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    A man is claiming R300 000 damages from the minister of police after a policeman allegedly threw bleach into his eyes.

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    Pretoria - A man from Paarl in the Western Cape is claiming R300 000 damages from the minister of police after a policeman allegedly threw Jik liquid bleach into his eyes.

    Mevin Lindon Jantjies is claiming this amount in the Pretoria High Court.

    He said in court papers that on December 29, 2009, at Hopefield in the Western Cape, an officer identified only as Cleophas unlawfully assaulted him by throwing Jik into his eyes, hitting him with a rifle and punching him with his fists.

    At the time, Cleophas acted within the scope of his employment as a police officer, he said.

    Jantjies said he had to have medical treatment and he was unable to work for 120 days. He was humiliated by the attack, he said.

    He did not give any details at this stage as to where and in what circumstances the alleged attack took place.

    The police, in defending the claim, denied the attack and said Jantjies had to prove the incident.

    On Wednesday the court consolidated Jantjies’s damages claim with that of his friend Richardo Winslo Witbooi, who is claiming damages arising from the same incident.

    Pretoria News


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    Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is fine - but the same can’t be said of his Twitter account.

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    Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife were unhurt in a burglary that took place at their home home in Cape Town while they slept early on Wednesday morning.

    Police said on Thursday that details were still sketchy but that the burglar or burglars had only made off with small items.

    Tutu’s spokesman Roger Friedman confirmed that there was a burglary at Tutu’s home but referred all questions to the police.

    “We’re not really going to say much. The Archbishop is fine and everyone is okay,” Friedman said.

    “I don’t really think there is much more to say at this time,” he said, responding to questions about how Tutu felt about being burgled at his home in Milnerton, Cape Town.

    At 7.42am on Thursday, Tutu’s new Twitter account was used to thank everyone for their concern.

    “Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes about the #burglary at our home. We are all okay. Love Arch. #Tutu,” said @TutuLegacy.

    Tweeps were able to follow the Nobel Peace Prize winner and his organisation, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation, on the social media site from on Thursday.

    This was just the fourth tweet sent from Tutu’s account, with the first going out less than two hours before the burglary tweet.

    However, late Thursday morning Tutu’s Twitter account was suspended reportedly due to “aggressive following”.

    The first person to be retweeted by Tutu’s Twitter account, which had just over 100 followers early on Thursday, said he was upset at the news.

    “He has been the moral compass for us and a great light for our country, it was personally hurtful that he was burgled,” said Rod Suskin, a Cape Town astrologer.

    He said he took the retweet as a sign that Tutu and his office “accepted the wishes” of comfort about the robbery and the welcome to Twitter. “Welcome! I am grateful the twitter conversation will be elevated with your presence. Thank you for being you, we love you Tata!” read Suskin’s message that was retweeted soon after the confirmation of the burglary.

    Western Cape police spokesman André Traut said they were investigating the burglary. “Kindly be advised that this office can confirm that the circumstances surrounding a housebreaking which was perpetrated at a residence in Lupin (Crescent) in Milnerton early yesterday morning are being investigated,” said an official statement issued by Traut.

    “The suspect or suspects fled with small household items and are yet to be arrested,” he said.

    Eyewitness News reported on Thursday morning that keys and remotes were among some of the items stolen.

    This is not the first time the Tutus have fallen victim to crime.

    In April, Angela Machinga, a Zimbabwean domestic worker, was found murdered at Mpho Tutu’s home in Milnerton.

    In June 2007, the Archbishop’s house in Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto was burgled and his Nobel Peace Prize medal worth an estimated R1 million was stolen.

    Five suspects were arrested soon after, one of whom was found with the Nobel medal in his pocket.

    brendan.roane@inl.co.za

    The Star


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    Doing away with the city’s public engagement policy would make it easier for residents to participate in local government and do away with red tape, said mayor Patricia de Lille.

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    Cape Town - Doing away with the city’s public engagement policy would make it easier for residents to participate in local government and do away with red tape, said mayor Patricia de Lille.

    It would not, she emphasised, do away with meaningful public participation on critical issues: “We are compelled by the law to allow for public participation.”

    The mayoral committee yesterday agreed to repeal the 2009 public engagement policy that was “onerous” and caused delays in approval processes. It will now recommend that the council adopt the public participation guidelines as outlined in local government legislation instead.

