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    Most crashes on Cape Town roads happen on weekday afternoons and involve private vehicles.


    The majority of collisions on Cape Town’s roads happen on weekday afternoons and private motorists are the biggest culprits.

    City traffic services on Thursday provided an analysis of the five high-incident locations. These are Rosmead Avenue and Wetton Road in Wynberg; the R300 and Stock Road in Philippi; Stellenbosch Arterial and Belhar Drive in Belhar; the R300 and Stellenbosch Arterial in Delft and the N7 and Potsdam Road in Du Noon.

    In the 2011/12 financial year, there were more than 600 crashes at these spots and, between May and July 2012 there were 243 collisions at these five places.

    Deputy chief of traffic services Andre Nel tabled the information before the city’s safety and security portfolio committee.

    Nel said traffic services had increased enforcement and officer visibility in some areas and officers had made recommendations on possible engineering changes. The figures are based on road incident reports from local police stations.

    In Wynberg, most of the collisions took place on Mondays and Thursdays. The peak time was between noon and 6pm.

    “This could be because there are a rush of people moving towards this intersection at that time.”

    To help alleviate the problem, trees blocking drivers’ views at the intersection had been cut back.

    The situation was similar in Philippi, where incidents were more likely to happen on Mondays and Tuesdays. Most took place from 6am to 8.30am.

    Drivers side-swiping or rear-ending one another were the most common types of smashes.

    Mondays were also the most dangerous days in Belhar, with the most incidents taking place between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

    In response to the collision rate at Stellenbosch Arterial and Belhar Drive, a speed camera was installed.

    At the Delft intersection, the bulk of the incidents took place on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Nel said officers had also noted a increase in the number of arrests for driving under the influence on Sundays.

    In Du Noon, Mondays were the most problematic days. Incidents peaked between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

    Nel said the analysis “dispelled the myth” that taxis were involved in the most crashes: “Minibus taxis are not the worst culprits; sedans are the most problematic vehicles on the road.” - Cape Argus

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  • 11/08/12--23:58: Probe into police on hold
  • The commission of inquiry into the Khayelitsha police will not hold public hearings until an urgent interdict application by the minister of police has been finalised.


    Cape Town - The commission of inquiry into the Khayelitsha police will not hold public hearings until an urgent interdict application by the minister of police has been finalised.

    Evidence leader Nazreen Bawa said on Thursday it would be prudent to wait for the Western Cape High Court’s decision.

    Public hearings have been suspended, as have the serving of subpoenas on a number of police officials.

    This week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa filed court papers challenging the establishment of the commission of inquiry set up by Western Cape premier Helen Zille to investigate police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

    The matter will be heard at the Western Cape High Court on Monday. Subpoenas would also be challenged.

    “We have indicated that we intend to oppose the application,” said Zille.

    “An agreement has been reached between all the parties… for the hearing of the application to be postponed to December 10, 2012. This agreement will be made an order of the court [on Monday] and will give our lawyers adequate time to study the application and prepare a comprehensive and detailed reply.”

    Part of this agreement, said Zille, was that the public hearings intended to begin on November 12 would not proceed and no effect would be given to the subpoenas issued to the SAPS.

    “However, this does not mean that the commission itself has been suspended and the other investigative work being done by the commission is not affected by this agreement.”

    The commission was established after the Social Justice Coalition agitated Zille for two years to investigate claims of police inefficiency which had given rise to vigilantism.

    At a press conference this week, Zackie Achmat, speaking on behalf of the Social Justice Coalition, said a final decision would be made this week on whether to join the court action. Achmat said the police’s action and Mthethwa’s affidavit were factually deeply flawed and legally unsustainable. “The decision by the police to challenge this in court can only be seen in a negative light and as an attempt to avoid public scrutiny.”

    Cape Argus

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    The State intends matching DNA found on drug paraphernalia with that of former Western Cape Social Welfare Services chief director.


    Cape Town - The State intends matching the DNA found on drug paraphernalia with that of former Western Cape Social Welfare Services chief director Dave McNamara, allegedly found in possession of the items last year.

    Prosecutor Leon Snyman told the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday that the forensic laboratory has been asked to analyse the tik lolly and seven packets containing tik residue allegedly confiscated from McNamara. A DNA profile had been compiled and it had to be compared with McNamara’s DNA.

    McNamara, who was in charge of all social workers in the province and the Social Development Department’s programmes against drugs, resigned in September, his lawyer, William Booth, confirmed. McNamara was arrested after police stopped him at a filling station in Orange Street and found a tik lolly and seven packets on him.

    McNamara had been expected to go on trial on Thursday, but Booth had written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have the charges dropped.

    Booth told the court Snyman had informed him the representations were unsuccessful. Booth said the DPP had explained why the submissions had been turned down, in a bundle of 20 to 25 pages.

