Articles on this Page
- 06/01/13--04:19: _Doc’s body ‘dumped’...
- 06/01/13--05:16: _Train ticket hikes ...
- 06/01/13--05:37: _DA ‘seizes Oudtshoo...
- 06/02/13--00:31: _Heavy rain brings m...
- 06/02/13--03:07: _Shock twist in prof...
- 06/02/13--03:17: _First rain, now sno...
- 06/02/13--05:35: _Cold front leaves t...
- 06/02/13--05:35: _FSB to discuss Fide...
- 06/02/13--06:15: _Catering bill is no...
- 06/02/13--07:06: _DA calls for arrest...
- 06/02/13--07:23: _Board should explai...
- 06/02/13--19:59: _Winter storms lash ...
- 06/02/13--22:54: _Three dead in Cape ...
- 06/03/13--05:05: _Cape Town under fir...
- 06/03/13--05:21: _R2.2m lawsuit over ...
- 06/03/13--05:27: _Fidentia curator’s ...
- 06/03/13--05:34: _Anene murder accuse...
- 06/03/13--05:52: _Flight school’s fut...
- 06/03/13--06:38: _Gang role in warder...
- 06/03/13--06:49: _NPA loses bid to ap...
- 06/01/13--04:19: Doc’s body ‘dumped’ at Lovers’ Lane
- 06/01/13--05:16: Train ticket hikes to hit hard
- 06/01/13--05:37: DA ‘seizes Oudtshoorn council’
- 06/02/13--00:31: Heavy rain brings misery for W Cape
- 06/02/13--03:07: Shock twist in prof’s murder
- 06/02/13--03:17: First rain, now snow forecast for Cape
- 06/02/13--05:35: Cold front leaves thousands displaced
- 06/02/13--05:35: FSB to discuss Fidentia case in Parliament
- 06/02/13--06:15: Catering bill is not small fry
- 06/02/13--07:06: DA calls for arrest of Libya’s Saleh
- 06/02/13--07:23: Board should explain suspect’s parole - DA
- 06/02/13--19:59: Winter storms lash Cape Town
- 06/02/13--22:54: Three dead in Cape storm chaos
- 06/03/13--05:05: Cape Town under fire over buses
- 06/03/13--05:21: R2.2m lawsuit over bogus property deal
- 06/03/13--05:27: Fidentia curator’s case 'warrants probe'
- 06/03/13--05:34: Anene murder accused pleads
- 06/03/13--05:52: Flight school’s future up in the air
- 06/03/13--06:38: Gang role in warders' deaths probed
- 06/03/13--06:49: NPA loses bid to appeal Brown sentence
It is believed that the Dr Louis Heyns was hijacked and murdered elsewhere before his body was dumped at a notorious spot.|||
Cape Town - As police retrace the final moments of slain Stellenbosch university lecturer Louis Heyns, it is believed that the well-known paediatrician was hijacked and murdered elsewhere before his body was dumped at the notorious spot at the Strand beachfront, dubbed Lovers’ Lane.
The decomposing body of Heyns, a father of three who had been married for 33 years, and worked as a lecturer and paediatrician at Tygerberg Hospital, was found in a shallow grave on Thursday.
“It looks like he wasn’t killed here, but killed somewhere else, possibly in the Helderview area. He could have been hijacked,” the Strand police community forum’s Therese Hartley told Weekend Argus.
Hartley was among a group of police officers, neighbourhood watch members and community policing forum members at the crime scene on Friday.
According to Hartley, cameras picked up Heyns’s car on the N2 and then again in Helderview.
The area where Heyns’s body was found, among milkwood trees between Beach Road, the ocean and adjacent to a public toilet, is clearly unsavoury. Graffiti in the toilets advertises sex with other men, while the area is littered with empty cooldrink bottles, chips packets, used condoms, and a pair of men’s blue underpants.
Hartley said: “There are an incredible number of male prostitutes here. This is their get-together place. It’s not a very nice place. It’s very dangerous.”
A manager at surfing academy Sonsurf, next to the murder scene, who would not be named, said they always chased away men from the scene.
A jogger running past on Saturday agreed: “We know this is a notorious area for men looking for sex to come to. I’d be crazy to walk here at night.”
A 44-year-old Strand resident told Weekend Argus he had lived in the area all his life, and knew about Lover’s Lane as a pick-up spot.
“About six or seven years ago they cleaned up the area. They came with spotlights and lots of police officers were walking up and down the beach, and they cleared the entire area. But soon it was back to normal again,” he said.
Meanwhile, Heyns’s grief-stricken family are making arrangements for his funeral service next week.
Andre Mouton, Heyns’s brother-in-law and family spokesman, told Weekend Argus they had hoped to have a memorial service and funeral this weekend. But the authorities were still finalising the pathology report.
“The body will only be released on Monday,” he said, adding that the family was struggling to cope with the tragic events. They were however doing well “under the circumstances”.
“We’ve struggled to come to terms with the way he passed on.
“If he was killed in a car accident or something like that it may have been easier to accept, but to think that he was killed in such a way is very hard to process. We have been told three people have been arrested, so we will let the law take its course,” Mouton said.
But police remained tight-lipped about the progress of their investigation.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk declined to reveal any information about the suspects, or to say whether anyone had confessed.
Insiders close to the investigation said however that police managed to trace Heyns’s cellphone records, which led them to a chop shop in Malmesbury where they found his grey Peugeot.
The source said that when police swooped on the Boland town, they arrested three men. One was the shop owner, and two were brothers.
Van Wyk said the investigation was still at a very sensitive stage and declined to confirm if further arrests were expected.
The three suspects will appear in the Somerset West Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Metrorail calls its ticket price hikes that come into effect on Saturday "pro-poor". But economists disagree.|||
Cape Town - Metrorail calls its ticket price hikes that come into effect on Saturday “pro-poor”. But economists say they will add “choking pressure” to the average commuter.