    Gerard Ras, executive director of compliance and auxiliary services, said in his report: “It is common cause that the existing public participation processes followed by the council are time-consuming and the cause of what is being perceived as red tape by the public and councils.”

    The city had a legal mandate to call for public comment on various matters, including the budget and its tariff policies. The guidelines to be considered by the council are informed by three criteria highlighted by the Constitutional Court.

    These are that reasonable notice should be given of all matters requiring public comment; that citizens should be given a reasonable opportunity to respond; and that the willingness of the council to consider public comments would not mean that these inputs would have any sway.

    He referred to a court case which found that there was no authority for the proposition that the views of the public should be binding if they were in conflict with government policy.

    Civic organisations expressed concern that the new guidelines would stifle public participation.

    “To repeal the (2009) policy would be a hugely retrograde step for an administration that claims to be democratic and loyal to the constitutional order of South Africa,” said Len Swimmer, chairman of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance.

    It was not enough to say that time and costs would be saved. “It is appalling that such motivations, purely based on officialdom’s self-interest for an easy life, can be advanced for removing one of the basic pillars of a truly democratic government – the wholehearted involvement of the citizenry in the affairs of the state.”

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 08/08/13--05:28: Prisoners’ truck in crash
  • A South African Police Services court truck carrying prisoners to courts collided with a minibus taxi in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A South African Police Service truck carrying prisoners to courts collided with a minibus taxi and knocked down a traffic-light pole at the intersection of Klipfontein Road and Vanguard Drive this morning.

    The collision, which took place shortly before 8am, caused a traffic snarl-up at the busy intersection.

    None of the occupants of the police truck or the taxi were injured, said Cape Town traffic spokesman Richard Coleman.

    By about 8.30am, another court truck had arrived at the scene and the prisoners were being transferred to it to continue their journey, Coleman said.

    The collision was being investigated, said police liaison officer Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut.

    Cape Argus


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  • 08/08/13--05:51: Land sought for Cape housing
  • The City of Cape Town is on a mission to buy up parcels of “well-located” land across the city for housing and clinics.

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    Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has launched a shopping blitz to buy up parcels of “well-located” land across the city for housing, clinics and a range of facilities.

    It has called on residents or land-owning organisations to approach it for possible purchase.

    The city is after tracts of land larger than 15 hectares. (A hectare is roughly the size of a rugby field.)

    Asked how much land was being sought, councillor Ernest Sonnenberg, acting mayoral committee member for human settlements, said: “This depends on the type of land, the requirements of the community and the type of development.

    “The city not only builds houses but also high density rental units, social housing and others.”

    And it will not only be land for houses, Sonnenberg said.

    “The city is not looking to build dormant towns. The land should be well located. It is preferable for it to be located near to economic and transport nodes with education facilities and clinics in the area.”

    These facilities could be newly-built too - all under the banner of the “Private Sector Engagement and Co-operation Project”.

    “The land is wanted for integrated human settlements developments. This can and will include business sites, places of worship, clinics sites, schools sites, community facilities sites, to name some.

    “These explorations are part of the City of Cape Town and the provincial government of the Western Cape’s joint initiative to explore innovative approaches to the common challenges posed by housing needs in the city, across all ranges of the market.”

    He said the city wanted to eradicate the housing backlog as quickly as possible.

    In an information brochure presented by the city on housing, it estimates the housing backlog at 350 000 households.

    Once land is available, the pace of development would depend on the type of development.

    “It would also be affected by what planning and environmental approvals might have to be sought,” Sonnenberg said.

    The city said in a statement it wanted to establish ways of accelerating the delivery of the various projects - and would not only buy land, but facilitate deals with private land-owners and communities.

    The City of Cape Town “may, where included in the project, engage with partners regarding the provision of subsidy housing, funds for infrastructure and reticulation services, and top structures,” the city said in its statement. And land owners interested in the development opportunities or co-operative agreements, were urged to e-mail maydene.cleophas@capetown.gov.za

    Cape Argus


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    Capetonians can expect the weather to clear for most of the long weekend, but some light rain is predicted for Sunday

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    Cape Town - Capetonians can expect the weather to clear for most of the long weekend, but some light rain is predicted for Sunday.

    However, snow is predicted for some high-lying areas in the Western Cape.

    WeatherSA has not predicted any rain for Friday or Saturday but light showers return on Sunday and will persist into early next week.