    On the DNA tests, Booth said he was concerned the tik lolly and small packets were contaminated. He noted that they had been tested in July last year. Snyman said if the defence did not co-operate with the investigating officer and allow a DNA sample to be taken, the State would seek an order forcing him to comply. Booth replied: “I indicated the item could be contaminated, not that we do not wish to co-operate.”

    The matter was adjourned until November 23.

    Cape Argus

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    Capetonians will be able to experience Burger King’s legendary Whopper hamburger some time next year.


    Cape Town - Burger King, the world’s second-largest fast-food chain, is coming to Cape Town.

    Capetonains will be able to experience Burger King’s legendary Whopper hamburger some time next year, when the first outlet opens in the city, local partners announced on Thursday, setting up a new battleground in the war with rival McDonald’s.

    “Now is the time to develop the brand in South Africa,” said Grand Parade Investments executive, Jose Cil, as he announced the decision to establish a branch in Cape Town.

    Burger King started as Insta-Burger-King in 1953 and is famous for its Burger King Whopper.

    The Whopper consists of a 113g beef patty, on a bed of lettuce, tomato, pickles, sliced onion and is dressed in mayonnaise between a sesame seed bun. The Cape Town branch will be the first Burger King in Africa.

    Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the new venture would also bring about job creation and that the decision was a “welcomed vote of confidence” in the city by the private sector and would boost efforts to tackle poverty in the city.

    “The City of Cape Town is proud to become the home of the first Burger King outlet in South Africa. I am grateful that the Burger King Corporation has chosen Cape Town as the base for their flagship project,” De Lille said.

    Grand Parade Investments financial planner and analyst Alisha Sadler-Almeida said Cape Town was chosen because Grand Parade Investments was based in the city.

    “We have aggressive growth plans and plan to achieve the significant number of restaurants in half the time that it has taken McDonalds to establish itself in South Africa, and we anticipate that we will create approximately 5 000 direct and indirect jobs relating to the Burger King business,” she said.

    De Lille said the decision would also “open business opportunities for local suppliers. It helps our economy grow. It boosts our on-going efforts to tackle poverty in the city”.

    “We strongly believe the joint venture is uniquely positioned to succeed in South Africa’s lucrative quick service restaurant market,” Cil said.

    Cape Argus

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  • 11/09/12--02:40: Dad shot dead for a R5
  • A baby has been left without a father after his dad was killed over R5 while riding his horse and cart.


    Cape Town - A baby has been left without a father after his dad was killed over R5 while riding his horse and cart.

    Scrap metal collector Cameron Fisher, 21, was attacked on Wednesday night in Netreg – allegedly by someone known to him.

    Witnesses told the family they saw the suspect climb onto the cart and ask for money before he drew a gun and shot Cameron.

    The Kreefgat man was hit in the back of his neck.

    His ouma Olga Powell, 85, held Cameron’s 11-month-old baby boy Cameron Jr in her arms as she explained she had been waiting for him to come home when she heard he was murdered.

    “He promised he would buy me a cooldrink and I waited for him and then he never came back,” says Olga sobbing.

    “It wasn’t even five minutes and then people came to tell us he had been shot and killed.”

    Cameron’s soft-spoken mom Vivian Fisher, 57, has been left devastated by her son’s murder.

    “I am now left with three children, I’m really going to miss him.”

    Cops confirm no one has yet been arrested.

    “The circumstances surrounding his death are being investigated,” says Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.

    Daily Voice

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    Ricardo Hamman remembers taking a drink from a worker outside the Linkin Park concert, then he was surrounded by paramedics.


    Cape Town - Ricardo Hamman remembers taking a free drink from a woman outside the Linkin Park concert in Cape Town on Wednesday night.

    When he regained consciousness he was surrounded by paramedics. He had three broken ribs, a punctured lung and broken spinal bones.

    He had been struck by a scaffolding tower advertising Lucozade, which left a woman dead and 19 others – including him – injured next to the Cape Town Stadium.

    The dead woman was Florentina Heaven Popa, 32. Originally from Romania, she had fallen in love with Cape Town where she settled six years ago.

    Hamman, 29, said he had walked up to the scaffolding and taken a free bottle from one of the workers promoting the drink.

    “I remember taking a sip and waking up with the paramedics around me.”

    The Cape Times visited Hamman at his Groote Schuur hospital bed on Thursday.

    The scaffolding had made a “big cut in my head which bled a lot”, Hamman said. He was in a lot of pain, specifically where a drain had been inserted into one of his lungs.

    Hamman had noticed the gusting winds on his way to the stadium but thought nothing of it, assuming that any scaffolding would have been securely fastened.

    His brother Raymond said they would take legal action and ensure they were compensated.

    “I’ve asked who will be recovering the bills.”