Single third-class tickets increase by 50c, while first-class travellers will pay 70c more. For a weekly third-class ticket, they’ll pay R3 more, and for the first-class alternative, between R6 and R9 more.
For those who pay for their train transport monthly, third-class users will pay R19 to R23 more, and first-class users R35 to R57 more.
Most of the increases, according to Merina Willemse, Efficient Group economist, are higher than inflation – unlike the previous two rounds of price hikes.
On closer inspection of these price changes (in comparison with the previous two), I noted that most of the price increases are in excess of inflation,” she said, pointing out that increases were, however, kept lower for third-class users.
Longer-distance tickets also saw lower price increases, but Willemse said the price increases, in general, would strain the budgets of commuters.
While most goods and services have annual increases, Willemse said these were expected to coincide with average inflation rates.
“Excessive increases, higher than inflation, can be very difficult for consumers to absorb, and therefore put extra strain on the consumer during this economically challenging time,” she said.
Weekend Argus investigated several routes in the city, and how much it cost commuters who chose different forms of transport.
* Wynberg to Cape Town: Train commuters will from on Saturday pay
R7 for third-class tickets and R9.70 for first-class. Weekly tickets cost R45 and R78 respectively, and monthly fares R133 and R237 respectively.
A minibus taxi from Wynberg to the city costs R8, while those who choose a Golden Arrow bus would pay, from Wynberg to the city, R356 for a monthly ticket, R81 for a weekly ticket, R12.50 for a single peak-time trip, and R7.40 if they’re travelling off-peak.
* Bellville to Cape Town: Train commuters will from on Saturday pay
R7 for third-class tickets and R9.70 for first-class. Weekly tickets cost R45 and R78 respectively, and monthly fares R133 and R237 respectively.
Bus commuters from Bellville to Cape Town pay R383 for monthly tickets, R87 for weekly tickets, R18.70 for a single peak ticket, and R11.10 for a daily off-peak trip. The taxi option from Bellville to Cape Town is R11 one way.
* Khayelitsha to Cape Town:
Bus commuters from Khayelitsha to town pay R99 (weekly) and R436 (monthly), as opposed to single train tickets for the same trip which now cost R9 (third class) and R15 (first class).
A monthly ticket costs R369 (first class) and R174 (third class), and a weekly one R121 (first class) or R58 (third class). A one-way taxi trip costs R14.
Metrorail’s regional manager, Mthuthuzeli Swartz, said the government’s subsidy to the parastatal barely covered its costs.
“The last financial year, it cost us R1.2 billion to operate trains just in the Western Cape,” he said.
While Metrorail was “very conscious of the soaring costs of living”, they believed their price hike had been a “modest” one.
Swartz also cited improvements such as 33 additional trips that had been added to the schedule for the city area, along with an increase of as many as 300 security personnel.
The Gautrain also increased its fares by 6 percent on Saturday.
In a day of high drama in Oudtshoorn, the DA claimed it had snatched control of the municipality from the ANC.|||
Cape Town - In a day of high drama in Oudtshoorn on Friday, the DA claimed it had snatched control of the municipality from the ANC with the help of five rebel ANC councillors during a heated hostile take-over bid.
The embattled Oudtshoorn municipality has been ruled by the ANC and its alliance partners, the National People’s Party (NPP) and Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa).
The mastermind behind the take-over bid was none other than DA bigwig and provincial deputy leader Theuns Botha, who apparently caucused secretly into the early morning hours on Friday with the five disgruntled ANC councillors.
According to Botha, the DA’s motion of no confidence in the Speaker, mayor and deputy mayor of the Oudtshoorn municipality was accepted with a 17-0 vote.
Five of the 11 ANC councillors, as well as the Cope councillors, voted with the DA.
Yesterday DA councillors Chris MacPherson, Ben van Wyk and Felicity Magxaka were appointed as Speaker, mayor and deputy mayor of Oudtshoorn respectively.
Several ANC municipal officials were also suspended pending disciplinary hearings.
But the ANC disputed the take-over, branding the meeting unlawful because the NPP Speaker, before the takeover, had refused the DA motion, then adjourned the meeting. But it went ahead anyway.
Municipality Speaker John Stoffels agreed, claiming he was still the Speaker, that Gordon April remained the executive mayor, and Vlancio Donson his deputy.
Stoffels said the council would address the DA’s “illegal” action: “The necessary legal action is already in progress
The five ANC members who have subsequently joined the DA are proportional councillors Pieter Luiters and Hendrik Botha, and ward councillors Jurie Harmse, Hendrik Ruiters and Jeremy Goliath.
Speaking from the Klein Karoo on Friday, Botha confirmed the five ANC councillors had joined the DA.
“These councillors recently approached the DA and informed us of their intent. They cited bad service delivery, mismanagement and maladministration by the ANC-led Oudtshoorn municipality as the main reasons for their resignation.
“They also expressed their frustration at the ongoing in-fighting within the regional structures of the ANC,” he said, claiming that further ANC resignations would follow in the run-up to next year’s election.
Botha was adamant that on Friday’s action by the DA was above board.
“There are special circumstances during an advertised budget meeting which allow for a call for urgent motions,” he said.
According to Botha, eight ANC members left the chamber. Seventeen remained, giving them the necessary quorum and majority to continue the meeting.
He confirmed the DA would on Monday serve a letter of “recognition and vacate” on the ANC. If that failed, they would seek an interdict forcing them to clear their offices.
ANC provincial treasurer Fezile Calanasaid no councillor would willingly resign and lose their income.
Taking a swipe at Botha, he said the DA man should “admit the backroom deals he made in Oudtshoorn”. But Botha vehemently denied the claim.
The Oudtshoorn council will reconvene a special council meeting on Monday to discuss the draft budget 2013/14, IDP and appointment of a municipal manager.