    Temperatures are predicted to peak around the mid-teens for most of the weekend, making for a probability of snow in high-lying towns such as Ceres and on the hills around Franschhoek.

    CityLifer blog has advised weekend revellers to get out of the city and to enjoy the likely snowfall as the winter nears its end.

    l Residents in the wetlands end of Masiphumelele were yesterday battling flooding after this week’s heavy rains.

    Councillor Mzuvukile Nikelo said the area was awash with overflowing drainwater and rain.

    “The land there is not meant to be occupied by people because it’s a wetland, and when it rains the situation becomes worse to a point that people can’t leave their shacks.”

    Siyabonga Zazine, who has lived in the wetlands for eight years and whose shack leaked, said: “This rain is bringing us problems because it floods our homes.”

    He was considering moving back to Eastern Cape because his living conditions were unhealthy, especially in winter.

    Another resident, Nosipho Siminini, worried when rain was forecast. Furniture was damaged by the dampness and children got sick.

    Cape Argus


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    A 156m bulk carrier en route to East Africa has run aground at Buffels Bay, near Knysna, after developing engine trouble.

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    Cape Town - A 156m bulk carrier transporting rice to East Africa has run aground at Buffels Bay, near Knysna, after developing engine trouble early on Thursday.

    On Thursday morning, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) volunteers battled through heavy surf to help the ship’s 19 crew members to abandon ship.

    The contract salvage tug Smit Amandla had left Cape Town and was expected to arrive at the scene this evening, Smit salvage director David Main said on Thursday.

    The nationality of the bulk carrier Kiani Satu is not yet known.

    The ship was taken in tow by the ocean salvage tug Fairmont Glazier but, during the night, the tug lost the tow. The ship tried to anchor but the anchor did not hold in a strong onshore wind and 5m swells. It touched bottom at about 7am after drifting towards the shore during the early hours.

    Volunteers were helping the ship’s crew off the vessel, said NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon.

    The crew, believed to be Filipinos and Ukranians, were all safely ashore by 9.34am, Lambinon said.

    Environmental risks are being assessed by the SA Maritime Safety Authority.

    Cape Argus


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    An elderly man facing charges for sexual offences involving young girls is a danger to poor children, the court heard.

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    Cape Town - An elderly man facing multiple counts of sexual offences involving young girls is a danger to any child living in poverty, the Goodwood District Court in Cape Town heard on Thursday.

    The 77-year-old faces 22 charges involving sexual offences. It was likely more charges would be added, said prosecutor Mario September.

    The man, who brought a bail application on Thursday, cannot be named until he has pleaded.

    September said that while he walked free, he was a risk to children.

    When September said all the victims were from poor backgrounds, the man protested: “I am not guilty, and did not take advantage of anyone”.

    The prosecutor described how he allegedly watched pornographic videos with the children in his Richwood home.

    “You can go on exaggerating as much as you want to, but I will plead not guilty,” the man said.

    He said he had co-operated with the police since his arrest on July 15.

    Cartons of pornographic magazines and metre-high transparent plastic bags containing pornographic videos were visible in the well of the courtroom.

    September read from a list of the titles of the videos, some of which were about teenagers, and some about bestiality. The man told the court he had no pending criminal cases against him and that he had not been arrested before.

    “I’m not the kind of person who normally gets into trouble.”

    He said he was self-employed, and ran a business organising financial exhibitions.

    He told the court he was diagnosed with HIV four years ago. He was divorced and had since had the “odd girlfriend” and several, casual, one-night stands.

    He had been unable to have sex since having an operation on his prostate gland.

    The bail application continues next Friday.

    Sapa


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    A soldier on guard duty was found dead at his post at a military base in Oudtshoorn, reportedly from hypothermia.

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    Oudtshoorn - A soldier was found dead at a military base in Oudtshoorn on Thursday, the SA National Defence Force said.

    “He was found dead this morning, but we don't know when he died,” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.

    The police were called and were busy investigating the cause of death.

    Mabanga said he could not comment further at this stage.

    The SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said in a statement that it was shocked at the death, which it said raised serious questions.

    “According to our investigations, the soldier was a recruit under training and was assigned to do guard duty at the outside field base during (Wednesday) night,” national secretary Pikkie Greeff said.

