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    Police officer Dumile Thethani’s life was cut short after he was shot and killed in an “ambush” in Nyanga.

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    Cape Town - He was an avid footballer and a passionate police officer. But on Monday evening, Dumile Thethani’s life was cut short when he was shot and killed in an “ambush” in Nyanga.

    The news came as a shock to his long-time friend and fellow officer, Zuko Mkentane, who last saw his friend last year.

    “It is still sinking in,” he admitted on Tuesday night.

    It started as routine crime prevention patrol for Thethani, 38, a provincial flying squad member, and his colleague.

    But when the pair stopped at the corner of Zwelitsha and Hlathe roads in the township, to search a couple of pedestrians, they were approached by two men who opened fire on the officers without any warning, said police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk.

    Thethani was hit in the head and died, while his wounded colleague was rushed to hospital. Van Wyk said two passers-by were also hit and wounded.

    Thethani’s friend, Mkentane, said the officer had left behind a girlfriend and younger brother.

    Mkentane first met Thethani in 2003 and he remembered going through police interviews and training with his “brother”.

    “We played a lot of football together. He wasn’t serious, always joking around but he loved his job… I will miss him.”

    Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa joined provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer and MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato in sending his condolences to Thethani’s family. Thethani is from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

    “We urge South Africans to rally behind our police officers,” said Mthethwa.

    “We can all begin to make a practical declaration by exposing those who kill our officers, and not harbour them.” He added that the killers deserved, and could expect, hefty punishments.

    The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union also condemned the murder and the prevalence of violent attacks on on-duty police officers in general. The union encouraged Cape Flats residents, who were “in desperate need of the protection offered by the police”, to assist in bringing the perpetrators to book. The union also called on the police to “effect practical solutions” to protect on-duty officers.

    Mthethwa, however, said that a number of interventions, including additional training and the mass roll-out of bulletproof vests, had been introduced to protect officers in the line of duty.

    But he admitted that police research had shown a “lack of adherence” with regard to the wearing of the vests.

    The cluster chairman for the Nyanga Community Policing Forum, Cassiem Christians, has warned that attacks on police officers have become more frequent since gang shootings in the area had increased - particularly in nearby Manenberg.

    daneel. knoetze@inl.co.za and kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 07/24/13--04:25: Dewani to appeal extradition
  • Lawyers for murder suspect Shrien Dewani intend to appeal his extradition to SA to stand trial, according to a report.

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    London - Lawyers for honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani intend to appeal his extradition to South Africa to stand trial, the British Press Association reported on Wednesday.

    “Lawyers acting for Shrien Dewani will review today's [Wednesday] judgment and lodge an appeal during which time Shrien will remain in the UK,” Dewani's family said in a statement after the ruling.

    “Shrien Dewani remains unfit to be extradited or to face trial. Shrien remains committed to returning to South Africa when his health would permit a full trial and when appropriate protections are in place for his health and safety.

    “The legal process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further,” the statement reportedly read.

    Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle made his ruling in the Westminster Magistrate's Court despite arguments by Dewani's defence team that he could suffer setbacks in his mental health if sent back now.

    They wanted the decision delayed by six months. The 33-year-old British businessman had earlier been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The courtroom was packed with murdered Anni Dewani's relatives, who wore photographs of her pinned to their clothes, decorated with pink ribbons.

    Riddle said: “It is not in question that Shrien Dewani will be returned to South Africa. The treating clinicians continue to state that Mr Dewani will recover.

    “There has been recovery, but it has been slow. It may be a long time before Mr Dewani is fit to plead, but he may be closer to that point.

    “It is not impossible that if returned now, then after a reasonable period of further treatment and assessment he will be found fit to plead and a trial can take place.”

    Dewani has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since his wife's death.

    Dewani is suspected of ordering the killing of his new wife Anni, 28, who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010. - Sapa


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    Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has urged police officers to wear bulletproof vests at all times and to treat each case as serious.

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    Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has urged police officers to wear bulletproof vests at all times and to treat each case as serious.

    This after Constable Dumile Thethani, 38, was fatally shot in the head and another constable wounded while on duty in Nyanga on Monday night. A woman of 74 and a man of 22 were also wounded.

    “After a summit aimed at combating police killings held in 2011, police issued instructions about training, use of bulletproof vests and deployment mechanisms during crime call-outs. This was done based on our research which pointed out a lack of adherence to wearing of bulletproof vests,” Mthethwa said.

    He said police were given more than enough vests as protection. “Each year we gather as police leadership and management to commemorate and remember fallen heroes who refused to be discouraged by actions of heartless criminals.

    “It is not a pleasant occasion. Anyone who kills a police officer deserves a hefty punishment,” he said.