Thousands of residents were affected by the heavy winter rains as Capetonians stayed indoors in the face of severe weather warnings.|||
Cape Town - More than 1 000 residents were affected on Saturday by the first of the heavy winter rains as Capetonians stayed indoors in the face of severe weather warnings.
The city’s Disaster Risk Management Centre reported that it had helped 327 households and 1 286 people on Saturday in Philippi, Bishop Lavis and Strand. Spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they handed out 1 780 blankets and 1 280 meals.
“Other areas still to be assessed are New Village, Soli’s Town, Pholile, Maskhane, Ethembeni, Happy Rest, Wag ’n Bietjie, Lotus IFS, and WB, Y and BM sections in Khayelitsha,” he said late Saturday.
When Weekend Argus visited Philippi on Saturday, residents were struggling to get in and out of their homes as rainwater flooded pathways right up to their doorsteps, and inside their homes.
Residents baling water out of their homes said that they had been under water since yesterday morning. The authorities had yet to arrive to help.
In Lizo Sonamzi’s home, water was still seeping in through the front door.
“We’ve been filling buckets and buckets of water since this morning,” he said.
“We try to minimise the damage by pouring sand around our homes, but even that doesn’t work.
“Our children are always sick because they basically live in water, and this water is not clean so it causes other illnesses.”
Thandazwa Mrubata, had to stand on a crate in her spaza shop to keep dry.
“What you’re seeing now is still nothing. At least now most of the water is only in the shop section of my home. It comes in from all sides of the house, through the roof and the ground,” she said.
She said a makeshift step she had built outside her house helped to keep out the water.
“Usually I can’t even use a crate and I can’t even sell from the shop. I really don’t know what we are going to do because this is just the beginning,” Mrubata said.
Siyanda Dlepu was in a rainsuit and gumboots, still trying to sweep the water out, when the Weekend Argus visited his home, .
His cupboards were drenched in water and he was trying to raise them using planks.
“This is no way for a person to live, to be living in water.
“I have buckets all over the house because the water comes in from all over,” he said.
Community leader Lindikhaya Galeni said he had asked the city for assistance even before winter started, but had yet to receive a response.
Galeni said the rain added further financial pressure too, as people were forced to spend money on wet-weather gear just to live in their own homes.
Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service warned on Friday that heavy rainfalls were expected into Sunday, with flood warnings for the Cape metro, West Coast, Cape Winelands and the Overberg.
There were also warnings for gale-forces winds expected in the province on Sunday, with very rough seas expected from Alexander Bay to Plettenberg Bay between Sunday and Tuesday.
Disruptive snowfalls were also predicted in areas of the Northern Cape on Sunday.
Late on Saturday Solomons-Johannes said the supporting disaster response agencies were on high alert, and that the city had taken precautions for “extraordinary emergency procedures”.
“Emergency supplies for distribution of blankets, hot meals, sand and other specialised resources are stock-piled to deal with the impact of severe weather conditions forecast,” Solomons-Johannes said
“Additional staff are on duty at all contact centres to field complaints, reports and emergency calls from members of the public,” he said, adding that engineering teams were also conducting regular inspections of underground infrastructure.
Solomons-Johannes appealed to people to be careful.
“Slow down and maintain safe following distances on all roadways, as visibility may be impaired.
“Keep a watchful eye on open flames and extinguish them before going to bed.
“Boaters, fishermen, paddlers, surfers and anglers are to take heed of weather warnings, and always check official weather forecasts before going out,” he said. - Sunday Argus
One of the accused was a criminal freed from jail after socialite killing.|||
Cape Town - One of the men accused of murdering Stellenbosch University professor Louis Heyns is a career criminal who was recently released from jail after serving time behind bars in connection with another murder in 2007.
The suspect, who worked as a male prostitute according to Malmesbury residents who knew him, was previously jailed for involvement in the murder of a well-known Stellenbosch socialite. The man’s half-naked body was found 30m down a cliff in Gordon’s Bay in October 2007.
And it emerged during a bail hearing at the time that the suspect, who cannot be named until he appears in the Somerset West Magistrate’s Court on Monday, had a string of previous convictions for crimes dating back to 1995. These included convictions for car theft and burglaries, along with two convictions for escaping, according to the record shown to the magistrate in the 2007 case, Du Toit Malherbe.
The court also heard the accused murdered the socialite a day after the two had had sex.
The body of paediatrician Heyns, a much respected professor at Stellenbosch University’s health sciences faculty at Tygerberg Hospital, was discovered in a shallow grave among milkwood trees at a wellknown gay pick-up spot, dubbed Lover’s Lane, at the Strand beachfront.
Heyns went missing a week ago en route to his home in Welgelegen, and his body was recovered at 4am last Wednesday. Investigators are looking at the possibility that Heyns may have been hijacked and his body dumped in the Strand.
The location of the body was apparently pointed out by one of the three men arrested in connection with the murder.
The three include the alleged male prostitute and his brother, as well as the owner of the chop shop in Malmesbury who allegedly bought Heyns’s car..
A Malmesbury resident told Weekend Argus on Sunday that the younger brother, whom he described as “the bad one”, spent several years in jail after the Gordon’s Bay murder.
In that case, the accused were caught after their victim’s car, a Toyota Conquest, was traced to a service station.
Heyns’s murderers are alleged to have sold his car, a grey Peugeot, to the chop shop. Heyns went missing after leaving his brother’s house in the car, apparently en route to his home. He never arrived.
Questioned on Saturday about whether the younger brother had been paroled or released after serving his full sentence,
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Koos Gerber said it could have been either.
Meanwhile, various Malmesbury residents, who refused to be named, claimed to Weekend Argus yesterday that the brothers were drug addicts who both worked as male prostitutes.
“They slept with men for money. And they used the money they got for drugs,” one said.
Another resident believed the one brother may have been “lured” into the business by the other.