    According to Sandu, no one saw the soldier after 8pm on Wednesday until his body was discovered at his guard post around 7am on Thursday.

    “The cause of death, by all indications, is hypothermia,” Greef claimed.

    Sandu said the death raised questions, including whether the soldier was properly dressed for cold weather, and whether he had a two-way radio for communication.

    “The entire tragedy could have been avoided had any of the standard working procedure around guards been observed,” Greef claimed.

    Sapa


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  • 08/09/13--02:54: Man arrested over bomb joke
  • What is the one thing passengers should never do when checking in their luggage at an airport?

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    Cape Town - What is the one thing passengers should never do when checking in their luggage at an airport? Tell check-in staff they have a bomb in their bag when they don’t.

    A Krugersdorp man learned this the hard way at the Cape Town International Airport on Thursday.

    The 52-year-old was arrested after joking that he had a bomb in his bag, and he could spend 10 years in jail.

    Airport spokeswoman Nonkanyiso Nyilika said the man had been going through the check-in counter when officials asked if he had any items to declare.

    He told them he had an explosive device in his bag.

    Police spokesman Andrè Traut said the man was to be charged for contravening the Civil Aviation Act, an offence that carries a 10-year jail term.

    He will appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Monday. - Cape Times


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  • 08/09/13--06:13: Ship aground in foul weather
  • In a dramatic dawn rescue, crew members were airlifted off a huge cargo ship that ran aground at Buffels Bay near Knysna.

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    Western Cape - In a dramatic dawn rescue, crew members were airlifted off a huge cargo ship that ran aground at Buffels Bay near Knysna early on Thursday.

    NSRI rescue crews from Wilderness and Knysna were called out at 3am to assist the Kiani Satu, manned by 19 crew members and carrying a cargo of rice, after it had developed mechanical problems in heavy seas.

    Rescue crews, who had been unable to launch their boats because of the weather, watched helplessly in the early dawn as the ship dragged its anchor and ran aground about 50m from the beach in 5m swells.

    After a decision was made by the ship’s captain, believed to be a Frenchman, to abandon ship, the NSRI called in a rescue helicopter from George.

    Knysna NSRI station commander Graeme Harding said the weather conditions were appalling when four boats from Wilderness and Knysna were dispatched to the scene.

    “There were five or six metre seas and the wind was gusting about 40 knots. We were unable to launch our rescue boats and of course it was still dark, so we had to wait until sunrise,” he said.

    “Then the ship ran aground some time between 4am and 6am, and we realised that we would have to airlift the crew.”

    Harding said even when the helicopter arrived from George, conditions were still too dire to attempt to place an NSRI rescue swimmer on board.

    “The ship was still bow out, so there was a very unstable platform for our guy to land on. It actually worked in our favour when the vessel came to rest on a ridge, because it provided the platform we needed.

    “The ship is massive.”

    The NSRI’s rescue swimmer was then able to lift crew members off one at a time after a winch was lowered on to the deck. The helicopter made several return trips before all crew members were safely on the beach.

    Indwe Aviation flight engineer Robert Woodrup, who was on board the Sikorski 76 rescue helicopter, described the conditions as “scary”.

    “The ship was very unstable, and the stern was rolling, making the operation very awkward. The weather was really bad. The waves were big. It had run aground about 50m from the shore, but it was still difficult,” he said.

    “We were obviously very focused on getting them off the boat, so I didn’t talk to the crew much, but I could tell there were a couple who were very relieved to finally be off the vessel. It must have been a long night for them.”

    The ship was going to Gabon when disaster struck.

    The crew, who are mostly Ukrainian and Filippino, were taken to Mossel Bay for visa control processing. They were then put up in a Mossel Bay hotel and last night some were joking and talking in the bar.

    Afrishore Shipping, who said they were responsible for the logistics on behalf of the owners of the vessel, forbade the media to interview the crew.

    The Smit Amandla salvage vessel was last night on its way to assess the damage to the Kiani Satu, believed to be carrying about 330 tons of fuel.

    The salvage operations will be assisted by another company, Subtech.

    “We commend the quick response to the incident by the rescue agencies,” Tourism MEC Alan Winde said in a statement to Sapa.

    “It is in the middle of a nature reserve and one of the Garden Route’s popular tourism sites.

    “While there no current threat to the environment, we hope the ship is towed off soon before this turns into another Seli 1.”

