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    Music rang out in St George's Mall as hundreds of people protested against the forceful removal of Goodman Nono.

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    Cape Town - Music rang out in St George’s Mall on Wednesday as about 200 people, many of them musicians, gathered to protest against the forceful removal this week of blind busker Lunga Goodman Nono.

    In the past 24 hours:

    * Capetonians have opened their hearts to the Nono family, donating guitars, money and legal services.

    * Nono has been put in touch with his brother, Lungiswa Goodwell Nono, with whom he lost contact 10 years ago.

    * Three city law enforcement officers have been suspended after their bosses saw pictures of how they handled Nono.

    * Mayor Patricia de Lille has promised to review the city’s policy on busking.

    On Monday, Nono, who has occupied a spot on the corner of St George’s Mall and Shortmarket Street since 2008, was manhandled by a group of city law enforcement officers and his guitar was smashed.

    They claimed he was contravening city by-laws by performing for longer than his permit allowed. A video of the incident that went viral on social media shows the officers dragging Nono along the pavement while his weeping daughter and wife looked on.

    Three law enforcement officers have since been suspended following the incident and their hearings will take place this week, says the city’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman.

    “While the investigation into this incident is ongoing, it has been deemed that the actions of these officers were not in keeping with this administration’s commitment to building a caring city that respects every resident’s right to dignity,” said Bosman.

    Bosman said that on Tuesday he had received a call from Nono’s brother, who hasn’t had contact with his brother for a decade. “It is pleasing that out of this unfortunate incident, the silver lining of the reuniting of these brothers has occurred.”

    A crowd gathered at Nono’s spot on Wednesday, singing and playing drums. Some carried placards which read “Shame on the city” and “No police brutality”.

    Nono was given a hero’s welcome when he arrived with his wife Abigail and 10-year-old daughter Portia. He thanked the crowd for their support and treated them to a song on his new guitar, presented to him by a passer-by who saw Monday’s incident.

    Nono has received another guitar from acoustic guitarist Tony Cox, and The Rooftop Recording Studio has offered to record and mix a song for him.

    Nono described Monday as a “terrible day”. His lawyer, Aadil Kirsten of Kirsten Attorneys, said it would pursue legal action, but declined to say more.

    Bonile Dokolwana of the League of Friends of the Blind in Grassy Park, an organisation that trains partially sighted and blind people to be independent, said he was “saddened” by how Nono had been treated.

    “He was only trying to make an honest living for his family. When you have a disability, you are sometimes undermined and taken for granted,’ said Dokolwana, who was blinded in 2004 during an assault by robbers. Dokolwana met Nono briefly at the centre. “He loves making people happy with his music.”

    Meanwhile, De Lille said the city would review the regulations governing busking.

    “I have instructed that a review of the laws and regulations governing busking be undertaken to ensure that we avoid similar incidents. We need to ensure that we maintain the necessary balance between upholding law and order, and the right to artistic and other forms of expression at all times.”

    She said every effort would be made to conclude the disciplinary process as quickly as procedures allowed.

    nontando.mposo@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Suspended CPF chairman Hanif Loonat says a culture of silence prevents station commanders from complaining about the shortage of resources.

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    Cape Town - Suspended Community Police Forum chairman Hanif Loonat says that a culture of toeing the line and silence in the police prevents station commanders from complaining about the shortage of resources.

    Asked if there was a crisis in the ratio of officers to population on the Cape Flats, Loonat said the “(human) resources around Cape Town definitely need to be revisited to ensure equal distribution”.

    He would not be drawn into making a judgement on distribution, but said station commanders must speak out if they needed more officers. It reflected badly on their crime statistics, reputation and track record if they continued with understaffed teams, he said.

    “The MEC (for Community Safety Dan Plato) often visits crime-ridden areas.

    “He really listens to the concerns of the community and the CPF is in position to raise issues with him.”

    Loonat was suspended last week for criticising, in comments to the media, the efficacy of the Athlone police station. Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer said Loonat faced a number of other undisclosed charges.

    Loonat has vowed to clear his name and expose a conspiracy against him.

    On Tuesday, a delegation from the Civilian Secretariat for Police, which oversees CPFs nationally, met Loonat and was scheduled to meet Lamoer.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The National police commissioner has been to asked to explain what appears to be a critical police shortage in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - The national police commissioner has been to asked to appear in person before the Western Cape parliament to explain what appears to be a critical shortage of policemen at crime hot spots.

    And if General Riah Phiyega does not agree to appear and explain, she will be ordered to do so. This was the request on Wednesday, and then the threat, made by the head of the Western Cape legislature’s portfolio committee on safety, former community safety MEC Mark Wiley.

    It comes after the news that thousands of Cape Town’s most vulnerable citizens are having to fend for themselves against rampant crime in their areas because of a dire shortage of police. The national South African average for police coverage is one policeman for every 330 people.

    But in some of Cape Town’s most crime-ridden suburbs, there are as few as one policeman per 3 000 people. The figures were officially obtained by Community Safety MEC Dan Plato from the provincial commissioner’s office, and Plato is dismayed by the results.

    “The 20 police stations with the worst police-to-population ratios are, without fail, the stations which are notorious for high levels of crime.”

    In response to the statistics, Wiley said: “For some two years now the committee has endeavoured to get clarity, without success.”

    His chief concern is the minimum service level standards of “visible policing” at station level.

