the Western Cape, Eric Ntabazalila, confirmed Mafe would be transferred to Fort England on Tuesday.

‘’His case has been been postponed until 8 May 2023, for another pretrial.’’

 

Done By: Mitchum George

City records an increase in drunk driving arrests

The City of Cape Town has recorded an increase in drunk driving and motor vehicle accidents. Law enforcement has made more than 300 arrests this week and issued fifty thousand fines. 


Of the 69 motorists who were arrested, 54 of them were under the influence, compared to 33 in the precious week. 


PICTURE: pexels.com



Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says there has also seen an increase in assault cases over the weekend, and that drivers should be more responsible. 


Unfortunately, these statistics are not surprising, and it's likely the overall picture is far bleaker, as not all incidents are necessarily reported through the same channels, or reported at all. The payday weekend phenomenon is sadly very well established and once again underscores the devastating role that irresponsible alcohol use plays in our society,” says Smith. 



Done by: Thaakiera Ackerdien 


Monday, March 27, 2023

Reclaim the City wants Cape Town Mayor to revisit Cissie Gool House following Malusi Booi's removal

Reclaim The City, a social housing group, has welcomed the announcement of Malusi Booi being suspended as the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for Housing.

Booi was given the boot last week, following allegations of fraud and corruption.

‘’Cissie Gool House (CGH) have on many occasions invited MMC Malusi Booi to engage with our children, adults and elders to see how we lived, why we occupied, however, this received backlash and we were rather labelled ‘’criminals and ‘’queue jumpers.’’

PICTURE: Matthew Hirsch

According to the housing activist group, the City of Cape Town has made empty promises since 2019.

‘’In 2019, the City of Cape Town started a process with CGH residents to co-design the future of the occupation. This meant that they believed affordable housing could be developed at CGH in a way that included us as part of the solution, rather than seeing us an obstacle to be removed before affordable housing could be built. We worked with NGOs, City officials and City consultants to assess the structural issues of the buildings that we call home and started working on a alternative version for the future of CGH that included us,’’ said Bevil Lucas, CGH house leader.

‘’Later in 2019, the City changed its mind completely and decided to abandon the process that we had all committed to without providing us with a proper explanation.’’

‘’Despite a ground breaking ceremony in 2019 on one of the sites committed for affordable housing in Woodstock and Salt River, not a single social housing unit has been built in these areas. In fact, not a single affordable housing unit has been built in the inner city and surrounds since 1994. Empty promises, empty plots,’’ he added.

CGH approximately houses 900 people, after either being evicted or displaced, due to the unaffordability of living in an area.

‘’Everyday for the past 5 years, we have worked hard to transform, this abandoned and run-down building into a HOME for poor and working class people who struggle for dignified and affordable housing by tackling issues of hunger in the occupation and to support the elderly, single women and children on the site.’’

Reclaim The City has amongst others, called on Cape Town mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, to visit Cissie Gool House and relook into the co-design process; To recognise the role of civil society formations contributions to making it more inclusive; to speed up building well-located affordable housing.


Done By: Mitchum George

Over 200 left homeless after fire rips through Imizamo Yethu

Several informal structures were destroyed when a fire ripped through Imizamo Yethu, on Sunday night.

Approximately 60 informal structures were destroyed and over 200 persons were displaced. The City's Fire and Rescue Service was alerted shortly after 19:00 of structures alight in Houtbay.


PICTURE: Pixabay

"Just after midnight, the blaze was contained and extinguished, however crews were once again confronted by a volatile crowd blocking access to the fire. Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service had to be called on to stabilize the situation," says City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse.


No injuries or fatalities have yet been reported, and the cause of the fire is still unknown.



Done by: Thaakiera Ackerdien


Sunday, March 26, 2023

Nyanga Police Caution E-Hailing Drivers And Online Traders Against Venturing To Brown’s Farm As Robberies Continue

Nyanga police have recorded numerous robbery cases where Marketplace users and e-hailing drivers fall prey to scammers and robberies.

PICTURE: ITWeb


They have cautioned delivery drivers and traders in the area to be cautious following several robberies and attacks in the area, specifically targeting E-hailing and online traders.

“The majority of the robbery victims we interviewed as the police revealed they do not know the area at all. Some of the victims were even under the impression the area they were called out to was not a township but a farm,” says Nyanga station commander, Brigadier Lindiwe Dyantyi.