    Heaven Popa, who died at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night, was the training manager of the One&Only Hotel at the Waterfront.

    The hotel said Heaven Popa had been a “highly respected member of the One&Only Cape Town team who will be deeply missed by all her colleagues”.

    Swedish resident Edward Molnar met Heaven Popa last month when he and his family visited Cape Town.

    He came across her details when researching where to stay.

    “She sent us the lengthiest e-mail about Cape Town, how amazing it is, [especially] the people.

    “We immediately bonded. She practically booked our trip for us. It was as if we had been friends forever.”

    She had met her husband, Leslie Heaven, while they were working on a cruiseship, Molnar said.

    “It was love at first sight. She basically immigrated for him. She loved South Africa, she loved Cape Town. She was so happy, she thrived there.

    “She had joy of life, positive, fun, someone who didn’t know what pessimism was.”

    Molnar said she had lived in Cape Town for about six years.

    Heaven, who refused to speak to the Cape Times on Thursday, had let Molnar know what had happened via e-mail.

    Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Michelle Norris said Heaven Popa had been admitted with head injuries.

    “She was treated in the trauma unit. Unfortunately her injuries were too severe. She bled a lot. The best was done.”

    Another Groote Schuur patient, Enver Willemburg, 27, said the scaffolding had collapsed on top of him, trapping his legs.

    He was walking with his older brother, Valentino, when the scaffolding collapsed.

    “It happened before I knew it. I didn’t see it in time. It just collapsed.”

    He said his legs were trapped under the scaffolding but paramedics had worked quickly to free him.

    He broke his left pelvis, fractured his right pelvis, fractured three bones in his back, and fractured his right leg and ankle.

    Willemburg said, “The wind was blowing very hectic.”

    He planned to take legal action as he believed the scaffolding had not been properly erected.

    Valentino Willemburg said he saw the scaffolding swaying in the wind.

    “I saw the structure moving backwards and forwards. I just ducked my head and saw it collapse to the floor. I just saw my brother on the floor.

    “I ran to the structure and tried to pull it up. Three guys came and we pulled it up.”

    Western Cape Department of Health spokesman Mark van der Heever said six patients had been admitted to Groote Schuur and New Somerset hospitals.

    He said they were all stable and had been treated largely for fractured fingers, hands and legs.

    One woman was in a serious condition.

    “The female has since been transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital for further management of the spine injury she sustained.”

    Cape Times

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    Lucozade will no longer be promoting their tour sponsorship for the Linkin Park tour to SA, the brand announced.


    Cape Town - Lucozade will no longer be promoting their tour sponsorship for the Linkin Park tour to South Africa, the sports drink brand have announced.

    On Wednesday, Florentina Heaven-Popa, 33, died after a scaffolding tower advertising Lucozade outside the Linkin Park concert venue in Cape Town, collapsed under pressure from a strong south-easterly. Nineteen others were injured.

    The structure had been preapproved and certified as safe before the event.

    Lucozade released a statement on their website which read: “Out of respect for victims of this accident we will not be actively promoting our tour sponsorship up to and at the final event.”

    Linkin Park are due to perform their second and final date of their SA tour at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.

    The UK company’s announcement also follows their official response to the tragedy: “We are deeply saddened by these events and extend our sincere condolences to the family of the bereaved.

    “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured and those who witnessed the tragedy.

    “As tour sponsors of the concert, we are in close contact with the concert organisers and investigating authorities and will co-operate fully with them in their investigations.”

    Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town has appointed a wind specialist and a structural engineering firm, who were on Friday starting their investigations into Wednesday’s incident.

    Strong south-easterly winds, a feature of spring and summer in Cape Town, must be catered for by having adequately braced structures, a knowledgeable source in the structural engineering industry told the Cape Argus on Friday.

    The Cape Town Weather Office said on Friday that on Wednesday the wind near the stadium was gusting at up to 70km/h.

    The Cape Argus source explained: “The structure would have to have been adequately braced, installed according to approved methodology, in order to withstand the forces from the wind and the weight of any people.

    “For example, it would have had to have been erected by a certified scaffolding erector, and signed off by a qualified inspector.

    “Because we live in Cape Town, any design has to allow for extreme winds of at least 100km/h.

    “While it does not often blow stronger than 100km/h, micro-climate conditions can be impacted by all sorts of factors, which can funnel gusts of wind, for example – so any design has to be massively robust,” the expert said.

    The way certain structures are configured can cause wind speeds to exceed 100km/h – for example the tunnels under the Cape Town Civic Centre.

    The city’s Kylie Hatton said while the scaffolding structure in question at the stadium had been signed off in the process of granting the overall event permit for the concert, the investigators would now study the full process followed in minute detail.

    Popa’s husband, Leslie Heaven, said on Thursay he would mount legal action.