He also said the elder brother had stayed in The Haven night shelter, situated next to the Malmesbury chop shop, until about a month ago. He had also worked there part-time.
“His younger brother is the real crook… The younger one is the one who came out of jail recently. He sat there for murder,” the man said.
The man alleged that the brothers had come from a wealthy Upington family, “but they lost it all”.
When Weekend Argus visited the chop shop on Saturday, there were 17 car wrecks among heaps of tyres and a truck without back wheels.
Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk and Malmesbury police spokesperson Captain Henri du Randt both declined to answer any further questions about the murder on Saturday. They would also not say how Heyns was killed, nor exactly when.
Van Wyk said the suspects were aged 32, 37 and 43.
Heyns is survived by his wife Dalene, his daughter Eldalè, and sons Charl and Daneale.
The two brothers and the chop shop owner are due to appear in the Somerset West Magistrate’s Court on Monday. - Sunday Argus
Snowfall is expected in parts of the Western and Northern Cape, Cape Town's disaster risk management centre said.|||
Johannesburg - Snowfall is expected in parts of the Western and Northern Cape on Sunday, Cape Town's disaster risk management centre said.
“Snowfalls are expected on the western high-ground of the Western Cape province and southern high-ground of the Northern Cape province,” said spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.
He said these conditions would continue into Monday.
Solomons-Johannes said localised flooding was expected in parts of Cape Town, the West Coast, the Cape winelands and the Overberg districts over the weekend.
Gale fore wind and rough seas were expected in Plettenberg and Alexander bays. - Sapa
Winter storms in Cape Town have displaced more than 2 000 people, the city's disaster risk management centre said.|||
Cape Town - Winter storms in Cape Town have displaced more than 2 000 people, the city's disaster risk management centre said on Sunday.
“Thunderstorms were present across the Cape Peninsula last night (Saturday), resulting in gusting winds causing widespread damage and destruction,” said the centre's spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.
He said 547 shacks were damaged and 2 266 people displaced by storms and flooding in Bishop Lavis, Hout Bay and parts of Gugulethu, Strand and Khayelitsha.
In Philippi, a graveyard was flooded. Elsewhere, the roofs of houses were blown off.
A number of mainly informal settlements were flooded in Atlantis, Blackheath, Elsies River, Kalkfontein, Langa, Lavender Hill, Lotus River, Milnerton, Parkwood.
Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille called for “extraordinary emergency arrangements”.
Earlier, Solomons-Johannes said snowfalls were expected in parts of the Western and Northern Cape on Sunday. - Sapa
The Financial Services Board will appear before Parliament soon to discuss the recent court case of Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown.|||
Cape Town - The Financial Services Board (FSB) will appear before Parliament soon to discuss the recent court case of Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown, the DA said on Sunday.
“The FSB is scheduled to appear before the Standing Committee on Finance on June 11”, said Democratic Alliance MP Tim Harris.
Earlier this year, the Cape High Court convicted Brown on two counts of fraud relating to misrepresentations he made regarding investments entrusted to him. He had originally faced 192 charges.
Brown was fined R150 000 and received a suspended prison sentence.
The FSB criticised the punishment, and said it did not acknowledge the extent of the damage he had caused.
“It is the FSB’s view that... (Brown's) sentence neither acts as a deterrent, nor does it send the right message to other white collar criminals,” said FSB spokesperson Tembisa Marele. - Sapa
216 810: That’s how many McDonald’s Big Mac burger meals you could buy with the money two departments spent on catering in a year.|||
Cape Town - 216 810: That’s how many McDonald’s Big Mac burger meals you could buy with the money two government departments spent on catering in a year.
If you’re more of a Burger King fan, you could get 214 636 Whopper meals, or if chicken is your thing, 42 841 KFC 21-piece buckets.
The money would also buy you 2.8 million samoosas at R3 a pop.
In response to parliamentary questions from the DA, the departments of Higher Education and Training, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they spent R5.471m, and R3.093m respectively on catering in the 2012/13 financial year.
In April, the Department of Higher Education spent R50 000 on catering, while Agriculture spent R68 000.
Add in entertainment bills, and the two departments spent nearly R10m on catering and entertainment last year.
Higher Education spent R748 544 last year on entertainment expenses, while Agriculture blew R383 000.
In April, Agriculture spent R27 000 on entertainment, while Higher Education spent R9 412.
The government has in the past been heavily criticised for its expenditure on perceived luxuries such as catering and entertainment, but both departments have actually increased expenditure in these areas. Catering in 2011/12 cost the Department of Higher Education and Training R4.1m, and Agriculture nearly R1.8m.
Entertainment bills in 2011/12 totalled R425 000 for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, while Higher Education spent R106 275.
In October last year, the DA revealed that government departments had forked out a combined total of R194m on catering, and R31.7m on entertainment in the 2011/12 financial year.
Earlier this year, EWN reported that Parliament had spent R16m on catering. - Sunday Argus
Former Libyan political heavyweight Bashir Saleh must be arrested if he is in South Africa, the DA said.|||
Johannesburg - Former Libyan political heavyweight Bashir Saleh must be arrested if he is in South Africa, the DA said on Sunday.
Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard claimed Saleh - the former chief of staff of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi - had been seen several times in South Africa, most recently at the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in Durban earlier this year.
“If this is the case, and his identity was fully known, then it would seem that South Africa is deliberately harbouring a fugitive,” said Kohler-Barnard.
She said the DA would ask the portfolio committee on police to provide clarity about why Saleh, who was on Interpol's most wanted list, had not been arrested while in the country.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati said he did not have information about the issue.
“I'm not aware of those allegations, therefore I can't comment,” he said. - Sapa
The Parole Appeal Board should explain how parole was granted to the alleged murderer of Dr Louis Heyns, the DA said.|||
Johannesburg - The Parole Appeal Board should explain how parole was granted to the alleged murderer of Dr Louis Heyns, the DA said on Sunday.