    Mthethwa was asked whether it was not insensitive of him to raise the vest issue, especially since the constable had been fatally shot in the head, which a vest does not cover. His spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, said: “You are missing the point. The matter is under investigation, so why would we make a direct comment on the circumstances of the death pending an investigation?

    “The minister utilised today’s statement to remind all police officers around the country to be alert at all times. There is nowhere in our statement where we say the deceased officer was killed because he was not wearing a bulletproof vest. We advocate for such messaging consistently, to encourage police members to wear bulletproofs at all times and to further treat each crime call-up as serious.”

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said Thethani, from Mthatha, died soon after admission to Vincent Pallotti Hospital with a head wound. He was the fourth officer killed in three months in the city.

    The other policeman is recovering in hospital. He asked not to be named.

    Van Wyk said the officers had stopped on the corner of Zwelitsha and Hlathe roads when they were shot.

    “They stopped to search two suspicious-looking persons (who) started shooting without warning. The one officer was shot in the head, while his partner was shot in the hand and shoulder. A 74-year-old woman was also shot in the back and another man in the head,” he said.

    EMS spokesman Darren Francis said a wounded resident transported to Groote Schuur Hospital was discharged early on Tuesday.

    “The 22-year-old man had a head wound, but he was discharged.

    A 74-year-old woman with the back injury is still in a stable condition,” he said.

    Two suspects in Monday’s shooting who fled with an officer’s gun remained at large.

    Van Wyk said anyone with information should call Crime Stop confidentially at 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211. Police may offer a reward for information.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Farmworkers regularly complain of atrocities by farmers, yet most don't report it for fear of dismissal, NGOs say.

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    Cape Town - Farmworkers regularly complain of atrocities by farmers, yet most don’t report it to the police for fear of dismissal or victimisation, NGOs say.

    Mawubuye Landrights Movement’s Shirley Davids said that in five months workers had reported 20 cases in Ashton and Robertson to them.

    In one case two months ago, a farmworker was allegedly assaulted and locked in the farmer’s house for a week. The worker’s daughter reported it to Mawubuye but the man did not want to pursue the case, Davids said.

    “We sent the police to the specific farm but they said there was nothing there.

    “Farmworkers don’t want to come forward with cases of assault. Most are scared of the farmers. I understand their situation,” Davids said.

    She said Flippie Engelbrecht’s case nearly did not make it to court because the police had dismissed it.

    “They (the Engelbrechts) went everywhere for help but no one would. I went to Carina Papenfus because the family needed help,” she said.

    Davids said she had been contacted by a person at the weekend who said he had been beaten by one of the farmers who assaulted Engelbrecht. She was awaiting details.

    Ida Jacobs of Women on Farms said the organisation used to receive assault complaints against farmers but in the past two years that had changed.

    “We hear about workers being assaulted on a farm this week and on another farm the next. But we don’t have proof because the farmworkers don’t come to us,” Jacobs said.

    In other cases, farmworkers felt the police didn’t take their complaints seriously or sided with the farmers.

    Jacobs said one farmworker had recently been badly assaulted by a farmer’s son and his friends and he was ready to lodge a complaint with the police. But he changed his mind when the farmer offered to double his salary, she said.

    Patricia Dyata, general secretary of farmworkers’ union Sikhula Sonke said there was a case in Wellington where a woman had allegedly been beaten by a farmer three months ago.

    The woman had lodged a complaint against the farmer but the case was resolved when the farmer apologised she said. The farmworker was represented by the union.

    “Sikhula Sonke will not tolerate abuse on farms. But it happens on farms that unions cannot get access to,” she said.

    She also said farmworkers did not come forward with information because farmers “were too powerful in their areas”.

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Two men and a woman have been arrested in Cape Town for possession of drugs worth about R100 000 on the street.

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    Cape Town - Two men and a woman have been arrested in Cape Town for possession of drugs worth about R100 000 on the street, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.

    “The arrests follow after members executed stop-and-search patrols. When they searched a 39-year-old suspect they found four medium size plastic bags filled with dagga,” said Captain Frederick van Wyk.

    Police then followed up information at a house in Lytton Street, Observatory.

    “They confiscated four plastic bags, three medium size plastic shopping bags, 32 plastic bank bags, all filled with dagga, and 85

    white in colour tablets, which are used for the manufacturing of Mandrax tablets,” said Van Wyk.

    A 21-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman were arrested at a house in Cornwall Street, Woodstock, after they were found in possession of 20 Mandrax tablets.

    Van Wyk said they would all appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Thursday. - Sapa


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    An ATM at a popular Cape Winelands farmstall was blasted apart in an attack by armed robbers on Wednesday morning.

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    Cape Town - An ATM at a popular Cape Winelands farmstall outside Stellenbosch was blasted apart in an attack by armed robbers on Wednesday morning.

