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  • 07/25/13--04:31: Explosions at Pagad march
  • Bombs were hurled at a house and a car dealership in Athlone, at the same time Pagad held a motorcade protest.

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    Cape Town - Bombs were hurled at a house and a car dealership in Athlone on Wednesday night, at the same time the organisation People Against Gangsterism And Drugs (Pagad) held a motorcade protest in the area.

    Pagad has denied any involvement in the blasts, which were reminiscent of attacks associated with the organisation at the turn of this century.

    Nobody was injured in Wednesday night’s blasts and damage was relatively minor.

    Pagad on Wednesday night embarked on its third successive motorcade, in Athlone and Bokmakierie, “in a show of support for rehabilitated victims of drug abuse and those victims who are still suffering”.

     

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said on Thursday that an explosive device had been detonated at a car dealership, Velocity Cars, in Belgravia Estate at about 9.30pm. “It is suspected that the device was thrown into the premises before it was detonated. Vehicles on the property were damaged. No one was injured.”

    Five minutes later, another explosive device was detonated at a house in Taurus Road in nearby Surrey Estate.

    “The device caused damage to the garage door and shattered neighbours’ windows. No one was injured,” Van Wyk said.

    This is the second bomb attack at the residence in three months, according to neighbours.

    Pagad spokesman Haroon Orrie said on Thursday they had “heard about (the bombs) on the news” and had had “no involvement whatsoever”.

    He added that Pagad’s enemies might be trying to frame them.

    “We can’t say for certain, but often (when) Pagad finds its feet and has positive engagements with the public to bring our anti-drug and gangsterism message across, we see incidents of such attacks coinciding with our motorcades and events,” he said.

    When Pagad launched its motorcade campaign on July 11, it drew a heavy police presence, as it did on Wednesday night.

    Residents in Surrey Estate said that the house, which was unoccupied on Thursday morning, belonged to the owner of a taxi business. The Cape Argus phoned the home owner, but he refused to comment. The windows of the house and of cars in the driveway had been blown out.

    Velocity Motors’ director, Niyaaz Jainoodian, said he had no idea who could have been behind the bombing.

    “We have good relations with the community. I view this as an isolated case,” he said. He said he and his 25 staff members were stressed and “shell shocked” in the wake of the attack.

    Cape Argus


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    As a Cape Times reporter and photographer drive through the streets of Manenberg, they quickly realise something is amiss.

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    Cape Town - As Brenton Geach and I drive through the streets of Manenberg, we realise something is amiss. It is eerily quiet.

    Residents gather in small groups along the grey, dusty pavements, all facing in the same direction.

    Some cover their mouths. Others shield their eyes, gazing into the distance.

    The few who turn to look at us, the only motorists in the area, frown.

    Manenberg has experienced a recent flare-up in gang violence, with shootings being reported virtually every day.

    This has resulted in police operations being stepped up in the area.

    An armoured police vehicle is stationed at the end of one street and a police car jammed full of officers stands at an entrance to another street.

    A few minutes later, at 11.25am, we park opposite a field stretching out alongside Silverstream High School.

    At least six police vans are parked in a street opposite the field and residents are gathered there, outside a block of flats.

    A few minutes later, we continue our drive through the streets, but by 11.30am it seems too many people have congregated in the streets.

    Although we can see the gathering of six police vans, something is clearly up.

    We decide to leave. As the photographer accelerates along a road three young men run across it, just metres from us.

    One, wearing a bright yellow top, clutches a gun to his side and as he runs, keeps his head down low, quickly darting glances in either direction.

    A second man runs alongside him, his hand tucked inside his trousers.

    He is obviously concealing something in his clothing.

    The trio run past a block of flats and then turn down a side street, disappearing from view.

    We watch in silence until they are out of sight, then I instruct the photographer to leave the area.

    “Get out. Get out now,” I say.

    We return to park opposite the field at which we stopped at earlier.

    A group is accumulating outside a home on the opposite side of the field.

    The group starts unfolding a big flag - an American flag.

    We realise we may be watching gangsters from the so-called Americans grouping.

    The band holding the flag take a few steps forward. Suddenly the flag crumples and the group scatter.

    The young men run in different directions.

    Shots pierce the still air. Geach counts at least 10 shots.

    The high school playground, barely 50m from where the groups had gathered, suddenly looks deserted.

    I glance at my watch. It is only 11.41am.

    A few residents gather to find out what is happening.

    “Daar skiet hulle weer (There, they’re shooting again),” one woman casually points out.

    She explains that the Hard Livings are shooting at their rivals, the Americans, who have angered the Hard Livings by displaying the flag.

    “Ag, it happens all the time,” she intones.