    A further dozen people were taken to hospital and a source said today that it appeared that between two and four of them had suffered injuries that could be regarded as “serious”.

    It remained unclear on Friday who would carry legal accountability for the death and injuries, should any of the victims or their families sue.

     The City of Cape Town has launched an independent external investigation into the events leading to Wednesday night’s death and injuries.

    The investigation will be headed by the police and a structural engineering firm.

    Mayor Patricia De Lille said the city and event organisers Big Concerts would co-operate fully with the investigation.

    “I would also like to give the assurance that the city has moved proactively to institute an independent external investigation into the causes of the incident,” she said.

    A spokesperson for UK-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which manufactures Lucozade, said the branding activation had been erected by a contractor who “fully complied” with the safety specifics required by the city and the concert organisers.

    The spokesperson said the structure had been checked and signed off by concerned parties.

    “Our main concern now is with the immediate family of the deceased and the injured.

    “A full investigation is under way and we will co-operate fully with authorities looking into the matter,” she said.

    Nicky’s Spotlight’s Promotions, the company that supplied promoters for Lucozade, had about 30 staff – men and women, between 18 and 28 years old – at the stadium on Wednesday.

    The company’s Steven Barker said two of the promoters had been injured in the incident. One was discharged from hospital on Thursday.

    “We have arranged for trauma counselling for all of them,” he said.

    One of the promoters, Marinique Welsh, 15, of Bothasig, had two broken vertebrae. She is heavily sedated at the Panorama Mediclinic.

    Her parents will be consulting a lawyer on whether to pursue legal action.

    Cape Argus, IOL

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    A Cape Town woman is being questioned by police after a dead foetus was discovered on her property.


    Cape Town - A Bonteheuwel woman is being questioned by police after a dead foetus was discovered on her property. Acting on a tip-off, police cordoned off the house and dug up a section of the front yard.

    They uncovered the body of a baby, wrapped in plastic packets. Neighbours allege that the father buried the body around a week ago.

    Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said a man and a woman, believed to be the baby’s parents, had been questioned but no arrests had been made.

    Police have enlisted the assistance of the Department of Health in the investigation.

    “Our forensic pathologists will examine the body to determine its age, when it died, the cause of death and whether it was a baby or a foetus,” said Mark van der Heever, spokesman for the department.

    “We will then hand over the report to SAPS, who would be able to use it to further the investigation or as evidence.”

    Neighbours in Juniper Street reacted angrily to the news of the discovery of the body.

    They started “attacking” the home after police left, a witness told the Cape Argus.

    Rumours were also circulating that up to four bodies had been buried in the garden. Filander said he had taken note of these rumours, but stressed that police were only investigating the discovery of one body.

    * A 2010 survey by Child Welfare found that 500 babies had been abandoned in the first 10 months of that year. It is mostly young mothers who abandon their babies, the report found.

    At the time, Niresh Ramklass, executive head of Child Welfare Cape Town, gave five main reasons why babies were abandoned:

    “Teen pregnancies, drugs, rape, poverty and women expecting foreigners’ babies. If the mother has a child with a foreigner, it sometimes happens that the community rejects her and the child.”

    Cape Argus

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    Talks aimed at resolving a farm labour dispute are continuing, employer body Agri-Wes Cape said.


    Johannesburg - Talks aimed at resolving a farm labour dispute continued on Friday, employer body Agri-Wes Cape said.

    Workers had been gathering on the N1 since Monday, but Lt-Col Andre Traut described the situation as “very quiet” on Friday morning.

    Spokeswoman Porchia Adams said it was hoped that the negotiations would yield “some sort of agreement” that would restore peace in the Hex River Valley.

    The talks, which started on Tuesday, are being chaired by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration at the Worcester civic centre.

    Farmers' representatives, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (Bawsi), and the Hex Rivier Plaaswerkers Belange Groep (Hex River Farmworkers' Interest Group) were party to the talks.

    According to Agri-Wes Cape, workers were demanding R150 a day in pay, improved living conditions, electricity, and an end to illegal evictions, illegal immigrant workers, and labour brokers.

    According to Adams, however, the issues of illegal evictions and immigrants were not applicable to that area.

    Wouter Kriel, spokesman for agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg, said many of the workers wanted to return to their jobs, but were afraid for their safety and that of their families. “Police are doing a very good job under difficult conditions.”

    Earlier in the week, protests resulted in vineyards being burnt, a number of arrests, and the closure of the N1 between Touws River and De Doorns.

    Farmers had also been worried about possible violence and damage to their farms.

    “We are very happy that they are talking and hope they will continue engaging to find solutions,” Kriel said.

    Cosatu, Bawsi, and the Building, Wood, and Allied Workers Union of SA could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.