“While the precinct experienced a slight decrease in reported cases after the September/October arrests, the incidents have gone up again. It is on this basis we caution both e-hailing drivers and online sellers to reconsider venturing out to Brown’s Farm,” she added.

Nyanga police together with the local Community Police Forum and neighbourhood watch members continue to patrol the identified hotspots and deployments have increased.

 

Done By: Thaakiera Ackerdien

Friday, March 24, 2023

Total blackout “unlikely” to occur according to WC Premier

 On the 16th of March this year, Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, laid out the blackout contingency plan for the province, at the Western Cape Government’s weekly Energy Digicon. 


Premier Winde gave an outline of how the province is planning to deal with the energy crisis. He also gave an outline of the budget given to do so. 


“It is better to be overprepared for any eventuality than to be caught off guard,” says Winde. 


Winde also said that solving the country’s energy crisis would not come overnight. This is due to the country’s poor electrical infrastructure coming from equipment Winde says is “outdated.”


Colin Deiner, the Chief Director of the Disaster Management and Fire/Rescue Services, detailed the province’s blackout contingency plan. Deiner stressed that the plan has been put together, with the worst-case scenario put in mind. A worst-case scenario being a country-wide total blackout.


“Our job is to protect the province. We look at what is the worst thing that could happen and then we plan around that,” said Mr. Deiner. He stressed that the event of a total blackout would be extremely unlikely to happen as it stands.



Done by: Thaakiera Ackerdien


Help find missing Nobuhle Mabengwana

Mfuleni police are seeking the assistance of the public to help find 40-year-old Nobuhle Mabengwana who was last seen on 6 March 2023.

The police’s Joseph Swartbooi said that it is alleged that Nobuhle left her home early in the morning on her way to the local Taxi rank in Mfuleni Main Road and never returned to her residence.

‘’At the time of her disappearance she was seen wearing black pants and a black top,’’ said Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

Anyone who can assist with information that will lead to Nobuhle’s safe return is kindly requested to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

 

PICTURE - SAPS: Nobuhle Mabengwana 


By: Sibulele Stuurman

Western Cape officers in court for allegedly killing two people

According to Independent Police Investigative Directorate, it is almost a year after two civilians were killed after being caught with a stolen car, and two Western Cape cops were arrested this week.

It is alleged that in April 2022 two accused officers were pursuing a stolen vehicle and during the chase they fatally wounded the two civilians while retaliating to the gunfire from the occupants of the stolen vehicle.

The policemen who are attached to the Kleivlei and Mfuleni SAPS are expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

In a separate incident in January, a knife-wielding suspect who launched an attack on police officers at an Eastern Cape police station was killed. The incident took place at the Madeira police station.

Police said the suspect entered the station wielding a knife, insulting and advancing towards the police. The attack resulted in in a fatal shooting of the suspect inside the police station.

 

Done by: Esona Mfazwe

World TB Day 2023 aims to take Action to End TB, Get Screened, End Stigma, Save Lives.

The first step is to encourage people to get screened for TB and tear down the stigma that still surrounds TB and discourage people from testing and screening and also ensure that those who are diagnosed complete their course of treatment for a full recovery.

The National Department of Health and National TB Think Tank have released a TB recovery plan to reverse the losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.

This year the State of TB Report takes more in-depth look at the governance of TB programmes in South Africa and focuses on what is needed to bring about coherence in the implementation of TB programmes. The World Health Organisation defines governance.

 

Picture : iStock

Done by Esobusi Mkangelwa

 

 

 


CoCT urges EFF to remove National Shutdown posters or face more fines

The City of Cape Town says it is in the process of removing EFF posters regarding the National Shutdown, across the metro.

 

PICTURE - Twitter @EFF_Cape_Metro: Ward 32 in Atlantis, Zone 3 led by the Branch Chairperson erecting the National Shutdown poster

In his capacity as the Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Eddie Andrews, said to date, the City has removed 400 posters in Cape Town and the charge for the removal is R514 per poster. Andrews said the removal cost stands, as of Thursday, at more than R205 000.

‘’The EFF erected [the posters] illegally across the metro over the past few weeks. Furthermore, the party will be charged for the removal of these posters in accordance with the City’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage By-law,’’ said Andrews.

