Articles on this Page
- 06/07/13--02:51: _Cape twins celebrat...
- 06/07/13--02:54: _ANC pressured after...
- 06/07/13--05:31: _Builder to fight to...
- 06/07/13--05:32: _Save our lobsters, ...
- 06/07/13--05:33: _Cop ‘tipped off sus...
- 06/07/13--05:56: _Obama address to Pa...
- 06/07/13--06:31: _UCT confirms qualif...
- 06/07/13--07:56: _US envoy receives O...
- 06/07/13--08:10: _Sex abuse led to ma...
- 06/07/13--10:02: _De Lille, SAHRC to ...
- 06/08/13--02:45: _Cape woman trapped ...
- 06/08/13--04:00: _14 000 homes affect...
- 06/08/13--05:44: _Moving tributes for...
- 06/08/13--05:44: _Fateful route that ...
- 06/08/13--06:00: _Horror murder case ...
- 06/08/13--06:26: _Pregnant woman swep...
- 06/11/13--09:23: _De Lille takes char...
- 06/11/13--09:28: _Judgement reserved ...
- 06/11/13--22:50: _Police escort toile...
- 06/11/13--22:52: _ANCYL to go on ‘toi...
- 06/07/13--02:51: Cape twins celebrate 75th with paraglide
- 06/07/13--02:54: ANC pressured after faeces fracas
- 06/07/13--05:31: Builder to fight to save his dream house
- 06/07/13--05:32: Save our lobsters, woman asks court
- 06/07/13--05:33: Cop ‘tipped off suspect’ in Heyns killing
- 06/07/13--05:56: Obama address to Parliament ‘not feasible’
- 06/07/13--06:31: UCT confirms qualification despite debt
- 06/07/13--07:56: US envoy receives Obamas’ scroll
- 06/07/13--08:10: Sex abuse led to mayor’s suspension
- 06/07/13--10:02: De Lille, SAHRC to meet over toilets
- 06/08/13--02:45: Cape woman trapped in Yemen hell
- 06/08/13--04:00: 14 000 homes affected by Cape weather
- 06/08/13--05:44: Moving tributes for murdered prof
- 06/08/13--05:44: Fateful route that led to brutal death
- 06/08/13--06:00: Horror murder case for High Court
- 06/08/13--06:26: Pregnant woman swept away in Berg River
- 06/11/13--09:23: De Lille takes charge of toilet cleaning
- 06/11/13--09:28: Judgement reserved on school closures
- 06/11/13--22:50: Police escort toilet clean-up crew
- 06/11/13--22:52: ANCYL to go on ‘toilet crisis’ walkabout
"My grandchildren tell me that we are the hippest grandparents in the world. Age is nothing but a number."|||
Cape Town -
Their friends thought they were crazy but to their grandchildren, the city twins who celebrated their 75th birthday by paragliding off Signal Hill, are cool.
Diane Bloch and Rosalie Wallach took the leap in memory of Bloch’s daughter, Nola Bloch, who succumbed to cancer two years ago.
Bloch said they also wanted to raise awareness of hospices.
Family and friends came to see the twins take off with guides on a day perfect for paragliding.
“This is an affirmation of life,” Bloch said on Thursday after the plunge. “My grandchildren tell me that we are the hippest grandparents in the world. Age is nothing but a number.”
While her grandchildren thought they were cool, Bloch said some of her friends were still in shock. “They think we’re crazy,” she said.
“I want to raise awareness of life and of how quickly it can be taken away.”
Her sons had given her the jump as a birthday present. “We were supposed to do it on Monday when it was our birthday but the weather was too bad.”
“They wanted to do it,” explained Bloch’s son David. “They’re inspirational.
“They started a business looking after dogs and it’s managed to keep them sustained in retirement.”
Paraglide SA guide Wayne Heuer said their oldest paraglider was 94, the youngest four. “We don’t jump off the mountain – we fly off,” he said. Bloch said it was a tradition to do something special on their milestone birthdays.
On her 60th she went on a six-week train trip in Europe. On her 70th her family rented a farm house on the west coast of France. “I don’t know how we’re going to top this on the next milestone birthday, but we will think of something,” Bloch said.
Cadet News Agency
The ANC has been urged to rein in Youth League members who carried out a “poo attack” at the Western Cape legislature.|||
Cape Town - Politics is a dirty business but it could contribute to clean energy, according to Congress of the People MP Nqaba Bhanga.
He suggested in Parliament on Thursday that the enthusiasm shown by members of the African National Congress Youth League in the Western Cape for handling human waste be harnessed in an energy-from-waste project to help the ailing Eskom.
The Youth League members, who launched a “poo attack” on the Western Cape provincial legislature on Monday and repeated the stunt in Khayelitsha the following day during a visit by Premier Helen Zille, had demonstrated “their extraordinary ability to bend their energy on the spilling of human waste”, Bhanga said. He asked whether any ministers present would be “willing to repudiate these despicable acts” and distance themselves from similar “undemocratic barbaric conduct”.
DA MP Masizole Mnqasela said the people of Khayelitsha and the Western Cape were “greatly embarrassed” by the incidents.
While the ANC in the province had spoken out against the protests, “it is not enough to speak”.
“We want, when they say they are criticising something, that their actions should also show that,” he said.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said “whatever the concerns, nothing justifies stooping to such a low level”.
“The UDM has for many years warned the public about the ruling party’s use of the principle of ungovernability and anarchy in areas where it is not in power and this is exactly what is happening now in the Western Cape province,” he said.
The party had also warned the DA to “meaningfully consult” communities affected by its “boardroom decisions”.
He called on the ANC to “rein in its recalcitrant youth that is using innocent people as pawns in their efforts to make the province ungovernable”.
Responding to the MPs’ statements, Higher Education Deputy Minister Mdu Manana said the ANC Youth League in the Dullah Omar region and the ANC in the Western Cape had distanced themselves from the acts.