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said police were called at about 2am from the Lynedoch Service Station on Baden Powell Road, adjacent to the Annandale Road intersection.

    “On arrival, they found the petrol attendants, who alleged that five males wearing dark clothes, balaclavas and gloves entered the garage.

    “Two of the suspects were armed with AK47s and one had a pistol. The petrol attendants were hiding in their office.

    “Shortly thereafter, three loud explosions were heard, whereafter the suspects fled the scene.

    “Fortunately, no one was injured during the incident.

    “The suspects are yet to be arrested,” he said.

    Van Wyk said it was not yet clear whether the gang had managed to take any cash – and the bank in question was still investigating this.

    “The spate of ATM bombings is worrisome to the police and every endeavour is made to apprehend those responsible.

    “We once again want to warn ATM users to exercise caution when using these machines, especially during the early hours of the morning. Never challenge suspicious persons in the vicinity, they could be armed and dangerous,” he warned.

    Barry Zetler, a member of the family who owns the filling station, said only the ATM had been blown up and there was only minor further damage.

    “We’re glad there were no serious injuries,” he said.

    Cape Argus


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    The DA has welcomed the decision by a British court to extradite Shrien Dewani to South Africa to face trial for his wife’s murder.

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    Johannesburg - The DA on Wednesday welcomed the decision by the Westminster Magistrate's Court to extradite Shrien Dewani to South Africa to face trial for the murder of his wife Anni.

    Democratic Alliance MP Diane Kohler-Barnard said justice in Dewani's case was long overdue.

    The party had feared that comments made by former national police commissioner Bheki Cele would prevent Dewani's extradition.

    Cele called Dewani “a monkey” in 2010, but later retracted his statement.

    The British Press Association reported earlier that Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle made the ruling on the extradition in the Westminster Magistrate's Court in London.

    His finding came despite arguments by Dewani's defence team that he could suffer setbacks in his mental health if he was sent back to South Africa now. Dewani has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since his wife's death.

    The defence wanted the decision delayed by six months. The 33-year-old British businessman had earlier been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Dewani's lawyers intended appealing the decision.

    “Lawyers acting for Shrien Dewani will review today's (Wednesday) judgment and lodge an appeal, during which time Shrien will remain in the UK,” Dewani's family said in a statement after the ruling.

    “Shrien Dewani remains unfit to be extradited or to face trial. Shrien remains committed to returning to South Africa when his health would permit a full trial and when appropriate protections are in place for his health and safety.

    “The legal process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further,” the statement reportedly read.

    The courtroom was packed with Anni Dewani's relatives, who wore photographs of her pinned to their clothes, decorated with pink ribbons.

    Riddle said: “It is not in question that Shrien Dewani will be returned to South Africa. The treating clinicians continue to state that Mr Dewani will recover.

    “There has been recovery, but it has been slow. It may be a long time before Mr Dewani is fit to plead, but he may be closer to that point. It is not impossible that if returned now, then after a reasonable period of further treatment and assessment he will be found fit to plead and a trial can take place.”

    He is suspected of ordering the killing of his new wife Anni, 28, who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

    So far three men had been convicted for Anni's death.

    Last year, South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting her, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Prosecutors claimed he was a hitman Dewani hired to kill his wife, something Dewani has consistently denied.

    Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing. Another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

    Riddle ruled in 2011 that Dewani should be extradited, but this was successfully appealed against and he was ordered to look again at the case. - Sapa


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    Students have marched to Parliament in Cape Town, calling for free education.

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    Cape Town - Students marched to Parliament on Wednesday, calling for free education.

    SA Students' Congress (Sasco) provincial secretary Sello Nkatho said the students marched from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town.

    The group intended to hand over its memorandum to a representative of the education commission.

    Nkatho said the students wanted education to be free for every young person who qualified as poor, according to a government means test.

    He envisioned the education assistance taking the form of a bursary.

    “There is a body of evidence gathered that shows where government has a political will and correct administration, education can be made free for the poor, the disenfranchised, and the destitute,” he said.

    It was unacceptable that higher learning institutes increased their fees between eight and 12 percent every year, said Nkatho.

    Sasco would continue with marches and “other alternatives” should government not respond to its call.

    Marches were taking place on Wednesday in all provinces except the Free State, where a march had been postponed.

    A national march was planned on Thursday and would start at the Tshwane City Hall in Pretoria. - Sapa


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    Anni Dewani's family is satisfied with a court decision to extradite murder suspect Shrien Dewani to South Africa.

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    London - Anni Dewani's family is satisfied with a court decision to extradite honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani to South Africa, the British Press Association reported on Wednesday.

    “For us, it is all about Anni, it's all about finding out what happened,” said her sister Ami Denborg.