    These units are the police people see on the street and are the first responders to almost every crime scene.

    “Yet, by admission of the provincial commissioner’s office, the unit is under strength even by the 2004 census figures, and is due to get even smaller.”

    Wiley said the provincial commissioner had repeatedly been asked to explain but on every occasion he, or his deputies, had admitted they were all nationally driven policies - hence the decision by the committee to invite the national commissioner.

    “I would be loathe to send a sheriff with a summons to Pretoria… I am sure that this will not be necessary,” Wiley said.

    Annelize van Wyk MP, chairwoman of the portfolio committee on police, said in response to Plato’s figures that the methodology for compiling the statistics was deeply problematic.

    “First, to reach the national average and the provincial averages, they include a whole range of police staff types - such as your staff at national and provincial offices, and involved in logistics, administration, management, support services, etcetera - not always found at station level.

    “So you cannot simply compare individual police stations’ figures and match them against a provincial average.”

    Van Wyk said the most effective analytical tool to use was the Resource Allocation Guide, which the police used to determine how many policemen to send where. This guide was itself outdated and her committee had repeatedly urged the police to update it with the latest census data to ensure a proper spread of police.

    But she added: “Policing is not simply a numbers issue. I would urge Mr Plato not to opportunistically simplify a far more complex issue.

    “He and his government should look at the underlying critical factors that contribute to crime in those areas and those factors that hinder effective policing - the lack of service delivery, unemployment and the high prevalence of drugs.

    “Then there are also those factors that make policing difficult, that can be addressed in the short term by local and provincial government: simple things such as proper lighting in those areas, proper roads and road names, and numbers on houses… All of these aspects negatively affect the reaction time and effectiveness of the police in those areas.”

    Cape Argus


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    From humble factory worker to cabinet minister - this is the story of a dedicated Capetonian whose sacrifices reflect the Struggle.

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    Cape Town - From humble factory worker to cabinet minister - this is the story of a dedicated Capetonian whose sacrifices reflect the Struggle.

    When Cornelia Carol September began work in 1980, she was an apolitical woman intent only on earning a humble day’s wage as a textile worker in a Cape Town factory.

    On Tuesday, about 33 years later, President Jacob Zuma appointed Connie September his minister of human settlements.

    Hishaam Mohamed, speaking in his capacity as chairman of the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre, said: “I met her in August 1985 - I was a student throwing petrol bombs at the time - when the state of emergency was announced relating to the new tricameral parliament.

    “Her demeanour has always been that of a leader, but she is also a woman of humbleness and strict discipline.

    “She has always had a deep-rooted consciousness of justice and is always willing to relate to any issue in which people’s human rights are being violated.”

    Articles over the years paint a picture of a woman with a relentless commitment to uplifting the poor.

    As a member of the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu), September’s baptism of fire as an active unionist came in the late 1980s with the Rex Trueform strike when almost the entire workforce challenged textile factory owners.

    In September 1993, September became vice-president of Cosatu.

    After a year in the job she told a interviewer: “As a single parent, I find it difficult to give my daughter the attention she needs. Some people have a 24-hour day. Mine is usually a 48-hour day.”

    September was sworn in as an MP in 1999, sat on the portfolio committee on trade and industry and chaired the portfolio committee on water affairs, which was then coupled with forestry.

    Despite this high office, she still worked at a factory in Salt River, where she served as a shop steward as well as the national treasurer of Sactwu.

    She told a journalist at the time: “It’s hard for me to let go of any of the things I’m doing. I believe it is important to work on the ground with the people who elected me to the positions I am in today.”

    This was the attitude that Mohamed said summed her up.

    “Here we have an activist who is also competent - because of her leadership locally and at Cosatu’s national level. Here’s someone we can believe in.”

    Cape Argus


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    It's been 54 days since Professor Karabus returned home after his ordeal in the UAE, and he's already back at work.

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    Cape Town - It’s been 54 days since paediatric oncologist Professor Cyril Karabus returned home to Cape Town after a nine-month ordeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and he is back to doing what he loves: practising medicine.

    He also plans to write a book about his ordeal.

    “It’s very nice to be back with my family and to be able to take a walk in my garden. Cape Town is definitely a nicer city than Abu Dhabi,” said Karabus on Wednesday from his temporary office at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital.

    “It feels good to be doing medicine again. I’ve been out of action for almost a year. That’s a long time for me.”

    Karabus, 78, of Kenilworth, was convicted and sentenced in absentia for the murder of a three-year-old Yemeni girl he treated for leukaemia in 2002, during his short stint as a locum at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi.

    He was arrested in August when passing through the UAE on a flight from Toronto, Canada, where he attended a wedding, to South Africa.

    “I didn’t know what was happening, no one explained anything. They grabbed me and dragged me away,” said Karabus, recalling his arrest. “I managed to explain that I had a heart problem and had a pacemaker. And they took me to the prison’s medical ward where I spent two months.”

    During his imprisonment he did free consultations for some of the prisoners. “I should have charged their medical aids,” joked Karabus, who is now facing over a million rand in legal fees.

    “After 33 years working at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, I’m facing a very miserable pension I cannot live on. I have to do locums,” he said.

    Karabus explained that he is contemplating taking legal action against Emirates Airlines and the hospital group that hired him for his locum in the UAE as they failed to inform him about the charges against him.