    The Turkish bulk carrier Seli 1 ran aground off Bloubergstrand in September 2009. - Cape Times


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    UCT will fly its flag at half-mast on Women’s Day and will have its website blacked out to protest against violence against women and children.

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    Western Cape -

    UCT will fly its flag at half-mast on Women’s Day on Friday and will have its website blacked out to protest against violence against women and children.

    A number of other events are planned in the province to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the women’s march to the Union Buildings to protest against pass laws.

    The 1956 march was led by anti-apartheid activists Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie Williams.

    On Thursday the university website’s homepage had a black background with the message: “We say enough, stop violence and crime.”

    Vice-chancellor Max Price said recent cases of violence, including those of the seven-year-old boy and four-month-old girl who were sexually assaulted in Ceres, had shown that more needed to be done.

    He said the university rarely made gestures, but it believed violent crime against women and children “threatens our existence as a healthy, progressive nation”.

    “By lowering the flag, UCT is calling on our own students to dismantle the so-called culture of violence and sexual entitlement and patriarchy that allows men to feel they have rights over women’s bodies. Speak out when you hear your friends objectifying members of the opposite sex. Talk seriously and honestly with your partner about what you each expect, about what is negotiable and what is not,” Price said.

    He said by lowering the flag the university had signalled that the government was “failing us”. People expected the state to protect them through efficient and well-resourced policing and the whole criminal justice system, he said.

    The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, which includes the police, Department of Justice, the National Prosecuting Authority and Department of Social Development, has a month-long programme during which they will teach residents about the justice system as part of Women’s Month celebrations.

    Provincial police Commissioner Arno Lamoer will be at an imbizo in the Salvation Church Hall in Makaza where he will speak to residents about the role of the criminal justice system.

    On Sunday, Lamoer and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega will deliver keynote speeches at a Women’s Day event at the Methodist Church, Langa Society.

    The City of Cape Town will host a spa day at a Stellenbosch resort for children and widows of police officers killed on duty.

    In Hout Bay, the Civic Association is planning a protest today, decrying the lack of access to land and decent housing. Association secretary Roscoe Jacobs said they supported women in protesting against Temporary Relocation Areas under construction in Hangberg. They had invited mayor Patricia de Lille to accept their memorandum. - Cape Times

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za


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    Tasers may soon be an additional weapon for metro police.

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    Tasers may soon be an additional weapon for metro police. On Thursday the city’s safety and security portfolio committee discussed the use of a Taser device after stun guns were removed from the belts of metro police several years ago.

    In a report by metro police chief Wayne le Roux, he said stun guns were originally part of the equipment issued to metro police when the force was established in 2001.

    Le Roux said the challenge with stun guns was that they could only be used in close proximity and that this allowed encroachment into the officer’s safety zone, putting them in more danger.

    “The piece of equipment also proved challenging due to the fact that there was no control over (its) use... and it was decided to remove it,” the report said.

    The city is now looking at introducing Taser devices as an alternative because it has “recently become the norm for members of the public to taunt officers during an arrest”. Le Roux said this led to unnecessary force that may lead to unintentional injuries to both parties.

    He said there were risk factors when using a firearm where a metro police officer could be disarmed or shot.

    The matter of deadly force had come under the spotlight during a recent safety and security portfolio committee meeting where it was decided that alternative methods be researched.

    Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said the introduction of the Taser device was to arm metro police officers with the “least violent or less than lethal option”.

    Smith said he also wanted to reintroduce pepper spray as one of the means used by metro officers when trying to apprehend suspects.

    Currently officers are armed only with guns.

    “All of these will help the officer with more options and avoid using lethal force. The reason we chose the Taser is because it has a cartridge and allows you to count how many times it has been used, and an officer must account for every instance he used it so there is no indiscriminate use of it,” Smith said.

    “With the stun gun there was no record of how many times it had been used, so they could have been indiscriminately used.”

    Le Roux said Tasers were a good device for self-defence and could be used from 5m away with laser accuracy and the most powerful takedown power available.

    It will cost the city R3 500 for each device with the necessary accessories.

    Smith said the directorate was still finalising a budget for Tasers and would only provide them to officers who worked in dangerous areas. - Cape Times

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za


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  • 08/10/13--00:41: Samsa to inspect cargo ship
  • A joint operations committee is meeting to decide the next cause of action after a cargo ship ran aground off the Knysna coast , says Samsa.