    “The shooter, you must see him. He’s 25, but he’s this short,” the woman says, indicating his height by tapping her shoulder.

    At 12.06pm we see police vehicles drive down the street where the flag was unfurled.

    By now, the area is empty.

    As we drive away, residents start gathering opposite the field again and we see scores of school pupils leaving Silverstream High.

    It’s only 12.10pm, so we stop to ask why.

    A girl nonchalantly says they have been sent home early because of the shooting.

    She shrugs and walks away.

    Late on Wednesday night a man was shot on the field alongside Silverstream High.

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said the 48-year-old was wounded, but he did not know the details of the man’s injuries.

    By the time the police arrived, residents had taken the man to the GF Jooste Hospital.

    Police went to the hospital to investigate, Van Wyk said.

    He did not yet have the name of the man.

    * Caryn Dolley reporting on her experiences in Manenberg yesterday.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Senior DA politicians saw red when ANC MPL Millicent Tingwe called their party the Dagga Alliance during a debate.

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    Cape Town - Senior DA politicians saw red on Thursday when ANC MPL Millicent Tingwe called their party the Dagga Alliance.

    She was addressing a debate in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature and was referring to new DA member Thembu King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo.

    He has admitted he smokes dagga, saying he would stop only when President Jacob Zuma stopped being corrupt.

    DA MPL Mark Wiley jumped to his feet: “Honourable Speaker I do believe the member is maligning the Democratic Alliance.”

    Deputy Speaker Piet Pretorius responded: “I will look at that, but member (Tingwe) can continue.”

    Tingwe continued using “Dagga Alliance”.

    “Order, order, order. I see a couple of members standing,” said Pretorius when three DA figures stood up.

    DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer said: “Deputy Speaker I would like to know to which party she is referring to because no such party is registered at the IEC.”

    Pretorius ruled: “I’m sure she is talking about the DA, she is not reflecting on any specific member now, so can continue.”

    “Thanks for protecting me,” Tingwe said in Xhosa and said Dagga Alliance again.

    Pretorius said to her: “Please try and help the chair by not referring to the party here in a different name which could be derogatory.”

    ANC MPL Max Ozinsky was quick to respond that Tingwe had freedom of speech.

     

    cobus.coetzee@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    A Cape Town art teacher allegedly found to be growing marijuana plants at his home has been charged with dealing in the drug.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town art teacher allegedly found to be growing marijuana plants at his Kenilworth home has been charged in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court with dealing in the drug.

    Graeme Carr, 38, who teaches at the Gugulethu Cape College, heard on Thursday that the investigation into the case against him was not yet complete.

    Prosecutor Craig Esterhuyse said two reports from the police forensic laboratory were still outstanding.

    Carr was arrested at his Hope Street home on March 8.

    The State alleges he was in possession of 120 marijuana plants, 10 seedlings in a cultivation tray and a box containing marijuana.

    Carr has been charged with dealing in drugs – alternatively, the illegal possession of drugs.

    “The laboratory experts were at the scene on the same day the offence was committed.

    ‘They said the statements have been written up but need to be signed off by senior laboratory officials,” Esterhuyse said. This would be finished within 10 days.

    Asghar Mia, for Carr, objected to the State’s request for a postponement, saying four months had passed since his client’s arrest.

    Mia however added that if the State’s request was granted it should be marked final for further investigation.

    The State did not oppose Carr’s release on bail, but suggested that because of the amount of marijuana that was confiscated and the equipment used to grow the drug, bail should be set at R20 000.

    Mia objected, saying Carr had a fixed address, was a teacher at the Gugulethu Cape College and said R20 000 was “above his means”.

    Carr was released on bail of R3 000.

    Mia said Carr denied the allegations and would plead not guilty to the charges.

    Carr is due back in court on August 6.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Gun-toting thugs, poor matric results and burglaries were just some of the issues facing John Ramsay High five years ago.

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    Cape Town - Gun-toting thugs jumping over the fence and threatening pupils, poor matric results and repeated burglaries were just some of the issues facing John Ramsay High years ago.

    But the Bishop Lavis school has turned itself around, increasing its matric pass rate from 54.6 percent in 2008 to 80.4 percent last year, and seeing a recently completed R3 million infrastructure upgrade.

    Quentin Newman, who became principal in 2008, said that when he arrived the school was regarded as “high-risk”.

    “All the classrooms’ light fittings and the electrical wires had been stolen. Computer applications technology classes couldn’t happen. The consumer studies children couldn’t do their practicals,” Newman said.

    “Guys from outside” jumped over the walls and pointed guns at some of the pupils, he said. Other outsiders jumped over the fence with knives and one among them was stabbed.