    “We are thinking about it but no decision has been made yet,” he said. “There was a security alert on my passport in Toronto when I checked in, but when I questioned them (Emirates Airlines staff), they went away to the manager’s office. When they returned they told me it was sorted.

    “They had a hand in getting me arrested. Emirates Airlines is not an airline but a police organisation. If they had warned me I could have stayed in transit,” he said.

    “When you are in trouble in the UAE you are treated as an inferior person, and they do what they want to do with you, despite the fact that they are very dependent on expats.

    “I will never go there again, not if I can help it. There is no reason to visit there except to make money.”

    Karabus said that from the beginning it was not going well with the young patient who died in 2002.

    “She had leukaemia and lots of additional problems. I expressed sympathy with the father when she passed away and there was never any particular feeling that he had a problem with me,” he said.

    “I don’t expect a letter of apology from the UAE but what I would like to have is a copy of the medical report that was compiled by a group of doctors that said I did not kill the child. I want to put that on my CV, it will help me get more jobs.”

    Karabus said that in the past week three babies were delivered under his care. “The obstetricians tease me now and again and tell me they are not used to working with a convict.”

    Karabus was greeted by hundreds of people at the airport, including his ex-patients. He also met his grandson Gabriel, now five months, for the first time. “I was anxious walking through security check in Dubai. I expected them to say my papers were not adequate or I needed something else, and I might miss the plane,” he said of his last moments in the UAE.

    “I knew there would be people waiting for me at the airport but I didn’t expect such a crowd. I’m grateful for all the support people have showed me from around the world, especially South African Dr Elwin Buchel, who provided me with accommodation.”

    Karabus’s plans for the coming months include slowly going through his mail and writing a book about his nine-month nightmare.

    nontando.mposo@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Parking marshals around Cape Town could get cameras to discourage drivers from shouting or attacking them.

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    Cape Town - Parking marshals around Cape Town could get cameras to discourage drivers from shouting at or attacking them.

    One of the three companies contracted by the city to manage the parking marshals says 50 are now wearing cameras.

    The move follows an attack on marshal Elizabeth Melunda recently in the CBD, which was filmed on a cellphone by a passer-by.

    The attack drew attention to the difficulties parking marshals face.

    Zunade Loghdey of Street Parking Solutions said his staff regularly faced abuse “just for doing their jobs” .

    Street Parking Solutions, Ace Parking and Numque 20 cc are the three companies contracted to run the parking bays in the city.

    Loghdey said they have had several confrontations with motorists - in one a motorist had pulled a gun on a parking marshal.

    He added that many of his employees went beyond their duties, preventing armed robberies or other crimes.

    He admitted that sometimes marshals also faced accusations of bad behaviour, but added that those matters were investigated and “appropriate action” taken.

    Loghdey had since introduced cameras for marshals to wear. So far, only 50 employees had cameras.

    “Soon every single marshal will be wearing one,” he added.

    The small cameras have a warning notice: “Recording in progress”.

    Loghdey said the cameras were similar to ones used in the UK.

    The role of the parking marshals were often misconstrued, said Loghdey. Many motorists often did not want to pay for parking.

    “Parking by its nature is a grudge purchase, like paying taxes,” he added.

    “But we are not security guards. We are effectively acting as the collecting agents for the City of Cape Town.”

    In Melunda’s case a passer-by filmed a man beating her in Keerom Street on June 28.

    Police provincial spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the man had appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on July 8 and the case had been postponed to July 31. Melunda has since returned to work but had been traumatised by the attack.

    In another incident in September, a driver allegedly assaulted a parking marshal after refusing to pay a R2.50 parking fee. It was reported that the driver of the car, a white BMW, swore at the woman and slapped her face.

    The city’s mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, said the city would issue new tenders for on-street parking management later this year and they would “address some of the lessons learnt” from current operations.

    Herron encouraged motorists to “pre-pay” marshals, adding that parking fees were a “tool to manage travel demand”.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A warrant of arrest has been authorised for the man who was instrumental in the arrest of Brian Wainstein - the “steroid king”.

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    Cape Town - A warrant of arrest has been authorised for the man who was instrumental in the arrest of Brian Wainstein.

    Robert Matthey, 32, of Parklands did not arrive for a scheduled appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday because he was in France for medical reasons, his lawyer, Lourina Wilson, said.

    The court authorised the warrant for his arrest but held it over until his next appearance, on October 14.

    Bail of R3 000 was set for Matthey, who has been charged with theft of a cellphone.

    The charge relates to a January 19 incident - the same day Wainstein was arrested at a V&A Waterfront residence. Matthey, whose father, Louis, lived next to Wainstein, had filed a noise complaint with police.

    The officers arrested Wainstein after recognising him as the man wanted by Interpol for drug-related crimes, counterfeiting or forgery.

    A female friend of Wainstein allegedly took pictures of Matthey on her cellphone and, according to Matthey, threatened to harm him. Matthey grabbed the cellphone and deleted all the pictures. The cellphone was later returned.

    Wainstein’s friend laid a charge of theft against Matthey.

    * Wainstein, who is fighting his extradition to the US, is due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

    An indictment by US prosecutors alleges Wainstein ran an anabolic steroids distribution operation.

    He also faces charges in the US of smuggling human growth hormones and of false branding.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A cop who also serves as a priest has been arrested for the serial rape of the 14-year-old daughter of a family friend in Mbekweni.