    On Thursday, after Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille was heckled by supporters of former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema while visiting the area, Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said she had been warned to stay away.

    Ehrenreich said Agri SA had taken a stand against the need for collective bargaining and this had incensed workers.

    “Cosatu continues to support the workers' demand of R150 per day and rejects the R80 offered by the farmers as an insult and return to slave wages.”


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    A Hawks’ captain faces charges of corruption, extortion and theft, and conspiracy to commit the first two charges.


    Cape Town -

    The corruption case against a Hawks captain was postponed in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Friday.

    Magistrate Zwelidumile Sogwagwa heard that Patrick Siyali's lawyer had withdrawn from the case and he needed time to give instructions to new lawyer William Booth.

    The court extended Siyali's bail of R5 000 and told him to return on January 18.

    The 52-year-old left the court looking happy, shaking the hands of reporters and wishing them a happy Christmas.

    The postponement would allow the prosecution to get hold of bank statements, which it had requested almost two months ago.

    Siyali, from Khayelitsha, faces charges of corruption, extortion and theft, and conspiracy to commit the first two charges.

    According to the case docket, he had been working in the commercial crimes unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation since 2006.

    It is the State's case that Siyali and a co-accused police officer, not identified, approached a woman who had apparently loaned money to a Congolese group and noticed they were operating a syndicate.

    The accused allegedly told her she would be charged and demanded money from her, which she said she did not have.

    The policemen apparently then took her wallet with R400 inside it and a camera worth R5 000. A book on former police commissioner Jackie Selebi was also stolen.

    The woman, who was apparently the target of previous extortion, reported the matter to police.

    A trap was set up at a McDonald's outlet and the accused was arrested with R500 in marked money.

    The docket did not specify where and when the alleged crimes were committed.

    Siyali intended pleading not guilty. - Sapa

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  • 11/09/12--09:40: Man’s arm pinned by truck
  • A pedestrian was seriously injured when his arm was pinned underneath the wheel of a truck in Brackenfell, Cape Town, paramedics said.


    Cape Town - A pedestrian was seriously injured when his arm was pinned underneath the wheel of a truck in Brackenfell, Cape Town, on Friday, paramedics said.

    “The events leading to the incident are unclear, but the man had allegedly stepped into traffic to collect money from a vehicle when he was struck by the flatbed truck,” ER24 spokesman Andre Visser said.

    The man was dragged for about two metres before one of the truck's wheels came to rest on his right arm.

    The man was in severe pain when paramedics arrived and he was treated for head, back, and arm injuries.

    A crane was used to lift the truck off the man's arm and he was taken to Tygerberg Hospital. - Sapa

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    Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant must intervene in a farm labour dispute in De Doorns, in the Western Cape, the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said.


    Johannesburg - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant must intervene in a farm labour dispute in De Doorns, in the Western Cape, the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said on Friday.

    Fedusa would ask Oliphant to look into the legislation on wages and conditions of employment for farm workers, its general secretary for operations Gretchen Humphries said in a statement.

    Farm workers in the area began protesting on Monday, demanding wages of R150 a day, improved living conditions, electricity, and an end to illegal evictions, illegal immigrant workers, and labour brokers.

    Police said the situation in De Doorns was “very quiet” on Friday.

    Earlier in the week, protests resulted in vineyards being burnt, a number of arrests, and the closure of the N1 between Touws River and De Doorns.

    “Fedusa is seriously concerned about the loss of investment, due to the area being an export processing zone, where table grapes are produced predominantly for the export market,” Humphries said.

    Fedusa believed there were political interests behind the workers' protests.

    On Thursday, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille was heckled by supporters of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema while visiting the area.

    Earlier on Friday, Agri-Wes Cape said employers' representatives had been threatened by union representatives during wage dispute talks for the De Doorns grape harvesters.

    “They were busy with discussions and left for a break. Something must have happened during the break, because when union representatives came back, they made threats,” said spokeswoman Porchia Adams.

    She said the representatives' lives and safety were threatened.

    The threats had been reported to police and it was expected that a case would be opened.

    “We take this in a very serious light,” Adams said.

    Despite the threats, representatives had decided to return to the talks in the interests of finding a solution, she said. - Sapa

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    Lesbians in Nyanga are living in fear after a 19-year-old was stabbed to death in what they believe was a hate crime.


    Cape Town -

    Lesbians in Nyanga are living in fear after a 19-year-old was stabbed to death in Samora Machel in what they believe was a hate crime.

    Sihle Sikoji, a member of Luleki Sizwe, a project that supports lesbian, bisexual and transgender women (LBT) who have been raped, was stabbed in the chest with a “mini-spear”.

    Sikoji’s friend, who withheld her name, told the Cape Argus that three of them had been drinking at a tavern on Friday and ran out of money. She and Sikoji decided to walk to a friend’s house to get money.