“Therefore, there will be no need for the ANC to reprimand the Youth League in this regard,” he said.
Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said it was surprising that only Holomisa had mentioned the “degrading conditions under which the people of Khayelitsha have to exist in this so-called capable, very well-off, best-run, so we are told, province”.
“We should talk about the people, the circumstances under which they live are disgraceful.”
While the actions of the Youth League were unacceptable, she said: “What about the people?”
A Cape Town man who has spent millions on his dream home, says he will fight to prevent the city from demolishing it.|||
Cape Town - A Bantry Bay man, who has spent millions on building his dream home and a court case fighting to save his house, says he will fight tooth and nail to prevent the city from demolishing his incomplete three-storey home.
Judd Smith, 39, a building contractor, has hit back at the city after the Good Hope sub council recommended his incomplete property for demolition. The subcouncil “unanimously refused” Smith’s latest building plan application, saying the building on the corner of Victoria and Seacliffe Roads was undesirable and contravened the city’s scenic route policy. They also said the building was illegal as the work done deviated from the plans approved in 2008, and that the border wall was built on city land.
Smith blasted the council for its inconsistency, disputing that his building affected the scenic route or that the general “envelope” of his building had deviated from the original approved plans.
He bought the property as a double dwelling, two-storey home and said he spent his life savings on the extensions.
He submitted building plans in 2008 and was granted approval to convert it to three storeys. “The envelope of the building - height and width - is as per the approved plan which council allowed me to build. I also had to pay a R6 000 scrutiny fee where the council employs an experienced town planner to scrutinise my plans,” Smith said.
After he started to build in 2009, he submitted a rider plan to change his internal building plans which he said included bigger bathrooms and a change in the bedrooms design. Smith said only then was he told that he was on the scenic drive, but said the city did not stop him from building.
In September 2009, when his house was at the current height, he was issued with a lawyer’s letter from his neighbour saying he should stop building or the neighbour would interdict him.
The city’s building inspector also issued him with a notice to cease work for any unauthorised building work he was doing.
The Western Cape High Court later ruled in favour of his neighbour and interdicted Smith from building further.
“I took it to the Supreme Court of Appeal but my neighbour and I reached an agreement that I would pay all his legal fees and he agreed to stop suing me as long as I stopped at the level which I am at now,” Smith said.
The council re-advertised Smith’s plans in 2011 and since then it has been through the public comment phase and other processes until May when the subcouncil recommended that the building be demolished.
“They said the building was ugly and should be demolished. Yes it is ugly but that’s because it’s unplastered and when it’s complete it will look beautiful. Even if I knock my building down there will still be another property and people will look into his house, and both our properties are zoned for seven floors,” Smith said.
The recommendation by the subcouncil is now in the appeal period and Smith said he would appeal while the subcouncil has also said it would fight the case as this was one property the city had taken a stand on to demolish.
“It’s been a long, tedious road and I’ve spent all this money building within the framework of what they approved. It’s not going to make sense for me to knock it down. The scenic drive doesn’t exist because so many properties protrude above it,” he said.
A “full suspension” of West Coast rock lobster fishing for up to 10 years is what a Noordhoek woman is asking.|||
Cape Town - A “full suspension” of West Coast rock lobster fishing for up to 10 years is what a Noordhoek woman is asking for in the Western Cape High Court.
Judith Sole’s case is that the resource is in decline, fishing quotas aren’t sustainable and that the species is close to “commercial extinction”.
She said while the resource needed to be pushed up to 20 percent of its pristine stock level in order to meet international standards of best practice, it was only at 3.1 percent.
Sole lodged the application in the public interest in January.
She argued the matter herself - though she is not a lawyer - before Judge Burton Fourie yesterday.
Sole told the court that “drastic” action was needed in the form of full suspension of the fishing of West Coast rock lobster.
Alternatively, she asked for commercial fishing to be suspended, only allowing subsistence fishing.
When Judge Fourie asked for how long she proposed the suspension be imposed, she said five to 10 years, but acknowledged she had no scientific basis for this timeframe.
Lawyers for respondents Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and former fisheries deputy director Greta Apelgren-Narkedien, among others, questioned several aspects of her application, including whether she had properly considered the socio-economic consequences of such a suspension and whether the state of the stocks was in fact an “emergency”.
Attorney Steve Broekmann, representing the SMME West Coast Rock Lobster Offshore Association, commended Sole for her activism, but branded her behaviour in bringing her application as “obsessive, irrational and importunate”.
He said that while the allegations she’d made were “dramatic stuff”, it “wasn’t true”.
Advocate Fatimah Essop, for the minister and deputy director, said a suspension would affect 2 500 rights holders.
She argued that the department’s scientists believed there was no basis to shut down the fishery. Stock levels had been at between 2 and 4 percent for the past 50 years.
“There was a massive drop and over-exploitation but now it’s under control… “ said Essop. “There’s a comprehensive re-growth strategy in place and (Sole) doesn’t seem to acknowledge this.”
Advocate Coriaan de Villiers, acting for the West Coast Rock Lobster Association and the Oceana Group, said it was not in the interests of the rights holders for the resource to become commercially extinct.
Sole, however, said unless something was done now, “all we’re doing is transferring the ever-increasing problem to tomorrow”. Should a suspension be implemented, she proposed a plan be established - either through the government, international groups or large fishing companies - to assist with subsidies.
Judgment is expected on Thursday.
A police officer tipped off the chop shop owner arrested in the murder case of Professor Louis Heyns, says the NPA.|||
Cape Town - A police officer tipped off the car workshop owner arrested in the murder case of Stellenbosch academic Louis Heyns, which led to him attempting to destroy the doctor’s stolen car, says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Malmesbury businessman Juan Liedeman’s suspected involvement in the matter was touched on in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday during an application to have his bail hearing fast-tracked.