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    Cape Town - A police officer who also serves as a priest is under arrest for the serial rape of the 14-year-old daughter of a congregant and family friend in Mbekweni.

    He appears in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Friday charged with multiple counts of rape.

    The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said on Wednesday night that its officers had arrested the warrant officer on Wednesday. Asked to name him, Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini declined. He also would not identify the church.

    Dlamini said last night the 41-year-old policeman was a friend of the girl’s family but had allegedly raped her twice in her home on April 2.

    He had also raped her at his home and in a field after he had picked her up in a police vehicle. She was raped on many other occasions, he said.

    The girl’s mother found a message from the policeman on her cellphone and reported him to the police on Tuesday.

    “The suspect is a priest working with youth at a church the family attends and he is their friend. The victim had reported the rapes to her cousin, but she was afraid to inform her parents.”

    aziz.hartley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The family of a SA teacher who died when a fire broke out at a mall in Doha, plans to sue Qatar authorities and the mall.

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    Cape Town - The family of a South African teacher who died when a fire broke out at the Villaggio Mall in Doha more than a year ago, plan to sue Qatari authorities and the mall for damages.

    This follows the ruling of a Qatar court where five of the accused on trial since last year were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and given the maximum sentence of six years on June 20.

    They are appealing.

    Shameega Charles, 29, from Rocklands in Mitchells Plain and 15-month-old Umar Emeran, the son of a Cape Town-born couple, were among 19 people, including 13 children, who were killed in the blaze at the Gympanzee Nursery on May 28, 2012. Charles had been a teacher at the daycare centre inside the mall for 18 months and had one child, Maahir aged five, at the time.

    Charles’s mother, Maryam Charles, on Wednesday said they were suing the owners of the crèche and the shopping centre, as well as the Qatari government, because they cannot afford to raise Maahir on their own.

    “We were happy about the ruling. We are still very emotional, but someone has to pay for this little boy’s future. Shameega was the only provider of income for him and now she is gone.

    “She went to Doha to make more money so that he could have a better future.

    “We don’t want this for any other reason other than to make sure he gets the best education,” she said.

    Charles said the family, especially Maahir, were still struggling with the trauma of her death.

    “The last time we saw her was the day she left on December 15, 2010. We are trying to stay strong, but I still break down sometimes. Maahir is still going for counselling. I’m also in the process of adopting Maahir so that he can be cared for properly,” she said.

    Charles said they had contacted Cape Town lawyer Michael Bagraim to help them last month. Bagraim said he believed they had a strong case as there had already been a conviction of gross negligence.

    “I was touched by the family’s story because their daughter’s death was the result of poor safety conditions. Our Qatar-based attorney Sami Abu Shaikha has already issued a notice to sue, but we are not certain at this stage on the amount we will be asking for,” he said.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Simmering tensions between provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has boiled over.

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    Cape Town - Simmering tensions between provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and Community Safety MEC Dan Plato boiled over on Wednesday when Plato released statistics showing that in some parts of the Western Cape there are more than 3 000 people for every police officer.

    Plato said he obtained the statistics from Lamoer’s office, but when the Cape Times approached Lamoer for comment and told him this, Lamoer replied: “I never gave him anything. He’s lying.”

    The police’s official website said the national police-to-population ratio was 1:303.

    This varied from province to province and in the Western Cape it stood at 1:245.

    But according to the statistics Plato revealed during a press conference yesterday, in Mitchells Plain the police-to-population ratio is 1:3 240.

    This means a police officer in Mitchells Plain serves more than 13 times as many residents as the average.

    Lamoer told the Cape Times he had never provided any population ratio statistics to Plato.

    “I don’t know where he got it from,” he said.

    Lamoer said officers were still looking at Census 2011 information and were in the process of compiling the police to population ratios.

     

    According to Plato’s figures, Mitchells Plain topped 20 areas in the province where the number of residents exceeded the provincial target in terms of the police-to-population ratio.

    Plato released the ratios for the 20 worst-affected stations out of the 149 in the province.

    The statistics he provided showed that:

    * After Mitchells Plain, Harare in Khayelitsha came in second with a police-to-population ratio of 1:1 703.

    * In Nyanga, the murder capital of the province based on the latest official police statistics released in September, the ratio was 1:1 419.

    * In Manenberg, which was experiencing a flare-up in gang violence, the ratio was 1:801.

    Plato said the ratios had fallen to “disastrous levels”.

    “The 20 police stations with the worst police-to-population ratios are, without fail, the stations which are notorious for high levels of crime.

    “This leads me to believe that the poor number of operational police officers at these stations has a negative impact on the crime levels in these areas,” he said.

    Plato said in April he had written to Lamoer’s office to request the police-to-population ratio for every police station in the province, and the reply he received was “most concerning”.

    Plato’s spokesman, Greg Wagner, said a response from Lamoer’s office was received, dated May 7.

    On May 13, Plato sent a letter to Lamoer asking, among other things, how police were addressing the matter, and he sent a second letter to Lamoer last month asking for a response. “It has been two months and I have not had a response from the SAPS,” Plato said.

    He said the police would have to explain to Parliament how they would address the problem.

    On Tuesday, Plato had met Lamoer for the weekly meeting in Plato’s office, but had not told Lamoer about Wednesday’s press conference, which was also attended by DA MPL Mark Wiley, chairman of the standing committee on community safety.