    During his first month at the school, Newman said he had spoken to teachers and pupils to get a sense of the problems at the school. Along with the governing body and teachers, he addressed the issues with the parents.

    He also confronted “outsiders” who were causing problems inside the school, including a man who was using pupils to sell cigarettes and who threatened to damage Newman’s car after the principal confiscated some of the cigarettes.

    Newman said small changes like painting 15 classrooms and creating a school hall by knocking two woodwork rooms together, had also helped to improve morale at the school.

    Other issues, like keeping the grounds neat were also continuously addressed and pupils could be seen picking up chip packets at the school on Thursday.

    While showing the Cape Argus the new facilities on Thursday, a group of pupils who were not in class were spotted and instructed by Newman to get to their classroom.

    Newman retired from teaching in 1997 and managed a dance and music school in Atlantis for a few years. He then started working in the adult education sector.

    A few years later the Education Department asked him to serve as a mentor principal at a school in Saron.

    He has since worked as a mentor principal at several “at-risk schools”.

    At a recent function to celebrate the school’s R3m upgrade, Education MEC Donald Grant said: “It’s not always an easy task moving from the bottom up, but your school has demonstrated that it is possible.”

    Provincial education head Penny Vinjevold approached the school last year with the idea of improving infrastructure.

    “In the case of John Ramsay, Ms Vinjevold was confident that the new upgrades to this school would benefit education in this community, becoming a beacon of opportunity to all children in Bishop Lavis. This plan would never have been approved if it were not for the success this school has achieved in recent years as well as a strong school management and teaching team,” Grant said.

    The upgrade included a new administration office, toilets, new offices, safety gates and security lights. A section of the school grounds, which had not been fenced in, was also reclaimed.

    A flat had been built on the premises and since a tenant moved in there had been no more burglaries.

    Newman said teachers had also helped to secure several sponsorships for the school which had made it possible to acquire equipment including photocopiers.

    He said that while there had been much improvement, the school still had issues to overcome.

    Some pupils struggled to focus on their studies, or shared their homes with tik addicts or parents who sold drugs. School fees were also a problem with more than 500 of the school’s 700 pupils’ fees outstanding. He said a lack of interest from parents in their children’s schooling also remained a problem.

    But the school would continue to strive for improvement. Plans included developing unused sports fields, replacing doors, door frames and broken windows and improving computer facilities.

    ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Amputee Flippie Engelbrecht and his family approached the Western Cape High Court to seek legal representation.

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    Cape Town - Amputee Flippie Engelbrecht and his family approached the Western Cape High Court to seek legal representation on Thursday.

    Engelbrecht is going to sue for damages in a civil case against a Boland farmer and manager he accuses of assaulting him in January 2008.

    He is also preparing for a criminal case, represented by the National Prosecuting Authority, against the two men in the Ashton Regional Court next Wednesday.

    Engelbrecht has been blind for five years - since having to have surgery following the alleged assault. He also became epileptic.

     

    He lost his hands after he had an epileptic seizure and rolled into an open fire. Severe burns made it necessary for doctors to amputate his hands.

     

    “I am not angry at him (the farmer). I won’t be able to see him, but he must see the damages he has done to me,” Engelbrecht said outside the court on Thursday.

    The family and their legal adviser, Carina Papenfus, made an application for legal representation in a separate civil matter.

    Papenfus said the Western Cape High Court had instructed a leading law firm in Cape Town to represent Engelbrecht in his civil case. The firm has yet to receive correspondence from the court.

    Papenfus also said the chairman of the Cape Bar had been instructed to appoint a senior advocate to represent him.

     

    “I came to Cape Town for help with my case. I wanted lawyers and advocates and I got help from the court. I am satisfied. I am going to fight for all the farm children that have been assaulted. I am going to get justice,” he said.

    Papenfus said the firm of attorneys was one of the strongest in the province.

    “I am glad that we have attorneys from a big firm,” she said.

    “We have been approached by many law firms and the support from everyone has been overwhelming.”

    Papenfus said that as soon as a lawyer was appointed civil claims would be explored.

    Outside the court Engelbrecht’s mother, Katrina, said: “We are glad that we got help from the court. I hope that everything will work out for my son.”

    jason.felix@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Rescue teams are still searching for a fisherman who was swept off the rocks near George.

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    George - Rescue workers continued searching on Friday for a fisherman who went missing near George, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

    The man, who went missing on Thursday, was presumed to have drowned, said Hennie Niehaus of the NSRI.

    “On arrival on scene (on Thursday), an extensive sea, shore, and air search commenced and despite this, there was no sign of the missing fisherman, in his 50s, from Thembalethu,” said Niehaus.

    The man had been fishing with his son when he was swept off the rocks and into the sea.