    “We will fight this battle to the end and this battle has just begun.”

    Dewani is accused of ordering the killing of his new wife Anni, 28, who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010. So far three men have been convicted of Anni's death.

    Denborg said the family hoped for a speedy recovery for Dewani so he was fit to plead. However, the court's decision did not necessarily bring any relief.

    “We just want to know what happened to Anni, and this is one step. It's been really hard on the family. We are struggling every day.”

    Referring to her father Vinod Hindocha, she said: “Every single time there's a hearing he stands there, watching, seeing and thinking about Anni. She is always with us.”

    Earlier, the Westminster Magistrate's Court in London ruled that Dewani should be extradited to South Africa to stand trial.

    Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle made the ruling despite arguments by Dewani's defence team that he could suffer setbacks in his mental health if he was sent back to South Africa now.

    They wanted the decision delayed by six months. The 33-year-old British businessman was earlier diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dewani has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since his wife's death. - Sapa


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    A hippo wandering in False Bay Nature Reserve has been captured and released in Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay.

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    Cape Town -

    A hippo wandering in False Bay Nature Reserve has been captured and released in Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay, the City of Cape Town said on Wednesday.

    Environmental resources manager Julia Wood said the young hippo was transported to Gondwana on Friday.

    “The translocation was part of the City of Cape Town's efforts to re-establish this species back into the Western Cape.”

    The hippo was found in the Strandfontein Birding Area where it could not move further because of the electric fence.

    It apparently escaped last year from the Rondevlei section of the False Bay Nature Reserve where other hippos were located.

    Wood said hippos used to be common in the Western Cape but they were wiped out by the early 1700s.

    The species was re-established at Rondevlei in 1981, representing the first reintroduction of hippos back to their historical home grounds, said Wood. - Sapa


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    A clerk accused of devising a scam to embezzle her employer's funds appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

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    Bellville - A clerk accused of devising a scam to embezzle her employer's funds appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Wednesday.

    Colleen Isaacs, 36, of the Cape Flats suburb of Ravensmead, was not asked to plead to a charge of fraud involving R266 407 when she appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

    According to the charge sheet, she worked for the company Qualichem Coast (Pty) Ltd, as an invoice clerk, between March 2008 and April 2010.

    Her duties included the processing of sales between Qualichem and Genkem Retail.

    Qualichem customers paid for transactions by cash on delivery, but she is alleged to have cancelled cash invoices by means of false credit notes for the full amounts of the various purchases.

    The credit notes gave the false impression that either the customers had not received the goods purchased, or that the invoices were a mistake.

    Isaacs allegedly passed credit notes without the authority of the accountant or branch manager.

    She allegedly manipulated stock items on the electronic system, for her own benefit.

    She was then allegedly not able to balance the books of account as a result of the embezzlement, but to conceal the discrepancies, she would cancel even more invoices.

    Isaacs was given a warning and will be back in court on August 15. - Sapa


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    Anni Dewani's family have vowed to continue their battle after her husband said he would appeal his extradition.

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    Cape Town - The family of murdered honeymoon bride Anni Dewani have vowed to continue their battle after her husband, Shrien, said he would fight his latest extradition defeat.

    Speaking on the steps of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, Anni’s sister, Ami Denborg, said: “For us it is all about Anni, it’s all about finding out what happened. We will fight this battle to the end and this battle has just begun. It’s a long way to go for the answers we are waiting for. We are hoping for a speedy recovery for him so he is fit to plead.”

    Dewani, 33, who denies any involvement in the murder, was not in court to hear the judgment and continues to receive treatment at a mental hospital in his home city of Bristol.

    Chief magistrate Howard Riddle ordered his extradition in September 2011, but in December that year the high court ruled it would be “unjust and oppressive” to return him because of his medical condition.

    On Wednesday Riddle again granted an extradition request by the South African government, following a four-day hearing earlier this month, despite arguments by Dewani’s defence team that this could affect his mental health.

    They had wanted the decision delayed by six months.

    But even though Dewani lost his extradition hearing in London on Wednesday, there is no guarantee he will stand trial in Cape Town soon.

     

    Dewani, 33, has been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder following the murder of his wife Anni on honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

    On Wednesday the court was packed with Anni’s relatives, who wore photographs of her pinned to their clothes, decorated with pink ribbons. None of Dewani’s relatives was present.

    Riddle said: “It is not in question that Shrien Dewani will be returned to South Africa. The treating clinicians continue to state that Mr Dewani will recover. There has been recovery, but it has been slow. It may be a long time before Mr Dewani is fit to plead, but he may be closer to that point. It is not impossible that if returned now, after a reasonable period of further treatment and assessment he will be found fit to plead and a trial can take place.”