    Last month, tensions between Lamoer and Plato flared up when Plato said police officers were failing to protect the public.

    But on Wednesday, Plato denied there was any bad blood between them.

    “People are of the opinion we fight every week. We have a good relationship,” he said.

    On Wednesday, the Cape Times sent the provincial police the statistics Plato had provided. Police spokesman Andre Traut said: “This office has taken note of the released figures, however we will not be offering any comment in this regard.”

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    They live less than 40km from Cape Town, but residents of Philadelphia say health services in the two areas are worlds apart.

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    Cape Town - They live less than 40km from Cape Town, but residents of Philadelphia say health services here are worlds apart from those provided in the city.

    Residents of Meulenhof just outside Philadelphia say they feel “forgotten” and describe their health services as “almost non-existent”.

    They have no clinic of their own, so some resort to hiring private transport at a cost of up R250 just to go to the nearest clinic.

    Residents claimed that even though they were meant to have mobile clinic services every fortnight, this service was often unavailable. The clinic arrived this week for the first time in two months.

    While the provincial Department of Health wouldn’t confirm the problems, its spokeswoman Faiza Steyn said officials would soon visit Philadelphia to find an agreeable solution.

    The residents’ nearest clinics are the Durbanville Clinic, 24km away, and the Wesfleur Hospital, 20km away in Atlantis.

    Louisa Afrikaner, a community worker, said residents either had to catch a 6am taxi to the Durbanville Clinic or hire private transport at anything between R150 and R250. There was no taxi to Atlantis and people had to hitchhike.

    Most people chose to visit the distance clinics as the mobile service was unreliable. “It’s either broken or there’s no driver,” said Afrikaner. “Even when it comes nurses are always in a rush… they are never here for more than two hours. It’s like they don’t have interest in what they do.”

    Lena Matroos, mother of two-month-old Wayline, depends on the mobile clinic. But next week she must go to Durbanville as Wayline needs a vaccination.

    Matroos complained about a lack of shelter at the mobile clinic, saying in winter mothers with small children had to stand in the queue outside regardless of the weather.

    “The mobile clinic just parks under a tree on the side of the road,” she said. “On rainy days we sit in people’s homes nearby and wait our turn. It really is a struggle getting health services here. It’s like we are forgotten.”

    For mental health patient Angeline van der Westhuizen accessing health services can be humiliating when she needs to get her medication and her monthly injections at the side of the road. She has resorted to having her injection in her arm to avoid stripping in public.

    “The psychiatric nurse parks her car on the pavement and calls us to get our medication in the car.

    “I’m supposed to alternate the injections, arm and thigh, but I can’t have it in my thigh as I would have to strip in public. I’ve asked her to rather give me my medicines at home, but she refused.”

    Steyn said there were no plans to build a clinic in the area as Philadelphia fell under Durbanville, which had a 24-hour facility - the Kraaifontein Community Health Centre.

    Steyn said a decision to extend the chronic dispensing unit services to Philadelphia had been taken two years ago after residents complained about long queues at Durbanville Clinic.

    She said the challenges concerning the mobile unit would be attended to without delay.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Dan Plato wants an apology from the provincial police head after Lamoer reportedly accused Plato of "lying".

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    Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has demanded an apology from General Arno Lamoer, after the provincial police head was reported to have accused Plato of “lying”.

    In the Cape Argus’s sister newspaper Cape Times on Thursday, Lamoer is quoted accusing Plato of lying - after Plato presented statistics showing a dire shortage of police at many of Cape Town’s worst crime suburbs.

    Plato told journalists on Wednesdaythat he had obtained the statistics from Lamoer’s office, but the general hit out, denying he had sent any such information.

    SAPS spokesman Colonel Andre Traut said this morning that Lamoer was not prepared to speak on the issue to the Cape Argus.

    On Thursday, Plato showed the actual letter he had been sent, presented on an SAPS letterhead, signed and dated by the Provincial Commissioner’s office. The subject line reads: “POLICE TO POPULATION RATIOS”.

    Plato has now demanded “a full apology for the slanderous comments against me.

    “The people of the Western Cape deserve to know what is happening in terms of their safety, and our hard-working police officers need the support and necessary resources to do their jobs more effectively, without it they too are vulnerable,” Plato said.

    “Section 206 of the South African Constitution states that each province is entitled to oversee the effectiveness and the efficiency of the police service, including receiving reports on the police service.

    “Democracy is about effective oversight, accountability, and transparency. And after failing to respond to two requests over two months from my office for information on what the SAPS is doing to address this problem I have little choice but to take additional steps to get these answers, that is why I have asked the Standing Committee to take the matter further.”

    The national police commissioner has been asked to appear in person before the Western Cape parliament to explain what appears to be a critical shortage of policemen at crime hot spots.

    And if General Riah Phiyega does not agree to appear and explain, she will be ordered to do so. This was the request yesterday, and then the threat, made by the head of the Western Cape legislature’s portfolio committee on safety, former community safety MEC Mark Wiley.

    It comes after the news that thousands of Cape Town’s most vulnerable citizens are having to fend for themselves against rampant crime in their areas because of a dire shortage of police. The national South African average for police coverage is one policeman for every 330 people.

    But in some of Cape Town’s most crime-ridden suburbs, there are as few as one policeman per 3 000 people.

    The figures were officially obtained by Community Safety MEC Dan Plato from the provincial commissioner’s office, and Plato is dismayed by the results.