    “It is believed that it took the son almost an hour to reach the police station to raise the alarm. There is also no cellphone signal in the area where they were fishing,” Niehaus said. - Sapa


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    The NPA has been given the go-head to appeal against the "lenient" sentence handed down to former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown.

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    Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape has been given the go-ahead to appeal against the “lenient” sentence handed down to former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown.

    In May, Western Cape High Court Judge Anton Veldhuizen fined Brown R150 000 for two counts of fraud, with a further 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for four years, for each count.

    Spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the National Prosecuting Authority had received notification from the Supreme Court of Appeal that it had been granted leave to appeal against the sentence.

    “We will be ready to argue when the matter is on the roll.”

    Brown, 43, initially faced 192 counts, but eventually went on trial in August on just nine counts.

    In April, the State accepted his guilty plea to two counts of statutory fraud. These charges related to misrepresentations he made when Fidentia handled investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company, now known as the Living Hands Umbrella Trust.

    Brown admitted he had invested money contrary to his mandate and had known his financial statements were incorrect and could have caused prejudice to the investors.

    “These involve potential prejudice and not actual prejudice and do not involve amounts of more than R500 000,” Judge Veldhuizen said.

    This meant that the minimum sentence of 15 years in jail did not apply.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Thirty minutes is all it takes to fit a device like that used in the attempted hit on Radovan Krejcir, says a special effects expert.

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    Cape Town - Thirty minutes is all it takes to fit a device like that used in the attempted hit on Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, says a special effects expert.

    What takes more time is creating space for the device and then precisely positioning it, says Cape Town pyrotechnician Doctor David Mahlangu.

    A dozen gun barrels attached to the rear number plate of a VW Polo car were activated by remote control and fired a number of projectiles at Krejcir, who was not injured in the attack in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

    Mahlangu, who has worked in the special effects industry for more than 30 years, said unless there was space behind the number plate, it would not be easy to fit the gun barrels in that position.

    He said that in the case of a VW Polo, tools would have been needed to create a space for the barrels.

    “If you’ve got a space to work things out, you can attach it in half an hour,” he said.

    Binding wire or tape could be used to attach the gun barrels behind the number plate.

    Mahlangu said connecting the device to a remote control system and activating it with this or a cellphone were easy to do.

     

    He said a number of people in the special effects industry knew how to fit gun barrels behind a number plate.

    Cape Times


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  • 07/26/13--03:24: Bogus choir in US visa scam
  • Ten people accused of applying for US visas under the pretence of belonging to a “choir” have been arrested in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A group of 10 people accused of applying for US visas under the pretence of belonging to a “choir” heading to the US on a tour have been arrested following investigations by the US Consulate.

    Eight of them have pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud for misrepresenting to the consulate at Westlake that they were part of a choir planning a tour.

    The eight admitted they knew they were not members of a choir and wanted to get into the US to make new lives for themselves.

    Nine women and a man appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday following their arrest on Tuesday.

    They were Samantha Solomons, Vuyelwa Nkontsa, Yvonne Dlamini, Susan Mahapa, Samantha Davies, Khayelihle Sosibo, Nkuthula Dlamini, Nomthandazo Tyatya, Bianca Mazibuko and Rittan Shandu.

    Their defence counsel claimed they were victims of “a scam”.

    One is from Joburg, one from Pretoria, and five are from Kwazulu-Natal. Solomons is from Grassy Park and Davies is from Muizenberg.

    The two Capetonians have not yet pleaded. They were released on R500 bail each, despite the State asking for R5 000 bail “because of the seriousness of the offence.”

    They handed in their passports, with Davies handing over both a South African and a British passport.

    Their case was postponed to August 23 for further investigation.

    In a statement read out on behalf of the eight who pleaded guilty, each admitted: “I was merely going to use it (membership of the choir) as a means to gain entry to the United States to make a life for myself.”

    Explaining the case against the 10, senior prosecutor Thervabashnie Naidoo told the court that the group had dealt with a South African man based in the US who was involved in recruiting “choir members” to perform in shows abroad.

    The man would submit applications for the visas. In the past few years those who had acquired the visas to tour as choir members “don’t come back”, she said.

    The US Consulate became suspicious and began an investigation into the matter.

    It was discovered that the US-based South African man had used an agency to collect money from the applicants, and they were then contacted and called to go for interviews at the consulate.

    The 10 went for interviews at the consulate at Westlake on Tuesday. They were interviewed individually and were all arrested. They have spent the past three nights in custody in the Wynberg police cells.

    The defence attorney, for the eight, argued: “These clients were victims of a scam run by a bigger fish, they were unfortunately in this trap.”

    Naidoo said: “I disagree. They knew what the scam was.”