“The suspect in this case has previous convictions for car theft, house burglaries as well as two convictions for escaping, Democratic Alliance correctional services spokesman James Selfe said in a statement.
“He was also allegedly involved in the murder of a Stellenbosch socialite in 2007,” he said.
Heyns, 59, was reported missing last week. His grey Peugeot was later found at a chop-shop in Malmesbury, and three people were arrested. They took the police to his shallow grave body next to a putt-putt course in Beach Road, Cape Town, on Thursday.
The three will appear in the Somerset West Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Selfe said that although convicted in 2007, one of the men had already been released on parole.
He was released from Malmesbury prison in January after serving a sentence for being an accomplice to a murder.
“There could have been a communication breakdown at the parole board as it is clear that the suspect was not properly supervised. It is a scandal that he was released on parole in the first place, and now he has possibly committed a murder,” he said.
Selfe said he would ask Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services chairman Vincent Smith, to ask correctional supervision and parole review board chairman Judge Siraj Desai to explain the decision to grant parole.
“Judge Desai should explain, more generally, the steps which will be taken to ensure that only offenders who are properly rehabilitated are given parole.”
Western Cape police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said details about the case would emerge at the court appearances on Monday.
“At this stage, I will not elaborate on anything further regarding this case as it is at a sensitive stage,” he said. - Sapa
Capetonians from Bishop Lavis to Milnerton shivered in the face of howling winds and driving rain this weekend.|||
Johannesburg - Winter storms in Cape Town have displaced more than 2 000 people, the city's disaster risk management centre said on Sunday.
“Thunderstorms were present across the Cape Peninsula last night (Saturday), resulting in gusting winds causing widespread damage and destruction,” said spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.
He said 547 shacks were damaged and 2 266 people were displaced by storms and flooding in Bishop Lavis, Hout Bay and parts of Gugulethu, Strand and Khayelitsha.
In Philippi, a graveyard was flooded. Elsewhere, the roofs of houses were blown off.
A number of mainly informal settlements were flooded in Atlantis, Blackheath, Elsies River, Kalkfontein, Langa, Lavender Hill, Lotus River, Milnerton and Parkwood.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille called for “extraordinary emergency arrangements”.
Solomons-Johannes said snow had fallen on the western high ground of the Western Cape and the southern high ground of the Northern Cape overnight from Saturday into Sunday.
He advised farmers to take precautionary measures to protect their livestock and crops during the cold weather. - Sapa
Three people dead, 30 accidents, thousands homeless - this was the aftermath of a cold front that hit Cape Town.|||
Cape Town - Three people dead, 30 accidents, thousands left homeless, roofs blown off – this was the aftermath of a cold front that hit Cape Town on Saturday, bringing heavy rain, wind, hail and snow.
On Sunday, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre said 547 shacks were damaged and 2 266 people were displaced by storms and flooding in Bishop Lavis, Hout Bay, and parts of Gugulethu, Strand and Khayelitsha.
The roofs of homes in Kewtown, Elsies River, Langa, Matroosfontein, Parow and Parow Valley were blown off by gusting winds.
At the Montana apartment block in Wynne Street in Parow, the roofs of at least six flats were blown off. A woman was injured and taken to hospital. Residents said a “tornado-like” wind had ripped the roofs off the building.
Resident Ferancia Jacobs said she was standing at her window and watching the hail when she suddenly felt a vibration and then saw the roof of one of the apartment blocks being lifted up.
“You only see these kind of things on television,” Jacobs said.
Western Cape traffic head Kenny Africa said that since Friday, 30 accidents were reported in the province. A total of 17 car crashes were reported on Sunday, claiming the lives of two people in separate incidents.
Meanwhile, mayor Patricia de Lille has called for “extraordinary emergency arrangements”.
Disaster response teams were deployed to conduct assessments determining the extent of the damage caused by flooding.
The city also issued a release warning the Western and Northern Capes of “glacial conditions” and requesting that farmers take the necessary precautions to protect livestock and crops.
Snow fell on the western highground of the Western Cape, and the southern highground of the Northern Cape over Saturday night, extending throughout the day on Sunday.
Small stock farmers were urged by the city to give heed to the special weather advisories, as sudden cold conditions could adversely affect livestock through stress. The city recommended that farmers listen to weather advisories and do their best to keep shelters dry.
The South African Weather Service said the after-effects of the storms would be evident in the sea conditions, which would be very rough up until Tuesday morning. Wave heights are likely to rise between 6 and 9 metres between Alexander Bay and Cape Agulhas today.
In Wynberg, Elizabeth Barry, in her seventies, was found dead on a pavement in Egglestone Road in Wynberg.
According to Raymond Peterson, who lives in the street, Barry was still alive at 7am on Sunday when he put a blanket over her.
“She was with another lady on Sunday and they were quite drunk. The one lady went and got dry clothes from a house down the road and I never saw her again.”
Peterson said he tried to walk Barry to her house a few blocks from where she was found, but she would not listen to him.
“She was swearing at me and said I must leave her alone, she couldn’t even walk properly.”
Peterson and his next door neighbour, Kezea Adams, said they tried to call emergency numbers, but were either not attended to or the person on the other line said they were not able to help.
“We tried to get help I called 107 and the lady there said they couldn’t do anything about it and at 10111 there was no answer… they are supposed to be there when someone needs help.”
Adams said she knew the woman lived in a block of flats close by and regularly saw her walking in her street on the way to the shops.
“She fell in the road, because she was so drunk, the police came by and picked her up and just put her on the pavement. I thought they would take her and put her in a cell maybe.”
Barry’s body was covered in the blankets supplied by Peterson and she still had her belongings when she was found.
Andrea Henderson, who lives in the same block of flats as Barry, described her as a very honourable person, without any family.
“Last Christmas, I gave her a radio which was her only companion aside from the odd friend. When she borrowed money from you she would always pay it back. She was a very precious person.”