    “The 20 police stations with the worst police-to-population ratios are, without fail, the stations which are notorious for high levels of crime.”

    In response to the statistics, Wiley said: “For some two years now the committee has endeavoured to get clarity, without success.”

    His chief concern is the minimum service level standards of “visible policing” at station level.

    These units are the police people see on the street and are the first responders to almost every crime scene.

    “Yet, by admission of the provincial commissioner’s office, the unit is under strength even by the 2004 census figures, and is due to get even smaller.”

    Wiley said the provincial commissioner had repeatedly been asked to explain but on every occasion he, or his deputies, had admitted they were all nationally-driven policies - hence the decision by the committee to invite the national commissioner.

    “I would be loathe to send a sheriff with a summons to Pretoria… I am sure that this will not be necessary,” Wiley said.

    Annelize van Wyk MP, chairwoman of the portfolio committee on police, said in response to Plato’s figures that the methodology for compiling the statistics was deeply problematic.

    “First, to reach the national average and the provincial averages, they include a whole range of police staff types – such as your staff at national and provincial offices, and involved in logistics, administration, management, support services, etcetera – not always found at station level.

    “So you cannot simply compare individual police stations’ figures and match them against a provincial average.”

    Van Wyk said the most effective analytical tool to use was the Resource Allocation Guide, which the police used to determine how many policemen to send where.

    This guide was itself outdated and her committee had repeatedly urged the police to update it with the latest census data to ensure a proper spread of police.

    But she added: “Policing is not simply a numbers issue. I would urge Mr Plato not to opportunistically simplify a far more complex issue.”

    Cape Argus


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    The Western Cape government hit back at the provincial Cosatu leader for accusing it of avoiding talks on economic matters.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape government hit back at provincial Cosatu leader Tony Ehrenreich on Thursday for accusing it of avoiding talks on economic matters.

    He had had numerous opportunities to communicate with the province, said premier Helen Zille's spokesman Zak Mbhele.

    “Ehrenreich’s latest attack on the Western Cape government is another example of his pattern of political grandstanding and hypocrisy and it is important to put the facts on the table,” he said.

    Ehrenreich claimed on Wednesday that repeated Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) requests to talk to the provincial government about economic matters had been ignored in the past three years.

    He threatened a general strike in the province next month over socio-economic issues unless the provincial government, the city of Cape Town and municipalities showed a willingness to meet, discuss, and “partner” on these issues.

    Ehrenreich came out in support of a number of strikes expected in various sectors, and a call for a minimum wage of R4500 a month and increases above 10 percent.

    Mbhele said Zille had not received a request for a meeting from Ehrenreich since 2011.

    “The only meeting request we have received from him was in August 2011 which we agreed to, and the meeting took place in October 2011. He then failed to attend the follow-up meeting that took place a month later.”

    Mbhele said finance and economic development MEC Alan Winde had also invited Ehrenreich to attend several meetings in the past, which Ehrenreich apparently declined or failed to attend.

    Ehrenreich had repeatedly refused to join the Economic Development Partnership (EDP), an independent organisation geared for economic growth, development and inclusion.

    The Cosatu leader told reporters on Wednesday he had not joined the EDP because the business sector was over-represented.

    Democratic Alliance labour spokesman and MP Sej Motau said he would ask Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to educate Ehrenreich on the different spheres of government.

    He said the provincial government had no power over labour relations.

    “Instead, it seems that Ehrenreich has chosen to use the plight of the workers he purports to represent as a disappointing platform for launching a political onslaught against the DA.” - Sapa


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    Premier Zille says Cosatu's provincial secretary's claims that she turn down his requests to meet are a lie.

    |||

    Cape Town - Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich is a hypocrite and a liar, says Premier Helen Zille.

    This comes after Ehrenreich accused Zille’s government on Wednesday of ignoring repeated calls to meet the union to discuss concerns about crime, gang violence, education, transport and health.

    “Cosatu has consistently been calling for engagements with the government to respond to the social challenges that exist in the Western Cape,” Ehrenreich said. “These calls have however been ignored by the Premier Zille who has an aversion to engaging with the unions/Cosatu because of her own arrogance.”

    Ehrenreich this week also threatened a strike if social issues were not addressed.

    But Zille hit back on Thursday, saying Ehrenreich’s latest attack was another example of his pattern of political grandstanding and hypocrisy.

    Zille’s spokesman, Zak Mbhele, said she had not received a meeting request from Ehrenreich since 2011. “The only meeting request we have received from him was in August 2011 which we agreed to and the meeting took place in October 2011,” Mbhele said. “He then failed to attend the follow-up meeting… a month later.”

    Mbhele said Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde had also invited him to several meetings in the past, all of which Ehrenreich had either declined or failed to attend. “The Economic Development Partnership (EDP), which is an independent organisation in which stakeholders in the economy have come together to develop and help implement a shared agenda for economic growth, development and inclusion, has repeatedly invited Cosatu to join it. Mr Ehrenreich has steadfastly refused to do so, indicating that he wanted no part in it. The EDP is the precisely the forum where socio-economic issues are being discussed and government is represented as a stakeholder.”

    In response, Ehrenreich said Zille was being dishonest.

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Western Cape police have arrested four people in Blue Downs in connection with the murder of Sergeant Mthunzi Mbonjwa.