    The eight accused remain in custody.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Cape Town church community has been left reeling after three armed men tried to rob the church during a Sunday service.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town church community has been left reeling after three men carrying “at least two guns” tried to rob the church during a Sunday service.

     

    “We were in the middle of a service when we heard screaming outside,” said Pastor Terran Williams.

    “A woman came in and said there was a man with a gun outside.”

    The incident took place during a service at The Range in Tokai, where the church has been holding its services for the last three years. A congregation of about 400 people were present at the second service of the “informal family church”.

     

    Police confirmed on Wednesday that a case of armed robbery had been opened. No arrests have been made.

    According to Williams, who said he had spoken to members of the congregation who witnessed the crime, the men were dressed in formal suits and holding Bibles.

    They apparently demanded cash but no cash was kept on the premises.

    Williams said the attempted robbery was, however, thwarted by a brave security guard, Patrick Gibril, who confronted the men.

    He said while Gibril was not seriously hurt, one of the gunmen had struck him on the head.

    “Our community took him to hospital were he had tests for concussion. There are also a couple of people available to him for post-traumatic stress counselling.”

    Williams said the whole community hoped he would be back at work this Sunday so that they could “honour him publicly”.

     

    Williams, however, said he was impressed with how the majority of the congregation had handled the incident.

     

    He also said he would hold a debriefing in his service on Sunday.

    “We are beefing up security. We and other churches are going to have to be more savvy in the future.”

    Anyone with information can contact the investigating officer, Detective Constable Cheslin Brink on 021 702 8918 or 072 3551 912. - Cadet News Agency

    matthew.hirsch@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Protesters from Du Noon in Cape Town clashed violently with cops, forcing authorities to close a national highway.

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    Cape Town - Protesters from the Du Noon informal settlement clashed violently with police on Friday morning, forcing authorities to close the N7 and Potsdam Road.

    The protest was over housing, and protesters have called for the land occupied by Killarney racetrack to be made available for settlement.

    At rush hour, traffic was diverted away from where thousands of protesters had gathered in Potsdam Road near Killarney Gardens, causing an enormous traffic jam.

    A march on City of Cape Town offices at the Paddocks was approved by the city for 9am, and protesters gathered on the N7 and Potsdam from 4am. Police at the scene were pelted with stones, and they retaliated with rubber bullets and stun grenades.

    Some protesters forced Du Noon residents who were on their way to work to join the march.

    The Cape Argus witnessed an assault on one of these commuters, which left him with a bloody gash on his head.

    “We urged people at all the community meetings leading up to today to remain peaceful. Unfortunately, when there are crowds as big as this, violent people think that they can get away with these sorts of actions,” said South African National civics Organisation (Sanco) member Joel Ludziya.

    Sanco appeared to be the driving force behind the protest, with Bulelwa Mayende, Sanco’s branch secretary for Du Noon, speaking on behalf of residents.

    She said the protests would escalate and be brought to the city centre if the city did not respond to their demands within 21 days of today’s march.

    The demands related generally to the lack of housing, crime, poor service delivery and sanitation.

    Resident Noluthando Ludziya said shack dwellers wanted an answer on the future of the land being used as the Western Province Motor Club’s Killarney racetrack.

    They claimed the contract between the club and the city for the usage of this land ends next year and have demanded that the land become available for settlement and housing.

    “There are many other pieces of land in ward 104, and we want the city to make those available as well. Our conditions are really terrible. The city should build houses in Du Noon, and make other land available for people to settle on while they wait. That is what we are asking for,” Ludziya said.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said police remained at the scene and no arrests had been made.

    The roads were reopened shortly before 10am on Friday, but some businesses in Du Noon closed for the day.

    Simcelile Fatman said: “There’s a lot of solidarity within the community... Most people have given up on going to work today to show support. We are all affected by the same conditions.”

    The City’s JP Smith said the local clinic had been forced to close because of the protests: “This means that no one in the area has access to health care until the protest subsides.”

    Cape Argus


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    Tony Ehrenreich and Xolani Sotashe face disciplinary action for rubbishing the City of Cape Town's budget claims.

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    Cape Town - Tony Ehrenreich and Xolani Sotashe of the ANC face disciplinary action for rubbishing the City of Cape Town’s claims that it has spent almost 93 percent of its capital budget for the previous financial year.

    Speaker Dirk Smit said the two councillors had alleged in various media reports that mayor Patricia de Lille and the city “deliberately misled the public on the level of expenditure”, thus bringing the city into disrepute.

    He has written to both councillors demanding an explanation for their comments. “After having considered their replies, I will consider whether action should be taken against them.”

    But Sotashe said the ANC stood by its view that the city had presented figures that did not reflect its actual spending for the financial year.

    “They want to gag the opposition. We have a role to play and we are not going to be intimidated.”