    On their way back, more than five men “came from nowhere” and told them: “This is not the place or the time for you to be walking here, it’s for us Vooras.”

    The Vooras is a gang that is feared in the area. “We just stood there in shock. One of them pulled out a mini-spear with a long blade and stabbed Sikoji once in the chest. She fell to the floor.”

    The friend tried to intervene but was stabbed in an arm. She held Sikoji in her arms for more than two hours while waiting for an ambulance. Sikoji later died at Mitchells Plain Hospital.

    “They [attackers] didn’t ask for money or cellphones. Most men hate us around here; they say we are trying to take their girlfriends. We are now terrified to leave the house… they are still out there,” she said.

    Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut on Sunday confirmed the incident.

    He said no arrests had been made and the motive for the murder was still unknown. A murder investigation is under way.

    A month ago, Sikoji’s friend, who was with them before the attack, was raped at gunpoint in the same area.

    They believe she was a victim of so-called corrective rape. She has not reported the rape out of fear of the perpetrators, who are well-known gangsters in the area.

    When the Cape Argus visited Sikoji’s home in Philippi, her grandmother, Nomangesi Sikoji, 71, said she was still heartbroken over the death of her “jovial” granddaughter. “I looked at her once. Her eyes were closed as if she was sleeping… like she was going to wake up again.”

    Sikoji’s mother, Ntombizanele Sikoji, 36, was being comforted by relatives on Sunday. She said her daughter had been very fond of soccer.

    Luleki Sizwe founder Ndumie Funda said Sikoji was a “great help and would be irreplaceable” in the organisation.

    “I am deeply hurt. We have lost another young lesbian who had great potential,” she said.

    Funda urged “young and vulnerable” lesbians to be vigilant while walking in the townships.

    “They need to take care of themselves and not advertise their sexuality to the community as we are still fighting homophobia. Being gay does not mean one has to be irresponsible. We are still under attack, therefore we have to be careful of where we socialise,” said Funda.

    Cape Argus

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    Farmworkers in De Doorns are set to continue striking after wage talks deadlocked at the weekend.


    Cape Town - Farmworkers in De Doorns are set to continue striking after wage talks deadlocked at the weekend.

    Frustrated De Doorns grape farmworkers embarked on an indefinite strike last Monday and say they are not backing down.

    The strike, which has resulted in millions of rand in damage to vineyards, has been marred by violence and major traffic disruptions. The N1 highway was closed to traffic several times last week.

    The farmworkers have threatened to bring the farms in the area to a standstill should they not get the R150 a day they are demanding. The farmworkers, who currently earn R65 a day, rejected an offer of R80 a day made during the negotiations last week.

    The strike has caused tremendous damage to farms, said De Doorns ward councillor Patrick Januarie.

    “It is a bit quiet now, there is no striking, but… I don’t think the farms will be open today,” Januarie said.

    He said negotiations would continue this week as farmworkers were persistent in their demands.

    “All the farmworkers want R150 per day and government must improve SA farmworkers’ pay to R150 per day,” Januarie said.

    Talks are set to resume on Monday with Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who is trying to find a solution to the problem.

    Joemat-Pettersson’s spokeswoman, Palesa Mokomele, said a breakthrough was expected soon.

    “The minister will meet with the national union and the Labour Department and we are hopeful there will be a solution,” Mokomele said.

    She said that Joemat-Pettersson was positive about the talks as farmers and farmworker representatives were still willing to negotiate.

    “This is a very slow process, but as long as we have those who are willing to talk we are hopeful,” Mokomele said.

    She added that their biggest concern was the violence and the strike spread to other parts of the country.

    Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said Cosatu would help the farmworkers in their bid to get a wage increase.

    “A few of the farmworkers are members of Cosatu and they have called on us to come and assist them,” Ehrenreich said.

    He said that no one could survive on the wages the farmworkers were receiving and that the farmers and the government should respond and review their wages.

    “Agri SA is an apartheid organisation and they want to continue with those apartheid ways, this is just a major uprising by the workers towards the agriculture sector… Agri SA has to change with the times or this could get dangerous,” Ehrenreich said.

    Cape Argus

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    The mom who allegedly sold her own 13-year-old daughter as a sex slave for R50 a time has been arrested.


    Cape Town - The mom who allegedly sold her own 13-year-old daughter as a sex slave for R50 a time has been arrested.

    She will appear in Atlantis Magistrates’ Court in the Western Cape on Monday morning charged with sexual exploitation.

    She also faces a separate rape-related charge.

    The woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was finally taken into custody on Friday.

    Her arrest followed nationwide outrage after the Daily Voice last week revealed how her daughter was allegedly “rented” to men on a wasteground and outside shebeens near their Atlantis home.