Liedeman was arrested along with brothers Marthinus and Sarel van der Walt in connection with Heyns’ killing.
The brothers each face a charge of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, while Liedeman was initially charged with possessing stolen property.
On Thursday it emerged three more suspects, including the police officer, were being questioned.
Heyns was robbed of, among other things, his Peugeot vehicle. His body was discovered last Thursday in Strand.
An affidavit by the deputy director of public prosecutions, Johannes Niehaus, stated Heyns’ vehicle was found at Liedeman’s work premises.
It said when Liedeman was arrested, the investigation was at an early stage and as it progressed evidence had emerged.
Niehaus’s affidavit said this evidence showed that Liedeman had received “help and information” from a police officer.
It said after Liedeman had received the information from the officer, Liedeman had “proceeded to dismantle and destroy parts of the stolen vehicle.
“Some parts were burnt and other parts were discarded and others hid in a tanker on the premises of (Liedeman).”
Niehaus’s affidavit said Liedeman’s actions “amounted to him assisting the perpetrators of the robbery and murder to hide their crimes, thereby making him an accessory after the fact on at least the robbery charge”.
On Thursday police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said three suspects, aged between 22 and 29 years and one of them a police officer, had been taken in for questioning.
On Monday Liedeman and the Van der Walt brothers appeared in Somerset West Magistrate’s Court where the case was postponed for a week.
But William Booth, representing Liedeman, launched the urgent application in the Western Cape High Court about the postponement.
On Thursday Booth argued that his client Liedeman had not been involved in killing Heyns.
He said one of the Van der Walt brothers had previously worked with Liedeman and both had at one stage lived in a shelter next door to Liedeman’s business premises.
Booth said Liedeman was being “dragged along” with the Van der Walt brothers and the high court had the power to grant him bail.
However, Judge Siraj Desai ruled that if he granted Liedeman bail it would be a “great disservice” to the criminal justice system and prosecution.
Liedeman’s bail application was therefore expected to proceed in Somerset West Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
A request by the DA to have US president Obama address a joint sitting of parliament during his visit has been denied.|||
Cape Town - A request by the DA to have US president Barack Obama address a joint sitting of parliament during his visit to Cape Town has been denied.
Obama’s Africa visit starts on June 26 and his stop-off in South Africa will be his first visit to the country as head of state.
DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko made the request for the parliamentary address earlier this week.
But the ANC quickly lashed out, labelling the address a publicity stunt.
This morning, parliamentary spokesman Luzuko Jacobs announced that the joint sitting was not feasible.
“Firstly, as a rule, joint sittings to enable a visiting head of state to address parliament are requested by the president.”
He also added that parliament would be in recess from June 24 to July 19 and its members had other engagements during this time.
On those grounds, National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu and National Council of Provinces chairman Mninwa Mahlangu denied the request.
Students who have completed a degree but not paid all their fees can still use their qualification, the University of Cape Town said.|||
Cape Town - Students who have completed a degree but not paid all their study fees can still use their qualification, the University of Cape Town (UCT) said on Friday.
“It must be noted that UCT, when requested, and despite the unpaid debt, will confirm to potential employers that the students indeed completed the academic courses successfully,” spokeswoman Gerda Kruger said.
“We do this in order to ensure that the student is not prejudiced in securing employment because of the outstanding fee debt.”
Earlier in the day, Beeld reported that a Western Cape petrol station cleaner was attending his graduation ceremony after completing his social sciences degree 17 years ago.
Joseph Khohlokoane, 44, reportedly finished his degree with around R30 000 of study debt in 1996.
He started working as a petrol attendant at a Shell Ultra City in Worcester to try and pay his debt, as UCT would not formally give him his degree until he had settled his account.
“I wanted to pay it off at R100 a month, but they said it wasn't enough,” Khohlokoane was quoted as saying.
According to the report, he spent the next ten years working as a petrol attendant, and then another seven as a cleaner.
His employer, Willem Venter, told the newspaper that a farmer in the area, Clarence Johnson, had heard about Khohlokoane's situation and arranged for his debt to be paid.
Over the years, the debt had accrued interest and had grown to R100 000.
On Friday, Venter will drive Khohlokoane, and his wife and daughter, to his graduation ceremony in Cape Town.
Kruger confirmed it was UCT policy to not allow students to graduate if they had outstanding debts, saying it was certainly not unique to the university.
“UCT has a very generous financial aid system to help students in financial need. In fact, we distribute some R141 million a year to students from various sources,” Kruger said.
“It is, however, expected that students pay UCT the fee that they have agreed with the institution. Student fees are a large proportion of UCT's income and we are reliant on that income to sustain our operations.”
The university said it was grateful that only about 0.6 percent of the university's annual student fees were unpaid at year-end.
“We encourage students to seek guidance if they are struggling to pay the fee debt after qualifying,” Kruger said.
She cited an example where the higher education and training department made funding available which could assist select students who had completed degrees, but were unable to pay off their debt. - Sapa
A United States embassy official received a scroll giving the freedom of Cape Town to US president Barack Obama and his wife.|||
Cape Town - A United States embassy official received a scroll on Friday giving the freedom of Cape Town to US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Mayor Patricia de Lille said.
She said the decision to award the freedom of the city to the Obamas was adopted by a majority vote in council last year.
“(It ) is the highest honour that the city of Cape Town can confer on individuals who have made a significant contribution to Cape Town, South Africa, and the world in their respective fields.”
The scroll was accepted earlier on Friday by acting US ambassador Virginia Palmer.
De Lille said the Obamas had already accepted the honour and the only “outstanding issue” was to conduct the handover of the scroll.
The African National Congress in the province said at the time that the presidential couple should not accept the award.