    He said the party was prepared to debate the matter in the council, and risk embarrassment if its facts were incorrect.

    The ANC would also not shy away from a disciplinary hearing.

    “We will not be subjected to this kind of trickery. We stand by our facts and we are ready.”

    De Lille and deputy mayor Ian Neilson held a media briefing on Wednesday to highlight the city’s financial success in the 2012/2013 financial year.

    They said the city showed a record expenditure of R5.78 billion of its R6.22 billion capital budget, its largest budget to date.

    But Sotashe, who is ANC chair in the metro, disputed the figures, saying that it would be nothing short of a miracle if the city had managed to spend almost its entire budget, when two months ago it had spent just 60 percent of its capital budget.

    Sotashe said the ANC would study the figures and call a press conference in the next few weeks with its interpretation of how the budget was spent. “We don’t believe in the information which De Lille presented.”

    But Smit said on Thursday that he had reviewed the numbers released by the mayor and her executive, and was satisfied that they were an accurate and reliable representation of the city’s capital expenditure.

    “In this context I view the comments attributed to councillor Ehrenreich and councillor Sotashe in a serious light as [they] may have brought the city into disrepute and violated the Councillor’s Code of Conduct.”

    This is not the first time the ANC has questioned the DA-led city’s budget. In May, the ANC warned that the city would not be able to spend its budget by the end of the financial year and that underspending in several key directorates pointed to a “city in crisis”.

    Neilson said the city’s eighth unqualified audit for the previous year, and its highest credit rating available to local government from an international credit agency, attested to the metro’s financial competence.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Homeless people living alongside a quarry near Bo-Kaap say they are tired of being harassed by law enforcement officials.

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    Cape Town - Homeless people living alongside a quarry near Bo-Kaap say they are tired of being harassed by law enforcement officials following an incident on Thursday morning when some of their belongings were confiscated.

    Rafiek Collins, 24, said the officials arrived at around 10am on Thursday and asked them to move.

    He said three trucks, a police vehicle and law enforcement vehicles were involved.

    About 15 people were rebuilding their makeshift shacks when the Cape Argus visited the scene.

    “I wanted to pack my things first but they refused and said I should go. When I tried to pick up some of my things, they just grabbed me by the neck and dragged me outside.”

    Collins showed the Cape Argus marks on his neck he claims were from being manhandled.

    “Some of my stuff is missing. I don’t know where my mattress is.”

    Noxolo Kula, 23, said she had been doing her washing when she was told to move.

    She said she was chased out of her makeshift shack and lost a bag that contained her ID document and all her money in the process.

    Kula said she was tired of being harassed.

    “No one is here because they want to be here; we have nowhere else to go. Where will I get the R140 for another ID? If they come to harass us again we will build our houses in the street (High Level Road) so they can arrest us for the right thing.”

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the police did not deal with the eviction of homeless people and if they were there it would have been “to uphold law and order”.

    JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said they were not involved.

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    With its limited resources, the state will never be able to give everyone a house, says the Department of Human Settlements.

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    Cape Argus - With its limited resources, the state will never be able to give everyone a house, says the Department of Human Settlements.

    “We want to do things beyond our means. The state has an obligation to assist the most vulnerable who have fallen through the cracks due to apartheid, but it is absurd to give children as young as 18 a house because they have babies.

    “What we need to do is improve living conditions,” said Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.

    He was commenting recently after an incident in which 300 people broke into 111 housing units in Eerste River. Phase 1 of the provincial Our Pride housing project in Eerste River consists of 600 fully subsidised houses, and 221 gap-market houses.

    Nine people were arrested on charges of public violence following the illegal occupation.

    “These invasions take different forms. Some are politically motivated while others are desperately poor people, and then there are those who feel entitled,” Madikizela said.

    “It’s difficult to keep track of the housing backlog because the reality points to a different situation.

    “People who often squat on land are not on waiting lists. There are a number of things we are doing wrong.

    “Some people who have received houses sell them and move back to shacks.”

    Tandeka Gqada, mayoral committee member for human settlements, said there were about 363 000 registered applicants on the city’s housing database.

    “According to the latest census, the City of Cape Town, is the most populous area in the province.

    “It has one of the highest rates of in-migration and growth in South Africa, at 30 percent growth for the past 10 years.

    “Coupled with this rapid growth rate is the need to overcome the legacy of apartheid-era planning which resulted in inadequate infrastructure and service provision in many areas around the city.”

    She added that in the past financial year 2012/13, the city has spent an estimated R805.37 million on housing-related programmes, including housing upgrades.

    In the past two years violent clashes have erupted between police and residents in Joe Slovo, Hangberg and Tafelsig over housing.