    Dewani’s lawyers intended to appeal against his extradition to stand trial, the British Press Association reported.

    “Lawyers acting for Shrien Dewani will review the judgment and lodge an appeal during which time Shrien will remain in the UK,” Dewani’s family said in a statement after the ruling.

    “Shrien Dewani remains unfit to be extradited or to face trial. Shrien remains committed to returning to South Africa when his health would permit a full trial and when appropriate protections are in place for his health and safety. The legal process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

    Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesman for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, told the Cape Argus on Wednesday night: “We will oppose their appeal, and we are confident. We believe yesterday’s ruling was founded in law and there’s no way it can be overturned - we don’t believe he has any basis in law.”

    Dewani’s team has 14 days to lodge an appeal. The National Prosecuting Authority would oppose this, and would then have to wait for the court to rule, Mhaga said.

    If Dewani appeals he will have to prove that it is for some reason of public importance that he must not be extradited.

    Mhaga said in response to that: “Obviously, what’s in the public interest - in our view - is for him to come and face trial in South Africa.”

    But he warned that even if Dewani lost this new appeal, he would still have recourse to the European Court for Human Rights. And even if he failed there, and was sent to Cape Town, then he would be within his rights to argue before the Western Cape High Court that he was mentally unfit to stand trial.

    South Africa has offered reassurances that if Dewani was found to be mentally ill he would be admitted to a psychiatric hospital here.

    Hugo Keith QC, for the South African government, argued this month it would not be oppressive to extradite Dewani, telling the court that “unprecedented” undertakings had been taken to ensure Dewani would get a high standard of mental health care.

     

    Psychiatrist Ian Cumming had visited South Africa and was confident the standard of Dewani's medical treatment would be “robust”.

    Anni’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha, told the Cape Argus on Wednesday night: “It was more or less expected that the judge had to deny the appeal and stand for his verdict he gave in 2011... we’re happy about that. They have appealed, but I don’t know on what grounds. According to me there are no grounds left.”

    Asked how Anni’s father, Vinod, was coping, he said: “He’s fine.”

    Cape Argus


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    A driver has told how a laden rubble truck came crashing down Strand Street, smashing into cars as it headed towards him.

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    Cape Town - A driver stopped at a red light in Strand Street has told how he watched, unable to move, as a laden rubble truck came crashing down Strand Street, smashing into cars as it headed towards him.

    Robin Poggenpoel of Retreat, said: “I saw the truck coming down and hitting the other cars. I think it hit five cars before me. I still had time to cover my head.”

    The truck’s suspected brake failure is thought to be the cause of the 12-car pile-up in the evening rush hour on Wednesday.

    The crash occurred around 5.30pm at the corner of Adderley and Strand streets and paramedics, traffic and fire and rescue vehicles rushed to help.

    Traffic spokesman Senior Officer Richard Coleman said the truck first clipped a car in Buitengracht Street before crashing into cars further down Strand Street.

    “It clipped a car’s mirror but somehow managed to go pass all the other intersections and hit the 11 cars in Strand Street,” said Coleman.

    He said the rubble truck had been taken off the road and its licence was suspended.

    Fire and Rescue spokesman Theo Layne said three people sustained minor injuries and were sent to various hospitals for treatment.

    Poggenpoel was on his way to pick up his wife and daughter when his gold Honda Accord was hit.

    “I think it’s a write-off and it is a big loss for me because now I will have to pay excess and this car has already been paid off.”

    Poggenpoel’s wife Sharon, who was standing just across the road and saw the crash take place, said she was just glad that he was unscathed.

    yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Equal Education group says Helen Zille made “factual errors” during her defence of Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

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    Johannesburg - Equal Education slammed Western Cape premier Helen Zille on Thursday for her article defending Education Minister Angie Motshekga, saying she had made “factual errors”.

    In the article - headlined “Zille goes in to bat for Motshekga” and published on the Cape Argus website on Saturday - Zille said Motshekga might be a “hate target”, but she had fulfilled her constitutional responsibilities better than her predecessors.

    “She actually understands conditions in the average disadvantaged classroom. As a result she is trying to develop 'norms, standards, policies and frameworks' that take account of reality. That on its own is a giant leap forward for education,” Zille wrote.

    However, EE chairwoman Yoliswa Dwane said Zille's article was “misleading and riddled with errors”.

    “Zille suggests more than once that norms and standards (for school infrastructure) may be 'unachievable', 'unaffordable' and 'impractical',” Dwane said in a statement.

    “These claims are undermined by the concurrence given by the minister of finance, as well as the support for norms and standards in the National Development Plan, and from the Auditor General and fiscal and finance commission.”

    She said Zille's comment that the norms and standards required “tortuous public-participation processes” was not the reality.

    Dwane claimed there was no public participation process after the publication of draft norms and standards in January.