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk with SAPS could only confirm that police were on the scene on Sunday morning.
In Khayelitsha, residents created makeshift bridges from tyres and wooden planks to negotiate the floodwater.
Michael Swartbooi, who lives in Mandla Crescent, said that each year the road leading to his home is flooded.
“Cars can’t drive through here when it’s flooded and the drains don’t work.
“I have been living here for 15 years and as soon as the heavy rains arrive my house is flooded.”
In RR section residents walk around in gumboots and use plastic bags to shield their bodies from the rain.
Another resident, Patrick Zembe, said he did not vote to live in such conditions.
“It floods every year and we have to live like this. Politicians say they will make a plan, but they don’t.”
Babalwa Wambi uses buckets to remove water from her flooded home.
“We have to remove water with buckets every winter and we will have to do it throughout the night.”
Joyce Sigodi and her family of more than 10 people didn’t know where they would be sleeping last night.
Rain has damaged food, clothing and furniture in their two-bedroom dwelling.
“We have nowhere else to sleep. We can’t do anything. Our food was also destroyed so we can’t cook.
“The children’s school clothes were also wet.
“We can’t actually sleep here tonight, but we have nowhere else to go.”
Residents wade through knee-deep water to reach their homes, while others had vacated their properties because roofs were leaking and water seeped underneath doors.
Subelwa Londa said it was only the third day of winter rains yet it was already flooding. “Winter will be difficult for us. Children can’t play outside or stay indoors.”
* Flooding, blocked drains and service disruptions can be reported to the city’s customer contact centre at 086 010 3089. Inquiries and/or complaints regarding burst and leaking water mains, faulty and leaking water meters, blocked and overflowing sewers can also be sent via SMS to 31373. Inquiries and/or complaints regarding electricity fault reporting can be sent via SMS to 31220.
The city’s transport information centre can be contacted on 080 065 6463 regarding delays on roadways and deviations. For all emergency situations, call 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.
The running of the City of Cape Town's transport directorate is facing close scrutiny from opposition parties.|||
Cape Town - The running of the City of Cape Town’s transport directorate, which has a budget of more than R3 billion for the next financial year, is facing close scrutiny from opposition parties who say decisions are being pushed through without due process being followed.
The ACDP contends that changes to the transport directorate have been made with hardly any consultation, while the ANC has cried foul over the R180 million contract awarded to Volvo for the N2 Express buses without “due process”.
ACDP chief whip Dudley Demetrius said proposals for the restructuring of the transport, roads and stormwater directorate to serve as the new transport authority, Transport for Cape Town (TCT), had been made without proper consultation.
“Just when I thought the DA were serious about a good working relationship with opposition councillors they did it again - media briefings about proposed projects and rollouts were announced before they even got near the portfolio committee.”
The mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater, Brett Herron said: “Yes, the report went straight to mayco and then to council. The structure of the directorate is not a function for the portfolio committee to consider and the directorate was simply following the correct process.”
Dudley said officials in the transport directorate had also complained, saying the briefing they had received was “minimal” and based on the mayoral committee’s agenda.
Herron responded: “The directorate and I do not determine the process, we are required to follow it. The city manager and the executive director are required to manage the communication around the new structure to the affected staff. I am confident that the correct processes have been followed and will be followed now that the structure has been approved.”
Herron said there was consultation with affected parties, including unions.
The draft TCT by-law, which is to consolidate the authority’s new functions, has been released for public comment.
Dudley said the ACDP was also concerned about the staff who would be appointed to carry out the TCT’s new functions and the time it would take to get the new authority working.
“Insecurity doesn’t work well with a well-run city. I doubt if this venture will get off the ground.”
ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe said most of the R803m allocated to the IRT in the 2013 budget would be used for routes in more affluent areas. Spending on the N2 Express service would be only 13 percent of this.
But Herron said the ANC was uninformed. “The full rollout of the N2 Express will happen over four financial years.” Herron dismissed claims that the projected deficit for this service would be about R116m.
The ANC said the contract for 40 buses, awarded to Volvo, had been handled without due process being followed. But Herron said tenders did not go to portfolio committees.
“In fact, politicians should play no part in the awarding of a contract. The directorate issues hundreds of tenders a year and we have never taken a tender to the portfolio committee for approval. (The ANC is showing) it does not understand government finances, the Municipal Finance Management Act, the supply chain management regulations or their role.
Herron said the city was confident that the N2 service would start running in December.
“There will be sufficient buses to commence operations unless there is an unforeseen and unplanned event.”
The V&A Waterfront service has also been questioned, with ANC councillor Daliwonga Badela saying the city’s agreement to build stations there bypassed portfolio committee scrutiny. Herron said the V&A route had always been part of the IRT plan. “This agreement is about the V&A’s contribution to the cost. The precinct is private property and the V&A is to pay half the costs.”
A Constantia couple who lost R2.2 million in a house deal that went awry are to take legal action against the conveyancer.|||
Cape Town - A Constantia couple who lost R2.2 million in a house deal that went awry are to take legal action against a conveyancer they believe was “negligent” in handling the purchase.
Kelly-Anne and Jose Duarte were conned into believing they were buying the house with the consent of the owner, Chao-Chen Chen.
This was not so. And those suspected to have received the money have disappeared, according to a judgment handed down in the Western Cape High Court last week.
In Judge Bennie Griesel’s judgment it was outlined how, among other things, a forged passport had been used to fake Chen’s identity so that the authorities would pass the property transfer; the photograph in the passport was not of Chen; forged signatures appeared on the deed of sale and power of attorney; and Chen’s actual marital status didn’t match what was cited on the power of attorney document.
Jose Duarte told the Cape Times that the couple had followed all the right procedures.
They had made an offer to purchase the house in 2011 after seeing an estate agency’s signboard on the property saying it was for sale.