    Prosecutors will try to prove the woman sold her daughter for R50 to men in exchange for sex while she fed her own alcohol addiction.

    “The case was opened and the mother was arrested this morning on a charge of sexual exploitation,” provincial police spokesperson Warrant Officer November Filander said on Friday.

    “She will appear in court on Monday.

    “The case is still under investigation.”

    Detectives have yet to determine how many men the girl was allegedly forced to have sex with and for how long the nightmare continued.

    The child is currently in the care of Atlantis ward councillor and shelter owner, Barbara Rass.

    The alarm was raised nearly two weeks ago when the brave teenager told her friend about the abuse, and in turn alerted one of their teachers.

    Barbara says she is relieved the wheels of justice have finally begun to turn for the little victim.

    “I am very glad that justice has taken place,” she told the Daily Voice.

    “These types of children always fall victim again, so my job now is to take care of her. The child has already said she doesn’t want to go back to her mother.”

    Barbara also thanked the Daily Voice for our coverage of the story, which went viral online last week.

    “People were calling me from as far as Pretoria and Johannesburg,” she added.

    “The Daily Voice helped to secure an arrest and for social development to call me. The paper played a huge role in the arrest and I want to say thank you.”

    Daily Voice

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  • 11/11/12--23:32: Showdown over baboons
  • Baboon conservationists, scientists and activists will hold a meeting relating to baboon management on the Peninsula.


    Cape Town - Baboon conservationists, scientists, animal welfare activists and wildlife managers hold a no-holds-barred meeting on Monday relating to baboon management on the Peninsula.

    The Baboon Welfare Meeting is taking place at the SA National Parks’ Cape Research Centre in Tokai.

    Baboon Matters Trust, the NGO headed by baboon conservationist Jenni Trethowan and which held the initial management contract, has prepared a list of questions for the Baboon Liaison Group that represents civic and ratepayer organisations in the South Peninsula.

    In turn, the Baboon Technical Team – the joint “operations” team of the three statutory authorities involved – has drafted a set of questions for the trust and animal rights activists.

    The Baboon Matters Trust wants to know, among other things:

    * Since the new baboon management Protocol was implemented in 2010, there has been an exponential increase in the number of baboons killed - how can this be explained?

    * If at least 24 male baboons and 18 females have been killed in the past 18 months, how can the total population of 475 have remained constant?

    * Other than paintballing, what promised new baboon management technologies have been implemented and how will they be controlled?

    The technical team’s questions include:

    * Do you accept the humane killing of healthy baboons under any circumstances?

    * Do you accept that “aversive conditioning” is a successful method to mitigate human-wildlife conflict?

    * Do you accept the use of paintball markers and “bear-bangers” under approved operating procedures?

    Cape Argus

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  • 11/12/12--00:12: 11 arrested in De Doorns
  • Eleven people were arrested after police “took action” against protesting farmworkers in De Doorns.


    Cape Town - Eleven people were arrested after police “took action” against protesting farmworkers in De Doorns on Monday, Western Cape police said.

    “The situation at De Doorns is still tense,” spokesman Colonel Andre Traut said.

    He said violence broke out in the area when a group of around 80 people carrying sticks and pangas intimidated farmworkers and prevented them from going to work.

    “We took action,” said Traut.

    He wouldn't say what measures were used, but SABC radio news reported rubber bullets were fired. Ten people were arrested for public violence, and another one for intimidation.

    ANC Western Cape legislature spokesman Koos Grobler said he had been told by an ANC councillor in the area that police were breaking up groups of five people walking together and that there were police helicopters, and privately hired helicopters, in the air.

    Last week, protesters in De Doorns blocked the N1 highway in the area and set vineyards alight. They wanted their salaries increased to R150 a day. The current minimum wage for their type of work is R69.99 a day.

    Earlier, The Star reported that Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was expected to hold an urgent meeting in Pretoria to discuss their strike.

    Agri Wes-Cape has called on farmworkers to return to work as the table grape season was in full swing. Talks between the minister, Cosatu and farmer representatives took place over the weekend.

    Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said workers rejected an offer of R80 a day, and called on them to stay away from work on Monday. He said farmworkers in Mpumalanga had started striking. Workers said they had heard Cosatu was representing them, but most were unrepresented.

    Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant is attending a conference abroad. - Sapa

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    After nearly 35 years, Tygerberg Zoo has closed its doors for good.


    Cape Town - After nearly 35 years, Cape Town’s only zoo has closed its doors for good.

    Tygerberg Zoo, situated about 40km outside of Cape Town along the N1, was sold for an undisclosed amount between May and July, and all the animals have had to find new homes.

    The zoo was sold and closed owing to financial constraints, which owner Lorraine Spence said she saw coming.

    She said she had no choice but to close the zoo.