    “The only body that involved the public was Equal Education, which held public hearings in five provinces and collected 700 submissions which were distilled into two,” she said.

    “Motshekga had 11 weeks from the submission closing date until the June 15 deadline, but she made no effort to use the public’s input to fix and finalise the norms and standards,” she claimed.

    EE took Motshekga to court in July, claiming she had breached an agreement reached in November 2012 to publish the final document by May 15, or by the extended deadline of June 15. The Bhisho High Court ordered that she promulgate the norms and standards by November 30.

    In her article, Zille wrote that Motshekga had “erred in believing that it would be possible to cut through the red-tape jungle by June 15”, and that she should not have supported the “unrealistic deadline” and agreed to it becoming a court order, said Dwane.

    However, Dwane said the June 15 deadline was realistic and pointed out that it had not been an order of court. - Sapa


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    Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu closely inspected his new ID smartcard and then began to chuckle.

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    Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was elated to receive his ID smartcard on Thursday morning.

    Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor handed the card to him in an envelope outside the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation building in Cape Town.

    Wearing warm, casual clothes instead of his iconic purple robes, Tutu closely inspected the card and then erupted with laughter.

    “This is the card and yes, it's got my mother's nose. I think Zapiro (the cartoonist) would probably be quite happy,” he told reporters.

    “When you contrast this with the dompas (apartheid passbook), you realise actually just how far we have travelled and the great honour that you give me to bring mine.”

    Tutu joked that there was now trouble in his household because his wife Leah was asking where her ID smartcard was. He marvelled at how light it felt.

    “That we should have the technical ability to do this. You know, sometimes we take some of these things for granted. There are very many good things about our country and here is one of them; that you can have all the information about an individual captured in a card.”

    Pandor said she had asked several leaders to be the “pioneering guinea pigs” for the smart ID, which would eventually replace ID books.

    Earlier in the month, former president Nelson Mandela received his ID smartcard as he celebrated his 95th birthday.

    Other recipients of the first batch of cards include President Jacob Zuma, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk. - Sapa


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    The ANC’s legal team claims to have found links between Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and gang bosses on the Cape Flats.

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    Cape Town - The political fracas between the DA and ANC over gang violence on the Cape Flats escalated on Wednesday.

    The ANC announced it would on Thursday ask the Hawks and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate Community Safety MEC Dan Plato.

    The ANC’s legal team has compiled a dossier which is said to include information of links between Plato and gang bosses on the Cape Flats.

    The alleged details are to be released publicly by the ANC on Thursday after it has handed the dossier to the Hawks.

    Earlier this week,

    the ANC accused Plato of using public money to fund gangsters; of using his influence to secure the early parole of convicted gangsters; and of protecting gang interests through the guise of “peace talks” with gang bosses.

    Plato has welcomed “a full investigation” to prove the allegations false.

    He has also revealed what he believes a reason for the ANC’s attack.

    Earlier this year, the Department of Community Safety received an affidavit from a man who claimed to have links with the 28s gang. The Cape Argus has seen the document.

    It alleges there has been a history of corrupt relationships between ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman, a high-ranking cop and gang bosses.

    Plato believes the ANC is referring to this affidavit when it accuses him of trying to “fabricate evidence” against ANC leaders.

    His spokesman, Greg Wagner, said: “We want to stress that none of these allegations were compiled or levelled by MEC Plato or anyone in the department.

    Earlier this year, the document was sent to the public protector for investigation. There is no way of knowing whether the allegations are true. It is, however, our duty to refer complaints and allegations by the public to relevant bodies for investigation.”

    The ANC’s Phillip Dexter confirmed the affidavit was the basis for the ANC’s allegation.

    Cape Argus


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    The “probabilities” were that Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela’s heart killed him, says Professor Gert Saayman.

    |||

    Cape Town - The “probabilities” were that Western Cape High Court Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela’s heart killed him.

    This was the evidence of Professor Gert Saayman, head of forensic medicine at the University of Pretoria, during cross-examination in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday. Saayman is an expert witness for the defence.

    On trial is the acting judge’s widow Thandi Maqubela and her business associate Vela Mabena, who are accused of murdering him by suffocation with a piece of cling wrap.

    The trial, now nearing its end, picked up on Wednesday after a postponement of almost three months.

    While the State’s forensic pathology expert Dr Sipho Mfolozi ruled out natural causes as Patrick Maqubela’s cause of death, Saayman disagreed, saying that, in his opinion, natural causes should be the primary consideration in determining the acting judge’s cause of death.

    When prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo questioned him about the acting judge’s physician having given him a clean bill of health just three weeks before his death, Saayman said there were many people who might appear to be healthy but that an autopsy or thorough medical examination would show significant “pathology” that could cause death at any time.