“To us this is nothing other than a diversion and I think it would be a pity if Obama accepted the award from a city that doesn't care about the poorest of the poor,” ANC secretary Songezo Mjongile told the Cape Times at the time.
The Democratic Alliance, which leads the city, hit back at the accusation.
“The facts show that the DA-led city of Cape Town delivers better quality services to more poor people than any other metro in South Africa,” DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane said.
“The city of Cape Town offers the most comprehensive and generous package of free basic services to indigent residents of any metro in the country. This is a fact.”
De Lille said on Friday that Michelle Obama travelled to Cape Town last year as part of a broader outreach to Africa and had brought with her the “uplifting example of achieving the extraordinary”.
She said they were both worthy recipients for the “inspiration” they had been to the world.
“It is my hope that their example will forever be a reminder that where there is hope and perseverance, and where we are fuelled by the courage of our convictions, even the unimaginable is doable.” - Sapa
Cederberg mayor Jonas White has been suspended from the ANC for abusing the rights of women and children, the provincial disciplinary committee said.|||
Cape Town - Cederberg mayor Jonas White has been suspended from the ANC for abusing the rights of women and children, the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) said on Friday.
African National Congress Western Cape PDC head Fezile Calana said the action against White, 42, would send a strong message that it took the “protection and respect for women’s and child’s rights very seriously”.
The PDC found White guilty on Thursday of sexual harassment, intimidation, victimisation, grooming a minor for purposes of soliciting sex, and accepting a bribe.
The police are still investigating the sexual harassment allegations.
The Sowetan reported on Friday that White had sexually harassed deputy mayor Lorna Scheepers.
According to the newspaper, White “continuously and persistently (sent) her text messages of (an) explicit and sexual nature” between August 2011 and October last year.
The messages reportedly included several pictures of White's erect penis.
The committee found that he verbally assaulted Scheepers and emotionally abused her during council and ANC caucus meetings, causing division and undermining the municipality's integrity.
White also allegedly sent text messages of a sexually provocative nature to two girls aged 15 and 16, The Sowetan reported.
He was reportedly also found guilty of taking a R60 000 bribe from a contractor to the municipality.
Calana said White was “clearly unfit” for public office or a leadership position within the ANC.
He had been an untruthful witness, had not taken the PDC into his confidence, and had not shown any remorse.
He was therefore unfit for rehabilitation.
“The probabilities are overwhelming that he would not voluntarily submit to therapy or counselling for his aberrant behaviour, and would simply continue on his disastrous ways if appropriate action is not taken against him.”
The PDC said White had shown a lack of remorse by raising “untrue defences”.
“His attitude is one of arrogance and that there was nothing wrong in what he had done. In fact, he explicitly averred in cross-examination that he was entitled to treat comrade Lorna in the way he did.”
White apparently also insulted Scheepers by falsely alleging to the PDC that they were in a sexual relationship.
“(He) ascribed other immoral conduct to her that was never put to her in cross-examination, depriving her of the opportunity to respond,” Calana said.
The PDC committee ordered that White's membership be suspended until the finalisation of an appeal or review. He had 21 days to appeal.
It also ordered that his name be removed from the ANC proportional representation list as a municipal counsellor.
White would only be able to re-apply for membership five years after his expulsion.
According to the Cederberg municipality website, Scheepers was in an acting mayor position.
Western Cape ANC secretary Songezo Mjongile said the provincial executive committee was in the process of choosing a replacement.
“Jonas White is an ANC deployee, he was deployed as a mayor. He has resigned as a councillor and he will be replaced by the next councillor on the list,” Mjongile said.
“The leadership will sit and reflect on the current councillors and then deploy a suitable person to take over the position of mayor. I'm sure that in the next two weeks we would have finalised the way forward.” - Sapa
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will meet Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille to discuss sanitation issues.|||
Cape Town - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will meet Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille to discuss sanitation issues, it said on Friday.
“The commission has... decided to take immediate steps to address the current crisis by firstly engaging with the mayor's office,” said spokesman Isaac Mangena.
“The commission will also engage with national, provincial and local government, as well as the Public Protector and civil society organisations to intervene in this matter.”
On Wednesday, De Lille called on the SAHRC to help the city educate residents in informal settlements about the benefits of portable flush toilets (PFTs).
Mangena said the SAHRC had a specific mandate.
“Having received complaints from communities arising from government service delivery choices, it would be inappropriate and contrary to its legal mandate to participate or endorse government programmes which are the subject of a complaint,” Mangena said.
He said the SAHRC had received complaints from residents about PFTs.
“They argue that these alternatives pose similar challenges as the current bucket system, and may continue to pose health risks and violate the dignity of users,” Mangena said.
“The commission wishes to emphasise that the eradication of the bucket system must be looked at nationally, and not only at a provincial level.”
Mangena said the SAHRC had conducted an on-site inspection in Gugulethu.
“The SAHRC observed that there were no proper sanitation facilities in some of the areas... and that community members reported that there had been no waste collection services since April 2 due to a strike by the city’s service provider, Sannicare,” he said.
“This has resulted in an accumulation of waste which needs urgent attention and intervention.”
De Lille said on Wednesday that communities were resisting the installation of PFTs.
“If we continue to receive resistance to our efforts in a community, the city will be obliged to move our focus to other areas where the initiatives are welcome,” she told reporters.
On Tuesday a group of people in Khayelitsha threw human waste at a bus used by Western Cape premier Helen Zille and others to travel to a green economy event.
Zille's spokesman Zak Mbhele said several ANC Youth League members protested outside the event.
“Police that were stationed around the venue fired tear gas to disperse the mob,” he said.
Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said two men, aged 23 and 26, were arrested for public violence.
On Monday, two men dumped human waste on the steps of the Western Cape legislature in a protest about portable toilets.
ANC councillor and youth league member Loyiso Nkohla, and former ANC councillor and banned league member Andile Lili told The Cape Argus it was a “warning” of things to come.