According to Andrews, the EFF was not granted permission by the municipality to erect the posters advertising their shutdown.

‘’Councillor Mzubanzi Dambuza, the EFF's Chief Whip, was informed in February 2023 that these posters would not be allowed as it contravened Schedule 11 of the Outdoor Advertising and Signage By-law. Yet, the EFF proceeded without the City's permission.’’

‘’Leading up to 20 March 2023, City staff and a City contractor proceeded to remove as many illegal posters as possible, sometimes under escort from Law Enforcement due to threats. In some areas it was simply too dangerous to remove these posters,’’ added Eddie Andrews, Mayco member for spatial planning and environment.

 EFF Western Cape Secretary, Banzi Dambuza, refuted the claims saying the municipality did not want the protest to go ahead.

‘’The EFF contacted the City for a permit to march and contacted the City of Cape town for a permit of the posters and they made sure they release the permit of the march and not the posters, so that they can be able to take us to court and trying to interdict us, from making sure we don’t have a national shutdown.’’

Dambuza claims the DA is being played by South Africa’s ruling party.

‘’The City of Cape Town has been used as a political tool - A platform for the DA to use the EFF. This is not the views not just in the city of Cape Town but other municipalities in the Western Cape. Upon the same length and line, the DA has failed in everything that they’ve done, because this was never about protecting the people, but protecting the agenda that they have to make sure President Cyril Ramaphosa stays president of the country and ANC, so that at the end of the day, when the ANC has less votes in the upcoming elections, they can go in coalition with DA, with  John Steenhuisen being deputy president of South Africa. This is why the DA is going out their way making sure they are fighting the EFF.’’

‘’This is why, previously, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, came out, saying they are willing to be in talks with the ANC and not the EFF. So, it’s clear that the DA, going around saying they are against the ANC – they are not. They are in cahoots working together. Stellenbosch mafia platform [sic]– working hand in hand. So if we remove President Cyril Ramaphosa, the plan of John Steenhuisen being deputy president, does not come to effect.’’

‘’This issue is not about posters. This issue is not about an interdict to the EFF. This issue is not about the EFF to pay. The issue is about protecting Cyril so there plan can become a proper success,’’ added Banzi Dambuza, EFF Western Cape Secretary.

Andrews is giving the red berets an opportunity to remove the remaining posters and avoid paying a further fine.

‘’As with any other unauthorised signage displayed in the City, the cost of removing these posters will be recovered from the EFF so that we do not spend a cent of ratepayers' money to recover the expenses in labour, fuel, and other resources.’’

‘’The City regularly undertakes proactive enforcement to remove illegal and unauthorised signs from streetlight poles, traffic signal poles, electrical or service boxes, street furniture, walls, fences, trees, and other structures. We also take action when residents report illegal signs through the City's C3 service notification system. I encourage residents to please keep on reporting illegal posters and to provide us with the exact location so that we can remove these,’’ added the mayco member.

Andrews said the EFF was in contravention of the City’s by-law.

‘’The by-law regulates outdoor advertising in a manner that facilitates economic opportunities, but is also sensitive to Cape Town's natural and cultural environment. This is very important as each suburb has unique visual, historical and cultural value and appeal and we must protect and promote our city's sense of place, heritage, scenic routes and tourist destinations.’’

‘’Outdoor signage must be located at appropriate locations, and this is why the by-law guides the City when we assess applications. I encourage all to please comply with this by-law and to submit applications for outdoor signage to the City for approval prior to installation,’’ added Eddie Andrews, Mayco member for spatial planning and environment.

Done By: Mitchum George

Free State cops bust motorist with 16 refuse bags full of abalone

A Free State man was expected to appear in court soon after he was arrested with 16 refuse bags filled with abalone.

The police spokesperson Sergeant Martin Xuma said the man was arrested on Wednesday at a roadblock on the N6 highway at Reddersburg.

The 26-year-old man was driving a sedan with Eastern Cape registration and travelling from Gqeberha to Bloemfontein when he was arrested.

Police found more than 700 abalones in the vehicle. The suspect is facing a charge of unlawful possession of abalone.

  


                                        Picture: SAPS

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Malusi Booi fired as CoCT's Mayco Member for Human Settlements

Malusi Booi was let go from his position as the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral committee member for Human Settlements.