At the time, Chen was living in his homeland of Taiwan and, in his absence, the house had become derelict.
Duarte said he’d been told it was the “seller” who had chosen the conveyancer.
However, in what has been described in court as an “elaborate fraud”, it later came out that Chen had not given his authority for the house to be sold.
He blamed the conveyancer who processed the transfer, saying that he held her “100 percent responsible” because the deal would not have gone through had she picked up the discrepancies.
“If it is found that the conveyancer did all necessary to ensure Chen was the right owner, God help anyone buying a house,” said Duarte.
“Even someone with a fake ID book would be able to sell a house.”
The conveyancer did not respond to messages left for her by the Cape Times, while her attorney said they were not prepared to comment at this stage.
According to Judge Griesel’s judgment, the proceeds of the purported sale had been received by two people identified as Natasha Chang and Changchuan Lin but who had since appeared to have “absconded”.
Duarte also made it clear they had never disputed that Chen, who brought the court application, was the true owner of the house. They had moved into Constantia shortly before him in 1990 and had been his neighbour until he left for Taiwan a few years later.
The only reason the matter had gone to court was because the conveyancer, amid an exchange of lawyers’ letters, had wanted proof that Chen was the rightful owner, Duarte said.
Duarte is considering appealing against Judge Griesel’s order that the Duartes pay Chen’s legal costs. He added that they would hold the conveyancer responsible for the lost cash.
A company which accused a Fidentia curator of misappropriating funds in an unrelated matter does, in fact, have a case against him.|||
Cape Town - A company which had accused a Fidentia curator of misappropriating funds in an unrelated matter does, in fact, have a case against him that warrants a probe and the relief sought, the Supreme Court of Appeal has found.
Dines Gihwala is a curator in the Fidentia saga which involves misappropriated funds from trusts meant for widows and orphans.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an appeal brought by the company Grancy Property and ordered that independent directors be appointed to Seena Marena Investments - of which Gihwala and businessman Lancelot Manala were previously directors. The appeal dealt with whether or not Grancy had made out a case in the Western Cape High Court against, among others, Gihwala and Manala, and was entitled to relief.
Grancy was a minority shareholder in Seena Marina, while Gihwala and Manala were majority shareholders.
Gihwala and Manala were appointed directors in June 2003, and both resigned in 2011.
The Supreme Court of Appeal judgment said in September 2011 Grancy had brought an interim application seeking an order in the Western Cape High Court to compel Manala and Gihwala to appoint two independent directors to Seena Marena, and for these directors to investigate the affairs of Seena Marina from 2005. This was the year when Grancy had became a minority shareholder in Seena Marena.
The judgment said that, in its main founding affidavit, Grancy had alleged that Gihwala and Manala had acted unfairly and had, among other things, misappropriated various funds destined for Seena Marena shareholders, including Grancy.
Grancy alleged Gihwala and Manala had transferred funds from Seena Marena to themselves instead of the shareholders, and “breaches and wrongs” in 2010 financial statements included the payment of R5.5 million in directors’ remuneration for Gihwala and Manala for the 2010 financial year.
The judgment found that Grancy’s submissions that Gihwala and Manala’s denials “do not constitute real disputes of fact” were correct.
Johannes Kana, 21, has pleaded guilty to rape but not guilty to the murder of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen.|||
Bredasdorp - A man appeared in the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday morning in connection with the rape and murder of teenager Anene Booysen, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
The charges were put to Johannes Kana, 21, and he pleaded guilty to rape and not guilty to murder, NPA Western Cape spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said.
“We rejected his guilty plea on the rape because our facts do not correspond. We do not dispute that he raped Anene Booysen, but he is not giving a full version of what transpired at the crime scene,” he said.
Maria Marshall, for the State, read out the charge sheet with the prosecution's version of events.
The State alleges Kana unlawfully and deliberately sexually penetrated Booysen with his penis or with another object not known to the State, between February 1 and 2 this year, near Kleinbegin, Bredasdorp.
It alleges that Kana then used his hand or another object to disembowel her, which resulted in her death at Tygerberg Hospital on Saturday, February 2.
The case was postponed until July 9 for provincial public prosecutions director Rodney de Kock to decide whether the trial should be held in the regional court or the Western Cape High Court.
Two weeks ago, the State dropped charges against Kana's co-accused, 22-year-old Jonathan Davids. At the time, Ntabazalila said an investigation had revealed there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
“We understand the sense of shock and outrage that was induced by the incident. However, as the prosecution we can only prosecute successfully on sufficient evidence,” he said.
Before she died, Booysen said from her hospital bed that five or six men were involved in the attack.
She had also named “Zwai”, which was both the nickname of Davids and another man said to live in Zwelitsha.
Davids and Kana confirmed they were at the same pub that night. - Sapa
Oudtshoorn’s municipal leaders are undecided what to do with a Chinese-owned flight school on the outskirts of the Karoo town|||
Cape Town - Oudtshoorn’s municipal leaders are undecided what to do with a Chinese-owned flight school on the outskirts of the Karoo town - where control of the council has passed from the ANC to the DA.
The town’s council adopted a report in December that recommended that the municipality terminate all lease agreements at the Oudtshoorn Aerodrome.
This would have affected the business Avic International Flight Training Academy (Aifa) and its partner, the Test Flight Academy of South Africa, which are training pilots for commercial Chinese airlines.
But former ANC mayor Gordon April failed to implement the recommendations.
The new Speaker, Chris Macpherson of the DA, said on Sunday it was unclear what would be decided because the flight school had invested millions in the town.
The DA took control of the municipality on Friday after five ANC councillors helped to remove April from his seat.
“We must correct what was wrong, but not terminate it,” Macpherson said.
“The community must sit down and discuss what is best for the town.”
Aifa’s chief executive, Willem Marais, said the flight school had spent R80 million in South Africa.