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    Johannesburg -

    A joint operations committee is meeting to decide the next cause of action after a cargo ship ran aground off the Knysna coast near a nature reserve, the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) said on Friday.

    “There is currently no sign of pollution around the carrier,” spokesman Tebogo Ramatjie said in a statement.

    “At the moment the carrier is firmly aground in seven meters of water, it is carrying 250 tons of heavy fuel oil and 80 tons of gas oil.”

    Ramatjie said Samsa would do an inspection on Friday afternoon.

    The Western Cape tourism department said 19 of the ship's crew were rescued on Thursday when the cargo ship ran aground.

    The ship, carrying rice, lost power and dropped anchor in the morning, MEC Alan Winde said. - Sapa


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    At least 230 000 fake roadworthy certificates are estimated to have been issued last year.

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    Cape Town - At least 230 000 fake roadworthy certificates are estimated to have been issued last year, but only 162 vehicles have been impounded by a task team set up to crack down on roadworthy certificate fraud.

    Meanwhile, 12 testing stations identified as having issued fake certificates continue to operate as the transport department awaits the outcome of criminal cases against 33 examiners arrested in connection with the fraud.

    There has been just one conviction so far, in the Western Cape, where an examiner was sentenced to five years’ correctional supervision.

    Over the past year, 10 089 vehicles were identified as having fraudulent roadworthy certificates, according to a written reply from Transport Minister Dipuo Peters to a question from DA MP Ian Ollis.

    But all traffic authorities can do is to load their details on to the eNatis system and the automatic number plate recognition system, and wait for them to be snared in a roadblock or speed trap.

    Peters said 2.3 million vehicles were tested at 574 stations over the past financial year, and that “at least” 10 percent of these were estimated to have obtained their roadworthy certificates fraudulently.

    Ollis said the task team had documented cases of minibus taxis and cars with fake roadworthy certificates that had been involved in serious accidents – illustrating the dangers associated with the fraud.

    The number of such certificates believed to have been issued in one year, pointed to the presence of a “whole industry” of fraud.

    The problem would only get worse if the testing stations involved were not shut down.

    Even then, there had been cases of stations obtaining court orders allowing them to reopen after they were closed by authorities.

    Ollis said the first problem was that testing stations were not capturing the correct details of vehicle owners, with at least 50 percent of details of registered owners being incorrect.

    This made it impossible to track them down.

    The other problem was that the department was doing nothing to hunt for such vehicles.

    Ollis said Peters should set up a task team to track down owners of vehicles with fake certificates, and ensure details on the eNatis system were captured correctly. - Weekend Argus


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    Oil is leaking from a cargo ship, which ran aground off the Knysna coast near a nature reserve earlier this week.

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    Cape Town - Oil is leaking from a cargo ship, which ran aground off the Knysna coast near a nature reserve earlier this week, the SABC reported on Saturday.

    SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) spokesperson Nigel Campbell told the public broadcaster the authority was concerned about the leaks.

    “One of them is a small leak in the engine room. It is a water pipe that we made fast on Saturday morning.

    “We believe that there is a crack in the hull in the way of number two double bottom starboard tank which is holding the fuel,” said Campbell.

    He said the oil leaked into the sea but Samsa was working on containing the situation.

    “We have been proactive in closing the river mouth at the Goukamma and Swartvlei (and) that is on-going now. They are using bulldozers and sand.

    “Fortunately, there is a strong outflow from the river that is assisting us,” he said.

    Samsa was preparing to tow the vessel to Cape Town.

    The ship, carrying tons of rice, heavy fuel and gas oil, ran aground on Thursday.

    Campbell said on Saturday that an aircraft would be deployed over the site to monitor the pollution.

    “We are deploying teams to the beach to pick up any oil that would land on the beach,” he told the SABC. - Sapa


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    The son of a prominent actor, himself a budding actor, has died in an 18m fall from a cliff at a whale-watching spot.

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    Cape Town - The 14-year-old son of a prominent South African television actor, himself a budding actor with a role in the former hit show Egoli, has died in an 18m fall from a

    cliff at a popular Hermanus whale-watching spot.

    The child, Kieran Schultz, was the son of former 7de Laan actor Waldemar Schultz, also a popular theatre actor, voice artist and director who grew up in Milnerton. The family is from Somerset West.