    * A week ago a group of informal settlement residents in Hangberg threatened “another bloodbath” if the city continued its plans to move them to make way for a block of 72 apartments.

    * Earlier this month the Western Cape High Court served a final eviction order on Khoisan activists who had illegally moved into a block of flats meant for District Six land claimants.

    * In June the court ordered the three levels of government responsible to find a solution to accommodating 6 000 shack dwellers facing eviction on pieces of land, owned by Lyton Props Twelve and Robert Ross Demolishers, on Vanguard Drive in Mitchells Plain.

    * In May a Goodwood company, NTWA Dumela Investments, approached the Western Cape High Court to try to curb land invasions at the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Cape Town schoolboy was killed after being hit by a passenger train while crossing the tracks.

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    Cape Town - A schoolboy was killed on Friday morning when he was hit by a passenger train in Cape Town.

    The 19-year-old pupil was killed on the railway line between Stikland and Brackenfell stations, Metrorail Western Cape regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said.

    ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson said that according to witnesses, the teenager, dressed in school uniform, was crossing the tracks.

    Paramedics found his body next to the tracks.

    He was declared dead at the scene, Jackson said.

    In an unrelated incident, a fire started on a train at Thornton Station on Friday morning.

    Swartz said it was thought to have been caused by an electrical fault in the middle motor coach.

    No injuries were reported and other trains were rerouted on to the second line.

    Swartz said response teams were attending to both incidents.

    Delays had been expected on the central, northern and Cape Flats lines.

    Both incidents were being investigated, he said.

    Swartz appealed to commuters to adhere to staff instructions while they were being dealt with.

    Cape Argus


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    A Zambian businessman faces 35 counts of fraud amounting to R1.7 million in the Bellville Specialised Crimes Court.

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    Cape Town - A Zambian businessman accused of fraud was released on R50 000 bail on Friday when he appeared, soon after his arrest, in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Cape Town.

    Mukelabai Kerry Sishumba appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg. Prosecutor Denver Combrink told the court that he and defence attorney Shaheid Schrueder agreed to the bail amount.

    Sishumba, who faces 35 counts of fraud involving R1 704 891 and one violation of the Refugees Act, was not asked to plead and was warned to appear in court again on September 4.

    According to the charge sheet, Sishumba was the sole director of Mosi-Oa-Tunya Engineering Group (MEG). Its main business was described as “electricity, gas, steam, and hot water supply”.

    However, according to the charge sheet MEG was not registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

    The charge sheet lists seven requirements and six principles to which MEG had to adhere to qualify as a service provider to the Western Cape provincial government. According to the charge sheet the allocation of projects to service providers was based on their status as previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI), and on the department's preferential procurement implementation plan (PPIP).

    MEG was to render electrical engineering services to the transport and public works departments.

    Sishumba allegedly falsely indicated that he had the necessary electrical engineering qualifications and that he had a number of qualified electrical engineers in his employ.

    He allegedly falsely indicated that he was registered and in good standing with the various statutory bodies, as contemplated in the departmental prescripts.

    The departments entrusted various projects to MEG on the basis that Sishumba, the engineers in his employ, and the company itself, had adhered to the PDI and PPIP requirements, and that Sishumba and his engineers were duly qualified.

    There were apparently numerous complaints about Sishumba's poor workmanship, which triggered an internal investigation due to the “fruitless and wasteful” expenses the two departments incurred.

    The investigation revealed that Sishumba had allegedly not adhered to the department's policies and principles.

    Sishumba's alleged fraudulent pretence that he and his staff were qualified electrical engineers compromised the fairness and transparency of the procurement process. - Sapa


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    Protesters blocked a road and stoned passing vehicles in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - Protesters blocked a road and stoned passing vehicles in Cape Town on Friday morning, Western Cape police said.

    Captain Frederick van Wyk said the group threw rubble onto the N7 and Potsdam Road intersection at Du Noon from 5am, in protest over service delivery.

    “Later, splinter groups of protesters prevented people from going to work. Some of these people were assaulted and the SA Police Service used stun grenade 1/8s 3/8 to disperse the protesters,” he said.

    The group then started damaging road signs and set electrical poles alight.

    They also stoned police. One officer was injured and some police vehicles were damaged.

    Police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

    No other casualties were reported.

    Van Wyk said a public violence case was opened but no arrests had been made. - Sapa


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    A former financial accountant who used four different methods to embezzle Pep Clothing is to be sentenced next week on 359 counts of fraud involving R894 689.

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    Cape Town - A former financial accountant who used four different methods to embezzle Pep Clothing, a division of Pepkor Retail Ltd, is to be sentenced next week on 359 counts of fraud involving R894 689.