PICTURED - CoCT: Malusi Booi


Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis removed Booi with immediate effect on Thursday afternoon, following his initial suspension, last week.

Hill-Lewis said Booi’s removal from Mayco follows an updated briefing from the South African Police Services (SAPS) regarding progress that they have made in their investigation into alleged fraud and corruption. Booi will however remain a councillor.

‘’I have received an updated briefing from the SAPS regarding their investigation, and on this basis, have decided to remove Councillor Malusi Booi from his position on the Mayoral Committee with immediate effect. While Councillor Booi has not been charged, the matters under investigation are to my mind serious enough to warrant immediate action to protect the integrity of our government.

‘’I have further assured the SAPS of the City's full support in the ongoing investigation. The City has a zero tolerance approach to fraud and corruption and I will not hesitate to act in the interests of good governance,’’ added Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town Mayor.

In the interim, James Vos will continue as Acting Mayco Member for Human Settlements.

The GOOD party welcomed the removal of Malusi Booi, but is in the view that Hill-Lewis knew about the arrest before hand.

‘’The investigation into these allegations at the Human Settlements Directorate has been ongoing for sometime, with officials raising alarm as far back as 2020. The public deserves an honest update. The Mayor must provide clarity on what more he learned about Booi’s conduct that he did not know last week, when he announced his “suspension’’,’’ said Suzette Little, GOOD Councillor & Caucus Chairperson.

‘’Moreover, the Mayor has had access to a City funded forensic investigation into housing corruption, and unless that investigation was selective, the Mayor must have been aware of information that implicated Booi long before the raid. The Mayor needs to explain why he waited until now to act,’’ she added.

Little questioned the Cape Town mayor’s actions to fire Booi, but not Nora Grose. Grose is being investigated for the alleged misappropriation of funds intended for food relief relating to COVID-19.

‘’While it’s encouraging to see the City taking swift steps in this regard, GOOD is concerned about the ongoing secrecy around these allegations and investigation when this case involves public funds. The Mayor’s decision to sack Booi also raises the issue of Nora Grose once again, as she is currently being defended with the help of public funds when she’s already charged in the Commercial Crimes Court. The City cannot continue to ignore questions around this inconsistency.’’

‘’Mayor Hill-Lewis must come clean and act transparently if he is serious about clean governance, and this includes sharing info with the public he was elected to serve,’’ added Suzette Little, GOOD Councillor & Caucus Chairperson.

The EFF shared the same sentiments as GOOD party, but has called on the City of Cape Town to do a lifestyle audit on Booi. The party has also called on the municipality to probe all Human Settlements officials.

‘’Under Geordin hill-Lewis mayoralty, we have already seen two suspensions of MMCs. This includes Water and Sanitation mayco member Zahid Badroodien who was removed from office for tempering with an electricity meter. This makes us question whether the DA is really running a ‘’clean government’’ with a ‘’clean audit’’,’’ said Ntsikelelo Tyandela, EFF Cape Metro Chairperson.

‘’It is no secret that Human Settlement under the leadership of Malusi Booi has been a playground for gangsters, who receive tenders through corrupt measures. If gangsters were not receiving corrupt tenders, they extorted companies that received tenders from human Settlements under Malusi Booi. This is evident in the tender project in Symphony Way, in Delft, wherein an official was murdered due to extortion. Malusi Booi is yet to be investigated for this murder. JP Smith militarized the City of Cape Town using Law Enforcement against the EFF peaceful shutdown. However, he is failing to use the same Law Enforcement to stop the extortion taking place in the human settlements projects,’’ he added.

Tyandela says just like Booi, Nora Grose, should also be given the boot.

‘’The EFF in Cape Metro calls for the DA to use the same energy it is using to deal with Malusi Booi to deal with Nora Grose. The DA must not be a coward and racist in its approach… The DA has spent nearly R500 000 in legal fees defending Nora. This is a racist act to save a white face from being accused of corruption; this is because, in the eyes of the DA, whiteness is a goddess. The EFF calls for the DA to fire Cllr. Nora Grose for fraud and money laundering allegations,’’ said Ntsikeleleo Tyandela, EFF Cape Metro Chairperson.

 

Done by: Mitchum George

 

More rain headed for Cape Town

The South African Weather Service has issued an advisory for an orange Level 5 disruptive rainfall over Cape Town and surrounding municipali...