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    Cape Town - Four people have been arrested in Blue Downs, Cape Town, in connection with the murder last month of Sergeant Mthunzi Mbonjwa, Western Cape police said on Friday.

    The suspects, aged 16, 17, 21, and 47, were arrested in an intelligence-driven operation on Thursday night, Lt-Col Andrè Traut said.

    Mbonjwa, 35, was off duty when he was shot dead in Putnam Road, Mfuleni, around 7am on June 25. The policeman was attached to the crime intelligence unit at the Khayelitsha police station.

    Traut said an unlicensed gun and ammunition were recovered when the arrests were made.

    The four suspects would appear in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court on Monday. - Sapa


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    Robbers stormed the Reflections Sushi and Cocktail Bar in Sea Point, tied the hands and feet of a staff member and kicked him.

    |||

    Cape Town - Robbers stormed the Reflections Sushi and Cocktail Bar in Sea Point at 5am yesterday, tied the hands and feet of a staff member and kicked him.

    The attack on the popular restaurant came as staff were cashing up.

    Police were still on the scene on Main Road when the Cape Argus arrived, and one of the staff had a bloody injury to his forehead.

    He declined to comment, as did his colleagues.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said two unidentified men made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

    “The money was taken from the safe and slot machine. A business robbery docket was opened for investigation. No one has been arrested as yet,” he said.

    An employee at the restaurant told Eyewitness News the men approached him while he was cashing up and sprayed a substance in his face.

    Van Wyk said anyone with information should contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

    Cape Argus


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    Gang-ridden Lavender Hill has claimed another life - this time a 29-year-old man was shot eight times in the neck and face.

    |||

    CApe Town - Gang-ridden Lavender Hill has claimed another life - this time a 29-year-old man, who was shot eight times in the neck and face on Wednesday night.

    Ayesha Davids, a member of the Community Police Forum, said the man was well known in the area.

    “He wasn’t a gangster, he was someone who used to work in people’s yards and he came from St Montague Village. Everyone liked him. He was a good person who had a lot of respect for older people. People say it was a Junkie Funkies gang member who shot him eight times in the neck and face.”

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said police were called to the incident at 6.10pm on Wednesday.

    “Steenberg SAPS members received a complaint of murder at St Bernard Road, Lavender Hill. Upon their arrival they found a 29-year-old victim with several gunshot wounds to his body. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he died upon arrival due to the extent of his injuries.”

    There have not been any arrests.

    In June, two men, aged 18 and 31, were shot dead in Grindel Crescent, Lavender Hill just after 10pm. Two men, both aged 19, were also wounded in the incident.

    In May, two men were shot and killed in separate incidents in the area, one of whom was shot at least 12 times.

    Davids said children were left traumatised after the shooting this week.

    “It’s very tense at the moment. This is the second shooting this week. Someone was also shot on Tuesday.

    “Gang fights between Junkie Funkies, the Mongrels and Corner Boys were quiet for a while, but it picked up again two weeks ago.”

    Meanwhile, in Manenberg, Washeema Pierie, the 21-year-old who was wounded in crossfire between the Americans and the Hard Livings earlier this week, said she felt a bit safer now that Renoster Road had constant police supervision.

    The road has been the scene of several shootings in the past month, where two teens were shot dead and three wounded.

    The mother of two said: “ I feel a bit safer because the police vans are outside and there are always police around the area, but I’m also scared that if the police goes, the shooting will start again.”

    Heightened police presence, which included a bulletproof Nyala in the area, has resulted in a quietening of the gangs.

    Other residents in Renoster Road said it was the first time they had been able to sleep peacefully for the past month.

    Faeeza Majiet said: “We are feeling safe because the police are staying here the whole night. Our children were scared, but now they’re playing outside and the people are also camping outside.”

    In another gang-infested area - Hanover Park - an alleged Americans gang member was buried on Thursday.

    The police’s tactical response units patrolled the area and arrested three suspects who were caught in possession of a 7.65 Beretta, a toy gun, four suspected stolen cellphones, tik, mandrax, dagga and an unconfirmed amount of money.

    Lieutenant Lance Goliath, of Philippi police station, confirmed that another four suspects were arrested for suspected drug dealing and the illegal possession of a 9mm firearm.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


    0 0

    The man dubbed the “steroid king” is fighting to stay out of jail pending a decision by the minister of justice to deport him to the US.

    |||

    Cape Town - The man dubbed the “steroid king” is fighting to stay out of jail pending a decision by the minister of justice to deport him to the US where he is wanted for allegedly dealing in steroids worth R76 million.

    Brian Wainstein’s extradition inquiry was heard in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

    It is alleged that Wainstein, 48, who is wanted by Interpol, smuggled steroids worth about R76m for more than a decade.

    He had been living in Cape Town for months but was arrested after an altercation with a neighbour at his luxury flat at the V&A Waterfront on January 19.

    When he appeared in court two days later, he was granted bail of R500 000 on condition that he hand his passport to police, and report to the Sea Point police station every day. This was later relaxed to twice a week.

    According to the charge sheet, a warrant for his arrest was issued by the District of Tennessee in the US. South Africa and the US have an extradition treaty.

    On Thursday, Anton Katz SC, for Wainstein, opposed the extradition inquiry, saying Dave Damerell, for the State, had to prove each aspect presented to the court.

    “There is a man whose liberty is at stake and a State who wants to take it. They must prove it (the documents),” Katz said.