    Garth le Roux, 39, a married father of two, was to have been sentenced on Friday, after pleading guilty, but a correctional supervision report required by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court had not yet been completed.

    Prosecutor Derek Vogel told magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg that the correctional supervision officer had interviewed Le Roux, but that his report would only be ready for the court to consider on July 30.

    Correctional supervision is a sentencing option involving house arrest without imprisonment, or a short period of imprisonment after which the prisoner is released into house arrest.

    As the financial accountant, Le Roux had been responsible for the safeguarding of Pepkor Clothing's daily float of R19,000 petty cash.

    As the person solely responsible for the safekeeping of the petty cash, Le Roux was able to manipulate the system for self-gain.

    One method used was to falsify wage claims paid for from petty cash.

    In another method, he manipulated subsistence claims lodged by consultants engaged from time to time, by inflating the amount claimed and keeping the excess for himself.

    The third and fourth methods involved the manipulation of petty cash claims lodged without supporting documents to validate the claims.

    At earlier proceedings, financial manager Arthur Meyer described Le Roux as a competent accountant, and told the court how impressed he and other executives had been with the strict manner in which Le Roux had dealt with financial matters.

    Meyer said he had never suspected any dishonesty from Le Roux, but that the embezzlement only came to light after the payroll manageress had mentioned to him that she was concerned about Le Roux.

    He said the company wanted Le Roux jailed. - Sapa


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    Dunoon residents have given the city 21 days to let them occupy the Killarney racetrack, or to find them alternative land.

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    Cape Town - Dunoon residents have their sights set on the Killarney racetrack land, and have given the city 21 days to give them permission to move on to it, or to find them alternative land.

    This latest threat was issued on Friday morning after violent clashes between protesters from the Dunoon informal settlement and police had forced authorities to close the N7 and Potsdam roads.

     Thousands of Dunoon residents took to the streets, causing traffic chaos that saw hundreds of Capetonians arrive hours late for work.

     Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said police used rubber bullets and stun grenades after protesters had pelted officers with stones.

    “There have been no arrests, but a public violence case has been opened,” he confirmed last night.

     

    The march, led by the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), was to highlight issues of housing, sanitation, and safety and security, among other concerns, said the Sanco secretary in Ward 104, Bulelwa Mayende.

    Mayende explained that residents believed that the Western Province Motor Club lease at the racetrack was due to expire, and they wanted to be accommodated on the land.

    “The Western Province Motor Club should not have its lease renewed while we live in less than desirable conditions. We want the municipality to ensure that they give us land for housing,” she said.

    The community had been waiting a decade for decent housing, and they were angry, Mayende said.

    “There is an overwhelming number of people in this area, and there has been no direction regarding a housing solution. There has not even been talk of identifying land, and yet there is a track where cars and people who do not live in this community make a noise for those of us who live here.”

     

    Mayende added that the community had also identified Wolwerivier land, near Dunoon, as another area where housing could be provided.

    Lenox Nogqala, 48, who has been living in a shack in Dunoon since 2002, said he was sick of waiting. “People are getting houses in other places but we have been neglected. I have been forced to keep my two children back home in the Eastern Cape because my home is not suitable for us all.”

     

    Ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said the area was a “time bomb”, adding:

    “The community has been discussing these issues - housing, sanitation, crime, safety and security, sports and recreation facilities – for a long time, but the pending eviction order for residents of the Siyahlala informal settlement and a cancelled meeting by the mayor triggered the protest.”

    The city would have to explain to the community why they could not occupy the Killarney racetrack land.

    “As councillors we keep being asked that question, but we do not have the answers,” Makeleni said.

    Western Province Motor Club spokesman Adrian Pheiffer said, however, that their lease was not set to expire any time soon.

    “We have another 12 years to go. I have no idea where people could have gotten that idea from. It has never been discussed, and the council is well aware of how much time we have,” he said, adding that the club was negotiating a renewal of its lease.

    “The land is not about to be available any time soon, definitely not. We have been at Killarney since 1949. When we moved in there it was dirt and bush, we built it up since then. There was nobody in Table View, Table View hardly existed then. That’s why we think we are entitled to remain there,” Pheiffer said.

    Tandeka Gqada, the city’s mayco member for Human Settlements, said her office was not aware of the imminent expiry of the lease.

    The city was, however, considering various options concerning the acquisition of pockets of land around Dunoon.

    “Although there are no new housing projects at Dunoon, mainly because of scarcity of land, the city’s human settlements directorate has several ‘upgrading of informal settlements programme’ projects that are listed. Doornbach, which is in Dunoon, is mentioned in the Integrated Development Plan document,” Gqada said, adding that Killarney and Wolwerivier were not being considered for housing.

     sibongakonke.mama@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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