“We will return with thousands of these bucket toilets next week and empty them around the legislature building,” Lili was quoted as saying.
“We were ready to be arrested and will die for this.”
Last month, former Sannicare janitors, who were responsible for cleaning communal toilets, blocked a part of the N2 highway with burning tyres, and dumped faeces on the road.
They were protesting against being dismissed after demanding they be paid the equivalent of a 16-hour work day, which Sannicare rejected, saying it was against labour legislation. - Sapa
A Cape Town woman who married a Yemeni man has been held captive, beaten and threatened, for 10 years.|||
Cape Town - Shocking revelations of the abuse a Cape Town woman is suffering after being abducted by her husband to a remote part of Yemen has prompted a desperate plea for help by her parents, powerless to put a stop to the beatings and threats to their daughter’s life.
It’s a story not unlike that of US citizen Betty Mahmoody who escaped from her husband in Iran, made into the famous film Not Without My Daughter. But
38-year-old Masnoena Al-Taheri says there’s no escape for her, and that she’s just waiting for death.
Her parents, Yusuf and Fatima Adams, of Portlands in Mitchells Plain, say they get sporadic text messages from her begging for help. But they feel equally powerless after trying - and failing - to get any help locally.
For nearly 10 years they’ve dreaded her SMSes, like the one that said: “He said he’s coming 2 kill me. Pls. Help me daddy.”
Masnoena met her Yemeni husband Saleh Al-Taheri while he was working in Cape Town. The couple married after just a few months and now have two children, Dhaifallah, 11, and Rajeh, 8.
But their relationship deteriorated quickly, and now her parents wish they hadn’t given him the benefit of the doubt when he seemed to be changing for the better and allowed their daughter to stay with the parents for two weeks while he allegedly made plans to take her on Hajj to Mecca.
Hajj was never on his agenda though, and Al-Taheri abducted his wife and eldest son to Yemen.
Speaking this week from the home where she says she has been abused for more than nine years, Masnoena told of how even her sons beat her now, also “reporting” her to their father.
The saddest thing, she said, was that “my children aren’t my children any more”.
All Masnoena knows is she’s on a farm somewhere in the mountains in Shabwa Ayn in the north of Yemen, but she cannot direct anyone to find her because she’s rarely allowed to leave or see her surroundings.
The farm has no electricity, they only have oil lamps, and no running water, only salt water from a well that she says leaves sores in her mouth.
“Nine years I tried to come home now. Nine years, nine years,” she told Weekend Argus.
“It’s like somebody puts you in a hole and closes it. You feel empty.”
Women in Yemen cannot speak or walk anywhere without either a husband, son or father with them. In Yemen,
Masnoena said, “the husband is the law”.
Asked why she didn’t just leave, she said it was impossible.
“If I leave this place he will know,” she says, because the “Arab way” is to know where their women are and there are always people watching her.
Her passport has also expired, and she cannot renew it without her husband or father. Her use of a cellphone is also severely restricted.
Meanwhile, she is constantly bruised from repeated beatings – with either a sword or a gun.
“Each man here walks with a sword and a gun. (My husband) hits me with the sword. He hits me with the gun… He won’t stop until he sees blood.”
He had also threatened to kill her at times, and the desperate woman said she was tired and wished “I die now”.
Masnoena’s parents said they first found out she was being abused
six months after she gave birth to her older son, when she told them her husband had pushed her down the stairs while she was pregnant.
In August 2002 Masnoena and her family filed a Protection Order at Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court which was amended in October 2002. It ordered Al-Taheri “not to verbally and emotionally abuse the applicant”, and “not to threaten the applicant or children or family members of the applicant”.
The parents wept this week as they told how they had tried to secure help for their daughter for years.
“They keep saying it is a domestic issue,” Fatima Adams said.
In 2010 the Muslim Judicial Council wrote to the Yemen ambassador in Pretoria on behalf of the couple, but they said nothing came of it.
Efforts to secure comment from the MJC this week proved unsuccessful.
Asked to comment, department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman Clayson Monyela said that he could not because it was “a domestic issue”, and so outside his mandate.
In respect of similar cases of South Africans in distress abroad, Monyela said “every case is different”.
The family feel like they’re back to square one. Masnoena’s father Yusuf Adams told Weekend Argus: “
She asks me, daddy help me. I can’t help her. I just cry.
I mean it’s not 10 weeks or 10 months since we’ve seen her - it’s 10 years.”
His daughter’s final appeal to Weekend Argus was: “I plead, if you can do anything to help. I’m on my knees for anyone to help.”
A total of 14 337 households were affected by the bad weather conditions in Cape Town last weekend.|||
Cape Town - A total of 14 337 households were affected by the bad weather conditions in Cape Town last weekend, the disaster risk management centre said on Saturday.
The centre's spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said 52 529 residents were affected by the flooding and inclement conditions.
Last weekend the city experienced extreme weather conditions including strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and extremely cold conditions.
Solomons-Johannes said the city's relief aid workers had spent the week mopping up.
He said a total of 42 402 blankets, 45 090 hot meals, 22 488 brunches, 27 food parcels, 767 flood kits and 332 baby packs were distributed to those affected.
He said an early warning system had been put in place and all rescue and disaster agencies were on standby for the next cold front which they expected over the next weekend. - Sapa
Prof Louis Heyn's widow appealed for people not to "repay evil with evil" and never "stop praying for this beautiful country of ours".|||
Cape Town - The widow of slain Stellenbosch University paediatrician Dr Louis Heyns appealed on Friday at his funeral for people not to “repay evil with evil”, and to never “stop praying for this beautiful country of ours”.
Dalene Heyns’s message, conveyed to a packed Tygerberg Evangelical Reformed Church in Bellville by a friend, came after she sat listening attentively as, one after another, her husband’s colleagues paid him moving tributes.