    “Accuracy and attention to detail is important regarding the documents and evidence relied upon.”

    Katz argued that the documents which formed part of the extradition request were not authentic and therefore could not form part of the evidence before magistrate Caron Lehman. He called on her to rule that the documents were inadmissible.

    But Damerell said assistant US attorney Brent Hannafin had made an affidavit and confirmed under oath that the documents were genuine. A US clerk attested that the documents were genuine and US special agent Alex Davis had also made an affidavit.

    “Davis’s affidavit is also made under oath. So you have affidavits and supporting documents,” Damerell said.

     

    The inquiry was postponed to August 1.

     

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Three of six cops who forcibly detained blind busker Lunga Goodman Nono have been suspended.

    |||

    Cape Town - Three of six law enforcement officers who forcibly detained blind busker Lunga Goodman Nono on Monday have been suspended, said the city’s director for safety and security Richard Bosman.

    “Disciplinary hearings will follow (and it) has also been referred to the Civilian Oversight Committee to ensure it has been adequately dealt with,” he said.

    On Monday Nono, 51, a father of two, was dragged away from the spot in St George’s Mall where he had busked since 2008 by law enforcement officers.

    His guitar was broken.

    The city said Nono had ignored “multiple” written and verbal warnings to only busk within prescribed times, and had been abusive to officers, which he has denied.

    On Tuesday an official investigation into Nono’s removal was started.

    Its preliminary findings are expected today.

    The national spokesman for Disabled People South Africa (DPSA), Olwethu Sipuka, who had previously called Nono’s removal “vicious and barbaric”, said on Thursday that the city’s reaction had come “very late”.

    “The officials should have been provisionally suspended even before the investigation started,” said Sipuka. “We are convinced if the country did not condemn the attack in the strongest terms, the suspensions would not have taken place.”

    Sipuka said disabled South Africans faced daily problems dealing with police, including a lack of sign-language interpreters and too few wheelchair-friendly stations.

    Sipuka said the DPSA was looking to conduct “sensitisation workshops” for police.

    Nono has met a lawyer to consider litigation.

    Parliament’s arts and culture committee chairwoman, Thandile Sunduza, said she was “encouraged by the reported swift undertaking by the City of Cape Town to investigate the matter”.

    Sunduza said unemployed youth could look to Nono as a role model, using their talents to earn a living.

    jan.cronje@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 07/12/13--03:15: Army cans hotel plan
  • Preliminary plans to build a luxury hotel near the historic Fort Wynyard in Cape Town has been "terminated" with immediate effect.

    |||

    Cape Town - Preliminary plans to build a luxury hotel near the historic Fort Wynyard in Green Point and to convert the Tamboerskloof Ammunition Magazine into a conference facility have been “terminated” with immediate effect by the SANDF.

    The CSIR, appointed in January by the SANDF to call for proposals for the development of the two prime sites, confirmed that it received the notification from the chief of logistics on Tuesday.

    “It is not going ahead. We got notice from the client to terminate the development of the concept. We don’t know what they are going to do now,” said project manager Hans van Wemelen.

    He said no reasons had been given for the sudden halting of the project.

    The department had not responded to questions from the Cape Argus about the project’s termination at the time of going to press.

    At a briefing on Thursday, organised by CSIR, the media were told that the June 12 call for architectural designs was the first stage of a long process that would eventually have included environmental and heritage impact assessments and public participation.

    Van Wemelen said the CSIR had been appointed five years ago to update the SANDF’s immovable assets register.

    Included in this was an assessment of all the endowment land that was donated to the SANDF in the 1920s. As the custodian of these land portions, some of which were valuable, the SANDF could decide whether it wanted to sell them, develop on them or expand any of the facilities.

    “What came out of the investigation was that not all the land is being utilised.”

    The CSIR recommended that the SANDF should look at ways of getting better value out of its land and visited several sites in the Western Cape, including erven in Sea Point, Simon’s Town and Hout Bay, Van Wemelen said.

    “We took the most promising three sites and came up with proposals of what could be done on the sites.”

    Van Wemelen said Fort Wynyard’s mountain and sea views made it the ideal location for a hotel. The Tamboerskloof site, now being used as a “foster farm” and for the police horse stables, would be popular with tourists visiting the city.

    Possible options included a guest house for MPs, a couple of houses for directors-general and MPs in town on parliamentary business, and an old age home for military veterans.

    The old ammunition store currently contained artwork that was “a fire hazard”, and would be better used as a conference facility.

    Van Wemelen said the Department of Defence approved the CSIR’s recommendations for the three sites, and gave the green light for architects to submit concept drawings by June 19.

    He said that nine architects in Cape Town had submitted proposals. They would be notified that the project had been canned.

    He could not confirm how much the SANDF would pay for the work done in this “early stage” of the development process.

    However, the cost was understood to be millions of rand. It cost about R200 million for the CSIR to do the extensive national assessment of the SANDF’s immovable assets over five years.

    Van Wemelen said it was in the SANDF’s best interests to develop land that was not being used, as maintenance was costly and time-consuming. It could take as long as 10 years for the SANDF to do maintenance work on all its assets, and there were “huge backlogs”.

    Of the future of the military land at Fort Wynyard and Tamboerskloof, Van Wemelen said: “It would not be good administration to do nothing with it.”

    He said that no other projects of this nature had been terminated at this early stage of the process.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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