He said the academy was 70 percent owned by Chinese company Avic International and it had a contract to train students over the next 15 years for commercial airlines in China.
“We train 80 pilots in Oudtshoorn a year, but by 2015 we hope to open four more schools in towns across the Western Cape,” he said.
“We will train 400 students then.”
Student Hu Haifeng, 24, from Nanjing, said he had been in Oudtshoorn for eight months and found the local flight conditions to be good.
Chief flight instructor Andrea Griesel said the training was done in English, but she and other instructors had picked up some Mandarin.
Oudtshoorn Air Traffic Controller Michael Campher said the school had 40 aircraft at the aerodrome and recorded about 150 flights a day.
Guest house owner Robert Keene, a member of the Oudtshoorn Ratepayers Association (Orpa), said the noise was driving residents mad and recommendations the council adopted six months ago had to be implemented.
“It was clear the municipality must terminate the lease contract with the Oudtshoorn Aero Club,” he said.
The municipality has a lease contract with the aero club it signed back in 1997, but since 2011 Aifa has joined the club, built an aircraft hangar, a control tower, and office block and run a flight school from the aerodrome.
The school has 2 000 flights a month from Oudtshoorn.
Keene said Orpa has complained to the council, provincial and national government about the noise pollution since the flight school started.
“The flight school has been a hot potato where every municipal official and councillor passes on the responsibility to the next person,” he said.
“The council’s own report found it had to terminate the contract.
“It must be implemented.”
Oudtshoorn Municipality tasked a law firm, Patel & Associates, last year to investigate what was going on at the municipality.
The investigation found:
* The flight school was exempted from landing fees because it was a member of the aero club.
* It did not pay any rent to the municipality, despite its “running a commercial business from municipal-owned land and infrastructure”.
* The construction of the aircraft hangar and control tower had begun before the building plans were approved.
The report recommended that all lease agreements between the municipality and the aero club be terminated and that the municipality start afresh.
Western Cape DA deputy leader Theuns Botha said the party in the council would “make the right decision in accordance with the recommendations adopted earlier. We don’t know yet if it will be positive or negative for the flight school.”
Correctional Services are checking whether prison gangs shot dead two off-duty Pollsmoor Prison warders.|||
Cape Town - Correctional Services is checking whether prison gangs shot dead two off-duty Pollsmoor Prison warders and wounded another in separate incidents last month.
The three are thought to have refused to smuggle contraband into prisons.
Eight other warders, in a year, have been fingered for smuggling.
This is after Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele said in his budget vote speech in Parliament on Wednesday that R5.8 billion had been allocated to deal with prison gangs.
Provincial regional commissioner Delekile Klaas said: “We are working closely with police to determine the circumstances around the shootings because they were both very dedicated and reliable (warders). We are aware gangs are approaching officials and trying to recruit them. Unfortunately, when they decline, their lives are in danger,” he said.
Ntsimelelo Lengesi was shot dead at Nyanga taxi rank on May 18 and Lulamile Tomsana was killed in his driveway in Nyanga on May 23.
Both were buried in separate funerals in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.
Another warder from Delft, who cannot be named to protect his identity, was shot and injured while off duty in Khayelitsha last month.
Klaas also said eight warders in the Western Cape had been arrested, suspected of smuggling illegal items into prisons. Some of the eight have already been suspended while others are still being investigated.
“Some have already been dismissed and the others are still under investigation by the police. But the high number of arrests means we are alert and it’s becoming easier to detect criminal activity.”
Klaas urged citizens not to assist in smuggling.
He said officials, especially those working with criminals should be vigilant at all times.
“There has been a recent pattern in the Western Cape where police, traffic officers and correctional services officials are being targeted by criminals. This is not right and needs to be stopped,” he said.
Several Pollsmoor inmates were injured when a battle broke out in January between rival gangs allegedly for the control of illegal items being smuggled into the prison.
The State's application for leave to appeal former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown's sentence has been denied.|||
Cape Town - The State's application for leave to appeal former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown's sentence was denied by the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Judge Anton Veldhuizen listened to the State's arguments, confirmed the defence was opposing the legal action, and then turned down the application.
The State would now have to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal if it intended appealing Brown's sentence, which it described as “startlingly and inappropriately lenient”.
Brown paid a R150 000 fine last month, which was his sentence handed down by the high court for two fraud convictions.
Had he not paid the fine, he would have been imprisoned for 36 months.
He was also sentenced to 18 months in jail on each count, suspended for four years on condition he not be convicted for fraud again.
In April, he was convicted after admitting to misrepresentations he made regarding investments entrusted to him by Mantadia Asset Trust Company (Matco) and the Transport Education and Training Authority.
Matco, subsequently renamed the Living Hands Umbrella Trust, was responsible for paying money from the mineworkers' provident fund to the widows and orphans of workers killed in mine accidents.
His trial started in November 2012 and five State witnesses presented evidence.
He handed up four admissions documents and then decided to change his plea to guilty on the two main counts.
Jannie van Vuuren, for the State, argued during the leave to appeal application that the court misdirected itself and that he was sure another court would impose a jail sentence.
He said the court erred in its finding that fraud without actual monetary loss did not fall within the minimum sentence provisions.
Had it fallen within these provisions, Brown would have faced a possible 15 years in jail.
Van Vuuren also argued that the court had erred by basing the sentence on the “narrow” description of offences in Brown's admissions document while “completely ignoring” the evidence already on record.
He said the court had disregarded the evidence given by State witnesses regarding the fraud counts and sentence, without giving any reason to do so.
It had also erred in limiting the State's effort to cross-examine Brown during his testimony in mitigation of sentence, he said.
Van Vuuren said the court had no good reason to find that the State had mismanaged the case.
“The case was not mismanaged. Inasmuch as the court found to the contrary, the court's conclusion is coloured by the misdirections that reasonably fall to be corrected by another court,” he said. - Sapa