Heyns was murdered after going missing on May 22. His body was discovered a week later in a shallow grave at a beach in Strand, after the site was pointed out by one of the men being held in connection with his murder.
As hundreds of people, from the Western Cape and Gauteng, arrived for the funeral, Heyns’s wife, along with the couple’s sons Charl and Daneale, and their daughter Eldalè, sat in the third row.
When the Tygerberg Hospital Choir sang, Dalene dropped her face into her hands. Their daughter burst into tears several times during the service. People crowded the steps of staircases leading to a second-floor gallery of the church, while others crammed into the doorways in an attempt to hear the tributes.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who together with his wife Leah is a patron of Tygerberg Hospital, was there to offer his condolences.
He said in a brief interview that Heyns was “such a wonderful symbol of our country”.
“His previous patients came to the hospital when they heard what had happened because he touched the hearts of so many people. He represents the South Africa we know we can be. Skin colour is nothing. It’s a person’s heart that’s everything.”
Tutu told Daneale, the Heyns’s youngest son: “God bless you.”
Daneale told Weekend Argus after the service: “I couldn’t have wished for a better dad.”
Professor Sharon Kling, a colleague of 22 years, said during her speech that Heyns was “a gentle giant of a man, with a reputation for eating the nurses’ sandwiches and the patients’ leftover food”.
“If we could not find Louis in the intensive care unit, we knew he would be in the sisters’ tearoom or in the kitchen,” she said, to smiles and laughter from the mourners.
Ward A9, the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, would “never be the same again”.
Tygerberg paediatrics professor Robert Gie said: “Today we are all very sad. Dr Heyns taught basic and advanced life support courses to all medical students at the University of Stellenbosch. Tens of thousands of people. All of them would have been infected by his attitude. He joined in 1984. And over the last 20 years he was a wonderful colleague. An exceptional and caring physician and best of all, a people’s person. Louis knows everybody, and everybody loved and knew Louis.”
Gie’s voice broke with emotion when he said: “I have received e-mails from all over the world as people express their sorrow that Louis is dead.”
One of the e-mails read: “He was such a humble, lekker person. That his life was taken was senseless. It robs not only his family, colleagues and students, but also the many children for whom he had so much to give.”
Professor Mariana Kruger, executive head of Stellenbosch University’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, said people had arrived at Tygerberg Hospital spontaneously after the news broke.
“They wanted to be where his soul had last been,” she said, adding that Heyns had sacrificed his weekends to do community service.
“The man was a miracle. We all want to honour him.”
Emilia Maloi, a
nurse who worked with Heyns in the paediatric ICU for 12 years, told Weekend Argus afterwards: “I could chat to him for hours. We would chat about the management of the hospital and the safety and health of the staff and patients.
“The shock that he has been taken away from us is immense. It will be difficult to continue without him because so many things revolved around him.”
HENRIËTTE GELDENHUYS retraces the journey Professor Luis Heyns took the night he died.|||
FOUR locations have been identified as crucial to the investigation into the murder of paediatrician Dr Louis Heyns.
Weekend Argus reporter HENRIËTTE GELDENHUYS retraces the journey Heyns took the night he died.
1. Helderview, Somerset West
Heyns said goodbye to his brother Christo at 8.30pm on Wednesday, May 22, after the two had supper at Christo’s home in Helderview.
Heyns told his brother he was looking forward to spending the rest of the evening at his home in Parow, doing what he enjoyed most – preparing lectures to deliver the next day at the health sciences faculty of Stellenbosch University, at the Tygerberg campus, which is close to his home.
That was the last time his family heard from the paediatrician, said to be exceptionally gifted.
At some point after 8.30pm, the State alleges, Heyns, 59, was accosted by Marthinus “Theuns” van der Walt, 33, and his brother, Sarel, 42.
2. De Beers Way, Somerset West
A mere 3.5km from his brother’s home, in De Beers Way adjacent to the Somerset Mall shopping centre, the Van der Walt brothers allegedly attacked and killed Heyns by beating, kicking and strangling him, says their charge sheet.
They are also charged with robbing him of his dark grey Peugeot 308, cellphone, a gold ring, a pair of takkies, his identity document and a Cape Consumer’s card.
Somerset Mall, situated between Somerset West and the Strand, is the biggest shopping centre in the area.
De Beers road is busy during the day and is home to a primary and secondary school. But at night it’s dark and quiet.
Few cars and even fewer people passed there when Weekend Argus visited the area one night this week.
Tall trees line the road, and most of its street lights are out.
From De Beers Road, the green and red lights of restaurants Die Kelder and Primi Piatti, which form part of the Somerset Mall and border on the Somerset West golf course, are visible. But there’s no sound.
3. Beach Road, Strand
Three kilometres from De Beers Way lies the Strand beachfront spot Lover’s Lane – an area notorious as a gay prostitute pick-up spot – where Heyns’s body was dumped.
Residents of Malmesbury, where the Van der Walts are well-known among the locals, say the Van der Walt brothers were known for prostituting themselves to support their tik habit.
It’s just a five-minute drive via two traffic circles and one set of traffic lights to get to Lover’s Lane.
Police say the killers dumped Heyns’s body there at about 4am on May 23, seven-and-a-half hours after he left his brother’s house.
The body of Heyns was found in a shallow grave amongst small sand dunes covered with milkwood trees, not far from a footpath leading to the beach.
When Weekend Argus visited the spot this week, the only sign that something horrible had happened there were two bunches of sunflowers and a bunch of roses, plus a picture of the doctor next to the note: “We did not know you, but know that you are without fear, pain and suffering. May God give you a special place.”
4. Wesbank, Malmesbury
The accused are alleged to have left the Strand after burying the body, then drove Heyns’s car to a chop shop in Wesbank in Malmesbury.