    Kieran was a Grade 8 pupil at Parel Vallei High School in Somerset West.

    People kayaking at the scene, still shocked after the horror fall, reported on Saturday night that they had thought a bag had fallen over the cliff.

    “But it was actually a child falling through the air,” Walker Bay Adventures owner Herman de Vries told Weekend Argus.

    On Saturday night EMS sources confirmed they had treated Kieran at the scene. But they would not divulge any further details.

    Sources said, however, that EMS staff had worked to try and save the teen for about 45 minutes after he fell at about 1pm on Saturday.

    The family

    were apparently attending the Hermanus Wine and Food Festival this weekend, where Waldemar Schultz was acting in a comedy called Strip.

    Sources said Kieran was balancing on a low wall at the cliff opposite Harbour House Hotel when he fell.

    De Vries said he was about to launch a kayak tour in the sea below the viewing spot, which is opposite the Harbour House hotel.

    “We actually heard the impact of the fall.”

    One of his guides went to help Kieran, who had fallen around 18m into knee-deep water, hitting the rocks at the bottom.

    De Vries said two doctors on the kayak tour stayed with Kieran until the paramedics arrived.

     

    Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed that the circumstances of the death were being investigated.

    “This afternoon at about 1pm the victim slipped and fell at the whale look-out point in Hermanus, and sustained severe head injuries, whereafter he succumbed in hospital,” Traut said.

     

    He added that a death inquest case docket had been registered.

    According to the website Thespians.co.za, Kieran’s mother, Ira Blanckenberg, runs a drama school. She and Waldemar met while she was studying. They also have a daughter Dhania.

    The website reports that

    Kieran was also a budding actor, who had had several roles in films, commercials and television. He had played Walt in Egoli.

     

    On Twitter yesterday, student Matia van der Westhuizen said: “Thinking of Waldemar Schultz and family on the death of his son! Tragic!” Another drama student, Gershwin Mias, said: “Biggest shock! Kieran Schultz RIP.”

    Weekend Argus


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    A man has been arrested following the death of a seven-year-old boy in Atlantis, Cape Town, Western Cape police said.

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    Cape Town - A man has been arrested following the death of a seven-year-old boy in Atlantis, Cape Town, Western Cape police said on Sunday.

    The 21-year-old was caught in Atlantis on Saturday night, Lt-Col Andrè Traut said in a statement. He would appear in court on Monday.

    Ruhan Botha was shot dead when he and his mother were caught in a crossfire on Friday night. His mother was wounded in the neck. Two men were also injured. - Sapa


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    Most people try not to go into graveyards but for some it's either sleep with the dead or face huge costs to get to work.

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    Cape Town - Most people try not to venture into graveyards after dark, but for desperate former residents of an informal settlement beside the Maitland Cemetery, it’s either sleep with the dead or face huge transport costs to get to work.

    The 11 families who live in the cemetery aren’t keen to identify their actual “homes” because they fear eviction. But they’re more than happy to tell how they used to be among 89 families living in the adjacent Peace Accord Camp.

    The City of Cape Town had leased the land from the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) in 2007 to temporarily accommodate a group of families displaced by a fire under a Vanguard Drive bridge. And in April last year they were finally relocated to Bardale, in Mfuleni.

    The city is attempting to move everyone in the Peace Accord Camp to make the land available for extending the graveyard.

    But the residents who got new plots in Mfuleni say life there isn’t as good as they’d hoped. They’re not only struggling to integrate, but also struggle to find work.

     

    So they say they had no choice but to move into the cemetery to get closer to work opportunities, without having to pay heavily for transport costs.

     

    Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, says they know people are staying in the old churches and empty houses on the cemetery property, despite 24-hour security and locked entrances.

    “Unfortunately, in a facility that size, with many dark areas and many points of access, it is impossible for this cemetery to be 100 percent secure,” she said, adding that if anyone was found in the cemetery after hours they were instructed to leave.

     

    One man, who would only be identified as Mohammed, said he spent a few nights a week sleeping in the cemetery while doing odd jobs in the area.

    “I do odd jobs like gardening and household repairs for some of the people in Maitland.

    “I built up a relationship with them over the years, and depend on them for a regular income,” he said.

    “But I can’t find work in Mfuleni, so I came back to my routine in Maitland a few months ago.”