    In Acting Judge Maqubela’s case, he had had an enlarged heart that was “well above” the norm for a man of his age. He was 60.

    The court heard that other countries considered the normal weight of a heart to be 350g, whereas Patrick Maqubela’s heart had weighed 369g.

    His heart, Saayman said, should have weighed well below 350g because people, particularly those over the age of 50, lose muscle mass as they grew older and that this included the heart.

    He confirmed Judge John Murphy’s understanding that in the absence of hypertension, he would’ve expected significantly less heart mass.

    On questioning by Currie-Gamwo, however, he acknowledged that these standards were used abroad and that there was no standard for South African males.

    “The probabilities are that his heart killed him,” said Saayman, adding that he could not say this with certainty.

    He could also not rule out non-natural causes.

    He said it was possible that Maqubela might have died by asphyxiation, such as suffocation with a piece of cling wrap, but later during cross-examination said that if the court pushed for his opinion on the issue, the probabilities were that this was not the case.

    He could not, however, come to a definitive conclusion as to the acting judge’s death.

    “I reiterate, the medical findings are not inconsistent with an asphyxial death but I submit that for the court to come to that conclusion… it should do so not primarily on the basis of medical evidence but ancillary or other evidence,” he said.

    Judge Murphy also noted that he planned on amending the indictment.

    With the murder charge, he intended to add - where it stated that the death had been caused by suffocation with plastic - “or means unknown”.

    In the charge against Thandi Maqubela for the alleged forgery of his will, Judge Murphy said that he intended amending the indictment, where it stated “making of the signature”, to “making of the will”.

    The case will continue proceedings on Tuesday.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Clinic staff told Madonsela that they “worked like slaves” due to staff shortages, which often left them “physically and emotionally drained”.

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    Cape Town - Robert Burch, a pensioner with diabetes, joined the queue at the Brooklyn Community Health Centre at 5am on Wednesday hoping to be first in line when the clinic opened at 7am.

    In fact he was number five, but he wasn’t worried because he had an 8am appointment to see a doctor.

    “Everything went smoothly until I got to the pink room where nurses performed the routine tests,” he told Public Protector Thuli Madonsela during her visit at the clinic on Wednesday.

    A nurse told him he wouldn’t be able to see a doctor until September.

    “They told me to go the pharmacy instead and get my medication… this doesn’t make sense at all.”

    Other patients had complaints for Madonsela, whose Western Cape tour is aimed at strengthening the government’s ability to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals that include eradicating extreme poverty and cutting child and maternal mortality.

    Clinic staff told Madonsela that they “worked like slaves” due to staff shortages, which often left them “physically and emotionally drained”.

    There were 10 nurses, two doctors, two pharmacists and three pharmacy assistants to serve more than 400 patients a day.

    Despite the challenges, clinic staff prided themselves on never turning patients away.

    Madonsela, who later held public hearings at the Civic Centre, told provincial Department of Health and the City of Cape Town staff that they should respond to the elderly in a way that upheld their dignity.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    “The killings and gang activities are reaching epidemic proportions and it is not even declared a crisis by the DA.”

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    Cape Town - Cosatu has again called for the dismissal of mayco member for safety and security JP Smith, following his claim in Wednesday’s Cape Times that police leaders and the national government were doing “everything in their power to prevent the Western Cape from winning the battle against gangs”.

    Smith added that interference from national government and the “politicised leadership of SAPS” was hampering the province’s fight against crime.

    Tony Ehrenreich, the trade union federation’s Western Cape secretary, called on Smith to resign given the province’s high crime rate, saying his statements were an effort to “politicise the issue of crime due to his own incompetence”.

    “Smith is trying to pass the buck on the deepening crime situation in Cape Town,” said Ehrenreich in a statement. “During his time in office, JP Smith has overseen the highest number of deaths in Cape Town.

    “The crisis of the killings in the townships is a reflection of the inability of the DA to deal with the key social challenges facing communities.

    “The killings and gang activities are reaching epidemic proportions and it is not even declared a crisis by the DA,” he said.

    Ehrenreich added that Smith was a divisive figure at a time when the city needed a united leadership to fight crime.

    Smith said on Wednesday he had stopped taking seriously Ehrenreich’s repeated demands to resign.

    Smith added that Ehrenreich called on opposition figures to resign “every five minutes”.

    He said Ehrenreich’s allegations that he “alone” was responsible for city crime fighting were false, as policing was mainly a function of the national government.

    “The whole system is in Tony’s comrades’ hands,” said Smith.

    “Maybe he should resign.”

    jan.cronje@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Lisa Robertson is convinced that when the door swings open, she will still find dead bodies and debris in the church.

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    Cape Town - She is convinced that when the door swings open, she will still find dead bodies and debris scattered around the church’s ruined nave.