One of the accused, Sarel van der Walt, allegedly worked there part-time and so had keys to the business.
The State alleges that the brothers dismantled the car in the huge yard, which Weekend Argus found filled with the empty shells of vehicle, bicycle and truck wrecks.
For the next seven days, Heyns’s distraught family were beside themselves waiting for news, and hoping he would be found alive.
A breakthrough came on Wednesday last week, when police arrested the Van der Walt brothers. One of the brothers, according to police, pointed out the location of Heyns’s body.
Juan Liedeman, the owner of the alleged chop shop, was arrested a day later, on May 30. Police conducted a search-and-seizure operation at his yard.
The case against the man accused of murdering Ge-Audrey Green then stuffing her body into the drawer, will be heard by the High Court.|||
Cape Town - The case against Carlton Douw, accused of murdering 19-year-old Ge-Audrey Green then stuffing her body into the drawer of a bed, was on Friday transferred to the Western Cape High Court.
The 21-year-old, who abandoned his bail application in March, appeared briefly in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Friay to hear that, due to the severity of the crime the case would instead be heard by the High Court.
Green’s badly decomposed body was found in the drawer in a flat in Kotze Street, in Scottsville in Kraaifontein, on February 9. She had last been seen three days previously.
The flat was occupied by Douw’s parents, who were not home when the crime was committed.
His mother made the horror discovery after noticing a strange smell coming from her son’s room. She called the police immediately and her son, who had been sent to a local shop, was tracked down and arrested.
Douw’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 30.
Green’s murder shook the Kraaifontein community where, three weeks previously, Johan de Jager had allegedly killed and dismembered 16-year-old Charmaine Mare.
Mare, from Mpumalanga, had been visiting her friend in Kraaifontein. The friend’s mother was De Jager’s girlfriend.
De Jager also faces a second murder charge in Atlantis, and the two cases are to be consolidated.
Rescuers are searching for a pregnant woman who was swept away in the Berg River.|||
Cape Town - A search for a pregnant woman, swept away in the Berg River on Friday, was set to continue at first light on Saturday.
Local community leader Billy Claasen said a woman and her 24-year-old daughter, believed to be four months’ pregnant, were swept away while trying to cross a bridge on Soetdraai farm, about 10km outside Piketberg.
The mother managed to save herself, but her daughter was swept away.
Claasen said police, a rescue unit and at least three teams from the diving unit were on site yesterday. But there was no sign of the woman after a four-hour search.
Claasen said they were now looking for a body.
Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana confirmed the incident, saying the woman had been crossing the Berg River at about 2pm on Friday.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille oversaw the cleaning of container toilets in two informal settlements.|||
Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille oversaw the cleaning of container toilets in two informal settlements on Tuesday.
She said she accompanied a cleaning team to Barcelona and Kanana, two of the areas hardest hit by a strike by workers at the sanitation contractor Sannicare.
City staff who stepped in to help had recently been threatened in these areas, De Lille said.
“On my instruction, the team was joined by a substantial contingent of law enforcement officers in order to protect them from possible attacks,” she said.
“This is an extraordinary measure taken under very difficult circumstances. It must be emphasised that the threats of violence previously posed against our staff are still real.”
Last month, former Sannicare janitors responsible for cleaning communal toilets, blocked a part of the N2 highway with burning tyres and dumped faeces on the road.
They were protesting against being dismissed after demanding that they be paid the equivalent of a 16-hour work day. Sannicare rejected the demand and said it was against labour legislation.
Some residents of Barcelona and Kanana apparently removed some of the container toilets from the neighbouring informal settlement, Europe, to close down the highway.
The city subsequently got a court interdict against seven residents it believed were involved in a campaign to prevent service delivery.
De Lille said six city officials were attacked and a municipal vehicle and cleaning equipment were burned in Kanana at the end of April.
There had also been “numerous instances” where city staff were threatened or harassed.
“Metro police had to intervene last week when staff were followed by a vehicle from Barcelona to Borchard's Quarry, and the occupants threatened to shoot them. A staff member was followed to his house and threats were made,” she said.
“In Kanana, staff were threatened with having their houses burned.”
De Lille said the city would not be dissuaded by a violent minority and would continue to protect citizens' rights.
“However, we simply do not have enough law enforcement officers to protect each and every sanitation staff member, whom we have a duty to protect,” she said.
“We need the assistance of all residents, local community leaders and organisations in these communities to ensure the uninterrupted provision of services in these areas.”
A week ago, a group of people in Khayelitsha threw human waste at a bus and cars used to travel to a green economy event, hosted by Western Cape premier Helen Zille.
A day before that, two men dumped faeces on the steps of the Western Cape legislature in a protest about portable flush toilets (PFTs).
De Lille then called on the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to help the city educate residents in informal settlements about the benefits of PFTs.
The SAHRC responded on Friday that it would meet De Lille.
“The commission will also engage with national, provincial and local government, as well as the Public Protector and civil society organisations to intervene in this matter,” spokesman Isaac Mangena said.
“The commission wishes to emphasise that the eradication of the bucket system must be looked at nationally, and not only at a provincial level.”
Mangena said the SAHRC had a specific mandate.
“Having received complaints from communities arising from government service delivery choices, it would be inappropriate and contrary to its legal mandate to participate or endorse government programmes which are the subject of a complaint.” - Sapa
The Western Cape High Court reserved judgment oon a matter of 17 schools that are disputing a decision to close them down.|||
Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court reserved judgment on Tuesday on a matter of 17 schools in the province that are disputing a decision to close them down.
Lawyers for School Governing Bodies (SGBs), Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant and his national counterpart Angie Motshekga concluded argument in a two-day review application.
Earlier, Grant's legal team argued teacher union Sadtu should pay the legal costs should the schools lose their legal battle to stay open.
Eduard Fagan, for Grant and his department, told the court the matter was clearly politically motivated.