    He explained that it was too expensive to travel back and forth between Mfuleni and Maitland, which was why he chose to sleep in the cemetery.

     

    “I work five days a week and spend the weekend in Mfuleni. If I travelled back and forth on a daily basis I would use all the money I earn for transport. Most nights aren’t too bad… I have things like blankets that my old neighbours hold on to for me during the day.

    “But you can get sick very quickly if you don’t stay warm enough, or have some form of cover.”

    The residents report that some of those who moved to Mfuleni have since sold their plots – illegally – and tried to move back to Maitland.

    They’ve landed up trying to find a spot in other informal settlements in the area or moving into the cemetery.

     

    A resident still living in Peace Accord said he often saw people in the cemetery late at night.

     

    “You might get paranoid seeing things late at night in a graveyard, but we’ve lived here so long it doesn’t bother us. We know people sleep in the cemetery,” he said.

    “Sometimes you can find them in bushes or the abandoned church.

    “Some of them are the homeless or our old neighbours, and we sometimes take them in on rainy nights.”

    He added that he was never going to be “bullied” into moving to Mfuleni.

     

    “Those that went are trying to come back here because the conditions there are worse. The roof leaks when it rains here, our children get sick more often, but despite everything that is wrong here, it is better than what the city is offering by making us move to Mfuleni.

    “They should either improve the conditions here, or find us a plot of land in Maitland so we can hold on to any form of work we have.”

    Ernest Sonnenberg, acting mayoral committee member for human settlements, said they would continue negotiating with the residents in a bid to free up much-needed land for the graveyard to be extended.

     

    “The sites for the 11 families are still being reserved (in Mfuleni), but cannot be left vacant indefinitely,” he said.

    Of the Maitland land, he added: “The leased land site in Maitland is urgently needed for the expansion of Maitland cemetery due to the shortage of land for burial purposes.”

    kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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    The City of Cape Town is the most flush with cash of all the country’s metros.

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    Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is the most flush with cash of all the country’s metros.

    The State of City Finances report released last week, which details the finances of nine of South Africa’s biggest municipalities (eight are metros), found that when it came to the cash position of municipalities, cities had on average 1.42 months worth of cash available to meet their needs. Johannesburg is in the risky position of having just 0.35 months worth of cash available, while Cape Town has more than double the national average at 3.19 months worth.

    “Cities need to have sufficient cash to meet their financial commitments,” the report states.

    The release of the report comes as the local council has come in for a barrage of criticism from the ANC caucus, which has accused it of fiscal dumping after the announcement that 92.9 percent of the city’s 2012/13 budget had been spent by year-end. Mayoral committee member for finance Ian Neilson has, however, countered that the ANC has misread the facts.

    Meanwhile, South African Cities Network chief executive Sithole Mbanga said municipalities were under increasing financial pressure, “grossly underfunded by the system” and facing rising costs, such as electricity.

    This, with the fact that services were becoming increasingly unaffordable for households, meant municipalities could become trapped with high debt levels.

    The three most heavily indebted cities were eThekwini, Johannesburg and Tshwane.

    Cape Town was also at the top of the list when it came to the provision of the most affordable services to the poor.

    Using a system where property value and water and electricity usage are used to determine four income bands, it found that for those living in a property valued at R100 000, and using 20 kilolitres of water and 400kW of electricity a month, Cape Town was the most affordable.

    The average service package for this income band cost R551 a month in 2011; the national average was R804.

    For those in the upper income band, with property valued at R1 million, and using 1 500kW of electricity and 40 kilolitres of water, the city is slightly less affordable. Services in this band cost an average of R3 332 a month in Cape Town, more than the national average of R3 305, and more expensive than Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg, Ethekweni and Mangaung.

    Buffalo City has the most expensive services in both the lowest and highest income brackets in the country.

    Deputy Cape Town mayor Ian Neilson said the city was in a financially stable position and improving.

    “The city inherited a very unstable financial position from previous municipalities and it was only in around 2007 that things started to stabilise.”

    He said the city had increased its collection rates to 96 percent – an area which had been a weakness before. This allowed the city to invest a record R5.8 billion in capital expenditure and a further R2.6bn in repairs and maintenance in the last year.

    “Over the past five years, we’ve spent R23bn on capital expenditure. R11bn of this was from national grants, R5bn was from borrowing and the remaining R5bn or R6bn has been from our own funds.”

    Weekend Argus


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