    “I had to sell the land because we couldn’t afford it any more. This is an emotional time.”

    She said she was disappointed that her husband John’s dream of creating a safe space for animals didn’t work out.

    He died in 2010. The 24 hectares of land was home to lions, tigers, zebras, cheetahs, chimpanzees and marmosets.

    Also housed at the zoo were 160 bird species and 63 reptile species. The zoo also specialised in breeding rare and endangered animals.

    “We were part of the African Association of Zoos and we sold the animals only to accredited people,” Spence said.

    The lions and tigers were taken in by the Drakenstein Lion Park, as were the chimpanzees.

    The park is building a new facility called Chimp Haven especially to house the displaced Tygerberg Zoo animals.

    This new addition is set to be opened in December. The Drakenstein Lion Park, which is in the Cape Winelands, comprises 50ha.

    In conjunction with other animal organisations, the park’s management will help ensure a better future for the animals.

    Cameron Meyer, a Grade 9 pupil from Milnerton, was saddened by the news of the zoo’s closing.

    “I wanted to apply there for a part-time job because working with animals is my passion. The news has dampened my spirits,” Cameron said.

    He said he still aspires to work with animals, even if it means moving to another part of the country.

    Cape Argus

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    Constable Nosipho Sweetness Pikini, who was acquitted of dealing in drugs worth R1m, will appeal against her dismissal.


    Cape Town - The cousin and former co-accused of Macassar police station’s ex-commander, who was acquitted of dealing in drugs worth R1 million, will appeal against her dismissal from the SAPS.

    Constable Nosipho Sweetness Pikini and her cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel Princess Benjamin, who resigned from her position as station commander, went on trial in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court on an array of charges last year.

    The State alleged Benjamin enlisted the help of Pikini to remove 18 bags of confiscated dagga worth more than R1m from the evidence storage room at the Macassar police station and move it to an address in Nyanga in 2009. They were accused of selling it.

    They were arrested and held in custody for about a month. After a lengthy bail application in the Somerset Magistrate’s Court, the two were released on bail.

    On October 26 Magistrate Amrith Chabilall acquitted them of five counts. The charges included dealing in drugs, corruption and fraud.

    Lawyer William Booth, who represented both Benjamin and Pikini, brought an application in terms of section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Act that moved for their acquittal as there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

    Pikini, who was a constable at Philippi East police station, was dismissed after an internal disciplinary hearing.

    Booth said he was awaiting the typed version of the judgment before they could lodge the appeal.

    Cape Argus

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    Eight police officers have been killed so far this year in the Western Cape, while 4 578 officers have been injured in the line of duty.


    Cape Town - Eight police officers have been killed so far this year in the Western Cape, while 4 578 officers have been injured in the line of duty over the past two years.

    This emerged from questions in the legislature when Community Safety MEC Dan Plato told DA MPL and community safety standing committee chairman Mark Wiley that these were the latest figures from SAPS.

    This comes after the death of Douglas Moses last month; he was shot while on patrol in Philippi.

    Three more policemen were killed last month in Hout Bay and Khayelitsha. Phindiwe Nikani and Mandisi Nduku from Hout Bay were gunned down in Madiba Square in Imizamo Yethu. Nikani died at the scene and Nduku died in hospital.

    Their deaths came days after metro police officer Mphumelelo Xakekile was shot while ticketing a taxi on Mew Way in Khayelitsha, sparking widespread outrage.

    City authorities offered a R50 000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Xakekile’s killers.

    On the statistics given to Plato, provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut told the Cape Argus the police could not give a detailed account of the injuries “for obvious reasons”.

    Confirming the figures, Traut said: “It is imperative to mention that the injuries sustained by police officers are not limited to those who were attacked while on or off duty, but a combination of incidents and occurrences.”

    Various measures were implemented to prevent police officers from being attacked while on duty, he said.

    “Members are issued with bulletproof vests and it is ensured that they are operationally ready when they are deployed for duty.”

    Provincial police chief Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer has been adamant since the killings that officers would remain focused and committed to their duties and would not allow criminals to take over the country.

    Last year, more than 50 police officers were killed across South Africa. This figure is disputed between researchers and SAPS, but it is acknowledged that it may be higher.

    Last year, current affairs television show Carte Blanche spoke to a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, Andrew Faull, who said: “[Police killings are] a declining trend, both in terms of total numbers of police officials being killed and… as a proportion of police per hundred thousand in the organisation.

    “We are seeing a sudden spike in media attention, we are seeing a sudden spike in police management attention, but we are not seeing a spike in the total number of figures.”

    In 1994, 265 police officers were killed, according to the SA Institute for Race Relations figures. In 2000, this number dropped to 178, and in 2010 it had fallen to 93, according to police statistics.

    Cape Argus

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