He cited the presence of African National Congress Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman during proceedings on Monday as proof of this.
The ANC-affiliated SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) is also an applicant in the matter.
Fagan said the province would not be seeking costs from the SGBs, but Sadtu should be made to pay costs because of the political nature of the case.
Norman Arendse, for the SGBs and Sadtu, conceded “political emotion” was involved, but told the three judges hearing the case they were well trained to ignore this.
Arendse said the court action was led by the Save our Schools campaign. It was made up of Sadtu, the ANC, and non-governmental organisations. He said at no stage had he received instructions from the ANC or Fransman. - Sapa
After residents appealed for help, Cape Town's mayor tried "one last time" to clean toilets in no-go areas.|||
Cape Town - In a desperate, 11th-hour move to “provide the services people deserve”, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille deployed 180 law enforcement officials and police officers to protect council staff as they cleaned toilets in Barcelona, Khayelitsha, on Tuesday.
De Lille’s tough stance comes just days after she vowed to stop cleaning work in no-go areas such as Barcelona and Kanana, which have been hardest hit by service disruptions. However, after receiving calls from residents appealing for help, the council would “try one last time” to clean the toilets, this time under police guard.
“Today, I have decided to draw the line. We have been getting calls from the community. Women and children are getting sick. We have to provide the service people deserve,” she said.
But De Lille warned that this type of protection was “not sustainable” as the city did not have the resources to provide armed protection for council staff three times a week.
As she walked through the sludge clad in protective gear and a face mask, De Lille said she also had a duty to protect her staff. The lives of many of them had been threatened.
“This is an extraordinary measure taken under difficult circumstances. It must be emphasised that the threat of violence previously posed against our staff is very real.”
De Lille appealed to residents and community leaders to help the city provide essential services.
She denied the city’s operation on Tuesday had anything to do with the dumping of human faeces at provincial government buildings.
“What is happening here is about service delivery. The ANC Youth League trying to throw around human faeces is totally unacceptable and shows again that they want to make the Western Cape ungovernable.”
De Lille said the court interdict against a group of residents who protested and disrupted service delivery had done little to quell fears that council staff would be attacked if they came in to clean the toilets.
There had been “numerous incidents” in which city staff had been threatened or harassed, with some even being told, “we know you and where you live”.
Sannicare, the company contracted by the city to clean the toilets, has been unable to clean the toilets because of a labour dispute. But the city’s attempts to do interim cleaning work has been thwarted by the attacks on staff.
“We feel responsible because we have the contract with Sannicare,” said De Lille.
Axolile Notywala, of the Social Justice Coalition, said the city was not doing enough to hold Sannicare accountable for the services it was contractually obliged to provide.
“Had the city been monitoring what the contractors were doing, this dispute could have been resolved months ago. Imposing penalties does not mean the services will improve,” he said.
Although Tuesday’s operation went off without incident, residents complained about the city’s efforts.
“We want a flush toilet for our shack. Our children are getting sick because the buckets overflow,” said Noluvo Mpeta, who has been living in Barcelona for five years. She said the city was not keeping up with Sannicare’s cleaning schedule of three times a week, and the toilets were unhygienic.
Lawrence Grootboom, operations manager at the city council, said there was one container toilet for every five households.
“There is not enough space here to put in more toilets, and we would also be taking up housing space.”
Residents were also not keen to switch to the portable flush toilets the council had offered to other areas.
“You can’t change one temporary service for another,” said Lucky Mbili, who has been living in a one-roomed shack for 20 years. He “would not feel right” using a portable toilet in the room in which his family were eating.
Others complained that city officials were taking work away from Sannicare employees, who came from the area.
“We don’t want these people to clean. Who are all these new faces?” said Mpeta.
A delegation from the ANCYL national task team is to go on a walkabout to determine the extent of the sanitation “crisis” in Cape Town.|||
Cape Town - A delegation from the ANC Youth League national task team is to go on a walkabout in Kosovo and other informal settlements on Wednesday to determine the extent of the sanitation “crisis” in Cape Town, says ANC proportional councillor and league member Loyiso Nkohla.
Nkohla said the delegation was here to “see the extent of the toilet problem themselves” before taking a stand on the matter. This comes after the ANC and the league’s Dullah Omar (metro) region distanced themselves from the portaloo protests last Wednesday.
ANC leader in the provincial legislature, Lynne Brown, slated the dumping of human waste as an “unneccessary action”.
She said she understood it was not an official ANC Youth League action, as the league in the Western Cape was currently “disbanded”. But despite criticising the protest action’s methods, Brown said she agreed the “portaloos” were “just too undignified” – even as temporary measures.
Nkohla and former ANC councillor and suspended league member Andile Lili are the ringleaders in the “faeces war” on Premier Helen Zille.
The two, armed with portaloo tanks full of human waste, led the first group of protesters to the provincial legislature last week to spill the sewage outside Zille’s office. A day later, the pair were among the group that flung faeces at Zille’s convoy as it left an official event in Khayelitsha.
On Monday, Lili and 183 suspects were removed from a train and arrested in Woodstock. They were on their way to dump human waste outside the legislature. Seven of the suspects are still in custody, while 77 were released on warnings the same day. Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the group would appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Nkohla said Lili was among those still in custody.
Meanwhile, DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer has called on Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Marius Fransman to formally apologise to the UN after Nkohla and others dumped faeces in the foyer of the provincial government building on Greenmarket Square, which is also occupied by UN staff.
“This despicable act, which is part of the ANCYL and Fransman’s plan to make the Western Cape ungovernable, is now also an embarrassment for the national government, through which the Department International Relations and Co-operation has strong ties with the UN,” Meyer said.
Fransman said it was the DA that needed to apologise for not providing proper toilets to the poor in the Western Cape. – Additional reporting by Murray Williams