    It has been 20 years since Lisa Robertson ran from St James Church in Kenilworth – a frightened 16-year-old girl in a blood-spattered jersey with gunshots and explosions ringing in her ears.

    She has not been back since. And when more than 1 000 people fill the Kenilworth church this evening to mark 20 years since 11 people were killed and another 58 injured in the massacre, she will not be one of them.

    She will not go back to the place where her best friend died protecting her.

    On July 25, 1993, the church’s 1 500-strong congregation, including a group of Russian seamen, gathered for a Sunday evening service. Outside, trees swayed in the strong winds as dark clouds pelted Cape Town with rain.

    Robertson and her schoolmate Bonnie Reeves had coaxed her friend Richard O’Kill into joining them.

    He was hesitant at first, tired from an earlier church service. But while he protested, Robertson noted with some satisfaction that her 17-year-old friend was enjoying himself as he listened to a duet rendition of the hymn More than Wonderful.

    Robertson felt safe and warm inside the church, so when four men wearing balaclavas and brandishing rifles spilled in through the door just in front of her, she thought it was a joke.

    The sharp report of gunfire swallowed her confusion and the last strains of the hymn turned into screams.

    “That was when Richard pushed me down. He was so quick he didn’t hesitate for even a second,” said Robertson.

    Around her people dropped to the ground as bullets tore through the pews, sending splinters of wood spinning into the air.

    “Bonnie was still standing up, she was hysterical – laughing at the men. Rich got up again to pull her down… that’s when the bullet hit him.”

    The matric pupil collapsed on top of her, blood seeping from his head where the bullet had struck him.

    Robertson said the acrid smell of gunpowder and blood, the sight of O’Kill’s maimed and dying body and the sounds of the M26 hand grenades exploding were still burned into her memory.

    “One of the men was shooting people on the ground. He turned the gun on me. I thought it would all end there, lying between the pews. Time seemed to stand still. But that was when someone started shooting back at them, and the man started running.”

    The man shooting back was Charl van Wyk. He had unstrapped the .38 special revolver from his ankle and, kneeling, was firing over the pew in the fourth row. The former salesman and now full-time missionary would later be lauded by police for retaliating.

    He was credited with being responsible for forcing the Azanian People’s Liberation Army soldiers into an early retreat, preventing them from carrying out orders to expend their ammunition and set off a petrol bomb.

    But for weeks after the massacre he was wracked with guilt.

    “I thought I could have done more. That I could have acted sooner… When they walked through the door I thought it was a play, it was only when I saw the bullets tearing through the wooden benches that I realised what was happening.”

    When Kenilworth resident Peter Hammond arrived at the church 20 minutes after the attack he ran through the double doors, the same the attackers had burst in from. All he saw were bodies scattered on the ground and paramedics working on the injured.

    Hammond saw Gerhard Harker’s dead body: “He had leapt on a hand grenade and someone had put a jacket over him.”

    There was a leather Bible lying in a pool of blood, pews were at crazy angles, there were holes in the ceiling, and people were crying.

    He said the incident shocked him: “In the days following I would just break down because these were people we knew.”

    Dr Mervyn Eloff, current rector of St James Church, said the attack was no different from other acts of terror that happened in the country 20 years ago or in more recent years like 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombings.

    “We don’t consider ourselves to be different in any way. I suppose the fact that it was a church created a certain amount of horror in people’s thinking.”

    Eloff said what the incident did was to remind people that they lived in a world full of tragedy, that God was good and they could trust him.

    The congregation did not respond with hate and vengeance. “Instead of bitterness, rage and anger there was grace, mercy and forgiveness.”

    Eloff said that what had always been strange about the attack was that the church had a diverse congregation. “The young guys who attacked the church didn’t know it was a church until they got here.”

    Eloff said the church had extended its forgiveness to the attackers who received amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s amnesty committee in 1997.

    “A lot of people criticised us for being forgiving, but forgiveness doesn’t mean people don’t have to face the consequences of their actions.”

    A remembrance service for the victims of the massacre will be held on Thursday night at 7pm.

    Van Wyk, who will attend the service, said it would be the first time many people had visited the church since the attack. Many of the survivors still saw the church as a dark place. He had been able to shed the psychological scars of what happened that night, there were those whose injuries were a constant reminder of that day.

    For Roberston, 36, the massacre still haunts her. She often finds herself wondering where O’Kill would be now if he had survived.

    At the same time, that night in church had made her treasure every moment of her life.

    “I got married, and I have a wonderful baby boy. People often tell me I’m the happiest person they know, but that’s because I was given a gift – I was saved.

    “When I see Richard in Heaven, I want to thank him for what he did for me and Bonnie. I want him to know what he gave us.”

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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